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Sunday, April 29, 2018

Why you should visit Antibes this Summer

The writer F. Scott Fitzgerald took his wife Zelda to Antibes in 1925.  Back then it was a quiet place ideal for writing. Antibes on the French Riviera has preserved its charm; captivating, traditional and still relatively calm.

The Fitzgeralds  left their elegant Long Island home not for gay Paris, but Antibes, a much less expensive region. Inspired by his new surroundings, Scot Fitzgerald shut himself away and finished off his masterpiece Tender is the Night.

Much has changed since then, but Antibes is still an ideal place to escape to.  Historic, delightful, and beautiful, this little town halfway between Nice and Cannes is much less busy than the rest of the glitzy Riviera.

What makes Antibes, different from the rest of the Riviera hotspots? 

For me, it’s the old town with its narrow cobbled streets, the choice of outdoor cafés, and the atmosphere.  The locals, however, are proud of:

n  The Picasso Museum
n  The Antibes Market
n  The Millionaire’s Port

They are right, here are three must-see spots in Antibes.

View of the old town from the sea 

The Picasso Museum

It would be a pity to miss the Musée Picasso at the Chateau Grimaldi.  Spectacularly positioned, the 14th -century chateau houses a magnificent collection of the maestro’s paintings, lithographs, and ceramics.

 As you look out from the castle’s fortified windows unto the magnificent port of Antibes on the Côte d’Azur, you’ll understand Picasso’s enthusiasm when he first came to live in Antibes. The Spanish painter and sculpture had grown tired of busy Paris and together with his lover, Françoise Gilot headed down to the calmer gentler South of France in the summer of 1946. Picasso’s works may be seen all over the world but it was here in Antibes that he created some of his most impressive oeuvres. Musée Grimaldi became Picasso Museum, the first museum dedicated to Picasso in France in December that year. 

Picasso is the big draw but go here to discover the lesser known Russian artist Nicolas de Stael. The modern abstract painter attracted attention in both Paris, and New York and was just getting known for his success, at the peak of his career when he moved to Antibes where sadly he took his life. Nicolas de Stael’s unique consideration of space, light, and color comes over quite strongly when we look at his vast canvasses such as Le Concert, his last painting.

 The Antibes Market
Antibes Market

The covered food market in Antibes is only a few streets away.  Here’s where you get carried away by fresh Provencal goodies – olives, fruit, herbs, spices, sausages and for cheese gourmets an excellent array of fine cheeses from the mountain. Run daily from 6 to 1 p.m from June, the market in Antibes is not as large as the market in Nice, but, you’ll have time to talk to the local friendly vendors such as olive vendors who will let you will let you try before you buy. Voted by CNN as one of world’s ten best fresh food markets, this is one of the most visited markets on the French Riviera. Admittedly, prices are a bit high, the fruit and vegetables a little more expensive than other markets, but everyone loves the unhurried atmosphere, the delicious smells, and gourmet food.

The Millionaire’s Port

Be mesmerized at the home port of some of the world’s largest mega yachts.  You won’t bump into any millionaires, but you can marvel at the super yachts and mega yachts in Port Vauban. Nicknamed the Millionaire’s Quai, this is one of the largest harbors: it’s freely accessible to everyone so you can walk, stare in awe and observe the young mostly international crew working and preparing the yachts for the summer season from May to October.

Like all of the French Riviera, Antibes is delightful and wonderfully scenic, but, Antibes has more, it has a relaxed feel to it, it is inspiring. Fitzgerald and Picasso followed their heart; they wrote painted and enjoyed this special place in the sun.

One more thing, Antibes is still relatively peaceful, but it might not be for long - check it out this summer.  

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Preventing Obesity Begins at Home

Adult obesity rates are not looking good. Obesity continues to increase and has now become a worldwide health problem.  The disorder can be controlled, however, once we decide to make lifestyle changes and stick to them.

According to Cancer Research UK, obesity is the second biggest cause of cancer in the UK after smoking.  The American Medical Association classes obesity as a disease, associated mostly with our eating habits.  Granted, the Government has increased taxes and levies on specific food in most countries, but in the end, it’s up to us to make changes at home.

To avoid the epidemic from spreading and for our family’s good health, we need to tackle the weight problem in the early stages before it gets out of hand. That means changing our lifestyle habit especially our diet.

As parents and caretakers, we can curb obesity at home.

Being obese means you are overweight. Put simply, you are moving too little and carrying too much body fat.   Excess fat is something the body does not like. Researchers show that obesity can result in type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and a string of other complicated health issues. More seriously obesity is now linked to certain cancers including breast and bowel cancer.

Why is obesity increasing?
  •        As food and soft drinks have become cheaper and more convenient  over the years, we are eating more of it; our bodies are ingesting more salt intake, more processed food, and more sugar in sweeteners and soft drinks.
  •    With our busy lifestyle eating out in restaurants has increased and we tend to have more meals on the go.
  •     We’re not finding enough time to exercise.

So what can we do to fix the problem?
  •    Educate and promote healthy eating habits at home

An obese child will most likely become an obese adult.   Parents have a strong influence on children’s wellbeing so setting an example when they are young will help maintain a healthy weight for later on. Do this by encouraging healthy habits, removing high sugar and fat content and more especially explaining what a balanced diet means.
Indian vegetarian cuisine is  varied and savory *

  •          Cut down on meat, stock up more on vegetables and learn to appreciate the richness and diversity of vegetarian cuisine. Indian cuisine is a fine example of how cooking with vegetables can be colorful, varied and savory.

  •  Limit TV viewing, computers, and electronic games 

If we’re spending too much sitting and watching the screen, it means we are not getting enough exercise. Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) reports that 40% of adults do not participate in leisure activities.

Worrying too is the effect on children. Technology is great, but it can also be extremely damaging when it comes to the health of our children. Researchers showed that children who watched television for more than one hour a day were 52% more likely to be overweight than their schoolmates who watched less TV,

Curbing obesity should be every one’s responsibility today and every day. What’s needed more than anything is to make sure everyone is aware of the risk factors involved when we become overweight and obese.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Best tips for a healthier 2018

January is a good month for making positive changes. Resolutions don’t have to be daunting though, they should be realistic and most of all doable- after all what you want most of all is a better you.

According to a YouGov poll, the top three resolutions for 2018 are:

       -  To eat healthier
       -  To get more exercises
       -  To spend less money

When you think about it, these goals not only represent the basics for balanced living but they are also very much related.

Eating the right foods in proper proportions will boost our energy and vitality allowing us to exercise more often. And more importantly, we don’t have to scour the supermarkets and pay exorbitant prices for those super foods, the least expensive and the healthiest foods according to the experts are fruit and vegetables.  

What Eating healthier means

       - Opting for freshness and quality when shopping. Don’t just buy in supermarkets; try to find a reliable organic source in your area especially for fruit and vegetables.
       - Planning your meals with the family is not only fun, but it also allows family members a chance to explore new dishes and appreciate good food.  
       - Cooking more at home using spices, herbs. Eating out can be expensive.

Why should we do this?

"There is increasing scientific data that regular consumption of vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, herbs and spices can lessen the risk of developing certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses."

 The practicing medical oncologist who has a keen interest in cooking healthy and tasteful foods shows us  in his book how the use of a variety of vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts herbs and spices in daily meal preparation provides significant amounts of phytonutrients .These plant- derived chemicals can have dramatic health promotion properties including cancer prevention.

Dr. Marinella  added:
“The New Year always brings with it resolutions to eat better, exercise more, and tighten up one’s finances.  These are great goals for all of us, as  eating  better and exercising more may help decrease one’s risk of chronic illness—which could lower health care costs.” 

How can we change our eating habits?

Calene Van Noy, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist dietetics, offers these three tips:

-- First, start with your "why". Ask yourself - "Why do I want to change?" If you don't have a really good reason to change - you won't. 

-- Second, "know thyself." In order to succeed at changing your habits - you need to know who you are and what you do. Start a food/eating journal - include how hungry you were before you ate, what you ate, how much, how full you were after and include any emotions associated.

--Third, choose wisely. Thinking of switching from soda to diet soda? Don't do it. I mean your "self" is going to see that it's not that great of a change and be unimpressed.

Calene who spends most of her time raising 6 children adds:
“Go ahead and impress yourself! Choose something really awesome, like eating fruits or veggies with EVERY meal. It takes planning, commitment, and follow-through. Your "self" will say "Wow - you are serious!"

And as the saying goes: “The greatest medicine of all is to teach people how not to need it.”

Calene Van Noy has worked in the field of clinical dietetics and especially enjoyed working in a residential eating disorder clinic. Find her on twitter: @RiseUpHealth