Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Healthy Summer BBQs

Summer fun always includes good friends, good food and bbqs! When bringing out the BBQ this summer here are some tips to make it a little healthier:

1. Use dry rubs versus wet, gooey sauces - they tend to blacken less.

2. Don't eat black - the black char on your meat or veg is not healthy for you.

3. Avoid the BBQ if you're pregnant or breastfeeding - some concerns exist around the consumption of harmful compounds on blackened BBQ foods.

4. Add some veg to the mix - sliced sweet potato, carrots, zucchini lightly brushed with olive oil are delicious. Keep the pieces big to help them from falling through the grates on the BBQ. For smaller vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, onions, mushrooms put them in an aluminum foil packet with a little oil (add a tsp of butter with a clove of garlic for a crowd favourite.)

5. Turn down the heat - cook your food a little slower and its more juicy, less burnt and delicious!

My Confession? I love to eat BBQ food. There is something so delicious and fun about it. But, I'm terrible for turning up the heat too high. Treat your BBQ more like an oven (slower, longer cooking times are generally easier to master and keep the food cooking the way you want it).

Have a favourite BBQ tip or recipe. Share it with us!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Natural Deodorant

Do they really work? And, how on earth are you supposed to know which is best?

Its summer time and that means deodorant has an all-time importance rating in your morning routine. And, if its not cutting it - you'll know quickly. So, here's some facts to get you on your way to armpit bliss.

Different Types of Deodorant
There are a few different types of deodorant. Anti-perspirants are designed to block the body's ability to sweat. This is usually done through the use of an aluminum based chemical. Is this safe? Well, the idea of using aluminum regularly on armpit tissue (which is home to lymph and mammary tissue) raises some concern among folks - but, no studies link it's use with disease. Mind you, research is limited to date.

Deodorants are designed to reduce bacteria growth in the armpit. Sweat doesn't actually smell! Its the bacteria that grows in the moist environment of the armpit that smells. Conventional deodorants use an anti-bacterial agent, and a fragrance. In terms of looking for "clean" deodorants and body products, fragrances are generally a BIG "no-no". Look for natural fragrances such as essential oils for a "cleaner" smell to your deodorant. Of note, conventional deodorants can also contain parabens - which are found in tumors...thus, these may be worth avoiding until we know more.

Natural deodorants can contain natural bacteria fighters like hops, salt, lemon oil, etc. They tend to be paraben free (but, read your labels), and contain natural fragrances. They come in sprays and roll-ons, and some are even sticks. Lots to choose from.

What's your favourite natural deodorant? Let me know.

My Confession - I've been using a mineral salt stick for over two years now - and, I love it! Mind you when it's really hot and humid out, my natural deodorant just doesn't cut it...but, that's okay - its hot out...who isn't sweating???