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Today is: March 15, also known as the Ides of March

The Ides of March – 44 BC Julius Caesar is stabbed to death by Brutus, Cassius and several other Roman senators in Rome

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Act Happy Day

No one is immune to the occasional bad mood. Whether it’s the weather, waking up on the wrong side of the bed or another variable, various factors can have an adverse affect on a person’s mood.

Food is one factor that can have a positive effect on mood. Certain foods have been found to positively affect mood, so incorporating them into your diet may help you stay positive even on those days when you get up on the wrong side of the bed.

· Fatty fish: A study from British researchers published in the Archives of General Psychiatry found that a daily dose of an omega-3 fatty acid called eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, helped patients with depression significantly reduce their feelings of sadness and pessimism. Hackensack Meridian Health notes that salmon, albacore tuna, sardines, trout, and anchovies are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

· Nuts and seeds: The minerals selenium, copper, magnesium, manganese, and zinc have all been linked to mental health, and nuts are rich in each of those minerals. Hackensack Meridian Health notes that almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and peanuts are particularly good sources of the immune system-boosting minerals zinc and magnesium.

· Dark, leafy greens: Dark, leafy greens like kale, spinach and collards are rich in iron and magnesium, both of which can increase serotonin levels and help reduce feelings of anxiety. Dark, leafy greens also help the body fight inflammation, which can have a positive effect on mood. A 2015 study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry found that brain inflammation contributed to certain behaviors, including low mood, that appear during major depressive episodes.

· Dark chocolate: Chocolate lovers may be happy to learn that dark chocolate can improve mood. A 2009 study published in the Journal of Proteome Research found that dark chocolate helped to reduce levels of the hormone cortisol, which has been linked to stress. Hackensack Meridian Health notes that, when consumed in moderation, dark chocolate made of at least 70 percent cocoa can help people relax.

Various foods can have a beneficial effect on mood, potentially helping people to stay positive when doing so proves challenging.

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Peanut Lovers Day

Fun Facts:

European explorers first discovered peanuts in Brazil.

Africans introduced peanuts to North America.

Peanuts were grown for the first time in Virginia. At this time, peanuts were considered food for livestock and the poor.

Peanuts became popular in the United States after the Civil War when the soldiers realized they liked them and they were a source of protein.

Dr. John Harvey Kellogg developed a version of peanut butter for his older patients who couldn’t chew meat and needed a source of protein.

Peanuts became a significant agricultural crop in the United States. Dr. George Washington Carver was an inventor and scientist. He saved agriculture in the South by encouraging peanut production when the boll weevil had destroyed other crops.

Peanuts are considered the 12th most valuable cash crop in the United States. Their farm value is over one billion dollars

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Edible Peanut Butter Play dough

  • 1 cup of creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 sleeve of saltine crackers
  • Cooking Spray
  • Tear off a piece of parchment paper about 2 feet long (24 inches). Lay paper across the surface where you will be mixing/playing.
  • Spray the 1 cup measuring cup with cooking spray to prevent sticking of peanut butter. Measure out 1 cup of creamy peanut butter then spoon into the mixing bowl.
  • Spray the tablespoon measuring spoon with cooking spray to prevent sticking of honey. Measure out 3 tablespoons of honey and add to the peanut butter in the mixing bowl. Mix the honey and peanut butter well.
  • Place 5-6 saltine crackers in a Ziplock bag and seal. Finely crush crackers inside of the bag, being careful to not puncture the bag. You can use the can of cooking spray as a rolling pin on the outside of the sealed bag.
  • Pour the finely crushed crackers into the peanut butter & honey mixture. Mix well and repeat until you have finely crushed and added the entire sleeve of saltines to the mixture. (The finer that the crackers are crushed, the better the recipe will turn out.)
  • Spoon peanut butter, honey, and saltine mixture onto the parchment paper. Spray lightly with cooking spray. With clean hands, knead the mixture by hand until it has a dough like consistency.
  • You are ready to play – remember to wash hands well for this step because this recipe is completely edible.

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice Cream

    • 2 eggs
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
    • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
    • 2 cups heavy cream
    • 1 cup milk
    • 2 tsp vanilla
    • 3/4 cup chopped, semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • In a medium bowl, beat eggs until frothy. Gradually beat in sugar until dissolved. Add peanut butter and corn syrup, beat until well blended. Stir in cream, milk and vanilla.
    • Add to ice cream maker. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for making ice cream.
    • Stir in chocoloate bits. Freeze until firm.

    For more recipes and peanut information visit https://gapeanuts.com/.