Dry Skin Brushing

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About 4 years ago, I heard the term, “dry skin brushing” – but I had no clue what that was. So, after doing a bit of research, a happy discovery was made in finding  The Green Smoothie Girl website. I watched a video on Robyn Openshaw’s page about dry skin brushing, and decided to incorporate it into my weekly routine. I don’t know about you, but I sometimes forget to do some of the things for myself that I want to, so what I’ve done is actually SCHEDULE this once a week into my calendar! That way, I make sure that it is a priority!

So, what is dry skin brushing and why is it important? It is essentially stimulating the blood flow of your largest organ so that the dead cells are sloughed off…but wait! There’s more! The more important purpose of dry skin brushing is to assist the functioning of the lymphatic system, which is an important part of eliminating toxins from your body. (I always shower or have an epsom salts bath after dry brushing.)

Watch the video to see how to do the brushing properly, and download your free chart from Robyn to help you remember what to do each week when you help your body achieve maximum wellness!  Watch the dry skin brushing video here: GREEN SMOOTHIE GIRL

Your Tip of the Week

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I planted garlic in my garden at the end of September for harvesting in the spring. Green shoots are already poking through the ground!!! We love garlic in just about everything…well, not in our smoothies, or in other drinks, but most cooked dishes have garlic in them, for sure. Did you know there are many different types of garlic? In my photo you see Russian Red (one of the kinds I planted) and German White, both of which are classified as “hard neck” garlic. Maybe the Russian Red could be called a Red Neck??? Sorry…just my attempt at humor!

I have a couple of garlic tips for you today. Did you know that garlic keeps better, stays fresher, and is more nutritious if you keep it in your refrigerator? I KNOW, right? We were always told to keep it on the counter! But recent scientific studies show that in the fridge is best. Just make sure you don’t place it in the crisper drawer, where the humidity is too high. I place mine in my garlic jar, and put the jar on a shelf in the fridge.

Also, when you use garlic, it is best to dice, chop, slice, or press the garlic, and then LEAVE IT TO REST for 10 minutes before adding it to the dish you are making. This creates better nutritional value, since this allows the greatest amount of allicin to develop. As well, it ensures the allicin is not destroyed by heat when you allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Cool!

And lastly, if you find a sale on garlic, buy a LOT of it because you can skin it, chop it and store it in your freezer! When we were at my daughter’s home in Spain, she had some frozen garlic which came in a plastic bag about the size of a sandwich baggie. The garlic was in small chunks that she was able to add to any dish she was cooking, and it was fresh tasting. You wouldn’t have guessed it had been frozen.

Garlic Fact: Recent scientific studies have found that 3 cloves of garlic contain the same bacterial activity as a standard dose of penicillin.

Dirty Dozen, Clean Fifteen

 

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We just got back from a wonderful 2 week trip to Arizona! The weather was fabulous, we met new friends, enjoyed food and fellowship – in other words, we had a great time. One of the last days we were in Phoenix, our friends took us to a restaurant which actually had the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen listed on separate chalk boards, posted where you could clearly see them. This was definitely MY kind of restaurant!!!  Healthy food and informed chefs! The name of the restaurant is True Food and here is a link if you want to check them out:  https://www.truefoodkitchen.com

During our time in Arizona, I was privileged to give a talk about healthy eating. One of my handouts was about the Clean Fifteen and the Dirty Dozen, which was a list that not everyone knew about. When I was talking to a friend this morning, again about healthy eating, I realized that many people are not aware of this simple resource which helps us steer clear of produce which is highly sprayed with pesticides.

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Every year, the Environmental Working Group releases which fruits and vegetables you should ALWAYS buy organic because of the levels of pesticides in and on them (which cannot be washed off), and which conventionally grown fruits and vegetables you can safely buy. Some of the produce on the list changes each year, but some always make the Dirty Dozen list. For example, strawberries are at the top of the Dirty Dozen list year after year because they are so heavily sprayed – not just once, but THROUGHOUT the growing season! You might be surprised at which vegetables and fruits are on these lists! I know I was sure dismayed when potatoes were on the Dirty Dozen list. I investigated them, and found that they are the most heavily sprayed of all the produce I was buying! I try to grow my own now, or buy organic. Be sure to check these lists out…here is a link to the EWG’s page with the Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen for this year:

https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty-dozen.php

You can also get the EWG’s app and have the lists on your phone for when you go to the grocery store, so you never forget which produce is safe and which is not. There’s so much great information on The Environmental Working Group’s website – it will blow your mind how much work has been done to keep us informed and healthy!

 

 

Confused About Gluten? Check this out!

So, there’s a lot of people who are confused about just what GLUTEN actually is. And what does it mean to be gluten sensitive, gluten intolerant, allergic to gluten, celiac? If a person has a problem with gluten, can you heal and go back to eating gluten without ill effects?

I listened to this explanation about gluten and found it very helpful. Maybe you’ll find clarity around these issues too if you watch it. This teaching is by Dr. Osborne, who wrote the book No Grain, No Pain. You can visit his website here.

 

Those Pesky Fruit Flies!

As summer draws to a close, and fall temperatures become our new normal, I’m gathering the ripe produce from my garden every day. Tomatoes are best stored on the counter – NOT in the fridge where they rapidly lose flavour – but somehow those pesky fruit flies magically appear the minute tomatoes or bananas or other veggies are sitting out in the open!!!

So how do I protect those tomatoes I’ve spent so much time and energy growing all summer long? With cheesecloth! That’s right! Buy yourself some inexpensive cheesecloth  at a dollar store, and drape it over the bowl you have your fruit or veggies in. This will keep the little critters off your beautiful produce.

To capture the fruit flies, place about 1/4 of a cup of Apple Cider Vinegar in a small bowl, and add 1-2 drops of your dishwashing liquid on the surface of the ACV. Cover the bowl with a cling wrap, poke a few holes with a skewer, toothpick or fork, and place near the fruit you have on the kitchen counter. The fruit flies will be able to get in the trap, but not get out.  Be sure to change the ACV every few days to get rid of all the drowned corpses.

Simple, right? And no chemicals or expensive tapes and shapes. 🙂

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Fruit Fly Solution

“I’m allergic to eggs! What can I use?”

These days many people are finding themselves acquiring allergies they didn’t have before, and often panic can set it. After all, if you are suddenly allergic to eggs, your processed and prepared food choices are greatly reduced, and you wonder how you can use those favorite recipes you make for your kids and for special family gatherings?

Do not despair though! There are several options you can substitute for eggs, with great results. In fact, you may find that you prefer the substitutes, and have friends and family commenting on your successes, wanting to know your secret ingredient. 🙂

Here are 6 simple, quick replacements. I’m sure you’ll find one or more that work in all of your recipes which have eggs as an ingredient.

Flax egg: Place 1 Tbsp. of ground flax seed (either golden or brown) in a small bowl and add 3 Tbsp. of warm water. Stir to mix, and set aside to thicken for approximately 15 minutes. Use as a 1 – for 1 replacement for the eggs in your recipe. Flax eggs are good for making muffins, cakes, and bars like brownies.

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Chia egg: Grind the chia seed in a spice or coffee grinder until it is no longer seed, but mealy in texture. Place 1 Tbsp. of the ground chia in a small bowl with 3 Tbsp. of warm water. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes. Use as a 1 – to – 1 egg replacement in cakes, muffins and bars.

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Banana: Banana can be used as an egg replacement in baking cakes and muffins which are more dense or “heavy”. Generally, use one ripe and mashed banana per egg called for in the recipe.

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Applesauce: In the same way as banana can be used in cakes and muffins, you can use applesauce instead of eggs. Applesauce will give  slightly less sweetness than a banana. You can use up to 1/4 cup of applesauce per egg called for in the recipe. If the applesauce is sweetened, reduce the amount of other sweetener you use in the recipe.

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Yogurt: You can use 1/4 cup of plain (organic, please!) yogurt per egg in a recipe. Yogurt makes pancakes and waffles light and fluffy!

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Silken Tofu: And finally, you can replace the eggs in pastry and in homemade mayonnaise with the soft tofu known as “silken”. Blend 1/4 cup of the tofu per egg, until it is completely smooth and then proceed with your recipe.

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Grain Free Pumpkin Bars

As the weather is turning cooler, pumpkins are ripening in the fields, which makes me think of this recipe. For those of you who are looking for a gluten free, grain free. something sweet to have with your coffee, this has been a fail-proof recipe for me. Try it once, and it will become a favorite. I’m not sure where I found this recipe…so unfortunately I can’t give credit to the creator of this cake. 😦

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GRAIN FREE PUMPKIN BARS

Ingredients:

1 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling)

1 cup almond butter

2/3 cup honey

4 eggs (you can try using flax “eggs” instead)

4 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice (Try making your own by combining 2 tsp.ground cinnamon, 1 tsp. ground ginger, 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg and 1/2 tsp. ground cloves)

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp baking soda

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350* F. Grease an 9″ x 13″ glass pan with coconut oil or butter.

Combine all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mix well until a smooth batter forms.

Pour the batter into the greased pan and bake at 350*F for approximately 25 minutes, or until the centre is firm and a tester (a toothpick, a sharp small knife or a skewer)  inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Cool on a rack before cutting. You can top this with a whipped topping if you wish.

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