5 fast facts about the spinach
- March 26th is National Spinach Day!I
- In the 1930’s U.S. spinach growers credited Popeye with a 33% increase in domestic spinach consumption.
- Spinach is a native plant of ancient Persia (modern day Iran).
- China is the world's largest producer of spinach, with about 85% of global production.
- The creamy dish, Spinach Florentine, was named byCatherine De Medici, wife of France’sKing Henry II, who introduced the dish and called it Florentine in honor of her native country, Italy.
Why are spinach leaves never alone?
Because they come in bunches :)
- Spinach , raw or cooked ,provides over 100% of the body's daily need for Vitamin K, which is important for blood clotting and relieving symptoms of hemophilia.
- Spinach is an excellent source of folate, which helps prevent neural tube defects in babies. Folate also is needed for DNA production and cell division as well as preventing megaloblastic anemia.
- Spinach is an excellent source of iron, though it is not as readily available as animal sources of iron. For better absorption, pair with a Vitamin C-containing citrus fruit .
Kid Friendly Family Recipe: Creamy Parmesan Spinach Squares
- 20 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup fat-free milk
- 1 cup white whole-wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1½ cups (6 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Place chopped spinach in a colander. Squeeze out as much excess water in spinach as possible. Whisk together eggs and milk in a medium bowl. Add flour and baking powder to egg mixture. Stir to combine. Mix in cheeses and spinach. Transfer mixture to baking dish, spreading evenly.Bake for 35 minutes, or until firm and edges are golden brown. Let cool 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Looking for more great recipes? Give this awesome sweet potato chicken chili recipe a try.
Topics: Healthy Recipes
Running your first 5k, whether it is your first race ever or your first race in a long time, is a great goal. Races can be such a fun experience with other like-minded individuals there along with you and spectators cheering you on. The energy of a race is very inspiring and fun. Plus, many 5ks are raising funds for important causes.
A 5k is usually the first type of race for most since there are many 5k runs and walks available to choose from and it is one of the shortest you can do at 3.1 miles. It is short compared to a half marathon or full marathon, but it is not easy without training. It is important to prepare well for the race to help prevent injuries, make the experience more enjoyable and to get you to the finish.
Here are a few things to keep in mind for your first 5k.
Get good running shoes
The best part about running is that it doesn’t require any fancy equipment or memberships, you just need a pair of shoes and to start running. However, using just any old pair of shoes isn’t the best idea. Today’s running shoes are scientifically created to support your specific biomechanics to protect your body from the incessant pounding of running. A running store will have trained associates who can watch your gait, as well as the way your foot hits the ground, and then be able to suggest the best shoe for your foot and body. A good rule of thumb is to replace your shoes after 300-400 miles. The midsole materials can break down without other signs of wear on the exterior of the shoe, so don’t just go by how they look.
Follow a training plan
There are many training plans online and apps that will help find the right plan for you. My favorite app is Couch to 5k that will break down your running plan for the nine weeks prior to the race. It will tell you which days to run during the week and will break down each run into times to run and walk. When just starting out, you will alternate between running and walking. At first your time walking will be more than running. For example, walk for 4 minutes then run for 1 minute and repeat. Gradually you will increase your run time and reduce your walk time. It is best to make this transition slowly and a good plan should help with that. The plan will also list days to cross train or rest. Having the app right on your phone makes it easy to keep track of your training, but of course you can also find a similar training plan online and print it out if you prefer paper tracking.
Don't Run every day
The schedule should always include at least one rest day each week. Recovery time is important for anyone exercising regularly to allow your body to heal and take a break. Your rest day can be a day off completely from exercise or it can be more of an active rest where you do something like a restorative gentle yoga class or a light walk. Sleep is an important part of recovery as well. Make an effort to get 6-8 hours of sleep each night to support your training as well as your overall health.
Running outside should be part of your training. There are races throughout the year but most occur in the spring. This means many people are training for their 5k during the beginning of the year for that spring race. This time of year here in the Midwest we have some bitterly cold days and snowy days that may cause you to run to (and on) the treadmill. The treadmill can be used for part of your training, however, make a point to run outside for at least some of your runs. Don’t get me wrong, the treadmill isn’t the enemy, there are many benefits to running or walking on the treadmill. But running outside is where your race will be so you should be prepared for that terrain and the conditions you will experience outdoors. Also, running outside is a little more difficult than the treadmill since the treadmill does some of the work for you by feeding the belt to you. Running outside requires more muscle activation because your feet have to grab the ground to propel you and you may be running in different patterns, for example when moving side to side to pass people or hopping over curbs. If you are running on the treadmill, research suggests that setting the machine to a 1 percent grade more accurately simulates outdoor running at certain speeds.
Cross training is important to support the muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints that you use during your run and will help to prevent injuries. I would encourage a total body strength training routine for anyone, but it is an especially important part of a runner’s workout routine. For runners, at a minimum lower body moves with either weights and/or your body weight and core work should be part of your resistance training. When you run, your hamstrings bear most of the brunt of your stride and can tighten, which can lead your quadriceps to weaken. Your back may feel stressed if you don’t have a strong core. Yoga can also be beneficial for runners since it will lengthen your muscles and strengthen your core, among other benefits. Other cross training ideas such as cycling, swimming or stairclimbing will also help strengthen the muscles that don’t get as strong when you run. Cross training doesn’t just help to prevent injury, it will also make you a better runner and may even make running feel easier. You can find great group exercise classes at LivRite perfect for cross training or a personal trainer can also help you with a strength training routine to support your race goals.
Be Sure to warm up
Warm up prior to your run (or any workout). This is another important step that helps to ward off injuries. Brisk walking or dynamic stretching will increase your blood flow and help to loosen your muscles and joints. Save any static stretching (holding a stretch) until after your run.
And Cool Down
Cool down and stretch after every run. Stretching helps ease your tired muscles and prevents them from getting too tight. Excessive muscle tightness could possibly lead to pain, decreased range of motion or injury. When you stretch, do so gradually and hold the position for 15-20 seconds. Do not bounce and never force the stretch past the point of comfort.
Have fun and make a goal
Running is a great way to stay fit. It can also be a great way to meet friends or to have time by yourself and a way to relieve stress. Having a goal of finishing a 5k will help push you through the days when running feels very hard and appreciating the days when it seems easier. By training smart, sticking with your training and completing your goal, you will know you can achieve anything you set out to do.
“Running isn’t about winning or losing, it’s neither about glory or achievement, it’s all about not quitting.”
Mark Twain once quipped that he spent a large sum of money to trace his family tree and then spent twice as much trying to keep his ancestry secret!
Can anyone relate to Mr. Twain? Would you like to keep some if not all your ancestry a secret? Well, good luck with that!
I thought I would just come out swinging this month by suggesting that if any of your parents or siblings get on your nerves, it may be because you see some of yourself in them. Just keeping it real.
When I get aggravated with them, I wonder how often I act the same way. If I recognize a similar behavior or attitude in me, I freak out a little. Why? Because if your spouse starts a sentence with “you are just like your…(fill in the relative), it is usually negative. By the way, it is never, I mean ever, a safe discussion.
Guys, if you want a very lively and animated conversation with your sweetheart and find the couch comfortable, the next time she does or says something you find irritating which also makes you think of her mother, tell her!
Obviously, we are like our family in many ways. For most of us, we have spent more time with family than anyone else. Over many years, a part of them has been poured into us. Our relatives are a gigantic mirror for us but I only want to reflect the good character qualities. That is a tricky proposition given that we are all deeply flawed and when we are with family, we get AND GIVE it all, both good and bad. No one has had more influence into our lives than family.
And here is a sobering thought: you are the average sum of the company you keep. The real question is: do you lower or raise the average in your family?
I love my father. He is now in his 80’s and when I consider the entirety of my dad and his life, in some ways I hope I am like him and in other ways I hope I am not. The same can be said of my mom, siblings and just about every close relationship. My guess is you feel the same way.
It softens my heart when I hear children say that they want to grow up to be like their dad, or mom or that they want to marry mommy or daddy. For most of us, at one time in our lives mom and dad were our heroes. To become a good man, husband and father, if all I had to do was trust my dad completely in all areas of life and then just model him in everything I do, life would be much simpler. If parents were always perfect role models, families would be so much stronger. Yet, this is impossible as we are all deeply flawed.
God knows our hearts. He knows the heart of every member of your family. He knows who has been hurtful and who has been hurt. He knows how our family has passed on both helpful and harmful heritage. He knows which families build you up and which tear you down.
The Lord said, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you.” (Jeremiah 1:5)
Because He knows us so well, God provides a perfect model, built on His love and grace toward us. Though it is true that I do not want to be exactly like my parents, I do, however, want to be exactly like my Heavenly Father. He is a good Father. When we accept His Son Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we become sons and daughters of God.
Then something amazing happens: “And because we are His children, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts prompting us to call out “Abba, Father.” (Galatians 4:6)
The Spirit of Jesus in us! Changing our hearts to begin to see God as our Heavenly Father. He is the One Who gently and lovingly transforms us into His image so that we reflect His character. This happens supernaturally as we spend time with Him, in His Word and prayer. Talking to Him and listening. He enjoys time with us. He is never too busy. He is always available and He cares about everything in our lives.
All we need to do is trust Him.
Tell Him about the pain family has caused or the pain you have caused in your family. Then allow Him to be the Father He desires to be to you. Spend time with Him. If you do, I promise you, you will raise the average, relatively speaking.
It’s February, the month of St. Valentine! This month, especially, many of us take extra time to show our families, significant others, friends, and even pets how much they mean to us. But there’s one very important person that you may forget needs little extra love…
Did you ever think treat yourself this month, too? By treating, I mean taking care of yourself and spending time on your personal health. When life gets busy, oftentimes one of the first things that falls by the wayside is personal health. This month, I challenge you to love YOU! One way to take care of yourself is to fill your body with nourishing foods so you feel your best and have energy to achieve your goals!
This month’s seminar topic is “Label Love.” The key to nourishing your body is getting the facts on what you are consuming by reading the Nutrition Facts label.
The Nutrition Facts label has just gotten a makeover and it’s important to know what’s what. Here is a quick guide for deciphering the nutrition label:
- Start with the Serving Size. On the new label, this serving represents the amount of food typically consumed in one sitting, not necessarily the recommended amount to consume at once. The numbers on the label are representative of the nutrients in that serving, or amount of food.
- Check out the Calories. This number tells you how much energy you will consume based on the serving size.
- Caution the Nutrients to Limit. Look for lower numbers on saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, and sugar. The new label has a section specifically for added sugars, which is a handy tool. Saturated/trans fats and sugar should both be under 10% of daily total calories according to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
- Encourage Nutrients to Increase. Dietary fiber, unsaturated fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated), vitamins, and minerals are all nutrients you should aim to increase for a healthful diet.
- Use the % Daily Value as your Guide. As a quick reference, 5% is considered low and 20% is considered high. For example, 25% DV of Fiber means that one serving of that product provides an excellent source of fiber; a quarter of your recommended daily fiber needs.
For more insights and tips on reading food labels, come to a FREE Nutrition Seminar at 6 PM on Tuesday Feb 4th or Tuesday Feb 25th at LivRite Fishers.
Happy New Year! Every start of the year feels like a new beginning ripe with possibility of change. Even if you don’t typically make resolutions, the New Year can be a fresh start for all of the things you want to achieve.
The most common resolutions have to do with health and fitness and most of them fail. So how can you successfully make healthier changes starting in this New Year?
1. Don’t make a resolution!
According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, only 46% of people who made New Year’s resolutions were successful. That means over half of the people who set a goal for the new year will fail! Other sources say that over 80% of people don’t achieve their resolutions and stop trying by mid-February.
It’s not all or nothing. New Year’s resolutions have a way of making you feel like you need to go full-force on a goal or you may as well not do it at all. A better way to set yourself up for success might be to think of it as a goal or a new habit you are going to work toward rather than a resolution. Something smaller and more specific than a typical resolution has better chances of being completed. Instead of resolving to “lose weight”, set a goal of losing 5 pounds in the next two months. Instead of resolving to “be healthier”, set a goal to eat at least one vegetable with every meal. Instead of resolving to “go to the gym everyday”, set a goal to go to a specific exercise class twice a week.
Taking on too much all at once can be daunting. It can be particularly difficult because establishing new behavioral patterns takes time. Focusing your efforts on one specific goal makes keeping a resolution much more achievable.
2. Why do you want to make this change?
The reason why you are making any change should be because YOU want the result. Making changes to our nutrition and exercising more (or at all) takes a lot of self-discipline and without your own intrinsic desire to eat more vegetables and take that group exercise class, you will probably go back to what you were doing last year as soon as a stressful situation hits. If you are trying to lose weight or get healthier because your doctor or spouse or someone else told you that you should, you most likely won’t keep up your new healthier habits.
Really think about why you want to make this change. Do you want to get off of medication for high blood pressure? Do you want to have more energy to be able to play with your kids? Make sure it is something meaningful to you. Whatever the reason, post it everywhere. Write it down. Remember it when your motivation lags. Because you will not always be motivated! Especially when everyone stops talking about resolutions in February and March and it is cold and dreary outside, you will probably have less motivation. This is when the people who made resolutions fail. But not you! You are making new habits and you know why. You must have the discipline to keep up with your healthier habits. The good news about self-discipline is that it can be made stronger like a muscle. The more things you achieve using your own willpower, the more self-discipline you will have in the future. It is easier to be disciplined when you know why you are making these new habits and are passionate about that reason.
I talked for years about wanting to be able to run. I had asthma when I was younger which made running difficult. I walked the mile in gym class. I was scared to push myself to try and run. It was hard and uncomfortable. I typically didn’t do things that didn’t come easily to me. I started to run a few times and then quit each time it got too difficult. I never got to the point where I could run a mile without walking. Then one year I decided I needed to prove to myself that I could follow through with something that seemed impossible to me. I had my why. I wanted to show myself I could achieve something that did not come easily. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. Once I had that why, I pushed through the discomfort (mentally and physically!) and after a few months was finally able to run a mile without stopping. Six months later I ran a 5k (3.1 miles). I had to remind myself of my why many times. There were so many days I didn’t want to go out there and run and walk. But I knew I wanted to show myself that I don’t give up when things get hard. I remembered my why and was disciplined to go out anyway even when I didn’t want to. I’m so glad I did.
3. Small Steps
Think about the things you'd like to achieve this year. Be realistic. If you think of a large goal, like running a marathon or losing 100 pounds, think of the milestones along the way. If you are not currently running regularly, a marathon is a huge task to undertake. A first goal could be to train for a 5k, the next step would be a 10k and then a few more steps until a marathon. Breaking down a large goal this way not only better prepares you, it gives you wins along the journey that should be celebrated and will keep you motivated.
If you have weight to lose, break it down into manageable goals and keep them realistic. Everyone is different, but in general, a good rule of thumb is to lose one pound a week. Don’t set yourself up for failure with an unrealistic goal. For example, if you want to lose 20 pounds in a month, you may not achieve that goal and then will be frustrated and may not continue with your weight loss journey. That’s a lofty target. Start with a goal of losing five pounds a month and be proud each time you reach that monthly objective. Before you know it, 20 pounds will be lost.
Research shows goals are reached more often if the progress is measured in some way. Track your progress on a calendar or in an app. MyFitnessPal is a great app to track your food intake and weight.
Be sure to take time to review your progress at certain points. If you have a monthly goal, check your progress weekly to see where you are and if any changes need to be made. The more frequent the check in the better.
5. Know Yourself
Everyone is unique so the steps we each take to reach our own goals can be very different. Don’t force yourself to do something a certain way because it worked for someone else. If your friend lost 10 pounds by taking a Zumba class twice a week but you hate dancing, don’t make yourself go to Zumba. If you hate it, you most likely won’t stick with it. Find a workout you do enjoy. It may take some trial and error but taking the time to nail down what you don’t absolutely hate doing will help you keep more exercise in your life.
Are you a person that can have just a little bite of a chocolate cake or do you eat the whole giant piece just because it is in the same room as you? Typically people fall into one camp or the other, either you can’t have the food anywhere around you or you will overindulge or you have to have just a little bit once and awhile or you will go nuts wanting it. Know yourself so if you are hoping to lose weight you know if you need to clear your house of all the junk food or you need to keep a little bit of dark chocolate around because you will eat too much if you feel like you are being denied.
Keep your goals for the New Year manageable, measurable and tailored just for you. Change is hard. A healthier lifestyle should be a permanent change for the rest of your life. There will be ups and downs, setbacks and difficult times. There are no failures, start back right away when you experience a setback. Don’t give up on your goal, remember why you want these healthier habits and be disciplined. You can do this!
Topics: LivRite News