Archive | Links RSS feed for this section

Things I Think Are Cool for March 4, 2012

4 Mar


I’ve had a cast iron skillet for many years – but until a few months ago I never used it!  I usually favored my non-stick cookware, but here’s a great explanation of why and how you should be cooking with cast iron.  One of my favorite things is starting it on the stove and then finishing either under the broiler or in the oven.


Mango and Avocado in a salad?  Sounds like a great combination.

While I prefer smoking at a lower temperature, this Lemon and Dill chicken preparation looks great.  It might find it’s way onto our dinner table this week.


How should kids exercise?  A lot of variety and free play.

One of my revelations from my half marathon training last summer was that I could do more than I thought from a fasting state.  During the summer time, I regularly went and ran reasonable distances (6-8 miles) without eating breakfast first.  I knew it was reasonable, but some studies help back up my study of one.  It also discusses the effect of exercisers to overcompensate in their post-workout meals.


Things I Think Are Cool for February 19, 2012

19 Feb


I’ve been listening to the audio edition of The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan.  I haven’t finished the book yet, but it’s been a really fascinating discussion of our country’s food supply.  The first section focused on the effect of the oversupply of corn – and how corn has found it’s way into thousands of food products as well as becoming the mainstay feed of livestock that never would have never naturally ate corn.  Our government’s selective subsidizing of growing commodity crops has led to overproduction with food companies reaping the benefits.

Product Reviews

Soccer Cleats 101 brought a review of the Adidas miCoach module and the type of data it provides to players.  While I’m a huge data and analytics person – and I love seeing some of the data that Opta publishes as well as the player performance analytics in Champions League coverage – I don’t think fitness is the greatest determining factor in player performance in most cases.

I need boots to tell me how many touches I get, the accuracy of my passes and how I make decisions on the field.


Healthy Green Kitchen recommends you add some live cultures from cultured or fermented foods to your diet.  I’ve been making home made, whole milk yogurt for the last five months or so – and I feel like it’s a positive influence on my health.  Of course, it’s free from food additives too!

Mark’s Daily Apple offered a Brightly Colored Vegetable Salad today.  Looks worth trying out.


We are just one week away from starting practices at our club, and the European soccer calendar is at a frenzy right now with the top leagues, Cup competitions and the Champions League all active now.

Coach Tim had a good session plan for working on Possession.  I think I will use the Four Goal Game and the Real Madrid game from this session with my U8 team this spring.  I’m trying to get them to play more on their toes and less flat footed – moving around more and playing head up.

While to the new fan, all Football (soccer) looks the same – there’s many different styles of play in the sport today.  Just as there are American Football teams that play a running-oriented offense versus a passing oriented, or defensively focused, there are different systems and styles of play among soccer teams at the top level.  Backpage Football points out that not all teams should play the same style – that some are better oriented toward the Barcelona “Tiki-Taka” offense while other teams are at home playing balls long down the field.

Of course, that leaves open what direction I lead my U8’s down the road of – but with seven kids who haven’t developed enough leg strength to send the ball accurately to a team mate, or the ability of players to play it down out of the air, it leans more in the direction of a dribbling oriented, short ground passing style.

What to Watch

STR Skills School is continuing to put out the best in soccer skills tutorials on YouTube.  This week: Pienaar’s turn used against Boswinga from recent Premier League action.  I keep telling my kids – if you can’t turn the ball you will not go far in soccer.

Things I Think Are Cool for February 12, 2012

12 Feb


I’ve completed two weeks of Crossfit Football as my new weight training regimen.  I’ve made some adaptations to the program based on what’s available in my gym, as well as my own skill and performance level.  I’ve enjoyed the challenge so far.


I made this Chili with Chocolate and Chipotle peppers for dinner tonight.  I doubled up on the tomatoes.  Leave the beans out for paleo followers.  The combination of unsweetened chocolate and pepper heat was great.

Soccer Coaching

Thinking Outside the Box had a note about coaching a “Six Second” Recovery drill for when your team loses possession of the ball to quickly regain possession and linked to a session plan for teaching.  This is the same way that Barcelona plays.  I think this is something my U8 team could probably do this spring.

Worth Watching

Nike puts out some of the best video content on YouTube on their Nike Football channel.  Here’s a recent example:

Their “Academy” stories follow the youth academy team that Nike runs in England.

An interesting analysis of what Barcelona does well.  In many ways, they play a very simple game of soccer.  Press when they lose the ball, make short passes and get open.

Cool Stuff

Can a man free-fall from 120,000 feet above the Earth and parachute successfully?  Felix Baumgartner is working on making it reality.  It’s an amazing feat of stretching the capability of man and science to make it happen.


Things I Think Are Cool – February 5, 2012

5 Feb


Speed Endurance covered Strength, Power, Speed and Coordination.   It sounds like Olympic Weightlifting will develop coordination and explosive movement.

Injured?  Try Movement, Elevation, Traction and Heat instead of Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.  Movement the next day is my best cure for muscle soreness.


I saw this recipe for Quick Cooked Greens with Bacon Vinaigrette and cooked it tonight for dinner.  I topped mine with a pan-seared and broiled Salmon filet with a few capers.  It was a fine dinner!

On my plan for the summer – home pickling.

Youth Sports

One of my regular reads is the On the Pitch blog, written by a youth soccer coach.  This week he compared the flight of teachers from the classroom to coaches from the field.  In both professions (or endeavors) sometimes the headaches outweigh the positives.


While my son picked his next pair of cleats this week,  I saw a few pieces of footwear that peaked my interest.

I had noticed the Mizuno Wave Universe 4 before for it’s lightweight and low heel-to-toe drop.  Runblogger had a positive impression of this shoe – so it might show up on my feet later this year.  I’m a fan of bright colored footwear.

Soccer Bible had a rundown of ultralight leather boots (cleats) as well.  The Mizuno Morelia Neo is probably my favorite of the group here – although the Puma King SL has a certain class and simplicity to it.

Things I Think Are Cool – January 22, 2012

22 Jan

I’ve pulled out a few recipes and other articles from around the web that I intend to try (or recently have), as well as other topics of interest.


Primal Scotch Eggs from Mark’s Daily Apple.  Sausage and eggs all in one convenient chunk?  Sounds like a winning breakfast to go.

Primal Moussaka from Mark’s Daily Apple.  I actually made this one last weekend.  We used ground turkey (both breast and dark meat) for the meat.  I mixed the kale (probably about two cups before finely chopping it in when the meat was cooking.  It has a great mix of seasoning in it.  Well worth trying!

Cara Cara Orange, Beet and Goat Cheese Salad from Healthy Green Kitchen.  I haven’t tried this one yet, but citrus and goat cheese is always a winning combination for a salad.  Makes me think grapefruit might work here, too.

Other Articles

A new take on what a “Healthy Fat” is.  I had long been a believer that animal fats were terrible for you and margarine made from processed oils were a superior choice to butter.  In the last six months I’ve changed that opinion, but this article was a good reset of why.

Win a pair of custom Adidas F50 boots from The Original Winger.  Design, upload to their Facebook page, and gather your voters.

The Relationship between Inflammation and Exercise.  Is all exercise beneficial, or does some of it create more stress than good on your body?  I’ve changed my mode of exercise and taken up more temporarily intensive exercise versus longer duration exercise.  I’m hoping to start sprint training soon.

That’s All – what have you seen that interests you lately?