Grilled Chicken and Avocado Street Tacos

Grilled Chicken and Avocado Street Tacos

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs trimmed boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/4 tsp ancho chili powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For serving

  • (About) 22 – 24 mini corn taco shells, warmed*
  • 1 large avocado, cored and sliced
  • 1 small red or yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  • Mexican hot sauce

Directions

  • Add chicken to a gallon size resealable bag. In a small bowl whisk together lime juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin chili powder, 1 tsp salt and 3/4 tsp pepper. Pour mixture over chicken in bag then seal bag while releasing an trapped air. Rub marinade over chicken. Transfer to refrigerator and allow to marinate at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours.
  • Preheat a grill over medium-high heat (it should come to 425 – 450 degrees). Remove chicken from marinade. Season lightly with salt and grill until chicken has cooked through (thickest center should register from 165), turning once halfway through grilling, about 4 – 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate, cover with foil and let rest 5 minutes.
  • Dice grilled chicken into cubes. Layer together two tortillas per taco then add an avocado slice, diced chicken, onions and cilantro. Serve warm, spritzing each taco with lime juice and drizzling with hot sauce.
  • *If you don’t want to double up on the tortillas you’ll only need about 12.
By Kristina Mancino

‘Pink Noise’ A Deep Sleep and Memory Solution

‘Pink Noise’ A Deep Sleep and Memory Solution

It’s no surprise that as we age and get older our quality of sleep declines. As researchers look into the decline, they believe that lack of sleep can contribute to later-life memory loss. As new research emerges, a simple solution could be the answer to more restful sleep. The answer: “pink noise.”

Pink noise is defined as gentle, soothing sound whereby each octave possesses equal energy. A better explanation, pink noise is the background noise we hear in everyday life.

Researchers from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, found that while older adults slept, if they synced up pink noise to their brain waves, the sound enhanced their quality of deep sleep and improve their memory. The findings were published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, by senior author Dr. Phyllis Zee, a professor of neurology at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern.

In previous studies, throughout the years, the core of numerous studies highlighted the importance of sleep for memory consolidation. Which is, the brain’s ability to convert short-term memories into long-term memories. As we age, the quality of slow-wave sleep (SWS) decreases. Slow-wave sleep is commonly known as deep sleep which is part of the non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep cycle that is important for memory consolidation. Studies have shown that disruption of the NREM cycle can cause negative consequences for our memory.  

Previous research from Dr. Zee and team uncovered a link, in young adults, between acoustic stimulation of slow-wave brain activity during sleep and improved memory. For now, it’s noted that studies are lacking when it comes to using acoustic stimulation in older adults.

Acoustic simulations boost SWS, memory in later life

“To address this gap in research, Dr. Zee and colleagues enrolled 13 older adults, aged between 60 and 84 years, to their study.

All adults were subject to one night of sham stimulation and one night of acoustic stimulation, which were around 1 week apart. The acoustic stimulation incorporated pink noise that was synced to their brain waves as they slept.

For each session, the adults completed two memory recall tests – one before they went to sleep at night, and one after they woke up the following morning.

While memory recall improved under both conditions, the researchers found that the average improvement following acoustic stimulation was three times greater than with the sham stimulation.

The greater improvement in memory as a result of acoustic stimulation correlated with a greater increase in the quality of SWS, which the team says emphasizes how important deep sleep is for memory consolidation, even in later life.

Overall, the researchers believe that their findings indicate that acoustic stimulation may be an effective way to boost sleep quality and memory in older age.” – Medical News Today

“This is an innovative, simple, and safe non-medication approach that may help improve brain health. This is a potential tool for enhancing memory in older populations and attenuating normal age-related memory decline.”

Dr. Phyllis Zee

Further studies of involving a larger number of participants is needed before acoustic stimulation can be recommended.

by Kristina Mancino

AARP supports Family Caregivers Act

Caregivers photoAARP supports Family Caregivers Act

Special from PRNewsWire

WASHINGTON–AARP announced its support of the bipartisan Recognize, Assist, Include, Support and Engage Family Caregivers Act that would require the development of a national strategy to support family caregivers. The legislation (S. 1028) was introduced earlier this month in the U.S. Senate by Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI).   

“AARP appreciates the leadership of Senators Collins and Baldwin on the RAISE Family Caregivers Act and we urge Congress to get behind this commonsense, bipartisan step to recognize and support our nation’s more than 40 million family caregivers,” said AARP Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer Nancy A. LeaMond. “Every day, these ordinary Americans take on extraordinary physical, emotional and financial challenges as they help their parents, spouses, children and adults with disabilities, and other loved ones live independently at home and in their communities —and out of costly nursing homes, saving taxpayer dollars.” 

The nation’s family caregivers provide help with eating, bathing, dressing, transportation, medical tasks, managing finances, and more—unpaid care that is valued at around $470 billion annually, more than the entire Medicaid program in 2013. “The RAISE Family Caregivers Act will help elevate the contributions of these unsung heroes, and identify support to help make their big responsibilities a little bit easier,” said LeaMond.

The legislation would create an advisory council of representatives from the private and public sectors, including family caregivers, older adults and people with disabilities, health care providers, employers, state and local officials, and others to make recommendations regarding the national strategy. The advisory council meetings would be open to the public with opportunities for public input. The strategy would identify specific actions that communities, health care providers, employers, government, and others can take to recognize and support family caregivers. 

By Anare Holmes

Garlic Mushroom Quinoa

Prep Time              Cook Time              Total Time    

   10 min                    25 mins                    35 min                         

 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan of 2 cups water, cook quinoa according to package instructions; set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add mushrooms, garlic and thyme, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in quinoa until well combined.
  3. Serve immediately, garnished with Parmesan, if desired.

New House Health Plan Is Making More Waves

New House Health Plan Is Making More Waves

By Kristina Mancino

Last month, The American Health Care Act (AHCA) was shut down due to severe bipartisan opposition, even though the AHCA was heavily being pushed onto Americans by President Donald Trump. This week, the highly controversial American Health Care Act resurfaced with yet another arguable feature. The new installment would allow insurance companies to charge higher premiums for those who have preexisting conditions like cancer, diabetes, or heart disease.

This latest amendment, which helped the bill gain the support of a majority of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, shows a dramatic change from the current law that hinders insurers from discriminating against people with preexisting health conditions. However, not all are praising the new addition, it has raised concerns among Republican moderates, Democrats and consumer groups. This new bill future remains highly uncertain.

AARP released a statement saying that they “continue to oppose legislation that would impose an age tax, eliminate protections for preexisting conditions, weaken Medicare, erode seniors’ ability to live independently because of billions of dollars in Medicaid cuts, and give sweetheart deals to drug and insurance companies while doing nothing to lower the cost of health care or prescription drugs.”

On Wednesday, AARP sent a letter to each member of the House, reiterating its pledge to make sure all it’s 38 millions members know exactly how their representatives votes on this bill.

AARP stands by its members and making sure the House knows that allowing insurance companies to charge prohibitively high rates for people with prior health issues would hit especial hard for those older adults, most who are too young to qualify for Medicare. According to the AARP Public Policy Institute (PPI), 40 percent of Americans ages 50 to 64 a total of 25 millions people have a preexisting condition.

If you remember the last month’s version of the AHCA, the disputed age tax would have raised the limit for older Americans to pay five times for than a younger consumer. Under the current law, older consumers cannot be charged more than three time the amount of younger consumers, by insurers. This latest version eliminates the limit entirely, giving insurers the options to charge older Americans a much higher rate.

States that want to allow insurers to charge more for people with preexisting conditions would have to have a high-risk pool program or a reinsurance program. For any consumer who would have to buy coverage in a high-risk pool, AARP’s PPI projects the premium could reach as high as $25,700 a year in 2019, which is when this provision would go into effect if the House allows the bill to go through.

As we already know, the American Health Care Act (AHCA) was put on hold last month after the Congressional Budget Office claimed, over the next decade, 24 million American would lose coverage with the legislation. They also concluded there would be a hefty increase in premiums for people ages 50 to 64.

Medicare’s finances would worsen and the war on raising costs of prescriptions drugs would not be reduced. AARP said, “the legislation would provide a windfall for special interests in the healthcare industry, including insurers and drugmakers.”

If you would like to tell your congressional representatives to vote no, you can do so through a letter online.