Why the Teal Pumpkin

Marcos and Lucas painting their pumpkin.

Marcos and Lucas painting their pumpkin.

With Halloween right around the corner I wanted to take the opportunity to write about the teal pumpkin project.  Many of you might be wondering what is with the teal pumpkin and why are people so against candy, it is Halloween after all.  Well for today I am going to put aside my personal objections to candy and just focus on why the teal pumpkin project is so important.

The teal pumpkin project was launched by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) in 2014.  Its purpose is to raise awareness of food allergies and help all children be included in Halloween trick or treating.

As the parent of two amazing boys without any food allergies I consider myself blessed and overjoyed.  This is not the case for every parent.  About 1 in every 13 children suffer from food allergies, some life threatening.  These children are constantly excluded from festivities that our children take for granted, like Halloween.  To my surprise I have witnessed parents aggravation towards parents with children that suffer from deadly food allergies.  And I ask myself, why?  Wouldn’t you a become a crusader if your child was in constant danger from something as insignificant as a peanut?  Wouldn’t you move every mountain to keep your child safe?

If you take your child out trick or treating you know how fun it can be.  You know that look in their eyes, that look of joy and celebration.  You know that ear to ear smile when they are counting their treats safely at home.  Now imagine if your child could not do any of this, because touching one piece of candy with even a trace of peanut could take his life.  This Halloween I invite you to put yourself in the shoes of someone walking a much more complex road.  This year you have the opportunity to include these children by offering non-food treats to trick or treaters.

So what can you do?  Paint a pumpkin teal and place it by your door and get some non-food treats.  You don’t have to spend a lot of money, it is not about what you are handing out it is about having all kids be able to join on the fun.  Think glow sticks, stickers,  spider rings or use that old change jar for a noble cause.  That way children with food allergies can be included in this fun tradition.  The more teal pumpkins out there, the more fun!

Putting out a teal pumpkin is not only kind but will teach your children about compassion and empathy.  Paint the pumpkin with your kids and explain why you are doing it.  It’s a simple project that can turn into a lovely tradition.

This Halloween lets build some safe lasting memories with our kids, and lets help make this possible for those who face the challenge of a food allergy.

Be safe, have fun and be kind.  Hope to see lots of teal pumpkins out there when we go trick or treating!

 

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For more information on food allergies and the teal pumpkin project click here.

Have you laughed today?

It has been scientifically proven that the benefits of laughter are many.   It can strengthen your immune system by decreasing stress, reduce pain by releasing endorphins, relax your muscles, change your perspective to a more positive and realistic one and strengthen your relationships.  If that is not enough keep in mind that  it makes you look prettier :).

There is no downside to a heartfelt laugh, unless it’s inspired by cruelty or when it makes it impossible for others to enjoy the movie :).

Today I would like to encourage you to fit humor into your day.  It’s good for you and those around you.  And don’t worry if you have no time to browse the internet for hours to find inspiration, I did a little legwork for you.

Enjoy and stay healthy and well humored!   12107083_10106786756337830_3743272190719526438_n   1335989224502_1561991 c46d66e5e0621a91e85be98a7bceaa1c5c5174761cd2798374efdb3c165becaa ca257f921b7626aefbc108aa9ab43b8a calories Funniest_Memes_i-make-you-strong-i-make-you-healthy_13850 Unknowndiet-water

Wash Your Produce :)

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As you probably know,  non organic produce has residues of nasty chemicals and pesticides.  Although there are things you just can’t wash off, like the remains of fruit ripening chemicals,  you should wash your produce before consuming.  Fruit and vegetable wash is available for sale at many stores, but you can also make your own!  It is super easy and probably just as effective.  It can be cheaper, since you probably have all you need at home.

Here is what you need:

1 tablespoon of lemon juice (from an actual lemon not a bottle)

2 tablespoons of vinegar (distilled white is fine)

1 cup of water

spray bottle

Mix all ingredients in spray bottle and you are done.  You can use this directly on fruits and vegetables. Rub it in and rinse.  I use a soft scrub brush to work the solution on the skin but it is not necessary.

For softer skinned fruits and vegetables (like leafy greens or strawberries) you can use the same recipe, just trow it all in a bowl.  Swish it around for a few, then rinse.  Be careful thou with raspberries and very delicate fruits since they can absorb some of the vinegar.  I would just buy those organic or  wash very briefly and rinse with plain water.

For a big batch you can use your sink (I like to do all my apples and citrus at once).  As a general guideline (depends on the size of your sink) fill halfway with water and add about 1/2 cup of vinegar.  Soak the produce for a couple of  minutes and rinse.

Easy, affordable and all natural!  It is a great alternative to help keep some of those chemicals outside your body :)

Mission October

October used to be one of my favorite months growing up because it meant Halloween festivities.  This October, and please forgive me dear halloween lovers, Halloween is going to take a back seat.

October is Fair Trade Month.  I know, I know there are a gazillion things we need to spread awareness of, but let me give you one good reason why this is so important.  Drumroll please… humanity.

Our humanity is something we seem to loose track of in our busy, fast everything world.  It is unfortunate and kind of strange that we seem to have lost our ability to connect in such a social media driven everything.  We can reach out to anybody with the click of a button, yet we remain oblivious to the impact of our actions.

I don’t mean to preach, I know we are not evil or cruel.  I think sometimes we just don’t know.  I think sometimes we forget we are connected to everything around us.  In a big or small way we are all connected.

So today I would like to make a case for the sake of humanity.  For the sake of those who might not have access to social media, yes they exist.  For the sake of those big and small who are against the wall and whose options are limited.  For the sake of a more civilized and bountiful way of business.  For the sake of all the hands involved in the products we use, the food we eat, the clothes we wear and the commodities we enjoy.

So what can you do to make a difference? Anything and everything 🙂  But let’s start with a small step.  When you grab anything that you take for granted, if just for a moment, try to connect it to some one.  Today I would like to ask you to give it a second thought and look for the face behind the product.

So today if the only thing you can do is click on this link and get a little awareness that will do 🙂  Tomorrow, who knows, we might achieve a world that is fair to all.

 

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