30 Day Fitness Experiment

What can you do for your body in 30 days?

Market Day: 5 Delicious Ways to Use Fresh Asparagus

fresh asparagus for lunch
Image by annethelibrarian via Flickr

We’re half way through May, and asparagus is in season! This beautiful vegetable is often featured in decorative art as a sign of spring and good food. But how on earth are you supposed to cook and eat it?

First of all, choose thin, tender stalks. Asparagus starts to get tough and woody as it matures. Trim the cut ends and rinse well with water, then steam, roast, etc. Yum!

  1. Simply roast it. All you need to do is toss the asparagus with oil, salt, and pepper, and roast alone or with onions, garlic, and potato on a baking sheet for 10 minutes at 400F. (Potatoes and other vegetables will have longer cooking times, so roast them until they have only 10 minutes left, then add the asparagus.)
  2. Add it to a wrap or pita sandwich instead of lettuce. Toss the asparagus into a pot of boiling, salted water for about 3 minutes, let cool a bit and then chop. (You can also rinse under cold water to cool.) Mix into salads like tuna or chicken. Ta da!
  3. Make a simple salad. Steam asparagus in a vegetable steamer for 5-6 minutes, then toss with arugula, chopped bell peppers, minced garlic, lemon juice, and whatever other yummy greens or herbs you have on hand. Add a bit of oil or vinaigrette, and you’re all set.
  4. Enhance a simple risotto or couscous: Cook rice or couscous in vegetable broth instead of plain water, and add roasted garlic, steamed and chopped asparagus, lemon juice, and chives. A tip for making a creamy risotto: brown the dry rice in oil for a couple of minutes before adding boiling water and steaming.
  5. Use up leftovers in a creamy soup: Chop up only the stalks (saving the tips), and add to a hodge-podge vegetable soup. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor, then add the tips back in and reheat for 2-3 minutes. Presto! (Even if you don’t want to puree all of the soup, consider pureeing some cooked rice with some of the broth, and then adding it to the soup. It adds creaminess without dairy or extra fat and calories.)
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May 22, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment

Simple Living Sunday 25 April 2010

{{de|Wochenmarkt Karl-August-Platz Berlin Char...
Image via Wikipedia

So much good stuff in the blogosphere:

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April 25, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

New Experiment: Integrating Physical Activity Into the Daily Routine

Jogging on a bright November morning
Image by Ed Yourdon via Flickr

I’m so ready for the 2nd 30 Day Fitness Experiment!

The goals are: 1) Integrate physical activity into my daily routine and 2) use the car less.

The reason for using the car less is partially and environmental one and partially a personal health and well being one. The less I use the car, the less I pollute the earth, and that makes me happy. Also, the less I rely on using the car to get me places, the more likely I am to choose physical activity when I have the option which is a wonderful habit to get into. I think I am also more likely to shop and do business locally, which is another wonderful thing.

So, how to translate these goals into a measurable experiment…

I will use the car less by committing to walking or biking to work. I will also not drive to the grocery/drug store, or to the Farmers’ Market (even though it’s a couple of miles across town). “Not driving” also means taking public transportation. Ok, Cool.

I think these methods of using the car less fulfill the other goal of integrating physical activity into my daily routine. Perfect!

I’m leaving my job at Indiana University on 7 May, so that only leaves twelve days to walk or bike to work. We’ll also be traveling to California for nine days, and we’ve committed to not renting a car. We’ll travel by air, train, bus, and airport shuttle. We’ll also do a lot of walking and possibly some biking, so we’d better pack light!

This 30 Days’ Hypothesis: Through limiting use of our car, I will lose weight, build endurance and muscle/strength, and keep my blood pressure down. I hypothesize that I will lose another 10 pounds, drop another dress size (lose 1-2 inches everywhere), and maintain an average blood pressure no higher than 125/85. Strength is harder to measure, since I’m not climbing or lifting weights anymore. To see if I build endurance, I’ll clock my bike rides (mileage and maybe time) and see how much farther I can go at the end of the 30 days compared with the beginning.

And we’re off!

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April 22, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Break Away From Your Sedentary Routine

FarmersMarketBand
Image by LandlockedSailr via Flickr

Can you believe it’s already Day 26 of 30?
I know! Neither can I!

It’s also Saturday, which means it’s Market Day again, so I’ll be touring Bloomington on foot (no bike yet).

It’s almost a crime not to own a bike in Bloomington, especially this time of year (Little 500 is next weekend), but more about that later. For now: some good reading and one good film, at least if you love either bicycling or IU.

First of all, I just finished reading this very tiny (and beautifully illustrated) e-book called Minimalist Health, by Tammy Strobel. It’s full of things to consider and take to heart, since, you know, if you haven’t got your health, you haven’t got anything! You’ll also be presented with a series of “Micro Actions,” little steps you can take right now to make a big difference. Oh, did I mention that it’s free? You’ll find it in the sidebar at Rowdy Kittens: Click here to visit RowdyKittens.

And now for this weekend’s film: Breaking Away (Yep, IU + bicycles. This is what all the hype is about.)

I’ll be back with fresh veggies and lots of photos!
Where are you walking (or biking) today?

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April 17, 2010 Posted by | Book Reviews | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment