Monday, May 23, 2011

Pumpkin Enzyme Masque - DIY

Do-it-yourself healthy masque; Pumpkin Enzyme. Great anytime of the year and for any skin type; especially mature and dry skin. A very relaxing masque Pumpkin's main ingredient is enzyme which helps fight dry air with Vitamins A and C, as well as zinc and beneficial alpha-hydroxy acids. If you use a pumpkin puree, you wont lose any essential enzymes during the canning process.
What you will need: 
1/4 c pumpkin puree
1 tbsp plain yogurt
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
3 tsp honey
juice of 1/2 lemon
Combine all above ingredients in blender or with wooden spoon. Apply a thick layer all over your face, be careful to avoid the eyes and mouth. Leave it on your face for about 10 minutes and then gently remove with a washcloth and warm water and maybe a cleanser for your skin type. For drier climates you might want to try this twice week.
Pumpkin Enzyme masques are also beneficial for exfoliating the surface skin (which is dead). You don't want the build up on your face with makeup, dirt and oils.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Going Vegan?

No meat, no poultry, no eggs, no fish, no dairy, no animal products of any kind.  For some, a vegan diet is unimaginable; for others it is a path to good health.
You may like the idea of a Meatless Monday or a No-Face Friday, taking one day out of every week to skip meat and eat only plant foods, no food from anything that ever had eyes, ears or a nose. But could you give up bacon and eggs, grilled chicken, teriyaki beef and ice cream for the rest of your life? Should you?
The American Dietetic Association (ADA) says that a vegan diet is healthful, and may even provide benefits in the prevention and treatment of some diseases, as long as it is well designed to include all the nutrients you need, in the amounts you need. A healthful vegetarian diet is low in saturated fat and cholesterol and includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, soy foods, fiber and other substances found only in plant foods. Overall, vegetarians have lower blood pressure and lower blood levels of LDL or "bad" cholesterol. Your risk of developing chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, ischemic heart disease and cancer may be lower if you follow a well-planned vegan diet.
A vegan diet could be short on nutrients normally found in much higher amounts or only in animal products, such as protein, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin D, iodine and vitamin B-12. But it doesn't have to. As long as you eat a wide variety of foods over the course of each day, you will most likely get all the amino acids you need to provide your body with building blocks for making protein. Although fish oils are thought to be a better source, crushed flaxseeds and flaxseed oil also give your body the materials it needs to make omega-3 fatty acids With so many fortified foods on the market, however, there is little risk of a vitamin or mineral deficiency on a vegan diet. Breakfast cereals, bread spreads, fruit juices, pasta and soy products have added B vitamins, vitamin D, calcium, iron, zinc and other essential minerals. If you eat a lot of commercial food products that are enriched or fortified with vitamins and minerals, along with a wide variety of whole foods that are naturally rich in essential nutrients, you may never need to take a supplement.
A plant-based diet is also healthy for the planet. Large-scale industrial farms that raise most livestock today emit toxins into the air, directly from animal waste products and from the processing of meat for human consumption. Because growing and processing plant foods has minimal effect on air quality, a vegan diet is considered the most energy efficient type of diet humans can consume and, of all types of diets, contributes the least to the "greenhouse effect," according to researchers at the University of Chicago.
Craig,Winston et al., Position of the American Dietetic Association: Vegetarian Diets. Journal of the American Dietetic Association; July 2009; 109(7) Web. 10 Mar 2011.
The University of Chicago News Office: Study-Vegan Diets Healthier for the Planet. 8 Jul 2009. Web. 10 Mar 2011.

(written by Susan McQuillan) 

Eat veggies to get a Tan?

By now you should have heard about the dangers of tanning booths—skin cancer and eye damage, to name just two. But here's something to try, and its healthy!
According to the Journal Evolution and Human Behavior, munching on carrots and tomatoes is the best way to get your skin looking sun-kissed. Other skin-friendly vegetables include leafy greens such as spinach, and organically grown produce since these churn out higher levels of antioxidants.
According to Ian Stephen from the School of Psychology, University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus,, "Most people think the best way to improve skin color is to get a suntan, but our research shows that eating lots of fruit and vegetables is actually more effective."
This is because of a substance found in vegetables called carotenoids. It's an antioxidant that helps soak up damaging compounds produced by the stresses and strains of everyday life. Carotenoids are also responsible for the red coloring found in certain fruits and vegetables. An added benefit is that it promotes the immune and reproductive system.
Dermatologist Amy Wechsler, MD also notes that vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, and also phytochemicals, which is a protective plant substance that may benefit humans as well. Additionally, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help replenish your natural antioxidant stores, protect sun-exposed skin, ward off wrinkles, and even cut your risk of skin cancer. The abundance of vitamin C in these foods is also beneficial in the production of collagen. Vitamin C is also an anti-aging agent and minimizes skin thinning and dryness.
If loading up up on veggies feels a bit intimidating, try increasing your intake gradually. In the meantime, opt for sunless tanning products- most do-it-yourself tanners contain a nontoxic sugar called dihydroxyacetone. This way, get the even, glowing skin you want without putting your health in harm's way.

(This article was written by Elizabeth Sanchez)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Take Aim at Breast Cancer, Paintball Tournament

Fantasy of Flight: "Take Aim at Breast Cancer"
                     Oct. 23-24, 2010     10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.
During the 2010 Paintball Sports Promotion (PSP) World Cup Paintball Tournament held at Fantasy of Flight, guests can contribute to the fight to find a cure for breast cancer. For a small donation, guests will be able to fire a round of pink paintballs at a canvas that will eventually become a work of art.  A portion of the funds collected will be donated to the Orlando Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Local Winter Haven artist, Tony Trotti, has agreed to donate his talent to creating art out of the paintball splattered canvases which will be donated to the Cassidy Center at Winter Haven Hospital to be auctioned off at their annual gala on Nov. 4th, 2010.  Community partners include Paintball Sports Promotion (PSP), Off the Wall Adventures, Inc., Procaps Direct and Artist Tony Trotti.
Cost:  Spectators receive free entry to the PSP World Cup.  $10 donation for each round.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

LeNordik Spa

Beautiful log chalets welcome you! A wonderful respite for women, couples and even corporate retreats. They can accommodate more than 200 people at this beautiful spa. LeNordik Spa isn't your normal destination spa, although it might become it. Basque in the glow of the sunlight as you step into your spacious and elegant chalet. Feel the tension drain from your body as you put on your bathing suit. Grab your sandals and plush robe, then meander across the road to the spa. Feel welcomed as you are greeted and given a bottle of water and a towel at reception. No watches. No blackberries or cell phones. Leave the laptops locked away and embark on your relaxation and rejuvenation adventure.
Step inside the eucalyptus steam room and sweat it out for 15 minutes if you can. Just keep reminding yourself how good this is for your body and how wonderful you will feel afterwards. Walk back outside to the 58 degree pool and take a quick plunge, stand under the waterfall if you dare. Then meander over to one of the peaceful relaxation areas; comfy chairs indoors or out, with a fireplace. Turn on the sunlamp if you need more heat to dry and listen to the spa music. Embrace the moment. Live for now. Allow your body to unwind, decompress and just be. Lay by one of the pools, in a gazebo or lightly swing in a hammock chair. Sip your refreshing water or maybe a green tea.
Pre-arrange your massage or body treatment at the spa. Enjoy your leisurely walk through the spa garden as you meet your massage therapist. Undress and sink into a massage table with aromatherapy for your 60 or 90 minute blissful treatment.
After your therapeutic massage, feel free to dine in your bathrobe. It's all good! From healthy entrees to chocolate fondue, we won't tell!
The bathes are open until 10 pm. Feel free to take another excursion into the steam, or dry saunas, the pools, dont' worry, one is actually 98 degrees. Then allow the breeze to gently dry you off, or don your robe and return to your fabulous chalet! Ensconced in your domain, watch a movie on the plasma tv, listen to music and play foosball, or just sit and read by the fireplace.

Plan your escape now to LeNordik Spa. Get away for a weekend or more. Your body, mind and soul require it.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


It's becoming more mainstream. Glamping - luxury camping or glamourous camping. Glamping is for those who want to spend time outdoors, but with luxury amenities, like a real bed and not a rolled up blanket on pine needles.
    One hide-away can be found on a private island, off the coast of Georgia, Eagle Island ( Definitely a five-moon glamping experience. Arrive by boat and you are the only human inhabitants on the island.  Experience the call of the wild as you sit by the campfire, rock in a hammock, fish off the dock or birdwatch from your front porch. Your accommodations are more than comfortable in a beautiful, handmade log cabin, two stories with a wraparound porch, indoor fireplace and a spa on the first deck (outside). There's even a beautiful, double-shower under the staircase, outdoors. Have an oyster boil, grill your fresh catch and relax under the stars. You must bring your own food in with you (for additional fee, food can be catered to your remote island getaway, low country boil, etc.).

Ever wish you were Tarzan or Jane? Want to spend the night in a treehouse? Then you want to head north, to Quebec. Experience Earth-Sea-Sky-River and more at Parc Aventures Capjaseux Fjord du Saguenay.  ( Enjoy a beautiful view of the fjord from your own treehouse, approximately 75 meters above ground. When the wind blows, the tree rocks you to sleep. There is no electricity, or plumbing in the treehouse, however you will have a bed, chair, table, battery-operated lamp and a porch with a spectacular view. You have to hike a little ways up a hill to get to the tree where the tree house is built, not for the faint at heart. 

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Cleaner, Greener Home

People used to laugh at their friends when they said they were going green, or trying to do more than just recycle. Not anymore, with Americans using up so much of the earth's fossil fuels, alternatives are being sought for a cleaner, healthier life and lifestyle.

1.    Loofah sponges make great tools for other work, other than being used in your shower on your body. They are great at exfoliating the skin. Loofah is a plant. It’s environmental and vegan friendly product, and you can grow your own! Not only are they useful in the bathroom, they are helpful in the kitchen for cleaning; from counter tops and dishes to cleaning vegetables.  Loofahs can be used as mats, slippers and insoles.  One project in Paraguay found a way to mix loofah with plastic waste to construct inexpensive panels for walls and roofing for building houses.
2.     Eucalyptus oil – The Eucalyptus tree is very useful; providing timber for building, cover and windbreaks in poor country, firewood, nectar for bees to produce honey, landscaping, pulp and even food. However, it is best known for producing Eucalyptus oil, which is steam distilled form the leaves of certain species. Aside from medicinal uses, eucalyptus oil can be used with water and washing soap for cleaning. Works well on surfaces and for removing fingers marks that are hard to remove from laminex finishes. Can also be used as a general disinfectant for toilets; to remove sticker/decal residue from glass; remove paint, grease and ink from clothes; good bug repellent for plants; stainless steel cleaner.
3.     Soapnuts – natural detergent. Soapnuts are a small yellow-brown fruit that contain a black seed. The shells contain a substance called saponin, this dissolves in water to form suds and can dissolve fats and oils and help to lift grime.  Soapnuts can also be used in greywater and blackwater recycling systems. Two to three teaspoons of soapnut powder can replace your normal washing detergent and fabric softener. A cotton bag containing a few shells will last up to 3-4 washes and you can save up to 50% on normal washing detergent. Soapnuts can be used as  a shampoo, or body wash; used for washing dishes, polishing jewelry and sprayed on plants to deter pests; washing cars, floors and windows.
4.     All purpose green cleaner. With a spray bottle, (32 oz) and water, add white distilled vinegar. Be sure to check some vinegar is synthesized from petroleum. Add a few drops of lemongrass essential oil to help mask the vinegar odor, Lemomgrass also has an anti-bacterial property. You can also use Tea Tree oil which has anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. Add a few drops of earth friendly dishwashing liquid. This is necessary to clean mirrors and glass streak-free where commercial glass cleaners have been used previously. Once the build-up is gone, dishwashing liquid isn’t necessary. This can be used windows, mirrors, floors, some carpet, clothing, upholstery stain, chrome, cleaning stainless steel and porcelain and clean toilet area.
5.     Plastic. Buy totes and the bags sold at grocery stores and Walgreens that you can use over and over to carry your purchases home to prevent using plastic bags. There are a lot of plastic bags and other packaging materials that can probably be avoided. Buying fresh produce and veggies and freezing or canning your own, is a more wholesome alternative.
6.     Storage, decluttering. I’ve found that it’s very easy to accumulate a lot of magazines and stuff. By cancelling magazine subscriptions you may not have time to read, when you can read them online, or at the library; save money and the landfills. You can also donate current, gently used magazines to libraries, doctors offices, etc. Slowing the progression of direct mail and paper accumulation in your home can save you time, money and having to store them. De-cluttering also frees up your mind, knowing your tables, countertops and desks aren’t covered with catalogs, magazines and such.
7.     Composting. Yard trimmings and food residuals combined constitute 26 percent of US municipal waste. Organic composting materials can be beneficial for your yard and garden. There are many online resources for composting and check with your local municipality.
8.     Renewable energy rebates. Pricing is steadily decreasing for solar panels. Some governments are offering rebates, grants and other financial incentives to homeowners and businesses for renewable energy. Our local power company offers an incentive, as well as a homeowner rebate if you install an energy efficient water heater, instead of the usual gas. If you do some research you may find a database of state incentives as well as federal. Try going to Green Made Simple to find local residential energy efficiency rebates by entering your zip code.
9.     Electricity. Electricity travels over miles of transmission lines to get to our homes, it experiences resistance as a result, some of its energy is lost- usually as heat. For every 10 tons of coal burned for electricity generation, up to one ton is lost just through the line loss issue. According to an article in National Geographic, the amount of line loss experienced annually in the US is enough tor run 14 cities the size of New York. Some solutions: refrigerated superconducting transmission lines that will provide zero resistance are being worked on; home grid connect solar power systems make sense; a grid connect inverter, the box that converts DC voltage from solar panels into AC voltage for use by your appliances, although not 100% efficient, its still greener than your local environmentally unfriendly coal fired power station, nuclear power plant or even a renewable energy based facility such as a wind or solar farm located some distance away. Rain water harvesting is catching on too.
10. Use programmable thermostat for heating and cooling. Replace light bulbs with CFLs, also by cutting food waste. Also, idling your car would save a lot in carbon pollution.
T      There are many resources available to help you get started today on being green! And leaving your neighbors green with envy! There are many green, or organic products on the market today to keep your family health and our earth. You can find products such as Mrs. Meyers to other products.
      I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Mrs. Meyer’s blogging program, making me eligible to get a $30 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.” (make sure you link to: