#BPA Free: Water and Funnel Affects the Quality of a Good Cup of Coffee

Looking for a BPA free coffee maker that makes a tasty cup of coffee? What kind of coffee maker are you using now? I switched from a 4 cup Mr. Coffee to a 12 cup recycled (garage sale item) steel percolator. Love the taste of the coffee, but according to Bunn, the water is a major contributing factor for taste.

Chlorine, well, or filtered water will all have an effect on the taste of your morning (or afternoon) cup of java.

What kind of funnel do you use in your coffee maker – plastic or stainless steel? This will also affect your coffee taste.

Always opt for a stainless steel funnel over a plastic one, unless you know it’s BPA free. Reduce the toxins you ingest through your coffee by choosing stainless steel. Check out Bunn’s selection of steel filters for your Bunn coffee pot.


FAQ: Is Tupperware BPA Free? Part 2

This is Part 2 of a 2 part blog discussing frequently asked question about BPA free Tupperware plastic food containers.

Tupperware created a video discussing the harmful effects and government initiatives (in Canada and Britain, I believe). Watch this video and leave a comment on your thoughts about Tupperware’s sustainability and environmental initiatives.

Read FAQ: Is Tupperware BPA Free Part 1.

#BPA Free Leftovers: Glass Food Containers are Safer

Thanksgiving is over, but you probably still have plenty of leftovers to store or giveaway. Don’t run to your cupboards too quickly to store leftovers in those whipped topping and yogurt containers. Commercial food containers, especially those that contain dairy products are not good for reuse. Look at the bottom of the container and you are more likely to find a number 5 in the center of the triangle. Remember resin code 5 is not the safest plastic for storing food.

Some Rubbermaid and Tupperware plastic food containers are BPA free, but older versions are not. What’s the best way to store leftover food?


Glass food storage containers (with or without plastic lids) do not contain BPA (bisphenol-A), and are the safest way to store, freeze and reheat leftovers whether it’s from a big feast like Thanksgiving or today’s dinner. Opt for various sized containers from 1/2 cup to 3 cups or more. Rubbermaid and Anchor Hocking both have various sized glass containers with several lid color choices. One year for Christmas I received 3 sets of small to medium sized round glass storage containers, and they are still good today for freezing, reheating and stacking too. I use them in my lunches and when we travel – they are not much heavier than the old plastic ones either!

The safest way to clean plastic lids for glass food storage is hand-washing, however, some package sets do state it’s safe to wash plastic lids in your dishwasher. Ensure you read whether the lid is BPA free or not, so you know if you can use the lid in your microwave.


#BPA Free Thanksgiving: Avoid Canned Foods

Harmful Bisphenol-A Found in Many Canned Foods

I know many of you have probably already hit the grocery aisles for canned pumpkin, cranberry sauce, corn and more; however, there is a new report from the Breast Cancer Fund that states:

“tremendous variability in BPA levels in the canned foods we tested…consumers have no way of knowing how much BPA is in the canned food they’re buying and consuming.”

Canned Foods Do Contain BPA (not all cans in picture contain BPA).

Not only do certain kinds of plastics contain the harmful chemical BPA, but also the lining in many canned foods. The lining is more like a protective layer between the aluminum or steel and the food; however, different types of foods have different amounts of BPA within the linings, so as you open the 4 cans of creamed corn and 3 cans of green beans in preparation for casseroles, you could be ingesting higher levels of BPA without ever knowing it.

The Breast Cancer Fund’s goal is for food manufacturers to seek safer alternatives. BPA has been linked to breast cancer as well as several other health conditions found in food packaging and plastic food containers. Support the Cans Not Cancer campaign, and do your part by buying less canned food this holiday season (and throughout the year).

Canned Food Alternatives for Thanksgiving

1. Buy fresh local produce. You will be supporting local farmers and growers and have peace of mind that you’re giving back to your community.

2. Buy food in alternative packages. Choose frozen corn kernels and green beans for traditional Thanksgiving casseroles. Choose fresh mushrooms instead of canned and Tetra Pak cartons for vegetable stock and cream.

3. Plan other side dishes not made with canned food. Start preparing side dishes the day before and make them from scratch. Ask other friends or family members to help out or bring a dish to share.

Remember, just because it’s not listed as an ingredient or a warning on the label doesn’t mean BPA is not in your food. Be safe, be healthy and Happy Thanksgiving!

Drink to Your Health with Chamomile

Many benefits to drinking chamomile tea.

The weather is becoming cooler, so now is the time to curl up with a romantic movie and a hot mug of chamomile tea.

Chamomile known for its calming and relaxation effects has several other health benefits too including stomach aches, digestion and congestion.

Read more about the Benefits of Chamomile Tea and enter the giveaway by November 23, 2011 too!

**Do not drink chamomile tea if you are allergic to the flower or any plant in this category. Consult with your doctor if you have questions about chamomile.**


Natural Cures for a Cold: Stage 2 – Sinus Congestion

Even if you only get a cold once or twice a year, natural remedies are cheaper and better for your body than prescription or over-the-counter cold elixirs. Here are a few of my tried and true remedies for clearing sinuses and chest congestion.

Even if you only get a cold once or twice a year, natural remedies are cheaper and better for your body than prescription or over-the-counter cold elixirs.

As an allergy sufferer for nearly 11 months out of the year, sinus and chest congestion seem to always creep back when my allergies are at their worst. This is the second part in a series of 4 blog posts about curing a cold naturally. Here are a few of my tried and true remedies for clearing sinuses and chest congestion.

Garlic. Minced or chopped raw garlic (allow to set for 15 minutes to allow healthy compounds to be more potent) on toast or crackers consumed 4-5 times a day will loosen phlegm in your chest and help you breathe better. I’ve had 2 people testify that they could feel a difference after only 1 intake of raw garlic and toast.

Vitamin C. Combined with raw garlic, these two natural cures are just as potent as a prescribed antibiotic. Both can stave off colds and flu-like symptoms quicker than common cold elixirs and tablets. See Stage 1 Natural Cures for recommended doses of Vitamin C when your body is fighting a cold.

Saline Nasal Wash/Spray. Common store bought versions like the NetiPot (or bottle w/ syringe) come with pre-measured packets of a salt-baking soda mixture and a nasal wash bottle. I’ve used these in the past and they last for several washes. You can also mix your own nasal wash using 1/4 teaspoon pure salt (should be iodine free) such as pickling salt without the alum and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Mix this together with warm, not hot water, and using a bulb syringe or Neti pot, flush one nostril at a time (allow water to run out of other nostril). It will feel funny going up into your nasal passages at first – somewhat like getting water in your nose while swimming. Blow your nose after each nasal rinse and you should start feeling better after just a few times.

Hot drinks. Whether it’s your favorite Green Tea, Lemon Hot Toddie, hot chocolate or grandmother’s secret recipe, hot drinks are good for loosening phlegm in both your sinuses and chest. Lots of liquids will help your body eliminate congestion and keep you hydrated while those antibodies are hard at work.


BPA FAQ: Which Plastic Food Containers are BPA Free?

Lately, I’ve been receiving numerous questions about which plastics contain BPA and which do not. I’d like to address 3 general tips about determining which plastics are BPA free.

BPA Questions

Lately, I’ve been receiving numerous questions about which plastics contain BPA and which do not. I’d like to address some general tips about determining which plastics are BPA free.

1. Check labels. Just as you check labels for salt, sugar and fat content, check the bottoms of plastic food containers for the resin code (number within the recycle symbol). Those plastic containers most likely to contain BPA are #3, 6 & 7. (Read more info about plastic resin codes here.) Also, check tags on products designed to be used with food such as coffee makers, plastic storage containers, blenders, coffee grinders, microwave ovens, etc. Oftentimes, these products will include a tag or label that designates the item as “BPA free.” If it doesn’t explicitly state that it is BPA free, then I’d suggest buy another brand.

2. No resin codes. Older plastic food containers such as those from Tupperware, Rubbermaid and others may not have a resin code on the bottom. Tupperware has included an informative page on their website indicating which product lines are specifically BPA free. Contact the company/manufacturer directly if you’re unsure of BPA content. I use older Tupperware containers to hold non-food items since they are not recycle-friendly.

3. Plastics to avoid. BPA (biphensol-A) commonly found in plastic food containers, packaging, household products and other plastic items is more harmful if used in plastic food containers. Avoid any plastic product that is used with food to lessen your exposure to this harmful chemical. Do not heat plastic containers in the microwave or use food containers that have scratches; these could potentially leach BPA into your food as well.

Questions? Ask here and I will attempt to answer or direct you to the answer.

#Green News: Cleveland Startup Unveils Delicious & Nutritious Chocolate Protein Bar

Top-Selling Bar at Heinen’s; Second Place Winner at COSE small-business competition

A candy bar that’s good for you? No way! you say, but you better believe it- Good Greens has created a local and truly revolutionary product that everyone can love. Gluten free, vegan, low glycemic and dairy free, our bars are perfect for celiacs, vegans and diabetics, and anyone who wants a delicious healthy whole food bar.

Recently, Good Greens placed second in the COSE small business competition among four finalists. The company pitched their business plan and market results to a panel of judges that included ABC Shark Tank’s Daymond John. The team took home a $10,000 check and got to mingle with great new Cleveland entrepreneurs.

PurUs Health, LLC, founded in 2011 by Keith Pabley, is the maker of Good Greens products. Formerly ZingGo! this company has rebranded and is running better than ever. Located in Shaker Heights, our office is buzzing with a team hard at work. The company, established in May, has already gotten their four flavors of bars (Chocolate Coconut, Chocolate Raspberry, Chocolate Peanut Butter and Wildberry) into Heinen’s, Marc’s, Dave’s, Mustard Seed, Liquid Planet, Kr0eger’s, as well as online at Amazon.com, Alice.com, through their Facebook store and on their own website.

The products patented Z-52 superfood powder is the powerhouse behind the unbelievable nutrition of Good Greens bars- the secret sauce, if you will. This powder is packed with dehydrated fruits and vegetables and vitamins that most people don’t get in their daily diets. Good Greens powder is easy to mix into any drink, or even to cook with, and the bars are the best option on the market when you need to grab-and-go.

At Good Greens we believe that there should be a simple and delicious way to get the nutrients your body needs. From toddlers to seniors, we want to supply every body with the vitamins, probiotics and antioxidants that it deserves. In a world where there never seems to be enough time to eat healthy, Good Greens is here to remedy the fast food situation. We offer you real whole food, natural and organic bars that taste delicious and give you the energy you need to take on the day.

**The following news release was sent to me personally. As of posting, I have not received any product or compensation for posting this PR. Although I look forward to trying one of these tempting Good Greens’  bar myself.**

Vegetarian Black Bean and Tofu Chili Recipe

I’m sharing my famous Sneaky November Chili minus the ground beef. This crock pot favorite will sure put your mouth on fire, so be sure to have a cold beer or bread nearby to cool your taste buds.

Ingredients (Only approximate measurements here…suit to your tastes)

1 28 oz can stewed tomatoes

Spicy Vegetarian Black Bean and Tofu Chili

2 cans black beans
1 can chili or dark red beans
1 can tomato paste
2 T Oregano
1 T Chili Powder
2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 tsp Salt
Garlic cloves
1-2 chopped onions
1-2 chopped green peppers (or use red roasted peppers)
Garlic Salt
1 package extra firm tofu (I cut into cubes and fried for extra firmness)

Put all ingredients into a crock pot and allow to simmer for 6 to 8 hours.

Add 1/4 cup red wine or favorite liquor for an extra spicy kick on the way down an hour before ready to serve.

Serve with shredded cheese, crackers, crusty bread, etc.

Freeze leftovers or eat within 3 days.

Beware this will be spicy after it leaves your mouth!