Showing posts with label eco friendly. Show all posts
Showing posts with label eco friendly. Show all posts
healing foods
I believe that foods can have a healing power on the body.  Becoming vegetarian has made me look at food differently and has changed my body for the better.  Instead of turning to medicine for minor aliments like muscle pain, headaches, sore throats or colds, I try finding a food or herb alternative to make the pain diminish.

Whether you are fighting stress, fatigue, or trying to boost your immune system I believe that a lifestyle change and healthy eating can help immensely.  Eating fresh fruits and vegetables help the body perform to the fullest potential and stay healthy.

Here are some of the foods that can help fight minor ailments-

•    Bananas are good for fighting stress and anxiety.  They provide a little bit of a sugar boost and have 30% of your day’s vitamin B6 that helps your brain produce mellowing serotonin to help calming down.

banana healing food

•    Raisins help maintain cardiovascular health and bringing down blood pressure.  They contain fiber and potassium that are both good for the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet.

•    Kidney stones are something no one wants to deal with.  Apricots help prevent then because of the fiber, low sodium, and potassium help keep minerals from accumulating in the urine and from forming calcium stones. 

•    Ginger tea can help cure nausea from motion sickness.  The oils and compounds in ginger help to get rid of nausea without the side effects of other prescription drugs.

•    It is a little strange but I swear by buckwheat honey as a cure to coughing.  2 teaspoons of the thick, dark brown honey and your coughing will stop.  I find it so much more effective than cough syrup.  And the honey has antioxidants and other properties that can soothe the throat.

•    Ladies you know yeast infections are not fun.  By adding garlic to sauces, dressings, and other dishes you can help lowing the risk of getting them.  Garlic contains oils that inhibit the growth of a certain fungus that causes the unpleased symptoms of a yeast infection.


•    Chamomile tea can make heartburn disappear.  Although it may take a few cups of tea to fully ease the digestive culprit, who doesn’t like sipping tea all day?

•    Headache? Cure that with some potatoes!  The carbs in potatoes can ease tension headaches by raising serotonin levels and nixing that pesky thing.

There are many other foods that help diminish or prevent ailments from happening.  These are just some of the foods I eat frequently with more than just a nutritional value.  Foods can not only change your body, but can also help your mind fight off negativity.


Go green and stay keen,

Julie

 


Healing foods

by on 10/28/2015
I believe that foods can have a healing power on the body.  Becoming vegetarian has made me look at food differently and has changed my ...
I was looking for images on the web and came across an awesome infographic on BusinessInsider.com.


Although, it was posted a couple years ago, it is still relevant and resonated with me.  It is titled, Why You Need to Stop Driving Your Car Right Now.

I always try walking or riding my bike whenever I can and only drive my car when it is really necessary.  It not only saves me money by biking but I get exercise too.

When my husband and I were looking for our first our home, it was essential that it was located close to markets, parks, work, and our children’s school.  We were fortunate enough to find a home that is in a very central location and walking and biking distance to many places.

Since moving here and not using our car as much, we have seen a large drop in our transportation expenses and we are even healthier.  We are helping the earth by reducing our emissions that are harmful to the environment, not spending money on cars upkeep, saving of fuel, not having to pay for parking, and we get to speed past traffic jams.

I saw this statistic that shocked me; it showed that 80% of bike commuters improve their heart and lung function within 8 weeks! Just 8 weeks! I couldn’t believe it.

Once you understand how the simple change from driving your car to riding your bike is, it is clear that riding your bike is better for you, your health, your family, and the environment.  So hop on that two-wheeler and get pedaling.

I have shared here, the informative infographic from BusinessInsider.com. Enjoy!


After reading this infographic, I hope you feel motivated to start riding your bike whenever you can.

 If you live near your work, grocery stores, or frequented venues, why not give it a try?  I enjoy walking and biking places, it allows me to clear my mind and stay active.  I challenge you to try swapping your car for an earth friendly bike! :)

Go Green and Staying Keen,

Julie



It is finally summer break for my kids and they couldn’t be more excited.  Hannah is going to a horseback riding camp for a week and Liam is playing soccer this summer.  Needless to say it is going to be a fun filled and busy summer.  Although the kids have arranged activities already, I want to make sure we spend lots of time together and make summer memories.



Ever since Liam and Hannah were little I loved planning fun activities, this summer won’t be an exception.  I have mastered how to keep them entertained so they are not complaining they are bored every 5 minutes.  Plan, plan, plan, is the key to success; it is the only way to make sure they are having fun, staying active and not sitting on the couch watching cartoons.

The last week of school was exciting for them because they were looking forward to summer break.  I saw this great idea on Pinterest to have them make a list of all the things they want to do over the summer.  It is a good way to “accomplish” fun new things and keep them looking forward to something.

Here is our list of fun activities Liam and Hannah came up with so far, I am sure they will want to add to it as the summer goes on.

1. Bake cookies and make ice cream sandwiches out of them
2. Have a water party in the backyard with the sprinklers
3. Visit the beach
4. Make a cardboard box fort
5. Go berry picking
6. Have a picnic

7. Go canoeing
8. Go camping
9. Have a campfire and make s’mores
10. Make homemade pizza
11. Set up a lemonade stand
12. Have a water balloon fight
13. Go on a bike ride

14. Help mom plant the garden
15. Visit a museum
16. Go stargazing
17. Play mini-golf, Guys vs. Girls
18. Go to an amusement park or water park
19. Paint rocks to make paperweights
20. Go roller blading
21. Visit the zoo
22. Catch fireflies
23. Have a movie night outside
24. Watch fireworks on the 4th of July
25. Make a giant slip and slide
26. My tie dye shirts and socks
Having the kids make a list of fun things they want to do makes it easier on when planning activities; they are already “kid approved.”  It is going to be a great summer.  :)



What do you like to do with your kids over the summer? How do you keep them from the inevitable “I’m bored” stage?

Go Green and Stay Keen,

Julie

Kids home for summer

by on 6/17/2015
It is finally summer break for my kids and they couldn’t be more excited.  Hannah is going to a horseback riding camp for a week and Liam...
Ever since I was young my parents taught me how important it is to recycle and take care of our planet.  I believe that all parents want to leave the world a better place for their children after they are gone.  As my children grew up and learned about trash and where it goes, they also knew about recycling.



My husband and I made leaning about recycling fun for our kids.  We made it more of a game and made it easy for them to understand and put to use.  The earlier good habits are ingrained, the easier it is to make an impact.

When we were teaching our children about recycling we used some of these steps.

1. We talked about what recycling means and respecting and helping the earth.

2. There are many books about the basics of reducing, reusing, and recycling.  It is a great way to start of teaching your kids.  It excited my children to start recycling after reading.

3. To help them understand what was recyclable and what was not, we decorated bins to correlate what goes in them.

4. We had a “recycled item of the week” that we focused on to make it a fun event.  Each week we kept adding to the list until we had a full list.

5. We made a fun facts list to post on the fridge about facts about recycling. For example; the average person throws away about 170 lbs. of food waste every year that is the same as 1,077 banana peels.

6. We visited our local recycling center to see how the process actually works.  Our kids loved it when they were young.  Usually recycling centers will help organize a visit with a group.  It is a great way for them to understand the process.

7. To reuse our own “nice trash” we made little craft projects.  Kids love crafts and what a great way to learn about recycling too.  I found some good recycling craft ideas here.

8. To teach them about conserving water, we set a “shower song.” It was a song that they got to shower to that gave them a time limit so they did not waste water.  We always made it one of their favorite songs so they knew when it was going to be done.  It was fairly easy for them to grasp the concept of conserving water, they understand that if they used too much water, the fish wouldn’t have any place to live.

9. To teach our children about reusing we also had them go through their closets and toys to find five items to donate to local panties and organizations.  It was a great way to help the community and teach them about reusing and making a difference.

10. There are countless games online that revolve on the subject of recycling and conservation.  Our favorite websites were Kids Recycling Zone and Kids Recycle.


My husband and I strive to inspire our children to love the earth and take care of it.  It is easy to feel like we don’t have much control about what happens to our earth in years to come; but it is beneficial to teach our little ones now to ensure there will be a healthy planet for future generations.  I believe the earlier good habits are created, the easier it is to incorporate them into daily life.

Go Green and Stay Keen,

Julie

Although fall is my favorite time of the year it’s one of my daughter’s most difficult times…ALLERGY SEASON.  The coughing, sneezing, runny nose, water eyes…oh the list goes on, it is terrible.  If you or someone in your family has allergies, you understand my love hate relationship with fall.



Of course I love to find natural ways for just about everything, including allergies.  My mother had allergies, I have them, my husband, and my two kids.  When I was growing up my mother was always against going to the doctor and insisted on finding ways to deal with the symptoms. I have been accustom to natural ways to rid these pesky symptoms since I was young.

This season of allergies seems so much worse than years past.  My whole family is feeling it, and my poor daughter’s nose is constantly running.  Some of my friends who have never suffered from allergies before are this year too.  I shared my preferred remedies with my friends and a few of my daughter’s friend’s mothers; so I thought I would share my natural allergy remedies with you too.

•    My grandmother swore Apple Cider Vinegar and I have used it to help with my own symptoms for years.  It supposedly helps reduce mucus production and cleanse the lymphatic system.  When I use it I mix one teaspoon of organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar into a glass of water and drink this mixture three times a day.


•    Nettle Leaf is a natural antihistamine that blocks the body’s production of histamine.  It can be purchased in different forms; pills or tea.  I prefer using the capsule form because I think it is easier and more effective. I know family members that use the tea for and mix it with other herbs to make an anti-allergy concoction.


•    Quercetin is a natural bioflavonoid that is said to help stabilize cells and keep them from releasing histamine.  Quercetin is also a known antioxidant and reduces inflammation.  I personally have not used it but I know friends that have.  It is suggested you take it 4-6 weeks before allergy season to prevent symptoms from occurring.  Quercetin is found in citrus’ and broccoli but in very small amounts, there is a supplement that is commonly taken for treating allergy symptoms.



I hope these natural supplements can help you and your family during this beautiful yet stuffy season.  If you have more natural remedies for seasonal allergies I would love to hear about them and try it out!

Go Green and Stay Keen,

Julie

I have always been fascinated in how the body reacts to the food we consume.  Different foods have properties that benefit internal organs and physical appearance more than others.  Since becoming a vegetarian and being aware of what is going into my body, I have noticed a change in my skin. 


Many of my friends and family ask me what face creams and anti-wrinkle serums I use Neutrogena Healthy Skin Face Lotion SPF 15 a few times a week. But specifically I watch what I eat and understand the benefits of each food.  I swear by a few foods that make my skin look so healthy and rejuvenated.  Here are my favorite foods that keep me looking youthful and have healthy skin.


 Here are my favorite foods that keep me looking youthful and have healthy skin.

•    The Kiwi is my favorite fruit because it is packed with vitamin C and stimulates collagen synthesis which keeps skin tight and smooth fine lines.  I notice less dryness and fewer wrinkles when I consume a diet high in vitamin C.



•    Berries have anti-inflammatory agents and vitamins that help protect against premature aging.  They also are high in antioxidants and minimize the damage of free radicals in the skin that fuel wrinkle formation.  BONUS- Berries are also packed with vitamin C.

 
•    Edamame is a protein filled bean is also packed with collagen; keeping skin firm, youthful, and wrinkle free.  And did I mention, very delicious?



•    The Avocado is rich in protective antioxidants and essential fatty acids keep skin looking plump and smooth.  The “good fat” in avocado is not only beneficial to internal heath, but also replenishes the protective layer of fatty acids around skin cells.  It keeps moisture in the skin, preventing dryness and irritation.  And who doesn’t love a good avocado sandwich or for that matter face mask?

 
•    The orange hue of pumpkins are from carotenoids; wrinkle-fighting agents that neutralize free radicals in the skin.  It is also filled with vitamins C, E, and A, and powerful enzymes that work to cleanse the skin.  Don’t just make jack-o-lanterns this year, save a little for yourself.



From my previous posts, it is clear that I try to keep everything natural.  Keeping my skin tight and youthful is no exception.  Eating these foods and exercising help maintain a healthy body both inside and out.

Why not eat well and look great at the same time, give them a try!

Go Green and Stay Keen,

Julie

Foods for great skin

by on 9/08/2014
I have always been fascinated in how the body reacts to the food we consume.  Different foods have properties that benefit internal organs a...
Happy National Mushroom Month! It is the best time of the year, mushrooms are so abundant and it is my excuse to use them this month as much as I can!  Mushrooms have such a unique taste and distinctive texture that makes them wonderful to cook with. 

Some people are mushroom “haters” and refuse to give them a try, I say put your hate aside and try some of my favorite recipes that showcase September’s featured veggie, MUSHROOMS! :)


Portobello Red Pepper and Pesto Pizza- very easy!
Serves 6
Ingredients-
•    Your choice of pizza dough, either homemade or premade
•    2-3 Portobello mushrooms with the stems removed
•    5 canned roasted red peppers, sliced
•    ¾ cup of parmesan mozzarella blend
•    ¼ cup pesto, your choice either homemade or store bought
Instructions
•    Prepare the dough according to its specific directions, then place in a pizza pan.
•    Chop the Portobello mushrooms into long thin slices.
•    Spread the pesto on the pizza dough, top with Portobello slices and roasted red peppers then sprinkle the parmesan mozzarella blend on the top.
•    Bake at 425 for about 10-15 minutes; the time will depend on the dough and your personal crispy taste.



Easy Mushroom Stroganoff
Serves 2
Ingredients-
•    1 tbsp. of oil
•    1 medium onion, diced
•    4 cloves of garlic, minced
•    17 oz. mushrooms, sliced or diced
•    3 tbsp. vegetable stock
•    1 tsp. paprika
•    Black pepper, to taste
•    3 tbsp. sour cream
•    4 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
Instructions
•    Heat oil in a large frying pan, cook the onion, garlic, and mushrooms over medium heat for 5-10 mins until slightly softened.
•    Add vegetable stock and paprika and season to taste with black pepper.
•    Before serving, stir in the sour cream and half the parsley.  Once heated through, serve topped with remaining parsley.


Portobello “Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich”
Serves 4
Ingredients-
•    2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
•    1 medium onion, sliced
•    4 large Portobello mushrooms, steams and gills removed, sliced
•    2 tsp. dried oregano
•    ½ tsp. ground pepper
•    1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
•    ¼ cup vegetable broth
•    1 tbsp. soy sauce
•    3 oz. thinly sliced provolone cheese
•    4 buns, split and toasted
•    (Optional) ½ medium green pepper, sliced
Instructions
•    Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and cook until soft and beginning to brown.  Add mushrooms, green pepper, oregano, onion and pepper. Stir often and cook until vegetables are soft and wilted, about 5-7 minutes.
•    Reduce heat, sprinkle the vegetables with flour and stir to coat.  Add broth and soy sauce and bring to simmer.
•    Remove from heat lay cheese slices on top of vegetables, cover and let stand until melted.
•    Divide mixture into 4 portions in each toasted bun, and serve.





There are so many ways to prepare mushrooms and add them to your favorite recipes, you could spend the entire month finding different ways to savor the taste of mushrooms.

If you are a lover like I am, I suggest following @MushroomChannel on twitter or the Mushroom Channel on Facebook.  They post great recipes and interesting facts about one of the best veggies.  Join me in hashtaging all your wonderful mushroom creations this month, #MushroomMonth, for the Mushroom Council :) As the mushroom council says, “Let your friendly fungi flag fly.”

Go Green and Stay Keen,

Julie

National Mushroom Month

by on 9/04/2014
Happy National Mushroom Month! It is the best time of the year, mushrooms are so abundant and it is my excuse to use them this month as much...



Ready for another great post on farmers markets?  It is hard not to write about it every time I make a visit.  This morning while mingling amongst a few of my farmer friends, I noticed a couple that appeared to be new to the farmer’s market “scene.”  I went over and introduced myself, it turns out this was their first market.  I shared with them about how much I love buying locally and how farmers markets are the best to do so.  After talking with them, they seemed much more at ease and ready start shopping.

After my encounter with new market goers, I thought it would be great to share a few tips on how to shop at farmers markets if you are new to it and how to experience all that makes it what it is.  So here you go!

•    Go early- I always like to be at the market right after it opens.  There is a large selection and you don’t have to worry about your coveted favorite veggies to be sold out.



•    Bring a few reusable bags to carry your yummy purchases in.  Farmers usually don’t supply their own bags.


•    Bring small amounts of cash.  A lot of famers don’t have change for large bills.  Some larger markets have ATM’s nearby and with technology some farmers even have their own credit card readers.

•    Try new things.  Sometimes the most odd looking vegetable or fruit is the best tasting.  Try new weirdly shaped, unfamiliar or interesting veggies and fruits, your taste buds will thank you!  Every once in a while I find strawberries, like this one, in quite unique shapes.  I sometimes feel bad eating them because they are just so neat.


•    Talk to your farmers!  It is not every day that you get to talk to the person who grew your big juicy tomato. The farmers are often keen to talk with you about their harvests and tell you about the land.  And if you’re lucky, they might even share some of their recipes on how to cook it!  After talking, it is easy to make good food choices and personalize exactly what is on your plate.


•    Ask questions and create a community environment.  Get to know those around you, chat about your best finds, and enjoy the experience.


I’m sure you know from all my posts I really love farmers markets, eating seasonally, and buying locally.  I believe that they are a great place to find fresh, affordable, and delicious fruits, and veggies!

Farmers markets are for everyone!  Don’t be discouraged if you are intimidated on your first visit, trust me, I was too.  I encourage everyone to try to get the most out of local farmers markets and learn to love them as much as I do!

Go Green and Staying Keen,

Julie

Since becoming vegetarian and learning about all the toxins we freely accept throughout daily life, I have tried become more conscientious about using natural and environmentally friendly products in my home.  We don’t realize that the chemicals that are used in modern cleaner build up in homes and can cause asthma, eczema, and allergies.


I have slowly progressed into becoming all natural in my home.  As a disclaimer to this post; know that become organic and chemical free does not happen overnight.  It took me quite a while to find ingredients and recipes that worked for me and were cost effective.

Finding the products were a little challenging at first, but I realized I wasn’t looking in the right stores.  When I found ones that suited my needs, I was shocked at how much more expensive they were compared to common cleaners.  They were nearly double the cost.  I became turned off at the price but I knew it was something I wanted to do so I found a few solutions.  I went to a health food store and found a much larger selection although they were still pricier than chemically filled cleaners I gave them a try. 



After a few months of home use I could definitely tell a difference.  Now, I didn’t have to hold my breath or end up coughing every time I sprayed the counter or washed the windows.  The products not only cleaned my house well, they kept me feeling healthy. 

Although I loved using those products, they were costing me a little more; I went online and found a few recipes to make your own natural products.  I found a lot of information on this blog: Wellness Mama Click here.  After making a few different types and finding the ones I liked, I was saving so much more; even more than when I was still using the chemical cleaners. 
Here are a few natural products I use to clean my home

•    Lemon Juice- Cleans glass and mirrors, effective against most household bacteria (one of the strongest food-acids)
•    Coconut Oil- Wood polish
•    Apple Cider Vinegar- laundry deodorizer
•    White Vinegar- Unclog drains, removes grease, mildew, odors, some stains, keeps vegetables fresh
•    Baking Soda- Deodorizes, cleans stoves and ovens, softens water
•    Cornstarch- Cleans windows, carpets, and rugs, polishes furniture



There are so many other natural cleaners and different ways to combine them to create great natural products.  I highly suggest trying to switch over to a few natural cleaners and see the difference for yourself!

Go Green and Staying Keen,

Julie

Go Green at Home

by on 8/16/2014
Since becoming vegetarian and learning about all the toxins we freely accept throughout daily life, I have tried become more conscientious a...