Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Non-Toxic Paints

A list of and some information about non-toxic paints:

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Think you are saving Water & Energy by hand-washing dishes? Think Again...

Seventh Generation Q&A

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Make your own Fruit & Vegetable Wash

If I am going to eat an apple or pear, even though it's organic, I wash it with a natural soap and water. You never know who touched it or what is on it. But it is important to clean ALL produce before digging in. A great way to wash your produce is by filling a bowl with the following solution and letting it soak, or you could pour it into a spray bottle and spray it on-which is super easy. You can also sprinkle wet produce with baking soda then gently scrub & rinse
. This safely removes dirt & residue. Here is the recipe to make a safe, cheap and simple produce wash:

1 cup water
1 cup white vinegar
2 TBS baking soda
2 TBS lemon juice


  • Mix ingredients then pour in clean spray bottle. Spray fresh vegetables & fruit generously. Sit for 5 minutes then rinse off well.
  • Note: Make sure to first mix ingredients in deep container since there will be some fizzing from the baking soda & vinegar.

A 50/50 mixture of water & vinegar really works great too. That is what I have done for a long time before adding the other ingredients.

Witch Hazel as a Cleaner

I have used Witch Hazel for a long time as a skin toner/makeup remover and I love it. Especially this Thayer's Peach one:

But I learned a new use for it. My husband painted our roof with an Aluminum U.V. Coating. It is a super sticky, silver, tar-like paint on substance. It behaves a lot like oil paint, which we all know is really toxic and impossible to remove without Paint Thinner-also very toxic.

He got this stuff all over the house (thanks hon :) and when he took a soak in the tub to scrub his skin, he got it all over the tub too. I didn't know how to get it off! But I had some on my arm and just randomly tried some plain witch hazel and it came right off! I poured some witch hazel onto a cloth rag and cleaned the tub with it, and it worked!! So there you have it, Witch hazel to clean roof coating goo.

Stormwater Pollution and the District of Columbia

D.C. Programs to help "Greenify" your District Home.

How Soon is Too Soon for Infants to Start Drinking Soda?

How Soon is Too Soon for Infants to Start Drinking Soda?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Helpful tip for cooking with Garlic

I would be hard pressed to think of a dinner recipe that I wouldn't include garlic in-one way or another. It is delicious and healthy too.
A great friend of mine who is a wonderful chef ( Personal Chef Chez Vous ) gave me this handy idea and I just did it today. It is so great! What is it? Ok, I will tell you.

Home-made Jar of Garlic:

Just take a bunch of garlic (I used 5 heads) and smash each clove with the side of a thick knife to remove the skin. Throw them all into a food processor and pour olive oil over it. Process and put it into a jar & stick it in the fridge! That's it. So easy you could have thought of it, right? But I can not tell you how many times while I was cooking it was chopping garlic that just made it seem like a chore. When I have this in the fridge it makes cooking feel so simple and quick.

NOTE: You should prepare for some serious Garlic Fingers. How to get rid of that? My Tip: Wash your hands and then pour some mouthwash on your fingers. It helps.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Something may be lurking in your Stuffed Toys...

Besides an Extra Terrestrial, there can be hidden dangers living in your children's stuffed toys.

Most stuffed toys used to be filled with natural materials like sawdust, wool, beans, rice, or cotton. Nowadays they are filled with synthetic materials like polyurethane, & the exteriors are from Petrochemicals. Even the dyes that are used can be toxic, not to mention that some add stain-resistant chemicals to them. This is not a "Green Mama Scare tactic" at all, and is not meant to be. We have these toys in our home too, and I have not yet thrown on my Hazmat suit and lugged them all in biohazard bags to the dump! But the best solution is awareness. I recommend washing these toys and hanging them outside to dry. This will wash off some of the dangerous fabric finishes, as well as air out some of the toxins that will be Off-gassing.
And of course, when possible, either make your own stuffed toys from sweaters or other old clothing (children always prefer homemade toys anyway), or make sure to buy toys filled with organic cotton, natural latex foam, wool or other natural materials.

Some truth about Cow's Milk, Goat's Milk & Health

We are the only species on the planet who continue to drink milk (not to mention from a different species) throughout our lives. So according to nature, milk is for babies. Not to say that drinking milk is all bad, but some would have you believe that you should be mainlining it daily in the interest of "healthy bones", etc. Everything can be good in moderation, & milk is one of those things. The fact is that there are many ways of getting calcium, and cow's milk is not ideal for our bodies. It increases mucous & is hard to digest. Goat's milk has more calcium, more protein, has every essential Amino Acid, Vitamin A, & is the closest to human milk making it much easier to digest & is also healthier.

Here is a good Article about Cow's Milk:

by Patti Breitman

The dairy industry would like us to believe that milk builds strong bones. They spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year to advertise milk and cheese. Yet, a 12-year Harvard study of 78,000 women demonstrated that those who drank the most milk broke more bones than women who rarely drank milk. Evidence from around the word shows that in countries where dairy intake is highest, osteoporosis is most prevalent. Where dairy is seldom consumed, bones remain strong into old age. While we certainly don't need milk, we do need calcium to keep our bones healthy. The good news is that a plethora of vegetarian foods-including beans and greens, dried fruit, nuts and seeds, and fortified juice and soymilk-all provide ample calcium.

How much is enough? The World Health Organization recommends we consume 400 to 500 milligrams of calcium every day, while the recommended daily allowance in North America-where we eat a high-protein, high-salt diet-is 800 to 1000 milligrams a day. In Japan and Korea, 600 milligrams a day is recommended. Here is a list of some of our favorite calcium-rich foods:

Collards (1 cup cooked): 385 mg

Fortified orange juice (1 cup): 350 mg

Dried figs (10 medium): 269 mg

Tofu (1/2 cup): 258 mg

White beans (1 cup cooked): 161 mg

Mustard greens (1 cup cooked): 150 mg

Navy beans (1 cup cooked): 128 mg

Kale (1 cup cooked): 94 mg

Chickpeas (1 cup cooked): 80 mg

Raisins (2/3 cups): 80 mg

Want to read more about Goat's Milk? Here is another great article about this subject:

"What are the Benefits of Goat's Milk..."

39% OF BAGGED LETTUCE CONTAINS BACTERIA - Consumer Reports has just published an investigation revealing that 39% of the packaged salads tested contained "bacteria that are common indicators of poor sanitation and fecal contamination."

Several industry experts we consulted suggested that for leafy greens, an unacceptable level of total coliforms or enterococcus is 10,000 or more colony forming units per gram (CFU/g) or a comparable estimate. In our tests, 39 percent of samples exceeded that level for total coliforms and 23 percent for enterococcus.

Some samples registered up to1 million CFU/g. Which is a lot of bacteria per gram of greens.


As we know, bacteria are everywhere. They are on our skin and are a part of who we are inside our body, too, and of the time we maintain a symbiotic relationship. Many of us are unaware that our health is directly related to the billions of beneficial microorganisms that live in our gastrointestinal tract. These microorganisms aid the break down and absorbtion of food, make vitamins in our gut, and clean up waste. The microorganisms kill harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi and yeast. "The human body contains 20 times more microbes than it does cells. In fact, a visitor from outer space might think the human race is just one big chain of microbe hotels."1

Just as we are told to wash our hands to stay healthy, we must wash our food. If you buy bagged lettuce be sure that you wash it before you eat it (even if it says prewashed) just as you would an apple or a carrot.Make sure your healthy, normal good bacteria stays in a balanced internal environment. Most of us need to supplement with a good probiotic daily; this is crucial if you have been taking prescription anti-biotics.

1. NPR interview with Debbie Elliot, July 1, 2006. Article Headline

Monday, March 1, 2010

You WILL want to eat raw Kale, I swear!

And you will love it! We went to "Mom's" (My Organic Market) over the weekend and they were giving samples of Kale Salad. We were like "Oh yea, thanks" (insert monotone voice) as we slowly accepted the sample and put it in our mouthes. It was delicious! And what could be more healthy than raw kale-here is the recipe:

•Bunch of Organic raw kale
Question: Does it have to be Organic?
Answer: Yes.
Question: Why?
Answer: Because I said so! And b/c it's on the "Dirty Dozen list" under the umbrella of "Leafy Greens."
•2 Avocados
•6 Tbsp Olive Oil
•2 Tbsp White Vinegar
•1 Clove Garlic
•2 Tbsp "Braggs" Liquid Aminos Seasoning
(buy it here: BRAGGS)
*NOTE: You can substitute braggs for Soy sauce, but Braggs is really great to have...
•Lemon Juice from 1/2 or 1 whole Lemon (your taste)
•Salt/Pepper to taste
•*My tip* A dash of sugar :)

•Wash & Chop Kale into bite sized pieces.
•Slice 1 Avocado into bite sized pieces and mix with Kale.
•Make dressing with Olive Oil, Vinegar, chopped garlic, 1 Avocado mashed, braggs, lemon juice, salt/pepper & a dash of sugar.
•Mix through Kale & Avocado.