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In This Issue
Recipe of the Month
Halloween History
Jack-o-Lantern's Nutritional Treats
Legislative Update
Quick Links
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Recipe of
the Month: 
NON-candy Halloween Treats
 Here are ideas, some sugar-free, some gluten-free, for your neighborhood goblins!

pencils and crayons for the artists

erasers in all kinds of shapes

sidewalk chalk


bubbles,bubbles and more bubble-blower things

save those pennies you find in the washing machine and put them all in a bowl

hair accessories for the girl ghouls

And if you have a sweet tooth try  gluten-free
Annie's organic bunny fruit snacks, Nestle's Butterfinger candy bars, Jelly Belly jelly beans... more from A-Z can be found at www.celiac.com
mmmmmummy..er, .I mean yummmmy!

Issue: # 11October 2010


HAPPY HALLOWEEN! and welcome to the October issue of our newsletter.  There are lots of treats this month as we welcome Fall in the Sunshine State: less humidity, lower temperatures & cool ocean breezes.  On the 31st, we'll also be opening our doors to the "tricks-or-treaters". This Halloween, Americans will spend 6.9 billion dollars making it the second largest commercial holiday.  One quarter of  the candy sold annually is purchased for all the kids in costume; that's $20.23 per household!  Take a look at our Recipe of the Month for some NON-candy ideas that will please any ghost.  And besides learning the history of Mr. Jack-o-Lantern, there are nutritional and beneficial reasons to save the seeds after carving.  Have a safe and enjoyable Halloween.  BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

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Halloween History

Some 2000 years ago, the ancient Celts celebrated Samhain (pronounced sow-in) on the eve of their new year, November 1. The beginning of their calendar marked the end of the harvest and the beginning of the cold, dark winter months. Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. In addition to causing trouble and damaging crops, Celts thought that the presence of the otherworldly spirits made it easier for the Druids, or Celtic priests, to make predictions about the future.  Sacred bonfires blazed across what is now Ireland, the United Kingdom and northern France.  Animals and crops were burned as sacrifice to the Celtic gods and goddesses.  The animal heads and skins were donned as costumes to disguise the wearer from the dead creeping about looking for a lost soul to take back to their underworld.  At Samhain's end, live embers from the sacred bonfire were taken back to the hearth fire to protect the homes from winter's oncoming darkness.


After Roman conquest of Celtic territory, their festivals combined with Samhain.  The first, called Faralia, was celebrated at the end of October and commemorated the passing of the dead.  Pomona, the Roman goddess of fruit and trees was symbolized by the apple.  Samhain celebrations incorporated "bobbing" for apples in recognition of Pomona's blessing the villages with a successful harvest.


By the 800s, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands. In the seventh century, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 All Saints' Day, a time to honor saints and martyrs. It is widely believed today that the Pope was attempting to replace the Celtic festival of the dead with a related, but church-sanctioned holiday. The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints' Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween. Even later, in A.D. 1000, the church would make November 2 All Souls' Day, a day to honor the dead. It was celebrated similarly to Samhain, with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils. Together, the three celebrations, the eve of All Saints', All Saints', and All Souls', were called Hallowmas.


Now flash forward a few thousand years. The American Halloween tradition of "trick-or-treating" probably dates back to the early All Souls' Day parades in England. During the festivities, poor citizens would beg for food and families would give them pastries called "soul cakes" in return for their promise to pray for the family's dead relatives.

The distribution of soul cakes was encouraged by the church as a way to replace the ancient practice of leaving food and wine for roaming spirits. The practice, which was referred to as "going a-souling" was eventually taken up by children who would visit houses in their neighborhood and be given ale(!!), food, and money.  The tradition of dressing in costume for Halloween has both European and Celtic roots. Hundreds of years ago, winter was an uncertain and frightening time. Food supplies often ran low and, for the many people afraid of the dark, the short days of winter were full of constant worry. On Halloween, when it was believed that ghosts came back to the earthly world, people thought that they would encounter ghosts if they left their homes. To avoid being recognized by these ghosts, people would wear masks when they left their homes after dark so that the ghosts would mistake them for fellow spirits. On Halloween, to keep ghosts away from their houses, people would place bowls of food outside their homes to appease the ghosts and prevent them from attempting to enter.


So this October 31, as you carve the pumpkin and hand out treats to the visiting ghosts and goblins, remember that these holiday happenings are actually rituals that date back thousands of years!


-Dr. Deirdre D. Keeler and www.history.com

Jack-o-Lantern's Nutritional Treats

According to Irish myth, "Stingy Jack" asked the Devil to dine with him.  True to his name, when it came time to pay for the drinks, Jack refused.  He suggested the Devil change  into a coin which they could use to settle their account.  Once the Devil transformed, Jack put the money into his own pocket, next to a silver cross, preventing the Devil from changing back.  Jack made the Devil promise to leave him alone for a year and should Jack die, the Devil could not take his soul.  The pact was made and the Devil became his true form. 


 But one year later, the Devil found Stingy Jack in the branches of a fruit tree.  Jack  convinced the Devil to climb up into the tree and while the Devil snacked on its fruit, Jack carved the sign of the cross into the tree bark preventing the Devil from coming down.  This time Jack told the Devil not to bother him for ten years.  But soon after, Jack died. Legend says God wanted no part of Stingy Jack to enter the Pearly Gates and the Devil kept his promise and refused Jack's soul for hell .  The Devil sent Jack off to roam the night with a burning coal.  jack carved out a turnip and placed the coal inside, wandering the Earth ever since.  The Irish called him the "Jack of the Lantern" which was shortened to "Jack-o-Lantern." 


The Irish and Scots carved their own scary faces into turnips and potatoes placing them in windows and on porch steps to ward off "Stingy Jack" and other evil spirits.  Immigrants to America found the native fruit, pumpkin, to be the perfect "jack-o-lantern."


Pumpkins, (Cucurbita pepo), aren't just perfect for carving.  They have been grown in the Western hemisphere for over five thousand years.  There are over 30 different varieties of this FRUIT which is a type of squash and member of the gourd family like cucumbers, gherkins, squash and melons.  The carving pumpkin we seek out in local pumpkin patches is usually the Connecticut Field pumpkin.  Farmers grow 1.5 BILLION pounds of pumpkin each year.  Delaware hosts the Annual Pumpkin Chuckin' Contest challenging contraptions to launch the gourds sometimes distances of over 5000 feet! 


But over centuries, the pumpkin was a popular medicinal plant and it still has value today.  The Maya applied the sap to burns, the Menominee used the seeds as a diuretic, and the European settlers ground and mixed the seeds with water, milk or honey to make a remedy for worms.  The 19th century New Englanders used all parts of the fruit to cure anything from snake bites, freckles, and wrinkles to treating diarrhea and/or constipation in dogs and cats.  Pumpkin seeds, there are 500 seeds in the average fruit, contain 30% unsaturated fixed oils, including linoleic and oleic fatty acids as well as cucurbitacins and most notably zinc.  Due to their high zinc content , the seeds are recommended in the early stages of prostate problems.  The pulp is low in fat, high in potassium, vitamins A and K and also very high in fiber.  It is used as a decoction to relieve intestinal inflammation and is applied as a poultice or plaster for burns...it also makes a great filling for pie!


- Dr Deirdre D Keeler

Legislative Update

Doctors, medical students, patients and others from all 50 states, are planning, an amazing public media and educational campaign to familiarize all Americans with Naturopathic medicine, through a 3,250 mile, transcontinental run from San Francisco to Bridgeport, CT, via Washington D.C. and New York City.

Former transcontinental runner, and founder of the R.U.N., Dr. Dennis Godby, son Isaiah Godby, nephew Jonas Ely, and tens of thousands of other runners and supporters along the way will meet with other doctors, patients and newly awakened advocates along the path to the White House to meet with President Obama.  They will conduct daily press conferences and evening presentations about natural medicine in the towns and cities they pass from California to Connecticut. As the mass of advocates continues to swell over the course of the 3,250 miles, media coverage will grow exponentially, including national news. You can view more information, when the run begins and even SIGN UP at:

Check out Naturopathic Medicine in Florida on YouTube to view the new video on Naturopathic Medicine. 

We are asking for your testimonials and letters.  How have you been touched by naturopathic medicine?  Do you have a story on how you could have been better served by a licensed ND with a full scope of practice in Florida?  Are you an MD, DO, DC, PA, RN that would like to support the mission of the FNPA and understands the importance of having NDs as licensed primary care physicians in Florida?  If you have a story you would like to share, we are collecting letters that will be given to legislators.  We will also be using some of your letters on our FNPA website under our new testimonial section (with your permission only).

Please send your letters to Judith Thompson, N.D.  Click below to access the FNPA Homepage for Dr Thompson's contact address. 

Take Action! 

We want to provide better healthcare choices to Florida's residents and we need your help! Please visit our website to learn more. FNPA Homepage

Florida Naturopathic Physicians Association