Showing posts with label green. Show all posts
Showing posts with label green. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Home brew: sports drinks

Home brew: sports drinks

I recently completed an epic journey by bicycle called the climate ride; it was a 300 mile voyage that went from New York to DC to raise awareness about the environment, climate change and to advocate bicycles. Basically the coolest thing I have done to date, hands down.

Naturally, to prep for such a trek, I did a bit of training. When you're exercising for long periods of time (anything over an hour), it may be wise to consider a sports drink to replace simple sugars and electrolytes. If you're exercising for under an hour, plain water is sufficient for most occasions. If you're slurping gatorade during your 20 minutes of cardio, it is unlikely you created a calorie deficit (ie you're drinking what you burn).

Initially, I was purchasing sports drinks, but to be honest, I didn't really like the flavor all that much and I really didn't like the idea of buying all of those plastic bottles that were shipped from who-know-where (even though I was careful to recycle them).

What is a green dietitian to do? Make her own!

What is a sports drink? Mainly water, but it also includes simple sugars to help fuel your muscles as well as electrolytes to help your body absorb the water and to maintain muscle function. Some sports drinks contain caffeine, some don't.

Homemade Sports Drink
  • 1-2 cold brew tea bags (available in decaf, if preferred)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 dash potassium-based salt alternative*
  • 3 tablespoons sugar (or less; 3 tablespoons is the same level as gatorade)
  • lemon juice to taste
  1.  Fill your water bottle almost full with water and add your tea bags and allow to "brew" for a few minutes until desired strength is reached
  2. Add sugar, salt, potassium and lemon juice and shake well. Add ice to fill water bottle, or more water. Enjoy!
You probably know bananas are a rich source of potassium (422 mg per medium banana), but here are a few more. For reference, adults need 4700 mg potassium/day.


Description of Food Item
Portion Size
mg of Potassium
Tomato products, canned, paste, without salt added
1 cup
2657
Beans, white, mature seeds, canned
1 cup
1189
Dates, deglet nor
1 cup
1168
Tomato products, canned, puree, without salt added
1 cup
1098
Raisins, seedless
1 cup
1086
Potato, baked, flesh and skin, without salt
1 potato
1081
Snacks, trail mix, tropical
1 cup
993
Soybeans, green, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt
1 cup
970
Squash, winter, all varieties, cooked, baked, without salt
1 cup
896
Plantains, raw
1 medium
893
Spinach, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt
1 cup
930
Sweet potato, canned, vacuum pack
1 cup
796
Beans, baked, canned, with pork and tomato sauce
1 cup
746
Buckwheat flour, whole-groat
1 cup
692

This information comes from USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 24

*Potassium based salt alternatives aren't for everyone; if you don't have adequate kidney function, take certain medications or have any other health conditions, please speak with your doctor or make an appointment with a registered dietitian before using this (or any) sports drink



Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Composting in the City: Vermiculture

As someone with a green thumb and a strong love of fresh and local vegetables, I have enjoyed my time spent on various gardening projects. How to take it up a notch? Compost!

I have been eyeing this worm tower for years, but as a student and then a world traveler for a year, it wasn't the right time to commit to raising a worm family. Now, the time has come!

The tower is a pretty cool system to compost your food scraps and other biodegradable stuff (hair, junk mail, tea bags, etc) without having to do much work. You start with one tray, fill it with the bedding that the instructions recommend and then once your worms arrive, start feeding the house scraps to them. When the tray is full, you add another tray on top of the old one and the worms crawl up towards the new food. You continue adding new trays occasionally until you've run out (I got five) and by that time, the bottom tray should be filled only with compost. You simply empty that tray onto your garden or your potted plants, refill with new bedding and add to the top of the stack. Voila!

My worm tower arrived and I quickly assembled the few loose pieces; the bottom tray to the base and the nozzle and then sat down to read the instructions for setting up the worm bedding. Since I just got the email that my worms have shipped (E.T.A. Friday), it is time to roll out the welcome mat!

First step was to line the bottom tray with newspaper so the silly worms don't fall out the bottom.

On top of the newspaper, I sprinkled coir that I had rehydrated in water and then squeezed out to leave it damp. 




Worms love egg shells and leaves, so I added those too and then mixed the bedding all together. I may have been trying to remember the lines in Macbeth; Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and caldron bubble.

On top of this layer of bedding, I added shredded newspaper, covered this with a few more pages of damp newspaper and put the lid on top.








I am excited to start composting and to live in better alignment with my earth friendly values!

I went to three stores after work today in search of an "official" composting bucket...but alas, January in DC is not the best time to find this treasure. Too bad. For now, I'll use a pot!



So far I've collected coffee grounds, onion skins, pepper seeds and a tea bag. Hope my worms are ready for a feast!




As a side note, my roommate Jesse Reilly spent two years on rural South Africa volunteering for the peace corps. One of his projects was making a worm farm! Check out his blog :)
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