Carole's June Blog:
I returned to New York from Los Angeles nine years ago in the winter. And it was an endless merciless winter that went directly to summer. Spring never happened. This year feels like déjà vu. Sweaters forever and suddenly I'm sleeveless. I miss spring and that wonderful prelude to summer.
But the weather remains on my mind. Let's talk about the Tornadoes. The Tuscaloosa Twister is considered the worst ever in four decades. And what about the monster tornado in Joplin, Missouri? Over 305 people are dead from Tornados and Thunderstorms. And Tornadoes are happening in Springfield, Massachusetts? This is absurd. These Tornados are caused by climate change which is any significant change in temperature, precipitation or wind that lasts for an extended period. Bottom line it's getting warmer. The greenhouse gases caused by our all-too-human activities such as burning fossil fuels, cutting trees and overbuilding is changing the atmosphere. What will it take to have us understand the importance of this information and make behavior changes? Speaking about behavior changes...instead of boys behaving badly we have before us not just one instance but also two of men behaving atrociously. In my research about him it seems Dominique Strauss Kahn the former head of The International Monetary Fund accused of rape was recognized for his economic capabilities and, sharp intelligence. But he also had a troublesome too pushy relationship with young women and often narrowly escaped charges of harassment. This fault of his was well known by the media, but no one spoke about it. All this changed at the Softie Hotel. And then there's Mahmoud Abdel-Salam Omar, the former chairman of Egypt's Bank of Alexandria arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a female worker at The Pierre Hotel. What is it with these men and hotels?
I am so happy that these incidents have come to light and weren't able to be paid off or pushed under the radar. This sense of entitlement that often comes to powerful men with actions at the expense of women deemed inferior of unworthy too often goes unrecognized. I often feel that we raise the men who ultimately abuse us. There is a collective consciousness or maybe unconsciousness around the questions of worthiness of women that needs to change. We are unfortunately in an unconscious collusive relationship with men about these issues. We all need to wake up. We can begin by becoming committed advocates for our hearts our health and our beings.
Not Your Ordinary Joe
We are delighted to have Joe Piscatella in the directors chair this month.
The written word is powerful. Joe read the March USAToday article on Events of the Heart
and contacted us. We knew we had met a traveler on the same path when we heard his personal story of how he dealt with a diagnosis of heart disease.
Once again we find a person who makes "his mess, his message"
Joe is inspiring and the information in his book Prevent, Halt and Reverse Heart Disease is great.
Picture this: You are 32 years old with a young family and a successful career. One day while playing tennis, you feel some pressure in your chest. You disregard it. Next time you play it comes back, so you see your family physician. Two days later you are having cardiac bypass surgery for aggressive coronary disease. That's what happened to me. And the prognosis was not good. One doctor even predicted that I would not live to age 40. "Don't plan on seeing your children graduate from high school," he said. My daughter was six, my son just four After the surgery I moped around, more than a little depressed, for about two weeks. But then my wife came to my rescue by creating a perspective that has served us well for a lifetime. "You can't change the cards you were dealt," she said. "You are 32 years old with aggressive coronary disease. We can't change that. But we can change the way we play those cards. And that means eating healthy, exercising regularly, managing stress, staying away from cigarette smoke and keeping a positive attitude." So that's what we did...and it worked! We will celebrate the 34th anniversary of that surgery in July, making me one of the longest-lived survivors of cardiac bypass in the world. During those years, I have tried to bring the message about the link between lifestyle habits and cardiac health to the public, particularly to women, in the form of 12 books (my latest is Prevent, Halt & Reverse Heart Disease"), three PBS television programs, numerous media interviews on The Today Show and Good Morning America, a "guest expert" column on WebMD, and over 1,000 presentations. Over 2 million people have attended my talks.
When I went through the surgery, I became very concerned about the future health of my children. What if I had passed on a heart disease gene to them? Initially I was more concerned about my son. After all, heart disease was seen as a "man's disease." But soon I learned that it was the number one killer of women as well. Indeed, more females die from heart disease than the next 14 causes of death for women combined! So, I made sure my information and advice on living a healthy lifestyle targeted women - including my daughter - as well as men.
That's the reason I am so pleased to be working with Events of the Heart. Providing education and testing for women is a critical step in helping them to create heart-healthy habits. Today my daughter is grown up, an attorney, and married with two children. Best of all, she doesn't have cardiac risk factors such as elevated cholesterol. She is proof that healthy living can trump a poor genetic history. Remember, if you don't take the time for your health today, you're going to have to make the time for your illness tomorrow.
"Joe Piscatella knows more about healthy living than anyone I know." William C. Roberts, M.D., Editor-in-Chief, The Amercan Journal of Cardiology
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June is a month that I consider a hybrid. It's a little bit of summer mixed in with the last licks of winter and hints of spring. It's the iconic month for weddings, planting the garden, and opening the summer cottage. When I lived in California, on many June mornings a dense fog would roll in that lasted until noon and was aptly labeled June gloom.
This June has its own notoriety, torrential rain and monster tornados have left their own particular mark on the country.
I've decided to use this June to clear away the weeds of the past winter, file the folders on my desk, answer unanswered correspondence, evaluate the year's productivity and take a deep exhale.
This has been a month of many goodbye's on TV, culminating in the "until we meet again" from the Big O, Oprah. It inspired me to think; what if I said goodbye for a couple of months and recharged my battery, re -fueled my vessel and restored my faith? I give this pep talk of re - charging all year to over stressed, overworked and overwrought women. So I thought to myself, what could happen if I allowed myself a time out? My first decision was to let Events of the Heart "GO FISHIN" for the summer months. As the song says
"Sounds crazy I know,
I know nothing about fishing,
But just watch me go."
I'm looking forward to renew our purpose and vision for the tasks before us next year with the Million Women's Heart Project.
I intend to start my new book this summer and to cull and forage for recipes from my favorite ingredients on earth, matching them to stories in my life. Summertime is my memory of all the things I love but sadly that love doesn't last all year through so I've downgraded it to a summer crush. It's the time of my birthday and so many others in my circle. This past year has been a difficult one but I plowed through and actually found strength, insight and some of my greatest accomplishments. Once again, making a "message from the mess." I see Events of the Heart prosper with its message as women are getting screened and we keep encouraging women to pay attention to what matters most...their own hearts and health. So its time I walk my talk. I will be forgoing the newsletter for July & August and staying quiet in the process of rediscovery. The Beatles had it just right when they sang "Let it be."
And to your summer, I wish you wonderful renewal until we meet again in September.
By Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum
One of the most challenging issues to explain is how to interpret the results of studies. It seems that one day vitamin D is recommended, the next, there is a warning. Low salt diets were recently questioned , when for all these years, a low salt diet has been considered "heart healthy". The most classic example is with hormone replacement therapy, and clarifying who it is beneficial for and who it is not. Doctors recommend medications and certain treatments based on these trials, but what is important to understand is that in each trial; only a certain population is being tested, and many times women are not a large cohort in the study. In fact, only 25% of trials sponsored by the NIH track gender specific outcomes, and the FDA approve cardiac devices based on trials that do not investigate the study differences between men and women.
We have a two-fold dilemma. Although the majority of women are aware that heart disease is their number one killer, only 13% believe that it is a health issue they themselves need to be concerned about. Secondly, even after having their risk factors evaluated such as: high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, sedentary lifestyle, stress, family history, age, history of gestational diabetes or high blood pressure during pregnancy, or the metabolic syndrome, only 37% know that there is a correlation between those and heart disease.
Here's the issue- knowledge is power. Join Events of the Heart in understanding the value of getting women tested and screened for heart disease. This awareness and action campaign will allow women to understand not only that heart disease is their greatest threat, but also that there is a movement that needs to take place. As women, we need to participate in studies that allow us to learn more, and to allow our sometimes conflicting information to become resolved. We need to know more and to empower ourselves, and we need to help propel the research on women by participating in the studies. Let us help all Women, starting with one woman at a time.
I don't think I can stand the pressure of running a new business, the opening of Habibi café and writing this Blog every month.
I've been feeling stressed lately and its definitely affecting my mojo. A few months ago was national stress month, yes we keep up with national awareness platforms, and I've decided to do something that's completely out of character and GO to a silent retreat. In truth I'm not a barker, it gives both me and you a headache. I know being a non-barker allows in me in more places with my mom; like hotels and movies. But it's the noise in my head and the noise around NYC that I need a break from. For dogs things like thunder, car screeching, honking horns and construction work can be brutal on our systems. Yes we have those same voices you all call demons in our heads, only we don't act out with ben and jerry's and retail therapy, we sulk. I heard from my friend the Tibetan terrier in the park, how tranquil a retreat can be, in fact there were 2 in particular, one near Nepal, and in java where the Buddhist temples are legendary, and barring that constant incense smell I think I would like being monk like for a bit
The pros -, being missed, being more appreciated, a book deal, a reality show
The cons - change, which is not my strong suit, spicy food and early morning meditation BEFORE breakfast. I'm seriously thinking about it but before I decide I am going to start by lightening my load,
So this will be my last blog until sept and Habibi's café will have to go under new management for a bit. I determined to get my Zen back and trying to convince my mom to do the same, you know what they say lead by example not by promotion
So until my return, Im sending a BIG OM to you all and njoy your summer noise and all
Pucker up! There is nothing like a lemon or a lime in summer to spruce up a salad or a salsa
For me it starts with a lemon or limeade. And then of course chopped tomatoes, capers black olives and a sprinkle over some delish fish. Whatever your fave is be sure to finish with a squeeze...
Simple syrup, agave or fresh apple juice
Squeeze lemons/limes for desired amount Add apple juice or simple syrup for sweetener During the summer I squeeze cherries or strawberries and add to make flavored lemonades
Add this topping to chicken, fish, steak: a perfect topping for protein.
Crushed red chili pepper
Sliced black olives
Red onion optional
Chop tomatoes black olives, red onion, avocado and squeeze 1/2 to a whole lemon Add cumin salt some chili pepper if you prefer heat and chop fine Add to grilled fish or chicken You can add ginger and soy for an asian flavor or lemon and basil and oregano to go italiano
Lemon Curd Tart
For the tart shell:
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
For the lemon curd:
4 lemons, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon salt
For the tart shell:
Mix the butter and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Press the dough into a 10-inch-round or 9-inch-square false-bottom tart pan, making sure that the finished edge is flat. Chill until firm.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter 1 side of a square of aluminum foil to fit inside the chilled tart and place it, buttered side down, on the pastry. Fill with beans or rice. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and beans, prick the tart all over with the tines of a fork, and bake again for 20 to 25 minutes more, or until lightly browned. Allow to cool to room temperature.
For the lemon curd:
Remove the zest of the lemons with a vegetable peeler or zester, being careful to avoid the white pith. Squeeze the lemons to make 1/2 cup of juice and set the juice aside. Put the zest in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the sugar and process for 2 to 3 minutes, until the zest is very finely minced. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugar and lemon zest. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and then add the lemon juice and salt. Mix until combined.
Pour the mixture into a 2-quart saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 10 minutes. The lemon curd will thicken at about 175 degrees F, or just below a simmer. Remove from the heat.
Fill the tart shell with warm lemon curd and allow to set at room temperature.
Of course any dish should add a good rose to its dance card come summer My picks:
Il mimo-Best with meats and chicken Or my new fave Domanine Houchart-A french rose that is so easy and fresh it could move in to the refrigerator all summer
Don't forget grilled fruits with a balsamic glaze and melted ice cream. And of course take advantage of all the herbs to make your own rubs Until the harvest of fall Salud to summer