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011 | My buys: Products + foods that help me feel mentally + physically better

Updated: Sep 4, 2020


Hey, hey, hey. Welcome to Souls Undressed. This is episode 011 + today we are diving into a variety of different products + foods that I have found that have made me feel mentally + physically better. Whether it's because it gives me peace-of-mind, because I know the source of the product I am using is better for me or is more natural or is by a brand I trust more, or it's a food that makes me feel better physically when it comes to food sensitivities + intolerances + things like that.

So today's episode is for anybody who is looking for products that are more natural or that, in general, if you hear me talking about different things that I've used or you've seen different things that I've used + you're curious about those things, + is also for anyone that has lactose or gluten intolerances. I'll be talking about the brands that i've really had good luck with + the products from those brands that i've really liked. I do want to say, I am not a food specialist, I am not a dietician + I obviously don't have the same tastebuds as you, so I don't want you to think that just because I say that I really like something by brand, that that means that you're going to like it or that you should like it, or that you're wrong if you don't like it. I think it is just a good way to share resources + be able to share the trial and error things that I've had luck with.

So, today's episode quote from the vision board is just a short, quick one + it doesn't have a source of the author, it just came out of a handwriting box that I got that had some stickers that came along with it + I stuck it up there. The quote says,

"Live less out of habit + more out of intent."

I thought quote was absolutely perfect. I was not totally sure I was going to be able to find a vision board quote to go along with this type of episode, but as soon as I read it, I knew that was it because I think that it's so easy to just buy whatever is put in front of us at the store or to go along with + eat what is normal for everyone else to eat, whether it makes us feel our best or not, I think that we have grown comfortable, especially in America, with taking whatever is given to us at face value + just going right along with it. I think that the quote talking about less out of habit + more out of intent is my way of kind of underlining putting some more thought into the things that you're buying + consuming.

We have a lot of power as consumers + I think that is something we forget about + that we forget to take advantage of. Our dollars are what fuel the things that we see in front of us to buy or to consume. So, when we choose to be more intentional with the way that we spend our money + the products that we invest in, it goes to say, "This is the kind of product that I want to see more of." If we continue buying the cheapest or the cheapest to produce type of products all the time, that just says that we as consumers don't really care about the quality of what it is that we're buying, we're going to buy it anyway if you put it in front of us.

Obviously that is totally an opinion on my end, as are most things around here, but I think it is a really important thing to think about if you are more interested in yourself as a consumer + if you want to consider whether what you're putting in your body is something that is keeping you as a well-oiled machine, or if it is something that is working against you. Again, like I said, I am not a dietician, I am not a food specialist, so I am not here to tell you what's best for you, I am just here to speak on what has made me feel mentally + physically best. So without further ado, let's get to it.

My Buys:

Thank you, thank you, thank you for being here. I know I took a week off last week, between episode 010 + 011, so if you're listening realtime + keeping up with the episodes each Sunday, you had a little week off last week to catch up. I thought it would be really cool to kick episode 011 off with some feel good things that I have taken the time over the last few years to acquire.

I've known I wanted to do an episode similar to this for a while. I have kind of steered away from artificial things + unnecessary ingredients as much as possible in the last couple of years, so. I was really excited to compile all of those things into one episode.

Today I am going to talk about paper products, hygiene products, cleaning products + different food, like I was saying earlier, gluten + dairy free. I will be talking about each category of those today + again, I am no expert. I am just going to share with you things that I really like that I think are worth sharing with you.

Up first, I've got the paper products/hygiene products. I found last year, sometime in 2018, on Amazon, is actually where I buy them from- organic, cotton panty liner. I don't know if you've seen ads on the different social media apps you use, or you've seen commercials on YouTube, or on TV, but I see a lot of it on Facebook + YouTube, commercials talking about all of the potentially harmful cotton products that we use as women, especially, but also as men that we are putting in our bodies or wiping on our bodies regularly + we don't know what that cotton has been treated with before it was harvested + made into these products. One thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to look into the hygiene products for periods because i'm like, "What the heck? I don't feel that that is safe + if I am going to move anything toward organic, I think it should be something like that." The brand is called Natracare + I just buy them on Amazon. I've not yet found that company + product in any of the convenience stores that I shop at. I don't know if there are other bigger brands that have created organic lines, but from my experience, the most reliable looking sources for me, have been completely new brands that kind of solely base themselves around those organic products.

Another thing that I have recognized + learned in the last year, since starting to see an esthetician actually, is that bar soap is not good for your face. You're going to see really quickly, I'm steering away from the organics thing. I am still going to talk about organic products, but I wanted this to be about feel good products for me, because it is so scattered, but I feel like it all falls under the same umbrella of more intentional wellness. I learned from my esthetician that I should not be using bar soap on my face even if it says it's for sensitive skin, which is really surprising to me, I've always used Dove sensitive skin, but she told me that even though it is sensitive skin, you should not be using something that lathers like that on your face. So, instead I have started using a micellar water cleanser + I use a brand called ELEMIS. I am almost out of my first bottle, it is a pretty big bottle, I've had it for at least 6 months, probably + I LOVE IT, absolutely love it. I am definitely ordering another bottle. I ordered my first bottle off of Amazon just because I could order Prime, I think I am going to order this next one off of the home website just because I am trying to do more of that. I am attempting to work against the big beast of Amazon, even though we have spent so much money on Amazon, I'm trying to reel it back + go back to the home business, allow those businesses to make as much money as possible. ELEMIS is the brand of the facial cleanser + it is cleansing micellar water so it is still cleansing your skin, but it is really good for your skin.

I don't know for sure if this product is organic, but an organic product that I have started using on my face is by the brand Elina Organics + you can find them on Instagram if you're interested. I was recommended them through my esthetician + they actually have all their products made to order, which means they don't make their products ahead of time + let them sit on the shelves because they are making them with real, raw, organic products. So, there are times where sometimes you'll order + you'll have to wait a little bit, but to me, I think that that's really cool because I know that whatever product I am getting is in its best condition. It is good for my skin, I don't have to worry about anything with old shelf life, things like that, which I know I've definitely read up on certain things with that at places like Walmart because it is such a big inventory. Don't quote me on that, that's just something I've read on the internet over time.

I've also switched from shampoo + conditioner to this brand called, Hair Story + the cleanser that I am using is called New Wash. Instead of having a shampoo that bubbles, which I don't know if you were aware is actually not necessary. There's a chemical put into shampoo to make it sud so that the human brain thinks that it is making your hair cleaner, but the suds actually don't do anything for your hair getting cleaner. So, what this cleanser does is its' combined all of what your hair needs into this one cleanser + it is aloe vera juice + apple cider vinegar-based. So, I am on my second shipment of this New Wash + I absolutely love it. My hair is feeling healthier. I love that I am not stripping oils off of my hair, that's one thing that my hair stylist is always talking about is stripping unnecessary oils away + the fact that that is making my scalp oilier because my scalp is trying to compensate for the dry hair. So, New Wash is the cleanser + it is by Hair Story + I absolutely love it, 100% recommend. If you would like a link to go take the hair quiz to see what is best for your type of hair, let me know + I will direct you to that. Just shoot me a DM on the Souls Undressed Podcast Instagram Page + I will send you over to my girl Victoria Hair on Instagram + the link is right in her bio.

I also started last year using deodorants without any aluminums or anything like that, so I started this when I was teaching, my anxiety was really bad + I remember my co-teacher giving me so much shit because I was starting out with those natural deodorants + he was like, "'s not working, you stink." So, I do want to urge you to proceed with caution when you are starting out with new natural deodorants or different kinds of deodorants just be aware A. when you start cleansing your armpits of that aluminum-based deodorant, it like actually stinks worse for a while when you start using natural because it cleanses your pores, but then also, it is not going to clog your pores as much so this sweat is going to naturally come more often. It's just like a whole new world to get used to, but to me, understanding the natural benefits, that's something that I was willing to do. I recommend if you want to bring your deodorant with you, if you don't work from home, so that you can reapply, also an option. There's a variety of different brands at Walmart that you can look into that are natural or are aluminum-free. So that's something that you can totally explore on your own, I don't do anything super special. I just go from Walmart. I actually do get mine, it's like Love, Beauty, Planet, I'll have to look what it is if you're curious on it, you can send me a DM on Instagram + I'll check it out + let you know, but I get it from the organic isle, which is over by the Burts Bees stuff at Walmart.

I also, as far as house products, use a sensitive skin essential oil scented laundry detergent + fabric softener. Because of my eczema + sensitive skin, this is something that early on I didn't do, I didn't change that over, but I was itchy constantly + I honestly am embarrassed that I didn't think of it sooner. I feel like that should have been a given to think about things that are touching my skin constantly, but since changing over to that sensitive skin, naturally scented detergent + fabric softener, I've noticed a huge difference with how often I'm getting itchy. If you're someone who notices irritated skin + stuff like that, the reason that it is a little easier on your skin is because they're using essential oils, which are natural, instead of artificial fragrances + things like that, like perfumes.

Another thing we do at home, instead of buying bleach-based disinfectants for the house, I have a weird thing about putting bleach on my countertops + potentially dropping a piece of bread when I am making Andrew's sandwich + him having bleach on the food that he's going to eat, or when cheese falls off while you're sprinkling it onto garlic bread or a pizza, I just feel like it isn't the best for us probably to be eating things that have touched bleach, especially when we're supposed to put gloves on when we're working with it, it's probably not good to ingest. We actually use Lysol brand All-Purpose Cleaner + it is based with hydrogen peroxide instead of bleach + it still kills 99.9% of the germs, that's what it says on the bottle at least, but it smells amazing + it is not going to be as harmful for you. Obviously hydrogen peroxide is not something you should ingest because it will make throw up for sure, but it's not bleach, which is what I love + that's something that I could spray everywhere + it would disinfect like Lysol would, but its a more natural thing. You can get it at Walmart. I think there are two different scents, but I love it.

I also, this is the last house product or detail, but I stopped using Wallflowers, which those are like the plug in fragrances, I was getting them all the time from Bath + Body Works + they may have made a change to this since then, I just haven't gone back to buying any, but those I read were not good for humans with sensitivities to artificial fragrances, but also to your animals. If you haven't heard anything about that, maybe read up on it + do your own research if you wish, but I have chosen to start using candles + any essential oils with the diffuser sticks. That's just something that I have done since thinking about things since haven't a public studio, when I was a teacher having things in a classroom, you have to think about kids with different allergies + people who are really prone to flare ups, whether they have viral myalgia or if they have any other issues with asthma or things like that, those artificial fragrances can be damaging to their ability to breathe comfortably while they are in your space. So, that's something that I've had to become mindful of over the past couple of years + it has been really nice to pay attention to that + feel like I am being more mindful. As far as air fresheners go, also, there's a line by Febreze I believe + they sell it at Walmart + I believe that the line is called One + that is also a naturally scented air freshener. It is in like an aerosol can that you still spray like a normal air freshener that you keep in your kitchen, or your bathroom, or the laundry room or wherever, but that is also more naturally + lightly fragranced so that you're not getting those artificial perfumes.

To move on from the home goods, we are going to switch into food-based. Obviously people with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies, or celiac disease or gluten intolerances, that population of human is going to be way more likely to benefit from this conversation, but if you're somebody who has unexplained sleepiness, go back + forth between constipation + diarrhea, you have headaches that are frequent + unexplained. Unexplained sleepiness was the biggest one for me, if you're eczema prone or you get really itchy easily, all of those things are if you look up the signs of a gluten allergy, are the side affects. So, another thing, too that is really common from dairy + gluten is bloating. So if you're someone who feels tired all the time, you don't have a lot of energy, you're feeling really bloated after you eat, you get headaches a lot, I encourage you to look in + do your own research on those intolerances. I am going to share a wide variety of products + foods + all types of brands + things like that that I've vetted + really fell in love with, so obviously this is not a super wholesome list, but I have quite a few different brands written down + they're kind of broken up, so I encourage you to maybe grab a notebook or pull your phone out + pull up your notes app if you want to write some of these down. Again, always welcome to shoot me a DM. I also have a food highlight on my photography page. I will try to do that on my podcast page as well, I will see if I can maybe type up a list of some of this stuff + create a highlight over time.

First, I want to touch on dairy-free things. When we talk about being dairy-free, that's different than being lactose-free. One thing that if you have a lactose intolerance + not a dairy intolerance or a dairy allergy, there's a brand called Fairlife + they treat their milk with the lactate enzyme. So if you hav a lactose intolerance, that means that your body doesn't produce the enzyme to break down the protein of the lactose in the milk, so when it gets to your belly, your belly gets upset because it can't adjust, which makes you feel sick. When you treat the milk with the lactate enzyme, it no longer needs to be digested by your belly, so it generally is less uncomfortable if you simply have a lactose intolerance. What I've noticed is, this will still make me feel kind of uncomfortable, so maybe I have more than a lactose intolerance, but it is just something interesting to think about if you simply have a lactose intolerance + you're really craving chocolate milk, Fairlife has the best chocolate milk i've ever had, other than Oberweis + my husband is not lactose intolerant, but he still prefers the chocolate milk from Fairlife. So that is one that is good for lactose free + most gas stations have the little bottles of it if you ever wanted to try it before buying the bigger bottles at your normal grocery stores.

Before I hop into the dairy-free brands for the sweets + things like that, I wanted to acknowledge that places like Walmart are carrying, i've noticed, Country Crock Plant-Based Butter. So, that plant-based butter is dairy free, so that's been really nice because butter is one place that we overlook when we are getting dairy without really recognizing it because we are just so used to using it when we need it to cook. We really liked an almond oil one + a canola oil one. We've been using them both + we both really like the consistency of it, it's a lot softer than other butter after it has been in the fridge so it easier to use, but we are really liking that so far. So three brands that are dairy-free are So Delicious, Daiya + NadaMoo! So, So Delicious is mostly ice cream products I found. One that I really love from them, other than their ice cream, they have double chocolate fudge ice cream bars on a stick! So, they're like a fudge bar, but its like the melted chocolate that is hardened around chocolate ice cream. I think they are made with cashew milk.

Daiya makes a variety of different things as far as food goes. So Daiya has. like cheesecakes, they have shredded cheese, squeezy cheese that you put in shells with cheese that looks like Velveeta. They make dressings + things like that. From my own personal experience, I did not love their ranch dressing. That was like a 2/10 for me. Their cheesecake, fair warning, it is dairy-free, not gluten-free. They're not like a combo brand. If you are a gluten-free person + a dairy-free person, I recommend only buying it if you can share it with somebody so you can eat like the little top layer + they can eat the rest. If you're super sensitive, I don't even recommend doing that. Also, if you are questioning this, you should talk to a doctor + not take my advice, I'm just talking about what works for me. I haven't really loved their shredded cheese, but I have really liked their squeezy cheese, it is very similar to Velveeta, so it's really nice for making our homemade versions of Hamburger Helper + shells + cheese + stuff like that.

Another ice cream brand is Nadamoo + Nadamoo makes theirs with mostly cocoanut milk. If you do not like cocoanut, you probably won't love their ice cream, but if you're a cocoanut person, you're probably going to adore it. It is dairy-free + gluten-free all of their ice cream + they have some really awesome flavors. They've got like strawberry cheesecake, Oreo, cookie dough, all sorts of stuff. So that one is really nice because it's like a "both brand" dairy-free + gluten-free.

As far as places to shop, if you have some food sensitivities, that I have found, Walmart is definitely getting better + so is Berkot's if you're like a local person + you have a Berkot's Grocery Store. Aldi doesn't have a huge selection, but they also have end-cups for gluten-free stuff. Those stores are getting a little better, I think that gluten-free diets are becoming a bit more popular in the small town mid-west area. I know that in bigger cities it is not very hard to find gluten-free or dairy-free things, but specialty grocery stores or the smaller chain grocery stores like Mariano's, or Trader Joe's, those places are also way more likely to be carrying those specialty foods. So, if you go to the grocery store + you can't seem to find what you've been looking for, I encourage you to go to maybe like a different smaller grocery store that has those specialty foods. One thing I do want to point out if you're new to searching those allergy-friendly foods, they're not usually by the "normal kinds of foods". In the Morris Walmart near me, gluten-free items are in the seasonal isle. So, they're not mixed into the other things like them, but aren't gluten-free, they're in their own little area. It's the same way in my home grocery store, too, so if you're having a hard time finding anything, just ask someone + they'll usually be able to direct you pretty well.

I've also found that Target has a pretty good selection of Daiya + Udi's. Udi's is a brand I am about to start talking about for gluten-free brands. So that brands that I'm going to read to you, one of them is just gluten-free, which is Udi's + they make a variety of things like frozen meals (lasagna, chicken alfredo), but those things are not dairy-free so take a lactate when you have it, or don't have it. Some gluten free brands, which most of these brands obviously you have to do your own research, you cannot take my word for something, you need to get good at reading labels if you have intolerances, but these brands are brands that i've had a lot of success with finding good, quality food because I've found through research, aka, just buying shit + eating it, that it's really hard to find good tasting, feel good food, when you're going through all these like, avoiding this type of food that's popular + avoiding this ingredient.

Enjoy Life is the first brand that I am going to talk about. They are sold at Aldi + they are also sold at my local grocery store, but I haven't seen too much of it sold at Walmart. The other thing about Enjoy Life is that they are sold on Amazon. When I find something that I really like at my grocery store, I usually can hop on Amazon + buy it in bulk + then I have it at my house + have like six boxes + it is good to go. When you have food intolerances, you usually eat a lot of similar things because you can't eat everything else in the cabinet, so I go through a lot of whatever it is that I buy, most often. Enjoy life has a variety of different pastas, they've got some crackers, things like that. One thing that I really love by Enjoy Life is their cocoa chewy bars + they are the moistest dessert bar/snack bar, ever. They're fudge bars + they have chocolate chips in them + they are so good. I've shared them with people who aren't gluten-free + they still really like them. Those are free from a huge variety of allergens. They're free from gluten, soy, casein (the other part of milk), lactose-free, mustard-free, shellfish free, crustacean-free, like there are so many different allergens that it is free from. So, like I said, you can find those at Aldi, maybe your local grocery store, but they're also sold on Amazon.

Schar, I'm not positive what other allergens this brand is free from, but they are gluten-free + they are dairy-free + they are pizza crusts + loaves of bread + ciabatta buns + hot dog buns, things like that. So, that is sold at Walmart. That's where I've bought mine at least + they're in the seasonal isle at my local Walmart, but that is THE BEST pizza crust that I've ever had. Even as far as other pizza crusts go before I was gluten-free. It is SO good, + we (life hack), we put garlic butter on it + whew! So good.

Another Brand: Free to Eat. Free to Eat is free of the top 8 allergens. You'll have to do your own research if you have food allergies, obviously you know, but they make really good cookies. So, they've got like oatmeal raisin cookie, snickerdoodle + chocolate chip. Those are the softest gluten-free + dairy-free cookies that I've found to date. I just want it to be known. I eat their oatmeal raisin cookies like it is my job. Those are sold at Walmart. Those are the only place I've found them sold, actually. If you find a kind you like, I highly recommend you snatch it.

Another product I really love from Walmart + this is the last product I am going to share, is Kiki's Brownies + those are gluten-free + dairy-free as well. It is just a mix + you can make them at home just like you make any other brownies + they are so good + so moist. It is hard to find moist food that is gluten + dairy-free because it has to be made differently than the norm, so i've seen that it isn't always as likely to be AS GOOD as the normal kind, but that is far as the food recommendations go that I have.

So, let's dive into How Can You Help?

How Can You Help:

When I think of helping out somebody who's going through wanting to change up their norm products or change up their food choices or their diet like that, the first thing that I always want to tell people is just to be supportive.

I don't know about you, but for me food is a major comfort thing. So, when I had to go + start cutting out all of these things that I ate on a normal basis, I got really sad + really depressed + I think that is probably really normal, especially when you unhealthy eat, like I was doing. I was eating pasta + Oreos + cookie dough so regularly when I was sad + those are 3 things that have a ton of wheat flour in them that I could not eat right now, it would make me so sick if I ate those things anymore.

So, I just encourage you to be really supportive + understand that changing your diet sucks + it is hard enough as it is, let alone having someone harping you about it, or breathing down your neck about it. That kind of goes into my next tip.

Just know that when you have to change your food, your diet, it is going to waste some money out of your pocket. That's just the reality of it. You're trying a whole bunch of new things, the likelihood of you liking something the first time you buy it, is so low. When you're cutting out key ingredients that America is used to cooking with, all of those foods aren't always going to taste delicious. I was just saying how depressing it is to have to change your diet, so imagine having to change your diet, you can't eat anything good + now you're trying to find quality food without these things that you can't have anymore + you keep buying shit that sucks. So, not only do you feel like you're wasting money, but you feel like you're hitting dead ends left + right because you just want to eat some god damn good food.

I encourage you to be supportive, but also understand that comfort + quality have to have a place + have to be held to some sort of priority because, yes, wasting money sucks, but maybe you can donate some of that food, or you can save it to give. to somebody to take to their class for students who have allergies or you have friends who have other allergies that you might want to share that with so that you don't feel like you're wasting it as much, but I highly recommend you don't force yourself to eat shit that sucks because it is hard enough on your mental health to change up your diet like that.

Another thing, my final tip for supporting people or supporting yourself through this change is just to acknowledge that it's not always going to be easy. There's a reason that people eat unhealthy stuff even though it is unhealthy or that people still wash their countertops with bleach. It's because it is easy + it is convenient + what's always been done. Just understand that when you're committing to making a change for something, it can go right back to that quote, less out of habit + more out of intent. Just be able to acknowledge that you're making these shifts + you're making these changes for a reason + that it is for the better for your own health, or your own desires or your own preferences as far as that goes to just think about what matters to you. Nobody else can tell you or guide you in that. For me, I just think back to the things that I want to cut out are things that are more artificially created or artificially done or unnecessary ingredients + things that are going to make me feel better over time.

Just know that you have to do your own trial + error, it's all a big experiment, but I am here for you along the way if you want anyone to vent to about how frustrating it is or if you're ever looking for any suggestions or if you find a good brand that you didn't hear me talk about, just make sure you send it my way. We all have to create some community here to make this a little less sucky. So, thank you so much for being here. I really hope that you're able to take something away from this episode that makes you feel a little bit better + if you love this episode, leave a review through Apple Podcast, let us know what you think! Help other listeners know where they should drive their attention to first before they dive into the podcast episode + be sure to share this episode with your friends or share any other episodes that connect with you. If you share anything, tag us! Tag me on Instagram, tag me on Facebook, Souls Undressed Podcast on Instagram + Souls Undressed Podcast Facebook Community on Facebook. Thank you so much for listening, guys, I love you so much, have such a beautiful week.


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