"Definitely worth the 30 min drive up!"

-Patricia Wang, Diablo CrossFit 

 

 

 



The 7 Sacred Rules at AllStar

At CrossFit AllStar we commit to live the following:

  1. I promise to do my best. My best will vary from day to day, minute to minute. But in that minute I will do my absolute best.
  2. If I can run, I run. If I have to walk, I walk. When I am forced to crawl, I crawl. Then I rest and live to fight another day.
  3. I may struggle, curse and cry but I will never quit.
  4. I will never criticize or beat myself up for what I can't do today. I will just try again tomorrow.
  5. I promise to believe in myself, beginning each workout with the thought that "I can do this!"
  6. I show up to my workouts because I am committed to my health. My commitment to health is an act of self-love.
  7. I acknowledge that my diet is the most important part of my program. The cleaner it is, the better I do.
CrossFit Journal: The Performance-Based Lifestyle Resource

 

Where is CrossFit AllStar? Waimea/Kamuela, Big Island, Hawaii

 

Thursday
May082014

I got this recipe from the US post office....seriously, well kinda.

written by Elin

Nothing defines humans better than their willingness to do irrational things in the pursuit of phenomenally unlikely payoffs.  Scott Adams

So I am standing in line at the post office pondering the cost of creating and producing all those different stamp designs...

...and wondering why we need fancy stamps as I exchange my yellow card for a few moments of silence from the hustle of the day...why do the plain flag stamps cost the same price as the fancy artistically pictured ones?...maybe this is part of the government spending issue on a whole?... when the box for which I was there for slides across the counter.  On the outside of the box a recipe for almond butter cookies is printed. No flours, no fancy, I need to order from bearded monks in Peru products...are there even monks in Peru?, I digress...4 ingredients. That's all, and for the most part Paleo with the exception of a added sweetener. I made the recipe on the box and it was less than perfect but had tremendous potential.  So after a few imperfect attempts additions and adjustments, I got a great result.  Kid requested and Crossfit crowd approved.

Easy Almond Butter Cookies

Approx. 15-18 cookies.  Recipe can easily be doubled.  As with many Paleo style treats that are based on nut products, they are very dense from a nutritional standpoint.  Limit size. Limit consumption.  Be mindful of how feeding into cravings for something sweet fit into your overall goals nutritionally.

  • 1/4 cup palm sugar, lucuma powder, honey, or any combination of the three.*
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t baking powder
  • 1/8 t salt
  • 1/2 cup almond butter or other nut butter of choice
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 t vanilla and/or 1/4 t almond extract
  •  

    Chocolate and regular varieties pictured.Preheat oven to 350.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper*. Stir together the first 4 dry ingredients in a small bowl.  In another bowl, beat the egg with the extract flavor of choice, then stir until just combined the nut butter.  Portion onto lined baking sheet in teaspoon size scoops giving generous space between.  I do 4 rows of three on a standard cookie sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Let cool on sheet for several minutes before transferring to a rack to cool.  This dough or batter needs to be baked right away and does not store well for delayed baking.  If using honey as your sweetener they will turn out a bit flatter than those pictured at right.  

    *Sweeteners...there is boundless information on the net about all of the different varieties of sweeteners out there.  In a big nut shell...added sweetness is added sweetness.  You HAVE TO make balanced and educated decisions about how and when you consume Paleo style nutrient dense "treats" as with everything in life MODERATION is key.... a glass of red wine is purportedly good for you, a gallon of Gallo, not so much.  I have not tested this recipe with anything other than a 1/2 1/2 combo lucuma powder and palm sugar and straight palm sugar so do not know exactly how they will perform with other sweeteners.

    *Parchment paper is a staple in every professional kitchen and many home kitchens.  If you have not used it and are beginning to experiment with paleo style baking, it is a must.  It makes clean up very easy and eliminates the need to grease your baking sheets.  It can be found at any grocery store by the tin foil.  DO NOT confuse parchment paper with wax paper.  While parchment can be used in place of wax paper, wax paper is NOT heat tolerant and can not be used in place of parchment.

    Variation is the spice of life

    Ginger spice variation

     To the dry ingredients add:

    • 1/4 t powdered ginger
    • 1/4 t cinnamon
    • 1/8 t each nutmeg, clove, allspice, and fresh finely ground black pepper
    • 1/2 Tablespoon finely diced candied ginger optional
    • To the wet ingredients add 1 t  grated fresh ginger root and 2 tsp molasses if desired.  Proceed with the same instructions above.

     

    Chocolate variation

    • To the dry ingredients add:
    • 3 Tablespoons sifted unsweetened coco powder
    • 3 Tablespoons finely chopped 70/80% chocolate.  Proceed with the instructions above.
    Tuesday
    Apr152014

    Perfection is in the grace of the journey NOT in arriving at a particular destination.

    “Some of us (perfectionists, especially) fuss sooo much over making the 'right' choice. But in life, all that's really needed, is to make any reasonably 'good' choice, believe in it, go through with it, and accept the consequences.”

    This quote struck me as being so very true when it comes to nutrition. Unfortunately it was not sited with an author....Regardless, the point of it is epic.  There is no perfect, there is no one way, there is only the best you can do at any one given time, with any particular set of circumstances.  Our lives are these constantly evolving, forever dynamic creations.  For whatever reason, you may find yourself looking down the luau line at Uncle Kimos with not one "optimal" choice.  You gonna freak out, starve, and offend the entire family by refusing to eat any of it? Or will you adapt and accept that you will do the best you can with the circumstance you find yourself? Keep calm and carry on is my motto.  Do not allow the guilt for your choices haunt and poison your mind for the next week. Quilt and self loathing is BAD!!! Accept the nutritional consequences, whatever they may be, and make adjustments for the next time. Best adjustment to make to ensure nutritional success...eat optimally through out the day before you go, or bring a dish that is veggie and protein based.  There is no shame in piling your plate with your own creation and taking small helpings of the other offerings.  You win by supporting your nutritional goals and Auntie feels supported because you let her know how fabulous her sweet potatoes with marshmallows are...win, win.

    Over the last few weeks several people have asked me the same question in different forms with the general inquiry being: what are my 'go to, I have no time to eat, let alone cook' foods.  During the weeks that I am working this is my reality for 8 days.  I am up to my eyeballs in food and not one moment to sit and eat any of it.  My top three below are how I survive, and thought it might be helpful for others too.

     

    1. Avocado. Wanna get fancy?  Add salt, pepper extra virgin olive oil and some chopped tomato.  Can be prepared, consumed, and cleaned up in less than 5 minutes. 
    2.  Banana with a mix of toasted coconut flake and macadamia nut butter. The coconut macadamia nut butter is the ‘fancy’ part here... Recipe to follow.  Want or need a little something extra? Add a square of 70/80% highly quality chocolate...  Good to go!  
    3. Turkey, bacon and kale.  I always have whole turkey breasts, the nitrate free ones from Costco, in my refer.  Pre-slice and it is always ready for a quick snack. Add to that, when ever I cook bacon in our house I make it a point to always squirrl away a few slices from my bacon vacuuming children so that when emergency food is needed, I have some goodness to find.  Left over bacon a few slices of turkey, drizzle with olive oil maybe toss in some fresh herbs of any variety wrap in your favorite kale or greens and go.

    Toasted coconut flake and macadamia nut butter

     2 cups toasted coconut flake

    1 cup toasted macnuts, preferably unsalted

    3-4 Tablespoons melted coconut oil

    1/4 tsp salt.  Omit if nuts are salted.

    A Vita mixer or high powered mixer is needed for this to turn our really smooth. I have never used one of the nutri bullet things I have heard people talk about, but from the sounds of it, they may work too.  Just process in small batches.  Looking for a excuse to buy a Vita Mixer but can not justfy the purchase because you already have a blender...just try to make this in your blender and you might blow the motor, Vita Mix delema sloved.

    Toast the coconut flake and macadamia nuts until golden on the edges and fragrant.  Place in mixer with salt and coconut oil.  Pulse on low several times until items are broken up.  Turn to high and blend until smooth. More coconut oil may be needed to help liquefy the mass, that's fine.  Place in refer to store.  Want something extra crazy good?  Blend in a few tablespoons of cacao powder or high quality chocolate.

    Monday
    Mar102014

    Mayo Clinic...and I am not talking about the medical mecca in Rochester Minnesota.

    I eat so much mayonnaise they were going to send me to the Mayo Clinic.  Tom Robbins

     

    Lets start by saying that mayonnaise has its own Facebook page....

    ...this is both terrifying and confounding to me.  But this post is not about the bizarre time in which we live The highly demonized Mayo... a innocent causualty in the war against fat.where a jar of mayo can interact with you on social media, but rather the culinary versatility of a unsung hero in American cooking.  Eggs….paleo. Lemons….paleo. Dijon mustard...paleo. Salt, pepper, your favorite cold pressed *oil paleo, paleo, paleo. Individually each of these items are magical on their own but when mixed together with a small amount of technique applied, something wondrous is created. A light, silky, and glorious blank canvas that can carry any variety and style of flavors. From Asian to Italian, Fusion to French. I am talking about the highly demonized and arguably one of Americas favorite condiments, Mayonnaise.  Mayonnaise is simply an emulsion of oil and egg yolks, with a little acidity and salt added to brighten the flavor.  Homemade mayonnaise has a milder, more neutral flavor than the store-bought varieties, and can be customized to meet your tastes. *Olive oils, Light Sesame, Macadamia nut, Walnut, Avocado, Sweet Almond Oil, or any other cold pressed nut and seed oil of choice.        

    HOMEMADE MAYONNAISE

    • 3 
large egg yolks
    • 1 
tablespoon fresh lemon juice or vinegar of choice
    • 1/2 
teaspoon Dijon mustard
    • 1/2 
teaspoon table salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon of finely diced shallot, garlic or onion
    • 1/4 
teaspoon sugar optional
    •       ground pepper to taste
    • 1 
cup *extra light olive oil or cold pressed oil of choice.

             (*less strong in flavor than standard olive oil)

     

     INSTRUCTIONS

    • With hand held immersion blender combine yolks, lemon juice, mustard, salt, and pepper in medium wide mouth mason jar until combined, about 10 seconds. With blender running, gradually add oil in slow steady stream (process should take about 30 seconds); scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula and process 5 seconds longer. Adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper, if needed. This process can also be done with a medium sturdy bowl and a good wire wisk...I do not reccomend this method after any WOD that has left your arms/shoulders particularly spent as it takes a bit of muscle and tenacity.
    • Store fresh mayonnaise in the refrigerator and use within five days.                                       

    Once you try this simple and delightful way of increasing flavor and optimal fats into your diet the sky is the limit for flavor combinations.Variations:  

    • Capers, shallots, lemon zest, flat leaf parsley
    • Sweet chili sauce, green onion, touch of nam plah AKA Patis AKA fish sauce, thai basil
    • Garlic, shallot, regular basil made with extra virgin olive oil sundried tomato and or olives
    • Chipolte pepper sauce, cilantro, lime juice and zest, toasted cumin and coriander

    Miscellaneous but pertinent rambling

    I have plenty of input and miscellaneous information taking up space in the space between my ears... Here is a little tid-bit.  So much about cooking has nothing to do with recipes, ingredients, or the way in which you choose to align your dietary consumption with the needs of your body.  To make good food starts with the skills to make the food. ANYONE can read a recipe or buy a cook book.  Basic skills are needed to perform any task. Refining skills within a particular craft require tools. That being said...look into getting yourself a hand held immersion blender. Cuisinart has one at Costco for, if I remember correctly, about 30 bucks and it is one of my essential kitchen gadgets.  It makes the whipping of coconut cream, small weekly batches of salad dressing and mayo super fast and easy.


    Tuesday
    Feb182014

    Project Rehydration

    Iron rusts from disuse; water loses its purity from stagnation... even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.
    Leonardo di Vinci

    Eh, brah...you think they have any DIY electrolyte drinks in there?Whether hiking to Waimanu, taking on a epic session with some winter waves, or you are simply trying to survive the debilitating stomach virus that has hit Waimea...

    ...replenishment of the systems basic fluids is essential.  When we loose too many of these essential nutrients known as electrolytes through excessive sweating, vomiting, not eating enough and uggghhhh diarrhea, we can become dehydrated. Fatigue, dry mouth, dizziness, headaches, and reduced urine production are all tell tale signs that you may be beginning to suffer the effects of dehydration. Most common symptom? Thirst.

    Hydration when life is normal...

    Your weight multiplied by  2/3 (or 67%) + Activity Level.  Your activity level equals 12 ounces of water added to you total, for every 30 minutes that you are making sweat hearts on the mat.  Of course, this may be just to much math for some of us...and if you do not want to go there, I totally understand.  The 8 ozs per hour rule has always stuck with me and is a great place to start, adding more when activity levels rise.

    And when things are not so normal...

    It has been assaulting to my senses the last few months as we have done battle with various incarnations of sickness.  When nothing will stay down or in...gross I know...every Dr says stay hydrated, drink Gatorade or something similar.   To injest all of the colorant, corn syrups, and other chemicals just does not sit right with me....physically or mentally.  The health food store has a decent option but is 5.00 a bottle.  Coconut water is a great option though some people just do not like it.  

    DIY electrolyte drink

    High quality sea salt has vital trace minerals that our bodies need during the process of re-hydration.  Sugar provides quick assimilateable energy that our cells need when no other energy source is staying in long enough to be utilized. Use unrefined sugar or honey when possible.  Raw honey has some amazing health properties as a whole food and is worth looking into if you are into that sort of thing.

    Super basic drink: 1 Liter of water (5 cups), 6 tsp. sugar of choice and 1/2 tsp. salt

    Amazing add ins: 1/2 cup fresh orange, lemon,or lime juice.  Replace 1/2 the water with coconut water. Diced and crushed watermelon or cucumber.  Fresh mint or basil leaves.  When using sweet fruits or juices the added sugar can be reduced.

    Don't want to DIY, but do not want all the funky stuff?

    I found this online and though I have not tried it it looks like a really great product in lieu of the orange tub...You know what i'm talking about....

    Or there is this stuff....how cool is this? Also never tried but will be ordering some for my next back country adventure for sure!

    Thursday
    Nov142013

    This is surely not Charlie Browns pumpkin.

    Vegetables are a must on a diet.  I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.                                 Jim Davis-American Actor 1915-1981

     

    Charles Schultz and Charlie Browns Great Pumpkin...The holdays did not start at my house until this made its run on TV.

    I highly support what Jim is suggesting...

     ...not litterally, but the read between the lines idea that 'diets' are a bunch of bologna. Diet, in its modern day common meaning, makes me think of grapefruits, bagels, and fat free potato chips...WHHHHAAATTT?  Grapefruit diets, High Carb diets, Low Fat diets, all give the true root of the word a bad wrap.  The unsung meaning of the word is far more possitive. Websters tells me diet is defined as 'The kinds of   food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats. 'Diet' is dirived via Latin from the Greek diaita or ‘a way of life.’  So let us take the die out of diet and start getting back to our roots.  Let us eat for health, vitality, strength, and wellness, not skinny jeans, tube tops, and thongs.

    In Hawaii, Kabocha pumpkins are like our Calabash culture.

    They come in all shapes and sizes and are rugged, resiliant guys who are about as easy going as the come.  You can literally plant one seed and have more pumpkins than you know what to do with in a matter of months.  They are a small multi-colored variety of squash that, is at first, intimidating to look at but has a sweet, satin like flesh, and when cooked the rough and tough skin is lovely to eat...no peeling required! They are good in stir fries, baked, sauteed, steamed or mashed.  One of the tastiest is soup and with the cold weather approaching, soups on!

    A few words on ingredients,  Pick your battles folks.

    A well stocked pantry does no soul any good if you do not know how to use what is in there.  And to be a good cook does not depend upon expensive gadgets, or fancy bottles of this or that. I would consider selling a child before giving up my Vita mixer but that is another story more appropriate for a parenting blog.  Like the last post about ketcup there ae a few 'specialty' items that I never go with out because of the special effect they have on food for little cost and zero effort on my part.  Nam Plah or fish sauce is one due to its umami magic...no clue what I am saying read the last post. Not only does this stuff taste great, but they have cute cartoon ginger men on the bottle!Another is high quality pickled ginger.  My favorite is by a company called The Ginger People and is easily found at our local health food stores.  It is tender organic ginger goodness wrapped in sweet and sour yumminess. YES, there is some sugar in it, but in proportion to whatever it is going into the effect would be very insignificant and the wow factor that it adds in making the food just that much more enjoyable, worth it in my humble opinion. Pick your battles folks!

    Kabocha Pumpkin Ginger Soup

     

    • 1 kabocha pumpkin
    • 1 32 ozs container chicken stock or water
    • 1 can coconut milk
    • 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped.
    • 1 clove garlic
    • 1 Tbls fresh ground ginger
    • 1 Tbls pickled ginger
    • 1 tsp ground corriander
    • 1 tsp each salt & pepper
    • 1 Tbls nam plah
    • coconut oil
    • Garnish w/ chopped cilantro, chopped mac nuts, and a bit of coconut milk  Grilled shrimp or chicken would be good additions.

     

    Scrub the skin of the pumpkin then cut in half and scoop out the seeds. Cut off the stem and bottom knot, then slice into 2 inch wedges.  In a large stock pot heat 3-4 Tabelspoons of coconut oil. Then add pumpkin wedges, letting them cook until carmelized on both sides adding extra coconut oil and scraping the bottom of the pan as need.  Once carmelized, add stock, coconut milk, onion, garlic, and gingers.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes.  Once wedges are super soft turn off heat and blend until smooth using an imersion blender OR very carefully and in small batches transfer to a blender and process until silky smooth.  Stir in corriander, salt, pepper, and nam plah.  Additional salt and pepper if needed.