Saturday, February 28, 2015

Best Fruits and Vegetables for Dogs






An article to share with dog lovers from Vet Street

If your New Year's resolution is to eat healthier, we've got some good news:  Your dog can do it too!  Fruits and vegetables make great treats for dogs, and we've got the skinny on which ones are OK to feed your dog.

If your pooch already eats a quality commercial diet that's been approved by your veterinarian, he doesn't necessarily need fruits and vegetables to balance his nutrition - not like we humans do,  anyway  Still, fruits and vegetables (offered in moderation, of course) can be tasty, low-calorie and inexpensive snacks for dogs.  So toss those fattening cookies and hit the produce section.  It's time to get healthy!

Broccoli makes a great snack for pups.  Just remember to serve human food sparingly - even the best fruits and vegetables, if eaten by your pet in huge amounts, can cause stomach problems.  Some canines love sweet potatoes.  Be sure to serve them to your dog in small bites and make sure that they're cooked, never raw.

Zucchini and other squash are healthy treats for your canine.  Before you change anything about your dog's diet, though, consult with your veterinarian, because some foods may be incompatible with certain medical conditions or prescribed diets.

If you want to give your canine a few banana slices but don't want to deal with a squishy mess on the floor, here's an easy solution.  Freeze the banana slices before you offer them to your dog.  Giving your dog peas instead of cookies can make you feel better about his calorie intake.  But keep in mind that treats, even healthy vegetables, should be less than 10% of your pet's diet.
Many dogs love juicy apples.  Just be sure your dog doesn't get hold of seeds or the core, which can be harmful to him.

Good news for all you green bean fans out there.  It's safe to share them with your dogs.  Plenty of dogs enjoy carrots, but if yours is hesitant about eating raw vegetables for the first time, you can steam or boil the vegetables for an easier transition.

How about some fresh cucumber slices?  Be sure to wash all fruits and vegetables and remove rinds, skin, seeds or pits before feeding them to your pet.



http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/best-fruits-and-vegetables-for-dogs

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Fruits and Vegetables that are Dangerous for Dogs



My dog is my best friend so I try to stay up on what is good and not so good for him to eat.  I receive emails information from my vet now and then with sites that I find quite informative.  This is one he sent that I want to share.  It comes from Vet Street.


Onions, garlic, leeks and chives, which are all members of the Allium genus, can damage healthy red blood cells, leading to life-threatening anemia.  Cooking these household staples won't make them any less toxic, so leave them out of your pet's diet no matter how they're prepared.

Grapes or Raisins may look harmless, but they can cause illness and kidney damage in dogs.  Clinical signs can occur within 24 hours of eating and include, vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy.

Raw Potatoes can be risky for your pup, especially if it has any green parts or sprouts.  Potatoes contain solanin, a toxin that can cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhea and severe stomach upset.

Wild mushrooms can be pretty, but they can also be deadly for dogs.  Symptoms of mushroom poisoning can range from vomiting and hallucinating to liver failure and death.  There are many different species of mushrooms and toxicity levels differ, so to be safe, keep your animal away from all wild mushrooms.

Apple Cores with seeds and stems are a no no.  It's fine for your dog to eat an apple slice or two but don't give him the core, seeds, stems and leaves which contain cyanide, a toxin that can cause dilated puples, panting, difficulty breathing and shock.  You'll also want to be cautious about other fruits with seeds, such as watermelon - offer only the fruit, not the seeds, stems or leaves.

Stone fruits like peaches, nectarines, plums and cherries are not safe for dogs - their pits can be choking hazards.  And choking isn't the only problem with these fruits.  The stems, leaves and pits of apricots, plums, peaches and cherries also contain cyanide.


Rhubarb Leaves are toxic to pets so if you're making a rhubarb pie, make sure you carefully dispose of the leaves.  They can cause kidney failure and tremors.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Surprising Ways to Use Honey



This article was on the Today.Com site.  It's gives us Ladies, and some men too, multiple uses of Honey.  I personally am looking forward to trying some of these.

MOISTURIZER
Experiencing a rough patch? Mix equal parts olive oil and honey to create a thick lotion. Rub on dry skin and let sit for 10-20 minutes before rinsing the area for smooth (and staying) results.

LIP BALM
This use of honey for skin brings a little sweetness to your lips. Combine 1 teaspoon of honey with 1/2 cup of natural beeswax (grated), 10 drops of lemon essential oil, 2 drops of vitamin E oil and 1/4 cup of coconut oil. Once blended into an even (and creamy) concoction, separate mixture into small containers with lids (should make about 12 mini batches).

DEPILATORY WAX
Combine 2 teaspoons of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of honey and 1 teaspoon of water in a microwave-safe container, then heat in the microwave or above the stove until the mixture turns brown (approximately 30 seconds). Let cool, thinning the mixture with more water if it appears too thick. Use a small spatula to thinly apply wax to skin, then apply a muslin cloth strip, pressing and smoothing in the direction of hair before peeling back in a swift motion.

HAIR REPAIR
Add a teaspoon of honey to regular shampoo to smooth damaged tresses, or combine with a teaspoon of olive oil for deeper conditioning. Apply to hair and let soak for 15 minutes (add 10 minutes for more damaged strands) before shampooing as usual.

BATH SOAK
Combine 2 tablespoons of honey and 1 cup hot water and let solution dissolve for about 10 minutes. Add 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil, then pour in bath water.

ACNE SOLUTION
Reserve a little dab of honey for skin and apply to blemishes, then keep covered with a Band-Aid for 30 minutes. (Honey also works as an antiseptic for burns and abrasions.)

FACIAL
Combine 2 teaspoons of milk with 2 tablespoons of honey. Smooth solution over face and let it sit for 10 minutes before washing off.

CUTICLE CREAM
Melt 1.5 ounces of beeswax and 3 ounces of apricot kernel oil in the microwave. Stir in 1 tablespoon of honey and, once cooled, divide into small tins for quick cuticle repair on the go.

BODY SCRUB
Stir a couple pinches of ground nuts into a tablespoon of honey (adding a squirt of lemon juice). While the ground nuts exfoliate and the lemon juice brightens, the honey will moisturize for a smooth surface.

WART REMEDY
Using honey for skin doesn't just involve softening. Proving one of the easiest (and better smelling) wart removers, apply honey to problem area twice a day until you see results.

FRIZZ FIGHTER

Add a tablespoon of honey to a liter of water and, after shampooing, rinse your hair with this concoction to tame fly-aways. THROAT SOOTHER: Mix 2 tablespoons of honey and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice in 1 cup of water. Heat and stir.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

How to Dodge the Flu



It's too late for me since I'm just getting over the flu but hopefully this information from the Today Health will help you.  Here’s how you can minimize your chances of getting the flu:

1. Wash your hands. It’ll protect you from all sorts of nasty bugs, from influenza to one of the hundreds of common cold viruses. Viruses and bacteria are most often carried on your fingers – they can live on surfaces such as table tops and get carried to the eyes, nose or mouth.
A quick rinse isn’t enough. You’re trying to remove sticky germs, so lather up, wash the whole hand and sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice (to yourself if you don’t want people staring at you) while soaping and rinsing. Schools, especially, should encourage and facilitate frequent hand-washing, public health experts say.

2. Get vaccinated. The flu vaccine isn’t a perfect match for all the flu circulating this year, but it can protect against some of the strains. Flu vaccines are formulated to protect against either three or four of the circulating flu viruses. And experts say even if you get infected, having been vaccinated can reduce the severity of illness.

3. Clean, clean, clean. It doesn’t take much to kill or remove most germs. Schools should take special care to encourage daily cleaning of desks, doorknobs and keyboards. At work, the coffee pot and computer keyboards are usually the germiest places – elevator buttons and light switches are less likely to be contaminated. 
Flu viruses don’t live long out in the open –maybe two to eight hours, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises. So the best time to clean is after people have been present for a while – a first-thing-in-the-morning clean might be a waste of time, whereas a lunchtime sweep with disinfectant wipes might be perfect.

4. Keep your distance. It may seem obvious but people can spread flu and other germs by sneezing, coughing or even just by talking. Flu, especially, can spread before people show symptoms and after they are feeling better. But the virus particles do not spread far – a few feet should keep you safe.

5. Use hand sanitizer. Soap and water is best for removing germs and washing them down the drain, but alcohol-based hand gels can work in a pinch. They don’t kill all germs effectively, the CDC advises, and “natural” products such as witch hazel don’t kill them much at all. It’s important to use enough of the product, also – you have to really soak your hands in the gel or foam for it to work. Medical-standard agents such as chlorhexidine, triclosan or benzethonium chloride can also be effective.  


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Top 10 Foods Highest in Potassium

Every new year millions of us make a resolution to eat better.  I'm one of those so I've 

Every new year I, as well as millions, make a resolution to eat better.  To do this I decided to check the foods that will benefit me the most and try, really hard, to include them in my diet.  I'm not one who eats that many bananas, which I know are a good source of Potassium so my 1st check was to see what other foods might benefit me in this area.  A site called HealthAliciousNess.com provided me with the following information.

Potassium is an essential nutrient used to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. A deficiency in potassium causes fatigue, irritability, and hypertension (increased blood pressure). Unless you are on dialysis, or have a special condition, overdose of potassium from natural sources is nearly impossible; however, it is possible to consume too much potassium via potassium salts which can lead to nausea, vomiting, and even cardiac arrest. High potassium foods from natural food sources like beans, dark leafy greens, potatoes, squash, yogurt, fish, avocados, mushrooms, and bananas, are considered safe and healthy. The current daily value for potassium is 3.5 grams.

#1: White Beans
Potassium in 100g
1 cup cooked (179g)
561mg (16% DV)
1004mg (29% DV)
Other Beans High in Potassium (%DV per cup): Adzuki (35%), Soy (28%), Lima (28%), Kidney (20%), Great Northern (20%), Pinto (18%) and others at an average of 15% DV per cup cooked.
#2: Dark Leafy Greens (Spinach)
Potassium in 100g
1 Cup (30g)
1 Cup Cooked (180g)
558mg (16% DV)
167mg (5% DV)
839mg (24% DV)
Other Greens High in Potassium (%DV per cup cooked): Swiss Chard (27% DV), Kale (8% DV), and Collards (6% DV).

#3: Baked Potatoes (With Skin)
Potassium in 100g
Average Potato (173g)
535mg (15% DV)
926mg (26% DV)
Warning: Potatoes are high in simple carbohydrates and not recommended for people with diabetes. Sweet potatoes are actually better for regulation blood sugar, an average baked sweet potato with skin (114g) provides 542mg (15% DV) of potassium.

#4: Dried Apricots
Potassium in 100g
1/2 cup (65g)
1162mg (33% DV)
755mg (22% DV)
Other Dried Fruits High in Potassium (%DV per 1/2 cup): Peaches (22% DV), Prunes (20% DV), Raisins (18% DV).
Warning: Dried fruits are high in sugar.
#5: Baked Acorn Squash
Potassium in 100g
1 cup cubed (205g)
437mg (12% DV)
899mg (26% DV)
Other Squash High in Potassium (%DV per cup baked): Hubbard (21%), Butternut (17% DV), Zucchini (14% DV), Average Winter Squash (10% DV).
#6: Yogurt (Plain, Skim/Non-Fat)
Potassium in 100g
1 cup (245g)
255mg (7% DV)
625mg (18% DV)
Other Yogurt High in Potassium (%DV per cup): Whole-Fat (11% DV), Chocolate Yogurt (24% DV).
#7: Fish (Salmon)
Potassium in 100g
1 3oz fillet (85g)
628mg (18% DV)
534mg (15% DV)
Other Fish High in Potassium (%DV per 3oz fillet (85g)): Pompano (15% DV), Lingcod (14% DV), Halibut (13% DV), Yellowfin Tuna (13% DV), Anchovies (12% DV), Mackerel (10% DV), Herring (10% DV) and most other fish at an average of 10% DV.
#8: Avocados
Potassium in 100g
Average Avocado (201g)
1/2 Cup Pureed (115g)
485mg (14% DV)
975mg (28% DV)
558mg (16% DV)
An average avocado provides 322 calories, half a cup purred contains 184 calories.
#9: Mushrooms (White)
Potassium in 100g
1 cup sliced (108g)
396mg (11% DV)
428mg (12% DV)
1 cup cooked sliced white mushrooms contain 28 calories.
Other mushrooms high in potassium (%DV per cup sliced): Portabella (9% DV), Brown or Crimini (9% DV), Enoki (7% DV), Shiitake (5% DV), Maitake (4% DV).
#10: Bananas
Potassium in 100g
Average Banana (118g)
1 Cup Mashed (225g)
358mg (10% DV)
422mg (12% DV)
806mg (23% DV)

An average banana provides 105 calories, 1 cup mashed contains 200 calories. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

To Refrigerate or not To Refrigerate



This article came to me via Today Health and I thought it worthy of sharing.

Unopened salami or pepperoni: Room temperature
Whether part of a gift basket, or purchased for a cocktail party, all unopened salamis and related versions can be stored at room temperature. Once you've opened them, store them in the fridge, as they're susceptible to bacteria and mold from the cut end, even if most of it remains wrapped.

Leftover can of frosting: Refrigerator 
An open can of frosting needs to in your fridge. Unopened, it's fine in your pantry, but once you've used it, it's prone to spoilage and bacterial contamination.

Peanut butter (processed commercial brands): Room temperature
Traditional peanut butters like Jif or Skippy are processed for a long shelf life, even after opening. And any additives used to stabilize the products are FDA approved, and have used safely for decades.
If your peanut butter is a processed commercial brand, store it in the kitchen cabinet.

Peanut butter (unprocessed brands) : Refrigerator
Sometimes referred to as "natural" peanut butter, this version of peanut butter is only ground peanuts, and nothing else. It's best to refrigerate because the oils can become rancid and spoiled when left at room temperature for weeks. 
To soften, remove from the fridge 30 - 60 minutes prior to using.

Coconut oil: Refrigerator
All oil can become rancid when stored at room temperature for too long. This is particularly true for oils used less often, including coconut, sesame, and walnut oils. To ensure freshness, store in the fridge. Coconut oil is already a solid fat at room temperature. Sesame and walnut oils become solid in the refrigerator, but return to a liquid at room temperature without a change in taste or texture.

Coffee beans: Room temperature 
If you're looking for optimal taste and aroma from your morning joe, keep the beans at room temperature. Coffee beans can pick up moisture from the fridge, and compromise flavor (but it doesn’t alter the caffeine content). 
For storage longer than a few weeks, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freezer bags, and store in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Soy sauce: Room temperature 
Soy sauce is a fermented product of soybeans, and once opened can safely remain at room temperature.

Hot sauce: Room temperature
Hot chili pepper sauce.
Hot sauces are generally a mixture of vinegar, hot peppers and seasonings. Because vinegar is a mild acid, these sauces can be stored at room temp without spoilage. If you choose to store it in the fridge, warm to room temperature for optimal flavor before using.

Leftover pie: Refrigerator
Because the crusts and sometimes the fillings contain butter, cream, and eggs, store leftover pie in the fridge to avoid spoilage.

Mixed nuts: Refrigerator
Nuts contain heart healthy oil that can become rancid when stored too long at room temperature, especially in a warm kitchen. Store your leftover nuts in a sealed bag in the refrigerator. For longer term storage, wrap carefully and store in the freezer for several months.

Balsamic vinegar: Room temperature
All vinegars — plain and specialty types like balsamic or tarragon —are stable at room temperature. Vinegar is a mild acid which deters bacterial growth.

Butter: Refrigerator
Even if your mother kept the butter on the kitchen counter, you should store it in the fridge to prevent spoilage.

As a dairy product, butter must be stored in the fridge to prevent spoilage. While "butter crocks" can be a good idea for short term storage of several hours, for longer storage without spoilage, keep it in the fridge.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Foods that Help you Sleep



At some point in time most of us have those times when we just can't seem to sleep at night.  I know I do and am always looking for a safe way to let me get those much needed hours of rest.  Below is what I found on one of my favorite sites - Grandparent.com.  I've listed the items, how much you should eat and when.  Go to the site link to learn why these foods work.


Nearly 60 million Americans wake up tired and irritable every morning due to lack of sleep.  Aside from feeling cranky and lethargic, not getting enough sleep can cause serious health problems, including cardiovascular disease, depression, cognitive impairment, diabetes, and even weight gain. 

The good news is that small changes in your lifestyle and diet can have a tremendous effect on the quality of sleep you get each night.  So, Grandparent.com has rounded up some of the top foods that can help you catch those Zzzz's.  Just remember, if you experience chronic sleepless nights that impair your mood or ability to function in any way, you should make an appointment to see your primary care physician.

Oatmeal with Milk and Honey - Eat 1/2 cup of cooked oatmeal, 1 cup of milk and 1 tsp. of honey 90 minutes before bedtime.

Banana and Almonds - 1/2 medium banana and 23 almonds (approx. 1 ounce) 90 minutes before bedtime.

Tart Cherry Juice - 8 oz. each - 1 glass in the morning and 1 glass 2 hours before bed.

Rice and Beans - 1/2 cup cooked rice and 1/2 cup cooked beans with dinner or at least 4 hours before bedtime.

Cheese and Crackers - enjoy 2/3 ounce cheese and 2 - 3 small crackers at least 30 minutes before bedtime

Sweet Potatoes with Dark, Leafy Greens - 1 medium sweet potato and 1/2 cup cooked greens at least 90 minutes before bed.
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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Monkey Muffins



I found this recipe on line and had to try.  It simply doesn't get any easier than this, especially for something that looks like you've spent all morning making.



1 roll cinnamon rolls with icing
(yep, that's all you need)



Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  I lined my muffin pan with paper liners.  Evenly cut each cinnamon roll into 6 pieces.  Evenly distribute pieces into 12 muffin tins (you can use 8 for bigger muffins).  I keep a mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon, butter and finely chopped pecans in my freezer.  I sprinkled each muffin with this mixture - about 1/2 tsp. each but this is optional.  Cook muffins for about 10 minutes or until they are done and starting to just slightly brown.  Heat the icing in the microwave for about 1-15 seconds or until thin.  Drizzle over hot muffins.



As I said, you can't get any simpler.  You can even add a few raisins mixed in with the pieces of rolls if you like.  These are delicious and do look like you've been in the kitchen for a while.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Cake Mix Cookies



On my site Martha's Recipe Cabinet I gave a recipe for Butterfinger Cookies made with a cake mix.  Today I used the same recipe but instead of the Butterfinger candy bar I used crushed Malted Milk Balls (5 oz. box) and 1/2 cup of coconut.  Boy are these good!  I still want to try Heath Bars at some point, as well as a few other candies.  I also want to try making my Cereal Cookies using a mix.   I may never make cookies from scratch again!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tiramisu Balls



2 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
60 vanilla wafers, finely crushed (about 2 cups)
4 tubes Nescafe instant coffee
1/2 cup powdered sugar, optional
8 oz. white chocolate

Mix cream cheese, crushed wafers, coffee and powdered sugar until well blended.  Shape into 1" balls and place in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes.  Melt white chocolate in a double boiler.  Dip each ball into melted white chocolate to coat.  Place on a plate to cool.  Makes about 3 1/2 dozen.  These need to be refrigerated until served.

Comments:  I have a neighbor who loves Tiramisu so for her Christmas present I decided to make her Tiramisu Balls.  I found a recipe that called for 1 8 oz. pkg. of cream cheese but after mixing everything together I didn't like the taste.  It was too strong so I added another pkg. of cream cheese.  I also added the powdered sugar.  It didn't seem to be quite sweet enough without it but you can omit this ingredient if you want and use the sweetness of the white chocolate and what comes from the wafers if you like.   Apparently I got it right because she popped one in her mouth and smiled from ear to ear.  If you like the flavor of coffee ice cream or iced coffee, you'll love these.  One bite and they melt in your mouth.


Sunday, November 30, 2014

Foods That Make You Feel Better One Hour Later

I found this on Today's Health and decided that with the holidays upon us it was information we all needed to know.

Here are a few super foods that you can enjoy while eating and — bonus! —make you feel great afterwards.


1. Eggs (I Love Eggs)

Suggested serving size: one whole egg.“Eggs provide high quality protein. They’re filling, delicious, and studies have shown that eggs can help you feel full when you include them in your meals versus carbohydrate-rich —like starchy, or sweet — meals," said nutritionist Elisa Zied, R.D., New York.

2.  Berries (Strawberries are my favorite, haven't acquired the taste for blueberries)
Fresh blueberries and strawberries
Suggested serving size: ½ cup to 1 cup. “Fruit is nature’s candy, like fresh apples and fresh berries,” said Fernstrom. “These are two things that people love, because they have a lot of water, stimulate taste buds, and are easily digestible.”

3. Canned tuna (white or light) (I'm a fish eater so I'm glad this is good for me)
Suggested serving size: 3 ounces, about one small can or half of a larger can.
“Canned tuna is a source of high quality protein that can fill you up and help keep blood sugar levels steady with omega-3-fatty acids,” said Zied. “Regular fish intake helps preserve body proteins—and that keeps you feeling strong and energized. Regular fish intake is also linked with lower risk of depression.”

4. Chicken soup (Can't get enough of this!)
Suggested serving size: 8-12 ounces. “People always feel good after eating chicken soup,” said Fernstrom. She said people associate ‘feel-good’ foods with the way their mouths feel while eating something creamy or warm, and chicken soup is a perfect example. “It’s the universal warm, healthy food.”

5. Beans and peas, lentils, chickpeas  (Beans and peas I can eat every day, especially good ol' blackeyed peas)
Suggested serving size: ¼ to ½ cup. “These are rich sources of protein and also pack in complex carbohydrates, mainly in the form of resistant starch,” said Zied. “A study in Public Health Nutrition in 2010 found that moderate intake of legumes, one or two servings weekly, protected menopausal women against severely depressed moods.”

6. Oats and oatmeal (My favorite breakfast dish)
Suggested serving size: ½ cup to 1 cup cooked, or 1-2 packets instant oatmeal with no sodium added.
“Oats provide complex carbohydrates that are slowly digested and provide the brain and entire central nervous system with their key source of fuel,” said Zied. “Carbohydrates also play a key role in creating serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain that helps regulate mood, appetite and sleep.”

7. Avocados (Have to pass on this one.  Never have liked avacados)
Avocado is high in omega-3 fatty acids and other essential vitamins and minerals. They're also higher in protein than other fruits.
Suggested serving size: ¼ of an avocado.
“Avocados are really creamy, and the texture is so inviting. A lot of people don’t realize how healthy they are,” said Taub-Dix. “You can even swap it for butter in some recipes. Or, you can puree avocado and add to salad dressing.”

8. Hummus (My favorite snack!)
Suggested serving size: four tablespoons. “Hummus is a great source of protein and fiber, but what are you eating it with?” said Taub-Dix. “If you’re eating hummus with tons of pita bread, that’s a problem. But try dipping jicama, carrots, zucchini strips; it’s a great carrier for veggies.”

9.  Yogurt (I eat Greek yogurt daily)
Raspberry and yogurt.
Suggested serving size: about 5 ounces. “Some yogurts like Greek yogurt are great sources of calcium, and people— especially kids — love to dip,” said Taub-Dix. “Something like a flavored or Greek yogurt is great for dipping, too.”

10. Nuts and seeds (Give me a handful of nuts or a scoop of peanut butter and I'm happy)
Suggested serving size: 1 ounce. “Nuts, like almonds, give you that great overall feeling for your taste buds —sweet, crunchy, creamy,” said Taub-Dix. She also recommends adding almond butter in her oatmeal for a creamy boost of protein.

11.  Tea (I can do the iced tea but not the hot tea)
Suggested serving size: 1 cup. “A cup of tea is low-calorie, gives you that comfort, and sometimes, it’s a speed bump to high-calorie foods,” said Taub-Dix. “You could wind up having a lot more calories if you hadn’t had that cup of tea.”

Now that you've found some of the foods that make you feel better, check out the site to see the ---

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Many Uses of Mayo!



This is simply amazing!  I had to share.

1. Polish plant leaves. Borrow a trick from pro florists: After dusting plant leaves, rub a dab of mayo on them with damp cloth to keep them super shiny.

2. Clean yellowed piano keys. Smooth a tiny bit of mayonnaise onto dull, yellowed piano keys; wait a few minutes, and then rub off with a clean cloth.

3. Deep condition your hair. Mayo’s high oil content and rich, thick texture make it perfect for quick DIY hair mask, says cosmetic chemist Ron Robinson of BeautyStat.com. Massage a generous layer into your hair, making sure to coat the ends, and leave on for 15 minutes before rinsing off. (For even more conditioning benefit, use mayo made with olive oil.)

4. Remove tree sap. Keep this tip in mind next Christmas, when sticky pine sap from trees and wreaths makes a stubborn mess: “Rub a small spoonful (of mayo) on your hands like lotion, and the sap will wash right off,” writes Bruce Lubin, author of Who Knew: 10,001 Easy Solutions to Everyday Problems.

5. Get gum out of hair. Got a sticky situation involving a small child and a big wad of bubble gum? Put down the scissors and get a gob of mayo – just massage it in the gum/hair mess then work the gum out of the hair. 

6. Exfoliate dead skin. Forget rough, grainy scrubs – there’s a smoother way to slough off dead skin, according to Lubin: Apply mayonnaise to dry, rough patches, let it sit for 10 minutes, then wipe away with a damp, warm washcloth.

7. Clean crayon marks from walls and wood furniture. Yep, a swipe of mayo can erase a swipe of crayon – from walls as well as wood. Smear the stuff on the offending marks (test in an inconspicuous area first!), leave it on for a few minutes and then wipe away that “masterpiece” with a damp cloth. 

8. Makeover your manicure. To keep the cuticles of your nails soft and moisturized, Lubin recommends putting some mayonnaise in a small bowl and submerging fingers in it for five minutes.

9. Remove sticker residue. Sure, you could scrape the gummy gunk off with your fingernail (and ruin your manicure in the process), but there’s an easier way to lift the sticky remains of a label or sticker on glass or a mirror, writes Lubin. “Cover it in mayonnaise and let it sit for 5-10 minutes, then gently scrape off with a putty knife.”

10. Wipe out water marks. When a wet glass leaves an unsightly white ring on a wooden table, massage the area with a dab of mayo and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it clean (away!). For a really stubborn stain, let the mayo sit for an hour or two. 

11. Squelch squeaks. Out of WD-40? A smear of mayonnaise is a quick, natural alternative for quieting a squeaky door hinge.