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I Love Coffee.

I love it.  And now I roast my own. Not too hard to do with a little research, persistence and patience.  Oh, and $4 for the air popper at a thrift store and a couple bucks for wire mesh from a hardware store to retro-fit it for coffee roasting.  My first complete reasonable sized batch of home roasted coffee:

I even branded myself:)  I named the coffee ‘casa’; the image behind it is the chemical structure of caffeine.

I’v also been making some new food that Betty and I are really digging.  Here is a tomato-bacon-arugula pesto-feta-onion salad:

New Mexico

An amazing few days with great friends.  I am hobbling back to the practice of blogging.  Honestly, no promises:) Taking photos is something I really like, so here are some from New Mexico:

Expansive, beautiful country.

Lots of laughter among great friends.

I was fortunate to catch a few shots of lightning during a sprawling thunderstorm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

a hearty meal for a cold, rainy day

oxtail stew

roasted root veggies (turnip, sweet potato, parsnip)

artichokes with homemade bacon mayonnaise

it was delicious.  and i CANNOT believe i’ve never made bacon mayo.  it was amazing. i’ll never go back.

 

couldn’t find my camera, so i used the ‘ol cell phone for these:

 

 

 

 

ENSO winery‘s RESONATE red blend was a perfect companion for this meal.  Head over to their site and check it.  I had the privilege and opportunity to assist with bottling the first ENSO releases, their Rose´ and Pinot Gris, both of which will likely sell out quickly, so go to their site and order some!

I made some porchetta

While in Portland recently, I had this amazing porchetta at the Irving St. Kitchen, so I thought I’d try to reproduce.  I used the free Gawker app for Mac, then uploaded it to youtube so I could embed into this post.  didn’t come out quite as I’d hoped, but I’ll keep trying.  Porchetta is basically pork loin wrapped in pork belly with the skin on.  I rubbed with spices (fennel, lemon zest, garlic, salt, pepper), and it is wrapped and chilling in the fridge for about 2 days.  From there I’ll slow roast it then broil for crispy pork skin.

 

I love cooking.  I truly do.

 

This last several months of my life has reminded me that dietary magic bullets do not exist.  The combination of working night shift (and subsequent insomnia) and stress over performing well in grad school while at clinical rotations working in an emergency department have damn near unraveled me.  Despite the fact that I have continued to eat real food; I say let it be known that neither Paleo nor Primal nor any other real food schema slays the stress/lack of sleep/lack of exercise beasts (in my case at least).  Having a few days off of school and work immediately recharges me, unleashes mounds of creative energy and brings me closer to my center.

Currently reading: Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond

Currently listening: The Animal Years by Josh Ritter

Currently making: porchetta, home brined corned beef, home fermented kimchi, slow cooked chicken

Geez. Its 2011.

I wish conventional wisdom applied to sleep.  Meaning, I wish that all the science out there talking about how more is good, less is bad, with profound rippling effects on important things like mood and metabolism.  I’ve been sleeping horribly, and consequently I’ve felt pretty horrible lately (go figure).  Working 2 weekly night shifts from 7p-7a coupled with several other days a week needing to get up around 5am to get to a full day of graduate school has not left me in a good place.   I feel a bit like Ed Norton in Fight Club sometimes–‘never really asleep; never really awake’.  My body composition has suffered a bit, which is not surprising after reading some science on sleep.  Turns out, not enough sleep taking place in complete darkness adversely affects:

*circadian rhythms

*carbohydrate metabolism

*cortisol secretion

*One very interesting point from Stephan’s post I noticed was the combination of calorie restriction and mild sleep deprivation.  Overall weight loss was achieved, but ~50% of weight lost in lower sleep group was lean body mass…NOT good!  This compared with 80/20 fat/lean split in the more-sleep group!

I’ve decided I’m not going to be a victim of my life and I’m going to make some changes to keep moving toward greater vitality and energy to live my life well.  Willpower regarding food choices has been rock solid, and I’ve been doing 100 push-ups a day for a few weeks–a little self experiment I’ll report back on.  Stephan Guyenet posted THIS over at his blog regarding sleep studies, good read.  Robb Wolf is well spoken regarding the virtues of sleep as well.

I turned 30 on 12/24/10, had a beautiful celebration with my family, out on the water in Newport Beach, CA with accompanying wine & cheese pairings.  Here’s me and two of my beautiful nieces, Violet and Grace:

2011 is going to be a great year.  I can *almost* feel it.  More to come.

 

More on fasting

Of late I’ve been a little short on sleep and a bit long on such enthralling activities as reading journal articles on the complexities of different therapy modalities for continuous renal replacement therapy.  Sounds fun, eh?

Anyway, I write to inform that I am more convinced than ever that doing intermittent fasting yields benefits for focus, energy and athletic performance.  Last night, after being dead tired all day and not eating for about 22.5 hours, I decided to suck it up and go the the gym for a one hour Muay Thai session.  I realized about half way through that I miiiight be in the middle of the best workout I’ve had in recent memory.  My output was through the roof, and I did not feel tired through the entire thing. (in fact I worked out so hard that the buzz lasted long enough to keep me up so that I did not sleep well last night!…:(…..)

Yes, going 24 hours without eating has its short bouts of unpleasantness like brief (i’m talking 15-20 seconds a few times) nausea and feeling cold…but the payoff in the form of increased productivity throughout the day, mental clarity and better athletic performance make it well worth it, if you ask me.

Frenched Bone-in Ribeye; random/scattered updates

This was so delicious it’s nearly ridiculous.  Nothing more than salt, sear on high heat for about 4:30 on each side, then finish it off in the convection oven until medium rare (130-135°).  I ate this one with a potato fried in a mixture of butter, beef tallow and light olive oil.  Yes!  Stephan over at Whole Health Source has done an interesting series on potatoes. I’ve sure been enjoying them lately.  I normally avoid eating too much starch, but I gotta say, it feels like this recent increase (over the last week or so) has been really helpful; there have been a few days in the last couple of months where I’ve felt like I have been retaining water or something, sort of a bloated feeling.  Eating a large meal including either sweet potatoes or white potatoes following a fast has rid me of those feelings completely.  Not planning on a permanent starch increase, but periodic increase for a week or so seems like a good idea (and tastes delicious too!).

Interesting research regarding dairy intake: HERE.  I LOVE dairy these days…lots of cheese, cream and cottage cheese; this is divergent with “orthodox” paleo, as is potato consumption…c’est la vie.

I’ve started Nurse Practitioner school, and I am loving it.  Lots of work! I love learning, and I look forward to being on top of the latest best practices in medicine and perhaps agitating the establishment with a few heretical paleo/primal/ancestral thoughts here and there:)

Ok a few pics:

A beautiful steak:

These potatoes were devilishly good…I’ve got to remember to peel them however…peeling reduces the toxic glycoalkaloid content (alpha-solanine and alpha-chaconine); most of these toxic compounds are in the skin (thank you Stephan’s article)

Gotta keep it simple: salt and heat.

Blurry, disappointing final pic:

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