Jalapeño Bacon Burger with Avocado Cream
I’ve been having a very up and down week. I think that is just the ebb and flow of being in a field where you are constantly dealing with people, both clients and other trainers. Not that you really needed to know that….
All of yesterday, I complained to Ryan. I moped and complained and just plain old whined. I even whined at him through text message (I was at work and had all of a sudden gotten hungry but had some more training to do before dinner.)
So he texted me, “Jalapeño bacon burgers with blue cheese avocado cream….”
My frown instantly turned upside down and I stopped my whining.
When I got home, a DELICIOUS meal was waiting for me.
The burgers were so good I just had to share the recipe!
Jalapeño Bacon Burgers with Blue Cheese Avocado Cream
4 slices jalapeño bacon
1 pound of grass-fed ground beef
4 fresh lettuce leaves
Salt and Pepper
1 large avocado
2 oz Blue Cheese
3 tbsp Heavy Whipping Cream
1 tsp Garlic
Salt and Pepper to taste
Shape the ground beef into patties (we made four). Season with salt and pepper. Cook the jalapeño bacon in your skillet.
Remove bacon when browned and add burger patties to bacon grease. Cook to desired temperature.
While burgers are cooking, add avocado, blue cheese, garlic, salt, pepper and cream to a food processor. Process until creamy.
When burgers are done, put two lettuce leaves on each plate. Top with avocado cream, burger patty and 2 slices bacon. Add a dash more avocado cream to the top piece of lettuce.
Then chow down!
(We did single patty burgers. You can do double or you can cook the other patties and save for lunch the next day. There is plenty of avocado cream sauce leftover for some burgers the next day too!)
A quick guide to healthy eating
So a huge part of being healthy, looking great, feeling great and performing well is eating the RIGHT foods.
If you don’t fuel properly, your body isn’t going to run properly – it’s as simple as that.
And while I’m most definitely not a car aficionado (and I’m sure anyone who really knows anything about cars will roll their eyes at how I use the analogy) I do believe that one of the best ways to describe eating healthily is by comparing it to fueling a car.
If you use bad fuel, your car won’t run properly. You will get bad gas mileage and your car will probably break down. However, if you give your car the proper fuel, your car will run great and you most likely won’t have near as many problems with it.
Same goes for your body…Eat crap food and your body will run, but not near as well as it could. Eat healthy food and you will be able to perform a lot better (not to mention you will FEEL a lot better!).
And you may be thinking right now…I haven’t had problems so why should I change my diet.
Let me just say this..Just because you aren’t having problems doesn’t mean your body feels or functions as well as it could.
You might not even realize you aren’t running as well as you could until you fuel properly and see just how great your “mileage” could actually be. And once you do fuel properly, trust me, you won’t want to go back!
Ok so let’s say you buy it and know that you need to fuel properly.
How do you then decide what you should eat?
I live by these two simple rules:
- Eat whole, natural foods – Foods raised or grown in the way they should be. Cage-free chickens, grass-fed beef. Organic fruits and veggies. Unprocessed. Local. Seasonal.
- Eat as little processed food as possible – There is a spectrum of processed. From a veggie you can pick and eat right of the ground to a Twinkie which is so processed it will never ever go bad and doesn’t contain even one ingredient that you can even pronounce. If something lasts longer than it should, like the difference between freshly home-made bread and store bought bread that last years, you know that it is highly processed. Your goal is to eat as much as you can from the unprocessed to only slightly processed side while still occasionally indulging in deliciousness from the processed side.
On the image below that sums up this post, you will see that I break down foods with the best options in green and the worst in red. There are a lot of different levels of processing…To keep it simple, I’ve broken it down into four different levels. If you follow the two rules above, the majority of your diet will come from the green list (which is by no means all-inclusive) with some of your daily foods coming from the yellow list. You will also occasionally indulge in foods from both the orange and red lists, which are more highly processed foods that contain little to no nutritional value.
Anyway, take a look at the infographic below for a quick guide to healthy eating!
Sorry, but I’m not Paleo
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!).
So since moving to Cali, fresh, wild caught fish has become more a part of our diet. So has local, seasonal produce. We been buying all of our fish and produce at the farmers market. For one, it is all local and usually organic. Two, it is actually cheaper.
Better, HEALTHIER food that is CHEAPER! Win, win, right!?!
We also added in more carbs. We’ve made corn tortillas with non-genetically modified corn. We’ve also used some rice (of course my preference is toward white rice). We usually cycle in days of higher and lower carb. I’ve been doing higher carb on days when I workout to replenish my glycogen stores and lower carbs on days when I don’t since my stores don’t get depleted.
I still focus on keeping my carb intake below 150 grams per day. (Although there is the occasional day I go above when I really feel depleted. I also know over the course of the week, my carb intake will even out to way below the 150 gram limit.)
Anyway, here are some delicious meals we’ve made recently that haven’t taken very long at all! (Especially fish…it cooks up in no time!)
Recipes to come! Hopefully this inspires some great weekend meals! What are you cooking!?!
P.S. Saw this guest post on Mark’s site the other day and thought it was very interesting. It is definitely something to think about when planning out a diet program. There are certain times of the year when losing weight can be more difficult…be those times when we know we will be traveling and partying or be those times when our body tells us that it wants more food!
Also this is a great article to get you thinking about carbs from Man Biceper Polly!
Self-Experimentation vs. Accepting Conventional Wisdom
12 hours down, 4 more to go tomorrow.
My body actually feels pretty good aside from a very sore butt from the saddle. I do attribute it to the fact that I do weight training AND don’t eat gluten.
I’ve caused my body no additional inflammation from crap food!
However even with the healthy eating, the joints and muscles aren’t 100% so I decided to take an ice bath today.
It couldn’t hurt right?
I mean worse case scenario I sit in frigid water for 10 minutes and it only makes everything go numb for a few minutes.
But I still got strange looks from everyone I told. Why would I ever take an ice bath?
It could help and if it doesn’t help, it most definitely won’t hurt! As I said above, worse case scenario I waste 10 minutes to only have the muscles go numb for a few minutes.
I must say though, it took some courage to fully submerge my lower body. I stuck one foot in and gasped. BUT everything feels pretty good right now.
We will have to see tomorrow though! (And hey, Tim Ferriss touts them for their fat loss benefits so I guess that isn’t a bad extra bonus! ;-))
Anyway, the point of all this isn’t really to talk about my ice bath, it is to pose the question: Why are people so afraid of TRYING something if conventional wisdom doesn’t tell you to do it?
I mean what really do you have to lose if you TRY something in the hopes of becoming healthier/fitter/stronger?
Some wasted time?
Time isn’t wasted if you LEARN SOMETHING FROM IT!
So why are people so afraid to try things that aren’t approved by conventional wisdom but have studies proving their benefits while they so easily accept that eating Gatorade chews is how they should fuel for a competition just because the media tells them to!?!
Can someone please explain this to me?
The good, the bad and the simply stupid
So I want to start out by saying…I’m not sure if this article/interview about Paleo belongs under the good or the simply stupid.
Am I happy that the Paleo diet is getting more positive mainstream attention? Yes.
But really? Paleoista? Bleh!
So I mentioned the other day that I had Buffalo Flank Steak from The Meat House. The Meat House gets its supply from Wild Idea Buffalo Co. AMAZING! Grass-fed, free roaming buffalo! It was delicious, tender, juicy and HEALTHY! Plus the animal was raised in a natural way that actually helps keep the Great Plains healthy and thriving!
Here is a great article courtesy of Man Biceper Heather. If you haven’t already, make sure to check it out! This guy is spot on!
This post by Fit and Feminist also made me smile. Have I mentioned before that I hate Barbie weights?
So while I agree that how you “fuel” is very important to your performance (and health for that matter), eating a stupid, processed “chew” isn’t any better than all the crap shown all over the ground. Sorry Gatorade.
The Simply Stupid
Wearing skinny jeans that are too tight can cause health problems. My question is: How can you possibly get those jeans that are “too tight” on? Sometimes I have a hard enough time getting my non-skinny jeans on over my quads and butt!
Getting our Vitamin D
It has been nice outside the past few days so Ryan and I have gone outside to workout. A great way to get our Vitamin D for the day! (More about the importance of Vitamin D later!)
Our favorite outdoor workout spot is down by the Charles River. There is a little outdoor workout area with pull up bars and places to do abs, push ups, inverted rows, plyometrics and more.
Last year we did the Murph down there.
This year our first outdoor workout was:
1 round as fast as you can:
50 Pull ups
50 Push Ups
50 Inverted Rows
50 Sit ups
The 1.5 mile walk down to the river felt good, but the 1.5 mile walk back wasn’t near as fun. The workout was definitely a bit harder because we aren’t yet used to the heat and humidity.
What made the walk back more rewarding was a nice BBQ meal with some delicious Cider Sangria.
We grilled up some delicious Grass-fed Buffalo Flank Steak courtesy of The Meat House!