Strawberries and Sprouts Sandwich

Here’s an interesting little combo I put together when I was on a tomato n’ sprouts sandwich kick and ran out of tomatoes. I thought, “Hey, how about putting two layers of strawberries in there instead?” Strawberries in a sandwich with mayo?!

Yup, turned out really good in fact.

A strawberries and sprouts sandwich pic from Life Is Melody

A strawberries and sprouts sandwich

  • Two lightly toasted pieces of sprouted or whole grain bread
  • 3/4 cup of organic mixed sprouts
  • 6 (organic) strawberries sliced to 1/3″ thick
  • Organic mayo

Put a light layer of mayo on each slice of toast. (Toast makes a much better sandwich here than untoasted bread.) Build a two-layers thick bottom base of strawberries. Pile on the sprouts and maybe a little more mayo on the top piece of toast. Press down to slightly ‘pack’ the sandwich so the sprouts and strawberries don’t tumble out as easily. You’re set to go!

5 More Supplements for the Winter Months

Vitamin D, Echinacea, Garlic, Nux Vomica, Green Superfoods

With the arrival of colder temperatures for the last 2-3 weeks for much of the U.S. and Canada, it’s time for a followup to last year’s ““5 Great Supplements for Winter”” post. That article espoused Singer’s Saving Grace throat spray, vitamin C powder packets, OscillococcinumTM (homeopathic flu remedy), Rescue Remedy and Olba’s Inhaler as five of my trusted companions during the chillier part of the year. Here are five more supplements for the winter months.

  • Vitamin D -the most common forms come from cod liver oil and sheep’s wool. The lanolin version from sheep’s wool is the closest to a ‘vegetarian’ form since it technically doesn’t have you ingesting an animal part, and no animals are harmed during the process. Unlike vitamin C, there aren’t a whole lot of non-animal/dairy food sources of this nutrient. Many people also supplement with D in the winter because the northern climes they live in don’t provide enough winter sunlight for them to get their usual amount of skin-absorbed and synthesized vitamin D that they get during the warmer months. Capsules or drops in the 400, 1000 and 2000 IU dosages are popular. There’s been a noticeable uptick since 2010 of doctors and nutritionists starting to recommend higher dosages of this supplement for their patients, and of manufacturers rolling out potencies as high as 5000 IU.
Echinacea on the D.C. mall

Echinacea growing behind the Smithsonian in DC

  • Echinacea -tincture, tea or capsule form. The purple coneflower; echinacea angustifolia and echinacea purpurea are the two most commonly used species. Echinacea helps support the immune system and produce white blood cells. Usually ‘pulsed’; that is, taken for three to four weeks and then stopped, for a break, before resuming. Once a bug or cold is three days old, echinacea is not as impactful. Thus, it is a good immune supporting supplement when you’re not sick or if taken at the first signs of an oncoming illness. I prefer the liquid tincture forms, which usually come in 1- or 2-oz. dropper bottles in a vegetable glycerin or grain alcohol base. The alcohol-based tinctures tend to have a longer shelf life (sometimes by years) than the sweeter tasting glycerin ones, but you can prolong the efficacy of the glycerin-based tinctures by storing them in the fridge after opening them and using them up within six months. Good echinacea (tincture) causes a distinctive tingling sensation on the tongue after ingestion.

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Affordable Web Design Tools: Diving into Sketch

banana skate

Banana skater? Sketch experiment #5

I’ve been playing around with a new app I got, called Sketch (for Mac). The main things I’ll be using it for are to:

  1. Have a tool to make flat icons for websites (see image below)
  2. Create SVG’s (scalable vector graphics) that can re-size without pixellation on the curves
  3. Design header and logo elements for web sites
  4. Have a tool to muck about with creatively (see image at top)

While I’m finding out that learning to create with vector tools isn’t as intuitive of a process as I’d like it to be, it’s neat to have an app that can spit out the SVG code for me when I design complicated forms that in the past I would have to load onto websites as raster images.

It’s also one twentieth of what the traditional cost of entry for the industry standard (Adobe Creative Suite, or ACS) was before it switched to a subscription model this year. Up until now, I had found that the only reasonable alternative to ACS had been the excellent (and free) open-source app Gimp; which, although something I will definitely return to in the future, I had found to have too steep of a learning curve for a newbie.

4 screen sizes

4 screen-size flat icons merged into a single transparent .png with Sketch.

While Sketch is professional-level and suitable for general web design work, it is not a photo processing/editing tool, and is more akin to ACS’s Fireworks and Illustrator. So for working with photo images, maybe that’s what I’ll try to selectively learn to do with Gimp.

Of course, 90% of web designers and clients still work with Photoshop documents. That number isn’t going to drastically change anytime soon. But with easily affordable web design tools like Sketch, Gimp, iPhoto and Balsamiq Mockups, a starting web designer can still have a fighting chance without spending a small fortune (or having to buy a pirated or student copy of ACS).

5 Great Supplements for Winter

It’s winter! That means sniffles, colds, the holidays and flu season. The temperature see-saws, the stress, the travel, the year-end bills and the months of lessened sunlight. I’ve got a few stand-by supplements for winter that I always keep nearby at this time of year for the inevitable immune system stresses. Here are the first five in our supplements for winter series.

  • Singer’s Saving Grace throat spray by Herbs Etc.-comes in 4 flavors, 2 sizes. An indispensable item to have on hand for people who rely on their voice for work: teachers, sales staff, singers, preachers, filibustering politicians; but also useful for anyone with a scratchy voice and a long day ahead of them. Continue reading

The ‘Cursive’ the Keyboard?

My New Screenreader Is a… 

Here at Life Is, the office is all abuzz about our new tablet device. For one thing, it’s a bright shade of green.

It doesn’t run iOS, Windows or Android, nor is it even able to. It has no micro-processor or battery. It doesn’t come with a keyboard or touch-screen menus. We had to shell out extra dough for a stylus device just to be able to input text characters. And the receipt got thrown away so we can’t return it.  Wtf?! What moron of an office manager got this and how much are we in the red?         Continue reading

Green Superfood Powders, Blends and More

One of the best (and easiest!) ways to improve your nutrient intake, vitality and general health without having to overhaul your diet or learn how to cook a new food or add a bunch of new pills to your supplements regime is with green superfoods powdered blends.

These items come in a canister or a pre-measured envelope, and all you have to do is add them to a beverage and stir. They range from simple single ingredient products like wheatgrass juice powder to more complex and complete formulations that can include mixed green phyto-nutrients, antioxidants, fiber content, probiotics, digestive enzymes and more.

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