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Mar 13, 2010
Category: Desserts
Prep Time: Less than 1 hr

 posted in Care2 by Delia Quigley,
     click here 
     Yields: 3 cups 
  2 cups pecans
  1/3 cup raisins
  1/2 cup dried cranberries

  (fruit juice sweetened)
  2 tablespoons xylitol
  (made from Birch Bark)
  1-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  1/3 cup brown rice syrup

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray lightly with oil. Place the pecans on the parchment paper and bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and increase the temperature to 375 degrees.
2. In a medium bowl combine the raisins, cranberries and hot, cooked pecans.
3. In a small bowl combine the xylitol, cayenne and sea salt, and mix into the pecans/fruit. Add the rice syrup and stir to coat the mixture.
4. Spread the mixture onto the parchment paper and bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until pecans are done and syrup is bubbling.
5. Remove and allow to cool. (Placing the pan in the freezer for 10 minutes makes it easier to peel off the parchment paper.)
6. Store in a container in the refrigerator and try not to eat it all at one sitting.
Birch Bark Xylitol: I have used a birch bark xylitol rather than a corn based product. When purchasing make sure to read the labels. Xylitol is known for its ability to metabolize in the body without using insulin, benefits teeth and gums, and has shown to have other health benefits as well. You can purchase Xylitol via the internet.
Brown Rice Syrup: A mild tasting liquid sweetener only 20 percent as sweet as sugar. It metabolizes slowly in the body, however, diabetics should use with caution. It has a soft caramel flavour, which comes from cooking brown rice and barley malt and reducing the resulting mash to a syrup. Great substitute for corn syrup and the like.
Delia Quigley
is an author, holistic health
counselor, natural foods chef, yoga instructor,
energy therapist and public speaker. 
Delia's blogs: and
Delia's website go to
Check out 

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Posted: Mar 13, 2010 5:33pm
Dec 7, 2009

7 Whole Grains to Add to Your Diet
posted in care2 by Michelle Schoffro Cook(doctor of natural medicine) Dec 3, 2009
Many people simply avoid whole grains because they don’t know what to do with them or how to prepare them. Here are seven whole grains to get you started:
Health benefits: High in both soluble and insoluble fibre so aids bowel regularity; contains 96 calories, 22 grams of carbohydrates, and 3 grams of fibre per half-cup of cooked barley. Unrefined barley is very high in potassium; high in magnesium, manganese, vitamin E, B-complex vitamins, zinc, copper, iron, calcium, protein, sulfur, and phosphorus. Use in soups, stews, cereal, salads, pilaf, or ground into flour for baked goods or desserts.
Health benefits: vitamin E (important for healthy immunity, skin, and many essential functions in your body); high in fibre; high in manganese, magnesium, and selenium; contains tryptophan; excellent for those who are gluten-sensitive or celiac
Use in soups, stews, and pilafs.
SPELT and KAMUT (pronounced ka-moot)
Both are ancient, tasty, and part of the wheat family.
Health benefits: Sometimes people with wheat allergies can tolerate kamut or spelt. Both have higher nutritional value than whole wheat; high in protein. SPELT - high in manganese, magnesium, and copper, B-vitamins [niacin, thiamine, and riboflavin].
Use in making bread and pasta.
Health benefits: stabilizes blood sugar; lowers cholesterol; reduces heart disease risk; good source of manganese, selenium, magnesium, and tryptophan; high in protein and fibre.
Forms: instant, steel-cut, rolled, bran, groats, flakes, and flour. [Best options are underlined.]
Oat flour is an excellent substitute for wheat flour in baking recipes.
QUINOA (pronounced "keen-wah")
Not a true grain, but a herb.
A complete protein; high in iron, magnesium, B-vitamins and fibre.
Health benefits: is a proven aid for migraine sufferers; lessens the risk for heart disease; contains the building blocks for superoxide dismutase-an important antioxidant that helps protect the energy centres of your cells from free radical damage.
Not a true grain, it is a type of aquatic grass seed
Health benefits: High protein, high fibre, low calorie (83 = 1/2cup cooked) An excellent choice for people with CELIAC disease or those on GLUTEN-free or WHEAT-free diets.
Add wild rice to soups, stews, salads, and pilaf; nutty flavour. 
N.B. Avoid the many blends of white and wild rice.
As for all whole grains, add water and grain in a pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to low heat to simmer for the amount of cooking time specified.
For 1 cup of grain
BARLEY (pearled) 3 cups water, 15 mins cooking time
BROWN RICE 2 cups water, 35 to 40 mins cooking time
OATS (quick cooking) 2-3 cups water, 12 to 20 mins cooking time
OATS (rolled) 2-3 cups water, 40 to 50 mins cooking time
QUINOA 2 cups water, 15 mins cooking time
WILD RICE 3 cups water, 50 to 60 mins cooking time
KAMUT and SPELT can be cooked as whole grains but are most commonly used as whole grain flour in breads and other baked goods.
Michelle Schoffro Cook, RNCP, ROHP, DAc, DNM, is a best-selling and six-time book author and doctor of natural medicine, whose works include: The Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, and The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan. Learn more at: 

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Posted: Dec 7, 2009 11:31am
Nov 23, 2009
Signs of Caring Too Much
(posted by Mel selected from
Compassion fatigue –aka caregiver burnout–is what happens when a well-intentioned caregiver crosses a hard-to-see line from One-Who-Helps to One-Who-Needs-Help. And it can happen to anyone. It happens precisely because you care so much. Are you at risk of caring “too much”? Here are ten warning signs:

1. You use words like “always” and “never” with regard to caregiving. These are 'absolutes', e.g.
I promised Mom we’d never put her in a nursing home; or
I’m sorry I can’t go to lunch because I always feed Sam by myself.
Being overly rigid can put you at risk for burnout.

2. Your friends seem to have stopped calling.
You may be feeling isolated or annoyed that your old circle no longer seems to check up on you and how you’re faring. But is it possible that you’ve turned them down so often because of your caregiving duties, or that caregiving concerns so dominate your life and conversation, that they got the message you’re just not interested in them? A social life is a two-way street.

3. The last time you felt happy was “uh…um…let’s see…”
Nobody ever said looking after a sick or aging loved one was a romp in a field of wildflowers. But if your everyday life has lost even its grace notes, so that you find no pleasure in it, you’re at risk. Every day needs at least one happy petal or two.

4. Everyone assumes you’ll step forward; nobody asks.
Have you become the default go-to girl (or guy) in your family?
When the sick person is your spouse, this is logical. (Even then, you need a support system to pitch in.) But it’s a different matter when the family member being cared for is a parent, grandparent, or other relative — and the entire burden of responsibility seems to have settled on your shoulders whether you’ve volunteered or not.

5. You’re overweight or out of shape.
True, it may not be your caregiving that’s to blame for poor health.It could be a long list from pollution to allergies to unfortunate genes. But the fact remains that poor self-care is a big red flag for caregiver burnout. Being selflessly focused on others by definition means you’re not focused on yourself. And yet you need to be the #1 person you look after, in order to be shipshape (or at least functional!) to look after others... give yourself permission to be selfish..

6. You can’t remember the last time you took a vacation...
Vacations are really hard when you have a disabled or impaired person to consider...not being able to even remember the last break you had is a sure sign you’re due for one. It doesn’t have to be three weeks in France. Start small if you must: a simple overnight at a friend’s house or a local B & B. To stop caregiving stress, stop caregiving sometimes...

7. All conversations turn to caregiving...
Maybe you remember when your kids were babies and you’d hire a babysitter–and proceed to talk about the kids all evening? Not a great idea. Or worse, you call home to check up! If every conversation with your partner or other family members concerns one subject, it’s a warning sign that topic is monopolizing your life. Diversify!..

8. You have no hobbies...
You say you have no time for hobbies? Your hobby doesn’t have to be a conventional one like stamp-collecting or bird-watching. It just needs to be an outlet away from caregiving. Reading trashy novels uninterrupted, taking up knitting, joining a book club, taking adult ed courses, being a matinee-movie addict, or enjoying your children and grandchildren all count, too–anything that takes you away from caregiving for bursts of time. Bonus points if it takes you out of the house, too...

9. You can’t sleep through the night...
Two common causes: You’re up tending to a sick person (or Alzheimer’s wanderer, or someone else who gets by on just a few hours of sleep a night) or you’re sick with stress or a physical problem yourself. A sleepless night or two go with the territory of caregiving–but if it’s become your lifestyle, it’s a problem you need to correct. Sleep isn’t optional!..

10. You dread waking up in the morning...
We all have this experience, usually when we’re in the midst of a health crisis that seems like a bad dream (but isn’t). Health nightmares can go on for years, unfortunately. But when the crisis has passed and you’ve sunk into a new routine–and you still feel heavy-hearted and hopeless, your body is crying out for you to enlist some support.

Nobody–not even the most well-intentioned, big-hearted, and selfless among us–is meant to endure a tough situation all alone, day after day, year after year...
............................................................................................................ was created to help you care for your aging parents, grandparents, and other loved ones. As the leading destination for eldercare resources on the Internet, our mission is to give you the information and services you need to make better decisions, save time, and feel more supported. provides the practical information, personal support, expert advice, and easy-to-use tools you need during this challenging time.  
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Posted: Nov 23, 2009 3:46pm
Oct 20, 2009

To eat mindfully is to live in the present.
It calls for paying attention to every act, every sensation and perception, for its own sake, in the moment. From the start to the finish of your meal, your intention is to link the moments together into a continuous stream of sensory awareness.
Some suggestions:
 Be mindful.
To become focused, become silent and breathe in a relaxed manner. Choose a time when you’re not hurried or distracted by other things.
Visualize the meal. Become focused in your mind’s eye on what you’re going to prepare, its appearance, aroma, ingredients, etc.
Plan the meal. Mentally focus on all the steps involved in preparing the meal. Will you prepare it? For whom will you prepare it? What will you make?
Prepare the meal. Be mindful of the action of washing the food, such as vegetables you may be preparing for a fresh salad. Notice yourself reaching for the refrigerator door, and other preparation activities.
Set the table. The table on which you eat can be as sacred as the rest of the meal. Create a table that is inviting, for both you and the food.
Serve the meal. Be mindful of each action associated with serving the meal: selecting dishes and utensils, setting the table, bringing food to the table, etc.
Eat the meal. As with the Zen monastic meal, be mindful of each aspect of the food you’re eating. To begin consider saying words of thanks or appreciation for the food. Savour the aroma of the food by inhaling deeply.
Clean up. Regard this as a sacred process, too. It is just as important a part of the meal as the other phases.
Digest the food. After you’ve eaten, be aware of how the food feels in your stomach, how you are feeling. Are you aware that you overate? Under-ate? Are you still hungry, or ate just the right amount?
From start to finish and throughout the dining process, continue to witness the effects of having prepared, eaten, and digested the meal.
For in the witnessing lies the essence of life itself.
Adapted from A Mindfulness Meal Meditation, by
Veronica, selected from Care2's Healthy & Green Living.
Feeding the Body, Nourishing the Soul by Deborah Kesten.
Deborah Kesten, MPH
, Certified Health and Wellness Coach, nutritionist for reversing heart disease through lifestyle changes without drugs or surgery, and Director of Nutrition on similar research in Europe. Author of The Enlightened Diet, Feeding the Body, Nourishing the Soul, and The Healing Secrets of Food. Visit her at .

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Posted: Oct 20, 2009 5:01pm
Jul 19, 2009

Adapted from original article by Mel, selected from Natural Solutions magazine Jul 15, 2009
It’s common knowledge that smell effects how we feel. What we consider as “good” smells can lift our spirits while “bad” smells can drag us down or even agitate us. In fact, the French word sentir means both “to smell” and “to feel.”
We tend to “feel” scents rather than logically process them—understanding them more through associations and images than by analytical methods. This is because the human brain processes smells in its limbic region, which appears to be primarily responsible for our emotions. Interestingly, the limbic system is often called the rhinencephalon or “smell part” of the brain.

Several studies show that emotion and odours are directly linked and have been found to produce some of the same electrical impulses.
Essential oils contain natural phytochemicals that impact the limbic system.
When you inhale the scent of an oil, the brain releases various neurochemicals to create physiological changes in body, mind and spirit. When you smell lavender, for example, serotonin gets released, producing a calming influence in the body.
Pure essential oils are extracted directly from plant parts, including flowers, leaves, stems and roots, as well as the rind of their fruits. Outside of their direct healing properties these oils simply smell good, make us feel happier and serve as great stress and pain relievers.
The easiest and most common way to benefit from their essence is through aromatherapy:
— place a few drops of diluted oil directly on your skin and inhale the aroma. Note: always cut the essential oil with a base oilsee suggestions below and in original article.
— add drops to your bath or add drops to an aromatherapy diffuser which heats the oil and allows the smell to permeate the room.
—choose from a multitude of oils, ranging from bergamot (Citrus bergamia), which has a balancing effect, to sandalwood (Santalum album), which is known for its sensuous properties.
Base oils, also called carrier oils, make essential oils more versatile by cutting their strength without greatly reducing their effectiveness or aroma.
Some recommended base oils:
SWEET ALMOND OIL (Prunus dulcis, P. amygdalus)
With no scent of its own, sweet almond oil is mild and well tolerated by most people.
—Use this oil by itself or blend it with other carrier oils.
—A good base for massage oil.
Use caution if you have nut allergies.
Make sure you have sweet almond oil, not bitter almond. 
ROSE-HIP SEED OIL (Rosa rubiginosa)
Rose-hip seed oil is like liquid velvet. It especially nourishes and benefits the skin.
— Use this oil by itself or blend it with other carrier oils.
— Good for facial oil blend.
AVOCADO OIL (Persea nubigena, P. americana)
Excellent as a softener for hair and skin, avocado oil absorbs nicely and is rich in vitamins A and B.
— Use 10-30 percent avocado oil with other carrier oils. 
— Good for body or bath oil.
JOJOBA OIL (Simmondsia chinensis)
Jojoba is actually a liquid wax; it resembles our own skin sebum. Hair, nails and skin respond well to it. Jojoba also gives a longer shelf life to products, perfect for blending into more expensive oils.
— Use up to 95 percent jojoba oil with other carrier oils.
— Good for sea salt scrubs, massage oils.
Refreshing Massage Oil
3 drops bergamot
2 drops grapefruit
3 drops rosewood
— Add oils to 1 ounce of base oil and mix well.
— Store in a dark glass bottle and avoid exposure to heat, light and air.
This blend can provide a refreshing boost when you’re feeling weary... neither over-stimulating or sedating.
Foot Massage Oil

3 drops patchouli
3 drops sandalwood
4 drops lavender
— Add oils to 1 ounce of base oil and mix well.
— Store in a dark glass bottle and avoid exposure to heat, light and air.
This deep, rich, earthy blend is a perfect foot massage oil for those times when life leaves you up in the air. These pure essential oils are believed to be relaxing, centering and calming.
- For the original article, check out

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Posted: Jul 19, 2009 3:48pm


Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of or its affiliates.


Jenny Dooley
, 3, 2 children
Eastlakes, SW, Australia
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