Acorn Squash: is nutrient dense and packed with vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber and antioxidants. It is sometimes forgotten or ignored simply because most of us do not know what to do with it.
A Simple Recipe... 1. Cut Squash in half, clean out seeds with a spoon, place in a baking dish inside facing down in 1″ of water.
2. Bake in oven for 65 minutes at 350 degrees
3. Turn right side up, score a little, add lump of butter, some maple syrup and cinnamon.
Making Healthy Choices When Dining Out: By paying attention to how a meal is prepared you will not only consume less calories but also leave satisfied and not overstuffed. In other words look for foods that are either braised, baked, grilled, broiled or poached as opposed to fried, breaded or crispy. Ask for all your sauces to be set on the side so you can decide how much you wish to consume.
A great evening at the Brooklyn Museum. Four Salsa Studios collaborated on an evening of dance. The evening began with a free Salsa lesson followed by a live band and DJ. Performances by the pro groups of the different studios finished off this incredible event. Having a difficult time getting to the gym or just exercising? Try something fun like dancing.
Raw Foods: Start making it a practice to include a percentage of your daily diet with raw foods (nuts, fruit, veggies etc.). Raw foods take longer to chew which will encourage mindful eating. They are also beneficial for digestion since raw foods are an excellent way of replenishing your digestive food enzymes.
A mushroom (or toadstool) is the fleshy, spore-bearing fruiting body of a fungus, typically produced above ground, on soil or on its food source. (Wikipedia) . There are at least 140,000 different species of mushrooms but we are generally only familiar with about 10% of them. A carbohydrate in mushrooms, known as a beta-glucan, fuels our immune cells. It does this by interacting with our T-cells (natural killer cells) and stimulating them to react to toxins and infections in the body. Over-stimulation of the immune system can result in auto-immune diseases such as chronic allergies and rheumatoid arthritis. Mushrooms have the ability to modulate and keep things in balance. The most common of mushrooms have antibiotic qualities which have been proven to be very effective in humans. Penicillin, Streptomycin, Tetracycline were all derived from fungal extracts. In addition to strengthening our immune system, mushrooms are shown to have a beneficial effect on detoxification, cardiovascular health, blood pressure, cholesterol, boosting circulation, increasing vitality and even insulin resistance. They are extremely high in Selenium, the B vitamins and Vitamin D (even more so if they are allowed to sit and dry in the sun for 2 days). Americans as a whole consume about 900 lbs of mushrooms yearly. However, most of those are the more commonly known varieties such as The White Button, Crimini, Shiitake, Oyster and Portobello (top left). These are beneficial and should become a part of our daily diets but there are others that are lesser known and could be of even greater benefit. Chanterelles (top right) are extremely high in Vitamin C and Potassium. Reishi (“mushroom of immortality”)(middle left) have the ability to boost athletic performance, support lung function and liver detoxification. Cordycepts (above right) are shown to enrich bone marrow. Maitaki (lower left) can reduce swelling and redness by increasing the inflammatory response. Himematsutake (below) may help in fighting diabetes and improve skin and hair. A great deal of scientific research is now being done on many of these species due to a strong connection in their ability to fight cancer and tumors. Since mushrooms have an extremely high capacity to absorb both good and bad nutrients from the soil, it is most beneficial to seek out organically grown. Be also extremely cautious of going into the wild and picking your own mushrooms. Certain species can be extremely harmful if you are not properly educated in selecting. Try experimenting with the different varieties and you will start to notice the different texture and flavor they can add to a dish. Include at least 1 cup of mushrooms daily and enjoy them raw, in soups or sauteed.