Hide the Spinach

Sometimes it’s not the foods our kids (and husbands) won’t eat, it’s the way they are prepared.  For instance, most people steam brussel sprouts. Yuck!  You can’t get most people to buy in to them this way.  Try roasting them with olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and orange peel. DELICIOUS!  The same goes for asparagus.  Steamed, not so liked.  Grilled or roasted it takes on an entirely different flavor, and texture, that will get more wins and empty plates.

I find that the best way to make sure that my family gets enough vegetables is to hide them in a fruity flavored smoothie.  Sometimes I sneak a few too many veggies in there and I am busted.  Sometimes I hit a home run like with this limey flavored smoothie.

“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Hide the Spinach, An Antioxidant Smoothie

Printable Version

Ingredients

  • 1 orange peeled
  • 2 kiwi peeled
  • 1 banana
  • 1 lime wedge
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 squeeze agave

Instructions

  • Put all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Wait to see if anyone detects your secret ingredient. I bet that they can’t

Breville Juicer and Vitamix


“Instead of being oppressed by the Tyranny of the OR, highly visionary companies liberate themselves with the Genius of the AND – the ability to embrace both extremes of a number of dimensions at the same time. Instead of choosing between A or B, they figure out a way to have both A AND B.” Success Built to Last,  Jim Collins
 

Having posted a lot of smoothie recipes I get asked what type of juicer I own and my answer is, it depends on what you want to do and what your tastes are.  In my case, I like delicious fruit smoothies (and these are an easier sell to the 9 year old boy) AND I like smooth fresh vegetable juice.  To have both you need different equipment.  If you want to choose between brands, like Vitamix OR Ninja then the Tyranny of the OR applies.  You do not need two machines that do the same thing.  On a side note, spend the money and get the Vitamix.  If you want smoothies AND smooth juices without pulp then Embrace the Genius of the AND and purchase both a blender and a juicer.

VITAMIX OR AND BREVILLE

Vitamix



Creates smooth, thick, recipes that depending on the ingredients, may be chewy

Best uses: soft fruit such as:
    bananas
    mangoes
    citrus
    berries
    greens
recipes that add ice or liquid
recipes that add a liquid sweetener such as agave
 
Not the best for: hard fruit and vegetables such as:
    carrots
    apples
    beets
    ginger
The powerful motor in the Vitamix will certainly handle the above items, but it makes a chewy juice that will be a difficult sell to young ones.

 


 

Breville Juicer

Creates pulp free smooth juices
Best uses: hard fruits and vegetables such as:
    apples
    carrots
    celery
    ginger
    greens
 
Not the best for: soft fruit and vegetables such as:
    bananas
    mangoes
juice that adds ice to the recipe
juice that adds sweetener to the recipe
 
When shopping for a machine remember that you do get what you pay for.  I highly recommend both the Vitamix (I have the 6300) and Breville (I own the Juice Fountain Elite).  The quality of juice and smoothies is not only better, care and maintenance are much easier with these machines.  This is super important for saving time and enjoying the experience.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Indoor Cardio; Speed Intervals

Do you know which one is me?

“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.”  ~Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

I am going to share a secret with you…. I don’t enjoy running.  I wake up with the same dreadful feeling towards running as most people do.  The only difference is that I remind myself of how fantastic I feel after running and get up and do it.

Nothing compares to the exhilarating feeling of getting outdoors for a run.  The worse the weather, the more empowering it feels to be out there doing it.  When it’s raining out it reminds me of my college days when, on rainy days in East Lansing, during marching band practice we would yell out “it’s snowing in Ann Arbor”. I still do that sometimes when I am out running in bad weather, but my most common battle cry is “we’re doing it”!  It reminds me and my hubby that we are out doing what most made an excuse not to do.

This winter has been too brutal for even us diehards and we have resorted to many more dreadmill runs than we would like.  To keep it interesting I prefer to do interval training.  The same pattern in this workout can be used for any cardio exercise: bike, elliptical, running.  This workout is one that you should work casually towards.  Replace 1 minute segments with 20 or 30 second segments until you build up the endurance.  You can also increase speed by 1/2 mph increments instead of 1 mph increments and build up from there.

Printable Version

30 Minute Run – LT’s Speed Intervals
Time
Tempo
Comments
5 min.
Casual run         (I start at 6 mph or a 10 min. mile)
This should be a comfortable pace.  You are jogging, but you can breathe easily through your nose.
2 min.
Increase speed 1 mph
This is Pace B
2 min.
Starting pace
Recover
2 min.
Pace B
 
1 min.
Increase speed 1 mph
This is Pace C
2 min.
Pace B
 
2 min.
Starting pace
 
2 min.
Pace B
 
1 min.
Pace C
 
1 min.
Increase speed 1 mph
This is Pace D
1 min.
Pace C
 
2 min.
Pace B
 
2 min.
Starting Pace
 
1 min
Pace B
 
1 min
Pace C
 
1 min
Pace D
 
2 min
Starting Pace
 
Cool down at a comfortable pace and then stretch

Day 4 Losing 6 Pounds in 2 Weeks

One of the best time savers I have found is cooking once to eat many times.  Sometimes this means
making a gigantic pot of spaghetti sauce and portioning it out in tupperware to stow away in the freezer for many pasta nights to come.  Sometimes this means making simple dishes that can be spruced up or combined to make new exciting future meals in a snap.

This week I made polenta and roasted asparagus as
side dishes and later combined them into an entree that I could brown bag to work.  What are your favorite leftover foods?

Printable Version

Ingredients

  • polenta – 1 box
  • 1/3 c. grated romano cheese
  • water – according to polenta directions
  • asparagus
  • compari tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • habanero powder (substitute cayenne pepper if you cannot find)
  • lemon wedge
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Instructions

  • heat oven to 400
  • trim and clean asparagus
  • put in a roasting dish, drizzle with olive oil, then salt and pepper to taste and squeeze the fresh lemon over it
  • roast for 20 minutes
  • While the asparagus is roasting, prepare the polenta according to the package (usually boil water, add polenta, remove from heat for 5 minutes)
  • stir in grated cheese and a dash of habanero powder
  • cut tomatoes into wedges
  • saute in olive oil just until warm (you can shortcut and just microwave for 30-60 seconds)
  • cut the asparagus into 1-2″ pieces.
  • dish out polenta into serving bowls, top with tomatoes and asparagus, and drizzle with olive oil. Top with fresh black pepper and serve

Sustenance – fuel

Breakfast -irish oatmeal with granola
Snack -6 dried apricots
Snack – Fage Greek yogurt
Lunch –Cheesy Polenta with Tomatoes and Roasted Asparagus
Snack – Green Apple
Snack – dried fruit              
Dinner -Garden Salad                 

Sweat – exercise

30 minutes treadmill

Sip – hydration

16 ounces water
16 ounces coffee (bad)

Slumber – sleep

8 hours, well rested

Day 2 – Losing 6 Pounds In 2 Weeks

Feeling good after day 1.  Celebrating the small successes help motivate you to stay the course.
There are two possible outcomes: if the result confirms the hypothesis, then you’ve made a measurement. If the result is contrary to the hypothesis, then you’ve made a discovery“. ~ Enrico Fermi
Here are my measurements for Day 2 of my 14 day weight loss journey using the 4 Keys to Successful Weight Management

DAY 2

Sustenance – fuel

Breakfast -1 Greek yogurt, Fage 0% peach
Snack -2 chocolate chip cookies (I gave blood. They were my reward ?)
Lunch –mujadara (2 cup serving)
Snack -veggie sticks (2 cups carrots, celery, cucumbers)
Dinner -1 slice Hungry Howie’s cheese pizza
Snack -2 pieces dark chocolate

Sweat – exercise

30 minutes running (speed intervals)

30 Minute Run – LT’s Speed Intervals
Time
Tempo
Comments
5 min.
Casual run         (I start at 6 mph or a 10 min. mile)
This should be a comfortable pace.  You are jogging, but you can breathe easily through your nose.
2 min.
Increase speed 1 mph
This is Pace B
2 min.
Starting pace
Recover
2 min.
Pace B
 
1 min.
Increase speed 1 mph
This is Pace C
2 min.
Pace B
 
2 min.
Starting pace
 
2 min.
Pace B
 
1 min.
Pace C
 
1 min.
Increase speed 1 mph
This is Pace D
1 min.
Pace C
 
2 min.
Pace B
 
2 min.
Starting Pace
 
1 min
Pace B
 
1 min
Pace C
 
1 min
Pace D
 
2 min
Starting Pace
 
Cool down at a comfortable pace and then stretch

Sip – hydration

16  ounces green tea
8    ounces water
16 ounces coffee (bad)

Slumber – sleep

8 hours, pretty sound

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