Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Butter, Breakfast and Fitness Update

I don't do a lot of product reviews, but sometimes I discover something I haven't tried before and it would only be right to share ;-)

By now you all know that I LOVE butter, well this one caught my eye the other day.
Cultured butter from the Vermont Cheese company.
Growing up in Europe I've had my share of good quality butter, and I still seek it out today. Well let me tell you that this butter is truly truly the BEST I've had in a very very long time.




I sauteed some mushrooms and asparagus the other day, and it tasted decadent, thanks to this wonderful little product. Give it a try some time and let me know what you think.

Breakfast;


The other day I slow grilled some grass fed ground beef. In a large non-metallic bowl, mix the beef with plenty of garlic, cilantro,onion, smoked paprika and a dash of cumin.

Great for quick meals or to toss with salads. Just add 2 strawberries and you've got a nice little morning snack.
Pictures are not so great, as I took them with my video camera.

Fitness Update
Andy asked me in a comment how my training is coming along. Do you all read Andy's blog? His wife makes him some yummy meals for sure. Take a look if you have a minute.
Well my 5k is around the corner, Oct. 8th. I'm still not completely happy with my 3rd mile, but patience is a virtue right? Key for me will be not getting caught up in the excitement come race day, and blast of the line with the real runners and end up running a 6:50 first mile. If I do that, I will close with a 10 minute third mile ;-) and I don't want that. My Nike Free's are holding up well, and I'm not suffering from any pains, aches or soreness, why I just wrote that is beyond me ;-)

Bar-Barron
For an explanation on this one, read the post.
Man did I set a lofty goal here! This is one tough SOB challenge.
The good news....I'm slowly making progress! I've managed to STRUGGLE my way to 2 muscle ups. The second one is REAL ugly, includes some swearing usually and a grimace or two ;-)
But, I get up.

The 40 dips are now a regular occurrence. I'm convinced that the weighted dips got me there. Dips with 50 pounds for 4-8 reps x 4-6 sets.

Same goes for the pull ups, but something is interesting there. I really get stuck around 17-18. I'm practicing for quickness with sets of 2, I'm practicing with weighted pull-ups, but I can't seem to bust through the 18 in a row mark. Any advice guys and gals?

The 50 push ups are not bad anymore. I've been loving pushups lately. I do all sorts of them and I'm convinced that this is truly one of the best exercises ever thought of. If you can do 30 quality controlled push-ups, start switching it up. Elevate those legs, switch height of your arm positions etc etc. The possibilities are endless. One of my favorites (go ahead make fun of me for using a Bosu) is using a large stability ball and a bosu ball, put your toes on the stability ball and hands on the wobbly bosu. Now put one leg up in the air, balance.....do 10 push ups, switch legs and do 10 more. That's one set. Do 3-5 sets.

Ok, that's it for now, move your body today, don't give in to those non paleo cravings and.....SMILE.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Video and Crock Pot Beef Shank




Here is a little video for your enjoyment.
The sound of the engine is somewhat loud, I will keep that in mind for next time.

Try this for simple and delicious.

Feel Good Eating Beef Shank Crock Pot Recipe

In the crock pot mix about 3-4 cut up garlic cloves and a sliced small onion. Add to this about 1/2 cup of beef broth. Mix in 2 tbspoons of dijon mustard. Mix together.
Next in a skillet with butter, sear and brown your beef shank. Put it in your crock pot and let it do it's thing for 6 hours or so. The marrow will drain into the broth and make for one outrages sauce/soup.
Let me know how it comes out.

I tend to eat meals like this on their own. Just meat,fat and soup. Filling and so satisfying. Glass of Pinot Noir or Malbec does add to the tasty factor.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

KISS

Just let me know if you've heard it enough, but it really is so simple to eat the right way. Now throw in some sensible and regular exercise and watch what happens.

Chris from Conditioning Research wrote a fantastic post on it. Yours truly even got some nice link love :-) But the point is really that you don't have to get all crazy worried about what modality brings the best results. Keep it simple and keep at it. Eat real food, do a whole bunch of pushups, go sprinting, and you are 95% there.

How simple is this? Some fried eggs, a few strips of bacon and spinach.

FEEL GOOD LIVING

And the same is really true for Feel Good Living. Keep it simple. Be a good person, treat EVERYONE with respect, be kind and loving and take care of your family.

Last night I watched an Andrew Zimmern episode where he spends time with the Kalahari in Botswana. Many primal/paleo blogs have posted on the Kalahari as they are one of the last true Hunter/Gatherer tribes. They are a wonderful people and I highly recommend you watch the episode. What really moved me was at the end of the show, Andrew asked the head shaman how to live a good life. He told him to "respect everyone, be nice, love your parents and you will have an easy life". Simple stuff right??

FEEL GOOD EATING

Forgot to take a picture, but try this one for simple. Feel Good Eating Crock pot Chicken.

1 whole chicken

1 large lime

4-6 cloves of garlic

1 yellow onion

1 sprig of fresh rosemary

2 sprigs of fresh oregano

1/4 cup evoo

1/4 cup white wine

1 tblsp garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, sea salt and pepper

Wash the chicken and pat dry. Cut up the lime in 4 pieces and stuff inside the chicken. Chop garlic, onion and herbs. Pour 1/4 cup of evoo and 1/4 cup of white wine in the crock pot. Add the garlic, onion and herbs and combine. Put the chicken on top and put the lid on the crock pot. Set to low and let it cook for 6 hours. (If you can, after 3 hours turn the chicken over, but you don't have to). Total prep time is really only 10 minutes, and I promise you, that you will be blown away by the flavor of this dish. Fresh herbs are crucial for this one. Do you grow your own herbs? I grow basil, oregano, rosemary, cilantro, mint and some small peppers. It's easy to do, and these herbs are very forgiving. If I can do it, you can do it ;-)

Off to the gym for some simple exercises and sprints. Have a great day and play nice ;-)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Strength Barometer?

I recently got a complimentary membership to a brand new gym here in town. It's an extremely large facility, built from the ground up by Life Style Family Fitness. I think it's 32,000 sqft.
It's a very popular gym, attracting many people of varied ages and fitness levels.

It has been a few years since I worked out last, in one of these testosterone filled, mirror lined, machine laden workout centers. ;-)

I wanted to share some observations and thoughts;

1. Not much has changed over the last 3 years. Eventhough there is a plethora of information on strength training available, it seems most people are still going through the same motions and doing the same things they did 3 years ago. Case in point, I recognized 2 guys that worked out in the gym where I did 3 years ago, and their bodies looked pretty much the same as when I saw them last, albeit a tad heavier in the midsection.

2. Why do people bring a GALLON of water (or lemonade/special drink) to them gym? They proudly carry the gallon container from station to station.

3. Why do I see NO-ONE doing pull-ups or push-ups?

4. Why do most of the guys walk around with an angry scowl?

What's your gym like?

I was in and out of the gym in about 25-30 minutes.
Here was my routine for those interested.

4 minutes jump rope warm up.
5 sets of 5 L-pull-ups and, one leg stability ball push ups on a bosu ball (one foot/toe on the stability ball, 5 each side) and 10 lunges with 35 pound dumbbells

5 sets of seated shoulder presses (55 #'s), 10 bulgarian split squats, 15 box jumps.

About 3-4 minutes of planks (straight and both sides)

As I never stopped moving I got some funny looks, I did catch 2 guys watching me do the L-pull ups. I don't know if they were intrigued or were making fun of me ;-)
The same 2 guys performed numerous sets of chest presses.....no joke.....I think they completed 3 different exercises in the time I was in and out. They were there before I got there, and my guess is, long after I was gone.

So that got me thinking about a post a I read a while back from Steve Maxwell.
Take a look and see how you stack up. I think that 99% of the "muscle-men" I saw in the gym yesterday morning could not do any of these exercises. Do you think Steve's exercises are a good "Strength Barometer"

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

India,France and Music

Some grilled chicken Tikka. Well, the Feel Good Eating version anywho.

I'm not going to share the recipe of this one, as one day you can come eat it in my little restaurant. But try and mix some different spices and some lime juice, marinate for a day or so and then grill these little chicken thighs. One small trick, (and this will work with any chicken you might be grilling) when close to done, top with a little ghee, let it melt and flip over and apply again. It adds a wonderful buttery flavor. Grill and butter do I need to say anything else?

Here's something else for you to try when your short on time.


Don't really know what to call it, but an impromptu French stew.

In some butter I sauteed garlic and onion. Then added 8 ounces of cubed grass fed top round steak. Browned it a bit and then added some tomato sauce, small sliced garnet yam, splash of red wine and heavy cream. Just let it simmer for 30-45 minutes. I make this right when I come home from work. Then when it's simmering, I can straighten up a little, check the mail, let the dog out and listen to some music. Last night that was a little Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds

"Not tragic to die doing what you love. You want the ultimate thrill, you gotta be willing to pay the ultimate price. " Bodhi in Point Break, starring Patrick Swayze.



Monday, September 14, 2009

FAT

I know I've said it before, FAT is crucial.
After reading a post from Jeff Erno that made me think, I realised something.

His post asks the question why Paleo is not working for some people.
In my opinion FAT is an integral part of the equation. Not just on a physiological level, but on a very important psychological level.

You see many people who try to eat Paleo/Primal/EF, can't seem to sustain it long term.
I believe it's because they do not eat enough fat. Fat is the one ingredient that can give you that nice satiated feeling. The same feeling you have gotten used to over the years after eating a big sandwich or large bowl of pasta. When you don't experience that feeling after a week or so, you really start missing it and you WILL fall off the wagon. The way NOT to miss it, is to eat FAT. Now to eat fat, you MUST give the "collective consciousness" the slip, and a lot of people just can't seem to do just that. It seems to ingrained that FAT is BAD for you.

If you have been having a difficult time staying on track, try eating more fat and see if it helps you.
So here's something that might aid in the effort.
A special kind of PESTO.
Easy to put together, but you do need about 20 minutes. So put on some of your favorite tunes and go to work.
1 cup of evoo, 3 cloves of garlic, 1/2 cup parsley, red pepper flakes, green olives 1/4 cup, 1/2 cup of hazelnuts (filberts), salt and pepper to taste.

Put the hazelnuts in the oven on a cookie sheet or some tin foil for easy cleanup. 350 for about 10-15 minutes. The skins will start to blister. Take them out of the oven and put the on a kitchen towel. With the help of the towel, rub them together and remove their skin.
Let them cool a bit and toss them in a food processor. Add the red pepper, the parsley and pulse. Next add the garlic and olives. Pulse until everything is nicely chopped up, but not so long that it turns into a thick paste. Remove from the food processor and put in a large bowl. Slowly stir in the evoo. Salt and pepper to taste. This will keep in the fridge for 3 days.


Trust me when I tell you that this little innovative pesto (not a real pesto as it has no cheese) will transform a simple grilled piece of chicken,fish,steak or pork.

GOOD NEWS, I did my first muscle up!!! I'm getting closer to race date for my 5K and I'm managing to run 3, 7:40 miles. I have about 3 weeks left and I'm really looking forward to it. For those interested, if I run the first and second mile to fast (7:30 and 7:20) then the 3rd mile is a struggle to bring down under 8 min. I really can't believe 10-20 seconds make such a big difference, but hey I'm a newbie and learning the way I have all my life. Trial and error, screw ups and fixes ;-)

Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Video....sort of

It's not your typical cooking video.....but hey it's a start. ;-)

video

(Obviously I forgot to mention one of the ingredients, a nice big handful of fresh Cilantro)
It took me about 90 minutes to grill the meat only turning it once. Kind of like "set it and forget it" lol. Seriously though, I grill this on indirect heat on an open grill. With some wood charcoal and wood I make a nice "center" fire. then I just position all the meat around that circle of fire. Non of the meat is directly over it. Now it can slow cook and all the smoke flavor can get in the meat. If you're going to try recipe, make A LOT. It's so versatile to have around for a few days. Slice it nice and thin and you can use it to toss over a quick salad, saute it up with some veggies or just as a little meat jerky snack.

It goes great with some guacamole;
Slice it nice and thin

If you have kids, give them extra hugs and kisses today.......why? Because you can never do it enough.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

IF , it does a body good

In my line of work, dining with customers is part of the program. Last night was one of those dining experiences. Whenever I have to eat one of these larger meals, I make my day simple and use it as a fast. After a 24 hour fast, a meal like that is really tasty ;-)



BUT......buyer beware, after 24 hours of not eating (and a workout and tennis mind you) you MUST go in with a plan, or you will "undo" all the benefits of the fast.



Thanks to where I work, I have a top notch steak house at my disposal for client entertainment. Now a steakhouse is probably one of the easiest restaurants to eat in and keep your self in line.


The table is set;
It's called the "Wine Room" for a reason




I didn't snap a picture of the appetizers, but this is what I ate; 2 oysters, 1 large cold shrimp, 1 large grilled shrimp stuffed with basil and wrapped with bacon and some BBQ sauce. Tomato salad with mozzarella. One Large steak, grilled asparagus and some creamed spinach. 2 glasses of a very nice Californian Cabernet.

Even though I ate a lot of food (I did not finish the steak, 22 ounces is too much for me), I didn't feel bloated or full. I left the bread basket alone, I did not eat the lobster mashed potato, nor did I have the crab macaroni and cheese, the twice baked potato or the hash browns. Desserts were for the rest of the table. And honestly, I really don't crave those foods anymore. I did crave my steak since about 3pm ;-)

Does this look good or what?


How do you fare after a fast?

And like I've told all of you, you're more then welcome to come visit lovely Naples, I'll show you some secret beach spots....., join your for beach sprints or a workout and might even treat you to a steak ;-)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Movement updates and some Fish eggs

Just a quick post to let you know about my progress trying to become a Bar-Barron and training for my 5K.



Thanks to Bryce (who has a wonderful blog and is a frequent commenter on Keith's blog) I've been trying to get the feeling of "weightless-ness" when doing a pull up. I'm trying to do a very quick pull up. No kipping.....just using my back muscles in the most efficient way. I'm using a backpack with and extra 25 pounds in there and doing mini sets of 2 to 3 very fast ones.
It's working so far as I notice it's getting easier. This in an effort to learn the "muscle up"
My last stats as follows:
Dips 36 and 4
Pull ups- 17 and 3
Push ups 22, YES! When I first started I could not bust out more then 5 after the dips and pull ups.
Muscle Ups 0



5k Training.
First off let me say that I'm really enjoying it. I'm coming in with an average pace of about 7:30.
Besides from regular sprinting, I have not "run" in a long time. 1st mile is usually in the 7:30 range, second one faster at 7:05 and then the last one around 8 minutes or a tad below. A little more then 4 weeks before race day. Since I shared with you all that I love my music, I do run with my ipod shuffle and it's amazing that when a good song comes on that it puts an extra "bounce" in your step. This weekend I will do a barefoot 1.5 mile beach run. I would like to run the 5K in under 23 minutes.

You will have to settle for a phone picture, but wanted to show you how my local sushi restaurant serves me Ikura/salmon roe sashimi style. I think I'm the only person in there that orders it sashimi style, when I first asked they were not sure how to serve it, but one of the guys figured out to put it in nice little cucumber "bowls". This is one delicious lunch and the salmon fish eggs are a great source of K2.




Feel Good Living thought of the day;

Pay attention......everything is connected. So try not to get to upset with people, we are all here to learn.....from one another.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Breakfast Music

video

Sorry for the lousy quality. When I post cooking video's I will use a proper camcorder.

When you cook, do you listen to music?

I do ;-) So this morning when I made my little to go cooler for the day, I decided to put my breakfast on a plate and let you all listen in on a little Van Morrison.

I LOVE music. How about you? Is music a big part of your life?

Next time you are in the kitchen put on some of your favorite tunes.

Breakfast was some melon, blueberries and grilled chicken thighs. Try this marinade some time; 1 pound of chicken thighs, evoo, lemon juice, white wine, fresh garlic, fresh oregano, fresh rosemary, sea salt and a dash of chili powder or pepper. Grill and enjoy.