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Thursday, November 14 , 2013

Drink This to Stop a Cold

People get more colds in cold weather because they spend more time indoors, where viruses can spread more easily from person to person. It's pretty easy to tell that you've got a cold coming on—your head hurts, your throat aches, your nose runs. Time to chill out and make some healing tea! Here's what to do: Peel and grate about one-half ounce of fresh gingerroot or cut four slices each the size of a quarter. Bring the ginger to a boil in two cups of water, turn down the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Strain and drink a cup of this tea every few hours, making a fresh batch as needed. The pungent components in ginger called gingerols help fight viruses. If you can handle a little spice, add one-eighth teaspoon of cayenne pepper to one cup of your brewed ginger tea—it'll help clear your sinuses. And/or sweeten each cup with a tablespoon of raw honey and add the juice of one-half a small lemon—the honey has additional antiseptic properties to rid your body of germs and the lemon adds some vitamin C to boost your immunity.

More ways to fight colds and flu...

Wednesday, November 13 , 2013

No-Waste Tomato Paste

Does anyone use an entire can of tomato paste at once? It's so concentrated with tomato deliciousness that you need only a spoonful or two. What a great deal! But it isn't such a bargain if you throw out the rest of the can, and even if you put the remainder in a food container in the fridge, it doesn't keep its zingy freshness for very long. Here's what to do: Use what you need, then put the rest in a small, resealable plastic bag (a sandwich-size bag works well). As you are spooning, make note of the total number of tablespoons that are going into the plastic bag. Seal the bag shut, flatten out the paste to about one-quarter-inch thickness, and put it in the freezer. Then, whenever a recipe calls for one or two tablespoons of paste, just break off an appropriate-size piece (i.e., one-quarter of the piece for one tablespoon, one-half for two…if the bag contains four tablespoons). Remember to label the bag of paste with the number of tablespoons it contains as well as the date you put it in the freezer. The paste should keep well for up to six months.


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Tuesday, November 12 , 2013

Instant Headlight Cleaner for Your Car

Don't be that person who washes the car but forgets about the all-important (and often grimy) headlights! Mix one cup of distilled white vinegar in one quart of water, and as a mild abrasive (for bugs and other sticky road goo), add one tablespoon of cornstarch. Use a sponge to wash the headlights with the solution, then rinse with plain water. You'll see the light!

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Monday, November 11 , 2013

An Ingrown Toenail Cure

An ingrown toenail can happen when the nail is pushed down into the skin of the toe, usually from poorly fitting shoes or lack of a proper trimming. This can cause redness, swelling and a lot of pain! Here's how to fix it: At bedtime, put a slim wedge of lemon on the problem toenail, keeping it in place with a Band-Aid and covering it with a sock. Sleep that way, and by morning the acid in the lemon should have softened the nail enough so that you can ease it away from the skin and trim it. The right way to trim the nail is to cut it straight across, not down at the sides, and not shorter than the toe (which promotes growing into the skin).

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Friday, November 08 , 2013

"Hand-y" Trick to Reduce Stress

Here's a little acupressure trick you can use on yourself to relieve life's pressures. For at least five minutes a day, massage the webbed area between the thumb and index finger of your left hand. Really get in there and knead it. It may hurt—but you'll be rewarded if you tough it out. Gradually the pain will decrease, and so should the tightness in your chest and shoulders. Eventually, you should have no pain at all when you rub, and you may notice a difference in your general relaxed state of well-being.

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Thursday, November 07 , 2013

Natural Help for Varicose Veins

Do you have varicose veins? One in every two women and one in every four men past the age of 40 does. Adding exercise, such as swimming or walking, to your daily habits is one of the best lifestyle tweaks you can make to help remedy unsightly veins. But here's a way to really zero in on those veins and “get your legs back”...To stimulate circulation and help reduce the inflammation that brings about varicose veins, gently massage some rosemary oil (about a teaspoon or two) into the affected area. Once every evening should produce results within a few weeks. You can find rosemary oil at health-food stores and online. Note: Most rosemary oil is sold as an “ essential” oil or “ extract,” which is too strong to use directly on your skin. Be sure to dilute with an equal amount of “ carrier” oil, such as almond or grapeseed oil.

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Wednesday, November 06 , 2013

Grate Your Food, Not Your Fingers

Food processors often don't produce the even shred that we desire for salads, or toppings or whatever. Sometimes you just have to grate by hand, which can be a tricky endeavor once you get down to the food stubs...no one wants grated fingertips in their food! This is what you do: Go to a sewing-supplies store, and get thimbles that fit the specific fingers that are in jeopardy each time you use your grater (usually your thumb, index and middle fingers). With the thimbles in place, you will be able to grate faster and more completely—no more leftover stubs of potato, carrot or cheese! After you finish grating, you can go grab an antique washboard and start your own band.

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Tuesday, November 05 , 2013

7-Minute Roasted Garlic

Roasted garlic adds a rich, earthy flavor to whatever savory dish you're preparing, but to make it can involve a big, energy-sucking oven on high heat for an hour or more. Here's a quicker way to make roasted garlic without the wait and wasted energy: You can "roast" garlic in the microwave—and it's delicious. Prep the head of garlic the same way as you would for oven-baking. Then place the head in a small, deep, microwave-safe dish, along with two tablespoons of water. Cover the dish with microwave-safe plastic wrap or a microwave-safe plate that completely covers the opening, and cook it on medium for seven to seven-and-a-half minutes. (Time may vary depending on your oven.) Then carefully remove the dish from the microwave, and let it stand for 10 minutes before taking off the plastic wrap. Use the garlic the same way you would use it if it were roasted in the oven. Bon appétit!

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Monday, November 04 , 2013

Get Those Stains and Smells Off Your Cutting Boards

To remove a stain from your plastic cutting board or wood butcher’s block, sprinkle table salt on it, then rub it with an inch-thick wedge of lemon or lime until the juice combines with the salt and the stain begins to dissipate. Rinse and dry. The salt draws out the grease that’s clinging to your board and acts as an abrasive, while the lemon/lime helps bleach out the stain.

To remove a strange smell from a cutting board, take a bigger piece of lemon and rub (again, the flesh side) wherever the smell is coming from. Rub until the lemon scent overwhelms the smell. This works on plastic or wood. Rinse. Dry. Sniff. No smell! Note: Most bacteria cannot survive without moisture. Keep all surfaces in the kitchen dry...especially cutting boards and butcher’s block.

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Friday, November 01 , 2013

Ancient Slimming Herb Boosts Your Metabolism

It’s hard to lose weight, and appetite-suppressing drugs can be a harmful (and costly) addition to your diet. Here’s a natural slimmer that’s probably waiting for you in your kitchen cabinet:

The secret is fennel seeds, which can be easily brewed into a tea. To prepare, add one teaspoon of the dried, loose herb to a cup of just-boiled water. Cover and let steep for 10 minutes. Strain and drink one cup about a half-hour before each meal and one cup at bedtime. It has a refreshing, mild licorice-like flavor.

What’s going to happen? Well, the Greek name for fennel is marathron, from mariano, which means “to grow thin.” Fennel is known to metabolize and throw off fatty substances through the urine. It’s also rich in vitamin A (which means it’s wonderful for the eyes) and helps aid digestion. Note: This tea is not a “magic bullet” that melts the fat away. Please use in conjunction with a sensible eating and exercise plan to slim down for better health. And please check with your doctor before using any herbs or supplements for weight loss.

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