Thursday, August 1, 2013

Benefits of Eating boring old Celery + Recipes+ Yoga video

To celebrate the last day of my 20's I am going to write about celery. Pretty dang boring. However....celery has a ton of health benefits that may surprise you. And I have two celery containing recipes to share.

Before I go into the list of benefits, I have to share with you my celery story. I will admit, I am NOT a huge fan of eating celery straight up. When I was 5 years old and in kindergarten, we had to take turns bringing snacks. So when my turn came to bring snacks, my mom packed me up with a big container of cut celery stalks with peanut butter. Sounds great right? Well not for me. I hated it! And to this day still do. If you like celery, having with some natural peanut butter is a really great nutritious snack. I just can't do it. But because of all these nice things below, I really should eat more celery!

Anyways....back to the good stuff. It is 95% water and contains a lot of natural fiber. This is great for your digestive tract. Celery also acts as an anti-inflammatory, especially in your GI tract, so for me that is a great benefit.  It contains a lot of vitamins and antioxidants such as Vitamin A, K, C, potassium, calcium, folate and magnesium, which help boost your immune system. The tops of the stalk have about 5 times magnesium and calcium than the stalks so it is good to chop those up and put them in your salads. Celery is natural diuretic, meaning it helps your body's fluid balance by flushing out excess fluid and uric acid. This is good because it naturally balances your sodium and potassium levels. This also helps with urinary tract infections, kidney and bladder infections (not meaning this is a cure, it just may aid in prevention). And this fluid and electrolyte balance is great when you are working out. The high level of calcium in celery helps to calm the central nervous system which can help with anxiety and stress. Cardiovascular health is improved because it contains something called phthalides, that relax the lining of the arteries and may help with blood pressure and cholesterol. It also is just an overall great food because a half a cup of chopped celery only has 8 calories. So if you are trying to loose weight, it's a great snack.

So there you have it. Who knew there were so many fun facts about celery?! :)

I have two recipes to share that contain celery and you must try these because I have made both in the last week and they are superb!

Chicken Salad: (click on the link to find recipe)
 I boiled my chicken breasts then cut them up into small pieces. And I used 1 cup of mayo with olive oil.

Moroccan Vegetable Curry:
1 onion, diced
1 zucchini, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1 qrt Vegetable broth
1 can lite coconut milk (found in Asian isle at the store)
2 tbs curry powder
4-5 packets of stevia sweetener

In a large stock pot, brown onions in a little olive oil. Add broth, coconut milk, stevia and veggies to pot. Add curry and bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Cook 15-20 min until celery and carrots are tender. If you would like it thicker, dissolve 1/2 cup of corn starch in 1/2 cup of water and add to the pot. You can serve it over brown rice or cous cous or you could eat it alone. We also will add shrimp to this for a protein.

I hope you try those as they are very good recipes. The curry makes your kitchen smell amazing!

Here is a yoga routine I did today that I really liked:

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