Monday, July 30, 2012

Tips For How To Start A Detox Cleansing Program

This week, we've got some helpful articles for you on cleansing and detoxing your body safely and effectively, bringing you back to your optimal health and weight, and getting all your systems functioning properly and efficiently. We're starting off with a guest article from one of our favorite health & fitness experts. Enjoy!

How To Start A Cleansing Program
By Yuri Elkaim, BPHE, CK, RHN & Amy Coates, RHN, BSc.

Fresh vegetables are important components of a...
Fresh vegetables are important components of a healthy diet. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A colon cleansing program is the best way to jump start any weight loss routine. This process allows the body to be cleansed of waste that is being stored in the digestive tract. By removing this waste your body is able to better absorb nutrients from the new healthy foods you will be eating. Colon cleansing is also beneficial to people who are regularly fatigued or experience consistent acne problems. The waste that is trapped in our tissues causes bacteria to build up in our skin cells, which leads to acne. The general bogged down feeling comes from the processes in our body being slowed down due to the lack of vital nutrients being absorbed. There are some easy steps to follow before starting any cleaning program.

For someone who can handle jumping right into a new diet plan the first step is a 24 hour fast. By drinking only water and 100% fruit juices for 24 hours you condition your body to begin the journey of detoxification. After the 24 hours you should begin by following a colon cleaning meal plan.

Most people will need to wean themselves off of the current bad addictions they have before starting a colon cleansing program. 

English: Diet Coke Products
English: Diet Coke Products (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The first steps are to slowly cut out sweets, processed foods and alcohol. Replace sweet foods with fruit. The natural sugars in fruit help curb sweet cravings and they are low in calories and full of vitamins and antioxidant properties. Processed foods can be replaced with freshly made foods. If you are a coffee and soda drinker, begin to replace coffee with non-caffeinated herbal teas and coffees. These will help your body restore its natural energy supply back to a healthy level. Soda should be cut out completely. Even diet sodas contain harmful toxic ingredients. One of the main ingredients in diet soda turns into formaldehyde when it mixes with stomach acid! Removing soda completely is one of the best ways to help detoxify your body - it's one of the most unhealthy things you can consume. If you can not handle jumping into a new diet plan then this option is best for you. By weaning your body off of the old foods and onto the new ones, you slowly condition your body to crave healthier foods without shocking it with sudden diet changes. 

Any colon cleansing program can be aided with colon cleaning juices or supplements that are widely available these days. While participating in a wellness cleansing program it is also important to drink lots of water and stay away from any artificial or heavily preserved foods.

To help enhance the results of the plan you need to enhance your digestion. You can do this by taking a good probiotic, eating at regular times throughout the day and by chewing food slowly. It takes approximately fifteen minutes for a body to realize it is full. By eating slow you will be less likely to over eat and will not fill your stomach to the point that it takes a long time digesting. After eating, enjoy a twenty to thirty minute walk. This will also help enhance the digestion process.

Click Here to Learn More About Yuri's Gentle Cleansing Detox Program....
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Friday, July 27, 2012

Video - New Solar Panel Innovation

Here is an example of an innovative new design for solar panels, which will lower costs considerably, while also increasing efficiency and energy production. As we discussed on Wednesday, we should be seeing more and more of these innovations in the solar energy field in the years to come, making solar power a viable source of electricity for more and more people.

Check out this short news clip to learn more about this particular example:

New Solar Panel
Reno company Snowpeak Energy has created a next-generation solar panel at half the price of a standard panel, while producing 3 times the electricity. This story is the first time it's been photographed for the public to see. Aired 04/14/2009 KTVN Ch...

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Solar Energy Collection Improvements

Photovoltaic cells—those black squares an array of which comprises a solar panel—are getting more efficient, and gradually less expensive, all the time, thanks to ever-better designs which all them to focus the gathered sunlight on a more and more concentrated point. The size of the cells is decreasing as their efficiency rises, meaning that each cell becomes cheaper to produce and at once more productive. As far as the aforementioned cost, the price of producing solar-generated energy per watt hour has come down to $4.00 (or less) at the time of this writing. Just 17 years ago, it was nearly double that cost.

Photovoltaic cells produce electricity directl...
Photovoltaic cells produce electricity directly from sunlight (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Solar powered electricity generation is certainly good for the environment, as this alternative form of producing energy gives off absolutely zero emissions into the atmosphere and is merely utilizing one of the most naturally occurring of all things as its driver. Solar collection cells are becoming slowly but surely ever more practical for placing upon the rooftops of people's homes, and they are not a difficult system to use for heating one's home, creating hot water, or producing electricity. In the case of using the photovoltaic cells for hot water generation, the system works by having the water encased in the cells, where it is heated and then sent through your pipes.

Photovoltaic cells are becoming increasingly better at collecting sufficient radiation from the sun even on overcast or stormy days. One company in particular, Uni-Solar, has developed solar collection arrays for the home that work well on inclement days, by way of a technologically advanced system that stores more energy at one time during sunlit days than previous or other arrays.

There is also another solar power system available for use called the PV System. The PV System is connected to the nearest electrical grid; whenever there is an excess of solar energy being collected at a particular home, it is transferred to the grid for shared use and as a means of lowering the grid's dependence on the hydroelectrically-driven electricity production. Being connected to the PV System can keep your costs down as compared to full-fledged solar energy, while at once reducing pollution and taking pressure off the grid system. Some areas are designing centralized solar collection arrays for small towns or suburban communities.

Solar Energy
(Photo credit: janie.hernandez55)
Some big-name corporations have made it clear that they are also getting into the act of using solar power (a further indication that solar generated energy is becoming an economically viable alternative energy source). Google is putting in a  1.6 megawatt solar power generation plant on the roof of its corporate headquarters, while Wal-Mart wants to put in an enormous 100 megawatt system of its own.

Nations such as Japan, Germany, the United States, and Switzerland have been furthering the cause of solar energy production by providing government subsidies or by giving tax breaks to companies and individuals who agree to utilize solar power for generating their heat or electrical power. As technology advances and a greater storage of solar collection materials is made available, more and more private investors will see the value of investing in this “green” technology and further its implementation much more in the years to come.

A Few Innovative New Solar Power Products:
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Monday, July 23, 2012

New Uses for Solar Power

When you think of solar power you probably think of heating and light for your home. That is one of the many things that we use solar power for.  Solar power is everywhere and its use is growing every day. There are many different products that are made using solar power. Solar power means using the sun's natural heat to produce electricity, heat, and more.  When you use solar power you are using a natural and abundant resource that we cannot deplete, and which causes no pollution (other than the making of means of storing and processing this energy - which continues to become ever more efficient).

English: A basic, Sharp-brand solar calculator.
A basic, Sharp-brand solar calculator. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There are more products that use solar power than what we realize. A lot of today's electronics use some type of solar power in order to function accurately.  Calculators are a prime example of a useful solar power product.  These calculators may or may not have on and off switches.  Some rely on the solar panel completely in order to stay or turn off.  Solar power calculators need a certain amount of light inside the solar panel in order to turn the calculator on and perform what you want it to do; add, subtract, divide, multiply and more.  The solar panel in a calculator is obviously not as big as the one that you would to power your home.  The size needed for a calculator is adjusted before installation to provide the amount it needs. Solar power use can also be found in travel products, outdoor recreation, safety products, emergency products and more. 

Solar power radios are produced with a solar panel inside that transforms the sunlight into energy allowing you to listen to your radio while you are outside.  You may also find solar power in flashlights, battery chargers, mobile phone chargers, watches, lanterns, emergency products such as sirens and lights.  As you see there are a number of products that are already using solar power technology.  Portable solar chargers are great because they charge the product that you have using just the sunlight, and they are very easy to use.  Camping equipment and supplies also work well with solar power because sunlight during the day then helps to supply lanterns, flashlights and radios at night.

Solar powered tea
Solar powered tea (Photo credit: Nick . Brooks)
Cooking outdoors can also be done by using solar power to heat the element that will ignite and allow for even cooking.  Because more people are turning to solar power for their main energy source there are more and more companies that are marketing products that are produced using solar power.  Appliances are being made specially for solar power homes.  Many new appliances such as refrigerators, stoves, dishwashers, and more will work great in a home that is generated by solar power.  They are built to conserve energy and operate very efficiently.

As the demand for more efficient and clean energy grows, the availability of solar powered appliances and electronics will grow as well. We can look forward to seeing more interesting innovations in this field in the years to come.

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Video - Creating A Home Graywater System

Here is a really excellent and inspiring video on one home graywater system which is specifically engineered to use graywater to feed a garden, using a branched drain system as described in Art Ludwig's book, "Create an Oasis with Greywater". This is a more extensive and carefully constructed system that has been designed to serve as an example of a "code-legal" graywater processing system in California. For many homeowners, you would not need to be quite so particular. But check out this exciting method of conservation, and see how to build a full greywater system - what a great way to feed your sustainable garden!

Creating a Home Graywater System
Peak Moment 141: (same as 3/4/09 with added diagrams) Trathen Heckman takes us on a step-by-step tour of how to make a safe, ecological and legal suburban home graywater system. Follow the water as it drains from the bathroom tub (and sink and laundr...

More Greywater Resources:
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

All About Greywater Systems

One great way to conserve water is to make use of your greywater. Greywater is waste water that has been used for washing, cleaning, or other household uses besides the toilet. Greywater contains no sewage, and its disposal is comprised of an underground system that purifies and redistributes the greywater from a building, usually a home.

wg5 Greywater towers in Arba Minch, Ethiopia
Greywater towers in Arba Minch, Ethiopia (Photo credit: Sustainable sanitation)
Although this idea is pretty simple, and has been used for many years in many different countries, it's not as familiar a concept here in America, and many people have questions about greywater. How does it work, and what are the benefits? How do you reuse the greywater? Although there is some variance in the types of systems, listed here are some of the basic components common to most systems, and some suggestions on how the greywater can be used.

Basic Components

* The tank or sump
Similar to a septic tank, the sump or tank that catches the greywater is underground. Sinks, washing machines, showers, etc. are routed into the tank. Some states and counties require that washing machines connected to greywater systems have a 3-way valve to route the water to the sewer or septic tank if needed. This is in case diapers or items contaminated by an ill person are washed in the machine.

You can choose which kinds of water you want routed into your system - if you wash a lot of diapers, for instance, you may choose not to route that water into your greywater system at all. Or you may choose only water from your kitchen sink. Depending on the number of people living in the house and the overall usage, the greywater from one sink can be significant.

* The filter
The greywater needs to be purified or treated, and most systems do this by filtering the water through sand or soil. An amazing amount of purification can be achieved through soil alone.

* The pump
Depending on the slope of your property, you may need a pump to convey the water from one part of the system to another, usually from the filter to the leach field. Most greywater systems simply rely on gravity to move the water through the system.

* The leach field
Once clean, the greywater goes into a leach field, or an area where it can be reabsorbed into the earth. You can plant a garden or crops directly over the leach field and the plants will absorb the greywater as it comes into the leach area.

Greywater recycling
Greywater recycling (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Common Uses of Greywater

There are other options for reusing greywater, depending on the kind of system and the homeowner's needs. Here are some of the more common uses. (Note - see picture to the left - I love this idea! Water from the sink fills the toilet tank which is then used to flush - great innovation!)

- Increasing groundwater
Putting the greywater back into the ground once it's clean increases the groundwater. This is a significant benefit in areas where water is scarce.

- Flushing toilets
Some greywater systems skip the leach field and provide the homeowner with extra water he or she can use in various ways, one of which is to flush household toilets. This has the potential to save quite a bit of water for the homeowner.

- Watering crops or plants
Plants need quite a bit of water, and gardens and crops and lawns need even more. Plants thrive on greywater, which does not have any of the chemicals found in treated city water, and this is a very common and effective way to use greywater, and reduce your water bills at the same time.

Be sure to check with your local officials to find out about permits, environmental concerns, etc. before proceeding with your own greywater disposal system.

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Learn More About Greywater Systems:

Monday, July 16, 2012

12 Tips For Reducing Your Water Bill

Water bills can be astronomically expensive, especially during the summertime when watering your lawn and garden becomes a necessity.  This year in particular, many areas of the country are really suffering due to lack of rain - including here in Ohio - it's getting fairly dire here now.... Conserving water is an important topic right now for several reasons -  not the least of which is cost. And hot water, because it requires energy to heat it, is even more expensive.  Here are a few easy tips to reduce hot water consumption and cut your water bill.

dishwasher woes
 (Photo credit: tidefan)
#1.  Insulate your hot water pipes.  Insulation minimizes the amount of heat you lose and therefore causes the water to stay hotter.  This means you don’t need to spend extra energy warming it.  Moreover, you don’t have to run your faucet as long to tap into your available hot water.

#2.  If your dishwasher has a high temperature wash feature, turn it off.  Standard hot water temperatures and soap are enough to get your dishes clean.

#3.  Staying with the dishwasher theme, make sure your dishwasher is full before you run it.  Running half-full loads wastes water.

#4.  When shopping for a new dishwasher or clothes washer, always opt for an energy-saver model.

#5.  When washing clothes, use cold water.  It not only saves on your hot water bill, it also helps maintain their color fastness, making your clothing last longer. Most detergents nowadays are formulated to work just as well in cold water.

#6.  When washing clothes, make sure your washer is full and is set for the right sized load.  If you’re washing a small load, make sure your washer is set for a small load.

#7.  Take shorter showers.  Just cutting your shower length by a few minutes can save hundreds of dollars.

#8.  Turn up the heat on your hot water tank.  It may sound counter-intuitive, but doing this means it won’t take as long for you to tap into the hot water and your faucet won’t have to run as long. Also, if you have indoor plants or a garden, consider keeping a small bucket near the sinks in your house, so you can capture the water for other uses while you're waiting for it to get hot.  

#9.  Reuse towels and wash clothing sparingly.  The "wear it once and wash it" philosophy leads to many loads of laundry.  Towels, jeans, sweaters and many other items don’t always need to be washed after every use.  You can use them or wear them a few times before laundering.

Flash photo shower faucet Watr200
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
#10.  Consider not bathing every day, unless you absolutely need to.  Many times, we don’t need to bathe or shower every day.  Every other day is just fine.  And with children, that is certainly the case.  A little wash down with a warm washcloth is typically enough on off days - although during a hot sweaty summer, you may need to shower more often than in the winter! Also when bathing the children, a few inches in the tub is plenty - you don't need to fill it halfway up.

#11.  Put a cylinder or tank jacket on your hot water tank to cut heat loss. 

#12.  Consider installing a heat exchanger.  This type of system recycles water from your shower, taking the water through the device where it is heated to the right temperature and then pushing it back through your shower.  The water that is being recycled is already fairly warm so it doesn’t require much energy to get it back to an acceptable temperature.

Bonus Tip #13. Install a low-flow or water-saving showerhead. Not only will you save water, but many of today's low-flow shower heads offer superior-feeling water pressure and are quite affordable (I absolutely love mine - it's amazing and feels like I have better water pressure than a regular shower head - even when I don't even turn it on all the way.)

Cutting down on hot water bills not only saves on your monthly utility bills, it is also good for the environment.  Choose just a handful of these tips, implement them, and watch your water bills shrink. And to conserve even more water, be sure to check back Wednesday to learn about greywater systems.

Water-Saving Shower Heads:
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Friday, July 6, 2012

Raw Food Recipe: Zucchini Pasta with Marinara Sauce

Here's a delicious raw main dish you can serve cold or warm - it only takes a few minutes to prepare, and is full of tasty and healthy fresh summer veggies. You can use herbs and veggies from your own garden or CSA, and no cooking is required! With just some quality fresh ingredients and a few minutes of prep time,  you can have a yummy raw-food meal packed with healthy goodness.

Raw Food Recipe - Zucchini Pasta with Marinara Sauce - A Raw Diet & Raw Recipe Raw food author and chef Jennifer Cornbleet shows you to make delicious gluten-free raw pasta out of zucchini, which is topped with raw marinara sauce. From her DVD, Raw Food Made Easy. raw diet raw recipes raw recipe raw vegan t...

More Delicious Raw Food Recipes: 
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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Try These New Raw Food Recipes

If you've started eating raw foods and changing your lifestyle, you’re feeling better, finding you have more energy, and are purging the toxins from your system. You’re also rediscovering the wonderful flavors that raw foods possess, as well as learning about the benefits the raw enzymes have on your health. And summer provides the perfect opportunity to expand your taste buds and try all sorts of wonderful new produce options you’d never dared explore before!

Don’t let your new-found inspiration and energy get lost once you set foot in the kitchen because you’ve run out of new and exciting raw food meal options. Try some of these fresh ideas to and some zing back to your mealtime and continue down the raw food path to improved health, energy and happiness.

Sunflower Seed Sour Cream

English: Single clove garlic.
Garlic. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup water
4 tbsp. lemon juice
1 garlic clove, pressed
¾ tsp onion powder
¾ tsp salt

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor or blender until smooth. If consistency is too thick, you can simply add a bit more water. (Adding a bit more lemon juice will give it an added zing.) Garlic and onion powder can be increased for your taste preferences. This can be used as a delicious dip for raw vegetables, or spread on sprouted bread.

Portobello Sandwich

1 Portobello mushroom, sliced about ½ inch thick
1 cup vegetable broth
Dijon mustard
2 slices sprouted multi-grain bread
1 Holland Tomato, sliced
¼ avocado, sliced
¼ cup baby lettuce

Cook the sliced mushrooms in the vegetable broth just until they are semi soft and cooked through. Place the desired amount of mustard on 1 slice of whole grain sprouted bread. Layer the tomato slices, mushrooms, avocado, and lettuce. Top with the mushrooms and the other slice of bread. Cut in half and enjoy! This is an example of a "raw" food recipe that does incorporate some lightly cooked ingredients. Remember you don't have to go TOTALLY raw if you don't want to - even just incorporating more raw foods into your diet will help improve your energy and your health.

Raw Curry Cantaloupe Soup

1 cantaloupe
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon curry powder

Combine and blend all ingredients until smooth. Serve well chilled.

So hit your local farmer’s markets, visit those roadside produce stands, join a CSA, or maybe even enjoy the fruitsof your own labors and raid the garden and spice up the summer with some cool new twists on some of your favorite produce.
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Monday, July 2, 2012

Deciding To Go Raw

So, now that you know what a raw food diet is all about, you need to decide, is it right for you? One thing to keep in mind is that you do not need to incorporate raw food 100% of the time. You can just eat more fruits and vegetables and no processed foods, and still reap many health benefits.

Orange, pear, apple
Orange, pear, apple (Photo credit: Joe Lencioni)
Try drinking fruit juices until lunch time and then eating a healthy veggie sandwich. For dinner, eat some blanched vegetables with a cooked meal with no meats - or a small amount of meat but no dairy or processed grains. 

When you gradually detoxify your body, you will see dramatic results. First, you will go through the initial detoxification process, where you may feel tired, have headaches, skin eruptions, etc. But once you are over this tough time, you will feel light, energetic, full of vitality, and very conscious and aware, among other things. You will have more mental clarity and therefore be more productive. Your body will feel cleansed, you will be less likely to get sick, and quicker to heal if you do. 

You may also see dramatic weight loss, for instance five pounds a week. You will also notice that you do not seem weighed down with colds or sicknesses because your immune system is much stronger. 

You will also save time and money because you will not be in the kitchen cooking all the time. You will not be eating animals, because conventionally farmed animals have been pumped full of hormones which only add to your toxic load. This in turn, puts an end to the torture in conventional animal farming. You will find you're not as likely to be plagued with depression, PMS, or acne. In fact, your skin may be glowing, and you will feel rejuvenated. 
Community supported agriculture
Community supported agriculture (Photo credit: yksin)
AND you will be saving money because you can either grow your own vegetables or buy them at a local CSA or farmers market. Buying organic food is good for the earth and provides agricultural support to small farmers, which is much needed. 

This type of eating also slows the aging process. Your senses will be enhanced; you may be more flexible and fertile. You may find you're more creative, motivated, and also relaxed. You will focus more on relationships and be more environmentally attuned and inwardly attuned, and you may feel more spiritually connected to the world.

Of course, you may not experience all of these benefits, but these are just some reasons why some people choose to embrace a raw-food lifestyle. But remember, you don't have to go cold-turkey, and you may never choose to eliminate all cooked foods, but even just increasing the percentage of raw foods that you eat, and cutting out processed foods and excess meat and dairy will make a huge difference in your health and well-being.
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