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Category Archives: LifeCycles

Hope is the sunshine of the soul

image by Sutton Porter/courtesy of Laurie Edwards-Tate

image by Sutton Porter/courtesy of Laurie Edwards-Tate

Hope is the spark of the spirit that keeps us moving through difficult and trying times; the beacon of light when we are struggling to find our way out of the darkness. Adversity can be overwhelming and it is easy to get swept up in a feeling of hopelessness, but like the cherry blossom- a symbol of new birth, you endure the harshness of the cold and emerge anew. Hope does indeed spring eternal.

Hope is an optimistic attitude of mind, based on an expectation of positive outcomes related to events and circumstances in one’s life or the world at large, according to Wikipedia.

For many, it is difficult to imagine being hopeful due to the extent of which the global community is plagued by hunger, homelessness, joblessness, economic instability, over-population, disease, violence, war and risks of extinction.

The ability for any community, state, country or the world at large to flourish and survive hinges upon the number of individuals who embrace hope and the inherent belief that their lives can be improved and made better.

Read more on Laurie’s article at LifeCycles in the Communities Digital News

Resolutions and new beginnings: Promise of New Year’s

photo by Sutton Porter, courtesy of Laurie Edwards-Tate

photo by Sutton Porter, courtesy of Laurie Edwards-Tate

With the Christmas season slowly winding down, it is customary to look ahead towards the promise of a new year.

Basking in the peace, good-will and afterglow of holiday merriment, looking forward with optimism is anticipated by many.

There is something in the human spirit which is driven to believe in a better tomorrow.

Many Americans set new goals through the traditional practice of creating New Year’s resolutions.
New Year’s resolutions first began with the ancient Babylonians.

The Babylonians would promise their gods that they would pay off their debts, and also return anything which they borrowed from another.

Over time this early tradition spread all over the world and morphed into a variety of practices and resolutions which were varied, depending upon the country, culture and belief systems.

Eventually making its way to the Western Hemisphere, Americans relish the opportunity to reflect upon the year which is coming to pass, while setting a new future course for self-improvement and hope for the future.

Read more on Laurie’s column at LifeCycles in the Communities Digital News

Memories of Christmas in San Diego: A LifeCycles tradition

image via Sutton Porter

image via Sutton Porter

Growing up in San Diego, Christmas was always a wonderful experience.

Even though December is the coolest month of the year in San Diego, the average temperature is still in the upper 60s. Highs of 75 degrees or more are not uncommon during Christmas week.

The concept of a white Christmas is not entirely lost on those who live in warm climates. But in sunny San Diego, the experience of dashing through the snow is a completely foreign one.

While peering out of a large picture window on Christmas Eve, anxious for Santa’s arrival, I asked Dad the fearful question, “How can Santa Claus deliver all the gifts to children in San Diego in his reindeer-driven sleigh if there is no snow?”

Read more on Laurie’s column at LifeCycles in the Communities Digital News

Roasted Brussels Sprouts: A perfect Christmas side dish

image via unsplash/Keenan Loo

image via unsplash/Keenan Loo

It is time to begin planning Christmas dinner where the dining table is set with the warm welcome of candles and savory foods to share with family and friends. Often it is the side dishes that support the prime rib roast that truly makes your feast special.

Once the main course is served, traditional side dishes will follow in a complimentary style.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Brown Butter Breadcrumbs are elegant, delicious and anything but boring! Low in calories (approximately 36 per cup (raw) they contain fiber, protein, and healthy doses of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and Vitamin B 6.

With only 25 minutes cook time, Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Brown Butter Breadcrumbs and a touch of fresh thyme add panache to this easy to make, and adaptable, side dish.

Read more on Laurie’s column at LifeCycles in the Communities Digital News

Rules for Christmas gift giving, sanity for friends and family

image via Flickr/Javier Gutierrez Acedo

image via Flickr/Javier Gutierrez Acedo

Christmas is a most wonderful time of the year! It is a time for gathering with loved ones, enjoying get-togethers with friends, decorating the Christmas tree, stringing Christmas lights, baking Christmas treats, and giving and receiving Christmas gifts.

Retailers, and our economy, also love Christmas. It is one of the greatest times for shopper spending. Gallup reports that “Americans’ 2015 holiday spending intentions finds U.S. adults planning to spend $830 on Christmas gifts this year, on average.” According to the group that is up from the $720 recorded a year ago.

According to a recent survey by the American Research Group, Inc., it is estimated that Americans plan to spend an average of $929 for gifts, $47 above 2015 spending.

The research findings also point out that 36% of those surveyed will shop by catalogue, and a whopping 55% will shop by using the Internet, an all time survey high.

Read more on Laurie’s column at LifeCycles in the Communities Digital News

Caramelized Pear Bread Pudding for a healthy holiday dessert

image via wikimedia

image via wikimedia

The hustle and bustle of the Christmas season is here!

With so much to do as we make our holiday to do lists and checking them twice, finding ways to save time and maintain quality is priceless.

Caramelized Pear Bread Pudding is a delicious way to please holiday guests.

This eye-pleasing dessert will adorn any buffet or dining table while pleasing the palate with deliciously prepared pears as a main ingredient.

Courtesy of Eating Well, Caramelized Pear Bread Pudding may be made one day ahead, and refrigerated until ready to serve:

Read more on Laurie’s column at LifeCycles in the Communities Digital News

Vegan Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie just in time for Thanksgiving

image via Pixabay/Jill 111

image via Pixabay/Jill 111

Looking for that perfect pumpkin pie recipe for Thanksgiving dessert this season?

Here it is!

With only 10 ingredients and easy to make, it is the perfect Thanksgiving dessert.

Vegan Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie will delight holiday guests while ensuring appeal for those with special dietary needs.

Published in minimalistbaker.com, the Vegan Gluten Free Pumpkin Pie recipe, and a few simple steps, is a great way to add rich, flavorful pumpkin taste:

Read more on Laurie’s column at LifeCycles in the Communities Digital News

Thanksgiving: Healthy cranberry, apple and orange compote

Photo courtesy of seligmanwaite/flickr

Photo courtesy of seligmanwaite/flickr

This Thanksgiving, consider serving a healthy and easy to make Cranberry Compote with Apple and Orange side dish that can be prepared at the last minute.

Cranberries have a beautiful bright red hue, which is stimulating to any palate. Thank early Native Americans for bringing them to our attention and our dinner tables.

While used as a food source, cranberries are also a helpful medicinal, containing loads of antioxidants helpful in preventing urinary tract infections, potentially reducing the onset of certain cancers, lowering the risks for cardiovascular disease and aiding in reducing blood pressure.

Prepared as a scrumptious side dish, cranberries are also simply delicious!

Read more on Laurie’s column at LifeCycles in the Communities Digital News

Millennial mayhem since Donald Trump became President Elect

image via WikiPedia

image via wikipedia

Protests and demonstrations have proliferated across America since the surprising election of President Elect Donald Trump.

Distraught Millennials hit the streets in protest against a democratic process which did not result to their liking.

Not all demonstrations have been peaceful, and some even violent.

It is unclear when the protests will end, but there is no doubt that Millennials will continue sending their messaging to America in a variety of ways for many years to come.
Now the largest generation of Americans, The Millennial Generation represents those who were born from 1981 and thereafter.

In 2015, their ages ranged from 18 to 34 years old.

According to Pew Research Center, in 2015 they represented approximately 75.4 million Americans, versus the 74.9 million Baby Boomers who were age 51 to 69.

Immigration is adding more numbers to the Millennials, Pew Research Center speculates, and is projected to peak in numbers in 2036 to 81.1 million.

Read more on Laurie’s column at LifeCycles in the Communities Digital News

Lung Cancer Awareness Month: Lung cancer prevalent in America

image via Flickr

image via Flickr

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in America.

In 2011, 14% of all cancer diagnoses and 27% of all cancer deaths were due to lung cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Every 2.5 minutes someone is diagnosed with lung cancer, and 433 people will die from lung cancer today, according to LUNGevity.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that approximately 200,000 people in the U.S. will receive a lung cancer diagnosis, and more than 150,000 will die from this disease.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths for women.

Cigarette smoking is the primary cause of lung cancer, accounting for up to approximately 90% of those who are diagnosed.

Inhaling a byproduct of cigarette smoke, including other tobacco related products, is second-hand smoke which is also a known cause of cancer and a killer.

Cancer caused by cigarette smoking can also be found in areas of the mouth, voice box, and more.

It is interesting to note that lung cancer is also caused by environmental factors such as automotive emissions, building materials, radiation therapy, and chemicals found in some drinking waters.

Read more on Laurie’s column at LifeCycles in the Communities Digital News