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Ways to Keep Your Memory Sharp

Don’t forget about physical exercise

Believe it or not, when you’re exercising your body, you’re exercising your mind as well. Aerobic exercise gets your blood pumping, which increases the oxygen going to your brain and lowers your risk of disorders such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease that can lead to memory loss. If you can, start with some exercise in the morning. This can clear your head right off the bat to stay focused and alert during the day. Exercises that require coordination are especially helpful for keeping the mind active such as simply throwing a ball back and forth. continue reading »

Easy Thai Pumpkin Soup

pumpkins and leaves Nov2014 newsletterTraditional Chinese medicine recommends eating foods in season to help keep your body in balance with the natural environment. Root veggies and pumpkin are good foods to eat in fall and winter. This hearty, creamy, dairy-free soup is delicious, simple to make, and very soothing on a cold day.  Serve by itself or with a slice of good bread. Here is Linda’s recipe:


1 small pumpkin  (I prefer kabocha pumpkin)

1-2 medium potatoes

1 qt veggie soup stock (or chicken stock), fresh or canned

1 can coconut milk (sometimes called coconut cream)

2-3 tsp freshly grated ginger (or approx. 1/8  to 1/4 tsp ground ginger)

Dash of lime juice

Optional items:

1/2 tsp Thai green chili paste* or Thai red chili paste* or a dash of chili flakes

Cilantro for garnish                                                          *available in Asian sections of supermarkets


NOTE: There is plenty of “wiggle room” in this recipe. Ingredient amounts are not exact as the size of pumpkin will vary. It’s much easier to get it “right” than it is to go wrong. Let your taste buds guide you with the seasonings. About the pumpkin peel: kabocha pumpkin peel is soft and tasty so leave it on. Orange “Halloween” pumpkin peel tastes fine on smaller pumpkins but can be tougher and woodier as the pumpkins get larger. If in doubt, peel the orange pumpkin before cooking.



1. Split pumpkin into halves (click here to learn how), scoop out the seeds, (if using orange pumpkin, peel it if desired,) then chop into cubes.

2. Chop potatoes into cubes. (You may first peel them if desired. I prefer to leave skins on for fiber and nutrients)

3. Place pumpkin, potato and soup stock in a large pot. Boil gently approx. 30 minutes until pumpkin and potato are tender and mushy.

3. Add coconut milk. Stir well. Reduce heat to low.

4. Add ginger and lime juice to taste. Stir. Optional: Add chili paste or chili flakes. Stir.

[Tip: If soup needs more depth to the taste, then add a dash of ground cumin]

5. By now, the soup is thick and creamy. Ladle soup into bowls. Optional: Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves.

6. Enjoy!

7 Superfoods That Can Change Your Life

blueberries_superfoodsYou are what you eat is an adage that holds more truth than you may realize. Unfortunately, many people today focus their diet around processed foods that are high in sugar, sodium and fat. Diets such as this can increase a person’s risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and more. You can protect your body and health against such illnesses, however, by eating lean meats, fresh vegetables, and by adding the following “superfoods” to your diet.

#1) Broccoli

This edible stalky plant of the cabbage family is loaded in potassium, vitamin B-6, vitamin C magnesium, and calcium. Scientists believes broccoli’s phytochemicals – organic chemical compounds which occur naturally – are able to aid in skin health, regulate blood sugar levels, strengthen the immune system, and ward off joint inflammation. continue reading »

How To Dine Out If You Have a Food Allergy

food-allergies-01Food allergies shouldn’t prevent you from dining out with your friends and family. Unfortunately, many people with food allergies resort to cooking their own meals to reduce the risk of an adverse reaction. From dairy and nuts to gluten (wheat-based protein) and shellfish, there are certain foods that people must avoid to prevent adverse reactions. continue reading »

Healthy Snacks: Eating Kiwis Can Make You Feel Better

kiwi-042814The results of a recent study conducted at the University of Otago, in New Zealand, indicate that eating kiwifruit can make one feel better. This is accomplished in two ways: energy is increased and mood is improved. Over a period of six weeks, 54 young and healthy university students consumed kiwis on a daily basis. The study participants were split into two groups. The men in one group ate only half a kiwifruit each day, while everyone in the other group ate two kiwis per day. The researchers concluded that those who ate two kiwis per day experienced less fatigue (due to increased energy) and less depression than the other group. continue reading »

How a Healthy Lifestyle Benefits Your Mind as Well as Body

apple-18721_640We all know that a healthy lifestyle, such as not smoking, keeping your weight down, eating right, regular exercise, and low moderate alcohol intake contributes to long-term health benefits. The recently completed Caerphilly Cohort Study expands the known benefits of a healthy lifestyle to include more evidence for improvements in cognitive function, and a reduced incidence of dementia.

The study began in 1979, and spanned a full 35 years. The health habits of 2,235 men between the ages of 45 and 59 were correlated to their incidences of diabetes, vascular disease, cancer, cognitive impairment, dementia and death (from all causes). The study tracked five healthy behaviors: continue reading »

Can You Use Acupuncture for Weight Loss?

weight-loss-03102014Everyone is looking for the secret to weight loss, without falling victim to the latest gimmicks. With so many different opinions about how to lose weight, it can be difficult to tell what will really work.

Fortunately there is a technique for weight loss that has been tested for centuries:  acupuncture.

This technique is safe, sound and reliable. And, even more exciting, using acupuncture for weight loss helps you lose weight in several different ways. continue reading »

What Five Star Restaurants Teach You about Healthy Snacks for Kids

ants-on-a-log4A fine meal at a good restaurant has many details. It uses fresh ingredients and interesting recipes. There is a variety of foods and the presentation is pleasing.

When food is prepared thoughtfully and beautifully, even the most basic meal becomes an experience. You can’t wait to try it. Once you start eating, you want to savor it.

But getting your kids to eat healthy snacks can feel like the opposite. Your child may balk at anything he thinks is healthy. She may be picky or prefer sweet or fatty foods.

You probably wouldn’t say that your child loves the snacks so much they can’t wait to eat them. And savoring them? Not likely.

But sometimes, the solution is easier than it seems.

Think about your snacks like a fine chef. Find ways to prepare your food beautifully. Make common foods seem unusual. Add interesting flavors or combinations.

Sometimes just changing the food a little bit can make your child dig in.

continue reading »

The Holiday Survival Toolkit: How to Not Drink at Parties (And Still Have Fun)

cocktailThe holiday season is upon us and we all know what that means—parties.

Parties at work, parties at church, parties at school, fundraiser parties, caroling parties, Secret Santa parties…

It’s the season of so many parties that we long for a weekend night with nothing scheduled.

All the parties can lead to excess, but the biggest party of the season, New Year’s Eve, can be the topper.  Many people drink so much that it can take days to feel healthy again. And even if you don’t drink to drunkenness, your extra alcohol intake in the month of December can take its toll.

I think it’s great to celebrate and enjoy the company of your loved ones, but I don’t want to see you sick.  Find out how to not drink (or at least drink less) this party season. continue reading »

The Best (and Worst) Thanksgiving Foods

thanksgiving-spreadThanksgiving is a great meal.  Friends and family come together to give thanks and celebrate the harvest season–

…and to overeat.

All of us know the feeling of eating too much, too heavy, too rich.  When we should be enjoying our time with loved ones, we are uncomfortable.  We exasperate our health conditions and catch a cold.  We put on weight and feel lethargic.

I’m not going to tell you to make dramatic changes to your Thanksgiving meal.  Usually that doesn’t work—and besides, it’s no fun.

Instead I suggest you just make small choices.  Pick one food instead of the other.  Make little positive choices and they’ll add up to a healthier, more enjoyable meal. continue reading »

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