I'm not a nutritionist. I'm not a fitness expert.

I am a 57 year old woman who has never felt more healthy and fit in my entire life. Five years ago, at 52, I weighed about 80 lbs. more than I do now. I felt much older, with stiff joints and back aches and no energy. And don't even ask about clothes!

My goal was not just weight loss, but to get healthier. I did not "go on a diet," I did not count calories or carbs. I made lifestyle changes, a little at a time. I tried to eat healthier and move more. You can do this, too. You can make changes to look, and more importantly, feel healthier and fit. You don't have to be overweight to be unfit. You will feel a difference in strength, energy, stamina and flexibility. I'm talking to you, men, too!

I can tell you how I did it. Not everything I do will be right for you. Through posts about my progress; tips and ideas about nutrition and exercise; links to sites I like and find helpful, I hope to inspire others to get fit and healthy and encourage a community of support and an exchange of ideas. And have a little fun on the way! Much of our information will be about local Cape Ann sites - walking and bike routes, gyms, types of exercise, yoga studios, good buys on healthy food - but Guests and commenters from anywhere are welcome as well.

Okay, I know you all want to know. Right now I'm wearing a pair of Levis - size 8. A comfortable size 8!

Twenty year old daughter:
"Mom, why are you wearing my clothes?"
Mom: "Because I can!"

Friday, October 30, 2009

Abs Diet Power - Spinach and Green Vegetables

Spinach and other green vegetables ...

Dark green leafy vegetables are, calorie for calorie, perhaps the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food. They are a rich source of minerals (including iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium) and vitamins, including vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins. They also provide a variety of phytonutrients including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which protect our cells from damage and our eyes from age-related problems, among many other effects. Dark green leaves even contain small amounts of Omega-3 fats.

Whew - the mother of all super foods! The darker the green, the more nutritious the vegetable. Iceberg lettuce is the runt of the litter - go for Romaine. And spinach, broccoli and arugula. Cucumbers count, too!

I don't really like salad. (There, I said it!) I'd rather munch on sliced cukes and grape tomatoes and skip the lettuce.

But I consider baby spinach a food staple. I use it instead of lettuce in a sandwich. I stir it into scrambled eggs. I stir-fry it in a little olive oil with whatever other veggies I have on hand, which usually includes broccoli. (Add some seasoning and boneless, skinless chicken and call it dinner!)

Some of the vitamins in green vegetables are fat-soluble - absorbed more readily by your body when consumed with a little fat. Good fat - like olive oil. Brush your sandwich bread with a small amount of olive oil, sprinkle it on a salad, stir-fry in a little olive oil.

About that Vitamin K: Spinach (and kale, collards, and turnip greens) is packed with Vitamin K - it's the best natural source of the vitamin. What's it good for? Vitamin K aids blood clotting, protects the heart, and helps to build bones and protect against osteoporosis.

Lots of good stuff packed into so few calories!


Laura Dow said...

Great information, thank you! I don't like salads either but I do love spinach and broccoli and once again you've motivated me to make a change. Last time you mentioned using hummus instead of mayonnaise and I'm trying that first. I really need to cut back on my "fake" butter usage and mayonnaise and I love hummus. Thanks again for the info and keep up the great work of getting Gloucester Fit!

Cathy said...

Thanks, Laura - I'm so glad you're enjoying the site.

I was talking with friends this morning about those hidden calories: butter, mayonnaise, sauces and dressings. You often don't realize how many calories and fat you are adding to your daily intake. You can consume a lot more filling, good food for those calories!

I've never even tried a "fake" butter. I'm out of the habit of using butter and if I do want it on something, I'd rather use a small amount of the real thing.


Anonymous said...

I would just like to remind everyone that when I leave a bag of potato chips on the kitchen counter, they mysteriously disappear before I come back to them (and I know it's not the dog!)

-The Twenty Year Old that complains that her mother wears her clothes

Cathy said...

That comes under the 98/2 rule. :-)

I'm really being a good mom and saving you from them.

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