A recent Study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology shows that if you have a sweet tooth, you may have a sweeter personality. :)
U.S. researchers conducted a series of experiments that compared people's tastes for sweets with their behavior. One test found that people who ate chocolate were more likely to volunteer to help another person in need, compared to those who ate a cracker or no food. Another test found that people tend to believe that people who like sweet foods are also more agreeable or helpful.
"Our results suggest there is a real link between sweet tastes and pro-social behavior," Michael D. Robinson, a psychology professor at North Dakota State University in Fargo, said in a university news release.
Perfect Time To Enjoy Gratitude Gourmet Chocolate! :)
Your Call Radio recently had a Show on the Topic: How Diet Affects Our Health. Guests included: Matthew Lederman, physician and co-founder of Exsalus Health and Wellness Center, Los Angeles, California and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, director of cardiovascular disease reversal and prevention at the Cleveland Clinic.
They had a conversation about the documentary film Forks Over Knives and the book: The China Study.
Cases of diabetes are exploding, especially among the younger population, and about half of us are taking at least one prescription drug. Dr. Esselstyn mentions that in medical school, students are not given all the tools they really need to help people, i.e. nutrition. So what can be done to reverse these alarming statistics?
Click to Listen: How does diet impact our health?
Here is a past article on Caldwell Esselstyn for reference:
Video: Caldwell Esselstyn Jr. MD & Dean Ornish MD Explain Bill Clinton's Diet To CNN
It's time again for the Farm Sanctuary 'Celebration FOR the Turkeys' events happening in:
Orland, CA: Nov. 19, 2011
Watkins Glen, NY: Nov. 20, 2011
Acton, CA: Nov. 20, 2011
It's the 25th Anniversary for the annual Celebration FOR the Turkeys where turkeys are placed at the center of our attention, rather than at the center of our plates. The Orland and Watkins Glen Shelter festivities include special guest presentations, musical performances, delicious Thanksgiving feasts, and of course abundant time spent with rescued farm animal friends, including The Feeding of the Turkeys ceremonies where the rescued turkeys will dine on their favorite holiday treats: stuffed squash, pumpkin pie and cranberries (all served on silver platters, of course). This event sells out fast so register soon.
Here's a recent FDA Listeria outbreak update via Businessweek:
"A dump truck parked near the open-air packing facility is among the possible causes of the contamination, Jim Gorny, a senior adviser for produce safety at the FDA, said on the conference call. The truck had hauled misshapen cantaloupes away from the facility and dumped them at a cattle ranch.
“Cattle are definitely a reservoir” of listeria and can transmit it through their feces, Gorny said. FDA inspectors later found the truck “parked in the general proximity, right next to where food is handled,” he said."
Have a favorite Halloween Recipe?
Please share it with us!
If you have it published on your website, and would like it added to the Gratitude Gourmet Holiday Recipe page, please let us know. Thanks!
Hi Gratitude Gourmet Readers, Please nominate us for the Shorty Awards in 'Food' honoring the best Producers of real-time content. Several of my articles/videos are here for reference.
Just Nominate Here - it's Fast and will only take a second and select the 'Food' Category.
Thank you very much! :)
Vegan Chocolate Praline
Thank you for being a Gratitude Gourmet Friend! We've been featuring smart science, nutrition, and restaurant and winery reviews since 2008.
Now, we're very pleased to launch our Gratitude Gourmet Chocolate Line!
Want a chance to Win Chocolate? Just share Gratitude Gourmet with your Facebook Friends, and comment on the Facebook Post that you've shared! Good Luck!! :)
Gratitude Gourmet Healthy Vegan Snack Box
Great News! Gratitude Gourmet, a California-Certified Bay Area Green Business, has launched monthly Healthy Vegan Snack Box Deliveries to your home, school or office! In addition to our Gratitude Gourmet Chocolate Line which has become very popular, we now have Healthy Snack Boxes that include vegan, nutritious, and mostly organic items. If you'd like a specific item, let us know.
Need more convenience? Sign Up for the Monthly Subscription to Gratitude Gourmet Healthy Snack Box Deliveries by selecting the yellow 'Subscribe' button. (Note: your credit card statement will show monthly billing from Green Star Solution LLC)
Colleen Patrick-Goudreau released her latest book called The 30-Day Vegan Challenge. If you've considered trying nutritious and delicious vegan options and need some great coaching ideas, this is the book for you! I've written about Colleen many times over the years (see article/video), and she has been a great inspiration to me since I saw her speak in Washington DC. I was happy to learn she's in the San Francisco Bay Area and took her Holiday vegan cooking lessons and bought her Joy of Vegan Baking and Vegan Table books.
I appreciate gourmet (and satisfying) vegan cuisine, and Colleen inspired me and members of my family including midwest residents who tried her Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Onions & Toasted Pistachios Entree, and we were all raving about it for days!
Her new book includes practical themes including: weekly menu ideas for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, celebrating the holidays, finding harmony in a mixed household, eating out, finding abundant food options while traveling, choosing plant-based milks, B12: a bacteria-based (not meat-based) vitamin, eating healthfully affordably, and stocking a healthful vegan kitchen. Here's a video of Colleen describing her book.
btw - I heard about Tempeh (a slightly fermented soy and grain product high in protein and calcium) via Colleen a few years ago and here's a video of her making Tempeh-Bacon. She states: it's a "delicious tempeh bacon that is full of familiar saltiness, smokiness, and flavor but devoid of saturated fat, dietary cholesterol, and animal suffering. It's a win-win!"
I'm sure my Gratitude Gourmet readers are/will be inspired by Colleen and her latest book: 30-Day Vegan Challenge.
What are your thoughts about the 30-Day Vegan Challenge, and what are your favorite recipes from Colleen's books?
Executive Chef Eric Harring
Per Eric Harring, Executive Chef at Ristorante Villa Portofino, Catalina Island is a place where "you feel you're a million miles away...it feels like another Country."
If you want to getaway from the hustle and bustle and go back in time, check out California's Catalina Island.
People have been living on Santa Catalina Island for at least 7,000 years.
In September 2011, I took the Catalina Express Ferry from Long Beach to Avalon and stayed at the Oceanfront Hotel Portofino which has very friendly and professional staff. I stayed in a nice upgraded room with a fireplace, balcony, marble bathroom, and partial ocean view. I would recommend you stay at least one night to really start understanding the Catalina Island ambiance and make a toast to the beautiful sunrises and sunsets.
Chef Eric is originally from Wisconsin and is very proud of his staff and cuisine. He says, "We have a great staff, one of my senior cooks has been here for 20 years, and we go out of our way for our guests"
During Dinner, I ordered the Kundera Family Estate Sustainably Farmed 2007 Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, and it was superb with every appetizer and entree.
The Minestrone was recommended by Chef Eric, and it included flavorful sautéed fresh vegetables in a light herb and tomato broth with carrots.
The Vegetable Lasagna was prepared with fresh seasonal vegetables, cauliflower, carrots, and marinara sauce. As soon you're served your entree, freshly ground pepper awaits along with Italian music playing in the background with a view of the Pacific Ocean.
For Dessert, I chose the homemade Tiramisu, and it was paired with cappuccino and a gorgeous sunset. Perfect! All the guests seemed to be happy and relaxed.
The next morning, the Hotel Portofino served a continental breakfast for the guests. While we were sitting outside admiring the beautiful morning ocean view...
.. a Pigeon eagerly trying to enjoy breakfast with me had a string caught in between its feet and it could only hop. After some patient tries, I carefully caught and lifted the bird, and through some group collaboration by getting a pair of scissors from the hotel's front desk, the string was cut and removed. Success! :) The bird flew to the roof next door and my breakfast patio counterparts clapped!! The bird's rescue was one of the best parts of the trip for me.
I recommend taking a nice walk along the Ocean at least once during your stay to enjoy the soothing sound of the waves.
If you go, please let me know your thoughts and experiences!
Did you know that Apricots were cultivated in China since 3000 BC and now they're found across the world? Apricots are known for their Potassium and Vitamin A content and they are great as a jam.
Italy's Rigoni di Asiago is one of my favorites as it's organic, fresh and not sweet because it has no added sugar. If you're a fan of great Apricot Jams, you must try this as well as their other fruit flavors such as figs and mandarin!
M Vincent, L Sbrocco, A van Diggelen
My good friend Alison van Diggelen from Fresh Dialogues invited me to a special Check Please Bay Area Taping. I've enjoyed this show for years particularly because regular Bay Area people review their favorite restaurants On Air with host Leslie Sbrocco!
In this taping one guest raved over PizzaAiolo's Wood Fired Pizza in Oakland and apparently the wine list was recommended as well. I'll have to visit soon! Thanks, Alison! :)
Here's an interesting Stanford Study showing how overfishing is affecting the genetic diversity of fish, and that species with unusually fast rates of evolution in body size are preferentially targeted by fishing.
Agwa de Bolivia, the world's only coca leaf liqueur, is made from Coca leaves flown from Bolivia to Amsterdam under armed guard and these leaves are used to create a Coca Leaf Liqueur. You can purchase it at BevMo, and here are great cocktail recipes:
8 oz of chilled AGWA de Bolivia, 8 oz of fresh lime juice, lemon lime soda, sliced apples, lemons, and blueberries
Fill a pitcher with the ingredients above; add lemon lime soda. Finish by adding sliced apples, lemon wheels, and blueberries.
The Green Angel
8 Basil leaves, 12.5 ml Pallini Limoncello, 37.5 ml Martini Millers Gin, 25 ml Agwa, 25 ml pure apple juice, vanilla sugar.
In a chilled Boston glass place 7 Basil leaves, fill with crushed ice, drizzle the limoncello and stir. Strain off limoncello, add 3 other liquids and stir to taste. Rim the martini glass with a lime wedge and sprinkle vanilla sugar on outside only. Strain Boston contents into glass and serve.
Need more cocktail recipe ideas? Check out the online menu.
Report: Radical Overhaul of Agriculture Can Create Farms That Enhance Rather Than Degrade the World’s Ecosystems
According to the authors of New Research at World Water Week in Stockholm, a radical transformation in the way farming and natural systems interact could simultaneously boost food production and protect the environment—two goals that often have been at odds.
Research excerpts are below:
"The authors warn, however, that the world must act quickly if the goal is to save the Earth’s main breadbasket areas—where resources are so depleted the situation threatens to decimate global supplies of fresh water and cripple agricultural systems worldwide. A new analysis resulting from the joined forces of the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) outlines the urgent need to rethink current strategies for intensifying agriculture, given that food production already accounts for 70 to 90 percent of withdrawals from available water resources in some areas.
The report, An Ecosystem Services Approach to Water and Food Security, finds that in many breadbaskets, including the plains of northern China, India’s Punjab and the Western United States, water limits are close to being “reached or breached.” Meanwhile, 1.6 billion people already live under conditions of water scarcity, and the report warns that number could soon grow to 2 billion. The current situation in the Horn of Africa is a timely reminder of just how vulnerable to famine some regions are.
Examples of Successful Integration in the Field
UNEP and IWMI and collaborators have identified multiple opportunities to use trees on dryland farms that will intensify the amount of food produced per hectare of land area while helping to improve the surrounding ecosystem. They note that by integrating trees and hedgerows, farmers can prevent runoff and soil erosion and retain more water for nourishing their crops.
Another example of innovative thinking includes better water and soil management in rainfed systems in sub-Saharan Africa, which have demonstrated the ability to reverse land degradation while at the same time increasing crop yields by twofold or threefold.
Overall, the authors say it’s time for decision-makers at the international, national and local level to embrace an agroecosystem approach to food production. These changes could include providing more farmers with incentives to adopt improved practices through ‘payments for environmental services (PES)’.
One example being explored by the CGIAR’s Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF) is the potential for benefit sharing in river basin areas of Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. Upstream users value the water for irrigation and ecotourism and also have a spiritual affiliation with the ecosystem. The hydropower companies need a steady stream to support electrification of the growing urban population downstream. Large-scale farms and agro-industry also need increasing supplies of water“
More and more agriculture needs to be brought into the ‘green economy’,” said Alain Vidal of the CPWF. “We need to value farming practices that protect our precious water resources in the same way we are beginning to value forest management that helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, especially because those natural resources support the livelihoods of the most vulnerable.”
In the report, An Ecosystem Services Approach to Water and Food Security, experts from UNEP, IWMI and 19 other organizations acknowledge that one major impediment to adopting a more sustainable approach to food production is that it requires a new level of cooperation and coordination among officials and organizations involved in agriculture, environmental issues, water management, forestry, fisheries and wildlife management—individuals and groups who routinely operate in separated, disconnected worlds.
“It is essential that in the future we do things differently. There is a need for a seminal shift in the way modern societies view water and ecosystems and the way we, people, interact with them,” said David Molden. “Managing water for food and ecosystems will bring great benefits, but there is no escaping the urgency of this situation. We are heading for disaster if we don’t change our
practices from business as usual.”
I've been covering nutrition and genetic research on Gratitude Gourmet for a few years now. Dean Ornish spoke at The San Francisco Commonwealth Club Oct 5, 2011 and stated that even the most simple choices make a powerful difference on our Health, even for the most chronic cardiac conditions. Listen to the Podcast here.
Past Gratitude Gourmet gene research articles are here:
* Epigenetics and Changing Your Genes
* Nutrigenomics: Good Food Habits Bring Out The Best In Your Genes
* Dr Benson: Regular Meditative Practice Can Change Genetic Responses In The Body