Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Second Week


It's goddamn beautiful outside. Autumn weather is sinking into my town, and the air is smoldering with nostalgia for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Fall is my favorite season; I feel like I've come home. I'm going to do a proper second week write-up even though I don't have any pictures or weight numbers to put up.

The Good:

*College is back. I'm a Theater major and I spend 30 hours a week with the same twenty people, and every one of them has told me how much I've changed over the summer. It's a great feeling.

*I still love food, so hard. I've been hitting up booths at the local farmer's markets for meat. I like to make conversation, ask about the farm, and have them recommend cuts to me since I'm a newb at anything more complex than chicken breast. I feel like it's expanding me.

*All my dietary/energy/physical changes are compounded on top of a TON of emotional fancy actor person work that I've been doing over the summer. Metaphysical, introspective bullshit to open up a more emotional, expressive, fluid side to myself. I'm enjoying life immensely right now.

*I am discovering my love for cooking all over again. It is one of the most peaceful, rewarding things I know.

*Oh hot damn, look at those calves.

The Bad:

*Old habits die hard. I'm still running numbers in my head and programming out my food/exercise in advance. I haven't been able to turn it off yet.

*I've only half succeeded in letting go of my over training issues. Still pushing myself pretty hard most days; I couldn't resist an hour long bike in the hills cardio session earlier this week. I did throw in some lulls and bursts of speed to keep it varied, and I really enjoyed the outdoors, so I'm considering it play/sprints.

*Binged this week, twice. Saturday I binged so super hard. It was 4000-5000 calories. OF COURSE I then deprived myself and went on IF for 18 hours, then didn't eat enough, so I binged AGAIN on Monday after ten hours of stressful class and not enough food. Lesson: It's called a cycle for a reason. I need to eat more!

Here we go with week three!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Binge Recovery


*Binged my face off yesterday. Binged. My. Face. OFF. 4000+ calories.

*Felt atrocious. Absurdly full for the next ten hours. I ate nothing else, went to bed.

*Woke up and dragged my tired butt to the gym for some strength training.

*Came home from my workout and broke my ( 18 hours! ) fast with some bacon and eggs.

*Spent the next few hours on my feet doing errands.


I made stirfry from leftover steak and veggies.

*Spent the entire afternoon reorganizing my kitchen. It's actually a practical workspace now.

*I am stressed. I wanted to eat something rich and delicious. I made this:

Acorn squash with butter and cinnamon.
Berries and whipping cream.

*I could not figure out how to whip the heavy whipping cream. Next time.

*Going to work. Going to have some veggies and a big meatball from Whole Foods later on.

How's that for a recovery? I still feel bloated and pudgy from it, but I'll go for a bike ride tomorrow morning and probably get back to feeling great. This is still -way- better than it was back in my days of sugar/bread binges.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Dear Coconut Juice:

Dear Coconut Juice,

What the fuck, Coconut Juice? Why do you have 0g of fat? Fat is exactly what I want in my Coconut Juice.

Lovingly yours,

Binged. My. Face. Off.

I ( hopefully ) just finished my first huge bingeout since going Primal. I'm almost two weeks in, and I've been doing great. My hunger signals are so much clearer than they used to be, my energy levels are stable, and I haven't really overeaten at all.

This morning I woke up, had two eggs, two pieces of bacon, and a small amount of leftover salad from last night. A few hours later I went out, had coffee, and went for a short hike.

I was planning to get home and have apple/almond butter then wait a few hours and have dinner, but I just spent the last HOUR putting things into my mouth. Apple, walnuts, trail mix, goat cheese, yogurt, cauliflower mashed potatoes with cheese, HALF A JAR OF ALMOND BUTTER, eggs, bacon, dried apple, leftover greens in the fridge, and a raw food powerbar. 3000-4000 calories at least.

Sheesh, what a bummer. I don't feel so guilty as I did in my days of carb and sugar binges, but I'd still rather not have eaten a square foot of food. As a recovery attempt I'll be doing an IF from now until tomorrow morning, 18 hoursish.

Personal highpoint of the binge? When I took a few pieces of dried apple and smeared them along the pan to pick up bacon grease and butter.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Fig and Bacon Afternoon Indulgence

My figs were going to go bad if I didn't use them today, so I whipped up this appetizer.

Marinated Figs with Goat Cheese and Bacon:

*Halve some figs.

*Pour a small amount of balsamic vinegar on each fig and let sit for about fifteen minutes.

*Spread them on a baking sheet with the cut side up, and using your finger make a small dent in each piece.

*Fill that dent with cheese. I used a soft Chèvre from Trader Joes.

*Meat that fig up! If you're classy use prosciutto; I only had bacon to work with.

*Put the figs in your oven on the broil setting; cook them until delicious. ( I overdid mine... )

I should not be allowed near a broiler. I don't think I have ever successfully used my broiler. Even a bit overcooked they still came out tasty.

Meet Ricardo

Last week, a few days after I went Primal, I bought a cast iron skillet.

As soon as I felt him in my hand a love began to blossom, and it became clear that he needed a name. Ricardo. Ricardo, my cast iron skillet.

Ricardo and I set out in a flurry of buffalo, bacon, eggs, salmon, and burgers. He's a youngster and quickly took to any grease I fed him. I've spent hours cooking, talking, pampering, and oiling him down. Ricardo is more well cared for than any pet I've ever owned.

But no! This very day I've noticed something off in my beloved Ricardo! He seems to be going through a puberty of sorts, and like many parents, I just don't have the answers. Is he getting stronger and growing, or is he getting a rash? My heart goes out to poor, confused Ricardo, and as a single parent I must turn to others for help.

His uniform sheen is gone, replaced by a worrying array of patterns and colors of various gleam! Please, help me understand what's happening to my dear boy:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Tom Ka Gai. Thai Soup Adventures!

Whole Foods sells delicious roast chickens. Relatively cheap roast chickens if I pick at them over the course of a week for snacking and salad use. It's become a very helpful staple in my fridge, but at the end of the week I'm left with this torn through pile of meat and bones.

It wouldn't be very Grok like to toss that heap in the trash, so I rolled out my crackpot and made what turned out to be some very good chicken stock. That's step one. I still needed something to -do- with that delicious chickenwater.

Enter Tom Ka Gai, a tasty Thai soup that's simple to make, but a bitch to track down the ingredients for if you live in California. For the first time I had to venture into an asian market! ( Dun dun DUNNN. ) (( It was a cute store, actually. )) Eventually I tracked down my galanga and kaffir leaves and set out to begin.

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The gathered ingredients


Saddest story in the world. Immediately I found that I had only half the chicken stock that the recipe calls for. After a moment of sulking I continued forward with my soup, halving everything as best I could.

I managed to make quite a mess in the kitchen. All that neatly organized stuff that you see above got lost in a hustle of slicing, dicing, and poor timing, but I managed to clean as I went. By the time the soup was done I'd actually covered my tracks enough to avoid clean up and go straight into eating.

Before pulling it off the stove I took a sip and was...disappointed. I've had this soup in Thai restaurants before, and I was not up to par. I think I might have taken on a recipe a bit outside of my skill level; I need more time practicing with simple stirfry and meat before I go onto the big, compound meal stuff.


Not even half as bad as I thought it was. I went back for seconds. It didn't come out great, but it managed to hit "good." I can always shoot for improvement next time.


I want to feel like a chef. I want to pull simmering, delicious sauces off the stove and wow myself with masterful weavings of heat and spice. Does it come merely through practice or are there better steps I can take to boost my skill? I want the knowledge and feel for food that lets me not only cook recipes up well, but gives me instinct enough to devise my own! Any tips or suggestions for someone looking to get better?