Friday, July 4, 2014

Cricket Brownies


Cricket Brownie - you need to jump on this one!
Like I've said before, I don't post these days unless something really rocks my boat. Entomophagy (eating bugs) has definitely got my attention.  But don't run away yet!  First let's talk about all things goin' on.    GAMES  !!!  It's been a VERY cool season so far and I commend Crossfit HQ for the changes they made this year.  The addition of the Master's 2nd round of qualifying work-outs made it damn real.  You had to really want it this year.  9 workouts over a couple months and last 4 video recorded.   I  was killing it until those damn wall balls showed up! No chinks in the armor or you're out.  I was so scared, I did it twice within 24hrs.  This work-out took me 12:51 to finish the 1st time. 100 pull-ups and 100 wallballs - NO ONE wanted to do it twice.  The 2nd time I changed my strategy.  Wore lifting shoes, broke up things differently, said a prayer, blah blah.  What did i get? 12:51 AGAIN! If I wasn't convinced how lame I was the first time, the 2nd time etched it in stone.  I needed the slap in the face.
Reflecting back on this past year, I'm happy how everything has evolved.  Crossfit athletes are getting RESPECT.  Paleo is now full blown mainstream. Restaurants are popping up all over.  Blooming Beets in Boulder for one - fantastic place.  Many other restaurants have paleo menus and dishes that 5 yrs ago could only be found on specialty blogs (like mine).  Cali-mash at Shine Restaurant for example.  How F$#%$ing cool is that!? Lots of companies are popping up that will prepare meals for you and deliver 2X/week.  Locally, Eating Primal is the best example. They've been kind enough to supply my meals since the beginning of the year.  It makes a HUGE difference and the food is GOURMET. So, our lifestyle is being recognized and companies are sprouting up to serve us.  We are lucky to live in this time. Getting teary yet?

Ingredients - note the big cup of ground up bugs.
On to the recipe?  Won't lie.  These are the most expensive brownies you'll ever make unless you're into the Mary Jane variety. Cricket flour is currently pricey - about $50/lb.  This will change.  For now, just know that you will be the ONLY one bringing bug brownies to the party ;-)   1 Cup of cricket flour has 50 gm protein - that's like 10 eggs.  Here's a good US source  Cricket Flour . It's cheaper from Thailand but shipping is more. I estimate the cost of each brownie to be about $3.  If you want to skip the oven and buy protein bars made from cricket flour, these EXO are awesome (especially PB&J and Cacao). Each bar, including shipping, is $3.  Now i know why.  These guys also sponsor me (yay!)  Their product is excellent (I ASKED to be sponsored after I tried their bars).  One more thing - crickets are related to shellfish.  If you have shellfish allergies, watch out.  Here's the recipe.

Cricket Brownies
 - preheat oven to 350F
- line a 8X10 pan, or equivalent,  with parchment paper
1 cup cricket flour
My dog Bear can always be found in the kitchen.
3 eggs
3 TBS cocoa powder
9 dates soaked in water for 1 hr
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon 
1/2 cup coconut oil melted
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup dark choc chips
1/4 cup honey
2 tbs chopped pecans

In a food processor, mix cricket flour, salt, baking soda, cocoa powder, chocolate chips and  cinnamon
Add honey, dates (drained and pitted), vanilla, and eggs - mix.  My food processor is small, so at this point I transfer everything to a mixing bowl, add oil, and mix. Pour into pan lined with parchment paper, top with chopped pecans and some extra choc chips if you want,  and bake.  I've done this several times and it always takes 20 minutes but I'm at 7,500 ft.  A knife should come out clean so adjust baking time as needed. You can cut the cricket flour with almond flour.  I worked my way up to all cricket flour - still awesome. To be honest, bugs like crickets and grasshoppers taste just a little nutty.  So they're perfect for brownies. Do you TASTE crickets or see any LEGS in these? Sadly, no.  So, indulge.

Macronutrients?  1/8th of the pan (pretty good sized brownie) is 17 P, 24 F, 37 C    It's a bit carby, best post WOD.

In my next post, I'll talk about my trials and tribulations with the Cricket Reactor  (!!!)


Best of luck to all my competitors at the Games!  If you see me, say hi! Please support my sponsors below because they're seriously cool.

FitAID
Eating Primal
EXO
Simply Pure Nutrients
Suerte Tequila

Eat Well!     Steve "Paleo"
GUNS go well with Suerte Tequila













Happy 4th of July! 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

GET A FOOKIN' SMOKER


Ya i know i've got a smoking obsession - hey, it IS Colorado.  Anyway, i'm pretty sure i could make money off this next one. Try googling smoked nut-butter.  Just some lame stuff about making nutbutter out of smoked almonds.  Are  they even smoked?  This is the real deal here, and there's no almonds to be found. Seriously, it's incredible. So, stop sitting on your man-card and buy a smoker.  The flavors are out of this world.  But first, the GAMES are here - holy smokes!  I've never trained so hard for anything.  Literally, I left LA last year on Monday and started training on Wednesday. Pretty happy how things went. I qualified 5th in the world - exactly same as last year.  If you participated, you know the competition was up a notch this year. So that tells me my training and nutrition mods worked. What mods you might ask? Well, more variety of training, which of course is the cornerstone of crossfit.  I did crossfit at work, in the dirt and snow, and just made up a  lot of crazy stuff. Of course I also hit it pretty hard at Flatirons Crossfit.  Nutrition? More fat, less carbs, 'nuff said.  It's really not more complicated than that.  Carbs -> insulin -> chubby.   Fats/Proteins -> ripped.  We're all fat burners genetically but, IMHO, it takes years to get that machine re-dialed since you've probably been a carb burner for decades (me too). There are lots of people out there, crossfitters included, that will say carbs are magic, you gotta have them, performance suffers if you don't, blah blah. It's bullshit.  Carbs are non-essential, it's been proven.  Want to live long and be lean? Lower your carbs.  Try reading "Primal Body, Primal Mind" by Nora T. Gedgaudas.  The first 2/3 of the book is golden.  The primal mind part gets a little goofy for me but i'm an engineer and not that imaginative. If you try low carb, and feel like crap, you may have to give it some time.  By that i mean, back it up and go a year. Figure something improved yet sustainable and go.   Then try it again. Of course "low carb" is relative.  For me, less than 100g per day is "low." I think that's a good target but if it floats up to 150 gm some days, i'm not going to lose sleep over it.

My personal experience is that i've been slowly adapting more and more each YEAR.  I don't take any advice from people that don't walk the talk, so at the risk of appearing vain, see pic below - taken today at 51 yrs old.  And let me tell ya, I eat WELL, and i'm stronger than last year. NEVER hungry.  You can take your advice from chubby doctors if you want but the "how to" is well established (and they don't follow it). You just need resolve comrade. I think this recipe, lower and lower carbs, should work pretty well for men.  Women, i'm sorry, seem more complicated. Laurie can't eat fat and meat for breakfast to save her life.  I will STILL say lower your carbs, and just figure when and how you can do it. But don't forget you have to make up for those calories! Fat is your new best friend - coconut milk smoothies, bacon fat, avocados, full fat (even extra fat) yogurt (if you can handle lactose), etc.  Like Nora G. says - if you are ingesting sufficient fat, your body is thinking "hunting is good." :D


SMOKED NUT BUTTER (!)

1 cup cashews - raw
1 cup pecans - raw
1/2 cup macadamia nuts - raw
1/4 teaspoon shallot salt
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon celtic sea salt

(Shallot WHAT you say? Find a spice shop Bro - you'll thank me later)

Smoke for about 1/2 hour - stirring regularly.  I then blend mine in a Vitamix.  Don't overdo it.  When it starts to "flow" you're about there (1st time i made nut soup - had to drink it).  Also, tip from a friend of mine, after you make your smoked nut  butter, make a kale/spinach/coconut milk/ blah blah smoothie.  THEN clean up your mess :)

I have NO idea if other mixers/food processors will do the same thing.  I think that Vitamix would turn rocks to lava so i just keep using it.
Lastly, please don't forget to support my sponsor  FitAID.  Free shipping on anything they sell using "paleosteve" code at check-out.  It's good stuff and i drink it weekly, if not daily.   AND, best of luck to all my fellow Games competitors.  Like Spealler said, money is in the bank now.  Let's have some fun.

Eat Well!  Steve "Paleo"


Monday, March 18, 2013

Smoked Mashed Potatoes & Ribs

In case you haven't noticed, i only post now when something REALLY gets me fired up, and this recipe is a good example. Smoked mashed sweet potatoes are SO good, you want to roll in them.  Granted, it's a little work, but this is not a dish you find anywhere.  Sadly, I didn't think of it.  I had them a few months ago at a restaurant in Boulder called Boulder Cork.  I think this place has been around since the earth was flat, and the patrons look it (they know a good meal by now).  The food is awesome. I had the waitress ask the cook how they achieved the smoky flavor and it's been on my to-do list every since. It's easy yet AMAZING.  But first, THE CROSSFIT OPEN IS HERE - WOOOOOHOOOOO!! When I left the Games last year, all i could think was "I have to get back".  That 7 months passed pretty fast.  I made massive changes, i'm free of injury, I feel good. Life is good.  How about you? Is your nutrition dialed? Are you strategizing? Are you not leaving a single extra second on the table? In case you didn't notice, the pool seems to ~double every year in this sport.  You need to get stronger, smarter, tougher.  By now you're as strong as you're going to get, but you can still get smarter and tougher.  Analyze the hell  out of each work-out and eat gunpowder for breakfast because this is it buddy. At the end of the week, relax a little, eat well, and enjoy the ride because this just comes around once per year and even though i dread the stress, it's damn fun.

Now for the "recipe".  Excuse the format - don't need a list of ingredients.  Everyone knows how to make mashed potatoes.  However, you will need a smoker.  If you don't have one, get off your lazy arse and get one.  I had one and then found out some mice turned it into a condo, even brought in their own bedding, but never changed it.  So i chucked it and got a new electric one from home depot for ~$80.  It will smoke chickens, ribs, whatever - I'm gonna start using it. So you need one of those and some wood chips - i bought apple. Now make up your mashed potatoes a good hour before you need them. I prefer WHITE  sweet potatoes since they're on the mild side and look more like regular potatoes.  Peel, chunk and boil in water until soft.  Drain the water (of course) and add spices - we like smoked paprika, celery salt, and pepper.  Add butter and sour cream if you do the dairy thing (who doesn't these days?), or not if you're a fanatic (i pity you).  Plug in that smoker and throw your chips in (that you soaked in water for 30 min).  Now simply take your pot of mashed potatoes, w/out the cover, and place in the smoker (warning: not your best pot - it will look a little "smoky" afterwards). I smoked mine for a solid 45 minutes and added more chips halfway thru.  Every 15 minutes, give them a stir. Then bring them inside, cover, and keep warm until the rest of the food is ready.  We combined these with pork ribs, which i've posted before (super easy - dry rub and bbq for about 10-15 min per side) and broccolini with dried mushrooms which we reconstituted (these are better than fresh - more flavorful).  You will be shocked at how fantastic these potatoes taste.  It's like going back in time 1,000 yrs and being served sweet potatoes cooked over an open fire. Exquisite, really.

LASTLY - I want to bring some attention to FitAID.  A few months ago I was looking for something to aid my maintenance and recovery.  I found FitAID thru another masters athlete (12th in the world after 13.2).  I love this stuff because it has supplements that have already proven themselves to me (glutamine and glucosamine to name just a few), is all natural, carbonated, and just mildly sweet. In short, this is a top shelf sports drink loaded with supplements.  If you want to give it a try, FitAID made a special coupon code for me to share "paleosteve" which will get you FREE shipping. They are helping to support my quest to get back to the Games.  Please support them if you're in the market for a really top quality sports drink.

Eat Well!   Steve "Paleo"




Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Paleo Stuffing

About 3 yrs ago, i ate a traditional Thanksgiving meal - and was promptly, and miserably, comatose on the couch.  I swore not to do that again.  However, i love the traditional foods.   But before i go there, how's your training going?!?!? I've upped my training big time because i'm convinced it will take nothing less to get back to the Games.  I'm one of those poor saps that earns a living behind a desk so i had to get creative.  I brought crossfit to my work - SO fun!  Training a hardcore group of guys and making up weird $hit since we train outside (often in the dirt).  For example: 200 m 90 lb atlas stone toss for time.  Try that one at your box :)  Or these babies - cannonball farmers' carry.

Rogue Cannonballs chained to 90 lb atlas balls.
These are 90 lb stones, with a 7/8" hole drilled in them, and galvanized chain that attaches to rogue cannon balls.  Definitely a challenge to carry any great distance.  If you need to borrow them for any demolition projects, let me know.

PALEO STUFFING

1/2 large cauliflower
1 Cup chopped shitake mushrooms
1 Cup chopped celery
1 Cup chopped onion
3 slices bacon
2-3 cloves garlic - chopped
1/2 Cup chopped pecans
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning
1 TBS (heaping) chopped parsley
1 tsp salt
Smoked paprika - several shakes.

To start, chunk the cauliflower and put in food processor. Just pulse the processor until cauliflower has a consistency like rice.  I only do about 1/4 at a time - it's critical not to overdo it.  Then put the cauliflower in a bowl and microwave until it steams.  Again, don't overdo it.  We're just pre-cooking it but you don't want it mushy.  Next,  fry the bacon and remove from pan.  Divide the bacon fat into two pans. Pan fry the cauliflower in one.  While that's going, saute the mushrooms and onions in the other.  Slowly add in garlic and pecans.  When nearly done, add the celery for maybe a minute then combine all ingredients (including spices, parsley,  and crumbled bacon) in one large pan.  This would be an excellent time to add a few pats of butter and turkey drippings if you have them.  Enjoy!   Steve "Paleo"

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Fried Burro Bananas

Fried Burro Bananas (seriously- these are amazing) - by now you've figured i don't post unless something particularly rocks my boat. Laurie and I have had these burro bananas a few times now, and each time we're just so stoked that we're eating desert for dinner. Laurie said it well tonite "The perfect combination of sweet, salty, and crunchy."  They're super easy! But first WE GOTTA TALK ABOUT THE GAMES!!!
With 2nd place finisher Matt Chan and Chris Spealer
People bash Crossfit here and there, perhaps because there's a hint of arrogance (Glassman's defenses of his Hope poster as an example) and some goofiness, but i have to tell you, my Games experience in Carson was extraordinary and borderline surreal. If you don't know, i competed in the Master's Division 50-54. All those dudes were super cool.  Ironically, the very first guy i met, Pete Ryder from Crossfit Dunidin in New Zealand, tied me for 3rd place in overall points but he won the tie breaker based on pervious event finishes and he stood on the podium instead of me.  All the same, he was super cool and a great sport.  I'm sure we'd be best friends if we weren't continents apart.  Regarding the more well known faces of crossfit, I had a chance to chat with Adrian Bozeman - the dude was friendly and professional. I had a short chit chat with Pat Sherwood - exactly the same friendly, genuine guy you see on the camera.
Spealer & young fan -  by Laurie
 I saw how Annie and Spealer interacted with their fans - nothing but gratitude.  Shook hands with Spealer - no attitude with that guy.  Just a cool dude.  The place was PACKED with super friendly, super fit, crossfitters. And of course all the athletes were spoiled with AC tents, food, gear, chiros, PTs, dinners, you name it - UNBELIEVABLE.   So PEOPLE - if you dig crossfit and fitness, the GAMES is the place to be.  As usual, i'm just super stoked to be a part of it and it was surreal walking around with "the fittest on earth". It's SO much work preparing for the Open, then doing the OPEN, then preparing for the GAMES.  Leading up to it, i wondered if i'd want to do it again.  Looking back, if there's any chance in hell for me to get back (which there is!), then i'm on it.  Want to know how much time i took off? 1 day (and that's probably the day i bought a few hundred pounds of concrete to make atlas balls).

FRIED BURRO BANANAS
Burro Bananas (or ripe plantains)
Cinnamon
Smoked Paprika
Pink Himalayan Salt
Coconut Oil  I got this from Tropical Traditions - they sent it to me to check out.  Honestly, i was a little suspicious of their 2 for 1 promotions etc but it's certainly as good as any other i've tried.  If you order by clicking on that link, and you've not ordered from them before, you get a free book on Virgin Coconut oil, and i get a discount coupon (talk to me later about kick-backs :)




This is easy stuff.
Burro Bananas
Get yourself some Burro Bananas.  They look like this.  If you can't find burros, get plantains.  Here's the important part - they need to be ripe, not green.  We're not adding any sweetness.  1 per person is enough.  Slice them about as thin as you reasonably can and pan fry in the coconut oil.  When they're nice and brown, sprinkle with smoked paprika and cinnamon.  Lastly, sprinkle with the pink himalayan salt - why pink himalayan salt? - because it's made from monk piss, which has essential minerals.  Eat Well!  Steve Paleo

2012 Reebok Crossfit Games

Sunday, April 15, 2012

My dog is more PALEO than you


Yes, it's true. My dog Bear is more paleo than you. He eats raw, he eats the bones, and he doesn't gag on chicken liver. So why am i posting dog meals now? Well, just to get you thinking about your best friend. They're getting cancer and fat, just like us - makes you wonder huh? More about that in a sec.
So how did the Crossfit Open go for you. I was a nervous wreck the whole time. I thought the programming was good and the scoring was fair. If you're a data geek, check this post by my friend Mike Deskevich. Bottom line, he checked out various scoring methods and came to the conclusion that the method used is as "fair" as any. Not much movement in athlete placement at bottom and top - where it counts. I was very fortunate to qualify for the Crossfit Games in the 50-54 Master's group. My GF Laurie and I took off to climb in Spain for 10 days the week after the Open and now i'm in serious training/eating mode - as i know many of you are. My diet has evolved over the years, but if you're curious, i'm currently eating 150g P, 120g F, 80 g C per day. That's right - 1/2 my calories are fat and that will increase the closer i get to July.
OK - raw food diets for your dog. Do you know that corn is a primary (top 3) ingredient in most dog foods? Bear gets terrible "hot spots" if fed corn, and maybe your dog doesn't. But what's happening inside him? Let's face it, no one ever saw a wolf run down a corn stalk. This is not canine food (nor is it human food). So, what to do? There are many resources, so study up, just google "dog raw food diet." There are many myths out there, just like with human diet. The biggy is chicken bones. Cooked = No Bueno. Raw = Bring-It. It still freaks me out a bit because Bear pretty much inhales his food. Read up and use your own judgment. Chicken drumsticks are nearly small enough for him to gulp. The turkey drumstick he ate tonite forced him to chew and i felt a lot better about it. The other concern is bacteria, etc. Really? Raw chicken? Yes. I'm feeding Bear all "human grade" food and sure, there is still some risk of nasties in there, but hell, the bacteria in his gut could kick the shit out of Mel Gibson any day of the week. How do i know this? You'd be surprised what a dog wandering thru the woods will eat. Now you're wondering about the cost right? I did my research. Med quality food, like "Blue Buffalo" w/out corn cost $51 for a 30 lb bag. Seriously, that's redonkculous, but it gets worse. Bear eats 3 cups - that's $1.43/day. The "good" stuff, truly w/out any grains, is $32 for 11 lb bag - dog food for crying out loud! That's $2.40/day for Bear. What does raw food cost? Here's what i bought today.

Pork Neck Bones $1.79/lb
Turkey Drumsticks $1.49/lb
Chick Gizzards/Hearts $1.21/lb
Chick Livers $1.24/lb
Avg Cost: 1.43/lb.
As a starting point, your dog should get 1 lb "meat" for every 50 lbs bodyweight. About 10% of that should be organ meat.( I also add olive oil to bring the fat up a bit.) That's about 1.5 lbs for Bear/day at a cost of $2.14/day. So not as expensive as "Top Shelf" dog food and much cheaper than Chemo. So, do a little research, and consider it. Do you really want your dog to be eating the equivalent of Cap'n Crunch? Not my buddy. If paleo is good for you, it's good for your dog.
Good Luck to all the athletes heading to Regionals and to the GAMES!

Eat Well! Steve "Paleo"

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Broccoli Latkes with Baramundi



I didn't even know what a latke was a month ago, and i probably still don't, but the texture and smell of these is becoming a quick favorite. First though, CROSSFIT OPEN coming down the pipe! Ready? I cranked down on my macronutrients a month ago and quickly dropped about 7 lbs. The least i can do is not give anyone else advantages in the bodyweight exercises. I actually started weighing and measuring again - for a bit. I'm reminded what a fat-fest this paleo stuff has become. Touchy subject i know but look around you. Who's paleo and who's shredded? Why and why not? I'll tell you why - it's a fookin nutbutter fest out there. And that's not all, there's a zillion almond flour recipes that are DAMN good. Like paleo bread and ginger snap cookies. (not joking here - MAKE these) If you have glutton (not gluten) tendencies like me, you need to do a little math on this stuff, or risk getting soft. Don't get me wrong, a 5 lb sack of almond four landed on my porch a couple weeks ago. There's not doubt that eating like a pig is anabolic. You WILL lift more weight but those burpees are gonna SUK. Better to train like a plough horse and eat like a race horse. For those interested, i'm on about 18 blocks but i'm skimping carbs - close to 100 gm per day. For an averaged sized male crossfitter, this is a pretty bullet proof way to lean up - so get on it and good luck during the Open!

Broccoli Latkes with Baramundi (4 blocks, skimpy carbs)

5 oz Baramundi (wild caught frozen at Costco - i spiced it with Old Bay seasoning)
3oz Broccoli florets (steam these)

Latkes
Heaping Cup of shredded broccoli stems
1/2 TBS almond flour (fine ground)
1/2 TBS coconut flour
1/4 tsp celery salt
1/4 tsp shallot salt (or onion salt)
1 egg
1 tsp coconut oil

Shred the brok stems.
Mix in the egg, flour, and spices and get the coconut oil heating in a pan on med-high. Divide the shredded brok mix and place in pan - flatten out. Start steaming the broccoli florets and get the baramundi going in another pan coated with olive oil spray. Flip the latkes - they should be crispy brown like hash browns. A little smear of butter goes a long way on those latkes! Eat Well! Steve "Paleo"