Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Summer Salad

One of our favorite dishes in the summer is this summer Salad.  It is filled with nutritious beans and is  healthy, light and very filling.

15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
15 oz can pinto beans , rinsed and drained
15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Rinsed and drained , rinsed and drained

15 oz bag frozen sweet corn kernels
small chopped red onion
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2-3 chopped bell peppers (different colors make it prettier but not necessary)

Mix all of the above ingredients together in a large bowl

THe Dressing

1 tbs ground pepper
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
The juice of two limes

Whisk all of the ingredients for the dressing together and pour over the vegetables.  This can be eaten immediately, but the taste will be enhanced after they sit and marinate together for a bit.

serves 10
Cal 245.4
total fat 6.5
chol 0
sodium 192.4
total carbs 39.6
fiber 11.4
Sugars 1.9
protein 10.6

Click here for  a printable recipe of this Summer Bean Salad.

LEKI Trekking Poles

​I recently found myself in the market for some Trekking poles and started to do my research.  I had no clue what I was looking and therefore, I started this research blind.  I knew nothing about trekking poles, it had just come as a bright idea that it may help my hiking abilities.    I read some articles and I talked to the sales representatives at my local trail outfitter.  Eventually, I decided to purchase a pair of LEKI trekking poles.

Researching Trekking Poles

​I started my research online.  I had only a vague idea that trekking poles would help me with a problem that I had recently developed while hiking.  The problem?  I had been stumbling more frequently and while hiking was occasionally unable to catch myself from falling.   (I had first checked for other health issues, but everything appeared to be fine, I was just falling….a LOT!)   That is where I started my research.  Immediately I looked for guidance.  Would trekking poles help me with my stability?    The resounding answer was yes!  I was ready to really start shopping!  But then my eye caught some other things that Trekking poles are noted to help.  Trekking poles were supposed to help with balance and stability for those suffering with arthritis in the knees!  Perfect!  But, the clincher for me?  It also has been helpful for people who have hands that swell while hiking!  Oh my word.  I was totally hooked now!
There are a ton of different brands out there.  I am an Amazon shopper so I immediately turned to Amazon.  I found trekking poles for as low as $20!  Awesome, it wasn’t going to break the bank!   But then I started to look at the reviews.  Hmmmm, flimsy and break after the first use.  I was not impressed.  I knew that I was going to be using these to help give me stability and a trekking pole that broke while I was using it was NOT going to keep me upright!  In fact, that sounded downright disastrous!   I went back to the research table and started to look at the top trekking poles.  I was so confused and didn’t know what way to turn!

Visiting A Trail Outfitter Store

We decided to stop into our locally owned trail outfitter to check out their options for trekking poles.   I was excited to see what they had in the store.  I was hoping that they had something in stock!  They were easy to find and we made our way right over to their selection.  I immediately grabbed a pair or women’s poles.  They looked snazzy.  I extended them and did a few steps.  Hmmm.  They seemed to bow a bit with very little pressure.  That didn’t seem safe to me.  I grabbed a pair of LEKI poles and we extended them to the proper height.  They were stiff and solid and seemed to have no bend or bow in them when I put a bit of pressure onto them.     
The sales representative came over and started to talk to us about the different brands and styles of poles.  They did not push one way or the other.  HOWEVER, they did talk about the warranty of each product. They talked about the superior customer service of LEKI products and the ease of receiving replacement parts for anything that wears out or gets broken.  LEKI is a company that specializes and manufactures two types of products, trekking poles and camp chairs.  Their R&R is not spread thin, all of their attention is centered on these two products and they stand behind their products. LEKI seemed like a great company that stood behind their products!  I was sold!   It wasn’t until I got my trekking poles home that I  read the documents to realize that these trekking poles have a lifetime warranty on defective material and product.  Furthermore, warranty parts are available for up to 10 years after the product is manufactured.   EVEN BETTER!

Using the LEKI Trekking POles

We immediately took my new LEKI trekking poles to an easy trail so that I could experiment with them.   Getting the motion down is actually more awkward then you would think, but after a bit it became more natural.  But the real test occurred when we headed to a portion of the Appalachian Trail that is uphill and rocky.
I headed out with some apprehension due to my recent falls and right off the bat we encountered our first rocky climb up some steps that have no handholds/trees.  I put those poles to use and marched right up those uneven rocky steps.  The poles gave me the stability I needed and helped my arthritic knees by taking the pressure off of them.  Oh my word, they work perfectly!

I used the poles with the glove type strap.  I wasn’t sure if I would like a glove instead of a strap, but when my hand was in the glove, it correctly positioned my hands on the grips of the poles.  The design allowed me to now have to grip the poles tightly and it helped to spread any weight or pressure in an ergonomically and efficient way.  We hiked for 3 hours that first trip where I really put the poles to the test and my hands and arms felt as comfortable at the end of the hike as they did at the beginning.  It was a painless learning experience!

The grips are great!  We were hiking on a day when the temperatures was 95 degrees Fahrenheit  with a super high humidity. I was wondering how the grips would handle a hot day.  I shouldn’t have been worried.  I never once had any issue where my hands felt slick.  The grips worked fabulously and even after 3 hours of a sweaty hike, felt dry and new.

These poles are easy to adjust for different heights.  When we started our hike, it only took me a minute  or two to extend and adjust the poles to the proper position for comfort and safety.  After hiking up the mountain we turned around for our descent.  After just one or two steps down a steep part of the trail I stopped and quickly adjusted the height of the poles for downhill trekking.  All in all, that adjustment took less than a minute.   There is no long adjustment or worry.  It is quick and easy.  SO easy in fact that when we were done with our hike, I returned the poles to their small carrying size while I walked across the parking lot toward my car.  It really is that easy and quick!

​I am totally in love with these trekking poles!  They will be going with me on all of my hikes.  I am planning on getting some carabiner clips for my backpack so that even when I am choosing to not use them, that they are there with me.  I felt myself stumble and trip once or twice during this hike but the added stability of these poles made the stumbles just that, a stumble.

Trekking Poles at Weverton Cliffs