The Two Easiest (and Cheapest) Non-Toxic Products

Switching these two products from conventional to non-toxic has been one of the best money savers and worry-easing things I’ve done recently. I love them that much! These switches are SO simple, easy on the budget, and just as effective as their toxic counterparts.

First up: homemade all-purpose cleaner. I think this is a well known tip, but I have to thank Ellen Fisher for finally making me understand. Simply fill a reusable spray bottle with 50% water and 50% white vinegar. Add as many or as little drops of essential oil as you’d like (I like lavender or rose around these parts), and BAM! That’s it!

Been using this Method bottle for ages!

This cuts grease and grime big time, and I use it everywhere from my kitchen to bathroom. I used to get terrible headaches from conventional products. In fact, so much so that I remember tying dish rags around my face with hair ties when my mom would make me clean while younger!

When I think about the toxic chemicals so many of us are unknowingly exposing ourselves to – ick. When I think about how pricey the “cleaner” products are – ugh. When I think about this vinegar + water solution – yay!

The price is amazing too. I spend about 0.75-1 euros on a large bottle of vinegar, which tends to last 6-8 weeks (and I clean a lot). If I’m not counting the essential oils I sometimes use (which are really not essential for this at all – no pun intended!), that’s basically less than 6 euros a year for a cleaning product that can be use anywhere.

On a more serious note, household cleaners are one of the most toxic products we’re surrounding ourselves with. If you didn’t know about this cheap hack, I hope you’ll start using it soon! The vinegar smell can take a bit to get used to, but I’ll take it any day over toxicity.

Second up: coconut oil for body lotion. I’ve spent some pretty pennies on all-natural and organic body lotions. The skin is our largest organ, so I like to be as vigilant as possible about what I put on it.

I’d never considered using coconut oil before my girlfriend’s mom introduced me (and she’s French, so how could I not trust her beauty routine?!). Wouldn’t it be too thick? Too oily? Make me break out?

The verdict – not at all.

It’s all about the amount. In winter months, I slather it on. In summer months, I’m more careful about how much I use. And either way, it is SO hydrating and completely clean! Especially if you can buy organic coconut oil.

The price is the biggest win of all. See that big tub up about? 7 euros! And it lasts two people six months! That means it would last one person roughly one year! Am I the only one that thinks that’s insane?! A little goes a long way with this product.

I hope you’ll benefit from this hacks as much as I have. I cannot even begin to imagine the money I’ve saved since switching over just 8 months ago.

Here’s to making non-toxic living simple and affordable!

Homemade Almond Milk and Vegan Croissants!

I guess you could say I’ve been on a “make from scratch” roll. This blog and my Instagram (@cocoswellness) are certainly good motivators for content! The vegan croissants were a one-off treat, but the almond milk is something that I plan to start doing consistently now that I have all the right tools (why was it so hard to find a cheese cloth in Amsterdam?).

I’ve been loving Koffie ende Koeck‘s vegan croissants lately, but I’m all for not breaking the bank and trying to replicate recipes at home. I used this vegan croissant recipe from The Rose & Bean and was thoroughly impressed! I certainly didn’t have high expectations, given that the last time I made croissants was seven-ish years ago, let alone not even vegan croissants, but I was pleasantly surprised! Since I still have the ingredients on hand for at least 1-2 more batches, I’ll probably be doing so again soon.

Ah, homemade almond milk! I think it’s a love affair. I swear to people – once you taste it, you can never go back to conventional. Although, if I had access to the amazing and clean brands in the US, I might be a convert to that…

After learning about how disruptive gums and emulsifiers can be to our gut (thank you @hollyskeepingitreal!) I knew it would be a much better option to make from scratch. Plus easier on the budget.

I buy my almonds in bulk from Ekoplaza and us around 3/4-1 cups for every 450ml of blended water (depends on how strong you like the taste). Recipe is easy peasy:

  1. Soak almonds overnight in water. I’ve done as little at seven hours with fine results.
  2. Rinse. Blend on high for at least 60 seconds with approximately 450ml of water.
  3. Get creative! I add a dash of maple syrup and sea salt. You could also blend with a date.
  4. Strain through cheese cloth or thin dish towel.

I got the awesome (pictured) glass carafe at Ikea Netherlands. Only 2 euros!

Let’s see what cooking I get up to next week…