Cheddar & Bacon Stuffed Pork Chops

When I saw the size of the pork chops that came with my latest meat order I knew they were meant for stuffing.  And while we love my original recipe for bleu cheese stuffed chops I decided a little variation would be a good thing.  The addition of cheddar and bacon certainly did not disappoint.

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Ingredients

2 very large pastured pork chops or 4 small – medium chops
2 slices crumbled bacon
1/3 cup grated carrots
1/3 cup cheddar cheese
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preparation

Fry the bacon until crisp, drain and crumble.  Set aside.

Prepare the chops: cut a horizontal slit in the fatty side of the chop until you have a nice roomy pocket.

Mix the carrots, cheese, almonds, crumbled bacon, green onions and Worcestershire sauce together in a small bowl. Stuff chops equally, secure with toothpicks and tie with kitchen string.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

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Grill or broil until desire doneness.  The large thick chops took about 9 minutes per side.  Thinner chops take 6-7 minutes per side.  I like my pork cooked ‘medium’ or just a tad pink. They will continue to cook slightly as they set so be careful to not overcook.

Serve with your favorite sides!

CPCTYDev Wod

Lifting heavy is my jam.  I like being strong, I like having muscles and I like how it makes me feel.  I will never give it up.  Period.  End of story.  While that will dominate the majority of my training neglecting the oxidative system and other aspects of fitness just because I don’t like them isn’t smart or even healthy.

What you are training for should dictate your programming; my current goals are not for performance in sport but rather looking good, feeling good, retaining function and aging well. With that in mind some occasional training of all fitness aspects should be worked into my program.

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You know that whole CrossFit theory of being well rounded in the top ten components of fitness “endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy”.  While I’m quite content to focus 65% of my efforts on strength, power and speed I don’t overlook the other seven.

Of those ‘other seven’ endurance is tied for last place right alongside flexibility.  I have drank the Kool Aid so although minimal I devote a little time to both.  After all we must get comfortable with the uncomfortable to be our best in all we do.

After heavy legs on Monday and heavy chest and shoulders on Tuesday it was time for some capacity development so I opted for our CF workout of the day which looked to be a good one.

Warm up:  300 yd turf jog, 20 jumping jacks, 20 mountain climbers, 20 high knees, 20 butt kicks, 25 yds burpee broad jumps, 25 yds walking toe touches.

WOD:
Part A –
E2MOM for 16 mins 200 m Sprint (8 rds)

Part B –
E3MOM for 15 mins (5 rds ea)

Min 1 – 30 double unders

Min 2 – 15 American KB Swings (53/35)

Min 3 – 10 Burpees

You can’t always tell by how something looks on the whiteboard but that looked to be pretty brutal.

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And it was.  But we did it.  We managed every sprint and completed every round of Part B.  It wasn’t easy and we’d glance over at each other during the workout — a silent ‘you can do it – almost there’ message.  After the fact I have to admit in a sick sort of way I enjoyed it and it felt really good afterwards.

And while I’m back to the weights today I needed to get that heart rate up for an extended period of time and tap into an oft neglected energy system.  While it will never be the mainstay of my training I will include those workouts more frequently getting comfortable with the uncomfortable for the best results.

Circuit Crush

Time to get that heart rate up!  Is it CrossFit, circuit training or weightlifting?  A little bit of each; no matter what you call it it’s guaranteed to push your metabolism into overdrive. Ready? Let’s go. . .

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Warm Up:

Run 400 m, row 500 m or jump rope for 2-3 minutes; something to get your blood flowing. Then perform 2 rounds of 5 pull ups, 10 push ups and 15 squats.  Don’t have a pull up? Modify by using a band or do a recline row.  All we’re looking for is a way to warm up the back.

Now let’s continue the warm up by doing a few lighter sets and setting up our bars.  I use this time to figure out my working weight while preparing my muscles and joints for what’s to come.  I would recommend using approximately 60 % of your 1 RM for each lift.  If you don’t have a 1 RM max go with a moderate weight.

Workout:

Back Squat x 5, 6, 7, 8
Flat BB bench press x 5, 6, 7, 8
Deadlift x 5, 6, 7, 8
BB shoulder press x 5, 6, 7, 8
Chin up x 5, 6, 7, 8 (scale to a reclined row if you don’t have at least 10-12 chins and feel free to add weight if you have 20+)

We’re going to do 4 rounds of this circuit starting with 5 reps each exercise and rest 30, 45 or 60 seconds between the lifts. Base the rest time on your fitness level; beginners rest 60 s, intermediate 45 and advanced 30 seconds. Stay with your chosen rest period.   On Round 2 increase to 6 reps, Round 3 to 7 reps and on Round 4, 8 reps.

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Should you fail to complete the desired number of reps complete as many as you can and then move on to the next exercise.

Notice we chose all big movements.  That’s because we will use more muscles and more weight in a shorter period of time. Which will cause a lot of good stuff to happen that leads to the results you want.

And the convenience of this circuit will allow you to set up almost every exercise in a single power rack.  You can switch the weights during your rest and use the pull up bar across the top. You can probably get by with 2 bars and a bench which you will need to roll in and out of the rack during your ‘rest’ periods.  Very doable.

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An efficient workout from a time standpoint that will give you big gains! You should feel something like this at the end. Make sure you stretch out well cause tomorrow we wod again!

 

King Arthur Flour’s “Tender Peach Scones”

Late summer continues to bring barbecues and great times but the close of peach season brings a certain sadness to my heart as this is one of my favorite fruits.  I order 2-3 boxes every year from Pearson Farms because we all know the best peaches hail from Georgia.  To give California their credit they come close but must travel a greater distance.

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When I saw this delicious recipe on King Arthur’s blog I just had to try it before all my peaches were gone.  It did not disappoint and was beyond reproach when paired with homemade vanilla ice cream.

I changed it only slightly to make it gluten free.

Ingredients

2 cups King Arthur gluten free multi purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup unrefined cane sugar
1/4 to 3/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg, to taste (I used 1/2 tsp)
1 tablespoon baking powder (aluminum free)
6 tablespoons cold grass fed butter, cut into pieces
2 large eggs
1/3 cup full fat sour cream
1/2 teaspoon peach brandy
1 cup diced peaches, not peeled
coarse sugar, optional; for sprinkling on top

Preparation

Preheat the over to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment.  In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, sugar, nutmeg and baking powder.  Work in the butter, using your fingers, 2 knives or a pastry blender.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream and the brandy.  Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

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Add the peaches, stirring just until everything is combined.  This is a wet sticky dough.  Drop the dough by the 1/4-cupful onto the prepared pan; a muffin scoop works well here.  Sprinkle the scones with coarse sugar if desired

Bake the scones for 20 to 25 minutes or until light golden brown.  Remove them from the oven and let them cool on the the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a rack to continue cooling.

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Serve warm or at room temperature.  Store at room temperature, well-wrapped for several days.

Yield:  12 scones

No Holds Barred

We’re all familiar with the expression “no holds barred” originating as a wrestling term that meant no restrictions on the the types of holds used.  In other worlds such as nutrition that translates to ‘free from the usual limits or restrictions’.  Taken one step further relates to foods, quantities, macros and overall calories consumed.

Now some of us live that way on a daily basis.  Live that way long enough and you will either develop a lifestyle related disease or get fat, most likely both.  And yea tho genetics play a part and some of us are more resilient than others the better your nutrition the better the overall quality of your life, composition of your body and performance will be.

For those of us that follow the 80/20 rule from a nutritional or dietary standpoint and have a solid training program a ‘no holds barred’ day can actually be healthy especially from a mental standpoint giving you a break and to a degree a reboot.  I love to eat but left to eat as much as I want makes me heavier than I like to be so I have found a maintenance range that allows me to periodically indulge yet still fit into my junior size daisy dukes in the summer.

Once a month I allow myself a no holds barred day.  And it looks something like this. . .

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I’m predictable with breakfast; it’s typically thick sliced bacon, slow cooked grits with a healthy dose of butter, sunny side up eggs and gluten free toast with more butter. #happiness.

Lunch is either some leftovers or something I don’t typically eat like a hot dog and chips. Wellshire Farms makes a nice fat nitrite/nitrate free hot dog.  Put that on a gluten free bun with some sea salted potato chips and I’m a kid again if only in my mind.  Or it may be a grilled cheese sandwich or liverwurst.  Something I don’t indulge in often. It will also vary as I’m usually busy cooking up dinner and dessert.

Some of my favs. . .

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Ribs, baked beans and slaw.

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Wings with sauces and decadent sides

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such as mac n’ cheese.  The grand finale dessert rounds out the meal.

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It may be banana cream pudding

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or an American Flag pie depending on the fruits and the season.  And occasionally I will go out to one of my favorite restaurants in lieu of spending the day in the chicken.

My weaknesses are fattier meats, creamy, cheesy sides and a sweet homemade treat.  You may prefer chocolate, are a pancake person or libations may be your choice.  It’s your day, provided you’re at a weight and body composition you are comfortable with and are training regularly.

‘No holds barred’ days are earned not given and pair beautifully with the 80/20 lifestyle.

Squat to the Potty

The Urban Dictionary defines old school as “anything that is from an earlier era and looked upon with high regard or respect. Can be used to refer to music, clothing, language, or anything really”.  I’m definitely as old school kind of girl in most regards.  The world is constantly trying to improve upon things and doing some serious backsliding.

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This was further witnessed on a recent trip to Fort Myers to visit my brother in law and sister in law.  When they initially moved into their home back in 1986 the whole family pitched in to help.  My job was to line the kitchen and bathroom shelves with shelving paper since I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist.

It had been a few years since we visited and I was impressed with how great the house looked.  They are both retired now and that must leave more time for remodeling and keeping things in perfect order. After settling into ‘our’ room (formerly my niece’s) and getting ready to take a shower I looked at the toilet before sitting down and noticed how low it was.

I don’t travel with my squatty potty and miss it while on vacation but this toilet in the pretty yellow and blue guest room was much lower than what I have at home or have seen recently in hotel rooms.  It put my legs are parallel which is not squatty potty level but was greatly improved over the current standard.

Why is so much lower I wondered or why are they making toilets so much higher theses days.  After mentioning it to my sister in law she hadn’t thought about it but agreed that “yes, they are much higher in newer homes and hotels.” This prompted me to measure the toilet height and then compare it to the one in my home which came to a difference of 2 inches. And we know 2 inches can make a huge difference.

Why do you think that is?  One reason that comes to my mind is that people are getting too weak to sit down and stand up.  I get it in terms of someone that is ill or disabled and needing assistance thus requiring modifications.  But what about those that are just deteriorating from inactivity and poor lifestyle habits.

Modern man’s answer is to make the toilet higher which doesn’t solve the problem merely enables it to continue.  My answer is to make the person stronger.  But then again, I’m old school. . .