How to Prevent Air Pollution in Your Home

Air pollution is a really big problem all over the world. Due to industrialization, people living in big cities all around the globe may suffer from lung diseases that can be directly related to air pollution.  

Most people think that it’s only the pollution outside that is dangerous to their health. To the contrary indoor pollution can be just as dangerous; some reports even go so far as to claim that this is even more of a problem than outdoor pollution.

There are many sources of indoor air pollution, such as air fresheners, dusty furniture dust mites or just poor ventilation. If you want to make sure that your family will remain healthy, check out the following tips to reduce the levels of indoor pollution in your home.

Fill your home with many indoor plants – Sometimes synthetic cleansers can do more harm than good, therefor it would be a good idea to use natural air cleaners instead. The perfect example of these are indoor plants as they can remove harmful elements like benzene, carbon dioxide, and formaldehyde. Some plants that you can put inside your home are lady palm, rubber plant, Boston fern and peace lily. Check this article for the “Top 10 Plants for Removing Indoor Toxin” and see if any of them takes your fancy and would fit in with the aesthetics of your home.

Ban smoking inside your house – everyone knows that smoking is bad for your health. This is also true for people who inhale second-hand smoke. If you or anyone in your family is a smoker, then try your best to quit or at least do not allow smoking inside your home. When you have guests coming to your home, make it clear to all visitors that you do not allow smoking inside.

Use natural cleaning supplies – there are many cleaning supplies containing what are called volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can cause fatigue, headaches, and sinus congestion. To avoid these symptoms, make sure that you just use natural cleaning supplies. There are many simple home products that can be used instead of shop bought harsh chemicals. Ingredients like baking soda, which works well as a deodorizer and scouring agent, vinegar, which will help you disinfect things or lemon juice which is a perfect freshener.

Clean your air ducts regularly – proper ventilation is needed to make sure that the air is clean and pure. While you need to make sure that your house is properly ventilated, it’s also important that your air ducts be free from particles which may cause sickness. You can try to deep clean your house on your own or you can hire the services of a professional so that they can rid your house of indoor air pollution.

 

Most of these tips above only require a little bit of your attention, but that little attention can result in big benefits for you and your family’s health. Take time and make the effort so that you can ensure that every member of your family is as free as possible from air pollution hazards in your home in future.

 

Honey Pickled Cucumber Slices

Crisp, sweet yet at the same time slightly tart with a fantastic aroma and just a hint of a vinegary bite these honey pickled cucumber slices are the perfect way to preserve them for winter time.

Crisp, sweet yet at the same time slightly tart with a fantastic aroma and just a hint of a vinegary bite these honey pickled cucumber slices are the perfect way to preserve them for winter time.The recipe below is from my Mum. She has been preserving cucumbers this way for years now and everyone who tries them always complements her on their taste. They aren’t your standard pickled cucumbers; that sharp vinegary taste is replaced with a sweeter, honey based brine, which puts a totally new spin on your pickled cucumbers… Try it and you will not be disappointed.

The batch below will allow you to make five 0.72l jars (if you pack the cucumbers pretty tight).

Crisp, sweet yet at the same time slightly tart with a fantastic aroma and just a hint of a vinegary bite these honey pickled cucumber slices are the perfect way to preserve them for winter time.

Ingredients:

  • ~3.5kg cucumbers
  • 750ml filtered water
  • 250ml 6% vinegar
  • 150g white sugar
  • 1tbsp salt; heaped
  • 5 whole allspice or 1/4tsp if using grounded one
  • 5tbsp honey

Additional per jar:

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 10 mustard seeds
  • 3 cloves whole

Crisp, sweet yet at the same time slightly tart with a fantastic aroma and just a hint of a vinegary bite these honey pickled cucumber slices are the perfect way to preserve them for winter time.Method:

Fill a cooking pot with the water, add vinegar, sugar, salt and allspice and bring it to a boil. Make sure everything is dissolved (well all but the allspice that it). Put aside to cool, then add the honey and stir well till dissolved.

Wash your cucumbers and slice them into about 1cm thick slices. Too thin slices will make the final pickled pieces to soft and wobbly 🙂

Now, it’s time to pack the cucumber slices into the clean jars… pack them tightly, the tighter the better.

Once the cucumbers are packed in, add garlic, mustard seeds and cloves, and finally slowly pour the earlier prepared brine into the jars until they are full. Put the lids on and close tightly.

Take a large cooking pot and test to see how many jars you can fit comfortably inside, you may need to do the cook in batches. Remove the jars and add a wet folded kitchen cloth to the bottom of the pan, return the jars to the pot making sure none of the jars touch the bottom and the side of the pot directly. Fill with cold water until the jars are covered to ¾ of the jar height and bring to a boil, once boiling cook for 5 minutes. Do not over boil them… the longer you boil them the softer the final slices will be we are after a pasteurising effect here to kill off any bacteria not to actually cook them.

Crisp, sweet yet at the same time slightly tart with a fantastic aroma and just a hint of a vinegary bite these honey pickled cucumber slices are the perfect way to preserve them for winter time.Whilst they are happily bubbling away, somewhere on the worktop make a temporary resting den for the jars… they will have to stay there for about 24h. Place a thick towel or two on the worktop. When the five minutes of boiling are up, using thick kitchen gloves remove the jars from the boiling water, check the lids are still tight and put to rest on the towels in an upside down position, yep stand them on their lids. Once all the jars are placed on the towel then cover with a few more towels or even a blanket and let them stay like this until the next day.

Move to their long term storage place and enjoy as and when needed.

Crisp, sweet yet at the same time slightly tart with a fantastic aroma and just a hint of a vinegary bite these honey pickled cucumber slices are the perfect way to preserve them for winter time.

10 Top Tips on How To Stick To Your Diet

Sticking to your diet can be tricky because you are often tempted by foods that you should not be eating. While there are tips that you can use to help you stay on track, you need to know that not all tips work for everyone. Every dieter is different, but there are some points that you should remember that could help you.

Sticking to your diet can be tricky because you are often tempted by foods that you should not be eating. While there are tips that you can use to help you stay on track, you need to know that not all tips work for everyone. Every dieter is different, but there are some points that you should remember that could help you.1. Never change your eating habits until you have learned how to motivate yourself. You should also learn how to withstand your cravings and hunger while finding out how to shape your lifestyle towards good eating habits. It is also important that you learn how to get yourself back on track if you go off your diet for a while.

2. One of the ways that you can motivate yourself is by having a list of all the reasons why you want to lose weight. Reading through this list every morning will help you remember why you are doing this and can help you through the more vulnerable parts of the day.

3. When you eat you should sit down and eat slowly. It is important that you take the time to enjoy every bite of your food. Having this routine makes it harder to fall off the wagon, binge eat or mindless snack outside of your diets allotments.

4. Think about accountability when dieting. Do you have a friend or family member you can contact every day to give a report on your diets progression? If you do not feel comfortable reporting to someone you could keep a log. Another way of remaining accountable is by weighing yourself every day to see if you are still on track.

5. Stop looking for perfect food combinations and the perfect diet because everyone is different. Eating in a healthy way allows you to lose weight while still ensuring that you can eat your favourite foods. Of course, you might still have cravings or want to eat more of your favourite food. If you feel the cravings have the food just before bed then brush your teeth and get into bed.

6. A very important tip to dieting is to change your mindset about eating and food. You have to realize that you have the choice between eating what you want when you want or choosing to get thinner. There are very few people who can have both.

7. You should also prove to yourself that hunger is not an emergency unless you have a medical condition. You can do this by skipping lunch and snacks one day. This will show you that your hunger is actually a mild inconvenience when compared to the discomfort you might feel say after surgery. The hunger will generally come and go throughout the day and it will be easy to tolerate.

8. It is important that you teach yourself what the differences are between feelings of hunger, which is the empty feeling in your stomach after not eating for hours, and cravings which is when you feel hunger in your mouth and throat. You want to be able to correctly label what you are feeling; whether it is hunger, boredom, cravings, thirst or negative emotions and learn to tolerate them without eating. A good way to do this is to have a list of distractions on hand to take your attention away.

9. Having regular meals and snack times is a good idea, having a meal plan is one of the best ways for your body to stop feeling so hungry, if you can afford it, you can try a company like Eat Clean Direct, who can set up a plan for you, and send you the meals daily. There are many people who are not able to cope without snacks whether it is between meals or just after a meal. The key is to not snack when it is not the set time.

10. You need to re-enforce the fact that “every time” matters. While it is not all about the amount of calories you take in, it is also about the habits you form. Every time you eat when you shouldn’t you are strengthening your “giving in” muscle. However, every time you stick to your plan you strengthen your resistance muscle and you are more likely to continue the habit of resisting temptation.

I hope you will find these tips useful and that they will help you on your journey to getting thinner.

* This is a collaborative post.

9 Delicious Walnut Recipes

Walnuts, the nuts of wonder, not only taste amazing but can also provide us with countless benefits. Eating them as a snack is the easiest way to consume a couple of walnuts a day but how about some more adventurous ways of adding them into our diet?

Walnuts, the nuts of wonder, not only taste amazing but can also provide us with countless benefits. Eating them as a snack is the easiest way to consume a couple of walnuts a day but how about some more adventurous ways of adding them into our diet? Today I want to share with you a selection of delicious recipes which incorporate this wonder nut. I hope they will get you inspired.

blue-cheese-tartines-with-apples-arugula-walnutsBlue Cheese Tartines with Apples, Arugula & Walnuts

broccoli-salad-with-apples-walnuts-and-cranberriesBroccoli Salad with Apples Walnuts and Cranberries

butternut-squash-and-pomegranate-kale-salad-with-spiced-honey-walnutsButternut Squash and Pomegranate Kale Salad with Spiced Honey Walnuts

chopped-walnuts-twist-cookiesChopped Walnuts Twist Cookies

coffee-walnut-cakeCoffee Walnut Cake

maple-granola-with-walnuts-and-cranberriesMaple Granola with Walnuts and Cranberries

pear-and-apple-frittata-with-walnuts-goats-cheese-and-honeyPear and Apple Frittata with Walnuts, Goats Cheese and Honey

walnut-banana-protein-pancakesWalnut Banana Protein Pancakes

walnut-sage-cranberry-stuffed-mushroomsWalnut, Sage & Cranberry Stuffed Mushrooms

Which of those tickles your fancy?

And if you are in a super experimenting mood, remember walnut pairs well with apple, apricot, banana, caramel, chocolate, cinnamon, nectarine, peach, pear, plum, rum.

A Shout Out to The Farmers Market

* by Mark

I am a sinner, for I partake in the nasty habit of smoking and so I am often relegated to the cold and wet outside to satisfy my cravings. Over the years I have grown accustomed to the downside of my habit and accept it as a norm. Oh yes before you think it I have tried to quit and sure one day I will quit with the help of vaping but for now success eludes me. So you may now be wondering what on earth this has to do with a farmers market, let me explain…

We smokers are often told from learned and wise people that one of the many downsides to our habit is a reduced or even the total loss of our sense of smell and taste and as they are indeed wise I for one took them at their word.

In a busy and hectic modern lifestyle we as a society have reduced our foraging for food down to the weekly visit to one of the main supermarket chains, its normal and everyone does it. Now as I wander around the fruit and veg section of our local supermarket the smells are muted and in many cases missing, even in the cut flower section. Once home and dinner is prepared my taste buds experience the same muted sense. It must be because I smoke right, my fault right….

A Shout Out to The Farmers MarketNow we live in the deepest darkest corner of Bulgaria, miles from anything resembling a supermarket and having missed the summer so the veg patch is currently bare we have to go foraging in a new way. So to the farmers market we go on a chilly but sunny Wednesday morning to browse a hundred different stalls stacked high with seasonally appropriate vegetables and fruit. This is where I had one of my life changing experiences.

Maybe it was a miracle, maybe Bulgarian cigarettes are made different whatever it was my sense of smell was reeling from all the inputs. I could smell everything and in many cases I didn’t even have to be an inch away but several paces away was close enough to smell the produce. It was an amazing experience and has left a lasting impression on me. When we returned home and prepared some of our newly acquired food my taste buds also joined in with the revelation of working again as the taste of everything was distinct and filled my mouth. I am hooked.

…and yes I still smoke, probably more now than ever as the novelty of £2 a pack makes quitting just a little harder!

So why, I was left wondering, why have my senses returned to me so suddenly after all these years of being dormant. Turns out if you eat stuff grown in clean soil, that’s clean in the sense of not being saturated in chemicals and in a natural environment as it is meant to be grown as stated by Mother Nature the end product smells and tastes amazing. If you eat stuff grown out of season, stuff that grew in a polly-tunnel and that was fed chemicals to facilitate the fastest possible growth cycle to maximise profits the flavour and smell is muted. It is all to do with the micro-organisms in the soil, all the creepy crawlies who defecate and die in the soil, the rain water and the whole ecosystem that the plant grows in. Things we probably don’t want to think about as we are eating but are vital to the amount of smell and taste we experience at the end of it all. Commercially grown stuff tends to be shielded from all that stuff and we pay the price.

So I return to my starting point, with a huge shout out to the farmers market, they are not perfect but they are a far better option than the supermarket shelves of commercially churned out produce. So support your local business person and visit your farmers market and spend a little extra cash, trust me your nose and tongue will thank you.