Paleo Flank Steak Stir fry

My husband and I love asian inspired cuisine.  I grew up in Hawaii eating lots of different types of asian foods.  Rich grew up in California, he also really likes asian food and he loves spicy food.  My palate has adjusted to accept some spice, but I am no match for him.  Rich has a well seasoned wok that he has had for over 20 years.  He makes awesome stir fries in it.  When I saw Nom Nom Paleo’s garbage stir fry recipe I was inspired to make one of our own.  We haven’t used our Neuro fuzzy rice maker in over a year so I haven’t thought about making stir fry.  Because stir fry goes with rice, right?  Wrong!  Stir fry is quite delicious with out grains.  If you have time you can even make  a cauliflower rice.

Ingredients:

1 lb grass fed organic flank steak, thinly sliced

1 organic zucchini cut in cubes

1/2 head of organic cabbage, sliced and broken apart

3 stalks organic celery, chopped

2 organic carrots, chopped

3 inches fresh organic ginger on microplane

4 cloves organic garlic on microplane or crushed with garlic press

4 organic green onions cut in 1 inch pieces

2 tsps tapioca starch

1 Tbsp Coconut Aminos

few drops of hot pepper sesame oil

organic sunflower oil for the wok

stir fry prep

 

Turn on gas stove, get the wok hot.  Woks get hot, too hot for coconut or olive oil we thought, so we used organic sunflower oil.  We stopped using most nut and seed oils and started using coconut oil pretty exclusively for cooking about a year ago.  Once the wok is hot enough, add the meat, spreading it out in a single layer on the whole wok.  Let it sear the meat, so don’t stir it for a while.  Add coconut aminos, salt & hot pepper sesame oil.  Let the meat get some color, then try to flip it or stir it to cook pink out.

beef in wokRemove meat from wok and we saved the jus (meat juice) in a separate bowl.  We used the ‘jus” later to flavor the cooking vegetables.  Add a little more sunflower oil to the wok and then toss in the onions, cabbage, celery and carrots.  Cook for about 1-2 minutes then add some coconut aminos and some of the beef jus.

veggies in wokCook for a few more minutes.  Then add the zucchini, scallions, some more beef jus and the garlic and ginger.  Add the meat back in and serve hot topped with chopped fresh cilantro!  My husband wanted to add some extra heat to his dish, so he served my plate then added red pepper flakes to the wok with his portion.

beef stir fry



 

 

 

Travel workout with a little ball

I finally set up a you tube channel.  Now I can post some videos from my archive.  It is February in NYC here so not ideal for video making.  When it gets warmer I will make some new videos!

This is a workout I made for a client of mine who traveled to California a lot to visit her children and grandchildren.  She had seen the bender ball infomercial and asked if I could create a similar work out with a small ball.  This video is the result.  Using a ball for sit ups is a great way to increase abdominal strength because you are working your muscles from a lengthened position into neutral or a shortened position depending on your position on the ball.  When you set up on any size ball please remember that you should NEVER fell any pain in your back.  You can adjust the ball, to support your spine by rolling it closer to your head.  The trick is to find the place that you can lie on the ball in a backbend, relaxed and not feel your back at all.  Moving the ball and engaging the abdominals to bring your pelvis to neutral will help this.   If you aren’t sure what neutral pelvis is watch this video.  I define neutral pelvis as- pubic bones and ASIS (frontal hip bones) even in the frontal plane.  When lying on your back on a ball, pull the pubic bones up with the contraction of your rectus abdominis (the six pack) to get the pelvis to neutral.  Think: pubic bone to sternum.  If this is all greek to you…sign up for a Pilates lesson!

Side legs in elbow plank & leg pull down

I have loosey goosey ankles.  I can be walking along a sidewalk, running down a mountain, or teetering along in heels, hit a bump and boom, my whole ankle roles over and touches the ground.  Crossfit, as much as I love it, doesn’t really help my lateral stabilizers in my lower leg.  So I have to remember to do my “maintenance”.  Side plank on the elbow with a leg lift is a great way to work the sides of my body, from head to toe.  Unfortunately I wasn’t able to post the whole video because there is a size restriction on this blog.  When you do these on your own set up and do 10 leg lifts on each side with the leg pull down between the two sides.  The leg pull down is from the Pilates mat work series.  This action strengthens and stretches the muscles of the feet and calf.  Also featured in this video, my adorable nephew.

View video of side leg lifts in elbow plank with leg pull down between sides.

 

 

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Rich’s Cajun spice

Mix the following ingredients together:

You can also double quantities and save for future meals.

2 1/2 Tbsps paprika

2 Tbsps salt

2 Tbsps garlic powder

1 Tbsp fresh cracked black pepper

1 Tbsp onion powder

1 Tbsp cayenne pepper

1 Tbsp dried oregano

1 Tbsp dried thyme

 

 

Coconut crusted Cod and Cajun Cod with Pancetta

We a bought a 1 pound cod fillet at Wholefoods yesterday and prepared it two ways.  My husband went savory and spicy with his cajun rub and pancetta and I went sweet tropical with my coconut cod.  Unfortunately it is January in New York, so I went able to find a ripe organic mango to make the mango salsa, but that would be a perfect match for this fish.

Coconut crusted Cod:

Cod fillets sliced into 6-8 ounce pieces

Coconut flour- enough to coat the fish

1/2- 1 teaspoon powdered ginger

1/2- 1 teaspoon salt

1-2 eggs  (you can also use coconut milk, but I prefer egg for binder)

coconut flakes- enough to coat fish.

coconut oil- enough to coat bottom of skillet

Line up three shall dishes to prepare fish.  In first mix flour, ginger and salt.  In second beat eggs.  In third, coconut flakes.  Coat each piece of fish with flour, dip in eggs and then coat with coconut flakes.  Turn on skillet, add coconut oil.  Make sure skillet is hot before adding fish.  3-4 minutes on each side depending on thickness of fish.

coconut codCoconut crusted cod with steamed bok choy

Cajun spice rubbed Cod with pancetta:

Cod fillets sliced into 6-8 ounce pieces

Cajun rub

Pancetta

Herb PancettaHerb Pancetta before cooking.  Unfortunately I forgot to write down the brand name.  It was made with all natural ingredients (no preservatives) and was purchased at Wholefoods.

Dice Pancetta and cook in skillet to desired crispiness.  Coat Cod fillets with cajun spice.  Remove pancetta from skillet and add cajun coated cod to skillet with pancetta grease.  Cook cod 4 minutes on each side, less if thinner fillet.   Place cod on plate and top with cooked pancetta.

Cajun CodCajun Cod with herb Pancetta



 

 

Crunchy Tropical Paleo Granola

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I have been craving carbs and dairy lately.  So today (when I woke up to a bunch of snow today and a couple of cancelations)  I decided to make a Paleo granola to nosh on and eat with our homemade coconut yogurt.  This way I am satisfying my cravings and not eating a bunch of stuff (grains and dairy) that I don’t want to.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup pepitas
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup chopped raw macadamia nuts
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup Nutiva organic coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup raw organic honey
  • 1/8 cup organic grade A maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup diced dried pineapple or dates

Instructions:

I have a counter top toaster oven that I usually use and it only has some specific temperatures.  I have played with this recipe a bit and the crunchy toasted flavor I wanted was best with these cooking temps and times.

IMG_4902Granola before cooking

 

  1. Mix nuts and seeds.  Add the oil, honey, syrup, salt and cinnamon.  Fruit goes in after you bake.
  2. Spread mix on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Bake for 25 minutes at 285 degrees turn the tray and stirring the granola.  Followed by 5-10 minutes (7.5 minutes exactly today) at 320 degrees, stirring frequently.  Don’t let it burn!!
  4. Remove from oven when you have the desired amount of toastiness.  Mix in the fruit.
  5. Lift parchment paper with granola onto cooling rack.
  6. Nosh.

IMG_4903Toasted crunchy granola



 

Showtime! Rotisserie and BBQ

We love our counter top rotisserie, LOVE it.  It spends much more time on the counter in the cooler months, makes a rare appearance April-sept.   This week we did two delicious meals in it.  The first was a Brisket, which unfortunately didn’t cook long enough (only 1 hr, needs maybe 2??, TBD).  The second was a chicken, we can do the chicken with our eyes closed and one hand tied behind our backs.  The chickens come out perfectly every time.  I highly recommend this uni-tasker if you have room for it.  Far better than store bought and I just throw all the parts into the dishwasher at the end of the night.  Not only does it produce delicious and nutritious food, it is actually fun to watch…it is a showtime after all.

brisketrotiss chix

Brisket with Chimichurri sauce and my post 120 pull-ups in a WOD chicken feast.

We don’t usually go to the gym in the evenings because we like to cook our own food.  But the work out yesterday was irresistible to my husband.  He likes running and pull ups.

It was 5 rounds of 800 meter run, 30 kettle bell swings and 30 pull-ups.  That is 150 pull-ups!  I made it through 4 rounds of unassisted pull-ups, using a 16kg (35 .2 lb) kettle bell.  That took me 48 minutes.  I beat my personal best in # of pull-ups in a workout by 2o, so I was happy.  And hungry.  My lats aren’t too bad today, tomorrow they might be worse.  Luckily I was at MSMPT today and the new physical therapist Melissa was able to do a little manual work and ultra sound for me!

Rotisserie chicken:

1 Bell Evans whole organic chicken- we usually use a 3-4 lb for the two of us.  Remove “gut bag”, save neck if you want to make soup with chicken carcass.

Into cavity of chicken sprinkle liberal amount of salt, some garlic powder, onion powder, poultry seasoning, fresh ground pepper and 1 thinly sliced carrot, stalk celery, an 1/8 of an onion and 3 smashed cloves garlic.  You can added your favorite spices and lemon.  I love lemon, my husband does not.  Sometimes we season the outside with salt, garlic powder and paprika.  If you like to eat the chicken skin, it is a good idea to season the outside as well.  Tie legs of chick with cooking twine to keep them from flopping around and to keep the yumminess in the cavity.  15 min a lb in the rotisserie.

rotisserie

The Brisket needs work before I can post recipe.  Hopefully soon!

Tips from Ted talk on Creating lasting Positive change

To good not to share!  I listened to this talk a few months ago and played it again today.  The highlight of the talk for me was when he revealed the tips for “Creating lasting positive change”

Write down 3 Gratitudes daily

Journaling

Exercise

Meditation

Random Acts of Kindness

Exercise is the only one I do consistently.  I do like to do random acts of kindness too.  I always get a lift in spirits when I am kind to people, even holding the door for someone makes me smile.  How fabulous is it when someone holds the door for you??  My husband is a thanker, he thanks everyone, all the time.  It used to annoy me, but now I do it too and I feel better.  I have also started recording one thing that I am grateful for everyday on my gratefulness page.  Maybe 2014 is the year of journaling and meditation…

Sickie sick sick

Bone broth

I have ben battling (unsucessfully) a stomach bug that has totally thrown my whole digestive system out of whack.  Nausea, lack of appetite and lethargy means very little cooking or exercise has occurred over the last 5 days.   I haven’t even been able to finish a whole cup of coffee!  Finally today I was feeling well enough to make some broth.  I really feel like I need a total reset for my gut.  So excited that I will be slurping up some nourishing brothiness in another 30 minutes.  I need to put the Hu bread burps from breakfast to an end!!

Had some free time today

So I went downstairs to the gym in our building which I tend to use when it is 9 degrees outside and I don’t want to leave our building.  I warmed up with fifty double unders (jumping rope with the rope spinning twice for each jump) and my series of physioball sit-ups, spinal extension and side sit ups.  Then I did same of the WOD from my box.  I consisted of 4 Tabatas with three minutes of rest between each 4 min round.

First 8 rounds: hang power clean 65 lbs

rest 3 minutes

Second 8 rounds: thrusters 45 lbs

rest 3 minutes

Third 8 rounds: burpees

rest 3 minutes

Fourth 8 rounds: elbow plank

Then I came upstairs and made dinner:

Pork chops with capers, tomato and fennel

organic olive oil
4 boneless organic pork chops
1 large fennel bulb thinly sliced
a few thin slices of a red onion
a handful of chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup white wine I used Tutu Pinot grigio
1/2 box of organic cherry tomatoes sliced in half
a lemon for zesting
2 tablespoons capers

In a skillet heat the olive oil over medium high heat, toss some salt in the pan and lay the pork chops down in it.  They should sizzle when you add them to the pan, or it is not hot enough.  Brown the pork on both sides and set aside.  Add the onions and fennel and parsley, sautee for a few minutes then pour in the wine.  Add the tomatoes and after they have been in the pan for a few minutes, smash them up a bit.  Add the pork back into the pan and make sure you pour the juices that are on the pork plate back in too.  Cook 5-10 more minutes depending on the thickness of your pork.   Remove the pork onto plates and cover with sauce and veggies.  Top each serving with some zested lemon and some capers ( I used about 2 teaspoons on my plates because I love capers, my husband didn’t want any).  Finish with salt and pepper to taste.

I served this over steamed organic swiss chard which looked like it had just been picked this morning.

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