Healthy Habits

Sharing Meals and Conversation with Loved Ones

Friends enjoying a meal together

Content provided by the Health & Wellness Team at GBS Benefits

From the Dietitian’s Desk
With Becca Rick, MS, RD

French Cuisine and Social Connection

French cuisine often congers images of crusty baguettes, ripe cheeses, and carafes of wine, but the heart of French cooking emanates from sharing meals and conversation with loved ones. In France, mealtime offers a hiatus from the bustle of the day to share local foods and to reconnect with others, celebrating life’s most important moments. Social enjoyment of meals is also a pillar of Blue Zone diets across the globe, helping increase quality of life and longevity.

Potluck Dinners and Social Connection

With time constraints keeping many from cooking, the traditional American potluck dinner is a good solution to bringing social connection back to the table. While potlucks can encompass a plethora of dishes, choosing a theme can help align dishes brought together from various households.

This month’s recipe celebrates French cuisine with an appetizer called brie en croute. Brie is a traditional soft-ripened cheese (typically from cow’s milk) ripened with candidum bacteria, resulting in a mild, butter or mushroom flavor in a creamy texture.

Cheese offers a good source of protein that comes from casein in milk. As cheese ripens, casein is broken down into amino acids, molecules linked together to form the building blocks of protein. Tyrosine is an amino acid found in cheese that helps form substances like norepinephrine and dopamine, which can alleviate feelings of depression and activate the reward system in the brain.

Dig into this warm, gooey appetizer with loved ones and let cheese and conversation bring happiness and connection to your table.

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