Thursday, December 31, 2009

Simple garlic soup will make you feel better (sniffle, sneeze, cough!

I promised that I would share the easy, homemade garlic soup recipe that I brought to the station to help Tammie (and a few others) feel better.
Yes, you will have "garlic dragon breath," BUT if you're home alone or you share with your friends, you're all in the same boat!
Whenever I am surrounded by sneezers or other sick people, I whip up a batch of my homemade garlic soup.
I swear by it! It soothes scratchy throats and more... just sip away!
Check out the super easy, 4 ingredients below. You can make it in minutes.
(If I have more time, I add rotisserie chicken, quinoa (high protein, easy to cook seed available at health food store) onions, carrots, celery and fresh parsley--now that's a healing meal!)

You can sip on this simple garlic soup to prevent colds or make you feel better if you're fighing one.

There's science behind the benefits of eating raw garlic.
Harvard educated, Integrative medicine guru, Dr. Andrew Weil suggests eating raw garlic everyday for its antibiotic/antiviral properties:
Garlic is a powerful natural medicine. It has abilities to lower cholesterol and reduce clotting of the blood. It can also help lower high blood pressure.

In addition, raw garlic is a potent antibiotic, especially active against fungal infections, with antibacterial and antiviral effects as well.
An effective home remedy for colds is to eat several cloves of raw garlic at the first onset of symptoms. Eating raw garlic does not appeal to everyone, but garlic loses its antibiotic properties when you cook or dry it, and commercial garlic capsules do not preserve the full activity of the fresh bulb. You can make raw garlic more palatable by chopping it fine, mixing it with food, and eating it with a meal. Or cut a clove into chunks and swallow them whole like pills. One or two cloves of garlic a day are recommended for people who suffer from chronic or recurrent infections.

Eating raw garlic by itself can be be tough... that's why I like to sip this soup.
You need only four ingredients:
-Bulb of garlic
-Organic chicken broth carton
-Organic extra virgin olive oil
-Poultry seasoning (optional)

The most laber intensive part is you have to mince an entire bulb of garlic.
Use a knife to pop each clove from its shell and then mince all of the cloves.

Next, toss minced garlic in a pot, add a tablespoon of olive oil and lightly cook for 30 seconds.
(Keep garlic as raw as possible)
Add 32 ounces of organic chicken broth to pot. Cook on medium to low heat for 7 to 10 minutes.
Strain the garlic and drink the broth.
*If it tastes too strong for you (or your kids make a horrible face) you can add more chicken broth or water.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Create your own home gym for under $100

Looking for an inexpensive way to motivate yourself to exercise at home? You can create your own home gym for under $100 dollars. If you have a TV or computer in your room, you can watch exercise videos on You Tube or cable TV programs like Fit TV.

Schedule 20 to 30 minutes, 5 times a week, to invest in your health.

You can also buy workout videos:

Click here to see how Fitness Magazine rated some of the top exercise videos

Consumer Reports suggests buying some of these exercise aids:


Cost: about $6 to $60 a pair

Lifting dumbbells will tone your muscles. Consider getting at least two sets, one that's the weight you usually use and one that's a bit more challenging.

Elastic bands or tubes

Cost: about $10 to $15 each

They provide resistance training for strengthening and toning muscles. Consider getting one that's a little tougher than the other so that you have two levels of resistance.

Stability ball

Cost: about $20 to $40

It adds variety to your core workouts. Try a 45-cm ball if you're less than 5 feet tall, a 55-cm ball if you're 5 foot 1 inch to 5 foot 7 inches, and a 65-cm if you're taller.

Workout DVDs

Cost: about $15 each

The best include strength, flexibility, and cardio routines. You can also find free exercise programs on TV.

Exercise mat

Cost: about $13 to $20 for a 2x6-foot mat

Exercising on the floor can be tough on the joints, so consider a pad for cushioning.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Check to see chemicals in your drinking water

Have you ever noticed your drinking water has a chlorine smell or taste? 
It should be no surprise that chemicals are used to disinfect the water, but government and water utility tests reveal unregulated chemicals, including toxic rocket fuel perchlorate, industrial solvent acetone, weed killer metolachlor, refrigerant Freon and even radon, a highly radioactive gas can also be found in drinking water.

That's according to a non-profit consumer advocacy group, Environmental Working Group. 

EWG analyzed 20 million tap water quality tests performed by water utilities between 2004 and 2009.
They found 316 chemicals contaminants in US drinking water. The Environmental Protection Agency has only set enforceable standards for 114 pollutants. 

Here's an easy way to see what's in your drinking water:
Click here to enter your zip code

Two Florida water utilities made the "Top 10 Lowest Rated Drinking Water" list. 
EWG researchers say Emerald Coast Water Utility in Pensacola had 21 chemicals that exceeded health levels versus the national average of 4. EWG says 45 pollutants were found versus the national average of 8.
Emerald Coast Water Utility says its drinking water is perfectly safe and meets all federal and state guidelines.
JEA in Jacksonville also made the "Top 10 Lowest Rated Drinking Water" list.

The consumer advocacy group wants the government to analyze national drinking water quality, establish new safety standards and tell Americans about the full range of pollutants in their water.

EWG recommends people consider buying a water filter.
Click here to see your options

Some communities have taken action.
For example, Boston had a serious water contamination problem until it installed a new water filtration system. EWG says Boston now has some of the highest-rated drinking water in the country.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Newborns and BPA: Why it's more important than ever for pregnant women to avoid synthetic estrogens

A first of its kind study suggests babies are first exposed to a controversial, synthetic chemical, Bisphenol A while developing in the womb.

Independent tests paid for by a non-profit consumer advocacy group, the Environmental Working Group, found 9 out of 10 randomly selected newborns from around the country, had the synthetic estrogen, BPA, in their umbilical cord blood.

*EWG found up to 232 toxic chemicals in newborns

The controversial plastics-hardening chemical can be found in:

-Sippy cups

-Plastic polycarbonate bottles (avoid #7)

-Lining of canned food and soda cans (canned soup and pasta had highest levels)

-Infant formula cans (Enfamil had highest levels out of 20 popular brands tested by FDA/EWG)

-Dozens of household items including CDs

Click here to see how to cut down on your exposure to BPA

Click here to see how to lower your child's exposure

BPA exposure has been linked to reproductive problems, cancer, obesity and neurological/behavioral issues.

In November, Consumers Union/Consumer Reports reported that children eating several servings of canned food could get enough BPA at levels that cause harm in animal studies.

Many groups including the American Medical Association, Consumer Reports and the Endocrine Society (14,000 medical researchers from 100 countries) are concerned that even low doses can cause problems. They want the government to lower our exposure. The FDA has maintained it is safe.

The move outraged critics who pointed out that the FDA came to that conclusion after reviewing only studies paid for by the chemical industry.

The FDA agreed to issue a new BPA evaluation November 30th 2009. I'll let you know as soon as it happens.

Meanwhile, EWG and others want congress to pass the Kid Safe Chemicals Act that would force chemical companies to prove their chemicals are safe BEFORE they are sold.

The chemical industry insists BPA is safe and
according to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has unleashed a massive public relations campaign.

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