One of the good things post-Match is that I have had so much more time at the end of the day. Or maybe this is all just in my head. In all honesty, I do have a lot of work to do when I get home from work (no one warned me about all the post-Match paperwork!). But I feel that I have more time. Maybe it’s just because the stress of Match is gone. But perceptions make a bid difference!
So with all this “extra” time, I’ve changed my priorities around. I’m now dedicating more time to exercise. For myself, yes. To have more energy, to feel more comfortable in my skin, to simply be in good shape. But also because I don’t want to be a doctor that tells my patients to exercise at least 4-5 times a week without practicing those same habits.
Why do we recommend this much exercise? Well, it comes from the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, which is issued by the US Department of Health and Human Services. The report was written by experts in the fields of physical activity, disease prevention, the CDC and NIH, among others. This was the first edition of the guidelines, with the second edition to be published next year!
According to these guidelines, adults should have at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise) each week. This is what brings us to the often heard recommendation of 30 minutes of exercise 5 times a week!
This is, of course, the minimum recommended. For adults who are seeking more health benefits or looking to lose weight, the amount of time spent on exercise should be doubled. This means an average of 60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 30 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise 5 times a week.
No one ever said it was going to be easy to have a healthy lifestyle! You just have to decide that your quality of life is worth that effort. And, for me, it absolutely is! I feel great since I started exercising more and I can feel my body getting stronger and faster each day!
But with increased exercise, comes increased need for protein. That’s the only way to maintain muscle mass while burning fat! Hence, this recipe! So my dad rarely gives compliments without being prompted. So when he told me he really liked this recipe, that felt amazing! So I hope you guys try it out and enjoy it as much as we did!
- 3.5 cups Edamame, shelled
- 2 cups Dried Chickpeas
- 2 medium Apples (I prefer Gala but any apples would work)
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, skinned and chopped
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 – 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp poppy seeds
- Rehydrate the dried chickpeas in the slow cooker on the low setting using 4.5 cups water (this will take about 7 hours). Drain any excess water.
- If you’re pressed for time, you can use the high setting, which will take about 4 hours. Or boil them on the stove, which will take about 30 minutes.
- If you choose to use canned chickpeas, rinse them out well to remove all that sodium.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and add edamame, boiling for about 5 minutes. They should be softer but still tender.
- Clean and core the apples.
- Chop the apples so they are approximately the same size as the edamame and chickpeas. Here’s how I do this: First, place each half apple cut face down on the cutting board and cut into 1cm thick slices in on direction. Then rotate the apple 90 deg and repeat. As each row falls over onto the cutting board, cut them in half.
- Combine edamame, chickpeas, and apples in a large mixing bowl.
- For the dressing: In a ***, combine the maple syrup, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, nutmeg, cloves, cayenne pepper, turmeric, and ginger. Pulse until there are no more ginger pieces. Then add poppy seeds to the dressing.
- Pour the dressing over the edamame, chickpeas, and apples. Give them a quick toss.
And that’s it! So simple right?! And huge payoff! This recipe makes 6 servings of a high-protein and absolutely delicious meal!
And you know how apples get soft and brown when you cut them? Well let me just tell you that four days later, the apple was still crisp and white (well, just a tiny hint of yellow, but that was because of the turmeric). Something in the dressing is keeping the apples fresh…just got to figure out what that something is so I can take advantage of it in future recipes.