Tag Archives: Paleo

The Best Baby Back Ribs Ever!

The Best Baby Back Ribs Ever!

I’ve cooked tons of Baby Back Ribs over the last 25 years as a chef in the restaurant biz. But today I had the best batch ever! On top of that it turned out to be easy peasy. First, you have to have a good product to start with and I bought the meatiest ribs ever from Costco! Holy cow, they were the best. Like I said I’ve cooked a lot of baby backs over the years, purchased from quality meat vendors, but these were perfect!

And second you have to settle on the cooking method. In my restaurants I actually braised the ribs for 3 hours in the oven after putting on my special rub. I used my special rub, but I used my InstaPot pressure cooker to do the major part of the cooking. Instead of 3 hours, they cooked perfectly in just 30 minutes!

So here we go!

Ingredients

  • 1 full slab of baby back ribs
  • 1 tbl olive oil
  • 2 tsps smoked paprika
  • 1 tbl dried oregano
  • 2 tbls minced fresh garlic
  • 2 cups white wine (for cooking, not for you!)
  • your favorite low sugar BBQ sauce

Method for the Best Baby Back Ribs

  1. Cut the slab of ribs in half so they fit in the pressure cooker
  2. Pour the olive oil on the ribs and rub to spread it all over
  3. Sprinkle the ribs with the smoked paprika, oregano and minced garlic
  4. Rub into the meat
  5. Put the white wine in the pressure cooker and then place the ribs in the pot
  6. Close the lid and press the pressure cook button, set the timer for 30 minutes on high pressure
  7. When the cook time is up, release the steam from the pressure cooker
  8. Carefully take the ribs out, brush with you BBQ sauce and then grill or broil them to caramelize the sauce
  9. Eat with your favorite vegetable!

Note: If you don’t have a pressure cooker, place the ribs in a roasting pan, add the wine and 4 cups of water, cover and bake at 350 for 3 hours.

 

Foods in the News – Avocados, Flaxseed, Cherries

Foods in the News – Avocados, Flaxseed, Cherries

Avocados are good! They do have fat, but its a good fat. Want a completely different way to eat avocado?  Here’s my recipe for Avocado Chocolate Mousse! Did you know that an avocado has more potassium than a banana? Plus there’s lots of other health benefits. Check it out by clicking here.

Canola Oil is bad! (Its about time the news broke!)

Flaxseed is good stuff! It has four times more Omega-3s than Omega-6s, so by eating flaxseed you can bring your Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio back in balance to reduce systemic inflammation. I put some flaxssed oil on cottage cheese and it that or I add some flaxseed oil to my smoothies.
70 Reasons to eat more flax seed.
Extend your life with Flaxseed!

Did you know cherries contain natural melatonin? That’s right! Eat some cherries or drink some tart cherry juice and get a good nights sleep! I buy frozen tart cherries from Costco and use them in my smoothies. Read more here!

My father died of colon cancer when I was 13 years old. And I had a brother in his 50s die of liver cancer. So I’m kind of obsessed with cancer and keeping it at bay. Cancer loves sugar! So the Primal diet is perfect because its all about lowering your carb (sugar) intake. Here’s an article entitled “Six ways to diffuse your cancer time bomb”.

 

Let’s Make a Beautiful Avocado Presentation

Avocado Presentation 101

I always wondered about how people make such beautiful presentations with there avocados, so I thought I’d give it a try! The most important things are a nice fresh, yet semi soft, avocado and a sharp knife!

First slice your avocado in half. (I hope its beautiful on the inside!)

Then peel the skin off one half. If your avocado is too soft this will be really hard. You may have to use your knife to cut the skin a little to start peeling.

Once your avocado half is fully peeled, lay it flat side down on a cutting board. Cut thin slices wit your sharp knife. If the avocado slices stick to your knife, just wet your knife from the sink faucet and proceed.

Once its cut, grab it with both hands and start turning the ends into a circle. I put the smaller end of the avocado into the middle of the circle.

Use a thin metal spatula to take it off the cutting board and move it to your plate. Viola!

I eat a lot of avocados. Did you know avocados are a fruit?! They have vitamins C, E, K, and B-6, as well as riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and potassium. More potassium than a banana and a lot less sugar. Although the fat content is high, but that’s what I eat! A low carb high fat diet! I especially like them with my eggs for breakfast.

Not as pretty, but it will be the next time!

To find out more about being Primal, subscribe to my blog and I’ll give you my free eBook entitled “Being Primal” for free! And if you really want to dive in, sign up for my Intro to Primal Paleo Challenge. You can also check out my success story on Marks Daily Apple. It could be your success story too! See you on the skinny side!

 

Food for Thought – Sausages

Food for Thought – Sausages!

When you start eating Primal, sausages are good, but you have to get the right kind! You have to watch out for preservatives and nitrates and such. So, uncured would be the best (for bacon too). Take a look at these that I found in a Sprouts store. All good things on the label!

Don’t forget Costco

Lot’s of Organic, natural products hitting the shelves at Costco. I love the Polish Sausages. Grass fed, no hormones or preservatives and grades all around. I heat them up in my air fryer so the outside gets crisp and inside its all juicy deliciousness. Make elongated Oopsie Rolls for “bread”, top it with raw organic sauerkraut and Primal Kitchen Mustard and you have a Polish Sausage Sandwich that even a Chicagoan would love!

Homemade?

Yes, that’s right you can make sausages at home! I’ve made a bunch in my restaurant over the years and did all the hard work including stuffing them in pig intestines. What did you think they used? There are some sausages with a non-animal casing. Some don’t even have a casing. “Skinless” hot dogs and the big tube of breakfast sausage like Jimmy Dean’s. You can make sausage mixtures and just hand form them into logs or patties and the cooking will bind them together! But that’s for another post!

To find out more about being Primal, subscribe to my blog and I’ll give you my free eBook entitled “Being Primal” for free! And if you really want to dive in, sign up for my Intro to Primal Paleo Challenge. You can also check out my success story on Marks Daily Apple. It could be your success story too! See you on the skinny side!

 

The Art of Walking for Weight Loss

The Art of Walking for Weight Loss

When  I weighed in at over 300 pounds I couldn’t exercise much except for walking. But it turns out walking is a great for weight loss. Of course, you have to eat the right foods in addition to walking. You can’t just eat Big Macs with Fries and Vanilla Shakes and then walk some and lose a lot of weight or any weight at all. But if you ate the right Primal foods and walked some you could start losing weight.

First, Start Eating Primal

Once you start eating Primal you will train your body to start burning fat instead of relying on carbohydrates to fuel your activities.  When you’re eating lots of carbs your body burns the carbs first. If you’re not doing any exercising whatsoever (like me for a while) the carbs you’re eating gets stored as fat.

Above, Wedge Salad with Pork Belly! Primal lunch!

Sedentary Lifestyle Problems

If you don’t do any exercise whatsoever, your muscles and liver will never get rid of their glycogen stores. That means insulin will only be able to store excess carbs as fat! And if you eat any fat with those carbs, it’ll store that in your fat cells too! Double whammy!

Here’s my favorite example. I like pro football. When that starts up I’m mesmerized in front of the TV watching my favorite sport. So when Sunday rolls around, there are three games to watch! In the old days, I would just sit in my lazy boy watching the games only to get up to go to the washroom, or make a drink, or eat some terrible snack like potato chips and dip. So how did I change?

Secondly, Start Moving

I started DVRing the games! I’d actually go for a walk while the games were still on! Which actually works out kind of nice because I can fast forward through all those stinking commercials! There’s a lot of commercials! I also started watching a lot of the action standing up and moving around and I also stopped drinking and started eating good Primal snacks! (I now have a drink occasionally)

So start eating Primal like I mentioned above. Then you got to start moving. No more lazy boy! Here’s my second favorite story… My wife and I went on a week’s vacation to Seattle in 2018. We took a taxi from the airport to where we were staying, which was close to downtown Seattle. So we didn’t rent a car. We walked everywhere! We ate (and drank) pretty good. When we got back home we found that we both lost weight! Gotta love that!

So now you’re eating Primal and picked up your movement. You’re walking a lot and when you watch TV you move around a bit. Even if you sit at work, get up every half hour, stretch and walk around, even if its just circling your desk.

Kick it Up a Notch!

So now you’re eating right and you’re moving and walking. What else can you do for your weight loss goals? How about a bike ride? Play tennis? When my wife and I “play” tennis, we don’t keep score and actually try to keep the volley going for as long as we can! We also play frisbee, badminton and play a game of IT! Remember IT? I’m not talking about Information Technology. I’m talking about the old schoolyard game of tag, you’re IT!  If you’re not there yet, try walking after every meal even if its only for 5 or 10 minutes. It will help with your blood sugar control.

Welcome to Expert Status

OK, so now you’ve been eating Primal for a while and walking regularly and every now and then you “play”. Great! How about going for a walk in a fasted state?! That’s right! So when you get up in the morning, go for a walk before eating anything. You’re now a fat burner (because you’ve been eating Primal for a while), so if you don’t have any ingested fat to use for fuel, you will start to burn the fat off your body! And if you’re eating Primal and walking and exercising and if you’re not stressed out all the time, guess what? You’ll be getting better sleep and because you’re a fat burner, you could even lose weight while you’re sleeping! That’s right! While your body is healing itself at night while your sleeping, it will use the fat on your body to fuel the process! Fantastic!

That’s the Art, Now the Science

Its all about your heart rate. Subtract your age from 208. Take that number and multiply it by .55 (55%) to get the low end of your fat burning zone and then multiply it by .75 (75%) to get the high end of your fat burning zone. So if your 60 years old, 208 – 60 = 148. For the low end 148 x .55 = 81. For the high end 148 x .75 = 111. So if you keep your heart rate between 81 and 111 beats per minute, you are BURNING FAT!

To find out more about being Primal, subscribe to my blog and I’ll give you my free eBook entitled “Being Primal” for free! And if you really want to dive in, sign up for my Intro to Primal Paleo Challenge. You can also check out my success story on Marks Daily Apple. It could be your success story too! See you on the skinny side!

Broccoli Stir Fry

Broccoli Stir Fry

I’ve eaten a lot of Beef Broccoli Stir Fry. I made it for myself and my staff in my restaurants. So for this one I had a raw steak and some leftover cooked broccoli. I wanted to cook the steak around lunch time, refrigerate it and then make the stir fry when my wife got home for dinner and use some of the cold steak in the dish while it was cooking. But things happened and the steak was still raw at dinner time. So when my wife got home, I started up the grill, put the steak on and in the 12 minutes it took to cook the steak, the stir fry was done! OK, here we go…

Ingredients

  • 1 tbl butter, or avocado oil, or coconut oil
  • Half of yellow onion, peeled, sliced
  • 1 small carrot, peeled, halved, cut into thin slices
  • 1 red sweet bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 small can of sliced water chestnuts
  • 1 cup leftover cooked broccoli, chopped
  • 1 tsp lemon grass paste
  • 1 tsp cilantro paste, or fresh cilantro to taste
  • 1 tbl Hoisin sauce
  • 2 tsp ginger paste, or 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbl soy sauce

Here’s a pick of the store bought “pastes”

Method

You have just 12 minutes to get this done while the steak is cooking. OK, sorry about that. No steak, this is just a vegetable recipe. But let me say this. I don’t ever cut up all my ingredients and then start cooking. So with the above ingredients, I would prep the onion and start cooking it in the pan. Then I’d prep the carrot, add that to the pan and so on! Everybody does that right?

  1. Melt butter in a fry pan or wok
  2. Add yellow onion and cook until limp
  3. Add carrots, cook while prepping bell pepper
  4. Add can of sliced water chestnuts
  5. Add leftover broccoli, cook some more, toss it all around, do the hokey pokey, etc
  6. Add the remaining ingredients and stir or toss to combine and bring up to heat

Enjoy!

Braised Pork Belly with Jack Daniels

Braised Pork Belly

I love bacon and that means I really love pork belly because pork belly is what they use to make bacon! I once stopped in a little bar/restaurant that had pork belly sliders as a special that day. I love pork belly, so I tried them. Here’s what they did. They cut three chunks out of a raw pork belly and dropped them into the fryer! Not good! Tough as heck! It was cooked through, but you need a little more TLC than that! I always braise my pork belly first. This gets it nice and tender. OK, here we go…

Ingredients

  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled
  • 3 stalks of celery, rinsed, ends removed
  • 3 large carrots, peeled, ends removed
  • 1 fennel bulb, peel the outer layer if dirty, otherwise rinse well. Save some of the green fronds
  • 1 raw pork belly (I buy mine at Costco)
  • 2 tbl fennel seed
  • 2 tbl mixed peppercorns
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cups chicken bone broth
  • 1 cup of your favorite booze like Jack Daniels or Maker’s Mark
  • 1/4 cup Maple Syrup made with Monk Fruit sweetener, or you can use real Maple Syrup because its not that much overall

Method

1. Chop up the first 4 ingredients and put them in the bottom of a roasting pan with the saved green fronds from the fennel bulb

2. Score the top of the pork belly in a diamond pattern making sure you only cut into the fat portion

3. Coarsely grind the spices up in a grinder and sprinkle them over the top of the pork. Rub into the pork making sure you get some into the crevasses you cut into the pork belly fat. If you don’t have a spice grinder (I use an old coffee grinder) you can put the spices in a plastic bag and roll over it with a rolling pin.

4. Place the pork belly on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan.

5. Add the chicken stock, booze and maple syrup to a mixing bowl or measuring cup and stir to combine. Gently pour it over the pork.

6. Sprinkle some salt on top and place the pan in a preheated 300 degree oven. I used my smoker for some added flavor from the smoke, but this will be just fine in a regular oven.

7. Cook for 4 hours, making sure all the liquid does not evaporate! Add some water if it looks like its getting too low. Check halfway.

8. The above pic is about halfway through

9. The above pic is at the end of 4 hours

10. Carefully remove the pork from the roasting pan to a cutting board and let rest. I use two large metal spatulas to get the pork belly out. Be careful, otherwise it may fall apart!

11. Meanwhile, I put the veggies in my food processor. I put what was left of the juices in a fat separator cup and while the processor was running, I added the broth and threw out the fat. You can add a bit more of the booze and maple syrup to punch up the flavor, if you want. Also, a pinch of salt.

12. A nice smooth sauce is the result.

13. Put a large dollop on your plate and smear it across. Then put your serving of pork on top. Eat with your favorite vegetable.  To reheat the pork belly, I like using my air fryer because it gets it nice and crispy, but you have to be careful not to burn the top. If the top of your pork belly is already dark, just lay the topside down in the air fryer. You can also use the pork belly like bacon, fry it in a pan, and make a great BLT. You can also cut it into small pieces and air fry it or pan fry it for a great salad topping. Great Wedge Salad!

Yum!

 

My Journey Through the Healthcare System – The Money Trail

Over a 5 Year Span I Spent over $100,000 on healthcare!

I opened a restaurant in Arizona and as an employer I had to fend for myself to get health insurance for me and my wife. Obamacare was going to be the end all answer for everyone! So I signed up for coverage for my wife and I with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (a non-profit charitable organization). Our premiums were $1,200 a month with $5,000 deductible EACH! During this period of time I was overweight, Type II diabetic and had high blood pressure. I had a lot of aches and pains and other health problems that maxed out the deductible for those 5 years. So I paid $15,000 a year in premiums while spending an additional $5,000 a year to cover deductibles. So $20,000 for 5 years equals $100,000. And after spending all this money on my health, how was I feeling? Absolutely terrible!

I could go on and on about how inefficient our healthcare system is, but I’ll just say a few things about that. Isn’t it frustrating that you go into your doctor’s office for an appointment that you’ve waited a long time for only to find out you need a test or a scan. And it then takes weeks to get that done! Hopefully things don’t get worse or you don’t die while waiting! And the prices on everything! Nobody talks about prices and if you did they probably would look at you like you’re from outer space.

Ouch! But its just a cut, right?

I had an employee cut himself while prepping food. The bleeding stopped, we bandaged him up and we put a glove on him. I thought everything was ok, but when he got home his wife made him go to the hospital emergency room! He got 3 stitches at $300 each for a total bill of $900 which my worker’s comp insurance paid. And then the insurance company dropped me and I had to hustle to find another company at way bigger premiums. Next time, go to Urgent Care where stitches are only $100 each!

Last story… I had a colonoscopy and upper endoscopy done at the same time. I got a bill for two anesthesiologist services! Why? I was out already. Why two charges? I don’t know! How about this, during my first colonoscopy and upper endoscopy 10 years earlier, they didn’t put me out at all! I watched it all on a TV screen! No anesthesiologist! I guess they made changes because everybody has got to make some money!

OK, this really is the last story! This happened when I was a newbie on Medicare. I had a lump on my foot that at times was causing me severe foot pain. The foot doctor I was referred to made it sound like it was a simple operation that could be done in his office, but when he found out I was on Medicare the whole thing was moved to the hospital and another anesthesiologist was involved! Big bucks, but Medicare paid it. Hallelujah!

So I Went Primal and My Life Changed!

So after spending all this money on healthcare and not really feeling any better I thought I have to do something on my own. At one point in time I did have a doctor tell me to lose weight, but he did not elaborate on how to do it or what was the best way to do it. Doctors, with all the training they get, take only one class in nutrition! So I decided to lose weight with the ultimate goal of getting off my meds. I was taking Type II Diabetes meds and High Blood Pressure meds. The meds had a lot of “side effects”. So after doing some research on the web I decided to turn Primal and my life immediately got better!

Success!

Long story short, I lost 70 pounds and got off all my meds! And guess what? Doctor’s visits have gone way down. Procedures and scans have gone way down. I wish I would have done this a lot earlier because I would have SAVED A LOT OF MONEY! I would have saved my deductible anyway and that amounted to more than $25,000 over those 5 years. That buys a lot of grass fed beef!

The Moral of the Story

The whole Standard American Diet food pyramid is out of whack! Don’t follow it! Carbs are bad! Limit your carbs to as low as you can go. Stop eating sugar and things that turn into sugar. Don’t be overweight! I know in this age of political correctness its not nice to body shame anyone. That you are perfect no matter what. But I’ll tell you from my experience of being overweight for a long period of time, its just not healthy! Lose the weight and you’ll feel better. You’ll cut down on doctor’s visits, health problems, procedures and not to mention all the time saved by not having to do all those things. As the Primal caveman Grok once said, “Live long and drop dead!”

I have a Intro to Primal Class on my website that I charge $21 for. Not a bad deal considering all those insurance premiums and doctor visit prices! Its all about the food!