Monthly Archives: November 2013
I’d like to invite you to take a moment and think about all of the things that you are grateful for today. Think about how far along you have come, how much progress you have made. Be thankful for your body, your strength, your determination. Celebrate your commitment and your success in spite of the busy schedule, family obligation, stress at work, and millions of other things that get in the way.
Now that you have thought about how awesome you are, it is time to proactively burn off that Thanksgiving meal you are going to consume in a few hours.
Here’s the deal: this is short and sweet and to the point HIIT workout. After you do your warm up, do each of the following exercises for 50 seconds without rest between sets, then rest 20 seconds and do the circuit again for 40 seconds, then rest 20 seconds, etc. until you get to 10 seconds. Your workout should look something like this:
50 seconds Push-ups
50 seconds High Knees
50 seconds Burpees
50 seconds Jumping Jacks
Rest 20 Seconds
40 seconds Push-ups
40 seconds High Knees
Do not stop between sets, push hard and dig deep. It will be hard, but you can do it!
After you finish your last circuit, stretch, hydrate, and go eat lots of turkey (white meat, of course).
Quick Warm-up: 10 Toy Soldiers, 10 Knee to Elbow, 10 Toe Touch Kick and Squat, 20 Line Jumps
Cabbage is a leafy green, annual vegetable that is closely related to broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. There are a number of cabbage plant varieties, the most popular of which is the smooth-leafed, firm, green cabbage. There are two other common varieties of cabbage: red and savoy. Red cabbage is a smooth-leafed, firm, deep purple in color with a strong flavor profile. Savoy cabbage on the other hand has a “ruffled” leaf, yellow-green in color, and has a mild flavor profile and softer texture.
Throughout the centuries, cabbage has been used as food and as medicine. Cabbage plants were introduced into European cuisine around 600 B.C. by migratory Celtic tribes and became a dietary staple shortly thereafter. Currently, Russia is leading the charts with the highest consumption of cabbage per capita with Belgium, Netherlands, and Spain coming in as close seconds.
Cabbage as Medicinal Herb:
Because of its high antioxidant and fiber count, cabbage has been used as medicine by many cultures. The Ancient Greeks recommended the use of cabbage leaves as a laxative, cabbage juice to treat poisonings, and help heal bruising. The Romans and Egyptians used cabbage as an anti-hangover cure and a method to prevent drunkenness.
In the early 20th century, cabbage leaves were used to treat ulcers and abscess. Some scientific evidence suggests that certain properties found in cabbage leaves can reduce the pain of engorged breasts (during lactation), and extend the duration of breast feeding by increasing milk production. Other scientifically unsupported uses of cabbage in medicine include the treatment of rheumatism, sore throat, hoarseness, appendicitis, pneumonia, removal of warts and boils, and treatment of mild depression.
Cabbage, much like most of cruciferous vegetables, is a great source of beta-carotene (Vitamin A), vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants. However, unlike most cruciferous vegetables, cabbage boasts impressive levels of polyphenols, an antioxidant in the phytonutrient category.
Phytonutrients are organic components of plants. The term itself derives from the word phyto meaning plant. Although these organic components are not necessary for a person to survive, scientists believe that consumption of phytonutrients can prevent certain cancers and help with minimizing the effects of our toxic environment. Phytonutrients serve as very powerful antioxidants and help enhance immune response, regulate estrogen metabolism, aid in DNA repair caused by exposure to carcinogens, as well as effectively activate a detoxification enzyme (cytochrome P450 and Phase II enzyme system) to remove carcinogenic byproducts of the metabolic process.
Polyphenols are one of the major groups of phytonutrients and are found in a variety of plants such as onion, cranberries, tea, red grapes, grape juice, strawberries, apple, raspberries, blueberries, red wine, cabbage, and nuts. Polyphenols can be divided into two categories: flavonoids and non-flavonoids. Flavonoids are the most extensively studied polyphenols in conjunction with metabolism and cancer prevention.
With that being said, even white cabbage has incredible high amounts of polyphenols (50 milligrams per ½ cup). Red cabbage can arguably be even more effective in terms of delivering a higher concentration of antioxidant and detoxifying nutrients per ½ cup. Red cabbage contains high concentration of flavonoids known as anthocyanins (a very powerful antioxidant that is found in blueberries, Okinawan sweet potatoes, cherries, and other purple colored fruits and vegetables). In addition to having antioxidant qualities, anthocyanins are also an extremely effective anti-inflammatory.
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, cabbage juice has been used for centuries to treat stomach ulcers. Recent evidence suggests that cabbage can contribute to overall health of intestinal lining and stomach by regulating bacterial population, reducing inflammation, and regulating bowl movement.
In addition to antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, cabbage also contains an impressive concentration of glucosinolates.
Glucosinolates are organic compounds that contain sulfur and nitrogen. Yes, glucosinolates are the reason why your house starts smelling “sulfurey” when you cook your favorite cabbage dishes. Glucosinolates are converted to isothiocyanate compounds which in turn can be very effective in prevention of a number of colorectal cancers.
Different varieties of cabbage contain different amounts of glucosinolates. Savoy cabbage, for instance, contains high concentrations of sinigrin, a glucosinolates that has received a lot of attention in recent years as a cancer prevention chemical.
Although the research on cancer prevention is still on going, adding at least one serving of cabbage to your daily consumption of vegetables can prove to be beneficial for your weight loss and overall health.
Choosing the Perfect Head:
When choosing your cabbage, make sure that the head is firm, bruise free, and has bright, crispy, colorful leaves.
Avoid buying precut cabbage. Once the cabbage is cut it begins to lose some of the essential vitamins and minerals. If you have to store some of the cabbage (that you precut) you should try to use it within a couple of days.
Keep your cabbage cold by placing it in the refrigerator or in a cellar. This will help keep your cabbage fresher longer as well as slow down the breakdown of vitamin C.
Green, Red, and White cabbage will usually keep for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator, while Savoy cabbage should be consumed within a week, and Bok Choy within a few days.
According to some scientists, steaming the cabbage promotes better release of nutrient. Although that might be true, we find that steaming cabbage turns it into an awful mess and produces less than appetizing aromas. We recommend that you sauté, pickle, of consume your cabbage raw. Additionally, you can add your cabbage to soups and stir fries.
Kushad MM, Brown AF, Kurilich AC, et al. Variation of glucosinolates in vegetable crops of Brassica oleracea. J Agric Food Chem 1999 Apr;47(4):1541-8. 1999. PMID:13320.
Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away and some of you might be biting your nails trying to figure out how to cut the calories, fats, and sugar out of the traditional meal without sacrificing flavor, color, texture and general appeal of your dishes. Although it is nearly impossible to make every traditional Thanksgiving dish light, here are a few recipes and tips that’ll help you and your family cut the unnecessary decadence without making your dinner bland.
I try to cook using as little fat as possible which is why I invested in some incredible nonstick pans. If you don’t have a good nonstick pan, do not worry. The recipes below have measures of olive oil that are labeled “optional”. Those “optional” measures of olive oil are for those who don’t have access to a set of good nonstick pans.
If you are watching your sodium intake, you can cut the salt ratio in half for the dishes that are using lemon juice and lemon zest. Chances are you won’t miss it much. However, I would not alter the turkey brine.
If you absolutely have to use something sweet in one of your recipes, try honey or agave syrup. If your recipes call for candied nuts, try substituting toasted nuts lightly coated in honey instead or omit the honey all together. 🙂
Succulent Turkey Breast:
Thanksgiving wouldn’t be the same without the star of every dinner—the turkey. Here is my fabulously simple recipe for the most delicious and moist turkey you’ll ever eat! I have to put a disclaimer here, give yourself at least 24 hours after the turkey is fully defrosted to properly prepare and treat the bird.
6lb turkey breast
15g of Salt
3 Lemons (juiced)
¼ cup Soy Sauce
1tsp Chili Powder
1 Tangerine Orange
1 Bunch of Lemon Thyme
2 Rosemary Sprigs
Wash and clean the turkey breast. Take care not to cut or puncture the skin. Set the bird on a wire rack of a regular roasting pan to drain. In the meantime, combine water, salt, and lemon juice and stir until the salt is completely dissolved. Fill a marinade injector with the brine. Find a few places on the breast that do not have skin and inject the brine. Usually, one 30 ml injector full of brine is enough for a 6 lb. turkey breast. Discard the leftover brine.
Combine soy sauce and chili powder. Mix well. Using a basting brush, brush the soy sauce mixture on your turkey. Set the turkey in the refrigerator, uncovered for 12-24 hours.
After the turkey spent at least 12 hours in the refrigerator, preheat your oven to 325 °F. Stuff the cavity of your turkey with rosemary sprigs, thyme, and a halved tangerine. Cook your turkey uncovered for 2.5 hours or until the meat thermometer reads 170 degrees. You shouldn’t have to baste or treat your bird in any other way. The skin is going to be golden brown and the inside extremely juicy. After the turkey is done, cover the bird with foil and let it rest for 10-20 minutes before serving.
12 slices of Whole Wheat Bread
1 tbsp olive oil + ½ tbsp. for cooking the veggies (optional)
½ tsp of salt
1 tbsp Italian Seasoning
½ tsp Sage
½ Sweet Onion (diced)
3 Celery sticks (diced)
½ cup Fresh Cranberries (whole)
2 cups Baby Bella Mushrooms (diced)
¼ cup Dried Cranberries
2 cups of Chicken Broth
Preheat the oven to 325 °F. Cut the bread into ½ inch squares and set aside. In a large bowl combine olive oil, salt, Italian seasoning, sage, and the bread. With your hands, gently toss the bread in the mixture until all cubes are evenly coated. Place the bread on a cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the croutons are crispy. Allow to cool, pulse in a blender or a kitchen processor until the bread is about pea sized.
In a nonstick pan combine diced onion, celery and mushrooms. Cook until the mixture has reduced by about a quarter or until the mushrooms are gold and onions are lightly caramelized. Add the Chicken Broth and bring it to a gentle boil, add in the cranberries, wait until the broth mixture is boiling again and add in the bread. Stir gently to incorporate all of the ingredients, turn of the heat and let the mixture rest for a minute or two before serving.
1 lb. of Green Beans (cleaned)
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 garlic cloves (minced)
1/4 tsp sea salt (optional)
½ tsp olive oil (optional)
Freshly ground pepper
Combine green beans, lemon juice, pepper (optional), salt (optional), and minced garlic. Cook stirring occasionally until green beans are tender. Garnish with lemon zest and serve.
Roasted Acorn Squash
1 Acorn Squash (cleaned and cut into wedges)
1 tbsp olive oil
1tbsp rosemary (minced)
1tbsp Chives (minced)
Zest of ½ Lemon
Preheat the oven to 325 °F. Wash, clean, and cut the squash into wedges. In a small bowl combine the oil, rosemary, chives, and lemon zest. Arrange your squash wedges in a baking dish and brush them with the herb mixture, add salt. Bake for 30 minutes or until tender.
Since the Holiday season is almost here, I figured I’d start posting some travel friendly workouts. This week we will explorer an AMRAP workout. AMRAP stands for As Many Reps As Possible in a given amount of time. For this workout, you’ll need to complete as many reps as possible for 20 minutes of the exercises listed on the workout graphic. You may stop as needed, but remember, you only have 20 minutes to complete this. The shorter the breaks the more reps you’ll be able to squeeze in.