Saturday, April 30, 2016

Indoor House Plants That Won't Die On You - #11 Heart-Leaf Philodendron

Heart-Leaf Philodendron

Why you want it: This is a trailing indoor house plant that loves to make its way down from mantles or bookshelves. Its perky, dark green leaves come to a heart shape where they meet the stems.

How to care for it: This may be the quintessential easy indoor plant. It thrives in a range of lighting conditions from low to sunny, preferring indirect light. It does well anywhere close to standard room temperature. Let the surface of the soil dry between watering; it should not be constantly wet. 

Comment:  I have a pot of this growing on a shelf above my computer.  It started running across to a picture to its left.  It then climbed up the wall and has started running across the wall above the window.  Really beautiful.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Indoor House Plants That Won't Die On You - #10 Ficus


Why you want it: This indoor tree has shiny leaves to add cheer to any indoor space. Its stems can be braided for a tidy topiary effect we love.

How to care for it: This tree likes full sun, or at least bright filtered light. Most varieties (there are about 800!) prefer several days of dry soil in between thorough watering. Room temperatures between 65 to 75 degrees work best. 

Comment:  The one thing I've learned about this plant is that it doesn't like being moved.  Once it gets use to a spot - light, etc. - mine always started losing its leaves if I moved it until it gets use to the new spot.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Indoor House Plants That won't Die On You - #9 Snake Plant

Snake Plant

Why you want it: It doesn't get much easier than this indoor house plant—also sometimes known as mother-in-law's tongue! It has variegated leaves that grow upright, and some varieties' leaves have yellow or white edges. It has small white flowers that bloom only rarely.

How to care for it: This indoor plant grows well in a whole range of lighting conditions. The air should be somewhat dry, as should the soil. Any normal room temperature should suit it just fine. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Indoor House Plants That Won't Die On You - #8 Peace Lily

Peace Lily
Why you want it: Surely you've seen this indoor house plant in many homes, since it has such pretty, curving white blooms and dark leaves—and it's super easy to grow.

How to care for it: This house plant favors low humidity and also low light, making it great for rooms with few windows. It prefers moist soil throughout the pot and tolerates standard temperatures ranging to about 85 degrees. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Indoor House Plants That Won't Die On You - #7 Dieffenbachia


Why you want it: The leaves of this pretty indoor plant can grow to a foot long, and provide a tropical-looking accent to home decor. The whole plant can grow six feet high for a cheery room focal point.

How to care for it: Diffenbachia thrives in normal room temperature not colder than the mid-60s. Keep the soil evenly moist, and provide medium or low lighting conditions for the best result. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Indoor House Plants That Won't Die On You - #6 Rubber Tree

Rubber Tree

Why you want it: This easy-to-grow indoor house plant will grow into an eight-foot-tall tree for a major pop of greenery in a room. If you prefer a smaller plant, just make your rubber tree into a shrub shape by pruning any long stems. The dark green leaves have an attractive shine to them.

How to care for it: Allow the surface of the rubber tree's soil to dry out in between watering. It thrives in lighting conditions from medium to bright, and a range of room temperatures between about 60 and 80. 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Indoor House Plants That Won't Die On You - #5 Jade Plant

Jade Plant

Why you want it: For those who love the look of a succulent—not to mention the ease of care—a jade plant offers thick, lush leaves and visually interesting branches. It grows slowly and has the potential to live from your kids' birth until their high school graduations— at least! It also looks great in a pretty pot when paired with other succulent varieties.

How to care for it: Jade plant does not require a lot of water, so keep soil somewhat dry. It prefers bright light and ordinary room temperatures. 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Indoor House Plants That Won't Die on You - #4 English Ivy

English Ivy

Why you want it: There's a real timeless elegance to ivy, and it trails down furniture for a pretty effect. Plus, it's super easy to start a new plant for yourself or a friend by cutting a section of the stem. Instant hostess gift! (OK, not really instant, but give it just two weeks or so.)

How to care for it: English Ivy likes moist soil and cooler room temperature conditions, ranging from the mid-50s to about 70. 

Comment:  I have this growing outside but never thought of bringing it inside.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Indoor House Plants That Won't Die On You - #3 Spider Plant

Spider Plant

Why you want it: These unusual-looking indoor plants add visual interest to a room, and they haven't fallen out of fashion after years of popularity in the home. Spider plants come in a number of varieties, and work well as hanging plants.

How to care for it: Spider plants do well with evenly moist soil and bright or medium lighting conditions. Room temperatures of 60 to 75 degrees keep them thriving

Comment:  I love this plant.  Once it gets started it just keeps on giving with additional 'baby' plants.  If you know someone who has this plant, get them to give you one of the babies and start from there.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Indoor House Plants That Won't Die On You - #2 Aloe


Why you want it: This succulent with long pointed leaves has medicinal properties you probably well know from product labels. It can grow three feet high for big impact indoors. Smaller varieties like the popular aloe vera, work great in small, sunny indoor spaces.

How to care for it: Aloe likes room temperatures around 70 degrees and a lot of sunlight. As you might expect for a succulent, this indoor house plant prefers dry soil, so avoid frequent watering for the best result

Comment:  When I was younger (much younger) I decided I wanted to learn to ride a motor cycle so I got a Honda and started trying to ride around the neighborhood.  I finally got the hang of it until I stopped in front of my yard, went to 'park' the bike and turned it on its side.  That hot exhaust pipe hit my leg and burned it bad.  I went inside, broke off a piece of my Aloe plant and applied it to the burn.  The burn never blistered like most do.  It seemed to skip that part and went straight to the next step of healing - the crusting/scab.  It also healed in about half the time normal burns do.  So I believe in having this wonderful plant around.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Indoor House Plants that Won't Die On You - #1 - Pothos

I love house plants but seem to kill everything but my ivy and I have killed a few of those plants too.  I found this group of 15 house plants that are supposed to be the easiest to grow and not kill.  I just might give a few of them a try and thought that if you're like me and love them but kill them you might want to try a few too.  

According to growing indoor plants is easy and fun.  In fact, indoor plants not only help clean the environment around them, but they act as a quick decorating tool.  The 15 hardy indoor plants they have picked can be "kept alive and thriving by anyone."  Some do have warnings that if you have kids or pets, to read carefully as some may be toxic.  


Why you want it: First of all, this indoor plant has an air-purifying quality that can absorb and strip toxins like formaldehyde from materials in the home like carpet. How neat is that? It has trailing stems and works well in a hanging basket or as a climbing plant with some training onto a trellis or whatever object you like that will support it.

How to care for it: This indoor house plant can produce stems that trail eight feet or longer, so just cut them back when they get too long and your plant will continue to look full and healthy. It can thrive in an array of lighting conditions, but low light may diminish the leaves' variegation. Allow soil to dry somewhat between watering. Pothos does well in an array of normal room temperatures. 

Friday, April 15, 2016

Banana Nut Cake Bread

4-5 medium, ripe bananas
1/2 - 3/4 cup chopped nuts
1 Butter Pecan cake mix
Ingredients listed on cake box - excluding water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl peel and mash bananas.  Let sit for 20-30 minutes.  Add cake mix and ingredients requested on the box excluding the water.  The bananas will replace the moisture that the water would provide.  Pour into a tube style pan and bake 50-60 minutes or until tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Comment:  I had 5 medium bananas that were too ripe to eat and I hate to throw them away when they get that way so I usually just make banana bread.  When I opened my pantry I spotted a Butter Pecan cake mix and decided to combine the 2 and see how it turned out.  I added the eggs, oil and bananas to the mix and noticed it had the thickness needed without the water so that was eliminated.  And of course I added the nuts - 3/4 cup for me because I like a love them in my banana bread.  The tube pan was used because I thought it might give me a cake/bread combination texture.  It did!  This is one of the easiest banana breads I've ever made.  And the taste of the Butter Pecan and bananas combined is perfect.  So moist!  Yep, the food lovers wanted more.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Weight Loss Tip #21 (End)

Focus on the positives. One of the fastest ways to jump-start weight loss is to focus on what you can eat instead of what you can’t. Investing all of your energy to stop yourself from eating higher-calorie foods (think: dessert) can leave you feeling drained and deprived. Instead, focus on drinking at least two quarts of cold water and eating five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. This naturally leaves less room for higher-calorie foods, and every time you are successful, it will leave you with a positive feeling of accomplishment.

– Cindy Heroux, RDN, author of “The Manual That Should Have Come With Your Body”

Instead of creating unrealistic goals this year, jump-start your weight loss with these tried-and-true tips from the nutrition experts.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Weight Loss Tip #20

Get a good night’s sleep. While you may think that the road to weight loss begins at the gym or in the kitchen, research has shown that it might start in the bedroom. Getting a good night’s sleep (ideally eight hours) helps guide your food choices by controlling your hunger and fullness hormones, ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin tells your brain it is time to eat, but when you lack sleep, your body makes more ghrelin. The reverse is true for leptin, the hormone that cues fullness; sleep deprivation slows down leptin production. These hormonal changes cause you to overeat, resulting in unwanted pounds, so put the phones away, cue the sound machine and plan for six to nine hours of shut-eye.

– Holley Grainger, MS, RD, Lifestyle and Culinary Nutrition Expert at Holley Grainger

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Weight Loss Tip #19

Set a small, reasonable goal, one goal at a time. You can easily get discouraged if you can’t reach the big goals you set for yourself. Choose one goal at a time, and once that feels easy and routine, set your sights on a new goal. Slow and steady always wins the race!

– Emily Cooper, RD, LD, of Sinful Nutrition

Monday, April 11, 2016

Weight Loss Tip #18

Find ways to move more during the day. Aim to get 10-minute increments of exercise at a time; this could be walking around while on the phone, parking in far-away parking spots or taking the stairs. Just find ways to sit less because small changes make a difference, especially if you move to boost energy instead of hitting the candy jar or vending machine.

– Rebecca Clyde, RD, CD, of Be Truly Nourished

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Weight Loss Tip #17

Slow down and use all your senses when you eat. Look at your food, smell it, touch it (with your fingers, fork or tip of tongue, depending on what’s appropriate), listen to it (Is it crunchy, mushy or slurpy?) and, of course, taste it. Eating with all your senses involved is an important part of mindful eating.

– Jessica Fishman Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN, of Nutritioulicious

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Weight Loss Tip #16

Make small changes. Think about what small change you can make in your daily routine that will help improve your health. For some, it may be taking the stairs instead of the elevator. For others, it may be opting for water instead of Coke for lunch. Bottom line: Remember, small changes make big differences over time!

– Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RD, CLT, of Simple Swaps

Friday, April 8, 2016

Weight Loss Tip #15

Eat with intention. Ask yourself if you are really hungry. Think about what you are eating, and, most of all, savor and enjoy it! Being aware is the key to weight loss.

– Wendie Schneider, RDN, LD, owner of Pantry Doctor LLC

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Weight Loss Tip #14

Plan to eat at home! It’s no secret that home-cooked meals typically have smaller portions and contain less sodium and fat than eating out. I think packing homemade lunches and eating at home for dinner makes a big difference in my clients’ long-term weight-loss success. Ideally you should eat 90% of your meals at home; in a week, that allows for three meals out. Plan your meals out as an enjoyable event, and aim to eat or pack your lunch the other 18 meals for the week. The more you do it, the easier it will become.

– Carissa Bealert, RDN, owner Evolution Fitness Orlando at Carissa Bealert

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Weight Loss Tip #13

Don’t deprive yourself. Allow yourself to have a treat from time to time! If you deprive yourself, chances are that over time you will give in and binge. Instead give yourself a set number of times (maybe two to three times) per week where you can treat yourself without feeling guilty.

– Kelsee Gomes, MS, RD, CSSD, Director of Sports Nutrition at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Weight Loss Tip #12

Eat a protein- and fiber-rich breakfast. When my waistband is fitting a little tighter than I’d like, one of the first places I start shaping up is at breakfast. Rather than focusing on “lightening” breakfast with fewer calories, I make sure to pump up the protein and fiber at my morning meal. That usually means adding an egg white-and-veggie omelet or hard-boiled eggs with fruit, plus a small fiber-rich muffin or small bowl of oatmeal. What I eat in the morning not only sets my hunger level but also sets the tone for how I’ll eat throughout the day.

– Regan Jones, RD, Founding Editor at Healthy Aperture

Monday, April 4, 2016

Weight Loss Tip #11

Keep a food journal. Our minds are always busy, so it’s easy to underestimate the amount of food consumed. Tracking your food with a journal or mobile app can make you more aware. Be as specific as possible, tracking type of food, amount, time, place, hunger level and emotions surrounding eating. Not only can developing a food-tracking habit make you more aware of portion sizes and eating patterns (e.g., overeating at night, skipping breakfast), it can help detect mindless or emotional eating.

– Min Kwon, MS, RD, owner of MJ and Hungryman

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Weight Loss Tip #10

Drink more water! Our bodies need lots of water to keep our energy levels up, undergo regular digestion, etc. Drinking water before meals may also help to curb hunger and keep you satisfied before, after or during a meal.

– Katie Serbinski, MS, RD, founder of Mom to Mom Nutrition, LLC