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Joe Cross Reboot With Juicing

fat-sick-and-nearly-deadMy husband and I have been watching a lot of movies since we got Netflix a couple of weeks ago. We have been taking turns picking a movie to watch and a few nights ago I came across a documentary about a man that changed his lifestyle by switching the cheese burgers out with healthy juices. The title most definitely caught my attention, “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” and we decided to watch it.

The documentary is about an overweight Australian man in his early 40s that needs to take a fistful of medication to function every day. He has always led a very stressful and career driven lifestyle and his diet has never been a priority to him. In fact, in the beginning of the documentary he does not exercise at all and eat junk food every day.

>>Watch “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” for Free Online Here<<

Joe suffers from a debilitating autoimmune disease and is very concerned about his future if he doesn’t change his ways. He decides to try something new and travels across the United States. He stays away from restaurants and only drinks fruit and vegetable juices that he makes on his own juicer. He decided to go on a juice diet for 60 days to help his body heal itself. He had seen many doctors and tried many treatments and decided to give his body a chance to heal itself by giving it a break from all the unhealthy food he had been eating. His goal was to stop taking all the pills every day and lose some of all the extra pounds he is carrying around.

It is incredible to watch Joe Cross change in this movie. Not only does he lose a significant amount of weight (82 lbs!), but he also inspires other people to eat healthier too by giving juicing a try. The most touching story  to me was when he met a truck driver in Arizona with the same rare disease as himself. Phil is morbidly obese at 429 lbs and is at his wits end. Joe Cross helps him get started with juicing and Phil immediately starts to drop some weight. Phil changes throughout the documentary from being a sad, quiet man in a lot of pain to a positive and energetic man that plays ball with his son – something he was unable to do before. Just like with Joe, Phil also starts to inspire other people to try juicing. I love how he pays it forward and teaches other people how he changes his lifestyle and how they can do it too.

My husband and I found the documentary very inspiring. We talked about it a lot and drove our close friends crazy by going over every little detail of the movie. People seem to think you are a bit nuts when you mention that you are considering starting with juicing. “Can’t you just eat a lot of veggies?” But the thing is that there is no way you can consume a cucumber, three celery stalks, two apples, a lemon, a piece of ginger and a massive handful of kale in one sitting (that’s Joe’s Mean Green juice, by the way). With a juicer you can extract all the phytochemicals out of the veggies and enjoy a glass of liquid nutrients.

The day after we watched the documentary we bought Joe Cross’ book “Reboot With Joe” (amazon.com link). We were both inspired to boost our micronutrient intake and figured Joe’s book would be a great way to get started with juicing. I am a few chapters in and I am enjoying Joe’s entertaining writing style and can’t wait to try some of the recipes he has included in his book.

Joe recommends the Breville juicers in his book. This is also the juicer that he used in the documentary. Judging from the reviews the Breville juicers are great, we just didn’t care for that the manufacturer only offered a one year warranty.

We have read a ton of online reviews on juicers and have decided to opt for a slow juicer with a 10 year warranty. The juicer we ordered is the SlowStar 2000 juicer. The main reasons why we picked it is because it is a quiet model, great for juicing hard vegetables such as carrots and beets and of course we liked the 10 year warranty. Oh yes, and it is red and will look really pretty on our kitchen counter top. Once we have received and used it for a while, I will write a proper Slowstar 2000 juicer review.

Retire Your Clothes Dryer And Go Green

Join the summer movement: Retire your clothes dryer

Did you know that your clothes dryer most likely is the third-most energy hungry appliance in your household – the top spots go to your fridge and washing machine. You can greatly reduce your energy consumption if you give your clothes dryer a break over the summer. And who knows, when you realize how mucj you will be saving on your utility bill, you may continue to air dry your clothes in the winter as well. Introducing project: Retire your clothes dryer.

Is a clothes dryer a necessity?

A clothes dryer has shifted from being a luxury item to a necessity in many people’s minds. It makes you wonder how our poor grandparents survived without one when they were growing up… The dryer is definitely a time-saver, but like with so many other shortcuts and hacks in our lives, is this another area where we are willing to compromise the quality, so we can save a few valuable minutes on daily tasks to instead spend them in front of the TV?

Preserve your favourite clothes by air drying them

Your clothes will last a lot longer by air drying. No doubt about it. The intense heat and tumbling from a clothes dryer takes its toll on clothes. All that lint you pull out of the dryer’s lint trap comes from the clothes slowly breaking down and the material getting thinner. If you want your favourite clothes to last longer, then you should give air drying a try this summer.

Fresh-smelling clothes

If you can then place your clothesline next to a nice smelling flowers in your backyard. Jasmin and lavender are great and their scents will transfer on to your clothes and they will smell incredible. Sunshine also has the added benefit of helping to disinfect clothes and to gently bleach whites. My favourite part is that the clothes have that fresh “sunny” smell to them when I bring them inside. I use Eco Nuts for washing the clothes, so when it comes out of the dryer it doesn’t have much of a smell to them other than fresh.

Create a Zen-moment in your backyard

Clothes rack for indoor use

This is the style of portable clothes horse that I have set up next to my washing machine.

I also view hanging my clothes up in the clothesline as a form of exercise. In order to accommodate my bedding, the clothes line in my backyard is set pretty high. The stretch I do to hang clothes very much resembles the other ‘picking-apples-from-a-tall-tree’-exercise that is so popular. Besides the stretching you get, it also feels great to be outside and enjoy the fresh air. Heck, bring a cup of java and sit and enjoy the wind in your flowery pyjamas when you are done. Then pat yourself on the back for being environmentally friendly.

How long does it take for clothes to air dry?

It does take longer for clothes to air dry compared to in a clothes dryer. Probably less than an hour compared to minimum nine hours for air drying it. This depends on how hot a climate you live in. An Australian colleague once told me that when she was done hanging up her clothes on the clothesline, she could go back to where she started and pull it down again – that’s how fast it would dry in the heat! Where I live on the west coast of Canada it doesn’t quite get that hot, so I have to leave it for at least sic hours in the summer time.

My clothes drying routine

I like to do my laundry in the morning and then hang it up on my clothes line straight away. Then I go about my day and fold the dry clothes in the late afternoon. I am not a slave to when the clothes dryer starts beeping at me, ie yelling at me to go fold the clothes and if I don’t I will be pulling wrinkles clothes out of the dryer in a few hours’ time.

Indoor clothes rack

Even in tight spaces, you can still air dry your clothes.

No outdoor space? No problem!

The winter months are very wet where we live, so call me crazy… I opt for hanging the clothes indoors when it is pouring down outside. I have a clothes drying rack set up right next to the washing machine, so I don’t have to carry the wet clothes anywhere. When we used to live in an apartment we didn’t have an outdoor space where I could hang the clothes to dry. Here is how I did back then: I had the indoor clothes rack set up in the middle of the floor in our bedroom and then I switched the ceiling fan on. Then I would open a couple of windows and the clothes would be dry in a matter of hours. Who needs a fancy humidifier when you can boost the humidity level with your own low-tech solution?

Ready to give your clothes dryer a break this summer? You will save on your energy bill, reduce your carbon footprint and in the long run also save on clothes as it will not wear out as fast if you air dry them.

Click here to check out the clotheslines and clothes racks on Amazon.com!

 

Toms Shoes – The Most Comfortable Shoes For Any Occasion

Toms Vegan Earthwise Shoe

Toms Vegan Earthwise Shoe: The upper part of this TOMS shoe is made of a unique twill featuring hemp and recycled plastic bottles.

I first heard about TOMS shoes when I saw my friend wear them a couple of summers ago. She was wearing a pair of bright red canvas shoes with her navy capris and they looked really amazing together. I just had to ask her what kind of shoes she was wearing. Excitedly, my friend told me about her TOMS shoes for what felt like the next 30 minutes. She told me that with her purchase of these shoes, she had not only given a pair of shoes to a child in a poor country, she had also found the most comfortable shoes that she could wear with everything.

One for one – TOMS for you, TOMS for a child in need

The concept is pretty simple: With every pair of shoes purchased, TOMS will give a pair of shoes to a child in a poor part of the world. TOMS partner with health and humanitarian organizations around the world and have given shoes to children in countries such as Cambodia, Haiti, South Africa and even kids in poor neighborhoods in the USA. Ten Tree is another example of a company that donate something for every item sold. In Ten Tree’s case they plant ten trees for every piece of clothing sold.

TOMS has been around since 2006 and has grown tremendously each year and this way been able to give even more kids around the world more shoes. The company also do their best to give shoes to the same kids as their feet grow. They constantly come out with new designs and products and it is all around the mentality of giving back and helping someone in need.

No shoes – no education

In many poor parts of the world children are not allowed in the classroom without any shoes on. I have heard examples of siblings sharing a pair of shoes and then taking turns attending school. It is so sad that the lack of a pair of shoes prevents a child from getting an education, but TOMS is making a huge difference and you can be a part of this One for One movement.

TOMS Slip-On Canvas shoe

This is one of TOMS most popular design – the canvas shoe with an elastic v at the top and slips on very easily.

You know how I told you about my friend that went on and on about this great company that had manufactured her shoes? Well, I must admit I am like that now. I will tell any stranger that compliment my shoes about TOMS because I think what they are doing is so fantastic. And you know what? I’d bet you will be like that too!

Great for any outfit, any occasion

I absolutely love my two pairs of TOMS. I wear them everywhere; grocery shopping, coffee out with a friend or even going out for dinner. If you pick a bright colour, it can really make your whole outfit pop. The shoes are very comfortable and I have no problem wearing them an entire day in the summer heat.

The canvas material will stretch

One thing I will point out is that the canvas top of the shoe does stretch out, so don’t be alarmed if they fell tight when you first put them on. What I did with my two pairs was to wear them around the house for a few hours before I wore them outside. The overall quality of the shoe is great. On the first pair of TOMS shoes I bought there were a couple of loose threads that I had to trim off. No big deal. I didn’t see any loose thread on my second pair of TOMS shoes that I bought in April, so maybe they have improved their quality control.

TOMS Canvas Slip-on Shoe

The classic canvas slip-on shoe from TOMS can be worn with anything and for any occasion.

Want to be part of the One For One movement and donate a pair of shoes to a child in a poor part of the world? Click any image on this page to go to Amazon.com to shop for your new pair of TOMS shoes.


Click here to shop for your pair of TOMS shoes on Amazon.com.

 

 

 

My best tips for growing basil

I have just moved my little basil plants outside and figured I would share my best tips for growing basil. Fresh basil is by far my favourite herb. I use it in salads, pasta sauces, pizza and of course pesto. Basil goes great with feta and mozzarella and a few basil leaves look very decorative on top of any dish.

You can’t even compare fresh basil to dried basil. Fresh basil is so fragrant and can spicy up any old dull pasta dish. It is as if they are two completely different herbs. I opt for the dried stuff during the winter months, but in the summer I only use fresh basil as it tastes so much better.

When to grow basil?

Basil is not very resilient to cold temperatures, so wait until it gets a bit milder overnight until you move your plants outside. I would recommend you wait until the temperature at night is at least 50°F or 10°C. I have lost some basil plants in the past because I brought them outside in early May and it was just too cold for them.

Growing basil indoors

If you do not have an outdoor space or just prefer to grow your basil indoors then have a closer look at a hydroponic indoor garden system. The ideal part of growing your herbs indoors is that you will likely use them a lot more as you do not have to go outside to pick them. Basil loves sun, so make sure to put grow it in a south-facing window with no drafts.

Basil Marker

It is a good idea to add a sign next to your basil, so everyone in your family can identify it.

Seeds or starter plants?

You can either start from seed or buy starter plants. I have done it both ways in the past and prefer the seeds as it is much cheaper that way.  I use Hydrofarm T5 grow lights to get my seedlings started in my basement and find that the warmth from the grow lights boosts the germination tremendously. I find that the basil germinates twice as fast with the grow lights – the plants probably think they are in a tropical climate and not the westcoast of Canada! Once the seedlings have grown to a couple of inches, I transfer them to a bigger pot and move the plants outside.

Pick well-drained soil

Make sure to use a soil that drains well and the same goes for the pot you use. I like to cover the bottom of the container with either gravel or pebbles to make sure the drainage holes are not covered and any excess water can run out. For the soil I like to mix a potting soil with my own compost from my backyard composter.

Sun, sun and more sun

Pick a spot for your basil where it can get at least six hours of sunlight. Just like tomatoes (and me!) basil likes lots of sun, so if you are already growing tomatoes then just put your basil right next to your tomato plants. A few days after I have moved the basil plants outside I will have a closer look and remove the weaker seedlings to allow the stronger plants to have more room. Basil can grow up to a height of 12 to 18 inches (30 – 45cm), so allow a distance between each plant of 9 and 12 inches (22 and 30 cm).

Watering your basil

I usually water my basil every other day during the summer. It is hard to over water basil as long as the soil and container you have used allow the water to drain out of the pot.

Pick some flowers

Once white or purple flowers start to appear, make sure to pick them off. Once a plant starts to bloom it will channel all its energy into producing flowers, but you don’t want basil flowers, you want the leaves, so pinch the flowers as soon as they start to show. If you would like to produce your own basil seeds for next season, just leave a few flowers. They will turn into little seed pods full of black basil seeds that you can save for the spring.

Harvesting basil

When it comes time to harvest your basil then pick leaves from different plants as opposed to cutting one plant down. You pick some leaves and the plant will grow more within a few days.

I hope you enjoyed my tips on growing basil and that you will have a great gardening season this year.

How to start a vegetable garden with a raised garden bed

A little while back I realized that I have run out of space to grow my vegetables in the backyard, so I decided to try to figure out how to get some more space for my greens.

There is a slope in our backyard and the previous owner added a raised garden bed at the very back of the yard. Instead of putting plants in the garden bed he filled it up with rocks. It does look pretty but I would much rather have plants in there. So last weekend I decided to remove the rocks and turn the raised garden bed into my ‘salad bar’ – in other words grow spinach, arugula and lettuce in there.

It is not a huge area, but there was a thick layer of fist-sized rocks in the garden bed and it took me a good part of a day to get all the rock out. Next thing I did was to add some great quality soil and mix in some nutritious compost mix from my composter.

I have never been into planting things in rows, so I just sprinkled the seeds into the soil and used a rake to spread the seeds in the garden bed. Yes, I know, I am such a rebel! Lol.

When I had raked the seeds into the ground, I watered the area for a good 15 minutes. It was incredible how much water the soil could soak up. I expected some pooling to take place after the first five minutes, but the water just keep seeping into the soil. So I kept watering. And watered some more. It is a good thing I’ve got a rain barrel full of water, it definitely will come in handy this summer with all the vegetables I plan on growing.

I decided to put a plastic net (Amazon link) on top of the soil to protect it from not only the birds, but also from my dog, Kahuna that likes to run through my garden beds. The net has definitely worked – Kahuna has stayed away as he does not like to step on netting and the birds have stayed away from the seeds as well.

The next couple of days I watered the seeded soil every evening as the sun was setting. I never water my plants when the sun is up as I am afraid this will cook the roots of my plants.

I was amazed to see that just four days after I had seeded the soil, the seedlings started to come up. The spinach came up first, closely followed by the lettuce. We have had some mild temperatures the past week, so the seedlings are growing a little bit every day. We have also had a couple of days with rain, which has meant that I didn’t have to water the seedlings.

I can’t wait to make the first salad from my organic ‘salad bar’ in our backyard. Not only will I save money on vegetables, but I will also ensure that I put a completely organic salad on the dinner table, which I am very excited about.

Raised vegetable garden

Amazon.com has some great raised garden kits available. Click image to have a closer look.

I was lucky that the previous owner had already built a garden bed of concrete blocks. Concrete blocks or natural stone will last longer, but they also a more expensive and more labour-intensive material than wood.

If you decide to use wood then make sure to use a rot-resistant type of lumber such as cedar or one of the new composite lumbers that will not rot and does not require maintenance.

Don’t have the tools or time to built your own garden bed?

Click here to check out all the raised garden beds kits that are available on Amazon.com.

Garden bed kits are very easy to assemble and will get you started with your own vegetable garden in no time.

Now you know how to start a vegetable garden with a raised garden bed. I hope this is the year you get into growing vegetables in your backyard. The shops are charging more and more for organic vegetables each year, so why not just grow them yourself?

Adding a raised garden bed to your backyard is a great and inexpensive way to get into vegetable gardening and I can highly recommend it.

 

 

How to clean an oven the eco-friendly way

Looking for an alternative way to clean your oven other than with toxic cleaners? Then this eco-friendly option that involves baking soda is perfect for you.

I never enjoy cleaning my oven, it always seems to be a full day event. We have an oven with a self-cleaning feature, but I don’t care for cleaning my oven this way because it uses a lot of energy.

The self-cleaning feature increases the temperature to 800-900 degrees Fahrenheit and leaves the oven at this high temperature for several hours. The grease and bits of food will turn into ash that you can wipe up once the oven is cool again.

Sounds easy right? Still, this method means that you cannot leave the house for several hours and that you need to open all the windows unless you want the house to feel like a sauna. The smell of burnt food turning into ashes is not the most pleasant either, so you definitely want to make sure your windows are open if you use the self-cleaning method. Plus, it really uses a lot of energy having your oven on at full blast for so may hours.

I have recently found a much more environmentally friendly and time-efficient way to clean my oven. It is no secret that baking soda absorbs grease and there are many great ways to use baking soda in your home instead of toxic cleaner.

With the grease-absorbing capability of baking soda in mind I figured, I’d give this a try with my oven that was starting to look pretty grimy. I removed the racks from the oven and sprinkled baking soda on all the burnt food particles.

Then I sprayed some water on top of the the baking soda and left the mixture of baking soda and water to do its thing overnight. That right, I simply closed the oven door and left the baking soda and water mixture for the night.

The next morning the grease and burnt-in foods easily came off with a sponge. I was amazed how easy it was to clean the oven after having left the baking soda on the burnt food overnight. This is definitely the way I will clean my oven from now on.

There was a bit of grease on the sides of the oven as well, so I just added some baking soda to a spray bottle with water in it an sprayed that on the inside walls of the oven. The baking soda worked like a charm and is so much better to use than chemical oven cleaners where you almost need to wear a mask to be able to use them.

There you have it… now you know how to clean an oven in an eco-friendly way that will not take too much of your time. Give baking soda a try yourself and not only save money on your energy bill.

Frostfire Outdoor Motion Sensor Solar LED Light

Solar powered LED light

The Frostfire 16 LED light does not require batteries or electrical wiring – only sun light to charge the built-in lithium battery.

The Frostfire 16 LED light does not require any batteries and is wireless – all it needs is sun light to charge the built-in battery. The Frostfire has a dim LED light that comes on at sunset and stays on until sunrise. The light stores the charge from a small built-in solar panel with a 3.7 volt 800mAh Lithium ion battery inside the light. If the light senses motion the light gets even brighter and stays like that for a few minutes.

The solar-powered light does not require batteries and no electrical wiring is needed when you install the light. It is a great light for locations around the exterior of your house where you need extra lighting for security and safety reasons. Ideal locations are above steps to porches, right where your car is parked overnight and right by your garbage cans. It is always helpful to have extra lighting at night in these locations.

Frostfire LED light product details:

Dimensions: 4.75″ long x 3.5″ wide x 2.75″ high

Wireless and no batteries needed

Solar panel life span: 5 years

LED Life Span: 50,000 hours

Solar LED kits includes: one solar light, activation pin, two screws and wall plugs.

Read the Frostfire Wireless LED light reviews on Amazon.com.

Easy installation

Remove the film on the solar part in order for the light to work. The kit comes with two screws and anchors and is very easy to mount. The light kit comes with a small pin that you need to stick into a small hole on the light housing. Simply push the pin into the hole and then you will hear a small click, which will activate the light. Move the on/off switch to the ON-position and you are all set. Let the light charge in the sun all day and then it should come on automatically when the sun sets.

Bright motion sensor light

The light gets brighter if someone gets with a few feet of the light. You can expect the light to get brighter when you are within 1o feet of its sensor. In some instances the light does activate by large trees, but for the most part that is only on very windy nights.

Also worth noting is that is does pick up the movement of a dog, so it is a great light if you would like some extra lighting in your backyard for your puppy. Once activated, the light stays on for a few minutes until it no longer senses any motion.

What a lot of dog owners like to do is install the LED light right by their porch door. When their dog comes up to the door after having been outside for a while, the motion light with get bright and the dog owner will see that their dog is by the door and wants to come inside.

Frostfire light’s range

Each light covers a 4′ wide- 6′ long area, so make sure to order a few lights if you have a long walkway down the side of a house. It is recommended to place the light close to each other, so the lighting from each fixture will overlap and there with be no dark areas.

Tips for optimal use

- Make sure to clean the solar charger for snow and dust to make sure the light recharges optimally.

- If you for any reason need to reset the light and have lost the little pin that comes with the light then just use a paperclip that you have pulled open.

Conclusion

I have done a lot of research on the Frostfire LED light and have found that the best price available online is on Amazon.com.

Click here to order your Frostfire motion sensor light today!