Firecracker Grilled Alaska Salmon

Instructions

  • 16 (4 ounce) salmon fillets
  • 1 cup of peanut oil
  • 8 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 8tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 8 tablespoons of green onions, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Firecracker Salmon

1. First take the salmon filets and place them in a medium glass dish. Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, green onions, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes. sesame oil and salt in another bowl. Thoroughly whisk this together, and then carefully pour over your salmon filets.  Make sure to cover the dish, and then marinate four 5 to 7 hours.

2. Start an outdoor grill with coals roughly half a foot from the grate. Also, remember to lightly oil the grate, as well.

3. Cook the fish on the grill half a foot from the coals for about 10 minutes per inch of thickness of the fish. Make sure to flip over half way into the cooking process.

 

  1. Place salmon filets in a medium, nonporous glass dish. In a separate medium bowl, combine the peanut oil, soy sauce, vinegar, green onions, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, sesame oil and salt. Whisk together well, and pour over the fish. Cover and marinate the fish in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours.
  2. Prepare an outdoor grill with coals about 5 inches from the grate, and lightly oil the grate.
  3. Grill the fillets 5 inches from coals for 10 minutes per inch of thickness, measured at the thickest part, or until fish just flakes with a fork. Turn over halfway through cooking.

Please check out more of Carl Koenemann’s blogs about finance, music, and healthy lifestyle choices.

Top 7 Fitness Apps

Here is a list of my top-7 fitness and health apps. Please suggest any other apps that you believe belong on this list.

7. Tempo run

Brunell University recently released a study confirming that listening to music while exercising has its definite advantages. In fact, jamming out to tunes with the tempo between 120 and 140 beats per minute during exercise may boost longevity by nearly 15 percent. This app, TempoRun, collects and then sorts the collection of songs on your phone by tempo, allowing you to optimize your workout playlist to increase fitness.

6. ViewRanger Outdoor GPS & Maps

Outdoor GPS Tracker

View Ranger Outdoor GPS

This application is intended for consumers with an affinity towards outdoor sports. The app provides a list of the nearest and best swimming, hiking, cycling, and running routes.  The app has a myriad other useful options such as listing the best bird watching spots along your route and close-by rescue operations if you find yourself in precarious situation.

5. Seven-Minute Workout

This app is perfect for the person having difficulty finding the time to get in shape.  Seven-Minute Workout utilizes a high-intensity regimen consists of twelve different exercises of 30 second intervals. The basic version of the app is free, but users can pay to access more features.

4. Myfitnesspal

This calorie-counter app is lauded almost across the board by fitness professionals as it is free of charge and possesses a very intuitive interface.  Myfitnesspal seamlessly counts and keeps track of one’s daily calorie intake, and even allows the user to set goals to help achieve their target weight.

3.  Fitocracy

Carl Koenemann Fitocracy

Fitocracy App

Fitocracy, acting as a facebook-esque fitness app, brings together fellow fitness fanatics and experts. The app serves as a motivational tool helping facilitate progress in users’ workout regimens and goals with the support of fellow Fitocrats. It’s incredibly useful and was lauded by Men’s Journal magazine as they named it the app of the year in 2012.

2. Pzziz Sleep

A  sound sleep cycle is often an underappreciated aspect of one’s exercise and health regimen.  If you sleep too little, too much, or too often you may be diminishing the benefits of your existing diet and exercise. Pzziz, using euphonious and soothing sounds such as that of the ocean or forest, helps you fall asleep more quickly and helps you achieve a better night’s rest once you fall asleep.  In my opinion, it is the best app of it’s kind on the market.

1. Nike + Running Free

This is a one-stop shop for runners and it’s incredibly easy.  After simply turning on the app, it begins to collect detailed accounts of your running route including information about your distance, time, direction, and speed.  Additionally, the app possesses a neat feature in which you can challenge other users of the app to match your running results.


Please check out more of Carl Koenemann’s posts on music, finance, and healthy lifestyle choices.

Fitness Tips – Getting Started

If you’re looking to get yourself in the gym, there are a lot of things that you should be aware of beforehand. While simply throughout some shoes on and running out the door is certainly healthier than sitting on the couch all day, there are some general guidelines to follow to make sure that you are replenishing your body and that you do not injure yourself. Follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to looking and feeling better.

First Things First: Nutrition

Read up on my nutrition section before grabbing your gym bag. Nutrition is what fuels you – if you do not have the proper foods in your diet, you’ll only be able to run so far before you fall over or catch a cramp. Proper nutrition is crucial to building muscle. Make sure your balanced diet consists of fruits, veggies, complex carbs, proteins and fats.

It’s also important to start eating more often. Instead of three large meals a day, break it down into five or six meals. This way you are continuing to stimulate your metabolism throughout the day. As your activity levels decrease throughout the day, eat less as the day goes on.

Control portions and eat with a purpose. Everything should offer some sort of nutritional value. For portions – it’s a good idea to make sure that meats are smaller than your palm and that pastas are not larger than your fist.

How to Build Muscle

A protein shake is a great way to repair your muscles after a workout.

A protein shake is a great way to repair your muscles after a workout.

When it comes to building muscle, there are some basics that you should be aware of. You need to increase your caloric and complete protein intake – that’s the basics in terms of nutrition. When in the gym, make sure you are focusing on form. Compound movements, weight training four times a week. You want as little movement as possible – only target specific muscle groups. And rest, rest, rest! Muscle tissue repairs when you’re outside of the gym.

Also, go for as much range of motion as possible. When it comes to how heavy the weights should be, have each exercise last 30 to 45 seconds; if it lasts longer or shorter than that, change the weight accordingly.

Finally, get the proper supplements. It’s hard to meet the requirements for protein intake – look into shakes for after your workouts.

Endurance

Hydration and proper nutrition are the basis for endurance. This type of training is very draining on your body – you’ll be burning calories like crazy, so you need to make sure you’ve increased your caloric intake. When it comes to endurance, you’re trying to exhaust your muscles. Work until you cannot push yourself any further.

Reduce the rest between sets and fight the fatigue that comes on during endurance training.

Find Your Motivation

When you’re stepping into the gym, make sure that you are motivated to perform each exercise to a certain level of success. If you’re lifting weights, count down your reps until you reach your goal. Also, ask yourself why you’re in the gym in the first place. To look good? To feel good? The more effort you put in during your time at the gym, the quicker you’ll reach those goals.

Change Things Up

Change your workout every couple of weeks to ensure that your body does not get used to the exercises you’re performing. It’s important to always keep the body guessing. Changing exercises, how heavy the weights are, the order that you perform exercises, your tempo and your rep/set count will all help keep you from plateauing. Even something as simple as the time of day you train can cause you to plateau.

 

Chipotle Chicken Recipe

Chipotle restaurants have become a favorite around the country. Not only is it very delicious – it’s also very fast. On top of that, the portions are very generous; all-in-all, it’s a great experience.

The marinade on the Chipotle Chicken is phenomenal; it’s spicy yet smoky. This is due to both the wide array of peppers and the adobo sauce that is used.

As for the chicken itself, Chipotle uses boneless skinless chicken thighs (this is what makes them tender and juicy).

This recipe will produce approximately 2 cups of marinade – enough to flavor up to 10 pounds of chicken! Try out this marinade and let me know what you think.

Ingredients

  • 1 (2 oz.) package of dried ancho chiles. These chiles should be soaked for at least 12 hours.
  • 1 red onion. Coarsely chopped.
  • 1 (7 oz.) can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of dried oregano
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup of canola oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 5 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Trim the thighs before using.

Cooking Instructions

  1. After soaking your ancho chiles for 12+ hours, split them open and rinse the inside. Get rid of all the stem and seeds. Place the chiles inside a blender. (I recommend wearing gloves for this part)
  2. Strain the adobo sauce into a small bowl. You can either discard the peppers or use them for another dish. However, there is still a lot of juice / sauce in each pepper; squeeze them to extract all of the liquid. If you want the chicken to be spicy, crack the peppers open and add the seeds to the blender.
  3. Throw your onions, garlic, oregano, cumin, 2 teaspoons of pepper and 5 teaspoons of salt into the blender. Give the blender a few quick pulses, turning the concoction into a coarse paste.
  4. Keep the motor running and pour 1/4 cup of the canola oil into the blender. Continue blending. Once smooth, you should have approximately 2 cups of marinade; throw one cup in a freezer-safe plastic bag and save it for later.
  5. Take your five pounds of chicken and throw it in another freezer-safe plastic bag. Add in the remaining cup of marinade, close the bag and toss it around until the chicken is evenly coated. Place the bag in a bowl and place it in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.
  6. When you’re ready to cook, preheat a cast iron skilled to medium-high heat. Coat the skillet with 2 tablespoons of canola oil. Cook the chicken in batches, reaching an internal temperature of 160 degrees. You should see caramelized fond on the outside of the chicken after about 12 minutes. Make sure you add a tablespoon of canola oil between batches.
  7. Remove from grill and place on a cutting board. Chop the chicken into small pieces and add them to the dish of your liking.
  8. Enjoy!

Honey Beer Chicken

Below is a recipe for my Honey Beer Chicken – one of my favorites that I came up with during my college days. This recipe is great if you’re working on a low-carb or no-carb diet. Let me know what you think!

Ingredients

  • 1Tbl spoon Avocado oil (or other high smoke point oil)
  • 1lb Boneless chicken tenders
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3  thinly sliced shallots
  • 1/2 cup beer
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce – low sodium
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoon honey
  • 1/8 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
This honey beer chicken recipe is great if you're on a low-carb or no-carb diet.

This honey beer chicken recipe is great if you’re on a low-carb or no-carb diet.

Directions

  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan.
  • Sprinkle chicken with pepper and salt.
  • Add chicken to pan; sauté 6 minutes on each side or until done.
  •  Remove chicken from pan; keep on plate covered with foil or paper towel
  •  Add shallots to pan; cook 1 minute or until translucent.
  •  Combine beer and next 3 ingredients (through honey) in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Add beer mixture to pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.
  • Cook 3 minutes or until liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup.
  • Return chicken to pan; turn to coat with sauce. Sprinkle evenly with parsley.

Steps Towards Healthy Living

When people think about living healthy, two things come to mind: diet and exercise. But the reality of the situation is that this is far from enough to keep you healthy. First, this isn’t focusing on your mental health – a very important aspect of healthy living. Exercising and dieting in a certain way can keep you healthy and happy.

Drink water

You’ve heard it before, but it actually works. Drinking lots of water is the first step to being healthy. Sugary liquids have a huge impact on body weight. Drinking water ensures that you are getting all of the nutrients necessary to keep your body functioning properly while also helping you to lose weight.

First, water helps fill your stomach – preventing you from overeating. On top of that, water gives you more energy – allowing you to get up and exercise. Generally, you need anywhere between 8-10 cups of water on a given day. Keep a water bottle on you and fill it up whenever you see a water fountain.

Meditate and change your mentality

Meditation keeps your mind healthy and happy. Happiness impacts a bunch of aspects of your life besides just your mental health. For starters, it gives you more energy.

Meditating is an easy way to get your mind back into gear.

Meditating is an easy way to get your mind back into gear.

It is also important, however, to change your overall mentality when it comes to life. First off, love yourself. Next, push negative people out of your life – there’s no reason to be upset all the time. Finally, keep a journal. This allows you to put your thoughts on paper – getting them out of your head.

Exercise – the fun way

A lot of people say they don’t go to the gym because they “don’t enjoy going.” The solution is simple: find something you enjoy doing that also incorporates exercise. Surely you enjoy playing basketball, football, or soccer? If not, do you enjoy the outdoors? Consider going on a hike or walking through the park. Not only will these get you out of the house – they’ll also help you exercise different parts of your body.

Pick bright-colored foods and stick to brown carbs

Foods that are bright in color are usually high in antioxidants. These antioxidants remove radicals in our body that destroy our cells. Fruits and vegetables that are bright colored will help you feel better in the morning.

When it comes to carbs, stick to the brown carbs. White carbs are refined grains (such as white rice, pasta and white bread) that have nutrients removed in the production process. Brown carbs still have the nutrients and vitamins intact.

Cut out caffeine

Some people claim that they need caffeine for the energy – this is false. Caffeine is a short-term fix that will make you feel energized at the time but leaves your body exhausted in the long run. Instead, use the tips that I have included above. They will give you more energy than caffeine can provide.

Hang out with healthy people

If your best friends live healthy, it will help make healthy living a lifestyle instead of a chore. Your friends will push you to exercise, will take you out to healthy eating spots and keep you happy.

Increasing Your Metabolism… By Eating!

There are a bunch of ways to increase your metabolism. And a faster metabolism isn’t something to just brag about – it will trim your waistline and make you feel better each day. Most of the ways to increase your metabolism involve exercising… however, I’m going to give you some tips on how to increase your metabolism just by eating properly.

What is your metabolism?

It’s the process of breaking down fats, proteins and carbs to produce energy. Your metabolism depends on a variety of things – including (unfortunately for most) your genetic makeup. The number of calories you consume and the number of calories you burn while eating and exercising are a large portion of it.

Change in age = change in metabolism

As you age, your metabolism begins to slow down. Around age 25, your metabolism will begin to decline. Each decade, it will decrease by about 5 to 10 percent – meaning that by age 65, your metabolism could have slowed by 40 percent.

This is why it is important to start exercising now. Or, you could simple eat right!

Eating to burn your metabolism

Below I’ve included five ways that you can eat your way to a slimmer body. Start putting them to use today and see the payoff in the near future.

Eat more vitamins

Niacin is one vitamin that can really increase your energy production (that’s why it’s in a variety of energy drinks). Make sure that you are getting a lot of B vitamins throughout the day. These vitamins can be found in dairy products, whole grains, eggs and produce.

Some specifics to try: Quinoa is a rich grain. Eating just a little bit will get your metabolism going. Also, try making an omelet in the morning with a bunch of bell peppers and low-fat cheese.

Start drinking green tea

While it’s not good to get in the habit of relying on caffeine, green tea contains enough to jumpstart your metabolism without making you feel the jittery effects. Also, it contains the antioxidant EGCG, one that will increase the calories you burn throughout the day. If you really don’t want the caffeine, you can find decaf green tea that still contains EGCG – just know that it will not be as potent.

Drinking one cup of green tea can help you burn over 100 calories without doing anything else. What if you only drank green tea throughout the day? The results will skyrocket.

Get some protein in

Protein takes a lot of energy to digest. By eating protein, you are burning more than double the calories burned when eating carbohydrates or fat. Protein is also a key ingredient in building muscle – efficiency of calorie-burning in your body is increased by more muscle mass.

One thing you can try is peanut butter with celery stalks and skim milk. This will give you a jolt of protein will staying low in the carbs and fat department.

Relish in the spices

There have been numerous studies that have shown spicy foods increase your metabolism. For instance, Capsaicin (found in chili peppers) is shown to increase your metabolism by 5 percent. Also, spicy mustard has shown temporary bumps in metabolism activity.

Think of all the condiments that you put on sandwiches, burgers and hot dogs. Instead of using ketchup or mayonnaise, exchange them for spicy mustard. Or, consider sprinkling chili powder into your spaghetti sauce.

Eat breakfast

Don’t send your body into starvation mode: eat breakfast to keep your body constantly supplied with the energy it needs. When you have an empty stomach, your cells begin to conserve energy. Eat within an hour of waking up to get your body started.

Carl Koenemann’s Baked Ziti

  • 1 tub (15 Ounce) Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pound Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of Butter
  • 6 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 whole Large Onion, Diced
  • 1 pound Italian Sausage ( I like going with the hot Italian)
  • 1 pound Ground Beef
  • 1 large can whole tomoatos
  • 2 Jars Marinara Sauce or mix things up and try 1 vodka
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes
  •  Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 16 ounces, of Ziti ~ or any noodles you have handy
  •  Fresh minced Basil

 

  1. Heat olive oil and butter a skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Add garlic and onion and sauté for 6 minutes, or until starting to soften
  3. Add Italian sausage and ground beef and cook until browned.
  4. Drain off fat, leaving a few drops behind to add some extra flavor and keep the dish moist.
  5. Add tomatoes, marinara, salt, pepper, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Stir and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  7. Add ricotta cheese, 2 cups of the grated mozzarella, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Stir together.
  8. Drain the pasta
  9. Add half the pasta to a large casserole dish and layer sauce over the top and a layer of mozzarella cheese.
  10. Repeat
  11. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until cheese is becoming slightly brown.
  12. Let dish sit for 10 minutes and top with fresh basil and more cheese if desired.