Ugh, that dreaded “eat your broccoli!” has been the center of ughs, and sighs since the 1950s commercials! But broccoli is SOOO good for us. Here’s why:
#1 Ounce for ounce, broccoli has as much calcium as milk. Calcium is important for bone health and promotes sleep!
#2 Ounce for ounce, broccoli has MORE vitamin C than oranges. Great for fighting infections during this time of year where the sniffles are traveling like wild fire!
#3 Broccoli is a great source of folate which supports the brain and nervous system
#4 Broccoli is a great source of iron
#5 A chemical in broccoli identified as I3C has been found to boost DNA repair and potentially prevent cells from becoming cancerous.
BUT…HOW YOU PREPARE BROCCOLI IS REALLY IMPORTANT!!!
First and foremost, broccoli should be chopped into very small pieces! That’s the best way to keep all of it’s great properties “alive”. Cutting broccoli into smaller pieces breaks the cells and activates an enzyme. You don’t need to know it’s name but it’s called “myrosinase”). Studies have shown that eating broccoli in this form…CUT BEFORE COOKED…can be involved in increasing cancer protection.
And on that note, here’s an easy Broccoli Soup Recipe from vegangela.com
Vegan Broccoli & Potato Soup
Prep time 10 mins Cook time: 35 minutes Total time: 45 minutes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, peeled and diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups broccoli florets (about 1 head of broccoli)
- 3 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
- ¼ tsp thyme
- salt and pepper, to taste
- garnish: chives, vegan sour cream (optional)
- In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and cook the onions and garlic until tender, a few minutes.
- Add the vegetable broth and potatoes to the pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce back to medium heat and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
- Add the broccoli and thyme, and cover for 5 minutes, until fully steamed but still bright green.
- Puree the soup in a blender or with a stick blender. Season with salt and pepper and serve with chives and/or vegan sour cream, if desired.
PAIN IS MULTIDIMENTIONAL
For a long time, I was high on the “cure-alls” of physical therapy. For example, take the “oh so common” knee pain complaint. I was taught in school that if the quadriceps and hip flexor are short and tight—which is common with our lifestyle of sitting for prolonged periods during the day, there is going to be compression on the knee…and therefore knee pain. So as a trained doctor with my white coat on at Advanced Physical Therapy, the key was to find out WHY those muscles are short and tight, correct the origin of the dysfunction, correct posture, correct mechanics, strengthen the core, strengthen the hip rotators and bam…you have yourself a fixed knee. This approach sounds good in theory and quite frankly it works a good majority of the time. However, sometimes it doesn’t. I could never sleep at night when I stumbled on these cases. To solve these cases, I cracked books and took courses and followed the Harvard research regarding foot placement and mechanics and neuro input through the feet. With those “tough” patients, I would attack this angle…and guess what…sometimes this was the missing link to get the client better. However, addressing mechanics may work most times but not EVERY time…so now what? My journey took a sharp turn with some enlightening insights when I experienced my own pain.
In 2006, I had the privilege to have experienced pain…AND I MEAN PAIN. The pain that cripples you and stops you from working on your feet, literally. (During that point I would work 10-11 hour shifts and would be in agony 4-5 hours into the day). Here’s the background: After running my second marathon, I’d consider myself “in shape”. I broke my goal of the 4 hour marathon with a cool 3:54 finish. I lifted. I did yoga. I thought about what I ate and tried to eat “healthfully.” But slowly after the marathon, my pain progressed. I went to the best docs, the best physical therapists, the best chiropractors, and I passionately wanted them to “fix me” and they couldn’t. So finally, I saw a TOP DOC orthopod who had previously done two ACL repairs on my knees (both due to athletic injuries—field hockey and lacrosse) and he noted a meniscal tear…so finally I breathed a sigh of relief. THAT’S IT!!! Finally, there’s something “wrong” with me that can be fixed!! WHAHOO!!! But man…I wish I knew then what I know now. Just because there’s an abnormality on a radiograph…that doesn’t have to be the origin of your pain.
What I really needed was a full on multidimensional analysis of my myofascial patterns, strengths, weaknesses, and diet. And so I ferociously attacked this quest. I have dived into every anatomy and kinesiology book. I have studied countless theories of myofascial release and trigger point release. I have studied movement patterns and common dysfunctional patterns and I have thrown myself into healing myself so ultimately I can heal others. And slowly but surely, I have become pain free. The final piece has definitely been a largely “anti-inflammatory diet.” And I can now literally bring on my own pain or take it away through what I eat. I have gotten to the point where I have broken my own half marathon PRs so I can truly say that right now I’m stronger after two babies and three knee surgeries than I was out of college. It has taken time and dedication and accountability to others but it can be done.
Please don’t give up if you’ve experienced pain like this. You certainly don’t have to see me…but seek help from a skilled professional. Tell them your goals and don’t stop until you’ve achieved them. Your body is designed to heal and get stronger with age if you indulge it with what it needs. Be well my friends and never stop dreaming to be the best version of yourself!