Cabbage, Onions, Garlic & Raw Pumpkin Seeds

Strange title for a post I know, but hey I’m waaaayyy out of practice. has it really been over month that I managed to get a post up? Wow…

Time does really fly when you’re having fun.

Cabbage is GOOD for you (assuming you don’t have some scary disease/problem/malfunction for which it is not advised). How good you ask? Here , here and here.

I love geeking out on all this stuff, I enjoy reading about these things, just as some people like to read baseball stats. Totally not my thing, but strangely this “food world” is.

I’m not the most analytical of people. I JUST ENJOY MYSELF AND LIVE (every now and then I feel my thoughts pulling me down…I love it when I’m cognizant of it as then I have a way/chance to adjust and realign).

Cabbage…ahhh REAL FOOD:

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I used a little olive oil- here we go:

half sliced large onion

5 cloves of garlic- chopped

Half a head raw green cabbage sliced.

1/2 bottle of “decent beer”

Salt & pepper

In a large skillet add sliced onion to 2 tblspoons evoo (extra virgin olive oil)

Once translucent and just a tiny bit browned, add chopped garlic. Combine

Now add 1/2-1/3 of beer, turn up the heat, bring to a quick boil and then cover, turn down heat and simmer.

Before simmering I laid a venison sausage on top so it could slowly cook along side the cabbage (if you have a frozen kielbasa or sausage as an example, you can just lay it frozen on top of the cabbage and cover the pan. Simmer for about 20-25 minutes. Adjust your salt & pepper to taste.

I took it to work today for a delicious lunch. I was worried about not having enough food as I was hungry (been hitting the gym and as you know that makes me hungry) so also made myself a small “superfood dish”.

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What you see here is bit of organic yogurt to which I added some raw pumpkin seeds. scallion, fresh garlic and some celery. Really YUMMY.

Why did I write “super-foods”? Well the more I think about it the more I don’t know HAHAHAHA!

What do I consider “super-foods”? Food that makes me noticeably feel more awesome for a few hours after consumption.

 

Lastly, I started my day with one of these guys:

 

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I didn’t shake my “shake” yet as you can see from this picture, but basically I toss some water in a “shaker type bottle (has a little mixing ball in it)” with some decent quality Whey protein, spirulina powder, maca powder, cacao powder and a few drops of d3/K2. As much I believe the taste might be something to get used to for some, the FEEL GOOD carry over from a shake like this is undeniable.

Will try  to stay a bit more current.

BE NICE & BE HAPPY

 

 

 

 

 

Keep it Enjoyable

That’s my advice anyway.

Whether it is work, exercise, food, play, finances, etc etc, when you keep it enjoyable, you will keep doing what you ENJOY doing.

It’s so simple and yet…

So if we take exercise as an example;

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Gorgeous Sunday morning 10 mile bike ride with my wifey and small fry. Even though this requires a bit of physical effort (especially if where you live has lot of hills), you can take your time and really enjoy being out in nature and time with your loves ones or by yourself. Different strokes for all…but WE ALL NEED TO MOVE OUR BODIES every day.

If you don’t think an easy simple daily bike ride (4-6 miles) or daily walk (2-3 miles) will assist in your overall well being,  you’ve got a nice surprise coming your way.

I will also tell you that for me, my daily bike rides (last 2 months)  have given me a very noticeable uptick in my sprint and fast jog speed on the soccer field (on Sundays when a bunch of old guys like myself run around feeling like superstars).

As you know I grew up in Amsterdam and biking is simply what us Dutchies do. If you have a small fry and want to get into wonderful bonding experience and “time outside” bike rides,  please buy yourself a Dutch type front riding bike seat like in picture above. This is SO much better than a rear seat or a trailer behind the bike.  I like the one from a Dutch company called BoBike.  (as in above)

The experience for my young daughter on the bike is simply super. There’s so much to take in, to talk about, to smell, to hear, to feel, to see!

I was quite amazed the other day when we turned a corner on our morning ride and right after we took the corner, she got very excited and started yelling “horsee-horsee-horsee”. The amazing thing of it was, that she was right!

She recognized the street we turned on and at the end of that street (about 1 mile further) is a horse farm with usually one or two “horsees” in the meadow. At not even 18 months, that’s how brilliant those little brains are (they comprehend so much more than we give them credit for).  She clearly knows that we take different routes and that those routes each have their own individual landmarks and characteristics. Now I would say that’s pretty darn enjoyable 🙂

 

BE HAPPY – BE NICE

 

 

 

Feel Good Insight, for Me at Least

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You know, most of us really do put forth the effort. Diet, work, relationships, exercise etc etc. We DO really TRY (especially since OUR OWN truth is what WE believe is the truth).

Don’t argue with me yet, hear me out.

But “just effort” simply gets you no-where.

We need to find a way in our own lives to connect effort with what we truly want.

Most of us want to be in charge of our selves , we want to eat better, we want to exercise more, we want to be a better partner, we want to save more money, we want to stop drinking etc etc, but we don’t do a very decent job at it now do we?

Of course we don’t and that’s why those type of thoughts are for many of us  a large percentage of our daily thoughts.  We believe that ” to right the ship” to be in charge of our selves, we need to put forth much more effort-do a better job. We need to try harder dang it and put forth more and more effort.

In my humble opinion, this is a MAJOR trip wire that many many of us get snagged by.

We feel best when WE are in charge of ourselves. It’s empowering to follow through on the commitments that you deem important to you.

Now to be in charge of ourselves, effort is NOT the answer and NOT thew magic key, it’s simply an ingredient of the bigger soup.

My little insight over the last few days-

when you truly find WHY you want what it is that YOU want, you will make yourself a little “thought” bridge and now have the ability to empower yourself and you will be a little more ” in charge of yourself” then before. Give it some thought, as you can see, this does not require massive effort…it simply requires your attention 🙂

BE HAPPY & BE NICE

 

 

Dog Food

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Yup dog food…

I tried to do a bit of research on “dog-food” years ago but it was hard to really pinpoint anything of value. Over the years I’ve simply gone with common sense and went with the assumption that “commercial dog food” is a bit like “baby-formula” , it keeps you fed and alive, but I don’t think you thrive from it.

A bit like industrial oils, “can’t believe its not butter” and other strange foods, dog food is also a relatively new invention.

Give it some thought if you have an interest in it. I’ve been making home made dog food for 4 years now. Dog(s) have never been better and healthier.

Basic recipe I use mostly is as follows:

2-3 pounds of chicken gizzards, chicken hearts and chicken livers, 1 cup of rice, can of tomato paste, some frozen veggies.

That’s it, the basic recipe, sometimes no tomato paste or veggies. Sometimes a half cup of rice and 1/2 cup of of back in the pantry forgotten quinnoa.

We only have a little 15 pound gal now, but our bother in law’s dog lived with us for a few years and was 55 pounds.

They love the food and really thrive on it. We have not been to the vet in years. I think one benefit of home made food vs kibbles, is that the dogs don’t have to drink these insane amounts of water…

Real food… for our four legged friends is a good idea also.

BE NICE-BE HAPPY

 

 

 

Lunch- Fridge to Table in 15 Minutes

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Pretty straight forward lunch- Let’s build:

  1. Saute 1-2 cloves of garlic and 1/4 of a big onion in your choice of fat (you need just a little bit). When translucent-
  2. Add 1/2 sliced zucchini (large one). Cook with onions and garlic until ready. Don’t turn it to mush, bit it shouldn’t be as crunchy as raw cucumber either. Find the consistency YOU like best. I added 1 medium size pre-cooked chicken sausage to this. Cut in bite size pieces and heat the sausage the last minutes of cooking your dish.
  3. Make a little bed of fresh baby spinach. Drizzle it with a bit of extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt.
  4. Arrange your little veggie/protein mixture on top of the salad.
  5. Top veggie mixture with 1-2 tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley and cilantro
  6. Dice up 1/4 of an avocado and lay on top of the veggies
  7. Take a small handful of nuts- crush them and sprinkle on top of the avocado. (I just take a small handful of my mixed Costco nuts and crush them with a meat mallet.)

Voila- Lunch in about 15 minutes from fridge to plate.  What do you think? Power lunch or what?

Be Nice-BE HAPPY

 

 

Oats – CARBS are SO BAD for YOU!?

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Title of the post a bit tongue in cheek of course…

But when was the last time for all you paleo’s, primals, ancestrals you had some yummy rolled oats for breakfast?

Is this a really bad for you breakfast above?

I know it’s all over Pintrest et al, but I had never seen these “overnight fridge oats” thingies. My beautiful wifey made us some and it got an immediate thumbs up from me (as well as all the kids in the house). Basically you take oats, add some yogurt or milk/almond milk/hemp milk etc, chia seeds, blueberries (fruit), pinch of salt and little bit of honey.

Google away, here’s a link with images.

My breakfast above was some “fridge oats” and a few nuts. Feel Good Eating breakfast for sure. Provides nice satiety and doesn’t slow down the fast snapping morning brain. Remember to keep your portions in check.

Be Nice and BE HAPPY

 

BBQ – Small Portions

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Just a quick snapshot of the BBQ lunch from this past Labor day weekend.

Chicken, a few shrimp and meat (boneless short ribs). I made some of the meat with just sea salt. Sprinkle the meat liberally with course sea salt and put in the fridge over night.

The other portion of meat I made with the following marinade: splash of dark rum, fresh garlic, fresh chili pepper (decide how hot you want it and add accordingly), oil (I used avocado) and a little bit of soy sauce. Be careful with the rum….you need about 1 ounce for 1 to 1.5 pounds of meat…if you use too much rum, they meat will break down to much for cooking well on a fire.

Chicken got a tahini miso marinade.

Shrimp tasted good…can’t remember what I did to them.

Made a big salad with romaine, cucumber, tomato and onion. Dijon olive oil dressing.

Slowly sauteed cubed beets in onion and garlic with olives.. ..add a tiny bit of feta while warm. Let cool and add a little bit more feta when cooled and mix together well. Delicious and tasty little salad.

LASTLY… PLEASE wait to cut your meat and let it rest before slicing . If you don’t believe me, just do a little taste test trying both ways. Slice right away and eat or let rest for 10 minutes and then slice.

Take a look at that perfect “medium” steak above. YUM!! My daughter liked the plain salted variety the best.

No need to eat a 12 ounce or 16 ounce or even 8 ounce steak in one sitting I believe….I commented on that thought today over at Free The Animal.

BE NICE- BE HAPPY

 

 

Basil and Getting Fat

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My small amateur garden exceeded expectations this year. My basil TREE (lol) was huge this year. This is the first basil “harvest” (besides from picking leaves all summer when needed) and represents about 1/3 of the basil bush.

Basil freezes well, so will freeze some and make large batch of pesto and freeze that also. Tons of jalapenos, habaneros, chilis, tomatoes, peaches and mint this year. The tomatoes (roma variety) were simply exceptional. Picking a tomato in your garden, warm from the sun, freshly cut and drizzled with olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt. I mean, the taste is just insane.

Thoughts and observations:

I think many people get fat by not eating. Yup that’s right. I’ve observed that when I don’t eat, my body quickly starts hanging on to my fat stores. When I say many people get fat by not eating, well most of the food people eat, is not really food…so they are technically “not eating”. No real use-able fuel is going in. So the body holds onto fat sores..smart little body of ours. When I exercise and my calorie intake is around 1200-1800 calories (which can easily happen on a busy day) I notice my midsection “puffing out”.

When I eat around 2500 calories a day, my pants are less tight and my body simply looks (and is) leaner. Counter intuitive isn’t it? There are many sites you can google where people did experiments of 5000 calories a day (lots of fat in there also) to see what the results would be. Almost all lost inches of their waistline. (they ate all the “bad” foiods like steak and bacon and butter, just not processed food)

I know its a bit of a passion of mine and hope I don’t irritate y’all with the constant mentioning of it. But REAL FOOD is simply different.

Happy Friday, BE NICE & BE HAPPY

 

Sandwich Lunch

Yet different 🙂

 

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Told you it was different:

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Sorry for the truly crappy pictures, but wanted to quickly share lunch. Started with an organic roll from Rudi’s Bakery. Quick note on bread.. I eat it, not all the time. Biggest change for me is that I hardly ever eat “crap-flour”. If I’m eating bread “commercial- bread”, I make sure its organic flour _ NON ENRICHED_. When it comes to bread a few things to keep in mind, its very easy to eat too much and bread made from “commercial enriched-flour” is not even flour anymore. I’ve been reading up on making some bread at home and will attempt in the near future. I love a sandwich so much as does my beautiful wifey,and… I love preparing them. I just make sure to get decent bread when I do.

My sandwiches as you can see from above are pretty non traditional hahahahahaha

Toasted white roll, one side a bit of avocado and the other side a small dab of mayo and 3 small slices of salami. (mayo I use is Vegenaise/grape seed oil)

Curious why I use that mayo?? Because I like it! I’ve tried most mayo’s on the market probably, (except Mark Sisson’s Avocado oil mayo,) and the flavor of Vegenaise is what I like most. Now for french fries… that’s a different story, but for sandwiches or adding to cooking and such, vegenaise is my go to brand.

Next a bit of lettuce on that roll.

I made a nice “SAUTE”. That’s all I can really call it. See if you can make some sense of it..here’s how it goes down:

In my fridge I see fresh okra. Okra I think Indian taste…. hmmm not in the mood for that. Southern American cooking uses okra…nah don’t like their take on it unless it’s fried and naughty…. hmmmm WAIT (light-bulb), yes a Mediterranean version with fresh basil, yes yes yes!

Large saute pan: scoop of butter, Cut red or yellow bell pepper (I had banana pepper too) and add to pan. Saute and next add 2 large cloves chopped garlic. Saute together. Next add cut up Okra. Remove both side of okra, cut through lengthwise and then once cross wise. Saute all together well. All of this done on high to medium high heat. When you see some browning, add salt to the dish. Next add a few tablespoons of chicken stock. Saute together well. If you need to add some more butter or oil, please do (I added 1-2 tablespoons of avocado oil). Slice up 1.5-2 scallions (green onion) and add to pan. Saute well and add another 3-6 tablespoons of chicken stock. Let cook down and taste piece of okra ( you will easily be able to tell if its done when you taste it..even if you’ve never had it before/ Okra has that strange quality about it). When Ready, add a nice large scoop full of your sate onto one side of your sandwich.

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Close it up, slice and serve.

As you can see from the first picture at the top, this is what a lunch for 2 looks like here at mi casa. Half a sandwich and a side of veggies.

I promise you that one of these little guys taste and feel like you are eating something very very naughty. So it’s really wonderfully satisfying and satiating for an “at home lunch”. Especially on one of those days when work NEEDS to be interrupted by a satisfying and tasty lunch treat 🙂

It hits all our  favorite delectable flavor combos  of: salt-fat-carbs…….. and yet.  

This way we can eat yummy and satisfying food regularly vs yummy foods that make most of us feel like crap and struggle to contribute their full 100% of potential . Contrary to popular opinion..this simply CAN NOT be accomplished by eating out of the home on a regular basis…even WITH the dizzying array of “healthy” selection choices available these days.

The biggest reason I believe…is that very little actual REAL FOOD gets used in anything you buy outside the home. Even perceived “better” restaurants order chicken stock by the pallet full from major food suppliers. Naturally the quest for profit overshoots the quality line on the graph over time. This continuous to reduce and has reduced most of our “prepared” food supply to the bare minimum of acceptability.

There’s a reason real food tasted better…because it’s REAL.

BE HAPPY…BE NICE

 

 

Breakfast-Different-Feel Good

Some mornings I’m simply hungrier than others. I let my cravings mostly dictate what I eat as my first meal. I’m guess I’m lucky in a way that I never crave pancakes or french toast (then again, you do loose your taste for that type of stuff over time when you never eat it).

So being a bit hungry, look at this perfect little fat, carb and protein “vegetarian” breakfast.

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Half an avocado cut in half, filled with hummus. Little bit of tomato and onion on the side and a drizzle of good olive oil.

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Couple of things worth mentioning here I think in no order of importance.

  1. Fat for “breakfast” is a good thing, especially if you are also a coffee drinker. Now a donut is fat for breakfast too. I’ve read about many many very physically active people (professionals, celebs) that eat an avocado for breakfast as their staple breakfast to start the day. So yummy avocado fat with a tiny bit of good olive oil added, I believe beats out a donut, but hey, what do I know.
  2. Carbs for breakfast are a good thing. Pop tarts are carbs too. Home made hummus (chick peas) has a nice amount of carbs and protein. The poptart does have 2 grams of protein. Hummus you ask? well that has 1.5 grams of protein per table spoon. 30 years of pop tart breakfasts or 30 years of avocado hummus breakfasts? Which one do you think will give you the most benefit from a “fuel” standpoint?  Maybe it doesn’t matter one iota…ever think about that?                                                                                                                                                                                                 So why do I do it? I don’t worry about right and wrong, I enjoy eating and I enjoy “feeling good”. And from trying both ways, I’ve learned that I simply only feel consistently good with only one of the choices. Let’s be honest, how many times have you gone out on a weekend morning with friends or family for a nice breakfast only to feel like crap for hours after?
  3. Calories- what do you think the count is? This is interesting, ready? Half an avocado 225-250 calories, 1 tablespoon olive oil 120 calories, 4 tablespoons hummus 100 calories. So total meal calorie count around 450. Take another look at the picture. See how small that meal is?
  4. Let’s explore a tiny little bit further. So total carb count for the hummus is about 10 carbs and 5 grams of protein for the serving of 4 tablespoons. Of course when you are in a rush, you can stop at Starbucks and be one of those “healthy people” and eat a “Spinach and Feta wrap”- This bad boy only has 290 calories and comes in with a whopping 19 grams of protein. So what’s under the hood?

The breakdown goes like this- Total Fat 10 G – Sodium 830 mg – Carbohydrate 33G – Fiber 6G – Sugars 4G – Protein 19 G.

Now for the ingredients: wheat wrap, whole wheat flour, enriched wheat flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), canola oil, vital wheat gluten, corn starch, oat fiber, soy protein, honey, salt, yeast, monoglycerides, guar gum, dextroxse, soybean oil, sesame flour, yeast (inactive), calcium sulfate, calcium propionate, fumaric acid, l-cysteine, fungal amylase, egg white omelet (cage free egg whites, whey powder, unmodified corn starch, nonfat dry milk, salt, butter flavor [sunflower oil, natural flavors, medium chain triglycerides, palm kernel oil], xantham gum, guar gum, liquid pepper extract), spinach, crumbled feta cheese(pasteurized milk, salt, cheese culture, enzymes, potato starch [added to prevent caking]), sun dried tomato cream cheese (water, pasteurized milk and cream, tomato paste, whey protein concentrate, dehydrated garlic, modified food starch, salt, sun-dried tomatoes [tomatoes, sulfur dioxide (preservative)], sugar, canola oil and olive oil, spices, cheese culture, cream, stabilizers [carob bean and/or guar gums], lactc acid, potassium sorbate [preservative], crushed garlic, citric acid, corn syrup solids, maltodextin, natural flavors, sodium citrate, sodium phosphate, enzymes), roasted tomatoes (tomatoes, roasted tomatoes, canola oil, olive oil, garlic, oregeno, salt).

Let’s do our breakfast breakdown for comparison:

Total Fat Avocado 21 grams – Olive oil 14 grams – Carbs 12 grams – Avocado Protein 2.9 grams -Hummus Carbs 100 grams -Hummus protein 4.9 grams _Sodium 225 mg (less even as it was less than a 1/4 teasp)

Ingredients: Avocado, olive oil, chickpeas, salt, lemon juice, tomato and onion 
So as you can see our home made meal has a much higher fat component, MORE than triple the amount of the Starbucks wrap. 1/3 LESS of carbs, 600 mg LESS sodium and 2 gram of protein LESS than the wrap.
So what to make of all this? It’s an interesting comparison, I picked the feta wrap as that is the lowest fast food breakfast item around.
Other than that, I don’t know anything either….except for what makes me “Feel Good”

A breakfast like above gives me the “tastiness” I often crave when I’m hungry in the morning, and the ingredients keep me steadily fueled till the next time I eat.

Calories are calories are not calories are not calories…fat is fat is not fat is not fat…etc etc. It’s all a bit much don’t you think?

EAT REAL FOOD and do it consistently. That way you can keep all this “diet/what to eat/what not to eat/super foods/macro ingredients” bullshit simple 🙂

 

BE HAPPY