Reading club; Tuesday card games; progressive dinners; Saturday morning golf; summer barbeques; talks over coffee, cocktails, racquetball, quilting, dog walking or maybe just over the phone. The letters, emails, Facebook comments, the hugs, high fives or just hellos. What comes to mind when you think of your friends?
Friends, both new and old, close and far flung, hold a special place in our sentiments. We value the history we have with them, the perspective they bring, the support they offer, the stories they tell, the interests we share. Without a doubt, we’d say, they play an essential part in our lives. We’re better people, happier people as a result of our friendships, but maybe – it turns out – we’re healthier too?
I thought I’d forgo my regularly scheduled “Dear Mark” Monday post (or “Dear Readers” as the case may be) for a subject very near and dear to my heart: the constantly-evolving, ever-confusing ways of the food rating labelers. Whether it’s the AHA-approved red “Heart Healthy” stamps that implore overweight diabetics to stuff themselves with “healthy” whole grains or the mention of antioxidant and fiber content somehow making that sugary breakfast cereal good for your kids, packaged food distributors seem to love making outlandish claims that bear little to no fruit. It’s incredibly effective, though, for the same reason people will believe anything they hear on TV or uttered by someone with an official title. We’ve already got a far-reaching bunch of bureaucrats at the FDA deciding which macronutrients to highlight and which to demonize on the official nutritional labels that adorn the back of every packaged food item, so the natural next step is a mishmash of extraneous labeling that tries to make nutritional recommendations based on the FDA data (which is itself based on flawed, misguided, or even blatantly false science).
Scott Kustes and Mike O’Donnell are all-stars at fighting conventional health wisdom. They recently gave their blog (previously Life Spotlight) a face-lift, so check out the new design and added features of Fitness Spotlight.
Want to be more like Grok? Try out a set of these chic, stone age knives from designer Matthias Kaeding.
Snack attack time. Son of Grok tells you to get crackling!
Worker Bee here – bringing you another weekend Primal recipe. This time it’s all about modern foraging for a simple, creative summer dish.
The weekend at Mom’s was long and full of summer picnics, food served trough-style in big aluminum pans, set out for questionably long periods of time in the hot summer sun; food that looked about as uncomfortable and sweaty as we all were sitting packed beside one another on tight picnic benches under someone’s backyard tent.
The only clearly edible options at the summer smorgasbord were the ones I felt least safe tasting – the pulled pork, the burgers looking a little off-color, even whilst mingling under their protective grill lids. I spent the majority of the time at the outings sipping cups of iced water, picking at plates of raw vegetables and watching other people pump the keg and eat potentially E-Colied food with their bare fingers.
Sometimes chefs seem like magicians. How else could they transform food into shapes and flavors that seem impossible to replicate at home? Training, yes, but let’s also not forget that just like every good magician has a few props, (a double-sided quarter here, some disappearing ink there) so does a good chef. Maybe the perfectly sliced and diced vegetables on your plate were the work of a well-trained prep cook, but it’s just as likely they were quickly cut on a nifty device called a mandoline.
© 2014 Mark's Daily Apple