Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter!

It was a gorgeous Easter day! The high was 80 degrees near my parents' house! 

We had lunch and then got outside to enjoy the warm weather. Like most kids, my nephew Nathan is a picky eater and he's on a red pepper kick. For the record, he did not eat all of those peppers, but I think he thought he would!
Dessert was Napoleon cake, which is delicious!
I even swung a baseball bat and had so much fun doing it. It's been about 10 years since I did that!
How was your holiday (if you celebrate)?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Wellness Wednesday: Brain Health

I coordinated a lecture about the aging brain at work recently and learned a few tips to share about keeping your brain healthy. My mom and her friend were also in the audience and I was glad to hear that my mom already practices many of the suggestions listed below.

The speaker suggested doing the following:
  • Eat right!--this includes dark chocolate and a glass of wine on occasion. The Mediterranean diet is often mentioned as being beneficial. 
  • Exercise--this is the most beneficial thing you can do! Make sure you get 30 minutes of exercise each day.
  • Social interaction--people who actively engage in social situations are likely to live seven years longer than others.
  • Memory workout--do things with your non-dominant hand, perform tasks with your eyes closed, take a different route on your commute, play word games, move framed photos you have up in your house around from time to time so your brain doesn't "get used" to them being in the same spot. She also suggested sites like
    • My favorite word game, SpellTower. 
She also mentioned traveling (even locally, like going to a town you've never been to before); learning different languages; challenging your assumptions; keep doing different things, etc.

Are you concerned about your brain health? Even though I pride myself in having a really good memory now and do many of the things listed above, I still worry about Alzheimer's affecting me someday.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Kirin Beer and Sushi

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Millennial Central for Kirin. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

It's been a while since I made homemade sushi, so I jumped at the chance to write a post about an Asian recipe paired with Kirin Ichiban beer. I had never tried Kirin beer before and I enjoyed the light variety with vegetarian sushi. I could also see it pairing well with a stir fry or tofu with noodles and vegetables. 

Kirin is one of Japan's oldest breweries and it was started in 1888. The Kirin Beast (one-half dragon, the other deer) on the label is thought to be a good omen of serenity and prosperity. In Japan, it is customary to never fill your own glass and never let another's glass get completely empty! When everyone is ready to drink, they salute with "kanpai.

Kirin Ichiban is a 100-percent malt, first-press beer with rich flavor, a smooth finish and clean aftertaste. It pairs well with traditional Japanese and modern Asian cuisine. It's unique because it only uses the first strain of malt liquid.

Kirin Light offers full flavor and authentic Japanese-style beer and a bottle is only 95 calories. Since it pairs well with healthier Asian dishes, I chose to try the Kirin Light with the sushi.

I was provided the sushi rice and nori seaweed, so I just added avocado, cucumber and carrots and rolled them up!

Kirin has partnered with celebrity chef, Candice Kumai, to bring Japanese-style beer to the growing Asian cuisine movement. The clean and pure taste of Kirin is a wonderful complement to refined traditional Japanese cuisine and the bolder flavors of modern Asian food. If you're interested in checking out special recipes throughout the year, Kumai will share recipes and pairing tips on Kirin's Facebook page. 

If you've never tried Kirin beer before, I would highly recommend it! 

Thank you to Millenial Central and Kirin for this opportunity!