The Kitchen Klutz Stumbles Through Another Paleo Meal and, Commentary on the Atlantic’s Recent “Beating Obesity” Article

“The only good is knowledge and the only evil is ignorance.” – Socrates

Crock pot meals may, to the culinary artist, boarder on the unimaginative, but they sure are easy as all hell to throw together — and they’re not too bad in the taste department, either.  And hey, for those of us who’d rather play outside than spend much time in the kitchen, they’re a Godsend.

What we have here is a simple pork sausage (stuffed in stomach lining), a grass-fed chuck roast, carrots, celery, onions and beef broth.  Season the roast with a little brisket rub, set the crock on low and let it roll for approximately 10 hours.  How easy is that?

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Marc Ambinder Makes Fighting Obesity Personal

Well, this is certainly not a statistic to be proud of — as of 2010, the U.S. became the most overweight and obese developed country in the world.  Unfortunately, this comes as a shock to no one. Against this backdrop, we have journalist Marc Ambinder’s making the rounds as of late, following the recent publication of his article in The Atlantic (Beating Obesity), which documents his personal and on-going fight against obesity. It’s interesting stuff, to be sure, and touches on a few issues (Bariatric surgery, for one) that are bound to incite much indignation among the Paleo tribe.

NPR interviewed Marc Ambinder recently about the article, which appeared in the May issue of The Atlantic.  Also on hand was Dr. Arthur Frank, founder and co-director of The George Washington University Weight Management Program.  Both guests talk about the plight of America’s ever expanding waistline, Ambinder’s recent article, and the two field some interesting call-in questions as well.  It’s well worth the listen.

In Beating Obesity, Ambinder writes:

“…In short, even as the nation is convulsed by a political struggle to “reform” health care, no effort to contain its costs is likely to succeed if we can’t beat obesity…”

Hmmm.  Now I’m not prone to beating my own drum, but I’ve said before, in reference to the nation’s healthcare reform debate, that:

“…No system can be created that will not ultimately implode under the weight of a diseased citizenry…”

This, in my opinion, is a self-evident truth.  And this is the reason why, that, although we Paleo adherents may continue on merrily in our own happy and healthy, insular bubbles, we cannot fully escape the train wreck that is the pending American healthcare crisis.  One way or another, Paleo brethren, we’re all going to pay (taxation, loss of choice, etc.).  It’s in our best interest to remain fully engaged, even though we find ourselves more fully, each passing Paleo day, removed from the mainstream nutritional-supply and healthcare-provision system.

Also from the article was this little data tidbit that I found quite interesting:

“…[I]talian economists recently divided the number of calories consumed per day by the amount of time spent preparing food, they found that Americans consumed 42 percent more calories per minute of food-prep time than Europeans…”

Can you say “reliance upon processed foods”?  Yeow-zaa.  Holy insulin rush, Batman.

Oh yeah, and the “Soft American” article that Ambinder speaks to can be found here.   My, my; I wonder what ol’ Jack would think about the state of American youth (not to mention, adults), today.

But hey, it’s not all bad news out there.  Here’s a story on an innovative new initiative in Baltimore, which allows inner-city folks the opportunity to order groceries from the library, and have those groceries delivered to the library the following day.  Very cool.  Couple this with some good nutritional educational resources, and a little “want to” on the part of the participants, and this program may just become one positive piece of the complex, American, “nutritional turnaround” puzzle.  Small steps do add-up, whether in health, fitness or in education.

In health,


4/10/10; Today’s Workout, and Paleo Chow on the Fly

Actually, let’s back up just a moment and look at last night’s dinner.  Now remember, I absolutely LOVE to eat skillfully prepared, intricate and exquisite meals; thank goodness, then, for Meesus TTP’s kitchen skills, and for the talents of my favorite restaurant’s fine chefs.  Making such meals myself, though?  Meh, I’ve neither the time nor the inclination for that.  I can pull off a pretty good Paleo kitchen improv, though; case in point: after returning from an evening fixie spin, I found I had the following on hand (and not much else, by the way):

1 lb ground sausage
1 lb ground buffalo
1 large sweet onion
2 medium sweet potatoes

Hmmmm, what to do.  OK, so I sliced, seasoned, buttered and roasted roasted the sweet potatoes in the oven, chopped and sauteed the entire onion in a butter/coconut oil mix in a cast iron skillet.  Then, once the onion was done, I added the sausage and buffalo to the skillet mix (along with a sundry of spices…whatever looked like it might work), and cooked that until done.  The result?  A pretty damn good, on the fly meal — even it it wouldn’t win too many creative points.  So, waddaya think?  Am I Iron Chef material?  Heh…

OK, so flash forward to today, and today’s workout:

  • 30 minute intermittent-intensity fixie ride
  • barefooted sprints — 8 x 100 yds @ <13 secs/sprint, approx. 1 minute between runs.
  • 20 minute intermittent-intensity fixie ride

Then it was in the gym for the following:

  • clean grip low pull (out of the rack): 135 x 7; 225 x 5; 315 x 5; 365 x 3, 3, 3, 3, 3,
  • elevated feet ballistic push-ups x 7 — or —
  • elevated feet medicine ball push-up x 6 each arm

So 7 total rounds here.  I alternated between “normal” dual-arm ballistic push-ups, and the medicine ball, single-arm variety.  The single-arm variety was done as explosively as possible while minimizing the contribution from the “off” arm.  Minimized hand-to-ground contact time on both varieties, maximized “air” time.  The bar was set just above the knee for the rack pulls.  Full triple extension (and up to full tip-toe), full shrug, and explosive on each rep.

Pretty good demonstration of med. ball push-ups here.  Now, I performed mine with feet elevated (about 18″), and I performed 6 reps with one arm, then shifted to the other for another 6.  Just another variant of this fine exercise.  One thing to keep in mind is to not let your hips sag while doing any manner of push-up — no saddle-back horse look-alikes aloud!

Another 15 minutes worth of fixie huckin’ to get home.  By this time I’ve been fasted for 18 hours; I won’t eat for another 2.  And when I do eat, it’s this:

Remember last night’s dinner?  Well, here’s part of the left overs —

Me thinks a couple of free-range eggs will go well to top that off; here’s the end product:

Check out those yokes!  By the way, the egg on the right is a duck egg.  This concoction doesn’t look like much, but it sure tasted good!