Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Calcium- Who needs it? YOU.

I recently read an article in Natural Health magazine that I found very interesting. The article as a whole was about bone health, but the part I found interesting was about calcium. We have all been told our entire lives that if we want to get enough calcium in our diet to drink milk. Remember, “Milk, it does a body good.” Well, according to this article, that is just not so!

Milk can actually speed up bone loss. Dairy products spike acidity levels in our bloodstream and our body’s way of defense… releasing calcium from our bones. Interesting… so what are we supposed to do? Osteoporosis is a huge issue with women and if we aren’t building up calcium in our bones with milk, what should we eat? The answer: dark leafy greens such as kale and chard.

I will admit that until this past summer I had never cooked (okay, or seen) kale or chard… ever. I received my first CSA delivery in June and there in the box were two things I didn’t recognize. Fortunately for me, my CSA program sends recipes (with pictures) every week that correspond to the food delivered.

Here are some recipes that are packed with dark leafy greens and are DELICIOUS! They are vegetarian and have some cheese, but you can omit. Here’s to bone health! On a side note... the next blog is going to be about interval training. All you runners out there, the next one is for you!

1/2 cup pine nuts
2 cups firmly-packed fresh kale
2-3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. to 1/2 cup olive oil

Place pine nuts in a dry skillet, and toast, shaking occasionally, until golden brown, about 3 minutes.

Place kale in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add pine nuts, garlic and salt. Pulse until kale is finely chopped.

Add cheese, and pulse until cheese is incorporated. Do not puree or over process. The pesto should still be chunky.

Drizzle in olive oil, and continue to pulse until the pesto reaches the desired consistency.

**Add to Penne for a pesto pasta. Or add a different twist to your lasagna and use kale pesto instead of marinara sauce.

2 lbs Swiss Chard, washed & spun dry
4 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Spanish Onion, sliced
2 Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 Bunch Fresh Flat Leaf parsley, finely chopped to yield 1/8 cup
3 Large eggs
Salt & Pepper
3 tbs Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 Cup Bread Crumbs or Panko Crumbs

Preheat oven to 350

Heat olive oil in saucepan add onions, garlic, Swiss Chard and sauté. Remove from the heat once onions are translucent, and Swiss Chard has cooked down a bit. Approximately 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix eggs, season with salt and pepper, and Parmigiano-Reggiano, mix well.

Once Swiss Chard mixture has cooled. Add egg mixture and toss to combine.

Lightly grease a 9 inch round baking dish. Dust the bottom of the dish with 1/2 cup breadcrumbs or panko crumbs. Carefully place Swiss Chard mixture into the pan. Dust the top with breadcrumbs. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 1 hour serve hot or at room temperature.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ch, ch, ch changes!

Where does the time go? It is October (my favorite time of year), but I am not sure what happened to September. Time just seems to be flying by and I would like it to slow down just a little bit. Please.

Two kids take a lot of energy and time. God bless all of you that have more than two kids. You are either taking heavy drugs OR are complete Superwomen. Since having the lovely and adorable Hazel, I have had a few issues that I thought maybe some of you are experiencing. So let's discuss.

1) I am up at 5:45 every morning... not working out but tending to my 2 year old. If I wanted to work out in the morning, I would have to get up at 4AM and that is not happening. That doesn't even include a shower after the workout or actually blow drying my hair. By the time nap time rolls around, it takes all my will power to get up and run... or clean the dishes or unload the laundry or clean the bathroom. I realized yesterday, I haven't sat down for lunch in six months. I am pretty sure it is not good to eat standing up.

2) What the F happened to my body? I thought things were a bit out of sorts after one kid, but two... I would like my abs back please and maybe a tummy tuck. All those celebrities that are on the cover of Us Weekly and People posing in a bikini and proclaiming that they lost their baby weight in 6 weeks had tummy tucks after the C-Sections and workout seven days a week because they have nannies. Stop lying to us! Now that I am in my 30's, I have retired my bikini to better days.

3) I have to amend one of my blogs. I had stated that a person should be taking 10,000 steps per day. I calculated that to be around 2 miles (there are 5,280 feet in a mile…). WELL, I was wrong. Yes, you should be taking 10,000 steps a day, but that doesn’t equal 2 miles… in equals 5! That means we all should be walking 5 miles a day… shit.

Okay, now for my solutions.
1) Until my daughters start sleeping past the 6 o’clock hour, I am not working out in the morning. HOWEVER, I am now working out at other times during the day. In the past, I have always saved nap time for working out, but that cuts down on the time I have to do other things. As a solution, we recently joined our local YMCA. It is inexpensive and they will watch both girls in their kid’s playroom so I can work out. Now, it took me getting over the nerves of dropping my kids off and the guilt of leaving my kids with someone else during the day when I am a stay-at-home mom, but I got over it and now I LOVE it. I work out when I want and I still have nap time to do other things… like shower.

2) As stated earlier, I am never wearing a bikini again (much to the disappointment of Kyle) so there is no point in me worrying about how my abs look. The most important thing is that I am HEALTHY. When Drew is 3 and wants me to play soccer with her, I want to be able to do that. When Hazel is 16 and wants to hike Mt. Princeton, I want to be able to do that. When I go to sleep at night, I want to know that I treated my body the best I could that day… because that is the most important thing. I don’t want my girls thinking that it is okay for them to sit on the couch and eat ice cream every day. Nor do I want my girls to think that they are ugly because they don’t have the perfect body. Eating healthy, being active, and loving yourself is what is important. I want my girls to see a mom who loves herself, imperfections and all.

3) As far as the 10,000 steps… I am going to walk a little more, dance with Kyle a little more, and cut myself a break on the days when exhaustion takes over. You win some, you lose some.

Happy Fall! The leaves are changing… do you need a change, too? Now is the time to do it! Get up, be active, eat healthy, and love yourself! Enjoy the weather!