Hello from Seattle!
It's been a while and I just wanted to pop in and yammer on about a few things!
As most of you know, I'm knee deep in writing a book. Waste deep. NECK deep! Obviously, I'll say things like it's going to incredible and I'm very excited, blah blah blah, but ... the complete and total truth is, I'm putting my absolute best foot forward on this project and am INCREDIBLY proud of the way it's coming together. I only wish y'all could see what I've got brewing. Let's just say ... it involves lots of recipes. NEW ones, too!
Hey, speaking of recipes, I've got a few new ones floating around the blogosphere. Three of them! A delicious Mexican Beverage called "Horchata", a San Francisco based seafood stew and a delicious seared scallops!
Seared Scallops with Almond-Parsnip Mash and Blackberry Buerre Rouge
This is one I was really proud of ... and the taste was phenomenal; sweet, slightly tannic and fully buttery, while also being quite rich and comforting for such a little dish. Read all about it at Katja's "Savory Lotus"!
I'm kind of a "behind the scenes" kind of person. If I'm enjoying something, I like to know how it works. When I buy the BluRay for Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity", rest assured that I will not only watch the movie, but I'll watch all the bonus features, as well. I LOVE knowing how movies are constructed, just as much as I love knowing what life is really like in a kitchen, well beyond what winds up in front of me at my local eatery haunts.
It's in that spirit that I talk a bit about "Guest Posting".
Here is one of my absolute favorite beverages on the earth. I LOVE this stuff. It's like rice pudding in a cup! Read more at Carol's "Ditch the Wheat".
As a blogger, I've got readers that read my words and recipes and they interact with me on Facebook and it's all a great big low primal dialogue. In my case, it's a collection of about 15,000 people all more or less agreeing on a similar and like-minded set of rules. We gather and hobnob!
In a very similar way, we bloggers also all chat. Blogging has revealed itself to be a very community driven endeavor. Bloggers chat with other bloggers, share trade secrets, share one others' content, freely share their audience members, etc. DEFINITELY within a certain theme or shared interest, little sub-groups of bloggers all talk to one another about upcoming trends. We talk about cooking techniques, or how to get better search engine rankings in Google. We congratulate and commiserate. It's really an incredible feeling, actually! There's such camaraderie in blogging. I really had no idea such a thing existed when I first started!
This is a quick version of the more commonly low-slow and simmered San Francisco treat! More of the post at Vanessa's "Healthy Living How To".
Guest posting is one of the best ways to get to know another blogger, while also being introduced to their audience. It's sort of like a stamp of approval from the blogger, if they use your content on their site. They agree it fits, that their audience would enjoy it and that it fits within their little world, plus it's just a lot of fun! It's a fantastic way to interact and network with other bloggers. It's always interesting to see how your work fits in within another landscape.
I was cruising through one of the blogger forums and noticed a budding blogger within a sea of bloggers. He was throwing caution to the wind ... jumping it with both feet and asking the question I know I had when I first started. "I'm new. What do I do? Where do I begin? It's such a big world!"
He'd already started his blog and it had his story. I read it and related. This guy was a lot like me! His weight loss story is similar to mine, but with one big difference. He was "Keto".
Keto? What's Keto? Keto is shorthand for the "Ketogenic Diet"; a form of low carbohydrate diet, high in fats. I've personally never focused on Keto, and wanted to learn more about it. I reached out and said, "Hey! Do a guest post for my site. I'd LOVE to learn more about Keto. That'd be a great place to start!"
Yossif agreed and quickly sent me his story!
Hey there! I'm Yossif. Nice to meet you.
So get this, I've got a weird obsession with learning about foods and how they interact with the human body.
At my core, I'm a scientist with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. I have a lot of inherent knowledge about stuff like chemistry, biology, physics, psychology, etc. I'm a nerd, what can I say? I was the kid who would be asking questions like "why is the sky blue?" or "Why is water see-through" or "why is the sun hot?" or more importantly, "WHY AM I SO FAT?"
Yeah... I was the fat kid... I hit about 200 pounds back in elementary school. I was off to a bad start thanks to good old McDonald's nutrition and a steady video gaming career. About 4-5 years ago, I ballooned up to about 300 lbs and I was completely miserable. I couldn't exercise to save my life and I really didn't know what good food was. All attempts to shed some fat resulted in utter failure. I really didn't know what I was doing. What I desired most was to be "normal." I wanted to be able to run, to be strong, and to be thin. I wanted to be healthy! As DJ foodie puts it: "It's good health and longevity ... and that, to me tastes better than all the meat lover's pizza and chocolate coated fruity pebbles in the world." I couldn't have said it any better. I needed to change.
Over the years of searching and learning, I've learned about many ways of eating and nutrition. I finally stumbled on some very interesting ways of eating to lose weight. Most people have heard of Atkins using low carb, but that's wussy stuff. I wanted something that would make a big difference in my weight and my body chemistry. I tried the Paleolithic diet and I found that it is a very good way to approach food. Using only real whole foods that the human body is chemically designed to eat made perfect sense to me. However, as a weight loss approach, I needed something more.
Eventually, I stumbled onto the concept of the Ketogenic diet. After a ton of research, I slowly learned the various aspects of the mechanisms. I learned how people typically can't burn the stored fat in their bodies due to the chronic overconsumption of carbohydrates. I learned how excess levels of insulin from said carbs prevent the body from using fat as energy. I learned about Ketone bodies and how they serve as an alternative energy source for the brain once the glucose is in short supply. I was angry when I learned that we don't need to follow the food pyramid to be in good health! I was absolutely fascinated by this new way of thinking about food. Even more so, I loved how I could eat all these foods I used to avoid (ie: BACON) and still lose weight. As a scientist, however, I was still skeptical so I decided I must experiment with this for myself and see what happened.
I discovered the awesome keto community over at Reddit (/r/keto) and found the very informative keto FAQ guide. I decided to give it a try. You know... For science!
Alas, I was somewhat in over my head and I failed to pay an adequate amount of attention to the role of the precious electrolyte levels as I entered Keto for the first time. I was at work and I began to get a headache. This is very unusual for me, since I rarely get headaches. It was especially worrisome because it was a very intense headache. I had a pretty good guess it was due to the Keto kicking in, but I decided to let it run its course. After a few hours of sitting at my desk, suffering from one of the worst headaches I've ever experienced, I noticed a growing sense of nausea. It grew and grew until eventually I was forced to go outside for some fresh air. In the end, I vomited. I didn't remember reading about this particular side effect...The people at work insisted I go to the ER, which I did somewhat unwillingly.
By the time I arrived at the ER and was in a doctor's office, the headache and nausea were gone. They did tests and told me what I already knew: low electrolytes and blood sugar. Duh... So they stuck an IV in me and gave me some salt-water and sent me on my way. The moment I got home that night, I re-read the warnings on the Keto FAQ... A little older and wiser this time. I learned what I did wrong and corrected it. Get your sodium and potassium, people. Read more here if you're interested.
So I re-ran the Keto experiment, knowing that I still was searching for that wonderful fat loss mechanism. I am proud to say that I lost a good 40 pounds or so. I was a believer! I loved eating these delicious foods and more importantly, I loved the way it killed my otherwise voracious appetite. It was thanks to keto that I was able to transition to intermittent fasting.
So, fast forward a little. The more and more I learn about health, food, wellness, exercise, nutrition, etc, the more I want to tell people. I feel like I've been lied to and manipulated by so many sources: corporations, industries, "official" health authorities, friends, parents, etc. No one seems to know what they're talking about and it's hard to find good information. I try to tell my friends and family about this fascinating new knowledge, but I'm largely ignored. Alas, people want to lose weight and feel good, but they want the easy way out. They want the magic pill that requires no real effort. Spoiler alert: It doesn't exist.
So, frustrated by the ignorance and apathy of my acquaintances, I decided to do something I've wanted to do for a long time: Start a blog. There, I would have a voice and hopefully I can reach out to people who used to be in my same situation: wanting to lose weight and feel better but not knowing where to start. I know people are angry about being fat and unhappy, and I want to help them. I know what it's like, and I hated it. Losing all that weight changed my life for the better, and I want to help others do the same. Honestly, it's really not that hard, but there's so much misinformation and flat-out LIES out there! It makes me so ANGRY! Hmm... Angry weight loss? Angry low carb? How about Angry Nutrition? I like the sound of that...
Thus my blog was born. www.AngryNutrition.com It harkens back to the olden days of growing up listening to my Hero, George Carlin, and his approach to reading between the lines and not accepting the BS. It was from him that I learned critical thinking and how to spot BS in its tracks. Even more so, he was the one who taught me one very important thing: If you want to teach someone, make them laugh first. I still consider him one of the greatest men who ever lived. I'm proud to say I was able to see him in person on multiple occasions before he died. If you've never heard of him, be sure to look up his standup comedy. He'll make you laugh your arse off, but more importantly, he'll make you think. RIP, George.
Anyways, this is my goal in life right now: I want to change people's life for the better. I want to teach people what took me years to learn, and I want to help them succeed. I want to blast away all the BS and teach people to be critical of everything. Health and wellness is like a minefield of BS, I need to provide people with a mine-detector!
Because I've already lost quite a bit of weight, I don't do keto all the time. Lately, I use it from time to time as a "metabolic recalibration" technique. It helps curb my hunger and sweet tooth especially. The fat loss on the side is an added bonus, of course. Now, I'm no chef like DJ Foodie, and I'm admittedly a pretty crappy cook. Combine that with the fact that I'm generally fairly busy (or lazy) and I end up going with a very quick and easy food route. Both me and DJ Foodie can agree, the best approach is K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple, stupid.)
Here's a few super simple keto meals I love to make:
Breakfast: I think the easiest you can do is good old eggs. Hardboiled or made in a pan, they'll fill you up and keep your hunger at bay for most of the day. A nice scrambled egg with some cheese on top is a great way to start your day. Otherwise, give intermittent fasting a go. I personally love the freedom of not worrying about breakfast or lunch on daily basis. Fasting lets you eat the "breakfast" stored away in your stomach!
Lunch: I generally fast through breakfast and lunch most days, but every so often the hunger gets to me and I gotta eat something. For those days, I am prepared at work. I keep a drawer full of canned Salmon, chicken, tuna, and sometimes clams. I keep a supply of olive oil and mayo on hand as well. My lunch is about as simple as you can get! I choose two or three of the canned meats, throw them in a bowl with some oil or mayo for flavor, liberally sprinkle my favorite potassium-salt on it, and mix it up. It's about as quick and easy as you can get, and it's super filling! It'll easily keep me full until dinner time.
[ CLICK TO SEE MORE MEAL PHOTOS ]
Dinner: Ah, my favorite meal of the day. As most of you know, fiber is essential when on keto and I use this time to make sure I get plenty. One of my favorite sources is good old broccoli. While the fastest and easiest way to eat it is raw, I prefer to give mine some extra flavor. Besides, you get more Vitamin K1 when you cook it up with some oil. I cut it up into smaller pieces, throw it in a cast iron pan with some Creole spices and melted coconut oil. If you put a lid on it, it'll both sear it and steam it at the same time and make all the flavors really pop. (Note: I think garlic would be good and maybe some cayenne pepper flavor or other hot spice. Thus, "furiously easy broccoli") Oooh, my mouth is watering just thinking about it! If you have bacon on hand, then you'll have a real treat. Cook up the bacon, leaving the drippings in the pan, then cook up the broccoli in the grease!
As for the more meaty part of the meal, if I'm particularly busy (or lazy), I'll just grab a good quality rotisserie chicken on my way home from work. However, I prefer to cook up something quick and easy myself. My meal of choice is chicken thighs or chicken legs in the oven. It's cheap to buy a pack and easy to make. I just throw them in a pan, sprinkle some of my favorite spices on top. Then just throw them in the oven for about an hour at 300 f, and I like to give them about 10 minutes next to the broiler for added crispy skin! It's absolutely delicious and very nutritious. Otherwise, if I'm feeling really ambitious, I'll pop out one of my high quality grass-fed beef steaks and grill it on my cast iron pan. If you've never tried grass-fed meat, you're missing out. It's 10 times tastier and healthier than any other meat out there. As a side, I usually have a nice big salad with some high quality spring lettuce and spinach. Just gotta watch the overall carb load, haha.
I believe that for anyone trying to lose weight, the most crucial bit of knowledge I would stuff into their head is the concept of the Ketogenic diet. Most people would instantly become skeptical when I tell them they can eat all these "bad foods" like bacon, cheese and butter, but it's true. Personally, I get a sick sense of satisfaction when someone asks me "how did you lose all that weight??" I smirk and reply, "BACON." The reaction I usually get is priceless. :3
Carbs can be bad, but depends on how you use them!
In the end, I believe carbs are like fire. In the wrong hands, they're terribly pointless and/or destructive. In the right hands, they're a powerful tool. Simply put, you cannot build muscle to any meaningful degree without them. For us weightlifters, they're essential for rebuilding muscle after a workout. For those of you who still wish to keep on keto while weightlifting, it becomes much more complicated using CKD or TKD. If you can figure it out, more power to ya. Personally, I believe once you reach a point where you can regularly weight lift safely and consistently, I urge you to check out www.LeanGains.com. I believe Martin Berkhan has found one of the best nutritional approaches out there. It is indeed possible to both build muscle and lose fat, but only one at a time. The LeanGains protocol does just that. Long story short, you eat low carb on rest days, and you eat carbs only after an intense weightlifting session. That's how you maximize muscular growth. I'm slowly working towards this point, but in the meantime I still like a round of keto now and again. For the average person, sticking with Keto and Paleo is best. At least with weightlifting, you can "earn" those accursedly delicious carbs!
Anyways, check out my blog at www.AngryNutrition.com. I talk about everything from weight loss psychology to the importance of the immune system. I've got all kinds of knowledge on the science of nutrition and I'm trying to help people understand it. It's fairly new at the moment, but as more people come along and I get more positive feedback, I will be more motivated to write. As long as I don't feel like I'm shouting into the void and people are gaining something from my work, I'll keep writing. Someday I hope to begin making podcasts and videos to help explain all the complicated science behind weight loss and all that other fun stuff. I want people to laugh and I want them to learn. I want people to succeed and be happy in their own skin. I want people to get ANGRY and take back control of their health! You only get one life, make it count!
Ultimately, I hope to one day begin my own weight loss consulting business, both locally and through the internet. I've also got many ideas for ebooks down the line. I'm still learning and experimenting, but if I can change one person's life for the better, I will be satisfied.
Thanks to DJ foodie for the guest post. We weight loss aficionados gotta stick together!
FOLLOW YOUR DREAMS!
Thanks for the story, Yossif!
I've also got a good deal of experience with intermittent fasting, employing it fairly heavily when I lost all my weight. In essence, I skipped breakfast and lunch, twice a week. Beyond that, I have learned not to fear fat. In cooking school I was taught that "Fat is Flavor". Even though it's calorie dense, it's also a very efficient source of energy, if keto adapted. Fat is flavor … and fuel! Loads of information, Sir. Looking forward to more from your blog!
I hope you're all having a great holiday season. More soon!