Reno Personal Trainer: Teriyaki Chicken Tropical Salad

Nutrition, Recipe No Comments »

This salad is fun and full of flavor, made with nutrient-packed microgreens, sweet mango, tender teriyaki chicken and guilt-free onion rings. Eat this and give your body the protein it needs as well as a healthy serving of fiber.

Servings: 6

Here’s what you need…

  • 4 organic, free-range chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup Organic Teriyaki Sauce
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • dash of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup coconut milk, full fat
  • 1 omega-3 egg
  • 4 cups organic micro greens or mixed greens
  • 1 fresh, ripe organic mango, sliced
  • 4 Tablespoons organic goat cheese, crumbled

Cooking Instructions:

Rinse the chicken breasts. Place in a large ziplock bag with the teriyaki sauce, mix until all the chicken is coated. Place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. (Do it overnight for even better flavor!)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet with coconut oil.

In a shallow bowl combine the almond meal, salt and garlic powder. In another shallow bowl whisk the coconut milk and egg.

Dip each onion ring in the milk mixture and then coat with the almond meal mixture. Place on prepared baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, flip each onion ring, then return to oven for an additional 10 minutes.

Heat a grill pan and lightly coat with coconut oil. Place the chicken breasts on the grill pan, and cook 4 minutes each side, until there is no longer any pink in the middle.

Remove chicken from heat and slice.

Prepare each plate with a pile of micro greens, sliced mango, goat cheese crumbles, a few onion rings and then top with teriyaki chicken.

Nutrition Info: Each serving has: 366 calories, 2g fat,  23g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, and 40g protein

Reno Personal Trainer

Make Brussels Sprouts Delicious!

Nutrition, Recipe 1 Comment »

Brussels sprouts are the classic vegetable everyone jokes about hating:

But I figure the only reason these aren’t your favorite vegetable is that you’ve never cooked them Momofuku style!

When you cook them properly, brussels sprouts take on a crispy, caramelized quality that makes them freakin’ addictive.  David Chang, the chef behind the Momofuku restaurant group actually had to take them off the menu at one of his eateries.

Every single table ordered them.  It was ridiculous.  I would’ve had to dedicate one of my cooks to doing nothing but cooking sprouts all night.

Here’s how to turn brussels sprouts from boring and ordinary to a delicious favorite that even kids won’t stop eating.

The sprouts Chang took off the menu were pan roasted with crispy chunks of bacon and then tossed in pureed kimchi.  At another restaurant, he deep-fried them and tossed them in fish sauce.  And at Ko (a restaurant with only 12 seats!) he browned them in a skillet, tossed them in sriracha hot sauce, and served them with a squirt of lime juice.

Basically, you can’t f*ck them up,” Chang says, “Cook the Sh*t out of them; just don’t turn them in to charcoal.  They’re really resilient to strong flavors.  They’re incredibly forgiving.

The key to brussels sprouts isn’t the flavoring, it’s how you cook them.  Get the first part right and you can give them any kind of a spin you want.  Your secret is to give them an evenly browned finish.

Slice the sprouts lengthwise, then cook them cut side down.  I like to use nitrite-free bacon fat (I’ve written about uncured bacon before here: Sodium Nitrites Are Not A Good Idea)

A cast-iron skillet on your stovetop is the best way to get a delicious carmelization.  But if you’re cooking for a large group you can easily lay them down on a baking sheet and roast them in a hot oven.

Brussels sprouts cooked right don’t need anything more than some salt and lemon juice.  Anything else you want to add is totally up to you :)

Here’s a recipe straight from David Chang (serves 4):

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fresh brussels sprouts
  • 1/4 pound thick cut bacon (get uncured!)
  • Butter (optional, get butter from grass-fed cows)
  • Sriracha hot sauce (also called “rooster sauce”)
  • Lime
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degress
  2. Trim the hard ends off the sprouts, then slice in half lengthwise
  3. Cut the bacon into small pieces and cook in an ovenproof skillet over medium heat until crispy (about 5 minutes). Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate
  4. Drain most of the fat from the pan and add the sprouts cut side down.  Raise the heat to medium high and sear until sprouts begin to sizzle.  Put the skillet in the oven and roast until the sprouts are deeply browned (about 8 minutes), then shake the pan to flip them over.  Pull the pan from the oven when the sprouts are bright green and fairly tender (about 10 minutes more)
  5. Return the pan to your stovetop over medium heat.  Stir in the bacon and, optionally, a pat or two of butter.  Swirl until evenly mixed.
  6. Place in a bowl and add a few squirts of sriracha and a squeeze or two of fresh lime juice.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve with anything!

Apple Pie Scrambled Eggs: Paleo-Style!

Nutrition, Recipe 3 Comments »

I liked my Paleo Peach and Pecan Scrambled Eggs so much that I decided to experiment with apples scrambled with eggs!

Now, I usually recommend stuffing your breakfast with vegetables because it’s a great way to get in a few extra servings (Here’s the Hyper Veggie Breakfast Scramble), but sometimes the though of another plate of eggs and spinach at 4 in the morning is too much to handle.

Since I grew up surrounded by apple orchards, they seemed like the perfect fruit to experiment with next.  And what’s the best apple dish?  …. Apple Pie!

Early versions included chopping and toasting almonds to make a “crust” for the apple/egg mix.  But they didn’t taste right and it took an extra ten minutes to chop and toast the nuts.  (Minutes matter when you’re making breakfast!)

After 3 or 4 attempts I landed on an apple and egg breakfast dish that not only tastes so good you’ll want to skip the fork and use your hands, it also makes your house smell like Christmas-time when the cinnamon apples are cooking in coconut oil!

Here’s what I use:

  • Organic Gala Apple
  • 6 Omega-3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
  • Cinnamon!

You might cut down on the number of eggs, or use a different kind of apple.  Most of the fun in paleo-style cooking is finding out what you like best.

Ok, chop up the apple and dash some cinnamon over the top.  (I like the taste of cinnamon, it is also anti-estrogenic and helps improve insulin sensitivity – two VERY good things for your body)

Next heat the coconut oil in a pan over medium-high heat:

Once the coconut oil has coated the pan, throw in the cinnamon-covered chopped apples and let them cook.  I usually figure on 5 minutes for them to cook through.

While the apples are cooking, whisk together the eggs, coconut milk, and some cinnamon:

Pour the cinnamon-coconut-egg mix into the pan:

THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT: Keep everything moving.  You don’t want the eggs browning to the bottom of the pan.  Just keep sliding your spatula around making sure nothing is in one place long enough to stick:

Once the eggs have cooked through, you’re ready to eat!  I like to enjoy mine with a mug of green tea and a cool exercise book:

That’s it!  Fast, easy, and delicious!

Stay tuned for more cool paleo recipes, I found a website that has bear, yak, and turtle meat.  Can’t wait to try it!

Bootcamp Fuel: Paleo Peach and Pecan Scramble

Nutrition, Recipe 2 Comments »

All right, when I first say this recipe in The Paleo Solution I thought gross!

But it hovered in the back of my mind, like the smell of my wrestling shoes in the back seat of my car.

(Ok, bad analogy)

One of the things I’m doing right now is trying 3 new paleo recipes a week, and I figured it was time for an experiment.

“Peach and pecan scramble,” I said, “let’s do this thing.”

First, I doubled all of the ingredients, if you want yours smaller, cut them in half.

Paleo Peach And Pecan Scramble Ingredients:


  • 2 tsp coconut oil (recipe called for olive oil, but I respect the ‘nut)
  • 1 peach, diced (peaches at the store looked sketchy, so I bought canned peaches in JUICE, not SYRUP, and rinsed them off)
  • 4 tbsp chopped pecans
  • 4 eggs (omega-3 or local wild if you can find them)
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Step One: Dice The Peach and Pecans

In the book it says to heat the oil first, but I like to have my ingredients ready or else I end up with a smoky pan.

Chop ‘em up good and set them aside.

Step Two: Heat The Oil

Heat the oil in a pan set to medium heat.

If you’re using coconut oil, it will turn liquid in about 30 seconds.  If you go with olive oil, swish it around until it coats the bottom of the pan.

Step Three: Soften Peaches And Pecans

Dump the fruit and nuts (you are what you eat!) into the oil and stir them around until the peaches are softened.

It took about 3 minutes.

Step Four: Whisk Eggs, Applesauce, And Cinnamon

Whisk them up good while you stir-fry the peaches.

And try to get TreeTop brand applesauce, it’s from Selah, WA where I used to coach wrestling.

Step Five: Cook It Up!

Pour the eggy mix over the peaches and pecans.

Keep moving everything around and cook until the eggs are done.  It took about five minutes.

Step Six: EAT!

I sprinkled a little more cinnamon over the top before I went to town.

Taste Test Sez:

It was pretty darn scrumptious, but a little too sweet for me all on its own.  I think it would be perfect with a few strips of uncured bacon and a cup of coffee.  Try it and let me know what you think!

Paleo Dessert Recipe: Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Nutrition, Recipe 4 Comments »

I looooooove me some ice cream!

But the problem is ice cream loves me back and I can’t get rid of it!

To deal with those hardcore cravings and make a special treat, I found this recipe for coconut milk ice cream that uses all paleo ingredients.  (Even with paleo ingredients, please remember that this is a “sometimes” food)

The ingredient list is simple:

  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup or less REAL maple syrup (I used a 1/4 cup)

Here’s a shopping tip from my friend Sally: Pure maple syrup is wayyy cheaper at Marshalls than at the grocery store (Thanks, Sally!)

If you want to make your very own coconut milk ice cream, here’s what to do:

First, break the eggs into a bowl, and whisk for about 2 minutes

Then add the maple syrup and stir again (I used only a quarter cup because I didn’t want too much sugar and didn’t want the maple flavor being too strong.  It worked out fine, but I think I’ll use the whole half cup next time.  Up to you)

Now dump in the 2 cans of coconut milk and whisk, whisk, whisk.

I don’t own an ice cream maker, so I had to borrow one.  Pour all of the ingredients in and turn it on.

(If you don’t have a machine and don’t want to borrow one, you can pour the mix into a pan and put it in the freezer.  Pull it out every hour and stir, then put back in freezer.  Repeat until desired consistency is reached)

And then….. Ice Cream!!!

It came out delicious!  I was worried it would be too coconut-y or too maple-y, but it was great.

To spice it up, you can stir in fruit or cacao nibs once its out of the maker, or put in espresso or spices before you start the freezing process.

If you like ice cream, give this recipe a shot!

I found this recipe in The Primal Blueprint Cookbook: Primal, Low Carb, Paleo, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free by Mark Sisson.  This book totally rocks!  Get it if you want some easy and delicious paleo recipes.

The next treat I’m going to try from it is primal Egg Foo Young…


Bootcamp Fuel: Grilled Salmon And Peach Salad

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This recipe makes a perfect flat-stomach meal. Fresh greens, grilled peaches and tender salmon make a mouthwatering combination. Enjoy for lunch or dinner.

Servings: 1

Here’s what you need:

2 cups mixed greens
1/4 cup grilled peaches
1 Tablespoon blue cheese crumbles
1 Tablespoon dried cranberries
1 Tablespoon light salad dressing
7 oz grilled salmon

Toss the greens, peaches, blue cheese, and cranberries in a bowl with salad dressing. Top with grilled salmon.

Nutritional Analysis

One serving equals: 365.3 calories, 14.5g fat, 404mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, and 39.7g protein

Reno Personal Training: Pistachio Chicken Salad Recipe

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This delicious salad is a little more effort than slicing a plain chicken breast over a bed of spinach, but much, much tastier.

Give it a try!

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios, ground (use a coffee grinder or food processor)
  • Sea salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1 head romaine lettuce

Dressing Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon grated sweet white onion
  • 1 large ripe avocado, pitted, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (I don’t like lime, so I use lemon instead)
  • 1 tablespoon water

 Preparation Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix the pistachios in a pie plate with 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Press the chicken breast halves into the nuts.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet and cook the coated breast 2 minutes per side.

Place the breasts in a baking dish and bake for 15 minutes (until juices run clear).

Heat another tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet over high heat.

Add the diced onion, 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt, and a pinch of pepper.  Cook and keep everything moving until the onion is browned.

Place the lettuce leaves over 4 serving plates.

Slice the cooked chicken breasts and put one breast on top of the lettuce on each plate.  Serve with the dressing.

Dressing Instructions:

Puree the onion, avocado, oil, lime (or lemon!) juice, and water in a blender.

Pour equally over each serving.

Nutrition Information:

This recipe makes 4 servings.  This info is per serving.

480 Calories

33 g protein

13 g carbohydrates

34 g fat

Smoky Chicken Recipe

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This chicken has a delicious smoky flavor without the carcinogens from actually smoking the meat.  Plus, it’s quick and easy to make on busy weeknights.

Pair with some broccoli for a perfect healthy meal.

smoky chicken

This recipe makes 4 servings.

Smoky Chicken Recipe Ingredients:

  • 4 bone-in, skin-on, organic chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 packet Stevia
  • dash of salt and pepper

Preheat your oven oven to 425 degrees F.

Rinse the chicken and pat dry. Place in a large ziplock bag.

In a small bowl combine the remaining ingredients. Add to the ziplock bag and toss until the chicken is fully coated.

Place the coated chicken thighs on a broiling pan. Bake for 40 minutes.

Nutrition Info: Each serving equals: 248 calories, 18g fat, 1g carbohydrate, and 18g protein

4 Natural Bodycare Recipes

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Whatever you put on your skin is absorbed through your whole body.  If you’re skeptical, try this experiment: Rub a lot of garlic on your feet.  In 20 minutes you’ll be able to taste it on your tongue.

Only 20 minutes to go all the way from your feet to your mouth.

So it makes sense to switch out unpronounceable chemicals for natural products.  Here are four simple switches that you can make yourself to keep you looking and feeling great.

fruit on face

Sweet Coconut Sea Salt Scrub

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sea salt
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil

Directions:

Mix the ingredients well in a bowl, then use a spatula to transfer to a glass jar with an airtight lid.  Keep the mix in a cool, dry place (not in your shower/bath stall).

Use it once or twice a week.  Keep the mix jar out of water and it will last up to two years – but you’ll enjoy the smooth skin so much you’ll be out of it wayy before then ;)

Almond And Olive Bath Moisturizer

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond oil
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Either 1 sliced vanilla bean or a handful of fresh peppermint leaves… your choice

Directions:

Mix the ingredients in a jar, shake until well blended.  Leave sealed for two or three days to let the vanilla or mint infuse the oils.

Keep in a cool, dry place and it will last for 2 months.

Use two or three spoonfuls in your bath to moisturize without feeling clogged.

Lavender Shea Avocado After-Shower Moisturizing Cream

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1/2 cup shea butter
  • A few drops lavender oil (5-10 drops, depending on how lavender-y you want it)

Directions:

Mix the shea butter and avocado oil over low heat in a small pan, until all melted together.  Pour into a sealable glass container, then add your lavender oil.

Put in the refrigerator until creamy.

Use after your shower to soften and protect dry skin.

Calming And Toning Refreshing Body Mist

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup rosewater
  •  5-10 drops lemon or orange essential oil

Directions:

Pour the ingredients in a glass spray bottle and shake until well blended.

Store in the refrigerator and use it to mist bare skin.  It is a great refresher any time of the day.

glowing natural skin

Luke’s Hyper-Veggie Breakfast Scramble

Health, Nutrition, Recipe 1 Comment »

Lots of people ask me what I do to stay lean.  They don’t believe I eat lots and lots of fat, never do aerobics, and stay away from grains like the plague.

A big part of my success is having a healthy breakfast every day.

And every morning it is almost exactly the same thing.  My alarm goes off at four a.m., and by 4:15 I’m chopping vegetables for the day.

I call this monster the “Hyper-Veggie Scramble.”  Since you never know what your day will bring, I like to “front-load” and try to get as many vegetables as possible in early. (Now remember, I’m 225 pounds.  This is what I eat.  You’ll probably want to cut the portions down some.)

Without further ado, here’s step-by-step photos and directions of how to make your own Hyper-Veggie Scramble!

Luke’s Awesome Breakfast Step One: Take Stock

Here’s what I use: asparagus, bell pepper, green onions, baby spinach, swiss cheese, eggs, and pico de gallo.

Luke’s Awesome Breakfast Step Two: Chop The Pepper

I prefer to use red bell peppers when I cook, because I really like the flavor and they’re full of health benefits.

Here’s a full blog post (including recipes!) about the virtues of the red bell pepper: Fit Body Fuel

Luke’s Awesome Breakfast Step 3: Chop The Asparagus

I usually use six stalks of asparagus with breakfast.  The problem is, I grew up in Eastern Washington and used to be able to get super-fresh veggies that had just been cut.  It makes a big difference in flavor.

First, cut off the fibrous base of the asparagus.  Then chop it into tiny rounds.

Luke’s Awesome Breakfast Step 4: Chop The Onions

I get organic green onions at Raley’s or Whole Foods.  They don’t add a lot of vitamins, but they are full of flavor.

Chop off the scraggly root parts, and the top of the greens.  Then dice it all up!

Luke’s Awesome Breakfast Step 5: Start Cooking!

I put everything in a non-stick pan with high sides over medium-high heat.  It’s very important that you keep everything moving through the whole cooking process, too long in one place and the veggies will burn.

While the peppers, onions, and asparagus are cooking, I measure out four cups of either spinach or mixed spring greens.  If I use greens, I chop them first so they don’t make big lumps in the eggs.

Luke’s Awesome Breakfast Step 6: Add The Spinach

When the peppers are cooked through, toss in the spinach and stir it all up.  I flip everything over so that the spinach hits the hot pan.

It looks like a lot in the picture above, but check out the difference in volume once it cooks down:

Luke’s Awesome Breakfast Step 7: Eggs!

I eat five eggs with breakfast.  As to the eggs, I get local when I can.  Eggs from chickens running around a farm are a lot healthier than eggs for a chicken with no beak that was fed chemicals.  If there are no local eggs to be had, I get omega-3 eggs or at the very least, cage-free eggs.

Luke’s Awesome Breakfast Step 8: Yum, Cheese

The cheese is the only non-paleolithic food in this dish, but it is so delicious I make an exception.

Once the eggs are almost done, I tear up a slice of cheese and stir it in.  (Swiss goes great with the eggs and asparagus!)

Luke’s Awesome Breakfast Step 9: Toppings

Dump everything out on a plate (mine are black, everything looks more slimming in black :) and top with either pico de gallo or garlic salt.

Luke’s Awesome Breakfast Step 10: Eat!

Enjoy!  My little sister laughs that it only takes me 5 minutes to clear my plate, but it’s so delicious I can’t slow down!

Give this recipe a try when you want something quick, healthy, and tasty!