Tuesday, September 29, 2009
I really like wood furniture and have a few antique pieces. From time to time I clean and polish it to keep the wood in good condition. Wood can dry out and age prematurely if not properly cared for and this becomes a greater concern when you are talking about a piece of furniture that is several decades old.
I was thrilled to read about an easy, natural wood furniture polish you can make at home in my Healthy Child Healthy World book. I've read the ingredients on the bottle of stuff I typically use and it's not all safe.
The recipe is easy and it goes like this...
Combine two cups olive oil and one juiced lemon in a glass or ceramic container. Apply to furniture with a soft polishing cloth; rub briskly to shine. Allow furniture to dry. This is best used on furniture with an oily, rather than glossy finish. Test a small section of your piece of furniture before using it on the whole thing.
How easy is that! I usually wash my wood furniture really well with a mild soap like castile before I polish it to get all the dust and fingerprints off. Try out this great polish and admire your beautifully polished furniture without a trace of toxic chemicals.
Monday, September 28, 2009
You would have thought that I set a chocolate cake in front of my kids tonight when I pulled out a pomegranate, cut it in half and let them go at it. They picked out and ate the seeds until I insisted they got to bed.
Easier than picking the seeds out of a pomogranate, drinking it's juice is not only tasty, but extremely nutritious. Pomegranates are full of vitamins(C, K, B), minerals and important antioxidants. The level of antioxidant is even higher than those of other fruits popularly known to have high levels of antioxidant, including blueberries, cranberries and oranges. This is attributed to the very high polyphenol content in the fruit.
Several recent studies have shown significant potential health benefits from drinking pomegranate juice. Here are eleven:
Fights Breast Cancer
Studies in Israel show that pomegranate juice destroys breast cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone. It may also prevent breast cancer cells from forming.
Lung Cancer Prevention
Studies in mice show that pomegranate juice may inhibit the development of lung cancer.
Slows Prostate Cancer
It slowed the growth of prostate cancer in mice.
Keeps PSA Levels Stable
In a study of 50 men who had undergone treatment for prostate cancer, 8 ounces of pomegranate juice per day kept PSA levels stable, reducing the need for further treatment such as chemotherapy or hormone therapy.
Protects the Neonatal Brain
Studies show that maternal consumption of pomegranate juice may protect the neonatal brain from damage after injury.
Prevention of Osteoarthritis
Several studies indicate that pomegranate juice may prevent cartilage deterioration.
Protects the Arteries
It prevents plaque from building up in the arteries and may reverse previous plaque buildup.
Alzheimer's Disease Prevention
It may prevent and slow Alzheimer's disease. In one study, mice bred to develop Alzheimer's disease were given pomegranate juice. They accumulated significantly less amyloid plaque than control mice and they performed mental tasks better.
It lowers LDL (bad cholesterol) and raises HDL (good cholesterol).
Lowers Blood Pressure
One study showed that drinking 1.7 ounces of pomegranate juice per day lowered systolic blood pressure by as much as 5 percent.
Research suggests that drinking pomegranate juice may be a natural way to prevent dental plaque.
Since pomegranates are a seasonal fruit for us, I think that makes it even more special. My girls are starting to associate it with Fall along with pumpkins and Halloween. Try making it a special Fall treat for your family too!
Friday, September 25, 2009
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour*
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup succanat or other natural raw sugar
1 cup canned pumpkin or fresh pumpkin**
1/3 cup buttermilk, yogurt or kefir
1/3 cup butter, olive oil, or coconut oil
1/4 cup molasses***
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs (farm fresh of course)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Combine flours, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, ginger, and salt in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Make a well in the center of the mixture and combine the sugar, pumpkin, buttermilk, oil or butter, molasses, vanilla extract, and eggs stirring well with a whisk. Add sugar mixture to flour mixture, stir just until moist.
Spoon batter into 18 muffin cups. Sprinkle tops of muffins with granulated sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove muffins from pan immediately; cool on a wire rack.
*I found a place here in Michigan that will grind your flour when you buy it and they have a really nice whole-wheat all purpose flour that goes well in this recipe.
**I'm not a big fan of canned foods so when time allows, I make my own pumpkin by taking a small baking pumpkin or butternut squash and baking it for about an hour in the oven until soft. I then scoop out the inside and use a cup for this recipe and then freeze the rest for later baking.
***Black strap molasses is an excellent source of manganese and copper, and also contains iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and Vitamin B6. It's basically all of the nutrition taken out of refined sugar in the refining process. Other options to use are maple syrup, raw honey or agave nectar.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
What is the goji berry?
The goji berry is also called the wolfberry. It is a bright orange-red berry that comes from a shrub that's native to China. In Asia, goji berries have been eaten for generations in the hopes of living longer.
Over time, people have used goji berries to treat many common health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, fever, and age-related eye problems. Goji berries are eaten raw, cooked, or dried (like raisins) and are used in herbal teas, juices, wines, and medicines.
What are the benefits of goji berries?
Research shows that eating berries -- like blueberries, acai berries, cranberries, strawberries, and cherries -- offers some definite health benefits. Berries like the goji berry are filled with powerful antioxidants and other compounds that may help prevent cancer and other illnesses, including heart disease.
Eating foods high in antioxidants may slow the aging process. It does this by minimizing damage to your cells from free radicals that injure cells and damage DNA. When a cell's DNA changes, the cell grows abnormally. Antioxidants can take away the destructive power of free radicals. By doing so, antioxidants help reduce the risk of some serious diseases.
Goji berries also have compounds rich in vitamin A that may have antiaging benefits. These special compounds help boost immune function, protect vision, and may help prevent heart disease.
Some research suggests that goji berry extracts may boost brain health and may protect against age-related diseases such as Alzheimer's.
While goji berries are a rich source of antioxidants -- and early research shows a potentially powerful health benefit -- it's still unclear how they stack up against other berries. Researchers also don't know whether goji berry supplements have the same health benefits as the actual berries.
Do goji berries have any dangerous side effects?
There may be some possible herb-drug interactions with goji berries. If you take warfarin (a blood thinner), you may want to avoid goji berries. Goji berries may also interact with diabetes and blood pressure medicines.
Also, if you have pollen allergies, you may want to stay away from this fruit. However, when eaten in moderation, goji berries appear to be safe.
1 cup almond milk
Fresh blueberries (Use the equivalent of 1 freezer pack of frozen berries – and use frozen blueberries when they are out of season.)
1 handful dried goji berries
Heaping tablespoon of powdered MACA
Half a banana
Makes one serving.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
1 Acorn squash
1 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons Maple Syrup
Dash of Salt
Using a strong chef's knife, and perhaps a rubber mallet to help, cut the acorn squash in half, lengthwise, from stem to end. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff in the center of each half. Score the insides of each half several times with a sharp knife. Place each half in a baking pan, cut side up. Add about a 1/4 inch of water to the bottom of the baking pan so that the skins don't burn and the squash doesn't get dried out.
Coat the inside of each half with 1/2 a Tbsp of butter. Add a dash of salt if you are using unsalted butter. Add a Tbsp of brown sugar to the cavity of each half. Dribble on a teaspoon of maple syrup to each half.
Bake in the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, until the squash is very soft and the tops are browned. Do not undercook. When finished, remove from oven and let cool a little before serving. Spoon any buttery sugar sauce that has not already been absorbed by the squash over the exposed areas.
Serves 2 to 4, depending on how much squash you like to eat.
Enjoy your Fall foods!
Friday, September 18, 2009
- From Meatless Monday here is an interesting recipe for Spicy Breakfast Burritos. It sounds really good.
- I love this post from Green and Clean Mom with 10 wonderful ideas for before school breakfasts.
- Kelly the Kitchen Kop has a great post on 10 healthy breakfast ideas. There are some great ideas here.
- Don't forget about our friends from Whole Foods. They have some great ideas for breakfast like this post.
- Check out these posts from Living A Whole Life: Almond Crunch Granola, Almost Wheat Pancakes, Green Smoothies, and Green Smoothies Part II.
- Here are some yummy and different ones from a blog called Nourished Kitchen. She includes frozen bananas with walnuts and coconuts, honey custard, creme fraiche with fresh veggies and raw milk cheese with sliced apples and pears.
- Here's a wonderful post with tons of snack ideas from Kelly the Kitchen Kop. I'm trying the Honey Oats very soon!
- Here's another great post from Whole Foods on great snack ideas.
- Here is a post from Healthy and Green on the Cheap with more wonderful ideas.
- Don't forget these great posts from Living a Whole Life: Healthy Snacks, Healthy Banana Bread Recipe, Homemade Granola Bars, Summer Time Snacks, and Raw Chocolate Mousse.
Packed School Lunches
- Kelly the Kitchen Kop has some great ideas for school lunches in this post.
- Here's a great post from Whole Foods with tons of great ideas for packing lunches. Check this one out too!
So this weekend, armed with copies of these posts, I'm making a master list of breakfasts, snacks and lunches. I'm going to post my list on the refrigerator and use it when I make out my grocery list. I'm going to tackle this year with lots of fresh, delicious ideas and not resort to convenient or processed foods to get through the busy times.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
- Chapter 1 is cutely named "Doing the Bump" and is all about preparing for the birth of a child. It gives great tips on eating, products to avoid, a great natural body butter recipe, and finding safe nursery and baby stuff.
- Chapter 2 is all about cleaning supplies including what to avoid and great natural replacements for the dangerous stuff. That is one thing I really appreciated about this book. All through the book Mr. Gavigan informed you about the danger of a product and then recommended a safe, inexpensive, natural alternative.
- Chapter 6 talks about safe gardening and lawn care. There are so many great tips here. He talks about simple ways to improve the health of your lawn without pesticides and fertilizer; how to fertilize naturally; and some helpful tips on bug and mosquito control.
- Chapter 8 gives great tips on raising a "green pet". Our only pets are two adorable guinea pigs, but I appreciated the great info on natural flea control; recipes for good dog food; and a nontoxic pet cleanser.
I could seriously go on and on, but really, you should just get this book and take a read. If you are a star-watcher, there are also great tips from celebrity supporters as well as leading medical and public-health experts. A few of these included Jenna Elfman, Laura Dern, Noah Wylie, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson to name a few.
At the end of the book is a GREAT chapter of resources giving you contacts for things like diapers, bedding, bottles, clothing, cleaning products, snacks, garden and lawn products, and etc. I plan to work my way through this list in the coming months and educate myself more on what is out there. I will defininitely pass along great finds to all of you!
The organization Healthy Child Healthy World was started by James and Nancy Chuda in 1991 after their beloved daughter Colette died from Wilms' tumor a rare form of nonhereditary cancer. They are a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to "educates parents, support protective policies, and engage communities to make responsible decisions, simple everyday choices, and well-informed lifestyle improvements to create healthy environments where children and families can flourish." Their site offers more great tips and resources for anyone trying to make their home and life a safer, greener environment.
Thanks Janelle Sorenson from Healthy Child Healthy World for the great opportunity to review this fantastic book! I definitely recommend adding this one to your must read list.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Apricots/Until ripe/2-3 days/Halves, 8 months
Avocados/Until ripe/3-4 days/No
Bananas/Until ripe/2 days, skin will blacken/Whole peeled, 1 month
Berries, cherries/No/1-2 days/4 months
Citrus fruit/10 days/1-2 weeks/No
Coconuts/1 week/2-3 weeks/Shredded, 6 months
Grapes/1 day/1 week/Whole, 1 month
Kiwi /Until ripe/3-4 days/No
Melons/1-2 days/3-4 days/Balls, 1 month
Papaya, mango/3-5 days/1 week/Sliced, 8 months
Peaches, nectarines/Until ripe/3-4 days/Sliced, 8 months
Pears/3-5 days/3-4 days/No
Plums/3-5 days/3-4 days/Halves, 8 months
Vegetables/Shelf/Raw, refrigerated/Blanched, cooked, frozen
Asparagus/No/3-4 days/8 months
Beans, green or wax/No/3-4 days/8 months
Beets/1 day/7-10 days/6-8 months
Cabbage/No/1-2 weeks/10-12 months
Carrots, parsnips/No/2 weeks/10-12 months
Celery/No/1-2 weeks/10-12 months
Eggplant/1 day/3-4 days/6-8 months
Garlic, ginger root/2 days/1-2 weeks/1 month
Greens/No/1-2 days/10-12 months
Herbs, fresh/No/7-10 days/1-2 months
Leeks/No/1-2 weeks/10-12 months
Lettuce, iceberg/No/1-2 weeks/No
Mushrooms/No/2-3 days/10-12 months
Okra/No /2-3 days/10-12 months
Onions, dry/2-3 weeks/2 months/10-12 months
Spring or green/No/1-2 weeks
Peppers, bell or chili/No/4-5 days/6-8 months
Potatoes/1-2 months/1-2 weeks/Cooked and mashed 10-12 months
Rutabagas/1 week/2 weeks/8-10 months
Spinach/No/1-2 days/10-12 months
Squash, summer/No/4-5 days/10-12 months
Squash, winter/1 week/2 weeks
Turnips/No/2 weeks/8-10 months
Tomatoes/Until ripe/2-3 days/2 months
Friday, September 11, 2009
- The process of distillation makes the water higher in energy. As the water vaporizes into steam it leaves behind the inorganic mineral that was held in the water molecules in the liquid state. This means that the energy it took to hold the inorganic mineral is now freed up; and, this results in the water molecule having a lower surface tension and becoming polarized. It is also higher in energy because the heat of vaporization was added to accomplish the boiling and vaporization of raw water. This energy is not all lost when the steam is cooled.
- Water like food has to be converted in the into the the frequency of the body in the liver. Because distilled water is already higher energy it can be converted much easier with less load on the liver.
- Because of the higher energy and polarization, distilled water can move through the membranes of the human body much easier than other types of water. This means that is is able to help remove and control the toxic waste substances, including the waste salts of body metabolism.
Sorry, I know that was a little technical, but important to understand. If we need water to flush out our bodies it make sense to drink the water that is best suited to accomplish this with the least burden on our body. Remember though, it's important to drink enough water of any kind daily. If steam distilled water is an option for you, give it a try. I know there are home water distillation kits out there, but you can also purchase distilled water from the grocery store when needed.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Start your preschooler on the path to healthy eating with these basic strategies:
1. Be a good role model by eating regular meals based on nutrient-rich foods like low-fat or fat-free dairy products, fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Your child watches what you eat, so make sure you’re a good example of healthy choices yourself!
2. Establish routines around mealtimes and snacks. This consistency makes young children feel secure. Be sure to allow children enough time at the table – aim for 20 minutes. And try to create a calm and nurturing setting…your child can’t focus on eating with multiple distractions (eg. television).
3. Relax and don’t force, cajole, persuade or trick your preschooler to try to get him or her to eat – that creates a battleground where no one wins. You may have to offer a food 10-15 times before it’s accepted. Try to add just one new food to a meal with 3 or so healthy foods your child already enjoys. Eventually your child will begin to accept new foods—don’t give up.
4. Watch for signals that your child is fulland finished eating (eg. playing with food). Offer him or her nutritious food and do not let them fill up on junk food, they will naturally regulate the amount they eat. Simpler foods are usually preferred. And make sure the temperature and texture of the food you offer is easily handled by your child.
5. Divide the responsibility. Both you and your child have choices to make when it comes to eating. You determine what foods are served and when. He should decide which of those healthy foods offered he will eat and how much. Don’t be concerned if your child doesn’t finish all of the food you offer at any one meal or snack. Over several meals, his intake will likely be enough.
6. Offer healthy snacks Young children have small stomachs. They need to eat less, and more often. Regularly scheduled healthy snacks are like quot;mini-mealsquot;. They can provide up to ¼ of the nutrients your child needs each day as well as enough calories (energy) to sustain them through a busy day of school and/or play. Try to combine foods from at least two food groups that partner protein and carbohydrates sources. Peanut butter and whole grain crackers or fresh fruit chunks mixed into low-fat yogurt make great snacks with staying power.
7. Make physical activity a part of your family’s health routine. Children should be active at play for at least 1-2 hours each day. Consider options like a simple outing to the park to play or more organized classes or age-appropriate sports. And don’t forget to limit TV time for young children…that’s a healthy habit you’ll want to establish early!
Print our Start Your Preschooler on the Path of Healthy Eating. Tips for teaching your child healthy eating habits that will keep them healthy for a lifetime.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
- Fluorine works with calcium to form strong bones, tough tooth enamel, healthy hair and nails, and reinforce blood vessels.
- Fluorine acts as a disinfectant, germicide, antiseptic, anti parasitic, and antipyretic (effective against fever).
- Protects the spleen
- Preserves youthfulness
- Hair loss
- Kidney stones
- Dental cavities and weak bones
- Tumors in the liver, spleen, bones, or skin
- Deformed nails and ingrown toenails
- Congenital defects
- Partial or total blindness
Foods Rich in Fluorine
Avocados, black eyed peas, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, caraway seed, cauliflower, raw cheese, dates, egg yolk, endive, garlic, greens, juniper berries, lemon grass, licorice, mother's milk, New Zealand spinach, parsley, rye bran or meal, sea cabbage, sea lettuce, spinach, and tomatoes.
Side note: Many have heard of fluoridated water whether through a municipal water supply or purchasing "fluoride waters". This is typically an inorganic form of fluorine and not the safest way to get this mineral. Small doses may be "okay", but there are many warnings out about the danger of consuming too much fluoride. It's always better to get your fluorine through an organic/plant source such as fruits, vegetables, herbs, or even some dairy products.
Recipes that contain fluoride-rich foods.