Prevention is spelled Nutrition

At NutriWorks CNC, we offer Marathon and Triathlon Fueling Classes. One of the sessions focuses on micronutrients that have a protective effect in our body as well as help us to optimize the energy we get from our food. During the class, not only micronutrients but also antioxidants and phytonutrients found in foods are discussed. These powerful components of food usually take a low-light to carbohydrate, fat and protein, the macronutrients.

However, in health promotion and wellness these other minor nutrients can play a major role in maximizing one’s health potential. They are found mainly in plant-based foods that are dark-colored or brightly hued purples, greens, reds, oranges and blues as well as herbs, spices and whole grains.

Each of the antioxidant-rich foods and good sources of flavonoids, isoflavones and catechins as well as inflammation fighting food sources were reviewed including where to purchase and ways to prepare each.

At the end of the class, everyone is asked to choose a few micronutrient-rich foods to try before the next class. Two of the most popular choices are Quinoa and Kale.

Quinoa, pronounced keen-wa, has been dubbed a supergrain, touted for its high protein, fiber and iron content. And compared to a grain like white rice, quinoa is higher in these nutrients. Along with 4 grams of protein, 2.5 grams of fiber, and 8 percent of the daily value for iron, quinoa also packs in 110 calories and nearly 20 grams of carbs per 1/2 cup perfect for the training athlete who needs both calories and carbs in a nutrient-rich form. Kale is a good source of Protein, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), B-vitamins and micronutrients and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Potassium, Copper and Manganese. It is considered high on the anti-inflammatory scale.

So, I asked my friend, “Chef” Andre’ for a recipe utilizing these foods since I knew from my last blog he had run to the store to purchase quinoa. He found this recipe on Escoffier’s web site and modified to taste as follows:

Quinoa and Kale Salad

Prep. time (min): 10

Cooking time (min): 30

Servings: 8

Ingredients:

1 bunch kale chopped

1 Tblsp sea salt

2 avocados

1 lemon for juice

1 tablespoon cilantro finely chopped

1/2 cup Radishes chopped

1 cup cooked quinoa

2 oz croutons

Preparation: 
Chop & salt kale after peeling off stalk. Add avocado and massage kale coating as much as possible. Add 1/2 fresh squeezed lemon juice. Add couple pinches of cilantro. Add chopped radishes. Add cooked quinoa. Add sliced black olives and sea salt. Toss & serve garnished with croutons.

Searching for My Inner Foodie

People who are Foodies intrigue me. I follow @Robinsbite, @HolleyGrainger and @ReganJonesRD (formerly profpalate) on Twitter hoping their “Foodieness” will rub off on me. I listen intently to Central Market commercials to see if I catch all of the wit and innuendo embedded from the Foodie world. I attend Foodie events in hopes that the Foodie trait will somehow become embedded in my heart and sole.

My mom has always had Foodie tendencies but they were masked until she retired by all of the nutrition information she was continually spouting. Instead of pursuing taste and craft her focus was the most nutritional bang for your calorie buck. So, food was more about the nutrients than the experience. Now that she is retired, her “Inner Foodie” has totally arrived.

Don’t get me wrong, I love to eat…at restaurants. I love to figure out the ingredients in a recipe or marvel at the presentation but it wasn’t until I made friends with an Art Institute student, quite accidentally, that I realized that this trait is an inborn passion.

My aspiring friend, “Chef” Andre’ thinks about food in the way I think about a relaxing day at the beach. We may depart from sharing a drink and I may be headed home or for a walk in the park but he is headed to Central Market to look for quinoa because he wants the grain for his latest creation. I may be thinking of a nap and he’s dreaming of experimenting with Clam sauce consistencies. Instead of the usual silly photos of kids or vacations, he sends me photos of the food he cooks in class.

This semester he is taking Asian Class. So, I received a photo of beautifully plated Shrimp Fried Rice and cute cups of Shrimp and Vegetable Custard. These are not the first, I have received many photos of tempting foods that demonstrate the passion this man has for cooking. It amazes me, it enthralls me and it makes me wish I had the passion for cooking that he possesses.

As a result, I have decided that despite the fact that I was not born with an innate passion, I can live vicariously through his passion and share that with my readers. Sort of a symbiotic and symbolic finding of my “Inner Foodie” which will help me grow and learn while showcasing his talent. With Andre’s permission, I will be ghost blogging some of his creations and recipes and possibly once he is out of school, he will begin blogging on his own. Hopefully by that time, I will be sufficiently headed down the Foodie path and will no longer be searching.