About Lenny Variano

About Myself: Lenny Variano I am a certified Holistic Health Counselor, a member of The Association of Drugless Practitioners and a graduate of The Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Martial Arts has been a big part of my life for almost 30 years. I believe strongly in the fact that everyone is an individual and that all of our bodies operate differently. Developing a strong mental attitude (through meditation and exercise) a strong spirituality (by caring for all that surrounds you) and a healthy body (through proper diet) are key to complete nutrition. Coaching clients to explore, accept and prepare intelligent food choices is my passion.

It’s A Dog’s Life…

Oct Dog_childThere are approximately 43 million households in America that have one or more dogs as part of the family bringing the total up to some 73 million dogs. Some fall into the Service Dog category in which they provide assistance to the blind, disabled veterans and help with mental disabilities such as autism. Programs have even been adopted in prisons where inmates are given the responsibility of training a puppy. But what makes dogs so responsive to our needs? Does it have to do strictly with being devoted to the hand that feeds them or does it go deeper. Dr. Gregory Berns a neuroscientist at the Emory University in Atlanta has been scanning the brains of dogs to find out how exactly they think and what is their motivation. The process of using an M.R.I. was difficult because of the hearing sensitivity. When the process of getting a dogOct header into an M.R.I. scanner was finally mastered some 90 dogs were scanned to see if their brains functioned along the lines of a human. The tests proved that dogs use the corresponding parts of their brain to solve tasks. About 25% of the dogs responded more to praise rather then to food. It was also discovered the dogs have the capability of responding to a photo of someone that they have an extreme devotion to. Could understanding a dog’s brain lead to solving why certain animals tend to be aggressive? If so, would it eventually help us in discovering the key to understanding aggressive behavior in humans?

Millet…

Millet is one of the earliest cultivated crops. It is often classified as one of the milletAncient grains along with Quinoa and Buckwheat. Most people often think of millet as bird food since it is a major part of commercial bird feed. It is extremely high in protein, great for those who are gluten intolerant and can be grown in extremely arid conditions. Millet can also be a substitute for couscous since it is a whole grain. Along with its supply of protein, it contains an abundance of important nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium. It is slowly gaining popularity in the western diet.

Do You Have a Favorite Color?

Color_blue glassColor is a major part of our lives. It can elevate your mood or evoke a past memory from childhood. Researchers have found that 90% of snap decisions about buying a product are made on the color of the object alone. A French study was conducted in which 48% of participants rated drinking soda in a blue glass as more thirst quenching then in a glass of another color. The color blue was associated with something tasting icy and cold. When consumers see a green label on a product they associate it with being more nutritious. Purple decor in a bedroom has been known to encourage more intimacy whereas grey walls and furniture do just the opposite. White and beige may also have the opposite effect and can inhibit intimacy. Fast food restaurants use orange and yellow as their main colors. They have found that using these colors encourages people to eat quickly and in turn give up their tables for the next client. However, personal preferences, color_fast foodexperiences, upbringing, cultural differences and in which context a color is used, may cause it to have a totally different meaning. Brown is often associated with ruggedness. However, attempts are being made by The Global Health Organization to have cigarette packages colored brown. Smokers have voted brown as the color that would most likely deter them from buying a pack. Black is considered sexy and sophisticated in clothing and it is also great to be “in the black” in business. On color_red heartsthe other hand, It can also imply an eerie, sinister and mysterious feeling. Red is often used to express love and strong emotion. However, red is used as a warning of danger and is a bad color in business. Colors surround us and nature changes them with every season. It is important to think about what colors we choose to surround us in our environment. Choosing the right color can have a tremendous impact on our mood and our productivity.

Beet Hummus…

Beet Hummus

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients;
• 1/2 pound beets (about 4 medium sized beets), scrubbed clean, cooked, peeled, and cubed*
• 2 Tbsp tahini sesame seed paste
• 5 Tbsp lemon juice
• 1 small clove garlic, chopped
• 1 Tbsp ground cumin
• 1 Tbsp lemon zest (zest from approx. 2 lemons)
• Generous pinch of sea salt or Kosher salt
• Fresh ground pepper to taste

Directions:
Place cooked beets and all other ingredients in a Nutribullet

Prep time: 10 minutes
• Cooking the beets time: 35 minutes
• Yield: Makes 2 cups

*To cook the beets, cut off any tops, scrub the roots clean, put them in a covered dish with about 1/4-inch of water in a 375°F oven, and cook until easily penetrated with a knife or fork. Alternatively, cover with water in a saucepan and simmer until tender, about 1/2 hour. Peel once they have cooled.

Recipe compliments of Simplyrecipes.com

Light and Strength…

Excessive exposure to artificial light can take a toll on your muscles. People who work on computers or hospital workers can spend long hours under these conditions. Researchers artificial lightat the Leiden University Medical Center in the Netherlands tested rats by placing one group in continuous light. The control group was placed in 12 hours of light and 12 hours of darkness (normal conditions). The group in continuous artificial light lost muscle strength, showed signs of osteoporosis, gained weight and their immune system suffered. Returning the rats to a normal light schedule however, reversed the symptoms. More testing has to be done but it seems the mind as well as the body need a period of complete darkness to revitalize.

Cursive writing and Learning…

Today most children use a keyboard. Research has found that practicing handwriting may be a key to actually learning to write correctly. There is a strong connection between brain Cursive writingdevelopment and writing letters on a page. Whether it be in printed or cursive form, it seems that in later years there is a strong connection between children who are able to present a neatly written paper and academic achievement. Children who have difficulty writing neatly spend more time worrying about the appearance of what they have written as opposed to the content. Tests have shown that after a child is taught to print there is activation of reading networks in the brain. Cursive writing takes it a step further. It increases a child’s ability to connect and spell words and compose intelligent sentences. College students who take hand written notes also seem to have better retention during exams. So sit down and write a letter every now and then instead of pounding away at the keyboard.

An Alternative to Biopsies…

The blood tests known as liquid biopsies may soon be the alternative to invasive tumor Blood biopsiesbiopsies. DNA fragments from mutated cancer cells can be found in the blood of people with cancerous tumors. At present liquid blood tests are used to monitor the progression of a disease and the effect of the drugs being administered. The data is the result of research done at the University of California Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center. One such test on the market (Guanant) detects 70 cancer-related genes. The study tested the accuracy of tumors removed from 400 patients against the DNA removed from taking a blood sample. The shortcoming is that 15% of those tested did not show the presence of cancer mutations where their actually was. Hope is that in the future patients may be spared the pain of invasive tumor biopsies.

Fortified Foods…

An online survey was conducted in which 5,000 adults were asked to assess snack food packages. When the front of the package claimed it was a good source of a particularfortified foodsvitamin or mineral, the participants were less likely to check the nutritional information on the package. They just assumed that a package that had a health claim would in turn be a healthier option. The study was published in The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It is important to always read the nutritional facts of any boxed or processed food.The addition of vitamins may also mean the addition of empty calories.

Braces a Sign of Wealth…

bracesThe new rage of kids from Thailand, Indonesia and China is having braces put on their teeth even if it is unnecessary. It has become a sign of prosperity to be able to afford having this form of dental work done. Most of the braces are superficial and are usually administered in beauty salons and can prove to be as complicated a process as putting in real braces. Because the trend has now been banned in Thailand a black market for these phonies has popped up.

Fighting Climate Change with Your Fork…

CattleIn the last decade Americans have eaten 19% less beef then over past decades. Although they are more concerned with health, it has also had an unintended positive effect on the environment. According to research done by The National Resources Defense Council 37% of Americans cited health as well as the cost of beef as the main reasons for the increase in consumption of other proteins such as chicken and tofu. The effects of raising cattle creates greenhouse emissions. This reduction is equivalent to the emissions of about 39 million cars. Cattle feed is grown using petroleum based fertilizers. In turn the animal’s digestive system produces methane gas. Methane is 25% more damaging to the environment then carbon dioxide.