Grilled Pork Medallions with Blackberry Applesauce

Grilled Pork Medallions with Blackberry Applesauce

We’ve got another treat for you today. Fruit and meat go surprisingly well together and the applesauce in this recipe is to die for. Serve this meal hot as a main dish for your family or at a dinner party. This meal is also delicious when served cold and would make a fantastic appetizer to be served on toothpicks with a dollop of the Blackberry Applesauce.  

Grilled Pork Medallions with Blackberry Applesauce
Serves 3
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Ingredients
  1. 1 lb pork medallions
  2. 1 c frozen blackberries
  3. 1 small green apple, cored and roughly chopped
  4. 1 tsp garlic powder
  5. Sea salt to taste
  6. 1/4 c fresh cilantro
  7. 1 c water
Instructions
  1. Season pork medallions with garlic powder, sea salt, and freshly cracked pepper to taste. Set aside.
  2. Preheat grill to medium.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to a blender and blend until consistency of chunky applesauce is reached.
  4. Grill medallions for about twenty minutes on each side or until no longer pink in the middle.
  5. Top with Blackberry Applesauce and garnish with fresh chopped green onions or scallions.
  6. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. The Blackberry Applesauce should be served at a similar temperature to the meat, so you may want to set it out while the meat is cooking so that it can reach room temperature.
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Quick ‘n’ Easy Fruit Dip

Fruit Dip

Strawberries, apples, grapes – they’re all delicious. But sometimes you need just a little bit more to add some excitement to your diet. Our Quick ‘n’ Easy Fruit Dip is seriously simple to make (why not get the kids involved) and can be used for snacks or as part of a dessert. Mm!

Quick ‘n’ Easy Fruit Dip
Yields 2
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Ingredients
  1. 1 c coconut milk
  2. 1 tsp vanilla
  3. 2 ripe bananas
  4. 2 tsp coconut flour
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in your food processor or blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into dish and refrigerate for thirty minutes. This allows the dip to thicken.
  4. Serve with fresh fruit.
  5. Enjoy!
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5 Lessons I Learned At Paleo f(x) 2014

I spent last weekend at Paleo f(x) – the largest gathering of paleo(sos) anywhere in the world – in one of my favorite cities in the world – Austin, Texas.

Paleo f(x) was a 3-day blur of some of the brightest minds in paleo, sharing brand new paleo research, training, recipes, and products throughout the conference space.

Here Are 5 Things I Learned at Paleo f(x) in 2014

1) Paleo Is Growing

I was at Paleo f(x) in 2012 (the very first one!) and it was just starting to grow.

The panels were small and the “expo” consisted of about seven or eight booths. There weren’t that many people either. Either Robb or Mark quipped that all of the people who attended the first conference could have fit onto just one of the stages that were there this year (there were five this year).

This year over one thousand people attended. There were dozens of exhibitors and the floor was packed with great paleo goodies and companies.

Paleo is growing.

2) Paleo Is A Framework

Robb Wolf, Mark Sisson, and Chris Kresser all have different takes on the paleo diet. Chris goes so far as to test the limits of what “paleo” is and isn’t in his new book.

While different people disagreed about different aspects of the paleo diet, everyone agreed on the importance of testing how food affects you as an individual basis and that it’s the individual’s job to take responsibility for his/her health. Which leads to my next point.

3) Paleo Involves Experimentation

Whether you do the 30 Day Challenge, Whole30, or something else, an important part of paleo and taking control of your own health is trying out an elimination diet in order to see how good you can feel without certain foods and to realize how certain foods make you feel.

Once you’ve done that, you might find that you operate better with more carbs, dairy, or legumes from time to time than a strict paleo adherent.

While basic paleo is a great starting point, if the end goal is complete health, you need to experiment.

4) Paleo Is Delicious

There are some ridiculously good treats out there. I’m going to be doing a round-up of our favorite paleo treats soon, but the expo floor was packed with delicious paleo-friendly bars to go, including The Granilla Bar and Eating Evolved’s dark chocolate (my two favorites).

5) The Best Part of Paleo is the People

Whether it’s listening to the panels, the friendly debates from people on different sides of the paleo spectrum, or meeting online friends in person, the best part of paleo (besides the obvious health benefits) is the people.

The only question left: Will we see you at Paleo f(x) in 2015?

Some of our favorite photos from the event:

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What Is MovNat?

Eating healthy food is just one aspect of healthy living. The true paleo lifestyle includes a number of other things: getting enough sleep, doing plenty of exercise, and drinking lots of water.
 
Just as it can be difficult to work out which diet works best for you, there are plenty of exercise options to choose from. We’ve already discussed CrossFit as a fairly paleo way of working out, and in this article we consider another form of exercise which focuses on natural movement, MovNat.

Interview with Founder of MovNat, Erwan Le  Corre

 

What is MovNat?

MovNat is a coaching and training method for the practice of Natural Movement*. It is a health and fitness discipline based on the full range of evolutionary movement skills. It is way of mindful exercise, practical fitness, functional rehabilitation, and physical education.
 

What does MovNat involve?

The practice of MovNat encompasses breathing, walking, running, balancing, crawling, climbing, swimming, lifting, carrying, throwing, and self-defense skills such as striking and grappling. The foundation of the practice is the training of movement skills with a focus on effective and efficient physical performance. Strength and conditioning are equally emphasized, because they are required as well for high levels of performance. So MovNat is not just about the movement skills, or just about general physical preparedness, but enables the symbiotic development of both.
 

Why is natural movement important?

The general physical, health and fitness state of modern populations is quite alarming, despite advanced medical technologies, or sports and exercise science. So the problem is not that we lack information, or methods and programs, or equipment, but that our lifestyle is unhealthy, including altered food, water and air, sleep deprivation, stress, physical inactivity, lack of nature etc…
 
The primary benefit of Natural Movement is to reset people in their original – i.e evolutionary and biological movement behavior – in order to foster, restore and/or maintain health, fitness, well-being, happiness, and even a sense of freedom.
 
Natural Movement is also a mindful practice emphasizing awareness, body-mind connection, as well as a connection with Nature, and the respect of it.
 
There is also the necessity to equip people with the movement skills, overall physical competency required for practical situations of the real-life that demand a physical response. Such competency is timeless, and the individuals who possess it are confident and strong in a way that is useful to themselves, others and the community.
 
In a nutshell, I like to say that the concept of Natural Movement contributes to the self-actualization of people so they can enjoy a greater quality of life.

Can you explain why you started MovNat?

Ha, good question,  are you ready for a lengthy answer? 
 
First, I have been training this way for many years, starting in childhood in the woods with my dad, and in my early adult life in urban environments as well. I have also trained several specialized sports and learned valuable lessons from them, but I could never limit myself to training one sport or discipline only. I have also always felt that, while every sport or movement discipline had a place in society, the idea of “Natural Movement”, i.e the general practice of fundamental human movement skills altogether, was a concept foreign to most. If I was training in a park with some people around, they wouldn’t pay attention to the jogger, or the person doing pushups and sit-ups, or stretching; but they sure would be amused to see me combining crawl, jump, balance, sprint etc… While children do it all the time, it is as if these movements are not supposed to be done by adults, or would have to be done in a particular, indoors setting, or in isolation as part of a specific sports.
 
So I told to myself, this practice is valuable, meaningful, and effective, and could benefit so many people; it needs to be given a form of recognition in today’s world, to be valued, and to be taught, and learned.  From there, I studied the old European physical education systems that were used a 100, 200 years ago, and realized that before modern fitness, people used to mostly exercise in similar manners.  I have then synthesized what I have learned from these ancient methods, modern sports, and my own practice into a modern system (MovNat).
 
Last but not least, I realized that I had always been in search of practical preparedness my whole life, even through the specialized sports I have practiced, they ALL had practical value: running and swimming (trail running, triathlon), lifting (Olympic lifting), climbing (rock climbing), self-defense (karate, judo, jiujitsu, Thai boxing). I have always had the feeling that physical competency for the real world did matter, and that it gave me a greater sense of self-worth and self-confidence in life. In fact, I remember that as a kid between 6 and 18, so-called physical education programs in school never convinced me because they were all based on games and rules and nothing practical.  I knew that I was learning much more while running, jumping, and climbing in nature.  That’s where the fun was to me, but also where the real, primary value of physical action lied.  So I’d say that in a sense, MovNat represents the physical education system and program that I dreamed of as a kid, and never found in school.  You don’t want to learn how to operate your body in practical ways when you’re a grown up, this is a potential that should be developed, and a competency that should be acquired, during childhood, ideally.
 
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Who is MovNat for and is there anyone that MovNat is not for?

In term of practice, MovNat is really for everyone, since it is a coaching method emphasizing scalability, progressions, and safety.
A good, concrete example could be the broad jump. You will not be encouraged to “try” to jump over a difficult or wide obstacle, but instead will first learn the fundamental technique, starting with proper landing mechanics at ground/floor level, and improve the efficiency of your movement pattern. Then you will progressively increase volume (number of repetitions), intensity (distance jumped) or complexity (type of obstacle, including height, surface, or other variables). It means that you will never be pushed to do anything you are not physically ready for.
 
In term of type of fitness, let’s say that MovNat is not for people who don’t enjoy movement or who don’t see the value in the practicality of the skills trained, and those who are solely looking for the appearance of fitness, not the actual fitness competence.

Where can you do MovNat?

Everywhere, why? More seriously… practically anywhere indeed.  I am not saying that no equipment is needed for MovNat, for instance we have affiliates which provide a customized, scalable and safe environment with beams, bars etc… But when you’ve learned the techniques and principles, you start to see opportunities for movement practice everywhere, at the park, in nature of course, in your own backyard maybe.  The method itself is adaptable.  If a venue is adapted for MovNat training, then the indoors provide a controlled environment that presents many advantages such as easier access (great for people who live in town away from nature), scalability and safety, variety within a relatively small area, or the measurement of performance. Of course, nothing beats nature for the energy, health benefits and sense of freedom that she provides, but MovNat is not necessarily done in nature. You can learn and hone your movement skills and conditioning indoors for instance, in a progressive and safe manner, and sometimes move in natural environments for a “pure” experience.

How  do paleo and MovNat go together?

Perfectly? Biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky once said that “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” It means that what is natural is evolutionary, and reciprocally. In that sense, MovNat and Natural Movement are 100% Paleo. While we advocate a Paleo type of diet, diet is ultimately a personal choice of course. You do not have to be on a Paleo diet to do MovNat, obviously, but many of our practitioners and followers are part of the Paleo community. 
 
Regarding fitness, we pride ourselves for being the program that is the most relevant to a Paleo approach, precisely because of the naturalness of our practice, the fact that it is so practical and adaptable. We don’t recycle conventional fitness drills with a Paleo “package”, we move the way nature and evolution intend us to, but with an emphasis on efficiency.  
 

Why should someone do MovNat rather than (or as well as) any other form of exercise?

Because it makes you sexier? More seriously, people don’t naturally stick to something they don’t truly enjoy doing. It is important to realize that the number one reason why people don’t subscribe or renew their membership at conventional gyms is that they get immensely bored with machine-based fitness. They have the feeling that they must impose such mechanistic and repetitive programs to themselves as a form of chore or punishment for being out of shape. So where’s the enjoyment, and where is the meaningful purpose to be found?
 
If what you are looking for is the freedom and joy of movement, as well as a type of fitness that is 100% transferable and applicable to the real-world, then MovNat is the best choice possible because this is exactly what we are all about. And it WILL make you look better, feel better, and perform better, including in other areas of life.

How can MovNat complement any other activities that I’m involved with?

Many of our certified trainers blend MovNat exercise with their regular training classes, with great results, as it brings novelty, variety, new challenges, and playfulness to sometimes overly conventional or restrictive programs. Many MovNat practitioners come from a specific fitness modality background, be it kettlebells, other types of strength training, running or athletics, etc… Because of the varied and inclusive aspect of Natural Movement, specific disciplines often feel at home with MovNat, for instance kettlebell training becomes part of the manipulative aspect of MovNat training. Therefore, it is possible to maintain separate sessions, or to blend pre-existing trainings into an overall MovNat practice.
 
MovNat can also help you with your particular sport, especially if it is highly specialized. The greater the level of specialization in a sport, the greater the potential for particular physical deficiencies and imbalances (including but not restricted to lack of coordination, mobility, stability, strength etc…) pre-existing to training for the sport, or caused by it, leading to greater risk of injury. The variety of MovNat movements helps the body become overall skilled, strong, and more resilient. This is a great advantage especially when overly specific demands of a given sports create chronic stress in particular body parts, as it will reinforce the whole body, reduce physical imbalances, and help prevent injuries.
 
Last but not least, the practice of a single physical activity can be mentally straining, and lead to lack of motivation. MovNat makes physical activity varied and enjoyable again, which in return lead to an improved appreciation for the practice of specialty activities.

What results do people get with MovNat? Do you have any “success” stories?

We have countless of success stories indeed, which include people who had completely lost faith that they would ever become physically active again, and who have found in MovNat a practice that is meaningful, effective, and enjoyable.
 
We have so many testimonies of people who once had to deal with nagging injuries, or lack of mobility, and who have resolved their issues simply by resetting their body on their natural movement mode. As a matter of fact, we have more and more chiropractors, physiotherapists of occupational therapists who are using MovNat with their patients and get great results as a complement to treatment and therapy. 
 
Not all valuable transformation is dramatic, for instance a person losing a lot of weight and getting lean. What about greater sense of self-esteem and self-confidence? What about greater energy and resilience? What about greater mental focus and improved brain function? What about a greater ability to interact with others, a sense of community? These aspects, and many others, are positive outcomes of MovNat that makes it a success story for everyone who gets started with Natural Movement practice.

If you had the chance to thousands of people one thing about MovNat, what would you tell them?

I would ask them what is the best fitness training program for a tiger? Machines for strength, elliptical for cardio, plus daily stretching? That would be hilarious, since, of course, tigers, along with all other animals, just need to move naturally. Why would it be any different in humans? We just need a method for doing what’s natural more efficient.

How can readers get involved in MovNat?

A simple way is to explore your natural movement potential on your own is to check out the “MODs” (Movement Of the Day) we are posting 5 days a week on movnat.com. MODs include warm-up and mobility moves, as wells as “combos” (circuits) one can do to get started with our program.
 
But exploration alone is limited, and isn’t a substitute for direct coaching. You can learn techniques and make your movement effective and efficient, ensure safe progressions and boost your progress by learning from one of our certified trainer (a locator cab be found of movnat.com). They are professionals trained in our method and will provide expert guidance. 
 
MovNat also holds 2 day training workshop worldwide, dates and locations can be found on the website as well.  Last, people who  are serious about MovNat can pass one of our 3 level certification programs, which will allow them to teach and bring the Natural Movement experience to their local community.

Where can readers find out more about MovNat?

Go to www.movnat.com or google MovNat to find countless media articles and reviews on blogs. Our certification manual is also a GREAT read.
 
*Natural Movement is a term I have defined, popularized and used as a simple way to explain MovNat since 2007.
 
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Cucumber & Mixed Greens Salad with Rosemary Vinaigrette

Cucumber & Mixed Greens Salad with Rosemary Vinaigrette

Another salad recipe is always handy for keeping your diet varied and interesting. This one packs in the veggies and is great to take to work or to have as a side to a big hunk of protein. 

Cucumber & Mixed Greens Salad with Rosemary Vinaigrette
Serves 6
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Salad
  1. 1/4 head chopped/torn iceberg lettuce
  2. 3 cups chopped/torn fresh spinach
  3. 1/4 c fresh chopped parsley
  4. 1/4 c fresh chopped cilantro
  5. 1/2 large cucumber, thinly sliced
  6. 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
Vinaigrette
  1. 2 cloves garlic
  2. Juice of 2 limes (about 1/4 c)
  3. 1/4 c EVOO
  4. 2 tbsp dijon mustard (clean)
  5. 1 tbsp white vinegar
  6. 2 tbsp honey
  7. 1/2 tsp sea salt
  8. 1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
  9. 1 tbsp dried rosemary
Instructions
  1. Add all the ingredients for the vinaigrette into a blender and process until smooth and creamy. Set aside in a lidded jar. I recommend serving each salad with a side of dressing instead of tossing the entire salad with dressing. Both the dressing and salad will keep longer if stored separately.
  2. Chop greens and thinly slice cucumbers and red onion. Toss in a large serving bowl.
  3. Serve each salad with a drizzle of vinaigrette and an optional garnish of goat feta cheese- please note that this is optional and not allowed for paleo purists.
  4. Enjoy!
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PaleoFM #020: Why Do Different Websites Say Different Things About Paleo?

PaleoFM #020

On today’s episode, we talk about why different websites say different things about paleo.

Why Do Different Websites Say Different Things About Paleo? [YouTube]

Why Do Different Websites Say Different Things About Paleo? [Soundcloud]

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Chocolate Chili Stuffed Sweet Potato

Chocolate Chili Sutffed Sweet Potato

This recipe is a meal like no other! Sweet potatoes are delicious enough but when you add chocolate chili, your taste buds go crazy. This is a must-try. It’s also fairly simple to make and very easy to scale up or down according to the number of mouths you’re feeding. Enjoy!

Chocolate Chili Stuffed Sweet Potato
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 1 batch of Chocolate Chili*
  2. 4 sweet potatoes
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and pierce sweet potatoes with a fork.
  2. Pour a tsp or so of olive oil into your hands and grease up each of the sweet potatoes.
  3. Sprinkle potatoes with sea salt and bake for one hour or until they start to drip “sweetness”.
  4. Remove sweet potatoes from oven and allow to cool slightly.
  5. Cut open sweet potatoes and top with a generous amount of Chocolate Chili.
  6. Garnish with fresh cut spring onions or chives.
  7. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. Chocolate Chili: http://ultimatepaleoguide.com/chocolate-paleo-chili/
Ultimate Paleo Guide http://ultimatepaleoguide.com/

Useful Links:

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The Paleo Guide To Fast Food

I want to start this post with a disclaimer:

On the whole, fast food is not paleo.

That said, sometimes there are no other options. You’re dragged to your local takeaway by a friend or  you find yourself stuck between places on your way to work. The best way to stay paleo is to plan ahead and to be prepared but there are times when life happens and you just have to deal with it. When that happens, follow our advice to make sure you pick the best options.

Note that these meals should not be everyday meals. We’ve got tons of recipes to help you get started on your journey. Cooking for yourself is almost always healthier than buying food but if you do find yourself in a pickle, here are some great options.

Chipotle

Chipotle is my go-to spot for fast-ish food that’s pretty darn paleo-friendly. Chipotle also does a good job of sourcing its food and you can see all the ingredients they use here. There are a couple of different options but here are some of my favorites.

The Meat Bowl and Guacamole

You can straight up ask for a meat bowl but you might get a few weird looks Instead, look your waiter in the eye and confidently say, “I’d like two sides of steak with guacamole, please.”

You’ll get a bunch of meat with guacamole. Depending on how much food you want, you can order extra sides at $2.25 a pop. You’ll end up with a ton of food for less than you ‘d pay for a burrito. Pretty good deal if you ask me.

Note: Occasionally you’ll get a new employee who might put the sides in a sides container. If they do this, ask them if they can put it in a bowl. If they do that, they’ll often realize it’s not actually that much meat and give you more for free.

If you do it right, it should look something like this:

Delicious.

Salad – Hold The Beans (and add extra meat)

The salad is a solid option. Lettuce, meat, salsa. Just be sure to hold the beans (legumes aren’t paleo). If you can handle cheese (and lean towards a more primal diet), feel free to add it in. Hold the vinaigrette - it’s made with bran oil.

Burrito Bowl minus Rice and Beans

This is a decent option as well but it might just be a pricier way to get the meat and guac bowl or the salad we talked about above. If they give you trouble about ordering the sides, you can use this as a last resort to make sure you don’t go hungry.

Bonus Chipotle hack: If you want to get more meat in your order, try the 1/2 + 1/2 = 3/5 trick. Basically, instead of ordering double meat, order half of one type of meat and half of another (half steak/half barbacoa). They’ll typically give you closer to 3/4 of each type of meat and you’ll end up with 1.5 x meat for the same price.

In-B-Out Burger

The thought of McDonald’s or Burger King makes me want to gag but In-N-Out is a surprisingly decent paleo fast food option. 

While the meat isn’t grass-fed, it is free of preservatives and filler and is definitely a higher grade than the meat at other fast food places.

Paleo Options at In-N-Out

“A Double or Triple Protein Style, no sauce” gets you a double or triple patty in a lettuce wrap (although you can order any burger “protein style” and get it without the bun). 

You can also add extra grilled onions, tomatoes, and chillies, depending on how you like your veggies. The nice surprise with In-N-Out is that it is cheeeeeaap. If you’re starving and near one, remember that it’s a solid option if you’re not feeling Chipotle.

You can also have the Flying Dutchman if your diet skews closer to primal and/or you can’t get enough cheese.

Whole Foods

Okay, so Whole Foods isn’t a fast food option. It’s not even a restaurant really – it’s a grocery store. That said, their salad buffet is pretty bomb. Load your salad up with spinach and other veggies and top it off with some healthy portions of meat.

_MG_7332
You pay by the pound so, depending on what you’re getting and how much you eat, the cost will vary, but you should be able to do it all for under $8.

They also have pretty good green smoothies, so they’re worth taking a look at as well.

Other Good “Paleo” Fast Food Options

Panera’s “Hidden” Paleo Menu

We’ve highlighted Panera’s paleo options before. Honestly, their portion sizes are a bit on the small side (so maybe order a double), but they’re a good option if you’re dragged along to a Panera lunch or are trying to get some work done and need something besides just coffee.

Quick And Dirty Breakfast Options

If you’re in a pinch and out of options, you can always go to IHOP, Denny’s, or Bob Evans and get bacon, eggs, and fruit. It’s not pretty but it’s doable, cheap, and will get the job done.

There are a few other restaurants where you can find paleo-friendly meals (or make non-paleo meals paleo-friendly with a few modifications):

  • CBW
  • Austin “Zen” Asian
  • Mongolian BBQ
  • KooKooRoo
  • Raising Cane’s Chicken

How To Find Paleo Restaurants Near You

Over the last few months, the UPG Team has been putting together Paleo Local – an awesome directory of paleo-friendly restaurants in major cities around the world. If you’ve got suggestions to add to the list, please let us know and we’ll do our best to create the best paleo restaurant directory resource on the net.

This guide works really well if you’re in the US where the majority of our readers are based. However, if you’re outside the US and have got a great paleo or primal restaurant to share, let us know in the comments and we’ll be sure to include it. Thanks!

So that’s the paleo guide to fast food. Did we miss anything? What are your favorite options for when you get “stuck”? Let us know in the comments!

Photo credit: Counse

 

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