Health

Kick that cold. Prevent the flu. Do what I do!

My friend Tara is getting married on Friday. True to her hectic schedule and high stress (read: frequent flyer exposed to many different germies) she’s come down with a cold.

I wish I would have shared my tried and true secret with her before, and saved her from the cold in the first place. Instead, let’s hope we’ve got her better in a hurry!

What I do: A couple of days before I travel, I start taking Wellness Formula. It’s a great combo I’ve found that has all the cold kicking, immunity boosting herbs, vitamins and minerals in it.

I actually carry a small bottle in my backpack (which I always have with me!) so I can take them if there’s any hint of feeling something. I keep a bottle at work, and another at home, and take them when I think about it in general (an ounce of prevention is betta…!).

Some of the ingredients which are key in fighting colds and boosting your immunity so you don’t get them in the first place are:

Astragalus: Immuno-stimulatory, Stamina/Chi.
This herb increases the body’s production of interferon, which protects cells from viral and bacterial lung infections. Astragalus also enhances the body’s production of immunoglobulin and stimulates macrophages. It can help activate T cells and natural killer cells. Several studies also show that astragalus proffers heart-protecting effects, including protection against oxidative damage.

Echinacea: Antibiotic, Lymph, Blood Purifier/Builder, Immune.
This herb enhances immunity and stops the cold and flu viruses from reproducing once they gain access to a cell. German research has shown that echinacea stimulates immune-system cells called macrophages (cells that consume disease-causing microbes).

Elderberry: Flu, Infection, Cough, Cold Sores, and Skin Conditions.
In one study, researchers gave elderberry syrup to some members of an Israeli kibbutz during a flu epidemic. Those who took the syrup recovered faster than those who did not.

Garlic: Colds, Yeast And Bacterial Infections, Normalizes Blood Pressure.
Numerous scientific studies support herbalists’ claims that garlic is a “natural antibiotic.” Researchers have found it to be particularly good for fighting strep infections.

Schisandra: Coughs, Night Sweats, Insomnia, Thirst, Physical Exhaustion, Stress.
In a Russian study, children in the town of Chirchik who were given this herb were more resistant to a flu epidemic that swept through their town.

Siberian Ginseng: Energy, Stress, Endurance, Depression, Senility, Nerves.
When researchers surveyed residents of the cold regions of north-eastern China, they found that those who took this herb regularly got far fewer colds and reported fewer cases of bronchitis.

Also see my personal reference page of the historical uses of Herbs, Vitamins & Minerals, and Flower Essences.

The information on this site has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is not intended to prescribe, diagnose, or cure. Please consult your healthcare practitioner with any questions. The statements regarding our products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information on this Web site or in emails is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Informational material and representations have been provided by the manufacturers of the listed products.

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Lasagna Dinner Party

Lasagna in the Oven

I had a dinner party the other night for a few friends. Here’s my recipe.

Ingredients

1 pound sweet Italian sausage
3/4 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
12 lasagna noodles
16 ounces ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

(Serves 12)

Directions

    Sauce

  1. In a Crockpot, or Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned.
  2. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water.
  3. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley.
  4. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  5. Beef.Removing Sausage Casing
    Meat.Browning the meat

  6. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water.
  7. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  8. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  9. To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  10. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture.
  11. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
  12. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
  13. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
  14. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Proud MommaCheers!

Other Dishes

Caprese Salad
When you’re using fresh mozzarella for the lasagna, save an extra chunk for making Caprese salad. Slice up ripe Roma tomatoes, and sprinkle with coarse salt. Embellish with sprigs of fresh Basil. Toss on the extra slices of mozzarella and douse with balsamic vinegar and olive oil. This is so easy, and you have most of the ingredients already from making the lasagna!
Veggies

Tequila Soaked Shortcake
For a quick dessert, tear up some fresh shortcake and soak with your favorite flavored tequila (I used coffee and almond here), or other liquor.

Coffee Tequila Soaked ShortcakeAlmond Tequila Soaked Shortcake

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Raw

My mother-in-law contacted me again the other day. I don’t call her “ex” because you divorce the husband, right? Well, I was married for four years to her son, and divorced him seven years ago.

One of his friends found me last week and sent a friend request on Facebook. I honestly couldn’t recall who he was or my connection to him, and being I pretty much just add peeps I actually know, I ignored the request.

A few days later he requested again, with a note: “Are you the Angela that was married to —?”

Continue reading

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