Just as having a pantry full of preserved fruits or vegetables brings a feeling of comfort and a cheerful burst of color to your kitchen, so does having a jar of lemons preserving on your counter. Preserving lemons involves little more than cramming a bunch of lemons and salt in jar and letting it sit for a month. The end result is like a food version of lemonade: a little tart, a little sweet and pleasantly bitter.
Rather than eaten alone, preserved lemons are used as an ingredient, most often in Moroccan-inspired cooking. The intensely lemony flavor has a bit of a bite to it and is too strong to be a main ingredient; rather, preserved lemons should be thought of as an exclamation point, adding a burst of citrus flavor to finish a dish. Thin strips of preserved lemon can be added to braised meat, such as lamb, near the end of the cooking process. The lemons can be finely chopped with a shallot and parsley, mashed with olive oil or butter and spread on top of cooked seafood or chicken. They can be added to roasted vegetables, sprinkled into salads or diced and mixed with olives for an appetizer.
It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story. Today, Mark’s Daily Apple reader J.P. shares an all too familiar tale: Boy is young, fit and active. Boy goes to college and parties hard. Boy gets a desk job and becomes sedentary. This is usually where the story takes a turn for the worst. But J.P., as he approached 30, took a look at himself in the mirror and realized something had to change. See how J.P. rejected becoming your typical out of shape 30 year old and grabbed control of his health in the process.
If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as you send them in. Thanks for reading!
Yerba mate (YERB-ah mah-TAY). Ever heard of it? It is an herb with a storied history as an alternative to traditional teas for the inhabitants of its native South America. I’ve received numerous emails recently asking about its properties and its role in the Primal Blueprint eating plan. Let’s dive straight in.
Yerba mate tea is prepared by steeping the dried leaves and twigs of the mate plant in hot water (not boiling water, which can make the tea bitter). It has an herbal, almost grassy, taste, with some varieties somewhat reminiscent of certain types of green tea. Traditionally, yerba mate is drunk communally from a hollow gourd with a metal straw, but a coffee mug works just as well (you know, for when your gourd is in the dishwasher). Like many teas and coffees, yerba mate is imbued with an impressive amount of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins and vitamin C. Minerals include manganese, potassium, and zinc, and the antioxidants include quercetin, theobromine, and theophylline.
Learning about the various types of aquaculture setups is interesting and useful, but we’re ultimately interested in whether they can produce safe, nutritious, affordable seafood. Wild seafood can be pricey, unavailable, and of questionable merit or sustainability. Certain wild species are definitely worth pursuing – Alaskan salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, to name a few – but there are environmental (overfishing, collateral damage to other important species, structural damage to the marine environment) and health (accumulation of heavy metals like lead and mercury, polychlorinated biphenyl/PCB, dioxin) issues that the conscious fish eater must stay abreast of. Healthy and safe farmed seafood, then, would be a welcome alternative, if it’s out there.
Okay. Let’s get down to it.
Which farmed seafood is safe to eat? Is there anything like grass-fed beef or pastured chicken available in scales or shells?
I know what many of you are already thinking: where do I sign up? Let’s face it: we organize much of our lifestyles contrary to CW specifically to live healthier and feel better. When it’s check up time, however, we find ourselves back in foreign territory. If it’s just an annual ritual, we can grit our teeth through the usual advice and make the best of it. On the other hand, if we’re receiving care for on ongoing condition and using the Primal Blueprint to get on top of our health – or if we’re just looking for more from our health care – it’s harder to skirt the Primal issue. Some practitioners will listen and offer gentle, cautionary advice. Others will agree to give your approach “a chance” before going back to their prescribed route. A few will unfortunately fly off the handle and tell you they will need to sever the treatment relationship if you continue on this ill-advised course. It can be a tricky, awkward situation to handle: living out your Primal principles while trying to garner benefit and help from your conventional (a.k.a. insurance covered) health care providers. A less explored question is this: what is it like to be on the other side of the fence? What is it like to be a Primal-minded medical practitioner swimming against a wholly un-Primal mainstream?
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