Superfood Spotlight: KALE

We’ve all been hearing about how kale is so good for you and necessary in your diet and theres a good reason for this! Kale truly is the “queen of the greens” for many reasons.

For me the best part of kale is the wide variety of vitamins that I find are deficient in my diet. It is extremely high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C and calcium. However, the biggest one is iron. As someone with severely low iron who doesn’t love beef, kale is a saviour.

Not only is it rich with vitamins, but kale holds fibre and powerful cancer protecting antioxidants. This makes it the perfect detox food to clean your body of toxins!

Since simply eating raw kale on it’s own probably isn’t your cup of tea, here’s two recipes I use to get all of these wonderful nutrients:

Kale Chips:
Ingredients:

-1 bunch kale
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the kale leaves from the stem with scissors and tear the leaves into chip size pieces. Wash the kale and dry in a salad spinner. Place kale on a cookie sheet. Drizzle the kale with olive oil and sea salt. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until lighty brown and crispy. Enjoy!

Superfood Smoothie:
Ingredients:

-1 cup coconut water
– 1 banana
– 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
-1/2 cup kale
-1 tsp chia seeds
-1 tsp spirulina
-1 tsp fish oil
-1 tsp all natural peanut or almond butter
Directions:
Add all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add water if needed. Enjoy!

What’s your favourite way to eat kale? 

 

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Yoga Challenge

With the blog name “run towards zen”, you’d expect me to be a super calm and zen-like person. But, I’m still working on that, starting with yoga. I love yoga and know it is so important for my health and for my running. But, after I finish my run or bike, strength training and work a full day at Starbucks, it’s hard to find the motivation to hit the mat.
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That means it’s time for a 21-day yoga challenge! They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. Not sure if that’s completely accurate, but regardless I’m just going to go with it. I’m hoping posting it for the world to see will keep be accountable and motivated, so some words of encouragement are welcomed!!

This does not mean I’ll be doing hour-long sessions of intense power yoga every day. Some days may just have to end up being 10 minutes of some easy poses and a good meditation.

How yoga benefits running:

Running is an extremely repetitive form of exercise, and therefore creates tightness in your muscles making you susceptible to injuries. To avoid injury, it is important for runner’s to be flexible and strong! As we know, yoga poses aid our flexibility and are a form of stretching. It will loosen and lengthen your muscles to make us not only flexible but also stable!

When I first started practicing yoga, I honestly expected it to be pretty easy. I was wrong. It is not just sitting on a mat stretching. Yoga is a full body workout and works muscles you probably won’t know existed until you attempt to hoist your body of the ground using only your arms.

Lastly, the best part of yoga (in the opinion) is its ability to restore and calm your body and mind. It is definitely the best way to relax after hard workouts.

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Do you struggle to motivate yourself to get on the mat? Join my yoga challenge! As my favourite yogi/instagrammer Rachel Brathen says #yogaeverydamnday!

Rainy Day Runs

I am constantly coming across photos on Pinterest and Tumblr that exclaim how “running is better than therapy”. This statement couldn’t be more true and always makes me laugh. My mind spins on runs as any problem or sad aspect of my life is forced into my conscience allowing me to confront these issues and attempt to find a suitable solution. Despite the bouncing endorphins, I am always at ease and peace post run. However, this problem solving can create a problem in itself because I’m not allowing my raw emotions and feelings to be brought to the surface. These emotions manifest within me forcing my body to react in various ways in a meek attempt to deal with untouched stress. This is where rainy days become beneficial to my well-being.

Every Kingstonian has been waking up this week with a groan as they look out at the window at the unfortunate wet pavement and consistent patter against their window. I was right along with them in our sorrow and was especially depressed that I would have to run through it.

However, the rain turned out to be a good thing. Somehow the dreary, depressing dark skies and rhythmic sound of raindrops hitting the ground below me allowed me to be mindful of my emotions hiding behind solutions. Finally, the velocity of how different things in my life affected me were confronted.

I make the choice to be happy and that means pushing away negative thoughts and people, but sometimes it’s important to let yourself feel. As soon as I began pushing through the raindrops, my mind was clear and my heart took control. I realized in this moment that I can use running as an avenue to not only find peace but to be shamelessly sad, angry or any other emotion.

We all run for a reason and all feel unique and empowering things. That is the beauty of it. How do you feel on runs? What do you think about?