Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pan-fried Salmon Filets

Oh, for laziness.

I found this easy way to fry up salmon filets from (where else?) Pinterest a long time ago. I've made them several times without fail... so it must be easy!

Now, isn't this package pretty? I'm a sucker for pretty packaging. What they don't tell you on the package....

.... is that they are skin-on salmon filets! I may or may not have been seriously grossed out the first time I discovered this. Ew. I keep buying them though. I've been told that cooking the filets with the skin on provides more health benefits. Mmkay.

You'll want to make sure the filets are completely thawed and close to room temperature. I like to pat them dry too. High fat meat = slimy. True story.

You'll want to use lots of salt and pepper.

Heat your pan to medium-high , then add plenty of butter. Puh-lenty of butter.

Drop the filets in skin side down, and cook until you see the white color start creeping up the middle of the filet. See it?! It takes 1-3 minutes, depending on how hot your pan is.

Then flip the filets over, and pop them in a preheated 350* oven for 3-5 minutes.

The skin should be relatively easy to peel off, especially if your pan was hot enough when you put the filets in there.

And... enjoy! That warm fuzzy feeling you get? Yeah, that's the meat sweats. Nothing like a high-protein, high-fat meal to keep you satiated for hours. :)

Pan-fried Salmon Filets

Salmon filets, thawed and patted dry at room temperature

Preheat oven to 350*
Heat empty pan to medium-high
Add butter
Add filets, skin-side down if applicable
Cook until flesh turns white half-way up (about 1-3 minutes)
Flip filets
Immediately transfer pan to oven for an additional 1-3 minutes

Peel skin, and enjoy!

Food. Squats. Part 2

This morning I was feeling lazy.

Could have been from the killer WOD yesterday. Man, that felt good. :)

And yes, I ate. It was a glorious day of stuffing my face. :D

Where were we? Oh, yes. I was feeling lazy. My standard oatmeal/flax combo had run out yesterday, and I just didn't feel like waiting for it to cook this morning. I'm also toying with the idea of going more strictly Paleo and cutting out my oatmeal entirely.

Then I remembered that just the other day, I had pinned a "power scramble" recipe to my Pinterest that included sweet potatoes, eggs, bacon, and cream. And I also remembered my love of sweet potatoes.

Of course, being the rebel free-thinker independent person that I am, I would rather create my own version.

Or, I wanted to just eat more sweet potatoes. Or, I didn't have any cream. Believe whatever you wish. It's like a choose-your-own-ending book. Are those still around? Raise your hand if you were raised in the nineties!

I chopped my little sweet potato pretty thinly and added it to bacon grease with a sliver or two of red onion.

After the potato was mostly cooked, I took half out to save it for tomorrow. Then I crumbled up a piece of already-cooked bacon in the pan. I always cook up a bunch of bacon and keep it in the fridge... there's that laziness again. ;) Plus, bacon tastes great cold.. seriously.

I suppose you could start with uncooked bacon, too. Fry the bacon until mostly done, then add your sweet potato and onion.

I added more bacon grease, and then popped in my egg.

Raise your hand if you like runny yolks! I always cook them over easy and then pop it with my fork right after taking them out of the pan.

Let me tell you.... this was amazing. Even though it may have been cold by the time I got done snapping pics... ;)

Sweet-Potato Hash with Bacon

Sweet potato, finely chopped or shredded
Sliced onion

Heat pan
Cook bacon OR add bacon grease
Saute sweet potato with onions
Add cooked bacon
Fry egg(s)

This nice mix of protein/carbs/fats set me up perfectly for my strength day today at the gym, although I'm pretty sure I'll add another egg in the coming mornings.

I haven't had a good ol' fashioned strength day for a looong time, but I'm still trying to not push myself too much yet. So I treated today more like a "fun day," going through my lifts at a relaxed pace and remembering how much joy lifting gives me.

I did some front squats, power snatches, and overhead squats first. I even ended up PR'ing in my snatches, which is one of my favorite lifts. One of the more complicated Olympic lifts, you throw a bunch of weight from the floor to over your head. :) Finished up with a few other things, but it felt awesome to spend most of my time in the squat rack.

When I got home from the gym, I ran across this article in my news feed: Self-Discipline vs. Self-Love
At the end of the day, don’t let discipline get in the way of really getting know your body. It’s a deeply courageous act to stop, get still and listen. If you tune-in regularly, your body will never lead you astray.
The whole post is incredible, but wow, that hit home... It takes a lot of discipline to accomplish things. However, it takes listening to your body to not over-do it. I'm trying harder than ever to listen to my body. Trying to love my body..

This gal (The Clothes Make The Girl) is another one of my favorite bloggers. She just wrote a post about loving your body. I highly recommend reading it... and some of her past entries too.

Anyway, time for me to get some more work done!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bacon, fat, and other good things


Bacon = high cholesterol = false.

True, bacon may not be the best meat in the world. Bacon is usually cured with nitrates and has plenty of salt and sugar. There's plenty of other meats that are better for you... grass-fed meats, especially.

However. Let's stop all the bacon-hating, mmkay?

And this article bears repeating. In a large font. And in italics. Kidding. Maybe kidding.

World Renowned Heart Surgeon Speaks Out on What Really Causes Heart Disease

Forget the “science” that has been drummed into your head for decades. The science that saturated fat alone causes heart disease is non-existent. The science that saturated fat raises blood cholesterol is also very weak. Since we now know that cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease, the concern about saturated fat is even more absurd today.

Ding, ding, ding!

That's all folks.

Food. Squats. Typical post.

An updated picture of my "meatza." :)

Now, this is completely random. But I have discovered plastic cutting mats. Lightbulb discovery.

This is just one of their useful applications. I like to mix up my hamburger meat myself... ground beef/turkey/seasonings/bacon fat/etc.

However, I like flat hamburgers. Plus flat hamburgers cook faster. And you know I'm all about not waiting for food to cook...

Genius, no? I'd like to say this is a "Randomonitiies" original, but I'm not that bright. Someone else probably thought of this long before I did. ;)

Another random.. this cracks me up.

Someone told me on Facebook the other day that bacon was bad for me. (It was in response to this awesome and slightly controversial infographic about bananas and cookies.) Sigh. Yes. I am just a weak, sickness-infested, overweight, non-energetic, 24-year-old with a 60-year-old's body.



I cook up 2 pans of bacon at a time and refrigerate them. Easy snack... and bacon tastes amazing when it's cold. (20 minutes at 400*, for those of you who were wondering)

Then, I take all that yummy bacon fat, save it in a jar, and use it to cook my eggs in every morning. Mmm.

Oh, wait? Eggs are bad for me too?

I'll take my chances.

Sigh. All this meat and fat I've been eating is making me weak. Obviously.

I mean, I still haven't broken 200-lbs on my deadlifts.

This is me doing 195-lbs, 3 reps, last Saturday.

(There's a reason I cut off my head... I found out that I make the absolute ugliest face when I lift. Maybe I should use the mirrors to look at my expression...? Ugh. It's embarrassing.)

And I looove my new tank. ;)

I highly recommend following "Lift Big Eat Big" on Facebook.

This was after the deadlifts... hence, the chalk all over my bum. :)

I'm in a front squat here with only 10's on the bar (65-lbs), but I was warming up to do some thrusters. Thrusters are even more fun than burpees. Gag. In a thruster, you start in the squat position here and push the bar above your head as you come up.

I swear my dear hubby made me stay in the position for a minute. That's a lie. But it was probably 20 seconds. "Just one more second..."


Today's workout was amazing. Ah-freaking-mazing.

Just cardio today with some ab work. However, for the first time in... ages (!!), I had to quit from serious fatigue rather than pain. Talk about a great feeling.

I even ran 50 flights of stairs to celebrate at the end.

It was glorious.


And then, I came home and seriously stuffed my face with sweet potato fries. Yes, that was a food reward. They were awesome. And totally worth the carb gut I now have. :)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Meatza. Pizza. You know.

You know you want some.

Pretty much the simplest thing ever.

I fried up some plain turkey breast cutlets the other night with this "meatza" thought in mind. Gotta love that coconut oil!

Anyway, I've been having some serious pizza cravings. Serious. And what's the best part about pizza? The toppings! Obviously.

So, I heated up the turkey breast a bit in the microwave, sprinkled on some Italian seasoning and oregano, slathered on some leftover marinara, threw on some grated cheese, and popped it in the toaster oven for about 5 minutes on broil to heat up the marinara and cheese.

This. was. incredible.

Next time, I'll be using more toppings, like some sausage/pepperoni. However, this gave me the little pizza fix I'd been needing.

Raise your hand if you think I need to get some new plain plates to take pictures of my food on. *raises hand*  Maybe someday I'll ditch the Corelware and use our chipped, square, black wedding plates. Does food look good against black? I'm thinking no, unfortunately...

In other news, our dog as some serious spring fever. She wants to "go outside" about every 20 minutes. Not that I'm complaining too much, seeing as it's beautiful out lately. However, it's a little excessive... And it might be just because she has quite the flirtatious relationship with the dog next door. He's a sweet little Yorkie named "Crash." Isn't that cute?

It's fun to have some nice neighbors that don't freak us out or have dogs that growl at Turbs! They're a young engaged couple that seem about our age.

Finally, a random for you all. I found some contraband items in the gym yesterday, left unattended. There's a long story behind the older gal who carries these around. She may or may not be the one that used to steal all my equipment during the middle of timed workouts. ;)

Speaking of workouts. This week seems to have been another turning point for me. Thank goodness. I'm still having some hip soreness and dealing with some of the fallout from my shoulders being messed up/tendonitis in my arm from the burpees.

However, I feel like I'm getting some of my mojo back. My muscle soreness lately has been "good-workout" sore rather than "oh-my-word,-my-hips-are-going-to-fall-off" pain.

I'm determined to not mess it up again this time. Even if that means taking a few rest days now and then.

I came across this quote the other day, and I love it!

"The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out; the brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. The brick walls are there to stop the people who don't want it badly enough. They are there to stop the other people!" ---Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture)

The other day, I did back squats for the first time since I injured my hips. Well, the first time with any real weight. It was a glorious feeling. Until the next morning. And the morning after that. And then I wondered what I did to myself. ;)

Again, though, my muscles were super sore, but not something-is-wrong sore. Phew.

Another great quote.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

An arrow.

This speaks to me. Like more than old school Linkin Park lyrics. Remember when they used to rap with their songs?


Friday, March 16, 2012

Ack! Not my pantry!

Sorry. I've been on a blogging rampage recently.

By the way, it's my mom's birthday today! :)

This is one of my favorite pins on Pinterest. (Yep, still addicted.)


You can look me up on Pinterest too, if you want. Disclaimer: I'm annoying. I post a lot of recipes, workout things, and even links to articles I find interesting. You were warned.


Okay, time to get honest.

One of my friends* at the gym posted a photo of his pantry.

*By friends, I mean one of the trainers that CrossFits, eats Paleo, and is knowledgeable about most everything relating to health, nutrition, and fitness. He owns socks that say "bacon" on them which makes him a pretty cool guy. Someday he'll rule the National Republic of Bacon, and I'll be a loyal citizen. He's the one to "blame" for my very own Paleo/protein/fat interest (and therefore, revolution), as well as introducing me to the Tough Mudder idea.

Thanks for helping me along my fitness/health journey, John. :)

Check out his blog here. Or like him on Facebook. You won't regret it. (And yes, that is a non-compensated recommendation. Sheesh.)

His pantry:

This was very inspiring to me. My instant thought: Ack, not my pantry! That's where I store all my "unmentionable" food items. Don't catch a glimpse of my chocolate mint almonds!

Goodness, might as well just publish my food log to the entire world to see when I sneak a handful of my hubby's Rice Chex. By the way, that stuff was created by the devil. Sweet cereal doesn't tempt me... but Rice Chex? Wow, it's a weakness.

So, no judgements, please. I decided my pantry needed a good cleaning, and this is what I got rid of (never mind that most of these things had been in there for over a year):

I also scoured my cupboards, pitching and tossing things like cake mixes, Lipton pasta sides (really, what was I thinking?), macaroni and noodles to no end, and a brownie mix.

Oh, the brownie mix. Never mind that it's probably 2+years old. It's just the thought of fresh, crumbly brownies hot from the oven. The promise of what the brownie mix holds out. Oh well, that was tossed also!

And guess what? I'm still too embarrassed to take a picture of my pantry. Sigh. It's those dang chocolate mint almonds.

But this is a step in the right direction! You wouldn't believe all the room I suddenly have in my cupboards. No more whining about lack of space here!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

All time favorite: Turkey, Bacon, and Feta

I can't believe I've never posted this "recipe."

Maybe because it's simply too easy.

What you need:
Turkey breasts

Fry the bacon, then remove and crumble with feta
Fry the turkey breasts (yes, in the delicious bacon fat)

Serve the turkey with the bacon/feta mixture on top

Simple. Delicious. But then again, I did say bacon. And feta.

Talk about the meat sweats. I love the warm fuzzy feeling from a high-protein, high-fat meal. I also love the scale the next morning and how lean I feel.

Speaking of scales.... I'm breaking up with mine. After having reached -50 pounds, I've decided I no longer really care about that number. In fact, I wouldn't mind gaining weight if it means I can pull up that 205-lb deadlift or start squatting close to 200-lbs.

I'll still be weighing myself twice a week, just to keep tabs on things. And yes, I'll still be keeping my food diary because, let's face it, I like anal things like that.

But the focus has shifted....

Turkey Parm.. and 195-pounds!

Isn't this beautiful?

This is the result of chalk use.

And pulling some crazy-heavy weight off the floor. I reached a new deadlift PR (personal record) this morning: 195 pounds! *happy face* 

And I got two reps at 195-lbs.  *perma-grin*

Attempted 205, but failed.

Deadlifts make me feel like a beast, which is one of my highest compliments I can bestow on someone. Once I pass a 200-lb deadlift, I will officially call myself a beast.

Anyway, my last PR on these was a loooong time ago at 175-lbs. This last Monday, I did two sets of 8 at 175-lbs, so I knew I had quite a bit more in me.

Quite honestly, I don't know what other accomplishment in my life has given me that much joy. Maybe making All-State 2-years in a row in high school. Or one of my many "outstanding performance" solos. A few of my photo assignments, maybe. A really great senior image, possibly.

But, lifting gives me such a rush like nothing else does. I grin like an idiot. :)

Finished up the day with more fun things like split-jerks and a WOD (CrossFit style workout) that included a couple rounds of powercleans, kettlebell swings, toes-to-bar, and 30-calorie runs.

Ahh, what an incredible morning. :) Taking the last two days "off" was worth it!


Anyway, let's talk food!

'Tis the week for updating old recipes. I'm always trying to improve things. I think it drives my other half crazy.

(Here is the original post for turkey parm, in case you were wondering.)

However, according to the hubbs, I had never made this before. That's okay. Last time I made it, he didn't enjoy it. At all. I'm pretty sure he told me to file the recipe carefully in the trash.

This time, he literally had it gone before I was half done. And that never happens because I can eat really, really fast. Seriously. It's like a talent.

Except not. I should probably work on that.

Anyway, I didn't really do a whole lot to my turkey parm this time, because let's face it... it was amazing the first time.

However, I did take a few new pictures. Score!

Chopped almonds. Mmm.

These bad boys sure won't win any food-beauty awards, but man, they taste yummy!

Turkey Parmesan with Marinara

Italian seasoning
Onion powder
Parmesan, small amount (otherwise will burn in the pan)
Ground flax seeds/meal
Ground/finely chopped almonds or almond meal (I actually liked having a few crunchy almond pieces in there!)
Chopped garlic
2 eggs, or however many you need to make it into a sticky paste of sorts

Heat pan with coconut oil.

Rub mixture on both sides of the meat
Throw them in the pan for 2-ish minutes on each side.

I fried 2-3 breasts at a time and put more coconut oil in each time.

Garnish with heated marinara.

I found a natural four-cheese marinara that was just the tomatoes, cheeses, and seasonings... no sugar added. Score! I'm sure there are better ones out there, but was at Walmart (ugh) so didn't have much to choose from.

Now that I look at this, it seems like something died tragically on my turkey. Hah! Oh well, it was delicious.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Stir fry, updated

Hello, summer!

75*, breezy.. ahh. Beautiful.

Since today was declared a "rest day" from the gym for me (don't get me started...), I made full use of my extra time and the nice weather. Turbs and I went for a walk, met the neighbors after lunch, and just plain sat outside this afternoon. Mmm.

Now, being the pessimist realist that I am, I'm sure summer isn't here to stay. However, it sure hit the spot today!

I thought I would update my post about the homemade HuHot. (Click here for original post.)

I tried a new meat for the stirfry.... chuck roast, which I sliced up. I like the chuck roast because it's super fatty (hello, flavor!) and a bit cheaper. In fact, in the past, I've also used the eye of the chuck roast, which is even cheaper because its considered a lesser quality cut. It works great for this, that's for sure!

Also, I swapped out lemon juice and a squirt or two of plain stevia for the orange juice. Sugar removal, check! Hubby not noticing the difference, check!

In addition to the liquid aminos, I've also started adding "fish sauce" to the marinade. I happened to be waiting at the health food store for them to ring up my order and snagged a bottle of this after reading the description on the back. Apparently it's made from wild black anchovy and sea salt. And it spices up all your Asian-flavored cuisine. And it's ah-mazing. No lie. Here's their website:

Then, I've started marinating the meat for the entire afternoon, which, oh. my. word. is delicious. Definitely recommend doing that.

And of course, I took new pics. :P

Red Boat Fish sauce. Five stars. And yes, I did just run upstairs and take a picture of it in my fridge. You guessed right. And no, they don't endorse me. Or know who I am.

Chuck roast = fatty goodness. Red meat makes me strong. No lie.

There are many great articles I've read recently disproving that "study" where they "found" that red meat kills you. Sigh. Whatever. These are the same people that tell you to eat grains and take cholesterol meds. And we blindly trust them.

If you're going to only read one, read this one. :)

Ahh, fried veggies. My life is now complete that I've discovered fried sliced cabbage. Complete.

Note to self, don't cut the onions like this. And stick with red onions.

I like to leave it just a tad pink.

I know, I know. I'll probably die because of it.

I'll also hit a new PR on an Olympic lift because of it too. And I'm okay with that. :P

Rice noodles for the hubby...


It's go time!

Oh man. This makes me hungry.

So, updated recipe for
Homemade HuHot:

1/4 cup Braggs liquid aminos
1/4 cup Red Boat fish sauce
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup lemon juice
Stevia, a few squirts
2 TB almond oil
Red pepper seasoning

Combine with "thinly-sliced" 2-pound chuck roast. Marinate in the fridge for 3-4 hours.

Saute veggies. I used a couple dashes of the aminos, fish sauce, and coconut oil.
Saute meat until a bit of pink is left.
Saute cooked noodles.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Meatloaf. No bacon. Sadface.

Yes, last night I made meatloaf.

It was pretty much amazing. Except after I had it all ready and in the oven, I learned that you can put bacon on meatloaf. Bacon. Meatloaf. Wow. Kicking myself now.

It was super simple. And there was no veggies. My husband doesn't like veggies. He also likes his meatloaf cooked in a bag, but I won't go there. ;)

1-lb beef burger
1-lb turkey burger
4-TB flax meal
Beef fat from a leftover roast
    (I think this is what made mine so moist and yummy!)
Could use coconut oil/fat

Onion powder
Garlic powder
Rosemary/thyme (main seasonings from my beef fat)

Mush together, mix well, get your hands gooey. Mash it well. Pretend it's your neighbor's brains. You know? The one with the annoying dog that barks for hours on end? No? That's just me? Okay.

Spread into an 8x8 pan.

Bake uncovered at 350* for an hour.

Easy peasy. I've wanted to say that phrase on here for a long time. Does that make me weird?

Pardon the iPhone pic. Always looks over-saturated.

I can't wait to try it without the rosemary/thyme flavor and add bacon. Mm. Bacon.
Disclaimer: I am not a registered dietician, I do not have any type of medical training, and my workouts and training are only intended for my personal recollection and your curiosity. Anything documented on this blog is my personal opinion or a learned experience. All images are subject to a personal copyright unless otherwise noted and cannot be used without permission. If you read to the end of this, congratulations.