Origin of the Pumpkin?

BBC discovered where the pumpkin comes from! The news reporting: “Autumn is one of the most vibrant times to be in Mexico City because preparations for Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) are in full swing. Bustling morning markets sell bundles of marigolds bound for the celebration’s ofrendas, or ritual offerings, and farmers hawk their prized calabaza, the Mexican word for pumpkin and squash”.

The quintessential symbol of autumn, pumpkin can be found in six continents around the world – but its true home is Mexico. Calabaza is a pre-Hispanic crop that dates back more than 7,500 years. These original pumpkins were small, hard and bitter, but their durable exterior was ideal for surviving harsh weather and less bountiful harvests, which made them an integral part of the ancient Mexican diet.

In today’s Mexican markets, you won’t find any smooth, bright orange Jack-o’-lanterns (those are usually Connecticut Field pumpkins, originally cultivated by Native Americans, which are more apt for carving than eating). Instead, markets sell calabaza that can be bulbous and beige, round and green-striped, or bumpy and yellow with crooked necks. The pulp appears in savoury dishes like moles and tamales, and thepepitas, or seeds, are often just thrown on the comal (griddle) and salted. Calabaza is even crystallized into hyper sweet, waxy confections that are artfully displayed in traditional candy store windows throughout Mexico City.

While most parts of the world only use the pulp of the pumpkin, Mexicans have cooked with the entire calabaza for thousands of years. The pepitas were cherished by the Aztecs, and the entire fruit was enjoyed by the Mayans – pumpkin flesh was cooked into sauces, the hulled seeds were toasted and ground up and the rinds were carved into drinking vessels.


The feminine look by Marchesa

I have been a fan of Marchesa for many years. It is always my choice if I need to step out on a red carpet or a special event. Evening gowns by Marchesa are loved and adored by Hollywood stars including Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson, Olivia Wilde and Sandra Bullock. British socialite and heiress Georgina Chapman found a brand together with Keren Craig in 2004. This is how the duo describes their partnership: “With the extravagant and eccentric fashion icon and Italian heiress as their muse, Georgina and Kerens beautifully crafted runway collections and accessories line fuse exquisite detailing with supreme femininity”.

Did you know that the brand Marchesa is named after Luisa Casati, a famouse Italian socialite? No wonder, why each Marchesa dress is made with passion and attention to detail. Elle magazine states: “Chapman and Craig, who met in a life drawing class at London’s Chelsea College of Art & Design when they were 17, are masters of the feminine, statement-making gown. Their particular brand of elegant opulence mixes vintage-inspired embroidery with intricate draping and is beloved by celebrities. They take great pains to ensure each piece photographs well and that the chosen material and color will stand up to the harsh L.A. daylight”. And this is how luxury department store Harrods describes the brand: “From dramatic, floor-sweeping gowns to frothy tulle cocktail dresses, each Marchesa piece is designed to make a jaw-dropping entrance”.

Today Marchesa is based in NYC and could be found in high end department stores like Sacks, Bergdoff Goodman but it is also sold world wide.

Below are my most favourite dresses from 2015-2016 collections.

1420276743_marchesa-4 1420276713_marchesa-11 1420276737_marchesa-2 1420276677_marchesa-7 1420276694_marchesa-3 1420276729_marchesa-13

Dr Jay Gordon speaks about ADD

Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity (ADHD) affects millions of children and their families. Currently accepted statistics say that as many as 10% of the school-aged population have ADHD and perhaps another 20% have symptoms of the disorder suggestive of ADHD. Boys are diagnosed three times more often than girls and 30-50% of these children will continue to manifest these symptoms and problems in adulthood.

It’s no wonder that the pharmaceutical industry has made a huge effort to market drugs for ADHD and that a large and intelligent backlash has developed against the widespread use of these powerful chemicals.

I have been a pediatrician for twenty years and for fifteen of those years I completely disdained the use of Ritalin and the other psychopharmaceuticals for ADHD kids. I was probably wrong to “throw out the baby with the bath water.” Denying that a small percentage of children receiving Ritalin actually benefited from the drug was not fair to them. We don’t know enough about brain chemistry to completely understand ADHD, but we do know the impact of untreated ADHD on children: a much more difficult childhood and adolescence with school and social problems which can be nonstop.

I now try “everything else” before resorting to prescription medication, but I no longer rule out that possibility.

Deficiency in central nervous system dopamine probably causes many, if not most, of the problems associated with ADHD. Nutritional problems can cause or exacerbate this deficiency: supplemental tyrosine, B vitamins, vitamin C and copper have all shown a positive influence on improving the school performance of children with ADHD. These can all be combined with conventional therapy with no adverse interactions. Ritalin and similar drugs act by directly increasing brain dopamine levels.

Before I consider anything else, I try to persuade the family to put their child and themselves on an excellent diet. The standard American diet filled with sugar, artificial sweeteners, colors, preservatives, saturated fats, low levels of vitamins and minerals, and too much protein is not good for brain health or health in general. Mainstream medical journals have debated this topic for decades and most medical practitioners don’t like to consider nutritional alternatives in the treatment of any disease because it takes too long to discuss it with their patients.

I recommend whole foods as the backbone of the nutritional regimen. As obvious as this sounds, most children get the bulk of their food in an over-processed form. Whole grain cereals and breads and lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and beans and pasta make for meals which interest children and adults. Counsel your patients to avoid sugar!! Reading labels closely will show parents just how many artificial additives have worked their way into kids’ daily diets. Many chemicals mimic brain neurotransmitters and even conventionally published research admits that sugar has a negative impact on the behavior of ADHD children. Processed cereals and high-fructose corn syrup sweetened drinks add huge amounts of sugar to a child’s day. Even regular unsweetened apple juice in the quantities some children like can be a large source of extra sugar.

There are many alternative remedies which can be used to treat children with ADHD and learning disorders. We must help the families in our practices find these and guide them in their usage.

Ginkgo Biloba dilates blood vessels and improves circulation to the brain. Researchers have shown it’s utility in Alzheimer’s Disease.

Variations are to be expected, and are in no way to be considered a defect.

— Hang tag from Madras shirt

Statistics reflect this confusion. Depending on who you read, some experts say we have about eight hundred-thousand learning disabled children in the country. Others put the figure as high as eight million.

In 1963, when “learning disabilities” were first described, we found very few students with the problem and thought the problem was rare.

Some take a very conservative view and say that 30 – 50% of us will outgrow it, but a growing body of experts think we just learn to cope with it. There’s a certain brain development that takes place at puberty that sometimes makes ADD much easier to live with. I think the jury’s still out but my guess that most of learn to live with it, not outgrow it.


Book world joins forces for charity  


BBC reports…Some of Britain’s bestselling authors and their publishers are joining forces to raise money for Syrian refugees.

David Walliams, Hilary Mantel and Ian Rankin are among those whose books will be donated by publishers and sold by Waterstones for charity.

“Buy a book, help save a life,” said Rankin.

“We are doing what we do best: bookselling,” said Waterstones’ James Daunt. “Every single penny of each book sold will go straight to Oxfam.”

The Buy Books for Syria campaign is a joint initiative between authors, publishers and Waterstones. Authors involved include Neil Gaiman, Ali Smith, Philip Pullman, Marian Keyes and Lee Child.

“The cause is so obviously good that anything we can do is worth doing.” said Pullman; Ali Smith added: “I support this initiative with heart, mind and soul.”

Best-selling children’s writers including Julia Donaldson, Jacqueline Wilson and Michael Morpurgo are also taking part.

“We often speak as an industry about the power of books to change lives, ” said Tom Weldon, CEO at Penguin Random House UK.

“I’m humbled by the way publishers and authors are collaborating… I hope that together we can make a difference.”

With the support of many major UK publishers, including Penguin Random House, Pan McMillan, HarperCollins, Hachette and Faber, Waterstones hopes to raise one million pounds for Oxfam’s Syria Crisis Appeal.

The books, donated by publishers, will be stickered with ‘Buy Books for Syria’ and will go on sale in Waterstones shops from 1 October.

“Jack Reacher says: do your Christmas shopping at the Buy Books For Syria table!” said Jack Reacher’s creator and author Lee Child.

“With £1m our programme could deliver clean water to another 150,000 people in Syria, or support to tens of thousands of people in Jordan over the next year,” said Mark Goldring of Oxfam.

“This help is urgently needed as the conflict in Syria shows no sign of ending.”

Last month, a campaign set up by children’s author Patrick Ness to raise funds for Syrian refugees raised more than £150,000 in 24 hours.

Ness offered to match the first £10,000 in donations, an offer that was itself matched by fellow authors John Green, Derek Landy and Jojo Moyes.




Early Childhood Education

When do you need to start teaching your child? According to wikipedia early childhood education is a branch of education theory which relates to the teaching of young children (formally and informally) up until the age of about eight. Infant/toddler education, a subset of early childhood education, denotes the education of children from birth to age two. While the first two years of a child’s life are spent in the creation of a child’s first “sense of self”, most children are able to differentiate between themselves and others by their second year. This differentiation is crucial to the child’s ability to determine how they should function in relation to other people. Parents can be seen as a child’s first teacher and therefore an integral part of the early learning process. Early childhood education often focuses on learning through play, based on the research and philosophy of Jean Piaget, which posits that play meets the physical, intellectual, language, emotional and social needs (PILES) of children. Children’s natural curiosity and imagination naturally evoke learning when unfettered. Thus, children learn more efficiently and gain more knowledge through activities such as dramatic play, art, and social games.

Tassoni suggests that “some play opportunities will develop specific individual areas of development, but many will develop several areas.” Thus, It is important that practitioners promote children’s development through play by using various types of play on a daily basis. Key guidelines for creating a play-based learning environment include providing a safe space, correct supervision, and culturally aware, trained teachers who are knowledgeable about the Early Years Foundation.

Davy states that the British Children’s Act of 1989 links to play-work as the act works with play workers and sets the standards for the setting such as security, quality and staff ratios. Learning through play has been seen regularly in practice as the most versatile way a child can learn. Margaret McMillan (1860-1931) suggested that children should be given free school meals, fruit and milk, and plenty of exercise to keep them physically and emotionally healthy. Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) believed play allows children to talk, socially interact, use their imagination and intellectual skills. Marie Montessori (1870-1952) believed that children learn through movement and their senses and after doing an activity using their senses.

In a more contemporary approach, organizations such as the National Association of the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) promote child-guided learning experiences, individualized learning, and developmentally appropriate learning as tenets of early childhood education.

Piaget provides explanation an for why learning through play is such a crucial aspect of learning as a child. However, due to the advancement of technology the art of play has started to dissolve and has transformed into “playing” through technology. Greenfield, quoted by the author, Stuart Wolpert in the article, “Is Technology Producing a Decline in Critical Thinking and Analysis?”, states, “No media is good for everything. If we want to develop a variety of skills, we need a balanced media diet. Each medium has costs and benefits in terms of what skills each develops.” Technology is beginning to invade the art of play and a balance needs to be found.

The Developmental Interaction Approach is based on the theories of Jean PiagetErik EriksonJohn Dewey and Lucy Sprague Mitchell. The approach focuses on learning through discovery. Jean Jacques Rousseau recommended that teachers should exploit individual children’s interests in order to make sure each child obtains the information most essential to his personal and individual development. The five developmental domains of childhood development include:

Physical: the way in which a child develops biological and physical functions, including eyesight and motor skills

Social: the way in which a child interacts with others Children develop an understanding of their responsibilities and rights as members of families and communities, as well as an ability to relate to and work with others.

Emotional: the way in which a child creates emotional connections and develops self-confidence. Emotional connections develop when children relate to other people and share feelings.

Language: the way in which a child communicates, including how they present their feelings and emotions. At 3 months, children employ different cries for different needs. At 6 months they can recognize and imitate the basic sounds of spoken language. In the first 3 years, children need to be exposed to communication with others in order to pick up language. “Normal” language development is measured by the rate of vocabulary acquisition.

Cognitive skills: the way in which a child organizes information. Cognitive skills include problem solving, creativity, imagination and memory. They embody the way in which children make sense of the world. Piaget believed that children exhibit prominent differences in their thought patterns as they move through the stages of cognitive development: sensorimotor period, the pre-operational period, and the operational period

In recent decades, studies have shown that early childhood education is critical in preparing children to enter and succeed in the (grade school) classroom, diminishing their risk of social-emotional mental health problems and increasing their self-sufficiency as adults. In other words, the child needs to be thought to rationalize everything and to be open to interpretations and critical thinking.


Must have bags in fall-winter 2015/16

If you are staying on top of trends, and thinking about a new handbag, please see below what is hot this fall winter.

  1. The new bespoke bag by Hugo Boss made a statement.



2. Trunck shape is back at the Top of “Must Have”!



3. Exotic leather is also hot this season.



4. The bucket bag was hot in a spring and it still super cool in a fall.


5. The fur is trending in many designer’s collections.



CBD Oil Cures Autism

Read this exciting discovery from Forbes magazine about CBD Oil! Parents of severely autistic children are turning to medical marijuana for relief. After seeing the results that epileptic children experienced, these desperate parents are beginning to wonder if it will work for them too. There are very few studies linking cannabinoids as a treatment for autism, but that isn’t holding these parents back. Most figure they don’t have anything to lose.

Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder known for its ability to impair communication and social interaction. Some children are able to function well with various treatments, while others suffer with the inability to speak and self-harming behaviors. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 1.5% of the children in the U.S. are diagnosed with autism as of 2014, so this is a huge patient population.

They are using CBD or cannabidiol, which can be derived from marijuana and hemp plants. Marijuana has higher levels of THC than hemp, which causes the “high” effect, while CBD contains the medical properties. Hemp has more CBD than marijuana, but less of the medicinal compound within CBD to have an effect. Marijuana plants can be bred to have higher levels of CBD and then those flowers are used to create CBD oil. It can also be extracted from hemp plants, which contains a large amount of CBD The stories of autistic children that are helped with CBD oil sound very familiar to the stories of the epileptic children that have responded to CBD. A Brown University teacher Marie Myung-Ok Lee , author of Somebody’s Daughter, documented her autistic son’s response to using Marinol, a synthetic cannabis which is produced by the drug company AbbVie. She switched to an edible form of cannabis and then a tea version. Her son went from self-harming behavior like banging his head to being able to ride a bike. She calls her experiment a qualified success., but with less strength of the medicinal cannabidiol compound, according to the Hemp Industries Association.

More recently, Kalel Santiago, a child with autism so severe he wasn’t able to speak, started speaking his first words after simply spraying hemp oil in his mouth twice daily according to Dr. Giovanni Martinez, a clinical psychologist in Puerto Rico. Dr. Martinez said, “He started using the product three weeks ago. He was a full non-verbal patient. He only made sounds. The only change in his treatments was the use of CBD.” The parents pursued the treatment on their own. Dr. Martinez has also been doing his own research on CBD and shared it with the parents. “I’m very impressed with the language he has acquired,” said Dr. Martinez. Dr. Martinez noted that when Kalel couldn’t communicate, his behavior became bad as he acted out due to his frustrations, but by opening up his communication abilities his conduct has improved. “He laughs every time he hears his voice,” said Dr, Martinez.

Hemp Health is a company that imports CBD oil from outside the country and sells it through the mail. Since, it is derived form hemp and not marijuana no prescription is needed. It was their CBD spray that the Santiago’s used for Kalel. Katerina Maloney, a co-founder of HempHealth said, “We have a lot of epileptic patients calling us. Patients with cancer and pain. There are lots of different conditions.” Maloney does believe more research needs to be done, but she has numerous testimonials from customers that believe in their products. The company now has sales of $150,000 a month.

The Autism Research Institute starting connecting the dots too. They found that children with autism that used marijuana experienced an improvement in symptoms like anxiety, aggression, panic disorder, tantrums and self-injurious behavior. Martin Lee, author of Smoke Signals and founder of Project CBD said, “There’s substantive body of pre-clinical research and some anecdotal stories. There’s also some research from GW Pharmaceuticals on psychiatric disorders. It’s not autism, but there are overlapping issues.”

GW Pharmaceutical spokesman Mark Rogerson said, “I’m afraid we have no current research going on in this area. We are aware of the interest in cannabinoid medicines and autism and our plans may change in the future. But for the time being we have a very full clinical trials programme. We are only a small company in pharmaceuticals terms and regretfully, we have to make choices among therapeutic areas.”

The lack of research isn’t holding back the grassroots efforts. There are numerous pages on Facebookthat have created autism and cannabis communities. There are several websites devoted to the idea. There are doctors that are writing about the stories they have heard. The one thing lacking is multiple scientific studies. But if drug companies like GW Pharmaceuticals believes it can tap into this large patient population, the studies will get funded and patients will be happy to sign up.

Dr Jay Gordon shares his advice on how to treat ear infections with alternative remedies.


Ear infections can be viral or bacterial. It seems logical to assume that the majority of them–like all kids’ infections–are viral and therefore completely non-responsive to antibiotics. The medical literature is just loaded with controversy about ear infections and that controversy includes the basic idea that ear infections may not need antibiotics at all!

I think that many infections, including otitis media (middle ear infections) respond faster or better to antibiotic treatment but I also think that the negative impact of those medicines is underestimated by doctors and patients alike. Everything from yeast overgrowth in the intestines, oral thrush, vaginal or diaper area yeast infections to diarrhea result from antibiotics. Additionally, some people have allergic reactions to these medicines. Perhaps the most underestimated problem is the breeding of bacteria which are resistant to the very drugs we count on to kill them.

For all of these reasons, it’s a great idea to save antibiotics for the times when infections threaten health and safety and/or when other therapy modalities have been exhausted.

I treat ear infections with prevention (anti-allergy measures such as dairy avoidance, dust reduction and getting rid of feather pillows and quilts) and with herbal and homeopathic remedies. I have some formal training in these methods but nowhere near enough to call myself an authority. I have been trained by my patients’ actions and by years of experience watching the way children respond to gentler methods of healing otitis media and other infections.

I like to put mullein/garlic oil in the ears hourly for a day or two and give pulsatilla 6X or 12C (homeopathic strength–the range I have given indicates homeopathic ignorance… but it works) or lachesis homeopathically hourly for two days. Elderberry is an herbal preparation which interferes with viral growth and I use the extract for younger children and the lozenges (hourly again… tough day for moms) for the toddlers and older kids. The doses can be calculated from the bottle you buy.

I also give extra vitamin C (500 mg/year of age/day to a maximum of 5000 for ten year olds to adults) and 5-15 mg of zinc/day to help immune function. Echinacea is another good herb for stimulating immune function and I use it for any child without bad allergies or other autoimmune problems. Dairy avoidance is crucial to treat or prevent ear infections and many people like to replace the lost calcium either with fortified drinks (soy, rice, orange juice) or with supplemental calcium. Pain control can be done either herbally or with Tylenol-type meds. Hot compresses on the ear will increase blood flow and speed up healing.