Asparagus... the vegetable that sounds like Aloysius Snuffleupagus (Big Bird's imaginary friend on Sesame Street), and was even the given name of "Gus", the theatre cat in the musical Cats, is one of the most nutritionally balanced foods in existence. A member of the lily family, asparagus is high in folic acid and a good source of potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, vitamins A and C, and thiamin. It also contains no fat or cholesterol and is low in sodium and calories (20 calories for approximately 5 spears). Enjoy asparagus with meat, fish, or poultry, as well as in pasta, salad, or egg dishes. Try the one below as a starter.
Source: Michigan Asparagus Board
Orange and Asparagus Salad
Quick and colorful, this salad appeals to kids and adults.
2 cups cut-up fresh or frozen asparagus
1 (6-ounce) bag spring or European lettuce mix
1 (11-ounce) can mandarin orange sections, well drained
1/³ cup thinly sliced red onion
¼ cup honey roasted cashews
½ cup raspberry vinaigrette dressing
Steam or microwave asparagus until tender-crisp. Drain and
let cool. Combine cooked asparagus, lettuce, oranges, onion
and cashews. Pour dressing over all. Toss to evenly coat. Serve
Makes 6 servings
Ever wonder why your urine smells different after you've eaten asparagus? Read this http://dsc.discovery.com/guides/skinny-on/asparagus.html to find out!
Yours in health,
For those of you who like to throw numbers around, here are some statistics you can use to impress your friends. This intervention reduces:
- Arthritic knee pain and disability by 47%
- The progression of dementia and Alzheimer's disease by 50%
- The progression of diabetes by 58%
- Anxiety by 48%
- Depression by 30%
- Risk of death by 23%
- And is the #1 treatment of fatigue!
If you're still not sure what this intervention is, watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUaInS6HIGo&feature=player_embedded&vendorID=304. Even if you think you know, watch it anyway. It's quite entertaining!
Yours in health,
DON'T FORGET -- THIS SUNDAY, APRIL 1ST FROM 1-4 PM -
"WOMEN'S INTERACTIVE HEALTH FAIR"
CONGREGATION B'NAI TORAH
225 BOSTON POST ROAD (RT. 20 EAST)
FREE ADMISSION! COME AND BRING A FRIEND!
The March newsletter contains a valuable article, "Reduce Pain Caused by Daily Activities" which describes how sitting, standing, and even sleeping can cause pain and dysfunction in the body, and outlines some great strategies for reducing pain. (Tennis balls are easy to obtain and inexpensive!) I frequently see the effects of prolonged sitting/computer use, in particular, in my classes. People come in with sore necks and low backs, rounded shoulders, tight calves, etc.
As many of you know, I attempt to structure workouts to provide the most benefit with the least amount of pain. That's why I've stopped doing crunches and other exercises which just exacerbate many of the problems people are experiencing. As an example, check out this video of Leslee Bender demonstrating a couple of her moves that I use regularly in my Pilates classes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTzrpdnJ0k0. If you've been to class recently, you know how effective these moves are! Not only that, but everyone in the class has been able to perform them successfully without straining their necks and backs!
I'm also always looking for new ways to help my students/clients get out of pain. In fact, on March 3rd, I'll be taking a six-hour training to become a Yoga Tune Up Therapy Ball Practitioner. The skills I learn will help me to help YOU live better in your body, PAIN FREE!
Yours in health,
SAVE THE DATE!!
"WOMEN'S INTERACTIVE HEALTH & WELLNESS FAIR"
SUNDAY, APRIL 1ST - 1-4 PM
CONGREGATION B'NAI TORAH, 225 BOSTON POST RD. (RT. 20 E), SUDBURY, MA
FREE ADMISSION! DOOR PRIZES! HEALTHY SNACKS!
MORE DETAILS WILL BE AVAILABLE SOON IN MY CLASSES/EVENTS LISTING.
Sometimes I run across a recipe that I just have to try. If I'm lucky, it turns out to be wonderful and worthy of sharing. Some of you may be familiar with Ellie Deaner. Ellie is a local cook who runs classes and seminars, has written multiple cookbooks, and puts out a monthly e-newsletter.
Her most recent newsletter contained such a recipe -- "Barley Salad with Feta and Dried Cranberries". This is really yummy, sticks to your ribs, and is healthy! Seconds, anyone?
Barley Salad with Feta and Dried Cranberries
2 C water
1 C barley
1/2 C dried cranberries
1/2 C crumbled feta cheese
15 oz can chickpeas, drained
1 C cherry tomatoes, halved
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded and dried
1/3 C fresh parsley, chopped
2 T olive oil
1/4 C balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil and then add the barley. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for about 24 to 26 minutes, or until barley is tender. Let stand, covered, for 5 additional minutes. Remove cover and fluff barley with a fork a few times, until it cools. In a large bowl, combine the cranberries, feta, chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumber and parsley. Toss well. Toss in cooled barley and drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.
Hint: For maximum flavor, make this at least a few hours before serving and refrigerate. To serve, bring to room temperature.
Give this a try and let me know what you think!
Yours in health,
Happy New Year! How many of you have made resolutions for the coming year? How many of those resolutions are the same ones you made last year? Losing weight, getting in shape, and eating more healthfully are common goals that go hand in hand. Attendance in group fitness classes (and gym attendance in general) typically skyrockets in January. Sadly, by mid-to-late February, numbers are back to normal.
It's important to think about what's happening in those weeks to cause people to quit or give up. Are they bored? Trying a new class or a different piece of equipment can breathe new life into your fitness program. Impatient? It takes time to see results. Usually, you will notice subtle changes in how you feel (ease of movement, less pain, more strength) before visible transformations occur. Injured? Many people take on too much all at once as though they're trying to make up for lost time. Listen to your body and pay attention to its wisdom! Make sure you schedule a rest day or two into your week. And of course, don't forget to stretch! Just not ready to commit? Unfortunately, there's not much we instructors/trainers can do about this. Motivation to make lifestyle changes needs to come from within.
So, how can YOU be more successful at reaching your fitness and wellness goals? You can start by breaking down broad goals into more manageable components. For example, let's say your goal is to adopt a more heathful diet.
Begin by keeping a Food Diary for a few days. Write down EVERYTHING you eat, including portion sizes/amounts when possible. By examining a written record of what you've actually eaten, it should be easy to spot problem areas. OK - you notice from your log that except for breakfast, you're drinking soda at every meal, as well as at other times during the day. Your short-term goal could be to substitute water for soda. Making just one positive change to your diet will go a long way toward helping you reach your ultimate goal.
Let me know how I can help you set and reach your goals. Here's to your success in 2012!
Yours in health,