Culinista Kitchen®,  Health

A Walk Down Memory Lane with 10 Grove’s Rana Argenio

by The Culinistas

10 Grove founder Rana Argenio’s earliest childhood memory is of spending her fourth birthday in London, with not one, or two, but three different birthday cakes and plenty of ice cream. That’s a memory we can get behind. We’d argue that the key to a strong memory starts with a good night’s rest, which is something Argenio knows a thing or two about. Her company, 10 Grove, is the direct-to-consumer line of luxury linens — sewn by artisans and using only the finest Italian fabrics — that dreams are made of. Here, Argenio shares her step-by-step guide to getting the perfect night’s sleep and the secret to fighting that illusive morning brain fog.

What ritual do you have that helps you get or stay focused in under five minutes?

“I find that how I start off my morning plays a huge role in my productivity for the day. When I wake up, I immediately get going; snoozing and lingering in bed just makes me groggier. I start my mornings by making a cup of coffee, reading the news feed on my phone, and preparing a to-do list of what I need to get done. This list usually takes a few days to complete, but at least it gets me ready for what I need to tackle. I always choose a few easy to complete tasks to start, just so I can feel like I’m crossing things off my list. This helps me build up focus for those more involved tasks.”

What helps you calm an anxious mind?

“A walk or run…nothing gets that anxious negative energy out of me like some fresh air + endorphins.”

What is your ideal focused environment?

“I actually work best in a quiet environment. That’s all I really need. I travel (I guess, travelled…) a lot for work, so I’ve been in some quite uncomfortable places. As long as there’s no noise distractions, I’m totally focused.”

Who are three people whose brains you envy?

“Ilse Crawford. Olafur Eliasson. Steve Jobs.”

What is your first memory?

“My first distinct memory is actually from my 4th birthday. We used to spend the summer in London, visiting my mom’s side of the family, and they always took the opportunity to spoil me for my birthday. I think this year particularly sticks with me as it was the last year I had as the only child and grandchild! I spent the morning at Regents Park, feeding the ducks, followed by a trip to Hamley’s where I got to pick out a lot of presents, and I ended the evening with three different birthday cakes, accompanied by a variety of ice creams. Talk about the special treatment!”

What have you forgotten that you’ve been trying to remember?

“I have been trying to remember my first childhood home, where I spent ages 0-4, but I don’t remember much. Even when I look through albums to try to jog my memory, it seems like a totally foreign place. I have memories of being in that home, but I have no recollection of the layout, location or décor.”

What’s on tap for 2020?

“I’ve got a lot going on, both for 10 Grove, and in my personal life.

On the 10 Grove front, we’re rebuilding our website to create a better, more seamless experience for our customers. We’re working on some exciting partnerships and developing some new products, which not only add to our existing bed offering but also expand our presence into other parts of the home.

On the personal front, I’m expecting my first child (mid-September), so by the time this is published, I’ll be craving some much needed sleep and getting used to taking care of a new type of baby!”

What’s your recipe for the perfect night’s sleep?

“I personally don’t feel there’s any need to overcomplicate things; our bodies need sleep, so I find it’s about the basics. Create a comfortable environment where your body can do its job:

  • Stop working 2-3 hours before bedtime, giving your brain time to wind down
  • Eat dinner 1-2 hours before climbing into bed so your digestive process can start working
  • Quiet, dark room with cool temperature (ideally around 70⁰F) to help your body’s circadian rhythm
  • Choose soft, breathable bedding made from natural fibers (cotton and linen are best for regulating body temperature)
  • Get a comfortable mattress + pillows (again, avoiding synthetics which tend to overheat)”

Please select six items from our Feed Your Brain menu and tell us why.

Cucumber Avocado Soup (with persian cucumber, avocado, basil, chive, lemon)

“Light, refreshing, cleansing and hydrating…there’s no better way to start a meal. It’s so important to be well hydrated before going to bed as it helps detox your body and improve digestion.”

Winter Antipasti (with delicata squash, celery root, red bell pepper, radicchio, walnut, red wine vinegar)

“I love having vegetables that are savory in flavor and full of nutrients, particularly fiber. Plus, walnuts, while widely known as brain food, are also shown to improve your sleep quality: they’re a great source of healthy fats and melatonin.”

Meatballs with White Beans & Pesto (with beef, white bean, pine nut, oregano, parsley, garlic)

“An adult take on a childhood favorite, which just makes you feel nourished and satisfied…and that’s so important when it comes to dinner! Otherwise you end up snacking all night long. While red meat generally takes longer to digest than other proteins, it does have high levels of iron and tryptophan, both of which are helpful for sleep.”

Poached Salmon with Raisin Scallion Sauce (with wild salmon, scallion, raisin, lemon, urfa)

“Light, delicious and a perfect choice for dinner as salmon is not only high in healthy omega-3 fatty acids (which reduce inflammation), but also has an exceptional amount of vitamin D. The combination of omega-3 and vitamin D enhances your sleep quality because they have been shown to increase the production of serotonin, which is the precursor to melatonin.”

Parsley Pesto Broc & Beans (with broccoli, green bean, walnut, pecorino romano, lemon)

“I love a good side of vegetables, especially when accompanied with a healthy pesto. While broccoli may not sound like the go-to midnight snack, it’s actually full of fiber and vitamin C. We’re all familiar with vitamin C’s impact on our immunity, but what most may not know is that it increases the length of sleep and relieves RLS (restless leg syndrome).”

Tahini Roasted Cauliflower (with cauliflower, sesame seed, golden raisin, chive, thyme, lemon)

“Roasted cauliflower is one of my favorites…and I frankly can’t get enough. It’s full of slow-digesting fiber, which will keep you full, but not heavy, throughout the night, so you don’t wake up starving. It’s also a hidden source of tryptophan, which as we all know from Thanksgiving, puts us in that perfect sleepy bedtime mood.”