November 2007 Issue

FOOD FUN FACT: Free Access to Wellness Experts
CHRISTI'S COMMENTARY: Non-Toxic Cleaners
FOOD CORNER: Potato Leek Soup
UPCOMING EVENTS: Holiday Survival Teleclass


 

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Free Access to Wellness Experts

If you want to learn from the world's top wellness experts (all for free... and all from the comfort of your phone or computer) then you'll definitely want to sign up for this round of the Raw Food World Summit.

A few months ago, I listened in on the first Summit, which focused on raw foods.  This time, it looks like they've expanded their focus beyond raw foods. 

The speaker list looks absolutely amazing... and I will definitely be on all the calls (or listen via computer the next day).  The Summit will inspire you to rethink the way you eat/live.  

To see the speaker line-up for the Summit, click here.

 

 


 

 

How to Clean Your Home... Without Making Your Family Sick

Last month, we explored how to detox the self-care products you use (shampoo, soap, lotion, etc.).  I received great tips from readers who convinced to try:

- The Amazing Thai Crystal Deodorant Stone

- I don't use shampoo anymore - I wash my hair with baking soda and apple cider vinegar instead.  My hair looks amazing,it has incredible volume (without any products!), the color looks brighter, and it feels so soft! Plus, I only need to wash my hair every 4-5 days, which is awesome.  Just rub a paste of baking soda and water into your roots for a minute, then rinse.  Pour 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar over your hair, and rinse again.  That's it!

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This month, I want to help you detox the products you use to clean your home.

I'm totally jazzed about this topic because our recent Holistic Moms' Network meeting featured Melissa Kaye of Healthy Homes Cleaning.  Melissa is an expert in green living, and we asked her to come talk with our chapter about ways we can clean our homes... without making our families sick.

Now, I must share a disclaimer with you before I go further.

I am not a good cleaner.  In fact, my cleaning incompetence (or shall we say, downright apathy?) drives my husband, Ben, crazy. 

The dust bunnies can take over the room, but I don't see them.  The grime can cover the shelves of the fridge, but I don't notice it. Ben's the cleaner in our household... and I'm the organizer (I might not care much about dirt or dust, but I can't stand clutter!).

In order to keep our house clean, we quickly learned that we needed to outsource the job once a month to a cleaning crew. While we love this amazing luxury, we did go through a bit of a learning curve when the cleaning crew showed up the first time.

They walked into our house carrying buckets of brightly colored supplies like Lysol, Tilex, Comet, and Fabreze.

Yikes!  There's no way anyone's "cleaning" my house with that stuff!


Before becoming a health counselor, I used toxic cleaning supplies like these when I did my semi-annual house cleaning.  But recently, I realized a sobering fact:

 

Although products like Lysol, Tilex, Bleach and Comet might remove the dirt from my home... they're leaving behind something far more dangerous and unwanted: toxic chemicals that make me sick.

 

These toxic chemicals cause a host of problems, like cancer, asthma, and skin problems. Many of these chemicals also harm our precious and vulnerable environment.

Personally, I'd rather have some dirt sticking around.  At least dirt won't kill me!

As Melissa Kaye says, "It's time to rewrite your definition of 'CLEAN!'"

 

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According to Melissa, some of the cleaning ingredients you want to avoid are:

Chlorine

Ammonia

Phosphates

Petroleum

“Fragrance” (can contain 1000s of ingredients)

Anything with PCV

 

If you decide to make the switch to natural cleaners, there's good news for you:

1. It will be cheaper to clean your house - natural products don't cost very much! 

2. Because natural/organic cleaners are usually more concentrated than chemical ones, you can usually use smaller quantities.

3. Your body will thank you, thank you, thank you for it!

*******

These are the basic cleaning supplies that every home needs:

white distilled vinegar

baking soda

water

castille soap

olive oil

 

Your recipe for an all-purpose cleaner:

 

1 part white distilled vinegar: 4-5 parts water

 

The only things that vinegar/water won't work on are granite and marble (Melissa recommends using a mixture of castille soap and water for these surfaces).  You can increase the amount of vinegar if you need intensified cleaning power.

I now use this vinegar/water combo on my counters, my tub, my toilet, Evan's toys and highchair, and pretty much anything else I can reach with my spray bottle!

Vinegar/water also works on mirrors, stainless steel, and glass (the trick is to make sure to dry it off completely after you've wiped it down). 

 

*******

 

Here are some other easy natural cleaning ideas:

For my wood floors, I use a small bit of Dr. Bronner's castille soap + 1/2 cup vinegar + bucket full of hot water. 

For tile and linoleum floors, Melissa suggests using a cleaner by Ecover (made with a natural disinfectant called linseed).  However, she suggests using only 1/4 capful in a big bucket of water - apparently, the directions on the back of the bottle call for way too much!

For carpet stains, Melissa recommends BioKleen’s “Bac-Out."

To inhibit the growth of mold and mildew in your bathroom, simply spray some water and vinegar in the tub/shower when you're finished bathing - then you can leave it there (you don't even need to wipe it down!).

A paste made from baking soda and water is great for those tough spots that need extra scrubbing power.

One of Melissa's top suggestions for detoxing your bathroom (which I've been meaning to do for a while) is replacing your vinyl shower curtain with a cloth one.  Vinyl shower curtains contain toxic PVC plastic.  Everytime you shower, these toxins are released into the air.  When mixed with commercial shower cleaners, it creates one toxic cocktail.  If you buy a cloth shower curtain from Linens 'n' Things or www.gaiam.com, you can simply throw it in the wash every once in a while (this will save you money, too!).

Don't use the self-cleaning feature on your oven unless you really, really, really have to (and if it's that desperate of a situation, get yourself and your whole family out of the house while the oven cleans itself... make sure you open up all the windows to let the toxic air out).

For the dishwasher, Melissa recommends Ecover or the powder (not liquid) form of Seventh Generation detergent.  If you've got hard water, you can put vinegar in the rinse spout of your dishwasher if you need extra cleaning power.  If you've got soft water, baking soda should do the trick.

For dusting wood furniture, don't use oily commercial products (Melissa says these just attract dust faster!).  A damp cloth is all you need.  When your furniture gets really "thirsty" you can rub in a small amount of olive oil.

Avoid antibacterial soaps like the plague - they have chemicals in them, including triclosan which is linked to thyroid disorders.  Here's a tip for you: anything labeled “antimicrobial” isn’t a good thing for your health.  Melissa carries a small bottle of vinegar/water solution for cleaning her hands (and her kids' hands) when they're out in public.

Get rid of all air fresheners (like Fabreze and bathroom sprays).  When you spray these, you're sending toxic chemicals into the air, so they can be absorbed through your nose, ears, and eyes.  If you need an air freshener, you can spritz vinegar and water in the air (if you really want a "scent" you can add a very small amount of pure essential oil - like lavender - to the spray bottle).

 

*******

 

If you're still using commercial toxic cleaners, please start making the switch as soon as you can.  Your health depends on it.

Usually I recommend replacing one item at a time, as you run out.  However, when it comes to cleaners, I think that the best strategy is to get rid of all of your toxic products immediately. 

You can replace them with a simple bottle of vinegar - it doesn't get much easier than that.

You can find vinegar and baking soda at any grocery store.  You can buy the other brand name products at any health store... or online at www.vitacost.com at a discount.

I will warn you... you may actually start to like cleaning (I'm now addicted to my spray bottle with water/vinegar in it!).   I can't believe how easy and effective it is.

 

*******

 

If you got this far, thanks for reading...

If you would like to email me with your thoughts about this commentary, please give in to the temptation... I'd love to hear from you.

Also, if you have any natural, non-toxic cleaning tips of your own, please send 'em my way.  I love hearing cleaning success stories!

 

*******

P.S. If you liked this issue of "Nourishing Nuggets" please forward it along to friends, family, and colleagues.  It's a great way to show people you care about their health.

 

 

"HOW TO SURVIVE THE HOLIDAYS... Without Gaining Weight or Going Crazy!" Teleclass

The live call is over, but you can still access the .mp3 recording and all class notes!

For more info on this teleclass, click here.

 

HOLISTIC MOMS NETWORK MEETING

FOR WHO: Moms, dads, parents-to-be, grandparents, or any practitioners interested in holistic parenting

WHEN: Tuesday, December 4 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

WHERE: Advanced Health & Wellness - on Route 114 in North Andover

WHAT: Our topic is "Natural Cold and Flu Remedies for the Whole Family " and our guest speaker is Dr. Amanda Tracy, ND

COST: FREE!

For more info on HMN, contact me or check out our HMN website.

 

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If you are looking for inspiration around healthy living, please check out the archived copy of all past teleclasses that I keep on my website.

 

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See my Upcoming Events page for upcoming corporate lectures.

 

 

MAKE SMARTER FOOD BUYING DECISIONS

 

Do you ever feel intimidated by the health food store?

 

Are you looking for some new cooking inspiration?

Are you trying to convince your kids or spouse that healthy eating is the way to go?

If any of these questions rang true for you, I want to introduce you to a DVD that has helped hundreds of my readers.

My "Healthy Shopper" DVD is a fun, information-packed DVD that follows me through Whole Foods as I give a condensed version of my traditional health food store tour.

Curious? Want to learn more?

Here's the main DVD page, where you can find out all the details.

Here's a testimonial from a busy mom who bought the DVD:

"I was REALLY IMPRESSED with your DVD. It was not only full of great information and tips, but it was beautifully produced too. I was surprised by how professional it was!

Not only did I like it, but my 5 year-old-son and my 2 year-old- daughter loved it too! You're a celebrity at our house now. My kids want to meet you and "play at your house" (the highest compliment) but more importantly -- they want me to bring home some beets & daikon radish to try! (I bet you didn't even realize you were making a kid-friendly video!)."

- Sarah Zeldman, Solutions For Busy Moms

The DVD would make a great holiday gift for that special health-conscious someone!

To learn more about the DVD or purchase your copy... click here.

 

 

 

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RECIPE: Potato Leek Soup

This soup is the perfect blend of fall foods... and a great companion on a drizzly, cold fall day.

I love this recipe because it only uses one pot (less clean-up required!) and it will make your house smell delicious.

This soup is vegetarian, but I've added a few variations at the end for folks who want a bigger protein punch.

 

Ingredients:

 

- 1 tablespoon olive oil

- 3 cloves garlic, minced

- 1 large leek, chopped

- 1 large fennel bulb, chopped

- 3 potatoes, peeled and chopped into big chunks

- 4 cups chicken broth

- 1 cup water

- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

 

Instructions:

 

1. Heat oil in skillet.  Add garlic, leeks and fennel and cook for 5 minutes.

2. Add potatoes, chicken broth and water.

3. Bring to boil - then reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes (until potatoes and veggies are cooked through).

4. Season with salt and pepper.

Variations:

** Add other vegetables like celery, carrots, turnips or rutabagas.

** Add cooked grains like kasha, barley, millet, or brown rice.

** Add ham, sausage or white beans for a protein punch. (As always, buy organic beans... and select meats that are antibiotic-free and hormone-free).

** If you eat cheese, you can melt some cheese on top once the soup is done

** Some folks may enjoy pureeing the soup for a creamier consistency.  Use an immersion blender so you don't have to wash out another appliance!

 

 

 

Check out other

Delicious Fall Recipes!

 

 

ABOUT CHRISTI

 

Christi Collins, H.H.C., AADP, is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor accredited by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.

**Are you wondering what a Holistic Health Counselor is?  This description may help!

Christi studied Eastern/Western nutrition and modern health counseling at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City and earned a B.A. in Honors in Communication Arts from Villanova Universty.

Christi's goal is to help people fall in love with "The Big Three": Healthy Eating, Juicy Living, and Guilt-Free Self-Care.

She works with very busy women who are struggling to eat healthy and take insanely good care of themselves... without feeling stressed or guilty about it.

Christi is a three-time marathoner and triathlete, an avid pianist, and a newly converted Red Sox and Patriots fan.

She is the author of the forthcoming book "You Don't Have to be Superwoman to be Healthy: 50 Ways to Reclaim Your Health."

To read more fun facts and stories about Christi, click here.

Christi can be reached by email or phone (978.494.0144).

To visit her website, click here.

Here are the latest pictures of Christi's son, Evan!

 

 

About "Christi's Nourishing Nuggets"

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** First, I wish to tell you that I'm writing this newsletter based on my own personal experiences.  In no way does this generalize what every woman feels about her birth experience or motherhood. I am simply being honest about how it was for me. There is so much more to this story that I can share in a small newsletter, but I did my best to provide an honest picture... in order to help those who might need to feel less alone in their own similar journeys. **