Monday, February 28, 2011

Homemade Bathsalts, Ahhh-mazing.

There's nothing better than sinking into a hot, relaxing and delicious smelling bath after a long day of work. I think making your own aromatherapy bath is a great way to help your mind and body unwind into blissful serenity. You could even draw a bath for someone else- my good friend told me that was one of the best gifts she has ever received!

Making your own is less expensive than buying bath salts plus it's all natural. This recipe is great for yourself to have salts on hand or as a gift for a friend, plus you can personalize it and make exactly what you want. Feel free to change up the recipe if you don't have all the ingredients.

Aromatherapy Mineral Bath
2 Tablespoons borax
2 Tablespoon baking soda
1 Cup sea salt
Optional: 1/2 cup Epsom salt
Essential oils

  • In a medium sized clean bowl, pour borax, baking soda and sea salt and mix together with a wooden spoon. Then drop in a generous amount of essential oils (15-20 drops) and mix together. 
  • I like to use a mixture of different essential oils to change things up, depending on my mood. My favorite combo is Lavender and Eucalyptus. You can also find premixed blends at your local natural food store. Right now my most recent obsession is Aura Cacia Tranquility, which I use right before I go to sleep. Ahhh-mazing.
  • Store in an airtight glass container. I like to reuse old food jars for a cute eco look.
  • For sore muscle relief use Epsom salt in the recipe.
  • Enjoy your bath!

Here is more information about essential oils:

Essential Oil Basics
More Do-It-Yourself Relaxing Recipes

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Want Eco-Marketing & Web Design? Find A Creative Solution.

I love finding awesome companies that produce outstanding products and services AND are eco. I think it is so important to not have to settle when it comes to quality in order to be good to the environment. I say, "Can't we have both?" Well the answer is a definite "YES!" when it comes to marketing, advertising and web design. Ranch7 Creative does all that and so much more. They also do branding, identity and graphic design.

I had the pleasure of working with the Ranch7 team a few years ago on designing an event brochure and magazine advertisement for a large event. The results were beautiful, easy to read, interesting and creative (just like their name!). They were also really flexible, timely, easy to work with and professional. I heard about Ranch7 because they are the official designers for amazing eco-events such as Green Festival.

Check them out: Ranch7 Creative

Monday, February 21, 2011

Clean Air Indoors, It's Easy!

I came across this easy tip for making the air you breathe in your home just a little bit greener and cleaner. Your lungs will be happy and healthy! Indoor house plants contribute to a "cheerful and relaxed environment," according to macrobiotic teacher and author, Michio Kushi. Check out the short article written by fellow healthy, vegan eco-blogger, Dahlia Klein. Also, check out her blog for great recipes: Veggies, Spice and Everything Rice

Green Tip of the Week: House Plants Help Clean Indoor Air

With this heavy winter upon us, perhaps many of you have not been as
mobile as when the weather has been warmer. I miss the trees and the
greenery that has been covered up by the white powdery stuff. However,
there is a way to bring the green into your home and it actually helps
to fight pollution indoors. They're reportedly able to scrub significant
amounts of harmful gases out of the air, such as, benzene, formaldehyde
and trichloroethylene which are absorbed through the everyday processes
of photosynthesis. Some pollutants are also absorbed and rendered
harmless in the soil.

The following is a list of "true" houseplants that have been
tested by NASA as plants that clean indoor air quality. The soil and
roots were also found to play an important role in removing air-borne

They are:

* English ivy * spider plant * golden pothos * peace lily
* Chinese evergreen

* bamboo or reed palm * snake plant * heartleaf philodendron

* selloum philodendron * elephant ear philodendron

* red-edged dracaena * cornstalk dracaena * Janet Craig dracaena

* Warneck dracaena * weeping fig

Friday, February 18, 2011

61st Pacific Macrobiotic Conference in AZ. March 17-20, 2011

Check out this exciting upcoming event:

61st Pacific Macrobiotic Conference in Gilbert, Arizona. March 17-20, 2011
A chance for fellow macros to come together for an inspiring and relaxing weekend, make new friends and share meals. We will discuss subjects, personal concerns, and topical issues from a macrobiotic perspective and keep up with what's happening in macrobiotics around the world. 

For more info or to register, email Kaare Bursell at

Hors d'Oeuvres Make Life More Fun

I recently checked out the book, Martha Stewart's Hors d'Oeuvres Handbook, from the library and am newly inspired to take some of her beautiful and delicious ideas and make them into things I would actually eat. I mean, what's better than a cute little bite of something that tastes amazing AND is good for you? If you are looking for some inspiration for your next dinner party or small gathering of friends, this book is full of creative pictures, ideas and recipes to give you some good ideas. Martha Stewart is pretty much the queen of all things beautiful, creative, crafty and food-related, so I would suggest her books, shows, websites, magazines, etc. in general.

After perusing through her book, I have decided to start with trying out my version of Smoked Salmon, Cucumber and Dill Butter Canapes. For the Dill Butter I decided to use Earth Balance, since I don't eat dairy.

Check out the recipe I made:

Smoked Salmon, Cucumber and Dill Butter Canapes
Smoked salmon- look for the kind w/o preservatives or artificial color
Good quality sliced organic sourdough or whole grain bread
Hothouse cucumber
8 Tablespoons Earth Balance
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Dill Butter:

  • Put the Earth Balance, lemon zest, lemon juice, dill and parsley in a medium bowl.
  • Smash with the back of a fork until well combined.
  • Transfer mixture to a sheet of parchment or wax paper. Roll into a 1 inch wide log. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Spread the slices of bread with Dill Butter.
  • Use a mandoline or peeler to thinly slice the cucumber.
  • Place 2 cucumber slices on the buttered bread. Then trim the crusts.
  • Arrange sprigs of dill on top of the cucumber.
  • Slice smoked salmon in long strips and arrange them, folded in half on top of the cucumber.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Here's more on Martha Stewart and her endless ideas of awesomeness. I regularly use her online recipes to get ideas and watch her show when I have time and want a little creative inspiration.

Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia 
Martha Stewart's Twitter
Martha Stewart's Youtube Channel
Martha Stewart's Blog

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sweet Potato Pecan Bread Warms and Satisfies

There's nothing like a warm piece of Sweet Potato Pecan Bread straight from the oven, especially with a nice cup of tea. Smelling spices and sweetness filling your kitchen makes your home just a little bit homey-er.

I recently make a batch of this for some friends and they loved the nuttiness from the pecans and the comforting texture.

I got this recipe from my all time favorite baking book, Simple Treats by Ellen Abraham. You can easily get this book used on Amazon for $4.39!
Simple Treats Cookbook

Here is my adapted version of the recipe in the book:

Sweet Potato Pecan Bread
3/4 cup sweet potato puree
1/4 cup sunflower oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
2 cups barley flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
Dash grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a loaf pan and set aside. 
  • To make sweet potato puree, peel and cut 1 sweet potato into chunks, steam or boil for 15 minutes or until soft. Puree in a food processor and add some cooking liquid if needed. The puree consistency should be a little thinner than mashed potatoes.
  • In a medium sized bowl, mix sweet potato puree, oil, syrup, soy milk, vinegar, and vanilla.
  • In a separate large bowl, mix nuts, flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt.
  • Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until it is smooth and incorporated. Do not overmix the batter.
  • Pour batter into the oiled pan.
  • Bake for 35 minutes, then rotate the pan a 1/2 turn to make for even baking. Bake 35 minutes more or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes or so before slicing.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Wholesome Yumminess at Angelica Kitchen

 Hot Open Face Tempeh Sandwich: Sliced sourdough baguette with marinated baked
tempeh and savory mushroom gravy. Served on a bed of raw
spinach, garnished with ruby kraut with a scoop of mashed potatoes.

One of my favorite restaurants in NYC is a warm, relaxed, cute restaurant called Angelica Kitchen. This place is just plain awesome. I love the variety on their menu, from simple healthy fare like the Dragon Bowl (macro plate) to more unique, interesting and tasty dishes like Hot Open Face Tempeh Sandwich (so delicious and comforting). They also have a wonderful selection of desserts and sweets, like Lemon Lavender Kanten Parfait or Carob Chip Cheesecake...yum.

The first time I went to this place, with my friend Angelica who frequents the restaurant, I actually loved it so much that I bought the cookbook right away.

Check them out online, and hopefully in person too!

Angelica Kitchen Website

Angelica Kitchen Cookbook

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

If You're Gonna be Lazy... Be a Lazy Environmentalist

It all started out with caring about the environment. This led to a satellite radio show, writing two books about green products, companies and trends, owning an eco-design company, producing and hosting an award-winning eco-reality show, and finally, becoming a national spokesperson and CEO. This guy Josh Dorfman, aka The Lazy Environmentalist, continues to find easy, stylish and inspiring ways for regular people to go green. He also is an example of how someone who really cares about something meaningful and important can turn his passion into a successful career. (Amazing!)

The Lazy Environmentalist is an excellent resource for learning all about great solutions to everyday challenges in making greener lifestyle choices for everything we use in our day-to-day lives.

Check out the books The Lazy Environmentalist and The Lazy Environmentalist on a Budget. Also, these great websites are handy tools to use for more info and inspiration on easily going MORE green.

The Lazy Environmentalist Website

The Lazy Environmentalist TV Show

Monday, February 7, 2011

Bellapierre Mineral Eye Shadows, I'm Obsessed!!

Ok, I know I just wrote about Jane Iredale Eye shadows, but I newly found this awesome eye shadow during a random trip to the mall. You know those people standing at the kiosks in the mall that try to sell you things you don't really want or need? Well, that's actually how I stumbled upon this all natural mineral makeup and realized that these shadows are beautiful, all natural, versatile and affordable!

You can use them lightly to add a little color for a daytime look, layer on color for a more dramatic effect, or use a special eye liner brush- which they sell, dip it in water and mix the water with a shimmery eye shadow and use it as a liner for a more dramatic fun look (my favorite). They have a variety of colors to choose from  and you can experiment with different shades and  update your look. If you want a bunch of colors, they also sell stacks so you can get more variety.

Check out the website to find out more info. If you can buy them at a store the price is better, 3 for $30.

Bellapierre Eye Shadows

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Silky Smooth Skin with Homemade Salt Scrub

Sea salt is awesome. It purifies, detoxifies, heals skin, washes away negative energy and adds good quality minerals to your body through the skin. It can also help you to feel more physically and emotionally cleansed in comparison to washing your body with a good ol' bar soap.

Using a great salt scrub once a week on my feet and body helps me to feel all of those wonderful things, especially when I have had a stressful week and am ready for some serious pampering and preening.

I like to make my own natural body care products when I can because it's fun, it's inexpensive and I know exactly what is in my salt scrub- no harmful chemicals, just all natural goodness! I also like to get creative with the scrubs by trying different essential oil combinations and using different dried herbs and things for color and added fun.

Homemade Salt Scrub
Fine sea salt 
Light vegetable oil (like sunflower, safflower or canola)
Essential oil (I like lavender and vanilla right now, but in the summer I like peppermint- it's cooling and tingly!)
Optional: dried herbs or plants for added color and interest 
Glass jar (I like to reuse a jar that I have from something in my kitchen, like a miso jar or an old salsa jar)

Put salt in a bowl and pour oil generously onto the salt. Mix the salt with the oil and add generous drops of essential oils. Mix together again until it smells great and is fully incorporated. Spoon the mixture into a jar. Seal tightly and it's ready to use. Enjoy your new silky smooth skin!

Note: Do the salt scrub a day or later after you have shaved, because your skin might be sensitive and become irritated from the salt. 

Another note: Do not use salt scrub on areas with sensitive skin. Salt scrub can be used on feet, hands, legs, arms, and back.