Our 30 Day Challenge is Over!!! or is it…

may flowers

Happy May Day!! I love May! It’s my birthday month, my sister’s birthday month, many of my friends birthday month, so there is always a lot of celebrating in May. This year it’s also the month my baby brother graduates from high school. I mentioned that in my blog yesterday and I still can’t believe it!

Another great thing about today being May 1st is that it’s the end of our Whole30 challenge {insert cheers and hurrahs}!

whole30 success

This month was HARD, but so good. I pretty much fell off the bandwagon this weekend and as Jason keeps telling me…it’s okay, I was still successful. The struggles I had with food this month exposed some lies that I’ve believed about myself for a very long time. I’m still processing through it all and I’m thankful that God used this month for more than just getting me physically healthy.

BUT

I did get physically healthy!! I’ve mentioned countless times before that this diet has balanced my energy levels and helped me sleep soundly and I’m SO grateful for that. I’ve never felt better since I’ve been consistent with eating Whole30!

whole30 yes and no

Here are my full results from this month:

  • 4.5 lbs. Lost (wasn’t expecting that)
  • I lost 3.5 inches around my waist (yay! I’m a full size smaller!)
  • I lost 7.5 inches total!
  • My skin has been clearer, brighter, and more moisturized than ever before.
  • My energy levels are balanced. (I know I keep mentioning that, but it’s just amazing to me!)
  • I’m more “regular”.
  • My menstrual cycle seems like it’s regulating as well. (Maybe some actual healing will take place in that area!)
  • It’s pretty certain that I have a FODMAPS allergy and we are still learning which veggies to avoid.
  • My husband looks awesome! 🙂

Jason was a ROCKSTAR this month! He lost 12 lbs and 7 inches!! And he only worked out 5 days this month because of an injury. We’ve learned that for him, if he wants to continue to lose weight, it will happen most successfully in the kitchen. We are getting back to the gym this month, so I am positive that we are going to have to throw out all of his clothes by June and purchase him an entire new wardrobe! Too bad his birthday was in February! 🙂

We’ve talked pretty seriously about making this diet more of our lifestyle and less of a month long challenge. I think we will have a cheat day built in each week because all food can and should be enjoyed. Jason and I desire to live our lives filled with energy and yummy food, so we are going to work on finding our personal balance.

Thanks for following us on this month long journey! I hope that you are encouraged by our attempt to eat healthy in the month of April!

Happy May Day from the Wood’s!

Picture taken in New Zealand...

Picture taken in New Zealand…

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Homemade Laundry Detergent

laundry detergent

Last night on Instagram I posted a picture of some homemade soap that I had made with a friend over a year ago. Yesterday I finally finished the 5 gallon bucket off! I’m planning on making some more today and thought I’d share the recipe with all of you! So many of you asked for the recipe last night and this morning, so here it is!!

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap
(Front or top load machine-best value)
Ingredients: 

4  Cups – hot tap water
1  Fels-Naptha soap bar*
1 Cup – Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda**
½ Cup BoraxDirections: -Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.
-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)
-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.
-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.
-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)
-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)*Visit the Fels-Naptha website to find a store in your area that carries the product. I found mind at the local Wal-Mart store.
**Arm & Hammer washing soda can be found in most stores. I found it at my local Fry’s grocery store.

(This recipe comes from the Duggar Family blog)
I have a front load washer, so with each load, I used three tablespoons of the detergent. In addition to the detergent, I add Oxy-Clean to keep the whites a little brighter. I also do not use fabric softener anymore because of the toxins it contains. So instead of store-bought fabric softener, I put 3 tablespoons of vinegar in each load!
Some of you may not have room for a 5 gallon bucket near your washer, so I would recommend using a smaller Tupperware container to hold a portion of the bucket and keep the “big guns” out in the garage or in another storage area. I have space for it, so I don’t worry about that. The recipe also says you can add essential oils if you would like, but I didn’t. The scent of the Fels-Naptha bar is a very clean scent and I never noticed that my clothes smelled bad.
I have loved using this as my detergent because it’s cheap and it’s natural! If you have more questions about this detergent or are interested in more of the natural house cleaners I use, just let me know!