Today, as I scramble to put the finishing touches on the Soulicious Gift Guide – featuring unique and affordable, eco-friendly, fair trade or handmade items (Hooray!) – I am happy to welcome my friend, Lindsay Dahl with this guest post. Lindsay is the Executive Director of Safer Chemical Healthy Families, and she’s here to explain the results of a new study that show toxic chemicals in 85% of couches. Yikes! Makes you think twice the next time you sit to watch that Parenthood marathon! Welcome, Lindsay.
For most people, the only dangerous thing about your couch is the risk of spending money on a nice piece of furniture, only to have your cat shred it to pieces. But today a startling new peer-reviewed study came out in Environmental Science and Technology, showing that couches across America contain high levels of toxic chemicals. Great coverage of the study can be read on the front page of the Chicago Tribune. Continue reading →
Water. It takes up 71% of our earth’s surface. Of that, 96.5% is found in oceans, 1.7% in groundwater, and 1.7% in glaciers and the ice caps of Antarctica and Greenland. Water makes up 55% of an adult woman and 60% of an adult man. It is vital for all known forms of life.
If you’re like me, water is your primary beverage. But how much of it do each of us really need to drink? And more importantly, with so little percentage of fresh water available and the rise of pollution in the world, how safe is that municipal water from your tap? Continue reading →
Remember that silly little contest for which I kept begging asking you to cast a vote for me? Well, clearly all of my pestering reminders worked. Thanks to you – my awesome family, friends and readers – I made it – at #16 to be exact.
Sadly, two new reports from Consumer Reports and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) show worrisome levels of arsenic in rice and rice product including breakfast cereals, rice flour, rice pasta, rice cakes and crackers.
Yes, this is the same arsenic people have used for centuries to commit murder. Continue reading →
Bear with me here. I don’t often rant, but a child’s diet is so important to me, and never has the truth about diet and childcare ever been more sad to me than now.
I chose to work four days per week – declaring Fridays special Mommy/Kiera days – which means that four days per week, K-Bear is in daycare. Which she loves. The problem: I don’t love the Standard American Diet (SAD). Continue reading →
There are few things as sweet and delicious as honey, a product which is used to improve the taste of a number of foods and drinks. Unlike sugar, honey also has a good reputation for being beneficial to your health. Unfortunately, this conventional wisdom may now have to be called into question. New research conducted by Vaughn Bryant, one of the nation’s top pollen experts, casts doubt on the quality and safety of most honey available in the United States. Consequentially, consumers may now have to think twice and conduct research of their own before purchasing their favorite brand of this savory treat. Continue reading →
I grew up in the Ocean State (that’s RI for all you non-New Englanders) with more beach days than I could ever dream of now. And when I wasn’t by the beach, I was by the pool. I wish I could say I used enough sunscreen back then, but especially as I grew into my teen years, tan was “in.” With my olive skin tone, it was easy to skip the sunscreen and not worry about burning. Unfortunately, I’m paying the price now with visible sun damage and I hate myself for it. Ugh.
Needless to say, sunscreen has become a top priority for me, especially since I moved to Colorado 15 years ago where, at one mile above sea level and over 300 days a year of sunshine, it’s lather up or burn. Suddenly, it didn’t matter what my skin tone was. Continue reading →
When we moved into our new home last July, we gained a lot of great advantages, but one of the best has been really fantastic neighbors. They are down-to-earth, friendly people, the kind who look out for one other, our houses, and our dogs. And so I met Traci. Our nearly daily walks (back when I was walking daily) became therapeutic for both of us. I may not be a trained therapist, but Traci is; (bonus for me!). Traci also happens to be an Eden Energy Medicine certified practitioner.
She had been offering me a session for months but I’m not one to easily cash in on favors, especially one as big as that. Five weeks after surgery, deflated and exhausted, I finally took her up on it. Continue reading →
Like many who grew up in New England, I was fortunate to have an apple orchard within town limits. Just when the nights finally started to cool off was about when Christiansen’s would open their big stand on Hwy 102, and we would stop in once a week for fresh cider and a big white bag of apples. I can still remember the smell of just-picked macintoshes simmering on the stove as my mother made sauce.
Having settled on the front-range in Colorado, I don’t have such an orchard handy anymore, but I do have plenty of apples at in-season prices, trucked in from the western slope and elsewhere. Making applesauce is one of my autumn traditions; I hope you too enjoy this incredibly simple, sugar-free celebration of the season.
2 lbs. of fresh organic apples, any variety. Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp, and Macintosh are all good choices. If in doubt, go for what’s on sale. Note: Apples are the #1 pesticide offender (see EWG’s Dirty Dozen list), so its always best to choose organic.
2 c. water
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmug
Wash, core and slice apples. I like to halve the slices as well. Remember that the more you cut them up, the smaller the skins in your end product. (I don’t advocate peeling apples; it’s a shame to toss away all those vitamins and fiber!)
Place the apples in a 2 qt. saucepan and add 2 cups of water. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer until soft, about 15 minutes. Add cinnamon and nutmeg. Mash the apples with a potato masher until the chunks are well-dissolved. Continue to simmer, uncovered, for 15 more minutes or until all water is absorbed and sauce reaches desired consistency.
Enjoy by itself, on waffles or with a side of pumpkin bread. It freezes very well so don’t be afraid to double the batch!
For Babies: Toss a portion of the applesauce into a blender or small food processor and blend until smooth. Portion it into ice cube trays, and transfer frozen cubes to an airtight storage container. Take out a cube or two as needed for meals.