Incapacitation

July 16, 2010

I haven’t posted in a while because of a surgery last Wednesday which left my right hand in a mega-cast, which i will be getting off today…

…and then being put into a regular cast. Tragic (not really).

So my posting will be close to non-existent until I get this cast off – which should be right before I head up to my university (August 23rd).

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

I suggest reading marks blog in the meantime: www.marksdailyapple.com

Almond Banana Pancakes

June 27, 2010

Banana’s are amazing considering I use them in roughly 90% of my recipes.

Here’s a little primer on banana’s (quote from Marks Daily Apple):

”Did you know that the banana plant is not a tree? It looks like a tree, acts like a tree, and smells like a tree, but it is actually the world’s largest herb! (Herbs are defined as seed-bearing plants without stems, which die down after flowering.) Everyone knows that potassium is found in abundance in the banana. But so are seeds! Yep, seeds are embedded inside this fruit in the wild. That’s why we humans prefer cultivated bananas. The banana has had a rather political history: see banana republics.”

Moving on to the recipe:

Almond Banana Pancakes:

Ingredients:

  • 2 Bananas
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tablespoon Almond Butter

Yet again, simplicity. I also add cinnamon and vanilla occasionally.

Instructions:

  • Combine all ingredients together (Blender or mash and mix. The latter is a bit thicker)
  • Pour onto hot stove in smaller-than-normal pancake shapes (otherwise flipping will be a bitch)
  • Cook until you can flip it (usually, bubbles on the top of the pancake will be present when it’s flippable)
  • Flip over and continue cooking for a couple minutes. Use your judgment for when you need to remove them

Pro-tip: Medium-Low heat if you have the patience. The pancakes cook much smoother but obviously it takes longer.

It’s too early for humor #11:30AM

Day 1 Vibrams: I have good news, and bad news.

Which do you want first?

  • Bad News

I took my new pair of Vibram FiveFingers Classic out for a test run today and the ball of my big toe became chaffed so I had to take them off before I finished.

Now, I’m gonna be nice and attribute this to my lack of experience in these, as well as the shape of my foot considering years of hard time spent in commercially shaped footwear. I, like most people who wear terribly shaped shoes, have bunions (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bunion). Luckily mine aren’t as bad as the picture on wikipedia, but they could stand to be better. The problem I had today was that my right bunion became irritated by the material of the shoe. I haven’t concluded the root cause of this yet, as it could be my foot, the Vibram not being the correct size, my inexperience in the shoes, or a multitude of other things. Ultimately, my first impression of these for running is poor (my running is more sprint-based. I’ll save that for another post).

  • Good News

On the positive side, I love the feel of having my toes “free.” I can feel myself walking with a stronger stride, using my toes to provide momentum as opposed to the traditional heel roll. I also love that you can still feel the texture and shapes of things beneath your feet without actually hurting your feet (like walking on gravely-hot street pavement or grass – the first thing I recommend you do is walk in grass).

I’ve always had minor balance problems while trying to standing alert and healthily (as opposed to nasty slouching). Vibram FiveFingers to the rescue! I could stand strong, tall, and powerful without even straining, as if my toes were built for balancing. I don’t understand how modern culture has ignored the fact that toes are a useful extremity. I assume that shoes, originally, were built with closed ends because people didn’t have the technical ability to effectively cut toe holes and our modern companies have kept this dated-method up to date. Nike probably went through a few slogans before they came with up with the politically correct “Just Do It.”

Nike – “Fuck Toes.”

Nike – “Forget Toes”

ect.

Once the information becomes mainstream that shoes are not healthy for your feet, I’d bet money on their slogan becoming:

Nike – “Cmon, Just Do It, Please?”

My verdict after one day of wearing Vibram FiveFinger Classics is that, although they are miles ahead of mainstream shoes, they are a few hundred yards behind being barefoot.

I’ll get back to you on that though.

Flavor Cravings

June 24, 2010

Let me paint a picture for you:

I was four weeks into my primal metamorphosis, eating nothing sweeter than a strong strawberry. My friend Paul and I were just hanging out at his house, shooting zombie’s or what have you on the tele’ (teh – leh: british for television), when he decides to grab a snack. He goes to the kitchen only to return with a poptart:

A nasty ass, commercially processed, Satan spawned breakfast/diabetes inducing product and I wanted to taste it sooo badly.

I wasn’t hungry.

I wasn’t lacking sugar intake.

I simply had a Flavor Craving.

Flavor Craving (noun): A desire to consume something, not because of hunger, but rather for its flavor.

It got me thinking that instances like this are probably what make the primal process so hard for most individuals. The temptation is hardly something one can completely avoid; things like birthday cakes your friends are serving, or a glazed donut and latte your friend brought to the library to study, are completely unavoidable. Dealing with these instances is a difficult one indeed, and truly takes metal balls (brass in my case) to pull through. Theres a couple ways of dealing with these cases that I thought of:

  • Plan Ahead

Obviously, if you are aware that your friend is having a birthday party, you should expect there to be some sort of desert item and poopfood. The smart thing to do in this case would be to bring your own food with you, if you choose to indulge. Having some backup carrots or a banana can be a life saver because even though you might want to desperately lick the frosting off the cake, the banana might be enough of a distraction to survive the allure of sugar nuke. As a side note, nukes should never be alluring.

  • Reward System

This isn’t something I should need to elaborate on, but here’s a little written snack for those you need it: pick something you enjoy, and provide it to yourself when you overcome a temptation. The key is to find a reward that IS NOT a sugary treat or something else that isn’t primal. Things like a massage, or a movie, or a home-made fruit smoothie come to mind. Maybe even that last piece of chocolate.

  • Just Don’t Do It

This is how I roll. It’s not difficult. I enjoy not eating these things. I pride myself on the fact that even when tempted, I just don’t do it. I have tricked my brain into getting a pleasure release from NOT eating sinful items. I get a willpower-boner of sorts. It feels rewarding that I can pull through a situation like this; that I am stronger than a poptart. You should feel the same.

Oh yea, I didn’t eat the poptart.

Vibram FiveFingers

June 24, 2010

I was able to stalk out a pair of Vibram FiveFingers (classic, black) after calling roughly 100 stores around my area. They only had 1 size (my size) and in 1 color (the color I wanted).

I’ll post a more extensive review of them after a week or so, then a month or so, and then so on if anything important needs to be said (like my toes growing biceps).

Primal Banana Bread

June 22, 2010

The cake bread is a lie. It’s more like a muffin but alliteration takes the cake bread.

By request,

Primal Banana Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup shredding coconut
  • 1 Tablespoon ground almonds
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/4 Cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon paleo oil (coconut, walnut, olive, ect)
  • 1 Tablespoon almond butter
  • 2 medium bananas
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup (or honey)

Instructions:

  • Put all ingredients into a large bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • Pour onto NON-STICK muffin tins or use muffin casings (otherwise its a bitch to remove)
  • Bake at 375 for roughly 20 minutes, or until you can stick a knife in and it comes out clean

This is not necessarily the best Primal item, but its crazy delicious and helps newbie Cavemen (and women) stay Primal.

Don’t add the maple syrup/honey if you want a muffin with less sugar content.

You won’t need a spoon.

I’m guilty of having a craving for something sweet after most of my meals. My mom says my grandpa did this so I guess I always assumed it was genetic, but that’s completely stupid after I put some thought into it.

It’s all related to the Carb Craving, or a Flavor Craving (these two things I will cover eventually).

Since I recently started the Paleo/Primal diet, I definitely still crave sugar more often than I should.

My solution? Chocolate.

After deliberate research, millions of dollars in case studies, and Google, I came across a chocolate brand that fit my caveman needs quite perfectly.

Enter: Theo brand chocolate.

Flavors from left to right: Cherry Almond, Orange, Mint

And here’s the ingredients listing for those interested (although this is the orange one, the differences between each are minor):

  • Cocoa Beans
  • Sugar
  • Cocoa Butter
  • Orange Oil
  • Orange Zest
  • Ground Vanilla Bean

The cocoa beans, sugar, and cocoa butter are all “Fair Trade Certified By Trans Fair USA” and everything is “Certified Organic By Washington State Dept. Of Agriculture.” Aka, this stuff is a solid choice.

Each package is broken up into 6 smaller bars, and the nutritional info is 2 serving size, so thats 3 bars.

Nutritional Info:

  • Calories: 200 Fat Cal 150
  • Total Fat 17g
  • Sat Fat 10g
  • Trans Fat 0g
  • Cholet 0mg
  • Sodium 0mg
  • Total Carb 20g
  • Fiber 4g
  • Sugar 11g
  • Protein 3g
  • Iron 6%

Only downside is its “Manufactured on shared equipment with products containing milk, eggs, wheat, peanuts and other nuts” but that sort of thing doesn’t bother me since I’m not deathly allergic.

This chocolate isn’t sweet as mainstream stuff, so the common M&Masaurus might need to ease into the dark chocolate world.

Also available in milk chocolate if you dare.

If. You. Dare.
P.S. I found these at Whole Foods, but check your local overpriced health food shop.

What’s a caveman with a craving for fried chicken to do?

Enter Coconut Encrusted Chicken

Disclaimer: This does not have the same consistency as fried chicken skin, but it’s way more delicious (and healthy).

Coconut Encrusted Chicken

Ingredients:

  • Chicken (I used breast) Make as much chicken as you want (I used 2 large breasts for 3 people)
  • 1/2 Coconut Flakes (I used ultra-shredded)
  • 1/2 Almond Flour/Coconut Flour
  • 2 Eggs
  • Oil (Any olive oil or Coconut – I used extra virgin olive oil)

Instructions:

  • Grab a big-ass pan and heat it to about medium-high heat
  • Oil the pan thoroughly
  • Mix thoroughly the flour (almond or coconut) and coconut flakes into another shallow bowl
  • Crack the 2 eggs and empty into a shallow bowl
  • Slice chicken into strips (1/2 inch thick is the best – mine were upwards of an inch and took too long to cook)

  • Grab a chicken strip and cover it in the egg, then roll it in the flour/coconut flake mixture until covered
  • Place strip on pan to cook
  • Repeat steps 6-7 for other strips, making sure to flip the chicken to avoid burning of one side

Came out really well, and my kitchen smells like someone sprayed coconut febreeze, minus the carcinogens. Yum.

I completely forgot to take a picture of the finished product, because well, we ate it too quickly. For your enjoyment: A Finished Plate

We put the chicken on top of a salad, composed of lettuce, kale, onions, tomato, and sprinkled coconut flakes.

Warning: Kale is bitter. Not for the weak taste-budded.

Off Campus Notice

June 16, 2010

I think it’s important to note that since it’s currently summer vacation, I am not on campus at this time.

This means I have more support from my family when it comes to purchasing food, and thus my whole idea of “living paleo on a college budget” isn’t playing out right now.

I won’t be back up at UCF until mid august (the 21st I think), but I will be posting about budget-paleo living occasionally. Expect a related post tomorrow and a recipe either tonight or tomorrow as well.

On Acne

June 16, 2010

Today’s post on www.marksdailyapple.com was concerning Acne, so I thought I’d post it here and relay some of my thoughts.

Original blog post found here: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-advice-for-acne-sufferers/

“Our medical establishment’s prescription for acne generally involves dehydrating the skin into oblivion, sandblasting it with chemicals, or pumping hormones, antibiotics and potentially toxic meds into the patient.”

I agree that most medical approaches to Acne in the past have been ridiculous. I can personally say that skin is not fond of 400 chemicals waging war on its surface (itchiest days of my life).

For a more visual interpretation, see below:

Don’t even get me started on Accutane.

“Acne doesn’t have a single definitive cause but can be set in motion by internal and external conditions, all of which have some root in systemic functioning: inflammation, “excessive” sebum (oil) production, pore blockage and “bad” bacterial presence/infection. In large part, the condition of the skin is part and parcel of the body’s overall health….As hard as it is to believe, the medical community is only this decade beginning to recognize the systemic roots of acne. (Then again, should we really be surprised?)”

No, we shouldn’t be surprised. Call me a skeptic, but I think there has to have been a worldwide dermatologist conspiracy. They all probably met at a Friday’s somewhere in Idaho and voted on keeping the real cause of Acne a secret, to further their wallet-expansion goals.

I do heavily agree that Acne is a warning light of your bodies overall health. It’s like the “change oil light” in your car, but it’s more like a “change your lifestyle” light for a human. If you are living a healthy lifestyle, I don’t see why you would have Acne, unless its hormone induced. But who knows how much that really plays a role. And who says you can’t help your hormones? So many unanswered questions.

“Now, we all know those folks who eat junk food, exercise once in a blue moon and keep a ridiculous sleep schedule – and yet by some bizarre miracle always have perfect skin. It can seem like a slap in the face to the earnest person who has to work for his/her complexion and still comes up short.”

Not all people are created equal. Next.

“I don’t believe we’re 100% destined to have acne or not, but our susceptibility does appear to vary, and our modern Westernized environment seems to set the stage for that risk. As Loren Cordain’s (and others’) research have shown, acne is ubiquitous in the Western world but limited in other parts of the world and practically unseen in traditional societies. Yet, even Primal folks are subject to acne. What gives exactly? I’d suggest it’s a constellation of influences in modern living that come back to taunt us in the mirror. We live a modern existence full of systemic traps: pollution, personal care products, stress, lack of sleep, and climate controlled living to name a few. Nonetheless, we needn’t sit home on a Friday night.”

Loren Cordain’s research is the backing for my belief that a western diet is a primary instigator of Acne. Traditional tribes that still hunt and gather foods tend to have much less, if any, Acne. Proportionally, westerners have shitloads more. Truckloads of shitloads.

The post goes on to suggest Diet options, Supplemental options, Toxin awareness, and Sleep/stress control.

Ultimately, eating a non-allergenic diet, taking vital supplements to help fight back the westernized diet (fish oils, zinc, I even take a broccoli pill daily), is a pretty good first step. Sleeping when the sun goes down and waking up naturally is also by far the best feeling in the world, but almost impossible as a college student.

One last note:

I’ve noticed that the main things that are excluded from the Paleo diet (Dairy, Soy, Wheat, Peanuts), are HIGHLY allergenic things amongst a HUGE percentage of the population. To my knowledge, not many people are allergic to steak.