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Squash out a weak immune system

Happy Monday Elevate family and friends! 
It’s sneezy, cough, germ-infested cold season. Arm yourself nutritionally! Eat your squash!

Yep! Squash! Acorn squash to be specific. It’s loaded with vitamin C which helps boost your immune system!! It’s also rich in dietary fiber, and is super low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. Besides a significant dose of vitamin C, acorn squash also delivers a sizable dose of vitamin A, a good range of the B-family vitamins, and an impressive amount of minerals (think potassium, magnesium, manganese, iron, copper, phosphorous, and calcium!!) 
Turn your acorn squash into an entire meal, with one of my favorite recipes – Stuffed Roasted Acorn Squash. I found this in “The Endurance Training Diet & Cookbook” by Jesse Kropelnicki. The book is a gold mine!! A recipe so simple even I could follow it without the help of 911!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and grease a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. (Line the sheet with tin foil to save on clean up time, and grease the tin-foil!)

Cut the squash* in half lengthwise, and scoop out the seeds.
Rub 1 ½ TBLSP of olive oil on the outer squash half. Place the squash halves cut side down on the prepared baking sheet. Toast for 45 – 60 minutes, or until a knife can easily pierce the skin and squash “meat.”

*A time saving tip from Jesse, to make the squash easier to cut: Poke the skin several times with a knife. Microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes. This softens the outer skin of the squash and makes it easier (and safer!) to cut!!

5 ½ TBLSP olive oil, plus more for baking sheet
3 medium acorn squash
3 TBLSP fresh lime juice
2 tsp honey
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp coarse salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 small red onion, chopped
2 garlic gloves, chopped
½ medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 (15-oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained**
2 C frozen broccoli florets
**I’ve used 1-15-oz can of refried black beans instead of regular black beans, and it’s fabulous!! Try it both ways!! 
***Pack more protein into this recipe by adding 1 lb of browned ground turkey, or 1 1/2 - 2 cups of pre-cooked chopped chicken breast.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, 2 TBLSP of the oil, the honey, 1 tsp of the cumin, ½ tsp of the salt, and the black pepper. Set that mixture aside.

Heat the remaining 2 TBLSP of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook, stirring, until slightly soft, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining ½ tsp cumin and cook about 1 minute, until fragrant. 
Stir in the bell peppers and black beans** (See note above about black beans/refried beans!)
Cook until the peppers begin to soften, 2-3 minutes.
Add broccoli.
Cover and cook until the broccoli is hot, about 5 minutes. 
Season with the remaining ½ tsp salt, and serve.