Procrastination. It sucks. Destroyer of dreams and goals, and responsible for hundreds of billions of deaths each year in the United States alone.
Worse, it has prevented me from sprouting beans and seeds for the past six months. When I first read Brendan Brazier’s Thrive while on vacation last summer, I couldn’t wait to get home and start applying its principles to my diet and training. Eating raw foods and lots of greens, eliminating harsh stimulants like caffeine, and sprouting my foods. Sprouting everything — sprouting beans, sprouting wheat, sprouting seeds, perhaps even sprouting sprouts.
But I didn’t do it. I started eating more raw foods and I cut down on coffee—though, in the spirit of transparency, I must admit I’m typing this very post in between sips of java. But I never started sprouting. I didn’t buy a sprouting kit, and assembling my own just seemed like too much work. Not to mention I’d have to wait THREE DAYS before I could even eat my sprouts!
Thankfully, the perfect storm came together. First, iHerb.com approached me with an offer for a $50 shopping spree in their online health food store, and one to give away to you. Of course I took them up on it, and I decided to use my 50 bucks to purchase all the ingredients from Thriveand the new Thrive Fitness that I couldn’t quite justify before. So that got me back into the Thrive mindset. Then my thoughtful sister, recognizing my powerlessness over procrastination, gave me a sprouting jar for my birthday, and the die was cast.
(By the way, I’ll give away that $50 shopping spree once I receive my stuff and write a full review of the products and iHerb.com. In the meantime, you can take a look around iHerb.com use my code RAZ652 at checkout to get $5 off your first purchase. Since a sprouting jar costs only $4.42 there, you could use it for that and pay nothing except shipping! Plus, after you purchase, you’ll get your own $5-off code you can post on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, or even hand out to friends, to earn commissions on sales.)
So I am officially a sprouter. For my first batch, I started off with a half cup of dried mung beans:
Three days later, they looked like this:
Two more days, including one in the sun to get some chlorophyll, and look what I have now:
That’s right, a jar of bean sprouts the size of my head. I think bean sprouts are more commonly used in stir-frys; seed sprouts are what people put on salads and sandwiches. No matter—I made myself a nice little sprouts, veggies, and hummus pita for lunch today. Stir-fry tonight, perhaps! Up next: adzuki beans, chickpeas, quinoa, buckwheat, and whatever the hell else I want to put in the magic jar.
In hopes that you won’t procrastinate as long as I did, here are the simple steps to doing your own sprouting. Sprouts, in case you missed the memo, are nutritional powerhouses. They’re alkalizing, easy to digest, and contain lots of amino and essential fatty acids. And they’re dirt cheap: just look how much I got from a single half cup of dried beans! You could buy them at the store, but they’re more expensive and notorious for harboring bacteria. And there’s that quaint little story that they’re grown on feces, which I personally find to be a delightful image.
How to grow your own sprouts
- Place a small amount (two tablespoons of seeds or a half cup of beans/legumes) in a sprouting jar, and cover with three times as much water. If your jar is small, start with less until you figure out how much your jar can hold. If you don’t have a sprouting jar and don’t want to buy one, you can make your own by replacing the lid of any big jar with some cheesecloth, holding it in place with a rubber band.
- Let soak overnight.
- Drain the water by pouring through your strainer lid or cheesecloth) and rinse the seeds or beans.
- Leave in a dark place at around 70 degrees Fahrenheit for several days, rinsing twice per day, and laying the jar on its side so that the sprouts have room to grow.
- Once the sprouts are large (three days or so), place them in the sun for a day.
- Eat your sprouts, or store them for up to a week in a vented container in the refrigerator.
But what if you gave your body just 15 minutes per day — no weights or equipment needed — for as long as this situation lasts? Could you turn this into an opportunity to start a fitness habit (maybe for the first time ever), and come out of it in better shape than before?
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