Monthly Archive for: ‘March, 2012’

Trash Talk – Improving gas mileage

March 19, 2012
Becky Tweedy, Assistant to the President

Improving Gas Mileage – every little bit helps!
As gasoline prices continue to increase, an improvement of just one or two miles per gallon can really add up!

  • Slow down As speed increases, fuel economy decreases exponentially. You’ll save fuel, and be surprised that trips really don’t take that much longer!
  • Check tire pressure Time & temperature affect tire pressure, and underinflated tires have more rolling resistance. Check pressure once a month and fill to manufacturer’s specifications
  • Accelerate with care ‘Jack-rabbit’ starts (and hard brakes) are major fuel wasters; moderation is the key!
  • Lighten up Keep your vehicle cleaned out. Additional weight adds up and wastes fuel. Every little bit helps!
  • For more information, visit

Weekly Wisdom – Boost your brainpower (part 2)

March 19, 2012
Sherri Meyer, MG Registered Dietitian,

Boost your brainpower… part 2 

  • Get more Omega 3’s… primarily from fish and seafood or supplements, Omega 3’s are known to be important for maintaining brain function
  • Watch your weight & waist... there is a relationship between being overweight & decline in brain function and memory loss.  Most studies point to excess body fat in the belly.
  • Keep moving... adults who remain active are less likely to develop dementia & retain better memory. 

We’re eating less meat. Why?

March 19, 2012
Denise Simmons, Corporate Chef

I'm a big fan of Mark.  He publishes fabulous recipes, educates us about nutrition & what's good for us & the environment, and more importantly (to me, at least), is a loud voice for factory farmed animals.  I admit, I can't read some of what he writes because it's just too disturbing.  The living conditions of the animals destined for our tables is abysmal.  My hope is that Mark, and others like him, will continue to get the word out to the public, who will then consciously decide to eat less meat-for themselves, the environment & for the animals.  Below is a link to a wonderful article on the subject.
We’re Eating Less Meat. Why?



Kick the can, drop the pop

March 19, 2012
Sherri Meyer, MG Registered Dietitian,

Sugary drinks are associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease according to a recent study conducted in men Even a moderate amount of sugar beverage intake-about 1 can of soda everyday, is associated with a 2 % increased risk of heart disease.
The cause of this increased risk could be inflammation inside the body.  Intake of sugary beverages was associated with increased triglycerides (blood fat), decreased HDL cholesterol (“good cholesterol”) as well as other elevated inflammatory markers that increases a persons risk for heart disease as well as diabetes.
High fructose corn syrup, the major component of sugar-sweetened beverages is cheap & readily available.  While the findings of this study should come as no surprise, this is the first report that increased consumption of sugary beverages is associated directly with increased heart disease.
The best thing to drink…water, coffee or tea (unsweetened).  Fruit juice is not a good alternative due to the high amount of sugar, however, when diluted with water it is a better choice than a can of sugary soda.
Kick the Can


Weekly Wisdom – Boost your brainpower (part 1)

March 14, 2012
Sherri Meyer, MG Registered Dietitian,

Boost your brainpower… part 1

  • Eat a Mediterranean in fish, veggies, beans, fruits, whole grains & unsaturated fats; also low in dairy products, meat, and saturated fats; & a moderate amount of alcohol
  • Don’t overindulge…individuals who eat the most calories & weigh more are at higher risk for experiencing mental declines
  • Up your antioxidants… thought to help with memory too. Richest food sources include nuts, herbs and spices, fruits, vegetables, coffee and tea


April recipe: Spring Veggie Rolls

Makes 12

1/3 — head green cabbage, cored & chopped into thin strips
1/2 c —
snow peas, sliced into thin strips
3/4 c —
shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, sliced thin
3 —
each scallions, chopped
2 —
carrots, grated
2T —
soy sauce
1T —
sesame oil
1 —
bunch fresh mint
rice paper skins*

  1. Combine all ingredients (except wrappers & water), stir to coat
  2. Submerge wrappers in water, one at time, until just pliable
  3. Place 2 to 3T filling in each wrapper.
  4. Place three mint leaves on top & wrap spring rolls, tuck sides as roll

Serve with dipping sauces (spicy peanut sauce, soy dipping sauce)

*Available in Asian sections


March 8, 2012
Denise Simmons, Corporate Chef

I’ve been thinking a lot about heroes lately.  The first item that brought heroes to mind was a letter from CIA advancement announcing that they’re honoring the pioneers of American Cuisine at their 2012 leadership awards.  All six chefs being honored deserve the recognition & accolades.  I know less about Dean Fearing, Larry Fagione & Jasper White then I do the other three. 

The three I do know have long been role models for me.  Alice Waters is hero enough to me for being the first famous female chef (besides Julia, of course!).  But her dedication to local and organic farming and sustainable food is tremendous.  I don’t believe we’d be any where near where we are today in the sustainability world if it wasn’t for Alice and the education she’s given us all.

Wolfgang brought California cuisine into the mainstream.  He made it OK to break outside Escoffier’s box of classic French technique and pairings.  He made it cool to take Alice’s local ingredients and fuse them into something we’d never seen before.  Fusion cuisine is where it is today because Wolfgang had the vision to devote himself to it decades ago.

I’ve had the opportunity to meet Paul Prudhomme a couple of times.  He’s a down to earth, humble man who, though he’s an amazing chef in his own right, isn’t afraid to take cooking classes from local chefs so he can learn about regional cuisine and the indigenous ingredients that are so a part of it.  If it weren’t for Paul, I don’t thing anyone outside ‘Loosiana’ would know what gumbo, etouffe, dirty rice and po’boys are. 

The fourth hero I’m going to talk about is my dad.  I said at the beginning of this blog that I’ve been thinking a lot about heroes.  Dad has been nominated for a humanitarian award through Lewis Gale hospital, where he volunteers in the physical therapy department.  He is where I get my strength and determination.  Anytime I start to feel sorry for myself, for whatever reason, I have only to think of him.  He was in an accident when he was 18 that left him paralysed from the waist down.  Not only has his impairment NEVER stopped him, I believe it’s made him that much more determined to do whatever he wants to do, on his terms with a smile on his face.  He is, in my opinion, an excellent example of attitude determining altitude.  Which is what I think all heroes have in common, whether you’re a chef, a dad or a businessman.


Waste vs. loss

March 6, 2012
Becky Tweedy, Assistant to the President

What can we do???

  • Raise awareness among food industries, retailers and consumers
  • Reform quality standards to accept food items not quite perfect in shape or appearance
  • Educate, so that no consumers, anywhere, feel they can afford to waste food
  • Find good and beneficial uses for safe food that is presently thrown away

It might not sound like much, but even small steps add up! Let’s get going!
For more information, go to


Weekly Wisdom – 3 (surprising) ways… to protect your heart

March 5, 2012
Sherri Meyer, MG Registered Dietitian,

3 (surprising) ways… to protect your heart

  • Get your teeth cleaned….People who have regular dental cleanings have lower rates of heart disease.
  • Drink less sugar…independent of obesity, women who drink 2 or more sugar beverages a day had higher levels of unhealthy blood fats & unhealthy belly fat.
  • Keep Vitamin D in check-low Vitamin D is linked with heart disease.

Get your plate in shape

March 5, 2012
Sherri Meyer, MG Registered Dietitian,

March is National Nutrition Month and the theme is “Get your Plate in Shape.”
Here are few things you can do this month to get your plate in shape:

  1. Load your plate with naturally healthy foods such a whole grains, fruits & vegetables.  Beware of foods that sound healthy but truly aren’t.  Labels that state “low-fat,” “gluten-free,” or “all-natural” may not be healthy.  Many are loaded with added sugars or saturated fat.  Look at the Nutrition Facts panel and ingredient lists before buying foods today.
  2. Go  for the grain…whole grain that is. Choose 100% whole grain breads, brown rice, barley, oats and other whole grain foods in place of refined choices.
  3. Start your day out right.  Choose a nutritious breakfast like eggs, hot or cold cereal with fruit or whole grain toast with nut butter.  Breakfasts that provide protein and/or fiber will help keep you fuller longer.
  4. Think about what you drink. Sugary beverages are the number one source of added sugars in our diet.   Stick to water, coffee, tea and fat-free or low-fat milk for your beverages.
  5. Spend at least 15 minutes outside when possible.  Go for a refreshing walk. Exercising outside helps improve mood and will help temper your stress hormones so that you’re less likely to suffer from anxiety-induced hunger.