Cooking with Chewy (how to make lunches for the week in an hour)

Cooking with Chewy

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So my blog about going to the grocery got a bit of attention and one of my students asked if I would post something about how to cook. His dilemma he says is that he can’t cook. The grocery article stressed that eating healthy foods can be easy and this post will be about how you can cook food fairly simply.

Please bear with me as my cooking abilities are more akin to The Swedish Chef than a gourmet chef.

 

First we need the food!

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-1lbs grass fed beef (fat % is your choice)

-1 ½ cup of dry quinoa (I’m using a mixture of red and white in the photo)

-1lbs bag of chopped bell peppers (you can opt for freshly chopped. I buy the frozen at times for convenience. If you do buy frozen vegetables, be sure there are no preservatives or flavors added.)

-10 baby mushrooms

-Misc. Coconut oil, yellow curry powder, pink salt

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* 1lbs of brussells sprouts and broccoli florets.

*4 cloves of freshly chopped garlic.

 

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I typically start by getting the water for my vegetables (kettle) and quinoa(pan) ready. If you’ve never cooked quinoa before, no worries, it’s really simple. It’s two parts water and one part quinoa. For example, since I was cooking 1 ½ cups of dry quinoa. I brought 3 cups of water to boil. So when you’re cooking, double the amount of water you use in relation to the quinoa.

 

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After the water is on the stove I move over to a large pan for the beef or whichever meat I decide to use. I like starting with a spoonful of coconut oil and throwing the fresh garlic on the pan. After a couple of minutes I will throw the meat onto the pan. Since I was using beef, once on the pan I began to chop it up with the spatula and added the yellow curry powder.

 

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Once the water is at a boil I’ll throw the quinoa in, cover the pan and lower the heat. Once this is done it typically takes around 12 minutes before the quinoa has absorbed the water.

 

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Once the beef is browning and getting closed to finished I will add the frozen peppers and mushrooms. I don’t want them to be super cooked because I will be reheating these meals. I find that cooking vegetables and peppers less makes them taste better when I reheat the meals.

 

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It doesn’t take a long time and then the peppers will soften and the final product looks like this. . .

 

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By now the quinoa should be ready and will look something like this. Move around the quinoa to ensure there isn’t much water left. If there is a little bit, its ok, just sit the hot pan to the side and it will absorb any remaining water. If there is a lot, then continue to cook. Otherwise you probably added too much and need to drain some out of the pan.

 

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With the vegetables, again, I don’t want to cook them too much as they tend to get soggy upon reheating. So I will place them in another pan on the stove and pour the boiling water from the kettle on top of them. I leave them in the water for around 2 minutes and then drain the water and put them into a bowl before I pack them up for the week. This cooks them but keeps them from being mushy when heating.

 

 

After this is done you’re ready to put all the food into containers for the week. You can use for tupperware and I’ve even seen people use little zip lock bags to hold and then pour the food onto a plate or bowl before heating. That’s really up to you. This process took less than an hour and I also have chicken and other vegetables that I didn’t show in this blog that were cooked in the same time frame. So in an hour I have enough food to provide lunches for the rest of the week. Plus it wasn’t difficult, so even if your culinary skills are subpar you can still cook well enough to provide yourself with healthy options during the week.

Again I hope this blog helps you eat healthier which in turn will help you train harder. Good luck!

 

As always,

Thanks for reading!

Chewy

 

Grocery Day with Chewy, simple dieting advice to lose weight and train hard!

Grocery Day with Chewy, simple dieting advice to lose weight and train hard!

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A common subject I get asked about by my students concerns dieting and what to eat to lose weight and have energy to train hard. Many people seem really confused about what to eat and are overwhelmed with all the different diets or data out there. I typically give very similar advice to anyone who asks. Now before I continue I will stress that this is what works best for me and I am not some super dieting guru. I don’t track everything to a T, but I have changed my body drastically over the years.

 

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(The advice I list below is what I used when I lost weight for my MMA fight)

 

KISS

Keep it simple stupid, you know, the KISS method! Seriously though, when deciding on a diet it’s really important to make it easy to follow. I promise, eating healthy doesn’t have to be that complicated. There are people I know who can successfully count calories and micro manage their intake. But for me, and for most people, that just doesn’t work, so I keep it simple and make easy to stick with. In this post I’m going to share the basic idea of the diet that I am following currently.

 

Eat real food

Eat whole foods. You don’t have to shop at Whole Foods but you need to eat them. This means things you actually have to cook. As a general rule I try to steer clear of processed pre-made items. There are exceptions of course, like protein powders and supplements, but when you make your food you have greater control over what you’re putting into your body.

 

Prepare food in advance

I make all of my lunches and dinners for Monday-Friday on Sunday. This allows me fast access to good food throughout the day. I’m a fat boy at heart and if I don’t have something to satisfy my hunger I will slip up and eat something that I probably shouldn’t. So I find it really important to have my meals ready for lunch time and especially post training. I really don’t like cooking after I just finished a hard training session.

When selecting what I want to put on my plate throughout the week I break it down into 3 categories, a protein source, a carbohydrate source, and green veggies.  Now I know that the 3 macro nutrients are Protein, Carbs and Fats and obviously green veggies are not fats. I do make sure to get a fair amount of good fats from the meat I take in as well as fish oil, coconut oil and nuts.

 

Below are pictures from grocery day last Sunday

 

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(Grass fed beef, chicken and a little chorizo for breakfast. Chorizo makes an omelet awesome)

 

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(This week is mostly quinoa but I threw in some sweet potatoes to mix it up a bit)

 

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(You can buy fresh or frozen veggies. I use spinach with just about anything, and I really load up on asparagus and sprouts during my meals. I honestly just like the taste and I don’t think anyone has ever become overweight from eating too many leafy greens or green vegetables. I also put chopped frozen peppers with my meat. It’s not a green vegetable but it made it into the picture.)

 

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(I really like greek yogurt with berries and walnuts for a snack. Peanut butter or almond butter is also a solid snack that goes well with fruit or a protein shake if you need something quick.)

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(If any of my students have passed by my office after training and smelled something. This is probably the culprit. I love this stuff and use it on my meat when I cook. Its sooo good.)

 

*Side note. I did not take pictures of all the food I bought. Some of things I did not take pictures of were almond-coconut milk, eggs, garlic, apples, oranges, bell peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, squash, honey, and coffee.

Common objections to eating this way:

It costs too much

I bought all the food I needed for a week for around $100. This includes breakfast, lunches, dinners and snacks as well as another meal once I get home at night for each day of the week. I could probably cut the cost a bit if I chose to go with cheaper crappy coffee or meat, but I refuse. People spend lots of money on their cars, fancy electronic gadgets, training gear, etc. I think we owe it to our body to treat it well and spend a little on food. I mean if you aren’t healthy then the rest of those things are going to be a lot less enjoyable.

 

I don’t have time to cook

On Sunday it takes me between 45 minutes to an hour to prepare 10 meals plus snacks for the week. You don’t have an hour? Step away from the t.v for a bit.

 

 

I hope this post helps you in your quest for a better diet that will help you on your journey to being a healthier version of yourself. Be sure to listen to your body and how it reacts to certain things and take note of how you feel while eating the foods. When I eat the food that I listed above I feel great. I have energy throughout the day, I don’t get sleepy and I am able to train hard. However some of the foods I listed may not suit your body and you will need to adjust accordingly.

Again, there are numerous diets and eating plans out there with the next big thing. But in my opinion if you’re new to dieting and trying to ease into eating healthier, you can’t go wrong by starting with eating whole foods that you have prepared yourself.

 

As always,

Thanks for reading

Chewy

Metamoris 3

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Not sure if you watched Metamoris 3 live, but if you did, maybe you’re like me and found it bitter sweet. Sweet because the Royler Gracie vs Eddie Bravo match was fantastic. Even though it came to a draw, both men went for it and fought the whole time. There was action! The bitter, well, the rest of the event was. . . meh. Besides Gui Mendes and Samir Chantre, the other matches lacked that aggressive energy that can make BJJ so exciting and fun to watch. I know that points and shorter time limits can be annoying but having the threat of losing sparks a sense of urgency. You’ll move and expose yourself in ways that you wouldn’t if points and time weren’t involved. In many of the matches guys gave up takedowns, didn’t fight aggressively to get into dominant position and all in all seemed very relaxed. It was really disappointing to see some of the competitors just come out and “play”. Its like when you watch MMA and it looks like the two fighters are at a sparring session. To me most of the matches looked like casual rolls in the gym. A couple of times you would see the action spike towards the last few minutes but overall I was left with the impression that everyone was reluctant to open up. No one was upset with the draw, they seemed happy that they weren’t submitted.

The sad part was with all the talent and potential on the Metamoris 3 event it took two men in their 40s, one almost 50, to bring some aggressive action to the show. Hopefully they will adjust the rules or something to get these guys to open up, otherwise they’ll never be able to bring this kind of event to a wide audience.

 

In my personal opinion I think matches should be shortened rather than lengthened. Not many guys can go full speed for 20 minutes, so they wait till the time draws to a more comfortable range to open up. I know I’ve asked myself the question of, “Should I go hard right out of the gate and risk being gassed towards the end, or should I play it safe and get going towards the end of the match?” and that’s for a 10 minute match! I imagine that a 20 minute match against ultra high level competition would be a big mental obstacle.

 

While I like the theory of no winner unless its a submission and a longer match duration to work, all it seems to do is invite passivity because the winner-loser dynamic has been taken away. Even if you come up short, as long as you’re not submitted you don’t lose. It allows the competitors to relax in bad positions and focus on defense instead of feeling the urgency to escape which opens up opportunities for submissions. Again, this is my opinion.

 

I’d love to hear what other people thought about it. If you’re reading, tell me what you think of the whole thing.

Oh and I hope they get a different announcer next time.

I’m not ready for a BJJ competition

 

“I’m not ready for a BJJ competition”

 

I am not sure if it’s because tournament season is gearing up, but I keep running into something. Recently, I’ve talked to several of my students and to friends and acquaintances that I know through BJJ. Many of them have the urge to compete, but instead of acting on this urge, they shy away from competition. They often express that they have a gap in some part of their game, or in some cases it seems that first time competitors simply fear the unknown. A couple of the people I’ve talked to are colored belts too. So if you’re reading this and you’re a colored belt who hasn’t competed, don’t worry, you’re not alone.  

 

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The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time to plant a tree is today.”

Competitions aren’t necessary and they certainly aren’t for everyone. But they can be a lot of fun and can teach us a lot about ourselves and our Jiu-jitsu, so if you have the desire to compete but are on the fence about it . . . just do it. You don’t have anything to lose.

 

Reason why people don’t compete

There are some reoccurring themes that seem to cause people to over analyze tournaments and over think themselves out of the situation. Again, these are my personal opinions and experiences on the subject.

  1. 1.       Nature of BJJ – Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is a martial art / sport of constant learning and improvement. If you think about it, in some ways we are like a hamster in a wheel. We continually strive for perfection and mastery only to get to the point we were striving for and realize we’ve got more work to do. No matter how well we are prepared or how good we are at the time. We can always be better. So if you are avoiding competition because you feel like you have too many imperfections or that you’re lacking somewhere. Relax, no one is perfect, your opponents will have weak areas too. When we compete we’re just trying to execute our game at that time to the best of our ability. We don’t have to be perfect to do that.
  2. 2.       Bad at takedowns – This one comes up a lot because often times newcomers to BJJ haven’t wrestled and many gyms (mine is not one of them) do not practice takedowns often. This can often be a scary spot for BJJ practitioners. Without proper training, takedowns appear to be an injury waiting to happen. If you feel this way, you have two options. You can find a takedown and start drilling and developing that area of your game. The other option is to develop a nasty bottom game so that you will feel comfortable pulling guard and attacking off your back.
  3. 3.       Watching too much Youtube – I remember when I fought my first MMA fight. At the time I watched so much high level MMA. Highlight videos, PPVs, etc. When I was getting ready for my first fight I was so nervous. What my mind associated with MMA was the highest level of the sport. When I closed my eyes I saw replays of Randy Couture, Rich Franklin, Dan Henderson, Mirko Crocop (this was 2006 mind you). What I was actually taking part in, was the lower levels of amateur fighting. Mostly out of shape “tough guys” who wanted to fight to puff their chest up a bit. I believe if I would have watched more amateur level MMA prior to the fight I would have been a little less nervous . . . a little. Many BJJ players who are new to this world of one on one competition build tournaments into something they aren’t. They will watch things like Andre Galvao highlights, Miyao brothers move breakdowns or the Black Belt matches from last years’ Mundials. This of course, is because those are the highest levels of our sport and the most popular. The problem is, if you haven’t competed, these become the only images you have to associate with competition. In my opinion, practitioners should be equally as focused with watching matches that will reflect their skill level.  If someone is a blue belt, they should seek out blue belt matches in order to get an idea of what their competition might look like. Often times when people watch matches from their level of skill, they get an attitude of “oh. . .I can do this.”
  4. 4.       Ego – Many people are competitive and the thought of not winning is haunting to them. If this is a reason for not competing. Don’t let your ego get in the way. It may not seem like it, but there is more to competing than just winning. 

 

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If you find yourself searching for a reason not to compete, STOP! Instead, search for a reason to compete. You can always find a reason not to do something that pushes you out of your comfort zone. But I can sincerely say that I’ve never done a tournament and felt any regret afterwards. Sometimes I was in the best of shape and other times, not so much. I won some and lost some. But I always learned, enjoyed the camaraderie with my team and had a great time hanging out with a bunch of fellow BJJ junkies. I’ve also met some of the coolest people and build friendships that have changed my life at these tournaments.    

 

I’ll leave you with this.

As a full time instructor for almost 5 years, I’ve had several students who shied away from tournaments and even feared them. When these particular students finally took the leap and competed. In each instance, win or lose, they expressed how much they enjoyed the experience and that they wish they would have competed sooner.