Month: March 2009

How long will that ground turkey last?

www.stilltasty.com - “Your Ultimate Shelf Life Guide – Save Money, Eat Better, Help The Environment “

 

Such great shelf life information for just about everything! This site is SO informative and user-friendly. Love it!

DC’s Annual Cherry Blossom Festival

It was a misty first day of this year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival, but nothing could take away from this gorgeous display of nature. The festival marks the original gift of 3,000 cherry trees by the city of Tokyo to the people of Washington, DC in 1912. The festival takes place this year between March 28th and April 12th. Peak bloom period has been predicted to occur between April 1 – 4.  Don’t miss this incredible sight!
Photo Credit: Dylan Price

Photo Credit: Dylan Price

cherry21

Photo Credit: AllNaturalAnnie.com

cherry3

Photo Credit: AllNaturalAnnie.com

Photo Credit: AllNaturalAnnie.com

Photo Credit: AllNaturalAnnie.com

Quick & Calming Facial Treatment

  • Make a cup of chamomile tea
  • Allow it to cool down so it’s very warm, but not boiling hot
  • Submerge a washcloth in the tea
  • Wring out the washcloth
  • Add a 1-2 drops of lavender essential oil to the washcloth (*optional step)
  • Press the washcloth on your face and hold it there until the washcloth becomes cool

This is a great calming treatment that only requires water and a chamomile tea bag (and lavender oil if you like it/have it around). Chamomile has azulene, which is anti-inflammatory so it calms skin.

Delicious Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal

Prep and Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2¼ cups water
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1 cup regular rolled oats (not the 1 minute)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup raisins
  • organic milk
  • sweeten with honey (about 1 tsp per serving is a nice amount) 

Directions:

  1. Combine water and salt in a small saucepan and turn the heat to high.
  2. When the water boils, turn the heat to low, add oatmeal, and cook, stirring, until the water is absorbed (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add cinnamon and raisins and stir. Cover the pot and turn off heat.
  4. Let set for 5 minutes.
  5. Serve with milk and honey.
  6. Enjoy!

Serves 2

 

While this is not the quickest way to make oatmeal, it does produce tastier results. It’s also so hearty and healthy!

Simple & natural air fresheners!

  • White vinegar – removes odors naturally on surfaces and in the air.
  • Baking soda- absorbs odors.  Keep an open box in the refrigerator, closets, under sinks, etc.
  • Essential oils:  1. diluted in water can be used as a room spray  (try sweet orange &  lavender or lemon & cedar)   2. add to a bowl of water - adds moisture to dry, inside air during winter months   3. burn in an aromatherapy diffuser (my favorite!)
  • Soy or beeswax candles – made of natural waxes so you can enjoy the pleasant scent without harmful chemicals being released into the air.
  • Boiling spices like cinnamon in water releases its scent.

Commercial Air Fresheners – not so refreshing

A 2007 study conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council found that 12 of 14 different brands of household air fresheners contained phthalates, chemicals known to disrupt hormones and cause birth defects in male genitalia in animals. Some studies have linked phthalates to developmental and reproductive problems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is in addition to the common headache and sinus issues that are linked to so many commercial air fresheners. 

But there is good news! There are a lot of natural options out there for air fresheners, even ones that could benefit your health through aromatherapy.

 

Pearl Essences makes all kinds of wonderful natural air refresheners, but their diffusers are their best and most popular product. They have so many scents to choose from and their prices are very reasonable. The diffusers provide aromatheraphy benefits and are much more elegant than a lot of other air freshener options!

 

Now go throw away that apple cinnamon room spray…no one thought you were baking apple pie anyways. :)

Turkey Chili with a twist

TURKEY & VEGETABLE CHILI VERDE

Prep and Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 4oz can diced green chili
  • 1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 tb + 4 cups chicken broth
  • 4 cups finely chopped kale
  • 1 15 oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbs chopped fresh oregano
  • 3 tbs chopped fresh cilantro
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Chop garlic and onion and let sit for at least 5 minutes to enhance their health-promoting benefits.
  2. Heat 1 tb broth in a medium soup pot.  Sauté onion in broth for 5 minutes over medium heat stirring frequently. Add garlic and ground turkey with just a pinch of salt and pepper. Continue to sauté, breaking up turkey for another 5 minutes.
  3. Add diced tomatoes, chili, and broth to turkey mixture and bring to a boil on high heat. Stir in chopped kale, reduce heat to medium and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  4. Add beans, simmer for another couple of minutes and add herbs, salt and pepper.
  5. Enjoy!

Serves 4

 

From The World’s Healthiest Foods website *full nutritional information here

Sniff your way to a better day…

Whether you’re choosing a scent for your next aromatherapy oil, beauty product or candle, here is a brief list of some scents and their associated benefits.  More about aromatherapy soon!

 

Energizing:  grapefruit, sweet orange, lemon, lime, & cardamom

 

Grounding & Calming:  vetivert, sandalwood, chamomile, & pine

 

Uplifting:  bergamot, mandarin, peppermint &  lemon verbena

 

Ease tension/anxiety:  rose, lavender, &  majoram

2 Moms + 6 daughters = Great Natural Skin Care!

As I said in an earlier post, I am VERY excited about a company called Good For You Girls, which makes natural skin care products for young girls. Cofounders and friends, Kim and Grace, created the company when they could not find skin care products that lived up to their standards of quality and safety for their young daughters.

Both coming from natural product backgrounds, the two moms put their passion and know-how together to create a 3-step skin care line specifically designed for young girls. Kim and Grace are making worthwhile efforts to not only create safe natural products, but also to educate young girls, as well as the people who make decisions on their behalf. Good For You Girls is helping to provide a foundation of natural beauty for young girls (like the 6 daughters Kim and Grace have combined) that they will continue for the rest of their lives.

I recently tried the line and enjoyed it so much! Although, I’m not in the age range that Good For You Girls is specifically targeting, the products have been excellent for my sensitive and sometimes dry skin. The cleanser, toner, and moisturizer have beneficial ingredients like organic aloe barbadensis leaf juice, organic arnica extract, organic lavender extract, organic white tea extract, green tea extract, and organic avocado oil.

My skin felt so soft and smooth after using the cleanser, toner, and moisturizer! I would highly recommend this line to young girls, as well as young women, especially if they have sensitive skin. I’m going to have my 10-year-old niece try the line and I’ll post her thoughts soon!

For more info: www.goodforyougirls.com

 

Photo Credit: Good For You Girls

Photo Credit: Good For You Girls

Plastic – Safety in Numbers?

There has been a lot written about the safety of plastic containers. However, whether or not they are completely safe still doesn’t change their low price and convience so it’s hard to never use a plastic container. The fear behind using plastic containers is derived from the fact that some plastic containers contain bisphenol A (BPA). BPA is a chemical that has been linked with behavioral and neurological problems. This is why baby bottles have been of such great concern.

 

I recently found out that the safest plastic containers to use are the ones that have a recycling symbol with a #1, #2, or #4 on the bottom. The containers with these numbers are said to be free of BPA.

**However, regardless of number, any plastic container that has scratches should no longer be used to contain food because the scratches pose the risk of allowing other chemicals to contaminate your food. NOT GOOD!

 

So the safest bet is to use glass containers for food storage, but if you’re going to use plastic containers then remember the numbers 1, 2, and 4!

Good For You Girls

I am so excited about this natural skin care line for girls! As adult women, we’re lucky to have a lot of choices when it comes to natural skin care, but young girls aren’t as fortunate. But now, thanks to Good For You Girls, the younger females now have a natural, wonderful and complete line of skin care to use on a regular basis! I love it!

More about Good For You Girls, including product reviews, coming soon!

For now, check out their website: www.goodforyougirls.com

**I especially love this listing they have of INGREDIENTS TO AVOID

Warm Olive Oil Hair Treatment

This is such a cheap and simple natural hair treatment that can make your hair so soft and shiny!

 

How to:

  1. heat 1/2 cup of olive oil in the microwave for about 10 seconds.
  2. *Avoid burns by testing the olive oil first with a finger tip and then by putting a drop on your inner wrist. If it’s too hot for your wrist then it is too hot for your scalp! Allow the oil to cool down.
  3. When the oil is safe to use, massage it into your scalp and throughout your hair.
  4. Place a shower cap (or saran wrap) over all of your hair.
  5. Let the oil sit for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Wash and condition your hair as usual.
  7. Enjoy softer, shinier and bouncier locks!