Fast and Easy Fix for a Stinky Cat Litter Box

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist September 29, 2014

fast fix for a stinky cat litter box

Our family recently became cat owners when a very sweet, pregnant, half starving stray cat showed up on our doorstep. We live in a semi-rural neighborhood and so pets abandoned by their owners are unfortunately a regular occurrence.

Since getting Rita fixed wasn’t an option until her kittens were born and weaned, we tentatively prepared for a litter of kittens to invade our household.

While the kittens have been a boatload of fun over the past few months, they have also presented a challenge in the cleanliness department.

My husband has never been a fan of cat litter boxes, and so, any cat we have ever owned during our marriage had to be an outdoor pet.  This worked well for our neighborhood which has little traffic and lots of space between homes and the road.

The kittens presented a different challenge, however, as we needed to train them to use a cat litter box properly if we were going to successfully get them adopted out to good homes.

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Why I’m Not Joining the Annie’s Boycott

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist September 28, 2014

annie's homegrownTo the shock and disappointment of many health conscious consumers across North America, General Mills recently announced an agreement to purchase beloved organic brand Annie’s Homegrown in an eye-popping deal valued a $820 million, or $46/share.

This is just the latest in a long string of acquisitions of small, natural food companies by huge, multinational corporations in recent years.

The purchase of Annie’s Homegrown, a 25 year old company whose trademark motto is “Real Food Tastes Better” is particularly hard to take for parents because Annie’s products are focused and targeted to children.

John Foraker, CEO of Annie’s Homegrown (not to be confused with the privately held company Amy’s Kitchen), said the following of the acquisition:

We are excited about this strategic combination, which will enable Annie’s to expand the reach and breadth of our high quality, great tasting organic and natural products, provide new opportunities for our employees, realize greater efficiencies in our operations, and maximize value for our stockholders.

To those customers greatly concerned that Annie’s product quality will tank due to the new affiliation with frankenfood titan General Mills, Foraker went on to say that:

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Homemade Strawberry Syrup

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist September 25, 2014

homemade strawberry syrup with a glass of milk

When I was a kid, I really enjoyed a big spoonful of Nesquick Strawberry Powder or Carnation Strawberry Instant Breakfast Mix stirred into a glass of whole milk.

Little did I know how nasty that stuff truly is. My Mom didn’t know either as nutrition information wasn’t required on the label back in the day. She just assumed it was safe and that companies would do the right thing since the product was targeted at children.

Fat chance!

Check out the ingredients of the Nesquick marketed by Nestle as “an irresistibly delicious, extra nutritious drink for your family” boasting “25% less sugar and specially fortified with added calcium, Vitamin C and other essential vitamins and minerals to help build strong bones”.

Nesquick Strawberry Powder Ingredients: SUGAR, ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, CITRIC ACID, RED 40, SALT, BLUE 1. VITAMINS AND MINERALS: CALCIUM CARBONATE, ASCORBIC ACID (VITAMIN C), ZINC OXIDE, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B6), COPPER GLUCONATE, MANGANESE SULFATE, BIOTIN

“Extra nutritious drink for your family” and “essential vitamins and minerals to help build strong bones?”

Seriously?  You gotta wonder how these companies get away with this deceptive marketing language!

The first three ingredients of Nesquick are (GMO) sugar, artificial flavors, and neurotoxic, MSG laced citric acid! And, the list only goes downhill from there with a pathetic attempt by Nestle to somehow redeem the label with synthetic vitamins, completely indigestible inorganic calcium derived from rocks, and GMO derived, synthetic ascorbic acid masquerading as Vitamin C.

Fortunately, parents are wising up to Big Food’s preference for shareholder profits at the expense of their customers’ health and demonstrating their disdain by refusing to buy these toxic products in increasing numbers.

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GAPS or Autoimmune Paleo for Healing Autoimmune Disease?

by Melanie Christner, NTP, CHFS, CGP September 24, 2014

GAPS or Autoimmune Paleo

I’ve been receiving numerous emails and queries within my community recently about the GAPS Protocol versus Autoimmune Paleo (AIP) for reversing autoimmune disease.

It is exciting that more and more people are choosing to take responsibility for their health by seeking a dietary approach to heal and seal the gut in order to put autoimmune issues of all kinds into remission!

It is also very encouraging to have multiple healing diets like GAPS and AIP available for people to choose from in order to architect an approach to wellness that best suits each person’s budget and lifestyle.

In order to clear up some of the confusion between these two healing diets for reversing autoimmune disease, GAPS and Autoimmune Paleo, I’ve asked Melanie Christner, NTP to outline the two diets at their most basic level and discuss the primary differences between the two.

It is important to remember that GAPS and AIP are both healing diets, meaning they are *temporary* and not designed as a lifelong endeavor. In other words, the ultimate goal of GAPS and AIP is to heal, put autoimmune disease in remission, and resume normal eating within the context of the Traditional Diet that makes the most sense for each individual.

With that, let’s launch into a more detailed discussion of the GAPS Protocol and Autoimmune Paleo. Take it away, Melanie!

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Ceylon or Cassia? Cinnamon Benefits Not a Matter of Variety

by Sarah TheHealthyHomeEconomist September 22, 2014

ceylon and cassia cinnamon benefits

Throw everything you *think* you already know about cinnamon out the window.

I’ll admit, until recently, I thought I knew the lowdown about cinnamon benefits too.

You know what I mean … the blah blah blah that Ceylon cinnamon is the only true cinnamon and the Cassia (Chinese) cinnamon sold in stores is merely a cheap impostor and even dangerous to consume.

Turns out, this “fake” versus “real” cinnamon discussion is nothing but a red herring.

The topic of cinnamon benefits to health is much more subtle, and yes, vitally important, than black and white arguments about its authenticity or lack thereof.

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