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Learn about heart-, brain-healthy cooking at Carmichael event

Workshop focuses on how plant-based diet can promote better health

Amy Myrdal Miller is the co-author of “Cooking a la Heart.”

Amy Myrdal Miller is the co-author of “Cooking a la Heart.”

Photos courtesy Amy Myrdal Miller

What you eat has a direct impact on your heart. (It’s important for your brain, too.)

Gardeners know eating a wide range of vegetables and fruits goes a long way in promoting better health. But so does your choice of fats, proteins and carbs – especially when it comes to keeping your heart and brain fit and functioning.

Learn ways to keep your heart and brain happy while pleasing your stomach and taste buds, too, at a special presentation and book signing, “Cooking a la Heart: Discover Easy, Delicious Recipes for Promoting Health.”

Set for 1 p.m. Sunday, March 19, at Carmichael’s Milagro Centre, this in-person workshop features Amy Myrdal Miller, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and food consultant. She’ll offer advice and answer questions about making healthier food choices part of your daily diet.

With Linda Hachfield, Miller is co-author of the newly released fourth edition of “Cooking a la Heart” (The Experiment, Hachette Books, 384 pages). For this revamped edition, Miller and Hachfield focused on foods that promote heart health, support brain health and reduce inflammation while also being downright delicious and easy to prepare.

Their approach uses the latest nutritional research on heart-healthy diets from around the globe. The new book’s 500-plus recipes put an emphasis on plant-based ingredients, healthy fats and thoughtful use of dairy, poultry and lean red meat.

A publicity shot of a cookbook“The Mediterranean and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating patterns are scientifically proven to be the healthiest for our hearts, and they even have added brain health benefits,” they explain. “Combined, they make the MIND (Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay) diet, which further reduces the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Cooking à la Heart incorporates all three into one nourishing, wholesome, environmentally friendly cookbook.”

At the March 19 workshop, Miller will be sharing tips for home cooks about how to prepare heart-healthy dishes that are as delicious as they are good for you. During the presentation, guests will sample appetizers and small bites from the cookbook’s recipes as well as have a chance to get a copy of Miller’s book (at $25, a $10 discount).

Tickets are $25 and available via eventbrite at Presented by the Sacramento chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International, the event supports the chapter’s scholarship fund. All proceeds will go towards helping women pursuing careers in farming, food and beverages.

“Cooking a la Heart” will be held at Event Center by Bella Bru at Milagro Centre, 6241 Fair Oaks Blvd., Suite D, Carmichael.

For more details:


Updates on weekend events, for anyone who missed the info earlier:

--The UC Davis Arboretum Plant Sale set for Saturday has been canceled outright.

-- The Sacramento County master gardeners' March 11 Open Garden Day has been canceled officially because of safety concerns related to our current storms. But depending on weather Saturday morning, the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center may be open informally during the planned hours of 9 a.m. and noon.

Read more about these cancellations here.

-- The Shepard Spring Sale, at last hearing, is still planned for Saturday and Sunday at the Shepard Center for Garden and Arts in McKinley Park.


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 26:

Sacramento can expect another inch of rain from this latest storm. Leave the sprinklers off at least another week. Temps will dip down into the low 30s early in the week, so avoid planting tender seedlings (such as tomatoes). Concentrate on these tasks before or after this week’s rain:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Knock off aphids with a strong blast of water or some bug soap as soon as they appear.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to help corral blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees, which are now in bloom and setting fruit.

To prevent sunburn and borer problems on young trees, paint the exposed portion of the trunk with diluted white latex (water-based) interior paint. Dilute the paint with an equal amount of cold water before application.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

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