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6 Spring Detox Super Foods

Artichokes – Artichokes are a highly underrated vegetable.  They are high in vitamin C and fiber and help to increase bile production in the body, whi...

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Green Juice Recipe

Green Juice Recipe Ingredients: 5-7 Honeycrisp or Pink Lady Apples Juice of 2-3 Lemons or Limes 5-6 Stalks of Celery 1 Cucumber Half Head of Ro...

kambucha

Health Benefits of Kombucha

Kombucha Health Benefit #1: Boosts the Immune System Got allergies? Are you run down frequently with colds? You can build up your immunity naturall...

10 foods that giveyou energy

10 Foods to Increase your Energy

1. Coconut Oil: The number one reason so many of us reach for caffeine and sugar to get an energy boost is that we are eating a diet that is too low f...

6 Spring Detox Super Foods

Artichokes – Artichokes are a highly underrated vegetable.  They are high in vitamin C and fiber and help to increase bile production in the body, which helps the intestines eliminate toxins from the body. Artichokes also contain a substance that helps the liver break down fatty acids.  This is good news because the average diet and lifestyle creates tremendous strain on the liver’s ability to filter out toxins. (Need some cooking inspiration? 15 Ways to Use Artichokes)

Asparagus – It is hard to beat asparagus when it is coated in olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt and lightly grilled on the barbecue.  This flowering perennial is an excellent source of vitamin K and folate, the latter of which is particularly necessary for pregnant women. Asparagus also contains vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B6, niacin, manganese, potassium, magnesium and selenium. You can find some asparagus recipes here.1301523.large

Garlic – Forget worrying about your breath and enjoy the potent healing properties of fresh garlic. Where I live, garlic is usually planted in the fall and the ready for harvest in late spring.  Garlic is a relative of onion and shares many of its same health benefits.  It can destroy harmful bacteria, intestinal parasites, and viruses in the body, helps cleanse buildup from the arteries and lowers blood pressure. Garlic is well known for its anti-cancer and antioxidant properties and also helps cleanse the respiratory tract by expelling mucous buildup in the lungs and sinuses. Keep in mind that store-bought garlic powder offers none of these benefits found in fresh, easy-to-grow garlic. Don’t be afraid to give fresh garlic a starring role in your cooking; try these garlic-heavy recipes.

Onions – Onions are as versatile as they are health promoting.  Research on these members of the allium family has uncovered powerful antioxidant and anti-cancer capabilities. Onions also thin and cleanse the blood and lower LDL cholesterol without lessening HDL cholesterol. Rich in biotin (which aids sugar and fat metabolism) and phytonutrients like polyphenols, onions also help detoxify the respiratory tract and fight asthma, bronchitis, hay fever, and diabetes. Onions, like garlic, help cleanse the body of viruses and the intestines of harmful bacteria.

Strawberries – Still not a fan of vegetables?  Late spring is the season of nutrient- and enzyme-rich strawberries.  Eating eight strawberries (who can stop at eight?) will give you more vitamin C than an orange. Like most delicious berries, they are among the highest foods measured for antioxidant capacity. Fresh or frozen, on a salad or in a smoothie, strawberries offer a delicious treat and protect you from heart disease, arthritis, memory loss, cancer and a host of other health problems.  Detox never tasted so good!

Watercress – Not the most common leafy green used in salads but certainly one of the healthiest, this aquatic plant increases detoxification enzymes in the body and contains phytonutrients that have successfully inhibited carcinogens. In a study at the Norwich Food Research Centre in the United Kingdom, smokers who were given 170 grams of watercress per day eliminated higher than average amounts of carcinogens in their urine, thereby reducing their numbers in their body.  Watercress has a mild, peppery flavor that enhances salads, soups and sandwiches. (Try this pan-fried tofu with lemon sauce and watercress.

Source: Care2.com

Green Juice Recipe

Green Juice Recipe Ingredients:

5-7 Honeycrisp or Pink Lady Apples
Juice of 2-3 Lemons or Limes
5-6 Stalks of Celery
1 Cucumber
Half Head of Romaine
1 Head of Kale

Place all ingredients through a juicer and enjoy,

Source: Living Green Magazine

 

Health Benefits of Kombucha

Kombucha Health Benefit #1: Boosts the Immune System

Got allergies? Are you run down frequently with colds? You can build up your immunity naturally by consuming more fermented foods and drinks.

Our immune system is in our gut. Most of us have grown up on antibiotics and other drugs that kill off our beneficial bacteria. The result? Kombucha’s fermentation process encourages the growth of beneficial bacteria. Probiotics are good for your gut, and good for immunity.kambucha

Kombucha is also rich in antioxidants, which help to strengthen immunity.

Kombucha Health Benefit #2: Natural Detoxifier

Kombucha has probiotics and enzymes that promote detoxification. One of the main jobs of the good bacteria in your gut is to detoxify. By adding more beneficial bacteria to your gut, you’re getting the job done faster.

Kombucha promotes detoxification. Regular consumption of kombucha tea also supports liver function.

Kombucha Health Benefit #3: Rich in Vitamins and Enzymes

In addition to beneficial bacteria, kombucha contains B vitamins and enzymes.

B vitamins provide support for the body’s metabolic functions including overall energy, utilization of carbohydrates, heart health, and healthy hair, skin, and nails. Adequate intake of B vitamins can reduce stress, anxiety and depression, boost memory, and relieve PMS.

Most of us don’t get enough enzymes these days because we don’t eat enough raw food. The role of digestive enzymes is to break down the foods that we eat into smaller compounds so the nutrients can be more easily absorbed into the bloodstream.
Kombucha Health Benefit #4: Energy Boost

Everyone needs more energy these days, which is why so many of us are reaching for coffee, tea, sugar, caffeinated sodas, and “energy drinks”.

Kombucha is the original energy drink. This is not an artificial jolt of caffeine or sugar — but a natural energy booster. Because kombucha helps the body detoxify, there is less burden on your system, and as a result, you get more energy. As stated above, kombucha is also rich in B vitamins, which gives the body energy.

Kombucha Health Benefit #5: Increased Metabolism

Enzymes boost metabolism. In addition, all the beneficial bacterial and enzymes in the kombucha help your body work better and take the burden off of it’s functioning.

Kombucha Health Benefit #6: PMS Relief

Kombucha helps to relieve PMS. How? B vitamins help to break down and flush out excess estrogen from the body (a condition called estrogen dominance). This can help to reduce PMS symptoms.

Kombucha Health Benefit #7: Relief from Arthritis and Joint Pain

I was diagnosed with arthritis when I was in my 20s. I cured myself by going on an elimination diet (elimination of all possible allergens) and taking therapeutic grade probiotics. It took about 2 years, but I fully recovered.

Arthritis is an immune disorder. Scroll back up to Kombucha Health Benefit # 1 — kombucha is rich in probiotic bacteria which help to rebuild healthy gut flora, and strengthen immunity.

Source: green village network

10 Foods to Increase your Energy

1. Coconut Oil: The number one reason so many of us reach for caffeine and sugar to get an energy boost is that we are eating a diet that is too low fat.

Coconut oil is a healthy, traditional fat. Our body metabolizes coconut oil in the liver, immediately converting it into energy (fuel for the brain and muscle function) rather than storing it as fat.

2. Liver: The liver from an animals is one of the most nutritious foods you can eat to give you more energy. These include chicken liver, beef liver, calves liver, pork liver, and foie gras. You can eat liver fried (such as fried chicken livers) or sauteed (liver and onions) or in pâtés — meat spreads — (liverwurst or foie gras).10 foods that giveyou energy

The liver is the main metabolic engine of the body, and is therefore an excellent source of nutrients that give us energy, including all of the B vitamins, carnitine, and lipoic acid. Liver is also extremely rich in biotin, and is a good source of vitamin C.

3. Cod Liver Oil: Not ready to eat liver? Take cod liver oil instead. One teaspoon of cod liver oil every morning will give you all the nutrients (and energy) that you get from eating liver. An easy way to take it is to add to a shot of orange juice.

4. Desiccated Liver Capsules: Desiccated liver capsules are another way to take liver. They are made from dehydrated liver and encapsulated. What could be easier?

5. Whole Grains (Ideally Sprouted or Soaked): Carbohydrates supply energy to the body in the form of glucose. Glucose is the only energy source for red blood cells and the preferred energy source for the brain, central nervous system, and during pregnancy, the placenta and fetus.

The kind of carbohydrates you eat makes a huge difference in the way you metabolize food and how much energy you have. Refined grains such as white bread and white rice are quickly digested into simple sugars and absorbed into your bloodstream. This can cause blood-sugar levels to spike and then quickly crash.

In contrast, complex carbohydrates such as whole grains are rich in fiber, which helps to regulate blood sugar by slowing the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream after eating. Complex carbohydrates provide long-lasting energy that will keep you fueled for hours.

Your very best bet: sprouted or soaked whole grains. The process of soaking and sprouting grains releases more nutrition and are easier to digest and metabolize.

6. Other Sources of Complex Carbohydrates: If you don’t eat grains, there are lots of other sources of complex carbohydrates to choose from.

These include: Green vegetables
Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, and pumpkin
Beans, lentils, and peas

7. Clams: Chronic fatigue can be a sign that you’re iron deficient. Did you know that clams have more iron than any other food? In one 2.5 ounce serving of clams, you get a whopping 21 mg of iron. That’s almost 3 times as much iron as chicken liver (8.7 mg for 2.5 ounces) and almost 9 times as much as beef (2.4 mg).

8. Eggs: Eggs are also one of the best sources of protein. But if you want energy, don’t skip the yolks. Egg yolks are rich in B-vitamins, which help convert food into energy.

9. Yogurt: Yogurt is a great source of protein, and if you’re eating whole milk yogurt, you’re consuming healthy fat as well, which gives you even more fuel.

10. Water: Feeling tired could be caused by dehydration. If you’re sipping on coffee or other caffienated drinks throughout the day, you’re depriving your cells of hydration. Try getting more water in — via plain water, sparkling, or herbal tea — and you’ll find that you have more energy.

Source: Village green network

Green Your Home

The annual New York State Green Building Conference taking place in downtown Syracuse offers plenty of workshops on things like carbon neutral structural systems and operational sustainability strategies.

• Linoleum flooring. Bet you thought linoleum was made of plastic. Turns out that, though it comes in sheets like vinyl flooring, linoleum is actually made from 100 percent natural materials. It’s been around for decades, but makers of linoleum are beginning to market it as a green product.

“A lot of people get it confused,” said Andrew McLoughlin, an account executive with Forbo Flooring Systems. “They think it’s plastic, but it’s not. And it’ll last 30 years, even in high-traffic areas like hospitals and schools.”green building

Forbo sells linoleum flooring made of linseed oil, pine rosin, limestone and other “100 percent bio-based” materials. The company’s display at the conference includes all those materials to show what goes into its flooring.

• Artisan furniture. Syracuse-based Salt Works showed off a wooden table made by local residents from timbers reclaimed from a Syracuse warehouse.

Salt Works — a partnership between the Near Westside Initiative, Syracuse University, the Northside Urban Partnership and Syracuse Habitat for Humanity — produces furniture from reclaimed lumber. Its products include a trestle table, a bench table and a farm house table.

• Porcelain tile. Crossville Inc. of Crossville, Tenn., makes tile from recycled porcelain.

The porcelain it uses is left over from the manufacture of toilets. (No, none of it comes from used toilets.) Crossville grinds it back into a powder and turns it into tiles for floors, walls and backsplashes.

“It’s very stain resistant and easy to clean,” said Martin Collins, a sales representative for Vestal Tile, which sells Crossville tiles.

• Natural aggregate surfaces. Chameleon Ways Inc., of Center Valley, Pa., makes decorative surfaces and paving products made of stone, some of it recycled porcelain, bricks and granite countertops.

Paul Brown, general manager of East Syracuse-based Nagle Athletic Surfaces, said his company has installed the product at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, on bike paths along Syracuse’s Connective Corridor and in tree pits in downtown Syracuse.

• GreenFox. That’s the name of a drain water heat recovery system sold by Imperial Eco Solutions of West Sand Lake.

The system collects water from shower and sink drains and runs it through a copper tube. The tube captures the heat from the water and uses it to pre-heat the clean water going into a home’s water heater. In that way, heat that would otherwise be washed down the drain gets re-used, reducing a homeowner’s energy bills, said Imperial President Ken Twinam.

• Wind turbines. Kohilo Wind of Jordan makes lightweight wind turbines that sit on poles and provide lighting and power security cameras without the need for electrical hookups. (The company says Kohilo is a Hawaiian word meaning “gentle breeze.”

Source: Syracuse.com

Create an Eco-friendly Garden

1. Plant bright flowers such as candytuft, sunflowers and marigolds, to encourage beneficial insects like ladybirds and lacewings. These will eat aphids such as blackfly, which can decimate your flowers and crops. Bluebells, cowslips, foxgloves and primroses are all wildflowers to add color and beauty to any garden. Buy flowers that will bloom as late into the autumn as possible, to allow more beneficial bugs and bees plenty of time to pollinate.

2. Invest in a water butt. Even better, blend it in with your garden scheme by building a wooden casing around it and painting it, suggests DIY power tool experts Dremel. Alternatively, buy an old wine barrel as an attractive alternative and customize it so you can fill a watering can. Wooden water butts need to stand above ground level, allowing the wood to breathe from beneath.garden8

3. Create your own makeshift mulch. If you have collected leaves to make leaf mold over the years, this will act as a great mulch in spring. Alternatively, use compost, bark or garden clippings which have been shredded.

4. Consider ‘companion planting’ to ward off predators. Many plant combinations mask each other with scent. The smell of Tagetes (French marigolds) will deter whitefly, while garlic and other alliums have been used as companions to keep pests at bay. Trailing nasturtiums repel woolly aphids, while bugle extract repels cabbage white caterpillars. In a similar way, leeks repel carrot flies, okra shields peppers from wind, while tall crops provide a canopy for short ones, such as lettuce and spinach, which prefer partial shade in the heat.

5. Recycle everyday packaging to use in your garden. Plastic cartons which have held pre-packed vegetables can be adapted as seed trays, yoghurt pots which have been thoroughly cleaned can be used to raise seedlings and larger plastic bottles with the bottoms cut off can work as makeshift cloches around young vulnerable plants. Large wooden crates can be used to store fruit and veg later on in the season.

6. Set up a worm compost bin if you only have a small space, and make a home for some small, red tiger worms, which you can buy. Use a wooden box with holes and a lid for a worm compost bin., add a layer of moist, shredded newspaper and soil for their bedding, then feed them once a week with vegetable peelings wrapped in newspaper or paper towels. Every two or three months, the rich, fine compost will be ready to use.

7. Use solar power to light the path to your front door. Solar lights fixed into the ground store energy at low cost in the daytime and light the way to your front door in the dark. Cut niches into your paving stones by using a compact saw or plant them either side of your path in the garden borders.garden-show-2005-painted-tyres-4b

8. Make a compost bin if you don’t already have one. To make a simple wooden compost bin simply cut wooden slats to size and screw them together at right angles. Sand down any sharp edges or splintered wood, then prepare your compost by layering grass cuttings, leaves and natural waste from your kitchen (such as paper, cardboard and vegetable peelings) and turn regularly. Once the waste has rotted, it should be an ideal supply to mix with your garden top soil.

9. Charge battery-powered equipment the smart way. If your garden tools are battery-powered, bear in mind that the prices charged for electricity may vary at different times of the day and night. Once you have the details you can start saving money by charging batteries during off-peak hours. Additionally, lithium-ion batteries retain their charge even if they haven’t been used for some time.

10. Minimize your non-permeable hard landscaping, such as pavers set in concrete. Create boundaries with hedging rather than fencing if you can.

Source

Apple Products Causing Cancer in Factory Workers (Video)

This short documentary reveals the hazards of the electronics industry (including Apple iPhones, Samsung, LG) in China. The short movie profiles workers who have been poisoned by chemicals (including benzene) and their struggle for compensation.

Thousands of young people in China enter export factories to make the North America’s favorite electronic gadgets, only to find they have contracted occupational diseases or worse, leukemia, by the age of 25.

Tell Apple to stop using chemicals that hurt their employees.

Tesla Banned from Selling in New Jersey

Tesla was dealt a crushing blow in New Jersey today after the state’s Motor Vehicle Commission passed a rule that will prevent the company from selling its electric cars directly to consumers starting in April. Unlike other automakers, Tesla sells its Model S through company-owned retail stores — a business model that cuts out the franchised auto dealerships that have ruled the market for decades. New Jersey is the third US state to ban car manufacturers from selling directly to customers, joining Texas and Arizona. But unlike those two states, New Jersey is home to a booming luxury vehicle market, making this a major loss for Tesla.Tesla Motors Model x

As you might guess, Tesla is outraged by the decision. Tesla blasted Governor Chris Christie’s administration for deceitful tactics. Tesla claims that Christie previously agreed to delay the proposed amendment, which would have allowed “a fair process” in the state legislature. But yesterday — just 24 hours before the amendment was hurriedly passed — Tesla says it abruptly received word that Christie’s administration “had gone back on its word.” Tesla says the amendment “is an affront to the very concept of a free market.” And the company insists this isn’t just about cutting out the middleman; Tesla says full control over the buying experience is necessary to properly educate car buyers about the benefits that come with going electric.

We strongly believe it is vital to introduce our own vehicles to the market because electric cars are still a relatively new technology. This model is not just a matter of selling more cars and providing optimum consumer choice for Americans, but it is also about educating consumers about the benefits of going electric, which is central to our mission to accelerate the shift to sustainable transportation, a new paradigm in automotive technology.

Contact the NJ governors office (or call them at 609-292-6000) and voice your opinion on their decision on Tesla sales.

Source: Theverge.com

8 Steps to Start Composting

Screen Shot 2014-03-07 at 2.25.09 PMWith Spring arriving and warmer weather on the way, it’s an ideal time to start a composting pile in your backyard. In doing so, you’ll reduce household waste and create a rich soil conditioner and fertilizer for your plants and garden. The warmer days and nights will help the contents in the compost pile break down more quickly than they would have in the colder months. Just remember, as summer rolls around and the weather is drier, you’ll need to keep the compost moist so it doesn’t dry out.

Here are 8 steps to start a compost pile courtesy of EarthEasy.com:

1. Start your compost pile on bare earth to allow worms and other organisms to aerate the compost. If you’re short on space or prefer to contain the pile, you can use a compost bin or compost tumbler.

2. First in: twigs or straw. Layer these a few inches deep to help drain and aerate the pile.Compost bin diagram (250)

3. Add compost materials in layers, alternating moist materials (food scraps, tea bags, etc.) and dry materials (straw, leaves, sawdust, wood ashes).  TIP: If you add wood ashes, sprinkle them in thin layers or they’ll clump and slow break down.

4. Add a nitrogen source, like manure or green manure (clover, buckwheat, wheatgrass, grass clippings), to activate and speed up the compost process.

5. Keep the compost moist by occasionally watering the pile or allowing rain to do so. It should be moist but not soaked.

6. Cover the pile so it retains moisture and heat- two key essentials for compost. You can likely look no further than your garage or basement to find a suitable cover. Try wood, plastic, a tarp, or carpet scraps.

7. Turn the pile every few weeks with a pitchfork for shovel to help aerate it. This turning process adds oxygen, another instrumental element in the composting process. TIP: You can skip this step if you already have a good supply of coarse material like straw and twigs.

8. Maintain the pile by mixing in new materials rather than adding them in layers. Mixing and turning the pile is key to aerating the materials and speeding up the process to completion.

WHAT TO ADD

Greens (high in nitrogen, moist, usually byproducts of plants or animals)

  • Kitchen Greens: produce scraps, houseplant cuttings, coffee grounds, rice, pasta, egg shells, tea bags
  • Yard Greens: flowers, vegetables, plant trimmings, hedge clippings, grass


Browns
(high in carbon, usually dry and brownish in color):

  • Household Browns: coffee filters, stale bread, paper napkins and towels, dryer lint, hair
  • Yard Browns: leaves, twigs, wood chips, ashes (sprinkled), straw or hay, dried grass, weeds

Now you’re ready to begin composting! Share any of your own composting tips in our comments section below.

 

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Green Kitchen and Cooking Makeover: 10 Do’s and Don’ts
Think Green! Use Products that Decompose Faster
Starbucks is Giving Away Used Coffee Grounds for Your Garden
10 Things to do with Old Coffee Grounds and Tea Bags
How to Make a Rain Barrel (video)

80 Things You Can Compost

compost imageComposting is a great way to reduce household waste while creating a rich soil fertilizer for your garden and houseplants. Composting fruit and veggie scraps are obvious, but did you know you could empty the vacuum cleaner contents into the pile too? Here’s a list of more than 80 things you can compost:

1. Dryer lint
2. “Dust bunnies”
3. The insides of a vacuum bag (just empty the bag into the compost bin)
4. The contents of your dustpan
5. Coffee grounds
6. Coffee filters
7. Tea bags/loose leaf tea
8. Soy/rice/almond/etc milk
9. Nu shells (but not walnut, which may be toxic to plants)
10. Pumpkin/sunflower/sesame seeds (chop them to ensure they won’t grow)
11. Avocado pits (chop them up so they won’t sprout)
12. Pickles
13. Stale tortilla chips/potato chips
14. Stale crackers
15. Crumbs (bread or other baked goods)
16. Old breakfast cereal
17. Bran (wheat or oat, etc)
18. Seaweed/nori/kelp
19. Tofu/tempeh
20. Frozen fruits and vegetables
21. Expired jam or jelly
22. Egg shells
23. Old, moldy “soy dairy” and other dairy substitutes
24. Stale Halloween candy and old nutrition/protein bars
25. Popcorn kernels (post-popping, the ones that didn’t make it)
26. Old herbs and spices
27. Cooked rice
28. Cooked Pasta
29. Oatmeal
30. Peanut shells
31. Booze (beer and wine)
32. Wine corks
33. Egg cartons (not Styrofoam)
34. Toothpicks
35. Q-tips (not the plastic ones)
36. Bamboo Skewers
37. Matches
38. Sawdust
39. Pencil shavings
40. Fireplace ash (fully extinguished and cooled)
41. Burlap sacks
42. Cotton or wool clothes, cut into strips
43. Paper towels
44. Paper napkins
45. Paper table cloths
46. Paper plates (non wax- or plastic-coated)
47. Crepe paper streamers
48. Holiday wreaths
49. Balloons (latex only)
50. Raffia fibers (wrapping or decoration)
51. Excelsior (wood wool)
52. Old potpourri
53. Dried flowers
54. Fresh flowers
55. Dead houseplants (or their dropped leaves)
56. Human hair (from a home haircut or saved from the barber shop)
57. Toenail clippings
58. Trimmings from an electric razor
59. Pet hair
60. Domestic bird and bunny droppings
61. Feathers
62. Fish food
63. Aquatic plants (from aquariums)
64. Dog food
65. Rawhide dog chews
66. Ratty old rope
67. The dead flies on the windowsill
68. Pizza boxes and cereal boxes (shredded first)
69. Toilet paper and paper towel rolls (shredded first)
70. Paper muffin/cupcake cups
71. Cellophane bags (real cellophane, not regular clear plastic)
72. Kleenex (including used)
73. Condoms (latex only)
74. Old loofas (real, not synthetic)
75. Cotton balls
76. Tampon applicators (cardboard, not plastic) and tampons (including used)
77. Newspaper
78. Junk mail
79. Old business cards (not the glossy ones)
80. Old masking tape
81. White glue/plain paste.

Please tell us what else you compost!

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8 Steps to Start Composting
Top 10 New Uses for Old Things from Real Simple Magazine
Natural Spring Cleaning Ideas to Use Any Time