SUPER SEAWEED, SUPER WILLPOWER! #473 08/17/11
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7 Superfoods from the Sea

By Abby Cohen

If you're like me, you love the idea of dining on organic broccoli, skinless chicken, and fat-free water. And if you are me, you know I'm kidding. For me, that kind of meal doesn't get past the idea stage, though fantasizing about it makes inhaling a hot fudge sundae even more awesome. I mean, I know the right diet is the fastest route to healthy bones, healthy skin, and healthy everything else. But does eating like that have to be so challenging? And—let's face it—a giant snoozefest?

Orange Fish Swimming Underwater

Of course not! This is Beachbody®, after all. Here we learn how to replace unhealthy choices with helpful ones that are also fun. For example: To make any meal massively nutritious, just add a smattering of sea vegetables.

Now I'm not advising you to sprinkle seaweed on your ice cream. But you can use savory, all-natural marine plants to give your entrée more nutritional punch, or whip up a healthy, tasty side dish. Sea vegetables—like arame, wakame, nori, and others described in this article—offer generous portions of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein, but almost zero cholesterol. And you can find them at most Asian markets, or at a Whole Foods–type grocery store.

To make your next meal healthier than ever, try one of these delicious recipes. Each of them is so simple, even the worst chef on Earth can prepare them. (I should know, because that's me!)

  1. Wakame Wakame(wah-KAH-mee). An excellent source of omega 3s, calcium, iodine, and niacin, wakame adds a mild salty flavor to this scrumptious superfood rice recipe.

    Wakame Brown Rice
      Ingredients:
    • 2-¼ cups water
    • 1 cup brown rice
    • 1 Tbsp. butter (optional)
    • 1 tsp. salt (optional)
    • 1 Tbsp. wakame flakes
    • 2 cups water
    • 1 ripe avocado (diced)
    • 2 tsp. toasted sesame seeds
    Preparation: Bring water, brown rice, butter, and salt to boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender (45 to 50 minutes). Soak wakame in 2 cups water for 5 minutes; drain in a mesh strainer. Scoop rice into a bowl and gently fold in wakame, avocado, and sesame seeds. Serve warm or cold.
  2. Dulse (DOLSS). What's yummier than a BLT? A DLT—packed with vitamins, minerals, and protein. Slightly spicy dulse also comes in sheets or ready-to-eat flakes to shake onto pizza or salad.

    Dulse, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwich (DLT)
      Ingredients:
    • Dulse flakes or sheets (enough to cover one slice of bread)
    • 1 to 2 tsp. refined sesame oil
    • 2 slices tomato
    • 1 slice toasted wheat bread
    • 1 tsp. low-fat mayo
    Preparation: Lightly coat a small pan with sesame oil and place over high heat. Pan-fry dulse in sesame oil until it crisps, turns yellow/green, and smells like bacon. Spread mayo on toast and add lettuce, dulse, and tomato. Voilà: a DLT!
  3. NoriNori (NOR-ee). As seen on sushi—now available in soup. That's right: Nori is the traditional sushi wrap. It's also chock-full of vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, calcium, iron, and protein. And it's pretty—why not try it as a garnish?

    Seaweed Soup
      Ingredients:
    • 1 lb. ground pork
    • 2 qts. water
    • 1 cube chicken bouillon
    • 1 8-oz. can sliced water chestnuts, drained
    • 3 sheets nori (dry seaweed), broken into pieces
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • ½ tsp. salt
    • 4 green onions, chopped
    • ¾ tsp. sesame oil
  4. Preparation: In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, cook ground pork until browned. Drain off excess fat and add water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Stir in bouillon cube to dissolve, then add water chestnuts and nori. Stir in egg and season with salt. Remove from heat and mix in green onions and sesame oil. Serve immediately.

  5. Arame (ar-AH-may). Sprinkle it in soups. Shower it on salads. Arame is a mild, semi-sweet kelp that provides calcium, iodine, iron, magnesium, and vitamin A wherever it goes.

    Arame and Sugar Snap Pea Salad
      Ingredients:
    • 1 cup dry arame
    • 2 cups filtered water
    • 1 cup diagonally sliced sugar snap peas
    • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
    • 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
    • ¼ tsp. ground dried chili pepper
    Preparation: Soak arame in filtered water for at least 2 hours. Squeeze all excess liquid from arame and place in clean mixing bowl. Add sugar snap peas. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, and chili pepper. Pour dressing over arame and peas. Toss well to mix. Serve immediately, or will keep in fridge for 1 day.

  6. HijikiHijiki (hee-JEE-kee). With a texture like spaghetti but worlds more nutritious, this sea plant has vitamins C and A, calcium, and iron. Milky, salty hijiki must be soaked and chopped before you cook it, then simmered for 45 minutes to make sure it's tender. (Like some people I know.)

    Hijiki with Carrots
      Ingredients:
    • ½ cup dried hijiki
    • ½ cup warm water
    • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
    • ½ cup julienned carrots
    • 2 tsp. lemon juice or rice vinegar
    • ¼ tsp. sea salt
    • White pepper (to taste)
    • Toasted sesame seeds (to taste)
    Preparation: Rinse hijiki to remove any sand. Place hijiki in a bowl with warm water. Soak for 15 minutes. In a small saucepan, heat sesame oil over low-medium heat. Add carrots and cook until softened. Add hijiki, lemon juice or vinegar, sea salt, and a dash of white pepper to carrots. Heat through. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve warm or cool.
  7. Kombu (KOM-boo). A kelp loaded with glutamic acid that helps build protein, kombu is often used for soup stock. In fact, it's considered one Japan's five basic tastes—for realsies.

    Dashi (Japanese Sea Stock)
      Ingredients:
    • ½ cup dried hijiki
    • ½ cup warm water
    • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
    • ½ cup julienned carrots
    • 2 tsp. lemon juice or rice vinegar
    • ¼ tsp. sea salt
    • White pepper (to taste)
    • Toasted sesame seeds (to taste)
    Preparation: Bring cold water and kombu just to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Remove from heat and remove kombu. Use liquid as soup base for whatever ingredients you prefer. Suggestions: sliced cooked chicken, green onions, or anything else that makes you happy!
  8. Sea LettuceSea Lettuce (SEE LET-us). Actually a green algae, sea lettuce has a strong seafood taste and is high in protein, soluble dietary fiber, and iron. Its scientific name is Ulva, which is why we call it sea lettuce.

    Toasted Sea Lettuce
      Ingredients:
    • 6 sheets sea lettuce
    • ½ tsp. salt
    • 1-½ Tbsp. sesame oil
    Preparation: Clean the sea lettuce. Mix salt and sesame oil and rub a thin coat on the sea lettuce. Stack all 6 sheets of sea lettuce together, roll them up, and let them stand for 5 minutes. Unroll and cook each sheet separately in a hot pan over low heat until crisp. Cut sheets into bite-sized pieces and serve with hot rice.

Related Articles
"Deep Sea Deliciousness: A Guide to Edible Seaweed"
"Seafood Done Smart"
"Seasonal Summer Produce"

Questions about your workout program, diet, the latest newsletter, or anything wellness related? Chat with Steve Edwards, the overseer of Beachbody's fitness and diet development (who also serves as your Fitness Advisor on the Message Boards), in the Beachbody Chat Room on Monday, August 22nd, at 3:00 PM ET, 12:00 PM PT.

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

Check out our Fitness Advisor's responses to your comments in Steve Edwards' Mailbag on the Message Boards. If you'd like to receive Steve Edwards' Mailbag by email, click here to subscribe to Steve's Health and Fitness Newsletter. And if you'd like to know more about Steve's views on fitness, nutrition, and outdoor sports, read his blog, The Straight Dope, recently named one of the Top 50 blogs covering the sports industry by the Masters in Sports Administration.

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The Five Pillars of Willpower

By Jeanine Natale

willpower (n): energetic determination; the ability to control oneself and determine one's actions; firmness of will; control of one's impulses and actions; self-control.

People Working Out

Congratulations! You've made the decision to turn things around, so you've ordered ChaLEAN Extreme® or 10-Minute Trainer®—or maybe you're really going for it with INSANITY: THE ASYLUM®. But that's only half the battle. After a long day at work, do you really want to Push Play—especially if it means missing American Idol or happy hour with your coworkers? And what about your coffee-and-dessert movie date the next night? Plus don't forget Sunday is big family dinner night. When is there time for a social butterfly like yourself to squeeze in a workout?

To complicate matters, when you try to explain that you're on a diet or you've already made plans to work out instead, friends and family seem to take it personally, as if you secretly think they should be on a diet! If you're like me and have an old-fashioned family that eats big, calorie-loaded dinners all the time, telling Mom or Grandma that you're trying to cut down on portion sizes virtually guarantees that you'll get handed a second helping of her famous homemade everything—and that second helping will be bigger than the first!

Here are five tips to help you foster and maintain the willpower you'll need to achieve the fitness goals you've just set for yourself, especially when no one else around you seems willing to lend a hand.

  1. Two Women and an Exercise Ball Take time to explain. If you're frustrated that those around you aren't more supportive, or don't understand why you're doing this, it's possible that you need to be clearer about your new plans to get fit. Take the time to explain to family and friends that this isn't just a fad or a flimsy excuse to avoid hanging out with them. Showing that you've got a fitness goal in mind, and a well-thought-out way to achieve it will not only help them understand you're really serious about it; it'll also help reinforce it in your own mind, helping you stay focused on what you really want. Besides, once you've told the important people in your life what you're up to, you might be happily surprised to find out that a couple of them might actually want to join you. Boom—instant buddy system for keeping that willpower focused and motivated!
  2. Lend a hand, accept a hand. Your immediate circle of friends and family isn't the only show in town when it comes to getting support. Don't forget that you have literally thousands of friends on the Beachbody message boards who are experiencing a lot of the same things that you are, and thousands more people on WOWY® are standing behind you 24/7 ready to listen and help. And once you get used to accepting their help, you can start giving back and supporting others. It's a win/win!
  3. Woman Eating SaladIf you must eat, drink and be merry, at least make it healthy! OK, so maybe not everyone's idea of a fun time is doing a P90X® workout with you or going on a rigorous hike. And let's face it: Big, communal meals are always going to be a popular way for loved ones to gather together. So how about going to a restaurant that serves healthier choices, or offering to help out in the kitchen for a home-cooked meal by introducing ingredients and recipes that are both more nutritious and perfectly delicious to boot? It's easier to have the willpower to stay focused on your goals when you make sure healthy choices are readily available.
  4. Don't forget portion control. Even when you do successfully make the switch to healthier foods, eating huge amounts of them won't help slim down your waistline. A few great tricks for cutting down the amount you eat? Leave the last bite or two unfinished. Never go back for seconds. And if you have a drink, sip it slowly, and one's the limit! Believe it or not, you'll still feel full and satisfied without bursting at the seams. (And yes, drink water liberally throughout the evening.) Remember, you simply can't get magically fit by eating too much and doing all the same old things, no matter how tempting it may be.
  5. Give yourself a day off and a well-deserved pat on the back! So you managed to make it through the day or week resisting all these outside forces, and you've stuck to your guns. (And your fitness program!) You finally get some alone time, only to feel like you're ready to give in to all of your old vices. Don't do it! But do treat yourself to a relaxing massage or a yoga session instead of a vigorous workout if you like. Congratulate yourself on negotiating the tricky dance of sticking to a serious fitness plan in the face of constant pitfalls. And thank your loved ones who have learned to support and even join you in your new quest for a fit and healthy lifestyle.

Yes, willpower comes from within, but learning how you can inspire your loved ones to help you in your journey to a fitter, healthier lifestyle proves the old adage that what goes around comes around. Letting everyone around you know that you really want to make your fitness plan work, and that you'd really appreciate their support as you do it, makes it easier both for you to stick to it and for them to help you stick to it. By successfully defusing all the classic ways your resolve can be eroded, it only makes your willpower—and you—grow stronger.

Related Articles
"6 Easy Ways to Find Time for Fitness"
"Lose Weight and Get Ripped with Virtual Exercise Buddies"
"6 Steps to Orchestrating the Perfect Fitness Regimen"

Questions about your workout program, diet, the latest newsletter, or anything wellness related? Chat with Steve Edwards, the overseer of Beachbody's fitness and diet development (who also serves as your Fitness Advisor on the Message Boards), in the Beachbody Chat Room on Monday, August 22nd, at 3:00 PM ET, 12:00 PM PT.

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

Check out our Fitness Advisor's responses to your comments in Steve Edwards' Mailbag on the Message Boards. If you'd like to receive Steve Edwards' Mailbag by email, click here to subscribe to Steve's Health and Fitness Newsletter. And if you'd like to know more about Steve's views on fitness, nutrition, and outdoor sports, read his blog, The Straight Dope, recently named one of the Top 50 blogs covering the sports industry by the Masters in Sports Administration.

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If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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Recipe: Snap Potato Salad

Snap Potato Salad

This new twist on everyone's old favorite, potato salad, combines small, delicate new potatoes with crisp green sugar snap peas for a delectable contrast in flavors and textures.

  • 2 lbs. new potatoes, unpeeled, scrubbed
  • ¼ lb. sugar snap peas
  • ½ red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely diced
  • ½ cup light mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp. dried dill (or 2 tsp. minced fresh dill)
  • ¼ tsp. salt

Place potatoes in a large saucepan. Cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook potatoes until tender. Drain, remove from pan, and cool to room temperature. While potatoes are cooling, put a medium saucepan of water on to boil. Trim sugar snap peas by pulling off the tips and removing the "string" that runs along the side of each pod. Blanch pea pods in boiling water for about 4 minutes (they should be cooked but still crisp), drain, run under cold water, and drain again. Cut potatoes in half and place in a large bowl, then add pea pods, bell pepper, and celery to the bowl of potatoes. In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, yogurt, mustard, dill, and salt. Pour over potatoes and veggies and toss to mix well. Cover and chill until serving time. (Best eaten on the same day you make it.) Serves 8.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes (plus chilling time)

Nutritional Information (per serving)
Calories Protein Fiber Carbs Fat Total Saturated Fat
153 4 grams 3 grams 29 grams 3 grams 1 gram

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at mailbag@beachbody.com.

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