Stronger Foods for a Healthy, Exciting, Unconventional Life
The Food Vixen’s first official cookbook releases in 2016! It contains numerous recipes from our family table of dinners, lunches, breakfasts and social gatherings. Chapters also include anecdotes on serving meals to world-class strength athletes, how to gear your meals and recipes to best suit the activity levels of yourself and those you cook for, canning, preserving, starting small herb and porch gardens for basics, cooking with real, whole foods on a budget to create incredible meals, and killing the ‘diet’ hypes and fads to make your kitchen mantra, “Food is simple.” Stop over-complicating it – this isn’t rocket science.
Diets, food fads, calorie counting, food restrictions, meal counting, point counting, carbs, proteins, fats, fat-free, sugar-free, healthy oils, bad oils, GMO’d, GMO-free, supplements, pre-packaged, fresh, organic, …… OMG
SHUT THE FROCK UP!
Food is simple. Let us repeat that, in fact, make it a mantra for your kitchen – “Food is simple.”
Cooking is not hard. It’s not some complicated mad chemistry experiment designed to make you feel like a culinary failure, because you can’t execute perfect Hollandaise sauce without it breaking. To everyone who just said, “Breaking? How does SAUCE break,” it’s just a term, don’t freak out. Again, not knowing the term, doesn’t mean you can’t cook or be great at it.
Cooking is something everyone should be able to do on some level. We all have to eat. It’s a requirement to sustain life in your body. If you don’t eat – you won’t live. So shouldn’t this required element to livelihood be enjoyable? Yes, it should. Furthermore it is completely doable on a budget, nor does it need to be over-complicated and extravagant simply because one can also afford more.
The ridiculous list of experimental food hype to lose weight, gain muscle, stop food allergies, flatten your belly, and reverse this or that has gotten out of control. People are more confused today by what’s the “right” way to eat than they ever have been before. I repeat to you the above mantra, “Food is simple.” Stop complicating it.
This is what I hope you will learn from Stronger Food when you incorporate it and the recipes into your kitchen. A basic formula to make eating simple and stop making it a focal point of concern. It’s time to just enjoy it:
Your meals should first and foremost start with answering this question:
What does the person I’m feeding do for a living, training, or activity level?
Race cars do not use the same oil or fuel as the family sedan, so why should a sedentary person eat like a professional linebacker? Answer – He or she shouldn’t.
What does the person I’m cooking for enjoy eating?
Fastest way to derail yourself, or a family member from any sort of a healthy eating plan is to feed them food they can’t stand. Case in point – I despise cooked green beans. Hate them. I’m using the word, “hate,” for a vegetable – but I do. I hate them. My father once lost a great deal of weight following a pocket diet book my mother’s obstetrician gave him when she was pregnant with me. Green beans were a big ticket item and since the diet was so successful for my very committed and regimented father, while I was growing up, anytime the subject of weight loss came into play, immediately the green beans started showing up at meal time. I have loathed them my entire life – that and zucchini. Quickest way to get me to cheat on a structured “diet,” is to put those two vegetables in front of me on a regular basis.
Just because food is good for you, does not mean it has to taste like grass and vinegar, which is what most people who are gorging themselves on fast food and pre-packaged products seem to think. Not true. My goal in Stronger Food for a Healthy, Exciting, Unconventional Life, is to show you how to prepare great meals, that are a traditional part of the American dinner table, but done so to make everything economic, delicious, and healthy.
Over the years since the advent of Facebook and Instagram, Bud posted picture after picture of the meals we prepared and every one of them met with the same response – “Please write a cook book!” And many of the epic sandwiches which men commented to like the sandwiches were Playboy centerfolds in mainstream media, are featured in Stronger Food for a Healthy, Exciting, Unconventional Life.
I was shocked by this reaction to the photos and recipes, because to me, cooking was just a staple part of the household. My mother, a traditional Italian cook, learned from her mother and grandmothers, plus she’s a foodie. I’m fairly certain there were more cook books in our house when I was growing up than newspapers or magazines. In fact, most of the magazines were cooking related. Even today, when I call and ask the general conversational starter of, “So what are you doing?” She almost always answers with, “Cooking.” No one else lives in the house but her and my father, but she’s always cooking.
Cooking is in my blood. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t cooking. My first cook book was a “Junior Cook Book,” from a cook book of the month, Better Homes and Gardens, subscription my mother had when I was a child. The first thing I ever made – Pancakes, followed later that afternoon by a banana milk shake. Why do I remember it? Because my grandmother was visiting and I wanted to impress her long-time cooking skills with my ability to make things from scratch as well. I was nine.
I had no clue twenty years later I’d be slinging pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts onto the dining room table in batches as quickly as it finished cooking in order to fight back the insatiable appetite of a world-champion powerlifter and strength athlete. Add in the fact that this man loves variety, one has to get creative, often. I lived in a strange limbo of merging my northern, Italian-American foods and cooking styles into his traditional Southern fare. Over the last 20 years we’ve managed to marry some interesting dishes that are rich in protein, health, and stamina.
Stronger Food for a Healthy, Exciting, Unconventional Life is written to bring you recipes we have on our table, that Bud eats on a regular basis. Foods that have helped him lose 120lbs and maintain most of that weight loss for the past five years. Along with still keeping his unbelievable strength totals at the same time.
These are foods we serve to our guests and at special occasions. Foods that our son grew up on, with our mindset of his biological roadmap into adulthood and for life should be built on whole, healthy foods for the greatest advantage in strength and wellness.
This book is a blue print of the nutritional building block of our family, that I would like to share with you.
Stories and anecdotes have been incorporated revolving around food, meals and our social dinners of the past 20 years such as shutting down a Sonny’s BBQ, on an All-You-Can-Eat Chicken night, and the kinds of meals and stories that can occur after the heinous training sessions Bud posts.
Stronger Food for a Healthy, Exciting, Unconventional Life includes:
- How to cook extraordinary meals on a budget, using the cheapest cuts and still have a dinner that fills, promotes health, joy, contentment and longevity without breaking the bank.
- Recipes and foods that stimulate testosterone.
- How to cook in a time-conscious manner, making meals in a hurry that are nutritionally dense and rich in flavor.
- How to read the nutritional needs of your family members, and understand that just because a food is marketed is healthy, doesn’t mean it’s healthy for everyone.
- Foods to eat or juices to drink that aid in digestion and efficiency.
- Some of our favorite “Juicing,” drinks, what we use and why (Juicer vs Blender, etc).
- How to substitute honey for traditional white cane sugar and other natural sweeteners we use.
- Foods, oils and supplements often billed as healthy that simply aren’t and in fact can be damaging to your long-term health.
- How to start your own herb garden on a window-sill, small fresh vegetable and fruit planters for your porch and other simple regenerating tips for some staple items such as scallions.
- The quality difference in the health and performance of your body between buying fresh, whole foods and pre-packaged items.
- Canning/Jarring and Rendering
- The importance of buying local – it’s about more than supporting local small farmers, there’s a biological connection to your health as well.
- Learning to read your body’s “cravings.” Cravings aren’t a bad thing. They exist to tell you what your body chemically requires for balance and longevity. Our consumption of pre-packaged, chemically tainted and sugar-added diets have thrown it off, but as you re-set your system’s intake for a new “normal,” those cravings will become a powerful ally for your greatest health.
My hope, is that Stronger Food for a Healthy, Exciting, Unconventional Life will help you to bring great meals to your table, in a cost effective manner, that provide incredible flavor, health, strength, longevity and pleasure while giving you the skills to go beyond its contents to create your own phenomenal food fare.
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