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Leaders Call for ‘Revolution’ to Transform Global Food System

Photography courtesy of John Lygrell.

Leaders gathered at the fifth annual EAT Stockholm Food Forum called for a ‘revolution’ to transform the global food system and tackle one of our time’s biggest challenges.

Isabella Lovin

Isabella Lovin, Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden

“We need nothing less than a revolution,” said Isabella Lövin, Sweden’s deputy prime minister and minister for international development cooperation and climate, in her opening speech. “We need to steer our planet in a new direction and a new development paradigm that has the health of the planet and its inhabitants center.”

About half the world’s population is suffering from malnutrition and hunger is again on the rise globally. At the same time, overweight and obesity continue to increase, impacting more than 2 billion children and adults. Food production is also the biggest cause of global environmental degradation, with the agricultural sector being the single-largest contributor to climate change, deforestation and biodiversity loss.

With just 12 years to achieve the world’s most ambitious development targets – the UN Sustainable Development Goals –  there is an urgent need to transform our food system to put us on a path that will support a healthy world population and planet.

Dr. Gunhild A. Stordalen

Dr. Gunhild A. Stordalen

“Until now, we’ve had no goals, facts or narrative for the food system as a whole, to promote the health of both people and the planet,” said Dr. Gunhild A. Stordalen, the executive chair and founder of EAT. “To move forward, we must define a unifying factual baseline for food.”

The EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, Health will later this year release its report Healthy Diets From Sustainable Food Systems, marking the first collaborative effort to set global, scientific targets for a food system transformation. A key goal is to foster more constructive conversations, collaborations and help track change, Stordalen said.

Stubborn Optimist

Professor Johan Rockstrom

Professor Johan Rockstrom

Professor Johan Rockström, executive director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, echoed Lövin’s call for a food system revolution.

Rockström and Sania Nishtar, co-chair of WHO’s high-level commission on non-communicable diseases, warned of troubling trends despite mounting international support for transforming the global food system. The prevalence of diabetes has doubled in the last 30 years and global shifts to unhealthy diets risk undermining the health gains of the past 50 years, said Nishtar.

Christiana Figueres,the convenor of Mission 2020, said that not enough progress has been made to meet climate goals for land use and food systems by the end of this decade.

“We won’t meet the 2020 goals for these areas,” said Figueres, who oversaw the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate. “That is a huge concern.”

Still, Figueres, a self-confessed ‘stubborn optimist,’ is encouraged by the increasing attention the world is paying to food system and land use issues.

“This whole topic has finally matured to the point where it is front and center,” she said. “That is a huge opportunity that we can’t afford to miss.”

About the Forum

EAT Stockholm Food Forum is taking place on June 11-12 2018 at the Quality Hotel Globe in Stockholm, Sweden. It is for the first time being jointly hosted by EAT and the Government of Sweden. With more than 600 delegates from over 60 countries, the forum is the largest to date.

Key goals of the event are to strengthen existing partnerships and forge new collaborations across a broad range of sectors and groups to compel science-led action, focusing on five main areas:

  • Shifting toward healthy diets
  • Sustainably managing lands and oceans
  • Eliminating food loss and waste
  • Technology that’s transforming our food system
  • Recipes for better yields and better nutrition

Speakers include experts from government, cities, business, academia, philanthropy, the culinary community and civil society, including Mission2020 leader Christiana Figueres, an architect of the historic Paris Climate Agreement; Kristalina Georgieva, CEO of the World Bank; Gilbert F. Houngbo, president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development; Sunny Verghese, co-founder and group CEO of Olam International; Sam Kass, former White House chef and policy advisor for nutrition in the Obama administration; Isabella Lövin, Sweden’s deputy prime minister and minister for international development cooperation and climate; Nikolai Astrup, Norway’s minister of international development; Mark Wilson, CEO of Aviva; HRH Crown Prince Haakon Magnus of Norway; Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, CEO of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development; zero waste lifestyle practitioner Lauren Singer, founder of Trash is for Tossers and Caleb Harper, director of the Open Agriculture Initiative at MIT Media Lab.

Raise a Toast

Eye-popping recipes worth sharing

It seems that taking pictures of mouthwatering food to share online is all the rage for social media users. Food is art, and toast and its trimmings can be the perfect canvas. Creating a social media-worthy slice requires a bit of creativity, some patience, quality and, of course, aesthetically pleasing ingredients.

The versatility and distinct flavor profile of California Ripe Olives make them an ideal ingredient to fuel your imagination and add an extra bit of finesse to your edible creation.

California farmers are responsible for producing more than 95 percent of the ripe olives consumed in the United States. From planting, pruning, harvesting and processing, they make sure the highest quality olives come from their farm to your table – one can at a time. Adding olives to any dish helps bring California sunshine into each bite.

Put your creativity to the test with these delicious designs. For more delightful and artistic recipes with California Ripe Olives, visit calolive.org.

Toast Like a Butterfly

  • 2          slices wheat bread
  • large butterfly cookie cutter
  • 1/2       avocado, mashed
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1          cheese stick
  • 2          slices orange bell pepper
  • 2          thin slices red bell pepper
  • 6          black California Ripe Olives
  • 3          green California Ripe Olives
  • 1          sugar snap pea
  1. Lightly toast wheat bread and use cookie cutter to cut one wing from each slice.
  2. Mash avocado and mix with salt and pepper, to taste. Spread on both wings.
  3. Slice cheese stick to fit between wings and act as body of butterfly.
  4. Slice orange bell pepper into antenna and red bell pepper into thin slices to line body of butterfly.
  5. Slice black olives in half, lengthwise, and place on upper and lower portions of each wing. Slice green olives into rounds and place on middle of each wing.
  6. Decorate plate with quartered olives and place sugar snap pea in center.

Pro Tips for Creating Shareable Slices:

These pro tips can take you from toast trainee to skillful slice creator.

  1. Have a vision. Don’t be afraid to sketch it out.
  2. The base of your toast is everything. Pick a sturdy variety.
  3. Consider your ingredients and play with flavors, textures and colors. For example, try to incorporate both green and black California Ripe Olives for greater versatility.
  4. Shapes, colors and textures can add excitement.
  5. Toast is a small canvas, so consider the tools you’re working with and get creative.

A Toast to Summer

  • 2          slices white bread, toasted
  • 4          tablespoons cream cheese
  • 3          crackers, crushed
  • 1/4       cup sliced almonds
  • handful leafy greens of choice (green onions, parsley, cilantro or chives)
  • 2          black California Ripe Olives
  • 1          green California Ripe Olive
  1. Slice each piece of toast into a square and place one above other on plate.
  2. Spread layer of cream cheese on bottom third of lower piece of toast and cover spread with crushed crackers.
  3. Spread layer of cream cheese from lower-right corner to upper-left corner and, starting at bottom, layer sliced almonds on top of each other to create trunk spreading across both pieces of bread.
  4. Arrange greens into palm fronds at top of trunk. Use cream cheese as glue if they begin to slip.
  5. Arrange black olives and green olive as coconuts between top of trunk and base of leaves, covering bottom of leaves.

Singing in the Grain

  • 1/4       avocado, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1          slice sourdough bread, toasted
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • handful of green California Ripe Olives, sliced into rounds
  • 1          orange bell pepper, sliced
  • 1          red bell pepper, sliced
  • handful of black California Ripe Olives, sliced into raindrop shapes
  • 1          large sugar snap pea
  1. Arrange sliced avocado on toasted sourdough bread and top with salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Slice green olive rounds in half and arrange in line beneath toast.
  3. Place one slice orange bell pepper below bread as handle and one small piece orange bell pepper above bread.
  4. Place one straight slice of red bell pepper on bottom edge of toast.
  5. Arrange black olive slices and sugar snap peas around toast as raindrops.

Walking in a Toasty Wonderland

  • 2          slices white bread, toasted
  • 2          tablespoons cream cheese, divided
  • 5          slices red bell pepper
  • 1          orange bell pepper, sliced small
  • 2          black California Ripe Olives, 1 jumbo and 1 medium
  • 5          small sugar snap peas, divided
  • 1          pretzel stick, cut in half
  • 3          green California Ripe Olive rounds
  • small snowflake cookie cutter
  • large snowflake cookie cutter
  • 4          slices gouda or white cheddar cheese
  • 8          cilantro or parsley leaves
  1. Slice one piece of toast into circle with 4-inch diameter.
  2. Slice second piece of toast into half-circle with 4-inch diameter, which will act as base of snow globe.
  3. Spread 1 tablespoon cream cheese onto bottom fifth of circular toast.
  4. Cover base of snow globe with slices of bell pepper, cut to correct width.
  5. Stack medium black olive on top of jumbo black olive and affix to toast with cream cheese.
  6. Add decorations to olive snowman by affixing two small sugar snap peas to body of snowman, pretzel stick arms to sides, small piece orange bell pepper for nose and two small dots cream cheese for eyes.
  7. Decorate base with green olive rounds and three sugar snap peas in center.
  8. Use cookie cutters to cut four small snowflakes and four large snowflakes out of slices of cheese. Arrange snowflakes around outside of plate and place cilantro leaves between each snowflake.
  9. Place remaining cream cheese in small plastic bag and cut small hole in corner. Pipe small dots on circular toast around snowman. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
California Ripe Olive Committee

Eight Common “Flow Breakers” Leaders Face—and How to Defuse Them 

Constant disruptions at work prevent managers from achieving flow, the state of concentration that allows them to do their best work. The authors of Mind Tools for Managers highlight the most common flow breakers at work and offer tips for eliminating them.

Sometimes it seems like the workplace is designed to keep you doing anything besides, well…working. If you’re a manager, this is a serious problem because everything at work hinges on your ability to effectively lead your team. Still, distractions abound in most offices, from buzzing phones to watercooler chit-chat to the endless lure of surfing the web. With all this chaos, it’s difficult to achieve the intense state of concentration known as flow, where employees of all levels do their best work.

“Flow is a state of mind that occurs when all your conscious thought is focused on what you are doing,” says Julian Birkinshaw, coauthor along with James Manktelow of Mind Tools for Managers: 100 Ways to Be a Better Boss (Wiley, April 2018, ISBN: 978-1-119-37447-3, $28.00). “Unfortunately, in the modern workplace, flow can be difficult to achieve and maintain. As a result, you are a less productive manager and stay stressed out at work. But by weeding out typical office distractions and interruptions, you can improve your focus, get more done, and become a more effective manager.”

Mind Tools for Managers identifies the 100 skills that a manager can master to become a better leader. They were identified in a survey of 15,242 managers and professionals worldwide. This research was conducted by James Manktelow, founder and CEO of MindTools.com, and Professor Julian Birkinshaw, deputy dean for programs at London Business School. The authors provide practical advice for each of these skills—one of which is the ability to stay focused—and direct the reader to the MindTools website for a deeper dive into specific skill-building articles, worksheets, videos, and more.

Even if you’re one of the many managers struggling to maintain focus at work, you can achieve a state of flow—which was first described in detail by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi—by managing or eliminating the distractions that pull you out of concentration. Keep reading to learn about some of the most common distractions managers and employees typically face at work (and how to deal with them), excerpted from the article “Minimizing Distractions: 10 Ways to Take Control of Your Day.” For more information, please refer to Mind Tool 12-1: http://mnd.tools/12-1.

FLOW BREAKER 1: The relentless presence of personal technology. Smartphones and now smartwatches have blurred the line between personal and professional communication. Now you can receive work emails and calls on the same device as private Facebook comments, Instagram photos, and an array of other personal information. The good news is, this is a challenge that you and your colleagues can effectively manage yourselves. When focusing on a particular piece of work, choose to put away your phones for a certain amount of time. That way you can devote your attention entirely to the project at hand.

FLOW BREAKER 2: Email, email, and more email. Many emails in your inbox are probably not particularly important, and yet you may feel you must look at them when they arrive. Instead, try these tactics:

  • Schedule checking time. Turn off the alert that appears on your computer screen when you receive an email, and check and respond to messages at set times instead. This helps you manage your coworkers’, managers’, and customers’ expectations about how and when you will reply to them.
  • Choose “low-productivity” times. There are likely certain times of the day when you do your best work, like first thing in the morning or maybe late at night. Schedule email check-ins for your less-productive times and save your peak hours for high-value work.
  • Turn emails into actions. If you need more than a few minutes to read an email, add it to your to-do list.

FLOW BREAKER 3: Social media and web browsing. Both are major productivity killers. Trouble is, organizations can no longer block people’s access to websites that aren’t work-related—smartphones can easily get around this. So it’s up to you to use social media and the rest of the web responsibly. If it is acceptable within your organization, use a brief personal browsing session as a reward for an hour or two of high-quality, focused work.

FLOW BREAKER 4: Nerve-jangling phone calls. The ring of a phone often prompts an intense need to answer, even when you’re in deep concentration. To minimize this source of distraction for you and your team, consider arranging a rotation so that team members can take calls for one another. Also be sure to let friends and family know that you will be available for calls only at lunchtime or in the evening.

FLOW BREAKER 5: Distractions in your work environment. Rather than trying to ignore such distractions as strong cooking smells or loud colleagues, get away from the problem. Set yourself up in an empty meeting room to regain your focus. Or wear noise-canceling headphones or play “white noise” to blank out anything that would otherwise grab your attention.

FLOW BREAKER 6: Confusion due to overwhelming workload. Always try to have a manageable to-do list, because having one that’s too long can lead to procrastination, as you wonder which task to tackle next. Each day, commit to accomplishing the two most important tasks on your list, and put the rest on hold until tomorrow.

“In our study we found that 79.5 percent of managers view prioritizing tasks effectively as one of the most important planning and time management skills,” says Manktelow. “It is so important!”

FLOW BREAKER 7: Other people. Colleagues visiting your desk can be a big source of distraction, but you’re also a manager who wants to be available for your team members. So, if you don’t want to be disturbed at times when you need to focus on a task, consider either working at home or in a conference room. If you have your own office, close the door and tell your team that you need to be left alone to concentrate for a while.

FLOW BREAKER 8: Shortfalls in your own well-being. It takes a lot of mental and physical energy to juggle your priorities, manage visitors, and have the discipline to control your use of technology. So, it’s vital that you take care of yourself. Get plenty of sleep and make sure you drink enough water, as dehydration can make you feel tired and impact your thinking. It’s also important to get some fresh air and take a brisk walk during the day—this will energize you. And try to avoid heavy lunches and sugar-laden snacks, as they can lead to a slump in concentration later in the day.

“It’s easier than ever to lose track of what you should be doing at work, but you can still take steps to avoid distractions and improve flow,” concludes Birkinshaw. “Learning to better manage these ‘flow breakers’ is a valuable skill that can be practiced and sharpened over time. And when you can achieve flow more easily, you will not only become a better manager, but you’ll set a great example for your team as well.”

About the Authors:

James Manktelow

James Manktelow

James Manktelow and Julian Birkinshaw are coauthors of Mind Tools for Managers: 100 Ways to Be a Better Boss (Wiley, April 2018, ISBN: 978-1-119-37447-3, $28.00).

James Manktelow is founder and CEO of MindTools.com. He has written, edited, and contributed to more than 1,000 articles, more than sixty workbooks, and seven books and e-books on management and leadership, including Manage Your Time and Manage Stress.

Julian Birkinshaw

Julian Birkinshaw

Julian Birkinshaw is professor of strategy and entrepreneurship, deputy dean for programs, and academic director of the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the London Business School. He is the author of fourteen books, including Fast/ForwardBecoming a Better Boss, and Reinventing Management.

About the Book:

Mind Tools for Managers: 100 Ways to Be a Better Boss (Wiley, April 2018, ISBN: 978-1-119-37447-3, $28.00) is available at bookstores nationwide, from major online booksellers, and direct from the publisher by calling 800-225-5945. In Canada, call 800-567-4797. For more information, please visit the book’s page on www.wiley.com.

Could You Have PTSD?

Possible Causes of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder  

Typically, when we hear PTSD, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, we think of military veterans who experience vivid and often debilitating panic-inducing flashbacks of their time at war. With June 27th being National PTSD Awareness Day, a condition resulting in over 3 million cases in the US annually, we thought it best to gain some clarity. We connected with Dr. Sanam Hafeez, a PTSD expert and NYC based neuropsychologist and Teaching Faculty Member at Columbia University Teacher’s. Dr. Hafeez who shared some common causes of post-traumatic stress disorder and how to cope.

Understanding the symptoms of PTSD

Typical symptoms of PTSD include distressing nightmares, that awaken you in a state of panic, persistent thoughts and recurring flashbacks about the traumatic experience, numbing or avoidance of memories of the trauma, triggered emotional responses and just an overall on-edge feeling. “Anyone can have PTSD symptoms and oftentimes they may feel judged for not being able to shake off something others may perceive as not being a big trauma. Many people suffer in silence,” cautions Dr. Hafeez who helps people after exposure to these traumas.

Possible Causes of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder 

Motor Vehicle Accidents

One quarter of the population will be involved in automobile accidents that result in serious injuries. “For those who come seeking mental health treatment after a car accident, 60 percent are diagnosed with PTSD, it’s quite common.” Symptoms may include feelings of anxiety, increased heart rate, and a fear of driving or even being a passenger in a car. “Oftentimes people who were injured in a car accident or even perhaps witnessed a fatality will be in shock. Then over time they begin to reply the accident. This is when it’s advised to seek therapy to cope with this trauma, advises Hafeez. 

Military Combat

As stated earlier PTSD is commonly associated with combat veterans with 31% diagnosed. Combat PTSD symptoms can include carrying a weapon when not necessary, seeing threats where none exist, and outbursts of physical violence. “Having these symptoms just means that you are have a reaction of stress to a nearly impossible situation,” says Dr. Hafeez.  Service animals and emotional support pets are a start. Meeting with a PTSD specialist for therapy along with self-calming activities such as meditation, deep breathing, painting or yoga are recommended.

Personal Assaults

Sexual assault, mugging or robbery are life-threatening situations that can instantly trigger post- traumatic stress disorder. When events like these occur, victims will try to avoid reminders of the trauma, always be on guard, and may have problems in daily living. “People who went through assault often report feeling unsafe and on edge as if they are expecting someone to attack them again. They also experience terrible flashbacks with disturbed sleep. Turning to alcohol or drugs isn’t uncommon which is why it’s so important to seek therapy,” explains Dr. Hafeez. Group therapy could be very helpful because there’s comfort in not feeling alone. 

Natural Disasters  

Natural disasters cannot be controlled which makes it more difficult to prevent the anticipatory anxiety. Devastating life altering events such as tornadoes, earthquakes to hurricanes, and fires often put people into a survival mode for up to 18 months, studies show. Symptoms usually peak during the first year and in most cases, survivors get better with time once they have accepted the reality of the event. “When we look at natural disasters that result in loss of lives, assets, and personal property, there’s a sense of hopelessness that can be incredibly overwhelming. The best way to deal with this situation is this is through therapy which is often difficult to receive right away given people get displaced and are focused on basic survival,” says Dr. Hafeez.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is an attempt to control, it’s more about manipulation through put downs, name calling, blame shifting, instilling fear through ultimatum and threats, and making the person question their recollection of conversations and events. Typically, there is an overstepping of boundaries and the person feels as if they are walking on eggshells. Their every decision comes with doubt and anxiety as whatever they choose may upset their abuser. “Usually the PTSD begins after the relationship has ended or in the case of emotionally abusive parents, when the child leaves the home. They may feel depressed and fearful of being manipulated without knowing it. Helping people establish firm healthy boundaries and identifying “red flags,” empowers the victim,” explains Dr. Hafeez. “Emotional abuse is particularly insidious in that it’s feeds off the vulnerabilities and insecurities of its victims,” she adds.

About the Doctor:

Dr. Sanam Hafeez PsyD is a NYC based licensed clinical psychologist, teaching faculty member at the prestigious Columbia University Teacher’s College and the founder and Clinical Director of Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services, P.C. a neuropsychological, developmental and educational center in Manhattan and Queens. 

Dr. Hafeez masterfully applies her years of experience connecting psychological implications to address some of today’s common issues such as body image, social media addiction, relationships, workplace stress, parenting and psychopathology (bipolar, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety, etc…). In addition, Dr. Hafeez works with individuals who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), learning disabilities, attention and memory problems, and abuse. Dr. Hafeez often shares her credible expertise to various news outlets in New York City and frequently appears on CNN and Dr.Oz.

Connect with her via twitter @comprehendMind or www.comprehendthemind.com.

Make the Most of Summer College Visits

For students entering their senior year of high school or current college students considering a transfer, there’s no better way to determine whether a college or university is the right fit than a college visit. Summer is a great time to make those journeys, when campuses are less chaotic and the demands of the school year are on hold.

Take an Official Tour

Most schools offer scheduled tours to prospective students, and this is typically a great starting point to begin getting a feel for an unfamiliar campus. Tours are often in groups, but may be private depending on the school and your timing. A tour is an efficient way to gather a lot of general information and gain access to buildings such as dorms and classrooms that you might not be able to reach on your own.

Satisfy Your Curiosity

Scheduled tours are designed to answer the needs of the general student population, but they don’t necessarily give all the information you need for your chosen field of study or any special considerations or interests. Make plans to meet with an academic advisor in your chosen field, schedule time with a student life representative or simply grab a campus map and seek out the areas that most interest you.

Explore the City

While academics are the obvious heart of a college tour, not every waking moment will be spent on campus. It’s a good idea to get a feel for the community you could soon be calling home. Check out the attractions, sample the local culinary scene and figure out whether the lifestyle that city can offer fits with your vision for your college experience.

If you’re considering several campuses, a centrally-located hotel like The Study at University City in Philadelphia could be a great temporary home basis while you explore. It’s located at the crossroads of the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University, and it’s in close proximity to Temple University, St Joseph’s University and La Salle University. The hotel’s College Package Tour includes a dedicated travel agent, or there are other special packages to make the most of your stay in Philly. Learn more at thestudyatuniversitycity.com/packages.

Take Time to Talk

Although the student population is lighter in the summer months, you’re still likely to find plenty of students milling around, especially in common areas like the student union. Strike up a conversation. Ask what they wished they had known before coming to school and any other questions you might have.

Make Your Interest Official

Unless there’s something that absolutely convinces you it’s not the right school for you, you should always wrap up a college visit with a stop at the admissions office to get your application underway. You can narrow your final selection later, but an early and enthusiastic application is a good way to up your odds for acceptance.

Remember that while getting accepted is an essential step toward the college experience you desire, first you get to decide which schools make the cut in your book. Make your college visits count so you can choose confidently. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Study Hotels

Nunu Roca Hopes to Inspire and Help Others to Achieve Their Goals!

Photography courtesy of Jim Lee.

Nunu Roca was born and raised in a small coastal town in the Pacific of Costa Rica, where she developed a passion for the performing arts from an early age. She moved to Los Angeles in 2016, and after graduating from the ‘Acting for Film and Television’ career at the New York Film Academy she began working professionally as an actress, in theater, film and television. She has worked with renowned artists such as Eugenio Derbez, for the Cinemark promo for Overboard, Camila Cabello, for the music video of the song Havana, Maluma; and the television network Oxygen Network and Telemundo.

Nunu also speaks Catalan, since her father is from Barcelona, Italian, Spanish, and English, and hopes to be able to participate in projects of all these cultures.

Nunu grew up on a farm in Costa Rica and used to pick oysters and shells on the beach for her grandmother to prepare rice with seafood. However, she attended an American school that gave her the opportunity to learn English and introduced her to the world of theater, which became her great passion after participating in a production of ‘La Casa de Bernarda Alba’ by Federico Garcia Lorca.

But this actress does not wait for the projects to come to her, so she also wrote, produced and acted in her short film ‘No Se Puede Armar’ accepted at 5 film festivals, which gave her a nomination as best actress.

Her goal is to continue growing as an actress and professional, representing her country and the Hispanic American community and she hopes to inspire and help others to achieve their goals!

We had the pleasure of chatting with this inspirational young woman and are thrilled to share the highlights of our engaging conversation.

InFluential Magazine:  As an actress, what have you accomplished? 

Nunu Roca:  My most recent film Incomplete has received significant festival acclaim and international recognition, it was officially selected for the Barcelona Planet Film Festival and also granted me a “Best Actress” award from the New York Film Awards. I pursue work in both English and Spanish media, and have had the opportunity to collaborate with influential figures such as Eugenio Derbez, Maluma, and Camila Cabello.

InFluential:  Why you are passionate about your work.

Nunu:  I am very passionate about my craft. First of all, for me, acting is a constant journey of self-discovery and self-awareness, and it is also an opportunity to give life to so many untold stories amongst us. I love that through my roles I have the privilege of living all the realities that I, Nunu, am not. I enjoy being in front of the camera, I consider myself a role model and I have had such a blessed life, it’s my turn to give back and hopefully present that privilege to others.

InFluential:  Did you always know you wanted to be an actress?  

Nunu:  I was not always sure I wanted to be in this industry. Honestly, I was very confused growing up. Since I was a little girl I knew I loved performing! I did theater in school and I also loved to pretend I was a singer at a huge concert packed with people (of course my voice proved otherwise haha) At the same time I was also very studious and meticulous so I always thought I was supposed to study a more health-like or administrative career… I decided to follow my passion and stick to the arts, and like any other industry, it has its ups and downs, but I am so happy to be doing what I love, I can see myself here for a very very long time!

InFluential:  What is your biggest motivation? 

Nunu:  It is the people: their passion for their stories, their support of your own work, their trust in you with their characters, and the encouragement of your followers.

5

InFluential:  Any advice for other people pursuing a career as an actor? 

Nunu:  My advice would be to definitely study, and be specific with your goals! Do you want to be a stunt actor? Or television, or voice-over… etc. Really think about what it is you want to achieve and inform yourself about the training, schools, universities, work-shops etc, and work towards that. Also, it’s important to always be kind, because you never know who will remember you and be willing to lend you a helping hand when you need it the most.

InFluential:  Who inspires you?  

Nunu:  Today, I would say that my top three idols are:

First, my father. He is the figure of hard work and perseverance in my life, he has proved that no matter how great a set-back, you can always get up! He is a constant reminder of determination, gratitude, and prestige.

Second, Spanish actor Mario Casas. At such a young age, he has an incredible career. His impressive range as an actor, his transformations for each role, his dedication to the craft have really set him apart and his work inspires me! He’s a part of films with heart-felt stories and is constantly working on set! I can’t wait to see more of his work. Did I also mention he’s incredibly good-looking!

Third, Jessica Alba. I think she has really set herself apart as a professional, she began as an actress and is now a successful entrepreneur with her own industry. She is a smart, influential, charming woman who I really look up to!

InFluential:  What was the hardest part about your career?  

Nunu:  The hardest part are the scams, and economical complications I have had to go through in order to really open my eyes and become aware of the downs of this industry… I won’t go into much detail but unfortunately sometimes the best way to learn is to live unfavorable experiences, however you also become stronger and wiser and as long as I am healthy and well, I will keep moving forward despite of the difficulties. 

InFluential:  What projects do you have

Nunu:  The next year is full of surprises! I am very excited and welcoming all the projects to come. As of now you will be able to follow me as the character Eva for a series called F.E.A.R.S. to be released towards the end of the year on a VOD platform to be yet announced. The show is about four young women who have been banished from hell for doing good deeds. Forced to hide from Satan, they now attempt to navigate life in the real world!

Also, my film Incomplete is in its festival run, we have been selected in various film festivals up until now, however are still expecting confirmation and approval from others, and we are hoping to attend the Hollyshorts Film Festival in August this year.

On another note, I am working on the script for a feature to be filmed in Costa Rica, details have yet to be disclosed but keep up with me on social media for more information along the way!

InFluential:  What else do you do in your life? 

Nunu:  Besides acting I also work on writing and producing! More things I love include surfing, being outdoors, cooking and traveling! Follow me on social media to keep up with my work and adventures!

InFluential:  What’s your Social media? 

Instagram: @rocanuria

FB/Twitter: @nunuroca

imdb.me/nunuroca

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS Captivates at Bass Concert Hall

Written By Scott Rigtrup, Contributing Writer for InFluential Magazine

Lexus Broadway in Austin has truly brought the quintessential Broadway production to Austin with their presentation of the Tony Awards Best Musical of 2015 “An American in Paris”!

Set at the end or World War II, the war torn “City of Light” lay decimated at the advent of it’s newly found liberation. As American Forces are leaving Europe headed for home, a U.S. Army Lieutenant Jerry Mulligan, deliberately misses his train home after spying a stunningly beautiful young French lady in the streets of Paris who brings a surge of visions to his imagination that demand to be committed to his canvass’s as a newly inspiring artist.

Jerry soon finds lodging and a new start in Paris through his newly made friend Adam Hochberg, a fellow veteran, pianist and aspiring composer, who finds himself overwhelmed with inspiration to write a musical score worthy of a newly discovered young ballerina of the Paris Ballet.

Adam soon introduces Jerry to the aspiring nightclub star Henri Baurel who is the son of wealthy French industrialists who envision their son leading great industries, which makes Henri fearful of their reaction should they learn about his secret dreams to perform on stage. The only things Henri fears more than his parents is his fear of proposing to his lovely girlfriend, who’s name he refuses to share with Adam and Jerry.

Now with our hopeful band of brothers out to conquer the world of art, music and entertainment, where would we be without a common love interest? Perhaps a young lady seen for only a moment on the streets of Paris? Or, perhaps a talented up and coming starlet of the Paris Ballet? Or, perhaps the childhood friend, now girlfriend of a wealthy young man destine to carry on his family’s industrial heritage? Only the beautiful Lise Dassin could turn this glib trio in to a enamored triangle of confusion and despair, and ever so innocently she does!

“An American in Paris” brings the full regalia of dramatic emotions to stage through engaging dialogue and convincing acting, while all the more, passionately blending an incredibly sumptuous variety of dance that leaves the spectators palette exhaustively satisfied with astounding solo, duet and group performances that inspire a joyous awe.

The plot’s telling collision of lives, carried through resounding vocal performances wafts you in a whirl of energy reminding us all of our strengths and our weaknesses; our resiliencies and our frailties and our good fortune to feel it all. “An American in Paris” chronicles far more than one might ever hope to experience in a lifetime while lifting our aspirations to achieve far more!

Lexus Broadway in Austin presented by Texas Performing Arts

 An American in Paris

May 30 – June 3, 2018

                       Wednesday – Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 2 p.m. & 8 p.m.; Sunday at 1 p.m. & 7 p.m.

Bass Concert Hall | 2350 Robert Dedman Drive | Austin, TX 78712

Start at $30.Tickets are available at BroadwayinAustin.com, texasperformingarts.org, the Bass Concert Hall ticket office, all Texas Box Office Outlets, by phone at (512) 477-6060.  For groups of 10 or more, call (877) 275-3804 or email Austin.groups@broadwayacrossamerica.com.

Summer Cocktails for White Wine Drinkers

In preparation for summer, Twin Liquors has crafted a menu of three cocktails perfect for wine drinkers, giving them the tastes they prefer but the refreshment they’ll need.

Classic Martini

Classic Martini

The Classic Martini is for the white wine drinkers who like crisp aromatic wines such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Gris. Created with one part London Dry Gin plus one part Dry Vermouth and garnished with a lemon twist, this iconic cocktail is the perfect option for a crisp summer evening sip.

Classic Lime Daiquiri

Classic Lime Daiquiri

For the white wine drinkers who like sweet, dry, acidic and aromatic whites such as a Riesling, the Classic Lime Daiquiri is the perfect cocktail of choice. Using an Aged Rum with simple syrup and lime juice for a balance of sweet and tart, you’ll create a cocktail that’s ideal for an afternoon by the pool.

Sweet Violet Aviation Cocktail

Sweet Violet Aviation Cocktail

But for white wine drinkers who enjoy perfumed wines such as a Gewürztraminer, the Aviation is a must-try cocktail. To parallel the noticeable fragrances, use an aromatic Gin combined with Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, fresh lemon juice and Créme de Violette for the perfect Aviation that’s sure to take you to new (summery) heights.

You can view Twin Liquor’s “Cocktails for White Wine Drinkers” blog post here.

Some like it HOT, and some like it COLD

Written By Jo Ann Simon

May is National ALS Awareness Month.  #ALSAwareness The National ALS Association is asking everyone to join the fight to create a world without ALS.

I lost my husband to ALS and truly understand how important it is to make people aware of how we can all help to find a cure for this devastating disease.

Most of us remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge involving the dumping of a bucket of ice and water over a person’s head, either by another person or self-administered.  This was done to promote awareness of the disease ALS amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and raise funds for research with donations.  ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.  Gehrig was a star player on the New York Yankees baseball team when his body started to not respond to his brain.

What caused it to become viral was that you had to challenge 3 people when you did it.

Some notable information from the Ice Bucket Challenge is more than 17 million people around the world uploaded their challenge videos to Facebook. These videos were watched by 449 million people a total of 10 billion timesand nationally, 2.5 million people donated $115 million to the ALS Association in 2014.

Amazing! It felt good to do it, challenge other people, and contribute to a cure. This was a major phenomenon which changed the world of ALS starting in the year 2014. The amount of money that was raised, how it helped ALS patients and families, and the progress that it has made since then is the most ever accomplished in ALS’s long history.  It is humbling to be able to help in a small way to know that it will help in a huge way in the future for mankind.

Although the Ice Bucket Challenge was an overwhelming success, we need to keep the donations coming in to find a cure for ALS.

Enter, the ALS Hot Pepper Challenge #ALSPepperChallenge

Eat a hot pepper.  Stop ALS cold.

In honor of their mom Patty who was diagnosed with ALS, the Haberstroth family created the challenge and set a goal of raising $1 million dollars for the ALS Therapy Development Institute.  Patty supports this Institute and deeply believes in their motto:

ALS is not an incurable disease.  It is an underfunded one.  

Every dollar counts and can make a difference between life and death.

Since the Hot Pepper Challenge started, just over half of that goal $572,817 has been raised as of 5-13-18 and counting which are impressive numbers since December 2017. Everyone can join in the endeavor. Some folks will still continue the Ice Bucket Challenge, but it has fizzled out and is no longer the hottest thing to do.  No pun intended.  The hottest thing to do now is the Hot Pepper Challenge.  I challenge everyone to join the fun, eat a hot pepper, make a donation to find a cure for ALS, and challenge 3 more people.  Do it and save lives!!!

Here’s what you need to do to get involved:

  • Take a short video of yourself eating a hot pepper
  • Nominate three (3) people to do the same.
  • Encourage your network to donate to www.als.net/pepperand tag @alstdi when you post and share on your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or YouTube accounts.
  • If you are not on social media, just send to your 3 people, and donate to ALS TDI

Everyone can do it, and if you don’t want to eat a hot pepper, then just make a donation, challenge 3 people and make a difference.

It was too late for the Ice Bucket Challenge to help my husband, but it is not too late for everyone else has been or will be diagnosed with ALS.

Everyone should be encouraged to support ALS, make donations, do the ALS Ice Bucket or Hot Pepper Challenge and challenge other people to do the same.  Let’s make this viral again and create a world without ALS.

Links to find out more about ALS:

ALS Therapy Development Institute: https://www.als.net/

The ALS Association: http://www.alsa.org/