Conference Day 1

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I was disappointed to find out that the gym at the hotel didn’t open until 6am, normally not a big deal, but my first session starts at 8am.  I did find some good news, a hole in my schedule in the afternoon from 2-4 perfect window for a workout.  Which I did accomplish, 2000 meter row and a WOD that consisted of a lot of Kettlebell Swings and push-ups.  So staying true to my version of primal fitness mission accomplished.  Now food my be a little more challenging today, let me start with breakfast, luckily I was on my own, found the Grand Lux Cafe, I had omelette, bacon, strawberries, and a cup ok 2 cups of coffee.  I wish the rest of the day would have been that easy; lunch was a challenge, good thing that eating primal I can go long periods of time without feeling hungry.  They brought in box lunches all sandwiches, they forgot about my “gluten free” request.  I ate the guts out of the sandwich (which wasn’t much) and an apple. My boss decided we would go somewhere else for dinner, this little Italian spot the view was incredible the inside made it seem like the outside.  I tried to order the half chicken, but they ran out so forced me into the New York Strip Option 14 ounces of goodness, on the menu it said with potatoes I asked for a substitute, and the brought me my favorite grilled asparagus.  That was an incredible steak.  Ok so where did I go wrong with dinner, it would be the hard apple cider I had with my meal, still well within my 80%.  Later in the evening I would enjoy a glass of red wine.  That was it for food, felt pretty good.  Where I did fall short was in lifestyle, I had every intention of posting this last night and doing some reading, but sleep trumped everything.  So not a complete failure, I know someone is reading this going well sleep is primal and yes it is and probably one of the most important things you can do that we don’t get enough of every day.  I woke up about 3am with my mind wandering and found it hard to stay asleep.  Reading and blogging in the evening help me remove the wandering thoughts.  Now it is Tuesday, eating another great breakfast, but will leave the details to my next post.

Sunday Travel Day

I am sitting in my hotel and local time it says 11:43 however my body says 1:43, this will be brief.  Today was travel day, I got up this morning, a few minutes before the alarm was set to go off.  I am working on the no alarm wake-ups. I wanted to be sure to have a good breakfast and also start to hydrate for the plane ride.  I ate 4 Eggs and had some water.  After a hard goodbye to Lorie, I hit the road and stopped for a 20 Ounce cup of coffee.  I should have had my home brew but didn’t want to leave it for Lorie to clean.  During my flights I only had water and brought my own snacks, RX bars and Almonds.  I landed in Vegas about 1:45 local time and I felt like I could eat.  After checking into the hotel I ate a late lunch at “The Yardbird” I had the Omelette Special, which was just a cheese and tomato omelette with a bowl of “seasonal” fruit.  Not sure what season any of that fruit would be surely not any in North America.  It was delicious but I must confess I had a Pear Cider, and I don’t regret it at all. After cleaning up a bit it was time for the scheduled dinner with the limited menu.  I talked them into bringing me a salad (outside of the menu) for my 1st course since none of the choices were acceptable to me to try and stay primal.  The main course was a 6 ounce steak and Asparagus (ok mashed potatoes were on the plate but I didn’t eat them, they are ok in my opinion in moderation if you are at your ideal body weight) Desert well might have been a little off the reservation they had Creme’ brulee and I decided I needed to taste, it was amazing and a couple of bites of it was all I needed.  I did have 1 glass of red wine.   All in all I think it was a pretty good day, I didn’t stay 100% but I did strive and wound up well above the 80% mark.  For my relaxation today to keep my primal health I read, took a hot bath, and wrote this blog.  I will write more about my adventures in Vegas tomorrow.

What happens in Vegas?

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas?  Well not for me, Starting Sunday I will be in Las Vegas for a work training conference.  The meals are mostly preplanned meaning most likely buffet line style for breakfast and lunch; dinners will be out at various places around time with limited menus.  The only choice I was able to make when I signed up was gluten free, there was no paleo or primal options.  Conferences will start at 8 with dinners and entertainment after that will go very late into the night.  My first mission and probably most important is eating primal.  I realize a lot of folks follow the 80% rule that Mark Sisson publishes in The Primal Blueprint, but that isn’t good enough for me; I must strive for 100%.  I will be the one asking the servers in the line what oils were used what is in any type of sauce etc, I might be practicing intermittent fasting a few times to stay on track.  My next mission is to keep up with my workouts, anyone who knows me is probably saying well that is easy for me. Luckily there is a really good Crossfit gym and the hotel also has one of the nicest hotel gyms I have ever seen, including kettle bells.  Lastly, is lifestyle it is very easy to get caught up in everything that is going on around me and not allow myself time for reflection, meditation, and self healing from the day.  Remember, I am a creature of habit in the evening helps me sleep, bad enough that it will be somewhere strange and a 2 hour difference is not very exciting.  Here is what I am going to do, as part of my lifestyle that includes this blog, each evening starting on Sunday I will blog and let you know the following:

  1. What I ate today or drank
  2. Exercice, what did I do today
  3. Lifestyle (mental health) How I kept it real
  4. Anything else I feel worth mentioning

So I ask anyone reading these each day to post comments either on FB or on the Blog letting me know how you think I did each day.  Of course the object is still for me to have fun.  Stayed tuned I will create a new category for these post to keep the together in case I have time to blog about other topics.

Quick Weeknight Taco Salad

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Everyone is always asking for quick weeknight primal recipes; this one is adaptation from my wife of a fancier Primal Taco Salad that she has made in the past.  In this particular one a few “shortcuts” are done to cut down the prep time.  Best of all everything cooks in one dish, ok that is best for me on on dish duty.  This salad is fantastic, full of meat and cheese so you fill nice and full; it has crunch and best of all that flavor we just love in Texas.  Here is what you need

  • Bag of Romain lettuce (preferably cut and preached)
  • 1 lb of Grass Feed Beef
  • Onion (chopped)
  • Green Bell Pepper (chopped)
  • Jalapeno (optional)
  • Clove of Garlic
  •  1 Tablespoon Taco Seasoning (make sure it has no added sugar) we use Fiesta Brand
  • Cheese (favorite full fat variety)
  • Tomatoes
  • Black Olives (optional)
  • Carrots sticks (Secret of the crunch)
  • Salsa (leftover homemade is best) but Pace or another brand with no added sugar works well

Brown the beef in a 12″ skillet about half way through this process add taco seasoning, garlic, Onions, bell pepper (you can put as little or as much of these as you want its your salad).  While the meat continues to cook prepare your tomatoes, grate the cheese (or open the bag of shredded cheese) Put the Romain on a plate, mix in the carrots; add the beef, cheese, black olives, tomatoes in that order.  Then top with Salsa instead of dressing and enjoy.

Falling Asleep

Today’s topic came to me rather easily.  I am tired today, I did not get a great night sleep.  Yes we had some storms blow through and it would be easy to blame, except I slept through most of that.  What did happen is I allowed myself to break out of my normal primal sleep habit.  You see I am usually like a clock, I have my regular nightly routines that help me tell my body it is time for bed. Not last night, nope stayed up watched TV too late, had a late night glass of wine, not really sure what I was thinking.  What happens when we break our normal habit or allow stimulus into our time right before bed it can cause or brains to work overtime.  You ever sit in bed and just keep thinking about all the things you need to do tomorrow, or maybe you just saw the news and they talked about some tragedy in the world.  You might have watched your favorite TV show just to see one of your favorite characters get killed off(because they demanded too much money). In primitive cultures they would know that it was time to rest and sleep when the sun went down and time to get up when the sun comes up.  However, we are too busy right? So maybe it is not practical in this day and age to go to bed because the sun went down, especially in the winter time, but the next best thing is to develop habits that will allow you to get a full restful sleep.  I will talk another time about the whole alarm clock and waking up thing, today just concentrating on the sleep.  I have to admit I use to have a hard time sleeping prior to my move to a primal lifestyle, not anymore.  I have my routines every single evening.  One of the biggest changes I made is during the week I generally do not watch any TV, these days no need to watch anything when it first airs you can DVR or call it on demand and in a lot of cases you can skip the annoying commercials about the new sugar coated something.  Now to get back on topic; after an evening that usually involves Crossfit or some other exercise in the early part, then dinner and clean-up.  The next part is either write (like I am doing now) or I read.  This usually goes till 10 and like clock work I get up and turn off my reading light and head to the bedroom.  If I do have an evening that I watch TV, it always (except last night) is turned off 1 hour before I am going to bed.  This allows my body time to recover and focus on getting to bed for a good night sleep.  So think about this do you have good habit, or do you have trouble going to sleep?  What could you do that is different to help your body define when it is time for sleep and recovery.

Pizza!

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Is it primal? In this case yes! I know you are saying to yourself you are crazy.  Well maybe, but this pizza is primal and it tastes fantastic. Ok so if you are expecting a crips crust and traditional pizza you might be disappointed.  However, if you have an open mind you might try something you don’t expect.  The crust is made from 5 cups Cauliflower, parmesan cheese,  1 egg, 1/2 Teaspoon of Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  You bake off the crust at 475Degrees for 15-18 minutes.  Make sure the cauliflower is put through the food processor and smaller than rice in size.  You might get some cheese cloth and ring it dry.  If not we have found to cook it towards the 18 minutes makes up for it.  After that just add cheese then sauce this is important cheese needs to be a barrier to the sauce.  Then add your favorite toppings.  Then you will bake off for 5-8 minutes, important let is sit for a couple of minutes to set up.  In my opinion taste like a pizza on foccacia bread instead of regular pizza crust.  The cauliflower takes on the flavor of what you add to it. I will give you a review of in the past this taste much better the day of making it.  Heating this up the next day still taste good, but tends to bring out the Cauliflower taste just a little.   I actually find myself feeling guilty about eating this pizza, I think I am cheating on my primal diet but in fact 2 slices with the tomato sauce (makes something without added sugar) has probably less than 10 carbs. So Enjoy, drop me a line if you need more information.

Below is the full Recipe adapted from a version by Valerie Bertinelli

  • 5 Cups Cauliflower Chopped very small (use a food processor)
  • 1 Cup grated parmesan
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Dried Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of salt
  • 1 Clove of Garlic Chopped
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Cups of Mozzarella Cheese
  • Sauce (make sure it has no added Sugar or make your own)
  • Favorite Toppings

Heat oven to 475, take Cauliflower in small batches and put in cheese clothe and ring out all the moisture.  Next combine the cauliflower, parmesan, seasoning, salt, Garlic and egg in a large mixing bowl.  Then spread on a large pizza pan lined with parchment paper.  You will wind up with a large crust make it as uniform as possible and as thin as possible.  Heat in over for 18 minutes, take out and add the Cheese first (very important) then add the sauce and your favorite toppings.  Stick back in the over for 6 minutes and take out.  Let it sit for 1-2 minutes to let it set-up a little.  Then enjoy!

 

Primal Ice Cream

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I have to give credit to my inspiration on this one my daughter Chelsea.  She sent me a not so primal recipe the other day.  I thought about how I could make it primal, really wasn’t that hard.  Here is what you need:

  • 2 Frozen Bananas Chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon of 100% Cocoa Powder (no added Sugar)
  • 2 Tablespoons pure Almond Butter (original recipe calls for Peanut butter which is not primal)

Throw everything into a food processor and go to town.  Wow, when you pour into a bowl you think you are really eating ice cream. Thank you Chelsea for the inspiration!

Spice-Rubbed Grilled Pork and Carrot Review

Tonight I fixed a recipe from Mark Sisson and Jennifer Meier’s book Primal Blueprint Quick and Easy Meals.  the ingredients are fairly simple, Butter, Ancho Chili powder, Cumin, Cinnamon, salt, Boneless Pork loin, carrots peeled.  The original recipe is for 2 I was cooking for 4 so I had to double the mixture of spices and butter.  I did not double the carrots, knowing that kids might not eat them. So here it is in the Quantities I used:

  • 6 Tablespoons Butter (real stuff)
  • 2 Teaspoons Ancho Chili Powder
  • 2 Teaspoons Cumin
  • 2 Teaspoons Cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 4 1 1/2 ” Pork loin (if you use something thinner just reduce the cook time)
  • 8 Carrots Peeled

First mix the spices all together and then melt the butter.  Then combine spice mix with melted butter.

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Then liberally apply to carrots first (prevent cross contamination) then to pork, I put on all sides.

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On a medium high grill cook both pork and carrot for 5 minutes over the heat on each side, then remove carrots.  Move the pork so it is not over direct heat and cook for another 5-10 minutes depending on thickness of meat.

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Once the meat has finished remove from the heat, plate, maybe add a fresh salad and good glass of wine.  I personally paired it with a Texas Hills Winery Barbera.

So enough talk on how to make how did it taste, I can honestly say that is the best pork I have ever cooked, none of the spices dominated another but you could taste them all.  I have never grilled carrots but that is now something I am going to think about doing on a regular basis.

Sugar

Sugar – It is in everything, I dare you to find something in a can or a box that doesn’t have any sugar in it. Oh but wait what is this High Fructose Corn Syrup, dextrose, maltose, lactose, sucrose, nectars; ok I could go on and on for a while. They are all forms of sugar. Why do we need so much sugar? – We don’t, but it is in everything. Not to long ago I went to the store to get crushed petite tomatoes; I looked through every can on the shelf and guess what every single one had added sugar. I finally found this little box of crushed tomatoes from Italy (looked like a juice box) with no added sugar. I found a total of two brands both in boxes with no sugar out of 25+ others. Not a great ratio. So one would ask why is sugar so bad, it taste good. Well first it is a carbohydrate in raw form. A sugar molecule (the white stuff in your pantry) is 50% Glucose and 50% Fructose. A smart observer would say well fruit has Fructose, and it does, just not as concentrated as the granular stuff. What happens is the body absorbs the Glucose into the blood stream and burns some it for fuel. However, the Fructose has to be processed by the liver and it turns it into fat, yes fat. Now the excess Glucose will also eventually be turned to fat if you don’t burn it all. Normally in fruit the amount is so small and if we are following a primal diet in which we are burning fat for fuel instead of Glucose for our body no big deal, that is the source of fuel our body wants since we are fat adapted. Ok so I have rambled on, my points is READ THE LABELS! Homework, a friend of mine told me about a film called “The Sugar Film” it is free on Amazon Prime, watch it! Amazing what sugar can do to someone in just 60 days.

Stress

Stress! How did our primal ancestors deal with it 10,000 years ago? Did they have the same kind of stress that we have, such as work deadlines, family illness, money? Well, maybe not the “same” they probably had stresses about where to find the next meal in times of need and how to stay out of the fangs of a hungry sabor-toothed tiger. Putting it into perspective would you rather have the stress of driving to work or not being someone else’s meal? I need to think hard about that one, get an answer back to you someday. We all have stress, but how do we deal with it? Do we overeat, chocolate, ice cream, or something else full of sugar? Do we yell, get in fights, flip-off another driver? So my question to you and feel free to comment what are some better more “primal” ways to deal with stress?