Showing posts from May, 2014

A life-long love for education and travel.

With summer around the corner, many of us are excited about our vacation time and the possibility of going on a new adventure, even if it’s just around the neighborhood discovering the next best restaurant, to our local hiking spot or to the beach.   The phrase ‘travelling IS learning’ suddenly pops into mind.
Sandra Harris would certainly agree.  World traveler, enthusiastic teacher and Howell Foundation’s Donor Liaison offers just one simple piece of advice:  “I would encourage everyone-- young, old and in between-- to be life- long learners.”   
Her philosophy in life has always been simple - live each day to its fullest measure.   She has done just that.   “We began our love of travel and adventure early in our marriage while my husband was a young Naval Officer aboard the USS Saratoga.  We have enjoyed visiting people and countries all over the world for the last 50 years. Hiking, skiing and jazz festivals in Mammoth bring us great appreciation for the beauty and diversity of our o…

Let's Eat... Healthy!

Poor nutrition leads to poor health:  cancer, diabetes and heart health leading the list.  According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, unhealthy eating and inactivity account for almost half a million deaths per year (1)
Even though there are general guidelines on nutritional values there are marked differences between the effects on nutrition between men and women.  There are many variables that affect our nutrition-- our health, our age, what we do for a living and even our own bodies – and recommendations on healthy eating and the amount of nutrients vary accordingly. 
Eating healthy is more about discipline; learning to eat healthy food and teaching our family the value of nutrition.   But the one question worth analyzing is:  is the society we live in conducive to healthy eating?  
It seems that we are always in a hurry. As women, most of us have the habit of taking care of others before ourselves.  As parents, we seem to be overwhelmed with all the required acti…

Continuing with the Celebration of Women’s Health Week… The Body- Mind Connection: Just get moving!

It is no secret that exercise has numerous benefits for our body and our mind. Going beyond the idea of losing weight and getting into shape, physical activity helps with depression, decreases heart disease and cancer risks, helps with osteoporosis and just overall makes us feel better. Exercise is one of the critical aspects highlighted in the Women’s Health Week Initiative from the Office of Women’s Health, along with nutrition, being safe, following up with our health through doctor visits, and taking care of our mental health. The 5 additional benefits of exercise that should get us moving: 1.- Dance like there is no tomorrow!  According to the Alzheimer’s Association, physical activity “improves cognitive function in healthy elderly persons, and potentially reduces the risk of developing cognitive impairment”.   For those of us who have danced to Salsa (even if we dance with our two left feet) know that being graceful is great exercise! 2.- Move over, Miss America!  Working out, --…

A Tip a Day for the Month of May’s National Women’s Health Week.

Understanding what it means to be well starts with education and information.    
National Women’s Health Week (May 11-17) is all about creating awareness on the relevance of being a healthy woman. The initiative led by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women’s Health provides a series of resources that help empower women to become better health advocates.  
For us, National Women's Health Week is also a celebration -- and well deserved recognition-- of the LONG path that scientists have taken to ensure that gender differences in health research become not only a standard, but that the progress and findings of current medical studies are available across the board and at every level: from families, to health practitioners and the community.   
The first step towards achieving our health and wellbeing as women is a positive state of mind to ensure our physical and mental health.  And while on the subject of mental health, here are concrete examples of gen…

The Proof is in the Pudding… or in the Mousse? The top 6 Benefits (and excuses) of eating DARK Chocolate and 1 Healthy Recipe for Chocolate Mousse.

Continuing with the topics of health, nutrition and happiness, it only seems appropriate to talk about CHOCOLATE!   

Though recommended to eat sparingly, the health benefits of dark chocolate are widely known.   The secret of healthy dark chocolate resides in the levels of cocoa.  The higher the amount the better!  To get all the health benefits of dark chocolate, nutritionist recommend chocolate that contains 70% or more of cocoa. 
From famous pastry Chef François Payard, this Chocolate Tofu Mousse is as healthy as dessert can get! 

Ingredients:  8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped1 cup soy milk1/2 vanilla bean, scraped10-ounce silken tofu, drained1/4 cup raspberries1/4 cup blueberriesPreparation:  
Place chopped bittersweet chocolate in a bowl. In a saucepan, combine soy milk and scraped vanilla bean. Bring to a boil; pour over chocolate. Let stand 1 minute. Remove vanilla bean and whisk until smooth. In a blender, process drained silken tofu until creamy (10 seconds). Add mix; blend…

"How many of you have wives; how many of you have daughters; how many of you have sisters? And I know you all have mothers... What do you do to help them stay healthy?" ~ Dr. Doris A. Howell

A tribute to all the women that make a difference in our lives!
Our mom was an outstanding woman.   It only made sense since she came from a family full of exceptional women.   
She was a devoted teacher, always encouraging the one most single thing that will let us get ahead in life:  Education.   I believe that the words of John Dewey describe her philosophy on education most accurately:  “Education is not preparation for life.  Education is life itself”. Although she might have started as a teacher by chance, she surely touched the lives of many.  
She passed away too soon of heart disease… at 50.  
To honor her memory, our family decided to establish a memorial fund at the Doris Howell Foundation.    For us it meant keeping her core belief in education alive.  It meant the possibility of preventing illness like heart disease - which ultimately claims the life of half a million women each year- through scholars dedicating their careers to women’s health - related issues.
And how grati…

Share your Mediterranean recipes during Mediterranean Diet Month!

Just last month the Howell Foundation hosted an expert that gave us an overview of the benefits of managing pain through nutrition.  Advocacy for nutrition and women’s health has resulted in many coincidences between the Anti-inflammatory diet and the Mediterranean diet, anywhere from the health values of the ingredients we use and the way the food is prepared to the meaning of going back to basics in choosing the best foods for our health.  
To celebrate health through nutrition, this recipe from Health Magazine looks like the perfect way to start the month of May: Mediterranean Seafood Grill with Skordalia.  If you are under strict dietary supervision please talk to your physician or nutritionist before preparing any food. 
1 poundrusset or Yukon gold potatoes8 garlic cloves, peeled1 slice sourdough bread, crust removed1/4 cupplain Greek low-fat yogurt3 tablespoonsolive oil, dividedZest and juice of 1 lemon1/2 teaspoonsalt, divided1/4 teaspoondried thyme1 poundhalibut fil…