This fast, easy, and healthy recipe for kırmızı mercimek çorba, or (Turkish) red lentil soup, is one of my family’s favorite. My 8-year old requests it every week. It’s one of several ways that this soup can be made: you can omit the carrots and Hungarian paprika if you prefer, or take more time and strain the soup through a sieve if you like, creating a thinner consistency (which is the way you will usually find it being made in Turkey). You can also add more water to make it less thick and hearty.Read More
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Ok, at least here in the US, we’re nearing the end of cold and flu season (or so I thought!), yet there are still plenty of people around me getting sick. Several of my students had emailed in sick these past 2 weeks, and others came in to class anyway, even though they clearly should have stayed at home in bed!
So I thought it was time to write a post about not resorting to antibiotics to cure yourself from many of the sicknesses that will resolve on their own, or that can be cured by other means.
Let me say one thing from the start, though. This is NOT an anti-vac post or anything like that. Even though we do not take the flu vaccine in my household (and never get sick, even when we are exposed to the flu), we have all our required shots. Whether or not you take antibiotics is ultimately up to you, and there are definitely times when you absolutely should take them. The problem with antibiotics is that many people take them when they should not, and that is ultimately what this post is about: why you should avoid the unnecessary use of antibiotics.
Here are 4 reasons to avoid antibiotics when they are not absolutely necessary:Read More
This is a thick, rich, and creamy soup that is perfect for the cold season. Even better, it is quick and easy to make – 45 minutes from start to finish! It has a number of different variations you can try to suit your particular tastes, variations that range from the sweetness to the thickness to spices used in this soup. You can even choose to make it vegan by skipping the last part, that adds a dollop of plain yogurt to the finished soup.Read More
This was a recipe invented by my ex-husband Jeff, who besides being a gifted gardener and landscaper who could revive even the saddest-looking plants, is also a great cook. This recipe is fast and easy to make, and the sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in in the freezer for up to 3 weeks.Read More
Guest post by Brenda Snow
You spend a significant part of your life behind a desk. Desk jobs can be a blessing and a curse.
On the one hand, it’s nice to not be a roofer working on top of a skyscraper in the middle of a hot and humid summer or freezing cold winter. On the other hand, being tied to a chair is not without hazards, either. In fact, sitting in a chair for hours at a time, let alone all day, without getting up to move, can cause a number of health problems, both acute and chronic.Read More
This is one of my favorite go-to recipes for a quick and healthy dinner. It doesn’t require any marinating beforehand (although you can do that if you like for richer flavor), and with a few simple ingredients you can have it on the table in under an hour! It’s a favorite with my kids, too, and we rarely have leftovers!
The real secret to the rich taste, though, is good-quality Hungarian paprika. Hungarian paprika is one of several kinds of paprika (including sweet, smoked, and Spanish pimentón) used in cooking. It has a complex flavor (with at least 8 varieties) and ranges from mild (flavor) and bright red (color) to spicy and pungent with a pale orange color.Read More
With the beginning of another school year comes the inevitable question for every parent whose child has dietary restrictions, or whose kid’s school doesn’t have a cafeteria: what should I pack for lunch? In the first weeks of school this may not be much of an issue: you try the old standbys, only to eventually become bored with them. Maybe this year you want to make more of an effort to pack healthy (healthier) lunches. Maybe you are weaning your kids off packaged processed convenience foods that you know are not healthy for them.Read More
Guest post by Toby Dean
A workplace involves a myriad of stressors, and each individual in the same office environment copes with the same stress differently. Apart from stress coming from human beings and situations, there could be unexplained health issues at the workplace that could be creating a problem in your life. This is especially likely if you have shifted to a new office building, have been transferred to a different place, or changed your job. If you have experienced sudden shortness of breath, chest pain, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, runny nose or blocked sinuses, itchy eyes and skin, etc. as soon as you enter your office building, and if these symptoms subside on their own when you step out of the building, then you are suffering from Sick Building Syndrome.Read More
Guest post by Kat Buckley
Some of the basic household tasks we will generally get done but other places in the home can go months or even years without being cleaned. This infographic from HappyCleans looks at how often you need to get all the different items around the house cleaned. For example, the fan vents are one area of the house that rarely get cleaned. The problem is that if they’re left too long dust, pollen, and other allergens will end up clogging them, and in some cases, can cause particles to be released into your home from supply registers.
If you have ceiling fans, they are another area of the home that can get really dusty and these can be quickly dusted with a pillowcase. Of course, if they’re high up you need to be extremely careful not to injure yourself. Using a duster with a long handle that is made for such hard-to-reach areas is usually the best way to tackle the problem.Read More
Blog post by Green and Prosperous, with infographic by EZ Living Interiors
Did you know that there are a lot more benefits to decluttering your home than just aesthetics?
Spring has officially been here since March 20th, even if the weather may not be cooperating where you live. Whether you’re still waiting for the winter thaw or enjoying the sunny days, you can do your part to usher in the spring by decluttering your home. Spring cleaning and decluttering has a long and storied history, but the 21st century benefits to this ancient ritual are many. In short, spring cleaning is good not only for the aesthetic improvement it brings to your living space; it also has several mental and physical health benefits. Our ancestors were well aware of this fact.Read More
Americans’ thinking about food has shifted dramatically over the past 2 decades. With major changes to the food industry (think the introduction of GMOs, the mainstreaming of organic foods, the popularity of celebrity chefs, and the growing number of documentaries about our eating habits – e.g. “Super Size Me”, and the problems with the industrial food complex), a growing number of people now think that eating healthy is important.
However, although many of us want to eat healthy, or think that we are eating healthy, the evidence says otherwise. In fact, most Americans do not get the recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables and consume waaaay more sugar and saturated fats than they should...
What if you’ve been trying to eat healthier but can’t seem to break your unhealthy food habits? What if you eat pretty healthy already but want to make some small improvements to your diet? What if you know someone who has a very unhealthy diet and wants to improve his or her eating habits?Read More
Let’s face it, stress is a major part of life in the world today, especially if you are working (inside or outside the home), have children, or live in an urban environment. As a divorced mom of 2 kids with a full-time job, consulting work, and running my business, www.greenandprosperous.com, I manage a fair amount of stress on a regular basis. During the course of my regular workweek, as a professor, I also see – and try to help mitigate – the stress my students face. With so many responsibilities to handle, and so many of them juggling long commutes, internships, volunteering, financial problems, or managing families (since most students these days are non-traditional) in addition to going to school full-time, I sometimes wonder how my students deal with it all, at such young ages. In fact, many of them do not deal well with stress, and a select few end up dropping or failing out of their programs. At worst, they become dependent on medication to manage their anxiety, or suicidal.Read More
Valentine’s Day may be over, but our love affair with chocolate continues. From its MesoAmerican origins to its migration eastward into the fashionable salons of the European aristocracy, chocolate has captivated our imaginations. Despite its sometimes-dark history and questionable health effects (some sacrificial victims of the Mayans and Aztecs were forced to drink chocolate mixed with blood, and wealthy European elites undermined the supposed health effects of chocolate by (over)processing it with alkaline salts, milk, and sugar), the global market for chocolate continues to expand. And although some of the chocolate that makes its way into retail stores in has been harvested by modern-day child slave labor in cocoa farms in Ghana and the Ivory Coast, the expansion of fair-trade, ethically sourced, and slave-free varieties of chocolate has meant that we can continue to enjoy our chocolate pleasures, guilt-free.Read More
The news out there is pretty bad: the flu is worse this year in the US, and the flu vaccine is only up to 30% effective. Strangely (to me), doctors and health care workers are making blanket recommendations that everyone should get the flu shot. As for me, I’ve taken the flu shot exactly once in my lifetime, when I was pregnant with my second child, and only at the insistence of my Chinese medicine doctor (who helped me overcome secondary infertility to achieve a healthy pregnancy at the age of 41). And yet, we rarely get the flu in my household, even when we’ve been exposed to many people who are clearly sick with it. In fact, my 7-year old is the only one in our household who ever gets a cold or flu, and it's always a mild version that she's able to overcome in a day or two.Read More
Detoxing: an old remedy for good health?
The idea of detoxing - purging the body of poisons and other harmful substances, to bolster the immune system, eliminate fat and increase energy levels – has been around since at least the early 1900s. These days, it is more popular than ever, thanks to a gaggle of celebrity endorsements of popular diets. A quick search on Amazon.com turns up hundreds of books, cleansing products, herbs and nutritional supplements to help you cleanse your way to good health.
Before having kids, I used to detox at least a couple of times a year. I’d usually fast using water, broths, and freshly-juiced fruits, alongside detoxing powders or tablets containing ingredients like psyllium husks, which stimulate the body’s elimination system. Like others, I felt better and more energized immediately afterwards. Years later, I wonder if all that detoxing might have done more harm than good. For years I suffered off and on from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), and still occasionally have episodes if I don’t watch my diet carefully.
Doctors and many nutritionists have amply warned that long-term or frequent detoxing diets can harm the body and cause sustained health problems. People with certain health conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and blood sugar disorders, or who are pregnant or nursing should not detox at all. (Most detoxes involve severely restricting the diet to liquids or purees for days or weeks at a time). However, a vocal minority of medical professionals claim that detoxing, done sensibly and in moderation, can enhance the body’s natural abilities to rid itself of harmful substances.Read More