Monday, October 25, 2010

10/26-Gwenn Schurgin O’Keeffe, Chef Lorena Garcia

Gwenn Schurgin O’Keeffe-Spokesperson for the National Academy of Pediatric

Is your family’s Halloween holiday an “all-they-can-eat treat feast?”  Of course you want your kids to eat healthy, but you don’t want the label of Halloween Scrooge.  So how can you make sure your kids enjoy the holiday, without overloading on nutrient-void sweets?

While sweets are at the heart of Halloween fun, Pediatrician Dr. Gwenn Schurgin O’Keeffe says there are ways for parents to make the holiday a little more nutritious without being booed by the kids. 

Getting kids to give up the sweet stuff doesn’t have to be a frightening proposition.  Dr. Gwenn will be available for interviews on October 26, 2010, to talk about finding a happy medium when it comes to holiday sweets – sharing hauntingly healthy Halloween tips, festive recipes and spooktacular safety tactics so everyone has a happy and healthy Halloween.  

     How much is too much:  Placing limits without turning it into an all out “food fight”
     Trick or treat prep: Set your kids off on the right path with a nutritious meal before they trick-or-treat to discourage them from overloading on sweets 
     Creative Treats: From stickers to temporary tattoos, have fun with other fillers 
     Treat Trade-off: Instead of sugary sodas, offer lowfat chocolate milk – a nutritious treat in disguise and the “Official Drink of Halloween” 
     Spooktacular Safety: Examine all treats before you give them to the kids 
     Tricks for Nutritious Treats: Kid-friendly treats that taste great - and are also good for them

Gwenn Schurgin O’Keeffe, MD, FAAP, is a practicing pediatrician, health journalist, and CEO of Pediatrics Now (, an online health and communications company. Through Pediatrics Now and her nationally syndicated blog “Dr. Gwenn Is In” (, she addresses issues ranging from general health to those concerning the intersection of health care and social media. She is the national spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics. She lives in Boston, MA, with her husband and two daughters.  

One of the country’s leading Latina chefs, Lorena Garcia was born and raised in Venezuela, and credits her many gatherings spent entertaining family and friends as her career inspiration “Bringing loved ones together to enjoy wonderful food is something that has always fulfilled me”. Lorena completed her law studies in Santa Maria University in Caracas, and moved to the United States to complete her Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies. Making her dream to become a chef a reality, Lorena traded her law papers for a cutting board and chef’s knife to study culinary arts at Johnson & Wales University.

Inspired by her education and burgeoning creativity, Lorena set out on a world tour of countries known for great cuisine. She worked as an apprentice chef in France, Italy, Japan, Korea, Thailand, and China and worked in famed restaurants alongside world-renowned chefs such as Pascal Audin. Her next step was to establish Food Café, and later Elements Tierra, two successful restaurants in Miami’s Design District that featured menus defined by an eclectic blend of Latin and Asian-inspired dishes, later sold in 2008. 

Lorena’s charismatic personality and contagious enthusiasm have helped her secure numerous roles as host on nationally syndicated shows including Vida Gourmet on the Gems network; Co/cine Mun2, Mun2 network;El Arte del Buen Gusto, MGM Casa Club TV; Sazón, Univision Radio; and currently Sazón con Lorena Garcia on Utilisima. Recently, Lorena was featured in CNN’s “Latinos In America”, broadcast globally to millions of viewers. Later this year Lorena will be featured as a guest on NBC's "The Biggest Loser". During Spring, 2011 Lorena will be a series regular and one of the investors on NBC's new reality competition series "Americas Next Great Restaurant".

Lorena’s dynamic appeal has also been recognized by global brands. Moving into her third year as a Nestlé spokesperson, Lorena appears on Cocinando con Nestlé, a weekly segment on the Univision morning show, Despierta America, where she prepares popular and traditional dishes from Latin America. Every year Lorena showcases her culinary talents on behalf of Nestlé brands during a multi-city North American tour of Latin street festivals and fairs. 

Lorena has taken on the challenge of combating childhood obesity. She developed "Big Chef, Little Chef" as a comprehensive program to help kids and their families take control of their eating habits and ultimately, their lives. More than simply promoting healthy eating, it is a lifestyle modification plan that educates children of all ages and their families about the benefits of nutrition and of living a healthy, happy, and positive life.

Scheduled to open in Fall 2010 is the first Lorena Garcia Cocina Restaurant located at the Miami International Airport where Lorena teams up with HMS Host Marriot Services to provide travelers a healthier alternative to Latin cuisine. In the heart of the Miami Design district the Lorena Garcia Production Headquarters and studios are scheduled to open in late 2010. It will feature a 5,000 sq ft space, the studio will allow for TV production, brand development, educational workshops and all media relations.

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