Summer Skin Care, Buying Organic: Natural Qi Summer Newsletter

Natural Qi Newsletter
Blossoming into Summer Health!

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Summer is at its balmy peak! I hope that you’ve been enjoying the all the sun, surf and excitement that summer has to offer. Maybe you’ve even been lucky enough to get away from the city! Whether you’ve hit the road or not, summer acupuncture can offer your body a mini-vacation of relaxation and rejuvenation, and help keep you strong in this active season!

Please read further to hear about travel tips, summer skin care, and yummy summer recipes.

…And as alway, please contact me if you have any questions. I look forward to seeing or speaking to you!

–Melani

Spectacular Summer Skin Care

Summer is the time for outdoor fun! Between trips to the beach, picnics, gardening, outdoor concerts and sports events, you may be logging a lot of time in the summer sun and heat. While sunlight can elevate your mood and help you get vitamin D, too much sun exposure can compromise your health. That’s why it’s important to know basic skin care guidelines so you can remain healthy in the heat!

Overexposure to sun can lead to serious health issues. UVA and UVB rays can cause sunburns, premature aging (wrinkles!), eye damage and eventually skin cancer. Sun and heat can also cause acne, rosacea, eczema and irritated skin. Here are a few tips to protect yourself from these health risks:

  • Avoid going out in the sun during peak hours
  • Wear a sunblock of at least SPF 15 that filters UVA and UVB rays
  • Apply sunblock 20-30 minutes before sun exposure, and reapply every 2 hours
  • Wear hats and long-sleeves to minimize sun exposure–but be advised that you can get sun through thin ore loosely-woven fabrics
  • Reflections from water, sand or pavement can significantly increase UVA and UVB exposure
  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from damaging rays
  • You can still get a sunburn on a cloudy day, so protect yourself even if it’s overcast
  • Keep hydrated for optimum skin health

Remember, skin cancer accounts for half the new cancer diagnosis in the U.S., so it’s important to protect yourself!

Summer heat can also affect your skin. Often times, people are less-likely to use moisturizer during the summer because their skin appears shinier in humidity and heat. Sweat, however, actually dries skin. If you wash your face more-frequently in the summer, you may also be causing dryness. So, it’s important to moisturize even in the summer months. If you want the glow of a tan without the risk of sun dammage, you can even use tinted moisturizer to get a “tan” while caring for your skin. How great is that?!

Your skin is an often-overlooked organ of your body, and it’s important to keep it healthy. If you are interested in learning more about how Chinese medicine can be used to improve the health of your skin, you can learn more on my webpage www.naturalqi.com. Here you can read about acupuncture treatments for general skin damage and aging, acne, rosacea and eczema.

Organic – To Buy or not to Buy?

We all know how expensive organic products can be. While buying organic fruits and vegetables is very attractive because our extra cents get us tasty, more nutritious foods without the chemicals and pesticides, organic produce can cost an average of 50 to 100% more than other products.

If our wallets don’t allow us to buy 100% organic, how do we decide where to spend and where not to?

A study from Consumer Reports highlights those fruits and vegetables which retain the most chemical residue and therefore should be organic. Others with tougher skins are less susceptible to being penetrated with chemicals. So, it is worth it to spend a little extra to stay natural when buying certain foods, while spending more cash on others is less important:

Worth the Money

Less Important

Apples

Asparagus

Bell Peppers

Avocados

Celery

Bananas

Cherries

Broccoli

Spinach

Cauliflower

Strawberries

Sweet Corn

Imported Grapes

Kiwi

Nectarines

Mangoes

Peaches

Onions

Pears

Papaya

Potatoes

Pineapples

Red Raspberries

Sweet Peas

Heading to a local farmers’ market in the square on your lunch break or on the weekend is a great choice for saving money, getting the freshest food and supporting local agriculture. These vendors tend to do away with the premiums that grocery stores charge. So save up, spend wisely, stay healthy, and happy eating!

Cooper Tip

Nobody wants to stay COOPed up all summer! If you do travel, you can use this aCOOPressure tip to avoid motion sickness. Gently apply pressure to the inner wrist in the area between the two bones of the forearm and 2-3 finger widths above the wrist crease. This pressure will relieve nausea. (See photo.) Even the navy uses that technique, so acupressure can’t be THAT far out there!

Two Great Zucchini Recipes!

Summer is the time for fresh, garden-picked veggies! One of the most-abundant vegetables this time of year is the ever-versatile zucchini. Here are two recipies you can be proud to whip up for any picnic!

Twice-Grilled Stuffed Zucchini

Makes 4 main-dish servings or 8 side-dish servings

Ingredients

1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and chopped
4 ounces goat cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
4 small zucchinis
2 teaspoons olive oil
Salt and pepper

Prepare a medium fire in the grill. In a small bowl, combine sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, garlic, bread crumbs, pine nuts, basil and thyme. Set aside.

Slice zucchini lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out a trough down the center of each half. Brush lightly with olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill, cut- side down, until grill marks form, about 5 minutes; turn and grill lightly on other side. Remove from grill.

Stuff each zucchini half with 1/ 8 of the filling. Wrap in foil and return to grill. Cook about 15 minutes, until zucchini is soft and filling is warm.

Approximate nutritional analysis per serving, based on four: 231 calories, 12 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 16 g fat, 30 mg cholesterol, 153 mg sodium.

Marinated Zucchini Salad
Serves 4

1 pound (about 4) small zucchini, ends trimmed
1/3 cup high-quality extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, preferably from Meyer lemons
3 tablespoons finely sliced fresh basil, plus 1 sprig of basil (optional), for garnish
Coarse (kosher) salt and freshly ground black pepper
Wedge of Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Using a mandolin or vegetable slicer, cut the zucchini into paper-thin rounds.

Pour the olive oil and lemon juice into a medium- sized bowl and whisk to combine. Add the zucchini and toss until it is thoroughly coated.

Add the sliced basil and toss to mix evenly. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover the bowl and let the zucchini marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour but no more than 6 hours.

Just before serving, stir the zucchini salad to redistribute any liquids that may have accumulated on the bottom. Using a vegetable peeler, shave very thin slices of cheese on the top of the salad, 1/2 to 3/4 cup, or to taste. Garnish with a basil sprig, if desired.

If you have questions, or would like to discuss anything you read here, please feel free to contact me. Take Care and Be Well!

Melani Bolyai
Natural Qi Acupuncture and Herbs

web: http://www.naturalqi.com
email: melani@naturalqi.com
phone: 917-533-2097

Summer 2007