Wednesday, April 28, 2010


An egg yolk surrounded by the egg whiteImage via Wikipedia

From the Hobbit:
Riddle: A box without hinges, key, or lid,
Yet golden treasure inside is hid.

Answer: An egg.

Most of us who have chosen to live our lives under the banner of "Paleo" consume eggs. And why not? Eggs have been eaten by mankind for millennia. Bird eggs (including chicken and turkey eggs) consist of a protective eggshell, albumen (egg white), and vitellus (egg yolk), contained within various thin membranes. Every part of an egg is edible,although the eggshell is generally discarded. Roe and caviar are edible eggs produced by fish, but this post is about eggs from birds.

The largest concern over eggs is how to tell if they are fresh or not.

Assuming the eggs have been bought when they were very fresh, they will last 30-40 days in a refrigerator. The best way to tell if an egg is still fresh, meaning edible, is to crack it open. Very fresh eggs tend to have a loose, light yolk and a clear white. The thick, whitish strings that attach the yolk to the white, called the chalazae, will be very prominent in a fresh egg. As the egg ages, the chalazae will slacken, the yolk gets darker and tougher, and the white becomes dingy. Even then, these eggs are still safe to use. A rotten egg, however, is immediately recognizable, as the smell is powerfully offensive.


After much disappointment, i have finally had success with coconut flour in baked goods!  They're not only grain-free, but sugar-free as well, and edible to everyone in the house.  That's the trifecta of impressive around here.

1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
12 eggs
12 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 bananas, mashed
3/4 tsp vanilla
2 packages blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 and mix ingredients (it doesn't hurt to let it sit for a few minutes to give the coconut time to soak up some of the liquid.  Bake 20-25 minutes (makes 2 dozen).

That seems like a lot of oil and eggs, i know, but it works.

Photographic evidence!

We Watched FatHead

About the Film

Have you seen the news stories about the obesity epidemic? Did you see Super Size Me? Then guess what? … You’ve been fed a load of bologna.

Comedian (and former health writer) Tom Naughton replies to the blame-McDonald’s crowd by losing weight on a fat-laden fast-food diet while demonstrating that nearly everything we’ve been told about obesity and healthy eating is wrong. Along with some delicious parody of Super Size Me, Naughton serves up plenty of no-bologna facts that will stun most viewers, such as: The obesity “epidemic” has been wildly exaggerated by the CDC. People the government classifies as “overweight” have longer lifespans than people classified as “normal weight.” Having low cholesterol is unhealthy. Lowfat diets can lead to depression and type II diabetes. Saturated fat doesn’t cause heart disease — but sugars, starches and processed vegetable oils do.

This movie should be required watching for everyone out there. That is all that there is really to say about it. Okay, I suppose I could talk some more...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Eating Out at Golden Corral Might be Paleo/Primal Friendly, but is not Worth It

This morning, my family decided to go out to eat for breakfast. I have no shame in admitting that this was more than likely due to the bacon my wife cooked the night before, the smell of which still filled the house. Buffet-style bacon, heaping, piled high made my wife and I salivate at the thought. It did not go so well.

The Breakfast

We chose Golden Corral, since their meat selections for dinner are pretty good and in the past, their breakfasts have been equally good. But that was before we went Paleo/Primal and, more importantly, before we became meat snobs.

Monday, April 26, 2010

You Can't Trust Restaurants

"You can’t trust everything you read, especially if it is a nutrition label! In a disheartening study from the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, researchers found that many dietetic frozen food entrees had many more calories than their nutrition labels claimed; on average, the frozen foods, including items from Weight Watchers, Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice, and South Beach, contained 8% more calories than their boxes suggested. They also found many discrepancies between the number of calories in food items at many popular chain restaurants and the number of calories these restaurants claim their food contains. On average, restaurant foods contained 18% more calories than listed."

If you can't trust restaurants about the calories that are in their foods, how can we who eat Paleo/Primal trust them when they say their food is gluten-free or sugar-free?

Education is Missing in the Lunchroom

What follows is an essay I wrote my my English 106 class:

There is no question that schools, public or private, are in place to educate children. For twelve long years, children learn facts about nearly every facet of their lives from history to geography, mathematics to biology, sex to reading and writing comprehension. Children have ample opportunities to become inspired intellectually and artistically. While education is at the core of every school, there is one place where education is sorely absent: The lunchroom.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Can Round-Robin-style of GMing Work?

I proposed the following game idea to my gaming group today:

I think it would be fun for a "round robin" sort of styled game, where each person makes a character.. and a villian. We roll a dice to see who plays the villian, i.e. GM's it, at the end of each "episode". As each villian is jailed or killed, a new one is made, and after some time in game, the jailed ones get thrown back into the mix to see if any breaks out and so on. I think the characters would be a mix of Batman-esque up to Iron Man-esque to fight said villians.

Of course, if someone has a really good plot and they want to run it because it would fit with the end of the previous plot, no need to roll. This way there isn't just one GM, and so that the villians are ran differently.

I would say the swap happened when the villian got carted off to jail or died, and that any background notes, like what various seedy underbelly elements were up to should be handed over to the next gm

So, any thoughts?

Somewhat immediately, one of the members in our group became worried about what would happen if there was a disagreement with how some of the more subjective elements present in nearly every game system. There was a rather long debate over this, with myself believing that while "shit happens", we were all adults and could get past such problems. His contention was that if one player disliked a general consensus to a rule, he/she might try to against the general consensus when his/her turn came up to GM.

While I agree that this could present a problem, I believe that if the GM at that moment can not stand the fact that he is helping everyone play a game, instead of that everyone is just acting as placeholders in HIS story, then he shouldn't be playing.

So I wonder, how many people out there have been involved in a round-robin-style of GMing and how did it work out for you?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Are Ham and Genoa Salami Paleo?

I asked the following on the forums at Marks Daily Apple and did not get many responses, none that could confirm one way or the other, so I am bringing it here to see if anyone out there in blogland has a clue.

Grilling for Flavor

Grilling meat is rather easy. You fire up the grill and lay the meat over it, letting it cook until it is as done as you want it to be. But how do you make that meat taste better?

Some people use rubs, some use marinades, I just sprinkle a mixture of spices while I am cooking it... but that is not the way to get great flavor out of your meat. There are two rules for getting the most flavor out of your meat, and they both take place after your meat has been cooked.

First Rule of Grilling for Flavor

Friday, April 23, 2010

Tired of Meat?

It may be Primal blasphemy, but i get tired of meat quite easily.  Before going Primal, it wasn't uncommon for my family to eat an average of only 3 standard servings of meat per week.  That's quite a difference from what we're doing now, and i'm still getting used to the change.  One thing that helps: produce, of course.  I might go a little overboard on the carbs for a person that's trying to lose as much weight as i am, but it keeps me sane and away from nonsense items like crackers (which, for some reason, is what i've been craving lately).  And today?  My night-working caveman 'gathered' some fruits and veggies on the way home from work, so today i had plenty of the things i've been wanting.

Today's lunch was Fruit Salad (red and green grapes, strawberries, apples, and oranges), bacon-wrapped pork loin, fresh broccoli, and mushrooms and green onions sauteed in butter and a splash of oyster sauce and soy sauce.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Food, Inc. Is Being Streamed, For Free

Food, Inc. is a movie that lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that's been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government's regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation's food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, insecticide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won't go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli — the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults.

Currently, it is being streamed FOR FREE at PBS until April 29th ( Go watch it and tell me that it doesn't make you desire for a change in your life.


I've just finished watching this documentary and straight away, I purchased it. There are tremendous lies that we are being told, billions of dollars are being spent to keep us misinformed with misinformation. I cannot stress this enough: The country that I live in today is not the country that I was raised to believe it was.

Food, Inc. reminds us that in spite of the terrible things that these food companies are doing to their customers, products (the actual animals and vegetation), and the environment, the blame for this state of affairs is due to the people buying it. So buy local meats and vegetables and fruits and stop buying mass-marketed foods. Stop eating corn derivatives like High Fructose Corn Syrup. Show some concern for the other people, animals, and environment out there. Everyone likes to think that they cannot do something. That they are just one single person and their voice doesn't mean anything. Food, Inc. shows that this is not true by just looking at how Wal-Mart has stopped selling milk with growth hormone due to the amount of money their customers were spending. They sell organics due to customer desire and do you really know what this means? It means that there is a little bit less of the horrors we have allowed the food industry become.

Please, if you do nothing else between today and the 29th of April, watch Food, Inc. for free through the link provided above. The more people who watch this documentary means that the more people can realize that every time they spend their money of crap, they are voting for the company who makes that crap to make more of it... and every time they spend their money on wholesome items like locally grown produce and meats and organics, that it tells those companies who make crap to make less of it and invest in better food because the people prefer it. I know that my lifestyle, eating Paleo, may seem odd to many people (even though the science is all there as well as a great deal of common sense), what this documentary shows affects us all. I'm begging you, share the link with friends and family, print this page and hang it around the office, copy and share the link around the internet. Because if we will not save ourselves... who will?

Vegetables and Fruits Do Not Protect Against Cancer

We have been told by the authorities, repeatedly, that eating plenty of fruits and vegetables will lower our risk of cancer. However, a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition states that this is not necessarily the case:

"Conclusions: Intake of fruit and vegetables was generally unrelated to total cancer incidence in this cohort. Residual confounding by smoking is a likely explanation for the observed inverse association with vegetable intake among men."
This study reveals a very modest association between high intake of fruits and vegetables and reduced risk of cancer. Of course, due to the fact the research was based upon the daily food reporting of the people involved in the study, there can be a great amount of error... although I tend to believe that the error would be more in line with falsifying a greater amount of vegetables and fruits eaten. People tend to say what they think others want to hear. 

What does this mean? According to the Cancer Research blog out of the UK
"If the study’s results are to be believed, the authors calculate that if everyone ate two more portions a day on average, then 2.6 per cent of cancers in men could be avoided, as could 2.3 per cent of cancers in women. In the UK, this equates to around 7,200 cases of cancer every year."

They also point out that even if fruits and vegetables do not help to reduce cancer rates by more than 2.6%, eating them means that you are not liable to eat foods that do harm your body like junk food and processed foods.

I agree with them whole-heartedly. Of course, I eat very little vegetables and even fewer fruits due to my desire to continue to get rid of my excess weight. That said, once I get to my desired weight, I do plan on adding more vegetables and fruits into my diet simple because I like their taste. Which is an oddity. During my years of living the SAD (Standard American Diet) I thoroughly disliked nearly all vegetables. But now that I have cut out all sugar, I can actually taste their true flavors and I am finding how much I enjoy them.

Which means that is makes complete sense for vegetables to be hated by the majority of the people since their diets are screwing with their taste buds.

Primal Bento

Bento is one hobby that i have all but given up due to our recent lifestyle change to Paleo/Primal eating.  It's not that i can't simply leave out the traditional rice dishes (and all the fun onigiri molds and toys i have collected to go along with them!), because i can, but more the general apathy that I often fall to in regards to food due to all the diet changes--i'll be honest, i resist change of any kind.  It makes me grouchy.  So, in a grand gesture of goodwill, i offer you the Primal Bento:

Wherein lies: summer sausage (read labels carefully to avoid additives), leftover grilled chicken, cheddar (this is what makes it non-Paleo), broccoli, cherry tomatoes, canned apricots (again, read labels carefully and avoid corn syrup), and raw almonds.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Grill Night!

It's my favorite night of the week.

Partly because i don't have to cook, but mostly...

Come on, seriously?  What's tastier than lots and lots of grilled MEAT!?

Cast Iron Cookware Information

The best thing to cook on is a grill in my opinion, regardless of if it uses propane or is able to use charcoal, wood, ect. Smokers are my second choice half the time and first choice the other part of the time. The taste you get from a well smoked piece of meat can not be beat. However, you can't bring your grill and smoker inside, so what are you going to do? There are some rather nice non-stick pans out there but those are not all that healthy as studies now show. The best solution? Use cast iron!

For most of us, cast iron is a mysterious metal, with the care and usage of it is nearly magical that only grandmothers understand. Do not let the skill of using cast iron die out and reclaim the ability to use it! The added flavor that the cast iron imparts makes dishes unbelievably good. To help everyone better understand how to use cast iron, I've provided an excellent guide below.

The following is from an article from Backwoods Home Magazine:

The Military May Be The Ones To Force School Lunch Change

School lunches called a national security threat - Diet and nutrition-

"The school lunch bill, currently awaiting a Senate vote, would establish healthier options for all foods in schools, including vending machine items. The legislation would spend $4.5 billion more over 10 years for nutrition programs.

The Army is already doing its part to catch the problem earlier, working with high schoolers and interested recruits to lose weight before they are eligible for service, says U.S. Army Recruiting Command's Mark Howell. He added that he had to lose 10 pounds himself before he joined the military.

'This is the future of our Army we are looking at when we talk about these 17- to 24-year-olds,' Howell said. 'The sad thing is a lot of them want to join but can't.'"

Though I might have problems with the way the military is being run, I feel that the military's involvement in our school lunches and health might be the only way for them to see improvement.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fried Ham and Veggies

Tonight's dinner was ham (fried in coconut oil), carrots, and zucchini (both fried on coconut oil, soy sauce, and rice wine vinegar), with fresh strawberries.  It's simple, but that's pretty much how we roll.

My Wife, the Contributing Author

My wife and I both noticed that I rarely write about what I eat and pondered it. We came to the same conclusion: I eat once a day, and when I do, it is usually just leftovers of what my wife had made earlier for herself and the kids or it is some type of meat that I have grilled. My wife asked if she could add content to the Retrospective Caveman blog, like the lunch she made today for herself and the kids consisting of ham from the bone fried to bacon-like consistency and taste. I readily agreed.

So expect to see posts by either myself or my wife from now on!

Are Flowers Paleo?

My children actually brought me to this question. Ever since they learned that some flowers could be eaten, they ask about every flower that they come across it seems. Would not our ancestors have done the same thing? I was curious to understand why those of us who are living a Paleo and Primal lifestyle get into the macro and micro nutrients of nearly everything they eat, but flowers are never brought up. Perhaps it is because flowers are seen as non-edible by most.

For example, everyone should know that dandelion leaves are edible, I mean, they have salads with dandelion leaves for sale in Wal-Mart. But did you realize that the roots and flowers are edible as well? I especially like the tea produced by roasting the roots, but the leaves and flowers have that distinct pungent flavor as do the ilk of healthy vegetables like collards, spinach, chards, etc. If you think about calcium and phosphor when eating the dandelion, you'll understand why it has the flavor it does. You are tasting health. The dandelion has, in addition to fiber, the following particularly good concentration of:

The End of West End Games (WEG) Is Nigh

Eric Gibson, the owner and writer for West End Games (WEG), is selling TORG according to an interview given to the Wild Die blog. Accordingly, TORG is still in the process of being sold and not even Mr. Gibson knows what the new owners of TORG plan on doing with it. What makes me really happy about this is that he is giving Bill Coffin back the rights to his Sci-Fi/Space-Opera d6 game, Septimus.

Also, he is going to give to the gaming community Open D6. As he stated in this forum post at the WEG Fansite, he wants to make changes to the OGL that allows the community to make use of the D6 system text copyrights, as well as the Open D6 trademark.

According to what he said in the interview, WEG will be closed when all the properties have been sold off.

I really have no love for Eric Gibson due to the way he mangled WEG and the d6 system... but I am glad that he is finally washing his hands free of it. And while I have nothing but love for Bill Coffin's work with Palladium (even though I have some SERIOUS issues with the owner and other personnel at Palladium Books, as well as their fanbase), as well as having less respect for the man due to some of the more recent things that he has said and done, I am happy for him that he is able to get back the rights to Septimus. The poor guy was screwed over by Kevin Siembieda and then he was screwed over by Eric Gibson just as he decided to get back into RPG writing after nursing the wounds Kevin Siembieda and Palladium Books gave him.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Paleo/Primal Ice Cream w/o the Cream

While I am not one to eat bananas due to their high fructose content and that I am looking to loose weight, this does look very good and a great way to eat a Paleo- and Primal-friendly treat. Especially since my wife's recent journey into a Paleo-friendly ice cream utilizing coconut milk and almond milk did not turn out so well; It froze too quickly along the sides of the ice cream maker, meaning we just froze it, turning it into more of a shaved-ice sort of thing rather than a creamy sort of thing. Still good, but nothing that would make you think of ice cream.

Step-by-Step Instructions for One-Ingredient Ice Cream | Apartment Therapy The Kitchn:

"That mystery ingredient, of course, is banana! The smidgen of fat in bananas makes a magic trick when they are frozen and blended up. They turn creamy instead of crumbly, with a smooth texture any home ice cream chef would love to have in their frozen treats.

The major tips can be summed up as:
• Peel your bananas first.
• Cut them into small pieces.
• Freeze for just 1-2 hours on a plate.
• Blend, blend, blend - scraping down the bowl when they stick.
• Enjoy the magic moment when they turn into ice cream!"

Primal Hell for Eaters in San Fransisco on Mondays

Meatless Monday Reports:
This past week, the city by the bay raised the bar in both arenas by becoming the first Meatless Monday city! The resolution passed by San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors ensures that residents will gain greater access to healthy, meatless options while learning about the connection between what they eat and their health.
The resolution to make Mondays meatless was introduced by supervisor Sophie Maxwell, who hopes that residents will use this opportunity to make nutritious, sustainable choices. San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors agreed that Meatless Monday is a smart way to start the week, passing the resolution unanimously! According to ABC news, Maxwell’s Meatless Monday declaration will “encourage restaurants, schools and grocery stores to offer plant-based options”.

So what does this mean? For one, it means that San Fransisco is pandering to the vegetarians and are not listening to all the new research and studies proving how healthy meat is for you. For another, it means that those Primals and Paleos that are living in San Fransisco are not going to be dining out on Mondays.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Chili's Restaurant is NOT Primal, Part 2

Last night i went to work still feeling like I need to puke more than anything else in the world, and of course, attempting to do just that did absolutely nothing. Stomach bloating, intense cramps, headache... and worst of all i started to get a sore throat. Now, whenever I get a sore throat 99% of the time it is strep. This means that the moment I start to feel twinge of soreness in my throat, I start to worry and freak even though I knew, mentally, that this soreness was due to the hazardous waste that I ate at Chili's. 

When I got home from work, I fried up some ham and eggs in coconut oil, hoping the healthy food would help to alleviate my problems. No such luck. So, with my throat in pain and me feeling like I needed to puke every time I stood up, I had to miss my father-in-law's birthday party.

Needless to say, I am done with eating out. The convenience just isn't worth it.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Chili's Restaurant is NOT Primal

With the kids at their grandparents for the night, my wife and I decided to go out for dinner and watch the movie "Kick Ass". Now, I have to mention how sexy my wife was looking tonight. Its not often that she dresses up for me, but she really went all out for me. I had a hard time keeping my hands off of her, which she really enjoyed. Anyways, we stopped at the book store and picked up a few titles that looked great, when we began to get hungry. Our kids have been wanting to try Chili's for the longest time and this seemed like the perfect moment to go and see how the food compared with other restaurants especially since we were without the kids. 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Meat is Transcendent

My wife wanted meat today. Badly. How bad? She actually went to the store and purchased chicken and beef, which is always relegated to a job that is for me only since I know what to buy. Regardless of my wife's lack of understanding of meat, she picked up the right stuff and I commenced to grilling.

First up was the carrots, of which we had more than 5lbs of and we ate through 2lbs at least.

Paleo Carrots

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Watching Your Children the Paleo Way

One clear and present problem in society is the way kids are not being allowed to be, well, kids. While that may conjuure up ideas of an argument about schools, this problem stems from parents, and their desire to keep their kids away from harm. Most of us have fond memories of spending time away from our parents and spending that time doing things that we wanted, such as running through the woods, swimming in a creek without supervision, playing with pocketknives and fire, riding a bicycle without a hemet or protective pads on. A parent's worry is understandable, but living dangerously and obtaining scars are a child's lifeblood. They have a physical need to test their own boundaries, even if it means that they need a first aid kit at times. This simple fact can be simply proven by the way children still have need of band-aids even with worried and terrified parents watching over them like a hawk.

Sugar is Causing a Dental "Epidemic"

The BBC reports:
"More than half of the 1,000 dental operations carried out each year are on children under the age of six.
Dental surgeon Sharon Lee said she sees a constant stream of toddlers: "It obviously upsets me immensely but we do have a job to do to look after the child."
Five-year-old Kaitlyn was one of them.

Tooth decay meant that she needed to have eight molars removed - almost half her teeth.

"It could have been sweet drinks, sweets, biscuits, anything. Just too much sugar in the diet," said dental surgeon Dr Rod Llewelyn of her rotting teeth.

Her mother, Sharon, said the culprits were her daughter's love of sweets and tomato sauce. The little girl was at one point eating half a mug of tomato sauce a day.
But after the traumatic experience of seeing her daughter undergo the extractions, Sharon vowed to ban the ketchup entirely and cut back on the sweets served to her three children."

Now, it seems that these dental surgeons understand what constitutes sugar, such as tomato sauces and biscuits, as well as the items conventionally seen as full of sugar like soda and candy. So why are we not stepping up to ban these items as well? Schools have gotten rid of the soda machines and snack machines due to the health concerns over the sugar in the items the machines sell, but then why are these kids being served sweetened milk in the lunch line along with tomato sauces, breads, pizzas, pastas, corn, and potatoes? These items contain sugar as well, but due to lack of education the public has on these things, "What do you mean my bread is sugar?", they are considered acceptable.

It is great to see doctors, even those who deal with teeth, talk about what foods contain sugars, but the lack of education that people have astounds me.

Yesterday was a Day of Fun and Cheats

We determined that two movies we all wanted to see, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and Avatar, were playing at a nearby cinema for only $1 a ticket. Since for us, "nearby cinema" actually means an hour away, we decided to make a day of it and this would mean we would need to eat out at least once. Lonestar is our restaurant of choice due to the fact that Tuesdays kids eat free, we have three of them, and their menu is rather Paleo (Me) and Primal (Wife) friendly. However, the kids and my wife were all begging for Chinese and since the Chinese restaurant has a Mongolian BBQ setup, meaning I pick my meats and veggies and they cook what I want, I agreed.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Nuggets of Wisdom on my Paleo Lifestyle

Here are just some of the things I said as I was talking to my friends about eating Paleo/Primal and living that type of lifestyle. It struck a chord in me as to how much I have changed in the past three months so I thought I would share.

"What to eat: Meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, salad, fruit (but not too much), nuts, seeds.
What not to eat:  Bread, rice, pasta, potato, cereal, wheat, dairy, beans, any processed food, sugar.
The Fat Question: Fat is healthy – even saturated fat. The one type of fat to avoid is vegetable fat. This means margarine, vegetable cooking oils and processed foods that contain vegetable oil. In addition, whilst eating the fat from free-range animals is healthy, eating animal fats from industrially farmed animals is not as healthy. Avoid the latter if you can."

"My hunger has gotten to where I rarely get hungry more than once a day actually... must be all that stomach fat keeping my body working, lol."

"I just cook meat, I am on 20 grams of carbs or less, and eat the the small amount of veggies raw... often I eat zero carbs per day, lol. The kids say they love that they get meat every meal, that they would rather have meat than rice or pasta or anything else."

"I wasnt a veggie fan, but after no sugar, veggies started to taste good. Romain lettuce can sometimes be sweeter than a rather unsweet grape."

Diabetic Cookbook from 1917, almost purely Primal

Found this very interesting book written in 1917: "Diabetic Cookery; Recipes and Menus" by Rebecca W Oppenheimer, a very primal like diet from 90-odd years ago. What the hell happened to us? Why have we screwed up our nutrition so poorly? I mean, I know what happened. Industry happened, excess of corn syrup happened, bad science happened, and worst of all, people became sheep. It is irritating to see hoe blinded we have become to our own bodies and the results that we can see taking place in other people, as well as the lack of results. This makes me think of William Banting and if you don't know who that is, see below.

William Banting's Letter on Corpulence, from:

"In 1863, Banting wrote a booklet called Letter on Corpulence, Addressed to the Public which contained the particular plan for the diet he followed. It was written in the form of an open letter in the form of a personal testimonial. Banting accounted all of his unsuccessful fasts, diets, spa and exercise regimes in his past, then described the dietary change which finally had worked for him, following the advice of a physician. His own diet was four meals per day, consisting of meat, greens, fruits, and dry wine. The emphasis was on avoiding sugar, saccharine matter, starch, beer, milk and butter."

Here is the full text from "Letter on Corpulence" written 1869. He even charts his weight loss. It's pretty cool. Especially because we have known how to be healthy. It seems that the public opinion is that when a new study comes out, the older studies become null and void. This is not the case, only BAD studies and those that were fabricated and revealed only part of the truth should be null and void, regardless of how old or new they are.

Remember, "Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food." - Hippocrates, the father of medicine.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Trainer tells what he has learned about health and fitness:

I found this online around a month ago and thought I would share it, mainly because it is useful, informative, I agree with most of it, and he asked for readers to share it if it was useful. wrote:

"Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in 2008. Part of our “Best of the past” series time to time will include reviewing and updating some of our top old posts for everyone to re-read (or read for the first time in many cases). Enjoy!

I was riding my mountain bike yesterday and all of the sudden it just came to me. I just started thinking about how many things I’ve learned through my own personal working out (since I was a kid and playing competitive sports) as well as being a trainer (since 1998). So today I just wanted to share some of the things this 36yr old has personally learned about all things health and fitness….in no certain order….

Researchers shed light on ancient Assyrian tablets

I have a HUGE interest in History, Anthropology, and Archaeology, so expect for me to blog about interesting finds such as this. New Cuneiform tablets have been found that contact a largely intact treaty Assyrian treaty dating to the 7th century BC. I personally love it when new tablets are found mainly due to how much light they shed on history.

Researchers shed light on ancient Assyrian tablets:
"Researchers Shed Light on Ancient Assyrian Tablets
ScienceDaily (Apr. 10, 2010) — A cache of cuneiform tablets unearthed by a team led by a University of Toronto archaeologist has been found to contain a largely intact Assyrian treaty from the early 7th century BCE.

'The tablet is quite spectacular. It records a treaty -- or covenant -- between Esarhaddon, King of the Assyrian Empire and a secondary ruler who acknowledged Assyrian power. The treaty was confirmed in 672 BCE at elaborate ceremonies held in the Assyrian royal city of Nimrud (ancient Kalhu). In the text, the ruler vows to recognize the authority of Esarhaddon's successor, his son Ashurbanipal,' said Timothy Harrison, professor of near eastern archaeology in the Department of Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations and director of U of T's Tayinat Archaeological Project (TAP)."

If you are interested about this sort of thing as I am, there is a fair bit about the correspondence found in the Al-Amarna cache in History of the Ancient Near East. Marriages, recognition of other states as equals, extradition agreements. It is very cool and makes me sad that I am changing my degree from a BA/Masters in History/Anthropology to an AAS in Web Design.

In Which I Gather Meat

Our indoor grill has stopped working a month ago, and during our search for the same model or a different model that would suit our needs, we came up empty handed. Luckily, it is getting warm around here again, making outdoor grilling much easier to be done. There is one problem: I procrastinate. I have been procrastinating this past week in taking the propane tank to get exchanged so that I can actually use the gas grill that my father bought me last year (two years ago?).

What moved me to actually do the deed? We had been consuming farm-fresh eggs for the past two weeks and last night we used up the rest in a quiche. Now, that we are out of eggs is not a problem, it is the fact that my wife has started to get sick from eating all these eggs, and mainly only eggs as her source of protein. Even felt sick to her stomach after eating the quiche that featured pork sausage.

Because of this, I promised her meat.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Paleo Quiche

Just finished making this, which went over extremely well. My wife, who had been getting tired of eggs lately loved it, and my children requested that make it much more often. It is very simple and since my camera is out of commission at the moment, the next time I make it I will take pictures of it for some food porn.

2 pounds pork sausage
11 eggs
7-8 ounces coconut milk

Heat the oven to 350. Brown the sausage. Beat the eggs. Add the coconut milk and browned sausage with the sausage grease to the beaten eggs and mix together. Pour into a 9x11 glass pan and bake for 30 minutes.

I was afraid the coconut milk would make it taste like coconut, but there was just a hint of flavor and it filled everyone up very well.

The eggs and sausage were actually gotten from a good friend of ours who has a small farm. We were pleasantly surprised when she loaded my wife down two weeks ago with farm-fresh eggs and 3 pounds of pork sausage from one of their pigs. The eggs are wonderful and the sausage is to die for. The last pound is being saved for a special occasion.

Sweet Primal Pumpkin Curry

Curry is an excellent go-to meal for anyone, but especially those following the Primal/Paleo lifestyle. Full of flavor, fresh ingredients, and yes, there is little protein in this dish, but if that worries you, just sauté some chicken/beef/mutton (mutton is EXCELLENT in this curry) to add and there you go.

Serves 4

13 ounces pumpkin
1 onion
1 cup water
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon of Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, or Bacon grease
2 cloves garlic
2 slices ginger
1 bay leaf
3-4 chili peppers
pinch of cinnamon
chicken stock (homemade)
1 stick butter
salt and pepper to taste

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Craziest Thing that Paleo Eating Has Done to Me

I am very rarely hungry anymore. I get hungry and I can either let it pass within the next few minutes, or eat something small like a hardboiled egg. If I eat something small, something that is more like a snack, I feel full and am good for at least another 4 hours before I begin to feel hungry again. Because of this lack of hunger and my desire to only eat when I feel hungry, I have been eating only once a day for the most part. The only times that I eat more than once or snack is when I eat fruits... if I eat just a few pieces of fruit I get ravenous. Especially if I eat them as more of a desert. Consuming fruits before a meal works out rather well. Something similar occurs when I eat almonds, I eat 4-5 of them, then I eat another 4-5, and so on until I realize that i have been snacking on them and have eating a good 30+ almonds in one sitting.

So I am trying to cut out almonds and fruits from my diet, unless I eat them right before a large meal to increase my appetite.

Any other Paleo/Primal eaters out there experience anything similar, even with other foods?

Sensitivity to Non-Paleo Foods

Last weekend was Easter and we went to my parent's home for egg hunting, Easter dinner, and just general visiting. Dinner was grilled hot dogs for the kids and grilled pork tenderloins, raw veggies (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower), and a coleslaw made with bacon, red wine vinegar, and some mayo (store brand). Though the mayo in the coleslaw was not what I would have preferred, having been only eating home-made Paleo-friendly mayo for the past 3 months, I figured that I could cheat on the store-brand mayo since I was not partaking in any of the various forms of candy throughout the house.

I was wrong, and so was my wife (who is 80% Primal and eats small amounts of grains occasionally).

We were both sick after eating to the point that we left much earlier than we would have normally. I got a raging headache, my stomach felt bloated and extended, and I worried about bathroom issues. My wife felt overly full and just generally crappy.

It just goes to show how the so-called "regular" foods interact with the body and how most people discount what they are feeling or blame it on something else, like stress.

No Soap/Shampoo and Recent Developments

I decided a month or so ago to take the plunge and stop using soap and shampoo to wash myself with. I still use soap on my hands throughout the day to keep them clean, but soap no longer touches my body, nor does shampoo. I went this route after reading about other Primals going the no soap/shampp route and thought why not. I have had some remarkable changes that can not be attributed to my move into Primal eating alone.

Before and during my Primal lifestyle change my scalp had this strange sort of cradle cap thing going on, which was disgusting to say the least. Luckily it was not noticeable unless your hands were actually running through my hair, but I love the feeling of hands through my hair and scalp massages, meaning that while I loved it I refused it because I was afraid of what my wife would think. Regardless of if she felt grossed out or not, I felt grossed out for her. Since I have put down the shampoo bottle, by scalp does not have this problem anymore. I feel a whole less self-conscious, amazing what something as small as scalp issues can do to one's emotional health.

The other skin problem I had was this strange rash across my chest, back, and arms. Almost like a precurser to acne, but it never got as bad as real acne does. Anyways, much like my scalp problems, I did not want my wife to have to come in contact with this so I tried not to ask for back rubs and back scratches as much as possible. I changed detergents, changed soaps purchased all natural soaps from health food stores that were even safe to drink. Nothing helped. Except for not using soap at all.

I know it sounds crazy, but it worked.

"But you smell, don't you?"

Sugar, What Is It Good For?

First off, what is sugar anyways? Sugars are carbohydrates no matter if you are speaking of a jelly bean or a bagel. The difference in terminology is because sugar is considered to be either one or two sugar molecules. Single sugar molecules are glucose, i.e. blood sugar, and fructose, which is commonly found in fruits. Sugars that have two sugar molecules are called disaccharides, an example of which is table sugar (1 molecule of glucose paired with 1 molecule of fructose). Trisaccharides and polysaccharides are three or more simple sugar molecules that have linked together. These are what we call carbohydrates or starches, you can take your pick, and are found in grains, legumes, and potatoes.

Trisaccharides and polysaccharides are indigestible, so the body breaks those links between the simple sugar molecules, liberating the glucose and fructose so that the body can actually do something with them. So, regardless of what you call them, carbs or starches, the body sees them as only one simple thing: Sugar. Holding off from eating candy to indulge in bread, pasta, bbq baked beans, or french fries actually doesn't seem so smart now, does it?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Quick Guide to Different Cuts of Beef

Why we eat Primal/Paleo: Processed food is full of Shit

In the wake of the peanut butter salmonella scare (caused by rats, roaches, and other awfulness inside the factory), an op-ed in the New York Times examines the government's standards for acceptable levels of gross stuff in food. According to the writer, you are likely ingest up to two pounds of "flies, maggots and mites" each year, without being aware. Snip from The Maggots in Your Mushrooms (E. J. Levy / New York Times):

"In its (falsely) reassuringly subtitled booklet “The Food Defect Action Levels: Levels of Natural or Unavoidable Defects in Foods That Present No Health Hazards for Humans,” the F.D.A.’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition establishes acceptable levels of such “defects” for a range of foods products, from allspice to peanut butter.

Among the booklet’s list of allowable defects are “insect filth,” “rodent filth” (both hair and excreta pellets), “mold,” “insects,” “mammalian excreta,” “rot,” “insects and larvae” (which is to say, maggots), “insects and mites,” “insects and insect eggs,” “drosophila fly,” “sand and grit,” “parasites,” “mildew” and “foreign matter” (which includes “objectionable” items like “sticks, stones, burlap bagging, cigarette butts, etc.”).

Tomato juice, for example, may average “10 or more fly eggs per 100 grams [the equivalent of a small juice glass] or five or more fly eggs and one or more maggots.” Tomato paste and other pizza sauces are allowed a denser infestation — 30 or more fly eggs per 100 grams or 15 or more fly eggs and one or more maggots per 100 grams."

Here's that happy-fun FDA publication that the article speaks of: "The Food Defect Action Levels - Levels of natural or unavoidable defects in foods that present no health hazards for humans." Bon appetit!

Basically, if you don't get sick, it's not a problem.

There's a difference between sanitation, which is biological, and cleanliness, which is psychological.

For instance, take a beaker and autoclave it. Then spit into it. Then a minute later, drink your spit. It's totally sanitary, but probably psychologically "disgusting".

And Americans in particular are obsessive about "cleanliness" of food, while frequently ignoring whatever is in it that's actually physically harmful to you. McDonald's food possibly epitomizes this.

Bacon Food Porn and a Primal-Friendly Cheddar Spread

Yes, that is a wonderful sight: A plate full of freshly cooked bacon.

Now, far be it from me to tell you what to do with your bacon, but if you are planning on inviting people over and you want to keep things Primal (meaning, this will contain dairy), I have just the dip for you.

Heavy Metal Wines

There are a good number of studies out there about wine that speak about the various health benefits of wine.

Polyphenals in wine are extremely healthy, there is research showing the polyphenols break down the oxidation of dietary fat, that red wine contains 5-10 times as many phenals than white and that white wine contains zero amounts of resveratrol,that same resveratrol can combat cancer and reduce the signs of aging or protect against it completely, that you get a 30% increase of antioxidant activity when you mix wine and berries together, that both red and white wine prevents cavities, the polyphenols in red wine block the formation of proteins that build the plaques long-thought to destroy brain cells and promote senility and Alzheimer’s, that the consumption of red wine seemed to increase the concentration of omega-3s which everyone should be consuming more of, and that wine gives those that drink it a better immunity and resistance to infectious cold viruses than those who do not drink.

To be honest, I could keep going, but I feel that it is not really necessary.

Wonderful Primal Brownies

2/3 cup Almond flour (found out later that I was using meal, not flour, which could have been the source for the textural problems)
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
1 stick butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp coco powder


Preheat oven to 350.

Spread mixture into a pan, 8x8 or whatever.

Bake 25-30 minutes.

It will be soft when first out of the oven, though the toothpick will be dry. Waiting for it to cool will let it harden up a bit.

According to my wife and kids, the texture takes some getting used to. However, I freaking loved them... 2 small squares was my dinner and it was nice and filling. Also due to the high almond content (and high Omegea 6 content due to that) we have tried using coconut flour.

Coconut flour needs a LOT of liquid to make it work, and he have not found the correct amount yet. They have came out extremely dry, so we reduced some berries with a little honey to pour on top of the brownies which counteracted their dryness. My wife and kids also said that the texture was perfect, for which I am glad.

I'm not big on using Primal/Paleo-friendly foods to recreate Standard American Diet edible items, but I do love brownies (even when my wife used to make them using tofu) and this recipe is the closest thing to a "cheat" food that I have.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

College Musings and Blues

I am old for a college student, in regards to my peers, at the age of 26. Until last year, I was completely unsure of what I wanted to do with my life, and things changed. For the better, or so I thought.

I have always been interested in knowing things, especially history since so much of what we know about our history is missing. Due to this, I decided to go to school in a feeble attempt to become educated enough to, hopefully, become a professor. Since the nearest college of any type is over an hour away from me, I was limited to online college classes (and still am). After exhaustive research into the myriad of for-profit schools and their shortcomings, as well as online class schedules for traditional schools, I settled on Grand Canyon University.

As a college, GCU is decent and though I worry about the quality of what I being taught, I find solace in the fact that the college is regionally accredited. Of course, they do not have a Masters program in what I the subject that I wanted, namely History, nor do they have a Masters program in the subject that I have recently decided that I would prefer to become part of, namely Anthropology. Of course, they do not even have a BA program for Anthropology, but that is neither here nor there.

In looking at the time it will take to get at least a Masters degree, the cost of getting such a degree, the job availability for such a degree, and the average salary, I became very worried. So i started to look around my area for jobs that require degrees and the prospects are not just disheartening, they are outright bullshit.

Many jobs require at least a BA in a given subject, but also require 3 to 5 years of experience. Okay, I can see the need for experience, but how is one to get said experience if no one is taking new graduates? Secondly, the wage for these jobs are at the $13/hour mark. $13 dollars and hour? Why would anyone go to school for this and spend 3 to 5 years in a similar job for the experience, when I am currently getting paid $10 an hour for a non-educated job? I do not understand why people do this and looked into my own future job field and saw that it was rather good.

However, a good friend of mine is 3 classes away from graduating from a Technical College for an Associates in Web Design and has average wage prospects out of the gate that are only a little less than the prospects someone would have if they had a Masters in Anthropology. I mulled it over for a while. I have coded 2 business websites (very basic, but they still are decent: and for two people that I know, so while it was done for free, they got what they paid for. I.E. an amateur.

Now I am looking into finding a school that offers such a class and degree, because while web design is not my favorite thing in the world, I find it easy and coding seems to work well with my thought processes. The only problem is, no one is offering that sort of degree in a 250 mile radius from where I live! The closest degree offered is a Graphic Design degree, but it is dealing with font creation, screenprinting, and textiles. Not that I have anything against those things, but if I want a font there are thousands for free online and if I want to screenprint something there are numerous tutorials out there for anyone to find. There is even a college (Drury College) that offers classes that are held in Second Life, but no Web Design degrees except for an 18 credit course for teachers that is meant to help teachers create classroom blogs.

I have scoured the web for colleges and technical colleges that offer the degree that I want (Web Design). I have only found one for-profit school that is not accredited (is only a "Candidate") and has some rather poor reviews (yup, ITT Tech), and one Web Design course at a local tech school that only has 1 coding class that seems to think that a 9-week class will teach someone everything they need to know about html, java, and flash to build professional websites. In other words, what I have found are jokes.

If anyone out there can help point me in the correct direction, I would be extremely thankful.

For those who think weight gain/loss is all about calories

The math is a lot harder than you think and you can go into a deficit by eating more!

Here's a metabolic ward trial that sheds light on how this actually works:

patients were put on to 2000-calorie diets of normal proportions to show that their weight could be maintained while in hospital at this level and then placed on high-fat, high-protein diets providing 2600 calories per day. It was demonstrated that these patients on the whole could maintain or gain weight on 2000-calories but, except in one instance, lost weight consistently on a 2600 daily calorie intake.

This matches my own personal experience. It's not just about how much you eat. It's much more about what you eat (and other ways of changing metabolism, like IF). I lost body fat by eating a stupid amount of calories (regardless of activity level).

You can't just calculate a generic BMR and then try to stay under that. It's irrelevant and the reason many say they can't lose while in deficit. Your body adapts too well to what you eat.

Hormones drive the system, not just volume of food.

Dresden Files RPG - Preorder and Impressions

According to the Dresden Files twitter account,

Incredible first-day response to the preorder (and it's not over yet) -- 240+ copies of Your Story, 230+ of Our World preordered already.

I, unfortunately, have not yet pre-ordered the books, but I want to oh so very much. I have read all of the Dresden Files books and am trying to get my wife to read them as well, after all, I will need to have at least one player to play the Dresden Files RPG with me once it gets here. I am in love with the tv show, even though it had a short duration, and am naively hoping that the interest for the RPG will help to bring the show back to life with at least a second season or a movie in the same vein that Firefly had Serenity.

So, what is someone without the actual pdf's to do? Live vicariously. There is an excellent thread at detailing the impressions of those who have already pre-ordered the RPG and have digested the pdf's as much as possible. What is nice is that Fred Hicks is involved in the thread as well, offering answers to many of the questions.

And where to pre-order this wonderful Dresden Files RPG book duo? Why at Evil Hat of course.

Here's the lowdown about this preorder:
You will get a nearly-complete version of the PDF of each book you order as soon as your payment is confirmed by the website software. Instant gratification!
Updated PDFs will be made available once a final version is achieved.
The actual books will not ship out until late June/early July.
You'll be paying up front.
If you place an order of $79 or more, you'll get free shipping in the USA. So if you get one of each book, or two copies of one, you'll qualify.
For our international customers, we've dropped the estimated weight on the books by 20%. This should save you close to $10 on the shipping costs, but they're still going to be steep. Our apologies, but that matter's out of our hands. Make sure you're aware of the customs issues you may face if ordering internationally!
We're only able to take payment via Paypal. Sorry about that if you're unable or unwilling to use that service!
For those of you who want to order locally but still get the PDFs...
We are partnering with retail game stores to make the "instant content preorder" possible through their stores. This option may be particularly cost-effective for international customers if there is a game store in their country (or in the EU) able to handle the preorder. If you'd like your store to sign on board for this, please contact them, let them know about the possibility, and point them to the Evil Hat contact page to let us know about their interest.
Right now we have the following stores on board with our instant content preorder program:
USA - Endgame (Oakland, CA); North Coast Role Playing (Eureka, CA); Black Diamond Games (Concord, CA); Gameopolis (Idaho Falls, ID); Comic Book World (Florence, KY); Myriad Games (Salem, NH); Rainy Day Games (Aloha, OR); The Dreaming (Seattle, WA)
Internationally - Leisure Games (UK); Sphaerenmeisters Spiele (Germany); Mark One Comics & Games (New Zealand)

The other side of Vegetarianism

This is a hilarious take at vegetarianism, but notice I said take.

Those who are vegetarian except to not be served meat or meat by-products in any form when they come over to someone's home, as though that home is to be kid-proofed so that they will not get distressed by anything that they see there. This means leather objects must not be visible, unless an argument is desired.

But what of vegetarians when their meat-eating friends come over to their home? There is no expectation that the vegetarians will serve up meals with meat in them for their house-guests and why is that? Regardless of personal opinions on the matter, it is only polite to serve your house-guests what they prefer to eat. After all, those that consume meat are polite enough and value their vegetarian friends enough to serve them what their house-guests prefer, why is this favor not shown when it is the other way around?

And, enough of my thoughts on the matter for now, now is the time for some laughs.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Where is my milk from?

Now, I don't drink milk or consume dairy due to me being Paleo, but my wife and children do (they are Primal), hence why I found the following extremely interesting as well as worrysome when I was unable to locate where any of my fridge's dairy came from.

Go to the following site ( and follow the directions on how to enter in the dairy codes to see where, exactly, the products in your home came from.

Here's a list of all the possible products that you can use the site to find out where they came from:

Raw Milk for Pasteurization (May include Lowfat, Skim or Cream)
Pasteurized Milk, Reduced Fat, Lowfat and Skim
Heat-Treated (May Include Reduced Fat, Skim, Lowfat or Cream)
Pasteurized Half and Half, Coffee Cream, Creams
Ultra-Pasteurized Milk and Milk Products
Aseptic Milk and Milk Products (Including Flavored)
Cottage Cheese (Including Lowfat, Nonfat or Dry Curd)
Cultured or Acidified Milk and Milk Products
Yogurt (Including Lowfat or Skim)
Sour Cream Products (Acidified or Cultured)
Whey (Liquid)
Whey (Condensed)Whey (Dry)
Modified Whey Products (Condensed or Dry)
Condensed Milk and Milk Products
Nonfat Dry Milk
Buttermilk (Condensed or Dry)
Lactose Reduced Milk and Milk Products
Low-Sodium Milk and Milk Products
Milk and Milk Products with Added Safe and Suitable Microbial Organisms (Such as Lactobacillus acidophilus)
Dry Milk and Milk Products
Anhydrous Milk Fat
Cholesterol Modified Anhydrous Milk Fat
Cholesterol Modified Fluid Milk Products
Cream (Condensed or Dry)
Blended Dry Products
Whey Cream
Whey Cream and Cream Blends
Grade 'A' Lactose
Raw Goat Milk for Pasteurization
Pasteurized Goat Milk and Milk Products
Cultured Goat Milk and Milk Products
Condensed or Dry Goat Milk and Milk Products
Aseptic Goat Milk and Goat Milk Products
Raw Sheep Milk for Pasteurization
Cultured Sheep Milk and Milk Products
Concentrated Raw Milk Products for Pasteurization
Concentrated Pasteurized Milk Products
Ultrafiltered Permeate from Milk
Ultrafiltered Permeate from Whey
Orange Juice
Anything else produced at processing plants where milk products are also processed

Today's Gaming (Tri-Stat, Buffy, Fallout 3, DnD 3.5)

In which I talk about gaming!

Tri-Stat dx Teen Supers game

The Atomic Brain!

Me Caveman?

I follow the Paleo lifestyle in that I eat as my paleolithic ancestors would have eaten and I exercise as they would have. I started living this way back in January of this year and have reduced the size of my pants by 4 and have lost at least 50+ pounds. All of my health issues have also cleared up. My energy is higher than it has ever been and I am extremely happy in what I am doing.

Here are a few videos that will explain what Paleo is all about.

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