Archive for ‘tips’

October 12, 2011

Prepping

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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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! 

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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.

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[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.

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All-Purpose Cleaner

[ingredients]

  • 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!

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