Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Post-Workout Treat for $0.15

Try this amazing post-workout essential oil bath for sore muscles.

When you arrive home from a vigorous workout, mix 4 drops of lemon, 2 drops of nutmeg, 2 drops of orange and 4 drops of clary-sage. Add five to ten drops to your warm bathwater. Clary-sage has strong antidepressant, anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. Orange and lemon essential oils provide an inviting and relaxing smell, anti-inflammatory, anti-septic and sedative properties. When you return home from work after a rough day, the sedative properties of orange essential oil can ease the senses, relax the muscles and dissipate stress.

Supplies cost $15.20 and will last for over 100 baths!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Polluted air = obesity?

"Polluted air can make young people fat."

Sounds ridiculous? Not according to this study which found that young animals exposed to the fine-particulate air pollution had larger and more fat cells in their abdominal area and higher blood sugar levels than did animals eating the same diet but breathing clean air. Scientists tested animals that were the equivalent of toddler to adolescent age and the results are shocking...

Read more here.

Aloe Vera: Healing Miracle Plant!

Plants are man's oldest friend, helping our health, healing and living. The health benefits of aloe vera juice have long been known, and it has been used historically as a soothing balm, applied externally for cuts, scrapes and burns. The health benefits of aloe vera taken internally include: improved circulation, regulation of blood pressure, promotes healing of bones and joints, strengthens the immune system, defends the body against bacteria, heals internal tissue damage, heals ulcers, improves and even eliminates constipation, blood sugar regulation, and reduces itchiness in psoriasis helping it to heal.

The good news is that it doesn't take a lot to reap the benefits! Drinking two to four ounces a day is all that is required to gain the many benefits of aloe vera juice. If you drink it daily, aloe vera can aid your digestion, improve your circulation and detoxify your body and cleanse your colon.

The detoxification properties of aloe vera juice also act to detoxify your blood stream. If you have intestinal or stomach problems it can help your digestive tract to work smoothly.Aloe vera also helps to dilate the capillaries and support cell growth, thereby improving circulation.

One of the most important health benefits of aloe vera juice is its operation as an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent, helping to prevent the onset of disease in the body. Thus, taking aloe vera juice daily helps to maintain good health and provide a sense of wellbeing and energy.

Aloe Vera Juice And Weight Loss
Looking to shed a few pounds? One of the most valuable health benefits for today's society is aloe vera's ability to assist weight loss. Aloe vera works to both reduce and stabilize the body mass index by stimulating the metabolic rate in our liver cells so that we burn more energy. The energy used for this comes from fat and carbohydrate stores in the body. Drinking aloe vera juice every day has been likened to doing multiple workouts throughout the week.

Another reason why aloe vera works well as a weightloss supplement, is because it has a high content of collagen protein. When you drink aloe vera juice every day, the body has to spend additional energy to assimilate its protein into your system. This extra expenditure of energy also supports weight loss and muscle development. Aloe vera reduces the amount of time food stays in your intestine, which means that less energy is absorbed from the food.

Throughout history aloe vera has been associated with achieving healthy body weight and it has been known as "the dietary plant" and "the harmony remedy."

Aloe Vera Juice And Detoxification

Detoxification is another of the health benefits of aloe vera juice. Carrisyn, an extract of aloe vera, has been shown to stimulate the production of infection-fighting blood cells and in so doing strengthen the immune system.

Aloe vera juice contains amino acids, methionine, serine threonine and molybdenum, which work together to detoxify heavy metals and additionally aid in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fat and protein. This action prevents a build up of fat in the liver and the arteries.

These detoxification and laxative qualities of aloe vera juice, improve the efficiency of the colon, which is extremely important for good health. Poor colon health results in the re-absorption of toxins into the human body resulting in low energy and un-wellness.

Aloe vera juice contains nineteen amino acids, twenty minerals and twelve vitamins and as such is an excellent, natural nutritional supplement.

Any Side Effects Of Aloe Vera Juice?
 Even aloe vera is not without possible side effects. Reported side effects include allergic reactions, liver dysfunction, nausea, dermatitis and strangely colored urine.

However, these side effects are rare and may well be the result of drinking too much of the juice. It is unwise to drink aloe vera juice as if it were orange juice. If you stay to the recommended dose, you should be fine.

Nevertheless, it is important to pay attention to any side effects and stop drinking the juice if you detect a reaction. Aloe vera juice is not a magic potion or a cure-all. Indications that you should avoid aloe vera are if you are pregnant or breast feeding, have kidney or heart disease, or are allergic to garlic or onions. It is also inadvisable to give aloe vera juice to children as they can experience toxic reactions.

For most people, the health benefits of aloe vera juice outweigh any risks, however it is important to use this supplement wisely and pay careful attention to your body's responses to it.

Yay for this amazing plant! Amazon has a good deal on AV juice at just $4.65 for 16 oz.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Amazing Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes

The holiday season is upon us! What better way to give thanks than to share these delicious dishes with friends and family! This vegetarian Thanksgiving recipe database in the New York Times definitely comes in handy for planning a healthy menu. Most of the items are vegan, and for vegetarian dishes, you can easily substitute milk and cheese with almond or rice milk and soy cheese, or check out our niffty list of egg, meat and dairy substitutes here.

Our favorites are:
- Tempeh and Wild Mushroom Fricassee

- Grapefruit and Avocado Salad 

- Harvest Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

- Carrot and Parsnip Soup


Monday, September 27, 2010

Black Beans Are Super Protein!

Black beans are full of antioxidants. The beans are a calcium blocker providing relief for the arteries and the heart.

The black bean is very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. It is also a good source of protein, thiamin, magnesium, phosphorus and manganese, and a very good source of dietary fiber and folate.

Dr. Kristie Leong, of Health Mad, states black beans obtain their dark shade from anthocyanins, the identical powerful flavonoids found in such nutritional superstars as red cabbage, blueberries, cranberries, and red beets. Black beans have the highest levels of antioxidants of all of the common beans tested, as much as the antioxidant rich cranberry.

One cup of black beans provides over half of the recommended daily requirement of fiber. They are mostly rich in soluble fiber, the kind that helps to lower LDL cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar levels.

An excellent way of obtaining fiber is through the black bean. What better way to do it than with a steaming bowl of freshly cooked black beans or black bean soup?

Black Beans Before a Work-Out
The complex carbohydrates in the black beans make it an superlative pre-workout breakfast and the addition of spices like cumin, Mexican oregano, epazote and chili powder not only add to the beans already high antioxidant levels, but also make it enormously flavorful.

The black bean, a mere 1 cup (260 g) a serving of the black beans has a 560 mg of potassium, 40% of recommended daily allowance of fiber, 16 grams of protein, 44 grams of complex carbohydrates (30 Net Carbs) and zero cholesterol or fat.

Black beans have one of the highest levels of anthocyanins, a powerful falconoid and antioxidant. Black beans have as much anthocyanin as antioxidant powerhouses similar to red grapes and cranberries. Black beans are the most antioxidant rich

Folate, Found in the Black Bean, can Reduce Heart Attacks
It has been estimated that consumption of 100% of the daily value (DV) of folate would, by itself, reduce the number of heart attacks suffered by Americans each year by 10%.

One Cup of Black Beans provides 64% of the DV for Folate.

Their good supply of magnesium puts yet another plus in the column of the helpful cardiovascular effects. Magnesium is nature's own calcium channel blocker. When enough magnesium is around, veins and arteries breathe a sigh of relief and relax, which lessens struggle and improves the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.

Manganese for Energy Production and Antioxidant Defense
Black beans are a good source of the trace mineral manganese, which is an important cofactor in a number of enzymes important in energy production and antioxidant defenses.

Protein Power ....and Then Some

Want to replace red meat in a menu? Enjoy the rich taste of these beans. These smoky flavored beans are a high-quality source of protein, and when combined with a whole grain such as whole wheat pasta or brown rice, supply protein comparable to that of meat or dairy foods devoid of the high calories or saturated fat found in these foods.

A cup of black beans will give 15.2 grams of protein, which is 30.5% of the daily value for protein and 74.8% of the daily value for fiber.

Select and Store
Whether purchasing them in bulk or in packaged containers, make sure that there is no evidence of moisture or insect damage and that they are whole and not cracked. Canned varieties can be found in most markets. Unlike canned vegetables, which have lost much of their nutritional value, there is little difference in the nutritional value of canned cooked at home.

Black Bean Salad

Rinse and soak packaged black beans according to directions, 1 small bag

Let drain well

In a large bowl add beans

1 medium chopped onion

1 chopped celery stalk

2 chopped hard boiled eggs, omit the yolk for a cholesterol free salad

½ green or red pepper chopped

½ cup of low-fat mayonnaise

Add salt and garlic powder to taste

Serve on a bed of lettuce with tomatoes. This should feed 2-4 people. If serving a larger group, double or triple the ingredients.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Why buy local?

Why buy local when you can get it cheaper at Walmart? Well we did some digging and unearthed many reasons why, especially in this tough economy, supporting your local businesses is much better for you, your community and the environment.

Top Ten reasons to Think Local. Buy Local. Be Local.

  1. Give back to yourself: Several studies have shown that when you buy from an independent, locally owned business, rather than a nationally owned businesses, significantly more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses, service providers and farms -- continuing to strengthen the economic base of the community.(Click here to see summaries of a variety of economic impact studies; these include case studies showing that locally-owned businesses generate a premium in enhanced economic impact to the community and our tax base.)
  2. Support community groups: Non-profit organizations receive an average 250% more support from smaller business owners than they do from large businesses.
  3. Keep our community unique: Where we shop, where we eat and have fun -- all of it makes our community home. Our one-of-a-kind businesses are an integral part of the distinctive character of this place. Our tourism businesses also benefit.  “When people go on vacation they generally seek out destinations that offer them the sense of being someplace, not just anyplace.” ~ Richard Moe, President, National Historic Preservation Trust
  4. Reduce environmental impact: Locally owned businesses can make more local purchases requiring less transportation and generally set up shop in town or city centers as opposed to developing on the fringe. This generally means contributing less to sprawl, congestion, habitat loss and pollution.
  5. Create more good jobs: Small local businesses are the largest employer nationally and in our community, provide the most jobs to residents.
  6. Get better service: Local businesses often hire people with a better understanding of the products they are selling and take more time to get to know customers. 
  7. Invest in community: Local businesses are owned by people who live in this community, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community’s future.
  8. Put your taxes to good use: Local businesses in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services as compared to nationally owned stores entering the community.
  9. Buy what you want, not what someone wants you to buy: A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term.  A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based not on a national sales plan but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices. 
  10. Take your family’s food safety into your own hands: Following the recent massive recall of eggs that had been reportedly contaminated by salmonella from chickens raised in filthy conditions on factory farms, it is easy to see that we, the people, need to have better control over our food sources.  The only way for people to be certain that their food is safe is to get more involved in food production. Reject massive supermarkets and other corporate bigbox stores. Support family farms that allow consumers to tour the facility to personally witness the conditions in which food is grown. Purchase produce directly from the farm whenever possible. It may cost families a few extra dollars to do this, but it is the only way to truly be safe.
As you can see from the list, buying local is a worthwhile investment in yourself and the community. Here's a great tool to find local stores, farmers markets and grocery stores close to you:

The Local Finder

Source: Sustainable Connections


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

62 Amazing Uses of Baking Soda

Baking Soda has over 60 incredible uses in the home, for beauty, health and food. Cans of baking soda are the best deal in town: You can find them in most stores for less than $3 and it is all natural!


1. Antacid - Use it as an antacid to relieve heartburn, acid indigestion, or sour stomach.

2. Deodorant -  Use it as underarm deodorant by applying it with a powder puff.

3. Toothpaste - Mix half a teaspoon with peroxide paste and mix.

4. Body Scrub - Dilute one part baking soda with water and use as a face and body scrub.

5. Skin Softener - Add a cup to bathwater to soften your skin.

6. Anti-itch - Relieve skin itch from insect bites and pain from sunburn.

7. Odor eliminator -  Remove strong odors from your hands by rubbing them with baking soda and water.

8. Diaper rash -  Put two tablespoons in your baby’s bathwater to help relieve diaper rash.

9. Anti-irritant - Apply it on rashes, insect bites, and poison ivy irritations. Or  take a baking soda bath to relieve skin irritations.

10. Congestion - Unblock stuffy nose by adding a teaspoon of baking soda to your vaporizer.

11. Heartburn - Take a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with one-half glass of water.

12.  Breath freshener - Freshen your mouth by gargling half a teaspoon of baking soda mixed water.

13. Bee stings -  Use it to relieve bee stings.


14. Baking - Use it as a substitute for baking powder by mixing with it with cream of tartar or vinegar.

15. Vegetable washer - Wash fruits and vegetables with it.

16. Bean soak  - Soak dried beans to a baking soda solution to make them more digestible.

17. Neutralizer - Reduce the acid content of your tomato-based recipes by sprinkling them with a pinch of baking soda.


18. Flower-freshener -  Keep cut flowers fresh longer by adding a teaspoon to the water in the vase.

19. Fires - Put out small fires on rugs, upholstery, clothing, and wood.

20. Odor absorber - Put an open container of baking soda in the fridge to absorb the odors.

21. Pet deodorant - Sprinkle it on your pet’s comb or brush to deodorize their fur and skin.

22. Shoe-freshener - Sprinkle it on your slippers, boots, shoes, and socks to eliminate foul odor.

23. Pottery clay - Turn baking soda into modeling clay by combining it with one and 1/4 cups of water and one cup of cornstarch.

24. Mouth wipe - After feeding your baby, wipe his shirt with a moist cloth sprinkled with baking soda to remove the odor.

25. Windshield cleaner - Wipe your windshield with it to repel rain.

26. Dishrag washer - Improve the smell of dishrags by soaking them in baking soda and water.

27. Vacuum freshener - Suck it in with your vacuum cleaner to remove the odor.

28. Air freshener - Freshen the air by mixing baking soda with your favorite perfumed bath salts. Put the mixture in small sachet bags.

29. Brush restorer - Restore stiff brushes by boiling them in a solution of 1/2 gallon of water, 1/4 cup of vinegar, and a cup of baking soda.

30. Insect repellent -  Put it under sinks and along basement windows to repel cockroaches and ants.

31. Flowerbed protector -  Scatter baking soda around flowerbeds to prevent rabbits from eating your veggies.

32. Plant sweetener - Sweeten your tomatoes by sprinkling baking soda on the soil around your tomato plants.

33. Litter box - Sprinkle it onto your cat’s litter box to absorb the bad odor.


34. Garage - Scatter it on your greasy garage floor, scrub the floor, and rinse.

35. Stove - Use it to unclog gas stoves.

36. Pan cleaner -  Remove burned-on food from a pan by soaking it in a baking soda solution for 10 minutes before washing.

37. Baby-bottle cleaner - Combine with hot water to clean baby bottles.

38. Kitchen drain - Keep your drains clean by putting four tablespoons of baking soda in them each week. Flush it down with hot water.

39. Curtain cleaner - Clean your shower curtains by soaking them in baking soda and water.

40. Bag cleaner - Put it on a small brush to rub canvas handbags clean.

41. Toaster - Use it to remove melted plastic bread wrapper from a toaster. Sprinkle baking soda on a damp rug, then use the rug to clean the toaster.

42. Steel cleaner - Make a thick paste of baking soda and water, and used it to scrub enameled cast iron and stainless steel.

43. Oven cleaner - Mix four tablespoons of baking soda with a quart of warm water, and use it to clean the inside part of an oven.

44. Toilet cleaner -  Add a cup to the toilet, leave it for an hour, and then flush. It will clean the toilet and absorb the odor.

45. Scrubber - Use it to scrub sinks, showers, plastic and porcelain tubs

46. Wall cleaner - Spray it on walls, mirrors, and countertops.

47. Dishwasher - Add a spoonful to your dishwasher to make scrubbing dishes easier.

48. Grease remover - Remove grease from pots and pans.

49. Carpet cleaner - Dry clean carpets and upholstered furniture by sprinkling baking soda over the fabric and gently brushing it. Leave it for an hour or overnight, then vacuum.

50. Laundry - Boost your laundry detergent’s cleaning power by sprinkling a handful on dirty clothes.

51. Polish -  Combine it with water to make a paste for polishing stainless steel and chrome.

52. Crayon - Remove scratches and crayon marks from vinyl floors and walls.

53. Shoe cleaner - Clean your shoes with it.

54. Garbage cleaner - Clean garbage cans with it.

55. Diapers - Use it to wash diapers.

56. Fridge cleaner - Clean the fridge with it.

57. Brush cleaner - Soak brushes and combs in a baking soda solution.

58. Container cleaner - Mix it with water to wash food and drink containers.

59. Furniture-cleaner - Put three tablespoons of baking soda to a quart of warm water, then use the mixture to wash marble-topped furniture.

60. Formica-cleaner -  Absorb it with a damp sponge, then clean Formica countertops with the sponge.

61. Oder remover - Use it to get rid of stale odors from cooling containers and thermos bottles.

62. Coffee-stain remover - Run your coffee maker with a baking soda solution, then rinse.