This was a pretty great quick recipe that I made using almost entirely fresh, local ingredients.
The sorrell and bok choi were, of course, from White Oaks Pastures. The chicken is free range, cage free from US Wellness Meats.
I marinated the chicken for about twelve hours in some of the chopped up sorrell, herbs de provance, a tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and a three roper squirt of lemon juice. I shook it all up in a zip lock bag and let it sit in the refrigerator while I studied for the GMAT on a beautiful day where I should have been outside.
To cook it, I added all of the ingredients to a frying pan on high heat. I used bacon fat to grease the pan to prevent the chicken from sticking. Once the chicken was cooked I drained some of the excess liquid from the pan and added a teaspoon of duck sauce and mixed well for some more flavor.
I’m an avid follower of all thing Robb Wolf. From his blog to his book to his podcast, my Robb Wolf man-crush boarders on the overwhelming. I’ve probably given away a dozen copies of his book as presents (albeit received with varying levels of enthusiasm).
So when I saw his new interactive guide “The Paleo Diet Budget Shopping Guide” on his site, I figured I could let this one pass with conscious intact and groupie status remaining unquestioned.
Luckily, the universe intervened on the fact that I’m cheap-which is one of the reasons the budget shopping guide didn’t hold much appeal to me-and my friend Jennifer from Crossfit the Garage sent me a copy as a thank you for doing a nutrition lecture at their gym.
I was pretty bored the day of so I took the 90 minutes to read the full guide and most of the multimedia attachments. I’d love to wax on about how blown away I was with the whole product, but frankly its just kind of what I expect from Robb and his team nowadays.
This is really only the second or third electronic multimedia book that I’ve ever read, so some of the features like the audio clips and the links that I found to be really cool may be standard features.
The unfortunate thing about this book is that it sort of puts semi-professional Paleo solutioners like me out of a job. I spend so much of my time addressing things like budget, difficulty cooking, helping people find quality sources of meat and produce that having a guide like this sort of makes me seem obsolete.
Yesterday, at the end of my section on dealing with common Paleo misconceptions and some rules of thumb for solving them I found myself summing up by saying “if you don’t believe me or can’t remember what I said just buy this guide and you’ll be officially out of excuses.”
I have to consider myself lucky in many regards. I cook primarily for one, sometimes I’m gregarious enough to make enough for my roommmate. I have enough expendable income to afford to purchase luxury food items. Most importantly, I know how to cook and have been cooking from a very young age.
All of these factors set me up pretty well to be very Paleo self-sufficient. I understand that I am the exception and that most people that I know and work with struggle with one or more of those things.
Its easy enough to wave off these concerns with a wave of the hand and an amazon link to one of the many excellent Paleo cookbooks or a link to a recipe blog.
There are a lot of people who just don’t have the innate organizational skills to do the meal planning, especially when they also have to play do-it-yourself accountant.
This book does a phenomenal job of teaching people these basic Paleo home economics skills and giving them tools and resources to continue their self education.
All of the resources in the book are about as entertaining as you can make diet, food preparation, and budgeting. I know that the topics are inherently dry, but I didn’t feel like I was reading a text book, the directions to assemble a desk, or some intolerable self-help book.
I wouldn’t give this too anyone who isn’t already bought in on the diet at a conceptual level at a minimum. If I was to hand this to people in the elevator I think that most of them would be a bit scared away.
That’s not the audience this book is for, that why the Paleo Solution is a New York Times best seller and was under my family’s Christmas tree.
This book is more of a resource for people who are stuck or who are grasping for excuses to avoid the hard work required to change their diet and their life.
If you’ve read Robb’s book, his blog, or his listened to his podcasts, than there is nothing ground breaking or earth shattering in here. Its the high quality, easy to understand, and practical solutions and answers we’ve come to expect. Sorry Robb, but you’re sort of a victim of your own success at this point and the bar is high.
The product delivers and will find its being a gift to at least a few people who wouldn’t appreciate me calling them out for slacking and a few people who are really struggling to make this whole thing work but are having some difficulties.
Today is a sad day for everyone at Crossfit Inception. Its with a sad heart that I announce the death of my bright neon yellow shorts. I’ll give you a moment to let the shock set in……
Throughout this article I will feature some pictures of the glory that was my yellow shorts.
If there’s one thing that the athletes at Inception have come to love, its my impeccable sense of gym fashion. White orthopedic lifting shoes, mismatching Skinz, blue Innov8′s, pinstriped PR shorts, T-shirts from high school that are closer to antique than vintage.
I know, I’m a regular SicFit model.
Today I have to mourn the loss of a staple of my gym wear ensemble. My neon yellow shorts are like Mary Poppins. I don’t know from whence they came, but I know they brought joy to all of those around them and now have left just as mysteriously.
What fiend(s) are capable of such a dastardly deed as destroying such a beloved treasure? Heavy back squats and kettlebell swings.
I have said it before and will say it again for the rest of my life: The RKC is like a convention for the connoisseurs of the gluteus maximus. While I certainly enjoyed the view, I don’t know that I can say so much for my workout partner today at Crossfit Dahlonega.
After PR’ing on my Overhead Squat and doing some Front Squat triples, we moved on to a Tabata of Wall Balls and Kettlebell Swings. Part way through the workout I felt a slight breeze. Let’s just say I don’t know if it was the squats or swings that did the damage, but I left the gym with my t-shirt wrapped around my waist.
I’ve been having this same problem with pants of all lengths and colors for a while.
I first noticed this last Christmas. Seeing as how I’m twenty-seven years old I still rely primarily my Mother and on major holidays to supply any and all updates to my wardrobe.
Now I knew my lower half was a bit of an anomaly. My lower body is sort of strangely shaped, mostly dealing with these Irish childbearing hips I like to show off. I have short legs and a 30 inch waist and am 5’4″. Most people with those dimensions are built like a starving Kate Moss.
However, I have legs that say “look I produce testosterone and use it.” As opposed to the current trend of making jeans for people who have legs that say “I didn’t play sports because Daddy didn’t hug me” and “I was in the pool!”. Seriously, where do skinny jeans wearers put the goods? That can’t be comfortable.
Anyways, Christmas morning rolls around and I open my present and see jeans and react the same way I’ve reacted for the past 27 years when I get clothes for Christmas. And much like the last 27 years I proceeded to get drunk after the presents (I wish, more like the last three years) and get yelled at to try on my clothes.
The ensuing conversation went like this:
Mom: Matt, try on your jeans
Me: Why, the waist is right
Mom: How do you know if they fit if you don’t try it on (expletive deleted)
Me (with increasingly slurred speech): Why did you buy fucking hipster dick huggers
Mom: No, stop being a son of a bitch and try them on
Me: You shouldn’t be so hard on yourself
2 minutes later
Me: Mom! You bought me hipster dick huggers
I than walk out of the room with my new pair of jeans stuck at mid thigh like some form of knee pad with a learning disability and an identity crisis.
Mom: Those aren’t hipster jeans, they’re relaxed fit
Me: Relaxed fit for women or for amputees because its cutting off the circulation.
And that’s the story of why I only have one pair of jeans that’s growing increasingly ill fitting.
I’m going to kickstarter and funding a project called Jeans for the Real Assed Men. They will be built by lumberjacks and denim farmers who will build them with axes and biceps and be capable of comfortably housing Heavy D and the Boys plus the truck that got them to the concert.
When I posted this picture to facebook I tagged it with:
Dear Back Squats and Kettlebell Swings, you owe me a pair of neon yellow gym shorts
Some other options:
-Hey Kettlebells, I’m flattered but I don’t swing that way
-Damned high protein diet
-OHS low enough to pick up a quarter, and I can prove it
Also, if I tore those shorts on Wall Ball that’s another reason I hate that movement.
Now all lets take a moment of silence and listen to a hymn to honor my yellow shorts
I need something better to do with my life. I just wrote 800 words about a pair of gym shorts and my growing ass.
Food quality. For a long time its been a do as I say not as I do kind of topic for me. While I preach and fully understand the importance and benefits of eating the highest quality foods possible at all times, I have not been as good with implementing it as I should be.
Partly this comes from the fact that you are pretty much doomed to eat poor quality meat any time you go to a restaurant.
Mostly this is due to the fact that I mostly pay lip service to getting quality produce. Sure, I shop at the best grocery store in Columbus. Yes, the produce at the Fresh Market is more expensive and there is a variety of organic options.
However, I don’t know where my lettuce comes from (sometimes they list a country). I don’t know who grew it or how they grew it or where they grew it.
Recently, one of the members of Crossfit Inception shared a link for the White Oaks Pastures CSA that they are doing this summer. This resulted in a Matt-gasm of excitement.
I know White Oaks Pastures. JB and I drove down there a year ago to pick up the cow we bought for the gym. I’ve seen where they raise their cattle. I’ve met the farmers, I saw the field where they grow vegetables, I saw where they process everything with my own eyes.
This doesn’t make me an expert by any means, but I sure as shit know more about White Oaks than I do about any other farm in the world.
Having a farmer is pretty cool. The guy who grows my vegetables has my cell phone number and I have his.
As a reward for signing up early, Tripp Eldridge, the Farm Manager at White Oaks, sent a bunch of us early birds an email saying that due to the warm winter they had a box of goodies for us this past weekend. You can check out what they brought us in the farmer’s own words at their blog here.
First of all it was cool to meet Tripp. He definitely has a great knowledge of what he brought us (in recyclable wax paper boxes nonetheless), but he also knows a lot about Crossfit and what we’re trying to do as a gym. I think that the working relationship between farmers and Crossfit gyms across the country is becoming a pretty powerful movement. Very cool to be a part of this.
I honestly didn’t know what half of the stuff in the box was. I had a challenge to eat as much of my share (screw Erich) before going back north. I’ll put a few of the recipes out there.
Here’s what we got:
Inside the box were: Mixed Head Lettuce (2), Mixed Variety Kale (Red Russian, Dinosaur, and/or Rainbow Lanciato), Fordhook Swiss Chard, Tyee Spinach, Cherry Belle Radish, Bok Choi, and Hakurei Turnips.
I tried and sampled all of these raw before cooking anything just to get a flavor difference. Holy Jolly Green Giant did the taste make a difference.
I used the kale to make Kale Chips. I’m pretty sure I had two varieties of the Kale (separate post on this to follow).
Here’s a close up:
Do you see how purple that is? You never see anything that color in a grocery store unless it’s some form of science project gone wrong.
For lunch I made a big, huge chicken salad (no picture) that I shared with my friend Tanya and Erich. We used one of the bags of spring mix, a head of the lettuce, some swiss chard, radish, and olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
You can see three things in this blurry picture. On the left is the head of lettuce we used. In the middle is a head of bok choi that became dinner that night. On the far right is sorrell, which was the surprise herb.
Depending on your luck of the draw, this shipment came with either fresh cilantro, sage, rosemary, or sorrell. I’m pretty familiar and comfortable with the first three ingredients, but I had no idea what sorrell was. Tripp said it was citrusy. This was a major understatement. I had to do a double take to make sure that my eyes weren’t lying to me. Holy crap is that a good spice.
The sorrell was added to some chicken and bok choi to make that night’s stir fry, but that’ll be this week’s recipe.
The turnips and radishes were the most pleasant surprise. I generally like most spices, but I know that I usually am not a fan of turnips or radishes.
The radishes tasted amazing. I think the only way to describe it is that it makes other radishes seem muted. Remember making Gatorade in the big dot coolers? Put one packet in and the flavor is kind of bland and shitty. Too much and the flavor is overwhelmingly sugary and shitty. This radish was like putting in an aggressive amount of radish flavor without any weird after taste or any bad inflections. It had a good heat that lingered and was a very good experience. I’ve never found myself hunting for radishes in a salad before.
Before Saturday I didn’t know a Hakurei Turnip from your next door neighbor and I was kind of skeptical when Tripp said that you can eat them raw. But I tried it anyways and they taste sort of like a really bland Asian Pear. They are extremely juicy with a very mild flavor. I ate about four of them raw and shared them with some friends.
Never thought I would eat a turnip like an apple.
At the end of the day my refrigerator was still this full of vegetables. Legit.
It only took me two days to read this book, even though it sat on my bookshelf for about a month. I first heard about this book on both the Underground Wellness and Balanced Bites Podcasts. I’m usually pretty wary/lazy when it comes to buying the books from the interviews on Underground Wellness.
Not sure why this interview stood out to me, but I decided to buy the book.
I think that the background story is pretty amazing. Not only do they have years of successful clinical experience, but Mira Calton (one of the co-authors) managed to cure her osteoporosis using the same methods described in this book. Oh yea, they also spent six years traveling around the world studying different cultures.
They’re sort of like modern day Weston A. Price’s, although, and they’ll admit, that there aren’t many cultures untouched by by modern food.
Overall, this is a great book.
It’s very well researched and they do an amazing job of making every one of their arguments easy to understand and digest (pun intended). The Caltons do a great job of making simple connections and analogies from some very complex theories and facts.
Their main argument is that the majority of disease in the world, or at least non-infectious disease, is related to micronutrient deficiency. This is primarily seen through a dramatic spike in obesity and obesity related illness.
The title of the book refers to the fact that people most of the food that people eat is pretty much nutritionally worthless. A lot of people are familiar with the term empty calories, but the title of this book is a nuance of that concept. Naked calories are not only food that have a high caloric content and little nutritional value but also foods that have been denatured to the point where even previously good foods are now poor.
While I felt some of the book was over simplified, I also need to keep reminding myself that I am a ginormous nerd. Having good background in nutrition makes a lot of nutrition books seem redundant. That is not to say that I didn’t learn a lot from this book.
I did pretty well on the self test, but there were definitely some questions that hurt my feelings.
The biggest take away from this book is that I am pretty settled on where I stand on the multivitamin question.
Previously, I had argued against the need for one pretty vehemently. I believed and told people, that by simply eating a good Paleo diet getting all of the required micronutrients would be a non-issue. Its pretty much indisputable that the Paleo diet is the most micronutrient dense diet. It is also pretty well established that the Paleo diet removes most anti-nutirents.
This means that even if you are consuming less of a micronutrient than is available using super fortified foods, you are eating these nutrients in a form that is both bioavailable and in an environment free of micronutrient depleters.
For that reason, I think that the Caltons did their argument a disservice by not taking a stronger stance against grains. Yea, I’m biased, but my blog is called Paleo Now for a reason.
There is no food that blocks the absorption of micronutrients more than grains in any form.
The main thesis of the book revolves around micronutrients as the root cause and solution to all health and obesity issues.
There isn’t anything wrong with this hypothesis, I just think its incomplete. There are so many theories and hypothesis and arguments behind the cause of the obesity epidemic that I think that taking just one view is inherently incomplete.
A full theory has to look a more than just nutritional content, but has to also consider food addiction (both psychological and physiological), advertisement, economics, exercise, hormone production, and pretty much everything else. This is not to say that micronutrients are not an important factor or that the book advocates anything other than just eating real food (JERF for you Sean Croxton fans), but I think that there is just so much more to the puzzle.
I would definitely use this book as a tool to get someone to take a multivitamin and to help ween someone off of modern industrial garbage food.