Culinary arts will now join epidemiology, cardiology, optometry and oncology as one of the classes that doctors will be taking at some point in their medical education. According to Treehugger. Tulane University School of Medicine in New Orleans is the latest medical school to add cooking classes to its curriculum as a way to encourage study in nutrition and the benefits of a healthy diet.
The class was created by Timothy Harlan, M.D., a professor at the university who proposed that doctors talk with their patients about nutrition. He found that many medical professionals did not know how to communicate the benefits of healthy diets.
In addition to doctors, the class is also offered to chefs who want to focus on creating healthy dishes for their customers. Culinary students at Johnson & Wales University are offered the option of taking the course.
"It's odd to me that chefs often neglect nutrition education as part of their training," Todd Seyfarth, chair of Johnson & Wales' department of culinary nutrition, told Bon Appetit Magazine. "A chef who masters healthy cooking can deliver enjoyment to customers, and at the same time nourish their bodies."
The school recommends that cooks who would like to provide more nutrition in their meals focus on measuring out cooking oil rather than simply pouring it in the pan. They also recommend using acidic foods such as lemon juice to bring out flavors, rather than relying purely on salt. Adhering to these tips ensures that your meals will more healthful and flavorful at the same time!
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Trying to put on some muscle? Nearly every weight lifter you see in the gym is probably drinking as many as three protein shakes each day in order to add more body mass. The most popular options are typically whey protein powders sold at stores like GMC, but sometimes these supplements are filled with synthetic chemicals that may not be so healthy. There is some debate among medical professionals as to whether these powders are actually good for you. If you're looking for a healthier alternative that relies on natural green alternatives, here are a few of your options:
- Chia seeds: These will lend some protein to your diet, and they're also a good source of calcium, providing 18 percent of your daily requirement with just one ounce. Not only will you end up with strong muscles, you'll also improve bone strength as well.
- Hemp seeds: It's difficult to overstate the nutritional benefits provided by hemp seeds. On the one hand, you get plenty of protein, with two tablespoons providing 10 grams. As Men's Health notes, you also get all of the essential amino acids that are critical for adding body mass and building muscle.
- Milled flax seed: While it has about half as much protein as hemp seed, flax provides a great deal of fiber, meaning that it will keep you feeling full longer so that you can reduce overall calorie intake and tone your muscles. Flax also gives you essential omega-3 fatty acids and can be added to just about any dish, as it has very little flavor of its own. Sprinkle it on yogurt or mix some into your favorite smoothie! Make sure to get the "milled" variety, and not whole flax seeds, which your body won't be able to fully digest.
By adding one or more of these supplements to your diet, you'll be able to build muscle and live a healthier lifestyle without pumping your body full of unnecessary chemicals!
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There is a growing sentiment in the green community that kids aren't spending enough time outdoors, which is impeding their ability to do work, stay engaged with school and understand the natural world. Many parents and teachers are now pushing for children to spend more of their education in the outdoors, and the results of pilot programs so far have been promising.
The trend was recently covered by Salon.com, which discussed a study by Indiana State University showing that half of students report having skipped school at least once or twice, while another 20 percent have considered dropping out entirely. And one need not look long to find evidence of an American education system that is long overdue for reform.
With these problems in the forefront for so many American families, it may come as no surprise that teachers are beginning to experiment with new and interesting ways to engage students. One particular idea that has shown promise is the outdoor classroom. Erin Kenny, the founder of outdoor kindergarten Cedarsong Nature School located in Puget Sound, Washington, conducts classes in a 5-acre forest. The students get to see how the ecosystem around them changes throughout the year, observing the growth cycles of plants, bugs and other wildlife.
Most importantly, programs like Cedarsong have been shown to improve motivation among participants, so much so that similar schools have opened up across the country.
Hopefully, as more is learned about these schools and the benefits that they provide to students, more attention will be paid to the importance of preserving the environment for future generations, who have much to gain from these experiences.
LifeIsGreen.com will continue to provide green tips, news and information, so make sure to visit often!
Just because you like to have a party doesn't mean you can't think green at the same time. While most liquors aren't designed to be environmentally-friendly, there are a few brands out there that specialize in making organic, gluten-free options that are healthier and more sustainably produced than conventional spirits.
One such brand is Baron, who make their tequila with a careful triple distillation process that removes all the impurities that can lead to a bitter, harsh flavor. This stuff is smooth, and when mixed with some lime juice and Cointreau, will give you one of the best margaritas you've ever had!
Another nice thing about Baron Tequila is that, unlike many other brands, it's made by a family-owned business. The Ansan Distillery, located in Tequila, Jalisco, Mexico, was started by Jana Khaimoff, and continues to adhere to its origins as a craft spirit company, despite having experienced substantial growth in the past few years.
When people talk about organic food products, they tend not to focus on alcoholic beverages, but if you like to have a beer, glass of wine or cocktail every now and then, make sure you're buying brands that focus on creating environmentally friendly products. Here are a few things to look for in an organic, sustainable liquor:
- For beer, find companies that feed their "spent grains" (the barley malt that is removed from the beer before fermentation) to livestock
- For wine, look for producers who use only organically grown grapes, meaning that they didn't use pesticides or conventional fertilizers.
Lastly, always recycle the bottles that these drinks came in!
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Bleach is a remarkably effective disinfectant, but it's also toxic and corrosive. If you're committed to removing cleaning chemicals from your life and replacing them with eco friendly products, we have good news: There are alternatives to bleach available that are cheap, effective and best of all, non-toxic and green.
Here are some solutions that you can use without fear of causing harm to yourself, your family or your pets:
- Baking soda: This is a great cleaner that also removes odors from whatever you're washing.
- Lemon: Mixing lemon juice with water can kill some bacteria, and since most homeowners have some around the house it's typically easy to find and use. However, it's not as powerful as our last option, which is by far the best choice for green-conscious residents.
- Vinegar: You probably already have this in your kitchen, as some recipes call for it. It's also a great cleaning agent that will even kill salmonella, E. coli and mycobacterium, the organism that causes tuberculosis. It's also biodegradable, so you don't need to worry about pouring it down the drain. Simply mix one part vinegar with eight parts water, and you'll have a terrific disinfectant for your kitchen areas.
You can also purchase green disinfectant from companies like Seventh Generation and PureGreen 24.
If you're looking for other alternatives, the Environmental Protection Agency has a list of sanitizers that they have determined to be eco-friendly. With so many options available to green-conscious homeowners, there's no reason to keep using bleach and other chemicals that create health hazards for you and your family. Instead, check out the above environmentally-friendly options and make your home clean and green at the same time!
LifeIsGreen.com is your number one source for green living tips and ideas, so keep visiting for more!
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has committed $3 million to help recover honey bee populations that have been disappearing in recent years for reasons that we still don't understand. The agency said it would earmark the funding "to promote conservation practices that will provide honey bees with nutritious pollen and nectar while providing benefits to the environment."
The goal is to provide species of plants that are thought to be less harmful to the honeybees. There is considerable concern in the environmental community that frequent use of pesticides and inorganic compounds in farming has led to a decline in honey bee populations, which are thought to provide $15 billion in benefits to American farms annually.
"The future security of America's food supply depends on healthy honey bees," Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture, said in a statement. "Expanded support for research, combined with USDA's other efforts to improve honey bee health, should help America's beekeepers combat the current, unprecedented loss of honey bee hives each year."
The funding is going specifically to communities in the midwestern United States, which host 65 percent of the country's commercially-managed honey bee populations during the summer months. Some of the efforts that will be funded include practices to limit erosion and make soil healthier, thus providing better living conditions for the bees.
You can do your part to help honeybee populations by only buying food products that were raised using sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices. Make sure when you purchase food that it is labeled as certified organic, and that the producers didn't rely on synthetic weed killers and other chemicals to grow their crops.
For more tips, advice and news about green business and agriculture, check back with LifeIsGreen.com frequently!
Few aspects of your lifestyle will have more of an impact on your happiness than what you eat. It's very difficult to feel satisfied and content, even if you're a successful and busy person, when you are routinely eating unhealthy foods. The good news is that not only are there foods that will make you feel happier and less anxious, but also taste good too!
Here are a few foods that will help boost your mental state:
- Dark Chocolate: Yes, you read that right: Dark chocolate can make you feel happier. According to the healthy living website Care2.com, dark chocolate contains magnesium and tryptophan, which can help reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. We'd also recommend trying out some organic dark chocolate made from naturally-grown cacao beans, which you can typically find at a local farmer's market or organic food store.
- Lentils: They're one of the most versatile foods you can eat, and also one of the healthiest. Lentils are high in folic acid, which has been shown to be an effective remedy for depression. They also contain high amounts of magnesium. If you're not a big fan, try other legumes such as beans or peanuts, which contain many of the same nutrients.
- Yogurt: It's a good source of B vitamins, which have been shown to be important for mental health.
As always, when purchasing food products it's best to buy local as often as possible. The closer to your home that the food was produced, the less carbon pollution was created in transporting it to your city. In addition, we recommend buying foods that are grown without the use of pesticides and other inorganic compounds. If you're looking for even more foods that can improve your mood, the nutrients to look for are magnesium, B vitamins and folic acid!
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Colleges are famous for their efforts to make campuses more sustainable and environmentally-friendly, and this wouldn't be the case without pressure from students. If you're one of those college kids that wants to make sure their school is mitigating its environmental impact, we hope you're also doing your part to make sure you're individually producing less pollution, trash and waste!
Here are some green ideas for college students to follow:
- Drink tap water: It's tempting to simply pick up water bottles at an on-campus convenience store, but it's important to note how damaging bottled water can be to the environment. To begin with, the water itself isn't any cleaner than tap water (in fact, it's often worse in terms of contaminants and toxins). Additionally, all those plastic bottles simply end up in dumps. Try using a reusable bottle instead.
- Reuse materials as much as you can: Whether it's converting a plastic container into a pencil holder, or purchasing used textbooks instead of new ones, there are many opportunities for college students to recycle. The more you do, the fewer of these items will end up in landfills, where they can decompose over time and create greenhouse gases.
- Use your school's printing resources: Many students will purchase a printer for their desk when they start college, but this is a waste of resources. Given that many professors are now asking their students to turn papers in electronically, try using your school's printers in the library. Not only will this save you money, it will also keep you from generating waste when you eventually have to throw out your printer.
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Recently we blogged about how to go about creating your own indoor garden. One of the steps in the process is to select a potting soil that will help nurture your plants and ensure that they grow healthily. But not all potting mixes are created equal. Some can be more caustic to your plants in the long run, while others are manufactured in ways that aren't sustainable or environmentally-friendly.
Probably one of the most popular potting soil mixes is made from peat moss. This mix is terrific for growing plants, particularly if you're just putting together a garden that will only last one season. But peat is harvested from old growth forests and swamps in Canada and the southern United States, and the methods by which the peat is extracted can cause long-term damage to these areas.
Your best bet, if you're looking for the most environmentally friendly products, is to purchase peat-less soil mix. These are typically produced using organic materials and methods that forego the use of synthetic chemicals and fertilizers. They do a great job of retaining moisture, and they're aerated enough that you won't have to worry about your plants not getting enough oxygen. One great brand to check out is Organic Mechanics potting soil, which uses compost and coconut coir. This soil has more nutrients than conventional potting mix, and is manufactured with recycled materials.
By using environmentally-friendly soil, you'll get healthier plants, and you won't be exposing members of your household to harmful chemicals. You'll also be supporting an industry that does its part to make sure natural resources are not exhausted!
For more tips and information on green living, keep checking back with LifeIsGreen.com!
Generally speaking, people really shouldn't use paper towels. Americans use 13 billion pounds of paper towels every year, and it's difficult to overstate how wasteful this is when a cloth alternative is both more cost-effective and easy to obtain. However, it's also virtually impossible to avoid using paper towels entirely. After all, you can't control what the owner of a public building chooses to use in his bathrooms, and sometimes the substance that you're cleaning is something you don't want to get on your cloth towels at home.
Having said that, there are ways to use paper towels so as to minimize your impact on the environment:
- Follow the instructions that Joe Smith, a former District Attorney in Oregon, provided during a Tedx lecture, which you can view on YouTube by clicking here. To summarize, you don't need to pull four or five sheets out of a paper towel dispenser. Instead, shake any excess moisture off your hands (Smith recommends shaking your hands 12 times), then fold your paper towel so that it is thicker and thus more absorbent, and wipe away any remaining moisture.
- Whenever possible, use recycled paper towels rather than new ones. Although recycled paper can't itself be recycled, you're at least ensuring that another tree has not been cut down.
Smith points out that by following his directions and cutting paper towel usage by one sheet a day per person, Americans can save over 571 million pounds of paper every year – and that's by simply reducing your usage by one sheet! Imagine how much paper would be saved if you relied almost exclusively on cloth towels instead!
If you're interested in learning more about the benefits of going green, your best resource for tips and information is LifeIsGreen.com. Keep checking back for more!