Archive for August, 2011

Kale Avocado Salad with Tahini Dressing

In the summer, we are al busy with our families and the last thing you need to be doing is being glued to the computer reading long articles so today I thought I would give you one of my favorite recipes!

Kale is a powerhouse green packed with vitamins A, C, and E, manganese, fiber, calcium, vitamin B6, iron and a whole host of other nutrients. Kale is also packed with live enzymes, which aid in digestion.

Kale Avocado Salad with Tahini Dressing
4-6 stalks kale
Any other veggies you want- I used radishes, pea sprouts, and sliced cucumbers
1-2 tbsp Tahini
Olive oil
Optional- sprouts or nuts such as walnuts

Slice up your kale into 1/8 inch bite size pieces and place in bowl. Slice half of the avocado on top and mush mixture in the bowl (preferably with hands) to soften kale. Then, healthily drizzle tahini and olive oil on top, squeeze the lemon, and add a dash of sea salt. Mix well, then top with slices of the other half of the avocado, sprouts and/or nuts.

Coconut Water: Nature’s Answer to Gatorade!

Excerpted from Digital Running

It always amazes me that athletes will scrutinize their diets with a fine tooth comb and then use processed sports products packed with fructose and even high fructose corn syrup to boost their performance during and replenish after strenuous workouts!

When we use sugar and other carbohydrates to temporarily boost our performance, we may see the immediate effects but in the long term this creates a roller coaster ride that is not good for our bodies.

So, what do I recommend and personally use to replenish electrolytes after a tough workout? Coconut water!

Like the sports drinks on the market, coconut water contains all five essential electrolytes, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, and calcium and is an ideal drink to replenish the body’s fluids after a strenuous workout!

An 11 oz. serving actually contains more potassium than a banana and 15 times the potassium in an average sports drink (and, of course, none of the sugar!) Coconut water is also fat-free, cholesterol-free and has only 45-60 calories per 11 oz. serving.

Believe it or not but since coconut water is sterile and has an ideal PH balance, it has even been used in emergency blood transfusions!!! If it is good enough to put it someone’s blood, then it is good enough for me to drink!

That’s not all coconut water does! Coconut water also helps boost immunity, regulate digestion, promote smoother skin and healthier hair and nails, boosts circulation by carrying oxygen and nutrients to cells, promotes heart health, enhances mental acuity and regulates PH balance in the body!

If we are just into our short-term performance and do not put our health first, then in the end our bodies will suffer. Coconut water, in my opinion, is the answer!

Where can I get coconut water?

coconut water

The commercial brands that are my personal favorites are Zico , Vita Coco  and One coconut waters. All of these come prepackaged in individual containers and can also be purchased in larger containers to keep at home. These coconut waters can literally be found anywhere- Whole Foods, your local grocery, and, I was even in our local deli here in New York where “healthy” consists of a sugar-laden muffin and they had them there!

The one I buy, though, is by Exotic Superfoods and is a bit harder to find. I buy these in a larger quantity and store them in my freezer. They are the fresh, real deal without all of the hassle of opening coconuts up everytime I want water!

While the pre-packaged coconut waters are, of course, health promoting and replenishing, there is nothing better than the fresh, real thing! The next time you are in Whole Foods or one of your local health food stores and see the young Thai coconuts, pick up a few and bring them home to have fresh coconut water to drink after your workouts and delicious coconut puddings to have as a decadent afternoon snack or for dessert!

If I buy coconuts instead of the pre-packaged water, how do I open them?

At first glance, coconuts may look intimidating to open but they are quite easy to open if done properly. Basically, you cut off the top of the “cap” with a sharp knife and stick the knife in the top and just pluck it off.  Watch this video, How to Open a  Coconut, to see how before you get started! Once you have opened your coconut, pour the water through a strainer. Coconut water can be kept fresh in the refrigerator for 3-4 days and can be even be frozen for later use.

How do I use coconut water in my daily routine?

Coconut water can be used just like a sports drink. Place coconut water in your water bottle to bring on your long runs (on hot summer days throw an ice cube or two in.) Or, drink coconut water post-workout to replenish lost electrolytes and rehydrate. I even use coconut water in my morning smoothies.