Mon12222014

News

Council seeks more options for community center

Council seeks more options for community center


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council approved an appropriation to examine options for a new community center to replace the aging Hillview facility.

The Los Altos City Council last week voted narrowly in favor of examining further opti...

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Schools

Local schools participate in  national Hour of Code activities

Local schools participate in national Hour of Code activities


Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier
Himan Shu Raj, a volunteer from Microsoft, advises Los Altos High ninth-graders, from left, Serhat Suzer, Jamie Bennett and Chris Yang as they participate in the school’s Hour of Code Showcase.

Local schools participa...

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Community

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Town Crier staff made a quick cruise back through the newspaper's archives to find some late-December reading as inspiration for eating, drinking, decorating and more:

Beloved holiday books build the spirit of the season and staff at Los Altos’ Li...

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Sports

Pinewood poised for another title run

Pinewood poised for another title run


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Pinewood’s girls basketball team is receiving contributions from several new players, including freshman Stella Kailahi, above.

Complacency shouldn’t be a problem for the defending Division V state champion Pinewood S...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Ticket motorists for U-turns on Main Street

As I was walking downtown on Main Street recently, something came to me out of the blue. The town of Los Altos is missing out on a huge revenue stream. I realized that if all the cars – there were th...

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Special Sections

Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead


s in line to be mayor of Mountain View in 2015.

Mountain View anticipates the following changes in 2015:

• Beginning Jan. 1, Mountain View City Councilmembers will receive a raise to $1,000 per month as a result of the passage of Measure A in...

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Business

Your 2015 stock market game plan

It’s been a maddening month because of oil and gas, especially in stocks and bonds. Then, consumer spending pushed stocks higher Thursday, easing investors’ jitters about the global economy and prompting them to consider how to invest in ...

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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

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

Sangeeta Sachdeva, 55, wife of Subhash Sachdeva and mother to Natasha and Tanya, died at 8:54pm, Sunday, December 7, 2014 from respiratory failure.

Sangeeta was born on October 18, 1959 in Delhi, India. She was born to Moti Sagar and Raj Kapoor an...

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Travel

South Tahoe renovations enhance off-mountain seasonal fun

As any enthusiast knows well, there is more to the enjoyment of winter sports than skiing or snowboarding.

While many winter resorts make minor upgrades each season, the off-mountain attractions and amenities can be as enticing as the activities on ...

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Stepping Out

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday


courtesy of Aurora Singers
The Aurora Singers are scheduled to perform a seasonal concert Friday night in Palo Alto.

The Aurora Singers’ “Winter’s Musical Glow” holiday concert is set for 7 p.m. Friday at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Pal...

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Spiritual Life

Enter the superhero: Finding the God who loves you

In my life-coaching practice, I see a lot of pain. Much of it stems from fear and guilt, often expressed as low self-esteem, anxiety, a lack of forgiveness both for oneself and others, anger – and so on.

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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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