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

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Soup is Simple

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IMAG0912I received a phone call this morning to inform me that my patio door would be replaced this week. This is great news! The bad news is that I also discovered the manager of the complex I live in is sick today.  She sounded pretty bummed about feeling ill, but looks forward to being a test subject for my recipes. Being the kind of guy that loves to throw stuff together on the fly, I made her a bowl of soup.

I grabbed a small sauce pan and melted a little butter in it, tossed in some fresh minced garlic and onions, and browned them. Next I poured in a cup of low sodium chicken broth and brought it to a boil.

While that continued to simmer, I peeled and cut thin slices of carrot and Chayote squash and added them to the broth. I only used half of the carrot and half of the squash. You can substitute sweet potato for the squash. I then cut a Portabello mushroom and tossed it in. There was some leftover Red Cargo Rice in the refrigerator as well, so I threw in about 1/3 cup.

The seasonings were unmeasured, but were a sprinkle of cumin, coriander, sea salt, thyme and powdered ginger. I contemplated a dash of brown sugar but felt it was not needed. If I had a little chicken leftover, I would have added that also.

She was showing a property when I left it on her desk, but I am confident it will pick up her spirits. Many people overlook the simplicity and speed in making a pot of soup. Don’t be mistaken, I make a chili verde that simmers for three days. Not everything needs to be complex or drawn out.

Just like exercise, begin with a base and build from there. Once you know the basics and begin to gain confidence in your progress, you can add to your routine and increase your self worth. There is no need to make food or exercise any more complex or time consuming than you want it to be.         In fitness, Bob