Easy Sauté Spinach

Easy Sauteed Spinach

I’m staying with the common theme of this week, and that theme is adding more leafy greens to your diet. The recipe below calls for spinach, but don’t feel like you must use this recipe for only spinach. I regularly sauté Swiss chard, as well as mustard greens and arugula. Sautéing is fast, minimum of prep work, and you can season to taste. Bottom-line, this is an easy way to add greens as a side dish to your next meal.

Ingredients
• 2 Tblsp of olive oil
• 4 gloves of garlic, finely chopped
• 20 oz of spinach (that sounds like a lot, but it cooks down)
• 1 Tblsp of lemon juice
• ¼ tsp of salt
• ¼ crushed red pepper

Serves Six
Serving size: about ½ cup
Per serving: 65 calories; 5 g fat(1 g sat); 2 g fiber; 4 g carbohydrates; 3 g protein; 184 mcg folate; 0 mg cholesterol; 0 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 8,892 IU vitamin A; 28 mg vitamin C; 94 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 172 mg sodium; 531 mg potassium

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (178% daily value), Vitamin C (47% dv), Folate (46% dv)
Carbohydrate Servings: ½
Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1 fat

For details on how to sauté this meal, check out the simple instructions at Eating Well.

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Don’t Let YOU give up on YOU

Here is a little fitness inspiration. The picture and associated article are from Runner’s World. What you will read is a cool little story about how 50-year-old Molly Friel just qualified for the Olympic Marathon Trials! That was not a typo, and YES, she kicked butt. Read her story at Runner’s World:

Reading this article inspires me to say, “Don’t let YOU give up on YOU”. Don’t give on your health. Don’t give up on your fitness. Don’t settle for the slow slide into obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other degenerative maladies. Don’t put yourself in the position where you look back 20 years from now and say, “If I had only done a little more exercise, I could now … enjoy my retirement… travel more… explore places I have never been…. play with my grandchildren.”

At 52 years old, I completely understand the challenges of a health and fitness routine. Can getting started on a fitness routine be difficult? Yes. Can staying vigilant of health issues be tiresome? Yes. I no longer bounce when I hit the floor. When I mix up my exercise routine, my muscles are now sorer for longer than when I was younger. But, I do believe that nothing worth gaining ever comes easy, and gaining and keeping your health is worth every sore muscle. Decide today that YOU won’t give up on YOU. I’m not saying that you need to run a marathon Molly Friel, but if you want to run in her footsteps, go for it! Molly is a great example as to why we shouldn’t let age define our health or our fitness.
If you don’t have an exercise routine today, think about it over the weekend, put together some simple plans, and get started. Starting is always the hardest part. Once you are in motion, you’ll keep moving. And don’t fret if your plans are too simple. Just move, and your health will fall into place. Plus, I’ll continue to provide you with new ideas each week and after a while, you’ll find the routine that works best for you.
I’ll have write more on this topic in the following weeks. Until then, I hope you all have a fantastic weekend, I hope you can enjoy some exercise, and if you cook this week’s food recipe, let me know how the recipe turned out for you.

Beef Vegetable Soup

photo by Graham Brown

I know, last week I posted a soup recipe and I’m doing it again today. What can I say, I like soup! And here is another soup that for me is hitting all the right notes: 1) Healthy, 2) Easy to make, 3) will warm you up on a cold day. Note that this recipe utilizes the slow cooker, just like last week’s recipe. So, get your prep down, drop the ingredients in the crock pot, and go take care of your busy life.

One thing I will change on this recipe is that I will drop the potatoes and add greens. I grow Swiss chard and it had become a favorite vegetable of mine to add to salads, soups, or to sauté. It is such an easy and versatile vegetable, packed with fiber and minerals, and yet has a mild flavor. By dropping the potatoes and adding the Swiss chard, I will increase the fiber count and decrease the simple carbohydrate count. Simple carbohydrates (starch, i.e. sugar) is the bane of my diet, and consequently, the bane of my health. I’m sure than many of you also face many of the same challenges health that I do because starch likes to take up residency around our midsections. I’m putting my foot down on starch!

Makes: 4 servings
Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 2 small potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 14-1/2-ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup loose-pack frozen peas
  • Fresh parsley sprigs (optional)

Nutrition facts per serving: 269 calories, 28g protein, 29g carbohydrate, 4g fat (1g saturated), 4g fiber

For directions on how to put these ingredients together for a delicious soup, please click here and see the rest of the details. https://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/dinner/seven-easy-slow-cooker-recipes/?page=4

Texas BBQ Can Be Healthy? YES! EAT MORE BRISKET!

photo from Kreuz Market. Get there. Now!

I’ve seen a lot of crazy health and food plans (Ever heard of the “ice cream diet”? Yes, there is such a thing) so when the latest “This is healthy!” trend comes across my desk, I’m more than a little skeptical. I’m sure you can imagine my thoughts when I saw the news headlines say “Texas BBQ Brisket is healthy!”. Yep, my first reaction was, “What are you talking about, Bubba?”

It turns out that Bubba may know a thing or two about brisket eating healthy. Research conducted by the good folks at Texas A&M University has identified brisket as having high levels of oleic acid, a fatty acid sometimes known as Omega 9. What is the big deal about oleic acid? That is the same fatty acid which is helpful in boosting your HDL (good) cholesterol and lowering your LDL (bad) cholesterol. It also turns out that brisket is one of the preferred trims of beef used in ground beef, and that means your next hamburger patty may not be all that bad for you. According to Dr. Stephen Smith, Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist, “Americans consume over 50 percent of their beef as ground beef…. Ground beef is not going to kill you. When you take the beef out of fat, it reduces LDL, but also reduces HDL. Our studies have shown that fat is a very important component of beef.”

This is where I need to temper expectations and say, “all things in moderation”. If you are having a problem with your cholesterol and you want to increase your oleic acid, there are other foods, and those healthy choices (olives, avocados) are probably what your doctor would prefer you eat. There are saturated fats in beef that are not good for you in excess, hence you shouldn’t overconsume beef daily. But please, do enjoy your next Texas style BBQ brisket. I know I will, and likely at Louie Mueller’s in Taylor. Or Style Switch in Austin. Maybe at Kreuz in Lockhart. Possibly Cooper’s in Llano. Oh wait, I still need to get to Snow’s in Lexington. Oh, sorry…. I got carried away, dreaming of succulent smoked meat.

If you want to read more about the Texas A&M study, click here: https://today.agrilife.org/2016/08/19/health-benefits-beef-brisket-discussed-texas-beef-cattle-short-course/?hootPostID=1483ce6c04e6213ddea5cee7742b8726

Do you want to learn more about oleic acid? The Livestrong foundation has a nice insightful post located here: https://www.livestrong.com/article/492098-omega-3-fatty-acids-peanuts/

WELCOME!

Welcome to my site, “The Wide-Body”. For those who used to follow my former site, “The Wide-Body Speaks”, welcome back!

For the uninitiated, this site is for the everyday athlete who has an interest in Health, Fitness, and Food. I research those topics, make sure the information comes from credible sources that I can cite, add my two cents, and do my best to provide you with an engaging, educational, and fun read. Each week I’ll be publishing new material throughout the week, thus keeping the site fresh and interesting for you. The typical publishing cadence will be:

  • Early in the week, I’ll feature a new idea on exercise. By publishing this early in the week, you’ll have time to plan for a way to incorporate the new idea into your exercise regimen.
  • Mid-week, I’ll publish features on Health, as well as the occasional miscellaneous item. The field of health and medicine is constantly changing, and new advancements are being made that could impact you in a positive way. I will do my very best to stay on top of the latest developments.
  • End of week, I’ll feature Food. My food features are always focused on healthy options that can be prepared and cooked quickly, or can be placed in a slow cook crock pot while you are away. Let’s face it, after working all day, most folks don’t want to spend all night in the kitchen, and for some folks, the lack of time is a barrier to healthy eating. I hope to overcome that barrier.

This site only works if you participate. I want to hear from you, so please send me feedback on topics. Did a new exercise regimen work for you? Did you try the new recipe and you family loved it? Let me and the rest of the readers know.

For additional details about me and this site, check out the pages on this site, “Who and What is a Wide-Body” and “Why this Site?”

I’m looking forward to traveling on this adventure with each of you. And thank you again for visiting this site.

Chris Stiehl, aka The Wide-Body

Savory Bean and Spinach Soup

SELRES_561b0dd2-23b1-48bd-8390-e4e4d58f2d1fphoto by Mike DeiterSELRES_561b0dd2-23b1-48bd-8390-e4e4d58f2d1f

It is winter, and the weather forecast for this weekend looks like it will be cold everywhere in United States. When I’m cold, I like a warm hearty soup. And what I like about this recipe is that it is 1) healthy for you, i.e. not filled with extra sugar, salt, or fat, and 2) you can put this in a slow cooker (crock pot) and not worry with it. While the soup cooks, you can go to the store, run your errands, hit the gym, or other wise enjoy your day. I also like that you can add other ingredients such as Swiss chard or other greens to replace the kale, or some crushed red pepper flakes to spice up the soup which would add a healthy level capsaicin to your diet and help decrease inflammation throughout your body.

Let us know your results and share other healthy food ideas with us on this blog.

Makes: 6 servings
Ingredients:

  • 3 14-ounce cans vegetable broth
  • 1 15-ounce can tomato puree
  • 1 15-ounce can small white beans or Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 8 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach or kale leaves
  • Finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Nutrition facts per serving: 150 calories, 9g protein, 31g carbohydrate, 3g fat (1g saturated), 8g fiber

To see the directions on how to put this delicious soup together, please click here for the rest of the details. https://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/dinner/seven-easy-slow-cooker-recipes/?page=2