ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Weston Ochse is a former intelligence officer and special operations soldier who has engaged enemy combatants, terrorists, narco smugglers, and human traffickers. His personal war stories include performing humanitarian operations over Bangladesh, being deployed to Afghanistan, and a near miss being cannibalized in Papua New Guinea. His fiction and non-fiction has been praised by USA Today, The Atlantic, The New York Post, The Financial Times of London, and Publishers Weekly. The American Library Association labeled him one of the Major Horror Authors of the 21st Century. His work has also won the Bram Stoker Award, been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and won multiple New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. A writer of more than 26 books in multiple genres, his military supernatural series SEAL Team 666 has been optioned to be a movie starring Dwayne Johnson. His military sci fi series, which starts with Grunt Life, has been praised for its PTSD-positive depiction of soldiers at peace and at war. Weston likes to be called a chaotic good paladin and challenges anyone to disagree. After all, no one can really stand a goody two-shoes lawful good character. They can be so annoying. It's so much more fun to be chaotic, even when you're striving to save the world. You can argue with him about this and other things online at Living Dangerously or on Facebook at Badasswriter. All content of this blog is copywrited by Weston Ochse.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Joys of Power Bowls

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POWER BOWLS: Optimize taste and quantity while delivering low calories and high protein.
Author: Living Dangerously
Duration: 30 minutes
Average Cost: $8.00 US
Serves: 4 


Here's the thing. You need protein. Web MD says that adults in the U.S. are encouraged to get 10% to 35% of their day's calories from protein foods. That's about 46 grams of protein for women, and 56 grams of protein for men. Most people get enough protein, but they also get the fat that goes with it. Not good. So how do you get enough protein without the fat? Let's see.

But before we do that, though, let's find out what happens if we don't eat enough protein.

RunsOnPlants says you become more tired, lose muscle tone, you feel weaker when exercising, your recovery from injury and pain takes longer, and your hair falls out. Livestrong adds another important point. If your goal is weight loss, don't skimp on protein; compared to fat and carbohydrate, protein is the most satiating of the macronutrients, meaning it will help fill you up and keep you feeling full so you avoid overeating and food cravings.

I notice lack of protein when I'm tired and when an exercise that I normally do easily becomes more difficult. Because I constantly exercise, I need more protein to help in building muscle. The more muscle you have the more efficient your body is in processing, rather than storing, what you eat.

But doesn't eating a lot of proteins mean a lot of calories? It does if you're thinking of  a Fred Flintstone steak. If this question crossed your mind, then you probably aren't well-read on protein alternatives.

Enter the world of Power Bowls.

What's a Power Bowl? IDEA Health and Fitness describes it as a bow which can be filled with any power foods that you can think of including fruit, vegetables, protein, and more. They provide five of their favorite recipes

Thrive Forward has recipes that concentrate on complex carbs and proteins designed to give you the most protein and nutrients, while reducing calories and keeping you full.

I see Power Bowls as a blank canvas to do whatever you want with them. The picture above has most of the ingredients I normally like with the exception of the vegan sausage.

The ingredients are: Farro, baked cauliflower in sesame oil, blanched asparagus, quick cooked kale, Field Roast brand Apple and Sage vegan sausage, cold Baja mirepoix (avocado, cucumber and red bell pepper), sunny side egg, little siracha, little ponzu. About 700 calories with 28 grams of protein. 

I normally don't have the vegan sausage (which was terrific btw), but I always have farro, kale, Baja mirepoix (my name for it), and egg. I sometimes add quinoa or black beans.

Let me talk Farro for a moment. It's the only grain in this Power Bowl. But as Three Fat Chicks say, it's a good grain. It's also the oldest cultivated grain in the world.

Here's the Nutritional Value for Faro thanks to Three Fat Chicks:

Additionally, farro has twice the fiber and protein than modern wheat. Different than some other whole grains, a carbohydrate in farro called cyanogenic glucosides has been found to stimulate the immune system, lower cholesterol and help maintain blood sugar levels. While farro does contain gluten, the gluten molecules are weaker than modern wheat, making it more easily digested. Below are more detailed facts regarding farro’s nutritional value:
Per ½ cup raw farro:
  • 170 calories
  • 1.5 g of fat
  • 0 g saturated fat
  • 0 mg of sodium
  • 34 g of carbohydrates
  • 5 g of dietary fiber
  • 2 mg of iron
  • 6 g of protein
  • 4 mg of niacin
  • 60 mg of magnesium
  • 2 mg zinc
In addition to minerals and vitamins, farro is rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients, lignans and betaine.  Betaine, when combined with choline, has been shown to prevent or reduce stress-included inflammation, which can be beneficial for individuals suffering from certain medical conditions.
I don't do too many grains, but when I do, and when it's a Power Bowl, farro is it. Just look at the protein in 1/2 a cup. Incidentally, I have to get my farro at a food co-op. I can't get it at any of my grocers.

So there you have it.

The Power Bowl.

Do you have any favorite Power Bowl recipes? Please share them here. Here's a great site for a whole lot of Power Bowl ideas.

And remember. Eat healthy, exercise often, and enjoy life longer.

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