Friday, September 30, 2011

The Paleo Rodeo #080

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 of the Rodeo 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:
Kris presents How to lose weight fast without being hungry posted at Kris Health Blog, saying, "The most effective method on how to lose weight fast without being hungry. This does not involve any drugs, fancy supplements or starvation."

Ruth Almon presents Video Tutorial: Dill Pickles! posted at Ruth's Real Food, saying, "This is the easiest (and best tasting IMHO) fermented veg you can make - dill pickles. I put together a video that shows how to make dill pickels with MOJO!"

Tony Federico presents How to "Live Caveman": Step 2, Have fun in your body! posted at FED - Fitness in an Evolutionary Direction, saying, "When was the last time you just let yourself have fun, goof off, and simply PLAY?"

Peggy Emch presents Beef Carpaccio (Fancy Raw Beef) posted at The Primal Parent, saying, "I made this recipe over the weekend and it was so amazing. If you're new to eating raw meat, this is a great way to start!"

Nell Stephenson presents Pasta "Feeds" Are ALL TOO COMMON in the Endurance World posted at TrainWithNellie.

Tim Huntley presents Paleo on the Go posted at My Athletic Life, saying, "Amy Kubal provides some great ideas for Paleo snacks."

Stacy Toth presents Video Blog ep4: Breastfeeding Q&A and Grain-Free Lactation Cookies posted at Paleo Parents, saying, "Stacy answers questions about breastfeeding in an extended video log and then shares a lactation cookie recipe."

Health Freak Eddy presents What is this band wagon you keep falling off?! posted at Health Freak Revolution

Todd Dosenberry presents Recipe: Chocolate Cocodamia Smoothie posted at Toad's Primal Journey, saying, "Do you love chocolate? Macadamias? Coconut? Then, you just may enjoy this smoothie recipe!"

Michael Pizolato presents Insult Fortune Cookie Debuts! posted at PizSez, saying, "Insult Fortune Cookies are low–carb, high–fat, and contain no grains—they’re totally Paleo!"

Dr. John presents PaleoTerran - Journal - Mocha Muffins (or dare I say Cupcakes?) posted at Paleoterran, saying, "Leslie Why Reap writes 'I came across this recipe in my quest to find gluten free AND low glycemic, tasty alternatives to muffins, breads and cakes. Here is how it happened.'"

Lauren presents Banana breakfast muffins (gluten free! coconut flour! low fat!) posted at Raspberry & Coconut, saying, "Fluffy, moist gluten-free, dairy-free banana muffins."

Mike presents Nutrition - Week of 26 Sep 2011, Passion posted at CNH Nutrition Group, saying, "One of the (semi) weekly email blasts that goes out to our small group and to the members of my CrossFit gym. This one got a lot of responses after many that have not. It's my short take on Passion and how we will become outwardly less passionate towards anything - but by then it is either a habit or we simply need something else.
Love the rodeo! Thanks for all you do!"

Angie presents Strawberry Banana smoothie...with a surprise posted at Angie's Suburban Oasis.

Rob presents Why I’m Pleased My Ranking Dropped By Over 46000 Places in the Worlds Largest Half-Marathon (The Great North Run) In Only 1 Year posted at FitChutney, saying, "This was a very personal post for me, it's all about diet for me now, not massive amounts of cardio!"

Megh presents Activated Charcoal posted at Yolks, Kefir, and Gristle, saying, "It is a public health disgrace that more people in the US don’t know about when and how to use activated charcoal."

Megh presents Mystery Meat Monday: Pork Rinds posted at Yolks, Kefir, and Gristle, saying, "If you need a grain-free substitute for chips, these are totally the way to go. They are infinitely dip-able, crazy crispy, and even taste a little bit like popcorn, strangely."

Meghan Little presents Paleo Blackened Salmon posted at Paleo Effect, saying, "This Blackened Salmon is bold, but still retains the flavor of the salmon. Its tender and delicious and goes great with our Vegetable Medley or our Garlic Mashed Sweet Potatoes!"

Suz Robinson presents Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nope, it’s NLPaleo Boy... posted at The Paleo Network, saying, "What happened when a paleo skeptic went paleo - and ran a marathon"

Laurie Donaldson presents Are you ready for a real food challenge? posted at Food for Primal Thought, saying, "A slightly different twist on a paleo challenge? Can you eat unprocessed real food for the month of October?"

Kristy A. presents DIY Food Adventure: Cook/Prepare Your Own Food posted at Feasting on Fitness, saying, "This post provides an update on the DIY Food Adventure and baby steps towards making the same changes yourself. It's easy!"

Paul Jaminet presents An Anti-Cancer Diet posted at Perfect Health Diet, saying, "This post continues our cancer series with an overview of advice: What would I do if I had cancer?"

Havard presents Variety is the spice of a primal diet posted at Courageous Mind, saying, "Eating primal is great, but it's easy to fall into a pattern where you eat the same things all the time. Changing things up makes it a lot easier to succeed with the diet."
Many thanks to the PaleoBloggers who submitted to this edition of the The Paleo Rodeo! This blog carnival has plenty of room to grow! So 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: Sports

By Diana Hsieh

Ski i Trysil

This week's "Paleo Question of the Week" is:
What kinds of sports do you most enjoy? Has eating paleo affected your approach or performance?
We want to hear your answer in the comments! You're also welcome to post a comment or question on any other paleo-related topic.

If you'd like to submit a question for an upcoming question of the week, please e-mail me at diana@dianahsieh.com.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

No More (Onion) Tears

By Diana Hsieh

On Sunday, I made a paleo version of Cook's Illustrated's lamb vindaloo. (That's available only to subscribers.)

As I was chopping the onions, I thought of a handy tip that others might appreciate. If your eyes water while chopping onions, light a candle next to your chopping board. As CI explains, "the flame, which can be produced by either a candle or a gas burner, changes the activity of the thiopropanal sulfoxide by completing its oxidization."

I keep a tea light in my kitchen for just this purpose, and I have to chop more than a single onion, it's lovely!

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Chocolate Review: Divine 70% with Raspberries

By Benjamin Skipper

Yet another discovery made at one of my new favorite stores, Cost Plus World Market. I've been discovering brands of chocolate left and right since moving to Texas, and Divine Chocolate is amongst those that I've never seen before. It was actually hard to decide to purchase some since the packaging is so appalling with its gaudy symbols, making me think of dollar store wrapping paper and poker cards, but we shouldn't judge a chocolate by its wrapper, should we? Eventually I convinced myself to pick up a bar of their 70% dark chocolate with raspberries.

Terrible packaging aside, the bar itself looks pretty plain, almost exactly what you would think of if asked to visualize the stereotypical symbolization of a chocolate bar. It's divided up into tiny squares marked with horizontal and vertical lines meeting at an angle, making for the blandest of aesthetics, and it lacks a good shine, but it still has a crisp snap and appreciable amount of raspberry pieces, as indicated by the rough and bumpy underside.

The aroma is potent enough with its tones of mild chocolate, raisins, and assertively fruity raspberries, but the chocolate itself is lackluster. It is very mild and simplistic in tasting only of ordinary sweetened chocolate, but the vice is somewhat made up for by the deliciously tangy raspberries that dominate the show and intensifies at the finish. Mouthfeel-wise it is somewhat lumpy, but still pleasurably thick and gooey nonetheless. After many tastings, I have come of opinion that the thickly formed chocolates tend to provide a more satisfying texture, like Green & Black's, as opposed to the thinness of confections such as Lindt's.

I came for the chocolate and received instead a dominating berry, so my overall impression is that of being neither pleased nor disappointed. The chocolate is disappointing for sure, but the fruit makes up for it in a way. I'd rate it as roughly equal to Endangered Species' 72% raspberries, though might go for ES' offering for the sake of better chocolate and brand loyalty. All in all I am too unstimulated by this to be able to give it a recommendation, so satisfy your palate elsewhere.

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Monday, September 26, 2011

carnitas

By Julie

Here I go again posting another traditional, iconic recipe. It's a little nerve-wracking because with recipes like these, opinions run strong, traditions muster up emotions and memories, and you can look like a fool for trying. But I'm pretty obsessed with authentic, uninterpreted ethnic cuisine. I'm so utterly bored with fusion cuisine, modern interpretations of traditional dishes, and recipes simplified for the home cook. I want the real, time-honored recipe. Even if it takes me all day to cook it, that's what I want to eat. It's why I have been eyeing making a proper mole for like 5 years, but have yet to make it (yellow mole aside, which I have made and is much simpler by nature). And it's why I spent a whole week sourcing and rendering enough lard to make carnitas. I've made slow-roasted pork before, and it's wonderful. But it's not carnitas and I'm not going to call it such. And don't get me wrong, I'm a-okay with simple recipes. It's the bulk of what I make. And on a weeknight I'll make simple versions of complex recipes. They're weeknight meals. I just want to eat. But I get exceedingly excited about recipes like carnitas, that are slow-cooked in a vat of lard with a host of spices and aromatics and have been perfected by countless Mexican cooks for decades and decades.
Aaaand, after saying all of this, I have to admit, I modified. I just couldn't render enough lard by the time I absolutely needed to cook the pork shoulder I bought. So defeated. I oven cooked it. Tightly packing a casserole dish was the only way I could cover the pork with the amount of lard I had. But I still cooked it in lard! And that was my goal when making carnitas. It sounds gross, like the lard will permeate the meat and make it super greasy. This isn't the case at all. If you're into nerding it up, you can read this fun article on the science of cooking carnitas.
Even though you're not going to be consuming large quantities of the lard, don't buy that stuff in the bright blue tub from the grocery store. That is junk. Basically animal margarine. Sick. Render your own. It's real easy and Whole Foods or a local meat market will give you as much pork fat as you want for a decently cheap price. Whole Foods was $2/lb and my meat market was $1/lb. Once you get the pork fat, trim off any meat still attached and cut it into as small of pieces as you can bother to do. Roast in the oven in baking pans for several hours at 225 degrees. At some point the fat pieces won't give up any more rendered fat. You can then drain the fat and save the cracklin's for later or fry them up with salt and eat them. When you drain the fat, pour it through a paper towel, fine mesh sieve, or a coffee filter into a jar. For the purposes of making carnitas, I'm not sure filtering it is necessary, but what the heck. If you have any leftovers, you'll want it filtered. Burnt up bits of pork in your morning eggs - eh.
I'm also super obsessed with roasted pigs on a spit. I've possibly been watching too much No Reservations on Netflix Instawatch, but I practically dream about eating some of that crispy roasted pig skin. WHERE CAN I FIND THAT IN DENVER?! I've seen some special events at fancy restaurants where they'll roast a pig and the tickets only cost you a cool $100 or something. I want to know if there's some ethnic-y hole-in-the-wall where they roast a pig every day and you show up and get your share and when the pig's gone, you gotta wait until the next day. I don't know if that exists or if that's how they'd do it, but it sounds magical to me.
carnitas
I made this in my basement, as I've been doing a lot recently because my house is so freakin' hot. We have a second kitchen down there (with a non-working refrigerator... ugh, thanks landlords) and the stove is this real cool 1950s dual oven thing. Love it.

3.5 lbs pork shoulder, cut into 4-inch pieces
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
1 lime, zested and halved
1 orange, zested and quartered
1 medium onion, quartered
6 garlic cloves, smashed
2 bay leaves
1 Mexican cinnamon stick, broken into 4 pieces (true cinnamon you can break/crumble really easily)
lard, about 2-3 cups, melted

1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Melt your lard if it's not a billion degrees in your house.

2. Place pork in a 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle salt over pork and toss to coat. Add the zest and the juice from the lime and orange, and put in the squeezed rinds. Place onion quarters, garlic, bay leaves, and cinnamon amongst the pork as well. Pour melted lard over surface, making sure it's in every nook.

3. Cover dish with aluminum foil and cook until pork is tender, about 3 1/2 hours.

4. Using a ladle, remove everything but the pork and some lard. Turn on the broiler and broil the pork for about 20-30 minutes, turning once or twice to make sure you're crisping all sides of the pork.

5. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pork pieces and place on a paper towel to drain.

Serve this as a taco, eat right from the plate, or garnish it with queso añejo, cilantro, lime juice, and some sort of delicious salsa - tomatillo or smoky ancho chile would be wonderful. Hey, you can top it with your bounty of cracklin's too!

With the leftover lard, you can save it for another use. Strain it and put it back in a jar. I'm not sure how many times you can reuse it before it needs to be thrown out. Any ideas?

This was originally posted at my blog, the crankin' kitchen!

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Sunday, September 25, 2011

Gary Johnson: Don't Waste the Opportunity

By Diana Hsieh

[A personal statement from me, originally posted to my personal blog NoodleFood.]

GQ published an excellent article on the only presidential candidate that I could possibly support, namely Gary Johnson. Here's a tidbit:

A few things you need to know up front about Gary Johnson. There is nothing he will not answer, nothing he will not share. For six straight days, we spent virtually every waking hour together, which might have had something to do with the fact that there wasn't another reporter within ten miles of the guy. Or that when you're polling in the low digits and your campaign fund is less than Mitt Romney's breakfast tab and your entourage is Brinck and Matt, you tend to be more forthcoming. But in fact, Johnson is fundamentally incapable of bullshitting, which is one of the many, many things that make him so unusual for a presidential candidate. (When a reporter asks him, after he gushes about how great New Hampshire voters are, if he says the same thing in Michigan, he replies, "No, Michigan's the worst.") He finds presidential politicking of the sort we've grown accustomed to—slick, scripted, focus-grouped, how-does-the-hair-look—to be "absolutely phony."
Johnson is not just determined to eliminate the budget deficit by immediately cutting the budget by 43%. He's also pro-choice, pro-immigration, pro-marijuana-legalization, and more. He's not as hawkish on foreign policy as I'd like, but he's opposed to altruistic foreign wars. You can read about his positions here.

In my view, Gary Johnson is a far better candidate than I thought possible from the GOP. And I'll be damned if I'll sit on my hands while something that good passes us by -- particularly when our alternatives are wild-eyed Jesus freaks, slimy pragmatists, and economy-killers. Hence, I've donated a few hundred dollars to his campaign -- and I'd urge others of similar mind to consider doing the same. Or you might pass on the GQ article or his web site to friends and other free-market advocates.

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Armstrong on Health Insurance and Personal Responsibility

By Paul Hsieh

The 9/24/2011 edition of PajamasMedia published Ari Armstrong's OpEd, "Health Insurance and Personal Responsibility".

Armstrong discusses the question asked by Wolf Blitzer to candidate Ron Paul in a recent GOP debate on who should pay for the health care of "a healthy 30-year-old young man [who] has a good job, makes a good living" but deliberately decides not to carry health insurance.

Although Blitzer framed the question as a false alternative between "society" paying for his care vs. "letting him die", Armstrong digs more deeply into issues of personal responsibility. In essence, if someone is able to pay for his own health insurance but chooses not to and instead "goes bare" on the risk, he should be help responsible for the bill (even if it might require a payment plan over time).

Armstrong then makes an important point:

But what about somebody who develops expensive health problems and truly cannot afford to pay? In those cases, hospitals and voluntary charity organizations remain free to step in and cover some or all of the costs.

Blitzer talks about "society" letting someone die, but whom does he mean? Each individual is part of society, so isn't the real question, "What are YOU going to do about it?" Treating "society" as some super-entity above and beyond the individuals who compose it causes two problems. First, it gives individuals an excuse to do nothing by their own initiative; second, it encourages many to ignore the actual victims of politicians' forced wealth transfer schemes.
This is a critical observation. Too much of current politics mistakenly reifies "society" as something above and beyond the individuals that compose it. This makes it too easy for politicians to propose policies which sacrifice individuals to a nebulous "collective good". Our numerous current political and economic problems are the consequence of this error.

The only way out of this trap is to recognize the primacy of the individual as the proper unit of political thinking, and to recognize that the proper function of government is to protect individual rights. Fortunately, more and more Americans are become aware that this is the critical issue.

Finally, Armstrong notes the following:
The deeper problem, the real reason a healthy 30 year old grows tempted to forgo health insurance, is that politicians have made the costs of health care and insurance ludicrously expensive.

Through destructive tax policies, the federal government linked health insurance to employment and encouraged the use of "insurance" for routine, every-day costs rather than for true emergencies. As a consequence, consumers have almost no incentive to seek economical care, and a considerable portion of each health dollar goes to insurance paperwork rather than actual care.

Today's politicians have taken dramatic action to turn health insurance into a gigantic wealth transfer scheme. That, indeed, is the entire premise behind the ObamaCare "mandate"; people must be forced to buy insurance because its artificially high costs subsidize the care of others. Consider, for example, the recent mandate from Health and Human Services that forces the insured who don't need birth control to pay for the birth control of others.

If we dismantled the federal controls over health care and moved toward a free market, that would put patients back in control of their health care, help contain costs, make insurance affordable again, empower more people to manage their health care costs, and ease the burdens on voluntary charity.
Armstrong's analysis is spot-on. It's not too late to reverse course, repeal ObamaCare, and move in the direction of genuine free-market health care reforms.

(Read the full text of "Health Insurance and Personal Responsibility".)

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Ayn Rand's Playboy Interview: Politics in Life

By Diana Hsieh

As part of Modern Paleo's Saturday blogging on Objectivism, here's another tidbit from Ayn Rand's 1964 Playboy interview. Here, she discusses the nature of her concern for politics.

PLAYBOY: But you are interested in politics, or at least in political theory, aren't you?

RAND: Let me answer you this way: When I came here from Soviet Russia, I was interested in politics for only one reason -- to reach the day when I would not have to be interested in politics. I wanted to secure a society in which I would be free to pursue my own concerns and goals, knowing that the government would not interfere to wreck them, knowing that my life, my work, my future were not at the mercy of the state or of a dictator's whim. This is still my attitude today. Only today I know that such a society is an ideal not yet achieved, that I cannot expect others to achieve it for me, and that I, like every other responsible citizen, must do everything possible to achieve it. In other words, I am interested in politics only in order to secure and protect freedom.
Too many readers of Ayn Rand's novels focus on nothing but the politics. That's wrong -- and obviously so, simply based on the wide-ranging concerns of those novels. Even Atlas Shrugged is not primarily about politics: it's theme is the role of the mind in human life, and politics is only one aspect of that.

In Ayn Rand's philosophy and her own life, politics was only a means to an end. If you think otherwise, then you've not really understood her!

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Objectivist Links

By Diana Hsieh

As part of Modern Paleo's weekend schedule of blogging on Objectivism on Saturdays and free market politics on Sundays, I like to post some fresh links related to Objectivism from around the web for anyone interested in learning more about the philosophy.

The Objectivist Roundup is a weekly blog carnival for Objectivists. Contributors must be Objectivists, but posts on any topic are welcome, including posts on food and health. Erosophia hosted this week's Objectivist Roundup. If you're interested in seeing the latest and best from Objectivist bloggers, go take a look!

My own Rationally Selfish Webcast -- where I answer questions on practical ethics and living well -- will be tomorrow (Sunday) morning at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET. You can submit and vote on questions, as well as watch the live webcast and join the chat, from this page: Rationally Selfish Webcast.

Here are the questions that I'll answer this week:

  • Question 1: Appropriate Contexts for Nudity: What's the proper approach to nudity? Should we all be nude all the time? Should nudity be saved for your lover only? Should children see their parents naked? Should we have clothing-optional get-togethers with friends? Basically, what is your view of the proper contexts for nudity?
  • Question 2: Public Nudity and Rights: Do restrictions on nudity and sex visible to others violate rights? While having a zestful online debate, someone claimed that Ayn Rand contradicts herself in claiming that public nudity should be censored. (See "Thought Control" in The Ayn Rand Letter.) Since sex is a beautiful act, why should people be protected from it? Could a ban on visible pornography or sex be a slippery slope to other intrusions by government?
  • Question 3: Regretting Time Spent at Work: At death, should a person regret all the years spent at work? I often hear the saying, "No one ever laid on their death bed wishing they had spent more time in the office." What should a person think of that -- and of the fact that so many people agree with it -- in light of the virtue of productiveness?
  • Question 4: Problems with Neighbors: How do I ask my neighbor not to take liberties with my driveway? I work out of my office on the ground floor of our home overlooking the street with partial view of our driveway. Every day, several times a day, a neighbor uses our driveway as a turnaround instead of using the intersection one house down, or her own driveway. My big problem with this is that she is using our private property for public use. I also find this distracting when I'm working as every time she pulls into the driveway I think someone is visiting. I'm having a difficult time deciding how to approach this as I want to remain friendly with my neighbor, and don't want to come off as an unbearable jerk for just asking her not to use my property. How would you approach this situation?
After that, we'll do a round of totally impromptu "Rapid Fire Questions."

If you're unable to attend the live webcast, you can listen to these webcasts later as NoodleCast podcasts by subscribing in iTunes to either the enhanced M4A format or the standard MP3 format.

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Friday, September 23, 2011

The Paleo Rodeo #079

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 of the Rodeo 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:
Steffi presents Omega-6 vs. omega-3 fatty acids posted at A german cavegirl.

Ruth Almon presents What is the GAPS diet? posted at Ruth's Real Food, saying, "This is a simple overview of the GAPS diet. It's the first in a series. I'm going to be writing posts on how GAPS figures into specific diseases and about my own adventures on the GAPS diet."

Julianne Taylor presents Hypercalciuria and Kidney stones: A paleo compatible solution posted at Julianne's Paleo & Zone Nutrition Blog, saying, "A friend has been recently diagnosed with high urinary calcium. I have researched a paleo compatible diet and supplement solution. My previous post I shared what the dietician recommended, lots of whole grains for one!"

Todd Dosenberry presents Welcome to Primal Unite! posted at Primal Unite, saying, "Are you read to make primal/paleo friends with ease?! Danielle and I welcomes you to Primal Unite!"

Tara presents Pork Chops in Coconut Mushroom Sauce posted at The Foodie And The Family, saying, "Get in the kitchen with primal kids and make pork chops in coconut mushroom sauce."

Tim Huntley presents Jenn's Paleo Journey posted at My Athletic Life, saying, "Read Jenn's story of discovering Paleo and recapturing her health."

Lauren presents Creamy Curry Red Lentil (yes, lentil!) Soup posted at Raspberry & Coconut, saying, "This is one of my favorite recipes from vegan days-gone-by and my idea of “comfort food.”"

Meghan Little presents Paleo Lemon Dill Salmon posted at Paleo Effect, saying, "This recipe for Paleo Lemon Dill Salmon is cooked to flaky perfection and will melt in your mouth!"

Nell Stephenson presents Dr. Oz Strikes Again- With His FAT BURNING NOODLE PUDDING posted at TrainWithNellie.

Patty Strilaeff presents Kiwi Rabbit Stew posted at following my nose..., saying, "Used some unusual fruit to add a little sweetness to rabbit stew."

Megh presents Scientific Validity posted at Yolks, Kefir, and Gristle, saying, "A deconstructionist take on science and the relevance or validity of its conclusions."

Megh presents Easy Chicken Drumsticks posted at Yolks, Kefir, and Gristle, saying, "If you’re new to cooking real foods, or meat, or teaching someone to cook, this might be a good recipe to start with."

Megh presents Heavy Metal Toxicity posted at Yolks, Kefir, and Gristle.

Benjamin Skipper presents New Tree's 73% Ginger posted at Capital Bean, saying, "One of my top favorites: my "thinking" chocolate."

Tony Federico presents Caveman Cuisine: Coco-latte posted at FED - Fitness in an Evolutionary Direction, saying, "A purely Paleo version of the much-loved Latte."

Todd Dosenberry presents Dessert Recipe: Dark Chocolate Fig Tart posted at Toad's Primal Journey, saying, "Do you like chocolate? Figs? Semi-sweet desserts? Then you will love the recipe I have for you today!"

George Henley presents Beef and Wine posted at Rolf Devinci Cycling.

Dr. John presents Paleolithic Nutrition: Alzheimer’s and Diet posted at Paleoterran, saying, "John Michael reviews the possible role of nutrition in the development of Alzheimer's disease and the paucity of dementia in hunter-gatherers."

Suz Robinson presents What Happens When a Skeptic Goes Paleo for 30 Days? posted at The Paleo Network, saying, "My Paleo Skeptic thought he'd see what all the fuss was about and try Paleo for 30 days. Here are his surprising results!"

Julia Campbell presents burnt carrots with parsley and garlic chips posted at the crankin' kitchen!, saying, "This is a great way to make carrots that's quicker than roasting, but just as good (or better!)."

Amy Kubal presents Look Out! Here We Come! posted at Robb Wolf, saying, "Robb's Angels - the Paleo Dietitians, go to the ADA conference!!"

Paul Jaminet presents A Paleo Pregnancy Pitfall? posted at Perfect Health Diet, saying, "Here I analyze a recent paper that linked low-carb maternal diets to obesity in children. Is there any reason for Paleo moms to be concerned?"

Julie Sullivan Mayfield presents Paleo Comfort Foods-Smothered Pork Chops and Giveaways posted at Paleo Comfort Foods, saying, "HUGE giveaways, the smothered pork chops recipe we came up with, and the winners from last week. All this in a blog - enjoy!"

J. Stanton presents Real Food Is Not Fungible: How Commoditization Eliminates Nutrition, Impoverishes Farmers, and Destroys The Earth posted at GNOLLS.ORG, saying, "From the "If we don't want something to happen, we should stop subsidizing it" files, I bring you an analysis of what happens when we commoditize things that aren't commodities."
Many thanks to the PaleoBloggers who submitted to this edition of the The Paleo Rodeo! This blog carnival has plenty of room to grow! So 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: Fasting

By Diana Hsieh

Empty Plate

This week's "Paleo Question of the Week" is:
Do you fast? Why or why not? If so, for how long and how often?
We want to hear your answer in the comments! You're also welcome to post a comment or question on any other paleo-related topic.

If you'd like to submit a question for an upcoming question of the week, please e-mail me at diana@dianahsieh.com.

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

Amazing Gluten-free, High-fat, Semi-paleo Mac & Cheese Recipe

By Earl3d

I grew up with Mom's made-from-scratch, baked-in-the-oven Macaroni and Cheese, which was always a favorite in our house. I never even tasted the stuff from the box (that strangely goes by the same name but is almost completely unrelated) until college.


Her basic cookbook, then and now, has always been the 1963 Good Housekeeping Cookbook.


In more recent years, Mom has managed to track down additional copies of that exact same edition...


...and now my sisters and I all have our own.



The recipe presented below was adapted from the "Basic Baked Macaroni and Cheese" recipe from that cookbook.

Mac + Cheese is one of the things I have missed after going paleo a couple of years ago. I won't say I never made it again, but I have definitely gotten out of practice, with a recipe that had become something of a specialty. After discovering gluten-free pasta at my local Trader Joe's, I've made it a few times over the past several weeks, and I think I've managed to get my Mac + Cheese Mojo back.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A lesson about the art of reading lab results

By Christian Wernstedt

Cross posted from the VitalObjectives Blog.

Toxic metals are bad. We don't want them stored in our bodies. If they are, we want to eliminate the source (e.g., amalgam fillings, environmental sources), and help the body get rid of whatever is stored.

Here are two examples of laboratory assessments of nutritional- and toxic minerals using hair samples.

My question to the reader is who (person A or B) is having the worst toxic metals problem. In each case, toxic metals are presented to the right and nutritional mineral to the left.

(Click to enlarge the images.)

Person A:


Person B:

(This person has mercury fillings.)



OK. So who has a really serious problem? Person A, with a super high cadmium reading, or person B who has a visible low mercury reading? (Let's assume that cadmium and mercury are equally disruptive to body chemistry.)


By the method that most health care practitioners read lab results, it is quite obvious that person A, with the high cadmium has the worst problem, whereas person B has an expected (due to the mercury fillings) but low elevation in mercury.


This is totally backwards. The proper reading of these charts is that person A is far better off than person B.

Why? Because person A is actually moving cadmium out of his body such it shows up in the hair. Furthermore, we have corroboration that his body is able to do this quite effectively because all of his nutritional minerals are reasonably high, hence the enzymatic processes in his body can access an ample supply of needed minerals to deal with the cadmium. (Therapeutically, we would of course advice this person to support his body further in this effort as well as eliminating any sources of cadmium.)

Person B, on the other hand is low in virtually all nutritional minerals (K, potassium can typically be ignored on this type of test).

We also know that his dental fillings should supply enough mercury for it to show much higher readings if his body had enough nutritional minerals for the task of moving it out of vital tissues. What likely happens instead that the mercury from his tooth fillings end up in his brain-, or other tissues. Bad!

So what do we do? We start working on getting person B's nutritional mineral deficiency under control.

How do we do that?

Do we recommend a multi-mineral supplement?

Possibly, but, much more importantly, we need to work on enhancing this person's digestion. Very likely he is low in stomach acid (an effect by itself of zinc deficiency and/or H Pylori infection), and/or his digestion is systemically impaired in some other way. (Why else would virtually every mineral be low.)

So we will further investigate and deal with digestive- and gut issues before moving on to the mercury itself.

It would be quite useless (if not dangerous) to target the mercury first. Doing so might just increase the amount that would wind up where he doesn't want it.

The big lesson here is that one can't just read lab results and "treat" what's "too low" or "too high" without looking at the whole picture including the person's health history. (When did your doctor ask you to fill out a 45 minute health questionnaire before interpreting your lab work?)

The risk of causing real harm is imminent when lab values are taken at face value in a vacuum of ignorance about the patient. Unfortunately this is how most health care practitioners look at lab results.

(VitalObjectives is a a company that coaches and teaches you how to achieve whole body health from the ground up, system by system.)

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Monday, September 19, 2011

onion and parmesan frittata

By Julie

Backpacking, a 12er, a 13er, a 14er, and many pounds of gorp later, I've returned. It was my dad's now annual summer visit (fall and winter are forming as annuals, too - he just can't stay away from this state) and it was just perfect. We saw elk, those wonderful little pikas, marmots, columbine, old abandoned buildings, mountain lion scat (eek!), and bushwhacked our way to the top of a couple peaks, camped on a high altitude tundra, got sleeted on, hailed on, and sunburned. It's so hard to come back to real life after all that.
But one of the redeeming qualities of real life is food! I mean, I really love gorp. And I really love macaroni and cheese after a day of hiking (like reeealllly love it, and oh yeah, I got this rice macaroni and it was pretty good), but I miss having regular food. Even still, it's difficult to get back into a routine when you've been completely off of it for a week. We also went out to some restaurants when we weren't in the mountains and that always throws me off too. So, after one of the laziest Saturdays (or any day for that matter) that I've had in a long time, I figured, okay time to get back to my normal life. But the thought of dirtying a whole sink of dishes and grocery shopping for a big list of ingredients was a little much so, I thought, well, what's a good way to ease back into cooking? A one-pot, no fuss dinner made with stuff I had in the house.
Egg dinners are definitely one of my favorite go-to simple dinners, even though Joe doesn't ever feel like them so I don't make them much unless it's an all out breakfast dinner. But hey, here it is. I made a frittata for dinner. Sorry Joe. Kind of. I got to eat the leftovers for breakfast the following couple of days. So I'm pretty happy Joe is frittata indifferent. It's hard making a frittata and declaring it blog worthy. I mean, this one definitely is, and you should definitely make it, but the number of variations you can do with one are endless and if you know how to make one, you don't really need a recipe to make a different variation on one. Vegetable of choice, check. Eggs, check. Optional cheese, check. Herbs and spices, check. Done. There's a frittata.
I don't want to turn into a Rachael Ray here. I take back what I said in some other post about liking her magazine. I'm tired of getting each issue and seeing oh, there's another version of mac and cheese (and I intensely dislike saying "mac" and cheese...kind of like "tunes" for songs), oh, another stoup, oh, another sammie. Gah. I'm fine with appealing to the busy home cook, but can't you use real English? Anyway, I don't mean for this recipe to be just another Rachael Ray-esque frittata version. Like, oh here's Julie posting another frittata! This time with feta, olives, and tomatoes! Oh, and this time it's Italian sausage and kale! Ooh, now it's tex-mex with cilantro, pepper jack, and salsa! With little tortilla strips on top! Oh god. This recipe is by no means cutting edge, but I like it in its simplicity and its focus on the onion.
onion and parmesan frittata
adapted from Bon Appetit, serves 4 - 6


I used my cheese grater attachment on my food processor to grate the parmesan. It is my favorite thing ever. If you don't have this super attachment, you can buy pregrated if you want, but you wouldn't ever want to do that. It's worth the little effort to grate it yourself.

8 large eggs
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into a chiffonade
4 sage leaves, finely chopped (or a 1/2 teaspoon of dried sage)
4 ounces grated parmesan
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced (or equal dried, crumbled)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
ricotta salata, shaved, optional


1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix the first 7 ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.


2. Heat the olive oil in an ovenproof 8 inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for about 6 minutes, stirring frequently. The onions should be soft and just starting to show a little bit of color.


3. Reduce the heat to low and pour in the egg mixture. Gently stir to get the onions incorporated. Add the shaved ricotta salata on top if you want.


4. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, until the frittata just begins to set. Put the skillet in the oven and bake until just set, about 9 minutes.

You can serve the frittata hot or even room temp. Now I just need to freeze dry this and bring it on a camping trip! Ew. Freeze dried eggs are terrible.

This was originally posted at my blog, the crankin' kitchen!

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Hsieh/Minton OpEd: Durbin's Dietary Paternalism

By Paul Hsieh

The September 13, 2011 edition of HumanEvents.com has just published an OpEd co-authored by myself and Michelle Minton of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, "Durbin's Bill Is Dietary Paternalism".

Here is the opening:

"You can't have that. It's not good for you."

We've all heard parents say that to their children at the grocery store checkout line countless times. While it may be appropriate for a mother to say to her 10-year-old, it's simply the wrong way to treat adults. Yet that would be the effect of new restrictions on dietary supplements proposed by Sen. Richard Durbin (D.-Ill.)...
(Read the full text of "Durbin's Bill Is Dietary Paternalism".)

We discuss the dangers of the proposed new restrictions on dietary supplements, which would require many supplement manufacturers to submit proofs of safety to the FDA before they could be marketed -- including many that are already freely available in drugstores and supermarkets without a prescription. The new regulations would raise the prices of many supplements and force others off the shelves entirely.

On a personal level, I am taking some dietary supplements (in consultation with physician colleagues) to help with my hip fracture healing. So anything that would restrict my ability to purchase such supplements to promote my health greatly alarms me.

Many thanks to my co-author Michelle Minton and her colleagues at CEI for her excellent work and for facilitating the publication of this piece!

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Ayn Rand's Playboy Interview: Conservatism

By Diana Hsieh

As part of Modern Paleo's Saturday blogging on Objectivism, here's another tidbit from Ayn Rand's 1964 Playboy interview. Here's her discussion of conservatism -- sadly, still relevant today:

PLAYBOY: You are a declared anticommunist, antisocialist and antiliberal. Yet you reject the notion that you are a conservative. In fact, you have reserved some of your angriest criticism for conservatives. Where do you stand politically?

RAND: Correction. I never describe my position in terms of negatives. I am an advocate of laissez-faire capitalism, of individual rights -- there are no others -- of individual freedom. It is on this ground that I oppose any doctrine which proposes the sacrifice of the individual to the collective, such as communism, socialism, the welfare state. fascism, Nazism and modern liberalism. I oppose the conservatives on the same ground. The conservatives are advocates of a mixed economy and of a welfare state. Their difference from the liberals is only one of degree, not of principle.

PLAYBOY: You have charged that America suffers from intellectual bankruptcy. Do you include in this condemnation such right-wing publications as the National Review? Isn't that magazine a powerful voice against all the things you regard as "statism"?

RAND: I consider National Review the worst and most dangerous magazine in America. The kind of defense that it offers to capitalism results in nothing except the discrediting and destruction of capitalism. Do you want me to tell you why?

PLAYBOY: Yes, please.

RAND: Because it ties capitalism to religion. The ideological position of National Review amounts, in effect, to the following: In order to accept freedom and capitalism, one has to believe in God or in some form of religion, some form of supernatural mysticism. Which means that there are no rational grounds on which one can defend capitalism. Which amounts to an admission that reason is on the side of capitalism's enemies, that a slave society or a dictatorship is a rational system, and that only on the ground of mystic faith can one believe in freedom. Nothing more derogatory to capitalism could ever be alleged, and the exact opposite is true. Capitalism is the only system that can be defended and validated by reason.

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Objectivist Links

By Diana Hsieh

As part of Modern Paleo's weekend schedule of blogging on Objectivism on Saturdays and free market politics on Sundays, I like to post some fresh links related to Objectivism from around the web for anyone interested in learning more about the philosophy.

The Objectivist Roundup is a weekly blog carnival for Objectivists. Contributors must be Objectivists, but posts on any topic are welcome, including posts on food and health. Roberto Sarrionandia hosted this week's Objectivist Roundup. If you're interested in seeing the latest and best from Objectivist bloggers, go take a look!

My own Rationally Selfish Webcast -- where I answer questions on practical ethics and living well -- will be tomorrow (Sunday) morning at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET. You can submit and vote on questions, as well as watch the live webcast and join the chat, from this page: Rationally Selfish Webcast.

Here are the questions that I'll answer this week:

  • Question 1: Torturing Terrorists and Criminals: Is it moral to torture criminals and/or terrorists? We supposedly were able to track down Osama Bin Laden with information obtained by torturing captured Al Qaeda prisoners. Is it moral to torture criminals, terrorists or other evildoers to gain useful information to fight crime or help win a war? If so, should there be any limits on when and how torture should be used by the government?
  • Question 2: Guilt over Emotions: Should a person feel guilty about his emotions? Sometimes I feel emotions that I know are misplaced, such as envy at a co-worker's promotion or anger at a friend's mistake. What should my response be to these emotions? Should I feel guilty about them? Should I change them -- and if so, how?
  • Question 3: Photocopying Essays for Study: Is it moral to photocopy an essay for a class or discussion group? My friend and I are starting a reading group at our university focused on philosophy, and the group will meet each week to discuss an essay or article related to philosophy. I want to use one of Ayn Rand's essays from The Virtue of Selfishness. I have purchased and own a copy the book. Is it moral for me to make photocopies of the essay for the purpose of the reading group -- or would that violate copyright?
  • Question 4: Extroversion Versus Second-Handedness: What's the difference between extroversion and second-handedness? According to Wikipedia, extroversion is "the act, state, or habit of being predominantly concerned with and obtaining gratification from what is outside the self." A key distinction between introverts and extroverts is that extroverts mentally "recharge" by interacting with other people, while introverts do that by being alone. Does being an extrovert mean that you're second-handed? Is it a moral failing of any kind?
After that, we'll do a round of totally impromptu "Rapid Fire Questions."

If you're unable to attend the live webcast, you can listen to these webcasts later as NoodleCast podcasts by subscribing in iTunes to either the enhanced M4A format or the standard MP3 format.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

The Paleo Rodeo #078

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 of the Rodeo 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:
Peggy Emch presents Shared Custody and Other Family Battles posted at The Primal Parent.

Benjamin Skipper presents Scharffen Berger's 82% posted at Capital Bean, saying, "I love the Scharffen Berger title. Have we here a bar as equally enjoyable as the name?"

Benjamin Skipper presents Capital Bean: New Tree's 65% Superfruit posted at Capital Bean, saying, "Nice! A chocolate that actually succeeds above my expectations for a change."

Dr. John presents Celiac disease is not a disease posted at Paleoterran, saying, "One more reason to return to a modern equivalent of the Paleolithic diet."

Nell Stephenson presents Day Before Race Day PALEO Fueling... posted at TrainWithNellie.

Julia Campbell presents warm cucumber soup posted at the crankin' kitchen!, saying, "A delicious, creamy end-of-summer soup topped with fried parsley... or bacon if you so choose."

Kris presents How much protein per day to gain muscle and optimal health posted at Kris Health Blog, saying, "An article answering the question on how much protein per day to gain muscle and optimal health, but the number is smaller than you may think."

Ruth Almon presents Ruth's Real Food: Would You Eat Gray Cheetos? posted at Ruth's Real Food, saying, "Our eyes play tricks on our tastebuds, and manufacturers use that to their advantage. Find out how."

Megh presents Mystery Meat Monday: Bones posted at Yolks, Kefir, and Gristle, saying, "This post isn’t about using bones to make broth. Nor is it about marrow, which in itself is a delightful culinary indulgence. No, this post is about actually trying to eat bones."

Melissa Fritcher presents The Emotional Journey to Wellness posted at Less of Mimi, saying, "Emotional healing is at least as important as physical healing. Rededicating to Paleo, several weeks ago, seems to have dredged up old feelings, persona's, etc. First time in my life I welcomed the challenge & felt strong enough to heal."

Meghan Little presents Paleo General Tso's Chicken posted at Paleo Effect, saying, "Our Paleo General Tso's Chicken is tender and delicious! Try it with our Paleo Chicken Fried "Rice" for a complete meal!"

Julie Sullivan Mayfield presents Paleo Comfort Foods is Giving Away Loads of Awesome Prizes! posted at Paleo Comfort Foods, saying, "Prizes, reviews of Paleo Comfort Foods and more! Come on by for a peek and a taste!"

Tui Cameron presents Easy Homemade Solar Oven: Have Fun with the Sun posted at Mental Mosaic, saying, "Frying an egg on the sidewalk was so easy here in Texas this summer that we decided to try baking some Paleo-inspired bread. Read my post to find out how easy (and tasty!) it is to bake with the sun."

J. Stanton presents Better Health: It's Less Complicated Than You Think posted at GNOLLS.ORG, saying, "“If the number is bad, eat healthy.
If the number is good, eat healthy.”
-Dr. Doug McGuff"

Todd Dosenberry presents There Will Never Be A Perfect Diet posted at Toad's Primal Journey, saying, "Quit dieting. Eat foods that you enjoy and that feel awesome. Ok?"

Amy Kubal presents Need Some Paleo Comfort? posted at Fuel As Rx, saying, "The greatest Paleo cookbook yet!"

Jenn Givler presents Quick, Healthy Food – Recipe Round-Up posted at J Givler Fitness & Movement, saying, "When schedules get crazy, it's so easy to turn to not-so-healthy eating choices. In this post, I share some really easy, quick, Paleo options - for even the craziest of days."

Megh presents GAPS Q&A: Volume 2 posted at Yolks, Kefir, and Gristle, saying, ""Sugar feeds the bad bacteria in the gut, but does it also feed the good bacteria? If no, why not?""

Suzanne Crawt presents Why You Should Swap Your Oatmeal for NoOatmeal posted at The Paleo Network, saying, "My post on why oatmeal is not as healthy as some may think"

Lauren presents Epic Meatloaf posted at Raspberry & Coconut, saying, "This is Special Occasion Meatloaf. Like it’s-somebody’s-birthday-and-his-favorite-food-is-meatloaf- meatloaf. It takes elbow grease but is SO worth it."

Stacy Toth presents Lunchbox Challenge and T-Shirt Giveaway posted at Paleo Parents, saying, "Time is running out on our lunchbox contest! Post a picture of your school lunch box, inspire other parents to feed their kids health, and potentially win prizes!"

Peggy Emch presents When Everybody Else's Prescription Fails, Make Up Your Own posted at The Primal Parent, saying, "If we want to get healthy, meaning we want to have relatively few symptoms and feel good throughout most days and after all meals, we need to discover our own bodies first."

Frank Hagan presents Frankenfoods: What has man wrought? posted at Low Carb Age, saying, "Traditional cross breeding of plants may cause health problems, but no long term testing is under way. And don't expect the FDA to protect you."

Kara presents 3 Alternatives To Soda posted at The Primal Home, saying, "Ideas to quench your thirst when your tired of water"

Jeanna presents Red chard is my new favorite green posted at Paleo Adventure, saying, "My wingsuit skydive video, a delicious way to eat red chard, and my latest grocery haul"

Beth Mazur presents Ketosis, hormesis, and bisexuality posted at Weight Maven, saying, "why is it that it's all or nothing with carbs? I'm intrigued by Kurt Harris' idea that the benefits of ketosis are due to hormesis, suggesting a little is better than a lot."

Paul Jaminet presents Toward an Anti-Cancer Diet posted at Perfect Health Diet, saying, "This post begins a series on how diet can help prevent or treat cancer."

Laurie Donaldson presents Meat Delivery! posted at Food for Primal Thought, saying, "A review of US Wellness Meats."

Robin presents Dim The Lights, Put On Some Music, I'm Massaging My...... Kale??? posted at Everymom To Ironmom, saying, "My experience with massaging kale into a salad!"
Many thanks to the PaleoBloggers who submitted to this edition of the The Paleo Rodeo! This blog carnival has plenty of room to grow! So 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: Snacks

By Diana Hsieh

Thanksgiving fruit plate

This week's "Paleo Question of the Week" is:
What are your favorite paleo snacks?
We want to hear your answer in the comments! You're also welcome to post a comment or question on any other paleo-related topic.

If you'd like to submit a question for an upcoming question of the week, please e-mail me at diana@dianahsieh.com.

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Chocolate Review: Green & Black's 55% Maya Gold

By Benjamin Skipper

Green & Black's 55% Maya Gold is another one of those chocolates that makes me glad I'm loosening my review standards a little bit, because otherwise delectable treats like these would be absent from my sensual life. I but picked it up randomly while purchasing a slew of G&B's products, so what luck. It especially intrigues me since it's one of the most central products in G&B's lineup, for it was created in the company's early years using as inspiration a spiced chocolate drink from Belize. It also earned the first Fair Trade designation in the United Kingdom, meaning they pay cacao farmers above average prices for their crops in order to keep them in the cacao farming business. You can read more here.

The packaging is secretive as to the nature of the spices involved in the recipe, so I took it as a fun challenge to try and identify the traits. In the aroma I pick up bitter orange and spices like cardamon and ginger, maybe nutmeg, and overall it smells like the warm spice reminiscent of gingerbread. Flavor-wise I got a mix of bitter orange zest and the succulent sweetness of the fruit flesh, intermingled with peppery tones without the heat and tangy, lemony citrus notes at the finish. The tasting notes on G&B's site mentions the inclusion of nutmeg, cinnamon, and vanilla, and while I could get nutmeg in the aroma, I didn't really get it in the flavor, and detected none of the cinnamon and vanilla. The mouthfeel is great, as seems to be the case with most of G&B's products, as the bar is very thick and soft, and melts quickly into a smooth liquid. The appearance could be worked on a little bit, however, as the bar looks dusty, has no shine, and has too soft a snap.

Strangely enough, I didn't like the chocolate the first time I ate half of it, but when I came back to it a few days later I found I took a liking to it. A really, really, good liking it. Perhaps it's a flavor you need to get used to. It goes to show you that a hesitancy in trying new foods could lead you to exclude potential values.

This impresses me as an adult confection in not being overly sweet and having complex facets to stimulate one's tasting intelligence. The next time I get a bar I'm certainly going to work and see if I can identify yet more of its facets to heighten my attention and awareness. I definitely recommend this chocolate, and can see how it's become a signature for G&B's.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Three New E-mail Lists: PaleoCooks, PaleoFitness, PaleoParents

By Diana Hsieh

I'm delighted to announce the launch of three new Modern Paleo E-mail Lists: PaleoCooks, PaleoFitness, and PaleoParents. These new lists are just gathering subscriptions this week. They'll open for discussion on Monday, September 19th.

  • PaleoCooks: PaleoCooks is an informal private mailing list for people who eat a broadly paleo diet to discuss paleo-friendly cookery. Its basic purpose is to facilitate communication about cooking and eating paleo -- such as favorite recipes, better and worse ingredients, good suppliers, useful techniques, and more. Its broader purpose is to help paleo-eaters eat more a healthy, varied, and delicious diet. PaleoCooks is managed by Julie Campbell of the crankin' kitchen. For more information and to subscribe, click here.

  • PaleoFitness: PaleoFitness is an informal private mailing list for people who eat a broadly a broadly paleo diet to discuss paleo-friendly fitness. Its basic purpose is to facilitate communication about fitness from a paleo perspective -- such workout methods, lifting techniques, pre and post workout nutrition, preventing and healing from injuries, enjoyable sports, and more. Its broader purpose is to help paleo-eaters enjoy productive and enjoyable workouts. PaleoFitness is managed by Tammy Perkins. For more information and to subscribe, click here.

  • PaleoParents: PaleoParents is an informal private mailing list for parents and others interested applying a a broadly paleo approach to nutrition, fitness, medicine, and supplementation to kids. Its basic purpose is to facilitate communication about paleo as applied to kids and families -- such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, kid-friendly recipes, dining out, supplementation, kids sports, and more. Its broader purpose is to help paleo parents raise healthy and happy kids. PaleoParents is managed by Kelly Valenzuela of Mother of Exiles. For more information and to subscribe, click here.
Of course, Modern Paleo's three other e-mail lists are open to new members any time. Those lists are:
  • PaleoBloggers: PaleoBloggers is an informal private mailing list for bloggers who adhere to and advocate a broadly paleo approach to nutrition, fitness, medicine, and supplementation. Its basic purpose is to facilitate communication about matters of mutual interest -- such as blogworthy links, the paleo carnival, upcoming events, posts of interest, and best blogging practices. Its broader purpose is to help paleo bloggers more effectively advocate and promote the paleo approach. PaleoBloggers is managed by me, Diana Hsieh of NoodleFood. For more information and to subscribe, click here.

  • PaleoThyroid: PaleoThyroid is an informal private mailing list for adherents of a broadly paleo diet with diagnosed or suspected thyroid disease. Its basic purpose is to facilitate the sharing of information, resources, and experiences about thyroid problems amongst independent-minded people already eating paleo. PaleoThyroid is managed by me, Diana Hsieh of NoodleFood. For more information and to subscribe, click here.

  • SousVide: SousVide is an informal private mailing list for people who cook sous vide, particularly home cooks. Its basic purpose is to facilitate the sharing of information, resources, recipes, and tips related to cooking sous vide. (This list is not limited to paleo-eaters.) SousVide is managed by Shea Levy of Shea's Blog. For more information and to subscribe, click here.
Non-paleo lurkers are welcome on all of these lists, except PaleoBloggers.

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Hsieh PJM OpEd: Let's Model ObamaJobs After ObamaCare!

By Paul Hsieh

The 9/7/2011 edition of PajamasMedia has published my latest OpEd, "Let's Model ObamaJobs After ObamaCare!"

In this satirical piece, I discuss how President Obama could easily modify elements from his "universal" health plan to guarantee "universal" employment. Here's an excerpt:


1) Impose a "job mandate" requiring all companies with greater than 50 employees to add 10% new employees to their payrolls. So if a company currently has 50 employees, they would need to hire 5 new workers. If a company has 100 employees, they must hire 10 new workers, etc.

3) Of course, the government would have to closely specify what sorts of salaries, benefits, and job responsibilities must be included in any of these new government-created jobs, both within and outside the exchanges. We can't have those "millionaire and billionaire" employers exploiting their new employees. If a company needs, say, a Linux programmer, but the new worker has a "pre-existing condition" of not actually knowing Linux, the company should deal with it the best they can -- either by training him in Linux or finding him another job that he can do.

5) Of course, this idea of a "jobs mandate" is constitutional. Some old-fashioned pundits might mistakenly think that employers -- not the government -- should be free to decide whether and when to hire new workers, based on their own individual circumstances and requirements. But more enlightened scholars realize that "not hiring someone" is a form of "economic activity" that could affect commerce and economics across the country, especially when such individual "not hiring" decisions are considered in aggregate. Hence, by the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Congress has the authority to limit or outlaw this widespread practice of "not hiring someone."

(Read the full text of "Let's Model ObamaJobs After ObamaCare!".)

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Video: Common Mistakes in Dealing with Your Parents

By Diana Hsieh

In last Sunday's Rationally Selfish Webcast, I discussed common mistakes with parents. The question was:

What are some common mistakes that adults make in dealing with their parents? Why do they make those mistakes? And how can they do better?
In my answer, I discussed three mistakes: (1) Not accepting your parents for who they are, flaws and all. (2) Compromising on your values under pressure. (3) Falling back into your childhood patterns. All of these problems can arise over matters of diet, as well as a host of other issues. Here's the 18-minute video:



If you like it, please share it! Also, all my webcast and other videos can be found on my YouTube channel.

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Ayn Rand's Playboy Interview: Government

By Diana Hsieh

As part of Modern Paleo's Saturday blogging on Objectivism, here's another tidbit from Ayn Rand's 1964 Playboy interview. These questions concern the proper role of government:

PLAYBOY: What, in your view, is the proper function of a government?

RAND: Basically, there is really only one proper function: the protection of individual rights. Since rights can be violated only by physical force, and by certain derivatives of physical force, the proper function of government is to protect men from those who initiate the use of physical force: from those who are criminals. Force, in a free society, may be used only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use. This is the proper task of government: to serve as a policeman who protects men from the use of force.

PLAYBOY: If force may be used only in retaliation against force, does the government have the right to use force to collect taxes, for example, or to draft soldiers?

RAND: In principle, I believe that taxation should be voluntary, like everything else. But how one would implement this is a very complex question. I can only suggest certain methods, but I would not attempt to insist on them as a definitive answer. A government lottery, for instance, used in many countries in Europe, is one good method of voluntary taxation. There are others. Taxes should be voluntary contributions for the proper governmental services which people do need and therefore would be and should be willing to pay for -- as they pay for insurance. But, of course, this is a problem for a distant future, for the time when men will establish a fully free social system. It would be the last, not the first, reform to advocate. As to the draft, it is improper and unconstitutional. It is a violation of fundamental rights, of a man's right to his own life. No man has the right to send another man to fight and die for his, the sender's, cause. A country has no right to force men into involuntary servitude. Armies should be strictly voluntary; and, as military authorities will tell you, volunteer armies are the best armies.

PLAYBOY: What about other public needs? Do you consider the post office, for example, a legitimate function of government?

RAND: Now let's get this straight. My position is fully consistent. Not only the post office, but streets, roads, and above all, schools, should all be privately owned and privately run. I advocate the separation of state and economics. The government should be concerned only with those issues which involve the use of force. This means: the police, the armed services, and the law courts to settle disputes among men. Nothing else. Everything else should be privately run and would be much better run.

PLAYBOY: Would you create any new government departments or agencies?

RAND: No, and I truly cannot discuss things that way. I am not a government planner nor do I spend my time inventing Utopias. I'm talking about principles whose practical applications are clear. If I have said that I am opposed to the initiation of force, what else has to be discussed?

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