The No ‘Poo Experiment Failure

Maybe it’s because I was feeling the Whole30 rush, or maybe I’d just spent one too many hours scrolling through Pinterest, I’m really not sure, but whatever the reason, I gave up shampoo about four weeks ago.And you know what? 

My hair has never looked worse.

Did you even know that going ‘No ‘poo’ is a thing now?? I was all enthralled with the idea of using baking soda and vinegar for something other than making volcanos and in the process getting luscious Lady Godiva locks. (If you’re reading this and thinking, this sounds like a horrible idea, you’re smarter than me. Please don’t rub it in.)

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 6.50.40 AM

Look how happy everyone is! How hard could it be?!


I read several posts from other bloggers who were all “My hair looks better than evah!” and “I get compliments all the time!” to finally “My hair grew like three feet in one year since I stopped stripping all the natural oils off my scalp like a loser!”

All were accompanied with semi-blurry befores and really happy car selfie afters. You can’t argue with happy car selfies! (You will note, and kindly thank me later, that I am not including any ‘Before’ or ‘During’ pictures.)

I decided to give it a shot. I had just chopped a few inches off and was disappointed that my fresh ends still seemed dry and frizzy. Even after losing the weight of my hair everything was still so limp.

I really don’t like putting a lot of time into my hair, so I hoped that a ‘poo free routine would minimize input while maximizing big sexy hair output. I would no longer feel bad or dirty that I couldn’t find time to wash my hair more than every three or four days. No, now I realized that I was actually pampering my scalp by going longer between washes and using only baking soda to scrub my scalp and a vinegar rinse. No harsh detergents to strip all those natural oils! I’ll show those shampoo companies I won’t be taken in by their lies and chemicals!. ….those, sweet, sweet, lathering chemicals….

I knew there would be an adjustment period. I invested in some head bands and I had some hats on hand too. I was going to keep it a secret from my family, but the kids saw me on Pinterest reading about ‘poo and well, I had to explain myself. (“No I don’t have a problem with that kind of poo in my hair!”)

So, I persevered and went a full seven days between hair washing, but I’d hoped in a few weeks, I could go longer. In between my weekly ritual of dumping tepid water laced with baking soda on my scalp I would just rinse my hair with water in the shower, being sure to massage those healthy scalp oils around. A few times I tried to use a homemade dry shampoo powder on the hair around my face with minimal success. (AKA my hairline looked caked with powered while the remainder of hair on my crown looked doused with motor oil.)

I rocked the hats, the headbands, the slick (very slick) ponytail. (I experienced no wind resistance while walking outside.) I kept waiting for my hair to stop looking like it was perpetually wet after day four and then I noticed flakes started appearing. FLAKES.

Eventually I noticed that the few grey hairs I had stood out like bolts of lighting against the greasy blackness of my dark tresses. White flakes and grey hair were becoming more noticeable, and after three weeks, the baking soda rinse didn’t seem to be cleaning as well. Was my hair too healthy??? Did I need to dump a full container of Arm and Hammer on my scalp?? What kind of sick joke was this?!?!

And then finally, as I was preparing to step in the shower and massage my scalp I pulled off my headband and noticed that my hair was thinner just over my left temple. Trying not to freak out I walked into the kitchen and calmly said “OH MY WORD TONY DOES MY HAIR LOOK THINNER HERE?!? IS THIS A BALDING PATCH!??!” To which my husband calmly said, “Yes. I might not have noticed, but the hair on this side of your head looks different than the hair on that side.”

As I was loudly trying to figure out how this cold be happening to my flaky, grey, oily scalp Tony said, “Your hair looked fine before. I’m all for using natural stuff, but just use some shampoo and stop worrying about it.”

I might have protested a bit more, placing the blame squarely on those super tight headbands that, while lifting the loose skin around my eyes nicely, might have been working as a slow epilator around my hairline.

But ultimately,  I had to concede. I started the no ‘poo challenge to make caring for my hair easier and one less thing to think about, yet since starting, I’d been thinking about my hair more because it looked so heinous. So I’m giving up. I bought a couple of bottles of fancy detergent-free all natural shampoo and conditioner because I’m not ready to embrace the $1.98 VO5 supermarket special yet.

I don’t know why going no ‘poo didn’t work magic on my hair. If you’ve got suggestions on how to improve my chances, kindly keep them to yourself. I’m not investing in a 100% boar hair bristle brush made by naked aborigines, breaking out my kids chemistry set to discover the perfect combination of volcano ingredients for my hair type, or raiding the rest of my pantry for a miracle conditioner that will sap up my coconut oil supply.

Besides, I just found a couple great pins about all natural skin care and I need to dig up some castor oil, olive oil, and soil from a part of my yard currently covered in fresh dew that receives at least five hours of daylight in the spring. I‘ll let you know how it goes!

No 'Poo

{SQT} The Whole30 For Wimps

seven quick takes friday 2

Let me start by saying, if I would have been doing the Whole30 last week while Fulton was hospitalized I would’ve failed MISERABLY. Like, licking the mashed potatoes and gravy off his dinner plate miserably.

But, thankfully, I got to experience all the magic that is a Whole30 (with my husband) during the most joyful time of the year: Lent! You just can’t. even. imagine. how fun we were to be around. (The kids may or may not still run for cover when either of us says we’re hungry.)

I thought this week I would share seven tips that might help/ inspire/ or convince you to give a Whole30 a try (or not; no pressure.) Because if *I* can do it, anyone can.



FYI: There will probably lots of capital letters for emphasis and to express pain.


Seriously, I mapped out every meal and snack and bought extra everything at the store. I also made sure that if I made something the kids wouldn’t eat, there would be a large side of pasta, rice, rolls or, um…frozen pizza,  to fill them up. Sure, I felt a bit guilty that I was helping their bodies rot, but if they were going to snub my shrimp with macadamia nut sauce over zucchini noodles, what choice did I have?

After a week or so, I settled on a pretty standard breakfast, lunch and set of snacks. Yes, there were plenty of meals I was less than thrilled about, but not having to over-think breakfast while drinking black coffee has it’s perks too. By the end, my breakfast was two eggs with shredded sweet potatoes, chicken tenders or chicken sausage over a salad with balsamic vinegar and truffle infused olive oil for lunch, with dates and cashews as my go to snacks, along with the occasional, overpriced, Larabar. I also relied on  Nori  as a sandwich wrap. (Desperate times people.) I drank lots of seltzer (which was nothing new) and sometimes unsweetened iced tea (but never after 4 p.m. because I became very sensitive to the caffeine.)

  I think for me, the fact that the Whole 30 is pretty black and white helped me be disciplined. It was definitely important that my husband was on board also for our first go around. Once I got the hang of what was compliant and not, I also learned to think of it in the same terms as chastity. It wasn’t about how much could I get away with, but rather, thinking about my body as a temple of the Holy Spirit in all its aspects as functions. Did what and how I was eating give honor to that?
   The other shift in thought that really helped was to stop thinking of it as what we couldn’t eat. Once we jumped into the journey as an adventure in exploring new foods and new ways to eat old foods, we had much more satisfaction. I will say that if we do this again I need to keep in mind that the Hubs needs bigger portions than what I was making. I think he struggled with what to do with in between meal hunger more than I did. Planning was key…and more than just dinner planning! I learned to plan every meal and snack options or we would find ourselves up sugar creek! –Rakhi, Facebook group
2. Your essential cookbooks will be:

I recommend making a bunch of Whole30 approved sauces early on and keeping them handy. You can also buy approved mayo, BBQ, etc if you’re willing to spend next month’s salary.

I’ve done the Whole30 twice now and the two things that helped me were doing it with someone – once with a friend and once with my husband (an the group here!). Support is critical for those days when you think you can’t go another day without bread or milk! The second thing that was key was variety in recipes. I relied heavily on some Whole30/Paleo recipe sites to keep the food delicious and interesting. – Kristina, Facebook group


The best thing I did for this Whole30 was create a Facebook group that more than 40 women joined. We shared recipes, our struggles, and when someone felt this close to eating a bag of chocolate chips at the back of her pantry, we commented, prayed and eventually convinced her to have a Larabar instead. And by her I mean, like, all of us at one time or another. It was never easy, but it was easier to know that so many other people were doing the same thing with me, and it gave me resolve to keep going.

I cooked almost exclusively from Well Fed I & II cookbooks. The recipes were delish and many quite easy. She’s gives lots of great info and tips too on food prep, etc. I too find that accountability was key. I’ve been trying to adopt that way of eating for the long haul … and I feel better but it’s so much easier to fall off the wagon when no one else is doing it with you. – Jamie, Facebook group

4. Read every label, EVERY. LABEL.


Little jar of salsa; Whole30 compliant. Big jar of the exact same brand of salsa; not Whole30 compliant. WTH Chi-Chi’s??????? I also learned that there’s tons of sugar added to dried fruit- which is like just pouring more corn syrup into your cola before you slug it down.

5. This timeline is completely accurate.

The first couple weeks are incredibly hard. Without planning, having my spouse on board and a support group I would have thrown in the towel a hundred times (like I’ve done with so many other Lenten sacrifices). If you are considering a Whole30, put in the work to do it right.

…support is critical. I did it alone and while I don’t eat a ton of sugar or white flour, my days 11,12,13,14 were SO hard that I did fall down. Not sure why since I should have been past the carb flu. … But my tips are to find blogs that focus on whole foods like Nom Nom Paleo – I made a ton of things from there. Googling ‘Whole30 Recap’ to learn that people loved their La Croix drinks and Tesse Mae Ketchup really helped me last as long as I did and not feel deprived. Finding people on Instagram who post whole30 foods gave me lots of ideas all the time. – Katie, Facebook group

6. I got the best sleep of my life on the Whole30. Even my husband noticed the change in sleep patterns for himself and I immediately. Fulton and Teddy also noticed they needed to yell much louder and longer if they needed rolled over in bed at night…that would put them squarely in the not fans of the Whole30 club. 

7. By week three the health benefits for me were huge. I decided to embark on a Whole30 because my blood pressure is through the roof without medication. The day after Ash Wednesday, my blood pressure, off meds, was 143 / 110.  On March 13th, it was 124/87. I was pretty stoked. But a bit apprehensive because I really missed dairy and wine and many, many other things. Could I reintroduce some old favorites and still keep my blood pressure down?



I didn’t follow the strict reintroduction protocol, but after only a couple days of wine (a glass with dinner) and dairy ( a small serving with a couple meals) along with some paleo brownies, my blood pressure was back up. So, that was discouraging because I can’t really live the Whole30 diet long term, at least not now. I’m back on my meds, overindulging for Easter (50 days baby!) and trying to figure where I go from here.

Other members of my Facebook group lost weight, reduced or eliminated asthma and fibromyalgia symptoms and other mobility pains. I think that’s pretty cool.

BONUS: All those fresh veggies and additional fats and proteins would taste great followed with a probiotic chaser. Trust me on this without all the details. Your lower GI with thank me.

Whole30 fans or haters: anything you would add? Would you prefer to not read about the Whole30? Then link up and visit the links below, being sure to link back to my post so your readers can find the rest of the Quick Takes. I look forward to reading all your takes while stealing the last of my children’s Easter candy!

{p,h,f,r} Doing Much Better

I’ve always insisted that this is not an SMA blog, and that we’re not an SMA family, just a family that happens to include two kids with SMA. And most times, SMA is just this thing lingering in the background that’s not spoken of even though it’s present in the routine and daily living of us all. But times like this, I’m forced to think and talk about SMA constantly. So forgive me if your didn’t want to read more about Fulton and his hospital stay. Caring for him is taking up an even larger chunk of my time than usual. Even when I’m not giving him medicine or a breathing treatment, I’m thinking about how much longer until the next treatment, and praying we can all get out of the house and resume life as normal very soon.



This was taken Friday after we realized Fulton would need to stay another night. He took it well. Tony and I not so much, but we figured if one more night made everyone more comfortable with discharge, so be it. I didn’t know that Friday night he would spike a fever, his numbers would drop and we need to get a chest x-ray just after midnight to rule out aspiration in the lungs. Thankfully, a dose of Tylenol calmed the fever and his numbers looked better without the need for any supplemental oxygen-a key to being discharged.



Late Saturday morning, we got word that we were okay for discharge. The x-ray showed his lungs had cleared since his arrival and since he did well after the Tylenol the doctors agreed to send us home! Fulton was so thrilled he actually agreed to selfie with his ecstatic mother! And then within an hour of this photo his fever spiked again and wouldn’t budge even with Tylenol. Sooooooooo, we stayed the day for observation and to rule out a UTI. That evening the lab results showed he was free of any new infections and the fever broke. We were given the option to go home and I happily agreed to get the hell out of Dodge. With shift change, and typical hospital paperwork delays, we managed to get home at 9 p.m. There was a brief celebration, I had a stiff drink, and then we all went to bed.




The weather has been great and after five days inside a hospital, we’ve been enjoying as much time outdoors as possible. I cleared Fulton’s schedule for the week; no Mass, no therapy, but we’re slowly getting back to normal.



But seriously, it’s been a lot of work. I wrote down everything on a whiteboard I keep next to his bed so I don’t forget anything. We’re still in hospital mode, we’re just able to do all his care at home vs needing a hospital setting to monitor him. Sunday he still had a fever, but since Monday he’s been fever free and yesterday he hit 100 percent oxygen saturation! He still has a junky sounding cough, so I’m continuing with breathing treatments every four hours so we don’t have any relapses. I’m hoping we can all go to Mass as a family this weekend and cut back treatments next week.

Thank you to everyone who has kept Fulton and our family in their prayers! It’s been a great comfort to me to know so many people are keeping us close in heart and mind. If I don’t post anything else about Fulton for awhile, you can assume he’s doing great and we’re back to our normal, which for him includes driving too fast on the deck and chasing the cat.

For more {pretty,happy, funny, real} pictures, click back to Like Mother Like Daughter. 


Bloggers Be Writing ‘Bout: Making Plans

planning goals

I caught up on blog reading last week (when I wasn’t devouring Kristin Lavransdatter) and wanted to share a lump of links that all relate to planning, in it’s various forms. If starting something new or preparing for the future is at the forefront of your mind, you might find something below that strikes your fancy.

Annabelle shares her thoughts on family planning at Call Her Happy, while Haley shows what NFP looks like for her.

If you’ve got a dream that seems unobtainable, Melyssa’s got some steps to follow to get you there sooner. 

Carrie has got a great series of posts on planning your homeschool day and upcoming year (whether you’re a Waldorf educator or not.We all need to step back and examine ourselves, our children and our methods occasionally.)

If you’ve struggled to make read alouds a habit in your home, Sarah’s got some great tips at Simple Homeschool that will add up to more reading together as a family than you think.

For anyone who’s considered starting a blog (it’s a great hobby that I highly recommend), Simcha’s got the basics for you. 

SHAMELESS PLUG: Need somewhere to jot down your plans, ideas and to dos? I got a book for that. 

Got any upcoming plans?