How to Successfully Add Family Exercise to Your Daily Routine

As parents, we feel that exercise is important but we can hardly find the time for it with our busy schedules, or if we do find the time for it, we feel guilty because we are sticking out kids in day care or leaving them at home to go to the gym. Here are some practical ways you can add exercise into your daily routine that gives you bonding time with your kids, while getting the exercise you need.

1. Take family walks. No gym membership required, just simply take a walk around the block or as far as the kids can make it. Take the dog with you if you have one, this is great exercise for everyone, including the dog.

2. Go for a family bike ride. Take the kids out on a bike ride. Before the trip try to calculate how far you want to go and what the best route is for safety and time. Try to stay in bike lanes and make sure everyone has a good fitting helmet.

3. Go to the park. Swinging on monkey bars is a great strengthening exercise for kids and adults alike. Climbing up and down the playground equipment is also a good way to get exercise. Make it fun for the whole family.

4. Play basketball or catch. If your kids aren’t interested in either of those games, try hopscotch or the hula hoop. These all will get your heart rate up, helping you and the kids get the daily exercise you need.

5. Set up a home gym. If you have teens, a home gym may be the answer to get them to enjoy exercise with their parents. You can use a lot of items you have around the house.

Don’t let the rain come between your family and exercise. You have options, by taking the family to the gym for swim time, or to the nearest school to play basketball in the undercover area. Make exercise a priority and make it a year round activity.

Fruits and Veggies: What They Do For You

Research and studies are being conducted daily, all around the world, to find out whats best for the human body. I love reading these studies and implementing them into my life. Please add to my list your favorite new found food and what it does for you.

Veggies – A new study released in the United States Agriculture Research Service reports that, as people age, plant foods help preserve muscle mass. Vegetables in contrast to meat, counteract acidosis in the body, a condition that may break down muscles.

Blueberries – A research team from the University of Reading and the Peninsula Medical School in SW England report that blueberries may hold the key to enhanced brain function. The flavonoids in blueberries, particularly anthocyanins and flavanols, have been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier and directly affect learning and memory, by enhancing neuron connections in the brain. Previous research has shown that eating blueberries may benefit memory, but this latest study shows the mechanism by which this favorite food keeps our brains sharp.

Red Cabbage – This veggie is rich in plant pigments called anthocyanins, which according to emerging evidence, may provide cancer protection, improve brain function and promote heart health. Recipes at Cooks.com.

Cherries – In laboratory rats, mixing whole tart cherry powder into animals diet led to less weight gain and a reduction of inflammation. Researches at the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center explain that inflammation is a common indicator or heart disease and diabetes. A pilot study to determine the effects of tart cherries in human diet is underway.

Tomatoes – In a recent study, presented by the British Society for Investigative Dermatology, found that adding five tablespoons of tomato paste to the daily diet of 10 volunteers improved the skin’s ability to protect against harmful UV rays. After three months, skin samples showed 33% more protection against sunburn. For the complete story visit Tomato dishes may protect skin at BBC News.

New Gym Creates Electricity with Human Power

The Green Microgym, in Portland Oregon, is one of the first fitness facilities in the world running on some of its own power and someday all of its power. They’ve opened a gym that uses a combination of solar and human power and is just as comfortable and effective as any other gym. Using a design that founder Adam Boesel engineered, exercise bikes connect to wind generator motors so that pedaling generates electricity that can power some of the facility’s needs. The environmentally friendly concept is inspired by Boesel’s interest in helping solve two of America’s greatest problems: obesity and global warming.

The Green Microgym is fully equipped with name brand cardio equipment, a full weight room, and a yoga/stretching, movement and core training room. Comfortable with amenities such as Sirius Satellite Radio, flat screen LCD High Definition televisions, and wireless Internet. They even offer outdoor workouts twice a week in the surrounding areas of where the gym is located.

Check out the The Green Microgym site for Fifteen ways our gym is green. They use recycled items, compact fluorescent light bulbs, Eco-power treadmills, non-toxic soaps and cleaners, and automated billing, to name a few.

Enroll now for only $29. a month for the life of the membership(limited time only). Free tours are available by appointment only and one day passes are available for $10. If you live in the Portland area and want to help the environment, check out this The Green Microgym, you are sure to love it!

Safe Play Makeup for Your Little Ones

Whether they want to look like a princess or a wild animal, the little ones will want to play with your makeup. Boys and girls alike love to pretend and make believe and what better way than to color their faces with moms makeup.

One of the best things we can do as parents is to check the labels and keep your kids away from makeup items that can cause them harm. Below are a list of items that you need to carefully look at before letting you little ones use to color themselves pretty.

Powders & Blushes: They can be easily inhaled and can damage little lungs.

Fragrances: They are common allergens and contain phthalates, which has been linked to cancer, hormone disruption and allergies.

Lipstick: They contain lead, and no amount of lead is good for you; as kids tend to eat almost as much lipstick as they put on.

Eyeliner and Mascara: Most kids (and some adults) end up poking themselves in the eye.

Nail Polish: Also containing phthalates and toluene’s. SafeNailPolish.com offers strong, odorless, non-toxic, hypo-allergenic, truly water based and safe for the environment nail polish.

For alternative play makeup, check out the play makeup kit called Earth’s Beauty at All Natural Cosmetics. Or try your hand at homemade lip balm, find the recipe at care2.com. Another good alternative would be letting the little ones use cream-based blushers or eye shadows.

Why Buy Green Beauty Products

There are so many ways in which we can help the environment and beauty products is one that isn’t looked at often enough. Check the labels of your favorite beauty products and see what toxins you are putting on your body & face every day.

Most beauty products today contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate or other related toxins. A report published in the Journal of The American College of Toxicology in 1983 showed that concentrations as low as 0.5% could cause irritation and concentrations of 10-30% caused skin corrosion and severe irritation. National Institutes of Health “Household Products Directory” of chemical ingredients lists over 80 products that contain sodium lauryl sulfate. Some soaps have concentrations of up to 30%, which the ACT report called “highly irritating and dangerous“.

Check out the Guide to Less Toxic Products for information on the toxicity, less toxic alternatives and home-made alternatives.

Check your products with the amazing database at Skin Deep: The Cosmetic Safety Database by Environmental Working Group. It gives you the Hazard level, what the ingredients are linked to, if they test on animals and if they are a Compact for Safe Cosmetics signer. After looking at the toxicity of your beauty products you will want to switch to the greener side of beauty products too.

Here is a list of green, organic, eco-friendly, beauty products you should try:

Village Green Market

Care by Stella McCartney

Dr Hauschka

Burt’s Bees


Whats Up With Reusable Plastic Water Bottles

We walk around with our water bottles in hand feeling good about the choice we made to drink water instead of an alternative drink but what we don’t know is that we could be ingesting bisphenol A (BPA) along with that water.

Bisphenol A has been used for decades in tough polycarbonate plastic. Polycarbonate plastic makes up the drinking water bottles, as well as baby bottles and tableware. The chemical is also used in dental sealants, medical devices and in the resin lining of most food cans. There is controversy whether BPA can be linked to cancer or miscarriages. What we do know is that BPA does not break down in landfills and when the water bottles are used improperly toxins leak from the plastic into the liquid that is ingested. Read this article Battles Over Bisphenol A, from defendingscience.org.

The best choice when choosing water bottles is to go with stainless steel. But what if you love your BPA-containing water bottle and can’t seem to part with it? Studies have shown that the chemical leaches more with heating, so make sure and wash it by hand and use it only for cold liquids.

4 Things Not To Do With Your Plastic Water Bottles

-Do not put the plastic bottle in the microwave.

-Do not wash the plastic bottle in the dishwasher.

-Do not let the plastic bottle heat up in the car.

-Do not use if the plastic bottle is discolored or has spider cracks

Klean Kanteen, the reusable, lightweight, and risk free stainless steel Kanteen was introduced in 2004 to encourage better health, hydration and environmental responsibility. Stainless steel is durable, sanitary, toxin-free and non-leaching.

Nalgene has come out with new BPA-free choices, including water bottles made with everyday Tritan.

.

4 Simple Home Remedies that Work

Save money and time by using what you already have at home and try these do-it-yourself homemade cures that have been proven to work.

1. STUFFY NOSE – If you have a stuffy nose from allergies, sinusitis or a cold try mixing your own salt solution and use it with a nasal irrigation kit, like AYR Saline Nasal Rinse Kit or the Himalayan Institute Neti Pot.

2. HEARTBURN – When you have heartburn try chewing gum. In a study, people who chewed gum for 30 minutes after eating an acid-inducing meal experienced some heartburn relief. Chewing gum stimulates the production of saliva, which neutralizes acid in the esophagus. It has a similar effect as an antacid.

3. DIGESTIVE PROBLEMS – Tummy-aches, diarrhea and other digestive issues can be relieved by eating yogurt. Yogurt contains friendly bacteria that aids in digestion. Make sure and look for yogurt or yogurt drinks with live cultures, preferably Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium. Keep an eye out for the national Yogurt Association’s Live & Active Cultures seal, which is on yogurt that contains beneficial bacteria.

4. NAGGING COUGH – Try honey. Honey soothes irritated throat membranes. One study showed that honey was more effective then cough suppressants. For adults take 2 teaspoons, children aged 6-11 one teaspoon and for kids 2-5 one half teaspoon.

16 Fruits & Veggies You Should Buy Organic

Buying Organic food cost so much more then non-organic, but it is worth it if you can afford it. These domestically grown fruits and veggies listed below, when grown conventionally, have the most dangerous pesticide residues. Pesticides are known to cause cancer, birth defects in unborn children, and diseases of the reproductive, immune, and neurological systems. If you can’t afford to buy all organically grown fruits and vegetables try to stick to the list below as the health benefits far outweigh the price.

Riskiest Fruits

~ Imported Grapes

~ Cranberries

~ Nectarines

~ Peaches

~ Strawberries

~ Pears

~ Apples

~ Cherries

Riskiest Veggies

~ Green Beans

~ Sweet Bell Peppers

~ Celery

~ Cucumbers

~ Potatoes

~ Tomatoes

~ Peas

~ Lettuce

For more on pesticides in fruits and vegetables check out foodnews.org.

8 Ways to Whiten your Teeth Naturally

I have always used those over the counter teeth whitening systems but my teeth started to get amazingly sensitive, that I had to stop. And don’t get me started on the price, some of them run close to $50 for a weeks supply. So I decided to look through the Internet to find ways to whiten my teeth naturally, without harsh chemicals and without going broke.

Here is a list of things I found and want to try:

1.) 1 ripe crushed Strawberry combined with 1/2 tsp Baking soda – Brush onto your teeth and leave on for 5 minutes, then brush thoroughly with toothpaste to remove. Rinse well.

2.) 1 tsp Baking soda combined with a dash of salt and a few drops of vinegar – Brush with your toothbrush.

3.) Combine hydrogen peroxide with a heaping teaspoon full of baking soda – Make a paste and brush thoroughly.

4.) Rub the inside of an orange peel on your teeth.

5.) Make a paste of ground, dried bay leaves and dried orange peels (you may need to add some water). Use this as a whitener in between brushing teeth.

6.) Burn a piece of toast, then scrape off the black layer of the toast (it is charcoal) and mix that with your toothpaste. Brush your teeth with this at night before you go to bed.

7.) Mix equal parts of lemon juice and salt – Brush with your toothbrush.

8.) Mix mustard oil and salt to make a paste – Brush with your toothbrush.

Our everyday practices are what cause our teeth to become yellowed or stained. So make sure and brush your teeth daily, after every meal is great but if thet’s not possible, try to make sure you do it twice a day. The second thing to always do is floss, this keeps food from sticking around your mouth too long and causing plaque build up. Another way to help keep the stains away is to give up coffee, black tea and red wine, these are the biggest culprits in teeth stains. Another important thing you can do for your teeth is to stop smoking, not only will your teeth thank you, but your body will thank you. And most important make sure and go to your dentist every six months.