This blog has moved to a WordPress platform as of July, 2009. To visit the blog go to:
This blog has moved to a WordPress platform as of July, 2009. To visit the blog go to:
First, foremost, and most importantly, Beatrice et moi are going to dinner at Fraises et Tartines Friday night. No, it's not a posh-chic downtown restaurant -- though I'll be first through the door if my friend Julie ever decides to open a restaurant. She did steak au poivre for her & hubby last night, in observance of Bastille Day (better than flag waving, any day). And last week, we got an invite for her bruschetta burgers, but had already made plans.
She's been emailing me about Paleo, as she wants to do a Paleo compliant meal for me -- in spite of my protestations that she prepare what she likes -- and blog about the experience. I'll certainly highlight it here, because I know it's going to be good.
Next, I just found that my local Whole Foods has a new free range egg section.
They've got local, free range chicken, quail, duck, goose, and ostrich eggs. Amazing. I got away with a dozen chicken eggs, and they even had a photo of the chickens pecking around in a field, no doubt boosting nutritional content from eating all the bugs and various things they eat on the ground (dirt too, probably). It's TLC Ranch, a mere hour away in Watsonville, CA.
Anyway, I got away with this particular dozen, the most jumbo I could pick out.
I can't wait to try. I've got some Trader Joe's "cage free" eggs and I'm anxious to see the difference in the yolks and the taste.
And, finally, the blog should cut over to the new WordPress design tonight. I'm going to have to likely go to a custom DNS rather than domain parking setup, which means that full propagation might take 24-48 hours -- though it's never been my experience that it takes that long.
We'll see. And I'll see you at the other end.
I'm mad as hell, so here goes a shot
Frankly: that company sells virtually nothing but processed crap. Bars & shakes loaded with soy, artificial sweeteners, unpronounceable, mystery ingredients, and other Bad Stuff®. And now, it's All-Purpose Baking Mix and Penne Pasta, both absolutely chock full of gluten. Here's the press release.
The ingredients for one of the bars are what you see to the left. Amazing, eh? So, their only distinction from your run of the mill boxed crap is that it's lower in carbs? I guess so.
Here's the ingredients for the baking mix: "Wheat Gluten, Whole Grain Soy Flour, Modified Wheat Starch, Unprocessed Wheat Bran. CONTAINS WHEAT AND SOY." And the penne pasta: "Enriched Semolina (Semolina, Niacin, Iron (Ferrous Sulfate), Thiamin Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2, Folic Acid), Modified Wheat Starch, Wheat Gluten, Wheat Protein Isloate. CONTAINS WHEAT."
What I'm wondering is how may people with undiagnosed celiac disease (not a simple diagnosis) or gluten sensitivity -- that doesn't rise to the level of full-blown celiac disease -- are unwittingly going to use these and other Atkins products -- often touted as "high protein" (i.e., gluten & soy) -- to the general detriment of their health? From the press release.
The Atkins All Purpose Baking Mix is nutritionally sound, providing high levels of protein and fiber in each serving with only 1 gram of sugar. Each serving contains 20 grams of protein, 6 grams of fiber, 150 calories and only 5 net carbs.
Atkins Penne Pasta, made with enriched semolina wheat, packs a powerful protein punch, offering 11 grams of protein and 18 grams of fiber per serving. At only 140 calories per serving, Atkins Penne Pasta has only 1 gram of sugar and 19 grams of net carbs - half the carbs of regular pasta!
See what I mean? They are actually touting the gluten & soy!
There's more. What's with this obsession with having to not miss out? We did fine without grains, bread, pasta, pancakes, muffins and so on for over 2 million years (hint: we ate meat, vegetables, animal fats, fruits, and nuts), and now we can't? Again, from the press release.
"With the Atkins All Purpose Baking Mix and Penne Pasta, we're providing consumers with a wider range of healthy and delicious foods to enjoy as they embrace a low-carb lifestyle," said Jennifer McGhee, VP of Marketing for Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. "For years, people mistakenly thought that on Atkins, they'd never be able to eat bread or pasta again. Now with our new products, it's possible to enjoy lower carb versions of these foods without relinquishing taste."
"From a health standpoint, Atkins All Purpose Baking Mix and lower-carb Penne Pasta is great for people who need to better control their blood sugar, such as those following low-glycemic diets," added Colette Heimowitz, Vice President, Nutrition and Education at Atkins Nutritionals, Inc.
You know what? I knew Atkins' basic approach worked as far back as 1990, 19 years ago. how many times did I try it and fail? Oh, at least a half dozen, and the most I ever went was maybe three months. The focus was all wrong: low carb. In other words, the focus is on a method and not a principle -- such principle being that we evolved to eat Real Food, and not wheat, soy, and a laundry list of artificial flavors, preservatives and who knows what all else. By focussing on method and not principle, you'll never fix the one thing that will keep most of you failing or miserable: hunger. There is no more sure, effective way to reset your hunger drive than with a natural diet. Atkins is doing its best to keep you on a modern diet, just one a bit lower in carbohydrate.
So what set this off? It was an email from Andea Davidoff of Atkins this morning, touting these new products.
I hope you are doing well. I wanted to let you know Atkins Nutritionals, Inc. announced that their new low-carb All Purpose Baking Mix and lower-carb Penne Pasta can now be pre-ordered by consumers at Atkins.com. You can view a full press release here.
Starting August 1st, both products will be available exclusively online at Atkins.com for a suggested retail price of $12.99 for a 2 pound pouch of baking mix and $3.99 for 12 oz. of penne pasta. The new Atkins All Purpose Baking Mix can be used to create a host of delicious baked goods such as pancakes, waffles, muffins and breads, while the Penne Pasta is made with enriched semolina wheat and has half the carbs of regular pasta!
These are two breakthrough products, and I’m happy to send you any further information, photos or recipes to utilize these products.
I think, given the gluten content of those products, they are actually worse for health than the higher-carb versions.
I'm a Paleo advocate. Grains, particularly wheat, have no place in the human diet. Sorry to say that I believe that Atkins, et al, has lost its soul in the pursuit of popularity and financial gain.
She thanked me for my feedback. That being the case, I thought I'd be even more helpful.
Not a burger and a salad, a burger salad. From time-to-time in a pinch, I'll get one of Carl's Junior Low Carb Six Dollar Burgers, without the cheese or catsup. Not a bad option and only about 5 grams of carb.
Of course, you can do your own lettuce wrap burger, or, you can just make it a salad (click for the hi-res image).
Very simple. Lettuce of your choice, lay on a heaping tbsp of mayo (important, otherwise to dry), then your burger (this had shrooms, garlic, yellow onion and pine nuts in it) on the mayo, garnish with onion, tomato (these were delicious heirlooms), dill pickle (if you haven't run out), and mustard & catsup (Trader Joe's: some sugar, but no HFCS and no unpronounceable ingredients).
Well, what I didn't know is that there's a history to the Cobb Salad, invented by Bob Cobb, owner of the Brown Derby in Hollywood, CA.
A couple of nights before, we had decided to collaborate with friends for Friday, and since Julie makes such amazing bacon bits, I suggested a Cobb. So here was the starting palette, with the Bing Cherries there for the dessert (click on it for the hi-res).
There seems to be a lot of variations on the Cobb, and this was no exception. I couldn't source Roquefort without going to Whole Foods, so I went with blue. I also made blue cheese dressing per this recipe, pictured above, and I cut it down by 1/3 so as not to have leftovers. My second attempt to make mayonnaise failed, just as the first, so I was left using 2/3 cup of Trader Joe's expeller pressed canola oil mayo.
Chopped up the romaine and watercress, dressed with about 2/3 of the blue cheese dressing, plated, then used the remaining 1/3 dressing to mix up with the 5 oz. blue cheese crumbles for the centerpiece (click on the photo for the hi-res version).
Oh, man, was it ever good. Then, later after a few hands of cards, cherry smoothies, consisting of about a pound of cherries (all that were in the bowl) 3/4 can chilled coconut milk, 1/4 can heavy cream, 1 tsp honey, 1 tbsp Artisana coconut butter, and a dash of vanilla.
One for the Pea-Brain Diet
Got an email from reader Katherine Strange, proprietor of SF Bay Area's Evolution Catering. I haven't tried the menu, yet, but that's only because I have the time and inclination to cook for myself most of the time. If that's a problem for you, or an occasional problem, you're near to San Francisco and want to eat right, ring up Kat and get some nice food.
A vegetarian wasn't too happy about the menu offerings.
Kat, It would be interesting if you included some pure vegetarian meals (beans, grains and veggies) if you really want to be an “Evolutionary” caterer. Research shows that only a vegetarian diet is really sustainable for the planet, and is still the healthiest way to eat that there is. I ‘d be interested if you decide to continue to evolve....
Then, a kind reply got an even more insistent response.
...And their organs only needed to survive for 20-30 years. Life span extended with the evolution of agriculture, as did the need for the kidneys and heart to last longer. High protein diets are very hard on the kidneys, causing high rates of kidney stones, which can lead to kidney failure. Not to mention the fat and cholesterol issues.
And then there is the health of the planet to think about. The carbon footprint of a pound of beef is huge compared to a pound of grain.
So my question to you is, how do you see our planet and people evolving to feed the huge amounts of people that populate the earth and will populate it in the next 20 years?
I love that you are making food for families. But your claim to Evolution, I believe, is flawed. We have evolved away from the hunter to the urban dweller and billions of people on the earth. Our diet needs have evolved and need to continue to do so to make it all sustainable.
It is truly tiresome to keep dealing with the same myths, ignorance, and lies. How many times have you heard the "impacted red meat" mantra? I still see it all the time from the vegetarian menace.
Next, you have ignoramuses claiming we evolved as herbivores, ignoring reams and reams of anthropological evidence proving that not only did our ancestors eat a lot of meat, but in cases such as the Neanderthal, were very nearly totally carnivorous. Instead, you get moron liars-for-a-cause, like Kathy Freston: Shattering The Meat Myth: Humans Are Natural Vegetarians. Get a load of this idiocy from that article, and the quote by Richard Leakey, of all people:
There is no more authoritative source on anthropological issues than paleontologist Dr. Richard Leakey, who explains what anyone who has taken an introductory physiology course might have discerned intuitively--that humans are herbivores. Leakey notes that "[y]ou can't tear flesh by hand, you can't tear hide by hand.... We wouldn't have been able to deal with food source that required those large canines" (although we have teeth that are called "canines," they bear little resemblance to the canines of carnivores).
In fact, our hands are perfect for grabbing and picking fruits and vegetables. Similarly, like the intestines of other herbivores, ours are very long (carnivores have short intestines so they can quickly get rid of all that rotting flesh they eat). We don't have sharp claws to seize and hold down prey. And most of us (hopefully) lack the instinct that would drive us to chase and then kill animals and devour their raw carcasses.
Really, I am very hard pressed to recall anything I've recently read that's so ignorant, fanciful and wishful. Leakey: if you really said that then you, as a scientist, should be ashamed of yourself. Surely you know that our ancestors have been using tools on the order of 2.5 milion years.
Moreover, vegetarianism itself is largely myth, by which I mean that there are few, if any, true vegetarian mammals in nature. They eat bugs, worms, spiders. And even chimps are known to masterfully hunt down small monkeys, rip 'em apart, and eat them.See, this is what happens -- you veg-morons -- when you cloister youselves in your little echo chambers. I have yet to show this to a vegetarian who wasn't dumbfounded. But what should I expect, when these are the very same people who will look at a carton of eggs and feel joy that it reads: "100% vegetarian diet." That means it's a 100% unnatural diet. Free ranging chickens, just like all birds, eat bugs & worms. ...Lot's of them, and the difference in nutrition of the yolk can be on the order of 300% or more, and it's directly a function of the non-pea-brained diet...
And then there's the enviro-crap, which is just original-sin religion in disguise. You're a guilty sinner (destroying the planet), you must repent (eat unfulfilling food). and atone (sacrifice your values and desires to the diktats of "authorities"). Same con, different day.
Now, The American Dietetic Association gives the green light for vegan diets for infants, and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) -- a vegan/vegetarian activist group like CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest) that's too dishonest and manipulative to imply their true agenda in their own name -- are recommending same.
I think not!
Before I begin, please take the 2 minutes and 27 seconds necessary to watch this ABC news report.
I'll get back to that in a bit; but first, I'm sure you heard the news: Eating Animal Fat May Lead to Pancreatic Cancer!!! Oh nos! Yea, already a half dozen emails and a Facebook message or two.
But guess what? This is the same study that was More Stupid Nonsense by Rashmi Sinha, PhD; Amanda J. Cross, PhD; Barry I. Graubard, PhD; Michael F. Leitzmann, MD, DrPH; and Arthur Schatzkin, MD, DrPH, then, and it's simply a lot more accumulated stupid nonsense now.
The bottom line: the aforementioned cretins are frauds and liars. What other conclusion can you reach? I'd love to deconstruct this for you, but, Tom Naughton of Fat Head fame has already done a more than adequate job of exposing the aforementioned frauds and liars.
And what an amazing study this has turned out to be. So far it has indicated that being overweight in middle age will kill you, a lack of physical activity can increase your odds of breast cancer, red meat will give you colon cancer, alcohol can lead to pancreatic cancer and fruits and vegetables may protect against lung cancer … uh, but only in men. The study also achieved the amazing feat of indicating that dietary fat may lead to breast cancer – but red meat doesn’t.
Considering how many headlines this study has already produced – with more sure to follow – I’m going to suggest you memorize the name: The NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study. I’m also going to suggest that when you spot an article that cites this study, you bookmark it, download it, print it, and then use the pages to paper-train a puppy.
There's a lot more, and I won't steal Tom's thunder. Please click on over and see what honesty and logic look like, because you aren't going to get any from the news media. And why would you expect it, when you have so-called "respected" researchers putting out such biased garbage themselves?
Tom covers a lot of ground and establishes five problems very thoroughly, which he summarizes thusly:
What we’re looking at is 1) a survey study with a low response rate that 2) required old people to accurately recall what they’d eaten in the past year (twice), which then provided data that is 3) almost certainly polluted by self-selection and confounding variables, and is 4) being analyzed by researchers who indicated from the beginning that their main concern is dietary fat, all for the purpose of 5) identifying associations, which don’t tell us very much anyway.
Now let's take a look at more of the same, this time from the liars and frauds at ABC: Charles Gibson, Yuji de Nies, and Jon Garcia. Did you watch the video?
Scary stuff, eh? But the errors and plain bullshit here are so egregious as to just defy belief. But it's true. They really lie, mislead, and manipulate that much.
As to number two, above, here's the doc:
The blood samples were taken two hours after the meal. Dietary carbohydrate is absorbed directly into the blood and makes a pass through the liver where it stimulates the production of triglycerides, the fat you see in the blood. Fat, especially long-chain saturated fat digests very slowly, and doesn’t reach the blood until much later than the two hour mark. While carbs go directly into the blood, fats take a different route. The process that breaks down dietary fat into its component fatty acids is a lengthy process as compared to the breakdown of carbs. Once the fat has broken down, it has to combine with bile salts to make it into a form that is water soluble and can be taken up by the intestinal cells. Once taken up, unlike carbs, which are sent directly to the bloodstream, fats go into the lymphatic system, a much smaller and more static transport system than the vasculature. Once in the lymphatics, fats make their way to the thoracic duct, which empties into a large vein in the upper chest. The lymphatics are small vessels and take a long time to move their contents along since there is no heartbeat pushing them as there is with blood. As I say, the fat in the blood you see on the video didn’t come from the saturated fat in the diet, although that was definitely the implication.
Well, I suppose that, at least, there are now sound outlets of honest, in-context, scientifically rigorous information to counter all the frauds and liars in high places out there.
That was dinner last night for friends. I chose to do the rack on the grill, indirect, low, with a temp probe. This rendered the air around the racks around 250, just where I like it in order to get that medium rare right to the edge and not just the center.
Once the rack got to 120ish, internal, I went full high on both burners, brushed both sides lightly with the glaze I had reduced from beef stock and bit of lard & duck fat (and very slight bit -- 1/3 tsp -- of chopped jalapeno that I later strained out). Then, we turned 'em a few times as the temp rose to about 125-128 internal, then let 'em rest for about five minutes before slicing, glazing, and garnishing with freshly grated parmesan.
And a final close-up (click on 'er to enlarge).
Many have bugged me to update the photos (now) to the right. Beatrice is still complaining, but until she comes up with something, this is what it is.
While looking for stuff, I used iPhoto's facial recognition, and one of the ones it came up with was an old one from a trip to Hawaii in 2005.
Wow, what a no-neck, carb-face whale I was.
The new face was cropped from this photo of Beatrice and I on the cruise last week.
P.S. The design shifted to this new column arrangement as I gear up with the developers for the near-term move to WordPress.
Those (few) who used to follow my political blogging know that it was often heavily anti-religious (to the consternation of many of my political-philosophy soul-mates). Though still steadfastly a non-believer -- "I don't believe in Zeus, or any of the Gods that came after" - Richard Dawkins -- my attitude about the whole thing has changed stylistically. Now, I essentially put it in the same general boat as agriculture, i.e., agriculture making things like Big Statism, Big Corporatism, and Big Religion (all steadfast bedfellows -- or honor-bound thieves, take your pick) possible. Decentralized religion -- call it tribal myth -- lacks the power to harm lots of people, as Big western religions used to do (at least as antagonists) -- but Islam still does.
So what does this have to do with health & fitness, you ask? Glad you asked.
Well, one of the blogs I've been linking to in my Quick Hits posts is that of Don Matesz (husband of and co-author with Chef Rachel).
That post is about the whole Muslim custom of covering women in ridiculous looking attire from head to foot (Want a laugh from my past blogging antics? See here.) causing osteomalacia and other serious health issues linked to vitamin D deficiency (and: connect the dots).
You never get sugar-coating here (not in the food porn, and not in the principles or opinions). Plenty of bloggers are happy to refrain from stepping on toes. Not me -- though I'm less interested in regularly lobbing bombs as I used to be. Too happy, feeling too good, I suppose.
These people, to be generous, are out of touch with reality! Bad things happen when that happens, and the usual result is that people get harmed, many killed. Other than that, there's too many delusions to go around and I'm far beyond trying to point them all out.
Of course, they're just Muslims, and we're "enlightened" Christians, Jews, and general derivatives of same, right? Well, perhaps, and I will certainly stipulate to the obvious fact that that the two latter are far more benign to the health of humanity in general than the former.
I just can't understand the necessity, the imperative. Fear? I think that has a lot to do with it. But I'll move along. More than being a rare (I assure you) anti-religion post, I would just suggest to you that just as bizarre as it seemed at first to question the ingestion of grains and sugar, did you ever stop to realize that modern religions are even newer to our evolution?
Which brings me to the "interesting person" I referenced, above. Acharya S., AKA D. M. Murdock. Here's her main site (which is going to kick off audio -- a video -- so take note). She's an archeologist, and, while I read all of the "new atheist" books out the last coupla years (Dennett, Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens), I'm really more impressed by the archeological detection that demonstrates the very same theme over eons and eons (how about 5,000 BC?). What theme? Well, you'll have to check into that yourself.
She has a few videos (books you can find at that main site link), which I'll list shortest to longest.
Sun of God (3:36)
The Christ Conspiracy (53:40)
As much, or as little as you like. Have it your way. You don't have to believe in evolution to derive benefit from a diet based on the logic of evolution. You don't have to disbelieve in a deity, either.
It just helps. That's all.
Answer: They all cause a hell of a lot of them. But you'll need to click that link to find out the surprising winner. How many do meat, fat, and vegetables cause?Zero.
Now, go get your kids off that crap.
But, hey, "they're 'just' teeth," right? Well, sure, I guess; but I prefer to think of it as adverse mineral metabolism. You think it only applies to teeth? Ever heard of osteoporosis?
Ever heard of calcification of the arteries?
More: my posts on vitamin K2.