Finishing up April's blog on Celeriac was a little tough. Not due to the subject but rather my work schedule. I'll follow up with another celeriac recipe in the fall when the root is fresh and everyone feels more like a root vegetable recipe.
For now we are moving on and embracing spring! Kale is our vegetable of the month for May.
I have already heard plenty of feedback amongst my clients and friends on their feelings on kale. Jason for example hates it. However I have to say has been quite the sport when testing recipes! In fact I think I have found one recipe in particular that will become a regular addition to our diets.
There are so many ways to prepare kale and narrowing down what I was going to feature on this blog was difficult. I decided to skip kale chips since recipes can be found in several books, websites, etc. My only advise on kale chip is to make sure they are dry otherwise you'll steam rather than roast.
I also decided to not feature sautéed kale. For one, it is super simple and really does not need a a whole recipe dedicated to it. Just add a couple of tablespoons to a saucepan on medium high heat. Throw in some minced garlic for 1-2 minutes. Then add 1/2 cup of water and about a pound of kale, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Add your favorite herbs and spices and that's it!
Instead, this first kale recipe is my all time favorite kale salad. In fact, I call it my Crack Kale salad because I literally can not stop eating it. In reality it really is a Greek Kale Salad.
Full disclosure I got the original recipe off of another blog years ago and cannot remember which one. However, I have changed it and added ingredients so I don't believe it resembles that original recipe, which I can't find!
So let's get started....
Start with a bunch of Lacinato kale. Cut stems away and slice int small strips. Place into a large bowl.
Next, add the 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 tsp of salt and pepper to the kale.
Massage the kale for a couple minutes. This helps to soften the kale and aids with flavor.
Next add in the following:
Time to make the dressing!
In a small bowl combine:
Now if I'm in a hurry and need to get to work I don't measure but I guesstimate amounts of these ingredients. Throw them into a small dressing container and shake it all together once I'm ready to add it to the salad at work.
The great thing about kale is it holds up really well. This salad will last for 2-3 days.
Toss the dressing with the salad and enjoy!
If you need a little more protein you can always add some grilled chicken.
Next week we will explore the many benefits of kale plus our new favorite kale recipe!
One of my favorite foods my mother would make growing up was a potato pancake. I loved that greasy potato crisp! My mother rarely cooked so this was always a treat when she made one.
It's funny how these childhood memories translate into adulthood without really realizing it. This memory of my mom making that amazing potato crisp really came back to me when I started to think of recipes for this month.
I know that celeriac pairs well with potatoes and has the consistency needed to make a good pancake crisp.
Today’s recipe is a different take on my mother’s recipe. I’ve added celeriac root to add a little flavor and as stated in the last blog it helps to add a little fiber and less carbohydrates than potatoes by themselves.
Hope you Enjoy!
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Step 2: Shred the potatoes, celeriac and onion. To do this either use the large holes on a box shredder or with a food processor. The grater on my food processor is just ok so I used my box shredder.
Step 3: Mix the potato, celeriac, onion and 1.5 tsp of salt in a bowl. Cover for 10 minutes.
Step 4: In batches start to remove as much water as possible from the mixture. Use cheese cloth or a kitchen towel and really squeeze. This is very important! I think I worked on increasing my grip strength in this step.
Step 5: Heat the 2 tablespoons of your oil of choice in a skillet over medium heat. Next, place the pancake mixture in the skillet.
Step 6: Press the pancake mixture into the skillet. Then take a spatula and run it around the edge of the skillet. Cook for 10 minutes.
Step 7: Run the spatula around the edge again to loosen. Flip the pancake over onto a plate.
Step 8: Heat another 2 Tablespoons of your oil and slide the pancake back into skillet, cooking the other side. Cook for 15 minutes.
Step 9: Move the skillet to the oven and finishing baking for 15 minutes.
Step 10: Remove from the oven. Cut into slices and serve plain or with sour cream and some fresh chives!
This recipe goes well with any type of protein you want to pair with it. Eggs, steak or a nice breakfast sausage.
This weekend we will post our wrap up for celeriac and introduce our next veggie!
There have been many comments over the past week about the appearance of celeriac. Questions of why would you buy and especially eat something so ugly!
My favorite so far was that it looked like monkey brains. Now I’ve never seen monkey brains so I can’t comment on the accuracy but it did make me feel like I was cooking with something very exotic.
It does beg the question of why should I add this in? Does it add a different nutrient that I can’t get from another vegetable? What is the true benefit?
To this I would say it has a lot of redeeming qualities. For one it has a very low carbohydrate content but has a ton of good nutrients like fiber, vitamin B6, C and K and potassium, phosphorus and manganese.
This comes in handy for those you out there watching your carbohydrate intake. It also comes in handy with recipes like the one listed below. Mashed Celearic and Potato.
Say that you love mash potatoes but not all the carbs. By adding celeriac you can reduce your carb intake but still enjoy mashed potatoes.
For example, in one cup of diced celeriac there are 9.1 grams of carbs compared to 1 cup of yukon gold which has 36.4 grams. Huge difference!
After being asked about the appearance the next questions is usually how do you prepare it?
Basically you peel it. I prefer to use a knife instead of a peeler but either can be used.
Here is more detailed description:
1. Scrub the root with a potato scrubber under cold water removing any dirt.
2. Cut the top of the root off. Trying to just get the outer skin removed without sacrificing any of the inner root.
3. Then proceed cutting off the skin around the root. Side note: Its a good idea to have either a half of a lemon or a bowl of water mixed with lemon juice around as you do this. If you are not going to use the celeriac immediately its a good idea to rub the root with the lemon as you peel it to keep it from turning brown.
4. Next cut up the celeriac however you like. Matchsticks like we did in last week's recipe, grated (coming up in next week's recipe), or cubed like we do in this week's recipe!
Speaking of this week's recipe let's get to it!
This week is a super yummy Celeriac and Yukon Gold Mash.
There are two options here because I love options when it comes to cooking. One version is dairy free and the other is full on dairy!
Choose which one works best for you!
Celeriac and Yukon Gold Mash
Ingredients- Dairy Free
Ingredients - Full on Dairy
Instructions for both types of recipes:
1. Peel the potatoes and celeriac and cut into 1 inch cubes. Place the potatoes, celeriac and garlic cloves in a pot and cover with water. Water should be about an inch over the vegetables. Add salt.
2. Boil the vegetables until the celeriac is fork tender.
3. Before draining you will need about 6 Tbsp of the water the vegetables were boiled in. I take my glass measuring cup and scoop out enough water before draining.
4. Drain the vegetables.
5. Place back into the pot. Add your non-dairy or dairy options at this time along with the reserved water. Use either a hand mixer (for chunky mash) or a potato ricer for a smoother mash.
6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Jason and Jack could not tell the difference between the two types of mashes. Both were very good!
We paired the mash with some yummy beef stew.
However, this can really go with anything that goes with mashed potatoes.
Next week we will explore another great recipe and more info on why to add variety into your diet with celeriac!
Please comment below if you have tried a celeriac recipe you liked!
For a pdf of the recipe above click below.
Celery Root or Celeriac, which is it more commonly called, is an odd shaped root vegetable that you most likely looked over while at the grocery store. Surprisingly it is a very popular vegetable in Europe. In France, in particular, it is commonly used to make Celeraic romeleade. A basic cole slaw recipe with mayo, mustard, lemon juice and raw shredded celeriac.
This versatile root vegetable can be prepared raw, roasted, boiled, or mashed. It can often be found in salads and soups.
Celeriac is cultivated for it’s root which means the celery we often buy and eat is not from this root. It grows a leafy, whimper looking, stronger tasting celery stems on top. If you find the root with leafy greens on top it means it is fresh. (Side note: these leafy greens are good for making stock.)
When I first tasted celeriac it reminded me a little bit of jicama but with much more flavor. It has a mild celery taste with a hint of parsley and has the crunch of jicama.
I decided a salad would be the best place to start for trying out celearic. It is super easy to prepare. A lot of celeriac salad recipes call for shredding the root or making match stick slices. For the salad below either can be done. Note: If you shred the celeriac then shred the apple as well.
As with most vegetables there are a couple of ingredients that pair well with each particular vegetable. For celeriac, lemon and apple are a common theme. Lemon in particular helps the root from oxidizing and giving off an unpleasant color.
In fact, if you are prepping to use celeriac but not planning on using it immediately then I recommend putting it in a bowl of water and lemon juice or rubbing the entire outside of the root with lemon as you peel it.
For this recipe I recommend making the salad dressing first so that the celeriac can be tossed with it immediately and does not discolor.
Here is what you need to get started:
Celeriac and Apple Salad
1 small celeriac root
1 green apple
1/4 cup toasted pecans
1/8 cup blue cheese
3 TBSP Olive oil or Avocado Oil
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
1.5 TBSP Lemon juice
1 TSP honey
1/8 TSP salt
A couple dashes of pepper
1. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a bowl, whisk and set aside.
2. Peel and core the apple. Slice into matchstick slices.
3. Next, prepare the celeriac. Start by washing the root with cold water. Use a potato brush to scrub the outside. Next slice the top of the root off. You can either use a knife to peel the root or a vegetable peeler. I prefer a knife. Cut into matchstick slices.
4. Toss the apple and celeriac with the dressing. Add the toasted pecans and blue cheese.
Note: Check to see how salty your blue cheese is. The one I like in particular is a little salty so I omitted the salt in the dressing.
Next week, we'll talk about how to prepare celeriac. Plus a new recipe.
Our final beet blog! Some of you are very happy to moving on to a new veggie. I base this on how many times I’ve been asked in the last week - So what’s next month’s vegetable?
To wrap up there are just a few more important things to consider when choosing and preparing beets.
First, picking out the best beets. For all those gardeners out there, freshly picked beets will keep for months not washed in the refrigerator.
However if you are going to the store the best beets to pick are usually those with the leafy greens still attached. This is a sure sign of freshness. Make sure not to throw away those fresh leaf greens! They are great to add raw to a salad or saute or even make chips out of. (See the recipe below.)
If using the greens cut just 1 inch above the stem, wash and store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. The greens are pretty hearty and will store for a couple of weeks. (Leaving an inch of the stem on helps to keep the beets from bleeding.)
The beet root itself can be stored loosely in plastic in the refrigerator. The longer beets are stored they become less sweet and the skin is tougher to deal with.
The size of beets may make a difference. Smaller ones tend to be a little sweeter but harder to peel. Very large ones can be less tender so look for medium sized beets when shopping.
When ready to use, I scrub the beets with a potato brush. Do not remove the skins until after cooking. This helps to keep some nutrients. To remove the skin I used a paper towel to gently pull the skins off once the beets have cooled enough to handle. This saves my hands from turning red. You can also peel them but you may want to use gloves.
Another good trick is to cover your cutting board with parchment paper when slicing beets. This will save your cutting board from turning red.
For our final beet blog we have two recipes! First up pickled beets. Followed by Beet Green Chips.
One of the favorite ways many of my clients enjoy beets is pickled. I had several comments that their favorite recipe for beets came from their grandmother. So, I asked one of my clients for their grandma's recipe.
Take note, no matter what pickling recipe I looked at for beets they all contained a fair amount of sugar.
So don’t write to me about the amount of sugar. I’ve been saying for years if your grandmother didn’t eat it neither should you. Therefore, if grandma ate and made pickled beets made with sugar maybe we should give it a try. Plus, I can’t imagine many people sit down and eat an entire jar of pickled beets! If you do.....Wow!
Paula’s Grandma’s recipe
Cook beets in jackets, with stem & root attached, in saucepan with water. To test doneness, rub the beet with the side of a fork. Skin should peel away. (If you poke them, they will bleed). Cool until you can handle them and slip the skins off. Cut in quarters or slices. Set aside.
1 C sugar
1 C water
1 C vinegar
1 T lemon juice or 2 or 3 lemon slices
Heat until sugar is dissolved. Drop in cut beets and bring to a boil for a few minutes. Put beets in jar and pour hot liquid over them.
This is enough liquid for about 2-3 pints. Store for 3-4 weeks in the refrigerator.
Beet Green chips
Beet greens have a lot of health benefits. So make sure to not throw them away! They are high in protein, fiber, vitamin K, B6, and A, magnesium and potassium to name just a few.
Since the leaves remind me of the toughness of kale I thought they might make a good chip.
I love kale chips, they are very yummy! If you feel that way then you will definitely like these beet green chips.
The prep and cooking is just like making kale chips.
First start with washing the leaves and then leaving them out to dry on paper towels for several hours.
This allows the leaves to completely dry. This is an important step! If you were to bake them while still a little wet then the leaves would steam instead of bake. Causing them to be soggy rather than crispy.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Next place parchment on a two cookie sheets. Lay out the leave on the cookie sheet. Next I spray the leaves with olive oil from a spray bottle. Flip the leaves over and repeat. (You can also toss the leaves with 1- 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a bowl.)
Next add seasoning to both sides of the leaf. I used salt and pepper on one sheet. On the other I used Trader Joe's Umami seasoning blend. This is one of my favorite seasonings to use for roasting vegetables.
Place the cookie sheets in the oven for 10 minutes. Gently flip the leaves over and cook for another 10-15 minutes until they are crispy.
Make sure to keep an eye on these as they can burn quickly!
Let cool and enjoy! Store in a glass container. These will keep for 5 days.
To recap beets are helpful with..
To Wrap up my thoughts on Beets…
Next month: Celeriac aka Celery Root!
Jason's thought after trying out Beet juice to help with athletic performance....
Juicing itself is a pretty well documented and solid idea when it comes to getting a strong nutrient balance into our bodies. As a juice-able food source, beets aren't too bad of a choice. It's a sweet vegetable and generally tastes similar to doing carrots although a little more so in terms of sweet-ness. To offset a little with some tangy citrus flavor, Hillary added an orange.
It was proposed by the experts that one should consume the beet juice 2 hours before a workout.
Workout number 1 - I drank the juice mid morning as I was going running later. At that point in the day I had not eaten since breakfast about 2.5 hours earlier. On a basically empty stomach with no protein the juice gave me a pretty good glucose shock. About an hour or so later I started getting pretty jittery and did not feel like working out at that time. I chomped on some chicken as soon as I could and waited a little while. The run was fine after I balanced out a little, I did not feel supercharged though.
The sugars in this drink should be paired with either a protein powder or a lean protein source in my opinion.
Workout Number 2 - Followed my own advice, in addition to breakfast, when I later drank the beet juice I also ate a little bit of protein with it and about a teaspoon of protein powder, not much. Two hours later, I did not feel the jitters and started into my weight training session. All was fine and I did feel pretty good for about the first 45 minutes of my workout. The last 10 minutes I definitely started to feel the same jittery feeling from before but not quite as bad. I also knew that after I was done I would be able to eat my lunch right away.
Bottom line, I happened to read an article that came up for me from a guy who also was drinking beet juice before a half marathon. The difference there is he drank every day for a week leading up to the event and also did moderate to little training. I think that if I were to do the same and drink every day for a week with proper pairing I probably would have been able to see some benefit.
This guy claimed that he matched previous times despite having not done a proper training lead up. That might be so, I think that beet juice is good, and it's good for you. I think whatever benefit it might provide would really only be noticeable to someone invested in higher levels of performance. Weekend warriors or folks whose only 'event' is Bloomsday each year probably won't notice.
Beet juice is tasty, but there are a couple of things to be aware of in my opinion.
1. the glucose dump that you'll get might mess you up and if you're sensitive it might be a problem.
2. a day or so later you have to remember that you drank the beet juice, otherwise you'll think you are dying from ebola. FUN!
I’m not going to lie this month has been a little rough to blog about and to eat so many beets. However, researching beets and learning about their health benefits has motivated me to add them into our diet.
To continue this learning process today we look at the pigment in beets called betalain. Which is named after the red beet (beta vulgaris)
Here is what betalain can potential help with:
Inflammation: All studies stated that this needs to be further researched, however, what has been found so far has been promising. For example, one study looked at using betalain-rich beet concentrate to reduce pain for individuals with knee pain. It showed that the individuals had reduced pain while taking the supplement. (2) Other studies have found betalains to have a high antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties. (1.)
Detoxification: Betalains also help the body to detoxify by increasing enzymes supporting the liver. They aide in improving enzymatic activity and to stimulating bile flow. When the liver is supported then other functions in the body can improve, such as; helping energy levels, hormone balance, and cholesterol regulation.
Anti-cancer properties: Most of the studies to date have been done on rats or human cells but based on these studies beets can help to reduce tumor cell growth. One study in particular looked at prostate and breast cancer and beet extract was found to reduce the growth of cells. (3.)
This week's recipe is Red Flannel Hash. A veggie recipe that can definitely be used for breakfast! In fact I have eaten a lot of it for breakfast as I test out different ways to prepare it.
To start preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Next dice a sweet potato, 2 yellow potatoes and 2 beets.
Place the potatoes and beets into a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 tsp of sage, smoked paprika, or thyme and salt and pepper. I usually pick a type of spice depending on what type of left over meat I have available. This week we had pork chops left over that already had sage in the chops so I added sage to the potato/beet mixture. Other weeks when I had just chicken cooked up I added smoked paprika. Pick which ever spice you prefer.
Next, place the potatoes and beets onto a cookie sheet.
Roast for 20 to 25 minutes.
During the last 10 minutes of roasting the vegetables, start on carmalizing the onions.
Place 1-2 Tablespoons of butter, ghee or bacon fat in to a large skillet with low to medium heat. Add the onions. Cook for 8-10 minutes.
Add the minced garlic. Followed by the potato/hash mixture. Stir and cook for another 5 minutes.
At this point you can add in your protein of choice. If you have a left over meat such as corned beef, chicken, sausage, steak dice and add it now.
You can also prepare an egg anyway you like and add the hash.
I tried this once with bacon, placing the bacon on a baking sheet and cooking it at the same time as the vegetables were roasting. Then sliced it and added it to the hash.
Don't feel limited by the recipe. Add in things you like such as hot sauce or extra veggies.
This recipe makes for great leftovers and if you are in a rush every morning like I am this recipe is very handy to have a healthy veggie breakfast.
Next week is our conclusion on beets and a discussion on pickled beets!
One way that I have enjoyed beets in the past has been in my green juice. Now I’m not a regular green juice drinker but when I do I find that beets add a unique flavor. I especially like green juice if I feel a cold coming on but sometimes it helps just add a little energy to my day.
When I started to research beets I discovered that beet juice is very popular in health studies. This is due to the high amount of nitrates in beets. (Not to be confused with nitrites that are often added to bacon an hot dogs.) Nitrates when ingested from natural food source such as beets and spinach convert into nitric acid which in turn helps to widen and relax blood vessels.
This translates into some pretty cool health benefits.
Here are just a couple…
Improved athletic performance. Several studies have been conducted on nitrate consumption and athletic performance. (1, 2, 3) They show that oxygen use improves and it can help delay fatigue with competition. One study focused on running performance.
In the study one group was given baked beetroot while the other cranberry relish. The beetroot group tended to run faster. In fact 5% faster in the last 1/1 miles of a 5 k run. (7.)
It is best to drink your beet juice 2-3 hours before competition or training since nitrate levels peak around that time after consuming. There are no studies to show exactly how much beet juice to drink (although many studies used 17 oz) but start off around 4 oz and build from there. There is a detoxification effect with beet juice that not everyone tolerates well at first. Also another thing to consider is if you have low blood pressure. Since beets have been shown to lower blood pressure you have to be careful of lower it to far. (See below)
Lower blood pressure: Studies have shown that beets can lower blood pressure by 4 to 10 mmHg for a period of a few hours. The effect on systolic blood pressure seems to be greater than diastolic. (4.)This reduction is only temporary, usually only 6 hours. Eating beets regularly might help produce a more long term effect but more studies are needed. Because of this reduction in blood pressure many have concluded that beets can help with the reduction of strokes and heart attacks. Another study showed that ingesting beet juice helped to improve skeletal muscle strength, velocity and power in patients with heart failure. (5.)
May help with cognitive health: In a 2010 study a high nitrate diet in adults 70 and older were shown to have an increase in blood flow to the brain. In particular the frontal lobes that help with cognitive behavior. Subjects in this study consumed beet juice along with a beet and spinach salad at night. More studies need to be conducted but nitrates and beets in particular may help with improving cognitive and physical health in aging adults. (6.)
We decided to experiment with beet juice and see if we notice taking beet juice and improving our workouts. Since I have extremely low blood pressure and I’m not wanting to test the limits of how low I can tolerate my blood pressure going I decided to enlist Jason! He is super excited. So for the next couple of weeks I am going to have Jason drink beet juice about two hours before his workout and see how it goes. On our last beet blog I’ll have him report his findings. However a word of caution….
So if you are ready to try beet juice this is what I created for Jason to try for the first time:
1 Blood Orange
Combine in juicer and enjoy.
Now since this combo was a lot of sugar I am going to play around with adding some other low sugar content veggies to the juice and see if that helps. I also plan to add the beet green in to a couple since they are also full of great nutrients.
We’ll report our finding of our little experiment in two weeks!
Next week: Red Flannel Hash. Yum!
Like Aragorn returning to Minas Tirith with his armies of dead men in tow, this popular category returns to smite the forces of darkness led by Sauron…I mean de-conditioning, pain, and/or dysfunction.
Why is the Deadlift a KoE? Simply put, it comprises a host of actions involved with one of the primary movement patterns. Bending forward at the middle of our body is something we are designed to do. Picking up dropped keys or a shiny quarter, lifting a cooler out of your pickup or emptying the dishwasher, there are a lot of actions we perform during the day which necessitate some measure of bending forward.
Can you pick up a quarter without bending down? Sure, but it’s a little more complicated and you’ll look a little funny. One of the major themes we use here at Infinity Fitness is that you should be able to perform, to the best of your ability, all of these major movemnt patterns. I’ll not go into them all here today but for reference they are: Push, Pull, Squat, Lunge, Twist, Bend, and gait or walking. Deadlifting reinforces the Bend pattern.
I think most people at one time or other have sat through a safety training video in our lives which discusses “Proper Lifting Technique”. We’ve all heard it, “Lift with your legs and not your back.” That’s good advice but it’s not the whole story.
Let’s start at the beginning. What is a deadlift?
A Deadlift is a specific weightlifting movement in which the lifter hinges forward from the middle and grasps a weight from the floor (usually) and returns to a stading posture. What does that look like though? What is good about it? What can be bad about it? Let’s just go through a few key pieces here.
1 - Donald Duck butt - you don’t really need to overemphasize this but being aware of, and maintaining your lumbar curvature is important. So, stick it out!
2 - Hinge from the Hips - This is really the key, if you can’t do this, you really shouldn’t deadlift. From a standing position, take your fingers and poke yourself in the area of your hip right above where your front pockets would be and below where your belt would go. As you bend forward, if you are in the right motion, your fingers will get covered up. If they don’t, you are likely bending at the spine and not through the hip joint.
3 - Knees unlocked is a good place to start - There is a technique where you deadlift with straight legs, and as you get really good you can also bend your knees quite far in order to get the bar/weight to the ground. However, for a beginner, maintaining a ‘soft’ knee throughout is just fine. An unlocked knee makes for a fully active leg all the way up and down the chain. That’s good for stability in all things.
4 - Glutes, Glutes, and more Glutes - As you rise with the weight, your hamstring muscles will want to partake naturally. It’s just what they do. However, many people need greater activation of, and strength in, their glutes. So, when coming back to the top, think about clenching those cheeks hard.
So, what benefits does this King bestow upon you, it’s loyal subjects? Let’s start at the top and work our way down. Postural training at the start is always a good thing to practice. Head up, shoulders back and down, our weight is evenly distributed and we are ready to move.
Moving through the hips and maintaining the neutral curve of the spine maintains good motion of the hip joint and a healthy joint is a happy one. Also, the lumbar don’t really enjoy flexing forward so much and they will be perfectly happy to stay home where they are. This combination of motion and stabilization at the same time is an important neuromuscular skill that promotes safe movement.
The hamstrings and glutes both learn when to relax and lengthen and also when to tighten and shorten. Sitting a lot doesn’t do this, your glutes become so relaxed that they can have difficulty activating when they are supposed to, and the hamstrings learn to be short and tight when you aren’t active. This also is not useful for activity and stabiliy.
The pattern of hingeing and straightening gets them both moving in their correct places in time. In fact, if you find you have tight hammy’s, deadlifting is a fantastic way to actively stretch them out rather than the more passive method of stretching them.
In the fully engaged and hinged forward position, there is great strain pulling the chest, the gut, the head downward. Using the muscles all along the spine from tail to head you are activiely resisting this gravitational pull further strengthening your back from future strain.
Grip strength is also improved. As you begin lifting heavier and harder, your hands and forearms will naturally become stronger as well. In some ways, grip strength is the real limiter of how much a person can deadlift. If you can hold it, you shouldn’t try to lift it.
Deadlifting is a superior lift which can be done with a bar, with a kettlebell, or with dumbbells. It’s even a good movement without weight at all. Performing it safely is important but by sticking to a few key points and avoiding too much weight too soon, it can be a real benefit to your body.
You may not be able to vanquish your foes with an honor bound army of the dead behind you, but you can get your behind vanquished with a good honest Deadlift!
Have you ever had that moment when you buy a car and you think “What a great car? I have not seen this type of car anywhere.”
Then as you start to drive your new car you realize that your new car is literally everywhere.
This is how it was for me when I started to research Beets. Beet products are everywhere.
Beet chips, pre cooked beets, pickled beets, frozen beets, canned beets! EVERYWHERE!
Having not been exposed to beets growing up I just tend to look over them whenever I am shopping or looking for a new recipe. I have never taken the time to become fond of them. When out to eat if beets are listed in the ingredients I immediately move on to the next option. In fact, as I started to make recipes for this month’s blog I realized that I have traditionally always stated I hated beets, but in reality had never tried them.
When I first decided beets where the veggie for March I conducted my own unscientific survey of my clients on their feelings on beets. There are two very distinctive camps. No grey area here.
Camp 1: I HATE beets. Period end of discussion.
Camp 2: I LOVE beets. You know they are so good for you!
Which I have always wanted to respond with seriously?!? How good can they really be?!?
Turns out, very good for you.
Beets actually are so good for you we will be highlighting a new amazing benefit in each blog.
Today we will just cover the basics.
This low calorie veggie packs a nutrient punch with each serving. In just one cup of beets there are only 59 calories, but has 3.9 grams of fiber and 2.2 grams of protein. Plus, it is high in folate and manganese. Manganese, if you didn’t know, is good for connective tissues, blood clotting factors, calcium absorption ie; bone growth, brain, and nerve function. Truly, a super important mineral for the body!
The two most important nutrients that cause beets to have the most buzz is the high nitrate content and a pigment called betalins. Both of these we will explore in coming blogs but just know that these elements have been credited with lowering blood pressure, fighting cancer, and helping to improve athletic performance.
For this week’s recipe I am starting out with a super simple salad. I have found that citrus is an excellent accompaniment to beets.
So here is My Super Easy Beet Salad!
“Cauliflower is nothing but a cabbage with a college education.” Mark Twain
This marks our last blog for cauliflower! Next month we are moving on to a new vegetable to integrate into your diet. Some of you may be glad to have a new vegetable to try out especially if cauliflower is just not your thing.
Over the past couple of weeks I have tried to sneak cauliflower into our dinners without Jason noticing. The most successful to date was adding it to our twice baked potatoes for our vegetarian night.
For this, I simply steamed some cauliflower (I also steamed broccoli and spinach) and added to the scooped out potato insides plus all the other regular fixings. Since cauliflower has such a mild taste, he had no idea. I waited for him to rave about how good the dinner was before telling him.
Another favorite, that Jack has requested many times is what he calls Cheesy Cauliflower. Obviously, adding cheese to anything makes it better! For this recipe I did the following:
So simple! Plus you can vary this in so many ways.
For example, tonight I made this without this cheese (Jack was not home for dinner) and added some onions and zucchini plus some red pepper flakes. It made for a quick side on a busy weeknight.
I encourage you to play around and see what type of sautéed cauliflower dish you can come up with!
To wrap up my thoughts on cauliflower…
Moving on…. next month was picked by Jack so you can all blame him! At least I am because I’ll be honest this vegetable is not my favorite.
Next Wednesday and every Wednesday in the month of March you all can start to learn more about Beets!