Sunday, February 12, 2012
...Break all Paleo Rules at Once
This semester rocks because...
I have 100% awesome professors.
I even like philosophy. A little.
Catullus. Enough said there.
I can swim almost every day.
I'm getting to use BLAST algorithms in my biology lab. This is pretty neat stuff.
Now, why shouldn't you break all the paleo rules at one time?
Because it will suck.
Party last night at my friend's house. Just a few of us, in the usual get-drunk-and-sing-American-Pie-off-key style. Obviously if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. I straight-up planned to throw everything to the wind for one night because, well, what could possibly go wrong in one night of gluten, dairy, sugar, and alcohol?
I'll tell you what can go wrong. EVERYTHING. I didn't drink more than my previous standard, but I did have sugary drinks, pizza, and tortilla chips (I'll have you know I started with Kahlua and SO Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage, which was delicious. It was the mixed drink prepared for me later that went in for the kill). We went to sleep around 1:30 am, so that wasn't bad for a Saturday night. At 2:30 I woke up to a splitting headache centered over my left eye.
It was the kind of headache that calls its friend nausea to hang out, they get loud and rowdy so you can't sleep through it, and the nausea gets so bad before too long that you can't move without feeling like you're going to yawn in technicolor and you're thinking perhaps it wouldn't be so bad to send everything back the way it came. Then, after about an hour and a half of nothing but feeling horrible you start to beg Zeus, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Jesus, Buddha, the scientific method, and Allah to please, please just get it over with so you can uncurl from the fetal position on the bathroom tile long enough to remove the letter opener that's being twisted into your forehead.
These are the headaches I used to have regularly as a child, about once every six to eight months as a teenager and adult, and the kind of headache I got in the wee hours of this morning.
It lasted three hours even with four ibuprofen tablets on a search-and-destroy mission, and I finally was able to collapse back into bed around 5:45 this morning.
This, in tandem with the chocolate headache earlier this week, has taught me these things:
1.) Sugar is poison.
2.) High-GI carbohydrates (like those found in pizza crust) are poison.
3.) When you swallow two poisons in rapid succession, they don't turn around and try to beat each other up. They double-team YOU, and they win.
4.) Being double-teamed sucks way too much to ever desire more than one forbidden fruit at one time, and even dealing with ONE undesirable consequence of eating sugar is sufficient to keep me away from it.
5.) Believe it or not, THIS IS THE CHANGE WE SEEK. I now recognize toxic foods as such. This is good for two reasons: a.) getting off the sugar wagon makes it hella easier to eat right and keep eating right, because we know that moralizing our food choices doesn't make it easier to pick the carrot stick over the cookie. Instantaneous and horrifying punishment by our own bodies, on the other hand, is very motivating toward continuing a healthy lifestyle... b.) it makes the occasional treat even better because it's really a treat instead of a daily requisite, which is another thing that moralizing doesn't make easier to do.
My Whole6 started this morning (even though those biscuits are considered Paleo-fying nonpaleo foods, blah, blah, blah) and will be followed by another Whole30 after Feb. 18, which is when I plan on having Valentine's Day dinner with the fiancee. I feel like that's more legit than calling it a Whole30 With a Screw-Up in the First Week, right?
So ends another unplanned Experiment in Screwing Up the Paleo Diet. I think I've just about tested every possible way to NOT do it right, paid for all of them, and now you have horror stories to think about when sugar calls your name. Feeling extra-motivated now? Feeling more like salad and less like sundae? Me too. You're welcome.
Sunday, February 12, 2012
...you must include all the ingredients.
I just attempted the basic biscuits from Paleo Comfort Foods and when I cut one in half and bit into it, I was disapppointed by the texture and flavor. Then, I realized I hadn't put in the dash of salt or the baking powder.
Friday, February 10, 2012
Dinner tonight was fabulous.
I made a salad of romaine and spinach with lots of cherry (grape?) tomatoes, chicken, bacon, and dressing made from the last of the homemade mayonnaise (the recipe for which is at the end of this post).
Something occurred to me while I was sending this picture from my blackberry. Something about paleo type diets and conventional ones that made me really, really wonder...
...after weeks, months, or years of fat free food...
...dry, pathetic salad after dry, pathetic salad...
...or worse, salads coated in fat-free, sugar-free chemical cocktails...
...so many dinners composed of two pitiful bites of skinless chicken next to steamed broccoli and plain brown rice...
...I must beg the question of all the dieters who still insist on 1500 calories of beans, wheat bread, and carrot sticks every day (not that I'm hating on carrot sticks)...
...when the paleo diet comes in and says, "Yes, children of the earth, you may have bacon..."
WHY ISN'T EVERYONE JUMPING ON THIS?!?!?!?!?!?!
End rant. Hypotheses on the general insane tendency to cling to misery instead of basking in the light of BACON are welcome in the comments.
Also, I had my first organic chemistry test today and, as I expected, missing acid-base reactions was bad. I still think I did okay.
Second-to-finally, you must watch this fabulous video of one father's response to his daughter's Facebook rebellion. I love this man: www.litefm.com/cc-common/mainheadli
Finally, my recipe for mayonnaise, homemade from scratch and free of weird oils, preservatives, and stuff that shouldn't be in food.
I think we should ask why, when commercially prepared mayonnaise already contains all the usual mayonnaise ingredients (oil, eggs, egg yolks, vinegar), why must they add more stuff to make it act more like itself? You don't need thickeners or flavor enhancers in mayonnaise. If we needed to add synthetic chemicals to our food to make it edible, we would have died as soon as we came down from the trees.
So, mayo. Be forewarned that this takes a bit of time even with a blender (brilliant idea courtesy of JSPEED4), so don't wait do this when you have five minutes before you need to be at a party with the crab dip, k?
1 egg (the whole egg)
2 T lemon juice/vinegar
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1 cup light olive oil or any oil or combination of oils that isn't vegetable, corn, canola, or soybean oil
BRING EVERYTHING TO ROOM TEMPERATURE.
Plop the egg into your blender. Yes, the whole egg. Add the mustard powder and the lemon juice/vinegar. I say lemon/vinegar because when I made the first batch with lemon juice, it didn't have the tangy flavor I associate with mayonnaise. So if you want a really creamy but not very acidic mayo, go for all lemon juice. If you want more acidity, try some combination of lemon juice and vinegar. Some recipes ask for apple cider vinegar, but plain ol' white vinegar works fine.
If you can take out the center of the blender lid, do so now.
Start the blender.
Whip the egg/acid combination until it turns bright, happy yellow and gets a little frothy.
Here's the part that takes a while: add one teaspoon of oil to the running blender. Then another. Then another. Wait to make sure it whips up well before adding the next spoonful. Keep up this painfully slow process until about 1/4 of the oil is added and your mayo is emulsifying. It might seem thin, that's okay.
Now you get to add the oil a little faster, but not by much. Keeping the blender going, add the oil in a very small, steady stream. Sometime between now and the end of the oil the magic happens and the thin, sad looking almost-mayo becomes rich, creamy mayo. DO NOT DUMP THE OIL IN ALL AT ONCE OR YOU WILL DESTROY ALL YOUR EFFORT UP TO THIS POINT.
Congratulations, you now have mayonnaise.
Depending on how you feel about food expiration, you can give this mayonnaise a life expectancy of one week, OR you can check the date on your eggs and use THAT date as the expiry. My mayonnaise didn't last a whole week since I used it for salads and dressings and sauces, so this was a non-issue for me.
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Actually, it's most likely sugar induced.
It's That Time of the Lunar Cycle, and I decided chocolate was in order. Ghiradelli 72% Dark. Its not Green&Black's Organic, but still. I acquired chocolate and consumed it.
I can't get no satisfaction, it seems.
I'm coming to find that I THINK I want chocolate, but I don't, really.
I need to write myself a manifesto on chocolate and why I don't really want it, because when I finally get it, it doesn't actually satisfy anything unless it's in the form of chocolate ice cream, and even then it packs a major headache punch. I then rationalize not wanting chocolate anymore and then once enough time goes by, I do this again.
A manifesto or a shock collar.
I'm not going to lie. It kind of sucks to go a whole month without any sugar/sweeteners and then realize that your most-loved indulgence is not awesome anymore. It was really cool to think about how much I missed my chocolate and how noble I would be if I only treated myself once in a while and successfully avoided it the other 90% of the time. This kind of feels like punishment, to me. I feel slightly sick, my head feels funny, I know the sugar high texted its friend the huge, deep zit to come hang out too and I'm about to go make tea in an effort to cancel it out with concentrated healthy stuff.
This totally blows. I guess I should be happy about rising above the worldly desire for chocolate... kind of like attaining a sort of enlightenment (haha... weight loss pun...) but I'm mostly just feeling like crap and I have to admit that, unless I make Daniel my food policeman and have him remind me of how much chocolate actually sucks, I'll probably repeat this experience.
I think I'll go for the shock collar.
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
So you all know (if you've read a few blogs of mine) that I have a great college friend who is a raw vegan. She's beautiful, vibrant, and healthy and we completely disagree as far as food and food politics (veganism is the answer versus sustainable omnivory; abolishment of factory farming versus reforming it, you get the idea). Anyway, the fiancee and I went to Raw Vegan Dinner Night at her and her boyfriend's place and had a delightful mexican meal finished with chocolate pie and "ice cream" and after a bit of thought I realized that, but for the absence of animals, the raw vegan cuisine we enjoyed was 100% Paleo. No grains or legumes because they must be cooked. No dairy because it comes from a cow.
Well, I was just checking around for some recipes because I'm not a college student with a thousand constructive things to do besides search Internet recipes, and I found these brownies:
Being a sucker for all things chocolatey, you KNOW I'm bookmarking this bad boy.
So how do I justify searching a raw vegan recipe database when by all accounts I'm as anti-vegan and pro-meat as it is possible to get?
I feel like, as pilgrims searching for the ultimate nutritional wisdom, we pigeonhole ourselves whenever we accept any nutritional dogma as truth. Suddenly we restrict ourselves to seeking out food and literature that has already been classified as low-fat, or low-carb, or Paleo, or vegetarian, et cetera. This is especially true with diets that challenge conventional wisdom. In that respect, I think that raw veganism and Paleo/Ancestral/primal diets are sisters and comrades in the marginalized crusade against the Standard American Diet, and as often as we bash raw vegans for dehydrating everything and not eating animals and the raw vegans bash us for cooking vegetables and eating cows, we could do well to take the best from each other even when we agree to disagree.
What do I like about raw veganism?
They skip the grains and legumes because they have to be cooked in order to get any nutrition from them.
They skip the dairy, which in many paleo circles is considered inflammatory and unnecessary.
There is a lot of high-fat cooking with plenty of coconut oil, avocadoes, and NUTS.
They do awesome things with VitaMix blenders, and who doesn't love a VitaMix?
It's all about eating close to nature.
So what's the difference?
In a nutshell, bacon. Bacon sums up all the differences between raw vegans and ancestral dieters.
One must cook bacon (emphasis on "raw").
One must acquire bacon from an animal.
Bacon is comprised of meat and animal fat.
So there you go. I have ranted a bit and found you a raw brownie recipe that is gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, and requires no cooking. IF that isn't justification enough, well, four-letter-words.
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