Superfood Beets

Well maybe I should have saved all the work I did before I posted a picture of beet pancakes by themselves.

Crystal's Whole Journey

Superfood Beets

So my family of course turned up their noses when I told them we were going to be trying to incorporate beets into our diet. To be honest I wasn’t very happy about it either, but I know we can always use more fruits and veggies into our lives. So a couple of things that I have done with beets so far is simply to peel them and blend them into my smoothies with banana, milk, and some other berries. That was very beautiful and it tasted pretty good too. I didn’t put a ton of beets into it to start because I knew if I wanted my children to drink it I needed to start small. Then one day I stumbled across a beet pancake recipe on weelicious.com. I again was hesitant until I saw all the comments that the readers had posted. Many were saying that they were…

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Superfood Beets

Superfood Beets

So my family of course turned up their noses when I told them we were going to be trying to incorporate beets into our diet. To be honest I wasn’t very happy about it either, but I know we can always use more fruits and veggies into our lives. So a couple of things that I have done with beets so far is simply to peel them and blend them into my smoothies with banana, milk, and some other berries. That was very beautiful and it tasted pretty good too. I didn’t put a ton of beets into it to start because I knew if I wanted my children to drink it I needed to start small. Then one day I stumbled across a beet pancake recipe on weelicious.com. I again was hesitant until I saw all the comments that the readers had posted. Many were saying that they were the BEST pancakes ever. So I thought we should give it a shot, I mean how often is it that you get to eat the BEST pancakes ever. Well turns out they were very tasty. I altered the recipe just a tad by putting white wheat flour in it and instead of vanilla extract, I put almond extract. They were very tasty! The kids couldn’t get enough of them! We will definitely be making those often! Here’s the recipe, I promise if you try them they very well may become a staple in your home as well! 

Red Beet Pancakes  (Serves 6)

  • Prep Time: 5 mins,
  • Cook Time: 12 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • medium beets, roasted & pureed (about 3/4 cups)
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

  1. 1. Sift the first 5 ingredients into a bowl.
  2. 2. Place the rest of the wet ingredients in a separate bowl and whisk thoroughly to combine.
  3. 3. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and stir until just combined (you don’t want to overstir the batter — some lumps are good).
  4. 4. Drop about 2 tbsp of the pancake mixture onto a greased griddle or pan over medium heat and cook for 3 minutes on each side.
  5. 5. Serve with desired accompaniments.
  6. * To freeze: Place the pancakes in labeled zipper bags and freeze for up to 3 months

So now I have done some research as to why beets are so good for our bodies. I am in no way a doctor but I like to research why we need to put certain things into our bodies. I like more of an answer that tells me what specific areas of my body each food will help. This also helps me try and help other people; which is my greatest passion in life. So here are some benefits of eating Beets. 

SuperFood BEETS

1. They are nature’s form of viagra. (well my face is now be BEET red). It’s true though the ancient Romans used them as a aphrodisiac. This comes from the fact that beets have high amounts of boron in them which benefit human sex hormone production. 

2. Beets are loaded with Potassium, magnesium, fiber, phosphorus, iron; vitamins A, B & C; beta-carotene, beta-cyanine; folic acid. These are but a few of the many nutrients, vitamins and minerals that can be found in beets and beet greens. Beets are particularly beneficial to women whom are pregnant, as the vitamin B and iron are very beneficial to new growth cells during pregnancy and replenishing iron in the woman’s body. -fullcircle.com

3. Betaine is a substance that beets are high in as well. This is commonly something that doctors use to treat people with depression. Beets also contain trytophan which we all know from our famous Thanksgiving day turkey comas. Trytophan definitely relaxes the body. 

4. Stomach acid tester- You can test how much stomach acid you have by eating or drinking a lot of beets. If your urine turns pink you know that you have low stomach acid. 

5. More energy- The Dr. Oz show’s website says: Many of our patients have mentioned that juicing beets will give them more energy for their day. Research is showing that this may be due to the ability of components in the juice to improve blood flow. Beetroot juice has been shown to help the body respond better to exercise, by balancing oxygen use and increasing stamina. I know I can always use more energy in my day! 

6. Cancer and heart disease prevention 

7. Garlic breath- beet leaves can rescue garlic breathe, good to know =) 

Some other ways to get some beets into your diet besides juicing them or simply cooking them, would be to try a European favorite Borscht. (Borscht, a very popular vegetable soup made of beets is a traditionally loved dish in Poland, Russia, Germany and other Eastern European menus. There are cold and hot Borscht soups and each country varies some of the ingredients, but beets are the one common and main ingredient of this revered and hearty soup.)

Hope that this is beneficial to you. I really enjoy learning more about foods and how to incorporate them into my family’s diet sometimes without having to taste them necessarily! That is the trick at times, but it works!

IF you find you need to get more fruits and vegetable servings in your day another way to Bridge the Gap between the servings you are currently getting would be to take Juice Plus+. Check out my website:

http://www.crystalstephenson.juiceplus.com  (Juice Plus capsules and chewables have beets) 

Motivation Monday Mishelle

Mishelle is one my amazing workout buddies, We have known each other for almost 2 years now. I am amazed by Mishelle. Life has really thrown her a few punches this past year but she just keeps on going even when most people would give up. Her mother has been really sick for a while and Mishelle has had to start taking care of her mom and helping her parents on top of taking care of her husband and 2 kids as well. Her health is very important to her and she makes time for her health even when she is tired or doesn’t feel like doing it.

She is currently training for a half marathon which will be her second one that she has done! We compete in a weight loss group on Wednesday nights and last week we were all running a 3 mile course. Mishelle tripped pretty good and on top of having a hard day she surprised many people and she got right back up and finished the run. We later learned she may have broken her toe with the fall, but nothing stops this girl!

Part of the reason that Mishelle is so motivating is her smile, she can light up the room with her sweet smile! It’s great to workout with her even if you are on the opposite team as her she still encourages everyone! We love to talk during our workouts and we often get in trouble for talking. She is just really fun to be around and motivates me to be a better me! I hope her story motivates some of you too.

Fitness Friday

Fitness Friday

This is going to be a short post today. I was thinking of posting a fitness tip or something that I am currently working on every Friday. As I posted yesterday I feel better than I ever have in my whole life health wise, but my flexibilty is lacking. Part of this is probably due to lack of stretching properly after every workout. I do cool down stretches of course, but I think I need to incorporate more stretching into my daily life. I found this flexibility workout from pinterest, and although I don’t know what all the stretches are, I believe I can look them up online. While I was in rehab last year for some back pain, I was once again reminded that my flexibility is not what it should be for my age! I’m excited to be able to touch my toes again! Does anyone else have this issue?

Super food Kale

ImageSo every week I want to highlight a super food that our family is trying. This week it’s kale! You can see the recipes that I posted below. I always put kale in my smoothies or protein shakes. I love kale chips which are super easy to make as well. Recently while I was at true foods kitchen I had an amazing kale salad!  One thing I do when I buy kale is wash it right away and then chop it in my ninja blender and put it in ice cube trays. Then when I make a smoothie I put a few ice cube kale blocks into my smoothie. In the picture above is a tower garden that I sell through Juice Plus+ it’s an amazing way to grow veggies such as Kale in your back yard, even if you are like me and have no back yard! 

 Here are 10 health benefits of Kale from Allison Lewis at Mind, Body, Green. 

Kale is being called “the new beef”, “the queen of greens” and “a nutritional powerhouse.” Here are ten great benefits of adding more kale to your diet:
 
1. Kale is low in calorie, high in fiber and has zero fat. One cup of kale has only 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber and 0 grams of fat. It is great for aiding in digestion and elimination with its great fiber content. It’s also filled with so many nutrients, vitamins, folate and magnesium as well as those listed below.
 
2. Kale is high in iron. Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef. Iron is essential for good health, such as the formation of hemoglobin and enzymes, transporting oxygen to various parts of the body, cell growth, proper liver function and more.
 
3. Kale is high in Vitamin K. Eating a diet high in Vitamin K can help protect against various cancers. It is also necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions including normal bone health and the prevention of blood clotting. Also increased levels of vitamin K can help people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
 
4. Kale is filled with powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids help protect against various cancers.
 
5. Kale is a great anti-inflammatory food. One cup of kale is filled with 10% of the RDA of omega-3 fatty acids, which help, fight against arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disorders.
 
6. Kale is great for cardiovascular support. Eating more kale can help lower cholesterol levels.
 
7. Kale is high in Vitamin A.Vitamin A is great for your vision, your skin as well as helping to prevent lung and oral cavity cancers.
 
8. Kale is high in Vitamin C. This is very helpful for your immune system, your metabolism and your hydration.
 
9. Kale is high in calcium. Per calorie, kale has more calcium than milk, which aids in preventing bone loss, preventing osteoporosis and maintaining a healthy metabolism. Vitamin C is also helpful to maintain cartilage and joint flexibility
 
10. Kale is a great detox food. Kale is filled with fiber and sulfur, both great for detoxifying your body and keeping your liver healthy.
Here are some recipes for kale chips and the fabulous kale salad I had. 
 
Kale Chips 
ingredients : Kale, Olive oil, and sea salt

Directions

  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a non insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt.
  3. Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.

 

Dr. Weil’s Kale Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 bunches Tuscan kale (about 14 oz), ribs removed and leaves sliced into 1/4-inch shreds
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus shavings for garnish
  • 2 Tbsp whole wheat breadcrumbs, toasted

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper flakes. Add kale and toss to coat. Let sit at room temperature for 10 to 30 minutes.

  2. Add grated cheese and breadcrumbs and toss.

  3. Garnish with shaved cheese before serving. Cover and refrigerate leftovers up to two days.

 

 The links from the recipes are here but I can’t figure out how to properly link a webpage yet, but I will figure it out.     http://www.wholeliving.com/210932/dr-weils-kale-salad    http://allrecipes.com/recipe/baked-kale-chips/    
Check out the tower garden at http://www.crystalstephenson.towergarden.com

Throw back Thursday

DSCN2502 So lots of people have been posting TBT otherwise known as Throwback Thursday. Well here is a TBT picture that really helps me reflect on where I have been and especially where I am currently! This was taking only a few years back in 2011. This was my most unhealthiest I have ever been in my life. I’m not just talking about the number on the scale but overall health. I remember during this time where I had such a hard time keeping up with my kids. I was tired all the time and I wasn’t active at all EVER! The saddest part of it was that I was only 28 years old a time when many people are in their best shape of their lives.

So now let’s fast forward to today, 2014, I am now 3 years older and I have so much energy. My kids have a hard time keeping up with me. I have now been working out consistently for 2 years and I can honestly say I am so much healthier and happier as well. So I didn’t lose an extreme amount of weight but the way I feel about myself and my health are so much more important. I have reached my goals in some aspects but that doesn’t stop anything, the show must go on. I must continue to set goals for myself and to reach them in all aspects of life. I used to think if I could just lose weight, then I would be skinny and then I can eat how I want again. No one ever taught me that it’s not about a crash diet, and only working out when you are bigger, it has to be for life.

My point in all of this isn’t to brag on myself but simply to try to inspire those of you out there who feel like you can’t do it! I’m proof that you can do, if I did it anyone can achieve their goals. It’s simply about that make small goals for yourself and slowly achieving them. Set yourself up for positive changes and realize it’s not about dieting, it’s about changing your choices. This doesn’t mean you can’t ever eat the unhealthy things that you love, it means that you don’t eat (or drink) them all the time. MODERATION! It means get off your couch and go for a walk and then do it the next day again and again. Then once that isn’t challenging anymore start to jog, pretty soon you may even enjoy this new-found “hobby”.

My lifestyle now compared to then is night and day. Now I am focused on teaching my children about good nutrition and about being active. That was never in my upbringing so I am hoping that by teaching them at a young age maybe they will not have to go through this struggle that their mother went through. I’m so passionate about helping others in life and this is something that really can make people’s lives longer and more enjoyable. You don’t have to start big just start somewhere.