Friday, August 31, 2012

Happy Friday, A Hop and a Giveaway!

Good Morning and Happy Friday!

I'm celebrating 100+ followers at Mary's Kitchen!  Starting today, enter to win an "In the Kitchen" Herb Garden Seed pack from Mary's Heirloom Seeds.  The giveaway is active through Sunday, September 9th.
Enter HERE.

The best part of a home-cooked meal is fresh herbs from the garden! 
Includes one packet of each:
-Fine Verde Basil
-Dill Vierling

Also, If you are a new follower please leave a comment with your blog/website info so I can check it out and return the follow.  Thanks! 

And now for the Hop!  Aloha!

This is all about sharing the Aloha spirit with other bloggers out there and helping each other to gain some exposure and find some awesome blogs to read!!!  You don't have to be from Hawai'i to participate!  In fact, we encourage and welcome people from all over the world to join us on this Aloha Friday Blog hop!
What's neat about our Blog Hop:

**Leave a comment with your blog address if you are new to our hop so we can follow you back**

Happy Aloha Friday!
Remember, if someone follows you, follow them back! Show some Aloha!
If you want to embed this blog hop on your blog, click the link below where all the thumbnails for people's blogs are. It's called "Get the code here.."
This is a Blog Hop!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

DIY Tea Gift Ideas

With Labor Day right around the corner I decided to make a little something special for the hubby's patients.  I've been trying to stay away from sweets and junk food since we are a wellness-based chiropractic office and we try to promote a healthy lifestyle.

What better way to promote health than Chamomile Tea?
Read the Health benefits of Chamomile.

I started with 2 ounces of Organic whole flower Chamomile Tea compliments of Doc's Herbal Tea and a teaspoon.
It's really easy to spill the tea so use a larger plate

Next I used 45 DIY Tea Bags 
(also from Doc's Herbal Tea) and filled each with 1 teaspoon or loose tea/herb.  Once I filled the tea bag I gently cinch the bag closed.  

Lastly, I used an Avery address label to include what type of tea I used and brewing instructions.  Avery has so many free templates available on their website for just about every occasion.  I found small baggies at Michael's to package each bag individually.
The label read "Relax with a cup of Doc's Herbal Tea"
 If I were making these bags for just one person, like a teacher/friend/co-worker, I would have placed all of them in one bag with a label.  I spotted a few tins while I was at Michael's that would be great for tea bags.  Stay tuned for more Tea Gift idea!

See you Friday for the Aloha Blog Hop!

Linking up HERE.

Friday, August 24, 2012

In case you missed it...

Follow my blog with Bloglovin
I wanted to take moment to share two of my favorite "recipe" posts.  This weekend I plan on spending a little bit of time relaxing and pampering myself.  If you haven't been watching the weather, we have a tropical storm/hurricane coming through the Atlantic.  I won't be gardening this weekend and we may even close the office Monday as it is normally a slow day.

On to the Pampering!   
DIY Moisturizer Recipe

Melt 1 tablespoon of Cocoa butter with 2 tablespoons of Jojoba in a double boiler over medium heat. Once it is melted, stir in 1 tablespoon of aloe Vera and stir until it is well mixed. This one is good for dehydrated skin.

DIY Body Scrubs

Homemade Sugar Scrub
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. grapeseed oil (olive oil would be great, too)
splash of vanilla extract
Stir to combine and slough away!
Wake Me Up Scrub
from Body + Soul
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
15 drops peppermint essential oil
½ cup used coffee grounds from a freshly brewed pot
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and thoroughly blend. Transfer the scrub to a wide mouthed jar, and store in a cool place until ready to use. The scrub will keep for one to two weeks, longer if refrigerated.
Have an Amazing weekend! 

Linking up HERE.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Dark Side of Food and Food Production

Do you know where your food comes from?  Do you know WHO is making decision about your food and food production?  Some say the topic of food is Political, others say it's economics.  Read "So you think you're buying Organic,"  and "The Politics of Food" so you might have a better understanding of where I am coming from.

Hunger and poverty are on the rise in the US.  Are we still "The land of opportunity?"  Some say the answer is No.

Today is a dark day in the world of commercially grown/raised food.  It's politics as usual in Washington and it has nothing to do with our (the citizens of the US) best interest.

The Unholy Alliance:

On the campaign trail in 2007, he (Obama) promised:
“We'll tell ConAgra that it's not the Department of Agribusiness. It's the Department of Agriculture. We're going to put the people's interests ahead of the special interests.”

Michael Taylor, former Monsanto Vice President, is now the FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods.

Roger Beachy, former director of the Monsanto-funded Danforth Plant Science Center, is now the director of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Islam Siddiqui, Vice President of the Monsanto and Dupont-funded pesticide-promoting lobbying group, CropLife, is now the Agriculture Negotiator for the US Trade Representative.

Rajiv Shah, former agricultural-development director for the pro-biotech Gates Foundation (a frequent Monsanto partner), served as Obama's USDA Under Secretary for Research Education and Economics and Chief Scientist and is now head of USAID.

Solicitor General Elena Kagan, who took Monsanto's side against organic farmers in the Roundup Ready alfalfa case, has been nominated to the Supreme Court.

Now, Ramona Romero, corporate counsel to DuPont, has been nominated by President Obama to serve as General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Did you know that the 2012 Farm bill has special provisions for Monsanto and GMO crops?

"A so-called 'Monsanto rider,' quietly slipped into the multi-billion dollar FY 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, would require -- not just allow, but require -- the Secretary of Agriculture to grant a temporary permit for the planting or cultivation of a genetically engineered crop, even if a federal court has ordered the planting be halted until an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is completed," wrote Alexis Baden-Mayer and Ronnie Cummins in a recent piece for AlterNet.

DO NOT take my word for it.  Read the bill yourself HERE.

"Historically Monsanto has been involved with the production of PCBs, DDT, dioxins and the defoliant / chemical weapon ‘Agent Orange' (sprayed on American troops and Vietnamese civilians during the Vietnam War). Originally a chemical company, Until the late 1990s Monsanto was a much larger ‘lifesciences' company whose business covered chemicals, polymers, food additives and pharmaceuticals, as well as agricultural products."

As The Washington Post reported, "for nearly 40 years, while producing the now-banned industrial coolants known as PCBs at a local factory, Monsanto Co. routinely discharged toxic waste into a west Anniston creek and dumped millions of pounds of PCBs into oozing open-pit landfills. And thousands of pages of Monsanto documents : many emblazoned with warnings such as 'CONFIDENTIAL: Read and Destroy' : show that for decades, the corporate giant concealed what it did and what it knew."

Are you still with me?  This is no conspiracy theory.
Last but certainly not least is Eli Lilly.

From Think Before you Pink:
"Eli Lilly acquired rBGH, sold as Posilac, from biotech company Monsanto in 2008, despite the bad publicity Monsanto received for years for developing the hormone. Even more disturbingly, Eli Lilly acquired rBGH from Monsanto knowing that Monsanto’s own studies show milk from cows treated with rBGH/Posilac contains increased levels of IGF-1, a hormone linked to cancer.

Eli Lilly has taken pinkwashing to a whole new level. By adding rBGH to the products they sell, Eli Lilly has completed its cancer profit circle: it creates cancer with rBGH, it sells cancer treatment drugs like Gemzar, and it sells a drug, Evista, to reduce the risk of breast cancer in women at high risk of the disease. Eli Lilly’s cancer drugs made $2,683,000,000 for the company in 2008. Its potentially carcinogenic dairy hormone made millions of dollars in the same year. Eli Lilly is milking cancer."


Speak up!  For your children, your friends and family...Speak up for people you don't even know.  Be aware, be active and do your part to ensure food safety for generations to come!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Health Benefits of Chamomile

I love tea!  My sisters and I grew up drinking English tea with our Gran so every time I brew a cup I think of Granny.  With the start of several new businesses I have found that it's important to take a few minutes to relax and clear my mind so my "tea time" has become very important.

We offer DIY Tincture Kits with organic herbs @ Mary's Heirloom Seeds and Organic Chamomile @ Mary's Herbal Organix

DIY Tincture kits include:
1 - 32 ounce Glass Jar with lid, 1 - 2 ounce Amber Bottle with dropper top,  2 customizable labels, 1 ounce of Organic Herbs (additional herbs available) 
and Detailed Instructions

I Grow Chamomile for DIY recipes and Brew Chamomile tea!  There are many ways to use Chamomile.

Chamomile tea is an excellent way to unwind after a particularly hectic day.  Today I'll share the Health Benefits of Chamomile. Tomorrow I have a great project/gift idea for Chamomile Tea.

What is Chamomile?

Chamomile is an herb that comes from a flowering plant from the daisy family. Both the fresh and dried flowers of chamomile have been used to create teas for centuries to cure a number of health problems. The active ingredient in chamomile essential oil is known as bisabolol, which has a number of anti-irritant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties.

What are the Benefits of Chamomile?

Chamomile can be used topically or orally to treat a number of everyday ailments, such as:
Insomnia and other sleep disorders
Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Muscle twitches
Wounds, burns, and scrapes
Skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, chickenpox, and diaper rash
Stomach problems such as menstrual cramps, stomach flu, and ulcers

Uses of Chamomile

Stomach Cramps
Chamomile has been found to contain fairly strong antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory constituents. Therefore, it has been found to be effective in treating stomach and intestinal cramps. Simply prepare a cup of Chamomile tea following the directions on the package and drink it twice a day until while symptoms are present (one cup first thing in the morning, and one in the evening).

Chamomile is wonderful remedy for sleep disorders such as insomnia. Simply make a chamomile tea 30 to 45 minutes before going to bed to treat sleeplessness.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Chamomile reduces cramping and pain in the bowels and also helps to relieve excessive gas and bloating in the intestines. Therefore, a simple remedy is to drink a cup of chamomile tea to help relieve irritable bowel syndrome, nausea, and gastroenteritis or stomach flu.

Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) and Menstrual Cramps
Drinking chamomile tea has been found to be beneficial in treating PMS and Menstrual Cramps.

Treat Burns and Scrapes
Chamomile oil is very useful in treating bad burns. Simple rub a small amount of oil gently across the burned area once a day. For scrapes and burns you can also brew a strong concoction by adding 3 tea bags to one cup of boiling water. When the water cools, dip a cloth into it and use it as a compress on the wounded area.

Lightening Skin Using Chamomile
Chamomile has been found to be advantageous for lightening your skin tone. Simply bring two quarts of water to a boil with 2 chamomile tea bags in it. Then place your face above the steaming pot of chamomile tea. A bath in water mixed with chamomile tea works too.

Reducing Dark Circles Around Eyes
Chamomile tea has been found to help relieve eye fatigue and dark circles. A simple remedy is to dip 2 chamomile tea bags in warm water. After 5 minutes, remove the tea bags from the water and let them cool to room temperature. Then place them on your eyes at night as a compress.

What are the Side Effects of Chamomile?
As with all herbal products, moderation is the key to avoiding adverse reactions. Some of the potential side effects of chamomile include drowsiness, so use it with caution if you are driving or operating machinery. High doses of chamomile can also cause vomiting and/or skin reactions in some individuals. If you are allergic to ragweed pollen or have hayfever, you may have difficulty using chamomile.

Using chamomile during pregnancy is not recommended, since it is considered to be an abortifacient (a substance that induces abortion). Chamomile is also not recommended if you are currently taking blood thinners, since chamomile contains a substance called coumarin (which is also a blood thinner).

I choose to bag my own tea (or use a diffuser) for several reasons.
1. It's cheaper
2. It's fresher
3. A big machine probably bags commercial teas so there might be some sort of contaminants like machine oil.
4.  When I'm done, the bag and leaf go into the compost bin.

Enjoy a cup of organic Chamomile tea with me!

For loose tea:
Infuse by taking 1 teaspoon of herb to 1 cup of boiled water, over tightly; steep for 5-15 minutes.  Strain and enjoy!

Monday, August 20, 2012

We have picked a Winner!!!

I'm a little late getting the results today.  I had this amazingly productive weekend planned...I had the best of intentions.  Saturday was good but I fell apart on Sunday.
I couldn't find my giant margarita glass so I used my giant wine glass.

So here we are, it's Monday and we have a winner for the Mary's Basics lip balm giveaway!!!
Jessica P. you are the winner!  Check your email and we'll send you 2 lip balms!

It's been so hectic around here I didn't even get to my Meatless on Monday post so you'll have to tune in tomorrow. 

If you didn't win this time not to worry, there will be another.  Mary's Kitchen is very close to 100 followers and I have a very fun Kitchen Herb pack ready for another giveaway.

Friday, August 17, 2012

A Garden for the Bees! Aloha Blog Hop!

Good morning and Happy Friday!  I decided to add a few more flower varieties to my garden in honor of National Honeybee Awareness Day.  You can read about simple ways to get involved here.  I'm also planning on purchasing a bit of local honey on Saturday at the farmer's market.

I prefer to plant everything from seed.  To get started I use Peat Pellets.  They are easy to use and virtually mess free 
(LOVE mess free).
Place peat pellets in a tray. Add warm water and they expand!
Once they have completely expanded I use a toothpick to make a little hole for the seeds.  
  Drop a seed in the hole and cover.  I use peat pellets for most of the seeds I germinate.  I planted Zinnias, Cosmos, Calendula and Lavender.

I planted marigolds a few weeks ago and they are ready to be transplanted into the garden.
**There is still time to enter Mary's Basics lip balm giveaway!  ALL of our lip balms use a vegan (veggie-base) wax (not beeswax) so they are bee-friendly** 

What are you doing this weekend?
I'm joining to Aloha Blog Hop again!

This is all about sharing the Aloha spirit with other bloggers out there and helping each other to gain some exposure and find some awesome blogs to read!!!  You don't have to be from Hawai'i to participate!  In fact, we encourage and welcome people from all over the world to join us on this Aloha Friday Blog hop!
  • Follow Jean via Google Friend ConnectGoogle+FacebookTwitterNetworked BlogsPinterestTumblrLinky Followers, and Bloglovin!  
  • Link up your blog name and URL with our Linky below.  You can do a separate entry for your blog, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or Linky.  We want everyone to get lots of follows and some sugar!! 
  • Grab our Aloha Friday button and include it in a post about the event on your blog and in your sidebar (if you want) to show some love and let everyone know that you participate in the weekly blog hop!
  • Go to as many blogs on the Linky as you want and FOLLOW them!!  Be sure to tell them that you are from Aloha Friday Blog Hop!!! 
  • If someone is nice enough to follow you, why not show them some Aloha and some sugar and Follow back any followers you have gained from the Aloha Friday Blog Hop!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Easy Ways to Help Honeybees! You can do it!

Saturday, August 18 is National Honey Bee Awareness Day.  Their website states that the 2012 theme is “Sustainable Agriculture Starts with Honeybees.”

“The primary goals of the National Honey Bee Day Program include:
1) Promotion and advancement of beekeeping.
2) Educate the public about honey bees and beekeeping.
3) Make the public aware of environmental concerns as they effect honey bees.”

So what can you do to Help the Honeybees?

1.  Watch Vanishing of the Bees and recommend to your friends and family.  Heck, share it with strangers!  It’s an amazing movie and you can find in on Netflix and a short chip on youtube.

2. Plant bee-friendly flowers and plants.  Mary’s Heirloom Seeds offers a quite a few bee-friendly seed varieties such as BorageCalendula (marigold), Lavender, Cucumbers, Squash and Echinacea.  For a full list check here.  I have extended the sale on ALL Herb seeds at Mary's Heirloom Seeds until the 19th to celebrate National Honey Bee Awareness Day!

3. Stay away from using harsh chemicals in your garden and yard.  Most chemical pesticides also kill beneficial insects.

4.  Support your local beekeepers.  Buying local honey is a great way to show your support and is a delicious treat.  It has been suggested that eating local honey can help with seasonal allergies.  Local honey is also eco-friendly as it does not have to travel thousands of miles and possibly contain nasty chemical additives.

5.  Learn more about bees, beekeeping and CCD.  Have you ever considered backyard beekeeping?  Now would be a great time to learn more!

I've written several times about CCD and the increasing use of GMO crops.  Several researchers have gone as far as to say that there is a direct correlation.  Watch Vanishing of The Bees!

**There is still time to enter Mary's Basics lip balm giveaway!  ALL of our lip balms use a vegan (veggie-base) wax (not beeswax) so they are bee-friendly**

Monday, August 13, 2012

Celebrating with a Giveaway!

I have finally reached the 100 follower mark and just flew past 30,000 pageviews!  YEAH!  I'm super excited and to celebrate I'm offering my very first giveaway.

You may have noticed the links to the right which include Mary's Heirloom Seeds and a new link Mary's Basics.  Well, hubby and I have a brand new line of products available at Mary's Basics which includes Vegan and Natural Lip Balms.  So to say "Thanx," we're giving you an opportunity to win free products.

Lip Balms make great gifts for birthdays, Christmas (stocking-stuffers) or just because!  Our lip balms are made from natural, non-gmo ingredients.  Mary's Basics also offers a sweet selection of natural soaps as well as herbal and medicinal teas.  All of the tea available at Mary's Basics are Certified Organic.

The Mary's Basics Lip Balm giveaway will be rockin from August 13th through August 19th.  Only 1 entry per person.  We'll pick 2 lucky winners out of the Giant Margarita glass on the 20th and announce the results at Back to the Basics and Mary's Kitchen.

Here's how you enter:
1. Go to Mary's Basics and check out the Vegan Lip Balms and/or Natural Lip Balms.
2. Choose your top 2 favorite Lip Balms.
3. Use the Contact Us page and let us know which flavors you like best.

*If you do not receive an email confirmation within 2 hours please re-submit*

That's It!  Oh, I almost forgot...Tell your friends!  You don't even have to follow Back to the Basics or Mary's Kitchen to enter. 

Linking up at Cowgirl Up!  and Whispering Sweet Nothings

Friday, August 10, 2012

Awards, Giveaways and Recipes....OH MY!!!

WOW!  I am just blown away.  I've been blogging for several years but I've only recently started following more blogs and becoming active in parties and hops.  I'm having such a great time!

But I've been a slacker!  Several weeks ago Lisa Lynn at Little Homestead on the Hill and Mystic Chicken (love the name) nominated my blog for The One Lovely Blog Award and the Very Inspiring Blogger award.  I'm honored!  Lise has a pretty awesome blog and I'm currently following her chicks from eggs to, well, chicks!  I can't wait to move to a city (preferably a small town) that will allow chickens.  You don't have to be a "homesteader" to find great information at Little Homestead on the hill, plus you'll get a few laughs over at Mystic Chicken.

So I'm going to share 7 random things about myself and nominate 15 Lovely and Inspiring bloggers, which is not as easy as it sounds!

1.  My sisters are both amazing people.  One is a professional surfer and the other a super mom.  I love them very much!
2.  I sometimes sing in the shower.  It makes me feel better.
3.  My mom called me "melon head" when I was a kid.  I loved watermelon (still do) and I did finally grow into my head.
4.  We have 2 adult cats and 1 kitten but if I had a bigger house I would totally rescue more (like 20).
5.  I listen to punk rock music and I still own a studded belt (even though I haven't worn it in years).
6.  I want to be a farmer when I grow up.
7.  I'm super clumsy (see the evidence)

And now for the hard part.  In no particular order, here are my nominations:
1. Diane at Keeping it Simple
2. Jessica at Healthy Mommy, Healthy Baby
3. Nicole at Local Sugar
4. Donna at Midlife Farmwife
5. Evelyn at My Turn (for us)
6. Pamela's Heavenly Treats
7. Becky at Preppy Premed
8. Heather at Stringtown Home
9. Lois at Walking on Sunshine
10. Nicole at WonkyWonderful
11. Sarah at Nature's Nurture
12. Nancy at A Rural Journal
13. Deborah Jean's Dandelion House
14.  Anna The Do It Yourself Mom
15. Kristin at A Beginning Homestead

If that wasn't exciting enough, Diane over at Keeping it Simple (another fantastic blog) nominated both of my blogs (see Mary's Kitchen) for the Sunshine award. Oh MY! Diane is super down to earth and isn't afraid to share the good and the not so good which makes her perfect in my book.  If you get a chance, stop by and say "Hey" for me.

For the sunshine award I am answering a set of questions.  This may be the longest post ever since I haven't even gotten to the giveaway or the recipe!!!!

1. Favorite color: Purple
2. Favorite animal: Cat (of course)
3. Favorite number: I’m really bad with numbers
4. Favorite drink: Basil Lemonade
5. Facebook or Twitter: facebook (not a big fan of either)
6. Good Book or a Good Movie: BOOK
7. My Passion: My family and Chiropractic
8. Giving or getting presents: definitely giving
9. Favorite day of the year: Christmas since I have so many fond family memories
10. Favorite flowers: Lily

The 10 blogs I am sending the Sunshine Award to, in no particular order:

Ladies, you are AWESOME!
 If you are reading this and you haven't seen what these lovely and inspiring bloggers have to offer, please bookmark this and check 'em out!  But keep reading, there's still more to come!

***I'M celebrating 100 followers***

And now for the giveaway and recipe!

 Monday, August 13th at 6am is the start of my very first giveaway 
from Mary's Basics!  I'm giving away small-batch, handmade, vegan lip balms!  I may be adding to this giveaway but you'll have to wait and see.  I'll have all of the specifics on Monday for your viewing pleasure.

Finally...the food!  I'm keeping this one short and sweet!

Homemade Cranberry Mango Popsicles

Cranberry Juice
1 medium Mango (1 cup), fresh or frozen
1 cup yogurt (I use organic, no-fat vanilla)
Agave, optional
Popsicle trays or ice tray, sticks or toothpicks

If you want a sweeter cranberry juice, add agave.  Pour a small amount of cranberry juice into popsicle trays and place in the freezer.   Be sure to leave plenty of room for the mango mixture.

After about 30-45 minutes you should be ready to continue.  You just want a slight freeze to the juice.  In a blender, add chopped mango and yogurt (plus agave if you like it sweet). Blend until smooth.

Take your popsicle tray out of the freezer.  Slowly pour mango mixture over juice, being careful not to blend the two juices.  If you want a more layered look, leave room to add more cranberry juice to the top.  

Once all slots are full, add your sticks and place back into the freezer.  Popsicles should be ready in about 4 hours.

Done!  Enjoy!

Aloha Blog Hop at Back to the Basics!

I thought I'd join the Hop again this week.  
Don't worry, the giveaway announcement is still coming tonight.  Stay Tuned!

This is all about sharing the Aloha spirit with other bloggers out there and helping each other to gain some exposure and find some awesome blogs to read!
What's neat about our Blog Hop:
Please Follow Your Hosts:

Local Sugar Hawaii 
What Jean Likes

Leave a comment with your blog address if you are new to our hop so we can follow you back
Happy Aloha Friday!
Remember, if someone follows you, follow them back! Show some Aloha!
If you want to embed this blog hop on your blog, click the link below where all the thumbnails for people's blogs are. It's called "Get the code here.."
This is a Blog Hop!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Awesome Abs!

Not me...Yet!  My hubby and I have been working on an ab routine we found online.  Hubby is a Chiropractor extraordinaire (No I'm not making that up, he is AWESOME) so I know it's doctor hubby approved.

Have you ever been to a chiropractor?  If no then you are missing out.  There are SO MANY reasons to see a chiropractor (pain being just 1) like wellness, migraines, trouble focusing, numbness and tingling, injuries or even ED (Yep, that ED)  Our practice is kid-friendly.  Doc has treated babies as well as pregnant women for a healthy and happy family.

I'll stop now because I could go on for days.  On to the Abs!  Here's a quick video.  We are finally in the 4th stage and it is brutal!  Enjoy!

I've almost reached 100 followers!
To celebrate I'm hosting a giveaway!
Giveaway starts August 13th!  Details will be announced Friday at 6pm!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

6 Ingredients You May Not Want in Your Food

We try to eat pretty health and be aware of what goes into our meals.  Occasionally we eat something "junkie" like take-out when I hurt myself but never fast-food.  We don't buy chips or dips of any kind.  I was pretty shocked when I read this article in the Huffington Post so I thought I'd share.  I'd like to know what you think!

1. TBHQ, A.K.A: Butane

Turns out butane isn't just for lighters anymore - it's also an artificial antioxidant that they put it in chicken nuggets to keep them "fresh" tasting. So instead of your chicken nuggets being fresh, butane keeps them "fresh." Eating butane probably wasn't what you had in mind last time you lit up, got the munchies, and ordered those nuggets. Try homemade chicken wings instead, for fuel-free food. 

Found in: Frozen, packaged or pre-made processed foods with long shelf lives such as frozen meals, crackers, chips, cereal bars and fast food.

2. Estrogen
Regular milk is full of hormones used by the milk industry to keep the cows knocked up and lactating all year round. Sound gross? It is. So when you drink regular milk you take a shot of hormones with it. And all you wanted was a bowl of cereal. 

Found in: All non-organic dairy, so organic is recommended.

3. Spinach Dust
Think that green sheen on your veggie snacks is giving you your daily serving of vegetables? Think again. That's just powdered spinach dust, which is spinach that has been dehydrated and sucked dry of its nutritional value. So the upshot is that green sheen is about as nutritious as actual dust.

Found in: "Healthier" vegetable flavored snack foods.

4. Propylene Glycol, A.K.A: antifreeze 
Antifreeze is used in cars, pills, cosmetics, deodorant, moisturizer... And, in a way, food! It keeps your car from freezing over, your moisturizer moist, and your fat-free cookie dough ice cream creamy, smooth and juicy. If it's good enough for your SUV it's good enough to eat, right? Right?? Right???

Found in: Cake mix, salad dressings, low-fat ice creams and dog food.

5. Wood Pulp: Vanillin
Vanillin, which is a byproduct of the pulp industry, is used as an artificial vanilla flavor. Ester of wood resin, which comes from pine stumps, is in citrus-flavored sodas to keep the citrus flavor evenly distributed through the can.

Found in: Artificially flavored yogurt, baked goods, candy and sodas

6. Castoreum
Castoreum comes out of a beaver's behind - it's extracted from their anal glands and is used to make artificial raspberry flavoring. Try not to think about that next time you order the diet raspberry tea.

Found in: Artificially raspberry flavored products such as cheap ice cream, Jell-O, candy, fruit-flavored drinks, teas and yogurts.

Are you shocked?  What are your thoughts on these additives?  

I almost forgot...
I'll be announcing the details of my very first giveaway this Friday at noon.  
Don't worry, none of these nasty ingredients are in my giveaway items.  

Thursday, August 2, 2012

First Aid Kit Essentials

The events of the week have made me appreciate being prepared.  Maybe not prepared for everything but at least the "regular stuff."
On Tuesday I managed to injure my finger pretty badly but my first though wasn't "Where's the first aid kit?" (since mine is well stocked).  My first thought was actually, "I'm so glad I just finish the pie!"  That pie will forever be known as "finger pie" but you can find the recipe at Mary's Kitchen as Cheesecake Freezer Pie (with a delicious layer of chocolate).

So I figured it was time to lay out the essentials of a well stocked First Aid Kit.  I'm not talking about a rinky dink box with a few band-aids.  I'm talking about bloody gash, emergency first aid (plus a few minor scrapes or burns).

Full bottles
-Container:  I used a small suitcase/duffel bag
-Scissors: preferably medical-style with a tilted blade
-Latex gloves in a box or sealed bag
-Rubbing Alcohol
-Anti-Bacterial Ointment
-Medical Tape
-Cotton balls or cosmetic pads
-Q-tips in a sealed bag
-Gauze Pads in multiple sizes
-Band-Aids in multiple sizes (even extra large)
-Maxi Pad or sanitary napkin:  for serious absorbancy (seriously)
-Instant ice pack
-Ace bandage
*If you have babies or small children at home you might need additional items*
Smaller items are stored in blue bag.

I didn't just go out and buy all of these items.  I picked up 1 or 2 here and there with coupons or when they went on sale.  The maxi pads I saved from free samples I ordered.  The peroxide, alcohol and assorted band-aids were purchased at Costco in a multi-pack so I have one under the bathroom sink and 1 in my medical bag.

I choose to keep these items separate from everyday supplies so that in case of a serious injury I'm not left with an empty box or bottle of any of the items.  Also, this is a great item to take along with you if you are a camper since everything is sealed and sanitary

Where is the closest hospital to your home or work?  What is your blood type?  It is very important to have an emergency plan weather you seek professional medical attention or not. 

*Disclaimer: This information is not intended to treat or cure illness or wounds.  If you're not sure, seek professional medical attention*

On a lighter note, I hope you try the pie!  It was delicious!
Happy Friday! 

*August 15th giveaway is still in the works*
Stop by Monday for details!