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  • Many people do not know that pumpkins are made up of 90 percent water.
  • Pumpkins also contain other great nutritional aspects including potassium and vitamin A.
  • The bright orange color of pumpkins also tells us that they are a great source of the important antioxidant, beta carotene.

Recipe: Traditional Pumpkin Pie 

1 ¾ cups (one 15oz. can) unsweetened pumpkin puree

¾ cup light brown sugar, packed

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt

2/3 cup milk

2/3 cup heavy cream

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

(For crust us a pre-made store bought crust or a homemade crust) In a small heavy saucepan, stir the pumpkin, brown sugar, spices and salt together until mixed.  Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly.  Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 5 minutes or until thick and shiny.  Scrape the mixture into a mixer or food processor for 1 minute. With the motor on, add the milk and cream, mixing until incorporated completely.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing just to incorporate, about 5 seconds after each egg.  When you add the last egg, also add the vanilla. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie shell.  Bake the pie for 50 - 60 minutes at 375 degrees. 

 

Recipe: Pumpkin Soup 

6 cups chicken stock

1 ½ teaspoons salt

4 cups pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley

1 cup chopped onion

½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

1 clove garlic minced

½ cup heavy whipping cream

5 whole black peppercorns 

Heat stock, salt, pumpkin, onion, thyme, garlic, and peppercorns.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, simmer for 30 minutes uncovered.  Puree the soup in small batches (1 cup at a time) using a food processor or blender.  Return to pan and bring to boil again.  Reduce heat to low, and simmer for another 30 minutes, uncovered.  Stir in heavy cream.  Pour into soup bowls and garnish with fresh parsley.

A recent sleep study was presented stating that healthy adults should be getting at least 7 hours of sleep each night, or at least trying to shoot for the new range of no less than 5 hours and no more than 9 hours of sleep.

But what’s the best way to get ANY hours of sleep?

Here are some sleep tips:

  • Set a sleep schedule and stick to it. Even on the weekends.
  • Avoid caffeine 4 to 6 hours before bedtime.
  • Stop using electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime.
  • Ensure a comfortable sleeping temperature.
  • If you awaken and can’t fall back to sleep, get out of bed. Read, meditate, or do other quiet activities until you are tired enough to fall back asleep.

A recent study shows that magnesium deficiency has become rampant lately – almost 80% of Americans do not get enough of this precious mineral. Experts say that magnesium is just as important as calcium and iron because it improves muscle functioning, supports the immune system, and plays a major role in heart health.

Because the “silent killer” or hypertension is so high in Americans, doctors are touting the benefits of increasing your magnesium intake even more than before.

Magnesium relaxes blood vessels and improves blood flow. Anti-hypertensive medicines have the same effect on the body.

Doctors do advise that you should be wary of taking magnesium supplements though. It’s best to consult a doctor because you wouldn’t want to have a magnesium overdose which would include diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, muscle weakness and irregular heartbeat.

The best way to help increase your magnesium intake and help to lower your blood pressure would be by making some dietary changes and updates.  

You can focus on eating more of:

  • Boiled spinach
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Nuts like cashews, almonds, and peanuts
  • Black beans and peas
  • Fish
  • Prunes
  • Fruits like peaches, figs, apricots, guava, mango, bananas, and cantaloupe
  • Wild rice 

Green smoothies are also a really great way to get much needed magnesium, fiber, and other essential nutrients in your diet.

It’s the age-old debate – bath or shower? Who doesn’t love a nice, hot soak in the tub to unwind? Or how about those steamy, relaxing showers? But which one is healthier? And why? 

First, we focus on the shower. Besides being timesaving and more efficient, here are some other benefits of taking a shower.

  • Reduces tension and improves circulation.
  • Gets rid of headaches and helps with sore muscles.
  • Massages your skin as the water falls.
  • Great for cleaning the body. 

Now for the cons of taking a shower. 

  • You must stand (most likely).
  • Relies on water pressure.
  • Your bathroom becomes a steam room. 

And now let’s take a look at the benefits of taking a bath.

  • Helps treat skin conditions like eczema.
  • Can improve sleep.
  • Good for muscle and joint protection and relief.
  • Helps regulate blood pressure.
  • May improve breathing.

And the cons of taking a bath.

  • Might not be clean (or as clean as a shower).
  • Can affect the body’s pH levels.
  • Strips the body of natural oils. 

So, who is the winner? Either way it comes down to hygiene. Both baths and showers have pros and cons, so it often comes down to a matter of preference and time.  As long as you are getting yourself clean, you are doing good for your body.

Happy Washing!

We have all heard that “laughter is the best medicine”, right? But have you ever wondered what that saying means? Sure, people laugh during good and happy times, but sometimes you will notice that even to get through tough or tragic times, people start to laugh. 

So, what are the benefits of laughing? Laughter helps you to:

 

  • Reduce negative emotions – feelings of stress, anxiety, anger, and sadness don’t feel as intense when you are laughing.
  • Relax and discharge negative energy – stress is reduced by the action of laughing and pushed away from the body.
  • Change how you think and feel about a situation – laughing can help you see the situation in a different light and feel less overwhelmed about that situation.
  • Give you the power to cope – as your perspective changes about a situation, you might find that you are better able to distance yourself from a situation. In doing so, you may find yourself stronger and able to take on challenges.
  • Become closer to those around you – because laughter is contagious, once you find the humor amongst the darkness, it is likely that others will, too. That’s why “sharing a joke” is a great way to bond as well.
  • Feel physically healthier – some of the physical benefits of laughing are a stronger immune system, lower blood pressure and better sleep.

 So, laugh as if your life depended on it… because it helps!