A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about how resilient my 90-year-old mom is.

After thinking about the way my mom handles stressful situations, I decided I wanted to be more like her and not let things stress me out.

Soon after, I happened to listen to a TED talk by Dr. Kelly McGonigal entitled “How to make stress your friend.” The title definitely got my attention.

Just in case you’re not familiar, TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, focusing on Technology, Entertainment, and Design. They offer TED Talks, TED Conferences, TED Events and more.

TED Talks are always less than 18 minutes. And, as of November 13, 2012, more than 1,500 TED Talk videos have been viewed over 1 billion times worldwide!  These bite-size talks are regarded globally.

So, back to making stress your friend…I invite you to listen to this 14-minute talk about how your attitude about stress can make all the difference in the world.

[ted id=1815]

The factual research Dr. McGonigal refers to in her talk has really changed my attitude about my daily stress. Whether it is about my kids, work, family, the world, or just life, my attitude can help me be calmer and maintain my healthy lifestyle.

What are you going to do to make stress your friend? Share with me or tweet at me: @karen_kiwi.


P.S.  I wrote about TED Talks last year and have passed this particular one along to many friends with health issues.  It’s about how a physician eliminated all the effects of her Multiple Sclerosis (MS) simply by changing her diet.

“Neither food nor people should ever go to waste.”

That is the quote on a “nice to meet you” postcard I received from Robert Egger.

I met Robert last week at a symposium held at the Milken Institute in Santa Monica. He was on a panel, entitled “Hungry and Obese: Food and America’s Well-Being,” with six other food pioneers, including my friend Nona Evans of the Whole Kids Foundation. Each panelist could have spoken for an hour about their passion for ending obesity and feeding the hungry, but it was Robert’s passion that I was particularly inspired by.

The list of panelists.

Robert is well-known in Washington, D.C. for the DC Central Kitchen. He has moved to Los Angeles to start L.A. Kitchen, which will collect the abundance of fruits and vegetables in Los Angeles and process them to create healthy meals, snacks and food products for those less fortunate. Simultaneously, he wants to train those who are unemployed, of all ages, in the culinary arts to provide powerful employment opportunities.

Click here to read the inspiring mission of L.A. Kitchen.

When I found out that L.A. Kitchen just received the first ever $1 million grant from AARP, I thought helping them was out of my league. Since I don’t have a million dollars to give them, I offered to do what I can: take them on an early-morning tour of the Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market and introduce them to some of my produce friends, who could potentially donate to L.A. Kitchen. I also offered to introduce them to my food media friends, who might want to spread the word about their important work.

How many times do you find out about an organization whose cause you support, but don’t feel like you have enough to contribute or make a difference? Well, don’t let that stand in your way any longer!

Volunteer your time. Make a small contribution of whatever you can afford. Share your expertise. Every one of us has something to contribute.

Since ending hunger is high on my personal priority list, I was thrilled to meet Robert and know that I can make a difference in L.A. Kitchen’s success…and it didn’t have to be a million dollars.


It’s Pomegranate season! Last week, I wrote about the new fruits to enjoy in the Jewish New Year, but I wanted to save the best, and most special, fruit for its own feature.

I have a long, personal history with Pomegranates. When my parents moved into our home in 1958, they planted many fruit trees in our huge backyard, alternating between Pomegranates and Feijoas.

As young girls, Jackie and I found interesting ways to use Pomegranates. Our Pomegranates would ripen in mid-October, so we would bag them for door-to-door selling to our neighbors. Can you tell I started my selling career at a young age?

We’d have the most fun when Halloween came around. My mom and dad did not like the idea of giving out sugary candy to trick-or-treaters, so we handed out freshly harvested Pomegranates. The unintended consequence was red-stained sidewalks since ripe Pomegranates are very fun to throw at other kids!

Pomegranates are known as the “fruit with the crown,” and are actually a ritual food for the Jewish New Year. It is believed that Pomegranates grew in the Garden of Eden, and scholars purport that Pomegranates have 613 seeds, which is the number of commandments in the Old Testament.

Here is a photograph of a ceramic Pomegranate my daughter Alex brought back for me from her trip to Israel in 2006. Each time I look at it, I am reminded of her trip, Israel and of course, her smiling face!

If you’re looking for more reasons to enjoy Pomegranates, check out this recent article about the Top 10 great reasons to love the pomegranate.

Right now, you will see displays of fresh Pomegranates in your produce department, as well as Pomegranate juice and small tubs of Pomegranate arils in the refrigerated section. Pick up some Pomegranate this weekend and enjoy!