Happy 50th Birthday, Basic-H®!

Green Goes with Everything


This year marks the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day and Shaklee will be celebrating a significant milestone of its own, the 50th anniversary of Basic-H®, one of the first nontoxic, biodegradable cleaners in the world!

In honor of this amazing product, here are a few fun tips around how you can use it to clean!

  • Window Cleaner for less than a penny a bottle! Mix only 2 drops in 16 oz spray bottle of water.
  • General Cleaner for less than 3 cents a bottle! Mix 1/4 tsp in 16 oz spray bottle of water and clean doors, walls, woodwork, appliances, bathroom fixtures & tile.
  • Floors:  1 Tbsp per gallon of water.
  • Air Filters:  1/4 tsp to qt. warm water.
  • Dusting:  1/8 tsp in pint of water, spray on and dry with clean cloth.
  • Wallpaper:  1/2 Tbsp per gallon of water.  Soak wallpaper with sponge & peel or scrape.
  • Coffeemakers:  Dilute 1/8 tsp Basic H2 in pot of water.  Run through cycle and coffee stains will rinse away.
  • Hand Washables:  1/2 tsp to a basin lukewarm water.
  • Ironing:  A few drops in steam iron keeps the jets & interior clean.
  • Fruit & Vegetables:  Use 1/8 tsp in pint of water (spray bottle with solution kept by sink is convenient).  Wash & rinse immediately.  Helps remove spray residue, dirt & waxes, also removes grit from leafy vegetables.

The Perils of Plastic

I read a crazy article on plastic in Time Magazine this morning. The CDC founded traces of 212 environmental chemicals in Americans –including toxic metals like arsenic and cadmium, pesticides, flame retardants and more. Chemicals like bisphenol (BPA) and phthalates –key ingredients in many plastics — may disrupt the delicate endocrine system, leading to developmental problems.

They also included a supplement on the top 10 household toxins. Knowledge is power folks! Look for products that are phthalate-free with BPA free packaging –things that are safe for you, your home and the planet. It’s way harder than it should be 😦

Jamie’s TED Wish

Following on the post I just did about Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, I wanted to share with you the talk he gave at TED this year where he had the opportunity to share his wish…powerful stuff.

Jamie Oliver’s “The American Food Revolution”

I was first introduced to Jamie Oliver when I was living in London in 2003. He was a fairly unknown chef, the son of a pub owner, and considered to be a local kid who was making it big with his focus on fresh food and natural ingredients. I continued to follow him over the years and have watched as he’s worked to transform the school lunch system (really the mentality around food)  in the UK, started a cooking / chef certification school for kids who doesn’t have many opportunities and become an internationally recognized chef that is passionate about actually understanding where your food comes from (what a concept!).  The thing about Jamie that always comes through is he’s genuine interest in helping others – he has a unique gift of being able to share his passion without being condescending.

As you guys know from reading my blog, I share Jamie’s passion around fresh food, natural ingredients and understanding how the food ends up on your plate. This weekend, Tim and I decided to watch the first two episodes of Jamie’s new show, The American Food Revolution, and it blew us away.  For me, it was two hours of many emotions – excitement that this subject is being raised in the mainstream, confusion around the active dislike (and in some cases extreme hatred) for a subject that had everything to do with kids and health, extreme sadness as the show shared the story of a 12-year-old who didn’t have the tools to be who he wanted, amazement that there are people who don’t question where their food comes from, what it does to their body and why being 40-60 lbs overweight isn’t ‘okay,’ and last but not least, heartbreak that we as one of the greatest nations in the world aren’t taking better care of ourselves and those around us.  Even with all of that swirling around me, I came away from watching the show full of hope – we’ve brought change through grassroots efforts so many times in this country – perhaps this is the tipping point we need to do it again.

I found this petition on Jamie’s website, he’s planning to share the results with our government in the hopes that the regulations he’s coming up against (if you’ve watched the show this is an example of having to server rice and bread at one meal) can start to be addressed. I’m excited to part of this food revolution and how we can impact our food system.

I wonder how we could get this started at a local level in MA. Anyone have any suggestions?

Calorie Count Disclosure

I had the privilege of being in Washington DC when the Healthcare bill was passed. One of the things that excites me about the bill is the fact that we are starting to be more aware of our food and it’s effect on our health. One of the pieces in the new bill will make it a requirement for fast food and other chain restaurants to include calorie counts on menus, menu boards and even drive-ins. The new law, which applies to any restaurant with 20 or more locations, directs the Food and Drug Administration to create a new national standard for menu labeling, superseding a growing number of state and city laws. The idea is to make sure that customers process the calorie information as they are ordering. Many restaurants currently post nutritional information in a hallway, on a hamburger wrapper or on their Web site. The new law will make calories immediately available for most items.

For those of you who have traveled to New York City you know this is already a law there and it makes you stop and think the second you see how many calories are actually in the sandwich or salad you are looking to order. I know that I’ve made better food choices in NYC based on being able to see the calorie count right in front of me.

What do you guys think? Will this new law make you more cautious of what you order?

Nursery-School Gourmets

I love food and I love eating. I love eating food so much that I think about what I’m going to eat for breakfast at night and start planning dinner on the way to work! I was reading Time Magazine the other day and came across an article about how French schools are teach good eating habits from Nursery-school up.

The pieces of the article that were so powerful for me was around the focus on the meal:

  • They don’t rush and teach students that your meals should be a time that is dedicated to the task at hand
  • They always eat at the table, I grew up in a house like this and I believe we’re a closer family for having that time together
  • They showcase a verity of foods, instead of letting kids get stuck in 5 foods they allow and encourage them to try new things

Even though it’s just me and my husband we still eat at the table. It’s our focus on the meal and our time together at the end of a busy day to share what happened to us. Do you eat at the table or in front of the TV?

I can’t go organic with everything. Are there some foods that matter more?