Home & Health Blogs

November 6, 2011

Our modern potato came from southern Peru, domesticated there 7,000 to 10,000 years ago. Humble, homely, and earthy, the potato has traveled around the world, exerting an extraordinary influence on global civilizations for centuries.  No wonder. Potatoes are productive and easy to grow. They keep for a long time without processing and fit into any meal plan. Serve them for breakfast (hash browns), scalloped, mashed with roasted garlic, in a shepherd’s pie or even a pie crust. Cook up a... more

November 5, 2011

Don’t worry—there are actually a lot of uses for the sock who lost its mate! Find out great new uses for socks and tights or panty hose. Like me, you probably have a drawer or box where you toss all those socks that emerge from the wash without a mate or with a hole in the toe. You can count on females in the household contributing tights and nylon stockings with runs. My box never gets too full because after decades of practice, I’ve mastered the art of finding new uses for them. I don’t turn... more

October 24, 2011

One day early last spring, I counted the ingredients of three shampoos and two conditioners sitting on a bathroom shelf; each contained at least 20 ingredients, many of them unpronounceable and three or four of them suspected toxins. Two contained fragrances that made me sneeze. That day, I decided to try an easy two-ingredient method I’d read about for years, but that had always seemed too hokey. I’ve never looked back. Borax (or baking soda) and cider vinegar My new strategy calls for an... more

October 18, 2011

You might know garlic simply as your favorite fall crop, but it also has a long history of healing. I grow lots of garlic and look forward to my mid-October garlic-planting ritual, when the weather is usually still warm enough to work without hat and gloves, the biting insects have disappeared, and there’s not much other outside work to do. Find out how to plant garlic in the fall. I save the best bulbs from the season’s garlic crop (harvested in July), separate them into cloves, plant each... more

October 15, 2011

I’ve already blogged about the health benefits of eating a variety of richly pigmented plant foods—the glorious reds, purples, oranges, and yellows found in fresh produce aisles, farmers’ markets, and backyard gardens. Turns out the white fruits and vegetables—apples, pears, onions, cauliflower, cucumbers, and bananas—may also confer health benefits, specifically against strokes. People who eat more white fruits and vegetables have far fewer strokes than those who don't Dutch... more

October 5, 2011

The chart below follows the previous post encouraging folks to eat more deeply-colored vegetables and fruits for health. It summarizes the main classes of plant pigments (light-harvesting molecules that plants manufacture), the roles they play in plant health, the foods rich in each pigment class, and its potential value to human health. Bon appetit! Pigment class Indicative colors Roles in plants Foods rich in these pigments Potential value to humans   Chlorophyll (fat-soluble) green... more

September 27, 2011

Even if you don't grow your own vegetables, you see their fall colors come alive in farmers’ markets and supermarket bins: deep orange winter squash and carrots, red and yellow beets and Swiss chard, purple onions, potatoes and cabbages. Study after scientific study has confirmed that people who eat more fruits and vegetables, particularly the deeply colored varieties, suffer less heart disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, and age-related neurological decline. Plants: the master... more

September 7, 2011

Psst! Wanna save money, improve health and fitness, and lower your carbon footprint—simultaneously? Think about ways to make your daily life less efficient. The idea: arrange your life to move more and rely less on power tools, appliances, and machines. A few tips: Put up a clothesline and hang the wash. Clothes dryers account for almost six percent of household electrical costs. Line-dried clothes and sheets smell great. No, your towels won’t turn out soft and fluffy, but they will replace... more

September 1, 2011

About six weeks after my 40th birthday, we had a freak April storm that dropped 18 inches of wet, heavy snow. My car had broken down, so I trudged the mile and a half to my daughter’s elementary school where I was working with the children to publish a school newspaper. I rode the school bus home. The next morning, I hurt all over and could barely roll out of bed. As I dressed, I caught a glimpse of something in the mirror. Whoa! That pale, bloated, ungainly, creature was me! I call what... more

August 7, 2011

Why throw out what may be the most healthful and flavorful parts of the foods you prepare regularly? Toss them together into the stockpot first to brew up a tasty, nutritious broth that adds a gourmet kick to a soup, stew, chowder, or casserole.  A More Healthy Sstock You bet! Potato peelings, for example, concentrate most of the potato’s potassium, a nutrient deficient in many American diets. Onion skins and celery leaves contain lots of the anti-oxidant/anti-microbial phytocompound quercetin... more

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