November is Sweet Potato Awareness Month! Oftentimes, this vegetable gets lost in the shadows=of another round, orange beauty (see October’s blog post about the Pumpkin!).
Both sweet potatoes and pumpkins are an ample source of Vitamin A, providing over the daily recommended value in one serving!
This vitamin is a vital component in normal vision. It also plays a role in the immune system, reproduction, and proper functioning of the heart, lungs, and kidneys.
Okay, spotlight back on our sweet potato.
5 fast facts about the sweet potato
- November is Sweet Potato Awareness Month!
- Sweet potato is a vine that grows horizontally on the ground. It can reach 6-12" in height and 1-6' in length.
- Depending on the variety, the flesh of sweet potatoes may be white, yellow, orange, red, pink or purple-colored. More intensely colored varieties of sweet potato have sweeter taste.
- Juice extracted from sweet potatoes is used to produce hundreds of dyes (shades from purple to black) when combined with lime juice. These dyes are used in textile industry.
- Many people think yams and sweet potatoes are the same, but yams are just one of the many varieties of sweet potatoes!
What do you call a complimentary carb?
A sweet potato
- Manganese is abundant in sweet potatoes, assisting with glucose metabolism and bone formation.
- Sweet potatoes are high in many B-Vitamins, including pantothenic acid, which may help lower risk for hyperlipidemia, due to this vitamin’s role in lipoprotein metabolism.
- Copper, an essential mineral found in high amounts in sweet potatoes, aids in energy metabolism, iron absorption, immune function, and brain development.
One cup of baked sweet potato provides a quarter of daily fiber recommendations, which promotes digestion and satiation, in turn, promoting weight loss.
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure. Research suggests that high potassium intake is linked to a decreased mortality risk.
Kid Friendly Sweet Potato Fries
Roasted Sweet Potato Fries
- 1 large sweet potato (leave skin on for more fiber, potassium, and quercetin!)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons desired spices (Garlic powder, ground black pepper, paprika, and cumin)
Preheat the oven to 425 F. Rinse the potato well and cut into thin strips. In a large bowl or mix together the spices and olive oil. Toss in the potatoes and coat with spice mixture (you could also do this in a large plastic bag). Spread potatoes out on a large
baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until brown and crisp on the bottom, about 20 minutes, then flip and cook until the other side is crispy, about 15 minutes.
Looking for more great sweet potato recipes? Give this awesome sweet potato chicken chili recipe a try.
Topics: Healthy Recipes
Sweet Potato White Chicken Chili
Serving: 1bowl (no garnish) | Calories: 310 kcal | Carbohydrates: 30 g | Protein: 34 g | Sodium: 430 mg
Things I love about this recipe:
- Very Filling (all that fiber from those beans and sweet potatoes!)
- Extremely nutritious
- Even more flavorful
- Super simple, low skill-level
- Short prep time
- Small number of ingredients, budget-friendly
- One-pot meal
- Family seal of approval
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Servings: ~10 people
Calories: 310 kcal
First, dig out your Crock-Pot. (If you don’t have one, get out a large stock pot.) After that, it’s pretty much dump the ingredients and go!
- 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 3-4 diced tomatillos (or 16 oz tomatillo salsa)
- 1 lg. sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1- 32 oz. container low sodium chicken broth
- 1- 4 oz. can diced green chiles
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1- 1.25 oz. package of white chicken chili seasoning mix
- 2- 16 oz. cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 2- 15.5 oz. cans navy beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 tsp. Garlic powder
- 1 tsp. cumin
- salt and pepper, to taste
Garnish suggestions: cilantro, avocado, low-fat Mexican cheese, plain Greek yogurt, finely chopped onion, green onions.
- Add chicken breasts to bottom of your slow cooker and top with the diced tomatillos (or salsa). Then add in all of the remaining ingredients (except garnish ideas) and gently stir.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours or on HIGH for 4 hours.
- Remove the chicken and transfer to large mixing bowl, shred, then return to slow cooker. (Or you can shred in your slow cooker; it should be tender enough that it just falls apart when you stir!).
- Stir and add pepper to taste if desired. Serve in a bowl, add optional garnishes, and enjoy!
- Feel free to add more veggies as desired. Pro-tip: Mushrooms make an awesome addition!
- If you’re vegetarian, make using vegetable broth and tofu
- Can’t find white chili seasoning mix? Try this: Mix together 2 tsp. cumin, ½ tsp. paprika, ½ tsp. chili powder, ½ tsp. oregano, ½ tsp. coriander, ½ tsp. cayenne, salt and pepper to taste.
(Recipe adapted from: https://krollskorner.com/recipes/slow-cooker-green-and-white-chicken-chili/ )
Topics: Healthy Recipes
New-car-smell (NCS) is intoxicating. Auto makers have developed a scent so powerful that a husband should never shop for a car without the permission and presence of his wife. That aroma causes an “autoimmune” disease that, in some men, causes them to abandon reason and responsibility! Ladies, it is not our fault. Someone should sue the makers of NCS!
To be fair, who doesn’t like “new”? Something new is fresh and full of promise. When my son Eli was born, I remember smelling his hair and skin. Ah, a new baby. New-baby-smell is also intoxicating and even more powerful than NCS. A wife should not get a whiff of someone’s new baby without the permission and presence of her husband.
Sadly, that new car smell fades quickly. You get your first scratch and door ding within the first six months. The car gets dirty inside and out and needs a lot of work to maintain the illusion of new. That baby is keeping you awake at night. The first jaw dropping, vomit inducing diaper hits your senses like a mace attack. In a blink of an eye, the little angel is now a demanding, boundary-pushing army of one.
The new LivRite Fitness is opening in Fishers. I got a sneak peak at the facility and it is nothing short of awesome! It is the first ever new build for LivRite. In addition to all new state of the art fitness equipment, the exterior and interior building design is new, fresh and amazing. From floor to ceiling, everything has been done with excellence, complete with new fitness club smell!
And just like that new car, the equipment will begin to age and require maintenance. As time marches on, members will become blind to the beautiful interior design. There will be carpet rip here, a floor stain there and eventually the parking lot will need to be repaved. Nothing is new more than a day and nothing on this earth lasts forever.
But this is where the real LivRite story begins!
What remains new every day at LivRite is the culture of caring for its members; both body and soul. It is their pursuit of that which is of eternal significance for both you and your family that drew me to LivRite in June of 2018.
Yes, LivRite wants to help you live in good health and fitness, to live right in how you take care of your body. They also want to help you live with health in your soul, which is your mind, will and emotions.
LivRite helps with your physical health by providing you the best exercise, fitness and nutritional resources. They help with your soul-health by pointing you to Jesus because God is the only source of anything that is new every day which includes the culture of LivRite Fitness.
Lamentations 3:21-23 says, “This I recall to my mind. Therefore I have hope. The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”
Every single morning, God’s love, compassion and kindness toward you is fresh and new - a new supply of His grace which is something you cannot earn. It is His gift to you. God desires to satisfy our souls with joy when we turn to Him.
Psalm 90:14 explains it this way: “O satisfy us in the morning with Your lovingkindness, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.”
LivRite works hard to help you live in good health. This is the only body you will ever have in this life and we must do all within our power to protect it because without good health, it is difficult to enjoy life.
John Maxwell puts it like this: “You can escape from a lot of things that might hurt you…But you can’t get away from your own body…Think about how hard it is to be positive, concentrate or pray when you have a toothache.”
When your mind is troubled or you struggle with making good decisions or your emotions are controlling you, it is possible to give the hopeless feelings to Jesus so that they do not overpower you.
I want to encourage you to remain committed to getting and staying physically fit. More importantly, I want to encourage you to spend time with Jesus every day because He is the One Who brings health to your soul.
I love this verse from Hebrews: “…Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith.”
You build physical running endurance by spending time with cardio equipment. You build soul endurance by spending time with Jesus. As Jesus refreshes you and builds your faith, your faith will lead your soul and you will live right.
“I can’t cut back on sugar this week because my friend’s birthday is Friday and I want to have cake! I’ll start Monday.”
“I can’t join the gym now because I don’t have time to commit to workouts every day. I’ll think about it when this project at work ends and I have more time.”
“I was working out three times a week, but I missed two weeks so I might as well not start again.”
“I can’t start eating healthy now, the holidays are almost here and there’s no way I’ll keep it up then so what’s the point?”
Any of these sound familiar? When contemplating any kind of change we typically think the change has to be abrupt, hardcore, tough rules and all or nothing. That it has to be a perfect plan, followed to perfection. I have good news, it doesn’t!
Merriam-Webster defines perfect as “being entirely without fault or defect” , “satisfying all requirements” and “corresponding to an ideal standard or abstract concept”. We humans are not without sin and are full of flaws which means we cannot meet this definition of perfect. Perfection is a potentially destructive goal. If you are striving for perfect in all you do you may fail to enjoy the ride, or even small achievements in your life.
It may keep you from pursuing things you want in life. Psychology Today says perfectionism is, “A fast and enduring track to unhappiness, it is often accompanied by depression and eating disorders.” They add, “Perfection, of course is an abstraction, an impossibility in reality, and striving for it can lead to procrastination, a tendency to avoid challenges, rigid thinking and a lack of creativity.” Perfection is impossible! But still so many of us fall victim to striving for it.
Vince Lombardi said, “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”
Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Or as Voltaire said, “The best is the enemy of the good.” If you are not willing to start until everything is perfect or until you think you can be perfect in meeting your goal, you are never going to start. When looking to improve your health, so many have the “The diet starts on Monday” mentality where you have to 100% be eating healthfully with no exception.
This type of thinking will keep you where you are in terms of health and fitness. If you don’t change, nothing changes. But it doesn’t have to be a complete overhaul overnight never to deviate from your idea of the “perfect” diet and exercise plan. Small changes to your eating habits and exercise routine count. Eating healthy meals on most days of the week is better than never eating healthier meals. Getting a workout in two days a week is way better than not working out at all. Don’t let the idea of perfection keep you from creating a healthier lifestyle. It’s not all or nothing.
Progress, not perfection!
If beginning an exercise routine is your goal, you may be worried about sticking with such a big time commitment. Any exercise is good. Even if you get just one walk in a week to start, that counts. If you make it to the gym twice a week, that counts. If you miss a week, come back the next. That’s ok! It doesn’t have to be a “perfect” workout regime. There is no such thing! Plus, starting with smaller goals is a great way to build to a sustainable healthier lifestyle.
Salvador Dali said, “Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it.”
Focus on your progress, on your journey to adding more exercise in your life. Because it is something that should be done for life, not just thirty days or the few months before spring break. Taking care of your body is a lifelong commitment.
There are always going to be things that come up to disrupt your well laid plans for your workouts or healthy meal plan. Be prepared for those times and ready to hop right back on track again.
There is no failure when it comes to your health and wellness. Use any setback as a learning tool. It can help you better prepare for the next bump in the road.
Strive for excellence, but allow for imperfection.
Sometimes the goal we have in mind can seem so overwhelming, we don’t start because we think we will fail. Or we don’t know what steps to take to get there. To be successful, focus on the small steps that will lead to the big goal. Have a goal of running a marathon but you have never run a mile? Start with a goal of run/walking one mile three times a week.
Once you have achieved that goal, you can start moving toward the next win on your journey to running that marathon. Otherwise, you may get discouraged while training for your huge goal of running 26.2 miles straight.
Create benchmarks along the way and be proud of accomplishing each one. Not sure where to start? A personal trainer can help you set these smaller goals to achieve on the way to your overall fitness goal.
“It's not about perfect. It's about effort. And when you bring that effort every single day, that's where transformation happens. That's how change occurs.” - Jillian Michaels
Focusing on perfection will lead to a motivation crash the second something goes a little south. Knowing that health and fitness is a lifelong journey, not something that you are either on or you are off or pass or fail, will help you recover from any setbacks. Embrace the wins along the way when things are going well and use those wins to fuel you when you hit a road block.
If you do fall short of a goal, reflect on what happened and use it as a learning experience to help you along moving forward. It’s all part of the journey.
“Perfection is impossible; just strive to do your best.” -Angela Watson
Looking for perfection can hold you back in other ways as well. For example, I have started writing this post about ten times now. I write a few lines, delete some lines, then save it and come back and reread what I’ve written and delete some more and start again.
When talking with a client about my next blog post I told her that I was having trouble feeling satisfied with what I had written. As I explained that I didn’t want to submit it because I thought the post wasn’t good enough, a lightbulb went off and I realized I can keep writing and rewriting but it is never going to be perfect.
I’ll always find something that I want to come back and change, have grammatical errors, or feel like I didn’t get my point across as I had hoped. I can’t let my perfectionist ways keep me from finishing (or starting) a project or blog post or new workout plan. It may never be what I would deem perfect, but I hope that I, and others, benefit from what I have accomplished.
“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” – John Steinbeck
We are human, we are imperfect, we are unique. There will always be things that sway you from your path to your target. Being flexible, focusing on the process and celebrating your progress will help you overcome obstacles, because you know there will be ups and downs.
The path to success isn’t a straight line. Celebrate your successes along the way and don’t let perfectionism keep you off the path to your goal.
5 fast facts about the pumpkin
- Pumpkins are members of the Cucurbita family, including squash and cucumbers.
- 80% of the US pumpkin supply is available in October.
- The largest pumpkin in history weighed 1,140 pounds!
- Jack-o-Lanterns originated from a Celtic celebration called Samhain, meaning “Summer’s End.” It was believed that passed souls were closest to contact and carved gourds would be set out as both a beacon to deceased loved ones and to ward off evil spirits.
- The pumpkin seeds are also edible and contain additional health benefits! Just 1-oz. of roasted seeds is an excellent source of fiber, zinc, and magnesium. Both zinc and magnesium play a vital role in the nervous system and DNA synthesis.
What do you use to mend a broken jack-o-lantern?
A pumpkin patch!
- 1 cup of pureed pumpkin provides over 2x the daily recommendation Vitamin A! It is crucial to vision/eye health and also aids in immune function, skin and bone formation, and red blood cell formation.
- Pumpkins are packed with Vitamin K, which helps in blood clotting and building strong bones
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Recipe:
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
After you carve pumpkins, save your seeds for a delicious and healthy recipe.
- 1 cup fresh pumpkin seeds (from 1 medium pumpkin), rinsed and patted dry
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 2-3 tsp desired seasonings (such as paprika and garlic, or cinnamon and nutmeg)
To separate seeds from pumpkin “guts”, place in a large bowl of water; seeds will float to the top. Skim and pat dry. Heat oven to 300° F. Spread the seeds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake until dry throughout, 50 to 60 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 350° F. In a large bowl, toss the seeds with the oil and desired spices. Return the seeds to the baking sheet and toast, tossing occasionally, until golden brown. Let cool 10 -15 minutes. Enjoy!
Topics: Healthy Recipes