Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Rules for Life

A friend of mine emailed me this list today -- Rules for Living Life:

1.You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it's yours to keep for the entire period.
2.You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called, "life."
3.There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial, error, and experimentation. The "failed" experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiments that ultimately "work."
4.Lessons are repeated until they are learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. When you have learned it, you can go on to the next lesson.
5.Learning lessons does not end. There's no part of life that doesn't contain its lessons. If you're alive, that means there are still lessons to be learned.
6."There" is no better a place than "here." When your "there" has become a "here", you will simply obtain another "there" that will again look better than "here."
7.Other people are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.
8.What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.
9.Your answers lie within you. The answers to life's questions lie within you. All you need to do is look, listen, and trust.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Turmeric Demonstrates Anti-Cancer Potential

The following is a post I found very interesting, sent to me by Oliver over at innergateacupuncture.com.  Check it out!

Turmeric is an herb is from Southeast Asia where it has been used as a home remedy and a cooking ingredient.  It is the bright root responsible for yellow curries.  Turmeric has been used both Ayurvedic and Chinese medicinal systems for centuries.  Acupuncturists and Chinese herbalists refer to the root as Jiang Huang, “yellow ginger”.  The herb has recently gained popularity as a natural anti-inflammatory agent that can help with arthritis and muscle strain.  However, the potential of this herb may be much greater and it may have a future fighting cancers. 

Curcumin is the active compound found in the turmeric plant that gives the plant its medicinal qualities.  Much research has been directed at finding out what makes curcumin beneficial and which aliments can benefit from its use. 

Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant.  Antioxidants are compounds that protect our cells from oxidative damage by scavenging and destroying free radicals.  By reducing cell damage curcumin interferes with cancer’s ability to grow and replicate and slows cancers spread. 

Research is generally done only on purified curcumin and not on the whole turmeric root.  The majority of the studies have been done on animal subjects.  In these studies, curcumin has demonstrated potent anti-cancer effects.  In rodents, curcumin blocked the formation of cancer cells after a specific carcinogenic enzyme was applied.  Curcumin has also been shown to kill certain cancer cells in Petri dishes and reduce the growth rate of the surviving cells.  It has also demonstrated the ability to reduce the size of some animal tumors. 

Research on human subjects has also shown promising results.  It has been shown to inhibit cell communication and signaling of cancer cells thus slowing their growth and potential for metastasis. It has even demonstrated an ability to encourage apoptosis or cell death in some cancer cells. 

The types of cancers that researches believe will benefit the most from turmeric are esophageal, intestinal, breast, skin, stomach, and colon cancers.  In fact, curcumin has been shown to absorb directly into cancerous tissue in the colon and intestines. 

While all of this research is promising more work needs to be done.  Particularly more human studies are needed to substantiate these preliminary studies.  Meanwhile, we may want to add some delicious yellow curries to our diets.  

Friday, August 12, 2011

Healthy Ice Cream Substitute!

Looking for a vegan substitute for ice cream, I found a lot of recipes that use frozen bananas.  Genius!  Freezing bananas and then blending them creates a sweet ice cream like texture that is delicious.

So, last night I gave this a try for the first time and the results were great!  I decided to kick it up a notch as well and add a serving of Almond Dream Chocolate Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert (dairy and gluten free).  I also added a splash of coconut water to help get a smoothie like consistency when finished.  The result was a guilt free summer dessert that I will absolutely make again.  I can't wait to try other frozen fruits as well.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Stress Management During Cancer Treatment

All stages of cancer, from diagnosis to treatment, can be stressful for both the patient and his or her family. It may seem at times that stress cannot be avoided, but there are a number of complementary care methods that can relieve worries during treatment. Using these methods to reduce stress may increase your chances of having successful recovery and enjoy future good health.

Begin by monitoring your stress symptoms. Are you experiencing loss of appetite, frequent headaches, anxiety or depression? These can all be signs of stress. The good news is that they can be managed. Identifying your symptoms now will help you plan what methods will be best for you and enable you to track your progress.

Cancer Centers of America tout the importance of having open communication with your doctors. Do not be ashamed to admit you are feeling stress. It is a normal reaction to receiving a diagnosis of cancers like heart, breast or lung cancer or other cancers like mesothelioma. Whether you or a loved one is battling cancer, reaching out to doctors can lessen your stress.

Techniques like meditation, guided imagery and even aromatherapy can help lower your stress level and give you piece of mind. If you are worried about your prognosis, for instance, practice filling your mind with positive thoughts. Yoga and Tai Chi can also provided much needed mental relaxation.

Don't let cancer treatment consume your life. Remember the activities you enjoy and pursue them. Make a dinner date with friends, paint a beautiful landscape or watch that movie you have been dying to see. Going through cancer treatment does not mean you can't have a life too. Continuing to do what you love is always the best way to relieve stress.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pasta, Red Peppers, and Feta -- a Perfect Match!

I have to start this post by saying I can always judge a recipe by how much or how little I alter it when I try it.  And I must say, there is rarely a meal where I am not substituting ingredients or changing things up a bit.

That said -- last night I tried this great new dish I found on the Food Network website.  I did not change a single measurement or ingredient.  Do yourself a favor and try this super easy treat!

Fettuccine with Creamy Red Pepper-Feta Sauce


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1 (16-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese or a 6-ounce block
  • 1 pound whole-wheat fettuccine
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves


Heat the oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onion and garlic until soft, about 10 minutes. Add roasted peppers and saute until heated through. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Place mixture in the bowl of a food processor with stock and all but 2 tablespoons of the feta. Process until combined and smooth, about 30 seconds. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water. Toss pasta with sauce, adding pasta water by the tablespoon, if needed. Sauce should cling nicely to pasta. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Divide among pasta bowls. Sprinkle with parsley and remaining feta cheese.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Polenta Recipe

The following recipe was shared with me by Janet Hailstone. It sounds great, so I had to share! Thanks Janet!

Tasty Polenta Treats

These tasty polenta treats are very easy to make. They are a healthy alternative to bread in your meal plan. Polenta is basically cornmeal mush that has been refrigerated and then cut into 1/2" slices for frying or baking.

In the Encyclopedia of Fruits, Vegetables, Nuts and Seeds for Healthful Living by Joseph M. Kadans, Ph.D., he states that:  "Corn has been advised in cases of anemia, constipation, emaciation, and as a general building food." Corn is also high in copper, which has been found to help hair color to not go gray as fast.
There are many ways of making polenta that include various spices and sauces that are added into the cornmeal mush during the cooking phase. Then, it is refrigerated in the container of your choice. If you can find a steel or plastic tube to insert the mush into, you can have little round slices that are a lot of fun.

Tasty Polenta Treats by Janet Hailstone

1 tube of plain polenta, storebought or homemade (1 cup wholegrain, non GMO organic cornmeal, 3 cups water, and 1 tsp real salt. Mix well in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Then,  simmer while stirring consistently until the mixture has thickened. Insert mix into a cylindrical tube or container of your choice and refrigerate.)
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive or coconut oil
1-2 tsp Homemade Chicken Seasoning

Gently release the tube onto a chopping board and slice into 1/2" round pieces. Spread olive oil evenly into a fry pan. Insert each piece of polenta close together. Fry on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes until slightly crispy. With a wide spatula, turn the whole thing over. They should stick enough together that you can keep all of the pieces together.  Fry again for another 10-15 minutes.  Sprinkle the chicken seasoning onto each round.

Make sure when you are frying that there is no smoke rising from the oil. That is a bad sign that the temperature is too high and the oil will not be as healthy.

It's important to eat healthy foods and exercise as part of your regimen for better health. For some good deals on treadmills, click on this link.
This is a fun recipe for a treat that kids and adults will enjoy!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Complementary Treatments Hand in Hand with Western Medicine

What tools are available for someone battling a deadly form of cancer? Each year, an increasing number of cancer survivors and their health teams have begun to look toward alternative forms of therapy to assist in their struggle. Although the choice to refuse mainstream medical treatment can be a dangerous one, there are many complementary treatments that even conservative and skeptical physicians acknowledge as having powerful therapeutic effects on those battling cancer. There are no proven instances of alternative or complementary treatments curing cancer, although there are many reports of "miracles."

What physicians do admit, including the American Cancer Society, is that a number of complementary methods can and will improve the health, well-being and quality of life of those battling cancer. Much of the value of these treatments comes in the form of improving the mental state of the patient and their family and as a way of reducing the negative side effects of conventional methods, such as chemotherapy. Studies have shown that the people most successful at conquering cancer and recovering are those who maintain the most positive mindset. Any tool that can improve the outlook is vital.

There are many things that a warrior against cancer can use to improve their mental state. Prayer and spirituality are often key, helping the patient to place their struggle in perspective and understand the meaning of life and death. The inner peace gained is tremendously valuable. Aromatherapy, art and music therapy, and various meditative practices can help to keep the mind of the patient dwelling in the light. The physical aspects of cancer and its treatment require even more technique.

Beginning with the basics, the most important thing a patient can do is to be mindful of their diet. In addition to providing good fuel for a long life, the right dietary choices can strengthen the parts of the body that need the most strength. Supplements and herbal therapy have also been found to be effective, especially in helping to alleviate pain and nausea. Acupuncture, massage, biofeedback, tai chi, and yoga have all demonstrated a powerful ability to reduce the negative physical side effects of cancer and its treatments.