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What’s the Feng Shui of Your Kitchen?

What’s the Feng Shui of Your Kitchen?

What’s the Feng Shui of Your Kitchen –8 Questions to Ask
by Kathryn Weber

The kitchen has a special place in feng shui. The stove, in particular, has an especially important place in the home and the kitchen. That’s because this is the appliance that generates the meals that feed the residents of that home.

On its own, though, the kitchen is thought to press down luck in feng shui thought. That means, even if you have good luck in this room, or bad, the kitchen by its very nature will stifle the luck in this area.

That being said, if the kitchen is located in a good direction for you based on your pa kua number, then the food prepared and consumed here will be especially beneficial. If, based on your pa kua number, this is an unlucky area, the bad luck will be pressed down, therefore, making this a good location for a kitchen.

Here are some more kitchen feng shui basics:

Avoid locating a bedroom over a kitchen. If this isn’t possible, then make extra sure that the bed does not share the same wall as the stove. Likewise, try not to put a bedroom, or bed, on the other side of the wall where your stove is placed.

Kitchen placement is important. Kitchens should ideally be placed near the back of the house and not in the middle. Placement at the front of the house is also not advisable.

Don’t paint kitchens red. Kitchens have fire in them already; don’t increase the “fire energy” by painting the kitchen red.

Kitchens in harmful positions: If your kitchen is located in the northwest, southwest, or center of your house: Purchase a five-rod wind chime here to dispel some of the energy. However, the worst possible location for a kitchen is the northwest, particularly if you cook with gas because this is an actual flame. Remove all candles from this location and try to install an electric stove here.

Alternatively, you can add a large urn of water, such as a fish tank, to dampen some of the excess fire energy.

There are few absolutes in feng shui, but this is one, and that is: no open flames in the northwest sector of the home or there could be severe losses or problems for the man of the house or the breadwinner.

Or, if you’re single, there could be difficulties attracting a suitable relationship or frequent spats and disagreements with someone you are dating, especially if you are female. You might try placing a spring water dispenser here or a fish tank to try and help press down the fire energy located here. Try to place it close as possible to the stove.

8 Key Feng Shui Kitchen Questions

1. Is there at least two feet of distance between the stove and refrigerator? If they are too close together, the refrigerator puts out the fire of the stove, creating financial difficulties. If they are next to each other, put a large wooden cutting board between them.

2. Can you see the toilets from the kitchen? Even a view or access to a toilet from the kitchen is bad news. If this is the case in your house, paint the bathroom door red, and as always, be sure to keep it closed at all times.

3. Placement of tears? A stove placed between a refrigerator and a sink is said to cause sadness and emotions such as those from mourning.

4. Do you have an islands of respite? Islands serve as a helpful feng shui feature because they are often topped with stone (which weighs down bad luck) and are situated between things, such as the stove and sink, or the stove and the refrigerator, thereby stopping “arguments” between kitchen features. Count yourself lucky if you have one. The same is true of dining tables in the kitchen.

5. Is your refrigerator stocked? A well-stocked pantry and refrigerator are both good feng shui — and symbols of wealth. Keep both cleaned out on a regular basis. Make sure nothing is stored on the floor of the pantry. This keeps energy renewed and wealth flowing.

6. Do you support your stove? If the stove is below a window, the cook will not enjoy good support.

7. Can the stove/kitchen be seen from the front door? If you can see the stove or the kitchen from your front door, then you could be losing opportunities. Block the view of the view from the front door with a screen or a plant.

8. Do you enter through the kitchen? If so, you could struggle with your weight. If the first thing you see is your kitchen, you might have difficulties with overeating. Try to enter through another door.

Kathryn Weber is the publisher of the Red Lotus Letter Feng Shui E-zine and certified feng shui consultant in authentic Chinese feng shui. Kathryn helps her readers improve their lives and generate more wealth with feng shui. For more information and to receive her FREE E-book “Easy Money – 3 Steps to Building Massive Wealth with Feng Shui” visit and learn the fast and fun way how feng shui can make your life more prosperous and abundant!

All or Nothing

All or Nothing

I originally wrote this in 2004. I think it is still good advice.

Healthy eating does not require an all or nothing approach. While it would be ideal to grow all our own organic foods, starting with perfect soil, growing all of our own fruits and vegetables, raising our own meat fed on only perfect grasses and feed that we grew ourselves, and on from there, it is not very realistic for most
people to do this. The information can be overwhelming and the urge to jump in completely is well founded. It can also be discouraging. With all the bad foods out there and the bad foods that look like good foods, we can start to wonder if there is any way to really find and eat healthy food.

Every little bit helps. If you can only change your diet one item at a time, you will feel and taste the benefits. Do not give up just because you cannot go all the way right away. Some people never fully make the transition, but they are still better off for each meal or food item that is of better quality. I have tried to
go all organic many times over the years, and gave up because it was too expensive or too difficult to obtain good food. I always believed that I had to do it 100% or it was just a waste of time. When I went back to standard commercial and chemical laden foods, I always noticed that my favorite new recipes just did not taste as good this time, and that I was more tired and did not digest my food as well as I had been. It sometimes took a while for me to make the connection.

If you are unfamiliar with choosing and eating organic food or working on a limited budget, it is OK to start out with just a few items. This may mean making one entire meal completely from better foods, or by consistently using one or two organic ingredients. Over time you will get a feel for which brands you like best, what is cost effective, and how to find what you really want. Often small natural food store have a co-op program that you can buy into and get a discount on their products. These stores are usually more than happy to special order products for you, too. If you simply cannot find a local supplier look for food online. You will be surprised how many things can now be ordered and shipped directly to your home. Ask around! You can often find local sources for things
like eggs, milk, and produce who do not advertise. Call your chamber of commerce and your county extension office for advice on finding these people.

Do not let the urge to be a perfectionist stand in the way on your path to eating healthier and more delicious food.

Check Out Frugal Healthy Simple!

Check Out Frugal Healthy Simple!

I have added a new blog to my blog list – Frugal Healthy Simple. You should check it out, it’s great! The recipes look good, but what I really love is the way it is written.

Marcia explains how she made the food, why she chose certain ingredients, including substitutions. She makes use of what she has on hand and demonstrates how that can be done without diminishing the greatness of the dish. This is something that is hard for people who are still dependent on recipes for full instruction, so I her explanations can really help!

She also lists the cost of each ingredient, so you can get a real feel for how her methods work to save money on food while still creating good, yummy stuff.

Cooking Tools: My Friend the Food Processor

Cooking Tools: My Friend the Food Processor

For years I refused to spend money on a food processor. What a shame. I now have a full sized, a miniature, and a “chopper” – a hand operated version. The “chopper” was my first. I used it for making guacamole and salsa. I loaned that out and did not get it back soon enough and got desperate for an aid in making my salsa. So, I purchased a mini food processor. The mini works great for your everyday stuff like cutting up a little garlic or onion. With onion it helps to minimize crying! Later I was making salsa weekly for a local restaurant and gave in and bought a full sized food processor. Now, I use all three and have found that they each serve a unique purpose.

If you are willing to donate the elbow grease, the chopper is best for guacamole and salsa because the motorized types can cause a foamy effect, particularly with guacamole. If you can only purchase one I recommend the mini food processor. This is purely personal choice, but when you are just working with small amounts, such as garlic for one meal, the full size just throws it around, and most of it is stuck to the sides. If you make a lot of creamed soups, you will want the full sized. You may still have to work in batches, but it will go much faster.

The reason I recommend food processors so highly is really convenience/quality. The food processor saves so much time and effort that you are more likely to use fresh ingredients, and therefore produce higher quality meals. If I did not use the food processor, I would get lazy and use powders more often than fresh.
Then, there are salads, etc, which can be made without cutting all those ingredients by hand, if you just slide them through the food processor. Once you establish the habit of using a food processor, you will naturally revert to using fresh ingredients. You and those you cook for will notice a huge difference!

Feng Shui Kitchen, by Norma Lehmeier Hartie

Feng Shui Kitchen, by Norma Lehmeier Hartie

Norma Lehmeier Hartie is the award winning author of the book Harmonious Environment: Beautify, Detoxify & Energize Your Life, Your Home & Your Planet. Please check out her blog Norma’s Journal (you may have noticed the updates from her blog in My Blog List on the left-hand side of the page).

Feng Shui Kitchen
by Norma Lehmeier Hartie

There are numerous schools of Feng Shui, and what it entails. Generally speaking, not much is said about Feng Shui in the kitchen, and that’s too bad, because it is a very important room. When Feng Shui is discussed, it centers around the stove, and it is generally concerned with the direction or placement of the stove.

My advice is to consider the placement of the stove solely in relation to what works from a design and practical point of view.

The remainder of this article focuses on Feng Shui from the point of view of what will make your kitchen flow well with good energy. The following will give your kitchen “Feng Shui”.

  • Great layout. When appliances are positioned well, there is adequate counter space to work with, and kitchen tools and dining ware are thoughtfully stored, you will have a great space in which to work.
  • Appliances are in good working condition. Energy Star rated is even better, as these appliances are more energy efficient.
  • There is appropriate lighting for cooking, eating, and any other activities that take place in kitchen.
  • The kitchen sparkles with cleanliness. Bonus points for using non-toxic cleaning supplies! See my handy guide to non-toxic products. Keep refrigerator clean and have a container of baking soda inside to absorb odors.
  • There is no clutter. Go through your drawers and cabinets and remove anything you don’t use. Donate, sell or recycle whatever you can.
  • Organize your kitchen for maximum efficiency. Give everything a designated space. Extra points for facing cans, bottles and other food items faced forward and lined up, like in a grocery store.

Draining Ground Beef

Draining Ground Beef

Draining ground beef is a real pain, but I have found a way that works for me. If the meat is really sitting in a large amount of grease I usually pour some off, but you don’t have to.

Place several paper towels on a plate. Set colander on top of paper towels. Line colander with a couple of paper towels to keep the meat from falling through the holes. Remove meat from pan or dish with a slotted spoon, and place in colander. When all of the meat is in the colander you can press on it to squeeze out more grease. Sometimes you can pull the paper towel out and squeeze more grease out of it.

Be very careful when separating the meat from the paper towel. It will be soggy and prone to tearing.

To use fewer paper towels, you can place the colander in a bowl.

I save my spaghetti sauce jars and lids. They make a perfect container for the grease. I do not reuse my beef grease.

Quick Reference – Meat, Beans, Grains, and More

Quick Reference – Meat, Beans, Grains, and More

I get really tired of searching for basic information every time I make certain foods. So, I asked one of my cooking groups if anyone knew where to find all the info in one easy to use place, and got a couple of very helpful links.

Proportions and cooking times for beans and grains can be found at Vegetarians in Paradise.

This USDA Safe Food Handling Page has everything from doneness temperatures of meat to how long leftover pizza will keep when refrigerated or frozen. There is a lot of helpful information here. However, I must warn you, the doneness temperature information is incomplete. Roasts, whole birds, etc., raise in temperature by about 10 degrees after you take them out of the oven, so if you wait until they reach the desired doneness to remove them they will be overcooked. Also, they don’t list rare beef because it is not longer considered “safe”.

You can find more information on temperatures and times for roasting beef at What’s Cooking America? They explain the beef doneness issue –
“To satisfy government home economists, the Beef Council says rare beef means an internal temperature of 140 degrees F. Well, that is ok if you like well-done and dry meat. If you like moist, rosy meat (like I do), rare begins at 120 degrees F. and starts to become medium rare at 125 to 130 degrees F.”

There is a great article on the Mar Jennings Site that explains more about meat and your health. Here is an excerpt:

“While many people will eat red meat well-done, it is not the healthiest option. It destroys the enzymes and denatures the proteins. What does that mean? Raw food in its natural state contains enzymes which help you digest it. When you fiddle with the food by cooking it, you destroy the enzymes and make your body work harder to break it down so that you can utilize the nutrients. It’s the same for protein. When proteins are denatured, it means that the protein molecule structure has been altered from its original state. Combine this with a high saturated fat content and you don’t exactly have a health food. Therefore, I always recommend eating red meat rare or medium rare. Well done meat is dead food and is best avoided.”

Ground beef – Cooking Ahead

Ground beef – Cooking Ahead

I do this with 3 to 5 pounds of ground beef at a time, then freeze it in portions. You can make any amount that works for you, and of course the amount of seasoning will depend on personal taste. These are the seasonings I normally use, but you should use whatever you like best.

Ground beef
Worcestershire sauce
Onion powder
Garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350-400. Place ground beef in a large glass baking dish and break up some with a fork. Add Worcestershire sauce and seasonings. Cover. Bake for 15 minutes. Stir with fork. Drain if it has produced a lot of grease. Cover. Bake until done. If you have a meat thermometer (and you should) check the temperature in the center of the meat. It should be at least 165. Drain. Allow to cool. Separate into meal-sized portions and freeze for later use.

I will post my method of draining the meat soon.

Roasting Garlic

Roasting Garlic

Roasted garlic is delicious and incredibly easy to work with. It is much easier to peel than raw garlic, and other than having to wait for it, it is easy to make.

Simply place the whole bulb of garlic in a baking dish and cover. Cook at 400 for about 30 minutes to an hour. When you pull it out of the oven it will be very hot inside, so you will probably want to let it cool. Cut the bottom off the bulb (where it looks like there used to be a stem). The cloves will squeeze or pull right out of their peels!

Roasted garlic is great in just about everything. Try it in:

Mashed potatoes
Potato salad
Pasta salad
Spaghetti sauce