Breakfast and Bicycles

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IMG_20150710_105559_936      Today should be a rest day for me, since tomorrow I have my 95 mile ride for MS. However, being slightly hard headed, thanks Dad, I just had to get in a quick ride today.

It is overcast in Columbus, Ohio with storms moving through, hopefully tomorrow brings sunshine and, ahem, humidity. This morning I rode across the local reservoir, Hoover. From this lower level there are steps leading up to the top of the dam, so I ran up them with my bike in hand.

Now for the breakfast part of this post. Tomorrow’s breakfast has been pre-made, due to the fact that I will be getting up at 5 am to warm up, stretch, shower, dress, eat and head out to pick up my packet and be on the course between 7:00 & 8:00.

IMG_20150710_081213_984      My breakfast will be mostly carbohydrate to fuel for the ride. I prefer steel cut oats since you use only 1/4 cup for a serving and they are a long burning, low glycemic food. I pre-make this in a pint jar and can grab it whenever I’m ready.

IMG_20150710_080612_600      The first thing I did was to mix the dry ingredients together. They are; 1/4 c steel cut oats, 2 Tbsp Pb2 (powdered pnut butter), 2 Tbsp chia seeds, and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon.

Next I added 3/4 c Almond Milk and stirred well. Then I added 1/2 a banana and mixed it in. Then I put the lid on and put it in the refrigerator until morning.

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I have posted on refrigerator oats before, and the variations are limited only to your taste preferences. I did happen to find a package of fudge Pop Tarts in the pantry that I will devour for the pure delight of entitlement.

In fitness, Bob

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Basil Smoothie

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When I saw this smoothie recipe from Kelly Toups, RD, LDN, I new I had to try it. The refreshing flavor of fresh basil stands on it’s own. Everyone uses mint, and I suppose you could add some to this recipe, but why? Three simple ingredients that are healthy and natural. Give this a try for a refreshing twist.
In fitness, Bob

Kelly Toups, MLA, RD, LDN

Basil Smoothie

My basil smoothie post on Instagram last week prompted several inquiries, so today I’m sharing a full recipe post. Since I’m now the proud owner of an organic basil plant (thanks, Ashley!), this smoothie has been on heavy rotation during the beautiful, 80 degree days we’ve been blessed with in Boston lately. The Sweet Basil Smoothie recipe from my Giada at Home cookbook inspired this recipe, but to add creaminess (and cut the added sugars), I omitted the sugary simple syrup in favor of a frozen banana. Sophisticated, yet unfussy, this 3-ingredient masterpiece is the ultimate warm weather refresher!

Basil Smoothie

Basil Smoothie (inspired by Giada de Laurentiis)

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana, frozen in chunks
  • 3/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil

Method: Add all ingredients to blender and blend until combined.

Nutrition per serving: 180 calories, 1g fat (0g saturated fat), 32g carbohydrates (3g fiber…

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Berry, Protein Smoothie

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IMG_20150506_080525_869       This breakfast smoothie is a good mix of carbohydrate, protein and fat. I also added instant oatmeal to keep me feeling full, (satiety). The healthy fats in this are from the farm fresh eggs that I get. You could easily substitute avocado, nuts, or coconut oil.

My main protein source in this, is natural Banana flavored, grass fed,  whey protein from True Nutrition. I am not sponsored by them, nor do I get any kick back, but I like their prices, I can add flavors, they are sweetened or unsweetened, and I can get about any kind of protein source that I want. They have a Java Mocha that I add to my coffee and it is amazing!

IMG_20150506_075646_305      Into the Ninja went 1 fresh egg, 12 ounces Almond milk, 1/2 c rolled oats, 1 scoop protein powder, 1/2 c black berries, 1/4 c blue berries and 2 ice cubes. I did not add any sweetener due to the fact that the protein powder has Stevia in it and the berries added their own sweetness.

This came out to be 434 calories, with 13 g fat, 37g carbs, and 37g protein. For those of you interested; 245mg cholesterol, 350mg sodium, 113mg potassium, 10g fiber, 10g sugars, 21% Vit A, 25% VitC, 83% Calcium, and 19% Iron.

In fitness, Bob

Blueberry, Chia Oatmeal

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IMG_20150505_073411_492      Blueberries were on sale yesterday when I picked up a few things, so I happily grabbed some. My wife wanted oatmeal for breakfast, so instead of her usual brown sugar and sunflower seed that she likes, I asked if she would like blueberry. She of course opted for the switch.

You will need; 3/4 c water, 1/4 c instant steel cut oats, 1/4 c blueberries, and 1 Tbsp chia seed.

I used steel cut oats, since she prefers the texture, and made them per the instructions. 1/4 cup oats and 3/4 cup water. I placed half the berries in the water and gently mashed them with a fork when the water began to boil. I then added the oats and chia seeds, stirred, and reduced to a simmer stirring occasionally until done, about 10 minutes.

When the oats are at your desired consistency, add the remaining blueberries and serve.  You could sweeten this with your choice of sweeteners.

This balanced out at 228 calories, 7g fat, 36g carb, 7g of protein. The use of chia also brings the fiber count to 11g.

In fitness, Bob

Breakfast Shake and Calorie Count

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IMG_20150413_073148_949       I didn’t feel like cooking breakfast this morning and thought I would throw together a shake. A good mix of carbohydrate, fat and protein to get me through till lunch or mid-morning snack.

This past weekend, I hit a high speed of 31 MPH on my bike, twice, on flat ground and was rather proud of myself. Shakes are a good fuel before and after riding or exercise, since they rehydrate and refuel the body.

I made my shake in the Ninja blender since I use oatmeal, to break it down a little.

Into the blender; 2 Cups unsweetened almond milk, 1 medium banana, 1/2 Cup instant oats, 1 scoop protein powder, (Now Sports Pea Protein), 2 Tbsp. PB2, (powdered peanut butter).

IMG_20150413_071958_828      This was not overly sweet, and you could add a sweetener of your choice. I would have chosen Stevia to keep from adding to the carbs.

This came out to be a ratio of 50% carb, 30% protein, and 20% fat. A total of 495 calories, with 11g fat, 64g carb, and 37g of protein. The other vitals were 785mg sodium, 802mg potassium, 11g fiber, 17g sugar, 22% RDA Vit A, 17% Vit C, 93% Calcium, and 54% Iron.

Meal replacement shakes can be a great addition to your diet, provided they give you a healthy mix of macro-nutrients and you still have a sensible meal.

If you have a favorite flavor or mix that you use for a breakfast shake, please feel free to share it with me. Have fantastic week!

In fitness, Bob

Health and Diet Benefits of Asparagus

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IMG_20150408_100933_710    Asparagus is in season right now and I was able to get some for a dollar a pound. This vegetable is very healthy and can be served raw, pickled or cooked. It used primarily in soups, salads, or as a side dish.

Asparagus is considered a bitter food, along with celery and lettuce. So called bitter foods, are regarded as a beneficial addition for weight loss. Asparagus contains the diuretic, asparagine, which is why it helps eliminate water through the kidneys. Bitter foods are also used to detoxify the liver and help expel unwanted moisture from the body. Too much asparagus can irritate the kidneys.

There are numerous vitamins and minerals in asparagus. Vitamin, K, C, E, A, B1, B3, and B6. Minerals are folate, copper, selenium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, iron, and magnesium. It is also a source of fiber, protein and calcium.

My breakfast this morning consisted of scrambled eggs with mushroom ,green chilies, cilantro, and asparagus tips. I had this with a side of curried, steel cut oats.

IMG_20150408_093614_889    I prepared the oats as per the directions and let them cook while I began chopping. The green chilies I had in my freezer since I roast my own. I added those to 2 eggs, 1 portabello mushroom, (diced), about 10 asparagus spears, (snapped at the tip), 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro and whisked everything but the asparagus together. The egg mixture was put in a greased skillet, cooked for about 4 minutes, turned and cooked until done. The tips were placed on top, raw, but could be added to the mixture.

IMG_20150408_084222_194      I do not normally eat my oatmeal with fruit or brown sugar as some folks do, but prefer it as a side like rice or quinoa. Today I seasoned it with turmeric, cinnamon and a little salt.

IMG_20150408_090127_701       Stay healthy, eat well, and enjoy the benefits of fresh produce.

In fitness, Bob

Ginger Spiced Tilapia

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IMG_20150328_205913_831     And a meal is born! My wife informed me the other evening that I was preparing fish and asked how I was serving it. I hadn’t a clue other than ‘to cook it’.

Usually it involves lime juice, cilantro, garlic, some oil, my go to stuff. I wanted something different and remembered the fresh ginger. That’s when it hit me.

I sliced off three thin slices of ginger root, trimmed and minced them, grabbed the sesame seeds, some cayenne pepper flake, coconut oil and the pound of tilapia.

I put about a tablespoon of the coconut oil in a skillet and let that heat up. I then added a Tbsp sesame seed, the minced ginger and a couple shakes of the red pepper. This cooked for a couple of minutes, just long enough to make a beautiful aroma, and the ginger and sesame started to darken a little.

IMG_20150328_204741_484      The tilapia fillets were laid gently over the bed of seasoned goodness and cooked for about three minutes per side.

This was served with mixed vegetables that were rather boring next to the fish.  Last minute thought, remember?

So there you have it, a quick, simple, healthy and nutritious meal that was thrown together in under twenty minutes. Now what am I going to make tonight…?

In fitness, Bob