Given Dan’s dental surgery yesterday we had our usual green smoothie for breakfast. When we first starting drinking green smoothies I always used spinach because I was “afraid” that kale would result in a bitter smoothie that Dan wouldn't drink. I don’t know whether our taste buds have adjusted to the kale or it isn’t bitter but either way the kale smoothies don’t taste bitter to us.
Did you see this article about the impact of exercising before eating breakfast? In the article it discusses the impact of nutrion on health and I was surprised by how quickly an unhealthy diet can impact your health. Specifically the article said:
“A recent study by scientists in Australia found that after only three days, an extremely high-fat, high-calorie diet can lead to increased blood sugar and insulin resistance, potentially increasing the risk for Type 2 diabetes.”
I have read many studies about the impact of diet on health but a measurable difference in three days surprised even me.
A separate study feed participants an unhealthy high fat diet and had one group not exercise, another had breakfast then exercised and the third worked out on an empty study. Those that exercised before breakfast were best able to handle the unhealthy diet. This is not to suggest that I agree with eating an unhealthy diet only the idea of exercising on an empty stomach.
I am mention this because we have been going to the gym and exercising before breakfast and that seems to work well for us. Exercising on an empty stomach probably isn’t going to enhance our exercise performance but that doesn’t matter to us. We are exercising for fitness not to win any sort of competition. I hope you find the article as interesting as I did.
When do you like to exercise? Do you eat first or not?
I made a quick afternoon snack for myself to tide me over until the 3pm meal with my folks. I decided on a small bowl of marinated artichokes, topped with salsa and a few pumpkin seeds. This is one of my favorite snacks at the moment. Do you have any favorite snacks? I would love to know what they are since I am always looking for ideas. ;-)
Since I didn’t want Dan eating anything chunky yet I made him soup in the Vitamix.
I decided a curried cream of carrot soup in the Vitamix for a snack for Dan. Here is what I did:
Curried Cream of Carrot Soup for One
2 carrots, cut into chunks
¼ cup raw cashews
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon coriander seeds
¼ teaspoon black mustard seeds
black pepper, to taste (remember to be generous since the piperine in the black pepper makes the curcumin in the turmeric more bioavailable – meaning you absorb more of it)
water necessary to get a smooth soup (I used 10 tablespoons)
Toss everything in your Vitamix and process until smooth and hot, about 3 minutes.
Amount Per Serving
Calories - 208.13
Calories From Fat (45%) - 94.61
Total Fat - 11.31g
Saturated Fat - 1.96g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 120.42mg
Potassium - 717.05mg
Total Carbohydrates - 24.13g
Fiber - 5.93g
Sugar - 9.16g
Protein - 6.29g
This is a very simple soup that tastes better than the amount of time and effort it takes to prepare. Making quick soups is one of my favorite things to do with my Vitamix.
The mid-day meal with my parents was also something simple and pureed so that Dan could enjoy it too. I decided to make a simple smoky roasted red pepper and tomato soup. Here is what I did:
Smoky Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup
Serves 4 generously
64 ounces homemade canned tomatoes or 4 – 15 ounce cans of tomato, whole or diced (preferably no salt added)
1 cup raw cashews
6 roasted red peppers that have been peeled and seeded
3 carrots, scrubs and cut into rough chunks
6 cloves garlic, peeled
½ tablespoon smoked paprika
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Process everything in your Vitamix, you will need to do this in stages. As you process the soup pour in a soup pot. Simmer until the soup is hot and the flavors have married.
Amount Per Serving
Calories - 283.01
Calories From Fat (35%) - 99.08
Total Fat - 11.84g
Saturated Fat - 2.05g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 71.15mg
Potassium - 1698.99mg
Total Carbohydrates - 41.29g
Fiber - 11.39g
Sugar - 16.34g
Protein - 10.47g
Everyone enjoyed this soup today. It is always surprisingly to me when the omnivores and vegans in the extended family can agree on a dish.
I liked the lightly smoky background from the smoked paprika and the definite presence of the red pepper (roasted and smoked). My taller half (Dan) thought it needed more tomato flavor but that wasn’t where I was going. I guess it looked like tomato soup so that was what he expected to taste first.
Since Dan assured me he could eat a salad I made a small side salad to accompany the soup. I used mesclun greens, marinated artichokes (can I tell I love those?), marinated portabellas (to boost our immune systems) and roasted red pepper strips. For my parents there was a little drizzle of extra virgin olive oil on the salad. We thought the marinated veggies added more than enough flavor and juiciness to the greens.
I had someone ask where I buy my marinated artichokes saying they could only find them packed in oil. I have a few ideas for how to get around that. First check the Italian section in your grocery store and you may find marinated artichokes without oil. I can buy them at Wegman’s and Giant. If your store doesn’t carry them check the freezer section they usually carry frozen artichokes and those would work fine. If all you can find are the oil packed variety buy those and rinse them under hot water to remove most of the oil. It won’t get all of it but it will get most of it. I did this with ground meat for years to eliminate any excess fat on the exterior of the meat and it works very well but you need to use warm or hot water. Cold water makes the oil coagulate. I hope that helped.
We are actually experiencing a heat wave today. When we checked the weather channel at 5pm it was actually 37 degrees. It hasn’t been that warm in at least a week, maybe longer. Too bad I didn’t get a chance to enjoy it.
Speaking of enjoying I had to share this picture of our little baby with you. Isn’t Binky just precious when he is sleeping? There really isn’t much cuter than a sleeping fur baby. Too bad he can’t be that angelic when he is awake, LOL. Well he might be bad but we absolutely adore that little troublemaker.
Another comment or question I get often is about how nice it is that we have my parents for lunch/supper so often. This started a few years back when my mother was diagnosed with metabolic syndrome (pre-diabetic). I said I could show her how to eat that would keep her from progressing to a diabetic. Since my mother hates to cook she immediately took me up on the offer. Of course she has learned nothing about how to cook healthy. The only thing she has learned is that she doesn’t like my “healthy rabbit food” as she so lovingly calls it. Believe it or not she actually ate everything today but the mesclun greens. It is amazing how she always seems to leave behind the most nutritious part of the meal. *sigh*
Before you ask my mother did progress to a full blown diabetic and is on two oral medications now. She won’t listen to anything I have to say about health. If I had a dime for every time she pointed out that my undergrad and grad degrees are both in finance and not nutrition I would be rich. *rolls eyes* I am telling you this because recently I have gotten a lot of feedback from other ladies about how they have a difficult relationship with their mother. Let’s just say I can completely relate and I feel your pain. Things are never quite as they seem are they? ;-) Now you know another reason why health is so important to me. I don’t want to "grow up" to be my mother. *shivers*
Dan and I both had an orange, I had Brazil nuts which he didn’t have.
Dinner was more of the black bean soup, pureed for Dan and chunky for me. I gave Dan a huge bowl and I had a smaller one. He claims I am stuffing him so he doesn’t have room of soft serve. *rolls eyes* Men!
Surprisingly Dan is having very little pain from the wisdom teeth removal and no swelling. I can’t understand why this is so easy but I am very happy it is.
Saturday was a good day for us. Here are my happy thoughts:
• I am thrilled that Dan is doing so well in the aftermath of the procedure.
• The smoky red pepper and tomato soup turned out extremely well today and was quick. If I were making a smaller amount it would have been a Vitamix only soup and those are always the easiest. ;-)
• The weather is a tiny bit warmer here but that is still good. It is nice not to feel the cold so straight through you the minute you go outside.
• Christmas is starting to come together, slowly but surely. Now I am starting to look forward to New Years Eve.
We started our morning at Whole Foods in Mt. Washington to stock up on kale and other organic yummies. Then we came home for green smoothies. Sometimes we are too predictable.
Now it is time for me to figure out what I am making for the mid day meal with my parents that will work well for Dan too. It will be nice when I can make my usual food again. As quickly as Dan is recovering it won't be long until we are back to normal. Woo hoo!
I hope all of you are having a great weekend. Talk to you again soon.