Friday, February 19, 2010

Orange Oil and Its Amazing Health Benefits

I have been drinking Orange Essential oil for about 5 months now. I don't actually drink the oil straight, I drop about 10-15 drops into my bottled water and drink orange flavored water all day long. Its truly delicious and has some amazing health benefits that I bet you are not aware of.

Orange Oil: Everyday Uses for Excellent Health

Orange essential oil for your body:

  • Aids digestion and detoxifies your system

  • Eases constipation

  • Relieves water retention

  • Stimulates your adrenals

  • Promotes circulation

  • Combats cellulite

  • Increases your absorption of vitamin C

  • Supports your immunity to fight colds and flu

  • Strengthens and rejuvenates your skin

Orange essential oil for your mind:

  • Reduces stress, nervousness and tension

  • Energizes and fights lethargy and fatigue

  • Treats depression during menopause

  • Induces sleep when combined with lavender

  • Promotes creative thinking

  • Moves energy out of your head and into your heart

  • Encourages right brain functioning

Orange essential oil for your home:

  • Cleans and disinfects

  • Removes stains, especially from counter tops

  • Is an effective degreaser

Limonene and Orange Oil: Potent Anti-Cancer Ingredient

Besides being such an effective mind and body healer, new research has shown that limonene, a component that makes up greater than 90% of pure orange oil, has amazing anti-cancer properties.

The limonene (also known as d-limonene) in orange essential oil can be effective in fighting melanoma, liver, breast, lung, and pancreatic cancers.

For skin cancers, people use limonene topically; it can also be taken internally as an effective natural cancer treatment and preventative.

Its like an insurance policy for your body. I feel healthier ever since I started drinking it and I will eventually put some into my kid's water bottles as well.

If you are interested in how to get some of this delicious Orange Oil, please go to and/or contact me for more info. Young Living is the only company to produce therapeutic grade essential oils. They are the purest, most potent oils around. I trust them for myself and my family!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

For All My Kale Lovers - A New and Delicious Recipe

So winter is still upon us and in some cases still dumping major amounts of snow. I don't feel so bad for all my friends with 30 inches of snow on their front step because you can't go sledding or make snow angels in spitting rain. Yes, that is what Atlanta has been experiencing since December. It hasn't been fun. But the good news is that kale, the dark green leafy vegetable that prevents cancer and is high in antioxidants, is still in season. What better to chase the winter blues away with then a warm and hearty soup?

Well, I just made a kale and white bean soup that you must try. Its so tasty that you won't even realize you are eating something good for your health. I actually halved the recipe and I got about 4 servings. But here is the recipe that serves 8.


2 Tbls EVOO
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 large onion, chopped
Raw sea salt
Crushed black pepper
2 15.5oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed
1 cup orzo pasta
1 bunch kale, thick stems discarded and leaves torn into 2 inch pieces (8 cups)
2 Tbls fresh chopped rosemary (optional, cause if you don't love rosemary in a soup then you won't love it in this soup either)
1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
1 Tbls fresh lemon juice


Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, celery, onion, 1 and 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes.

Add the beans, pasta, kale, rosemary (optional) and 8 cups of water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the pasta and kale are tender, 4 to 5 minutes (or until the pasta and kale are cooked to your liking).

Stir in the lemon juice and sprinkle with the shaved Parmesan before serving. Serve with warm fresh baked bread, cause who doesn't always have a loaf of fresh baked bread in the house, right?

So seriously, this soup was delicious. Now if only I could get my kids to eat it.....

Monday, February 1, 2010

Organic Brands and Their "Not So" Organic Parent Companies

As the word "organic" become more and more common place in our society we have to become more educated and vigilant in our examination of these products. Reading the labels are a must but we don't always find out everything we need to know by looking at a label. Ingredients are telling but the processing and manufacturing facilities and the chemicals used there are not disclosed on labels. We need to dig deeper and see exactly who is making these products and what their true mission is. Most big CPG (consumer package goods) companies are out to generate revenue (sales) while simultaneously cutting costs in order to increase margin. This all adds to the bottom line and thus increases value for investors. The stockholder is the real stakeholder in these companies, not the environment or your health for that matter. Now I am not saying that these companies are bad for your health, its just that some of them have bought up once "pure" organic brands and have applied their best practices that work for their bigger mass marketed brands and some form of hybrid winds up taking its place. Its not all bad, but not all good either.

For example, Burt's Bees was once a small individually owned company with strong values and a mission. Burt Shavitz, living in the wilderness (how much more natural can you get), started his business from the honey harvested in his own backyard and then sold it in pickle jars from the back of his pickup. Roxanne Quimby, his eventual business partner really was the inspiration behind the line of natural beeswax products they had come to develop. She eventually bought Shavits out when their partnership went sour and grew the business to $43 million in revenues by 2002. However, money was a little more important to Quimby than to Shavitz as she sold her majority stake in the company and hence all the control over production and ingredients to Unilever in 2006, who then sold it to Clorox in 2007 for a sum total of $925 million. Amazing story right? Going from very humble beginnings in Maine with some honeybees to $925 million. You must be thinking, "What happened to Shavitz?" Well, he is back in Maine, living among nature and probably pondering the fate of his once pure minded business.

So Clorox bought Burt's Bees. Yes, you got it. A chemical company that makes bleach bought out an all natural personal care product company. Why might you ask? Well, Clorox is competing with the likes of Proctor and Gamble and Colgate-Palmolive. These companies have very developed Household care categories but also make tons of money from personal care products as well. Combine that with the rise of consumer interest in "natural" and "organic" products and you can see why Clorox would be interested in a company like Burt's.

Now the changes can begin. Slowly of course but eventually the Burt's division will have to report to headquarters and show margins that are competitive to all the other Clorox brands. Costs will have to be cut, global suppliers will be used, manufacturing will eventually move to a central location and all the natural allure of Burt's will have become a thing of the past. Except for their marketing, naturally. Burt's will continue to position itself as the small "hippy" pure and natural personal care company it used to be. People who don't know won't be able to even tell the difference. The colors and the packaging will remain the same for the most part (there may be some new and exciting multi-packs and displays, etc), the story won't change and neither will its "organic origins". But everything else that makes up Burt's will eventually have to succumb to shareholder pressure for profits. Its only 2010 so maybe Burt's still has some of its roots left in the brand, but not for long....

Burt's is just one example. There are many others to tell. Big Natural Food Store Brands are getting snatched up by even larger corporations so they can add "organic" to their portfolio of brands. Its all the rage!!

Unilever bought Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream of Vermont
Colgate-Palmolive bought Tom's of Maine
Stoneyfield Farms Organic Yogurt sold its majority stake to Danone (Dannon)
Horizon Organic Milk was acquired by Dean Foods, Co (Largest Dairy in the US)
Odwalla is now owned by Coca Cola
Naked Juice is owned by Pepsi
Kashi was bought by Kelloggs
Cascadian Farms is owned by General Mills
Back to Nature was bought by Kraft

This list goes on and you can read the full article here:

The point is that these large corporations don't have the idea of social responsibility as near and dear to their hearts as the original smaller companies did. These once small start ups have now been swallowed up in the massive corporate culture that breeds in these conglomerates. The passion for purity flame dies out and the strict adherence to the original mission get blurred and then eventually disappears. Pesticides find their way into these products, unfamiliar chemicals and additives do too. The rules aren't that strict anymore and the product eventually morphs into a hybrid of something sort of organic but not really. Can I say, a mass marketed wolf in an organic sheep's clothing? Yeah, something like that.

So be careful and don't fall prey to all the marketing tricks out there. There are still some good organic brands that maintain a high amount of integrity when making their products. Hopefully they won't sell out and leave us with just another brand that dilutes the meaning of the word "organic" or "all natural".

Here is a list of some of the products I use and as far as I know still remain true to their values and mission.

Household Care
Mrs. Meyers
7th Generation
Theives from Young Living

Personal Care
Naturally Fresh (deodorant)
Nature's Gate (toothpaste)
Pacifica (soap)
Shi Kai (Shampoos and Conditioners)

Semi Processed Foods
Amy's (pizzas, meals)
Applegate Farms (chicken, beef, turkey)
So Delicious (coconut milk products, yogurt, ice cream)

In my next blog or two I will discuss some more natural products that have come to my attention. I will test them out and give my opinion. I have gotten some recommendations and I will go out there and do my own research to see what else may wind up on my list! Stay Tuned...

Edited to add: Because I would like to remain fair and balanced in my analysis of green products, I am adding this link to a NY Times article that talks about the effect that Burt's Bees is having on the corporate culture at Clorox. This article was written around the time of the purchase so I am sure there were a lot of lofty goals set as to how the business would stay true to its intended mission. I think a follow up analysis is needed to really see how Burt's has changed if at all since its purchase. More recently, Clorox has come out with a green household care line called Green Works. They are claiming it to be free from all harmful toxins but that remains to be seen. A comparison to some of the brands I mention above is necessary to see how true that statement really is. For now, enjoy the article: