Sunday, January 23, 2011

Easy Pork Chops with Cranberries

I just made this for dinner.  It was so good.  Seriously.  I never know what to do with pork.  I don't even like pork.  The other day while shopping something came over me to buy it.  Hmm.  So I browsed around the net for some recipes and came across "Easy Pork Chop Saute with Cranberries" from 
Since I was starving - and just got home from Costco I had to make a few changes to the original recipe due to lack of ingredients.  Here is how I made it:

"Easy Pork Chop Saute with Cranberries"
Serves 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time:  10 - 20 minutes


Salt & Pepper (A few dashes)
4 Boneless pork loin chops (trim the fat!)
2/3 cup orange juice
2 1/2 tablespoons clover honey
2 teaspoons grapeseed oil
1 cup frozen cranberries

  1. Heat grapeseed oil in pan medium heat.  Cook chops 3 minutes on eachside (or until browned nicely.)  
  2. While cooking the chops mix the oj & honey together & chop cranberries in the food processor.
  3. Push the chops to the side and add half of the oj mixture and all of the cranberries to the pan and cook for about 4 minutes (or until chops are fully cooked.)  
  4. Remove the chops and set on serving plate.  Add the rest of the oj mixture.  Increase heat to high and cook until it becomes a "syrupy sauce", about 2 minutes.
  5. Spoon the sauce over the chops. Enjoy.
**Approximate Values: Calories 300, Total Fat 10 g, Saturated Fat 3 g, Cholesterol 81 mg, Sodium 207 mg, Carbohydrates 21g, Protein 30g, Potassium 421mg.

This Pork Chop served nicely with some green beans, cooked to perfection.  I like to steam them - not too long.  
I like crisp veggies.   Also served some carrots with it.

               Hope you enjoy.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Fast or Slow?

I'd like to take a few minutes to discuss Muscle Fibers. It's generally accepted that the Fibers that make up your muscles are broken down into two groups, Fast Twitch and Slow Twitch. Each uses your bodies fuel differently, and operates differently. Fast Twitch or Type 2, are used for quick bursts, high intensity movements, and uses its fuel stores the quickest. An example would be a 100 meter sprint. Slow Twitch, or Type 1, uses fuel more slowly and are the fibers used more prominently when doing prolonged excersizes. An example would be the 5k run. Both are important to overall fitness, and both need to be trained specifically. If you were to take a sprinter and a long distance runner, and put them next to each other, you would really see the difference in the muscle fibers and the athletes physical make up. I recently found a great workout called the 4 day Power Muscle Burn workout from Muscle and Strength, and Ive began incorporating it into my workouts. The way it works is you pick a body split, for todays post we will use Legs as the example. I did this workout this morning. You start with the Power Set, which will be high weight/ low rep (4 sets of 3-5 repetitions) and maximizes strain on the Fast Twitch Muscles. You then move on the some movements that consist of difficult, but not overwhelming weight, for 3 sets and 6-12 repetitions. This will deliver a fair amount of strain on Fast and Slow Twitch Muscles at the same time. And you finish off with Low weight/ high repetitions to really target the slow twitch fibers. Something like 2 sets of 20 repetitions. My workout looks like this..

Squats (4x3), Leg Press (3x9), Leg Extension (3x8) and Leg Press (2x20). This is all for the Quad muscle group. For Hamstrings, I do Stiff Legged Deadlifts (4x5), Leg Curls (3x8) and Leg Curls (1x30).

This workout has effectively hit every muscle fiber in my Quads and Hamstrings, and ultimately left me unable to walk without looking like I need a walker. Its also worth noting that Squats will also really hit the Glutes (your bum!), as will the deadlifts.

Its also worth noting that doing heavy compound movements such as Squats and Deadlifts also help the body to release much more natural human growth hormone, to help your body recover and grow.

Its important to remember that when doing this particular workout, you are effectively destroying half of your body, so you'll want to have a post workout protein shake, or meal high in protein immediately after the workout to allow your body to begin the recovery process.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

"Meathead Taco Salad"

The first of many recipes I am going to share.   I am so excited to finally have a minute to type this up.
From one of our favorite books to browse and cook from... 

Men'sHealth: Total Fitness Guide 2008 Muscle Chow by Gregg Avedon

Meathead Taco Salad
"Quick and easy, nutritious and refreshing-make it once and you'll be addicted to this salad."


1/2   pound extra-lean ground beef
2      teaspoons chili powder
3      drops of hot-pepper sauce
1        pinch of ground black pepper
2      cups shredded iceberg lettuce
1      tomato, finely chopped
2      tablespoons shredded low-fat cheddar cheese

How To Make It:

Step 1  Lightly coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray.  Wipe away any excess with a paper towel.  heat the skillet to medium.

Step 2  Add the ground beef and break it apart with a wooden spoon as it's heating up.  Add the chili powder, hot-pepper sauce, and black pepper.  Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or until no longer pink.  Drain and set aside.

Step 3 In a large single-serving bowl, layer the lettuce, beef mixture, tomato and cheese.

(Makes 1 serving)

This is really tasty - but here is how I made it my own:

I replaced the ground beef with ground turkey.  I cut up avocado, some red and yellow peppers, completely omitted the cheese.  Also, I am not a fan of iceberg lettuce.  That said I switched that out for some darker green leafs and some purple too!  For the kids I let them crush up some blue tortilla chips for some added crunch.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Getting Started

With the new year here and quickly on its way, a lot of people will make the resolution to either get BACK into shape, or get in shape for the first time. Either way, jumping headfirst into physical fitness can be intimidating and/ or discouraging. The two biggest things you need to succeed are determination and motivation. Something my father told me when I signed up for the Marine Corps when I was 18, and a few hours from shipping off to Parris Island (slightly intimidating... alright, absolutely frightening) was "Just remember, everyone is going through the same thing you are, you won't be the only one." Very true, and in getting started in physical fitness, its the same. No one jumps into it ALREADY in great shape, but the people who are determined and motivated are the ones who succeed, and this is probably a pretty good parallel that could be drawn to almost anything in life. Goals are important, maybe there is a certain body fat percentage you would like to be, or a certain weight you would like to press. I like to split my goals up quarterly, to achieve benchmarks along the way to my ultimate goal. This keeps things from getting overwhelming, and discouraging. Keeping a daily log of your pre-workout weight, as well as keeping a log while you are working out to track your progress. Dorian Yates, a world class bodybuilder and multiple time Mr Olympia, says never go to the gym without a plan, know what you are going to accomplish and get it done. Who can argue with someone like that?

Something to remember, is pain is part of the process. Don't fear it, EMBRACE IT. When you lift weights, you are literally destroying your muscles, tearing the fibers and daring them to grow back bigger and stronger, so you can do it again. The more you hurt the next couple of days, the more you got accomplished, and ultimately the closer you are to your goals. So, for certain, those first few weeks will be painful, and you may wonder if its worth it, but this is where the motivation and determination comes in. Find a picture of your idea of the perfect physique, tape it to your workout journal... thats the prize, the finish line. Make it happen! Anything worth having is going to be a difficult, your body is worth it. YOU ARE YOUR MAKER.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Healthy Shopping

Saturday I sat down and planned our week long menu.  All healthy meals.  Then we went out and shopped for only what was needed (and healthy!)  This is really vital.  To stick to a list that was created in advance with the right ingredients.  Now not only do you not have to "run to the store" - but you didn't impulse shop.   Knowing what you need can steer you away from spending too much money and buying crappy food.   

Another tip Don't shop hungryEat before you go shopping.  Trust me
You'll leave the store with way less stuff if you are FULL!

I cannot wait to have a minute to sit down and post a couple of recipes to share.  (I didn't write the recipe, but I cooked it, pictured it & ate it!)  Some really yummy dishes coming your way.   
       Zesty Lemon Chicken & Meathead Taco Salad. 
-Bet you can tell what one was with Daddy Deadlifts in mind!

Monday, January 3, 2011

About Daddy Deadlifts

Well, this is my first blog EVER. Not sure what the procedure is on these things, so I figure a good place to start with my first post is to give an idea of what I want this blog to be (my part at least!) as well as a little background on me.

I'm not a Certified health professional in the least, what I hope to do here, is post knowledge that I have gained through my experiences trying to be active and healthy. Workouts that have been successful, as well as ones that weren't what I hoped they would be. Motivational tools that keep me mentally where I need to be after the gym has broken me down. And to have people post their experiences and knowledge as well. My ultimate goal with this blog is for my wife and myself to be able to take what we have learned through trial and error, advice from others and some great reading articles from many health and fitness magazines, and put it in one place for anyone who is interested to be able to take, and apply to there life, hopefully leading to a healthier and more fulfilling lifestyle.

I've been weight training for a steady 3 years or so now, but I've always been fairly active. I served in the Marine Corps for 5 years active, and there was a certain level of fitness that was required. I always had admiration for muscles, I don't know why, but even as a kid (and my mother would tell you) my favorite actors were Arnold and Stallone (not what I would call HOF actors by any means). But it wasn't until I got out of the Marine Corps, that I REALLY got active with physical fitness. I had really let myself go (ballooning from a somewhat lean 150, to an extremely flabby 165) and that's when I decided I needed a change. It wasn't a good example for the kids, and I don't imagine it was very pleasant for my wife to look at! I started researching different methods of working out (things I will get into later down the road, such as HIT vs Split Routines, etc) and eventually joined a gym. I found out that supplements are expensive and learned what was necessary and what wasn't, I learned to really pay attention to Nutritional Labels at the grocery store, and how everything in the food is used by your body (good and bad). It was like learning a new language. It was a lot of fun, and I was feeling great. Then I decided to take a trip out to Las Vegas this past September to check out the Fitness Expo /  Mr. Olympia bodybuilding competition. All I can say is wow. The athletes that I met, the regular folks like myself that I met.. people who really took health and fitness to a new level, really kicked my motivation into a new gear, and I don't think there is any going back.

That's probably longer than a typical post should be, but hey, what the heck. You know a little about me and what my goal is for this blog. I'm looking forward to sharing some of my insight/ lessons learned on this page shortly, and into the future. Stay tuned!

The Truth About Avocados

They are in fact high in fatButWait Keep reading.  It's the good kind.  The monounsaturated fats in avocados are thought to lower the levels of your bad cholesterol and increase your levels of good cholesterol.  Zero sodium & absolutely no cholesterol. 
Looking to increase your fiber intake?  Avocados have about 13 grams for you.   Thought a banana was what you needed for potassium?  Avocados actually have more.

Things I have learned about the avocado

If you want to use it tonight then feel around for a squishy one. (not too squishy!)
If you want to keep it around for more then a couple of days choose a firm but heavy one.  And check for no scars and such on the skin.

Store your avocados out in a "fruit" bowl or on the counter until rippened.  Once they are in the fridge it stops the rippening process.  Which of course means once you have a perfectly ripped avocado put it in the fridge - or better yet - Eat. It.  

If you cannot eat the whole avocado all at once then store it uncut.  I found that this is the best way to not have a brown avocado.  Yuck.  As with many things you can add a squeeze of lemon to your dish with avocado in it to help keep its nice coloring.

For some yummy recipes head over to the Hass website and check out what they have to offer.  They even have a section of kid friendly dishes.  Hello.  Ham & Avocado deviled eggs, count me in.