March is National Nutrition Month

sweettreatsafm4This month is all about eating right and educating more people on just how easy and tasty it can be to make better food choices each day for ourselves and our families. This special educational month was created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to call attention to the need of eating better and enjoying a healthy lifestyle.

This year’s theme is “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right.” We want to help you discover and enjoy that theme as well as make it convenient for you to gift loved ones with something that is healthy and reminds them just how much you care for them.nutritionF1

Fresh and Seasonal Fruit Baskets

One of the delicious ways we can do that for you is through our gourmet fruit baskets that are overflowing with juicy seasonal fruit from California and around the world. These baskets can include such healthy delights as apples, bears, California naval oranges, kiwi fruit, pineapples, California grapes and so much more.

These fresh fruit gift baskets come in various sizes or can be combined with gourmet food items and then shipped anywhere in Long Beach or the surrounding communities.

Fruit Desserts

Even dessert can be a healthy choice when it is topped with delicious fruit. Our online bakery features some fruit-themed treats. The first choice is a Mixed Fruit Tart, which has a butter cookie crust layered with rich pastry cream and topped with assorted fresh fruit that has been sealed with an apricot glaze.StrawberryMousseAthinlayerofstripedCake13081784800goodieslb2

Then there is the Strawberry Mouse Cake that is laden with strawberry sauce and fresh strawberries. This is a true California favorite as many of the strawberries come from local strawberry farms in Southern California.

Other Ideas

While the month celebrates nutrition, it still is part of a push for an overall healthy lifestyle so here are some other ideas you can consider:

  • Gourmet gift basket with fruit, healthy snacks, and an indoor green plant or blooming plant;
  • A flower arrangement, bouquet, or blooming basket; and
  • Balloons and a greeting card.

Whatever you choose let your recipient know that you want them to be healthy and are celebrating their efforts to date. Eating better helps reduce health-related problems and helps extend lives. In the end, that’s what we all want and enjoy!

Advertisements

Go Green in the Office with Plants

With all the pollutants out there, our environment needs all the help it can get. When you stop to look at the core of things, you may see and agree that if our environment needs help then, then so do we.

CO2 and Oxygen – two substances that are vital to our environment and to us. With each breath, we take it all in. However, the continuing greenhouse emissions primarily from man-made activities are critically impacting the environment and adding to climate change.

And, with changes in how we look at our work environment, the need to go green is something to think about for the office environment where we often feel has become sterilized with cubicles, drab colors, artificial (stale) air and fluorescent lighting. There is not much about the outdoors that we often get to see all day, which can impact our health and state of mind. Time to change that!

The Benefit of Green Plants

In an online article about the benefit of green plants for offices, a number of benefits are listed, including providing oxygen and removing toxins from the air:

Microbes, such as bacteria, can rapidly adapt to a chemical contaminant by producing new colonies that are resistant to the chemical. As a result, they become more effective at converting toxic chemicals into food the longer they are exposed to the chemicals. It is also important to remember that the efficiency of plants as a filtering device increases as the concentration of chemicals in the air increases.  

The article quoted research that has been done in conjunction with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and included research by Dr. Ron Wood, Professor Margaret Burchett and others in Australia, which illustrated that indoor plants can provide clean air:

…we now know that several common species of interior landscape plants have the ability to remove compounds such as benzene and hexane in the range of 50% to 75% of the total volatile organic compounds. Internationally respected in the field of air quality research, Dr. Margaret Burchett goes so far as to declare the following. “…to ensure sustainability of the urban environment, satisfying the ‘triple bottom line’ of environmental, social and economic considerations, it is expected that indoor plants will become standard technology–a vital building installation element, for improving indoor air quality.”

Additionally, green plants can provide shade and cool a building as well as reduce carbon dioxide. They have even been found to increase productivity and inspire creativity – two necessary behaviors that help any company succeed and keep their staff motivated:

Participants working in an environment with plants present were 12 percent more productive and less stressed than those who worked in an environment without plants. …. In an eight-month study, the Texas A&M University research team explored the link between flowers and plants and workplace productivity. Participants performed creative problem solving tasks in a variety of common office environments or conditions. The conditions included a workplace with flowers and plants, a setting with sculpture and an environment with no decorative embellishments.  During the study, both women and men demonstrated more innovative thinking, generating more ideas and original solutions to problems in the office environment that included flowers and plants. In these surroundings, men who participated in the study generated 15% more ideas. And while males generated a greater abundance of ideas, females generated more creative, flexible solutions to problems when flowers and plants were present.

Sounds like it may be time to consider plants in the office?!