Many endurance athletes, myself included, find ourselves stuck in ruts when it comes to recipes and meals. We tend to have our staples that provide the nutrients we need to sustain our training, but those staples can get boring and overdone. The challenge to seek out new recipes is good, but searching a foreign region’s menu, was an extra, albeit fun, challenge.
With the mission of choosing a recipe from a specific country in the Mediterranean, a small geography lesson was first required. I think many of us don’t realize that the Mediterranean is more than a portion of Italy and the country of Greece. There are 21 countries that comprise the region. They all share similar ingredients in their recipes, yet they all deliver a unique flair to the table. I got the joy of researching the recipes of Egypt.
The first step was just familiarizing myself with the cuisine of the country. True to Mediterranean food, there were many minced meats, shish kabobs with sides of tahini and pita. Some less common foods included grilled pigeon, fried perch and tuna, and stewed beans for breakfast. While runners need protein, pigeon was not a source I was opting for this time. (more…)
Most of us are so exhausted by the time we get home from work that we want nothing more than to plop down on the couch and have dinner magically appear before us – myself included. But that’s a reality most of us don’t know. Couple that with trying to find ideas for healthy, gluten free dishes and you have a recipe for dinner disaster.
If this describes your current scenario, fret not, as we’ve compiled a list of five simple and healthy recipes that will have you looking forward to your nightly meal instead of dreading it by the noon hour.
Curried Rice with Shrimp – This gorgeous and healthy dish from Real Simple takes your weeknight dinner from ‘blah’ to ‘ta-da’ in a flash. Let the exotic flavors of curry and basil win you over, and the shrimp and rice keep you satisfied for hours.
Lentil Soup – The weather may still be a little warm for soup just yet, but fall and winter are right around the corner. We say warm up and fill up with this healthy dish that features tomato, kale, carrots, and, of course, fresh green lentils. (more…)
Ever felt afraid of cooking with unfamiliar ingredients, like quinoa? Well fear no more because we’re diving into the health and nutrition benefits of this versatile grain, and showing you several cooking techniques and recipes so it can become a healthy staple in your kitchen in no time.
What is Quinoa?
Quinoa is a small, whole grain substitute that’s completely gluten-free. It takes on a rice-like texture when cooked and comes in a variety of colors – including red, gray, green and white – depending on where it’s grown. It’s been speculated that quinoa has been around for nearly 5,000 years and was first cultivated in the Andes throughout Peru, Bolivia and Chile. And although it’s commonly thought of as a grain, the individual beads are actually the plant’s tiny seeds.
Quinoa is extremely healthy. It’s low in sodium and high in calcium, and a high-quality protein containing all nine essential amino acids. It’s also rich in phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese and zinc. And it’s widely praised as a great option for those trying to consume less meat without missing out on protein.
One cup of cooked quinoa contains roughly 220 calories, 3.5 grams of fat, 39 grams of carbohydrates, 3.5 grams of fiber, and 8 grams of protein. (more…)
Mary Hartley, RD, MPH, is the director of nutrition for Calorie Count, providing domain expertise on issues related to nutrition, weight loss and health. She creates original content for weekly blogs and newsletters, for the Calorie Count library, and for her popular daily Question-and-Answer section, Ask Mary. Ms. Hartley also furnishes direction for the site features and for product development.
Whole grains are a complete package. They’re tasty, nutritious, filling, and versatile. Yet, 93% of us don’t meet the three ounces a day requirement. In fact, the average American only eats about one ounce.
Whole grain is the seed of plants in the grass family – such as rice, corn, oats, barley, rye, and amaranth. The seed, called a kernel, has three layers: bran, the tough outer layer; endosperm, the starchy inner layer; and germ, the kernel’s reproductive machinery deep inside the endosperm.
Each layer has a unique nutritional value. The bran is rich in fiber; the endosperm is energy from starch; and the germ is flush with vitamins, minerals, and unsaturated oils. The fibers in the bran and endosperm work to cleanse the GI tract and to promote fullness and the slow release of blood sugar over time.
When you’re planning a picnic or cookout, creating a perfect menu can be challenging when you have vegetarians coming to dinner.
Though most vegetarians eat a varied, balanced diet, carnivores might have a difficult time coming up with inventive main dish options for guests with dietary restrictions.
Rainbow Sandwich: If cold cuts are on the menu for your next picnic, don’t relegate the vegetarians to cheese sandwiches or peanut butter and jelly. Tomatoes, avocado and pesto make for such a delicious sandwich that even your meat eaters in the group will want one.