27 Jul

Good Eatin’ in the Summertime

A friend of mine told me the other day that she has been studying Holistic Health Counseling through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (www.integrativenutrition.com). She’s on her way to earning a certificate to be a Holistic Health Counselor. This is very exciting and I’m so proud of her. She is starting to offer Nutrition and Wellness counseling and coaching to clients. If you find that you’re in need of some health & wellness advice, take a look at Jessica’s website. www.CloserToRealHealth.com

Jessica sends out monthly newsletters and the last one had some great recipes from her school. They look perfect for a cook-out this summer!

Bok Choy Apple Slaw
Prep time: 7 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:
6 stalks bok choy (about 1/2 head), thinly sliced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
1 granny smith apple, sliced
1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds

Dressing:
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons honey or brown rice syrup
salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:
1. First make the dressing by combining all the ingredients and whisking well.
2. Chop all the salad ingredients, leaving the apples until last. Mix in a salad bowl.
3. Toss salad with half the dressing. Add additional dressing if desired.
4. Eat immediately, or chill for up to one hour and then add the apples just before eating.

Asian Watercress Salad
Prep time: 7 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:
1 bunch washed watercress
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup baked tofu
1-1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2/3 tablespoons plum vinegar or other vinegar

Directions:
1. Tear watercress into desirable size pieces.
2. Mix with carrots in a salad bowl.
3. Drizzle sesame oil and vinegar over salad and toss.
4. Dice tofu into bite-size strips.
5. Serve in individual salad bowls, sprinkle tofu on top of each and serve.

Here’s to yummy food and good nutrition!

13 Jul

Uninterrupted thoughts

Several weeks have gone by since last posting. I think I’m finally coming up for air. Part of the busyness of the last couple of weeks was flying with my kids out to South Carolina to visit with my parents. Now, the reason why I feel like I can breath is because I flew home last Thursday – sans kids! They’ll fly back with my mom in about 10 days. I catch myself aching to be with them – I miss them a lot and at the same time enjoying the quiet solitude of my life as I know it right now. I know it’s short lived! My time has been spent catching up on work, sleep, meditation, exercise and hanging with hubby and friends.

I realized yesterday that since having kids, my life has felt like one big interruption. AND I actually got to complete that thought – which is how I came to that realization. Oh, the irony! I remember thinking when I was a teenager that my mom and all my friends’ moms were a little off their rocker (and it wasn’t just the whole know-it-all teenager thing that I had going on – haha). I was actually pretty spot on and it’s come full circle. Moms ARE a little off their rocker and it’s because they can never have a complete thought! There are always interruptions. More times than not, they’re good interruptions- but interruptions, nonetheless. Like, Mom come see what I painted! or Mom, come outside and play soccer with me! or Mom, come jump on the bed with me! I don’t mind those interruptions so much. It’s the interruptions that sound more like this that I can do without… MOM! we need more toilet paper! or MOM! I can’t find my other shoe! or MOM! it’s my turn! It comes with the territory, but really? really? Did the universe intend for moms to go crazy?

It really is great being a mom and truly a blessing. I mean, really… how could you not get all sappy over these two?

Just wish me luck in maintaining my sanity!

16 Jun

Dreamy

This weekend is a big weekend for my family. My daughter turns 5 on Sunday AND it’s Father’s Day. Since I knew Sunday was going to be busy with families celebrating Dad’s Day, I thought I’d throw a little birthday party for my daughter on Saturday. So I’ve got plenty to do in preparation for that – it’s going to be a wig party, so we’ve got to make sure that we all have our wigs styled and ready to go. Then, in preparation for Father’s Day, I wanted to experiment with acrylic paint on canvas – which I’ve never done before. Nothing like giving an experimental gift to your husband for Father’s day. Thank goodness he’s everything a father should be… understanding, patient, kind and encouraging. So when he gets my experimental canvas painting, he’ll appreciate the effort that went into it…. hopefully!

So here is the beginning of what I’ve done so far. I’m letting this part dry and then I’ll add background and a little flare. I’ll update as it progresses.

08 Jun

Life-giving sun

I learned early on how important the sun is – without it there would be no life on Earth.

So no life on Earth, huh? That means us, right? So why does the sun get such a bad rap? I hear that we need exposure to the sun to produces Vitamin D, and we need that vitamin D to promote bone health. Plus it improves mood.

So if we’re outside getting the sunlight and fresh air that our bodies and minds so dearly need, what happens if we stay out a little too long and we find that we start to feel bad. Could it be an allergy to the sun??…. It’s possible. As I started to do the research to find out more about sun allergies, I thought I’d include some pictures of what these different reactions look like. Well, I changed my mind after spending about 10 minutes looking at some pretty messed up skin. I’ll let you click on the links below- if you’ve got the stomach for it!

Here are a couple different types of sun allergies – Polymorphous Light Eruption, Actinic Prurigo, Chronic Actinic Dermatitis, Solar urticaria and Photoallergic Eruption.

Since Polymorphous Light Eruption is the most common and least severe of the three, I’ll start there. It usually occurs during the early stages of summer after just a few hours of sun exposure. It’s caused by the UVA and/or UVB rays and takes the shape of an itchy, red rash on the skin. It’s sometimes also referred to as sun poisoning.

Next up is Actinic Prurigo. These symptoms include red, raised patches of skin and itchy bumps that may extend onto the skin that wasn’t exposed to sunlight. Fluid filled bumps form and crack open. Actinic prurigo often causes chapped and split lips, and can affect the cheeks, neck, ears, arms and hands. In some people, actinic prurigo leaves scars. Symptoms generally start in the summer months and improve by late autumn.

Another type of allergy is Chronic Actinic Dermatitis, which can cause thick patches of dry, itchy and inflamed skin on the face, scalp, back and sides of the neck, upper chest, and backs of the arms and hands. Large affected areas may have areas of exposed skin that aren’t affected.

Fourth in line is Solar Urticaria, whose symptoms start within minutes of exposure to sunlight and can include hives, itching and blisters. Solar urticaria can affect both exposed areas and areas covered by clothes. It occurs most often in older adults. Symptoms usually improve within an hour after covering exposed skin.

Finally a Photoallergic Reaction is caused by a chemical reaction of sun’s rays and a sunscreen or the makeup brand which doesn’t suit your skin type. Usually a rash will occur on the skin.

Now, I’m sure you’re asking yourself – can Lucidia help? And the answer is yes to a certain degree. It will help internally to calm the release of histamines, but when you’ve got a sunburn, what you’re longing for most is to soothe your skin. So try this home remedy… take a cucumber and mash it up to create a paste and apply it to the irritated area. You should feel it cool your skin within minutes. Best of luck to you this summer and don’t forget your SUNSCREEN!

Thanks to the Mayo Clinic for helping me find out more about sun allergies.

01 Jun

Forever Flowing

If you read the Celtic Blessings blog then you know how excited I am to turn the page of my calendar. Here’s what I read today when I turned to June…

Forever Flowing

I once walked out in the springtime,
and in the freshness of the morning
I came upon a spring of sweet clear waters.
And the spring was gushing toward me.
Its sweet waters flowing toward me.

Again I walked in the summer,
and in the warming of the summer
I came upon that spring of
sweet clear waters.
And the waters coming toward me.
Its fresh waters flowing toward me.

I walked abroad in autumn,
and in the chilling of the autumn
I sought that spring of sweet clear waters.
With its waters rushing toward me.
Its clear waters flowing toward me.

I walked then in the winter,
and in the freezing cold of winter
I found the spring of sweet clear waters.
And it was clear but cold and frozen,
And its waters were not moving.

But there is another water flowing,
that flows ever without ceasing,
flows from spring on through the winter,
and it brings life everlasting,
flowing always to me through me.

Blessed Be from Atremis Therapeutics

20 May

Poor Knoxville

I came across an article yesterday that stated that “Knoxville has it all: high pollen counts, high use of allergy medications by residents, and not enough allergists to treat them”. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America did a study of this season’s allergy count and found the following cities to be the hardest hit by allergies…
1. Knoxville, TN
2. Louisville, KY
3. Chattanooga, TN
4. Dayton, OH
5. Charlotte, NC
6. Philadelphia, PA
7. Greensboro, NC
8. Jackson, MS
9. St. Louis, MO
10. Wichita, KS
Then for those of you lucky enough to live these cities, they were at the bottom of the list. For once it’s BEST to be at the bottom! People living in these cities are least affected by springtime allergies.
100. Harrisburg, PA
99. San Diego, CA
98. Daytona Beach, FL
97. Boise City, ID
96. Miami, FL
95. Oxnard, CA
94. Fresno. CA
93. Denver, CO
92. Los Angeles, CA
91. Colorado Springs, CO

Compliments of WebMD

19 May

Oldest Spruce Tree EVER!

So I received an e-mail earlier this week from someone asking whether Lucidia helps with spruce allergies. I let him know that Lucidia relieves spruce allergies because of its ability to strengthen the immune system, cleanse the body of allergens and act as a decongestant, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, etc.

Ok, but that’s not the point of my story here… the point is that I wanted to get an idea of where this person was potentially e-mailing from so that I could hopefully better answer his question depending on the region he was living in. So I googled the spruce tree and this is one of the links that I came across…

The world’s oldest known living tree (9,550 years old), a conifer that first took root at the end of the last Ice Age, has been discovered in Sweden… I admit, I’m a bit of a skeptic. For all the years of schooling I’ve been through and well… just good ol’ plain observation, I thought that the circumference of the tree was a good outside indicator of the age of the tree. Take a look at this picture and someone please explain where I went wrong in all those years of biology…If it is, in fact, over 9,000 years old – I’m impressed and amazed! It’s at a time like this that I wish I had the ability to touch something and know its history. If any of you ever watched the Heroes tv series, then you’ll know what I’m referring to. There was a character who could touch an object and know it’s past. Of all the “powers” that people had on that show, the ability to know an objects’ past and all that it has seen, felt, achieved, heard, etc. would be the power for me. How cool would it be to know what this tree has been through.

14 May

Asthma

I just spent a couple of minutes talking on the phone to a wonderful lady with the San Diego Natural Guide. I contacted the guide earlier this week to see about getting a spot in their directory for the Fall. So as we were talking, she was asking about Lucidia and if it could possibly benefit someone with asthma. She was saying that she used to live in Illinois and had a friend come visit her recently from Illinois. The last time they saw each other, this friend was asthma free and in the two years since then, she developed such severe asthma that she uses a breathing machine when necessary and at times will have to wake up in the middle of the night, just to get herself hooked up to the machine to regulate her breathing.

Wow, I felt so bad for this woman. It’s no way to live your life – to feel like you’re being suffocated. Ugh! To not be able to breath… and then what if you’re caught somewhere without an inhaler or breathing machine. It seems frightening.

So anyway, as this nice woman from the San Diego Natural Guide and I were talking, she asked whether Lucidia would help her asthmatic friend. I let her know that her friend should definitely not try to replace her breathing machine with Lucidia, but that Lucidia will help improve her immune system and strengthen her body so it won’t be affected by allergens.

I’ve never experienced asthma, so I wanted to do a little research to see what happens when someone has an asthma attack. This is what I found… Basically the muscles of the bronchial walls tighten, and your airways produce extra mucus that blocks the passage of air.

Some of the most common triggers of asthma are pollen, dust mites, mold and pet dander; and irritants, like smoke, pollution, fumes, cleaning chemicals, and sprays.

Thanks to the following sites for helping me out with my curiosity about asthma.
http://www.aaaai.org
http://www.bio.davidson.edu

06 May

Celtic Blessings

So I have this really cool 2010 Celtic Blessings calendar. I think I ordered it off of Amazon or something cheesy like that. I wasn’t really sure what I was getting when I ordered it – I just liked the pictures that were displayed on the website. It turns out that I scored big time – not only does it have beautiful Celtic art, but the blessings are pretty cool too. Every 30 days (or there abouts), when I get to turn the calendar, I love reading that month’s little gem of wisdom. So for the month of May, here is a Celtic Blessing from me and my calendar to you…

TO KNOW GOD
Come care for the blossoms, and care
for the bulbs, care for the condor high
over the hills, and care for the hills
as well. Care for the dark, soft earth;
see that it deepens and is not washed
away to the sea. Care for the weak things,
the drifting specks of life in the oceans,
for the tiger hunted from the jungle,
for the whale driven from his depths.
Care for the children of men and for
the children of all that live and
multiply and hunger for life; care
for those who live a hundred years and
those whose span is over with the
setting sun, for they all have their
part to play – and their secrets.

Care for the winds that they are not
poisoned, and guard the great forests,
for their breath is our breath. For
even if you have seized the staff of
great dominion, your fate is bound
with the least of this creation, and as
you treat the least of creation, so you
treat the Creator.

O you who gaze upon this now,
If you would know the holy will of God,
then care for his creation.

Blessed Be.

LucidiaLife.com

03 May

Cuyamaca Rancho State Park

I went camping with my family this weekend at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. I’d have to say that it was the most relaxing camping trip I’ve ever been on. So many times when we’ve gone camping, we went with other families OR our kids were too young to be ok with weathering the elements and it made it… well, let’s just say, a little less relaxing.

When you go with other families, it’s really fun, but it seems like you’re always on-duty – fixing a meals, cleaning up after a meal, making a fire, fixing a bicycle, making trips to the potty, applying sunscreen to someone, making a trip to the general store to get fire wood – ohhh, the list can go on… But for some reason, this weekend was just us, just peaceful, just taking hikes when we wanted, just riding bikes when we wanted, just playing games when we wanted, just us being there enjoying each other and the gifts of Mother Earth.

It’s no coincidence that we took our camping trip over the May Day holiday (May 1). May Day is not a holiday that we put a lot of effort into celebrating here in the United States – which is unfortunate. May Day has been around for thousands of years and part of its celebration is in honoring trees and flowers. With all the trees and flowers radiating and proud to be vibrant and fertile, it’s a wonderful time to take a moment to honor that which gives us life here on Earth.

Happy May Day to you, from your friends at Lucidia.