Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Food Facts: A winning recipe!

About 5 months ago, I bought a juicer, the Vitamix 5200. 
One of the RD's at work brought in some freshly made spinach, banana and blueberry juice. It was pretty good. I got to thinking that maybe this wouldn't be so bad for me. When my Crohn's acts up, I'm supposed to eat a low residue/low fiber diet - so there's less pain, cramping, less pooping - better yet no diarrhea (there, I said it)!
This means avoiding things like fruits and vegetables, 
which I absolutely L-O-V-E!
So delicious!
Not to change the subject, but one of the students in my class the other day gave a presentation on her "counseling experience". We all had to counsel a volunteer for 5-weeks, and depending on their goals and their nutrition habits, we made suggestions. Anyway, this one student had a volunteer/client that had never eaten carrots or cucumbers! Isn't that sad? Could you imagine?

Anyway, with the juicer, I got to thinking ...
'If I juiced some fruits and veggies, 
with some yogurt, 
maybe it would be easier for me to digest them.'
Then, no pain, no gas, no big "D"
It's been working out great! After my long Sunday runs, and work outs, the juice is a great source of whey protein (yogurt) and I get all my electrolytes. I've even used my juicer when I've been too busy to eat lunch, and I find myself starving in the middle of the afternoon. At that point, if I ate lunch, I would be doubled over. Now, I juice, and I'm fine!

I know it's not for everyone. Even my kids are like, "I'm sure it tastes fine, Mom, but I'll pass." Well, at least they know what a carrot and cucumber tastes like!

So, I've been playing around with recipes, but this is my all time favorite:
My Winning Recipe
1 Tbs ground flax seed
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup rasberries
1/2 cup coconut water
3/4 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
2 cups baby spinach
1 beet
1 banana
1 navel orange
2-3 carrots
1.5 cups ice

Then, today, I read that beet juice may help lower your blood pressure. The report stated that "consuming vegetables with a high dietary nitrate content, like leafy greens (aka spinach) or beetroot, is a lifestyle approach that could easily improve cardiovascular health." That's because our body's take the nitrate and convert it into a chemical called nitrite, and then to nitric oxide in the blood. Nitric oxide is a gas that widens blood vessels and aids blood flow! 

This winning recipe would even be a great pre-race drink! 
But, if you plan on doing this, keep in mind that the effects were shown to be most pronounced 6 hours after drinking the beet juice. Even so, the effects were found to still be present after 24 hours!

Apparently, the healthier you are, the less nitrates you need to cause the blood dilating effect. If you are suffering from high blood pressure, the report advises drinking the juice of 2 beets per day, or eating (or juicing) veggies high in nitrates. 
Don't forget the USDA recommends 5-A-Day.
That's 5 servings of fruits & vegetables per day. 
For more information 
Train Smart Today!

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