Posts tagged with organic:
The world has been tricked into thinking that the only way to get a sparkling clean kitchen is to wipe and spray every inch of our eating and living surfaces with toxic chemicals. But a few natural ingredients can do the trick for a fraction of the cost to your health and budget!
To start with, begin looking for and avoiding harsh chemicals in your cleaners. Familiarize yourself with some of the following culprits:
- Chlorine bleach: Even short-term exposure can cause mild asthmatic symptoms or serious respiratory problems.
- Ammonia: Used in many window and glass cleaners, it is a serious eye irritant that may cause headaches and lung irritation.
- Nitrobenzene: In furniture and floor polishes, it has been associated with skin discoloration, vomiting, cancer and birth defects.
- Petroleum: Many conventional detergents, solvents and polishes contain paraffin, mineral oil, diethylene glycol, perchloreothylene or butyl cellosolve - all of which are derived from petroleum, a non-renewable resource whose refining process causes major pollution.
- Phthalates: While they make those perfume smells last longer, they are also linked to cancer and disease of the reproductive system in laboratory animals.
- Phosphates: Encourages algae growth in water systems, which damages other marine life.
Choose Some Eco-Friendly Alternatives
- Clean your sink with a sprinkle of baking soda and rub with a damp cloth.
- Nylon sponges are derived from petroleum, which means they are not recyclable or biodegradable. That Muppet-green sponge will live forever in a landfill somewhere. You can reduce the waste by using natural scrubbing options such as Cellulose sponges or natural sea sponges. Just pop them in boiling water for three to five minutes to disinfect.
- Use a simple homemade natural antiseptic and antifungal spray by filling a bottle with water and ten drops of tea tree oil and lavender oil.
- For a variety of around the home cleaning uses check out: 51 Fantastic Uses For Baking Soda, 23 Ingenious Uses For White Vinegar, 22 Uses For Lemon Peels and How To Make a Non-Toxic Cleaning Kit.
Here is a short list of a few companies I have tried or heard good things about. The top two are my personal favs featured in the pic above. :)
What are some of your personal environmentally-friendly cleaning tips or tricks? Which green companies are your favs?
For vegans, vegetarians, or people who just want to cut back their meat consumption, eating more salad is usually a no-brainer. Everybody likes at least one kind of salad and you can always discover new combinations that make your taste-buds twirl. Salads are the most versatile, customizable & nutritious meals; right up there with fruit smoothies! In my experience though, especially when eating out, not all salads are inherently healthy.
The key to a healthy salad is in the dressing. Most people are shocked to learn that most dressings heavy in oils & fats (like nearly all store bought varieties - check your labels) make your healthy green dish into the fat equivalent of a big mac with cheese! Nasty! You can avoid these fatty & over-processed dressings fairly easily though. For example: when I eat out with friends & family, I ask for dressing on the side so I can put on only as little as I want, or I get a small bowl of lemon, tomato and lime wedges to use instead! It sounds like slim pickins, but acidic and flavorful fruits can make the best light & healthy dressings! Some restaurants will go above and beyond and bring you whole bowls of fruit
Then there is Caesar salad. I love Caesar salads, truly. When I went vegetarian, I learned not long after about the animal products & bi-products in most Caesar dressings and I was crushed. There are some brands that are vegan or vegetarian friendly, but it’s like finding a needle in a haystack if you’re a label-checker like me.
So what do you do if you crave the Caesar-style but want to keep it clean? Check out this new completely raw, gluten-free & nut-free vegan dressing by RawFoodz!
It’s called Sea-Zar Serenity and it is 100% organic, raw, vegan, gluten and nut-free! Sounds pretty good right?Well to top it off it’s made in Toronto from a company that promises “no short cuts, no fillers, no preservatives and no regrets!” Now there’s a bottom line that I can get on board with! :)
I was straight up impressed with the taste. For only 50 calories a tablespoon I was expecting something a little on the bland side, but it was light, zezty & full of the Caesar flavor that I know and love! I think I’ll be trying out a few other styles of dressing from these folks.
If you’re interested in giving this healthier alternative a go, you can order their dressing with Eco-Place Organics Delivery this summer and The Meatless Market in London has started selling RawFoodz products as well!
Spring really is the perfect time for salad, don’t you think? ;)
I have some exciting news to share with you guys that has kinda been in the works for a while now. So as you may know, a few months ago I made the decision to move to London, Ontario and take up a career in nutrition. At some point or another I was searching around online for food resources in the London area and I stumbled upon Emily Peat and her business EcoPlace Organics Delivery and the site It’s My EcoPlace. She has created an entirely organic and local food delivery business for people in London who want delicious and organic local foods without having to travel to the farms themselves! I was eager to not only learn more about her project, but see if I could get my hands dirty too, so to speak, and help out in some way. Emily emailed me back a few weeks later and we met up in London where we got along famously and discussed our shared love of organic and delicious food. So this season, along with Emily and Shannon Kamins (who specializes in gluten-free living) I’ll be blogging for Eco-Place, sharing new raw AND seasonal recipes and helping out with deliveries and market stands! I am really excited to be a part of this business and help other people learn to love their fresh fruits and veggies.
You can expect to see a lot of posts in the future about my experiences and adventures with EcoPlace Organics and hopefully I’ll be able to share what I learn about local-living with you guys!
Hope you guys have a great weekend! Let me know what your favorite locally found food is! :)
I first heard about Maca powder a few months ago from my friend Paige who tweeted about adding it to her fruit smoothies for an added energy boost before a workout. I was curious; for one thing I’m a smoothie lover and I’m always interested in trying out new additions to my morning meal & for another, if Paige was using it, it was probably worth a shot at the very least - the woman radiates positive energy (go check her out)! :)
So, a few days later I thought, “what the hell?” and ordered a box of Maca from Jason & Pia of welovesuperfoods.com and once it arrived I started adding it to my morning smoothies. There was no detectable taste to speak of; the fruits in my smoothies covered up any hint of powder. It was a soft brown dust, smelling lightly like potato and cinnamon; very easy to add to just about anything with liquid: soups, smoothies, juices, daterade, dressings, sauces, spreads, dips etc.
So, what is Maca powder exactly?
Known as the superfood of the Andes, it’s a root vegetable native to Peru that is grown at 14,000 feet and often used for its medicinal properties. The Maca root was prized throughout the Incan empire for its adaptogenic-like qualities that enable it to nourish and balance the body’s endocrine system, and to help cope with stress. It also energizes naturally, without the jitters and crashes of caffeine, and it can aid in reproductive function, helping to balance hormones and increase fertility.
Mighty Maca Recipes:
Here’s a few luscious recipes I came across on Pinterest when I wasn’t really sure how versatile this new superfood would be. Some of these recipes are a little more involved than others, but all are A+ grade eye-candy! :)
Since adding maca to my routine, I’ve definitely noticed an increase in my energy levels, I’ve been using it fairly consistently (2-3 times a week) for a couple months now and I’ve been more motivated to workout, finding it easier to cope with mood swings and felt a bit of a kick to my libido too! Haha! ;) I’m going to continue to use it here and there because I consider it a healthy, raw alternative to other stimulants like caffeine-powered sugar-drinks and I don’t want to add any processed soy/whey-based protein powders to my smoothies either. I like to keep it clean & natural as much as possible; so I think raw, organic Maca powder is a great addition to my routine. :)
Have you ever tried or thought about trying Maca before? What are your thoughts on ‘superfoods’?
Better late then never, here is my environmentally-friendly Holiday Gift Guide! When I have to shop, I like to shop as eco-friendly as I can. Below are a handful of items I’ve discovered on Etsy.com (handmade, fair-trade, organic etc.) to help get your green-gift ideas flowing! Some of these items I have bought in the past and would recommend, others I found recently and just had to share! Enjoy! :)
Why should you keep green this holiday season? Well, did you know that growing cotton uses 22.5% of all the insecticides used globally? Growing enough cotton for one t-shirt requires 257 gallons of water. On top of that, bleaching and then dyeing the resulting fabric creates toxins that flow into our ecosystem. The use of rayon for clothing is contributing to the rapid depletion of the world’s forests. Petroleum-based products are detrimental to the environment on many levels. Fortunately there are alternatives.
- The renewability of the product. Renewable resources are items that can be replenished in a relatively short amount of time.
- The ecological footprint of the resource - how much land (usually measured in acres) it takes to bring one of the individuals (plants or animals) to full growth and support it.
- How many chemicals it requires to grow/process it to make it ready for market.
- Organic Cotton
- Soy Silk
- Ingeo Corn Fiber
- Fortrel EcoSpun
Over at Sustainable & Fashionable, Ana has a great selection of links to ecological organisations that have created labels that have certifications to help us figure out the eco-friendly options.
Look for companies such as: Green Seal, The American Humane Association (AHA), USDA Organic Certification, Energy Star, Rainforest Alliance, Environmental Choice, etc.
This year, in an effort to stay environmentally conscious & curb our consumption, my family is making and giving only hand-made gifts! So far this has been a challenge, but a pretty enjoyable one I have to admit! I wish I could post photos of the fun-stuffs I’ve been creating, but I know of at least one family member who frequents my blog, so I’m staying stealthy just to be safe! ;)
What are you doing this Holiday Season to give back to our planet? :) Have any hand-made gift ideas for me? Happy Holidays Everybody!