Monday, April 7, 2014

Media deception: You don't need 99% of the stuff "they" try to sell you!!!

Have you noticed how the media makes you think that you need stuff.  All kinds of stuff.  Some of it is useful but some of it is just silly!
These disposable hand towels are a perfect example of stuff that you don't need.  People have been using terrycloth towels in their bathrooms for decades and I have never heard of anyone becoming sick or dying from a disease contracted from a towel!  I don't even want to start with the environmental repercussions of this.  Not just the waste but also the carbon footprint from the factory.  I change my hand towel daily depending on use.  It adds about 5 to 7 small towels to my laundry that I am already washing anyway.  UGGGGH!  Just use a towel people don't buy into this unnecessary product.
I don't use paper towels in the kitchen either.  I think they are wasteful and again unnecessary.  I went on a quest for a inexpensive green alternative and was a bit disappointed because cloth napkins can be very expensive.  I was at the $.99 only store and came across packages of mens hankies.  They came 6 in a package and I bought 6 packages.  I put them into a half gallon mason jar and use them as napkins and for small messes in the kitchen.  If I have a big mess I use a dish cloth.  I toss them into a small basket under the sink and throw them into the wash.  They don't take up any more room or add any extra work except for cramming them into the jar once they are clean.  Works like a charm.  I do keep some paper towels on hand for biological animal happenings but that's all I use them for.  Oh and as far as my dish cloth being filled with germs as the media warns us about, I just use one per day let it dry out and toss it into the under the sink basket.  

These suckers are a HUGE pet peeve of mine!  Frozen PB&J are you kidding me?  I am sorry but you have to be a special kind of lazy if you can't get out a loaf of bread, peanut butter and jelly and make a sandwich for your kid. Seriously?  UGH!  Things make me so mad.  Not to mention the ingredients.  Subway's yoga mat bread, yup it's in there along with high fructose corn syrup and a myriad of other chemicals. This is lazy America at it's finest!!!  If you want cute shapes head over to your favorite big box store, they sell cute sandwich cutters and you can make your own!!!  

As far as what I use to clean my sink and stove?  I use baking soda and soap.  My grandmother did it.  It left our stovetop spotless when I was growing up and it does the same for my sink and stove today.  I found the little shaker at the dollar store.  You can use a parmesan cheese container too but the one I have is paper and the lid did not screw off so I just picked up the one at the store. Sprinkle a little in you sink or on your stove and put a little dish soap on your sponge and clean away!!!  No harsh chemicals is a bonus!!!

The media is just doing it's job.  The ad companies are just trying to make a buck.  You don't have to put money into their pockets.  Stop buying stuff that you don't need!  Save your money, the environment and keep chemicals out of your house and out of your body!  I read on a blog the other day, "Think before you buy, do I really need this?"  

Give it a try.  I am sure you have baking soda in you kitchen right now!  

What useless products do you avoid?  What is your "green" alternative?  Please share in the comments.

Remember: Stay Quirky my friend

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Day I Stopped Using Toothpaste

Yup, I Becky, AKA the Quirky Urban Girl, no longer uses toothpaste!  After reading about all the harmful chemicals in toothpaste I decided to get into my way back machine and make my own.

Very simple ingredients

1/2 cup baking soda
1/4 cup coconut oil
peppermint extract to taste
stevia to taste.

Mix it all up and put it in a jar. scoop a little bit onto your toothbrush and that's it.

I will admit that it took some getting use to. It has a very bitter taste and does not bubble up at all.  I am not sure that I will use it forever but I am giving it a shot for now.  It's easy enough to make and I know what all the ingredients are.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Quirky Urban Pizza

I love pizza!  It is my favorite. After reading this blog post from Food Babe it only confirmed my suspicions, pizza, potentially healthy meal, is not healthy because of what's in it.  Oh and I am not talking about the cheese and meats.  It's the hidden non-food chemicals like MSG hidden is ways such as Autolyzed Yeast Extract & Natural Flavors. Not to mention the unhealthy oil factor.

But I love those savory pies so much!!!

For years now I have been making my own pizza crust using this recipe from Breadtopia.  I make both the instant yeast and the sourdough pizza crusts.  It is super easy and you are in control of the ingredients. Here they are folks. Instant yeast, Organic Flour (either unbleached or whole wheat), Olive Oil, (I use organic coconut oil) Sea Salt and water.  That's it, no more!  

This recipe produces a tasty crust with basic ingredients that I'll bet you already have!

Top it with fresh veggies and nitrate free meats, organic cheese and you are good to go!!!

For today's pie I chose to make a vegan version.

1 recipe Breadtopia's basic pizza crust
1/4 C. prepared hummus
1/2 organic tomato, sliced thin
1/2 bunch organic asparagus, chopped
1 handful olives (your choice) chopped
1 handful artichoke hearts packed in water. chopped
1/2 organic red bell pepper
1 handful organic baby spinach

Prepare crust as directed and cut in half. (freeze second half for later use)
Heat oven and pizza stone to 475
Roll out dough and place on parchment
Spread Hummus evenly around dough and layer vegetables.  You can add as many or as little veggies as you like.  So if you want more or less of something go for it.

Transfer pizza to the stone with the parchment paper. (yes, leave the parchment paper under the pie, If you have a pizza peel you don't need the parchment.  I use a non-rimmed cookie sheet.  I place the parchment onto the cookie sheet, prepare the pizza, and then slide it onto the stone in the oven.) Bake 10-12 minutes until crust is brown.

  Cut and enjoy

*Notes: I used 1 1/4 wholewheat flour & 1 cup unbleached flour.

Thanks for stopping by and remember, stay Quirky!