KENTUCKY – As my life gets longer, my memory keeps getting shorter. How many of us struggle with memory issues, whether due to a super busy lifestyle, too much multi-tasking or health issues that affect our brain function.
It's funny that I can remember, in great detail, the night of my high school graduation. I can remember everything about the ceremony, the open house at my parent's house afterward and all of the guests that were there. How can I remember an event that happened nearly 30 years ago but I cannot remember talking to a friend last week and making plans to get together for lunch, until she called me to see why I did not show up?
I have tried making a list. Then I forgot where I put my list. I have tied a string around my finger. Then I forgot what the string was for. I have made a note to go to the grocery after work. Then I forgot what I was going to the store to get.
Nutrition plays a very important part in memory function. When the body and brain do not get adequate energy and nutrients, it impacts the function of the brain. We need Omega-3s to grow additional neurons in our brains. Examples of Omega-3s include: salmon, flax seed oil, walnuts, canola oil and eggs. Antioxidants merge with free radicals that float through our bloodstream, making them harmless against your memory. Antioxidants include: blueberries, spinach, tomatoes, garlic and broccoli. You can also fuel your memory by keeping it hydrated with plenty of water, fiber and vitamins and minerals.
Enjoy these brain building recipes.
CHICKEN & SUN-DRIED TOMATO ORZO
8 oz. orzo, whole wheat
1 c water
1/2 c chopped sun-dried tomatoes, (not oil-packed), divided
1 plum tomato, diced
1 clove garlic, peeled
3 t chopped fresh marjoram, divided
1 T red-wine vinegar
2 t plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed (1-1 1/4 pounds)
1/4 t salt
1/4 t freshly ground pepper
1 9-oz package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
1/2 c finely shredded Romano cheese, divided
Cook orzo in a large saucepan of boiling water until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse. Meanwhile, place 1 cup water, 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, plum tomato, garlic, 2 teaspoons marjoram, vinegar and 2 teaspoons oil in a blender. Blend until just a few chunks remain. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, adjusting the heat as necessary to prevent burning, until golden outside and no longer pink in the middle, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; tent with foil to keep warm. Pour the tomato sauce into the pan and bring to a boil. Measure out 1/2 cup sauce to a small bowl. Add the remaining 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes to the pan along with the orzo, artichoke hearts and 6 tablespoons cheese. Cook, stirring, until heated through, for 1 to 2 minutes. Divide among 4 plates. Slice the chicken. Top each portion of pasta with sliced chicken, 2 tablespoons of the reserved tomato sauce and a sprinkling of the remaining cheese and marjoram.
CITRUS SALMON WITH WATERCRESS SALAD
4 6-oz salmon fillets, skin removed
2 bay leaves
1 medium pink grapefruit
¼ c rice vinegar
¼ c olive oil
1 T sugar
½ t kosher salt
1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1 bunch watercress, trimmed
2 c cooked white rice
Heat oven to 375° F. Place the salmon in a glass baking dish. Add the bay leaves and enough water to reach halfway up the sides of the fillets. Bake until the salmon is the same color throughout and flakes easily, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate; let cool. Meanwhile, working over a bowl, cut each grapefruit segment from its surrounding membranes. Squeeze the membranes to release any remaining juice. Add the vinegar, oil, sugar, and salt to the juice. Pour all but 1 tablespoon of the vinaigrette into a large re-sealable plastic bag. Add the salmon to the bag and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
To serve, add the grapefruit segments, cucumber, and watercress to the reserved vinaigrette in the bowl and toss. Drain the salmon. Divide the rice among individual plates and top with the watercress salad and salmon.
1 c fresh or frozen blueberries
1 c vanilla ice cream
6 oz. container of pina colada flavored yogurt
Whip in the blender, pour into a tall glass, add a dollop of whipping cream and sprinkle the top with several blueberries.
NEXT WEEK—Video Games
Remember......Life is short. Eat Dessert first!!
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