Monday, July 9, 2012

Green Solutions For Those On the Go!

So now that I have this juicer and I must say I am pretty addicted to it, I make juices all the time. In the morning I create a nice blend of kiwi, mango, pinapple and coconut milk which makes me feel like I am back in Bora Bora. In the afternoon I concoct my veggie detox with cucumbers, celery, carrots, kale, ginger and an apple. Most of the time I am in between errands or playdates and I don't have time to sit and drink this delicious goodness at home. So I take my juice on the go with me in a nasty plastic container that over time collects bacteria and breaks down releasing toxins that harm the human body. I realize that this is probably not a good idea and would love to take my juice in a regular glass since glass is the best container of them all, but how? I have attemped to before and just wound up with juice all over me and the inside of my car. Trust me, not fun.

Well, I just got reconnected with an old college friend through Facebook of all places and realized very quickly that we shared the same passion for all things green. I was very excited to learn that she (besides being the mother of 4 beautiful children) has started her own "green" company called GreenPaxx. This company is what every giant consumer packaged goods company should strive to be. Its environmentally conscious and manufactures products that are completely non-toxic. The idea is to cut down on all the disposable and non-biodegradable plastic that collects in our landfills every single day. GreenPaxx has developed reusable straws and lids that fit all standard drinking glasses. These lids do not slip off. They are perfect for on-the-go or for kids. They are easy to use and easy to clean. Made of non-toxic silicone, these lids and straws solve a problem for us busy but healthy adults/parents and for our environment. I would use the straws with or with out the caps for whenever I need a straw. Think about all the waste that would be avoided by keeping an extra straw and cap in your purse at all times?

I don't think the average person realizes how much plastic is going into landfills and our oceans every day. Do you know there is a plastic "garbage" zone in the middle of the Pacific Ocean the size of Texas? Seriously, the size of TEXAS. As that plastic breaks down, the petrol inside of the plastic pellets release toxic gases, killing all the wildlife. This is the human footprint. Not enough people believe that their daily actions contribute to this huge problem.

If we all just took baby steps and looked for ways to reuse products that we would normally consider disposable we would be making change in the right direction. GreenPaxx is doing just that. Its so exciting to see new companies with such enviromentally conscious missions. I wish the bigger companies would make the move to more sustainable packaging and ingredients. The only way that can happen is if we choose for them. Remember, its the consumers that have the power. With every purchase, we cast our vote. Let's cast it wisely.

Please check out GreenPaxx and think about trying out one of their really cool products. You will certainly feel good about your purchase and you will be setting a great example for those around you!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Juicing Your Way to Health

So I jumped on the bandwagon. Yep, I did. I got a juicer. To me, they were always kind of intimidating. I guess that's why it took me so long. I didn't know how they worked or how they could actually extract the juice form the fruits and veggies. It seemed like such a mystery to me. I was afraid of all the mess and the clean up. As far as the recipes went, well I was clueless. I wasn't sure what kinds of veggies to use or how much. I didn't realize that its kind of "learn as you go". Experimentation is the key to good juicing!

From all of my research, I have learned some key things about juicers. Let me clear up some confusion for you. Many people think that a VitaMix will suffice as a juicer. This is false. A VitaMix, as amazing as it is at pulverizing anything and everything, will not be a good substitute for your juicer. The reason is that there is no way to extract the pulp or fibrous tissue from the mix. A VitaMix will work effectively for making healthy and delicious smoothies, sauces and blended drinks. But, you need a juicer to make the the real hard core healing potions that I will speak of next.

There are two kinds of juicers (well maybe more than two but I will speak of the 2 most common ones here), a centrifugal juicer and a masticating juicer. The centrifugal juicer will have blades that spin and pulverize the fruit/veggie and the juice will "spin" out of the juicer. A masticating juicer "chews" up the fruit/veggie in order to extract the juice. For things like wheat grass, a masticating juicer is necessary.  They tend to be more expensive as well.  However, they are more efficient at juicing and are worth the money if you plan in juicing everyday.

Since I got my juicer for free I wasn't able to choose what kind. I only had the choice of a centrifugal juicer and so far its been great. My next juicer will be a masticating one though. Anyway, I looked on-line for some juicing recipes and I found this blog . There are some really great recipes on here that help to detox your body. I noticed that cucumber and celery are the base for most of the recipes and there is good reason. These two veggies really give your colon a good cleansing.

My first juice was the following:
1/2 cucumber
2 celery stalks
2 carrots
1 apple
1 small beet

I realized quickly that it made way too much juice for me and decided to change it to this:
1/2 cucumber
1 celery stalk
1 carrot
1 apple
1/4 beet

This was more palatable and made just the right amount of juice to fill an 8oz glass.

Now I have started to add other veggies such as ginger and kale leaves. I change up my fruit from time to time for different flavors. Instead of an apple, I will use a mango or a kiwi and pineapple. the rule of thumb is not to juice more than 1 or two fruits. Most of your juice should contain veggies and have the fruit for flavoring - although kiwi's do have 3x the amount of calcium as an orange!  The problem is that fruit contains a lo more sugar than veggies so its wise to keep them to a minimum.

After about 2 days of juicing I felt the difference. Almost immediate results! I had tons more energy and my skin was looking great. The cucumber will really give you a clear complexion and that is why I add it to every juice I drink. The beets are another story, if you aren't aware that they will turn things red, become aware of it now. You aren't dying, its just the dye from the beet juice! Beets are a good source of iron and an immunity booster/cancer preventor. They are an important ingredient in any juice. I choose to add them sparingly though, just a personal taste.

After about 1 week of juicing my body began to crave it. Now I must have a juice everyday or I don't feel "myself". I guess my body was missing all these powerful superfoods for so long and now that it has had a taste of it, it just wants more.

I would be glad to share my recipes and tips for juicing to anyone interested. Happy Juicing!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Dirty Water Magic Show

We just moved to a new home recently and the "welcome ladies" have been very busy coming by with gifts and free samples galore. Its a great way to get new residents introduced to local businesses but buyer beware. The other day I received a notice on my door, similar to one that FedEx would leave when you aren't home to sign for a package. The notice asked me to call this company "Bueno Neighbor" and give them my special code so that my gift could be delivered.

I called and was told that I would be receiving $50 of gift certificates, however I would have to allow an Eco Water dealer in my house to perform a water purification demonstration at no cost and no pressure to purchase anything. Since I am considering a water purification system anyway, I thought, why not?

Well, this guy shows up to my house with a large black box. He tries to take me through some antiquated slide show (via scrapbook) on the history of the company and the origins of hard water. If you live in the south and get your water from a lake which then must go through treatment before it hits your tap, most likely your water will be hard. It will also contain chlorine as well as fluoride, both of these can be toxic. I was aware of all this before the magician came to my house but I politely listened to his story. He told me he was NOT a sales person but an "advertiser" for the company. Now, with many years in marketing under my belt, I begged to differ with this man. He came into my house with a demo kit and slide show. He was indeed a salesperson, but I digress.

So after the dissertation on hard water was finished, the "advertiser" takes a test tube of my tap water and a test tube of his Eco Water and starts dropping colorful drops of unknown solutions into both. Of course my water turned bright yellow and his water stayed clear. OH NO! Bad sign right there. My water was very hard! Then he tested the chlorine levels by dropping more colorful solutions from unnamed bottles out of his magical black box. Yep! My water definitely contained too much chlorine!! Another bad bad thing. By this point, the average person would be shaking in their shoes about how toxic their tap is and how their entire family is going to die from chlorine poisoning.

Then comes the kicker. Our friendly advertiser tries to demonstrate how much we could be saving if we bought an Eco Water purification system. It was fuzzy math to me, the only thing I saw was how much he wanted us to spend on this system. $7,000!!!! YIKES! However, if we signed on the dotted line that instant, he would give it to us for $6,000. The offer was valid for 15 minutes.

We were floored. Shocked really, that this guy could (with a straight face) ask us to spend $6,000 without even doing 1 minute of our own research on this company, brand or product. I asked him if he could give us some time to think about it, call him tomorrow maybe. NO. It was yes or no that very minute. My husband laughed and sent him on his way, immediately. But before he packed up his gear, I wanted my $50 worth of gift certificates. The guy was only planning on giving me $25!! The nerve. Needless to say, I got what was coming to me.

I can not believe a company that has been in business since 1925 actually does business this way? Is it possible that people are stupid enough to sign away $6K or more on something they know nothing about? I didn't believe my water was that bad anyway. I had no idea what chemicals he was dropping in it to make it turn those colors. It was a complete magic show. It should be no surprise to anyone that when I Googled the company all sorts of scam reports came up about Eco Water. They are a legit company with as legit product, however, I think its way overpriced and their sales techniques are beyond shady. People are veiwing them as a scam because of their sales techniques.

As for water purification systems, there are many others out there that cost 1/3 the price. I personally am looking not only for a purification system but an ionizer. One that makes the pH of my water more alkaline. This one was recommended to me by a friend. I am looking into it now and if I purchase, I will give a full report.

The moral of the story. If you don't have a purification system in your home:

1) Drink filtered water (reverse osmosis is a great way to purify)
2) Drink alkaline water (you can buy it by the gallon or get ionizers to drop in a gallon of purified water)
3) Use the purified water for cooking as well
4) Save your money for a purification system but not just to soften the water, get it to make your water healthy. Soft water does not equal healthy water.
5) Don't let any water magicians into your home, I do believe its a scam to some degree.