BFT: Some people feel as though eating healthier is expensive—you can’t afford it. So, if you had $10 and you had to make a healthy meal for 4 people, what would you buy?
E Dubble: Let’s do a kale salad but before I get into the actual ingredients, what I want to tell people is, in order to change you have to invest time in yourself. Because what happens is people say, “I don’t have time to make that. I don’t have time to prep-out meals. Well, you have time to do everything else in your life. So you just really have to make that time. You have to want to make that time, because it’s an investment in yourself. So, with that said, when I was scrolling through my menus—online Instagram menus, that’s what I like to call them—I realized certain things are very cheap.
• Kale: $1.00
• Shredded carrots: $1.00
• Cilantro: $2.00
• Green onion: under $1.00
• Chicken: $4.50 – $5.75
• Bonus items: almonds, mixed fruit, garlic, olive oil, chili flakes – If you have more room left in your budget, grab some type of fruit, whether it be cranberries, blueberries, raspberries, something the fits in your budget. Fruit can sometimes be a little bit expensive depending on the store you go to, but it adds a whole different element to your salad.
BFT: Now that we’ve got our ingredients, help us build this salad.
E Dubble: Grilled Chicken Kale Salad w/ mixed fruit and roasted almonds
What you’ll need:
1. One bunch of kale roughly chopped
2. ½ cup of shredded carrots
3. ½ cup of chopped green onions or ¼ quarter cup—it depends on the version, I usually write “to taste” in the notes whoever the person is that’s creating it
4. ¼ cup of raspberries, ¼ cup of blueberries, and ¼ cup of strawberries
5. ¼ cup of roasted almonds – when I say “roasted,” you can do them on the stove top or you can do them in the oven. You’re going to get your pan probably on a light heat and your quarter cup of almonds in the heat. There’s a lot of natural oil in nuts, which you want to release.
Directions for preparing the salad:
Add all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl, but we’re also going to make a quick vinaigrette.
What you’ll need:
1. 2 tbsp. of olive oil *we want the kale to really be coated
2. 2 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar
3. Salt and pepper to taste
4. Add to salad mixture and toss
5. Place salad mixture in the refrigerator
What the refrigerator is going to do is break the green down a little bit so that it’s consumable and a little bit more enjoyable.
Directions for preparing the chicken:
Chicken breast or thighs — a lot of people have trouble cooking chicken breast. They dry it out. So, what I would suggest is you grab boneless chicken thighs—a very tender, juicier meat. A lot of people stay away from the darker meat, but it’s actually a little bit more flavorful. The chicken helps actually break the kale down a little bit, because kale can be rough and sometimes it needs to be cultivated by something warm or a vinaigrette that’s going to help break it down.
Now let’s go over to our chicken and you just want to mince two or three cloves of garlic. You want about a tablespoon of olive oil to be poured on top of that chicken. Salt, pepper, garlic and then I love thyme. Sometimes it’s hard for people to use dried thyme, but I would suggest using fresh thyme leaves- two branches. So, take the leaves off two branches and right now we’re seasoning our chicken and we’re going to use the thighs. And then, once that’s all seasoned together, we have our salt, our pepper, our minced garlic, our thyme and chili flakes. Chili flakes are also a natural appetite suppressant. So, definitely add in a little chili flakes. And then we’re going to turn our grill on and I’m going to grill it on both sides for about six to seven minutes. Depending on the size that you have—I drop it in the oven for another three to four minutes to make sure you really got it cooked all the way through.
I do keep the skin on, but if you are trying to get away from actually eating the skin, you can take it off and not change the recipe.
Putting it all together:
Take out your kale salad and place it on a dish. Take our chicken, put some nice slices through it, and now we have our grilled chicken kale salad with mixed fruit and roasted almonds.
Are you an aspiring chef? Chef E Dubble has some advice and also shares his biggest career obstacle, and his passion for giving back.
Future NFL Hall-of-Famer Edgerrin James Talks Running 500 Miles in 365 Days
No matter what he does, Edgerrin James knows how to lead. During his time in the NFL, James averaged 4.2 yards per carry and is one of the all-time leaders in career rushing yards. Although retired, these days, the future Hall-of-Famer also rushes toward opportunities to give back. A beloved member of the University of Miami community, James contributed the largest-ever donation of any former athlete that has ever attended. He is also the founder of the Edgerrin James Foundation and the Edgerrin James Youth Football Skills Camp.
Black Fitness Today caught up with James to learn about his recent decision to embark on a 500-mile journey this past year, and what set him apart in his training as a professional athlete.
Why did you decide to embark on your 500-mile journey across the country? What has the journey taught you?
I always like to challenge myself. Running is something I’ve always hated doing, so that made it pretty interesting! This experience has really pushed me because there’s no reward at the end of the [500-mile journey] except the fact that I did it and I was consistent. There were many times I didn’t feel like running, but once I agreed to do it, I knew I had to accomplish it.
Tell us more about your partnership with Adidas.
The Adidas partnership was good for many reasons. They provided some nice uniforms for my youth football team from top to bottom. That’s more important than anything — to lace a team of inner-city kids with custom uniforms meant a lot to me and the kids. Another reason is the relationship with the University of Miami; that’s my school and I rep the gear faithfully. So it’s only right I locked in with Adidas. I’m glad the deal worked out and look forward to building on that relationship.
You mentioned that you’ve always hated running. Did that have any impact on you while playing football in terms of how you approached your training?
Basketball was my go to sport. It is fun and exciting and also gets you in shape. I used playing ball as my running to get in shape.
What was your favorite off-season training routine?
I’ve always liked the late-night sessions in the off-season. I would train before going to the club or after leaving the club — sounds unusual but it was the best for me. I didn’t drink and was well-rested before I would go out. My training was always very quiet with no distractions. During the day I would go to the University of Miami and get it in with the younger guys in the hot sun.
In addition to your 500-mile journey, how else do you stay in shape these days?
I always work out three to four times a week. Nothing hard, but I consistently get some type of work in.
What role does nutrition play in your everyday life? What are some of your favorite healthy foods and foods you can’t live without?
I don’t worry too much about what I eat. I just make sure I maintain a certain weight and follow up any heavy eating with a nice workout to make sure I’m back on track.
Many people know you for your accomplishments on the football field, but many don’t know that you are also passionate about giving back. What are some of your initiatives? Why is philanthropy so important to you?
My purpose is to empower my people and all people that share stories similar to mine. Too many times, you see other cultures having success and wonder why not us. It’s up to us to look out for us and when you see examples, it makes it really real to the younger generation. It also gives them realistic goals to chase without making the excuses. I’m just trying to be an example that’s tried and true without any excuses. Just hard work and determination…
What advice do you have to young men who are looking to follow in your footsteps?
Learn as much as you can and just become a good example for the next generation, understand how this world works, and play the game of life to win!
What is the legacy you want to leave behind?
The legacy I want to leave behind is that I did things the right way and never tried to be anyone else except myself, that I showed people you don’t have to conform or be something you’re not to be successful, and just put in the right work and let everything else work itself out.
Carmelita Jeter Talks Personal Connection To Breast Cancer and Her Fight For a Cure
There’s still no faster woman alive than Carmelita Jeter. We will always remember her amazing achievements on the track as a world record holder with three Olympic medals. You may even remember her signature pink cleats she wore during some of her races. But the story behind them reveals an inspiring journey. In 2012, while training for the Olympic games, Jeter’s aunt — Brenda Washington — lost her battle with breast cancer. However, Jeter found new strength and turned tragedy into triumph. From partnering with NIKE to nonprofits, Jeter has become an outspoken advocate for breast cancer awareness and is dedicated to using her platform to fight for a cure!
In 2012 as you prepped for the London Olympics, your aunt, Brenda Washington, passed from breast cancer. And much like you did, people have to find the strength to pick themselves up, go to work and continue living after tragedy. How were you able to find that strength?
I was able to find the strength to keep going from my family, my coaches and my agent. At the time, I questioned my faith a lot. I just couldn’t understand why God would take her away from me. But I concluded that if my cousin Lachondra (her daughter) was able to be strong, I could not be weaker than her, for her sake.
What’s the best advice you can offer for supporting family members who are battling breast cancer?
The best advice I can give is to stay very close and experience moments with each other, even if it is just a small gathering at a relative’s house where everyone brings a dish. Also, never be afraid to speak about the person that is sick or has passed away. You have to keep their spirit alive.
You’ve partnered with various non-profit organizations to raise breast cancer awareness. Tell us a little bit about some of your partnerships including “The Pink Jet” with PINTRILL.
I partnered with Pintrill who made a Hot Pink Jet and a bracelet made from MyIntent with the words, “Mind over body,” inscribed. I’ve been the ambassador for Susan G. Komen’s Circle of PromiseInitiative that was based on African-American women getting tested more frequently.
In what ways did your aunt’s battle with breast cancer impact you on and off the track?
My aunt Brenda Washington’s battle made a huge impact on the track for me. Nike, my sponsor, made me my very own hot pink signature spikes in her honor. Every time I lined up to compete, I ran for her.
What advice would you give to African-Americans in the fight against breast cancer?
The advice I would give African-Americans would be to not give up, and remember to stay a unit.
What are some tips that you can offer in helping with early detection and decreasing the rate of diagnoses?
My major tip would be to stop thinking African-Americans don’t get breast cancer. Also, stop thinking that you have to be over 45 to get diagnosed with the disease. We need to be more educated on the topic and we need to stop being afraid to go to the doctor. Go to the doctor and get checked up regularly!
Keep up with Jeter’s work in the community and dedication to fighting for a cure!
An Interview with Keith Mitchell, Former NFL Linebacker & Master Certified Yoga Instructor
Keith Mitchell, Master Certified Yoga Instructor, Philanthropist and Former NFL Linebacker for the New Orleans Saints, Houston Texans, and Jacksonville Jaguars, turned tragedy into triumph when a paralyzing spinal injury abruptly ended his Football career. During his process of recovery, he discovered yoga and meditation where he not only found healing but a whole new life.
1) Throughout your work over the last decade as a Master Certified Yoga Instructor, what are some of the differences and similarities between training in sports and training in yoga?
The commitment to be better and do the work is consistent, the challenges of feeling and thinking through the limitations. In a lot of cases, as good as you may think you are, you may not always be able to attach ingrained thoughts and understanding about your play. The last thing is the importance of teamwork. In the conscious world we call this community. The support of community is just as important as the food we nurture our souls with and the physical practices we have. In my opinion, it is the completion of our existence.
2) Stress management is a challenge many Americans face on a daily basis, what is one of your favorite exercises/routines for relieving stress while boosting energy?
I would suggest practicing traditional sitting. If you have back problems, lean against a wall. As you’re sitting focus on breathing from your diaphragm. Focus on the inhale and exhale and see what comes up, as things come up don’t buy into it, be with it, observe your thoughts, observe your mind. To hear yourself is to see yourself. As we continue to breathe, now tension will start to formulate, embrace the tension with the same format of observing it. Don’t over react but observe it. The body’s only way to communicate is through tension, pain. Begin the process of listening to self in order to be exposed to your truths. As you begin the practice of taking all of this in and truly commit to the inquiry, you find your zone and new layers of possibility become accessible to you. In my opinion, stress is the exhausted energy released in holding a stance or defending a reality that is not your own. The body is a vehicle, which has the capability to be manipulated to execute a miracle. As an athlete, I used to think in terms of “I need to get warmed up before I move.” But the fact of the matter is we have 98.6 degrees inside of us, we are simply not accessing this.
3) Are there any principles that you learned as an NFL athlete that have strengthened your practice and teaching of yoga?
The best way to answer this question would be “if I see you in the same uniform as me I recognize you with likeness, but if I see you in a different uniform, I recognize you as the opposition.” This plays out in our conscious and even more in our subconscious because if you think of all of the uniforms such as color, religion, school, rich to poor, smart to intelligent, homeowner to homeless, it causes the physiological disconnection.
4) One of your areas of expertise is injury prevention, please share your advice for athletes to improve both their physical and mental approaches to their sport?
Injuries typically don’t just happen, in a gladiator sport such as football someone can fall awkwardly on you, yes, but typically in athletics injuries are constantly brewing. Remember tension, pain, even has its own level of intelligence, it’s actually the body’s way of communicating with you. We just have simply been holding postures of not listening.
5) You are a champion of a number of noble causes, including mental health awareness and caring for veterans. As a member of a family that has many veterans, I was particularly inspired by your use of Yoga and Meditation as therapeutic tools for soldiers who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) and related health challenges. Please elaborate on this important work.
The soldiers practices and relationship to himself have been created by a lot of sacrifice, and through that sacrifice the body has been neglected in the process. Yoga and meditation for the soldiers has been a revelation for healing of the self-inflicted wounds of neglect, brutality, and self-sabotage that we have first put on ourselves through regurgitated rhetoric that has been passed down. We have one life and it’s time we live. We have traditionally neglected the now as if another lifetime is promised but as one of my favorite teachers says “in order to have peace in another lifetime, we have to learn to have peace here, right now.
6) What would you say is your greatest achievement so far?
Creating my reality and going through the process of its development. When you speak of doing things that appear to be against the norm, it can be scary, it can have its highs and lows but to truly trust the process has been what I’ve gotten the most joy out of. The journey is truly the destination and I’m very grateful for the realization of a real faith.
All photos courtesy of Leelu Morris Photography
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