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Posts Tagged ‘nutrition

Hi!

Good busy news from me! I’m running about 12-15 miles per week, I have one more class to go to make 9 fitness classes taught this week, and… while I’m a bit exhausted, everything seems to be in working order! Go, me!

So, I’ve been trying to find recipes that aren’t too challenging (yeah, I really don’t feel like standing up in the kitchen for hours this week, nor do I feel like cleaning a ton of stuff) but provide a lot of nutrition. A quick web search led me to this veggie-filled recipe, which I tweaked in several places.

This is one of those recipes where it’s tough to figure out a name, since it’s full of so much stuff! It also contains spinach, onions, garlic, a few seasonings…. wait, don’t run away! There isn’t a long ingredient list, don’t worry.

I cut back on the amount of liquid in the soup (this was based on the comments at the end) and it ends up giving you more of a stew, not much broth. If you want more broth, increase the amount that you add. THe original recipe calls for 5 cups of broth, and I probably wouldn’t go quite that high.

White Bean, Fennel, and Tomato Soup
based on an All Recipes recipe

1 large onion, chopped
1 fennel bulb, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
3 c veggie broth (more if desired)
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt (or more to taste)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
4 c shredded fresh spinach

1. Saute onion, garlic, and fennel in oil over medium-low heat about 5 minutes, until starting to soften.

2. Add broth, beans, tomatoes, thyme, pepper, salt, red pepper, and bay leaf and bring to boil, Reduce heat to simmer, cover, and let simmer another 30 minutes or until fennel is tender. Remove bay leaf.

3. Add spinach and cook another ~3 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Adjust seasonings and serve!

The weather is wonderfully sunny outside, so I’m going to take advantage with a longer run in a few minutes! (I did see one of the news stations predict a low of 17 degrees today, though–hopefully that’s passed! Brrrr!!!) Go and make it a great weekend, whatever it is you’re doing!

Last chance for a Recipe Friday this year! So… here it is! I made this yesterday, and it’s wonderfully warm comfort food. Healthy, too: lots of good-for you fiber, anti-inflammatory turmeric in the curry, and the peas are a great vegetarian protein source.

Now, I grew up with grandparents who loved their split pea soup… but that was back in the day when bean soups and split pea soups were merely a bacon or ham flavor delivery mechanism. I had a container of dried split peas, but not being a bacon fan (please don’t stop reading my blog, I promise I’m still cool) I wanted something different. I didn’t have to search far to find this yummy alternative.

Curried Split Pea Soup
based on Alton Brown’s recipe

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 c chopped onion
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 1/2 c split peas, rinsed and picked through
5 c vegetable or chicken broth
1 tbsp curry powder

1. Place the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and a large pinch of salt and saute for 2-3 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and continue to saute another 1-2 minutes, making sure that neither onion nor garlic brown.

2. Add curry powder and saute for an additional minute to lightly toast the spices in the oil. Then add peas and broth. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 45-50 minutes or until peas are tender and no longer hold their shape.

3. Using either an immersion blender or blending in batches in a regular blender, process soup until smooth. Adjust seasoning as desired.

This is such yummy comfort food… trust me on this one! Some cultures ring in the new year with black eyed peas for good luck… why not try split peas?

Start thinking about goals for the coming year! I’ll be back in a few days to talk more on that!

Hello hello! Well… forget about all those gloomy whines I logged earlier in July about “where’s summer?” It’s apparently showing up late to the party. I’m usually such a stickler for punctuality, but in this case, I’m not turning summer away!

We’ve had glorious, sunshiny days in the high 70’s around here for about a week now! Alert the media! (Wait… the media probably have been alerted. This is pretty darn unusual for us.)

A few of this week’s interesting and goofy links are even food-oriented. One–gasp–is healthy food-oriented. Can you believe it? (And it’s really full of useful information. I’ll be making good use of it!)

So, here they are:

1. Cute ribbony bookmarks!

2. Chalkboard menu wall! This blog author “menued” the side of a black armoire in her kitchen. Looks great!

3. These look cute! A healthier pizza in large portobello mushrooms.

4. What a fantastic list! Eighty healthy recipe substitutions, most of which look easy to find at regular grocery stores!

5. This is oh so true…. 🙂

OK, gang. I got up early so that I could be stationary biked, bodypumped, treadmilled, and Pilated (ack, I feel like I’m defiling his name without the S, but I can’t quite say Pilatesed?) before the bulk of the sunshine. And now, I have this post out to you all! Go out and enjoy!

Recipe Friday is back! Did you miss me???

How’s that for a last hurrah of the summer? Summery roasted corn and garlic goodness, y’all! Yummmm! Customizable to your own level of spiciness and everything!

With no further ado (I’ve been a little rambly lately), here’s the recipe.

Roasted Corn and Black Bean Salad
adapted from The Best Recipes In The World (Bittman)

2 tbsp olive oil
4 ears corn, husked and stripped off their kernels
**OK. I admit that I’ve made this off-season and used 12 oz thawed frozen corn. Culinary police, I give myself up to you!
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 (or more) garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 c cooked (or canned/drained/rinsed) black beans
1 ripe tomato, cored and diced
1 tsp minced jalapeno (or other small chile)–or add more for additional heat!
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
I also like adding a dash of cumin
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

1. Put the oil in a large nonstick skillet and turn the heat to high. Add the corn, along with a large pinch of salt and some pepper, and cook, shaking the pan or stirring occasionally, until the corn is lightly charred, 5-10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more, stirring.

2. Combine the corn with all the remaining ingredients. Taste and adjust the seasoning and serve, or cover and refrigerate for up to a couple of hours, then bring back to room temperature before serving.

There! Simple, fresh recipe. Works as a complete light lunch. Short and sweet! Enjoy!

Happy Labor Day–I’m headed out to enjoy the sunny day! I hope the weather is great where you are. Let’s all make the best of it, and I’ll see you next week!

Hi!

It RAINED here yesterday. What, do I live in Seattle? (ahem. OK, so I do.) Lots of rain.

But you know what? It had actually been sunny for a few weeks. (Alert the media! The Great Wet Northwest was sunny! Wait, it had been alerted. It was in the news.) And to me, the few days’ break in the sun is nice.

In life, we learn to find the joy in the sunny days as well as in the rainy days.

This past weekend, I attended Pilates On Tour, a continuing education conference for Pilates instructors (and practitioners) put on by Balanced Body Pilates. This was my first time at this type of event, and I was impressed! If you’re as much of a geek as I am about kinesiology, movement, and Pilates, you can get a small taste of what it was like to take courses from the gurus by watching podcasts at the Balanced Body website. I’m looking forward to the next Pilates On Tour!

And now, a few interesting and informative links for your entertainment (while I still have a network connection):

1. These chocolate bowls look easy to make, and would be great filled with ice cream (sinful) or sliced fresh fruit (better)!

2. Periodic table of heavy metal artists.

3. Fantastic idea: spiff up your ordinary cork board/message center with some vintage frames.

4. Here’s something I could definitely use: a vegetable cooking cheat sheet. Tells you how long to boil, steam, or saute a variety of different vegetables!

5. Have I mentioned Katie’s Snickerdoodle Pancakes before? If I haven’t, they’re amazing. Make them NOW. I’m going to try them in my mini Belgian waffler next. So tasty, you don’t need butter or syrup.

And with that… we’re having utility work done in our neighborhood in a matter of minutes, so I’m signing off while I still have a network connection! See you soon…

So it’s not Friday…. but I’m sugar-hungover from the not-surprise birthday party my friends had for me last night (long story… one of the group accidentally got phone numbers mixed up on the group text invite. All in good fun, though!) Since I knew all about it ahead of time, it meant I could try out these cookie cupcakes from Jessica’s blog. I think the cookie recipe will become my go-to chocolate chip recipe!

(I now have enough leftover frosting to frost an army. Anyone care to join my army??? Really. I’ve had it with sugar!)

To offset the OD on sweets, I tried something MAGICAL this past week. It’s a sauce that comes together in your food processor in less than 5 minutes. It’s vegan, it’s healthy, it’s a good source of B-12 if you are vegan… and it’s DELICIOUS. I swear to you, it’ll get you to eat mounds of veggies, so long as they’re covered in creamy, cheezy, lightly curried Mmmm Sauce.

I don’t want to steal Mama Pea’s thunder, so I’ll post the link to her blog right here:

Mmmm Sauce

So, what do you do with it?

Dip veggies. Dilute with a little water and use as salad dressing. Use its healthy goodness as a dip for fries. (I won’t tell.) It would probably make a great spread for sandwiches in place of mayo. Heck, the first batch I made went straight onto a whole bag of romaine! (sauce delivery mechanism.)

Caveat: do be sure to find and use nutritional yeast for this recipe. It’s an inactive form of yeast, and lends this (and other) recipe a nutty, cheesy flavor–while staying vegan. This is a relatively new ingredient in my world, and I’ve really enjoyed its flavor! Try looking for it in the bulk section of your health food store or Whole Paycheck.

Once you try this, there’s no turning back! It earned its name with good reason. I always have to have a batch of this sauce in my fridge. (And it’s savory, so it really counteracts all of the overly SUGARY from yesterday.) Make it, and tell me how you’ve used it! 🙂

Happy Tuesday! Hope all is in tip-top shape. I got trounced playing Settlers of Catan last night. I’ll blame it on having to take over someone else’s hand, so that I had to keep track of two players. Yeah. That’s it.

Anyway, here are a few nifty things I’ve seen floating around the web space recently…… some health and fitness related, some not.

1. If you’re somewhere in the world where there’s a heat wave going on, be sure to check out 50 homemade popsicle recipes. I’m sure some of them would also make great smoothies!

2. Make a decorative serving tray! Easy, quick project!

3. Brilliant! An easy way to make a heart-shaped cupcake.

4. How to make and store salad in a jar that will keep for days. Lots less prep!

5. Tea infuser that looks like a shark. Especially if you use a red berry-based tea, the design is cute.

6. Nothing to do with fitness, but a selection of gorgeous handwriting on envelopes. Unfortunately with our lives giving way to so much texting and email, we’re missing out on script. A lost art that hopefully won’t die out entirely…

Hope you all are enjoying summer! We had our three days last weekend, and have since moved on to fall. There’s always hope for next year, though, right? 😉

(Ah, yes, it’s the time of month where I need to take and post pictures of myself–I’ll get to that before the end of the week! Look out!)

So, I’ll ask: what’s your favorite smoothie combination? (I started playing around with a new combo the other day, and I’ll post about it on Friday. It’s something that helps me imagine that there’s sun!)

You know what, friends?

Today is the day to make a healthier change in your life. It doesn’t matter your starting point, whether you’re a total couch potato or an IronPerson… we all have something we can do, right? Even if it’s increasing our water intake… not eating sweets after 9pm to avoid the slippery slope… taking that first step out the door toward the habit of a daily walking routine.

Too often, though, “today” becomes “tomorrow”. Which slips into the territory of “sometime”, or “when work is less busy”, or “when I’m not in crisis mode”.

For many of us, these words are veils for fear. Maybe you drink your daily coffee with a hefty dose of cream. You know you should cut back… uh… “tomorrow”. 🙂 But what so many of us are really saying is that you’re afraid of the change. It’s not so much that you’re afraid of the flavor of the coffee without the cream, but afraid of the idea of deprivation.

And so many of us feel that “cutting back” on our dietary luxuries involves deprivation.

Therein lies the key. Break the connection between making changes in your diet and the concept of deprivation, and that may help allay some of your fears. Oh, there are so many opportunities for healthy, flavorful food out there! In no way do you have to deprive yourself!

Rather than “cutting back”, you can approach your new eating habits as merely “making changes”. And since I have you here on the internet, might I suggest a few healthy food blogs to drool over start your healthy cooking adventures:

  • I love Chocolate Covered Katie’s healthy vegan desserts. Most of them, you’d never know they’re vegan!
  • Anne of Fannetastic Food is studying to be a registered dietitian, and has some great recipes of all sorts (though I’m really jealous of her weather right now, gotta say)
  • Great recipes and photography–as well as a tribute to oatmeal–at Kath Eats Real Food.

Many of the recipes in the above links are easy to put together, and they’re all healthy. Why not get started now? It just takes a single step…….

Let me know how you’re doing in the comments below!

(NB: this post was partially directed at myself… but replace “fears about healthy choices” with “fears about conquering new business project”. I need to reread this post on a daily basis!)

Happy Father’s Day! I hope you all are doing something nice. I was raised by my grandfather, so I just posted some fun memories of him on Facebook. He was a small business owner, too, and taught me a lot!

The past two days’ Trust30 prompts have also been about “the one goal you want to accomplish in life”. Perhaps if they want to hold this challenge again, they should take a read through the prompts for redundancy prior to publishing them… unless one of them is totally different, I’ve had it!

So now, remember my goals lists from before? (Those were so long ago! part 1 part 2) I’ve been listing these in parts, so that I can tell you why each one is important to me. So, here goes with the next 10!

Goals 21-30
21. Post (and hopefully sell) and item on etsy.com I’ve done a bit of fairly simple painting and artsy things here and there, and recently, I’ve gotten ideas for how to create products/monetize my talents. Why not at least try? What does it hurt?
22. Finally finish the plan at 100pushups.com This was a fad on a lot of the running and fitness message boards for quite some time. I’ve tried so many times and give up partway through, because about halfway through, their plan ramps up too quickly (unless you’re an 18-year-old boy). This is not only a lesson in strength, but also a lesson in patience. I need to learn that it’s OK to repeat weeks in the plan.
23. Create videos for Pilates project… Not saying too much about the project yet, but I’ve gotten some advice about videocameras that are good to use. I’ve made progress on this goal!
24. Compete in a Sweet Adelines competition Nerd alert! OK, I sing with a young, vibrant female barbershop chorus. They compete each year, and I missed this year’s due to my surgery. I want to go to next year’s, so this goal should be easy! The only thing that I imagine might hold me back would be money… so, work work work!
25. Attend a unique small-town festival Kinda vague, eh? And I haven’t put my finger on it. I went to the Fremont Solstice Festival yesterday, but other than some naked folks in the parade, it didn’t feel that unusual.
26. Finally finish the kitchen remodel This will make me happy, to have a space that looks complete.
27. Make a list of “10 things that made me happy” every week for 3 months Awww, crap. I guess I have to start this, now, eh? (how’s that attitude? hee hee!!)
28. Eat vegan for a week See, my gut would LOVE for me to eat vegan. It’s not quite happy with dairy, and also not thrilled with meat. But I like these other foods… (and I believe that humans need nutrition from omnivorous sources) I’d like to challenge myself to plan my nutrition from vegan sources for a week. This will probably be one of the hardest of the 40 goals.
29. Participate in the Global Reading Challenge—start with easy I realized that most of my–and probably most Americans’–reading is American/European. I’m trying to expose myself to more and different viewpoints.
30. Take a trapeze class Both from a “facing fear” and an “it looks fun” viewpoint–and also, because my body can do it!

Now, since the first 20 have been out there for a month, what have I done?

  • I’m in the middle stages of planning a yoga/Pilates retreat for late August!
  • I’ve been working on losing 10 pounds. The scale fluctuates between 1-3 pounds down, but my clothes are definitely a lot looser!

I guess that’s all I’ve done, so far. I’ve had lots of business-growing tasks that have overwhelmed my life–also not a bad goal!

How are all of you doing with your goals? List them here, on your own blog, or somewhere public–be accountable!

Finally–again, happy Father’s Day!

Hi!

Recently, I’ve been clearing my house of unnecessaries, including those older issues of health and fitness magazines that have been tucked behind the jar of pickles in the fridge. I’ve been giving them a quick read before donation and/or recycling, and I’ve found a few great tidbits to pass along!

lycopene sunscreen?
Apparently, consuming tomatoes and tomato products slightly increases our skin’s UV protection. We still need to lather up with regular sunscreen, but there’s another reason to chow down on heart-healthy lycopene-containing goods! Bring on the bruschetta!

post-it nuts?
This one’s pretty cool. Have you struggled to remember how many of a certain variety of nuts counts as one ounce? (Either that, or carry around a portable food scale all day long!) Fret no more! I read in Shape magazine that if you spread a single layer of most nut varieties on a 3 inch x 3 inch post-it, you have your one-oz serving. Cool, eh?

joint juice
Another benefit to garlic and onions: it appears that those of us who consume more of these veggies have lower rates of osteoarthritis! Who cares about bad breath–bring ’em on! (And maybe pop a a mint while you’re at it.)

So, you, as readers, benefited while my house benefited from a cleaning! Have you seen any useful tips from magazines recently?


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