Culinista Kitchen®,  Health

The Good Kind of Shade

by The Culinistas

(as part of our Wellness Through Food: Hindsight is 20/20 vision series)

We can’t resist a good pair of sunglasses. Ever. Especially the UV-blocking kids’ aviators from Babiators. According to the site, kids receive 3x more annual UV exposure than adults yet less than 30% of parents are currently protecting their children’s eyes with sunglasses. 

We sat down with co-founder and CEO Molly Fienning (who is also pulling double duty running Red Clay Hot Sauce) to find out how you should be protecting your kids eyes from an early age, why sunglasses aren’t just for sunny days, and the powers of a good glass of Cabernet.

The Culinistas: What about vision health often gets, ahem, overlooked? 

Babiators: One of the ways a child’s eyes differ from an adult’s eyes is that their ocular lenses cannot filter out UV rays as effectively as ours can. As a result, your child’s retina are more at risk of harmful eye damage than yours are. If you’re squinting and looking for your shades in the sun, don’t forget about your kiddos, too!

TC: What’s one easy step anyone can take to protect the eyes?

B: 100% UVA/UVB protecting sunglasses for you and your littles — anything less can cause more harm than good.

TC: What’s the biggest impact of protective eyewear on vision health? 

B: Our Babiators Screensavers (or any glasses with blue light filtering technology) can reduce eye strain when looking at screens, which helps make your child’s eyes less tired and improves their focus & productivity while using the device. Another important technique is to make sure they take breaks from screens and get outdoors into fresh air & nature, too. 

TC: What’s the biggest myth about eyes/vision health? 

B: The biggest myth is that sunglasses are only for sunny days! Harmful UV can still harm your vision longterm on cloudy, overcast days. No matter what the season, sun exposure to the eyes increases the risk of developing cancer, cataracts or other painful, debilitating eye diseases. UV reflected off water or snow is particularly harmful. Don’t forget those sunnies; I can recommend Babiators! 🙂 

TC: What is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen? 

B: Our two baby boys, the moment they were handed to me by our doctor for skin to skin contact a few moments after each of their births. A life-changing, miraculous love.

TC: Do you believe in love at first sight? 

B: 100% I do. But I also know from my own experience that’s just the beginning. Love grows, develops and changes from those first honeymoon days, months or years. Love gets deeper, harder in some ways, easier in others, requires work/time/commitment–and is also 100% worth it. 

TC: What’s one thing you’ve always had your eye on, but never tried? 

B: Canyon crossing via ferrata in Utah. It’s on my 2021 bucket list.

TC: Looking back, what helped you through 2020?

B: Restorative time at home with my family, rejuvenating time out of the home with my girlfriends, a yoga & meditation practice, evening walks at sunset after a hard day, a good glass of Cabernet.

TC: What big changes are you eyeing for 2021?

B: Travel!! And more importantly, visiting with all our loved ones again. I haven’t seen my parents in person since last February. My husband, boys and I miss them terribly. We’re counting down!

We asked Molly to select six items from our Hindsight is 20/20 menu and tell us why.

Brussels Sprout Caesar

brussels sprout, anchovy, garlic, parmesan, lemon, onion powder, cayenne

“Brussels sprouts are up at the top among my favorite vegetables. It’s hard to turn them down when I see them on a menu, and I love starting a meal with fresh green salad.”

Seed Pesto Salmon & Chard 

wild salmon, swiss chard, dill, sunflower seed, lemon, garlic, sumac

“Salmon is my go-to fish always. I love the depth of flavor and it’s so good for you, your hair, your skin and your brain.”

Sweet Potato & Chickpea Patties

sweet potato, broccoli, garbanzo bean, cilantro, whole wheat flour, urfa, sumac, onion powder

“I’m a sucker for a patty in any form — crab cakes, burgers, fritters. This one sounds delicious. I’d dip it in a spicy Red Clay habanero aioli.”

Roasted Red Pepper Frittata

egg, red pepper, kale, spinach, basil, allspice, cumin, cayenne, onion powder

“Oh egg, the perfect food. If I have one deserted island food and I can’t take coffee or red wine, I’m taking the egg. I love omelette and frittata with lots of veggies to fill you up.”

Walnut Pesto Sweet Potatoes

sweet potato, parsley, walnut, lemon, solstice blend, cayenne, onion powder

“I’ve found my body doesn’t process grains very well, so I lean towards potatoes when I’m craving something starchy. This sounds filling and delicious. I might even do a Red Clay hot honey glaze with it.”

Ricotta & Roasted Stone Fruit

apricot, honey, walnut, milk, lemon, allspice

“I love the interplay of the creaminess of ricotta with the sweetness of fruit in a dish. The perfect way to end a meal.”

Check out our Hindsight is 20/20 word search on Instagram — the first word you see is your nutrition prescription to better vision!