Living Lite

Nutrition for Maximizing Brain & Heart Health Monday at Woodmont Country Club

April 28, 2013

Most people know that nutrition is crucial for heart health, even if the specifics are sometimes a bit confusing. But very few people realize just how important nutrition is for brain health, and that the two intersect quite nicely.

My clients regularly ask me: Do certain foods affect my brain? My answer: Yes! What you eat profoundly affects the brain, memory, and mental function. And – lucky for us – scientific research confirms brain and heart health benefit from similar foods, nutrients and behaviors (Read my article, "Maximizing Brain Health Do's and Don'ts). I will discuss state-of-the-art knowledge of how you can maximize your brain and heart health through nutrition at the First Annual "Go Red For Women Wellness Symposium" at the Woodmont Country Club in Rockville, Maryland on Monday, May 29.

Go Red For Women® celebrates the energy, passion and power we have as women to band together to wipe out heart disease and stroke.

The American Heart Association cordially invites you to the
First Annual Go Red for Women Wellness Symposium
in conjunction with the 29th Annual Golf Tournament

Monday, April 29, 2013
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Woodmont Country Club
Rockville, MD

Explore and celebrate your health and well-being at the First Annual Go Red for Women’s Wellness Symposium. Join other strong women from across DC, Maryland and Virginia for a powerful, meaningful day to join forces, raise funds for the American Heart Association, and commit to ending heat disease and stroke - the number one killer of women.

Learn how heart disease affects a family and how you can help stop heart disease in our lifetime, while experiencing new ways to nurture your body, mind and spirit in a relaxing and welcoming atmosphere for women of all ages. Choose three expert-led workshops from an array of dynamic topics including healthy cooking, nutrition, fitness, weight loss, beauty and happiness.

The day ends with a heart-healthy lunch, keynote speaker, and inspirational survivor story.

For more information and the agenda...


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Georgetown Art Show & Sale at Christ Church April 26 -28

April 24, 2013

Gouache on paper by Diana Laurie - a painting available this weekend (Photo by: Diana Laurie) Gouache on paper by Diana Laurie - a painting available this weekend

Georgetown and Washington area artists will be exhibiting and selling an eclectic array of artwork at Christ Church Georgetown this weekend.

Opening reception is Friday from 5:00 - 8:00 pm. The exhibit and sale will run through the weekend. The Christ Church Art Show and Sale has been a tradition for at least 35 years with 50% of its proceeds going to charities. In the past, organizations such as Joseph's House, The Bishop Walker School for Boys and Georgetown Ministries have benefitted. 

The art show is located at Christ Church, Georgetown, Keith Hall, 31st and O Streets.

Weekend hours:  Saturday, April 27 11:00 am to 4:00 pm and Sunday April 28, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Still Life by Guy Fairlamb (Photo by: Guy Fairlamb) Still Life by Guy Fairlamb

Still Life by Guy Fairlamb (Photo by: Guy Fairlamb) Still Life by Guy Fairlamb

Tulips by Guy Fairlamb (Photo by: Guy Fairlamb) Tulips by Guy Fairlamb

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The 'Puree of Asparagus Soup with Tarragon' Diet

April 23, 2013

Why Soup???  The science... I love soups… Filling... Comforting... Psychologically Satisfying. Here's why soups cause weight loss: Classic studies have found that as long as the volume of a food is high - even though the volume is created by just water or air and adding zero calories, people can feel full with fewer calories. In one study, researchers varied the water content in three different first courses to see how it would affect peoples’ intake at the main course. The study subjects were fed either 1) chicken rice casserole, 2) chicken rice casserole served with a glass of water, or 3) chicken rice soup – basically the casserole with water/broth added. The researchers found the subjects who ate the soup consumed 26 percent less, about 100 calories fewer, at the main course, compared to the other conditions.

Researchers surmise that a large food volume caused by water, even without added calories, helps us feel more satisfied for several reasons. It causes stomach stretching and slows stomach emptying, stimulating the nerves and hormones that signal feelings of fullness. Also, visually seeing a large volume of food can increase your ability to feel satisfied by it, even though the calories are relatively low. Finally, the larger a meal and the longer a meal goes on, studies show, your satisfaction declines and you lose interest in completing it. Water is the component in food which has the largest influence on how much you eat. This study, and many others like it, find eating a high-water-content, low-calorie first course, such as soup, enhances satisfaction and reduces overall calorie intake.

Bottom Line: Lose 20 pounds: Start lunch or dinner with a bowl of broth-based vegetable soup OR turn main courses into soups by adding water or broth. Save 200 calories a day! Do this every day and lose twenty pounds in one year... Wasn't that SIMPLE? And oh.... so painless!

Katherine's (Photo by: Mark Indre) Katherine's "Puree of Asparagus Soup with Tarragon"

Katherine's Puree of Asparagus Soup with Tarragon
This sublime, pale green soup may be served warm or cold.

Serves 8 to 10

2 pounds Asparagus, cleaned, tough ends removed, cut into 1.5 inch pieces
1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
1 Leak, cleaned and sliced, white and light green parts only
1 medium Onion, chopped
1 clove of Garlic, mashed
Pinch of Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
Vegetable Broth (see recipe) or Chicken Broth
2 Medium Potatoes, diced
1 Bay Leaf
A few sprigs of Fresh Thyme and Parsley
1 Tablespoon Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
Garnish: 1 Small Bunch Fresh Tarragon, chopped

Vegetable Broth:
Use the cleaned tough ends and scraps of the asparagus and leek. Add 1 onion, 1 garlic clove (or more), and 2 quarts of water. Other vegetables you happen to have could also be thrown in, such as a carrot and/or a celery stalk. Let simmer about 30 minutes and strain.

Soup Preparation:
Clean the asparagus, break off tough ends. If you wish, peel the stalks for a more tender vegetable. Slice the asparagus stalks into approximately 1.5 inch pieces.

Heat oil in heavy-bottomed pan. Add the leak, onion and garlic and cook over medium heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the broth, the potatoes, and herbs and simmer about 30 minutes. Add half of the asparagus and simmer another ten minutes. Remove the herbs.

Using an immersible hand blender (ie, Cuisinart’s Smart Stick), puree the soup, add the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

Meanwhile, steam or broil the remaining asparagus for 5 minutes, until barely tender.  Strain and cover in ice water to stop the cooking process and prevent limp, over-done asparagus.

Serve the soup, garnishing each bowl with the sliced asparagus and a pinch of chopped fresh tarragon.

Asparagus is packed with nutrients. Low in calories, it’s an excellent source of folic acid, Vitamin C, Thiamin, and Vitamin B6. Asparagus, like other fruits and vegetables, is sodium-free, and contains no fat or cholesterol. It is an important source of potassium and many nutrients for boosting your immune system, preventing heart disease, lowering blood pressure and even preventing cancer. Asparagus has the highest levels of Glutathione, a potent cancer fighter , according to the National Cancer Institute. Asparagus is also high in Rutin, valuable in strengthening the blood vessels.

Puree of Asparagus Soup with Tarragon is adapted from “The Vegetarian Feast” by Martha Rose Shulman, a cookbook I highly recommend.

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