Health and Fitness Advice | Weight Losing Tips and Tricks | Diet Patch | Fitness Meals | Low-fat Recipes | Day Meals | Dessert Recipes | More Food Ideas


Health and Fitness Advice | Weight Losing Tips and Tricks | Diet Patch | Fitness Meals | Low-fat Recipes | Day Meals | Dessert Recipes | More Food Ideas


Health and Fitness Advice | Weight Losing Tips and Tricks | Diet Patch | Fitness Meals | Low-fat Recipes | Day Meals | Dessert Recipes | More Food Ideas


Health and Fitness Advice | Weight Losing Tips and Tricks | Diet Patch | Fitness Meals | Low-fat Recipes | Day Meals | Dessert Recipes | More Food Ideas


Health and Fitness Advice | Weight Losing Tips and Tricks | Diet Patch | Fitness Meals | Low-fat Recipes | Day Meals | Dessert Recipes | More Food Ideas


Mold The enemy within.

The air-tight house that keeps cold air out also serves to keep household moisture in. The showers our family takes every day, along with the moisture created in cooking in the kitchen, running the dishwasher and washing machine, add up to a sizeable amount of moisture created every day in the average home. This can lead to the condition of excess moisture (more than ordinarily expected) which can create decay. Decay is the setting for mold.

Mold is a known cause of allergies. According to the Mayo clinic, these are some signs of allergies to look for:

· Irritated eyes

· Runny nose

· Nasal congestion

· Scratchy throat

· Coughing

· Rashes

· Fever

· Nausea

· Headaches

· Dizziness

· Confusion

· Fatigue

Mold has also been known to trigger attacks in asthmatics. So, it is nothing to take lightly.

Molds sounds so awful that you might think that it'd be easy to spot. This is not necessarily so. First, look for any indications of excess moisture in your home. Some signs of excess moisture in a home may include a musty odor or the feeling of too much humidity. Is there excessive condensation on windows or walls or buckling walls or ceilings? Look for sweating pipes in the kitchen, bathroom, or basement. If any of these conditions occur, look more closely. Mold and mildew may appear on surfaces as a discoloration, which may be white, orange, green, brown or black.

You should also regularly measure the humidity in your home. Invest in a hygrometer, which will let you know when your home's relative humidity (RH) levels are above or below the ideal. For more information on humidity and how it affects your home and your health, visit this URL:

The best prevention of mold is multi-pronged:

· Put vents to the outdoors in all bathrooms and kitchens. If you have a heat recovery    ventilation system, you may not need to add an additional vent to these rooms.

· Put a dehumidifier in your basement.

· Clean all mold areas regularly.

If you've already got mold and mildew problems, here are the recommendations of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC).

Clean-up methods

Mould and mildew on surfaces can be cleaned up with a solution of one part chlorine bleach in four parts of water.

When applying:

· ventilate well

· use gloves

· let stand 10 - 15 minutes

· rinse well

· keep surfaces dry

Mould and mildew-stained fabrics should be removed and discarded. For more information, visit:

Household Cleaning Products are Poisoning Your Home

I've always known that household cleaning products can be poisonous; that's why the cabinet under my kitchen sink has always had a child-proof lock on it. My inquisitive toddlers are great at getting into things they shouldn't, so I've always been very cautious when it comes to cleaning products.

What I didn't realize is that, simply by my using some of these products according to the directions on their labels, I have been adding to the air pollution within my own home - contributing to the creation of a sick house!

I learned about these problems from a local television show, which sent me promptly to the Internet to continue my education. Here's what I found;

The American Lung Association ( claims that these products release hundreds of potentially dangerous chemicals into the air.

The products commonly containing these chemicals include: Aerosol spray products, including health, beauty, and cleaning products, chlorine bleach, and rug and upholstery cleaning products.

Pesticides used or stored within the home are known pollutants, as are hobby and craft items such as some glues and paints.

The products can cause problems with skin contact, as well as lung problems.

Fortunately, there are products that can help solve common household problems without creating new ones. Here are a few, as suggested by the Environmental Health Center (

Alternatives and Safer Solutions

For This:

Ant’s: Red chili powder at their entrance point

Chrome polish: Apple cider vinegar

Dish Detergent: 1/2 cup baking soda + liquid detergent

Flies: Well-watered bowl of basil

Fleas: Gradually add brewer's yeast to pet's diet (consult your veterinarian first)

Ink Spot Remover: Cold water + 1 tablespoon cream of tartar+ 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Moth Repellent: Cedar chips enclosed in cotton sachets

Pet odor removal: Cedar vinegar

Roach repellent: Chopped bay leaves and cucumber skins

Rug/Carpet Cleaner: Baking soda

Window Cleaner:
2 tablespoons vinegar in 1 qt. warm water

Air Freshener:
Use herbal bouquets, pure vanilla on a cotton ball, or simmer cinnamon and cloves

Mold and Mildew: Bleach

Drain Cleaner:
1/2 cup baking soda + 1/2 cup vinegar, wait a few minutes, then 2 quarts boiling water, repeat process

Stain Remover: Club soda, lemon juice, or salt

Rusty Bolt/Nut Removal: Carbonated beverage

Pest Control for a Healthy Home

No matter how "advanced" we get, we can't get past the fact that we share the earth with some critters that we just will never get to like. A few of these common household pests are mice, rats, fleas, and mosquitoes. Traditionally, the ways to prevent problems with these pests, and/or to get rid of them altogether, have been heavy in the use of pesticides of one kind or another. However, now that we know what tremendous impact these pesticides can have on our immediate health and, long-term, on the health of our planet, so, my family and I have been trying to discover more eco-friendly solutions for these age-old problems.


I despise mosquitoes, and have for many years, long before the fears about West Nile Virus. The fact that they also can carry diseases like some forms of encephalitis has been enough for me. I have always thought the idea of something searching me out like a heat-seeking missle, intent on feasting on my blood, was just too ghoulish to bear. If I'm walking in the woods, well perhaps then I'm fair game, but having to try to outsmart these little devils on my own beloved backyard deck or, worse, yet, in my home, is too much to bear.

That's why I have become a quasi-expert in the destruction of the garden-variety mosquito. I say "quasi" because I have not medical degree or PhD designation. I just have years of experience of tried and true methods to prevent the little buggers from pestering my family or our guests. Keep in mind that when it comes to preventing mosquito bites, however, go for something other than adding more chemicals to Mother Earth!

Reducing the Mosquito Population

Get them before they even start by reducing the number of hospitable environments around your home in which mosquitos can breed. Help eliminate the areas that mosquitos need to breed by emptying, removing, or covering any receptacle that can hold water. An example of this is those outdoor ceramic pots and plastic cans that accumulate water and are often forgotten. Get rid of old tires hanging around your yard - they're a perfect honeymoon destination for mosquitoes.


Do you have a bird bath? If it's just sitting there getting stagnant, it's inviting mosquitoes to make more mosquitoes.


Radon and Your House

Radon is nasty stuff. It is an odorless gas, commonly found in nature and, unfortunately, also found all too often within homes in the US today. What makes radon nasty is its role as a leading cause of lung cancer. The more radon you are exposed to, and the longer you are exposed to it, the greater your chance is of developing cancer of the lungs. Certainly, radon is not something you want to share your house with!

So, what is radon and how does it get into your home in the first place? Radon is a radioactive gas. Unlike other gasses, radon cannot be detected by sight, smell or taste. It comes from the breakdown of uranium, which occurs naturally. In fact, most soil samples in the US can be found to contain some amount of radon. Although radon is usually found in rock and dirt or soil, it can also be found in well water. The radon is released when normal household activities occur, such as washing dishes or taking a shower. So, radon can be everywhere, but when it is in the air outdoors, its amount is so small that it is readily diluted in the air and has no known effect on people. However, when radon is inside a home, particularly inside a modern home that is well insulated and tightly constructed, the radon can accumulate to problematic levels. How problematic will depend on the amount of radon in the underlying soil or well water, as well as the type of construction and the actual design of the home involved. Accordingly, you want to prevent radon from entering your home wherever possible, ventilate your home to reduce the impact of the radon that does invade your home, and then remove all of it that you can from your home.

Common Household Airborne Toxins

How they got here and how to get them out!

Homes have always harbored pollutants; it's impossible not to have some pollutants.

Think back to Colonial America. Every colonist cooked in her home over an open fireplace. Try doing that today; not only will you set off every smoke detector in the place, but you'll damage your d├ęcor and your lungs, as well.


This is primarily a reflection in the advances in home design and construction. Today's homes are almost air-tight in contrast to the log and chinked structure of earlier homes. Add Tyvek wrap and other construction improvements and you're faced today with homes that don't let fresh air into "water down" the indoor air's accumulated pollutants.

According to the EPA, some of the major contributors to indoor pollution include:

  • Combustion sources (gas, wood, coal, oil, etc.)
  • Insulation containing asbestos
  • Furniture or cabinets made from certain pressed wood products
  • Radon
  • Pesticides
  • Some cleaning products 

Airtight is too tight when it comes to having a healthy house

When we built our Vermont home 5 years ago, foremost on our mind was energy conservation. As you can appreciate, heating a New England home can be very expensive, so we made sure to do everything we could to make the house efficient to heat. This included 2x6 wall construction to allow for extra insulation, wrapping the home in air barrier materials, installing energy-efficient windows, and more. 

The result was a home as air tight as it can be today; another result, however, that was unforeseen, was a home through which very little stale air escapes nor fresh air enters - the perfect setting for household air quality problems.


We didn't notice any problems at first. We moved in in August and through September, windows were frequently opened, allowing plenty of air exchange. But with the first frost in early October, we closed the house up as tight as we could and it wasn't much later before allergy symptoms began to appear.

The first to develop the perpetually drippy nose was our youngest. However, her symptoms weren't as problematic as were my husband's, which developed soon after. Not only did he have a runny nose, but he also had headaches and periodic wheezing. After a week or two of this, he saw a doctor who suggested allergies were at fault. I won't bore you with the details of how long it took us to realize we were allergic to the air inside our own new, beautiful house, but that was the final conclusion. You can imagine how heartsick we were to learn that what we had invested so much time, money, and love into was now turning against us.