Cravings!

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Chicken liver, yum!

Delicious pate recipe:  https://food52.com/recipes/2779-tuscan-chicken-liver-pate

 

Fire Island

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Fire Island

I discovered Fire Island about 10 years ago when I was relatively new to New York and looking for places to enjoy the great outdoors during the summer months.  I found a club that offered organized trips for kayaking, canoeing and hiking.  The problem I kept having was that I didn’t have a car, a canoe or a kayak, a requirement for most of their trips.  Finally a trip came up that was on Fire Island.  It was a weekend of kayaking including a stay in a cabin and meals were included.  I arrived around sunset and it looked like the picture above.  I have been going back ever since.  After learning to sail on the great south bay, I now volunteer for the Appalachian Mountain Club as a sailing instructor.  I also teach Pilates one weekend a summer.  I am trying to create an SUP program out there.  The Great South Bay is is perfect for SUP.

IMG_5782 IMG_5841 IMG_5792Some SUP yoga and practicing my pivot turns

My friend Cheryl Malter taught some amazing Iyengar classes out at the cabin this weekend and in between yoga my husband and I played on the SUP.  I rented a board in Ocean Beach from Ocean Beach Surf and Sport.  I used a Bic, available here.

 

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It was a vegetarian yoga weekend…but you know we Paleos don’t play that!  We schlepped all of our food out to the cabin and grilled it up.  There were a few comments from the other guests, mostly can I have some, please?

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We made a delicious kale salad from the garden and breakfast was hamburger scramble with eggs, berries and leftovers.

There are a lot of things I like about staying at the cabin.  It is an easy walk to the ocean or the bay.  There are two hot water outdoor showers.  There are a bunch of water sports vessels (kayaks, Canoes, sailboats and hopefully SUP soon!) available for members.  There are no cars on Fire Island.  It feels like summer camp, including the bunk beds.   For a weekend escape from NYC including food (healthy but not Paleo), beer and wine, it is well worth the expense and the schlepp!

Summer is here!

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My sister can usually guess where I am by the food I am eating.  Lobster rolls are the quintessential east coast summer food.  This weekend my husband and I made some lobster salad from scratch.  No easy task! I also enjoyed some east coast oysters.  We have been so fortunate over the last 10 years to be able to use my husband’s cousin’s family home in Southampton.  We just found out that it will be put on the market this summer so any remaining time we get out here is extra special.  Long Island is a great place to eat seafood.  We got the lobster (live) and these VA oysters from the Clamman.

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Best homemade mayo recipe and getting enough seafood in your diet

I’ve been making mayo for the last 2 years and this mayo recipe and video were the best I’ve tried so far.  I’ve made mayo with it 3 times and the batches were always perfect.

This is what I used to make my tuna pasta salad.  Yes tuna pasta salad.  The pasta salad was leftover from our Easter dinner.  We made a ham in our Instant pot Hawaiian style (Kalua pig) and I had to have some mac salad with the pork.  It was onolicious.

The next day I added some tuna to my left over pasta salad and had the lunch pictured below.

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I have been trying to add more seafood into my meat heavy Paleo routine.  Although I usually grab a piece of prepared salmon from Wholefoods while I am out and about, their prepared Salmon is farmed and prepared in Canola oil.  Also I want variety…so I am trying out various canned fish.

 

I used this Wild Planet canned Tuna which my husband found and I had been saving for a day that I would need protein.  It was pretty good tasting, high in Omega 3′s and a good option for seafood if you aren’t able to make it to the market.  Wild Planet can linings are BPA free but also just found their product in a jar today.  It is a little pricy.  4.5 ozs for $5.69 at Wholefoods in Manhattan on 57th Street.

  Wild Planet tunacan infotuna jar

Le Pain Quotidian had some delicious canned sardines on the menu last spring.

Sardines

I’ve just bought some  Crown prince sardines at Wholefoods but they are also available on Amazon.  Another blogger also recommend Crown Prince canned oysters which are available at Trader Joe’s.  Less mercury is found in smaller, cold water fish and shellfish.  If you can handle it…fermented cod liver oil  I haven’t been able to even buy the stuff yet but I definitely prefer to eat food sources over taking supplements.  If you aren’t into eating seafood try a flavored fermented cod liver oil to get your Omega 3s & Vitamins A and D.  The brands that people tend to recommend are Oslo, Green Pastures and Carlsons.

 

What I’ve been eating lately

 

 

As I sit here selecting these photos of my meals over the past week I’m getting hungry!  I really enjoy cooking food at home and always feel best when I am able to make my meals fresh with ingredients I trust.

IMG_5417Organic free range Chicken bone broth Sauteed organic baby kale and fresh, wild caught cajun shrimp.

 

IMG_5392Moment of weakness!  Although I did prepare this “cheat” comfort meal of gnocchi at home the ingredients were purchased while starving after a long day.  Would have been better to plan ahead and avoid a belly full of pasta…I do crave pasta occasionally but I usually regret it.

 

IMG_5446Yum o!  Organic baby kale sautéed in Nutiva cold pressed organic coconut oil, with a fried egg and wild caught smoked salmon.

 

 

IMG_5445 Organic kale and avocado salad with sautéed ramps and cajun shrimp.

 

IMG_5433Organic grassfed beef shank in the instant pot, organic cauliflower rice and steamed organic bok choy.

 

Recovering from 175 push ups

Okay, I did 175 push ups on Saturday and on Sunday I was feeling it.  How did I recover?  I stretched my pecs and worked my upper back muscles.  The opposite group that I worked in the push ups.  I also had a headache.  Part of my headache was allergy related and the other was probably not holding my head up through all of those darn push ups.  In other words: bad form!  At least for part of the push ups, the second half most likely when I was in muscle failure.

I used a skinny (light weight) pull-up band to strengthen the muscles between my shoulder blades.  The muscles that pull my shoulder blades towards my spine.

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band pull Keep your wrists neutral like my left wrist.  I am not stabilizing my right wrist enough and it is being pulled by the band.

I also did a bunch of bent over reverse flies without weight….like 5 sets of 50.  This was a stretch for my pecs and shoulders.  Also it worked the posterior shoulder and upper back.  I wanted to pull my body out of the front body (chest and shoulder) tightness that I had created with all the push ups.

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Doing the reverse flies like this also helped pull my head back into alignment. I felt much better after doing these!

Form fanatic rant: Crossfit push ups

I am a fanatic when it comes to form.  My clients all know this about me and that is why they keep coming back.  They know that if they are doing an exercise with poor form, I am going to stop them.  We will attempt to correct the form and try again.  If they still don’t get it after a couple of tries, we move on.  We do not try to “muscle through” an exercise with bad form.  Muscling through an exercise means using whatever is immediately available to do a movement, no matter the cost.  What is the point?  Why bother strengthening in a bad position that could possibly cause injury?  Do you really have to complete 250 pushups in a workout in 50 minutes?  Is maximum reps preformed more important than maintaining form that does not harm your joints?  I absolutely do not think it is.  If you must do a workout with 250 pushups, as we did this morning, maintaining a neutral spine plank position should be the most important part of the pushups.  It is also how you will build the most strength.  “Cheating” with poor form (snaking, sinking into gravity rather than supporting your skeleton), limited range of motion (not going all the way down or all the way up, only moving your chest) and doing the pushups on your knees just to get through the numbers is RIDICULOUS!  Do not sacrifice form for speed.  If you can’t get through all of the numbers with proper form, reduce your numbers.  That is the only way you will eventually be strong enough to make it all of the way through.  I joined a Crossfit gym when it opened, like myself many of the new members who join are brand new to Crossfit.  There is a clear progression that happens when people start doing Crossfit.  The athletes who get the strongest fastest and injure themselves the least are the ones who pay particular attention to proper form and stretching. The people who show up and “cheat” their way through the workouts are still doing the same cheats they were a year ago.  Our work out of the day today was a hero WOD, as it is every Saturday.  It was 5 rounds of 800 meter run, 5 rope climbs and 50 push ups.  It was a killer.  I made it through 3 rounds  + the run and 25 push ups before my arms gave out.  My focus was on maintaining my plank position.  I was not able to keep my elbows in.  But I saw 90 percent of the rest of the class doing the bad forms shown in this video.  Especially annoying were the fast chest only spinal extension push ups.  ARGH!  What is seen cannot be unseen unfortunately…

I have fallen victim to the “muscle through” technique in the WODs in the past and it has always lead to injuries.  I have herniated a disc in my cervical spine & dislocated a rib on several occasions.    I could have kept going today to finish all 5 rounds but after the third round of rope climbs I could feel a sharp shooting pain in my left sacroiliac joint from using the same foot to do the foot lock for each climb.  Ideally I should be alternating legs, meaning I would have to learn how to do the foot lock on the other foot.  I had a full day of walking around today and I felt my SI joint all day because of those damn rope climbs.  Lately I am more concerned with not being in pain as I move around, which I have to do most days, all day long.  Not being in pain is the reason I work out.  I want my muscles to support my joints.  I don’t want to be in pain from working out.

Crossfit isn’t the only culprit of the “muscle through” approach to working out.  I also tried SLT for the first time, and it was the intro class no less.  I could tell during the class that I was twisting into my lateral flexion and rotation (scoliosis) in a way that was not going to feel good the next day.  And it didn’t.  It is so hard in group classes to get the guidance most people need.  Even a fitness instructor with extensive anatomical knowledge can continually get hurt during exercise.  Anyone who is doing repetitive movements badly, quickly and not mindfully can get hurt.

To sum up this rant, here are my closing thoughts.  Always work to keep your form.  Through every rep!  Even 250.  Use your muscles to support your skeleton, don’t collapse into gravity and your joints.  Be mindful when exercising, don’t check out.  If something doesn’t feel right, stop and reset.  Exercise should not hurt in a bad way.  It should hurt so good.  Learn the difference.

Competing in the Crossfit open

This year my husband and I decided to register with our Crossfit box to compete in the Crossfit open. This is a competition that happens globally every year. Athletes from around the world participate in five works outs. The top qualifying athletes get to compete in the Crossfit games. We registered last year but only 7 months into Crossfit, neither one of us was able to complete any of the 5 prescribed workouts. This year was a different story. We could do all 5 of the workouts! We could participate a competition with Rich Froning and Sam Briggs, winners of last years Crossfit Games. We could limp around after our workouts knowing that thousands of athletes around the world were feeling the same pain we were!! It was invigorating. A few days ago a client was asking me how to find my blog. I tried googling myself. My blog didn’t pop up but my Open scores did! Woo hoo! I am a crossfit athlete, it has been validated by GOOGLE. In addition we have finally converted our first meer mortal into a Crossfitter. My sister-in-law has joined a box in Vienna. Congrats Wendy welcome to the cult. 3, 2, 1, GO!

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Trip home

I grew up in Hawaii.  We lived in a relatively small A frame house in Ka’a’awa.  There were 6 kids and two adults between three bedrooms.  Ka’a’awa is a small town, a group of houses really, along a stretch of the two lane highway that runs around Oahu.  There is a post office, two restaurants and a 7-eleven.  Very Rural, isolated and a whole lot of nothing going on.  I now live in Manhattan which is possibly the polar opposite of Ka’a’awa, at least in the US.  This winter New Yorkers have trekked through around 16 snowstorms.  It has been the snowiest winter in my 12 years of living here.  So when I heard about Wanderlust Hawaii I started stalking the airfares to Hawaii.  Last week I decided to hop a plane to attend Wanderlust (I got a great deal!).  It has been, as it always is for me, a wonderful trip home.  I love Hawaii, and when I am not here I yearn for it.  Today I woke up and ran my mom’s dog Lily on the beach in Ka’a’awa.  Then headed into Kailua to try to get my Crossfit open workout in.  The box in Kailua was closed, so I  ended up busing it to Honolulu, crossfit Oahu.

image View from “da bus” from the Pali Highway, Kailua to Honolulu.

Watch my attempt at 14.1 here.  That is what crossfit looks like after doing yoga all weekend.  After my workout I started walking to Ala Moana and happened upon Highway Inn‘s new location in Kaka’ako.  I bought a plate and ate it at Ala Moana Beach park.

Highway Inn plate

Then I took “Da bus” back out to Ka’a’awa (1.5 hours one way) just like I did everyday 6th grade-12th grade.  It was all part of the journey that brought me to today, and I am grateful for the journey.

imageView from “da bus” again this time of Kaneohe Bay.

Got off the bus at Swanzy beach park with just enough daylight to take my nephew and Lily for our nightly beach walk.  It was a great day.

Week day lunches

I love coming home to make lunch, so much that I will ride the subway to and from just to eat a home cooked meal.  This week we did two batches of  Organic Chicken Bone Broth in our new Instant Pot.

instant potI like to heat it up on the stove and toss any fresh greens I have in the fridge right in.  Or sometimes I sauté the greens first then add the broth.  chix beet greensThese are beet greens. This week I have also been reading up on balancing my Omega 6 and Omega 3 ratio.  I love nuts and eat a lot of them.  So I have to balance my Omega 6 intake with seafood.  This week I made fresh sardines and sautéed shrimp.  I haven’t perfected the recipe yet, but when I do I will post it.

shrimp and sardines