Viewing entries tagged
Nutrition

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Be Better Cookbook: Easy Ground Beef

I’m just gonna say it… ground beef is under-appreciated.

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Yes, we all love a juicy steak and chicken is like health food’s poster child, but ground beef is delicious and deserves its moment in the spotlight!! We love ground beef because you can do so much with it. Here’s some of our favorite ground beef dishes…

  • Taco Style: with the right seasonings, ground beef turns into taco meat and goes perfectly inside lettuce wraps, over rice, or on a taco salad!

  • Burgers: this is my personal favorite. Mix your burger meat with salt, pepper, and a dash of onion powder, form into patties, and grill to perfection! For the Be Better Challenge, skip the processed bun and have your burger naked topped with all the goodies like peppers & onions, mushrooms, spinach & a fried egg, caramelized balsamic onions… you get the idea. Serve with a side of sweet potato fries!

  • Stuff Something: stuffed peppers come to mind here, but you can stuff lots of veggies with ground beef. You could try zucchini boats, acorn squash, cabbage, and even mushrooms! Pinterest is a treasure trove of recipes like this.

  • Old Faithful: if you’re low on time or want something simple, sautéed ground beef & onions is a perfect go to! Cook small chopped onions in some olive oil, throw in your ground beef, season with salt, pepper, and a dash of onion & garlic powder, & break that ish up so it’s all incorporated in your pan. Cook until your ground beef gets some yummy crispy golden bits. Ground beef like this is perfect with rice, sweet potatoes, on top of salads, or just as a midday snack!

Hello versatility! We recommend getting leaner ground beef (90/10 is good because it’s lean, but not too lean… read: healthy, but not flavorless). Grass fed is king when it comes to the nutrient quality of our beef, but we won’t get too picky with you guys right off the bat ;P

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Be Better Cookbook: Spice Rubbed Chicken Thighs

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Spring time is here and it brought some nicer weather along with it! The sun is out, birds are chirping, and we’re firing up the grill. We’ve got an awesome grilled chicken recipe that will make you never want to eat a dry chicken breast again.

This recipe name is deceiving. This chicken is so easy you don’t even have to actually rub these extremely tasty, insanely flavorful chicken thighs. You can if you want to though, we’re not gonna judge.

Spice Rubbed Chicken Thighs

  • 1 Family Pack Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs

  • 1 Teaspoons Onion Powder

  • 1 Teaspoon Paprika

  • 1 Teaspoon Chipotle Chili Powder

  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cumin

  • 1/2 tsp Oregano

  • Salt & Pepper

  • Olive oil

  1. Preheat your grill to medium high heat.

  2. Grab a large gallon zip lock bag. Measure out and pour in your onion powder, paprika, chipotle chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt & pepper.

  3. Throw in your chicken thighs, zip tight, and shake those thighs up so that they’re covered in your spice rub.

  4. Pour about 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the bag, zip back up, and massage that all around into your chicken.

  5. When your grill is preheated, turn it down to medium heat and place your chicken thighs on the grill. Close the hood and let them cook for 5ish minutes on each side or until you get those nice grill marks on each side or until done to how you like them!

  6. I like to take them off and slice them thin.

Notes: This spice rub definitely changes depending on what I have in my pantry. If you hate cumin, leave it out. If you love rosemary or thyme throw some of that in instead. It’s totally customizable. If this rub is a flavor overload, halve all the spices so there’s less on each piece of chicken. Make it your own and get grillin!

This chicken goes great with almost anything. I especially love it with coconut rice, homemade mango salsa, and some grilled peppers.

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Sneaky Added Sugars

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No added sugars is probably one of the hardest of our Be Better Challenge points to get for real. Added sugars are sneaky. Sometimes we add them ourselves to things like coffee or tea, homemade baked goods, or even sauces and salad dressings. Other times they’re lurking in the processed foods we eat like store bought snacks, protein bars, and yogurts. Even other times we grab, gulp, and chew on things that are almost entirely made of sugar like sodas, energy drinks, and candies.

If you’ve ever seen any of the hundreds of food documentaries that have come out in the last few years, you probably know that lots of sugar is not good for us. People like to say the word excessive, but truthfully we don’t know exactly how much is too much… so we think it’s better to err on the side of caution and minimize added sugars as much as we can.

There are lots of foods that are marketed as healthy, but actually have lots of added sugars. Here’s a few:

  • Flavored yogurt - most yogurts have lots of added sugar

  • Cereal - cereal pretty much turns into straight sugar as you chew it

  • Granola - they might as well just call packaged granola deconstructed cookies

  • Almost fat free anything - they pump these foods with sugar to make them taste better because fat tastes good and without it all is lost

The best way to combat your added sugar cravings is with the naturally occurring sugars in fresh fruits and healthy carbohydrates like sweet potatoes! It’s also important to know that we can’t avoid sugar altogether, and we don’t really have to, but sugars are sneaky so it’s good to be aware of all the places they are hidden and the ways that we’re getting added sugars without even knowing.

Once again, one of your best defenses is to learn how to read nutrition labels & ingredient lists so you know what’s in the foods you’re eating!

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The Low Down on Processed Foods

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So now that we established that we want to eat more real foods during the challenge, we can talk about what we want to eat less of… processed foods.

Processed foods are man made or manipulated. They are like the opposite of real food. They usually come in packages, need nutrition labels, and have ingredient lists. They don’t usually resemble anything you’d find in nature. Some processed foods include…

  • Baked goods & processed grains like bagels, tortillas, breads, pastas, chips, cookies, cakes, etc.

  • Convenience/ready to eat foods like cereals, frozen meals, & energy bars

  • Processed meats like deli meat, cheeses, bacon, sausage, salami, etc.

  • Processed fats & oils like canola oil and vegetable oil. This also includes stuff made with these oils like packaged salad dressings, other condiments, and fried foods.

Processed foods are EVERYWHERE these days. They can be full of chemicals, and other man made stuff that we’re not even sure our bodies can handle. Not only that, but because of all this fake stuff… they taste… so… good. I mean how could they not? Processed foods are manufactured to taste better than real foods with extra sugar and added fats so that you’ll buy more of them… and let me tell you, it usually works. To top it all off, your taste buds get used to all those added stuffs which makes real food taste bland and flavorless.

All hope is lost. … JK! The good news is your taste buds are constantly changing and cutting back on the processed foods can change your taste buds in a big way so that we can start to appreciate the subtle and not overdone flavors of real foods again! HOORAY.

So, How Do We Avoid Processed Foods?

  • Stick to the perimeter of the grocery store.

  • Food prep. Processed foods are often times what we reach for in a pinch because they’re easy and then we get addicted or used to them. A perfect way to combat that is to be prepared with real, whole food snacks prepped in your fridge. Think about cooking extra meats, poultry, and hardboiled eggs for a quick snack. Portion out nuts and seeds with some fresh berries into little snack ziplock bags to eat as is or grab and go with a plain greek yogurt!

  • Don’t get too hungry. Humans are weak. That’s a fact. If you’re STARVING you’re way more likely to crave something sweet and then before you know it you’ve downed that entire box of cookies that was calling to you from the pantry. Eat real foods at pretty regular intervals throughout the day and you won’t feel as strong an urge to splurge on all things processed!

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Eat Real Foods

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Now before we get into some of the things we want you guys to limit during the challenge, we wanted to put an emphasis on the real goal of the be better challenge… to eat more real foods!

You might be saying “Guys, what are real foods? What on earth are you talking about?” Well, real foods are just that… they’re real. They don’t usually come in a package or a box. They almost never have an ingredient list. They definitely aren’t made by man or processed in a factory. They usually come from the ground or from an animal.

Real foods are what you want the bulk of your diet to be made up of. They include meats, fish, whole fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds. Real foods are the food without anything added to it. It’s the thing that came out of the ground, or was picked off a tree, or was walking in a pasture or swimming in water. Don’t think about it too much, real foods are just real.

Tips to Maximize Realness

  • Stick to the perimeter of the grocery store. They keep most of the real stuff around the outside of the grocery store… produce, meats, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, etc. That’s because real foods don’t have a super long shelf life (aka they go bad eventually) while processed foods can sit on a shelf and stay exactly the same for a long time because they’ve been pumped with chemicals to prolong their life.

  • Learn how to read nutrition labels & ingredient lists. Knowing what you’re looking at is huge when considering whether a food is one you should be incorporating into your daily diet.

  • If it has an ingredient list, especially one longer than 5 items, steer clear. This means that food is DEFINITELY processed. Also try to avoid added sugars and sweeteners in foods… more on this later though.

Things Commonly Mistaken as Real Foods… that aren’t

  • deli meat & cheese

  • tv or frozen dinners

  • foods that are fried in processed oils (chicken fingers, french fries, etc.)

All right, that’s enough. Go get eating!

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5 Days of Fit Fuel Prep

Day 3

Islands Burger - beef burger w/ a grilled pineapple slice for a bun with slaw, guacamole, & yucca fries

[Too ugly to photograph]

The Good: Size. I got a good sized patty of beef that ended up tasting pretty good. 

The Not as Good: This burger did not live up to it's photo on the website. The pineapple slice was minuscule, the slaw had gotten tossed all over the container, and the guac had turned brown in its separate container. I was sad eating it. 


Day 4

Rosemary Chicken w/ Truffle Mashed Cauliflower & Spinach

The Good: Mmmmm this chicken was tasty! Well seasoned & not dried out at all. The mash was a little weird, but not in a bad way. I actually enjoyed mixing it up a little bit with the sides.

The Not as Good: Like a broken record, I'm gonna have to say it wasn't quite enough food for me. I still felt a little hungry so plopped on two spoonfuls of potato salad that was leftover from Monday. The spinach was cooked a tad more than I like, but still tasted good. 


Stay tuned! One day left!

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5 Days of Fit Fuel Prep

Remember our Fit Fuel Prep Meal Demo night last week? Well, we decided to get a week's worth of meals, test them all out to see how feasible ordering healthy meals from a service like fit fuel prep really is, and let you all in on our thoughts! 

We can be pretty busy people. We like to eat good and eat quite a bit, but sometimes work & life & unexpected nonsense can get in the way. Lunch is kind of our most difficult meal. We end up going out most afternoons for lunch between classes at the gym or work and spending up & around 12 bucks for a little bit of not always healthy food and some coffee. We decided we would most benefit from some meals for lunch. Here's how the first 2 went...

Day 1

Salmon & Purple Mashed Taters

Reheated in a sautee pan with some kerrygold butter.

The Good: These mashed potatoes! Mmmmm purple mashed potatoes are good & so much fun. There were plenty so I wasn't still feeling overly hungry after lunch either. I also felt healthy AF eating this.

The Not as Good: Fish was a little fishy. I'm not a huge fan of leftover fish in general & that holds true here for already cooked & reheated fish. Not terrible by any means, but not necessarily great for me either. 


Day 2

Spanish Style London Broil w/ Spinach & Sweet Potatoes

Reheated in a sautee pan w/ some kerrygold butter.

The Good: Taste. This meal was so tasty. There was great flavor on the meat, the potatoes were super tender, and the spinach was still nice and leafy so it never got overcooked. Then there was this UH-mazing sauce to put all over it. 

The Not as Good: The amount. It wasn't quite enough food for me so I added some leftover steak from last night, some more spinach, and some more potatoes (in potato salad form).


Stay tuned for days 3, 4, & 5!

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Fit Fuel Prep Demo

Ever wish you could get a healthy & fresh meal delivered right to your door? How about a week's worth? Well, in this day & age there are meal prep services out there that can make those wild wishes a reality. Fit Fuel Prep is one of those services. 

Based out of New Brunswick, Fit Fuel Prep delivers healthy meals fresh & locally to customers door steps in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, & Pennsylvania. Customers choose from a menu that changes weekly, and get meals delivered to them on Mondays.

Jersey Devil CrossFit will be hosting a Fit Fuel Prep Demo on Tuesday, May 10th right in the gym for members who would like to learn more about the service & try out some of their foods! 

Don't miss out! If you'd like more info about the company check out their website here. 

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