Staying Well with Dr. Mary Jo

The Heart of it All

The foundation of all good health lies within the function and operation of an individual’s lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a series of vessels, structures and organs that collect fluid throughout the body and return it to the main circulation for distribution.

The lymphatic system functions only as well as it is kept in good working order. Surprisingly, the lymphs are easy to care for, especially if you become aware of how they function.

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Healthy Tidbits

Cool Off with a Summer Breeze Juice



3 leaves Basil (fresh)
1 1/2 cups Blueberries
2 pinches Cayenne Pepper 1/2 Lime
5 cups diced Watermelon


Process all ingredients in a juicer, shake or stir and serve.

Summer is for Salads


Summer Fruit Salad with Arugula, Blackberries and Almonds


Suzanne Goin typically makes this savory and sweet salad with whatever fruit looks best at the market. Ripe green or black figs are some of her favorites and a couple of crushed ones can be used as the base for the vinaigrette, in place of the nectarine.


  • 1 cup whole blanched almonds (5 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon almond oil (optional)
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 large nectarines (2 pounds), 3 sliced 1/4 inch thick and 1 coarsely chopped
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pint blackberries or Persian mulberries
  • 4 bunches of arugula (1 1/4 pounds), large stems discarded
How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat the oven to 375°. In a small pie plate, toast the almonds for 8 minutes, until fragrant. Toss with 1/2 teaspoon of the almond oil and sprinkle with salt.
Step 2

In a mini processor, puree the chopped nectarine. Transfer the puree to a small bowl and add the shallot, vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk in the olive oil and the remaining 1 tablespoon of almond oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Step 3

Put the sliced nectarines and the blackberries in a medium bowl. Drizzle on one-third of the vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper. In a large shallow bowl, season the arugula with salt and pepper and toss gently with the remaining vinaigrette. Gently toss in the dressed fruit. Garnish with the almonds and serve immediately.

View more summer salad recipes

Summer Bugging You?

Try These All Natural Remedies!

Use a non-toxic, plastic-free insect-repelling band which is easier to use on children and very effective.
Add vanilla extract to other recipes, or just rub it on the skin. You can also mix vanilla with witch hazel and water for a spray version.
Rub lavender flowers or lavender oil on your skin, especially on hot parts of body (neck, underarms, behind ears, etc) to repel insects.
Rub fresh or dried leaves of anything in the mint family all over skin to repel insects (peppermint, spearmint, catnip, pennyroyal, etc or citronella, lemongrass, etc) Basil is also said to repel mosquitoes and fresh basil leaves can be used in the garden with great success.

Dealing with the Dog Days

Try Lemon Extract for Treating Fleas


Lemon extract is a good home remedy for killing fleas. It can get rid of any existing fleas and kill the eggs that may have been laid. It is perfectly safe and will not harm your dog.
Lemon extract can be made right at home. Thinly slice a lemon and score the edges. Place it in a pint-sized jar and cover it with boiling water. Cover the mixture and allow it to steep overnight. After the mixture has sat overnight, it can be poured into a spray bottle and used for treating your pets and your home.
The homemade lemon extract will kill fleas on a dog on contact. It can be sprayed on or rubbed on and then massaged into the fur. Some cats can be allergic to citrus oils, so it is not advised to use this on cats.
The lemon extract mixture can also be used to treat fleas in the home. Carpets and furniture can be treated throughout the home. Be sure to spray your dog’s bedding and all areas that he lies or plays in frequently.

Disclaimer: The information in this newsletter is for educational purposes only. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat illness or prescribe any type of medication or treatment. For medical needs, we recommend consulting your Medical Doctor, Dietitian, or Mental Health Practitioner.

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