If I had to pick three foods to survive on for the rest of my life, among the top contenders would be sweet potatoes, peanut butter, and quinoa. When I saw a new variety of sweet potatoes at Whole Foods last month, obviously I had to buy one (or four). I present PURPLE sweet potatoes. These are local ones (even better) grown in North Carolina on the Stokes Farm. They even make purple sweet potato butter that I’m coveting, but my budget won’t let me justify it quite yet. But it’s oh so pretty: see a picture here. (If you’ve never had pumpkin butter, apple butter, etc. – I had never heard of it before coming to the South – it’s nothing like butter. It’s a spread – think thick applesauce – and it’s awesome on toast, in oatmeal, or, ya know, eaten straight from the jar.)
I sliced my purple sweet potato, drizzled extra virgin olive oil on top, threw on some salt and pepper, and roasted it at 400F for about 25 minutes. Deeeelicious. They kind of look like beets when they are cooked, but taste like a sweet potato, except a bit sweeter perhaps. (And minus the funny side effects of beets…you know what I’m talking about, right? hehe.)
All sweet potatoes are loaded with Vitamin A, which is essential for keeping your vision intact and it helps improve skin (think wrinkles and acne). Purple sweet potatoes have the most antioxidants of all the sweet potato varieties, and a lot of that goodness comes from the skin. So buy it organic if you can, give it a good scrub, and don’t peel it. Anyway, I’m in love with these new pretty potatoes and highly recommend them; check your local Whole Foods. If they don’t have them, regular sweet potatoes are good to add to your diet too.
Another healthy highlight of the day: I taught spin class tonight and had a blast. I used the below playlist and we did a lot of intervals, jumps, and big nasty hills. I was a hot sweaty mess by the end – just how I like to finish my workouts.
- Rehab (Amy Winehouse) – warm up
- Dangerous (Kardinal Offishall) – alternating three speeds; 80-100% effort
- Somebody Told Me (The Killers) – climb with sprinting on the chorus
- Lost! (Coldplay) – gradual hill that gets steeper every 30 seconds
- Beat It (Single Version) – steady 90% effort with jumps on the chorus
- 4 Minutes (Madonna feat. Justin Timberlake) – rolling hills
- Check Yes Juliet (We the Kings) – time trial: all out for 60 seconds, 30 second break, all out until the end
- Heartless (Kanye West) – seated climb, gradually gets steeper
- Viva La Vida (Coldplay) – start where you left off on Heartless and begin a standing climb
- Just a Girl (No Doubt) – seated intervals
- Lose Yourself (Eminem) – big, nasty, steep hill. Go to your dark place with Eminem.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady (Aerosmith) – standing intervals
- Gimme More (Britney Spears) – mix it up: standing/seated sprints, hills, jumps, everything
- Right Round (Flo Rida) – fast standing climb with jumps on the chorus
- A Whisper (Coldplay) – cool down. phew.
If you’re going to take the time to work out, you should make it worth it and really push yourself, right? Right.