31 October 2009

Happy Halloween.

Yes it is the beginning of the eating season. From the sweet-laden Halloween, to Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is no wonder that the New Year weight loss resolutions are so popular. What is scary is the amount of refined sugar that will be handed out today.

Last year we provided low-value kids toys, etc., such as temporary tattoo kits, and such. Some kids didn't take anything and were wondering what the hell was going on. So I told the parents point blank that we were not going to contribute toward the obesity epidemic. Most parents nodded in agreement and others said nothing. Regardless they all know they can just get their fill at the neighboring houses. Oh well.

Nonetheless, hope the kids have a safe and enjoyable Halloween!

Some ideas to hand out to the kids as candy alternatives:

- swedish meatballs

- steak, chicken, lamb tips

- tripe strips

- asic made from beef tallow and lard

- pork rinds

- fish oil tablets

- kettle-bell instructional pamphlets, etc.

30 October 2009

Grass Fed

Finally got around to cooking some of the grass fed beef picked up on Tuesday. Shown is half of the piece of sirloin steak with squash medly and mushrooms. Squash etc. sauteed in the grass-fed ghee and a bit of evoo. Several observations about the beef.

It was much more tender than the super-market jockey-whipped horse flesh they peddle. Even before the balsamic marinate, the fork easily pierced the meat. It also cooked a lot faster than other cuts. I had the meat thermo in the center and as I went out to check it, the internal temp was already 143F - past the 130-ish medium rare range. So a bit over-cooked on my part. Must be having an off week, since I forgot to season it as well. All that aside, it was very tasty and have some leftover for breaky tomorrow.

Nothing new to post at the gym. Work demands and other things have kept me away since Monday. Too many food land-mines around lately with Halloween approaching, and I've stepped on a few lately (doh!)

26 October 2009

Trader Joe's Haul

Stopped by Trader Joe's to pick up various things. Items of interest include almond butter, unsalted unroasted macadamias, uncured bacon, and Kerry Gold butter from grass-fed cows.

Grilled some turkey filets with flax seed oil. Jury is out whether the flax seed oil is a bad actor. Did up the spaghetti squash a little differently. Prepared and cooked cut-side up and brushed with some melted butter. The squash soaked that stuff right up and really added more of a moist, mellow taste.

Was up at 0430 this morning to drive to Logan airport. Shocking how many cars are on the road at 0500. Also didn't help that two tractor trailers and a car plowed into a toll booth. But that was on the other side of town.
Leftover quiche from this weekend for breaky, skipped lunch but didn't make it to the gym until meathead hour. Place was packed, but I just varied upper body routine to whatever was open. Managed last set of dips with +50lb hanging weight. Went for a slow paced run for 3.0 miles in 23:50. First time in a long while done any chronic cardio.
I was thinking of Smoke since someone nearby had some toxic BO and he had written extensively about someone with that condition at his gym. Thankfully they left after about 5 minutes on the treadmill. Had to laugh at another guy doing 2.0 mph on the treadmill followed by the mandatory ab crunches. Then he hits the tanning booth (what's the obsession?!) and takes a well-deserved shower after that exhausting workout.
At least later in the day there is more comedy, but 5-6pm, the place is jammed. I've given up trying to restack weights as I go. It is hopeless.
148 on scale and tabita said <9%>
Also, local food maven Zach recommended a local place that has grass-fed beef to order, like carte blanche. This is good for us since no freezer = limited space. I ordered a 20 lb sampler platter and will pick it up tomororow. Guy running it is Steve Normanton and he has some good recipes on his site as well.

22 October 2009

Various Items

Made one of my favorites, via rolled up balsamic-marinated flank steak with provolone, baby spinach and mushrooms. Was thinking of browning it first, but it was about a 6" diameter cylindrical hunk of meat held together with the last of the butcher's twine: unwieldy. So, no braising per se today. Into oven at 300F for about 90 minutes. Tender and flavorful - another wife-pleaser. Saute/roast cauli with more ghee and some new evoo and garlic. Already looking forward to lunch tomorrow.
Been out of town for a few days on business. Local Marriott did have and exercise room. Where do they get this equipment? I think some of it was designed by ergonomic idiots. Actually some pieces of equipment were damn dangerous with things getting stuck, worn components, etc. Managed to kill an hour or so in there. Tried to burn out the motor on the treadmill, and despite it's high pitched whine of protest, it held true.
Back home and back to the Meathead home base today. Banged out some more 225 squats and leg work. No run. Funny how I saw 1 meathead idolizing himself in the locker room mirror. Big enough guy, but the beer gut is doing well also. Meathead #2 was miffed since meathead #1 was hogging all the time in the tanning booth. People, please! Just take your smelling salts and GTFOH.
Neither meathead looked anything like Sandow (below) who's on the cover of Muscle Smoke and Mirrors. Now that guy looks friggin ripped. Through the first few chapters of the book, describing the Physical Culture and history of body building.
All day IF today and still hovering around 147 lb.

16 October 2009

Ghee Whiz

More food love.

Simple egg scramble: listed in order added to pan
butter or evoo, 1 onion, spoon full of garlic, 2 bell peppers, handful of minced/chopped spinach, 1 lb grass fed beef, 6 eggs (Nellies, not bad for supermarket grade):
Got ghee (grass fed) today, thanks to the local food maven, and immediately put it to use.
Stuff wasn't on the counter for 5 minutes before the cat damn near attacked it (i.e., licking the side and rim).

Cooked a small 3 lb boneless turkey breast (with cilantro-lime marinate) and sauteed some veggies in ghee. Gravy provide with turkey was super salty. Ghee was fantastic, but more concentrated than I thought. Have to use a little lighter hand next time.
Marinate I used was from Appalachian Naturals that was at the local butcher shop. Stuff has mostly natural ingredients with the only questionable actors being agave nector and no so sure about sunflower oil. But, unlike many other sauces, etc. this stuff has zero sugar.
Did hit the gym for 3 days of 4 available this week. Sadly it was later in the day and prime-time for meat heads. Funny how between sets or whatever, I try to organize the weights to where they are supposed to go (my anal-retentive personality kicking in). I'll go in the next afternoon and it is back to random placement by morons who put the 45's on the pegs where the 10's are supposed to go...if they put plates back at all. Even funnier is that the gym fired the one kid who actually did some work around there.
Slightly off the reservation day on Thursday from customer meeting. Heading to NY to visit a vendor next week, but will stop and see my bro Jeff, en route.

13 October 2009

Schnitzel Misfire and 225 Trifecta Goal

First off with the food pics.

After enjoying the Schnitzel at an Oktoberfest celebration a few weeks ago, I thought I'd try my hand at it. More or less followed this recipe to make the breaded veal cutlets, but used almond meal instead and fried in canola oil vs. lard. Have to say I was not impressed; it turned out fair, but was not the delicacy I was hoping for. Made with some aspragus on the side. The wife is going to get a real recipe right from a friend in der Vaterland, so may be revisiting this attempt.

Tonite's meal was much better with chicken w/balsamic & evoo and grilled eggplant with tomatos and mozzarella.

Did an IF today and hit the gym late today due to work, etc. A lofty goal at the beginning of the year was to hit 225 for bench, deadlifts, and squats. Squats are no problem. Did 225 x 3 on Sunday and actually hit 245 earlier this year. Got 225 x 2 for deadlifts today. Actually did that 1 other time previously this year. Bench is still a problem. I may have squeaked out 195 once late last year, but lately 1RM has been hovering around 175.

Getting back into 1 minute interval sprintts and haven't done a chronic cardio test since the August race. Weight still hanging around 147.

06 October 2009

Biggest Loser Rant

Well, I think we are done done done with this show. It was appealing at first for the simple reason that it was inspiring to see such morbidly obese people turn their lives around. But the emphasis on calorie counting drives me insane. At one point this week, the trainer Jillian said to someone "Don't worry about the sugar, worry about the calories!" This is the polar opposite of how I see things.

Then the contestants were 'forced' to eat every meal at a restaurant for a week. Oh woe is us! Good lord, this would be fantastic. They are the paying customers and can order whatever they want per their specifications. It would be great to take a week off of cooking. Not that I mind it, but it would free up gobs of time with shopping, prep, and cleanup.

Another contestant was in a state of panic since she couldn't go to the gym on doctor's orders. She lost 4lb without 1 step on the treadmill. Gee, think nutrition may have something to do with that?

Finally, the no/low fat theme is wearing thin. Banishing things like olive oil and cheese.

I think we'll just start tuning in for the last 15 minutes to see the weight loss.

05 October 2009

Body Fat Measurement

Latest measurements as follows with previous two months:

Aug / Sep / Oct

Chest: 6.0 / 7.3 / 7.0 mm
Ab: 16.0 / 19.0 / 17.3 mm
Thigh: 6.0 / 8.0 / 6.0 mm
BF%: 9.8 / 11.7 / 10.5

So, still not quite back to pre-fishing trip numbers, but I'll take the decrease.

03 October 2009

Just Food

Only made it to the gym twice this week as other things have kept me occupied. But did make a few pic-worthy meals:

London broil with sauteed veggies. Marinated in straight-up balsamic for about 10 hours (should have waited longer), seared on the grill (450-500F) for 1 minute per side, then cooked at low heat for about 20 minutes. Nice brown sear on outer 1/4" with a great medium-rare finish on the inside:
Weather was lousy this morning, so took some time to make a nice spinach quiche with cheddar and Monterey Jack. Senya liked it so much she had two pieces for breakfast and another for dinner.

Still down a few lb from previous week high, despite lack of gym time.

01 October 2009

Embrace the Pig

I don't know why the pig is so maligned. Cloved foot? Bristled hide? Filthy habits? I don't know. But it tastes wonderful. Continuing the Oktoberfest celebration (in September) with some fried bratwurst and eggs. Bit of sauerkraut on the side. Not a bad combo, but some may not like the taste.

Continuing with the pig theme, I made a bacon meatloaf with steamed cauliflower. The bacon really makes the meatloaf. I really just shot from the hip on the recipe, and it turned out great. Here's the ingredients:

2lb grass-fed ground beef
1 small onion
8 mushrooms
1 bell pepper
(onion, mush, & pepper sauteed in butter before adding to meat)
6 strips of bacon, fried and crispy
2 shredded carrots
1 egg
1/4 cup of almond meal
mix and bake at 350 for about 50 min.

Finally the gym is clearing out. Must be the kids heading back to school or something. Walked in there at 3pm and there was 1 other person there (on the elliptical naturally). Went up in some weights via 15/8/4. Legs were still feeling the inroads from squatting 225 on Monday, so no run.

Surely as crappy choices last week made the weight go up, three straight days of puritan Paleo living have dropped 4. Picked up some veal patties today at the meat store so Schnitzel is coming!