Body Reboost Salad

I don’t know about you but I had a wonderful holiday week.  Actually, it is going to continue a bit this weekend with a little New Year’s celebration.

Admittedly, I overindulged.  I knew what I was doing and I was okay with it at the time.  Generally speaking, I eat very well.  I enjoy eating healthy but also enjoy a little sweetness in my daily routine.  However, I ate a lot and I ate a lot of some not so healthy foods last week.  It was fun.  But now I feel a bit puffy and sluggish.

Nothing feels better after a little overindulging, than to get back on the healthy bandwagon.  One thing that is great for your body and belly is beans.  Beans are a powerhouse of nutritional goodness.

When we walked in the door from a week away, we had very few things in the refrigerator or cupboard.  However, anytime I got to the grocery store and they have a sale on canned goods, I stock up.  Mary loves chili and I love that she is a fan of beans.

I quickly went to town making this “salad.”  I knew she would gobble it up. I also knew that it would fill the rest of us up and leave our bellies feeling a little better.  One thing that happens when I eat a bit differently than normal is that I get horrible heart burn.  Giving your belly a little “reboost” can help to reset your body.

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This recipe is super simple and likely already in your kitchen.  Here are a few benefits of this fun “salad.”

Black beans: are packed full of fiber, potassium, Vitamin B6 and folate.  They are low in cholesterol and heart healthy.

Garbanzo beans:  are high in fiber, protein, magnesium, potassium, and iron.  They are low in fat and calories and again are really great for your heart healthy lifestyle.

Kidney beans: are high in protein, fiber, iron, potassium, maganese, Vitamin B1, and folate.

Corn: is also high in fiber, and a wonderful antioxidant.  Antioxidants help repair damage from cancer causing agents in our bodies.  Chemicals in this vegetable also help improve vision.

Red onions: continue on our healthy eating plan by packing in calcium, folate, thiamine, potassium, magnesium, and Vitamins C, K  and B6.

Our bodies rely on a variety of these minerals and vitamins.  Getting an abundance helps to ensure that we keep our bodies functioning and healthy.

So how do we make this super simple salad?  

Ingredients:

1 can black beans, drained

1 can garbanzo beans, drained

1 can red kidney beans, drained

1 can sweet corn, drained

1 small red onion, chopped

1 tablespoon EVOO

Salt and pepper to taste

Balsamic vinegar (optional)

Directions:

Drain all of the canned vegetables and rinse in a colander.  Chop the red onion and add all ingredients to a bowl.  Toss with EVOO.  Add a little salt and pepper to taste.  You can also add a little balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar to give a little kick.

I love adding this on top of my green salads.  It also tastes delicious with a little salsa and a dash of cheese.  This is a great one to make a big batch and add to other dishes throughout the week.

Avoid The Detox

The other day I was working at the fitness desk of the gym and admiring an awesome class that was going on.  The class is lead by a really fun instructor and despite the fact that I can’t hear what is happening, I can tell by how the trainer is working, that everyone is having a blast.  This particular class is a choreographed weight lifting session set to music.

A couple who I have noticed come in and lift frequently, stood and watched for a moment.  The woman stated that they couldn’t handle that class.  I smiled and said that I was almost certain they could do this class.  They lift all of the time!

“No.  Right now we are doing a serious detox diet and we both have zero energy.  We couldn’t even lift tonight.  It’s like we are in a fog.”  The husband pointed out that this is an amazing diet where they drink shakes every 2-3 hours for a week or two before Christmas.    But the downside is that they are foggy and exhausted right now.

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As a health coach, I am generally against detox diets.  This situation was an excellent example.  I’d like to share a few reasons why I feel detoxes should be avoided:

Any pursuit to improve your health should be a step towards permanent change:  When we do a detox, we are looking for a quick fix.  “Detoxes” and other diets are a way to rapidly lose weight.  However, once the detox or diet is over, and you go back to your normal every day ways, how do you continue to keep the weight off?  This is where yo-yo diets and weight fluctuations occur.  The best step to good health is a lifestyle plan.  When we aim to eat healthy and be active every day, we are making a step towards living well every day.

Losing weight shouldn’t make you feel like you are living in a fog or down right miserable.  The fact that these regular exercisers couldn’t get through their workout and acknowledged that they wouldn’t be able to get through a class is a major bummer.  Getting healthy and even losing weight should include a regular exercise plan.  Exercise increases our metabolism and is the best way to keep our hearts and bodies healthy.  Regular exercisers are less likely to have diabetes or cardiovascular disease.  Exercise is also essential for improving diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

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Food should be enjoyed in moderation.  Taking food off of the table is not a good way to learn how to live a healthy lifestyle.  It is important to focus on eating a well rounded diet.  Using the MyPlate Guidelines is a great way to ensure that you are getting enough essential nutrients in your diet.

Did you know that the USDA no longer uses the Food Pyramid?  To make things easier we now follow the MyPlate guidelines.  Check out their website to get customized information for you!

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A healthy “diet” should give you energy.  Have you ever gained a few pounds and worked to lose it?  Did you notice that as you started to lose weight and get healthier, you began to sleep better, wake better, and feel better in general?  When we lose weight and get healthy in a proper manner, you should notice positive changes throughout the course.  Getting healthy should feel good.

When we detox we lose more than just weight.  Food is delicious.  It serves a wonderful part of our lives on a social level.  It also has a very important role for our bodies.  Not only is it the fuel that drives us, but it also contains essential vitamins and minerals.  No one food contains every single thing we need.  This is why we need to eat a variety of veggies, fruits, meat, and even dairy.  When we eliminate certain foods from our diet we have to be very careful to ensure that we are still getting these essential nutrients.  This is why vegetarians need to carefully construct their diets.  If you eliminate meat products from your diet, you need to make sure you are still eating necessary proteins, etc.

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Therefore, it is very difficult to find a “detox” that is still ensuring you are getting all of these necessary nutrients.  All of these vitamins and minerals seem very small but they form a powerful combination that keep our brains, hearts, and muscles functioning.  When we miss out on these, we are doing our bodies a serious disservice.

Long story short, the healthiest way to lose weight is a lifestyle change.  It doesn’t need to be drastic.  Small changes add up to make large impacts.  If you are not sure where to start look for help from a nutritionist, dietician, or health coach.  

What is your best kept secret for staying healthy?

How About Some Inspiration To Get You Going?

It’s cold, it’s dark, you ate your weight in holiday food, and you know you should go run but you lack the motivation.  How about some running inspiration kick in the pants?  Below are some of my favorite reads and flicks that get my blood pumping and keep my feet pounding the pavement.

Books:

Born To Run– Christopher McDougall

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There is a very good chance that if you are already a runner you read this to help get you started or just for the love of running.  This is a National Bestseller and a modern running classic.  It started the barefoot running craze, but I personally took a lot more out of it than that.  This book contains several running stories within the main story as it takes you to the Copper Canyons of Mexico with a few awesome ultra runners.  The book takes you back to the basics and early history of running all while making you a true believer that each of has an inner running self.

Ultramarathon Man- Dean Karnazes

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Some people love him, others hate him but Dean Karnazes can seriously run and for a long, long time.  This book follows his late start as a couch potato turned runner extreme.  He turned his life around and has become an incredibly successful ultra athlete.  This is a fun and quick read and will make even the laziest of us feel like we can get out there and run 100 miles.

The Long Run- Matt Long

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This is by far one of my favorite books ever.  Matt Long was an accomplished triathlete and had just qualified for the Boston Marathon when he was run over by a bus during the NYC transit strike on his way to work with the FDNY.  After nearly dying and being severely mangled by the bus, Long documents his slow and arduous recovery and desire to become a runner again.  This book is full of inspiration not only for running but for life in general.  I shed many a tear of sadness and joy with this book.

Once a Runner- John L. Parker Jr.

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This is a cult classic from the 1970’s.  Parker self-published this and sold it out of the back of his car at races.  This book follows a competitive athlete through his college years as he trains his body and mind in ways you wouldn’t imagine possible. This book embodies the personality of a typical Type A runner and wild, unruly male college athlete.  I thought a lot about the main character’s insane training during my own long runs.

Movies:

“Spirit of the Marathon” I & II

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I highly recommend these movies in anticipation of marathon training, right before a race or just to reignite your love of running.  Both of these documentaries follow several runners from beginner to elite during their training process for the Chicago (episode I) and Rome (episode II) marathons.  They are informative and amusing all in one.  You laugh, you tear up, and you leave feeling ready to take on any run.  I watched the first one years ago and just loved it. I recommended this to my husband before his first 20 mile training run.  He was hooked and really did think it helped get him through that first big hurdle.  We were lucky enough to see the national premier of “Spirit of the Marathon II” in theaters the week before we ran our marathon.  It was awesome!

“Running the Sahara”

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And you thought getting out the door to do your daily 3 mile run was rough.  This documentary follows 3 elite runners as they trek across the Sahara Dessert for 111 days and over 4,300 miles.  It is an incredible journey documented by National Geographic.  This movie takes you through their highs and lows both mentally and physically.

“Unbreakable: The Western States 100″

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The Western States 100 is the oldest and considered by many to be the most prestigious 100 mile mountain ultra run through the Sierra Nevada.  This race is so difficult to finish in the 30 hour time frame that it is famed for the prized belt buckle you earn if you can make it to the finish in time.  This documentary follows 4 of the top runners as they make their way through their race not only wanting to get their hands on the buckle but vying for the top spot.

This is by no means a complete list, but a good one to get you started.  Let me know if you have any favorites that I forgot.  Let’s keep the inspiration going!