Raw fudge recipe

My body works best when I have two meals a day where my food is mostly uncooked or raw. Typically, I have a smoothie in the morning with fresh ingredients and a salad for lunch or dinner. I mix that in with a cooked meal and it works pretty well for me. I love chocolate and have been playing with different ways of being able to have my chocolate raw to get the most nutritional benefits without sacrificing the taste of chocolate my sweet tooth likes. This a raw fudge recipe that my friend Drea (thanks so much!) passed onto me years ago that I continue to love for its ease and taste.

Here is the recipe for Raw Fudge: 1/2 Jar of coconut oil (about a cup) 1/3 -1/2 cup Honey (Agave works as well) 1/3 – 1/2 cup raw Cacao powder (cocoa powder works fine, if raw is not your thing) 2 tsp vanilla 1/8 tsp salt Mix all in blender or food processor and pour into a pan and put in refrigerator or freezer . When it is hard, attack it with a knife or spoon. I usually and nuts to my batch. Also, I just

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started making my own version of “peanut butter cups” by putting a layer of fudge down in a pan first, freezing for 10-15 minutes, then spreading a nut butter of choice down, then pouring another layer of fudge on top and cooling until hard. The “bad” news with this recipe is that you need to eat the fudge pretty soon out of the fridge as it will melt after a while. I say “bad” as it can be hard to stop eating!!! Enjoy!

 

Home air quality – Plants that help and other ideas

I’m always looking for ideas to keep my home healthy. I was just reading an article from Dr. Mercola, who I feel is a good resource for all kinds of alternative health advice (I’m signed up for his daily email), about air quality in the home. I have a part of that article below. Though I have good ventilation in my home, I really like the ideas of 10 kinds of plants that can help with air quality in my home and home office. See what you think.

What’s the First Thing You Can Do to Improve Air Quality in
Your Home or Office?

enhance-your-indoor-air-quality
Household plants like this African violet can help to
enhance your indoor air quality.

Bringing a bit of nature indoors with houseplants is an excellent idea and can help make you feel a bit more cheery

Living closer to nature may actually even help increase your quality of life.

“Household plants like this African violet can help to enhance your indoor air quality”

It was NASA, along with the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA), that conducted a classic study on the benefits of plants on indoor air.

NASA reported that houseplants were able to reduce up to 87 percent of air toxins in 24 hours. They recommended using 15 to 18 ‘good-sized’ houseplants in 6 to 8-inch diameter containers for an 1800 square-foot house.

And not just any house plants will do… here’s a list of the top 10 anti-pollutant plants rated best by The New Ecologist.com…

  1. The Feston Rose plant
  2. Devil’s Ivy
  3. Phalaenopsis
  4. English Ivy
  5. Parlor Ivy
  6. African Violets
  7. Christmas Cactus
  8. Yellow Goddess
  9. Garlic Vine
  10. Peace Lily

NASA, at the Stennis Space Center, also constructed what they called a BioHome, which incorporated bioregenerative technology with the ultimate goal of providing a life support system for permanent human habitation in space.

And inside the BioHome structure are common houseplants, which NASA says act as living air purifiers to absorb as much chemical pollutants as possible from synthetic materials in the living area.

If houseplants are capable of cleansing the air in the BioHome, imagine what they could do in your home!

Mold Is a Common Issue in Many Homes

One of the major motivating factors for me to seek to identify the highest quality home filter is that my home had a leak in the basement due to a crack in the foundation and the end result was mold.

Unfortunately this is all too common. Many homes are contaminated with mold as a result of flooding, water leaks from indoor plumbing, leaky roofs or leaky basement foundations.

You can use the search engine on this site to find recent detailed articles I have written that comprehensively addresses this, but I want to share a key principle that I learned that will save you loads of grief and potentially many thousands or tens of thousands of repair bills.

Please understand that no air filter in the world will eliminate mold problems. You must find the source of the water leakage and stop water intrusion into your home and make sure you control the humidity. The other key is to jump on this problem the moment you find it, do not delay as the longer you wait the more expensive the repairs will likely be.

Once you have been able to get the mold under control then you can introduce an air purification system based on the discussion below.

9 More Actions to Take Now to Enhance the Indoor Air You Breathe

Here’s more of my extensive list on some of the important and straight-forward things I recommend you do to help improve your indoor air quality…

Indoor Air Enhancement Action: Justification and Improvement Details:
1. Put a plan in place to keep your home clean naturally Using only natural plant-based types of cleaners will help eliminate potential air pollutants. Even your laundry detergent can be a source of air fumes. That’s one of the reasons why I decided to source my own brand of natural plant-based enzyme laundry detergent.
2. Redo a portion of your home with a natural material You may not be able to build a new natural home or office like I did, but you can make small changes using natural, healthy materials… like bamboo flooring for example.
3. Keep carpets vacuumed and cleaned using natural ingredients Your carpet can be a breeding ground and saturation point for dust and pests that can eventually spew pollutants into your indoor air. Keeping your carpet clean with vacuuming and natural shampoos can help keep your air cleaner. Central vacuum cleaners are best
4. Avoid potential toxi fumes from unfiltered water Unknown by many people, unfiltered chlorinated tap water is a potential source of toxic fumes. And it’s not just drinking water you need to be concerned about. Your shower can be up to 20 times worse than drinking unfiltered tap water. The solution here is quite simple… obtain a high-quality water filtration system for your home. If you’re interested in more info here, you can check it out on my site where I show several well-researched options from single faucet… to shower systems… to whole-house filtration units.
5. Utilize nontoxic cookware when preparing your food In addition to leaching potential chemicals into your food, non-stick cookware made of synthetic perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) can release toxins into your air. When heated to only 446° F, the coating begins to break down and releases fumes. My recommendation is for you to use cookware made from ceramic. You can also check out my site for more info on the types of cookware to avoid.
6. Don’t allow smoking inside your home This seems pretty straight-forward. But many folks worry too much about possibly offending smokers and allow them to smoke inside their homes. Don’t do it. Exposure to second-hand smoke can build up inside your home .
7. Ensure pets are kept well-groomed and clean Pets can be a breeding ground for pests and parasites that can become airborne in your home. Keeping your pet well-groomed is key to avoiding adding potential pollutants into your indoor air. You can go to my healthy pet site, hosted by an integrative, proactive, wellness veterinarian, Dr. Karen Becker, to get simple tips on how to keep your pets in healthy shape.
8. Get expert help if you have a mold problem due to a leak or water intrusion This is a serious issue and requires a remediation expert to solve. As I have had to deal with this type of major issue before myself, I speak from experience, and strongly recommend you seek a local remediation expert to resolve ASAP.
9. Avoid poor indoor ventilation issues Poor ventilation and filtration worsen your indoor air by trapping air pollutants All you have to do is open windows on open sides of your home for ten minutes every day and the cross ventilation will radically improve your indoor air quality

There is another step I recommend you seriously consider taking to help improve your indoor air quality… and that’s to install an air purification system.

 

The 5 love languages – what is your love language?

Want a a relatively easy thing to do relationship wise? Find out what your favorite “love language” is AND what your partners, friends or family members is/are.

I read Gary Chapman’s book called “The five love languages” about 10 years ago and I used it in my relationship at the time. It was really interesting to see that I was a “quality time” guy (see the 5 languages and definitions below) and my partner then, was “acts of service”. So, I liked to show and receive love by talking, fully present, with her and having her listen attentively. She was different in that she would clean the house or do things for me to show her love (acts of service). Interestingly we would get into fights because of this. I wanted her to stop cleaning, for example, and just “be present” with me and being present didn’t do anything for her, just like the cleaning didn’t make me feel like I was loved by her. After reading the book, we had a pretty big aha! We then talked about our love languages and asked each what we would like in daily “love gesture”. For me, I wanted a “two minute time out”, so we would take at least two minutes a day to visit, without doing anything else. For her, I made the bed daily. This may sound small but it was powerful for us.

Is one reason we attract relationships in our lives is to learn about expanding the way we love? I can say for me, that going through this I learned about a different way of loving that wasn’t my natural way of loving and in my growth my relationship grew. I find the 5 love language process simple, but powerful.

 

The 5 love languages below are from Gary Chapman’s website: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/. It has a lot of information and a free, short quiz if you want to test out what kind of love language is most important to you.

  • Words of Affirmation

    Actions don’t always speak louder than words. If this is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.

  • Quality Time

    In the vernacular of Quality Time, nothing says, “I love you,” like full, undivided attention. Being there for this type of person is critical, but really being there—with the TV off, fork and knife down, and all chores and tasks on standby—makes your significant other feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.

  • Receiving Gifts

    Don’t mistake this love language for materialism; the receiver of gifts thrives on the love, thoughtfulness, and effort behind the gift. If you speak this language, the perfect gift or gesture shows that you are known, you are cared for, and you are prized above whatever was sacrificed to bring the gift to you. A missed birthday, anniversary, or a hasty, thoughtless gift would be disastrous—so would the absence of everyday gestures.

  • Acts of Service

    Can vacuuming the floors really be an expression of love? Absolutely! Anything you do to ease the burden of responsibilities weighing on an “Acts of Service” person will speak volumes. The words he or she most want to hear: “Let me do that for you.” Laziness, broken commitments, and making more work for them tell speakers of this language their feelings don’t matter.

  • Physical Touch

    This language isn’t all about the bedroom. A person whose primary language is Physical Touch is, not surprisingly, very touchy. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—they can all be ways to show excitement, concern, care, and love. Physical presence and accessibility are crucial, while neglect or abuse can be unforgivable and destructive.

Music

Every now and then I really like going through my iTunes music library and listening and creating a new playlist or just listening to some songs I haven’t heard in a while. To me, its really fun and creative thing to do. I have collected a lot of music from family and friends over the years and sometimes I play music from my library that I never knew I had or totally forgot about.  Last time I did this, I found some classic rock oldies like; “Joy to the world” by 3 Dog Night and “Magic carpet ride” by Steppenwolf. Hearing these, I was immediately transported back to my friend Kurt’s basement where our gang would hang out as teenagers and play ping pong and pool and crank tunes for hours. Fond memories.

I like having playlists to fit my moods and what I’m doing, whether it is for a breath session or music to relax to. I created a playlist of a band called O.A.R. a year or so ago after my friend, Elizabeth, recommended them to me. So, over the last year its been an easy way to remind myself to listen to them and they have become one of my favorites these days. In fact, I’m heading to their concert on Friday in Denver to celebrate my birthday week! If you never heard of O.A.R., they are a rock/jam band. My favorite song of there’s is “That was a crazy game of poker” live version. for me, its fun and happy with a catchy beat and a perfect long summer song. I have pasted the album cover next to this blog entry. Enjoy!