Archive | January, 2012

Wheatin’s cheatin’ – how paleo are you exactly?

18 Jan

You know when you question a religious leader and they turf you out of the compound and say you are full of the devil? No? OK, never mind.

You know when you read a million paleo posts a day about gluten and wheat and carbs and starch and processed food and all that jazz, and then you ask one of your fave paleo tweeters how come you are allowed to eat bacon when you’re paleo and they say, “Paleo is just a template, it’s not a religion!” like you’re some kind of zealot?

Yeah, I knew you would.


It got me thinking – we all know what the rules are and the way we are meant to eat all day. And apparently we now also know Paleo is not a religion and ‘just a template’ of how to eat optimally (erm…. except perhaps if you are celiac and then you don’t really have the luxury to slip on and off the wagon like it’s greased up with organic grassfed hormone-free free-range bacon fat). So… aside from all the wonderful paleo recipes posted all day and night and the self-congratulatory “just ate 7 eggs fried in ghee topped with liver with a side of fermented kraut for breakfast #paleo #satfat” tweets, how many of us in fact cheat? And I’m not just talking wheatin cheatin, just any kind of cheatin’!?

For example, I just ate a slice of toast – rye, with butter and Vegemite. I was craving something salty and didn’t want olives. I’m sick of cheese, sick of veggies, sick of meat. I’m even sick of bacon and eggs! And I wasn’t crazy hungry, I just wanted a little somethin’ somethin’. So toast with Vegemite it was! But I certainly didn’t tweet about it: “Just sucked down a piece of rye toast smothered in butter and Vegemite – #oops #sonotpaleo – but feeling awesome and so glad I did it!”

My question is: In between liver and kraut tweets, how many of you (and them, and us) are in fact cheating? The only reason I want to know is so I don’t feel so naughty when I do it, and also so we can get a realistic idea of the outcomes people are getting from eating paleo – arguably, these are especially more impressive if people are in fact cheating a lot and just keeping it on the downlow!

A very theatrical cheater is Martin Berkhan of Leangains. When he cheats, he makes sure everyone knows about it – he dresses up in karate outfits, takes silly pictures, creates mortal kombat-style graphics for his photo series, and approaches the whole thing like an amazing feat. I admire that. And the bastard is still totally ripped, with 5.5% body fat. Kudos.

Mmmm… actually I could totally go a piece of cheesecake right now

7-hour lamb with cauli mash and kumera fries

17 Jan

The latest results from my slow cooker!

*insert garlic and anchovy in slits all over lamb prior to cooking
*pinch of nutmeg in cauli before mashing (thanks Deb!)


Sarah Wilson’s “I Quit Sugar” ebook

17 Jan

I have just read Sarah Wilson’s little, pretty and very palatable ebook “I Quit Sugar”. Covering the same ground as David Gillespie’s “Sweet Poison” and “Sweet Poison Quit Plan”, it is more a practical guide than a dissertation on the science behind it. Which is great – many people just don’t care about that – and there are plenty of places to get it if they do (ie Gillespie). This book takes the reader through an 8-week sugar quitting plan providing strategies, tips, support and motivation to kick the sugar habit, feel better and lose weight.

It really is shocking how much of that crap we eat. It really is insidious and in everything. To understand the full extent – read Gillespie. To get a quick, easy guide to how to turn it all around, consult the Oracle of Wilson. I’ve been off sugar for a while so am not in need of the (rather interesting) crutches and distraction methods – but this stuff is hardcore and is designed to assist hardcore addicts.

It’s not rocket science by any means, but it is the vital missing ingredient between your vague desire to give up the sweet stuff and actually doing it.


Intermittent fasting and leptin

12 Jan

Re previous post: have done a little reading that may explain it – yay for being a woman!

Many people get super hung up on insulin and don’t think about leptin – which was only discovered in 1994 and influences appetite, among other things.

Martin Berkhan of Leangains says:

“Intermittent fasting and leptin

Generally speaking, studies show a neutral effect on average leptin levels during intermittent fasting. While the fasting period decreases circulating leptin, this is compensated by a big boost when refeeding. In comparison to conventional meal frequencies, intermittent fasting induces a “peak and valley”-pattern in leptin synthesis. Leptin secretion is thus entrained to the meal pattern and shifting meal timing causes a comparable shift in plasma leptin rhythm.

However, there are some interesting discrepancies here in that women actually show a big increase in mean leptin levels during intermittent fasting. This occurs even in the absence of weight gain which is all the more fascinating. In the quoted study, despite calorie intake being elevated in comparison to baseline intake, the women actually lost weight and lowered waist circumference and body fat percentage. Intermittent fasting was also shown to decrease neuropeptide-Y, a hormone that stimulates hunger. This could probably be explained by elevated leptin levels, but there was no linear correlation between the two in this case.

Similar effects have also been shown to occur in men. That is, fat loss occurred without any reduction in leptin – and these were fairly lean athletes to begin with.

Intermittent fasting may also be of benefit when dieting in the single digit range due to the effect of fasting on the fat mobilizing hormones epinephrine and norepinephrine. When you’re in the single digit body fat range, you’re likely to have low circulating levels of leptin. One of leptin’s downstream effects is on epinephrine and norepinephrine output. Low leptin equals impaired output of the aforementioned hormones. This is part of how leptin regulates metabolic rate. However, it seems that these hormones increase regardless during fasting. That is, leptin is not able to exert it’s usual power over these hormones. In this case, their increase cannot be mediated by leptin which allows fat mobilization to go on unabated during fasting.”

Paleonaughty over Christmas and New Year

11 Jan

I was fairly paleonaughty over the holiday period – not least because I was travelling for humongous periods in a car, staying at hotels, eating out, and eating food at my grandmother’s house. if you have ever had a grandmother and she has ever provided food for you, you will know that it usually breaches both conventional wisdom and the alternative hypothesis in regards to keeping off weight and being healthy.

Same goes for road trip fare.

The reaches of my naughtiness were far. I’m talking meat pies, croissants, bread, Pizza, beer, wine, Christmas cake, dips and chips, fruit salad, mcmuffins, hash browns, m&m’s, bun cha, gelato, mozzarella sticks, banana split, pancakes with maple syrup, savoury crepes, sausage rolls, um… I’m sure there was more but my dignity demands I stop now.

The weird thing is – I didn’t gain any weight over that time! AND I didn’t simply lose muscle and gain fat, because my clothes are loose and getting looser.

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Pastrami overload – more delicious disgusting treats

11 Jan

Mrs CL’s mother brought us a huge slab of pastrami when she was last over and as Mrs CL doesn’t seem too keen on it, it’s been left up to ol’ cast-iron stomach me to find ways to consume it. The latest attempt was sliced up and fried in butter then drowned in scrambled eggs, which wasn’t too bad, but I just can’t help thinking IF IT’S NOT BACON* WELL REALLY WHAT’S THE BLOODY POINT???

*MotherCL-in-law doesn’t eat bacon so there’s no hope of ever receiving a huge slab of that!


Delicious disgusting bachelor style lunch

7 Jan


Lettuce, pastrami, Dijon, boiled eggs, s&p