Chef reveals his three favorite things to eat when stressed

Comfort foods can be exciting and may even improve your mood.

By Chef Gerard Viverto

chef gerard

Raise your hand if you’ve ever eaten something unhealthy because you felt stressed. During trips to the supermarket, I have been shocked to see so many grocery carts overloaded with junk food. I understand that people are tired and seeking comfort. But tater tots and ice cream won’t help, I’ve turned to food to bring me solace. In hindsight, I learned that when you eat poorly, you feel worse so you eat poorly again. After two slices of pie, you might as well eat the whole thing, right? It’s a downward spiral!

Cleaning up your diet may help you feel better physically and emotionally. If that’s still not enough to motivate you, here are three favorite food categories that I reach for whenever I’m stressed. Comfort foods don’t have to be junk. And healthy foods don’t have to be boring.

Maybe one of these food categories will pique your interest:

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How to Thrive During the Pandemic

By Shirin Yadegar

shirinWhen schools closed across the country in lieu of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring, we found ourselves in a strange situation but we all tried to make the best in our “once in a lifetime” situation at home with our kids.

Now with the indefinite closure of schools we are stressed, exhausted and confused. Making sure the kids are physically, emotionally and academically taken care of is more than we can handle. Organization is the key to success.

That’s why I’ve come up with a list of the best ways to ease the stress and chaos that comes with social distancing. (more…)

Girls Get IT

By Angelica Kessler and Georgia Messinger

Girls Get IT

Looking for virtual summer plans? Girls Get IT is a beginner-friendly computer science education and female empowerment camp.

Founded by Brentwood School alumna, Angelica Kessler and Georgia Messinger, who are now computer science students at Harvard and USC.

The duo started studying computer science in high school and wished they had the opportunity to discover their passion for technology at an earlier age. So they are committed to inspiring the next generation of girls who code! (more…)

What’s new for breakfast? Break free of your rut with these tasty and nutritious alternatives.

By Lauren Harris-Pincus, MD, RDN

LaurenIt’s easy to fall into a home cooking rut. Many of us cycle through the same handful of recipes, made with the same ingredients, week after week. Here is something new to add to the rotation that your entire family will love: sorghum.

Sorghum needs to become a household ingredient. It’s filled with nutrients and user-friendly, even if you’ve never tried it before. And while it is versatile enough to use for any meal, most people are surprised to learn there are many ways to enjoy it at breakfast. These include my favorite Strawberry Vanilla Sorghum Parfait and another family favorite, Apple Cinnamon Raisin Sorghum Bake. Sorghum can also be used as a substitute for oatmeal or other cereals. Just add almond milk, cinnamon, vanilla and a little sweetener.

So, what exactly is sorghum?
Sorghum is an ancient whole grain, grown by U.S. farmers. It is very sustainable and drought resistant. It is naturally gluten free and low FODMAP. What I like about sorghum is it is a great source of plant-based protein and prebiotic fiber, as well as antioxidants and polyphenols. It takes on whatever flavor you add to it, and is easily used in place of rice, pasta or anywhere you’d use a grain.

Today’s widespread use of instant pots and pressure cookers makes adding sorghum into your cooking repertoire even easier. It usually takes just 50 minutes to cook on the stove or about 20 minutes in an instant pot. For good time management, you can cook a large batch for the week and freeze what you don’t need. It won’t get soggy or lose its texture. The beauty of cooking sorghum is that you don’t need exact proportions of water-to-grain. Just get it to the point where it’s cooked thoroughly. If there’s extra water, simply drain it.

Why changing up your meal routine is really important
We want to include a variety of foods in our diet because each item provides a different benefit. If you eat the same foods week in, week out, you’re only consuming one set of nutrients. Certainly sorghum deserves a place in that rotation.

Similarly, our bodies need a balance of nutrients to stay healthy. For example, many people are afraid of carbs. The truth is we need them. The trick is choosing the right ones in the appropriate amounts. Aim for about a half cup to one cup serving of whole grains with your meal.

And while sorghum is a good ingredient to include in dinner entrees or side dishes, people may forget about it when preparing breakfast and lunch. The fiber in whole grain sorghum is very satisfying and will help to reduce hunger throughout the day. And sorghum syrup, which resembles molasses, deserves a place on the breakfast table because it contains more calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron than many common sweeteners.

For more ideas about adding sorghum into your cooking repertoire, visit http://www.simplysorghum.com.

Biography: Lauren Harris-Pincus
Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, is a nutrition communications specialist, speaker, spokesperson, corporate consultant and Registered Dietitian in private practice. She is the founder and owner of Nutrition Starring YOU, LLC where she specializes in weight management and prediabetes.

Lauren is the author of the cookbook, “The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club: Easy High Protein Recipes with 300 Calories or Less to Help You Lose Weight and Boost Metabolism”. Formerly an obese child, Lauren dedicates herself to combating the growing adult and childhood obesity epidemic. She loves to play around in the kitchen creating waistline-friendly dishes and developing recipes for corporate clients. She holds both Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in nutrition from Penn State and New York University.

Lauren is regularly featured in major publications including The Huffington Post, Fox News, The New York Post, NBC News Better, Shape, SELF, Fitness, Prevention, Women’s Health, Good Housekeeping, U.S. News and World Report, Everyday Health, Reader’s Digest and more. She is also a contributor to Today’s Dietitian Magazine and Food and Nutrition Magazine and is a frequent guest on radio shows and podcasts.

Follow her on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or YouTube @LaurenHarris-PincusRD or on Facebook at Nutrition Starring YOU. Lauren Harris-Pincus may be compensated to educate and express her professional opinions, through the media, about certain products.

Running on Empty

By Dr. Trina Moore-Southall

trinaWhen I was in college, I had no money to spare. I quickly recognized how much money it took to fill my gas tank, and how many miles I could drive until I was empty. I was also keenly aware that Betsy, my 1988 Ford Escort, could drive for 7 miles after she hit empty. I sometimes parked my car 3-4 miles away from my apartment or from my job, or campus, and I would walk to my destination. This was not a good decision for the overall maintenance of my car, and I often drove on empty. I found myself praying that I could get to the gas station if I was approaching 7 miles past empty.

In the last few weeks, I have been 7 miles past empty. There is no gas station in sight. Some of what has taken away from my tank, is being a mother of two Black men. The mileage required for this role is unexplainable. The visibility of racial inequity and injustice across multiple platforms and media has stolen from my tank. The gas required to show up in predominantly white spaces and continue to operate when I am mourning, sad, hurt, and defeated has emptied my tank. (more…)

What’s your exit plan after staying at home for months?

By Dr. Ara Suppiah, MD

araIf you’ve been cooped up eating comfort foods and binge watching TV for the last few months, chances are your body could use some TLC about now. Losing weight and getting back in shape can seem overwhelming. But emergency room and sports medicine physician Ara Suppiah reminds us, “The reason why people give up is because they focus on how far they have to go instead of how far they have come.” 

A map is useless without a starting point 
In his book, “Lose Weight & Feel Great Forever, an insider’s prescription to turbocharge your life now,” Suppiah provides a self-assessment quiz to help set your personal health GPS on a path toward wellness. The questions cover everything from diet, sleep habits and stress levels to relationships, exercise habits and whether you suffer from such things as allergies, gastrointestinal problems or anxiety.  (more…)

Hunger for Awareness Spreads Awareness About Eating Disorders

By Leila Shadgou
leila shadgouSocial media has grown to become a toxic environment for young generations, perpetuating narrow ideals. Unfortunately, this further institutes unattainable standards that lead impressionable individuals to manipulate their bodies to fit these “perfect” expectations. In effect, promoting edited images has produced a spike in concerns over body image and weight, forming a direct link to anxiety, eating disorders, and depression among social media users. This is a serious problem. If left unsolved, people will continue to alter their bodies in an unhealthy manner to reach an archetype that simply doesn’t exist. In order to eliminate this destructive cycle, Hunger for Awareness aims to have every person’s voice heard through normalizing discussion about these personal issues. (more…)

Colleges Go Test Optional

Do your kids still need to take the Sat/ACT?

By Erik Klass

First of all, and most importantly, I hope everyone is healthy and keeping safe. As you may have heard, an increasing number of colleges are changing their admission requirements to “test optional” (regarding the SAT/ACT). Many of our clients have been asking about how this may impact their own SAT/ACT planning. I hope the following information answers the common questions.

Do I have to take the SAT/ACT?
Many colleges, including the UC schools, are now making the SAT/ACT optional for fall 2021 applicants (current high school juniors). I suspect many other colleges will follow suit. However, be careful: as of this writing, most colleges still require one of the standardized tests. My advice: unless you are sure all of your target colleges will go test-optional (which, I admit, is hard to figure out while things are still changing quickly), I think you should plan to take one of the tests. (more…)

Permission to Say YES to Your Desires, Because it Makes You a Better Mom

By Gina DeVee

When mothers hear about my lifestyle of running my business while traveling the world, the thought arises: “Well Gina, YOU can do that because you don’t have kids.” Admittedly, the second part is true. However, the idea that my lack of children is the enabling factor for my fabulous lifestyle couldn’t be more false. I know because I’ve worked with hundreds of mama-preneurs who have proven the opposite: in the 21st century, a woman can truly have it all (including elite frequent flyer status), even with toddlers and teenagers in the house.

At the same time, I completely understand why most mothers are convinced their dreams must wait until retirement (or at least until pre-k starts). From the moment we give birth till long after the kiddos are dressing themselves, it’s expected that we put ourselves last. In fact, the average woman tends to fall near the bottom of her own priority list even if she’s never thought of getting pregnant. It’s simply how we’ve been conditioned to survive and stay “safe” in the world. In our male-dominated culture, we’ve been taught that we must give tirelessly to prove our worth. We’ve learned that taking care of ourselves or indulging our desires is “selfish.” And thanks to all these untrue stories, we’ve unnecessarily cut ourselves off from receiving what we really want in life. (more…)

Proper Supplementation How to boost your immune system during the Covid pandemic.

By Daniella the Dietitian

I have always been a strong believer that food is medicine. Balanced nutrition with abundance of fruits and vegetables should always be the forefront of any diet. However supplements can also play an important role in not only enhancing your bone, heart and immune health but reversing conditions such as elevated triglycerides, anemia, hypertension, diarrhea, bariatric deficiencies and vegan B-12 deficiency.

People are always asking me about what supplements I recommend (prenatal, immunity, heart health, energy etc.). Since the FDA does NOT regulate supplements, like they do medicine, it is very important to find a company that does purity testing and that’s proven safe. After extensive research I have discovered Shaklee. This Californian company has been around over 60 years, more importantly they have surpassed US pharmacopeia screening standards for contaminants, pesticides and impurities. Scientist, peer reviews and the famous Landmark Study have shown that their supplements have increased biomarkers of heart, brain, and cognitive health in their users. Shaklee follows a non-GMO policy and produces over 100,000 quality control tests yearly! Plus the majority of the nutritional line is Kosher Star-K. They also stand behind their products with a 100% money back guarantee. For these reasons, I feel confident as a dietitian recommending this product line. (more…)