Vegetable Matter

This morning’s grueling thirty-minute run confirmed two suspicions:
first, that I have been skimping on cardio and now have the respiratory
fortitude of a sparrow, and second, that last weekend’s workouts on the
beaches of Santa Monica were a lot more fun than jogging the
traffic-jammed, garbage-strewn streets of Brooklyn. Still, a girl must
soldier on—especially when there is a big white dress and eternity’s
worth of wedding photos looming in her near future. Which is how I
ended up with this book on my shelf.


I knew of David Kirsch as the fitness guru who whipped Heidi Klum
back into Victoria’s Secret Shape after the births of her children.
Plus he gets lots of editorial attention in the Bible (aka Us Weekly).
This book screamed from the shelf at Barnes and Noble, promising a
quick makeover but—unlike most “instant results” plans—also promising
lots of pain and hard work. I’m a sucker for bald-faced honesty.


The book lays out a two-week plan; I’ve been on a modified version
for four. And it has been hard, but not as hard as it could have been
due to my little tweaks. Daily 90-minute workouts? Not with my sixty
hour workweek! And the nutrition plan includes lots of fish, but
seafood gives me the heebie-jeebies so I substitute pork and lean beef.
But the fitness routine—with its combination of plyometrics and core
toning—and the food guidelines—which limit starches and sugars–has me
raving about David to anyone who will listen.


Weight loss aside (though 6 pounds in four weeks is nothing to
sneeze at!), I am most enthused about the changes in my approach to
vegetables. I’ve come to view them more as the main event than as a
paltry side, and my repertoire has expanded considerably beyond romaine
hearts and baby carrots. Some new standards include:

Asparagus stir-fried with ginger, garlic and soy sauce, or broiled with a spritz of olive oil and sea salt.


Kale chopped and sauteed with garlic, paired with roasted spaghetti squash as a bed for turkey meatballs marinara.


Zucchini and Cremini mushrooms tossed in a hot skillet with a splash of marsala vinegar, piled high atop a grilled chicken breast.


Brussels sprouts blanched in boiling water until tender, then browned in a pan with a little dijon mustard.


Cabbage chopped and thrown together for a quick slaw on Asian night.


Canned tomatoes in a versatile sauce that’s great over grilled eggplant, portobellos, or the aforementioned turkey meatballs.


And when in doubt, just add turkey bacon to everything; it’s nature’s miracle seasoning!


And never again will you have an excuse not to eat your veggies!

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