Brussels Sprouts and Bacon Slaw

brusselssprouts It seems that I gravitate towards some veggies more than others and this time of year we are getting large bags of Brussels sprouts in our Bountiful Basket. If you grew up hating Brussels Sprouts this is a sure bet it will change your mind. My theory is that by slicing them thin and then of course adding bacon to anything it will be a hit!

Ingredients

1 pound of Brussels Sprouts sliced thin

1 large apple or 2 small ones cut into bite size pieces

5 slices of bacon

Place the bacon in a large, deep skillet, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until evenly browned, but not crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, leaving the grease in the skillet. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease.

Cook in your thinly sliced brussel sprouts. Season with salt and pepper. Cook and stir until it softens, 5 to 7 minutes. Add in your apple cook another 2 minutes. Add your bacon back in and warm through.  Serve with a side of your favorite meat or bowl of soup.

Super Easy and this dish holds well for leftovers.

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Sweet Chicken Salad

jar I don't eat mayonnaise - never have really. I go dry. As I got older I started using more spicy style mustard.

I hate it when I am doing laundry and I try so hard not to totally dry my sorta nice work-out clothing, the dry wick kind....just to find out as I am folding my clothes that I totally baked my work-out clothes. I guess that is why I never buy nice clothing - cause I will totally ruin it.

This idea is great when you have left over chicken in the fridge and it is starting to dry up on you. Okay maybe your chicken isn't dry but I always over cook my chicken.

For your Salad

2 large chicken breasts, cooked and cut up into bite size pieces

1 medium sized apple cut into bite size pieces. The sweeter the better

1 small green bell pepper, diced

For your Dressing

1 ripe avocado

2 tablespoons of mustard preferably a Dijon type.

2 tablespoons of olive

water as needed

1 tsp dried tarragon

1 tsp dried parsley

S/P

Mix your salad fix- ins into a bowl.

Prepare your dressing by adding in your avocado, mustard, olive oil and a tablespoon of water into your blender. Puree until smooth adding in more water as needed.  Pour over your salad along with your spices and stir together. Chill for about 15-20 minutes.

Then Eat!

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Pesto

Pesto  

Easy Pesto Recipe.  You can make this ahead and freeze it in small containers to use for later recipe ideas such as Chicken Pasta, Veggies or spread on crackers. 1 cup pistachios, unsalted and shelled 1-1 1/2 cup basil leaves (I did about half basil and half spinach) 2 garlic cloves 1/2-1 cup olive oil juice of 1 lemon

and S/P to taste

METHOD

1 Pulse your nuts a few times before adding in your basil and spinach. Combine the basil and spinach leaves in with the nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor.  Add the garlic and pulse a few times more.

2 Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add  in your lemon juice, a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

Foods to eat, and foods to avoid.

 

Encouraged Foods

Lean Meats  - Lean beef (trimmed of visible fat), Flank steak, Top sirloin steak, Extra-lean hamburger, London broil, Chuck steak, Lean veal, Lean pork, Pork loin, Pork chops

Lean poultry (white meat, skin removed) - Chicken breast, Turkey breast, Game hen breasts

Eggs (limit to six a week) - Chicken (go for the enriched omega 3 variety)

Fish - Bass, Grouper, Haddock, Halibut, Herring, Mackerel, Monkfish, Mullet, Northern pike, Orange roughy, Perch, Red snapper, Rockfish, Salmon, Striped bass, Sunfish, Tilapia, Trout, Tuna, Turbot, Walleye

Shellfish - Abalone, Clams, Crab, Crayfish, Lobster, Mussels, Oysters, Scallops or Shrimp

Fruit - Apple, Apricot, Avocado, Banana, Blackberries, Blueberries, Boysenberries, Cantaloupe, Cassava melon, Cherimoya, Cherries, Cranberries, Figs, Gooseberries, Grapefruit, Grapes, Guava, Honeydew melon, Kiwi, Lemon, Lime, Lychee, Mango, Nectarine,Orange,Papaya, Passion fruit, Peaches, Pears, Persimmon, Pineapple, Plums, Pomegranate, Raspberries, Rhubarb, Star fruit, Strawberries, Tangerine, Watermelon or any  other fruits,

Vegetables - Artichoke, Asparagus, Beet greens, Beets, Bell peppers, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Collards, Cucumber, Dandelion, Eggplant, Endive, Green onions, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Mushrooms, Mustard greens, Onions, Parsley, Parsnip, Peppers, Pumpkin, Purslane, Radish, Rutabaga, Seaweed, Spinach, Squash (all kinds), Swiss chard, Tomatillos, Tomato (fruit), Turnip greens, Turnips, Watercress.

Nuts and Seeds -Almonds, Brazil nuts, Cashews, Chestnuts, Hazelnuts (filberts), Macadamia nuts, Pecans, Pine nuts, Pistachios (unsalted), Pumpkin seeds, Sesame seeds, Sunflower seeds & Walnuts

Foods You Should Avoid

Dairy Foods - Butter, Cheese, Cream, Dairy spreads, Frozen yogurt, Ice cream, Ice milk, Low-fat milk, Nonfat dairy creamer, Powdered milk, Skim milk, Whole milk, Yogurt

Cereal Grains - Barley, Corn, Millet, Oats, Rice (brown rice, white rice, top ramen, rice noodles, bas mati rice, rice cakes, Rice flour, Rye, Sorghum, Wheat (bread, rolls, muffins, noodles, crackers, cookies, cake, doughnuts, pancakes, waffles, pasta, spaghetti, lasagna, wheat tortillas, pizza, pita bread, flat bread, and all processed foods made with wheat or wheat flour), Wild rice

Cereal Grainlike Seeds -Amaranth, Buckwheat, Quinoa

Legumes -All beans (adzuki beans, black beans, broad beans, fava beans, field beans, garbanzo beans, horse beans, kidney beans, lima beans, mung beans, navy beans, pinto beans, red beans, string beans, white beans), Black-eyed peas, Chickpeas, Lentils, Peas, Miso, Peanut butter, Peanuts, Snowpeas, Sugar snap peas, Soybeans and all soybean products, including tofu

Starchy Vegetables -Starchy tubers, Cassava root, Manioc, Potatoes and all potato products (French fries, potato chips, etc.), Sweet potatoes, Tapioca pudding, Yams

Salt-Containing Foods - Check your commercial salad dressings and condiments

Fatty Meats - Bacon, Beef ribs, Chicken and turkey legs, Chicken and turkey skin, Chicken and turkey thighs and wings, Fatty beef roasts, Fatty cuts of beef, Fatty ground beef, Fatty pork chops, Fatty pork roasts, Lamb chops, Lamb roasts, Leg of lamb, Pork ribs, Pork sausage, T—bone steaks

Soft Drinks and Fruit Juices - All sugary soft drinks, Canned, bottled, and freshly squeezed fruit drinks (which lack the fiber of fresh fruit and have a much higher glvcemic index)

Sweets -Candy, Honey, Sugar

Paleo for athletes diet may vary in some circumsatnces.  As an athlete we need to use foods such as the potato, sweet potato, yam or a banana to restore muscle glycogen as a post exercise food.  So when reading the above information remember to ask questions and do the research necessary for your personal exercise and daily dietary plan.

(Information obtained from the book "The Paleo Diet/The Paleo Diet for Atheles" by Loren Cordain.

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Zucchini Garlic Soup

This recipe is inspired for two reasons. Well actually three reasons. #1 I had an abundance of zucchinis from my garden. #2 Zucchini is super cheap to buy most of the time. #3 Baby its cold outside, and who doesn't want to snuggle up with some soup. This is a super duper simple soup to make - and it can be made ahead and store in the fridge for later use or stocked up in the freezer for a quick add to dinner.

Olive Oil (coat the bottom of your pot) 1 white onion, sliced 8 to 9 large cloves garlic, sliced thinly 4 medium zucchini, about 1 1/2 pounds 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger Salt and pepper

Heat the oil in a heavy 4-quart pot over low heat. Add the sliced garlic and onions and cook on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent. Keep the heat low enough that the garlic doesn't brown; you want everything to sweat.

When the onions are soft, add the zucchini and cook until soft. Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Simmer at a low heat for about 45 minutes. If you want a less bitter zucchini taste (which sometimes zucchini has) you can peel your zucchini before adding to the pot.

Let cool slightly, then blend with an immersion blender until creamy, or transfer to a standing blender to puree. Be very careful if you use the latter; only fill the blender half full with each batch, and hold the lid down tightly with a towel.

Taste and season with ginger, salt and pepper. Like most soups, this is significantly better after a night in the refrigerator to let the flavors meld. If you want a creamer richer tasting soup - add about 4 ounces of canned coconut milk to the blended soup.

 

This recipe was inspired by http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-zucchini-1-32520

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Zuchini Fritters

A nice touch to almost any dish. I use them with eggs in the morning or add them in with dinner as a side. What you need:

1 large zuchini or 2 small shredded ( I used my cheese grater)

2 eggs whisked

1 3/4 cup almond meal

1/2 onion finely chopped

garlic powder or crushed fresh garlic to taste

S/P

Heat oil or fat of choice in a pan ( I used coconut oil). I used my icecream scooper to scoop out the perfect size patty. Placed into hot pan, flatten a bit. Turn over when brown on one side. Enjoy!

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Chicken Florentine

Need a new idea for dinner? Spice it up with this easy Chicken Dish. Pair with a green salad and some fresh fruit.

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 4 4-oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 14-oz canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil (or tsp dried)
  • 10 oz fresh spinach
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil and cook chicken until lightly browned on each side, approximately 6 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and stir in tomatoes, oregano and basil; place spinach on top of the chicken and cover tightly.
  3. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, approximately 15 more minutes. Stir in salt and pepper and top with cheese.

Make this recipe healthier: Use “no-salt added” crushed tomatoes to reduce your sodium by 110 milligrams per serving! Serves 4

Thanks to Oxygen Women's Fitness Magazine for this tasty dish.

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What should I eat after a workout?

Thanks to CrossFit Santa Clara for this information: Many of  us wonder what to eat after a workout, and the answer is: It depends! It depends on what kind of workout you are doing, and what your goal is – fat loss, performance improvements, mass gain, etc. There’s a lot of information floating around about what is “best”, but most of it comes from either the body-building or the  endurance sport community, and little of it has a Paleo orientation. So here’s the scoop from two people who have been training top-level athletes and working with nutrition for years.

Robb Wolf’s recommendations:

For those interested in what to eat after a workout, here’s some insight taken straight from the Paleolithic Solutions seminar:

“After exercise we have a phenomenon called ‘non insulin mediated glucose transport”. It’s a period of time in which we can fly glucose and amino acids into the muscle without much insulin AND we improve recovery. For large WODs we can shift upwards of 50% of the day’s carbs into the Post Workout (PWO) period. The optimum time for this is less than 15 minutes PWO, it’s still good at 30 min, and almost back to baseline by an hour. Timing is critical if you want the most from this!

Might help with fat loss… might not. Be clear about GOALS!

  1. Athletic maintenance at 14-17 cals/lb
  2. Strength WOD: 25-50 g Protein & Fat or Carb (need to lean? gain?)
  3. “Big” WOD: 25-50 g Protein, 50-75g Carbs
  4. “Little” WOD: 25-50g Protein & Carb
  5. Multiple sessions? Throw some in after both WODS.”

Obviously it is up to you to experiment with different PWO options to find what works best for you, to meet your specific goals.

OPT’s recommendations:

James Fitzgerald  (OPT – of Optimum Performance Training in Calgary, winner of the 2007 CrossFit Games) provides Pre- and Post-Workout recommendations based on the volume and intensity of the workout and your bodyfat percentage

8. Pre-WOD Fueling rx’d. This is VERY individualized, VERY. Depends on your schedule, your digestion ability, the WOD, etc. But, for “general” purposes, I will give some scenarios. A – your WOD is Fran (or any high power output/gassy WOD), and you are doing it at 5 pm. I would suggest eating your last meal around 1 pm to 2 pm at latest. Between this time, you only consume fluids (caffeine anyone?), and supplements if you so choose. You get to the gym at 4-4:30 pm, begin warm-up and anticipate the oncoming pain. The empty gut will benefit you immensely for these high power output WOD’s. Pretty much if the WOD is going to kick your ass, then you had better make sure that you are running light on the food (3hr+ post)and heavy on the motivation.

B – if you are doing the same WOD at 6 am. Wake-up, warm-up, and get’er done. Fluids, such as Ultima, or some kind of electrolyte may be beneficial to YOU. If you are eating, make sure it is not much more than what you could pick from your teeth following a handful of cashews, as it will only be coming right back up – if the WOD is done correctly. At this time, warm-up is even more important.

C – your WOD is Deadlift, 1-1-1-1-1-1-1. Bring your lunch pale and do as you please. Whether done in the AM/PM, eating food will not affect your performance, as this is a CNS WOD.

D – if the WOD is A1/A2/B1/B2 style, with short rest times, moderate (or more) amount of sets and reps, then you would want to follow the advice from Scenario’s A & B (shown above).

9. Post-WOD Fueling rx’d.

The sooner the better, in most cases. The rx’d numbers are based on everyone’s BF% b/c its all I know about those who post…outside of that there are WAY too many factors for determining EXACTLY what you need post WOD except to say “experiment” and play with it…but i would be happy to answer questions regarding this on the daily posts about your own situation the best I can…

I’d suggest for those that are “blocking” to experiment as I’ve done with a lot of folks and do not count your post workout fuel in the day allotment for a few reasons, one of which is that this is the time to play with that…and secondly…I’ve found it a little better for recovery with the various exposures you’ll get here…that is different that other recommendations simply b/c it is different training…that’s all.

As for fat, the research shows that it might help in post WOD nutrition…Di Pasquale tried hard to tell Charles that but I’m in Poliquin’s camp that the leaner the person is, you basically load them up with as much sugar as they can handle without fucking up the daily insulin rhythm post WOD…as it yields so many good results…for example, I Rx up to 80-100 g carbs post WOD for an 8% athlete being trained for their sport under CF methodology…and they STILL take on 12-15 carb blocks per day…so yes, that is 10 blocks post WOD plus 12-15 in day…and they gain mass and have better 5K runs, DL x 1, 2K rows and max chin ups…and I think it is due to the leanness and the uptake ability..this changes of course the fatter you get…BIG TIME… so stay lean…as nothing tastes as good as being lean feels!

Options - If you can handle dairy protein post workout, then that is likely you best option, in powder form. This is depending on the workout. If the workout is not a gasser (i.e. Deadlift, 5-5-5-5-5, 180 sec + some other strength work) then eating a balanced PFC meal of whole food will be fine. If it is a sweaty WOD, then follow the rx’d post WOD fueling, trying to hit the number of rx’d protein and carbs, with minimal fat (Refuel + Jarrow or Dream Whey – from OPT Store is a great combo to meet the requirements).

Best Protein Options - Hormone free whey (dairy) protein isolate, goat protein isolate, leaner cuts of meat (chicken, turkey, deer, elk, beef, etc.), organic yogurt + whey protein. There are lots of options (especially in the OPT Logbook). As long as the source is CLEAN, and the protein is COMPLETE (i.e. not vege based), then you will be fine – just select the right amount.

Best Carb Options - some kind of sugar (i.e. Maltodextrin – Refuel) works well for the harder WOD’s, organic Yam/Sweet potatoes are fine too. Apple sauce, pineapple, pretty much any fruit/high starch vege will be fine. Just pay attention to how you feel an hour or two later (energy, cognitive ability, digestion issues?, etc. – be aware). If you do experience any negative effects from your food choice – protein or carb, then it would be wise to find out what caused it, and avoid it for the time being because it is impeding your recovery – which is most important. Again, whatever you choose, keep it clean – just select the correct amount.”

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Whey Protein after your WOD

Whey Protein is a by-product of cheese manufactured from cow’s milk.It has the highest biological value of any protein. Meaning that it crosses the stomach quickly and is rapidly absorbed by the intestines.  For years it has been the staple of many athletes/bodybuilders supplement program. Why is this particular type of protein important?

Well the protein fraction in whey (approximately 10% of the total dry solids within whey) comprises four major protein fractions and six minor protein fractions. The major protein fractions in whey are beta-lactoglobulin, alpha-lactalbumin, bovine serum albumin and immunoglobulins. Each of these components has important body strengthening  effects thanks to:

•    A high protein efficiency ratio o    One study showed that milk protein elicits greater increase in branched chain amino acid concentrations in peripheral tissues as compared to soy.

•    Lactose (found in whey but not whey concentrate) which is broken down into galacto-oligosaccharides that are used by intestinal bacteria leading to better functioning of the digestive tract.

•    Calcium (a minimal component of whey protein) decreases accumulation of body fat and accelerates weight and fat loss. The proposed mechanism is thought to be that parathyroid hormone and 1,25-(OH)2-D respond to low calcium diets and promote fat storage. High calcium diets inhibit these hormones and thus inhibit fat storage and promote increased fat breakdown and energy partitioning from fat to lean.

•   Cystine: a conditionally essential amino acid, which is the rate-limiting factor for the body’s production of glutathione an important antioxidant.

•    An excellent source of branched-chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, valine) o    Leucine is a both a key signal molecule for initiation and an important substrate for new protein synthesis.

•    It’s usage as a source of glutamine

•    In one study it was found that whey supplements may prevent blood sugar spikes after high-carbohydrate meals.

Why should you care? Simple, the body is highly sensitive to insulin after exercise and shuttles carbohydrates and proteins into muscle cells instead of fat cells. This sensitivity declines post-workout until ~2 hours at which point it reaches baseline. Furthermore, the anabolic effects of insulin are synergistic with amino acids.11 Given the rapid absorption of whey, it is the ideal choice for post-workout to take advantage of the insulin-amino acid synergistic effect. This means that whey protein is going to rebuild the damage and replenish the muscle that your body has been using up as you constantly CRUSH yourself with daily WODS. Basically reversing the catabolic state that your body is in after a tough workout, meaning that you start to make the necessary adaptations to the overload that you submit your body to in your quest to become fit (and look better naked).

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Post Workout Meal

PWO Meal The idea of a PWO meal containing carbs (and protein) is to take advantage of a period of time in which the muscles are particularly insulin sensitiveve. We can fly nutrients into the muscle “under the radar” via a mechanism called “non insulin mediated glucose transport”. Amino acids are also taken in during this time and may play a synergistic role in both glycogen repletion but also decreasing inflammation that accompanies hard training. Said another way, you recover from exertion faster. So, what should ya eat? We actually want a starchy carb as our primary carb. Yams and sweet potatoes are great options as they are also highly nutritious. Fruit should be used sparingly in this meal if one is focused on optimized glycogen repletion as fructose refills liver glycogen first, and once liver glycogen is full we up-regulate the lipogenic activity of the liver and start down the road towards fat gain and insulin resistance.

I know James Fitzgerald (OPT) has used a mixture of mashed sweet potato and apple sauce for PWO meal…getting just a bit of hepatic (liver) glycogen repletion with the lions share going to the muscles. Sprinkle some cinnamon on top to enhance insulin sensitivity and you are set. Why do the mixture? Perhaps James will chime in on this but for me a simple answer would be palatability and taste. If you just received an ass-kicking, stuffing food down your pie-hole may not be that appealing. Something yummy could certainly make that easier.

Why not shakes? I’ve not found them to be superior to solid food, I have noticed they make people fat. A new paper just came out comparing milk & cereal (shitty food) to a PWO shake (also shitty food) and the milk+cereal beat the shake with regards to glycogen repletion. Go figure. I’d wager salmon and sweet potatoes would be even better…not likely to see that study!

The PWO window is most potent immediately after a WO and drops off to about 50% efficacy by 30 min, and pretty much back to baseline by an hour. If you train at night, just try to get that meal in immediately after training and keep an eye out for fat gain around the mid-section. If thyis happens, dial back your carbs.

Strength

There is a reality that getting really lean will decrease your absolute strength. We loose a bit of intramuscular fat that improves leverage and it just tends to take  a little off the top end of things like squats and DL’s. You can still have great absolute strength and your relative strength will greatly improve…but if you are leanign out you almost inevitabley will see those top-end numbers come dwon a bit as compared to running just a bit heavier. Also, I’m assuming you are ramped up to a 5x fat, athlete’s Zone diet.

From robbwolf.com article.

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