I'm on a journey to find health and happiness through a more holistic and green lifestyle.

I find the world to be abrasive. =) That is to say, I feel the need to armor myself, physically and emotionally, in order to face life. Don't we all? Maybe. For whatever reason, it has become a priority in my life to rid my immediate environment of irritating things. And I'm sensitive! So there is much work to be done. But. I have thought for a long time that the things I come in contact with every day, and the stuff used to clean and maintain these things, need to be gentle and non-toxic. I have had eczema my entire life. For a long time I just dealt with it, and accepted that sometimes it's bad, and sometimes it's not, and that it will fluctuate a lot. Gradually over time I have come to find that certain things, fabrics, cleansers, materials, are more irritating to my skin than others. Stress can exacerbate it. In more recent times, I have realized that every aspect of my life improves when I improve conditions for my skin. Hah! What a concept! Thus my (long time) interest in going green, and my more recent desire to live a more holistic lifestyle. (I think I've felt a desire for a long time to live in a harmonious way with myself, my surroundings, and nature, but didn't have a name for it.) Anyhow, this blog is a journal of my trials and errors, and basic crooked path to find a balanced and peaceful existence for myself and my family. Thanks for your interest! I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Dangers of Lysol and Other "Cleaning" Products

AKA The Dirt on Clean!

So often, since becoming a mom, I've heard people comment that after an illness sweeps through their home, they "Lysoled" or "Bleached" everywhere. And my reaction (in my head only until now) is to wonder if, by cleaning with these products, are we doing more harm than good. Yes, bleach will kill a cold germ, and Lysol will make the house smell as if it's been cleaned. But at what price? I was curious, so I started to do a little research. Here is some info. I found on my first search, first article:

This website claims:


  • Keep Lysol spray out of the reach of children and do not expose your children or pets to the spray. Do not spray on or near food because of the risk of ethanol poisoning."
    Yuk. Sounds discouraging. What else? 


    • Shingleberrysigns.com
      "Ethanol is the primary ingredient in Lysol spray and is highly flammable, especially under pressure. Prolonged inhalation in a closed environment will create headaches, cough, fatigue and drowsiness. Skin exposure might result in severe redness and burning. Lysol spray uses denatured ethanol, which can cause ethanol poisoning when ingested."

    Ok, so what's good about it?

    From the same website:

    "It is (also) recommended as a disinfectant for classroom use rather than bleach because Lysol (which is a phenol) will not damage clothing. When used on non-porous surfaces, Lysol will kill most bacteria including: staph MRSA and strep; E.coli; salmonella; and campylobacter."

    So it's a balance, right? You risk something to get something. Let's look at bleach.

    From this website:
    "...household bleach, without having been mixed with other products, can cause pulmonary edema, vomiting or coma if ingested."
    Delightful. What else?
    "The dangers of bleach are significant to your health and the health of your family. Accidents have happened where one person adds toilet bowl cleaner and another, following behind, will inadvertently add bleach. The noxious gasses have been found to cause fatal injuries."

    So the question is, why would anyone have these things in their homes? Especially with kids and pets around? Because we think we are doing more good than harm, right? We've been conditioned to believe we need these things to keep ourselves and our families safe from illness. 

    So what are the alternatives? Well, let's see what an internet search on "safe household cleaners" results in.

    My first search landed me on the website of the Shaklee company, one I have come across before. While I am having some trouble finding a source of what exactly is in there cleaning products, I came across an interesting bit on what makes other chemical household cleaners dangerous. Read that HERE

    And they claim: "...we were the first company in the world to obtain Climate Neutral™ certification and totally offset our CO2 emissions, resulting in a net zero impact on the environment."

    That's nice. But I still can't find the ingredients of their products. Think I'll send them a message. In the meantime, some hold music....doododooddoododooodtumdedeeelalateedaaa....

    Well, I did hear back from Shaklee, and they sent me a pdf of every product and every ingredient. Hm. That's a company who has nothing to hide! Rather impressive. I haven't yet figured out how to share some of that info. here, but when I do, I will. I guess the bottom line is that if you can use something safe to do the same job as something unsafe...... USE IT. And there is nothing wrong with the old stand-bys, too. Vinegar, baking soda... hot water! I also use castile soap, which I like a lot. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Health Eating - Baked Chick Peas

Yesterday, while munching on chick peas from a can, I did a quick search on chick peas. I came across a recipe for baked chick peas. So I made a batch. I'm not sure what I think about them. I like that they're crunchy, but I have not seasoned them to my preference yet. But I'll keep trying to see if I can. Here's how to do it:

Rinse a can of chick peas, and coat them lightly in olive oil. Season however you like. Sugar and cinnamon, garlic, or any spice combo you'd like to try.

Preheat your oven to 400*. Spread the chick peas on a cookie sheet, and bake for about 40 minutes. Given them a stir every 10 minutes or so.

The first batch I made came out crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. I used a glass pan, a little more olive oil than it took to coat, and left them in the pan to cool. The second batch came out crunchy. I used a metal cookie sheet (see photo,) olive oil just to coat, and I transferred the chick peas to a bowl right out of the oven. Though many use garlic powder, I tried cinnamon and (weird) salt the first time, and preferred that to the garlic powder and salt. I'm still playing with it, and will post with any winning combinations.

This website says this (and more) about the health benefits of chickpeas:

"Garbanzo beans (chickpeas) 
provide an excellent source of 
molybdenum.  They are a very 
good source of folic acid, fiber, 
and manganese.  They are also a 
good source of protein, as well 
as minerals such as iron, copper, 
zinc, and magnesium"

*They also discuss potentially harmful issues for those with gout and/or kidney stones.