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Thursday, September 18, 2014

Just One Thing - Challenge 2: The Dirty Dozen

We explored the depths of relegating your microwave to the junk pile (or the basement...or to Salvation Army) in the last challenge.  Onward and we forge our path toward (bum ba da baaaaaa) pesticide reduction.

Pesticide reduction?  What the heck for?  My direct and unfiltered answer: do you want cancer?  Are you trying to make your kids totally inept and spazzy?  Are you supporting the death of honeybees that make it possible for us to eat piles of produce?  Do you even care about poisoning the land beyond recognition so that your offspring will have a world devoid of any nutrients and health whatsoever?  (Like I said, unfiltered.)  Consuming vast swathes of insane poisons sprayed all over your absorby food is straight up a TOTALLY INSANE IDEA that we blatantly overlook for no good reason.  Just think about this for like two seconds.  We spray things that kill living beings (no, I'm not on a specific "save-the-bug" bus here, I'm just pointing this out) all over our food (HELLO?) and then ingest it, thinking this is totally normal and nothing to worry about.

After all, the FDA and the USDA approve it, so it must be perfectly fine.

(If you believe that, step a little closer so I can slap your forehead for you.)

What if I told you that there was a nice quick and dirty (well, actually, maybe I should say "clean") way to avoid the bulk of pesticides?

There is.

The EWG is the Envoronmental Working Group (find them at  They test every kind of fruit and veg you can imagine for pesticides and report it out to the public.  Unfortunately for those of us in the United States, we have pathetic standards for what is safe (couldn't be from all of the lobbyists who beg for loose restrictions so that they can make buckets of money) and trail behind the standards of the countries of Europe.  (Hello, Americans?  Get up that competitive spirit and let's get in first place here!)

They have compiled a list of fruits and vegetables that contain the most pesticides so that if you were to purchase and consume them organically, you would automatically reduce your pesticide load by more than 90%.   This is what they call the "Dirty Dozen".  It is the top twelve fruits and vegetables that if you could buy organically,  you really ought to.

What are they?  Well, they change yearly (although they do have many of the same homies populating the list year after year) because they test yearly.

For every year I've looked at the Dirty Dozen,  I've always seen the top two as they are this year: apples and strawberries.  Those puppies are just LACED with junk.  

Here is the Dirty Dozen, in order:
1.  worst place: apples
2.  strawberries
3.  grapes
4.  celery
5.  peaches
6.  spinach
7.  sweet peppers (red peppers)
8.  imported nectarines
9.  cucumbers
10.  cherry tomatoes
11.  imported snap peas
12.  potatoes

In each of those cases, you are chowing down on the outside of the fruit/veg where toxic chemicals have been directly sprayed.

The EWG also puts out the "Clean Fifteen" - the fruits and veggies that contained the least amount of pesticide residue.  If you're on a budget and just can't buy everything organically, here are ones that you could best get away with doing so.

The Clean Fifteen, cleanest first.
1.  avocados
2.  sweet corn
3.  pineapples
4.  cabbage
5.  frozen sweet peas
6.  onions
7.  asparagus
8.  mangoes
9.  papayas
10.  kiwi
11.  eggplant
12.  grapefruit
13.  cantaloupe
14.  cauliflower
15.  sweet potatoes

So.  Will you consider reducing your pesticide load by perhaps switching to organic on some of these fruits and veggies?  I know that this does have a cost component, but I would encourage you with two things. First, how much is your health worth?  You know what Joel Salatin says, right?  "If you think organic food is expensive, have you priced cancer lately?"  That.  Secondly, don't buy any prepackaged foods and you can save yourself enough money to put in the organic food basket.  Prepackaged foods are devoid of nutrition and are sucking your life out of you, anyway, so it's a win-win.

I'm not here to boss you around and tell you you stink if you don't buy organic fruit.  I'm here to encourage you to take a look at what you're doing.  Don't just go on like a cog in a machine and go with the flow because everybody else is doing  it (everybody else is also sick).  You are not like everyone else.  God made you special, sista/brotha!

The point is that it's just insane to look around at so much sickness and think if we just cross our fingers and throw salt over our shoulder we'll try to dodge that bullet.  Do something about it.  Today.

Your health is not a roulette game.  Every move you make walks you toward or away from wellness.  Just think about it.

Here is a very practical, instant, do something about it now change you can make.

Peace, love, and smell the delicious organic apples,
Ms. Daisy

Monday, September 8, 2014

Week 1: How was it?

Hey peeps!  So, you made it one week (maybe).  Did you make it?  Tell me f'realies how it's going.  Is it easy?  Impossible?  Sometimes you forget?  Tell me!

When I gave up my microwave, I was terrified that somehow I would fail or starve or something (actually, I don't know what, but I knew that I depended on it somehow...or I thought I did).  I wanted to distance myself from it without jumping off of the cliff straightaway, so I put it in the basement.  For about 6 months.

Do you know what happened when I put it into the basement?  I stopped using  it. Just like that.  It wasn't convenient to me, and I was purposing to live without it - and I did.  And it was no big deal.  

It was like switching to homemade deodorant.  At first you think, "OH MY GAWSH, that is NOT EVEN POSSIBLE!" and then you do it and you wonder what your problem was.  (It's the matrix if you're wondering.)

If you're having a hard time, but think you are able to do it and your microwave is on the counter, put it in the basement/garage/pole barn/shed/chicken coop (?!) and you'll realize two things.  One, you have more counter space and two, you can do this.  Don't really put it in your chicken coop, we don't want them climbing in and laying eggs in the radiation box...

And then that was it.  It was over.  I didn't need it anymore.  I lived without it just fine. Now I wonder why I used it in the first place.

If your microwave is mounted under a counter above your stove, well...can you unplug it?  I wouldn't want you to cook and have that thing on shooting your brain with cancer bullets.  (If it were me, I'd unscrew it and sell it on craigslist, but hey.)

I haven't had a microwave in the house for about two years.  At first I was the only one on this bus in my house, the hubby wanted to warm up his coffee in it and would occasionally go down and nuke it.  I would ask for his coffee when it got cold and heated it up in a pot for him and he liked that just fine.  It slowly transitioned over where he didn't want to use it either.

He rated it a 5/10 difficulty at first for stopping the use of it and now he wouldn't use it at all.  

What's the point?

If we can do it without much consternation, I think you can too.

Let me know how you're doing!  If you have questions or need a mini Ms. Daisy on your shoulder, just ask!  (justonethingchallenge {at}

Peace, love and you can do eeet,
Ms. Daisy

Thursday, September 4, 2014

How to: life without a microwave

I asked around to see if I could discern the top uses of a microwave (and thus, try to find what would be most helpful to find substitutions for) and here's what I found:

1.  Heating up leftovers  
2.  Zapping coffee for the 3,000th time  
3.  Making popcorn
4.  Lunch at work
5.  Melting butter or chocolate

Let me address these one at a time.  

Numero uno: heating up leftovers. 

Let's say you've got some delicious spaghetti with plenty of homemade veggie sauce in there (you know, you were sauteing some zukes, some tomatoes, a little garlic, onion, carrots for sweetness in your organic olive oil on low heat for ninety minutes to get all of that sweetness pulled out of each veg) that spent the night in the fridge.  You're hankering for a sweet blob of spaghetti with some of that shaved parmesan but, HOLY MOLEY, you don't have a microwave!  What to do, what to do?

It's like-a this, Mickey, you putta the espaghetti into the pot on the estove with a little watta so's we don't scorch it, eh?  Turn on the a-fire and warm it up real nice, capiche?  Putta the espaghetti into your bowl and viola, you got some hot espaghetti.  Whatsa matter?  You not gonna wait five more seconds for perfection, Mickey?  I think you betta change-a your mind if you know what's good for you, Mickey.  Now dats more like it, Mickey.  Be a good boy, now.  Glad we understand each other.  

Leftover burgers or pizza - put them in the toaster oven (minus the bun, the lettuce, etc.) and walk away, come back - delicious burger.  And heating it up like this keeps the heat.  Or if you're desperado, put your cast iron pan on the stove, put your patty into the pan, add a few drops of water, turn that baby on, cover it up and in two minutes you'll have that thing sizzling.

Soup?  Put it into a pot, obvs!  Heat it up on the stove.

I don't have anything plastic that touches food (minus a cutting board, the Pampered Chef slap-chop, and the handles of one of those little tiny sharp knives.  OH!  And the lid to my Mason jar water bottle.), so this is a gigantic bonus when I want to heat something up in the oven (or toaster oven).  I just pop the Pyrex in (and yes, I do collect the Crazy Daisy and Spring Blossom Pyrex) the oven and food can be warmed and served (and stored) in the same dish.

Issue #2: Reheating coffee for the 3,000th time

Personally?  I don't drink the stuff.  Give me my tea and I'm all set, but I can understand your problem.  But the problem is in your solution.  Do a test.  I don't know why, but if you heat up a cup of coffee in the microwave and heat up another mug of coffee in a pot on the stove, the one from the stove stays hotter longer.  If someone can figure out why, please feel free to share.  So by heating it on the stove, you can cut down on the amount of reheating times needed (for one thing), and the amount of cancer you're probably ingesting (on the other hand).  Bonus.  And then just rinse out the pot (that would be a stainless steel pot, not a Teflon-coated cancer pot) and wipe it dry and you're all good.

Issue #3:  Making Popcorn

You're joking, right?  Microwaved popcorn tastes like troll feet compared to popcorn in a pot on the stove and it takes the same amount of time.  I use 1/3 cup of organic (non-GMO!) popcorn kernels in 1 or 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, put the lid on, shake it like that QVC Shake Weight and in 2 or 3 minutes you have glorious popcorn.  Add some full spectrum salt (pink himalayan or celtic grey) and a blob of glorious melted Kerrygold butter and you will find yourself instantly snuffling happily in  your trough.  You're welcome.

Issue #4:  Lunch at work

See, this is where we need to turn the world around, my friends.  Workplaces have microwaves but rarely have traditional heating mechanisms.  What a dumb thing!  Kill all of your workers, boss man, kinda not a good plan (unless they are bad workers.  But why did you hire them in the first place?   Yep.  Still all your fault.).  

Here are a few of my wild (but totally serious) suggestions:

a) buy your work a toaster oven (bonus: you can save your fellow workers lives after you reform them to your healthy ways)

b) sneak in one of those 1990's George Foreman grills (panini day? Hello!)

c) get one of those hot water plugger inner thingies for your tea and add hot water to your soup (it might work, right?) - or you could get one of those double walled stainless steel canteens that promise to keep things boiley hot for like fifteen hours

d) eat salads, sandwiches, gazpachos and other things that do not require heat

Issue #5: Melting butter or chocolate

I really must say, "f'realies??" to this one, too.  Maybe your microwave is different, but when I used to heat up butter in the microwave, I would stick it in a measuring cup.  When the minute (or 30 seconds, whatever) was up, I would pull out a slumped stick of butter with a giant hole in the middle of it.  DOES THIS SEEM LIKE IT IS A LITTLE WEIRD AND UNNATURAL TO ANYONE ELSE?  A hole.  In the middle.  

Yeah, that was probably good for me.  

The alternative method is just as easy (to say nothing of omitting the radioactive butter experiment.  Cookies?  I made them myself!  What do you mean they glow in the dark?).  Teeny cast iron pan, put in the butter, turn the heat on all the way low and come back in 90 seconds and it will all be melted.  And if you do it this way, you can see the two different "parts" (?) of butter - this lovely clear liquid, and the creamy opaque part.  Or maybe I have weird butter.  But that's how I roll.

As far as chocolate, I put it in a Mason jar, put the Mason jar into a pot of hottest water on the stove, turn it on medium and stir it with a spoon until it melts.  It's really not a big deal.

Honestly, it's not really that hard.  I know you have to push your brain in a different direction to avoid the microwave habit, but besides that, I have to tell you it's really no problema.  Your two minutes of patience will result in 1) a better character in yourself and 2) better tasting food.

(Not to mention the whole avoiding carcinogens and EMFs.  No bigs.)

So let me know.  Is it do-able?  How are you coping?

Stand strong, mis amigos!  You aren't a sheep following the masses blindly, you're cutting a path for yourself to better health and a happier body.  Now that certainly may be counter-cultural, but I think it's worth it.

Peace, love, and I need to go wash my face after my trough-episode,
Ms. Daisy

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Hans Hertel: Microwaved food screws up your bloodwork

Hey peeps!  How's it going?  So, have you lived without your microwave for 48 hours?  CAN YOU EVEN BEAR LIFE??!  Did you put a sticky note on it with a reminder saying "Do Not Use" on it?  Send me a picture if you did!  (justonethingchallenge {at}

So, I want you to have some science behind this earth shattering lifestyle change and here it comes - in the form of research done by Hans Hertel.  Hans and a group of researchers lived in a quarantined like fashion for 8 weeks - no drinking, no women-ing, no drugs, just being lab rats - all for us, so that we might have some knowledge about what microwaved food does to our bodies.  (Everybody say, "Thanks, Hans!") 

Hans and seven of his best researcher buddies had their blood taken upon rising (to get a baseline), fifteen minutes after eating and then two hours after eating.  They wanted to see if there was anything going on in their blood differently when they ate conventionally heated food, raw food, and microwaved foods.  They tested different things like milk (raw, cooked, microwaved), and veggies (raw, steamed, frozen but defrosted in a microwave and cooked straight up in a microwave).  

What they found won't really surprise you.  

(What happened when they started to publish their results won't surprise you, either.  Go against status quo and you almost always are going to get marginalized, threatened, discredited or all of the above.)

What they found was the following:

Those who ate microwaved foods had a decrease in all hemoglobin (that's a red protein responsible for transporting oxygen...kind. of. important.) 
Those who ate microwaved foods had their "good" cholesterol lowered and their "bad" cholesterol raised.  (The makers of Lipitor encourage you to keep up your microwave use, I'm guessing...)

Lymphocytes (those are white blood cells, remember? Oh, and that is a marker for your immune system, just ask any cancer patient going through chemo about their WBC - they know all about it!) took a downhill turn in the blood of those who ate microwaved foods immediately after eating them.  Leukocytes showed an increase over progression of time, showing a marker for stress in the body.

You'll not be surprised things got worse as they went along.

There is more detailed information for you to read about regarding this study here at Dr. Mercola's website.

Yes, I can assure you that most people will think you are just a crazy health freak for not using your microwave, but we are not those who shrink back at being different.  When you know that there will be a difference in your health from not using it, it is not hard to adopt, although the habit of it may be mindless and have to be put in to the front of your brain to break initially.  I know this seems like a huge thing on the one hand, but I really encourage you to just try it - just a try - for two weeks.  See if you can do it, see if you could picture yourself going for three weeks, and then making it a normal way to interact with your food.

Being someone else's weird and dangerous science experiment is not on my bucket list, perhaps you feel the same way.  The age of the microwave oven is not proving to be an era saturated with robust health, is it?  I say we bow out of this one.

Not only are you open to the health benefits, but if you're a person who wants instant gratification, at the very least just think of how much better your food will taste.  Think of slow cooked meals - the smell of simmering things on your stove, the coaxing out of natural sweetness in various delicious veggies that only comes about with patience.  

One question I want to answer quickly that keeps coming up - "What do I take to work to eat?"  (I am guessing that this means your work does have a microwave, but not a proper kitchen with a stove in it, thus the quandry.)  What about a wonderful, organic, crunchy, happy salad with your homemade dressing?
Delish picture from
Whut?  Homemade dressing?!  Yeah, something difficult like your custom proportion of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  You can do this.  You have skillz to pay the billz.)  What about a peanut butter (invest in Naturally Nutty's gourmet nut butters and you won't be sorry) and raw honey and banana sandwich?  Yeah, it's kind of like eating dessert, but it is a suggestion.  What about a turkey sandwich with your homemade mayo?  What about sliced up grilled chicken (organic, free range, that you cooked over wood) and some quinoa?  That doesn't have to be hot.  What about gazpacho?  What about some funky noodle and veg and chicken salady thing with your homemade Italian dressing?  Take fruit to eat along side of it.  Maybe some almonds and a square of 72% dark (organic fair-trade, non-soy lecithin) chocolate for dessert?  NOW WE'RE TALKIN'!  If none of that will do, buy your work a toaster oven and heat it up in that.

You can do this.  I am pretty sure your life was filled with slightly harder challenges, no?  Let me know what you're trying, what's working, what questions you have.  And don't forget to share the love with others!  Most likely they don't know they're screwing up their bodies.  Get out your cape, homies!

Peace, love, and step up!
Ms. Daisy

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The who's who of non-microwave users, plus engineering extra credit

I mentioned before that with the reduction or elimination of microwave use, there is a tendency for others shall I say this?  Ah, yes.  Treat you like a total health freak (or just a freak in general who wears tin foil headgear - mine totally like matches my new tin foil dress!!).


You are not alone (although you may feel you are - you aren't!).  If nobody else you know in the entire world seems that they are avoiding a microwave, there really are people out there who are on this bus with us.  According to the available facts and figures out there, about 90% of American homes own a microwave.  Do you know what this means?  It means that a whole 10% of people (or more - maybe some have them in their homes and don't use them) are NOT using a microwave.  

That's right.  We can't all be cool, you know!  

Well, here's a few others who are outspoken about their NON-microwave use.

1.  Vani, a.k.a. Food Babe.  Here is her article and advice on the subject: Why It's Time To Throw Out Your Microwave
2.  Stephanie at Keeper of the Home.  Here is her article: The Microwave: Why You Should Avoid It and Other Options

3.  Katie at Wellness Mama.  Check this one out, too: Not Using A Microwave

4.  Dr. Mercola!  Microwave Hazards

There are more, but these are some people who are outspoken about avoiding their use. 

If you're inclined to the science side of things, I'm going to share a video with you about how the engineering behind the radiation box.  To be sure, it is a creative's just not something I want to use to heat up or cook my food.  As you watch, actively think about the wild contrast between heating something up traditionally via convection.

 Think about it.  Doesn't really remind me of back to nature, cooking over an open flame.  I guess that whole metal thing with the ball of electrons shooting out of it kind of gives it away...

Peace, love, and welcome to the cool peeps club, 
Ms. Daisy

Monday, September 1, 2014

Challenge 1: Dump your microwave

Welcome to the Just One Thing challenge!  If you're wondering what you are getting yourself into, let me lay it out for you.

As you know, a few posts back I talked about the myriad of things that you can possibly do to be healthy.  Sometimes it feels that there is such an ocean of choices and decisions to make to walk toward becoming healthier that it can become overwhelming.  A common response to being totally overwhelmed is to throw your arms up in the air and give up.  This is where this challenge comes in.  I am going to introduce one thing at a time (approximately every two weeks), focus on it, challenge you to change it for a couple weeks - with the hope that you will think it worth it to adopt into your lifestyle.

I will tell you the science behind the why, how to adapt it into your lifestyle, answer common questions (or complaints) about adopting that issue and stand behind you cheering you on as you do it.  If you want to comment below or email me to ask a question, I am happy to help.

And now, the first challenge: dumping your microwave.

Scene one: your kitchen

You: So, uh, well, I don't know how else to say this really...
It: What.  What are you trying to say?  Just say it.  Don't try to beat around the bush.  You're seeing someone else, aren't you?
You:  Um, no, it's just that...well, um...
It: It's WHAT?  WHAT?!
You: We need to break up.
It:  You cannot be serious.  You cannot live without me.  What are you going to do? Heat your coffee up over a fire outside?  Give me a break!
You:  It''s not's me...
It:  I'll give you "it's not you, it's me"!  I INVENTED "it's not you it's me"!
You:  You're right.  It's you.

(Warning:  In the following clip, George says the "D" word.)

Can you even wrap your brain around it?  Can you imagine NOT using your microwave for two weeks?  Of course you can.  You're tough.

So here's the thing.  We totally take for granted that we are RADIATING OUR FOOD every day.  Do you know how a microwave works?  A microwave shoots energy into the water molecules of food and makes them shake back and forth 1 to 100 billion times PER SECOND.  You know that friction heats things up, and this is what this does.  (Sounds totally natural, doesn't it?  OH I KNOW!)

When you take that microwaved item out of the radiation box, you've got free radicals just flying all over the place (you know about free radicals, don't you?  Yeah, that's speeding up you looking like a wrinklebag and sending you presents in the form of carcinogens.  Thank you, microwave.  This is just what I wanted along with my coffee...).  If you are using plastic in your microwave, heaven help you.  You might as well punch yourself in the face repeatedly.  

This says nothing of the screwed up proteins, the reduced nutrient value of your food and veggies, and all the rest.

So here's what I want you to try for two weeks - choose to use a different method of heating your food that is not a microwave.  Your coffee?  Heat it up on a pot on the stove.  Your leftovers?  Toaster oven.  (Or regular oven if you don't have one.)
Hi!  I'm a stove!  Let's be friends!

I am going to tell you about a very interesting study done by Hans Hertel this week that will help you rethink your microwave use.  For now, I'm going to leave you with a very disturbing thing that happened since the inventions of microwave ovens - a woman named Norma Levitt was killed when after she had a blood transfusion (after her hip surgery) when the nurse heated the blood up in the microwave.  Makes you think of (well, a lot of things - like that was a really dumb nurse, but...) how the microwave changes your food - it's not just "hotter".  We've got crazy reactions going on in there.

What do you think?  Are you freaking out right now at the thought of it?  Email me and let me know if you can stand it.  What will you miss most about it?  (I mean besides the cancer.)  What do you use your microwave for?  

Peace, love, and wait, what's a stove?
Ms. Daisy