December 20, 2013

DIY Peppermint and Lavender Foot Scrub (plus more holiday gift ideas)

I remember my first pedicure dearly. Not because of the scrubbing and scraping that was happening on my feet, but because of that chair. Have you ever gone to get a pedicure just to sit in their massaging chair? No? Yeah, me neither...

While pedicure visits were never a regular thing for me (I like to do them at home), I did love to sit in that massage chair and watch as flakes of dried skin went flying all over the place. My sister had some really dry feet. We mostly went for the experience -- to just step away from life for a moment. But we left with so much more. We put on our little plastic flip flops and stepped out of the salon with smoother feet, a relaxed back, and a whole new outlook on life. (Well, at least the relaxed back part.)

DIY Peppermint and Lavender Foot Scrub

Now, I'm a lot more frugal these days which is the main reason I don't frequent nail salons anymore. I've also been trying to switch to mostly natural products and bringing my own nail polish to the salon might be just a little strange. I really don't want to be that guy. I'm totally okay with pulling out my tiny salt shaker when out to eat, but nail polish at the salon...well, that's just asking too much. So, in the comfort of my own home, I create my own spa-like experience (minus the chair) with a foot soak and an occasional scrub. And if my niece is over, nails are painted. Of course. (I usually only like my toe nails painted.)

When I use a foot scrub such as this, I like to get my foot bath ready (see my post on simple foot baths here), then scrub my feet first. Once I scrub those puppies (do people really call them that?) down, I place them in my steaming hot foot tub. I like it to almost burn my feet. It hurts so good. But somewhat less than steaming is probably a better idea. You can soak, then scrub, then soak again if you'd like. Your spa, your choice.
DIY Peppermint and Lavender Foot Scrub

Okay, let's talk about these ingredients for a second. Lavender. Peppermint. Epsom salts. There are reasons I chose these ingredients.

Epsom Salt (magnesium sulfate): boosts magnesium levels, relaxing, relieves pain, and eliminates toxins
Peppermint: relieves sore and swollen feet
Lavender: calming and anti-fungal

But no worries, I left out the sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) and other ingredients found in typical store bought foot scrubs. Once I stopped using soaps and other products with SLS and other skin-irritating ingredients, it became so much easier to heal my eczema. It's so important to avoid so many of the ingredients in store-bought products, especially when dealing eczema or other skin conditions. Trust me. My skin improved so much quicker when I started using castile soap and shea butter instead of harsh soaps and lotions.

DIY Peppermint and Lavender Foot Scrub 

DIY Peppermint and Lavender Foot Scrub
What you need:

1 cup epsom salt (or coarse sea salt)
4-6 tbsp sweet almond oil (or other carrier oil such as coconut, olive, jojoba)
5 drops peppermint essential oil
5-8 drops lavender essential oil
1 tbsp dried lavender buds (optional)
2 tsp Vitamin E oil (optional)

How to make: 

In a glass or stainless steel bowl, mix together salts and oil. (Or mix directly in your storage container as I do.) Add more or less oil to preference. I use 5 tbsp. Add essential oils, lavender buds, and Vitamin E oil and stir well to incorporate. Store in airtight container.

To use: 

Using about a tablespoon for each foot, apply to feet with your fingertips or a washcloth. It may help to dampen your feet first. (I dip mine in my foot bath, then scrub.) Scrub feet well, especially around the heels. Rinse feet or place them in a warm foot bath. (Foot bath ideas here.) Pat your feet dry. Feet may be slightly oily after using this scrub. Apply socks after using if desired.

Where I get my ingredients:

I get my carrier oils and most essential oils from Mountain Rose Herbs (HERE) or essential oils from Vitacost (HERE). Vitacost now carries the Aura Cacia brand and I've been pretty happy with them (and they are very affordable). I get my epsom salt from Costco (huge tub!), but you can find it in many stores or on Amazon.

See here for essential oil safety for kids. 

Other ideas for DIY Christmas gifts

Other DIY beauty

I just want to take a moment to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I truly appreciate any of you reading my blog. I'm at a point where I'm not sure if I want to continue blogging, but for now I'm just going to focus on putting out better posts. So, things might be slow around here for awhile, but I will do the best I can to share some new things with you. I have a huge list going with some recipes that I'm really excited about. And for those of you that have been following since the beginning, I'm writing a post-Whole30s update to share soon. I don't talk a lot of my personal life, but it's been a rough year and I'm happy to have my health and this place to share and hopefully inspire someone to make a change, no matter how small. See you next year!

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Shared at: Fat Tuesday, Thank Goodness It's Monday.

Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c

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  1. Livin' the Crunchy LifeJanuary 31, 2014 at 9:16 PM

    Ha! You are welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed your study break and hope your test went well. Thanks for stopping by to let me know. :)

  2. AMAZING. This is my new favorite mug-cake recipe! I used a baking bar instead of cocoa, since I'm out, but mmmmm!

  3. Livin' the Crunchy LifeMarch 7, 2014 at 10:09 PM

    Karissa, I'm glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for stopping by and letting me know! :)

  4. I just made these and had to comment straight away!! I've never been a mugcake fan because previous attempts have always turned out gluggy and flavourless. This recipe turned out INCREDIBLE! Sinfully rich, moist, and chocolatey - will definitely make again. Thank you soooo much

  5. Livin' the Crunchy LifeMarch 10, 2014 at 10:57 PM

    Thanks Chelsea! It was not easy to create one without egg (which I wanted to do) or almond flour, so I'm very happy to hear that you enjoyed it! Thank YOU so much for commenting and letting me know. :)

  6. This is amaaaaaazing! I was craving brownies and I'm maintaining a pretty strict paleo diet so traditional ones were out of the question, but this satiated my chocolate craving even better than a regular brownie would. Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. Livin' the Crunchy LifeApril 29, 2014 at 12:10 AM

    You are welcome, T Jonae Lear! I'm glad you enjoyed it and I really appreciate you stopping by to let me know. Thank you!

  8. Thanks so much for this recipe! I used to make chocolate mug cake with almond flour and an egg, but this recipe is a lot more convenient. (Just because I always have coconut flour and almost never have the almond.) Even though I didn't put any chocolate, it was still decadent and rich and delicious!

  9. Livin' the Crunchy LifeMay 9, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    So glad to hear, Raine...I'm happy you enjoyed this! And same here -- I rarely have almond flour, so coconut flour is more convenient for me as well. The middle chocolate is definitely not necessary...just more for fun. :) Thanks for stopping by to comment.

  10. Thank you soooo much for the dairy free, egg free recipes. I have spent a long time on a journey to find what a fiery (hot and painful) rash I developed at age 14 was. I have been to primary care docs, allergy docs, and dermatologists. I found Paleo through SCD. I have been on the AIP and lo and behold, I am allergic to onions and garlic. While my gut heals, I am more than a bit sensitive to dairy, eggs, and gluten. I have hopes for the last three, the onions and garlic I have replaced with ginger and horseradish. I will probably stay on Paleo because I feel so much better. After 43 years I am finally hive and dandruff free. I mean dig at my skin until I bleed kind of itching, and dandruff flakes like sheets. Eggs are such a common and easy binder. You folks who do the work to find delicious recipes need to know you are wonderful souls and greatly appreciated.

  11. Livin' the Crunchy LifeJune 20, 2014 at 10:55 PM

    Congrats on your successes, Lisa, and sorry for all that you have been through! I'm also very sensitive to gluten and dairy (and suspect others) and my eczema stays clear without them.

    And you are welcome! I know how hard it is to find recipes without eggs, so I
    am happy to share what I can create for you! Check out my AIP page for more
    recipes without eggs and dairy (and autoimmune-friendly):

    Enjoy and good luck to you. I wish for more progress in your journey! Thank you so much for commenting -- YOU are greatly appreciated as well.

  12. Thanks for the delicious recipe!! Totally took care of my craving! Have you ever tried to make this with larger quantities? I'm wondering if I can make a tray of this for the family...

  13. Livin' the Crunchy LifeJuly 10, 2014 at 9:39 PM

    Hi Sima! I haven't tried to make this in larger quantities...but I guess it wouldn't hurt to try. If I try it out, I'll come back and edit the post. But if you try it, do let me know how it turns out. I'm glad you enjoyed the recipe and thanks for letting me know!

  14. I just spent a month celebrating three birthdays (all non-gluten free, non-AIP, and I made the cakes for each!!), and how I wish I had this recipe a month ago! But I have it now, and for the birthdays in the future:) I made this for myself tonight and it totally hit the mark! Sweet, but not too sweet. Satisfying even in a small cup, which is awesome. I love that it only took a mug worth of "cake" to make me feel like I finally got to have something special. Thank you SO much! And I agree, less cook time is best. I over cooked it slightly and the edges were a bit dry. The center was awesome, though, and I will be sure to be careful of the cook time next time!

  15. Livin' the Crunchy LifeJuly 17, 2014 at 10:28 PM

    Thanks for the comment and nice words, Jenn! I'm glad you enjoyed this and I hope all the birthdays went well regardless. Yep, I like mine a little under-cooked and gooey. :)

    Have you seen Zenbelly's No Joke Chocolate Cake? It uses almond flour and eggs, but if you can eat those it would be perfect for a birthday celebration! I haven't tried it out, but I love all of her recipes that I have tried (her pizza crust is aaaamazing). Here's the link:

  16. I made this tonight with brown rice flour instead of coconut flour and microwaved for just 25 seconds....OMG amazing and delightful and *exactly* what I wanted!!! It was warm, pudding-y, brownie-y mousse-soufflé that satisfied me down to my happy little toes. Thank you for this!! And I dunno...I think if one multiplied the recipe, plopped into little ramekins and microwaved, it could make dinner guests very happy. :-D

  17. I just made this..with almond milk and added a pinch each of cinnamon and cayenne. Pretty darn tasty, thank you for posting this! I'm not really trying to live paleo but am looking to avoid highly processed foods so this was great for me!

  18. Livin' the Crunchy LifeOctober 15, 2014 at 9:00 PM

    Skippie22, glad you enjoyed it! I definitely think doubling and making in ramekins would work!

    Thanks for stopping by!

  19. Livin' the Crunchy LifeOctober 15, 2014 at 9:02 PM

    Glad you enjoyed it, Kayla! And no worries -- I follow paleo, but don't force it on anyone. I just like providing options for anyone looking to eat more real food. Live and let live! :)

    Thanks for stopping by and letting me know how you liked the one-minute brownie!

  20. Thank you so much for creating such a delectable and "simple to make" recipe! This chocolate brownie just hit the spot for me!

  21. When my Mum was first diagnosed with cancer she lost a lot of her appetite. One of the things I could get her to eat was molten chocolate cakes. I used almond flour and normal white flour and my trick was to shove a piece of chocolate in the middle before I turned them out (I used to bake them in muffin tins). It always made for a very smooth centre. My Mum is now gone and I miss her heaps, and I've now turned mostly-Paleo. This reminds me of baking those cakes for my Mum. It would have been her 70th birthday today - maybe I was meant to find this recipe just now. Thank you so much. xoxox

  22. Livin' the Crunchy LifeNovember 17, 2014 at 10:15 PM

    You are very welcome! Glad you enjoyed!

  23. Livin' the Crunchy LifeNovember 17, 2014 at 10:27 PM

    Such a sweet and sad story, Samantha. Thank you for sharing. I'm so sorry about your mother and I'm glad you found this recipe to remind you of your time together. ((hugs))

  24. I tried this just now, so easy and so tasty! Thanks :)

  25. OMG! The best tasting dessert I've ever had on Paleo! Rich, delicious and guilt-free:-)


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