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Blog

 

Conserving Water

Kerri Vilaverde

 For Cuteness Purposes Only

For Cuteness Purposes Only

Things I Googled this morning:

  1. How does Leslie Mann look so young?

  2. How do I get a TED talk?

  3. What is the answer to “how much wood could a woodchuck chuck”? (I’m not kidding about this.)*

  4. Am I using too much water?

This is where my brain goes in the early morning hours when everyone else is sleeping. Truthfully, this is pretty tame.  I’ve Googled some crazy stuff in the wee hours before the sun comes up.

I’m still working on my New Year’s resolution (it’s a phased-in approach).  We started by throwing away less food and eating home more often. Less technology was also on the list.  Next up is reducing water consumption. In truth, we’re good about short showers, efficient appliances, and my son almost never flushes (much to the dismay of the rest of us!).  But I’m sure we could make some improvements all around.

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On average, water pours out of the faucet at 2.5 gallons a minute.  I’m thinking of all the times I leave the faucet running….while washing fruits and veggies, washing plates, washing hands, or waiting for the water to get to the exact right temperature.  So these seem like great places to start conserving. Also, catching rainwater for the garden and using a car wash instead of washing my own car (car washes recycle their water). BUT, I knew all that.  Come on...most people do these days, right? The most interesting stuff I learned had nothing to do with household use.

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In my research, I learned another way to conserve water...watching your “food footprint”.  I never consider how much water is required to produce the foods we eat every day. According to www.nrdc.org, it takes 1,850 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of beef, 519 gallons per pound of chicken, compared to only 39 gallons per pound of veggies.  Replacing your morning orange juice with a glass of water could save 16,717 gallons a year. Swapping one cup of coffee a day for tea could save 10,950 gallons a year. Replacing one pound of beef with vegetables a week could save 94,193 gallons of water a year.  Those numbers are staggering. Why does it take so much water to make our food? Well, it’s a complicated answer but an estimated 80% of all water consumed in the U.S. is used in agriculture.

This really got me thinking about the stuff in my fridge.  What am I willing to give up and what are deal breakers? I don’t think I will be giving up my morning coffee, but if I never had OJ again, I wouldn’t miss it.  There are so many swaps we could all make every day that work for us and for our families. What are your favorite ideas?

*As much wood as a woodchuck could chuck, If a woodchuck could chuck wood.

Treat Those Feet

Kerri Vilaverde

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I can’t say that I think about my feet too much.  It’s very unfair because they take me everywhere I need to go.  But you know when I do start thinking about them? A lot??? Around 10:30 pm... on the dance floor...at a wedding...in heels.  That’s when they are screaming at me and will not be ignored. Like the rest of your body, you should give them a little attention to keep them healthy and working for you.  

  1. Wash them every day.  I know it sounds so obvious, but they need a thorough washing with soap, including in between the toes.  Just letting the suds run down in that direction is not enough (guilty). Bacteria gets hidden in those little in between spaces.

  2. Try a scrub for dry or scaly feet and to keep the skin from thickening and cracking.  They need exfoliating as much as the rest of you!  (We love the Mint Your Feet Scrub)

  3. Dry thoroughly to prevent that bacteria you just washed off from coming back.

  4. Keep your nails neat and straight to help prevent ingrown toenails.

  5. Moisturize.  This is my favorite.  Go ahead and give yourself a foot massage with our Mint Your Feet foot balm.  You deserve it. And then put on some comfy cotton socks, get in bed, and binge-watch something fabulous.  Yes, all these steps are required.

  6. See a doctor at signs of fungus or cracked heels, you may need a prescription, or if you are experiencing recurring pain.

  7. Wear comfortable shoes as much as possible.  Take special care when choosing appropriate footwear for exercising and be sure to replace those running shoes when they are showing the signs of wear and tear.

  8. Speaking of exercise.  Your feet need this too!  Walking is good for them. So are some gentle stretches.  Try placing a tennis ball on the floor and roll it around under your foot.  It should feel like a nice stretch and massage in one.

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Taking good care of your tootsies will feel great and BONUS!... keep them looking great in your favorite summer sandals.  Don’t forget to sunscreen them at the beach or the pool. And a nice soak after a long day of walking or a long night of dancing will have them feeling fantastic again in no time.

Olive Oil Is Skin Care Gold

Kerri Vilaverde

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I once spilled nearly a half bottle of olive oil on my kitchen counter.  I could have wept. To avoid it going to waste, I hand-squeegeed it into a Tupperware and moved it to the bathroom.  I used it on my legs, my cuticles, in the tub, and in my hair. Anywhere I thought sounded like a good idea. It’s something my grandmother would have recommended, and let me tell you she knew what she was talking about.  

Olive oil is packed with antioxidants, lipids, fatty acids, and squalene.  These components can help protect against free radicals and plump and hydrate skin.  It also has natural anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties.

Olive oil has a long history of skin care use.  Considering that the olive tree is possibly the oldest known tree on earth, that’s not too surprising.  In 2012, scientists carbon-dated olive trees in Gethsemane and found them to be at least 900 years old AND in excellent health.

The ancient Greeks thought that olive trees were a gift from the goddess Athena.  As the story goes, the first king of Athens, Cecrops, who was half person and half snake, wanted to find a patron God or Goddess for his city.  Athena and Poseidon were chosen to compete and after much fighting, presented a gift to the King and the city for judgment. Poseidon struck the earth with his trident and created a salt water spring. Athena, on the other hand, planted an olive branch in the ground. After a tree grew in its place, Cecrops chose Athena’s gift and the olive tree has remained a central part of Greek culture for thousands of years.

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Ancient Greeks and Egyptians used olive oil in cleansers and as a moisturizer.  Cleopatra is said to have used olive oil on her skin as part of her many famously luxurious rituals.  Many ancient cultures including Indian and Greek believed that if you couldn’t eat something and put it into your body you wouldn’t put it on the outside of your body either.

Many of us have adopted a similar philosophy today.  Beauty icons such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Miranda Kerr, and Chloë Grace Moretz have admitted to using olive oil in beauty treatments.  But perhaps the most revered user is the legendary movie star, Sophia Loren. Throughout her life, she was often asked about her secret to looking young and beautiful and is quoted as saying  “a love of life, spaghetti and the odd bath in virgin olive oil.". That is how I want to live my life. How about you? Pass the pasta, please.