Oct 04, 2007
See if you can guess what food this is. Isn’t it gorgeous? Post your guess here.
Oct 02, 2007
I happened to see a bit of the Rachael Ray show today and found it rather interesting. She was discussing anti-aging with Dr. Perricone (a dermatologist and anti-aging specialist).
I was pleased that Dr. Perricone was recommending healthy fats such as olive oil and fish oil to help prevent aging. He also suggests that we choose low-glycemic foods and grains. Perricone says low-fat diets aren’t good and that Prozac made it’s appearance around the same time that Prozac did. He said people were getting depressed without enough fat.
It is so encouraging to see good nutritional advice being given on national TV. I’m so sick of seeing low-fat products marketed all over the place. Fat is good for us and we need it! We need to choose good fats such as unrefined olive oil, butter and coconut oil. Let’s keep the good fat and instead do away with things like MSG, refined oils, margarine, white flour and high-fructose corn syrup.
Sep 17, 2007
In seeking to live a greener and healthier life one of the first changes I needed to make was with my cleaning products. I always hated cleaning the bathroom because my cleaners would smell so strong and make my eyes burn. I had to turn on the exhaust fan just to make it bearable. All the while I never realized how horrible it was to be breathing them in. It never even occurred to me that they might not be good for my health or that there would even be alternatives. I was pleased to find however that there are not only alternatives but they are often cheaper!
Vinegar and baking soda are now staple items in my home. They’re a natural homemaker’s best friends! Not only do I use them to clean, I use them in my hair (more about that another time)! Baking soda is a natural abrasive. I use it to scrub out the sink and then spray with vinegar to kill off any molds. It sure beats bleach! I avoid bleach at all costs!
Here are two books that I highly recommend if interested in creating a healthier cleaning environment for you and your family.
“Organic Housekeeping: In Which the Non-Toxic Avenger Shows You How to Improve Your Health and That of Your Family, While You Save Time, Money, and, Perhaps, Your Sanity” by Ellen Sandbeck. This book is chock full of ways to green your household!
Here’s basically what it covers:
better ways to use your space (organization)
healthy habits in the kitchen
hazards in beauty products
cleaning the whole house
taking care of pets
It pretty much has everything you could ever want to know about keeping your household green! With all this information it does take awhile to read. I recommend reading it through once, making a list of several changes you’d like to make and then using the book for reference. Don’t try to change everything at once or you may get overwhelmed and give up on it all together. I’m glad for the changes we’ve been able to make in our house but I still have a lot to do to get things where I want them.
“Green This! Volume 1: Greening Your Cleaning” by Deirdre Imus. This book is an excellent book to start out with. It’s a much shorter read and still a good resource for greening up your home. In “Green This” Deirdre explains why greener cleaners are needed and warns of the health hazards from conventional cleaners.
Hooray for healthy homes!
Aug 25, 2007
Shopping for eggs can be downright confusing these days. Labels like, “All-natural” give the illusion of health yet often mean nothing. Here is a brief summary of which eggs are best:
Best: Raise your own chickens. I would absolutely love to do this but I don’t live in an area where it’s possible.
Next Best: Eggs from a local farmer or friend - raised with plenty of access to the outdoors in a small group. The more freedom a chicken has to live it’s natural lifestyle the healthier it will be for you and for them.
Store Best (not a common label): “Pasture Raised” - Chickens are allowed to run in a large area outside. They may still be higher in omega-3 fatty acids
Store Best (more readily available): “Certified Organic” - This is the only label that is regulated. Free of antibiotics, pesticides and animal byproducts. Birds do not live in cages and can roam freely.
Other labels that don’t mean much and aren’t regulated:
“Natural” - Basically doesn’t mean anything. It’s just marketing.
“Cage Free” - Just means they aren’t in cages. They may still be kept in close quarters without any outside access.
“Free Range” - Means they have access to the outdoors but may not use it.
“Hormone Free” - Hormones aren’t allowed anyway.
“Antibiotic Free” - This standard isn’t regulated so it is hard to verify.
The majority of this information is based off of this Culinate article by Kelly Myers.
Here the Humane Society shows how chickens are treated under the various methods of chicken farming.
This fascinating article highlights a sustainable farm in New Mexico. Toward the end of the article the author lists questions you can ask your local egg grower. It also shows how chickens are basically as smart as dogs.
Aug 24, 2007
For many choosing margarine over butter is the obvious choice. After all, margarine is cheaper, “healthier” and tastes alright. That’s the way I saw it for years. The truth is though, you get what you pay for.
The makers of margarine claim it helps to prevent high cholesterol. This is a misunderstanding of fats. Fats have been downright attacked for awhile now to the point that people actually believe fat is harmful to their health. This is partially true in that certain fats are harmful. The margarine manufacturers work hard to get people to believe margarine is better for them because that idea makes them lots of money! They aren’t interested in the health of the public. Margarine is a waste product marketed as a health food. Brilliant!
I no longer buy margarine and haven’t missed it a bit. Now we use butter, olive oil and unrefined coconut oil. As an added bonus I found a source for local butter that comes from hormone free cows. It doesn’t cost much more than cheaper butter and it tastes fantastic!
You can see how margarine is made here. Check it out; you’ll be surprised!
For more information about the history of butter and margarine take a look at this article by Karl Loren.
An excellent resource on the various types of fats and their health effects can be found at the Weston A. Price Foundation.