Vegetable Of The Week – Arugula

For the record, My Blue Heaven is my favorite Steve Martin movie of all time!

Anyway, on to the vegetable.

Arugula is a green vegetable whose origins are said to stem from the Mediterranean part of the world. Some of it’s other monikers include “salad rocket”, Italian cress and rucola.

Here it is. The “Salad Rocket”!

Arugula is one of those vegetables you can get creative with….but first, the nutrition.

Vitamin A is one of the main nutritional benefits you will find in this vegetable. Vitamin A falls under the antioxidant umbrella and is beneficial to your immune system. So this makes a great addition to your diet, especially in the cold and flu seasons.

Vitamin A is also known to benefit proper organ function of the heart, lungs and kidneys.

Try this recipe for an Avocado, Tomato and Cucumber Arugula Salad

Potassium is another benefit to find in this tasty vegetable. Electrolytes and minerals are keys to a properly functioning heart and nerve center and this veggie is full of it.

If you’re an active person (and I hope you are), you will need this benefit for your muscles to function and contract normally. With that being said, it can help regulate your blood pressure from a sodium heavy diet (but cut back on the sodas).

Try this other Arugula Salad

Vitamin C! A green wouldn’t be a green without the presence of her majesty, Vitamin C. This is probably the most well known antioxidant for the immune system. It takes on many forms and vehicles of consumption, so it’s no surprise that it makes an appearance in Arugula.

Vitamin C sometimes goes under its more technical term of ascorbic acid and is great for all tissue health and assistance of iron intake.

Arugula is mostly used for different salad recipes like the ones I’ve shared above, but it’s not limited to cold consumption.

It makes a great topping for pizza, sandwiches, nachos, and I’ve used it for certain pasta dishes myself.

Get creative! Try it next time you have a craving for a veggie pizza. It’s a nice switch (or combination) from spinach or lettuce. The peppery taste will add a little kick and give you a new taste to experience.

Try this Mushroom and Arugula Pizza recipe!

There are many alternative or lesser known vegetables out there that can give you a new experience in some of your favorite dishes and Arugula is one of them.

It’s important to try new things for your health and nutrition so you won’t get bored eating the same thing all of the time. We should eat to live, but it doesn’t have to be a burden to do so.

Eating healthy is supposed to be a pleasuring and rewarding. Yes, there can be some vegetables that you need that might not be so popular in taste. But I’ll take a bitter vegetable over a chalky medication pill any day.

What are some of your favorite ways to eat Arugula?

Let me know!

Destroy and Rebuild – The War and Peace Of Your Health and Wellness

I was talking to a good friend of mine the other day and she was telling me how she woke up that morning and did her daily yoga. This was also gym day for me.

Then the idea hit me on the concept of how we constantly destroy and rebuild ourselves with our health and wellness (whatever process that may be).

When I go to the gym, it is with the purpose of improving physical well being. I want to be strong, healthy and fit. But I also know that when I go in there, I have to give it all I’ve got until my shirt is soaked.

That’s my definition of a good workout session. To go in there and destroy myself, for the sake of building myself up. I want to feel the burn and the micro tears happening in my muscles so they can scar, heal and get bigger each time (along with the proper nutrition).

Here’s where what my friend said comes in….

When she said she got up and did yoga I thought “Wow, yoga would be a great thing to do after a good workout in the gym, just to balance my spirit out.”

This is what I mean by the war and peace.

Whether it’s gym life, martial arts, an Xtreme sport, football, hockey, etc….

the time to rebuild is crucial!

The universe runs on a perfect mathematical balance at all times, whether we believe or understand that or not.

So the human body must be governed that way as well.

Some of the best martial artist that I’ve ever known on a personal level always make time for internal work through Tai Chi, Yoga, Chi Gong or basic meditation to balance their intense activities out.

The last…I repeat….the Last thing you want to do is go through a prolonged period of yang with no yin. The consequences just aren’t worth it.

If you’re an MMA fighter, balance it out with some yoga or meditation.

If you’re a martial arts purist and like to do Kung Fu, Karate or Muy Thai, balance it out with some acupuncture.

And this idea holds true with every other aspect of life.

If you eat some fried chicken with mac and cheese, balance it out with fruit and vegetables the next day.

If you like to drink soda (which I highly suggest you don’t do), make sure you have a smoothie or some matcha tea.

If you watch violent movies, balance it out with some educational material. Something that is going to feed your soul.

Finally….

When it comes to health and wellness for your mind, body and spirit, there is a destructive process that needs to be followed up with a rebuilding process.

You can’t just keep destroying yourself without putting in time to heal yourself.

Your efforts will not be maximized this way and you will eventually burn out. 

Take your time and really think about this because there are many ways to go about this process. 

Find out which one works for you and be patient with it. 

Do you already have a process for the destroying and building of your body?

Let me know!

Cheers

Vegetable Of The Week – Spinach

I’d like to start a “vegetable of the week” post, and what better vegetable to start with than spinach?

Yes indeed, Popeye was right.

Be strong to the finish because you eat your spinach! (Although I wouldn’t recommend eating it out of a can like he did)

Spinach at its purest is made up of 91% water, 2.9 grams of protein, 2.2 grams of fiber, 23 calories and 3.6 grams of carbohydrates. In case you didn’t realize, that’s a turn on for the health of your body.

Its vitamin makeup is A, C and K1.

A few of the minerals are folic acid, iron and calcium.

Beautiful thing, right?

What’s even more beautiful are the health and nutrition benefits.

Good For Oxidative Stress – Oxidative stress is known for accelerating the aging process and puts you at risk for diabetes and cancer. The antioxidant properties found in spinach have been known to fight this from happening.

Helps To Prevent Cancer – SQDG and MGDG are two components found in spinach. They have been know to help prevent cancerous cells from developing in the breast and prostate area.

Helps With Blood Pressure Control – Nitrates have a big presence in this green leaf, which have been shown to help regulate blood pressure. High blood pressure is one of the main causes of heart disease.

Stuff Your Face With It

One of the main things I love about spinach is that there are so many delicious ways to eat it. 

I like to pack my omelets with it because it goes so well with some nicely seasoned eggs and other veggies. Think about the fact that you’re getting a high dose of protein and vegetables at the same time. 

Add a little Herbamare and you’re in the Game! lol

Now if you like your spinach with your eggs for breakfast, try your hand at spinach, the sautéed way.

I’m a big fan of this method because you combine it with so many other healthy additions. (check out this delicious recipe!)

I’m a big believer in monitoring your cheese intake. However, at the time of this writing it’s the holiday season so let’s talk about creamed spinach.

This is one of my favorite ways to have spinach in a meal. I only have it this way on special occasions, again, because of the cheese. 

Now you could use a vegan substitute, but be aware that vegan cheese doesn’t bake the same. So you’re gonna have to experiment a little if that’s a new process for you.

I could go on and on about other ways to cook and bake spinach, but there’s nothing better than having it in it’s most natural state: Raw

Wash those leaves really good and start trying different salad combinations. I myself am almost to the point of not using any lettuce. Spinach makes so much more hardier of a salad than lettuce. 

Grab a big bowl, dump it in there and start experimenting. Some carrots, kale, pineapples, vinaigrette dressing, orange slices and cranberries would be a phenomenal start.

Don’t like that combo, maybe try this Avacado-Grapefruit Salad

In conclusion….

This is the first of many vegetables that I’m gonna be talking about. They will be some of my favorites, and other times vegetables that I think would be of benefit to someone for different reasons.

What are some of your favorite spinach recipes?

Let me know!

Cheers

Your Best Friend is YOU – Check In From Time To Time

You looking out for you is the bottom line of health and wellness. 

A doctor can tell you what to do, a nutritionist can tell you what to eat, a personal trainer can tell you how to work out and a yogi can tell you how to meditate.

But it is Ultimately up to you to adhere to what you learn, follow through with it and be consistent.

No one is going to do it for you and it can be tough at times, especially faced with the everyday pressures of life. Dealing with everyday struggles and caring for other loved ones can put you in a position to forego your own health and sanity.

This is why it is so important to stop and check in on yourself.

You’ve got to ask the questions you ask others, to yourself.

“How are you feeling?”

“Are you taking care of yourself?”

“What do you need”?

“Why don’t you take a few days to reset and regroup?”

These are the things we say to friends and family that we care about, but never to ourselves.

I’ve seen situations where one person is looking out for everyone but themselves, no one asks the person doing the providing if they are ok or do they have what they need, and the provider ends up falling to pieces.

It’s an easy thing to get swept up in, especially if you have a big heart. But you’ve got to redirect the love of that big heart you have back to yourself.

Self Love

You will only be as happy as the love you have for yourself will allow you to be. Self love is crucial for your inner peace, your dealings with others and how you govern your life.

If you don’t have self love, your health suffers. If your health suffers, it’s just a matter of time before everything start going out of balance. Self love is the oil in the engine that fuels your decisions.

Drug abuse = No Self love

No Exercise= No Self Love

Poor diet= No Self Love

Negative Self Talk=No Self Love

Self Care

Self Love leads to self care. You have to start Giving A Shit about yourself. Do you like who and what you see in the mirror? If not, change it. Do you like the life you are living? If not, change it. And self care is where you start.

Negative moments usually hit me right before I go to sleep and 30 seconds after I wake up. This happens when:

  • I wasn’t as productive as I know I could’ve been 
  • There is something I need to get done that I’ve been putting off

Those are my 2 demons that rob me, and they usually tie back to an aspect of self love and self care (skipping the gym, delaying a task).

In Conclusion…

Be a better friend to yourself. Comfort and console yourself, when needed, the same way you would comfort and console a friend in distress.

Take yourself to a movie, go on walks alone, read books on independence and peaceful solitude, pat yourself on the back, tell yourself “I love you”, write special encouraging notes and stick them around in different places.

Fill your life with self love and self care.

What are some ways you check in on yourself and do a mental inventory?

Let me know!

Cheers

Consistency – A Tool For Health and Wellness

Consistency is defined as: conformity in the application of something, typically that which is necessary for the sake of logic, accuracy, or fairness.

In everyday practice and profession and life, it is doing something over and over again until it becomes unconscious action.

It’s easy to see consistency in the paradigm of sports…practice, practice and more practice until you get it.

Same thing with learning an instrument, academics, the arts, and definitely in your life of health and wellness.

But here’s, what some would consider to be the rub….

It takes consistency to develop consistency.

Understand?

You actually have to be consistent in your effort to develop consistency, which is what makes it one of the most difficult traits to acquire and keep.

I know….I know…it’s some trippy shit.

This is why you need to be realistic (and patient) with yourself and go by the old adage of: One day at a time.

Every colossal structure you ever saw started with one block, one hammer, one nail, one sheet of paper to start the design. You build consistency the exact same way.

I was talking to a friend of mine earlier about being consistent and she told me that one of her biggest challenges is the fear of not following through, therefore not trying or stopping.

Does this sound like you?

I told her I could relate. I thought of times when I had failed to establish a rhythm in a habit I was trying to build (or break), which led to my discouragement and ultimately giving up, therefore taking my consistency to inconsistency.

I also shared with her the benefit of sometimes breaking down a process to little pieces, therefore making it easier to establish a rhythm.

For example…..

Think of the game of basketball. In basketball you need to practice if you have any hopes of getting good, right?

Well practice for some can be the most difficult thing to commit to. You have to show up, run, do suicide drills, run stadium steps, layup drills, free throws, run plays…..etc.

Instead of looking at practice in a daunting totality, break it up into pieces and Only focus on those pieces at a time. Separate the parts that make up the whole.

I’ll apply it to health and wellness.

Many times eating right, exercising and feeding your mind with positive principles can seem impossible to be consistent with.

But just like basketball practice, you need to take it one step at a time and after that, just focus on the very next step.

I keep a white board.

What the white board has done is help me to look at my regimens, tasks and goals in totality, and break them down into tiny pieces of actions. Actions that are achievable on a daily basis to help me build consistency with what I have to do.

So instead of looking at my day of running errands, going to the gym, meetings and writing, I can see each of these things separately so they don’t intimidate me.

Seeing the big picture, breaking the picture up into pieces and finishing one piece at a time is a system that has worked for me.

In conclusion….

There is a saying going around these days that goes: “Greatness is a process”

The process is learning, planning, implementing…..and being consistent with that process.

Try this in one aspect of your life. If drinking water is not something you like to do, start with 1 cup. It doesn’t have to be a big cup…you can start with a little plastic dixie cup, then to a bigger plastic cup, then to a glass.

From the glass, move to 2 glasses, then 3, then 4…..What you will have done is build a habit of consistency with your water intake. 

Repeat that process with an exercise and see what happens.

Repeat that process with an enlightening book and see what happens.

What are some methods you use to build or maintain consistency in your life?

Let me know!

Cheers

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