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Cancer Treatment Side Effects? Acupuncture to the Rescue

Cancer Treatment Side Effects? Acupuncture to the Rescue

Cancer treatments can cause a variety of other side effects that also need to be addressed. More and more research is showing acupuncture as a viable option for additional pain management for those receiving chemotherapy or surgery and for the common side effects those treatments can bring. These side effects can include neuropathy, dry mouth, constipation, anxiety, and nausea. continue reading »

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Tips to Manage Fall Allergy Season

After such a scorching summer in much of the country, Fall is a welcome season bringing cooler temperatures, comforting food, and a gentle lead into winter. However, for many people, Fall also brings with it some severe allergies. 

autumn leaves

While most people may associate severe allergies with the Spring and Summer months when everything is in bloom, there are those who only suffer during the autumn. The main cause of Fall hay fever is typically weed pollen but, depending on where you are located, common fall allergens can include ragweed, sagebrush, burning bush, tumbleweed, and Russian thistle just to name a few. 

If you suffer from these types of allergies, you are more than likely aware of days when pollen counts are especially high (windy and warm days). Rainy days are a welcome relief until the grasses dry and pollen counts soar once again. 

A common Fall occurrence in many parts of the country is burning leaves after they fall from the trees. This is when mold can become a problem for those suffering from Fall allergies. When those piles of damp leaves are left alone to rot, mold can form and cause allergy sufferers all kinds of issues.

In some areas of the country, ragweed can cause problems from late August to mid-November. Ragweed thrives on warm days and cool nights and is found in every part of the country. As with most grasses, pollen counts are highest early in the morning. 

Now that you know some of the more common Fall allergies, what can you do to make this season as painless as possible? It’s not realistic to lock yourself inside with nose spray and tissues but you can be strategic in your plan of attack to deal with the dreaded Fall allergy season. Here are a few tips to ease the burden:

  • Make sure you are aware of pollen counts so you can limit your time outside during peak hours if possible. 
  • Use a HEPA filter and humidifier to keep airborne pollen levels manageable. 
  • Keep doors and windows closed, especially on days when pollen counts are high.
  • Vacuum and dust regularly.
  • Change clothes and take a shower after outdoor activities. 

In addition to over-the-counter nasal sprays and antihistamines, check with your health care provider to discuss treatment options including acupuncture (which has a history of effectively treating allergies) and herbal remedies, as these are more natural options to dealing with Fall allergies. 

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Fall’s Best Comfort Food

One of the best things about the approach of Fall is the cooler temperatures that bring family recipes filled with warm comfort food. It’s no wonder Fall is often described as soup season. Hearty and warm soups filled with fall produce and rich broth bring warmth and comfort to family tables no matter where you live. 

pumpkin soup

One of the most recognizable Fall vegetables must be pumpkin. But pumpkins aren’t just cute Halloween decorations. A quick search of the Internet will deliver dozens of pumpkin soup recipes right to your inbox. Here’s a favorite you may not have tried before: Pumpkin Soup with Coconut Milk. You can vary this soup recipe by choosing butternut squash as well and the addition of the coconut milk instead of heavy cream won’t be noticeable to most. Finishing it off with a healthy spoonful of plain Greek yogurt, chopped parsley and a drizzle of high-quality olive oil will have you going back for seconds and thirds! Making a double batch also leaves you extra to freeze and warm up later when time is short. 

The prep time for this soup is approximately 30 minutes and the cook time is one hour and 35 minutes. This recipe will serve 8. And the roasting of the vegetables gives this soup a rich flavor you won’t forget.

Ingredient List:

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 small pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (shortcut: you can buy already cubed butternut squash in the freezer section of most grocery stores but fresh is best!)
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut in half
  • 2 large red onions, halved
  • ¼ cup high-quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of flakey sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 pinch of white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 4 cups checking stock
  • 2 (13.5 ounce) cans coconut milk

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wrap sweet potato in foil and bake until soft, about 45 minutes
  • While the sweet potato is roasting, place pumpkin, carrots and onions on a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, allspice and white pepper. Bake for 30-40 minutes until soft.
  • Peel sweet potato and squash when cool enough to handle. Transfer to a large saucepan and add carrots, onions, nutmeg, cumin, coriander, ginger, salt and pepper. Stir in chicken stock and coconut milk. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and summer 20 minutes. 
  • Puree soup using an immersion blender or regular blender until smooth.

Serve warm with crusty bread and enjoy the tastes of Fall!

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