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Derek’s Raw Broccoli Soup

If you’re looking for the greenest St Patrick’s Day lunch around, try Derek’s Raw Broccoli Soup recipe!

broccoli soup

Why Broccoli? Why not. As a Health & Fitness coach, I try to set a good example and tend to break the tradition of eating junk food on holidays and instead eat healthy for every celebration. You’d be surprised how great you’ll feel after celebrating with healthful and raw plant-based foods for a change.  Most holiday meals make us feel stuffed, tired, and full of belly aches. Nothing is more fun than trying a new recipe, loving the flavor, and feeling full of energy!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3-4 large broccoli florets
  • 2-3 large cloves of garlic
  • 1/2-3/4 cup of almonds
  • 1/8-1/4 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

Instructions:

In a vitamix or food processor, add the almonds with 1/8 cup water to make a “milk”. Then add the garlic cloves and blend til completely smooth. Chop broccoli into smaller chunks so they will blend well in the vitamix. Add broccoli to almond milk mixture. Blend until completely smooth and creamy. Add water as needed to desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy your raw broccoli soup!!

 

Recipe by: Derek McDonald. Try Kelly’s Meanest Greenest Juice recipe for breakfast & John’s Vegan Loaf for dinner this St. Patty’s Day.

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Article by: Kelly Gibson, Plant-Based Nutrition Coach and Vegan Personal Trainer at Kelly Athletics LLC in Tempe, AZ 85283; near Scottsdale, Mesa, Gilbert, Chandler, and Phoenix!

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Benefits of Foam Rolling

The Science Behind and Benefits of Foam Rolling

Foam rolling with Self-Myofascial Release (SMR) is a technique used to inhibit overactive muscles and relieve tension in tight or sore muscles. SMR enhances flexibility, improves muscle tissue response, and reduces muscle soreness. It is difficult to know which muscles are overactive if you aren’t familiar with typical Human Movement Impairments, such as Upper Crossed Syndrome where one’s neck protrudes forward during push-ups or Pronation Distortion Syndrom where ones knees cave in and toes point out during squats.  If you want to find out if you have a movement dysfunction, talk to a Corrective Exercise Specialist and get assessed.  Untreated human movement impairments can lead to sore muscles/tissue trauma, inflammation, muscle spasms and knots, altered neuromuscular control, muscle imbalance, and eventually – injury.

So how does SMR work?  It stimulates the Golgi Tendon Organ (GTO) receptors through sustained pressure.  You roll along your overactive muscle until you feel that there is a knot or even a bit of pain. This is the poitn where you will hold the foam roller in place until you feel relief, for 30 seconds up to 2 minutes depending on the severity of your muscle tightness. There are varying levels of intensity you can choose based on the amount of pain you may feel when you foam roll. The more weight you put on the foam roller, the more intense it will feel. The first few times may hurt, but once you keep practicing and repeatedly work on the same muscles, it eventually feels good. My favorite benefits of foam rolling is that it can have similar effects to getting a massage. Not only do you save $65 on a massage but you can do it yourself and get all the knots out in a few short minutes.

foam-rolling-peroneal-muscles-side-plank
Foam Rolling the Peroneal Muscles in a Side Plank Position

When foam rolling in addition to stretching, you can significantly increase your range of motion and flexibility.  I encourage you to get started today by getting assessed, learning your corrective exercises, and practice, practice, practice!  It can take about 5 foam rolling sessions to start feeling relief and up to 4 weeks to start seeing improvements in your movement dysfunction.  It is best to foam roll your overactive muscles with SMR as a preventative strategy before and after each workout, before injury becomes an issue.  Once you complete an assessment with your Personal Trainer, you should be given a list of exercises that can help you reduce risk of injury and correct your muscle imbalances. You should start foam rolling at the beginning of your workout program.

Contact Kelly Gibson to learn exercises for Self-Myofascial Release.

Do you have a foam roller and want to start using it? Try my Stretching Plans with photos that include foam rolling techniques.

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The Signature St Patrick’s Day meal

Corned Beef and Cabbage has become the signature St Patrick’s Day meal. Why?

Corned beef and cabbage isn’t actually the national dish of Ireland. You wouldn’t eat it for a St Patrick’s Day meal in Dublin, nor would you be likely to find it in County Cork. So how did Corned Beef and Cabbage become synonymous with the Irish?

Cabbage

During the time of the Irish immigration to the U.S., the first generation of Irish-Americans were in search of the comforting tastes of their homeland. A St Patrick’s Day meal meant boiled bacon. But the immigrants were too poor to afford the high price of pork and bacon products. Instead, they turned to the cheapest cut of meat available: beef brisket. Given that New York City was a melting pot for immigrants from around the world, rather than boil the beef, the Irish adopted cooking methods from other cultures. Brining was a technique of the Eastern Europeans, which is a way of salt-curing meat.

And the corn? Well, “corned” has nothing to do with corn but instead refers to the corn-sized salt crystals used during the brining process. The corned beef was paired with cabbage, as it was one of the cheapest vegetables available to the Irish immigrants.  So are you really celebrating Irish heritage from the old country or wanting to somehow feel connected to an ancestors’ heritage?

corned beef nutrition facts

Image Source: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/beef-products/3488/2

The corned beef and cabbage was an alternative to an already unhealthy meal. It’s also an unhealthy option for you, your family and our planet as it is extremely high in saturated fats, cholesterol, and sodium.  Let new traditions of eating ethical plant-based options start now so future generations can be celebrate your legacy of being compassionate.  Pair your cabbage dinner with a meatless alternative like my delicious Glazed Lentil Apple Walnut Loaf.  Also be sure to visit Kelly’s Meanest Greenest Juice Recipe for breakfast and Derek’s Raw Broccoli Soup Recipe for a healthy St Patrick’s Day meal!
Article written by: John Bergdoll, guest writer from the Vegan Energy blog.
Article edited & posted by: Kelly Gibson, 3-year Vegan Personal Trainer and Plant-Based Nutrition Coach from Kelly Athletics LLC
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