low carb

What’s on the Menu – Cauliflower: The Veggie Drawer’s Utility Player

If you all are anything like me, you knew when your mom or dad was cooking cauliflower for dinner. Hell, you could probably smell it before you even walked in the house. In today’s post, we’re going to go over several reasons why you should eat cauliflower, but I get why kids don’t exactly go crazy when they see it on the dinner table. The smell, the stark white appearance and the overall bland flavor would turn off any 8 year old. The beauty of this “blank canvas” of a veggie is in its versatility and the fact that it is a nutritional “powerhouse“.

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Cauliflower belongs to the cruciferous vegetable family, which includes other highly nutritious veggies like kale, broccoli and turnips. One cup of cauliflower contains 5g of carbs with over half of those carbs coming from fiber. The phytonutrients contained in cauliflower include a significant amount of Vitamin C, K and folate. It also contains an organic compound known as glucosinolates, which when broken down during the cooking process produces cauliflower’s less than appetizing smell, but also produces several other compounds that have been found to have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects (source).

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You know me, I’ll sacrifice taste for a nutritional payoff (e.g. sardines). Luckily, cauliflower is so adaptable that you can use it to make some of your favorite carby side dishes. Instead of white rice, try riced cauliflower (pictured above). Instead of tater tots, try cauliflower tots. Instead of a wheat based pizza crust, try a cauliflower pizza crust. Yes that’s a real thing! Former guest of the Addicted to Fitness podcast Anna Vocino has an awesome cauliflower pizza crust recipe on here website. Give her recipe a shot and let me know how it comes out. We’d love to see pictures of how you dress up your cauliflower.

What’s on the Menu

If you’ve been following this blog for an extended period of time, you are probably privy to the fact that I’m a devout omnivore. That devotion is what inspires me to order the “charcuterie board” whenever I see it on a restaurant’s menu.

Meat and cheese may seem simple, but the variety of flavors that can exist within those two food categories appears to be endless. Which is why when Shannon asked me what we should have for a mid afternoon snack on Christmas I almost involuntarily responded, “charcuterie!”

I’ll admit right now that I had no idea that my request would result in the picture you see below.

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(Vegan Cheeze Dip in the top left corner)

As you can see the board contained a variety of meats and cheeses, but it also contained Shannon’s vegan cheeze dip. I know what you’re thinking “How the hell can cheese dip be vegan?” Fortunately, the answer to that question is ridiculously simple. Check out the recipe from her blog to see why:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cup Raw Cashews
  • 2-3 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 3/4 cup Water
  • 3 tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • pinch of Cayenne Powder
  • pinch of Turmeric

DIRECTIONS:

Dump all the ingredients into a food processor and blend till creamy.

This recipe is perfect for everyone! It doesn’t contain any dairy, the cashews are full of healthy fats (source), the nutritional yeast has a surprising amount of protein (source) and the vast majority of its carbs come from fiber.

You make this dip for you next big party and I promise you’ll be having people asking you for the recipe. Just make sure you tell them you got it from elementaltampa.com!

What’s on the Menu

This week’s #whatiatewednesday is not only a delicious one, but a super easy “do it yourself” one. It all started when I saw that my local Whole Foods had a sale on organic pork ribs. For less than $10, I was able to purchase ribs from pigs that weren’t given any antibiotics or growth hormones and were fed organic, non-GMO, feed. Even though we’ve recently talked about how misleading food labels can be, the price and my desire for ribs made this an easy purchase. I have a preference for smoked ribs, but that takes a tremendous amount of time, which is something I feel most people lack especially in the middle of a workweek. That’s why the crockpot is such a godsend. Cover these bad boys in a homemade NO SUGAR dry rub, then throw them in the crockpot on low for 8 hours and BAM! Fall of the bone ribs. No need to cover these ribs in a sugary BBQ or any liquid at all. Your dry rub will provide all the flavor you need without giving you that pesky blood sugar spike.

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Body Types, Skinny Fat and the drawbacks of the Body Mass Index (BMI)

Fresh off our trip up to New England, Shannon and I kick off this week’s Addicted to Fitness podcast reminiscing about how good, and how bad we were in regards to what we ate. Shannon discovered, with the help of the Lose It! app, that the most egregious diet perpetrators were the adult beverages and dessert. In other words, SUGAR! Even though we strayed a little from our normal low-carb diet, we weren’t the only ones concerned about “cheating” on our diets. We discovered that a couple of close friends had recently joined Weight Watchers and I’m happy to say have had some awesome results. I know that in the past we’ve voiced our concerns about the long-term success rates of “calorie counting” diets, but I do believe they can make people more cognizant of the effect certain foods have on their bodies. Their weight loss and the way they were discussing food choices made me believe they were on the road to healthy eating.

 

After our trip down recent memory lane, Shannon and I jump into a discussion about the 3 different body types. According to a article adapted from the book ROAR by Stacy T. Sims, PhD, the three general body types are ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph. Each body type has different symmetry, ability to gain/lose fat or muscle, exercise preferences and nutrition requirements. According to the article, Shannon and I identify with a lot of the mesomorph qualities but we also possess attributes from the other categories. Check out this article and let us know which body types you most identify with. It may help you determine which nutrition and exercise plan will optimize your health.

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Image courtesy of robinshea.com

One of the seemingly antiquated methods to determine overall health is the Body Mass Index (BMI). A simple ratio of weight and height has been used for nearly 200 years to determine whether a person is underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese. Shannon and I discuss the pitfalls of BMI, including some troubling statistics brought to light in a recent New York Times article. The article breaks down a survey of over 5,000 people in which nearly 1 out of 5 participants were misidentified as being at a healthy or unhealthy weight. One segment of the population that is misdiagnosed are those with weight that is normal according to BMI, but their body fat % is higher than recommended. This phenomenon is known as “Skinny Fat” and Shannon and I describe why this may be more dangerous than being obese.

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Image courtesy of nytimes.com

Week in and week out, we try our very best to give you the most up to date health & fitness information. Whether it be about healthy foods, new exercise equipment or the latest wellness book, our goal is to provide information that will ultimately improve your quality of life. We already have our next interview with a health & fitness professional lined up, and we’re planning a couple cool on-location podcasts for the near future. Our weekly downloads continue to climb which tells us that you enjoy what you hear and you’re sharing the podcast. Keep on sharing and please, please, please give us a rating and review on iTunes. Thanks again and stay healthy this week peeps!

Links to this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/addicted-to-fitness-podcast/id1121420986?mt=2#episodeGuid=4b15b6c3cd7a94b904e0ace4e33cdb5e

Android/Google Play: http://subscribeonandroid.com/addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/rss

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/body-types-skinny-fat-and-the-drawbacks-of-the-body-mass-index-bmi

Product Review: Countertop Spiralizer

One food item that I feel a lot of people have a hard time giving up when trying to eat a more low-carb diet is pasta, specifically the dry variety. It’s cheap, easy to prepare, and can be used in a multitude of different dishes. However, the glycemic response to most pasta, especially those not cooked al dente, can be higher than non-starchy vegetables not to mention possible inflammation due to gluten sensitivity. What’s the solution to keeping your weekly pasta dish while sticking to your low-carb diet? THE SPIRALIZER! This fantastic kitchen gadget can turn any vegetable into noodles. You got a zucchini? BOOM, ZOODLES! You got a carrot? BOOM, COODLES! You got a, ok I think you get the idea. This product is easy to use and usually comes with several different blades and can spiralize pretty much anything. You can see below it has no problem turning a whole sweet potato into shoe string sweet potatoes (FYI – sweet potatoes and pasta have a similar glycemic load). There is a handheld version, but I would recommend the countertop version because it’s much easier to use and is only about $10 more on Amazon. I think this is a great investment for anyone trying to reduce the amount of processed carbs in their diet. If you have a veggie spiralizer, let me know what your go-to recipes are.

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