Saturday, June 6, 2009

Whole Foods or Whole Paycheck?

To shop at Whole Foods or not to shop at Whole Foods, that is the question. On the one hand I want to be committed to providing quality foods for my family and on the other hand I have a budget. What is a thrifty girl to do?

Whole Foods has decided to help debunk the myth that shopping at Whole Foods will take your whole paycheck. They have "Healthy Wealthy and Wise Tours." These tours are free of charge (but do require registration). A store representative takes you around and highlights ways to maximize the value of your shopping experience.

Yours truly attended this tour at 6:30 pm on a weekday night. I am typically intimidated by shopping at Whole Foods for fear I will go way over budget for groceries. Having someone take me slowly through the store and point out their store brand "365 Everyday" which is competitively priced enabled me to loosen the grip on the purse strings.

Best part of all is the goody bag at the end. It came in a reusable shopping bag (can't have enough of those), olive oil, chicken stock, black beans, granola bars and coupons.

In conclusion, the pointers were good, not earth shattering. The goody bag was well worth the time investment. I also feel confident when shopping there that I can see the value items that previously eluded me. I won't shop there every week now, but perhaps every other.

See if there is a tour at the Whole Foods near you.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


EcoHangers is a new concept in dry cleaning. They offer marketing opportunities while making dry cleaning a little greener.

You can request that your local cleaners switch to these reusable hangers and save billions of wire hanger waste!

This has a local connection to me as well. As this is a friend's venture. Exciting.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Banana No-Nut Bread

One of the "green mama" tips I have noted in my recent presentations is to conserve energy by decreasing the preheating time of the oven.

The statistic goes that if 30% of US Households reduced oven preheating time by 1 hour per year the energy saved could bake a dozen cookies for every American (The Green Book).

In the February 2009 issue of Good Housekeeping Amy Grant contributed a recipe for Banana Nut Bread that starts in a cool oven. You can imagine my excitement when I found a recipe that marries itself to the green tip so well!

I modified the recipe in our house as my husband does not care for nuts in his bread. It is moist and yummy nonetheless.

Amy Grant's
Grandma Grant's Banana Nut Bread

1c Sugar
1/2 c butter (1 stick) softened
2 lg eggs
3 bananas, sliced (2c)
2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c pecans, chopped
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

1. Greast 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 metal loaf pan
2. Cream sugar with butter. Mix in eggs bananas, flour, pecans, baking soda, and salt. Pour into prepared pan.
3. Place loaf pan in cold oven. Set oven control to 300F and bake banana bread for 1 1/2 hours or until toothpick or skewe inserted in center comes otu clean.
4. Cool bread in pan 5 minutes on wire rack. Then remove from pan and cool completely, right side up.
Makes 1 loaf.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Bountiful Harvest

It is week 4 of the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) we are a part of. Here is a photo of our vegetables from last week. Turnips, green onions, lettuce and strawberries. I think there is kale back there you can't really see.

So far we are enjoying the surprise of whats to come each week. We have gotten creative and googled recipes for the veggies that are new to us. We find that we grill out Saturday night with lots of vegetable sides.

It is like having your own garden without the work! We like knowing we are supporting local agriculture and stretching our comfort zone of vegetables. Our favorite cooking method is to saute' the greens down with onion, garlic and apple cider vinegar.

Check out to see if there is a CSA near you.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Triangle Presbyterian Moms Group

I had another speaking opportunity to the Triangle Presbyterian Moms Group in Durham on Tuesday, May 12.

This casual group of Moms was welcoming and we had refreshing conversation about how to be Green Mom's.

One mom mentioned that she made cards for all occasions from her child's art work. I thought this to be a great idea. She has homemade cards for family and it cuts down on the artwork clutter in her own home. I'll remember this in the coming years.

Thanks for having me to your group!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Diaper Rash Creams

Diaper rash is a fact of life for you and your baby. It is awful. This red inflammation is suggested to be treated by allowing the tush to air dry. Well that is not a luxury at every diaper change. Fortunately, there are creams that protect baby skin from the moisture rich environment of their diaper.

Desitin was used by the case on me. Smelling it brings back childhood memories. That very smell is what made me second guess if this was the right treatment for her diaper rash.

I found this blog article from Healthy Child Healthy World. It confirmed my suspicions that Desitin was not he miracle cure. Desitin contains hormone disrupting BHA, synthetic fragrance with phthalates and parabens.

A better option is to use an organic option that is free of dangerous chemicals. I choose ShakleeBaby Diaper Cream. It is 99% natural and uses aloe and chamomile to soothe the skin.

Here's to Happy Heinies!

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Tuesday night I had the honor to speak to the St.MM MOPS group. What a neat bunch of ladies! We discussed being "Green Mama's" and creating healthier homes for our family. It was also Cinco de Mayo so we had tasty margarita's (alcohol free).

I learned a lot too. I was encouraged to see what the other ladies were already doing in their homes. I am getting closer and closer to composting. A member of the group has been composting for years. It was encouraging to talk to her about her experience. Especially the part about it not smelling!