Getting Healthy

Book Review…Eating for Beauty


Eating for Beauty Kindle Edition by David Wolfe (Author)

Lately I was in the emergency room with my three year old, watching people come in and go out for hours. As I sat there, I started noticing which people in the waiting room probably took the time to exercise and watch what they ate. I started feeling convicted that not taking better care of ourselves during the early and mid-life…(or whatever-the-heck-you’re-fifties are)…is selfish because in twenty or so years, our kids and grandkids will then have to take care of us based on the decisions that we ourselves make now.

The book Eating for Beauty: David Wolfe’s Raw-Food Guide to Cleansing, Rejuvenating & Anti-Aging appealed to me because I am finally getting a grip on my own version of a “holistic” lifestyle—a belief that each aspect of one’s life affects any other aspect.

I believe that the words  “beauty” and “health” are closely related. I often play piano at various nursing homes …and often the people who I find the most attractive are the women who took take care of themselves along their journey.

Eating for Beauty: David Wolfe’s Raw-Food Guide to Cleansing, Rejuvenating & Anti-Aging is a book about the difference between acid and alkaline foods, food classes, detoxification, beautifying foods and recipes, and how all of this affects anything from our skin to our voice….that will be of interest to people seeking not only to improve his or her appearance, but also vitality and health.

The title, Eating for Beauty: David Wolfe’s Raw-Food Guide to Cleansing, Rejuvenating & Anti-Agingis appropriate for the book because the book educates the reader about the benefits of the specific foods he eats, discusses the importance of  exercise, and encourages each of us  to live a beautiful life through both our thoughts as well as our actions.

The central theme…”what we eat affects how we look”…is carried out throughout the book through…

  • a discussion of what each food is capable of contributing to the body
  • in-depth descriptions of beneficial foods 
  • more than 30 gourmet “beauty recipes” 
  • scientific explanations of the human body’s chemical reactions to various elements of nutrition, physical activity and sleep
  • the “Beauty Diet,” a diet based on raw foods that is designed to “cleanse, nourish and beautify”

The author of the book is David Wolfe, one of America’s foremost nutrition experts, …who has also written the best-selling book The Sunfood Diet Success System. 

The main idea of Eating for Beauty: David Wolfe’s Raw-Food Guide to Cleansing, Rejuvenating & Anti-Aging is…

Raw organic foods are so much better for us than foods that have been processed further and further away they are from their true raw potential. 

“Garbage In—Garbage Out”…remember that expression from back in the days when we were all carrying around floppy disks for our computers?!

The same is true about ourselves…you cannot put bad food into your body…and expect to have great skin or hair…not to mention good health.

I found this book to be incredibly enlightening and educational book, filled with nutritional nuggets and inspiration.

On the other hand, the one thing that I disliked most about the book was the level of commitment and the practicality of eating a raw food diet on a regular basis that maintaining a program like this would involve…

After all, a Mississippi girl’s gotta eat…and probably would choose fried chicken over raw potatoes any day of the year.

I would recommend this book mainly to readers who are looking for ways to improve their appearance, vitality, and health. 


    Starting the Day Off Right

    Stepping Out the Door In Well Read Shoes


    Another resolution that I have made for this New Year is to actually put some time into studying the Bible for myself.

    But not only is my Father’s house a big, big house with lots of rooms…the Bible is a big, big book with lots and lots of chapters and verses and ideas.

    Being a musician of sorts, I’ve been taught to “start at the very beginning”…when you read, you begin with ABC…when you sing, you begin with do-re-mi…when you study the Bible, why not start with Genesis…

    So now that I’ve decided to study Genesis, how?!

    Actually there are several different Bible study methods that have been used for decades, including…

    • Bible Doctrine Studies
    • Book-by-Book
    • Character
    • Life-Focused
    • Topical


    1.  Bible Doctrine Studies…These studies place a heavier emphasis on theology by studying a particular doctrine. An example of a doctrine study in Genesis is What Happened in the Garden?...a book that offers scientific, literary, business, educational, and legal perspectives on creation…and how what we observe in the legal system, literature, gender roles, education, psychology, and science today are actually connected with creation.

    2.  Book-by-Book...Book-by-Book Bible Studies move through a particular book or passage of the Bible in an attempt to understand…

    • background and history of the original message
    • events that take place
    • how the text applies to our own lives today
    • key themes,  topics, and verses
    • major principles, insights, and lessons
    • people mentioned in that passage
    • personal applications that are personal, practical, and possible

    I am a big fan of Warren Wiersbe, author of over 150 books, and his Be Series  of commentaries on every book of the Bible. The first book about Genesis is Be Basic and studies chapters one to eleven.

    3.  Character Bible Study
    …A character study is the study of a specific biblical character person and his or her heart, attitude, personality, strengths, and weaknesses… how he or she thinks, feels, and responds to circumstances….one of the character’s quality traits that you would like to work on yourself…a situation similar to the one being discussed that is happening in your own life.

    An example of this would be Noah: Man of Destiny,  a novel about the man who built a large ship and spent months caring for thousands of animal, but also stood against a sinister belief system emerging throughout the land, escaped legendary beasts, tracked kidnappers, and acquired the skills he would need when God called him to his greatest adventure.

    4.    Life-Focused Bible Studies...These studies begin with real-life issues that are relevant today and seek to apply God’s Word to our lives in intentional ways. Many of these books share stories from real-life experiences, such as struggles people have faced in their own marriages, families, and work.

    Live Relationally bKenya Heitzig is an example of a lifetime-focused Bible study on Genesis. This study studies of the women in Genesis who experience death, marriage, divorce, rape, and family tragedy…women such as the complicated Tamar and the often oversimplified Eve…women who are wives and mothers, slaves and owners, sinners and saints… 

     5.  Topical Bible studies involve choosing a specific topic, thinking of questions you’d like to have answered about that topic, and finding every single reference to that topic. An example of a topical study would be the ark…through books such as Inside Noah’s Ark: Why It Worked which show how the ship was an actual working vessel…and how a crew of just eight people could have housed, fed, and watered all of the representatives of the animal kinds.


    Starting the Day Off Right

    Encourage One Another


    In this society far too many of us spend far too much of our time criticizing and complaining….and as a result, so many people and relationships are suffering from alienation, indifference, and even hostility.

    And at the heart of this suffering is a lack of affirmation, appreciation, or even acknowledgement.

    Many of us have been taught that affirmation is a humanistic, self-esteem, ego-boosting tool for manipulating others.

    Yet appropriate affirmation motivates the other person, without fueling pride…and encourages with words that are thoughtful, intentional, and respectful.

    Appropriate affirmation recognize Christ-like characteristics in others, as well as the work that God has done and is doing in the lives of the people around us.

    We must always make sure to keep God at the center of our affirmations by following the biblical pattern of saying, “I thank God for you…” 

    Affirming the work that God has done and is doing in others honors God so that the person is encouraged and God gets the glory.  

      Scriptures that demonstrate the purpose of building each other up include…..

      1.  Hebrews 10:24…

       2.  Romans 15:2 
      3.  1 Peter 3:9

      Forty percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, but only about eight percent actually reach their goals. 
      You can spend way too much time analyzing everything, thinking about getting started online, reading every article and book in sight, and never getting anything done…but with all the available resources out there, you will probably still be trying to figure out where to start….and simply writing that New Hear’s resolution on a new list of resolutions in December…

      • “Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” — Stephen King

      Even though you don’t have the perfect plan and are not sure exactly how it’s going to work out, the best way to learn is by doing….

      Regardless of the goal that you have set, there are many who, what, when, where, how, and why questions that you might ask yourself including…

      1.  WHO…Next talk to other people about your goals. This will make you feel both more excited and more committed.

      • Who benefits the most from me achieving this goal?
      • Who can help me achieve it? Who else is or should be involved?
      • Who else believes in me and my ability to reach this goal?
      • Who will support me? Who probably won’t support me? 

      2.  WHAT…First of all, write down specific goals that you want to achieve. Keep your list of goals in front of you. Frame them if you want.

      • What is my biggest passion and dream in life? What one wildly bold goal would I like to accomplish that would truly inspire me to get up each morning?
      • What do I want to accomplish? What will success look like?
      • What is the probability of ever reaching this goal?
      • What is the biggest obstacle hindering me from achieving my goals? 
      • What skills, tools, and resources do I need to acquire or master?
      • What is my next step? 

      Let us make our future now, and let us make our dreams tomorrow’s reality.” — Malala Yousafzai

      3.  WHEN…Focus on immediate tasks…only your tasks for today and the week ahead of you…so that you do not get discouraged or overwhelmed. Now, perhaps the most important task—get organized. Break larger goals into smaller tasks. Set up a plan or schedule. Break down the year into months, and then create specific action steps for each week. 

      • When can I find the time to do whatever it takes to reach this goal?
      • When would be a realistic time for me to have reached this goal?
      • When will there be enough information to know if and when I should set new goals?
      • When will I start working toward this goal?


      4.  WHERE

      • Where do I want to be this time next year?
      • Where will I acquire the necessary knowledge?
      • Where will my goal be accomplished? 
      • Where have I written my “chosen frozen” goals down so that they can become something tangible to focus on, evaluate, and refine on a regular basis?

      . “Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.” — Golda Meir

      5.  HOW…Choose appropriate milestones and benchmarks for your particular goal. Reward yourself whenever you reach a milestone or benchmark.

      • How will I benefit from reaching this goal? 
      • How will I stay focused during the process? 
      • How will the business be different one year from now?
      • How will this goal be achieved?
      • How does this deadline influence your daily activities?
      • How should I best spend my time, instead wasting time on unrelated, unimportant, non-strategic activities?


       “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.” — Winston Churchill

      6.  WHY… Schedule a weekly check in with yourself. Evaluate what’s working and what’s not. Remind yourself why you set these goals in the first place. 

      • Why am I going to do this in the first place?
      • Why am I willing to invest time, energy, and money in doing this? 
      • Why is achieving this goal so important to me? 
      • Why is reaching this goal important? 


      My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive, and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style.”— Maya Angelou

      Celebrating Life

      Celebrating Life-September…Labor Day Menu

      Being an Army wife, the Fourth of July has aways been a special holiday for our family…and, of course, being from the Deep South, our celebration centers around food.

      So today I’m sharing with you the menu that I have decided on for Labor Day this year.

      Growing up within spittng distance of Memphis, Tennessee,  I grew up eating “dry ribs” as part of each picnic or deck party.

      The most important step in making “dry ribs” is making the “dry rub,” that special mixture of herbs and spices that define the flavor of the meat.

      Just about every family in my “neck of the woods” has its own “secret family recipe” for dry rub…commonly consisting of various proportions of allspice,black pepper, brown sugar, cayenne, cumin, dry mustard, celery salt or celery seed, chili powder, dried oregano or rosemary, ginger, or white pepper.

      The following recipe is the dry rub recipe that I have been using since I crossed over the Mighty Mississippi into the Texas frontier twenty-five years ago. I like to make it in bulk to keep on hand…also great on chicken, pork chops, and anything else that doesn’t eat you first.

       Memphis-Style Dry Rub

      4Tbsp black pepper
      2C brown sugar
      3Tbsp cayenne
      2tsp celery seed
      3Tbsp cumin
      2tsp dried oregano
      1Tbsp dry mustard
      4Tbsp garlic powder
      3Tbsp salt
      1C sweet paprika



      Labor Day Ribs...Rub dry rub all over 2 St. Louis-cut or spare rib racks. Marinate in fridge overnight. 

      Start with a 200-220°F grill or smoker. Lay the ribs down so that are not directly over the heat source. Cover the grill or smoker. Let ribs cook for six hours, turning and rotating every hour.

      Hawaiian Macaroni Salad from Yellow Bliss Road
      Basic Potato Salad from The Baker Upstairs

      Overnight Slaw

      • 1 medium head cabbage, shredded
      • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
      • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
      • 1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
      • 1/2 cup sliced pimiento-stuffed olives
      • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
      • 1/2 cup canola oil
      • 1/2 cup sugar
      • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
      • 1 teaspoon salt
      • 1 teaspoon celery seed
      • 1 teaspoon mustard seed

      Combine cabbage, onion, peppers and olives. In a large saucepan, mix remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Cook and stir 1 minute. Pour over vegetables, and stir gently. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Mix well before serving. Yield: 16 servings.


      To make.…Combine 1 bottle Colavita Pinot Grigio Wine, ½ cup vodka, ¼ cup elderflower liqueur, ⅔ cup sliced strawberries, ⅔ cup blueberries, ⅓ cup raspberries, ⅓ cup blackberries. Refrigerate.

      To serve...muddle a few of the berries in each glass. Add ice, fill two-thirds full with wine mixture, and top with club soda. Serve with fresh mint sprigs.
      Paula Deen’s Classic Apple Pie 
      3/4 cup brown sugar
      1/4 cup flour
      1 tsp cinnamon
      pinch of nutmeg
      7 medium green apples, peeled and sliced
      1 tbsp lemon juice
      3 tbsp butter, cubed
      2 unbaked pie crusts
      egg wash for brushing on crust

      1.  Preheat oven to 375ºF.Mix together the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg.Place the apple slices in a large mixing bowl. Toss with the dry ingredients mixture to coat.

      2.  Press a pie crust into a 9-inch pie dish. Fill with the apple mixture.Drizzle the lemon juice over the apples. Sprinkle the cubed butter over top as well.

      3. Place the second pie crust over the filling (you can make a lattice top or simply cut slits to vent the steam). Press edges to seal.

      4.  Bake for 55-60 minutes. Let cool before slicing.

        Sweet, Sweet Sunday

        Saving Money in the Bathroom


        1.  Anti-Mold Spray and Bathroom Cleaner…Fill empty spray bottle at least half full with vinegar. Fill the rest of the spray bottle with water, leaving about a 1″ gap at the top of the bottle. Add 1tsp tea tree essential oil for every 1C vinegar/water solution. 

        To use, shake vigorously to combine the essential oils throughout the mixture. Generously spray on surfaces-showers, shower doors, walls, and tubs, etc-and do not wipe down. 

        2.  Carpet Freshener…Fill a shaker about halfway with baking soda. Add ten drops essential oil. Do another layer of baking soda and essential oil. Mix well. Sprinkle over carpet and rugs, and then vacuum.

        3.   Daily Shower Cleaner
        …Mix together 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide, 1/2 cup rubbing alcohol, 1 tsp dish soap, and 1 Tbsp dishwasher rinse aid into a 24oz spray bottle. Fill the spray bottle the rest of the way with water. 

         The hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol work together to help keep mildew at bay, and the soap and rinse aid fight soap scum.

        Hydrogen peroxide will break down in sunlight (which is why it’s sold in brown bottles). You can keep this spray in a dark bottle, or just store it in a dark cupboard between uses.

        4.  Floor Cleaner… Simply mix equal parts of white vinegar and hot water. Mop.  There’s no need to rinse, and the vinegar smell dissipates once the floors have dried.

        This floor cleaner works well on all floor types-sealed wood, tile, laminate and linoleum.

        5.  Glass Cleaner...Funnel 1 1/4 cups distilled water, 1/2 cup 80-proof vodka, and 1/4 cup white vinegar into a glass spray bottle. Add 8-10 drops of your favorite essential oil. Replace the nozzle. Shake well.

        To use, spray on windows and mirrors, and then wipe with a soft microfiber cloth until dry.

        6.  Lavender Linen Spray...Combine 2Tbsp witch hazel or vodka and 10 drops lavender essential oil in a small jar with tight-fitting lid. Place the lid on tightly. Shake well for 15-20 seconds to combine the two. 

        Open the lid to the jar. Add 6Tbsp water. Replace the lid. Shake again for 15-20 seconds to combine.

        Place the funnel in the opening of the spray bottle. Pour the mixture from the jar into the spray bottle. Replace the spray bottle lid.

        Spray on your pillows, sheets, and blankets. 

        7.  Room Freshener Spray…Stir together 1Tbsp baking soda and 10 drops essential oil. Put mixture into 16oz spray bottle. Top off with 2C distilled water. Label. Shake before each use.

        Scent Combination Ideas…

        1. 5 drops Peppermint, 5 drops Wild Orange 
        2. 5 drops Wild Orange, 3 drops Ginger, 3 drops Ylang Ylang 
        3.  4 drops Bergamot, 4 drops Lemon, 2 drops Peppermint
        4.  4 drops Lemongrass, 3 drops Wild Orange, 2 drops Peppermint

        8.  Toilet Bombs…Stir together 1 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup citric acid. Add 25 drops peppermint essential oil and 10 drops tea tree/melaluca essential oil. 

        Place vinegar in spray bottle.Spritz baking soda mixture lightly with vinegar. Spritz and stir, then repeat until mixture sticks together when squeezed.

        Press mixture firmly into a muffin tin or silicone molds. Allow to dry a few hours. Pop from mold. Store in a quart mason jar.

        To use,  toss one toilet bomb into the toilet bowl. Wait 15min. Swish with toilet brush. Flush.

        9.  Wood Floor Cleaner and Polish…Combine 1 gallon of hot water, 3/4 cup of olive oil! and 1/2 cup lemon juice. Apply it to your floors with a mop that you’ve wrung out fairly well. Let it dry on its own, without rinsing.

              Creating a Home

              Saving Money in the Kitchen

               Essential oils are great for diffusing and cleaning.
              Cleaning with essential oils will help keep your home free of toxic chemicals and leave behind a fresh, clean scent.

              It is important to remember that essential oils and green products can react with plastic, so always make and store your cleaning products in glass containers. 

              Also be sure to print and use cute and colorful labels to help you stay organized and know what each container contains.

              Moving on ahead, here are a few essential oil recipes to help keep your kitchen cleaner…

               1. All Purpose Cleaner …Combine.1 gallon water, 2tsp Dawn dish soap, 1/2C vinegar, 1/2C baking soda. Put in a spray bottle to clean showers, toilets, sinks, counter-tops, and floors.

              2. Dishwasher Detergent Tablets…Stir together 2C cups baking soda, 2C borax, 1/2C epsom salt,1/2C vinegar, and 20 drops of lemon essential oil. Transfer the mixture into a ice cube trays or silicone molds. 

              Press down until each compartment is hard packed with detergent. Put them in a dry, sunny spo and let them sit for at least 24 hours. Store in a container with a tight-fitting lid.

              3. Disinfectant...Combine 1Tbsp witch hazel, 5 drops orange essential oil, 5 drops lavender essential oil,2 drops eucalyptus essential oil, 7 drops tea tree oil in 8oz spray bottle.Fill with 1C distilled or filtered water.
              Shake well before each use. To use, spray on hard surface, such as counter-top and let air-dry.

              4. Garbage Disposal Bombs…Mix 3/4C baking soda with 1/2C salt. 

              Slowly add 1Tbsp dish soap and 10 drops lemon essential oil. Scoop the mixture into Tablespoon-sized “cookies” onto tin foil or parchment paper. Let /dry 24 hours. To use, store in a jar by the sink and run a couple of bombs through the disposal as needed.

              5. Room Spray...Combine 2tsp witch-hazel, 15 drops of lemon essential oil and 4oz water in a small, fine-mist spray bottle.

              Sweet, Sweet Sunday

              Saving Money in the Laundry Room

               Laundry Lessons…

              Hard to believe that thirty years ago, my mom was trying to teach me how to do my own laundry as I headed out the door to college. 

              Now I have three college daughters of my own who really need to start doing their own laundry…the right way…(So they can’t ever say that their mom never showed them how to do their own laundry…I am writing it here in plain English.)

              1.  How much detergent…Too much detergent is a waste of money and produces an excess of suds in the wash. Too little detergent can keep your clothes from getting clean at all.

              2.  How many clothes per load…Cramming every single article of clothing you own into one wash load makes it harder for clothes to get cleaned effectively. Use your common sense.

              3.  How often should I wash my clothes…Socks, underwear, and workout clothes should be washed after every wearing. Everything else, at least for the most part, can simply be aired out and put away for another day…(no, girls, that does not give you a valid excuse to leave your entire wardrobe all over the bedroom floor)…
              4.  What settings should you use…Select the smallest load setting and shortest wash setting appropriate for each particular load…again, use some common sense…or call your mom…

              5.  What water temperature should I use to wash my clothes… According to the U.S. Department of Energy, up to 90 percent of the energy used while doing a load of laundry is used to heat the water….

              We have been told differently since birth…or maybe since college days…because there was a time when hot water was needed to dissolve powdered detergent, but times have changed…and liquid laundry detergents have now advanced to the point of being able to get clothes just as clean in cold water as hot.

              So stop…(stop using hot or warm water, that is…not sure that any of us can get by with not doing laundry, at least not for very long.)

              Now that I have started doing smaller loads throughout the week, I am enjoying the freedom of “bachelor washing”…washing almost anything and everything in one load.

              Cold water makes doing this “safer”…is gentler on fabrics than warmer water…and helps keep clothes from fading or shrinking. 

              Even better, switching to cold water is the simplest way to save money. (There are detergents specifically made for cold water use, if throwing all your clothes into the same water scares you still)…

              6.  What water temperature should I use to rinse my clothes… rinsing in hot or warm water doesn’t get clothes any cleaner…it just increases your monthly utility bills.

              7.  Which detergent should I buy…Be smart enough to look beyond those super-expensive brands so that you can see the generic and store-brand options.

              Read the label to see how best to use a particular product. Forexample, some detergents go into the soap dispenser, others go right into the drum. 

              Many of my friends were on a laundry detergent-making sprint back when Pinterest first got big…(I personally never found time to try making my own…too busy on Facebook, I guess)…but here’s a recipe for homemade laundry detergent that was given to me back then…

              Homemade Laundry Detergent...3 cups washing soda, 3 bars of Castile soap, 3 cups of Borax, and 1/2tsp essential oil-such as grapefruit, lavender, lime or orange.

              Rosemary Mint Fabric Softener...6C water, 3C white vinegar, 2C Suave Rosemary + Mint Conditioner…Add 2Tbsp to your wash cycle for smaller loads, or 1/4C for larger loads. You can also pour 1/4C of the fabric softener onto a clean washcloth and toss it in your dryer just like a store-bought dryer sheet.

              8.  How do I wash extremely stinky clothes…Soak very smelly clothes in a machine filled with the hottest water available and 1C vinegar for an hour before washing them as normally would. Add a few drops of essential oils-such as lemon or lavender-to the water in the washing machine. 

              9.  How do I deal with that stain “will never come out”...Simply pray hard and then work a few drops of detergent into the stained fabric and wash as usual. If the stain doesn’t come out, you needed a good excuse to go shopping anyway, right?!

              The Dryer…Your dryer is the most expensive appliance to operate…so using it less will obviously save you money. A wall-mounted, folding drying rack provides the perfect spot to air-dry clothes without hanging your undies in plain sight for everyone outside to see.

              Here are a few more ways to save money when drying your clothes.

              1. Empty the lint trap and wipe the lint filter clean with a used dryer sheet after each load. Making sure the dryer lint filter is clean before starting each load will ensure peak performance of your dryer and prevent fire.

              2. Make your own dryer sheets…Homemade dryer sheets, using the natural smell of essential oils, can be added to your dryer along with your clothes to leave them pleasantly scented. 

              Homemade Dryer Sheets…Combine 1C white vinegar with 25 drops essential oil in a Mason jar. Put the lid on securely. Shake vigorously to mix. Dunk pieces of fabric or towels in the solution and wring out any excess liquid before using.

              3. Use your dryer during off peak times…Power companies often charge more per kilowatt-hour during peak usage times. This obviously means that the next load of clothes will cost more to dry during these times.
              4. Put an extra dry towel in the dryer with the wet clothes to help absorb the water so that your clothes dry faster.
              5. Regularly use a small amount of detergent and a toothbrush to clean your lint trap. Also take this time to clean the dryer exhaust vent and clear out the air hose behind your machine.

              6. Select sensor dry instead of timed dry, if you have the option.

              7. Switch loads right away, instead of allowing your dryer to cool down orrest between loads. Your dryer is built to handle such back-to-back cycles…so do not wait.

              Creating a Home

              Saving Money on Cleaning Supplies

              This year I have been in the process of “detoxifying” our home and our lifestyle. Lately I have been learning to make my own”safe” cleaning supplies.

              Making your own homemade cleaning products typically involves combining specific products, such as…

               1. Baking Soda...Baking soda is an ideal deodoriser, disinfectant, anddegreaser.

              2. Borax…Borax consists of soft colourless crystals that dissolve easily in water that can be used to make a very effecti all-purpose cleaner that can clean just about everything.

              3. Detergent…Detergent helps lift dirt and grime. When shopping for detergent, look for a detergent that is PH neutral, fragrance free and septic tank safe…such as Earth Choice, Morning Fresh, and ecostore.

              4. Essential Oils...Essential oils help make both your home and your cleaning supplies smell lovely and fresh. Some of the best essential oils for cleaning are lemon, lavender, eucalyptus, tea tree, and wild orange.

              5. Microfiber Cloths…Microfiber cloth are reusable. Simply throw them into the wash and then hang on the line to dry. 

              6. Salt... Salt is an effective scouring agent, deodoriser, and degreaser.

              7. Spray Bottles…Spray bottles are obviously important when you are making and using homemade cleaners.

              8. Vinegar...Vinegar, a great natural anti-fungal and antibacterial,  can be used so many different ways to clean -to disinfect, cut through grease, de-scale, clean glass, and so much more.

              Sweet, Sweet Sunday

               12 Steps Towards the Fountain of Youth… August 21…Senior Citizen’s Day

              Today is August 21, is Senior Citizen’s Day…a day to honor senior citizens…and also face the fact that you yourself will probably be a “senior citizen” also…especially now that the age to start calling yourself a senior citizen is 55, which is only seven years away for me.

              Aging gracefully and feeling healthy requires looking at the whole picture, every aspect of your life-physical, mental, and social.

              Any steps that can be taken now to improve your health and sense of wellbeing, both now and in the future, are steps well worth taking. Here are a few steps that you can do now to move closer and closer to the Fountain of Youth, and the Age of Reality…

              1.  Detox your home…
              We may not be able to control how many toxins we are exposed to on a daily basis, but we can take steps toward detoxifying our own homes, such as…

              • Filtering water. 
              • Leaving windows open as much as possible for better ventilation. 
              • Replacing beauty products with less toxic and chemical-free options. 
              • Switching from standard household cleaners to environmental friendly versions. 
              • Using glass instead of plastic whenever possible.

              2.  Dry-brushing your skin….Dry-brushing your skin not only smoothes, exfoliates, and detoxifies your skin…but also improves blood flow, increases energy, reduces cellulite, and supports the lymphatic system. Working this five-minute, health-boosting practice into your daily routine is well worth the effort.

              To dry-brush your skin…
              Using a brush with firm bristles and a handle, brush towards your heart with long, smooth strokes…starting at your feet and working upwards. 

              3.  Eat more greensOne of the best things you can do for your health is to eat more greens-spinach, kale, swiss chard, arugula, broccoli or bok choy. Your skin, mood, digestive system, and every other organ of your body benefits from your simply eating more greens. This can be done by…

              • Asking for extra vegetables instead of potatoes. 
              • Opting for a salad instead of fries
              • Selecting recipes full of greens that inspire you, and ones that you will actually be excited to eat

                4.  Eat more healthy fats. …Increasing the number of  “fatty” foods-avocado, coconut oil, eggs, fish and nut butters, and olive oil-that you consume can decrease your risk of disease, help fight depression, improve your cognitive function, and strengthen your bones.

                5.  Eat without distractions...Eliminating distractions and being mindful when we eat, instead of sitting in front of the TV or mindlessly looking at your phone as we eat, not only reduces anxiety and overeating, but also promotes weight loss.

                6.  Go to bed earlier.
                …Aim for at least eight hours of sleep each night. Develop a bedtime ritual-such as meditating, journalling, taking a leisurely bath-that actually works for you. Avoid screens-particularly phone and TV-for at least an hour before going to bed. 

                7.  Make a meal plan.…Set aside time each week to create a healthy meal plan and grocery list. Even preparing one healthy meal or snack ahead of time will help you save money and keep you from making poor food choices. 

                Try a meal or grocery delivery service. This may cost more, but will save you money spent eating out every meal.

                  8.  Practice gratitude….Gratitude shifts your focus from the negative-fear, anxiety, anger, and depression-to the positive. Gratitude has also been scientifically proven to have the ability to change your life–relationships, self-esteem, mental health, and even sleep. 

                  Commit to a consistent daily ritual of writing down three things that you are grateful for each day. Negative emotions will become harder to feel when you are mindfully practicing gratitude day-after-day
                  9.  Read food labels…Read labels. Look for foods that contain fewer ingredients and no added sugar, chemicals, and fillers.

                  10.  Schedule workouts....The hardest part of making sure your workouts actually do happen is to schedule them into your calendar ahead of time, instead of leaving it up to a time that is convenient and then making excuses not to go.

                  Fitness classes that charge a cancellation fee, recruiting a friend to exercise with you, and signing up for a long-term class will help hold you accountable and keep you focused.

                  11.  Up your fiber intake
                  ….Foods with high fiber content-ground flax seed, beans, raspberries, almonds, kale-is imperative to keep things moving along our digestive tracts.

                  12.  Volunteer your time...Ghandi once sa that the best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. Volunteering shifts our focus on helping others instead of remaining caught up in our own problems and isolating ourselves

                  Finally, your mother was right…Don’t forget to floss your teeth, sit up straight, and wash your hands.

                  Flossing not only keeps your gums clean and removes plaque, but also helps you avoid bad breath and heart disease. 

                  Sitting up straight can instantly boost your mood, improve your confidence level, and open up the lungs to receive more energy.

                  Washing your hands is a simple habit, but single-handedly the best way to avoid picking up viruses.

                    Getting Healthy

                    When life gives you lemons, drink them


                    August is also National Water Quality Month.

                    Being dehydrated can negatively impact everything from your mental focus to energy and metabolism. 

                    One of the most important purchases you can make when creating a more healthy home and lifestyle is a water filter. 

                    The type of filter that you should buy depends on just how clean your tap water is to begin with.Checking water quality can be done either by checking your municipality’s mandatory Consumer Confidence Reports, an annual water quality summary that’s released each year by July 1st, or using a test kit from the local hardware store. 

                    NSF International is a trusted organization that sets certain standards for judging water purity. Filters are tested by adding specific contaminants to the water and then determining how much of each impurity remains after going through the filter.

                    • NSF Standard 42...This means that the filter passes for “aesthetic effects,” like making the water taste and smell better. 
                    • NSF Standard 53...This means that the filter removes a given list of dangerous impurities, like lead and giardia.
                    • NSF Standard 401…This means that the filter also removes trace amounts of prescription drugs and pesticides. 

                    To see how your current water filter rates, check the NSF website.

                    Water filters range from personal on-the-go filters to pitcher filters, faucet-mounted filters, refrigerator filters, and countertop filters…and also vary as to price, filtration method, and size.

                    • Aquacristal 
                    •  Aquasana
                    • Big Berkey 
                    • Brita Everyday Water Pitcher
                    • Full Circle Home Wherever Lemon Water Bottle
                    • Soma Pitcher


                      A few health benefits of fruits most commonly used in infused water, for example are…

                      • Cucumbers…Cucumbers contain 95% water and are actually more nutritious than plain water. Cucumbers help keep you hydrated and also help flush out toxins from the body.
                      • Ginger…Ginger helps calm your GI tract.
                      • Lemons…Lemons are full of Vitamin C which can help boost your immune system. 
                      • Limes…Limes contain citric acid, which is an excellent fat burner and are also full of antioxidants.
                      • Mint Leaves…Min leaves can help you lose weight because the leaves stimulate the digestion of fat and help eliminate toxins from the body.

                      Fruit infuser water bottles make infused water that much easier to make and keep you from having to deal with fruit and leaves touching your lips every time that you take a drink.

                      Colorful infused water full of fresh fruit-such as blackberry, blueberry, and raspberry-will also help you lose weight.

                      Water can also be a good way to “cleanse” your system, instead of spending a bunch of money on expensive store-bought cleansing programs.

                      A “cleanse” differs from a “detox.” 

                      A cleanse flushes out any unneeded bad junk inside your body..

                      A “detox” involves cutting the “junk” out of your diet, and perhaps even your home and lifestyle, that are just “dirtying up” your system, making you sick, and causing fatigue, gas, bloating, and water retention. This will naturally feel more alert and awake with much less mental fog. 

                      Before you begin a cleanse or detox, be sure cut out all the carb-loaded drinks. alcohol, caffeine, processed foods, sugary foods, and saturated fats at least a week before starting.This will help reduce any withdrawal symptoms and allow you to benefit more from your cleanse or detox.

                      Be sure to eat more foods that are high in the healthy fats, such as avocados, raw nuts, and seeds.

                      1.  Lemon Cucumber Mint Fat Flush Water... Cut the cucumber into very thing slices and add about a half a lemon and squeeze the juice in. Add as much mint as you like.

                      2.  Orange-Kiwi Infused Water..
                      ..Combine 2C water or sparkling water, 2 ice, 1 slicedorange, 2 peeled and sliced kiwis.

                      3.  Strawberry Infused Vitamin Detox…
                      Slightly mush up 1C strawberries in a bowl with 2 sprigs fresh rosemary. Add 2C cubed watermelon. Pour filtered water over the fruit. Chill.