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20 June 2017

Lessons from a school garden

Harvest day is an exciting day at the Southside Occupational Academy. Ms. Hawkins gathers her students at one of the school’s gardening areas to clip juicy strawberries and lots and lots of fresh bok choy. Everyone grabs their blue scissors and lovingly snips each leaf at a time. Every bucket filled with the new vegetable is going straight to the school cafeteria where students get to try it for the first time after weeks of caring for their crop.


In the course of the year, these students have grown cherries, herbs and greens, corn and squash. Depending on the season, it’s always something different. The school is also building a new chicken coop and they even harvest their own honey. Yes! The beehives on the property contribute to a healthier ecosystem and their “Believe in us Southside Sweetness” honey is a favorite at the local farmer’s market.

Not every student in Chicago, however, has access to such a transformative outdoor classroom. Southside Occupational Academy is one of 144 schools to have joined The Kitchen Community, a non-profit organization building Learning Gardens, edible gardens and outdoor classrooms that add green spaces to urban schools in the city. Through their Learning Gardens and accompanying curriculum and program, they are connecting kids to real food and empowering them to make healthier choices.



“A garden like this one can do so much for a child, but our ultimate goal is simple. We want kids to experience eating what they grow.” Mike Biver, Development Manager at TKC Chicago explains that these gardens introduce children to an abundance of healthy foods that they might not currently have access to, particularly if they live in food desert zones. It can even help interrupt the toxic school food cycle. Kids are more likely to eat the vegetables offered to them during the school day when they have a connection through the Learning Garden.

Currently TKC’s garden footprint is the largest in Chicago and they are very thankful to professionals like Ms. Hawkins who believe in the impact the gardening experience can have in children. TKC likes to work closely with educators and garden teams to support and provide them with all the gardening know-how to develop successful teaching programs in the Learning Gardens.

“This school is a great example. We need people like Ms. Hawkins who take the program and run with it. They have immense passion for it and it shows in the results,” says Biver.


After a couple of hours of harvesting, Ms. Hawkins gathers her class inside to go over their accomplishments. Her classroom is plastered with pictures of new plants and their names, seasonal information and lists of to-dos. There are even more plants by the windows, seed starter kits and all kinds of tools and materials. It feels very much like a science lab, but here students touch on many topics from nutrition and health, to the environment, society and the real world.

The school bell finally rings; it’s time for the next class. Students leave Ms. Hawkins’ classroom happy. They now know what they need to do to grow strawberries and bok choy, but maybe more strawberries than bok choy because strawberries are just more delicious.


A lot of organic learning happened today. Students are rewiring their thinking to believe that they are able to grow their own food if they’re hungry, and that this food is 100 times better than anything else they can get from a value menu.

They are learning to stay grounded in the things that truly matter, like working with a purpose, collaborating, having initiative, being patient and persistent. They are gathering the tools to build stronger communities, regardless of where they live in our city.

It all started by people who challenge them to push for a better, healthier world.

18 June 2017

Devon Avenue

A Chicago se le conoce por tener comunidades étnicos bastante definidos. En estos espacios puedes disfrutar de una experiencia cultural que podría ser casi tan auténtica como visitar a muchos de estos países. A nosotros nos encanta sacar tiempo para conocerlos mejor, probar su comida y visitar sus centros especiales, ya se que se trate de museos, iglesias o negocios. Devon Avenue es uno de esos espacios.


Localizado entre las calles N. Kedzie y N. Ridge, tiene muchas tiendas y restaurantes de Asia del Sur, Europa del Este y del Medio Oriente. Es colorida y sabrosas, especialmente para foodies como nosotros. En este video, les mostramos el mercado Patel Brothers, el Argo Georgian Bakery, Sukhadia’s, Nepal House y Patel’s Café. Esperamos que les inspire a explorar la diversidad maravillosa de esta ciudad.


Devon Avenue

Chicago is known for having various well-defined ethnic pockets, where you can immerse yourself in a cultural experience that could feel almost as authentic as being in some of these countries. We enjoy taking the time to learn about these communities, eat their food and visit their special places in the city, whether these are museums, shrines or businesses. Devon Avenue is one of those cultural pockets.


Between N. Kedzie and N. Ridge, there are so many great South Asian, Eastern European and Middle Eastern restaurants and shops. It’s vibrant and tasty, especially for foodies like us. In this video, we feature the Patel Brothers market, the Argo Georgian Bakery, Sukhadia’s, Nepal House and Patel’s Café. We hope it inspires you to keep exploring our wonderfully diverse city.

04 June 2017

Qué debes comer para mantenerte hidratado este verano

Por: Edith Gómez

Llega el calor de verano y con él los síntomas de deshidratación. Sin embargo, no porque haga calor significa que debas dejar de lado tu salud. De hecho, la dieta que sigas es esencial en mantener tu cuerpo hidratado, aunque aún no lo sepas, por lo que no dejarse engañar con alimentos dañinos y sin nutrientes, es clave.


Muchas personas toman el calor como excusa para comer de forma distinta. A un lado quedan los platillos calientes, pero no por eso, significa que debas descuidar tu forma de comer. Es más, no hay mejor época que el verano para incluir nuevos alimentos llenos de nutrientes a tu dieta.

No te preocupes, estar hidratado y sano no es tan complejo como parece y además no tienes porque gastar mucho dinero o cocinar platos complicados, solo introduce estos ingredientes a tu dieta y verás los beneficios muy pronto.

1. Sandía: esta refrescante fruta es 92 por ciento agua, pero también está llena de antioxidantes y vitaminas, como la vitamina A, B6, B1 y C.

2. Tomates: este alimento contiene 95 por ciento agua, además tiene licopeno, un antioxidante que se ha demostrado puede reducir el riesgo de cáncer.

3. Mango: una fruta tropical y nutritiva, el mango es rico en vitaminas y minerales. Sus niveles de vitamina A ayudan a mantener las células de la piel hidratas y previenen la resequedad, especialmente en los labios y la piel.

4. Brócoli: además de varios beneficios nutricionales, esta verdura tiene 90 por ciento de agua. Si lo consumes cocinado al vapor, o crudo con un poco de aceite de oliva, es una buena forma de calmar el hambre y darle minerales como el magnesio a tu cuerpo.

5. Arroz: una vez cocinado, este cereal tiene casi un 70 por ciento de agua y te puede mantener hidratado mientras aporta carbohidratos buenos que te mantendrán lleno durante el día.

6. Yogur: no solo es un alimento que va bien en todos los momentos del día, sin que ayuda a tu intestino a absorber más agua y por lo tanto, te ayuda a mantenerte hidratado. Es aún mejor sin azúcar, pero le puedes añadir algo de fruta que le de sabor, fructosa y más agua.

7. Lechuga: todos sabemos que no hay mejor cosa que comer ensaladas en el verano, pero asegúrate de comer lechuga. Esta verdura tiene 95 por ciento agua y no necesitas cocinarla.

8. Melón: otra fruta rica en agua, con un 90 por ciento, pero no solo eso, comer melón te da más vitamina C que muchos otros alimentos.

9. Pepino: este vegetal esta lleno de potasio y fibra, pero también de agua y de paso te ayuda a regular tu sistema digestivo y te da vitamina C.

10. Uvas: estas frutas son una buena fuente de resveratrol, un antioxidante que te ayuda a nivelar los niveles de azúcar en la sangre y que también ayuda a prevenir el cáncer. Si quieres una fuente de vitamina buena, las uvas te ofrecen vitaminas B1, B2, B6, V y K, y grandes niveles de potasio que previenen la deshidratación y los calambres musculares.

11. Aguacate: no es una fruta muy alta en contenido de agua, pero si en niveles de potasio. Consumir aguacate te da grasas saludables, fibra y te ayuda a reponer potasio en un largo día de actividad física o de calor. Los niveles de ácido oleico en esta fruta ayudan a tu cuerpo a combatir la diabetes y el colesterol.

12. Granada: esta fruta tiene altos niveles de antioxidantes, lo que protegen a las células de daños de los radicales libres en el ambiente y que pueden causar daños graves en nuestro cuerpo. La composición de la granada protege a nuestro cuerpo de los daños solares.

No olvides que no solo la alimentación importa, toma mucho agua y asegúrate de protegerte del sol. Una buena dieta, actividad física, y comida sana te pueden mantener más saludables este verano.

Descripción del autor: Edith Gómez es editora en Gananci, apasionada del marketing digital, especializada en comunicación online. Se niega a irse a la cama cada noche sin haber aprendido algo nuevo. Le inquietan las ideas de negocio y, más aún, aportar una mirada creativa al pequeño mundo en el que vivimos.

Twitter: @edigomben

02 June 2017

Colorado Road Trippn’: Day 6 in Denver

I wish I would’ve explored the different Denver neighborhoods a little more when I was a student at CU-Boulder. In the past 10 to 15 years, Denver has blossomed into an incredibly vibrant and eclectic center where Hispanic flavors, Southwestern nostalgia and a new generation of renegade artsy folks blend beautifully.


Depending on your personality and what you want to see, you can basically find a neighborhood for what you’re looking for. If you love art galleries, the Santa Fe and River North districts are the place to go. If you love to eat, you can’t go wrong with Five Points, City Park or South Federal

 
Of course, Downtown Denver is always a must. You can easily get around and visit lots of great stores, restaurants and museums by taking advantage of the free 16th Street Mall Shuttle. You can also visit the newly renovated Denver Union Station in Larimer Square and all the great coffee chops and brewpubs in historic Lower Downtown (LoDo.) My favorite is always to visit the Tattered Cover Book Store, one of the largest independent bookstores in the United States. Nabol and I can spend hours there.


That’s basically what we did on day 6 of our Colorado Road Trippn'. Knowing we couldn’t see it all, we strolled around downtown to take in the sights and sounds. We spent some time at the Tattered Cover Book Store, Larimer Square and the Denver Museum of Art area. Then, we headed to the newly-opened Stanley Marketplace in Aurora. 


What used to be an old hangar of the former Denver airport, built in 1954, has now been transformed by a group of neighbors into a fun food-centric, community-inspired market with over 50 independent local businesses. It has a beer hall, a variety of great restaurants, fitness centers and stores, including one of our favorites Miette et Chocolat


It also holds a variety of community events. If you’re looking for a taste of the city, this is a great place to visit. 


After Stanley, we drove North Denver to try fry bread for the first time, a staple food in over 500 Indian nations in the US. Tocabe is an American Indian eatery giving its place to this humble bread made of flour, milk and natural fat. Tocabe uses native grown ingredients and serves the fry bread as delicious Navajo Tacos, stuffed bread or dessert. Their menu also includes nutritious grain bowls, bison ribs and refreshing natural sodas. 


After such a filling lunch and a hectic morning, we went back to the hotel to rest for a bit. The plan for the night was to hit Rio Grande to enjoy the famous Rio Margs, deliciously frozen and blended with mangos and/or strawberries. We used to come here more than I like to admit. And the margaritas are so strong, there’s a 3 refill limit per person. Yikes!...


Dinner was a no brainer. We went to Hapa Sushi Grill and Sake Bar, one of our favorite restaurants on Pearl Street. Nabol and I like to sit at the bar and randomly choose the sushi that seems good, although ordering the Multiple Orgasm roll is a must! This cream cheese and smoked salmon roll is tempura friend and covered in a succulent Japanese aioili. Then, it’s broiled and finished with sweet soy. So so good!


By the time we were done with dinner, the bars on Pearl Street were waking up. Sundown Salon, Walrus, The Attic… Anywhere you go, students are ready for a long night.

Don't miss a single day! Here's Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4 and Day 5

01 June 2017

Colorado Road Trippn’: Day 5 in Aspen

Aspen could be a bit quiet during the off-season, but if you’re looking to relax, it’s the perfect choice. Did we mention it’s a lot cheaper?! The hotels are about half the price and all the high-end boutiques and sky equipment stores have significant discounts. There are also enough hiking trails, museums and outdoor activities to keep you busy for hours.


After a little research, we decided to stay at the Molly Gibson Lodge, not just because of the price, location and comfy rooms, but also because they offer a great breakfast buffet until 10:30am. Our plan was to sleep in and enjoy a relaxed breakfast.


We were lucky to get a beautiful sunny morning too. Around this time of the year (late April, early May), you have to constantly check the weather to plan your day accordingly. We walked around town for a little while before hitting the road back to Boulder.


The drive back was about 3 ½ hours, but there are opportunities to stop along the way. You can check out the different sky towns or just find a natural area to rest and take a few pictures.


We stopped at Grizzly Creek around the town of Gypsum, just because Nabol found it too beautiful to resist. Then, we headed to Dinosaur Ridge, about 35 minutes south of Boulder.


Dinosaur Ridge is one of the world’s most famous dinosaur fossil localities. Some of the best-known dinosaurs were found here in 1877, including the Stegosaurus, Apatosaurus, Diplodocus and Allosaurus. At different points of the trail, you’ll learn about the local geology, the volcanic ash bed, tracing fossils and the economic development of coal, among many other topics. It will definitively build up your appetite for dinner.


Once we arrived in Boulder, we drove to The Hill to get some delicious noodles at an old favorite: Pho’ You & Mee Noodle House. It’s affordable, comforting and just what we needed after such a long drive.


After our early dinner, we were ready to call it a day. We just stopped by Alfalfa’s, a locally owned organic and natural food market, for some late-night snacks and drinks. Then, it was straight to the hotel to recharge our batteries for the next day.

Don't miss a single day! Here's Day 1Day 2Day 3 and Day 4.

Tortang Talong (Tortilla de berenjena filipina)

¿Cómo les fue a todos el fin de semana largo? A nosotros no nos fue tan bien. Estuvimos un poquitín enfermos durante el break de Memorial Day, pero aún así descansamos y cocinamos un poquito en casa. Como estamos obsesionados con los viajes de Mark Weins, decidimos preparar una receta tradicional filipina que se llama Tortang Talong.


Este omelete de berenjena es súper fácil de hacer y solo requiere dos ingredientes: berenjena china y huevos. No te pierdas el video y la receta. Esperamos que les guste.


Tortang Talong - Ingredientes:
  • 1-2 Berenjena chinas (1 por persona dependiendo del tamaño)
  • 1-2 huevos, batidos (1 por berenjena)
  • Sal al gusto
  • Sal de ajo al gusto (opcional)
  • Aceite de oliva
Salsita – Mezcla todos los ingredientes para hacer la salsa.
  • 1/3 Taza de salsa soya
  • 1 Limón pequeño, su jugo
  • 1 Jalapeño u otro chile pequeño, picadito
  1. Frota un poco de aceite en la piel de la berenjena y colócala en una bandeja de hornear.
  2. Hornea la berenjena a 500 grados por 10 minutos en cada lado.
  3. Una vez se enfríe, remueve la piel con un tenedor, pero no le quites el tallo.
  4. Maja la berenjena y cúbrela con el huevo. Sazona al gusto.
  5. Sofríe en un chorrito de aceite de oliva. Sirve con la salsa.


Tortang Talong (Filipino eggplant omelet) 

How was everyone’s long weekend? Ours was a bit crappy. Nabol and I were sick for most of the Memorial Day break, but were able to rest and cook a couple of tasty dishes at home. Because we’re currently obsessed with all of Mark Weins travels, we decided to try a traditional recipe from the Philippines called Tortang Talong.


This eggplant omelet is super easy to make and just requires two ingredients: Chinese eggplants and eggs. Check out the video and the recipe. We hope you enjoy.

Tortang Talong - Ingredients:
  • 1-2 Chinese eggplants (1 per person depending on the size)
  • 1-2 Eggs, beaten (1 egg per eggplant)
  • Salt to taste
  • Garlic salt to taste (optional)
  • Olive oil
Dipping sauce – Mix all ingredients to make sauce.
  • 1/3 Cup of soy sauce
  • Juice of 1 small lime
  • 1 Jalapeño or small chili, chopped
  1. Rub the eggplant with olive oil and place in baking sheet.
  2. Roast the eggplant at 500 degrees for about 10 minutes per side. 
  3. One cooled, remove skin with a fork, but keep the stem.
  4. Mash the eggplant, coat with the egg. Season to taste.
  5. Fry in a little bit of oil. Serve with sauce.