Archive for ‘tips’

October 12, 2011


I love cooking.  If I had the time, I would cook every meal from scratch, going to the market for specific ingredients and eating things hot off the stove [this has become especially true since we got rid of the microwave!].  But life doesn’t quite work that way.  And my farmer’s market is only open on Saturday mornings.

To make things easier on myself during the week, I like to take some extra time during the weekend to wash and prep a few of our favorite fruits and veg.  It makes it ten times easier to make a healthy meal when everything is set up nicely for me. 


When we’re especially in a rush but don’t have much time to cook, Ben and I will make protein smoothies with frozen fruit, spirulina/dark leafy greens, maca root, and chia seeds.  I usually just mix my protein powder with water [I’ve really been loving this all-natural ProEnergy supplement!], but Ben’s smoothies usually contain some frozen banana or berries and maybe a bit of nut butter to up the calorie content. 

To freeze bananas for smoothies [or muffins or whatever], first peel and slice the bananas and place them in the freezer on a cookie sheet.  Once they’re frozen through, place them in a ziploc or tupperwear in the freezer.  Freezing them in small pieces ensures that they won’t stick together, so you can pull one piece out at a time rather than having to work with a huge hunk of banana-mush. 


Another thing you’ll always find in our fridge is some type of dark leafy green [usually kale, chard, and/or spinach].  Kale preparation isn’t difficult, but it does feel time-consuming after a long day’s work.

To prep kale for the week, de-stem the leaves and tear them into small pieces, then rinse and spin-dry. 


Place the clean, dry kale pieces in a ziploc or air-tight container with a paper towel at the bottom, and you’ll have kale ready for the week! 


Do you have any time-saving prep tips?  I’m always looking for ways to be more efficient! 

Aloha Pumehana.
Whether you’re here to find balance, wholesome recipes or inspiration, I hope you enjoy the posts.  Please subscribe to Green Plate Dinners to receive automatic updates and be the first to read new posts for free!

September 27, 2011

How To: Make Your Own All-Purpose Cleaner

As a kid, I always wondered why the women in commercials wore gloves while washing dishes [my grandma used to explain that people on the mainland liked their hands to be soft].  It completely confused me because I was definitely one of those kids who used to scrub the tub with bleach, comet, and basin-tub-and-tile cleaner barefoot and gloveless [this may explain a lot].  I remember having to run outside to stop the world from spinning afterwards, but I never imagined those experiences being harmful to me.

As an adult, I have made it my utmost priority to live a life that is both simple and significant, and a large part of that is being responsible for my health and body.  Together, Ben and I work hard to create a home that is both functional and conscious, which is why I’ve started really paying attention to the products we purchase and bring into our home.

I started researching the effects of chemicals on the human body a while back.  I was shocked to learn that many every day products contain unnecessary hazardous chemicals that have extremely harmful effects.  It was then that Ben and I decided to start using more naturally-derived products.


[Random fact: Ben + I have two different hand soaps because it is one of the only cleaning products we have opposing opinions about.  Ben needs his soap to be anti-bacterial while I would rather not become immune to super-viruses.]

While it is important to me to have products be both environmentally friendly and non-toxic, it is also important to me that these products actually work, especially when it comes to cleaners.  This all-purpose cleaner is all of the above, with the added benefit of being cheap and all-natural!  I use this on our counters, floors, and walls, as well as in the bathroom.  Of course, another option for an all-purpose cleaner is the simple 1:1 ratio of vinegar : baking soda, but the following recipe has a few added benefits.


All-Purpose Cleaner


  • 2 Tbsp white vinegar – cleanser, deodorizer + grease-cutter
  • 1 tsp liquid castile soap – basic gentle, non-toxic, cruelty-free soap that’s great for cleaning
  • 1 tsp borax – natural mineral disinfectant + cleanser
  • 2 c hot water
  • 1/4 tsp essential oil [Optional] – Eucalyptus, lavender + tea tree are all antibacterial, antimocrobial + antiviral

[*I found borax in my local drugstore’s laundry soap aisle, and both the castile soap and essential oils at my local health food store.]IMG_7374

Mix everything in a spray container [I reused an old container].

Spray onto surface [this is good for all surfaces except glass], scrub, and wipe off with a cloth or rag.

No more headaches!  I actually love using this to clean, as the oils smell so good!  Smile

Do you make your own cleaning products?  What works for you?

Have a great Tuesday, friends!  I’m off to get more studying done [save me, please!].

Aloha Pumehana. Whether you’re here to find balance, wholesome recipes or inspiration, I hope you enjoy the posts.  Please subscribe to Green Plate Dinners to receive automatic updates and be the first to read new posts for free!


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 67 other followers