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*Reviews, comments, and opinions offered by customers on this site are not screened, edited, or endorsed by RidgeCrest Herbals. These statements have have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and dietary supplements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. For any health concern seek the advice of a medical professional.
Last year, my favorite local coffee drive-through was on the way to my son’s preschool, so I would stop there often. It has this amazing coffee drink called an Aztec Mocha. Coffee, chocolate, cinnamon - it’s to die for and perfect for the fall weather. Because I never miss a chance to get my favorite drink, I went a long time bypassing the classic pumpkin spice latte. I have no problem being that basic, but I just have something I like better.
Then last September I was driving from California to Salt Lake City with my best friend. We stopped in St. George, Utah to use a restroom and after seven hours of driving, I was ready for a caffeine boost to get me the rest of the way home. So we headed to Starbucks, and I decided it was time to revisit the craze and ordered a Pumpkin Spice Latte.
I don’t know about you, and I don’t know if they made it wrong or something, but I found it undrinkable and disgusting. It was syrupy, tasted like chemicals, and waaaay too sweet. I had to cut it with my previous coffee to make it drinkable.
This year as the fall weather hits, there is no preschool. I’m working remotely. There is no reason to go near my drive-through, and not many reasons to even leave the house. So I’ve had to get creative with my homemade coffee. I’m saving tons of money making my own coffee, and it makes me feel better that I am totally in control of the ingredients. So I gave the PSL another shot, and came up with something I think is much better than Starbucks! I love that I can also tailor it better to my needs. Because I am mostly plant-based, I am always looking for ways to get more protein into my diet. So I always include a scoop of Vital Proteins collagen, which has 9 grams of protein (it’s not plant-based, one of my few concessions that make me not a true vegan). I like this option because it is unflavored, and it doesn’t leave a gritty feeling like a lot of protein powders do. It blends into the drink perfectly, and you don’t even realize it’s there when you are done.
So without further ado, here is my take on the classic, beloved by white girls everywhere, Pumpkin Spice Latte.
½ cup oat milk (or milk of choice)
½ cup coffee
1 scoop Vital Proteins unflavored Collagen (if you really want a protein boost two scoops work, as well)
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
½ tablespoon sugar (or to taste)
A few drops of vanilla extract (optional)
You will also need a frother. I use this one:
Heat oat milk for one minute in the microwave. Add 1 scoop of collagen powder and blend with the frother. Froth the milk. Pour your hot coffee into another cup. Add the sugar, vanilla extract, and spices and use the frother to blend (it won’t froth). Then pour the coffee into the milk, add a dash of the pumpkin pie spice, and enjoy!
Genetics is the passing on of characteristics from one generation to the next. The process of genetics occurs among all living things, including animals, plants, bacteria, and fungi. Genetics are molecules called Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA). DNA is a necessary molecule that is apparent in all living things.
Genetically-inherited diseases are diseases that are passed down through generations within your family. These diseases are specifically transferred through the genes in our DNA, passed down by carriers of mutated and defective genes. It is important to be aware and understand that you may be at a higher risk for some health problems because of your genetics due to your family history so you can take precautionary measures.
Siblings share, on average, about half of their DNA. The reality is, however, we can be anywhere from 0–100% genetically related to our siblings! When looking at DNA test results, you could, theoretically, be unrelated to a sibling, though the percentage usually falls in the 50% range.
Your ethnicity results found in an Autosomal DNA (atDNA) test can be quite different from sibling to sibling, as we each inherit unique combinations of DNA from our parents that present different parts of our genetic history.
This stems from how DNA is passed from one generation to the next for the majority of our genome. You are unique, having received 50% your DNA from each of your parents. Your parents received 50% from each of their parents, and so on. The 50% passed to you from each of your parents was a shuffled combination of genetics, so unless you and a sibling are identical twins, you can expect your results to be different than your siblings. Recombination is purely random, so one sibling could inherit substantial chunks of DNA that the other sibling did not inherit—or vice versa. Sometimes, the differences in results can be surprising.
ANCIENT VIRUSES HIDDEN IN YOUR DNA FIGHT OFF NEW VIRUSES
THE HUMAN GENOME is three billion letters long. About 240 million letters of it, scientists estimate, is viral. Eight percent of human DNA comes from ancient viruses that once infected our ancestors. Most viral infections are as fleeting as a cold, but two things made the ancient ones unusual:
1. These viruses had the special ability to copy themselves into the DNA of their hosts.
2. They sometimes got lucky enough to copy themselves into an egg that became fertilized and grew into a full-fledged adult. So that viral DNA got passed down from generation to human generation as so-called endogenous retroviruses.
Some of it may even make you, you. As a growing fetus, you co-opted a gene from an ancient virus to form the placenta that kept you nourished in the womb. And in recent years, scientists poring over gigabytes of genetic sequencing data have seen other tantalizing hints of endogenous retroviruses turning useful. Science suggests humans have also co-opted the remnants of ancient viruses to direct the immune system against other pathogens.
I have learned so much about Genetics and Heredity, that I want to learn more! If you feel the same way, consider visiting the DNA Learning Center at www.dnalc.org.
Do you have kids you want to have all the joys of childhood without all the added chemicals and sugar? Do you have a summertime party coming up and want to impress everyone with going above and beyond your regular store-bought popsicles? Well never fear! These delicious, homemade, herbal popsicles are sure to impress while giving your family a treat you can feel good about. One of our employees tried out this recipe and said it was the first time she got her kid to eat blueberries!
Homemade Herbal Popsicles
1.Pick out your favorite tea or use fresh herbs
2. Steep the allotted amount of time. Typically 3-5 minutes
3. Strain or remove teabag
4. Add sweetener of your choice while still hot
5. Mix in 1 Tbsp lemon juice (optional)
6. Allow the mixture to cool
7. Add coconut milk or yoghurt for a creamier popsicle
8. Pour into popsicle molds
9. Add any fresh or frozen fruit or edible flowers (optional)
10. Freeze for several hours
To remove popsicles from the mold, submerge tray in warm water for a few seconds.
Flavor combinations to enjoy:
My family...well, let’s just say they think I can be a little uptight. They roll their eyes when I make lists or want to discuss logistics for trips weeks in advance. For example, when we went on a cruise in 2019, I arranged the whole thing for seven adults and six kids. I booked the rooms, researched side trips, looked into international document requirements, and arranged transportation. One thing they rolled their eyes at was when I created a dinner schedule to make sure that the small children had babysitters so we would trade-off in shifts, rotating who got to enjoy dinner with whom. They agreed to me creating this chart, but as I had expected, no one followed it. This meant that I ended up eating dinner by myself, on a cruise, in fancy dining rooms, four nights of the seven, a week after my divorce was finalized. The exact thing I had sought to avoid. Meanwhile, it didn’t occur to a single one of them that looking after anyone’s emotional needs might be why following a plan might matter.
I sure got a lot of eye rolls over the Labor Day weekend. I had seen the weather reports, and they were showing a massive drop in temperature. However, I knew that you couldn’t get that extreme of a shift without an incredible windstorm and I was worried. The fear of falling trees had led me to uproot eight different aspen trees the year before that had been dying. Because I couldn’t afford a tree service, it took a LOT of work to clear them out, but I was worried about the wind knocking them over into my neighbor’s garage. Would my insurance cover that?
Throughout Labor Day weekend I prepared my garden and my house. I built structures to cover my garden, nailed down new ground cover, and, sweating in a breezeless 90-degree heat at 8 pm on Sunday (which was supposed to have a low of 46 that night), pulled in garbage cans, slides, umbrellas, and anything else that could blow away. As I did so, the heat was stifling and the air completely still.
As I was working, my brother was helping by playing with my toddler and keeping him occupied and accounted for. Throughout the weekend, and especially Sunday night, I got a look I am very familiar with my family: “That Aspen. She’s always so uptight and makes a big deal of nothing.”
I always feel a little defensive when I get this look. So when it turned out my best attempts to secure the plastic sheets over my garden blew away before 10 pm, I went into a complete funk. I’d worked so hard all weekend, and gotten so much side-eye, and all for nothing. I was humiliated and embarrassed.
Then I woke up Tuesday morning to a text message that school was canceled. Twitter showed image after image of 200-year-old trees toppled on cars and trampolines in pools. Winds were logged at up to 112 miles per hour, and I know two different people (one a RidgeCrest employee) who had trees topple on their cars. One friend couldn’t get to her car for days because of the live wires tied in with the tree that had smashed her crossover. The tree in my neighbor’s yard was pulling up their pavement and they chopped it down before it could blow over into the street. Power went out for hundreds of thousands of Utahns.
So it turns out I WASN’T crazy for taking it seriously, and obviously nothing I could have done to cover my garden would have held. It was a good reminder that it’s ok that I am a planner, even if my family isn’t. An ounce of prevention is worth an ounce of cure, and I shouldn’t be ashamed of being who I am!
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