Sunday, October 21, 2012

Juicing ~ What Juicer Do I Need?

Juicer and produce...getting ready.
  Recently I posted about juicing - To Juice or Not To Juice - exploring the idea and facing my fears.  Since that post, my Sister Maggee emailed me with some tips and ideas and I have been continuing my research...starting with which juicer is the one for me. I actually had no idea Maggee had been juicing for the last 35 years.  Gee, do I feel silly.  I knew she was a vegetarian who concocted wonderful meals for many years...yep...I knew that much!  But juicing?  I may have a few brain cells missing at my age and just never connected the dots...or they somehow became unconnected in the last few years?  Turns out she is quite knowledgeable on the subject and I intend to pick her brain till she hollers "Uncle!"  I'll go into her suggestions in a future post. 
In progress...juicer to jar. 
In this post I want to talk a bit about the first step - deciding which juicer is the best fit for what I want to accomplish. I even know yet what I hope to accomplish by juicing?  No, of course not.  But, weight loss appeals to me, as does better health and more energy.  If I can achieve any or all of those I'd be happy.  So, did I know there are several types of juicers?  No, of course not.  I have now  learned that there are citrus juicers, centrifugal juicers, single gear and twin gear juicers, masticating juicers - and each works a little differently to extract the juice.
Citrus juicers are as the name implies, for juicing citrus fruits.  Centrifugal machines get the juice separated by spinning at high speeds.  This causes heat which can deplete some of the nutrients, but works quicker that others.  The single and twin gear juicers work at a slower speed, thus no heating and more saved nutrients and vitamins.  Masticating juicers gnash the produce.  They all vary widely in price, so determining which one suits ones needs best is crucial for those on a budget (like most of us).

Basic Green
After thinking about this awhile, I have come to the conclusion that price and health are my priorities, so I selected a Champion Home Juicer which is moderately priced and is a masticating type. I didn't know one brand from another, but Maggee has had this brand for years and it has served her well.  It had good testimonials and is very sturdily built.  (I get nothing for mentioning this, just wanted to let you know my selection.) 
Step One is should arrive by the end of the week.  Once it is out of the box and on my counter, I am sure I will be emailing my Sister with a gazillion questions!  It is a relief to have finally made a decision.  Now I can take the next step and discover the benefits of juicing - as well as the dangers.  You see, HB (HoneyBunny) is diabetic and if he chooses to juice, the recipe will need to be strictly suited to his dietary needs.  The sugar in most fruits and some veggies would cause his blood glucose to spike and we don't want that to happen!  More research!
I hope you will follow me on my juicing journey and offer advice and suggestions as I travel this road.  I am learning as I go...on the "juice" training you might say!

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Huge Green Hugs,Pat

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

WasteLESS Wednesday

My Pinterest addiction has not been cured and don't even think about intervention...I won't submit!  I love to get lost in all of the wonderful photos and quotes!  Here are more recycling and repurposing ideas I found...

My pick of the week is the painted trash can made into a side table!  I love it!  What have you repurposed lately?

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Huge Green Hugs,Pat

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

To Juice or Not To Juice?

The juicing craze is getting to me.  I am beginning to look at websites and facebook pages touting this and wondering if I can have before and after photos that look as good as theirs.  I am even looking at recipes and wondering if they will really, really taste as good as their promoter says they will.  I mean, it all looks good, but does green liquid actually taste tasty?  Or am I apt to gag at the first swallow attempt?

Fresh squeezed fruit juice is very good and healthy as well.  It is just that I am not sure about adding veggies that I have never eaten or even heard of to the mix.  The thought sort of frightens me.  Am I being silly?  Do juicing wimps eventually get over it and learn to enjoy the idea of fruits and veggies in liquid form?  Will I seriously be able to lose some weight and not want to eat everything in sight once I put the juice glass down?

I have friends who got into juicing a few months ago.  They lost weight and look great.  They look healthier and are certainly good role models for this idea.  I have wondered if I should talk to them about my fears and reservations.  You see, I love food...the kind you chew.  Can I be just a part-time juicer?  And, do I really need one of those fancy, schmancy expensive machines? 

Have you made your own juice drinks?  Do you have favorite recipes?  Did you begin with a 10-day juice fast?  Or start slowly?  Are you still juicing?  I need help!

  If you like this post, be sure to follow this blog before you leave! It's easy peasy...just choose one or more of the options on the right sidebar!

Huge Green Hugs,Pat

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Prevent or Fight Flu with Vitamin D

Flu season is upon us.  Have you had your flu shot yet?  I got mine last week on a routine visit to my doctor.  We need to be prepared, you know!  I found some helpful tips for fighting the flu should you happen to feel it coming on.
You may have heard of fighting colds with Vitamin C, but how about fighting the flu with Vitamin D?  That’s a new one to me!  Exposure to sunshine helps the body manufacture Vitamin D, and Vitamin D boosts the body's own virus-fighting ability. This, along with other factors, is why colds and flu increase in the wintertime when there is less sunlight. If you want to use Vitamin D to prevent the flu this year, here is how.
1. Eat fish…lots of fish. (It's interesting to note that the diet of the Eskimos, who live in a part of the world where there is no sunshine at all for long periods, includes lots of fish oil and is therefore rich in Vitamin D.)  In descending order, some of the fish highest in Vitamin D are as follows:
* Herring
* Catfish
* Sockeye salmon
* Steelhead trout
* Halibut
* Sardines
* Mackerel
* Tuna packed in oil
You can also benefit by adding cod liver oil and fish oil supplements to your diet.
2. Two great sources of Vitamin D are tofu and soy milk.  Tofu has 124 IU (International Units) of Vitamin D per serving, and soy milk has 119 IU per cup.  Adding these to your diet will help with the flu battle.
3. An alternative or an addition is a good Vitamin D supplement. Some recommend Vitamin D3, as this is said to be the effective and the least likely to cause problems if taken in large amounts. Most supplements are in increments of 1000 IU - take up to 5000 IU per day. Children under the age of ten should have less; no more than 2000 IU is suggested for children aged two to four, and no more than 3000 for children under ten.
4. Increase your Vitamin D intake if you have been exposed to the flu. You can take up to 10,000 IU if you think you've been exposed. Make the appropriate  adjustments for children according to their ages.
5. Always a good healthy habit…Be sure to drink lots of water.  Large amounts of Vitamin D in your blood may raise your risk of developing kidney stones. Water helps flush out the excess vitamin.
6. Get outside in the sun when you can. Even in the wintertime.  Go outside as much as possible on sunny days.  While your face may be the only skin exposed to the sun, it's enough for you to benefit.
And, don't forget to get your flu shot if you are able to take them!  Have you done that yet?  If you like this post, be sure to follow this blog before you leave! It's easy peasy...just choose one or more of the options on the right sidebar!

Huge Green Hugs,Pat

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Did You Know These Common Chemicals Are Found in Our Perfumes?

Little did I know… and you may not realize that the perfume we wear has many chemicals in it, some of which may affect our health. If you are someone who has chemical sensitivities and/or allergies, you may find that perfume will activate the symptoms. Here is a list of some of the common chemicals found in perfumes and the health concerns that are linked to them.
* Benzaldehyde is used in many cleaning products and cosmetics such as deodorant, lotion, shaving cream, and shampoo.  It is said to depress the central nervous system and cause irritation in the respiratory and digestive tracts.  It might even cause kidney damage.  Really?  And I am spraying this on me in a closed-up bathroom daily?  Eew!
* Acetone, the chemical found in nail polish remover, is also in perfumes. The US Environmental Agency (EPA) lists acetone as a hazardous waste. (Huh?)  Breathing acetone can have a profound effect on the nervous system, causing dizziness, sleepiness, slurred speech, and possibly coma.  That doesn't sound so good.
* Benzyl alcohol (made from Benazldehyde) is found in perfume, air freshener, deodorant, and fabric softener (to name a few).  It can affect the respiratory tract and the central nervous system, causing headache, nausea, and respiratory irritation and even failure.  Hmmmm....I don't think I want to be sniffing this!
* Methylene chloride is a perfume ingredient that was banned by the FDA in the late 80s, but some claim the law is impossible to enforce.  The problem with this chemical is that it is stored in body fat (many chemicals are fat soluble) where it is metabolized by the body into carbon monoxide.  This can lead to symptoms of oxygen deprivation, such as headache, fatigue, and tingling in the extremities.  Just who put all of this stuff together in the first place and why are we all so addicted to it?
* Limonene is found in a lot of cleaning products as well as perfumes.  Cleaning products?  Are you kidding me?  It is considered carcinogenic, and is a skin and eye irritant. Inhaling the vapor of limonene is considered dangerous.
* Ethanol is also found in perfumes, as well as a host of other products. Ethanol is in so many products that it's hard to believe it's on the EPA's hazardous waste list.  Whether ingested or inhaled, ethanol can cause blurred vision, drowsiness, and disorders of the central nervous system.  I don't EVEN want to think about this.
These are only a few of the toxic chemicals found in perfumes.  Please do your own research on these chemicals to determine if you want to continue using them.  If you are concerned about the possible health effects of perfume but still want to apply some sort of scent, consider making your own scented spritzer or oil, or buy a commercially-prepared, non-toxic scent.
Mix a few drops of the essential oil of your choice with an ounce of rubbing alcohol and 2 ounces of water. Put in a small spray bottle and use as a spray-on scent.  For a safer blend, mix a few drops of your favorite  essential oils in a neutral carrier oil such as sweet almond, jojoba, coconut or olive oil, that can be rubbed on the skin. 
As a matter of fact, I plan to mix up some "Pixie Parfume" (I made up that name) and give it a try!  If all goes well, I'll post about it!  How about you?  Have you made your own "smell sweet" stuff?
  If you like this post, be sure to follow this blog before you leave! It's easy peasy...just choose one or more of the options on the right sidebar!

Huge Green Hugs,Pat

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Remedy Children's Colds the Natural Way

The best cure for colds is prevention. Good nutrition and hand washing are key to preventing a cold, especially in children. But despite our best efforts, all kids will occasionally come down with a cold.  
Natural remedies are generally safer than allopathic remedies.  They are usually less expensive and easier to administer, too. Some of the more common ways to help ease your child’s colds are listed below. 
If your child has a fever, hold back the urge to bring down his temperature. Fever can help to limit the course of an illness. Generally after a “good fever”, kids get better quickly. Unless your child is listless and not responding to you naturally, he’s probably fine. It is better to assist his body’s natural attempts to heal. Encourage your child to rest and avoid overstimulation with too much TV or electronic media. Make some quiet time, read a story, play card games and just hold him as much as possible. Your chores and other things to wait. 
If your child has a sore throat, you can ease it with warm salt water gargles. Honey lemon tea is also effective. Just squeeze a little fresh lemon juice into a mug of warm/hot water along with a teaspoon of honey. Homemade chicken broth is one of those “cure-all” remedies and at the same time it keeps your child hydrated and nourished. 
It is not always good to give your child decongestants and antihistamines when he has a cold. These have been proven to have little effect on colds, and may even be harmful. 
I have never tried this, but I have read that using acupressure may ease the symptoms of a cold and your child may also enjoy it. Consult a guidebook on acupressure and follow suggestions for targeting the bladder, large intestine and lung pressure points. You may even want to check with your Pediatrician before attempting this.
Vitamin C, Echinacea and Goldenseal are all traditional remedies for colds. Give your child weight and age appropriate doses of these remedies short term to boost his body’s efforts to heal. Personally, I swear by Echinacea to get rid of a cold!  A couple of capsules twice a day for a couple of days usually sends it packing!  (Just my little testimonial.) 
If your child has trouble breathing, try a cool mist humidifier. Be sure to keep it scrupulously clean. 
Keep away from sugars as much as possible when your child is ill. The same holds true for junk foods. (The most difficult thing for me!)  Supporting his body with good nutrition is very important during this time. Good things to include are fresh vegetable juices, homemade soups and other easy to digest foods that provide hydration.

I hope this is helpful in keeping your kiddos happy and healthy!  Do you have your own natural remedies you'd like to share in your comments?  I think is is great when we can help each other!

If you like this post, be sure to follow this blog before you leave! It's easy peasy...just choose one or more of the options on the right sidebar!

Huge Green Hugs,Pat

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