Flavor in Food
At Whole Foods today I saw that they had some Harpoon Caught Swordfish so I bought a fillet which was just less than a pound. Whole Foods had a flyer on Swordfish which showed several recipes and 5 cooking techniques for the swordfish, so I picked it up and decided that the Pan-Seared Swordfish with Summer Salad and Arugula was the simplest and the fact that I had most of the ingredients at home already made it a simple choice for dinner.
Here’s the recipe:
2 nectarines or peaches, diced
½ Cup diced red onion
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 tablespoons lime juice
½ teaspoon se salt
6 cups baby arugula
3 ½ teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 (6-ounce) swordfish steaks, about 1 inch thick
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Using the nectarines, red onion, cilantro, ¼ teaspoon of salt and lime juice you toss in a mixing bowl to create a “summertime salsa”. Then take the arugula and 1 teaspoon of the olive oil, and toss in a separate bowl.
I took my one fillet and cut them into two pieces each weighing about 7 ounces. I used a dry rub, on both sides which was a habanero based fish rub; I also lightly salted and peppered the fish. The recipe calls for searing the swordfish in a pan for 6-8 minutes. I decided to use dry heat and broiled the fish. The Whole Foods Card calls for 7 to 8 minutes for 6 oz steaks, I cooked them for 9 minutes in the broiler.
The arugula olive oil mix serves as the base to your plate, which is topped by the summertime salsa, and the swordfish the cherry on this yummy dish.
What I found incredible out this meal was how simple the preparation was and how much flavor I tasted in the salad, and fish. Lime juice is a great tool in cooking, coupled with cilantro it taste fantastic. The arugulas slightly bitter flavor created a nice counter balance to the salsa.
I’m recently learning that food doesn’t require heaping mounds of sauce, in fact in the past food was more of a sauce delivery method. I don’t think I could have distinguished the difference between chicken, pork, or beef because it would be consumed with so much sauce it might as well have been sauce with a side of protein. The same went for salads; I would have to add so much dressing to the salad that the greens in it would wilt, looking like wet pieces of paper.
The biggest change in my life over the past three plus months is my eating. Without this change I would not have lost the amount of weight which I have, I’m sure that if I had continued to eat the way I used yet kept up this present workout regime that I would have lost only a fraction of the weight which I have lost, the workouts involve such small periods of time. Over the course of my life I’m sure the time spent preparing, thinking, and eating food dwarfs the amount of time spent working out, yet too often people only focus on the physical aspect of creating motion and trying to “burn” away the weight. We are so confused about what you actually need to lose weight.
It’s an emotional change which triggers a conscious change in what you decide to put into your body that makes the difference. This is something that has taken me a long time to figure out, and it is something that Fitness Ridge helped me start in terms of day to day activity but this understanding that I had to change myself and how I viewed food was something that I can only be discovered on your own through difficult times.
It’s frustrating to know that I have spent most of my life not really eating food, but just devouring calories. Meals in the past were more about satiating a bizarre addiction to large amounts of empty calories. That term didn’t register with me until about a month ago.
I’ve heard it all the time “empty calories”, what they should be called is useless calories. They were worth calories because they didn’t give my body what it needed to function. The worst part about it is that I really didn’t even enjoy the taste of what I was eating, it was a compulsive drive.
Today I find myself finding joy in a simple dish of broiled Swordfish, arugula salad and summertime salsa. Simple components put together to provide my body the nourishment it needs, and satisfies my emotional need to taste something. When things taste good it’s incredible how much more satiated I feel overall. I think 4 months ago 3 out of every 4 meals ended in being full but not satisfied with what I ate, I now find the only time I’m not fulfilled with my food is when I choose to eat out, and that choice is at a place that only serves crap.
Lime juice, cilantro, red onion, and nectarine bits were like having a taste bud orgy in my mouth. I am looking forward to discovering more flavor combinations like the one I learned today. How much better is life when you not only eat enough, but eat well…
9:30 AM Crossfit Session
This morning Alison the coach for this session showed up a bit late, so the actual class was shorten by a few minutes. We started with a 5 minute pre-warm up for jumping rope.
The jump rope time was supposed to be broken up with variations of jump rope. It was a players choice of either the standard jump, one legged, double-unders, or “running man” which I have no idea what that’s all about. In any case I stuck with doing just regular jump rope; I’m just beginning to feel comfortable jumping, and find it amazing how quickly I can go from feeling light and nimble to feeling like a big fat ogre. My goal was to go for as long as I could, take short 10-15 second breaks and then pick it up for more time jumping. My coordination was a bit off, as I kept dropping the rope, and had a hard time getting started.
This five minute jumping rope was followed by a Crossfit warm-up doing a few reps of 5 different Crossfit motions. We were told to use a light weight bar, and do 3 Shoulder Presses, 3 Push presses, 3 Push Jerks, 5 Good Mornings, and 5 Squats. This was done for 8 minutes. The prescribed warm up time actually was 10 minutes, but I think Allison cut back so we had more time to do our weighted push presses. I finished about 10 rounds during this part of the warm-up.
When the 8 minuets was over Allison led us in a bit of stretching, preparing our bodies for the push jerks and eventual Metcon. We had about 20-22 minutes to complete 4 sets of 3 connected push-presses. What I mean by that is we could rest between sets but during a set we could not rest, which meant as soon as we reached the top of the press we would have to return the bar back to that starting position, and immediately push again.
This video is not from today, but I wanted to put one in to show a push press.
My work set started at 125 lbs, eventually working up to 145lbs on my final set. It felt good; a few times I could feel my right shoulder hinder the use of a heavier weight. In fact as the weight got heavier I’m almost certain my right said trailed my left to the top of the motion.
The final part of the workout involved our Metcon of the day. On the surface it appeared to be really easy. 5 Burpees, 10 box jumps, for five minutes. To put it succinctly it sucked. I was shooting for 6 rounds, but ending up doing 5.
The first two rounds I felt good, and could feel how strong my legs and body have become. Beginning with the third set of burpees I was looking for mommy. Doing the box jumps on the middle level stand turned out to be harder than I expected. This is the highest that I’ve worked with box jumps, so in terms of technique they looked like shit; I just couldn’t keep it connected. I should have started with the lower stand.
As soon as Crossfit ended, I had ate an apple, a piece of Mahi Mahi, and drink a quart of water before my 11 AM session with Ali, I did this while walking to Washington Sports Club.
11:00 AM WSC Ali
In mentally preparing for my workout with Ali I had to tell myself I wasn’t tired, and that I was ready to punch the lights out. The reality of how I felt was, a baby who wanted lunch, and a nap.
We started with Kettle bell swings, doing two handed Russian Kettle bells, and one handed figure eight kettle bell swings. The video below we actually shot at the end of the session because I forgot to record it during the beginning. You will see the video is longer than it needed to be because failure has a price. Every time I dropped it Ali had me go for another 30 seconds.
My first round of boxing after the kettle bell swings was weak. I don’t think my legs were ready for boxing. I had to push myself hard to get the energy to pop the gloves. In between boxing stints Ali had me do crunches, and planks to work my core.
He also had me to a really crappy set of work involving squats, and flipping the heavy bag across the aerobics floor. You can watch the video below, the expression on my face should tell you how bad it sucked.
Ali also worked some chest work into the session. I did a bit of chest the day before, but I think Ali wants to see how much weight I can push. Before doing the dumbbell chest presses, he had me go through a cycle of a 45 second push-up planks, then 10 reps of falling forward with a medicine ball toss and push-up, another 45 second push-up plank, 10 assisted push-ups pressing down on the medicine ball, and resistance band flies on one knee.
After the cycle above we went right to the bench. I did 1 set of 10 reps using 55 lbs, and tried to do 6 reps at 85 lbs dumbbells. I was able to get 3 reps in with the 85 lbs dumbbells before my right side failed, I actually got a 4th rep in with my left side, but the right shoulder just couldn’t’ handle it.
He had me move from this position to a lying back on the resistance ball, where I did 20 reps at 35 lbs. Ali then had me go through another cycle of planks, medicine ball toss, plank, push-ups, and flies.
The rest of the session involved more boxing, more core work, and a final set of kettle bell figure eights. When we were finished I was ready for lunch, and a nap. Yes I have been complaining for lunch and a nap most of the day.
Originally I had planned some cardio in the evening, yet I decided I needed to take care of some personal things. I do plan on adding another workout tomorrow to make up for today. Crossfit workouts are turning out to be more draining than I originally anticipated.
I took some time for me today, and don’t have a problem with it. This is a marathon for the rest of my life, and not a sprint to some arbitrary number that I have in my mind.