Menu Monday: October 6, 2014

It’s going to be a busy work week for me.  As such, I’m planning accordingly.  I’ll be using the crock pot and making a couple of casseroles.  And honestly, one of my meals is just an idea at this point, I’m not exactly sure how it will work out…

Experimentation is good, it’s part of creating.  And creating is one of my favorite things to do.  I’ve always felt like a creative person, but I’ve almost always followed my scientific mind.  Remember in school how you were either good at math and science or you were good at language arts?  I was one of those kids that liked and did well at both.  Now, I’m not trying to toot my own horn, but even back in my school days students were tracked: left brain dominate or right brain dominate.  I never felt I was one or the other.  When Emron was five years old he wanted to be an artist and a super-hero; right brain and left brain.  Now, we tend to label our children even more than when I was in school…  It’s an interesting aside.  And has nothing to do with Menu Monday, but it’s my blog, so I can go stray from topic if I want to.

The photo below is one of my leftover meals from last week.  I make leftovers look good, right?

Leftover steak salad, yummy and easy.

Here’s what we are eating:

Sunday:  BBQ Chicken Thighs, Paleo Coleslaw, Sweet Potato Chips

Monday:  Spaghetti Squash Casserole with Italian Sausage and Tomato Sauce, Green Salad

Tuesday:  Beef Tacos, Paleo Tortillas, Guac,

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday:  Slow Cooker Maple Ribs, Veggies and Dip, Sweet Potato Fries

Friday: Butternut Squash, Rosemary, Bacon Casserole (this is the experiment recipe of the week), Green Salad

Saturday: Leftovers or Out, probably out (just being honest!)

What are you making this week?  I hope it’s a good one!

Easy Broiled Salmon with Tomatoes {PALEO}

Sorry, loves, no Fitness Friday this week!  How about a new recipe?  Is that okay?  This one is easy to put together and requires only a few ingredients.  In fact the spices I used worked really well, but they are mere suggestions.  If you have every thing on hand, use it.  If not, don’t sweat it.  I mean, the basil would be great to have and the oregano, but the smoked paprika isn’t essential.  So there you have it, or should I say here you have it?  Easy Broiled Salmon with Tomatoes {PALEO}

Quick to cook and only a few ingredients, this easy salmon dish is sure to be your new favorite!!

Easy Broiled Salmon with Tomatoes {PALEO}

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 10 minutes, cook time 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 pound salmon
  • 1-2 large tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • smoked paprika
  • dried oregano
  • fresh basil

Directions:

  1. Turn your broiler on high and pre-heat.
  2. Grab a baking sheet, line it with aluminum foil.
  3. Place the salmon and tomatoes on the baking sheet; rub olive oil all over them.  Then sprinkle salt, pepper, smoked paprika and oregano all over the salmon and tomatoes.  Yum!
  4. Broil on high until the salmon flakes easily with a fork, about 8-10 minutes.
  5. Let the salmon rest for about 5 minutes before serving, with the tomatoes over zoodles.  Garnish with fresh basil.  Enjoy!!

I really hope you’re having a great weekend and that it was a good week!

Menu Monday: September 29, 2014

Can you believe that on Wednesday this week we will enter the month of OCTOBER?  What the what?!!  How was the weekend?  Mine was fantastic; had two great workouts, hung out with amazing friends, ate some yummy food, and spent some quality time with the fam.  Which, looking back, is pretty great, because my week was sort of crappy.  Car didn’t start Monday morning at 4:45 a.m when I was supposed to get to work, Eli threw up several times on Tuesday, worked quite a bit, felt sick on Friday… It was just one thing after another and it made for a long week.  So, yeah, I guess a good weekend was in order!  And, as a way to end this wonderful weekend, I had sushi for dinner tonight.  I know it’s not Paleo.  But remember that 85/15 rule I’ve talked up several times…  Well, delicious sushi falls into my 15 percent.  So there.

Paleo Lunch Idea

Here’s the menu for the week:

Sunday:  Sushi

Monday:  Lemon and Rosemary Roasted Chicken with Mashed Cauliflower and Green Beans

Tuesday:  Grilled Flank Steak and Peppers with a Green Salad

Wednesday:  Leftovers

Thursday:  Spinach Andouille Sausage Bowls (Remember when I always made spinach bowls?)

Friday:  Leftover Steak Pizza (I’m thinking homemade whole wheat crust, cilantro, avocado, red peppers, onions, no sauce…) with Green Salad

Saturday:  Butternut Squash and Spinach Curry

And there you have it!  Another week of menus.  Let me know if you have questions or comments!  I’d love to know what you are making this week, too!!

Fitness Friday: September 26, 2014

Recently one of my clients asked me for workouts he could do while traveling with little to no equipment.  Easy peasy!  The idea is to minimize time spent exercising and maximize the number of muscles you use, because most people don’t want to be as efficient as they can when traveling.  You want to see the sights, right?  Ideally,  I thought these suggestions might come in handy for you, my loyal blog readers, too.  So here they are:

Workouts for Travel

Warm-up Ideas:

  • Run stairs.
  • Perform air squats, jumping lunges and mountain climbers in a circuit.
  • March in place.
  • Kick it old school with jumping jacks!

Workout 1: No Equipment Needed

  • 25 squats
  • 10 push ups
  • 25 crunches
  • 10 dips

Repeat as many rounds as you can in 15 minutes.

Workout 2: Using Dumbbells

  • Curl with over-head press
  • Front squat with dumbbells (wider stance, weights resting on your collar bone)
  • Alternating lateral then front raises
  • Bent over rows, followed immediately by triceps kickbacks
  • Push ups

Complete each exercise for 10-12 reps.  Complete the circuit 3 times.

Cool Down Ideas:

  • Take a walk and enjoy the view.
  • Stretch.

As usual, if you have questions, hit me up!  Hope it’s a great weekend!

As usual, if you have questions, hit me up!  Hope it’s a great weekend!

Menu Monday: September 22, 2014

Last week generated a lot of leftovers.  And my brain hurts.  And so, the story goes that this week’s menu Monday is going to be a little boring.  You’ve been warned.  If you don’t want to continue reading, close the window and walk away.  Go do some pull-ups, or push-ups, or something…  But, you know what?  A plan for the week, albeit a boring plan, is better than no plan at all, and don’t you love this menu template from This Designer Cooks?  Here it is:

Sample Menu Plan

Sunday:  BBQ Chicken, Slaw, Sweet Potato Chips and Corn (not strictly Paleo).  I decided to have friends over at the last minute, and I also decided to tighten my death grip on summer, as such BBQ was served with what will probably be the last corn on the cob of the season.

Monday:  Cauliflower Crust Pizza, Green Salad.

Tuesday:  Leftovers

Wednesday:  Maple Butternut Squash Soup, Grilled Chicken, Mixed Greens.  And yea, the soup and the chicken are technically leftovers, but I’m being more specific for Wednesday, so there!

Thursday:  Spicy Lime Shrimp Tacos (recipe testing), Paleo Tortillas, Guac.

Friday:  Leftovers.

Saturday:  Burgers, Sweet Potato “Buns”, Grilled Veggies.  I’ve not made these “buns” but the link I’ve included will give you an idea of what I’m trying to do.

What do you say?  What are you making this week?

I hope it’s a good week!!

Fitness Friday: September 19, 2014

Welcome to another F Cubed: my First Fitness Friday!  My hope with these posts are to give you a glimpse into my other life; my life as a personal trainer.  Yes, I love food and I love to eat, but being active has been a part of my life since forever!  (Also, it goes without saying that I love the other F in my life, my family.  They support me in all of my F Cubed endeavors and I could not do it without them!!)

So here it is, my first Fitness Friday:

First Fitness Friday Workout

  • 100 lunges
  • 50 push-ups
  • 2:30 plank
  • 100 squats
  • max pull ups (if you don’t have a pull up bar, do dips instead)
  • run 1-2 miles
  • 2:30 plank

Notes:  This workout might look a little daunting at first, but remember these two things and you’ll be able to do it in no time.  First, all workouts can be scaled based on your level of fitness.  For example, if you are just starting your fitness journey, cut the workout in half.  Do 50 lunges, 25 push ups, 1:15 plank and so forth.  If running 1-2 miles seems crazy, do what you can; walk then run, or just walk.  Second, do not feel like you need to complete each exercise without stopping.  If you can do 15 lunges before needing a break, do 15.  Then take a second, catch your breath and do 15 more.  Do not over complicate it!

What muscles does plank work?

Ever wonder what muscles plank works?  I love this muscular visual.

As always, I welcome your feedback and I am happy to answer any questions you have!  I hope it’s a great weekend!

Sweet and Sour Thai Stir Fry {PALEO}

What’s that you say?  Didn’t I promise this recipe like eight days ago?  Stop complaining!  This amazing stir fry is definitely worth the wait. and the good news is that it’s here NOW.

The idea is inspired from your typical Chinese Sweet and Sour dish, but I switched up the ingredients just a little bit to give more of a Thai inspired flavor; one that is complemented with fresh cilantro and toasted cashews.  You can use any meat you’d like in this recipe, I’ve tried pork and chicken and been happy with both.  Lastly, I’ve served this Sweet and Sour Thai Pork {PALEO} over cauli-rice and just in a bowl, either way it was yummy!  So, yes!  Without further ado: Sweet and Sour Thai Pork {PALEO}.

Quick and easy stir fry with Thai inspired flavors.

Sweet and Sour Thai Stir Fry {PALEO}

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 7 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

For the Stir Fry:

  • Paleo friendly oil of choice, I used coconut oil
  • 1 – 1.5 pounds chicken, pork or beef, chopped for stir fry
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped,
  • 1 small to medium sized onion, chopped
  • 1 Cup chopped pineapple

For the Sauce:

  • 1/4 Cup coconut aminos or gluten-free soy sauce if you prefer
  • 1 heaping Tablespoon honey
  • 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup tomato paste
  • ~ 1 Tablespoon Thai red curry paste, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper, sub black if you don’t have white

Directions:

  1. Heat your oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat.  Add the meat and let cook for about 3-4 minutes or until cooked.
  2. While the meat is cooking, mix together the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl.  Set it aside.
  3. Add the veggies and pineapple to the skillet or wok and stir fry for another minute or two.
  4. Add the sauce and make sure the ingredients are evenly coated.  Let it bubble a bit then remove the stir fry from the heat.
  5. Serve with freshly chopped cilantro and toasted cashews, if desired.  Enjoy!