Month: December 2013
There’s nothing quite as decadent as prime rib. A crispy, salty exterior and rare, tender interior marbled generously with fat is pure meat heaven. The only thing sinful about prime rib is cooking it wrong, resulting in a flabby or tough roast with little flavor.
The cost of prime rib makes screwing up especially painful. There are a million different recipes for how to cook prime rib in the oven, all very similar and all claiming to be the best method. But those recipes are all wrong. The best method, hands down, is throwing that big expensive hunk of meat on a charcoal grill first then gently roasting it in the oven until prime rib perfection is reached.
It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. 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 they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!
I was always a little on the big side as a kid, but as I got older my weight became a huge (pardon the pun) issue. From quite early on, I was conscious of my weight but hadn’t got a clue how to change things. I went to boarding school at 12, and was dreadfully homesick. My mum sent me back to school with piles of treats to try cheer me up. She was trying to help, but really it did the opposite. Another problem was the poor nutrition in the school. Cereals for breakfast, starchy food for lunch and pizza for dinner. Schools in Ireland need a serious wake up call when it comes to educating students about nutrition. I’m hoping that I can work with schools on this one in the future. So years of eating poor quality food created bad habits, nasty comments in school contributed to low self confidence and body image issues. By 16, I was heavily overweight and had stopped all organised sports in school because of poor fitness and my dented confidence.
I really enjoy eating. I think many of us do, especially after we’ve been on our Primal journeys for a while and have expanded our cooking talents into new creative territory. My opinion is food can and should make us feel good. It’s part of our evolutionary fabric. We eat for survival but also for enjoyment just as our ancestors did. Our very physiology is set up for it, in fact. We’re treated to a feel-good hit in our brain’s pleasure centers when we eat. That said, we sometimes get emotional satisfaction from the deal as well. For example, while not every meal needs to be a monumental creative accomplishment, those that are offer a unique satisfaction that goes somewhat beyond the physical. Other times, it’s not so much a culinary feat but a familial/cultural tradition that magnifies or deepens the satiation. (This time of year, of course, is prime time for sentimentalizing food – for better and worse.) Still other times, however, the emotional component is less a side bonus than the initial impetus. We’re drawn to eat because of our emotions. (And here’s where we begin to get ourselves in trouble….)
Today marks the release of the book for which you’ve all been waiting patiently or impatiently (I’ve got the emails to prove it!), and with it a very special limited-time offer (see details below). But first, let me tell you how we got to this point.
About three years ago, Denise Minger – a statistics-savvy English major in her early 20s – set the nutrition world ablaze with her careful, methodical parsing of the data behind The China Study. As your probably know, The China Study is that “authoritative” tome that vegans and vegetarians carry around as an instant comeback to any omnivore who dares assert the healthfulness of consuming things with faces. I was very impressed with her ability to take otherwise overwhelming data sets and pull out conclusions that were equally – if not more – valid than what the research scientists were culling from their own studies. Her China Study takedown was the capper. We met for lunch and I pitched her this idea of a book that would inform and educate the general public as to how we have been misled by the “authorities” (public policy makers and researchers) and which would deconstruct the precise history and point out the failed logic, so that anyone could see what a disaster the pyramid was. I wanted it to appeal to everyone – not just Primal/Paleo – as an empowering tool. Death by Food Pyramid is the long-awaited result, and it more than succeeds in achieving its goals.
I’d usually make a point to talk about the “true meaning” of Christmas or whatever holiday you’re celebrating in the intro before launching into a huge commercial post about things you should buy this holiday season, but not this time. The following gifts are not pointless consumerist pap that your giftees will enjoy for a day or two until the newness wears off and they move on to the next thing to spend their money on. These are useful gifts. Gifts that enhance life, that further our relationships, that expand our culinary horizons, that compel us to go out and experience the world. There’s no shame in celebrating the holidays in this manner, because these are good gifts given out of love, fellowship, and friendship – all of which embody the true meaning of the season.
That said, let’s get to the gifts!
Last week, I wrote about how the available evidence indicates that full-fat dairy is a very healthy, nutritious source of food for people who tolerate it. The comment section exploded with questions, so I figured I’d use this week’s “Dear Mark” to answer most of them. First up is a question about dairy’s oft-reported positive effect on weight gain. Next, I briefly go over the A1/A2 milk issue. Is it something you actually have to worry about? (Maybe.) After that, I discuss whether dairy has to be raw to be worth eating (or drinking), and I give my rationale for choosing the dairy that I do. Then I give my take on why the osteoporosis rates in the United States are high despite our high dairy consumption, followed by whether using inflammatory forms of dairy to heighten the post-workout spike in inflammatory markers makes sense. And finally, does a gluten intolerance make dairy more problematic?