Turns out craft beer isn’t all that bad for you…

I am a fan of Dr. Oz. I like to see the latest health trends. I also love that he is big on the philosophy that “food is medicine.”  Obviously, you should never go against your doctor’s orders, but some conditions can be improved or eliminated by eating a healthier diet. Don’t worry I am not suggesting beer is medicine, although that would be great right? Dr. Oz just had an episode talking about how craft beer isn’t that bad for you. Most craft beers have fuller flavors which cause you to drink less. They are made with mostly “real” ingredients rather than preservatives, artificial flavors and corn syrup like most popular regular beers. It also has as many or more antioxidants than red wine! It tastes great too! So go ahead and enjoy a craft beer or two!

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Indoor Plants

Do you have any indoor plants? I have a lavender plant that I keep in my kitchen. The smell is subtle yet refreshing. Lavender like many other house plants is said to help purify your indoor air. Lavender can also be an insect repellent. The smell of lavender is great for relaxation and eases anxiety. I use a lot of lavender oil, but sometimes even smelling the plant itself helps relax me.

Basil is another common indoor plant that I also have in my kitchen. I LOVE basil and cook with it frequently. It can also help purify your air.

Rosemary is great for purifying air as well. I am not a big fan of the taste or smell, but there are a ton of recipes that call for it especially roasted potatoes and chicken. I know planting rosemary outside can help keep insects and other pests away from your garden, but be careful because it does spread and needs to be maintained or it will overtake your garden.

 

What are your favorite indoor plants? What are their benefits?

Zucchini Noodles

Unless you live under a rock then surely you have heard about zucchini noodles. I LOVE making them and it makes me feel so much better about eating “pasta.” Plus, the way I make them my kids have no clue they are eating vegetables once they are covered in sauce. hehe. First, DO not waste your money on a zoodle maker/spiraler thingy. I use a mandolin slicer with the julienne blade. I think it is so silly to buy a tool for ONE purpose. But then again I am anti-clutter so that is me. If you do not have either one invest in a good mandolin. You can do a million things with it. I make my own chips out of zucchini, potatoes, carrots, etc. You can do a lot of things with it. Anyway, so that is how I make my zucchini noodles. Then I put them on 2 layers of paper towels and salt them. This will draw out some of the excess water. Then I heat some extra virgin olive oil with garlic in a saute pan (like in the photo above). Then when the pan is hot I add the zucchini noodles and toss until slightly browned and most of the water has evaporated. This makes for a nice texture and doesn’t get soupy when you add sauce. I have also used these with a oil and garlic sauce, in a pasta salad and for buttered “noodles” for the kids. They love it!

What do you always buy organic?

Do you have certain items that you always buy organic? Do you have items that you aren’t as particular about? I have read the Organic.com “Dirty Dozen” Article and I ALWAYS buy these dirty dozen items in organic. The items that are considered “clean” I rarely buy in organic unless the prices are the same. For all of the other produce items, I also buy organic as much as I can. Again, my main philosophy in natural living is to limit pesticides and chemicals as much as possible. I wish I could never put another chemical in my body, but I also know that isn’t possibly because they are everywhere and it costs so much money to eat naturally.

What are your go to organic items? What do you never buy organic?

Oil Pulling

Have any of you heard of oil pulling? A few weeks ago I heard about it and then I ironically saw a Dietitian speaking about it on the Dr. Oz show this week. I started doing it about 2 weeks ago and I do see some great results so far. Oil pulling is done with either coconut, sesame or olive oil. A lot of what I have heard or read states that coconut is the best to use because of the lauric acid in the coconut oil. Lauric acid is known for having anti-microbial properties. The idea is take about 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil and chew it until it melts. Then swish it around in your mouth for 5-20 minutes. I recommend starting at 5 minutes because it is strange getting used to this idea. Be sure NOT to swallow the oil as it is “pulling” out the bacteria and toxins and you certainly do not want to ingest it again. After your 5-20 minutes you will want to spit it into the garbage (not the sink)! Then follow up with normal brushing. Oil pulling is apparently a very ancient practice dating back over 3000 years. It can help improve oral health such as preventing gingivitis, plaque, teeth whitening, and bad breath. Many other studies have shown that it can actually pull toxins.

Happy Pulling! Let me know how you like it!

Tea Tree Oil-Essential Oils

If you are familiar at all with essential oils than you have most likely heard about tea tree oil. It is important to note that anytime I am referring to an oil and I always talking about 100% pure. If I am speaking about a blend I will specify that. Anyway, it has been shown to be effective in various skin treatments like burns, abrasions, acne, rashes, etc. It can also be helpful in preventing lice!! I am somewhat of a germaphobe and a little afraid of bugs. The thought of having to deal with lice makes my skin crawl. I have two little kids (ages 2 and 3) and I know there is a potential for them to get lice because little kids touch everything. Luckily, they are not in a daycare or anything, but my daughter will be in pre-k next year and I know it happens. I add about 10-15 drops of tea tree oil into my kids shampoo bottle. I also add the same amount to a spray bottle and spray their coats or anything that may be able to catch lice. I have read that it can be toxic if taken by mouth, therefore; I do not advise that. ( I am not a doctor of medical professional, just someone who loves to use essential oils).

What do you use tea tree oil for?

Keurig vs. French Press

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This is the beautiful cup that my 3 year old painted for me!

Coffee…. Oh the wonderful aroma of fresh brewed delicious coffee.  A few years ago I made the switch to a Keurig based on sheer convenience. I had just had my first child and thought it would help make my life easier, especially since I only usually have 1 or 2 cups of coffee. Ever since I made the switch I can’t help but notice that the coffee just isn’t as good. It doesn’t matter what brand or what roast I still feel like using a Keurig makes my coffee very one-noted. There is no depth of flavor.I have also tried the loose grounds attachment and I still don’t think the flavor is any better. (I watch a lot of cooking shows, Can you tell?) I am being totally serious! I am not sure if I am the only one that notices this, but it sure does make a difference to me. I also hate the idea of throwing out plastic cups every day. And most importantly, I imagine hot water going through a little plastic cup means that we are likely ingesting chemicals that leak through the plastic. I did some research and realized that a stainless steel French press is not only the healthiest way, but also tastes AMAZING. I just recently ordered mine off Amazon and it is the most amazing thing ever. If you are a coffee lover like me and want to eliminate another form of chemicals and have a better cup of joe I suggest you get a French press! It is worth the extra effort!