Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Thank you and Barefoot Running

I wan't to say THANK YOU again to all of you that took the time to share your thoughts with me in regards to the "HELP" post. Thanks to all of you, I am starting to formulate a plan of action. There were some specific comments that really helped me see through some things and provided me with a different outlook.
More to follow on all of that.

Next; Bare foot running.
Matt Metzgar who's blog I have been reading for years, continues to provide insight, fresh ideas and up to date information. I really appreciate the fact that Matt will question and or take a step further some of the findings and studies. He has a tremendous e-book called Stone Age Power and if you have never read his free e-book, you're missing out.
Keep in mind that the e-book was written in 2002, so some of the information contained there in, probably does not jive completely with what Matt knows today.

Matt has recently posted about barefoot running and his own experiences with it. He made me aware just late last week, about a new book called Barefoot Running. The author is on a tour across the country, teaching people how to rediscover the joy of running, and promoting his book. Last week I happened to check the authors website and low and behold, they were going to be in Naples on Saturday. With out Matt, I would have totally missed the opportunity as there was not a lot of promotion about it locally. Hosted by a local running store, the talk was at 1pm. Kind of neat when you think about it...a running store hosting a talk for a guy promoting the fact that you don't need shoes. Anywho, I went to the talk and enjoyed listening to Michael Sandler,his fiancee and co-author Jessica Lee. Michael has a wonderful story to tell. He got very hurt in a somewhat freak accident years ago, and ended up with a titanium femur and hip. (there are more body parts missing, but I don't want to ruin his book or one of his talks for you, in case you get to go). After he was told he would never run again, he tried to, but it resulted in more and more injuries. Through information from the same Harvard MD, that the author of Born To Run refers to in his book, Michael tried Barefoot Running. I have not read the book yet, and I didn't get a chance to buy it on Saturday as I had to duck out a bit early because I didn't want to miss the World Cup game between the US and Ghana.
The story doesn't end there....

Yesterday I was at my office and I took a quick walk around the perimeter of my hotel. There I notice the Barefoot running trailer. I think to myself, "cool, they must be staying here". Just as I had that thought...Michael comes walking out of one of the side doors of the hotel to walk his dog.
Isn't life beautiful ;-)

I introduced myself and thanked him for the talk on Saturday. We met up again inside and I was able to assist Michael with some information he was curious about. I in return got some alone time with him and was able to ask him a few pointers and questions.
When I came into my office this morning, there was a Barefoot Running book on my desk with a card and a really nice inscription. It reads as follows: To Marc,  Keep being a pioneer in your five fingers. The world may catch on, but down here, you'll always be the first. Teach those kids well, run light, run free and have fun!"
It's so nice to meet REAL people with warm and caring hearts. Both Michael and Jessica were an absolute pleasure to be around and they live what they teach. If Barefoot Running comes to your neck of the woods...don't miss the opportunity to spend some time with them.

  http://www.runbare.com/ or http://www.barefootrunningbook.com/ (the book is being praised as THE handbook for barefoot running, by the likes of barefoot Ted and Danny Dreyer author of ChiRunning)

And yes, of course I took my shoes off for the picture ;-)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


So I have an idea...
And I'm looking for your ideas, suggestions and expertise.

CrossFit has come town and is blowing up. The little gym (a bit more fancy then the traditional box set up) almost maxed out on members, has just leased two new spaces in the plaza where they are located and are expanding their facility. Eventhough the membership price tag is quite high, they are selling memberships like hot cakes. CrossFit has adopted the paleo/primal diet (don't like that word, but using it for point of reference) as their diet of choice. I think...correct me if I'm wrong, it evolved from the "Zone diet", which I'm sure many found to complicated and restrictive.

So here's my idea, with commercial real estate at an all time low here, I'm thinking of opening a tiny space in the same plaza and opening my little "Paleo Grill".
Restaurants (food ventures) are notoriously bad investments, but....there are some that make it right?
So what do you think? I would serve simply grilled meats, seafood and poultry of all kinds and creative veggie side dishes.
Remember, I don't live in a big city. Foot traffic is non existent, so that eliminates a lot of business. The aim would be to create a "hub" or a "cafe" feel for the little community here that eats paleo/primal. Could a smaller community sustain such a business? I have always believed that if you do what you love, the money will follow. This is NOT about the money for me, but doing something you love to do. However, the financial reality is that I don't want to end up being a Walmart greeter at age 70 just to make ends meet together with my tiny social security check.
So what do you think? I appreciate any and all comments.

I would serve this type of meal for sure; marinated grass fed sirloin steak with side of guacamole.

Grass fed sirloin steak thinly sliced and marinated in the following;  fresh garlic,onion,ginger, lime juice, toasted sesame oil and a tiny bit of jalapeno and sea salt.

This batch was made in the cast iron skillet
It cooks nice and quick as the lime juice has taken care of some of the cooking process while it was marinating.

Top with fresh cilantro, red onion and another squeeze of lime juice.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fish and Sweet Potato Soup

Someone asked me the other day if I like soup. I love soup. I especially love cream and coconut milk based soups. I like the thicker texture. An easy way to make thicker soups is to add some potato.
When it comes to soup, your stock is KEY. Tasty stock = tasty soup (well most of the time anyway)

On Saturday I made fish stock with the shrimp heads and shells I had saved. Making stock is easy and my criteria is as follows; make stock so flavorful, that it can stand on it's own. Meaning you can give someone a spoonfiul, and they say "hmmmm that's good soup".

Try this for fish stock;
Cut onion, celery and carrot (this is called mirepoix in classic French cooking). You want onion to be twice the portion of the celery and carrots. In butter (butter is best here for flavor) cook the mixture. Don't let it brown, but let it sweat until translucent (onion that is). Now it's time to get Feel Good Eating creative.
Next I add a  heavy splash of white wine. I let that all simmer a bit. Next I added half a red jalapeno, dill and salt to taste. Let that all cook together a bit, stir. Next add your shrimp heads (or fish head and or fish bones etc). I really like shrimp heads for stock, the flavor is just a tad different then fish head and tail.
Mix all ingredients together well. Now add water. Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer. I let it simmer for an hour or so. If there are people in your house that don't like fish...you might want to have a little talk with them...as this stock WILL make your house smell nice and fishy. When done, pour your stock through a mesh colander. Now you have delicious fish stock to make soups with. The stock should have a dark color to it.

So Sunday I used the stock to make a salmon and sweet potato soup.
In a pan gently heat the stock. Add half of a thin sliced and peeled yam/sweet potato.
Once the sweet potato is soft, transfer to a blender and puree. Transfer back to the pan again and add a splash of heavy cream. Next I opened a can of salmon and mixed that in with the soup, stir and heat.
Dice a bit of red onion. Add a teaspoon of Fage (greek yogurt) and top with the red onion.

Gourmet on a budget. The canned salmon works very well with this.

The stock is perfect for a nice coconut soup too.

Have a great week!

Thursday, June 17, 2010


I wrote a post a few weeks back (you can read it Here) about home made food. I also gave the link for Dr. Eades post on eating out and the importance of cooking at home. To take those posts/thoughts on step further, there will times when you are craving some naughty foods. Maybe some bar food with a cold beer. Most "naughty" foods in restaurants are made with franken oils, cheap ingredients, loaded with omega 6 and usually fried in oil that doesn't get changed as often as it should.
If you happen to be in the mood for some of the naughty stuff, make it yourself at home. Here's my naughty treat from last night...

I was delighted a while back when I was given this very cool kitchen gadget;

It's a "jalapeno griller". How cool right? It's in the shape of the great state of Texas.
I had bought some jalapenos at the farmers market, so with another cool little tool that was part of this gift (a de-seeder) I de-seeded them. I then made a mixture of some home made cream cheese (easy to make, and so much better then store bought) , bacon, onion and  raw pepper jack cheese.

I stuffed the peppers with the mixture, set them in their holder and got them going on the grill.
The tooth picks are there to prevent them from slipping through the holes and for easy removal when done, these jalapenos were fat enough to not slip throught the holes.
This is one amazing naughty little treat.

Spicy warning. If you don't handle spicy well, make sure you buy jalapenos at the supermarket and NOT the farmers market (or similiar). Supermarket jalapenos are much milder then their farmers market counter parts. When you see jalapenos that have "lines" on them, pay attention. The "lines" are called HEAT cracks. The more "lines" the spicier the pepper.

What do you make at home that fits the "naughty" bill?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

World Cup and a Vitamin D surprise

I hope all you soccer (football) fans are enjoying the World Cup. I don't watch a lot of tv, but every four years I'm glued to the tube. I was only 7 when Holland lost to Germany in the finals, but I remember it like yesterday. Since 1974, I have watched pretty much every game of every World Cup. On the days Holland plays, I wear my orange shirt and orange hat, and much to the dismay of kids and friends, every chance in between for the next 4 weeks. I took my daughter to watch the USA vs. England match at a local pub, and I think I might have converted her into to a full blown fan. She did grab my arm during the game at one point, as I was yelling at the players to swing the ball left, and calmly looked at me and said "dad, they can't hear you". It was a good Saturday afternoon.

With all these soccer festivities, I will drink some more beer then usual. I don't make a big deal about it, but I do counter it by staying strict with my food choices and activity levels.

Simple dinner. Salad with romaine lettuce tomato, carrots, red pepper and celery. Grandma's dressing with a touch of white wine. Freshly grated reggiano parmesan. (not strictly paleo...but the k2 is in there)
I bought fresh shrimps (with heads on) and made the following. Low heat cooking; a bit of evoo, add onion and garlic. Because of the low heat, you will have time to prep your other food. I diced up red pepper and added that. Pinch of sea salt to taste. I cleaned and cut my shrimp into bite size pieces. (saved all the yummy heads to make some stock). Next I added a bit of lemon juice to the pan, and then a splash of white wine. Add the shrimp and mix well. Now I added a bit of "vodka sauce". (tomato sauce with a touch of vodka).
It was delicious.

I don't eat a lot of fruit. I tend to eat my fruit in season, and summer time is for blueberries, peaches and watermelon. I love an ice cold piece of watermelon out of the fridge on a blazing hot day here. The trick is not to overdo it I think. Don't eat a lot of fruit in one sitting. Just a taste. My sweet tooth doesn't exist anymore, I crave savory things now, so it's easy for me to eat half a sweet georgia peach or 2-4 chunks of watermelon, so be careful. It's easy to over indulge on the sweet summer fruits.

This little treat will last me through my office day when I'm in the mood for a little taste of something.

About a week and a half ago, I sent away for a Vitamin D test from ZRT Labs
If you order it through the Vitamin D Council website it will save you $10. ($65 vs. $75)
My results just came back. 63. That's in decent range. It got me thinking last night though. I live in a sub tropical climate. I probably get more full body sun then most of you (I do work in an office for most of the day, but I will take a shirtless run or walk), but I still need to supplement to get my levels to a respectable 63. I like this article for some solid information.
Dr. Eades just wrote a great post, reviewing the book "The Vitamin D solution". I understand it won't be out till October, but I look forward to getting my hands on it. So how much Vitamin D do I take and what brand you ask? (maybe you didn't, but I will tell you anyway ;-) )  
I take Carlson Vitamin d3 drops 2000 IU. Most days I take either 4 or 6 thousand IU's. I don't take it on the weekends, as I am outside a lot and getting sun. I have not been sick or had a cold 3 years! The times this past winter where I felt I needed a boost, either because of air travel or 4 sick kids at home, I upped the dose some.
Do you take vitamin D3 and how much? Do you get your levels tested?

And last question; do any of you practice the inner smile? Would you like me to share my experiences with it?

Have a great day.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Primal, Paleo, EF meals and Fitnes

In a pan saute onion and garlic in ghee. Next add some fresh chopped tomato. Splash of white wine. Let simmer a bit, add a few olives and hot smoked paprika powder and a dash of salt . Now lay a few slices of meat on top, small splash of water, cover and simmer. When almost done turn up the heat and add a splash of heavy cream. Mix it together. I guess not many people eat this for breakfast....I do though ;-)
I was hungry for something tasty in the morning and was still hungry from the mini triathlon.

The other night I made the dish below. In butter sauted lots of onion. Then added the cut up meat (for both these meat dishes I used top round) Stirred it around a bit, then added a splash of red wine. When almost done, I added a large handful of baby spinach.

I love this kind of breakfast; I cut up (with kitchen scissors) 2 pieces of bacon, it cooks quickly this way, then add diced up asparagus, tomato and a bit of onion. Push the veggie bacon mix to the side and add 2 eggs. Reall satisfying and tasty. Sometimes I will put a tiny bit of goat cheese (feta can work too) on top of the eggs to change the flavor up a bit.

I've always been a bit hesitant posting an "in the flesh pic"
But thought I'd share this one of me coming out of the water Sunday at the end of my race. Eventhough I have quite the grimace on my face...as I had just almost face planted in the sand a step before...believe me when I tell you that I enjoyed myself tremendously. (I'm the short guy in the back)

Make it a great day!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Mini Triathlon (reverse order)

Well, Sunday morning is here, and I have to say that I started getting excited about this little race around 3 pm yesterday. It's now 5:15 am E.S.T, I'm not sure if my mum will read this, but she would say, are you nuts? ;-) Why get up on a Sunday morning so early and go for a 5K run, 15K bike, and 1/4 mile swim in the Gulf of Mexico.

It's already 80 degrees at 5:15 am, and my windows in the house are foggy due to the condensation from the heat and humidity outside and the cold airconditioned air inside. 9 years ago it was a new experience for me to see that, now it serves as a barometer. I know it's over 77 degrees outside and that the humidity is at 100%. I prepped up my little race bag last night and all I have to do is make my water bottles (one filled with coconut water per Keith's suggestion) and put my bike in my car.

It's a beautiful morning and decide not to turn the ac on in the car, but open the windows and get used to the outside air. There were 800 people in this reverse mini triathlon. 5K run, 15K cycle and 1/4 mile swim in the Gulf of Mexico (our beaches are free and clear in case you're curious). Parking was a bit disorganised, so I parked about a mile away from the registration area and just rode my bike over.
The "vibe" was wonderful as I had expected it to be. There were of course some serious folk that live and breath this stuff, and they had the very high end bicycles and aerodynmaic helmets to show for.
I will tell you that I felt pretty cool once they painted my race number on my arms and age on my calf.
Now I had to enter the "transtion" area and find my parking spot for my bike, helmet and bag.
The sun was coming up and it was just gorgeous. The transition area was on part of the golf course at the hotel that hosted the event.

Lots of folks were milling about and I could tell that some folks had been running this race for years. I recognized a bunch of folks I know in town and it was nice to make some small talk. With about 20 minutes to go, I put on my ipod shuffle and started to get myself a bit psyched up. My aim for this race was to come in with a respectable time of 1 hour and 15 minutes. I would have been ok with 1:20...but not totally satisfied.

Some training background info. I have a bicycle, but not a road bike. I grew up in Holland, and since I rode my bike so much out of necessity as a kid, I don't ride for fun. I figured I would need a road bike for this, so I rented one for a week from a local bike shop. Over the course of a busy week, I got one practice run in and rode for 4.5 miles. Thanks to the advice of several Feel Good Eating readers I ordered (way to late) a swimming program called Total Immersion. Great stuff!! I just never really got a chance to practice. I figured that a quarter mile swim (once around a highschool track) is do-able even doggie paddle style ;-)
As for the running, I ran in a 5K memorial day race. I ran that race in 24:43. I ran a very slow 5K on Wednesday with my buddy to check out the race course (33 minutes). What I did continue were my regular work outs at the gym and on my little sprint field by my house. So over the course of the last few weeks, I jumped rope, sprinted, did my pull ups and push ups, box jumps, some heavy lifts, dips etc and a lot of plank work. I smiled a lot ;-)  focused on all the good things in this world....and was just excited to give this thing a go.
One promise I made to myself was to really rock the 5K. I figured it was the one part of the race where I might be able to put some distance between myself and the other "real" competitors.

That's my little borrowed yellow helmet you see there.

7:30 was fast approaching and between all the people and the oppresive heat, I was sweating just standing there while waiting for the gun to go off. I was ready....I spotted a runner that I've seen before and I know he runs 7 minute 15 second miles, so I set my sights on him. And we're off!! I felt strong, but was careful not to start bobbing and weaving trying to pass people......yet. Keeping my eye on my pacer, I followed and accelerated. I was nice and focused and really into it ;-) I heard someone say something about mile 1, I missed the sign and the water and had no clue how fast I was going. (the joys of being a rookie) I was still right behind my pacer and the crowd was noticably thinning. I did see the mile 2 marker and thought to myself "dang, I'm feeling pretty good!" When we made the last turn back to the hotel grounds....I decided to go for it and I stepped up my pace and passed my pacer. He never came close again, and I felt euphoric as I came across the finish at 23 minutes!! I couldn't spend a lot of time gloating about my new PR, (a full minute faster then my last pr) I had to get to my bike and get my helmet on. Took a few big swigs of my coconut water and walked to the road where you were allowed to mount your bike. It felt great to get on the bike...I was so happy I didn't have to run anymore. I got going and pushed hard. I took it a bit to easy in hindsight, but i just didn't know how my legs were going to react after the run. I was AMAZED how fast people were passing me. Some of those guys and gals were going 30 miles an hour on a bicycle. But I didn't get discouraged, I kept going. I pushed it hard for the last mile or so and when I got to the transition area I was amazed to see the time clock.....57 minutes! Yes! I did it. It was my goal to get in the water at the one hour mark, and hopefully it would only take me 15-17 minutes to swim. I put the bike on the rack, tore of my shoes and socks (ran in my trusted Nike Free's), grabbed my goggles and took off toward the beach. A lot of folks were tip toe-ing the 1/5 mile run to the beach, but thanks to my barefoot walking and sprinting, I was able to cruise right on over with out worry. I got to the beach and saw;

That really put a smile on my face!!!
I hit the water hard and then......I realised I was WAY out of my league. ;-)
Who was I kidding, you can't just swim hard for a 1/4 mle with no training!!! But...thanks to my practice of not listening to thoughts you don't want in your mind/life...I said screw it and flailed away. quickly decided that I was going to have to breast stroke this thing. and I did. I took one look at the buoy and just kept swimming. After the first turn, I was already sick of this swimming thing ;-). But I realised I had one of two choices. Swim or drown. I chose swim ;-)
I felt my triceps swelling up, and thought to myself, BRING IT ON. I do dips with 65 pounds, let's go water!
I got closer to the beach and the finish line and all of a sudden I felt ground/sand below my feet. I ran out as fast I could, almost face diving into the sand, and there was the line and the clock. 1:11. (one hour 11 minutes)
I have to tell you I felt fantastic. A full 4 minutes faster then the goal I had set for myself.

After the race everyone congregated on the big lawn of the hotel and they had some live music, lots of fresh fruit and drinks, and a buffet with eggs,bacon and sausage. It was a really nice set up.

One of the markers in the distance.

I had a great morning! I will try and do some better training next year and I look forward to it already.
My "hunger" is completely out of whack...And I'm about to devour 2 racks of ribs. Besides from plenty of water and some of the coconut water I did the race in a fasted state. Last meal last night was around 7. Meatballs with some tomato sauce, salad with home made evoo,mustard,white wine and garlic dressing and a few beers. Besides from Ian in the UK, who's a real iron man....have you ever tried one of these?

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Shrimp and Bacon Spinach Salad

Here we go;
See below, this is so easy. In a skillet/wok, heat your cut up bacon. I use a pair of kitchen scissors. Makes it quick and easy to do. When done remove with a slotted spoon. Now that you have some nice left over bacon grease, you can use it to quickly saute/fry your shrimps. Take the shells off, and devein them. Cut them in half if they are good size.

Grab your salad bowl and toss in a few hands full of organic baby spinach. Add sliced cucumber, one medium tomato, half an avocado and 2 scallions. Add the bacon.

For the dressing; in a small bowl combine extra virgin olive oil, fresh garlic,mustard, lemon juice and a bit of white wine. Mix it together well. Put your shrimps on the salad and drizzle the dressing over your shrimps first. Now toss the salad all together.

One great summer dinner.

"You were born with wings. Why prefer to crawl through life?”

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Paleo Sushi

I don't think I have ever shared this with all of you, but this is another easy, simple and tasty way of tossing together a Feel Good Eating meal.

Instead of rice, I use cauliflower to make some sushi rolls. Boil cauliflower, mash it up and add some butter. If you make a large batch, it's nice and easy to keep in the fridge for a few days, and you will have your "sushi rice"  ready to get creative. You can of course add a dash of rice vinegar to the cauliflower, but no worries if you don't have it. It doesn't really need it. (I didn't add it in my last batch).

Grab your handy dandy sushi mat, (if you don't have one, you can easily make one out of a piece tin foil and saran wrap, it works perfect also.) I like to cover mine with some saran wrap, the mats last longer that way and clean up is easy. Put your piece of nori (seaweed) on your mat and spread out the cauliflower all over.
Next I made a bit of spicy mayo. A bit of mayo mixed in with chili sauce. Spread that all over the rice/cauliflower.
Then I added a few scallions, thinly sliced cucumber and avocado. Let your imagination run wild here. It's super tasty with thinly sliced left over grilled chicken.

Roll, roll, roll away...

and your left with a delicious home made sushi roll.
Don't worry if it doesn't come out perfect, you can eat it with knife and fork or chopsticks. The perfect roll will come with a couple of tries at it. If you do manage to get a nice roll, wet your sharp knife blade before cutting, it really helps keep the nori intact. The above roll usually has some salmon in it, but I didn't have any and I was hungry. Or, in really hot coconut oil, fry up a few pieces of fresh shrimp and add to the roll. Exquisite!
Sorry about the terrible phone pictures, but wanted to share.