Super Broccoli, A Jump Rope Circuit and Better Workout Music All Found Right Here.

The Five Top Finds This Week.  It’s Friday I’m In Love 

I’ve found a really cool jump rope circuit workout, a site that finds good exercise music and sends it to my e-mail, and a way to make broccoli even healthier.  Is that even possible?

Here we go with the five top finds of the week with links that you’ll love.

There's nothing like a real jump rope

1.  Cinderella Dressed In Yellow – About a week ago I wrote about the dreaded plateau and gave some suggestions on how to move beyond it.  One of the tips was to incorporate circuit training.  Circuit training is bursts of cardio exercise followed by strength training moves.  The Jump Rope Circuit from is one that you can do at home with minimal equipment.  For the circuit you will need a jump rope, dumbbells and a medicine ball.

I love some of the moves in the circuit.  The rear lunge with med ball touch, single arm overhead squat and triangle pushups is pretty tough stuff.  This workout will build cardiovascular endurance and help increase muscle mass.  I recommend investing a few dollars in a jump rope rather than faux jumping.  Jumping to a pretend rope just does not have the same effect that jumping – and tripping – over the real thing does.  With a real rope you’ll get your heart rate up higher and regain some of the coordination you’ve lost since the playground days.

2.  Olive Oil Shooters – About three months ago I decided that I would make a deliberate effort to cut back on my consumption of olive oil which in my kitchen ends up in just about everything.  According to The Home Fitness Manual I don’t really need to do that.  This article even recommends olive oil shots for people that are having trouble getting their caloric intake up to where it needs to be.

I know what you’re thinking and you’re right.  That’s not what most people need to do.  But for people that are training for a running event – a half marathon – for example, or that are doing serious strength workouts to increase muscle mass, getting adequate calories can be a problem. Eating junk food that is loaded with calories will help you gain weight.  You’ll also end up consuming trans-fats, sugar, sodium and preservatives that can have a negative impact on your training and your health.

The HFM article links to a body building web site that discusses eating junk food to increase calories and refers to it as the “dirty bulk”.  The result of the dirty bulk is additional body fat, increased blood glucose, triglycerides and LDL cholesterol.  Olive oil, however, is a clean food that can bump up your calories without the adverse side effects of a diet full of potato chips, Little Debbie’s and greasy hamburgers and French fries.

Honestly, I don’t think I’ll be doing the oil shooters, but I’m over the guilt of putting a little extra olive in my basil chicken.

Broccoli can be even healthier. Flick photo by Ben Sutherland

3.  Broccoli Gets A Shot In The Arm – The Iron You sites a study that shows that if you spice up your broccoli with a little myrosinase it will be even better for you.  Why does this news merit a place on the love link Friday post and where might one go to buy myrosinase?

I love broccoli.  It’s one of my favorite foods.  Plus it’s a superfood.  You know, one of those foods that if you eat it on a regular basis it has the ability to lower your risk for chronic illness and in this case cancer.  To find a way to make a superfood even more super is exciting to me.

Myrosinase is an enzyme naturally occurring in broccoli and many of the health benefits of eating broccoli, including reducing the risk of cancer, is attributed to it.  Putting broccoli with a food or spice that also contains myrosinase increases the vegetable’s cancer-fighting abilities.

Myrosinase can be found in broccoli sprouts, horseradish and wasabi.  Other foods to eat with broccoli to boost its benefits are radishes, cabbage, arugula, watercress and Brussels sprouts.

Try This – Roasted Brussels and Broccoli
For a quick recipe take a pound of fresh Brussel Sprouts halved and a head of broccoli cut up.  Place them on a baking sheet with a little olive oil.  Lightly salt and pepper and place in a 350 degree pre-heated oven.   Roast for about 20 minutes.  Sprinkle with wasabi and a lemon wedge before serving.

4.  Help! I Need New Workout Music – I’m constantly searching for motivating songs to workout and run to.  I’ve found a site that I can subscribe to that will deliver a list of the most popular workout songs for the month to me via e-mail. Run Hundred receives 40,000 workout song suggestions a month.  From this it creates a list of the top 10 and sends it to subscribers. A list of the top ten songs for May 2012 can be found here.

At Run Hundred you can search for songs by genre, decade, artists, and BPMs (beats per minute).  Once you make a selection you can download directly from iTunes without leaving the Run Hundred  site.

Shape Magazine also has a mini playlist from with six songs that you can download by submitting your e-mail address. You can listen to samples of the songs, which I did and I think are pretty good, so I took advantage of the mini play list and added them to my iPod.

Organ donation just got easier. Flickr photo by MoneyBlogNewz

5.   Click ‘Like’ To Donate A Kidney – This is quite possibly the feel good story of the week.  Facebook has announced that it will allow its 900 million members to officially register as organ donors at the social media site.

The idea came to Mark Zuckerberg during a conversation that he had with his girlfriend, Priscilla Chan, a medical student and aspiring pediatrician.  Over dinner she tells Mark about the children that she sees each day.  She’ll see them getting sicker, then, all of a sudden, an organ becomes available, and she comes home and her face is all lit up because someone’s life is going to be better. 

Despite advances in medical technology the demand for organ, eye and tissue donation still ‘vastly exceeds the number of donors’.  Here are some stats from Donate Life:

  • More than 100,000 men, women and children currently need life-saving organ transplants.
  • Every ten minutes another name is added to the list.
  • An average of 18 people die each day due to the lack of available organs.
  • 90% of Americans say they support donation, but only 30% know the essential steps to take to be a donor.

The last bullet point is the one where a huge social media site like Facebook will have tremendous impact.  What’s to stop any of us from clicking ‘Like’?

Which reminds me.  You can click like, share or tweet this post if you know someone else that could benefit from Link Love Friday.

Happy weekend to all.