This month we have been featuring the facts behind Lyme Disease. We have addressed its initial signs and symptoms, such as the bull’s eye rash, headaches, swollen lymph glands, and fever. We also explained how, left untreated, this can progress to more serious symptoms such as Bell’s palsy, heart palpitations and joint pain. In its chronic form, neurological, heart and liver problems can torture a patient for years.
There is an old poem about a mountain village with a problem; the people keep falling off a cliff at the edge of town. The villagers have a terrible time deciding whether to buy a fence for the edge of the precipice or purchase an ambulance in the valley below the ridge. As they suffer in their indecision, more people continue to fall off the dangerous edge. This is a parable about any problem that can be solved either with a prevention or a cure. This is also a parable about Lyme Disease, because the obvious, healthiest, wisest, most inexpensive, choice is prevention. Experts present these simple keys to avoiding Lyme Disease when you are out enjoying your outdoor summertime activities in the woods or in your own backyard:
1. There is a danger in those sleeveless shirts and cute little tops. Warning: Wear long sleeves.
2. Do you wear short shorts? We recommend that you wear long pants or slacks.
3. Protect your ankles. Tuck your pants cuffs down into your socks.
4. It pays to sprayBe certain you use an insect spray that has “DEET” as an ingredient.
5. In woodsy areas, check for warning signs posting known areas of tick infestations. Likewise, listen to the news about areas where the infection has been discovered.
6. After your fun in the forest, be sure you have a tick hunt! That’s right, check each other over for ticks.
7. Keep the right tool handy. Use pointy tweezers to extract a tick, and be sure to get the head out of the skin.
A Special Note About Comfort
We know that so much clothing can be an uncomfortable way to spend a hot summer hike or a mountain picnic, so we have a little tip. There are several reasonable clothing lines that prevent or at least highly discourage invasion by ticks. At lease one company has been approved by the United States Armed Services for its inventive mesh. They feature clothing that is designed to be cool and light, but efecdtive against insects. The shirts and pants special mesh feels cool, but the insects can not penetrate.
If you are planning an outdoor excursion to celebrate the 4th of July, remember to pack those pointy tweezers!
An Easy Desert For a Summer Eve
And now we turn our thoughts away from the negative world of ticks, and tick fever. We think of a lovely summer dinner on a breezy twilight deck. We think of making this the summer that we will eat sensible, but delicious foods. That does not mean we will give up chocolate. At Elana’s Pantry, we have found an irresistible dessert that will give a smooth finish to any summer luncheon or light dinner. It is dairy free, gluten free, and sugar free, and it only requires five ingredients –dark chocolate, coconut milk, egg yolk, stevia and salt.
Heavenly “Chocolate Pots de Crème”
1 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk
2 egg yolks
¼ teaspoon vanilla stevia
pinch celtic sea salt
4 ounces dark chocolate chunks
1. Place coconut milk in a medium saucepan
2. Stir in egg yolks, stevia, and salt
3. Heat over medium-heat 5-10 minutes, stirring constantly
4. Remove saucepan from heat
5. Transfer mixture to vitamix , and add chocolate
6. Blend on high for 30 seconds
7. Transfer scant ½ cup of mixture into 4 ramekins
8. Refrigerate overnight or for 8 hours
Makes 4 pots de creme