This Month's Donation: Roswell
We have been spending most of our Wednesdays during the lunch hours at Roswell Park for the Market in the Park. Here, we have gotten to talk with so many doctors, nurses, therapists, and other essential staff members as well as patients and their families. From what they share with us as well as our personal family experiences and the experiences of those around us, we know that the quality of care at Roswell is excellent, particularly because it is so innovative. Roswell offers clinical trials, immunotherapy, and personalized medicine to find the care plan that is right for each individual undergoing treatment.
Because of this, we are donating 15% of our July website sales to Roswell Park and along with other local businesses we are also donating a raffle item for a Celebration of Life event for Deborah Guido Sepielli, who passed away at 53 years old, January 31st, 2021 from small cell lung cancer. Her daughter, Nikki, says this about her:
My mom was very passionate about helping people and making people smile. Her dream was if she beat cancer she wanted to donate wigs and wheelchairs to those who couldn’t afford it.
Unfortunately my mom wasn’t able to beat the cancer, however she fought really hard. I still want her dream to come true.
I am organizing a Celebration of Life event September 11th, 3pm at Como restaurant in Niagara Falls. NY.
Along with the Celebration of Life will be a fundraiser for Roswell Park Cancer Institute because that is where my mom received her care.
The link to the Facebook event page is here if you would like to buy tickets or donate. Also, this year's Ride for Roswell will be taking place on August 7th, and there is still time to register and help fundraise through that event as well!
Magnesium and Pain Relief
When we go to our farmer’s markets and events, people tell us a lot about the health issues they’re experiencing. And one thing that stands out to us is how many people are in pain. There are sports injuries. Work injuries. Neck and back pain from a physically intensive job or from sitting at a computer all day. Headaches and migraines. Muscle cramps or PMS cramps. Arthritis. Bursitis. And a host of autoimmune-related conditions (fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, etc.) that are becoming more common all the time.
And while magnesium cannot completely solve these conditions, there is often quite a bit it can do to help! After all, what these conditions have in common is inflammation.
There are a few main things to know about how magnesium works in the body to ease pain and inflammation:
According to Dr. Mark Sircus' book Transdermal Magnesium Therapy (2011), Dr. Jeff Schutt claims that “contraction and relaxation are dependent on adequate cellular levels of magnesium” (p. 216). In other words, transdermal magnesium can be used topically on muscles and tendons in order to allow them to contract and relax normally without injury. Our customers have even told us that they use our Recovery Balm not only after a workout but also BEFORE, to prevent so much inflammation from happening in the first place!
Going one step further and utilizing massage with magnesium “increases flexibility and muscle tone and therefore reduces the risk of injury. Other benefits are: breakdown of scar tissue after injury, improved blood circulation and oxygenation, and providing general relaxation and reduced stress” (Sircus, 2011, p. 217). In fact, several massage therapists and chiropractors in the area even offer our magnesium balms to their patients!
Of course, Dr. Sircus is clear that this is also true for non-athletes experiencing injuries or pain (such as back pain), and that applying transdermal magnesium or taking a warm bath in magnesium salts can help to alleviate inflammation in the body. (Of course, it is always important to discuss pain with a doctor before deciding whether to apply heat or cold to an injury.)
In fact, any kind of muscle cramping or spasming is likely to be helped by transdermal magnesium, including leg cramps and PMS cramps! For leg cramps, apply magnesium to the calf muscles before bed, and for PMS cramps, apply magnesium to the abdomen and cover with a washcloth and heating pad to help with absorption. Regular use of magnesium throughout the month may also help with PMS symptoms.
Magnesium deficiency has long been linked to migraines and headaches, of course - as you may already know, migraines were our motivation to start making magnesium balm several years ago! We often use our magnesium balm on our temples, neck, and shoulders to not only relieve a migraine that’s starting but also on a regular basis to keep inflammation down. (Side note: we have found that using magnesium glycinate along with our magnesium chloride-based balms is a great combination for migraines!)
And, finally, Dr. Sircus (and several of our customers) have even linked transdermal magnesium to an easing of the pain associated with fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and neuropathy.
If you are looking for pain relief, our Recovery Balm is the most effective of our magnesium balms as it contains wintergreen, peppermint and ginger oils as well as cayenne extract to create a warming and cooling effect and boost circulation while easing inflammation. However, if you prefer other essential oils (or none at all), all of our magnesium balms have anti-inflammatory properties as well.
Recovery Balm can be applied anywhere you have pain, while keeping in mind that a little goes a long way and you want to be sure to keep it away from your eyes or any sensitive skin! We also offer our Recovery Salt Soaks (with just peppermint and ginger) if you prefer a warm bath or foot soak to reduce pain and inflammation.
Local Business Love: Healthy Rican
We got to know Mayra Luz Colón when we started selling our products at Buffalo Artisan Food Traders and saw her Healthy Rican adobo and sazón there! Why buy from Goya when you can buy local, right? If you have not used these spice blends before, here is Mayra’s description of them:
Our adobo includes mineral pink himalayan salt in a blend of garlic, pepper, oregano, coriander, and turmeric for it’s healthy anti-inflammatory benefits. Our sazón is a salt-free blend of annatto aka achiote, turmeric, garlic, with a hint of cumin and coriander, that will bring out a nice yellow-orange color with a hint of Latin flavor in your foods.
When we started using Mayra's products and realized we had other family members who would love them too, we ordered more from her and got to talk with her about not only her spice business but also her nutrition counseling business! Here’s how Mayra introduces herself and her business:
Hi, I’m Mayra also known as the Nutrition Dork! As a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach who’s obsessed with superfoods and family meal time, I am on a mission to banish bland foods. I love providing tasty alternatives for everyday people who want to eat well. I’ve created the Healthy Rican Cookbook and Latin Spice Brand to bring tasty Puerto Rican recipes and seasonings to homes everywhere. I truly believe we can live a healthy life and enjoy our favorite foods. LET’S PUT THE LATIN SPICE IN YOUR HEALTHY LIFE!
We love how Mayra lets people know that they do not have to give up their cultural foods in order to be healthy, and that everyone needs to find the food combinations that work for them! And the fact that she has studied integrative nutrition means that she is looking at the root or source of the problem to help people feel better, rather than simply hiding symptoms.
If you’re interested in trying Mayra’s spices or getting her ebook (we definitely recommend the adobo & sazón intro bundle), check out the shop page on her website!
Need a great summer meal that is high in magnesium and nutrient dense but also light and incredibly flavorful? Puerto Rican gazpacho is your answer! It’s a salted cod fish salad with avocado and tomato, and our friend Mayra Luz Colón from Nutrition Dork (read more about her amazing business in our Local Business Love section!) has a fabulous recipe for gazpacho on her website! Instead of printing the recipe here, we encourage you to use the link to her website so you can see all of her other amazing recipes as well!
Mayra also has a recipe for mofongo (mashed plantains) on her website and a recipe for tostones (fried plantains with adobo) in her ebook. Plantains are high in magnesium, but are sadly left off of many magnesium-rich food lists even though they have more magnesium than bananas!
We also want to add that it’s always easier to include magnesium rich and nutrient dense foods in your lifestyle when they’re flavorful! Along with all of the tasty Puerto Rican dishes Mayra offers on her website and in her ebook (which is absolutely worth getting in the set if you’re trying her spices for the first time!), we also use her adobo in other ways, such as sprinkling it on avocado halves or avocado toast, and even using adobo and sazón in black bean soup or taco fillings made from beef, pork, jackfruit, or even shredded mushrooms!
AND… along with graciously allowing us to link to her recipes above, Mayra has just released her cookbook to give us all even MORE healthy and delicious recipes! It’s titled Healthy Rican: Put the Latin Spice in your Healthy Life and it’s available here on Amazon! Congratulations to Mayra on working so hard on creating this cookbook and getting it out there into the world for people to learn from and enjoy cooking from!
In honor of Pride month and Juneteenth, we donated 15% of our June website sales to Evergreen Health. We support Evergreen because we believe know that discrimination in healthcare is a very real barrier for people who are Black, Indigenous, Latinx, AAPI, and LGBTQ+. We believe that EVERYONE should have access to healthcare that is high quality, compassionate, and inclusive.
According to their website, "Evergreen Health fosters healthy communities by providing medical, supportive and behavioral services to individuals and families in Western New York — especially those who are living with chronic illness or who are underserved by the healthcare system. [Evergreen Health] envisions a future in which all Western New Yorkers have access to affordable healthcare in an environment that is inclusive, compassionate, respectful and judgement-free; that honors diversity and life experience; and that empowers patients to lead healthier, happier lives."
Evergreen has been providing healthcare (including medical, behavioral, and supportive services) for a diverse community for a long time, but now MOCHA Buffalo is officially part of Evergreen, providing services for LGBTQ+ people of color in particular! And following the discussions happening around the recent Juneteenth holiday, we know that legal freedom and recognition are a step in the right direction but there is a great deal more than needs to be done in our communities for real racial and gender equality in terms of economics, education, housing, healthcare, etc.
Know that part of your website purchases are going to Evergreen, but we also encourage you to make your own donations as well!