Apple Chip

For some kids (and parents) with fruit texture issues… this one is for you. kid that do not like cooked fruit, but crunchy or crispy is ok then sliced up some apples to make into apple chips.

First boil apple juice with either a cinnamon stick or cinnamon.
Then we sliced apples as thinly as possible. (crosswise so the core was in the center. No need to seed it, they just fall right out)
Then we boiled the apples in the apple juice till they were somewhat transparent.
Then we took the apple slices out of the boiling juice, and patted them dry.
I laid them on a cookie rack (the kind you cool cookies on) and placed the entire rack in the oven at 250 degrees.
We baked until they were dry and slightly browned.
Final product: Delicious apple chips!! So much tastier than potato chips.

I found this recipe and wanted to share it. Going to try it today 🙂

Pink Flamingo Smoothie

1/3 cup orange juice
8 ounces nonfat strawberry yogurt
1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
1 banana
1 teaspoon honey (optional)
4 ice cubes
Add the orange juice, yogurt, strawberries, banana, and honey to the blender.
Blend all of the ingredients until smooth.
Add one ice cube at a time and continue blending until the mixture is thick, but smooth.
Pour the smoothie into a tall glass, and add a pink flamingo straw!

Power of Plants

Many people think the strongest athletes get that way because they eat a hearty diet consisting of meat and potatoes. Steak and other animal protein, as well as carbs, have long been associated with strength and endurance in the athletic world. However, there’s a new breed of athlete that has risen to the top of their game by thriving on a vegan diet. They create optimal health for their bodies by eating a diet that is plant-based.

Plants have protein too. In addition to fiber and phytonutrients and a host of other essential vitamins! So it makes perfect sense that top performing athletes thrive on a plant-based diet. Integrative Nutrition Focus Class teacher Brendan Brazier is an endurance athlete and a vegan. You can find out more about Brendan’s workout and his secrets on living as a professional athlete on a plant-based diet when you listen to this webinar.

Regardless of whether you are carnivore, herbivore or omnivore, you can obtain optimal health by following the sage advice of Michael Pollan: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Check out more athletes that find power in plants in this article at

Do you need a vacation from a vacation?

We all  certainly believe in having a career that you love and feeling energized by the work that you do or Even being a full time Mom. However, no matter how much you love your job or love our family , we all need vacation time to reboot! In a recent Huffington Post article, they suggest that most people go on vacation but don’t actually end up resting their body and mind in the ways that they need to.

Relaxation is a critical part of being a successful and productive person. Generally when people are overloaded with work and family obligations they are not able to perform to their highest potential. Here are some of our tips on how to really relax on your next vacation (even if it is a “stay-cation”).

1.      Stop checking. This includes, but is not limited to: watches, cell phones, Twitter, Facebook, emails, your favorite blogs, even the news! The world will go on without you and that’s okay. Set your out of office reply and let everyone know that you are taking time (even just a day) to yourself.

2.      Sleep. As much as you want to see and do on your vacation, take this precious ooportunity to add rest to your relaxation time. 

3.      Start moving. For many of us, work includes staying in one place for a long period of time. When on vacation try to get your body moving in ways it isn’t used to. Go dancing, biking, hiking, sky diving, and walking.

4.      Engage yourself in your new surroundings. Even if you are just staying home, go somewhere in your area that you’ve never been. Don’t try to see every single tourist attraction, but when you do see something new, appreciate it.

How do you planto  relax on vacation or stay vacation?

When Baby Gets a Cold

In spite of all your efforts to stay healthy, your child has caught the bug – a mild cold, but nonetheless a nagging one. Did you know children, on average, get between eight to 10 colds per year? That is generally until kindergarten when they’ve built up their immunity.

Sure they should get plenty of rest and sufficient fluids. (A child around 18 lbs. should get approximately 27 oz., and around 30 lbs., 39 oz.) But what are your best bets for feeding them when they are mildly sick with a little sneezing, a cough and a runny nose?

Diluted fruit juices, water, soup and broth are great ways of replenishing fluids. If your child has a fever, vomiting or diarrhea, follow your pediatrician’s recommendations for replacing fluids. Older kids with a cold may benefit from decaffeinated teas with honey and lemon.

Give Them Some Fruit

There may be no solid evidence to suggest vitamin C will cure a cold, but its antioxidant properties can’t hurt. Good sources of vitamin C include: lemons, oranges, grapefruit and even strawberries.

Offer your child a variety of soft fruits; they are not only full of vitamins and minerals to support good health and immunity, but contain a good deal of water to help support your child’s fluid needs. Frozen sliced fruits are convenient and easy to thaw, and they won’t spoil as quickly as fresh fruit. Here are a couple of ways to serve them:
•Slightly thawed fruits, such as blueberries or strawberries, offer a cooling sensation on the throat. Another option is to make or purchase frozen fruit bars (look for those with little or no added sugar.)
•Blend frozen fruit chunks into a smoothie using low-fat or fat-free milk or a soy beverage if your child has a milk allergy.

Delight Them with Their Favorites

But don’t overdo it. A sick child may have a poor appetite so serve up mini meals based on their favorite type of foods. Frequent small meals are easier to digest and will help meet their energy needs. Steer clear of rich, fried, greasy foods and lean toward simple starches such as rice and noodles as these are easy on the stomach. Try bananas, rice, applesauce or toast if they are a bit queasy. If you can get in some vegetables, great, but focus more on getting them nourished!

Try Chicken Soup

Try making your own from last night’s roasted chicken or buy low sodium stock. Soup is warm, soothing and an accepted remedy. It will also help provide for your child’s fluid needs. For a more filling soup, add some rice or noodles and cooked, chopped vegetables. A couple tablespoons of oat flour can also be used to thicken soups while heating.

Carrot Fries

French fries? Forget them and try these for way more antioxidants and fewer calories! They’re super easy to make too.

1 pound of carrots
cooking spray
salt and pepper to taste

1.Preheat oven to 400ºF.
2.Peel the carrots and cut them into strips about in ¼ inch thick and a few inches long.
3.Coat a baking pan with cooking spray and spread the carrots onto it. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
4.Bake 15 minutes. Flip them over and coat them with a bit more cooking spray, salt and pepper and bake another 15 minutes until lightly browned.

I tried them and my kids love it.

Breast Cancer Awareness



How bras are linked to breast cancer

Many people say that bras causing breast cancer is just a myth.  It is true that bras do not cause breast per se, but ill-fitting, too tight bras can help cancer growth since they can prevent your body from excreting dangerous cancer-causing chemicals. And, as bra industry and even Oprah have noted, 80%+ of women wear the wrong-size bra.

The main reason why tight bras are bad for breast health is because they restrict the lymph flow in your breasts.  There are numerous lymph pathways and lymph nodes in the armpits, under the breasts, and in between the breasts.  Normally the lymph fluid washes out waste materials and other toxins away from the breasts, but bras (and especially push-up bras and under wire) inhibit this action, so toxins can start to accumulate in the breast, and that can help cancer to develop.  In other words, bras inhibit the way our bodies normally cleanse themselves and get rid of cancer cells and toxins like PCBs, DDT, dioxin, benzene and other carcinogenic chemicals that cling to the body’s fatty tissues like breast.  In fact, if you find a lump in your breast, it may very well be filled with lymph fluid that was not able to move away from the breast tissue.

Bra wearing may also be connected to cancer in other ways.  Wearing bras slightly increases the temperature of the breast tissue, and women who wear bras have higher levels of the hormone prolactin.  Both of these may influence breast cancer formation.

Singer and Grismaijer’s research

The first comprehensive study on this subject was done by medical researcher Sydney Singer and his wife Soma Grismaijer, triggered by Soma’s discovery of a lump in her breast while in the early stages of pregnancy. Terrified, the couple started researching the causes and risk factors of breast cancer, and found out that even diagnosing the lump (if it was cancer) carried a risk they didn’t want to take.

Soma stopped wearing bras, started doing regular breast massage and exercise, drinking only purified water, and taking some herbs and supplements. In two months, her lump was gone.

They noticed that the Maoris of New Zealand integrated into white culture have the same rate of breast cancer, while the marginalized aboriginals of Australia have practically no breast cancer. The same was true for “Westernized” Japanese, Fijians and other bra-converted cultures.

Singer and Grismaijer then studied 4,500 women in five cities across the U.S. about their bra wearing habits and later published their findings in a book Dressed to Kill. Though the study did not take into account other lifestyle factors, the results are too striking to be denied:

  • 3 out of 4 women who wore their bras 24 hours per day developed breast cancer.
  • 1 out of 7 women who wore bras more than 12 hour per day but not to bed developed breast cancer.
  • 1 out of 152 women who wore their bras less than 12 hours per day got breast cancer.
  • 1 out of 168 women who wore bras rarely or never acquired breast cancer.

So the difference between 24 hour wearing and not at all fa was 125-fold!

Singer and Grismaijer sent their results to the heads of the most prestigious cancer organizations and institutes of America. None responded.

The lymphatic system in the breast only develops fully during pregnancy and breastfeeding, so women who wear bras everyday and postpone having children, and those who do not breastfeed, could be at higher risk of breast cancer.

It is well known that the established risk factors for breast cancer only explain maybe 25% of the cancer cases. In other words, about 75% of the women who get breast cancer do not have any of the typically mentioned risk factors such as earlier history of breast cancer, smoking, or early menarche. Maybe wearing an ill-fitting bra (or even just any bra?) is a risk factor that could explain much of that ‘unknown’ variation!

Also it is well known from scientific research that women in western countries get more breast cancer than African women, for example. The difference in bra-wearing habits could easily explain this, too. Someone should take action and do more research! 


Though studies along these lines are not numerous (probably because there is no money to be gained from asking women to not wear a bra), there are some which confirm the link between bra wearing and breast cancer, and also fibrocystic disease and breast cancer.  In 1991 Hsieh & Trichopoulos studied breast size and left/right handedness as risk factors, and noted in the findings that premenopausal women who do not wear bras had less than half the risk of breast cancer compared with bra wearers. (Breast size, handedness and breast cancer risk. Eur J Cancer. 1991;27(2):131-5.)

In 2000, in a British study women were instructed to go bra-free for three months.  Results:

“…women were interviewed and discussed the life-altering improvements in their breast health, such as being able to now pick up their children or hug their spouse without pain.

A few highlights of the history of research on bras and breast disease by R.L. Reed.

The results of this breast study has given me back my freedom.  I can pick the children up whenever I want to.  I can do anything and the breast pain has now for me gone more and more into the background.  I’m not anxious about my breast lumps because the pain’s not there so you don’t have it constantly on your mind and worrying about it. I get on with life; I enjoy life more.  I don’t have to have a constant pain all the time.”  Rae Marsh in Bras, the Bare facts, A documentary by channel 4 UK, aired November 2000.

David Moth has conducted an experiment where he measured the actual pressure exerted by bras. He says, “The results suggest that the lightest possible bras will still exert pressures in excess of that found within the lymphatic vessels.

Ladies, next time you take your bra off, look at yourself in the mirror. You might see red lines on the sides and/or underneath your breasts, and marks on your shoulders from the straps.  This is not a good sign, the lymph flow might have been been cut off.  Push-up bras and those with underwire or high side panels have even more constricting effect on the lymphatic vessels. It’s time to buy a better fitting one. Also try give your breasts free time from bras every day – if possible at least 12 hours.

Most people think that the pressure from bras (or from other tight clothes) is not a health hazard.  We do know clothing and the pressure it creates does matter in some other body parts – why not for breasts? A study that investigated the pressures exerted by two different types of bras (a conventional brassiere and a newly devised low skin-pressured brassiere) found that there was a difference, and concluded: “Our data indicate that the higher clothing pressures exerted by a conventional brassiere have a significant negative impact on the ANS [autonomic nervous system] activity“.

(Effects of clothing pressure caused by different types of brassieres on autonomic nervous system activity evaluated by heart rate variability power spectral analysis. J Physiol Anthropol Appl Human Sci. 2002 Jan;21(1):67-74.)

Local Photographer


Thanks for letting me the opportunity to click some photos at your Mother’s Day Celebration. I have lived in JC for 14 yrs (!!), and am grew up in the suburbs-about 1/2 hr from here.

I enjoy shooting families, kids and pets, and am working on developing a small photo studio in downtown JC.

Presently, I am an aunt of two beautiful twins (Leni & Nels), age 5, and Paola, 2 yrs-unfortunately who live in Europe.  Hopefully they will be home soon:)


To view photo sets on Flickr (MothersDayCelebration #1-7), please visit,

Alternatively, please contact me at [email protected], if you wish to receive actual digital files (complimentary).


Look forward to photographing  your beautiful families again soon:)

Best– Cassie