Do You Know Your Stuff? Take This Exercise and Nutrition Quiz



Whether you are a novice or a seasoned health and wellness junkie, it’s always beneficial to brush up on your sport and nutrition knowledge. Test your IQ with this fun review of articles posted in this blog. Clicking on the correct answer leads to the related post. Other answers prompt you to try again!

Part I: Exercise

1) According to many fitness organizations, which exercise is considered a high-risk or controversial move?

A.  Squat
B.  Overhead press
C.  Upright row

2) The rotational chop exercise works the abdominal muscles with an emphasis on which ones in particular?

A.  Rectus abdominis
B.  Obliques
C.  Transverse abdominis

3) For acute and chronic injuries, the following is recommended

A.  Heat
B.  Stretching
C.  R.I.C.E.

4) Tendon injuries are often the result of

A.  Lifting heavy weights
B.  Overuse syndrome
C.  Previous injuries

5) Which one of these is a classic sign of overtraining:

A.  Increase in physical performance
B.  Loss of muscle strength and coordination
C.  Increase in appetite

6) Knowing the opposing muscles is important for proper training. The opposing bicep muscles are

A.  Forearm muscles
B.  Pectoralis muscles
C.  Triceps muscles

7) One exercise that can counteract the negative side effects of sitting for too long is

A.  Kettle bell swing
B.  Chest Press
C.  Hammer curl

8) Neglecting this muscle can result in its weakness and that puts you at high risk for serious injuries like shoulder impingement

A.  Biceps
B.  Rear deltoid
C.  Serratus anterior

9) This lower body exercise naturally and instantaneously puts your body into proper form, is almost error-proof and is easy to master

A.  Lunges
B.  Goblet Squat
C.  Bridge

10) Arms are comprised of about

A.  1/3 biceps and 2/3 triceps
B.  2/3 biceps and 1/3 triceps
C.  1/2 biceps and 1/2 triceps

Part II: Nutrition

11) For vegans and vegetarians this vitamin can only be obtained through the consumption of fortified foods and or dietary supplements

A.  Vitamin B12
B.  Vitamin A
C.  Vitamin E

12) A good source of Vitamin B12 is

A.  Nutritional Yeast
B.  Brewer’s yeast
C.  Baker’s yeast

13) Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting and needed for the synthesis of bone protein.  A good source of this vitamin is

A.  Bananas
B.  Kale
C.  Asparagus

14) This mineral is needed for immune system health, helps make protein and DNA, heals wounds, helps with taste and smell and is essential for the proper growth of young children

A.  Potassium
B.  Zinc
C.  Iron

15) Pseudograins are seeds high in protein, fiber and trace minerals. An example of a pseudograin is

A.  Amaranth
B.  Wheat
C.  Farro

16) One of the most controversial posts in the blog was the Vegan Husband’s Got Controversy? In it, it states that a cow produces how any cups of milk a day?

A.  60
B.  90
C.  120

17) Hemp is

A.  Only legal in California
B.  A good source of vitamin C
C.  Rich in Omega -3 and -6 fatty acids

18) Miso is a good example of a

A.  Spice
B.  Fermented food
C.  An essential mineral

19) A good plant-based source of calcium is

A.  Milk
B.  Teff
C.  Spinach

20) We all eat differently in my household and strive to make healthy decisions. In my favorite article that he wrote, the vegan husband ate what off the deck floor on Memorial Day weekend?

A.  Hot dog
B.  Sausage
C.  Chicken wing

How did you do?  Please leave a comment…


A Plant-Based Vitamin and Mineral Nutrition Guide


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Familiarizing yourself with the nutrients that fruit and vegetables deliver is imperative for optimal health if you follow a plant-based diet.  Please see the chart below which lists certain vitamins and minerals, how they work in the body, quantities recommended, and their plant-based resources.
Some of the vitamins and minerals, and therefore their resources, that I pay particular attention to (from an athletic and nutrition stand point) are:
Vitamin B12 (I take a supplement): for energy, cognitive abilities, nervous system health, smooth muscle movement
Vitamin D (I take a supplement): for calcium absorption, muscle contraction
Calcium: for bone strengthening and building, muscle contraction
Iodine: (I use iodized salt): for thyroid health
Iron: for red blood cell health and oxygen transportation, to prevent anemia
Magnesium: for regulation of biochemical reactions, muscle contraction
Potassium: for maintaining fluids in body, heart health, muscle contraction
Zinc: for immune system health, helps make protein and DNA, heals wounds, helps with taste and smell

* information based from the Institute of Medicine

Please leave a comment…

All Hail The Newbies


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January is a time of renewal.  It marks the end of one year and the beginning of the next.  And, at health clubs, gyms, and YMCA’s all over the world, it marks the return of The Newbies.

The Newbies, a nickname for those who make New Year’s resolutions to get in shape, arrive in droves, hoping to make regular exercise a habit.  If you are a gym regular, you’ll notice a Newbie as a stranger in the locker room. They’re using the locker you have taken five days a week for ten years.  They are walking on your favorite treadmill, doing reps on your abduction machine.  Or is it the adduction machine?

Most of the regulars treat the Newbies with disdain.  A majority of Newbies will be just a memory in four to six weeks.  A snowy morning or a few days with temperatures in the teens will send them back to their warm beds.

But, hold up a second.  Weren’t we all Newbies once?  I know I was.

My introduction to my YMCA was a few days a week after work, running on a track. I can’t remember exactly why I started going, but I’m pretty sure it had something to do with weight and high cholesterol. I actually went to a small facility across the street but also owned by the YMCA.  We had a few nautilus and cardio machines, a basketball court, and a running track.  And, though I only went a few days a week, I was elitist. I would not cross the street to go to the main building which was much more crowded.

After a few years of sporadic workouts, the YMCA decided to sell our building to a neighboring private school.  To accommodate the extra people, they renovated the main building.  They pulled the primary workout area out of the basement and put it into a splashy new building.  Reluctantly, I crossed the street.

The track in the new building was smaller than the old track, and more crowded with walkers.  I didn’t like running on a treadmill, so it wasn’t long before I became frustrated.  The sheer number of people working out made it difficult getting on other cardio machines.  When I had to skip workouts because I couldn’t find a parking spot, I was faced with a dilemma: exercise somewhere else or at a different time.

Enter the vegan spouse.  She had started working out in the morning at the same YMCA.  If I exercised before work, I could get on any machine at any time.  I wouldn’t have to worry about crowds.  I could not only find parking, but get a better spot than I had ever had.

Still, it would mean getting my work clothes prepared the night before to bring with me.  What if I forgot my belt or my tie or my towel (all things I’ve forgotten)?  I would have to get up a lot earlier. I was used to exercising after working a full day, not ten minutes after getting out of bed.  Exercising at 6 AM sounded like something prisoners might be made to do.

I wanted to exercise in peace, so I tried it.  The first day felt like I was getting up in the middle of the night.  Working out in the morning was an acquired taste, but I drank it up thirstily.  I started going my usual few days a week. After a few months, I couldn’t figure out why I was taking days off.

Flash forward ten years and I’ve become a five and often six days a week warrior. Well, maybe warrior is too strong a word.  But now I’m that guy who doesn’t want to miss a day of exercise. I go so early, I wait in my car for the doors to open.  It took me a while to get there, but I made it.

So, welcome Newbies!  Check out the great parking.  Let me move my stuff out of your way so you can get to a locker.  And I hope I see you back here tomorrow.

January 17th has been dubbed “Ditch New Years Resolutions Day”.  Stay strong, stay committed, and dictate your own path.  Please leave a message…

Getting My Verve On, a Tuscan Recipe and the Benefits of Farro


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Happy New Year my fellow resolute-rs!

Normally I kick off every New Year with a slew of exercise posts. Be sure to check out my Gym Equipment Guide posts (under the Exercise Categories to the right) if you are new to working out.  This year my focus is on nutrition.  I had been feeling a bit sluggish towards the end of last year. If truth be told, my level of energy had slowly dwindled throughout 2017.  In late November, I realized that I had to make changes. I needed to make more of an effort to get the nutrients my body required so that it could work at optimal levels. Eating plant-based can be a challenge.  It takes knowledge, consistency, time and organization to get it right. The propensity to let things slip is easy if you are not on your game.

There will be more on the changes that I have made in the weeks to come.
In the meantime, the post below is one that I was working on in December but didn’t have the time to complete.


Three months ago I entered a recipe competition exclusively for home chefs and the response from the sponsors has been…





deafening silence.

The contest was co-sponsored by a well-known professional Italian chef.  Many of the showcased entries were heavy in meat, dairy and or sugar.  I opted to submit a plant-based creamy artichoke and spinach soup recipe because that’s what I do.


On the bright side, one of the submitted entrees intrigued me and inspired me to research recipes similar to it.  It was a Tuscan soup dish (love my zuppa!) which was weighted with sausage, bacon, heavy cream and surprisingly table sugar. My first thought, upon perusing the ingredients, was that I was going to make a dish similar to this but adapt it to fit a plant-based lifestyle. The results were delicious and exceeded my expectations.

Nutritional note: Farro is a common ingredient in Italian recipes and is the grain I added to my dish to give it a nutritional boost. It is rich in protein, fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, zinc and iron.  There are three types of Farro: whole (bran has not been removed and is fiber dense), semi-pearled (part of the bran has been removed, some fiber remains), and pearled (all bran removed, little fiber and nutrition remain).  Whole farro should be soaked overnight. This will ensure that the grain will fully cook.

Cooking note: In the last month I have made this dish both as a soup and a stew.  The amount of farro you want in the dish will determine how much vegetable broth you need.  For a soup, use less farro (about 1/2 -3/4 c of farro to 8 cups of broth). For a dense dish, increase the amount of farro. Start with 8 cups of vegetable broth and add more as needed.

Tuscan Soup /Tuscan Stew

Serves 6-10

8 oz dry white beans, soaked overnight
1/4 c dry black beans, soaked overnight
1 onion, sliced
4 carrots, julienne
4 celery stalks, julienne
3 leeks, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz fire roasted diced tomatoes
8-12 c veggie broth
1/2 c- 2 c farro , if whole, soak overnight
salt and pepper

Soak beans overnight in a little salt water.  Drain beans the following day, add a little salt to the water, bring to a boil and simmer until tender. About an hour.

Heat a large soup pot on high. Add onion and a little water to keep onions from burning.  Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add carrots, celery and leeks. Add water as needed. Cook for 5 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients.
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until farro is tender, about 30 minutes to an hour (depends on the type of farro used, with the whole form taking the longest).
Serve in warm bowls

Please leave a comment…

* This label is a close proximity to the nutrient facts.  I could not find a label creator that recognized farro as an ingredient.  As a result, I substituted barley which is a close cousin to farro.