Sweet Potato Tacos

I made these delicious Sweet Potato Taco’s tonight for dinner.  I got the recipe from my son and daughter-in-law and they are delicious and once again — easy!

Ingredients

  • 1 large Sweet Potato
  • 1 Red Pepper
  • 1 Sweet Onion
  • 1/2 can Black Beans
  • Salsa
  • Corn Kernels
  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp. Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp. Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. Allspice
  • 1.2 tsp. Paprika or Cayenne if you want them hotter
  • Sliced Avacado
  • Tortillas or Hard Taco Shells

Directions:

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Peel and cut sweet potato into small cubes.

Toss with 1 Tbsp. olive oil, chili powder, cumin, allspice and paprika.

Roast on a parchment paper lined baking sheet at 450 until soft (about 20 min.)

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hile the Sweet Potato is cooking, slice the pepper and onion and saute in 1 Tbsp olive oil until soft.

Mix Black Beans, Salsa and Corn in a small saucepan and heat.

Assemble tacos — Black Bean Mixture, Sweet Potato, Peppers and Onion, add sliced Avocado on top or if there isn’t any room in the taco, put them on the side of the plate.  Enjoy!

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Ezekiel Waffle Treat!

Generally I eat the same thing every morning for breakfast. oatmeal with blueberries and strawberries on top.  It is good and filling, but today I wanted something different.  I had some Ezekiel 4:9 brand waffles in the freezer, but I find that when I have waffles with syrup, I always want more!  They don’t really fill me up, plus I didn’t want all the sugar from the syrup.  So I added some almond butter for protein, and boiled down some blueberries and strawberries to make a compote.  I added a pinch of maple syrup over the top.  They were delicious!

 

The recipe is simple:image

 

  • Boil 3 strawberries and a handful of blueberries in about 1/2 a cup of water until the water is mostly gone
  • Toast 2 waffles
  • Once waffles are ready, spread with a tablespoon or so of almond butter
  • Spoon fruit over the waffles
  • Drizzle a tablespoon (total) of maple syrup over the waffles

Enjoy!

Ezekiel brand breads and waffles are organic, gluten free and made from sprouted grains.  They are kosher too.  The name Ezekiel 4:9 comes from the bible verse by the same name:

 

“Take also unto thee wheat, and barley, and beans, and lentils and millet, and spelt and put them in one vessel…” Ezekiel 4:9

 

According to the company’s website, Ezekiel bread products are

  • A source of complete protein, including all 9 essential amino acids.
  • They are easily digestible
  • Sprouted grains enable us to absorb important minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc more easily
  • Sprouting also produces vitamin C and increases the amount of B2, B5 and B6
  • And the combination of sprouted grains and legumes provides a high amount of natural fiber

In addition to waffles and breads, you can buy Ezekiel 4:9 pasta, English muffins, tortillas and cereals.

 

 

Happy Birthday!

This week my blog is 4 years old! 

 

 I started the blog in February, 2010 with this post:

I went to the gym today, as a matter of fact I exercised today, for the first time in 38 days.  Will this be the day I restart my fitness-centered life?  Let me back up.  I had been exercising regularly and rigorously for 20 years (minus the last 3 years).  I used to run 20 miles a week, I lifted weights, ran three half marathons, three 10 mile races, and countless 10K and 5K races.  I skied, snowboarded, ice skated, hiked, roller-bladed.  I had a house full of fitness equipment.  I easily exceeded the recommended 10,000 steps a day.

But then I stopped.  A combination of personal issues led me to alter every aspect of my life, including my fitness routine.  I’ve been trying to get back into it ever since.  In the past 3 years I joined 3 different gyms.  In total I’ve gone a total of 7 times  I even started running.  I was up to 4 miles three times a week, but then I stopped.

But, I went to the gym today…

I am happy to report that over the past 4 years I have indeed gotten back into fitness and into healthy eating.  I’ve lost weight, lowered my cholesterol and other health risk factors through exercise and healthy eating.  I’ve run some road races including two half marathons, got back into weight training and started practicing yoga.

This blog is called, Let’s Get in Shape Together, and as the name implies, the blog is meant to encourage you, my readers to also start, or continue, on your own health and wellness journey.  I like to share news and information that I find on healthy living, I try not to get too preachy…. And, I try to adopt the healthy habits that I write about.

If you are a regular reader, you know that I have adopted a near vegan diet, and I have never felt healthier or stronger!  I have several posts on the health advantages of a plant based diet, the health risks of milk and dairy, and the dangers of genetically modified foods.

Lately I’ve begun to change other aspects of my daily life.  I have been using less and less plastic in favor of glass for food storage.  I now use a non-toxic alternative to dryer sheets.  I am even attempting to change my make up and skin care products and make-up to those without toxic chemicals.

I’d love to hear from you on healthy changes you’ve made in your life, or health/wellness goals you have for yourself.

 

 

 

Chocolate — A Superfood?

Let’s start by saying that I love chocolate.

A fellow blogger, Doreen Pendgracs, in addition to writing a blog, Chocolate Travel Diversions, has written a delicious book all about chocolate, Chocolatour: A Quest for the World’s Best Chocolate.

The book reads like a journal of Doreen’s travels through the chocolate growing and chocolate producing regions of the world; from  the cacao growing regions of Peru, Ecuador and the eastern Carribean to the chocolate producing centers in Europe.  Volume II of her book will focus on great chocolate in the Americas and the Caribbean, and Volume III will include the rest of the world.  I learned a lot about how cacao is grown and made into chocolate and subtle differences in chocolate.

 

The one section of the book that I really could sink my teeth into (sorry), and the one I want to share here is the section that talks about the many health benefits of chocolate.  First of all did you know that chocogasm is a real word?  As defined by the Urban Dictionary chocogasm is defined as:

eating high quality chocolate and experiencing bliss like states of choc-erotic pleasure

According to Debra Waterhouse, M.P.H.,  RD., It turns out that women crave chocolate because we need it “to feel content with our lives, satisfied in our jobs, and able to accept and fulfill and the duties and responsibilities we have in our daily routines”!  It is not only OK to eat chocolate, but we need it!  Of course we are talking about pure (at least 70%) dark chocolate, not chocolate candy…

I learned that pure chocolate contains 380 chemicals including a neurotransmitter similar to THC (cannabis).  Chocolate also encourages our bodies to produce serotonin, and releases endorphins in our bodies — natural anti depressants!

Eating dark chocolate increases the nitric oxide level in our body, increasing blood flow and improving stamina and the body’s ability to recover, and so a little dark chocolate before and after exercise is beneficial!

Another compound in dark chocolate, epicatechin, improves heart health.  The flavonols found in dark chocolate are powerful antioxidants, and may improve our health, enhance circulation, joint function, brain function, lower blood pressure, lower inflammation as well as reduce our risk of Alzheimers, dementia and heart disease, may be good for our vision, and natural fluoride found in cocoa may also make it good for our teeth!

But it is these compounds (flavonoids) in dark chocolate that also make it bitter,  reducing the bitterness also reduces the healthy properties, and so these health benefits are not found in milk chocolate or white chocolate.   Actually white chocolate only contains cocoa butter and sugar and so it isn’t truly chocolate!

And so, to start your chocolate journey and to read more about how chocolate is made, its health benefits and take a virtual tour of the chocolate producing centers in Europe, I recommend Doreen’s book, Chocolatour: A Quest for the World’s Best Chocolate!

Reverse Airbrushing?!

I recently saw this article published by the Huffington Post describing how fashion editors are plumping up ultra skinny models so they don’t look sickly.   Notice how in the photo on the right, the  model’s rib cage has been photoshopped so she doesn’t look emaciated.

The original article quotes a former editor of Cosmo who discusses this “reverse airbrushing” a practice she describes as plumping up ultra thin models, adding curves to make them look healthier.  Even supposedly healthy publications are guilty of this practice, “Self, has admitted: ‘We retouch to make the models look bigger and healthier’.”  

So what sort of message are we sending to women?  That we should strive to be ultra skinny but not look emaciated? –– this is physically impossible and dangerous!  Remember my post on skinny fat?  

We should strive for a healthy weight and a fit body.  That means being with a healthy weight range, too thin is also dangerous to our health!  The following chart gives you an idea of healthy weight ranges for women and men.  Keep in mind that these charts are for the average adult.  (An athlete or someone who works out heavily and has an above average amount of muscle mass will be healthy at a heavier weight).   Click here to determine frame size.

Weight Chart for Women

Weight in pounds, based on ages 25-59 with the lowest mortality rate
(indoor clothing weighing 3 pounds and shoes with 1″ heels, and so if you weigh yourself with no clothing or shoes, subtract 1″ and 3 pounds)

Height

Small Frame

Medium Frame

Large Frame

4’10”

102-111

109-121

118-131

4’11”

103-113

111-123

120-134

5’0″

104-115

113-126

122-137

5’1″

106-118

115-129

125-140

5’2″

108-121

118-132

128-143

5’3″

111-124

121-135

131-147

5’4″

114-127

124-138

134-151

5’5″

117-130

127-141

137-155

5’6″

120-133

130-144

140-159

5’7″

123-136

133-147

143-163

5’8″

126-139

136-150

146-167

5’9″

129-142

139-153

149-170

5’10”

132-145

142-156

152-173

5’11”

135-148

145-159

155-176

6’0″

138-151

148-162

158-179

Weight Chart for Men

Weight in pounds, based on ages 25-59 with the lowest mortality rate
(indoor clothing weighing 5 pounds and shoes with 1″ heels, and so if you weigh yourself with no clothing or shoes, subtract 1″ and 5 pounds)
Click here to calculate frame size

Height

Small Frame

Medium Frame

Large Frame

5’2″

128-134

131-141

138-150

5’3″

130-136

133-143

140-153

5’4″

132-138

135-145

142-156

5’5″

134-140

137-148

144-160

5’6″

136-142

139-151

146-164

5’7″

138-145

142-154

149-168

5’8″

140-148

145-157

152-172

5’9″

142-151

148-160

155-176

5’10”

144-154

151-163

158-180

5’11”

146-157

154-166

161-184

6’0″

149-160

157-170

164-188

6’1″

152-164

160-174

168-192

6’2″

155-168

164-178

172-197

6’3″

158-172

167-182

176-202

6’4″

162-176

171-187

181-207