Proof that anything is possible
We are honoured that Pine River Institute has been selected as one of the winners of the Kaiser Foundation 2009 Awards for Excellence! The Kaiser Foundation, formed 25 years ago, works in the field of mental health and addictions. One of their programs is the National Awards for Excellence, which recognizes and honours individuals and organizations across Canada, in the following categories: Aboriginal Programming, Community Programming, Leadership, Public Policy, Media Reporting, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Programming, and Youth Leadership. Pine River won in the category of Community Programming.
The Kaiser Foundation’s National Awards for Excellence in mental health and addictions initiative is a yearly event which honours the outstanding work being done by the thousands of Canadian organizations, communities and individuals who are engaged in the fields of mental health and addictions. The Awards are dedicated to recognizing the people who spend their lives helping others get well, usually with little or no public acknowledgement or compensation.
Each Award recipient receives a $10,000 grant to be given to a recognized charity of their choice, in this case Pine River Institute.
The article, “Treatment on a Plate,” appeared in The Economist on October 16th. The article reports on the role of nutrition in addiction treatment.
“A new approach that acknowledges the underlying biochemistry might improve this situation…Its tools are not drugs but dietary changes. The theory is that providing food rich in the precursors of lost neurotransmitters will boost the levels of those chemicals, and thus reduce craving.”
Dr. Aileen Burford-Mason, who prepared Nutrition and Meal Planning Guidelines for Pine River, writes,
“Brain chemistry is very sensitive to poor nutrition. The nervous system, a huge circuit of elaborately interconnected cells (neurons, or nerve cells), controls the flow of information throughout the body. These cells manufacture neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, and acetylcholine, responsible for mood, sleep, memory, focus and functioning. They have calming and anti-depressant effects. It is because of the interaction of these molecules that we can reason, learn and remember, feel pleasure, sadness or remorse, and thus are capable of changing behaviour in response to cues from our surroundings.
Lack or imbalances of these neurotransmitters can reduce motivation and increase cravings for alcohol and drugs. The level of dopamine, serotonin and acetylcholine in the brain has been known for more than 30 years to be dependent on a meal-by-meal intake of their precursor molecules (building blocks) as well as the balance of nutrients eaten together.”
To read “Treatment on a Plate” in The Economist, click here
To read Pine River Institute’s complete Nutrition and Meal Plan Guidelines, click here
1 cup quinoa
1 ½ cups vegetable stock, or pineapple juice with soy sauce
½ tsp salt
2 ½ cups corn, fresh off the cob
1 small red onion
½ red pepper, finely diced
3 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsp lime juice
¼ cup chopped cilantro
3 scallions, minced
2 tbsp finely minced chives
1 tsp salt
chili adobo sauce to taste
1. Rinse quinoa thoroughly with cold, running water. Bring stock/juice mixture to boil in a small pot, add the quinoa and salt and bring to a boil again. Cover and reduce heat to low for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and keep the pot covered for an additional 5 minutes. Strain off any excess liquid and spread the quinoa out to cool on a tray while preparing the remaining ingredients.
2. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and gently toss. Season with additional salt, pepper or hot sauce to taste. Serve with fresh lime wedges.