How You Live Says A Lot About You…

Spring Cleaning…. Kind of like the house version of making New Year’s Resolutions and starting over.

Forget about 10, 20, or 30 minute speed-cleaning. To do the job right, these are not realistic. You can do everything in one day. However, we recommend 2 ½ days. Enjoying life every day is still the priority, so no day should be all work and no play.

1. Ensure you have the proper cleaning tools and cleaners. By reading this list, you will easily assess this. Our secret cleaning weapon of choice is white vinegar. Buy 1 or 2 multi-task products and make sure they are not toxic. We like Greenworks.

2. Have a mix of your favourite music to listen to. An awesome 90 minute mix sets the tone. It should include the Black Eyed Peas at the start and near the end of the mix.

3. Make iced herbal tea or have a lot of purified water with lemons to keep yourself hydrated.

4. Make sure you have something premade to eat during or at the end of your cleaning day. Make it with lots of veggies and grains to give you energy and keep you alert. Avoid a sugar-crash mid-way through….

5. Declutter – everywhere in your home. We are talking right down to all those boxes you have hidden in the basement or storage area. Letting go feels amazing. Seeing what matters gives you energy. Donate what you do not need to someone who does. Sell what is worth the time and effort to do so.

6. Change your décor with what you have. As image consultants, we separate ourselves by focusing equal time to a client’s home and lifestyle, as we do their personal style. Like clothing, we often add without editing what is first there. Rearranging furniture and décor breathes fresh life into your space, and gives you a new perspective to enjoy what already exists. Donate or sell on eBay the spontaneous things you never should have bought.

7. Clean your cabinets, fridge, and freezer. We buy too much to eat. If you have not used it in six months – give it to a food bank. If it is past due, throw it out. Anything in the freezer longer than 3 months – bye bye. Prioritize your goods into meaningful groups so they invite you to use them. Coming home and opening a clean, organized fridge is liberating!

8. Clean out all the closets and drawers. We will have another blog on how to organize a closet in the weeks ahead.

9. Organize all necessary paperwork. Letting this get behind is a big mistake. This should include all key tax documents, passport information, bank information, etc.

10. Make sure the essential files on your computer are backed up. We love Mozy.

11. Do not forget your floors, carpets, and curtains. These are important at this time as they harbour a lot of mites and other contributors to seasonal allergies.

12. Clean your car inside and out. I am always shocked to be in the car of someone I respect and be surrounded by a sea of mess. A car space should provide you the same calm as your home.

13. Prepare your bike. This can include: getting the chain cleaned, air in tires, removing rust, and checking the brakes. For many of us, this is a main form of transportation and should be maintained as such.

14. Organize any outdoor oasis you have. This can be a little balcony or a beautiful deck. Make it beckon to you at the end of the day. Less is more. So edit and make each item count. Grow something you can eat.

15. Make lists for things you need to get by area and priority. By writing it down, you have given it thought. Working with lists will keep you true to your lifestyle and budget.

16. Plan time off. Part of the fun of vacations is the planning and anticipation. Set a goal to plan and work towards it. This can include setting a vacation fund, so when the time comes you have the money for having a good time. Who knows, cleaning up may give you enough to sell to start that vacation fund!

Which Frying Pan? Why not Teflon?

One of the reasons Teflon is still in wide use in cookware is that has been difficult to determine what the real source of these chemicals in the people’s bodies is. In addition to non-stick cookware, the chemicals are found in many consumer products including shampoo, food grade paper products, carpets, lubricants, rug cleaners, garden tools, and even zippers. PFOA is released as water and air pollution during the manufacturing of carpets, clothing, and paper. These chemicals have been found in tested air, water, and food in every North American city where testing has been done. Sadly, the majority of us have this in our bloodstream as well.

Non-stick cookware became all the range in the low-fat craze, that sadly, so many people still adhere to as their main and only viable diet option. Less butter, less oil and voila – your food could be cooked at high temperature in the same fashion!

Now with time passing, we are learning that both non-stick cookware in its traditional sense and a low-fat diet in its traditional sense make no sense!
So, what are better options?

Well, first off your main 2 options are stainless steel and cast iron.

However, there is a secret to making this transition easier.


The pan must be heated to the correct temperature BEFORE adding oil or the ingredients.

Now add a few drops of water to check if the temperature is hot enough. If the drops of water, instead of sizzling, bead up and dance around the pan without evaporating, like drops of mercury, the pan is just right.

All together now: HOT PAN/COLD OIL.

We will talk more about oils and butters in the weeks ahead.

Purchase recommendation:
11” stainless steel fry pan
12” cast iron

If you really must stick to non-stick, many manufacturers are now making lines without PFOA – before purchasing, I recommend researching and asking around.

Upcoming Recipes

You have no idea how many requests we get for recipes! As many of you know, I have a cookbook in the works, so getting feedback and more people testing recipes is always a fantastic thing for us to do. To start the ball rolling, I will be going back to the 2 other blogs I contributed to and posting some of the pertinent recipes and advice to set yourself up to really cook with ease and less. For the most part the emphasis will be on quality whole food and how it will contribute to your overall wellness. Don’t worry though, every once and then, a little indulgence will rear its head into the blog.

First things first.

You need some basic equipment that does a lot of things without being too expensive or take up too much room.

This bad boy is called the Cuisinart mini-prep plus. In Canada it goes for around $50.00 – but is often on sale. In the US – Macy’s and Target often have them around $20.00. Yes, you can buy a cheaper one – but trust me it won’t last. I should know – I have burned through 3 of the good ones and 4 of the bad ones.

A lot of the recipes, appetizers, sauces, etc. made on this blog will benefit highly from you purchasing one of these.

Until we meet again.

Chef Cat