Start Strong

Its Monday and for some reason everybody thinks they need to make their changes on this day and if they somehow mess up they should just wait until next week.  That thinking should not exist but if it does here is your reminder to start strong today.

People have this idea that cooking breakfast takes a long time and its just too difficult.  I am a huge fan of a pretty complex breakfast but I understand that sometimes this simply cannot be achieved.  Even my complex breakfast only takes around 15-20 minutes to make but I have a pretty nice rhythm to it so maybe it will take you longer.  In that case there are such simple breakfast that will set you up for a good day of food choices and make sure you are getting what you need from your food.  Robb Wolf recently said that Bacon, Eggs, and Coffee equals Love.  True story.

This morning I had my bulletproof coffee, 5 fried eggs, and some guac.  Simple but effective.  And I think guac is definitely a critical part of that equation for love.


That takes maybe 2 minutes more then making a bowl of cereal (which is not a good way to start the day) so there really is no excuse.  

In case you are looking for some more positive stories about this whole Paleo thing here is a nice blog post from Robb Wolf’s site.  Maybe life has you moving at such a rapid pace you are forgetting to stop, slow down, and enjoy life.  I know that can be a huge problem even for myself as I get sucked into the daily grind of trying to get everything taken care of.  Mark Sisson has a great post on 32 ways for slow living in the summer.  This brings me to an issue I think needs to be dealt with a whole bunch more.  Have fun, play, and enjoy life.  A couple weekends back I actually drove down to Houston just so I could go see the Lion King play with my family.  It was fantastic and I am so glad I made that decision rather then say I am too busy and need to get stuff done.  

One of the reasons I love having my dog, Roxie, with me in Dallas and both dogs when I am at my family’s house in Houston, this includes Maximus, is because I get to have fun and play with them.  Dogs understand that they need to play.  Just look at my two dogs.




And then they rest.



There are valuable lessons to be taken from other animals like play and rest are both good.  Speaking of sleep this article from The Daily Beast did a nice job of highlighting the detrimental effects of a lack of sleep.  Read that article and then answer this question.  Do you really want to end up like Rick Perry during the debates because you don’t sleep enough?  If you want to act like your drunk thats fine but then actually be drunk.  Don’t let sleep make you act like your drunk because well thats just a waste on both accounts.

Now I need to get a few things off my chest.  If you follow me on Facebook then you saw my status yesterday about a woman at the movie.  But I am going to state it again here.  When you have to hand your husband the jumbo tub of popcorn so that you can grab the hand rail to walk 4 stairs…not 4 flights of stairs but literally 4 stairs and you end up weezing for the next 5 minutes (could have been longer but the movie started so the sound may have covered it) it might be time to re-evaluate your lifestyle.  Another sign might be that you literally take up 2 seats and the people in your aisle have to jump over your legs rather then just walk by.  I was blown away by this whole thing.

Second thing on a more humorous note.  When a restaurant claims its fajitas are for 3 people I should not be able to finish it no problem.  I do eat a lot but thats some false marketing right there.  At least they were delicious.

What did I eat last night for dinner?  Just some salmon, cauliflower, and sweet potato.  A standard meal for me.




I mean you can decide if thats a lot of food.  I will say that there was nothing left when I was done.

Now I know its Monday which means the busy work week has started but make sure to take some time and just have fun and play.  Even playing video games (for like 30 minutes or so) is fine if you are having fun.  Just make sure you don’t get caught in the trap of thinking busy is better.  So get this week off to a strong start and don’t look back.  

If you are a Lord of the Rings fan or a Hobbit fan try to be a little bit like Bilbo or Frodo and just go for an adventure and enjoy.  Yes I just nerded out but I saw the trailer for the Hobbit yesterday and I am pumped. Living in the world would be fun but for now I will just get my fun from this one and so should you.


Back at it

Sorry for the hiatus but I am back and ready to blog.  Lets jump right in.

First you need to order or go to your bookstore and buy Practical Paleo.  I just got my copy the other day and it blows me away.  Its half educational, half meal plans, half meals, and half helpful 1 page tear-outs that you can’t survive without.  The author is Diane Sanfilippo of Balanced Bites.  I have linked to her may times but seriously go do yourself a favor and buy this book.

Now I need to also send a shout-out to Jimmy Moore over at the unbelievably awesome website Living La Vida Low Carb.  He posted a link to my blog today and its attracted some new readers.  Follow him on twitter especially because he also posts great links and is one of the leaders in the Paleo community.

This post is going to be slightly long because I am about to post exactly what one of my friends sent me after trying this whole paleo thing.  I believe it works but all I really ask is that you give it a try for 1 month and see how you react.  That means measuring how you feel, look, and perform.  Robb Wolf definitely coined that phrase and approach but I could not agree more.  So now here is exactly what my friend said and I could not be prouder of his dedication and impressed by his results.

So, my Whole 30 ended on Wednsday of this week. Here is some data and various observations.

I followed the Whole30 almost perfectly except I ate a protein bar that had some soy and dairy and had a few tequila drinks and a few glasses of wine. Not much. 

1. I lost a total of 15 pounds as of this morning (technically 32 days but who’s counting. Weight loss was a goal for me though I know you wanted me to de-emphasize it. Still it was motivation enough for me to stay on it. 

2. Using a hand held body fat measuring device (we all know Hydrostatic Weighing is the gold standard) I lost 9 pounds of body fat.

3. My skin looks fantastic (though it always has) I had been developing some strange occasional rash on my back and neck that came and went and it is now gone. My only conclusion is that it was food induced and I’ve eliminated something that caused it.

4. My suit and dress pants no longer fit. I took all of them in on Tuesday to have them taken in. Told her I’d be back in 45 days 

5. The first 5 days of going Paleo was utterly miserable. I wanted to shoot myself. Thought about food constantly, was in a bad mood and pretty much hated you. I woke up on a Saturday (started the Program the following Monday) and I wasn’t in a rush to eat, felt like life would go on and really didn’t want you dead. It was like someone flipped a switch. Not being dramatic. It was that recognizable. 

6. I didn’t work out at all first 10 days. Didn’t have much energy and wanted to focus on the food and other things. Started working out lightly after that and then went 3 days a week. I’ve started back at my 4 to 5 and will visit Thousand Oaks Crossfit next week to see if my knees are up to the challenge. Swimming was my main form of cardio.

I’ve decided to keep doing the Whole30 for another 30 days. I may add some protein drinks (Found some at Sprouts that are gluten, soy, dairy and sugar free. I blend it with coconut milk, a whole cucumber, frozen blueberries and ice. yum) on occasion but plan on sticking with it as if it’s a lifestyle change. I’ll start working out more and putting on some muscle which will slow weight loss but I’m going to measure my waist every two weeks or so and not worry about the scale any more.

I have a long way to go to be healthy and fit like I want to but this has really been a gift. Thanks again. 


Thats freaking awesome.  That right there makes this entire blog worth it.  What do you have to lose by giving this a try for 30 days?  And honestly if you look through my posts you will see that the things I cook are extremely easy.  But I promise they really do taste good.  Obviously I have favorites and some meals turn out better then others but I honestly never think to myself that I want to eat a different way.  

And now I want to just do one meal tonight and break down exactly how I make it.  I have made this meal in the past and it was actually my sister who first turned me on to this meal.  Check out her blog as well for paleo information and food.  If you live in Dallas and have ever gone to either Kozy Kitchen or Company Cafe then you know this meal as the Bowl of Doom or the Deep Bowl.  This is my own version.

First peel and cut up a sweet potato.  Then place that sweet potato in a food processor and shred it up.  Turn on the skillet.  I used slightly lower then medium heat.  Add Grass-fed butter and let it melt and cover the skillet.  Then pour in the shredded sweet potato.


Let that cook for about 5-8 minutes.  You can also cover the skillet to let the sweet potatoes steam some as well.  Then you can use sausage, ground beef, ground lamb, or your meat of choice.  Normally I use ground beef or sausage.  Tonight I cut up some sausage which I bought straight from my local rancher.  Its delicious on its own but in this meal its even better.


Let this cook for a few minutes until the sausage begins to look like its a few minutes away from cooked all the way through.  This means the sausage goes from pink to more of a grayish brown color.  Once you hit that point then throw in some eggs.  I went with 4 eggs.


Then you just let that cook until the eggs are done to your liking.  I went for a nice middle ground on the eggs tonight.  I let this cook for about 5 minutes.


Then just put all of that deliciousness on a plate or bowl and enjoy.  



And feel free to throw on avocado, salsa, and even bacon.  I just happened to be out of all of those ingredients so I kept it simple.  

So there you have my very own Plate of Doom.  Perfect for after a tough workout or when you just want some good food.  

And now its time for some Olympics and Suits.  If you don’t watch Suits on USA…well you should.  Get on that but only after you take care of those other important things like food, exercise, sleep, and play.  


The Difference

I love the olympics for a ton of reasons and have been watching both on television and on the internet.  One of the biggest reasons I love the olympics is because these sports are able to unite countries and also bring people together through sports.  I never grow tired of seeing my country succeed in the olympics and then to see the reactions of all those people around me who are blown away by these performances.  I mean seriously a 17 yr old girl won a gold medal for America.  Thats amazing and what I was truly blown away by was the fact that Missy Franklin has not taken any endorsement deals or money because she wants to be able to compete for her high school swim team.  

I also love watching these athletes and marveling at their ability and dedication.  These are the people who devote themselves to being the very best they can.  They make the right decisions in training, recovery, sleep, nutrition, and so many other aspects of their lives.  Obviously certain athletes will have different nutritional needs then others and different then just the average person but they still listen to their bodies and make choices that help them succeed.  In large part the difference between olympic athletes and the normal person is that the olympian makes the right decisions.  They don’t allow peer pressure, laziness, or just pure disregard get in the way of their dream.

People are inspired by the olympics and they should be.  Most of all I think people should be inspired to better themselves.  Maybe you can’t be an olympic athlete but you can make better choices.  Olympians do virtually everything right in order to compete.  Try to just improve some aspect for your health.  Eat better, sleep better, play more, get in the sun, workout, walk, and so many more.

Why should you do this stuff?  You may say you don’t want to be an olympic athlete so who cares what you eat or that you don’t workout.  That argument just cannot stand and Rudy from Outlaw Crossfit (one of the leading boxes in the country doing some crazy things sending 14 athletes to the games this year) talked about this stuff today.

My knee always hurts and some days I lift for three hours. However, if there is any object that needs to be lifted or displaced, I will be more likely to be able to handle the task than 99.9% of the population of earth. If I am a victim of some sort of blunt force impact, am assailed by an attacker, or simply need to move out of harms way quickly; I am more equipped to handle these and other “wrong place – wrong time” scenarios than I would be if spent my free time outside of the gym.

I’ll take a little knee pain, and the $200 I paid for my Romaleos, if it means I don’t have to live with the fear of being unprepared for whatever physical test life may throw at me.

You can find the whole article on his website.

You will also find him on this list of 15 must read fitness people.  You will also find Jason Ferruggia, KStarr, and Greg Everett.  These guys are amazing and you really should look into them.

One quick note on the olympics that was far from inspiring.  4 teams were actually disqualified for throwing badminton games to receive favorable match ups.  Seriously?  In badminton of all sports.  Mind Blown.  

Also go listen to the Joe Rogan Experience podcast that had Robb Wolf on it earlier this week.  It was awesome and Robb gives a ton of great information in the podcast like explaining how you should not be using advil and its effect on the body.  Or how he has 2-3 drinks daily…yes daily.  He explains how this can be beneficial.  I listened to it on my drive from Houston to Dallas (its about a 2 and half hour long podcast) and it makes time fly by when you are driving.  Especially because they are both funny guys.

On to some food stuff.

I made some Carnitas on Sunday which came straight from the Well Fed cookbook.  Go and check out her website.  I won’t give the recipe here because it did come from her cookbook.  But essentially this is pork cooked for 3 hours that essentially fries itself in some citrus juices and its own fat.  It turns out amazing.  I made that lamb recipe a few weeks back using a very similar method.




I love this cooking method and how amazing the food turns out.  Also I cooked 3 lbs of pork with this recipe which meant it was good for 2 meals.  



That right there is some of that 10 lbs of salmon I bought.  Grilled which made it wonderful.  I also baked some eggplant.  The eggplant had a unique texture but it tasted good.  All you would do is cut it up as pictured then put on some salt, pepper, and either coconut oil or grass-fed butter.  Cook on 425 for around 45 minutes.  Turned out delicious which is good because my CSA is giving a lot of Eggplant right now.


And my go to beef and broccoli.  Recently my sister tweeted that guac and salsa are the new pbj.  I couldn’t agree more so I took this picture to show you that they really do go together.  I use them in combination all of the time and absolutely love it.  This particular beef and broccoli I cooked with some lime juice and arizona dreaming seasoning.  This meant it had a little bit of a mexican food type flavor.  I like this meal because its easy but versatile in that I can just change up a few ingredients and create an entirely different meal.  

And finally this weekend I went to my parents house and spent some time with my dogs.  Roxie the white one lives with me in Dallas and Maximus the gold one lives with my parents in Houston.  I love them.  Tomorrow I will post again about my weekend down in Houston because I went and saw the Lion King in theater.  Tomorrow won’t deal with food but will deal with other aspects of health such as playing more and enjoying life.  


Remember the difference is mostly knowing what you are capable of and not letting anything come in the way and stop you.  Olympians don’t let anything get in their way.  Stop letting things get in your way.  That difference between them and you really isn’t that big of an issue.  Find a way to close that gap.  Get inspired and get to work.

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.  



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.


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.


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.


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.



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.



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.



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.


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.


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.



And finally I added some cauliflower covered in olive oil.


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).  


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.  


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.


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.



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.  



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.



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.  



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.  


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.


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.  


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.  


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.


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 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.