Friday, December 18, 2009

Merry Christmas

Has this year flown by for anyone else?  We are officially counting down the days until Christmas and have been working like crazy to get everyone's orders out in a flash. 


While that has meant early mornings, late nights and weekend overtime, everyone here is thrilled to know that all our hard work will pay off with the smiling faces come Christmas Eve and Christmas day. 

From all of us here at Lauren's Hope, we want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and Holiday Blessings!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Allergy Support is There!



If you've recently been diagnosed with a food allergy you're likely to feel a range of emotions. You may find yourself questioning the foods you normally gave little thought to before your diagnosis. Luckily, there are an abundance of allergy support websites designed to help you work through your questions, fears and concerns. 

KidsWithFoodAllergies.org was designed for you to share with your friends, family and community members. Their goal is to help make living with food allergies easier for you and your children. Some of the great resources on KidsWithFoodAllergies.org include: links to online shopping for everything from books and magazines to epinephrine carriers and other helpful gear, allergy-friendly tips, recipes and much more!





Celiac Disease is on the rise these days and one of our Lauren's Hope employees, Cynthia, was recently diagnosed.  Cynthia has had to make some major changes to her diet, like removing anything that contains gluten.  One of the most surprising things she has discovered is that some makeup products, such as lip gloss, contain gluton!  



One of her favorite go-to guides is www.LivingWithout.com magazine.  Their online resource is full of inspirational stories to keep you motivated, the latest medical news and research to keep you informed, and the resources and product information you need to assist you with your special dietary needs.  Here is a link to their fabulous selection of gluton-free recipes:

http://www.livingwithout.com/recipes.html




Thursday, November 19, 2009

Big Ideas, Small Tools

At Lauren's Hope we are constantly creating new styles to suit the ever changing fashion needs of our customers.  For every new style we introduce there may be several that don't make the cut.  With well over 350 different bracelet styles on our website we hope you'll find your perfect match.  Here are just a few of our new beauties that feature multiple strands of stunning color and style combinations.  Let us know what you think!




This is one of our new fall bracelets title, Twilight.
We love how the blue Swarovski crystals sparkle and the mix of sterling silver allows it to match with alomost anything.




Can you guess what this bracelet was named? Acorn of course!  We love the copper leaf accents, carved roses and unique wooden beads.  It's been an especially popular bracelet for the trendy high schoolers.

And this stunner is my favorite. In fact, I love it so much that I must have it on my wrist at all times! It's called Free Spirit.


Our designers are working hard on creating new styles that incorporate multiple strands of crystals, natural stones and bronze accents.  We are going to need your help naming the newest editions to the Lauren's Hope collection and will be holding a "Name That Bracelet" contest where the winner will receive a gift certificate they can use on a Lauren's Hope medical ID purchase.  Stay tuned and remember, we always welcome your questions or comments.
Take care!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Giving Thanks and Staying Healthy

The holidays are a well known pitfall for diabetic and weight loss surgery patients. Food is often used to comfort during times of stress and celebration.  If you've ever hosted a holiday meal at your house, you know that keeping the pantry stocked and stomachs full takes lots of time and energy to achieve.



While the task may seem daunting, preparing a tasty and healthy Thanksgiving dinner can be accomplished with style and flair.



Here are a few of our favorite holiday recipes to get you started courtesy of Martha Stewart!

Roasted Turkey

1 Fresh turkey (16 to 18 pounds), giblets removed, turkey brought to room temperature (no more than 2 hours)


8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

8 Small sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley

12 Fresh sage leaves

5 cups Chestnut-and-Sausage Stuffing

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425, with rack in lower third. Rinse turkey inside and out, and pat dry with paper towels. Place on a rack set in a large roasting pan.

Blend 4 tablespoons butter with 2 teaspoons salt; season with pepper. Loosen skin of turkey at body-cavity end with your fingers; spread mixture under skin all over (reach as far back as possible).

Gently push 3 parsley sprigs under skin on each side of turkey breast (use a table knife to push them as far as possible, keeping leaves flat). Loosen neck skin; slide a parsley sprig on each side of top of breast. Repeat with sage leaves, placing 4 leaves on each side of breast and 2 leaves on each side of top of breast.

Rub turkey with remaining 4 tablespoons butter. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt; season with pepper. Loosely stuff body cavity with 4 3/4 cups stuffing, and neck cavity with 1/4 cup. Tie drumsticks together loosely with kitchen twine. Fold neck skin under body, and secure with toothpicks. Tuck wing tips under wings.

Roast turkey 30 minutes. Baste turkey; reduce oven temperature to 350. Continue to roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of the thigh (avoiding bone) registers 180, and stuffing registers 165, 2 to 3 hours. (If skin darkens too quickly during roasting, tent with foil.)

Let turkey rest 20 minutes before carving. Leave juices in roasting pan to make gravy.

Mashed Sweet and Russet Potatoes


4 garlic cloves (do not peel)


1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium sweet potatoes, pricked with a fork (about 1 pound total)

2 medium russet potatoes, pricked with a fork (about 1 pound total)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus a sprig for garnish

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage

1 3/4 teaspoons coarse salt

Pinch of freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with racks in center and lower thirds. Put garlic on a small piece of foil; drizzle with oil. Fold to form a packet, and crimp edges to seal. Place garlic packet and the potatoes on center rack; place a baking sheet on lower rack to catch the juices.

Bake, flipping halfway through, until the sweet potatoes are very tender when pierced with the tip of a knife, about 45 minutes. Remove sweet potatoes and garlic from oven; set aside. Continue to bake russet potatoes until very tender, about 15 minutes more. Remove from oven; let cool slightly, about 5 minutes.

Peel potatoes. Pass through a ricer or a food mill into a medium bowl. Squeeze garlic from skins into bowl with potatoes. Stir in butter, parsley, sage, salt, and pepper. Stir in yogurt, and serve.


Green Bean Salad with Almonds

1/2 cup whole roasted almonds


2 tablespoons tamari

1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped roughly (optional)

Directions

Place almonds in a small nonstick saute pan. Lightly toast over medium-high heat, about 3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon tamari and stir until the almonds are coated evenly, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate and cool. Chop almonds roughly.

Prepare a large bowl of ice water. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook beans until crisp-tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Drain the beans and transfer to the bowl of ice water. Remove green beans and drain well.

In a large bowl, combine the sesame oil, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and remaining 1 tablespoon of tamari. Add the drained green beans and toss to coat. Garnish with roasted almonds and fresh cilantro, if desired. Serve immediately, while warm.

From all of us at Lauren's Hope, we would like to wish you a happy and healthy holiday season!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Welcome to the Lauren's Hope Blog


We are embracing the interwebs and are very excited to connect with all of you on the Lauren's Hope blog.  You can expect to find helpful health information, links to websites we find useful, inside information on our team at headquarters and much, much more!

Do you have a story you'd like to share with us about your personal experiences with diabetes, gastric bypass, allergies etc...? We would absolutely love to hear them!


Please feel free to shoot us an email with any questions, comments or suggestions as to how we can create for you a pleasant blog reading experience. 
For all of our followers, you can expect to participate in great medical ID bracelet giveaways, bracelet naming contests, gift card giveaways and coupons galore.