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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Book Review - Gorgeously Green by Sophie Uliano

About a month ago I started reading Gorgeously Green by Sophie Uliano. While I was out perusing books one day with my boys, this book caught my eye.

This book is full of tips & helpful tidbits. The website at is also full of information, recipes, and also has givaways.

The book has:

  • a green lifestyle checklist to help you see areas in your life that you need improvement

  • tips on making your home non-toxic

  • healthy eating, with tasty looking recipes, explains organic food, labeling practices, truthfulness in advertising, and covers best fish to chose and which to avoid.

  • covers skin care, face care, cleansing, moisturizing, body care, lotion, hair care, and includes product recommendations

  • the author recommends sesame oil for body oil with a few drops of essential oil. says that sesame oil penetrates the skin easily, contains antioxidants, and has a reputation for slowing the aging process.

  • cosmetic & body care ingredients to avoid - classifies them as red alert & orange alert ingredients

  • covers shopping habits & avoiding items manufactured in sweatshops. This section also covers cutting back on buying items that you don't really need. This is not only economical, but it cuts down on consuming stuff, like newspapers, paper cups from the coffee shops, etc.

  • exercise - includes yoga poses, arm strengthening, bottom firming & toning, and ab exercises.

  • tips on green travel

  • tips on green gift giving
This is an excellent book for someone starting to live a green lifestyle. The checklist offered in the book is really good at pointing out weak areas that need improvement. Someone who has already been travelling down the road of greeness may find the book has a lot of information that the reader already knows and a little simplistic. Although a refressher is not a bad idea. At least in my own life I find myself slipping, getting lazy, and falling back on bad habits.

Next up on my reading list is The Gorgeously Green Diet

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Chlorine rinsed vegetables

I was forwarded the following e-mail a few days ago:

"Good to know.

The following is information from a farmer who grows and packages carrots for IGA, METRO, LOBLAWS, etc. The small cocktail (baby) carrots you buy in small plastic bags are made using the larger crooked or deformed carrots which are put through a machine which cuts and shapes them into cocktail carrots - most people probably know this already. What you may not know and should know is the following: Once the carrots are cut and shaped into cocktail carrots they are dipped in a solution of water and chlorine in order to preserve them)this is the same chlorine used in your pool).

Since they do not have their skin or natural protective covering, they give them a higher dose of chlorine. You will notice that once you keep these carrots in your refrigerator a few days, a white covering will form on the carrots. This is the chlorine which resurfaces. At what cost do we put our health at risk to have esthetically pleasing vegetables? Chlorine is a very well-known carcinogen, which causes Cancer. I thought this was worth passing on. Pass it on to as many people as possible in hopes of informing them where these carrots come from and how they are processed.I used to buy those baby carrots for vegetable dips never again!! "

I decided to do some research. I don't like to take risks when it comes to my health and the food I ingest. I also don't like to perpetuate false information.

Some baby carrots are made by whittling down larger carrots. They are treated with a chlorine solution to kill bacteria, (but are rinsed with water.) According to Snopes most baby carrots today are bred to be more sweeter than larger carrots because the sweetness appeals more to people, especially children. Also the brighter orange color and more even coloring has been bred into them.

It is also worthy to note there are other vegetables in the produce department of your store that are pre-washed with chlorine, baby carrots chlorine content is not any different that those other vegetables. Tap water also contains chlorine. So if you drink plain tap water, that should also be a concern.

Per the Snopes web site, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency rinsing produce with a chlorine solution is an accepted, current practice for antimicrobial purposes. It is approved by the United States' FDA with strict rules for what concentration of chlorine can be used and how long the carrots can be exposed. However organic growers use a citrus based non toxic solution.
An article from Consumer Reports stated that “Manufacturers often treat produce—even organic produce—with a mild chlorine solution to disinfect it and extend its shelf life. But the concentrations are tiny compared with those used in, say, cleaning products, and they pose no known risk to humans. If you’d prefer to avoid the chemical anyway, choose produce fresh off a farm stand, or grow your own.”

The white film that appears on baby-cut carrots, however is not the chlorine coming to the surface. The white film or “blush” would appear on any cut carrot from your own garden that you put in your refrigerator for a couple of days.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Benefits of Massage

Not only does massage feel got, but it has other benefits.
  • It's good for your mood. Massage can ease depression, anxiety, and fatigue.
  • Massage eases pain. Chronic tension headache sufferers have fewer episodes after neck and shoulder massages. According to Dr. Daniel Hinshaw massage can be as powerful as morphine for helping those in pain.
  • It calms children with ADHD. According to a small study of children with ADHD, those who got a 20 minute massage twice a week for a month behave better in school.
  • enhances immunity by improving lymph flow.
  • improves circulation - which helps get more oxygen to vital organs as well as improving the condition of the skin
  • helps sore muscles feel better, reduces spasms & cramping, increases joint flexibility
  • Reduces Hypertension - stimulates the vagus nerve, which regulates blood pressure. In a 2005 study patients at the University of South Florida who received 10, 10 minute massages over a 3 week period had improved blood pressure
However some should speak to a medical professional before having a massage, such as those with burns or open wounds, severe osteoporosis, unhealed fractures, persons with a fever, deep vein thrombosis, cancer, or recent heart attacks. Pregnant women should seek a massage therapist trained in prenatal massage. Massage done improperly can also lead to damage, so get your massage from a trained massage professional.
Samuel, Neena. "Hands On Pain Relief." Readers Digest April 2008: 47
Ehrenfeld, Temma. "Five Surprising Benefits of Massage." Newsweek 4 Sept. 2008.
"Benefits of Massage." Editorial Staff. Body Sense Fall 2001
The Mayo Clinic