A blog about nothing.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

GO BREADLESS

Chances are you're familiar with the phenomenon called the open-faced sandwich and have probably enjoyed a few yourself. An open sandwich is usually a slice of fresh bread with different spreads, butter, liver pate, cheese spreads, cold cuts or sausages like bratwurst. But if you enjoy these calorie bombs for lunch you'll likely wind up needing an afternoon nap. In fact, if you enjoy the combination of bread and animal products at any hour of the day the result could be disastrous to your health. Okay, okay, moderation is best in most things, but if you agree with the increasing number of experts who link animal foods with more diseases than smoking, it's best to take tremendous care about what you put in your mouth. Plants are best, and the less processed the better.

And so...sandwich lovers out there, and this includes us, we'd like to propose a variation on the open sandwich which will leave you filled with energy and replete with nutrients. And even better, it's easy to make, involving only 2 ingredients.

Take a sweet pepper of your choice (red, yellow, orange or green) cut in half and deseed. Then slice open an avocado, and fill each half of the pepper with 1/4's worth of this savory fruit. We prefer to use 2 peppers and a whole avocado. Dijon mustard and/or jalapeno peppers make great garnishes and help to replace sodium losses that occur if you've worked out earlier in the day.

This delicious, nutritious delight can be enjoyed either as a lunch or as a snack between meals. At just 310 calories, it provides 20% or more of 14 major vitamins and minerals, in addition to 16 grams of fiber. And the monounsaturated fat present in avocados will keep you satisfied but not satiated till dinner. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

"LITE" IT UP


It goes without saying that of all the disciplines running is the most natural, convenient, and enjoyable. The evidence of the senses would seem to support this assertion. Just watch kids run through the park or playground and hear their squeals of delight.

The tendency among new runners is to run as often and as much as possible, and even seasoned veterans can overdo it, courting injury. Better to emphasize quality of miles over quantity. Include the following workouts, which we call LITE training, to ensure you get the most out of your next race.

1. LONG RUN
Once a week, run the distance of your goal race, or if you are training for a marathon, run at least 75% of this distance, or 20 miles. This can be divided into two shorter runs. Long runs strengthen your legs and teach them how to efficiently use glycogen, which helps you avoid the so-called "wall" late in the race.

2. INTERVALS
Also called sprints, repeats, and fartleks, intervals are shorter distances (100 meters up to a mile) that encourage faster turnover and speedier times, helping to develop that kick that you'll need at the end of a race.

3. TEMPO RUN
A tempo run is done at goal race pace. For a 10k (6.2) miles try running at race pace for half the distance (5k, or about 3 miles). If you're training for a half marathon do a tempo run of 6 to 10 miles. Marathon tempo runs can be done at distances of up to 13.1 miles, or simply sign-up for a half marathon a month before your event. Tempo runs give your legs an idea of what will be expected of them come race day.

4. EXTRAS
Extras include two-a-day runs, hills, cross-training (swimming and biking), weight training, stretching, massage, etc. Extras add variety to the training regimen which staves off boredom and keeps things fresh. By including these workouts into your weekly training regimen you can ensure that your next race is your best yet.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

MASH IT UP

Baby food is not just for babies. Anyone who loves mashed potatoes knows this. In fact, pureed foods can be easier to digest, since blenders do the work of your teeth and often do it better, but unfortunately pureed foods often come mixed with oils and fats and laden with salts and flavorings.

For dinner, try this:

3 sweet potatoes
2 tbsp. flaxseed
1 head of cauliflower
1 can black beans
1/2 avocado
1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Wash and dice the sweet potatoes in 1-inch cubes, leaving the skin on. Cut the cauliflower into florets. Bring 6 cups of water to a rapid boil. Add the potatoes and boil uncovered for 7 minutes. Then add the cauliflower and boil for an additional 7-10 minutes, depending on preferred softness. Then strain and add to a food processor or Vitamix with the flaxseeds, avocado, black beans, and nutritional yeast and blend until smooth. Season to taste. Top with fresh tomatoes and onions for added kick.

This variation on mashed potatoes makes four 350-calorie servings. It is loaded with fiber (22 grams per serving) and most major vitamins and minerals. You can use it as a dip with carrots or other raw veggies, load it into a lettuce leaf for a nifty wrap, or eat it directly from the bowl with a big spoon. The avocado and flax provide just the right amount of fat so you won't in the least bit miss the cream, butter, and oil.

Monday, August 5, 2013

QUICK FIX

If you've read our book, THE PARADIGM DIET, you'll know the focus is on plant foods, particularly greens (and other vegetables), beans, seeds, and sweets (fruit). Including all four of these maximally-nutritious foods in one meal is easy and delicious. Start with these ingredients:

4 cups water

1 cup red lentils (bean)

1 cup quinoa (seed)

1 cup zucchini (green)

1 cup tomatoes (sweet)

Add the water, the lentils, and the quinoa to a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook an additional 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. By this time it should be a porridge.

Remove from stove, transfer to bowl and add fresh tomatoes and/or avocado. Season to taste. This serves four and has about 250 calories per serving. You can increase the quantity by doubling the ingredients and storing leftovers in the fridge, where they will keep for several days, though it's so delicious you'll probably eat them for tomorrow's lunch, as we did.

Hairy chest optional.