IGNITE YOUR DAY

by MJ

AIR  ~  Movement of the Day:
Day 66 of the 100 Day Challenge! Jumping Ring Dips. A great, scalable way to build up your traditional dip muscles! If you can’t get to your Crossfit Box today, hang your rings from a tree in your back yard, or from a jungle gym at a local park! [Click here for additional Workouts]

FUEL  ~  Dish of the Day:
Massaged Kale Salad. Yes, kale needs a massage once in a while too. Even better that it’s done with avocado, that is the dressing. A delicious and creative way to introduce this important green to your palate! [Click here for additional Recipes]

 

SPARK  ~  Thought of the Day:
Quote of the Day: The words you mutter to yourself have the powe to encourage or discourage, to motivate or deflate, to generate joy or repel it. ~ Tommy Newbury

Essential Element:  Life is full of surprises - get ready for them [click here to read Spark Insight: Coping Mechanisms].

Journal:  What are you muttering under your breath? Is there a steady stream of subconscious belief that you are fully capable of meeting life’s challenges? Or are your feeding yourself a constant string of negatives – disbelieving your incredible potential? Identify your top three most common thoughts – the three things you say to yourself daily, if not hourly.  Write them in your journal – then consider which of them needs some tweaking.  [Click here for additional Journal exercises]

IGNITE YOUR DAY

by MJ

AIR  ~  Movement of the Day:
Day 45 of the 100 Day Challenge!  Ring Rows are a great way to build your pull-up muscles! And scaling is simple. The greater the angle to the floor… the easier they get! [Click here for additional Workouts]

FUEL  ~  Dish of the Day:
Massaged Kale Salad: Yes, kale needs a massage once in a while too. Even better that it’s done with avocado, that is the dressing. [Click here for additional Recipes]

 

SPARK  ~  Thought of the Day:
Quote of the Day: A healthy mind has an easy breath.  ~ Author Unknown

Essential Element:  We spend, save and invest our resources constantly as we navigate through our daily lives.  The key to finding balance is tied to the choices that you make in daily management and investment of those resources [click here to read Spark Insight: Balance].

Journal:  How do you spend your breath? Are you aware of it? The way you manage your very inhaling and exhaling has tremendous effect on your physiological state of being.  As you are reading this, employ the practice of mindful breathing: Simply inhale deeply and exhale slowly three times.  As stress hits you today, take back your physiological response by utilizing this practice. Deep inhale, slow exhale.  Jot down in your journal tonight when you practiced mindful breathing – and the effect it had.  [Click here for additional Journal exercises]

Guest Contributor – Eric Morris on Kale

by admin

Cooler than Kale? Not likely!

I love Kale. It’s strange I know, but I am not the only one!  There is Bo from Eatmorekale.com who makes his own t-shirts with awesome sayings screen printed on them, (go buy a shirt then show it to me. I will be pumped!); there is the crazy farmer lady who owns the blog 365daysofkale.com, where she documents her year of eating kale every day, and of course there are the nutrition scientists who love kale because it is one of the healthiest things you can put down your gullet.

The amount of good stuff in kale and other relatives of the brassica family (think collard greens, broccoli, mustard greens and kohlrabi) is overwhelming. It could take up to 30 or so pages to fully explain the benefits of this vegetable, so here is a short summary of the goodness that is in kale:

Your natural multi-vitamin
Kale has a high content of calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), vitamin K, potassium, manganese, copper, and even the plant form of omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid or ALA). In addition to the carotenoid beta-carotene, kale contains other very important carotenoid molecules called lutein and zeaxanthin (both necessary for eye health) and numerous others (probably too many to count, and maybe even yet identified).

Eating kale is like winning the health lottery!
Kale has a substance called sulforaphane in it. Sulforaphane is a big deal when considering heart disease and healthy arteries. I recently came across some research that explained how sulforphane can “turn on” certain protective mechanisms in the arteries to protect against inflammation and atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. Kale and its brother broccoli have been tapped as containing the most sulforphane when compared to other vegetables and foods. So eat your kale. Your heart will thank you!

Need calcium? Kale has got you covered! One cup of cooked kale has more bio-available calcium then 2 glasses of milk! We need a T-shirt that says “got kale?”!!!

Kale: the James Bond of vegetables
What else does kale have in it? Yep. You guessed it – glucosinolates. Now, I am sure everyone knows the deal with glucosinolates….What? You mean you don’t??? Well, let me hit you with some knowledge!

Glucosinolates are compounds found in high concentrations in leafy green vegetables (especially kale). These molecules are especially cool because they activate the body’s own antioxidant system. This cascade of antioxidant activity actually cycles over and over within the body and continues to protect your system as many as 3 to 4 days after the glucosinolate-containing food has been consumed. Talk about protection! By this process, glucosinolates help the liver eliminate toxic molecules.

These toxins come from many sources: cigarette smoke, pollution, drugs, even free radicals generated by our own bodies in response to illness. So the big picture here is even if you eat super clean, it is good to have some kale in your diet to protect against the bad stuff that may be floating around in your environment.

Kale – it is like a vegetable Ninja!
O.K. you get the point, you should be eating some kale right now, but what if you really don’t want to gnaw on raw kale all day long? Never fear! I found some recipes from Diana at 365daysofkale.com that look delicious. Here are a few I found:  More

IGNITE YOUR DAY

by MJ
FUEL  ~  Dish of the Day:
Kale is an amazing, nutrient dense veggie, so if you don’t like the taste… find a way to enjoy it! Our Massaged Kale Salad has a delicious blend of seasoning and is smothered in avocado.  YUM!  [Click here for additional Recipes]

 

AIR  ~  Movement of the Day:
Day 2 of the 100 Day Challenge! Watch Alexis and her dad knock out a Push-Up Tabata out in the sunshine! For more instructions on Push Ups and form, click here[Click here for additional Workouts]

 

SPARK  ~  Thought of the Day:
Quote of the Day: Test all things; hold fast what is good ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:21

Essential Element: Our Belief Systems are learned. They predict what we think, what we say, what we do and what we feel. [click here to read Spark Insight: Influence and Control]

Journal: Be aware of your inner narrator. What’s the commentary in your head saying about  you right now? What is the story you are telling yourself? If your sibling/closest friend had you sit down and tell them the ‘chapter’ of your life you are in right now, what would you say? Write it out in your journal.   [Click here for additional Journal exercises]

IGNITE YOUR DAY

by MJ
FUEL  ~  Dish of the Day:
Bonfire Green Smoothie time! If you haven’t mustered up the courage to try this green delight yet… today’s the day! This smoothie is a delicious and easy way to get a ton of quality nutrients first thing in the morning, so drink up! [Click here for additional Recipes]

 

AIR  ~  Movement of the Day:
Bear Crawls. This full body exercise will have your muscles growling! Stick with it though! And challenge yourself with new distance goals this week.  [Click here for additional Workouts]

 


SPARK  ~  Thought of the Day:

Essential Element: Practice an eFast (no electronics) 30 minutes before bed – in fact, keep the TV, Blackberry and computer out of the bedroom all together. Journal, pray or visualize a better tomorrow and be grateful for today. [click here to read Spark Insight: Restorative Sleep]

Journal: What does the last half hour of your day look like? What do you usually read/watch/do? Whom do you talk to? What do you prep for the coming day? Our bodies thrive on rhythms.  Use your journal to visualize your ideal ‘last half hour’– one clear of electronic input and founded on body-calming, brain resting practices.  Choose three nights this week and put it to practice. [Click here for additional Journal exercises]

IGNITE YOUR DAY

by MJ

AIR  ~  Movement of the Day:
They may sound and look easy, but a consistent set of Lunge Jumpers will get your heart racing and your muscles burning! Don’t believe us… give it a try!  [Click here for additional Workouts]

FUEL  ~  Dish of the Day:
Still trying to work kale into your menu? This recipe for Sweet Kale Salad is a perfect foray into embracing the  leafy green!   [Click here for additional Recipes]

 

SPARK  ~  Thought of the Day:
Quote of the Day: Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity. ~ Charles Mingus
Essential Element: Well People are deliberate in their rest and repair strategies.  [click here to read Spark Insight: Rest and Repair]
Journal: Write down the least restful realm of your life right now. What’s baffling you about it? Who is involved? What do you see as the next most beneficial action step to move it toward a place of rest? Writing it out lends clarity and a greater capacity to move forward. Even if the circumstances haven’t changed – your mind has.    [Click here for additional Journal exercises]

IGNITE YOUR DAY

by admin
FUEL  ~  Dish of the Day:
Take a second look at kale this week! Alexis shows us how delicious this leafy green can be! This Massaged Kale Salad is FULL of amazing nutrients, and once you’ve tasted it with the avocado “dressing,” you’ll have no more excuses to pass this vegetable by in the produce aisle.  [Click here for additional Recipes]

 

AIR  ~  Movement of the Day:
Warm up today with classic Kettlebell Swings. It’s tempting to see this as an arm exercise, but make sure to pay attention to your lower body during swings and find your power from your hip thrust!  [Click here for additional Workouts]

 

SPARK  ~  Thought of the Day:
Quote of the Day: Gratitude turns what we have into enough. ~ Anonymous
Essential Element: In any given situation you have the ability to choose your attitude. [click here to read 'The Art of Gratitude']
Journal:  Today – instead of focusing on what you don’t have, choose to recognize and vocalize what you do have. What three gifts in your home does your family appreciate most? Over the dinner table tonight, ask each other. After dinner, give yourself a minute to write them down.  [Click here for additional Journal exercises]

 

Massaged Kale Salad

by alexis

Yes, kale needs a massage once in a while too. Even better that it’s done with avocado, that is the dressing.

This is such a delicious salad – every one loves it when served at a dinner party.  It also makes for a fun conversation in the kitchen while it’s being made.

1 bunch of organic kale, washed, leaves torn from stems
1/2 – 3/4 avocado
1 organic tomato, cut up
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted (8 minutes in a toaster oven at 350)
Sea salt (and fresh cracked black pepper), to taste

  • Toast your walnuts (be careful, don’t burn them)
  • Place torn up kale leaves into large serving/mixing bowl
  • Scoop avocado out of skin into bowl with kale
  • Gently but thoroughly massage avocado into the kale
  • Season with sea salt and optional pepper
  • Add tomatoes and toasted walnuts
  • Toss to mix – don’t over mix

Greens and Bacon

by drpaul

A little bacon goes a long way when it’s used as a flavor component versus a major part of the dish. This breakfast, made with kale, spinach, chard, and broccoli, and which can easily be varied depending on what you have on hand, is extraordinarily high in phytonutrients, antioxidants and other micronutrients essential for health.

1/2 lb uncured bacon, cut into small pieces
1 cup kale, chopped
1 cup chard, chopped
1 cup packed fresh spinach
1 cup broccoli, chopped
1/2 leek, rinsed and chopped OR 1 large/2 medium shallots, chopped
3 tablespoons organic butter or coconut oil
2-4 organic eggs – optional
Optional: 1/2 cup grated raw cheddar cheese

  • Cook chopped bacon over low-medium heat until desired doneness
  • In separate medium sauce pan, melt butter over medium-low heat
  • Add chopped leeks (or shallots) and broccoli, cook, stirring for 3-4 minutes
  • Add kale, chard, and spinach
  • If desired, add eggs – don’t overcook eggs if adding
  • Add bacon and optional raw cheddar
  • Serve with Green Smoothie

Bonfire Green Smoothie [video]

by drpaul

You will not believe how good this smoothie tastes despite looking like lawnmower juice! Feel free to add or subtract what you have on hand and what you like in terms of taste. Be careful to not go overboard on the fruit – this is a green (i.e. vegetable) smoothie designed to deliver great nutrient-dense antioxidants and phytonutrients from vegetables with the fruit added to sweeten and lessen any bitterness from the chard, kale and spinach.

For a fantastic breakfast, serve with either eggs, some Yambanana Bread, or some bacon (uncured – no nitrites or nitrates) or organic sausage.

1 large handful of spinach
2 kale leaves
1-2 chard leaves
1 banana
1 orange, peeled
1 avocado
1-2 tablespoons coconut oil-
1-2 cups purified water, or combination of water, coconut water, almond milk, hemp seed milk
Frozen berries, frozen pineapple chunks (available at Trader Joe’s), pomegranate seeds

Add all ingredients to Vita Mix blender and blend thoroughly (1-2 minutes)

      • Can be put into glass jars and refrigerated for up to 36 hours

NOTE: Any smoothie can be made into a meal replacement by simply adding the following:
1 organic raw or hardboiled egg*
1-2 tbsp lemon-flavored fish oil
*Use fresh, local and organic eggs (not mass-produced supermarket brands)