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Power Foods Lately + a Recipe!

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One of my hobbies besides triathlon training is cooking nutrient dense (real food) meals! I really enjoy cooking and often try new recipes weekly. I find I am just as passionate about nutrition as I am about fitness. The two go hand and hand. You will not see results if you care about one and not the other. Training for my Ironman has made me more aware of my nutrition than ever before. I have always been a ‘health nut’ and have never been a junk food person or a yo-yo dieter. I’ve always just LOVED eating healthy and it’s just part of who I am. Fueling properly for my training is vital to my performance, and that’s why I’ve been trying lots of new power foods!

I thought I would share some of these ‘power foods’ with you plus their benefits!

Green Lentils

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Lentils are a powerhouse of nutrition. They are a good source of potassium, calcium, zinc, niacin and vitamin K, but are particularly rich in dietary fiber, lean protein, folate and iron (source). Since they are rich an Iron, lentils are the perfect power food for female triathletes who may need extra iron with serious endurance training.

Hemp Seeds

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Hemp is considered one of the world’s most nutritious plants. Hemp seeds contain all of the essential amino acids making them an ideal source of protein for vegans and raw foodists. The essential fatty acids are abundant in hemp seeds and come in a ratio that is highly beneficial to humans. Magnesium, iron, and potassium are in good supply along with fiber. Some of hemp seed’s supply of antioxidants comes from its vitamin E content. (source)

Millet

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Millet is as a good source of some very important nutrients, including copper, manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium.

Gluten-free, highly nutritious, great energy source – ideal for athletes, complete protein source when combined with legumes (source).

Dino (Lacinato) Kale

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To begin, Tuscan kale, like all kales, is extraordinarily nutritious: a cup provides more than 100 percent of the daily value (DV) of vitamins K and A, and 88 percent of the DV for vitamin C. Like other members of the brassica family such as cabbage, collards and Brussels sprouts, kale is a rich source of organosulfur compounds that have been linked to cancer prevention. (source)

Red Cabbage

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Purple vegetables, such as this cabbage and others like eggplant and blueberries, contain anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are chemicals that protect body cells, decrease the spread of cancer cells, and more. Purple cabbage contains 36 different types of antioxidants, including the health-giving anthocyanins. There is evidence to suggest that purple cabbage helps build a healthy brain and a healthy heart and acts as a fat burner. (source)

Microgreens 

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Researchers looked at four groups of vitamins and other phytochemicals – including vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene — in 25 varieties of microgreens. They found that leaves from almost all of the microgreens had four to six times more nutrients than the mature leaves of the same plant. But there was variation among them – red cabbage was highest in vitamin C, for instance, while the green daikon radish microgreens had the most vitamin E (source). I love putting these little greens on top of my salads!

 Here is a recipe with some of these super foods combined into one dish!

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I made the Over the Rainbow Cabbage Salad from ‘Oh She Glows’ plus the Lemon Tahini Dressing from ‘Oh She Glows.’  I added Hemp seeds, Tuscan Kale, Arugula, Microgreens and Green Lentils! You could add Millet too for extra carbohydrates post workout session! I could eat this meal all day long!

Over The Rainbow Cabbage Salad with Tahini-Lemon Dressing (from Oh She Glows) 

Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients:
About 6-7 cups of roughly chopped red/purple cabbage (I used 1/4 of a large cabbage)
1 carrot, shaved with a peeler into 2-3 inch strips
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
2 handfuls of fresh parsley, chopped finely (or use other herb)
Half a batch of Lightened Up Tahini-Lemon Dressing (or make the full batch and save for later)
3-4 tbsp of toasted sesame seeds (or use hemp, sunflower, etc)
Salt & pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Toast the seeds for about 8-10 minutes, watching closely. Remove and set aside. (I used Hemp seeds, non-toasted) 
2. Add several cups of water into a kettle and bring to a boil. Lightly rinse the cabbage and slice in half, through the stem. Slice each half, in half again and roughly chop. You’ll want about 6-7 cups.
3. Add chopped cabbage into a strainer in the sink and pour the boiling water over top. Quickly rinse with cold water. This helps soften the cabbage slightly. Roughly dry the cabbage with a hand towel.
4. In a large bowl, mix the chopped celery, pepper, cabbage, shaved carrot, and parsley.
5. Prepare the dressing by whisking all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. The salad tastes best when the dressing is mixed just before serving, so I suggest you portion out how much salad you will be eating for the meal and then add on your desired amount of dressing & mix well. Wrap up any leftover salad and place in the fridge and do the same with the leftover dressing.
(I doubled the recipe in order to use up all of the cabbage and to have leftovers!)

Read more on this recipe here

Lightened Up Tahini-Lemon Dressing from Oh She Glows
Yield: Just under 1 cup of dressing
Ingredients:
1/4 cup Tahini
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1/4 cup Nutritional yeast or a bit more, to taste
2-4 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
1 tsp kosher salt + freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
3 tbsp water, or as needed

Directions:
1. In a food processor, add all ingredients and process until smooth. Makes just under 1 cup.

Enjoy!!

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12 Comments

  • Reply Bryanna May 13, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    That recipe looks amazing. She has some great recipes!! Lentils and hemp seeds are some of my favorites. I love to add hemp seeds to smoothies or my healthy protein bites.

    • Reply Kristin May 16, 2014 at 1:13 pm

      It’s sooo good! you have to make it! I’ll have to try adding hemp seeds to my smoothies!

  • Reply Louise@FitRadiance May 14, 2014 at 9:50 am

    Yum! Great recipe. I’ll definitely have to give that one a try. I’m terrible for getting stuck in a food rut 😛

    • Reply Kristin May 16, 2014 at 1:14 pm

      You will definitely have to give it a try… and it’s sooo good for you!

  • Reply Amanda - RunToTheFinish May 14, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    YUM what a fantastic recipe!!! I go through phases with cooking, but I do think when I’m focused on fueling my workouts I do a much better job

  • Reply Abby May 14, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    I’ve never actually had millet- I should give it a go!
    Proper fuelling is SO key in Ironman training! Hope you’re having a good week!

    • Reply Kristin May 16, 2014 at 1:16 pm

      You have to try Millet, it’s so good and such a nice alternative to other GF grains like Quinoa. Proper fueling is SO key, and makes all the difference!

  • Reply Kristen @ Glitter and Dust May 14, 2014 at 10:58 pm

    Wow, I have never even heard of some of these foods. That is pretty impressive that you have the natural ability to eat healthy and seek out foods that are rich in nutrients. I have to be very mindful about food, as I get all kinds of sugar cravings. What is your secret? How do you avoid sugar? It’s definitely my weakness.

    • Reply Kristin May 16, 2014 at 1:21 pm

      You have to try some of these foods, you won’t regret it! I think my secret is just trying to avoid processed foods as much as possible. If I don’t buy the stuff at the grocery store, I won’t eat it. At work, I avoid eating sweets when they are put out in front of me (I guess I have crazy good will power). My rule is, if I can’t pronounce it, I shouldn’t be eating it. However, sugar is my weakness (I always crave sweet versus salty) and sometimes I can’t say no to a piece of chocolate. What I do to curb cravings (say after lunch) is eat a piece of 85% Dark Chocolate and I let it actually stay in my mouth without chewing it… when it melts, it tricks my brain into thinking it’s dessert (I actually saw this on Dr. Oz!). I also try and eat only REAL sugar like fruit!

  • Reply Leslie @ Triathlete Treats May 16, 2014 at 3:21 am

    OMG! This recipe looks amazing! I typically make big kale salads to eat off of for a couple days. This looks like a great gem! I love the idea of putting in the power foods to make it even better!! 🙂

    • Reply Kristin May 16, 2014 at 1:26 pm

      It IS amazing, you have to try it! I also love to make big kale salads… I am pretty much obsessed with any meal that has kale in it! It’s fun to experiment with different power foods. I’ll be sure to keep posting new ideas on the blog!

  • Reply ig February 27, 2017 at 2:34 am

    Hi there i am kavin, its my first occasion to commenting anywhere,
    when i read this post i thought i could also make
    comment due to this brilliant post.

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