Posts in April 2008

P90X: Day 3

on April 30th, 2008 by

Okay, so I know I said I would do an update each week (and I am still working on that post to publish on Sunday), however, I just had to tell you about the improvements already. One of the biggest things I have noticed is the improvement of my knees. I have this habit of when I sit down, I bend my knee and tuck my leg under my body and then I sit on my leg. I don’t know why I do it, but there are lots of people out there who do this. Well, I was sitting on my leg tonight while at the computer, and when I went to get up, my knee didn’t hurt at all – and it always hurts. Again, why I did it before, I don’t know, but it was just a habit I couldn’t break. But now with it not hurting, it is awesome. And, of all things, I have noticed that I have stopped sitting on my leg every time I am at the computer. I wonder if the cause of the habit is actually a weakness in the legs or knees though the process of sitting down. Who knows. All I know is that to see improvements in 3 days with P90X is just amazing!

Getting Fit the P90X Way

on April 27th, 2008 by

Today we started what is going to be a grueling but rewarding adventure – the P90X extreme home fitness program. We bought the DVDs that outline an exercise and nutrition plan that are guaranteed to get us fit in 90 days provided we follow the program.

The beginning of this program – what we did today – is a Fit Test. The designers of the program want to make sure you are already fit enough to do the program. We both passed (just barely), but we passed and that is all that matters. Some of the things we had to do were pull ups, push ups, and jumping jacks and quantity mattered since we both had minimums to meet. There were 8 tests in all. In addition to the fit test, we had to record body fat, weight, heart rate, and lots of measurements of arms, legs, and torso at various points before starting the fit test.

Tomorrow, we are going to officially start the program. We probably should wait a few days to allow our bodies to rest from the fit test, but a Monday start is ideal and we really don’t want to wait a whole week to start. Soreness will be inevitable, either now or later it will get us, so we might as well start now.

I will keep you updated each week with progress. I know I should include pictures, we will see. Maybe I will go back and add them later or include certain pictures I find interesting per week. I will update with weight, measurements, body fat, and various things like that. It will just be amazing to see how things change week by week. The program has you check you stats at the end of each month, but I want to see how minor the changes can actually be per week. See you in a week with progress.

Tribute to Color: Green

on April 21st, 2008 by

April 22nd is Earth Day. I consider myself a conservationist and an environmentalist and I would not be doing my duty if I did not mention Earth Day on my blog. Green is the color most associated with Earth Day so I thought I would get a little creative and talk about color. Actually, each week I am going to do a tribute to a different color, so stay tuned and see what color comes next.

Green is a beautiful color. The hue alone is vibrant and best describes what we see in nature. That deep true green of the grass and tree leaves after a spring rain like we had today on the mid east coast. Below are some pictures of flowers blooming in the spring from around our yard with their lovely green backgrounds.


Our house has two rooms that are painted green – one bathroom and one bedroom. Both are the same shade of green now (one was originally the color of grass but I needed a change so it became the same color as the green in the bathroom). We have tons of green accents all around our house on pillow covers, comforters, rugs, dishes, art work, and most of all plants – lots of plants.

Bedroom #2Bedroom #2Rug
Original Green in bedroom : Updated green in bedroom : Green Rug

To come to think of it, we have a lot of green in our house. It does make sense though since my husband and I are both earth signs.

So Much Research, So Little Time

on April 18th, 2008 by

This past week has been all about research… so much research… mostly about the things we put in and on our bodies. From clothes to food to personal care products.

When I posted my recent article about Earth-Friendly Products, I started thinking that these items are good for the earth (petroleum-free, chlorine-free, toxin-free, cruelty-free, and organic (where the option exists)), and while those things are good for our bodies, there are additional concerns when our personal care is considered. What is the specific toxin levels of the ingredients of these products we use on our bodies?

When you start to think about it too deep, your head starts to spin. So when the dizziness stopped for me, I found a company that is all about showing you the details of the ingredients in your personal care products. The company is Environmental Working Group (EWG). The section of their site that I have been using quite frequently recently is EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database. I have found many of the products I have looked for, however, they are always updating their database, and some items just aren’t there. When you can’t find an item, look up its individual ingredients.

We have come along way in using more healthy products, however, through my research, there is still more work to be done. Some products we use everyday will soon not be in our cabinets because of what I have found out. Replacements will be made soon and I will update my product use list and add explanations and links to why a change was made.

I also did a little research to find where you can get a list of companies that really are not testing their products on animals since they can say it on the product and it not be true. PETA is the best place to find this information. PETA’s website has a link to PETA’s Caring who has a list of Companies That Do/That Don’t Test on Animals. I am happy to say that the three main companies that we buy personal care and household cleaners from (JASON, Seventh Generation, and method) are all on the Don’t Test on Animals list. Yea!

I am happy that we have the freedom to choose the products that we use. I am also happy that others are out there to help us with the facts that we just don’t see on labels.

Earth-friendly Products

on April 10th, 2008 by

Over the past couple of months, I have been asked a couple of times which earth-friendly products I use, so I thought I would share my knowledge and experience.

Most of the earth-friendly products we buy for household and personal care are made by 3 companies: Seventh Generation, method, and JASON. The products are petroleum-free, chlorine-free, toxin-free, cruelty-free, and organic (where the option exists). The reasons we buy these products are many and here are some of them:

  • reduce oil consumption by using smaller plastic bottles though concentrated products, using products that do not contain petroleum, and using items that are made with recycled plastic
  • reduce pollution of our water by using products that do not contain toxins, petroleum, chlorine, and the like
  • reduce air pollution in our home by using products that do not contain toxins, petroleum, chlorine, and the like
  • reduce toxins in our bodies by using products that do not contain toxins, petroleum, chlorine, and the like

Seventh Generation: Laundry, Dishwashing, Household cleaners, Household paper and supplies, For Baby, Feminine Care.
Places that I have found the brand: Drugstore, Amazon, Seventh Generation, Gaiam, Babies R Us, and many more

  • Dishwasher Detergent: Free & Clear Automatic Dishwasher Powder
    Our use: We use city water and the detergent cleans the dishes quite well. We only do minimal pre-washing when it is absolutely necessary. There have been a couple of times that there was still food on a dish or two, but it they were cases where the dishes sat in the dishwasher for a week (we only run the dishwasher once a week) and it was a food that likes to harden like concrete when dry.
  • Toilet Bowl Cleaner
    Our use: Cleans well. Major stains are a little rougher to remove, but I think it would be difficult with other cleaners too.
  • Glass and Surface Cleaner
    Our use: Doesn’t evaporate too quickly. I have not experienced any streaking as long as I wipe the cleaner on the windows until dry.
  • 100% Recycled Paper Towels
    Our use: It took a little for my dad to get used to them, but we love them.
  • Recycled Trash Bags
    Our use: Even though I bought the bags a couple months ago, we used our first one last week. It went well. No breaking or leaking and worked just like other kitchen drawstring bags but they are partially made of recycled plastic, so they are better for the environment.

method: Laundry, Dishwashing, Household cleaners, Aircare, Personal care, Cleaning cloths.
Places that I have found the brand: Target (in store), Drugstore, Amazon, and many more. Here is method’s store locator.

  • All-Purpose Cleaner: Spray & All Purpose Cleaner: Wipes
    Our use: It cleans the bathroom and kitchen beautifully. I have a bottle of spray and a container of wipes in each bathroom so a quick clean up can be done at anytime without running around the house trying to find a cleaner. Best part is that my eyes don’t burn when I clean which means that I enjoy it so much more.
  • Daily Shower Spray & Tub + Tile Spray
    Our use: The shower has never been cleaner. Both bottles hang inside the shower. The daily spray minimizes the hard cleaning and the tub and tile spray gets the job done for the good scrubbing. Again, no eye burning and breathing isn’t stifled from chemical – great stuff!
  • Laundry Dryer Cloths, Laundry Fabric Softener & Laundry Detergent
    Our use: I do all of the laundry in one day a week and I use one dryer sheet for all 3 loads. I know that Method says to use one for every 2 loads, however, that 3 load (and sometimes a 4th) doesn’t seem to get short changed with the extended use of one dryer sheet. The detergent gets our clothes cleaned the fabric softener gives the clothes that extra softness and in its concentrated format, uses less water and less plastic. Lots of pluses.
  • Aroma Soy Candle & Aroma Spray
    Our use: Certain scents are better than others and for different times of the season. There haven’t been any scents we don’t like, just ones that are stronger than others. I love the aroma spray for the bathrooms and the candles get used in every room of the house. I have been so happy converting to soy based candles since they are cleaner and healthier. I think there are only a couple of petroleum based candles left in our house and they are usually just tealights since I have not found a soy candle alternative for tealights yet.
  • Microfiber Cloth: Window + Glass
    Our use: I bought this cloth before there were others like it on the market (or at least before they were easy to find). I find that the texture of the cloth works perfectly on windows.
  • Hand wash & Foaming Hand Wash
    Our use: We use these two soap interchangeably. Most of the time though the foaming hand wash is found in the bathroom most used and the thicker hand wash in the other bathrooms. Once we bought a few of the foaming hand wash bottles, we just refill them by adding a certain amount of the thick hand wash with water and lightly shaking to mix. The mixture works perfectly and we are saving money and using healthier cleaning products… woohoo!

JASON: Personal care.
Places that I have found the brand: Vitamin Shoppe (online and in store), Drugstore, Amazon, GNC (online and in store), and many more.

  • Satin Shower Body Wash
    Our use: We have tried many scents and some are stronger than others, but most don’t noticeably hang with you for long. I love the pump feature. Personally, we usually fill a dispenser on the wall, but the pump is still really nice. It cleans. It smells nice. It’s great.
  • Shampoo & Conditioner: Lavender 70% Organic
    Our use: Just bought the Lavender, so I will have to update later on the use. We were using the Tea Tree Scalp Normalizing Shampoo & Conditioner and realized that it was just not necessary and the conditioner was thick. If we had scalp problems, then it might work really well, but I can’t comment on its effectiveness.
  • Toothpaste with Fluoride and CoQ10
    Our use: Cleans teeth well. There are options for no fluoride and no CoQ10 if that is your thing. I however like the fluoride and it works well for me. I have tried most flavors and some flavors are more powerful than others, however, unlike with other toothpastes, I can eat after brushing my teeth and not have my food taste differently because I just brushed my teeth.
  • Red Elements Skin Care: Daily Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 15 & Hydrating Night Crème
    Our use: Everyday use. I have had no breakouts from the product. The night creme is heavier than the daily lotion, but neither feel like you are wearing anything once it dries. I only thing I notice when I don’t wear the products is that my face feels drier which makes sense.

Random Acts of Kindness

on April 9th, 2008 by

What would this world be like if each person did one nice thing a day? Just the smallest thing like say hi, hold a door open for someone, or allow someone to merge onto a road properly. I think it would be a much better world.

What made me think of this is all the little horrible things I see every time I go go shopping or driving even the shortest of distances – people cutting other drivers off, not using turn signals, people just walking out in traffic or in front of a store (do they not realize that even if you are doing 5 miles an hour that there is a breaking distance), people hurrying to get in front of you at the store even though you have so many items less than them… I could go on forever about these things.

My theory on why people aren’t nicer is that they don’t see it fitting in their schedule. It seems like so many people are in such a hurry because so much is asked of them in a short period of time. It wouldn’t be the worse thing if someone gets in front of you or you have to get behind someone else depending on how you are looking at this. Maybe in those few minutes you can take a couple deep breaths and slow your heart rate and de-stress rather than become furious, get angry, and feel the need to hurry even more. If someone slowing you down makes you late for something, then you just need to give yourself more time to get whatever you need to get done. It all comes down to procrastination. All of us are guilty of it – even in the smallest things.

Personally, I am a person who runs late. My friends know it. My family knows it. I have improved over the years, but still have more improving to do. I try to do too much in too small of a time period. But what makes me different than many of the people who are running late out there is that they get mean about it. It isn’t someone else’s fault that I am late… no matter how many red lights I encountered that I normally don’t… I am my own undoing.

So, to all of those family members and friends out there that I have been late to something, I apologize and I am trying to add “padding” to my plans so that I am either on-time, early, or at the least just a couple minutes late. I can say that my GPS has really helped with the plans when I need to drive a longer distance since I see the arrival time and am more aware of it.

I think I got a little off topic of Random Acts of Kindness, but I wanted to tell a story too since the story is what inspired the topic. Try to do something nice for someone else… you will help both of you in the process.

Know the Cause

on April 2nd, 2008 by

This afternoon I talked on the phone with one of my aunts from PA. We don’t talk very often, but when we do, we cover lots of topics including herbs, medicines, and natural remedies. My aunt was so happy to talk with me since she is not able to talk with many people about these types of things.

One of the things we talked about is a TV program that she had seen recently. She is without a computer and wanted me to look something up on the internet for her regarding the show. I did some research but wasn’t able to find exactly what she was looking for while we were on the phone, but I did find lots of information that I thought I would share it since it is quite interesting.

There is a theory out there that fungus causes cancer. A man named Doug Kaufmann has done extensive research on the effects of fungus on the human system and has written 8 books about the subject. He is in the process of writing and revising more books and has a website: Know the Cause. He has created an Anti-fungal diet which is what my aunt is trying to see if I can find Phase I of without having to buy the book. She wants to see what the “diet” is all about before getting the book. I am going to do some more research for her so I will be adding more as I find it.

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