carbs

What’s On The Menu – Let’s Ketchup on this Micronutrient Superfruit

I apologize for the brevity of this post. I had a full blog written, with funny anecdotes and informative nutrition details about this week’s menu spotlight. Bbbbbbbuttttt, when I woke up yesterday morning to do the final edit, I discovered that I didn’t save it.

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My reaction when I realize I didn’t save this week’s blog

I don’t want to leave you all hanging this week, so the following is a short summary of why you need to start incorporating more tomatoes & tomato products, besides ketchup, into your diet.

  • Tomatoes’ macronutrient content isn’t anything spectacular – 1 medium size tomato contains no fat, 1 gram (g) of protein and 5 g of carbs; its carbs consist of mainly simple sugars & insoluble fiber (source).
  • Tomatoes’ micronutrient content is what really sets them apart – they contain a significant amount of vitamins (C, K & B-complex), minerals (molybdenum, potassium & copper) and antioxidants (lycopene, rutin, beta cartoene & many more – source).
  • The consumption of the micronutrients contained in tomatoes has been shown to mitigate certain health conditions – The vitamins, minerals and antioxidants contained in tomatoes have been shown to help with the treatment of high blood pressure, heart disease, degenerative vision conditions, depression and more (source). Lycopene, which tomatoes contain a significant amount of, has been shown in epidemiological & animal studies to lower the risk of certain types of cancer (source).
  • Shannon makes the best tomato dish EVA! –  Some may say this is an opinion, but if you’ve had Shannon’s Saucy Tomato Eggs, you would know it’s a fact. Do yourself a favor and click here to check out the recipe.

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Hopefully the wizards at WordPress can work some magic and recover the previous blog. If they do, I’ll update this one with any additional info.

In the meantime, please feel free to send us your favorite tomato recipes. Doesn’t matter if you like’em raw, stewed or smashed into a paste, send those recipes to us at elementaltampa@gmail.com. You can also send us pics of your go-to tomato dishes on social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter).  Shannon and I will pick the most tasty looking one and repost it on all our channels.

What’s On The Menu – The Whole Food That Gets Invited to Every Party

If you’re one of the 11 people on the planet that haven’t heard the go-to mushroom joke, here you go

Q: Why did the mushroom get invited to all the parties?

A: Because he’s a FUN-GI!

Allow me to explain why that joke is somewhat comical for those who may not understand. Even though you find mushrooms in the produce section of the grocery store, they aren’t technically vegetables. They actually belong to a group more closely related to humans than plants known as the FUNGI (pronounced fun-guy) kingdom (source).

Let me know when you stop laughing?

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Image courtesy of suttons.co.uk

Now that you’ve had your chuckles, I want to enlighten you on the serious health benefits mushrooms can provide. One cup of raw white button mushrooms (pictured above) contains ~1 gram (g) of fat, 2 g of carbs and 3 grams of protein. You should also be aware that different varieties of mushrooms can provide different amounts of micro & macronutrients. For example, while white button mushrooms only have 3 g of protein per cup, large portabella mushrooms contain 5 g per cup (source). Not a tremendous difference but definitely important to individuals who are looking for more non-animal protein sources.

Mushrooms are certainly a great low-carb addition to any meal, but I believe the real benefits lie in their micronutrients. They contain a significant amount of vitamin B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid) and B9 (folate). B vitamins play a major role in our energy levels and red blood cell formation, but they’re also important for brain health and fetal development (source).

Mushrooms are also the only non-animal, non-fortified source of vitamin D. This is a big reason why mushrooms are a frequent component of the vegan diet. The best dietary sources of vitamin D usually come from the animal kingdom OR processed foods enriched with vitamins and minerals (source). The naturally occurring vitamin D in mushrooms is important to several bodily functions & systems, but recent research suggest that its biggest benefit may be cancer prevention.

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The results of two separate studies, one published in 2015 and the other published this year, suggested that specific varieties of mushrooms demonstrated the ability to suppress the genetic markers associated with certain types of cancer (source). I don’t care how funny they are, mushroom’s ability to fight off the Big C is a much better reason to have them at your next party.

That’s a call back people.

Speaking of calls. You should schedule a Skype call with yours truly to discuss your current health & fitness plan. I’d love to provided you with tips on exercise, nutrition or accountability. All you have to do is send me an email at elementaltampa@gmail.com. You can also email us your delicious mushroom recipes or share a pic of your favorite mushrooms dish on our social channels (FacebookInstagram or Twitter).

What’s on the Menu – The Fruit that Tells You It’s Summer

We discussed the optimum growing seasons for produce in a recent episode of the Addicted to Fitness podcast (click to listen), but we didn’t discuss which produce best REPRESENTS each season. My “season appropriate produce” list is as follows:

  • Fall – Pumpkins, squash and other gourds
  • Winter – Kale and Apples
  • Spring – Berries and Asparagus
  • Summer – Corn and Watermelon

I’m OK with people disagreeing with me on most of my choices, but for those who don’t agree that watermelon is the most summer produce there is I say FOR SHAME.

I can’t be the only one who attended summer cookouts where the giant green melon was used for the appetizer, main course and/or dessert. I’m sure if you go back and look at your family photos, they’ll be a picture of you standing next to a sprinkler with a giant wedge of watermelon in your hand. The fruit’s optimum growing season is May through September for PETE’S SAKE. Anything else go on between May and September?

How bout a little thing called summer break.

I rest my case.

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Now that I’ve established the fact the watermelon is THE summer produce, let’s discuss whether or not it’s healthy. One cup of watermelon contains less than one gram (g) of fat & protein and 11 g of carbs, 9 of those grams coming from sugar.

Not terribly uncommon for a sweet fruit, but somewhat of a departure from the items you’d usually see on this weekly blog. The relatively high sugar content translates to a rather high number on the glycemic index (GI), 76. However, unlike its GI, watermelon’s glycemic load (GL) is only 8, which is considered low. In layman’s terms, a serving of watermelon can cause a blood sugar spike but only for a short period of time, which translates to a minimal insulin response (source). With that said, if you are obese or a type 2 diabetic, I’d suggest asking your physician if it’s OK to add watermelon to your diet.

If you are fortunate enough to include watermelon in your diet, expect even more benefits than just its delicious flavor. In addition to a host of important vitamins (A, B6 & C), minerals (copper & magnesium) and amino acids, watermelon contains a significant amount of the phytonutrient lycopene. This carotenoid is not only responsible for giving watermelon its red color, it also provides the fruit’s anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties. Recent research also suggests that lycopene can be very important to our cardiovascular and skeletal systems (source). Both of which are super important when you’re 30 something year old going head first down a homemade slip & slide.

I mean it is summer after all.

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Watermelon is also one of those fruits that pairs well with a wide variety of other foods. Shannon and I are big fans of watermelon salad with feta cheese and reduced balsamic dressing. If you have any other mouthwatering dishes that feature watermelon, please share them with us on social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter).

Before I wrap up this menu spotlight, I want to give you a friendly reminder about ETTampa’s free fitness consultations. If you are looking for a little guidance, whether it be for exercise, nutrition or even accountability, send me an email at elementaltampa@gmail.com.

Hope to hear from you soon!

Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – From the Vault: UFC Date Night & How You Like Your Eggs

Every so often, Shannon and I like to share an episode from the earlier version of the podcast known as the ETT Wrap Show. These throwback episodes act not only as an audio time capsule, but also share pertinent health & fitness information with our current audience. This episode from the ETT Wrap Show vault kicks off discussing our upcoming group workout on the Tampa Riverwalk (link).

Outdoor workouts, especially in a safe environment, are extremely beneficial because of the exercise involved and the fact that they get you outside. Remember, vitamin D, which is important to bone density and hormone regulation, is obtained by soaking up a little sun. If you have any parks, green spaces and/or riverwalks in your city, you should definitely think about incorporating them into your fitness routine.

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Locations like the Tampa Riverwalk provide a great opportunity to incorporate outdoor training into your fitness routine

After singing the praises of the Tampa Riverwalk, Shannon and I discuss our experience at our first UFC Live event. I doubt I even have to say this, but the UFC is the largest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion in the world. I’m sure most of you probably already know that due to the upcoming boxing match involving the biggest personality in UFC history, Conor McGregor.

We didn’t get to see Conor at the event we attended, but we did see his next potential MMA opponent, Khabib Nurmagomedov (yes that’s his real name). Shannon was especially impressed by Khabib superior takedown skills and his luxurious headwear. Click the link to learn more about this special hat and see a picture of UFC announcer Joe Rogan wearing it.

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Whole eggs, egg white or egg yolks. Which do you prefer?

After recapping the UFC fight, we move onto a discussion about my favorite whole food of all time: EGGS! One whole egg, yolk & whites, contain 5 g of fat, 6 g of protein and no carbs. Essentially the perfect no-carb snack that will keep the pesky hunger hormones leptin and gherlin at bay, IMO. We go on to describe the different nutritional profiles for egg whites and egg yolks on their own. How you like your eggs is a question we know can vary widely from person to person based on which version they believe is the healthiest.

We put the call out to our listeners to tell us what type of eggs they thought were the healthiest. Much to my delight the overwhelming response was the whole egg. I’m pleased by this because it wasn’t too long ago that everyone believed that eating eggs increased the cholesterol in your blood. However, according to a 2015 press release from the Mayo Clinic (link), dietary cholesterol, which whole eggs are high in, does not raise cholesterol in our blood. HOORAY!!

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We hope you all enjoy these throwback episodes as much as our normal episodes. If you do, please let us know by giving us a rating & review in iTunes (link). Also, we’d really, really, REALLY appreciate it if you vote for Addicted to Fitness as the “best local podcast” in Creative Loafing’s Best of the Bay contest. Voting will be opening in a few weeks so bookmark their website (link) now and check back at the end of July to vote.

To show our appreciation for all the support you give us, I encourage you to take advantage of our current free fitness consultation offer. If you are looking for a little guidance, whether it be for exercise, nutrition or even accountability, send me an email at elementaltampa@gmail.com. Let’s make your fitness a top priority

Links to this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/from-the-vault-ufc-date-night-how-you-like-your-eggs/id1121420986?i=1000389968387&mt=2

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/nick-burch-702220833/from-the-vault-ufc-date-night

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/from-the-vault-ufc-date-night-how-you-like-your-eggs

 

Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – What’s Up with Coconut Oil & The 1776 Edition of the Macros Game

Nick let me take over the show notes today for our special holiday episode.

First off a couple of special announcements.

We want to thank you all for your nominations for Creative Loafing’s Best of the Bay 2017! Later in the month, voting will start and we’ll most likely need your help once again. For now, mark your calendars and check back on cltampa.com/botb2017 later in July.

In the meantime, if you’re interested in a free fitness consultation from ETTampa, email Nick at elementaltampa@gmail.com. He’s offering up a 30-min phone/Skype call, regardless of location.

Training Recap

While Nick is lifting more at Tampa Strength, he’s also using some new toys. One, called a landmine attachment, is especially great for rotational exercises.

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Landmine attachment image courtesy of amazon.com

I’ve been making some adjustments due to the pregnancy even on the Peloton, since my heart rate spikes up faster these days during training. I’ve also been taking prenatal yoga classes, which teaches you how to move with your body when you’re going through some pretty incredible changes. It’s definitely helped me to see what an important need for prenatal and even beyond (fourth trimester) yoga is and has me thinking it’s an area I might want to take my training.

Now onto the main events.

Many people have been talking about the recent USA Today article, “Coconut oil isn’t healthy. It’s never been healthy.”

People have been reaching out to Nick for his opinions, which is ironic because it followed a blog post that he published a few weeks before this one was published. The USA Today article reports that the American Heart Association’s (AHA) recommendation is NOT to use coconut oil because it could raise LDL cholesterol which could lead to cardiovascular disease.

Coconut oil is almost entirely saturated fat, which we’ve discussed the beneficial aspects of before on the podcast, but it is still being vilified by certain organizations. Stating that coconut oil doesn’t provide any health benefits is untrue; it’s great for skin, anti-pathogenic and does contain medium chain triglycerides, which are less likely to be stored as fat.

After examining the details, the article’s title is total click-bait because it actually goes on to discuss why you should keep your coconut oil including how coconut oil won’t turn to trans fat like certain vegetable oils, which the AHA recommends you use.

Our recommendation is not to throw the baby out with the bath water. Use coconut oil in moderation and check out some more facts, like those in the TIME article on coconut oil, which is more non-partisan.

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The 1776 Edition of the Macros Game

For anyone that is unfamiliar with the Macros Game, it is a nutritional trivia game that requires the contestants (Nick and I) to guess the macronutrient (fat, protein or carbohydrate) when given its amount in one serving of a specific food.

So, since this comes out in time for Independence day, we’re doing a 1776 edition of the Macros game featuring foods that were popular at that time and are still available today (in some form or another).

You should definitely listen to the full game on the podcast. Some of the food items featured in this edition of the Macros game include:

  • mutton (adult sheep – which particularly grossed me out)
  • oysters
  • scrapple (one of Nick’s fav’s)
  • corn chowder

This Macros game has a shocking result so make sure you listen! Feel free to play along and send us your scores.

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As we wrap it up, here’s a friendly reminder to take advantage of the ETTampa free fitness consultation. If you are looking for a little guidance, whether it be for exercise, nutrition or even accountability, send Nick an email at elementaltampa@gmail.com. We’d also love it if you connect with us on social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter).

Links for this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/whats-up-with-coconut-oil-a-1776-edition-of-the-macros-game/id1121420986?i=1000389464597&mt=2

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/nick-burch-702220833/whats-up-with-coconut-oil-a

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/the-fourth-of-july-edition-of-the-macros-game

Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – Getting Enough Iron & Metabology Taste Test

Shannon here, bringing you some show notes from the recent episode.

Looking back on our training recap for the week I’m proud to say being pregnant hasn’t held me back from my training. In fact, I’ve been able to keep up with my training goals for the last 6 weeks, just scaled back. Gone are the days of high impact and even super high intensity, replaced with some more moderate plans. In addition, I’ve expanded my yoga practice to include prenatal yoga, which was eye opening, especially when it comes the pelvic floor exercises (oh so important).

Meanwhile, Nick has been trying to get in some strength training, though he admits he’s been slacking a bit in the last week. The majority of his work has been focused on kettlebells. He’s also been doing a 30-day “waist trainer” challenge with clients.

Next, we get into some recent doctor visits. At the recent St Pete Healthy Lifestyles health expo, put on by future podcast guest Mika Rotunda, Nick took advantage of a discounted consultation at local chiropractor office. He learned that he doesn’t have optimum movement in the upper spine (cervical and thoracic) and that he has a slight forward head position. Both Nick and I agreed that he should start getting regular massages, but in the meantime, he’s working on some mobility work at Tampa Strength.

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Image courtesy of appreciategoods.com

For my doctor visit, I had the joyous opportunity to do the glucose test for gestational diabetes. Thankfully my results came back negative.

I also had some bloodwork done and had my iron levels checked. Despite having had normal levels at the beginning of my pregnancy, it seems my iron levels have decreased since the baby is using more iron. Turns out pregnant women need twice the daily value (DV) of iron than non-pregnant women, about 30g per day. Now that I know, I’m being diligent about taking my prenatal vitamin and getting more iron from the food I’m eating.

In looking up those foods rich in iron, I learned there are two types – heme iron (from animal sources, attached to protein) and nonheme iron (plant sources, which don’t typically get absorbed as well).

The top 10 iron rich foods (via the Dr. Axe article)

  • Top 10 iron rich food; click on food to read more about their additional health benefits

Though we both were fairly informed about foods packed with iron, we both learned something new when it came to vitamins that help or inhibit the absorption of iron. Turns out Vitamin C is an iron “enabler” (hello, strawberries), but calcium (dairy) is an iron inhibitor. So, turns out what I pair my spinach salad with is extremely important!

Now on to the main meal… literally.

Metmeals

Learn more about the Metabology meal service at metabology.co

Despite the fact both Nick and I believe that cooking the majority of meals is a key component to eating clean, it’s a big commitment and a lot of time goes into it. At some points in your life, we all need something fast. However, the “fast food” industry is not the best option for a decent meal, especially as abuse of that food contributes to health epidemics like obesity and Type 2 Diabetes.

We had the opportunity to review Metabology meals, which is a food service that is available here in the Tampa Bay area.

We tried two meals, cooked by the German chefs that create the recipes, and we divided them up. Here’s a quick look at our taste test:

  • My meal – Breakfast Skillet
    • Plastic containers keep the food fresh and are microwave safe, coming complete with cooking instructions, macronutrient breakdown and a best by date
    • I missed that there was no ingredient list, but I took a guess at what was in my meal:  eggs, potatoes, green bean, yellow corn, sweet peppers, sausage, cheese, and herbs & spices. It also came with a small container of mild salsa
    • The overall taste was good, even after microwaving it, it wasn’t dried and had a nice little spice to it
    • Portion size was a bit big for me, and it took me a while to finish it, but it kept me full for over 3 hours
    • Overall rating: two thumbs up
  • Nick’s meal – Chipotle Chicken with Northeastern Veggie Medley with White Rice
    • We both found the container lids somewhat tough to get off, but it may be why the food stays so fresh
    • Chicken wasn’t rubbery after microwaving it and even the rice tasted fresh (not an easy feat for microwaved rice), which was a very pleasant surprise
    • The chipotle “sauce” on the chicken was tasty but not sure what it was made of
    • Meal kept him full for over 3 hours, which is especially rare for Nick
    • Overall rating: one and a half thumbs up

Our mutual conclusion was that the meals were good, but both Nick and I agreed that we’d like to get more information about their ingredient sourcing and preparation process.

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Knowing that meal prep takes time, TELL US, about you meal prep experience.

And don’t forget email elementaltampa@gmail.com to take advantage of the free fitness consultation we’re currently offering.

If you haven’t done so already and can nominate Addicted to Fitness for best local podcast in Creative Loafing’s 2017 Best of the Bay, please do so.

Links for this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/getting-enough-iron-metabology-taste-test/id1121420986?i=1000389089665&mt=2

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/nick-burch-702220833/getting-enough-iron-metabology

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/getting-enough-iron-metabology-taste-test

What’s on the Menu – I can see clearly now

None of us are getting any younger. I know that’s not exactly breaking news, but I recently reached the point in my life where I’m beginning to feel the effects of aging. I cruised through my 20s with little concern every time my birthday rolled around. Now, as I inch closer to 34, I’m starting to experience issues that would have never affected me 5 years ago.

My muscles take a little longer to recover from a tough workout. It’s hard for me to be energetic the day after a poor night’s sleep and if I decide to forgo “clean eating” for a night, my digestive system is in turmoil for at least 24 hours. Fortunately, there is one bodily function that has yet to be touched by the hands of father time and I believe that has a lot to do with today’s menu spotlight.

Salad

Whether it be in a salad I packed for lunch or Shannon’s delicious Saucy Tomato Eggs (clink link for recipe), bell peppers frequently make their way into many of our meals. Unlike their spicy cousins, bell peppers do not contain capsaicin, which is why they’re often referred to as sweet peppers. True to their name, bell peppers provide a sweet flavor and a tremendous crunch to any recipe. Even though they lack the beneficial capsaicin compound, bell peppers provide a host of beneficial nutrients that can help manage several different health conditions, including poor eye sight.

One medium sized red bell pepper contains approximately 75% of our recommended daily value of vitamin A. Research has shown that the vitamin A contained in vegetables like bell peppers not only protects the surface of the eye, but also decreases the inflammation created by specific eye conditions (source). In addition to vitamin A, bell peppers also contain high levels of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which have been shown to be effective in the treatment of age-related vision loss (source). Believe it or not, the bell pepper’s health benefits don’t stop there.

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Bell peppers also contain a significant amount of vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate and numerous antioxidants. This nutrient dense fruit/veggie improves immunity, reduces inflammation, promotes healthy pregnancies and stimulates collagen production. It’s important to remember that a lot of the vitamins bell peppers possess are fat soluble vitamins. Which means you need to prepare them with a fat source. Sauteing them up in olive oil or butter should do the trick (source).

I know I included the link already, but do yourself a favor and check out Shannon’s saucy tomato eggs recipe. If I had to pick only one meal that contained bell peppers to eat for the rest of my life, it would be that one.

No doubt about it.

If you have a recipe that features bell peppers that you can’t live without, please let me know about it. You can email your recipes to elementaltampa@gmail.com or post a pic of your favorite bell pepper recipe on one of our various social media channels. It’s going to be hard to beat Shannon’s recipe, but you can try.

What’s on the Menu – Looks like Popeye was Right

I had a stout aversion to any green vegetables growing up. I don’t know if it’s a phase all kids go through, but the idea of eating peas, broccoli or kale made me physically ill. My parents gave up trying to incorporate green veggies into my diet after an unfortunate “messy” situation at the kitchen table. Those scarring experiences are probably why my parents, and other relatives, are still astonished when they see me pile green veggies on my plate nowadays.

One such green veggie that seems to make it into my diet on a daily basis is spinach. To be honest with you, I actually have to limit how much spinach I eat. It’s not because I’m prone to kidney stones, which the oxalates in spinach can contribute to, it’s because Shannon and I eat so much that we’d have to buy a new container multiple times a week. If you listened to this week’s Addicted to Fitness (episode link) you’d know that we buy it organically grown since the conventionally grown version contains high pesticide levels. I’d hate to go broke over spinach, but its health benefits are so prolific that its worth spending a little extra cash.

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I’m sure you’ve heard some of the major health benefits that spinach provides: high in numerous water & fat soluble vitamins (K, A, B6, Folate), minerals (magnesium, copper, iron) and fiber. What you may not be aware of are the potential health benefits of its “lesser” known micronutrients.

Spinach happens to be one of the richest sources of chlorophyll (substance that makes it green) on the planet, which means it’s also one of the richest sources of thylakoids. Recent research using spinach extract containing high levels of thylakoids has been shown to delay stomach emptying, decrease levels of hunger-related hormones and increase levels of satiety-related hormones. This research suggests that spinach extracts may be a viable treatment method for obesity and type 2 diabetes (source). In addition to its numerous health benefits, the mild taste of spinach makes it a welcome addition to a variety of dishes.

Spinach smoothie

Naturally I incorporate spinach into any salad I make, but the one meal that I always add spinach to that may come as a surprise to some is my homemade smoothie. Vegetable and fruit smoothies are a great way to add more dark leafy greens into your diet. My go-to recipe includes:

  • A big handful of spinach
  • 1/3 cup of blueberries
  • 1/3 cup of strawberries
  • 3 tbsp of Collagen Hydrolysate protein powder
  • 2 tsp of cinnamon & turmeric

I don’t think I’ve found a dish that I wouldn’t add spinach too. Even though I haven’t tried it in a dessert, I’m certain I wouldn’t turn down a bowl of spinach ice cream. Please feel free to share your favorite spinach recipe in the comment section below or email them to us at elementaltampa@gmail.com. You can also share pics of your delicious spinach meals on our Facebook page. Click here and post away!