Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Chocolate Review: Endangered Species 72% Mint

By Benjamin Skipper

So it turns out I've been deceiving myself. Previously I tried to portray myself as having a conflict in deciding which is my favorite among several varieties, but I guess I was mistaken: It's certainly Endangered Species 72% cocao with mint. I love it so much that I actually bought it in bulk. Mint is just positively one of my favorite things.

This bar is wonderful. It doesn't contain a particularly attractive design on the bar, but it does have that nice shiny gloss which makes it look appetizing and moist, and a decent mouthfeel where it melts and becomes creamy at an acceptable rate. What really makes this great, in my opinion, is the mint alone: I love the way it smells, tastes, aftertastes, and makes my breath smell (and taste). It's particularly refreshing, especially intensely so if you crave it, and can be a wonderful addition to foods that have a strong scent; you certainly won't want to brush your teeth after eating one of these bars.

The only improvement I can think to really make is to intensify the mint. When I consume something minty I want to be slightly overwhelmed by it and breathe it out the nose. I may just get my wish since Endangered Species announced the possibility of a mint cream filled bar on its Facebook fan page, but it's still up in the air; I submit my vote in that regard anyhow.

However, there is still the need for me to justify my choice in face of other competitors, such as Green & Black's 60% cocao with mint and New Tree's 73% cocao with mint. They're both good varieties, but both have vices that make me choose Endangered Species instead.

Green & Black's, on one hand, seems to have a more intense mint flavoring, but its 60% cocao content makes it appear sickeningly sweet. I enjoyed it thoroughly, but the paid the price of such pleasure later on in feeling a bit ill. G&B's might be good in moderation or integrated into some dessert, but considering how much chocolate I like eat when I concentrate on it I wouldn't eat the bar by itself. Plus it's more expensive too, so perhaps I'd save it for a special occasion.

New Tree, on the other hand, is either equal to or greater in mint intensity as ES. It actually bests ES in the aesthetics department by being the most attractive bar I have ever seen: The bar's novelty is that it has the texture of leaf veins on it, but its so extremely detailed that it looks like an actual leaf imprint rather than an imitation. It also has 1% more cocao than ES, but the additional nutritional benefit is probably insignificant. I would pick this bar over ES if it weren't for one thing: The price. This is absolutely the most expensive chocolate I have seen to date, and only purchased it since I had a gift card. Honestly, I really don't see any justification for such a high per-unit price, so unless it's with another gift card or a higher income I'm going to opt for the cheaper ES since it offers more satisfaction on the dollar.

As such, my current verdict is that Endangered Species wins in the mint arena, and serves as my absolute favorite chocolate brand and variety for the time being.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Depression and carbs

By Kate Yoak

I want to cry today. My kids drive me crazy. My husband is all kinds of things bad. My mother-in-law's cooking sucks and my Crossfit coach is an ass. Right, none of this is real. I've learned to recognize the depression that invariably follows a high-carb diet.

You are not depressed despite your favorite pasta dishes? If you've never tried it, give Paleo a try for two weeks. I wonder if you look back like I did, and realize what joy and happiness feel like. Having been on Paleo for about four months, I have a reference point: the way I had felt in the year or two previously. Whenever I feel overwhelmed, sad, frustrated and anxious, the first question on my mind is: did I eat right this week? The answer, without exception, has been NO. (Yes, this means, there has not been a single instance when my depression was caused by any factors other than the carbs in my diet!) I've been too busy, too lazy, and eventually, too depressed to take care of eating properly. Today marks the lowest point in a couple of months.  Here is what I am going to do to fix it: I will spend the afternoon cooking!

  1. This evening, I have invited my husband to have a cooking date-night, making a Paleo quiche. I hope he accepts.
  2. I would like to make a Kitchen Sink Soup that I have loved previously, possibly using the incredibly rich soup stock I prepared and froze a while back. (The fat seriously helps when I am on a carb-depression)
  3. Devilled eggs! Haven't made them in years.  Should be a wonderful snack/side for a meal.
  4. I will probably run out to Costco to get a ham and bake my holiday ham creation. It's one of the easiest recipes I have and it lasts two weeks in various forms!
That's it for now. I hope to be in better spirits to blog about the results!


This has been reposted from CaveKitchen Blog where I have received some insightful comments on the subject.

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Objectivist Roundup

By Diana Hsieh

As part of Modern Paleo's weekend schedule of blogging on Objectivism on Saturdays and free market politics on Sundays, I post a link to "The Objectivist Roundup" every week. The "Objectivist Roundup" is a weekly blog carnival for Objectivists. Contributors must be Objectivists, but posts on any topic are welcome.

Reepicheep's Coracle hosted this week's Objectivist Roundup. If you're interested in learning more about what Objectivists are writing and doing, check it out!

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Ayn Rand's Playboy Interview: Romantic Love

By Diana Hsieh

Lately, I've been highlighting some gems from Ayn Rand's 1964 Playboy interview as part of Modern Paleo's Saturday blogging on Objectivism. Here's more on romance:

PLAYBOY: Where, would you say, should romantic love fit into the life of a rational person whose single driving passion is work?

RAND: It is his greatest reward. The only man capable of experiencing a profound romantic love is the man driven by passion for his work -- because love is an expression of self-esteem, of the deepest values in a man's or a woman's character. One falls in love with the person who shares these values. If a man has no clearly defined values, and no moral character, he is not able to appreciate another person. In this respect, I would like to quote from The Fountainhead, in which the hero utters a line that has often been quoted by readers: "To say 'I love you' one must know first how to say the 'I.'"

PLAYBOY: You hold that one's own happiness is the highest end, and that self-sacrifice is immoral. Does this apply to love as well as work?

RAND: To love more than to anything else. When you are in love, it means that the person you love is of great personal, selfish importance to you and to your life. If you were selfless, it would have to mean that you derive no personal pleasure or happiness from the company and the existence of the person you love, and that you are motivated only by self-sacrificial pity for that person's need of you. I don't have to point out to you that no one would be flattered by, nor would accept, a concept of that kind. Love is not self-sacrifice, but the most profound assertion of your own needs and values. It is for your own happiness that you need the person you love, and that is the greatest compliment, the greatest tribute you can pay to that person.
Next weekend: sex!

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Friday, September 24, 2010

The Paleo Rodeo #027

By Diana Hsieh

Welcome to this week's edition of The Paleo Rodeo!

The Paleo Rodeo is a weekly blog carnival featuring the best paleo-related posts by members of the PaleoBloggers e-mail list. The past editions are collected on this page.

What is "paleo"? As I say in Modern Paleo Principles:

A "paleo" approach to health uses the evolutionary history of homo sapiens, plus the best of modern science, as a broad framework for guiding daily choices about diet, fitness, medicine, and supplementation. The core of paleo is the diet: it eschews grains, sugars, and modern vegetable oils in favor of high-quality meat, fish, eggs, and vegetables.
The purpose of The Paleo Rodeo is to highlight some of the best blogging of the ever-growing paleosphere.

Here is this week's edition:
Benjamin Skipper presents Controlling the Concepts of Chocolate? posted at Musing Aloud, saying, "I learned from Ghirardelli's website that the government is apparently proposing to "change the definition" of chocolate. This is not only economically improper and incompatible with freedom, but also epistemologically inappropriate. No one decides what the definition of a concept is; reality dictates that."

Amy Kubal presents The Paleo Grocery List - Let's Go Shopping! posted at Fuel As Rx, saying, "Here's the scoop on how to have a successful trip to the grocery store - Paleo Style!!"

Nell Stephenson presents Another "Pre Training Day" Meal posted at TrainWithNellie.

Sara Hatch presents How to Cook Like a Buccaneer posted at Edible, saying, "Primal Pirate food!"

Jean-Patrick Millette presents Understanding and optimizing the hormonal effects of training posted at Primal Journal, saying, "Sugary drinks after a workout is probably not a good idea if you are trying to shed some pounds. Focusing on the hormonal response we get from training is probably a better way to do it."

Paul Jaminet presents The Oldest Profession: Quinoa, Millet, and Emmer and Einkorn Wheat posted at Perfect Health Diet, saying, "This post discusses the safety of some alternatives to conventional grains."

Julie Sullivan Mayfield presents Rich's BTB45 Results! posted at BTB's Nutrition and Performance Blog, saying, "An inspirational paleo story - helping someone to "feel good again.""

Daniel presents Weekly Weigh In VLOG: DRAMATIC ENDING!!! posted at At Darwin's Table, saying, "This is my second weekly weigh in VLOG. But the ending is very dramatic and unexpected. I won't ruin the surprise."

Richard Nikoley presents My Podcast Interview at Healthy Mind, Fit Body posted at Free The Animal, saying, "A light 2 on 1 interview with Kevin & Wes. And I poke fun at some Paleo sacred cows too."

Nicole Markee presents Out Playing in the Woods posted at Astrogirl, saying, "I spent last week backpacking, climbing on rocks and sleeping in a hammock in the woods - lots of primal fun!"

Laurie Donaldson presents Summer's Not Over Yet! Grilled Shrimp, Peaches, and Bok Choy posted at Food for Primal Thought, saying, "A last summer fling with the grill."

Josephine Svendblad presents Black Sesame Ahi Tuna posted at Nutty Kitchen, saying, "A slightly different way to prepare a quick Ahi Tuna dish. Enjoy and let us know what your favorite way of making it is."
Many thanks to the PaleoBloggers who submitted to this edition of the The Paleo Rodeo! I hope to see this blog carnival grow in the future. If you blog on paleo-related matters and you'd like to submit your posts to the carnival, please subscribe to the PaleoBloggers e-mail list. You'll receive instructions and reminders via that list.

Finally, you can find all of the blogs of the PaleoBloggers on this continuously-updated list:
Enjoy!

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Question of the Week: Favorite Spice

By Diana Hsieh


(Photo courtesy of carbonnyc)


This post hosts Modern Paleo's weekly open comment thread. Please feel free to post any random questions or remarks you have in the comments on this post. Personal attacks, pornographic material, commercial solicitations, and other inappropriate comments will be deleted.

As I've mentioned, I'm adding a question (or two) on your practice of paleo to these open threads.

Paleo Questions of the Week: What's your favorite spice? How do you use it?

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Roasted Dried Sweet Potatoes

By Diana Hsieh

As I plan to do more backpacking in the future, I've been thinking about good paleo foods for that. I've already made fantastic beef jerky, and I wanted to try dehydrating sweet potatoes. Most instructions use raw sweet potato, but I wanted to try roasted sweet potato.

So over the past two days, I roasted and then dehydrated some white and orange sweet potatoes. After roasting them in their skins, I skinned them, then sliced them as thin as I could (about 3/16"), then dehydrated them in my trusty Excaliber. About eight medium sweet potatoes loosely filled three quart-size mason jars.

They're quite delicious on their own, but they were particularly fantastic when partially rehydrated in my bowl of slow-roasted pork. Like the beef jerky, I expect them to be gone in short order!

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Modern Paleo's Facebook Fan Page

By Diana Hsieh

I recently created a fan page on Facebook for Modern Paleo. If you're a fan of Modern Paleo, please "like" us!



Also, you can find Modern Paleo on Twitter here: @ModernPaleo.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Quick Thyroid Update

By Diana Hsieh

I seem to have have hit bottom with respect to my thyroid on Tuesday. As I mentioned in my last thyroid update, I wasn't doing well. Many of my hypothyroid symptoms were returning -- and getting worse.

Tuesday was the worst of it. I had an utterly miserable CrossFit session that day. I wasn't tired in any ordinary sense, but rather in the "I just want to lay down and stop moving" hypothyroid way. Even my mind kept zoning out: I couldn't stay focused on what I was doing for 30 seconds at a time. (That never happens at CrossFit!)

Happily, I seem to have turned a corner in the past few days. My carpal tunnel pain has diminished; the skin on my hands isn't quite so horribly dry; and my digestion is better. And I had a great CrossFit workout on Friday.

So what happened? On August 27th, I increased from 1 grain to 1.25 grains of desiccated thyroid due to my symptoms, plus labs showing my remarkably low Free T4. Since T4 is the thyroid storage hormone (as opposed to T3, which is the active thyroid hormone), I suspect that my body just required about 2.5 weeks to put the additional T4 to active use. I wonder how much I'll improve -- and whether I need to go back to 1.5 grains, if not more.

That lag is part of what makes treating hypothyroidism so darn difficult. You just can't tinker with your meds, except on the scale of weeks or months.

Also, as another bit of good news... One element in Friday's CrossFit workout involved alternating tractor tire flips with burpees. (Yes, it was the killer of the day.) I was outside flipping the tire, and I didn't want to put my knees on the asphalt in doing the burpees. So I tried doing real push-ups, rather than the girly push-ups from the knees that are all that I've ever been able to do. Much to my amazement, I could do them! And I did all of them that way. I still need to work on them, as I should be able to get further down. However, I'm so excited to be able to do them at all -- as that's really something wholly new for me.

Overall, I'm so happy with my training at CIA FIT Gym. Despite my ongoing struggles with my thyroid and despite my limited training schedule, I'm seeing real progress!

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Monday, September 20, 2010

Three Great Things about My CrossFit Gym

By Diana Hsieh

My CrossFit gym -- CIA FIT Gym has three unusual features that make my friends at other gyms quite jealous, namely:

  • Periodization: The gym runs on a four-weeks-on, one-week-off schedule. (That can vary a bit, depending on how holidays fall.) Given the intensity of CrossFit, that periodic rest is very much needed. That schedule is helpful for goal-setting too, as each session offers an opportunity to reflect on what you want to accomplish. Plus, at the very beginning and end of each session, we do the same challenge workout -- and compare our start with our end time.
  • Fun Trips: In the rest weeks, Kelli (the owner and my trainer) often organizes super-fun outings -- like the overnight backpacking trip in Nederland that Paul and I enjoyed a few weeks ago. We'll be doing snowshoeing this winter. (Yay!) And in May, the gym will be doing a multi-day backpacking trip into and out of the Grand Canyon. I'm so there! (Sadly, Paul likely won't be able to join due to his work schedule.)
  • Punchards: In addition to regular memberships, my gym offers punchcards. That's perfect for someone someone who travels, works out on an irregular schedule, or whatnot. Personally, I love the flexibility. I would have been very reluctant to join without that option.
So if you're in the south Denver area, come check out CIA FIT Gym. And if you're CrossFitting elsewhere, you might nudge your gym into adopting these practices.

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hsieh PJM OpEd: Get Ready For Your Health Care Re-Education

By Paul Hsieh

The September 14, 2010 PajamasMedia published my latest OpEd, "Get Ready For Your Health Care 'Re-Education'".

My theme is that the government has started an Orwellian "re-education" program to get the public to embrace ObamaCare -- and Americans must respond by teaching our politicians a lesson this November.

One excerpt:

In effect, the government is saying: "Let's pretend we never said ObamaCare would lower costs -- even though that's how we sold it to the public." "Let's push patients into restrictive health plans -- and call it a 'medical home.'" "Let's label it 'misinformation' when insurers tell the truth about how our laws raise their costs -- and then punish them if they complain about it."

And as the problems of ObamaCare deepen, we can expect such "re-education" efforts to intensify.
(Read the full text of "Get Ready For Your Health Care 'Re-Education'".)

And thanks to Glenn Reynolds for the Instapundit link!

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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Objectivist Roundup

By Diana Hsieh

As part of Modern Paleo's weekend schedule of blogging on Objectivism on Saturdays and free market politics on Sundays, I post a link to "The Objectivist Roundup" every week. The "Objectivist Roundup" is a weekly blog carnival for Objectivists. Contributors must be Objectivists, but posts on any topic are welcome.

Erosophia hosted this week's Objectivist Roundup. If you're interested in learning more about what Objectivists are writing and doing, check it out!

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Friday, September 17, 2010

The Paleo Rodeo #026

By Diana Hsieh

Welcome to this week's edition of The Paleo Rodeo!

The Paleo Rodeo is a weekly blog carnival featuring the best paleo-related posts by members of the PaleoBloggers e-mail list. The past editions are collected on this page.

What is "paleo"? As I say in Modern Paleo Principles:

A "paleo" approach to health uses the evolutionary history of homo sapiens, plus the best of modern science, as a broad framework for guiding daily choices about diet, fitness, medicine, and supplementation. The core of paleo is the diet: it eschews grains, sugars, and modern vegetable oils in favor of high-quality meat, fish, eggs, and vegetables.
The purpose of The Paleo Rodeo is to highlight some of the best blogging of the ever-growing paleosphere.

Here is this week's edition:
Benjamin Skipper presents CR: Hershey's 100% Cacao Baking Bar posted at Musing Aloud, saying, "This is the third 100% cacao baking bar I have taken into consideration. The addition of cocoa makes for a more mild bitterness and chocolate intensity, so that may appeal to some, but I'm not impressed."

Laurie Donaldson presents How About a Bit of Halibut? posted at Food for Primal Thought.

Amy Kubal presents The "Solution" To Your Problems... posted at Fuel As Rx.

Daniel presents Is Our Health Constrained By Our Past? posted at At Darwin's Table, saying, "The paleo diet can do wonders for our health by reversing years of damage that our bodies have sustained eating a western diet. But just how much damage can a nutritionally optimal diet heal and how much is our body constrained by our early development. This post discusses these questions."

Kristy A. presents What To Drink Part 4: The Flavored Milk Fiasco posted at Feasting on Fitness, saying, "Why are we pushing kids to drink flavored (otherwise known as SUGARED) milk in schools? Find out more about the school milk debate."

Nell Stephenson presents The Paleo Diet For Endurance Athletes Article in Lava Magazine posted at TrainWithNellie.

John Durant presents Announcing the 1st Annual New York City Barefoot Run on October 10th posted at Hunter-Gatherer blogs, saying, "Wear your VFFs, it's a big persistence hunt in NYC -- come one, come all!"

Jean-Patrick Millette presents Why low carbs diets work posted at Primal Journal.

Suzi presents Constant Reevaluation posted at Winter Herbs, saying, "This is an open letter to my friends, family, & my online support network about where I am right now in my journey to finding a way to manage the cycles of my mood with nutrition."

Paul Jaminet presents Curing Arthritis and Depression with Diet and Antibiotics posted at Perfect Health Diet, saying, "This post presents two cases of people making progress against arthritis and depression with diet, nutrition, and antibiotics - the road to health that really works."

Christian W presents The Problem with Our Health and Robb Wolf’s Paleo Solution (Book Review) posted at Modern Paleo, saying, "My review of Robb Wolf's awesome new book The Paleo Solution."

Richard Nikoley presents Life Gets in the Way; Oh Noes! posted at Free The Animal, saying, "Make some time for serendipity in your life!"

Kate Yoak presents Glucose tolerance test shaky posted at Cave Kitchen, saying, "Paleo moms-to-be could be in for a surprise when submitting to the routine glucose tolerance test. Giggle with me as a ponder a potential outcome."

Josephine Svendblad presents Demystify Tamarind: Paleo Goan Fish & Shrimp Curry posted at Nutty Kitchen, saying, "Henry and I made it together and it was not only wonderful to cook together, as always, but more over the taste of this dish was authentic and out of this world delicious."

Frank Hagan presents Low Carb Age » Questbar – Low Carb Protein Bars posted at Low Carb Age, saying, "While not satisfying the requirements of 'real food' completely, and certainly not for the paleo folks that eschew diary products, the Questbar does fit a niche for those of us that occasionally need a fast, filling meal replacement."

paleo_rob presents The Paleo Lifestyle: The ultimate treatment to dry skin and skin conditions posted at PaleOZ.
Many thanks to the PaleoBloggers who submitted to this edition of the The Paleo Rodeo! I hope to see this blog carnival grow in the future. If you blog on paleo-related matters and you'd like to submit your posts to the carnival, please subscribe to the PaleoBloggers e-mail list. You'll receive instructions and reminders via that list.

Finally, you can find all of the blogs of the PaleoBloggers on this continuously-updated list:
Enjoy!

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Question of the Week & Open Thread #027

By Diana Hsieh


(Photo courtesy of jessicafm)


This post hosts Modern Paleo's weekly open comment thread. Please feel free to post any random questions or remarks you have in the comments on this post. Personal attacks, pornographic material, commercial solicitations, and other inappropriate comments will be deleted.

As I mentioned last week, I've decided to add a question (or two) on the practice of paleo to these open threads.

Paleo Question of the Week: What's your favorite kind of nut?

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Problem with Our Health and Robb Wolf's Paleo Solution (Book Review)

By Christian Wernstedt

When attending Robb Wolf's seminar in Brooklyn earlier this month I received a copy of his excellent new book which was released yesterday. This is my review. /CW


Today’s world of preventive medicine, dietetics, and health is a bizarre, and often life-threatening mess.

A major cause of this situation is ”trickle-down” stupidity where most health scientists, commentators, and practitioners still 150 years after the publication of Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" have not fully recognized that the fields of medicine and dietetics are derivatives of the science of biology, and that biology's integrating principle is Darwin's theory of evolution.

To paraphrase the evolutionary biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky: Nothing in medicine, or dietetics (or, really, within any of the life sciences) makes sense except in the light of evolution.

Indeed little make sense today in the world of mainstream health advice, dietary theories, and medical practices.

Most people thus have their concepts of how to attain and maintain health distorted by infantile, impractical, and often dangerous advice from the government, the pharmaceutical lobby (part of which is arguably organizations such as the American Heart Association), and the obfuscation from activist-"scientists" and pundits who cleverly tap into the cultural-dietary neuroses of contemporary society ("dietary fat is the root of all evil", "eating animal products is a sin against Mother Gaia", etc).

More tragically, we have a situation where the great majority of people are selling themselves short in terms of what kind of vibrant health and well-being is actually possible at any age.

Few people know that health and youthfulness are attainable by consistently applying a set of simple dietary- and lifestyle interventions; that what's generally considered inevitable diseases of aging- or lifestyle can be significantly reversed or even cured within months; that diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, strokes, and Alzheimer's all share certain ultimate causes rooted in lifestyle; and that the accelerating downward progression into disability starting at age 35 (or at age five as is increasingly the situation in the United States) is not the planned obsolescence built into the design of our species.

Most people (and most doctors) have concluded that Hippocrates' dictum of "let food be thy medicine" apply marginally at best and have thus retreated to sticking their heads in the sand while hoping for the next pill to provide salvation when it becomes acutely necessary. These people have waited in vain for decades now, while having had to redefine health as being kept alive in a disabled, dysfunctional state until the bitter end.

We clearly need to take back our birthright to health and help those we care about to do the same.

The power to do so comes from being armed with unbiased knowledge of how the human body works, what its design characteristics are as an evolved biological entity (not what it is supposed to be according to, for instance, pressure group agendas), and what lifestyle features are compatible with those characteristics, and which ones are not.

The power to achieve our health also comes from having the emotional certitude that health and its rewards are not elusive pies-in-the-sky, but that these can be had or re-regained with defined steps beginning today, and from knowing that their pursuit can be immediately rewarding, and, yes, fun.

With his timely new book ”The Paleo Solution”, Robb Wolf (who is an unlikely combination of research-scientist and foul mouthed athletic coach) enters the public square and hands out precisely the knowledge-ammunition and emotional encouragement that we and the rest of the world so desperately need.

Robb takes us through scientific boot camp, showing us how the connections between health and lifestyle factors (including diet, exercise, sleep, and stress) and are laid out inside our bodies; he shows us the evolutionary perspective on health and how our bodies must be viewed as hunter-gatherer bodies if we want to understand their workings; he shows us why certain foods such as meat, seafood, and vegetables are good for us, while others are harmful (a whole chapter is devoted to the huge inflammatory- and auto-immune issues connected with grains).

Now, Robb doesn’t ever let us think that his mission is merely to prove a few counter-establishment scientific points. No, he seriously wants to save our lives, just as he saved his own slightly more than a decade ago, and just as he proceeded to save and enhance the lives of thousands of clients as an athletic coach and teacher of paleolithic nutrition.

In this regard, the deepest emotional chord struck in the book is that from someone who has found the road to a new world (in this case a world of sustained- and vibrant health) and who now by whatever means possible wants to take everyone he knows along to that new frontier - one that has been hidden behind fog-shrouded mountains.

One of Robb’s methods to get the reluctant and disillusioned to follow along on this trail is his patentable sense of humor that stands out on virtually every page. To this end, one chapter is characteristically named ”Grains and Leaky Gut or Keep Your Poop Where it Belongs”, and another ”Why This Book Should be Titled: Sleep You Big Dummy”.

”The Paleo Solution” takes on its subject matter from multiple angles and leaves no perspectives uncovered: The book shows the rationale for the paleo lifestyle in terms of inspiring stories of personal transformation. It covers theory from a broad macro perspective to more detailed information about bio chemical mechanisms. It describes the day-to-day practice as in what foods to eat (recipes included) and how to exercise (exercises for complete beginners are covered as well as instructions for more advanced people). Psychological issues and hurdles are treated with both compassion and the stern voice of a no-nonsense coach who wants his clients to succeed.

It is hard to think of a diet- and lifestyle book of over 300 pages with such scope and density of information that is simultaneously so easy and enjoyable to read. Robb’s personal writing style, deep knowledge, and quirky humor, should take anyone who wants to live a healthy and long life (and who is willing to think and act towards those goals) to Robb’s desired endpoint: that is to try his ”Paleo Solution” for one month, and then very possibly feel how it is to live in a human body again (or for the first time).




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Monday, September 13, 2010

My August Thyroid Labs

By Diana Hsieh

On August 24th, I had another round of thyroid labs. Here's the letter that I wrote my doctor about my status:

Here's another update on how I'm doing with respect to my hypothyroidism. As you recommended, I reduced my total thyroid medication by omitting .5 to 1 grains per week from my baseline of 1.5 grains per day. That didn't work out so well, and let me explain how.

Starting on May 12th, I took just 1 grain on Saturdays, but 1.5 grains every other day. In that very same week, I increased the intensity of my workouts substantially by starting CrossFit once or twice per week. (That's definitely ramped up my metabolism, as I was eating about 30% more each day, but my weight remained the same.) I felt great for a few weeks, but then slipped back into feeling a bit more lethargic and experiencing some more dry skin. I didn't worry about it too much, however, as I was also under lots of stress (and not working out much) because I was preparing a series of lectures for a conference in early July.

After returning from the conference, I decided to try omitting another .5 grains per week starting the week of July 12th. Actually, for ease of managing my medications, I would take 1.5 grains for two days, then 1 grain for one day. So I was omitting a bit more than 1 grain per week on average. That was a small disaster: various hypothyroid symptoms returned, and I felt like my body didn't know which way was up, I suppose due to the variation in T3 each day.

I stopped that variable dosing on July 25th. But instead of returning to 1.5 grains per day, I began taking just 1 grain per day. That seemed worth trying, given that I felt slightly better when I reduced down slightly from 1.5 grains per day. For the first few weeks, I felt fantastic again, but now I'm slightly lethargic and my skin is too dry again. Most tellingly, I've been gaining a pound of weight per week again, and I've experienced a return of some other GI problems that I had when seriously hypothyroid, e.g. diarrhea if I skip a meal. As for the weight gain, I know that I've gained some muscle due to CrossFit, but I'm clearly gaining fat too.

So... Yikes! These past three months have been a series of failed (albeit informative) experiments for me. I'm curious as to what the labs will say now, but I suspect that I need to be bumped up slightly, perhaps to 1.25 grains per day. (For now, I'd rather try doing that than adding T4, although I'd be amenable to trying that option next time, if I'm still not quite right.)
So what were my labs? Odd, yet again:
  • TSH = 1.650 (okay, was .115 in May)
  • Free T3 = 2.3 (normal range 2.0 to 4.4, was 2.8 in May)
  • Free T4 = .78 (normal range .82 to 1.77, was 1.14 in May)
So my TSH is back to normal, but my Free T3 is lower and my Free T4 has plummeted off the charts. Grrrr.

(I'm so glad that my doctor isn't one of those who only tests TSH. If she was, I'd seem totally normal!)

After consulting with my doctor, I began taking 1.25 grains of desiccated thyroid on August 26th, but that hasn't done much for my hypothyroid symptoms. The skin on my hands is terribly dry, my carpal tunnel pain has returned, my menstrual cycle has gone wonky, and I'm stalled on my strength gains. I've stopped gaining weight, but that might be due to cutting out dairy and nuts around the same time. I've only been on the 1.25 grains for just over two weeks, so I hope to see more improvement with time.

You know what I'm learning here? Hypothyroidism is a hell of a bitch to manage. Even though I'm so so so much better than I was this past winter, I want to be right... and that sweet spot seems tough to find.

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Question of the Week: Favorite Cut of Beef

By Diana Hsieh


(Photo courtesy of anotherpintplease)


This post hosts Modern Paleo's weekly open comment thread. Please feel free to post any random questions or remarks you have in the comments on this post. Personal attacks, pornographic material, commercial solicitations, and other inappropriate comments will be deleted.

I've decided to add a question (or two) about your practice of paleo to these open threads. I'll also be moving them to Fridays, starting next week.

Paleo Questions of the Week: What's your favorite cut of beef? How do you like to prepare it?

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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Objectivist Roundup

By Diana Hsieh

As part of Modern Paleo's weekend schedule of blogging on Objectivism on Saturdays and free market politics on Sundays, I post a link to "The Objectivist Roundup" every week. The "Objectivist Roundup" is a weekly blog carnival for Objectivists. Contributors must be Objectivists, but posts on any topic are welcome.

Rational Jenn hosted this week's Objectivist Roundup. If you're interested in learning more about what Objectivists are writing and doing, check it out!

Also, for those of you in the Denver area, I wanted to mention that Front Range Objectivism (FRO) will be hosting two new Atlas Shrugged Reading Groups -- one in south Denver (Lone Tree) and the other in north Denver (Broomfield) -- starting in mid-October and running through mid-March.

Over 20 sessions, we'll explore Ayn Rand's epic novel in order to gain a greater appreciation for its characters, events, and ideas. Anyone who has read Atlas Shrugged before -- whether a relative newcomer to Ayn Rand's ideas or an experienced Objectivist -- is welcome. You need not be an Objectivist, just a fan of the novel. Everyone has much to learn, I promise!

For more details, visit FRO's page on Atlas Shrugged Reading Groups.

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Ayn Rand's Playboy Interview: Women, Work, and Children

By Diana Hsieh

In past weeks, I've highlighted some gems from Ayn Rand's 1964 Playboy interview as part of Modern Paleo's Saturday blogging on Objectivism. Here's another such gem: it concerns women, work, and children.

PLAYBOY: Do you believe that women as well as men should organize their lives around work -- and if so, what kind of work?

RAND: Of course. I believe that women are human beings. What is proper for a man is proper for a woman. The basic principles are the same. I would not attempt to prescribe what kind of work a man should do, and I would not attempt it in regard to women. There is no particular work which is specifically feminine. Women can choose their work according to their own purpose and premises in the same manner as men do.

PLAYBOY: In your opinion, is a woman immoral who chooses to devote herself to home and family instead of a career?

RAND: Not immoral -- I would say she is impractical, because a home cannot be a full-time occupation, except when her children are young. However, if she wants a family and wants to make that her career, at least for a while, it would be proper -- if she approaches it as a career, that is, if she studies the subject, if she defines the rules and principles by which she wants to bring up her children, if she approaches her task in an intellectual manner. It is a very responsible task and a very important one, but only when treated as a science, not as a mere emotional indulgence.
Ayn Rand's views on this topic were quite remarkable for 1964, but hardly surprising. Ayn Rand was not the kind of person to passively accept the ideas and standards of her culture. She always checked her premises against reality and integrated any new ideas with her fundamental principles. As a result, she developed very distinctive views on a wide range of issues, often decades before others saw the light. Her views on women and work are a clear example of that, as is her analysis of the evil of racism.

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Friday, September 10, 2010

The Paleo Rodeo #025

By Diana Hsieh

Welcome to this week's edition of The Paleo Rodeo!

The Paleo Rodeo is a weekly blog carnival featuring the best paleo-related posts by members of the PaleoBloggers e-mail list. The past editions are collected on this page.

What is "paleo"? As I say in Modern Paleo Principles:

A "paleo" approach to health uses the evolutionary history of homo sapiens, plus the best of modern science, as a broad framework for guiding daily choices about diet, fitness, medicine, and supplementation. The core of paleo is the diet: it eschews grains, sugars, and modern vegetable oils in favor of high-quality meat, fish, eggs, and vegetables.
The purpose of The Paleo Rodeo is to highlight some of the best blogging of the ever-growing paleosphere.

Here is this week's edition:
Sara Hatch presents Day 1 of my $5 a day challenge posted at Edible.

Benjamin Skipper presents CR: Godiva's Santo Domingo (85% Cacao) posted at Musing Aloud, saying, "I picked up this variety by mere chance while browsing around, but I'm extremely glad I did. It's one of the best chocolates I've ever tasted period, one I'll consider making a staple in the future. Unfortunately I have been informed that it's currently not in production, so it's one to watch for its return."

Kate Yoak presents Nutty banana nut muffins posted at Cave Kitchen, saying, "This recipe won awards with toddlers, grandparents, even non-paleo husbands! Too bad, Grok had no muffin pans in his days..."

Amy Kubal presents I Can't Believe I Ate The Whole Thing... posted at Fuel As Rx.

Nell Stephenson presents THE PALEO DIET COOKBOOK posted at TrainWithNellie.

Angelo Coppola presents This Week in Paleo - Episode 1 is Live! posted at This Week in Paleo Podcast.

Suzi presents Suzi's Success Story posted at Winter Herbs, saying, "This article details a bit of my history & how I've changed my life for the better in countless ways by adhering to a paleo/primal diet & lifestyle."

Marc presents Food, Love and Last Post posted at Feel Good Eating, saying, "A seafood dinner."

Josephine Svendblad presents Gluten Free Labor Day Cupcakes posted at Nutty Kitchen, saying, "Who does not love a good cupcake, especially when it's gluten-free?"

Laurie Donaldson presents The Primal Blueprint 30-Day Challenge and Peach Clafouti posted at Food for Primal Thought, saying, "Starting the 30-day Primal Blueprint Challenge even allows for a little treat now and then - Peach Clafouti."

Adam presents Quiche with Almond Crust - Paleo Brunch posted at zero-one-ten's posterous, saying, "Face it, you're going to be invited to brunch by someone someday. Bring this with you so you don't just sit there staring at bagels and pastries."

Paul Jaminet presents Is It Smart to Drink? posted at Perfect Health Diet, saying, "This post explores the place of alcohol in a health diet."

paleo_rob presents Sleep Hygiene: Lose Fat, Get Healthy All While You Sleep! posted at PaleOZ, saying, "Turn your bed into a cave! How sleeping like grok can help you get healthy!"

Diana presents Gotta Break a Few Eggs posted at Paleo Picnic, saying, "Gluten-free baked goods have a certain allure, but I keep learning (again, and again, and yet again!) that for me, they just can't compare to whole foods."

Kristy A. presents Broiled Bacon-Fat Smeared Broccolini posted at Feasting on Fitness, saying, "Read that title again and wipe your drool, then make a batch tonight in 15 minutes or less!"
Many thanks to the PaleoBloggers who submitted to this edition of the The Paleo Rodeo! I hope to see this blog carnival grow in the future. If you blog on paleo-related matters and you'd like to submit your posts to the carnival, please subscribe to the PaleoBloggers e-mail list. You'll receive instructions and reminders via that list.

Finally, you can find all of the blogs of the PaleoBloggers on this continuously-updated list:
Enjoy!

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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Peachy Keen Pork Chops

By Kelly McNulty Valenzuela

Last night, I modified this pork chop recipe from Real Simple with fantastic results. Unfortunately, I did not take a picture of my final product, but trust me when I say this was one the most beautiful and flavorful dishes I've ever eaten! Here's my take on the recipe:

Serves 4
Hands-on Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes


Ingredients:
A big ol' chunk of real butter
4 boneless pork chops
Sea salt and black pepper
2 white peaches, cut into wedges
3 diced shallots
4 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
Basil

Directions:
1.) Heat oven to 400ยบ F

2.) Heat the butter in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Season the pork with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook until browned, 3 to 5 minutes per side; transfer to a plate.

3.) Add the peaches, onion, vinegar, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper to the skillet and cook, tossing, for 1-2 minutes. Return the pork (and any accumulated juices) to the skillet. Transfer the skillet to oven and roast until the pork is cooked through and the peaches are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with the basil.

Enjoy!

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Monday, September 06, 2010

'Poo-less hair

By Kate Yoak

No shampoo? Sounded crazy to me when I first read about the idea at Mark's Daily Apple. Still, some of the commenters called me to action when they said, they could grow longer hair, got rid of dandruff and found their hair healthier than before. I have given up on having long hair years ago, having become frustrated with the spider web-like texture it obtained once it got to my shoulder blades.


I took the plunge and it is finally time to tell my story.

The method:  I wash my hair with plain water in the shower.  At the end, I rinse it with cold water only.  I do not know whether this second step is necessary, but it feels so good afterward! My scalp awake and tingling. Occasionally, I rub a teaspoon or so of baking soda all around and rinse it off to eliminate any potential smells.

Weeks 1-2.  My hair turned super-oily. Though contrary to expectations, I liked it.  Because it was short, it held its shape so much better than before. There seemed to be no dandruff. I was excited!

Weeks 3-4. The oiliness let up slightly. Hair would have looked fabulous if its newly strengthened body did not accentuate the horrible Fantastic Sam's haircut! It was clear, I was on the right track. Even my husband, who was understandably skeptical about the whole adventure, was surprised.

Month 2.  I was disappointed. My hair went back to exactly the way it was! No longer oily, it didn't have the super-body I observed earlier and the dandruff was back! Still, there was no reason to give up yet. Looking back to the poo-less resources, I learned that Apple Cider Vinegar is good for dandruff and purchased a bottle.

Month 3.  Results! There is nothing special about my hair any more. It has a normal amount of moisture, looks healthy and strong, and the dandruff is gone.  I never opened the Apple Cider Vinegar. The nasty dandruff that I have been living with since early childhood, torturing my hair with all kinds of horrid chemicals, always itching, always snowy nevertheless - just disappeared! I love the waves and curls that are now part of my hairdo maintained by the stronger strands of hair.

I am now looking forward to having long hair for the first time since the year 2000. My kids were thrilled to switch away from the irritating shampoo process, too. I think, I see a difference in their hair as well - it just stays looking clean and healthy even when we go several days between washes.  The process is so simple, I recommend it to any parent of a bath-resistant toddler. The clear water doesn't bother or scare them like shampoo did.  And they love rubbing the baking soda - I use it more often on their hair than I do on my own - because they are always asking for it!  After years of hair-washing tears, we have peace at bath time.


So how does it work?

Have you ever changed the frequency with which you wash your hair?  Gone from daily to 2-3 times a week or vice versa?  Note what happens.  On a daily regime your hair becomes oily and demands a wash on the second day.  If you switch to going longer between washes, it protests at first, but overtime adjusts to the new schedule. I guess, it is just that simple. Natural hair oils will act to restore the balance upset by the environment or hair products. Daily shampooing dries the hair out so profoundly, natural oils rush to rescue what is left of the moisture on your poor dried out scalp in a way that it would if you were walking through the desert. By day two, another "desert" treatment, complements of Protein ProV is necessary to combat the overflowing oils. Stop shampooing and the hair slowly learns the new chemical equation - the one evolution had taught it to work with. It will produce more oils when the air is dry, fewer in humid weather and rush to offer special defenses after a chemical attack of a chlorinated pool.  Fresh water serves as a catalyst to start the process and the rest is evolutionary history.  :-)

If you would like to try this, please read through Going poo-less article in Mark's daily apple including all the comments.  It's a good overview of why, how and use-cases.  I wish you the best of luck.  Enjoy your beautiful hair!  And tell me how it goes.  Please!

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Sunday, September 05, 2010

Open Thread #025

By Diana Hsieh


(Photo courtesy of 59303791@N00)


This post hosts Modern Paleo's weekly open comment thread. Please feel free to post any random questions or remarks you have in the comments on this post. Personal attacks, pornographic material, commercial solicitations, and other inappropriate comments will be deleted.

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Saturday, September 04, 2010

Objectivist Roundup

By Diana Hsieh

As part of Modern Paleo's weekend schedule of blogging on Objectivism on Saturdays and free market politics on Sundays, I post a link to "The Objectivist Roundup" every week. The "Objectivist Roundup" is a weekly blog carnival for Objectivists. Contributors must be Objectivists, but posts on any topic are welcome.

Shea Levy hosted this week's Objectivist Roundup. If you're interested in learning more about what Objectivists are writing and doing, check it out!

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Policy Paper: The 'Personhood' Movement Is Anti-Life

By Diana Hsieh

[Note: This post is part of Modern Paleo's weekend schedule of blogging on Objectivism on Saturdays and free market politics on Sundays.]

From www.seculargovernment.us/a62.shtml:

The Coalition for Secular Government is pleased to announce the release of its policy paper on the "personhood" movement by Ari Armstrong and Diana Hsieh (Ph.D): The 'Personhood' Movement Is Anti-Life: Why It Matters that Rights Begin at Birth, Not Conception (PDF or HTML).



The 'Personhood' Movement Is Anti-Life
Why It Matters that Rights Begin at Birth, Not Conception


by Ari Armstrong and Diana Hsieh, Ph.D.

A policy paper written for the Coalition for Secular Government (www.SecularGovernment.us)

Published on August 31, 2010

Formats: HTML or PDF


Contents
From the Introduction

Amendment 62, set to appear on Colorado's 2010 ballot, seeks to legally establish personhood from the moment of conception, granting a fertilized egg (or zygote) full legal rights in the state's constitution. Following in the footsteps of 2008's Amendment 48, Amendment 62 is the spearhead of a national campaign to outlaw abortion and other practices that could harm a zygote, embryo, or fetus.

If fully implemented, Amendment 62 would profoundly and adversely impact the lives of sexually-active couples, couples seeking children, pregnant women and their partners, doctors, and medical researchers. It would subject them to severe legal restrictions, police controls, and in many cases protracted court battles and criminal punishments.

Amendment 62 would outlaw abortion, even in cases of rape, incest, terminally deformed fetuses, and danger to the woman's health. It would prohibit doctors from performing abortions except perhaps in some cases to save the life of the woman, thereby endangering the lives and health of many women. In conjunction with existing statutes, Amendment 62 would subject women and their doctors to first-degree murder charges for willfully terminating a pregnancy, with the required punishment of life in prison or the death penalty.

The impact of Amendment 62 would extend far beyond abortion into the personal corners of every couple's reproductive life. It would outlaw many forms of birth control, including the pill, IUD, and "morning after" drugs. It would require criminal investigation of any miscarriages deemed suspicious. It would ban potentially life-saving embryonic stem-cell research and common fertility treatments.

Amendment 62 rests on the absurd premise that a newly fertilized zygote is a full human person with an absolute right to biological life-support from a woman--regardless of her wishes and whatever the cost to her. The biological facts of pregnancy, in conjunction with an objective theory of rights, support a different view, namely that personhood and rights begin at birth. Colorado law should reflect those facts, not the Bible verses so often quoted (and creatively interpreted) by advocates of Amendment 62 and other "personhood" measures.

About the Authors

Ari Armstrong publishes Free Colorado and co-authors a column for Western Colorado's Grand Junction Free Press. He is the author of Values of Harry Potter: Lessons for Muggles, a book exploring the heroic fight for life-promoting values in the Potter novels.

Diana Hsieh founded the Coalition for Secular Government in 2008. She earned her doctorate in philosophy from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is currently working on a book on Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged, based on her series of podcasts at ExploreAtlasShrugged.com. More of her work can be found at DianaHsieh.com.

Read The 'Personhood' Movement Is Anti-Life: Why It Matters that Rights Begin at Birth, Not Conception (PDF or HTML).

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Friday, September 03, 2010

The Paleo Rodeo #024

By Diana Hsieh

Welcome to this week's edition of The Paleo Rodeo!

The Paleo Rodeo is a weekly blog carnival featuring the best paleo-related posts by members of the PaleoBloggers e-mail list. The past editions are collected on this page.

What is "paleo"? As I say in Modern Paleo Principles:

A "paleo" approach to health uses the evolutionary history of homo sapiens, plus the best of modern science, as a broad framework for guiding daily choices about diet, fitness, medicine, and supplementation. The core of paleo is the diet: it eschews grains, sugars, and modern vegetable oils in favor of high-quality meat, fish, eggs, and vegetables.
The purpose of The Paleo Rodeo is to highlight some of the best blogging of the ever-growing paleosphere.

Here is this week's edition:
Douglas Robb presents The Paleo Pig-Out posted at Health Habits.

John Durant presents Updated list of wild animals ignorant of calories posted at Hunter-Gatherer blogs, saying, "Paleo humor."

Benjamin Skipper presents CR: Chocolove XOXOX (77% Cacao) posted at Musing Aloud, saying, "After reading Mark Sisson's own chocolate reviews I'm glad to have come across one of the brands he mentioned, Chocolove XOXOX. However, my experience was more like a solitary hug without kisses."

Nell Stephenson presents Another Way to Cost-Effectively Keep Paleo: Buy a Meat Grinder! posted at TrainWithNellie.

Paul Jaminet presents The Amazing Curative Powers of High-Dose Vitamin D in Aging and Autism posted at Perfect Health Diet, saying, "This post explores why vitamin D levels double the optimum for healthy people sometimes cure diseases like aging and autism."

Laurie Donaldson presents Bacon Caprese Salad and Fried Patty Pan Squash posted at Food for Primal Thought.

Adam Farrah presents Kettlebell Training and The Paleo Diet posted at PracticalPaleolithic.com, saying, "Blog post that makes a case for the Kettlebell community taking a closer look at the Paleo Diet..."

Amy Kubal presents It's Only a Couple Pounds... posted at Fuel As Rx.

John Durant presents Poll results: Most and least friendly ethnic cuisines posted at Hunter-Gatherer blogs.

Todd Dosenberry presents Is Whey Protein Primal? posted at Toad's Primal Journey, saying, "I answer a tough question that many people wonder - is whey protein primal or paleo? I answer myself with a video and text and ask that you give your thoughts with a comment."

Kristy A. presents What To Drink Part 3: What's Right With Milk? (Part B) posted at Feasting on Fitness, saying, "Further discussion of controversial raw milk--what are the fears? Are they true? How do you find a safe source?"

paleo_rob presents Magnesium – The greatest mineral you probably lack! posted at PaleOZ.

Angelo Coppola presents How to Take a Paleo Vacation - Day 1 posted at This Week in Paleo, saying, "This article is Part 1 of 3."

Adam presents Simple Weight Loss With Some Counting, but Without Counting Calories posted at zero-one-ten's posterous.

Daniel presents Were Humans Persistence or Ambush Hunters? - At Darwin's Table posted at At Darwin's Table, saying, "A discussion on whether we as humans were ambush or persistence hunters, and some videos of each hunting strategy."

Kate Yoak presents Dispelling the dogma: saturated fats posted at Cave Kitchen, saying, "It's easy enough for my family to support the idea of eating freshly cooked meaty meals. Saturated fat, though, is still a contentious mater. I did a little digging to share with everyone."

Dennis Ryan presents Coconut-Banana-Berry Goodness: A re-creation from MovNat week posted at Paleo Eats, saying, "A simple, yet delicious dish that's good for breakfast, as an alternative to cereal, and could also make a great dessert...have a look and let me know what you think!"

Jean-Patrick Millette presents The role of breakfast in the evolutionary diet posted at Primal Journal, saying, "Perhaps, we should not eat our meals on a clock."

Nicole Markee presents A Bit of a Confession posted at Astrogirl, saying, "CrossFit, hurrah!"

Josephine Svendblad presents Ensalada de Agucate y Tomate (Avocado and Tomato Salad) posted at Nutty Kitchen, saying, "Try this tasty Colombian dish!"
Many thanks to the PaleoBloggers who submitted to this edition of the The Paleo Rodeo! I hope to see this blog carnival grow in the future. If you blog on paleo-related matters and you'd like to submit your posts to the carnival, please subscribe to the PaleoBloggers e-mail list. You'll receive instructions and reminders via that list.

Finally, you can find all of the blogs of the PaleoBloggers on this continuously-updated list:
Enjoy!

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Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Chocolate Review: Endangered Species 72% Raspberry

By Benjamin Skipper

So I tried Endangered Species' 72% dark chocolate with raspberries. I'm disappointed, but it's good enough that I'd perhaps eat it again. It utilizes dehydrated raspberry flesh rather than using an extract, so it doesn't have the flavor integration and consistency you would find in ES's mint or cherry, which makes it inferior in my opinion.

However, the fruit flesh does give it a nice appearance. It's combined into the chocolate very inconsistently, rather than smoothly, so when you get into it it has this nice spotty bright pink appearance. In a way it gives me an impression of it being particularly feminine due to its pinkness, but it doesn't bother me and won't prevent me from eating it since all sweet foods remind me of women, therefore leaving me fine with the prospect of feminine sweets. In fact, why not make all sweets feminine in a way? It's a nice association.

Taste-wise it's particularly mild. The chocolate is good as always, but the chunks of raspberry are too mild and end up playing as quiet background singers. There is tartness, but not much. As I said, I'd still eat it again, but I'd like to see ES utilize an extract to intensify the raspberry flavor, as they use such extracts for their mint and cherry bars. In fact, what would really be nice is if they utilized both an extract and fruit flesh; the extract for flavor intensification, integration, and consistency, and the fruit flesh for appearance enhancement. That would be wonderful.

All in all, it's a nice bar, but you may want to pass it up unless you really like raspberries or mild tartness. Fruit-wise I think the cherry bar is superior, and you might come out alright if you stick to bars with fruit extracts. I might buy it again, but with my current supply of bulk chocolate and new flavors to try it sinks really low on my wish list. I'd *really* like to see a bar with apricot extract.

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