Sunday, November 15, 2015

Cleaning up mold may help fibro; plus easy mock cinnamon rolls

Every fall I face my toughest allergy adversary: mold. This almost indestructible foe may be the hidden link behind fibromyalgia (FMS) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) as some studies suggest.

For the past five years or so, I’ve had a formidable weapon to deal with indoor mold. The WhiteWing Steamer Vapor Steam Cleaner has served me well in battling mold which can leave me, a severe mold sufferer, as weak as Superman with kryptonite.

Mold allergy can be a problem year-round unlike other allergies which tend to be a nuisance during the growing seasons. However, mold allergy gets worse during the fall and winter because it seems like the majority of wetter weather happens in those seasons. Mold thrives in damp, cooler climates.

The WhiteWing Steamer was a perfect gift for a year-round allergy sufferer like me. According to WhiteWing materials, the steamer …
·  Destroys germs, viruses, dust mites, mold and bacteria
·  Removes grease and dirt better than chemical cleaners
·  Removes soap and mildew from bathrooms, tiles and grout
·  Removes grease from kitchen floors, counters and appliances
·  Sanitizes and disinfects nurseries and pet areas
·  Cleans upholstery, drapes and bedding
·  Deodorizes all cleaned surfaces
·  Cleans windows and glass
·  Quickly cleans sealed hardwood floors and other flat floor surfaces
·  Dissolves and emulsifies calcium, grease and more.

 If I am persistent about using it, I always having a healthier winter with less sinus problems, fibro pain and other symptoms. The WhiteWing is supposed to kill mold but apparently, there is always more waiting to be reactivated by the right conditions. 

Two hairy, but loveable, culprits who help bring mold inside
Mold spores are persistent, opportunistic little creatures. Active mold produces microscopic spores in enor­mous quantities which are spread by air currents—meaning they are almost always there waiting for the right conditions to reproduce. Extreme cold, freez­ing and heat can deactivate spores but it does not kill them. They are resistant to desiccation (drying out). If temperatures go up after a cold spell, spores can reactivate and continue to grow.

All of this means you have your work cut out for you to keep these demonic little creatures at a level that you can tolerate for your allergies and related symptoms.

Some of the symptoms of mold allergy include:
           Muscle cramps
           Unusual pain
           Ice pick pain
           Light sensitivity
           Blurred vision
           Sinus problems
           Digestive problems
           Joint pain
           Morning stiffness
           Memory problems
           Focus/concentration problems
           Mood swings
           Increased urination

The conditions that mold loves have already arrived in my area. You can probably guess I have been busy steaming up a storm with my trusty WhiteWing.

As usual, I start with the bathrooms. They can be a breeding ground for mold because let’s face it, showers and such leave behind plenty of moisture. I do try to reduce the amount of moisture by towel drying the shower after each use. This works pretty well during the warmer months but once fall arrives, the mold thrives despite my efforts.

I steam clean the tile, the shower doors, the bathtubs, the floors, the counters, and anything and everything where moisture lands and mold can grow. The bathrooms look hospital clean after I get done steaming and it’s all done without harsh cleaners.

Each steaming session lasts about two hours before the WhiteWing needs a refill of distilled water. My next stop is the kitchen, a breeding ground for mold, grit, grime, bacteria and germs. I’m really into my cleaning rhythm at this point but I still like to spread the kitchen job over several days because there are so many areas to clean including counters, cabinets, shelves, sink, stovetop hood, stove exterior, tile splashboard and floors.

The White Wing allows me to kill a lot of mold with just steam but occasionally, I pull out a bottle of Simple Green all-purpose cleaner and spray an area before steaming it. The two make a formidable cleaning pair.

During the next session, I focus on cleaning the refrigerator and dishwasher.  I am always surprised by the mold which hides in the refrigerator door gaskets. After a few days of cleaning, I have defeated a lot of mold, dust mites, germs and bacteria. And to think, I do it all with steam and no harsh cleaners.

Mock cinnamon rolls/crepes
All this steam cleaning has helped me with my mold allergies and to get ready for holiday company. I'm still waiting for the outside mold to get stunned by freezing temps and snow. 

I’ve also been experimenting with holiday treats that I can make without starches or sugars. You’re probably wondering how it can be a treat without starches or sugars. It’s not easy and you also have to retrain your palate but you do what you have to do to feel as well as possible.
Crepe-like dough with yogurt cream cheese

I was pretty happy with my mock cinnamon rolls. They are built around a crepe-like dough. They are grain and sugar free but use eggs and yogurt. You can use whatever yogurt works for you but I make lactose-free yogurt from organic cow’s milk.

Here’s what you need for the “dough” or crepe:

2 organic eggs
¼ cup farmer’s cheese or sub almond flour for dairy-free
1 T. water
Pinch of sea salt
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. grassfed gelatin
1 T. olive oil

Here’s what you need for filling:

1 cup yogurt cream cheese
see here for directions;
 must be prepared 12 hours or more ahead.
Stevia or other sweetener, to taste
Cinnamon for dusting
Crepe with "cream cheese" and dusting of cinnamon

Here’s what you do:

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper and drizzle with olive oil. Mix the “dough/crepe” ingredients. Pour the dough on the baking sheet. Spread it out a bit although it will continue spreading during baking. Bake until firm and slightly crispy, about 10-12 minutes.

This how you roll it up
In the meantime, mix your filling. Once the crepe is slightly cooled, spread the filling all over one side. Dust with cinnamon. The amount depends on how much you love cinnamon.

Roll up the crepe lengthwise. Spread on top more yogurt cream cheese dusted with cinnamon. Cut into serving-size pieces and serve with additional "cream cheese" or yogurt or kefir.

Submitted to:

Rolled up and ready to eat

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