health

Eat your Breakfast and Chocolate – Preferably in Prison

Curated by CLAI

EAT BREAKFAST: For students, especially, eating a healthy breakfast leads to improved cognition and memory, helps reduce absenteeism and generally improves mood. A 2008 study in the journal Pediatrics found that teenagers who ate breakfast regularly had a lower body-mass index than those who did not.

The logic about mood holds true for all: Eat breakfast and you’ll have a better morning. Perhaps you’ll eat less at lunch. You’ll have a better afternoon. Which leads to a better evening and better sleep. And a better breakfast the following morning.

So: Whole-grain muffins. Orange slices. A sausage or two. Everyone wins. It is all good cooking, if you serve it with care. And it gets better, easier, even more delicious, every time you do.

Start making breakfast every day. Make breakfast all the rage.

Credit: Gretchen Roehrs (NYTIMES)

EAT CHOCOLATE: Eating chocolate was significantly associated with superior “visual-spatial memory and [organization], working memory, scanning and tracking, abstract reasoning, and the mini-mental state examination. These functions translate to every day tasks, “such as remembering a phone number, or your shopping list, or being able to do two things at once, like talking and driving at the same time.

Nutrients called cocoa flavanols, which are found naturally in cocoa, and thus chocolate, seem to have a positive effect on people’s brains. Eating the nutrient increases blood flow to the brain, which in turn improves a number of its functions.

Credits: Amy King (WAPO)

FINE DINING in PRISON: InGalera, a restaurant that opened recently to rave reviews. It is inside the Bollate penitentiary, a medium-security prison with 1,100 inmates on the outskirts of Milan. The waiters, dishwashers and cooks have been convicted of homicide, armed robbery, drug trafficking and other crimes.

Dinner reservations are almost fully booked for March, and the Milanese elite have taken note. A former bank president came a few weeks ago. So did a former Miss Italy. Families come on weekends.

The restaurant may bother some people but prisons must train inmates to become responsible citizens capable of re-entering society. The recidivism rate of inmates in similar programs is far lower than average. Prices are more reasonable than most Milanese restaurants – “To have honest prices you have to come to jail.”

Credits: Gianni Cipriano (NYTIMES)

Advertisements

New York Donut & Not So Whole Milk

Curated by CLAI

NEW YORK DONUT: Every corner of New York has its doughnut now. There is room for all of us, the minimalist and the profligate, the nostalgist and the radical.

  • The donut is prehistoric — fossilized ring-shaped cakes have been unearthed, dating back 8,000 years. Free doughnuts were handed to the huddled arrivals at Ellis Island, to lines of hollow-cheeked men during the Great Depression and to soldiers on the battlefields of the First World War, by Salvation Army volunteers who requisitioned helmets as deep fryers and punched holes with spent artillery shells.
  • In New York City, the doughnut no longer resembles the Dutch olykoek that Anna Joralemon started selling in 1673 from a shop on lower Broadway. Along with a hole, it has acquired glazes in Barbie hues, fillings that wheeze forth on first bite, even do-it-yourself accessories like a syringe primed with jam, waiting to be stabbed in.
Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery’s doughnuts made in Chelsea. (Tony Cenicola/The New York Times)

Mah-Ze-Dahr Bakery’s doughnuts made in Chelsea. (Tony Cenicola/The New York Times)

WHOLE MILK NOT THAT WHOLE: Whole milk isn’t made wholly of fat, or largely of fat, or even substantially of fat. In fact, it doesn’t contain much fat all. Whole milk is actually only about 3.5% fat.

The reason it’s called “whole milk” has less to do with its fat content, than the fact that it’s comparatively unadulterated. As the Dairy Council of California puts it, whole milk is “the way it comes from the cow before processing.”

Is Love Destiny or a Journey? Does Your Life Have Purpose?

Curated by CLAI

LOVE DESTINY OR JOURNEY? Do you see love as a union of two people who are destined to be together? Or is it more of a journey they undertake, facing obstacles and working together to overcome them? According to new research, how you answer these questions may affect how you handle relationship troubles.

  • Those who believe in ‘destiny’ put less effort into working through relationship conflict. If they are soul mates, then nothing will go wrong in the relationship, and it will be easy. A conflict makes a destiny-believer question whether the current partner is actually their soul mate, and then they give up on working it out.
  • There are two mind-sets — a fixed mind-set, which occurs when someone believes that personal qualities like intelligence are immutable, and a growth mind-set, which occurs when someone believes that skills and characteristics can be cultivated through effort.

 

Love lock

Love lock (NYTIMES)

LIFE PURPOSE & LONGEVITY: People with a sense of purpose had a 15% lower risk of death, compared with those who said they were more or less aimless. And it didn’t seem to matter when people found their direction. It could be in their 20s, 50s or 70s.

  • It could be as simple as making sure one’s family is happy. It could be bigger, like contributing to social change. It could be more self-focused, like doing well on the job. Or it could be about creativity: produce something that is appreciated in written or artistic form, whether it’s music, dance or visual arts.
  • A sense of purpose may protect people against stress with all of its harmful effects, including greater risk of heart disease. And that may explain why people with a sense of purpose live longer.

10 Life Lessons to Excel in Your 30s (& 5 Reasons to Look Forward to it)

Curated by CLAI

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” (Socrates)
“The unlived life is not worth examining.” (Sheldon Kopp, psychologist)

10 Life Lessons to Excel in Your 30s
By: Mark Manson

Tiger Leaping Gorge, China

Tiger Leaping Gorge, China (Credits: Christine Lai)

    1. WHAT YOU KNOW: “When I turned forty my father told me that I’d enjoy my forties because in your twenties you think you know what’s going on, in your thirties you realize you probably don’t, and in your forties you can relax and just accept things. I’m 58 and he was right.” (Martin, age 58)
    2. WINGING IT: “All adults are winging it.”
    3. CUMULATIVE HEALTH: The way you treat your body has a cumulative effect; it’s not that your body suddenly breaks down one year, it’s been breaking down all along without you noticing. This is the decade to slow down that breakage.
    4. SETTLING: “Don’t settle for mediocre friends, jobs, love, relationships and life.” (Sean, 43)
    5. YOUR FRIENDS: “Surround yourself and only date people that make you a better version of yourself, that bring out your best parts, love and accept you.” (Xochie)
    6. TRAGEDY: “Tragedy happens in everyone’s life, everyone’s circle of family and friends. Be the person that others can count on when it does. I think that between 30 and 40 is the decade when a lot of shit finally starts to happen that you might have thought never would happen to you or those you love. Parents die, spouses die, babies are still-born, friends get divorced, spouses cheat… the list goes on and on. Helping someone through these times by simply being there, listening and not judging is an honor and will deepen your relationships in ways you probably can’t yet imagine.” (Rebecca, 40)
    7. TAKE CHANCES: “Unless you are already dead — mentally, emotionally, and socially — you cannot anticipate your life 5 years into the future. It will not develop as you expect. So just stop it. Stop assuming you can plan far ahead, stop obsessing about what is happening right now because it will change anyway, and get over the control issue about your life’s direction. Fortunately, because this is true, you can take even more chances and not lose anything; you cannot lose what you never had. Besides, most feelings of loss are in your mind anyway – few matter in the long term.” (Thomas, 56)
    8. FAMILY TIME: “Spend more time with your folks. It’s a different relationship when you’re an adult and it’s up to you how you redefine your interactions. They are always going to see you as their kid until the moment you can make them see you as your own man. Everyone gets old. Everyone dies. Take advantage of the time you have left to set things right and enjoy your family.” (Kash, 41)
    9. HAPPY MARRIAGE: What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility.
    10. GOOD SELFISHNESS: “Be a little selfish and do something for yourself every day, something different once a month and something spectacular every year.” (Nancy, 60)

5 Reasons to Look Forward to the your 30s
By: Lisa Baird

  1. Someone else is the grunt.
  2. You actually know stuff.
  3. Swagger becomes real confidence.
  4. You discover what sexiness really is.
  5. Money grows on trees.

I mean, who gives a sh*t that I’m traveling the world at 32 instead of 22. I’m writing this from a five-star resort on Koh Phi Phi, and you were in a hostel. I think we all know who’s winning.”

Old Wisdom and Teenage Sleep

Curated by CLAI

WISDOM: Wisdom consists of three key components: cognition, reflection and compassion. While younger people were faster in tests of cognitive performance, older people showed “greater sensitivity to fine-grained differences. One must take time to gain insights and perspectives from one’s cognitive knowledge to be wise (the reflective dimension). Then one can use those insights to understand and help others (the compassionate dimension). Wise people are able to accept reality as it is, with equanimity. If things are really bad, it’s good to be wise.

True personal wisdom involves five elements: They are self-insight; the ability to demonstrate personal growth; self-awareness in terms of your historical era and your family history; understanding that priorities and values, including your own, are not absolute; and an awareness of life’s ambiguities.

Old Armenian Women with Gun

A 106-year-old woman sits in front of her home guarding it with a rifle in Armenia. (UN Photo/Armineh Johannes)

TEENAGERS SLEEP IN: A movement to start high schools later has gained momentum, bolstered by a growing body of research on the adolescent body clock. Many schools are pushing to start the first class at 9 AM instead of as early as 7:20 AM.