Blog Archives

Would you rather….

So yesterday at work one of the other trainers asked me a few “would you rather…” questions.

One was about which piece of equipment I would choose from the gym as a weapon if a zombie apocalypse happened…

And the other was about which I would rather give up, nuts or dairy.

Which got me to thinking, isn’t a healthy lifestyle really all about “would you rather?”

I mean think about it…If you could eat whatever your favorite food is every day and look and feel great and be healthy, wouldn’t you? Would you really eat vegetables or cut out gluten and processed foods if you didn’t have to?

Probably not.

BUT that isn’t reality.

The reality of it is you are always playing a sort of “would you rather” game. Would you rather eat that pint of ice cream and feel crappy later or eat a natural, whole foods meal and feel energized and good later?

Would you rather eat pizza and chips and not perform well or eat a burger without a bun and a salad and get in a great workout?

I personally would rather eat well and feel great, be healthy and perform well. That is why I eat well most of the time. Plus I do find that I enjoy all of the whole natural foods that I eat. I love grass-fed beef and fish and fruits and veggies (especially cauliflower for some reason haha).

BUT there are those cheat days when I WOULD RATHER indulge and even risk feeling super crappy the next day than eat healthy.

Eating well is a choice and sometimes it isn’t always an easy choice. When you are stressed or pressed for time or put into situations where the EASIEST thing to do is cheat, you are more tempted to just give in without really thinking about the consequences of your choices (and how you will feel tomorrow about them).

Eating well and working out isn’t easy (yes it is easier for some people than for others), but it is a choice.

So think about it…What would you rather do?

The Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Sunday

So today was just one of those days.

I got frustrated doing work. I couldn’t find what I was looking for.

I’m sick (and I haven’t been sick in about a year).

And I’m just plain old grouchy.

BUT then Ryan and I decided to go grocery shopping.

Who gets cheered up by the idea of going grocery shopping!?!


ESPECIALLY when it is a special trip to The Meat House.

We haven’t been to The Meat House since leaving Boston since we’ve mainly consumed a diet of fish (LOVE YOU CALI!).

But when Ryan got a gift card for a wonderful friend (THANK YOU JUDY!), we decided it was time to make a special trip.

And I was excited to see what The Meat House had to offer since I’ve loved everything about Cali since we got here. I thought my day was turning around!

But it didn’t….there is one thing about Cali now that I don’t like…THE MEAT HOUSE.

I LOVED our Meat House in Boston. And this one in Cali was nothing like it.

My no good, very bad day turned into a TERRIBLE, no good, very bad day.

The people behind the counter didn’t seem to know anything about the meat. We waited for like 10 minutes for the girl who helped us to find someone who could butcher the piece of meat we wanted.

Why was she behind the counter if she didn’t know how to butcher the meat!?!

AND the only grass-fed meat they had was from Uraguay! It sat in the counter in plastic wrap!!!!!

Nothing seemed to be local!!!!! Which was super disappointing since Ryan and I have been basically ONLY eating local foods (produce, fruit, fish, eggs, EVERYTHING!).

Plus they didn’t seem to have any in-home made sausages like our one in Boston.



I used to not mind paying a little bit more to get meat from The Meat House instead of just getting the grass-fed, natural meat at Trader Joe’s. I liked supporting our local shop since they were knowledgable and had a great selection. They were welcoming and seemed to really have a passion for what they did!

The Meat House in Boston is AWESOME!

But The Meat House here…well they need to step up their game.

I Need Food!

So with the warm weather this week, Ryan and I did a ton of grilling. We made some more ribs and some kielbasa and burgers. I LOVE MEAT!

I also love ice cream and a couple of nights this week I did treat myself to a healthy version of that cold treat!

Below are some delicious dinner and dessert recipes to try out this spring and summer! The rib meal was especially great for a Friday night date and some March Madness!

Lamb Merguez Bunless Burgers and Kielbasa with a Bacon-Blue Cheese Ketchup


1/2 Lamb Merguez from The Meat House
1 lbs 85% lean grass-fed ground beef courtesy of Trader Joe’s
1 Smoked Turkey Kielbasa from Trader Joe’s
3 strips of bacon
2 tbsp of full-fat blue cheese
2 tbsp Sir Kensington’s Ketchup (Latest find at The Meat House…all natural AND AMAZING!)
3 green onions

Bunless Burgers and Kielbasa:

Preheat grill. Combine Lamb Merguez and ground beef. Form into about 4 oz patties. Once patties are formed, place onto grill. Cook about 4 minutes on each side or until desired temperature (aka medium rare, medium) is reached.

Place kielbasa on grill when you flip the burgers. The kielbasa is already cooked so you really just need to heat it and get some nice grill marks on it!

Bacon-Blue Cheese Ketchup:

While the patties and kielbasa are on the grill, cook bacon in a pan. Once bacon is crispy, add in blue cheese, ketchup and chopped green onions. Stir until combined and then transfer to a bowl. This is a great topping for the burgers!

Of course no meal is complete without some veggies! We made a nice little romaine salad with a creamy mustard dressing to go along with the burgers.

P.S. LOVE the Sir Kensington’s ketchup that we found at The Meat House! Not only are the ingredients better BUT it just has such a great taste! Definitely a must try!

Cider Baby Back Ribs and a Southwest Salad

Ingredients for Ribs and Sauce:

Seasonings sprinkled on both sides – Smoked Paprika, Adobo Seasoning, Onion Salt, Cumin, Chipotle Chili Powder, Pepper
1 Newton’s Folly Cider from Trader Joe’s
1 slab of Baby Back Ribs from The Meat House
3 tbsp of  Sir Kensington’s Ketchup
1/2 can of Tomato Sauce
1 tbsp Spicy Brown Mustard
1/2 tbsp Molasses
2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place ribs in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Rub slab of ribs with seasonings on both sides. Put meaty side up and fill dish with cider. Cover and put into oven for about 1 hour 30 minutes.

While ribs are baking make the sauce. In a pot over medium heat, combine tomato sauce, mustard, vinegar and molasses. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

Preheat grill when ribs are almost ready. Remove ribs from oven and coat both sides with the Kensington ketchup. Place meaty side up on grill and cook until both sides have a nice char. Serve with some of the tomato bbq sauce!

Ingredients for Southwest Salad:

Grated Parmesan and Pecorino Romano cheese
1 head Romain lettuce
4 Jalapeno stuffed olives
2 oz Chorizo from The Meat House
1 tbsp Mitchell’s Chili con Queso from The Meat House (all natural ingredients!)
2 tsp heavy whipping cream
1/2 tbsp Salsa Verde
1/2 Tomatillo Roasted Yellow Chili Salsa from Trader Joe’s
1/2 avocado
1 tsp heavy whipping cream
1/2 tbsp Salsa Verde from Trader Joe’s
1 tsp cumin
Garlic to taste

First you must make the parmesan crisp bowls.

On a plate melt a little butter and grease the entire plate. Cover with a 1/4 thick layer of grated cheese. Heat in microwave for about 1 minute 45 seconds until the parmesan is bubbly and golden brown.

Carefully, remove crisp and place into a bowl covered with a paper towel. Press crisp to form to bowl shape. Cool and remove. I made two crisps this way.

Then in a bowl, combine chopped lettuce, chopped olives and diced chorizo.

To make the dressing, combine queso, 2 tsp cream, 1/2 tbsp salsa verde, and roasted yellow chili salsa in a dish. Once combined, toss with lettuce mixture.

I topped the salad with a simple guacamole. I mashed avocado, 1 tsp cream, salsa verde, cumin and garlic together until cream.

A closer look at the salad

We also indulged in a Spring Woodchuck cider. YUM!

For dessert we had my Berry Chocolate Freeze.

Chocolate Coconut Berry Freeze (picture to come..I forgot to take one before chowing down last night)


2 cups Frozen berry medley (I like ones with cherries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries)
4 tbsp coconut milk
2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate

In a bowl, combine frozen berries and coconut milk. With a fork, mash together berries and coconut milk until only little chunks of fruit remain. I like to mash it till it is very blended. Then stir in cream and chocolate.

We serve it in mugs but bowls work too! 😉 A delicious dessert if you are an ice cream lover!

What are your favorite spring/summer meals?

For recipes, check out the Recipe Box!

P.S. I stole the title from one of The Cave Kids’ songs!

Why blame the red meat?

See! It is all a conspiracy!

Seriously, why is everyone so determined to blame red meat for all our health problems? I swear I saw at least 3 stupid sensational news pieces about it today.

Why does everyone look to cut out red meat before processed foods and gluten?

Sorry people, but we ate red meat way before we had all of the diet related health problems that we have now.

It is interesting to note that most studies don’t take into account how many carbs or vegetable oils people consume along with the supposedly dangerous fatty red meat.

It is also interesting to note that most of the doctors that support these studies have vegetarian leanings…like Dr. Ornish…He has the “Ornish diet,” which, with its vegetarian leanings is supported by this study.

Everyone (myself included) will jump on board studies that benefit them! But come on people…take a look at the study. They didn’t look at gluten, processed foods OR vegetable oils. So who says it is the red meat that we’ve been eating since our hunter-gatherer days?

On to the next article I found…

The article starts out by blaming our bad omega-6 to omega-3 ratio on red meat.

Ok…but red meat isn’t the thing highest in omega-6s so why is it being blamed by this article for “diet induced obesity?!!”

Actually the protein highest in omega-6s with the worst ratio is, CHICKEN! And guess what else provides you with way more omega-6s than red meat?


So why is red meat being singled out?

Both of these studies also don’t consider the difference between grass-fed beef and grain-fed beef.

Can I just point out that there is a HUGE difference between the two!!!

Just to name two differences…Grass-fed beef has more omega-3s and is LEANER than grain-fed beef. Also, grass-fed beef has CLA, which has been proven to prevent cancer! Check out more health benefits of grass-fed beef here!

Now just some extra PROOF that we shouldn’t eat less meat and more carbs!!!!

Here is a study “A Low-Carbohydrate, Ketogenic Diet versus a Low-Fat Diet to treat Obesity and Hyperlipidemia – A randomized, controlled trial” that compared the effects of a low-fat diet to that of a low-carb diet. The conclusions drawn from this diet were:

Conclusions: Compared with a low-fat diet, a low-carbohydrate diet program had better participant retention and greater weight loss. During active weight loss, serum triglyceride levels decreased more and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level increased more with the low-carbohydrate diet than with the low-fat diet. (They also state that HDL went up and that with continued weight loss the LDL lowered down.)

I also just want to link out to a guy who has proof coming out of his ears that red meat isn’t the problem – Gary Taubes. Below is a quote from an interview

You have to consider that when I wrote the article I already knew the results of five clinical trials—short term, admittedly—that compared Atkins-like low-carb diets to low-fat, low-calorie diets of the kind recommended by the American Heart Association. Since my article came out, those five studies have been published and they all showed that cholesterol profiles—specifically triglycerides—improved on low-carb diets compared to the AHA diets. So I knew that your uncle’s bacon double cheeseburger for breakfast wouldn’t kill him as long as he remembered to skip the bun.

I also knew that some 30% of Americans—40% over 60, which probably includes your uncle—have Syndrome X/Metabolic Syndrome and, for those people, low-fat diets will do more harm than good. I also knew that long-term studies of low-fat, low-calorie diets showed they were worthless and didn’t lead to long-term weight loss. I also knew that if individuals could lose weight on Atkins or any diet, their cholesterol would drop with the weight, regardless of the diet. Knowing all that, I knew that anyone could try a low-carb diet and it wouldn’t kill them and might actually help them. I had faith that if they somehow gained weight eating all the fat that Atkins recommends, they’d stop the diet. (I’m still mystified by nutritionists and other “experts”, who feel they have to condemn a diet in advance because some individuals might allegedly gain weight. Don’t they think that anyone smart enough to read what they write is also smart enough to stop a diet that doesn’t work for them ?)

Ok now bring on the red meat haters!

I told you so….

See the Man Bicep has been important all along!

  • See Ellen agrees! “Best Who Cares About the Dress, Look at Her Arms Dress: Viola Davis
  • So if a gluten-free diet alleviates autism symptoms, how can you not think it is healthy?
  • LIFT CHALLENGING WEIGHTS! Here is more proof that you should!
  • Ok so not exactly how I would word it…But this article proves my point! Exercise does help you lose weight but it can’t make up for poor food choices. Of course, I don’t think you should really eat anything it recommends, but hey, you can’t win them all!
  • Research showing grass-fed beef is better. Need more? Here. Oh and here is more.
  • Older article by Gary Taubes, but great evidence that FAT is GOOD.


And, I’m glad to see the enthusiasm for the Man Bicep diet! Here is one of the “Show Me Yours” photos I received! Thank you Amanda! Keep sending them Man Bicepers!

A lifter and a Paleo/Primal eater, Amanda will be trying the Man Bicep diet and workout program!

Eat Meat

I run into vegetarians all the time who tell me that my meat-eating ways are bad for the environment and that I’m promoting cruelty to animals. And I’d like them to reconsider that statement.

For one, I eat animals that have been naturally raised – I eat pigs that grub and cows that eat grass. So actually by eating naturally raised animals, I’m doing more to fight against the farms/companies that raise animals in an inhumane environment than you vegetarians are!

And two, herbicides and pesticides are NOT good for the environment. And what do you think we use to grow the crap load of vegetables, grains and such that you vegetarians eat?

Could it be that eating meat that is raised in a natural way is actually way better for the environment? YEP!

Check out this article “Ordering the vegetarian meal? There’s more animal blood on your hands.” Maybe you vegetarians will stop trying to convince me that eating meat is so unethical!

A true environmentalist! haha

Like a kid in a candy store

Ryan and I feel like kids in a candy store when we go to Whole Foods.

Yep that's exactly how I look when I find something new!

We are always super excited to visit the meat counter and try any new grass-fed, free range meat that they have. We’ve gotten Oxtail, organ meet, pork butt, pork belly and so many other delicious grass-fed, naturally raised meats!

After hitting the meat counter, we sauntered down every aisle scanning for any new grass-fed, full fat, non-processed products that we could add to our diet.

We’ve found grass-fed butters, coconut butter (YUM!), full-fat kefir, pasture-raised organic heavy cream, pasture-raised eggs AND NOW…100% grass-fed whole milk yogurt!

The 100% grass-fed milk that we got is a product of Traders Point Creamery and it is absolutely delicious (not to mention like a bazillion times better for us than 99.9% of the milk that you find at the grocery store)!

Why is it soooooo much better you may ask?

BECAUSE it is 100% grass-fed, which means that it has 5 times…I repeat 5 times….more CLA than grain-fed milk.

And what is CLA?

CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) is a healthy fat that lowers cholesterol and lessens your risk for heart disease. It may also have anti-cancer properties and be helpful for weight management.

And where is CLA mainly found?

In meat and dairy products!!! And as states:

The CLA Bonus   The meat and milk from grass-fed ruminants are the richest known source of another type of good fat called “conjugated linoleic acid” or CLA.  When ruminants are raised on fresh pasture alone, their milk and meat contain as much as five times more CLA than products from animals fed conventional diets.12

CLA may be one of our most potent defenses against cancer.
In laboratory animals, a very small percentage of CLA — a mere 0.1 percent of total calories —greatly reduced tumor growth.13  Researcher Tilak Dhiman from Utah State University estimates that you may be able to lower your risk of cancer simply by eating the following grass-fed products each day: one glass of whole milk, one ounce of cheese, and one serving of meat. You would have to eat five times that amount of grain-fed meat and dairy products to get the same level of protection.

There is new evidence suggesting that CLA does reduce cancer risk in humans.
In a Finnish study, women who had the highest levels of CLA in their diet, had a 60 percent lower risk of breast cancer than those with the lowest levels of CLA. Switching from grain-fed to grass-fed meat and dairy products places women in this lowest risk category.14

(Here are the studies the site cited.

12.  Dhiman,  T. R., G. R. Anand, et al. (1999). “Conjugated linoleic acid content of milk from cows fed different diets.” J Dairy Sci   82(10): 2146-56.   Interestingly, when the pasture was machine-harvested  and then fed to the animals as hay, the cows produced far less CLA than when they were grazing on that pasture, even though the hay was made from the very same grass.  The fat that the animals use to produce CLA is oxidized during the wilting, drying process.  For maximum CLA, animals need to be grazing living pasture.

13.  Ip, C, J.A. Scimeca, et al. (1994)  “Conjugated linoleic acid.  A powerful anti-carcinogen from animal fat sources.” p. 1053.  Cancer 74(3 suppl):1050-4.

14. Aro, A., S. Mannisto, I. Salminen, M. L. Ovaskainen, V. Kataja, and M. Uusitupa. “Inverse Association between Dietary and Serum Conjugated Linoleic Acid and Risk of Breast Cancer in Postmenopausal Women.” Nutr Cancer 38, no. 2 (2000): 151-7. )

If you want to find out more about CLA and how wonderful it is for you, check out this list of studies!

Uhm so yea…I guess I was a bit excited about our Whole Foods shop yesterday!

Conventional Wisdom is wrong – The Skinny on Fat

So last night Ryan made pork belly…which was juicy and fatty and ABSOLUTELY delicious.

Soooo good! And perfectly healthy!?!

Today when I came into work and talked about eating the super fatty piece of pork (which is what bacon is made out of), I was told that it sounded like an artery clogging meal.

I, of course, disputed the statement because I believe that fatty meats are good for you ESPECIALLY when the animal is raised in a NATURAL way.

Which our pork belly was. At Whole Foods, they have a rating system, which goes 1-5 (5 being raised PERFECTLY naturally). Our pork belly was a 4, which means that our pork was pastured pork. The pig was allowed to roam and grub and socialize as it would naturally. Because the animal lived naturally, the meat is actually better for you!

As an article I found on The Benefits of Pastured Pork states, “Pastured pork is more nutritious. Pastured pork has higher levels of vitamin E, healthy Omega-3 fatty acids,and many other nutrients than conventionally raised pork.”

All naturally raised animal meats also have more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA may “help reduce body fat mass, reduce risk for certain types of cancer — including stomach and colon cancers — and protect against arthrosclerosis, according to a 2003 study published in “Lipids in Health and Disease.” It also has purported benefits for high cholesterol and alleviating inflammatory bowel disease.”


Conjugated linoleic acid is a FAT!

So the fatty, naturally raised meat that I’m eating isn’t going to clog my arteries, but may actually help with my high cholesterol!!! This FAT may also help me stay SKINNY.

Still don’t agree that fatty meat is good for you? Still think that what I’m saying is all well and good, but that the saturated fat in the fatty meats isn’t good for me?

Well you are wrong. Here is a study that shows that saturated fat may not in fact be connected to an increased risk of coronary heart disease or cardiovascular disease.

Don’t let conventional wisdom fool you into thinking that fat is bad for you! Do your own research. Here are a few other articles with the real facts about fat!

The Definitive Guide to Saturated Fat – Mark’s Daily Apple

Robb Wolf also has some good info about fats and the Paleo diet in general. Click here.

Is eating well expensive?


Don’t make up excuses as to why you have to buy chips and soda instead of fruits and vegetables. Eating healthily isn’t expensive.

Of course, companies would like you to think that their processed crap is the only thing you can afford – they would love to make you believe that buying whole, healthy foods will break the bank.

BUT IT WON’T!!! For $75 Ryan and I bought over a week’s worth of food at Trader Joe’s AND NONE OF IT WAS PROCESSED! We even splurged on all ORGANIC vegetables and grass-fed beef!

AND we are two people that eat A LOT! We can easily each eat over a pound of meat for dinner. We got somewhere around 10lbs of meat (grass-fed ground beef, steaks, pork, nitrate free bacon, an organic whole chicken…), organic vegetables to last throughout the week (lettuce, spinach, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, diced tomatoes..), kefir, some diet soda (not perfectly healthy but hey a small cheat!), organic salsas, nuts and a couple of other things I can’t remember right now…

So you can easily afford to eat healthily! Don’t be fooled by articles like the one written by Sheila Steffen that question whether or not you can live on $30 a week. You can and you can eat well while you are doing it!

Don’t believe me? Try it! Next time you shop for the week only buy whole foods and see how far your dollar goes!


%d bloggers like this: