Sensational Salads

Add fruits, veggies to meals for plant-forward nutrition

Adding more fruits and vegetables is one of the simplest ways to make at-home meals healthier for your family.

Focusing your plate on more of the good stuff – vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, plant-based proteins, lean animal proteins and fish – can help you cut back on the not-so-good stuff, including refined carbohydrates, added sugars, processed meats, sodium and saturated and trans fats, according to the American Heart Association.

While some may think meat makes the meal and it can be part of an overall healthy eating pattern, a survey from Aramark, the largest U.S. based food service company, found many people want to ease up on meat consumption, and 2 out of 3 want to eat more fruits and vegetables. The company made sweeping changes to incorporate more plants into its menus, resulting in meals with fewer calories, less saturated fat and reduced sodium.

Punching up the plants on your plate can lead to better nutrition in your house, too. Try putting vegetables and fruits center-stage with these heart-healthy salads.

To help encourage healthier communities, the American Heart Association and Aramark have made it simple for you to learn better nutrition and lifestyle habits and to share that information. For more recipes, tips and resources, visit heart.org/healthyforlife.

Make the Most of Seasonal Fruits and Veggies

For many people, warmer weather means more time outdoors and food cooked on the grill. To help make your meals more nutritious, consider these ideas to choose, store and enjoy warm-weather fruits and veggies:

Corn

Straight from the cob, sweet corn is packed with fiber and antioxidants and can be grilled, boiled or even microwaved. Try tossing it with a small amount of light mayonnaise, lime juice, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper for a simple version of Mexican Street Corn.

Cucumbers

Prep is a breeze with cucumbers, which can be eaten raw with or without the peel. For a no-fuss salad, toss together cucumbers, onion and fresh dill then add a dash of sugar, salt and pepper plus a splash of cider vinegar.

Tomatoes

Full of nutrients, including vitamins A and C and the antioxidant lycopene, tomatoes are a popular option for seasonal dishes. Store them stem-up on the counter, rather than in the fridge, to prevent bruising and enhance the flavor.

For more ways to introduce fruits and veggies to fresh, seasonal meals, visit Aramark’s wellness blog at fyp365.com.

Tangy Kale Slaw with Cilantro and Honey

Recipe courtesy of Aramark

Servings: 6

  • 2          tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1          tablespoon light mayonnaise
  • 1          tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons cilantro leaves, washed and chopped
  • 1          teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/4       teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8       teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2          cups kale leaves, washed, shredded and stems removed
  • 1/2       cup red cabbage leaves, washed and shredded
  • 1/2       cup carrot, trimmed and shredded
  • 1/4       cup green onion, trimmed and thinly sliced
  1. In bowl, combine vinegar, mayonnaise, honey, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Whisk until well blended.
  2. Add kale, red cabbage, carrot and onion. Toss to coat.
  3. Cover and keep chilled prior to serving.

Nutritional information per serving: 40 calories; 1 g protein; 1 g fiber.

Watch video to see how to make this delicious recipe!

Black-Eyed Pea, Corn and Rice Salad

Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association

Servings: 6

  • 2          cans (15 1/2 ounces each) no-salt-added or low-sodium black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1          can (15 1/4 ounces) low-sodium or no-salt-added whole-kernel corn
  • 1          package (8 1/2 ounces) brown rice, microwaved according to package directions and broken into small pieces
  • 2          medium ribs celery, chopped
  • 1          medium bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4       cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1          tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1          tablespoon water
  • 1/8       teaspoon black pepper
  1. In large bowl, stir peas, corn, rice, celery, pepper, parsley, olive oil, water and black pepper until combined.

Nutritional information per serving: 231 calories; 10 g protein; 7 g fiber.

Simple Persian Salad

Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association

Servings: 4

  • 2          medium cucumbers, seeded and diced
  • 4          medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1          medium red onion, diced
  • 1/4       cup chopped fresh mint or parsley
  • 2          tablespoons fat-free feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2          medium limes, juice only
  • 1          tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2       teaspoon black pepper
  1. In bowl, stir cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, mint and feta. Cover and refrigerate 20 minutes.
  2. In small bowl, whisk lime juice, oil and pepper until well blended.
  3. Pour dressing over salad, tossing gently to coat.

Nutritional information per serving: 88 calories; 3 g protein; 3 g fiber. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
American Heart Association/Aramark

Add Fruits, Veggies to Meals for Plant-Forward Nutrition

Adding more fruits and vegetables is one of the simplest ways to make at-home meals healthier for your family.

Focusing your plate on more of the good stuff – ­vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, plant-based proteins, lean animal proteins and fish – can help you cut back on the not-so-good stuff, including refined carbohydrates, added sugars, processed meats, sodium and saturated and trans fats, according to the American Heart Association.

While some may think meat makes the meal and it can be part of an overall healthy eating pattern, a survey from Aramark, the largest U.S. based food service company, found many people want to ease up on meat consumption, and 2 out of 3 want to eat more fruits and vegetables. The company made sweeping changes to incorporate more plants into its menus, resulting in meals with fewer calories, less saturated fat and reduced sodium.

Punching up the plants on your plate can lead to better nutrition in your house, too. Try putting vegetables and fruits center-stage with these heart-healthy salads.

To help encourage healthier communities, the American Heart Association and Aramark have made it simple for you to learn better nutrition and lifestyle habits and to share that information. For more recipes, tips and resources, visit heart.org/healthyforlife.

Black-Eyed Pea, Corn and Rice Salad

Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association

Servings: 6

  • 2          cans (15 1/2 ounces each) no-salt-added or low-sodium black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1          can (15 1/4 ounces) low-sodium or no-salt-added whole-kernel corn
  • 1          package (8 1/2 ounces) brown rice, microwaved according to package directions and broken into small pieces
  • 2          medium ribs celery, chopped
  • 1          medium bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4       cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1          tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1          tablespoon water
  • 1/8       teaspoon black pepper
  1. In large bowl, stir peas, corn, rice, celery, pepper, parsley, olive oil, water and black pepper until combined.

Nutritional information per serving: 231 calories; 10 g protein; 7 g fiber.

Simple Persian Salad

Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association

Servings: 4

  • 2          medium cucumbers, seeded and diced
  • 4          medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1          medium red onion, diced
  • 1/4       cup chopped fresh mint or parsley
  • 2          tablespoons fat-free feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2          medium limes, juice only
  • 1          tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2       teaspoon black pepper
  1. In bowl, stir cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, mint and feta. Cover and refrigerate 20 minutes.
  2. In small bowl, whisk lime juice, oil and pepper until well blended.
  3. Pour dressing over salad, tossing gently to coat.

Nutritional information per serving: 88 calories; 3 g protein; 3 g fiber. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
American Heart Association/Aramark

Are You Less of a Man if You Opt for Cosmetic Surgery?

Dennis Schimpf, MD, MBA, FACS

Dennis Schimpf, MD, MBA, FACS

While the stereotype says it is women who worry most about body image, in truth men also are concerned about what they see when they gaze in the mirror.

They just aren’t always willing to admit it. So, while more men than ever before are turning to cosmetic surgery to improve what they see as defects in their appearance, plenty of others are reluctant to even acknowledge anything that could be seen as a weakness or a flaw.

“For many men, especially older men, being concerned about their appearance is not manly,” says Dr. Dennis Schimpf (www.sweetgrassplasticsurgery.com), founder of Sweetgrass Plastic Surgery and author of Finding Beauty: Think, See and Feel Beautiful.

“They are probably as insecure about their appearance as any woman might be, but they feel that they need to project confidence or be indifferent to their looks.”

Still, some men are clearly putting aside those worries. For example, the number of tummy tucks for men increased 12 percent between 2012 and 2017, according to a study by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Liposuction procedures for men were up 23 percent, and breast-reduction surgeries were up 30 percent.

Even so, Dr. Schimpf says, men who do explore the idea of plastic surgery for cosmetic reasons often seem embarrassed.

“Sometimes a man will come in with his wife, who will talk about herself first, and then open up the conversation to what he’s considering having done, almost as if it’s an afterthought,” he says.

But slowly but surely, more men are entertaining the idea of making changes to their appearance. Dr. Schimpf says a few reasons for that include:

Changing times and attitudes. Men who are baby boomers often worked in jobs involving physical labor. How they looked did not matter on the job. “We live in a different world today,” Dr. Schimpf says. “Men are more concerned with their appearance – their hair, their clothes, their overall look. Little by little, It’s becoming more acceptable for men to publicly talk about looks, and every day there are new products on the market for men who want to change the way they look.”

Technological advances in plastic surgery. Today’s technology allows for less-invasive procedures, which appeal to men. “Men are looking for procedures that deliver more subtle changes with quick recoveries because they want work done ‘under the radar’ essentially,” Dr. Schimpf says. “They don’t want others to know they’ve had something done because of what they believe people will think.”

Social media’s influence. One factor that affects both men and women is how in today’s world, everyone is constantly being photographed and those photographs often end up on Facebook, Instagram or other social media sites for all the world to see. That makes it more difficult than in the past to not care what others think, Dr. Schimpf says. “Patients tell me all the time that they didn’t realize they had a double chin until they saw themselves on their cell phone screen when they turned it on to take a selfie,” he says.

The bottom line, though, is that anyone considering plastic surgery needs to make the decision based on what’s best for them, and not based on how other people view them, Dr. Schimpf says.

“People are going to think what they are going to think, and those who are the most critical of others often have many issues themselves,” he says. “If you try to do for yourself only what someone else thinks is reasonable, you’re not going to be happy.”

About Dennis Schimpf, MD, MBA, FACS

Dr. Dennis Schimpf (www.sweetgrassplasticsurgery.com) is the author of Finding Beauty: Think, See and Feel Beautiful, and the founder of Sweetgrass Plastic Surgery, a multi-faceted practice focusing almost exclusively on cosmetic plastic surgery of the face and body. He is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and American Board of Surgery and is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS), as well as a member of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) and the American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS).

5 Ailments Chinese Medicine Formulas Can Help

D’AO Labs, a leader in offering Chinese medicine formulas, offers hope to those who suffer from numerous ailments

Traditional Chinese medicine has been practiced for thousands of years and is well respected worldwide. Out of that health and wellness field there has emerged the area of Chinese herbal formulas. According to the National Institutes of Health, herbal medicines are a type of dietary supplement that people take to try and maintain or improve their health. One company, DAO Labs, has taken the art of Chinese herbal medicine and has created a line of safe and effective, easy-to-use formulas that help with a variety of health needs.

“Most people are familiar with the idea of Chinese medicine, but are not sure how to easily incorporate it into their life,” explains John G. McGarvey, co-founder and chief executive officer of DAO Labs, a company that makes Chinese herbal medicine formulas to help with a variety of health needs. “With our line of Chinese herbal medicine formulas, we have made making Chinese herbal medicine a simple part of your life. It’s like thousands of years of knowledge in every glass.”

There has been major growth in the Chinese herbal medicine market in recent years. Over half of all acupuncturists are now offering products. According to Medgadget, a company that reports on medical technology around the world, it’s estimated that the herbal medicine market will reach $111 billion by 2023. They further report that according to the World Health Organization, almost 80 percent of the population of many Asian and African countries depends on traditional medicine for primary health care. DAO Labs is helping to make Chinese herbal remedies easily accessible in America. 

Here are 5 health needs where Chinese herbal medicine formulas by DAO Labs can help:

  • Digestive Support. Those who want to strengthen their digestive health may benefit from Digestive Harmony, an herbal medicine that offers soothing, yet powerful, solution for balancing one’s stomach, upgrading digestive health, and generally delivering gut happiness when other western options have fallen short. The formula has been designed to help with a bloating and ballooned belly, digestive harmony, a sideways stomach, and when digestive strength is needed fast.
  • Emotional & Mental Well-Being. Millions of people today are anxious and irritable. Emotional Balance medicine formula has been created to bring calmness and emotional clarity. The formula has been designed to add a subtle boost of energy, while calming irritability, and easing mental tension. Those who use Emotional Balance become happier, calmer, and well adjusted. It’s also an excellent formula for women during the PMS phase of their cycle. 
  • Better Sleep. Inconsistent, low quality sleep can lead to a wide variety of health conditions. Millions of people who don’t get enough sleep each night suffer in a variety of ways. DAO Labs offers two sleep solutions for two different sleep needs. Physical Tranquility has been designed to help the restless and overheated sleeper. The herbal medicine formula will help people to fall asleep, as well as continue to sleep all night, and wake up with better mental clarity and acuity the next day. DAO also offers Mental Tranquility, which is for the stressed sleeper whose mind won’t turn off in the middle of the night and lays awake due to stress and anxiousness. Unlike other sleep supplements, DAO’s Sleep Series formulas don’t contain melatonin and are designed to help you stay asleep.
  • Menstrual Health. Women’s health needs are a primary reason women seek support from an acupuncturist or doctor of Chinese medicine. DAO’s Women’s Formula is used for women seeking to strengthen the regularity of the menstrual cycle, while also offering increased energy each month. In addition, DAO offers their Women’s Monthly Kit which combines two different formulas for different phases of their cycle, offering a month-long solution for menstrual support. 
  • Boost Immunity. Some people seem more prone to getting sick than others. It’s important for those people to boost their immunity. The Immunity Support herbal powder is one of the strongest forms of immunity defense that has been used for over 750 years and remains of the most popular formulas across Asia still to this day. It’s great for cold and pollen season, interacting with large crowds, for teachers and parents, and when you feel there is something coming on.

“There is support for these important health needs, and we have used traditional Chinese medicine principals to address them,” added McGarvey. “We have made it simple, by creating the healing herbal formula. We have taken the ancient wisdom of Chinese medicine and put it in healing powders that are accessible to all.”

All DAO Labs herbal medicine formulas come in single-serve packets with enticing flavors. They are sustainable, have gone through a rigorous testing process, and are manufactured and tested in the US. Each serving is stirred into a glass of water to create a tasty and healthy beverage.

DAO Labs’ motto is that healing begins with nature. Their mission is to help people heal through natural remedies. As such, they are also committed to helping to protect and bring awareness to the environment, in an effort to help stop the illegal wildlife trade. The company is against sourcing materials that harm the environment or endangered species, and has teamed up with the organization WildAid, with 1 percent of all sales going to the organization that is fighting the illegal wildlife trade. To learn more about DAO Labs and their Chinese herbal medicine formulas, visit the site at: https://mydaolabs.com.

To Dad, With Love

Gift ideas for a fantastic Father’s Day

Dads can be notorious as the hardest family members to shop for, but come Father’s Day, there’s little doubt you’ll need a gift that shows dad just how much he means.

Truth be told, your company is probably all dad really needs, but you can help deliver a little something he wants with these diverse ideas for all different kinds of dads. Remember, the secret to great gifting is giving something that shows you know and care about his personal interests.

Find more ideas for all your gifting occasions at eLivingToday.com.

A Sizzling Gift

Gift dad everything he needs to throw an impressive cookout any time he wants with the Father’s Day Gift Package from Omaha Steaks. He’ll be set for summer barbecues with steaks and more on-hand, including two tender filet mignons; two rich and indulgent ribeyes; four robust, juicy burgers and more. The package also includes German Chocolate Cake for a sweet way to end a backyard meal. Find more information and gift packages for dad at omahasteaks.com.

Keep Him Connected

For the dad who’s always tuned in, there’s a way to provide him with entertainment and connectivity while protecting his hearing all at once. Whether he’s using a power saw or mowing the day away, dad can stream his favorite music with the 3M WorkTunes Connect Hearing Protector with Bluetooth wireless technology to make his day both enjoyable and comfortable. With built-in features like high-fidelity audio, comfortable ear cushions and a low-pressure headband, he can even make and take phone calls without missing a beat. Find more information at 3M.com/WorkTunes. Content courtesy of 3M.

Subscribe to Style

Keep dad in style with all the latest looks with a clothing subscription. You can choose from services that coordinate complete outfits, options for accessories only or providers that select a handful of garments for each shipment. It’s a simple solution for a dad who takes pride in his appearance but never has time to shop or dislikes the shopping experience itself. Pricing varies quite a bit; in some cases dad will need to pay a styling fee while with other services he’ll pay only for the items he keeps.

A Cut Above

Practical tools can be the perfect gift, and a pocket knife is such a useful choice that it’s hard to go wrong. For a more sentimental approach, consider a knife with a laser-cut personal message, or go ultra-functional with a multi-tool design. Keep in mind that lesser quality blades may require more frequent sharpening, but they’ll generally do the job just as well as pricier models. Also be conscious of the weight and features like safety catches that may affect comfort and usability.

Game for Golf

An avid golfer never tires of golfing gear, so it’s usually a safe bet for gifting. If you’re knowledgeable enough about his preferences, you can always add a new club to his collection. However, there are plenty of other useful gifts a golfer can appreciate, from a sleeve of quality balls to a book about a legendary player. A new set of gloves can improve his grip (and his game) while a new hat or shirt can give him something he can sport on the course. (Family Features)

Photos of family, clothing, pocket knife and golf gear courtesy of Getty Images.

SOURCE:
Omaha Steaks

3M

Enjoy the Goodness of Grapes for Healthy Snacks and Meals

Establishing a regular pattern of healthy snacks and meals made from fresh, whole foods is essential to promoting good health. Fresh grapes always make a great snack because they are tasty, healthy and portable. Yet grapes can also be used as an ingredient to make good-for-you dishes that are just as satisfying as they are healthy.

According to an IFIC Food and Health survey, consumers are looking more and more to foods for health benefits, with cardiovascular health topping the list as the leading benefit sought. Grapes of all colors – red, green and black – are a natural source of beneficial antioxidants and other polyphenols. Plus, they are naturally fat-free, cholesterol-free and low in sodium. Pairing heart-healthy grapes with other healthy ingredients – including fish, legumes, whole grains and vegetables – offers a vast array of options for nutritious make-at-home dishes.

In these recipes for Chicken Larb with Grapes, Trout with Grape and Lentil Salad, and Smashed Cucumber and Grape Salad, grapes add a juicy burst of flavor, vibrant color and crunch to deliver wholesome meals with bold flavors and fresh textures.

Go for a Grape Snack

Snacking, for many people, is a significant part of daily food consumption, thus making smart snack choices a vital part of promoting good health. According to a study conducted by Mintel, 94 percent of adults snack daily, and 55 percent of people said they snack 2-3 times per day. Grapes are a healthy and hydrating choice without the added fat, salt and sugar found in many processed snacks.

For more meal inspiration for healthy eating, visit GrapesfromCalifornia.com.

Trout with Grape and Lentil Salad

Servings: 4

  • 3/4       cup green lentils, uncooked
  • 2 1/2    cups water
  • 2          tablespoons minced shallot
  • 1 1/2    cups halved red California grapes
  • 1/4       cup fresh chopped dill
  • 1/4       cup chopped walnuts
  • 2          tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1          teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1          tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 1          tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons, olive oil, divided
  • 1          cup arugula
  • 1/2       teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper, plus additional, to taste, divided
  • 4          trout fillets (4-6 ounces each), skin on
  • 1/2       teaspoon lemon zest
  1. In medium saucepan, combine lentils with water. Bring to boil then reduce heat to simmer; cover and cook 15 minutes. Turn off heat and allow lentils to steam 5 minutes; drain and let cool.
  2. In medium bowl, combine lentils, shallot, grapes, dill, walnuts, lemon juice, lemon zest, vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil, arugula, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper, to taste; set aside.
  3. Heat oven to broil. Move rack to highest position.
  4. Sprinkle trout fillets with lemon zest, remaining salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; brush with remaining olive oil. Broil trout 4-5 minutes. Serve with lentil salad.

Nutritional information per serving:  480 calories; 40 g protein; 36 g carbohydrates; 20 g fat (38% calories from fat); 3 g saturated fat (4% calories from saturated fat); 80 mg cholesterol; 380 mg sodium; 10 g fiber.

Chicken Larb with Grapes

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Servings: 4

  • 1/2       red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2          cups halved red California grapes
  • 2          tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2          tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1          pound ground chicken
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2       Thai chilies, thinly sliced
  • 2          teaspoons fish sauce
  • 3          tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/4       cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 3          tablespoons coarsely chopped mint leaves
  • 4          cups steamed jasmine rice
  • 2          cups shredded green cabbage
  • 2          tablespoons chopped roasted and salted peanuts
  1. In medium bowl, combine onion, grapes and rice vinegar; set aside.
  2. In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring frequently until just cooked through, about 6-7 minutes. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Stir in chilies, fish sauce, lime juice, cilantro and mint.
  3. Divide rice between four serving dishes and top with chicken, cabbage, marinated onions and grapes; sprinkle with peanuts.

Nutritional information per serving: 540 calories; 26 g protein; 65 g carbohydrates; 19 g fat (32% calories from fat); 3.5 g saturated fat (6% calories from saturated fat); 100 mg cholesterol; 480 mg sodium; 3 g fiber.

Smashed Cucumber and Grape Salad

Prep time: 20 minutes

Servings: 6

  • 1 1/4    pounds English or Persian cucumbers, ends trimmed
  • 1          teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2          tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1          tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2          teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1-2       teaspoons chili oil
  • 1          teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1          cup halved California grapes
  • 2          scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2          teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  1. Using rolling pin, smash whole cucumbers lightly, just enough to break open. Tear or cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces and season with salt. Transfer to sieve and let drain 10 minutes.
  2. In large bowl, whisk vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, chili oil and sesame oil; stir in grapes and scallions. When cucumbers finish draining, add to bowl with grape mixture and stir to combine.
  3. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Nutritional information per serving: 70 calories; 1 g protein; 11 g carbohydrates; 2.5 g fat (32% calories from fat); 0 g saturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 170 mg sodium; 1 g fiber. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
California Table Grape Commission

I Wish I Were a Jellicle Cat

Written by Raine Jeffers, Contributing Writer for InFluential Magazine

I recently had the extreme pleasure of seeing the beloved musical Cats based on Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Eliot as presented by Lexus Broadway in Austin at Texas Performing Arts. The performance was at the Bass Concert Hall in downtown Austin. When I walked into the concert hall I noticed beautiful string bulb lights hanging from the top balcony all the way down to the stage. It immediately drew me onto the main stage, the set decorated with the view of a foggy full moon shining through what I think was an alley. As the lights went down and the opening music began to play, small pairs of bright green eyes started to appear in the set. More revealed themselves by the second and there were some in the isles of the spectators scurrying around. The eyes disappear and the music becomes quiet as the play begins.

The North American Tour Company of CATS. Photo by Matthew Murphy. 2019

The North American Tour Company of CATS. Photo by Matthew Murphy. 2019

It opens with arguably the catchiest song Jellicle Songs for Jellicle Cats. As all the cats emerged from their hidden spots on the set and crawl their way to the center of the stage, you truly felt the skill involved to play such roles. Everyone moved with such grace and expert precision, I got transformed into a new world. The costumes were absolutely mesmerizing, the detail really added to the character’s overall personalities. Victoria Tinsman (Hair and Makeup Design Coordinator) and Abigail Hahn (Associate Costume Designer) did a beautiful job making them come to life.

Dan Hoy as 'Munkustrap' and the North American Tour of CATS. Photo by Matthew Murphy.2019

Dan Hoy as ‘Munkustrap’ and the North American Tour of CATS. Photo by Matthew Murphy.2019

Each actor is worth noting, but I must say one standout performance was the musical number The Rum Tum Tugger, Rum Tum Tugger played brilliantly by McGee Maddox. Anyone who has seen this musical previously knows this character has a huge personality. He absolutely lit the stage up with so much attitude and even engaged with the audience in a way only his character could get away with. On top of that amazing performance, I know the whole room was moved by Keri René fuller, who played Grizabella the former glamour queen who was past her time. When she performed “Memory”, you could’ve heard a pin drop on the floor, nobody wanted to miss a word.

The North American Tour Company of CATS. Photo by Matthew Murphy. 2019

The North American Tour Company of CATS. Photo by Matthew Murphy. 2019

Associate Director and Choreographer Chrissie Cartwright certainly put together an amazing show with smooth scene changes and a clear focus. I highly encourage anyone to see this production when you get a chance, It brought us all on a journey and by the end, I was a little upset that I myself wasn’t a Jellicle cat.

The North American Tour Company of CATS. Photo by Matthew Murphy. 2019

The North American Tour Company of CATS. Photo by Matthew Murphy. 2019

Visit Lexus Broadway in Austin at https://austin.broadway.com/shows/cats/ for more details about the performance and purchasing tickets.  The Final Show is schedule for Sunday, May 12.  

New York Gastroenterologist Shares 7 Ways To Beat Those Sugar Cravings

How to overcome sugar cravings. Dr. Niket Sonpal gives us his expert tips.

From cleansing your system to losing weight, it is the goal of many to decrease their consumption of added sugars. But what happens if we can’t stop our body from craving it?

Sugar cravings are a formidable opponent to anyone trying to stay on a nutritious path. Sugar cravings can attack in the middle of the day or night, and it takes the will power of a comic book hero to say no to such temptation. But what if we can identify and address the underlying reason why we feel such a need for sugar? New York internist and gastroenterologist, Dr. Niket Sonpal who is also a faculty member at Touro College of Medicine says,  “If more people could learn to pinpoint the reasons why they experience sugar cravings they would have better tools to avoid breaking their nutritional goals.”

Here are Dr. Sonpal’s 7 Ways to Conquer Sugar Cravings:

Drink water; you might be dehydrated.

Many people mistake thirst for sugar cravings. “We know that we want something fresh and cold and we usually identify that with sugary drinks,” says Dr. Sonpal. “When our bodies have a deficiency in fluids, it can’t efficiently breakdown glycogen, and this causes the urge to consume something sugary. In reality, what you need to do first is drink water and observe how you feel,” he explains.

Try to Decrease Your Sugar Intake Gradually

Scans have shown that sugar fuels every cell in the brain.  “Our bodies view sugar as a reward. But too much of a good thing is not good at all in this case. By partaking in overconsumption of sugar you are reinforcing your body’s need for that reward, essentially becoming addicted to it,” explains Dr. Sonpal. But like many addictions, it is not a reasonable or sustainable strategy to quit cold turkey. If you feel as though you are out of control or moody without your first soft drink of the day or until you have a piece of chocolate, you need to consider slowly draining your system from that need for sugar.

Rethink social habits that drive you towards sugar

Many of us have social rituals during our day that help us destress amidst countless tasks and meetings. “If you have a standing ritual with a friend or coworker of eating a piece of cake after lunch every day or running to the coffee shop on the corner to get the most sugary caffeinated iced drink you can find, rethink those social behaviors,” says Dr. Sonpal. Try to put something else in place that is healthy but rewarding.

Evaluate your protein intake

Many famous diet plans like Paleo, Vegetarian, and Keto seek to reduce sugars in your food. Sometimes a good way to kick your sugar cravings to the curb is having some good ole’ fashion protein. “Protein reduces the speed with which your body processes sugars and in turn helps you need lower amounts to experience that reward. Eggs, black beans, broccoli, and chicken are really healthy ways to get that protein in to quench that yearn for sugar,” suggests Dr. Sonpal.

If push comes to shove, pick fruit

There will be times when your craving for sugar will be exacerbated by the stress of the day or however many days you’ve gone without consuming it. You may feel like you can have a cheat day. According to Dr. Sonpal, “Your best response to a worsening need for sugar is to eat a piece of fruit. If you get to a point where you feel frustrated, instead of eating processed sugar, eat fruit. Fruits are sweet and have natural sugar that can address your sweet tooth without throwing out your entire effort,” says the NYC gastroenterologist. With the fruit, you will get added vitamins and fiber.

Fiber is your friend

Fiber helps clean out your system, and it is processed more slowly by the body. Fiber helps you feel fuller for longer effectively reducing your craving for mid-meal snacks. “Many people will be very deliberate with their decision to reduce sugar in their meals but will ultimately cave in when their body needs a snack because a lot of the snacks we have in our pantry have sugar in them. Fiber and lots of water would help you stay full for longer periods,” Says Dr. Sonpal.

Observe your consumption of starch

Starches like white rice, white bread, pasta are complex carbs that the body process as simple carbs. They end up affecting the sugar levels in your body and feeding into your need for sugar as fuel for brain activity and energy. If you have cut out processed sugars but continue to eat an abundance of starches, then your next step is to progressively reduce your consumption of those foods as well to clean your system of the need for sugars.

About the Expert: Dr. Niket Sonpal

Dr. Niket Sonpal is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine and Clinical instructor at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, Brooklyn who specializes in Gastroenterology. He is a graduate of the Medical University of Silesia – Hope Medical Institute in Poland. After completing his residency in Internal Medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital, he was selected to be the 2013‐2014 Chief Resident at Lenox Hill Hospital–Northshore LIJ Health System. Dr. Sonpal has completed his Fellowship in Gastroenterology & Hepatology at Lenox Hill Hospital and continues his work in the field of medical student and resident test preparation. He now serves as the associate program director for the Internal Medicine Residency Program at Brookdale University medical center.

He is the co‐author for the best-selling Master the Boards: USMLE Step 2 CK, Master the Boards Step 3, And Master the Boards: Internal Medicine. He is also the Chief Operating Officer for Medquest Test Prep, Director of Medical Education for Picmonic Test Prep, and a recognized expert on medical test prep.

The Best Gift for Mother’s Day? Help Mom Live a Long, Healthy Life with the Mediterranean Diet (and These Delicious Recipes)

The Mediterranean-style eating pattern is shown to prevent disease and increase longevity. This Mother’s Day help Mom make the lifestyle changes that lead to ongoing health. Amy Riolo’s new diabetes-friendly cookbook—which is based on recipes she wrote for her own mother after she was diagnosed with diabetes—is full of quick, easy, and flavorful recipes she will love.

          May is Mediterranean Diet Month, and with Mother’s Day just around the corner, most of us are busy planning the perfect present for Mom. The usual gifts of flowers and cards are nice ideas, but best-selling author, chef, television personality, and educator Amy Riolo says the greatest gift you could give your mother is helping her achieve lasting health.

          “The best way to show love to your mother on Mother’s Day is by making a meaningful contribution to her life,” says Riolo, author of the American Diabetes Association’s The Mediterranean Diabetes Cookbook, 2nd Edition: A Flavorful, Heart-Healthy Approach to Cooking (American Diabetes Association, May 2019, ISBN: 978-1-580-40702-1, $22.95).”Let your mom know that you love her, and that’s why you want her to live a long, healthy, and happy life. Introducing her to the healthful and delicious dishes from the Mediterranean region is a great way to do just that.”

          You’ve likely heard of the Mediterranean diet, which was recently named best overall diet of 2019 and has been shown to help extend your lifespan by roughly a decade. This eating pattern has also been linked to preventing heart attacks, strokes, certain cancers, and diabetes, and reducing inflammation. It may even help lower your risk of dementia by a third.

          The Mediterranean eating pattern centers around seasonal produce, fish and seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy, and small amounts of meat and sweets. Riolo says that part of what makes this diet so successful is that people in the Mediterranean region consider food to be a friend and ally—a source of pleasure, nutrition, history, medicine, and tradition. When combined with lifestyle choices like communal eating and physical activity, the Mediterranean diet is believed to contribute to remarkable longevity in the region. For example, residents in Sardinia are ten times more likely to live past 100 than people in the United States.

          Riolo says Mother’s Day is the perfect time to help your mother make the lifestyle changes that can give her a longer and more joyful life. Read on for three ways you can celebrate your love for your mom and help her start living a healthier life.

Prepare a delicious Mediterranean-style Mother’s Day lunch. Show Mom how much you love her by preparing her a special Mother’s Day meal. Offering a lunch that features delicious and healthy Mediterranean-inspired dishes is the perfect way to celebrate with your mom and the rest of your family. Not only is this a great time to enjoy healthy food, it’s also a chance to reap the benefits of communal eating, a long-upheld tradition in Mediterranean communities. Sharing a table and enjoying camaraderie with loved ones provides a sense of comfort, security, and stability. Below you’ll find a tempting sample lunch menu from the cookbook.

Give Mom a copy of The Mediterranean Diabetes Cookbook, 2nd Edition. Help your mother rediscover the joy of eating food that’s full of flavor while still being healthful. Riolo created many of the recipes in the cookbook after her own mother was diagnosed with diabetes. Full of more than 200 delicious, authentic, and naturally nutritious recipes, The Mediterranean Diabetes Cookbook, 2nd Edition guides you on a culinary journey through the flavors of Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, and more. The recipes are quick and easy to prepare, and can be enjoyed by people with or without diabetes.

Help her stock a healthy Mediterranean pantry. A well-stocked pantry saves time, money, and stress, and makes it easy to eat more healthy meals. With a full Mediterranean pantry in place, Mom can whip up fresh and delicious dishes in just minutes. For Mother’s Day, treat her to a shopping trip and stock her pantry with the basics she’ll need to continue cooking healthy meals. (Please see the attached sidebar for a checklist of essential foods and products you’ll need to stock a ready-to-cook Mediterranean pantry.)

          Ready to start planning an unforgettable Mother’s Day feast? Read on for a healthy and delicious menu to share with Mom and the rest of your family.

Swordfish Alla Ghiotta
Gluten-free

Serves: 4 | Serving Size: 1 Fillet | Prep Time: 5 Minutes | Cook Time: 25 Minutes

This is one of my favorite recipes to teach. I first printed it in my Italian Diabetes Cookbook. Since swordfish is not always stocked in American supermarkets, it’s a good idea to call ahead to find out when a shipment will be arriving and place an order. Pumpkin swordfish, tuna, haddock, and cod can all be substituted for swordfish when making this recipe. The swordfish also tastes great grilled with the sauce spooned over the top.

1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups boxed no-salt-added chopped tomatoes, or canned no-salt-added petite diced tomatoes
3 Tbsp freshly chopped basil
1/8 tsp unrefined sea salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Dash crushed red pepper
2 Tbsp capers, rinsed and well drained
1/4 cup green olives (such as Sicilian Colossal or
Cerignola), rinsed, drained, pitted, and roughly chopped
4 (1/4-lb) boneless swordfish fillets

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add celery and sauté until tender, approximately 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook until it releases its aroma, but do not let garlic turn brown.

Stir in chopped tomatoes, basil, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, capers, and olives. Mix well to combine, and cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.

Carefully remove lid from tomato sauce and add swordfish fillets into simmering sauce. Cover and cook for 10–15 minutes or until fish is cooked through.

Transfer fish to a serving platter, top with sauce, and serve.

Choices/Exchanges 
2 Nonstarchy Vegetable, 3 Lean Protein, 1 Fat

Calories 210
Calories from fat 80
Total fat 9.0 g
Saturated fat 1.9 g
Trans fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 45 mg
Sodium 450 mg
Potassium 890 mg
Total carbohydrate 8 g
Dietary fiber 3 g
Sugars 5 g
Protein 24 g
Phosphorus 350 mg

Healthy Living Tradition
In Sicily and Calabria, the ghiotta style of cooking has been around for centuries. In addition to swordfish, stockfish is also prepared this way. Celery, green olives, capers, and black pepper are essential to any ghiotta recipe. You can use the onion and caper variety of your choice.

Broccoli and Spinach Salad with Blueberries, Feta, and Buttermilk Dressing
Gluten-free, Vegetarian

Serves: 6 | Serving Size: 1 Cup | Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Cook Time: None

I decided to offer this as an antioxidant-infused snack prior to a class and wanted you all to have it on hand for quick meals. Try adding leftover chicken, fish, or quinoa to make a complete meal.

1/2 lb fresh baby spinach
1 cup chopped broccoli
1/2 ripe avocado
1/4 cup blueberries
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup fat-free buttermilk
1 clove garlic
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp poppy seeds
A few sprigs of fresh dill and/or other herbs
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place spinach, broccoli, avocado, blueberries, feta cheese, and sunflower seeds in a large bowl or on a large platter.

Place yogurt, buttermilk, garlic, lemon juice and zest, poppy seeds, herbs, and pepper in blender and blend to combine. (If not using a blender, ingredients can also be whisked in a bowl until combined.)

Pour dressing over salad and serve immediately.

Choices/Exchanges
½ Carbohydrate, 1 ½ Fat

Calories 100
Calories from fat 50
Total fat 6.0 g
Saturated fat 1.2 g
Trans fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 5 mg
Sodium 105 mg
Potassium 430 mg
Total carbohydrate 8 g
Dietary fiber 3 g
Sugars 3 g
Protein 6 g
Phosphorus 155 mg

Healthy Living Tradition
Combining broccoli with other superfoods such as blueberries and avocado is a great way to get more nutrients in your diet.

MangoMiSu (Mango Tiramisu)
Vegan

Serves: 8 | Serving Size ½ Cup |
Prep Time: 5 Minutes, Plus at Least 6 Hours Chilling Time | Cook Time: None

The rich, indulgent flavors of traditional tiramisu are reserved for special occasions in Italy. This version combines yogurt, mango, and cooling cardamom for a light, uplifting treat that is perfect for a healthy indulgence any time of year. Keep in mind that the MangoMiSu needs to set for a minimum of 6 hours or overnight. Peaches and pineapple also work well in this recipe.

12 BelVita breakfast biscuits, golden oat
16 oz fresh mango cubes, or frozen and thawed, divided
2 Tbsp light agave nectar
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups fat-free organic vanilla yogurt, divided
1/2 cup strawberries
8 fresh mint sprigs

Line the bottom of an 8-inch wide bowl with 4–6 biscuits, making an even layer. (You may need to break a few to get them to fit.)

Purée 8 oz mango cubes by placing them in a food processor and processing until liquid. Using a spatula, remove from food processor. Add agave nectar, cardamom, and vanilla to mango purée.

Pour or spoon half of the mango purée over the biscuits. Spoon 1 cup of yogurt over mango purée evenly. Scatter remaining mango cubes over the yogurt, reserving 1 Tbsp for garnish. Sprinkle the strawberries over the mangoes, and top the fruit with remaining 6–8 biscuits.

Pour remaining half of mango purée over the biscuits. Top with remaining yogurt, and smooth out to cover surface. Scatter remaining 1 Tbsp mango cubes over the top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 6 hours or overnight or until set.

Serve 1/2-cup portions in small dessert cups. (Alternative plating idea: To plate as 8 individual servings rather than using a large bowl, simply layer 1/8 of each ingredient in a glass dessert dish or wine glass.) Garnish each serving with a mint sprig.

Choices/Exchanges 
2 Carbohydrate, ½ Fat

Calories 170
Calories from fat 30
Total fat 3.5 g
Saturated fat 0.3 g
Trans fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 110 mg
Potassium 230 mg
Total carbohydrate 31 g
Dietary fiber 2 g
Sugars 19 g
Protein 4 g
Phosphorus 85 mg

          “Getting healthy and staying that way means adopting a lifestyle that allows you to enjoy more nutritious homecooked meals and share them with the ones you love,” concludes Riolo. “There’s no better time than Mother’s Day to help your mom make a commitment to eat fresh and delicious foods that will keep her healthy and well for years to come.”

Starting a Mediterranean Pantry

Excerpted from The Mediterranean Diabetes Cookbook, 2nd Edition: A Flavorful, Heart-Healthy Approach to Cooking 
(American Diabetes Association, May 2019, ISBN: 978-1-580-40702-1, $22.95)

          Best-selling author, chef, television personality, and educator Amy Riolo says a well-stocked pantry saves time, money, and stress when you’re ready to cook. And most importantly, it encourages you to eat healthfully. This essential checklist contains all the ingredients you’ll need to prepare delicious and nutritious Mediterranean-inspired meals.

Items to Stock in Your Pantry
The following items are categorized by where they are found in grocery stores.

Baking
Active dry yeast
Agave nectar
Almond extract
Baking powder
Baking soda
Cocoa powder, unsweetened
Cornmeal
Cornstarch
Flour, all-purpose, unbleached; barley; bread;
chickpea; semolina; spelt; whole-wheat;
whole-wheat pastry
Polenta
Salt, kosher
Sea salt, unrefined
Sugar, natural
Vanilla extract

Beans and Legumes
“I prefer using dried beans and legumes, but if you are not used to using them, or might need them to be ready to use in a pinch, I recommend keeping canned varieties on hand as well,” says Riolo.

Black beans, canned, reduced-sodium
Cannellini beans, canned, reduced-sodium
Chickpeas, canned, low-sodium
Lentils (brown), canned
or dried, no-salt-added

Herbes de Provence (Dried)
Basil
Lavender
Marjoram
Oregano
Rosemary
Sage
Tarragon
Thyme

Italian Specialty
Anchovy fillets, packed in olive oil
Artichoke hearts, canned
Bread crumbs, plain
Capers, packed in water
Espresso coffee
Ladyfingers
Olives, green, black, Kalamata, Niçoise,
and Gaeta
Roasted red peppers, jar
Tomato paste
Tomato purée
Tomatoes, canned, low-sodium
(diced and fire-roasted)
Tuna, canned, packed in water

Miscellaneous
Dijon mustard
Garlic
Granola, low-fat, almond
Honey

Nuts and Dried Fruit
Almonds, blanched
Chestnuts, jar, whole,
roasted or steamed
Dates
Pine nuts
Pistachios, shelled
Raisins
Walnuts

Oils and Vinegars
Corn or vegetable oil, expeller-pressed
Nonstick cooking spray
Olive oil, extra-virgin
Vinegar, apple cider, balsamic, white, distilled

Pasta and Grains
Bulgur wheat
Couscous
Orzo
Quinoa
Rice, arborio, basmati, medium-grain, wild
Whole-wheat pasta, spaghetti, penne rigate

Spices and Seeds
Allspice
Anise seeds
Caraway seeds
Cayenne pepper
Chili powder
Cinnamon and cinnamon sticks
Cloves, whole and ground
Coriander, ground
Crushed red pepper
Cumin
Fennel seeds
Flaxseeds
Ginger, ground
Green cardamom, ground and pods
Juniper berries
Mint
Nutmeg
Paprika
Peppercorns
Saffron
Seafood seasoning
Sesame seeds
Sumac
Turmeric
Za’atar

Stocks
“I prefer making homemade stocks and freezing them for future use,” says Riolo. “However, it’s also good to keep a few boxes on hand in a pinch.”

Chicken stock, reduced-sodium
Vegetable stock, reduced-sodium

Items for the Fridge
(Use local and organic if possible)
Carrots
Celery
Cheese, Parmesan, Romano, mozzarella,
feta, and goat
Eggs

Fresh Seasonal Produce
Herbs, fresh
Lemons
Lettuces, assorted
Milk, skim
Onions
Potatoes
Shallots
Sweet potatoes
Yogurt, plain, fat-free

Items for the Freezer
“While I prefer fresh food whenever possible, a well-stocked freezer can help when you are short on time,” says Riolo. “In terms of nutrition, frozen items (without high-fat ingredients or excess sodium) are often a better option than takeout and delivery items, which can sabotage a healthy lifestyle plan.”

Chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
Fish fillets
Phyllo dough
Vegetables, frozen

About the Author: 

Amy Riolo is the author of The Mediterranean Diabetes Cookbook, 2nd Edition: A Flavorful, Heart-Healthy Approach to Cooking (American Diabetes Association, May 2019, ISBN: 978-1-580-40702-1, $22.95). She is an award-winning, best-selling author, chef, television personality, and educator.

A graduate of Cornell University, Amy is considered a culinary thought leader who enjoys changing the way we think about food and the people who create it. Amy is a food historian, culinary anthropologist, and Mediterranean Diet advocate who makes frequent appearances on numerous television and radio programs both in the United States and abroad, including FOX TV, ABC, CBS, NBC, the Hallmark Channel, Nile TV, the Travel Channel, Martha Stewart Living Radio, and Abu Dhabi Television.

For more information about Amy, please visit www.amyriolo.com.

About the Book:
The Mediterranean Diabetes Cookbook, 2nd Edition: A Flavorful, Heart-Healthy Approach to Cooking (American Diabetes Association, May 2019, ISBN: 978-1-580-40702-1, $22.95) will be available at bookstores nationwide and from major online booksellers.

Stream Your Favorite Seasons of a Historic Show

Entertainment seekers hooked on stories of love and romance can indulge in finding some of the early episodes of one of the most popular reality dating shows of all-time for free.

For fans of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette,” watching (or re-watching) the early seasons can be as simple as streaming with Tubi, the largest free video-on-demand service. Now also streaming season five of “Bachelor in Paradise,” viewers can relive how Colton Underwood, who was also a contestant on season 14 of “The Bachelorette,” began his journey toward becoming the Bachelor of season 23.

“I think it’s great that ‘Bachelor’ fans can relive all their favorite moments on a free video service,” Underwood said. “It gives original fans the chance to watch the moments that helped them fall in love with the show while bringing in new viewers to continue building the show’s following.”

A former professional football player, Underwood concluded his season as the Bachelor by giving the “final rose” to Cassie Randolph.

A massive library of films and TV shows are available for viewers, all without the hassle of credit cards and subscription fees, via ad-supported streaming services like Tubi, the largest of its kind, available on virtually every platform from mobile devices to video game consoles and more. With more than 40,000 hours of offerings, including 12,000 movies and television series, viewers can indulge in genres of all kinds on the growing platform from Hollywood blockbusters to independent films and specialty content.

Find more information at Tubi.TV. (Family Features)

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Colton and Cassie Underwood)

SOURCE:
Tubi