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Monday, September 26, 2011

Living with Environmental Sensitivities

Well here I am blogging again.

Today I want to share with you the 'joys' of living with environmental sensitivities.

I am very lucky and have a hubby who is very talented at renovating.
We have decided to redo our main bathroom as it was looking a little sad and we think the shower/bath might be leaking. As someone who reacts to mold I want the bathroom to be free of any mold especially if it is behind the walls.
So the past month we have been out looking for tiles and accent pieces for the shower and bath.

Because of my sensitivities we bought our bathtub over 8 months ago and stored it at a friend's place so it could off gas. Acrylic tubs can off gas for quite a while. We also bought our vanity 6 months ago and it has been off gassing in our garage. Most people wouldn't even think of this as they would just order their tub and vanity or hire someone to come in and put it all in. That would make me very sick, so everything has to be planned well in advance and even still there is the chance that when I return home I may react to some of the off gassing.
It has been quite the learning process for my husband as this was all very new to him and so we researched and went to place like the Healthiest Home when we renovated our house. Products like natural bamboo floors, no voc paint, formaldehyde free plywood and the list goes on. At times it can be overwhelming for him as he has to ask about everything he does before he does it, and even then, sometimes a product that is quite inert will still cause me to react.

Every time we do any type of renovation I have to leave the house or I risk reacting to the chemicals that are being used. It is a bit of a pain, but it is just part of who I am and I am so grateful that I have a best friend who has a lovely spare bedroom just waiting for me.

These days there are so many healthier options. We have always used no or low VOC Paint ( volatile organic compounds) it is better for the environment and really everyone would be better off using it in their homes. Especially those new parents who always seem to decide right before the baby is born to paint the babies room. There are so many chemicals in paint and it can take up to 30 days or more for the chemicals to off gas and you have a new little one breathing in all those fumes.
See info below on VOC's
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors. VOCs are emitted by a wide array of products numbering in the thousands. Examples include: paints and lacquers, paint strippers, cleaning supplies, pesticides, building materials and furnishings, office equipment such as copiers and printers, correction fluids and carbonless copy paper, graphics and craft materials including glues and adhesives, permanent markers, and photographic solutions.
Organic chemicals are widely used as ingredients in household products. Paints, varnishes, and wax all contain organic solvents, as do many cleaning, disinfecting, cosmetic, degreasing, and hobby products. Fuels are made up of organic chemicals. All of these products can release organic compounds while you are using them, and, to some degree, when they are stored.

So as you can see it is a good idea to use products that have no VOC's in them.

Needless to say it has been a busy time getting ready to renovate and move to my girlfriends house.

I always like to take food with me and with my food allergies it makes it easier on everyone if I bring food. A lot of our meals are shared and my girlfriend is following the PH Miracle Diet so it can get complicated when we are fixing meals together.

Yesterday I made on of my favourite soups that is in my cookbook, Finally... Food I Can Eat.
Zucchini soup is such an easy, healthy soup to make and of course I had to make some oatmeal cookies to take so that when I get the munchies I have a healthy cookie to snack on.

Check out the recipe below for oatmeal cookies and let me know how you like them. I think you will love them!

Oatmeal Cookies
3 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp honey
1 egg or egg replace ( I use flaxseed)
1/3 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup oat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup raisins or carob or choc chips

In a food processor mix sunflower seeds, oats, oat flour. Add in everything else and mix. Spoon drops onto a cookie sheet and bake 350F for 15 minutes or until done.
Instead of an egg I will take 1 tbsp ground flaxseed and add it into the water called for in this recipe. For more egg replacers check out my cookbook

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