Posts Tagged ‘crossfit’

Picture if you will, a time of yore. A time of horses and knights, a time of maidens and castles; the time of the blacksmith.  Not much has changed in the way a good quality piece of cast iron cook wear is made over the years. “Pig iron” is melted down along with other scrap iron, impurities removed, and poured into a mold made of sand and clay. Once it cools, the mold is cleaned off and ta da, you have your skillet. The good people at Lodge have been making cast iron cookwear this very way since 1896 in South Pittsburg, Tennessee . Here’s a quick little video of their factory:

Now you may say, but there are all these fancy (and expensive!) Stainless steel and anodized pans on the market, surely these new fangled pots and pans are better than Meemaw’s ol’ thing? Let me tell you, Meemaw was on to something…

The Benefits of Cast Iron:

1. Economic…heavy in your hand, not on your pocket book
  • Built to last

That same cast iron skillet or dutch oven Meemaw had on her stove all those years, well chances are, it’s going to be around for another 60 years if cared for properly.

Most pieces can be picked up for between $10-$30 depending on size. Some of your larger skillets or grill pans top out at the $50 mark. However, compared to the moderately priced ($200-$400) 10 or 12 piece conventional cookwear set, the initial cost is on par. Your more elaborate modern sets are going to cost you more in the beginning (some ranging up to$800! Eek!), and chances are they will last a little longer than the lower end, but still hit the dust well before Meemaw’s.

2. Environmentally Friendly
  •  Did I mention, built to last? 

 Cast iron is built to last more than a life time. Meemaw’s skillet is going to be with you longer than Meemaw herself (Sorry Meemaw, we love you!). Since you won’t be replacing your cookwear every 10 years, that means there are just that many fewer pots and pans cluttering up the landfills. Plus, because cast iron improves with age (much like women….) that skillet is only going to get better the more it is use; a claim your non-stick super-duper anodized pans cannot make.

  • No Toxic Chemical Processes; Just Iron, Rocks, and Sand

 Lodge has been making cookwear the eco-friendly way for years. Just a little iron, a few rocks and a lot of sand. (Check out their info page for more details) They have taken steps to make sure their cast iron has as little impact on the planet as possible. This includes what goes on the skillet, as well as, what goes into it. PFOA, or perfluorooctanoic acid is the key ingredient to DuPont’s slippery Tephlon®. Studies show that this chemical, along with a few others, never break down in the environment.  Lodge uses a kosher vegetable oil to give their cook wear its “seasoning”. (Perhaps someday they will switch to coconut oil 🙂 )

3. Good for your Health
  •  Cast Iron gives you iron!

  Eating food prepared in cast iron provides you with trace amounts of iron. This can be particularly helpful for those suffering from anemia (10% of American women are iron deficient). Better yet, cooking acidic foods (like tomato based sauces) increases the amount of iron leached from your pan by up to 20 times, a great technique for all those vegetarian/vegan folks out there.

  • Less Fat Needed

 Now, I am a strong believer that fat gets a bad wrap in is country. Personally, I consume foods rich in healthy fats as part of my balanced diet. However, I do think this deserves a mention. A well seasoned pan takes less fat to cook food. You can skip the tons of oil if you like, and let the pan do the work. Once you have a pan that has been seasoned to a shinny gloss, you’ll find it works better (and tastes way better!) than most conventional non-stick ones.

  • No Perfluorooctanoic or Perfluorocarbons (I can’t even pronounce that…lets just go with PFOA’s and PFC’s), only Fe

 Did you know, in 2006, the Environmental Protection Agency launched a program aimed at reducing the use of PFOA by 95 percent in 2010 and eliminating it altogether by 2015. Why you may ask?

    • Is very persistent in the environment
    • Is found at very low levels both in the environment and in the blood of the general U.S. population
    • Remains in people for a very long time
    • Causes developmental and other adverse effects in laboratory animals.

 Yummy…studies have also shown a correlation between liver damage, cancer, developmental problems and, according to one 2011 study in the Journal of ClinicalEndocrinology & Metabolism, early menopause. Even more frightening, the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine found that children and teenagers with PFOA in their blood serum had higher total cholesterol levels and higher levels of LDL, the “bad” cholesterol, than children who were not exposed. (Keep in mind this is not a “causation” further study is required.)

 4. It’s all about the little things
  • Your CIS Can go from the stove top to the oven (Something your non-stick pans or plastic handle pots cannot.) 
  • Skip the soap! Use a stiff brush and little hot water to clean up. No harsh/environmentally harmful solvents needed. 
  • It keeps the heat. Even after the oven or stove has been turned off, the dutch oven will keep that chili warm. (That means less energy used, it all adds up.) 
  • It’s not going to warp. You can drop it, ding it, bang it and that skillet is going to keep its shape. 
  • You could use it as self-defense (Note, I am not advocating hitting someone with one. But if the need arose, I believe Fried Green Tomatoes has a bit of truth.)

 

A Quick how to on the care of those cast iron beauties. *Note- I recommend the use of coconut oil.

 

And one more from Scotty on the everyday maintenance of your pan

 

Phew! Now with that said, just a couple final thoughts. Even if you aren’t sold on the idea of cast iron for all of your culinary adventures, please take one thing to heart: Throw out those chipped and cracked non-stick pans! And never ever put one in the oven. For the sake of your health and the health of those you love, the ill effects may not be 100% proven, but is it really worth the risk?  Try out a CIS Meemaw will be so proud. 

Tonight was the final onramp session for me and the boyfriend. Finally we are able to join the rest of the crew sweating and lifting heaving things in the big boys/girls room. 🙂 Today was also the last day at my current job. Sort of a bittersweet end for new beginnings you could say. Onramp was awesome. The first time lifting with a real bar (vs the wooden stick). The boyfriend kicked the WOD in the butt with a 4:46 time, all but the last 9 unbroken. I chipped my way through with a 7:23 time, finishing my last 9 with air squats instead of burpees. I did however, get my fill of puppy kisses, as Stella found my chap-stick particularly enjoyable during warmup. Crossfit puppies make everything better 🙂

WOD: Onramp #3

Warmup:
Gen Warm up
Burgener x2
Air Squats
Back squats 45#
Front Squat 45#

WOD: 7:23
21-15-9
Wallball
Burpee/air squat 9 😦

What’s For Dinner:

Salad, Sauerkraut and Sausage

Serves 4, ~40 Minutes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What you need:

The Salad:

Lettuce

Tomato

Green Pepper

Cucumber

Black Olives

EVOO and Vinegar of choice

The Sauerkraut and Sausage:

1 Tbls Coconut oil

1 Onion (chopped)

5 Pork Sausage Links

1/2 bag Sauerkraut

1 cup Chicken Stock

1/4 c Vinegar

Salt and Pepper

1 tsp Caraway Seed

*Adding a diced apple is a great way to sweeten things up. I opted to forgo it this time, but man is it tasty! Just throw it in with the sausage to caramelize some of the natural sugars.

How to do it:

Melt your coconut oil in cast iron skillet or dutch oven over med heat. Add onion and saute until translucent. Place sausage links in pan and allow to brown on all sides, about 6 minutes. Pour in chicken stock a bit at a time and scrape up all the tasty brown bits from the bottom. Add your sauerkraut, vinegar and seasonings. Turn down to med/low and simmer until sausage reaches internal temp of 160F. You can leave them whole, or slice on a bias. Either way, enjoy!

Alright! Day #2 

WOD: Home workout #1

3 Rounds For time:

10 burpees

10 squats

30 sit ups

1. 2:12.92  41.19/14.73/1:17

2. 1:56.80  38.05/13.90/1:04.84

3. 1:48.93  41.23/13.23/0:54.47

I never thought 6 minutes of working out could be so intense!

Dinner: Spaghetti Squash Spaghetti

Roasted spaghetti squash topped with italian sausage tomato sauce.  Serves 4,  40 minutes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What you need:

2 Spaghetti squash (split in half, seeds removed, and roasted @ 400F for 40min)

5 Sweet italian sausage (I went with Trader Joe’s sweet italian, but any natural no additive brand will work)

1/2 Onion chopped

3 Cloves Garlic minced

2 Cans diced tomatoes (no salt added)

2 Tbls Tomato paste

1 Cup sliced mushrooms

1 Sprig fresh oregano chopped

1 Sprig fresh rosemary chopped

Fresh ground pepper to taste

*Sea salt if you like

How to do it:

Get your squash roasting and brown the sausage over medium heat in a big cast iron skillet. Once your sausage is browned, toss in the onion and garlic. Sauté until soft, remove the sausage and slice into pieces.

Add both cans of tomatoes with juice and tomato paste to the skillet, stir well. Bring to a simmer, add mushrooms and  sausage back in. Cook over med/low until mushrooms are tender. Throw in your herbs and pepper.

Remove squash from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Gently pull flesh with a fork and top with sauce. Enjoy!

Well, I think a little back story is in order.

About a year ago, I told myself that I refused to enter my thirties weighing over 200#s. I knew that big changes had to be made, and for the most part, I was ready to try anything to get results. At the time, I was eating a primarily vegetarian diet with a few fish thrown in here and there. Lots of carbs, lots of alcohol, and way to much processed soy meat products. Let’s just say I was fast tracking my way to type II diabetes. I was depressed, out of shape, not sleeping, constant anxiety and had no energy.

For about a year I started working out at home with Jillian dvds, riding my bike trainer (there was a time that I raced competitively and was actually in shape!) and tracking EVERY SINGLE CALORIE I put in my mouth. I’m really not kidding about the every single cal either. If I brushed my teeth and used mouth wash, that went on my tracker. To say it was time consuming was an understatement. I replaced all of the things I wanted to change in my life with mountain climbing and nutrition. It became an obsession and It worked to a degree. I lost 30#s, found my ankles and suddenly had a chin. The only problem was it stopped working. I still looked soft and my day was centered around counting and weighting food. When it took me more time to measure and track the food than it did to eat it, I knew something had to give.

So here I am a year later, and 9 months until I am 30 still not where I want to be. Only this time I found Paleo and crossfit! This is the start of the journey. Lifting heavy things and eating zebra.  I’ve been doing the paleo about 90% for around a month now. The obsession with General Tso’s Chicken has been tamed (damn you Tso and your tasty tasty chicken)  and we began the Whole30, as of today, to really dive into it. So on to day 1!

Day 1: (Please bare with me on the terms, and how it should be written out, I’m still learning.)

WOD: On Ramp 2- 11:27, catching my breath- 20:34 🙂

Warm up: Jump Rope, Cindy (3 rounds: 5 pull-ups (ring rows), 10 push-ups, 15 squats)

Swod: Learn how to lift the stick, pull push jerk

Cwod: CF open wod 2!! (5 rounds) 10 step ups #20 (went down to 10#), 5 press ups, and 1/2 gasser.

Dinner: Buffalo burger

2 Buffalo patties

1/2 Avocado

Lettuce

Tomato

Pineapple

I ❤ Buffalo