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Unlocking The Healing Powers Of Food

A holistic chef taught members of the community how they can use food as medicine at a Power Foods lecture at the Hicksville Public Library on Wednesday, March 5.

Lee Perrotta has been a chef for almost 30 years but has officially been holistic for about 20 years. Next week, she graduates as a certified Ayurvedic practitioner.

According to Perrotta, ayurveda is the science of life. It is the ancient way of holistic medicine from India and was the first medicine that ever existed. Ayurveda strives to bring human beings and animals into perfect balance and alignment through lifestyle, diet choices and environment.

In her lecture, Perrotta gave cooking tips and health advice based on Ayurvedic beliefs. Attendees of the lecture asked questions and wrote down notes throughout the entire lecture, including audience member Kathy Politis. “I couldn’t write the notes down fast enough,” she said. “It was fantastic.”

Politis remarked on how much she learned from the lecture. She was most shocked by how beneficial spices are for a person’s health. “They’re so easily applied and available,” she said. “You just take the spices and put them in your food and it can really impact your meal.”

If Perrotta could give one piece of advice to the public, she recommends the Ayurvedic technique of eating anti-inflammatory foods. “I believe, and have heard from experts, that a lot of diseases come from inflammation in the body,” she said. “If you can eat foods that target to bring down inflammation, I think that’s such a good starting point for people.”

Some anti-inflammatory foods include turmeric, coconut and chocolate. Turmeric, also known as “the spice of life,” has miraculous benefits, according to the Ayurvedic beliefs that Perrotta practices.

“I pretty much put turmeric in the food that I’m cooking every day,” she said. “Spices are typically underutilized. I think that people can incorporate spices into their lives a lot more.”

The benefits of turmeric impressed Politis, who plans to implement what she learned into her cooking. “I’m going to go to Whole Foods and go shopping right away,” she said.

In addition to lectures on Power Foods, Perrotta gives lectures on Weight Loss with Herbs in towns across Long Island. She also classifies herself as a “diehard chocoholic” and will never give up her favorite food. She now uses chocolate as medicine in her holistic practices. “I found a way to blend the best of both worlds,” she said.

Perrotta believes that people should still eat their favorite junk foods, but just not every day. “I believe that people should do all things in moderation,” she said.

If she can get one person to feel better and improve his or her health through holistic healing, then Perrotta feels that she did her job.

“I just want to help people,” she said.  “I feel like knowledge is power and if people know, then you can make a choice.”

News

Vastra boutique finds a niche

in hand-embroidered dresses

Who says a bride has to wear white on her wedding day? For South Asian brides, no color is off limits including brilliant reds, blues and golds. For the past 17 years, Vastra in Hicksville has been helping brides from New York and across the country find the perfect dress for their special day.

There’s no lack of Indian sari boutiques in Hicksville but according to Marketing Director Prachi Jain, what sets Vastra apart from the others is its emphasis on one of a kind, hand-embroidered Indian dresses.

Many would consider it rude to play with your food. That is unless, you’re participating in the Long Island Potato Festival. The event, which was held in Cutchogue, NY, included a mashed potato sculpting contest which was dominated by Hicksville’s Sarah Tsang, who won first place in the youth division.

Contestants were allowed to use any tools and materials to help bring their creation to life. Sculptures were left on display throughout the day and voted on by festival goers.


Sports

Somehow LSA, the Levittown Swimming Association, has always been a part of our Hicksville summers. My family’s introduction to the organization in 1975 began when our two older daughters tried out for the Parkway Swim Team, one of the nine teams that competed through July and most of August.

It was no small task for the younger girl, swimming her first full lap in the deep end of the pool to qualify at age six, but both girls made the team and donned the coveted gray tee shirts as the trees cast their shadows over the pool water at the end of practice.

I’m convinced that the soul and the center of Hicksville is Cantiague Park. And why not? Every weekend it’s a beehive of activity ranging from tennis matches, hand ball games, basketball and baseball games, swimming, hockey and of course ‘the beautiful game’ called soccer. Cantiague has two professional soccer fields that are perfectly manicured and begging to be played on. And they were. This weekend was the finals of the East Meadow Soccer Tournament which is one of the largest youth soccer tournaments in the nation, sponsored by the US Soccer Federation. There were 18 boys and girls teams in the finals and a large staff of referees.

Two of the refs were Steven Orozco and Randy Vogt who told me how soccer had been growing and has now become the second most popular participation sport in America with 25 million of us watching this year’s World Cup.  I also met and interviewed Joe Codispoti who along with Tim Bradbury is the head coach of Rockville Centre United, a U16 boys club.  This U16 team has a group of standout players led by  Jack Graziano, AJ Codispoti and Pat Basile who have been playing together for six years.


Calendar

Close Encounters with Benevolent ETs and Ascended Masters

August 29

Adventures in Genealogy

September 4

Greek Festival

September 5-7



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
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Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
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