Sunday, May 31, 2015

4 steps to kill fruit flies without chemicals

Don't judge me 'cuz I got a fly problem

I live in South Florida, which is a beautiful thing. However, it is not just all sunny skies and blue oceans-- there are also weird lizards lurking everywhere, which is fine... but what is NOT fine are the fruit flies that infest my kitchen.

I thought it was just me, and maybe I am a secretly filthy individual with garbage problems. But that just can't be true-- I clean a lot and keep things tidy. I promise that I dispose of my garbage and recycle in a timely fashion! Still, I had concerns, until my neighbor admitted that they are a problem for her, too. Maybe it is the warm climate? No matter what the cause, I want those fruit flies gone!

So I Googled how to kill flies without chemicals (because I am all about living as ToxicFree as possible-- I'm a rep for the Healthy Home Company! Chemical-free choices, y'all!) and I found a super easy way to get rid of them.
This fruit fly does not realize it's committing suicide-- DIE, FLY, DIE!

Here are the steps:

1. Pour apple cider vinegar (I used the kind from Braggs, which has the raw "mother" in it) into a mason jar. If you follow my blog, you know I love making salads in these jars! If you don't have vinegar, try red wine.
2. Create a funnel with paper and tape.
3. Put the funnel into the jar...
4. Add a drop of dish soap-- that breaks the surface tension so they can't just fly away, they drown (insert evil laugh).
5. Bonus points if you add ripe fruit!

These flies love fermentation, so they're attracted to the vinegar. 

eeeewwww dead flies

This may take a few hours, so have patience. I kept checking the jar the first couple of hours or so, and NOTHING WAS HAPPENING... so I was like, "Ugh, this must not work. Guess I'll have to keep swatting these dad-gum flies."

Then the next morning, lo and behold-- two dead flies! It gives me a twisted, perverse pleasure to keep counting the dead bodies I'm racking up. "You will no longer be landing in my green smoothie that I freshly blended, mwahaha!"

It is really disturbing to see just how many were floating around my atmosphere. All I can say is that at least I know there are this many fewer now!

UPDATE: After I posted this article, my friend Corey Greenwood said he tried it. Here's what he says about how it worked for him:

"I went to the store and got apple cider vinegar. I wasn't going to mess around. I made this and sat it by the kitchen sink where they were mostly at. Within seconds, two of them had already landed and were trying to figure out how to get down the funnel. Within minutes, there were five already inside. This is legit."

Corey's successful death trap for the fruit flies

What other ways have you tried to naturally combat an infestation? Comment below! 

Monday, May 25, 2015

Green smoothies: the ultimate health drink!

Want to make a quick, easy meal that's the most healthful, nutritious and delicious drink ever? Try making a green smoothie! 

Check out my CruzTube video that shows you how I make one.

I’ve been making green smoothies for probably about a decade, ever since I read the book Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko. In the book, she talks about how the best way for your body to absorb nutrients from fresh, leafy green vegetables is to blend them into a smoothie. The first time she tried it, she said it smelled awful, really strong like wheatgrass. Although I grow my own wheatgrass and juice it daily, I’m not a huge fan of the smell. As you can see in this video, I just use my special method of drinking it down like medicine, LOL!

But the magic happened when Boutenko added bananas. She said that one simple act transformed the smoothie into something delicious. I always put a banana in my green smoothie, although there are many recipes that don’t call for it.

I used my Magic Bullet blender to make my green smoothies for a really long time, but I’m so glad that they came out with the Nutribullet. It’s just bigger, and I needed that! I recommend using a 20% off coupon (you know you always get them in the mail) and getting yours from Bed Bath & Beyond.

Organic dandelion greens, banana and a mango from Haiti

You could also use a regular blender, but be prepared that it won’t work as well and you will have to blend it longer. Try adding some ice to make the consistency creamier and smoother. Ice also thickens it up without adding any calories. The book The Abs Diet said in a blind study, people who drank smoothies with ice felt fuller longer than those who had the same exact smoothie, but blended without the ice.

If you’re brand-new to green smoothies, try organic baby spinach as your leafy green. It’s a great “starter” since it tastes so smooth! Another tip is to seek out fresh fruits that are in season for extra nutrients and flavor.

There are a million green smoothie recipes out there, but here is my basic formula:

1.  A handful of fresh greens, approximately 1 cup
2.  One banana, fresh or frozen
3.  A handful of berries or fruit like mango, about ½ to 1 cup – frozen bags of fruit are quick because they’re pre-chopped
4.  1 cup of water
5.  Optional—protein powder or Greek yogurt (I add a pinch of stevia if I use yogurt), or even some nuts/seeds if you want the protein and fat while remaining vegan

I typically put all the ingredients into my Nutribullet tall cup at night, and then just blend it in the morning. Then I pour it into a Tervis cup and head to work.

My vessel of choice: it prevents spills and "sweating" plus it keeps the smoothie chilled

It’s nice to use a Tervis with a pattern on it that kind of masks the fact that you’re drinking a green smoothie. Although they are becoming more mainstream now, green smoothies are still not as widely recognized as I wish they were—and I STILL receive comments that make me feel like someone’s judging my healthful drink (don’t hate on my green smoothies, y’all).  ;)

Have you ever tried making a green smoothie? If so, what’s your recipe? Let me know in the comments below!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Mason jar salads: healthful meal prepping, quick and easy!

I'm obsessed with easy-to-make, healthful mason jar salads! It's the best way to keep your greens from getting soggy with dressing on them, since the dressing stays on the bottom.

These salads will stay fresh in your fridge for up to a week, although I recommend consuming them more quickly if you do choose to make them with a soft cheese, like I did in this video.

When you make a mason jar salad, here are some guidelines:

Step #1. Put dressing on the bottom
Step #2. Add hard veggies and fruit (I used zucchini and baby beets, but other good ones are carrots, peppers, onions and celery)
Step #3. Add beans and legumes, you could also throw in grains/quinoa
Step #4. Add soft veggies and fruit such as avocado, tomato, mushroom
Step #5. Stuff your greens on top! Pack it in there!
Step #6. Top with nuts and seeds, and sometimes I throw in some bacon bits and/or green onions

When you're ready to eat your salad, if you have a runny-type dressing like the first salad I made in the video, you can just shake it up then dump it all on a plate. However, if you have a creamier dressing like the second salad I show here, then you may have to scrape the bottom out with your fork and spread the dressing around.

Have you ever tried making a mason jar salad? If so, what is your favorite recipe? Let me know in your comments below!