Friday, August 24, 2012

The safe and toxic free home: Kitty litter

Embedded image permalink

I know, this topic doesn't seam all that huge to most people, and not everyone has a cat box, or a cat, but for those who do this really is a big problem. For one, clay cat litter is awful when you breath it in. Dust goes whooshing up in the air, and usually most of us let the box get dirty enough that we cant hold our breaths the entire time we are cleaning it.

 Clay litter generally has a clumping agent in it called sodium bentonite (natural clay ingredient) that expands when wet and hardens to make it easier to clean up. Unfortunately this has bean linked to many feline health problems, such as internal blockages, asthma, and other lung problems. Your cat is exposed to it longer, and they ingest it directly when they clean it off their paws. 

If your litter is Silica-based then you have another set of problems on your hands. Sodium silicate, absorbs moisture and odor but it too is harmful for humans and felines alike. It has "been linked to lung cancer, bronchitis and tuberculosis. Some cats can end up with a fatal form of pulmonary tuberculosis called silico-tuberculosis" ( 
Neither one of these types of liters can decompose, and they are both stripe mined. The end result, unhealthy cats, owners, and an unhealthy planet. 

Baking soda is great for eliminating odor, but it is also hard on your felines kidneys. Don't forget, they do clean themselves and if they use a litter box then they clean off that litter too. This causes the urine to not be able to be passed. Then, you spend hundreds of dollars to fix the problem.

Instead of using clay litter I suggest choosing a corn, wheat, paper, or pine based litter that is fragrance free, (very important, fragrances cause even more respiratory problems. you know what it's like sitting by an old lady that uses to much perfume, and you cant breath and/or you get a headache. Your' perfume is still harming you even if it isn't as strong as the old ladies, but so is you cat litter that has fragrances that aren't natural).  My personal favorite is Swheat scoop. It is chemical free, and biodegradable. Corn and Wheat litters also clump without the aid of Sodium silicate. 

If you choose a natural litter, you may need to change it more often. For my one cat, I only need to change it about once a day for the smell to stay away. However If I don't have much time I can go a little longer, especially if I deodorize the air with a natural air deodorizer

If you are particularly concerned for you cat, and especially if that cat has had breathing problems in the past you may want to consider the pine. Wheat and Corn may have come into contact with chemicals. Some farmers are careless, and allow any number of chemicals on their fields. If the product isn't processed in a way that eliminates these chemicals then you cat may be exposed to them. This is also a concern for choosing food for yourself, but that's another topic.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The dangerous home.

As a wife, I want my home to be a safe place. I want it to feel homey, and comfortable. I want the smells and the sights to instill good feelings, but I also want it to be a place that Wont give the people living in my household various illnesses, like Asthma, Birth Defects, various forms of Cancer, Anemia, Skin Disorders, Death and many, many other problems. Since I'm sure most people would like this to, I decided that it is about time to start addressing the dangers of toxic chemicals in houses. This series will go beyond keeping cleaning supplies away from children, because lets face it, if you clean your floor with something toxic, and your kid is still breathing it, and it is absorbing into their skin as they roam around barefoot, then the toxins are going to still hurt them. It may not be immediate like when they drink it, but it will harm them over time. Plus, if you clean with those harmful chemicals, then you'd bettered arm yourself with a hazard suit or else you'll get problems and wont be able to take care of your child. I know cancer and the prospect of dying seams extreme, but if you continue reading my posts then hopefully you will see that this is a serious problem in our society. I will cover things like cleaning supplies, cat litter, room fresheners, laundry detergent and fabric softeners, cooking supplies like non stick pans and canned food. Also, I would like to cover beauty products, because looking beautiful shouldn't hurt, no mater what those evil ladies that wax you eyebrows say. lol. But in all seriousness, even mineral makeup can contain chemicals similar to arsenic and the loos powder is damaging to the lungs, I'm not even gonna start on fragrances...yet. I think that those evil fragrances will be covered in just about every posting (over 40 petroleum based chemicals that are very harmful in just one word. Ya, its bad).  

Monday, August 13, 2012

Easy non-dairy, vegan, and creamy as can be Tomato Soup

Made this soup last night. It was an adaption from the tomato soup in the Nordstrom's cook book. I didn't have the carrots that it called for, or the cream, so I went with what I had, and it tasted so good!


  • 1 large onion, sliced and sauteed
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup of good quality olive oil (I used one that I had put spices and herbs in to flavor the oil)
  • 1 tbsp of dried basil
  • 2, 14 oz cans of diced tomatoes, with the juice (use 1 can per person, this recipe can take up to 6 cans, just add another 1/4 cup of broth per 2 cans of tomatoes)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste. (I use unsalted tomatoes, but if you use salted then I wouldn't add any salt)
  • Fresh basil, chiffonaded for garnish (to chiffonade, lay 1 basil leaf on the other, roll, and slice on the roll so that it comes in ribbons)
   Put everything in a blender, minus the fresh basil, and puree, or put everything in a pot and puree with an immersion/wand blender. If you want cream, add 2 cups of it now. Warm on medium heat until heated through. serve and garnish with basil. 

Still need help understanding how to chiffonade? here is a video, 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

This last week and one half.

Narwhal Picture, cozy kitty slipper socks, Favorite book, and grapefruit Izzy. 

Made cake, They battled.... It was a draw, then went on a night hike.
(yellow cake with butter/honey glaze 1/2 cup butter and honey heated and pored over the cake)

Tasty snack. Strawberries, honey, Greek yogurt, vanilla ban powder. 

Lentil stew with jalapeno cheddar bread for Jacob.
1/4 cup lentils cooked, 1 medium potato, 1/4 bell pepper and onion, 1/2 can tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, and I think maybe oregano...

Supper Tasty!
4 cups of cooked Millet, 4 cups cooked corn, topped with  2 large tomatoes sliced,  1 onion sliced, 2bell peppers sliced, and  1green chili roasted in olive oil at 350 for 15 min. OOOOO Yummy! 

Made Banana bread with Pamela's baking mix. delish. 

Eggplant Parmesan, with spaghetti.

  • 2 medium eggplant (about 2 1/4 pounds), cut into 1/2-inch-thick round slices
  • Kosher salt, as needed, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 5 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Oil for frying
  • Flour, All purpose, for dredging
  • 6 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • QUICK MARINARA SAUCE, recipe follows (Use what is left over from your spaghetti)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan 
  • Fresh mozzarella, optional. 
  • Directions:
Arrange the eggplant slices on several baking sheets and sprinkle generously all over with kosher salt. Set aside to let the bitter juices weep from the eggplant, about 1 hour.
Transfer the eggplant to a colander in the sink, and rinse well under cold running water. Transfer eggplant to a work surface and blot very dry with paper towels.
In a large bowl, whisk together the 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, breadcrumbs, oregano, thyme,and season with pepper.
Place the flour in a medium lipped plate or bowl. In another medium bowl, whisk the egg and milk together. Dredge an eggplant slice in the flour, then dip it in the egg, and finally dredge it in the breadcrumb mixture. Shake off any excess breading and transfer the eggplant to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining eggplant. In a large straight-sided skillet, pour the oil in about 1/4 inch deep. Heat on medium, until the oil reaches about 400.  Working in small batches, fry the eggplant slices, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes per batch. Transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining eggplant.
Heat your oven to 350, and place your eggplant in a shallow baking pan. Put 2 tbsp of sauce, and 1tsp of cheese on top, or to taste. If their is any sauce left over from the spaghetti, put it around the eggplant with 1/4 cup of the drained juice from the canned tomatoes. Bake until the eggplant is soft and easily poke able with a fork. About 15min. Or, put in a warm oven for up to 1 hr. Serve with homemade spaghetti. 
  • 2 cans of tomato sauce (unsalted) 
  • 2 cans of crushed tomatoes (unsalted) Drain them and use 1/4 cup of the liquid above. 
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced.
  • 1/8 to 1/4 cup of good quality olive oil. (crushed and unheated is best)
  • 3 tbsp or to taste, Italian herbs. (I use a mix that I get in bulk, but you can just use 1 tbsp each of marjoram, basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme.)
  • Salt and pepper.
In a saucepan, heat 1tbsp of oil on medium. Put in the onion and garlic, sprinkle with salt, and saute until the onion becomes translucent. Add in everything else and bring to a slight boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for about 5 min to 1 hr. Depending on how much time you have. If you let it simmer longer than 1 hr, the taste will only get better, but you may need to add some tomato juice if it gets to thick.