homemade lavender bath salts

Posted by on Nov 19, 2012 in healthy lifestyle, home remedies, Recipes, seasonal, wellness | 5 comments

Some people love love love lavender, while others turn their noses the other way. For lavender lovers, this simple homemade bath salt recipe may just make your day (or evening).

Besides being beautiful to look at, lavender has magnificent health benefits that most of us could benefit from.

The word lavender is derived from the Latin root lavare, which means “to wash,” since it was historically used in baths to help purify the body. This potent herb contains various properties that help relieve insomnia, anxiety and fatigue due to its soothing and sedative effects when inhaled.

Here’s how to make your very own lavender bath salts:

Ingredients:

  • Handful of fresh or dried lavender buds
  • 1/2 cup coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, or sunflower oil

Directions:

Add lavender, salt, and oil into a jar with a lid. Shake it up! Prepare your bath, adding bath salts as the water runs. Soak and breathe in the lavender scents. You will leave your bath feeling calm, soothed, and your skin will be super soft and glowing!

Photo courtesy of Michiganlavenderfestival.net

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homemade lavender bath salts

Posted by on Nov 19, 2012 in healthy lifestyle, home remedies, Recipes, seasonal, wellness | 5 comments

Some people love love love lavender, while others turn their noses the other way. For lavender lovers, this simple homemade bath salt recipe may just make your day (or evening).

Besides being beautiful to look at, lavender has magnificent health benefits that most of us could benefit from.

The word lavender is derived from the Latin root lavare, which means “to wash,” since it was historically used in baths to help purify the body. This potent herb contains various properties that help relieve insomnia, anxiety and fatigue due to its soothing and sedative effects when inhaled.

Here’s how to make your very own lavender bath salts:

Ingredients:

  • Handful of fresh or dried lavender buds
  • 1/2 cup coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, or sunflower oil

Directions:

Add lavender, salt, and oil into a jar with a lid. Shake it up! Prepare your bath, adding bath salts as the water runs. Soak and breathe in the lavender scents. You will leave your bath feeling calm, soothed, and your skin will be super soft and glowing!

Photo courtesy of Michiganlavenderfestival.net

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hurricane sandy clean up efforts

Posted by on Nov 16, 2012 in families, news and happenings | 2 comments

This past Monday we took a trip to the Rockaways in Queens, one of the communities seriously affected by hurricane Sandy. We wanted to help out those in need, so what better way than cooking up some food, and donating necessities.

We donated baked chicken, mashed potatoes and steamed peas to the Broad Channel community, and low sodium canned goods and cleaning supplies to the Rockaway Rescue Alliance, who prepare and deliver homemade meals to those in need. We brought dry goods and warm sweaters to the St. Francis de Sales Church on B-129th street, then we got to doing what we do best, serving food with a smile.

When we arrived at the church we met a woman who had organized relief efforts in the aftermath of 9/11. She was bright, energetic and knew what she was doing. She asked us what we were good at? We responded, “anything really.” She invited us into the “warming station” tent and had us organizing water for people to drink, then all of a sudden we were serving up hot chili, corn bread, mashed potatoes, chicken marsala, rice and beans to the long line of people waiting to eat.

While serving the food, we met wonderful volunteers who had great big hearts and smiles. Those waiting in line were people of all ages, races and backgrounds and were all so grateful for the hot food and the warm tent. It’s amazing to witness how the combinations of hot food, coffee and tea, and a caring community can warm up so many people in such hard times. We were grateful to have been able to help out, and highly recommend all of you readers to join in and help too.

For those living locally, they are looking for volunteers to help serve food, cook, sort, clean. You name it, and not just in the Rockaways and Broad Channel, but also in Staten Island, Red Hook and of course New Jersey. Here is a live list of ways that you can help.

If you would like to donate food, supplies, sweaters, gas, coats etc… please reach out to us, as one of colleagues grew up in the Rockaways and she travels there frequently.

“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something I can do.” Edward Everett Hale

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Kroger’s footprint

Posted by on Nov 14, 2012 in Food for thought, food politics, food waste, healthy lifestyle | 0 comments

The Kroger Co., one of the country’s largest retailers, has made great strides to reduce their environmental impact, becoming a benchmark for other large corporations to follow. Since 2000, they have managed to reduce their overall in-store energy consumption by 31 percent. They have saved more than 1.47 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions–that’s the same as taking more than 290,000 cars off the road for one year!

Kroger has set this precedent by taking advantage of the latest technology available, remodeling their stores to maintain maximum green efficiency. Their building model is not only beneficial for the environment, but it also helps to reduce their managing costs. Kroger achieves their eco-friendly status by using LED lighting, skylights, motion sensors, special computer control systems to monitor energy usage, and vast improvements in their transportation methods.

Their exemplar business model is also marked by their partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s SmartWay program since its 2004 launch. The SmartWay program encourages cleaner, more fuel-efficient transportation to cut back on the total sum of greenhouse gas emissions.

Since 1970, the United States has increased annual food waste by a shocking 50 percent. That means that today, Americans throw away nearly 40 percent of their food, totaling $165 billion annually. Learn more about the country’s food waste here.

Companies like the Coalition for Resource Recovery (CoRR) work to decrease this alarming amount of waste, helping businesses add to their profits by turning waste into assets. CoRR conducts pilots to be able to identify and ultimately assist in creating profitable waste diversion tactics, including a pilot that is currently happening here in New York City.

With NYC’s current waste system, almost 2.5 tons per day of paper, metal, plastic, glass, and food waste from both food and retail sectors are sent off to sit for years, undisturbed, in far away landfills. CoRR is working to locally recover the energy in waste food, using more green energy to power the city, and of course to reduce overall waste from NYC municipalities.

Other companies like Action Environmental Services and Waste Management are also working to eliminate waste throughout the country. By looking to waste-conscious brands like Dell and Hewlett-Packard as well as NYC restaurants like Northern Spy Food Co. and Franny’s, we can all work together to help reduce our annual waste and create a healthier environment for us all.

Photo courtesy of markramseymedia.com and thecorr.org

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the importance of chewing

Posted by on Nov 12, 2012 in calories, Food for thought, healthy food, healthy lifestyle, wellness | 2 comments

PrintChewing your food is more important that you think!  Did you know that chewing is the first step in the process of digestion?

When we chew our food, our bodies are better able to absorb the nutrients, and digest the food we eat, providing us with the energy we need to function well through out the day. Chewing your food thoroughly also leads to a healthier digestive system.

When we chew, our bodies release enzymes in our saliva that help break down food, and convert it into energy. Chewing helps prevent our stomachs from doing all of the work of digesting the food we are eating. So the next time you are eating, try to focus on each and every bite.

Here is a helpful suggestion “chew your food completely until it is small enough and dissolved enough to be swallowed with ease. A good rule of thumb is as follows: if you can tell what kind of food you are eating from the texture of the food in your mouth (not the taste), then you haven’t chewed it enough. For example, if you are chewing broccoli and you run your tongue over the stalk and can tell that it is still a stalk or over the floret and you can still tell that it is still a floret, don’t swallow. You need to keep on chewing until you can’t tell the stalk from the floret.”

For more information on how to improve your digestive health, check out this link that discusses how digestion is the cornerstone of wellness and longevity.

Happy chewing to all!

Photo courtesy of eatingmindfully.com

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