Celebrate with 45 Birthday Push-ups

How should you celebrate your birthday? With push-ups, of course? Watch and see if I can do 45 push-ups to celebrate my 45th birthday.

Steak and Sweet Potato Bowl with Avocado-Cilantro Sauce

Here’s another winning recipe from the January issue of the Willy Street Co-op Reader. The Steak and Sweet Potato Bowl with Avocado-Cilantro Sauce is a fusion of Asian and South of the Border ingredients. They perfectly compliment each other. So many wonderful flavors and textures it’ll be like a party in your mouth. Enjoy!

Ingredients
1 1/4 lb flank steak
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp canola oil, plus more for the pan
2 tsp honey
4 garlic cloves, crushed, plus 1 clove whole garlic, divided
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 lb sweet potato, diced into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 large avocado, divided
1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro
1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
2-4 tbsp water
cooked quinoa, for serving
2 cup baby arugula

Directions
Combine the soy sauce, canola oil, honey, crushed garlic and ground ginger in a baking dish or container large enough to fit the steak. Add the steak to the marinade and refrigerate for 1-6 hours. (In place of the flank steak we sliced up a roast. Since we knew it was going to be more chewy, we marinated it over night.)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place the sweet potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat, then spread them in an even layer. Roast 25-30 minutes, until they are golden-brown and tender, giving them a stir part way through the cooking time.

Heat a large well-seasoned cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add a little canola oil to coat bottom of pan, and when hot, place the steak in the skillet. Sear steak for 2 minutes on each side for medium rare. (This totally depends on the thickness of the steak.) Transfer to cutting board and let rest about 10 minutes. Then slice into strips.

In the bowl of a food processor or blender, combine 1/2 the avocado, cilantro, lime juice, remaining clove of garlic and some salt and pepper. Pulse to roughly chop. Add 2 tablespoons more water, then process until smooth. Add 2 more 2 tablespoons of water to achieve a creamy consistency (if desired).

Slice the remaining half of the avocado. Fill four bowls with cooked quinoa. Top with handful of arugula, then the steak, roasted sweet potatoes and sliced avocado. Serve with avocado-cilantro sauce at table. Serves 4.

Why You Should Add Jumping Rope into Your Fitness Arsenal

Do you want to build speed, balance and endurance? Then you should get a jump rope. Watch my video now! You will learn how to use it safely and effectively and have fun doing it.

Spicy Peanut Tofu and Bok Choy Rice Bowl

Willy Street Co-op’s monthly publication features many healthy and easy-to-prepare meals in their recipe section. This Spicy Tofu and Bok Choy Rice Bowl makes for a wonderful side dish or as a meal in itself. As always, me made changes according to our palates and what ingredients were available. Enjoy!

Ingredients
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tbsp Sriracha sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup peanut butter, plus 1 tbsp
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp sesame oil
16 oz firm tofu, pressed and cut into 8 slices
1 large bunch bok choy, trimmed, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups cooked brown rice (we used white)
1/4 cup crushed peanuts
1/4 cup chopped scallions

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, Sriracha, brown sugar, peanut butter and salt until combined. (We left the Sriracha sauce out at this step since we were preparing this for the whole family and my boys can take only so much “heat”. So I added a little bit to my own bowl at the end. Also we halved the amount of brown sugar and omitted the salt since I felt that the soy sauce was salty enough for the dish.) Brush both sides of the slices of tofu with sauce. Some will be left over. Set the tofu on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes, flipping halfway through the cooking time.

In a large wok or saute pan, heat the sesame oil over medium heat. Stir in bok choy and garlic. (We halved the amount of sesame oil since a little goes a long way. But we did add a couple more cloves of minced garlic. Yum!) Add the remaining peanut sauce and toss to coat. Saute about 5 minutes, or until greens are wilted and stalks are still crisp.

Scoop about one cup of rice into a bowl. Top with bok choy, two slices of baked tofu, crushed peanuts and scallions. Ready to eat!

Know Your Fitness Terms

Have you ever read an article on health & wellness and felt like some of the language just went over your head? Or you watched an exercise video demo and missed some of the terminology? If so, then watch my video and learn 10 key fitness terms.

Heather’s Healthy Blueberry Muffin Recipe

Healthy recipe ideas often come from friends, family members, cooking magazines or just doing searches online. Yesterday my wife read Little Red Riding Hood by Lisa Campbell Ernst to our 4 year-old, Roy, for the umpteenth time. It’s a fun adaptation of the story I remember as a child. In this version, muffins play a significant role. And as luck would have it, there is Grandma’s Wheat Berry Muffins recipe conveniently placed at the end of the book. Heather and Roy took to the task of following the recipe while making some changes along the way. Primarily reducing the amount of sugar and fat. As Official Taste Tester of the Foxman household, I had to try one as soon as they came out of the oven. Fantastic! Unlike so many muffins you get at the grocery store or even some bakeries, these were not super sugary. The fresh blueberries offered the perfect amount of sweetness. The wheat flour added a nice hearty flavor and what I like to call “chew factor”. The sunflower seeds were the biggest surprise. They gave the muffins a nice texture and buttery flavor as I thoroughly chewed each bite. Very satisfying. Lastly, what made this muffin recipe a success for me was that my GI system did not react negatively. No bloat and no gas. Fortunately or unfortunately, my system is quite sensitive to oily and fatty foods. I guess that’s helpful for weight management. Another lastly, is that these muffins were the perfect size. When it comes to treats, don’t you just want a taste anyhow? Not an entire bowl or plate full. This recipe gets two thumbs up and I hope you give it a try!

Ingredients
2 eggs
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup organic applesauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 cup wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose white flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups organic blueberries
1/4 cup raw unsalted sunflowers

Directions
Turn oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, butter, applesauce, sugar and almond extract. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Add dry mixture to wet/egg mixture and stir just until combined. Gently stir in the blueberries and sunflower seeds. Fill oiled muffin tins 3/4 full and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. These muffins taste best when shared. Makes twelve.

Sports Book Review: Coach Wooden and Me

Thoughtful. This is the word that came to mind when I started reading Coach Wooden and Me: Our 50-Year Friendship On and Off the Court. In the first few pages I found myself smiling. Truly enjoying what I was reading. Was it because as a native Los Angeleno I grew up watching Kareem Abdul Jabbar play for the Los Angeles Lakers? Was it because both my parents and middle brother attended UCLA (where Wooden coached and Kareem played college ball)? Was it because Kareem started his professional career as a Milwaukee Buck and I now live in Wisconsin? Or was it Kareem’s articulate and pleasant style of writing? The answer was a resounding YES to all of the above.

This book reads and flows differently from other sports biographies that I have read. And I have read quite a few. How do I mean? Let’s start with what the book isn’t. First of all, it wasn’t written at the peak of Wooden’s or Jabbar’s careers where everything was going great. It also didn’t focus on a particular season or game. Second, it wasn’t written by a sports columnist who did a few interviews with coach and athlete. Or someone who meticulously sifted through old photos, newspaper clippings or books written by other people. It doesn’t have an outside perspective focusing on accolades, titles and stats like wins, losses, points, etc. This is not a motivational sports book with inspirational quotes strategically placed thought the text. Like, here is the lesson I learned from such-and-such experience. (If you are interested, Wooden co-authored multiple books about leadership, team building and success.) Lastly, Kareem did not aggrandize or deify Wooden. This is more of a dedication. (In my opinion, authors who focus on their subject’s greatness often mask their flaws compared to us regular mortals. And too often, sports figures become bigger than life. They become myths and legends.) Nor did Kareem himself artificially elevate his own status. He was modest and humble with his success.

So let me say what this book is. It’s written by a retired professional basketball player who holds the title as the all-time points leader in the National Basketball Association. Yes, more than Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan. The content of the book takes place over a fifty year time period in which one of the “main characters” is now deceased (Wooden passed away in 2010 at the age of 99.) and the other, Kareem, is 70 years old. This was written with Kareem’s unique perspective. You could “feel” his journey and growth as well as the changes in society with the Civil Rights Movement as the backdrop. This book offers an intimate insight into Wooden’s and Jabbar’s on court and off-court friendship. Little things like Kareem sitting in Wooden’s living room while chatting and watching TV together really struck a chord with me. This is a book written with deep respect, honor and affection. I just purchased a copy for my personal library and I highly recommend you add this to your reading list.

Happy Holidays from the Foxmans!

Give the Gift of Health for 2018

Not sure what to get your spouse, relative or friend this holiday season? Give a gift that will make a positive difference in their life. Buy a package of personal training for that special person. Don’t stress out standing in long lines at the store or throw money at another electronic device that will be obsolete in one year or wonder if your on-line order will be delivered in time. Personal training is an experience and not just another thing that you pull off a shelf. A personal training gift certificate shows that you care about a person’s health and well-being. It’s also a great way to help someone achieve their fitness goals faster, stay on track, and have fun along the way. I have four private training packages to choose from. If you are having difficulty choosing, here’s some motivation. From now through the end of the month, you can buy any training package (1, 5, 10 or 20 sessions) at my best session price of $65/session if paid by check or cash. That’s a $15 savings for a single session and a $50 savings for the 5 and 10 session packages. For your convenience, I can attach a gift certificate to print out or email. So don’t wait. The clock is ticking.

Contact me today (608)798-0081 or balancepersonaltraining@tds.net


Happy Holidays from Eric and Bob!❄️

Single Leg Squats on a Step Stool

QUESTION: How can you develop leg strength, kinesthetic awareness, flexibility and balance? ANSWER: By doing single leg squats on a step stool. The great thing is that you’re able modify the exercises to fit your abilities. Maybe you start just by balancing on one foot in the middle of the stool. Or you begin by squatting with one leg lifted behind you. If you’re looking for more of a challenge you can do an entire set of pistol squats. Remember it’s all about performing the movements safely and effectively and finding what works best for you. Enjoy the video!