Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Accidental Marinade

First I HAVE to share some link love.
Please check out "Smoketheblowfish". MikeZ will delight you with his writing skills. Sit back and enjoy. You will also find some great HIIT workouts to experiment with.

Accidental Marinade:
I whipped up some home made mayonnaise with garlic and basil. Guess what??? I didn't take! It would not emulsify into my normal mayo. What happened you ask? I had to much lemon juice and to much evoo. I thought I could eye ball it, but that was not the case. My easy recipe I posted a while back has the exact measurements for guaranteed success and I should have stuck to it.

So I ended up with a nice bowl of egg yolk, evoo, dijon mustard, lemon juice, garlic and basil.
I had chicken thighs in my fridge and tossed the failed mayo over the thighs as a marinade.
Came home last night and put it on the grill.

I'm not exactly sure what the egg did, but this ended up being one of the absolute tastiest pieces of grilled chicken I've had in a long time.
Also grilled some grass fed beef short ribs. They were tough as leather. I marinated them in lime and orange juice and kept it in the fridge too long. To compound the problem, I over cooked them also. The chicken made up for it.
"Happiness is waiting there in front of you. ONLY you can decide whether or not you choose to experience it. Take this to heart"
T. Takamatsu

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Hungry Hunter?

Does the title of this post make sense to you???
It makes sense to me. But more importantly, the proof as always is in the proverbial pudding. Or for us EF/Paleo/Primal folk, in the marrow.
I've written about it before, but my scientific research capabilities are less then others, so please check out Keith's blog, or the wealth of research on Chris's blog for more information.
My little "theories/methods", like my Feel Good Eating, come from trial and error and these are my hard earned experiences.
As much as there are many speculative theories about how the HG lived, the "hungry hunter theory" is one, that from experience lives up to it's name.
Travel back with me to a time when.....
"You wake up, it's cold and there are just a few embers left in the fire pit. Due to winter, the day is shorter and hunting yesterday wasn't successful. Animals are in hibernation, and the "flowers" of spring are not even close to being in bloom. You toss some more wood on the fire, and suddenly you realize that you are hungry. It's this hunger, that allows your senses to be even sharper then usual. The awareness of your surroundings, sense of smell, hearing and sight are in overdrive. Sense of smell is so strong that you smell prey before you hear it..............
ACTION, taking off in a full blown sprint, the rabbit chase is on! zig zaggin you gives chase, jump, reach, crawl and.........the prey gets away. Time to set some traps. You climb, you chop, you walk.
Until suddenly you notice that something is stalking you! You are the prey. Once again a full blown sprint is under way, you being chased this time around. No more running, time to hold your ground and fight back. A long stick as your weapon, you use trickery and deceit to gain the upperhand over the beast looking to devour you. The beast impales himself on your stick, and just like that, dinner is provided."

Ok, so I let myself go for minute. lol
Why this story?

Last weekend I played in a weekend tennis tournament.
It was a money earning event in the format of a pro-am. They match an amateur with a pro.
This is a much anticipated and highly competitive yearly event. There are two divisions; a 4.0 and a 5.0/open division. (these are USTA designations of supposed capability levels)
I played in the latter division. The pros that come for these events are ex-college players and current or retired tour players. One of the guys this year, stopped playing on the tour 6 six years ago, and had 3 wins over James Blake. Others are currently ranked anywhere from 175 to 700 in the world. So to say the level of play is high, is not an understatement. The reason this little tourney is so competitive, is that it is a "Calcutta Event". A Calcutta event is where each team gets "auctioned off" in a fundraiser the night before. Then total money raised (minus 20% for the charity) becomes the prize pot. It was quite embarrassing as I was auctioned. My partner was a division 2 college player, 3 years out of school. Both of us stand 5.7 and not too many high rollers where to impressed with our chances. We sold for $500. Compare this to some of the teams going for $3,500, it gives you some idea were we stood.
The 5.0/open division started at 1:00 pm on Saturday. The night before I ate some chicken and a salad at the fundraiser. Last food intake was 6:30 pm.
By 9:30 am Sat. morning I was hungry.....
I didn't want to eat a lot as I know how well I perform in a fasted state, yet I knew I would be playing for at least 4 straight hours. So this is what I ate. Two fried eggs in plenty of butter and a little side helping of home made sauerkraut.

Well, play lasted for a continues whopping 5 and a half hours. I walked on the court at 1:00 and was done at 5:30.
Six matches. First one to 5 games with a 7 point tie break to be played at 4-4.
Out of our 6 matches we had a total of 5 tie breaks. My partner was very encouraging and as he praised my shots, my confidence soared and my play stepped up to unprecedented levels.
During the day, I watched many cramp up, some down right injuries, lots of gatorade being drunk, energy bars devoured and even fruit salad and whole grain muffins being eaten at change overs. I drank water. Sometimes a sip, sometimes half a glass. As the day went on, my energy levels actually went up, partly from the competition but mostly from body being in "Hungry Hunter" mode. Even my partner looked at me at one point and said "you're not tired at all are you?" I didn't tell him that I had hardly eaten. I'm sure had I told anyone there about working out in a fasted or somewhat fasted state, they would have called me crazy or held me down and forced me to drink gatorade.
As a side note, my partner and I went undefeated and won all of our 6 matches to make it to the semi finals on Sunday. We lost in the semi's 8-6. we were the talk of the tournament, as no-one expected us to do as well as we did. The gentleman that bought our team, was more then happy as he was in the money to the tune of $1,500. He watched us the whole weekend and after our third win on Saturday started getting excited.
This is not the first time I've attempted doing this, but it just AMAZES me every time how much better I perform when "hungry". From soccer games to tennis tournaments to a heavy weights work out. All my senses seem to be working in unison.
When playing tennis this past weekend, I could see the ball much better, I recovered after long points much quicker and I seemed to have a 6th sense of what was going to happen. When nerves crept up, I was able to use them and and not be controlled by them. Much like a hungry hunter wouldn't you say? Hope you enjoyed the story.........
Thanks to SOG , I made some poppers. Check out his recipe, I copied it exactly. Warning, I got my jalapenos from my local farmers market. They are NOT the same as supermarket variety. Wow, were they hot. and I like hot!

Here's some Tuna. My daughter likes it raw mostly, but I also make it like this.
Quickly saute with toasted sesame oil, braggs liquid amino's or tamari and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

A side cucumber and tomato salad with evoo and a dash of balsamic.
Mashed cauliflower. Since I made the poppers, I had a little organic cream cheese in my fridge so mixed some of that with the mash
This is most of the time the extent of my carb intake. You don't need a lot of fruit. A little bit goes A LONG WAY. Get all the benefits it offers, but don't eat to much of it. Especially if you are still trying to lean out.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


My laptop is a little under the weather.
So I brought it to my friend who owns a computer hospital, where he nurses pc's and laptops back to health. I hope to have it back in a day or two.

Stand by for new posts and pictures.

Next post; Tennis tournament, food pics and how much fruit do you really need?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Burger time!

Step by step with pictures below.
1 pound of grass fed beef, 1 medium yellow onion, 3 cloves of garlic, one egg, fresh ground pepper, sea salt and one slice of asiago cheese.
Chop onion, garlic and the slice of cheese, then. Combine all the ingredients.

I usually make 3 patties out of a pound. Grilling tip; get your grill nice and hot, then turn down the front burners (if you have a charcoal grill, make sure you have an area for indirect heat)
Put on the burgers and close the lid. The Argentineans, who love their beef find it a cardinal sin if grease drips on the fire and flames up. Grass fed just grills better with in-direct heat, just my experience. I also had a chicken sausage left that I made. Good batch of left overs from this meal.

Don't over cook these bad boys, no hockey pucks here.

A nice salad with "raw ranch dressing" that I bought at the farmers market on Saturday.
And lastly, this is the look my pooch gives when he is patiently waiting for his taste of burger.
Coming up: what I ate this past weekend competing in another tennis tournament.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Real Food # 2

At Costco I bought a big tray of Coleman organic boneless chicken thighs.
Here's an easy and delicious marinade.
evoo, ketjap manis (sweet soy sauce), tamari, garlic or garlic powder and lemon juice.
Let it do it's thing for at least 6 hours. Delicious grilled, but you could put it under the broiler too.
Great for leftover meals.

So here was breakfast. I was very very hungry, possibly because I did the "Murph" last morning. Go take a look at Bee's wonderful blog for more on the "Murph". I added dips also.

Left over sliced chicken, radish and cucumber salad and strawberries.
Try this for the cucumber, radish salad.
Thin sliced radishes, diced cucumber and scallion. Next add a little dressing. Mix a tablespoon of tehina, clove of garlic, squeeze of lemon juice and a splash of evoo. Add a small handful of raw sunflower seeds.
I surprised myself with this one ;-)
Deliciously full of flavor and real food for you goodness.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Real Food

"Alice Waters, one of the major movers and shakers in the Real Food Revolution, actually got 15 minutes of prime time mainstream media coverage last night. On 60 Minutes."
Thanks to Foodrenegade's blog I was made aware of it and I was able to see the 60 minute piece .
Go take a look, I think you will enjoy it.

Real Food, it's seems so simple, yet many people still believe that it is just to much of a hassle, and that it takes to much time to prepare food.

Here's one of absolute favorite breakfast meals;

In some butter, saute onion, fry up 2 eggs, add some left over meat (diced) and when almost done a few sliced cherry tomatoes. Some fresh ground pepper and voila!
Now how hard is that I ask you?
Make it a great day.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


After my question last week, I wanted to give you some more thoughts about walking.

What's our most natural and oldest mode of transportation?
That's right. WALKING. We've been doing it forever, and guess what? Over the last 50 years, as a whole we really don't do it anymore. We walk from our car to work or to the grocery store, usually with the added stress of having driven around for 10 minutes trying to find the closest spot. I love how silly we truly are ;-)
Walking has numerous benefits. It relaxes the central nervous system, it "un-winds" our spine, and improves circulation to our extremities, just to name a few.
Now there are two ways of walking. You can take a leisurely stroll, or you can walk because you have to "get somewhere". The latter is in my opinion of prime importance to your well being.
So important that you should aim to walk at least one hour every day. I wish I could send you to some links of in depth studies to back up my little post here, but this comes purely from my own experiences and observations . So if you are not walking all ready, get outside and try it. I think you will be amazed what happens after just a few weeks of it.
Small rant;
You know what? This NOT real food.
It's a "franken food" (told you I love that word)
This little 3 ounce bag holds 3 servings. For a total calorie count of about 500. Would you believe it also has MSG in it?
It was handed out in a goodie bag at a golf tournament I went to, and at least three people made the comment to me; "hey Marc, you can have mine, this is the healthy shit you eat".
I politely declined, as I watched everyone scarf down muffins and pastries for the continental breakfast, I was happy that I all ready ate. What did I eat? Some left over strips of rib eye and a few grapes on the car ride there.

Friday, March 13, 2009

K2, not for everyone?

Yes for everyone, just maybe not in the form you see below.
Make sure you read all the posts on K2 at Richards's blog. It's important I believe. I'm missing a link for Stephan's Whole Health Source on the right, but will get it up there. Stephan has a very very insightful and super smart blog. I need to read it slowly (and often again) to really comprehend all that's being laid out.

So back to K2. "Natto" is a very interesting food. Fermented cheesy soy bean, might not appeal to everyone, but I enjoy eating it immensely. I have gotten weird looks from Japanese people when I eat it. Even a lot of native Japanese don't like it. It has a nutty and very complex flavor. I stopped eating it a for a while, but now I'm of the belief that it can be part of a primal diet. Fermentation is good! And, it makes me feel good when I eat it.
I forgot to take a picture of the package so you can see it, it comes in a little styrofoam package and has two tiny little satchels inside it. One is soy sauce and the other is yellow mustard. Toss both, they are of the "franken food" variety. Who came up with that word anyway? I like it.
Next take out the Natto and put in a bowl. Now you need to "wake it up", stir continuously until it develops a very sticky texture.

Once I got it to the required consistency, I added some scallion, and finely diced cucumber. Add a tiny splash of tamari sauce and a drop of mustard. Mix well and ENJOY. ;-)
I put it on some nori and made a nice hand roll out of it.
Not for everyone, but if you want to be adventurous, give it a try. You can find it in most Asian grocery stores, in the frozen section. Put it in the fridge to defrost.

Here's breakfast from the other morning. Poached some fresh salmon (heat water in a pan and add the salmon. Simple right?) and made salmon salad. Salmon, homemade mayo, capers and cucumber.
Side of watermelon.

This was a great office snack. Celery, almond butter and some fruit. I also ate two boiled eggs with it.

Have a great weekend everyone and try some Natto ;-)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dinner and walking

This is so easy and so delicious, you MUST try it.

I used a 7 oz. "Ultimate Grill Steak" from Lacense Beef. Side note. thanks to Jumpow (http://www.dadrewrite.blogspot.com/), in one of the comments pointed me to another resource for grass fed beef called, Lasater Grassland Beef (http://www.lgbeef.com/). It looks to be a lot more affordable and I will try it for my next order. When you have a chance check out Jumpow's blog, make sure you check out the birthday cake his wife got him.
So I sliced the meat into nice thin strips, then in a large skillet sauted some shallots in butter. Add the meat and cook (salt & pepper optional). Watch the heat, when meat is ready remove from the pan. Turn up the heat and add a splash of red wine to the pan. Let it de-glaze a bit and next add a tablespoon of heavy cream. Cook until the cream sauce starts to thicken. Spoon over the meat. Small side salad of cherry tomatoes, with an evoo and balsamic drizzle and a few cilantro leaves.

In line with our primal/paleo ways; I have a question for everyone. Do you walk everyday? And if so how much do you walk?

Make it a great day everyone!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A friend's paleo dish

Check this out;

I put a little bit of this dish on a plate to show you what my good friend surprised me with.
Marinated shrimp.
She entertains a good amount and serves this dish. She's gathering quite a fan base.
Knowing about my blog and they way I eat, she brought me some to try.
Cooked shrimp, olive oil, vinegar, red onion, capers, orange and a few spices. Let me tell you; this is one delicious little treat.
I'm going to be making this myself soon. My little twist will be that I will not cook the shrimp. So it will be a "ceviche". I don't think that would work for my friend. When you entertain the way she does (and she does it in grand style) you can't take the chance that your guests will eat and enjoy raw shrimp ;-)

Another one of my friends recently told me that my blog inspired him to start cooking more.
Instead of buying roasted turkey breast cold cuts, he bought a fresh turkey breast and roasted it himself. He said it was one of the tastiest sandwiches he had in a while. So even if you don't eat paleo/primal , eat whole, home made foods and you will be way ahead of the game.

Make good choices for yourself.........you deserve it!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Chicken Broth/Soup

There is no wrong way to make a chicken soup I believe, but my secret for a very tasty one includes lots and lots of garlic and onion and two strips of bacon to start the cooking process. (toss 2 strips of bacon in a large soup pan then add the garlic and onion) I also use 3 large turnips and a rutabaga.
Most of the time my chicken soup ingredients are predicated by what's left over in my fridge.
So this time no carrots, no celery, instead red cabbage and nappa cabbage and spinach.
2 chicken carcasses, still with a decent amount of meat on them.
Here are all the veggies.....

Add the chicken

Cover with water

Many different theories abound whether or not to let the soup come to a boil. I over the years have concluded not to let it boil. So this is what I do, turn up the temperature, monitor and when the liquid starts getting hot turn heat to low and cover. Now simmer for 8 hours.

Let is sit for a while to cool off and then refrigerate. Instead of skimming the fat, I use this trick I learned from my grandma. Position a colander on top of a large pot and line the colander with cheesecloth. Pour in the soup, squeeze the cheesecloth to get all the broth out of the veggies and chicken. Repeat until all soup is converted to rich broth. (I save all the veggies and chicken for my doggie to eat. About a week's worth of food)
The trick with the cheese cloth creates a delicious thick broth instead of a watery broth, because the cheese cloth lets through the fat, yet breaks it up.
It has a super taste.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Our paleo way

I'm sure most of you read the blog Free the Animal . But just in case, please read this post.
Here's a little snippet "If you are relying on the local paper, Newsweek, the local and national network news, or Oprah, for valid health and fitness information, you might as well just go read Mother Goose. It is that bad"
Very timely, my buddy SOG posts this.
Both posts really got me thinking about how weird most my friends and co-workers think I am.
I'm living proof of primal living and exercising and yet......
Tying into that, here follows a conversation at work when someone walked into my office as I was eating this
"Hey Marc, what you having for breakfast? Oh some eggs fried in lots of butter, left over sausage and avocado. "Oh, you decided to take a break from your healthy eating I see"
My immediate thought was to say, did you have special K with non fat milk for breakfast? My next thought was to tell her something about how fat is good for you. But none of it came out. My response was "ahhhh yeay" And that was it. It does no good anyway. So I went back to enjoying my yummy breakfast.
I've mentioned it before, but wanted to illustrate with some pictures.
Here's some La Cense Beef.
Look how deeply dark red the color is. It's frozen and is defrosting in my fridge. I will share another picture once defrosted so you can see it better. I get these particular steaks often as they are some of the more affordable cuts they offer. Instead of going out to dinner, treat yourself to some of this. It is absolutely fantastic.
I forgot to link last week, but Food Renegade was doing a La Cense give away.
Have a wonderful weekend everyone!
PS. Thanks to wonderful blogger software, the links to SOG, Free the animal, lacense and food renegade are broken. (you can see the posts of SOG and Free the animal)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Is Daikon on your grocery shopping list? Grab it next time if you are not familiar with it.
And did you know.....
Daikon also detoxifies smoked or grilled meat or fish. The amino acid cysteine in the radish traps formaldehyde in the meat or fish to form thioproline, which by itself is a carcinogenic chemical. The form of thioproline made with the amino acids in daikon radish, however, never enters the body because it is excreted in the urine. Japanese nutritionists have found that eating daikon (or other Japanese vegetables) with cod increases the elimination of cancer-causing thiroproline over 15-fold. Don't know about the science of that one, but it sounded real nice ;-)

Here's a super easy side dish for you to try. Slice the daikon very thin and then cut in half so that you have half slices. Put in a bowl. Drown in evoo and enjoy. (you can drizzle the evoo, I tend to drown it)
The fresh crispy taste combines wonderfully with the evoo. Far east meats Mediterranean.

Here is a side salad from dinner the other day. Romaine,spinach, daikon, and some left over steak.
Coming soon. A week long menu outline.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Staying on the paleo/primal track

Talk about staying on track; get over to SON OF GROK right away and check out how staying on track has dramatically improved his life. His ENTIRE life.

Next check out BEE Lifestyle. Bee has made some changes over the last months and has been sharing some awesome and well written posts. She's a tough one!

I promised I would share some tips on staying on track when you're eating in restaurants.
So here goes;

1. You know best which ones are easier to make "good choices" at. So try and be the decision maker on where you are going out to eat.

2. Don't arrive famished. This seems so obvious, but yet we all have been there. Try this; before you leave to go to the restaurant drink a large glass of water. And have some more when you get there.

3. Tell your server to NOT bring the bread basket. Do this upon sitting down. the longer you wait, the harder it will be, to utter that simple sentence

4. Choose a grilled protein as your choice and ask for double veggies. Or just get your choice of protein over a salad.

5. Lastly look around. see what everyone else is eating, and pride yourself on the fact that you have decided to live your life a different way. Honor your choices.

Pretty simple I know, but sometimes reading it will help you remember, so I hope it does ;-)

So here was my choice for lunch today. Sorry again for the crappy pic (cell phone), I won't make it a habit. Grilled salmon over a salad. I doused it with lots of evoo.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

A different cut of meat, "Top Blade"

I love trying different cuts of meat.

Here's one that I made last night.

A much under-appreciated "cut" so the price is right.

I quote; "Top blade is also known as Flatiron steak, probably because the untrimmed cut has a triangular shape, reminiscent of the solid irons once used to press clothing. Top blade steak is cut from the chuck, a heavily exercised part of the beef animal. Less tender than the premium steaks, top blade steak is still the best of the chucks. The great advantage of top blade and the other chuck steaks is their combination of good flavor and economical price. "

So how do you get past the "less tender" part?

Simple, pound it out and cook it quick on high heat with fat.

I took a few pieces of Top Blade, cut it in half and cut out the middle sinew. Then pounded it nice and flat. About 1/5 of an inch thick.

Next I made some Garlic Butter. Just mince some garlic and add to butter. Mix well.

Make sure the meat is room temperature. Next, like buttering toast, butter the meat.

Get your grill nice and hot (cast iron skillet works wonderful too) and lay the meat ,butter side up on your grill. Let the meat cook for about 2 minutes, long enough so that you see the pink somewhat disappearing on the buttered side. Now flip once for about 30 seconds. And you're done. This way, the meat is tender and takes on a great grilled flavor. Obviously the garlic butter is there to really make it absolutely mouthwatering. Sorry about the pic, I tried to go for the close up, but didn't come out great.