Posts filed under TIPS

FIT FOR DUTY TIPS - STAYING FIREFIGHTER FIT WITHOUT GIVING UP BEER

WE HAVE TEAMED UP WITH DR. KARLIE MOORE OF FIT FOR DUTY CONSULTING TO PROVIDE WEEKLY NUTRITIONAL TIPS THAT ARE SURE TO HELP US GET "FIT FOR DUTY" .  DR. KARLIE'S WELLNESS PROGRAM PROVIDES CLASSES NOT ONLY ON NUTRITION BUT EXERCISE, WEIGHT LOSS AND HEART/BACK HEALTH.  THESE CLASSES ARE FIREFIGHTER SPECIFIC AND BASED ON SCIENTIFIC STUDIES ON FIREFIGHTERS.  TO LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. KARLIE, WHO HAPPENS TO BE MARRIED TO A FIREFIGHTER, AND FIT FOR DUTY CONSULTING CLICK HERE ! AND IF YOU OR YOUR DEPARTMENT SIGNS UP FOR THE WELLNESS PROGRAM, PLEASE LET THEM KNOW THAT FORK AND HOSE CO. REFERRED YOU! NOW ONTO THIS WEEK'S TIP.....

By Dr. Karlie Moore

It’s football season so this week I’m giving you my tip for staying firefighter fit without giving up beer:)

First of all, you don’t have to be an extreme health nut to be a healthy person. You can enjoy beer, burgers and lots of other non “health” foods and still live a long, healthy life. Everything in moderation.

Also, there are definitely some health benefits to moderate beer drinking! Including stress reduction, and improved risk factors for heart disease. However, this is only true for people who have a healthy weight. (Of course, drinking in excess causes other health problems, and studies typically equate “moderate” drinking to an average of one drink per day. ) But beer can have a lot of calories in it, so it can be difficult to maintain a healthy weight while maintaining your drinking habit. To help out with that, here is the run-down on the lowest and highest calorie beers out there.

All the lowest calorie beers ranging from 95-124 calories typically say “light” in the title. Rolling Rock (120) and Michelob Ultra (95) are also low in calories. The next lightest is Guinness Draught with 126 calories (not Guinness Extra Stout which is 153 calories).

Budweiser (145), Coors (149) and Corona (148) are next highest and comparable in calories. Sam Adams and Fat Tire both come in at 160. Red beers typically aren’t the lowest in calories, but they’re not the highest either. George Killian’s Irish Red has 162 calories and Gennesse Red has 148.

Wheat beers like Michelob Honey Wheat (175) and Blue Moon (180) may set you back a few more calories. You may have thought that the dark beers are always the highest in calories. While that may be a good general rule to follow, some don’t fit that bill. Henry Weinhard Classic Dark Lager has 166 calories and Yuengling Porter has 150 calories which is even comparable to a Coors.

It’s good practice to check the calorie count on the nutrition facts label, especially for darker beers since they can vary. Budweiser American Ale is pretty high in calories at 182 and a Miller Classic Chocolate Lager is 195 calories. Watch out: a few examples of beers super high in calories are Sierra Nevada Bigfoot (330), McEwan’s Scotch Ale (295) and Sierra Nevada Stout (225). These are pretty comparable to eating an ice cream sundae.

Posted on October 17, 2015 and filed under TIPS.

FIT FOR DUTY TIPS - HOW YOU ARE SETTING YOURSELF UP TO BE A BOTTOMLESS PIT

WE HAVE TEAMED UP WITH DR. KARLIE MOORE OF WE HAVE TEAMED UP WITH DR. KARLIE MOORE OF FIT FOR DUTY CONSULTING TO PROVIDE WEEKLY NUTRITIONAL TIPS THAT ARE SURE TO HELP US GET "FIT FOR DUTY" .  DR. KARLIE'S WELLNESS PROGRAM PROVIDES CLASSES NOT ONLY ON NUTRITION BUT EXERCISE, WEIGHT LOSS AND HEART/BACK HEALTH.  THESE CLASSES ARE FIREFIGHTER SPECIFIC AND BASED ON SCIENTIFIC STUDIES ON FIREFIGHTERS.  TO LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. KARLIE, WHO HAPPENS TO BE MARRIED TO A FIREFIGHTER, AND FIT FOR DUTY CONSULTING CLICK HERE ! AND IF YOU OR YOUR DEPARTMENT SIGNS UP FOR THE WELLNESS PROGRAM, PLEASE LET THEM KNOW THAT FORK AND HOSE CO. REFERRED YOU! NOW ONTO THIS WEEK'S TIP.....
 ! AND IF YOU OR YOUR DEPARTMENT SIGNS UP FOR THE WELLNESS PROGRAM, PLEASE LET THEM KNOW THAT FORK AND HOSE CO. REFERRED YOU! NOW ONTO THIS WEEK'S TIP.....

By Dr. Karlie Moore

Lack of sleep has been shown to both cause weight gain and impede weight loss efforts.

The likely reason is because your body turns up your hunger sense when you’re tired. Without enough sleep your body senses that you’re low on energy. If you’re energy deficient then you must need more fuel, and that means more calories. Hence, it kicks your hunger into overdrive.

This is why you feel like a bottomless pit when you’re tired.

Getting more sleep alone could help you lose weight – and then there’s the positive side effects of feeling better, looking better and being healthier!

If you find yourself sleep deprived remind yourself that the hunger isn’t because you actuallyneed the calories, your body just thinks you do. What you need is sleep.

When I’m sleep deprived and feeling famished all day, I’ve found that (second to taking a nap) doing something to get my heart rate up helps to get rid of those misguided hunger signals.

Posted on September 19, 2015 and filed under TIPS.

ENERGY BALANCE GUIDE FOR LATE TEENS AND ADULTS

OUR FRIENDS AT THE HEALTHY WEIGHT COMMITMENT FOUNDATION DO GREAT THINGS IN REGARDS TO PROMOTING HEALTHIER LIFESTYLES FOR KIDS...BUT IT DOESN'T STOP THERE.  THE HWCF AND F&H CO. BOTH KNOW THAT HEALTHY LIVING IS A TEAM EFFORT FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY.  THIS GUIDE IS FULL OF GREAT TIPS ON HOW LATE TEENS AND ADULTS ALIKE CAN ACHIEVE ENERGY BALANCE.  A MUST READ FOR ANYONE STRUGGLING WITH WEIGHT ISUES, NUTRITIONAL ROAD BLOCKS OR JUST GETTING A LITTLE MORE EXERCISE IN.  CHECK IT OUT!
Posted on September 1, 2015 and filed under TIPS.

FIT FOR DUTY - WHY PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTS WILL MAKE YOU FAT

WE HAVE TEAMED UP WITH DR. KARLIE MOORE OF WE HAVE TEAMED UP WITH DR. KARLIE MOORE OF FIT FOR DUTY CONSULTING TO PROVIDE WEEKLY NUTRITIONAL TIPS THAT ARE SURE TO HELP US GET "FIT FOR DUTY" .  DR. KARLIE'S WELLNESS PROGRAM PROVIDES CLASSES NOT ONLY ON NUTRITION BUT EXERCISE, WEIGHT LOSS AND HEART/BACK HEALTH.  THESE CLASSES ARE FIREFIGHTER SPECIFIC AND BASED ON SCIENTIFIC STUDIES ON FIREFIGHTERS.  TO LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. KARLIE, WHO HAPPENS TO BE MARRIED TO A FIREFIGHTER, AND FIT FOR DUTY CONSULTING CLICK HERE ! AND IF YOU OR YOUR DEPARTMENT SIGNS UP FOR THE WELLNESS PROGRAM, PLEASE LET THEM KNOW THAT FORK AND HOSE CO. REFERRED YOU! NOW ONTO THIS WEEK'S TIP.....

Why protein supplements will make you fat

by DR. KARLIE 

Protein seems to be a very poorly understood topic, especially among firefighters. I could write for days about this but today’s post is limited to one critical message:

Contrary to popular belief, protein supplements are for weight GAIN, not weight loss.

If you are hoping to lose weight, or just maintain a healthy weight, you should not be taking in protein powder supplements nor protein shakes or bars.

While protein shakes and bars have been marketed as diet foods, they are not good tools for dieters. People trying to eat fewer calories should be choosing foods that are low in calories but high in volume. Bars and shakes are the opposite: they pack in a lot of calories within a very small volume. For this reason, protein bars were originally developed as meal replacements, and they should stay that way. They are a good thing to carry at work in case you have to skip a meal. But don’t expect to eat something like this as a meal and feel full. Another problem is that they often have too much sugar and fat in them.

So if you’re trying to lose fat but gain muscle at the same time, should you be taking protein supplements?

Even if you are doing resistance training, powder supplements are only needed if you can’t get in enough calories in order to GAIN mass. If you have a little extra fat to spare, those reserves will burn down so your muscles have fuel to hypertrophy (get larger) in response to resistance training. At the end of the day, in order for muscles to hypertrophy, your body just needs enough fuel (calories) to make that happen, and those calories can come in the form of fat, carbohydrates or protein. Moral of the story: Eating more protein does not equal having a muscular physique.

Hopefully you can now correctly answer NO to the question above.


Posted on August 29, 2015 and filed under TIPS.

FIT FOR DUTY TIPS- MISTAKES THAT PREVENT YOU FROM LOSING WEIGHT

WE HAVE TEAMED UP WITH DR. KARLIE MOORE OF FIT FOR DUTY CONSULTING TO PROVIDE WEEKLY NUTRITIONAL TIPS THAT ARE SURE TO HELP US GET "FIT FOR DUTY" .  DR. KARLIE'S WELLNESS PROGRAM PROVIDES CLASSES NOT ONLY ON NUTRITION BUT EXERCISE, WEIGHT LOSS AND HEART/BACK HEALTH.  THESE CLASSES ARE FIREFIGHTER SPECIFIC AND BASED ON SCIENTIFIC STUDIES ON FIREFIGHTERS.  TO LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. KARLIE, WHO HAPPENS TO BE MARRIED TO A FIREFIGHTER, AND FIT FOR DUTY CONSULTING CLICK HERE ! AND IF YOU OR YOUR DEPARTMENT SIGNS UP FOR THE WELLNESS PROGRAM, PLEASE LET THEM KNOW THAT FORK AND HOSE CO. REFERRED YOU! NOW ONTO THIS WEEK'S TIP.....

The 3 biggest mistakes that prevent you from losing weight

by KARLIE 

Sometime in 2015 we’ll be doing the Firefighter 60 Day Slim Down Challenge again. But until then,  I think we need a refresher on some of my most important weight loss advice.  Starting this week I’m going to be explaining the 3 biggest mistakes that prevent you from losing weight.


Today, mistake #1

The mistake is dieting. Yep, if you set out to lose weight by temporarily “dieting” – that is eating less food, and/or eating different foods than you plan to once you’re done with your diet – you will not lose weight.

This isn’t my opinion, it’s a fact. See, every size requires a certain number of calories to sustain. If you’re my size you require about 2,400 calories a day. If I had less mass, let’s say I was much shorter, I might require only 2,000 calories per day. So you can see if you cut calories to get down to a certain size, you have to continue to eat that number of calories to maintain that size.

If your plan is to temporarily eat certain foods (like a diet program where you buy their food), or simply to severely cut back on calories as long as you can stand it, that won’t work. As soon as you go back to eating what you ate before, you’ll get back to the size that you were before.

What’s Worse…

Really, the worst think you can do is yo-yo like this. Because when you lose weight it’s typically about 25% lean mass. Once you gain it back, it’s all fat.  So each time you lose weight and put it back on, your body fat percentage gets higher.

Also, with extreme calorie cutting your resting metabolic rate(RMR) may plummet. Your RMR is the amount of calories that your body needs to sustain itself; it’s dependent mostly on your size and is also influenced by your body composition (fat vs. lean mass).  If you’re starving yourself your body will get the message that food is scarce and will begin to spare fuel by burning fewer calories. You don’t want that.


Posted on August 22, 2015 and filed under TIPS.

FIT FOR DUTY TIPS - WHY YOU SHOULDN'T GIVE UP YOUR FAVORITE FOODS

WE HAVE TEAMED UP WITH DR. KARLIE MOORE OF FIT FOR DUTY CONSULTING TO PROVIDE WEEKLY NUTRITIONAL TIPS THAT ARE SURE TO HELP US GET "FIT FOR DUTY" .  DR. KARLIE'S WELLNESS PROGRAM PROVIDES CLASSES NOT ONLY ON NUTRITION BUT EXERCISE, WEIGHT LOSS AND HEART/BACK HEALTH.  THESE CLASSES ARE FIREFIGHTER SPECIFIC AND BASED ON SCIENTIFIC STUDIES ON FIREFIGHTERS.  TO LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. KARLIE, WHO HAPPENS TO BE MARRIED TO A FIREFIGHTER, AND FIT FOR DUTY CONSULTING CLICK HERE ! AND IF YOU OR YOUR DEPARTMENT SIGNS UP FOR THE WELLNESS PROGRAM, PLEASE LET THEM KNOW THAT FORK AND HOSE CO. REFERRED YOU! NOW ONTO THIS WEEK'S TIP.....

Weight loss mistakes: Why you shouldn’t give up your favorite foods

by Dr. Karlie Moore

Last week I started a series where I’m explaining the 3 biggest mistakes that prevent you from losing weight. If you didn’t read the first mistake, catch up here.

The second biggest mistake is absolutely forbidding certain foods. Although it seems counter-intuitive, if you have a no tolerance policy toward any unhealthy foods – and I am talking about things you really like – you may be doing yourself more harm than good.

Research shows that when people give in and eat a food that they were trying to avoid, they feel bad and that starts a spiral that is more likely to end in the person giving up altogether. So you want to give yourself a little leeway; don’t set yourself up for failure.

If you do have that ice cream that someone brought to the fire station, focus on just having a smaller portion than usual, make sure you savor it (don’t do something that takes your mind off what you’re eating), and don’t feel bad about it.

One caveat – this really only applies to unhealthy foods that you love. One problem that I see with firefighters at the station, and people who work in an office, is eating a treat simply because it’s there. People bring in so many treats to my local fire stations I want to put a sign that says “don’t feed the firefighters.” Office workers are always faced with donuts, candy jars and birthday cake.

Before picking up the treat you need to ask yourself if it’s really worth it. A donut like the ones shown in the picture has about 200 calories. Your half hour workout might only burn 200 calories. If you could take it or leave it – leave it!

This is a tough balance because you only want to eat something if you’re really jonesing for it, but if you do – don’t send yourself down the shame spiral. Pat yourself on the back for all the healthy eating you’ve been doing and don’t see this as a setback.

Keep on workin toward your healthy weight/healthy lifestyle goal no matter how much you think you “screwed up.”

Ultimately, being a healthy person means eating lots of healthy foods – whole grains, fruits and vegetables – and being fairly active. You DO NOT have to run marathons and only eat tofu to live a long, happy healthy life and enjoy that hard earned retirement.


 ! AND IF YOU OR YOUR DEPARTMENT SIGNS UP FOR THE WELLNESS PROGRAM, PLEASE LET THEM KNOW THAT FORK AND HOSE CO. REFERRED YOU! NOW ONTO THIS WEEK'S TIP.....
Posted on August 15, 2015 and filed under TIPS.

FIT FOR DUTY TIPS

WE ARE EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE A NEW PARTNERSHIP TO F&H CO. !  WE HAVE TEAMED UP WITH DR. KARLIE MOORE OF FIT FOR DUTY CONSULTING TO PROVIDE WEEKLY NUTRITIONAL TIPS THAT ARE SURE TO HELP US GET "FIT FOR DUTY" .  DR. KARLIE'S WELLNESS PROGRAM PROVIDES CLASSES NOT ONLY ON NUTRITION BUT EXERCISE, WEIGHT LOSS AND HEART/BACK HEALTH.  THESE CLASSES ARE FIREFIGHTER SPECIFIC AND BASED ON SCIENTIFIC STUDIES ON FIREFIGHTERS.  TO LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. KARLIE, WHO HAPPENS TO BE MARRIED TO A FIREFIGHTER, AND FIT FOR DUTY CONSULTING CLICK HERE ! AND IF YOU OR YOUR DEPARTMENT SIGNS UP FOR THE WELLNESS PROGRAM, PLEASE LET THEM KNOW THAT FORK AND HOSE CO. REFERRED YOU! NOW ONTO THIS WEEK'S TIP.....

The #1 way to avoid foods that secretly have tons of calories

by KARLIE on MARCH 27, 2013

The last few weeks I’ve been talking about getting clued in to the calories in some beers andsmoothies so you can avoid unknowingly eating something with the same amount of calories as an ice cream sundae (because if you’re going to eat that many calories you may as well eat that sundae!).


Today I’m telling you the #1 thing you can do to avoid foods that secretly have tons of calories in them: read the nutrition label on the package. I mean it. It seems silly but only takes a second and can make a big difference. Here’s an example with the greek yogurt that I buy. I don’t prefer the “plain” kind so I was buying the “honey” flavor. One day I decided to put my money where my mouth is and double check the nutrition label on the different flavors. Low and behold, the (individual carton) “honey” flavor carries 240 calories while it’s neighbor, the “vanilla” flavor, has only 160. That is a HUGE difference for the same amount of yogurt and the two taste virtually the same.  Needless to say I am buying the vanilla flavor now.

So if you were buying, say, a thin crust pepperoni pizza, you might be surprised to see that you can reduce your calorie intake simply by choosing Newman’s own (320 calories and 16 grams of fat per 1/2 pie) rather than Red Baron (400 calories and 19 grams of fat). And for desert, you’ll make a better choice if you compare Haagen Dazs chocolate sorbet (130 calories/serving) with Ben and Jerry’s Peanut Butter cup (360 calories/serving). By checking food labels you can literally make better choices even if you’re eating pizza and ice cream!

There are millions more examples but you will not know unless you take a second to flip the box around (or look at the menu- all restaurants in the US are required by federal law to provide calorie information). Think of it this way, If you are unknowingly eating an extra 80 calories, as I did in my example above, it’s a lot easier to look at a nutrition label and choose something else than it is to burn off an extra 80 calories via exercise.

Note: be sure to look at the serving size at the top of the nutrition label when comparing the calories between two foods.

Posted on August 1, 2015 and filed under TIPS.

FIT FOR DUTY TIPS

WE ARE EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE A NEW PARTNERSHIP TO F&H CO. !  WE HAVE TEAMED UP WITH DR. KARLIE MOORE OF FIT FOR DUTY CONSULTING TO PROVIDE WEEKLY NUTRITIONAL TIPS THAT ARE SURE TO HELP US GET "FIT FOR DUTY" .  DR. KARLIE'S WELLNESS PROGRAM PROVIDES CLASSES NOT ONLY ON NUTRITION BUT EXERCISE, WEIGHT LOSS AND HEART/BACK HEALTH.  THESE CLASSES ARE FIREFIGHTER SPECIFIC AND BASED ON SCIENTIFIC STUDIES ON FIREFIGHTERS.  TO LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. KARLIE, WHO HAPPENS TO BE MARRIED TO A FIREFIGHTER, AND FIT FOR DUTY CONSULTING CLICK HERE ! AND IF YOU OR YOUR DEPARTMENT SIGNS UP FOR THE WELLNESS PROGRAM, PLEASE LET THEM KNOW THAT FORK AND HOSE CO. REFERRED YOU! NOW ONTO THIS WEEK'S TIP......

WHAT FIREFIGHTERS SHOULD EAT FOR BREAKFAST

By: Dr. Karlie Moore

What you eat for breakfast is really important because it can set you up for success or failure for the rest of the day. I’ve shared in the past that a good weight loss strategy is to try and eat more of your calories in the beginning of the day and taper down throughout the rest of the day.

There are two benefits to this strategy.

First, it gives you more waking hours to burn off those calories, and more importantly, it keeps your hunger in check. If you do not eat filling foods in the morning, you’ll end up eating more throughout the day because you’re more hungry.

The perfect breakfast for firefighters

Firefighters especially need a breakfast that’s filling since you may not be able to eat lunch until 5pm. The most filling nutrients are fiber, fat and protein so it must include those (good fats of course). Fiber and healthy fats also ward off heart disease by lowering your cholesterol and reducing inflammation in your body.

A breakfast that meets all of these needs, and is super quick and easy to prepare, is oatmeal with fruit/berries, chopped nuts, milk (or a milk alternative), and some cinnamon. Here’s more:

It can be any kind of oatmeal – instant has just as much fiber as traditional oats. Steel cut oats have more fiber but take a long time to cook. The best kind of nut to add are chopped walnuts because they are the only kind that actually have omega-3 fats, the most heart healthy fat we can eat. Both the nuts and the milk add protein that makes it more filling. If you choose a milk alternative, know that those usually have less protein.

If you need to add some sugar or honey, I say go for it. You can choose a fruit or berry that’s sweet so you don’t have to add much. Berries like blueberries, blackberries and raspberries have the most fiber per volume, they also have a ton of antioxidants which fight off cancer.

Now for the secret ingredient: a spoonful of cinnamon. Research shows that cinnamon helps control your blood sugar, helping you avoid type II diabetes and making this breakfast even better at dominating your hunger and your eating habits for the rest of the day!

Posted on July 25, 2015 and filed under TIPS.

FIT FOR DUTY TIPS

WE ARE EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE A NEW PARTNERSHIP TO F&H CO. !  WE HAVE TEAMED UP WITH DR. KARLIE MOORE OF FIT FOR DUTY CONSULTING TO PROVIDE WEEKLY NUTRITIONAL TIPS THAT ARE SURE TO HELP US GET "FIT FOR DUTY" .  DR. KARLIE'S WELLNESS PROGRAM PROVIDES CLASSES NOT ONLY ON NUTRITION BUT EXERCISE, WEIGHT LOSS AND HEART/BACK HEALTH.  THESE CLASSES ARE FIREFIGHTER SPECIFIC AND BASED ON SCIENTIFIC STUDIES ON FIREFIGHTERS.  TO LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. KARLIE, WHO HAPPENS TO BE MARRIED TO A FIREFIGHTER, AND FIT FOR DUTY CONSULTING CLICK HERE ! AND IF YOU OR YOUR DEPARTMENT SIGNS UP FOR THE WELLNESS PROGRAM, PLEASE LET THEM KNOW THAT FORK AND HOSE CO. REFERRED YOU! NOW ONTO THIS WEEK'S TIP......

Myth #7: The Great Potato Myth

By Dr. Karlie Moore

This may sound a little funny…but this makes it on my top 10 myths about fitness and nutrition because I end up telling people this so often! 

First and foremost, it’s important to have a balanced meal – you want each meal to include a lean source of protein, a carbohydrate that contains fiber, plus veggies and/or fruit. You may have noticed that, in order to emphasize the importance of having a balanced meal, the “Food Guide Pyramid” was replaced with a picture of a balanced plate called “MyPlate” a few years ago (right).

Potatoes, like any other food, can be prepared healthfully or unhealthily. I’m sure I’m not bursting your bubble by telling you that french fries, or any kind of fried potatoes, are not a healthy option. In fact, at some fast food chains the french fries have more fat and calories in them than the burger. Frying doesn’t just add fat, it also removes the fiber.

However, when potatoes are prepared healthfully, they are an unsung hero. Many people believe they are just a starchy filler with empty potatoes - Pixabaycalories. Not true. Potatoes are vegetables! They’ve got more nutrients in them than you think:  one medium potato has more potassium than a banana, almost as much vitamin C as an orange, 15% of your daily fiber need, plus a small amount of B-vitamins, iron, magnesium and zinc. They also have antioxidants – cancer fighting chemicals found in many fruits and vegetables. Some of these nutrients are in the skin so be sure to leave the skin on.

And that’s not all – potatoes themselves are very low in calories; a medium potato has about 100 calories and no fat or cholesterol. That gives us some room to add calories during preparation, ie. olive oil for roasted potatoes, or vegetable oil spread and low fat sour cream on a baked potato. They also pair easily with tons of different spices that pack a powerful nutritional punch – garlic, onions, rosemary, thyme…I’m getting hungry.

So let’s say you plan to make a shift meal that includes a meat and a vegetable – and you need a carb to make it a balanced meal. A potato side dish does not only that, but it doubles the amount of veggies on your plate! And who doesn’t like tasty potato side dishes?

Posted on July 17, 2015 and filed under TIPS.

Leftovers...and why they are not bad....except Chinese food

LEFTOVERS, YOU KNOW THE FOOD THAT SITS IN THE FRIDGE FOR A WEEK, ALL BY IT'S LONESOME IN A TUPPERWARE CONTAINER UNTIL IT STARTS TO TURN INTO A SCIENCE PROJECT.  BUT WHY?  SO MANY PEOPLE TEND JUST TOSS IT INTO THE MICROWAVE OR THROW THEM OUT COMPLETELY WITHOUT REALIZING THE POTENTIAL THESE FORGOTTEN "INGREDIENTS" HOLD.  YUP, I CALLED THEM AN INGREDIENT.  AND THAT'S BECAUSE WITH A LITTLE CREATIVITY AND EFFORT YOU CAN BREATHE NEW LIFE INTO THOSE MASHED POTATOES OR CORN ON THE COB...OR PULLED PORK AND SMOKED CHICKEN LIKE I DID HERE...

FOR JULY FOURTH WE HAD A BLOWOUT AT HOME, JUST LIKE WE DO EVERY YEAR.  AND EVERY YEAR WE MAKE TOO MUCH FOOD, BUT THATS NOT NECESSARILY A BAD THING.  SO WHEN IT WAS TIME TO HEAD INTO WORK AT THE FIREHOUSE I KNEW I COULD NOT LET THE PULLED PORK, THAT I WOKE UP TO START AT 4 A.M., GO TO WASTE.  SAME GOES FOR THE CHICKEN THIGHS I SMOKED OVER APPLEWOOD AND GLAZED WITH MY PEACH BBQ SAUCE.  I KNEW THEY DESERVED MORE THAN JUST ZAP IN THE OL' MICROWAVE, DRYING THEM OUT TO WHAT MIGHT AS WELL BE JERKY...

SO WHAT BETTER WAY TO HONOR THY PIG AND CHICKEN THAN STUFF THEM INSIDE A PORK LOIN THAT I ROLLED OUT LIKE A J.K. ROWLING NOVEL.  NOW TOP IT WITH SOME ONION, CHEDDAR CHEESE (LEFTOVER FROM THE MAC N' CHEESE OF COURSE) AND AN UNBELIEVABLY GOOD SPICY RUB FROM FLAVOR GOD.  AND WHILE WE ARE AT IT WE MIGHT AS WELL THROW IN SOME PEACHES TO COMPLIMENT THE PEACH BBQ SAUCE.  BOOM! YOUV'E JUST ADDED NEW LIFE INTO THOSE LEFTOVERS!  AND NOW, WE GRILL....

THIS MY FRIENDS, IS WHAT A STUFFED PORK LOIN SHOULD LOOK LIKE AFTER ABOUT AN HOUR AND A HALF ON A GRILL OVER INDIRECT HEAT.  THE CRISPY, SALTY SKIN WAS DELICIOUS.  

THERE WAS SO MUCH GOING ON HERE...SPICY, SALTY AND SWEET.  NOT TO MENTION TEXTURES GALORE WITH THE CRUNCHY EXTERIOR, TENDER PULLED PORK AND STICKY GLAZE.  SO THE MORAL OF THIS FIREHOUSE KITCHEN STORY...DONT CHUCK THOSE LEFTOVERS SO QUICK!  USE YOUR IMAGINATION AND HAVE FUN, IT'S ONLY COOKING AFTER ALL.  WHAT'S THE WORST THAT CAN HAPPEN?  A KITCHEN FULL OF HUNGRY FIREFIGHTERS?  ACTUALLY, THAT'S NOT A GOOD THING SO WHATEVER YOU DO, MAKE IT DELICIOUS!  OH, AND HERE IS THE RECIPE.....

SERVES 4
INGREDIENTS:
2 lb. BONELESS PORK ROAST, butterflied
LEFTOVER PULLED PORK AND OR CHICKEN
1 cup of CHEDDAR CHEESE
1/2 ONION, chopped
1 PEACH, pitted and chopped
1 sprig of ROSEMARY, leaves removed/chopped
BBQ RUB OF YOUR CHOICE ( Flavor God Everything Spicy is great )
SALT/PEPPER
BBQ SAUCE OF YOUR CHOICE
3 tbs. PEACH PRESERVES
 

PROCEDURE:
Preheat grill with medium heat.  Set up for indirect heat.  Temp should be around 400*

Combine your bbq sauce and peach preserves, set aside.

Lay out the pork roast like a book.  Season with your rub, salt and pepper. ( Be careful with the salt if the rub contains any).  Next, layer on your pulled pork, onion, cheese and peaches.  Roll up and tie with butchers twine.  Season the outside with more rub, salt, pepper and rosemary.  Be liberal with the salt on the skin if the roast still has it intact.

Place the roast on the grill, with indirect heat, skin-side up.  Roast for about an hour, then turn over skin-side down for the next 20-30 minutes, periodically basting the meat with the bbq-peach glaze.  When the skin is crisped up and internal temp reaches 145*, remove from the grill and let rest.  

Slice, serve and devour.  Pairs well with leftover green beans and asparagus
 

AND FOR THE RECORD, I HATE CHINESE FOOD LEFTOVERS!  THERE IS SOMETHING ABOUT THAT GELATINOUS THING GOING ON THAT I CAN'T GET PAST.

DONT FORGET TO TAG US IN YOUR PICS @FORKANDHOSECO AND HASHTAG US #FORKANDHOSECO.  IF YOU HAVE A RECIPE YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE CONSIDERED FOR A FEATURE, EMAIL YOUR NAME, DEPARTMENT, HIGH QUALITY PHOTO AND RECIPE TO FORKANDHOSECO@GMAIL.COM

STAY SAFE, EAT WELL!
Posted on July 8, 2015 and filed under TIPS.

TIPS TO THROWDOWN

THIS WEEKS TIP TO THROW DOWN WITH OUR FRIENDS AT THE FIREFIGHTER THROWDOWN CAME TO ME WHILE ATTENDING FDIC INTERNATIONAL 2015 THIS PAST WEEK.  FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW, FDIC IS THE LARGEST CONVENTION FOR THE FIRE SERVICE IN THE COUNTRY.  NOT ONLY WAS I ABLE TO MEET THE FIREFIGHTER THROWDOWN FOUNDER JOHN CARPENTER, BUT I ALSO MET SO MANY OTHER FIREFIGHTERS STRUGGLING WITH HEALTHY EATING IN THE FIREHOUSE
 LARRY AND PIP FROM 555 FITNESS WITH MYSELF AND JOHN, THE FOUNDER OF THE FIREFIGHTER THROWDOWN

LARRY AND PIP FROM 555 FITNESS WITH MYSELF AND JOHN, THE FOUNDER OF THE FIREFIGHTER THROWDOWN

My experience at FDIC was nothing short of amazing.  With it being my first time, I was unsure of how F&H Co. would be received by my fellow firefighters.  After "setting up shop" in the 555 Fitness booth, it became apparent that this would be a great few days.  Many of the people I met came to us already interested in fitness and health in the firehouse, so it made it much easier to make the transition in conversation from workouts to cookouts.  And through these conversations I realized there was an underlying issue......

It seemed to be a common thread among the many firefighters I met, they want to eat healthier at the firehouse but are usually met with some resistance from the rest of the crew.  These brothers and sisters on the front lines of firefighter health are doing their best, but I could tell need a little help.  So here are a few general tips to get your crew on the road to eating healthier in the firehouse:

  • Do your grocery shopping before heading into work if possible.  This will help in shopping for better ingredients without the "influence" of those who may be keen on grabbing the bag of potato chips.
  • Focus on meals that are not too far from what the crew usually cooks and eats.  If your typical meal consists of a meat, vegetable and potato or bread, stick with that at first.  But the key here is portion size, cook more greens and vegetables than potatoes.  By doing this you are essentially "forcing" them to eat less carbs and starches, without them realizing it because it is a familiar meal.
  • Start off slow, focus on one meal a day at first.  If lunch is more like a cheat meal, make sure dinner is a little healthier.  This will lessen the chance of you being stripped of your cooking duties.
  • And lastly....just cook.  I found the best approach is to make the meal and serve it.  Sure their will be some resistance at first with a fair share of "what the hell is this?", but stick with it.  The more delicious and healthy meals you make, the better your chances are in making a change.  You have to start somewhere, and that is in the firehouse kitchen with you!
Posted on April 28, 2015 and filed under TIPS.

TIPS TO THROWDOWN

TIME FOR ANOTHER TIP WITH OUR FRIENDS AT THE FIREFIGHTER THROWDOWN.  THIS WEEK WE TALK DESSERT.  YUP, THE MEAL THAT MAKES THOSE COUNTING CALORIES CRINGE AND TREMBLE WITH FEAR.  BUT FEAR NOT! F&H CO. IS GOING TO SHOW YOU SOME TIPS ON SATISFYING THE CREWS SWEET TOOTH WHILE KEEPING IT HEALTHY....SORT OF.

Dessert in a firehouse can be nutritional disaster.  It's hard enough getting everyone to eat healthier at breakfast, lunch and dinner but dessert creates a myriad of issues.  One of the biggest being ingredients.  I mean lets face it, you can't head straight to the greenest section of the fresh produce aisle and whip up a tasty dessert for the brothers and sisters.  But that does not mean we can't be more conscious of what goes in the dish and make better decisions.  Here are some tips for making a healthier and delicious treat for the crew....

SUBSTITUTIONS:

Most baking recipes call for tons of butter and shortening, and let's face it, they taste delicious.  But believe it or not, the following substitutions add great flavor and reduce calories.  You may not even notice the stick of butter that is missing.

Cakes and Muffins:  For super moist cakes and muffins replace half of the butter with applesauce, believe me on this one.  Mashed bananas are also a great alternative, just keep in mind there will be a noticeable banana flavor.

Brownies: Substitute the called for fat with canned pumpkin or sweet potato puree.  Another option is to replace half of the fat with equal parts of dates or prunes puree (place dates/prunes in a blender with water, puree until smooth)

Sugar is found in most if not all dessert recipes.  Sweetness in dessert is pretty much essential but there are other options to using sugar.  These all natural sweeteners have many benefits not found in sugar or those "artificial sweeteners, which in my opinion should be wiped from the face of the earth.  

Raw Honey: While being high in antioxidants, it also boosts your immune system and is a natural anti-bacterial.  Oh and it balances blood sugar levels to boot!

Maple Syrup: Probably my favorite of the bunch, REAL maple syrup packs so much depth of flavor and manganese which helps in energy production.  Please, please, please do not use the stuff in the bottle shaped like the old woman.  It is in one word, garbage.  It is worth spending a few extra bucks on the real stuff, in the end you will use less syrup to achieve the flavor you are looking for so it ends up balancing out.


Stay tuned for Throwdown Thursday when I will have a recipe for a topping perfect over frozen yogurt and fruit.  Here is a hint......it is smoky, salty, sweet and spicy!


Posted on April 21, 2015 and filed under TIPS.

TIPS TO THROWDOWN

TIME TO THROW DOWN ANOTHER TIP WITH OUR FRIENDS AT THE FIREFIGHTER THROWDOWN!  THIS WEEK'S TIP IS PERFECT BOTH FOR THE FIREHOUSE AS WELL AS YOUR HOME!
  No this is not a jab at our brothers in blue, but it is a great cartoon to lead us into this week's tip. 

No this is not a jab at our brothers in blue, but it is a great cartoon to lead us into this week's tip. 

 

 We all know it comes down to the all mighty dollar.  An expensive meal will usually end up in a verbal "beating" from the crews, even if it was the best dish you ever cooked.  At a recent visit to a firehouse in midtown Manhattan, I overheard the battalion chief on the loudspeaker asking for an audit on the cheesesteaks they had for lunch.  The firehouse can be a brutal place for a chef.

 In a previous Tip to Throwdown we talked about shopping seasonally to help lower the meal cost.  Another way you can do this is by using the adage "kill two birds with one stone", in other words use one ingredient in two parts of the meal.  

When shopping we obviously want to look for sales that may be going on, especially in the produce aisle.  Maybe red bell peppers are on sale for $1.99 lb instead of the normal $4.99 lb, why not use them in the meal more than once?!  We should take advantage of these deals as much as possible, your pockets and belly will thank you.  More often than not, by capitalizing on these sales that may be going on in the produce aisle, your meal will end up healthier than if you went straight to the cheap canned goods aisle for the processed crap that is on the shelves.  So now we are not just saving money, but eating better at the same time.  There are numerous ways to implement this approach when shopping, but the best advice I can give is to just use your imagination when you shop.  Think about the "theme" of the meal whether it be Asian, Spanish, Italian or American and how the ingredient that may be on sale can be used in different ways within one meal.  You may even be able to use one ingredient in both a lunch and dinner meal.  To help you out, here are some suggestions.....

                                              Portobello "bun"                               www.veganesseats.blogspot.com

                                             Portobello "bun"

                             www.veganesseats.blogspot.com

                                     Grilled portobello over salad                                            www.simplefoodie.com

                                    Grilled portobello over salad

                                          www.simplefoodie.com

  • Spinach - Stuff pork chops, steak or chicken with a side of sauteed spinach or a spinach salad
  • Bell pepper - Stuff the peppers, reserving some to slice up and put on top of a side salad.  Slice some up and top a steak while using the rest chopped up for a side of home fries
  • Mushrooms - Roast mushrooms for a side while using the remaining to make a gravy or sauce for your main
  • Sweet potatoes - Hash for breakfast, mash for dinner
  • Kale - chips for lunch, sauteed for dinner
  • Portobello mushroom - use as a portobello "bun" for burgers at lunch, grilled as a side for dinner

These suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg, use your noggin' and shop smart.  No one likes a pissed off crew crying about the bill!

Posted on April 14, 2015 and filed under TIPS.

TIPS TO THROWDOWN

"COOKS ALL DAY WHILE THE COOK'S AWAY"-CROCK-POT AD FROM 1976

TODAY'S TIP TO THROW DOWN WITH OUR FRIENDS AT THE FIREFIGHTER THROWDOWN IS ALL ABOUT THE SLOW COOKER.  MOST HOUSEHOLDS AND FIREHOUSES USE A SLOW COOKER BRAND FAMOUSLY KNOWN AS THE CROCK-POT.  THE CROCK-POT WAS INVENTED BY A JEWISH MAN IN 1936 WHO WAS INSPIRED BY A TRADITIONAL BEAN DISH CALLED CHOLENT.  HIS MOTHER WOULD MAKE THE DISH FOR THE JEWISH SABBATH, THE JEWS DAY OF REST.  THE POT OF BEANS WOULD GO IN AN OVEN FRIDAY NIGHT JUST BEFORE SABBATH, AND WHEN THE OVEN WAS TURNED OFF THE RESIDUAL HEAT WOULD BE JUST ENOUGH TO COOK THE BEANS.  SINCE IT'S INCEPTION, THE FAMOUS SLOW COOKER CALLED THE CROCK-POT HAS HAD SOME CHANGES INCLUDING REMOVE-ABLE INSERTS, INSERTS THAT CAN BE USED ON THE STOVE TOP AND EVEN WI FI VERSIONS.
 THIS VERSION OF THE CROCK-POT IS WIFI CAPABLE!  YOU CAN CONTROL THE DEVICE FROM YOUR PHONE!

THIS VERSION OF THE CROCK-POT IS WIFI CAPABLE!  YOU CAN CONTROL THE DEVICE FROM YOUR PHONE!

Slow cookers are a tool that has become more common in busy households, allowing for delicious meals ready when everyone gets home from work or school.  And just like at home, they are a great tool in the firehouse kitchen.  There are many sizes available, with the largest usually in the 6-7 qt. range.  These could easily feed 6-7 firefighters depending on what you are making.  While the more advanced Crock-Pots can cost over $100, you can find a basic 7 qt. slow-cooker for as little as $35.  At that price, it would make sense to buy two if need be to feed everyone.  Now let's talk about how we can use this convenient device......

 THIS IS A PICTURE OF SAN FRANCISCO FIREFIGHTER CASEY KEEFE'S WEST COAST PULLED PORK IN THE CROCK-POT.  STAY TUNED FOR THE RECIPE, ALSO FEATURING A MEXICAN CARNITAS VERSION!

THIS IS A PICTURE OF SAN FRANCISCO FIREFIGHTER CASEY KEEFE'S WEST COAST PULLED PORK IN THE CROCK-POT.  STAY TUNED FOR THE RECIPE, ALSO FEATURING A MEXICAN CARNITAS VERSION!

Slow cookers seem to have a stigma attached to them, that they are only good for chili, pulled pork and beef stew.  While this is all true, they are capable of a lot more.  Just like on the fire-ground, cooking with a slow cooker requires some thinking outside the box.  There are so many healthy dishes that can be adapted to a slow cooker.  Here are a few ideas the next time you want a nice dinner waiting for you....even after your day of daily chores, training, and going on runs.

CHICKEN -

  • Cacciatore ( a hearty Italian dish of chicken, peppers, onions and mushrooms)
  • Curry (great over rice)
  • Chicken Adobo ( the sweet, sour and salty dish of the Phillipines )

BEEF -

  • Ground beef (or chicken and turkey) stuffed peppers
  • Ropa Vieja ( A shredded beef dish typically made with flank steak and a Sofrito sauce ) 
  • Beef Tacos

PORK - 

  • Pork tenderloin with apples
  • Pork roast with sauerkraut 

VEGETABLE -

  • Pretty much any soup such as kale and beans, split pea and butternut squash can be adapted to the slow cooker
  • Baked beans
  • Corn chowder
  • Eggplant Bolognese sauce

Stay tuned for this weeks Throwdown Thursday when I will use a fellow firefighter's recipe as inspiration for a healthier version of Pork Carnitas in the slow cooker!

 

 

Posted on April 7, 2015 and filed under TIPS.

TIPS TO THROWDOWN

SMOKE SHOWING - Part 2

 BEAUTIFUL BARK ON THIS PORK SHOULDER I SMOKED.  BARK IS A RESULT OF THE MAILLARD REACTION, A CHEMICAL REACTION BETWEEN AMINO ACIDS AND REDUCING SUGARS THAT GIVES BROWNED FOODS THEIR DESIRABLE FLAVORS

BEAUTIFUL BARK ON THIS PORK SHOULDER I SMOKED.  BARK IS A RESULT OF THE MAILLARD REACTION, A CHEMICAL REACTION BETWEEN AMINO ACIDS AND REDUCING SUGARS THAT GIVES BROWNED FOODS THEIR DESIRABLE FLAVORS

TIME TO THROW DOWN SOME MORE TIPS WITH OUR FRIENDS AT THE FIREFIGHTER THROWDOWN!  THIS IS PART 2 OF OUR SMOKE SHOWING SERIES, PART 1 WE FOCUSED ON SETTING UP YOUR GRILL TO SMOKE LOW AND SLOW.  FOR THIS PART WE WILL FOCUS ON TEMPERATURE AND TIMES.  LET'S RECAP HOW YOU CAN GO ABOUT SETTING UP A GAS GRILL FOR SMOKING USING THE 2-ZONE SETUP WITH A SIMPLE GRAPHIC FROM AMAZING RIBS, A WEBSITE THAT I USE ALL THE TIME.....
 THE WOOD CHIPS OR CHUNKS WOULD GO OVER THE DIRECT ZONE BURNERS

THE WOOD CHIPS OR CHUNKS WOULD GO OVER THE DIRECT ZONE BURNERS

The temperature of the day is 225*, virtually all recipes involving smoking ANYTHING will require a temperature of around 225*.  You are probably wondering why, and without getting into too much of the science behind it (yes there is a science to it) I will just tell you this,  IT WORKS!  At this temperature, the connective tissue in tougher cuts such as brisket and pork shoulder have a chance to break down over a longer period of time.  You will notice the word time pops up a lot when discussing barbecue, and for good reason.  It gives a chance for internal temperatures to get where they need to be.  For instance, with brisket being a cut of beef, many might think it is ok to serve this at medium rare like a rib-eye but this is not the case.  Brisket has, like I said earlier, connective tissue and fat that needs to be rendered and this does not happen until the internal temperature reaches around 200* , this is when the magic happens with brisket, pork ribs, pork shoulder and beef ribs.  Amazing Ribs sells a magnet which is straight forward and always on my fridge, I am in no way affiliated with them but reference the site very often.

amazingribsmagnet.jpg

So now we have gone over temperature, let's talk a little about time.  To make true barbecue using the low and slow method, not the Crock Pot, requires time and attention.  For those just getting into this, I would start off with pork shoulder.  It is a huge cut and requires time, but it also has a lot of fat and this helps prevent it from drying out so it is a little more forgiving.  A full bone-in shoulder can weigh anywhere from 8-20 lbs. and has 2 halves, the "boston butt" and "picnic ham".  You can bet on having to cook a "butt" for at least 8 hours and up to 14 depending on your temperature consistency.  If you can find a parti4-5 lb. boneless butt it will save you on time if thats what you are concerned with.  Now onto the ribs!

With pork ribs, you can use a method which I have found to be very effective called the 3-2-1.  It is not set in stone but can be used as a guideline, especially when trying to figure out how long you have available to cook.  Here it is.....

  • 3 hours UNwrapped, over smoke at 225*
  • 2 hours wrapped in foil at 225*, with a little liquid inside (apple juice works great)
  • 1 hour UNwrapped back over smoke at 225*, while basting with your favorite sauce 

A few tips on how to tell if a rack is done

  1. Bone test- 1/4"-1/2" bone showing on the ends
  2. Bend test- lift rack by one end and if the rack starts to "break" in the middle
  3. Pull test- pull on the end rib, if it breaks away from the rack easily you are probably done

 

 Picture taken from Amazing Ribs, notice the water pan underneath the rack and grates.  This keeps the atmosphere in the grill moist.

Picture taken from Amazing Ribs, notice the water pan underneath the rack and grates.  This keeps the atmosphere in the grill moist.

But ribs and pulled pork are not your only options for smoking!

For our upcoming Thursday Throwdown with the Firefighter Throwdown we will show you how to smoke pork tenderloin AND sweet potatoes for healthier options.  Stay tuned!

Posted on March 31, 2015 and filed under TIPS.

TIPS TO THROWDOWN

SMOKE SHOWING......Part 1

WITH THE WEATHER GETTING NICER IT'S TIME TO FIRE UP THE SMOKERS.....DON'T HAVE ONE?  DONT WORRY, A GAS GRILL CAN BE CONVERTED INTO A SMOKER IN A FEW EASY STEPS.  

Time to talk about one of my favorite "styles" of food in our Tip to Throwdown with our friends at the Firefighter Throwdown.  It's all about barbecue, but I am not referring to burgers and hot dogs.  I am talking the real deal with hardwood charcoal and fire.  Unfortunately, this isn't the best option for firehouse cooking.  It would be damn near impossible to properly smoke anything with real wood with the threat of being interrupted to go on a run and not be able to tend to the fire.  But this is not the be all end all, barbecue with real smoke flavor is achievable using a gas grill.  Whether you are cooking a pork shoulder low and slow or a salmon fillet hot and fast, smoke adds tons of flavor without the addition of any fat or calories.  But not all smoke is created equal, let me explain.....

There are many types of wood you can use when it comes to barbecue, for a gas grill method your best option is wood chips due to their ease of use and fairly consistent burn rate.  I prefer apple and hickory for pretty much anything especially pork and chicken.  Cherry is also great if you can find it.  Mesquite can sometimes impart a harsher smoke flavor, so I try to avoid using it with anything but beef.  If I am using my offset smoker at home it's all oak, but thats a discussion for another day....

Barbecue can be intimidating, but it's fairly simple when you break it down to the basics.  

What you need: Wood chips and either a cast iron wood chip holder (pictured below) or tinfoil.  That's it.

Technique: Now take your wood chips and soak them in water if you would like for a half hour or so.  I find the chips tend to burn less slowly when you do, which isn't a bad thing.  Then place the chips in the holder.  If your using the tinfoil method, wrap the chips in foil and poke some holes in it to allow smoke to escape.  Place the holder or tinfoil on the grill burner covers after you have found the optimum setting/temperature for what you are cooking.  For longer cooks, you may only need one burner on that is farthest away from the meat.  After 5-10 minutes you should start to see wisps of smoke!

The temperature and time at which you smoke different cuts of meat can vary.  That is the hardest part of barbecue, but don't worry because next week we will tackle that subject in Part 2 of SMOKE SHOWING.  Stay tuned this Thursday for a THROWDOWN THURSDAY recipe, SMOKE SHOWING edition!
Posted on March 24, 2015 and filed under TIPS.

TIPS TO THROWDOWN

TIME TO THROW DOWN ANOTHER TIP WITH OUR GOOD FRIENDS AT THE FIREFIGHTER THROWDOWN.  THIS WEEK WE PROVIDE A HEALTHY ALTERNATIVE TO THE STARCH THAT MAKES A REGULAR APPEARANCE ON FIREHOUSE PLATES EVERYDAY.  WE ALL KNOW THAT RICE HAS ITS PLACE ON A MENU, BUT WE CAN SAVE SOME CALORIES AND CARBS IF WE JUST USE..........CAULIFLOWER!  YOU READ THAT CORRECTLY, CAULIFLOWER.

Now you are probably wondering how rice falls into this equation, but first let's talk about the many benefits cauliflower has to offer.  The cruciferous vegetable family consists of not only cauliflower but broccoli, bok choy, cabbage, brussels sprouts and other green leafy veggies.  But we are hear to talk about cauliflower.  It is loaded with antioxidants such as vitamin C and Manganese as well as carotenoids such as beta-carotene, all of which are known to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.  It is also a known anti-inflammatory due to its vitamin K and omega-3 fatty acid content.  Cauliflower is also a good source of fiber, containing about 3g per cup. 

Now go get yourself a food processor, and be prepared to be amazed.  The first time I did this I had one of those "why didn't I think of that before" moments.  It's is so simple and delicious you will find yourself wanting to replace rice with cauliflower "rice" on the regular.  There are many ways to use and cook the "rice".  You can saute, steam and even microwave it but whatever you do just make sure to not overcook it.  You want a crunchy texture resembling regular grain rice.  This week for Throwdown Thursday with the Firefighter Throwdown we will feature a recipe using cauliflower "rice".  Stay tuned!




Technique-

Remove stem and leaves from a head of cauliflower.  Cut into chunks. Place in food processor and pulse until the cauliflower resembles little grains of rice.  



Posted on March 17, 2015 and filed under TIPS.

TIPS TO THROWDOWN

IT HAPPENS ALL TOO OFTEN, BREAKFAST TAKES A BACKSEAT TO LUNCH AND DINNER.  THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS BREAKFAST COULD ARGUABLY BE THE MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY.  TODAY FORK AND HOSE CO. AND THE FIREFIGHTER THROWDOWN WILL SHOW AN EASY TIP ON STARTING YOUR DAY OFF RIGHT!

We get to the station and we do what we always do, grab a cup of coffee and join in on whatever conversation may be already in progress, most likely how to solve the world's problems.  Then the decision on what to eat for breakfast comes up.  This is when it's so important to make the right choice because what you decide now, will affect how you feel, eat and perform for the rest of the day.  The ideal breakfast should contain protein, carbs and fat as these will all help fuel us through our workouts and on the fireground.  We should avoid processed food at all costs and try to stick to whole foods. Today's world of convenience has made it all too easy for us to grab the nearest bagel or sugary cereal and call it a day, forgetting that these do not contain any nutritional value.  But convenience does not mean we have to sacrifice nutrition and flavor.  Here is a tip on how you can prep a healthy and delicious breakfast ahead of time for the crew and at home.  Just grab a muffin tin!

 I first saw egg "muffins" when Ewa of 555 Fitness made them and after trying them on my own I was sold. Not only are they easy to make, but you can customize them however you would like, use what you have on hand or is in season.  They reheat well if done ahead of time or eat them when they are nice and hot out of the oven.  Below is an example of some that firefighter Drew McKenna from Australia made.  Drew is not only a firefighter but a fitness athlete and great cook in the firehouse kitchen.  You can check out what he is cooking up on Instagram and Facebook @TONGSANDTURNOUTS.

 

BONUS RECIPE from Drew McKenna

Preheat oven to 320-350*  Line each cup of the muffin tray with baking paper.  Wrap a strip of prosciutto around the inside, throw in some chopped scallion and tomato.  Season with garlic, herbs, salt and pepper to taste.  Depending on how youprefer them, drop in a whole egg or scrambled egg.  Bake in the oven till desired doneness for the eggs.

Some other options that are great for these are cooked sweet potato, peppers, spinach, bacon, kale and whatever else you can think of.  Just have fun with it!

Posted on March 10, 2015 and filed under TIPS.

TIPS TO THROWDOWN

SHOP SEASONAL

Time to throw down a tip with our friends at the Firefighter Throwdown!

You probably never thought about it this way but the supermarkets have made it easier for us to shop better.  The first department you usually walk into is the produce aisle, the bright colors and different textures capture your attention immediately.  This is where you will find some of the most nutritious and delicious food available year round, and if you shop smart, some of the cheapest as well.  As firefighters who cook, we know that making a great meal while keeping the cost down is very important. Shopping for produce that is in season has many benefits, the first being that it is usually cheaper than when it is out of season.  Secondly, vegetables and fruits that are in season almost always taste better.  Nothing beats the taste of a juicy summer tomato or the sweetness of roasted pumpkin in the fall.  Keep in mind that each region of the country has it's own produce "season", so a little research can help you find out what's good before you head to the market.  Below is a general example of what is available and when.  Shop smart, eat smart!

vegetable-graph.jpg
Posted on March 3, 2015 and filed under TIPS.

TIPS TO THROWDOWN

brine.jpg

BRINE YOUR MEAT!

Here is another tip we are throwing down with our friends at the Firefighter Throwdown!  This tip is perfect for a firehouse meal because it involves little effort and is perfect for when cooking for a crowd.

It's simple, if you like juicy pork chops or moist turkey you need to use a brine!  It is scientifically proven, but this isn't chemistry class so I will put it in terms that even the most novice cook can understand.  A brine is basically two things, salt and water, anything you add after that is a little flavor enhancer.  Not all cuts of meat need a brine, DO NOT go out and throw a ribeye in a salt and water bath.  Leaner meats are what benefit from a brine solution.  

There are a few reasons why this process works.  When any type of meat gets cooked there is moisture loss, as much as 30% of its weight.  Brining reduces this amount to about 15% because the muscle fibers absorb the solution, some of which still gets lost during cooking.  Here is the kicker, you started out with more moisture before the cooking process so it's inevitable that you will end up with more after.  A salt and water solution also dissolves some of the proteins, turning them from solids into liquids, which also makes for a juicier product.  The main reason it works is that the brine actually gets "trapped" in between the protein fibers, and as long as you don't overcook the meat it will stay there.

Below you will find a chart that is a good guideline to go by as far as salt to water ratio and time goes.  Besides salt, feel free to add any aromatics to the solution to enhance the flavor.  Some ideas are brown sugar, which is great with poultry and pork.  Black peppercorns, bay leafs, dried chiles, onion, garlic, ginger, pepper flakes are all commonly found in brines.  Think about what kind of dish it will end up in and what flavors would compliment that.  Be sure to rinse off the meat prior to cooking and throw away the used brine.  

The process:

Bring the amount of water needed to a boil-Add your salt and any other ingredients you are using-Reduce to a simmer for a few minutes while stirring to dissolve salt and sugar-Remove from stove and let cool fully in the fridge (Tip: Reduce the water you start with and add ice cubes at this point to drop temperature quicker)-Add meat and fully submerge (See below for brining time)

Be sure to check back for Throwdown Thursday with the Firefighter Throwdown when we will feature a recipe for pork chops that we brined!

Posted on February 24, 2015 and filed under TIPS.