Room for Dessert…

Posted by Lenny Variano on January 12, 2022

Why is there always room for dessert if you are trying to cut down on the number of calories you are consuming even after a huge holiday meal? The concept goes all the way back to how our ancestors ate. They would hunt and eat large amounts of meat and then stumble upon patches of berries and consume some important missing nutrients. There is what is known as “sensory specific satiety” which means that the body allows limits to certain foods to ensure a proper intake of nutrients. It is how some of us manage to eat a balanced diet with a variety of foods despite the lack of nutritional knowledge. Researchers at “The Laboratory for the Study of Human Ingestive Behavior” at Penn State had children and adults fill up on chicken and sausages after which they were asked if they wanted seconds. All refused but had room for cookies, bananas, or raisins. It has to do with the body’s response to salty and savory foods by creating a balance with sweeter choices. This satiety signal is especially strong in children which is why they sometimes go for the foods the body is craving. However, it does diminish with age. It may have to do with the consumption of processed foods throughout one’s lifetime. Having large family gatherings in which there is probably going to be the chance of overeating it may be more beneficial if your clothing has no stretch.

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Celeriac…

Posted by Lenny Variano on January 12, 2022

This is the root of the celery vegetable. It is a massive ball of roots that is an earthy, celery-flavored vegetable. It can be mashed with potatoes, used raw in a salad or cooked. It is loaded with Vitamin K and potassium while being low in calories. It is a big part of South American cuisine especially in Peru. It can have a shelf life of 8 months if stored between 32 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Celeriac is excellent to stimulate digestion. Here are a few suggestions below.

Celeriac oven chips…                                                                                           https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/celeriac-oven-chips                                                    Celeriac, pancetta, and Thyme soup                                                                https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/celeriac-pancetta-thyme-soup                                   Celeriac, and Potato Latkes                                                                            https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/celery-root-and-potato-latkes-231193

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Ingredients:

  • 2 (15 0z.) cans black beans
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or extra-virgin oil
  • 1 ½ ground coriander or cumin
  • 1 (three-inch piece) fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 (13- ounce can) full fat coconut milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup toasted coconut flakes
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest plus 2 tablespoons lime juice

Directions:

  • Rinse 1 can of black beans- set aside
  • Large saucepan heat coconut oil-add cumin and ginger, stir about 2 minutes
  • Add rinsed beans plus second can including liquid, coconut milk, salt, pepper
  • Bring mixture to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for about 20 minutes until beans are soft
  • In a separate bowl, mix coconut flakes with lime zest and pepper
  • Remove beans from heat, stir in remaining ginger, season with salt and pepper, stir in lime juice, top with coconut flake mixture

Time 30 minutes    Serves 4

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Kindness:

Posted by Lenny Variano on January 12, 2022

Is it true that it is better to give than to receive? Some attribute it to the fact that it makes one feel that your life is more valuable. Can doing good for someone else counter act anxiety, depression, as well as all the stress brought about by the pandemic. “Prosocial Behavior” is a term given to acting in a way that may be beneficial or helpful to others.  An act of kindness can bring about both positive mental and physical changes from lowering stress levels to releasing feel-good hormones. Even Darwin who wrote about survival of the fittest felt that caring for others is instinctual. An act of kindness can be as simple as a positive e-mail to someone who may be having a rough day. Sociologists feel it should begin with the next generation. That is teaching children to empathize with others, recognize injustice and take part in changing things. Compassion can release serotonin to counter depression and at the same time slow heart rate to calm a person down. Empathy is fine but an act of kindness needs to have a follow up. Being able to see and feel that someone needs help is only half of the solution. It needs to be accompanied by action. Community is created by kindness. Researchers are finding that celebrating a friend’s success is as or more important than responding to when that person is in need. Kindness is also the ability to tell the truth to someone in a gentle but constructive way. It goes both ways which means that you should be able to receive constructive criticism if done with kindness. Most of all it means being kind and taking care of oneself.

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