March 29, 2012

Ladies' Goodreads: April

by Hermann Hesse

Set in India, "Siddhartha" is the story of a young Brahmin's search for ultimate reality after meeting with the Buddha. His quest takes him from a life of decadence to asceticism, from the illusory joys of sensual love with a beautiful courtesan, and of wealth and fame, to the painful struggles with his son and the ultimate wisdom of renunciation.   

Integrating Eastern and Western spiritual traditions with psychoanalysis and philosophy, this strangely simple tale, written with a deep and moving empathy for humanity, has touched the lives of millions since its original publication in 1922. 

*I remember reading it in middle school and rather enjoying it, though I dont' recall much. So I'm happy to read it again. Please leave your thoughts and comments after reading the book.

(I've switched the Hunger Games book to later, since with the movie coming out this month everyone has the book on hold at the library so most likely it won't be available for a long time. I suggest putting it on hold now for a later date.)

March 13, 2012

Simple Fix Up Project: Bathroom Foot Stool

Well, I finally got around to Ethan's foot stool project.
I bought an ugly old thing this last summer for $.50 and thought I'd have fun with it someday....
Well, that was this last week. I finally got to sanding it down and painting it green to match the bathroom. (We had this color on hand for the chicken coop I hope to paint that color too). And I found some paper that matches the bathroom pretty well, in my paper supply. So the total cost of this was nothing, but the time to do it...which took an hour when you add up all the time--so not too bad.

So...don't throw away old things if you can paint them and fix them up to match!
And don't underestimante other's junk, if you can see potential in it.

 Ethan is much more excited about it now, so that's good.

March 10, 2012

A Few Natural Laundry Tips

Here's a list of simple ways to start adding more natural ingredients to your laundry routine: (though I've only used a few, so I can't verify how amazing they all are)
  • Add ½ cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle to soften fabrics and neutralize odors.

  • Boost the cleansing and brightening power of detergent by adding ¼ cup baking soda to the wash cycle.

  • Use a wool dryer ball or roll an un-dyed wool sock into a tight doughnut shape and add to the dryer to decrease drying time, wrinkles and static build-up.

  • Add fresh scent by placing several drops of lavender essential oil on a clean cloth and tossing into the dryer during the cool-down phase.

  • Attach a mesh bag filled with sustainable coconut shell-derived charcoal to the inside of the lid of your clothes hamper to absorb odors.

  • Run an empty wash cycle once a month with hot water and 1 cup each of white vinegar and baking soda. Add 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil to purify and eliminate odors from machine.

  • Clean and vacuum vents and ductwork of dryer at least twice a year.

  • Add ½ teaspoon of lavender oil to the rinse cycle if you are line drying clothes.

  • Use an indoor drying rack (especially during dry winter months).

  • ----
    Stain-fighting Spray

    1 teaspoon tea tree essential oil
    1 teaspoon lemon essential oil
    16 ounces unscented liquid Castile (olive oil) soap
    16 ounces filtered water

    Directions: Blend oils into soap, then stir in water. Fill a 32-ounce spray bottle with mixture. Apply to stains and scrub with a soft brush before washing.


    March 8, 2012

    Anemic--Low Iron? Where to start?

    Ever wondered how to get iron in besides eating meat and taking iron supplements that don't work and make you constipated? Most women should get 18mg iron each day. But for us pregnant women we should get 30-60mg (or in my anemic case 70mg).
    Well, my midwife gave me a list of iron foods, which includes whole grains, meats, vegetables/fruits, lentils, etc. (I never realized just eating whole grains can contribute as much as it does.)  Which I will put another list I found online at the end of this post (so I don't have to type of the list she gave me, though I really like it.

    She also gave me these three things (which she told me would help since I have anemia):

    1. Chlorophyll (whole food): 1T/day (but she told me 1/4 c now, while I'm pregnant, since I'm so low...otherwise regularly 1 T is fine. Just find it at a natural foods isle by the probiotics most likely. Mine was at smiths, but if not there, then a local health/nutrition store would for sure have it).

    To read my post about this great supplement, click here:
    2. Ferum Phosphate - a homeopathic supplement which helps carry the oxygen (i use one a day by just dissolving it under my tongue atleast 15 mins before and after I drink anything. And I got it at a nutrition store in the homeopathic isle--not all health food stores have homeopathics.)

    3. Iron Supplement - if you have one already, most likely it's iron sulfate (which she says is silly, because it absorbs like 1% and is the most typical people pick up, unless they specifically look for the more beneficial irons). So look for Ferrous Fumerate or Ferrous Glyconate instead --which are organic iron and therefore is absorbed much better than ferrous sulphate.
    In addition, a good supplement will also include Bcomplex and vitamin C, which aid iron absorbtion (but you can always take those separately, but at the same time, if you already have those supplements in your cabinet). And don't take with dairy, which doesn't aid iron absorption.


    Iron Rich Vegetables (1/2 cup cooked),

    Iron Value in mg

    Sea vegetables = 18.1- 42.0
    Swiss chard = 2
    Turnip greens = 1.6
    Sweet potatoes, canned = 1.7
    Turnip greens = 1.6
    Pumpkin, cooked = 1.7
    Potato, baked with skin = 1.7
    Turnip greens = 1.6
    Watermelon, 1/8 medium = 0.5
    Prune juice, 4 oz = 1.5
    Spinach cooked = 1.5
    Beet greens cooked = 1.4
    Potato, 1 large = 1.4
    Bok choy cooked = 0.7
    Peas, cooked = 0.65
    Green beans, cooked = 0.60
    Tomato juice = 0.6
    Broccoli, cooked = 0.55

    High Iron Legumes(1/2 cup cooked)

    Iron Value in mg

    Lentils = 3.2
    Black eye beans = 2.6
    Navy beans = 2.5
    Pinto beans = 2.2
    Lima beans = 2.2
    Kidney beans Rajmah = 1.5
    Chickpeas (200 g) = 6.2

    High Iron Soy foods

    (1/2 cup cooked)
    Iron Value in mg
    Tofu = 6.6
    Soybeans = 4.4
    Tempeh = 1.8
    Soy milk = 0.9

    High Iron Nuts & Seeds

    (2 Tablespoon)
    Iron Value in mg
    Pumpkin seeds = 2.5
    Figs, dried, 5 = 2.0
    Dried apricot, 5 = 1.6
    Almond, 1/4 cup = 1.3
    Tahini = 1.2
    Sesame = 1.2
    Sunflower seeds = 1.2
    Cashew nuts = 1.0

    High Iron Breads, Cereals and grains

    Value in mg
    Bran flakes, 1 cup = 11.0
    Oatmeal, 1 packet = 6.3
    Pasta, 1 cup, cooked = 1.7
    Semolina, 1/2 cup cooked = 5.5
    Wheat germ, 2 tablespoon = 1.2
    Whole wheat bread, 1 slice = 0.9
    White bread, 1 slice = 0.7

    *I'm no doctor, but this information was very helpful and I hope it can help broaden your understanding of what else is available to you if you're anemic.