YUZU [: you-so] Healthy

Yuzu?

Is this like another Snaahhz-berries
Alas, it is not – Sorry, Gene Wilder fans.

However, I’m sure it will be on Dr OZ and Oprah soon – so congrats to fans of them!

Keep your ears and eyes peeled for this new super-fruit.
In fact, keep the peel too.
Allow me to explain.

I know I just wrote an article about the benefits of Vitamin C – so consider this an addendum, as I was just made privy to this incredible little fruit while doing research for a client and wanted to get it at your fingertips right away.
Yuzu.
Pronounced “you –so”, that was for real up top, not just another one of my puns. Sometimes the Universe smiles on me, what can I say.

It is a small citrus fruit native to China that is slowly making its way over to the States and is being used in high-end restaurants [particularly Asian ones] in cocktails, dressings, marinades, syrups, sorbets, and sauces.

Like So..Yuzu Sangria

Like So..Yuzu Sangria

The taste has been called “tart, but not bitter” with an incredible ability to refresh the palate in between courses. Agriculturally speaking, it is a cross between the Mandarin Orange and the Ichang Papeda, an exotic citrus fruit native to the Himalayas.

     mandarin          +       OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     =  yuzu3     [ Smiley face not included]

That all sounds great, but what about its nutritional content?
Rest assured, if it made it onto this website, it is jam-packed with vitamins and phytonutrients.

Let’s look at some of the amazing benefits of this tiny little fruit – the most potent of which is actually found in the peel!

1. Recent studies completed by researchers in South Korea [where the largest crop of Yuzu is cultivated] showed that food fortified with powdered Yuzu extract [simply made from the shavings of the peel zest] protected brain neurons by preventing the buildup of brain plaques associated with dementia.
2. Yuzu extract, found in the flesh, juice, and peel, is rich in the phytonutrient/flavonoid known as Hesperidin and Naringin. Both of these flavonoids are unique in that they contain anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties allowing them to cross the blood-brain barrier and act directly to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. Why is this important?

a. Oxidative stress and inflammation of the brain are linked to dementia
                                                         b. Reversing the processes of stress and inflammation of the brain assists in reversing insulin resistance

                                                                                                i. insulin resistance in the brain is thought to cause plaques in the hippocampus region of the brain, which is the part of the brain largely responsible memory and spatial navigation [cognitive decline in this area manifests as dementia]

3. Interestingly, as the Yuzu fruit ripens, the level of antioxidants increases, specifically in the PEEL which has high levels of Pectin to help coat and protect stomach lining and ward of digestive tract ulcers

yuzu2
The peel is edible and should be cleaned first as with any fruit/veggie possibly subject to insecticides
TIPS:

Gently scrub the outer peel with some sea salt and rinse in cold water*
Eat the peel as is
Use as a “zest” garnish in drinks or salads
Grind into powder and use as part of a spice blend to add a tang to anything you feel tastes good Tangy

Unfortunately, the fruit doesn’t travel well so seeing it in your local supermarkets may take a while but the juices are in specialty markets and reasonable priced.yuzu 1

If you wish to try Yuzu as part of a more…familiar beverage, there is always the ever impressive New Belgium beer company that has developed an infused-hops version of “juice”. Although I cannot guarantee if the integrity of the phytochemicals withstands the fermentation process. It couldn’t hurt, though 🙂

yuzu5
Also, if you are of the go-big-or-go-home mentality, you can purchase a Yuzu sapling tree from a local nursery [in larger metropolitan cities] and grow your own for about $45

**this method can be used on any fruit or vegetable you wish to clean before eating. I recommend cleaning all fruits and vegetables before consumption.

At-ten-tion! At Ease, Miss Fits

attention

If I told you that there was a structure in your body that every single vital and non-vital organ has attachments to – –

A structure that houses 90 % of the nerves controlling bodily function – – 

A structure that when properly maintained wins you brownies points for both your physiological and aesthetic appeal…would you believe me that  95 % of people abuse this structure on a daily basis simply by living life mildly unaware?

TRUE STORY

Today, I want to expand a bit on the Recent Article I wrote on trigger points and address a particular stress you put on your body each day – poor posture.
In case you had not already guessed, that “structure” mentioned above is none other than the Spine. That beautiful “S” shaped backbone, specially designed for shock-absorption of the bi-ped Homo-Sapien Sapien. That’s you, Reader.

Let’s be honest – – Life is hard enough, NO one wants to shrink as they get older – let alone look like Quasimodo as they do. Whether you are 14 or 84, Posture is important. Simply standing up straight, shoulders back, chin slightly angled, can help you appear taller, thinner, and more confident. A pictures to help illustrate me point:

It's all about the posture, don't let the cape fool you...

It’s all about the posture, don’t let the  cape fool you…

Again, the cape is only for effect.

Again, the cape is only for effect.

 

Whereas poor posture, typically characterized by someone who slouches or slumps, can really do a number on your body as it stresses and strains a variety of muscles and joints, compresses blood muscles, and makes you appear shy, unmotivated, and even unprofessional. With as much time as we spend in front of our tv’s, laptops, notebooks, and cell phones, it is more important than ever to take inventory of how you are doing with posture.

Again some examples for my visual folks out there:

posture1posture3

Keep in mind, every inch forward or down [towards that screen] your head goes creates 10 lbs of pressure on your neck [and is a big contributor to those headaches and lower back pain you’ve been having].

 

posture4

I recommend going hands free whenever possible at work and at home – cradling a telephone in between your shoulder and ear actually compresses blood vessels and will irritate nerves over time to the point where you may feel tingling.

Lastly, I know we can’t always reduce our quote Emotional Baggage, but do try to limit the actual baggage you carry around on a daily basis. According to the American Chiropractic Association, we should carry no more than 10% of our body weight throughout the day [i.e. 15 lbs of baggage for someone weighing 150 lbs].

SO, Ladies [and gentleman], downsize that purse [or man satchel], possibly opt for a backpack style that evenly distributes weight on both shoulders, or get a rolling briefcases for all those files you lug around for work.

After all, the Circle of Life doesn’t have to look like this: posture2

 

DAILY PROMPT: Que Sera Sera, Siempre por Siempre

In response to another brilliant Daily Prompt from the Daily Post

moon-and-stars-

Ever For Always

Siempre por Siempre

Ever find yourself someplace you never thought you would be?

Wonder how you got there?
Then wonder how to leave?

Ever find yourself in that place happy, blissfully unaware ?
Ever wonder if maybe you shouldn’t leave, then wonder if you dare?

Ever think that maybe, just maybe, there really is no plan?
Ever think that maybe it’s just plant, animal, woman, and man?

Ever doubt that it’s really all for one and one for all? Ever doubt that you will make the right decisions to answer your call?

Ever met someone who promised to hang the stars and moon?

Ever wonder if it was he who left you or you who left him – either way knowing it felt too soon?

At last, I have more questions than answers.
But
This I know:
The only way I know to love is with my whole heart
I know not what it means to only give a part.
I feel no shame in crying
I will always work my hardest, or die trying.
My name is Miss Fit.
And I’m more afraid of not Living than I am of Dying.

The Hangover IV

Oh No!

A Hangover article from a Health Nut??

Get the picket signs ready, she’s bringing back the Prohibition, I just know it…

prohibition

I could tell you that alcohol [ETOH] is a no-no and the Prohibition should have stuck around a few more decades. But I’m not going to give the satisfaction of being predictable….

 

 

Like the fair Zach G says in the above trailer: “We’ve been on a lot of [drunken] adventures together, but it seems like you haven’t learned anything”

So I’m gonna learn ‘ya somthin’.

Ok, so you know how during a really fun night of boozin’ it up:

  1. You loosen up
  2. You have a ton of laughs
  3. Maybe you rough and tumble a little bit
  4. You’re feeling on top of the world
  5. The bartender belts out “last call”
  6. The lights come on [“oh jeez I was dancing with THAT?? Everyone really does look better in dim lighting]
  7. You call a taxi and get safely home [you didn’t think I was gonna go totally rogue and recommend drinking and driving did you?]
  8. As soon as your feet hit the floor in your house, away from all the Dub Step house music and twerking, you realize JUST HOW TIRED YOU ARE
  9. You think: “man alive am I going to sleep like a baby or WHAT”
  10. You lay down to a spinning room, consider getting up to drink some water, maybe pop an aspirin, and by the time you have role-played the out-of-body experience where you follow such a notion, you are asleep
  11. Only to wake up on Saturday morning like it’s Monday at the exact time your alarm for work would go off, possible earlier… WHAT IS THAT ABOUT?? “I thought for SURE I would sleep until 10 am today…”
  12. You realize going back to sleep is not happening, and you know what, you don’t feel so bad, almost perky even…
  13. Until about an hour of upright walking around and then you [a] feel the headache, [b] long for that water and aspirin you swore you crawled out of bed for…and [c] deeply desire to crawl back into bed for a mid -morning nap…

First things first, there is a reason your body responded this way – and it’s not just because the Universe hates you and Karma is telling you to use the extra awake hours to do laundry and call your mom like good boys and girls.

Allow me to explain:

The actual metabilization process of drinking alcohol [ethanol; ETOH] is quite intricate and complex and so I’m going to make this as Reader-friendly as possible.

In the world of Drugs, ETOH is a in the category of Depressants. More info on those Here

Essentially a Depressant drug does exactly as it says – it depresses: It makes one feel sluggish, foggy, and often sedated to the point of falling asleep.

Re-read #1-4 up top. Does that sound like I am characterizing a Depressant drug?

NO, it does not; in fact it sounds like I am describing someone who just popped “an Upper” and is waiting for the good times to start rolling… so what gives?

The fact of the matter is that ETOH, in small doses [“small” being of course dependent on age, gender, and body weight] has some stimulating properties to it as it increases heart rate and floods body with oxygenated blood before it begins its relaxation effects. Keep in mind too, THE ENVIRONMENT – – your body is constantly taking clues from it and being around a bunch of bodies jumping and thrashing full throttle with hyper-decibel music pounding is not exactly signaling the body to go night-night.

However, as you ingest more ETOH and it settles in to your blood stream [can take up to 40 mins] its true nature begins to surface. When you are in a Club scene this is hardly noticed as you are in the graces of Mind over Matter at that stage.

Again, depending on your age, gender, body weight, type of ETOH consumed, and presences of caffeine [i.e. Vodka with Red Bull will metabolize different than straight Vodka] or food [will slow down absorption], the sedative effect can last anywhere from 1 to about 6hrs after you consume the first beverage.

As the body starts processing the ETOH, your blood ETOH content is getting reduced [this is a good thing, it means your body is working properly] your levels will at some drop back down to the “Stimulating properties” level mentioned above. This is when you wake up and now feel like you can’t go back to sleep.

Once the ETOH is more fully processed and excreted, you likely become dehydrated [since ETOH is sugar and needs water to metabolize it – see Hydration Houdini for more info on that] and now feel fatigued again.

For my visual learners, I present you a very generalized, but informative graph.

duration_chart_alcohol

 

Now that you know WHY you may have trouble sleeping, allow me to offer a few naturalistic remedies to prevent you from feeling terrible once you wake up. Please note, these are Preventative Measures and should be taken before going to bed for best results.

Homeopathic Hangover Prevention

  • Bifidus Powder – 1 tsp in a glass of water, let dissolve, drink before bed; available in health food stores
  • B Vitamins – Take [1] capsule of B complex vitamin before bed, making sure it includes at least Thiamine and B6 as these help clear the liver of acetaldehyde which is the by-product of ETOH thought to cause most of the symptoms we associate with a hangover
  • Milk Thistle – Take[ 2] 70 mg capsules before bed, checking to make sure there is at least 75% silymarin, the therapeutic factor in this herb; available in health food stores

Reelin’ in the Bait for Ascorbate

Ascorbate?

What in the world is ascorbate?

Simple – It is the scientific name for Vitamin C.

By the way, did you know that historically, citrus fruits were a staple on sea voyages to stave off Scurvy – a disease caused by vitamin C deficiency that results in fatigue, exhaustion, edema, and membrane ulcerations? True story.

scurvy

And yes, the sea-faring pun in the title of this post was planned. You thought I was kidding about how much I love puns? Not a chance.

Now, I want to draw your attention to another lesser known fact. Quick, go gather up all the over-the-counter [OTC] pills you ever bought that promised you there were going to

BURN FAT!

SUPRESS APPETITE!

MELT ALL THOSE UNWANTED POUNDS AWAY!

In case you are part of the 1.02579% of the population that has never purchased a fat-burning product and happen to also not live with anyone that may have done so. Here are a few examples of the pills I am talking about

fat burn2

Here is a list of ingredients from one in particular [but if you check they are all variations of the same]:

Supplement Facts. Serving Size: 2 Metacaps. Servings Per Container: 28. Proprietary Blend, 866 Mg. Containing, % Daily Value:++ Blood Orange (Fruit) Extract, +. Sweet Orange (Fruit) Extract,+. Bitter Orange (Fruit) Extract, +. Grapefruit (Fruit) Extract, +. Guarana (Fruit) Extract – Standardized To 12% Caffeine, +. Coffee (Bean) Extract – Standardized To 70% Natural Caffeine, +. Alpha Lipoic Acid, +. Kola Nut (Seed) Extract – Standardized To 12% Caffeine, +. Cocoa (Seed) Extract, +. White Willow (Bark) Extract, +. Cayenne Pepper (Fruit) Powder, +. Other Ingredients: Gelatin, Rice Flour, Magnesium Stearate, Carmine, Silicon Dioxide, Titanium Dioxide

Notice anything?

Of the words you see, that you recognize, do several of them look like they could fit into a category called……. Citrus Fruit?

While it is not recommended that you embark on the infamous “Grapefruit Diet” [where only grapefruits are consumed], citrus fruits are a great way to facilitate weight loss and overall wellness. Grapefruits, oranges, and lemons [just to name a few] are high in soluble fiber meaning that the molecules absorb in water and form a gel-like substance that actually clings to carbohydrates and slows down their absorption – making them ideal foods for Diabetics by reducing insulin spikes and helping the body utilize nutrients more efficiently. Grapefruits and Lemons are also very high in Collagen and the trace mineral Choline. Together these nutrients help strengthen the walls of your arteries, preserve the elasticity of your skin, and prevent fatty liver. In addition to eating the fruits whole, easily increase your intake of citrus by squeezing the juices in your water or tea and using with Olive Oil for simple infused dressings and marinades.

Other fruits AND VEGETABLES [don’t forget that Ascorbate is in vegetables too!]

fatburn4

ok, scroll back up, notice anything else in that list of ingredients?

Caffeine/Coffee and Cayenne Pepper?

Remember from This Morning’s Breakfast Post – where I mention the benefit of a cup of java and some hot sauce?

 It’s true.

Caffeine has several health benefits, including but not limited to [1] kicking metabolism in to gear [2] acting as a Diuretic to get rid of excess of water weight [3] sharpening your focus [4] giving energy boost for work outs [5] and according to newer studies, may even ward off Alzheimer’s.

 Quick Caffeine by the Numbers

6 oz drip coffee – 100-125 mg*

1 oz espresso – 80-100 mg

Black tea – 50mg

Green tea 30 mg

*Dark roast coffee has less caffeine than blonde roasts

Now the Cayenne Pepper.

The benefit of the Cayenne pepper lies in the phytonutrient Capsicum. You know that heat you feel when you bit into something spicy? That element that goes right to your sinuses and sometimes makes you cry? Or sweat? Or both [it’s ok no judgment here] – that’s capsicum. I love spicy food and actually recommend it when fighting off a cold – however – when capsicum is isolated into a pill form, it is very harsh on the stomach and often can act as an appetite suppressant because of the hot feeling it creates in the stomach lining. This can increase your chances of stomach ulcers long-term.  Medically-speaking, capsicum is more commonly used topically that internally. Check out this article to see some of those uses

My dear Readers, as a general rule of thumb, if something is used more commonly topically than internally, let this be a red flag at minimum to further investigate before you get  seduced by a rock-hard sexy lady on the front of a cardboard box.

Tragic to think it could be a scam, I realize. But stay with me for the take home message:

Remember taking supplements, while not EVIL, is always the second-best option. Our bodies prefer to absorb nutrients from foods themselves, as there are a lot of nutrients that work together to be effectively utilized by the body and when you isolate it in supplement form you lose out on this benefit [and almost always cost yourself more money].

SO save your money. Grab some citrus, and get healthy naturally.

‘Orange you glad you read this?

Last pun I swear….

citrus

Sunday Morning Best

It’s the Weekend.
Sunday Morning to be exact.
Unless you live in a different Time Zone than me – – In which case you might already be at work Monday morning [my deepest sympathies]; or you may be able to still claim Saturday [in which case I could claim envy… and I just might…]

 Whether you are living Sunday, already lived it, or will be living it shortly, the fact remains that weekend breakfast is typically eaten amongst causal circumstances: friends, family, and the notion that since it’s being eaten later than usual one is free to consume the calories of both breakfast and lunch – a concept we have branded as “Brunch”.

                 bob evans                                cracker barrel

 Ah, yes, Brunch. If you live here in the States, just the very word brings thoughts of Bob Evans and Cracker Barrel dancing in your head… Biscuits and Gravy, Shrimp and Grits, Western Omelets, Country Fried Steaks, tall glasses of O.J. [the juice, not “The Juice” circa 1994], warm cups of coffee…
carolinaOr maybe the Carolina’s Breakfast Burrito is more your style? A little something to soak up the fermented sugar carbs [aka Beer, Liquor] of the night before, No?

Ok, being that I am a Realist, bordering on Optimist, with situational doses of Pessimism, I am going to just level with you and say, if you have one of the above x2 monthly and are moderately active: No big deal.

 If you are eating this way every weekend and are mostly sedentary: there is an increased likelihood you are setting yourself up for some serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke, hypertension [high blood pressure], and hyperlipidemia [high cholesterol/high tryglycerides or “blood fats”].

 What I want you to know is that there are healthier options for a lovely weekend brunch that are both lighter on your wallet and your waistline.

Oh – and this particular one I am sharing is Hangover-approved. Not that I recommend testing the theory – – as alcohol can seriously inhibit your ability to meet your fitness goals [look for an upcoming article titled The Hangover III for more on that topic] but like I said I am a Realist, bordering on Optimist, with situational doses of Pessimism – and my job is to meet my clients where they are at. I guarantee no matter what your habits are there are ways to improve your health without living a miserable Celery-Stick-Gym-Worshipping lifestyle. The combination of vitamins, minerals, protein, and carbs in this recipe is what makes it so dynamic for health, for hangovers, or for Hootenanny [if you still feel like you are missing out sans Cracker Barrel 

All righty then…. that being said, I shall get on with the Recipe.

 Two Eggs, a Waffle, and Some Strawberries.
Sounds lame. Or bland at best.
Definitely not the super powerhouse breakfast you were expecting from me?

Well I could have recommended a delightful recipe I came across recently that bragged about having 47 different antioxidants and all organic ingredients that you would need to buy a whole package of and never touch again [like Pepita Flour, Kale Krumbles, and Tahini] and take over 30 mins in prep work [i.e. seeding 10 pomegranates…YAWN]
BUT you and I both know – this is not practical or sustainable and therefore is NOT part of the MissFit plan.

 The beauty of this recipe lies in the fact that the ingredients are things you have heard of; they are not pricey, and they are versatile enough that you can use the individual ingredients again in other meals and not waste the money you did spend.

 The extent to which you wish to “power up” this recipe is entirely up to you. I always tailor my recommendations for seasonings and oils to my clients based on their unique situations [i.e. black pepper and garlic for cholesterol; coriander seeds for digestive ailments; sprinkle of cinnamon on the strawberries for my Diabetic clients, etc].

Feel free to send me a quick reply or confidential email write.with.ms@gmail.com and I would be happy to make recommendations for you.

 

Two Eggs, a Waffle, and Some Strawberries

  • Servings: 1
  • Time: 10 mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

 Ingredientssunday best
• ½ cup rinsed strawberries, sliced
• 2 eggs
• 2 tsp olive oil or flaxseed oil
• 1 waffle [ I used VAN’s Natural Foods Gluten Free; check your labels and stay away from ingredients you CANNOT pronounce; if it sounds like a chemical it probably is]
• Seasoning blend [black pepper, CHIA seeds, caraway seeds, coriander]
• Hot sauce to taste [I use Sriracha] *optional; if you are on the fence just know it does have metabolism-boosting properties which is essential for first meal of the day

 Directions
1. Use oil in pan to prevent sticking; allow pan to heat to medium temperature
2. Cook two eggs however you prefer them in said pan, sprinkle on seasonings and allow them to cook into the eggs
3. Place waffle in toaster, toast to medium [unlike my picture above where you can see I clearly burned mine. Do as I say, not as I do…]
4. While waffle and eggs are cooking, rinse off strawberries and slice into desired shape
5. Brew a cup of coffee * also optional; caffeine operates as a natural catalyst in the body and will help transport of nutrients and support metabolic processing; also good for that hangover I alluded to earlier, just make sure you have a glass of water as well.
6. Place completed ingredients on a plate, pour your beverage[s] and Enjoy!
7. Feel free to double the recipe for you and your Overnight Guest. Unless said Overnight Guest is directly related to said hangover? In which case, triple the recipe. Those kinds of nights rarely end in only one overnight guest

Nutritional Facts [including coffee with 2tbsp creamer]
Calories: 390; Fat: 4grams; Sugars: 10grams; Complex Carbs: 18grams; Fibers: 5 grams

 High in antioxidants, Vitamin C, potassium, folate, Manganese, and phosphorous

 Cost Analysis: $1.22 per serving

Daily Prompt: I Believe

The following is an original Miss Fit musing in response to The Daily Prompt

believe

I’ve often wondered the differences between Trusting, Believing and Hoping. My intellectual thoughts and emotional attachments to these words have vacillated over my years.

When subscribing to organized religion – Hoping was at the top of my vocabulary. The notion of Belief was too loose, too “pagan”; people “believe” in fairy tales and myths – but my God, my religion, was so much more than fairy tale or myth. IT WAS TRUTH.

But then came the atheist in my life. The questions started. The increase of brush offs and decrease of answers from pastors that came my way were both confusing and disheartening.

I gravitated hard and fast towards and Skepticism and Science.  Suddenly Trust had beaten out Hope as my  “go to” word.  Hope was now for the weak and narrow of Mind. It had no real substance to me anymore. Laughable even.

But Belief.

Belief has always intrigued me.  I have found myself many times thinking that it is the one entity I cannot function without – yet I have not defined it for myself – and am thus floundering around in this cesspool of society.

But that’s just the stubborn Nihilist in me….I know better…or do I?

is our world really just a bunch or arbitrary, subjective things?

Perhaps… in which case Belief is at the base of everything – most significantly, Trust and Hope.

You see, if I Believe that someone or something will hurt me, I am inclined – at both visceral and emotional levels – to not Trust them.

If I Believe someone or something will not hurt me, I am inclined – again at both visceral and emotional levels – to allow Trust with that person or thing  .

The incredible part is – this is still entirely up to me.

NO matter what.

I can seek knowledge – and damn well should – and I can come to “know” certain things. But at the end of the day I can decide that Gravity is a bunk myth and that the “real reason” an apple falls to the ground is because there are trace amounts of metal in the dirt and apple seeds have some kind of magnetic property that draws them to said ground. In a split second, I can decide that is my Belief – my TRUTH – and thus fashion my Life after it.

I can say that I “Trust” the apple seeds have metallic properties or I “Hope” the dirt has opposite polarity particles so people don’t think I’m CRAZY – or worse – WRONG. But even that Trust and Hope stems, ultimately, from Belief.

And so it is with myself – and everything concerning myself.

Whatever I Believe to be true about myself and all those entities surrounding myself, I will knowingly or unknowingly color my Life with.

I sure better know what those Beliefs are.

Or I can forget about obtaining Trust or Hope in myself – let alone anything or anyone else. And that – that would be a sad excuse for a Life.

God-willing, I refuse to be that person.

I Believe in myself

So that I may

Trust in myself

So that I may

Hope in myself

Sunday Morning Smile

Good Morning World!
Well, for those of you who didn’t see the glamorous pictures of me from yesterday’s attempt at running my first 17k charity race [some non-glamorous pics below], let me catch you up real quick:
I am running a Half Marathon on May 3rd in my hometown with my childhood best friend.

[pictured here with me during my semi-gangster Bad-a$$ phase at age 16].

[pictured here with me during my semi-gangster Bad-a$$ phase at age 16].

I have been running an avg of 25-30 miles a week for approximately 8 yrs. I have, however, never exceeded about 7 miles in one foul swing.
A Half Marathon is approximately 13.1 miles. So – almost 2x as far as my longest run at one time. Definitely something that requires some training.
From helping clients train in the past, I knew that when training for an event, experts recommend that you train to about 80% of whatever the event length is [this holds true for running, biking, swimming, etc]. After doing some math, I calculated that 80% of 13.1 miles is roughly 17K. I am blessed to live in a city that ALWAYS has something going on in the world of charity events and races of some kind. I swear there is a race for everything here in Phoenix –
Celebrate your Knees 5k!
Own a Ferret? Come out and jog with other Ferret Owners and Support the Local Ferret clans!
It’s Flag Day Everyone, Come Bring your Favorite Flag and Walk with Other Flag Owners to Support Your Right to Have Flags!
Long Story short, I was positive I could find a 17k going on at some point before May 3rd. The stars aligned and I found one. And just my luck, I didn’t need a Flag or a Ferret! The Kiss Me I’m Irish Run

BEFORE

BEFORE

 

DURING

DURING

TIME STAMP

TIME STAMP

AFTER

AFTER

Ok, so, I finished.
Without vomiting. Or losing control of bodily functions.
Although there were two separate occasions around the 4k and 6k mark where I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to say that.
I couldn’t sit or stand very well afterwards. But I did find some kind of energy from deep in my soul to sprint it out at the end and cross the Finish Line solo for what I hope is a more decent picture than the ones I got. As soon as the photographer posts those I will share.

I spent the remainder of yesterday pacing slowly around, napping out by my pool, getting a spa pedicure, and EATING. I burned approximately 1,445 cals running . I knew I needed a lot of recovery protein but my body was not wanting to digest very well as I had stressed it pretty severely and I think it was still in a stage of low-grade flight-or-flight adrenaline shock. I was able to eat something every few hours and it got easier as time went on.
My body, however, started setting up somewhat like cement and this morning as I write to you dear Readers I feel as though I have been in a moderate to severe car crash. I don’t have a headache which I am choosing as my silver lining. A silver lining I desperately need because every other nook and cranny, joint and ligament is screaming at me.
One thing that always makes me feel better is my morning coffee, which I have; and sweet childhood innocence.
I came across this video while doing some research for a client I am meeting with a little later and thought it was a good for at least one Sunday Morning Smile and, because I can’t resist, a little health education.


Enjoy, and be safe out there if you are planning to exercise your Right to Be Irish tomorrow!

Vegan? No Cluckin’ Problem

Let it be known I have prepared this article upon request from an avid reader and new Vegan. The purpose of this article is not to compare the protein found from vegetable sources to animal sources and condemn one lifestyle or the other. I can do that on personal time if you would like to contact me directly, as I certainly could generate an opinion given the opportunity 🙂 

CLUCKIN

What I will do in this article is somewhat of an introduction to Veganism – particularly low-cost Vegan eating. I will introduce a glossary of terms that a newbie Vegan may run across, along with some ideas for meals and snacks.
As with carnivorous eating for health– Vegan eating for health requires planning and a touch of patience and adventurousness at the onset, and will get easier and more routine as time goes on. I am a big fan of meal prep. Diet-wise it will be your saving grace from caving to those foods of convenience i.e. “fast foods”. They may seem “fast” and convenient but later when you are on high cholesterol medication and unable to fit into your pants, they seem not quite so inconvenient. I digress.

 First and foremost – What is a Vegan?
Let’s compare:
Vegan: no meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy, wool, silk, or gelatin products
Vegetarian: no meat, fish, poultry, or gelatin products; ok to have eggs and dairy products
Lacto-vegetarians: no meat, fish, poultry, or gelatin products; ok to have dairy products
Ovo-vegetarians: no meat, fish, poultry, or gelatin products; ok to have eggs

 Ok – A little Veganese for you dear Readers:

Nutritional Yeast: an inactive yeast jam-packed with B vitamins, trace minerals, and complete protein properties; it is sold in flakes or a yellow powder and adds a creamy, cheesy flavor to recipes; low in fat and sodium and free of dairy, gluten, and sugar
Seitan [“say-tan]: aka “gluten” or “wheat meat” NOT GLUTEN-FREE literally made of gluten; very high in protein and used as an alternative to tofu as it has more of a “true meat” texture
Soy Margarine: non-dairy version of butter; low in cholesterol; used like butter
• Soy Milk/Almond Milk: exactly what it sounds like – cow’s milk alternative made from soy beans and almonds respectively; check label and watch for added sugars; soy milk is higher in protein than almond milk; fat grams roughly the same; low in cholesterols
Tempeh: made from cooked and slightly fermented soybeans and formed into a patty, similar to a very firm veggie burger; much nuttier and firmer than tofu; high in calcium and protein. *check label because tempeh often has barley and other grains added to it so is NOT GLUTEN-FREE
Tahini: paste made from sesame seeds; rich in calcium and protein; adds creamy, nutty texture to recipes
Textured Vegetable Protein [TVP]: aka “soya chunks” or “soy meat”; dried, quick-cooking soy product that holds up well in high heat so used in stews, sauces, and chilis; protein content near equal to true meat
Tofu: soy product, deeply rich in both calcium and protein, sold commonly in blocks soaked in water [just roll with it]; consistency of egg whites and wonderfully versatile as it literally absorbs whatever it is cooked with; comes in Silken and Regular and the type depends on what recipe you are using it for CLick here for more on the different tofu types
Quinoa: see chart [treat for my visual learners out there]. Quinoa is cooked exactly like rice except the ration is 1:1 meaning use 1cup of quinoa: 1cup water when cooking it

quinoa____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Now, a few recipes to get you wicked excited:

Brunch – CHORIZO & POTATO FRITTATA
breakfast-chorizofrittata[23 grams of protein per serving]

Serves 6-8
Ingredients
• 1 pack extra firm tofu, drained
• 1/4 cup soy milk
• 1 tbsp mustard
• 1 cube vegetable bouillon
• 1 tsp salt
• ½ tsp turmeric (opt)
• 1 pack soy chorizo
• 3 small golden potatoes, diced and blanched
• 1 onion, diced
• 1 red bell pepper, julienned
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• black salt for serving
Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 400oF. Cook the soy chorizo, potatoes, onion, and garlic in a frying pan over medium heat. Blend tofu, soymilk, bouillon, mustard, salt, and turmeric until completely smooth.
2. Once the onions are cooked, spread out in an 8-inch nonstick baking dish. Pour tofu mixture over chorizo and smooth. Top with vegan cheese and sliced bell peppers. Bake for 45 minutes or until the top is golden and the frittata has pulled away from the sides. Sprinkle with the black salt just before serving.

Lunch – BBQ SEITAN SANDWICH
[31 grams of protein per serving]
lunch-bbqsandwich

Serves 4
Ingredients
• 1 small red onion, chopped
• 1 16-ounce package of seitan strips or chunks of seitan cut into strips (try Lightlife Steak Style Strips)
• 1½ tablespoons vegetable oil
• 2½ to 3 cups vegetarian barbeque sauce
• 4 sandwich rolls
• hot sauce to taste
• garnish: lettuce, tomato, green pepper, if desired
Instructions
1. Drain seitan and set aside.
2. Sauté the onion in vegetable oil in a large pan over high heat until soft.
3. Add seitan, and cook until lightly browned, stirring often. Add barbeque sauce, reduce to medium heat, and cook, stirring every 5 minutes, until the barbeque sauce has thickened to completely coat the seitan (about 30 to 45 minutes).
4. Add hot sauce to taste. Spread seitan mixture on rolls and garnish, if desired.

Dinner – VEGAN SAUSAGE GUMBO
[17 grams of protein per serving]
dinner-gumbo

Serves 4
Ingredients
• 1 cup frozen okra
• 16 ounces veggie sausage links, cut into 1-inch pieces (Tofurky Italian Sausage, Field Roast Italian sausages or another brand of vegan sausage)
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 1 large green pepper, chopped
• 2 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
• ½ teaspoon dried thyme
• ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
• 1 16-ounce can diced tomatoes
• 1 cup celery, chopped
• 5 cups vegetable stock
• salt to taste (if desired)
• Tabasco sauce to taste (if desired)
• 2 cups cooked rice
Instructions
1. Fry the okra until lightly browned and set aside. Lightly fry the sausage pieces and set aside.
2. Combine flour and oil in a large pot, stirring constantly. Sauté over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add okra, onion, pepper, garlic, thyme, and ground red pepper. Cook for 1 minute on medium heat, stirring frequently.
3. Stir in veggie sausage, black beans, tomatoes, celery, vegetable stock, and cook 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Add salt and Tabasco sauce if desired. Serve over rice.

Dessert – PUMPKIN PIE
[9 grams of protein per serving]
dessert-pumpkinpie

Makes 6 to 8 servings
Ingredients
• 1 ¼ pounds soft tofu (try “silken” tofu for a creamier texture)
• 1 16-ounce can pumpkin purée
• ¾ cup maple syrup
• ¾ cup sugar
• ⅓ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1 9-inch unbaked pie shell
Instructions
1. Preheat the oven to 400oF.
2. Blend all of the ingredients (except for the pie shell) in a blender or a food processor until smooth. Pour the mixture into the unbaked pie shell and bake for 30 minutes. Then turn down the oven temperature to 350°F and bake for another 30 to 45 minutes, or until the filling is set.

Food for Thought:
Remember to pack up leftovers of recipes you make and use for snacks and quick work lunches during the week. There are no preservatives so make sure you keep refrigerated and in airtight container and each recipe will stay good for up to 5 days safely, and will freeze decently well.

Lastly, I want to share a quick tip I came across while I was testing the Vegan Waters.

When a recipe calls for one egg in baked goods [i.e. cakes, muffins, pancakes, breads] simply choose one of the following five options place of the one egg*
1. 2 tbsp corn starch
2. Half of a mashed banana
3. 2 tbsp water + 2 tsp baking powder + 1tsp oil of your choice
4. ¼ cup blended tofu
5. ¼ cup applesauce + 1 tsp baking powder

*keep in mind the amounts listed are to replace one [1] egg; if your recipe calls for 2 eggs, double the substitutions accordingly…3 eggs? Triple the substitutions… you get the idea

Remember, the Vegan lifestyle is ALL about substitution. It’s not about giving up foods you love, it’s about stretching your creativity and growing your knowledge about available options and re-creating the foods you love.

SO, yes, be Vegan, eat the foods you love? No cluckin’ problem.

A few websites for further reading
• High Protein Meals http://vegetarian.about.com/od/healthnutrition/tp/high-protein-recipes.htm
• FAQ about Veganism http://www.tryveg.com
• More Recipes http://www.vegrecipes.org

Weekly Writing Challenge: Perspective Through The Ages

Once again, the Daily Post Weekly Writing Challenge has inspired the poet inside of me.

sq peg

As you may or may not know, while my name is Miss Fit, my legal, given name is Margaret. As some of you may also know, the name Peg is sometimes used as a shortened name for Margaret. When I was a young lass, I went by my middle name “Marie” for largely functional reasons. First of all – Marie is 5 letters and Margaret is 8 letters. When letters seem insurmountable as a general theme, the more of them there are, the more pain-inducing it can be. I could stop here and just let you all assume I cant spell anything over 5 letters… but, thank goodness I outgrew that limitation rather quickly only to find another barrier in my way. See, I was born in 1987. Dennis the Menace came out in 1993.

Margaret Wade from Dennis the Menace

Margaret Wade from Dennis the Menace – note – also has red curly hair and glasses…

There was a character arguably more annoying than Dennis. Her name was, as luck would have it, Margaret.

At any rate.

Over the years I suffered from somewhat of a mild identity crisis. By the time I was 19 I had gone by somewhere in the ball park of 8 different names – all dependent on context, desired outcome, and levels of intimacy. Those names included but were at no time limited to: Marie, MAGS! [always yelled in excitement], Mar-gret [my legal name said with stress on the last syllable rendering the second “a” useless and always muttered in annoyance most frequently by a parental unit], Missy [as in “missy Prissy” also uttered by a disgruntled parental unit], Maggot [don’t ask], Toots [really don’t ask], Mag-a-toon, Peanut Head [the picture below should answer any questions you may have], and the occasional Margaret Marie [in which case all bets are off, I’m either winning a major award or in serious trouble…]

Beneath all that red curl hair, yes, my head is shaped like a peanut.

Beneath all that red curl hair, yes, my head is shaped like a peanut.

Alright, well now that I have sufficiently embarrassed myself out here in cyber space, I will cut to the chase: the inspiration for the title of this poem came from posing the question “Why is ‘Peg’ a shortened version of Margaret?” to a somewhat philosophical friend of mine. See, I have always felt a bit… well , out of place [Hence the name Miss Fit] and there is a common metaphor use to describe misfits – “a square peg in a round role”… how had I never seen that before? Philosophical friends are good like that.

Well, my dear readers, over the years I have matured – as have my views of the word, and I have since adopted the name “Peg” quite proudly.

My views are not necessarily popular. But then again, neither am I.

Here’s hoping for Pure Poetic Justice:

  Square Peg Girl in a Round Hole World

“Which is Better”, Peg thought:

To buy what you want, or to want what you bought?

To have a fine house – the envy of the neighborhood – you know, the kind people drive by and mutter, “My, they must be doing good”…

Or to have a place that you call home, a modest car or maybe two, and a best friend to ring on the tele when you are feeling blue?

I’m sure written out in the way I’ve just done;

Yes. I’m sure when asked this same question of your daughter or son…

The Answer seems simple and matter of fact.

But what would you say, dear siblings,

Yes, my Brothers and Sisters;

Just how would you react,

When I tell you this tale is not so simple as a matter of fact.

I’m afraid some of you will find the story of Peg to be rather sad;

For those of you who do, you simply never realized the choices that you had.

Born to be Good,

Or inherently Bad?

Born to be Happy,

Or inherently Sad?

These are the kinds of Questions that filled Peg’s head,

Questions like these that entered in one ear, then took root when She was lying in bed.

More Questions than Answers, there was always a Theme;

A thin, yellow Thread woven throughout a Dream.

I once sat with Peg over a cup of tea;

I had no way of knowing just how special my time with Peg would be.

You see, Peg told me about the woman from whence I came;

She shared truths with me that ensured I could no longer view the World the same.

You see, she said, her name is Mother Culture;

She birthed us all.

Funny thing is, without Us,

Mother Culture wouldn’t be here at All…

Peg asked me to name a few things I despised.

I quickly belted out, “Poverty, Abuse, and Lies!”

Peg smiled.

Peg then asked me to list one thing I felt was supremely unfair.

I looked her straight in the eyes in a dead stare and muttered,

“Parents burying their children is never Fair.”

Again, Peg smiled.

I wasn’t sure what to make of this encounter – was Peg really taking such atrocity so mild?

Or was it that Sweet, Square Peg had every reason to Smile a lot

Because Sweet, Square Peg knew something I did not.

You see, Peg had seen Mother Culture when she was Invisible to the masses;

Peg knew when to take the somber approach and when to wear the rose-tinted glasses.

Peg knew the ultimate question shouldn’t be about how to get above;

The ultimate question must stem from our inherent Need to Love and Be Loved.

Peg taught me to ask why We do the things We do;

To question the multitude of actions performed at Society’s Cue.

You see, I understand now that in many ways We inflict the Evil that surrounds;

Much the same as we impart the Happiness that abounds.

I no longer turn away as I feel Peg’s intellectual advance throughout my day.

I no longer scoff or wish her intuitive messages would just turn off.

Peg, I embrace You for the unique difference that you represent –

Be that a figment of imagination, a demon, or an angel sent.

For it is now that I boldly admit,

This Entity, Peg, is in I

And I in It.

We are the Square Peg Girl in the Round Hole World,

Waiting anxiously to help Destiny Unfold.