Take Advantage of Opportunities

Today I walked into Whole Foods because I needed avocados and trout for dinner tonight.  I literally walked in for those two things.  Then I got to the fish counter and saw an absolutely glorious sight.  Half of the fish counter was filled with beautiful wild-caught alaskan salmon.  And the best part…8.99$ a lb.  That is 7$ off the normal price.  So of course I saw this opportunity and pounced.  I walked out of Whole Foods with 10 lbs of salmon.  

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Needless to say I will be eating a lot of salmon in the upcoming weeks.  I look forward to that.  My apartment still smells like salmon and it was pretty fantastic to come home after CrossFit and smell the salmon.  

I wanted to touch on this same topic of taking advantage of opportunities because its important.  Don’t waste valuable time but instead use those opportunities presented to better your health.  Maybe you have 30 minutes free tomorrow afternoon and rather then lay around watching television I would suggest grabbing a book such as It Starts With Food and reading outside.  Maybe plans fell through for tonight and you have nothing to do.  Don’t stay up late just to stay up late.  Turn off the television and the laptop.  Go to sleep early and get 9 hours of sleep.  Or maybe its something as simple as cutting up some onions and peppers tonight when you have a few minutes to save yourself the time in the morning.

Another opportunity I hope you have this weekend is time to get some workouts in.  It could be as simple as 6 100m sprints or 50 burpees.  I would suggest again that you find a local crossfit box and go to their free workout if they offer one on saturdays (a lot of them do).  I would also encourage you to find a local farmers market and if you have some free time and are wondering how to spend it, I would suggest checking it out.  Just walk around and get a feel for the environment or take the big step and buy something.  Ask people who seem knowledgeable.  This could be the farmers or ranchers but could also just be a fellow shopper.  I get asked virtually every week why I buy from the ranchers that I do.  I give them my reasons and try to help out as much as possible.  If you live in Dallas you need to go to the Dallas Farmers Market.  There is also the White Rock Lake Local Farmers Market tomorrow.  Take advantage of these great opportunities.

As I have said recently in this blog I have been eating quite a bit of food in order to put on some weight.  Good news in that I weighed in at 170 today after my WOD which had me sweating profusely.  How am I going about gaining weight?  I increased protein a bit but the biggest difference comes from the amount of fat I am eating.  I fly through avocados, coconut milk, coconut butter, and grassfed butter.  I also tried today for the first time Bulletproof Coffee.  If you are a coffee drinker this is a must read.  I feel like I have wasted my coffee drinking life prior to finding this.  Its wonderfully delicious and all around better for me.  I have also added in Raw Milk and like I said previously drink somewhere from 20-30 ounces a day.  I haven’t noticed any ill effects from the added dairy but I will keep a close watch to make sure of this.  The great thing about giving paleo a 30 day chance is then when you reintroduce grains, dairy, or legumes you can track the changes in your body and how you feel.

I don’t have a whole lot of exciting meals but I will post what I have taken pictures of lately.

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Thats my go to beef and broccoli with guac.  It looks terrible but tastes awesome.  Maybe one day I will work on my photography skills.  But today is not that day.

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This trout tasted amazing.  I cooked it in the skillet and used my Foxpoint spice on it.  Super easy and very very good.  Skin and all.

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And another go to in the form of the red curry.  The fish there is dover sole.  They are very thin white fish that cook super fast and when you need food fast work perfect.  As always I like to eat this with a spoon to make sure I get all of the curry sauce.

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And finally I had 4 eggs fried with one remaining trout filet.  Food doesn’t have to be difficult.  During the week especially find things that are easy and taste good.  On the weekends try to do some different and more complex things.  Also I do eat vegetables with all my meals but nothing exciting with them lately.  Mostly steaming them so I don’t really think you want to see pictures.  Ill try to be more creative next week because I am off of work so I will have some time.  

And finally I want to give myself a bit of credit for completing 20 Muscle Ups during the WOD today.  I just recently got my first Muscle Up.  This was hugely impressive for me and made my day.  A muscle up involves you hanging from two rings and getting yourself to the very top position of a locked out dip.  Youtube it and see what it is.  

Take advantage of your weekend and make some good choices.  Try to step out of your comfort zone and add in one healthy lifestyle choice.  This could even be just going for a nice 30 minute walk in the morning.  Little changes add up and end up making a big difference.  Enjoy.

How does your normal day of food look?

I wanted to start tonight by linking to this great article by Dallas Hartwig on sleep.  Check it out here.  This list hits the nail on the head.  Order of priorities should be nutrition, sleep, and then exercise.  I completely agree with the article when it says that if you are sleeping less then 6 hours you should not be training.  The lack of sleep causes havoc with your hormones including cortisol, insulin, leptin, and so many more.  Make sure to get enough sleep and then get into the weight room.  Turn off that last hour of television that you really don’t need and get to sleep.

Now in regards to food I want to start off with the grass-fed beef liver I made last night.  Get this from a local rancher and make sure to buy grass-fed liver.  As far as how to cook this you should check out the simple and delicious recipe from Melissa Joulwan.  Take a look here at her page The Clothes Make the Girl.  Honestly you need to give liver a shot if you aren’t currently eating it and especially give grass-fed beef liver a shot.  Its delicious.  I ate some with caramelized onions and some with guac.  Both tasted really good.

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That was about 2/3 of the total amount I ate.  Seriously check out her website because she’s amazing.  And then buy her cookbook Well Fed.  Best paleo cookbook around.

And now here is exactly what I ate today.

Started off with breakfast after CrossFit.

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5 eggs, sausage, onions, orange pepper, mushrooms, spinach, and guac.  Cooked in coconut oil.  My favorite thing about this meal is that every single ingredient except for the spinach came from a local farmer or rancher.  

For lunch I had beef and kale.  I cooked this in butter and added in a tomato basil sauce.

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I had a lot of kale in that meal.  I want you to realize how simple this meal is and how good it taste so make it.  Buy either fresh kale or frozen chopped kale.  Cook it in butter with the beef while adding in the tomato basil sauce.  This meal takes a total of 10 minutes to make.  Even better for most people is that they don’t eat over a pound of beef so it will make more then one meal.  I am also experimenting with Raw Milk and am drinking around 30 ounces a day.  Today I had 20 ounces after CrossFit and then 10 ounces at lunch.

After work I needed to eat so I had a package of my sardines.  These are the Wild Planet brand sardines.  Completely wild caught and the best part about them is that they are boneless and skinless.  So get past your preconceived notion of how sardines look and go get a pack of these especially if you like fish.  The person who turned me on to this can be found on CaveGirlEats.  She’s awesome and my sister actually attended one of her seminars in May.  

Finally for dinner I wanted some burgers but I wanted lamb burgers.  I have raved about the garlic herb butter by kerrygold many times on this blog and tonight I cooked my burgers in it.  I also sprinkled a little bit of my Adobo seasoning on the burgers.  Absolutely delicious and the guac only made it better.

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Of course that would not meet my hunger so I made some butternut squash as well.  I just threw this in a pot and boiled them.  Added a little bit of coconut butter and a substantial amount of cinnamon.

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And finally I added some cauliflower covered in olive oil.

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I also forgot to add that I had a blueberry and coconut milk smoothie with lunch.  Thats 700 calories of full fat coconut milk and some blueberries.  It almost turns into a desert type drink but I mostly drink this in an attempt to take in some more calories and put on some weight.

So there you have it.  Exactly what I ate today.  In terms of amounts both the beef and the lamb came close to or above 1 pound.  I don’t count calories but needless to say I ate a lot today.  And this is in no way abnormal for me.  

I want to leave you with this absolutely amazing piece by the man Jason Ferruggia called Life Wasted.  Seriously amazing and you should go read this.  I plan on writing a piece like this soon.  Ferruggia should be a person you read regularly and also follow on twitter.  Dude does work and knows a freaking ton.

This 1000 episode of Raw has been classic.  Triple H, Brock Lesnar, The Rock, The Undertaker, and John Cena all in this episode.  I haven’t watched wrestling in a long time but I picked a good night to check it out again.  And I have to say I respect these guys a ton because of the athleticism, the hard work, and their sheer dedication to building and maintaining their strength and power.

My shopping list

I just got home from the Famers Market so I thought this would be the perfect chance to give a general breakdown of how I approach my shopping.  I made the decision to buy as much local and seasonal as possible.  As I result I tend to do most of my shopping from these local farmers and ranchers.  I think this approach should be followed whenever possible.  Getting to know the farmers and ranchers makes a big difference.  It allows me to truly know where my meat, fish, and produce comes from.  It allows me to understand the methods used and also highlights the fact that a lot of foods are not and should not be available 365 days of the year.  For example, one of the ranchers I like to get pork from has been completely out for the past few weeks due to the extreme heat here in Dallas and it has directly affected the pigs.  As a result I know that I am not getting pork that has been shipped half way across the country and handled by countless number of people.  

Also its pretty awesome to go to the farmers market every week and get to know the farmers and ranchers. The better they get to know you the more helpful they will be with you.  What I mean by this is that they will know your typical order and make sure to keep some in stock.  One rancher knows I like to always get meaty soup bones to make bone broth and he keeps some in stock for when I stop by each weekend.  If you are unsure of how to cook certain cuts of meat the ranchers always provide answers that can help.  

I still use Whole Foods but purely to supplement with certain things I cannot find at the farmers market.  This includes things like coconut milk. coconut butter, kombucha, frozen vegetables (they are easy and make life easy when I need to cook something quickly), and various other small items.  If you are just using Whole Foods I respect that move.  I love Whole Foods.  They provide an awesome store for people who are conscious of their food.  I think the next step for you to take is to check out the farmers market.  As I have said before this whole process should been done in baby steps.  Don’t try to make a giant leap or you will find yourself so uncomfortable that you will give up and never give this lifestyle a legitimate chance.

On to what I typically buy.  I like to buy somewhere between 4-8 lbs of ground beef and lamb.  These are my go to cuts of meat because of the versatility and ease of preparation.  2 packages of pork sausage links.  A pack of beef stew meat and a pack of pork chops.  Maybe a pork roast of some sort (depends on what I am feeling like for the week).  This week I actually bought a package of lamb shanks which I have never had before but I am very excited to try this.  I normally try to do one or two different cuts of meat that I haven’t tried before so this week I fulfilled that with the lamb shanks.  That typically works for my meat.

I will buy 3 dozen eggs.  This week I actually bought one dozen from one rancher and then 2 dozen from another rancher.  I also bought a package of chicken sausage from the 2nd rancher.  I am not a huge chicken fan and really only eat eggs but I thought it would be good to give chicken sausage a chance.

From there I will make my way to the guy who sells fish.  My typical fish purchase will be a couple pounds of various white fish.  This will normally include at least a couple fillets of catfish.  I also like to buy some salmon and red fish.  From there I tend to try something new each week.  That can be an ahi tuna steak, swordfish, shark belly, or scallops.  I like to try for one meal a day of fish.  I also eat sardines on a daily basis but this typically supplements one of my meals.

Then I will pick up some produce.  This includes onions, peppers, squash, and tomatoes to name a few.  You will need to find what works best for you and make your purchases accordingly.  Today I bought onions, peppers, beets, and avocados.  Right now my schedule tends to be really tight due to my work schedule and how things have played out lately.  This tight schedule means that I have unfortunately been relying on some basic staple vegetables for meals such as broccoli, kale, cauliflower, carrots, and green beans.  Nothing wrong with that list but I haven’t been able to use variety like I want.  

How do I rank which items to spend my money on?  I place a premium on my meats and fish.  I believe these are the most important items to spend money on.  I would rather eat grass-fed beef with some non-organic vegetables then eat conventionally raised beef with organic vegetables.  The harm that comes from conventional factory farmed meats far outweighs the risks that come from non-organic produce.  This premise applies with fish every bit as much as meats.  Factory farmed fish poses a far greater risk then non-organic produce.  Just take this one example regarding salmon.  Wild salmon has an orange color that allows virtually anybody to look at the fish and know they are eating salmon.  However, factory farmed salmon does not posses this orange color because of the food they are fed and they way they live.  BUT the factory farms figured out how to put a coloring agent into the food that artificially turns the salmon into that orange color.  The orange color in a factory farmed salmon does not come from the same sources as the orange found in wild caught salmon.  

I hope this was at least somewhat helpful.  I also highly recommend that you check out the documentary Food, Inc.  If you have netflix instant you can watch it there and it speaks to a lot of the issues I have just raised.  Also I know this post was nonexistent on pictures and meals but I will write another post later that looks at those things.  Enjoy the rest of the weekend.  And if you have time go and check out your local farmers market.  Start to build a relationship.  It pays off both for you and for the local farmers and ranchers.

Oh and go see The Dark Knight Rises.  This movie completely blew me away and I can’t wait to see it again.

What are your goals?

Sitting at Crossfit today doing some mobility work before our Olympic lifting class I had an interesting conversation.  Ironically I read an article by Dallas Hartwig that touched on a very similar issue.  What’s the motivation behind eating this way or doing crossfit?  Typically it ends up in one of these categories: health, performance, or aesthetics.  Each category provides a legitimate rationale for this lifestyle.  Some people take this path because they care primarily about how they look and the saying that “crossfit makes you look good naked” attracts them.  Obviously food and nutrition go hand in hand with this.  Other people care about performance and as a college athlete and competitor I fall into this category as my primary concern.  

I also am huge on the health benefits but there are times that I may sacrifice some health in order to take part in this lifestyle I enjoy.  There are times that if I cared solely about health I would take more rest days to fix some nagging issues but I continue to push through them and deal with the issues.  My rationale boils down to the fact that I want my performance to improve and sometimes I can’t take 2 weeks off of crossfit. 

Right now I want to gain some weight so that I can increase my lifts.  As a result I will eat past the point when I am full because I need to push myself to eat more.  This puts stress on the system.  Understanding these different goals can drastically improve your ability to make the right choices in how you approach nutrition, exercise, sleep, mobility, recovery, and really a host of things.  Jason Hoggan competed in the Crossfit Games this year and at the end of every day he loaded up his tub and sat in an ice bath.  This does not even take into account the amount of time spent on soft tissue work.  

Evaluate your goals.  Then take the steps to achieve those goals.  Health should always be a part of your goals but its okay if performance or looks are primary.  Health will lead to the look you desire.  Go to a crossfit gym and take a look at the people there.  Obviously something works.

On to some food stuff.  Things have been pretty simple meal wise here.  I haven’t used my crockpot much for meals because I have been making bone broth consistently.  The health benefits of bone broth are too numerous to count.  I especially like it because bone broth contains a ton of healing properties for bone, joint, tendon, and ligament issues.  So nothing will be too exciting here but I do want to point out that all of this fish, meat, and eggs come from local farmers, ranchers, merchants (who go down to the coast on Thursday and bring back fresh caught seafood Saturday).  

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That is 1 lb of grilled cod seasoned with Foxpoint from Penzeys.  I also cut up some squash and zucchini which I sautéed in butter.  

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I made this Red Fish in the delicious red curry sauce that my sister first turned me onto.  I have made it clear how much I enjoy the red curry sauce but again I must stress how amazing this taste.  I actually ate that with a spoon so I could eat all of the sauce as well as the fish.

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I had this plate of vegetables with that Red Fish.  As you can see this is zucchini, green beans, and baby carrots all steamed.  Then I used a nice portion of the garlic and herb grassfed butter.  The amount of vegetables I eat astounds me.  I never thought I would come to love vegetables the way that I do.  Now I find myself craving vegetables.  I have lost my sugar cravings and replaced them with vegetables.  Its crazy how your palate changes.

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This meal always turns out nice.  I used ground lamb, frozen kale, and a tomato basil sauce.  That entire skillet of food…Ya I ate that for one meal.  I also had some more vegetables after covered in coconut butter.  I eat a lot.  

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Here is just 2/3 of that skillet.  Don’t worry I filled up my empty plate with the final 1/3 and finished the meal without any issues.

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This served as breakfast today.  What you see here: 5 local pastured eggs, red bell pepper from the farmers market, tomato from my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), onions, spinach, and finally sausage from a local rancher.  This sausage taste unlike any other sausage ever.  This sausage blows every other sausage out of the water.  Completely local, pasture raised, sustainable, and humane pork that shows the chasm between local ranchers who raise the animals properly versus those in the factory farms.

So after all of this my main point tonight is sit down and examine what your goals are and how you can achieve them.  I eat this way for performance and health.  I don’t worry about the aesthetics but I can assure you that they will follow.  Ill leave you with this picture.  Squats are awesome and so are the people.  Both people behind me do amazing things at crossfit and I think the picture speaks for itself.  

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Electrify the boys and girls

Currently watching Tron:Legacy while I write this and I thought that scene made a fitting title.  Why do I think the title fits?  See this past weekend the CrossFit Games occurred and the inspiration from these games cannot be measured.  The athletes, teams, and events truly impressed me and I watched virtually the entire competition.  I honestly believe that you should go check out some of the archived events because you can see why I believe in CrossFit.  The videos do a great job because you can just watch the very top athletes from the final 3 rounds or watch other events.  You can find the videos archived here.

My sister wrote an awesome post about CrossFit today.  You can go read her post here.  And now I am going to give you my very own Why I CrossFit.

I love to compete.  Once I stopped playing baseball after college I took up some new sports like softball or racquetball.  I even bowl although calling bowling a sport may be a bit of a reach.  I enjoyed each of these and still do.  However, I missed something from when I played baseball and basketball at high levels where winning and losing mattered a ton.  I also found myself struggling to find motivation in the gym.  Going to the gym to lift weights and do cardio purely to look good seemed ridiculous.  I always worked out to perform better in my athletic endeavors.  During this time I must admit that I found myself at my leanest I have ever been.  But I had lost strength, functionality, and really any joy from putting in the work.

I continued to just go to the gym and get my workout done surrounded by frat bros standing in front of mirrors banging out some sweet bicep curls.  I just came to grow sick of it all.  I had also moved to Dallas for law school so the only people I knew were those people I went to law school with and that can be rough.  I found myself needing other people because I am more then just a law student.  My entire life I have had friends who shared my passion for sports and performance.  I knew I needed to find another group of people to hang out with to help my sanity.  

Luckily my sister had already started CrossFit and she loved it.  I decided over spring break to go to one of her classes at Cosmic Crossfit in Pearland.  The coaches, Mike and Krista, were fantastic and I instantly knew I wanted in.  I got home that day and searched for CrossFit near my apartment in Dallas.  I ended up settling on Crossfit214.  This turned out to be one of the best decisions I could have ever made.  The coaches, people, and environment cannot be topped.  Crossfit truly does electrify the boys and girls.

In 3 and a half months I have made tremendous strides.  I compete against myself and others every day.  I have new friends and a place that I feel at home.  Crossfit gave me exactly what I wanted.  I must also add that I found a great box in Houston in Skyline Crossfit.  That box made me a much much better CrossFitter and again the people, coaches, and community were unbelievable.  I actually mean unbelievable because until you experience it you would never believe me.  

Now I am working hard to better my overall fitness in every area.  No longer do I worry about working out to look a certain way but instead I want to perform better and set personal records.  I have found that both my physical and mental strength improve daily with CrossFit.  I am a happier person when I go to CrossFit and on rough days everything turns around when I get into the box and get after it.  

Why do I CrossFit?  Because it speaks to me on so many levels.  

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When in Maui check out Lahaina Crossfit. My sister and I went there 5 times when in Maui and again just an amazing group of coaches and people.

“The Crossfit works”

Weekend Meals

So this post had much more substance but for reasons unknown to me this post deleted itself when I pressed publish.  So I am now going to save some of it for tomorrow.  Instead of all my normal discussion I will just be giving you my meals as of late and will post again tomorrow with the other stuff.  This includes talking about the Crossfit games, my farmers market, CSA, raw milk, and some other miscellaneous stuff.

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Leftover lamb/gyro from The Clothes Make The Girl.  Tasted awesome upon reheating.  I added some guac and then cooked up asparagus to go along with this.  An easy and quick lunch right there.  

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Wild Sockeye Salmon that I cooked in the skillet.  Added some butter on top and then steamed broccoli with coconut butter.  That Salmon turned out amazing.  Please don’t waste the skin.  Cook it and eat it.  

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A red curry stir fry using ground lamb and brussels sprouts.  Pretty easy to make and I really love the curry flavor.  I like to cook mine mostly covered to allow a steaming and simmering to occur simultaneously.  Cook on pretty low heat to allow this all to transpire effectively.  Also go to a farmers market and find lamb.  Eat lamb because its delicious.

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And then finally some beef and kale cooked with coconut aminos.  Obviously a healthy side of guac to go along with this.  This meal never fails me.  

Again sorry for the short post but I will have much more tomorrow.  I love food and my meals.  I am now eating roughly a pound of meat or seafood plus a ton of good fats and a ton of vegetables.  Its delicious and awesome.  

 

 

Random links and articles

I wanted to just put up a post with some interesting articles that I have been reading the past couple days.  I will hopefully have a new post full of food and other interesting topics either tonight or tomorrow.  My time disappears lately as I sit in the courtroom and really can’t do anything other than listen and watch arguments.  Its making life a little rough on getting things done but the experience will be worth it and I am only here for a total of 6 weeks.

First I want to start off by sending you over to Mark’s Daily Apple for an awesome post on 12 blogs that you should be following.  Really I think you should check out Mark’s Daily Apple on a daily basis because he posts a ton of great articles.  His book The Primal Blueprint makes a great read for anybody wanting to learn more about the whole Primal philosophy.  Mark has a list of the 10 pillars of the primal philosophy.  They provide an extremely solid basic knowledge to work with in understanding the primal philosophy.  

The next article I took a look at came from the NY Times looking at how the big corporate companies are taking over the organic food industry.  This development contains both pros and cons for the consumer.  Obviously with demand increasing a need grows for higher levels of production but big companies look purely at the bottom line and often make choices that destroys the intent of organic foods.  You can read the article here.  A bit lengthy but the read definitely highlights some major issues and in fact this shows one reason why you should seek out local farmers.  The small local farms often produce their crop through organic means they just do not go through the process of the official certification.  They will also provide true transparency in talking with you about their process.  

This next article upsets me and many, many others.  The American Dietetic Association began using state legislatures to quell any alternative nutrition advice even on blogs like this one.  This story should disgust you no matter your political beliefs.  The article again is a bit lengthy but absolutely worth it.  Go read about this terrible abuse of power here.

Next you should go check out Chris Kresser and his rebuttal article on the top 14 foods to eat.  His list can be found here.  Finally I have given a short article to read.  Out of the 14 foods on that list I currently eat 9 of the 13.  I am looking to add beets in my diet.  I need to do some more research on fish eggs and find out where I can find them.  I would definitely try them though.  The more stuff I try the more stuff I like.  

The last article I think you should go read examines the internet and its effect on people.  Take a look at this article.  Once you read that article I think you would be interested to read Lights Out.  I have been working my way through this book and the effect of sleep astounds me as I read this book.  Its a huge problem in today’s society with the incredible number of work hours along with the fact that we live in virtual sunlight nearly 24/7/365.  Our body follows a natural circadian rhythm and responds differently to summer lighting.  Summer lighting tells our body to load up on carbs and store fat for the cold and desolate winter months.  Now that we live in perpetual summer lighting due to artificial light including television and computer screens, the body thinks its summer all the time.

Finally the Crossfit Games started yesterday with a triathlon type event that took over 2 hours and then an obstacle course.  That portion was not televised but the current standings are on the games.crossfit.com site.  You can begin to follow the games live on ESPN3 tomorrow.  I can’t describe my level of excitement for these games and even yesterday I followed the results via twitter.  I am rooting for Jason Hoggan in the individual men because he recently graduated from SMU law and I have personally witnessed him destroying workouts in the SMU gym.  Team-wise I am definitely going for Dallas Central and Bayou City.  I know one of the competitors on Bayou City quite well and Dallas Central is closely affiliated with my gym at Crossfit214.  Watch the games and you will be amazed at their level of fitness and how much fun the events would be.  Maybe you will find inspiration to increase your fitness or even join a crossfit gym.

Thats it for now and I hope you find some of these articles interesting and informative.  Enjoy the rest of the day and hopefully I will be back later this evening with a food related post.

Do you like these posts filled with articles?  Want more or less?  Let me know.

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Trial and Error

If you have been following this blog you hear me say on a regular basis to give this whole Paleo, Primal, Real Food eating a shot for 30 days.  Both Robb Wolf and Dallas and Melissa Hartwig use this principle of a 30 day trial.  The idea that ridding yourself and your body of gluten, sugars, processed foods, and even dairy allows you to then reintroduce foods and understand the effect that have on your body.  I can guarantee that this approach works.  I bring all of this up for a few reasons.  First I think grains do terrible things to the body based on scientific research and also the evidence from thousands of people who tell their stories.  I mention this because eliminating grains can pose some social problems like when you eat out at a restaurant and don’t eat any of the baskets of cheap bread they provide.  You should go read this article which shows how to discuss this change.

Another reason I mention this deals with the fact that I have decided to add in raw milk to my diet.  I now know how my body feels when I do not consume dairy so I can easily track the changes.  My sister currently drinks raw milk and also my coaches at crossfit advised me if I want to add some weight that raw milk needs to be my next step.  Unfortunately I will have to drive to a farm that sells it because of the way the law functions.  I hope that my body will thrive on the raw milk.  Because I have given my body at least 30 days without any of questionable foods I can understand if I am indeed thriving on raw milk or seeing adverse effects.

Not only am I looking into raw milk (will be purchasing it on Saturday) I also got back to the Dallas Farmers Market today.  That place has everything.  I bought lamb, pork, and beef.  All three of those live and graze on grass and pastures.  Then I bought wild caught fish fresh from the coast brought up to Dallas Friday.  My fish and seafood included Salmon, Red Fish, Catfish, Tuna, and Scallops.  I decided to give Scallops a try and they turned out delicious.  Cooked them in some garlic and herb kerrygold butter.  Easy stuff and a delicious meal.

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Those scallops provided me .7 lbs of delicious seafood.  Really glad I gave these a try and will definitely eat more of these in the near future.

Also at the farmers market I got some Okra, Eggplant, Onions, and Peppers.  These all came from a local farm that practices sustainable and ethical means to grow the vegetables.  The vegetables don’t have the organic stamp because of the cost and hassle to be certified but they farm that way.  Labels often mislead people so when you go to a farmers market talk to the farmers.  They will happily talk to you about their products because they take pride in their work and product.

Yesterday my food lacked a certain inventiveness but I did make some real nice burgers with avocado.  Cooked in butter with some chipotle pepper.

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And finally today I did make some exciting food.  I had a couple more burgers this morning.  Then 3 fried eggs with cauliflower and carrots.  I decided to get in a workout today and did the following: 3,3,3,3,3 of push press.  Then 3 Rounds for Time of 10 deadlifts at 235 and 50 double unders.  Rough workout but awesome.  So after I ate the rest of my stew from the other day.  

Dinner may have been one of my more successful meals that I had no idea what exactly I was doing.  I used this recipe as my base.  I didn’t make it a salad but just wanted the meat.  I used most of the ingredients although I substituted lime juice for lemon juice (because its what I had) and I also substituted some fresh basil.  This turned out absolutely fantastic and I am so happy I made 3 lbs because I now have enough for a meal tomorrow.  Two parts of this recipe were tough.  First the cutting up of a 3 lb lamb shoulder.  Second smelling this cook for 3 hours and having to wait (but its worth it).  Also I made some squash in my garlic and herb butter.

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And finally tonight I think this info graphic on sleep provides some interesting issues.  So read that then listen to it and get some sleep.  

Hope this weekend provided you with opportunities to better your health.  Now I follow my own advice and take my book and will be asleep soon.  In all honesty try things out and see how you feel.  Track how you feel, perform, and any other measurement you can think to take.  Start to figure out your body so you can make it work in the manner best for you.  Good luck.

Deep Breath

Right before most lifts and especially heavy lifts we are taught to take a deep breath and tighten the core.  The other day my workout had heavy front squats followed by a 100m sprint.  My coach saw me and reminded me of the need to take that deep breath before dropping down.  This made a huge difference.  The deep breath reminds me of preparing to take some sort of plunge.  When my pool begins to warm up but still remains cool I always mentally prepare by taking that deep breath and then jumping in.  I think this piece of advice makes a lot of sense for choosing a healthy lifestyle as well.

You need to take a deep breath and prepare for some changes.  Then go for it.  Whether that means getting to sleep no later then 11 and making sure you get at least 8 hours or if that means changing your eating habits to align with what your body wants.  Some of this stuff seems crazy, confusing, or downright impossible but just take that plunge and give it a shot for 30 days and see how you feel and perform.

Jason Ferruggia does awesome stuff at his gym and the fitness community as a whole.  I have followed him for years and even used some of his programming.  His programming does a great job and if you don’t want to go full out in crossfit I would suggest grabbing one of his programs and following it down to the letter.  He posted an amazing article about 53 ways to get huge and be awesome.  Its not actually telling you how to get huge but instead how to be successful in the gym, with your health, and in a lot of ways life.  

Now my recent food stuff.  I told you in my last post how much I loved the red curry stir-fry.  Well I loved it so much that I made it again last night with dover sole.

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Then I also made a beef and kale concoction with some onions and Arizona Dreaming spice.  I cooked this in my tomato basil sauce.  Freaking delicious.

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Step by step for the above.  Put some grassfed butter in the skillet.  Put in the cut up onions and let cook for a couple of minutes.  Then add in the ground beef (I made 1 lb) and season with the Arizona Dreaming spice.  Next add in the cut up Kale (I used 5 large leaves).  Then stir around and add in some of the tomato basil sauce.  Stir around and then cover.  Cook on medium heat for a few minutes.  Uncover and stir around.  Check to make sure the ground beef (you could use ground buffalo, lamb, pork, or really anything) is cooked throughout.  Enjoy.

A couple nights back I had a delicious pork chop (bone-in) and some squash in the kerrygold garlic and herb butter.  This butter should be a regular in your cooking.  Gives incredible flavor to vegetables.  I often steam vegetables and then add in the garlic and her butter to add in some healthy fat that makes the vegetables taste great.

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And finally you know my normal breakfast but I thought this skillet looked awesome so I took this picture.

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Thats a lot of the stuff that goes in my normal breakfast.  But I recently joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) group so I will soon follow a very seasonal eating approach.  I still plan to supplement some foods from Whole Foods but I am trying to take my eating to an even better level.  For thousands of years we ate seasonally because we could not fly in foods from South America or Hawaii.  Also my Kombucha should be ready in the next couple of days and I am excited to give that a try.  Thanks to my awesome sister for the Scobee and the recipe.  You should follow her blog because well she’s my sister and I already said the awesome part.

Currently I am reading The Vitamin D Solution by Michael F. Holick and its eye-opening and shocking.  With the weekend here make sure to get outside and shoot for at least 20 minutes without any sunscreen.  Its good for you.  

Enjoy the weekend and make sure to take advantage of your time.  Go read this piece about the only definition of success that matters.  

Check out your local crossfit box if you get a chance.  Getting back to my original crossfit box has been amazing and its a great community.  At the same time I miss Skyline Crossfit and can’t wait until I am back in Houston working out there.  You will be amazed at the great experience.  Remember this weekend to take a deep breath and then go for it.

Independence Day

Happy Independence Day.  First I want to truly thank all of those who have served in the military.  They are the reason we enjoy this great nation and why we have our freedom.  I also want to thank all of those who are currently serving.  They protect this nation and our freedom every single day.  America has been made great by all of those men and women who came before us.  I am so proud and lucky to be an American.  

Today has been pretty awesome as I finally had some time to get things taken care of.  I apologize for the lack of posts lately but I moved this past weekend back to Dallas and then started my job on Monday.  A ton of issues arose from the move.  Lets just say that both my stress and sleep suffered from some of the issues.  Issues dealt with and now back to the normal.

Because its July 4th I think you should go check this out on The Daily Beast where they list the top 13 most patriotic movies.  Today I have watched parts of Independence Day.  Its one of those movies that captures me every time and especially the President’s speech at the end.  I have also caught up on the first 2 episodes of The Newsroom and while I definitely can see some issues in the show, I enjoy anything by Aaron Sorkin and the level of dialogue inspires me to practice a higher form of rhetoric and vocabulary.  Sometimes I find myself getting lazy with my words.  I always have the goal in mind to learn something especially through reading but today I have learned via television.  The History Channel played marathons of The Presidents and The Revolution.  HBO played the miniseries John Adams.  All three provided a great insight into this country’s founding and the people behind the events.

And now I move on to the normal stuff this blog deals with.  Food.  Well actually before you we go there I think you should go check out this piece in the NY Times about The “Busy” Trap.  Absolutely fantastic and relevant.  Moving on to food I thought this piece the other day also in the NY Times about the whole false belief that a calorie is a calorie demonstrated a lot of the research and ideas I follow in my eating.  

I have linked to my sister’s blog a couple of times.  In particular I linked to her Red Curry Stir Fry recipe.  Tonight I used that red curry with my catfish.  I had to get a spoon just to make sure I did not miss any of the curry.  So easy and yet this meal goes to the top of my list in terms of taste.  Add this to beef and broccoli for a go-to easy meal.  

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Just so you know that is .70 of a lb of catfish.  I cooked this for roughly 8 minutes in the skillet on slightly less then medium heat.

Yesterday I decided I needed to make a pork loin roast that had been sitting in my freezer for a couple weeks.  So the night before I let it thaw out.  Steps that I took to prepare my pork roast.  Turn on crockpot.  Put roast in.  Two tablespoons of lime juice over roast.  Pour some water in the crockpot.  Cover the crockpot and let cook on low.  This cooked for roughly 8 hours.  After crossfit I had my dinner all set to go.  Now the reason I didn’t season this roast came down to one main thing…I knew I wanted guac that night.  I made some guac and mixed it all together.  The end result.

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I ate the whole roast.  Dominated that roast.  Pulled pork with guac added to the main meals.  With all of my meals I also eat vegetables even if I don’t always mention them.  Today I spent some time at Whole Foods and bought these vegetables: Green beans, artichoke, onions, peppers, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, spinach, beets, and squash.  Tonight I had steamed carrots and sautéed squash.  

Saturday’s dinner turned out big for me.  Last week I bought beef liver from a local farmer and needed to eat the liver before I left.  I followed this simple recipe from The Clothes Make the Girl (author of Well Fed).  I enjoy trying new foods but I admit that liver scared me.  As it turned out I never needed the fear.  I really enjoyed my liver especially with the caramelized onions on top.  Definitely contains an interesting texture but nothing that bothered me.  The liver tasted awesome.  The beef liver with onions.

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Need a reason to give liver a shot?  Liver provides an almost unparalleled amount of nutrients that your body needs.  People throw around the term superfood far too often but in the case of liver no other word suffices in providing an accurate description.  Try to get liver in once a week.  But make sure if you get beef liver to find a grass-fed beef liver.  A huge difference exists.  Feel free to also go with chicken livers but still work to find pasture raised chickens.  Both the quality of the nutrients and the taste relies on how these animals lived.  One of the best things you can do to learn some about the food industry and why organic, pasture raised, and grass-fed make a difference comes down to spending about 2 hours watching the documentary Food, Inc.  Last I checked netflix carries this documentary.  Watch it.

I have been an eating machine lately as I try to put on a little weight.  The reason behind this attempt rest in my goals for crossfit.  The added weight can help me out with the heavier weights required these days in crossfit.  In my approach though I maintain a healthy paleo eating plan.  The changes in my diet include an increase in the amount of protein and fat I eat while keeping the carbs at the same level as before.  I will keep this blog updated on how this goes but I can say in about the past two weeks I have added four pounds and my strength increased as well.  

Finally I know this comes a day too late but with summer comes time outdoors and barbecues.  You can do these things and still eat well.  One of my favorite sites, Whole9, provides an awesome batch of July 4th barbecue recipes.  Don’t be afraid to lean on these people for help.  Follow them on Facebook or twitter.  A lot of these very smart nutrition people will answer and correspond with you.  The community wants to help people make changes and live a healthy life.  

So on this Independence Day find your independence from poor food choices.  Leave the fast food, processed foods, gluten, sugar, grains, legumes, and all of those inflammatory and hormone disruptive foods behind.  Then you can celebrate Independence Day in two ways.

God Bless America.