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A peek into the kitchen…

I love my new cookware.  Cast iron Le Creuset and Staub.  Worth the cost for lifetime warranty, even heat distribution, natural non stick surface and killer, rugged look:):

These days, my freezer looks like this:

Made ground pork stuffed with bacon, red onions and smoked gouda.  wow.  most pics didn’t turn out so here ya go:

Cheers!

Some new directions

I’m taking a slight break from endurance sports at the moment.  My eating schedule is basically what is taught by Martin Berkham over at Lean Gains.  I don’t necessarily make the same food choices I’ve seen in his work, but I definitely apply the principles; he is very sharp, especially on the science of IF.  I find myself almost euphoric during the last few hours of my daily fasts, feeling extremely productive, alert and mindful of what is going on internally and externally.

I’ve met some really great folks at a local combat sports gym called Pacific Ring Sports, where several folks are trying to get into the sports of triathlon and running.  We’ve agreed that I’ll share stuff I’ve picked up along the way with them as they teach me Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu.  I love the fact that my workouts of late are essentially the opposite of what I’ve been doing for the last several years: short periods of massive energy expenditure, non-linear movements and violent striking on bags and pads….digging it.  Feeling strong and lean.  Again, my workouts ALWAYS feel better and more effective when I work out in the fasted state.  I’ve been doing a fair amount of barefoot running as well—the folks in Oakland, CA seem to find this quite odd.  (I’m not gonna lie—I’ve had to pull some glass shards out of my feet a few times:)

Still adapting well to night shift, although the first day after my 6 in a row (today), I usually do feel fatigued and not so productive.  No more 6 in a row–onward to Nurse Practitioner school!  Looking forward to some *interesting* discussions related to chronic disease and metabolic syndrome.

What I’ve been eating:

pastured eggs–we’re fortunate to have an affordable, local source for these delicious eggs

grass fed butter

beef–ground, rib-eye steak and hawaiian cut short ribs have been my go to

duck

habanero/jalapeno cheese

guacamole

onions-always lots of onions!

Coffee

Wine!–prepping for a dear friend’s wine release party on Sept. 11.  Come on by if you’re in the Bay Area; I’m chef in charge of food….pics to follow.

Supplements I’ve continued:

*K2

*Magnesium

*Vitamin D–dosage upped a wee bit as there’s a little bit less sun here in Oakland vs. where we were in Castro Valley

*Cod Liver Oil–occasional use as offset for grain fed meat consumption

Busy time!

Been a lot of transition for me lately; we’ve moved a couple times in the last 2 months, settling into jobs and I’m getting ready to start school again next month.  I’m typing this at a coffee shop, as my house is covered in plastic, plaster, the humming of a paint sprayer constant.  Anyhow, my point is this: I’ll be back to blogging substantively in about a week.

Interesting side note:

I’ve not been able to exercise nearly as much as I normally do lately, because of moving mixed with general busyness.  That, combined with a couple nights eating out, a glass of wine or 3 thrown in constitutes a recipe for panic/guilt/emotional lability which has descended upon me in these cases for as long as I  can remember.  It didn’t happen this time.  All I did was stick to the intermittent fasting I’ve been doing (18 hours fasted each 24 hour period with one 24 hour fast/week), and I’ve gotten slightly more lean over the last few weeks.  Looks like the era of OCD eating and exercise in my life is over!

Wow.

The amazing researchers at Imperial College London have decided that the answer to metabolic syndrome and heart disease is….get this–

Serve free Statin drugs with fast food.

wow.  that is amazing.  I’m horrified/not surprised.  I mean, they continue to demonize “bad” LDL cholesterol and praise the Almighty Statin for its ability to prevent heart disease; it’d be one thing if a major peer-reviewed medical journal had somehow debunked statins as useful for extending your life a single day in terms of what is termed “primary prevention” (e.g. giving statins to all fast-food eating people).  Good thing statins are still our cardiovascular salvation, according to these “researchers”.

Oh when will we learn?

Thanks to Stephan over at Whole Health Source:

Saturated fat STILL doesn’t cause heart disease

I’m obviously not surprised; I’ll be interested to see how long this non-controversial, scientific information takes to seep into clinical medical and nutritional practice.

Wanna save money on healthcare?

http://nephropal.blogspot.com/2010/07/farm-subsidies.html

This is a fantastic commentary on the differences between conventional grain fed meat and grass fed meat and the way that government farm subsidies are sabotaging our health in this regard.  Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acid ratios are becoming more and more important in any discussion relating to the metabolic syndrome cluster and associated diseases (insulin resistance, obesity (especially abdominal), dyslipidemia, hypertension, Type II diabetes, coronary artery disease, cancer, etc.).  See here for recent study information on the rippling effect of sub-optimal Omega 6:Omega 3 ratios.

Moving forward

I gotta say, I’m pretty proud to call myself and Ironman.  The experience was amazing, and I was able to share it with my ridiculously supportive parents and some dear friends.  The soreness and mild renal insufficiency [:)] has passed, I’ve recovered, gotten back into the groove of working nights again, and I’ve gotten back into the gym/onto the field/on the back deck to do my workouts, which I’m enjoying now more than ever.

I’m not doing very much cardio these days.  VERY foreign feeling (dysfunctional, OCD guilt much?).  However, I am more than confident that my fitness level has not declined at all; I can feel it.  I’m doing shorter, very intense workouts, getting back into doing some olympic lifts (e.g. deadlift, hang clean w/ front squat), and doing sprint workouts outdoors, at the beach or wherever I happen to be.  As soon as my schedule permits, I’m going to attend a MovNat workshop–a philosophy of fitness based on natural human movement in the natural environment…cutting edge stuff.  [Richard Nikoley at FreeTheAnimal has posted some very cool stuff during his time at a MovNat workshop]

Eating primal/paleo is now second nature to me; I can effortlessly go 20-24 hours without eating free from any ill effects on productivity, workout intensity or physical symptoms.  Below are some pics of the daily barbecuing that goes on around here:)

Latest Favorite accompaniments to Fat & Meat: Beets, Red Onions, Homemade Chimichurri

Foods Which I Need More Of: Coconut & Red Palm Oils

Current weight: 212-215, about 10 lbs. to go for optimal weight.

Before pics, you might find this interesting.  T. Colin Campbell, the author of The China Study wrote a reply to Denise Minger’s analysis (and bitch-slapping) of his data, to which she has replied again.  All very interesting stuff, and that Minger is quite a brilliant one.  However, I think a point made by Dr. Kurt Harris on his blog is very relevant in the back-and-forth of this mess:

“This is all just epidemiology, and epidemiology is bogus. Now, I don’t mean it has absolutely no value. It is good for hypothesis generation. It is almost worthless for finding the truth.”(found in this post)

As for my personal opinion, I just think that it is difficult to make a case for a comprehensive dietary philosophy that:

A) Has never existed in a healthy population throughout all of known history

B) Is based on epidemiological data wizardry (8,000 statistically significant correlations?!? are you kidding?)

C) Requires industrially produced supplementation (B-12)

D) Doesn’t stand the test of time.  That is, a “whole foods, plant based” diet has only been possible for a small fraction of our existence.  That it is in fact the optimal human diet is purely conjecture.

E) “Just try it”  This is essentially the last paragraph of Campbell’s response to Minger.  So, let me get this straight: after slinging around your credentials, your 300+ peer-reviewed articles, NIH funding and international renown, you rest your 8,000 significant statistics on….wait for it….”Just try it”????  That, to me signifies the ultimate indictment against a scientist.  We’re being asked by someone touting rigorous, irrefutable science to become faithful believers and just try it.  No thanks dude.

OK, on to some pics:

Been using some pretty legitimate Mesquite charcoal “El Diablo” . Short ribs, sweet potatoes roasted in a stainless steel basket and some red onions.  yum.

Again, thanks in no small part to my Argentine cuñado, I’ve been making Chimichurri on an almost daily basis.  I charred some serranos and garlic for this one.  After that, it’s basically finely chopping italian parsely, cilantro, +/- onion, some white wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, paprika, maybe some chili powder.  Bang!  Amazing on these grass-fed ribs from our meat CSA: