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ON THE MOVE
Roses and chocolates are appearing in every store, so Valentine’s Day must be upon us! While it can feel a little commercial at times, I think it’s great that we take a day to celebrate love. So why not make this article about my one and only valentine, Maria. Beyond being an amazing wife and an incredible mother to our kids, she’s my best friend. Heading into our 18th year of marriage, it’s hard to believe that we met at an event neither of us had intended to go to. How Robert Met Maria MEETING MY VALENTINE
event started, we’d said hello, and while I was nervous, I certainly had no idea I was meeting my future wife.
With some added incentive, I attended a few more meetings without my brother having to remind me. One of these meetups was a Halloween mixer, where Maria and I danced and got to talking. Incredibly, I learned
that she, too, had been dragged to that first meeting by a friend who wanted her support. Ironically, we had both come to help someone else make connections that night but ended up forming the most lasting bond of all. After exchanging phone numbers, we stopped attending these group events, preferring to go out on our own dates instead. By 2001, we
“Ironically, we had both come to help someone else make connections that night but ended up forming the most lasting bond of all.”
Back when I was still doing my residency at NYU Medical Center, my big brother was looking to build his connections in the business world. There was this youth organization for Italian Americans, almost like a coed fraternity, that he was interested in, wanting to build bridges with other community leaders. Understandably, he didn’t want to go to
these meetings alone, so I agreed to come along to a Monday night meeting to support him … and then totally forgot about it.
were married. It’s amazing what life changes can come out of seemingly insignificant moments. Now, after nearly 18 years of marriage and two sons becoming fine young men, I can say without a doubt I’m very glad my brother called to remind me about that meeting! Maria, I don’t know if we met by chance or by fate all those years ago. But what I do know is that I wouldn’t trade the life we’ve built out of that moment for anything. Thanks for being a bedrock of support all these years. I would not be the man I am without you. So, will you be my valentine?
After getting home that evening from my shift at the center, I got a call from my brother asking if I was still coming. “To what?” I remember asking blankly. I had just enough time to change clothes before my brother pulled up in his car. I suppose he could have gone without me and been fine, but in retrospect, I’m glad he didn’t. The meeting itself was a brief lecture about learning the roots of our heritage, but I admit I wasn’t paying very much attention. You see, there was a very cute girl attending the lecture with some friends. While I hadn’t come to make any business connections, I was beginning to think that coming to this meeting wasn’t so bad after all. Before the
–Dr. Robert Morea
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T H E 5 - S E C O N D R U L E W I L L M A K E Y O U S I C K 3 HEALTH MYTHS YOU PROBABLY BELIEVE
We live in the golden age of information. The answers to many of life’s questions are just an internet search away. Despite this readily available wisdom, we still have a bad habit of believing health-related myths. Here are three popular health “facts” that are total works of fiction. THE 5-SECOND RULE KEEPS FOOD SAFE Obviously germs and bacteria don’t really wait five seconds to pounce, but snatching your chip off the floor fast keeps most of the germs away, right? Not according to a 2006 study published by Dr. Paul Dawson. He found conclusive evidence that when food comes into contact with a contaminated surface, bacteria are transferred immediately. Even one second spent on tile, wood, or carpet is enough to infest your food with salmonella or another serious contaminant. BOTTLED WATER IS SAFER THAN TAP WATER People seeking out safer water alternatives increases the sales of bottled “spring water” each year. However, bottled water is more expensive, bad for the environment, and, as Dr. Morton Tavel of the Indiana University School of Medicine pointed out, over 50 percent of bottled water is just filtered tap water. The same effect can be achieved with a home filtration system. Of course, if the tap water in your area has been contaminated, bottled water
is a safer alternative. However, in most circumstances, bottled water is no healthier than tap water. CRACKING YOUR KNUCKLES CAUSES ARTHRITIS The connection between knuckle-cracking and arthritis came from studies where participants self-reported their habits. Modern medical research has shown these results to be false. The official stance from the John Hopkins Arthritis Center states, “There is no evidence that cracking knuckles causes any damage such as arthritis in the joints.” Still, chronic knuckle-cracking can lead to reduced grip strength, so you might want to break the habit anyway. You’ve probably heard these myths for years, but just because something is common knowledge doesn’t mean it is true. With information so easily available, always take the time to research the facts, especially when it comes to your health.
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ANT I - INFLAMMATORY FOODS
Decrease Your Risk of Disease Today
Inflammation is caused when your body senses a foreign object inside of it and reacts. Certain substances, such as the chemicals in the food you eat or plant pollen that would harm your health, can cause inflammation. To protect or heal itself, the body will project bursts of inflammation. However, too much of it can lead to serious health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, depression, and Alzheimer’s. What you eat can greatly impact the levels of inflammation within your body. High consumption of foods that contain sugar, refined carbohydrates, and fats can lead to chronic inflammation. Limiting your intake or avoiding such foods as french fries, red meats, soda, whole milk, and wheats will help reduce inflammation in your body and minimize the chance of health problems. To counter these types of foods, you don’t need to rely on anti- inflammatory drugs from your local drug store. Instead, increase your consumption of anti-inflammatory foods. Not only does this diet help lower chronic inflammation, but it also helps decrease your risk of certain illnesses and improves overall health. You can reap the benefits of a healthy body by including these anti- inflammatory foods in your diet: VEGETABLES AND FRUITS: Strawberries, blueberries, cherries, and raspberries are perfect fruits to snack on or to include with a main meal. Add carrots, spinach, kale, and broccoli as well, and you’ll give your body plenty of nutrition. NUTS: Although almonds and walnuts have fats of their own, they’ve proven to reduce inflammation in small amounts. Snacking on small portions throughout the day or as a small side for your lunch is a great way to avoid too much natural fat. FISH: Fatty fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, which help keep cholesterol in check. Including tuna, sardines, and especially salmon in your diet will give your body the healthy fat it needs to keep cholesterol under control and reduce inflammation.
Recipe of the Month:
Inspired by foodnetwork.com
This Italian favorite makes for the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert. It’s easy to whip up and will make the holiday feel extra special.
• • • •
6 egg yolks
• • •
2 teaspoons dark rum 24 packaged ladyfingers 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate shavings, for garnish
3 tablespoons sugar
1 pound mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 cups strong espresso, cooled
1. In a large mixing bowl, use a whisk to beat together egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. 2. Add mascarpone cheese and beat until smooth. 3. Fold in 1 tablespoon of espresso. 4. In a small, shallow dish, combine remaining espresso with rum. Dip each lady finger into mixture for 5 seconds. Place soaked ladyfingers at the bottom of a walled baking dish. 5. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture on top of the first layer of ladyfingers. Top with another layer of ladyfingers and another layer of mascarpone. 6. Cover and refrigerate 2–8 hours. 7. Remove from fridge, sprinkle with chocolate shavings, and serve.
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INSIDE How Robert Met Maria
Let’s Retire These Health Myths Hear From Our Clients Tiramisu Lowering Inflammation at the Grocery Store 3 Myths About Our Favorite Furry Meteorologist
What Do You Really Know About Groundhog Day? 3 Myths About Our Favorite Furry Meteorologist sleep. Their frustration often leads to them biting their handlers. For this reason, the handlers usually wear heavy gloves to protect themselves. However, that isn’t always enough of a precaution to ensure everyone’s safety. In 2009, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg was bitten through his glove, and subsequent mayor Bill de Blasio dropped his groundhog in 2014. MYTH 3: PHIL IS THE ONLY FAMOUS RODENT. While Phil is probably the most well-known ground-dwelling meteorologist, he is not the only groundhog with weather predicting abilities. For example, General Beauregard Lee is the weather predictor for the city of Lilburn, Georgia. Staten Island Chuck takes care of the New York territory, and Lancaster, Pennsylvania, has three groundhogs of its own, which is probably due to its rich Pennsylvania Dutch history. Canada has even started a Groundhog Day tradition with Shubenacadie Sam in Nova Scotia and Balzac Billy in Alberta. Even though Groundhog Day is a holiday based on many myths, it still provides a great time for event-goers all across the world. You might not be able to fully trust Phil’s predictions, but the superstition and mystique associated with this unique and festive day make it one you shouldn’t skip out on.
Despite the fact that most, if not all, meteorologists place little value on a furry marmot’s ability to predict an early spring, the annual tradition of Groundhog Day is still one that millions of people love to celebrate. Because it is based more on folkloric legend than scientific evidence, Groundhog Day is associated with shams and spoofs of varying degrees. There are many myths regarding the tradition as well as the famous Punxsutawney Phil himself. MYTH 1: THE PREDICTIONS ARE ACCURATE. Many event- goers put a lot of faith in Punxsutawney Phil’s predictions. Unfortunately, he is more likely to be wrong than right. According to studies based on Phil’s predictions and the weather patterns that follow, it seems Phil’s predictions receive an accuracy rate of only 39 percent. MYTH 2: GROUNDHOG DAY IS HARMLESS. Much like humans, most groundhogs don’t like being suddenly jostled out of their
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