Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Eat, drink, and be merry. Tomorrow we run!

I was thinking about food on my runs (I'm lucky and get to run twice on Tuesdays) this morning and I thought I would share my ideas with you.  First off, Thanksgiving is my favorite day.  Although I tell my friends and family that I cherish them often, it is a great excuse to tell them again...to take a step back and appreciate things like your health, your fitness, and mountains, among other things.  AND I LOVE GOOD FOOD!
Opt out the CREAMY dishes

Roasted Garlic Mashed Purple Potatoes Recipe
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Olive Oil
It's weird to me that people dislike the holidays and I feel sad that people shy away from them in fear of gaining weight.  Traditional Thanksgiving meals are filled with vegetables and turkey is very much a low-fat source of quality protein.  PERFECT!  This Thanksgiving I challenge you to eat until you are full and contribute quality vegetable dishes to your Thanksgiving festivities.

Buy Local.  The turkeys will be smaller, taste better, and be free of hormones!
Remember the rule darker is better?  Well I recently learned that cauliflower (white!) is jam packed with Vitamin C, K, B6, and Folate.  Have you ever heard of people steaming and blending cauliflower in with their mashed potatoes?  I also found this recipe for purple mashed potatoes!  YUM!  Purple potatoes are a little sweeter and contain compounds that can help improve memory and prevent blood sugar spikes, and disease-fighting antioxidants.

Another thing to keep in mind, in addition to choosing colorful vegetables, is to add spices to your cooking.  Some of the healthiest populations in the world are huge proponents to the use of spices.  Although I don't necessarily buy into all of the research surrounding spices, I do believe in a good sweat when I eat curry or pho.  A substance in black pepper called piperine may help block the formation of new fat cells.  Some studies have found that the use of cinnamon or ground ginger may decrease muscle soreness.  Ginger might make you feel fuller or help you burn additional calories and vanilla may help with your sweet tooth.
All I am trying to say is that you should go for it.  We don't often "let ourselves go" and if the holidays aren't that time to give ourselves a break, then when?  Fill your bellies with quality foods (everyday, really...) and your hearts with love, and your homes with those you adore.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
1 head garlic
1/4c. olive oil
10 sprigs fresh thyme
2lbs. purple potatoes, cut into 1" pieces
1/2c. low-fat milk
1/2t. salt
1/4t. freshly ground pepper

1.  Preheat oven to 400F
2.  Rub off excess papery skin from garlic head without separating the cloves.  Slive the top of the head, exposing the cloves.  Place the garlic in a small baking dish, such as a bread pan.  Drizzle with oil and lay thyme sprigs around it.  Cover with foil.  Roast until very soft, 30-45 minutes.  Uncover and let cool.
3.  About 15 minutes before the garlic is done, cook potatoes in a pot of boiling water until tender, 8-12 minutes.  Drain well.
4.  Return the potatoes to the pot.  Squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins into the potatoes.  Strain the oil through a fine sieve over the potatoes, pressing on the solids (discard the thyme).  Add sour cream (lowfat?), milk, salt and pepper.  MASH!

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