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August is National Peach Month and a sweet end to end the summer season

Thanks to Ian Baldwin @ianebaldwin for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁 https://unsplash.com/photos/f7FwHomDgzg

Thanks to Ian Baldwin @ianebaldwin for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁
https://unsplash.com/photos/f7FwHomDgzg

 

LifeCycles by Laurie Edwards-Tate originally published by CDN/Communities Digital News.

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 2, 2022 — President Ronald Reagan declared August National Peach Month on June 15, 1982.

The United States was the greatest producer of the world’s supply of peaches at the time of the proclamation, producing 250 million pounds each year–benefiting the economy by generating revenue of approximately $325 million annually, according to U.S. Presidential Proclamation 4947.

What is not commonly known is that the peach originated in China in approximately 1,000 B.C.

The peach tree was considered by the Chinese to be the Tree of Life and a symbol of immortality.

Peach trees were brought to the United States in a variety of ways: by Columbus during his voyage, by the French who brought them to Louisiana from South America and by the English settlers who came to America and brought them to Jamestown.

Today, California ranks number one in the U.S. producing 505 thousand tons of peaches per year. It is not known how the current California drought will affect the availability of this highly valued and sought-after fruit.

Peaches are a popular summer fruit and become available in the markets from approximately June through the end of August.

As a versatile fruit, peaches are easy to prepare and are ideal for the summertime table–they can be baked, broiled, grilled, sauteed, sliced or chopped–adding tastefulness to many meals and snacks.

The following recipe from Cooking Light, berry-peach cobbler with sugared almonds, is a great way to include healthful peaches in a scrumptious summertime dessert.

https://youtu.be/65WqmekCwYY Screenshot/Southern Kitchen via YouTube

https://youtu.be/65WqmekCwYY
Screenshot/Southern Kitchen via YouTube

Berry-Peach Cobbler with Sugared Almonds

Filling
• 3 (6-ounce) packages of fresh blueberries

• 3 (5.6-ounce) packages of fresh blackberries

• 3 medium-sized peaches, peeled and sliced

• Cooking spray
• 2/3 cup granulated sugar (or a comparable amount of sugar substitute)

• 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

• 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

• 1/8 teaspoon salt (or light salt)

Topping

• 5 ounces (1 cup) all-purpose flour (or gluten-free flour)

• 1/4 cup granulated sugar (or comparable amount of sugar substitute)

• 2 tablespoons cornstarch

• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

• 1/8 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)

• 6 tablespoons chilled butter (or butter substitute), cut into small pieces

• 1/2 cup half-and-half (or low-fat half-and-half)

• 1/3 cup sliced almonds

• 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar (or sugar substitute)

• 1 tablespoon egg white

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1. Prepare filling: Combine blueberries, blackberries, and peaches in a 13 X 9-inch baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle 2/3 cup granulated sugar, 2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch, fresh lemon juice and 1/8 teaspoon salt over fruit; toss gently to combine.

1. Prepare topping: Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, baking powder, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Stir well. Put butter into flour mixture with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add half-and-half; gently knead dough until moistened. Drop dough by the spoonful evenly over top of filling. Combine almonds, turbinado sugar, and egg white, sprinkle over top.

1. Bake cobbler at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until topping is browned. Let stand 10 minutes.

1. Serve warm and top with 1/3 cup vanilla fat-free ice cream: low-fat whipping cream or light whipped cream.

A single, one-cup serving of the berry-peach cobbler with sugared almonds, with 1/3 cup low-fat vanilla ice cream yields 321 calories and only 8.9 grams of fat.

Thanks to LuAnn Hunt @luannhunt180 for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁 https://unsplash.com/photos/O3TlS547j7k

Thanks to LuAnn Hunt @luannhunt180 for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁
https://unsplash.com/photos/O3TlS547j7k

Peaches are delightful to enjoy simply as a snack, and chopped or sliced as a garnish for yogurt, cereal, waffles, salads and more.

Surprisingly low in calories, with approximately 30-50 calories each, a peach is packed with fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, selenium, magnesium, potassium, and calcium — it is good for your overall health while helping to maintain strong bones.

Reach for a peach while the time is still ripe and before August comes to an end!
Fall season officially begins September 23 this year, and with it the arrival of a new variety of seasonal fruits to anticipate and enjoy.

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Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!

Cool down this summer with healthy Cream Layered Blueberry Ice Pops

 

Thanks to Rafael Cisneros Méndez @ralppie for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁 https://unsplash.com/photos/y5PG8ZecXQI

Thanks to Rafael Cisneros Méndez @ralppie for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁
https://unsplash.com/photos/y5PG8ZecXQI

 

LifeCycles by Laurie Edwards-Tate originally published by CDN/Communities Digital News.

SAN DIEGO, July 19, 2022–Ready to chill out this summer? It might be fun for the whole family to try Cream Layered Blueberry Ice Pops!

Turn up the heat with a cool dessert

Easy to make and creamy delicious, their side benefit is that they contain healthy ingredients.

Filled with healthy and nutritious blueberries, their rich blue hue adds color rich in antioxidant flavonoids; and, contain Vitamin C, Vitamin K and manganese.

Thanks to Mario Mendez @m_mendez_ix for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁 https://unsplash.com/photos/fw7sKxSg5Vs

Thanks to Mario Mendez @m_mendez_ix for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁
https://unsplash.com/photos/fw7sKxSg5Vs

In about 25 minutes, Creamy Layered Blueberry Ice Pops will be ready to freeze, and available to enjoy in approximately 4 hours.

Cream Layered Blueberry Ice Pops

Here is the recipe from Taste of Home, contributed by Gloria Bradley from Illinois, and the needed ingredients:

Ingredients

1. 1/3 cup agave nectar

2. 1/4 cup water

3. 1 fresh rosemary sprig

4. 1 tablespoon lemon juice

5. 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

6. 2 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute

7. 2 1/4 cups frozen whipped topping (light), thawed

10 freezer pop molds or 10 paper cups 3 ounces each) will hold the to-be-frozen ingredients nicely; and, remember to insert popsicle sticks.

Thanks to Dani Rendina @dani_r_photos for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁 https://unsplash.com/photos/1ShMpfhDrU4

Thanks to Dani Rendina @dani_r_photos for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁
https://unsplash.com/photos/1ShMpfhDrU4

Directions

1. To make lemon syrup, place the first 4 Ingredients in a small saucepan; bring ingredients to a boil while stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let stand, covered for approximately 10 minutes. Remove rosemary and carefully lemon zest. Next, stir in lemon juice; and, then cool
completely.

2. Place blueberries and sugar in another saucepan; and, cook over medium heat, while stirring, until the blueberries pop (5-7 minutes). Completely cool.

3. Add in whipped topping to the lemon syrup, and whisk to blend. Transfer half of the whipped topping mixture to pastry bag, and pipe into popsicle molds. Layer each mold with blueberries as evenly distributed as possible. Pipe the remaining whipped topping over the top of each mold. Close molds with holders; or, if paper cups were used for molds, top each with foil and insert sticks through foil.

4. In approximately 4 hours, Creamy Layered Blueberry Ice Pops will be
ready to consume–it’s easy to dip molds in warm water before serving to
ensure they easily become available to enjoy.

With only approximately 104 calories, Creamy Layered Blueberry Ice Pops will sure to become a family favorite, and a frequently requested refreshing snack or light dessert.

Whenever they are consumed, they will no doubt provide some extra chill to hot summer days and nights, while eliciting warm smiles from those enjoying them.

Stay cool this summer!

Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!

Summer solstice is here: Tips for enjoying the sunshine safely

Thanks to Aleksandr Eremin @notevilbird for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁 https://unsplash.com/photos/QfHmrIUN9G0

Thanks to Aleksandr Eremin @notevilbird for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁
https://unsplash.com/photos/QfHmrIUN9G0

 

By Laurie Edwards-Tate

June 21, 2022

The summer solstice occurs twice yearly in the Northern and Southern hemispheres. It marks the time when the sun reaches its highest position in the sky, according to Wikipedia.

As the summer sun beckons us to come out and play, we must be mindful of practicing sun safety as it is critical to prevent skin cancer, not just in the summer months, but the entire year.

Sun protective measures are necessary year-round as the joys of each season can be experienced outdoors.

Thanks to Rafael Cisneros Méndez @ralppie for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁 https://unsplash.com/photos/y5PG8ZecXQI

Thanks to Rafael Cisneros Méndez @ralppie for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁
https://unsplash.com/photos/y5PG8ZecXQI

Oceans, lakes, sand, and snow are all highly sun reflective, increasing exposure to the harmful effects of the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

During overcast days, ultraviolet rays penetrate even the even the darkest clouds, belying their potential to create sun damage.

One of the simplest ways of avoiding adverse effects from the sun is to avoid outdoor exposure between the hours of 10am and 3pm, which is the optimal time of vulnerability.

Wearing protective clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts, hats, gloves, sunglasses, and other forms of protective wear provide effective mechanisms for minimizing sun exposure and resulting skin damage.

Applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen is smart to do, not only in preventing skin cancer but also in regard to anti-aging, with its ability to reduce skin wrinkles, unsightly sunspots, and other visible forms of skin damage.

It is important to be aware that sunscreen needs to be reapplied every couple of hours and reapplied immediately after swimming.

Use sunscreens which offer both UVA and UVB protection, and a minimum SPF of 15, if not even higher.

Remember to cover all areas of the body with sunscreen including hands, arms, legs, face, nose, ears, and lips.

For those who are balding or have thinning hair remember to wear a cap or hat, preferably one which is broad brimmed. If sunscreen is preferred, use spray or cream on top of the head.

According to the Sun Safety Alliance, less than one-third of American youth practice effective sun protection.

Thanks to Dakota Roos @dakotaroosphotography for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁 https://unsplash.com/photos/u7ldh_tgH3s

Thanks to Dakota Roos @dakotaroosphotography for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁
https://unsplash.com/photos/u7ldh_tgH3s

Eighty percent of all sun damage and skin cancers which develop later in life are a result of the damage which occurs by the age of 18.
Children as well as adults need the benefits provided by overall sun protection.
Dogs are also particularly vulnerable to ultraviolet rays, especially those with thin skin or minimal coats.

Applying sunscreen to the family Fido is highly recommended and using one which is labeled safe for babies and does not contain either zinc oxide or salicylates is considered best.

Consult a veterinarian and determine if a sunscreen is helpful depending upon the breed of the dog and its proclivity for allergic reactions.

Remember also to purchase dog friendly protective eyewear for any extensive outdoor activities and minimize sun exposure. As with humans, it is possible for dogs to develop cataracts and eye cancers caused by the sun.

Something to keep in mind is that with the growing popularity of practicing sun safety, it becomes critical to ensure the intake of adequate vitamin D, commonly known as the sunshine vitamin, since the sun is its primary conduit into the human body.

Vitamin D plays an essential role in stimulating positive genetic activity within the human body.
Lacking adequate levels of vitamin D can be highly averse to good health and can become a root cause for the development of certain cancers, depression, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and more.

Talking with a trusted medical professional about adequate vitamin D levels is extremely important in preventing disease. A simple blood test will determine if vitamin D supplementation would be indicated.

The summer months are a joyful time of year for many Americans and their families and friends, with the plethora of fun outdoor activities that are available.

Practicing sun safety during the summer and throughout all the seasons of each year will reduce the potential harmful effects of sun exposure for all members of the family–including Fido!

Watch the video below to learn the history of the summer solstice.

YouTube Preview Image

Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer for Americans

Thanks to Tomas Salas @tomasalas for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁 https://unsplash.com/photos/ZSvlTa6yARw

Thanks to Tomas Salas @tomasalas for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁
https://unsplash.com/photos/ZSvlTa6yARw

 

Bringing you the heart of the matter in LifeCycles by Laurie Edwards-Tate.

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and with more time outside, there is no better time to practice sun safety.

Protecting your skin is critical to skin cancer prevention and should be practiced year-round, not just in the summer months.

Oceans, lakes, sand, and snow all reflect the sun’s rays helping to increase exposure to the harmful effects of the sun’s ultraviolet rays. During overcast days, ultraviolet rays penetrate even the darkest clouds, belying their potential to create sun damage.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer for Americans, with 5 million diagnoses yearly in the United States, as stated by SkinCancer.org.

The American Cancer Society estimates 99,780 new cases of melanoma in the U.S.

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

Naomi Judd ‘s suicide shines a spotlight on mental health

Naomi Judd/https://youtu.be/1RvEpeLXKcc Screenshot via YouTube/Age Media TV Mental Health/Thanks to Total Shape @totalshape for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁 https://unsplash.com/photos/Ianw4RdVuoo

Naomi Judd/https://youtu.be/1RvEpeLXKcc
Screenshot via YouTube/Age Media TV
Mental Health/Thanks to Total Shape @totalshape for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁
https://unsplash.com/photos/Ianw4RdVuoo

 

Bringing you the heart of the matter in LifeCycles by Laurie Edwards-Tate.

Mental health issues may not always be visible in some instances, but in Naomi Judd’s case, the country music performer had documented her struggle in her memoir. In River of Time: My Descent into Depression and How I Emerged with Hope, we learn about Naomi’s battle with Severe Treatment-Resistant Depression, sadly it was a war Naomi Judd would ultimately lose.

Mental Health Awareness Month 2022

Since 1949, the organization Mental Health America has been offering screenings, events and toolkits to the media and the masses.

On April 30, 2021, the Biden administration issued a mental health proclamation, which was duly noted by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing.

“‘A Proclamation on National Mental Health Awareness Month’ [recognized] May as National Mental Health Awareness Month. In addition, 34 states have released similar proclamations, declaring May as Mental Health Awareness Month statewide.”

The Covid-19 epidemic along with preexisting homelessness, i.e., pre-COVID homelessness, the rising cost of fuel, food prices, and instability among other nations has put a mental strain on many Americans. Situations of this magnitude can lead to depression, suicidal thoughts, and other forms of mental illnesses.

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

The flavors of Cinco de Mayo: Five-Layer Mexican Dip

Thanks to Daniel Lloyd Blunk-Fernández @blunkorama for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁 https://unsplash.com/photos/4BX3VmAXvFE

Thanks to Daniel Lloyd Blunk-Fernández @blunkorama for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁
https://unsplash.com/photos/4BX3VmAXvFE

 

Bringing you the heart of the matter in LifeCycles by Laurie Edwards-Tate.

Cinco de Mayo was first celebrated in the border state of California in 1863. It grew popular throughout the United States in the early 1940s in recognition of the courageous Mexican victory against a massive French invasion in 1862 at the Battle of Puebla. In 2005 Cinco de Mayo received a United States presidential proclamation as a national day of observation.

Every Cinco de Mayo, Americans embrace the richness of Mexican culture through parades, community events, picnics, parties, and other celebrations.

Many Americans love Mexican food, and there is no better time to enjoy it than on Cinco de Mayo. Today, a five-layer Mexican dip is a traditional addition to your Cinco de Mayo celebration.

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

Bruce Willis: Actor’s shocking retirement brings attention to aphasia

https://youtu.be/Y0Y9hEeaptg Screenshot via YouTube/Grunge

https://youtu.be/Y0Y9hEeaptg
Screenshot via YouTube/Grunge

 

Bringing you the heart of the matter in LifeCycles by Laurie Edwards-Tate.

Recently, Bruce Willis announced that he has aphasia. As a result, he has retired  from acting. His announcement sent shock waves throughout Hollywood, not to mention among his many fans. A popular action hero, Willis and his frequently adventurous movies have long made him a popular and bankable film star for decades.

That said, over the past year or two, several movies starring Bruce Willis caused many fans to wonder why his speaking lines seemed greatly diminished. But now they have the sad answer. We now know his diminished number of speaking lines provided evidence that his capacity for normal speech had gradually become impaired. This ultimately resulted in the diagnosis that he was suffering from a specific neurological disorder.

According to the National Aphasia Association:

“Aphasia is an acquired communication disorder that impairs a person’s ability to process language, but does not affect intelligence. Aphasia impairs the ability to speak and understand others.”

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

Strawberries, the spring season crop full of health and flavor

Thanks to Oliver Hale @4themorningshoot for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁 https://unsplash.com/photos/Qse3AFWnc48

Thanks to Oliver Hale @4themorningshoot for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁
https://unsplash.com/photos/Qse3AFWnc48

 

Bringing you the heart of the matter in LifeCycles by Laurie Edwards-Tate.

With the advent of spring, red, delicious, and fragrant strawberries abound!

As one of the most popular fruits in the US, strawberries appear in grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and countryside fruit stands, attracting persons of all ages who are eager to consume them.

We see farmland road signs opening the red strawberry fields for picking in California. Having fun outdoors is by picking this delicious, healthful fruit directly from the plant is a great family experience.

The ground-sprawling quality of strawberry plants gives the impression that they grow on vines; however, that is not the case. It is a small bush.

Strawberry plants are grown in the United States, European countries, Mexico, Spain, Japan and Korea.

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

Focus words for spring cleaning: Decluttering, refreshing and renewal

Thanks to Dan Gold @danielcgold for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁 https://unsplash.com/photos/aJN-jjFLyCU

Thanks to Dan Gold @danielcgold for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁
https://unsplash.com/photos/aJN-jjFLyCU

 

Bringing you the heart of the matter in LifeCycles by Laurie Edwards-Tate.

Spring showcases opportunities for renewal and appreciating what we have and eliminating what no longer works for us. Spring cleaning is a great way to do just that.

Spring’s warmer, sunlight days bring new possibilities for enjoying more of everyday life.

According to Dr. John Sharp in The Emotional Calendar, there is an increase in metabolism and turnover of the brain’s neurotransmitters during spring. Providing the basis for spring fever and an increase in energy.

Helpful tips for cleaning your living space

Start by using non-toxic forms of virus and bacterial killing cleaning products. Wearing a mask and disposable gloves, start with cleanser strength white vinegar to clean counters, bathrooms, and scrub floors. Vinegar and old newspaper are also excellent, non-toxic window and glass cleaners. Next, scrub away stains on tiles, floor, or countertops with baking soda. Regular toothpaste, not the new gels, can reduce stains on wood. But test it in an inconspicuous space first.

Vinegar and baking soda can freshen your dishwasher, microwave, and washing machines.

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

Relieve stress with nature’s sweet symphony of bird song

Thanks to Zdeněk Macháček @zmachacek for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁 https://unsplash.com/photos/FPeQ-qchWsg

Thanks to Zdeněk Macháček @zmachacek for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁
https://unsplash.com/photos/FPeQ-qchWsg

 

Bringing you the heart of the matter in LifeCycles by Laurie Edwards-Tate.

The melody of the bird songs can relieve stress as it arouses a positive spirit, bliss, and a feeling of hopefulness promulgated by springtime, which signals the natural world to renew.

As birds joyously sing while discovering their new homes to build nests and procreation begins, new life will start anew.

In spring, nature becomes green again. Even after destructive fires, new life grows unburdened. The destruction and rebirth include plant, insect, and animal life.

One glorious advent that signifies springtime is our bird kingdom’s escalating, resonant sound. The melodious birdsong greets us in the morning as we wake.

Nature’s symphony delights and soothes the human soul, reminding us that we are not alone and a part of a finely tuned life and global experience.

There is no better time than now to take stock of the beautiful world around us, as variants of COVID arise and war in Ukraine grips the globe filling us with a sense of uncertainty and fear.

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