Getting Healthy with #Plexus

What is Gut Health?

“I never knew how unhealthy I was, until I felt healthy.” This is a common reaction from people who started using Plexus Worldwide products, including *myself. I was skeptic, but I am lactose intolerant and gluten-sensitive so many things I eat make me feel bloated or constipated. I thought I’d try the supplements.

“Healthy Gut. Healthy Life” is Plexus’ tagline and it’s true. There’s more toxic buildup in your gut than in any other organ. Clean your gut, and you’ll feel more energized, the bloat and full feeling goes away after eating, you may notice other symptoms lessen, and a positive side effect is you’ll lose inches (if needed) and/or experience some weight loss. There’s medical science that our bodies are full of toxins – from food, the environment, etc. Dr. Mark Hyman lists several ailments that are the result of toxins. Do you feel miserable or lack energy or suffer from allergies, stomach cramps, constipation/diarrhea, fibromyalgia or any of the other ailments listed?

It’s important to detox our bodies a few times a year or more, but also to alter our eating and exercise habits in between to keep our guts clear and energy high.

Why Choose Plexus Supplements?

live-love-plexus

Why take Plexus products?

  • American company (Scottsdale, AZ), relatively new
  • All the ingredients are listed on every bottle
  • ProBio5 (probiotic) has live active cultures at time of manufacture and I don’t have to refrigerate it
  • BioCleanse is a combination of Vitamin C, Magnesium, and Plexus proprietary blend of fruit/veggies (that’s it!).
  • No ingredient listed is harmful according to FDA guidelines
  • These are health supplements NOT diet pills (not everyone loses weight)
  • Backed by science and thousands of users
  • 60 day Money-back guarantee!
  • Be a customer, consumer, and independent company Ambassador (you can make money with very little investment, but the real value is your health)
  • It worked for me, and I can share my experience with others too! I’m not a skeptic anymore!

I love the results of Plexus supplements.

I was taking magnesium and a probiotic before starting Plexus with some success, but I needed a stronger probiotic that could counteract the lactose and gluten sensitivity I experienced daily. Sometimes it’s not enough to avoid these types of foods or too expensive to buy foods without them. I found relief in Plexus TriPlex (Plexus Slim, BioCleanse, and ProBio5) for awhile and initially lost 6 inches before I ever lost pounds. However, I stopped taking the Slim and now take BioCleanse and ProBio5 on a daily basis to maintain weight loss, energy and keep my gut healthy along with MegaX (Omega 3, 6, and 9), which replaces the Fish Oil (1000 mg) I was taking and occasionally Plexus Block before higher carb meals (it blocks nearly 50% of carb intake).

There are 12 primary supplements that Plexus Worldwide markets in addition to a BreastChek kit and combo packages. They are safe for children and also include Plexus XFactor™ Family Chewables.

 

*I am a consumer and product Ambassador for Plexus Worldwide health supplements, but I have not received any type of compensation for this article.

Disclaimer: Individual results may vary. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

#BPA Free: What’s the Correlation Between Organic and BPA Free Canned Food?

Bisphenol-A aka BPA is a synthetic hormone (a component of epoxy resin – eww! reminds me of glue) found in many food grade plastics, canned goods, and paper (like bank receipts), which  has been linked to illnesses such as cancer, developmental disabilities, heart disease, and more. Several studies have been conducted to determine levels in our bodies and conclusive evidence suggests that almost all people surveyed had some level of BPA in their system.

But what does the U. S. government consider a “safe level“? And how do we know what our level is?

From touching your ATM bank receipt to drinking from plastic water bottles and eating canned goods, you are exposing you and your family to this toxic chemical. Canned goods with a white lining or resin code 7 (inside the triangle) are suspect to BPA.

White can linings are likely to have Bisphenol-A, a resin that has been linked to numerous illnesses.

After reading more about BPA lined canned goods, I wondered if there is a correlation between government labeled “organic” brands and BPA free canned goods.

Some of my research findings below:

1. Don’t judge or trust a can by its label! Even though a canned food states it’s “BPA free” it is not always true – even organic brands.

2. Type of canned food, not always brand specific, contain inner linings with BPA. An organic or non-organic brand produces several types of food products, but only selected canned food products may or may not contain the toxic chemical.

3. Safe levels are outdated and inconclusive. One study in 2008 suggested that “0.0024 micrograms per kilogram of body weight” was a safe level for humans (study was done on lab animals), but that study’s results were tossed with the wind in 2009 since it probably contained skewed data from the plastics industry. (Concern over canned foods, Consumer Reports, 2009.)

4. Highest levels of BPA (parts per billion – ppb) were found in green beans and soup according to a Consumer Reports study. And Con-Agra (not by far organic!) was the worst offender for BPA levels.

5. Some, not all, organic brands use BPA free metal cans. Some brands include

  • Eden Foods (BPA free since 1997)
  • Muir Glen tomatoes
  • Amy’s (since 2012)
  • Some Trader Joe products
  • Whole Foods 365 canned goods (only 27% are BPA free)
  • Farmer’s Market Foods (canned pumpkin, pie fillings)
  • Annie’s
  • Earth’s Best Organic
  • Imagine

Download and print a free BPA Free Canned Food Pocket Guide from BPA Free Canned Good blog.

Alternatives to canned foods are fresh, frozen or dried varieties. Although plastic packaging for frozen foods are not always BPA free, the levels are likely much lower than those found in metal cans. Plastic containers that are “safe for the microwave use” likely have higher levels of BPA as well.

Best bet? Buy fresh and can food yourself in BPA free glass jars or freeze for future use. DO NOT heat reusable plastic food containers or those plastic microwave meals! You are more likely to get a higher dose of BPA in your food than using glass containers. And remove those plastic lids from glass containers before reheating too!

Did I miss a brand or health issue related to BPA? Please comment below, I’m always looking for more insight.

Pope Francis Pushes for Environmental Climate Change to Save the Poor

Pope Francis sets to transform climate change, wealth and poverty in light of environmental issues Thursday, June 18.

Pope Francis will address climate change and its effects on the world’s poverty.

Halleujah! Pope Francis, dare I say, “endorses” protecting the environment for the poor and the world for all of mankind this week.

Peter Turkson, the president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and close to the Pope, said in a recent speech, “I think a question that we are not asking ourselves is: isn’t humanity committing suicide with this indiscriminate and tyrannical use of nature? Safeguard creation because, if we destroy it, it will destroy us. Never forget this.”

The Pope’s letter will address much more than environmental issues, but also important matters to all of humanity. This is a letter that will speak volumes not only to Catholics but all of mankind. Archbishop Pedro Barreto Jimeno of Peru, one of the Pope’s advisors was quoted:

It will address the issue of inequality in the distribution of resources and topics such as the wasting of food and the irresponsible exploitation of nature and the consequences for people’s life and health.

The Pope’s letter comes at an opportune time, since he’ll be meeting with U. S. President Obama in September before his address to the US Congress and the UN general assembly concerning emissions among other controversial topics.

Read the entire article from The Guardian.

Planting an Eclectic Organic #Garden

I do not have a “green thumb” and all my organic gardening attempts have been experiments. This is my 3rd year of experimenting with growing veggies, herbs and flowers in a small space and without use of pesticides. If nothing dies, I feel successful.

A couple ideas I have incorporated into my organic garden experience this year began at the end of last season. First, I wrote down a simple list of plants and how well they did. Second, I wrote down what I wanted to plant again the following year. Third, I collected seeds from local farm produce I bought throughout the summer to plant the following summer. And finally, I read, Pinned, and read more about gardening ideas throughout the winter and spring months.

This year, I didn’t plant as much. However, what I did plant will be abundant – bell peppers and herbs. I didn’t plant any flowers last year, but my next door neighbor did. I wanted my front space to look equally as appealing and under the old mulch was an abundance of hard working earthworms. Why let good soil be covered by mulch again?

I planted spinach, cucumber, red bell pepper and cantaloupe with the seeds I collected last summer. The cucumber seeds have sprouted already! And I built a simple vertical herb garden with 2 steel buckets I found at various flea markets last year. (My favorite part of the garden this year.) Also, found a couple used window boxes and ceramic drainage sections to use.

vertical-garden-2015
Vertical Herb garden with 2 stainless steel buckets and organic soil.

One failed attempt last year was use of pallets, but I’m reusing them this year as a trellis for the viney plants. Another idea was to plant onions that had already started to sprout in my cupboard. Celery can also be started in water, then transferred to the ground.

It’s my eclectic garden this year. Some new ideas, a few old ideas, but all an experiment in a little space.

What have you tried with success or failed attempts to grow?

What is a #CSA Food Share?

csa-food-share-box
An example of a CSA Food Share

Community Supported Agriculture, CSA, is a way to buy produce, eggs and sometimes farm raised meat directly from a local/regional farm.

You, the customer, invest in a “share” ahead of the planting season to guarantee your food harvest in the spring/summer months. Monies go towards seeds, planting and harvesting so that you get farm to table fresh food every week during the season.

One local CSA in Northwest Ohio is Riehm Farms. It’s family owned and run near Tiffin, Ohio.

A regional CSA is Yellowbird Food Shed, a partnership of area farms in Ohio and Tennessee that deliver food shares throughout Ohio.

CSA Facts and FAQs

Why should I invest in a CSA?
When you join a CSA, you make a choice to help create a sustainable food system and you have a whole season to fresh, quality food that was grown with intention and close to your home.

Locally grown vs store bought?
A CSA share is locally produced, it is rich in the valuable nutrients and flavor that is lost in transit when food is shipped from thousands of miles away.

More variety than store bought produce.
Small family farms plan a diverse variety of food that they grow on their land. This offers so many more choices that have been ignored due to the industrialized farming model. Not only is the food fresh, but regional farms offer local artisan products and heirloom varieties that you would not find at a store.

Less toxic chemicals including pesticides are used on crops.
Many CSAs use sustainable methods without the use of harsh chemicals, including  pesticides. While CSAs are not labeled certified organic by the federal government, they are in the truest sense, organically grown.

Develop a relationship with the farmer who grows your food.
Have questions about what’s in your weekly food share? Not sure how to store or use the food share? This is your opportunity to talk to the people who grow your food. Establish a relationship, and learn more about the food you’re eating. You cannot get this information if you buy it from a grocery or big box store.

 

Simple Breakfast #Recipe: Pampered Chef Brownie Pan Omelettes

A simple recipe for mini omelettes using the Pampered Chef Brownie Pan with veggies on hand and cheese. Bake for 20 minutes and they’re ready!

I’m soo excited to finally use my brownie pan from Pampered Chef.  After seeing so many delicious recipes on Pinterest and Pampered Chef parties, I had to try it this morning.

Mini Omettes

You can make this recipe ahead to use as a quick breakfast on the go during the week. Use whatever veggies you have on hand or crumble sausage in place of the veggies.

This recipe makes 6 mini omelettes.

Heat oven to 350F.

What you’ll need:
1 Pampered Chef Brownie Pan
Spray oil
6 eggs
1/2 cup milk or milk substitute
Diced veggies – mushrooms, spinach, etc
Shredded cheese
Herbs (I used my own garden mix and dill)
Salt and pepper,  as needed

Prepare:

  1. Spray each square cup with spray oil

Pampered-Chef-Brownie-Pan2. Crack 6 eggs (or 1 per square cup) in a mixing bowl
3. Add 1/2 cup almond milk (milk or substitute)
4. Whisk, and set aside
5. Chop and dice veggies
6. Sprinkle veggies in each square cup
7. Pour egg mixture into each square cup.

Veggies and Egg Mixture - Mini Omelettes

8. Sprinkle cheese and herbs atop egg mixture.

Cheese on Mini Omelettes

9. Bake at 350F for approximately 20 minutes or until eggs are light and fluffy.

oven-350-degrees

Remove from oven.

Using a small non-stick spatula, remove from brownie pan and serve. If baking ahead, allow to cool then place in microwave safe containers like the Pampered Chef Leak Proof containers.

This was my first attempt and they turned out fluffy and delicious!

fluffy mini omelettes

I cannot wait to try the mini lasagnas using cheese ravioli this week too!

Can Ohio Save Lake Erie?

Lake Erie with too much phosphorus and nitrogen.
Lake Erie with too much phosphorus and nitrogen.

Have you been to this Great Lake, lately?

It’s in dire need of a cleanup. From “toxic” green algae blooms to high levels of phosphorus from farm manure. Do you really know what’s in your water supply?

Water pollution is one of the top 30 environmental issues America is facing, so what is the solution for Lake Erie?

According to The Detroit News, “Ohio lawmakers approved new rules for farmers and water treatment plant operators to … reduce the spread of algae blooms in Lake Erie.” However, much more is needed to combat the spread of toxins and pollutants into our most precious  natural resource.

How do you think lawmakers should approach the cleanup of the 12th largest lake in the world?

Look for more posts about water pollution.

 

 

#DIY Simple (Organic) Gardens – Joys and Failures

The joys and education of failure from planting gardens, and trying a vertical garden. Not everything goes as planned, but learning how to adapt for a simple garden is education.

It’s pretty late in the growing season to start planting, so I’ll skip the how to’s of starting your garden and share my experiences this year.

Vertical gardening was my experiment. I failed, however of successfully growing anything.
Vertical gardening was my experiment. I failed, however of successfully growing anything.

I really wanted to try vertical gardening using pallets…plants that grow up instead on the ground. I tried a couple different techniques, neither that worked however. The only technique that worked was using a small pallet as a support for a plant that doesn’t actually have a vine – yellow squash!

Gardening with pallets. Strawberries worked well until I put it in a vertical position.
Gardening with pallets. Strawberries worked well until I put it in a vertical position.

Last year I had mostly container veggies and used a great organic soil by Butterfield Farms in Michigan; however, I couldn’t find the same soil this year and had to opt for another brand. That soil that was supposedly “organic” and was a total flop for all my vegetables and flowers alike. It was very sandy and didn’t retain any moisture in the pots (or the pallet). I had to ultimately replant the ones I wanted to save. I call this “garden failure education.” It didn’t work, but I learned from it.

This year I also wanted to try canning, so I wanted to grow a vegetable that I eat frequently and could preserve. I got the jist of freezing, so that is my alternative to canning. I made a list of vegetables I eat often, looked up my garden zone and prepped my garden area about a month prior to planting. Vegetables this year:

  • Roma Tomatoes

  • Yellow Reduced Acid Tomatoes

  • Yellow Squash

  • Zucchini, and

  • Bell Peppers

4 out of 5 plants are doing well and are producing a sizable yield.

Caring for the Garden

I had issues with worms and something else eating the leaves off my peppers and tomato plants last year. This year, I didn’t plant anything that would invite the moth worms back; however, still had problems with that other invisible insert. I asked a couple other of my garden neighbors what they used – Seven, which I thought was safe for animals and humans. It did deter the invisible leaf munchers, but I broke out in a rash every time I used it (a powder). Thankfully, it rained often enough to keep the pests away for awhile.

#DIY: Growing (Organic) Gardens and Canning Month

Putting forth the effort into a garden and reaping the rewards through canning.

Dear Readers –

This month is all about DIY gardening and canning. This is my second year of experimenting with a small garden. Last year, I was able to reap the leftovers of my neighbors’ gardens, but I missed my lesson on canning. However, this year, I’m prepared with canning jars, lids, and two ladies who volunteered to help me!

I hope you are looking forward to simple garden ideas, growing and harvesting your own garden as well as how to preserve your toils of the earth. We’ll also be including a couple other DIY recipes to save you money throughout the year – not just summer – things I have tried and actually work.

So let’s get started….

organic-gardens
Simple organic garden Bell peppers were planted at the end of May.

Review: Vinegar Uses as #DIY Home Cleansers and More

I like to save money and use less chemicals in my home, so I have tried several of the suggested vinegar uses. Here are my reviews on ways to use vinegar in your home for cleaning and more.

I’m sure you have heard or seen posts on Facebook or Pinterest about the many uses of vinegar – 11, 20, 31, 50 or 101 – but does it really work as a home cleanser? What are the benefits of using distilled vinegar vs. store bought cleaners?

vinegar-usesVinegar really does have many uses and due to high acidity, it is effective to kill many bacteria, mold, mildew and germs. It is safe for the environment, does not harm plumbing, does not leave stains or harm most non-porous surfaces, so it’s safe to use around children and pets.

I like to save money and use less chemicals in my home, so I have tried several of the suggested vinegar uses. Here are my reviews on ways to use vinegar in your home for cleaning and more.

  1. Household Disinfectant – Works just as good as a general purpose cleaner. No harsh scent or residue. I dilute with water and put in a clearly marked spray bottle for frequent use. Kills most bacteria, mold, mildew and germs that cause allergies and illness.
    Uses: Bathroom and kitchen surfaces, inside trashcans and refrigerators, sinks, and any non-porous surface.
  2. Extend freshness of fruits and vegetables – Best way to keep fruit and veggies from spoiling.  Put equal amounts of water and distilled vinegar in a small spray bottle. Spray once and they will last several days longer and sometimes up to a week before the skin starts to wrinkle. You do not have to refrigerate many fruits and vegetables to keep them fresher longer. I have a couple large flat bottom baskets that I leave on the kitchen counter or table with the fresh produce.
    Uses:  Instead of washing fresh fruits and vegetables before eating, spray it with the diluted solution and it’s safe to eat. Especially good for soft edible skin produce such as tomatoes, oranges, apples, eggplant, cucumbers, and green peppers.
  3. Removes coffee/tea stains – Combine with salt for stubborn stains and a little elbow power and you’ll have a safer cleanser than bleach in a can. Use full strength for stubborn stains, let it sit for awhile (an hour or overnight), scrub, rinse and you’re done!
    Uses: I use on my stainless steel coffee pot, and plastic or glass iced tea containers as well as stained coffee mugs. (No, it won’t taste like vinegar.)
  4. Removes lime buildup – Yes, it does work on lime scale buildup on shower heads and tiled bathroom/kitchen walls. Remove your shower head and put in a container (bowl or bucket, depending on the size). Add enough full strength vinegar to cover water inlets. Allow to soak for several hours or overnight, and rinse in fresh water. You’ll see an improvement with your shower stream!
    Uses: Removable shower heads or tiled walls. For stubborn buildup on walls, make a paste with salt and vinegar and scrub walls. Rinse clean and dry.
  5. Carpet Stains – Have pet or food stains on your carpets? Use vinegar and baking soda (yes, together!). Remove as much as the substance as you can by blotting the stain (never rubbing or scrubbing). Sprinkle baking soda over the stain and spray or cover with vinegar. It will bubble and foam, do not stand directly over the stain until the foam settles. Cover with a plate and allow to sit overnight. Remove plate and vacuum up remaining residue. Poof! Stain disappears!
    Uses: This works on old stains too, however, you may need to repeat the process a couple times to remove the stain. This method is so much less cumbersome than using a store-rented carpet shampooer and much less expensive than having your carpets cleaned.

I’ll add more as I try them, but I love the many uses of white vinegar instead of using toxic commercial household cleaners.

What have been your experiences using vinegar? We’d love to hear your stories!