Reasons to Kick Your Paper Towel Addiction

After recently reading an article about the negatives of using paper towels, I started to notice just how much our household used them – me included. Conveniently located on my kitchen counter, everyone from my kiddos to my hubby mindlessly uses power towels. Whether it’s to clean up the countertops, wipe off our hands or blot up spills, we’re all guilty. I must admit, I felt a bit addicted to the convenience of using them, but I’m proud to say that our household is now paper towel free. What helped me breakthrough my love of paper towels was learning the following during chat I had with a friend that prompted me to research the topic – real eye openers.
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Latest Benefits of Ginger Revealed

A promising new study published in the renown International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition has shown that among its many other benefits (addressing gastric distress, reducing some cancer cells, menstrual pain, nausea, periodontal issues, toxicity, etc.), ginger may also effectively treat and even help prevent diabetes and its complications, reducing the secondary complications of type 2 diabetes. In the double blind, placebo controlled trial, 64 study participants with type 2 diabetes were randomly designated to take either 2 grams of ginger or a placebo every day for two months. The study found that the patients who were given ginger had a significantly higher sensitivity to insulin as well as lower levels of insulin and LDL, the bad cholesterol and triglycerides.

Super Healthy recipe for Valentine’s Day

Here’s a fun Valentine’s Day treat the whole family will enjoy – Pretty in Pink Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls.

Ingredients
• 1 good sized beet
• 1 teaspoon of pure coconut oil
• 4 medium sized strawberries
• 1/3 cup of all fruit strawberry jam
• 1 tablespoon of olive oil
• 1/3 cup of coconut sugar
• 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
• 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
• 1/2 cup coconut flour
• 1 1/2 cup almond flour
• 1 1/2 cup (6 oz. pkg) semisweet chocolate chips

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. Cut off the beet bulb and peel it.
3. Place the beet in a baking dish and add a teaspoon of coconut oil on top. Roast the beet for 45 minutes, remove from oven and cool. You can put the beet in the refrigerator or freezer for a few minutes to speed up the process.
4. Combine the roasted beet, strawberries, the strawberry jam, coconut sugar, olive oil, and pure vanilla extract and using a blender, blend until smooth. Pour the combination into a medium sized bowl.
5. Mix the dry ingredients (sea salt, almond flour, coconut flour and chocolate chips) and add into the blended mixture. Mix well.
6. Place the dough in the refrigerator for approximately 30 minutes, take out and form into 1.5 inch balls.

About the Ingredients

The idea of eating raw cookie dough is guilty pleasure for most of us. With this Valentine’s Day sweet treat, you can eat this pretty pink cookie dough right out of the fridge without worrying about pathogens like E coli because eggs aren’t an ingredient in this recipe. An added bonus is that it’s grain and gluten-free, making it a healthy Valentine treat for just about anyone. The beet that gives this yummy sweet its pretty pink color also offers a wealth of amazing health benefits because it’s high in immune boosting vitamin C, essential minerals like potassium and manganese and fiber.

Dangers of Bleach

For years households, hospitals and commercial cleaning services have been using bleach to clean and disinfect surfaces. Bleach is actually one of the most widely available disinfectants on the market today, even though it can be extremely dangerous if ingested by a child. Now there’s an even more disturbing evidence of its toxic risks that should definitely encourage everyone to avoid using it, turning to natural, non-toxic alternatives. A study published in Occupational & Environmental Medicine found that even a passive amount of exposure to the chemical is associated with an increased chance of childhood respiratory illnesses and a host of other infections. The study found that the frequency of respiratory illnesses and infections among children could be linked to higher amounts of bleach used in the home. The differences were extremely evident when it came to tonsillitis (35% higher), the flu (20% higher) and other infections in households that used bleach.

7 Tips for Washing Produce

In a perfect world we wouldn’t need to worry about chemicals/pesticides on our fruits and vegetables. We’d all be growing our own organic foods, happily tilling the chemical free soil. Well, that’s not the case for most of us and unfortunately harsh pesticides and supposedly “food-grade” waxes coat the majority of the produce filling the local supermarkets. Fortunately washing your fresh fruits and vegetables can remove different types of bacteria, including salmonella, E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus. However a quick rinse in water won’t get rid of the waxy coating or the pesticides. The good news is that just about everything you’ll need to clean your produce can be found in your kitchen.

Plain, Distilled Water

The FDA advocates washing produce with a good amount of cold or cool tap (we prefer distilled) water, using a vegetable brush on tough skinned produce like apples and cucumbers if the skin is going to be eaten. Most feel that just using water isn’t enough to remove all toxic chemicals from produce.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar offers a wide range of benefits which also include using it as a fruit and vegetable wash. Don’t worry, the vinegar taste evaporates. All you need is 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar (or white distilled in a pinch) and a large bowl. Mix everything together in the bowl and submerge the produce, swishing it around for about 30 seconds. Next, rinse with cool running water for about 30 more seconds and enjoy!

Baking Soda

Baking soda, another one of those substances with lots of eco-friendly attributes, makes a good produce wash. Baking soda is also one of the main ingredients in a lot of commercial produce washes. To use it, just add a 2 or 3 tablespoons of baking soda to a good sized bowl of water, soaking the fruits and vegetables for a couple of minutes and thoroughly rinse with cold water. You can also just sprinkle of bit of straight baking soda onto tough skinned fruits and vegetables and scrub it off with a produce brush, followed by rinsing.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice, which contains citric acid, is commonly used in green cleaning and is highly effective as an eco-friendly disinfectant that also has bleaching qualities. Just squeeze a little bit of lemon juice (about a tablespoon) in a bowl of water and soak your produce. The citric acid, along with the low pH levels can help remove toxic pathogens.

Non-toxic, All Natural Dishwashing Detergent

Dishwashing detergent makes a great produce wash, but only if it’s an “all natural”, non-toxic alternative like ours. Use 1 teaspoon of dishwashing detergent per gallon of water. Once again, soaking, scrubbing if applicable, followed by a thorough rinse.

Retail Produce Washes

The key to commercial produce washes is to make sure that the one you choose is made with all natural ingredients like lime and/or lemon extract, grapefruit seed extract, etc.

Produce Brushes

These brushes are used for washing produce that has thicker skins, like melons, cucumbers and apples. Giving tough skinned fruits and vegetables a good scrubbing with a produce brush can reduce bacteria by as much as 85%.

Following these tips for washing your produce will help protect yourself and your family.