Sunday-Off to one of our favorite Thai places right next to our church.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Sunday-Off to one of our favorite Thai places right next to our church.
Friday, August 28, 2009
A cook-out just isn't the same without a Dawg! Hotdogs are the all-American food. I get nostalgic when I eat them-they bring back lots of childhood memories. I have tried many healthier versions of the hotdog. Whether turkey or chicken or beef, I always ended up a little disappointed...until I found Applegate Farms' all-natural, organic, nitrate-free, grass-fed beef hotdog. Reminiscent of the classic hotdog of my youth, this one of the yummiest and healthiest dogs around. AND they are the only ones that don't leave me regretting that I chose to eat a hot dog...if you know what I mean.
Last, but not least are the sauces. I'm a sauce kind of girl. I like to load my goodies with ketchup, mayo, and mustard. There are some great, healthier choices at health food stores. I choose Organic Ville ketchup because it's organic and it's sweetened with agave syrup instead of high-fructose corn syrup. I also recommend Westbrae Naturals mustard, Miso Mayo, and Vegennaise (instead of mayo).
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Most antibacterial soaps include dangerous chemicals like Triclosan-a chemical that resembles a pesticide, Benzalkonium Chloride, and others. Search "antibacterial chemicals" on the Skin Deep Cosmetics Data Base for a more detailed list.
For awhile I avoided these strong chemicals by simply adding a few drops of naturally antibacterial essential oils to my favorite natural soap. But I couldn't take my soap to go, and those instant sanitizing gels left my skin feeling dry and smelling medicinal. Now that I am a mommy, I of course, want the best for my little one. I was thrilled one day to find an all-natural, alcohol-free hand sanitizer, in a convenient spray form, that smells great, won't dry out your hands, and most importantly, does not contain any dangerous chemicals.
As if it isn't enough of a job keeping our little ones safe and healthy, worrying about yucky chemicals in the products we use to keep the germs away should not be part of the deal. Clean Well antibacterial sprays and soaps are safe and have been proven to kill 99.99% of germs. I wouldn't consider myself a germaphobe, but since our little one just happens to be a finger sucker, we have to constantly clean her hands. This spray is great because I can quickly sanitize hands, wash a boo-boo without causing a sting, or even give toys a quick cleaning. I keep one of the little sprays in my purse, my car, the stroller, etc. I keep a larger spray at hand in the kitchen and bathroom...convenient germ busting when my daughter is just too busy to be bothered with washing her hands in the sink!
We were at the pediatrician's office the other day, and I pulled out my handy little spray to clean my daughter's hands after she'd played with some toys. The nurses were so excited about an alcohol-free sanitizer. The doctor was most impressed with the chemical-free part. Everywhere I go I have a Clean Well spray, and everywhere I go, people ask me about it. I cannot say enough good things about this product. It is one that I just can't do without!
Order Clean Well products on their official site or buy at Target, health food stores or Amazon. By now you know that I am a fan of the spray, but I also LOVE their Orange Vanilla foaming hand soap. It smells like a dreamsicle! Yummy. Here's to keeping clean and doing it naturally!
(just in case you need specific directions-Ha Ha!)
Click this link for more information on how Clean Well got started:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLNpRDQ
Monday, August 24, 2009
If you are here in Hawaii, you will find the best price for O.N.E. at Down To Earth. It's also available on Amazon.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Some of our favorite toys are by Melissa and Doug. From puzzles to pretend play, I can be sure my little one will be entertained and safe with these beautifully handcrafted toys. Melissa and Doug makes most of their toys in the USA, they use non-toxic paint, and the toys are constructed from wood or plastic that is free of harmful chemicals.
Our most recent kid purchase was a bag of Magic Nuudles. My daughter had lots of fun getting creative with them this afternoon. They are biodegradable, non-toxic, and most importantly, they are silly. The possibilities are endless with these little blocks made out of cornstarch! Here is a giraffe with a little Daddy and Phoebe (our little one) riding it. My husband is quite talented. I am so jealous!
If you are looking for a great way to entertain your little one at restaurants, I recommend Wikki Stix. We first discovered these at a nearby restaurant that handed them out with their kids menu-brilliant! Crayons just don't cut it for long with our busy little bee. Wikki Stix are much more captivating, and fun for all ages to fiddle around with. These fun and flexible sticks are made in the USA from natural materials and are non-toxic.
These fun toys can be found at your favorite educational or toy store. I find the best deals on Amazon. Search the To Your Health Amazon store under "kid stuff" for more. Here's to happy AND healthy playtime!
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Cashews-lower in fat than most nuts, high in copper, an essential component of many enzymes, plays a role iron utilization, elimination of free radicals, development of bone and connective tissue, and the production of the skin and hair pigment called melanin; also good source of magnesium, trytophan, and phosphorus.
Soy nuts-contain phytochemicals (called isoflavones), which have been shown in hundreds of studies to help prevent heart disease and several forms of cancer.
Macadamia nuts-a high energy food, full of protein and fiber and loaded with antioxidants, fiber, phytochemicals, protein, minerals, monounsaturated fats.
Goji berries-himalayan superfruit that has been used in Asian herbal medicine for thousands of years, packed with essential amino acids, good source of vitamin C, rich in Vitamin A, and over 20 trace minerals and vitamins including zinc, iron, phosphourus, riboflavin, vitamin E as well as carotenoids, including beta-carotene. Wow!
Coconut chips-add a tasty crunch with fiber and protein.
Sprouted pumkin seeds (by Go Raw)-one of the healthiest foods in the world, high in amino acids, zinc, protein, and iron. *Many believe they can help prevent prostate cancer.
Sunflower seeds-this source of fiber is also high in vitamin E, B1 (thiamin), maganese, magnesium, copper, tryptophan, phosphorus, folate, B5 and selinium, which detoxifies and helps prevent cancer.
Pecans-contain more than 19 vitamins and minerals – including vitamin A, vitamin E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, several B vitamins; may help inhibit unwanted oxidation of blood lipidslipids, thus helping prevent coronary heart disease.
Walnuts-an excellent source of omega-3 essential fatty acids (a special type of protective fat the body cannot manufacture), have many potential health benefits ranging from cardiovascular protection, to the promotion of better cognitive function, to anti-inflammatory benefits helpful in asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis. Also contain an antioxidant compound called ellagic acid that supports the immune system and appears to have several anticancer properties.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
All produce is labeled with a number coded sticker...
Four digit numbers starting with 3 or 4 mean:
non-GMO, conventionally grown
Five digit numbers starting with 8 mean:
the produce is GMO
Five digit numbers starting with 9 mean:
So now, in addition to squeezing, smelling, and even occassionally thumping, there is one more way to go about choosing our produce. While organic is the best and I try to buy organic whenever possible, it is not always available. Now we all have the power to choose and know what we are getting. So what is the big deal with genetically modified foods? Well, there hasn't been extensive research on them, but animals refuse to eat them. Something about that leaves me a bit uncomfortable. Read the article below for more information. Here's to getting all the facts...and here's to your health!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
There are also some wonderful full-service restaurants dishing up raw cuisine. Be adventurous-google "raw food restaurant" and see what pops up in your area. If ever in Chicago, try Charlie Trotter's, where they feature a raw-tasting menu. Famous chef, Charlie Trotter is world renowned for both cooked and raw cuisine at it's finest.
If you want to pick up a few raw food snacks for on the go, check out some tasty snacks by Go Raw at Whole Foods and other health food stores, or Amazon. I love the sprouted pumpkin seeds and the spicy flax chips. So, am I a total raw foodie convert? Um...no. I still love fish and devour a good burger at least once a week or so. I think it's great for each of us to embrace the healthiest lifestyle we can while enjoying foods we love. I am thrilled with my newfound love for raw dishes and plan to continue to experiment as often as I can. I feel great...and my jeans are fitting quite nicely too! Here's to raw food and here's to your health!
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Our skin is the largest organ in our bodies and it absorbs everything like a sponge. We are all familiar with the fact that doctors are prescribing "patch" medications-from birth control to smoking cessation. This is proof that what we put on our skin is absorbed into the bloodstream. For years I used popular department store cosmetics, like Mac and others. In college I had a strange infection on my eyelid skin. It was so raw and irritated that I could not wear makeup at all for weeks. I asked my doctor about it and she said it looked like I was allergic to red dye #5, which is often found in eye shadows, especially mauves and plums...my favorite colors. Darn!
Fast forward a few years and I am still using the same cosmetics but avoiding the purple hues. Along comes this esthetician friend who educates me about the ingredients found in many cosmetic lines...I was appalled and a little grossed out. You may not be aware, but there are alarming amounts of petroleum and other dangerous chemicals in many personal care products. I decided this part of my health-conversion was not going to be gradual. I bought some makeup recommended by my friend and immediately went home and trashed everything in my cosmetics bag. A little rash? (Okay, no pun intended, but given my past eye infection I now understood that my body was rejecting a very foreign substance).
I have been using natural makeup for several years now (including beautiful plum eye shadows!) and I have experimented like crazy and been an obsessive ingredient reader. Natural makeup has come a long way. I have tried some great...and not so great products. I would love to give you all my favs in one post, but that would impossible as a mommy of a three-year-old. So each week I will feature some of my favorite skincare and cosmetic products.
First, it is important to know what is in our personal care products. Since the FDA does not regulate these products here in the USA, reading the labels with a little scrutiny is required. Here are just a few of the ingredients we should avoid...good luck pronouncing most of them!
1. Phthatales, di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP) and di(2-ehtylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP)
2. Parabens or alkyl-p-hydroxybenzoates (methyl, propyl, butyl, and ethyl)
3. Lauryl sulfate(SLS), Sodium laureth sulfate(SLES)
4. Dissodium EDTA
6. Formaldehydes or Diazolidinyl urea, 3-diol Imidazolidinyl urea, DMDM Hydantoin , Quaternium-15, Nitropropane-1, Formalin , Methanal , Methyl aldehyde, Methylene oxide, Morbicid acid, Oxymethylene
7. Amines-Diethanolamine (DEA), triethanolamine (TEA), amonoethanolamine (MEA)
8. Propylene / Butylene Glycol (PG)
This list may seem daunting to remember, but don't worry...I will be posting lots of great products sans the harsh chemicals. In the mean time you can do a little research of your own if you'd like. There is a great site that gives products a safety rating, defines their scientific ingredients, and lists the potential risks. I checked it out recently and I was impressed with the amount of info I got. To learn more about ingredients or to search a particular product, use Skin Deep Safe Cosmetic Data Base.
Here's to beautifully healthy skin and a healthy you!
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Who says you shouldn't play with your food?
My daughter and I had fun with her breakfast this morning. What is it? Half an Ezekiel hamburger bun, toasted and topped with almond butter, Salba (chia seeds), Goji Berry eyes, nose and mouth, and blueberry hair. We topped it all off with a swirl of agave nectar.
Together these foods pack lots of nutrients, super-duper antioxidants, protein, and fiber to start your little one's day off right. Super food. Super fun. Here's to your health!
Saturday, August 1, 2009
One of my favorite places to get reusable stuff is at www.reusablebags.com. This site has great lunch bags, shopping bags, Sigg Bottles, and more. An item that I have used over and over and over is the Wrap-N-Mat. I wish I had invented this handy little mat with the Velcro closure. We pack a sandwich or other snack, wrap it, velcro shut, and we are out the door. When it is time to eat, we open it up and it becomes our very own little place mat. It's a great product and now I hardly ever use Ziplocs. We just wash and dry the wrap-n-mats and they are ready use again. You can also find these at www.wrap-n-mat.com.
Our favorite lunch bag is often in tow. Our three-year-old loves to cart it around for long car rides or trips to the beach. This stylish bag, made of wetsuit material is sheer genius. It is naturally insulated, which means no worries about leaching lead (did you know that many insulated coolers may do this?). We throw a couple ice packs in and our food stays cool. Plus, we love how cool this bags looks!
Another product we love are chico bags. They roll up into themselves, with a little drawstring closure. Store a couple in your purse or keep them available in the car, and you will always have your own shopping bag ready when you need it! I love how compact these little bags are, but what I love most is their durability. I can stuff them to the brim with groceries and make fewer trips from the car to the front door. Find them at the reusable bags online store or at www.chicobags.com
Here's to our planet and here's to your health!