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Tag Archives: Meat

For the Love of Food: Just Add Eggs

Posted on by Alycia

A simple recipe for a wonderfully hearty weekend breakfast for those of us who have 5-star taste, on a $5 budget.

THIS WAS DINNER

1. Make some coffee

2. Open the fridge and remove last night’s leftovers.

3. Heat up the leftovers in a pan on the stove.

4. Cook up some eggs- either in the same pan or separately.

5. Eat.

6. Smile.

THIS IS BREAKFAST

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For the Love of Food: Oven Roasted Pork Loin with Asparagus and Peppers

Posted on by Alycia

Justin turned 30 this past June and we had some friends over to celebrate. Among his favorite gifts was an enormous 16 lb. pork tenderloin. It was giftwrapped and presented to him with care by his good friend, Bob, who obviously knows him well.

We decided that the best use of the meat would be to chop it up into 4 equal parts, and cook each 4lb section on a different day, and in a different style.  The first three variations all started in the crock pot. For the last piece, however, I decided to use the oven to cook the meat, hoping that it would still retain it’s juiciness. It did. :)

To prepare for this recipe, preheat the oven to 450 degrees and place the pork loin ( about 3-4 pounds) in a baking dish. If there is a layer of fat on the meat, position it so that the fat layer is facing up. It might be helpful to use a roasting pan that has a rack. If you don’t have one, some twisted up tin foil will do just fine.

Season the meat liberally with a mix of olive oil, rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper. The first three spices should equal up to about 1T, and the salt and pepper should be another Tablespoon, combined. Mix those spices and the olive oil in a small dish and create a paste. Then, slather it on the top and sides of the meat.

Cook in the oven for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 250 degrees and cook for an additional 50-70 minutes. It’s done when the center is slightly pink, but not fleshy. Let it sit for about 10 minutes before eating.

While the roast is cooling down, chop up some thin asparagus into halves, cut up half of an orange or yellow pepper, and about a quarter of a red onion. Steam the asparagus and peppers by cooking them in a large saute pan with a few teaspoons of water, and covered with a lid. After 5 minutes, uncover and add in the onions.  Season it simply, and let the water boil off. Serve and eat!

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As Seen on the Internet: 5 Original Food Groups

Posted on by admin

We got this from the CrossFit Albany nutrition website.

Makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

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For the Love of Food: Almond Crusted Spicy Pork Chops with a Hot Salad

Posted on by Alycia

Some people, when given a plate full of salad topped with chicken, will say “its not enough. I won’t get full”, or “I don’t like salads”. But if you put a plate of chicken, broccoli, zucchini, squash, cooked spinach, and cauliflower infront of them, they’ll gladly eat it and consider it a meal. Other than containing slightly more variety of vegetables than a salad, the only difference between plate 1 and plate 2 is the temperature and seasonings on the vegetables.

For most people, ‘cooking’ a salad is an easy way to show them that they do, in fact, like vegetables!

On a plate, combine some almond meal (Trader Joe’s has this pretty cheap) with some cayenne pepper, chili powder, cilantro and garlic powder. In a bowl, mix together two eggs. Drag 4 pork chops through the egg, then the almond meal, coating them on all sides.

Cook the pork chops in some olive oil on the stove.  Turn over carefully about halfway through. These were thick, so they took about 12-15 minutes total.

Meanwhile, gather some ingredients that you might put into a salad ( any veggies, really) and chop into small rounds. Rinse and chop a head of green leaf lettuce. I used carrots, zucchini and eggplant, as shown in this picture.

“Roast” some garlic in the microwave by peeling and poking 2 or 3 cloves, setting them on a plate with some olive oil, and putting them in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Add them to the sliced veggies and cook in a deep pot, with some coconut oil and Trader Joe’s Everyday Seasoning.

Once the veggies have softened, add in the green leaf lettuce.

At this point, your pork should be done.

Put it on a plate and eat it. ( The audible “nom,nom,nom” is optional).

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For the Love of Food: Eat This, Not That.

Posted on by admin

So…we’re your personal trainers. You pay us to make you sweat a lot, lift heavy things, and push your body really hard.  What you DON’T pay us for is our advice and suggestions for a healthy lifestyle outside of the gym. That part we give away for free. ( lucky you!)

Why do we do this? Why don’t we just work you hard and send you home? You sweat a lot while you were here, so that must mean you are getting healthier, right? Kind of. Just about everyone who does CrossFit notices a positive body composition change and an increase in aerobic capacity and strength within the first few months, which is great, but it’s not everything. By only concentrating on what you do in the gym, you’re only reaping some of the benefits of the whole experience.

When you pay close attention to what you are putting into your body, and how your body reacts when that happens, you will be able to tweak your diet to ensure that you will have full nights of sleep, energy all day, and make significant progress in the gym. After all, food is a drug for your body. Food can only hurt or heal your body. And why would you want to hurt your body after you’ve spent your time and money to whip it into shape?

Here are a few guidelines for choosing foods that will help you Feel Good, Look Good, Perform Better and Live Long.

1. Only eat real foods. If you can pick it from the ground or a tree or hunt and cook it, it’s probably a safe bet that it’s a real food.  Examples of real foods are vegetables, herbs, beef, pork, chicken, fish, eggs, and olive oil and coconut oil. Edibles that seem like real foods but are NOT are things that require processing before eating, such as grains and legumes (peanuts, beans and things made from beans such as tofu). Also, anything that contains a nutrition label or a list of ingredients isn’t a real food. For example, frozen dinners and pre-made dips and sauces might be made from real foods, but probably also contains some nasty chemicals, fillers and sugars – in which case, you’re better off just making that food at home. Also fruit, nuts and seeds are real foods, but don’t constitute a well-rounded meal. Instead, consider these your real food snacks.

2. If you eat meat, make sure it’s Grassfed and raised on a small farm. Small farms that let their cows and chicken roam free and eat what they are supposed to eat ( grass, seeds, etc)  produce high quality meats that you can feel good about eating.  Plus, if you are choosing not to eat grains, you are shortchanging yourself by choosing meat from factory farms, where the cows are fed grains (ie: you’re just eating grains that have been processed through a cow. yucky.)

3. End your love affair with sugar. We’re talking all added sugar, honey, stevia, agave nectar, etc. All sugars, even the kinds made from plants, are highly addictive and are out to hurt, not help, your body. Your doctor would never recommend increasing your sugar levels to increase your health. So why do we eat them? Ingesting sugars will raise your blood sugar levels, causing an insulin spike, which signals the body to store away the sugar in your fat cells, rather than using it as energy. The only sugars you should be eating come from fruits, and we recommend to only eat a single serving of fruit per day.

4. No Grains. Ever. At all. We learned from #1 that grains aren’t included in the “real foods” category, but it bears repeating because it’s simple to forget some of the foods that contain grains, such as all breads, cereals, crackers, chips, sandwiches, and anything that contains flour, breading, or the words ‘whole grain’.

Gluten is a protein found in grains that causes some really nasty side effects upon consumption. These sharp little proteins don’t get broken down completely upon digestion, and cause small tears in the lining of the small intestines. This allows nutrients from your intestines to float out into your bloodstream. When this happens, your body doesn’t absorb the nutrients of the food you just ate, and your body recognizes the free floating food particles as foreign bodies, inflammation occurs, and your  body’s  autoimmune response kicks in to help bring things back down to a normal state. Therefore, people who are sensitive to gluten, and even those of us who don’t notice much of a difference either way, are constantly engaging in an internal battle to return your body back to it’s normal state.

Plainly put, our bodies aren’t equipped to digest gluten. More on this here from Whole9, if you’re interested.

5. Beware of dairy. Dairy contains a protein called casein, that acts a lot like gluten and does some pretty bad things to your body. Also, milk contains sugar, which we know is bad for the body. The one exception to this is breast milk, which babies thrive on. Heavy cream and butter from pasture raised cows ( try Kerrygold) contain milk fat, but none of the proteins or sugars that are found in milk, so they are OK in our book, too.

6. Drink Water. And only water. And a lot of it.  It’s the only beverage that will truly quench your thirst without giving you any extra calories or weird chemicals. It should go without saying that all sodas and juices are out, but  sneaky advertising has made many people falsely assume that diet sodas and iced teas are fine, natural, or ‘good for you’. They aren’t. Just stick with water and you’ll start to see differences right away. If you’re attached to the fizz of sodas, try sparkling water. And if you love the sweetness of juices or sweetened iced teas, then squeeze a lemon, lime, watermelon or orange into your water. (Coffee and tea, are also OK in our book. Just don’t overdo it on the caffeine!)

7. Go food shopping often and cook your food every day. Try a new vegetable each week and find a recipe online for how to cook it. Use a slow cooker for meats (they are designed for people who can’t cook or people with limited time). Experiment with new recipes and how to cook and eat meals only using real foods. We have a lot more on the topic of cooking, but for now, we’ll just say -DO IT. It’s surprisingly easy and delicious!

If you’ve gotten this far in the post, you’re might be freaking out a little right now. Maybe you have a ton of questions, of you’re wondering why we recommend you eat this way,  you don’t think this applies to you, or you think it will be impossible to stick to.  Well, the good news is that you don’t have to make the big switch over to this style of eating all in one step.

Over the next few months, we’ll be posting “Baby Steps” to help you through the transition from what you’re eating now, to what your body actually wants.  We’ll explore unhealthy relationships with food, and explain the thinking behind this way of eating.  Finally, we’ll discuss ailments (everything from acne to bloating) and how they can be remedied by eating the right foods.

Now that’s you’ve seen our general diet suggestions, take a moment to read everything over again, absorb the information, and formulate your questions. Post them to the Comments, or email Alycia@crossfitaspire.com for some one-on-one Q&A.

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For the Love of Food: Steak with sauteed veggies and avocado over spinach

Posted on by Alycia

As we stumble into the kitchen after a grueling workout, ravaged and ready to eat just about anything, our meal making decisions become quite easy ask we ask ourselves, “Does what we’re about to cook include a lean meat? A vegetable? A source of good fat?” if the answer is Yes, then we make it and we eat it. If the answer is No, we continue to pair up the ingredients in our fridge until we find a combo that works.

The meal below fits the bill perfectly!

Lean Meat: Strip Steak

Veggie: Asparagus, broccoli, tomato, onion, pepper and spinach

Fat: Avocado, olive oil and/or butter

Rinse and chop up some locally grown asparagus, cherry tomatoes, white onion, yellow or red pepper, and broccoli. You can leave them in pretty big, 1 or 2-bite chunks. Rinse some baby spinach and leave that aside.

Place two grassfed beef steaks (ribeye or strip steaks are great, depending on your preference) in a skillet with generous amounts of olive oil (as shown below) or ample amounts of creamy pure butter (Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter is made from grassfed, pasture raised cows in Ireland, and is sold at Trader Joe’s).

Add the sliced onion and sprinkle on some salt and a peppercorn blend, or Trader Joe’s ‘Everyday Seasoning’. Cover with a lid and cook for 5-7 minutes on that side ( time really depends on the thickness of the steak and your preference for doneness) and then flip.

While the other side of the steak is cooking, place the remaining veggies (without the baby spinach) into another pan and sautee with olive oil and garlic or garlic powder.  Cook these until the asparagus is not hard, but just a little crunchy. About 5 minutes.

Slice a ripe avocado ( serving size shown here is about 1/2 of an avocado) and place it on the plates. Put the raw baby spinach down on the plate, then the veggies on top, and the steak on the side.  Start eating the veggies first, as steak always tastes best about 5 or 10 minutes after it comes off the heat.

If you cooked 2 whole strip steaks, and you’re only feeding 2 people, well then you’re in luck! You’ll have plenty of leftovers for tomorrow’s breakfast ( steak and peppers with eggs), lunch (sliced steak salad with tons’ of veggies) or dinner (steak with roasted veggies and sweet potato).

Happy Eating!

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