Friday, September 17, 2010

Colorful Crunch Salad with Smoky Tomato Dressing



















For the salad:

5 leaves each of red and green leaf lettuce
1/4 cup chopped jicama
3 strips cooked bacon
1/2 of a yellow pepper, roasted*
1 tbsp slivered almonds
1 thin slice of red onion

Tear lettuce. Crumble bacon and slice pepper into small pieces. Add toppings to salad.

For the dressing:
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 tsp powdered onion
1/4 tsp hickory smoke flavor
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Using a whisk, mix all ingredients except EVOO. Slowly blend in EVOO while stirring dressing.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Primal Challenge 2010

As a regular reader of MarksDailyApple, I've decided to participate in the 30-day primal challenge beginning today. Due to my personal lifestyle (and the fact that fall is my FAVORITE time of year to go climbing), I've tweaked the primal blueprint to suit my own needs.
  • I'm at a healthy weight and bodyfat% currently, so I'm not looking to loose weight, and therefore my carb counts might be a bit higher than many who undertake this challenge for purposes including weightloss. On most days, I probably shoot for around 100g carbs (sometimes it's way less than that; other time's it's more than that).
  • As a climber/mountaineer, I will eat more carbs on days when I'm climbing peaks, especially if it's a 14er or something like that. Above 12,000' or so, fat (whether it be dietary or adipose tissue) is inefficient as a fuel due to the fact that it requires considerably more oxygen per gram burned than carbohydrate. Depending on the length of the climb, I'll consume anywhere from 100g to 300g of carbs on climbing days.
  • If I had to guess, I'd say I follow the 80/20 rule most of the time.
  • I do take supplements/vitamins, including magnesium, fish oil, and a multivitamin.
  • I'm not lactose intolerant so I do eat dairy and don't consider it part of my "20%"
So, I guess that about sums up the basics of my lifestyle.
For this Primal Challenge, my main fitness-related goal is to build muscle. I did a pretty good job of sticking to a weightlifting routine this past spring, but then summer came around and it was all about the climbing, which does wonders for endurance and fat loss but not much for maintaining lean mass.
As per the challenges associated with each of the 10 laws of the Primal Blueprint, these are the goals that I will be undertaking this month:
1. Eat lots of Plants and Animals
Fortunately, the Gunnison Farmers' Market runs through the first weekend of October, making it a perfect food source for this. A week ago, I picked up some cage-free eggs, zucchini, beets, and cabbage. However, as the Market is only on Saturdays, this will require me to plan what I'll eat the following week in advance. Obviously, I will buy some things that I can't get at the market at the local supermarket and/or health food store, but I will make an effort to get as much of my food as I can from the Farmers' Market.
2. Avoid Poisonous Things
Starting in August, I challenged myself to go 30 days without caffeine. I've been mostly compliant with that but digressed from it on a couple occasions. I'll continue this challenge through October 6. Furthermore, I will limit alcohol consumption to 1 day per week.
3. Move Frequently at a Slow Pace
There's definitely no shortage of places to go hiking in the Gunnison Valley/western Colorado, so my challenge with this goal will to go hiking/running at places that I haven't been before.
4. Lift Heavy Things
I will make a conscious effort to go to the gym
at least twice per week and get a good heavy lifting workout in. I'm not really sure whether or not I'll be playing rugby this fall, so if I don't play, I'll go to the gym at least four times per week (two days upper body, two days lower body). 5. Sprint Once in a While
I don't sprint nearly enough, and will try to do it more regularly. I sometimes do what I call "block sprints," where I essentially run around the block that my house is on, sprinting the last 100m or so.
6. Get Adequate Sleep
This is a challenge for everyone, but it seems like college students get hit really hard with it. Being able to get adequate sleep is all about time management. I aim to improve that in the month to come.
7. Play
Luckily for me, "playing" is synonymous with most things that I do to maintain my level of fitness.
8. Get Adequate Sunlight
Living at 7700' puts me at an advantage here, but with my course schedule this semester, getting outside for an extended period of time
every day can be a challenge. However, there are creative ways to get around that... I can do my homework outside on the lawn. For anyone who might read this who is a working professional cooped up in a cubicle all day, consider taking your lunch break outside (if that's feasible). 9. Avoid Stupid Mistakes
Self-explanatory
10. Challenge Yourself Intellectually
As a senior in college, I'd say I get enough intellectual challenges thrown at me on a daily basis. One unique challenge that I'll be undertaking for this school year (and thus, for this upcoming month) will be working as a math tutor. Math generally comes fairly easy to me, so assuming the role of explaining it to those who don't just automatically "get it" will be a fun and interesting challenge.