Cubs

Kim DeJesus shares healthy eating tips

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Kim DeJesus shares healthy eating tips

I was thrilled when Chicago Tribune Live asked me to come share my passion for juicingblending and encourage people to kick off 2013 with a green drink. We had a blast on the show. If you have already wavered from your New Year's goals, get up off your fanny! Today is a new day, tomorrow has no mistakes and it is never too late to start your wellness plan.
First off, let me say I am not an expert. I am simply a vegetarian who loves the way eating clean and juicing make me feel. I have my days where I just feel like eating a slice of pizza, a delicious bowl of pasta or a vegan cupcake! I also enjoy a good night out with friends with a glass of wine (or three, depending on who I am with). Some weeks I do great, and others I waver, so don't expect perfection out of me or my diet because you won't see it.
But I have a wellness plan in place and am very aware of the negative effects that sugar, dairy and processed foods have on me, so I really try to limit them. It is crazy how quickly I feel the negative side effects after eating a sugary snack or processed food choice. Headaches, stomach aches, break outs, etc...my body hates it. Just because the FDA has approved a chemical as edible does not mean it is good for you by any means.
And then there's sugar. Sugar is 'no bueno,' folks. And the major problem with sugar is that it's in so many things. Don't even get me started on artificial sugar or I might pass out. Oh, and white breads and pastas? They turn into sugar so fast your body doesn't really does not know the difference between that and a slice of cheesecake. Yikes. Our country is surrounded with over-processed, sugary foods, so it's certainly not easy to make perfect choices all the time. It's important to be educated on the foods we put into our bodies so when faced with difficult food choices it's easier to make the right choice.
It would make me so happy to see people drinking their greens every day and trying hard to eliminate sugary processed foods! In the DeJesus household you will see lots and lots of green drinks; even my little guy loves his spinach juice! We totally believe in the healing power of green drinks.
It's no secret that we all know eating veggies is good for us (and hold the phone, I'm not talking about broccoli covered in Cheese Whiz or fried mushroom balls, people). Even though we all know this, unfortunately most people don't get nearly the amount of fresh veggies or fruits into their diets. That's why I say juicing and blending is an incredible way to get these raw nutrients into your bodies (and your kids). It's easy and its delicious!
Here are just some of the major benefits you can get from drinking your greens:1. Veggies and fruits are loaded with the vitamins and minerals your body requires to thrive -- there is magic in that fridge of yours (or Whole Foods produce section, depending on what is in your fridge).
2. Many veggies and fruits are anti-inflammatory (inflammation is the cause of many chronic diseases). This is HUGE, guys.
3. Anti-aging, helps with acne (good for your skin)
4. Helps prevent and fight diseases
5. Aids digestion
6. Helps with weight loss
7. Energy! Green drinks will give you energy that won't make you crash or have the jitters.
8. Nice booty ... it can help with cellulite, ladies.
9. Eating clean can help with depression and insomnia.If you are looking for a good juicer or blender, I know it can be overwhelming. There are tons of good ones on the market. I love my Vitamix; I use it probably two times a day. It's an investment but I have encouraged several friends to get one and they all say it's their favorite appliance.
I also have a Breville juicer. I incorporate both blending and juicing into my diet, but on the segment we only made blends. Following recipes is great if you're just starting and don't know what to do (the two recipes we did on the segment are below). I personally just usually use whatever is in my fridge. It's always best to use fresh produce, however I always keep frozen organic berries in my freezer in case I am running low on produce and need to make a quick blend. Plus they make a tasty dessert if you are craving sweets: blend up a frozen banana, frozen strawberries, a tiny bit of almond milk and a little spinach with maybe some blueberries and you've got yourself a delicious dessert. So simple.
Other things you can add into your smoothies to give them an extra kick are hemp powder or hemp seeds (for protein), flax seeds, chia seeds, cocoa nibs or cocoa powder, spirulina (strong taste), almond milk, coconut water or milk, hemp milk, etc. Just please don't put dairy into your smoothies. Whole Foods has a ton of great things you can add into your blends.If you juice and then follow it up with a juicy cheeseburger smothered in cheese with a side of fries, I can't promise you amazing results. That's why a wellness plan is important. If all this overwhelms you, start small and work your way up. If you need to start really simple, how about making a goal to try and start each day with a green smoothie or green juice? Juicing and blending are such easy ways to get so many benefits into your body. Not only is it amazing for your body, it is truly delicious. Kris Carr has a great book out there if you're looking for more info, called Crazy Sexy Diet.I have plenty more I could say but we're in the middle of preparing for our foundation's first official event, "Strike a Pose." We are going to try our hardest to raise money for ALS. It's a brutal disease, one for which there is not cure or treatment. it's coming up here in a few days and I've got lots of work to do! Sure hope to see you there, though! You can check it out on our website at daviddejesusfamilyfoundation.org if you want to come.But basically, guys, I'm not reinventing the wheel here. This is not rocket science. So how about in 2013 we all make a commitment to be nice to our bodies. We don't have to be perfect, but let's try to be nice most of the time. If you have any questions you can ask me at @kimdejesus9 on Twitter. I don't promise to have the answer though. Ha.To sum it up:1. Avoid sugar, artificial sweeteners, processed foods and dairy as much as you can
2. Juice or blend as many greens into your daily diet as possible. Drink your greens. It's fun, easy and incredible for you.
3. Try to eat clean most of the time (don't beat yourself up if you have a bad day)Here are the recipes I used on the show:ZEUS JUICE (recommend this to start off your day)1 pear, quartered and seeded1 apple, quartered and see1 orange, peeled12 a zucchiniHandful of spinachHandful of kale1 carrot, cut in half1 celery stalk, cut in halfabout a half cup of water2 cups of icePut all into a Vitamix and blend. If you don't have a Vitamix, cut up each fruit and vegetable and blend individually. Feel free to mix up the veggies here or use substitutes; the darker shade of green a vegetable has, the better nutritional value it has.GREEN GURU SMOOTHIE from Crazy Sexy Dietavocadoabout 8 romaine leaves1 cucumber1 bananastevia for taste1 cup almond milk (or water)(then I like to add ice to this recipe and also hemp seeds for some protein)This is more of a comforting smoothie; the avocado gives it a nice texture and the stevia makes it sweet. Please don't ever use sugar in any of your smoothies! Stevia is a good way to start if you don't normally drink your greens. I wouldn't add it to every smoothie either, just when your craving something sweet. Go easy with it -- a little goes a long way.Tips: If you're blending, you can even make a big batch and it can keep in the fridge for about two days. Juices you should usually consume right away or within 24 hours if you can for the best impact.

Hot Stove: AJ Pollock could be the player to fill the Cubs needs

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USA TODAY

Hot Stove: AJ Pollock could be the player to fill the Cubs needs

Six players turned down qualifying offers in baseball, and they are quality names in LHP Patrick Corbin, C Yasmani Grandal, OF Bryce Harper, LHP Dallas Keuchel, reliever Craig Kimbrel and OF A.J. Pollock. It’s the last name that piqued the interest of Cubs Insider Tony Andracki, who told me on our Hot Stove show on Facebook Live Tuesday at 12:30, that while all eyes are on Harper, Pollock is a player who could fit the Cubs’ needs. 

“The interesting name is A.J. Pollock, depending what the market is for him, because he’s a guy that when he’s able to stay healthy, and he hasn’t really been healthy for about five years now, but when he’s able to stay healthy, he’s a dynamic player who would really shake up that offense, and he’s also a leadoff hitter,” Andracki said. “The Cubs need a stable leadoff hitter and he’s a guy they could look at.”

Hot Stove

Time for your weekly dose of HOT STOVE! 1. The White Sox are shopping Avi Garcia...to make room for Bryce Harper? 2. BIGGEST Takeaways from the GM Meetings. 3. Will we be celebrating an Eloy 'Rookie of the Year Award' after next season?

Posted by NBC Sports Chicago on Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Pollock has played in only 469 games over the last five seasons. He played 113 in 2018, and batted .257 with 21 home runs and 65 RBI, and broke his thumb in May. His all-star season was in 2015, when he played in 157 games, hit .315, had 20 home runs and 76 RBI. Pollock turns 31 on December 5. 

If the Cubs were to sign Pollock in the current circumstances, they would have to give up their pick after Competitive Balance Round B in the June 2019 First-year player draft, and $500,000 of their international bonus pool money. Under the previous collective bargaining agreement, a team signing a player who turned down a qualifying offer would have to give up a supplemental first-round draft pick. 

The Cubs' Achilles' heel is rearing its ugly head again this winter

The Cubs' Achilles' heel is rearing its ugly head again this winter

If the Cubs ultimately don't sign Bryce Harper or another big ticket free agent this winter and fans are wondering why, look no further than Rob Zastryzny.

It's not Zastryzny's fault, of course. 

But he is the poster boy of sorts for the Cubs' issues in drafting and developing pitching that can make any sort of an impact at the big-league level.

Zastryzny has made at least 4 appearances over each of the last three seasons, racking up 34.2 innings to lead the way for the 147 pitchers drafted by Theo Epstein's front office over the last seven summers. 

As a result, the Cubs have had to spend a lot of money to form their pitching staff over the last few years. That money adds up. 

Kyle Hendricks and Carl Edwards Jr. — who spent time in the Cubs farm system, but were originally drafted and largely developed by the Texas Rangers — are the only two truly impactful pitchers that have come up through the minor leagues and still a big part of the current roster. 

Where are the Josh Haders and Corbin Burnses and Josh Jameses and Walker Buehlers coming up through the Cubs system?

All four of those guys played major roles for their respective teams (Brewers, Astros, Dodgers) this fall.

Look, it's no secret to the Cubs they haven't developed a Hader-type weapon and they're disappointed about it, too.

"Candidly, those guys aren't found on the market very often," GM Jed Hoyer said last week. "Those guys are usually found internally. We haven't been able to develop that guy. Hopefully we will in the future. That guy makes a massive, massive impact."

Former Cubs draft picks accounted for 27 innings in the majors in 2018, and 1 of those innings came from Ian Happ (who is obviously not a pitcher). Of the remaining 26 innings, 5.1 came from Dillon Maples (who was drafted by Jim Hendry's front office in 2011).

That leaves 20.2 innings for a trio of draft picks — Duane Underwood Jr. (2012 selection) Zastryzny (2013) and James Norwood (2014). 

The Cubs are projected to pay more than $130 million (with arbitration included) to only 12 pitchers in 2019 and they still figure to add at least another late-inning bullpen arm or two to that mix.

That obviously hampers what they want to do this winter in a free agent class loaded with potential impact bats that could make a huge difference for an underachieving lineup, though would come with a hefty price tag.

Last winter, Epstein's front office committed $185 million to a trio of free agent pitchers — Yu Darvish, Brandon Morrow, Tyler Chatwood — and all three guys were out of the team's picture by September either because of injury or ineffectiveness.

The contracts of those three guys are hanging over the 2019 squad and major questions follow each guy entering the new year. 

But the Cubs are also in a tight spot financially because their homegrown position players are now starting to get exponentially more expensive.

"Of course we want more out of our homegrown pitching and I think we will have more as we go forward," Epstein said. "But we also built around bats. We built around homegrown bats and developing a nucleus that way knowing that in our minds, the right strategic move was to develop bats and then acquire pitching that's already good or about to become good or known commodities. 

"If you look at our pitching track record, it's really good. Yeah, it's expensive. That's part of it."

The Cubs still have high hopes for young right-hander Adbert Alzolay, the top pitching prospect in their system who was shut down halfway through 2018 with a lat injury. But he's also only pitched 72.1 innings above A-ball in his career and will undoubtedly have an innings limit and other restrictions coming off the injury, so it's hard to count on him as a potential cost-effective part of the 2019 pitching staff.

The Cubs hope more pitchers are on the way along with Alzolay, but they don't know why the arms are lagging so far behind the bats.

"I think it's improving," Hoyer said. "I think our pitching depth is improving and hopefully that will start to bear fruit this year or next year. Overall, I think we've done an exceptional job of developing hitters. 

"The pitching has lagged behind that. That's no secret. We're very accountable to that and we need to figure out why."