WANT TO BE IN A GOOD MOOD? EAT HEALTHY FOODS

A number of lifestyle factors can contribute to depression, but one that’s often overlooked is what you put in your mouth. “Diet plays a huge role in depression,” says with Dr. Christopher Calapai, D.O., a New York City Osteopathic Physician board certified in family and anti-aging medicine.

Do you crave sweet, salty, and fatty foods when you’re feeling blue? You’re not alone. But, says Dr. Calapai “If we eat better foods like lean proteins, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and fish, we short-circuit the junk food cravings and have higher energy levels and sharper mental focus.

Vitamin D (sun exposure; fortified breakfast cereals, breads, juices, milk): Vitamin D is required for brain development and function. Deficiency in this “sunshine vitamin” is sometimes associated with depression and other mood disorders.

“Smart” Carbs Can Have a Calming Effect

Carbohydrates are linked to the mood-boosting brain chemical, serotonin. Experts aren’t sure, but carb cravings sometimes may be related to low serotonin activity.

Choose your carbs wisely. Limit sugary foods and opt for smart or “complex” carbs (such as whole grains) rather than simple carbs (such as cakes and cookies). Fruits, vegetables, and legumes also have healthy carbs and fiber.

Tryptophan (protein sources including turkey, beef, eggs, some dairy products, dark, leafy greens): An amino acid, tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin. It’s not well understood, but low tryptophan seems to trigger depressive symptoms in some people who have taken antidepressants.

 

Increase your intake of B vitamins

People with either low blood levels of the B-vitamin folic acid, or high blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine (a sign that you are not getting enough B6, B12 or folic acid), are both more likely to be depressed and less likely to get a positive result from anti-depressant drugs. In a study comparing the effects of giving an SSRI with either a placebo or with folic acid, 61% of patients improved on the placebo combination but 93% improved with the addition of folic acid.

 

Boost your serotonin with amino acids

Serotonin is made in the body and brain from an amino acid called tryptophan. Tryptophan is then converted into another amino acid called 5-Hydroxy Tryptophan (5-HTP), which in turn is converted into the neurotransmitter serotonin. Tryptophan can be found in the diet; it’s in many protein rich foods such as meat, fish, beans and eggs. 5-HTP is found in high levels in the African Griffonia bean, but this bean is not a common feature of most people’s diet. Just not getting enough tryptophan is likely to make you depressed; people fed food deficient in tryptophan became rapidly depressed within hours.

Up your intake of chromium

This mineral is vital for keeping your blood sugar level stable because insulin, which clears glucose from the blood, can’t work properly without it. In fact it turns out that just supplying proper levels of chromium to people with atypical depression can make a big difference.

Select Selenium-Rich Foods

Studies have reported a link between low selenium and poor moods. The recommended amount for selenium is 55 micrograms a day for adults.

Evidence isn’t clear that taking supplements can help. And it’s possible to get too much selenium. So it’s probably best to focus on foods:

  • Beans and legumes
  • Lean meat (lean pork and beef, skinless chicken and turkey)
  • Low-fat dairy products
  • Nuts and seeds (particularly brazil nuts – but no more than one or two a day because of their high selenium content)
  • Seafood (oysters, clams, sardines, crab, saltwater fish, and freshwater fish)
  • Whole grains (whole-grain pasta, brown rice, oatmeal, etc.)

Caffeine and Sugary Foods

Caffeine may be difficult for many people to completely eliminate from their diet. However, it is good to only have caffeinated drinks in moderation, particularly when you are experiencing depression-like symptoms. Caffeine can disrupt sleep patterns and make you feel anxious, both of which won’t help your depression. People who drink more than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day, the equivalent of four cups of brewed coffee, should consider cutting back.

Dr. Christopher Calapai, D.O. is an Osteopathic Physician board certified in family medicine, and anti-aging medicine. Proclaimed as the “The Stem Cell Guru” by the New York Daily News, Dr. Calapai is a leader in the field of stem cell therapy in the U.S.

His stem cell treatments have achieved remarkable results in clinical trials on patients with conditions as varied as Alzheimer’s, arthritis, erectile dysfunction, frailty syndrome, heart, kidney and liver failure, lupus, MS and Parkinson’s.

Dr. Calapai started his practice in New York City in 1986 and for over 25 years he has hosted nationally syndicated radio shows, including his two weekly call-in shows on WABC 770-AM, where he offers health and medical advice. He has a show on Saturday morning 8-9am and Sunday evening from 6-7pm. He has consulted with numerous high-profile individuals including Mike Tyson, Mickey Rourke, Steven Seagal, and Fox series Gotham’s, Donal Logue and worked as a medical consultant for the New York Rangers hockey team as well as various modeling agencies.

Dr. Calapai received his medical degree from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine and he consults in Manhattan with practices on Long Island, in East Meadow and Plainview. He has appeared on News12 and in the pages of 25A Magazine and Social Life Magazine.

He is the author of E-books Heavy Metals and Chronic Disease, Reverse Diabetes Forever! Seven Steps to Healthy Blood Sugar, Top Ten Supplements You Can’t Live Without, and Glorious Glutathione. Learn more about Dr. Calapai on his website: www.drcal.net

Ready For Cinco de Mayo with Cascade Ice

Cinco de Mayo is fast approaching and what better way to celebrate than with a few festive drinks? But wait! Did you know that one regular Margarita is over 600 calories per serving? Using Cascade Ice, we can knock that down to just around 55.

Below are a few festive drink recipes I recommend mixing up for Cinco de Mayo. Low-cal, but full of flavor!

Kiwi-Strawberry Margarita

You can’t pass up a margarita, especially when it’s low-cal! Make this drink by slicing up about 10 strawberries and 3 kiwis. Put the fruit into a blender with ½ cup of lime juice, 6 oz of tequila, 4 oz of Cascade Ice Zero-Calorie Kiwi Strawberry Sparkling Water and a handful of ice cubes. Blend together until smooth.  Pour into a glass rimmed with sugar and add a slice of kiwi or a strawberry to garnish.

Skinny Daquiri

Not a fan of tequila? No problem! Try a delicious Skinny Daiquiri. To create this sweet treat, add 1 1/2 cups of ice and 1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries into your blender. Pour in 8oz Cascade Ice Zero-Calorie Wild Berry Sparking Water and your choice of rum. Blend until smooth. Pour into a chilled glass and garnish with fresh fruit.

 

The Morning Delight – Hearty Beverage Packed with Vitamins and Nutrients

Food is the best medicine for relief from stress, anxiety, sleep issues, and acid reflex.  Coconut milk adds a silky creaminess and the right amount of healthy fats so you’ll feel satiated, while lacuma, a super food hailing from Peru, is low-glycemic and packed with antioxidants, fiber, and protein. “The Morning Delight is a hearty beverage packed with vitamins, nutrients, and healthy carbs, which is going to give you the get up and go everyone needs in the morning without the coffee crash,” says Brooks.

INGREDIENTS:
11/2 cups coconut milk
1 tsp lacuma
2 tsp pure matcha tea powder
2 frozen bananas
2 to 3 dates, pitted
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract OR 1 vanilla bean
Small handful of ice (optional, depending whether you froze your bananas)

DIRECTIONS:
Add the coconut milk, lacuma, and matcha to your blender and process until completely mixed. Turn off, then add the rest of your ingredients and blend until totally emulsified. If using the vanilla bean, split the bean in half and scrape out the vanilla pods.

Painting and Tips to Reduce Holiday Stress

Tis’ the season to be jolly!  Last weekend, I decided to take a break from the holiday busyness and visit Painting With a Twist art studio.

The purpose behind the class was to celebrate my mom’s birthday.  We had a great time and made plans to register for more events.

Aside from the celebration, one aspect to remember is that painting has therapeutic properties.  Some of the benefits include memory strength, stress relief, and emotional growth.

Painting a one-of-a-kind picture was the perfect bonding activity and awesome way to meet new friends!

I am not the best painter but with guidance I can create a masterpiece!

 

I also want to share a few additional tips to reduce stress during the holiday season:

  • Make holiday decor during the off-season to eliminate a hectic schedule.
  • Create a food menu and prep/freeze holiday dishes.
  • Visit your local grocery store or warehouse club for prepared dishes (example, Assorted Pinwheel Wraps, Rotisserie Chicken Enchiladas, or Ciabatta Sandwich Party Tray.)
  • Play upbeat holiday music to get everyone in the spirit.
  • Allow enough time to wrap gifts not excluding co-workers and care providers.
  • Include low-impact exercise into your weekly routine.

 

 

 

AMI Clubwear – Ready To Wear Collection and Style Options

AMI Clubwear re-launched their Ready To Wear Collection online. The company asked me to share a few style options and I immediately accepted the challenge.

Fashion is a form of self-expression and I wanted to project my personality through the following pieces.  The Sheer Cut Stripe Print Dress is a great party option that can be dressed up (with a pair of heels) or down (wearing a denim jacket.)  Red is also a power hue and compliments most skin tones.

The romper (or jumpsuit) trend is a must-have item for this season. A well-fitted Romper can be worn to brunch, a meeting, or date night. Purchasing a Classic Trench Coat can be another versatile piece; either styled alone or accessorized with a blanket scarf.

AMI Clubwear is a trendy e-commerce site and great option for the girl who’s seeking fashion on a budget!

 

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Sheer Cut Stripe Print Dress

 

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Lace Overlay Romper

 

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V-Cut Romper

 

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Double Breasted Waist Tie Coat

 

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Waist Tie Coat and Blanket Scarf

Preakness 2015 Entertaining from Tim Laird: Cocktails and Appetizers

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The Kentucky Derby may have the Mint Julep, but in Baltimore the Preakness Stakes 2015 is all about the Black-Eyed Susan cocktail. Available for purchase at the race track and enjoyed by fans in their homes, the Black-Eyed Susan weaves in fresh, juice flavors and elderflower balanced out by Finlandia Vodka, the Official Vodka of the 140th Preakness Stakes.

Tim Laird, America’s CEO, has shared a few ideas of how to toast like you are at the track!  I’m including the recipes below as well as pics for you!!

About Tim LairdAmerica’s C.E.O., (Chief Entertaining Officer):

Tim Laird is an authority on wines and spirits with more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry. A connoisseur of fine wines, spirits and champagnes, Tim is also a gourmet chef and a master at entertaining and execution. He makes hundreds of appearances a year on radio and television programs and has appeared on The Today ShowThe CBS Early Show, Fox & Friends, The Tonight ShowABC World News Now and the CNN, FOX News and CNBC networks. Tim also hosts three weekly television shows in his home state of Kentucky – Secrets of Bluegrass ChefsSecrets of Louisville Chefs Live and Secrets of Resort Chefs. He is a featured columnist for Louisville’s Food & Dining Magazine, author of the book, That’s Entertaining! With Tim Laird, America’s C.E.O. – Chief Entertaining Officer and the recently released, That’s Entertaining! Cocktails and Appetizers.

Preakness Entertaining with Tim Laird, America’s CEO – Chief Entertaining Officer

Black-Eyed Susan

1½ ounces Finlandia vodka

½ ounces St. Germain liqueur

2 ounces pineapple juice

¼ ounce lime juice

¾ ounce orange juice

Garnish with fresh orange slice. 

Crabby Mary Cocktail

Combine your favorite Bloody Mary Mix with Finlandia Vodka and serve in mini martini glasses.  Garnish with Maryland Lump Crab Meat and a celery stalk.

 Flowering Cheese Ball

Here is a clever and thematic presentation:  simply roll your favorite cheese ball in toasted black sesame seeds and serve with sliced yellow peppers fanned out in the shape of a Black-Eyed Susan.

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Our Preakness Party Host, Wendy Treinen, can also serve up party pleasers!

Grapefruit Crush:  A variety of crushes are available at the track throughout the race meet.

In a tall glass filled with crushed ice, mix:
2 oz Finlandia Grapefruit
½ fresh squeezed pink grapefruit

Top with lemon lime soda.
Garnish with wedge of grapefruit.

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Carrington Farms May On The Move: Kale Omelette Recipe

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This year, Carrington Farms is celebrating springtime by encouraging everyone to keep healthy items on hand at all times, made possible by Carrington’s new line of portable, on-the-go products.

As you already know from this blog, I am a fan of the Carrington Farms product line.  They’re quick, healthy and an easy way to incorporate certain vitamins and nutrients in your diet.  The company has also taken this concept a step further with the creation of Flax Chia, Coconut Oil, and Flax Hemp Paks.

We often overlook breakfast but it’s a very important start to our day!  The proper (breakfast) dish can jumpstart your energy and metabolism.  I wanted to share a recipe with the use of Flax Hemp Paks.

Kale Omelette Recipe:

Ingredients:
About a cup of shredded kale
1 clove of garlic, minced
2 eggs
1 tbsp of milk
1 tsp of Flax Hemp
1/2 diced tomatoes
1/2 onions
1 tsp Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
 
Directions:
Add olive oil and garlic to pan over medium heat for about a minute. Add your kale and let it sizzle and wilt for a few minutes. Whisk two eggs, milk, cheese, onions, and tomatoes together and add to the pan, and wait a few minutes.
Once its cooked flip the omelette and fold the egg.  Season to taste and enjoy!
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Kale Omelette with Flax Hemp Paks
Anyone who orders products off the Carrington website www.carringtonfarms.com can enter the coupon code of MayOnTheMove for 20% off + free shipping (valid for all products on the site).

 

To follow Carrington Farms on social media:

Facebook page www.facebook.com/carringtonfarms | Twitter https://twitter.com/CarringtonFarms | Instagram page https://instagram.com/carringtonfarms/

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Easter Decorating and Traditions

Easter is one of my favorite holidays because it symbolizes rebirth.  It’s the the one day that officially launches Spring and gives us hope that flowers are blooming soon.  Tradition also suggests that we dress up in bright colors to lighten everyone’s spirits.

Aside from wearing the perfect Easter attire, one should also remember to decorate our homes.  I do this for my boys because it’s fun to hear them talk about “the easter bunny” and I enjoy adding a sense of whimsy to my space.

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My family and I will attend church, brunch, and take family photos.  Of course the day before we attend the annual Easter Egg Hunt and laugh about all of the eggs we collected.  Although we’re busy setting our own traditions, it doesn’t take away from decorating my home to create lasting memories.

Photos are from Pinterest.com




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More Easter Traditions:

Decorate or Dye hard boiled eggs

Plant flowers (tulips or lilies)

Host Easter brunch

Read books together about Easter

Gather together as a family at sunrise

Bake Easter themed cupcakes