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!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Health Benefits of Asparagus

I have been craving asparagus, my favorite veggie, for days. Today I am eating it for lunch. While munching away, I decided to do a little research on the health benefits of asparagus. Here is what I've found!

*It is full of fiber, folate, and vitamins A, C, E and K, and chromium, a trace mineral.
*It is rich in glutathione, a compound that helps to break down carcinogens and free radicals.
*Asparagus is packed with antioxidants. (Again, good against free radicals)
*It delivers folate, which works with vitamin B12 to help fight cognitive impairment.
*It contains the amino acid asparagine, which acts as a natural diuretic to help reduce excess fluid and salt in the body. (Good for those with edema and high blood pressure)

Info. source www.EatingWell.com

Here's a fun benefits list from another website:

1 - can detoxify our system
2 - has anti-aging functions
3 - is considered an aphrodisiac
4 - can protect against cancer
5 - reduces pain and inflammation
6 - can prevent osteoporosis and osteoarthritis
7 - reduces the risk of heart disease
8 - can help prevent birth defects

An added benefit is that asparagus is on the "safe to eat non-organic" list because it is low in pesticide levels. Ideally, all foods should be organic when possible, but when they are not, asparagus still makes the shopping list. =)
And.. I love the taste. While asparagus can make urine smell very strange, there is no ill effect of this. So eat up! 

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Make Your Own Dishwasher Detergent. Easy!

I have been using this home made dishwasher detergent for a couple of weeks now, with excellent results.* No more running out of detergent and having to make a special trip to the store. Just keep a few simple ingredients in stock, and you can whip up a batch whenever you need it. So simple and inexpensive.

I found this recipe here. I am spending more and more time on that website! Lots of good info.


Mix into an empty coffee container or similar

1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda
1/2 cup Citric Acid
1/2 Kosher Salt

1 Tablespoon per load does the trick. I have not yet come across citric acid in a grocery store, and have been using Kool-Aid lemonade flavor (sugar-free) instead. *Without the addition of phosphates, it is common to see a film on dishes after the cycle is complete. Adding more citric acid, or vinegar as a rinse aid, should help remove the film. The film is especially evident with hard water.

Look in the canning section of your local market to see if they carry citric acid. If not, it can be found online. Do an internet search for substitutes if necessary.

Monday, April 1, 2013

How To Get Rid of Poison Ivy Naturally - Trial

We have poison ivy growing in our woods, and this year it has started to grow out into the lawn. I have two little ones, one of whom loves to commune with nature, so the poison ivy has to go. I just did a quick online search, and the first website offered this advice: Mix one third each of soap-water, salt and vinegar into a spray bottle. Spray the poison ivy plants. When the plant has died, dig the root system up from under ground. If you don't, it may eventually grow back.

I wrote this post ages ago. I did try this and it worked wonderfully. I did not end up digging up the roots, and yes, the poison ivy grew back. But yes to the formula!

Recycling: Container Gardening

With spring trying really hard to arrive around here, my thoughts have turned to the yard and garden. I want very much to grow some of our food this year, but with little garden space, I am thinking of how to arrange planters around the deck. With a big private school tuition bill coming due at the end of the summer, I am always trying to think of ways to cut costs. What can I do instead of spending a fortune on new planters? I took a look around the kitchen, and the first thing I found was a recently emptied plastic popcorn bottle.  What can  I do with this?

First I took a serrated knife and cut the top off. Then I used my corkscrew to make four holes on the bottom of the bottle, and four on the sides close to the bottom. (It worked great for this!!)

 I filled the container with potting soil, leaving a little room at the top.

We use a lot of fresh herbs in our cooking, so I planted some basil. Basil makes a great container plant. I taped the top flap of the seed packet to the side of the container with the date.

Voila! We should see some sprouts in about a week! No expensive containers, I've reused something that was headed for the trash, and my children can see how easy it is to grow your own (organic!) food and one way to reuse, rethink and recycle! Now... what else can I use...?