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Monday, July 30, 2012

Bartering: The new shopping experience

Thousands of years ago, with no currency systems, bartering was the only way to distribute and receive goods. This ancient method can still be used today.  Plan a swap with family and friends! Several friends and I gathered unwanted clothing, furniture, and books. We picked through the offerings and took what we needed. What was left over was sold in a yard sale.  All of us were very happy with the outcome of the swap.  It allowed us to recycle unwanted items and to receive much needed items for free. 

  • Attendees can post a list of wanted items prior to the event.
  • Throw in all of those dusty items that you never use.
  • Don't toss out "junk", put it in the swap. Someone might be able to use it. (For example, one of my friends was collecting empty cereal boxes for a project.)
  • Get creative. An old painting could be transformed into a fresh canvas with a little whitewash.  A beat-up table can be painted back to life.
  • Consider swapping services as well.  For example, landscaping, house cleaning, or babysitting.
One man's trash is another man's treasure.  Swaps are a great way to recycle unwanted items and get needed items for free.

This was an lovely older gentleman trying to bargain with us for most of our things.

 I became a proud owner of this tea set in exchange for an old jewelry box that I owned!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hidden Dangers in Sunscreen

At the first signs of warm weather millions of Americans including myself, toss off those bulky winter coats and head outside for some fun in the sun. In a sun induced trance, I always hustle to the grocery store and grab the first sunscreen I see with the highest SPF.  The Environmental Working Group recently published a 2012 sunscreen guide which will have you and I both think twice before grabbing any sunscreen off store shelves.

There are several questionable sunscreen ingredients, but the worst offenders are:

1.Retinyle Palmitate
4.Uv Filters

  • Uv filters have an estrogenic effect on your body and are known to elevate the levels of estrogen found in women. 
  • Retinyle Palmitate - a popular sun screen ingredient, that is a form of vitamin A. However, a 2010 study conducted by the Environmental working group revealed that the use of synthetic vitamin A may speed up the development of skin tumors and legions when applied to the skin.
  • Oxybenzone-found in half of the beach and sport sunscreen on the market, has hormone disruptors that can effect regulations of reproductive, thyroid,nervous and immune systems. Experts also warn against using any sunscreen that has oxybenzone in it on children due to their still developing systems.
  • Fragrance- according to the Environmental Protection Agency, many sunscreens contain fragrances that can have several hundred unlabeled ingredients, some of which are hormone disruptors and probable carcinogens.
What makes a good sunscreen?

Natural sunscreens that contain minerals such as, zinc or titanium dioxide are the best choices. These sunscreens do not penetrate the skin and offer uva protection. 

What are other ways to be safe in the sun?

  • Shade
  • Wearing a wide brim hat
  • Covering yourself with clothing that offers sun protection
  • A nutritious diet that contains foods that are high in antioxidants which neutralize free radicals.
Be sure to consult the 2012 EWG sunscreen guide for more information and list of the best and worst sunscreens.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Homemade, natural toothpaste

Here is something to smile about:

The National Research Council stated: "it is apparent that this chemical has the ability to interfere with the functions of the brain and the body by direct and indirect means." At Harvard University, researchers identified a link between this chemical and bone cancer. Would you inject this toxin willingly? Well, the truth is that you probably do twice each day. This is Fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste. Mucus membranes (such as the inside of your mouth) are very permeable, so even if you do not swallow the toothpaste it is still getting absorbed into the bloodstream.

Luckily there are options other than toxin laced toothpaste. Tom's (a company specializing in natural products) offers fluoride free toothpaste, but a 5 ounce tube will cost you around 5 dollars. You can make your own natural toothpaste for about 75 cents for a 5 ounce supply. Natural toothpaste is simple to make by using very few ingredients. Keep your set of chompers sparkling with these recipes.

  Step 1 Spoon a few tablespoons of baking soda into a bowl.

Step 2 Use a dropper to insert 10 drops of wintergreen and
 3 drops clove essential oil onto the baking soda.

Step 3 Mix and add a few drops of water until the mixture
has a creamy, pasty texture.

Step 4 Put some onto your toothbrush and brush as usual.

You may even follow up with this natural antiseptic mouth wash.

Step 1 Boil 1 cup of water, 4 tablespoons lavender buds,
and a few sprigs of fresh rosemary.

Step 2 Allow to cool. Strain out herbs.

Step 3 Use the mixture to gargle and rinse mouth as usual.

These recipes are so simple they will take your (minty) breath away!



Monday, July 23, 2012

Is your poop healthy?

Here is something to digest... So you have begun your new life... living healthier by investing in organic food, gleaning information from natural living books, and taking vegan cooking classes. You have bought your produce at every farmer's market within a 30 mile radius from your home. You've paid so much attention to what's going into your body that you've forgotten to consider what comes out! Literally trust your gut. Your body continually sends messages about it's needs, and excrement can be a reliable communication tool. Poop plays an important role in your overall health. Here is an infograph from Kimberly Snyder to help analyze the results of all that time and effort that's been put into living naturally. ++ Click to Enlarge Image ++
What is your poop and pee telling you
Source:What Your Poop and Pee Mean

Monday, July 16, 2012

Taking some time

The Feisty Organics will not be posting this week so we can focus on the direction we want to take this blog. We will be back with more content next week that we hope you all enjoy.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Frugal Fashionista: From Drab to Fab

Revive your wardrobe without buying a single thing! 

We are brainwashed from infancy to be consumers.  Everywhere you look you will see propaganda insisting that you NEED unnecessary products.  Don't buy in.  Declutter your life and live with less enough. Instead of buying more, you can use what you have in a different way. A good place to start is your wardrobe.

Accessorize dull clothing.

  • Make that sloppy top sleek and Chic with a belt. 
  • Don't underestimate the power of jewels.
  • Top it off.  Use a hat to create an elegant and eye catching ensemble.

Layer to achieve the look you want.

  • So, you didn't read the care tag, and now your shrunken dress barely covers your rump? Skinny jeans or leggings will do the trick!
  • Use belts, vests, or doubled shirts to turn that frumpy T-shirt into bohemian fashion. 

DIY projects: Altering clothing

  • Transform old-fashioned slacks or jeans into stylish summer shorts by cutting and hemming. 
  • Tie up sloppy sleeves to create the illusion of spaghetti straps. Use ribbon or fishing line.
  • Sew turquoise and clay beads onto boots to instantly create that oh-so-trendy Southwestern flair.

So, maybe the best place to look for a new style isn't at that new over priced boutique, but in your own closet.  Using what you have, instead of purchasing more is the greenest way to dress for less.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Sinus congestion cure

Breathe Easy With Natural Remedies

The worrying, melodramatic hypochondriac.  Everyone has a friend that fits into that category, and if you don't then it probably describes you. My sickly roommate happens to have allergies, a deviated septum, self diagnosed asthma, and migraines caused from sinus issues, and that's only the ailments from the chin up.  After listening to complaints about nasal congestion over breakfast, ......during the movie, ...........while working in the garden,.....and during lunch.......I finally got on the case. When I gave her this remedy, she had serious doubts. After I convinced her to try it I found that it actually kept the impending doom announcements down to a minimum. 
  1. First, boil 6 cups of water in a sauce pan.  Pour the water into a large bowl.
  2. Next, put several drops of rosemary and eucalyptus essential oil* into the bowl. 
  3. Place your face near the bowl and inhale the steam.  Placing a towel over your head and bowl will help direct the vapors. 

This herb team is beneficial to the nasal passages and helps clear sinus congestion.  My roommate exclaimed "My sinuses feel so relaxed!" after this remedy.  And finally, I too, could relax. All the ingredients in this recipe are natural and safe and that alone should make you breathe easy. 

* be sure that the oils are essential oils and NOT fragrance oils!

The Health Benefits of Pomegranates | Natural Health & Organic Living Blog

Pomegranates Aren't Just for Sangrias

I remember sitting on the porch at my grandmother's house peeling pomegranates while gazing out at the Arizona desert. Peeling pomegranates was like going on a treasure hunt. Carefully extracting those precious ruby jewels was hard work, but totally worth it. Here is an interesting article about the health benefits of Pomegranates that we thought was interesting. We have always loved pomegranates because of the delicious, sweet taste and now we have even more reason to enjoy that juicy red goodness! Click on the link below if you are interested in finding out the power behind this legendary exotic fruit.

The Health Benefits of Pomegranates | Natural Health & Organic Living Blog

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

We love natural grown food!

Farmer's Markets are the Way to Grow Go!

Gaze around any grocery store in your neighborhood and you will find a variety of different types of fruits and vegetables, but how much do you know about the produce? Labeling information is usually very scanty.  It commonly gives no description about how the produce was cared for or what types of chemicals were used.  That is why The Feisty Organics love to shop at local vegetable stands and farmers markets for vegetables that are natural grown. 
One farm that we are a fan of is Real Food Farms, which is located in Franklin, TN. Real Food Farms is a farm that truly cares about the type of produce they are growing. They grow fresh fruit, vegetables and eggs from cage free hens. Also, Real Food Farms grows food that is free from pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and genetic modification to ensure that their crops are fresh, healthy, and just a better quality overall.  
We love knowing where the foods we consume come from and we love Real Food Farms!

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Whole Foods
Real Food Farms

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Green Peppers
Looks Fresh to me ..what do you think?

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local farms
What we got!

Check your community paper for a listing of farmer's markets in your area or click here Farmers Market Search

Monday, July 9, 2012

Five ways you can help the Earth.

Earth, the last frontier, but what would happen if we earthlings did nothing to preserve Mother Earth and all her beauty? Would we survive? Could we survive? Those are tough questions that we will be forced to ask if we do not make the necessary changes to ensure a prosperous future. If you don't know where to start here are five simple things that we can do to help preserve the planet for us and future generations :

1.Buy Local:

Purchasing local goods creates more jobs while reducing environmental impact. Eliminating the transportation necessary for  non-local products can reduce pollution, reduce energy consumption, and reduce costs to businesses.  This savings may even be passed on consumers.  Supporting local business also helps provide economic stability in the community. One way to support local economy is to participate in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. 
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2. Go vegetarian once a week:

Eliminating meat from a meal once a week would not only benefit the environment,but also may improve your health. Food for thought: on average, it takes 11 times more fossil fuel to make one calorie of animal protein than plant protein. To find out more about energy consumption of food products Vegmondays is an informative resource.
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3. Secondhand is grand!:

There are all sorts of treasures waiting to be discovered at your neighborhood thrift stores and yard sales. In addition to saving money, this will also help reduce landfills.

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4.Use cruise control:

Cruise control, the most underused button in your car, pity...using cruise control could score you up to 15% better gas mileage...fuel is high...just saying.
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5. Combine Errands:

 Do you run around like a dizzy baboon to get those never-ending errands done for the day? Try keeping a to-do list on your refrigerator and adding to it throughout the week. Try to plan your trips to encompass as many of the tasks at once as possible. Or consider car pooling with family or friends. Reducing trips will save time, and is easier on your already
oh-so-skimpy change purse.

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Frugal Fashionista

Because frugal doesn't mean frumpy...

Fashionista Fridays....a celebration of truly living green.  Buying second hand is the "greenest" way to shop, but this doesn't mean that your clothing will be any less fashionable.

This little outfit is just perfect for a summer picnic.  Just add cucumber sandwiches, corn on the cob, and watermelon and you have a date! 

American Eagle shirt- $0.99 from Goodwill. 
Mossimo shorts-$1.00 yardsale. 
Total cost of outfit- $1.99

Keep yourself looking chic on the cheap.  Buy second hand, don't get caught up in name brands, and find new ways to wear classic styles.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Cucumber Sandwiches :Healthy DIY Meal

Cucumber Sandwiches

There is nothing as refreshing on a hot summer day as the taste of a homegrown cucumber.  I am picking four cucumbers a day from my vines, so I created this delicious recipe to use up some of those cylindrical beauties. 

Cucumber Sandwiches

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

I love natural Soap

While visiting Saint Augustine, Florida a couple of weeks ago with my amiga Tosha, I discovered Hickory Ridge Organics, which is an awesome soap and cosmetics boutique that specializes in making natural beauty products using ingredients that come from the earth. Most of the ingredients that are used in their products come from local organic farmers. The soaps range in price from $6.99 per 4 oz bar for a body soap- to $7.99 per 4 oz bar for facial soap. They also have a special. You can buy five bars for $30 and you can mix and match. Did I mention that with each purchase you get free samples of other soaps that they sell! Who doesn't love free!
 My personal favorite is the healing clay which is made from clay that comes from the mountains bordering France and Germany. I suffer from mild eczema and the healing clay leaves my skin feeling smooth and less irritated after using. If you are ever in St. Augustine, Florida you should definitely venture downtown and check their store out. If your not going to Florida anytime soon then you can browse their products online at 

 You should buy this product if..

  •  You are tired of commercial soap stores that use a lot of chemicals.
  •  Enjoy shopping at local small businesses.
  • You want products that are made with natural ingredients  
  • Organic
  • Vegan
  • Variety of soaps to choose from including 100% pure olive oil for sensitive skin
  • Smells amazing
  • Plain packaging
  • Only a few flavors of lip balm to choose from 

I give Hickory Ridge Organics a 2 out of 3 (green) thumbs up.  I love that they use all natural ingredients in their products, and offer soaps with medical benefits. 

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