Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Day in the life of Feel Good Eating

I hope all of you made it through thanks giving without too much family irritation and that you didn't completely abandon your primal eating ways. I stuck to a bowl of butternut squash soup, turkey and a small helping of sweet potatoes with chives. I did have way too much wine ;-) But the selection that was available was so good, I just couldn't help myself sample more then I should. It was the only meal of the day. I had a real nice workout in the morning. It's not often that I can make myself a little playlist for my ipod before I go. and that I can go to the gym leisurely at 10 am. So a heavy workout, followed by rest (read naps on the couch), followed by a good meal. I had a wonderful Thanksgiving,

The pictures for this post are a day in the life of Feel Good Eating.
Above is one of my favorite "break-fasts". Probably my favorite way to eat Fage yogurt. A Feel Good Eating version of tzatziki. Full fat fage yogurt, 1 small clove of finely chopped garlic, one scallion, tomato, cilantro, sea salt, fresh ground pepper and a drizzle of evoo. Normally this dish also has some shredded cucumber, but I didn't have any. Half a small avocado. 2 stalks of celery provide the nice crunch for scooping up the yogurt. Ate this around 1 pm.
Later in the day I prepped up braised beef short ribs. Beef short ribs is one of the cheapest grass fed cuts you can get your hands on. It's delicious braised or grilled, the one needed ingredient is time.
Ok, here we go and see the pictures below. Salt and pepper the ribs and brown them well. (I used butter)

Once browned remove them from your pan and set aside (above). Now add garlic to your hot pan. Next add your onion and stir well. Next add carrots and celery. Saute this mixture for a while. Now add red wine. mix well. Let this mixture reduce some. Add your ribs back in there and add beef stock. Bring to a boil, turn to low and simmer for 2-3 hours. You know its ready when the meat is as soft as "butter". YUM.

Here's some additional goodness. Strain the veggies and set the broth aside.
In a small pan, reduce the broth a bit. Toss the strained veggies in the food processor. Add some of the broth and a splash of heavy cream and puree. Normally there is flour in this recipe and potato. It makes the dish heavier, but the way I make it, it stays "light" and then the sauce compliments it well.

A little more work then normal, but it's so good!
Enjoy the weekend!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sauces of a Different Kind

I love sauces. Especially cream sauces. Richard at Free the Animal has some great recipes and directions on how to make some very nice sauces.
I keep mine pretty easy. Just add some heavy cream and at times a splash of wine and suddenly your ground lamb or beef tastes magical.
No did I mention I love sauces? Here's something that might surprise you to be labeled as sauce, but give it a try. I think you will be amazed and you will have tried something new. You will also have a new platform to work off, that you can make your own. The possibilities are endless.
What is this you ask?

Grilled veggie sauce with tehina over a burger.
Grab your trusted cast iron skillet or grill. Take some zucchini, tomato, onion and garlic. I also added a dried pepper. Toss all of it with a drizzle of evoo,sea salt and fresh ground pepper. When done grilling transfer to your foodprocessor and add 1 large tablespoon of tehina. The 1 tbsp. is in relation to the amount of veggies you see. If you make more veggies you will probably need to add some tehina. But give it the taste test as you make it. Like my grandma used to tell me in the kitchen "you can always add more, but you can't take away". With the grill pan still hot I put in a small patty of grass fed ground beef with a little diced red onion mixed in. I could have had 4 plates full. This is one tasty little dinner.
Want more traditional?
Here a simple lunch from the other day.
In butter, saute some onion and mushroom. Add ground lamb. Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. When close to desired doneness, add a generous splash of heavy cream. Stir and let thicken. Enjoy. Celery and scallion for crunch, tomato and 2 slices of salami.

Do you have a non-traditional sauce you can share? Or any sauce for that matter ;-)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Product Review UPDATE

Remember my excitement about the tasty Eden Foods Sauerkraut?
Well thanks to my good on line friend Anna, I fired a quick email to the company for some information.
You see Anna had left me a comment that (as always) got me thinking. Anna has a knack of doing that. Thank you Anna.
I wanted to find out if their sauerkraut was raw.
If you've never sent an email to a company inquiring about their product, give it a try sometime. You usually get a response within a few hours and most companies are genuinly happy you contacted them.
Below the correspondence with Eden Foods:

Dear Marc,
Thank you for contacting Eden Foods and your interest in Eden products.
The Eden Organic Sauerkraut is a pasteurized product so yes there is heat applied. If you should have any further questions, please contact Customer Service.
Sandra K. Baker
Sales Administrator
Eden Foods, Inc.
701 Tecumseh Rd.
Clinton, MI 49236
PH: (517) 456-7424
Fax: (517) 456-7205

On Nov 12, 2009, at 5:29 PM, Marc Van Dam wrote:

Thank you for all your great products.
I recently bought some of your Sauerkraut.
I was really pleased with it. I was curious if the product is “raw”. Or is it cooked in any way?
Thank you in advance.


No where on the jar does it say pasteurized. Buyer beware as always folks.
So much to my dissapointment, the sauerkraut is after all pasturized ;-(
Which of course destroys the good stuff. Back to making my own at home.

Chicken thighs and Vibram Five Finger Toes

They only had skinless thighs at my market so this is what I did.
Salt and pepper the thighs, cut up fresh ginger and garlic, toasted sesame oil and splash of maple syrup. The maples syrup creates a nice crispy crust. Marinate for a few hours.

Wood charcoal on the grill. Direct heat for about 6 minutes turning the thighs a few times. Then move them to the perimeter of your grill, indirect heat, close the lid and let cook a little bit more.
Topped off with fresh cilantro. They tasted very very good.

Vibram Five Fingers;
My toes are spreading. I've written before that over time my feet have changed shape from wearing the VFF. The most noticeable part is the space in between my toes. Anybody have the same observation?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Passionate Fitness

Passionate Fitness Guest Post.
For all of you that might not be aware of this site, Mr. Rafi Bar-Lev has put together a wealth of information on living well. You will also find there, great articles written by Mark Sisson and Richard Nikoley.

Rafi was a brave and courages army medic in the Israeli army. As you can imagine he knows a thing or two about injuries. He's always straight forward and available, so if you have questions for him, send him an email. You can also register on his site.

How to Get the Most Enjoyment Out of Healthy Living.

There's no argument that eating healthily and exercising is the healthiest way to live, so why doesn't everyone do it?

Well, firstly, sometimes it can be difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and secondly, a lot of people don't find eating healthily and exercising enjoyable. In the spirit of finally plugging all the holes when it comes to reasons not to live healthily, here are 5 tips on how to make living healthily a more enjoyable experience:

1. Find a Physical Activity You Enjoy: Weight lifting and sprint intervals are well and good, but not everyone enjoys doing them. Instead of going to the gym and working out on the machines, find an activity that you enjoy, like rafting, martial arts, swimming, or even dancing and go into it at full force. You will be surprised to find that even people who generally consider themselves "indoor people" can really fall in love with a great sport. Not only that, once you get really into it, you'll be hitting the gym anyway to improve endurance and strength for doing what you enjoy.

2. Find Good Healthy Recipes. Sites like Marc's Feel Good Eating are great because they show you great, easy to make healthy recipes that show that it's completely possible to eat great food without eating unhealthily.

3. Don't Stress Out About It. If you eat an unhealthy meal, or miss a workout, don't stress out about it. In fact, as long as you're messing up, you might as well enjoy it. The important thing is to just not worry about it and can't back into your rhythm after the relapse.

4. Workout With a Friend. While some people like to do things alone, many of us enjoy doing activities with a buddy. Working out with a friend is a great incentive to make sure you keep going to the gym, compare your progress, and have a good time.

5. Think Positive. As long as you keep thinking positively about eating and living healthily, you'll be better motivated to keep it up and enjoy every second.

Have a great day everyone and thank you again Rafi for this guest post.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Just Copy and Improve

My martial arts teacher used to say; "you need to make the technique yours. Learn the principle, crack the code, ditch the technique and make it yours." You can only do this by consistent correct (key word, correct) practice. So same really goes for eating right and exercising. There are some very basic principles for both. The "technique" if you will. So practice those basics correctly consistently, and you'll reach a point where you can leave it all behind and make it your own. And you can even improve on it, you'll have to actually because it's yours now. ;-)

Chris at Conditioning Research has great recent posts about keeping it simple. Check it out.
I won't bore you with my work out routine this morning, so here's some food to try.

The players; shrimp,garlic,onion,asparagus,tomato,lime,cilantro,coconut oil and cream.

In a wok or skillet saute the garlic and onion in the coconut oil. Next, toss in the cut-up asparagus. At this point I added some cayenne pepper and sea salt. Now add the shrimp and toss well. Squeeze the lime wedge over it. Add the tomatoes. Stir.......dice up your cilantro and add. Toss well......add splash of cream in the middle (reduce it down a bit....when it bubbles it's ready) toss well and serve. The shrimp don't need long in a hot pan, so don't overcook them. This was one great breakfast.

Simple, fresh and easy ingredients. Make the dish yours, add whatever you like. You can give this so many different spins with spices and flavors. "make the technique yours"!!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Product Review

You know the drill, but I'll say it again, no compensation here ;-)
Although it would be nice. I think Bryce's comment yesterday sums it up pretty good. We could help companies and their marketing efforts. Justin O, if you're reading , any chance of hooking up with Bryce and giving it a shot? To everyone not familiar with one of Justin's amazing sites, check it out.

Found this over the weekend;

Was surprised how affordable this was. About $4.50 for 2 pounds. Just cabbage,water and salt.

I don't always have the time to make my own, so this is a super alternative. Sauerkraut falls in the category of "sense of well being" foods. Your body likes fermented food.

VFF's comment yesterday; I was in the gym, jumping rope in between sets, and this guy comes walking over and tells me he likes my "shoes", BUT, I going to hurt myself jumping rope without some support. I actually had a pretty good quick comeback. I asked if had ever seen the Masai jump up and down for hours. I told him i was pretty sure they don't wear the latest Nike's with 2 inches of shocks on the heel. He nodded his head and said, "hmmmm, that's right, never thought about that". I have a feeling there are some more talks to come with this guy, he seemed open minded and was friendly.

Do you use a jump rope?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Meat and Running

I know it goes against the "grain" of conventional wisdom and a lot of folks give me slack for it, but I eat a lot of meat. It's tough bucking everyone's opinion and input, my advice; don't argue it

"I can't give you a sure fire formula for success, but I can give you a formula for failure: try to please everybody all the time" H. Swope

I have found my stride!!!!!!!!!

Yesterday I went for a run in my Vibram Five Fingers in the morning. After a few minutes of running, I realized I have found my stride! There was no effort, no struggle, no thinking how much longer, just a light feeling of pure happiness. I credit this feeling to my VFF's. Since I started running in them, everything thing has changed. My stride, my posture, foot position and breathing. I don't run far, about 5k most of the time (or less). But I just can't get over how much fun I'm having.
Talking about the VFF's, I was at a farmers market early Saturday morning with my oldest daughter, and I got tapped on the shoulder. With a big smile this gentlemen told me that "those are the coolest shoes I've ever seen!! Where did you get them?" I told him and then smiled wide at my daughter ;-)
It is a better reaction then I get normally.......most of the time people look at me and mouth "what the F#$@ is that???" Some people at work call me "monkey boy or gorilla feet".

Do you get looks when wearing your VFF's? Any name calling? ;-)

Have a great week everyone, remember that you can't please everyone and smile a lot!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Few Things

Had a great lunch yesterday with a fellow primal/paleo/ef enthusiast. Here in town from the UK to compete in the Iron Man world championship in St. Petersburg Florida.
We talked a good while and enjoyed a nice big salad with some locally caught grilled grouper.
I had to smile when a patron next to us, got up to leave from his table and said "guess you guys won't be ordering any fried food today". I can only imagine what most people think when listening in on these types of conversations. "UK Iron man" is here for a few days to acclimatize himself to the heat prior to the race. If I have the time, we will meet up again over a pint.

OK, this marinade is so simple and yet so "mind blowingly" good, you owe it to yourself to make it.

The only thing missing from the above picture is garlic.
Go get yourself some grassfed flank/skirt steak (about 1.5 pounds). Cut a cross pattern in the steak. Chop up around 4-5 cloves of garlic. Add some toasted sesame oil, dark rum and juice of a fresh lemon. Marinate over night and toss on the grill. If you have never tired this combo, please let me know what you think.

Dinner last night was pretty decadent if I do say so myself. Lifted this recipe from Jamie Oliver.
Chicken kebabs. Mix together fresh cilantro, mint, garlic, evoo and lemon juice. Cut some zucchini ribbons. Cut up chicken thighs. Mix the zucchini and chicken in with the "sauce". Thread the chicken and zucchini ribbons. Put it under the broiler. About 5 minutes each side. Keep an eye on it.....all broilers are not equal.
Try putting a scoop of fage yogurt on your plate with this. Compliments the dish very very well. Not a huge dinner, but paired with a nice glass of wine, satisfying and full of flavor.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Primal/PaleoEF Meet Up

I've said it before, and I will say it again, I love love love the way our Primal/Paleo/EF community has grown (I started fall of 2006). We all continue to learn from each other and people meet up all over the country and the world, having formed respectful on line friendships.

Early last week I received on email from a reader in the UK. He told me he will be in Naples for a few days before competing in

This event will be held in St. Petersburg, Florida about 2.5 hours north of Naples. We will go for a nice Primal/Paleo/EF lunch and share some ideas. Pictures and follow up post to follow.

"Here is the rule to remember in the future, When anything tempts you to be bitter: not, "This is a misfortune" but "To bear this worthily is good fortune." Marcus Aurelius