Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Versatile Turkey Burgers

Ahh... the humble and "healthful" turkey burger.  Many restaurants add turkey burgers to their menu as a more healthful option compared to their regular beef burgers.  Not surprising though, they often do not taste as delicious as the original.  Also, they really are not that much better for you.  At Ruby Tuesday, a regular hamburger contains 877 calories, 55g fat, 57g carb, and 42g protein.  Comparatively, their turkey burger also comes with 801 calories, 48g fat, 56g carb, and 41g protein.  And these numbers don't even include the french fries.  Still think it's a healthy alternative?

Instead of going out for an overpriced burger, here is what I propose...Buy a box of Trader Joe's frozen turkey burger patties.  Any other plain turkey or beef patty would work well here, but these are what I've been using.  Each patty is a nearly perfect portion of protein (22g).  And the ingredients are simple: turkey, kosher salt, rosemary extract.

While you can of course grill the patties and make burgers, I've found a tastier alternative.  Add them to vegetable salads!  This is not just another lettuce salad, but a more calculated concoction of veggies, herbs, and spices. 

For the basic dressing stir together: 1tbs olive oil, 1tbs vinegar or citrus juice, 1/4tsp dried thyme (basil, oregano, chili powder, cumin would be tasty as well).

For the veggies pick any three of the following and thinly slice about 2-3 cups worth: Fennel, Red Onion, Cucumber, Celery, Radish, Zucchini, Carrots, Bell Pepper, Asparagus, Jicama. 

After the burger is done cooking cut it up into bite size pieces and add it to the veggies and dressing.  This dish travels well; take it to work and you'll be then envy of everyone ordering out.

For a creamy version, use a tablespoon of real mayonnaise such as Hain or Lemonaise, add a table spoon of stone ground mustard and several good dashes of curry powder.  Top this one with some chopped nuts or green onion.  For anyone who's a vegetarian, this same idea can be done with canned tuna or salmon, 3 hardboiled eggs, or even extra firm tofu/ tempeh.  

Some men and very tall or active women may need to cook up two patties for a lunch or supper, but one patty should suffice for most people's breakfast.  Just sprinkle on a little extra rosemary and black pepper for a quick breakfast "sausage."  Eat right away, or pack it up with leftover steamed cauliflower and carrots for a commuter friendly breakfast.  Either way, you are well fueled and ready to face the day!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Mighty Magnesium

After starting with Weight and Wellness I have re-learned the importance of magnesium.  This is not to say I ever thought it un-important.  It's just that the notion of someone being magnesium deficient had never really crossed my mind.  HOWEVER!  Approximately 62% of the U.S. population is magnesium deficient.  Unfortunately, blood tests will not be able to tell you if you are.  Blood levels of electrolytes are monitored very carefully by the body, and nutrients will be pulled from other sources (bone and muscles) to keep serum levels normal.  Do any of these symptoms sound familiar to you...

Magnesium is for Muscles!
Chocolate Cravings
Leg Cramps
Restless Leg Syndrome
Difficulty Falling Asleep
Anxiety and Depression
Slow Metabolism
High Blood Pressure

Hmmmm.... I know almost every client I see has at least one of these symptoms.  While in college I had to create a poster depicting the Krebs Cycle, AKA-Metabolism.  It was amazing how almost every process needed magnesium in order for it to function properly.

I avoided taking a magnesium supplement for a while, but then it's allure got to me.  Taking a couple hundred milligrams before bed is amazing!  It really does help my body relax and put me to sleep fast, especially when I am stressed about school.  Ryan loves that it helps his achey muscles relax after hard workouts.

If you are not interested in taking a magnesium supplement, make sure to include foods high in magnesium in your diet.  These include: Grass Fed Beef, Salmon, Leafy Greens, Nuts/Seeds.
A meal plan high in magnesium might look something like this...
Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs over sauteed kale
Lunch: Large Spinach Salad with Canned Salmon, and Sunflower Seeds.
Dinner: Grilled steak with lots of veggies!
Bed Time Snack: Slice of Whole Grain Toast with Almond Butter