4.17.2014

Sweet Tooth Remedy: Healthy Chocolate Orange Mousse




Got that hankering for a bit of sweet to finish off a special meal or dare I say maybe even on its very own? Yes, me too, sometimes. You are careful with what you eat, stay away from the bad stuff and eat a lot of the good. I get the picture. You exercise regularly and don't want to blow it with one bowl of decadence.  I hear ya.  But, I think I may be able to help.  Check this out!

Here is a delightful little sweet you can treat yourself or your sweet ones to with no guilt.  Yes, indeed!  It is actually full of antioxidants, has lots of fiber, tastes great, comes together in minutes, and makes you smile. Not bad for a brief whirl in your blender.




Chocolate, Orange Mousse

For two

Make sure to click on the green for more information on why that ingredient is so good for you.

Gather

  • 2 large ripe avocados
  • 1/2 cup full fat organic coconut milk (the remaining milk in the can can be used to make coconut cream shown here as a garnish)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Juice from an organic orange 
  • a pinch of orange zest
  • 3 tablespoons of organic cacao powder
  • scant 1/4 cup date syrup or raw honey (depending on your preference) You can always add more later.
  • small pinch of pink salt
blender

Now do this

  • Put all the ingredients in a blender.
  • Swirl until combined really well. 
  • Taste and adjust seasoning and sweet levels.
  • Pour in two cups.
  • Chill if you can wait.
  • Garnish with your choice.


4.10.2014

Health Clicks: Recipe Round-Up - Springtime Brunch




Easter, graduations, baby showers, wedding showers - all great reasons to host a springtime brunch. But, you don't need any of those special occasions to do it either.  Go ahead, open the doors and let that spring air in, plug in your iPod, and create a beautiful brunch for yourself, your special ones or even a crowd.





Healthy Brunch Dishes

Keep it as simple or as elaborate as you want it.  But, keep it healthy and yummy at the same time with some of these recipe links to inspire you to do just that:


1.  Get a bit festive and start things off with a refreshing cocktail, of course.  Here is a virgin one that could not be simpler and it is pretty, too!


4.07.2014

Seasonal Allergies and How To Cope




Spring is in the air!  But, um . . . so is the pollen.  I am not a big sufferer of spring or fall allergies but I live with those who are.  I feel your pain,  This one is for you.

You can reach for the pill bottles and for some, their allergies are so severe, it is the only remedy that helps.  Those pills can dry you out though or make you unbearably sleepy and may not even work completely.





Drug-Free Solutions to Seasonal Allergies

For those who suffer more of the mild reactions to seasonal allergies and who do not want the pills as well as for severe sufferers who have to take the pills and need even more help, here are some habits to create that may help lessen the pollen impact and help put back your pep in your step:

4.03.2014

Transitioning to Organic Bedding



It all started with the pillowcases.  I reached in the linen closet to begin making up the bed for overnight guests and there were no pillowcases.  Well . . . decent pillowcases. Ones that could actually encapsulate a pillow without threads coming out everywhere. With kids' summer camps and beach trips, camping trips, family summer rentals, sleepovers,  . . .  the few remaining extra ones we had that were not left on all those adventures were either fraying at the seams, had some weird iron on decals that my daughter created at camp, or were otherwise in bad shape.  So, yes, "the transition" to organic bedding all started with replacing those pillow cases.

When I did replace those pillow cases, (and I bought several sets with the dire state of our linen closet), I chose organic ones that were one sale.  I had just read and was shocked to learn that cotton is heavily sprayed with pesticides - more than any other crop - so thought it would be a good idea to begin with that. This, of course, led to more research on the topic and here is what I found out:



Chemicals in Your Bed

There are a lot of various chemicals used to make cotton and other fabrics. Formaldehyde, in some fabrics, has been declared a carcinogen by the United States Government at certain levels  Here is a list of other chemicals that could be lingering in your non-organic sheets and linens as well:

3.31.2014

Back Pain: How To End It




Chances are you or someone you know suffers from back pain.  Many studies show most have suffered from it at some point.  Other studies out recently even show that low back pain is a major cause of disability. That leads to a host of other problems or missed opportunities. We can't have that.

Sometimes, back pain with symptoms like these indicate you need to see your doctor.  Provided you have determined with your doctor nothing serious is causing the pain, caring for your back can really boil down to a lot of daily things you do and don't do to keep it strong and flexible.




Pills Mask the Problem

You can take over the counter pain relievers like aspirin, ibuprofen, or others to mask the discomfort, but over time that choice can cause a lot of other serious issues like these:
  • liver damage 
  • kidney damage
  • stomach bleeding 
If you just keep reaching for the pills as a solution, you will never get to the root of the problem and may even cause bigger problems.



3.26.2014

Date Syrup: A New Sweetener On My Shelf





With my goal to greatly decrease the amount of sugar I consume, I am always experimenting with alternative ways to get that hint of sweet.  (And, I am not talking anything artificial.  Chemicals like aspartame and Splenda do not belong anywhere near your lips or anyone else's lips you care about.)  I am referring to unprocessed forms of sweet.

This alternative sugar topic is a tad complicated as many experts disagree on which is best. But the way I look at it is if I am going to add "sweet" to whatever I am making (and I do not add a lot) it should at least have some nutritional benefit.  And, as it turns out, some do!

I shared my use of maple syrup here and why and the delights of raw honey here.  They are both good ones to reach for - in moderation - but I couldn't resist trying a new one I spied at the market recently: date syrup.  Maybe you will want to make a space for it on your shelves as well.



3.24.2014

One Healthy Sauce: Five, 20 Minute Dinners




Who doesn't like quick solutions?  Quick, effective solutions I should add.   And, I think I have one for you here with a quick healthy sauce that will make five, 20-minute dinners that are tasty and full of goodness.  You have a busy week coming up but still have mouths to feed, including your own, and don't want to succumb to take-out? I think I can help.

It starts with a roasted red pepper sauce that you can pull together in no time that is used to create several fast, healthy, delicious dinners.  But first, why this sauce?







Health Benefits to the Red Pepper


Here are some facts on the glossy, glorious red pepper and why you may want to make this sauce and include it in your diet:

3.20.2014

Health Clicks: Getting Ahead





Health Clicks this go around is all about the noggin.  After all, we can't function much without it.



Going Headfirst


Click on the green links to expand your mind and learn more about how to take care of it:

1.  Maybe those big headed individuals really do have reason to brag.  Or do they?  Does head size have anything to do with brain size?


2.  Don't just consider your waistline when choosing foods.  How about eating well for your brain as well?  Improve your concentration, memory and mood with the right food choices.

3.17.2014

How To Do Your Laundry Chemically-Free







Here is a task none of use can get out of:  laundry.  Yup. Gotta do it.  Even if you hand over the dirty deed to someone else, it must be done. But we don't have to add a bunch of chemicals to the mix for this weekly chore.  We just don't need 'em to have clean, fresh-smelling, stain-free clothes.



Why Go Chemically-Free

There is no shortage of effective, great-smelling and easy to use laundry products on our store shelves. The issue is what is in them.  Our cleaning products are not heavily studied or regulated and many detergents contain effective cleaning agents but ones that can include know carcinogens and substances harmful to our brain as well as fetal and infant development. More research is being done in this area, but in the meantime, best to be aware of the harm chemicals used in many off-the-shelf detergents can do.  Here's more on that:

 
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