Military Family, Food, & Fitness Fenestrations

Raising the Bar on Personal Expectation

Landstuhl Facility and Primal Caesar Salad

We’ve begun free CrossFit training at Landstuhl this week in a facility (Bldg 3714 across from the gas station) that was designed and equipped also to handle combatives training. We are teaching the 9 fundamental movements to active duty soldiers from 0630-0730 and again from 1630-1730, Monday to Friday, and we also provide daily WOD supervision. Yes, this does mean that I am discontinuing my offer for free training from our home due to our new schedule being pretty hectic, but I am way out in the woods anyway for most of the KMC population, and I can assure you that the CrossFit training experience I can offer you all at Landstuhl is absolutely incomparable, its improvement, over what I’ve given at Ramstein Youth Center or my home. The new facility is amazing (CrossFit Ramstein has been posting pictures of it that you might have seen), and we are already building a community of active duty devotees. Unfortunately we still do not know how much of the military family we will be able to involve (spouses or kids) in our training, nor if we will be allowed to start a nonprofit CrossFit affiliate in the near future, so this may all be very short lived. We should be getting a response from the legal office soon and are ready to react quickly – I will keep you all posted.

Speaking of community, we met some folks now good friends who are into CrossFit Football and posting scores publicly. I think radical power improvement is in my future.

Today I tried to beat Cris’ score with 65# power cleans and overhead squats, but managed instead to double it (it was “for time”, so the lower the score the better). Then I did a 20 minute row workout and could barely drive home. YOU MUST try this workout (from

Complete 10 rounds (20 minutes) Row for 1 minute as many meters as you can, rest for 1 minute.
*Your score is the total amount of meters rowed – goal is row at least 2500 meters (3000 meters for men)
*Penalty is 1 handstand push up for every 5 meters under 2500/3000 meters.

This. will. kick. your. butt. If you have kids with you, and a gym partner also with kids, one would think that you could conceivably trade off rounds, but absolutely forget it. I couldn’t manage even a two-word response during my minute-of-rest periods. Instead, consider trading off the entire 20 minutes babysitting or exercising, and do insure you have a backup driver for your return trip home.

I’m concluding with another crowd-pleasing recipe for you below, but first I want to explain that when I specify (as below, but also in the future) that a recipe is “primal”, I am referring to Mark’s definition, with very few deviations, (making it “primalish”, I guess). At the same time, I also subscribe to Melissa Urban’s advice on eating dirty, and aspiration to remain 90% clean (I prudently enjoy nut butters, heavy cream, double-fat créme fraîche, and Lindt 90% cacao dark chocolate bars…and when it isn’t prudent I forgive myself quickly). There are other definitions of primal/paleo out there, but I credit our diet with keeping me cold/flu free for nearly a year and a half, as well as for being pretty dang powerful in the gym (just not compared to Cris…yet…). If you are new to primal living, and in shock, I’m not the only one who’s lost body fat and improved overall health by following this type of diet – take the time to follow some of my links in the right column. Not a lot of time? Read Dr. Guyenet and Dr. Davis. And here’s something healthy to munch on as you read their wealth of posts:

Primal Caesar Salad with Bacon & Chicken Thighs

is another simple meal I snagged from Jamie Oliver’s Jamie at Home cookbook, slightly altered to make it primalish. Unless otherwise specified, the recipes posted here always serve 4…

4 chicken thighs/legs with skin on

organic (bio) butter

5-6 large mushrooms (will depend on size of your casserole dish & size of mushrooms- need enough to cover bottom of dish)

2 tbsp fresh thyme (discard woody stems) chopped roughly, divided

8 thin slices of your favorite Metzgerei’s bacon (Dörfleisch), Italian pancetta, or Schwarzwälder Schinken (normally doesn’t contain sugar).

extra virgin olive oil

sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

6-7 cloves garlic, minced, divided

4 anchovy fillets in olive oil, drained

3 ounces freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus a few shavings to serve

1 heaped tbsp créme fraîche (preferably double-cream créme fraîche, found at German supermarkets – I get mine at Wasgau)

juice of 1 lemon

natural unsalted walnuts, crushed and roasted

3 romaine lettuces

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Brush mushrooms free of dirt, cut & discard tough portion from stems. Pack bottoms of mushrooms with slices of butter (sorry for lack of portion guidance – I never ration our organic butter, nor do I feel you need to), place them bottom-side down in casserole dish and sprinkle half of the fresh thyme over them plus one clove minced garlic for each mushroom you use. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place snugly together on top of mushrooms in your casserole dish. Sprinkle with the remaining chopped thyme and a few evenly dispersed chunks of butter. Put the pan into your preheated oven.

After 45-60 minutes, when the chicken looks done, take the pan out, drape the bacon/pancetta over the chicken and mushrooms, and cook for another 20 minutes until bacon is crisp and the chicken falls easily off the bone. Allow the chicken to cool.

Pound minced garlic and anchovy fillets in a pestle and mortar to a pulp – combine with parmesan, créme fraîche, lemon juice and 3times as much extra virgin olive oil as lemon juice – season this dressing to taste.

Shred the chicken meat from the bones, tear the bacon roughly, and combine it all with your (washed and spun-dry) romaine and creamy dressing. Scatter attractively with parmesan shavings to finish.



  Dianne Liebenow wrote @

Wow — really enjoyed this salad. First time I cooked with anchovies, but I will sure keep this recipe to use again — thanks.

  ginin09 wrote @

can’t have caesar salad without anchovies 😉 so glad you liked it!

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