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Inquiring minds want to know! What healthy suggestions are on the list today? Stop by frequently for the lastest listing of healthy tips, ideas and resources.

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

7 Steps to a Healthy Lawn

Unless you live in a plastic bubble somewhere, you are aware of potential damage and hazards associated with both pesticide and herbicide usage. Even when we are aware of possible problems, sometimes we don't act upon the information we are given, for a variety of different reasons.

Below is a simple and easy list of some of the steps you can take if you are considering making the shift to a more organic approach to lawn care. As with anything, this is a process and not something that can be done overnight, but with a commitment to taking a healthier approach, healthier results can be achieved over time.

Grass cycling (sharpen those mower blades!) returns clippings to the lawn providing about 1,500 pounds of free fertilizer to the average lawn. Scattered clippings break down quickly and feed the roots of the grass plants. Grass cycling can be done with a mulching mower or regular mower. Clip only 1/3 of the grass length at each mowing. This will keep the plants less stressed.

Use natural, organic, slow-release fertilizer in May and September. When nutrients are released slowly, the plants absorb them better, getting more bang for the buck. The goal here is to keep the lawn a healthy shade of green. A "too green" lawn is a sign of overuse of chemicals...a lawn on drugs.

Deeper watering will penetrate the root zone more effectively. Over-watering promotes lawn diseases and can leach nutrients from the soil. Aeration helps water reach the roots and corrects problems with compaction. If there is thatch buildup, de-thatch! Let the lawn go dormant in the summer. Dormant lawns need only one deep watering per month. Otherwise, water about one inch per week in July and August. Use less in late spring or early fall. Water slowly to avoid puddling and runoff. Newly planted lawns, of course, may need some additional TLC.

Aeration and over seeding go a long way toward creating a beautiful, healthy lawn. You can rent a power aerator or hire a professional. If your soil is compacted deeper than 2", find a lawn care professional that has equipment which can penetrate 6-8" for full aeration. Over seed after aeration with a lawn seed mix designed for the northwest. Ask about these mixes at your local nursery. April or May as well as September are the best months for aeration and over seeding.

Avoid 'weed and feed' products or other pesticides/herbicides. Pesticides and herbicides create problems, rather than solve them. For example, diazinon is thought to have been responsible for the deaths of dozens of birds in the Puget Sound region, while feeding on treated lawns. Instead, use compost on the lawn to feed the soil and enhance healthy lawn growth. Apply compost about 1/2 " deep on established lawns once a year. To prepare soil for a new lawn, apply 2" of compost to 6-8 inches of soil. Water well. Microorganisms in a healthy lawn help fight pests naturally.

Remove problem weeds by hand in the spring and fall. Long-handled weed pullers are a great tool! Other tools work well for dandelions by letting you go deep and getting the whole root. Try using headphones with your favorite music playing to help make hand weeding more pleasurable, or hire local youth to do the job for you.

Sometimes weeds are telling you something. For example, moss means you are trying to grow lawn in a place that is just too wet or shady for grass. Clover may mean you need more nitrogen.

Some folks believe that your lawn is anything green that grows to a height of a few inches and can be mowed! For many of us, clover and moss look just fine in the lawn.

Honey, I shrunk the lawn! We encourage people to minimize the amount of lawn they have, in order to reduce chemical use and save water and your own labor. Using native plants, ground cover, pathways, etc., instead of lawn, makes a lot of sense for many homeowners. To reduce lawn area, simply smother mulch the area of lawn to be converted to garden or other use. Cardboard works well as does a thick layer of newspapers. Apply several inches of compost over this layer and plant a new bed. It's an easy and effective way to make unwanted lawn disappear.

Now that you have an idea of some tips that can be done, complete your education by checking out the place to go for an "out of the box" education in Organic Horticulture and the Environment. Known as the home of the "Green Guerrilla", The Nature Lyceum, presents a 2 Day Course in Organics.

As a much needed response, to shift both the approach and education of the green industry into greater balance and harmony with the environment, founder Jeff Frank, opened The Nature Lyceum over a decade ago. His school offered a unique educational opportunity for those looking to be more connected with organics long before Green became trendy.

Working with horticulturists, landscape companies, tree care companies, estate care, grounds maintenance, wineries, golf course superintendents, farmers and the back yard gardener, The Nature Lyceum has helped to spread to the work of organics through their pro-active Green Guerrilla program. Students from around the world have graduated from the program and have taken back to their specific communities a holisitic approach to approach to plant and soil health.

The 2 day course is taught by talented and awesome professional co-instructors. Some of the topics covered in the program include: An Introduction to Organics, Soils, Microbes, Water, Dowsing, Organic Turf & Tree Programs, Compost and Compost Teas, Organic Fertilizers, and much more. Classes are offered monthly.

For information on the next class, contact Jeff Frank at 631-283-1915. Both Scott and I have attended programs at the Nature Lyceum and we highly recommend this to any one looking to expand their perceptions, abilities and knowledge basis as they work more co-creatively with the environment. Website

Natural Lawn Care Tips 1- 6 provided by: Natural Landscapes Project


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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Five Ways to Lose More Weight with Walking Workouts

Article By: Debbie Rocker Source

“Cross train” by varying your walking workout. I’ve been seeing it for over a decade — people tell me they’ll walk the same six-mile route every day. Usually you can cut your workout time in half and get the same results, simply by changing up the way you walk!.

If you always do the same things, your body knows exactly what to expect and it goes into conserve mode. It’s part of maintaining stasis. And your mind goes to that same place — the workout gets boring, and you don’t keep walking at a vigorous pace. It loses what I call the “training effect.”

If you can swim and cycle and walk, that’s fantastic. But walking is something you can take with you anywhere and do throughout your lifetime. You can walk anywhere — outside, in front of your TV, in a gym. Your heart rate conditioning is varied based on different terrain. And when you walk indoors, you’re using completely different muscles in different ways, with different levels of resistance.

Use a treadmill once a week. Another day, take your dog, meet a friend and do a casual stroll. It’s not as dramatic a cross-training effect as going from cycling to swimming, but it’s a big difference compared to walking the same path for three years.

One school of thought is that the longer your work out, the more likely your body is to go into fat burning mode. But another theory goes that after a long workout, 60 to 90 minutes, the body goes into conserve mode.

People will tell me, “When I started spinning I lost 15 pounds; now I’m not losing anymore.” And I say, “You’re just spinning more; you have to spin more efficiently.” The research on this seems to indicate that if you mix short intense bursts, you go into fat-burning mode after your workout rather than into conserve mode. It’s six of one, half-dozen of the other.

Try doing run-walks. Add an interval workout, with intense bursts mixed in every few minutes, twice a week. If you can get in two intense 15 to 20 minute interval workouts per week, plus one moderate but longer workout, that’s a great start. Then work up to adding an additional really long workout that’s very intense. That’s an incredible workout week.

Once or twice a week I walk with a friend for over an hour wearing a Walkvest, and I’m telling you we hoof it — it’s intense. Other than that, most of my workouts are 15 to 20 minutes long. My friend’s dog is a very fast, vital dog. I’ll take the dog out and walk fast for a block, jog for a block, and do that for 15 to 20 minutes. Or I’ll walk, then do lunges for half a block, then tricep extensions, then walk for a block.

Via DVD/CD or in person, three days a week. I know how hard it is to change. We all need help!

Effective training tools are important, but coaching is imperative to reaching new levels of fitness. A good coach can take you places you can’t go alone. My training as a professional coach and motivator helps me know what it will take to bring out the best in you; and as a former pro athlete, I know what will work.

Your coach will be with you every step of the way. You’re starting from scratch, working from the ground up, together.

Even when you’re walking intensely, you can listen to a CD with coaching and music. It motivates you and reminds you of how powerful you are, how valuable your workouts are, how positive it is on every level. This can help in a very physical way too, moving your heart rate around and constantly changing the levels of intensity in the body.

Not just lose weight. Your body starts losing bone mass at 30! I want to build and support my body, not wear it down. I want to be better at the movements I do all day long. I want my balance to be sharp and my joints strong, with no more stress on my body than necessary.

Anyone over 25 may be too old to run. I had a training regimen that kept me pounding the pavement for hours on end, and ultimately it had negative effects on my body. I switched my exercise routine to weight-bearing walking, and I started to love my workouts again. I looked forward to walking. Clearly you’re more likely to work out if you actually look forward to it.

I’m going to be 49 this year and I plan to look like this until I die!


I am a huge proponent of, “Don’t even bother changing your body if you don’t change your mind.” It will be temporary, and it will add to past failures.

We condition ourselves to fail. People are convinced they can’t do it based on their past experience trying to diet and lose weight.

This is another great reason to add intensity bursts to kick-start fat burn. The faster you can get results, the more you build your belief that you can do it. It’s the fastest way to change your body, and your mind changes too.

I also believe the universe brings us what we’re thinking about whether we want it or not. Our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, fears and obsessions drive our actions and behaviors. So focus on what you want, not what you don’t want.

If you want to lose weight, think about how much you want to lose and what you want to look like and feel like, not how much you hate being heavy. If you think about what is, you just get more of what is. Think how much you want to be healthy and fit.


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Friday, May 23, 2008

Foods to Help Fight Arthritic Pain

The idea that food can cause or relieve arthritis isn't new. More than 200 years ago, English doctors prescribed cod-liver oil to treat gout and rheumatism. More recently, some health writers have insisted that arthritics should eat or not eat specific foods. The debate is in full swing. Do certain foods cause arthritis? Is there an "Arthritis Begone" diet? All the evidence isn't yet in, but thanks to the studies currently available, more and more physicians are convinced that diet plays a valuable role in arthritis treatment plans.

Foods for Arthritis Relief
Which fruits, vegetables, meat, or fish should you eat? There are no absolute rules, but the results of studies and case histories suggest that these foods may be helpful:

Anchovies: Three-and-a-half ounces of anchovies contain almost a gram and a half of omega-3 fatty acids. The omega-3 fatty acids help regulate the prostaglandins, which play a role in inflammation and, hence, pain. However, anchovies are extremely high in sodium, so if sodium-sensitivity or water retention is a problem for you, choose a different kind of fish.

Apples: Not only can an apple a day keep the doctor away, but it may also help to hold your arthritis at bay. Apples contain boron, a mineral that appears to reduce the risk of developing osteoarthritis. Moreover, when boron was given to people who already have the disease, it helped relieve pain.

Cantaloupe: This sweet fruit contains large amounts of vitamin C and beta-carotene, the plant form of vitamin A. These two powerful vitamins help to control the oxidative and free-radical damage that may contribute to arthritis.

Chile peppers: Chilies contain capsaicin, which gives the peppers their heat. These vegetables also help block pain by encouraging certain nerve cells to run through their supply of substance P, which they normally use to help transmit pain signals.

Curry: A combination of spices that often includes turmeric, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, and so on, curry contains powerful antioxidants that may help relieve inflammation and reduce pain.

Fish: The omega-3 fatty acids in Norwegian sardines, Atlantic mackerel, sablefish, rainbow trout, striped bass, and other fish may help reduce inflammation and pain.

Garlic: An ancient treatment for tuberculosis, lung problems, and other diseases, garlic also appears to relieve some forms of arthritis pain. Although never tested in large-scale, double-blind studies, garlic has been found helpful in many case reports. These helpful benefits may be due to the fact that garlic contains sulfur, which has been known for many years to help relieve certain arthritis symptoms.

Grapes: These bunches of sweet, bite-sized fruit are good sources of the mineral boron, which is important for strong bones.

Mango: A sweet treat, mangoes are packed with three powerful antioxidants: 90 percent of the RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowances) for vitamin C, 75 percent of the daily dose of beta-carotene, plus vitamin E.

Nuts: Almonds, peanuts, and hazelnuts are good sources of boron, a mineral that helps keep bones strong and certain arthritis symptoms at bay.

Papaya: Long used as a folk medicine for diarrhea, hay fever, and other problems, a single papaya contains three times the RDA for the antioxidant vitamin C, plus more than half the daily allotment of beta-carotene.

Read the entire article Fighting Arthritic Pain with the Right Foods Adapted From: Arthritis For Dummies, 2nd Edition Source.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Natural Air Fresheners

Indoor air pollution can be a big problem, having a major influence on the health, comfort and well being of building occupants. Poor air quality has been linked to problems such as Sick Building Syndrome and has been shown to reduce productivity in offices as well as learning in schools. Depending on the source of contaminants, individuals may be extremely sensitive and have great difficulty remaining healthy and balanced in an environment that contains numerous pollutants.

Read on to find out some of the natural alternatives to keeping your home, office, or indoor space smelling fresh, clean, and healthy.

Open the Windows
This almost sounds too simple to be typing, but how often do we see open windows these days? Let the fresh air in, allow the stale, polluted air out. Even if you can only do this for a short time every day, it does make a difference.

In homes without air exchange systems, open a window and run a central vacuum for a while to get fresh air in and stale air out. Or put a fan in a window drawing air out, and open another window to increase air circulation.

Baking Soda
An oldie but goodie, baking soda is economical, effective and healthy. Place an open container in an area that you want freshened and it will absorb the odours in that enclosed space. It does not need to be relegated to just the refrigerator and the cat's litter box.

This is a natural mineral, which absorbs odors and excess moisture in the air as well as heavy metals. It can be used as a general deodorizer and to combat mildew or mould. When used in refrigerators and freezers, it can reduce electricity cost by up to 12% by maintaining optimum humidity, and it helps keep food fresher. Zeolite is usually sold in packets that can be hung in strategic locations.

Because of the honeycomb structure, zeolite is able to absorb moisture and gas molecules that total about 65 percent of the weight of the zeolite itself. The material has virtually no fragrance, and it releases nothing as it absorbs other materials. A day in bright sunshine is usually enough to release the contaminants and restore the zeolite to working condition. Packets can also be recharged in a 200-degree oven for an hour. The low temperature will keep the plastic bags from melting. (Zeolite itself can withstand temperatures of 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit before it degrades.) Source it can be purchased from Environmental Home Center.

Simmerring Herbs & Spices
Simmer water and cinnamon or other spices on stove. Or another option is to purchase from the Thrift Store one of those miniature crock pot type devices for a few dollars. Plug it in and add your spices...it will send fragrance throughout the room you are freshening. In addition to herbs and spices, pure essential oils work well also...but they must be the pure essential oils, not an artificial fragrance.

Place Bowls of Fragrant Dried Herbs & Flowers in a Room
Not only does it look nice, it helps clear up the air. Lavender is wonderful for this, make sachet as well so a fresh fragrance can be released into small confined spaces like the closets and dresser drawers, an added benefit some will also ward off moths.

Household Plants
Plants are the great equalizer in helping with the inflow of oxygen into an area. Rather than relying on chemical-laden air fresheners, try floral scents from the source: fresh flowers! As for potted plants, Dr. Bill Wolverton conducted studies for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration showing that some houseplants can clear carbon dioxide and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from indoor air.

For example, of the fifty indoor plants tested, the Boston fern was the most effective at removing formaldehyde and the peace lily worked best on acetone. Three types of palms — areca, lady and bamboo — received the highest overall ratings, which included ease of growth and maintenance, resistance to insects and amount of moisture released by the plant, along with ability to remove chemical vapors. See my earlier post Plants that Boost Indoor Air Quality to get a list of the most useful household plants that are up for this task.

One of my most favorite ways is to burn a natural incense in the house to re-energize or clear. A few of my favorites are sandalwood, palo santo, and cedar. Sage I save for clearing and smugding work. Be sure to use the real deal product, good natural incense and not a cheap knock-off that may be filled with toxins and chemicals.

Just by incoporating one or two of these suggestions you can go a long way toward revitalizing your enviroment's indoor air quality.


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Friday, May 16, 2008

Benefits of Using Raw Butter

Butter has gotten a bad rap over the past decades, mostly due to commerical interest rather than health interests. Butter is a rich source of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. The saturated fat in butter actually enhances our immune function, protects the liver from toxins, provides nourishment for the heart in times of stress, gives stiffness and integrity to our cell membranes, and aids in the proper utilization of omega-3 essential fatty acids. Butter will add extra nutrients and flavor to your vegetables, whole grain breads, and sautéed dishes.

Butter is a completely natural food essential to your health - especially when you eat organic. Also, please make the extra effort to obtain high-quality organic, raw butter.

Margarines, on the other hand, are a processed food, created chemically from refined polyunsaturated oils. The process used to make these normally liquid oils into spread-able form is called hydrogenation. Margarine and similar hydrogenated or processed polyunsaturated oils are potentially more detrimental to your health than any saturated fat.

So take a look at the long list of benefits one can receive from eating butter, especially if it is organic raw butter..

1. Butter is rich in the most easily absorbable form of Vitamin A necessary for thyroid and adrenal health.

2. Contains lauric acid, important in treating fungal infections and candida.

3. Contains lecithin, essential for cholesterol metabolism.

4. Contains anti-oxidants that protect against free radical damage.

5. Has anti-oxidants that protect against weakening arteries.

6. Is a great source of Vitamins E and K.

7. Is a very rich source of the vital mineral selenium.

8. Saturated fats in butter have strong anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties.

9. Butter contains conjugated linoleic acid, which is a potent anti-cancer agent, muscle builder, and immunity booster

10. Vitamin D found in butter is essential to absorption of calcium.

11. Protects against tooth decay.

12. Is your only source of an anti-stiffness factor, which protects against calcification of the joints.
13. Anti-stiffness factor in butter also prevents hardening of the arteries, cataracts, and calcification of the pineal gland.

14. Is a source of Activator X, which helps your body absorb minerals.

15. Is a source of iodine in highly absorbable form.

16. May promote fertility in women.

17. Is a source of quick energy, and is not stored in our bodies adipose tissue.

18. Cholesterol found in butterfat is essential to children's brain and nervous system development.

19. Contains Arachidonic Acid (AA) which plays a role in brain function and is a vital component of cell membranes.

20. Protects against gastrointestinal infections in the very young or the elderly.



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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Master Numbers

One of the phenomena occurring at this time is to pay attention that we are living with Spirit, and one way our guides and teachers help us is by making us become aware of the energies and the meaning of numbers...such as in the appearance of 3 or more of the same digits.

Energy flow - enhancing whatever level you are in presently

Resurrection and ascension process. Twenty-two (22) is the master number that reflects POWER ON ALL PLANES AND THE ABILITY TO CHANGE THE COURSE OF HISTORY

Decision number - Either directs you into a phase of 999 completion, or negatively, it puts you in the 666 frequency which throws you back into the third dimension, watch what you are doing VERY carefully

In the crystal book by Melody "Love Is In The Earth", this is what it says for the 333 Master number. Power over the total physical realm is revealed and the application of same is facilitated. Understanding of the "right time" is expedited and the act of non-action is furthered; patience is a keyword. The concept of ease in actualization and the understanding of the abstraction of manifestation is reflected on the 333 vibration.

Presence of Angels and ability for Angelic communication or you have completed an important phase and it is the number of resurrection

Experiencing the energy or level of CHRIST CONSCIOUSNESS

Material world, third dimensional frequency, density, pay attention to everything around you and ask if making this decision in this way will hold me back from my spiritual growth in some way?

Symbolizes an integration of some portion of the four lower bodies with higher spiritual frequencies within the Third-dimensional plane, or at the level in which you are manifesting your physical reality on the Earth Plane.

Symbolizes infinity. The unified spiral of the physical merging with the spiritual. Moving toward the completion of the ascension process through the energies of 222 and 444.

Symbolizes the three levels of the triune, completion.

The great void, experiencing a null zone. Switching or moving into a new energy field.

Beginning of a whole new level or phase of development. Another dimension or frequency of experience opening. A way or path opening for you. Stargate 11:11

Cosmic Connection, a bridge to the future, signifies a levelof completion or graduation

Just yesterday my youngest daughter who is in 9th grade mentioned that every day she notices the 11:11 on the clock, and since she is a night owl, most days, she says she notices it twice. I find this amazing. She indicated she is not a clock watcher but somehow always manages to see that particular time on a daily basis. I have to admit, I was a bit jealous, because I never notice the numbers, then again, I rarely ever look at a clock. So, does that have some signifiance?

I do realize that numbers surround us, and I rarely pick up on the signals that come in this manner, although I have been in the car with this particular daughter and she will say, "hey mom look, that license plate has a 333 on it."

SOURCE: www.namaste-wi.com Namaste Retreat Center
. And here is the rest of it.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Plants that Boost Indoor Air Quality

25 Top Plants

These plants have been shown to be effective in removing common pollutants from indoor air including formaldehyde, benzene and carbon monoxide.

Common Name.....Scientific Name
1. Anthurium..... Anthurium andraeanum
2. Areca palm..... Chrysalidocarpus lutescens
3. Benjamin Weeping Fig.... Ficus benjamina
4. Boston fern.... Nephrolepis exaltata
5. Chinese Evergreen.....Aglaonema modestum

6. Corn Plant..... Dracaena massangeana
7. Croton..... Codiaeum variegatum
8. Date palm..... Phoenix roebelenii
9. Dieffenbachia..... Dieffenbachia bowmannii
10. English Ivy..... Hedera helix

11. Fig ‘Alii’..... Ficus macleilandii ‘Alii’
12. Gerbera Daisy......Gerbera jamesonii
13. Golden pothos..... Epipremnum aureum
14. Janet Craig ....Dracaena "Janet Craig"
15. Marginata..... Dracaena marginata

16. Norfolk Island Pine..... Araucaria Hetrophylla
17. Peace Lily..... Spathiphyllum "Mauna Loa"
18. Potted Mum..... Chrysantheium morifolium
19. Ponytail palm..... Beaucarnea recurvata
20. Prayer plant (Calathea)..... Maranta leuconeura erythroneura

21. Rubber plant..... Ficus elastica
22. Snake plant ..... Sansevieria laurentii
23. Warneckii ..... Dracaena "Warneckii"
24. Zebra plant..... Aphelandra squarrosa
25. ZZ plant..... Zamioculcas.

And here is the rest of it.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Optimal pH for the Garden

Optimal soil pH can vary widely for differentvegetables. Most vegetables require a soil pH of about 6.3 to 7.0, although requirements vary with some vegetables having a much wider range than others.

A pH under 7.0 is acidic, a reading of over 7.0 is alkaline, 7.0 is neutral. Check the chartbelow, test your pH and amend as necessary for a great garden!

Asparagus 6.0 to 8.0
Beets 6.0 to 8.0
Cabbage 6.0 to 8.0
Muskmelons 6.0 to 8.0
Peas 6.0 to 7.5
Spinach 6.0 to 7.5
Summer Squash 6.0 to 7.5
Celery 6.0 to 7.0
Chives 6.0 to 7.0
Endive 6.0 to 7.0
Rhubarb 6.0 to 7.0
Horseradish 6.0 to 7.0
Lettuce 6.0 to 7.0
Onions 6.0 to 7.0
Radishes 6.0 to 7.0
Cauliflower 6.0 to 7.0
Corn 5.5 to 7.5
Pumpkins 5.5 to 7.5
Tomatoes 5.5 to 7.5
Snap Beans 5.5 to 7.0
Lima Beans 5.5 to 7.0
Carrots 5.5 to 7.0
Cucumbers 5.5 to 7.0
Parsnips 5.5 to 7.0
Peppers 5.5 to 7.0
Eggplant 5.5 to 6.4
Watermelons 5.5 to 6.4
Potatoes 5.0 to 6.4

. And here is the rest of it.

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