Category Archives: Organics

The best supplement for pets – and humans

In my last post, I promised I’d write about a supplement we use for our girls on a daily basis.  Not only do they LOVE it, and ask for it, it is really a top notch addition to their wellness and health needs – Chlorella and Spirulina. These are both algae and incredibly beneficial for humans and animals alike.We take both ourselves with our daily supplements.  And our girls get them in the morning and at night, waiting for vitaminsat the same time when we’re taking our daily supplements.  They love them!  Plus it is a crunchy treat which can’t be bad for their teeth and gums, and the chlorophyll helps with any breath issues that they may have. Chlorella benefits the entire body by supporting healthy hormonal function, good cardiovascular health, helps to negate the effects of chemotherapy and radiation, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, and aids in the detoxification of our bodies. Chlorella contains a high concentration of chlorophyll.  While we should all eat more leafy green vegetables for good health, we know that getting  five servings a day can be a challenge. Chlorella offers the same nutritional benefits of these veggies. A 1 ounce / 3 TBS serving of Chlorella (tablets or powder) generally contains (based on Chlorellahuman RDA’s, which are always questionable in my book): 16 g of protein, 287% of the RDA of Vitamin A, 71% of RDA of Vitamin B2, 33% of the RDA of B3, 202% of the RDA of Iron, 22% RDA of Magnesium, 133% RDA of Zinc.  It also contains a goodly amount of B1, B6 and phosphorus. It is more nutrient dense than kale, spinach or broccoli. It’s a prime immune system booster. In a world where our drinking water is contaminated with heavy metals, where our air is polluted and in certain parts of the world, is contaminated with radiation, Chlorella will rid your body of metal contamination, radiation and is helpful for the recovery of those who have undergone chemotherapy. While Chlorella is also helpful in lowering blood sugar and cholesterol, it can assist with weight loss. Spirulina has many of the same benefits, plus others.Spirulina  It has been essential in fighting world hunger and is a weapon in fighting arsenic poisoning.  As an immune system booster, it is key in fighting auto-immune disorders as well as yeast and candida. It is a  helpful tool to normalize cholesterol naturally, without the side effects of statin drugs. Spirulina balances blood pressure and reduces stroke and cancer risk. Concerns: As with most products, you wouldn’t want to take Chlorella or Spirulina if you have an allergy to the product.  The most important thing is finding a very CLEAN version of each. With radioactive contamination in Japan in an area that was once a major producer, steering clear of products from that area is important.  China, of course, is always an area of concern for any product since quality control is not a priority there. Thus as with any product, it is critically important that you research the source of ALL of your foods and supplements. First – go organic! Next, it should be 100% Chlorella with no fillers.  The best source for Chlorella these days is Taiwan. The product we use for ourselves is  organic, gluten-free, non-gmo.  We’ve been using Health Ranger Select. The Spirulina we buy is from Hawaii and non-GMO, though not listed as certified organic.  We’ve been using Health Ranger Spirulina Select . And for our girls, we do give them a slightly different version than ours. It is of course, organic, non-GMO, 100% pure and from Taiwan.  Chlorella Spirulina ComboI found that they were sometimes resistant to the larger Spirulina tablet size, so the product we use is 50% of each in each tablet.  The product is Sunlit Chlorella Spirulina.  I started them out with a couple of tablets in the morning and a couple at night.  They totally snarf it down!  With no side effects, I’ve upped it now to about 6 in the morning and 6 at night.  I’ve researched and have found no problems with a dose this size for cats. It is actually quite the treat for them.  I can shake the bag and they’ll come from the furthest corner of the house and sit patiently, waiting for their ‘vitamins’. It’s also a great way to get one out of a place that I don’t want them to be in such as in a closet.   Ahh, the life of a cat! More waiting Sleeping, playing, waiting – always waiting for the next big thing.  And my goal is to be sure their lives are long, healthy and that they spend a lot of time waiting for and doing their favorite ‘big things’.   I credit the following websites for some of the statistical information in today’s post: http://draxe.com/7-proven-chlorella-benefits-side-effects/ http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/07/01/spirulina-the-amazing-super-food-youve-never-heard-of.aspx  

 

And here’s an update with additional information from a well-researched site:  https://behealthy.today/chlorella-benefits-side-effects/

I’m honored to be featured…

I’m honored to be featured in the first edition of the new Florida Keys health and wellness magazine, WELL.

Magazine CoverThis lovely, full-color publication is brought to us by Charlie Wilson owner of Date & Thyme, Tori Mata, General Manager and their helpful, friendly staff.    Their two locations in Key West are:

date & thyme Organic Cafe, Juice Bar and Market, 829 Fleming Street   305.296.7766

date & thyme Organic Coffee Shop, 1130 Duval Street.  305.587.7475

If you are out and about in Key West, please pick up a copy of this great new publication dedicated to the organic lifestyle.  Featured are articles on healthy eating, wellness, gardening, meditation, mindfulness, food, alternative therapies and recipes.

If you are not in Key West, you can download the PDF of the latest issue here for free:  Well Magazine, Fall, 2015 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Almost Dairy-Free Augratin Potatoes

If you’ve been reading my blog for any amount of time, you know that we’re pretty much dairy-free EXCEPT for cheese.  So this recipe is essentially dairy free until you add the cheese.  This is a recipe that was born of my Mom’s potatoes augratin recipe, except I’ve eliminated glutens and most all dairy.  And it’s what I call a ‘warm fuzzy’ dish.  My husband loves this kind of thing. Potatoes Augratin Baked

While this isn’t my usual uber-healthy style of dish, it’s more healthy using coconut milk and olive oil instead of cow’s milk and butter.  The good thing about this is that this recipe does indeed give you some fiber.  I’m a huge fan of fiber!   Most people don’t get nearly enough every day.  Women should have 21 grams a day and men should have at least 32 grams a day.  Without fiber, your digestive system (and colon) simply don’t work properly.  Fiber also helps offset any damaging sugars that you might take in, and along with protein, gives you the energy to stay active all day.

This recipe uses my own version of a bechamel sauce, detailed below.   You can use any type of potato you have on hand, but be aware your results might vary depending on the potato you choose. Today I used Russet potatoes simply because they were the only organic potatoes available here in the store today. Potatoes and Onions wholeThey aren’t the most preferred for this type of recipe.  Your potatoes will hold up better in the dish if you use red or white potatoes.

Some of the ingredients and instructions are approximations.   I go by how things are moving along and by how the sauce looks as I’m building it, so some of this will be up to you as to how much you use when it comes to oil (or butter), corn starch and the coconut milk.

Also, I pealed my potatoes, but to be honest, they’d be far healthier if you leave the skin on after scrubbing, to give you yet even more fiber. PLUS for me, the less time with a knife in my hand, the better.  I’m prone to cutting myself when cooking, and also to burning myself.  Recently, I cut my hand, then when removing something from the oven, I burned the exact place where the cut was!  No kidding!

So, here we go:

Almost Dairy-Free Potatoes Augratin

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Augratin ingredientsIngredients:

  • 4 or 5 medium to large size organic potatoes, pealed & cut in 1/4″ slices or thinner
  • 1/2 cup organic onions, sliced
  • 5 TBS (+/-) organic olive oil (or you can use butter if you wish)
  • 5 TBS (+/-) organic corn starch
  • 4 cups (or less) unsweetened organic coconut milk
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 5 cups grated organic sharp cheddar cheese.

Place the sliced potatoes and sliced onions in a pan.  Fill pan about 3/4 full of water.  Potatoes and ONionsCook on medium heat approx 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender and onions are transparent.   Drain.

Place the potatoes and onions in an 8″ x 8″ baking dish.   Add about 2 cups grated cheese and very gently stir into the hot potatoes to mix.

For the bechamel sauce, start with approx 5 TBS olive oil (or butter if you choose) in a sauce pan.  Allow to heat but not bubble.   Gradually stir in the corn starch until you have a thick roux.  Cook a minute or two until all is well incorporated.

Add coconut milk slowly, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly, allowing the milk to incorporate with the oil / butter and corn starch mix.   Continue to add until you have a good sauce consistency.    You may not need this much coconut milk or you might need more.  I play it by ear.

Add 1 cup grated cheese and stir into the sauce.   Add salt and pepper to taste.

When thickened, pour the sauce over the potatoes in the baking dish, and gently stir or ‘nudge’ it into the potatoes.   PotatoesAugratin Pre-bakeAdd the remaining cheese to the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or more.  If you want it a bit dryer and more browned on top, you can certainly cook longer.

 

ENJOY!

Simple, healthy meals: Lobster

So many healthy, fresh meals are very, very simple to make.   AND then the leftovers are simple as well.

As an example, a few nights ago, we had Florida Lobster as our main course, with sides of fresh steamed green beans and sautéed fresh mushrooms. This is so simple, has a lovely, colorful presentation and very healthy as well.  This is proof that healthy meals don’t have to be complicated.

Then the next day there were lobster omelets for brunch.

There are many ways to prepare lobster – broiling and grilling and baking.  We’ve found that baking is the simplest simply because we can walk away for half an hour and it’s done.  We prepared the below for three persons:

Baked Lobster

  • 4 lobster tails  (one for each person and one for leftovers)
  • Organic butter

BakedLobsterTailSlit the back shells of the lobster tails, and pull the meat out, leaving attached towards the ‘fin’ of the tail.  Slightly butterfly the meat and arrange on top of the shell.   For presentation, spread the tail and place on a baking sheet.  Put small chunks of butter on each and put in preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.    At the end of 30 minutes, check to be sure that they are cooked through.

Melt butter or ghee and put in small cups to be served with the lobster.   Arrange on serving plate with beans and mushrooms.

Wrap remaining tail in plastic wrap and store in fridge.

 

Mushrooms

  • 1 package fresh white mushrooms, organic
  • 1/2 cup of thinly sliced organic onion
  • 3 tbs organic butter or organic olive oil
  • fresh organic herbs – I like adding thyme

Slice mushrooms thinly. Melt butter in sauté pan over medium heat.  Add onions and stir, until transparent.   Add mushrooms and sauté until slightly browned, still over medium heat. Add herbs and allow to cook another 5 minutes or so.

And now for the leftovers:

Lobster, Mushroom and Onion Omelet

  • 1 lobster tail from previous night
  • 4 large mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 2 Tbs finely shopped onions
  • Organic butter
  • 2 Organic eggs
  • 1/2 cup Shredded organic cheddar

OmeletChop lobster into 1/2″ chunks.

Melt butter in large sauté pan.  Add onions and mushrooms and cook until soft.

Whip eggs with a TBS of water, and pour into pan over vegetables.  Add shredded cheese.   Once eggs are set, add the lobster and fold in half.  Serve hot.

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe: Pasta with fresh tomatoes

I found a recipe recently that looked amazing.  Of course, as usual, I changed it up a great deal.   But I thought I’d share it with you.

Spaghetti with Fresh Tomatoes

Serves 2

  • 2 ripe organic tomatoes (I used one huge organic heirloom tomato)
  • 1/2 teaspoons medium Himalayan sea salt
  • organic spaghetti or any pasta you like (I used Ancient Harvest)
  • 1 clove of organic garlic, smashed then diced
  • 1/4 cup organic basil, cut into ribbons
  • 2 TBS organic butter, cut into three or four pieces
  • Organic Olive oil, as needed
  1. Season the tomatoes with the salt and toss them well.
  2. Put a big pot of water on to boil.
  3. Set garlic aside for a few minutes
  4. Cut the basil into ribbons or roughly chop it.
  5. Heat a teaspoon or two of the olive oil in a large saute’ pan over medium high heat.  Add garlic and cook til just beginning to brown around the edges and soften. This takes a couple of minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, cook your pasta, drain it, put it back in the pot, and oil the pasta to keep it from sticking to itself
  7. Pour the tomatoes into a colander over the saute’ pan so that the tomato juice will drain into the pan below. Set the tomatoes in colander aside, in a bowl.
  8. Swirl the sauce to bring it to a simmer. Add the butter while continuing to swirl or stir the sauce. Keep the sauce moving until all the butter is melted. Add the basil, the pasta and toss to coat the pasta evenly. Divide the pasta two bowls and top with the tomatoes.

Other Ingredients Finished Dish

This recipe has a fresh taste that it impossible to beat!  It is light, it is vegetarian and gives you fiber and nutrients as well.

 

While I changed this up a bit, I do give credit where credit is due.  The original version came from Food52.com in the Genius Recipes section.

Fact: GMOs are registered as pesticides with the EPA.

Why are so many people confused about GMOs? It is what the chemical companies such as Montsanto and Dow are counting on.   They state that crops have been ‘genetically  modified’ for years and that what they’re doing is not wrong.   They are counting on people to be confused so they can continue their campaign.  Most people such as myself have no problem with these companies creating toxic foods.  Those who want to eat it are most welcome to eat it.  That’s right, Folks!  Eat up!  Enjoy!  Feed it to your children and loved ones!

We, on the other hand, refuse to buy or consume anything unless it’s (1) Certified Organic or (2) at least labeled with the Non-GMO Projects emblem.  Non-GMOProjectThe chemical companies would like you to think that there are a handful of tree-huggers who are trying to destroy them.  It’s far from that.  And ok, sorry for the sarcasm, but their crocodile tears are wasted on intelligent people.  As always, just follow the money.

The truth is simple.  All we ask is to be given the information that we require so we can make our own decisions.  I certainly do not want to be ‘slipped a mickey’ in the form of some skeezy poison-laced GMO foods.   All the reasonable, wellness-minded people in this country are asking is to simply LABEL IT and to make proper labeling the law.   After all, if it is as harmless as the chemical companies want you to believe, then why are they spending millions and millions of dollars on lobbyists  and advertising campaigns to stop any and all attempts to simply require a truthful label, stating that a food is either GMO or it is not.   Why are they quietly paying off scientists to write phony papers about how safe GMO is?

Case in point:  University of Florida agricultural professor of Kevin Folta.  Mr. Folta has now been exposed as being paid by Montsanto to come up with a paper stating that GMOs are safe.  Written proof of Kevin Folta’s receipt of bribe  So, this is just one well-known episode.  As is always the case, this is just the tip of the iceberg.  All of the so-called peer-reviewed papers proclaiming GMOs as safe come from Montsanto’s own people, ex-employees, or so-called agricultural professionals who have taken bribes, such as Kevin Folta.

Now, to the reason for the confusion.  The chemical companies continue to ‘sell’ the idea that our food has been genetically modified for hundreds of years.  They’re counting on the average citizen’s lack of knowledge on the difference between hybridization and genetic modification.  These are two very different things.

This article breaks it down very succinctly:  Hybird vs GMO   Hybridization has occurred when nature naturally does this over time, OR when humans have cultivated new plant varieties through selective breeding. This takes time.  A LOT OF TIME!  They did this by cross-pollinating two different, but related plants over 6 to 10 plant generations, eventually creating a new plant variety.  To quote Jerry Seinfeld:  “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”  BUT often a weaker plant results.

Genetic modification is a far different process.  These seed varieties are created in a lab and are far from the ‘low tech’ process used for hybridization.  GMO seeds are not crossed with similar varieties of plant.  Actually, they are crossing different biological kingdoms such as say, a plant with a bacteria.     ARE YOU AWARE THAT THESE GMO PLANTS ARE REGISTERED AS PESTICIDES WITH THE EPA?   Pay attention now. It isn’t just the one plant variety that is affected.   Montsanto’s btCorn isn’t just a toxic crop. It IS a pesticide. If you feed this actual pesticide to your cattle or your chickens or if you eat it yourself, you’re eating a full dose of pesticide.  EATING IT.  It’s not just a bit of residue from the surface of a plant that was sprayed with pesticide.  It’s IN it.  You cannot wash it off.   This is occurring with all crops now – wheat, soybeans, canola and more (even though we don’t eat any of those anyway.)

This process has begun to poison our entire food chain.  AND it is putting the small, honest farmers out of business.  (That’s a very long story)  I highly recommend seeing the film “Food Inc.”  It is free for Amazon Prime members and is available on DVD.  Another great film?  King Corn .  These are eye-opening and very concerning exposes’ of the manner in which corporate farming and chemical companies are ruining our food supply and destroying small farmers who have farmed their land for generations.

For now, I will use those with the above Non-GMO Project certification, but it is only a second choice for me.  The only guarantee that you have of safe food is to buy certified organic.   Organic Labeling

 

 

The Politics of Clean

I find it fascinating and yes, disturbing, when I look at all of the politics and greed that goes into the concept of ‘clean’.  We want clean homes.  That goes without saying.   But at what cost?

The aisles of the grocery store are lined with products to clean your dishes, your floors, your cabinets, your glass, your toilets, your sinks, your furniture, Cleaning Productsyour clothing and so much more.   For now, we won’t even go into cleaning your face, your body and hair.  How many people really stop to read the labels and even if they do, how many among us are chemists who can decode the actual language on the labels and what it represents?

In my opinion, EWG.org’s database is the most helpful of all one-stop web sites when it comes to deciding if a product is harmful.  I do wish they would put out a cleaning products app for phones.  They have one for food which is helpful, though.  So it is left up to me to do my homework before I leave home.   I highly recommend EWG, though. They’re one of the great watchdogs out there between us and the governments, chemical companies and other entities that really do not care about our health.

Cleaning products can contain dangerous toxins and poisons.  They can harm your home and they can harm you.   Simply inhaling some products can make you ill on the spot.  Cleaning GlovesOddly enough, many people don’t think of their skin as a source of exposure but the truth is, whatever you touch will go internal almost immediately.  Thus it is important to keep most household cleaning items away from your skin.

As with GMOs and other toxins, the producers of these products will go to great lengths to keep you in the dark as to the dangers that go hand-in-hand with their products.  But then, hey, these are chemical companies the same as Montsanto and Dow and other well-known dangerous corporations.

Our politicians in Washington are constantly in contact with chemical company lobbyists who go to great lengths to circumvent proper labeling.  These politicians have the power to stop labeling bills or to add pork to important labeling legislation in order to do as their ‘lobbyist’ handlers ask.  The truth is, there is very little that you can trust about most all of our household products.

The chemical companies really try hard to win you over, though.  Trusting a product has nothing to do with it’s  beautiful clear blue color or the pleasing shape of the bottle or for that matter, even the scent.   A case in point?  Glade!  This collection of air freshening products is about as toxic as it comes!  S C Johnson and Company is the owner and while claiming total transparency, they are far from transparent and even downright dishonest.

Now, when you mix a toxic cocktail of these poisonous cleaning ingredients, your home becomes a sealed chamber of chemicals that can harm, even kill you, your family and your pets.  Yet none of the pretty labels in the cleaning aisle give a hint as to the true dangers within.

SO, I go for the safe alternatives.  I like using vinegar whenever possible.  It is the best glass cleaner around.  My mom had us clean our own bedroom windows regularly with vinegar and water and newspaper.  It is also good for floors, glassware, counters, coffee carafes and other kitchen utensils.  My husband uses the classic vinegar / water / newspaper combo to clean windows on the car.

When it comes to laundry, I go straight to EWG’s list.   Just look at how many truly dangerous detergents are sold.  And remember, when you use these detergents, you are putting these chemicals right next to your skin!   I have been using Green Shield Organic Laundry Detergent, HE Elite Care, Lavender for quite some years now.   It is ‘A’ rated and I have to admit, I’m a lavender addict, even though I never end up smelling it on our clothing after using the vinegar. I chose this because it is fairly easy to obtain via Amazon.   Our local stores have very few that are truly safe.

I buy the large jugs of white vinegar at the market and pour that into the fabric softener dispenser in my washing machine for all loads.  It takes away any odors that could linger, it helps protect colors and it helps to rinse any soap residue that might remain.   I never, EVER use laundry / dryer sheets or fabric softeners.  They really are just money down the drain and often can break down the fibers in your fabrics so they don’t hold up as long.  AND then there’s the toxic smell!  I once lived next to a home where their dryer vent blew into our windows.  (Thus another opportunity lost for fresh air.)  They used the most sickening dryer sheets – and toxic too!    Just for the fun of it, try Googling ‘DRYER SHEETS AND TOXIC’.

Some of the worst, most toxic items are the ones that are used most often in cleaning the home:  bleach and Pinesol.  It is really hard to pry those two items from the hands of any cleaning people you may have helping you, too!  But it can be done.   My Mom used Pinesol anytime we’d been vomiting so I automatically associate that horrid scent with nausea, thus any cleaning help I’ve ever had has been banned from ever using that.

Bleach is toxic to breathe, toxic for your skin and it really doesn’t do what you think it does.  You think that bleach will get rid of mold, don’t you?  Think again! It only gets whatever is on the surface, allowing the mold and mildew below to safely multiply out of site.  If your fingers are exposed to bleach, your fingernails will loosen from the nail beds.  You can get chemical burns on your skin with bleach.  The list goes on and on.  There are far better alternatives out there.

For instance, the best thing for heavy mold and mildew is industrial strength (30%) Hydrogen Peroxide.  Of course, you’d want to wear gloves to prevent a chemical burn, but this is a very effective and ultimately, very safe way to get rid of serious problems.   Also, you can add the usual 3% strength to a spray bottle with some water to spray surfaces to prevent mold as well.  (Don’t forget to protect any colored fabric nearby and test an inconspicuous area if using on fabrics.)

Now that I’m mentioning hydrogen peroxide, I have also found it helpful to remove small blood stains on white rugs or fabrics.  The first choice for blood though, is the saliva of the person or pet who bled.   Yup, it is hard to get my cat to spit on a spot she left where she hurt the pad of her foot, so that’s when the hydrogen peroxide comes to the rescue.  The first time my husband got a bit of blood from a cut on the sheets, I told him to spit on it.  He looked at me as if I’d lost my mind!  But indeed, it broke up on the spot, and then disappeared in the laundry.  The enzymes in your own saliva will break down the enzymes in your blood stains. I learned this little trick in the early 80’s when I was taking a smocking class.   It’s easy to prick your finger and drop a bit of blood on an intricate white piece of fabric and the person teaching the class clued us in on the saliva trick.  I’ve used it ever since.

My mantra “READ THE LABELS” holds true for your cleaning products.  When that is not possible, if information is missing or if you need additional help, go to EWG.org.  A sparkling clean home does you no good if it’s toxic.

 

 

Read more:

http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2011/11/toxins-household-cleaners-tide-clorox-glade-pinesol-febreze-simplegreen

http://action.sumofus.org/a/glade-chemicals/2/2/?sub=homepage

https://www.momsrising.org/blog/glade-air-freshener-poster-child-for-toxic-secrets

Make your home your spa

Who doesn’t love a trip to the spa?  You walk in the door and immediately, you relax.  The air is clean and oh-so breathable.  The sounds are calm and relaxing.  The lighting is low-key and the decor is reminiscent of nature.  Often there is the sound of water. The furnishings are well-maintained. There is no clutter and the feel is clean and fresh.

Now, who can afford a daily trip to the spa?   Not many of us, that’s for sure.  The next best thing is to give your home that spa feel.  In my book, I go into some detail as to the steps you might take.  But here, I’ll give a bit of a crash course.

Start at the doorway to your home.  The entry way should give a hint as to what is inside.  This is generally going to be your porch or portico.  It should be clean, uncluttered, with any furniture in clean condition and good repair.  FountainI have a medium-sized fountain going with lush greenery and a comfortable rattan bench to sit on when removing shoes. Like at any competent spa, you kick your shoes off outside the door.  After all, you don’t want the toxins, poisons, dangerous fecal matter and sewer run off that is present on all streets and sidewalks stepping into your home!   When you step through the door, stop and close your eyes for a minute.  What do you hear?  What do you smell?  What do you see? What do you feel?   HOW do you feel?  The preferred answer?  You feel like you’ve walked into a spa!

You should hear either total quiet or very relaxing music or even nature sounds.  Since I have a fountain in the kitchen for the cats, and since I have fountains near most all windows, I hear the movement of water first.  I often keep nature sounds going in my house daily.  My pets love it.  They also enjoy a soft, low-key instrumental music. Since I work at home, I’m much more able to do my work well in a relaxing, natural environment.

You should NOT smell last night’s baked fish or tonight’s veggie lasagna.  You should smell Aromatherapy Diffusera fresh, relaxing scent or something that is very neutral.  Please, please, please! NO GLADE or other toxic air fresheners!   They’ve been proven to be truly dangerous for humans and pets. If you want to add scent, I generally recommend something like organic lavender essential oil in a diffuser with purified water.  There are many alternatives, based on what you’re trying to achieve.  Aromatherapy has been proven to have a positive effect on your mental attitude.

Look around you now.  What do you see?  Do you see clutter?  That needs to go!  A cluttered home stifles the energy flow that is necessary for a serene, relaxing environment.  Many things can hide in clutter – dirt, dust, allergens, vermin, and just plain old crap.  Get rid of it!  The air flow to your home is as important as your breathing is to your body.  Think of it this way:  If something is obstructing your airway, you won’t be able to breathe and give your body the much-needed oxygen that is required.  If clutter is obstructing your home, your home is unable to breathe and give you the peace that you require to live a healthy life.

Now what do you feel when you walk through your door?  Do you feel stressed?  Oh so much to do!!!!  Or do you feel relaxed and grateful for your peaceful space?  In our case, when we walk through our door, we immediately relax and lose all the annoyances that we experienced in the ‘outside’ world.  Between us, we work four jobs so stress could always take over if we allowed it.  But we do not. My husband says the most important gift is to walk through the door and feel instantly at peace. Here our world is quiet.  Here our world is restful.  This is where we renew our energy.

It’s very rare that we do not have a good night’s sleep and not a lot of people can say that at age 65 and 61.   We awake renewed and ready for a new day.

I highly recommend reading up a bit on the basics of Feng Sui.  While we don’t have the luxury of repositioning our homes on the piece of land where they’re located, we can certainly have some control on the interior spaces.

Now some will say that nature is the perfect ‘spa’ and in many cases, that’s absolutely true.  However in the area where we are, it is close to impossible to find an environment in nature that will allow this type of relaxation.  As an example, we often would go to an area in our boat about 6 or 7 miles north of our island.  We’d run the boat up on a sand bar, anchor and sit naked in salt water up to our chests, with a cool beverage and just ‘be’ with nature.  The shore birds were marvelous and calling to one another. Spotted Eagle Rays would swoosh past my arm, mangrove snapper would be feeding nearby.   You could hear and see nature in it’s glory – for about 3 minutes.  Then someone who didn’t appreciate nature would come roaring through a no-wake zone at high speed, in an over-loaded boat with stereo blaring. :::sigh:::  There goes nature.  Then the next overloaded boat 2 minutes later would decide that they wanted to have a party about 40 feet from where we were when there happened to be a hundred of miles of similar spots in reach.  So, sadly, in our area, it is not possible to truly have a ‘spa’ moment in nature.   Too many people don’t respect the space, property and peace of others.

Often my posts are inspired by the events of a day or the day before.  In this case, this post was inspired by a particularly spiteful, bullying post or two on a thread from someone half-a world away who felt that their choices were the only choices.   The website I enjoy so much is generally chock-full of healthy tips and ideas and is dedicated to health, wellness, peace and a non-toxic life so it’s surprising to find those on there who seem opposed to the basic healthy tenants of the site.  This just served to remind me that everyone makes their own choices, and that our personal choices are particularly precious to us.  One’s own value system defines one’s life.  If your life is dedicated to peace, wellness and a healing non-toxic atmosphere for you, your family and your pets, then this is all that matters.

 

 

Delicious veggie pancakes

A healthy veggie breakfast!  You didn’t think it was possible?  It is.  We did it this morning! It’s all organic and has a healthy helping of fiber, vitamins and protein.

I found the recipe on a site that I enjoy, TheHeartySoul.com, except I made a few alterations so those are included in this version.

Zucchini Pancakes

Zucchini Veggie Pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup organic sweet potato with skin on, grated
  • 1 cup organic zucchini, grated
  • 1 cup organic yellow squash, grated
  • 1/8 cup grated organic onion
  • 3 eggs, thoroughly beaten until frothy
  • 4 heaping tablespoons organic gluten-free oat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Organic olive oil, for cooking
  • freshly grated organic Parmesan Cheese
  • Organic sour cream
    Directions:
  1. 1. In a large bowl, mix together the grated veggies, eggs, flour, and salt until thoroughly combined.
  2. Heat a thin layer of olive oil on a griddle at 300 degrees (or if you use a saute’ pan, be sure it’s medium heat.) You want the pancakes to cook all the way through the middle by the time they’re brown on the outside. When the oil is hot, drop pancake-size dollops of the veggie mixture into the pan, without overcrowding. Flatten a bit. Cook until the bottom starts to brown.
  3. Flip and sprinkle with the grated Parmesan cheese
  4. Cook until browned on the second side, then repeat until the batter is gone.
  5. Transfer cooked pancakes to a paper towels.  Serve immediately. If you need to keep warm, you can tent with foil or place in the oven on the lowest setting on a plate.
  6. Serve warm with a topping of sour cream.

Serve with a side of fresh organic cantaloupe or for an extra helping of nutrients,  avocado chunks.

Notes:  The yellow squash and the zucchini once grated, tend to be a bit watery so I added extra flour.  These didn’t turn out fluffy and were a bit flat but were still delicious.  The sweet potato was difficult to grate so watch the knuckles.   I can’t tell you how many times I’ve grated my knuckle over the years! Grating the onion was simple, but it turned out very watery.  However, I think that it added to the dish.

We had three extra and I wrapped in paper towel, put in a zip lock and will warm and have them perhaps tomorrow AM.

 

 

GMOs – TRUST NO ONE!

I read a recent post where a company has surreptitiously sold 400 acres worth of GMO potatoes to grocery stores.  It seems that even McDonald’s won’t buy this particular poison for their poisonous menus! (At the bottom of today’s post is a cut ‘n’ paste from the post about the potatoes, fyi.)

For me, this was the final straw.  I will no longer buy ANYTHING that isn’t non-GMO.  I don’t care if a recipe has a big gap in it.  If it isn’t organic and if it doesn’t STATE clearly that it is non-GMO, I will not buy it.  You really have to be careful when shopping these days if you want to save your family from serious disease from poisonous foods.  Food producers, chemical companies and the farmers who are involved in the toxic food industry will do all they can to sell YOU this toxic stuff and they don’t care about you.  They don’t care about your family and your children.  All they care about is their own greed and profit margins.  I urge each and every person who reads this to vow right now to do the right thing for their health and run these crooked people out of business.  If no one buys their toxic crops, then they will stop playing games and trying to sell it to you.

Today’s trip to the grocery store even further solidified my thinking on this subject. Often, there are similar products available, but you must read the labels to see what you are getting.   One of my non-organic short-cuts is an occasional Kind bar.  They are generally healthy, they are non-GMO and they are gluten free.  They don’t have artificial ingredients, are high in protein, fiber and nutrients. And no, not organic.  Today I saw that Publix is selling their own brand.  So I photographed theirs (and did NOT buy it)  , and here is a photograph of the original, Kind version above it: KindBarAnd Toxic copy  Kind’s labeling tells us what we need to know: NON GMO!  This is not to be found anywhere on the Publix brand wannabe.

Next up, I looked at something else on my shopping list – Gluten-free bread.  Predictably, the first store I went to didn’t have what I want.  (That is a massive source of frustration here in our third-world town!)  The supply of minimally acceptable foods is never reliable. Anyway, outside of that little gripe which I foresee as another post another day, since the first Publix I went to didn’t have what I wanted, I considered buying another brand.  I buy Canyon Bakehouse gluten-free breads because they don’t have soy and because they are non-GMO.  But since the store saw fit to NOT stock the one I wanted this week (the multi-grain version), I looked at an alternative – UDIs brand.

My problem with Udis in general has been that they often have soy in their products, GF Bread comparisontheir fiber content is almost non-existent, and now I see that GMOs are obviously in there, since they don’t claim that they are non-GMO.  These photographs are a side-by-side comparison of the Cinnamon Raisin bread from both companies. Note the emblems in the circles.  Canyon Bakehouse is Gluten Free and Non-GMO.  Udi’s makes no such claims about GMOs.  AND I must say from past experience, the Udi’s simply tastes awful.

Needless to say I walked away from buying anything at this store because of the GMOs.  I know, I know.  It seems I’m constantly complaining about Publix but in Key West, there are two stores and one is no better than the other.  AND they’re both Publix and both 2 blocks away from each other!  (The other option, Winn Dixie, is a lost cause and waste of time.  No one speaks my language there, which is English, and their supply of organics, non-GMO and gluten free is non-existent. ) The problem is that we have no other choices and it seems that Publix’s intent is to force the people of this town to buy whatever they offer, whether it is healthy for the customer or not.  Not everyone is like me, though. Many buckle under and buy what they’re offered. Not me. I have a list and will then buy at Whole Foods when we go to the mainland, which is about once every  month and a half.  We load up and fill our freezer and fridge on those trips.  OH, and to not totally denigrate Publix stores, when we’re on the mainland in SW Florida, we often go to Publix there and have a totally positive experience.  They have everything we need in stock, the stores are spotless and the staff is bend-over-backwards helpful.  In Key West?  None of that applies.

These are just two items of thousands in a grocery store that on the surface appear to be similar, but when you read the labels, you will see that one is toxic and the other is not toxic – or at least not SO toxic.

Now, below is the article on the sneaky potato swap.  Based on this, from now on, I do not recommend buying potatoes at all unless they’re organic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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After being rejected by McDonald’s, genetically engineered potatoes created with dsRNA technology, which may be linked to autoimmune disease in vertebrates, are being marketed and sold directly to unsuspecting consumers. 400 acres of these reduced-browning potatoes were sold in grocery stores in the Midwest and Southeast this summer. Simplot, the company that created these potatoes, has plans to increase the production to 2,000 acres next summer. The USDA has already approved the next generation of Simplot’s GMO potato. It’s only a matter of time until the EPA and FDA give the second generation potato the rubber stamp. Was your family part of Simplot’s GMO experiment this summer? Boycott Simplot’s GMO Potatoes. BOYCOTT GMOs.

READ: http://www.idahostatesman.com/2015/08/28/3960031/usda-oks-simplots-2nd-generation.html

READ: http://www.independentsciencenews.org/health/monsantos-worst-fear-may-be-coming-true/

Facebook post: https://www.facebook.com/GMOFreeUSA/photos/a.468695639837571.108816.402058139834655/1061833373857125/?type=1&theater

 

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