Kansas

Beef Chat

Aug282014

Labor Day

Published by Katie Sawyer at 7:32 AM under General | Nutrition | Recipe

Summer is rapidly coming to a close. School is back in session for most, the football season will officially kick off Saturday and Labor Day – the unofficial end of summer – is just a weekend away.

 

Before you pack up the grill and resort to oven-baked meals, use the three-day weekend to enjoy some great beef recipes. Beef is a great source of protein to keep kids full longer and vitamin and nutrients, which are essential to everyone’s diet.

 

If you are looking for more great beef recipes or information on beef cuts and marinades, log onto www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com. Most importantly, the site has a great list of 30-minute meals for those busy, weekend dinners.

 

Here is a great recipe for your last grilled feast:

 

 

SMOKY STRIP STEAKS WITH MEXICAN-STYLE GRILLED CORN

INGREDIENTS

1.      2 beef Strip Steaks Bone-In, cut 1 inch thick (12 to 15 ounces each)

2.      4 ears corn, husked

3.      1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise

4.      2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

5.      Salt

6.      Lime wedges (optional)

 

Seasoning:

1.      1 to 2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder

2.      2 teaspoons brown sugar

3.      2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR SMOKY STRIP STEAKS WITH MEXICAN-STYLE GRILLED CORN

  1. Combine seasoning ingredients in small bowl. Spread 2 teaspoons seasoning mixture evenly onto beef steaks. Spread remaining seasoning mixture onto corn. 
  2. Place corn on outer edge of grid over medium, ash-covered coals; grill, covered, 15 to 20 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, times remain the same) or until tender, turning occasionally. Place steaks in center of grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 9 to11 minutes (on gas grill, 9 to 12 minutes) for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally.
  3. Spread mayonnaise and sprinkle cheese evenly over corn. Carve steaks into slices. Season beef and corn with salt, as desired. Squeeze lime wedges over beef and corn, if desired. Serve beef with corn.



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Aug062014

Excuses, Excuses

Published by Heath Larson at 9:47 AM under Agriculture | Beef Team | General | Nutrition

As a longtime runner, I've heard plenty of excuses and smart remarks when others find out about my distance running hobby.  One of the classics I've heard multiple times is:  "I only run if someone is chasing me."  Oh really?  Well, consider the following situations:

 

It's early spring.  On the ranch, that means it's time to round up the cattle from the feedlot and take them to pasture.  While the "take them to pasture" part is the near-celebratory end to a winter of feeding and calving in brutal weather conditions like we had last winter, the "round up" part never fails to create excitement.  There are gates to open, vehicles of all types to drive, and at the end of it, hopefully some 80+ cow/calf pairs and their calves end up in the loading pen for preventive medication before being hauled to pasture for the next 4-5 months.  During our last roundup, we had several cows with no desire of going where they needed to be.  At one point, after an hour of fruitless attempts to bring them into the loading pen, we were close to completing the task.  Then, without warning, the "crazy one" turned around and bolted for the open pasture, with 10 more cows trailing behind.  There was no time to jump in a pickup, turn it around, and give chase.  There was only time to run.  I may not have set a world record for "fastest 3/8 mile across a rutted pasture in jeans and work shoes," but I like to think I came close.  I barely beat the leader to the open gate on the other side of the pasture, and we managed to get the job done shortly thereafter. 

 

I travel for my career, and frequently have tight connections between flights.  Most of the time, I am able to get to my gate in plenty of time by utilizing a brisk walking pace.  However, when I'm trying to catch the last flight home that day and I have 20 minutes to get to the train, go up and down 6 different escalators, and walk at least 1/2 mile with my carry on in tow...well, it's not really a walk anymore.  While I haven't always "made it," I know my family is appreciative when I do get home on time.

 

When it comes to helping out on the ranch or getting home to see my family, there's no time for flimsy excuses.  Do I enjoy training for my next race?  Not usually, because it takes a lot of time and effort to stay in shape!  But I often fall back on my training when life calls for a little extra speed, endurance, or adventure, and that is invaluable to me.

 

Along the same lines, flimsy excuses have no place in your nutritional plan.  I hear how unhealthy "red meat" is from my colleagues frequently...but what is their basis for this?  And have they considered how using beef as a lean source of protein compares with other animal and plant protein sources?  Nothing else comes close!  I also hear "I don't eat red meat because of the hormones they put in it."  First off, if hormones are a problem for you, you can find plenty of non-hormone beef out there.  Second, the hormones in a typical serving of beef are far, far less than are found in many common vegetables that make up a huge part of healthy diets nowadays...not to mention the elevated amount of hormones found in many human medications taken daily!

 

Find the truth.  Ditch the excuses.  Then, go outrun everyone that still thinks you're crazy, and celebrate your victory by refueling with lean beef!



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Jul242014

Taste the Homegrown Goodness

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy seasonal fruits and vegetables. If you do not grow your own garden, you can still enjoy fresh, local produce.  And, you may not even have to travel to a farmers’ market or farm stand to pick up your local produce, many grocery stores including Hy-Vee have teamed up with local farms to ensure the freshest, most nutritious choices right where you buy the rest of your groceries. 

The term local often means that the food was grown within 400 miles from where it will be consumed.  While this is not near as close as your back yard, you will find many vendors much closer, all you have to do is ask. At Hy-Vee our Homegrown label ensures that you are purchasing the freshest items from local family farms. The Homegrown signs indicate where your food was grown and how far the farm is from your Hy-Vee store.

According to the Food Marketing Institute’s U.S. Grocery Shopping Trends report, the top reasons for purchasing locally grown foods include freshness (82%), supporting the local economy (75%) and taste (58%).

Local, seasonal fruits and vegetables are typically more budget-friendly because they are harvested during their peak season for you to enjoy. Many popular produce is packed with a nutritional punch!  The fiber found in sweet corn can aid in weight management and digestive health.  Bell peppers and watermelon are loaded with antioxidants and vitamin C to promote immune health.  Zucchini and other squash has been found to contain compounds that may help control blood pressure.  Tomatoes are naturally sweet and a great source of lycopene which may help prevent against prostate cancer. 

Don’t hesitate! Now is the time to fill half of your plate with seasonal fruits and veggies, along with 4 oz. of lean beef and a serving of whole-grain.  Try this refreshing Steak and Grilled Ratatouille Salad to take advantage of the summer’s bounty!

STEAK AND GRILLED RATATOUILLE SALAD

Steak & Grilled Ratatouille Salad --

Total Recipe Time: 45 to 50 minutes

Makes 6 servings

INGREDIENTS

1 beef Top Round Steak, cut 1 inch thick (about 1-1/2 pounds)

1 small eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices

2 large red or yellow bell peppers, cut lengthwise into quarters

1 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise in half

1 medium yellow squash, cut lengthwise in half

1/2 cup grape tomato halves

9 cups mixed baby salad greens

Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Shaved Parmesan cheese

Marinade:

1/2 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS FOR STEAK AND GRILLED RATATOUILLE SALAD

1.       Combine marinade ingredients in small bowl. Place beef steak and 1/2 cup marinade in food-safe plastic bag; turn steak to coat. Close bag securely and marinate in refrigerator 6 hours or as long as overnight, turning occasionally. Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade for salad.

2.       Spray vegetables, except tomatoes, with nonstick cooking spray.

3.       Remove steak from marinade; discard marinade. Place steak in center of grid over medium, ash-covered coals; arrange vegetables around steak. Grill steak, covered, 12 to 14 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, 16 to 19 minutes) for medium-rare (145ºF) doneness, turning occasionally. (Do not overcook.) Grill eggplant and bell peppers 12 to 15 minutes; zucchini and yellow squash 8 to 12 minutes, covered (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, eggplant 6 to 8 minutes; bell peppers, zucchini and yellow squash 7 to 11 minutes) or until tender, turning occasionally and basting with remaining reserved marinade.

4.       Cut grilled vegetables into 1-inch pieces. Carve steak into thin slices. Toss lettuce, tomatoes and grilled vegetables with remaining 1/2 cup marinade. Divide vegetable mixture between 6 serving plates. Arrange beef steak slices over vegetables. Season with salt and pepper, as desired. Sprinkle with cheese, as desired.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION FOR STEAK AND GRILLED RATATOUILLE SALAD

Nutrition information per serving: 334 calories; 19 g fat (4 g saturated fat; 12 g monounsaturated fat); 61 mg cholesterol; 162 mg sodium; 12 g carbohydrate; 5.2 g fiber; 3 g protein; 6.2 mg niacin; 0.7 mg vitamin B6; 1.5 mcg vitamin B12; 4.1 mg iron; 31.4 mcg selenium; 5.4 mg zinc.

This recipe is an excellent source of fiber, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron, selenium and zinc.



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Jul182014

Building a Base

Published by Katie Sawyer at 2:30 AM under Agriculture | Beef Team | General

For most runners, summer is spent on long runs, tough track workouts and sweat sessions that build character and stamina. It’s the time of year you build your mileage base, expand your CO2 capacity and simply become a better, strong runner. It’s also the season to clean up your diet by enjoying more fresh fruits, vegetable and lean proteins – hot off the grill. Hard work and dedication in the summer pays off on race days in the fall.

 

We see the summer as much the same for our cattle. No, they’re not running laps in the pasture or really doing much of any type of workout, but they are building their base and lean muscle mass through the consumption of nutrient-rich grasses in the Kansas Flint Hills. Many of our cows become pregnant in the spring, which means they spend their all-important first trimester out at pasture. The grasses provide enough calories to allow both the new calf and the mother to thrive and grow. We supplement the grass with minerals essential to a growing baby and mother and ensure the animals always have access to fresh water.

 

Allowing our cattle to graze throughout the spring and summer months pays big dividends in the winter. Our mother cows are healthy and strong enough to care for a newborn calf. And the calves that have spent their first summer with their mothers in the pastures are healthy, strong and ready to be weaned. 

 

The summer grazing season is an essential part of our cattle’s lifecycle and our feed regimen. And the summer running season is vital to feeling confident on race day each fall.



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Jul032014

Top Tips for an All-American Burger

Published by Kiley Stinson at 2:57 AM under General | Recipe

With the 4th of July coming up this Friday there’s no better way to celebrate with friends and family than by firing up the grill. An added bonus:  July is National Grilling Month! When it comes to grilling, a recent survey found that Americans favored beef as their go to meat when grilling. Nearly three out of four American grillers say the meat they most often grill is beef (69%) versus chicken (25%) or pork (6%)!

I love to grill burgers in the summer. It’s easy to add variety to burgers too. There are endless ways to add flavor with spices and toppings! Here are a few simple tips to help you become a master burger-griller this holiday weekend.

Prep: I often add seasoning salt or just salt and pepper to already formed patties before I throw them on the grill. However, I’ve recently started mixing in herbs and spices into the ground beef before I make the patty. (Adding jalapeños and stuffing with pepper jack cheese is ‘da bomb!) When taking this route just remember to be gentle when forming the patties so that the meat doesn’t dry out by being over handled. I also like to refrigerate formed patties just a few minutes before I throw them on the grill. I find this helps them stay together and allows me to prep side dishes without the risk of forgetting the meat on the grill. This can be super helpful when cooking for a larger group of friends or family.

Grill time: Be careful not to have your grill temperature too hot or not hot enough. Aim to find that happy medium. Medium heat on the grill allows the patties to brown nicely throughout. I find it temping to stand next to the grill and continually flip the burgers while carrying on a conversation on the deck but try your hardest to only flip each burger once. Don’t forget that trusty meat thermometer either. Since cooking times will differ be sure to achieve medium doneness at 160 degrees F.

Top and Serve: This is the best part! I challenge you to experiment with new toppings. Out with the mustard, pickle and ketchup and in with exotic cheeses, jalapeños, chipotle chili powder, or even grilled fruit like pineapple or peaches. The possibilities are truly endless.

For lots of great recipes and inspiration be sure to check out two of my favorite places for ideas at http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/recipes.aspx or http://www.pinterest.com/beeffordinner/

Cheers and Happy Independence Day!

Kiley



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Jun262014

Conquering "The Wall"

Published by Heath Larson at 8:24 AM under

 

My distance running coach from high school used to state a sobering truth before hard workouts and races:  "If you do it right, it's supposed to hurt."  With this point drilled home, I was able to prepare for the certain pain that lie ahead, and knew that discomfort was no excuse for slowing down.  In every race, without exception, each runner must overcome "the wall" of pain that typically begins a little past the halfway point.  One month ago, while running a local 10k trail race, I hit the wall with 2 miles to go. 

Due to torrential rains on an already rugged course, it was all I could do to stay upright and keep my shoes from being sucked off my feet by the mud.

 

 

 

We often "hit the wall" in our everyday lives as well.  At work, at around 2:30 P.M. everyday, I am mentally exhausted, starving, and lethargic. So what's to be done?  In life, just as in running, having a game plan and being mentally prepared for conquering "the wall" goes a long way.  If you get hungry at work, perhaps it's time to add more protein to your lunch in the form of lean beef.  Studies show that a diet high in protein is more effective at curbing hunger and keeping you satisfied than a high carbohydrate diet.  Layer 3 ounces of thinly sliced grilled top sirloin steak from last night's supper on your "plain old salad" for lunch, and you've added a wealth of energizing protein and taste with just 154 additional calories.  Now that's a lunch with potential to help you power through the 2:30 wall, with hardly any extra work in packing your lunch.

 

And how did my race turn out?  Unfortunately, the sloppy footing put setting a new course record well out of reach.  However, I knew that the course conditions about a mile ahead of "the wall" would improve drastically in about a mile.  I stopped to tie my shoes tighter, squished my way up the steepest hill on the course, and cranked up the pace for the final mile.  I crossed the line in first overall, earning a unique cow chip trophy (to remember this course, primarily run through a local rancher's pasture), a garden hose shower before entering the house, and soreness that lasted two days.  Oh yes, it hurt.  Just like it's supposed to.

 

Layered Beef Salad on the Go http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/recipe.aspx?id=4445



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Jun122014

Great Grilling for Father’s Day – The MyPlate Way

Published by Amber Groeling RD LD at 8:48 AM under General | Nutrition | Recipe

Looking for that perfect gift for dad this Father’s Day?  Make him a meal that is both delicious and nutritious. Lean cuts of meat such as sirloin or flank steak are great options. Serve with vegetables, fruit and whole grains.   

 

Marinating helps enhance the flavor of meat, without adding a lot of extra calories, fat or sodium found in many sauces.  Marinades also serve to tenderize tougher cuts of meat. It is recommended to marinate in the refrigerator, not at room temperature, to avoid the growth of harmful bacteria. Marinades only penetrate the surface of the meat; therefore, flat cuts of meat such as steaks will benefit more from marinades than large cuts such as roasts.  Try this flavorful steak and delicious summer salad for a your father this Father’s Day!

 

 

Coffee Peppercorn Flank Steak

The coffee in this marinade creates an umami or savory flavor punch when combined with the steak!

Make it a meal: Serve with millet corn and avocado salad (recipe below) and

berries with a dollop with whipped cream for dessert.

http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/7a/6e/1e/7a6e1ef530b8811cde7d5b2bf2b2e614.jpgMakes: 4 servings

All you need:

http://www.choosemyplate.gov/images/MyPlateImages/JPG/myplate_green.jpg3 tablespoons strong brewed coffee

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns, crushed

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 pound flank steak, trimmed of fat

All you do:

1.       Whisk coffee, vinegar, oil, sugar, garlic, peppercorns and salt in a glass dish large enough for meat to lie flat. Add steak and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.

2.       Heat grill to high.

3.       Remove steak from marinade; discard marinade. Lightly oil grill rack (see Tip). Place steak on grill and cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer steak to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice thinly across the grain and serve.

Tips & Notes

  • Make-Ahead Tip: Marinate the steak (Step 1) for up to 8 hours.

  • To oil a grill rack: Oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.

Nutrition Per serving: 230 calories; 9 g fat (3 g sat, 4 g mono); 45 mg cholesterol; 3 g carbohydrates; 2 g added sugars; 23 g protein; 0 g fiber; 337 mg sodium; 284 mg potassium.

Source: www.eatingwell.com

 

Millet Salad with Sweet Corn & Avocado

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Hnr7Kpz9gYk/TnlGWL8F27I/AAAAAAAAECM/OEgM6tmAew0/s1600/Millet+Salad+1.jpgServes: 10 (1 cup size serving)

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked millet, rinsed and drained

1 tsp sea salt, divided

4 cups fresh sweet corn kernels (about 8 ears),

    frozen defrosted corn

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/3 cup fresh lime juice plus 1 tsp zest

2 Tbsp chopped green onions

1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 ½ tsp cumin

2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped

4 cups chopped tomato

1-2 diced avocado

Directions:

1.        Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add millet; cook 8-10 minutes or until fragrant and toasted, stirring frequently.  Add 2 ½ cups of water and ½ tsp salt; bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until water is almost absorbed.  Stir in corn kernels; cook, covered, 5 minutes.  Remove mixture from pan and cool to room temperature.

2.       In a large bowl combine ½ tsp salt, cilantro, lime juice, green onions, olive oil and cumin.  Add the jalapeno peppers, tomato and avocado.  Gently stir in the millet mixture and toss to coat.

3.       Cover and chill 30 minutes.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 190 calories, 5.5 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 250 mg sodium, 36 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 6 g protein

 



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May282014

2 Ways we “Came Together” for May Beef Month

Published by Robin Kleine at 6:49 AM under Agriculture | Coffee Shop Talk | Recipe

I recently came across this quote from Helen Keller –

 

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

 

Immediately I thought about our tight knit agricultural community. Every day, we work on our farm or ranch, working to produce the best beef possible … ultimately something that betters the entire industry. But, in just this past month, we’ve come together to celebrate National Beef Month and promote this awesome protein in two additional ways.

 

1. Sharing beef facts or recipes via social media.

 

My newsfeed as been filled with awesome beef infographics, recipes and factoids about beef … there’s nothing I like more!

 

Today, May 28th in National Hamburger Day! Here’s a collection of 25 gourmet recipes to help you concoct the best burger for your family tonight from Examiner.com - http://www.examiner.com/article/celebrate-national-hamburger-day-free-burgers-and-25-gourmet-burger-recipes

 

2212d540ab7ebdb461ec97631b7d3ed8.jpg

Picture courtesy of Robbie Owen Wahl.

 

2. Educating adults about beef and those that raise it

 

On May 1st, foodies and chefs gathered in Kansas City for “Zest and Zing: A Foodie & Farmer Event” hosted by the Kansas Farm Bureau. The event was a competition for chefs with delicious appetizers drinks and a bag of kitchen goods for all attendees.

 

10313598_654148721300145_4513386929977603976_n.jpg

 Picture courtesy of the Drovers CattleNetwork Facebook page.

 

Singularly, the Kansas Beef Council will continue to promote beef. However, events and celebrations like National Beef Month are a great way to join forces and invite news outlets, schools, consumers and other organizations to learn from ranchers about how beef is raised and the innumerable benefits of beef.

 

Don’t worry, there’s still a few days left in May … go grab a pound of hamburger, a pack of buns and light the grill!

 

Until next time,
Robin



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Apr252014

Spring is here

Published by Katie Sawyer at 7:41 AM under Beef Team | General | Nutrition

When I think of spring, flowers, green grass and road races come to mind. I appreciate the foliage and chirping birds but I really love the opportunity spring provides to participate in a local road race nearly every Saturday morning.

 

This winter was a brutal one that kept me on my treadmill and off the dirt roads. But with the sun rising earlier and temperatures warming, I’m happily hitting the road, my dogs at my side, for morning training runs.

 

I purposely enroll myself in several road races throughout the spring and early summer months as motivation on those long, brutal, windy runs. I know that it takes sweat and determination during the daily runs to succeed in the weekend races. But outside of my running, there are several other factors that help create a productive racing season, nutrition being the most important.

 

Protein is a huge part of my diet and it becomes more so as I build my mileage. Because my husband and I raise cattle, we always have ground beef and various steak cuts in our freezer. That makes it easy and affordable to enjoy lean beef as often as we like.

 

Carbohydrates may get all of the attention but protein is essential to continued peak performances. Beef delivers the protein and nutrients that muscles crave for strengthening and rebuilding. My goal is to get an animal protein in every meal to keep my energy levels high, my huger at bay and my muscles satisfied.

 

I officially kicked off my spring racing season a few weeks ago and after a few Saturdays off, I’m ready and excited to hit the starting line and run my way through spring.



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Apr042014

Details, Details

Published by Heath Larson at 9:10 AM under Beef Team | General | Nutrition

The start of the Boston Marathon is less than three weeks away.  It's crunch time.  Thankfully, the long training runs of 16 miles and longer are complete.  However, even with the best of training, there are many seemingly insignificant details that I will be busy dealing with before toeing the line on April 21st.  One example:

 

Electrolytes--The last time I ran the Boston Marathon was in 2009.  With only 4 or 5 miles to go, I just KNEW that something wasn't quite right.  But, spurred on by the raucous crowds, I was too stubborn to stop to figure it out.  In fact, I even quit stopping for water and Gatorade.  Bad idea.  When I finally drug my poor carcass across the finish line, I was quickly carted to the medical tent.  Elated about my finish but a bit "foggy" from the electrolyte imbalance, I was relieved when the staff cured me with a true miracle remedy: Two bags of the best potato chips I've ever tasted.  My electrolytes and hydration need to be dialed in on race day to prevent a reprise of this awful experience.

 

When I also think about the details of pacing strategy (math+hills+weather=confusion), crowds (Is it even possible to run fast in a crowd of 36,000?), blister avoidance (ouch), and chafing (even worse), it's easy to become overwhelmed.  However, to ignore these details is to invite disaster.

 

Most of us know that lean beef contains a large amount of muscle-building protein without a lot of calories.  But what about the details?  What about some of the unsung, dare I say, "forgotten" nutrients?

 

Zinc--Lean Beef is the number 1 food source for zinc. Many may know that zinc helps maintain a healthy immune system, but it also plays an important part in synthesizing protein.  How about that?  A high amount of protein, and an increased ability to process it too...all in that single 3 oz. serving of lean beef!

 

Vitamin B12--Lean beef is also the number 1 food source for vitamin B12.  This vitamin helps convert carbohydrates (which all runners love) into glucose (energy).  What more could a runner ask for?  Better hair in the finish line photo?!  Amazingly, vitamin B12 is important for healthy hair too!

 

I'm looking forward to putting all the details together for a solid race while representing Team Beef in Boston.  Many of them will have to come together at the last minute.  One thing, however, has already been decided:  There's nothing better than a steak the night before the race.

 



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