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The Overachiever's Week Off: Why Bother With Paleo? A Quick Book Review, Food Reward, and More
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June 8, 2011
10:23 pm
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js290:

Yes, that's a start.  leangains.com is a good resource for those who want to build muscle.

Paul:

Potatoes fried in beef drippings (= tallow with some meat flavors) are absolutely paleo-compatible! The fish would be, too, if it weren't battered with wheat flour before frying.  And yes, tallow is solid at room temperature.  Lard is softer but still solid.  Coconut oil melts at about 75 F, if memory serves.

It's great that places in the UK still fry in tallow: everyplace in America has switched to seed oils, usually partially hydrogenated, because of misguided propaganda from do-gooders like the CSPI (who have killed millions of people with their campaigns to remove tallow and coconut oil and replace them with rancid PUFA).

I have a small deep fryer which I fill with tallow and fry up my own chips on occasion (American potato chips, i.e. the thin ones). Unfortunately my source for grass-fed tallow has dried up, and I'm not sure I'm willing to spring for the entire 5 gallon bucket from US Wellness Meats.

As far as service life of fats, the more saturated the fat, the longer it will last and the more frying cycles it'll take.  In my experience, tallow fills up with burnt residual sugars from the potatoes more quickly than it oxidizes from actual frying: I change the oil once it gets dark enough to taste the burnt sugar.

Note that you'll need to refrigerate it in between fry cycles or the oil will go rancid from sitting at room temperature. I use a very small fryer that I simply put in the refrigerator between uses.

JS

June 9, 2011
1:40 am
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Gnoll
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Fantastic! That is exactly what I wanted clarifying (there's a fat joke in there somewhere) ... I'll make the switch with full confidence about the longevity of the fat left in the fryer.

Living in the Ice Age
http://livingintheiceage.pjgh.co.uk

June 9, 2011
2:32 pm
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Gnoll
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Okay ... I'd still love an article on practical paleo frying.

I have done a spot more reading and looked at some deep fat fryers this evening. I think the best I can do is a smaller fryer which has a removable inner skin where the dripping can be taken out of the main body of the fryer, or simple poured out into a smaller dish ... left to cool and then put into the fridge. Space is at a premium in my fridge!

Looking at the amounts I fry, a smaller fryer would suffice ... until it comes to fish and here is where I can do just that in a larger fryer (with oil! Urgh!) and do the paleo thing.

Traditionally, the fish was coated with a flour batter to protect the fish from the extreme heat of the frying fat without tainting it. Traditionally, the batter would then be cracked and the fish released; the batter discarded.

I reckon I could cook the chips/fries in dripping in the smaller frier, while cooking a flour battered fish in oil or even in the dripping afterwards while the chips are drained and distributed ... I can discard the batter, my wife might well eat it.

Now ... onto the other traditional accompaniment - mushy peas. That's marrowfat peas. They are boiled and then cooked to a near pulp. Not paleo, but tolerable?

Living in the Ice Age
http://livingintheiceage.pjgh.co.uk

June 9, 2011
7:29 pm
Fmgd
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I was thinking about taste and such, and it occured to me that it's simple to understand why we'd like things our palate hasn't evolved to, but it's clear there is a good deal of people who are relatively averse to much of the food considered good that we historically had, which is curious.

I think the reasons for that, and taste variability and change more generally are a pretty interesting topic.

Somewhat realated is our seeming adaptation for cooked stuff. Of course there's a lot of dispute about how early we started using fire for this mean (although it sounds very plausible to me it would be among the first uses of "domesticated" fire), so how likely is it we've dapted to this practice, and how much so?

June 9, 2011
9:27 pm
Fmgd
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Also, whenever you try to convince someone we've been adapted by evolution to some kinds of food as they were avaiable to us millions of years ago, a few questions rise.

Some people think it's absolutely crazy to make such comparsions. We obviously couldn't live that way, the little details show. Think about things like clipping nails and brushing teeth, which are indispensable and yet we wouldn't have acces to, for exemple, they go.

I've heard our teeth are actually worse since agriculture and would fault our activities and footwear for most nail related problems, but I'm not sure how complete is that view and how much evidence could there be. I find it interesting.

June 10, 2011
12:27 am
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Paul:

In America we have a cute and cheap little fryer called the Fry Daddy.  I don't see it on amazon.co.uk, but there are a number of 1-liter deep fryers that get good reviews and should work fine.

There is also the approach of simply using a saucepan on the stove.  This would probably work OK if you could also find a thermometer to keep temperature in the right range.  One advantage of the dedicated fryers is that they're temperature-controlled, so you'll never burn the oil by accident.

I'll consider an article about frying...the hardest part is finding good oil to fry in!  Coconut oil is extremely expensive, and it's nearly impossible to get beef tallow anymore.

Fmgd:

The impact of culture is an interesting topic: humans have been selected for extreme developmental plasticity so that our upbringing determines many of our habits throughout life.  The differences between chimps and humans are instructive here: perhaps I'll write an article on that.  Good call.

As far as brushing teeth, I think that's actually the best argument that humans didn't historically eat a high-starch diet.  Mouth bacteria live on sugar.  The teeth of Paleolithic (and even Neolithic hunter-forager) remains are excellent, versus post-agricultural humans whose teeth are uniformly terrible -- and we're pretty sure there was no such thing as Paleolithic toothpaste.  I'll probably use this fact in an article someday.

JS

 

June 10, 2011
10:35 am
j glass
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Nice Pics 😉 Pretty incredible winter we had, thanks for being a great partner in crime...

June 14, 2011
12:09 pm
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Jeff:

Always.  I hope to never end up in a backcountry 'situation'...but if I do, you're one of the few I'd trust to handle it.  Here's to many more winters of exploration and great lines.

JS

June 18, 2011
2:54 pm
Chris
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@Eddie:
I'm with JS on the workout nutrition - it's a complicated topic and a LOT of people have opinions about it. Some based on "broscience" (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=broscience) others based on real science, some based on experimentation with clients. It's a pretty crazy (and interesting) world. Especially since you're attempting to manipulate the body for peak performance.

That being said, I'm interested on hearing JS' take on it.

June 19, 2011
11:44 pm
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Chris:

I'm learning some interesting things, but I'm not yet ready to post on that particular subject.  There's a lot to learn!

JS

June 20, 2011
11:57 am
Chris
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No doubt JS!

I've been at it for years, and still feel like I barely know anything. If you have any questions though, feel free to ask. I may not have it - but may be able to point you in the right direction!

June 22, 2011
8:53 am
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J. Stanton said:

Chris:

I'm learning some interesting things, but I'm not yet ready to post on that particular subject.  There's a lot to learn!

JS


 

Some food for thought, since I was thinking about this on my way to work.

 

One of the things I went through was the struggle with understanding why so many body builders went on low-fat (literally < 20g of fat), super-high protein (> 250g), and moderate to high carb; but could get extremely lean to the point of < 4% bodyfat. So the point of contention always was - if humans were gearted towards eating and using fat for our metabolism how is it that body builders could live and get absurdly lean on such a minimal amount of it. Or rather, at some point it had to backfire and their body would want to start storing instead of eating it. At least, I always found (and sometimes still do) in a circular logic loop when thinking about it.

June 22, 2011
7:46 pm
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Chris:

Bodybuilding isn't about health: your body really doesn't want to be at 4% bodyfat.  Fat is our energy reserve against hunger, and Paleolithic humans were selected for surviving without food far more often than they were selected for ripped abs.  Furthermore, bodybuilders train for bulk, not for real-world strength: you won't find any hunter-foragers who look like Jay Cutler.  

So if you want to "get ripped", you're going to have to do some unnatural things to your diet.

(Yes, there are some people who are genetically gifted and look like an anatomy chart on any diet, just like there are some women who are natural E cups.)

JS

June 23, 2011
7:41 am
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Paul Halliday said:

... I don't know how it fares being stored longer term in a deep fat fryer. I don't know whether it re-solidifies. I don't know if it's a good idea to fill my deep fat fryer with it, but it seems a horrible waste to use it once and throw it away because you're not going to use it again for a couple of months ...


 

Paul:

I have a quite a lot of beef tallow - it goes a long, long way sometimes. But to answer your question about whether it resolidifies. It does. At room temperature it's solid (ever see fat from ground meat sit in a skillet? Same thing.) Once the frier heats up it'll be liquid goodness again. I love frying stuff sometimes. YUM. That reminds me, I should buy that mini frier JS pointed out....

June 23, 2011
7:51 am
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J. Stanton said:

Chris:

Bodybuilding isn't about health: your body really doesn't want to be at 4% bodyfat.  Fat is our energy reserve against hunger, and Paleolithic humans were selected for surviving without food far more often than they were selected for ripped abs.  Furthermore, bodybuilders train for bulk, not for real-world strength: you won't find any hunter-foragers who look like Jay Cutler.  

So if you want to "get ripped", you're going to have to do some unnatural things to your diet.

(Yes, there are some people who are genetically gifted and look like an anatomy chart on any diet, just like there are some women who are natural E cups.)

JS


 

JS:

For sure - I was partly musing on a thought process that I went through during my trials (hell after doing it once my body refuses to do it again! Sort of.). It's not doubt unnatural. But that does beg to question. How low is unnatural? 6%? 8%? 10%? 15%? The "gold standard" 12%? I'd be curious to see what the results might be. Looking at "non Westernized" people, especially those who have had minimal contact with "us" - from their pictures I might estimate 10% or less for most of them. Perhaps. And then, while I'm musing a bit (stay with me), even though certain culture idealized the "big brawny" look and even iconicized it, like the Greeks, was there really the ability to big that strong, big, and bulky as Hecules, and others were described? (Ignoring the relativity of poorer classes, etc being rail thin). It's an interesting brain exercise - and I'm not even sure there's an answer to be honest.

 

As always, your thoughts are welcome, and always provoke me to think on the next level!

June 23, 2011
7:53 am
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Thanks Chris - to be abolsutely honest, I've not been interested in potatoes so I have not made chips yet. I have found a really neat small fryer which has a 1 litre capacity (so 500ml fat) to do small portions. I can pour out the fat while it is warm into a container to store in the fridge between use.

Living in the Ice Age
http://livingintheiceage.pjgh.co.uk

June 23, 2011
12:21 pm
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Gnoll
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Paul Halliday said:

Thanks Chris - to be abolsutely honest, I've not been interested in potatoes so I have not made chips yet. I have found a really neat small fryer which has a 1 litre capacity (so 500ml fat) to do small portions. I can pour out the fat while it is warm into a container to store in the fridge between use.


No problem! You can also fry vegetables in it (try broccoli or some squash - though that's kind of starchy). Or anything that floats your fancy! Even chicken/turkey (with the skin on it's amazing how it comes out.)
June 23, 2011
1:01 pm
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Gnoll
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Culturally, we like our animal fats here in northern England!

Lucky for me, I can buy dripping at my local supermarket:

Living in the Ice Age
http://livingintheiceage.pjgh.co.uk

June 24, 2011
11:17 pm
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Paul:

I'm jealous.  In the USA all you can get in a supermarket is terrible hydrogenated lard.  I have to mail-order my tallow.

Chris:

I'm sitting at 12-13%, which I think is about where a healthy male body getting adequate nutrition wants to be.  And many "primitive" people have to stay active whether they're eating well or not, so they'll often dip under that.

Remember that "10% bodyfat" on the Intenet is more like 15%.  Under 10% qualifies as ripped for anyone but a BB going into a contest.  

JS

June 28, 2011
9:59 am
TANSTAAFL
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Just FYI Gymnasticbodies.com is an excellent resource for nutrition and exercise information. Just check the forum and let the information engulf. It's also very underrated and relatively unknown as of yet. The moderators know what they are talking about, and are extremely well versed.

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