Good “Beaning” Readers:
That’s why I am emailing in the “Evening”. Get it?
Bill’s Boot Camp has been the hottest topic inside the gym these days. Everyone is asking about the workout, the diet and most importantly,…the results.
To date, everyone who has completed the program (including the first husband [SAJ] and wife [EWJ] team) has lost at least 3% of their body fat and has gained some amount of muscle. Even more impressive is the fact that, so far, each “graduate” has either maintained their results or has continued further towards their long-term goal.
But is it a necessity to follow the super-strict diet and a crazy five or six day workout plan in order to do so? The answer is a resounding no! However, to avoid plateauing or even “backsliding”, simple but consistent lifestyle changes is a must. For example, when I give my Boot Campers their diet, I reinforce the need for them to watch their sodium intake.
We’ve spoken about the sodium content of certain foods numerous times over the years, but here’s a trick to preparing quick and healthy meals that I have yet to unveil. Did you know that using canned foods such as tomatoes, artichokes, hearts of palm or beans are comparable, nutritionally speaking, to their cooked fresh and frozen counterparts? Yes my Body Designers, studies have even shown that some canned foods even yield higher amounts of essential nutrients than those sitting in the “fresh” section of Ralph’s, Trader Joe’s or even Gelson’s.
Furthermore, if you think about it, those canned foods are available year-round; so they are an easy decision no matter what the climate.
I know what you are thinking…”what about the sodium in those canned foods – (especially the beans)?” Well, these days, many companies are reducing the sodium in their foods before they even package them. If you look closely, you’ll find ingredients like baking soda [sodium bicarbonate], soy sauce, monosodium glutamate [MSG] and brine are now being less often used.
Furthermore, at the Institute of Food Technologists Conference, Joshua B. Jones and John R. Mount, both from the department of food science and technology at the University of Tennessee, did a study on reducing sodium in canned beans by draining and rinsing them.
Now, I know that all of you who prepare your family’s meals rinse your beans, but did you know that draining them before and after you do so, reduces the sodium content listed on the can by more than 40%? That is a huge number my friends. But make sure you do it right.
Oh yes, there is a “formula” to making sure the maximum amount of salt is removed. First, pour the can’s contents in to a colander and allow them to sit for a full two minutes. Next, rinse the beans under running tap water for at least 10 seconds. And third, allow the water to completely drain off the beans for another full two minutes. Voila, an easy way to add nutritious protein (if you are using beans) to any dish; like my mother’s famous Spicy Turkey Chili. All you need is a few packs of ground turkey (99% fat-free), two cans of kidney beans, a chopped onion or two (or three), some chili pepper and garlic, and, if you are lucky enough to have fresh chillies from Las Cruces, New Mexico (Thanks Martin!), it will be the best 20 minutes you’ll ever spend in front of a stove. Right Mom? Last night’s was the best!
So next week when you are planning a healthy family meal, don’t be afraid to go down the Canned Goods aisle…you might be surprised what you’ll find and it may even inspire you to try something new!
By the way, the title of this week’s installment refers to the room number my Mom taught from in our (my bro’s. and mine of course) high school. And since she taught me her Chili Recipe last night, I thought it would be apropos.