meat

What’s On The Menu – Eating Whole Foods On The Go

I’m a man who likes structure. I love scheduling out all my appointments, meetings, training sessions and so on. Hell, I even like scheduling out what food I’ll eat on a daily basis. Unfortunately life doesn’t always allow that to happen.

Regular readers of the blog know that Shannon and I’s schedule the last few weeks was completely rearranged by Hurricane Irma. After I heard Tampa was in the path of potentially one of the strongest storms to make landfall in the U.S., I disregarded any healthy eating habits and focused primarily on fortifying our house. Thankfully, Irma caused minimal damage and allowed us to return to our normal routine rather quickly.

Then, 2 weeks later, Shannon went into labor.

Shannon labor

These two epic life events forced us to eat a lot of prepackaged foods on the go. Fortunately for us, there are some legit prepackaged whole foods available nowadays. Below is a list of several of my favorite whole food items that you can eat on the go:

  • Epic Bars: these “meat bars” are made with high quality protein from sources like buffalo, venison, salmon, wild boar and many more. They also focus on using other whole ingredients that are low in sugar and free of gluten, grain, soy and dairy. The sriracha chicken bar pictured below contains 4 g of fat, 15 g of protein and only 1 g of carbs (click here for more nutritional info).
  • Trail Mix Packs: individual serving packs of raw and/or lightly roasted & salted almonds, cashews, walnuts and even peanuts are a great source of dietary fat, protein and fiber. Just beware of the sugar content of any trail mix packets that are filled with lots of candy or dried fruit. The Go Raw Trek Mix packets from Trader Joe’s contain 14 g of fat, 7 g of protein and 3 g of fiber.
  • Parmesan Crisps: these crispy chip substitutes are so flavorful that you won’t even remember the word Doritos after having them. I usually grab a $3-4 container from Whole Foods when I’m out and about, but you could easily make these at home. According to the Whole Foods website, 4 crisps contain 6 g of fat, 9 g of protein and 1 g of carbs (source).
  • Upgraded coffee: I don’t leave home without my homemade coffee concoction – 12 oz of coffee, 3 tbsp of Great Lakes Collagen and 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream or canned coconut milk. This creation contains approximately 12 g of fat, 18 g of protein and <1 g of carbs. Click here to read more about Great Lakes Collagen.

Whole Foods Togo

That’s my abbreviated list of whole foods you can eat on the go. If you’ve got an item that you believe fits the criteria please let me know. Drop us a line, and by that I mean email us at elementaltampa@gmail.com or give us a shout on social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter).

I believe that the moumental life events are done for the time being. Now Shannon and I are mainly focused on rearing our young, which means we’ll hopefully have time to make some home cooked meals. If you have any ideas for big batch dishes we can munch on during our maternity/paternity leave, feel free to send them our way.

 

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What’s on the Menu – Let’s Talk Turkey

I may be guilty of propagating a myth about one of our nation’s founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin. In the Instagram post (link) promoting this week’s menu spotlight, I suggested that the wild turkey was in a race with the bald eagle to be on our nation’s seal.

I recall hearing that historical tidbit from a reliable source and when I went to find supporting research, I found a source that seemed to confirm my statement. Upon further research, it appears the idea of Franklin championing for the wild turkey to be our nation’s symbol way back in the 18th century isn’t entirely true.

According to excerpts from a letter authored by Franklin, he did believe that the wild turkey was a “bird of courage” more likely to chase off an intruder than the bald eagle, but did NOT suggest that the turkey should be a part of our nation’s seal. It appears that Franklin was somewhat apathetic to the idea of having a bird on our nation’s seal altogether (source). Regardless of the turkey’s moral character, the fact that it provides both significant macro & micronutrients is 100% accurate.

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You won’t find these types of turkeys at your grocery store

The turkey you pick up at the grocery store looks very different from the turkeys Benjamin Franklin was talking about. They may look different but their macronutrient content is very similar. Three ounces of turkey breast, without skin, contain 2 grams (g) of fat, 0 g of carbs and 26 g of protein (source). Not a great source of healthy fat or carbs, but a definite protein powerhouse. No surprise that you find turkey on a lot of meal plans for individuals looking to put on muscle.

Much like other animal-based protein sources, turkey is high in B vitamins, B3 & B6 in particular. B3, also known as niacin, is critical for the conversion of dietary macronutrients into usable energy including the production of glycogen. For those unfamiliar with glycogen, it is an animal starch stored in our muscles as fuel for future physical activity (source). This particular function of B3 is most likely why bodybuilders ingest supplemental forms of it to help them maintain their rigorous workout schedule.

Turkey also contains a significant amount of important dietary minerals. Zinc, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and iron are several minerals you’ll absorb eating turkey, but the mineral most abundant in turkey is selenium. A 4oz serving of turkey contains 62% of our DV of selenium, which is known to be a powerful antioxidant. With that said, it should come as no surprise that the consumption of turkey, and other poultry, has been shown to reduce the risk conditions/syndromes caused by oxidative stress like pancreatic cancer (source).

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Turkey doesn’t contain the amount of fat I normally prefer in my animal protein, but that’s an easy problem to fix. Shannon and I love using ground turkey (which does have added fat) to make burgers and I throw a couple slices of avocado on them to up their fat content. The combination of the protein from the turkey and the fat from the avocado makes for one satiating meal.

If you have a go-to turkey recipe that you think trumps my turkey burgers, please feel free to share it on our social media channels (FacebookInstagram or Twitter). You can also email it to us at elementaltampa@gmail.com.

Email is the best way to find out more about Elemental Training Tampa’s online training program. Get that personal training you’ve always wanted at a price that you can afford.

Addicted to Fitness Show Notes – An Interview with the CEO & Founder of Growing Rootz, Carlen Garmon

We’re bringing you another interview episode of Addicted to Fitness this week. Before we get to our interview, Shannon and I discuss a pair of upcoming fitness related events we’re looking forward to. Shannon has another yoga immersion weekend for her Bella Prana teacher training program coming up and I will be starting a new morning boot camp at Tampa Strength. If you live in the Tampa area and want to start your morning off with fun & effective workout come check out the Rise & Grind Boot Camp (link).

After our fitness updates, we jump into my interview with the CEO & Founder of the organic grocery delivery service Growing Rootz (link), Carlen Garmon. Carlen began her pursuit of optimizing her health when she was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome (link) and hyperinsulinemia (link) in her early twenties. She decided to go off her medications once she became pregnant and instead used a diet of whole & organic foods to help treat her conditions. This shift in nutrition was a driving force behind the creation of Growing Rootz.

Growing Rootz provides customers in the Tampa Bay Area with organic quality produce, pastured & grass fed meat, free range eggs, raw dairy, bone broth and other wholesome goodies. Carlen believes that these types of products allow our bodies to function at an optimum level which is one of the main ideals that she incorporates into her holistic health coaching. I’m always skeptical when I hear a person label themselves as a health coach, but as you’ll hear, Carlen has a lot of personal experience dealing with health conditions that a lot of people struggle with.

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Interviewing professionals in the field of health & fitness is one of the main reasons why I began the Addicted to Fitness podcast. Even though all their stories are different, they seem to have one similar quality:

A situation arose in their lives where they had to make a decision on whether or not to make their fitness & health a top priority, and they did so.

I hope that this podcast can help inspire some of you to make a similar choice. This podcast is called Addicted to Fitness because we know how beneficial being obessesed with your health can be. If you agree please let us know. Feel free to email us at elementaltampa@gmail.com or hit us up on social media (FacebookInstagram or Twitter). We’d also really appreciate a honest rating and review in the iTunes. Thanks again for all the support & stay healthy this week peeps!

Links to this week’s episode

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/interview-ceo-founder-growing-rootz-carlen-garmon/id1121420986?i=1000385437699&mt=2

Android: http://subscribeonandroid.com/addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/rss

Website: http://addictedtofitness.libsyn.com/an-interview-with-the-ceo-founder-of-growing-rootz-carlen-garmon

 

What’s on the Menu – The Other Red Meat

If you’ve been paying attention to my weekly menu spotlights, you’ve probably realized that I don’t discriminate when it comes to food. Well, that’s not entirely true. I do my best to stay away from anything that contains refined sugars and grains, but other than that I’m an omnivore through and through. I say that because last week’s post and today’s post feature foods that are not exactly vegan friendly. I want my vegan friends to know that I’m not discriminating against you all. Shannon is a former vegan and she still makes some delicious vegan dishes and I promise to feature one in an upcoming post. But today’s post is dedicated to very special type of red meat.

The steaks featured below can’t be found in the grocery store. They don’t come from any factory farms or feedlots. They come from the fields, woods, and prairies. These are steaks from a whitetail deer. Deer meat, better known as venison, along with other wild game meat tend to have lower caloric and fat content but equal amounts of protein compared to meat from conventionally raised livestock. Venison in particular has approximately 150 calories, 24 g of protein and 1.5 g of fat per 3.5 ounce serving (source). Any regular readers of the blog will know that I am not afraid of fat so the idea of the meat having less fat doesn’t exactly thrill me, but venison and other wild game have a better ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids, which researchers have found could help mitigate certain chronic diseases/conditions (source). Eating wild game like venison not only provides nutritional benefits, it also allows you to be less reliant on factory farmed meat.

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Legit wild game is not regulated by the USDA, which means it cannot be sold in supermarkets. I believe this is a good thing because it inspires people to take up hunting or in most instances, connect with a friend or family member that does hunt. Having grown up in a hunting family, I can tell you from experience that hunters are extremely generous when it comes to sharing their harvest. Take these folks up on their generosity because the less reliant we are on meat from factory farms, the better off we, and the planet, will be.

If you already eat wild game on a regular basis, let us know what your favorite type and preparation method is. Feel free to contact us elementaltampa@gmail.com with any recipes.

What’s on the Menu

If you’ve been following this blog for an extended period of time, you are probably privy to the fact that I’m a devout omnivore. That devotion is what inspires me to order the “charcuterie board” whenever I see it on a restaurant’s menu.

Meat and cheese may seem simple, but the variety of flavors that can exist within those two food categories appears to be endless. Which is why when Shannon asked me what we should have for a mid afternoon snack on Christmas I almost involuntarily responded, “charcuterie!”

I’ll admit right now that I had no idea that my request would result in the picture you see below.

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(Vegan Cheeze Dip in the top left corner)

As you can see the board contained a variety of meats and cheeses, but it also contained Shannon’s vegan cheeze dip. I know what you’re thinking “How the hell can cheese dip be vegan?” Fortunately, the answer to that question is ridiculously simple. Check out the recipe from her blog to see why:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 cup Raw Cashews
  • 2-3 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 3/4 cup Water
  • 3 tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • pinch of Cayenne Powder
  • pinch of Turmeric

DIRECTIONS:

Dump all the ingredients into a food processor and blend till creamy.

This recipe is perfect for everyone! It doesn’t contain any dairy, the cashews are full of healthy fats (source), the nutritional yeast has a surprising amount of protein (source) and the vast majority of its carbs come from fiber.

You make this dip for you next big party and I promise you’ll be having people asking you for the recipe. Just make sure you tell them you got it from elementaltampa.com!

What’s on the Menu

There is a food craze going on that may seem new, but is in fact as old as time. This particular food item can be found in high end restaurants AND in the middle of the Serengeti. Celebrity chef, TV host and all-around badass Anthony Bourdin calls it “God’s Butter.” Shannon likes to call it “meat jelly.” I just call it DELICIOUS! If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m talking about bone marrow. This often overlooked culinary delight can be found inside the bones of ruminants (cow, deer, etc.) and for the longest time was discarded by most Americans in the late 20th century & early 21st century. It seems like we’ve finally discovered the richness, in both nutrition and taste, of this somewhat forgotten food item. One ounce of beef bone marrow contains nearly 15g of fat (mostly monounsaturated), 2g of protein and 140 calories. It also contains important sources of fat soluble vitamins and minerals like calcium and iron (source). The exact amounts of these nutrients is hard to find but it’s believed that consuming bone marrow can improve gut health and even help treat individuals with cancer (source). I’m not quite prepared to call bone marrow the next miracle treatment for cancer, but I am willing to order it every time I see it on the menu.

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Bone Marrow starter from Edison Food+Drink Lab

What’s on the Menu

One of the big components of eating healthy is cooking the majority of your meals at home with whole ingredients. As a working professional I know that meal planning & grocery shopping for an entire week of meals can be time consuming. Fortunately, services like Blue Apron can have all the ingredients you need to make wholesome meals, that meet your dietary preferences, sent right to your door. Plus, if you’re a avid podcaster listener, I’m sure you’ve heard the host give out a Blue Apron promo code to get you a couple free meals. No, I’m not a paid endorser (I wish I was honestly), I just know services like these can reduce individuals reliance on ordering takeout or going out to eat. Shannon and I go into more detail about this awesome service, and meal prep in general, in a past episode of the Addicted to Fitness podcast. Give it a listen and let us know if it convinced you to give Blue Apron a try.

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