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We’ve got you covered for Lunch!!

25 Apr

In case you missed it, we have great new food options to help get you through those busy days.  Not only does the food taste great, but it’s individually packed and frozen to give you a quick and easy way to get the right amount of food, and do it quickly!

I wanted to give you just a couple of ideas about what we have available for you in the freezers at FIT:

Chicken Roja with Sweet Potato Salad

Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs with Stir Fry Vegetables

Brasato Sauce (Braised Beef with Rosemary, Shallots and White Wine) over Spaghetti Squash

Beef Bourguignon Stew with Mashed Cauliflower

Turkey Sausage Breakfast Hash

The meals come in 5 oz. ($13.30) or 8 oz. ($19.75) protein portions with a great tasty 7 oz. side of vegetables.

Don’t forget to pick one up on your way out the door for breakfast or lunch!

 

What Clients are saying:

“I never thought I would like cauliflower, but with the beef stew, it’s great!”

“Those meals were delicious; my daughter loved it!”

“Really easy way for me to get a quick healthy lunch in”

 

Talk to the front desk or Matt to find out more information and take home a delicious pre-made meal.

 

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Let’s Get Cookin’!

7 Jan

Many of you have heard from me that the easiest way to be successful at this “no grains thing” is to prepare your menus and meals in advance so there are always options available for you in the refrigerator.  This will prevent you from eating “whatever” is around, or worse: eating out and making even worse choices.

In the new year, I am reinvigorating my efforts to cook A LOT on Sundays in anticipation of the week.  And yesterday, I did just that.  After heading to 2 different grocery stores, in the pictures below you will see my haul.  And here’s what was either made, prepped for, or purchased to make later in the week:

Nothing like a stoveful of cooking magic

Nothing like a stoveful of cooking magic

Bryan Voltaggio’s Beef Stew with Ale (recipe)

Slow-Cooked Cinnamon Pork Loin with Parsnips

Fermented Brassicas (cauliflower, romanesco, red cabbage)

Roasted Beet, Avocado, and Grapefruit Salad

Below all from Diane Sanfilippo’s Book Practical Paleo (for sale at FIT)

Mustard Glazed Chicken Thighs

Lemony Lamb Dolmas

Swirly Crustless Quiche

B.E.A.T Salad from Mark’s Daily Apple

 

Yes, that’s a lot of food, but it will be for two people, for the week.  Additionally, some of it might get frozen for eating later on.

A kitchen full of fresh veggies? A beautiful thing

A kitchen full of fresh veggies? A beautiful thing

A full fridge is a happy fridge!

A full fridge is a happy fridge!

So now that you’ve seen what my week’s worth of food looks like, how does yours compare?

Share your pictures with us; either here, or on the FIT facebook page.

How the Trainers Eat, vol. 2

9 Aug

So it’s been a while since I posted any of my culinary explorations, but here is the most recent:

Curry Carnitas & Indian Style Corn

While we here at FIT generally recommend staying away from grains, this corn might be an exception. It comes courtesy of our wonderful CSA friends over at Eating with the Seasons so we know that it is not genetically modified and comes pesticide free.  And since corn is not a gluten-grain, I can safely say that it won’t trigger any digestive distress for those who are celiacs, or others with wheat intolerances.  We usually advocate for a lower carbohydrate intake, but there’s just something great – maybe it’s my Midwestern roots – about fresh corn on a warm evening in the summer (it was even rather warm at my house in SF!).

The corn recipe comes from the wonderful Sally Fallon cookbook “Nourishing Traditions”.

And to go along with the Indian flavors, the pork was rubbed with a Vadouvan curry spice, kosher salt, and white pepper.  It was then cooked “carnitas style,” meaning that it was braised in lard (about 3 cups) with aromatics for several hours (in this case chopped red onions, garlic, and cilantro stems).  Keep your oven low, and let it cook for several hours (250deg. for 3-ish hours for a 3-lb. bone in pork shoulder).

I hope you enjoy!

How do the Trainers Eat

18 Apr

Here are a collection of my more recent culinary endeavors to get your mind going in the kitchen.  Please email me at matt@focusedtrainers.com for recipes or for nutrition/cooking consultations.  Enjoy

Chimicurri Salmon with Sauteed Cabbage

Sirloin Strips and Braised Greens

Garam Masal Pork Chop with Cumin Spiced Boc Choi and Asparagus

Roast Leg of Lamb with Tarragon Mint Butter served on Garland of Spring Vegetables

What lessons do we teach our kids in the cafeteria?

11 Apr

We tell our kids to go to school to learn. And they do. Even in the cafeteria.

In a TED talk a few years ago, renegade lunch lady, Ann Cooper made an impassioned appeal for attention to the lessons we actively and passively teach our kids every day in the school cafeteria. Cooper, the director of nutrition services for the Berkeley Unified School District, is on a mission. When she was hired only two years ago, she had 90 employees and no one knew how to cook. How is this possible? Literally everything served in the school cafeteria came packaged in plastic, a can, or frozen. Burritos, pastries, canned fruit medley, peculiar dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets.

Salad Bar Revolution

Cooper shifted the entire paradigm. Instead of cheap, pre-packaged, processed and frozen foods, Cooper set out to teach kids the value of eating regional foods that are organic, sustainable, and fresh.

This meant eliminating all foods containing high fructose corn syrup, using organic produce, and cooking everything–yes, everything–from scratch. But a shift in thinking about food requires more than just changing the menu. So she instituted cooking classes in all the schools in the district to give the kids hands-on experience cooking and preparing these foods for themselves to support academic classroom curriculum to tie it all together.

What inspires Cooper’s mission? This issue is not just for the schools, it is for us because, simply put, it is about us. There is a great need in most schools to change the way we teach our kids about diet and lifestyle. And when we change what we feed our kids, we start to change what kinds of foods our kids think are healthy and acceptable.

Knowing that change is possible, we also know that it doesn’t happen overnight. Perhaps then we should begin with small steps.

Fresh is always better!

First, a good place to start is by finding out what is served regularly in the school cafeteria. Most schools usually have a printed menu available for the week. Stay up to date on what is being served. Compare the number of items on the menu that are fresh versus the number of items that are packaged and frozen.

Second, voice your opinion to the school board or PTA. These bodies exist to support the child’s development in every way possible and this topic is definitely worth the attention and discussion.

Third, model these lessons in the home. The parent and family unit are the most significant influences on the child’s development. Model healthy eating choices in the home by feeding your kids healthy, sustainable, fresh foods that are rich in colorful vegetables and clean proteins.

And if you have already implemented other strategies for fostering healthy habits, please share that with the rest of our FIT community by posting to our comments section along with any other thoughts you may have on the topic. Happy eating!

Whole 30 Dinner Meeting

23 Oct

I hope things are going well for everybody so far; 3+ weeks through the Whole 30!  How is everyone feeling?  Just wanted to shoot everybody a quick reminder that our last weekly meeting will be this Wednesday, October 26th, at 7pm.  We will be discussing dinner options, as well as other questions that have come up through the last several weeks.

For this week, though, we are asking that everyone bring one of their favorite dishes.  This could be something that was a go-to quick fix on a busy week night, or something more elaborate that you experimented with.  Either way, whatever you fix will surely be delicious.  Keep on the lookout for another announcement about where this dinner will be held.

Good luck heading into the last week.  And don’t forget to share your experiences for others to read.

Where to Eat?

5 Oct

At tonight’s breakfast meeting, the topic came up about where to eat out and still get a Whole 30 approved meal.  We will surely dive into this deeper in the coming weeks, but here are some references to peruse:

San Francisco restaurants serving paleo dishes

A great place to ask/search for questions

Paleo out on the town

There’s an app for that

Real Time Farms

Hope these help.  Have you found any other resources you use?

 

 

 

 

 

What Do You Value

20 Jun

I was listening to a discussion between two strength coaches the other day talking about the excuses they hear from people regarding exercise and nutrition, and it got me thinking.

What are your priorities in life and where do exercise and nutrition fit in all that?

One of the most often used excuses is, “I don’t have time”.  But this raises an interesting counter-question in my mind: don’t have time for what?  Everyone is dealt the same 24 hours in the day, and it is really a matter of how your prioritize those hours.  Some will tell you that family comes first, or that work must be a priority, and those things are ok.

But everyone also has to eat.  Why not make those meals good ones?  Food has taken on almost mythical properties in our culture, purported to assist in any and all that ails you: Ice cream heals a broken heart, wings and beer make watching the game more fun, vegetables cure cancer, rice and sprite calm an upset stomach, chocolates and oysters help to set the mood.  I think you get my point.

In reality though, food’s primary role is to fuel your body and mind from day to day.  That is not to say that there aren’t better (and worse options).  My approach to food has always been to eat foods that are either of the earth or on the earth, and as close to their natural state as possible.  Examples you ask…

Vegetables, fruits, tubers are all OF the earth.  Animals, of course, are ON the earth.

The question I used to get from the high schoolers I worked with was about the natural-state clause: Grilled chicken thighs with the skin on are much closer to nature than those deep-fried and breaded wings you just gobbled down.

So what foods are the better ones?  In a recent nutrition seminar I attended, I heard the most succinct qualifier for which foods one should eat – those that move you closer to optimal health.  While there are health claims made about almost any food under the sun (twinkie diet anyone?) there are obviously more nutritious and healthful foods out there; there are foods that while superficially benign, are actually responsible for all sorts of negative consequences under the surface.

Shouldn’t we all be trying to provide our bodies (and brains) with the best foods we can?  Maybe that means forgoing the pizza because it’s quick, and instead spending the extra time to grill the steaks and veggies you have sitting in the fridge?  It might take a little bit of planning on the front end, but the benefits will be much more long-lasting (UC-Berkeley journalism professor and food writer, Michael Pollan, has spoken at length about the hidden costs – medical, environmental, etc. – of quick processed foods, and that spending more time and money preparing healthy foods will actually be cheaper in the long run).


So I bring you back to the earlier question: where do you place your priorities?  I know for myself, a good meal is only a great meal if it actually makes me healthier for eating it.

From Rick’s Kitchen

9 May

Appetizer: Peel and Eat BBQ Shrimp

Entrée: Rib-Eye Steak with Chimichurri Marinade and Dried Chile-Mustard Sauce

Mango and Black Bean Salsa

Dessert: Rick’s Chocolate Shake

Recipe

Steaks:

  • 8 rib-eye steaks 8 to 10 ounces each
  • Chimichurri marinade, recipe follows
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Dried Chile-Mustard, recipe follows

Directions:

Place the steaks in a large shallow baking dish or pan, cover with the marinade and turn to coat. Refrigerate, covered for 1 to 4 hours. Preheat grill to high. Remove steaks from the marinade, shaking off any excess, and season with salt and pepper, discard remaining marinade). Grill until golden brown on one side, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn over and continue cooking 3 to 4 minutes for medium rare.

Chimichurri Marinade:
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped oregano leaves
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
Dried Chile-Mustard Sauce:
  • 2 cups Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup whole grain mustard
  • 3 tablespoons chile powder
  • 3 tablespoons warm water

Desert: Rick’s Chocolate Shake

Serves 2

  • Two scoops Organic Chocolate Protein Powder
  • 8 oz Almond Milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Almond butter
  • 8 cubes ice

Blend and Serve

From Jen’s Kitchen – Easter Brunch

8 Apr

What’s are the menu?

Mushroom and Shalot Quiche (with or without crust)
Roasted Asparagus with Goat Cheese & Bacon
Strawberry & Walnut Spinach Salad

Drink of Choice: Mimosa with fresh squeezed orange juice
Personal Favorite Easter Candy: Cadbury Royal Dark Mini Chocolate Eggs

Recipe: Mushroom and Shalot Quiche

Serves 8

Crust:
-1 cup almond flour
-1/4 cup olive oil
-1/4 tsp baking soda
-1/4 tsp sea salt

Filling:
-16 eggs
-6 Shallots – chopped
-3-4 mushrooms – sliced
-2 Tbsp fresh chives – chopped
-1 Tbsp olive oil
-Goat Cheese (optional)

Directions:
1.  Pre-heat oven to 375
2.  In a small bowl mix together the crust ingredients
3.  Spread the crust in a thin layer over the bottom of the baking dish and bake in the oven for 10 minutes – until crust is brown and hardened.  Remove and set aside.
4.  While crust is baking, heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a skillet and add the shalots
5.  Once shalots have softened, add mushrooms and cook through
6.  Add chives for the last 2 minutes of cooking the mushrooms.  Set aside.
7.  In a bowl, whisk together eggs
8.  Pour the mushrooms/shalots into the bowl with the eggs and stir together.
9.  Pour the egg mixture into the baking dish.  If you’re using goat cheese, sprinkle it over the top of the eggs and it will blend in during baking.
10.  Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes – or until the eggs are cooked (stick a fork in and if it comes out fairly dry, it’s finished).

It is great without the crust as well.  I also make mini quiche’s:  pour egg mixture into muffin pan and cook on 375 for 25 minutes.  Great for a quick morning breakfast throughout the week.