Month: October 2014

how to impress your friends with bacon

Posted by Corie

I’ve been getting some flack for not writing about my favorite food group on the blog yet… bacon. Hello people, I couldn’t just half ass my first bacon related post! That wouldn’t do all that thick cut, crispy goodness justice. I had to wait for the perfect recipe. One that got my tastebuds excited for bacon all over again. Guess who found one? This gal.

A bacon Kevin Bacon

A bacon Kevin Bacon

Hold up. Isn’t bacon bad for you? Isn’t it so fatty? Like bad fatty? Won’t all that fat make me fat? Blah, blah, blah… NO. Stop right there. Yeah, sure, bacon’s a processed meat and eating bacon at every meal every day wouldn’t be smart, but we’ve talked about this before… fat does not make you fat. Actually, about half the fats in bacon are monounsaturated fats, more specifically oleic acid, which is the same one claimed to be the heart healthy element in olive oil.  Times are a-changing. We know that saturated fat isn’t as harmful as we once thought and that cholesterol in the diet doesn’t affect the cholesterol in the blood. Woah. Knowledge bomb.  There’s a good deal of sodium… I mean bacon is cured. However, if you’re mostly avoiding the biggest culprit of sodium in the diet [processed, packaged foods and beverages] then you can take some salty bacon every once in a while.

Bottom line, if you’re working hard and living a healthy lifestyle, then you deserve some bacon, dammit! Don’t let anyone tell you any different.There is so much possibility in a few strips of nature’s candy.

Some bacon rules to live by:

  • Get the good stuff. Quality, quality, quality is key. What that pig ate, affects the composition of the meat you’re getting as well as the conditions that pig was in. Put the good stuff in, and you’ll get better stuff out. It’s worth it.
  • Get the thick stuff. That’s where it’s at. Get more bang for your buck. The thick cut stuff is more satisfying, unlike housing a pan full of wimpy bacon slices.
  • Get your priorities straight. Bacon isn’t a main dish. You don’t want a plate full of bacon with a side of something else. It should be treated like a dish enhancer. Everything tastes better with a little bacon. Don’t overdo it.

Alright, back to the food. I had been wanting to stuff sweet potatoes with bbq pulled pork. I even bought a really nice pork shoulder from whole foods, but had been dragging my feet about it. Then, a few nights ago, my mom made these AH-MAH-ZING sweet potatoes that were twice baked and stuffed with bacon and shrimp. OMG incredible. I was inspired and got right to work on these bacon and pulled pork stuffed sweet potatoes. They’re even orange for halloween. OoOoooOOOoo spooky.

Bacon & Pulled Pork Stuffed Sweet PotatoesIMG_3586

3 huge sweet potatoes (or 4-5 medium sized potatoes)

3 slices thick-cut bacon

1 pound pulled pork (recipe I used is below, but any would do)

Kerrygold Butter

salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Rub your potatoes with olive oil, put em on a backing sheet and bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until soft. While those are cooking, throw your bacon in a pan over medium-high heat and cook those babies up. When done. chop up into pieces and put aside.

When the potatoes are done, take them out of the oven, leaving the oven on, and let them cool a little. Slice the potatoes in half horizontally if huge and if small then just take the tops off. Scoop out a majority of the sweet potato flesh [things are getting graphic] and put it in a big bowl. Mash it all up until super smooth. Then throw in your bacon and some of your pulled pork. Use your judgement here and put in as much or as little pork as you’d like. Throw in a little bit of kerrygold butter, like a tablespoon and mix everything all up. Season to taste.

Scoop your mix back into the sweet potato skins and throw them back into the oven for another 15 minutes. Take potatoes out. Smother with more pork. Eat.

Sweet & Savory Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

2 medium yellow onions, sliced thin

4 medium garlic cloves, sliced thin

1 cup low sodium chicken broth or stock

1 tbsp packed brown sugar

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tbsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1 3-5 pound boneless pork shoulder (aka dat pork butt), any twine or netting removed

1-1 1/2 cups bbq sauce (optional)

Throw your onions, garlic, and chicken broth all into the slow cooker. Mix together the brown sugar, chili powder, salt, cumin, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Rub the mix all over your pork getting all the nooks and crannies. Then set the pork shoulder on top of the onions and garlic. Put the top on and cook on high for 6-8 hours or on low for 8-10 hours until that pork is for tender.

Go do your shit

Turn your slow cooker off and carefully move the pork shoulder to a cutting board.  Strain the remaining liquid and onion mix into a bowl that can take some heat, through a mesh strainer. Discard the onions (or save if you like them). Set the liquid aside.

Using two forks, shred your pork into bite size pieces, getting rid of any large hunks of fat. Return the meat to the slow cooker and add in your bbq sauce or add back in some of the cooking liquid to keep the pork nice and juicy. Taste and season if necessary.

adapted from chow.com

References for all that science-ness. Let’s be evidence based and shit.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2544536/

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2010/01/13/ajcn.2009.27725.abstract

http://journals.lww.com/co-clinicalnutrition/Abstract/2006/01000/Dietary_cholesterol_provided_by_eggs_and_plasma.4.aspx

http://authoritynutrition.com/is-bacon-bad-or-good/

bitches love breakfast

I know this bitch does.

Posted by Corie
via authoritynutrition.com

image via authoritynutrition.com

And for good reason, too! Breakfast gets you going. It’s your first wonderful experience with food each day. There’s a whole lot of controversy right now in the scientific and medical communities in saying that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” so I’m not going to say that. I am going to say that all meals are important. Skipping breakfast is probably not something we want to do, but that doesn’t mean we want you to eat just anything for the sake of eating something. Meaning [common theme here] not all breakfasts are created equal.

The same guidelines go for breakfast as for lunch and dinner. For some reason, as we scoff down a whole tray of cinnamon buns or 3 bowels of sugar corn flakes, we forget that. Eating shit for breakfast will leave you feeling like shit and that’s just shitty. You need some protein, carb, and fat, all from healthy sources, to feel great all day.

You’re all saying: What? Are you serious? I’m out of ideas dammit.

I’m saying: Oh, good thing you’ve got a breakfast expert over here… good thing the Pablo Picasso of the breakfast plate is writing this post… …aaand good thing I can’t hear all the stuff you’re actually saying as you read this.

Anyway let’s start with some visual inspiration.

There’s a whole lot of eggs in those pics. Do you know why? Well, they’re egg-celent. Yeah, that was terrible and I know I shouldn’t have done it. It’s true though. As I’ve said before eggs are an amazing complete protein source. I’ve always got some hard boiled in case I don’t have time to actually make some for breakfast. You really don’t need much time to make a quality scramble, though. Throw some olive oil in a pan, you’re fave veggies or whatever odds and ends you’ve got in the fridge, let those cook up until they’re browned and beautiful, crack your eggs right into the pan and mix it all up. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

Do you prefer fried eggs? That’s fine too, and you can lay them over some hash, more hash, and even more hash. For those of you that don’t know, hash is a fancy word for chopped up stuff, usually including potatoes and bacon… yeah perfect, I know.

You still hungry bro? Sick workout sesh leave you needing more starch, man? This recipe for perfect home fries will do it for ya. It uses white potatoes, but could easily be subbed for sweet potatoes. Don’t go overboard, though. It’s easy to overload on potatoes, especially these… cause they’re awesome. Make sure you balance home fries with some nutrient dense veggies and some kind of lean protein. Also if you’re looking to loose some weight, then these aren’t the best idea because, if you make them, you’re gonna eat them… all of them.

I try and stay away from oatmeal in the morning, just because not all oats are gluten free, and sometimes they bother my stomach, and some are more processed and refined than others blah, blah, blah. Occasionally, some oatmeal is okay as long as it’s the real kind. The kind that takes like 10 minutes cook. Since it’s fall, you don’t have to look any further than right here for a protein packed oatmeal that’ll satisfy all your pumpkin spice cravings. Are you lazy? How about oats you can just shake up, stick in the fridge, and eat in a snap come morning time?

Utilize leftovers. Eat guacamole with your breakfast. Top it with salsa. Add a dash of hot sauce. Mix up those flavors. Be creative. Have fun. Trust me, the bitches will love it.

balance and braised beef short ribs

Posted by Corie

The title of today’s post makes a lot more sense than you think it does. Don’t worry, I’ll only ramble a little and then get right to the good stuff.

0910e26e_c339_4171_88f4_0ab2b1410527

 

Life is a juggling act. There’s a bunch of different pieces getting all thrown around. It takes practice to get this perfect balance of work, and health, and family, and food, and happiness, etc, etc. The problem lies within this struggle we have with time. There’s never enough of it or there’s too much of it. Progress takes time. Work takes time. Exercise takes time. Sleep takes up time. You’re all thinking “reading this stupid ass blog is taking up my time”. Big shocker here, cooking takes time too. Bottom line… how do we do it? How do we squeeze in the prep and cook time to make quality meals and healthy foods when we’ve got all this other stuff going on?

The answer is balance. When you’re crunched for time and you’ve got a lot of stuff you should probably be doing… When standing over the stove and staring at your food cook is just not gonna work… When you know that the day you have planned is gonna suck the friggen life out of you… think crockpot [or something like it]. You can shove a whole meal in a crockpot, let it cook all day, and it’ll be there waiting for you once you hit that busy-day rock bottom.

Braising is even cooler than crock potting. My food nerd is showing. Sorry, I’m not sorry. When you braise a food you sear it at high heat first. Let’s say your searing up some beef short ribs. The browning gives those ribs this amazing first layer of flavor. Then you add in your onions, carrots, and something moist like red wine and beef stock to let that meat simmer in for a few hours. Go to the gym. Go get your work done. Go take a nap, for pete’s sake you deserve it! 3 hours later, come back and pull that out. Hello complexity. Hello delicious intermingling of flavors. What you get is beautiful.

 

Braised Beef Short Ribs

8 beef short ribs (not regular ribs, these are jacked up,

big ass, meaty beef short ribs.. oh and they’re grass fed)

Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepperIMG_3447

Olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 carrots, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

handful chopped sundried tomatoes

healthy pinch dried thyme

healthy pinch dried rosemary

2.5 cups dry red wine

3.5 cups beef broth

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a dutch oven or heavy bottomed, oven safe pot heat up some olive oil until it’s screaming hot. Generously season your short ribs with salt and pepper. In batches, throw them in and brown on all sides. When they are browned and beautiful, pull them out and set aside.

After you’ve gotten through all your ribs, turn the heat down a little and with another splash of olive oil, cook your onions, carrots, and garlic. Cook until fragrant. Throw in those sundried tomatoes and give everything a little stir.

Season with the thyme and rosemary. Let that soak in & cook for another minute or two. Now add back in the short ribs, pour the wine and beef broth over everything. Stick the whole pot in the oven.

Go get your shit done. You’ve got roughly 2.5 hours. Come back and whip up a little veggie right before serving. We ate ours with mashed sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts. It’s good shit.

 

 

 

tips to up your salad game

Posted by Corie

I’ve eaten a lot of salads in my day. Okay I’m only 22, but regardless I’ve eaten a shit ton of salads. You go out to eat or you go to a party and for the most part, you see the same salads. You got your house, your caesar, your spinach, maybe a pear walnut, if you’re lucky. Ugh, it gets boring. Lettuce, cucumber, tomato, boring salad ingredient, boring salad ingredient, boring salad ingredient.  Where’s the inspiration? Where’s the creativity?

sad-woman-salad-vert

She’s sad cause her salad sucks.

Listen, I’m all for salads. I pack a salad for lunch everyday. But if you’re packing the same, boring salads, void of excitement, every single day… well, you’re going to end up hating it. Not only that, but you’re probably going to stop doing it and write off healthy eating for a little while or develop a deep seated hatred for any green vegetable resembling a salad. I don’t want that. I want you to look forward to your salads as much as I look forward to mine so here are my tips for upping your salad game:

  • Leftovers are always fair game. This is where I get most of the proteins in my salads. Did you have flank steak for dinner? How about some pork chops? Maybe bbq chicken? Whatever the case, it’ll probably make for a bitchin’ salad ingredient the next day.

 

  • Not much left over? No worries. Throw in a hardboiled egg with your leftovers. It’s basically a little package of protein AND eggs have this really cool ability to tie your salad all together when it’s all mixed up. You’ll get it.

 

  • Ditch the iceberg and limit the romaine. Iceberg lettuce is nothing. It’s just not worth it. There are so many choices out there for nutrition packed greens. Used mixed lettuce, spinach, baby kale and collards. The options are endless and so are the benefits of a diet packed with vitamins and minerals.

 

  • Cook some stuff. This is my FAVORITE way to spice things up. I roast or sauté veggies like zucchini, asparagus, eggplant, and sweet potatoes either right before or the night before. These are DEE-LISH-US salad toppers, even cold the next day. Throw them in and you’re getting a whole other level of flavor. Also, kale can be hard to stomach. Let’s be honest… it tastes like dirt. Guess what though? It tastes a lot better sautéed in olive oil and garlic, then sprinkled with salt. Kale can be your friend, just give him a chance.

 

  • Use whole nuts in your salad. I’ve got this weird thing for roasted, unsalted cashews and almonds. I throw a little handful of them in my salad and get so excited when I come across them come lunch time. Those good fats, the ones we’re not afraid of anymore, are good for keeping you more satisfied and fuller longer to get you through those long days.

 

  • Play around with fun fruits. Buy a mango or some kiwi. Dice those babies up and you’ve got a salad that’ll make you feel like you’re on a tropical vacation. Use a vegetable peeler and shave in slices of apples or pears. This is another one of those ingredients that really pulls a salad together.

 

  • Last, but not least, keep your dressing simple. You want your flavor to come from your salad ingredients, not a heavy dressing that’s gonna weigh you down all day. I was never into buying salad dressings, but I recently found a very simple vinaigrette that I’m into. Check the ingredient list and stay away from anything with sugar listed as one of the first 5 ingredients. That shit’s no good. You don’t want to put in the time making a kick ass salad to just smother it in something gnarly.

Here’s a recipe for the salad I made today that inspired this post.

IMG_3452

Kale & Sweet Potato Salad w/ a Tropical Twist

1/4 sweet potato, chopped

1 handful kale, rough chopped

1 large handful mixed greens

1 large handful baby spinach

1/4 cucumber, sliced

1/4 mango, chopped

4-6 oz rotisserie chicken

small handful roasted, unsalted almonds and cashews

dressing of choice

Take your sweet potatoes and throw them in a hot sauté pan with some olive oil. Let them cook until nice and golden brown on all sides and sprinkle with some course salt.

While those are cooking, prep your salad. Throw the mixed greens and spinach, cucumber, mango, chicken, and nuts all into a large bowl. My salad was pretty big, so feel free to adjust the ingredients as needed.

When your sweet potatoes are done and cooked through, toss them in there. Throw your kale in the same pan and splash a little olive oil in there. Throw in some minced garlic and let that stuff cook until wilted and fragrant. sprinkle with that salt and throw that in your salad too. I like to eat them still hot. I’m all about that hot and cool mix, but if you’re not, feel free to cook these ahead of time and let them cool in the fridge. You can even cook them the night before for easy prep on a weekday.

Drizzle with your dressing, toss, and enjoy. Eat this one slow. It’s the first of many tasty salads to come.

 

pass the grass… fed beef

Posted by Corie

If you’re like me and you love a big juicy steak, there can be a whole lot of information to digest when perusing [pronounced perooozing] your local grocery store or butcher’s counter for the perfect cut of beef.  You have to think about the different cuts of meat that require different cooking techniques, which pieces are more expensive and which are a lot easier on the wallet, do you want the bone in or do you want to go boneless.  But before you even get to all that shit you might want to think about a quality of beef that’s often overlooked.

That is, what your cow was fed and how it was treated before it was anywhere near the butcher’s knife.

Unknown

Ugh, who cares? Does it really matter? Yup. Yup it does and I’ll tell you why.

Cramming beef cattle into feedlots and feeding them grain to fatten them up is probably one of the dumbest ideas… ever. Cows are meant to eat grass and that is what they most efficiently turn into the meat on their bones. Instead, on feedlots, they are being fed enormous quantities of corn, soy-based protein supplements, antibiotics, and growth hormones to go from 80 pounds at birth to 1,200 pounds in just over a year. It’s not efficient, it’s not good for the cows, and it’s definitely not good for anyone eating the cows.

Grain fed cows bloat, they get acidosis, ulcers, diarrhea, a weakened immune system. The cows are sick and essentially dying. Then they slaughter them and package them, and put their sick meat on all the grocery store shelves for us to pick up. Hello mad cow disease. Hello E.Coli. Hello superbugs able to withstand every antibiotic known to man. I know it sounds like I’m being dramatic, but it’s all true and very well hidden from an uninformed public.

Hands-down, grass-fed is more nutritious. These cows are getting the nutrients they need from grass, without all the added stress and abuse cattle encounters on a feedlot. According to the Journal of Animal Science, meat from grass-fed cows has less total fat and saturated fat, and almost twice as much healthy Omega-3 fats (one of those essential fatty acids your body loves). It also has up to 4x the amount of Vitamin E that grain fed beef does, and more conjugated linoleic acid, associated with lower cancer risk.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way…

images

Remember:

Organic does not mean grass-fed. They are different. Look for grass-fed, ask for grass-fed, inquire about grass-fed. The more we say it, the more grocery stores, butchers, restaurants, and farmers will realize that’s what we want. We drive the market. Our dollars make all the difference. [I’m real fired up about this if you can’t tell.]

On that note, grass fed is more expensive, but we should be okay with that. You’re paying more for better quality beef. That good quality directly transfers to your good health. So, buy a little less.  You shouldn’t be shelling out tons of money for grass-fed beef every night because you shouldn’t be eating beef every night. You can’t eat the same foods day in and day out. Variety is key to a healthy diet.

Woah. Your brain is full of knowledge now. Can you feel it? We can see it. There’s probably no room to think for a few hours so here is the simplest, most delicious seared skirt steak recipe for ya. Soak it all in and eat some grass-fed beef.

Rosemary Skirt SteakIMG_1867

1 skirt steak, sliced into 3 or 4 strips

salt and pepper

olive oil

3 sprigs fresh rosemary

Heat a tablespoon or two over medium heat in your pan. Add roughly chopped rosemary sprigs and cook until fragrant. Add in skirt steak and cook until browned and beautiful. BOOM, easy as that.

Keep it simple and keep it real. Serve with some sweet potatoes or acorn squash and a healthy heaping of garlicky spinach.

smart snacking and sweet potato pancakes

 

 

 

 

Healthy-Eating-On-the-Go

Posted by Corie

I get a lot of questions about snacking on the run.

I’ll let you in on a little secret: the key to eating healthy “on the go” is to be prepared. Simple as that.

Our lives are hectic. We are busy people, with lots of stuff on the brain. There’s no way we can find any extra space in our heads, let alone extra time in the day for things like meal planning…. okay, okay, hold up.

Almost every food company markets a line of convenience items for the working gal, business buff, active athlete, full time mom, etc, etc. Everyone thinks that because we work or we run from here to there that we need these processed snacks to grab and get us through the day. Put your work first and your nutrition on the back burner. Let’s stop and think about that…

If you’re hungry, your work, your performance, your productivity is going to suffer.  And what do those processed snack foods [even the ones claiming to be healthy] do to your body? They spike your blood sugar and they leave you hungry. That’s a lose, lose situation. With a small, and I’m talkin’ minimal, amount of extra effort we can kick those processed snacks to the curb and be ready for anything with healthy snacks.

That Little Extra

Here’s some tips on putting in just a little extra so that you can be prepped with healthy snacks for the week. Don’t limit yourself to these, the internet is a crazy place full of  ideas.

  • Invest in some good containers. You’ll never want to pack things if it’s a pain in the ass to find any of the lids to your tupperware. If you’ve got a good set with a couple of each size you’re set.
  • Try and get a little of everything in your snacks (some protein, veggie or fruit, and fat)
  • Section some natural peanut butter out into small containers when you buy it. This way, you’ve got your own “to-go” cups for bananas or apple slices, or to just eat with a spoon… Okay, maybe don’t do that last one too often.
  • Make enough to have leftovers. I always buy extra to make for dinner. I might have to fend off the scavengers at the end of the meal, but my stomach sure does thank me when there’s leftover flank steak strips to grab and run with the next day.
  • If you are gonna go with something packaged, choose wisely. Steve’s PaleoGoods makes some awesome stuff and all proceeds go towards an awesome cause. Check out more about them here.
  • Hard boil eggs. You can hard boil a whole or half dozen on the weekend and keep them in the fridge. A protein packed egg is perfect to grab and go with.
  • Make cakes. I’m not talking the fluffy shit you get at the end of a birthday party. I’m talking veggie cakes. I’ve made swiss chard cakes, zucchini cakes, and my personal favorite, sweet potato pancakes. They are tasty, stay in the fridge, and hold up well on the run! Just make them on a Sunday when you’ve got some down time or as a weeknight side with plenty of leftovers.

 

IMG_2182Here’s the recipe so you can get started snacking healthy

Sweet Potato Pancakes

(makes about 10)

1 large sweet potato

1/2 a yellow onion

2 eggs

1/2 tbsp almond flour (or coconut flour)

1/2 tsp salt and pepper

2 tbsp coconut oil

Shred your sweet potato and onion. I used a food processor and that took no time at all. You could also shred them with a grater. Put all your shreddings on a towel and squeeze out all the moisture. Set aside on the towel.

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, flour, salt, and pepper. Try and squeeze any remaining moisture out of the sweet potato and onions then throw them into the bowl. Mix well.

Heat your coconut oil in a small/medium sized skillet or pan. Add small handfuls of the potato mix to the hot oil. Cook for a few minutes on each side until golden brown and all stuck together. Place on a paper towel after frying to soak up any extra oil.

barely adapted from Healy Eats Real

Well this is new…

Welcome to Jersey Devil CrossFit’s nutrition blog! Isn’t this exciting?

crossfit-pyramid3

Have you ever seen this pyramid before? This pyramid was created by Greg Glassman, CrossFit’s founder. The idea is that each level builds upon the ones below it. Nutrition is at the pyramid’s base. That’s a big deal. Nutrition lays the molecular foundation for fitness and health. It’s what fuels us. It is what makes us, us and yet it’s often times overlooked! How can that be? How can we ignore something so essential? We can’t.

If your nutrition sucks, there’s no way you’re hitting your potential. If you’ve hit a wall in your training or you feel crappy all the time, we’d be willing to bet that’d get better with improved nutrition. If your numbers are awesome, we’d also be willing to bet they’d be even better with improved nutrition.

This stuff is really important to us, not just as CrossFit athletes, but as human beings. You don’t need to do CrossFit to benefit from the information coming soon to our blog. We welcome all readers whether you’re into CrossFit or not. What’s important is that you want to make a change in your health for the better.

Lemme just lay down some ground rules.

Be creative. Have fun with your food. Never take yourself too seriously. Feel free to experiment with anything we post.

Keep an open mind. Try new things, you might like them. That goes for foods and ideas. Question common knowledge and don’t believe everything you read.

Don’t be shy, we won’t be. Speak up. If you want to know more about something, tell us.

Be patient. Results take time.

 

Check out our about page for more info on us and our nutrition philosophy, then head over to the Basics tab to get started.

474417_490765657606754_1923124464_o