Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Front squats and a paleo stew recipe

Front Squat

1-1-1-1-1

105-115-120-125-130 (PR)

then 12-9-6 reps @ 66% (85#)

Happy with the PR. I tried 135 but dropped it at the bottom of the squat. Something didn't feel right in my right shoulder, so I didn't want to push it. It's always a balance, I think, between pushing yourself and avoiding injury. While I'm sore a lot, and I've had a few tweaked muscles here and there, I have managed to avoid injuries so far, a year and a half into starting CrossFit, so I think I have this balance worked out for myself. It's hard though, when people are trying to push you to do more, to know the difference between a mental block you can overcome and something that is not right for your body. It happened to me twice this week (also on the thrusters on Monday). I would rather err a little bit on the side of caution because I don't want to miss time in the gym (or on the slopes, or on the climbing wall) because of an injury. Any thoughts on this? How do you find the balance?

Recipe: Paleo Beef Stew

Okay, so I take a lot of pride in my beef stew. I've shared the recipe here before. I've played with it and perfected it over the years. But it's not paleo. It contains a ton of salt, some flour, sugar, potatoes, and wine. So I tried to mess with it, and after a couple of less than stellar batches, I learned my lesson - simpler is better. Here's the revised, fully paleo version. The key is the combination of garlic and peppers, which, along with the acidity of the tomatoes, give it a nice depth of flavor.

Ingredients
2 large onions
a few stalks of celery
a few handfuls of baby carrots
1 sweet potato (optional)
3-4 cloves of garlic
2-2.5 lbs stew beef, cubed (keep the chunks big)
a few spoonfuls of jarred jalapenos (they come in mild to hot varieties)
1 large can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
spoonful of arrowroot powder (Red Mill makes it - found in the store near almond flour, spelt flour, etc.)

Chop onions, celery, and carrots (and sweet potato - optional) and mince garlic.
Place onions, then celery, then carrots, then sweet potato in the crockpot.
Top with stew beef, then sprinkle with minced garlic, some coarse salt, and black pepper to taste.
Top with jalapenos and pour over diced tomatoes.
Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup water.

Cook in the crockpot on high for 5 hours or low for 10 hours

When it's finished, mix a spoonful of arrowroot powder and a spoonful of water, and stir that into the stew to thicken it.

If you try it, let me know what you think!

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