Archive for February, 2008.

My Healthy Brown Rice Paella – seafood, poultry, dinner

Written by Philip Walter on Feb 29 at 4:44 am.

Tasty yet healthy paella recipe using brown rice and turkey sausage.

This twist on traditional paella uses turkey sausage instead of chirizo and long grain brown rice to up the health factor. It’s a great dish!

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Brown Rice, uncooked
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp Oregano
  • 2 lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast, cubed
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 1 qt Chicken Stock
  • 2 Lemons, zested
  • 1 Medium White Onion
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 lb Turkey Sausage
  • 10 oz Shrimp, peeled, deveined
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions

  • In a medium bowl mix together 1 Tbsp olive oil, paprika, oregano, and salt and pepper. Stir in chicken to coat. Cover and refrigerate.
  • Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in paella pan, large skillet, or pot over med heat. Stir in garlic, red pepper flakes, and rice. Cook, stirring to coat rice with oil, for 3 minutes.
  • Stir in bay leaf, parsley, chicken stock, and lemon zest. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 25-30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in separate large skillet over med heat. Stir in chicken and onion. Cook 5 min. Stir in bell pepper and sausage. Cook 5 min. Stir in shrimp. Cook 2-3 min.
  • Serve meat mixture over rice.

My healthy version of a traditional paella.

For a printable PDF version of this recipe, click here.

Improvements Made to BrickhouseBodymind TV

Written by Philip Walter on Feb 29 at 4:32 am.

Hey all. This is just a quick note to let you know that I’ve made a couple improvements to the first episode of BrickhouseBodymind TV originally released in this post about shoulder pain and stiffness. Graphics package has improved a bit, and I tried to place the exercises earlier in the video, while leaving technical exposition for later. As always, please comment below if you have suggested improvements or suggestions for future episodes.

Tackling Chronic Neck and Shoulder Pain by Walking Like An Egyptian

Written by Philip Walter on Feb 25 at 5:42 am.

photo credit: Martin Kingsley

Chronic neck and shoulder stiffness and pain are symptoms many of us deal with on a daily basis. Whether it’s a nagging crick in your neck, a pain that keeps you from being able to turn and check your blind spot while driving, or inhibited range of motion in your shoulder joint that keeps you from doing certain exercises in the gym, most of us in the modern world are affected by some form of this discomfort in the neck and shoulder area.

While there are cases where severe shoulder injury will require surgery or some other invasive intervention to realize recovery, these symptoms are more often a result of the modern human lifestyle, and that means you have the power to eradicate them by making a few of the following lifestyle changes.

  • Identify where you carry stress – Many of us, myself included, carry the bulk of their stress load in their neck and shoulders. The next time somebody cuts in front of you on the interstate, take inventory of your posture. Are your shoulder blades splaying outward? Are your shoulders creeping up toward your ears? Are the muscles in your neck collapsing your cervical vertebrae? Take note of these things and try to be more mindful in times of stress. Breathe deeply. As a rule, try to keep your shoulder blades parallel to the midline of the body and relatively close to the spine. Also work on relaxing your shoulders down away from your ears.
  • Push and pull together – A common cause of these symptoms is muscle imbalance between the front and back of the body. For this reason it’s imperative that you work your back at least as much as your chest when you’re in the gym. Overdeveloped chest muscles are a big culprit as they tend to pull the shoulders forward, causing the shoulder blades to splay outward, decreasing their stability. It’s important to pay attention to your levator scapulae, rhomboids, and infraspinatus muscles. These are very important in stabilizing the shoulder joint in overhead presses and other movements involving external rotation of the upper arm (humerous). Check out this great article by Medhi at stronglifts.com for more on working with the infraspinatus muscle.
  • Know your ergonomics – Another reason we have such problems with posture is the amount of time we spend sitting in front of computers every day. Slouching at the desk is probably inevitable, but check out this website for some great info on workstation ergonomics that could help you get your posture back on track.
  • Develop your range of motion – The shoulder joint is a ball and socket configuration, giving it a wide range of possible movements including flexion and extension, abduction and adduction, rotation around the center-line of the humerous, and circumduction (which is basically drawing a circle in the air with your hand). Take a look at the video tutorial below for some great mobility exercises to take your shoulder joint through its entire range of motion. This will help improve your kinesthetic awareness and increase your ability to stabilize your shoulder joint and your shoulder girdle (collarbone and shoulder-blade).

I’ll warn you, this video is a full 10 minutes long. I’ve made some improvements on the first edition, though. The exercises all happen in the first five minutes, while the latter five minutes is more technical. Please comment below and let me know how I might improve on my communications. Thanks for reading and watching!

Aegean Shrimp Over Rice – seafood dinner

Written by Philip Walter on Feb 24 at 11:53 pm.

Wonderful dinner recipe - Aegean Shrimp Over Rice.

This seafood dinner option tastes GREAT, but it does have a little more fat in it than most of the recipes you’ll find here. One way to reduce that is to go with Reduced- or Non-Fat Feta Cheese. I like it as is, so I try to fix it in on a day I know I’ve been really good.

Ingredients

  • 2 Medium Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 Medium Onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp Basil
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 10-oz Package Frozen, Peeled, Deveined Shrimp, thawed
  • 1 6-oz Package Feta Cheese
  • 8 Black Olives, halved
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste
  • 3 Cups Cooked Rice

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 475 degrees
  • Heat oil in large skillet over med-hi heat
  • Add onion and saute until soft
  • Stir in tomatoes, garlic, bay leaf, basil, oregano, parsley, sesame oil, salt, and pepper and cook 4 to 5 minutes
  • Remove vegetables from skillet with slotted spoon, so as to reserve liquid
  • Cook shrimp in juices until pink
  • Spread vegetables in bottom of 8″ by 8″ by 2″ baking dish, add shrimp and juices, then sprinkle feta on top
  • Arrange olives on top of feta and squeeze lemon juice over all
  • Bake 10 to 15 minutes and serve over rice

Nutritional information for Aegean Shrimp Over Rice.

For a printable PDF version of this recipe, click here.

The Search: Bringing It All Back Home

Written by Philip Walter on Feb 24 at 12:34 am.

This is the last of a 5-part series of articles called The Search. Start from the beginning here.

Photo courtesy of Bryan Clifton.

Alright, now I am going to ask you to do something for me. I want you to try to do something spontaneous. Go ahead. Try it.

The truth is, it can’t be done. Spontaneity has nothing to do with trying. Spontaneity is only about doing. One of the definitions of spontaneous is to be “said or done without having been planned or written in advance.” To be spontaneous is to be without forethought, and trying implies forethought. You can do something spontaneous, you can even spontaneously try to do something spontaneous, but you cannot simply and intentionally try to do something spontaneous.

Now you’re probably thinking I make no sense. You might be saying, since the spontaneous, moment by moment expression of God through one’s life is what we’re talking about here, it seems like nothing I’ve said so far makes any difference. All I’m doing here is teaching you how to try to do something spontaneous, and we just established that was impossible. And you’d be absolutely right.

But that’s only half the story. This is the paradox of awareness. See, each and every moment you are aware of consists of two elements: consciousness and light. Consciousness being this vast empty canvas, and light being infinite textures and colors of paint soaking in, and together they make up the piece of art we call existence. Without one or the other, this thing that we are aware of, every thing we are aware of, ceases to be. This is the same old dichotomy between agency and communion, male and female, depth and resonance.

And I will now introduce this as the ultimate and most fundamental paradox of existence: one cannot wholly sit back, observing existence as pure consciousness, as transparent witness and expect to get anywhere, and at the same time, one cannot grow through complete participation, existing as pure light. These are ideals, concepts set at extreme poles where nothing can exist.

Read the rest of this entry »

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