Friday, July 27, 2012

Sweat Away?!

I recently read an article written by a woman who was making it a goal to rid her home of chemicals.  She was switching over to chemical-free everything - clothing, cleaning supplies, cooking items, personal care, etc.  She found after 6 months of work that her body's chemical profile which she had tested early on went from high, even for the average American, to almost nothing.  Impressive!  She closed out the article stating that she does use bleach on occasion as she lives in damp Seattle and her husband has a compromised immune system and she's switched back to traditional antiperspirants.  I was so disappointed!  I wanted to phone her immediately, email her, alert her to a wonderful solution.  Instead, here it is for you all to read....

I highly recommend that you watch this clever and entertaining 2 min. video on sweat.  It explains that it is not our sweat that causes odor, but the proteins with which the sweat comes in contact.  Therefore, we do not need to stop the perspiration (which is what antiperspirants do, thus the name), we need to stop the sweat from mixing and mingling with the smelly proteins (which is what deodorants do).  If you want to get chemicals out of your body, then keep away from antiperspirants.  The body's natural system for detox, includes sweating.  It is not only OK to sweat, but really good for you!  Some health experts recommend using a sauna for a weekly sweat to help clean out the system.  The problem with deodorants is that the the antiseptic agents, which kill odor-causing bacteria, are not all that affective.

In comes my solution!  I have used this for years- decades, actually.  Salt crystal deodorant (see my brand here).  Unlike other deodorants, there is no scent trying to cover, the idea is to simply neutralize the odor causing proteins.  The website has a dollar off coupon and an FAQ for directions.  I also found that the manufacturers said a typical crystal will last about a year.  I have had mine for much, much longer than that.  Which, obviously, means fewer dollars being spent on deodorants and antiperspirants and less plastic waste.  If you want to give it a try, then buy the travel size and see what you think.  I apply after my shower when my skin is still wet or I wet with a wash cloth and then apply.

Any other money-saving, chemical reducing ideas do you have?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Weeds? Looks Like Food to Me!

One day in the front yard garden I was complaining to my neighbor about a rather prolific weed that was crowding out my beets, collard greens, kale, and chard.  She said she thought is was purslane.  We asked a particularly knowledge-able neighbor and he said it was!  He also identified another common weed to my garden as lamb's quarters, also known as wild spinach.  Both of these "weeds" are way more nutritious than what I thought were some of the most nutritious foods I could plant.  To see photos of lamb's quarters click.  To see photos of purslane click.

So, I weeded once again and here is the edible pile of purslane and lamb's quarters in the sink.  Hosed it down and separated leaves from stem and I have a whole crisper full of healthy greens!  I ate both yesterday.  I had a salad prepared with a marinated tofu and peanut dressing.  This was meant for some collard greens, so I combined the small purslane leaves with the collard greens.  Was delicious!  I do not know if I would like the purslane on it's own.  It is small in size and thick, kind of like a jade plant's leaves, but not quite so thick.  Not sure about that texture, but willing to try anything that nutritious! Mixed to the right ratio in any salad would be great. I assume they would be delicious in a green smoothie, as well.  Not recommended for cooking, but try it if you like okra.  There's a slime factor to okra and the same is true of the cooked purslane.  Here's a close up:

My true favorite weed so far is the wild spinach or lamb's quarters.  This is supposed to be 10 times more nutritious than regular spinach varieties and if that is the case, I find it to be 10 times more delicious as well.  My favorite recipe for anytime of year is Spanakorizo - a Greek rice dish with lots of spinach.  My version also has beans and sometimes a scrambled egg for protein.  This dish is filling, comforting, tasty, and super nutritious (with the lamb's quarters 10 times more so it seems!).  Here's the recipe:


in Greek: σπανακόριζο or σπανακόρυζο, pronounced spah-nah-KOH-ree-zoh

This is the traditional recipe for this delicious dish that is a warming and hearty meal in itself or it can be served as a side dish with a light entree. Try topping with a sprinkle of crumbled feta or some Parmesan.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes


  • 2 1/4 pounds of fresh spinach, chopped, washed, drained
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cups of olive oil
  • 1 1/3 cup of water
  • 1 1/3 cups of long-grain rice
  • 5 1/4 cups of water
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)


In a stock pot, sauté the chopped spring onion in the oil over medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Add spinach and 1 1/3 cups of water and cook until the spinach wilts, about 5-7 minutes. Add rice and 5 1/4 cups of water, bring to a boil, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in lemon juice and salt, cook for another 5 minutes and remove from heat. Stir, cover, and let sit for 20 minutes until the dish "melds."

Serve with wedges of lemon and freshly ground pepper.

Here's a picture of the final product:

Now, you might not be ready for harvesting weeds for the kitchen, but the idea is to get out there and try new and healthy foods, because they're readily available, if you get creative!  How will you create something new, healthy and delicious this week?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Promo new blog!

Today I am promoting my new blog, co-written with my neice as we venture into a new area of creativity - Yoga4Girls!  Please check it out!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Morning Time is the Right Time

When we wake up in the morning, the prefrontal cortex or the part of the brain that has some rational and logical thinking skills, plus much of our verbal abilities, is often foggy or still somewhat asleep.  What this often causes for many of us who function in a pretty anxious or stressed state of being 24/7, is that we wake with our survival brain in worry mode.  We wake with our too full schedule in mind, worrying about how we can make it through the day.  We wake with the anxiety-causing conversation/client/meeting/event in mind, on our way to a panic attack or shutting down and tuning out our emotions just to survive the day.  Or, we simply wake up dreading the day, wishing we could stay in bed a little longer or alot longer!

I have spoken about starting the day with an intention before and this is taking that deeper, to a more holistic level.  I say holistic, because it is focused on mind, body, and spirit.  First, the body.  When you wake in the morning, do a body scan immediately.  Start at the toes and go up checking in with each area.  If there is tension, say something relaxing, breathe a long slow relaxing breath and let go of the tension.  If there is discomfort, do the same.  Sometimes there is discomfort that won't go away just with a breath and a thought.  In this case, tell yourself not to linger there, not to let that discomfort or pain ruin the morning or the day.  Continue until you have gotten to the top of the head - this could take 5 minutes or 15 minutes, you decide.

Next, the mind.  Notice where your mind was when you woke.  Maybe after the relaxation exercise, you no longer remember - great!  However, if you do remember and the mindset was a negative one, then say to yourself, "I release that thought."  This morning, I woke with fear and anxiety about a bomb dropping and getting my family and a slew of children that came from who knows where into the basement and all that this terrifying event entailed.  I could have carried that emotion with me into the rest of my day, even after forgetting the dream, instead I released it.  It is especially effective to say the release statement out loud if you are able.  Then, with your brain still a bit fuzzy and pliable, choose a statement or an intention to think for the day, a mantra for the day, if you want to call it that.  Make it something your brain will buy into.  For example, if you say, "today I intend to be happy!"  and your brain says, "yeah, right." somewhere in the background, then pick something more in the middle ground.  Rewiring your brain in a positive direction takes baby steps, not leaps and bounds.  Inhale, take in what you need for the mantra or intention, and exhale release what you don't need.  For example, I inhale confidence and I exhale fear.

Finally, the spirit.  Whatever or whoever you believe in comes in here.  If you believe in God, then say a prayer and ask for guidance, angels, guides, whatever, ask for what you need or send out gratitude for what you have.  If you believe in energy and the attraction of energy, then start attracting that energy, open your palms and your heart and bring it in!  If you believe in a self source, then go deep and find what you need and let that rise up within you, strong and radiating out to the space around you.

Then, when you are ready get yourself up and out of bed. You have taken a step in the right direction to rewire your brain and your nervous system, to connect to a source of peace and joy.  Done daily for a few weeks, this is guaranteed to change your outlook on life and with a new outlook will change your life as well!