All Posts by Coach Dean

Introducing Papa Dean’s Microgreens

If you have been in the gym lately, you may have noticed the fridge has a lot more "green" in it lately. Cilantro, parsley, basil and thyme have been popular herbs, and from time to time you will find some beautiful romaine lettuce and some wonderful mixed greens consisting of pak choi, collards and mustard greens. These are all grown on site and harvested by Coach Nancy and I. You won't find fresher anywhere!

Last year was the biggest garden we have had in a while, and we plan on expanding it again this year into a small market garden. One of the downsides of living here in New Hampshire (and there aren't many) is the short growing season. While you can get amazing fresh produce in the summer, in the winter that's not so easy, and most of the produce at the local grocer has been "grown and flown" as it were, coming from a long ways away. We really wanted to keep growing all year round, which is why I built our "basement garden". By growing hydroponically we are able to avoid pesticides and avoid soil born disease. It's a fun way to grow, and the veggies are delicious.

Since May I have been working on a project that's come to be known as "Papa Dean's Microgreens" (Papa D is what my grandkids call me). I have absolutely fallen in love with growing these little bundles of nutrition. They are fun to grow, and they are SOOOO good. 

Since Microgreens aren't as well known or popular in this part of the country, I thought I'd share a little bit about them and why you should add them to your diet. 

What Exactly is a Microgreen, Anyway?

Microgreens are young vegetable greens that have been harvested before they mature. In our garden, depending on the type, we typically harvest between 9 and 16 after planting. 

At harvest the plant is typically between 2-4 inches tall, with a rich flavor and potentially more concentrated nutrient profile. All the vitamins and minerals are packed in there, just like you would find in a more mature plant.

Microgreens are not to be confused with a sprout. Microgreens are harvested after the Cotyledon stage, when the first true leaves emerge. The stems and leaves are edible, like a baby green, but in a much smaller size.

My favorite microgreens come from the Brassicaceae family, such as Broccoli, Red Russian Kale, Purple Triton Radish, and Red Acre Cabbage. Mustard has a mild flavor you won't want to miss. Sunflower and Green Pea grow larger stems and are absolutely delicious. 

Delicious AND Nutritious

There have been many studies on the nutritional benefits of microgreens. They are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. 

Some studies have even found their nutrient content is concentrated, which means they often contain higher vitamin, mineral and antioxidant levels than mature greens (1, 2).

We've talked about the health benefits of eating vegetables many times around here. They can reduce the risk of Heart Disease, Alzheimer's, Diabetes and even certain cancers.

You KNOW these things, and yet you probably still don't eat the recommended amount daily. 

My dirty little secret? I didn't either, at least not before Microgreens came into my life.

I can honestly say I do not remember one day in the last 5 or 6 months I haven't eaten microgreens. Nancy and I start almost every dinner with a salad built on a foundation of our favorites. You will never go back to iceberg lettuce once you have tasted a Microgreen Salad Mix made up of Purple Triton Radish, Mustard, and Broccoli, with maybe a few sunflower micros to add an amazing crunch.

And salads aren't the only thing you can do with them. On top of your sandwich, in your favorite wrap, or even in your protein shake or smoothie. Most people know microgreens as a garnish, and you can use them for that too!

Try Them Today!

Right now we are growing the following microgreens:

  • Broccoli
  • Red Russian Kale
  • Purple Triton Radish
  • Mustard
  • Sunflower
  • Green Pea
  • Buckwheat

We also have two mixes, the Sunny Sampler, which consists of Sunflower, Broccoli, Radish and Kale, and the Spicy Mix, which is made up of Broccoli, Kale, and Radish. Both are absolutely delicious with your favorite salad dressing.

We are currently packaging in 2 oz. and 4 oz. containers, as well as larger 12 oz. bags. The price is the same across the board, at $1.00 per oz. 

We would love for you to try some of Papa Dean's Microgreens out for yourself and let us know what you think. We think you'll love them!

Make It Happen!

Papa D 🙂

Here’s Your Winner!

........ (hold please, I'll tell you in just a moment)

S3 is a challenge we've done for the last 11 summers. During this 6 week Sizzlin Summer Slimdown (S3) we had 51 participants. Our goal was to lose bodyfat and thereby gain more health. At this time in our country, being and staying healthy is your best option to fight off any crazy disease that plaques our world.At the end of S3, many of you dropped percentage points in your bodyfat. I'm not talking pounds or total body weight; percentage points! As I recorded the numbers this year it was a recurring theme to see a drop in 1.3, 2.4, 1.5, 3.3, 4.2, 3.7 points dropped.And then I saw a 5.7 and yet one more was higher. One person out of the 51 dropped 6.2 percentage points in 6 weeks. That is a total of 33.7% lost in bodyfat. Wow, that is awesome!At the beginning of S3 Dean and I committed to awarding 50% of the fees away. That is a grand total of $869. Half of that money will go to a local business that has suffered because of Covid. And half will go to our winner.

Without anymore chatter, $435 is going to Meredith Esonis. She rocked this challenge by dropping 6.2 percentage points of body fat, which is just incredible. That means her total body fat went down by a third in 6 weeks!

In Her Words  - "Baby Steps"

"Wow! I didn’t expect such a significant result. Mostly because I kept thinking ‘baby steps’.

I needed a focus to try to gain some control back. It has been a challenging year and a half for several reasons. S3 came along at the right time. The program was easy to follow, not overwhelming . The design was such that it allowed me to make small changes and then build on those new skills. This kept me in the present, not looking ahead; just looking at today. The group page was vital for a feeling of support. I wasn’t alone... obviously not with all the great results that were achieved!

Thank you for all that you do! You make such a difference."..

Did you hear the one about the dentist, the lawyer, and the plumber?

When you need help with a legal problem you hire a lawyer.

When you need help with your money, you hire a financial advisor.

When your pipes leak, you call the plumber.

When your tooth hurts, you see a dentist.

Brain surgery? Well, you get it by now.

And when you need to lose body fat, work on mobility, and strengthen your muscles and bones... you do it yourself??

Look, I am never going to criticize anyone for trying to eat healthier or get some exercise. But I also know that you can get the results you are looking for safer and faster when you get professional help.

And the bottom line is in this crazy busy world you don't need one more thing to think about. We are going to coach and teach you exactly what you need to do to get and stay healthy and fit. 

I was going to say we do all the heavy lifting for you, but well, that really wouldn't be accurate now would it? You gotta do that part yourself. But we will show you how to do it safely, effectively AND have some fun along the way.

The party has already started, we are just waiting for you to join us!

Get started for FREE by clicking right here.

- DC

Life Is Not A Hobby

Those people who know me well know I don't tend to do things halfway. When I commit to something I try to give my best effort and steer toward excellence. Even when I don't hit it, I don't want to have to tell myself I didn't try hard enough. Failure isn't the end, just one more way to learn, but giving up or giving in without giving it your best builds habits I'd rather not build. And yes, sometimes I take it too far, or take it too hard when it doesn't work out like I want. I'm still working on not taking myself so seriously Coach Nancy. 

One of the things I do take seriously is trying to stay fit and healthy. I don't always hit that mark either, which is why I am really glad to have the focus of our current "Sizzlin' Summer Slimdown" challenge. Me and the InBody had some words the other day, and unfortunately I had to take it's word over what I wanted to believe.

Which brings me to this quote from one of my favorite authors and quote genius, James Clear:

Now don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with having a hobby. I have enjoyed woodworking since my dad and Paul Davis taught me some basic skill in 4-H. Creating something with my hands is something I very much enjoy. But I don't do it all the time, in fact I can literally go months between picking up my tools. But that's not going to kill me.

On the other hand, there are some things you just can't pick up and put down any time you feel like, or get "too busy", or just aren't in the mood.

Your Health and Fitness is one (two?) of them.

Your health isn't like riding a bicycle. You can't put it on the shed for 6 months or a year and get right back on and start riding. It takes awhile to get back in the groove.

When it comes to the health and fitness habit, momentum is everything.

And as we all know, momentum works both ways.

If you don't like starting over, stop stopping.

You get one life. There are no "do-overs". You can't hit reset and buy another one. 

You have been given a gift. You can take care of it like you would a new Ferrari, or you can treat it like a beat up 66 Plymouth. Vintage 66, that's me. A little dinged up, the hardtop is fading a bit, but I am still taking care of it the best I can.

Don't make your health a hobby.

Live life to the fullest full-time, all the time.

Make It Happen!

- DC

Cr8 Gardens Vlog 6/22/2020

I figured the happy occasion of harvesting the first Zucchini and Summer Squash would be a great time for some Cr8tive Garden updates! Two videos for your viewing pleasure; one of the goings on inside, and the other outside. Cool stuff happening!

How does your garden grow? 🙂

Inside: Microgreens and Hydroponics
Outside: From Cherry Trees to Cherry Tomatoes

Are You Antifragile?

Have you ever thought about what the opposite of "fragile" is? Being fragile is defined as:

fragile adjective
(of an object) easily broken or destroyed
(of a person) not strong or sturdy; delicate and vulnerable

So it stands to reason that the opposite of fragile is to not be those things, right? 

Author Nassim Nicholas Talib, in his 2012 book Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder takes it one (or more) steps beyond. Here's how he describes Anti-fragilty;

"Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure, risk and uncertainty. Yet, in spite of the ubiquity of the phenomenon, there is no word for the exact opposite of fragile. Let us call it anti-fragile. Anti-fragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the anti-fragile gets better."

Now Mr. Talib and I don't agree on everything, who does? For instance he isn't a big fan of training in gyms, not random enough I guess.

I on the other hand look at it this way; consistent resistance training using progressive overload absolutely fits the antifragile paradigm. You are breaking down muscle tissue in the gym, and when you use proper recovery methods - nutrition and proper rest among them - you then create a physiological response that makes your muscles stronger and more resilient to the same stress through supercompensation. 

In many circumstances our immune systems work the same way. Exposure creates resistance. Vaccines work this way. I am convinced that kids need to play in the dirt, run around, and take some bumps and bruises for the same reason. And we can all be big kids, right?

It also goes way beyond training in the gym. Nancy and I are looking at ways to make our business more antifragile. Covid-19 hit our industry hard. Being classified as "non-essential" hit our psyches pretty hard. In response we are creating a new division called Cr8tive Gardens and are building the infrastructure so that if something like this happens again we are able to provide additional essential services.

In my other life as a business coach focusing on finance and profitability, I have seen a very tangible outworking of antifragile in action. Individuals and businesses who have cash management strategies in place and were debt-free before the crises are the ones who are in position to take advantage of the rebound; not just survive but actually thrive and get stronger because they were actively preparing for worst case, even when there was no evidence anything was going to happen. 

Look, you don't become antifragile overnight. Robustness and Resiliency are worthy goals and achievements. I hurt my hand pretty seriously Friday (stupidity, don't ask) and I am amazed by how rapidly it appears to be healing. I try to stay in good shape and keep my immune system healthy for circumstances just like this. I don't quite have the healing powers of Wolverine, but it really does help.

So how can you work on being anti-fragile?

Practice good health habits. A anti-inflammatory diet rich in nourishing foods. Good sleep habits. Recreation that challenges the body and mind. And of course, regular exercise which includes resistance and weight bearing exercise. That's where we come in.

Covid-19 has pulled us into places we never thought we would go. Right now we have training options that are practically "excuse-free". We are back to training in the gym 5 classes a day following the state safety guidelines. We simulcast those via Zoom so you can train at home if you choose. That training is also recorded and posted so our members can do it later if needed. And we have added 2 outdoor classes a day. 

Robustness, Resiliency and Anti-Fragility don't just happen.

You gotta Make It Happen.

Start Here Now

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