Linda and Lindsay’s Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Move over kale, adios Brussels sprouts, cauliflower is the new ‘it’ vegetable. I’ve had cauliflower prepared in many ways, from cauliflower fried ‘rice’ to sweet and sour cauliflower nuggets. They were all surprisingly good but nothing can beat the incredible cauliflower crust pizza.

cauliflower-crust-pizza-The-Gratitude-Life-wordpress_

cauliflower-crust-pizza-folded_

The crust holds up with a variety of different toppings. You can even fold the crust just like traditional pizza and only about 300 calories for half the pie!

There have been many versions of this recipe posted on the internet but my daughter Lindsay, and I, created our own variation of this yummy pie during her holiday break from work. I know you will love our savory adaptation of this pizza.

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups cauliflower, grated (about 1/2 a large head)

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 1/4 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped olives

1/4 tsp. Kosher salt

1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cups tomato sauce

1/4 – 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half

1/4 tsp. garlic powder (not salt)

1/4 tsp. fresh pressed or crushed garlic

1/3 cups fresh basil leaves

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Nonstick spray

Directions

Preheat oven to 425ºF.

Grate the cauliflower using the large holes of a box grater until you have 21/2 cups of cauliflower crumbles.¹ Place in a large bowl and microwave on high for eight minutes, or until soft. Remove from the microwave and let cool slightly. grated-cauliflower-crust

Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Spray generously with nonstick spray. Whisk the egg into the bowl of cooled grated cauliflower and mix in one cup mozzarella, parmesan cheese, garlic powder and salt and pepper. Once combined, pat into a thin 10-inch round on the prepared pan and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden.

cauliflower-crust_

Top the pizza with the sauce, 1/4 cup mozzarella, grape tomatoes, olives, and red pepper flakes. Bake in the oven until melted and bubbly, another 10 minutes. Top with basil before serving.

So delicious!

The crust is also great for making quesadillas.

Nutrition

Cauliflower is a high fiber, low calorie food and a good source of vitamin C. It also has the benefits of vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6.

cauliflower-pizza-slice_The-Gratitude-Life-wordpress_

I’m so grateful for the precious moments Lindsay and I spent cooking, laughing, working out and watching videos together this past month. We even got the chance to get out our dancing shoes and take a tap dancing workshop together. We were a little rusty but it sure was fun!

Linda-Lindsay__

Wishing you blessings of gratitude for sweet moments and the simple pleasures of life.

~ Linda

 

“Let us come to Him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to Him.”

~ Psalm 95: 2 (NLT)

 

Footnote:

  1. You can grate the cauliflower in a food processor or for your convenience, Trader Joes usually offers ‘riced’ cauliflower in their fresh or frozen section. If you decide to use either of these two preparations, you may need to squeeze out any excess liquid from the ‘riced’ cauliflower.
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Food for Body and Soul

November ushers in a bounty of celebrations with friends and family as well as sharing and enjoying food from each other’s tables.

winter squash

With a desire to create a new seasonal dish to share, I concocted a recipe using sweet dumpling squash. The orange-maple flavor compliments the mild taste of the sweet dumpling and makes this recipe a delicious side dish.

Maple-Orange Winter Squash (Vegan)

Ingredients

4 cups cooked and cubed sweet dumpling or other winter squash

1 cup (plus ¼ cup.) caned light coconut milk or coconut milk beverage

1/8 tsp. Nutmeg

1/8 tsp. Pumpkin pie spice

¼ tsp. Cinnamon

3 tbsp. Pure maple syrup

1 tbsp. Coconut oil

2 tsp. Fresh grated organic orange zest

pinch salt

Preparation

1) Cut the sweet dumpling squash in half. Scoop out the seeds and stringy membrane. Place the sliced squash in an oiled pan. Add four tbsp. of water.

squash-sweet-dumpling

2) Bake squash for 45 minutes at 375. Squash should be soft and almost cooked through. Remove from oven.

squash-sweet-dumpling-cooked-peeled

3) After the squash cools, peel off the skin with a sharp knife and cut into ¾ in. cubes.

(Anytime after step 1 through 3, cooked squash can be refrigerated for 1 or 2 days until ready to use)

4) In a sauce pan, add all the ingredients except the orange zest and 1/4 cup of the coconut milk. Cover the pan and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5) Remove from heat and add the orange zest. (The orange flavor is predominate in this dish so you may want to reserve a 1/2 tsp. of the zest use to adjust to your taste).

6) You can stop here if you like and serve the squash chunky style or add all the ingredients to a blender along with the remaining ¼ cup coconut milk and puree until smooth.

Transfer to a serving dish. If desired add additional maple syrup to taste. Garnish with a dollop of sour cream or toasted pecans.

squash-puree-dreamstime

Nutrition

Winter Squash is a good source of vitamin A, Vitamin C, magnesium and potassium.

Food For My Soul

Celebrating 95 years!

I have a lovely lady in my life who never fails to say how much she loves me and how much I mean to her.

Mom-95th_My mother-in-law is a spunky woman with a sweet disposition and enthusiastic joy for life. She celebrated her 95th birthday this month!

Shirley is still as sharp as they come. She is taking classes at Saddleback College and she stays fit doing group fitness classes with her 100 year old friend! If you asked her what her secret is to her longevity and quality of life, she will tell you, “it’s LOVE.” My mother-in-law has a huge heart for people. With a fun loving spirit, she regularly walks up to strangers and engages them in conversation.

shirley-lindsay

My daughter, Lindsay, shares a special bond with her Nana.

Mom frequently tells me how blessed she feels to have wonderful friends and family in her life.  I am equally blessed to have such a terrific mother-in-law.

Mom-and-Eichbergs_3

I am very grateful for this amazing woman and the beautiful family and extended family she created!

From my heart to yours, happy Thanksgiving and blessings to you all.

~ Linda

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“The Lord is good to everyone; he is merciful to all he has made. Lord, everything you have made will praise you; those who belong to you will bless you… All living things look to you for food, and you give it to them at the right time.” – Psalm 145: 9, 10 & 15 (NCV)

 

© All materials contained within this blog are copyrighted and may not be used without expressed written permission.

Easy to Prepare Kabocha – Recipes for Wellbeing

Starting Strong

I love it. It’s the start of a new year and my Pilates and Yoga fitness classes are full, both the ones I’m teaching and the ones I’m taking. Everyone is brimming with energy and hope, intending to be healthier this year. The excitement has infused new life into me.

linda-alberici-eichberg-side-plank-jack-lalanne_

Exercise is a very important part of overall health but what you eat also plays an essential role in physical well-being.

Healthy Seasonal Treats

A good portion of my life is spent preparing meals. The thing is, I don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. I went to the grocery store looking for something different to make as a side dish, that was healthy, seasonal and easy to prepare.

kabocha

Some winter squash get all the glory: butternut, spaghetti, acorn, pumpkin, they get their fair share of promotion but what about the kabocha, have you tried that yet?

Kabocha – Pumpkin’s Much Sweeter Cousin

This green marvel surpasses the pumpkin in flavor and color. Yet, when was the last time you had one as part of your meal? Kabocha needs no flavor enhancers, it is perfect simply roasted with nothing added to it.

Opening the kabocha, you will immediately notice the vibrant yellow-orange color inside. It looked so inviting, I had to taste it raw. It is one of the few squash varieties that taste good raw, similar to the taste and consistency of a carrot.

These simple roasted kabocha recipes are as easy as one, two, three. The prep time is  less than 5 minutes! Got to be grateful for that, right?

Roasted Kabocha

1) Pre heat your oven to 375°.

2) You will need a very sharp knife to split open the kabocha squash. Cut the squash into fours; scoop out the seeds and stringy membrane. Coat a roasting pan or cookie sheet with oil and add 4 tablespoons of water.

3) Bake squash for 50 minutes at 375°.

roasted-kabocha-squash_

When the squash is finished and slightly cooled, it is ready to be served. Spoon the sweet flesh off the skin and into your mouth. You could add a sprinkling of cinnamon on top or some buttered peas but Kabocha is equally delicious with nothing on it.

§ § § § §

 

Crispy Broiled Kabocha 

kabocha-raw

1) Pre heat your oven to 375°. Using a sharp knife, cut your kabocha in half. scoop out the seeds and stringy membrane. Cut the squash into crescent shaped slices (about 1/2 thick in the center). Coat a roasting pan or cookie sheet with oil and add 4 tablespoons of water.

3) Bake squash for 50 minutes at 375°. Then broil for 5 minutes or less. Keep a close eye on the squash.

kabocha-broiled

Remove from the squash slices from oven and serve. The skin will be crisp and edible. My husband, Steven, likes them very well done. I asked him if he wanted some salt or cinnamon to add and he gratefully replied, “It’s delicious, doesn’t need a thing.” 

  

§ § § § §

Nutrition

Winter squash is very nutritious. It is packed with antioxidants, dietary fiber and it’s loaded with Vitamin A and carotenoids. Carotenoids found in winter squash include alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin.¹  

Finishing Strong

Let’s keep exercising and eating fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables for our physical well-being. But going further than that, well-being extends to satisfaction in our career, finances, family life, social and spiritual life. Connect to the One who knows us best. By spending time to ask God about the direction of our lives, we can connect with our Creator in meaningful ways that will give us true fulfillment, happiness and over all well-being. Our foundation is in the love of our Father, God, and our futures are with him now and beyond this world.

“What a God! His road stretches straight and smooth. Every God-direction is road tested. Everyone who runs toward him makes it. Is there any god like God”? – Psalm 18: 30-31 (MSG)

My hope is for us to walk in the joy and freedom that Christ gave up his life for. We are blessed.

Gratefully yours, Linda

“We’re depending on God; He’s everything we need. What’s more, our hearts brim with joy since we’ve taken for our own his holy name. Love us, God, with all you’ve got—that’s what we’re depending on”. – Psalm 33: 20-22 (MSG)

Reference

1. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2648/2

Disclaimer: This is a personal blog. Always seek the advice of your health care professional.  © All rights reserved.

Laugh For The Health Of It – Humor And Heart Health

A good sense of humor may help protect you against a heart attack, according to recent discoveries by cardiologists at the University of Maryland Medical Center. The study suggests that laughter may help prevent heart disease by improving blood vessel tone.

Laughter stimulates the circulation and helps your blood vessels function better by acting on the endothelium, the protective lining of the vessels, causing them to open and increase blood flow. Laughter may also help prevent cholesterol build-up in the coronary arteries that leads to a heart attack because it reduces stress. [1] In other words, a good laugh is good for your heart.

Research also found that people with heart disease were less likely to recognize humor or use it to ease tense situations. For the most part they laughed less, even in positive situations and they showed more anger. There have not been any negative effects observed that correspond with laughter. [2]

  “Looking at life through the lens of humor is good for your health”.  – L. E.

Looking at life through the lens of humor is good for the health - Linda Eichberg

“We know that exercising, not smoking and eating foods low in saturated fat will reduce the risk of heart disease. Perhaps regular, hearty laughter should be added to the list.” – Dr. Micheal Miller, Univ. of Maryland School of Medicine.

 

Invite Laughter Into Your Life

Make a date with laughter, daily. Read something funny or watch a funny video or television show. Researchers have found the even the anticipation of experiencing laughter created feel good hormones that boost the immune system.[3]

Dean-Martin-Three-Stooges-

Dean Martin and The Three Stooges in “4 for Texas”

When I was a kid, I looked forward to laughing with “The Three Stooges.” Today, my daughter watches a modern version of their TV show. God bless her, she likes me to watch it with her. “Impractical Jokers” is pretty outrageous. It’s sort of like the ‘naughty’ Four Stooges meet Candid Camera. I sometimes complain that watching their crazy pranks will, “rot my brain” but, as Lindsay is quick to point out, I am usually laughing the loudest! We both enjoy watching reruns of “King of Queens” on a Saturday morning. Great bonding time!

Actually, humor is good for the brain. A study by John Hopkins University found humor improves test score results. [4]

American Heart Health Month

This is American Heart Health Month. Heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S but it doesn’t have to be.

Diet and Exercise

With the help of nutrition experts from The Cleveland Clinic and the American Dietetic Association, here is a list of the top 25, “best of the best” heart-healthy foods. These 25 foods are loaded with heart-healthy nutrients that help protect your heart and blood vessels. [5]

Top 25 Heart-Healthy Foods

The benefits of diet and exercise for the heart are well documented. Researchers from the University of South Carolina found that adult men, who had little physical activity throughout the day, had a 64 percent greater risk of dying from heart disease compared with men who were living a more active lifestyle. My friend, Christl, reduced her cholesterol by 100 points in one month through diet and exercise.

Facts also support the idea that, “yoga can help reduce such cardiovascular risks as insulin resistance, high blood pressure and blood vessel inflammation.” For the 2.7 million Americans diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, “yoga may be especially helpful.” [6] Since I teach yoga, this is very good to hear.

Laughing Yoga

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Yoga comes naturally to my nephew, Dylan

Did you ever hear of laughing yoga? Laughing yoga and laughter clubs are where people get together to laugh without using jokes. It’s coached laughing. They laugh for the health of it! [7] Babies laugh and do yoga before they can walk or speak. It comes to them naturally. They laugh without having to get the joke. We were created to laugh!

Be a Friend

Togetherness strengthens heart health. A University of New York at Oswego investigation found that blood pressure dropped when one spent time with a spouse or partner. Engaging with other people does seem to help the heart, so what could be more awesome for the heart than sharing unconditional love and taking a yoga class together?

Yoga Instructors - Maria Lauren and Linda Eichberg  (Alberici Sisters)

Sisters, Maria Lauren and Linda Eichberg demonstrate Yoga – Side Angle Pose

“A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body;
    jealousy is like cancer in the bones.” – Proverbs 14:30 (NLT)

 

Recall Funny Moments

Dean Martin

Looking at this photo of my former boss, Dean Martin, I can’t help but smile. Dean spent the latter part of his TV career celebrating comedy in The Dean Martin Comedy Hour and the Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts. Dean was smart; he got paid to laugh. Being one of his “Golddiggers” during that time, I guess I did too. What a blessing!

Watching some of his old video clips still make me chuckle. Humor was a big part of Dean’s charm, on and off the set. My sister, Maria and I spent almost two decades working with him. Oh, the stories we can tell!

Beyond Our Wildest Dreams, Dean Martin, Rat Pack book

If you are interested in Dean Martin, The Golddiggers, Frank Sinatra, Louis Prima, The Rat Pack or the legends of 1970’s television and Las Vegas, you will find our book BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS, interesting and entertaining. 

BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS contains over 350 photos.

Entertainers and musicians across a wide spectrum of the industry have contributed to the stories in this book.

“It is an inside look at show business told in a very real way.”

 http://www.beyondourwildestdreams.com/ for more info.

To read reviews and purchase on Amazon 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1463564570/?tag=beyondourwild-20

Laughter is good medicine. Wishing you lot’s of laughter and a heart full of love,

Linda Alberici Eichberg

Guard your heart

“When my heart whispered, “Seek God,” my whole being replied, ‘I’m seeking him!'” – Psalm: 27:8 (MSG)

 

Refrences:

1) University Of Maryland School Of Medicine Study Shows Laughter Helps Blood Vessels Function Better http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050309111444.htm

2) Laughter Good For Heart | University of Maryland Medical Center
http://umm.edu/news-and-events/news-releases/2000/laughter-is-good-for-your-heart-according-to-a-new-ummc-study

3) Laughing for the health of it http://www.bhg.com/health-family/mind-body-spirit/stress-relief/laughing-for-the-health-of-it/

4) A randomized trial of humor effects on test anxiety and test performance -RONALD A. BERK and JOY NANDA http://www.ronberk.com/articles/2006_randomized.pdf

5) 25 Top Heart Healthy Foods http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/25-top-heart-healthy-foods

6) Heart Healthy Habits Now http://abcnews.go.com/Health/heart-healthy-habits-now/story?id=22554990

7) Laughing to the Future: Hugh McClellland at TedXPenticton – http://youtu.be/28ZSsH3UFWM

DISCLAIMER: This is a personal blog, reflecting my personal opinions and its contents are not intended to offer personal medical advice. All content is copyrighted and may not be used without written permission. 

Enriching Your Life With Super Food

January is a time for cleansing and renewal for some people. It’s also a time for second chances and receiving fresh grace for the year ahead.

Some of my fitness clients are dieting to lose their extra holiday weight. When it comes to diet and nutrition, instead on focusing on what they have to give up, I encourage them to focus on what they can and should have.

Focus On The Positive

Even I need to be reminded of that. Every once in a while, I’ll start telling my daughter, Lindsay, what foods are not good for her. That’s when she’ll gently remind me, “Mom, the stress of worrying about what is not good for me is sometimes worse than actually eating what is not good for me.”

Good advice; focus on the good, what we can do to best nourish our body. Focusing on the good stuff will automatically push out the bad. Looking good and being healthy is an inside job too, body, mind and spirit in harmony.

MY FAVORITE SUPERFOODS

Superfoods earned their name because of their ability to promote good health, add to our longevity and quality of life and stave off disease.

Green Vegetables and Green Juice

Their are a wide variety a green vegetables in the superfood category. One of the most important benefits of eating raw, fresh greens is chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the ‘blood of the plant’. It changes sunlight into the energy that makes plants grow. Greens give the same life-giving energy to us. Chlorophyll resembles the molecules of our red blood cells. All green plants contain chlorophyll; the darker the green, the more chlorophyll.

Wheat grass juice contains 70% chlorophyll. Known for it’s healing properties, it is enzyme-rich and has 17 of the amino acids.

Greens are ideal for aiding in weight loss because they are low in calories a high in nutrition. Fresh pressed green vegetable juices have a powerful detoxification effect on the body. [1]

Linda-Eichberg-fitness-and-nutrition

My special juice blend: Kale, Celery, Spinach, Cucumber, Parsley and Ginger

Chia Seeds

Rich in vitamins and minerals, this super seed also contains more calcium than milk and has equal amounts of omega-3’s as wild salmon. It has an appetite-suppressing quality, because it’s loaded with fiber, 10 grams in 2 tablespoons, helping you to feel full. Chia seeds are also rich in antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals.

Chia’s positive health effects include boosting energy, stabilizing blood sugar, aiding digestion, and lowering cholesterolChia-copyright-Linda-Eichberg-The-Gratitude-Life

Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain 18 percent of the DRI for calcium, 35 percent for phosphorus, 24 percent for magnesium and about 50 percent for manganese. These nutrients prevent hypertension and help you maintain a healthy weight, and they are important for energy metabolism. [2]

Tumeric

Tumeric has been used for hundreds of years as a healing agent. This antioxidant, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory spice gives curry its distinctive color. It is a medicinal herb used in ayurveda  and it contains curcumin. Curcumin and Tumeric are not one and the same. Curcumin is extracted from Tumeric and is much more potent for fighting disease. Recently, turmeric has gained the recognition of the scientific community for its potential for lowering cholesterol, reducing blood sugar and relieving arthritis. [3]

Curcumin has been very promising in treating Alzheimer’s patients. Further studies have found curcumin to suppress inflammation and reduce plaque and oxidative damage in the brains of mice. [4]

tumeric-the-gratitude-life-linda-eichberg

The tumeric root resembles the ginger root but has a more golden color. Tumeric can be found in powder, pills or liquid form.The fresh root can be pressed into juices.

Tumeric is a staple of Indian cuisine. Try cooking with the powder; you can sprinkle it on top of soups, vegetables or protein. It’s great in deviled eggs.

More Superfoods

In addition to Green Vegetables, Chia Seeds and Tumeric, I also like these other foods for their super nutrition: Wild Salmon, Sardines, Cacao, Maca/Green Tea [5], Red Bell Pepper, Beets, Sweet Potato, Pumpkin Seeds, Black BeansAvocadoRaw Ikaria Honey [6], Raw Nuts and Berries, especially Blueberries. You usually can’t go wrong eating fresh, organic, GMO free fruits and vegetables.

God said, “Look, I have given you all the plants that have grain for seeds and all the trees whose fruits have seeds in them. They will be food for you. – Genesis 1:29 (NCV)

LET’S MOVE

Wishing Michelle Obama a happy, healthy birthday. She celebrated her 50th last week. We share a mutual message to women to be healthy. About keeping herself fit, Michelle says, “I don’t obsess about what I eat, but I do make sure that I’m eating vegetables and fruit.” Obama added, “And as everyone knows, I do exercise.” She practices yoga and includes, weight bearing and cardio exercises in her fitness routine. When Mrs. Obama was asked whether she has peaked at 50, she said she’s always felt that her life is “ever-evolving” and she doesn’t have the right to “just sit on my talents or blessings.” [7]

Michelle-Obama-Let's-Move

One way the first lady puts her talents and blessings to work is by flexing her ‘muscles’ in her, “Let’s Move” campaign to reduce childhood obesity rates through the combination of exercise and healthier eating. [8]

ENRICHING YOUR SOUL

This month is Nation Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Compassion First’s 2014 Dollar for Dollar January Match Challenge will match your donation dollar for dollar, Jan. 1 – Feb. 1, 2014. Your donation will provide hope and solutions for victims of child sexual trafficking. Join me in this wonderful opportunity to multiply your giving.

When I was thinking about the Compassion First challenge, a song came to my mind. It was a worship song called “Awaken.” It was an amazing God-incidence that when I was looking up the lyrics for the song this week, I came across several articles about why Natalie Grant wrote the song.

Natalie-Grant-The-Gratitude-LifeI always liked the song because of its message but I never knew it was written after a life-changing trip to India where she was exposed to the plight of women and children oppressed by sex slavery. Finding out more about the millions of women and children around the world abused by sex trafficking, Natalie realized the desperate need for quality aftercare for survivors. With that passion to make a difference, Natalie founded The Home Foundation to support aftercare programs around the world. [9]

I hope God will awaken your heart to do whatever you can to grow awareness and seek solutions for human trafficking and child sexual slavery. – Blessings, Linda

Awaken-The-Gratitude-Life-photo-copyright-Linda-Eichberg

To join the dollar 4 dollar campaign go to – http://www.compassionfirst.org/ . Click on the Donate button and choose your donation Event – 2014 Dollar 4 Dollar. Thank you!

Refrences:

1) http://hippocratesinst.org/nutrition/wheatgrass-is

2) http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/top-10-health-benefits-chia-seeds-6962.html

3) http://blog.doctoroz.com/oz-experts/turmeric-golden-spice-better-healt

4) http://www.alzheimers.net/2013-07-29/turmeric-and-alzheimers/ – http://www.jneurosci.org/content/21/21/8370.full

5) Share Tea, Save Lives – http://www.compassiontea.com/

6) Ikaria honey from “The Island of Longevity” – http://www.ikariahoney.com/

7) http://atlantablackstar.com/2014/01/15/as-50th-birthday-approaches-michelle-obama-does-not-rule-out-botox-takes-up-yoga/

8) http://www.letsmove.gov/

9) http://abolitioninternational.org/

All materials contained within this blog are copyrighted and may not be used without expressed written permission. This is a personal blog, expressing my personal opinion. Please seek professional medical help for any health conditions you may have.

A Grateful Heart Produces A Bountiful Harvest

 

Thanksgiving is almost here and I am extremely thankful to God for family and friends. Sharing food together is one way we share the joys of togetherness. Each Thanksgiving, I like to create new, healthy versions of my favorite recipes. I am bringing one of these delicious vegetable dishes for Thanksgiving dinner. 

Roasted Rosemary Vegetables
Ingredients
fresh vegetables like zucchini and carrots
extra-virgin olive oil
fresh or dried Rosemary
fresh pressed or dried powered garlic (optional)
fine sea salt
ground black pepper

Cut the zucchinis and carrots in half and then into wedges lengthwise about 3½ – 4″ in length. Toss well in olive oil, rosemary & garlic or whatever herbs you like. Arrange your vegetables on a cookie sheet or baking pan. Pre heat the oven to 425 F. Bake at 425 for 20 – 25 min. Rotate the roasting pan from bottom to the top shelf of the oven about half way through. Don’t over season. Flavors become more concentrated after baking. After baking, add salt & pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish alternating the zucchini & carrots side by side in the dish. Enjoy!

Linda-Eichberg-roasted-zucchini-carrots

Roasted zucchini and carrots

This recipe also works great with seasonal fall favorites like: sweet potatoes, parsnips or Brussels sprouts.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
If you’re using Brussels sprouts for this recipe, cut the sprouts in half lengthwise and follow the same directions above for “Roasted Rosemary Vegetables”. Brussels sprouts are smaller so they will cook faster. Take a few minutes off the cooking time depending on the size of your sprouts. Cook until golden brown. The leaves that are loose will be brown and crispy.

The-Gratitude-Life-Roasted-Brussels-sprouts-Linda-Eichberg-

Roasted Brussels sprouts

Add Ons – Try one of these three tasty recipe twists!

1) The last 5 minutes of roasting, add cranberries, walnut or pecan pieces to the Brussels sprouts.

2) Let the Brussels sprouts cool and add shredded Parmesan cheese, goat or feta cheese.

3) Served warm or chilled, roasted Brussels sprouts will make a fantastic topping for your favorite salad!

A Story of Thanksgiving 

Very recently my husband Steven and I were guests at a fund-raising dinner given by Lily of the Valley Endeavor to raise money and awareness for children orphaned by HIV/AIDS. While we were there, we met at nice couple who told us that we were responsible for getting them and their neighbors involved in supporting this non-profit. I was very curious to hear how, since I didn’t know them.

Paying It Forward

It turned out that years ago Steven did some legal work, Pro bono, for their neighbor, a single mom who needed legal services. She was very grateful for what my husband did for her. Looking for a way to repay him in some way, she expressed her gratitude by getting a group of her neighbors to attend one of the fund raisers we were working on for Lily of the Valley Endeavor. The couple we met, were two of those neighbors. My husband Steven & I served for many years putting on events and raising money for this charity. And now these wonderful people continue to passionately support LoVE (Lily of the Valley Endeavor).

In doing good, we often do not see the results of our labor right away but in faith we keep forging ahead hoping that God will multiply our efforts beyond anything we can do.

Linda-Eichberg-Lily-of-the-Valley

Singing for Lily of the Valley Endeavor, LoVEFest fundraiser

Living Legacies

My husband and I put a good portion of time and heart into growing this charity and helping the children it served. During those years much was accomplished but now that we have stepped back; it was heart warming to see the legacy continue through the couple we met and their friends. I was inspired and grateful to hear their story and to know how Steven’s kindness, in taking care of a struggling single mom’s legal problem, grew into something lasting and good for the world.

Steven-and-Linda-Eichberg-Lily-of-the-Valley-Children's-Village_

Steven and Linda Eichberg at Lily of the Valley Children’s Village, South Africa

Grateful for the blessing of serving these children through Christ. Giving thanks for good friends, good food, family and God, who can do more than we could ever ask or imagine. Happy Thanksgiving from our house to yours!

Eichberg-family-2012

Happy Thanksgiving from Steven, Linda and Lindsay

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” ~ Galatians 6:9

“But the seed planted in the good earth represents those who hear the Word, embrace it, and produce a harvest beyond their wildest dreams.” ~ Mark 4:20 (MSG)

For more information on Lily of the Valley Children’s Village – http://www.lov.org.za

and Lily of the Valley AIDS Foundation – http://www.lilyvalleyusa.org

© All materials contained within this blog are copyrighted and may not be used without expressed written permission.

Beauty Products That Are Good Enough To Eat!

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Last week, a couple of people asked me about what beauty products I use on my face and if there were any products I would recommend to them. I am not loyal to any particular beauty potion. I look at the contents, and stick with products that mostly contain ingredients found in nature. First, I must say that I don’t think any face cream can do what genetics can do. I have my parents to thank for my clear complexion, but there are several things I do to keep and appreciate what God gave me.

The questions brought to mind my dad, who was considered a ‘health nut’ because of his forward thinking about natural foods. Now, people are making money on those same ideas. As a young teen, when I wanted to start wearing makeup, my father showed me how to put fresh sliced  red beet root on my cheeks and lips to give them a rosy glow. Of course, I hated it when he did this. Why couldn’t I wear makeup like normal girls? I was very surprised when I recently saw a young “beauty expert” on television, showing viewers how they can apply fresh sliced red beet on their cheeks and lips as a cosmetic. She was fashionably dressed and used special makeup brushes for the application so it looked a lot more ‘cool’ than how my dad did it but I could hardly believe what I was seeing.

This spokesperson inspired me to record some of my natural facial creations that I have personally used. Similar formulas have been used by the women in my family for decades. You don’t need to pay a lot of money to make your skin look and feel better. Here are the15 natural food products you would need to make 15 fantastic beauty products!

15 NATURAL FOOD PRODUCTS:

Avocado
Green tea
Pineapple
Papaya
Red Beet
Yogurt
Lemon
Honey
Coconut Oil
Cucumber
Oatmeal
Oat Bran
Coconut Sugar (or Brown Sugar)
Cinnamon
Orange Juice

15 BEAUTY PRODUCTS: Blush, Lip Stain & Gloss, Daily Moisturizer, Moisturizing Mask, Moisture Mask – For Oily Skin, Exfoliating Mask, Toner, Brightening Mask, Healing Mask, Vitamin C Fruit Facial, Lightening Mask, Anti-Bacterial Mask, Make Up Remover, Exfoliating Face and Body Scrub and Eye Revive.

The skin is our body’s largest organ. It absorbs a good portion of what we put on it. We should provide our skin with nutrient rich natural skin care products instead of products that contain unwanted chemicals. These blends are low-cost alternatives to expensive commercial creams and can be made at home from ingredients readily available in your kitchen. Using these items will save you money while limiting your exposure to toxins. I designed the following recipes to provide your skin with nourishment, revival, deep enzymatic cleansing, brightening, lifting or for the removal of dead skin cells. The results will be glowing, healthier and younger looking skin. *

1) Avocado & Coconut Oil Moisturizing Mask

Avocado has been used for centuries as a beauty aid to nourish dry, sun-damaged and mature skin. Avocado is a fruit high in nutrients such as iron, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins A, and E. They are rich in oils that will replenish skin’s lost moisture, reduce eye puffiness, and leave skin soft, smooth and rejuvenated. Avocados are also a good source of the antioxidant vitamin C.

Recipe: Mash the flesh of 1/3 of a ripe avocado with a fork and ½ tsp. extra virgin coconut oil; blend together. Spread on your face and let it sit for 10 – 20 minutes, rinse & pat dry. The green color of the avocado flesh will disappear once you rub it in. If some of the mixture is left over, spread it on some whole grain toast or crackers with a little raw honey, Yum!

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2) Avocado and Citrus Moisturizing Mask – For Oily Skin

Mash the flesh of 1/3 of a ripe avocado add a squeeze of lemon or other citrus fruit and half teaspoon honey. Leave on your face 10 – 20 minutes, rinse & pat dry.

Lemon is a natural skin lightener but it can be drying. A little goes a long way. Follow up with a moisturizer and a high SPF sunscreen. This is important. Lemons make your skin photosensitive.

3) Make Up Remover

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is excellent as a make up remover. It is also great for removing eye makeup & as works great as a lip gloss.

A number of studies over the years have found that coconut oil improves the absorption of the B vitamins and also vitamins A, D, E, K, beta-carotene, CoQ10, and other fat soluble nutrients, minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and some amino acids—the building block for protein.

4) Facial Toner

Green tea is full of antioxidants. Steep a green tea bag in hot water for 3 minutes & let it cool slightly so it is still a little warm. Apply to your face. If you have time to lie down, soak a face cloth with the brew, squeeze out excess and cover your face with the cloth. Use Jasmine green tea if you like the refreshing smell & taste of Jasmine. Drink the remaining tea or store in a small spritzer bottle for later use.

“Green tea is the best food source of a group called catechins. In test tubes, catechins are more powerful than vitamin’s C and E in halting oxidative damage to cells and appear to have other disease-fighting properties. Studies have found an association between consuming green tea and a reduced risk for several cancers, including, skin, breast, lung, colon, esophageal, and bladder.” – Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Medical School.

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5) Honey and Coconut Oil Daily Moisturizer

In a small bowl, mix 1/4 teaspoon raw honey and ½ teaspoon pure water. Blend well with the back of a spoon until the honey is completely dissolved. Smooth over your face with your finger tips. Let the honey and water mixture dry for about 30 seconds. Next apply a thin layer of Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. Blot off any excess oil. For day wear, follow with a 15-SPF sunscreen or higher. Makeup will blend nicely over this nutrient rich moisturizer.

Honey is a natural humectant and will restore and hold moisture to your skin.

Coconut oil has the potential to aid in the protection of a number of health problems due to its documented antimicrobial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

6) Exfoliating Mask

Ingredients
½ cup Papaya fruit;
1/4 cup fresh pineapple
½ teaspoon honey

Add papaya, honey and pineapple to a blender or food processor and blend together. After cleansing your face apply a layer of the pulp to your face. Leave the mask on for about 10 minutes.* Rinse the mask off with warm water and then cold water to close your pores. Drink the leftovers or add them to a smoothie. Finish your facial with a spritz of green tea toner.

Papaya contains a natural enzyme, papain which will help your skin shed dead cells; the enzyme will also speed healing of damaged skin. It has an abundance of health giving phytonutrients.

Pineapple is a natural source of glycolic (alpha-hydroxyl) acids. This acid will help fight free radicals, acne and help your skin shed dead skin cells. Bromelain, the enzyme found in fresh pineapple is concentrated in the core of a pineapple, the tough center. You can get most of its benefits by juicing.

*If you’re short on time and want to skip the blending process, you can rub a fresh slice of papaya or pineapple onto your skin to receive the benefits of their natural enzymes. If irritation occurs discontinue use.

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 7) Vitamin C Fruit Facial

Ingredients
1/4 cup mashed Papaya fruit;
1 teaspoon fresh orange juice
½ teaspoon warm honey

Scoop out 1/4 cup fresh, ripe papaya and thoroughly mash it with a fork. Add honey, orange juice and blend well. Apply to cleansed face. Let the mask sit on your face about 10 minutes.* Rinse the mask off with warm water and then cold water to close your pores.

Tip – if honey is too thick, warm the honey in its original bottle by placing the bottle under hot running water. Once the honey is runny, measure out half a teaspoon and add it to the mixture while stirring. The mask is now ready to use.

Fresh orange juice contains vitamin C (ascorbic acid), plays a key role in the formation of collagen, the most important component of connective tissue. As an antioxidant, it can help prevent the cell damage done by “free radical” molecules. Adequate collagen synthesis is essential for strong ligaments, tendons, dentin, skin, blood vessels and bones, and for wound healing and tissue repair. Vitamin C has been implicated in halting the progression of several disease states including: cataract formation, cancer, and heart disease. Be sure your diet contains lots of vitamin C-rich foods.

Consume any left over mask for the added health benefits or it can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator. It will keep for a couple of days.

8) Yogurt Brightening Mask

Yogurt is used around the world as a beauty product. After using this mask, you will know why. It will leave your skin soft and supple.

Apply a thin layer of full-fat or low-fat plain Greek yogurt to your face. Let sit for about 15 minutes. Your face will feel tightened and refreshed afterwards.
(If using regular, non-Greek style yogurt, gently press cotton squares onto the top of the area where you apply the yogurt to keep the mask from dripping. Leave the cotton squares on your face until you are ready to rinse off the mask.).

Variation – Add finely ground oatmeal for a thicker mask.

Oatmeal is very soothing to the skin. Oats contain silicic acid which increases skins immunological response and protects dry skin from irritation.

9) Lightening Mask

Mix together ½ teaspoon honey, ½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice, (discard the seeds) and ½ tablespoon plain yogurt, preferably Greek yogurt. If the mask is too runny, use cotton squares on top to hold the mask in place. Rinse off after 10 – 15 minutes.

Honey will calm any inflammation in skin. Honey can also be used alone as a mask to moisturized and reduce redness.

Lemon juice contains vitamin C and citric acid which has lightening properties. Using this mask will make your face brighter and reduce dark spots. You can also dab lemon juice directly on age spots to lighten them up. Let sit for 5 minutes. If irritation occurs discontinue use. Lemon may make your skin photosensitive. Always follow with a moisturizer and a high SPF sunscreen.

10) Anti-Bacterial Mask

Take 1 tablespoon yogurt; add a teaspoon of honey and half teaspoon cinnamon. Mix well. This is a good mask for acne prone skin. You may leave this mask on your skin 10 -20 minutes. Yogurt with honey and cinnamon, how yummy! Enjoy eating any left overs and enjoy your silky smooth skin.

Honey is naturally anti-bacterial.

Cinnamon is a natural anti-bacterial and preservative. Just smelling cinnamon boosts cognitive function and memory.

Arthritis Relief – In a study at Copenhagen University, patients given half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder combined with one tablespoon of honey every morning before breakfast had significant relief in arthritis pain after one week and could walk without pain within one month. Other studies have found success with cinnamon in: Fighting some types of cancer, helping to regulate blood sugar, and for lowering cholesterol.

Ceylon cinnamon is the best. Using more than half a teaspoon of cinnamon can cause side effects. Check with your doctor.

11) Blush

Slice a disk of fresh Red Beet Root. Lightly dab it onto your cheeks and blend in color or swirl a make up blush brush over the beet and apply color lightly to cheeks.

Red beet’s unique crimson-red color is due to betalain pigments. Betaine is known as a terrific antioxidant and is rich with beneficial phytochemicals.

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12) Lip Stain and Gloss

Slice a wedge of a red beet root and apply to lips or use a lipstick brush evenly apply its juice to lips, let set. You can also apply a gloss of coconut oil over the stain. If you don’t have a lipstick brush, rub the wedge of beet over your lips being careful to stay inside the lip line. Take it with you “on the go,” stored in a zip lock bag.

Beets are a major source of cartenoids to ensure healthy eyes, folate and potassium to keep your heart pumping properly, fiber for digestive care, vitamin C, copper and magnesium for healthy bones, as well as energy-producing iron and phosphorus.

You can use this lip color alone or seal it with a gloss of coconut oil or a mixture of coconut oil and honey. Go ahead and lick your lips!

13) Eye Revive

Cucumbers are the most wonderful and natural eye pads you can find for yourself. It is used as a treatment for tired eyes around the world. Slice a disk of cool cucumber. Find a comfortable place to relax and place over eyes and rest for 10 minutes.

Cucumber contains caffeic acid which can bring down water retention, diminishing the puffiness and swelling under the eyes. Cucumbers are 95 percent water. Eating this vegetable will keep the body hydrated while flushing the body of toxins. Don’t forget to leave the skin on because the skin contains about 10 percent of the daily-recommended allowance of vitamin C.

Another refreshing eye reviver is green tea. Soak two cotton squares with cool, organic anti-ageing, green tea. Squeeze out excess liquid. Lay back and place the cotton pads on your eyes. These eye pads do wonders after a long day. Enjoy!

14) Healing Cucumber Facial

Cucumber makes a great treatment for irritated skin. Because the cucumber is pH balanced to the human skin and full of water, it improves irritation caused by rashes, wind burn, sun burn and any other situation where the skin is aggravated. It helps in soothing, tightening and softening your skin. Cucumbers have a good amount of vitamin B. It also contains the vitamin’s A & C and essential nutrient mineral’s magnesium, potassium, and silica. This makes cucumbers an important part of skin care.

Puree a small amount of cucumber, with seeds removed, in a blender. Lightly rub blended cucumber onto face and let sit for 10 – 15 minutes. Rinse and pat dry. Your face will feel revitalized and refreshed!
If you don’t have access to a blender, you can slice a half inch thick disk of cucumber. Lightly pummel to release its juices.

15) Exfoliating Scrub for Face and Body

1) Place 1 tablespoon oat bran and 1 tablespoon coconut sugar or brown sugar in a small bowl. Add a few drops of water, just enough to make a thick somewhat dry paste. Caution – too much water will dissolve the sugar completely.
2) Blend together and apply to your face and body in a circular motion. You can also leave the scrub on your face for 5 – 10 minutes for added benefits.
3) Rinse with cool water. (Optional) Finish with a spritz of green tea toner.

Oat bran will soften and smooth your skin. It contains enzymes that stimulate circulation and gently exfoliates. It has been used for decades to treat a wide variety of skin ailments. Eczema, poison-ivy and poison-oak rashes respond well when treated to a warm oatmeal or bran bath.

Coconut Sugar contains small amounts of the minerals Iron, Zinc, Calcium and Potassium, Amino Acids, B Vitamins and antioxidants that may provide some health benefits.

Brown Sugar is the perfect texture for a scrub and works great all by itself. The molasses in brown sugar supplies some nutrients. Sugar is a source of glycolic acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid and a key ingredient in pricey beauty products. The natural glycolic acid in sugar conditions and moisturizes skin.

If your skin is on the drier side, add extra virgin coconut oil to the mixture for a more moisturizing scrub. Follow all facials with a sun screen before going outdoors.

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Drink plenty of water, breathe fresh air, eat natural food and exercise to refresh your skin. Spread a little joy and take some time to take care of yourself. You’re worth it! 

 Thanking God for his glorious bounty and wearing a smile that comes from a grateful heart. ~ Blessings, Linda

“A smile from the heart is a beautiful gift. It can change someone’s day.” – Linda Eichberg

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The Alberici sisters, Linda Eichberg & Maria Lauren exercise to keep their skin healthy and glowing.

“I blend my mind with beauty, so that it may create good. I blend my mind with the life force, so that I may control it intelligently and direct it into the proper channels. I blend the life force with beauty, so that my progress will be a glorious one. I blend my soul with beauty, so that true inspiration will come to me complete. I blend my soul with my body, for my body is the house beautiful in which the soul lives.” – Paul Bragg

“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” – 3John 1:2

DISCLAIMER: This is a personal blog, reflecting my personal opinions and its contents are not intended to offer personal medical advice. You should seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. All content is copyrighted. Photo credit is given when know but some photos of unknown origin may appear on this blog. Please contact me if you have additional information about photo credits. 

Freedom To Choose HEALTH

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Not too long ago, a friend of my daughters proudly showed me a package of newly purchased bread, saying, “look, I got my mom whole wheat bread, she wants to start eating more healthy.” “Fantastic,” I thought, until he showed me the label. The first ingredient was whole wheat flour; the second was wheat flour, and then wheat gluten. This bread was not 100% whole wheat nor was it particularly good for health; it contained sugar and chemical preservatives. There was no way to know what percentage of whole wheat was actually in the bread.

 

Bread or Dead?

If you really want to go healthy, avoid all products containing enriched or bleached flour. Breads made with sprouted grains are best. Sprouting infuses life giving enzymes into your bread and boosts the vitamin and mineral content (as long as it is not overcooked). Look for breads that are sprouted, flour less or 100% whole grain. Breads that contain seeds or bean flours add extra protein. These whole or ancient grains are good wheat alternatives: spelt, amaranth, millet, quinoa, barley, wild rice, rye, farro (einkorn), kamut and bulgur.

WGstamp A study on whole grain foods found that “grain products with the Whole Grain Stamp, one of the most widely-used front-of-package symbols, were higher in fiber and lower in trans fats, but also contained significantly more sugar and calories compared to products without the Stamp.” [1] [2]

The ‘Sugars’ Deception!

I noticed there’s a growing trend in packaged foods even in ‘health foods’. Manufactures are using several types of ‘sugars’ in the ingredients so they don’t have to put sugar at the top of the list. For example, an ‘energy’ bar or box of cereal that has sugar as second or third in the ingredients may also contain other types of sugars, like: high-fructose corn syrup, brown sugar, malt syrup, agave nectar etc., so ‘sugars’ could actually be the main ingredient and you end up eating more sugar than you intended. Check the total carbohydrate and sugar stats to make a more educated choice.

All ‘Sugars’, Not Created Equal

Agave nectar has been deceptively marketed as a healthy alternative. It is true, agave syrup doesn’t cause a blood sugar spike like white sugar does but it is very high in fructose, higher than high-fructose corn syrup. Fructose consumption is a risk factor for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, according to a study published in Journal of Hepatology. The report also found, the increased consumption of high fructose corn syrup, primarily in the form of soft drinks, is linked with complications of the insulin resistance syndrome. [3] Insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome increases the risk of diabetes and early heart disease by causing atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

Coconut sugar is another so called “healthy alternative” and should also be used sparingly. The major component of coconut sugar is sucrose (70-79%), followed by glucose (3-9%). Sucrose (table sugar) is made up of half fructose. That makes coconut sugar 38-48.5% fructose, which is about the same as table sugar.

The Hippocrates Health Institute recommends using Stevia for sweetening.

I am thankful my parents never had soft drinks or sugar laden sweets in the house when I was growing up. I never got use to the taste of sodas, so I have no desire for them, (although I do, on occasion, have other sweets). A child who is exposed to junk food will have a difficult time getting out of the habit later on in life and will pass their choices back to their own kids one day, too.

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My dad ingrained in me and my eight siblings, when it comes to food, fresh and raw is best. His training about health, faith and love has helped me throughout my life. “Children who rely on foods that are depleted of nourishment suffer in every way . . . but there are other elements just as important. The love of family, we are a close-knit, warm, affectionate. There is no generation gap. Our mealtime gatherings are festivals of joy.” – Albert Alberici (my dad), “The Vegetarian Health Review and Digest”

“CHILDREN TAUGHT HEALTHY HABITS OFTEN KEEP THEM FOR LIFE”

“Desert Health News” recently published this article to which I was a contributor along with fellow entertainers, my sister, Maria Lauren and Patti Gribow. Follow the link.

http://deserthealthnews.com/stories/health-is-a-choice-children-taught-healthy-habits-often-keep-them-for-life/

Best in health, Linda

 

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4

 

REFERENCES:

1) Harvard School of Public Health News – Foods identified As ‘whole grain’ not always healthy – Jan. 10, 2013

2) IDENTIFYING WHOLE GRAIN FOODS: A COMPARISON OF DIFFERENT APPROACHES FOR SELECTING MORE HEALTHFUL WHOLE GRAIN PRODUCTS,” REBECCA MOZAFFARIAN, REBEKKA LEE, MARY KENNEDY, DAVID LUDWIG, DARIUSH MOZAFFARIAN, AND STEVEN GORTMAKER, PUBLIC HEALTH NUTRITION, ONLINE JANUARY 4, 2013

3) Journal of Hepatology June 2008 vol. 48 issue 6 pp. 993-999

 

DISCLAIMER: This is a personal blog, reflecting my personal opinions and its contents are not intended to offer personal medical advice. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of my employer or any other organization with which I may be affiliated. All content is copyrighted. Photo credit is given when know but some photos of unknown origin may appear on this blog. Please contact me if you have additional information about photo credits.