Shrimp Scampi

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Looking for a good primal seafood option?  How about Shrimp Scampi James Style.  This is something I came up with last summer while on vacation. It is very simple to make and you can pair it with a lot of different veggies, you could even use a gluten free pasta, just make sure you double check the ingredients, watch out for added sugar, corn, and rice.  Those can add a lot of carbs to your meal.

Ingredients:

Shrimp (duh) – you want Large Shrimp, and you don’t want to buy precooked.  I suggest Gulf Brown Shrimp, but use your favorite, generally 1/3 to 1/2 lb per person.

1 Stick Butter (real butter Kerry Gold is best)

1Tablespoon olive Oil

2 Cloves Garlic finely chopped

1-2 Lemons

1/4 Cup White Wine (optional)

1/4 Cup Flat Leaf Parsley (chopped)

How to Make:

First peel and Devine the shrimp, next in a 12″ skillet melt the butter in the pan, add olive oil and garlic.  Heat the pan on about medium heat for a few minutes to allow the garlic to add flavor to the butter.  Then Squeeze the juice of the lemons and add to the pan continue to heat you want the pan hot but watch out not to burn the butter.  Right before you are going to add the shrimp you will want to add the wine.  Then Simply pour in the shrimp.  You will want to start flipping them fairly quick, remember shrimp cook very quickly.  I would estimate they are done in about 2 minutes, less time if you used smaller shrimp.  Then sprinkle with the flat leaf parsley. After that simply serve with your favorite side items.  We used fresh broccoli from the local farmers market, along with with a salad, ingredients also from the farmers market.  Lorie like to add fresh parmesan to hers, I prefer to skip that step.

If you need more directions or ideas let me know, also comment if you decide to make it yourself, I would like to know how it turns out.

Mid-Week Dinner

Wow! I have to write about dinner tonight, so simple yet so great.  It consisted of only 3 main ingredients plus spices.

Organic Free-Range Chicken

Zucchini

Squash

That is it!  Ok so it is truly in the way you prepare it.  Here is what else you will need and feel free to substitute with your favorite flavors.  You need Olive Oil, butter, Himalayan Salt, Nature’s Seasoning low Sodium by Morton.

First the chicken, I have to thank my friend Maria for this suggestion, cut the backbone out and break the breast plate.  The Chicken should now lay flat, put skewers in each side through the thigh and breast.  Next Cover with Olive Oil, take a brush and liberally coat, add sea salt be generous with the seasonings.  Finally, the nature’s seasoning, we use the low sodium because I prefer to use my Himalayan Salt, again be generous.  So How are you going to cook this thing, well the preferred method would be in a smoker or over indirect heat.  I use a 27″ round Weber Grill with Coals off to one side.  Once the coals are hot put this baby on.  Now for more flavor you need to add smoke chips, best to soak in water, but in a pinch just throw them on the fire.  Today, I only had Applewood, but what a great combination added just a hint of sweetness to the chicken.  Feel free to use your favorite or experiment with something new.  Close that lid and set a timer for 1 hour, or adjust according to your grill.  At the 1 hour mark I cut the legs off and removed from the heat, they were done.  I let the rest of the bird cook for another 15 minutes, let me tell you juicy as can be.

When the chicken is getting close to being done, you need to start to sauté the veggies.  Add butter and olive oil a couple of tablespoons of each to a pan and heat, add some garlic if you like, otherwise, just add the veggies and let them go.  Important do not cover, they will get soggy really quick.  While they cook you want to sprinkle the same seasoning you used for the chicken on the veggies.  From their just give them a little toss every once in a while and take off the heat right before they are at the desired softness or firmness you want.  Remember they will continue to cook for a while even off the heat in the pan.

Ok that is it, cut that bird add some veggies to the plate and enjoy

 

Day 3

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As promise more pictures, this was dinner tonight.  Boneless grill pork, grilled asparagus, and a simple salad.  Yes you do see some nice grass fed butter on both the pork and the asparagus, makes it yummy and very primal.  This again is an easy meal to fix, we literally put the pork on the grill for 30 minutes on indirect heat; just a little salt and pepper on it. Asparagus on the grill super simple after cleaning and cutting the end just drizzle with olive oil, and add salt and pepper.  I cook directly over the heat for about 5 minutes.

Ok enough about dinner tonight. If you have read the previous post you know this is actually my second 21 day challenge for the year, first one started back on January 1st. Of course I stayed primal and pretty strict with just a few indulgences. Lorie and I decided to do the second one just as a refinement, but I have said all of this before.  I have to say the first one seemed easy. Now that I decided to give up my daily dose of berries and of course no wine; this one seems to be a little harder on day 3. I really just wanted some fresh berries today, but I am holding out for the weekend. Yes I am not giving them up altogether just trying to break the everyday habit because hunter gatherers would not have had fresh berries available to them every single day. I am curious if anyone else out there has done a second or more 21 days and felt it was harder than maybe the first one?  Maybe I am being to hard on myself?

Well how did I do today, see below for yourself:

Diet:

Breakfast – Another Omelette this one again 3 eggs, with some leftover grilled chicken, mushrooms and cheese.

Lunch – Leftover taco salad from the previous night, but sadly forgot my Avocado :(, and I had some Almonds about 1/3 cup.

Dinner – As mentioned above Pork, Asparagus, and salad.  I did have a few more nuts (handful) and 2 squares of 86% Dark Chocolate this evening.

Lifestyle:

10 minute meditation this morning

Sadly no reading at lunch but I did get out of the office running an errand

60 minutes sitting in the Sun to absorb Vitamin D this evening

45 minutes of reading (right after I finish typing this)

No Exercise today, I had it planned but sometimes it is best to listen to your body and rest

Day 2

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I promised you pictures, there you go that was my Breakfast/Lunch I guess that means I had Brunch today.  Let me explain; I worked from home today, so slept a little longer.  When I got up, my coffee machine had my black coffee ready to go.  I grabbed a cup drank about half of it and then proceeded to Lorie’s office, which doesn’t have all the electronics like mine and did a 10 minute guided meditation.  Thank you to Ginger for sending me information on that Phone App, really made a difference, I could not believe how quick time goes.  I decided after meditation to do a little Intermittent Fasting(IF), last I ate was 8PM the night before and generally with IF you want to go 12-16 hours.  My intention was 12-13, sneak into the kitchen and fix some eggs for breakfast.  Well, you would know that a lot was going on at work that required my attention, I never got to sneak away to cook my eggs.  Next thing I knew it was 11, yes I was hungry, although not the same hunger someone has that is carb dependent.  At that point I was at 15 hours so I decided to combine breakfast and lunch.  You see my plan for lunch was some more left over steak and sautéed  veggies from Saturday night.  So I cut the ribeye up about 4 ounces and put in a pan with 2 Tablespoons grass fed butter.  After giving that a few minutes, I put the sautéed  veggies in to warm, I didn’t want them to cook much more since they were already perfect.  Once that was warm I added 3 eggs and let it cook.  Due to all the meat in the omelette I didn’t get a perfect flip, but close.  After that I added some cheese folded it over and I enjoyed.  Let me assure you that was probably the best omelette I have ever made, going to try again soon and use Fajita meat.  After eating I did find 30 minutes to read at lunch.   Almost done with another book, this one on IF, think my next book will be the new one from Robb Wolf Wired to Eat.  So below I will detail my day:

Diet:

Brunch – Steak, veggie omelette – Yum (eggs are Farmers Market, veggies are mix of FM and Organic from store) Ribeye is from store leftover from Saturday.

Snack: Yes this afternoon I had 1/3 cup Dry Roasted and Salted Almonds

Dinner: About to eat Lories Taco Salad, Which is Grass Fed FM Meat, with some spices, FM Romain Lettuce, tomatoes, olives, Jalapeños, cheese, carrots (these are the secret they provide the crunch you use to get from chips) This is absolutely one of the best salads, I am pretty sure this is the 3rd or 4th week in a row I have asked Lorie to fix it.

Lifestyle:

10 minuted Guided Meditation

30 minutes reading at lunch, 60 minutes after dinner

30 minutes Blogging

1 Hour Crossfit Georgetown (Great workout today, and thank you to Gary for being my partner today)

I should mention most people know I spend my day in front of a computer, I do utilize both at home and in the office a standing desk which I stand at least 75-90% of the day.  I think it is important to take breaks even from standing, if you are very regular about it you will find yourself standing longer, but ease into it.  Also don’t forget to look away, I am lucky I sit near a window, when I am on the phone in the office I have a wireless headset and you can bet I am walking around.  Of course it gets a little strange when I need to look at something on the computer and I have to go running back to my desk 🙂

So what did you do today, feel free to comment, or if you want to keep it to yourself, write it down, keep a journal.

Day 1 of 21 Day Challenge Part 2

I hope that title is not too confusing.  I will do my best to try and write something everyday of this challenge.  My goal is to share with you what I ate on that day and provide some inspiration or maybe some ideas.  I will try and provide pictures, but of course I have none today.  I started eating when I realized I forgot, oops. There are a lot of fancy recipes in a lot of books, and yes I might try a few, but I want to show that you can have everyday meals that are delicious and filling. I promise I do not starve at all, I feel full when I eat and I don’t snack, not because I am trying not to snack, it is because I don’t need to snack.  Most of the time I can put off eating for a while if needed because my body does not have the Glucose spikes that a High Carb diet will give you.  I also want to share some insight on my primal life as making life simple and finding time to ease the mind is just as important.  Finally as most of you know I love my Crossfit Georgetown family and you can pretty much guess that I incorporate exercise into my life everyday.  I will break everything into 2 sections Diet and Lifestyle. Let me get started with Today Day 1:

Diet:

Breakfast – 3 Egg omelette (farmers Market eggs) with Mushrooms and Asparagus (farmers Market)cooked in Grass Fed Butter (1-2Tablespoons) Black Coffee

Lunch: 8 ounces of left over Ribeye warmed, with a Salad with fresh greens, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, and goat Cheese.  Dressing was olive oil and Basalmic Vingarette.  Also has about 1/3 cup of Almonds while I read (will cover that in lifestyle)

Dinner: 4 pieces of Grilled Chicken (Organic Chicken from Costco) 2 legs, Thigh, and half a breast.  Maybe that is only 3.5 pieces.  Also Grilled Asparagus, Zucchini, and squash(all from famers market).  After dinner I enjoyed 2 squares of 86% Dark Chocolate which equates to half a serving and 2.5Grams of Sugar.  (that was my treat for the day). Super easy meal to fix, Cut the chicken into pieces for the grill, spice them how you like them, salt and pepper works great.  After heating your grill, I am using gas, mine has 3 burners, I turn off the middle burner that is where I put the chicken, skin side up.  Cook for about 40 minutes with the other burners on Medium High to High.  You might have to adjust for your grill.  Take the veggies, slice up the zucchini and squash long ways coat it and the Asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper.  I then place these on the grill for2-3 minutes on each side directly over the flames.  Your done, super simple very delicious. I should mention I was always cook enough extra to insure I have something to take for lunch the next day.

That is it all I ate and all I will eat today.  Notice I did not snack.  Now you might be telling yourself well I at a high fat low carb diet but still felt the urge to snack.  If you are new to this type of eating a couple of things, first you have formed habits that you must break and snacking is one of the them.  Second, your body does not overnight change from a Sugar burner to a fat burner.  This is the reason for the 21 days it takes time, for your body to convert and it takes time about 21 days to gain a new habit.

Lifestyle:

10 minutes of meditation in the morning

Wore my primal shoes today (ok I wear shoes now with no heals that are natural everyday now)

Ate my lunch at work today, I never eat at my desk and neither should you, find another place take a break.  I then took my Almonds and went outside and read a book for 30 minutes.

Crossfit of course

45 minutes of writing and I will follow-up with another hour of reading.  BTW if you read on electronic devices of any kind in the evening do yourself a favor and turn on the Blue night shade filter.  It will keep it from stimulating your eyes at night.

Ok that was it in a nutshell for today, like I said nothing on here was over complicated, you can do it too!

21 Days Starts Monday

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I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend.  I know I did, I actually enjoyed a few things that I normally don’t indulge in on a regular basis.  First pictured above is one of my favorite primal dinners, Ribeye with Sautéed veggies and a salad. We also went to a wine festival called the Texas Wine Revolution with some great friends and had a blast.  Yes I tasted a lot of Texas Pink Wines and had a great time.  The weekend of this festival was in great timing for the “next” 21 day challenge.  Most people consider me to be fairly strict, and other than having more wine than normal I really didn’t do anything outside of being primal.  I do get asked so why are you doing another 21 day challenge?  Let me answer that by saying it is not about doing anything wrong, it is more about fine tuning and trying something a little different.  Yes it will be 21 day of no alcohol, I actually don’t drink a lot and when I do it is only on the weekends.  I don’t eat any grains, no refined sugar (ok except the occasional 86% dark chocolate, that my friend Gary says is to bitter I will win him over to it sooner or later).  So what gives?  What do I change?  One slight modification in diet will be staying away from fruit as much as possible during the 21 days.  I have been known to eat blueberries or blackberries, which there is nothing wrong with that I moderation but I know that my primal cousins it would have been a treat to find those berries.  Therefore I am going to try my best to stay away, maybe treat myself once a week at best.  This 21 days is more about reaffirmation of the lifestyle to me. Keep up the reading, watch less TV maybe even no TV during the week.  Computers, phone and such down by 8 or 9 in the evening.  Sit outside enjoy nature a little more and just try to live more simple.  The big thing I am personally going to add to my day each morning is a period of meditation.  I have been doing some reading on it and really like the idea behind it.  I will start simple maybe  10 minutes and try to work up to a full half hour by the end of the 21 days.   I plan on this every morning, I will grab a quick shower so I am awake and then meditate before Breakfast.  I have a spot picked out in my house but might have to move that around.  So here is the other big news, I say 21 days but I looked at the calendar and well that means the 21days ends on a Sunday.  I am thinking I just stretch it out for a few extra days through the Friday of that week and make this one 26 days, and really I plan on carrying most things over although on the evening of the 26th day I can see myself enjoying a nice glass of wine or bottle of cider.

So here is my question and you can respond back in comments for those of you doing the 21+ days what is your goal?  Do you need help in getting to that goal?  Do you have questions about what you should and should not do?  Questions about how to make a change to a primal lifestyle?  Do you need help?  Well ok I am not a professional, although maybe someday, but I a willing to help, just ask!

21 Day Primal Challenge Part 2

Many of you know that Lorie and I did a 21 day challenge to start the year, it was very successful.  We have changed our lifestyle and diet forever. When we did this challenge we decided that at the start of each quarter we would renew our challenge.  Although we have not hesitated on our diet, and overall we have stayed primal.  The 21 days does represent a time when we double down our efforts, cut out any Alcohol consumption, yes we will miss that glass  of wine, and make any necessary adjustments.  This is also a time that we can support friends and family who might be ready to do the same thing.  If you have been thinking about starting a 21 day transformation to a primal or paleo diet and lifestyle we are there to support you.  We are starting on Monday April 3rd, so just message me if you are interested in joining in this transformation the best way to be successful is to have people help you hold yourself accountable.  So good luck on this journey and let me know how I can help!

Gluten-free diets tied to Diabetes?

Gluten-free diets may be tied to an increase in Type 2 Diabetes

If you have not read the above article it is an interesting read about Gluten-free diets and being tied to increase risk in Type 2 Diabetes.  Seems that every new study finds something new for us all to fear, however if you are eating and living primal (or Paleo) I think you have nothing to fear from this study.  Before I switched to primal I was gluten-free.  I found that my stomach was always doing something weird after almost every meal. My sister had been gluten-free for about a year and told me she had previously had the same issues and it worked.  I gave it a shot and let me tell you it was a night and day difference.  Heck I even lost about 15 pounds, and I quickly found that at the store, restaurants etc there were plenty of Gluten-free replacement products, including breads, pastries, and sugar-filled deserts.  After taking some quick looks at some popular breads comparing gluten-free to regular bread you might skip the gluten, but you don’t skip the carbs or the sugar.  In fact one could argue because of the use of rice and corn flowers in the Gluten-free products that it might be worse in what ultimately turns to sugars in your body, just thinking about how high rice is on the glycemic index.  The biggest issue I see is that going Gluten-free is not enough.

The real enemy is sugar.  No matter what you see, the proof is their that our society eats too much sugar.  All this consumption is what is leading to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and other metabolic syndromes. If you are currently Gluten-free you have taken a big step, why not go all the way when it comes to your health.  I benefits I have seen from moving to 100% primal on my diet are far better than the simple pleasure of eating a gluten free pie, and yes I use to love pie.  I have lost more weight, constant energy levels, no ups and downs of carbs, sleep better, no more allergy medication, and I could go on and on.

Let me sum up for you, I still wonder about all the parameters and control groups in the study and will reserve my final assessment to being able to read the entire study. Why not instead of just changing one thing in your diet make the jump to an entire new lifetstyle and retrain yourself on what is real food.

 

Steak Dinner Saturday Night

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First homemade dinner back STEAK!  Talk about a great primal dinner coming back from Vegas.  I know some of you have seen this dinner before on other post, but this is one of my favorites.  I am going to share the recipe with you, it doesn’t get much more primal. I make the steak and I have to give credit to Lorie she does the veggies and the salad.  Here is what you will need.

  1. Steak of your choice, I prefer NY Strip or Ribeye thick cut 1-2″
  2. Onion
  3. Green Bell Peppers
  4. Mushrooms
  5. Asparagus or other veggies
  6. Salad  mix
  7. Tomatoes
  8. Cucumbers
  9. Goat Cheese
  10. Carrots

Lorie usually prepares sautés the veggies in olive oil and butter starting with onions and green bell peppers lets them cook for a while and then adds the mushrooms.  The very last thing she will do is add the asparagus or other veggies since it needs to cook the least.  In the meantime I heat the grill, needs to be very hot for steak.  I like to take it out and let it rest for a little while to get to room temperature. The only thing I put on the steak is salt, do not pepper the steak.   Pepper tends to get bitter if it gets to hot.  If you want pepper on your steak wait until it gets done.  My steaks are usually 1 1/2 -2 inches I cook them 7-8 minutes depending on thickness per side.  That is usually a perfect medium.  You can adjust the time depending your preference.  Once your steak is done put on a plate and let it rest for a few minutes this will let the juices get back into the steak.  The last thing is to put the salad together and enjoy.  Here is my one piece of advice, make extra and have it for lunch the next day.  If anyone needs help in making this one day more than happy to come assist you will just need to buy an extra steak.

 

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.