STAY FIT – EVEN WHEN THE GRAY SKIES HAVE YOU LESS THAN MOTIVATED

Our moods and motivation can be effected by the sky.  Having limited sunlight, especially during the winter months when temperature is a factor as well, can leave us less than motivated to go outside and exercise.  It can also leave us craving our comfort foods.  Limited amounts of sunlight can lower serotonin levels (our feel good hormone) in the brain and cause us to grab a blanket and a warm bowl of something starchy to make us feel good again.  Beans are a great food to prepare to satisfy that feeling.

Beans can provide those starchy carbs in addition to satiating protein and filling fiber (1 cup = 12 grams). It was found by the National Nutrition and Health Examination Survey that people who ate beans weighed on average seven pounds less than people who did not.

Bountiful Bean Soup

1 bag mixed beans

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped carrots

1 chopped onion

2 cans chopped tomatoes (with juice)

2 bay leaves

4 cloves garlic

4 cartons vegetable stock (reserve 1 carton)

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt to taste

Crock Pot Version:

Place all ingredients EXCEPT one of the cartons of vegetable stock into the crock pot.  Put on the lid. Check soup periodically toward the last quarter of cooking time and add the additional stock as needed.

Overnight Version:

Soak beans overnight. Drain the beans and put all ingredients in a pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium low and cook for 1 hour.

Super Quick Version:

Use a variety of canned beans. Saute onion, garlic, carrots and celery in olive oil until tender.  Add the drained and rinsed cans of beans and broth.  Add bay leaves and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 15-20 min.

With love and sunny skies – Andrea

sa·ti·ate http://img.tfd.com/m/sound.swf (ssht)

tr.v. sa·ti·at·edsa·ti·at·ingsa·ti·ates

1. To satisfy (an appetite or desire) fully.
2. To satisfy to excess.
adj. (-t)

Filled to satisfaction.
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