Wednesday, February 29, 2012

long-cooked broccoli

By Julie

If you think that "overcooked" vegetables are something your grandma would serve with tough, overcooked (no quotation marks) meat, canned corn, and a big ol' pat of margarine, you might be right, but your grandma might have been on to something with those vegetables. It seems pretty chic to serve all your vegetables al dente, and I do like some crunchy, quick sautéed broccoli. I also happen to absolutely love broccoli like this. And if you think it's an outdated way to cook vegetables and that it ruins them and that it's for unrefined palates, you're wrong. It's all I can do to not eat three heads of broccoli long-cooked. Seriously shoveling occurs.
There are all these speakeasy bars popping up everywhere. I'm partly really embarrassed for the people who opened them up, and also partly really attracted to go because the food looks generally pretty decent and I like dark bars. But why do they have to be like freakin' living museums or whatever? Where you go through a stupid secret door and the bartenders wear those olde tymey arm garters. Seriously, just embarrassing. I also don't like/get cocktails, so I suppose I'm not even their target clientele anyway. They just make me feel so blech in my stomach. So sugary. And every time I've asked for some concoction without sugar the bartender is so confused/irritated/befuddled/reluctant that I just don't even bother anymore. Whatever. I'll just go eat my broccoli.
There are so many things you could do to spice up this broccoli, if you felt so inclined. Anise and fennel come to mind, since this is kind of Italian-y (and would be awesome using broccoli rabe). You could stir in some cheese or squeeze lemon juice on top, too. I've seen some people chop up the broccoli and then keep stirring and cooking it until it becomes almost a purée. I'm sure that's good too, but I like how despite this being rather mushy, there is still texture to it. Reheating leftovers of this in a sauté pan on medium high with some fat results in crispy burned bits that are freaking awesome. You can serve this with whatever you want - Italian sausages, lemony fish, you know. It's versatile.
long-cooked broccoli
Don't feel like you have to make this much broccoli. Three pounds is a lot. But it's really good... but if you're not as broccoli-crazed as me, go halfsies.

3 pounds of broccoli
1/4 cup olive oil
12 garlic cloves, about a full head, finely chopped
2 pinches red pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cup water or broth

1. Cut the heads off the broccoli stalks with a couple inches of stalk attached, roughly cutting the broccoli stalk in half widthwise. Cut the head into individual florets, set aside in one bowl. With the thick stalks, peel them, then slice into strips about 1/4 inch think and 1/2 inch wide, set aside in another bowl.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, stirring occasionally until the garlic is lightly browned.

3. Add the stems and water, cover, and cook for about 25 minutes.

4. Add the florets, cover, and cook for about 1 1/2 - 2 hours, stirring occasionally. You can stir vigorously if you'd like it to break down more. If you like the texture, but you've got some broth still in the pot, just turn the heat up a bit and leave uncovered until it's mostly evaporated. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.

If you wanna get really crazy, add in some butter. Holy.crap.
This was originally posted at my blog, the crankin' kitchen!

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

turnip and pork hash

By Julie

I'm torn about saying this, but it's not root vegetable season anymore. Winter squashes are long done. In another month or so it'll be time to start thinking about spring-y stuff. I'm torn because I know that once I admit that heavy vegetables are all coming from like Mexico and that I need to stop making them, I'll inevitably want to move on to spring before realizing that ugh, it's March, and the weather isn't anywhere near warm. So here is an unabashed embrace of all things root. Specifically turnips. It's not the most attractive dish. It kind of looks like barf when you're done. Shut up and put a fried egg on top and you'll be fine.
There was a time a few months back when I was obsessed with hashes. I basically ate some for every meal for like three weeks straight. They make you stink like onions and grease. Small price to pay for eating crispy, sweet browned onions and potatoes, other ingredients optional. I'd be sufficiently happy to eat that with eggs for the rest of my life I think. But, I guess that'd be pretty lame and I like to think I'm pretty unlame and food cool. Seriously food cool. You know I'm really into avocado foam-frosted localorganicwhenpossible ground beef cupcakes. That's my next blog post.
So yeah, turnips. I had grand thoughts of making a turnip/parsnip/insert other maligned root veggie here mash for Thanksgiving. I had those same grand thoughts for like a million other regular meals this past fall. Never made it. In fact, I had two turnips turn to wrinkly sacs in my fridge. Ew. So here I am in a last ditch effort to use some turnips before they're coming from Mexico. These might have come from Mexico, I forgot to check because I was shoving the last of the grocery store's turnips in my cart before some other dude could get them. No, no, no, I'm nicer than that. I left him two.
And then I took two rutabagas to make up for them. And then I saw some lovely celeriac and then tried to stop there because this was supposed to be a turnip hash. But I threw in a cute little sweet potato, too. The pork chop can be substituted with another kind of meat if you want - if you're real fancy like me and make your own bacon, big ol' hunks of smoked bacon would rock. Lardons of regular bacon would be good too, but you'd miss out of the same texture as having decent sized pieces of pork. Oh hey here's an idea, do both! Duh. Oh another idea! Cook the bacon separately and top the hash with crispy bacon pieces. Thanks, I love me, too!
turnip and pork hash
adapted from Saveur, serves 6-8

2 pounds turnips, peeled and trimmed, cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 rutabagas, peeled and trimmed, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 small sweet potato, peeled, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 medium celeriac, peeled, cut into 1/2 inch dice
4 tablespoons lard or butter, divided
1 thick-cut pork chop, boneless or bone-in, cut into 1/4 - 1/2 inch cubes
coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large onion, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 cup chicken broth

1. Heat two tablespoons of your fat over medium high heat in a large skillet or Dutch oven. I started out with my trusty cast iron, but soon realized it would have been an immense pain to contain all of the veggies, so I switched. Generously season the pork with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Stir until lightly browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. If you have a bone-in pork chop, chuck the bone in the pan too, just 'cause.

2. Add your onions and continue to sauté, stirring occasionally, until they're nice and brown, about 10 minutes.

3. Add chopped veggies, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and remaining fat. Stir around to mix, then cook for about 15 minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan, until the vegetables have some color.

4. Reduce heat to medium low, add broth, cover, and cook for about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally. This is done when all the veggies are fork tender. Some will be mushier than others. YUM. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Remove the pork bone and bay leaves.

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

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Video: Is Overfeeding a Child a Form of Abuse?

By Diana Hsieh

In Sunday's Philosophy in Action Webcast, I discussed overfeeding a child as abuse. The question was:

Is overfeeding a child a form of abuse? In November, county officials in Ohio placed a third-grade child into foster care on the grounds that he's over 200 pounds and his mother isn't doing enough to control his weight. (See the news story.) The boy does not currently have any serious medical problems: he's merely at risk for developing diabetes, hypertension, etc. The county worked with the mother for a year before removing the child, and it claims that her actions constitute medical neglect. Now his mother is only permitted to see him once per week for two hours. Did the state overreach its proper authority in removing the child from his home?
My answer, in brief:
The state should only remove children from their parents when the parents are violating the rights of the child by inflicting permanent physical or psychological harm. This case of supposed overfeeding does not qualify, not by a long shot.
Here's the video of my full answer:
If you enjoy the video, please "like" it on YouTube and share it with friends via social media, forums, and e-mail! You can also throw a bit of extra love in our tip jar.

Join the next Philosophy in Action Webcast on Sunday at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET at www.PhilosophyInAction.com/live.

In the meantime, Connect with Us via social media, e-mail, RSS feeds, and more. Check out the Webcast Archives, where you can listen to the full webcast or just selected questions from any past episode, and our my YouTube channel. And go to the Question Queue to submit and vote on questions for upcoming webcast episodes.

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Video: Telling a Friend about Romantic Feelings

By Diana Hsieh

In Sunday's Philosophy in Action Webcast, I discussed telling a friend about romantic feelings. The question was:

Am I obliged to tell a friend that I've developed romantic feelings towards her? Recently, I've developed romantic feelings for a platonic friend. Is it dishonest to withhold this information from her and just continue our friendship? What should I do if she asks me a direct question about my feelings? When would it be wrong to withhold this information from her, if ever?
My answer, in brief:
It's not wrong to keep your feelings to yourself, but lying about them can cause serious harm to your character and your friendship.
Here's the video of my full answer:
If you enjoy the video, please "like" it on YouTube and share it with friends via social media, forums, and e-mail! You can also throw a bit of extra love in our tip jar.

Join the next Philosophy in Action Webcast on Sunday at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET at www.PhilosophyInAction.com/live.

In the meantime, Connect with Us via social media, e-mail, RSS feeds, and more. Check out the Webcast Archives, where you can listen to the full webcast or just selected questions from any past episode, and our my YouTube channel. And go to the Question Queue to submit and vote on questions for upcoming webcast episodes.

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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 a link to The Objectivist Roundup. 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.

Rational Jenn hosted this week's Objectivist Roundup. If you're interested in seeing the latest and best from Objectivist bloggers, go take a look!

Also, in my live Philosophy in Action Webcast on Sunday morning, I'll answer questions on consent in sex, terminating online versus in-person acquaintances, compensating the victims of a your negligence, the meaning of faith, and more. As always, it's on Sunday, 26 February 2012 at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET at www.PhilosophyInAction.com/live. Please join us for this hour of lively discussion, where we apply rational principles to the challenges of living virtuous, happy, and free lives!

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

  • Question 1: Consent in Sex: What constitutes consent in sex? Can a person give tacit consent by his or her actions? Is explicit consent required for some sex acts? Once consent has been given, when and how can a person withdraw that consent? Does the legal perspective on these questions differ from the moral perspective?

  • Question 2: Terminating Online Versus In-Person Acquaintances: What's the proper threshold for cutting off a digital versus in-person acquaintance? Morally, when it is wrong to end your friendly interactions with an in-person acquaintance? And when is it wrong not to do so? Does the answer differ for a digital acquaintance – meaning, for example, someone that you know only via Facebook?

  • Question 3: Compensating the Victims of a Your Negligence: What should you do for a person that you injured in a car accident that was your fault? Does a person have moral obligations – over and above any legal obligations – to the victim, since the accident was due to your own carelessness or mistake?

  • Question 4: The Meaning of Faith: Is it wrong to use "faith" to mean "trust and confidence in a person"? Some people talk about having "faith" in their friends or in themselves – and by that, they mean that they trust and have confidence in those people. Is it wrong to use "faith" in that way? In other words, blind faith is wrong, but is all faith blind faith?
After that, we'll do a round of totally impromptu "Rapid Fire Questions."

If you can't attend the live webcast, you can listen to these webcasts later as audio-only podcasts by subscribing to our RSS Feeds. You can also listen to full episodes or just selected questions from any past episode in the Webcast Archive, including questions on paleo, nutrition, and health. Finally, don't forget to submit and vote on the questions that you'd most like me to answer from the ongoing Question Queue.

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Friday, February 24, 2012

The Paleo Rodeo #101

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:
Dr. John presents Quote: Adiposity causes inflammation of the hypothalamus posted at Paleoterran, saying, "Obesity disrupts the hypothalamus and takes control of feeding behavior."

Tony Federico presents The Big BAM posted at FED - Fitness in an Evolutionary Direction, saying, "Food challenges take many forms. Some good some bad. This is a story about a bad one and a recipe for a good one."

Tim Swart presents Big Tims Meatballs & Sauce Recipe posted at Big Tim's Primal Journey, saying, "Great new recipe for meatballs and sauce! :-)"

Peggy Emch presents How to Get Enough Calcium When You're Dairy-Free, Pregnant, and Paleo posted at The Primal Parent.

Ruth Almon presents How Can I Get Kids to Eat Real Food? Tip #5 posted at Ruth's Real Food, saying, "How can you get your kids to eat real food? It's not by forcing them. Here is tip #5 in my series on how to get kids to eat good food."

Rational Jenn presents Outlaw Update posted at Rational Jenn, saying, "About 6 weeks ago, I started following The Outlaw Way with some of the others at my CrossFit gym. Here's an update."

Joe Lindley presents Sugar Nation Book Review, Jeff O'Connell, Diabetes, Hidden Disease, Type 2 posted at Stop Craving Sugar..., saying, "Sugar Nation: The Hidden Truth Behind America's Deadliest Habit..., by Jeff O'Connell is an important book on diabetes and the caustic world we live in now for those prone to this disease. It's not, however, just for diabetics.The book is a warning to us all that diabetes may well be a part of our future if we don't heed Mr. O'Connell's warning."

Meghan Little presents Paleo Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl, A Hawaiian Inspired Sashimi or Sushi Meal posted at Paleo Effect, saying, "This Hawaiian Poke Bowl recipe is perfect for lunch or dinner. For our Paleo athletes, it goes great over rice. We love the slight heat of the sauce with the cool balance of the fish. Perfect Paleo!"

Christian Wernstedt presents Food Elimination Q/A Part Two (Effectiveness) posted at The VitalObjectives Blog, saying, "I discuss if mediator release testing (MRT) is reliable; what determines if food elimination will be effective; and the concept of "therapeutic force"."

Nell Stephenson presents Eating Blindly posted at Paleoista.

Jedha presents Weight Loss: Nutrition IS The Key posted at Paleo Diet Blog, saying, "Did you know that weight loss is about 80% nutrition and 20% exercise? Get your nutrition on track and you're well on your way to great results."

Jennifer Hunt presents Lent: A Perfect Time to (Finally) Give Up Nuts posted at Vibrant Sexy Strong.

Ana Johnson presents Healing Waters of Sao Lourenco posted at Whole Life Diets, Autoimmune diet, Registered Dietitian, Paleo, saying, "Healing waters of Brazil."

The Cavegirls presents Cavegirl Dark Chocolate Review posted at Northwest Cavegirls, saying, "What do Cavegirls do when they get together? They eat Dark Chocolate, of course. Check out this review of 6 popular brands of Dark Chocolate. Maybe you'll find a new favorite!"

Angie presents Coconut Flour Pancakes posted at Angie's Suburban Oasis, saying, "Are you looking for a weekend breakfast dish that tastes great and will satisfy the non-paleo members of your household? Or are you just looking for a pancake recipe that's not based on Almond Flour? Either way, this coconut flour pancake recipe will fit the bill. It's the perfect pancake for everyone, paleo and non-paleo alike."

Neely Quinn presents Is The Birth Control Pill Worth It? posted at Paleo Plan.

Eddy presents The 'Superfoods' They Don't Tell You About posted at Health Freak Revolution, saying, "Shock and horror, could these one day be classed as super-foods? We know they should be..."

Suz Robinson presents Curing Cancer With Sugar? posted at The Paleo Network, saying, "Eat junk food to cure cancer?"

Sean Booth presents Cheat Day? posted at Old Fashioned Upgrades, saying, "I'm still recovering from my ill advised cheat day."

Laurie Donaldson presents Spicy Sausage and Apples posted at Food for Primal Thought, saying, "An easy after-gym supper."

Fatisfied presents humus is happening posted at Free Your Fat, saying, "Gear up to grow your own. Sweet potatoes and berries are foods of focus."

Melissa "Melicious" Joulwan presents 5-Spice Slow-Cooker Pork Ribs posted at theclothesmakethegirl, saying, "Easiest ribs EVER... fall-off-the-bone tender and no cooking skills required."

Stacy Toth presents Guest Blog: Meal Planning with The Foodie and The Family posted at Paleo Parents, saying, "A guest post from The Foodie and the Family about meal planning. Learn the system that keeps a family of 7 affordably and efficiently fed!"

Andy presents Gluten Intolerance is a common problem posted at feel awesome.

Riki Shore presents Moroccan Beef Stew with Dried Apricots posted at Three Squares, saying, "Delicious and easy beef stew with Moroccan spices and dried fruit"

Paul Jaminet presents The Trouble With Pork, Part 3: Pathogens posted at Perfect Health Diet, saying, "This is the conclusion to our series investigating why pork consumption is associated with higher mortality from certain diseases."

Julia Campbell presents tortilla espanola posted at the crankin' kitchen!, saying, "i'm willing to bet this will be the best egg dish you've ever had."
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: Goat

By Diana Hsieh

Goats eat weeds at Cloisters City Park July 2011

The Modern Paleo Question of the Week is:
Have you ever eaten goat? If so, what did you think of it?
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, February 23, 2012

Notes on Chronic Illness and Inflammation

By Christian Wernstedt

I recently attended a series of seminars on chronic illness and inflammation. These are some notes from this event about hyper-sensitivity to mold toxins, the importance of genetics and inflammation for mercury toxicity, an online test for neuro-toxin exposure, alpha lipoic acid as a mercury chelator, phytonutrients as epigenetic triggers, and herbal anti-inflammatories in cancer-therapy. /CW

Note #1: There is a gene (or rather a cluster of genes) that makes some people extremely sensitive to mold toxins. Sensitive to the point where a minute exposure can create a cascade of inflammation resulting in terrible symptoms which are often misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia, asthma, emphysema, fatigue syndrome, etc. (If you have "inexplicable" health issues, this may be something to look into.)

Note #2: What makes some people able to live relatively unaffected with a mouthful of mercury while others cannot? 1) GENETICS: The presence of ApoE 3/3, 3/4, 4/4 makes you more vulnerable - check your genes with 23andme. 2) INFLAMMATION: Inflammation shuts down mercury detox pathways. (Chronic inflammation is in turn caused by poor food- and lifestyle choices.)

Note #3: Chronic conditions (especially those with a neurological component, such as fibromyalgia and dementia) often has an important component of neurotoxicity from fungi, bacteria, spirochetes (e.g., lyme), etc. One can determine if such a factor is likely to be present through an online test that measures the person's ability to detect visual patterns: "VCS Test" - Visual Contrast Sensitivity Test.

Note #4: Don't use the popular (and hyped) anti-oxidant Alpha Lipoic Acid if you have amalgam fillings. It chelates mercury and may put it into your brain. (When fillings have been removed, ALA can then be used in very specific dosing protocols to get mercury out properly.)

Note #5: ‎"Phytonutrients" such as curcumin (turmeric) & resveratrol (red grapes) work by flipping genetic switches that activate detox- & antioxidant systems. By taking such nutrients in effective amounts you are telling the body: "I know better than you do that you need to increase detox/anti-ox." Is such "central planning" a good idea? In today's toxic environment, I tend to think YES, but it should be done intelligently.

Note #6: Gliablastoma (a nasty type of brain cancer) may be put into remission by high dose curcumin, gingerol, and boswellic acid (these plant compounds turn on anti-inflammation genes). I think that the broad lesson is that a cornerstone of an anti-cancer lifestyle is to avoid foods and toxins that cause inflammation and oxidative stress. As the ancients said: "the cure points to the cause".


If you enjoyed these notes, you could get more by liking our Facebook Page.


Note: This is all for educational purposes only. Consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner to determine the applicability of this information.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

chili con carne

By Julie

I don't have a lot of strong opinions about chili, not having grown up in a chili-centric place at all. We had white hots, garbage plates, and custard. And my favorite pizza, which I haven't had in many years and probably wouldn't be my favorite pizza anymore. Then on to Boston, which yeah, not much chili. Still, I am, after all, a food snob. Pretty snooty in general, but for sure a snoot about food. And you don't have to have chili running through your veins since childhood to be able to appreciate good chili. Any other snobs wanting to debate that with me? Well you're wrong.
While the dearth of things like fresh seafood and upstate apples here get me down sometimes, I feel pretty happy to be readily, abundantly, and perhaps bludgeonly able to buy whatever kind of chile I want. They really are a pretty magical ingredient, and apparently a rather large segment of the population here agrees. I also can get bulk dried hibiscus flowers. (What do you do with those besides steep them, anything interesting??) I feel like anything with ancho peppers in it has got to be wonderful (better do them justice). Joe made an ancho pepper and pumpkin mole the other day. The pumpkin had been sitting on the counter for probably since like Thanksgiving. I have no idea. Good thing they're hardy. Mole was sweet.
If you want to get extra fancy, since you are making your very own chili paste, you could toast and grind whole spices. I'm a little ashamed I didn't. I'M SORRY I'M SUCH A FRAUD. It's not like I don't have an overflowing amount of true cinnamon sticks, allspice berries, and cumin seeds clogging up my spice area. I should take a picture of that area some time for the blog. It's ridiculous. At one point I had the jars all stacked up so high on top of each other that if the back door got slammed closed too hard, they'd all come tumbling down in a seed scattering, glass shard-ering nightmare. The last disaster was a mason jar full of fenugreek seeds. I just found some in my fakeCrocs the other day. Seeds, that is. I'm sure I'll find glass shards another, wonderful day.
Feel free to experiment with the kinds and amounts of chiles. It's really a starting point and a personal preference thing. I'm not really into stupid spicy stuff, so I didn't use a lot of chiles de árbol or chipotles. I really thought it was perfectly spicy as is, but if you're nervous, leave out the spicy ones. You can also add veggies if you want. I just made this a purist chili. My hunk of meat wasn't the biggest either - you could get away with another pound with the amount of chili paste this makes. Adding more broth to make sure the meat is covered while it's simmering, and then letting it cook down, won't hurt anything.
chili con carne
adapted from J. Kenji López-Alt at Serious Eats

2 fresh Anaheim peppers, seeded
2 California chiles, stemmed and seeded
1 small hot chile, like árbol, stemmed and seeded
1 chipotle chile, not from a can if you can help it, but it or powder will do, stemmed and seeded
3 ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 quarts chicken broth, or homemade beef broth
2 1/2 - 3 pounds chuck roast, trimmed, fat reserved, and cut into 2 inch chunks
1-2 tablespoons tallow or bacon grease
1 large onion, finely diced
4 - 5 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, preferably Mexican
1 tablespoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon allspice
2 teaspoons oregano, preferably Mexican
salt and freshly ground pepper

1. In a medium saucepan, combine chiles and enough broth to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the chiles are tender. Transfer to a blender and purée until smooth.

optional: Meanwhile, heat a large Dutch over over medium low heat. Add the reserved fat from the beef to the Dutch oven. Render as much fat as you can be bothered to do.

2. Heat the Dutch oven with the rendered beef fat, or a couple tablespoons of another fat, over high heat and add half of the beef chunks. Cook for several minutes then flip and brown the other side. Scoop out and place in a bowl, and repeat with the other half.

3. Lower heat to medium (remove the pot and let cool a bit if you have a blasted electric stove) and add onions. Sauté for about 2-3 minutes. Add garlic, spices, and oregano, and sauté for another minute.

4. Dump meat and any accumulated juices, chile purée, and remaining broth in the pot. Stir to combine.

5. You can either simmer on the stove top or place in at 225 degree oven, lid slightly ajar, for 2 1/2 - 3 hours. I cooked it in the oven. So easy.

Season pot to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper, adjust spices if you want. Serve with chopped onions, cilantro, avocado, pepitas, scallions, or whatever! You will love me. And even more if you have leftovers the next day.

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

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

How to Make Bacon in the Oven

By Diana Hsieh

I make bacon on a regular basis, and I always make it in the oven in a glass pan. That's the easiest, tastiest, and cleanest way I've found to to make a large batch of perfect bacon.

First, lay the strips neatly in a large glass pan.


The larger the pan the better! If the slices don't all fit, I will overlap them, one exactly on top of another, then adjust them when I flip them. They shrink while cooking, so you'll end up with more room.

Cook at 400F for 20 minutes -- perhaps a bit less if you pre-heated the oven.


Flip over each slice, and re-adjust the placement as needed.


Cook for another 10 minutes. You might need a few more minutes after that -- it depends on how crispy you like your bacon.


Save the grease for later cooking. Once the pan is cool, let the dog(s) lick the glass pan. (If you are missing the dog, adopt one!)

You can cook bacon at a lower temperature with more time too, but I don't have the timing worked out for that. You can also use cookie sheets lined with tin foil in the oven too. That makes it harder for the doggies to enjoy, however. And the bacon doesn't seem to cook quite as nicely as it does in a glass pan. I've seen some people recommend using a rack in a pan. I've never tried that, but it seems like more trouble.

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Modern Paleo in The Daily Camera

By Diana Hsieh

The paleo diet was recently the subject of an article in Boulder's newspaper, The Daily Camera: Paleo diet advocates claim increased energy, health benefits. Very unexpectedly, Modern Paleo was mentioned!

With more than 90 active members, the Denver paleo group on Meetup.com provides a way for paleo dieters to connect, support each other and share tips. In Boulder, more than 45 people are on a waiting list anticipating the start of a similar group. With the objective of creating an online community, University of Colorado graduate Diana Hsieh started ModernPaleo.com.
The article is pretty good, as much as I groan at the paleo "pancakes" featured in the opening and the closing.

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Summer Conference: Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and the Moral Foundations of Capitalism

By Diana Hsieh

Attention, students!

The Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism is happy to announce its sixth annual Summer Conference for Students, titled Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and the Moral Foundations of Capitalism. We're accepting applications now. The conference will feature an in-depth analysis of Rand's magnum opus and explore the following questions:
  • What is the moral basis for a free market?
  • How to individual rights function in a capitalist society?
  • What does the history of capitalism teach us about its moral basis?
  • How is Ayn Rand's view of capitalism unique?
The conference features lectures by Craig Biddle, Eric Daniels, Richard Ebeling, and Andrew Bernstein as well as special guest to be announced soon.

The conference will take place on the Clemson University campus from May 24 - 28th. Scholarships are available to qualified undergraduate and graduate students, including housing, meals, and a travel stipend. For more information and to apply, visit the 2012 conference website or use the contact form. Testimony from conference alumni, video highlights, and an FAQ are also available.

The deadline to apply is March 1, 2012.
Here is the web site for the conference and the form to apply. It's free, and travel stipends are available.

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Video: Liking But Not Loving Your Career

By Diana Hsieh

In Sunday's Philosophy in Action Webcast, I discussed liking but not loving your career. The question was:

What should I do if I have a good job but not burning professional ambition? I have a good job that pays well. I perform my job well to the best of my ability. But I don't feel about it the same way that Howard Roark felt about the field of architecture in The Fountainhead or that Dagny felt about the railroad business in Atlas Shrugged. I don't hate my job – I do enjoy the work and the people I work with. But it's not my burning passion. On a scale of 1-to-10, my paying job (and the overall field) is a 7, but I also have various non-paying outside hobbies and activities that are more of a 8 or 9 for me. Should I try to cultivate a strong passion for my paying job? Or look for a different line of work? Or ramp up my pursuit of various hobbies and outside activities that give me greater satisfaction on the side?
My answer, in brief:
A person's work should serve his life, and sometimes that means choosing the one career that you're wildly passionate about, and sometimes that means choosing a career that you enjoy, but that enables you to pursue other values.
Here's the video of my full answer:
If you enjoy the video, please "like" it on YouTube and share it with friends via social media, forums, and e-mail! You can also throw a bit of extra love in our tip jar.

Join the next Philosophy in Action Webcast on Sunday at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET at www.PhilosophyInAction.com/live.

In the meantime, Connect with Us via social media, e-mail, RSS feeds, and more. Check out the Webcast Archives, where you can listen to the full webcast or just selected questions from any past episode, and our my YouTube channel. And go to the Question Queue to submit and vote on questions for upcoming webcast episodes.

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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 a link to The Objectivist Roundup. 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.

Rule of Reason hosted this week's Objectivist Roundup. If you're interested in seeing the latest and best from Objectivist bloggers, go take a look!

Also, in my live Philosophy in Action Webcast on Sunday morning, I'll answer questions on better and worse religions, telling a friend about romantic feelings, overfeeding a child as abuse, interest in a lover's writings, and more. As always, it's on Sunday, 19 February 2012 at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET at www.PhilosophyInAction.com/live. Please join us for this hour of lively discussion, where we apply rational principles to the challenges of living virtuous, happy, and free lives!

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

  • Question 1: Better and Worse Religions: Are some religions better than others? Do certain religions encourage rationality more than others? Do some promote better moral systems than others? I am curious both about different forms of Christianity (Catholic, Protestant, Unitarian, Mormon, etc.), as well as other religions (Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Baha'i, etc.). Should rational atheists respect followers of certain religions more than others?

  • Question 2: Telling a Friend about Romantic Feelings: Am I obliged to tell a friend that I've developed romantic feelings towards her? Recently, I've developed romantic feelings for a platonic friend. Is it dishonest to withhold this information from her and just continue our friendship? What should I do if she asks me a direct question about my feelings? When would it be wrong to withhold this information from her, if ever?

  • Question 3: Overfeeding a Child as Abuse: Is overfeeding a child a form of abuse? In November, county officials in Ohio placed a third-grade child into foster care on the grounds that he's over 200 pounds and his mother isn't doing enough to control his weight. (See the news story.) The boy does not currently have any serious medical problems: he's merely at risk for developing diabetes, hypertension, etc. The county worked with the mother for a year before removing the child, and it claims that her actions constitute medical neglect. Now his mother is only permitted to see him once per week for two hours. Did the state overreach its proper authority in removing the child from his home?

  • Question 4: Interest in a Lover's Writings: Should a person always be interested in the creative works of a romantic interest or lover? I'm romantically interested in a woman who writes as her career. While my admiration of her is based in her virtues and even heroic qualities, I'm don't find the subjects of her writing to be particularly interesting. If I were to begin dating this woman, should I read everything that she's written and writes?
After that, we'll do a round of totally impromptu "Rapid Fire Questions."

If you can't attend the live webcast, you can listen to these webcasts later as audio-only podcasts by subscribing to our RSS Feeds. You can also listen to full episodes or just selected questions from any past episode in the Webcast Archive, including questions on paleo, nutrition, and health. Finally, don't forget to submit and vote on the questions that you'd most like me to answer from the ongoing Question Queue.

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Friday, February 17, 2012

The Paleo Rodeo #100

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 Paleo Pals by Sarah Fragoso - New Book Review posted at The Primal Parent.

Ruth Almon presents What Actually Is Trans Fat? posted at Ruth's Real Food, saying, "We've all heard the term "trans fats", but what does it actually mean? Here's a simple explanation."

Jedha presents How To Start The Paleo Diet? posted at Paleo Diet Blog, saying, "A few tips and suggestions on how to get started with paleo."

Nell Stephenson presents Signature Raw Paleo Truffles Revisited for Valentine's posted at Paleoista.

Suz Robinson presents 7 Habits of Highly Healthy People posted at The Paleo Network, saying, "I've noticed healthy people have 7 key habits which they all share - and which I'm going to try to adopt to improve my own health"

Meghan Little presents Paleo Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies, A Dairy-Free, Grain-Free Dessert posted at Paleo Effect, saying, "These chocolate chip cookies really are chewy! They travel easy as well, which is a plus for the whole family! The dough is perfect for chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream too!"

Sean Booth presents Making Ghee! posted at Old Fashioned Upgrades, saying, "My first experiment with making ghee! Turned out amazing and delicious!"

Eddy presents What’s Gonna Get You? Murder or Heart Disease? posted at Health Freak Revolution, saying, "Will this change your perspective? Do people have their priorities in the right place?"

Diana Hsieh presents How to Make Bacon in the Oven posted at NoodleFood, saying, "Here are my instructions for making bacon in a glass pan in the oven... which is an easy way to make lots of perfectly-cooked bacon with little mess."

Jennifer Hunt presents Insights Into The Whole30 Gone Bad posted at Vibrant Sexy Strong, saying, "A personal take on how healthy diets can go awry."

Neely Quinn presents Chocolate Cake for Breakfast Makes You Lose Weight? Come on. posted at Paleo Plan.

Stacy Toth presents Eat Like a Dinosaur: Video and More! posted at Paleo Parents, saying, "The preview video for Eat Like a Dinosaur! Features new, never before seen pages from the book! Check it out and see if any hatchlings you know might like it!"

Joe Lindley presents Good Calories Bad Calories Review, Gary Taubes, Carbohydrate Hypothesis posted at Stop Craving Sugar..., saying, "I know that Good Calories Bad Calories (often just called GCBC for short) is a bit of old news for a number of us. For those of you who are new to the low carb or paleo community, this is an important and pivotal work. It's a big book but well worth the time if you are interested in the low carb revolution and the science behind it."

Riki Shore presents Spicy Asian Slaw posted at Three Squares, saying, "This slaw is crunchy, fresh, minty, sweet and spicy all at the same time - YUM!"

Fatisfied presents Free Your Fat posted at Free Your Fat, saying, "Eat what you want to burn... fat... the body's best food fuel"

Amy Kubal presents Ketogenic Diet Changes Little Kailey’s Life posted at Robb Wolf, saying, "A ketogenic diet gives one little girl new hope!"

Paul Jaminet presents The Trouble with Pork, Part 2 posted at Perfect Health Diet, saying, "Our pork series continues with a look at a few candidates for the disease-causing agents in pork."

Holly presents Porkapalooza - 15 Paleo Recipes For Those Who Love to Pig Out posted at Holly Would If She Could, saying, "A roundup of 15 yummy recipes involving one of my favorite affordable ingredients: PORK!"

Peter Ballerstedt presents Grass Based Health: Happy Valentine’s Day! posted at Grass Based Health.

Laurie Donaldson presents A Barely Sweet Treat - Cranberry Citrus Muffins posted at Food for Primal Thought, saying, "These muffins are not 100% paleo, but pretty low on the SAD scale overall."

Julia Campbell presents long-cooked broccoli posted at the crankin' kitchen!, saying, "broccoli cooked this way is gloriously soft, garlicky, and just a tad spicy."
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: Sweet Potatoes

By Diana Hsieh

pork with cumin & spicy sweet potato mash

The Modern Paleo Question of the Week is:
What's your favorite way to eat sweet potato? Do you only eat it on workout days?
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, February 16, 2012

oven-crisped yuca fries

By Julie

It's a little weird when the checkout people at the grocery store routinely have to ask me, with a furrowed brow, what various produce items are that I buy. Then they flip through their produce code book and ask me how the hell you cook xyz. Like yuca. If someone who rings up the groceries of hundreds of people every single day seems to have never seen a yuca root, I can only wonder how long it's been sitting in the store. I guess that's why there's usually wax on the outside of them. Ew. It's also weird that yuca is poisonous raw. Humans are so strange. Do other animals have to take preventative measures to safely eat foods they regularly consume? I guess my cats have a pretty good barf reflex when they eat something that they somehow know will make them sick. Don't feed beef to your cats. I don't know why they can't eat it, but the barf tells me it's true.
I've had an obsession with yuca for nearly as long as my obsession with plantains. I used to get it at my favorite little Venezuelan place in Boston that was dangerously close to my house. Fried yuca and fried plantains are a freaking amazing bad way to stuff your face. Joe made me dinner the other weekend and he tried to make these cheesy yuca turnover things, but do it newyearnewyou compliant. It definitely turned out not like a turnover, but pretty awesome nonetheless. Boiled, then puréed yuca chunks into this super stretchy, starchy goop and then attempted to pan crisp it with questionable success. It was, and I say this lovingly, a very typical Joe meal of a I told you it wasn't a good idea turned fuck-it mash-in-a-pan. But I gobbled it up like the starch crazed monster that I am. Starch and salt. And fat. And sugar. I love you all.
Most people deep fry yuca, if they're going the crispy route. I can't justify using up that much oil. You definitely get a different texture oven-crisping the fries, but it's still good and crispy and delicious. You could also pan-fry them, but using your oven is just so easy. There's a tough fiber running down the middle of the root that you're not really going to want to eat. You can either try to cut it away before you boil the fries, after when they're softer.... or just when you're eating them. That's what I did. Oh, ack, this is tough, okay eating around this. Peeling the root is about as annoying as a butternut squash. Less so, I think, because there's no giant bulb to combat with. God I hate that butternut squash bulb. And the seeding? WORST. And squash juice makes your hands feel so freaking weird. What is that??

oven-crisped yuca fries with lime

1 big yuca root, like 2 lbs., but whatever you can find
lard or bacon grease
sea salt
fresh lime juice

1. Peel your yuca root with a vegetable peeler. There's the outer brown skin, then a purple-y layer underneath. Get down to the white. Cut into 1/2 inch thick, several inches long fries, cutting around any brown spots or anything gross. Again, I have no idea how long my root was sitting in that grocery store...

2. Preheat your oven to 475 degrees. Put your fries in a pot of salted, cold water to cover, bring to a boil and boil for about 12 minutes, until they're tender when pierced with a fork.

3. Drain the yuca, put back in the pot and mix around several tablespoons of pig fat until they appear to be very nicely coated with fat. You can add more, no one's watching.

4. Place yuca in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes. Flip them over and bake for about another 12 - 15 minutes until nice and lightly browned.

Squeeze copious amounts of lime juice over the fries and sprinkle coarse sea salt on top. Perfect with fatty, crispy pork. Or anything. By themselves. Don't eat too many.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

green curry salmon with kiwi salsa

By Julie

Trying desperately to pry myself away from obsessing over another ethnically accurate meal, I instead managed to produce some sort of dreaded fusion cuisine. Totally don't care. At least I didn't make mac and cheese-filled potstickers. Plus, kiwi salsa? You know I have an affinity for fruit salsas, and this one is no exception. I mulled over somehow incorporating coconut milk, which if you've got a genius idea, I'd encourage and like to hear about it. I saw some recipe that puréed kiwis with coconut milk, but that seemed a shame. Then I considered poaching the salmon in coconut milk, but ohhh the crispy skin (bacon of the sea). I dunno, sometimes I want to mash together every possible delicious flavor that I think would go well together. Best to just step it back. Like that dumb jewelry rule for ladies that I consistently flout.
I got a cold the other night. Started with that nasty drip burn in the back of my throat, then an achy neck. I felt kinda junky the next day, just real droopy and achy. But lo and behold, the following day? Good as new. I can't definitively say any reason, I suppose, but I'm putting my money on eating so freaking well this past month. I've noticed in general that my cold frequency has gone way down since I started eating paleo, but duration is one thing that's really easy to notice. I distinctly remember being out of commission for like a week with colds that I used to get back when I lived in Boston. So.awesome. I'm totally on a Whole 30 high. Probably like those fats on The Biggest Loser feel after eating well (questionable - Jennie O??), exercising the crap out of themselves, and getting off all of their meds. I think I should set a goal to become a trainer on that show. Or gain 200 pounds and use my charming personality to gain a spot on it.
I think Mahi Mahi, catfish, or some warm water fish would be better suited for this, just to lessen the fusion-y aspect, but I'll take what I can find on super sale. If you're used to simply peeling away the skin on your fish, don't! It's so awesome, plus scaling it is actually kind of fun. Scales go flying all over your kitchen, but you feel real rustic and accomplished. I mean, I like job specialization and all, but sometimes it's fun to live the life of a fishmonger, for about the 1 minute it takes to scale a slab of salmon.
green curry salmon with kiwi salsa

salsa
4 kiwis, peeled and chopped
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
1/2 jalapeño, or to taste
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I find it easiest to peel a kiwi by cutting it in half, then using a spoon to scoop out the fruit. That way you also get to scoop out and eat any leftover kiwi in the skin shell.

salmon
1 side of salmon, skin on
2 tablespoons olive oil/fat, divided
2-3 tablespoons green curry paste
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Using a butter knife, scale the skin by running the knife over it backward. Give the salmon a good rinse afterward.

2. Coat the fish with some olive oil and generously pat on the curry paste. Season to taste with salt (depending on your curry paste - mine is rather salty) and pepper. Cut into fillets.

3. Heat the remaining oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, sear the salmon for about 3-4 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the fillets you cut. Do this in batches for the most even cooking. Don't disturb the fish until you're ready to flip it! You don't want a stuck on skin mess.

Top the fish with some kiwi salsa! Gorgeous.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Recapping The Whole 30 Adventure

By Trey Peden

This post is a follow-up to my announcement to try The Whole 30 both of which are cross-posted on my own blog, Trey Givens.com.

Well, it is finally over. And it is difficult for me to express exactly how glad not to be worrying over The Whole 30 any more.

I suppose the worrying part is my own fault, since for the month of January I could probably count on two hands the number of mornings that I woke without a vivid memory of a dream in which I ate something bad and worried about paying Diana $20 for the infraction. Clearly, my subconscious is far more concerned about financial matters than my physical well-being. So, how did I end up doing?

Well, I paid Diana a total of $80 this month.

Half of it was due to a week in which I was on a business trip and only worked out once. 2 missed workouts * $20 = $40.

On that same business trip, I was at a restaurant with my boss's boss for dinner and I ordered what appeared to be a "safe" meal and explained to the waitress that I absolutely could not have diary. First, she came back with a plate sprinkled with cheese, so I sent it back. When she returned to the kitchen she explained that what I had ordered actually also included butter. So, I had a choice: change my order completely and be the awkward person sitting at the table without food or just suck it up and pay Diana $20 for having eaten some butter. Not being able to think of a delicate way to avoid the awkwardness, I decided to just pay up.

The second infraction happened just this past Saturday. I was at Costco and they have all these samples out and one of the displays caught my eye. It was some stuffed grape leaves and the package said it was dairy free and gluten free. I checked the label and the only thing that jumped out at me was that there is a bit of canola oil. I didn't spot any cheese or sausage or wheat, so it must be OK, right? I tried it and it was pretty tasty. It wasn't until last night that I was reflecting on this and realized I had just eaten a mouthful of RICE, a grain. So, this morning, I paid Diana another $20, but I have a package of those grape leaves in my freezer and I am very excited about eating them at some point in February.

Qwertz asked me about cravings. I really only had two cravings during this experiment: 1) sushi and 2) pizza. Wait. Three cravings: cheese. The sushi craving was really just because sushi is tasty and sometimes that was what I was in the mood to eat, so it was very easy to ignore and it came and went. Same thing with the cheese. The pizza craving was pure insanity, though. Pizza wasn't a very regular thing for me before The Whole 30 and I don't intend for it to be a regular thing after it. But for some reason there was about two or three weeks there when I just wanted to eat half of a fresh Papa John's pepperoni pizza and dip the crust in their cocaine-laced cheese sauce. Mmmmmmm... [Note: as far as I know, there is no actual cocaine in any of Papa John's products.]

Giving up alcohol was easy-peasy. I thought it might be tougher than it turned out to be just because it's so easy to have a glass of wine with dinner or a manhattan after a tough day at the office. But it really wasn't. It was just mildly difficult on date nights, really, when a glass of wine would be regarded as a given. But I managed.

Really, eating out was a huge pain in the ass.

Me: Hi, there! I'm looking at the menu and I'm wondering if the Cheese Bacon Extravaganza has any dairy in it.

Server: Um. Yeah. It has cheese. Why?

Me: Hm. Well, I can't have dairy.

Server: What about the Poodle Noodle-Roni Explosion Fest?

Me: I can't have gluten, either. Well, any grains actually.

Server: Grains?

Me: Yeah. Wheat, corn, barley, rice, etc.

Server: Oh. Well, maybe you could have a side of black beans.

Me: Can't have beans either. Any legumes, actually.

Server: Sounds like you need a drink.

Me: Actually...

Server: Don't tell me.

Me: Yup.

Server: Should I feel sad right now because you have some kind of horrible disease?

Me: No, it's more like a bet.
Health-wise, how did things turn out?

I started cutting gluten out of my diet a couple years ago or so and saw a huge improvement in my digestion. As things were, I had a doctor once who tried to say I had "irritable bowel syndrome." But most of the time when I hear the word "syndrome," I think, "So, you don't know what the problem is." Which is what got me to tinkering with my diet and reducing gluten seems to have been the key. Mysteriously, while on The Whole 30, I had a week there where my poor digestion returned for a bit. It was very uncomfortable and unpleasant. At first I was completely mystified as to what could be the cause. And then I deduced that the culprit was a huge batch of chicken soup that I made which included cabbage. Cabbage, you may or may not know, is high in fiber. I do not have any issues with fiber and getting a whole bunch of it at once has distressing results. Yeah, so, note to self: don't eat so much cabbage all at once.

I did lose weight, though. I didn't get down as far as I wanted, but a couple of people noted that I am visibly slimmer than I was in December. I know I wasn't supposed to weigh myself at all during The Whole 30, but I did. I lost about ten lbs in the first couple of weeks and then week three there really wasn't much change. And then in the last week I had another drop in weight.

Ready for the before and after?
Before After Change
Height: 6’1.5″ 6’1.5″ -
Weight: 206.4 lbs 194.6lbs -11.8lbs
Fat: 18.3% 15.2% -3.1 pts
Water: 61.2% 63.4% +2.2 pts

And here are the pics:

Before: Jan 1, 2012


After: Feb 1, 2012


Not terrible. From what I've read, healthy weight-loss should not progress any faster than roughly 3lbs a week (give or take), so a loss of about 12lbs is respectable here. (I weighed myself on the morning of the 29th and I was down to 192lbs!) I should note that I actually did NOT do CrossFit this month. Due to business travel and some confusion/conflicts with the trainer schedule I was not able to go through my new gym's onramp training until later. In fact, I completed it today and can start CrossFit tomorrow. So, all those visits to the gym that I made were really all about conditioning. My usual routine was simply to walk a quarter mile at a comfortable pace, jog for a mile at a pace I could maintain for the whole distance (I started at 6mph and can now go at 7mph without too much trouble), and then do two rounds of 10 situps, 10 pushups, and 10 squats as quickly as I could muster. My objective wasn't to build muscle or burn fat but simply to get my heart and lungs accustomed to working hard for a spell.

So, I think The Whole 30 was an interesting experience. It definitely helped to tighten up my diet a bit and get back into exercise.

Am I likely to do it again? No, probably not. Not unless I can anticipate a month of eating by myself at home where I can control all the ingredients and everything.

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Making Taking Care of My Body a Priority in the Craziness that is Grad School

By Kelly Elmore

(Originally posted at Reepicheep's Coracle)

This semester has been SO crazy. I am loving it, doing all the things I love most (reading, writing, reading about writing, writing about reading, you know the super fun stuff), but I am busier than I have ever been with Livy and Aaron and ATLOS to think of on top of school and work.

Somehow in all the insanity, my healthy habits have gone away. I am never home during the week, so I don't cook. Instead, I've been eating fast food in the car and bar food at school WAY too often.

Instead of my long walks of last semester, I have been sitting on my behind, writing and writing and writing. When I have a break, instead of getting outside, I find myself frantically checking things off my to-do list. I'm getting about the same amount of sunlight as Aaron, for god's sake, and he's a computer programmer.

I've gained weight, and I feel yucky. I am pushing myself harder than ever before, and I am not fueling my body properly or exercising to relieve stress or sleeping enough.

So, I am making a change. I am unable to make a big change because I have way too much to do. But I am making small changes to get back on a healthier track.

I started a yoga class, which is active and also gives me some much needed stress relief (thanks, Tori!). I've been going one day a week for 3 weeks and like it so much that I am thinking of adding an extra day a week. As soon as Aaron sets up the DVD player in the new introvert-proof living room, I will add some weekend yoga with Livy.

I am going to start taking some shorter walks during my school breaks. Walks that I can do in 30 minutes. Walks that I can do in nice slacks or a dress. I do not have to walk for hours to make it worthwhile to do it. The perfect is the enemy of the good when it comes to walks (as in so much else).

I am going to start packing food for the day. Today I brought a cooler with lunch and dinner in it, simple stuff that doesn't require cooking. I may have to live with less variety if I am not willing to cook, but at least it will be healthy food that can fuel the pace of this semester. Today, I have ham, cheese, veggies and hummus, a frozen hamburger patty, and a salad. Not perfectly paleo, but a lot better than Taco Bell.

I am going to try to get more sleep by going to bed earlier on Mondays and Wednesdays (the days before my earliest days). It's hard to do that and still see Aaron much, but even an hour would help.

I'm trying not to focus on the weight I've gained or how I want to look or how I want my clothes to fit. Those things are fine, but not the most important. In a semester this busy, I only have time to think about the things that I value most and ruthlessly cut out the other. So body image issues have to go. Instead, my focus will be on giving my body the food, exercise, and sleep it needs to make me the brainiest, most energetic teacher and scholar that composition theory and writing center studies has ever seen.

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Video: Overcoming Perfectionism

By Diana Hsieh

In Sunday's Philosophy in Action Webcast, I discussed overcoming perfectionism. This is a challenge for lots of people, including with regard to food! The question was:

What is the problem with and solution to perfectionism? Lately, I've realized that I might have a problem with "perfectionism" – meaning that I hold myself to unrealistically high standards in some areas of my life. For example, I feel like I should be much more productive, to the point of being unrealistic about what I can do in a day. What's the basic error of such perfectionism? And what can I do to overcome it?
My answer, in brief:
For a person to seek perfection, based on rational standards that take account of his particular context, is often good. Perfectionism, however, means doing so based on out-of-context or unrealistic standards of perfection. A person with perfectionist tendencies needs to identify them, then think and act consistently based on standards appropriate to his purpose – whether seeking perfection, good enough, or merely adequate.
Here's the video of my full answer:
If you enjoy the video, please "like" it on YouTube and share it with friends via social media, forums, and e-mail! You can also throw a bit of extra love in our tip jar.

Join the next Philosophy in Action Webcast on Sunday at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET at www.PhilosophyInAction.com/live.

In the meantime, Connect with Us via social media, e-mail, RSS feeds, and more. Check out the Webcast Archives, where you can listen to the full webcast or just selected questions from any past episode, and our my YouTube channel. And go to the Question Queue to submit and vote on questions for upcoming webcast episodes.

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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 a link to The Objectivist Roundup. 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.

The Playful Spirit hosted this week's Objectivist Roundup. If you're interested in seeing the latest and best from Objectivist bloggers, go take a look!

Also, in my live Philosophy in Action Webcast on Sunday morning, I'll answer questions on low passion for career, patriotism as a virtue, artificial intelligence, boycotting chick-fil-a, and more. As always, it's on Sunday, 12 February 2012 at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET at www.PhilosophyInAction.com/live. Please join us for this hour of lively discussion, where we apply rational principles to the challenges of living virtuous, happy, and free lives!

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

  • Question 1: Low Passion for Career: What should I do if I have a good job but not burning professional ambition? I have a good job that pays well. I perform my job well to the best of my ability. But I don't feel about it the same way that Howard Roark felt about the field of architecture in The Fountainhead or that Dagny felt about the railroad business in Atlas Shrugged. I don't hate my job – I do enjoy the work and the people I work with. But it's not my burning passion. On a scale of 1-to-10, my paying job (and the overall field) is a 7, but I also have various non-paying outside hobbies and activities that are more of a 8 or 9 for me. Should I try to cultivate a strong passion for my paying job? Or look for a different line of work? Or ramp up my pursuit of various hobbies and outside activities that give my greater satisfaction on the side?

  • Question 2: Patriotism as a Virtue: Is patriotism a virtue? Is patriotism towards America a virtue? Should a person "love America" – or is that just jingoistic nationalism?

  • Question 3: Artificial Intelligence: Is artificial intelligence possible? Can consciousness be created on a purely logical system such as a computer? Might consciousness and even free will somehow "emerge" out of a purely logical system? Also, what do you think of the "Turing Test" as a test of intelligence?

  • Question 4: Boycotting Chick-Fil-A: Should people boycott Chick-Fil-A for its hostility to gays? The fast food chain Chick-Fil-A is well-known for its promotion of Christian values. In recent years, the company has actively worked against gay marriage, in alliance with other organizations promoting the imposition of biblical commands by law. More generally, the company is hostile to same-sex couples. Given that Chick-Fil-A uses money from customers and shareholders to promote theocracy and other rights-violations, should people condemn and boycott the chain?
After that, we'll do a round of totally impromptu "Rapid Fire Questions."

If you can't attend the live webcast, you can listen to these webcasts later as audio-only podcasts by subscribing to our RSS Feeds. You can also listen to full episodes or just selected questions from any past episode in the Webcast Archive, including questions on paleo, nutrition, and health. Finally, don't forget to submit and vote on the questions that you'd most like me to answer from the ongoing Question Queue.

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