The Maids of Portland, Maine

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Did You Make A Resolution?

Around this time of year, you will inevitably be asked if you have made a new year's resolution. And when you are, you may feel a rush of adrenaline--which may be because you feel a sense of personal connection to yours.
>Resolutions create pressure
Once you say something out loud, you are broadcasting your hope in your self. You have instigated public expectations in your performance. Now that it is said, you could fail! Not only that, but your friends and family will be holding you to your word. Enforcing behavior modifications that you may not feel as resolved in at that moment, as you felt at the time you jovially announced your New Years Resolution.
>Resolutions build intention
Letting people in on what you want to create in your life builds a supportive environment to actually bring it to fruition. When your resolve is meager, those who support you will become your temporary crutch until you regain your conviction. And, all worldly manifestations originate as a thought. The more thought generated in the same direction the more energy there is for it to manifest on your behalf.
>How genuine is your resolve?
When you hesitate to make a New Year's resolution, you don’t feel like thinking that hard or you don’t believe there is any value in the tradition or you just can’t think of anything, you are not recognizing how significant your personal resolve is in the outcome of your life.
When contemplating the New Year feel, what would make your heart full? Let yourself dream; imagine living your dream; visualize the journey. What convictions are necessary to make this change in your life? This is where your resolve needs to be. Express your resolution in a way that creates the feeling you have when you dream about the resolutions result.New Years resolutions are about creating positive change in your life. Happy New Year from The Maids!!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Horrible Truth About Food Reconditioning

It's no secret that food companies aim to make money. They strive to spend as little as possible and bring in much more than they spend, that's just business. However, it's becoming more and more alarming when the public learns what some companies are doing, and being legally allowed to do to our food just to save money. One of these money-saving tactics is called reconditioning. It's a lawful process allowed by the FDA and it's probably effecting food that's in your cupboard right now.
>Reconditioning is the process of turning imperfect, mislabeled, or even contaminated foods into edible and profitable goods.
Some of these practices seem to be harmless and understandable. If a company flops some pasta and the end result is a batch of misshaped macaroni noodles, they may regrind it in to semolina flour and start over.
Another very common procedure deals with ice cream. Apparently chocolate ice cream flavoring is so powerful that it overpowers other flavors. Due to this fact, imperfect batches of other flavors get mixed together and become chocolate ice cream. While I'd like my ice cream to be perfectly pure, the fact that it may contain slightly odd blueberry ice cream doesn't really bug me, it's not unappetizing.
These steps make sense. They reduce waste and save the company money.The element of reconditioning that is disturbing is when a company is allowed to take an outright contaminated food, re-process it, and put it on the shelf for profit.
This has been done recently with moldy applesauce, salmonella-contaminated flavor enhancers, and insect-infested rice. In the case of the mold and salmonella, the foods were run through a heat process and repackaged. The rice got re-sifted and put on the shelf. The companies filed a reconditioning request with the FDA and kept their losses to a minimum.
As the consumer, I'd like to know if my rice was re-sifted because a family of bugs were residing in it. Or I'd really like to know if the applesauce I buy for my son was full of mold. However, the FDA does not require a label or notification or even a price reduction to shoppers. Obviously it's a money issue, too. We doubt many would buy rice with a sunburst label stating, "Contained bugs last month!"
Officials from the FDA recently stated that "It's no secret that the FDA allows certain levels of expected contaminants to remain in foods, simply because a zero-tolerance standard would be impossible to meet."
If reconditioning and contaminant levels weren't a secret, it sure wasn't being advertised. But why would it be? It would cost money and apparently making our health priority number one isn't good business.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Eco-friendly Tips for a Natural Green Holiday Season

If one of the visions dancing around in your head this holiday season is to "go green," then you are in luck. Here are some eco-friendly ideas from The Maids to prep your house for entertaining and fill it with seasonal spirit and natural scents...
*** Buy a "green" Christmas Tree- Avoid artificial trees that are made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC.) Choose a fresh tree instead. Live, potted trees are reusable. Or, recycle your fresh cut tree.
*** This year, find your decorations in your backyard instead of heading to the store. Berries, flowers and evergreen branches are beautiful decorations and fill the house with seasonal aromas. Make holiday potpourri by simmering ingredients such as lemon or orange slices, cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamom and nutmeg. Add to your seasonal scents by baking gingerbread cookies.
*** The holiday season is for cozying up in the house, so this is the perfect time to clear the air inside of toxins as well as dust and dirt. Use mild, biodegradable natural and non-toxic cleaning products. Baking soda and vinegar mixed with a little water make excellent all-purpose cleaners. If possible, try and open the windows a little while cleaning to let toxins out and fresh air in.
*** Candles and holiday lights are a big part of the holiday season, but electric holiday lights consume a lot of energy. If you are stringing lights, conserve energy by turning the lights only on at night. make sure they are LED lights because they are brighter than standard bulbs and use one-tenth the energy.