Hmmm, just lost the post I tried to make. No time to redo it now. Sigh.
Rendered Lard yesterday!
Easy Peasy. I started with four pounds of pork fat from the free-ranging pork place and cut it up into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces (definitely do that cold.) The whole process took about 10 hours, so start early.
I followed the instructions in Jennifer McLagan's book "Fat" -- which I highly recommend, by the way.
Aside: Attention Costco Patrons: I used the Kirkland Brand porcelin-on-cast-iron 6 1/2 quart pot -- only $69.95 compared to hundreds for a La Cruset version. It worked GREAT.
So -- put the fat in the pot, added 1/3 cup water per pound of fat (total about 1 1/2 cups -- accuracy is not terribly important) and put it in the oven at 250 F. The water keeps the fat from browning while it gets rolling. Check and stir at 30 min, again at 45 min, and at least hourly after that.
After the first four hours, I ladled most of the rendered fat through a cheesecloth lined strainer, stirred the pot, added any fat back to the pot and used a potato masher to press some of the larger pieces into smaller pieces. Then return to the oven.
Repeated again a couple of more times until the bits left started to turn brown. From these first strainings I got a full four cups of rendered, almost white lard.
Then, I left the last part of the cracklin's in to brown, stirring occasionally for a couple of additional hours. This I strained and got an additional 1 cup of slightly tan, slightly more flavorful lard. Plus a big pile of cracklin's which I salted and stirred up. Stored everything in the fridge overnite. I have a pic I'll post as soon as I get it on the computer. Today, I am softening the lard a bit at room temperature and then packaging it up, wrapped in wax paper and then plastic in 8 oz. squares. I'll freeze them (good for a year) and thaw and refrigerate (good for two months) as needed.
This morning we took a road trip to view the aspen leaves changing to gold. Perfect day, great weather and some good viewing on the Peak to Peak Highway and on up into Estes Park. Can't beat it!
Hmmm, just lost the post I tried to make. No time to redo it now. Sigh.
Finally got a couple of pics to post. We'll see how the attachment goes!
First -- Here's the final lard product(s) -- 1 cup of "browned" lard, 4 cups white lard and lots of cracklins. I put several butter-sized cubes in the freezer and left some out for cooking. So far, everything has been delicious. Tonight I'm oven frying sweet potato in lard and I'll be interested to see how it compares to olive oil or coconut oil, my usual choices.
I've been using the rebounder every day and so far, so good. I still have a stiff right knee where I pulled something in the back, but it doesn't bother me much. I'm hoping the gentle rebounding will help it.
Also did LHT today. Good workout and I've gotten my area set up and all the dead bugs vacuumed up -- much nicer to work out in, now. Made some definite progress, as well. it does help to push a bit and get one or two more reps!
Okay -- I think I've got the attachment thing worked out.
First up -- Yummy lard!
Second up -- Aspen turning color with Mt. Evans in the background. A beautiful trip on Friday.
Steve Jobs died today. Those of us who are Apple-lovers (as well as Mark's Daily Apple-lovers) will miss his innovation and magic. He was truly a genius.
Yesterday I took a day off of exercise. I stuck with eating clean, but decided not to work out. Not even bouncing on my re bounder. I maybe should have thought it out in advance, but decided late in the day not to work out and felt good about it, so that's okay. Not something to do often, of course, but a different take on things.
This morning I spontaneously started doing pushups from the kitchen counter and decided to do my LHT (or half of it) then and there. I'll do the chin-up/over-head press stuff later this afternoon -- I use a Total Gym set up for that at the other end of the house. I've also decided to Grok Crawl up the steps when my hands aren't full of laundry or groceries. It's fun. So is my mini-tramp. So all is okay on this end of things.
Weight Loss Frustrations
Now to weight loss -- been pretty primal all summer and doing leptin reset for a couple of months now -- NO Snacking -- which I'm starting to get used to. I did the 5-6 meals a day thing for the previous two years, plus low fat and middling carbs -- worked out hard and lost weight, put it right back on when I fell off the schedule. Now my weight isn't budging. Down a few pounds in five months. I'm not crushed, just disappointed.
What is causing this??? Well, I'm thinking I have really screwed up my metabolism over the last 60 years. I'm thinking the multiple-meals for the last few years may have been a tipping point. When I went on Atkins about 12 years ago, I could eat whatever protein and fat I wanted and lost weight. Now it doesn't seem to be the case.
So what to do??? Keep LHTing and bouncing. I'll be adding some slow sprints (is that an oxymoron??) once a week or so -- probably a twenty minute -- one off/one on -- recliner bike HITT session. I tried the 20 sec on/10 sec off all out sprints once (in August) and my chest felt horrible for weeks. That happened once before several years ago when I pushed too far/too fast and didn't work into things slowly. Plus at age 60, it is really easy to get my heart rate up. I have found that squats push it very high, so I'm trying to do my squats more slowly, as well. Lifting Heavy Things Slowly seems the way for me!
Maybe this afternoon will be good for a dog walk, as well. I'm sure the girls will like it.
Okay, I started using Diet Tracker again yesterday -- plugging in everything I'm eating. And I have been eating well over 2000 calories a day -- so I'm back to going for checking for more portion control and going for 1750 calories on most days (with a full calorie day every 5 or 6 days for variety and to keep my body guessing.)
I think the leptin reset has pushed my calories up a bit -- with a hugh breakfast (I'm been having a 7 oz. pork chop and two duck eggs most mornings) to start, I don't get hungry until 1 or 2 pm, but then I have a good snack and dinner -- well, it adds up. I need to pay attention, obviously.
Beyond that, just the regular exercise. I'm still going with the rebounder most days. I know that one of these days, things will settle out. Meanwhile, I feel great on the primal diet, so I can't complain.
Thanks for the suggestion -- I'll be doing 20 minute HIITs instead of Tabatas. One day of those was enough for me for quite awhile!
Okay -- according to today's MDA the 30 day challenge is over! So what happened for me?
No weight loss which was my first hope. I'll keep pursuing my ideas from a few days ago and see how it goes. I admit to a bit of disappointment there, but overall I'm happy with my primal lifestyle.
Food for me is pretty easy. I'm not doing any grains, no sugar and am happy with several sources of grass-fed and pastured or wild animals for daily eating. One thing I do want to do is try to maintain a higher fat diet -- in the 65-70% range, though I often make it up there without thinking about it too much. Approximate targets would be around 40 grams of carb, 85 grams protein and 140 grams of fat per day. I think that, without having run the totals, I have been overeating (for weight loss) especially on the protein -- on the LR diet. That 50 grams of protein in the morning is about 60% of my protein total for the day. I know I've been eating more than that most afternoon/evenings. But I am pretty well cured of my regular snack attacks -- I had been eating 5-6 meals a day for so long, I had pretty much been grazing constantly and was never satisfied. Now I get full and feel good for several hours.
I've been doing LHT twice a week. I am really pleased with my new rebounder and have been doing it almost every day -- and having fun doing it. Plus some fun with puppies. Today I started doing Feldenkrais classes -- it is really interesting, focusing on specific bones and muscles but working not to try too hard. I think I will get some real benefits from this techniques.
Plus I will continue blogging here. I like babbling away in print, primarily to myself of course, but occasionally to others. I have faith that eventually my metabolism will kick back into a balanced gear. I'll be getting blood work done soon and I'm anxious to see how my numbers are doing. I haven't had a cholesterol done since I went back to Atkins (now Primal) after reading Gary Taubes' book. I'm about ready to do a full nutrition profile -- I have a great doc who has been working with me to get the various metabolic pathways working at optimum. It is fun to see how the various nutrients work together to keep things optimal (or not so optimal, in many cases.) Excercises my faint memories of college biochem.
So there it is -- 30 days out of this year. Plans to continue and keep on keeping up with Primal.