nutrition

muscle maker meatloaf

Posted by Corie

I love meatloaf.images

No, not that Meatloaf… the other kind.

Meatloaf is a powerful meal.

It has the power to build muscle in a protein packed loaf form. It has the power to hide some nutrient dense veggies with a crispy bacon crust. It has the power to comfort you on those increasingly chilly fall and winter nights. Meatloaf is versatile and tweak-able. Most importantly, meatloaf has the power to please to everyone from the fussiest of 11 year old boys to the health nut dietician and all the way to the bacon loving, muscle builder.

The Meatloaf Method:

1. Choose your meat. I prefer the grass fed ground beef in my meatloaf, but any good quality ground meat can work. You could do chicken, turkey, veal or pork, or a combination of a few.

2. Get your veggies. With meatloaf, you just can’t pass up the opportunity to pack that baby with nutrients. You’re going to get such a great flavor, why not get optimal nutrition too? Use spinach and sweet potatoes, mushrooms and caramelized onions, shredded carrots or zucchini. Whichever veggies you use will determine which spices and seasonings you throw in, but that’s something easily google-able for those of us who haven’t entirely developed that pairing knowledge base yet. Not only are they going to add nutrient density to your meatloaf, veggies can help keep dat loaf nice and moist.

3. BACON. This step is essential. Add it. Layer it on top or in the mix or maybe both.

4. Ditch the breadcrumbs. We don’t need any breadcrumbs or crumbled up crackers up in here. We’ve got ground flax seed, almond flour, and coconut flour, all more nutritious and delicious options.

Now that you’ve got the basics I’m going to give you the recipe for my favorite meatloaf. It’s sweet and savory, tender and juicy. There’s no green veggies inside, so make sure to pair it with a big green salad or some broccoli and kale.

Sweet Potato MeatloafIMG_1926

1/4 lb bacon

1/4 cup raisins

1 yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 large sweet potato

1lb grass fed lean ground beef

1/2 cup almond meal

1 egg

cinnamon

a pinch of salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Take 4 slices bacon and cut into bite-sized pieces. Heat your bacon in a deep saute pan until you start to see a nice crisp on your bacon. Add in the raisins, garlic, and onions and let cook.

While those are cooking peel and shred your sweet potato. I’d suggest using a food processor, but if you don’t have one, no need to panic. When I was up at school this meal was my go-to and I always shredded them by hand with a grater or shredder. You can use a vegetable peeler and then you get these beautiful ribbons of sweet potato in your meatloaf. It’s a bit of a workout, which just means you deserve an extra piece of meatloaf when you’re done.

Once the bacon is cooked, the onions are translucent, and the raisins start to bloat a bit, add them all to a large bowl. Mix in the rest of your ingredients (the beef, almond flour, sweet potato, egg, cinnamon, salt and pepper). Get in there and mix everything together with your hands. When it’s all well incorporated press your meatloaf into a loaf pan and top with the rest of your strips of bacon… you know… for good measure.

Bake for about 40 minutes or until cooked through. The bacon will be perfectly crispy and your kitchen will smell like heaven. Eat up.

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adapted from PaleOMG.com 
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a big ol’ fruit knowledge bomb

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Posted by Corie

I’ve gotten some questions and witnessed some confusion recently about fruits from friends and family, so today I decided to drop some fruit related knowledge bombs on you all. Fruit has become this gray area in nutrition, fitness, and weight loss. There are differing opinions and contradicting recommendations. We are told over and over that we need to increase our fruit and vegetable intake, but the nutrition prescription that many of us in the CrossFit community are told to follow is to only eat lots of veggies and only SOME fruit. Why the inconsistencies? Why specify “some” fruit? Why not lots of fruit? Are fruits and vegetables the same? Why am I eating my fruits and veggies, but still not leaning up? Why do I feel like my head is going to explode?

IMG_0723Wellllllll, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans lumps fruits and vegetables together, placing an equal amount of importance on the two groups of food and inadvertently providing the perception that their nutritional value is the same. The USDA MyPlate sets the goal at half the plate for fruits and vegetables without describing whether or not it matters how much of each there are. This is misleading information. Fruits and vegetables are not the same nutritionally and, pardon me while I get all sciencey, a single serving of vegetables has about 5 grams of carbohydrate and 25 calories whereas a single serving of fruit has about 15 grams of carbohydrate and 60 calories. Simply put, that shit is different. Although both vegetables and fruits provide many of the same vitamins and minerals, they are NOT the same. And guess what, they make all the difference in your diet depending on your goals.

Don’t get me wrong, fruit is good for your body. It is most definitely a better choice than processed packaged foods and provides vitamins and minerals your body needs. The sugar in fruit is different from the sugars added to foods and beverages mostly because fruits also have fiber and water, resulting in a slower spike in blood sugar. However, if you’re trying to loose weight… you’re exercising… you cut the refined starches and the processed junk… and you still aren’t seeing any results… the sugars in fruit, although natural, could be the reason. They may actually be contributing to some weight gain, especially if you’re eating the ones highest in sugar. Here’s the deal:

When is it good to eat fruit?

  • I think there are a few instances when it is definitely beneficial to eat fruits, as well as starchy vegetables. We can lump these two groups together into the same category because they often act similarly within the body). Directly after a workout there is this magical period in which your muscles want to grow. They are so friggen eager to grow, and they will as long as you give them fast carbohydrate and protein. This is the ideal time for carbohydrate dense vegetables and fruits to be put to great use.

Oh come on, I’ve gotta be able to eat fruits. They’re like, real and healthy.

  • The biggest culprits of hidden amounts of sugar that could actually be hindering your weight loss include bananas, papayas, apples, mango, pineapple, grapes, pears, melons, oranges, nectarines, and persimmons
  • The better fruits, the ones you might get away with grabbing more often, would be berries. These are naturally lower in sugar, higher in fiber, and full of antioxidants so you get more nutritional bang for your buck.

What about smoothies? I love my smoothiez.

  • You may remember me saying in the past that bitches love breakfast. Well if there is one thing that bitches love more than breakfast, its smoothies. When you sit down to drink your extra tall smoothie mid-day I want you to think about a few things first.
  • IMG_0315Would you eat all the fruit and vegetables and juice and flax seed and yogurt and protein and whatever the eff else you just threw into that blender, without blending it, all in one sitting? If the answer is hell no… then you should probably rethink drinking all that stuff. If the answer is yes… I’m concerned for your well being.
  • Smoothies can be tasty, but your body likes to chew and digest it’s food. It’s that whole use it or loose it concept. To have the best gut you can, you’ve gotta let it do it’s job. If not, the sugar from that fruit smoothie is going straight into your blood and spiking your blood sugar. Same goes for fruit juice, even the 100% shit. Remember, elevated blood sugars can lead to a whole mess of problems.
  • If you’re going to drink them anyway, do it during that magical half hour window right after your workout when your muscles could use the fast carbs.

That being said I AM NOT trying to tell you to cut out fruit and avoid it like the plague. This is little nugget of knowledge will help you be better. If you’re trying to gain then you can get away with eating more fruit, if you’re trying to loose then dial it back.The best way to figure it all out is to play around with the amount and type of fruits you’re eating. If you’re eating fruit with every meal, it’s time to back off. Oh and no need to worry, you can get all of the same vitamins and minerals from eating a variety of vegetables instead.

I’m informing you for a reason. I’m injecting this insanely useful knowledge into your brain so that you can have the tools to make informed decisions and some serious gainz. I’m droppin’ knowledge bombs on y’all.

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.

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.

 

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.

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