Bike Riding has always been a Great Family Activity when I heard about the JFS Wheels for Meals: A Ride to Fight Hunger in Bergen County, NJ I thought that would be something I would like to be involved in. It’s a great way to celebrate Dads on Father’s Day and is a wonderful cause. Cycling has so many health benefits many people don’t realize that besides keeping your body fit it’s also beneficial to enhancing your cognitive functioning. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2893375/ Network analyses provide a method to investigate the hypothesis that exercise may increase regional functional connectivity most likely in association with the neurogenesis and synaptogenesis that occurs (van Praag et al.)
There are many different types of cyclists ranging from the endurance athlete; to the family bike rider however, how you fuel your body is important.
Breakfast is a Crucial
Breaking the fast in the morning with a high quality meal is an essential, especially before exercising. Carbohydrates are good foods to eat because a carbohydrate turns into Glycogen which fuels your body. If you are an endurance athlete you should decrease your training a week before a cycling event. This is not the time to try new gels or foods. Years ago you were told to restrict carbohydrates and then the night before to indulge in carbohydrate rich foods like pasta. Many people are still carbohydrate phobic. We are talking about complex carbohydrates such as oatmeal which is satisfying and it will hold you over for a while and is beneficial with blood sugar control. Steel cut oatmeal is less processed and usually higher in fiber than simple carbohydrates like a chocolate chip muffin made from white flour and sugar. For shorter distant rides an easy to digest breakfast is a smoothie, which is low in fat, slows digestion and supply’s glucose to muscles fast. Cottage cheese is an easy way to add protein to a smoothie ½ cup has 14 g of protein.
Start with Carbohydrates
Today’s advice is to have about 3-5 grams of carbs per day for each pound of your body weight. A cyclist weighing 160 pounds should eat approximately 640 grams of carbohydrates. Today there are so many foods to choose from not just pasta and rice. Try quinoa, oatmeal, beans (black, pinto, vegetarian refried beans etc), yogurt, nuts (organic peanuts, almonds, pistachios, walnuts) or fruit. This is a time you can indulge and sneak in a few simple carbohydrates. A turkey sandwich with avocado or mayo is an ideal snack especially at lunch when your body is expecting a meal that provides protein and fat which is needed. It's important to eat foods rich in iron and B vitamins which support oxygen carrying bulk of your blood. Citrus sources help to increase absorption of iron. A well nourished athlete also needs an increase of antioxidants which you can easily get from fruits, veggies, and berries to prevent oxidative damage.
Don’t Hold Back On Calories
Before an endurance event you definitely don’t want to cut back on the amount you are eating. Nancy Clark, R.D., a sports dietitian and author of The Cyclist's Food Guide: Fueling for the Distance says "Cyclists in a taper will feel just as hungry because of all the hard work they've put in over the previous weeks," "Expect to gain two to four pounds in the days before the big event," says Clark. "You'll need it–and lose it–during the race."
Eat Frequently and Refuel
It’s important to maintain your blood sugar levels so they don’t drop. Eat every three hours and replenish your body within 20 minutes of exercise. This is especially important during the week before an endurance event because you definitely don't want your body to utilize energy stores and cells are amenable to regenerating glycogen and muscle right after activity.
Protein is important because it supports muscle cells repair and helps them recuperate. Cottage cheese has 14g of protein and 4 grams of carbohydrate for ½ cup. Yogurt has 8grams of protein and 6 grams of carbohydrate for ½ cup.
This Is Not A Time to Experiment.
Avoid eating new food; continue eating what your body is used to. Before an endurance event or a stroll you don’t want any stomach issues and want to stay with what works. Enjoy the event! Please let me know if you have any questions. firstname.lastname@example.org
In warmer weather I find smoothies are really popular. They can make a terrific high fiber, high protein breakfast getting you ready for your day so you will feel satisfied until your next meal or snack. They can also work well as a snack. Barlean's Greens makes a delicious nutritious, base to any smoothie. Cottage Cheese packs a great creamy protein punch without changing the flavor of the smoothie.
My daughter is a senior in high school getting ready to go to college far from home, so she is putting together an arsenal of nutritious recipes. Smoothies are easy to prepare and portable as you can see from this picture the smoothie was taken to school in a insulated bottle. Who would think that a blender or a high speed blender is a fabulous high school graduation gift? It’s on my daughter’s list along with Barlean’s Superfruit Greens (strawberry-kiwi) and Barlean's chocolate silk greens. From the daughter of a registered dietitian Mom, why doesn’t everyone drink smoothies like this and to that she answered because not everyone knows the benefits hence this blog post.
1 cup almond milk (unsweetened)
¼ cup water or ice cubes
½ cup blueberries (frozen wild work well)
½ cup strawberries (frozen organic work well)
1 – 9g scoop of Barleans Superfruit Greens (strawberry-kiwi)
½ cup cottage cheese 2 ice cubes
1 large handful of greens (kale, spinach, swiss chard) optional.
Tip: Depending on your taste buds and your kids you might just want to start with the smoothie and then experiment adding the greens. Have your kids experiment with you if they add the greens they will be more apt in trying it.
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a blender, mix well until creamy.
Recipe Facts: Makes 3 cups 3 – 8 oz servings (calories are without spinach 1 cup of spinach = 7 calories, 24mg sodium, 1g total carb, 1g fiber, 1g protein) 1 cup = 76 calories, 0.6 g total fat, 151 mg sodium, total carb 13g, 0.6g fiber, 3.3g sugars
Tips: Smoothies are very versatile depending on your taste preference you can add more or less of one berry and they can be prepared with coconut water or your favorite milk. Unsweetened non-dairy milks have 0g of sugar which lowers the sugar content and calories. Herbal or green tea would also go well in this smoothie. I would love to hear your comments and variations.
Family Food Experts Challenge was sponsered by Barlean's Organic Oils.Check out the Get to Know Barleans Challenge and our Monthly Family Food Experts Challenges here http://familyfoodexperts.com/challenge/ The Family Food Experts Co-Hosts Nutrition Babes secret ingredient in smoothies is cottage cheese. Check out there Power Greens Smoothie.http://tinyurl.com/k7qcrhj RealFoodMoms.com was not compensated for this post.
I am often asked what are Chia Seeds? I grew up watching those commercials about the Chia Pet. Who knew then you could eat them and they were a super food. I was curious and did some research. Chia Pet’s chia seeds are not treated with chemicals or fertilizers however they don’t have FDA approval to be sold as a food source.
Chia is the common name for salvia hispanica. It’s an herb which grows quickly and is in the mint family. I would definitely say it is a nutrition powerhouse two tablespoon provides 6 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein and 2.9 grams. Chia seeds is extremely high in calcium 1 ounce has 18% daily value of calcium compared to 3% daily value of calcium in 1 ounce of milk which is surprising to most people. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's SR19 Nutrient Database, one ounce of chia seeds contains about 5 grams of alpha linoleic acid (ALA) Omega-3 fatty acids. 1 ounce of chia seeds has 4915 g of omega 3’s compared to 1 once of wild salmon at 4915mg. Back in the day Chia seeds were supposedly a staple food for the Incans, Mayans and Aztecs and the meaning of Chia in the Mayan language is “strength”. This powerhouse seed had so many benefits.
The benefits of chia go on as they are also gluten free and helpful for weight loss due to the high fiber content for a small portion. They expand when put in liquid and are terrific for preventing dehydration during exercise or when you’re in extreme heat.
Since chia seeds expand in liquid they are a fun easy way to make a pudding easy enough for kids to prepare. You add chia seeds to your favorite milk. I like to use coconut milk and add cinnamon, vanilla and or almond extract. You can then add your favorite toppings shredded coconut, cacao nibs, raisins, dried cranberries, plum amazins etc. Chia seeds are excellent in granola, oatmeal, cereal, yogurt and used in baking bread, muffins and crackers. They will thicken smoothies, soups, and stews. Vegans can use chia seeds as an egg replacer 1 Tablespoon of chia seeds to 3 Tablespoons of warm water. The one negative is they can get stuck in your teeth. Enjoy experimenting with chia seeds I have. Check out this Chia Pudding Recipe and more. http://www.realfoodmoms.com/menus-and-recipies/Please let me know your favorite ways to use chia seeds.
It’s nice to start traditions. Making breakfast in bed or a meal for Mom is a extremely thoughtful and a lifelong memory for her. It can be a fun Mother’s Day tradition or a random day you can plant the seed with your children. Once they are old enough some of these recipes are quite easy for them to prepare by themselves some depending on their age they might need help from an adult or an older sibling. It can also help children begin to try new foods because helping with the food preparation usually peaks their interest to try what they have prepared.
o 1 cup Peaches, frozen sliced unsweetened
o 1 cup Strawberries, frozen, unsweetened
o 1/2 cup 8 oz Greek 0% Yogurt
o 1 1/2 cup Almond Milk Original, rice milk or organic skim milk (preferably organic grass-fed)
o 2 tbsp ground Flax Seeds (Optional)- High in Omega 3s
o 2 teaspoon Honey
o Cinnamon sprinkle (Optional)
o Whey Protein 1-2 tbsp (Optional)- Brain power, curbs appetite
Gather all ingredients
Place in high speed blender
Mix for 1-2 minutes, or desired consistency
Divide in three 8 ounce cups
Drink and enjoy!
Recipe Facts: Serves: 3 Serving Size: 1 cup
1 cup: Calories: 142.9 Total Fat 3.6g Saturated Fat 0g Cholesterol 0mg Sodium 92.7mg Total Carbohydrate 23.3g Dietary Fiber 3.9g Sugars 11.1g Protein 4.5g
Cheddar Naked Quiche Your Choice of Veggie-
Since the kids will be involved in the preparing of the naked quiche the likelihood of them experimenting with trying new vegetables is great. The veggies look so vibrant in the quiche. You can also simply make one with onions and cheese and have them add one of their favorite veggies.
2 tsp Olive Oil
1/2 cup, chopped Onions
1 1/2 cups Cauliflower, asparagus, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli or a combo chopped
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
5 large Eggs
1/2 cup Milk 2%,skim, rice or soy milk
1 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Salt, table
¼ tsp pepper to taste
Recipe Facts Serves: 4 Serving Size: 1/4
Calories: 203 Total Fat 13.8g Saturated Fat 5.6g Cholesterol 281.7mg Sodium 492.3mg Total Carbohydrate 6.5g Dietary Fiber 1.4g Sugars 3.7g Protein 13.4g
Preheat oven to 375 F
Lightly grease an 8 x 8 casserole dish or 8-9 inch pie pan with olive oil or butter.
Spread onions evenly throughout casserole dish and put it in the oven while you are preparing the other ingredients.
In a small bowl, beat eggs, salt and milk with a whisk.
Take the dish out of the oven using oven mitts.
Spread cauliflower and cheese evenly throughout casserole dish.
Pour mixture over cauliflower, onions and cheese.
Sprinkle with paprika.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, until vegetables are cooked and casserole is golden brown.
Refrigerate in a sealed container for 2-3 days.
Flank Steak with Mango Salsa with Vegetable Kabobs
Meat and fruit is a refreshing combination; the sweetness of the fruit complements the tender succulent meat. If possible it’s to your health’s benefit to buy organic grass fed beef. Grass fed beef’s fatty acid composition is lower in overall fat and in saturated fat, providing more omega-3 fatty acids. Meat from animals that graze on grass is high in omega-3 fatty acids, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which is associated with a decreased cancer risk. Grass-fed animals raised on pastures not confined to feedlots have more positive life force energy which then in turn effects your body.
Veggie Kabobs are fun for kids to put together and will help them explore tasting new vegetables.
Serves 6 Serving size: 4oz
1.5 lbs Flank Steak, (Grass-fed pasture raised preferably)
1/3 cup Olive oil
1/4 cup Red wine
2 tablespoons Tamari (wheat free soy sauce)
1 clove Garlic minced
1 tablespoon Gingerroot, minced or cut in slices
2 tablespoons Honey
2 Mangos, peeled and diced
1 Roma Tomato, diced
1 Tablespoon lime juice
2 Teaspoons Cilantro chopped (optional)
Combine all ingredients together and mix gently. Adjust ingredients to your taste. Store covered in fridge until ready to use. Keeps in refrigerator about 3-4 days.
Pierce steak with a fork. Place steak in a glass dish with marinade. Cover and marinade for best results at least 2 hours to overnight.
• Prepare and preheat grill. Remove steak from marinade; discard marinade. Grill for 5–7 minutes on each side, turning once, until the steak reaches desired doneness.
• Let steak stand, covered with foil, for 10 minutes, then slice very thinly across the grain. Serve with Mango Salsa.
• Flank Steak Nutrition Facts per serving Calories: 212 Total Fat 10 g Saturated Fat 3g Cholesterol 75 mg Sodium 90 mg Total Carbohydrate 0.2 Dietary Fiber 0g Sugars 0g Protein 27 g
• Mango Salsa Nutrition Facts Per serving Calories 70 Total Fat 0.5 g Saturated Fat 0.1g Cholesterol 0 g Sodium 1.8 g Total Carbohydrate 18 g Dietary Fiber 2g Sugars 16g Protein 1g
Vegetable Kebobs: 6 servings
1 large Red peppers cut in 1 inch chunks
1 large Zucchini cut in 1 inch chunks
1 cup Baby portabella mushrooms, cut a small portion of the bottom of the mushroom off, clean with a damp paper towel so they don’t get mushy. (cut in chunks)
1 medium Vidalia onions cut into small pieces
6 Kabobs (if using wooden kabobs soak them in water so they don’t burn.
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove crushed
¼ teaspoon paprika
Black pepper, to taste
In a large bowl or plastic bag combine the marinade ingredients. Marinate in the refrigerator for 2 to 24 hours.
Pre-heat the Barbeque on medium-hot or the broiler and the broiler pan. If broiling, position the broiler pan 3 to 4 inches from the heating element and spray with a high temperature cooking spray like grapeseed or Expeller pressed sunflower oil. Thread the vegetables and continue to make a pattern on the skewers. Broil or grill for 4-6 minutes, turning the skewers occasionally until soft and light brown. Serve hot with a whole grain such as brown rice, couscous, quinoa or millet.
*If there are leftover vegetables prepare more vegetable kabobs.
Nutrition Facts per serving Calories: 40 Total Fat 2g Saturated Fat 0.1g Cholesterol 0mg Sodium 5mg Total Carbohydrate 9g Dietary Fiber 2g Sugars 4g Protein 2g