Just because most recipes use breadcrumbs or saltines or some gluten filler doesn’t mean you have to!
Below are some delicious crab cakes we made with some jumbo lump crab we got at Trader Joes.
16 oz crab
1 slice nitrate free bacon cut into thick chunks
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
Chop the bacon into thick chunks and cook until browned. Then remove and place in a bowl to use later.
While bacon is cooking mix together crab, eggs, mustard and spices. Don’t mix so well you completely destroy the crab chunks!
Once the crab mixture is combined, form into patties. We made 12 individual cakes.
Then place the patties in the pan that you just cooked bacon in. While patties are cooking on the first side, push a few bacon chunks into the top of each patty. When you turn the patties over, the bacon will cook into them and infuse the whole crab cake with a bacon flavor!
Top the patties with a sauce of your choice (they don’t even really need sauce though!). We did use a little chipotle blue cheese “aioli”. Sour cream can be combined with some blue cheese chunks, dill and chipotle powder to make an easy, tasty sauce!
Serve with a nice light salad! We used arugula, tomatoes, green onions, garlic, and lightly tossed it in our homemade blue cheese dressing!
These crab cakes are high in protein and pretty low calorie! The whole can of crab is just 350 calories! That with just two eggs and one slice of bacon (on top of the fact that you aren’t eating the whole can yourself!) makes the meal great if you are watching your calorie intake!
I’m sort of sick of being called Paleo with a negative connotation attached. I’m sick of having my diet dismissed because of a term someone else attached to it.
So while I’ve discussed the great components of both the Primal and Paleo diet, but I’m really not either.
I mean let’s face it, no one really eats Paleolithic food so no one is really Paleo.
It is just a name. A way to describe a “philosophy.”
The name has either become a source of pride or something to mock. People either blindly follow the name or won’t give the diet a second look because of it.
BUT, even though I wouldn’t define myself as perfectly Paleo or Primal, I respect the message of both of the diets – EAT WHOLE NATURAL FOODS!
All diets THAT ARE ACTUALLY HEALTHY, no matter what you call them, should follow that basic rule – Eat whole, natural foods. Get plenty of healthy fats, proteins and vegetables and avoid process crap and gluten.
I personally believe that if you avoid gluten and vegetable oil, you will avoid the two leading causes of inflammation, which can cause serious health problems.
I also believe thought that it doesn’t mean you can just eat a ton of gluten-free products.
You also need to avoid as much processed food as possible because frankly, it is CRAP.
But whether or not corn or dairy or peanuts or beans are bad is all up to you. Certain diets say they are bad, but honestly, I think it comes down to how you feel when you eat them and the studies you choose to believe. Because, let’s face it, you can find studies to basically support anything.
At some point you have to make an educated decision about what studies to believe. And then you experiment to find what works for you.
I’ve found that corn tortillas are something I really enjoy. And they can be all natural with no crap. I find that they help me get the perfect amount of carbs to perform well and feel great.
The Primal diet doesn’t promote eating corn, but it works for me.
I also like to include full-fat cheeses and minimal cream in moderation. I don’t have a problem with dairy SO I EAT IT.
Of course, if you have a problem with dairy or follow strict Paleo, you probably won’t.
Then the amount of fat and types of fat you choose to consume are also up to you.
I’m not afraid of some saturated fat. NATURAL products contain it.
HOWEVER, I’m going to choose grass-fed or naturally raised animal products because they have a natural, appropriate ratio of omega 3s to omega 6s. Just because I’m not afraid of some saturated fat doesn’t mean I’m going to eat grain-fed, conventionally raised animals.
They do not contain the same healthy ratio of fats!
But again, it is up to you and HOW YOU FEEL! Maybe you are still a bit more fat-o-phobic even though you eat whole natural foods.
Anyway, stop worrying about the name of your diet.
Whatever you call it, if you eat whole natural foods, you are on the right track! Then it just comes down to exactly what foods you choose to include.
Also, this leads me to a quick fasting update….I used to do intermittent fasting almost every day. Now I’ve varied it up more and I’ve found I’ve gotten even better results. I train fasted still, but only in the mornings. At night, I generally train after eating a small meal.
I’ve found that I get the best results training in this way. I also find that I’m listening to my body more by not forcing myself to fast till a certain time every day.
Again though….it is up to you to find what works! You can find a bazillion suggestions, articles that tell you to never fast and articles that promote fasting for 24 hours at a time. But it comes down to what works for you – to self-experimentation (which I’ve written about so many times!).
I think the sign of a good diet is whether or not it has evolved, even just a little bit, from when you started it.
When you first start a diet, you should stick to the guidelines laid out as strictly as possible because that way you know if the principles work.
But most of the time the guidelines laid out by that other person, aren’t perfect for you. So either you end up giving up on the diet OR you start evolving the diet to better work for you.
I started out doing the Primal diet as Mark had it laid out. But slowly I made my own changes.
At first apples and almond butter were a staple snack to replace the apples and peanut butter I had been eating. Now….I can’t even remember the last time I ate them as a snack.
At first I also didn’t eat rice and potatoes. I ate nuts and fruit and vegetables as my only carbs. But then when I wanted to really cut body fat, I stopped eating as many nuts (actually I basically only eat macadamia nuts now) and started carb cycling with rice and potatoes.
Recently though, I haven’t eaten any potatoes. Instead I’ve had a very little bit of white rice and homemade corn tortillas. Although corn isn’t recommended in Primal, I’ve found that having tacos with corn tortillas as kept me from really cheating otherwise. And my energy levels have felt great, my workouts have been intense and my body composition has actually improved.
I also used to eat a lot more cheese when I first started Primal. Slowly cheese became more of a treat and less of a staple. I no longer need the cheese each day to keep me sane.
That is really what experimenting with your diet is all about – staying sane while being healthy.
You don’t want to deprive yourself of something you love to the extent that you complete give up on a healthy lifestyle. Remember the 80/20 rule – perfection is only required 80% of the time to reach your goals.
You need to find what works for you.
How many carbs do you need? Do you crave sweets or can you not live without your cheese?
All diets can and SHOULD be adjusted to fit YOUR needs.
How has your healthy diet evolved since you started it? What changes have you made to keep yourself dedicated to an overall healthy lifestyle? What do you allow in your 20%?
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
- Juliet (Romeo and Juliet)
When people hear the name “Paleo Diet” or “Primal Diet,” they scoff and say, “Oh that is that crazy Caveman diet right?”
BUT if I tell people, “Oh I eat only whole, natural foods and avoid gluten, processed foods and vegetable oils” they nod their head in agreement.
UHM HELLO!?! Basically what I’m doing is eating the exact Primal diet that they scoffed at!! The only difference is…..
I DIDN’T CALL IT PRIMAL!
One word can define how people view a diet, workout program even a way of living!
Once mainstream media deemed the Primal/Paleo diet the “Caveman diet” people began to scoff at it even if they will nod in agreement when you list off all of the principles of the diet.
The same thing is true if you say you eat a “low-carb” diet.
People instantly say, “Oh like Atkins?” or “So you don’t eat fruits and veggies?”
BUT if you say you avoid “unhealthy carbs,” again people nod in agreement. (Of course my definition of unhealthy carbs is most often different from theirs, but still…)
There are just so many things that annoy me with the above situation.
For one, if people did any research, they would know that Atkins has now changed and DOES allow carbs as well as a plan to help you add them back in to an appropriate level after the initial weight loss.
For two, why does low-carb instantly mean to people that you cut out fruits and vegetables!?!
Trust me you can eat low-carb but still eat tons of fruits and vegetables! Honestly, I eat more fruits and vegetables since going “low-carb” than I ever did when I ate lots of carbs and low-fat!
So I could eat 7 cups of broccoli throughout the day and still eat fewer carbs than if I had ONE cup of brown rice!
And personally I think having just two cups of broccoli is better nutritionally than one cup of brown rice (AND fewer carbs!)
And diet isn’t the only place that I see “names” being misconstrued.
Honestly, I believe that the same thing has happened as Crossfit has become more and more popular.
It is so funny the different reactions I get from other trainers when I say “intense circuits” versus “Crossfit-style workouts.”
To me, Crossfit means pushing your limits. Trying new things. Constantly varying up the workout. Lifting heavy things and sprinting often.
It means intense circuits that are never the same and constantly challenge your fitness level.
But that isn’t what it means to most trainers.
To most trainers, Crossfit means injury and Olympic lifts with bad form.
But what in this DEFINITION of what Crossfit TRULY is supposed to be says that?
CrossFit describes its strength and conditioning program as “constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement,”with the stated goal of improving fitness (and therefore general physical preparedness), which it defines as “work capacity across broad time and modal domains.”Workouts are typically short—20 minutes or less—and intense, demanding all-out physical exertion. They combine movements such as sprinting, rowing, jumping rope, climbing rope, weightlifting, and carrying odd objects; they use barbells, dumbbells, gymnastics rings, pull-up bars, kettlebells, medicine balls, and many bodyweight exercises.These elements are mixed in numerous combinations to form prescribed “Workouts of the Day” or “WODs”. Hour-long classes at affiliated gyms, or “boxes,” typically include a warm-up, a skill development segment, the high-intensity WOD, and a period of individual or group stretching. Performance on each WOD is often scored and/or ranked to encourage competition and to track individual progress. Some affiliates offer additional classes, such as Olympic weightlifting, which are not centered around a WOD.
Uhm I swear I’ve heard the exact trainers that condemn Crossfit utter this exact same phrase to describe their strength and conditioning program “constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement,”with the stated goal of improving fitness (and therefore general physical preparedness).”
Am I wrong?
But because a few people practice something in a way that some consider “wrong,” a whole movement gets condemned.
There are always going to be people who do things that you don’t agree with….in any movement or facet of life.
But that doesn’t mean you can just ignore and belittle something without learning more!
How many things have you not tried because of one word associated with them? How many times have you not done the research to find out the principles behind the diet/lifestyle/workout?
Also, can we ever really accept that one word represents an entire movement? Let’s face it…Primal SHOULDN’T mean the exact same thing to ever person. Neither should “low-carb” or “Crossfit”……
Sunshine, BBQ and some frozen berries and chocolate. What could be better?
Primal Potato Salad
2 oz Blue Cheese
4 slices of bacon
2 hardboiled eggs
1/2 tbsp of dill
2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp dijon mustard
Boil potatoes and cook the eggs.
Crisp bacon in pan.
Crumble bacon into bowl with extra bacon grease (yum! haha). Chop up hard-boiled eggs.
Peel the potatoes, dice and add to the eggs and bacon. Add in crumbled blue cheese, dill, cream, olive oil and mustard.
Mix well and refrigerate till chilled.
Between getting up early and riding for 7 hours I’m a bit tired tonight and don’t have the attention span to write a post.
I must say though, I felt really good energy-wise eating Primally while doing all of that cardio! I didn’t even add in potatoes or anything. Just a bit of dark chocolate after dinner and some fruit during the day.
Here is a wonderful photo of me and Candy from before the 7 hours. Later I’ll post some sweaty photos taken during the event!
Today Lois and I were talking about her daughter trying to change her diet and how difficult that can be.
Lois didn’t think that her daughter could make the transition to Primal like she did.
But I told her that her daughter most definitely could.
Everyone goes about starting a healthy diet in a different way. And even once we’ve settled on a healthy diet, we are constantly editing it – we are constantly changing it to fit our lifestyle better, make us healthier, help us reach a fitness goal….
No one’s diet is exactly the same as anyone elses.
For some people, making a drastic diet change is simply impossible. They have to ease themselves into it.
That is exactly what Lois’s daughter will have to do.
It may start with cutting out soda. Then vegetable oils. Then gluten until she finds a diet that not only makes her healthy but allows her to reach her goals and enjoy life.
Yes that’s right…ENJOY LIFE.
Most people don’t consider “enjoying life” when they start a new diet.
You have to create a diet that works for you! And you won’t stick to a diet that you don’t enjoy!
While you want to eat what’s healthy, you also have to allow yourself foods that you enjoy.
While you don’t want to eat a ton of bacon or a ton of cheese, if you enjoy those foods ALLOW yourself to have them. If you deprive yourself for too long, you will just fall off the wagon and have the hardest time getting back on.
If you enjoy pizza, while you don’t want to eat it every day, you can give yourself meals to eat pizza at…and I’m not talking about some Paleo/Primal pizza…I’m talking about the real thing.
I think that all out cheats once a week really work for some people.
There are just so many things that can work. You just need to find out what you enjoy the most while staying in line with what is healthy.
Only if you enjoy the diet will it really work for you!
And if a diet doesn’t work for you? You won’t stick to it no matter how healthy it is!
- Vin Goat is a wonderful little shop that carries artisan and farmstead cheese and cupboard essentials. They also host lectures each weekend about their products. The other weekend Ryan’s parents went to a lecture by Anne Willan, a founder of a famous French cooking school among other culinary achievements. In her talk, Anne Willan supported the use of raw milk to make cheese (saying it made the cheese better!) AND talked about cooking with butter or lard NOT vegetable oil. All in all her lecture was apparently a Primal/Paleo eaters dream. Glad to know there are people out there supporting the consumption of raw milk and fat!
- Here is a little preview of a jump rope video Ryan is helping me making for the Under Armour Challenge. It was also part of my “do something new” workout challenge for this weekend. I’m by no means an awesome jump rope-er so this was definitely a challenge! If you want to do your own jump rope slide and send it to me, I’ll add it to the video!
- Coconut oil is about as close to a magical health pill as you get. Fat-a-phobs shy away from this oil because it contains saturated fat, but what they don’t realize is that the “saturated fat” in coconut oil is a form known as lauric acid, which has been proven to protect your heart by reducing total cholesterol and enhancing HDL cholesterol levels. Even Dr. Oz says so….WOW something he is right about!
- I like dried fruit as a treat on occasion. BUT you have to be very careful when purchasing dried fruit as many have added ingredients. Actually I was surprised by how many WEREN’T simply dried fruit when I was at Trader Joe’s. It actually is more difficult than you think to find pure dried fruit. Next time you buy dried fruit make sure you are getting exactly what you want! Read the ingredients list!
- Just another reason to take medicine! NOT! Common painkillers tied to lower skin cancer risk! Ok but to get the benefit you must take these medicines in large quantities. BUT the large quantities have proven health risks. “The drugs have also been linked to an increased risk of kidney cancer and come with known bleeding risks.” So here we have an article telling our population to take painkillers to reduce their risk of skin cancer but we still don’t know if the benefits of taking large quantities of the medicine are worth the risks that have already been linked to the drugs…Hmmm…I think I’ll pass on the painkillers…
- Every time I think Paleo/Primal is becoming more accepted I see stupid articles like this one on IndyStar.com. I can’t believe a dietitian claimed that the diet is not only low carb but also lacking in some vitamins and minerals. Uhm hello!?! When you stop wasting calories on grains, you eat more fruits and vegetables…So how can the diet be “lacking?” If it is lacking in vitamins and minerals, than what word do we use to describe the average American’s diet…Non-existant in vitamins and minerals!?! (Ok I know that doesn’t work…but hopefully you get my point.)
The Simply Stupid
- Dennis, Ryan’s brother, sent this to him. Definitely a healthy breakfast…NOT!
Ok this isn’t simply stupid…It is actually awesome…
So yesterday I went to Barnes and Noble to get a Paleo/Primal diet book for one of my clients to read. After seeing the Crossfit games, and my long lectures, she finally decided to give the whole “caveman eating thing” a shot.
But when I got to the store I was overwhelmed by a whole lot of crap. All of the “advertised” books were fad, low-fat diets!
The book that I wanted, that they CLAIMED to have in stock was nowhere to be found.
I was overwhelmed by all of the conventional wisdom/fad diets lining the shelves.
I had the desire to run through the diet aisles knocking every book off the shelves and then sprint out of the store.
Or I wanted to grab an armful of the stupid books and throw them in the trash.
Either one would have felt really satisfying.
Of course I probably would have gotten arrested or something, but still….It would have felt good!
I didn’t do it though. Instead I managed to focus enough to find one of the HEALTHY DIET books I was looking for.
With that huge load of diet crap out there though, no wonder Americans are confused about what the right diet is!
Actually it is almost kind of depressing that we turn to brightly colored books with neon words stating “Lose 15 lbs in 2 day!” instead of just eating the foods that come naturally from the earth!
I mean honestly it is simple. Just do an experiment. Eat all the crap they recommend for 30 days and then go eat all of the natural foods that I recommend for 30 days.
Which makes you feel better? Which do you think you can maintain for longer than the 30 days?
I think I know the answer….
Actually I’ve lived the answer. Heck I used to buy diet books and read every article in all of the women’s health magazines looking for some secret new trick.
BUT IT DOESN’T EXIST!
Anyway, don’t take my word for it. Try an experiment yourself. You’ll see.
Oh and just a random side note…
While I complain about all of the crap diet books there were lining the shelves, there definitely were more Paleo/Primal/Caveman books out there than ever before.
I could make a very cynical comment about how there are now books being published about this healthy diet because there is now a market to make money off of….but I’ll keep my mouth shut.
What is next though? A Caveman Lifestyles magazine? Or maybe even a Caveman Vogue?
Hey I’m not saying I don’t get it. But I just think everyone needs to realize that everyone out there who is pushing something has an agenda.
I obviously want you to believe that eating my way and lifting heavy weights is the BEST way.
And of course it is…. :-)
So as I mentioned in my post yesterday, Saturday is my self-control recharge day. I usually go into the gym for a nice deadlift workout before I begin my day of binging, but I just wasn’t up to it today.
Actually, I realized I need a full de-loading week. I usually try to wait till a vacation to take a week off, but with no vacations planned for the near future, I’m just going to be taking next week off from weights. It is always hard taking time off when you are still in the gym 24/7, but hey it’s necessary. (Tomorrow I will post a nice little video about foam rolling!)
Anyway, today for one of my cheat treats, I made chocolate coconut whipped cream for our coffee. Can you say DELICIOUS!?!
Chocolate Coconut Whipped Cream
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup organic grass-fed heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup Trader Joe’s coconut milk
Whip cream and coconut milk together until the mixture starts to thicken. Add in cocoa powder and continue blending until the thick consistency of whipped cream (takes about 5-8 minutes depending on what level the mixer is on).
If you need a bit of sweetness, add in a tsp of powdered sugar. I don’t find it necessary but it won’t kill you either!
Our breakfast was also delicious. Occasionally, I add in potatoes on Saturday and today’s breakfast potatoes were delicious.
The Meat Lover’s Breakfast Potatoes
1/2 lbs The Meat House Lamb Merguez
1 tsp cumin
2 slices of nitrite free bacon
1 oz Chorizo (Nitrite-free from the Meat House!! Our latest discovery!)
1 tbsp Duck fat (courtesy of The Meat House)
Chili powder, salt and pepper to taste
3 cage-free, omega-3 eggs
Brown the bacon and onion with cumin in a skillet. Add duck fat and potatoes. Once the potatoes start to brown, add merguez and chorizo.
Once mixture is cooked, divide onto plates. Cook eggs in grass-fed butter and place over breakfast potatoes. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and chili powder.
Since I’ve provided you with recipes to help grow the guns, I think it is now appropriate to show you some true Man Biceps!
And last but not least…an early St. Patty’s day bicep from Alyson…