Fitness

4 Stupid Simple Healthy Recipes To Try This Fall

Eating healthy is already hard, but it gets even worse during the fall. You have holiday parties, more carbcentric food and the ever tempting pumpkin spice *insert snack or drink here*.

Just because people around you are falling into food traps doesn't mean you need to too. Try these four hearty and healthy dishes this fall. You'll be glad you did!

Bonus Challenge: Pick one recipe and commit to cooking it this week!


Bacon and Egg Stuffed Sweet Potato

Ingredients for 2 servings:

  • 1 raw medium sweet potato (~400g)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 slices turkey leg bacon (uncured & nitrate free, I prefer Applegate brand)**
  • Seasonings:
    • fresh rosemary
    • pepper
    • sea salt

** – denotes Optional ingredient

Steps:

  1. Set oven to 400F.
  2. Bake sweet potatoes in the oven for about 45 minutes until they are soft, yet still a little firm.  If they are too soft, we will not be able to use them.
    • TIP: if the sweet potatoes are too thin or not thick enough, I advise baking two sweet potatoes. Then, you can skim the tops off – about 1/3 off the top – of the baked sweet potatoes, making it easier to carve a hole deep enough for the egg.
  3. Slice the sweet potatoes in half and carve out part of the inside in order to make a hole for the egg.
    • Use the leftover sweet potato to make a delicious mash with cinnamon and coconut oil, or you can use it as topping for my Shepherd’s Pie recipe.
  4. If you use bacon, wrap one slice of turkey bacon around the inside hole in the sweet potato. If it is easier, you can slice the bacon into individual pieces and then wrap around the inside of the sweet potato.
  5. Crack an egg into a bowl. First pour the egg white in the hole, then add the egg yolk.
    • If you are worried about overcooking the egg yolk in the oven or undercooking the egg white, then only add in the egg white. Bake the sweet potato with only the egg white and when the egg white is nearly finished, about 90%, remove it from the oven, add the egg yolk, then place it back in the oven to finish baking.
  6.  Bake these in the oven for 25 minutes at 400F, or until all the egg white has been cooked.
  7. Season, garnish and devour. Serve immediately while warm.

 

Approximate macros for 1 serving with 1 slice turkey bacon and ~200g sweet potato:
295 calories,17g protein, 41g carbs, 7g fat, 7g fiber, 17g sugar


Sweet Potato Bisque

Ingredients

  • 2 large sweet potatoes (10-12 ounces each)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium tomato-vegetable juice blend or tomato juice
  • 1 4-ounce can diced green chiles, preferably hot, drained
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 15-ounce can vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup smooth natural peanut butter
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish

Preparation

  1. Prick sweet potatoes in several places with a fork. Microwave on High until just cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until it just begins to brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Stir in juice, green chiles, ginger and allspice. Adjust the heat so the mixture boils gently; cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, peel the sweet potatoes and chop into bite-size pieces. Add half to the pot. Place the other half in a food processor or blender along with broth and peanut butter. Puree until completely smooth. Add the puree to the pot and stir well to combine. Thin the bisque with water, if desired. Season with pepper. Heat until hot. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Thin with water before reheating, if desired.

Ultimate Slow Cooker Lasagna

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ lb lean ground beef (if possible grass-fed)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 6 medium zucchinis (sliced)
  • 3 cups (~24oz) tomato sauce, no salt added
  • 2 large vine tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 ½ cup 2% cottage cheese
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 ½ cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese
  • Seasonings:
    • 1 ½ tablespoon rosemary
    • 1 ½ tablespoon Italian seasoning
    • 1 tablespoon Spice Cave Land paleo seasoning (garlicky and herb flavored to give it extra flavor)

Steps:

  1. Prepare the zucchini. Using a mandolin make thin slices of zucchini to cut strips. Slightly larger than the thickness of a nickel.
    1. IMPORTANT TIP: after you cut the zucchinis it is very important that you allow them to dry on a paper towel for about 20 minutes. Why? They tend to carry a lot of water and if you don’t, you’ll end up with a lot of water liquid in the slow cooker from both the steam and the zucchini.
  2. Prepare the meat. Spray a skillet with olive oil and set on medium high heat. Toss in garlic and brown for about 2 minutes. Next, toss in the meat and chop and cook for about 4 minutes.
  3. Add the seasonings to the meat and continue to chop and cook until the meat is fully cooked, about another 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and add tomatoes and tomato sauce to the meat. Stir thoroughly and ensure there are no large chunks of ground meat. If so, chop them up with a wooden spatula. Season to taste with sea salt & pepper. Cover and cook on medium heat for about 3 to 5 minutes and then remove from the heat and set aside.
  5. Mix together egg whites and cottage cheese in a bowl and set aside.
  6. Spray the inside of the slow cooker with olive oil and build the lasagna. Add a little meat sauce and then zucchini strips, cottage cheese mixture and then repeat.
  7. Add meat sauce to the top layer of zucchini strips and then cover with mozzarella. If desired you can toss in basil for extra flavor and aroma.
  8. Cook for about 4 hours on normal/medium heat.
    1. After it has finished, in some cases, there may be a small layer of water covering the top layer of cheese. It is likely from steam and water from the tomatoes and zucchinis. Just scoop it out using a measuring cup or large spoon.
  9. Slice and serve.

Approximate macros for 1 of 5 hearty servings:

345 calories, 50g protein, 17g carbohydrates, 8g fat, 3g fiber, 11g sugar


4 Ingredient Healthy Chili

Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • 1lb 96% lean ground beef
  • 2 cans (30oz) kidney beans (no salt added)
  • 2 large vine tomatoes
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • spray olive oil
  • sea salt & pepper to taste
  • Seasonings:
    • Chili
      • 1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
      • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
      • 1 tablespoon garlic & onion powder mix
    • Couscous
      • 1 tablespoon garlic & onion powder mix
      • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

 

Steps:

  1. Set a nonstick skillet on medium high heat and spray with olive oil.  When the skillet is hot, add the ground beef and chop and cook so that it is as fine as possible (with no large chunks). While the beef cooks in the skillet, add the seasonings and continue to chop and stir.  This should between 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add the beef to a slow cooker, then add chopped tomatoes and the kidney beans WITH the liquid (do not drain the cans).
  3. Stir, then cook the chili in the slow cooker for 8 hours on low heat, or 4 hours on high heat.
  4. Chop the top of cauliflower head into pieces to create individual florets, then add the florets to a food processor.  Pulse blend until it becomes grainy, resembling couscous.
  5. Add olive oil to a nonstick skillet and toss in the cauliflower couscous. Add the seasonings to give it some “personality” and flavor.  Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes and then remove from the skillet.
  6. Once the chili has finished cooking, enjoy it with cauliflower couscous.

The Story Of The 20 Mile Journey...

Build Consistency In CrossFit and Fitness Will Come

In 1911, two teams led separate expeditions on a race to the South Pole. The journey over the most extreme weather and terrain on Earth was over 1800 nautical miles which is almost a round trip from Chicago to New York City. The press covered the beginning of this 100 day trek intensely.

The first team was led by Robert Falcon Scott. His team would march as far as they could on the good weather days, and then rest when the weather turned. Some days they would march 40 or more miles, while the other days they would only march 5.

The second team was led by Ronald Amundsen. His team dedicated themselves to marching 20 miles a day. On days during rough weather or terrain it may take them longer, and on good days it would take them shorter, but they were consistent.

In the end it was Amundsen's team that won. His consistent approach led to his victory while Scott's team perished in the Antarctic after reaching Amundsen's flag at the South Pole.

Your Own 20 Mile Journey In CrossFit

This story is very similar to our members' journeys. Some will take Scott's approach where some weeks they will hit 5 workouts, 3 yoga sessions and maybe some extra strength work. Others will take Amundsen's approach. Whether they are swamped at work or there is 4 inches of snow they will make it 4 days a week no matter what.

After being in different CrossFit gyms for nearly a half decade it is obvious to me that those that are consistent in their effort ultimately reach their goals more fully and quicker. Many athletes get distracted by trying to find a silver bullet to take them to the next level. They are always the ones starting the newest and sexiest lifting program or showing up with a 20 pound vest for Murph, but never able to stick to any one thing.

The unfortunate fact is that there is no secret. It's about consistently showing up, ready to work your ass off, every day. Some days you will feel great, other days not so much. The only important thing is that you show up and that you trust the process.

Consistency, no matter how small the effort, will always beat short term intensity.

-Coach Nick

Eat Clean, Train Dirty

Nutrition - Why it's important to eat clean:

 

There is benefit of vegetables as primary source of carbs

Don't Be Like Mike  Stay Away From Simple Carbs Like Bread and Hamburger Buns

Don't Be Like Mike

Stay Away From Simple Carbs Like Bread and Hamburger Buns

       -Eating whole foods is proven to keep you fuller for longer. Foods like vegetables are packed with fiber, an indigestible component that absorbs water and slows digestion. When in the stomach, fiber dense foods absorb water and hang out in the stomach a little longer than foods not containing fiber. They slow down the process of digestion and are referred to as "slow burning carbs." This more slowly digesting energy evenly spreads out throughout the hours following a meal with high fiber foods.

Eating foods with little fiber, highly processed foods or refined grains such as pizza, cereal, snack bars, bread, etc cause rapid digestion. This means that the carb source or sugar in the food is absorbed very quickly into the bloodstream. This causes your blood sugar to skyrocket quickly and then drop within an hour or two. With a quickly fluctuating blood sugar level, you'll always be reaching for another snack. Your body is still processing the food you just ate but the hormones released during this process tell your body that you are hungry and need to eat again. This is damaging for many reasons and is a prime enabler of type 2 diabetes and various cardiovascular diseases. 

 

What's wrong with dairy?       

Hormones play a huge factor in mood regulation. As I said above, when you digest food, hormones are released into the body. One of the main food groups that throw hormones out of whack is dairy. Dairy contains high levels of sugar. Yes, most often that sugar is natural but your body does not know how to determine natural from added. Regardless of the source sugar causes the blood sugar spike and a rush of insulin to the blood to relieve the sudden spike.

Insulin is a fat promoting hormone that is released in response to sugar (carbohydrate) in the blood. When insulin is present, it reduces the amount of sugar in the blood by sending some back into the cells to be used as energy. The remaining sugar is stored as fat. The more sugar you take in, the more is being stored as fat. Along with fat storage, insulin spikes also cause sugar cravings, overeating tendencies, poor mood and over prolonged periods of time, cause inability to control blood sugar naturally in the body.

 

Strike 2 for dairy!

In relation to hormones promoted by dairy, milk is produced by impregnated cows. Cows who are preparing food for their young to help them grow and flourish. In order to do that, estrogen is produced and is a major component in the milk along with some testosterone. When we drink milk we are receiving those sex hormones which we have in normal amounts already in the body. When we consume them from outside sources like milk, it can cause our natural levels to be thrown off. This can be especially damaging to our body composition and mood regulation. Just remember what milk is. Baby cow food designed to plump up the young calf and help it to grow strong. We as human adults do not need to be supported in this way or "plumped up." Therefore, dairy is not essential for us and actually quite damaging.

 

Have any other questions?

Shoot me an email - Megan@CrossFitPetram.com

-Coach Megan

 

 

A New Way To Scale CrossFit Workouts

As CrossFit Petram grows we will have an increasing range of skill in our athletes. Some athletes are just starting their first week of CrossFit, while others have been going at it for over three years now. This makes programming and scaling workouts that suit everyone challenging.

Workouts are scaled so that everyone is working at a similar relative intensity. This way we can have a Games level athlete next to a beginner, and they are both taxing the same metabolic systems and working on challenging but doable skills. The problem arises when we have every athlete that scales a different piece of the workout.

Enter The Tiered Programming Model

We believe the solution to this is the tiered programming model. In the upcoming weeks you will notice that most workouts will have three different options associated with them: L1, L2, and L3.

These three levels are associated with different skill/fitness levels. L1 represents a typical "scaled" or beginner athlete. L2 is for "Rx" athletes. L3 is for "Rx+" or competitive athletes (this level is reserved for those looking to compete in the sport of fitness).

Choose Your Fitness Level

Level 1

As stated above this is for our beginner athletes. If you've been attending classes for less then 4 months this is probably you. The movements are meant to progress into more advance movements. It may be tempting to jump up to L2 as fast as you can, but if you focus on the fundamentals your time at any CrossFit gym will go much smoother.

Level 2

Level 2 is where the bulk of a CrossFit gym's athletes reside. If you are able to complete at least 4 of these you belong in this group:

  • 1.5x Body Weight Back Squat
  • Body Weight Clean and Jerk
  • 5 Consecutive Kipping Pull Ups
  • 1.75x Body Weight Deadlift
  • 10 Strict Push Ups
  • Run A 9:00 Mile
  • 1 Ring Muscle Up
  • 10 Consecutive Double Unders
  • 10 Second L Hang

Level 3

You belong in this level only if you plan on competing, whether at regionals or locally. These athletes are working on skills outside of regular class time and should be on a separate strength program. If you plan on doing our L3 workouts please get the OK from the class's coach. To be considered for this group you must be able to do at least 4 of the following:

  • 5 Ring Muscle Ups
  • 2x Body Weight Back Squat
  • Run A 7:00 Mile
  • 1.5x Body Weight Clean and Jerk
  • Sub 3:50 500 Meter Row
  • 2.5x Body Weight Deadlift
  • 40 Consecutive Double Unders
  • 30 Second L Hang
  • Beat Up Coach Nick and Take His Lunch Money

The Take Away

Not every one of our workouts will have this tiered system with it, but most will. This system is intended to increase the level of organization of our workouts and provide motivation to take your fitness to the next level (literally).

We will be adding this system on a trial basis. If we feel that it is not meeting these objectives we will find a model that suits our gym better.

Accept The Challenge So You May Feel The Exhilaration of Victory! - George Patton

Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section!