Thursday, November 3, 2016

Taking Control of Your Health Records

5 Healthier Ways to Spruce Up Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are a pretty divisive vegetable: You either love them or hate them. But developing a love of these cabbagelike little bundles really comes down to finding a preparation method that suits your tastes. Some eaters adore the nutty intensity of roasted whole Brussels sprouts. Others might prefer them deconstructed in a salad, or doctored up with nuts or bacon. Taking the time to find your favorite preparation method is well worth the effort, since Brussels sprouts can produce some of the easiest, most-affordable side dishes around. Here are a few renditions that you’ll definitely want to tuck away in your recipe book, especially with Thanksgiving right around the corner.

Winter Slaw
Similar to a coleslaw but so much lighter, Ina Garten’s autumnal side dish includes Brussels sprouts, radicchio and kale, which are all finely shredded and tossed in a lemon vinaigrette with dried cranberries and Parmesan cheese.

Balsamic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Ina uses balsamic vinegar as a sweet, syrupy glaze to balance the earthy flavor of roasted sprouts. The salty pancetta complements the nutty roasted sprouts and cuts out the need for an excessive amount of oil or butter.

Brussels Sprouts with Mushrooms and Ginger
A wok gives you the charred flavor you would get from roasting or grilling and the tenderness you would get from braising — but in half of the time. Although the intensity of the wok would overpower delicate seeds or nuts, the meaty, umami-rich mushrooms can certainly handle it.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate and Hazelnuts
Picky eaters may turn up their noses at the sight of an all-green side dish, but they just might warm up to Bobby Flay’s gorgeous platter of roasted Brussels sprouts garnished with juicy pomegranate seeds and crunchy hazelnuts. This is definitely one to keep in mind when planning your holiday menu.

Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad
Tossed with a cheesy shallot-Dijon dressing, this healthy salad highlights two good-for-you green vegetables while offering toasted pine nuts for a welcome crunch. It’s important that the salad rest for a few minutes before serving so the kale and sprouts have a chance to absorb the bright flavors of the dressing.

For more ways to spruce up Brussels sprouts, check out these recipes from our friends:



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Embodiment for Emotional Health: Is Mindful Movement a Primal Key?

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“Women carry trauma in their hips.”

(The stray remark got my attention, too.) I was walking along the beach when I heard it. Two women, deep in conversation, had passed me. Between the waves and my dog’s bark, it was the only snippet I caught. One had matter-of-factly declared it, and the other offered a knowing sigh in agreement. As a trainer, the thought jumped out at me—not so much the gendered suggestion (I have no claim on expertise there) but the idea that emotion gets stored in our bodies and not just in our memories. All of us are at various points in life subject to pain, loss and suffering. Whether we contend with something as severe as trauma or something difficult but normal like grief, anxiety or resentment, how do unresolved emotions linger within our physiology or even particular locations or functions within it? How might these feelings that we retain act as a wild card in our overall health? Finally, in keeping with this possibility, does “moving through” emotional suffering oblige us perhaps to move bodily for healing?

All of this, you could say, flies in the face of the modern, cerebral perspective. Ever since the the 17th Century, the Western sense of “true” identity has been philosophically disembodied (e.g. “I think, therefore I am.). The mind, with its thoughts and sentiment, was separated, elevated above the baser body of instinct and machination. Increasingly, however, that disembodied assumption doesn’t jibe with contemporary science. And let’s face it. It never quite squared with a primal sensibility.

Research into embodied cognition reveals how our bodies not only respond to our inner thoughts and outer environments but actually have the power to steer our emotional and intellectual reactions (and allow physical sensation to mirror abstract concepts—e.g. a subject judging a person as “warmer” while he/she held a hot drink).

In essence, how we move and stimulate our bodies subtly but potently influences our emotional state.

Cultures that never divorced the mind from the body philosophically seem to have the advantage here. They’re incidentally the wellspring of many movement-based contemplative practices, including yoga, active meditation and many martial arts. Long before even these, however, indigenous groups participated in shamanistic ceremonies for healing.

Grok didn’t lie on the psychotherapist’s leather couch after all. Healing for the individual and the collective was simultaneously enacted and elicited through archetypal dance and physical ritual that symbolically embodied sensations of safety, belonging, and integration. (PDF) As observation of these ceremonies reveal, coordinating sounds and rhythms within traditional drumming and chanting respectively harmonize heart rates and produce innately calming Alpha waves. In a deeply visceral way, healing was synchronistically performed as well as received.

Progressive psychotherapists have begun incorporating movement-based modalities like yoga poses within their practice. As clients talk through their wounds, they take poses to support that opening and vulnerability. The effect of emotional release, however, didn’t begin in the psychotherapists’ room. The “heart-opening” postures of yoga, as many an instructor will share, have inspired many a breakdown or breakthrough in their classes.

Fast forward to today, and even Western society has given rise to somatic therapies like Feldenkrais and the Alexander Technique, which (in a simplistic nutshell) reason that errant physical alignment or movement patterns can skew our sensory perception and hamper well-being.

But what about regular exercise? Can other, more basic physical activities offer a psychic release? Research is still clarifying this answer, but theoretically and anecdotally, it appears to be yes. We’ve long understood that exercise neurochemically acts on and within the brain. While studies have focused on benefits to cognition and mood, the crux here may be what happens in the moment rather than what comes afterward or builds over time. The interesting question may be, how does physical activity neurochemically allow us to engage certain brain centers or functions differently?

Can exercise, of a general or targeted sort, create a uniquely potent window for dealing with problematic memories and “lower” limbic responses?

Trauma experts like Peter A Levine note that the intensive fear of certain experiences “freezes” us like a wild animal caught by a predator. Vestiges of that momentary response, when severe enough, may never quite resolve. The physical cycle of fear, Levine posits, requires processing and closure for fully normal functioning to be restored. Similarly, the study of somatoemotional release within the craniosacral therapy field suggests that emotions can become locked within us and offers body positions for their effective release. These theories and fields aren’t without controversy, but they illustrate perhaps how movement may, indeed, move us emotionally as well as physically.

As a trainer, I’ve known many people who spontaneously took up exercise of one kind or another following points of major tragedy or transition in their lives. There was something about the shift in their needs and, in their words, something to the freedom they received on a long run or a challenging climb that became their best therapy. At times, something in their exertion opened the emotional floodgates. These moments, some have shared, were turning points in their grief or struggle.

From a Primal perspective, maybe for them there’s something to that flow state, to the re-grounding in sensation when they spent much of the day otherwise numb. Movement became the antidote to overwhelm and even offered access through emotional obstruction.

It’s an intriguing thought. I might not be ready to call it an official Primal principle, but movement for emotional health and psychological processing might just be one of the most essentially Primal concepts we can enact in our lives.

Thanks for reading, everybody. Does this concept resonate with your experience? Share your thoughts, and have a great end to the week.

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The post Embodiment for Emotional Health: Is Mindful Movement a Primal Key? appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.



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Healthy Peanut Butter Protein Brownies

I actually thought up this recipe while laying in bed one night… after eating, like, 800 Mini Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups leftover from Halloween. I seriously haven’t been able to keep my hand out of the bag. They’re that incredible. Clearly, I was inspired, but I also had some canned pumpkin that I wanted to use up. Yea, I know… I’m kind of weird obsessed with not wasting food, so I sometimes think about what’s in my fridge at random times of day. Not normal. Anyway, I’m loving all things peanut butter + chocolate lately, and I had some pumpkin to use up, so, naturally, Healthy Peanut Butter Protein Brownies seemed like the perfect recipe. And, guys, these single-serving brownies couldn’t be easier to make– just mix up the batter, pour into ramekins, and nuke in the microwave. Easy as that! And, of course, the melted peanut butter and chocolate is truly to die for. Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup chocolate protein powder
  • 1/2 cup PB2 (powered peanut butter)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup liquid egg whites
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp mini chocolate chips
  • 4 tsp creamy peanut butter

Directions:

Combine protein powder, PB2, pumpkin, egg whites, honey, and cocoa powder in a mixing bowl. Divide batter into 4 microwave-safe ramekins. Sprinkle with mini chocolate chips and then add one teaspoon of peanut butter to the middle of each one.

protein pb cup brownies

Microwave each ramekin for 35 seconds (longer or shorter depending how gooey you like your brownies). Grab a spoon and enjoy!

Macros: P 15 C 20 F 5

P.S. If you’re a peanut butter lover, be sure to check out this blog post!



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11 Questions With Eddie Jackson

There’s a lot to know about Eddie Jackson. Not only did this Texas-born chef win season 11 of The Next Food Network Star, but he’s also a personal trainer, food truck owner…and he had an impressive career in the NFL. Eddie’s passions are fitness and good food, and he knows the two don’t have to be mutually exclusive — the healthy recipes in his playbook taste absolutely delicious. In fact in Eddie’s world, there is no need for a “cheat” day, because his good-for-you food is packed with flavor and doesn’t leave you feeling deprived. To learn more about our favorite fit “Jack of all trades,” we quizzed Eddie as part of our friends at the Partnership for a Healthier America’s “11 Questions” series.

1. If you were stranded on a deserted island, and only one vegetable grew on that island, what vegetable would you want it to be?
One? That’s so hard! But I’d have to say collard greens. They’re sturdy, versatile and so good for you. I use them in soups and sautes, and as sandwich wraps.

2. What is your healthiest habit?
I do some form of exercise every morning as soon as I wake up, whether that’s push-ups or hitting the gym. It’s so important to get your body moving within an hour of getting out of bed.

3. What is your go-to nutritious breakfast?
Oatmeal topped with roasted sweet potatoes.

4. What are the three items that are always in your fridge/pantry?
Fruit, water and protein powder.

5. What is your favorite workout?
Interval training. You can work nearly every muscle in your body in less than an hour.

6. Who is your fitness hero?
My dad. He was my first trainer when I started playing sports, and he still works as a personal trainer today.

7. How do you take your water — sparkling, flat, over ice?
I’ve got a two-part answer: flat — no ice — during the day, and then sparkling water with dinner.

8. What is your guilty pleasure?
French fries! No contest.

9. What is your healthy-eating philosophy?
Know what, when and how to eat.

10. What is your go-to nutritious family dinner dish?
Grilled halibut or cod and mixed vegetables.

11. What is the best health advice you’ve ever received?
Always practice moderation. Growing up in the South, we always piled our plates high with food. But as I got older and family members developed health issues, I learned the importance of healthy portions.



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Corrective Exercises, Assessments, and the Psychology of Getting Stronger

Behind The Scenes

spin 4 crohn’s & colitis cures (Boston)

The very first spin4 Crohn’s & Colitis Cures in Boston was a huge success, and the event raised more than $40,000 to benefit the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America(CCFA)! Woohoo!

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The first ever spin4 event launched last year in 9 cities across the country with 650 people in attendance raising nearly $400,000. This year, the indoor cycling relay will be held in over 20 cities with Boston being one of the first.

you'll never go further

There isn’t a cure (yet) for Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, but the fundraising efforts for events like spin4 make IBD research possible. I know I’ve told this story on CNC in the past, but it’s important to share again to emphasize just how necessary fundraising and research are to patient care. When my GI doctor was first hired at MGH back in 1996, the only treatments available to IBD patients were steroids and narcotics, both of which can have terrible side effects. Today, there are many more options (safer and with fewer side effects) and they continue to grow every year. In fact, just a few years ago, Entyvio, the drug that finally put me into remission, wasn’t even available to patients. Thanks to fundraisers, like spin4 and other events hosted by the CCFA, patients like me have such a better chance of living a healthy, happy life.

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The two-hour indoor cycling event was held at EverybodyFights in South Boston, which was an amazing space and perfect for an event like this.

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Each bike had a fundraising commitment of $1,000, so once you registered, you had the option of riding solo for the entire 2 hours or joining a team and splitting up the time.

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I thought a team would be a lot of fun, so I asked Mal and a couple of friends to join me. We divided the time into four 30-minute sessions, which ended up being a quickie, high-intensity, and very sweaty workout for the each of us! 🙂

spin4 crohns and colitis cures

I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to participate in spin4 Crohn’s & Colitis Cures. I loved being part of such an amazing event that benefits a cause that is so near and dear to my heart. If you’re interested in donating to the CCFA, our team’s fundraising page will stay open until December. And a huge THANK YOU to everyone who has donated so far. It really means a lot! 🙂



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Clean Eating Thursday Recipe Linkup – Thanksgiving Recipes

Clean Eating Thursday Recipe Linkup - Thanksgiving Recipes

Yup, it’s officially November and the year as we know it is about to disappear. So don’t blink, you might miss it.

Seriously, I think the world is spinning faster these days. Seems like Halloween… Read more →



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