The Cave

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Archive for April, 2013

Aaron’s Lemon Chicken

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Here’s a delicious recipe from Karen M.

My husband is not Paleo. Rigatoni could easily be his middle name and carbs his wish list food if stranded on a desert island. But when I asked him to adapt a Paleo version of my favorite dish he makes, he enthusiastically channeled his inner cave dude to concoct this gem that I’m delighted to share.

Aaron's Lemon Chicken

Aaron's Lemon Chicken

3 skinless, boneless chicken breast fillets (about 1 1/2 lbs.)

about 1/2 cup almond meal

2 tablespoons ghee or butter (ghee is best as it has a high heat point which is preferable for this dish)

1/4 cup EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)

1 to 2 cloves minced garlic

1/3 cup white wine

1/3 to 1/2 cup chicken broth

3/4 teaspoon arrowroot

3 to 4 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon capers

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

In a large skillet on medium-low, combine ghee and EVOO; let heat. Meanwhile, fillet the fillets horizontally as evenly as possible so you have twice the chicken pieces. Wash and pat dry. Spread almond meal evenly on a large shallow dish and coat fillets on both sides.

Increase pan temperature to medium-high. Place as many fillets in pan as comfortably fit, cooking in batches if needed. Cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side until golden. Check thickest fillet for doneness, salt and pepper all to taste, remove from pan setting aside. If doing another batch, add more EVOO and ghee as needed.

When all fillets are cooked and set aside, turn heat down to medium. Let cool to new temperature and then add garlic. Stir about 1/2 a minute or enough to soften and release aroma. Next add wine and deglaze the pan cooking long enough to burn off alcohol. Add chicken broth and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the parsley. Stir another minute then turn off heat. With heat off, stir in 3/4 teaspoon arrowroot which should just lightly thicken the sauce. (This step, though, is optional as the sauce is wonderful either way.)

Now return the chicken fillets to the pan. (Note: if you are serving this to kids who prefer more mildly flavored food, reserve a couple fillets for them; add the rest to the pan.) Pour the lemon juice evenly over fillets and sprinkle with capers, reserved parsley, and additional salt and pepper as desired. Spoon sauce from pan up over fillets as you reheat for just a minute and serve.

Good Bye, Bryan!

Monday, April 29th, 2013

bryan-small1Well, i’ts not really good bye.  For those of you who don’t know yet, Bryan, our CrossFit program director since last September, is stepping down.  He’ll still be around, but not as much and he won’t be writing the programming any more.

Bryan is starting his own corporate wellness management company, called Fitify.  As a result, he’ll be too busy with that to keep working as the CrossFit director.  He’ll still be working with private clients, and doing some workouts in the gym, so when you see him, wish him luck in his business endeavors.

Starting this Wednesday, I will be taking over as the CrossFit director, and I couldn’t be happier with the status of the CrossFit program I’m inheriting from Bryan.  You can expect to see a lot of the same types of workouts you’re used to, just with a slightly different flavor.

We’re thankful for the hard work Bryan has put in to developing the strength and fitness programs for all you CrossFitters.  Good luck, Bryan!

Fast Food

Sunday, April 28th, 2013

Well, I’m truly sickened by this article from the Daily Mail.

How long will a hamburger last?

How long will a hamburger last?

A guy purchased a hamburger from McDonald’s, forgot about it in his coat pocket for a while and now… well, it certainly doesn’t look its age.

We’ve seen this type of thing before around the internet.  There are currently several sites out there tracking the decomposition, or lack thereof, of various fast food items.  This one, though seems to have the record at nearly 14 years.

This is truly a testament to the power of chemistry for increasing the shelf life of things.  However, I’m not sure if I trust something that is so saturated with preservatives that it won’t rot after a decade.  And honestly, how much research has been done in human populations on the effects of those preservatives on our metabolism?

Anyway, stay away from fast food.  Ick!

Jump Rope Master

Saturday, April 27th, 2013

This is Adrienn Banhegyi. She performs with Cirque de Soleil and holds two world records for jumping rope.

Something tells me that she wouldn’t have a problem with double-unders….

Balandin Does It Again

Friday, April 26th, 2013

Aleksandr Balandin is a gymnast that is freakishly strong. He has made a name for himself  because of his ability to do one thing really, really well. His strength in internal rotation and closing his shoulders is unique. He now has three elements on rings that he pioneered. All of them involve the same basic strength. From hang butterfly through to some other point. A butterfly is a straight arm pull from hang through an iron cross. This skill has been around for a while, but Balandin takes it to a whole other level, by then pressing through a maltese to either stop, press through to inverted cross, or press up to planch. Regardless of where it ends up this skill would have been considered impossible not too long ago. Think through how tough just holding a solid support on rings is, then watch the routine.

Sleep Mobility

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Here’s a very good MobilityWOD video that Narendra R. pointed me to a few months ago.  Sleeping like this makes a huge difference.

Good luck!

Squats and Ankle Flexibility

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

The other day, I was doing a Foundations with a new client, Dana H.  She’s strong and otherwise mobile, so I was initially perplexed as to why she was unable to do a good air squat.  She couldn’t get below parallel, nor could she keep her torso upright.  After a few minutes, we discovered that her issue was simply immobility of the ankles.

With her permission, I took some pictures to demonstrate the mobility issue, and a quick fix for athletes with poor ankle dorsiflexion.

Squat improvement using a heel cheat.

Squat improvement using a heel cheat.

In Figure 1, we can see the angle of ankle flexion, angle A1 is about 90°.  This prevents her from flexing her knees, angle B1, more than about 90° as well, and causes her to have to lean very far forward to keep her balance.  We can see that the angle of her torso to the ground is about 30°.

In Figure 2, I’ve had her put her heels on a couple of plates, elevating her heels by about an inch and creating a “heel cheat.”  You can see that the ankle angle, A2 is still about 90°.  But angle B2 is much more acute, enabling her to get her femurs parallel to the ground, and also improving her torso posture by 20°.

The “heel cheat” is one of the purposes of lifting shoes; they let you keep your torso angle while getting a deep squat without having extremely flexible ankles.  Now, I’m not suggesting that you neglect  your ankle mobility by using lifting shoes or by standing on plates all the time, but until you develop good ankle flexibility you might want to try these quick-fixes to get the most out of squatting.  Ideally, you’ll be doing ankle mobility work every day until you can squat without extra assistance.

Eat Like A Dinosaur

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Eat Like A Dinosaur

Noah and I are both Paleo lifestylers. The Paleo diet made tremendous health and weight impacts on Noah’s life (on top of his already dedicated CrossFit workouts) and I adopted this lifestyle a year ago, given his successes. As a female, the weight losses have not been as radical, but I am healthier and feel better eating Paleo clean.

Our children, however, are not strictly Paleo. They certainly have exposure to the lifestyle and eat many a Paleo meal, but they are not by any means kept restricted in their diet. I have also read that children do need more carbohydrates than adults and even though we are lucky that our kids love vegetables, we do let them eat pasta, rice, pizza, etc..

When I heard about How To Eat Like A Dinosaur, by The Paleo Parents, I was super excited to have a Paleo recipe book geared towards children. The book has interesting, child friendly recipes and great ideas on how to engage your children in the cooking process. If they make it, they are much more likely to take pride in the meal and eat it! And these are meals that the whole family can happily eat. The biggest difference for us in what our kids will eat and what we eat is the seasoning and spices. Many of these recipes can be easily spiced up for a more adult flavor, but they are quite fine without the extra spices as well.

Here is one that has been a great success with the kids and their friends: Fool’s Gold (Chicken Nuggets)

• 3 chicken breasts, deboned and skinned
• 2 cups of almond flour (a staple in any paleo kitchen)
• 2 tbsp arrowroot powder
• 2 tsp salt
• 1 tsp paprika (you can adjust this for a more adult flavor)
• 1 tsp onion powder
• ½ tsp dry mustard
• 1/8 tsp black pepper
• ¾ cup olive oil

1) Cut chicken in 1 inch by 1 inch chunks.
2) Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl with a fork or whisk.
3) Pour olive oil into a separate bowl.
4) Dip each chicken piece in the oil then roll in the flour mixture.
5) Place nuggets on baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes at 400 degrees, flipping halfway through.
6) When done the crust will be golden brown and the juice will run clear.

*The author suggests making a bunch and freezing them for convenience. They also recommend a Southwest Pineapple Sauce dip. That recipe is also in the book, but the Trader Joe’s Pineapple Salsa is a good easy substitute as well if you are in a rush.

- Cara Guyot

CrossFit Affiliates on all Seven Continents?

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

I can’t imagine that this was comfortable:

Pretty cool though, right?  (Heh…”cool.”)

Sugar Causes Obesity

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

I think we all know this by now.



Thankfully, other people are starting to take note.  This article  The Guardian covers the stir made by Dr. Robert Lustig’s book, Fat Chance: The Bitter Truth About Sugar.

In the article, Dr. Lustig is quoted as saying, “Cocaine and heroin are deadly because they are addictive and toxic – and so is sugar.”

The article goes on to clarify that it’s not necessarily sugar, but the excess insulin produced as a result of sugar intake that is so dangerous.  We in the Paleo community have known this for quite a while, but it’s good to know that more and more people are taking this seriously and backing up our assertions with peer reviewed studies.

What do you think about all this?