Tue01272015

Schools

MVLA revisits prospect of ninth-grade PE exemptions

MVLA revisits prospect of ninth-grade PE exemptions


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Board of Trustees is scheduled to vote on a proposal to exempt ninth-grade student-athletes from taking PE. Students take part in a physical education class at Mount...

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Community

Midnight Express offers late-night rides from SF

Midnight Express offers late-night rides from SF


From Midnight Express Instagram
A group of millennial-aged Santas celebrating a night on the town prepare for a safe ride from San Francisco to their South Bay homes, courtesy of Cory Althoff’s new Midnight Express shuttle.

It’s no understatemen...

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Comment

More open than ever: Editorial

One of the Los Altos City Council’s objectives for 2015 is implementing an open-government policy. The title of the policy may be somewhat misleading, because it’s not as if the city has had a closed-government policy. But the new proposal goes beyon...

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Business

Cassidy Turley, DTZ plan to combine

Cassidy Turley, DTZ plan to combine


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Cassidy Turley, which has offices at 339 S. San Antonio Road, is combining with DTZ following its recent acquisition.

Commercial real estate services companies DTZ and Cassidy Turley have joined forces to operate as a sin...

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Books

Gawande's

Gawande's "Being Mortal" proves an important book on aging


Books about death and dying are usually not on my list of “must reads.”

I couldn’t resist, however, the best-selling “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” (Metropolitan Books, 2014) by Atul Gawande.

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People

JUDY HOFFMANN

JUDY HOFFMANN

Judy Hoffmann passed away unexpectedly October 17, 2014 in New York City. It was only fitting Judy would be traveling and enjoying special adventures in so many different places until the very end.

Judy has lived since 1969 in Los Altos with her h...

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Travel

Cuban photographer slated to appear at Foothill

Cuban photographer slated to appear at Foothill


Courtesy of Raúl Cañibano
Cuban photographer Raúl Cañibano is set to appear at Foothill College tonight. His work – including the image “Series: Guajira’s Land, Viñales, 2007,” right – is on display at the KCI Gallery t...

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Stepping Out

TheatreWorks launches '2 Pianos' in Mtn. View

TheatreWorks launches '2 Pianos' in Mtn. View


Suellen Fitzsimmons/Special to the Town Crier
Christopher Tocco stars in TheatreWorks’ “2 Pianos 4 Hands,” which opened last week.

TheatreWorks’ production of “2 Pianos 4 Hands” is scheduled to run through Feb. 15 at the Mountain View Center fo...

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Spiritual Life

Start something great by ringing in the new year with prayer

There is a tradition, which I’m told originates in the Midwest, that calls for people to pray in the new year. A few years ago, I was invited to a friend’s house and a number of people stayed up until midnight (approximately two hours pa...

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Magazine

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years


Courtesy of Christopher Stark
Homes on the St. Francis High School Women’s Club’s Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour showcase a variety of architectural styles.

The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays approach...

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Some like it Sweet: Natural sugars curb cravings and fortify the body

Photo Sarah Manning/ Special To The Town CrierRose-Scented Raw-Chocolate Truffles, are indulgent yet healthful.

 

Some like it sweet. And admittedly, I’m one of them.

Seduced by the tasty allures of Valentine’s Day, it’s hard to resist the traditional boxed candies and processed sugar. But with good health as our aim, let’s focus on the natural sweetness of whole, raw foods.

You’ll find lots to love in some of nature’s hidden treats, which hold the power to curb cravings and fortify the body.

Regular white sugar, a staple in candy and chocolates, goes through a lengthy refining process before landing on store shelves. Much different from the plant from which it derives, white sugar is clarified and stripped of any trace minerals, processes that greatly alter its chemical form and can be detrimental to health.

According to the Global Healing Center, refined white sugar actually drains the body of precious vitamins and minerals due to the havoc it wreaks on the digestive system.

Corn syrup, another ingredient you’re likely to find in many commercial chocolates and candies, is even sweeter than white sugar and much more processed. The harmful side effects of corn syrup have generated media attention recently. A Princeton University study reported that corn syrup causes considerable weight gain, along with mood swings, crashes in energy and cravings for more sugar.

In short, these common sweeteners may be delicious, but they come with a hefty health price tag.

But all forms of sugar are not created equal. Fruit, for example, contains fructose, a sugar free of refining and processing, which affects blood sugar much more gently and contains vitamins, fiber and antioxidants to boot. Many other plants provide sugarlike appeal as well, and can replace white or brown sugar in most recipes.

Following are my favorite plant-based sweeteners and their benefits.

• Dried figs and dates. Because the water has been evaporated, the sweetness of dried fruit is more compact than in its fresh form. Figs that contain omega-3 fats and fiber-heavy dates make these chewy and delicious treats guilt-free.

• Raw honey and maple syrup. Honey is known in holistic, ayurvedic practices for its medicinal and healing properties when left raw and unheated. When sourced from local beehives, honey can also aid in the treatment of seasonal allergies. Real maple syrup contains trace vitamins, minerals and an earthy allure, making the long-loved pancake accompaniment much more enjoyable.

• 100 percent fruit juice. Like dried fruit, apple, pomegranate and orange juices feature a boosted dose of sweetness. Fresh-squeezed fruit juice contains all the vitamins and antioxidants of the original fruit, released from the fiber and even more readily absorbed by the body. Instead of milk or water in your favorite pancake recipe, try substituting pomegranate juice for an antioxidant-packed breakfast.

This Month’s Morsel: To sweeten up your Valentine’s Day the natural way, try substituting more wholesome forms of sugar in your favorite treats. The raw-chocolate truffles in the accompanying recipe contain dates, nuts and cocoa powder for an indulgent but healthful take on the store-bought variety.

With a hint of rose flavor from tea, they’re sure to please even the pickiest romantic (or child) without sacrificing nutrition.

 

Rose-Scented Raw Chocolate Truffles

 

• 1?2 cup almonds

• 2 tablespoons cashew butter

• 1 cup pitted dates, packed

• 3 tablespoons cocoa powder

• 1?4 teaspoon sea salt

• 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

• 2 teabags rose-flavored tea

 

In food processor, process almonds until fine. Roughly chop dates, then add along with cashew butter. Process until crumbly. Add cocoa powder, almond extract, sea salt and rose tea. Process until fully incorporated and mixture begins to stick together a bit, but do not overmix. Working mixture between your hands, form balls and roll in cocoa powder, melted chocolate, coconut or crushed almonds. Chill for one hour before serving. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Makes 12-15.

Sarah Manning is a Los Altos resident who blogs weekly about her gastronomic adventures. To read her food blog, visit www.thechocolatefigSF.com.

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