Today, there is a growing concern for the environment. Among environmentally conscious homeowners, using organic fertilizers on their lawns and gardens is safer for their family and pets. Synthetic fertilizers are manufactured products containing harmful chemical mixes that give the soil a quick burst and feed them with high doses of nutrients. While these chemicals encourage quick grass growth, they kill vital soil life and make your lawns more susceptible to pests. Because of this, you will need more chemical treatments to solve weed invasion, pest issues and lawn diseases. Eventually, it becomes a never ending cycle of chemical treatments that lead to further destruction of soil life and diminished lawn return.
What is Organic Fertilizer?
Organic fertilizers are all-natural compounds that contain one or more natural elements. Common examples are plant or animal manures, wood ashes, bone meal, rotten produce, by-products of fish, corn gluten, cottonseed meal, seaweed, soybean meal and any other matter that is subject to decomposition.
Organic fertilizers nurture healthy soil to help grow vegetables, raise flowers, and produce a beautiful carpet of grass across the lawn. These all-natural ingredients improve soil structure, microbial life, moisture retention and drainage of the soil. Typically, these fertilizers take time to break down and make their nutrients available so the best time to apply is a few months before planting season. This is to allow the microbes to absorb the organic matter and transform nutrients for plants.
Why Choose Organic Fertilizer for Your Lawn?
Organic fertilizers are not just better for your lawn but are also healthier alternatives for the environment and your family’s health. The negative effects of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides used on lawns greatly impact animals and human beings. Children are especially vulnerable to these chemicals than adults because of body weight, organ system and developmental delay factors. Upon exposure, they are likely to take in more of the toxins relative to body weight and are less able to clear out toxic elements.
Studies show that increased exposure to lawn chemicals make children susceptible to certain cancers because their suppressed immune system can no longer detect cancer cells. The amount of toxic chemicals in the environment also gives rise to learning and developmental disorders in children. Furthermore, young infants and toddlers exposed to weed killers are more likely to develop asthma by the age of 5. This is partly due to their crawling behavior and proximity to floors, lawns and soil. Children younger than 6 years of age also have the tendency to ingest these harmful chemicals through the soil.
All-Natural Fertilizers for Your Garden
One of the most important aspects of gardening is building up the fertility of the soil. A healthy soil equates to healthier plants. Fertilizing is a way of caring for the soil and replenishing its nutrient content that was greatly reduced by plant use and erosion. The safest and healthiest way of providing care for your lawns and gardens is to prepare a homemade organic fertilizer, produced in a completely natural manner without any synthetic components added. It’s not only cheaper but also good for the health.
Keeping your home sparkling clean is a way to live healthy. All of us know that constant exposure to dust, dirt, and air pollution produces harmful effects to our bodies. Contrary to popular belief, these pollutants don’t just exist outdoors. In fact, a study conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency indicated that the stale air we inhale inside our home is even more contaminated than the air outside. How could that possibly be? Let’s take a look at each section within our home.
Also noted, older homes are usually harder to keep dust free. Manufactured homes may be the way of the future, learn more about them here. Below are descriptions of individual rooms and parts of a home.
The Living Room. This area appears to be well arranged with modern furniture, electronic appliances, carpet, drapes, ceiling fan, mirrors, wood frames, and other ornaments. But these things accumulate dust and dirt easily when not cleaned regularly. Organic compounds are also present in some manufactured wooden furniture. Both these chemicals and dust particles can cause allergies, dizziness, nausea and possible respiratory problems to humans. To reduce their ill effects, curtains and upholstery have to be washed and changed at least once a month. Floors must be mopped daily and carpets vacuum cleaned weekly. Wooden furniture can be cleaned with a dry cloth. Windows and doors need regular cleaning as well because these parts of the house are often exposed to outside air.
The Bedroom. This is a solitary place where occupants sleep and usually do their paperwork. It typically contains a bed, desk, chair, computer and book shelves. To keep it spotlessly clean and germ-free, the entire room must be dusted daily and vacuum cleaned once a week. Bed covers and pillow cases are to be washed weekly to keep them fresh and fragrant. Mirrors, closets, doors and window panels have to be wiped clean from time to time.
The Bathroom. It is considered the most sensitive area of the house because this place is always wet. Moisture and stagnant water are breeding places for disease causing germs, microorganisms and mosquitoes. Keeping the area dry is a way to get rid of these harmful bugs. The toilet, floor, tub, shower and sink must be cleaned and sanitized daily with the use of eco-friendly bathroom disinfectants to remove grime. Natural disinfectants are safer to use than commercial cleaners because they don’t contain toxic ingredients that are injurious to health.
The Kitchen. It is one area of the house that must be tidied and cleaned all the time. Our family deserves only the best food on their plates so we have to make sure the kitchen environment is germ-free. The floor has to be mopped every day and the countertop wiped with damp cloth. Wash the sink on a daily basis as well to remove greasy substances. Defrost and clean the refrigerator periodically to protect the food from bacteria. Once in a while, clean the kitchen cabinets with insecticides to get rid of ants and cockroaches that breed inside the area. Have your gas stove checked regularly for possible gas leaks to maintain a chemical free environment.
Indoor pollution is hazardous to health but we so often neglect to execute simple cleaning. Daily cleaning and maintenance ensures a dust free environment and clean air flow. A home that is free from pollutants is a safe place for healthy living.
Imagine these: classic cinnamon rolls, apple turnovers, chewy snickerdoodle cookies, a banana foster milkshake and a glass of coquito – all made with cinnamon… and all bad for you? That doesn’t sound right, but apparently, research has found that cinnamon can be detrimental to your liver.
What exactly is cinnamon?
Cinnamon is a spice that comes from the inner bark of certain trees. True cinnamon comes in the form of ceylon, but it is said to be quite pricey. That is why the food industry opts to make use of another variety, called cassia. And it is this cheaper variety that causes damage to the liver.
Cinnamon has been known to produce a lot of health benefits. To name a few, it helps control blood sugar; it has anti-bacterial properties that is effective against candida yeast infections, and digestive and respiratory infections; it can ease the pain associated with arthritis; it can improve memory, alertness and concentration; and it can even mitigate the effects of PMS.
So how come cinnamon became a health threat all of a sudden?
The culprit, research says, is coumarin. It is a fragrant organic compound that can be found in a lot of plants. And because cinnamon comes from trees, it most likely contains this naturally-occurring substance. However, cassia cinnamon contains higher levels of coumarin than ceylon. It is said that there is little difference in coumarin absorption between cassia cinnamon and isolated coumarin. And since we consume more cassia than ceylon, there is a higher possibility that consumers end up developing liver failure, especially if you’re one of those individuals who has a unique sensitivity to coumarin.
Limiting your daily intake
Because of the rather disturbing discoveries about cinnamon, the Danish government has already started regulating pastry, since the use of cinnamon is common in these type of foods. They now have a new recommendation with regards to daily intake of cinnamon in efforts to protect public health. The US Department of Health also recommends limiting intake of cinnamon to 6 grams per day. So I guess we’ll have to cut down on all our cinnamon-spiced favorites. Or if you’re going to do some baking using the popular spice, it’s probably time for you to know how to tell the difference between cassia and ceylon cinnamon. When looking at ground cinnamon in the supermarket, however, it will be hard to distinguish one from the other. As a quick tip, look for cinnamon sticks instead. To identify which is which, cassia cinnamon sticks look like thicker layers of rolled bark, while ceylon sticks are made up of thinner ones.
Most of the time people spend their days indoors. They sit in front of the computer, watch TV, talk on the phone for hours and so on. But that kind of lifestyle is nowhere near healthy. If you’re one of those individuals, it’s about time someone tells you that you need to get out more. Spending time outdoors does a lot of good to your body, from children to middle-aged individuals and the elderly. This is why:
- Air – We all need oxygen to breathe and we need oxygen for our body to function properly. And the best source for oxygen? Outdoors, of course. It’s clean, it’s fresh, and it’s invigorating! Unlike the air you breathe indoors, it isn’t toxic. It isn’t contaminated with various chemicals from furniture, paint, glues, and other items you use inside your home.
- Exercise – When you’re outside, movement is compulsory, thus allowing you to do some form of exercise which is one of the keys to achieving overall wellness. Exercise helps you improve your circulation, flexibility, bone density and muscle strength, and can even prevent your from experiencing PMS. In fact it’s even great for natural healing – and these are just to name a few.
- Sunlight – The human body needs to be exposed to a good amount of sunlight, particularly that of the early morning sun. Sunlight gives you vitamin D, an essential vitamin which has been known to help your body fight against cancer, heart disease, bone disease, diabetes and many more.
- Sound – You know how spa facilities like to play the sound of running water or playful winds in the background? That’s because different sounds coming from nature can be quite therapeutic. They can help relieve stress and can even be used to aid in meditation.
- Colors – Some people find gardening quite therapeutic, and that has something to do with the colors they see in their garden. Colors are a result of different wavelengths of light that strike through your retina and they produce what is called “energy medicine,” which actually stimulates your brain and can, in turn, raise your brain function and prevent memory loss.
- Microbes – While many will tell you that microbes are harmful to your body, that isn’t 100% true. There are good and bad microbes, and you will want to expose yourself to the good. Exposing yourself to good microbes found in nature boosts your immune system because they prevent the bad from settling and thriving in the body.
Eight years ago, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) created a draft guidance for whole grain label statements, but up until now they still haven’t released the final guidelines. Because of this, various companies would create their own notions of what “whole grain” products ought to be, and it is creating much debate among them. According to a Los Angeles-based FDA law firm, “…manufacturers and Importers of foods…require legal advice on regulatory statutes involving Food and Drug Administration (FDA).”
Kellogg’s, for example, says that food products should only be labeled as whole grain if the products contains a good amount of fiber, but General Mills strongly disagrees. For the makers of Trix, Lucky Charms and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, fiber should not even be a criterion. They explain that “whole grain is the entire seed of grains such as wheat, rice, corn or oats and includes all three parts of the grain (the bran, the germ and the endosperm) in the same proportion as the intact grain. Consumers should not be misled as to what constitutes a whole grain merely to justify certain enrichment practices.”
There is also the issue of how manufacturers should put a number on whole grain statements. General Mills thinks that “quantified whole grain statements should be communicated by the gram amuont of whole grains in context of the daily recommended amount (48 g/day minimum) rather than as a percentage of the grain that is whole.” To this, New York University’s Dr. Marion Nestle disagrees. The professor, who works at the university’s nutrition, food studies and public health department, believes that it would be better for consumers if they were presented with a percentage of the total grains. And the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) thinks so too. According to them, “companies exploit the whole grain halo by tacking it on products mostly made with white refined flour.”
Yes, even those with the Whole Grain Stamp. “In our experience,” says director for food and nutrition at Oldways and the Whole Grains Council Cynthia Harriman, “many of these products would not in fact qualify for the Whole Grain Stamp.” And she warns that consumers should be wary of products that claim of being made with whole grain because a lot of these products have not actually been reviewed for their whole grain content.
As for the FDA, Harriman says that “if a package refers to percentages, they must always be as a percent of the total weight of all ingredients. So FDA would not be okay with wording such as ‘60% whole grain’ on a loaf of bread if the intent is to convey that 60% of the grain is whole grain.” And they still need to figure out how to carry that out onto the Whole Grain Stamp.
From Water Aerobics to Golf to Metal Detecting
You may not realize it now, but staying active even after the age of 60 can do wonders for your body. One needs to engage in strength, flexibility, balance and endurance exercises to maintain health. You can choose to do one, but doing all of these let’s you reap more benefits. Besides, older adults don’t necessarily have to do such strenuous exercises to keep themselves fit. Just doing simple activities can already make a difference. These low-impact activities can be in the forms of tai chi, water aerobics, rowing, weight lifting or, more commonly, walking.
The Benefits of Walking
Walking can give us a whole lot of health benefits. For younger people or middle adults, it helps put off signs of aging. As for the elderly because it is quite good for them be ause it is less strenuous, putting less stress on your bones and joints, therefore lowering your risk for injuries. Just walking for 30 minutes a day can give you a healthy body and help you fight against different health problems that are associated with aging. The benefits of walking include the following:
- It improves balance, coordination and joint flexibility.
- It improves muscle strength, endurance and energy levels.
- It reduces the risk of falls and therefore injuries.
- It helps prevent the development of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis by strengthening bones and joints.
- It reduces the risk of developing common psychological problems such as Alzheimer’s, and dementia.
- It provides the elderly with continued social relationships that can help reduce stress levels and the risk of depression.
The CDC also has some great information about the benefits of walking and exercise.
Activities that Include Walking
From simple household chores to hobbies and actual exercise regimens, there are a variety of things older adults can do to that involves walking. At home, simple cleaning around the house – sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, lawn mowing and gardening – gets them moving. As for different hobbies they can get into, the can do rowing, yoga and tai chi, swimming and water aerobics, golf, metal detecting, hiking and nature walking, ballroom dancing, cycling and so much more. They can also join gym classes specific to seniors, or simply go jogging or brisk walking.
Eat Healthy, Cook Healthy
Cooking is one of your passions, but you’re too afraid that the thing you love the most might also be your biggest downfall, that is if you start gaining a lot of weight. Of course, you can’t just cook something up and throw it away as soon as you’re done with the plating. And even if you don’t live alone, you don’t want to risk your roommate or your partner or your family’s health all for the love of food. With that said, you need to learn how to cook healthy. I suggest you try cooking recipes one healthy ingredient at a time. For starters, let’s talk about grains.
So Let’s Talk About Grains
Barley, cornmeal, oatmeal, quinoa, rice, rye and wheat are a few examples of grains. As for grain products, there’s bread, breakfast cereals, couscous, crackers, pasta and tortillas. All these should be a regular part of your meals. Also keep in mind that whole grains contain the dietary fiber, iron and B vitamins that are lost when grain is milled and processed. These are essential to health, and therefore, it would be wise to choose whole grains and whole grain products over refined grain products.
Incorporating whole grains to your everyday meals is easy. You can mix them with greens when preparing salads and side dishes. Popcorn is also a type of grain product that is a good source of fiber. Your kids will surely have no objections when given the treat. But make sure not to top it with the usual butter and salt that tastes just absolutely sinful. They contain too much fat, sodium and calories. There are a few popcorn seasoning available in the market that are a much healthier alternative for that.
Grains Make For Easy Preparations
You can add anything to a grain dish – herbs, fruits, nuts, spices and even cheese. For example: basil, garlic, rosemary, thyme can make rice more savory. You can always switch it up. With breakfast cereals, you can pair it with bananas one day, apples the next day, and strawberries on a different day. Some ethnic cuisines also include a lot of grain recipes, so now you have the perfect reason to try out several of those recipes. Moreover, some of the most popular dishes are made with grains; dishes like corn salad, multigrain waffles, oatmeal cookies, risotto and sesame pancakes.
Losing weight is something a lot of us struggle with, and so we’ve made it a habit to exercise regularly and eat healthy. As for the latter, there are so many diet regimens people follow to support healthy eating habits. Some have sworn off carbs, while others go vegan or vegetarian, etc. But if you’re the type that’s not quite picky with food, then follow these tips when hitting the supermarket and choosing what to eat.
- Cereals are a breakfast fave, and the big difference between one cereal brand to the other is the amount of fiber and sugar they provide. To maintain a healthy diet, choose cereals with 12 grams of sugar per serving and 5 grams of fiber per serving.
- Buying a loaf of wheat bread is not enough. Some of them aren’t even 100% whole wheat. A nutritious loaf includes 150 mg of sodium per slice, 3 grams of fiber (the least), 100 calories and 100% whole grain.
- People are fond of eating snack bars to give them a boost of energy. When picking out the right snack bar, make sure you read the label. Never buy one that has 20 grams of protein and more than 10 grams of total fat.
- Because of our busy schedules, most of us don’t have time to prepare home cooked meals. Instead, we turn to microwavable ones. Be sure your meal is less than 500 calories, is low in sodium and has 10 grams of protein.
- Frozen veggies are something we also consider buying in the supermarket at times. If you happen to be looking at frozen veggies, see to it that they’re all vegetable, no sauce. If you want some kind of dressing for your vegetables, make one from scratch so you know it’s good for you.
- We like to start our meal with soup, and a lot of soups have high sodium content. But there are those who provide low sodium options, so better choose those, as well as soup products that has 200-400 calories per serving.
- When you’re fond of eating pasta, as well as rice, select those that have a fairly good amount of fiber, ideally around 7 grams per serving. Also make sure your pasta is 100% whole grain. And for those who enjoy flavored rice, sodium content should be to a minimum.
- One healthy thing to eat would be salad. But we sometimes fail to realize that the kind of dressing we use isn’t actually good for us. Olive oil based dressings are the healthier option, as compared to those made with mayo, such as our everyone’s favorite Caesar dressing.
- Yogurt is another foodmitem you should include in your diet regimen. But not all yogurt products have the nutritional content to support a good eating habit. Choose those that have at least 6 grams of protein, a maximum of 20 grams of sugar, and those which are low in fat content.
- Lastly, the sports drink. Athletes use it a lot to help them get the energy they need for high endurance activities. Those with less than 60 calories is ideal. But don’t make a habit of drinking sports drinks when you’re not actually into the said level of activity.
Health conscious individuals know better than to skip their meals. And so, even when they’re on a diet, they make it a point to take something in, especially when they need a boost to get through the day. But when it comes to food choices, what is there munch on that’s both healthy and a means to get that much needed extra energy and how do we go about it?
- Countless times we’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and it’s true. So make sure you eat a healthy, balance meal that includes nuts, low fat yogurt and oats, as well as fruits which carry a lot of anti-oxidants.
- If you need energy althroughout the day, then it’s best not to turn to caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea. Sure, they have some great health benefits, but the fact that it’s a stimulant means that the energizing effects go away after its peak.
- Particularly with women, iron is a much needed nutrient. It is essential in bringing oxygen to our blood. Eating food rich in iron will help prevent iron deficiency anemia which affects many women from ages 20 to 49.
- It is said that the best way to feel completely revitalized throughout the day is to eat meals consisting of a combination of whole grain producfs, fruits and vegetables, plant-based fat, herbs and spices and lean meat.
- Going organic is all the rage these days, and maybe you should start eating organic, too. Organic food products are naturally grown and have less chemicals which deplete its nutritional contents. Try to shop at your local farmer’s market and take advantage of their fresh products.
- Another type of food that’s all the rage are superfruits. Fruits are an important part of your daily intake, and it is recommended that you eat a variety of fruits to be able to absorb as much vitamins and mineral you need and to prevent oxidative stress to fight illness and againg.
- Energy bars are our go-to snack to keep us feeling energized all day. But don’t just pick any snack bar. It’s always wise to see the label, look at its nutritional content, and the different ingredients used. The best ones are those made with actual whole ingredients.
- It’s also quite okay to eat frozen foods, such as frozen veggies and fruits. Because they’re frozen, all the nutrients they can provide you are still there.
- Not all fat is bad. You need some of it to absorb anti-oxidants into your system. And anti-oxidants are highly essential to our health because they fight off free radical, keeping our cells healthy and preventing us from getting stressed so easily.
- As mentioned, skipping meals is not a good idea. So is eating processed food, junk food, and refined sugars and grains. Also quit drinking alcohol if you know you’re in for a busy day. Your blood sugar levels go down, and hangovers are simply a pain.
More and more people have made it a habit to cook organic, buy organic food and come up with different organic recipes. You’re trying it out too. But why is cooking organic or purchasing organic products such a big deal? Many say that the food you eat is healthier, but is that all there is to it? What does it really mean to go organic?
- Yes, organic products do have health benefits. Studies have shown that eating organic food products have lessened people’s exposure to toxic subst
ances like pesticides. These food products are also very rich in vitamins and nutrients, such as vitamin C, iron and magnesium.
- Instead of using petroleum-based synthetic pesticides and fertilizers that take away the nutrients we hope to get, organic agriculture uses healthier techniques like compost, crop rotation, and other natural processes. As farmers take advantage of organic agriculture, carbon dioxide is absorbed from the air, which presents a reduction of our carbon footprint and a counter for climate change.
- With natural agricultural processes, we avoid an overabundance of nitrogen and phosphorous in the ground. In turn, this protects our water supplies and avoids chemicals flowing to large bodies of water.
- As we continue cooking organic, we contribute to a healthy and balanced ecosystem. Organic producers help protect nature and maintain the well-being of nature’s inhabitants by using practices that support biodiversity.
- Organic farmers are required by law to provide animals with safe and clean living conditions and allow them to feed on what’s natural to them. They are prohibited from raising animals using antibiotics and synthetic growth hormones. And so, animals are healthy and people consume healthy animal products.
- Many food manufactures like to make use of genetic engineering, irradiation, or artificial colors, flavors or preservatives in the production and processing of food products. Organic agriculture does not, and so consumers won’t have to put up with substances added to food. They now have a choice when grocery shopping and can now avoid preservatives that may predispose people to different medical conditions like cardiac or renal problems.
- Think about it. Cooking organic means that you’re purchasing organic food products which also means that you’re paying good money for food. You’re paying for the true cost of food, instead of shelling out cash only to get more preservatives than nutrients into your system.