Winter is a time for me to regroup, do research and experiment with new ideas. This winter is no exception. Since the first of the year, I've been testing all kind of things for possible new product lines and launching new projects (this blog is one of those projects!). The biggest project is the renovation and conversion of my green house into a commercial aquaponic operation. I've hired a start up company call Fresh Farm Aquaponics to install the system and teach me how to use it. More on them and the new system in upcoming posts. My other projects include expanding my all natural herbal soap line and developing a new specialty line of spa soaps using minerals from around the world. I'm really excited about my new line and will be rolling that out soon. Finally, with the help of my friend Elyse, we are busy testing and developing recipes using micro greens, herbs and other produce that I grown here on the farm with the hopes of publishing a cookbook in the coming year. Just make me another pot of coffee please, I need something to keep me afloat....AHHH! I recently purchased Giada De Laurentiis' newest cookbook "Giada Feel Good: My healthy recipes and secrets" While looking through her cookbook, I came across the section about hair (page 198). She talks about home natural beauty treatments for her dry hair. She discusses several of her treatments but one caught my eye and I had to give it a try...on my daughter. For those of you that don't know, my daughter Katie has severe Cerebral Palsy. She suffered a stroke the last few weeks of our pregnancy and no one knew it until 3 months later when her Pediatrician, on a hunch that something wasn't right, referred us to a specialist for an evaluation - our world was changed forever. Needless to say, the news that our beautiful daughter had significant brain damage was devastating for our family. She is now seventeen years old and years of harsh medications and several major surgeries have taken their toll on her body. Katie is currently on a cocktail of seizure drugs and a few other medications for other organ problems and it's affecting her hair. Her hair is dry as a bone and she has serious split ends. One drug side effect makes her hair thin out, which is a problem. So when I saw Giada's home recipes for dry hair I got excited and knew I had to try it on my Katie! Just two ingredients are needed - 1 small avocado and a 1/4 to 1/2 cup of olive oil. Since Katie's hair was so dry, I used 1/2 cup. I cut the avocado into pieces, added the olive oil into my blender... I blended it into a nice green paste. It will be thick and I thought about adding more oil (or water) to thin it out but decided not to. I didn't want to change anything and follow Giada's recipe as written in her book. I started on the top of Katie's head and scalp and worked it in all the way to the ends of her hair using the entire mixture. Giada then puts a shower cap over her hair and leaves it in for 10 - 20 minutes. I didn't have a shower cap so I used plastic wrap instead - worked like a charm. She also states that you may need to wash your hair more than once to get all the oil and avocado residue out. So I set the timer for 10 minutes, put Katie in the bath tub and gave her a bath. After 10 minutes, I rinsed and washed her hair like I normally do, including adding conditioner. I was surprised only 1 washing was needed - that told me Katie's hair was really dry and absorbed all those good nutrients. After the final rinse, I could tell right away Katie's hair FELT softer and healthier. I was getting excited but still needed to hold my enthusiasm for the final test - combing out her hair (her hair is always full of tangles) and seeing how it felt when dry. Would it feel greasy because I didn't wash all the oily residue out? A few hours later, her hair was dry and what a difference! It felt so soft, it felt moisturized and healthy and what a shine! I also noticed her split ends looked pretty good. Here is the before and after pictures - the lighting isn't exactly the same but either way you can definitely see a difference. Even combing her hair out a day later was easier and tangles were easier to manage than before. I give this natural home spa treatment my highest rating - Three Happy Faces!!!!! It was easy to create and the results were far beyond my expectations! I will be giving Katie this treatment once a month going forward. Thank you Giada for sharing your hair secrets with us. This recipe really works!