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Nick's Tip: Pitch The Energy Drink

by Nick Vitrano

They're delicious on a sandwich and work wonders on tired, puffy eyes, but if that's all you're getting out of your cucumber, you're not maximizing its many benefits. I actually used this tip last night and am beating up myself for not taking before and after photos.

Today's tip: The Constructive Cucumber.

* First of all, cucumbers are a wealth of vitamins and minerals. The list of inclusions reads like the side of a daily multivitamin bottle: vitamins B 1-6, vitamin C, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, zinc...it's all in there. So yeah. Eat 'em. By the way, the list reads like the side of an energy drink, as well (without the sugar). Cucumbers a good for a quick pick-me-up when you're dragging. Those qualities also help with that hangover. It's not a magic elixir, but it will help.

* As I mentioned - great on the eyes to help with puffiness.

* Bring on the shine: from your bathroom mirror to your sinks and faucets to your shoes(yeah, your shoes) rubbing the surface with a freshly cut cucumber will clean, shine, and even aid in repelling water.

* Repel pests in the garden:place a few slices of cucumber in an aluminum pie tin and place in your garden. The cucumber juice reacts with the aluminum to give off a scent about which pests aren't real excited. It's science.

* Squeaky hinges have met their match: rub a cut cucumber on that hinge and voila...squeak gone. Who needs WD40?

* Bad breath slayer. Did you just eat a potent dinner? Can't kick that morning mouth feeling? Put a slice of cucumber in your mouth and hold it with your tongue on the roof of your mouth...it's about maximizing the surface area covered by the cucumber slice...hold it for about 30 seconds and remove, and with the slice, all those nasties. Or just chew it up and swallow it. That's even better.

* Creative kid? If you have youngsters it's inevitable: crayons on surfaces for which the crayon is not intended. Last night my daughter colored up her Magna Doodle. Ruined? Not at all! Rub cut cucumber on the crayon and let sit for a minute or so. It should release the crayon enough to be able to wipe off. I'm happy to report that the Magna Doodle has been restored to "like new."