Summer Plans: Use your time wisely to support your college application plans

By Sonali Bridges

Every year, students look forward to summer break – a chance to unwind, have fun, enjoy time with family, and maybe make new friends at summer camp. In high school; however, the plan for summer starts to feel like it might carry a bit more weight than just having a good time. But how do colleges really view those few months between school years and how can students endeavor to use that time fruitfully?

In talking to students and parents each year, we often hear the same myths continually passed around. Things like students must have a certain number of service hours, or have to try a sport, or even that students should do a summer program at the college they wish to get into. Avoid the rumor mill; instead, students should view the summer as an opportunity to try on something they may not have the time or ability to do during the school year. What colleges really want to see from a student’s summer is that they’ve been productive, but that productivity is not narrowly defined. The activity or activities should be meaningful to the student and align well with their interests or needs. If it seems too early in this brand new year to be thinking about the summer, you’ve been fairly warned – many summer programs that require applications begin taking them (and may even have deadlines) in January! Below, we’ve shared our top recommendations for using summer like a pro (and why) – many students may do more than one in a single summer: (more…)

Holiday Cooking Made Easy

By Shirin Yadegar

Family gathering around the kitchen island to prepare holiday favorites create core childhood memories. Teamwork, laughter and eating together is an essential part of family dinners.

The problem is mom always seems to get stuck with the not so fun part of shopping and cleaning up.

Thanks to mom doesn’t need to go through the shopping and prepping. One potato has made family meals easy. Honestly, I am picky and these boxes that were delivered to my doorstep with the freshest non-gmo seasonal ingredients sourced from the country’s top farms took all the stress out of preparing dinner. (more…)

Israel’s Magen David Adom: Saving Lives and Nourishing Babies

By Dorin Esfahani

Dorin EsfahaniMagen David Adom (literally Red Shield of David) is Israel’s national emergency medical service. It is also the country’s sole blood-services provider for Israel’s hospitals and defense forces. And, as a Red Cross affiliate, Magen David Adom responds to disasters around the world, including most recently in Ukraine.

But few people may know that Magen David Adom (MDA) operates and is home to Israel’s national and only human milk bank. Many premature infants can’t tolerate any other food source because of their underdeveloped digestive and immune systems. But for many reasons, mothers of preemies are not always able to provide their own milk. (more…)

Practicing Gratitude

Shirin Yadegar shares her father’s morning gratitude practice that you might want to adopt.

Thanksgiving is the time of year we gather with family and friends to be grateful for one another and the abundance of food and freedom. My dad used to always baste the turkey. He would marinate the turkey with the same attention and love he led his life with.

My father sadly won’t be basting a turkey or sharing in our thanksgiving meal this year. I’m sure he has other plans as an angel in heaven; but the lessons of gratitude he taught my brother and I will always be present not just on thanksgiving but every morning. (more…)

Savory Sweet Potato Casserole

Serves: 8-10
By Pamela Salzman

  • 5 ½ pounds sweet potatoes, such as garnet or jewel, scrubbed (often labeled yams)
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, ghee, or vegan butter, divided + additional for greasing baking dish
  • ¼ cup fresh rosemary leaves (save the stems for the turkey cavity)
  • ¼ cup fresh sage leaves
  • 1 ½ cups coarse FRESH sourdough breadcrumbs (pulse fresh, preferably stale, bread in a food processor (or use panko)
  • 2 large shallots, chopped or ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup any kind of unsweetened, plain milk (dairy or non-dairy)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1⅓ cups finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


8 Sneaky Foods That Cause Inflammation

By Elissa Goodman
Inflammation is one of those trigger words that you probably automatically associate with “bad.” But when injuries and foreign invaders are present in your body, inflammatory processes act as a defense mechanism to protect and heal you. So, in this sense, you want inflammation to occur! However, you can have “too much of a good thing,” and this idea definitely applies to inflammation.

Inflammation is particularly problematic when it becomes chronic (i.e., lasts for an extended period, and inflammatory markers are flagged). Chronic inflammation can lead to many complications, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, asthma, chronic kidney disease, and osteoporosis (which I discuss here). So what can you do to prevent potential inflammation or reduce existing inflammation? (more…)

Halloween Taco Dip

HallowenBy Catherine McCord
• 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
• 1/4 cup greek yogurt
• juice of 1/2 lemon
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 cup mild chunky salsa
• guacamole
• 1/4 cup sour cream (for spider web)
• 2-3 black olives (for spiders) (more…)

Take Back Our Kids Public School Education

Why Judith Manouchehri is running for BHUSD Governing Board

By Judith ManouchehriBy Judith Manouchehri
I’m thrilled to be running for Beverly Hills Unified School District Governing Board because Beverly Hills is not just my home, it’s shaped me. My commitment to BHUSD is demonstrated through my volunteer work on both the Beverly Vista Middle School PTA Executive Board and as an elected member of the Hawthorne School Site Council. Further, my involvement in our City extends to my roles as a member of the Beverly Hills Rotary and the Chamber of Commerce. I have a deep understanding of not only a collaborative professional setting, but of a public service mindset.

I’m the only candidate that’s a true product of our entire Beverly Hills school system. I’m proud of my BHUSD education that allowed me to go on to study Political Science and Public Policy at UCLA, where I then earned my JD on the other side of the tracks, at USC’s Gould School of Law. (more…)

Healer’s Advice on Finding Peace

Sivaphone Sarinas is a mother and healer

Q:As a healer, how do you help others process their own feelings and find their peace?
A: As a healer it’s important for me to be aware and respect that every person I connect with is going through their own unique journey and everybody processes emotions differently. Empathy is also key in how I help others process their feelings and holding a safe space for my clients to feel their emotions. Guiding others to find their light and release any energy that does not serve their highest good is important for me as a healer. Uplifting clients to empower themselves and find gratitude in their journey/experiences is a beautiful purpose in life and as a healer. Finding peace is also part of the process. Helping others find their peace is about reconnecting with themselves, going within and honoring yourself. I also like to focus on the daily little things that makes us happy and brings us peace. I believe we can find peace in many things such as self-care, reading an inspiring book, listening to music/podcasts that uplifts your energy, going into nature to ground yourself, meditate, and being around people who supports and love you. (more…)