Digging in the Dirt: Gardening is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, especially in cooler months.
The Master Gardeners of Greater New Orleans organization offers educational and gardening activities, plus volunteer opportunities in and around town. The Master Gardeners aim to increase the public’s love for and knowledge of gardening and responsible stewardship of the environment. The organization aids the LSU AgCenter to meet the educational needs of home gardeners in the community, and serves Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines and St. Bernard parishes.
The Louisiana Master Gardener Program began in East Baton Rouge Parish in 1994 as a pilot program; it was approved in 1997/98 and expanded statewide. Since then, MGGNO has continued to grow, and, in 2014, the organization established a Speakers Bureau to further promote an educational mission. Over the past several years, MGGNO members have spoken on a wide variety of topics at garden clubs and other audiences in the area. The Master Gardener Mini series was introduced in 2017, introducing informal talks held for the public. Other new projects include a Westbank community garden and an LSU AgCenter Display Garden in Metairie. MGGNO also incorporated new projects at the New Orleans Botanical Gardens at City Park, including the aromatic garden, vegetable plano and vegetable cold bed studies. The organization also took part in Farm & Table New Orleans last month, a weekend celebrating the cultivation, distribution and consumption of locally sourced food and drink.
Volunteer opportunities include helping to manage nine cold frame beds at the New Orleans Botanical Gardens; planting and maintaining native plants at the Lafitte Welcome Center, Dutch Alley and the New Orleans Jazz Museum; and maintaining the historic gardens at Longue Vue House and Gardens. The organization is also holding an upcoming plant sale Oct. 6 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and Oct. 7 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) at the Fall Garden Show at the New Orleans Botanical Gardens. mggno.com
Intermittent Fasting for Health: Eating in a 10-hour window can protect against obesity and diabetes, override disease-causing genetic defects and nurture health.
Scientists at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies recently found that mice lacking the biological clocks thought to be necessary for a healthy metabolism could be protected against obesity and metabolic diseases by having their daily access to food restricted to a 10-hour window. The study, which appeared in the journal Cell Metabolism (and authored by Amandine Chaix, Terry Lin, Hiep D. Le, Max W. Chang, Satchidananda Panda), suggests that eating all calories within a 10-hour window can correct health problems associated with disruptions to our 24-hour rhythms of activity and rest (such as doing shift work). According to Panda, a professor in Salk’s Regulatory Biology Laboratory and the senior author of the paper, restricting food intake to 10 hours per day, and fasting the rest, can lead to better health, regardless of our biological clock.
As mammals, our circadian rhythm (or the 24-hour cycle that our cells operate on) governs when various genes are active. For example, in humans, genes for digestion are more active earlier in the day, while genes for cellular repair are more active at night. In the lab, the authors of the study found that by keeping mice in better sync with their cellular clocks — for example, by eating most of the calories when genes for digestion were more active — the mice became lean, fit and healthy.
As we age, our circadian clocks weaken, increasing our risk for metabolic diseases, heart diseases, cancer and dementia. But the good news, according to the researchers, is that a simple lifestyle (such as eating all food within 10 hours) can restore balance, stave off metabolic diseases and maintain health. Sign up for studies and get guidance on how to adopt an optimum daily eating-fasting cycle at mycircadianclock.org. salk.edu
Maria’s Pick — Powerful Women Can Have it All: A new book acts as a guide to intimacy in the modern world, proving that women can have successful careers and passionate love lives.
Every relationship is different, and there are different ways of relating to your partner. In their new book, The Awakened Woman’s Guide to Everlasting Love (Sacred, $13), acclaimed sacred intimacy coaches Londin Angel Winters and Justin Patrick Pierce explain how to recognize the different dynamics that exist inside of relationships. According to the authors, there are three possible ways of relating to your partner in every moment: Alpha-Alpha, Omega-Omega and Alpha-Omega. Winters and Pierce break down these three ways of relating to your partner, including the upsides and downsides of each, while offering techniques to rejuvenate relationships.
In today’s world of technology, people are more distracted than ever making it harder to maintain deep love with a partner. However, we all yearn for connection and true intimacy — an unbreakable bond of love that deepens over time. The book explores how to surrender feelings from the past and release concerns in order to be more fully present in the current relationship. It also delves into new ways of expressing feelings emotionally, physically and spiritually. Acting as a resource for attracting sacred relationship, sustaining longterm passion and deepening authentic connection, this book teaches how to have a long-term, sexy, passionate, deeply fulfilling relationship with a conscious partner who is as excited to be there as you are.
“This book offers insights on how to be your most authentic self,” says Maria Muro, publisher of New Orleans Living. “It teaches you how to love at the deepest level where divine connection becomes the core of your relationship.”