Live Well
January 2017

Searching for the Silver Lining is Good for Your Health!

A recent article in the New York Times caught my attention. A new study by the Harvard T.H. Chan school of Public Health found that an optimistic outlook reduced a woman’s risk of dying of a stroke, heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease and infection. The study followed over 70,000 women and found that those who were more optimistic had a 40% lower risk for heart disease and stroke.

This conclusion is not entirely new. A 2010 study in Psychological Science found that optimism helped boost immune function. This is because negative emotions increase the stress response, and increased stress weakens the immune system. As a matter of fact, according to the American Institute of Stress, 77% and 73% of people say they experience physical and psychological symptoms caused by stress, respectively. Moreover, stress has been shown to be at the root of many chronic diseases. Optimism also helps reduce inflammation, another cause of chronic diseases. This is why it is so important to find ways to focus on the positive.

Here are a few ways you can become more optimistic:

  • Keep a journal and write down 3 things that you are grateful for every day.
  • Eat well (and by this I mean: eat whole, real foods that are nourishing). When you eat well you feel good, and when you feel good you have a more positive outlook on life.
  • Take the time to take care of yourself, whether it be to take a nap or read a book. Again, when you feel good, you have a more positive outlook on life.
  • Practice positive thinking every day.
  • Have a sense of humor.

Developing a more optimistic outlook will help you feel better and improve your health, and will also help you find the silver lining in difficult times.


Cook Well

Shaved Purple Brussels Sprouts &
Purple Cauliflower Salad

I recently found some purple brussels sprouts and purple cauliflower at my local market so I decided to make a Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower Salad. Of course, this tastes just as good with regular Brussels Sprouts and Cauliflower. Serves 6-8

1 small-medium head of cauliflower
1lb. Brussels sprouts
1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, peeled into thin strips
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
Sea salt
Freshly-ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. Apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. Mustard
1 tsp. Mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, grated
8 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Freshly-ground black pepper
  1. 1. Combine all the dressing ingredients and mix until fully emulsified (until the oil is no longer separate from the other ingredients).
  2. 2. Cut cauliflower into bite-sized pieces. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add cauliflower and boil 2-3 minutes, or until just tender.
  3. 3. Trim the ends of the brussels sprouts and shred using a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, you can thinly slice the brussels sprouts using a knife.
  4. 4. In a bowl, combine cauliflower, brussels sprouts, Pecorino Romano cheese and walnuts.
  5. 5. Add dressing and mix well. Let stand for 10-15 minutes before serving.



My Reading List for 2017

Here are some books I am looking forward to digging my teeth into this year:


The Human Super-Organism
How the Microbiome Is Revolutionizing the Pursuit of a Healthy Life
Rodney Dietert, PhD


Unveiling the Essential Elements of Food
Ali Bouzari


The Case Against Sugar
Gary Taubes


Food Fights and Culture Wars
A Secret History of Taste
Tom Nealon


Best Food Writing 2016
Edited by Holly Hughes