Monday, June 30, 2008

Thank you Anna!!!

Remember the post on burgers?

Anna left a comment that she adds a little parmesan. I would have never thought about adding that. So was excited to try it.

Hence the title of this post, because the burger (s) were UNREAL!!!

Trust me, try this once and you will never settle for anything less.

This is how I made them

1 pound grass fed ground beef, 1/3 of a pound ground turkey (dark), 3 scallions, 1 clove garlic, 3 small slices of a jalapeno, 1 egg, 3 tbsps coconut oil and about a 1/4 cup of shaved parmesan.

A little cucumber dressing/sauce......but the burger was so tasty it really didn't need anything with it. Not shown are the carbs I ate with this meal, about 10 baby carrots.

Phrase I heard today; "Peanut butter and pasta economy"

Friday, June 27, 2008

Why do I eat this way?

In the comments recently, Chris ( asked me how I came to eat this way. I promised I would write about it some, so here it goes. Hope you enjoy and if not, no worries I'll also have a meal picture up for your enjoyment ;-)

When I was young, around 7 years old, I started "cooking". My parents never minded me puttering around especially because I would set the table for breakfast and even make menus on a Sunday morning. Now at that time my cooking skills consisted of toasting bread and making eggs. But when you prepare it with enjoyment and love, it just tastes better. At least that's what my mom told me. By age 9-10 I started making dinner sometimes, even came up with a recipe of dover sole with cream and grapes. I also started baking. Mostly Dutch butter cake, known as "boterkoek". I learned that from my grandpa who loved to bake. During the next years, I spent a LOT of time with my grand parents. when my parents were away on business travel, I would stay them. I was always there every Friday afternoon after school as we always ate Friday night dinner at my grandparents. I would help grandma cook or just keep her company in the kitchen.

My grandma who was born in France and didn't come to Holland until her mid-20's, was a great cook! In hindsight what must have made a lasting impression on me, was that she made everything from scratch. Back then probably that was a lot more normal than now. But I got to observe and help.

Getting involved in sports ( I was a soccer and judo/aikido fanatic) the cooking times slowly went away. At age 16 I heard about something called "vegetarian". I was very intrigued by it, and feeling sorry for the animals I hopped on the bandwagon. Secretly, my biggest motivation was the fact tha per the "experts" all the strongest animals in the world were vegetarian. I thought it might help me get really strong and big. It lasted for approx. a year. I believe I consumed more bread that year then anyone in the country ;-).
Over the next years I developed a sugar kick that was something to behold. Eating dutch licorice all day and easily eating 3,4,5 candy bars a day. My 22 birthday present from my parents was a warehouse size box of KitKats (my favorite back then). Shortly thereafter I bought this little book called "The Sugar Blues" by Gloria Swanson.

I sat in utter amazement almost paralysis on my couch and re-read it 3 times.
WHAT????? the food you eat affects you?????
This little book had such and impact on me that I immediately cut out ALL sugar. Threw away the box of kitkats, no more 3 spoons of sugar in my coffee. This started a search for more information. I delved back into my martial arts and went to school part time for acupuncture and massage. I read everything I could get my hands on and over the years ate; partially macrobiotic, vegan, vegetarian, raw, etc etc etc. Then, out of pure frustration and information overload, I started eating "normally" again. The one constant was that I pretty much stayed away from sugar..... candy that is. I ate lots and lots of rice and bread and whole wheat pasta, believing that it was the "healthy" way to eat.
About 6 years ago, I started lifting weights. Once again, I started reading....A LOT! and tried putting into practice all the "advice" out there. Downing protein shakes, eating 6 times a day, you know all the good stuff ;-) Then I came upon this guy in the gym, in his mid 70's. He was in GREAT shape and had an unorthodox work out regimen. I never saw him in the gym for more then 30 minutes, as he usually arrived after me and left before me. I ended up having nice talks with him and he told me that he owed his great shape to only eating "real food" and never working out too much and a general happy attitude. Intriguing to say the least. I was somewhat on this path I realized. I'm always happy, I eat pretty good (loads of chicken breasts and veggies), maybe I need to work out a little less. Then, as always in life, with perfect timing an old friend of mine, who has always led me to good books and info, says to me "You're into working out and eating right? You need to check out this guy Art Devany" I did that 3 years ago and the rest is history.

I followed the recommended sources of information , reading Cordain, and again everything else I could get my hands on. It was like getting confirmation of knowledge that I knew deep inside myself. Real's so simple really.

So as you can see from the blog, this is how I eat now. Is it true Paleo? Perhaps not, as I do eat butter and cheese and some other items not truly paleo. But overall, everything is real food and my love of cooking has returned with a passion. I try to make these "real-foods" as tasty as possible. Because I do strongly believe that eating is one of life's pleasures. Lastly my humble opinion; eating this way will help you with every aspect of your life. We only have one body, we need to take care of it. Don't leave it up to the doctors, they are here to sew you back together after you've been in a car wreck.
Anywho; back to food ;-)

I called this my "Cerk chicken". My version of Jerk chicken.
The C stands for curry.
Here's the marinade;
red curry paste, coconut oil, garlic, cilantro, lime juice.
Marinate chicken thighs over night, grill and enjoy.

Mix well in the ziploc and then squeeze to get out all the air out. Let the chicken come to room temp. before putting on the grill.

A delicious dinner of Cerk chicken, with a watercress and romaine salad with cucumber dressing. Some cucumber dressing on the side for dipping the chicken. If you have not had watercress recently, GO GET SOME! It has quite an interesting history. Let me know if you need the recipe for the cucumber dressing recipe; it's easy and quick.

Make it a great day, I got to go make break-fast.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Work and Feel Good Eating

A quick picture to show how my lunch bag for the day might look. (it's not really lunch, but more my food bag for the work day)
A nice spinach salad, with tuna salad on top, (tuna salad, made with some olives, capers, scallion and evoo) blueberries, raspberries and an afternoon snack of 3 slices of pepperoni and some celery. The portion of berries will last me 2-3 days. I just put the left overs in my fridge at work.
All you see here I believe are pretty good for you foods. Finish of the day with a nice dinner of protein and a veggie/salad and maybe a glass of wine, and you did real good today ;-)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Well, sometimes dishes/recipes don't come out they way you intended, other times, they far surpass your wildest expectations. Last night's dinner came out SO amazing that I couldn't wait to share it with you all. Below is some grilled curry scrod and mashed yam.
Wash the fish, pat dry and drizzle coconut oil on both sides. Next cover both sides with some curry powder and fresh ground pepper. Slice 2 scallions length-wise and lay that on top. Now you need a grill basket or a fish basket/holder to grill the scrod as it is to flaky a fish. I boiled one yam. Drain when done and mash in a bowl, drum roil..........I added 1 large tbsp of sour cream some fresh ground pepper, garlic powder and a little bit of the left over scallion. Mix together.

Total prep time around 15 minutes. Taste factor; priceless! ;-)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Happiness is waiting there in front of you. Only you can decide whether or not you choose to experience it. Take this to heart!!!!

Over the course of this week, I'll post a little write up on how I came to start eating this way.
Don't get too excited, it's not all that interesting ;-)

"BREAK-FAST" meal for me around 10:30 was this;

2 grilled chicken thighs with red cabbage salad. 2 tbsps evoo, tbsp of dijon mustard, 1tsp spicy avocado oil and 1/2 tsp of balsamic.

In case you're curious, snack later in the day was celery sticks, 2 slices salami (no-nitrate and no garbage variety) and a nectarine. I have not had a piece of fruit like that in a while, it was a real treat. Like candy really.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Quick and Easy

I'll keep saying it ;-)
So try this one and let me know how you made out.

Ground chicken sauteed in coconut oil with some garlic and spicy pepper relish. Added some spinach at the end. Cucumber with a splash of evoo. Fresh scallion sprinkled on top. If you happen to have some coconut milk, simmer the chicken in it for about 20 minutes on low heat. Mine is the quick version ;-)

The spicy pepper relish I use is homemade. It's easy and you can use it for so many recipes. I will show you again in the next week or so how to make it, as I am running out. Per Chris's comment from Conditioning Research, I will do a post on how I came to eat this way.

Chris, thank you for your nice post and write up about FeelGoodEating on your blog.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Show and tell

By now I'm assuming a lot of readers of this blog, read many of the same blogs I do. (see right for links) If not please start ;-)
Recently on Art Devany's as well as Dr. Eades sites, there is some good discussion on amount of calories consumed. Eating paleo/primal is not a carte blanche to eat as much as your eyes and tummies desire.
Especially if you take in the good fats and meats, calories can add up quickly.
Here's a perfect example; Below see my spinach salad. Two tablespoons of evoo and 1 tbsp of balsamic. 2 tbspoons of evoo come in at around 250 calories. Now add the chicken sausage I cut up into it and you have approx. another 350-400 calories. A nice healthy clean meal, around 600-650 calories. If you are planning on a daily intake of between 1600-2000, do you see how careful you have to be? Two more good meals and your are all the way there. That means no extra piece of cheese, no hand full of nuts, or what about the two glasses of red wine? Just some food for thought. But If you aim to keep your meals around 400 calories, you can have a SMALL snack here and there AND your glass of Cabernet ;-)
With good quality exercise and play added to this kind of eating, you will be on your way to that muscular lean look we all are striving for.

Here's a nice breakfast with lots of fat and a little bit of protein. (not shown is about 2 cubed ounces left over grass fed NY strip steak that I had with this.)
One avocado, some salsa, scallion, garlic and 1 tbsp olive oil and some lime juice.
Anybody want to guess how many calories this meal has?
I ate it about 4 hours after working out this morning. (it was short and sweet, heavy and high intensity)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Marc's burgers, grill basket and lunches.

I love a good burger! But most of the time when I get to eat one, disappointment sets in when I taste the dry tasteless patty of grilled beef. I guess with a wet bun loaded with mayo, ketchup, mustard or whatever condiments you like, you can get away with it.
Since that bun is not part of what we all eat (right????) here's my recipe for a delicious burger.
One pound grass fed ground beef, 1/4 of a finely chopped onion, 1 clove of garlic, 1 egg, 2 tbsp oil (I like to use the spicy avocado oil) and 2 tbsps oregano. Mix and let it sit out for a few minutes before cooking. Serve with red leaf lettuce, tomato, pickles, scallions.

One pound makes 4 nice size burgers. Try making the patty quickly without to much handling, the more you handle, the tougher the meat gets. (Although the egg and oil will help a lot to make sure it doesn't get tough and dry)

I promised Jay to post a picture of my grill basket. (see right for link to Jay's blog)
I used my grill basket to make some veggies. Yellow squash, yellow baby carrots and onion. Splash of evoo and sprinkle of sea-salt.

A simple tool for your grill and oh so versatile.

You can fill the basket to the top with great results. I recently took this with me on a trip and for about 10 people, the basket was full of, zucchini, yellow squash, asparagus, onion, garlic, green pepper and yellow pepper and 1 large spicy green pepper. (evoo and a few spices) Watch the heat, but very easy and quick way to bring your veggies to the party.

Thank you for your nice comment!
I'll try and help as best I can.
Here's a breakfast from the other morning. Breakfast for me that day was 11:30.
Very simple and quick prep dish. This is a good one to pack for lunch, it keeps well and the chicken tastes good cold.
Baby cucumber, scallion salad with evoo and half an avocado. Grilled chicken thighs.
If you don't have a grill, you can make the chicken thighs in a cast iron with good result.

I posted a while back about chicken thighs. They are so much tastier then breasts, and hold up for grilling much better. Do you need more marinades for them?
As for other lunches that are easy to pack; Salad with smoked salmon loin or ahi tuna.
Burger patty on a nice salad.
To anonymous, do you have the option to warm things up?

I look forward to getting your comments and feedback everyone.

Oh and try this today;
"Don't take anything personal" and as always SMILE ;-)

Friday, June 13, 2008

"Eventually you will come to understand that love heals everything, and love is all there is."

Quote from Mr. Gary Zukov.
I don't know if you have read any of his books, but I think they might be worth some of your time.

Happy Friday to all and just in case you are not doing anything around 3pm E.S.T, go ahead and cheer on the "Orange Machine". Holland vs. France.

Mashed Cauliflower

Mashed cauliflower is so easy to make and so tasty. This is how I do it. I boil the cauliflower, while that is boiling, on very low heat I melt some butter with 1 or 2 cloves finely minced garlic. If you have chives add them. I have not grown those in a while and I can't seem to find them here anywhere. When the cauliflower softens up (don't kill it) drain and mash it up. Then add the garlic butter and mix. You can add a tbsp of half and half or heavy cream if you want to be real naughty. Sprinkle of sea salt if you are so inclined. About 10-15 minutes total time. Easy right?
Some cucumber salad with evoo and a few slices of chicken sausage.

Like I have said before, you can make delicious tasting dishes, cooking with healthy paleo/primal foods.

Here's breakfast;
Before I hit the gym, I marinated some chicken in fresh lime juice. This actually starts the cooking process (like ceviche). When I came home, I took my cast iron skillet, washed some scallions, tossed some spices on the chicken and put it in the skillet. Turn on the broiler for the oven, and after a bout 5 minutes on the stove, stick it under the broiler for another 5. During those five minutes, I grabbed some sour cream, cut up a small clove of garlic and mixed that with a few drops of spicy avocado oil and some more juice from a lime. This all took no more than about 12 minutes. Take a look;

I had some fresh melon with this breakfast also.
Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

My First Poem

"A wonderful bird is the Pelican,
because his mouth can hold more then his belly can,
and I wonder how the heck he can."
I learned that in 7th grade in Holland.
I love sitting on the beach or the pier here and watching these wonderful birds to their thing.
They just make me smile.

I don't know if you can see,but they are having a small meeting of sorts in the mangroves.
3 scrambled eggs with onion, made in some coconut oil.
I figured a Pelican picture might be more fun this morning then scrambled eggs.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My Two Cents

I want to ad a few of my thoughts regarding the cost involved to eat paleo/primal/EF. Some great posts on this subject recently on a lot of my favorite blogs (see right "good reads")

Consider this meal;

This was dinner for my kids and I last night.

Fresh shrimp over bok-choy.

(marinated the shrimp in olive oil garlic and a little spicy pepper relish, grilled them, peeled them and cut them up for the kids. Sauteed onion and garlic in some butter added the cut up bok choy and cooked until soft, but still a hint of a crisp. Added a few splashes of tamari)

So let's take a looksie at cost. One pound of fresh local shrimp $13. One Large head of organic bokchoy $2.99. Organic onion and garlic estimated cost of use $0.30. Organic butter cost of use $.035. So this meal for 5 (four kids ages 13,11,9,7) total cost was just shy of $17.00.

They're in tennis camp during the day, so I want to feed them good quality nutrients.

Do you think it's expensive for one meal? ONE entree at mid-priced restaurant comes in at roughly the same. Take four kids to McDonalds and you will spend approx. $20. Order some pizza and again you're spending roughly the same. So; still expensive for one meal?

Consider this meal;

Beef and turkey meatballs with onion.

Pound of grass fed ground beef $5.99. Pound of ground turkey (dark meat) $3.99. Onion, spices and butter (bacon grease) cost of use $1.00. Total cost $11.00

Total servings around 6. Average cost per serving approx $1.83.

A yummy burger at Wendy's will set you back $4.29.

Or maybe a healthy sandwich at Subway will only set you back $3.79. What would YOU rather eat.

Keep eating the good stuff!!!!!

SMILE and be NICE.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Oh the JOY!!!!!!!

I realize not everyone is a football/soccer fan out there, but for this little Dutch kid yesterday was a fantastic day! Holland beat Italy 3-0 in their first match of the European Championship!!!!
It was truly one of the best matches I've seen in a long time. I was so excited watching it, that I had to think back on my grandma, who at age 70 was forbidden by her doctor to watch the Dutch national matches; it got her too excited ;-)

Do you use curry? Do you make your own?
The spices used in curry powder have some wonderful qualities. Especially turmeric.
As a start try buying some in your health food store and make sure it has no msg or "natural flavoring" It should just have a few ingredients. Turmeric, cumin, coriander, garlic powder, mustard powder, pepper. (this is just an example)

Here's an easy way to try the flavor. In coconut oil saute some scallions and garlic. Add grass fed ground beef with curry powder. Easy and great taste. I ate mine with a celery salad and some left over red cabbage salad. For the celery salad, just slice thin and drizzle evoo and balsamic. I add a little sea salt. It really makes the flavor of the celery pop.

Monday, June 9, 2008

It's not always beautiful or percfect.

Here is breakfast from Saturday.
Left over salad with grandma's dressing, cauliflower salad, tuna nicoise, and a few slices of smoked salmon loin. A meal like this means that I need to do a grocery shopping ;-)

To one of my readers;
Where in Florida is "Lulu"?

Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

"The empty cup"

We have all heard the story about the Asian master explaining this to his student.
It's one to remember ourselves. We get trapped in our routines and before you know it; you're little cup is full and you defend your own ways.
I try to keep my cup very empty. Never to old to learn and willing to try new things all the time.

Again; another great post on the IF Life "Trainer tells all" by MikeOD. Check it out! I asked him a question about squats and I will take his advice and change My ways (empty cup).
Anywho back to food ;-)
Red cabbage slaw with boiled egg. (some vegenaise and avocado chili oil, fresh ground pepper)
For some reason red cabbage makes me feel terrific.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Running on empty.......

There are good reads out there, talking about exercising when hungry.
If you have not clicked on the link for "the IF Life" on the right please do.
MikeOD is one of if not my favorite bloggers/writers that makes complicated issues simple to understand. He writes with great clarity and flow. He advocates exercising when hungry also.
When I workout in the morning I always do on an empty stomach. The more I started thinking about, I came to the conclusion that our hunter gatherer forefathers, probably ran their ass off to grab that deer or turkey with out any food in their systems. No gatorade or jelly packs for them either. So with that thought, I decided to experiment.

Last Saturday I had my semi-finals tennis match at 10:00 in the morning. In the past I would have had and early morning breakfast of eggs (made with a good amount of butter ) and fruit to provide me with energy for a match like that. Not this time. I also adopted another idea from MikeOD (see ) and indulged in a nice big cup of espresso about 30 minutes prior to the match. I did bring some grapes and blueberries in case I felt my energy running out or in case of a long match a pick me up. ( I imagined a hunter from long ago chasing his prey and grabbing a berry along the way on his hunt)
Well I can tell you this, the match lasted 2 hours and 40 minutes. I was sharper and more focused then I have ever been. My legs seemed faster then normal and I felt no fatigue at any time. After the match (about 50 minutes later) I ate a nice larger helping of grilled ground beef and veggies, with....a well deserved ice cold corona.

Breakfast/lunch this morning;
Asparagus, onion, garlic, and pieces of grass fed rib-eye. All sauteed in some spicy avocado oil and butter.

Little bit of meat.......lots of asparagus. I let the meat cook slowly with the heat from the asparagus,onions and garlic. Grass fed beef stays juicy this way.