Posts tagged with "vegetable"

Eleven Foods to Stimulate Creativity in the Brain

Are you seeking a way to supercharge your imagination? Why don’t you start with your dinner plate?

Certain meals contain the ideal combination of nutrients to help your neurons do their jobs well. What should you put on your plate? Chow down on these 11 foods that stimulate creativity in your brain.

1. Cruciferous Vegetables

Did you know that the bacteria in your teeth can travel to your brain, where it may hinder your creativity and increase your Alzheimer’s risk? Scientists discovered a species of bacteria called Porphyromonas gingivalis could travel to this organ, releasing enzymes called gingipains that can destroy nerve cells. This destruction leads to memory loss and, eventually, disease.

However, what if you don’t always have a toothbrush or time to use one after meals? The solution is to pack some carrots and cauliflower along with your lunch and eat it after your sandwich. The rough, fibrous surfaces scrub away dirt and debris from tooth surfaces, decreasing the food source your oral bacteria need to thrive.

2. Nuts

Depression can wreak havoc on your creativity. One way to reignite your spark is by eating foods high in the minerals zinc, selenium, and magnesium. Research published by the National Institutes of Health suggests sufficient intake can alleviate this condition as effectively as antidepressants, especially among individuals with an underlying deficiency.

Where do you find these substances? One plant-based source comes from nuts. A single Brazil nut contains your full day’s recommended daily allowance of selenium alone — you must use care not to eat too many. Almonds, cashews, walnuts, and pecans are also excellent snacks.

3. Seeds

Another rich source of zinc, selenium, and magnesium lies in seeds. Fortunately, these tiny wonders are among the most versatile foods, making it a snap to add them to your diet.

A sprinkle of sunflower seeds or pepitas brings a pleasant nutty crunch to salads. They’re far more nourishing and satisfying than croutons made with white flour. Chia and flax seeds are excellent plant-based sources of omega-3s along with minerals, so add a liberal handful to anything from stir-frys to soups.

4. Seafood

Have you ever tried to come up with an engaging advertising slogan or even pen the next line of an essay when your temples pound and kaleidoscopes of migraine yuckiness dance before your eyes? How did that work out for you? Probably not well.

Seafood can help stimulate creativity in your brain by running interference against the pain that inhibits imaginative thought. Fish and crustaceans are high in riboflavin or vitamin B2. Research published by MedlinePlus indicates that regular intake of this nutrient can reduce your number of migraine headaches by two attacks a month. If your attacks last an average of two to three days, you reclaim up to six days out of every 30. It also reduces the severity when you do get hit.

Another way that increasing your seafood intake stimulates creativity is by lowering your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, preserving the neural channels that allow for rational thought. Sufficient intake of the DHA and EPA in fatty fish promotes brain growth in infants and children and may boost cognitive brainpower in adult women.

Omega-3s also help fight depression, which can stifle creativity. Why not make like the Catholics and make fish Friday a tradition, along with some mackerel on meatless Monday to meet your intake requirement?

5. Kale

Kale is an excellent plant-based source of B vitamins, including riboflavin. Plus, this versatile veggie makes an interesting alternative to tortillas when making wraps. Create a speedy lunch in seconds by adding a slice or two of lean protein like turkey, some cheese, and a few tomato or red pepper slices to a leaf and rolling it. Add a dash of oil and vinegar and some salt and pepper, and it’s like eating a sandwich without the white bread.

You can also braise kale and serve it as a side dish. The only people who should use caution with this veggie are those prone to kidney stones or taking blood thinners — check with your doctor or dietitian to be sure.

6. Green Tea

You might reach for coffee for a caffeine injection to supercharge your creativity when the afternoon doldrums strike. However, opting for a latte could keep you awake into the wee hours, disrupting your sleep patterns and giving you an even worse time concentrating.

While green tea does contain caffeine, it’s a mild dose — delivering a jolt of only 96 mg instead of 400. Therefore, you might do better busting the afternoon slump with this substance, as you’ll feel less jittery at night.

7. Curry

One reason why you might struggle to stir your creative juices has to do with inflammation. This condition often brings with it more than its fair share of distracting aches and pains.

Turmeric contains curcumin, one of the most potent anti-inflammatories you can find. It gets even more powerful when you add black pepper. A traditional Indian curry contains both substances in droves, so enjoy.

8. Quinoa

You know how the commercial tagline goes: you’re not yourself when you’re hungry. You’re probably not very creative, either.

Quinoa will fill you with lasting energy for much longer than a candy bar. The fiber in this ancient grain keeps tummy rumbles from distracting your concentration. Best of all, it’s safe for many people with celiac disease, although those who are particularly sensitive might find that the proteins are similar enough to cause trouble.

9. Garlic

Could that slice of pizza supercharge your creativity? Perhaps if it comes with a garlicky crust.

Garlic contains allicin, a compound this root herb emits when crushed or chopped. This substance can help lower your blood pressure, which is helpful if stress impacts your creative power. It may also ease any distracting muscle soreness from your last power workout more quickly.

10. Berries

When it comes to anthocyanin intake — a vital group of antioxidants — you can’t do much better than berries. Best of all, these tiny fruits are versatile and easy to add to numerous dishes.

Add a sprinkle of dried blueberries to your lunchtime salad. Blend some raspberries into your morning smoothie to counteract the sweetness of the bananas and milk with a little tartness. Your taste buds and neurons will thank you.

11. Mushrooms

Some mushrooms have long-standing reputations for increasing mental clarity. For example, reishi and cordyceps have neuroprotective properties that make them worth the bitter taste.

However, you don’t have to pucker your lips to get the benefits. You can find these extracts in liquid supplemental form. Add a dropper to your green tea and enjoy the dual perks of antioxidants and adaptogens.

Stimulating Creativity With Food

If you want to stimulate creativity in your brain, why not start with your diet? Add more of these 11 foods to your plate and watch your imagination come to life!

Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, Beach Amusement Park

Dream Inn launches Beach Feast

Dream Inn Santa Cruz recently launched Beach Feast, a complete ocean-to-table private dining experience that perfects for guests to dine safely outdoors at ‘King Table’ on Cowell Beach – just steps away from the iconic, retro beachfront hotel. Whether an intimate table for two, family reunion, small reception, or corporate groups, the Beach Feast experience is ideal for celebrating unforgettable social gatherings in a special setting.

Offering a fully customizable menu created by Executive Chef Gus Trejo that delightfully integrates fresh seafood and grilled steaks, catering to all tastes, and includes menu options like paella topped with a whole octopus, bursting shrimp and fresh mussels, as well as ribeye steaks and roasted local vegetables. The accompanying wine list, delicious dessert menu, and bespoke service, only add more to the experience.

A short stroll from the Santa Cruz beach boardwalk, Dream Inn Santa Cruz recently completed a multi-million-dollar renovation with whimsical retro-surfer décor which nods to the hotel’s origins and Santa Cruz’s history as a surfing mecca. The renovation included upgrades to all 165 guestrooms and suites, as well as a makeover to the hotel lobby and pool area.  Dark-wood ’60s-style furnishings and turquoise accents give the guestrooms and its restaurant, Jack O’Neill Restaurant, a classic beachy feel.  Guests will also love to experience the new Jack’s Patio, a wildly inventive, new outdoor dining concept – the perfect pandemic outdoor dining venue with open-air, live music featuring local musicians and heat lamps for chilly coastal evenings. To further embrace the inn’s casual, laid back ambiance, guests can soak up the California sun while enjoying the host of amenities the property has to offer including a re-vamped pool deck with beach access; poolside bar; surfing lessons, and complimentary beach cruisers to explore the charming town of Santa Cruz.

Botanical Garden via Maria soloman for use by 360 Magazine

Lilian Jackman Offers Gardening Advice in Dr. Hauschka Livestream

By: Skyler Johnson

There are many reasons to garden, but sometimes it can be so hard to keep your plants alive. They’ll often die before you can enjoy your harvest. Dr. Hauschka, a skincare brand, recently did a livestream with gardener Lilian Jackman, founder and owner of Wilder Hill Gardens, in Conway, Massachusetts. She gave the following advice:

Don’t Overwater

One of the easiest ways to kill plants is to overwater them. People tend to think that their herbs and vegetables need as much water as they can get but that’s not true. Plants, like other creatures, have a limit to how much water they need. Jackman recommended only watering when the ground is dry. That way, you know they’re getting the perfect amount of water they need without getting too much. 

Bring Plants Inside for the Winter

It’s important to bring some plants inside for winter, as they will be able to stay alive in the proper conditions. She encourages people to keep plants in pots for easy transport during the winter. She also recommended getting full-spectrum UV bulbs, as they will help to give plants the light they need, and will also be visually appealing. As far as what plants should go inside, you have to know which environment they came from. She uses the example of rosemary: a Mediterranean plant. Because rosemary is Mediterranean, you should store it in an environment most similar to that environment – which for her, in Massachusetts, meant indoors. 

Think Like a Plant

Plants will communicate a lot with you, if you can understand them. If you’re giving plants too much water, they will droop. Observing the “behavior” of your plants can go a long way in determining how successful your garden will be. 

Add Diversity

Jackman recommends using three to four plants per pot – each of different sizes, styles, and characteristics. Different plants require different nutrients, and with more plant variety, more nutrients will be utilized. Also, variety makes your pot or planter more visually stimulating.  

Enjoy the Fruit of your Labor

One thing Jackman really stressed was utilizing the plants in your diet. If you have vegetables, pick and enjoy them. If you have herbs, use them in your food. It’s important to appreciate every aspect of the gardening process, especially the end results.

10 Supersmart Superfoods Your Kids Will Love

Having trouble getting your kids to eat healthy? When you package these superfood hits into a child’s menu you can be sure it’s a surefire way of giving them the nutrients they need and show them great nutrition is just around the corner!

Basil

This superfood packs in vitamins A, C and K, iron, potassium and calcium kids can grow their own basil at home. toss it on pasta sauces or pizza! It’s rich in plant chemicals, chlorophyll and other happy mood plant compounds.

Cocoa

Add cocoa powder and honey to kefir for a healthy quick breakfast for kids who won’t sit still to eat a meal. Or a cup of hot cocoa (at least 70 percent pure cocoa) promotes oral health and helps to protect delicate skin from sun damage over time. You can also sprinkle cocoa powder on fruit, snacks and desserts for a healthy punch of flavor. Plant chemicals and antioxidants increase concentration and decrease inflammation!

Black Beans

Adults aren’t the only ones who suffer from high cholesterol, they just get checked more often than kids. Black beans help kids keep cholesterol levels down and provide plenty of calcium and protein to boot. Make a tasty black bean dip with some fresh veggies for a fun snack.

 Cinnamon

This superfood is great sprinkled on breakfast foods. it regulates blood sugar, which will keep energy from crashing after breakfast in the middle of a school day, tastes great and is so easy to use. Its natural sweetness is a plus and goes with so many foods and beverages!

Avocado

Avocados are full of good fat. Kids need a daily diet of 30% monosaturated fat and a little avocado a day provides more than enough. Use it like ordinary mayo for a great mix-in to creamy dips and sauces or sliced fresh for an afternoon snack. Guacamole is a no brainer for kids!

Tomato

Here’s a switch, a tomato a day can keep cancer away. That’s right, the plant version of vitamin A can best fight off all kinds of stressors and the potassium they contain helps to boost energy and stabilize hydration. In-season tomatoes are amazing with basil and olive oil or lightly sautee for a very tasty sauce for pasta, fish or veggies!

Fruit

A sweet spot you don’t want to ignore, kids have a natural liking for fruit and its energy-boosting plus. Encouraging eating fruit curbs drinking sugary beverages and snacks. Go for seasonal fun and plan a harvesting trip to a local orchard or bring your kiddies to the local green grocers to pick out what they want. A variety of colors provides kids with essential vitamins and minerals they need to grow and fiber to keep their bodies healthy. Introduce your kids to a daily fruit plate at a young age and they will probably continue the habit into adulthood.

Sweet Potatoes

These orange tubers are high in Vitamin A which helps kids develop healthy vision and eyes. And they’re delicious roasted, mashed or baked. For an amazing marshmallow flavor, use vanilla extract and honey for a not to be missed sweet treat.

Flaxseed

Flaxseed is bursting with Omega-3 fatty acids that little guys need to grow their brains to their full potential. Buy it ground and sprinkle it over their cereal or add 1/4 cup to their favorite baked-good recipe. They’ll get better nutrition without even knowing it.

Oatmeal

Kids who start their day with oatmeal concentrate better in school all day. oatmeal breaks down slowly to give continual bursts of energy over a long period of time. Add honey, nuts or chocolate chips to make it more kid-friendly, for a great way to use oatmeal be sure to check out the recipe section for a granola recipe the whole family will love.

About Nicolette M. Pace MS, RDN, CDE, CBC,CDN, CFCS ,FAND

Nicolette founded NutriSource Inc. ( www.nutrisource.org )  in 2002 to provide high quality education, counseling and nutrition services for a diverse community population. Prior to founding NutriSource Inc, she served as Director of Clinical Nutrition at the NYHQ/Silvercrest Center where she provided both administrative and direct care for sub-acute and chronically ill patients. Nicolette was a key member of performance improvement projects and as Chair of the Nutrition Committee; significant positive changes were made in the standard of care. 

 Nicolette has been featured in CBS, ABC, NBC, Fox News, the New York Times, Seventeen, Fitness, Men’s Journal, More, Dr. Oz, Everyday Health, AOL, IVillage, Health, Shape and other magazines. She is also a contributing writer for Minerva Place, as well as an adjunct professor of Nutrition at CUNY and Touro Colleges. She believes in emphasizing a holistic approach toward food, nutrition and preventative healthcare.

Nicolette Pace Demo Reel watch HERE.

 

Doctor Tries Fasting Trend

Real Doctor Tries the Intermittent Fasting Trend and Here’s What Happened http://tourocom.touro.edu/academics/faculty/harlem/niket-sonpal.php

There’s crash dieting, and then there’s intermittent fasting. Crash diets aren’t sustainable and rarely factor in healthy food options. Intermittent fasting on the other hand is gaining attention because people are seeing weight come off, and therefore stay with it. It’s being touted as the go-to way to lose 15, 20 pounds within a month or two. Is it just a popular hashtag or can the weight actually stay off leading millions of people to reach their weight goals? To get clarity, we spoke to Dr. Niket Sonpal who not only is Board Certified in Internal Medicine specializing in Gastroenterology; but lost 8 pounds his first week of intermittent fasting when he decided to do it himself. Here’s what he has to say about intermittent fasting.

What inspired your decision to do intermittent fasting?

I noticed the winter weight became the spring then summer weight and I wanted to take off extra pounds that I noticed had crept on. I was with friends talking about how they lost weight during Ramadan (would prefer religious observations) and that intermittent fasting was a “thing.” I rolled my eyes. I was skeptical. Then I went online and applied my doctor mind to the concepts I was reading about it and went for it.

There are several ways to go about intermittent fasting. Which way did you do it, when did you start and what was the result?

This is true. The way I chose, and the way I would imagine most people would try, is the one that calls for 16 hours of fasting with 8 hours of eating time per day. This basically means if your last meal of the day is 8pm you will have your first meal by noon the following day, free to eat until 8pm again. I figured since I sleep most of those hours, it wouldn’t be as tough as another option where you fast for 5 days and eat for 2 with a 500-800 calorie intake limit on those 2 days.

What were the challenges (if any) that you faced when intermittent fasting?

I live across the street from a bagel shop in New York City. I also have delicious New York pizza on every other corner. Cravings and temptation were there for me for sure. When I left my home and smelled those fresh bagels my brain said. “let’s eat.”

Coming at your intermittent fasting as a doctor, what were some things you were thinking about that others must consider too?

I thought when I would fast. When would be my 8-hour eating period. When we start caloric consumption right when we wake up we do better with weight loss. However, that would mean eating from 7 am until 4pm. This would require a later meal around 3pm. Then I thought, does my lifestyle better allow a 12 noon to 8pm food window?

I also thought about the physiological aspect to what happens to our bodies when we fast intermittently. For one thing, it facilitates weight loss by enhancing hormone function. Insulin levels also lower, plus there’s a rise in noradrenaline. This combination is what helps us to breakdown body fat for energy. While this all reads well on paper there is a lifestyle aspect to it that must be factored in. I’ll add that anyone with a condition should consult with their doctor before going all in on intermittent fasting.

Why do you think it is so difficult for people to fast? What are some of the common symptoms people feel when fasting and what causes them?

When people think of fasting they think of starvation and deprivation. They anticipate they will feel terrible will have a growling stomach, dull headaches, and a bad mood. While these are common symptoms felt at first when fasting, the 16/8 intermittent fasting option allows for food every day. When people see quick results, they stick with it.

What was your diet? What did you cut out and add in?

I looked at my schedule and my overall daily lifestyle and how food was involved. For people who live very hurried lifestyles, food is typically something that is grabbed fast on the go. When we approach food this way no diet will be sustainable. I realized this would require consistent changes in my behavior. It would also require me to get very mindful about what I was eating during the 8 hours of eating time. I chose to eat what I liked in moderation. So, if two slices of pizza twice per week was the lunchtime norm, I reduced to it to once slice. I still ate pasta just not as often and not as much. I also added in a lot more vegetables, proteins, healthy fats and cut out all fast food and soda. Hey, I’m a doctor, but also a human!

For those thinking about intermittent fasting, how would you advise them to proceed?

I would explain that at around the 2 to 4-week mark, someone may plateau. When you notice this don’t think this is the most weight you are able to lose. This is normal and if you are also exercising with weight or resistance training you may be building muscle mass. Pay attention to how clothes fit, body fat loss and how weight loss shows beyond the scale. Knowing how over time the body gets used to intermittent fasting and starts to store up all that is eaten, leading to less weight loss, I suggest resetting your body by eating small, healthy meals throughout the day for a week and then resuming the 16/8 intermittent fasting option again.

People may happily think that they can fast and then enjoy a big bowl of pasta or cheeseburger. What kinds of foods should people eat during intermittent fasting?

You can get results without cutting out your favorite foods which means enjoy that burger or pasta, I did! However, you can’t binge on fast food and think you’re going to make any lasting changes. You want to up your vegetable intake. Things like grilled zucchini or eggplant make for great sides to a piece of grilled chicken or steak. Avocados are a good staple for healthy fats and are versatile. There are loads of recipes out there so plan out your food options in advance, so you stick with it.

About the doctor:

Dr. Niket Sonpal is Assistant Professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, Clinical instructor at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, Brooklyn and on the board of the NY‐American College of Physicians (NYACP). He is also the associate program director for the Internal Medicine residency program at Brookdale Hospital Medical Center. He is trained in Internal medicine, Gastroenterology and has a focus on Men’s and Women’s health.

Fresh Produce for Kids

NYC’s Largest Food Rescue Organization and Top Produce Company Team up with Nutrition Education Nonprofit to Address Childhood Obesity and Encourage Healthy Eating Habits in New York City This Summer

City Harvest and D’Arrigo Bros. of New York bring fresh fruits and vegetables to families in Queens through a new partnership with national nonprofit Brighter Bites

Food rescue nonprofit City Harvest and produce company D’Arrigo Bros. of New York today launched a summer-long program in New York City with Brighter Bites, a nonprofit organization that tackles childhood obesity by providing low-income families with free fresh produce and nutrition education. This effort builds on the three organizations’ similar work during the school year to provide free produce at schools with students living in underserved communities, and will increase access to produce for more than 400 families through programs at three summer camps in Queens.

“We believe that increasing access to healthy, affordable food is the key to helping all New Yorkers become food secure,” said Kate MacKenzie, City Harvest’s Senior Director of Programs. “Studies have shown children need to be offered a new food 10-15 times before they’ll develop a taste for it. For many working families in New York City that are struggling to make ends meet, however, experimenting with new foods like fresh produce isn’t always an option. City Harvest is excited to be partnering with Brighter Bites and D’Arrigo to decrease the risk that comes with trying new foods, and help families build healthy habits over the summer.”

According to City Harvest, more than 1.2 million New Yorkers face hunger every year, including nearly one in five New York City children. In Queens alone, over a quarter million residents are food insecure. Through City Harvest and Brighter Bites’ produce distribution and nutrition education programming, parents have the ability to learn which healthy foods their children have a taste for, and the recipe cards and tip sheets that come with the produce each week help them prepare meals in fun and nutritious ways.

Brighter Bites and City Harvest are kicking off programs at three summer camps in Queens that will provide more than 50,000 pounds of produce, along with kid-friendly bilingual recipes and tip sheets in English and Spanish on topics ranging from “Eating the Rainbow” to how bringing kids into the kitchen to help with meal prep makes them more invested in trying new foods.

Each week participating families will receive two bags containing approximately 50 servings of eight to 12 different fresh produce items along with the nutritional educational materials. D’Arrigo is generously donating a third of the fresh fruits and vegetables each week, with two-thirds coming from City Harvest.

“Every family wants to provide the best for their children to help them grow healthy and strong,” said Gabriela D’Arrigo, Vice President of Marketing for D’Arrigo. “As a family-owned business here in New York, we’re proud to partner with Brighter Bites and City Harvest to help our neighbors across the city have greater access to fresh produce.”

Since launching in 2012, Brighter Bites has distributed more than 17 million pounds of produce and hundreds of thousands of nutrition education materials to 200,000 individuals from more than 40,000 families through schools and summer camps in New York City, Houston, Dallas, Austin, Southwest Florida, and Washington, D.C. Brighter Bites uses a simple formula for introducing healthy lifestyles to families: produce distribution, nutrition education, and a fun food experience that includes sampling a recipe of the week to see just how great produce can taste. In New York City, parents and community volunteers will pack bags of fresh fruits and veggies for families and teachers to take home for six weeks this summer.

“We know that far too many parents struggle to access and provide their children with fresh produce, particularly during the summer months when kids are out of school,” said Brighter Bites Executive Director Samuel Newman. “Since Brighter Bites established our New York City program in 2017 with City Harvest and D’Arrigo, we’ve been blown away by the kids’ response to trying different kinds of fresh fruits and veggies–often for the first time–and we’re so pleased to be continuing this important work throughout the summer months with these same partners.”

Brighter Bites measures the outcomes of its program to determine impact. Research shows the Brighter Bites model provides consistent opportunities for children and their families to practice healthier behaviors in school and at home:

  • 98% of Brighter Bites parents report their children eating more fruits and vegetables while participating in the Brighter Bites program.
  • Of those, 74% said they maintained that increased level of consumption after Brighter Bites ended.

About Brighter Bites:

Brighter Bites is a nonprofit that creates communities of health through fresh food with the goal of changing behavior among children and their families to prevent obesity and achieve long-term health. Brighter Bites is an evidence-based, multi-component elementary school, preschool, and summer camp program that utilizes reliable access to fruits and vegetables, nutrition education, and consistent exposure to recipes and messages that feature fresh food. Since 2012, Brighter Bites has provided more than 17 million pounds of produce and 100,000s of nutrition education materials to more than 40,000 families and teachers in Houston, Dallas, Austin, New York City, the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan area, and Southwest Florida. To learn more about Brighter Bites visit BrighterBites.org.

About City Harvest

City Harvest is New York City’s largest food rescue organization, helping to feed the more than 1.2 million New Yorkers who are struggling to put meals on their tables. We will rescue 61 million pounds of food this year and deliver it, free of charge, to hundreds of food pantries, soup kitchens, and other community partners across the five boroughs. Our programs help food-insecure New Yorkers access nutritious food that fits their needs and desires; increase partners’ capacity; and strengthen the local food system, building a path to a food-secure future for all New Yorkers. To learn more, visit CityHarvest.org.

About D’Arrigo Bros. of New York

Family-owned and operated, D’Arrigo Bros. of New York, Inc. has served the New York Metropolitan area for over 50 years, offering a full line of the highest quality fruit and vegetable items available every day of the week. The company is located in a 75,000-square foot. facility in the Hunts Point Terminal Market in the Bronx. D’Arrigo takes pride in offering its customers the highest quality produce that can be found anywhere. To learn more, visit D’ArrigoNY.com