I’m in the midst of my marathon taper, and the #1 tip I follow is: never change anything the week before the marathon! So nutritionally, I am doing what I always do! Running-wise, I’m dropping the intensity and mileage, but keeping the duration approximately the same (translation: I am running much slower). One new thing that I cannot control this week is that I started my final term of classes at Portland State University! I am in the homestretch! If I don’t succumb to senior-itis I’ll have a Bachelor’s of Science in Community Health Studies: Education by mid-December! Anyway, here’s “What I Ate Wednesday”, the healing power of cauliflower, and my thoughts about #FastAgainstSlaughter.
This morning was COLD! I went for a 5.6mi easy run, and I froze! It’s going to be time to pull out my winter gloves soon…I hit snooze a couple of times this morning, so I didn’t get out the door until 5:45am…and that meant after my run I had to stretch and eat breakfast simultaneously, while I watched YouTube videos of course! I spend about 30-40 minutes on stretching, I make it a priority because I never want to be injured again!
- 1 large peach
- 2 squishy nectarines
- 3 tiny Seckle pears (so delicious!)
I cycled 25 minutes to Portland State campus for my 8:15am 2-hour Epidemiology class. I ate a medium-size Honeycrisp apple after that class during a 10 minute break before my Health Program Planning class. Afterward I cycled home for lunch!
I was a good student and did my online assignment from my last class before tucking in to the yummy goodness that is raw zucchini seasoned with no-salt chef’s shake (a blend of spices) and 1.5 medium steamed Japanese sweet potatoes. I also wolfed down 2 large carrots right after I got home!
Fast food: A quick and easy way to steam potatoes in a microwave (no, the waves won’t fry your brain or denature your plant foods!) is to rinse them and leave them wet, poke holes all around the potato, wrap it in a paper towel, and then put it in the microwave for 4-6 minutes (for one potato). Leave the potato to continue steaming for about a minute after it is done. Unwrap your lovely potato and enjoy! It takes less than 10 minutes!
And for my afternoon snack: cauliflower! I ate this as I headed home from work. Today was my last day as I resigned from my job a couple of weeks ago. I’m relieved and sad. I just don’t have the time to continue with school and schoolwork, running, and blogging and everything else. As well, the commute to and from my job was about as long as the hours I actually spent working there. In the end, it was a wonderful job and I loved it last year, it provided me the perfect opportunity to grow but it’s no longer a good fit for me this year and I need to let it go. In case you are wondering, I was an after school care program “teacher”. I’ve changed and grown this summer and as I near the end of school, I want to focus on doing the things that I am really passionate about.
Now back to the food!
Health Benefits of Cauliflower:
I consistently eat 300-400g of raw, chopped cauliflower every day (about 4 cups). I like the taste! There’s just something addictive about the crunch…I can’t imagine a day without my afternoon cauliflower pick-me-up!
This is one habit I don’t have to feel guilty about because cauliflower, though it is a bland, white food is surprisingly good for you! We all know that veggies are high in fiber and water-rich making them low in calories. They fill you up without filling you out! Like other vegetables, cauliflower contains antioxidants and plant phytonutrients, which lessens cancer risk. Cauliflower is surprisingly nutrient-dense in relation to caloric content. One cup of cauliflower provides:*
- 77% daily Vit. C needs
- 20% of daily Vit. K
- 10% of more of daily Vit. B6 and folate
- Smaller amounts of: thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and manganese
Specific cancer-fighting properties of cauliflower:
Cauliflower contains an antioxidant known as indole-3-carbinol or I3C, which is commonly found in cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower. I3C has been shown to reduce the risk of breast and reproductive cancers in men and women. Cruciferous vegetables also contain a compound called sulforaphane, which gives them their bitter bite. Recent studies have shown promising results in sulforaphane’s ability to fight cancer. It has been fond that the compound is able to inhibit the growth of the enzyme histone deacetylase (HDAC) which is involved in the progression of cancer cells.* Lastly, cauliflower is high in fiber, mother nature’s broom. A clean colon helps prevent colon cancer!
What else did you expect?:) Yes, I had tons of steamed potatoes and fresh lettuce for dinner like I do every night, and today was no exception! But, I did buy purple potatoes instead and had those instead of the Japanese sweet potatoes. It’s good to throw in a little variety and deep purple/red colored fruits and veggies are packed full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Plus, it just feels cool to eat purple potatoes (I also feel the same way about purple cauliflower)!
Macro nutrient breakdown:
Calories: 2,008 calories
Carbohydrates: 458.3g (88% total calories)
Fat: 10g (4.2% total calories)
Protein: 58.2g (7.9% total calories)
I won’t be fasting on October 2, it’s just too close to marathon race day for me to risk it. I’m also not sure how I feel about the fast. It definitely has become a sensation on social media and so in that respect it has been great for raising awareness! But, similar to Meatless Mondays, one day of not eating animal products is just a drop in the bucket. I know every little bit helps, but in this instance what really makes a difference is consistent mindfulness and eschewing all animal products for good. I believe in living and spreading the vegan message everyday by demonstrating a vegan diet and lifestyle through all my decisions. In the end, this day of fasting will raise awareness and allow the people who fast to feel good about their participation.
What I really hope happens is that the awareness of the benefits provided by a vegan diet continues to grow (with Cowspiracy being the latest instigator) and reach the public. People need the education, they need the knowledge to have the power to make better decisions. As well, people are compassionate. No one really wants to kill animals and we just need to remind them where their food comes from everyday. Do you want to create a planet out of suffering, or one out of peace?
A vegan diet is a peaceful diet!
Sources: Ware, Megan (RDN, LD) Medical News Today “What are the health benefits of cauliflower?” Sept. 25, 2014.