Saturday, March 27, 2010

8 healthy changes to make in your home

I started this post in January, but never got around to finishing it. At that time, I was thinking about how New Years is a mental motivator for change for many of us, and how I'd been making changes in our home around that time. Here is what I've been working on this year.

1. Remove as much plastic as possible from our home and replace it with glass or certified BPA-free plastic, because of this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bisphenol_A. Also limit our consumption of canned foods, because the linings of the cans produced by most companies presently contain BPA. I've been looking for canned foods that state that the linings do not contain BPA. I have not found any safe stewed tomato products in cans, so I've switched to bottled.

2. I'm making my own salad dressing, because bottled salad dressings most often use soy oil, which causes all sorts of problems - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soy#Health_risks, and because they can contain a lot of a sugar.

3. I've been reading the labels of all processed foods closely (including bread and cheese!) and avoiding foods containing soy (often identified as "vegetable oil," or "soy lethicin," because of this: http://www.utne.com/2007-07-01/Science-Technology/The-Dark-Side-of-Soy.aspx

4. I have ditched our Teflon or otherwise chemically coated pans because of this: http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=124363. I've replaced our pans with good old cast iron pans, and I've seasoned them well http://www.wikihow.com/Season-Cast-Iron-Cookware, and I'm told that over time they will become the best non-stick surfaces ever. As a bonus, I read that small amounts of the iron from your pans will leech into your food, and improve iron levels in your body: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cast-iron_cookware#Health_effects

5. I know use only earth friendly cleaners in our home. Not only are they cheaper and better for the planet, there are a large number of chemicals included in air fresheners and cleaning products that are suspected of causing human health problems - http://www.preventcancer.com/consumers/household/indoor_air_poll.htm.

6. We have drastically reduced the amount of wheat products in our diet, and when we eat wheat, it is whole grain only. Learn about the ugly truths of white flour here: http://www.womenfitness.net/ugly_truths.htm

7. I am happy and proud to report that I no longer drink bottled water. I have swtiched myself to tap water, which we keep in a pitcher in the fridge, there is a water cooler at work, and I avoid buying bottled drinks when I am out. Here's a report on the effects of buying bottled water: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2007/02/01/suzuki-water.html

8. We are working on switching to hormone-free meats and dairy. Farm animals are often treated with hormones to make them grow faster and produce more milk. Hormone additives in the foods we eat can cause endocrine disorders, such as Type II Diabetes, and are suspected risk factors in the development of various types of cancer. As an important bonus, most farms that do not use hormones also raise their animals humanely. For more information, visit: http://healthlibrary.epnet.com/GetContent.aspx?token=9076b2c9-0730-4f1a-b6fa-5a462bb0a011&chunkiid=90869

Friday, March 19, 2010

Freaky Friday - "Obviously, you've never been a secretary."

You know, I go on about my business from week to week and then suddenly, it happens. It's not always on a Friday, but I just love that movie. I mean the original, with Jodie Foster as her androgynous little self. But I digress...

I walked out the front door this morning and there was a wino sleeping on the stoop across the street. Nothing unusual about that. But then the guy yelled "DID YOU FORGET YOUR WEDDING RING? YOUR HUSBAND WILL THINK YOU HAVING AN AFFAIR!" He didn't open his eyes so I'm not sure he was even talking to me, but you know what? I DID forget my wedding ring! I went back in the house to put it on, because, frankly, we have no shortage of misunderstandings in this house ("I thought you said hot dog buns?" "No, I said hot CROSS buns, but only if they are really fresh, and if they are stale, I want raisin bread, but only if it has cinnamon." You can figure out who is who is this scenario yourself.)

My work day was pretty uneventful, which I enjoy, because that means I get a lot of work done. When I left the office, I saw that first, blue-lipped, overly optimistic girl wearing shorts, with a sweater and rain boots. If any outfit says "hi, I live in Canada, where we can experience all 4 seasons in a single afternoon," it's an outfit like that.

Anyway, as I crossed the street, I saw a homeless guy sitting on the sidewalk on the other side of the street, so I got a Loonie* out of my pocket to give him. As I approached he said "oh you look real nice, you must have some kind of nice job, like a secretary or something." I said "well, obviously you have never been a secretary, because it's not always nice." And he started laughing. A man came up behind me and gave the homeless guy some change, and he said "you ever been a secretary, man? It's not that great!" And the man said "ok..." and kept walking.

So that's that, another Freaky Friday. Or is it? It's only 4:30...

*Two notes on that point:

1. For my international audience, a Loonie is $1. Ha! My international audience...I kill me.
2. We keep a can of change at home for the express purpose of giving it to street folks. We feel that it is part of living downtown. There are a lot of people scattered around who are down on their luck. Is $1 going to change my life? Not unless I win the lottery with it! But it might make someone's day a little easier. And no, I don't care if they are saving change to buy drugs or alcohol. Whatever gets you through a night on the street, you know?