Month: January 2010

Yellow Leaves – Not So Bad?

I’m by no means a plant expert, but I try to keep a few plants thriving, or at least living. I’m definitely a big fan of bamboo for two main reasons: (1) It’s pretty and (2) It’s SO easy to take care of! Recently, the bamboo I keep on my desk started to have some yellow leaves and I got concerned. For months, the stalks had all been flourishing, green as can be and then, somewhat suddenly, there were yellow leaves, which concurred with a brief abandonment. At first, I thought my lack of attention was to blame, but after some research I found out that a bamboo plant’s leaves will turn yellow and fall off the plant as a normal part of the growth process. (Excellent news – so it was not my fault!) This process occurs throughout the year as bamboo grows new leaves and recycles its old leaves.

Lesson learned: Yellow leaves do not necessarily equal a sick or dying plant, but are a natural part of growth and they will fall off on their own (so I can stop compulsively plucking them off as they appear). You actually should let the leaves fall off on their own because the natural mulch supplies the bamboo with silica and that helps future growth.

Yellow leaves (here and there), you are now my friends (at least while my bamboo is still living)!

Photo Credit: AllNaturalAnnie.com

Germ-Free Naturally!

CleanWell‘s hand sanitizer consists of a patented blend of essential oils that kills 99.99% of germs without the addition of any triclosan, benzalkonium chloride, or alcohol. CleanWell has very purposely left out powerful yet toxic antibacterial ingredients like triclosan (a known endocrine disruptor) and its natural formula still kills MRSA, E. Coli, Staph, and Salmonella bacteria! Some hospitals and schools in the US have even made the switch from chemical-laden sanitizers to CleanWell because it’s that effective!

The original version of CleanWell smells exactly like it’s key germ-fighting ingredient – thyme. If you like the smell of thyme then the original scent is a good choice for you. But if you like a sweeter/more conventional scent the Orange Vanilla or Lavender would be more up your alley. The hand sanitizer is so convenient to carry around in its smallest size (pictured below), is so easy to use (it sprays), and it doesn’t dry out or irritate skin at all! But the main reason I would try CleanWell (if you haven’t already) — why use toxic chemicals to avoid germs when you don’t have to?!

The story of CleanWell’s creation: Sam’s Story.

Photo Credit: CleanWell Company

A Great Program to Empower Young Girls

Girls on the Run® is a youth development program that combines running with an interactive curriculum to encourage self-respect and healthy lifestyle choices in pre-teen girls. To learn more: The Girls on the Run Program

Healthy Gift baskets for All Occasions & Ailments

This gift basket (pictured below) is called “The Better-than-Aspirin Pain Relief Get Well Basket” and is ideal for chronic pain sufferers (think arthritis), mothers who recently gave birth, or someone recovering from an injury, muscle strains, etc. Its contents are specifically geared towards pain, inflammation, and recovery with products like decaf green tea, spicy apple ginger chews, and dried cherries. There’s even a Pain Relief Recommended Food Guide included.

This is just one of many healthy gift baskets offered by WellBaskets.com. They even have baskets for anxiety sufferers, insomniacs, and diabetes sufferers just to name a few!

Photo Credit: WellBaskets.com

Check out all of the baskets here: WELL BASKETS

Window Farms?

Who said you can’t garden in an apartment? Now you most certainly can with Window Farms, which are, to be exact “vertical, hydroponic, modular, low-energy, high-yield edible window gardens built using low-impact or recycled local materials”. Check them out here: Windowfarms.org

An ‘Irish’ Mallard

I’ve always liked ducks, but I have become a much bigger fan recently. I’m happy to see that Mallards are very, very far from being endangered. Here’s one of my little friends below. This is an Irish Mallard (because I saw him in Dublin) :)

Photo Credit: AllNaturalAnnie.com

FYI – MSG

This is a time of year when a lot of people are taking a closer look at their diets and trying to eat healthier. A very unhealthy ingredient to avoid is monosodium glutamate – more commonly known as MSG. Common symptoms of MSG sensitivity include headaches, difficulty breathing, nausea, rapid heartbeat, drowsiness, and weakness (not a fun list!). Regular consumption of MSG has also been linked to obesity and depression.

While I think a lot of people avoid Chinese food because of the frequent addition of MSG, there are also a number of other foods that often contain MSG such as snack foods, condiments, seasoning mixtures, and bouillon cubes. But MSG is not the only ingredient to be on the lookout for! Monosodium glutamate is one of several forms of glutamic acid found in foods and glutamic acid can also be found in a many other food additives.

In addition to MSG, here are the other names to be on the lookout for when you’re reading ingredient lists:

  • hydrolyzed vegetable proteins
  • autolyzed yeast
  • hydrolyzed yeast
  • yeast extract
  • soy extracts
  • protein isolate

Hopefully you are reading ingredient lists before you buy so you can spot these “bad guys” before they make their way into your home and stomach!

Happy New Year!

“We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched.  Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives… not looking for flaws, but for potential.” -Ellen Goodman

 
“A happy New Year! Grant that I
May bring no tear to any eye
When this New Year in time shall end
Let it be said I’ve played the friend,
Have lived and loved and labored here,
And made of it a happy year.”

-Edgar Guest

 

I know I’m a few days late, but with New Year’s Eve kicking off a long weekend, I feel like today is the real start to this new year!

I wish all of my readers a very happy and healthy 2010!