By Ingrid Ashley
Do you ever get home from a long day of working look in the fridge and just want to turn to the take out menu? Trust me, we have all been there! I still have times when it is just not in me to cook a big meal. The beautiful thing is that cooking dinner does not have to be a big meal. Some of the best dishes I have created have been the ones that took all the weekly leftovers and made a casserole or stir fry that was out of this world. The other day Dr. Liz sent me a photo of a simple one skillet dish she threw together that looked so delicious! (See photo below.) When I have one of these moments, I have no choice but turn on loud salsa music (or whatever my kids will tolerate), and turn into the dancing chef! My kids get a kick out of my dancing even joining in on occasion, and the music fuels me along to keep calm and carry on into a healthy dinner for our family. What motivates you to cook? Tell us below!
Pinto beans and kale added to squash, porta bella mushrooms and lightly marinated in Annie's Ginger Marinade with coriander and tumeric add a gentle spiciness to this simple dish!
By Dr. Elizabeth George
But now there is a new twist on the role of physical activity in wellness. Two recent articles (well really many, but I’ll go over 2) are noteworthy. Health care providers are saying, “Sitting is the New Smoking”
Blood pressures were measured eight times per day. At the end of the light-walking day, subjects’ blood pressure was on average 14/8 mm Hg lower than on the uninterrupted sitting day. On the simple resistance activity day, it was 16/10 mm Hg lower. Once again – a lifestyle change can give you a comparable result to a blood pressure pill – without side affects and no co-pay!!
I don’t want to make this article to long – but real quick – there’s another study of similar design in diabetics that showed improved glucose control and better insulin function with just this simple shift to standing up every 30 minutes and moving around!! So simply put, sedentary jobs are risky!! People with sedentary jobs, or sedentary lifestyle should get up every 30 minutes and move for 3 minutes – to reduce risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
So, you might be asking, what’s this about “Nick Iula’s Standing Desk”? Today Patti Nitterhouse and I went to Shippensburg University to enjoy Roberta’s dreamy art show “How’s the Weather?” Looking at her artwork, you feel like you’re right there in the painting. Afterward, we went to the dining hall for lunch. Yes, the public is welcome. Nick was there, so we got to rave to him about our delicious meal AND he got to proudly show us the “standing desk” he had created for his computer in his office - so he can stand, walk in place, move while he designs those delicious menus for the whole school. No wonder he has more energy and glow than ever!!
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By Dr. Elizabeth George
My husband and I were getting the garden ready to plant today. (This early we can put in the spinach, lettuce and potatoes). We got the fence mended (we have deer friends and worse, we have a dog, Frodo, who loves to dig up potatoes and eat them!)
That got me to realizing that the summer crop will be coming in before too long, and I haven’t used everything in the freezer. Well, lets make a dent in it tonight. Frozen veggies roast just as easily as fresh – though this is the first I’m trying my frozen potatoes. I gathered up my broccoli, heirloom string beans, potatoes and kale from the freezer. (I also set out a frozen tomatoe sauce – it will work well later this week to add to leftovers –and , yum, throw in some Quinoa).
Meanwhile, I’ll also chop up the fresh veggies. Also, I’ll get the frozen veggies out of the oven in about 15 minutes and see if they can be cut a little smaller.
Sun chokes add a nice zing to potatoes dishes – kind of like parsnips and turnips and kohlrabi do. They are also yummy slivered raw on most any kind of salad – they add a nice crunch and flavor. I cut the carrots in 1- inch pieces – they’re slow cooking so smaller is better. I noticed the onion was actually a scallion (?) – slivered it and spread it over the rest so the flavor could sink in.
And then I opened the spice drawer and looked around to see what inspired me. Oregano jumped out first – shake it on, then cumin, and then dill seemed right and finally pepper. I’m not entirely sure how I decided on these – and we’ll see how they taste! Finally I topped it with some garbanzo beans – but didn’t have as many as I wanted, so I opened some lentils and added a cup. Also I got the frozen kale out and broke off a handful and crumbled it on top of everything; it will come out crispy and delicious. I put it back in the convection oven at 300. (Notice that I did not add any oil to all this. I prefer to get my healthy plant fats from the plants themselves – rather than expressed and extracted into an oil with nutrients and fiber missing. And the bonus is, it’s soooo easy to clean the dishes!
While it’s cooking I’ll make some notes about adding the legumes – garbanzo beans and lentils. They are a wonderful source of protein, magnesium, iron and fiber and many other nutrients. They help diabetics (or anyone for that matter) regulate their blood sugar. Also, they help your blood vessels produce nitric oxide which helps arteries relax, “vasodilate”, be “unsticky”, and reduces inflammation; all of this is wonderful of course for your circulatory system and everything it serves – AKA your whole body! Of course every veggie in this dish with all their different colors adds potassium, a variety of vitamins and other antioxidants, minerals, fibers and more than we’ll ever know!!
Time to taste!! A yummy success – what’s really cool is I can taste the distinctive flavor of each of the different veggies and beans, while they all go well together. Also, all the different veggies maintained their own textures – some are crisper than others, nice!. Tomorrow night I’ll cook some of these up with Farro and that yummy tomatoe sauce thawed from last summer.
Coming soon on our next blog "The standing desk!"