Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Discover: Running's hand in evolution

Last year, PBS presented a fascinating series on The Human Spark.

In this short clip, narrator Alan Alda and Harvard scientist Dan Lieberman explore why our ability to run (specifically, long distances) may have been the catalyst for the evolution of our bigger brains.

Running clinched our predominance as swift and crafty hunters. And it also secured our dominance over large game, which, in turn, supplied our hungry ancestors with a steady stream of brain-boosting protein.

I find all of this fascinating, as it combines two pastimes I love: running, and ruminating over the many ways and whys re: the functioning of the human brain. Lucky for me (and you, if you're into these things, too), Dr. Lieberman has written more on these matters in a just-published book, The Evolution of the Human Head.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Nourish: Apple walnut berry oatmeal

Apple walnut berry oatmeal
Dusted with freshly ground flaxseed and brimming with B vitamins, folate, iron, magnesium, fiber, selenium, vitamins C and E and K, along with flavanoids, reservatrol, omega 3 fatty acids and copper, Apple Walnut Berry Oatmeal is one of my favorites.

Make a big batch and freeze single-serving portions for later. That is, if you can keep everyone in the house from noshing it all down!

In extended, I share my easy-does-it recipe. You'll also learn a bit more about what makes this morning meal such a powerhouse.

Sleep: Getting enough zzzzzzz's?

I've been a night owl all my life.

As a flight attendant in my 20's and 30's, I used it to my benefit. When others bid for trips that left and returned home at a decent hour, if I worked under a moonlit sky, I'd snag a better schedule (with coveted or more days off) those senior to me didn't want to fly.

Assigned to the int'l division in JFK, I didn't bat an eyelash at working starry transatlantic flights filled with snoozing passengers. Flying over the pitch black Amazon to South American ports of call? A cinch.

As a domestic stew, my nocturnal nature paid off, too.

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