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Acupuncture: A Gentle Touch in the Fight Against Cancer

Acupuncture: A Gentle Touch in the Fight Against Cancer

Hearing you’ve been diagnosed with cancer can feel like getting run over by a freight train. It can be overwhelming to learn about the prognosis, treatment options, and what to expect as you begin the journey that will hopefully lead to a full recovery. 

The aggressive treatments, often including chemotherapy and radiation, can leave patients feeling drained and in constant pain. What many people don’t realize is that acupuncture can be a great source of hope as it helps bring physical relief to many of the symptoms caused by traditional cancer treatments.  continue reading »

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Acupuncture Offers Hope for Diabetes Management

Acupuncture Offers Hope for Diabetes Management

If you or someone you love suffers from type 2 diabetes, then you understand the challenges that come with this disease. Despite adhering to a medication regimen and making positive lifestyle changes, those dealing with diabetes might still struggle with managing blood sugar levels. Frustration and fatigue can be constant companions. But did you know that acupuncture can help with diabetes management? Whether you are skeptical or desperate for some help, it’s worth looking into acupuncture as a source of hope and help in managing this often-tricky disease. continue reading »

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Enjoying Summer’s Bounty

Enjoying Summer’s Bounty

After the renewal of spring comes the warmer and longer days of summer. As the sun stretches its arms across the sky the bountiful offers of summer’s harvest come into their own. The familiar summer tapestry of colors and flavors comes to life. Farmer’s markets are filled with the scent of ripe fruits and vegetables as the stalls overflow with nature’s treasures. 

Only during the height of summer can we enjoy so many fresh fruits and vegetables as they are the stars of many recipes. From succulent berries bursting with sweetness to crisp cucumbers and peppers and the juiciest tomatoes, the options are as abundant as they are diverse. 

One of the best gifts of the summer is watermelon. Click here to find 28 watermelon recipes you can serve this summer. From ice cream to pie, to salads, drinks and soups, you can’t go wrong with any of these options. Peaches are another favorite summer staple. Click here to find 60 different peach recipes you can experiment with this summer. There are options here for breakfast, lunch, and dinner so there are plenty to try all summer long.

Just type tomato salad recipe into Google and see what happens! Clicking on just one link can get you more than 150 recipes to enjoy this summer. The Editors of Food and Wine magazine have curated 31 summer vegetable recipes to try. There really is no shortage of options!

How about a strawberry spinach salad filled with juicy strawberries, spinach leaves, creamy goat cheese and a drizzle of your favorite balsamic vinaigrette. Or maybe a fresh Caprese salad piled high with ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, and creamy mozzarella. 

But summer’s bounty isn’t limited to just fruits and vegetables. You may also notice an array of herbs like basil, cilantro, and dill ready to add a burst of freshness and flavor to your summer soups, salads, and main dishes. What tastes more like summer than taking a bunch of freshly-picked basil and blending it with toasted pine nuts, garlic and Parmesan cheese to create a vibrant pesto for that al dente pasta.

And let’s not forget about the zucchini, a versatile vegetable that can be spiralized into noodles and tossed with cherry tomatoes and fresh feta cheese to a light and refreshing summer “pasta” or grill thick slices and layer them with creamy ricotta cheese and marinara sauce for a vegetarian twist on a classic lasagna. 

As you explore the endless possibilities of summer produce, you’ll find new and creative ways to integrate your favorites into breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert! As the days grow longer and the temperatures rise, let your creativity flourish in the kitchen. So, what summertime delights will you surprise your friends and family with this summer?

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Your Summer Garden Checklist

Your Summer Garden Checklist

Whether you are a seasoned gardening expert, or this is your first attempt, follow these tips to stay on top of your summer gardening. There is a lot to consider when deciding to plant a summer garden. If you are an expert, you begin preparations long before the season is here. However, if this is your inaugural garden, here are a few things to keep in mind so you can enjoy a successful harvest this year. As you check each of these off your list, you will maximize the beauty of your garden and support the health of your plants.

First on the checklist: mulch. It’s important to spread a two inch thick layer of mulch over your soil. The mulch will shield the soil from the sun and keep it cooler. This can put less stress on the roots of the plants and slows the moisture loss due to evaporation. As it decomposes, the mulch will help to improve the structure of the soil and add much needed nutrients. 

Second, make sure you have eliminated the weeds that thrive in the summer. If you aren’t vigilant, they can go from a small patch to taking over your garden! Remove them immediately so they don’t steal the moisture and nutrients from your plants. Moistening the soil can also help in their removal. 

Summer provides lots of colorful options so the third thing to keep in mind is to enjoy this color and plant heat-loving annuals like Angelonia, lantana, ageratum, sweet potato vine and zinnia just to name a few. These types of annuals grow quickly in warm weather and will give you a great burst of color! Add some additional variety by planting summer bulbs like calla, canna, and dahlia. Again, this adds even more color to your garden and will thrive all summer long. 

If you have late blooming perennials (think mums, sedums and asters), keep them in check by pinching the top inch or two of new growth. This often results in more compact, sturdy growth. Another item on the list is to remove any faded flowers. If you remove the spent blooms from the annuals and perennials you have, you just might see more blooms. 

And perhaps the most important item on the list: watch out for pests and diseases. As vigilant as you are with weeding, keep an eye out for pests and disease during the entire growing season. Midsummer is an important checkpoint as many bug populations are in full force and you don’t want all your hard work to go to waste because of unwanted bugs and the diseases they bring. Some problematic species include grasshoppers, tomato hornworms, and cucumber and Japanese beetles. 

And finally, make sure you water appropriately, especially during the warmer months! Experts advise that most common plants require an inch of water per week and it’s best to apply it all at once to encourage the roots to sink deeply into the soil. Drip irrigation and soaker hoses are perfect for this job.

Now that you know the basics, your summer garden can thrive as you work your way through this checklist!

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A Guide to Summer Self-Care

A Guide to Summer Self-Care

As those vibrant summer sunsets paint the sky and the longer days and warmer temperatures beckon us outside to spend more time with friends and family, it’s easy to picture relaxing days filled with laughter and fun. Yet, for many people, this warmer season can lead some to struggle with their mental health. Despite this idyllic time for many, others can find themselves overwhelmed by stress and anxiety, struggling to maintain a sense of equilibrium.  

And this isn’t an uncommon scenario. While summer can offer a reprieve from our routine and often mundane winter habits and schedules, it can also pose mental health challenges. But, if we arm ourselves with the right strategies, we can cultivate a season of resilience and thrive in the bright summer sun. 

According to recent studies conducted by the leading mental health organizations such as the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the World Health Organization (WHO), the summer season can impact mental wellbeing in a variety of ways. Research indicates a notable increase in mood disorders during summer months. These disorders are attributed to factors such as heightened expectations, disrupted routines, and the prevalence of increased social events. Additionally, the rise in temperature can exacerbate symptoms of anxiety and depression for some, thus underscoring the importance of proactive self-care strategies.

Prioritizing mental health becomes paramount. Let’s look at some evidence-based tips to help nurture wellbeing and savor the joy that summer brings.

One of the first things we can do in these warmer months is to embrace nature and spend time outdoors, enjoying your surroundings whether you are surrounded by lush greenery or turquoise waters. Research suggests that exposure to sunlight and nature can boost your mood and reduce stress levels.

As you are out enjoying nature, stay active by engaging in regular physical activity, whether it’s a leisurely stroll after dinner or an invigorating hike in the mountains and foothills. Exercise releases endorphins, the body’s natural mood elevators, promoting feelings of happiness. 

Incorporate mindfulness techniques into your daily routine to help cultivate inner peace and resilience. It might be through regular meditation, deep breathing exercises, or walking, but it can help alleviate stress and enhance overall mental clarity.

Stay connected with loved ones and friends and make sure to foster meaningful relationships in your life. Summer provides ample opportunities to maintain social connections through various types of gatherings which serve as invaluable sources of support and camaraderie. 

And perhaps most importantly, prioritize your self-care. Set aside time for activities that rejuvenate your mind, body, and spirit. Whether it’s indulging in a soothing bubble bath, enjoying a glass of wine after dinner, reading a good book or pursuing your favorite hobby, prioritize activities that bring you joy as well as relaxation. 

Nurturing our mental well-being is a journey of self-discovery and resilience. By implementing these strategies and fostering a compassionate self-attitude, we can navigate the summer with grace. As you plan your summer vacation and other adventures with friends and family, how will you prioritize your mental health as well?

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