What in Your Home Is the Biggest Pollutant

Sick building syndrome is not just something you see in commercial or industrial buildings. Residential buildings can have worse indoor air quality than you see outdoors, even in city environments infamous for their poor outdoor air quality.

Small children, homemakers and elderly or housebound individuals typically spend a great deal more time literally at home than most people do. Children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to the effects of pollution.

Unfortunately, there is no universal answer as to what you can assume to be the single biggest pollutant in your home. This will vary from household to household and depend on a variety of factors. You will need to make an effort to determine which household pollutant is the single biggest one in your house. But you can look to the following categories for likely suspects.

New Carpeting
New carpeting can emit a variety of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This is often called off gassing. The exact chemicals involved will depend upon the material in question. How bad it is will depend in part on how much new carpet has been installed.

Broken compact fluorescent bulbs
These bulbs contain mercury, a known neurotoxin. It is classified as a hazardous material and should be handled accordingly. Do not try to vacuum it up. If it gets into carpeting, you can expect to need to throw it out. It probably cannot be ever fully removed.

New plastic products
The softer the plastic, the more likely it is to off gas. This gets worse if they get warm for some reason, as can happen when you run certain electronics with a plastic casing.

Household cleaners and chemicals
Glues, adhesives, paint, paint stripper, pesticides and cleaning products can all introduce problematic fumes into the air. All should properly stored and properly used with good ventilation, among other things.

Mattresses, upholstered furniture and many pressed wood items can all be sources of air pollutants. New furniture can give off formaldehyde. Old furniture may be a source of mold, dust, mites and other problems.

Cooking and heating
Fireplaces and wood burning stoves tend to be harder on air quality than some other heat sources, but most means to cook or heat have some fallout in terms of air quality. Passive solar design might be the only means to keep the place warm without somehow harming local air quality.

Although there are many known culprits that can harm indoor air quality, there is no universal answer to this issue. An audit of your home is the best way to determine what is the biggest source of indoor air pollution in your own house.


Cauliflower Pizza and How It Will Take Over Your Life

If you are allergic to gluten, then you have stopped eating delicious pizza to avoid consuming the wheat-based crust. However, chefs have created a pizza recipe that has a cauliflower crust that does not contain gluten. This means that when you can’t consume pizza that contains wheat or gluten, you can bake your own cauliflower crust pizza at home.

Avoid Allergic Reactions From Wheat or Gluten

Tasty cauliflower crust pizza will change your life because it will not cause the same health problems as traditional pizza. The symptoms of having an allergic response to gluten or wheat include:

• Nausea
• Bloating
• Skin rashes
• Weight loss
• Fatigue
• Headaches

The signs of being sensitive to wheat or gluten can vary between each person, but by eliminating these substances, you will begin to feel better within a few weeks.

Cauliflower Contains Numerous Nutrients

Living without consuming wheat or gluten isn’t easy because many of your favorite recipes have these substances as an ingredient. Fortunately, chefs have created alternative recipes so that you can continue to enjoy your favorite foods. You can use cauliflower to make a homemade pizza crust that has a fantastic flavor along with a variety of nutrients that include:

• Vitamin C
• Manganese
• Zinc
• Iron
• Protein
• Calcium

Several food manufacturers have created cauliflower flour that you can buy at a supermarket to make your own pizza crust that doesn’t contain wheat or gluten. However, you can also use raw cauliflower as a crust for your homemade pizza.

How to Make Your Own Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Wash, trim and dry fresh cauliflower before breaking it apart into florets. Place these raw florets in a food processor before grinding the vegetable until it is extremely fine. Pour the cauliflower flour into a mixing bowl before adding two whipped eggs, grated mozzarella cheese, garlic powder, salt and oregano. Stir these ingredients to create a dough ball before spreading it onto an oiled baking sheet. Bake the dough in a hot oven for 15 minutes. Remove the baked dough from the oven to add your pizza toppings such as tomato sauce, Parmesan cheese or sliced mushrooms before baking it again at the same temperature for 15 minutes.

3 Ways to Spice Up Your Walking Workout

Walking is one of the best basic exercises. It can be done almost anywhere and, although you do need a decent pair of shoes, it doesn’t really require any equipment beyond that. But maybe you are getting a bit bored with it. Here are some ways to spice it up.

Get a Walking Buddy.
Especially if you are having trouble finding time to socialize, you can kill two birds with one stone by getting a buddy to join you for your workout. Walking and talking go together nicely. People are typically very comfortable having conversations side by side like this.

It can not only make your walks less boring, it can deepen existing friendships or be the start of new ones. Or get your spouse or S.O. to join you. You may surprised to find it reviving your relationship as well, and without the hassle and expense of seeing a couples counselor.

Explore Your Local Area.
Modern life can be surprisingly confining. Many of us work long hours and also have long commutes. The result is that we sit in our car, sit at our desk, then sit in our car. Then we drive to the gym to walk on a treadmill.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Get a map of your city or neighborhood to carry with you, or just spend some time online looking at the satellite view on Google Maps. You can use a watch or pedometer to tell you that you have hit the halfway mark and it is time to turn around and go home. This gives you substantial freedom to walk new places and learn new things about the place you live.

Have A Destination.
If going for our regular walk for exercise fails to excite you, then start walking as a means to get to different places you want to go. Find a movie theater or other destination that you think you would enjoy and only go when you can walk there. You can also try out new restaurants as your reward, as long as you don’t go overboard on the calories. Enjoy your treat at the end, then turn around and walk home for some additional exercise.

Walking is great exercise with long term potential. If it is starting to bore you, you can spice it up by getting a buddy, going exploring or picking new destinations.

Why Staying Inside is Bad for Your Health

For decades now, the evolution and spread of home electronics has encouraged people to spend more time inside. With the growth of remote working and the gig economy, more and more people are spending their entire working lives indoors. When taken to extremes, staying indoors can exacerbate a wide variety of health problems. Whether you are more vulnerable to mental or physical problems, the benefits of getting outdoor time deserve adequate recognition.

During late fall and winter, it is particularly important to find time for outdoors relaxation. These are the times of year when people naturally tend to stay inside. With the rise of central heating and other modern amenities, it has become far too normal for people to stay rooted indoors all year long. Although modern homes are designed to circulate air, it is all too common circulation systems to work poorly. As a result, indoor air can quickly become stale and unhealthy. The cheaper ventilation systems most people use can become clogged fairly easily. During the times of year when people generally keep their windows closed, indoor air can build up dangerously high amounts of dust, allergens and germs. When you breath stale indoor air, you never know what kinds of disgusting things you might be ingesting into your body. Mold and cockroach dander are two of the unhealthy substances that might linger in your home’s air without your knowledge.

Opening windows and using free-standing air filtration systems are two proactive steps you can take to improve the indoor air quality in your home. Spending time outdoors is an even cheaper and more effective way to improve the air you breathe and reduce your chances of illness. If you live in a built-up area with lots of traffic, you might have to walk or drive an appreciable distance to find a pristine outdoor area where you can breathe easily. Never doubt that making an effort to enjoy the outdoors is almost always a fine idea.

Crucially, staying indoors for long periods of time can negatively impact your mental health. Cabin fever is a very real phenomenon that occurs when people become cooped up and experience mental stress. While it is typically associated with winter time, this type of stress can impact people at any time of year. Symptoms of cabin fever can range from mild to debilitating. There is no hard and fast rule for how much outdoor time you’ll need in order to avoid cabin fever. If you are generally happy and joined with people you love spending time with, you could potentially spend long periods of time indoors without damaging mental effects. However, these ideal situations are all too rare and fleeting. Most people experience anxiety and phobias as part of their ordinary lives. To play it safe, acquire a warm jacket so you you can spend time outside each and every day, all year long.

Which Foods can you Eat to Increase Your Lifespan

Two recent meta-studies are changing ideas about healthy eating. The first found that eating a handful of nuts a day lowers mortality rates. The second suggests that we should be eating up to ten servings of fruits and vegetables per day instead of the currently recommended five servings.

A meta-study is a study that looks at data from multiple other studies that have already been done. Although cleaning the data in order to get meaningful results is a challenge, it allows researchers to look at much larger populations, over much longer time frames than can be done with any individual study. When done well, it yields results that are more reliable than what you can be determined from smaller, individual studies.

Each of these meta-studies found reductions in serious medical conditions, such as coronary disease, stroke and cancer. Each study also found a reduction in mortality. In other words, people who regularly eat nuts or who consume up to twice as much produce as is currently recommended are both healthier than average and they typically live longer than other people.

Although you should pay attention to how these foods are prepared, they do not have to be raw or organic to have a positive health impact. Studies also show that frozen fruits and vegetables retain their nutrients longer than fresh produce. So it does not all have to come from the fresh produce section of your local grocer. It is fine to stock on frozen produce for convenience.

Some tips for trying to eat healthy:

Buy fresh or frozen produce.
Learn to do a little prep ahead of time to make fruits into convenient snack items.
If available, get dry roasted nuts instead of nuts roasted in various oils.
Do not overcook fruits and vegetables. Overcooking destroys nutrients. Stir frying is a great option for not overcooking.
When eating out, choose salads, ethnic cuisines and baked options instead of deep fried foods.

This does not have to be a chore. The most recent study showed that adding any produce to your diet reduced disease and mortality.

The improvement gets better and better up to 800 grams of produce per day. But, if you currently don’t eat any fruits and veggies, adding just 200 grams per day can cut your risk of heart disease by 16 percent, your risk of stroke by 18 percent, and your risk of premature death by 15 percent.

In recent years, research has overturned many long-held beliefs about what constitutes healthy eating. Two new studies suggest that you can lower your mortality by eating a handful of nuts daily, or eating up to twice as much produce as is currently recommended.