What's in Your Pillow?

Pillows are an important part of of our daily sleep patterns. We utilize them for head and neck support but did you know that they actually contribute to our overall health and environment.

Petroleum based polyester or urethane foams can diminish your indoor air quality.  The synthetic filling within these pillows can collect moisture and become a literal breeding ground for dust mites. Manufacturing these pillows also contributes to water and land pollution. Non organic cotton can have the same effect on our environment.

There are plenty of healthier options when it comes to your head rest and… they are easily available to buy. The most common and easy to find…  is feather... or down filled pillows.

Another great alternative for allergy sufferers is Kay-Pock filling, some may call it Java Cotton. Kay-Pock is a super soft silky cotton like fiber sustainably harvested from the rain forest and makes a comfortable natural fill.

Wool is also a great option. Choosing organically grown wool will ensure that there is no insecticide residue, just read the label carefully to make sure it is not treated with moth repellent because that can create a chemical fume that you probably don’t want to breathe in.

Buckwheat is often a doctor recommended pillow due to its body conforming ability and aptitude to resist dust mites, a huge benefit for allergy sufferers. Be sure the manufacturer has cleaned the hulls of the processed grain inside to eliminate lingering dust that can trigger allergies or asthma.

Lastly, there is a natural latex, derived from the rubber tree.  This alternative is firmer and provides more neck support. It also promotes responsible rain forest management as the trees that give us this material are tapped not logged.

Naturally, you will want to decide which material is best for YOU…  based on your sensitivity or allergies to any of the fillers... as well as take into consideration the various levels of support each one offers. Who would think pillows could get so personal?

Any of these five options will give you a healthier sleeping domain and are great choices for promoting a cleaner, safer planet.

Organic Southwest Black Bean Salad with Mango and Avocado

We are making festive and delicious Organic Southwest Black Bean and Mango Salad that can be used in a variety of ways. It is great as dip with chips or veggie rounds, put it top of mixed salad greens for a light, vegetarian lunch, or put over fish, shrimp or chicken. 

THE RECIPE ~INGREDIENTS
15 oz. can Organic black beans, drained & rinsed (can use Kidney or White Beans) 
15.25 oz. can Organic whole kernel corn, drained & rinsed
2 small Organic Avocado cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2  Organic mangos cut into 1/2 inch cubes (can substitute 4 Peaches)
1/2 small Organic red onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces(can substitute white or green onion)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped (can substitute green or yellow pepper)
1 jalapeño pepper, destemmed, seeded & finely chopped (optional use ½ or less to taste)
4 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (can use bottled)
2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp. chili powder (option Chipotle Chili Powder) 
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. of salt

1 - Combine the black beans, corn, mango, avocado, onions and jalapeño pepper. 
2 - Separately -  Whisk together the lime juice, chili powder, black pepper and salt
3 - Pour over the salad mixture
4 - Mix gently to coat
5 - Serve with chips, atop lettuce, or over fish, shrimp or grilled chicken breast 

Also for a heart healthy version use NO-Salt Beans and Corn. 
This is great for parties or picnics and can be make ahead of time. It will keep for three days since the lime juice keeps the avocado from turning brown.

Please post your favorite variation.

An Organic Halloween - Affordable Healthy Treats for Trick or Treaters

Click the Photo to Play the Video

Click the Photo to Play the Video

Goblins, ghosts, princesses and pirates are about to come knocking on your door.  What can you give out this Halloween that will satisfy both your organic lifestyle and all those sweet tooths? Hmmmm stick around and find out.  

They may say Trick or Treat but we all know it’s the treat they really want. This year why not hand out organic goodness. Sweet and fun, these choices will bring a smile to everyone's faces.

Let’s start with Chocolate, the go-to favorite. An affordable option is Equal Exchange Chocolate.They have mini organic chocolate bars that are also Fair Trade

Lollipops are also a fun treat and Yummy Earth Lollipops are easy to buy in bulk as you can get a 150 pops for about $18 or get the five pound bag for bigger savings.

The combo of sweet and gummy is always a popular choice. Pick up kid size pacts of Surf Sweets Gummy Bears, you can buy enough for Halloween or save more and buy a case. Use the leftovers for lunch bags and after school snacks for about fifty cents a bag.

Glee Gum is another great option, their Halloween assortment comes in 21 mini boxes, in a variety of flavors for under six bucks.

Hey, what about Brownies, while not a typical Halloween offering, Clif  Z Bar has a chocolaty Organic brownie that is very tasty. A package of 36 is about $25 and contains essential vitamins and minerals.

These treats are great alternatives for Halloween, keep in mind that they can also replace conventional treats throughout the year. We have added links and buying info from our searches in the YouTube description but prices can change without notice so it’s best to do a current search for your own comparison. Please click video to see the links, and hey, why don't you Subscribe while you are there.

We have not been paid to endorse these products, we simply found them to fit our criteria for organic living and of course they passed our taste test too.

Bonus Tip

If you want to give something that can provide fun without a calorie count, try a Goody Bag. With a trip to the dollar store you can create a festive bag of treasures that will prolong the Halloween fun. Great items to include would be themed stickers, coloring books with crayons, animal rings, bubble bottles, animal masks, puzzles are just a few ideas.

You can stuff these bags to your heart, or budgets content.

Have a Happy and Safe Halloween everyone

We would love to hear your comments. Until next time, Be organic and be healthy.

 

Start Eating Organic without Increasing Your Grocery Bill

Organic Roost

The health facts, taste, the feel good local buying practices are all great reasons to start buying organic food. There are plenty of ways you can start eating an economical organic diet. Here are my top five tips… let’s get to it.

1 - Buy Frozen - Organic Frozen Fruits and vegetables are a great way to save a few dollars. They retain the majority of their nutrients and flavor allowing you to enjoy your favorites through the year. So hit the freezer section first.

2 - Buy in Bulk - Most health food stores and even farmers markets will have bulk bins of many items including things like nuts, cereals, grains, and beans. Your wallet will thank you, plus it just feels good not throwing away excessive packaging… that’s a bonus for sure.

3 - Shop at Co-ops and Farmers Markets.  These are great ways to not only save some money buying organic but you get to talk to people that actually grew the food you are buying, or at the very least someone who knows the farmers themselves. It creates a closer connection to your community and great dinner conversations. Unless you are forbidden to talk at the table like I grew up… just kidding Mom.

4 - Eat and Buy in Season - There is nothing better than a fresh strawberry in June or Butternut Squash soup in October. You will find that prices of produce is much cheaper when it is in season. So eat those strawberries like candy in the summer then freeze a few quarts for a treat over the winter, you will save a bundle compared to buying them throughout the year.

5- Store Brands - As of this filming there are several large store chains that carry their own line of organic foods. These include Aldi, Stop & Shop, Giant, Walmart, Target and of course Whole Foods and Trader Joes. Buying these brands offers great savings. Wegman’s, a chain that is centric to New York but quickly populating to other states, has gone a step further, and started their own organic farm to help stock their shelves with more organic options.

Here’s a bonus option to save and it’s a no brainer… you can grow your own. It saves you the most and it’s a lot of fun too. So go get started on your next shopping trip. Eating organic is not all or nothing. Your body and mind will thank you. Even if it is just one or two organic items this week, it’s a start.

Until then...Be Organic and Be Healthy

I Want USDA Certified Organic Seafood... So How Can I Get It?

In today’s blog we are going to find out why it’s so hard to find organic seafood. I love Seafood  Why is there no USDA certified organic seafood? And how can a salmon with a “regular” organic label be two to four times the price of it’s farm raised pal laying beside it. You can Watch the Video Here:  https://youtu.be/TdtiQQfRV_0

Organic Roost

Here’s the scoop… Seafood is yet to carry a USDA Certified Organic label, but the good news is, that it’s on the horizon.

Going to the market for organic fish, will likely leave you disappointed. Either you realize it is non-existent or the limited selection is priced like it’s gold-plated. That’s because the only seafood with an organic label comes from Norway and other faraway European countries at this time… unless you’re watching this in Norway than it’s not so far.

The United States sees that the Organic demand is more than just a brief trend and have heard the cries to begin certifying seafood. And they are working on it. Really... they are!

Proposing standards for farm raised organic seafood is on the Department of Agriculture's agenda this year in 2015. They have begun reviewing the recommendations from the past ten years and are beginning to outline the certification requirements for seafood. Then it will be a matter of time before the practices of the fish farms are revised to meet the new USDA standards for Certified Organic labeling.  Among the U.S. seafood that could be covered are salmon, tilapia, catfish, shrimp, mussels, oysters and clams.

Some opinions of the farm raised seafood industry, or who I’ll call fish farmers, are that the cost of the feed alone will be so expensive that the market will not bare the price tag of organic seafood. Well, that will be for you, me and  the rest of the organic shoppers to decide though.

For now, when I want to enjoy some tasty seafood selections, I personally buy something that is Wild Caught.  Hey wait, you might ask, why isn’t Wild Caught seafood organic from the start? That’s a Great question. Unfortunately, there is just no way to monitor if that fish has eaten a 100% organic diet, therefore making it impossible to give wild caught seafood the official USDA Certified Organic Label.

Until then… Be Organic and Be Healthy