Green Smoothies

Lately I’ve been really REALLY enjoying all different kinds of green smoothies. It’s just a super way to get a solid fill of veggies for the day as well as a good delivery system for various supplements if you take them. Do you take any supplements? Any interest in some of the supplements I think are valuable and take regularly? I’m not big on vitamins at all.

So above is a smoothie with a tiny bit of almond milk, 1 kale leaf, spinach, a few slices of frozen banana, 4-5 grapes and 2 small chunks of watermelon.

I usually have a smoothie these days as my first meal of the day. Especially about an hour after a work out, it’s a great way to fuel up with some energy, without feeling full or digestion setting in before the work day starts.

Thanks to my beautiful wife,

we are the happy new owners of a Vitamix blender. We held off for a long time, but we finally decided it was time. A few years ago, I talked myself out of buying the Sous Vide machine, as I thought I would not get enough use out of it for the money. I’m happy I got the Vitamix as it’s really getting daily use and I’m excited to try and make soup in it. Do you own one?

Smile a lot today and as always…be nice 🙂

Bacon Wrapped, Jalapeño, Cream Cheese Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

All the credit for this one goes to my father in law. He grills this little concoction to perfection!

This is so delicious and falls in line with satisfying small portions. A few slices (3 and look at the size of them in the picture, about 4 ounces max) of bacon wrapped, jalapeño, cream cheese stuffed pork tenderloin. Grilled bell pepper with a bit of turkey and a side cucumber, spinach and tomato salad.

The way to do this is to gently slice the pork tenderloin open down the center. (gently). Next de-seed (or keep the seeds if you like real spicy) the jalapeño and stuff them with some cream cheese or neuchatel cheese. Your using very little cream cheese for this. Lay the stuffed jalapeños in the center and roll the tenderloin together again. You can use a few toothpicks to keep it together also. Next wrap the tenderloin in bacon slices. Don’t make your grill too hot. This works better with wood/charcoal than a gas grill. Cook the tenderloin on both sides for a few minutes and then put on area of your grill with in direct heat and close the lid. Get a sharp knife and slice thin slices like in the picture above. This amazing tasting piece of meat heaven takes a bit of self control to not eat too much of it. Give it a try sometime…it’s easier than you think and you will be amazed at the taste.

Next up…green smoothies. A smart, tasty and easy way to drink your veggies.

Smile a lot today.

Small Portions # 2

A fairly recent post by Matt Metzgar has really gotten me thinking about satiety, portion sizes and over eating.

Matt and I had a little back and forth about it as you can see in the comments.

I’m convinced that you can and should eat highly palatable food. It’s the flip side of the food reward theory. The reason I feel strongly about it is that we CRAVE and desire flavors. So I think working AGAINST this natural mechanism is not the way to go. Fight and you loose…is my opinion.

Art Devany years ago made several references to this. His meals were flavorful, tasty and satisfying. If you look at the archives, you will find that many comm enters always echoed the same amazement at his portion sizes. They seemed very small for someone of his size and build.

This is were the French paradox, comes into play also. The French (as do the Italians) eat HIGHLY palatable foods, but their portions are small. Let me quickly add that this is and has been changing rapidly over the last 10-15 years. A chocolate croissant when I was a kid, was the size of my “kid hand”. These days it’s the size of my adult hand and bigger. A regular croissant at Starbucks looks monstrous in size to what a croissant looked like years ago. Side note, I understand why, it’s no big deal, it’s all about profitability. You can’t charge $1.75 for a tiny croissant, but you CAN for a huge one. Just doing a bit of out loud thinking as I formulate my thoughts about all of this. I have some thoughts on intermittent fasting also, I now believe scheduled IF is NOT the way to go.

Dinner last night for my wife and I was a perfect example of a small portion, delicious, highly palatable food.

Grilled Miso Chicken Thighs with Asian Asparagus Ratatouille

This is really very simple, give it a try.

6 boneless skinless organic chicken thighs (Costco is great for these)

1 table spoon Miso paste. (make sure it does NOT contain MSG.)

1 table spoon water

2 table spoons rice vinegar (mirin)

3 cloves of garlic

1 slice of sweet onion (about 1/2 inch thick)

Combine the above ingredients and let the chicken marinate for at least 6 hours. Overnight is fine also.

10 asparagus spears

1 table spoon butter

1 small tomato

2 cloves of garlic

1 inch of hot pepper of your choice. I used a milder fresh banana pepper

1 slice of onion (1 inch thick)

1 table spoon soy sauce

1 table spoon rice vinegar

1 table spoon water

Topping:

1 scallion and a few sprigs of fresh cilantro. Chop both, combine and drizzle with 1/3 of a teaspoon of sesame oil in a small bowl.

Get your grill nice and hot (or broiler) and put your chicken thighs on.

Next put your butter in the pan and sautĂ© your garlic, onion and pepper. Wash your asparagus and break off the fibrous bottoms. They snap perfectly where you’re supposed to break them. Cut them in 1 inch pieces. Add them to your pan an mix with the garlic, onion and pepper. When they are starting to get softer (I like mine not too soft) add your diced tomato. Mix well and than add your soy sauce (tamari is wheat free), rice vinegar and water. Let that liquid come to a boil and evaporate a bit.

With a slotted spoon put your asparagus ratatouille on a plate and arrange some sliced chicken around it. Top with scallion/cilantro/sesame oil topping.

Easy, delicious and satisfying. We did enjoy a fresh homemade Margarita with it. Recipe for that to follow too. I’d like to make a wager that it is going to be the best one you ever had in your life.

Smile a lot and be nice…

Satisfying, Small Portions

That’s what I try and go for these days. When “real food” is tasty and satisfying, it’s easier in my opinion to listen to your own satiety signals. It will take some time to re-interpret the signals, but stick to eating “real food” for a while and it will come to you.

Stephan at Whole Health Source just posted this. I read this with great interest, and I would like to read into it a bit from a mind/body connection angle. Stephan writes : The brain is the main physiological control center of the body, and it communicates in both directions with almost every organ.  It regulates the pulse rate of the heart, breathing rate via the diaphragm, blood pressure via the blood vessel walls and kidneys, regulates temperature by controlling sweat glands, hair follicles and capillaries in the skin, regulates various aspects of digestion, bone metabolism, glucose production by the liver, and many other functions.  So it’s not much of a surprise that it also controls fatty acids moving into and out of fat tissue.

That bit of well known information doesn’t raise any eyebrows does it? But when you start suggesting that you can “think” yourself fat or “thin”  and to “think” yourself healthy…the flood gates open and you’re quickly dismissed in scientific discussion. Why is that? I’m  convinced (and purely from my own experience and loved ones) that WHAT we think about plays a tremendous role in our health and our actual physiological state of being. Why isn’t this talked about more if we know our brain regulates so many biological functions?

If you BELIEVE that eating a vegetarian diet will extend your life and make you healthy….it goes a long way…if not all the way to being actually so. It seems that many centenarians are very fixed in their beliefs. From food to religion to relationships, to even smoking. I wish that some smarter and more learned people than I would give this some more examination.

ANYWHO 🙂 Back to food.

Grilled beef short ribs (Gd I love these things) , Grilled asparagus and a refreshing cucumber salad.

Let your short ribs come to room temperature.

Next salt them. Let the salt work its way into the meat while you prep your cucumber salad and asparagus.

Shred, julienne or thinly slice one large english cucumber. Next add about a 1/3 of a cup of sweet vidalia onion, 2 small diced roma tomatoes, handful of fresh cilantro. Combine and add salt and pepper to taste. Next add 1.5 tablespoon of white truffle olive oil. If you don’t have that handy, extra virgin olive oil will do just fine.

Take 10 asparagus spears and wash them and break off the fibrous ends. Drizzle with a bit of balsamic glaze on your hand and rub the all the spears with it.

You can use your grill or a broiler. Before grilling drizzle a tiny bit of extra virgin olive oil on the meat. Grill both sides till desired tenderness. Add the asparagus when the meat is almost done as they don’t take long. Eat and enjoy.

Let the meat rest for 10 minutes and slice nice and thin.

Try making the cucumber salad…it’s delicious!!

Grateful, A Story

There once was a very very happy newly wed couple that went on a little honeymoon.

They found a beautiful island that had views like so:

As they love walking together, they discovered deserted beaches like so:

As nature lovers they took it all in, with lots of natural beauty like so:

And honeymoons/vacations are just made for romantic meals in perfect settings serving fresh local food and beverages like so:


Walking, swimming, talking, reading, kissing, loving on one another, sunshine, turquoise waters, eating, drinking and relaxing, simply remove all of life’s worries from you……

Sometimes, the universe has a way to grab you firmly and say: BE GRATEFUL and count your blessings, because all of it, is but a fleeting moment in time.

The happy couple was going dancing on a Saturday night. The small island did not have “resorts” or dance clubs. The way to celebrate the Saturday night, was for all the island guests to get together with the locals over a few beers, a small shack on a hill overlooking the ocean, a dance floor covered in sand and music that wasn’t quite in the top 40 anymore. Wonderful, relaxed and unpretentious. No cultures clashing, just genuine people laughing, talking and dancing. The island is very small, there are only just a few cars, and the mode of transportation is by golf carts in various stages of dilapidation.

The happy couple danced for a while, met a few people and than decided to join a group to go dancing at another place which was close to a local BBQ stand that opened late to feed all the late night revelers. For the entire stay the couple had decided NOT to rent a golf cart, as walking is their preferred mode of transport. That particular night though, as the other people in the group got in their golf carts, the happy couple was offered a ride. They sat on the back of a golf cart that did not have a roof nor a t-bar protecting the back seat passengers…

The island is quite hilly, and since it got established in the late 1600, you can imagine the many cobblestone streets and their condition. The golf cart was going down hill at approximately 25-30 miles an hour. Traffic drives on the left side of the street. The newly wed wife was sitting on the drivers side of the golf cart on the back. As the golf cart hit a bump in the road, it also made a sharp left turn…

As the golf cart turned, the wife started sliding and her husband tried to grab her hand, but it was to late. She spun right of the vinyl covered back seat and like a perfectly thrown frisbee, made a full revolution in the air and sailed 5 and a half feet through the air about 4 feet off the ground.

The husband’s heart stopped, because time actually stood still. Time stood SO TRULY still that he watched her perfectly horizontal body flying through the air and LAND across the street. The landing made no noise. There was no scraping and no thump. As if “something” was literally underneath her, she “landed” softly  with the grace of an olympic gymnast after a routine. The landing did have enough force for her not to keep her head up and the bottom of her chin came down on the road below it. Like a boxer receiving an uppercut, this split the bottom of her chin open. The husband and others came running to help her on her feet. The blood flowed from her chin. We were inside a house of a good samaritan within 30 seconds who opened an emergency kit. The husband gently cleaned the wound but he couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw the minimal amount of damage, about a 1 inch laceration. He fashioned some butterfly stitches from several band aids. Once home, the wife went to sleep, not aware of what she had just magically lived through or been saved from.

The next morning the couple hugged and hugged each other and cried and cried. Somehow on that Saturday and second to last night of their honeymoon, the universe had different plans for them. What could have been a true tragedy, ended in a miraculous moment of universal intervention. (we found out later that about 5 people per year die from falling out of golf carts and many visitors suffer massive injuries also)

We are not religious people, we have perhaps a more “universal” and “spiritual” outlook on life. We do however strongly both believe, in “entities/energies that assist our development” for the time we are here in this life. As much as we both FEEL that in our hearts…we now believe it with all of our soul. What happened to us is beyond explanation. Certain physical laws I now understand are NOT always a definite. We have this notion that gravity, and the structure of matter are fixed, I now know that this is not so.

My teacher used to say to me “miracles are as real as our belief in them”. Was my wife saved by a miracle? What is a miracle anyway? After flying 5 and a half feet through the air, I truly can’t understand nor explain why there was not a SINGLE SCRAPE on her body. Her dress that she “slid” on the street on, had no sign of a tear or of any friction what so ever! NONE! There was no scrape on her knee, not on her thigh, not on her elbow. Nothing but the cut under her chin. I believe that night the universe had a different plan for her.

That Sunday afternoon I was overcome with emotion and gratitude. A gratitude so deeply felt, that it has already changed the course of our lives.

Sometimes when life is just perfect, we get reminded how terribly fragile it really is.

Be grateful everyday for what you have, even when life isn’t perfect, there are so many things to be grateful for.

The universe works in mysterious ways. ENJOY the ride! Marvel at how chaotically perfect it really is. The paradox of life is never ending.

“Anyone who doesn’t believe in miracles… Is not a realist” David Ben-Gurion

A Story

A story with some pictures coming up shortly…….
Worth waiting for, trust me.

Hope everyone is doing great!

Smile…..and be grateful.

14 Days of Feel Good Living. Day 12,13 & 14

Sorry for the condensed last update on the 14 Days of Feel Good Living series. Things have been a tad busy as I’m getting ready for a little adventure.

Between packing and all the details involved, I just haven’t sat down to post. I have been taking pictures here and there. So let’s start with some Feel Good Eating:

Saturday was some Indian “butter chicken”. Make it easy on yourself and the family one night this week. Buy a jar of “butter chicken” at your local grocery store. Brown some chicken thighs in the pan, add the sauce, let it simmer and serve over some rice (or not, I didn’t have any…would have eaten to much of it). Delicious and easy

Grilled rib eyes that I rubbed with a tiny bit of white truffle oil and sea salt. Next I:

I sauteed garlic, scallion and mushrooms with a splash of white wine. I then added 2 “hash brown”. If you look at the health food store/whole foods or trader joes. You can find these without any additional ingredients. Careful of the super market variety for these guys. Long list of ingredients. I then mashed them together…

Now this was all calling for some craziness like yummy cheese added or cream or bacon…but I kept it normal 🙂 I added a few handfuls of fresh spinach. Have I told you yet how much my wife and I like spinach? More to follow on that too.

Thinly sliced the ribeye and let the spinach wilt and mix in with your potato, garlic, mushroom and onion. Serve the ribeye on top as in so.

Better picture perhaps:

For all you “Natto Freaks” like me out there… here was breakfast after a pretty grueling work out in the gym.

Just roll cut in the middle and eat. YUM.

Feel Good Exercise: Walking daily and hitting the gym or the body weight exercises ever other day.with lack of tennis partners I went and hit balls against the practice wall the other day for 30 minutes. It’s a good way to practice, get active and have some fun. Sometimes easy sometimes really hard, keeping it fresh by changing it up regularly. Stop analyzing the 3 million protocols out there. Guess what? They all require effort, so put in some effort, get a good solid sweat going, get some labored breathing going and you have the makings of a good work out for yourself. Do this consistently, and I will promise you, you will feel great from it. And when you feel great all the time…you look great too.

Feel Good Living: Trust that your life is unfolding as it should. However…what you think about, is what’s unfolding for you over time, so make sure you dream and dream big. Do you know what you want? Do you know what you would want your life to look like if you could have it all?? Many people I ask that question too, usually respond with “I would have tons of money”. Only when I then ask, what does  tons of money “look like”? Or what would that do for you, do people begin to actually give thought and visualize an actual picture or situation. Make your dreams specific! You can’t just think “I want to be rich”, “I want to be in shape”, “I want to be thin”. You have to have a clear picture of what those things mean to you. The law of attraction, much written about, is a fact. But you have to be specific about what you want.

My wife and I will be sharing some of this way of thinking with you over the next few months. I hope that by sharing our experiences, we will assist others in living their dream. We will be on the road for a couple of weeks, and will share some pictures.

How did you like the 14 day series? Helpful? Useless? Please share some of your feedback with me.

Make it a great rest of the week and as always…Smile and be nice.

14 Days of Feel Good Living Day 11

First I have to share this picture with you. What an unbelievable sunset and not a bad shot for an iphone:

Feel Good Living: there are people in everybodies lives that just don’t need your attention or energy. I believe Wayne Dyer once called people like this “petty tyrants”. It happens over time, you keep “dealing with a situation” and it brings you much frustration. you keep making excuses for the other people, YOU keep doing the right thing and nothing changes. At some point, you have to let it go. Simply and truly let it go. Wish them well and move on with your own life.

Feel Good Exercise: Today was a rest day.

Feel Good Eating: Last night I ate some shrimp and rice wrapped in seaweed. Today for lunch I ate a whopping tuna burger. Yes, with the bun.

Make it a weekend and enjoy!!

14 Days of Feel Good Living Day 10

This is one of my favorite versions of this song. If you’re not familiar with “Playing for Change” please take a looksie. I think you will enjoy what you find.

Change is part of life, we can flow with the current and use the current to make swimming  and floating easier…or we can struggle against it and make the swim and floating harder. The choice is ours. Changes are coming for me and couldn’t be more excited about it. Maybe ecstatic is a better word. More to follow on that.

Feel Good Living: listen to music! My dad used to listen to music all the time…the last two years he hasn’t. I had to remind him how much he loved music. I think music has not just an effect on our moods, but goes much deeper, to the cellular level. Listen to the song above, enjoy and accept change. It’s part of nature. Don’t fight it.

Feel Good Eating: Last night I made a really simple dinner as I was somewhat short on groceries and very hungry for some reason. I made a little potato mash with a bit of cream cheese and scallion and thinly sliced salami pieces mixed in. A bit different, but tasty, easy, filling and quick.

Feel Good Exercise: Nice workout this morning in the gym for about 40 minutes. I’m getting back into jumping rope which I haven’t done in a while. You don’t need a rope to do it actually. You can mimick it and works just as well. Start slow. Give your ankles and knees a chance to get some of their elasticity back.

Make it a great day! Smile a lot and be nice…

14 Days of Feel Good Living Day 9

I don’t have the link up yet, but please please please, if you don’t already or forget about it sometimes, make sure you read J. Stanton’s Gnolls.org

It has become one if not my favorite site and I always look forward to the next post.

Feel Good Exercise: My walk last night didn’t happen as I worked a bit later than expected. I also didn’t walk this morning as I was busy with a little project. I will walk tonight when i come home from work and hit the gym again tomorrow morning. Have you been paying attention to how you’re bending over?

Feel Good Eating: after work I treated myself to a local sushi place that serves one of the best little naughty treats you have ever had. SUSHI TACOS

Rice wrappers they use for wontons, get fried quickly into a taco shape. Then they fill them with a tiny bit of rice and either spicy tuna,  mild spicy crab or salmon. The salmon and crab also have a dab of creamcheese on top of the rice. They are super good!

Feel Good Living: I will share part of a post I printed last year from a guy named Scott Dinsmore it reads as follows ; 

“Everything you do, everything you try, everything that does or doesn’t work out, whether you like it or not, it’s all an experiment. It’s up to you to decide to learn from it. That’s the ultimate daily practice. 

I really like the feeling of that passage. It’s so true isn’t it? So let me ask you this. How often have you focused on something that you wanted to happen and it did? Maybe once or twice in your life? Well if it worked that one time, why not take that experience and learn from it? Happiness is right there in front of us at all times…it’s up to us to experience it!

Smile and be nice…