Kevin A’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Testimonial

“This is a great school for kids, adults, the entire family.  I’ve been training with Sensei Nemo for 3 years.  I had never been in a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class prior to starting but had trained in other martial arts for about 10 years.  My two boys have been training there for the past year, and I can’t wait for my daughter to start in the next year or so.  What I’ve found is the kids involved learn a great deal of confidence and respect from training at 44 fitness and martial arts.  All of the children are challenged to improve in areas specific to them as well as learn and retain the techniques.

The adults class has no egos.  All of the students started their journey for their own reason, but everyone is there to help each other along.  Whether your goal is self defense, gaining confidence, or getting in shape 44 fitness and martial arts will help you on your way to being the you that you want to be. “

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Kevin A – Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Blue Belt/Father

Melissa K’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Testimonial

“The change I have seen in my girls since they started taking jiu-jitsu at 44 Fitness has been incredible. They have much more confidence and self esteem and are more respectful. Taking jiu-jitsu has promoted humility and a sense of self awareness and self defense in them.

There are so few fitness programs out there where you can actively participate right alongside your children. It is a great bonding experience. I love that we learn at the same pace and that we all practice the same skills regardless of size or age.

Sensei Nemo is patient and encouraging and makes sure everyone learns how to safely practice jiu-jitsu. The classes are small so everyone receives individual attention to fit their style. It is also a fantastic workout and a great way to challenge yourself mentally and physically.

If you want a fun activity that will have a great positive impact on you and your kids, try 44 Fitness!”

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Melissa K – Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Student/Local Business Owner

Turkey Burgers

In a perfect world you’d have all of your meals prepared for you and you only. You wouldn’t need to worry about what your kids or spouse was eating because everything would fit perfect with your dietary needs and tastes.

I’m not able to set you up with beach front property in the afore mentioned perfect world, but I AM able to give you an amazingly easy and delicious turkey burger recipe that scales easily to your own healthy diet and will be something your kids will enjoy too.

turkey-lettuce-wrap

Note – the recipe below is ONLY for the turkey patties, find some starting ideas on how to prepare your turkey burgers below in the TIPS section

Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs (unseasoned)
  • 1/4 cup onion (diced, the smaller the dice the better)
  • 2 eggs (you can do only whites if you want to lean the recipe out even more)
  • 1 glove garlic (minced or finely diced – stick with actual garlic, no powder)
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper to taste (I normally do about 30ish cracks from the pepper mill)
  • ***optional (lettuce for wraps/low calorie buns, see TIPS below)

Directions:

Grab a large bowl and toss in your ground turkey, eggs, onion, bread crumbs, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. On the subject of mixing, get in there and use your hands, that’s what they are made for! They’ll mix WAY better than a spoon or spatula.

Form your turkey mix into patties. I normally do 15 or 16 patties, but you can make your burgers as big or small as you like.

In a medium or large sized skillet over medium heat, arrange your patties. You’ll want to flip them half way through cooking. If you are using a meat thermometer, you’re shooting for an internal temperature of 180F or hotter.

Tips:

I normally eat my turkey burgers on a lettuce wrap. You’ll want to get a large head of lettuce, tear a leaf off and then wrap your turkey patty inside with whatever toppings you like. It’s delicious, low in calories and carbs, and will make eating your turkey burger about a million times easier.

For your spouses or kids who may not be eating QUITE as healthy as you, toss them onto a bun and put their favorite condiments on and I bet they’ll love em.

Give it a try and enjoy!

 

Healthy Vegetable Beef Soup

Soups. Man, I love them soups. Super easy to make. Super easy to portion out for the week on your meal prep day. Toasty and warm during all of the (many) cold winter months in the midwest. Overall, soups man, they are pretty great. And this vegetable beef soup is one of my favorites.

vegetable-beef-soup

Ingredients: 

  • 1.25 pound ground beef (you can use ground turkey, but this is one of the recipes where I prefer a nice lean ground beef)
  • 1 medium-large sized yellow onion
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 5 carrots
  • 1 15oz can whole kernel corn drained
  • 1 can beef broth (low sodium stuff is what I use)
  • 2 cups frozen green beans
  • 1 46 oz bottle of v8 (use the low sodium, low calorie stuff)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt
  • pepper

Directions:

Grab a large soup pot. On medium heat toss in the ground beef and break it apart. While the ground beef is cooking, chop up your onion and celery. Toss those into the pot to start them sauteing.

While all of that is cooking, cut up your carrots and sweet potatoes. By now your meat should be cooked and your onions translucent. Add in your carrots, sweet potatoes, drained corn, and frozen green beans. Next add all of the liquids and your garlic powder. It’s going to smell A LOT like the V8, but don’t worry, that is going to cook off nicely.

Cover your soup and bring up to a boil for 30 mins. When you hit the 30 minute mark, bring the soup down to a simmer and leave covered to cook for around 4 hours. Remember, the longer you cook the soup, the better it’s gonna taste.

After cooking salt and pepper to taste. I normally do about 20 “cracks” on my pepper mill and around a tablespoon of salt.

Also soup is always better the second day, that’s just the way stuff is. Science and all that.

Enjoy!

Frozen Yogurt Covered Blueberries

These yogurt covered blueberries are super simple and amazingly delicious. They are a great frozen snack that will help to curb your appetite when you are craving some OTHER unhealthy sugar filled snacks…

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Having a container of these pre-made in your freezer when you need a quick pick-me-up are a lifesaver!

Ingredients:  

  • 1 – 6oz container fresh blueberries
  • 1 – 6oz vanilla greek yogurt (blueberry yogurt works too, or strawberry, any flavor you think will taste good with blueberries)

 Directions:

Wash and thoroughly dry your blueberries. Spread wax paper onto a cookie sheet or other flat surface (a classic painting or stained glass owl will also work).

Using a toothpick, skewer a blueberry and dip it into your yogurt making sure to cover it completely. Place the covered blueberry on your cookie sheet and repeat until all berries are covered. Make sure berries are not touching each other. Not because they are anti-social, but more so they won’t freeze to each other.

Place your blueberry filled cookie sheet into the freezer for 1.5 hours. After that the berries will be frozen enough to portion out into snack baggies or tupperware containers.

Make sure to not leave them in the freezer uncovered for too long because they will absorb other smells/tastes from the freezer as well as freezer burn very easily!

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They are best when eaten directly from the freezer, the colder they are when you pop one into your mouth the better.

Enjoy!

Chicken Tortilla less Crock Pot Soup

It’s wet n’ stormy weather outside. There’s a spicy salsa beat pumping from the speakers. A delicious and healthy chicken tortilla crock pot soup cooking in the kitchen. This is exactly what is happening in my life right now… well, everything except for the salsa music part.

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We have a recipe here that lets you easily scale the spiciness and is simple enough that anyone can cook it. It essentially boils down to one step: dice everything and throw into crock pot, go to work or school, come home and eat.

Lets do this!

Ingredients: 

  • 1.5 to 1.75 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 bell pepper (red or green, I normally buy whatever is cheapest)
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper (keep the seeds if you want it to be more spicy, bin the seeds if you want it less)
  • 2 15oz cans diced tomatoes (do not drain, we want that juice)
  • 1 15oz can black beans (optional recipe is great without)
  • 2 cup chicken broth (I use the reduced sodium stuff)
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely minced)
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (if you like your soup on the less spicy side, start with a 1/2 tsp)
  • 1 tbsp chili powder (if you like your soup on the less spicy side, start with a 1/2 tsp)
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • *after cooking*
  • avocado (cubed, to use as a soup topping prior to serving)

Directions:

Add all ingredients to crock pot (except the avocado). Make sure the chicken is covered by all of spices, juice, and vegetables.

Cook on high for 4-5 hours. Remove chicken, using a pair of forks (or whatever your preferred method is, ninja sais or robotic claws work also ) shred your chicken, return chicken to pot. Cook on low for another 2 hours.

Salt and pepper to taste. I normally do 10-15 cracks on the pepper mill for mine, but I like it a bit more peppery.

Throw your soup in a bowl, toss some cut up avocado chunks on top and enjoy!

Sweet Potato Beef Stew

Eating healthy shouldn’t be a terrible, robotic, soulless ritual done only to nourish and replenish your body. The idea of getting thru a long day knowing that you have something already made that is warm and tasty, AND reminds you of home ready to be nom’d up is a great feeling.

Enter my healthy sweet potato beef stew.

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This recipe is super simple to make. You basically brown up some meat in a big pot, dice some veggies, throw it all into the same pot you did the meat in, add a few spices, and in a few hours you have a delicious, comforting stew.

It’s super healthy to eat as is and if you need to add even more carbs (say for a picky spouse or particular tween), throwing it over a bed of rice or noodles is a perfect mix.

Ingredients: 

  • 1.5 lb. boneless stew meat
  •  ¼ cup all purpose whole wheat flour
  •  2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 cloves garlic (use real garlic, not powder!)
  • 3 oz tomato paste
  • 3 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  •  ½ lb. carrots
  • 1 lb. sweet potatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • pepper to taste

Directions:

Cut your meat into small bite size pieces. In a medium bowl combine your beef bites and your flour, throughly covering all of the meat.

In a large pot, add your olive oil and bring up to medium heat. Add your flour covered beef pieces in small batches, leaving space between pieces. I normally do two or three small batches, as one big batch just makes a soppy wet mess. You want to brown the outside of the meat, but not fully cook it. I generally try not to mess with the meat too much as it will knock the coating off.

After you have browned all your meat and removed it from the pot, add your chopped onion and chopped garlic (don’t worry about cleaning the pot, we want the brown bits!). Saute the veg for a couple of minutes or until translucent.

Add the beef broth, tomato paste, as well as the frozen peas and corn to the pot. Using your your spoon scrape the delicious browned bits off bottom of the pot while stirring. When the bottom of the pot is nice and smooth, add the chopped carrots and chopped sweet potatoes.

Next re-add your meat, bay leaf, thyme, rosemary and your splash of Worcestershire sauce. Add a few cranks with your pepper mill, don’t go too crazy, remember you can always add more later.

Cover the pot and bring it up to a boil. After you see it boiling, lower the heat down to a simmer and keep covered for approximately 1:30. Make sure that it simmers the entire time.

I normally check around the 1:15ish mark to see how tender the veggies are. If they are still hard it will need to cook longer.

Serve over a bed of brown rice if desired, though I normally eat my straight out of the pot. Enjoy!

 

 

Crock Pot Ginger Apple Pulled Pork

Pulled pork. Pork that is pulled apart (by hand – caveman style!) and slathered in sauce. Super easy to make when it’s unhealthy and loaded with sugar…  but I’ve never really found a recipe that both made my mouth water AND is good for you.

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Until now.

This recipe is a lot different from the normal bbq pulled pork sugar-bomb we normally have, but it’s amazingly tasty and with a different flavor profile,  it’s a nice change up from the same-ole same-ole “meat with red sauce” that can quickly become routine.

So drop your preconceived notions on combining ginger, apples, and pork and let’s give this a go!

Ingredients:

  • 2-2.25lb pork shoulder (I buy the cheapest hunk of meat they have normally)
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 apples (I prefer red apples, but anything you have on hand will work)
  • 1 cup beef broth (I use the low sodium stuff)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp ginger (buy fresh, it makes a difference!)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 2 medium garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste

Directions:

Core your apples and cut into small cubes. Slice up all of your onions. Make a bed along the bottom of the crock pot using roughly half your apples and onions. Put your meat in the crock pot. Add the rest of the onions and apples on and around your pork.

Grate your ginger and add it to the crock along with the rest of the ingredients. Make sure the meat is evenly covered by your spices.

Cover your crock pot, set to high, and let cook for 5-6 hours.

Everyone’s crock cooks a little differently, but cooking for around 5ish hours seems to do the trick. A perfect indicator of it being done or not is if you can easily shred the pork IN the crock pot using only one fork. The meat should be basically falling apart at this point. If you need to take it out to shred it, I’d let it cook for a while longer.

That’s all there is to it. Get out of your safe zone and give this sucker a try.

Turkey Vegetable Chili

vegetable turkey chili

A big ole pot. A pound of turkey. Some tomato, veggies and spices.

What does that all add up to?

The tastiest healthy chili you’ve just about ever had. The only thing that could make this recipe even better is if it was super easy. Like throw a bunch of stuff into a pot and a couple hours later have some delicious food to eat easy.

Luckily for you – it is. I’ve had a bunch of folks try this yummy chili at one of our 44 fitness post workout potlucks and the reviews were awesome, so I’m confident you and yours will enjoy it too.

The recipe below has no beans, but you could easily toss in a can of pinto beans if you need some additional carbs in your life.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pd ground turkey
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomato
  • 2 cup chicken broth
  • 8 baby carrots
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 green peppers
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 squash
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 bay leaf

start with 1/2 a tsp of the following spices if you like your chili milder, you can always add more later (I personally normally do a generous tsp to liven stuff up)

  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp cumin

chili in pot

Directions:

Throw your ground turkey into a large pot, break apart with a spatula until cooked. When that’s doing its thing start cutting up your veg. When the turkey is finished cooking, toss in your chopped celery and onions. Let the onions cook until they are translucent.

Add the rest of your chopped veggies, tomatoes, chicken broth, and spices to the pot. Bring everything up to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pot, and let simmer for one hour. The longer you cook it, the better it will taste, but an hour is the minimum. I normally start my chili around lunch time and let it simmer until dinner, checking the heat and stirring occasionally. Depending on how moist your veggies are, cooking for longer will allow you to get rid of some of the extra fluid and thicken everything up (as well as make it taste better).

Like noted above the 1tsp of the spicey-spices will make an above average spicy chili, so if you like your food a bit milder (or someone who is eating this does) start with half tsps of the last spices. Remember you can always taste it and add more heat if needed.

Give it a try and enjoy!

David’s Green Smoothie

Most days I’m up at the crack of dawn helping people get in the best shape of their lives. Do I love my job? Absolutely!

Do I want to sleep for the longest possible amount of time before getting up? Absolutely!

So I needed a healthy meal filled with all the good stuff to kick start my morning, prepared as quickly as possible,  to maximize the amount of time my head is resting on my pillows.

Enter weeks of tinkering in the lab (kitchen) until I settled on the recipe below for my delicious green smoothie.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 handful spinach or kale
  • 1 banana or 3 large strawberries
  • 6 baby carrots or 1 whole “adult” sized carrot
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • ice (optional)

Directions:

Throw everything above into a blender, add some water, blend until you have a delicious green smoothie!

DONE.

That’s really all there is, but if you’d like some additional, tips keep reading.

I use a full size blender for my smoothie every morning and I’ve found that putting the fruit in first makes everything mix a lot easier. After I have everything added, I normally add enough water to cover about half the components. Depending on the size of your blender and how thick/thin you like your smoothie, you’ll need to experiment a bit. Adding ice can cool the entire smoothie off a bit (personal preference if you like it cold) as well as make the consistency more like a milkshake.

smoothie_preblend

As far as taste, this can be a strong smoothie for people not accustomed to veggies. If you are looking for ways to help get your taste buds used to it, I’d start with spinach first as it has a milder taste than kale. You can also do both a banana AND some strawberries to better mask the taste of veg. Keep in mind that even though it’s good sugar, the more fruit you use the more calories you are taking in, so be mindful of that. You can also try adding almond milk (unsweetened is a good place to start) if it’s still not sweet enough.

In my experience doing spinach with a banana AND a few frozen strawberries will bring around even the most devout vegetable hater.