4 Snack Alternatives To Stay Healthy



It’s hard to get through the day without snacking. It can be a long time between meals, and sometimes you need a little something to hold you over. Instead of reaching for junk food, here’s a list of alternatives that should keep you looking good, and more importantly, feeling good.

Kale Chips

kale chipsPotato chips seem to be the first thing we reach for, when on the couch looking for a quick snack. I like a good chip as much as the next guy, but I don’t like how I feel shortly after scarfing down half a bag. What if we can have a healthy alternative, where we don’t have to worry about how much is shoved in our mouths, ready in about 25 mins? Enter kale chips. It may take a few times to get right, but you can get a great flavor with a fantastic crunch, where the whole kale chip just crumbles in your mouth. Here’s a good kale chip recipe to use, although I personally do without the salt.

 

 

Beet Chips

beet chipsMaybe you tried the kale chips and want something more chip like. Something with more substance. Well look no further my friend (we’re friends, right?), than the beet chip. Cooking times can vary here, depending on how thick or thin you slice them. Once you get it right, this is definitely closer to a chip, and much healthier for you. Here’s a recipe to get you started.

 

 

Cauliflower Rice

cauliflower riceOk ok, no more chips. Let’s talk rice. White rice doesn’t have much of a flavor, but it has a great consistency, and fills you up. Though it is a grain, and is also processed to help us digest, which removes nutrients, so we probably want to find a good alternative. Well open that veggie drawer and pull out that head of cauliflower you keep putting off eating! Follow the instructions for a cauliflower rice recipe here. Cauliflower rice tastes better than white rice, and is more nutritional to boot.

 

 

Paleo Ice Cream

paleo ice creamIce cream is one of the harder snacks to avoid. Especially as we get into the hot summer months. Don’t you wish you could have ice cream without the lactose? You can with paleo ice cream! There are many paleo ice cream recipes online to choose from. The trick is to use almond milk or coconut milk (or both!) in place of cow’s milk. If you’re anything like me, a couple scoops of paleo ice cream won’t have you running to the bathroom shortly after.

Organic Farming

photo by seancookandthehmc

Organic farming is a method of agriculture that, rather than using synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, uses more natural means, such as crop rotation, biological pest control techniques, and compost, to produce its crops. According to the USDA, the term organic refers to “food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods that integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.” The following are some things to keep in mind if you plan to begin organic growing.

Know Your Purpose for Going Organic

One of the first things you should consider before moving forward is why you want to grow organic. The reason for this is simple: If you simply want to grow yourself some healthier food, then the requirements will be much less strict than if you want to, say, start a farm as a business. Just one example of one such requirement would be the duration of time that land has to be chemical-free before being able to sell your organic crops.

If you do plan to start this type of business, then you should become very familiar with all applicable standards and regulations. Some additional information for this can be found at http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/nop.

Know What You Want to Grow

Knowing what you want to grow is another important question to ask yourself. One reason why this is important is for proper nutrition. Knowing what you want to grow will give you valuable insight into what types of nutrients you should be including in the soil to help your crops grow properly.

Another reason is pest control. One particular technique that organic growers use to limit pests without using pesticides is called companion planting. Companion planting refers to planting other crops that are beneficial to each other.

Companion planting works in a number of ways. First, it can bring other animal and insect life that help crop growth, such as attracting bees that aid in pollination.
Second, it can help attract other animal life that will eat or otherwise ward off pests.

Improving the Soil Quality

Since organic growing strictly prohibits the use of synthetic fertilizers, you will need to rely on other methods of naturally improving the quality of your soil, such as learning how to make your own liquid fertilizer, how to make your own mulch, and how to make your own compost.

Keeping a Crop Journal

Keeping a journal is another important consideration. Just as you if you were a professional weightlifter, keeping track of nutrition, exercises, and progress optimize the benefits, keeping a journal for your crops is equally important.

In the log, you should keep track of things like the types of plants that were grown, the weather, the types of mulch used, and any other relevant data. This type of journal will prove useful because it allows you to see what you did from one growing season to the next, shows you what worked and what didn’t, and offers insight into what you can do better the next season.

Thanks for reading, and good luck!

Fresh Air

What’s not to love about fresh air? When you take deep breaths, it makes you feel more energized. More alive. So why not try to be around it as much as possible? Why not try to grow it?

There’s a great TED talk, where Kamal Meattle touches on growing fresh air at home, using a few different plants.

I think we sometimes forget how important plants are to daily life. Look around the homes and offices you visit, and you may see how scarce plant life is. This can be easily rectified! Let’s take a look at the 3 plants mentioned in the talk.



Areca Palm

The Areca Palm is a great indoor plant, that can be used to convert CO2 to oxygen. It requires a lot of watering, but also releases a lot of moisture into the air, which makes for a great natural humidifier. Mr. Meattle recommends 4 shoulder-high plants per person.



Money Plant

The money plant is a great toxin remover. It handles removing indoor pollutants like formaldehyde, xylene, and benzene. Works well in the office, with artificial light, but is toxic to cats & dogs. If you’re a pet owner, you’ll want to keep out of reach.



Snake Plant

The Snake Plant takes over while you’re sleeping, absorbing toxins and converting CO2 to oxygen at night. It does not need a lot of light or watering, which is good cause who can sleep through that? Goes great in the bedroom or bathroom.




These are just a few plants that could get you started, building your indoor jungle, but there are plenty more beneficial plants. Take a look at this list of air-filtering plants that NASA compiled. You’ll want to note the toxicity warnings though, or you could be doing more harm then good! If you’re looking for more information on plants and growing fresh air, check out the great book by B.C. Wolverton, How to Grow Fresh Air: 50 House Plants that Purify Your Home or Office.

Indoor Farming: Small, Self Sustaining Indoor Gardens To Large Scale Urban Farms

With interest in sustainability starting to peak, indoor farming is becoming even more common. People like to grow their own food sources because they know where the fruits of their labor are coming from, as well as what went into, or more importantly what didn’t go into producing their crops. Even in the most settled, urban areas, people are finding creative and innovative ways to produce large yields from their indoor farms. What’s more amazing is people are farming indoors and producing enough crops to make an actual business out of their produce, selling their goods at local markets.

photo by M Borch

Crops That Flourish When Farmed Indoors

Herbs
Though it is difficult to base an entire meal around herbs, they are the aromatic and flavorful base many a dish requires to be the very best it can be. Herbs such as basil, sage, oregano, and parsley are ideal for growing indoors. Herbs that are harvested for flowers and seeds are more difficult to grow inside.

Leafy Greens
If you are partial to lettuce and spinach, you’re in luck. Greens such as these grow as easy as 1-2-3 indoors, even in colder climates. Small plants just seem to fare better indoors than larger plants.

Radishes
If you want to be able to taste results from your indoor farm quickly, radishes are a great little crop to plant, as they start to become ready to pluck from the dirt in as little as 20-25 days.

Seeds, Soil, Planters, and Conditions for Indoor Farming

Small indoor farming endeavors can be made possible by basically making a container garden out of 4″ pots for leafy vegetables, a container you can fit on the windowsill for a small herb garden, and a container at least 10″ across for your radishes.

Growing a humble garden indoors doesn’t require much by way of dirt and soil. A soil-free potting mix is perfect for growing small crops in-house, because it allows for aeration of the roots, as well as drainage.

Take Your Indoor Farming To The Next Level With Hydroponics

Are you more interested in growing tomatoes, peppers, and other plants that are trickier to farm indoors? A rotating hydroponic growing system may be exactly what you need. Even amateur gardeners have farmed fruits and vegetables from tomatoes to strawberries, even eggplants in new state of the art hydroponic growers, right inside their home or garage.

Not only can you produce enough vegetables and fruits to supplement your family’s grocery bill, with a bit of hard work you can grow enough to sell at your local farmer’s market. The best part about using hydroponics in your indoor farm is the low level of maintenance required to keep things running smoothly. If approximately an hour of your day seems like a reasonable cost for fresh produce, you’re on the right track.

From Indoor Farms To Your Kitchen Table

If the thought of successful indoor farming still seems impossible, take a look at these 14 amazing indoor farms that use revolutionary growing technology to produce food that might have graced your table. These remarkable indoor farmers started off with an idea, just like you. You never know, it may not be long before you share in the success.

Going mobile

mobile-screenshot

Mobile screenshot

We’re pushing a new site design, that should hopefully help all you folks on mobile devices. We decided a green theme made more sense, since we’re all about green farming.

Enjoy the new site, and let us know if you have any issues!