Safer Lawns

Most of Canada has banned the majority of common lawn and garden pesticides still in use in the United States.

The documentary movie, A Chemical Reaction (www.pfzmedia.com), focuses on the origin of the anti-lawn pesticide movement in North America. The documentary movie tells the story of one of the most powerful and effective community initiatives in the history of North America.  It started with one lone voice in 1984.  Dr. June Irwin, a dermatologist, noticed a connection between her patients’ health conditions and their exposure to chemical pesticides and herbicides.  With relentless persistence, she brought her concerns to town meetings to warn her fellow citizens that the chemicals they were putting on their lawns posed severe health risks and had unknown side effects on the environment.

The movie—through its narrator Paul Tukey, the founder of Safelawns.org—asks a simple yet complex question: “If these products are banned in Canada, why do we still use them here?”

A Safer Alternative
Chickity Doo Doo™ Organic Fertilizer is derived from 100% chicken manure. It contains all the desirable benefits that have made chicken manure extremely beneficial to vegetable farmers and organic gardeners for decades. As individuals become more conscious of traditional synthetic chemical fertilizers and the long-term damage they cause to the environment, the demand for family-friendly and environmentally safe products continues to grow.

Find it in our area at:
Chippewa Valley Growers – Eau Claire, 715-839-8448
Grinde’s Garden Center, Inc. – Eau Claire, 715-833-2292
Down to Earth Garden Center – Cadott, 715-289-4567
Klinger Farm Market – Chippewa Falls, 715-288-6348

BONE-afide FACTS about Osteoporosis


by Lori Heck

If you are a female reading this article, you could be the 1 out of every 2 women who may suffer an osteoporosis-related fracture at some point in her life. For men, you may be the 1 in 8 statistic. Though my focus of this article is geared toward women and bone health (women are 4 times more likely to have osteoporosis), men must pay attention as well. Approximately 28 million Americans are affected by osteoporosis!

The National Foundation of Osteoporosis defines osteoporosis as ‘a disease characterized by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue, which leads to bone fragility and increased risk of fracture.’ This is a preventable and manageable disease provided action is taken through weight-bearing and strength training exercises coupled with proper nutrition and supplementation. Weight bearing exercise is any activity that is done on your feet and causes your body to work against gravity such as walking, jogging, or a group exercise class (swimming and biking would not be considered weight bearing, though great for heart health). Strength training exercises would be the use of dumbbells, bands, bodyweight, or resistance machines to work both your bones and muscles. Both of these types of activities are going to cause impact to the skeleton (bones), which in turn breaks bone down so it can rebuild/remodel to become more dense.

In a woman’s life there are two crucial times that taking action are important. The best time period to begin is between the ages of 9-14, and ideally, she would continue to take action for her entire lifespan. It is during this age range (pubertal growth spurt) that the more impact on the skeleton the most bone building benefit will occur. By the age of 20, women have reached 98% of their bone mass. The goal after age 20 is to focus holding on to that bone mass through continued exercise and proper nutrition.

The next crucial marker on the timeline to begin weight-bearing and strength training exercise to help prevent the onset or slow the process of low bone mass, is the period just before menopause (average woman begins menopause at age 50). Women can lose up to 20% bone mass 5-8 years after her menstrual cycle begins. For women who are in their 50’s and older and have not participated in any type of weight-bearing and strength-training activity- it is NOT too late! In fact, a study that was done at Tufts University by physiologist Miriam Nelson, showed that postmenopausal women that performed two 40-minute strength training sessions per week for 1 year gained 1% in bone density, while women in a sedentary control group lost 2%-SCARY! You will want to speak with and be cleared by your physician, plus, meet with and/or hire a certified personal trainer before adhering to an exercise program. A simple twist or misaligned movement for someone who has osteoporosis could lead to a fracture if movement is performed incorrectly. The certified trainer will also be able to inform you of the exercises that are going to be most beneficial for you.

Proper nutrients also play a vital role in the prevention or maintenance of the disease. John Mamana, Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Georgetown University and founder of American Health Sciences, emphasizes the importance of calcium and vitamin D. Bone is living tissue that goes through various processes including building and remodeling- calcium and vitamin D are essential nutrients to help with those processes. Different age groups require different amounts of adequate limits (so be sure to check with your physician). When speaking of calcium, youth ages 9-18 should consume approximately 1300mg, adults 19-50yrs 1,000mg and individuals 51yrs+ 1200mg. Calcium can be found in dairy products, vegetables and many foods are now fortified with calcium. Vitamin D is needed for calcium absorption in the intestines. In the kidneys it is converted to a steroid hormone needed for bone development in children and bone maintenance in adults. Vitamin D can be found in dairy products, fish, eggs and sunlight. Again, different amounts are required for different age groups- for those 6 months and older approximately 400IU, and for the elderly approximately 600IU, unless your physician states otherwise.

The key to overall health and bone health is to get your child active and eating healthy so to set a good habit for later in life. As an adult, get started if you haven’t and be sure to incorporate both cardiovascular and strength training exercises. For those who have elderly parents- learn about their current health status, and if cleared by a physician, encourage them to be or become active! Take control of your health!

* All persons should contact their physician before beginning an exercise program, especially if you have any condition related to osteoporosis. If cleared, be sure to speak with a certified personal trainer to learn about what exercises/movements should be avoided.

Lori Heck, Owner of ASPIRE Personal Training & NASM-CPT. Lori can be reached at lori@goldsgym-ec.com or 715-271-9678

Green Pages | March/April 2010

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Seattle Pride Coffee House

Dr. Oz says, the benefits of Chia Seeds are awesome. Now we want you to know about more super foods!

• Goji Berries – Possibly the highest antioxidant food on earth, 18 amino acids, 21 trace minerals, vitamins B1, B2, B6, and E. More beta-carotene than carrots, more iron than spinach, improves stamina and endurance. Treat them like raisins or make your own juice!

• Maca Powder (mah-cah) – Contains 60 potent nutrients, packed with essential minerals, 18 Amino acids. Increases stamina, combats fatigue, regulates stress factors, is a natural hormone balancer for men & women and is known to boost libido.

• Noni Powder – Known to be an immune booster – effective against bacteria and fungus.

• Acai Berry ( ahh-sigh-ee) Powder – May be the number one super food. Rich in fiber, supports healthy joints and healthy inflammatory processes. Helps mental function and concentration. High levels of vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C & E, calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium.

• Mangosteen Powder – Promotes cardiovascular health, has anti-viral and naturally anti-biotic compounds. Has anti-inflammatory (cox-2 inhibitor like Vioxx & Celebrex but without side effects.)

• Chlorella Powder (clore-ella) – More benefits than wheat grass, barley or alfalfa.

• Spirulina (Spy-roo-lina) Powder – Better source of protein than beef/soybeans.

• Mesquite Powder – Balances blood sugar levels. A digestible protein and vegan pro-biotic. May speed up weight loss.

• Pomegranate Powder – May help in menopausal symptoms (naturally occurring form of estrogen.) Helps men with impotency and helps protect against prostate cancer.

• Hemp Powder – Contains 20 known nutrients/amino acids. Stabilizes blood sugar. Packed with 50% protein. Chocked full of energy, sweet, smooth, and delicious.

• Bee Pollen Powder – Increases energy and boosts the immune system.

• Camu Camu Powder – Has 600 times more vitamin C than oranges.

• Gota Kola Powder – Known as “The Fountain of Life.” Supports vein integrity, improves memory, revitalizes nerves, improves reflexes, calms stomach, reduces swelling, may be used as a sedative.

• Dandelion Root Powder – Known as the blood purifier.

• Ginkgo Leaf Powder – Known to improve general health of the brain.

Most powders recommended daily intake is one teaspoon. Get more detailed information on all of these wonderful super food powders at:

Seattle Pride Coffee House
3225 Lorch Avenue
(open to the public and located in the Gold’s Gym) 715-514-4599

Note: Chia seeds and Goji Berries dropped my husband, Dennis’, cholesterol 70 points in 2½ months! See what super powders can do for you!

We make no claims of cures; check with your doctor when adding new foods to your diet.

That’s Adorable

Thats’ adorable! I hear that all day long, but then I’m at, That’s Adorable!, an upscale children’s boutique with new and very gently used items. Located in downtown Eau Claire, at 129 N. Barstow, across from the Post Office. A guest was in the other day and she was on her cell phone telling her friend, “I’m at this great new store , ‘thats affordable’”.  It is very afforable, but our rule is it all has to be in great condition and adorable.

I started the store in October of 2008 with my Buckaroo bibs, which are bandana bibs my Mom made for us when we were little. She called them spaghetti bibs so you can wear them even as adults. They are 100% cotton and seem to  last forever. We still have some Mom made us. They just get softer and softer.

We have storytime daily from 10:30-10:50am. I have a passion for children’s literature, and believe children should be raised in a language-rich environment. We are happy to be another place for kids to read.We have hardcover books for only $2 and paperbacks for $1.

We love to celebrate the holidays and are always adding special storytime events with local authors more. Stop in and check us out! We are also on Facebook; please become a fan.

Green Tea, the Eighth Wonder of the World


by Jeff Mares, Co-Owner of Infinitea Tea House

White tea, red tea, green tea, black tea, hot tea, cold tea, herbals, tisanes, blooming, bricked, flowering, spiced, Ceylon, Assam, Lapsang Souchong … There are a lot of teas out there! What does it all mean? And what are their benefits?

Let’s start with the basics: “Tea” in the traditional sense, comes from only one family of plant – Camellia sinensis. In the US, we use “tea” to describe any infusion of leaf, flower or fruit steeped in hot water. To the rest of the world this is a generalization, and the word “tea” describes only our good friend, Camellia sinensis.

Once the leaf is plucked, it can then become many different things. Primarily, we sort into different levels of oxidation (a fancy word for wilting): White & Green tea (0% Oxidation) to Oolong tea (20-70% Oxidation) to Black and Pu-Erh tea (100% Oxidation).

The Origins of Tea
As a beverage, tea is believed to be roughly 5,000 years old. The origins of the tea tree are rooted in China and India, but the origins of the beverage vary greatly. According to a common and widely accepted legend, tea was said to have been discovered by China’s mythical second emperor, Shen-Nung in 2737 BCE. One day while walking through his garden, a dead leaf from a wild tea plant fell into his cup of boiled water, turning it a brownish color. The emperor drank the tea and found he enjoyed the taste and tea was born.

Luck or Fate:  The story goes that the first brewed tea occurred in 2737 BC when when Camellia sinensis leaves blew into a pot of boiling water. The accidental teameister who boiled that water, Chinese Emperor Shen Nung, concluded the new brew gave “vigor of body, contentment of mind, and determination of purpose.”

The World of Green Tea
In the world of tea, there are two major kinds of green tea, Japanese and Chinese. In Japan, tea is steamed (yes, just like in a steam bath) when it comes into the tea factory. There, it is lightly rolled and then fired. This gives the resulting beverage a rich green color and delicate flavor. In China, the majority of green tea is pan roasted instead of steamed. For this reason, Chinese green teas are less green, both in leaf color and in the cup, than their Japanese counterparts.

In my experience, green tea is the most misunderstood tea by the American audience. At our store, we often are told by patrons that green tea is the bitter/grassy tasting tea that their grandmas give them when they are sick. A few green teas are grassy (such as our Japan Sencha), but none of them, prepared correctly, are bitter.The common bitter taste associated with Green Tea comes from the naturally high level of tannins in Camellia sinensis. Tannins are a bitter and astringent plant polyphenol that causes that dry puckering of the mouth. Tannins in green tea are released only at very high temperatures (as water approaches boiling at sea level) or under long conditions of steeping (generally more than five minutes). For best results, use water that is about thirty degrees less than boiling and steep from one to five minutes.

Green Tea Apple Spice Infusion

Try this infusion to take the chill our of your day or serve it over ice when its warm. Either way it tastes great and is great for you!
Prep: 5 minutes Total: 20 minutes
Serves 4 to 6

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated cinnamon
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, seeded and coarsely chopped, plus slices for serving
  • 4 strips orange zest, from 1/2 an orange
  • 1/3 cup loose green tea

Combine water, honey, nutmeg, cinnamon, apple, and orange zest in medium pot; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 2 minutes. Cover, remove from heat, and let steep 15 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve over the green tea leaves, pressing all the juices from the apple. Let steep for 1 minute. Strain out the tea, reheat if necessary, and serve.

What Makes Green Tea So Special? The secret of green tea lies in the fact that it is rich in polyphenols and anti-oxidants, particularly EGCG. EGCG is a powerful anti-oxidant. Besides inhibiting the growth of cancer cells, it kills cancer cells without harming healthy tissue. EGCG has also been effective in lowering LDL cholesterol levels, and inhibiting the abnormal formation of blood clots. Green tea can even help prevent tooth decay! Just as its bacteria-destroying abilities can help prevent food poisoning, it can also kill the bacteria that causes dental plaque. Also, because green teas are oxidized less than black or oolong teas, they contain less caffeine. An average green tea contains roughly 25% that of coffee. Links are also being made between the effects of drinking green tea and the “French Paradox.” For years, researchers were puzzled by the fact that, despite consuming a diet rich in fat, the French have a lower incidence of heart disease than Americans. The answer was found to lie in red wine, which contains resveratrol, a polyphenol that limits the negative effects of smoking and a fatty diet. In a 1997 study, researchers from the University of Kansas determined that EGCG is twice as powerful as resveratrol, which may explain why the rate of heart disease among Japanese men is quite low, even though approximately seventy-five percent of them are smokers.

Questions: email us at info@infiniteateahouse.com, or stop in to our store at 112 East Grand Avenue in Downtown Eau Claire near Wells Fargo.

Natural Egg Dyeing

Red cabbage, onion skins, and coffee can be used to transform plain white eggs into colorful Easter gems. Kids can color experiment using hard-boiled eggs and bowls of cold dyes. You may get surprising results, but that’s part of the fun!

Tools and Materials
Natural dyeing agents (red cabbage, turmeric, onion skins, beets, and coffee)

  • 3-quart pot (or larger)
  • White vinegar
  • Strainer
  • Small bowls
  • Eggs
  • Large metal spoon
  • Paper towels
  • Drying rack

Dye Recipes
Select a dyeing agent, and place it in the pot using the amount listed below. Add 1 quart water and 2 tablespoons white vinegar to pot; if more water is necessary to cover ingredients, proportionally increase the amount of vinegar. Bring to a boil, then lower heat. Allow the ingredients to simmer for 30 minutes. Strain dye into a bowl.

  • Red-cabbage dye: 4 cups chopped cabbage
  • Turmeric dye: 3 tablespoons turmeric
  • Onion-skin dye: 4 cups onion skins (skins of about 12 onions)
  • Beet dye: 4 cups chopped beets
  • Coffee dye: 1 quart strong black coffee (instead of water)

Cold-Dipping Method
With this method, the eggs and the ingredients for the dye are boiled separately. Using a metal spoon, lower cooled hard-boiled eggs into a bowl of cooled dye, and let them soak for as little as 5 seconds or as long as overnight, depending on the depth of color you desire. Remove eggs with spoon, pat dry with paper towels, and let dry on a wire rack. The cold-dipping method produces subtle, translucent shades, but can result in uneven coloring unless the eggs are rotated vigilantly while in the dye. For hollow eggs that will last indefinitely, cold-dip raw eggs, then blow them out after they are dyed.

Boiled Method
This method involves boiling the eggs with the dye; the heat allows the dye to saturate the shells, resulting in intense, more uniform color. Set raw eggs in a pot of strained dye; bring to a boil for the amount of time specified in our color glossary. Remove and dry eggs as with the cold-dipping method.

(Information adapted from www.marthastewart.com)

COLOR GLOSSARY

  • Deep Gold: Boil eggs in turmeric solution, 30 minutes.
  • Sienna: Boil eggs in onion-skin solution, 30 minutes.
  • Dark, Rich Brown: Boil eggs in black coffee, 30 minutes.
  • Pale Yellow: Soak eggs in room-temperature turmeric solution, 30 minutes.
  • Orange: Soak eggs in room-temperature onion-skin solution, 30 minutes.
  • Light Brown: Soak eggs in room-temperature black coffee, 30 minutes.
  • Light Pink: Soak eggs in room-temperature beet solution, 30 minutes.
  • Light Blue: Soak eggs in room-temperature cabbage solution, 30 minutes.
  • Royal Blue: Soak eggs in room-temperature cabbage solution overnight.
  • Lavender: Soak eggs in room-temperature beet solution, 30 minutes. Follow with room-temperature cabbage solution, 30 seconds.
  • Chartreuse: Soak eggs in room-temperature turmeric solution, 30 minutes. Follow with room-temperature cabbage solution, 5 seconds.
  • Salmon: Soak eggs in room-temperature turmeric solution, 30 minutes. Follow with room-temperature onion-skin solution, 30 minutes.