Physical Funness for the Motion Starved

Fit more fun into your fitness while exploring the outdoors.


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“Fitness Bread?”

Yummy brick of bread

Yummy brick of bread

Yep, there’s some stuff called Fitness Bread. A German company named Mestemacher makes it. I’ve been eating fitness bread for years but only recently thought to share it with you. Guess that makes me selfish. Sorry.

Basically, Fitness Bread is a pre-sliced, vacuum packaged, super dense brick of bread made from all natural/whole grains and packs a slew of healthy (and filling) ingredients including rye, oat kernels and wheat germ.  Wheat germ, for those of you that aren’t familiar, is very high in protein and contains more potassium and iron than any other food source.  Great for maintaining energy levels, Fitness Bread is also a source for vitamins A, B1 and B3.  All very good stuff.

The dirt: While Fitness Bread, is yummy it’s not the kind of bread you can make a sandwich with (in my experience). Since it’s made entirely of whole grains it’s very crumbly and strangely chewy. The best way to enjoy this bread is; toasted, slathered with nut butter, jam, honey, apple and/or banana slices is my recco. It’s also  good spread with a soft/mild cheese and pear slices.

Each slice of Mestemacher Fitness Bread contains: 120-calories/1g fat/24g carb/6g fiber/1g sugar/4g protein.

If you haven’t already done so, check this bread out. Let me know what you think.

P.s. You can buy this product by the case on amazon.com, which I find amusing but unnecessary as it’s sold in most grocery stores here in CA. You can also buy the same bread under different names. Trader Joes even has a similar version.

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Super ch-ch-ch Chia

Chia, not just for fun anymore

Hopefully this is not new news to you, if it is, you may think I’ve gone completely off my rocker. Today’s topic is Chia Seeds. Yep, those seeds you grew on the ceramic figurines when you were a kid. We all had them. Right?

Now a days, eating chia seeds is very much in fashion. Apparently chia seeds rival the ever-popular flax seeds with their nutritional content and health benefits adding them to the list of “superfoods.”

Here’s the lowdown on Chia Seeds

  • First, I should admit that the seeds we’re meant to eat are not the same seeds you grow on ceramic figures.
  • Chia seeds are a nutty tasting whole grain, extremely high in dietary fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • A 1-oz. serving of raw chia seeds contain about 9g of fat, 4g of protein, 11g fiber and 137 calories. The recommended daily dose of chia is 1 oz per day.
  • Chia seeds expand up to 9 times their size in your stomach helping you to feel full faster. Think about that for a second!
  • Whole chia seeds can be added to salads, smoothies and cereal, or where ever you’d use nuts or seeds. Ground chia is used in baking; however remember the daily dosage requirement. I noticed when looking at recipes for muffins that most “chia” baking only includes about a tablespoon of seeds for a recipe that makes 12 servings. If you only get a couple of seeds in a muffin it kind of defeats the purpose.

There’s tons of info out there on the benefits of eating chia. Do some Googling or watch this short video if you want more. As far as I’m concerned, this is enough to get me to try adding some chia to my diet.

P.s. You can buy chia seeds at your local health food store and on-line.


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Watercress, really?

Watercress

I find it amusing that things that have been around forever, all the sudden become popular. Like they were just discovered or something.

Watercress is one of the oldest known leaf vegetables consumed by human beings. Strangely, it seems to be the current “wow look at this” item of discussion.  The reason: watercress is one of the five vegetables highest in nutrient content per calorie. It’s believed that getting the most nutrients in the fewest calories, is the recipe for disease prevention, reversal, and permanent weight loss. It seems kind of obvious but maybe not something we think about on a daily basis?

With that, I decided to find out what the deal is with watercress. I learned quite a few things, here is what I found the most interesting:

  • The Basics — Watercress can often be found in the wild, in and around streams and cool running water. It is a member of the mustard family, has small, crisp, dark green leaves. Its pungent flavor is slightly bitter and has a peppery snap. Choose crisp leaves with deep, vibrant color. Store it in the frig.
  • Yo’ eyes — Watercress contains among other things, Lutien in very high levels. Lutein acts like sunscreen for the eyes (that’s kind of cool, since regular sunscreen burns when you get it in your eyes).
  • Energy & Metabolism — A generous dose of iodine is found in watercress. Iodine helps make the thyroid hormones that regulate your metabolism.
  • Water weight — Watercress is 93% water, and provides some protein (veggies containing protein are a bonus!).
  • More than you think — Watercress has more calcium than milk, more vitamin C than an orange and more absorbable iron than spinach (that’s impressive).
  • The list goes on — Basically watercress is loaded with everything your body needs to live longer and live better. It’s full of, many nutrients with antioxidant effects, and phytochemicals including different carotenoids. If you’d like the complete nutritional lowdown you’ll find it here.

That should be enough info to get you started. The next time you see watercress in the market, pick up a bunch and give it a try. It’s all the rage!

P.s. The other veggies highest in nutrient to calorie ratio are kale, collard, mustard and turnip greens.
P.s.s. Check here for some pretty yummy sounding watercress recipes.


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Quinoa?

Hella Yum!

Years ago my cycling coach suggested that I try quinoa as I wasn’t getting enough protein in my diet. At the time I had no idea what the hell quinoa was, and since I thought the guy was kind of a jerk, I ignored his advise (forget the fact that I was paying him a shitload of money to tell me things I didn’t like, silly me!).

So, what is quinoa? Quinoa is an amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked. Kind of a light, fluffy rice like thing. It’s yummy and it’s super high in protein and fiber.

I hate to admit it but it’s been until now, 5 years later that I’ve finally given quinoa a try. Guess what, it’s damn good! With that I share the following recipe. You won’t be disappointed so make the effort to give it a try.

Mexican Quinoa with Black Beans and Avocado

Ingredients:  (4 servings)

1 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
2 tbsp coconut oil, divided
1 large white onion
10 medium button or Crimini mushrooms, diced
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1-pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 small avocados, peeled and diced
2 tbsp lime juice (or more to taste)
salt to taste

Instructions:

Start by cooking quinoa in either a rice cooker or on the stove top. Add 1-cup dry quinoa (rinsed) to 1.75 cups of water, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until cooked. Add 1 tbsp coconut oil to the quinoa pot for extra flavor!

Meanwhile, dice the onions and mushrooms and cook over medium heat until lightly browned, and all moisture has cooked out of the mushrooms.

Once the quinoa has finished cooking, add fluffed quinoa and black beans to the pan with mushrooms and onions, and stir to combine and heat through.

Add 2 tbsp lime juice (or more to taste), and reduce heat to low.

Stir in sliced cherry or grape tomatoes and avocado, and season to taste with salt.

Serve with tortilla chips and a dollop of Greek yogurt, and enjoy!

With the double dose of black beans and quinoa, this dish packs a huge nutritional punch of making a complete protein.  Perfect for vegetarians and vegans, but tasty and simple enough to make anyone clean their plate.

P.s. I found this recipe on Daily Garnish, check it out, she’s got some smart ideas.


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The yoke of the matter

Photo via, Lam-B on Flickr

What came first, the chicken or the egg?

I forgot that Easter was coming till I saw the food section of the SF Chronicle on Sunday. It didn’t mention Easter but it spoke of eggs, that’s what clued me in. For me Easter is about eating chocolate, decorating and then eating hardboiled eggs. Who has time for church with all the eating that needs to be done on Easter (blame it on my upbringing if that offends you)?

Anyway… I’ve always had a hard time with eggs. My grandmother once asked me if I liked eggs and I replied, “yea, when they’re in a cake.” More recently I’ve managed to grow a marginal fondness for eggs although I can never seem to figure out how to cook them correctly.  With that I decided to look into the matter.

Stuff I learned about eggs and chickens today.

Who knew? — Each breed of chicken has a specific earlobe color, which predicts the color of the eggshell.  Really? That’s just weird!

Dark is better — The color of the yoke is determined by what the chicken eats. Yoke color can range from light yellow to dark yellow/orange. The darker the yoke, the more nutrients in the chickens diet.

Green? — Ever notice a green or ashy ring around the yoke of a hardboiled egg? The ring forms when you overheat the egg.

Yuck, blood in the yoke — Many people believe that a blood speck in an egg means that it’s fertile. This however is not the case. A deficiency in the chickens diet can cause small blood spots in the yoke, which are unsightly but safe to eat. You can remove the speck using the tip of a knife.

Rotten egg  — Rotten eggs smell like sulfur. If it smells rotten it is rotten.  Also, rotten eggs will float when placed in pot of water, fresh eggs will sink and stay on the bottom.

How to boil an egg — This is where things get confusing, and frankly incredibly annoying. Apparently everybody has a different idea of how to boil an egg.  The Chronicle listed 4 different methods, all just slightly different.  Honestly!

The tips that seem to be somewhat consistent are, place the eggs (room temp eggs best) in a pot of enough cold water to cover them 1-2 inches. Bring to a vigorous bubble, but not rolling boil. Remove from heat, cover and let sit. The “sit” time is confusing, I’ve read, 8 – 15 minutes (maybe it depends on how “hard” you want your egg to be boiled?).  Then place eggs in an ice bath for easy pealing.

The count — One large chicken egg contains about 70 calories and 6 grams of protein. One large Reese’s peanut butter egg contains 180 calories, 4 grams of protein and is 53% fat. Yikes! Better stick with the chicken eggs.

I hope you learned something. I did but I’m still a little confused.


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Egg me

Best source o’ protein

You already know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day (you do know that right?). Did you also know, current studies show that you should eat 25- 30 grams of protein for breakfast? Protein first thing in the morning not only will jump start your metabolism, it’s more filling and takes longer to digest, so in theory, you’ll eat less as the day goes on.

Here are my suggestions for some mighty fine high protein breakfasts.

Oatmeal – 1 cup only has 6 grams of protein but it’s full of fiber. You’ll need to add some nuts and milk to get closer to your 30 grams.

Brick of dough – if you are not willing to give up that bagel remember the average bagel has about 350 calories and 13 grams of protein. Replace the cream cheese and top with cottage cheese. It’s not that bad! Toss some tomato slices on top for color. (I’m talkin’ to you Mike!)

Greek yogurt – add low fat granola and fresh berries. Try blue berries and raspberries that way you get two of your daily colors taken care of.

Breakfast Burrito – Whole-wheat tortilla, 2 eggs, veggies of choice (remember your colors!), a bit of cheese and salsa. Yum!

Protein FYI’a

  • 1-cup milk 8 grams protein
  • ½ cup low fat cottage cheese is 16 grams
  • 1 cup non fat yogurt 13 grams
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt 20 grams
  • 1 egg 6 grams
  • 1 oz cheddar cheese 7 grams
  • ½ cup tofu 10 grams
  • ½ cup most beans 7.5 grams
  • 6 grams per 1-cup soymilk
  • 14 walnut halves 4 grams for
  • 20 Almonds 6 grams
  • 2 tbsp Peanut Butter 8 grams

Don’t forget to have some fiber with your protein to keep it moving along its path. You know how I feel about that.