Monthly Archives: September 2013
Whether you are a fit for life kind of person or are just starting out on your journey, you have probably heard about sweet potatoes. But what makes the sweet potato so popular among the fit community? Why should we introduce it into our diet?
Sweet potato is indigenous to Central America and made it into European diet after Christopher Columbus came back from his journey to the New World. There are over 400 hundred different varieties of Sweet Potatoes grown all over the world and the variety are largely dependent on the climate. Climate, soil composition, and genetic makeup will influence the nutrient composition and color of the sweet potato variety.
Sweet potatoes of all varieties are rich in Vitamin C, B6, and A, manganese, potassium, iron and fiber content. Apart from rich nutritional value, sweet potatoes can also help regulate blood sugar, decrease soft tissue inflammation, and according to some studies, contain significant antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.
Different varieties of sweet potatoes are packed with antioxidant nutrients like beta-carotene and anthocyanin (cyanidins and peonidins).
Orange colored sweet potatoes are full of carotenoid pigments which is what gives the sweet potato its distinctive orange color and sweetness. Some studies show that sweet potatoes are a better source of bioavailable beta-carotene than some green leafy vegetables such as kale, collards, and spinach.
Beta- carotene is an antioxidant and a precursor to Vitamin A, also known as retinol. Retinol is a substance that is essential for maintaining retinal, skin, mucous membrane, teeth, and skeletal health.
Purple-fleshed sweet potatoes are high in an antioxidant known as anthocyanin. This is also the compound that gives blueberries, grapes, purple cabbage and the Okinawan Sweet Potato its purple color. However, the concentration of anthocyanin is nearly 150% greater in the Okinawan Sweet Potato than it is in blueberries, the antioxidant powerhouse.
Some studies show that a diet rich in cyanidins and peonidins can potentially lower the risk or mitigate the damage done by heavy metals and other oxidants in the digestive tract.
Select and Store
When choosing sweet potatoes, make sure that they are firm and free of damage. Avoid those that are stored in the refrigerator section of the grocery store as lower temperatures negatively affect the taste.
Keep your sweet potatoes out of the fridge and in a cool dark place. Usually, sweet potatoes can be stored for up to 10 days or longer.
- Boil, mash, and combine with walnuts, raisins, and a touch of agave syrup or honey.
- Shave thin using a mandolin, spray with olive oil, and season with salt or Cajun seasoning. Broil for -5-10 minutes to make Sweet Potato Chips.
- Boil, mash, season with herbs of your choice.
- Cut into fires, coat in coconut oil and bake at 350 F for 10 minutes.
- Sweet potatoes can be added to baked goods, desserts, and other dishes where a little bit of sweetness can go a long way.
I have created this workout to be short and extremely efficient. With my schedule being the way it is in the last few weeks, I hardly had the time to spend on a workout. However, I don’t believe in making excuses and I am of the opinion that doing something is better than not doing anything. Enjoy and let me know what you think in the comments below or on our Facebook Page!
The weather has been getting cooler and I have been spending more and more time outside. If you are tired of the stuffy gym and are ready to enjoy this beautiful fall weather before the rains drive us back inside, here’s a short and sweet, calorie burning, cardio exhilarating treat that can be done anywhere!
Remember, do what you can, take breaks when needed, and make sure that you are well hydrated before, during, and after exercise.
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Athletes Helping Athletes 5K
If you are an animal lover and have a special affinity for beautiful Greyhouds, this event is for you. All the proceeds from this race go to the Southern Greyhound Adoption to help transport, vet, and upkeep retired Greyhound racers until they find their forever homes. For more information about this race visit Southern Greyhound Adoption website.
Saturday, October 19th, 2013
Superheroes vs. Villains 5K
Are you looking for a fun way to spend a Saturday? Come out and run this fun, family friendly, easy, and flat 5K. There will be lots of prizes, on course entertainment, incredible goodies, medals will be given to all finishers, and did I mention that you can drop your kids of for a fun, safe, and supervised play time while you run the race? The 5K takes place Required Fitness in Marietta. There will be plenty of parking. For more information visit Superheroes vs. Villains 5K website.
Saturday, October 26th, 2013
5th Annual Monster Dash
5th Annual Monster Dash is a race for a great cause. All the proceeds from this race will benefit Grant Park Cooperative Preschool (GPCP) in Atlanta. The race is conveniently located in Grant Park on the corner of Boulevard and Confederate. Arrive early as parking might be a challenge. All pre-registered participants will receive a t-shirt. Race day registration starts 7:30 am, the race starts at 8:30 am. There will also be a 5$ discount offered on race day to all college students with student ID. For more information visit 5th Annual Monster Dash website.
Saturday, November 2nd, 2013
Romp and Stomp 5K
Chomp and Stomp is a wonderful festival and chili cook-off that starts with an easy, flat 5k. This is the 11th year of the festival that is thrown every year to benefit the historic Atlanta neighborhood of Cabbagetown. As part of the race package all of the participants will receive a free admission to the chili cook-off, and an awesome long sleeve shirt. Arrive early as parking is challenging in this part of the city. Register now as the race sells out pretty quickly! For more information about the festival and the race visits their website.
Thursday, November 28th, 2013
Atlanta Turkey Day 5K 1 Mile & Tot Trot
This is a great way to preemptively burn off some calories this Thanksgiving. This event is conveniently located in at The Forum on Peachtree Pkwy with plenty of parking. A great, long sleeve, performance t-shirt will be given to all 5k finishers. Participants can pick up their registration packet at The Forum on November 27th from 2pm-6pm and on November 28th from 6:30am- 8:00am. Participants are encouraged to arrive at 7am on race day morning. The race will begin at 8 am sharp. This event is a rain or shine event, so come prepared. For more information visit Atlanta Turkey Day 5K website.
This weeks workout features one of the underutilized, low impact exercise tools for improving work capacity and core strength — Battle Ropes. I often find myself using a variety of exercises using ropes as part of my cross-training and conditioning.
There is an old Russian saying, “Hardships during training, make for easy battles”, meaning that your training should feel hard to alleviate the struggles during the times when you are actually judged based on your performance. The workout below is designed to simulate what a body goes through, physically and mentally, during a taxing race. Let me know what you think of this workout on our Facebook page or in the comments below.
I recommend doing this workout without stopping until you get to the end of each set. However, as with any other exercise, you should exercise caution and take breaks when needed.