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Molly Grace James

A Life Well Lived…

Month

May 2013

Want to Live Longer? Cook at Home

We take vitamins, work out and generally practice healthy habits in the quest for living well. And hopefully longer, too. Longevity and health it seems go hand in hand.

After reading a blurb in Women’s Health Magazine stating – “People who cook 5+ times/week are 53% more likely to be alive in 10 years than people who don’t cook” – I had to check it out.

couple-making-sushi-at-home

They were referencing a study published in Public Health Nutrition, a Cambridge University journal. A group  of 1,888 men and women over age 65 who lived in Taiwan were evaluated during the course of the study.

At the start of the study, they interviewed each participant about several lifestyle factors, including cooking habits, household circumstances, shopping habits, diet, education, transportation and smoking.

food choices

During the initial survey, researchers found that 43 percent of participants never cooked. Another 17 percent cooked one to two times per week and 9 percent cooked three to five times in a week. Nearly 31 percent cooked five or more times a week.

Ultimately, the researchers found an association between frequent home cooking and longevity.

“The pathways to health that food provides are not limited to its nutrients or components, but extend to each step in the food chain, from its production, to purchase, preparation and eating, especially with others.”

Family-eating-together

The secret is linked to the act of purchasing and preparing the foods, not simply the nutritional benefits of those foods, as well as  the communal element of a shared meal.

Cooking at home takes time and prep work, but it just might add years to your life!

References: 

Huffington Post: Healthy Living

Cambridge University’s: Public Health Nutrition

Electric Cars to Become More Prevalent

Would you join the ranks of nearly 2 million drivers? Pike Research is forecasting that by 2020, 1.8 million electric vehicles electric will be sold in 102 of the  largest US cities.

tesla-how-far-can-I-go

“Now comes the interesting and difficult task of integrating them into the power grid – ensuring the infrastructure is adequate, optimizing the interaction of EV’s mobile storage with the grid, and establishing appropriate tariffs and effective policy.”  -Forbes contributor Peter Kelly-Detwiler

tesla-model-s-electric-car

Planning on buying an electric car? There are several exciting options.

Upcycling for One of a Kind Pieces

Creating astonishingly beautiful pieces from materials many would simply discard is what makes upcycling unique. It takes an artistic eye and the skill to look at a piece of furniture, a plastic shopping bag or pieces of cotton fabric and see a re-imagined and better piece.

Upcycling bulbs

Upcycling has grown in popularity and is credited as being introduced to popular culture by Reiner Pilz of Pilz GmbH in 1994 during an interview he gave about the process of European waste systems.

 “What we need is upcycling- where old products are given more value, not less.”

What is Upcycling?

Upcycling refers to reusing an object in a new way without degrading the material it is made from, as opposed to recycling which generally involves breaking down the original material and making it into something else, using more energy.

reclaim upcycling de castro

Upcycled Clothing:

Designer Orsola de Castro is known as the “Queen of Upcycling,” for her fashion-forward eco apparel. She addressed the issue of growing landfills in China at an EcoChic Design Academy seminar in Hong Kong.

Today’s fashion industry is increasingly overproducing garments and textiles, said de Castro.

 “What is being thrown away into landfill is often beautiful and usable for designers who can approach such materials in a creative way.”

Main-imageportrait-of-Orsola-de-Castro

Upcycled Bags and Totes:

Another designer has ventured into eco-designs. Catalina Estrada has created bags and pouches from upcycled plastic. I spotted this vibrant pouch in the store window of a local shop and had to stop. It was made by Catalina Estrada. I loved the pattern, but was excited to see it was made of upcycled plastic.

catalina estrada

Upcycled Furniture and Build Out:

Can often be a DIY project, but Hammer and Hand, based in Portland specializes in  sustainable,local,superbly designed, expertly crafted furniture.

interior redo upcycling

What are your favorite upcycled products?

For more ideas check out: 151 Upcycling Ideas That Will Blow Your Mind.

Vibrant Upcycled Designs by Catalina Estrada

Fun and vibrant patterns are Catalina Estrada’s specialty. I love her fun eco-designs, which are sold online via Blue Q.  What is even better is that they are made of 95% recycled woven polypropylene.

catalina-estrada

Hummingbird Shopping Tote 

hummingbird shopping tote

Moon Garden Shoulder Tote

 tote catalina estrada

Zippered Hummingbird Pouch

zippered hummingbird

Peacock Zipper Pouch

peacock zippered

Would you buy an upcycled plastic tote?

Prayers for Oklahoma

Our thoughts and prayers are with those in Oklahoma as they continue to recover and rebuild:

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You can donate to the Red Cross Disaster Relief fund here.

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Don’t forget about the pets too!

Central Oklahoma Humane Society
The Central Oklahoma Humane Society needs: towels, paper towels, bleach, gloves and crates to help with lost and injured animals.

“Currently our greatest need is financial donations to help us treat and house lost and injured animals at our facilities,” via their site.

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Donations can be made online here and should be designated for the “OK Humane Disaster Relief Fund.”

Grapefruit: Not Just Another Delicious Sub-tropic Fruit

A Common Sense Breakthrough

Lead researcher, Huang-Ge Zhang, D.V.M., Ph.D.  started doing research by using a common sense approach. He considered how our ancestors selected food to eat.

“The fruits and vegetables we buy from the grocery today were passed down from generation to generation as favorable and nutritious for the human body.”

On the flip side, outcomes were not favorable for our ancestors who ate poisonous mushrooms, for example, Zhang added.

“It made sense for us to consider eatable plants as a mechanism to create medical nanoparticles as a potential non-toxic therapeutic delivery vehicle.”

grapefruit

Scientists have found that grapefruits may revolutionize how medical therapies like anti-cancer drugs are delivered to specific tumor cells.

“These nanoparticles, which we’ve named grapefruit-derived nanovectors (GNVs), are derived from an edible plant, and we believe they are less toxic for patients, result in less biohazardous waste for the environment, and are much cheaper to produce at large scale than nanoparticles made from synthetic materials.”

– Huang-Ge Zhang, D.V.M., Ph.D.

woman-eating-grapefruit

It is exciting to see a breakthrough of this type using natural substances. In the coming years, it will be interesting to see the real-life implications. Thanks to science and a delicious sub-tropic citrus!

References: University of Louisville (2013, May 21). Delivery of therapeutic agents by nanoparticles made of grapefruit-derived lipids. Nature Communications, 2013; DOI:10.1038/ncomms2886

Hybrid/Electric Car Battery Dilemma

So you drive an energy efficient, zero emission electric car or a hybrid with a battery pack. What happens to the lithium battery when you are finished with the car?

nissan-lithium-ion-battery

Recycle: Car manufacturers, including Honda and Toyota, both of whom have been building hybrid vehicles for more than a decade, have programs established to recycle old batteries.

Reuse: Electric vehicle batteries have longer lives than those in PCs or cell phones. In some cases up to 70 percent capacity remaining after 10 years of use in an automotive application. This longevity allows them to be used for smart-grid community energy management systems or battery energy storage.

Repurpose: Nissan operates under the “4R” business model to reuse, resell, re-fabricate and recycle lithium-ion batteries. This allows them to repurpose the battery as energy storage systems with an estimated battery storage capacity of 50 kWh (enough energy to power 15 homes for 2 hours).

electric car charge

Hopefully these options will in fact be implemented. This makes driving an electric car an even more conscionable choice.

Buzz-worthy Electric Cars

We drive an average amount of 13,476 miles per year! Electric cars are designed to use no gasoline hence reducing emissions and promoting a more efficient drive-experience.

Cars that run purely off electric power are roughly four times as efficient as ones based on gasoline alone and twice as efficient as hybrid vehicles.

-Spencer Quong, senior vehicles analyst for the Union of Concerned Scientists, a science advocacy group.

Some switch-worthy options:

Nissan LEAF
The Nissan LEAF® is a 100% electric that may qualify for up to $7,500 in available tax credits and incentives.  This vehicle has an estimated 129/102 city/hwy MPGe with an 80kW synchronous electric motor. Nissan estimates the reduction of CO2 tailpipe emissions saved by its LEAF drivers worldwide to be nearly 37,000 million tons.

2013-naias-updated-nissan-leaf-is-made-in-usa

Honda Fit EV
The Fit EV received an 82-mile combined driving-range rating (adjusted) from the EPA. Like other EVs produces zero emissions. Plus, more homeowners are installing solar panels, which could also provide a clean energy source of power for the Fit EV.

2013-honda-fit-ev-fd

Tesla Model S
Model S claims to be the only electric vehicle with enough range and a fast enough charger to make road trips a reality (whether that be 100 miles or 5,000 miles). Its 85kWh battery supplies 300 miles of range at 55mph. Stylish with a top Speed is 125mph. The Model S also won the 2013 World Green Car of the Year award.

2012-tesla-model-s-fd

So would you make the switch?

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