Food Friday: Some Super Side Dishes

A couple of weeks ago, I told everyone about my favorite ever recipe for roast pork. Since a big hunk-o-meat does not a meal make, I thought some equally amazing side dishes would be a nice follow up. These recipes for roasted cauliflower and brussels sprouts and red cabbage respectively both changed my entire outlook on these veggies – I used to eat them sparingly and with little excitement. But this stuff, I could eat by the pan (and have). The vegetables in both dishes are all from the cruciferous veggie family. These not only have the standard benefits of lots of vitamins and minerals (including vitamins A, K, C, and folic acid – in the B vitamin group), but have tons of fiber: about 100 calories’ worth can give you 25-40% of your recommended daily allowance. They have high levels of protein and omega-3 fats, and there are also some  strong links to cancer fighting properties and anti-inflammation.

A note about taste: many people don’t like cruciferous vegetables as much as others since due to a more bitter taste – probably why no one likes brussels sprouts when they are kids. However, with the right preparation, this taste can be easily balanced, turning a “meh” veggie into a superstar. Head over to www.askGeorgie.com to have a look – she’s got tons of other ideas as well.

Roasted Red Cabbage

askGeorgie’s Roasted Red Cabbage

Roasted Red Cabbage

This is possible the easiest side dish ever, and delicious. And beautiful. And fast. One thing to be mindful of: the cabbage cooks down quite a lot (loses volume) so you’ll have a lot “less” of it when you take it out of the oven than when you put it in. I could eat half a head myself, easily

Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts with Pepitas and Pine Nuts

askGeorgie’s Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts with Pumpkin Seeds and Pine Nuts

Cauliflower and Brussels Sprouts with Pumpkinseed-Pine Nut Topping

One bite of this with the pine nuts and pumpkin seed topping will turn even the most hardened veggie-hater. I like to give the nuts and seeds a quick whiz in the food processer to make the topping a bit more of a crumb. Either way, it’s amazing. Love love love.

 

Happy Friday! Eat well, get some exercise, and enjoy your weekend!

Why Massage?

Appropriate exercise, good nutrition, and quality rest and recovery are the cornerstones of really great results in health, fitness, function, and even appearance – most of us know this. Since you’re doing the hard work with these, why not maximize the positive impact of your hard work with the occasional massage session?

It seems that massage is very much still in realm of spas and facials, and not yet widely thought of as a valuable addition to a healthy, fit lifestyle. However, quality deep tissue massage (also called therapeutic or remedial massage) can have an enormous impact on mental and physical health, both generally and for specific conditions. I see it as an integral part of maximal health, fitness, and well-being.

From a physical perspective, massage works to decrease the tension in tight muscles and connective tissue. The pressure used by the therapist stimulates mechanical and nervous system reactions that cause the muscle and connective tissue to decrease tension and return to an optimal state (or closer to one). Overly tight muscles can be caused by poor posture, repetitive movements, stress, injury, illness, or surgery, and inactivity, among others – if this sounds like you (most of us have at least one of these going on) you’re a prime candidate for massage!

Decreasing this tension leads to a number of positive changes. Your circulation will improve, allowing a better flow of nutrients and water into the tissues, and better removal of metabolic waste products. Normalizing tension of the outer most layers can help to decrease the tension of deeper muscle and connective tissue layers, which also leads to improved nerve function. Better nerve function can help each muscle play its role in movement more efficiently and can decrease nervous system complaints like sciatica. Good muscle and nerve function and tension can decrease the risk of aches, pains, and injuries, generally making both exercise and the activities of daily life more pleasant.

Beyond the physical reactions, massage can elicit stress reduction and relaxation responses. This can disrupt the body’s pain response, easing not only every day aches and pains, but also those associated with chronic conditions like cancer, HIV/AIDS, and fibromyalgia. Massage can also increase focus and concentration, thereby increasing productivity and easing stress from a different perspective. And simple touch can go a long way towards feeling better cared for. It’s a pretty amazing thing.

Finding a good deep tissue therapist usually means looking beyond your local day spa. They are much more likely located in shared offices with chiropractors, physical therapists, and other allied health professionals. Prepare yourself for the possibility of a more intense treatment, especially if it’s been a while or you’ve never had one. You may need more frequent treatments initially, but as your soft tissue quality improves, you can go longer and longer between sessions. This is really a worthwhile investment. Lastly, don’t be afraid to trust your gut – no pain, no gain is not exactly true in this circumstance. The most effective treatment is one that is deep enough to decrease tension, but not so heavy that you want to jump off the table the entire time. Your therapist can sometimes tell if they are going too deep, but it’s always in your best interest to let them know if you want more pressure, or less.

 

If you are looking for a great massage therapist in the Alexandria area, I highly recommend Erica Petrilli – she’s got great hands and intuitively knows what needs work.

Exercise of the Week: The Glute Bridge

“I like big butts, and I cannot lie…”

That’s how the song goes, right?

While Sir Mix-a-Lot is in it more for the aesthetics, I’m more concerned about function. Either way, we see less and less of this these days. Instead, I see a lof of what I call “pancake butt” – as in, flat as a pancake. Your gluteus maximus (glute max, if you want to drop a few syllables) is the largest muscle in your body, but for many people, there isn’t much to it (thanks, sitting.) And not only are our glutes disappearing out from under us, the muscle that remains often doesn’t work very efficiently. An increasingly common term for this is gluteal amnesia – the muscle “forgets” to fire or activate the way it should. Not a great thing for the most powerful hip extensor in the body.

Hip flexion (forward) and hip extension (backward)

Glute max causes the backward (extension) movement of the hip

Aside from not filling out your jeans well, a poorly developed and activating glute max can lead to all sorts of trouble, including lower back and knee pain, especially if you do a lot of walking, running, or cycling.

Fortunately, though sometimes they take a little coaxing, we can wake up our sleepy glutes with some simple exercises – the glute bridge here is one of the best to get started with this. If you’re just getting started, this a great exercise to have in your workouts. It’s also a great option for a warmup exercise, for those who are a little more experienced but need a kick start.

Exercise type: Activation and movement preparation

What it does: Improves glute max activation ability and strength

How to:

glute bridge

– Pull heels close to butt so shins are nearly vertical, and keep hips, knees, and feet all in a straight line
– Squeeze butt tight and keep the squeeze while you push through heels to lift hips off ground
– Hold for 5-10 seconds, then control back to start position

You should feel: A squeeze or tightness through the butt.

Tips: – If you can’t maintain the squeeze, lower to start and try again.
– Keep your weight through your heels to keep the work through the glutes
– If you feel your hamstrings (back of thigh) working more or cramping up, your glutes are fatiguing or not activating, and not doing their job. Lower to the start, have a rest, and try again.
– If you feel it in your lower back, your glutes also aren’t doing their job. Lower to start and try again.
– Don’t worry about how high you lift your hips. More isn’t better in this case, and can lead to end up working that lower back instead (and area that doesn’t need more stress).

 

Disclaimer: This does not constitute medical advice, and not all exercises may be suitable for all people. Please consult your health care professional if you are unsure whether these exercises are right for you. If these exercises increase pain or any other symptoms, please stop immediately and consult your health care professional. For best results, get your doctor, physical therapist, and personal trainer/exercise coach talking for a united approach – as well as your chiropractor and massage therapist if you see these. To find out who I refer to in the Alexandria area or the rest of Northern Virginia, please get in touch.

What Is Clean Eating?

This is a question I eventually get from pretty much every client ever, at some point. It’s a term that gets thrown around a bit, and in full disclosure, I use it too when describing what I would like to see as an ideal diet. Since these discussions are often had in passing during a warm up or while on the foam roller, and I am not always wearing my nutrition hat, I can get sidetracked and don’t always elaborate.  (This is why if you’re serious about changing your nutrition habits, nutrition sessions should be stand alone, not discussed when we should be focused on exercise technique.) So before I get myself all distracted again, here it is:

Clean eating: Eating a diet of minimally processed, fresh food as much as possible.

A variety of fruits and vegetables

Minimally processed is the key here, as far as I’m concerned. I’m looking for foods that are as close to their original form as they can be. Achieving this mostly common sense, but the food scientists of America (and the rest of the developed world) are getting pretty good at feeding us not-exactly-food items. If you would like to find out more about how this has and is happening, I highly recommend reading In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Michael Pollan. If you aren’t sure how processed your food is, you can use the following questions to help figure it out.

1. Would your great-grandma recognize it? If you gave her a Cheeto, I don’t think she would want to eat it (not on sight).

2. Is it in a package? There are obviously some exceptions to this rule. It’s hard to buy milk without some sort of packaging, and frozen veggies come in bags and are still a great choice. But consider most of the rest of the products available in all those middle aisles of the supermarket. A lot of boxes, bags, and tins of adulterated “food”.

3. Does it have more than five ingredients? The fewer, the better, due to a decreased chance that you’re ingesting something that you might not want to. Produce and fresh meat? No ingredient list needed. If it does have a list, there’s a bonus point for knowing what they all are.

The best way to answer Yes-No-No is to stick to the perimeter of your grocery store; the standard setup will have produce, fresh meat, dairy, and eggs on the outside. You’ll be able to duck down just a couple of aisles for your quinoa or oats, plus spices and seasonings, making your shopping experience faster and easier. And that means more time to exercise, right?? 😉

Too many ingredients

Too many ingredients

Only single ingredients here

Only single ingredients here

Erin Haske is an exercise physiologist and personal trainer in working in the Alexandria and the surrounding areas of Northern Virginia. To find out more about her work click here, or to ask a specific question, get in touch.

Prevention Tactics for Shin Splints, Part 2

Last week we talked about how the design of your exercise program could impact your likelihood of shin splints, and how you (or your coach or trainer) can design a program that decreases your risk. Good program design is certainly very important for avoiding any type of overuse injury; to get more bang-for-buck and decrease your injury risk further still, make sure to incorporate a good warm up and cool down into your session. The exercises and techniques presented here can be used either before or after the bulk of your workout, or both.

Pre- and Post-Workout Prevention Techniques

Your body usually works best when all the moving pieces can actually move the way they are supposed to. If muscles and connective tissue are tight, they can pull on the sheath of connective tissue surrounding the bone, leading to swelling and pain – the main symptoms. While muscle length and joint mobility also affect how well we move (or how poorly), there is a system that allows for the best results: Tight muscle and connective tissue will not stretch as easily, so relieving the tension means that any stretching you do will be more effective, and normal muscle tension and length will let you get more out of your joint mobility exercises. In a nutshell:

1. First relieve tight muscles with self massage (or go get a deep tissue massage for better results!).

2. Second, stretch the loosened muscles as appropriate.

3. Finish with some joint mobility exercises.

Self Massage and Soft Tissue Work

Since shin splint pain is theorized to come from tight muscles pulling on the bone, decreasing muscle tension can significantly decrease the risk of developing the injuries. Some areas will have a greater positive impact than others:

Tennis Ball Calf Self Massage

Calf massage with tennis ball

Sit on floor with one leg straight, and place the tennis ball under the calf. Roll the tennis ball up and down or side to side under the calf. If more pressure is needed, lean forward from the hips. Make sure you avoid the back of the knee.

_MG_1955Plantar Fascia massage with tennis ball

In socks or bare feet, roll a tennis ball under the sole of the foot along the arch.

 

 

Tibialis Anterior Foam RollingTibialis Anterior (Shin) massage with foam roller

Lay face down with the foam roller under the shin. Roll sideways slightly and lift torso and hips off the ground to settle body weight onto bottom leg. Roll up and down along the outside of the shin.

Homemade ice massage cupIce Massage (Post-Workout only)

This is a good one for an especially long or tough session, after you’ve done all your other cooling down. It does require some planning ahead (this is where our program design can really come into play).

Ice massage on shinGet a small paper or styrofoam cup and fill it with water. Put it in the freezer a day or two before your workout (or more) – the idea is that it’s frozen solid when you need it. Once you’re done cooling down, tear the top of the cup off, so that there is ice sticking out, but you still have something to hold on to. Rub the ice up and down your shin (you can make curlicues, or draw the alphabet – endless possibilities!). You want to keep the ice moving, as prolonged exposure can actually give you an ice burn. BE CAREFUL. You might also want to use a towel under your leg, because this WILL be messy.

Stretching and Joint Mobility Work

Once muscle tension is decreased, move on to your static stretching and joint mobilization work. Stretching comes first: Calves and the front/side of the shin (the areas targeted by the self massage above) are the goals. There are a number of ways to stretch your calves, and both are beneficial. You can do whichever feels best for you, or you can cover all your bases and do both:

Calf stretches

calf stretches

The calves can exert a lot of pull on the bone and connective tissue in the shin, but so can the numerous small muscles in the outside front and side of the lower leg. There are a couple of different ways to stretch these muscles as well. When using either version, keep the toes turned slightly towards the opposite foot.

Front and outer shin stretches

Tibialis Anterior Stretches

Remember, no matter what you are stretching or why, it should only to be to the point of discomfort, never pain. Muscles and connective tissue will eventually tear – not something you want!

Joint mobility – Knee to wall ankle mobilizations

Last, but not least, our joint mobility exercise. While there are many that could be used to promote ankle mobility, I find the Knee-to-wall ankle mob (short for mobilization) a user friendly one.

Knee to wall ankle mobilizations

– Stand square to wall with toes of one foot touching the wall
– Keep heel on ground and touch knee to wall (If the heel comes up, the exercise becomes worthless)
– If you easily touch the wall with your knee and keep your heel on the ground, slide the foot out 1/4 to 1/2 an inch and repeat; Continue until touching the knee and keeping the heel down is a challenge
– Do 10-15 on each side
– Tip: To help keep heel on ground, think about pushing the heel down as you drop the knee towards the wall

There you go! After discussing the causes of this injury, how to design your exercise program to prevent them, and now today’s installment discussing exercises to decrease your injury risk, we are done. This has been more on shin splints than I ever thought I would write, and possibly more than you ever thought you might do for prevention, but better a little effort now than a lot of recovery later!

Related articles:

Prevention Tactics for Shin Splints, Part 1

What Is It: Shin Splints

Disclaimer: This does not constitute medical advice, and not all exercises may be suitable for all people. Please consult your health care professional if you are unsure whether these exercises are right for you. If these exercises increase pain or any other symptoms, please stop immediately and consult your health care professional. For best results, get your doctor, physical therapist, and personal trainer/exercise coach talking for a united approach – as well as your chiropractor and massage therapist if you see these. To find out who I refer to in the Alexandria area or the rest of Northern Virginia, please get in touch.

Your Doctor Doesn’t Know Enough About Nutrition Or Exercise

I headed over to the American College of Sports Medicine’s website the other day. I was going to review their Exercise Is Medicine initiative, but I got sidetracked by this interesting news brief instead:

Your doctor says he doesn’t know enough about nutrition or exercise

This article from The Washington Post is a quickie, but enough to highlight how little education on exercise, physical activity, and nutrition our doctors actually get. I’m glad someone is finally talking about it!

The human body is a complex machine – more so than anything we could ever design. Our doctors spend years learning about the human body, and though the basic required knowledge is in-depth and continuing education practices can be rigorous, it is very difficult to have more than a basic grasp on ALL of the body systems at once. This is why fields of specialty exist, right?

While your doctor is always a good first stop for your health and wellness questions, I would love to encourage both the medical community and the public to embrace exercise physiology as a specialty in itself. Not just in clinical or diagnostic settings, either, but as a more wide-spread and easily available preventative tool. Your exercise physiologist can provide the most up-to-date and appropriate exercise advice for you – much more than most personal trainers can – especially when it comes to exercise as a tool to help manage chronic disease and conditions, preparing for surgery, or bridging the gap between physical therapy and the lifestyle you (probably) want to get back to. Instead of relying on your doctor for exercise and nutrition advice, ask them to help you find the right person to support your exercise and nutrition goals. It’ll take a load off their plate (at least a little) and make sure you get the best care, which is why we are all in this anyway!

Erin Haske is an exercise physiologist and personal trainer in working in the Alexandria and the surrounding areas of Northern Virginia. To find out more about her work click here, or to ask a specific question, get in touch.

Exercise of the Week: Side-Lying Thoracic Extention-Rotation

Side-Lying Thoracic Extention-Rotation – it’s a mouthful!

The thoracic spine is the part of the spine below our neck and above our lower back. It encompasses what we usually think of as the upper back – the area around the shoulder blades – but it extends lower than that as well. Our thoracic spine has a natural backward curve, but often times poor posture and a western lifestyle (sitting, driving, computer use, slouching on the couch) exaggerates that. This can lead to stiffness through the thoracic spine, which can in turn limit our movement.

Now, our bodies are pretty good at finding ways to get around limitations in movement. Most often, if we are dealing with a stiff joint, we will find extra movement in the joint(s) above or below to make up for the stiffness. This can lead to pain where the extra movement is occurring; in this case, lower back pain is not uncommonly linked to stiffness in the thoracic spine (as well as the hips – but that is another post).  Thoracic spine stiffness can also impact the health and function of the chest, shoulders, and neck. Keeping the thoracic spine mobile means keeping all of these other areas functional and pain-free as well.

This is a great choice to include in any long term, sustainable exercise program, whether you are working with a personal trainer or coach, or are exercising on your own. I like to use this as a warm up, and it’s one of my favorites when I’ve been at a desk all day. Remember to breathe deep at the stretchiest part, and enjoy!

Exercise Type: Dynamic Mobility

What it does: Improves thoracic spine extension and rotation, as well as promoting appropriate mobility through the rib cage.

How to:

Side Lying Thoracic Extension Rotation

– Lay on side with arm tucked under head for support, hips stacked on top of each other, and knees tucked up to at least hip level
– Reach top arm out straight in front
– Keep knees and hips still and slowly reach top arm up and then behind until you hit a stopping point
– Twist from the rib cage area of the spine, and keep the hips stationary (they will want to fall backwards as you twist)
– Sometimes it’s helpful to think about pushing hips forward as you twist backward, to keep hips aligned
– Hold at the farthest point of your stretch and take a deep breath, then return to start

You should feel: A stretch – in a manner of speaking – through the thoracic spine and torso. You may just feel stiffness initially, and you may not be able to get much movement. Greater range will come with practice, so don’t try to force it. When you stand up, you’ll feel about five inches taller!

 

Disclaimer: This does not constitute medical advice, and not all exercises may be suitable for all people. Please consult your health care professional if you are unsure whether these exercises are right for you. If these exercises increase pain or any other symptoms, please stop immediately and consult your health care professional. For best results, get your doctor, physical therapist, and personal trainer/exercise coach talking for a united approach – as well as your chiropractor and massage therapist if you see these. To find out who I refer to in Beaverton or the greater Portland are, please get in touch.

 

Prevention Tactics for Shin Splints, Part 1

Shin splints are one of the most common and least pleasant exercise related injuries out there. Characterized by dull to intense pain on the front or inner border of the shin, they can start with the beginning of a new workout routine, or can come on after years of regular exercise. They occur most commonly with high volumes of repetitive weight bearing activity, such as walking, running, dancing, and sports or exercise with a lot of jumping. They are even more likely when there is a sudden increase in the amount of exercise you do, and with higher impact exercise. Your body can only handle so much before it gets a little cranky!

The two main areas of shin splint pain

The two main areas of shin splint pain

Once they occur, they can take quite some time to resolve, so an ounce of prevention really is worth a pound of cure. There are a number of things that can contribute to shin splints, and a number of ways that we can help prevent them. Part one of this series will discuss how to plan your exercise routine for decreased risk, and part two will cover warm up and cool down exercises and techniques that will help prevent injuries.

Type of Exercise

Since shin splints are related to large amounts of high impact activity, it makes sense that decreasing the total amount of impact will decrease your injury risk. I’m not saying you shouldn’t run, walk, or play basketball (etc.) anymore – these can still be a great part of an exercise routine. However, it can help to take at least a day or two a week where your exercise comes in some other form. Any activity that is not your normal workout can be considered cross training. When cross training to avoid shin splints, non-weight bearing exercise like cycling or swimming is a great option. If you just have to be on your feet, try water walking in the shallow lane of the local pool, since the water helps support your body weight and decreases the impact force of each step.

Volume of Exercise

Also called training volume, this basically refers to the total amount of exercise we are doing. High impact weight bearing activity counts double in this category, so managing training volume appropriately is a very effective prevention tool.

Cross training days are a good way to help manage your high impact training volume while still getting in a good workout, but there is also a lot to be said for a plain old no-intentional-exercise rest and recovery day. I always suggest to my clients that they have one day completely off per week, no matter how novice or advanced they are. Rest days allow your body to recover and heal from the physical, mental, and emotional stress of exercise and everyday life – good for you mentally and physically.

Exercise Surface

Last point for today: The surface you workout on can also have a significant impact. Hard and uneven surfaces increase the impact force and therefore your injury risk (shin splints and other injuries). This can include the sidewalk or pavement, hardwood floors (used for dancing, some racquet sports, volleyball, indoor soccer – this is could go on and on.) If the great outdoors is your preferred option, grass or dirt trails can be good options, but please remember to watch out for holes in the ground and similar. No twisted ankles or tripping, ok? Indoors on your feet – if you absolutely have to, use the treadmill. The design of the machine actually decreases some of the impact force of each step. The hardwood courts are less of an easy fix, and this is where non-weight bearing cross training is really a good option.

These points can all lead to fairly significant changes in your exercise routine, so they bear consideration. If you think you might want or need to make a few changes, it can be helpful to speak to a (good) personal trainer or coach. They can give you the right advice on the appropriate amounts – and probably help you get to your goal a little quicker. Beaverton and Portland locals are always welcome to give me a call. 🙂

 

Related articles:

Prevention Tactics for Shin Splints, Part 2

What Is It: Shin Splints

 

 

Disclaimer: This does not constitute medical advice, and not all exercises or exercise programs may be suitable for all people. Please consult your health care professional if you are unsure whether these are right for you. If any exercise increases pain or any other symptoms, please stop immediately and consult your health care professional. For best results, get your doctor, physical therapist, and personal trainer/exercise coach talking for a united approach – as well as your chiropractor and massage therapist if you see these.

Exercise of the Week: Hip Flexor Pulses

Our hips are designed to be one of the most mobile joints in the body. They should have large degrees of forward-backward movement, side to side movement, and the ability to rotate towards and away from the body. Unfortunately, they usually can’t do any of these very effectively. We all sit so much that our hips lose a lot of their natural movement ability, especially in hip flexion (bringing the knee up towards the chest).

Hip flexion (forward) and hip extension (backward)

Hip flexion (forward) and hip extension (backward)

The hip flexor pulse stretches the muscles responsible for hip flexion: the psoas major and iliacus –  together known as the iliopsoas – while developing glute activation. In an ideal world, when the glute contracts (any time the hip moves into extension, as illustrated) the hip flexors will lengthen. This will allow the glute to contract fully and you’ll get the most out of your movement.

However, a lot of sitting leads to short, tight hip flexors which don’t lengthen nearly as much as we would like them to during movement. This can lead to hip stiffness and decrease the ability of the glute to contract, which in turn can lead to lower back and knee pain. Aside from it’s effect on the hip joint, the psoas major also connects to several vertebrae in the lower back, so being overly tight can pull on the bones and cause pain. All good reasons to keep those hip flexors happy!

Exercise type: Dynamic mobility

What it does: Improves hip flexor length and flexibility and glute activation.

How to:

Hip Flexor Pulse

– Kneel on one knee, big step out with opposite foot
– Make sure your hips, knees, and ankles are in line
– Squeeze glute on back/bottom leg and lean forward (don’t arch the lower back)
– Hold stationary object for balance if needed
– Keep tummy and pelvic floor tight
– Use a folded towel, pillow, or similar under the knee for padding as needed

You should feel: A squeeze through the butt (glute max) and a stretch through the front of the hip on the same side.

 

Disclaimer: This does not constitute medical advice, and not all exercises may be suitable for all people. Please consult your health care professional if you are unsure whether these exercises are right for you. If these exercises increase pain or any other symptoms, please stop immediately and consult your health care professional. For best results, get your doctor, physical therapist, and personal trainer/exercise coach talking for a united approach – as well as your chiropractor and massage therapist if you see these. To find out who I refer to in the Alexandria area or the rest of Northern Virginia, please get in touch.

Food Friday: The Best Roasted Pork Ever

Another Food Friday recipe courtesy of AskGeorgie.com! What can I say, she’s ahh-mazing. When you click through to the recipe, you’ll see that she talks about the convenience of having ready-to-go protein sources on hand, and roasting big hunks of meat – both things I am a huge fan of. While most of us know that protein is a really important part of a healthy diet, many people are unaware how much they need (and most of us don’t get enough of it on a daily basis). Women should be having one palm-sized portion each time they eat, while men and highly active people of both genders should be closer to two palm-sized portions. Does that sound like you? I know there are days when I struggle to get enough, so anything that will make my protein intake a little more convenient is great in my book.

Truthfully, I am a little excited to post this, and not from a nutrition perspective either.

It’s been so long since I made it that I had forgotten about it. That’s no judgement on how good it is though. As soon as I saw it on her Recipe page, I got excited. Really, mouth-watering-ly excited. The wet rub that Georgie suggests using is a great pair with the pork. The cumin and cayenne (if you use it) give it a little bit of heat, but not too much, and I like to use smoked paprika instead of sweet (regular) paprika to add some depth of flavor. The roasted cloves of garlic not only add flavor to the pork, they are addictive on their own. I could eat whole heads roasted. Unlike many rubs, there are no sugars of any kind, and just enough olive oil to make the rub spread-able, so there’s no “bad” stuff in this at all. And while I usually roast a pork shoulder (aka pork butt – yep, it’s the same cut), the moisture in the rub makes it perfect for a drier cut like the pork lion. Click through to get Georgie’s recipe for the best roast pork ever. Go nuts on that big hunk’o’meat, and enjoy.

Roast pork loin with wet rub

Georgie’s Best Roast Pork Ever