Feb 26, 2010

De-cholrinate your water for healthy skin and body

Unfortunately, city water is recycled water... that means that last time you flushed the toilet it went to a plant where they let the junk settle, then they added some chlorine, maybe ran it under some UV lights and then sent it back your way.  The chlorine does not leave the water however.  As wonderful as it is to have water that won't give you dysentery, the fact is that chlorine dries out your skin.  It is also a carcinogen but that is a post for another day.  You can, however, buy shower filters to keep from bathing in pool water, and also sink filters to drink out of or just a cheap but effective pitcher filter.
I moved in to a new area and started suffering from severe dry skin.  The weather made no difference, the temperature of my shower made no difference and no matter how much I ex-foliated or used lotion it made no difference.  I decided, maybe this isn't such great water here or after 10 years of living in the city I am developing a sensitivity to the chlorine.  See, where I grew up, the water came straight down from the mountains and wasn't treated city water.  Sigh... Anyway, I got a shower filter and at first I was skeptical... I didn't notice any difference in my water or my skin for a while. After about a month I did notice that my dry skin was much and noticeably improved.  I also follow other regiments to prevent dry skin, like ex-foliating, not using harsh soaps and taking warm, not hot showers.
To find a great and affordable shower filter try home depot online.  I bought a Paragon filter.  It was cheap, under $20.  I got free shipping and it arrived quickly.  They don't last forever, but that model does last for up to 30,000 gallons, depending on how contaminated your water is.  I would highly recommend a shower filter for those of you worried about chlorine and those of you suffering from dry skin and even for those who just hate scrubbing the shower all the time ( because it does reduce the mineral build up!).

Shower Filter, White, w/ Replaceable Cartridge
Shower Filter, Chrome, Handheld w/ hose and mount, w/ replaceable Cartridge.

-Val

Feb 23, 2010

Asparagus Chicken with Mushrooms


 







"I am so glad that asparagus is in season again. My family loves asparagus, it is pretty much the only vegetable that my picky son would eat. In order to help him eat more vegetables, I created this healthy and tasty dish that he raves about how tasty vegetables can be..."
Read more at Spicy Pursuits

Feb 17, 2010

How and why to avoid MSG

MSG, also know as Monosodium Glutamate, is most widely known as what is in Chinese food that makes us sick. However, the general population doesn't know that its in just about every single prepared food in the supermarket and in virtually all restaurants food. It sounds impossible I know, but follow these examples and you will greatly reduce or even be able to eliminate MSG from your diet. Go to www.truthinlabeling.com to find out why MSG should be avoided.

Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Step1

Read your labels. This is tricky because food producers have a cunning way of hidding the MSG laden ingredients. These are alternative names used for MSG: Glutamate, Glutamic acid, Gelatin,
Monosodium glutamate, Calcium caseinate, Textured protein, Monopotassium glutamate, Sodium caseinate, Yeast nutrient,
Yeast extract, Yeast food, Autolyzed yeast, Hydrolyzed protein
(any protein that is hydrolyzed), Hydrolyzed corn gluten, Natrium glutamate (natrium is Latin/German for sodium.

Step2

Also watch out for food containing these ingredients, they are often ingredients the processing created MSG. Carrageenan, Maltodextrin, Malt extract, Natural pork flavoring, Citric acid, Malt flavoring, Bouillon and Broth, Natural chicken flavoring, Soy protein isolate, Natural beef flavoring, Ultra-pasteurized, Soy sauce, Stock, Barley malt, Soy sauce extract, Whey protein concentrate, Pectin, Soy protein, Whey protein Protease, Soy protein concentrate, Whey protein isolate, Protease enzymes, Anything protein fortified, Flavors(s) & Flavoring(s), Anything enzyme modified, Anything fermented, Natural flavor(s) & flavoring(s), Enzymes anything, Seasonings
(the word "seasonings").

Step3

Eat fresh, Natural foods. Food that are raw and unadulturated are always free of MSG. These foods are fruits, vegetables, unprocessed meats that do not have "solution's" or "Broth" added. Of course flours, rice, corns and other grains that are not prepared should not have any MSG in them.

Step4

Don't buy frozen meals, entree' s, appetizers or desserts. If there is any question, read the label for the hidden MSG names.

Step5

Do not buy flavored chips, crackers, nuts, popcorn etc. Dorrito's, Cheeto's, any "o's" chip that has a special flavor on it has Monosodium Glutamate, which before you read this article you might not have known that it is the same as MSG. Opt for brands like Kettle Cooked chips and Pirate Bootie that have no MSG in them, or plain corn and potato chips and plain crackers.

Step6

Avoid all soup/broth from the store. Avoid salad dressings. Find simple online recipes for dressing and dips, or attempt to find a brand that has no MSG at a Whole Foods Market or Wild Oats type store.

Visit www.Truthinlabeling.com for even more information and resources.

-Val


I found avoiding MSG to be very difficult because it is literally in almost every food and in most of the foods I loved. However, I haven't eaten MSG in any form for over four years now. It has greatly improved my health in many ways. It is a scary chemical that our country is ignoring that can cause all sorts of horrible conditions such as ADD and Alzheimer's. AVOID it and learn all you can about it and where it is hidden. You will be glad you did.

-Liz-

Feb 16, 2010

Spicy Pursuits Sweet and Sour Chicken in 1 Step

Sweet and Sour Chicken
"Who doesn't like a little sweet and sour dish. Even my 5 year old picky eater asks for a second serving. I don't like to order "sweet and sour chicken" at a restaurant because they always make it too sweet for my taste. I prefer the cantonese style of sweet and sour chicken..." Visit Spicy Pursuits for the recipe.



Feb 15, 2010

Green, Not Mean, Allergen Killing, Steam Clean!

Steam cleaning machines are wonderful.  They clean without harsh chemicals.  They deodorize and sanitize.  I love my steam cleaner to get that dirt and junk out of little crevices of appliances or the toilet seat hinges.   It goes seamlessly from one room to the next.  My kitchen floors no longer have that sticky feeling after moping and have never been cleaner.  They are so clean you could eat off of them.  My fridge is sparkling inside.  My curtains are all wrinkle free and my car smells fresh again.  I can not say enough about how great steam cleaners are.   They do not do everything however.  Don't have unrealistic expectations.  When you clean something with a  steam cleaner the dirt doesn't magically disappear.  The steam knocks it loose and then you have to wipe it up with a cloth.  Old stuck on stains likely wont be removed with the steam either.  If you don't have one already I would highly recommend getting a great steam cleaner like a Steam Buggy or a Stanley Steamer.  Don't bother with those small Shark cleaners.  They don't hold enough steam to really get anything done.  Did I mention you can sanitize your toothbrushes too?  You can sanitize anything that can hold up to the heat.  Baby toys, sinks, upholstery, bath poufs.  You can clean jewelry and door knobs or mirrors and table tops.
If you have allergy's a steam cleaner is a must.  The steam kills dust mites.  You can use it on your pillows, mattresses, carpets and curtains.  Killing mites and freshening the fabric.  For a really healthy home get a steam cleaner!  The McCullough and SteamFast have great ratings on Amazon and I love my Steam Buggy.  Get one that will replace multiple cleaning implements in your house like the McCullough and Steamfast.  So you will need a upholstery/floor brush with the cloth moping cover, and a steam jet nozzle at least.  Most come standard with these accessories.

Great steam cleaner options:
McCulloch MC-1275 Heavy-Duty Steam Cleaner
McCulloch MC1246 Portable 1500-Watt Power Steam Cleaner
SteamFast SF-275 SteamMax Steam Cleaner

-Val