Dinner with The Older Brother

While I’m on the Low-Carb Cruise, my brother Jerry (a.k.a. Older Brother in comments) agreed to write a guest post or two. He’s a relatively new convert to low-carb eating and is 30 pounds lighter as a result. Nearly 20 years ago, he was the one converting me: I became a libertarian after debating politics and economics with Jerry and realizing I was getting my butt kicked. After licking my psychic wounds, I asked him to suggest some books I should read. He did. I’ve been fascinated by economics ever since.

The State Journal-Register in Springfield, Illiniois has been publishing Jerry’s witty observations on politics and economics for years now. I’ve been bugging him lately to start his own blog and expand his readership beyond Springfield, which he finally did. I know some of you don’t care for my libertarian take on current issues, but for those of you who do, I’m sure you’ll enjoy Jerry’s blog as well: www.JerryNaughton.com. And now here’s his guest post …

If you’re here because you’re a fellow low-carb lifestyle type of one persuasion or another, you’ve probably heard the same thing if you’ve gotten into a conversation with someone after they noticed the “new you” —

“yeah sure, but what do you eat?”

The idea being, of course, that once you’ve had bacon and eggs for breakfast, sausage and eggs for lunch, and a steak or plain burger and water for dinner, you’ve pretty much run the gamut of fine low-carb cuisine.  And the gamut only runs from A to B.

Of course, you tell them you also eat fish, some veggies, chicken, the occasional fruits, nuts; and they’re thinking, “Right.  Me too — only with bread, pasta, and desert!”  It’s a mindset thing.

Meal monotony certainly hasn’t ever been part of (Tom’s or) my lifestyle, and I’m happy to report that, after a bit of research, the switch hardly registered as a gustatory bump in the road for my little branch of the Naughton family tree.

By way of background, you need to know that Tom’s and my upbringing had a few non-traditional (at the time) twists.  By which I mean, our mom.   Mom went back to college when we were pre-teens –first to pursue French, then switching to English Lit (she got her Masters, which is how Tom got to be a grammar grump.  I ain’t so much, but a little).

Nothing sounds more mundane now, but this was in the mid-1960’s.  The idea of a  married woman going to college just for the joy of it, when she had a husband with a blossoming career and children still at home was a bit jarring to people back then.  Her fellow students couldn’t figure out why some woman older than them was in their classes.  Some of her professors couldn’t figure out why some woman older than them was in their classes.

At around the same time, Dad got caught in what was then the cutting edge medical fad of the day — he was told he had waaaay too high cholesterol.  The statin money machine was either not around yet or was sputtering around killing people in the trials, and the low-fat vs. low-carb debate hadn’t been hijacked yet, so all Mom got was “you need to get away from the red meat and potatoes.  Eat more green vegetables, and cut back on the sweets.”  Oh, and we started eating margarine.  Yuck.

It worked out pretty well though because Dad, who was really a good sport about the whole college thing, also didn’t really mind cutting back on the potatoes, and was ok with more chicken and fish, but still wanted beef fairly regularly.  With the occasional martini.  For an Irish-Catholic guy with blue collar roots and a first generation college degree, that was damned progressive.  And Mom, who’d been enamored of France, found that French cooking, and “gourmet” cooking in general, was not potato dependent.  She’d discovered another passion.

So, besides having a mother in college whom we alternated tutoring in math through our high school years, Tom and I would find ourselves saying things like this:

(Sitting down to dinner) “Boeuf bourguignon AGAIN?!?  Jeez Mom, why can’t you make us something like macaroni and cheese once in awhile?”

Or (after dinner at a fancy restaurant),
Date: “Wow that was good.  What’s you think of the Chicken Kiev?”
Naughton Boy: “Um, it was ok, but it wasn’t as good as my mom’s.”

As a result, by the time Tom and I got out of high school, we didn’t think anything about already knowing how to saute, roast veggies, make killer omelets, and other sundry skills that endear one to college buddies.  And Mom passed Algebra.

Fast forward a few decades of being something of a foodie, casually adding a couple of pounds each happily married year.  Then there’s a sudden acceleration in weight gain and odd symptoms (mid-afternoon sugar crashes, pantry raids, wondering where your energy went — you know the drill) – which you assume are just part of getting older and a lack of willpower.  Then, The Younger Brother makes a movie.

So you’re thinking,

“yeah sure, but what do you eat?…”

Well, fortunately, as we were realizing we had to commit to a new lifestyle, Tom had just sent a copy of the Eades’ Six Week Cure for the Middle-Aged Middle to Mom to look over.  After perusing the first part of the book, I bought my own copy and took it home.  We figured the protein shakes would be ok for the opening two weeks, then apprehensively thumbed to the recipes section to see how much deprivation this was going to require.  We were stunned.  As in, “this looks GOOD!”  It looked like things we’d pick out of magazines to try (one of The Wife’s favorite “keep busy” activities while I do most of the vacation driving).  The first time we whipped up their recipe for steamed cauliflower with butter, cream,  and Boursin “Garlic and Herb” cheese in the Cuisinart, our boys declared they’d never go back to mashed potatoes.

We’ve since found other sources – Dana Carpender’s books, for instance – and realized there’s really no lack of great dining experiences available.  Your mileage may vary, depending on from which angle you’re approaching.  If you’ve decided on straight paleo, for instance, you won’t likely be serving strawberries with whipped cream.

I can see where it can cause hang-ups if your culinary history has been pretty much straight meat-and-potatoes.  After all, your universe of known food options just got cut in half.  But if you consider that making a commitment to a healthier lifestyle was really the major decision, consider also that learning to make hollandaise sauce or investing in a good food processor or a couple of cooking classes is not a big deal.  It’s actually fun. Plus, you get to eat your mistakes!

There’s been very few favorite recipes that weren’t adaptable to low- or no-carb.  Some are easy as ditching the milk for real, honest-to-God cream.

If you don’t believe me, just see for yourself…

Sure, we eat seafood. Preferably broiled in garlic butter and seasonings, and with a side of Parmesan broccoli and red peppers from the Eades’ book.

Of course there’s the beef. This is a tenderloin with a sauce made with the drippings, beef stock, green peppercorns, and lots of cream. This was a family dinner, so we ate around the starch and hit the veggies in the Queen Ann’s Potatoes. The beer? That’s our oldest son’s — he’s low-carb otherwise, works out like a fiend, and can throw a ball from deep center field to home plate like a bullet. He also took these pictures, mainly to torment a couple of his buddies who are finishing up law school too far away to join us for meals very often.


Pound chicken breasts flat, lightly fry in butter and olive oil, saute shallots in drippings, add wine and lemon juice and reduce by half, a few capers, garnish with parsely. Wow, you just made Chicken Piccata for a crowd.


Why just have steak when you can top it off with gorgonzola butter? Bake a garlic head in foil with a little olive oil in the oven for an hour or so, let it cool and pop cloves into a bowl with a stick of real butter, a couple ounces of gorgonzola (blue cheese), and some parsley. Mash it up, roll into about an inch wide “log” and refrigerate. Next time you’re grilling, when the steaks are just about done, slice pats from the butter log and put it on top to melt its wonderfullness onto the steak (or finish it off under the broiler). Those are sweet potato fries that we fried in bacon drippings — couldn’t catch a duck. Yeah, the wine is a cheat. If we could figure out how to make a nice Malbec with whizzed up cauliflower, The Wife and I would give up the occasional glass! Pick your battles, no?


We thought the Sunny Day Garden Salad from the Eades’ book sounded good. Their suggestion to add salmon was even better. Then The Wife said “why don’t we broil some of the Boursin Garlic and Herb cheese on top?” Perfection.


So you were thinking, “what about breakfast,” right? The Wife saw this on a Paula Deen show. Why would you eat an English muffin carb-bomb when you can use just a whiff of flour on thinly sliced green tomatoes, fry them in bacon drippings, and use that as your base? And nothing against our neighbors to the north, but you needed bacon drippings anyway and it’s practically a rule that you need some bacon each day, so that subs for the Canadian bacon below the poached eggs on top. Use the super easy hollandaise sauce recipe — drop three egg yolks into a small blender or processor with two tablespoons of lemon juice (that “cooks” the yolks) and a dash of white and/or cayenne pepper, then whiz it up some. Melt a stick of butter — God, don’t you love being a low carber!! — in the microwave, then drizzle/pulse it into the yolks/lemon juice as close to serving as possible (hollandaise tends to set up pretty quickly). You can’t mess it up like with the double-boiler version, and people will think you can whip Julia Child’s butt.


Speaking of butt, here’s something that oldest son does for fun. This pork butt got brined overnight, then spent the whole day getting smoked. It’s even better than it looks. It literally melts in your mouth. I started the brine for him about a half day too early once and it got a little salty. Psych! You’re a low carber, remember? You can’t get too much salt!


Here’s what the pork butt looked like just before it was done. And yes. That is bacon. On the grill. Being smoked. With Canadian steak seasoning on it. Could it possibly get any better?

Thanks to all of you for putting up with me while Tom was Low-Carb Cruising. I hear he got a really good video of his new “Science for Smart People” presentation, so hopefully that won’t take too long to edit before us landlubbers get a chance to see it.

See you in the comments.

Here’s The Wife, Mom, and me (“The Older Brother”)  in southern Illinois last fall at the excellent Blue Moon winery — doing our locavore duty by drinking locally. I’m the one in the middle!

As you might guess, we’re saying:

Cheers!

— The Older Brother


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82 thoughts on “Dinner with The Older Brother

  1. RB

    Oh great. It’s near lunchtime and you post those pics. Not only is my stomach now growling, I have only a work cafeteria to rely on and I’m still an hour away from lunch.

    Oh well, my 1/3 lb burger sauteed with onions in butter on a bed of lettuce with a couple of dill pickle spears will have to do once again. Not bad for LC eating, but a heck of a long way from the gourmet stuff you just posted.

    Keep up the good work. Both of you guys perform a great service.

    Thanks!

    That lunch doesn’t sound too bad — now you’re making me hungry!

    The idea is to have some fun. I made The Wife breakfast-to-go this morning since she was going in early. Threw a few asparagus spears in to steam while I sauteed a couple of the last of our morels we found last weekend and whipped a couple of eggs. Poured the eggs over the morels, stirred a little; after a minute sprinkled on shredded swiss, dropped on the asparagus, folded, and put it in tupperware. It took less time than if I’d driven the five blocks to McD’s and back.

    I was going to do a protein shake for myself for breakfast, but just realized when I read your comment that I forgot about it. That would never happen in Carb World!

    Cheers,

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  2. Amy Dungan

    Okay, now I’m hungry. LOL All those meals look so good. Too bad we deprive ourselves with meals like this on our crazy fad diet. Ah the suffering we endure!

    Go back to low-fat? I’d rather eat glass.

    Thanks for the great posts Older Brother! 🙂

    Thank you.

    Yeah, there’s some tv commercial where people are “acting like” they’re suffering eating one of the sugar-bomb “Heart Healthy!” breakfast cereals, but are really “wink-wink” enjoying it. Makes me gag. I figure you wouldn’t want to sit down next to someone like that with your plate of eggs and bacon unless you had a baseball bat on you to keep from getting mugged.

    In a selfish way, I keep rooting for the cereal companies and Big Grain’s continued success. It keeps the price of real food down for us.

    Cheers!

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  3. Dave, RN

    I love using cream (heavy whipping cream) in cooking and coffee, but what started at about $3.25 a container is now $5.00! Food inflation is raising it’s ugly head.

    I’m really, really not trying to jump onto another runaway libertarian train here, but it’s not just food inflation, my friend. And you ain’t seen nothing yet.

    Maybe at least as oil costs, fuel costs, fertilizer costs, etc. continue to climb apace as the federal printing presses run amok, Joel Salatin, our grass feeding farmer friends in New Zealand, and the other people using sunshine, cow poop, and honest labor instead will get pushed up in the market pecking order. Just a dream, I know, but a pleasant one.

    Meanwhile, I’d suggest trying to make friends with someone who owns a dairy cow!

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  4. Jan

    Oh, if you think you have to answer a lot of “but what do you EAT??” questions when you go low carb, go paleo and cut dairy out of your diet (not my intention, but my chronic sinus problems disappeared when I gave up dairy). I just point ’em to my blog (http://www.janssushibar.com). Today I have recipes for roasted parsnips and carrots, prosciutto wrapped asparagus and pears, banana fritters and guacamole chipotle burgers on the front page alone.

    Yeah…dull. Boring. Same ol’, same ol’. I don’t know why I do that to my family. *sigh*

    More of a challenge for sure. Looks like you’ve certainly risen to it!

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  5. Rosanna

    Thanks for the good ideas! My husband and I are just starting out on our low-carb journey (or as I prefer to say, “high-protein” because I’d rather put things in the positive than the negative) thanks to a fateful late-night Netflix showing of Fat Head.

    Just out of curiosity, and maybe you have posted this elsewhere that I don’t know about yet, but what health benefits have you seen since you started eating this way? More specifically, if I may, have you *lost body fat*? That’s my main goal, and I’m just starting to wrap my head around the idea that eating bacon and butter can and will aid me in this quest. Thanks!

    I think it’s fairly common for people to start down this path primarily with weight loss in mind. As Tom mentioned in his intro for me, I’ve dropped close to 30 pounds since going low-carb. It went like 9 pounds almost right away, then another 5. Then I plateaued for a couple of months around the holidays. Didn’t shoot back up, but stopped losing. Then started dropping a couple of pounds a week with occasional plateaus. For me, there’s been no mystery involved — the plateaus are alcohol related. I’ve really not missed breads, pasta, deserts, etc., but if I have wine more than a couple of times a week, or have a couple of martinis over the weekend, I stall.

    The thing that I notice seems to be a fairly common experience in the low-carb community is that, although many start with weight loss as the prime motivator, you very quickly notice that your energy level has shot up, the sugar crashes fade away, and you just start feeling pretty damned good! I’m still 40 pounds away from a real “fighting weight,” but — and again, this seems common on an anecdotal basis — once you get your metabolism straightened out and start to lose some weight, your focus just naturally becomes more about being healthy and letting the weight loss work itself out. Which is easy, because you’re not hungry all of the time.

    I didn’t do any baseline measurements like Tom did in Fat Head, but I’d have to say most of the weight loss had to be body fat. I did 50 pushups yesterday, which is about as many as I could do 20 years ago, so I don’t think I’m losing muscle tissue. I’ve pulled in two belt notches, and had to go buy jeans a waste size smaller. And a couple of days ago, it was raining pretty hard, and I literally sprinted across a big parking lot to my car, just because it seemed like fun. Six months ago, I’d have told you just to shoot me!

    On your hi-protein vs low-carb comment, if it helps you, terrific. I’d give you a couple of things to consider, though. First, the real issue isn’t that people aren’t getting enough protein, it’s that they eat too many carbs, and eating this way doesn’t really add much more protein to most people’s diets (unless you’re coming off of a vegetarian or vegan diet). More importantly, it ignores how critical it is for both health and weight control to get good saturated fats back into your life. So, maybe “high fat” sounds better than either. Plus , it’ll freak your friends out when you say it!

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  6. Cam

    For your eggs benedict — try seared zucchini instead of tomato slices, its heavenly!
    Eggs benedict is also good on thinly sliced pork roast or thin pork chops.

    Those sound good. Plus, you can never have enough ways to get rid of those zucchinis that show up on your doorstep after they take over the neighbor’s garden!

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  7. HW

    Those shrimp and salmon dishes look delicious! Great post, it touches on one of the biggest problems I had in the beginning– figuring out what to eat. Well, sometimes all it takes is being a little more adventurous, and maybe even looking outside your culture a little bit for new foods you haven’t considered before. Your mom getting into French cooking is a great example of that.

    That’s the exact attitude I was trying to get at. I think low-carb has added to meals, not subtracted.

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  8. Nina

    Well I hope your going to guest blog regularly here. I enjoyed this walk through the family menus and was delighted for the introduction to Poly Face Farms and Joel.

    Great work. Come back.

    Nina

    Glad you liked them — I enjoyed writing them!

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  9. RB

    Oh great. It’s near lunchtime and you post those pics. Not only is my stomach now growling, I have only a work cafeteria to rely on and I’m still an hour away from lunch.

    Oh well, my 1/3 lb burger sauteed with onions in butter on a bed of lettuce with a couple of dill pickle spears will have to do once again. Not bad for LC eating, but a heck of a long way from the gourmet stuff you just posted.

    Keep up the good work. Both of you guys perform a great service.

    Thanks!

    That lunch doesn’t sound too bad — now you’re making me hungry!

    The idea is to have some fun. I made The Wife breakfast-to-go this morning since she was going in early. Threw a few asparagus spears in to steam while I sauteed a couple of the last of our morels we found last weekend and whipped a couple of eggs. Poured the eggs over the morels, stirred a little; after a minute sprinkled on shredded swiss, dropped on the asparagus, folded, and put it in tupperware. It took less time than if I’d driven the five blocks to McD’s and back.

    I was going to do a protein shake for myself for breakfast, but just realized when I read your comment that I forgot about it. That would never happen in Carb World!

    Cheers,

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  10. Chris

    Your food pics look awesome! I’m bookmarking them forever! I’m so glad I saw “Fathead”! I never knew meat was so beneficial! I just knew it tasted wonderful, but felt like I was “sinning” or something. Thanks for posting, Older Brother! Anyway, what does “reduce by half” mean in your Chicken Picatta for Crowd recipe! Cook the juice until half the moisture is gone? Sorry, I’m learning how to cook!

    A) Thank you very much
    B) You’re correct, that’s exactly what “reduce by half” means (you’re boiling the liquids out to concentrate the flavor, so be vicious!)
    C) You never have to apologize around this joint for wanting to learn something. Welcome to better thinking, better food and better health.

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  11. Abby

    I’ve been primal/paleo since Jan 2nd of this year. Friends dismissed it as a unsupported fad diet until they saw me lose 25lbs, mostly around my middle. Then came the questions, mostly about how to keep your meals interesting.

    So I start a blog containing nothing but pictures of what I eat.
    http://abbyeats.tumblr.com/

    Now everyone comments on how delicious everything looks and how they want me to come cook for them! Of course, I have my staples (salad, ground beef, bacon) but it’s fun to try new recipes once in a while! We recently made lasagna with butternut squash and it was AMAZING! — health-bent.com has the recipe.

    More visual proof that low-carb is as good as it is good for you. We use spaghetti squash for former pasta-based dishes.

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  12. Be

    The recurring Conventional Wisdom argument against the low-carb/paleo diets is always that it isn’t sustainable because noone can cut out a whole food group (as if the USDA’s definition of a “Food Group” did anything but support..let’s see… US Agriculture?).

    But honestly, before I changed my life style I ate to live. And yes, it is not a diet because I eat as much as I want and frankly I no longer even desire carbs, especially sugar (and yes I have lost 40 pounds without trying). Vegetables are sweeter than ever and when I get even a little sugar it tastes too sweet. When I walk past a pretzel store or most restaurants, I smell CARBS – and it is no longer a pleasant experience.

    But, now, I live to eat. I never before looked forward to planning meals, picking out locally grown veggies at the farmers markets, buying grass fed animals I can name from people I know, let alone sitting down to a meal of real food. Your dishes all look delicious to me and you make a great point that all of us eating this way already know: there is NO boredom or monotony in this lifestyle!

    I love the old “whole food group” argument, too. I think it was in Taube’s Good Calories, Bad Calories that he pointed out annual per capita sugar consumption went from about 20 pounds at the turn of the century to over 130 today. So the question becomes “how do you define moderation” — 50 pounds?

    Cheers,

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  13. Amy Dungan

    Okay, now I’m hungry. LOL All those meals look so good. Too bad we deprive ourselves with meals like this on our crazy fad diet. Ah the suffering we endure!

    Go back to low-fat? I’d rather eat glass.

    Thanks for the great posts Older Brother! 🙂

    Thank you.

    Yeah, there’s some tv commercial where people are “acting like” they’re suffering eating one of the sugar-bomb “Heart Healthy!” breakfast cereals, but are really “wink-wink” enjoying it. Makes me gag. I figure you wouldn’t want to sit down next to someone like that with your plate of eggs and bacon unless you had a baseball bat on you to keep from getting mugged.

    In a selfish way, I keep rooting for the cereal companies and Big Grain’s continued success. It keeps the price of real food down for us.

    Cheers!

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  14. PrincessKimmy

    I just want to say Tom should let you guest host this blog more often. Good writing! 🙂

    Thanks. Tom was very supportive. I imagine if I come up with something I think needs said, he’ll find a way to make some room for me!

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  15. Dave, RN

    I love using cream (heavy whipping cream) in cooking and coffee, but what started at about $3.25 a container is now $5.00! Food inflation is raising it’s ugly head.

    I’m really, really not trying to jump onto another runaway libertarian train here, but it’s not just food inflation, my friend. And you ain’t seen nothing yet.

    Maybe at least as oil costs, fuel costs, fertilizer costs, etc. continue to climb apace as the federal printing presses run amok, Joel Salatin, our grass feeding farmer friends in New Zealand, and the other people using sunshine, cow poop, and honest labor instead will get pushed up in the market pecking order. Just a dream, I know, but a pleasant one.

    Meanwhile, I’d suggest trying to make friends with someone who owns a dairy cow!

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  16. Jan

    Oh, if you think you have to answer a lot of “but what do you EAT??” questions when you go low carb, go paleo and cut dairy out of your diet (not my intention, but my chronic sinus problems disappeared when I gave up dairy). I just point ’em to my blog (http://www.janssushibar.com). Today I have recipes for roasted parsnips and carrots, prosciutto wrapped asparagus and pears, banana fritters and guacamole chipotle burgers on the front page alone.

    Yeah…dull. Boring. Same ol’, same ol’. I don’t know why I do that to my family. *sigh*

    More of a challenge for sure. Looks like you’ve certainly risen to it!

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  17. Max

    Hmmm, honestly I don’t like this kind of post floating around, it makes it so much harder to explain lower-carb to non believers.
    “But what do you eat?” EVERYTHING. I just reduce the carbs to a level I can handle. Atkins and Protein Power don’t eliminate carbs, they just lower them.
    I eat pasta, but now once every two months instead of twice a week. I have a sweet tooth so I eat chocolate or a donut every day. And it is rare that someone else cooks for me, so if it happens I’m not going to turn it away no matter what it is.
    I try to explain it to others as telling them what foods are carbs, then if they eat one of those foods, avoid the others for the rest of the day. People respond better to this than being told they ‘can’t’ eat certain foods, probably because it’s presented as moderate and not extreme.

    I get your point, but I think a lot of people, due mainly to word spread by the anti-low-carb crowd, tend to automatically think “bacon, eggs, hamburger, bacon, eggs, hamburger (rinse, lather, repeat!)” Obviously what you’re doing works for you, but I’d rather tell someone “chicken picatta” than a donut every day.

    Cheers,

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  18. Elenor

    Wonderful, Older Brother — thanks for the great meal ideas! (With pictures!)

    Your words also fortify me as I head out to our cul de sac’s “saco-de-mayo” party: my husband is out picking up the mess o’ restaurant tacos {eye roll}, I’ve made the fruit-juice-and-sherbet punch (happily, I don’t like ginger ale, so drinking it doesn’t appeal!), and now I’m pretty sure I will be able to resist the chips and dips and birthday cake and other modern-day food horrors that will fill our cul de sac…

    The better news of the day is our ({wince} $325) order of Bill Kurtz’s TallGrass meat arrived a half hour ago. (We bought a 5-cu-ft chest freezer last week in anticipation!) I ordered some trial pieces a few weeks ago and my husband raved about the flavor — finally!! we found some meat that tasted like the meat we both grew up on! (We’re old, like you are. {wink})

    Wish me strength as I enter the cul de sac of horrors!

    Endeavor to persevere! We’ll be rooting for you.


    Older Brother

    Reply
  19. Rosanna

    Thanks for the good ideas! My husband and I are just starting out on our low-carb journey (or as I prefer to say, “high-protein” because I’d rather put things in the positive than the negative) thanks to a fateful late-night Netflix showing of Fat Head.

    Just out of curiosity, and maybe you have posted this elsewhere that I don’t know about yet, but what health benefits have you seen since you started eating this way? More specifically, if I may, have you *lost body fat*? That’s my main goal, and I’m just starting to wrap my head around the idea that eating bacon and butter can and will aid me in this quest. Thanks!

    I think it’s fairly common for people to start down this path primarily with weight loss in mind. As Tom mentioned in his intro for me, I’ve dropped close to 30 pounds since going low-carb. It went like 9 pounds almost right away, then another 5. Then I plateaued for a couple of months around the holidays. Didn’t shoot back up, but stopped losing. Then started dropping a couple of pounds a week with occasional plateaus. For me, there’s been no mystery involved — the plateaus are alcohol related. I’ve really not missed breads, pasta, deserts, etc., but if I have wine more than a couple of times a week, or have a couple of martinis over the weekend, I stall.

    The thing that I notice seems to be a fairly common experience in the low-carb community is that, although many start with weight loss as the prime motivator, you very quickly notice that your energy level has shot up, the sugar crashes fade away, and you just start feeling pretty damned good! I’m still 40 pounds away from a real “fighting weight,” but — and again, this seems common on an anecdotal basis — once you get your metabolism straightened out and start to lose some weight, your focus just naturally becomes more about being healthy and letting the weight loss work itself out. Which is easy, because you’re not hungry all of the time.

    I didn’t do any baseline measurements like Tom did in Fat Head, but I’d have to say most of the weight loss had to be body fat. I did 50 pushups yesterday, which is about as many as I could do 20 years ago, so I don’t think I’m losing muscle tissue. I’ve pulled in two belt notches, and had to go buy jeans a waste size smaller. And a couple of days ago, it was raining pretty hard, and I literally sprinted across a big parking lot to my car, just because it seemed like fun. Six months ago, I’d have told you just to shoot me!

    On your hi-protein vs low-carb comment, if it helps you, terrific. I’d give you a couple of things to consider, though. First, the real issue isn’t that people aren’t getting enough protein, it’s that they eat too many carbs, and eating this way doesn’t really add much more protein to most people’s diets (unless you’re coming off of a vegetarian or vegan diet). More importantly, it ignores how critical it is for both health and weight control to get good saturated fats back into your life. So, maybe “high fat” sounds better than either. Plus , it’ll freak your friends out when you say it!

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  20. Cam

    For your eggs benedict — try seared zucchini instead of tomato slices, its heavenly!
    Eggs benedict is also good on thinly sliced pork roast or thin pork chops.

    Those sound good. Plus, you can never have enough ways to get rid of those zucchinis that show up on your doorstep after they take over the neighbor’s garden!

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  21. HW

    Those shrimp and salmon dishes look delicious! Great post, it touches on one of the biggest problems I had in the beginning– figuring out what to eat. Well, sometimes all it takes is being a little more adventurous, and maybe even looking outside your culture a little bit for new foods you haven’t considered before. Your mom getting into French cooking is a great example of that.

    That’s the exact attitude I was trying to get at. I think low-carb has added to meals, not subtracted.

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  22. Nina

    Well I hope your going to guest blog regularly here. I enjoyed this walk through the family menus and was delighted for the introduction to Poly Face Farms and Joel.

    Great work. Come back.

    Nina

    Glad you liked them — I enjoyed writing them!

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  23. Chris

    Your food pics look awesome! I’m bookmarking them forever! I’m so glad I saw “Fathead”! I never knew meat was so beneficial! I just knew it tasted wonderful, but felt like I was “sinning” or something. Thanks for posting, Older Brother! Anyway, what does “reduce by half” mean in your Chicken Picatta for Crowd recipe! Cook the juice until half the moisture is gone? Sorry, I’m learning how to cook!

    A) Thank you very much
    B) You’re correct, that’s exactly what “reduce by half” means (you’re boiling the liquids out to concentrate the flavor, so be vicious!)
    C) You never have to apologize around this joint for wanting to learn something. Welcome to better thinking, better food and better health.

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  24. Abby

    I’ve been primal/paleo since Jan 2nd of this year. Friends dismissed it as a unsupported fad diet until they saw me lose 25lbs, mostly around my middle. Then came the questions, mostly about how to keep your meals interesting.

    So I start a blog containing nothing but pictures of what I eat.
    http://abbyeats.tumblr.com/

    Now everyone comments on how delicious everything looks and how they want me to come cook for them! Of course, I have my staples (salad, ground beef, bacon) but it’s fun to try new recipes once in a while! We recently made lasagna with butternut squash and it was AMAZING! — health-bent.com has the recipe.

    More visual proof that low-carb is as good as it is good for you. We use spaghetti squash for former pasta-based dishes.

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  25. TonyNZ

    My party nibbles generally go along the lines of cheddar squares skewered with olives and vegetable sticks (carrot, celery, cucumber etc) in a homemade dip (heavy sour cream with spring onions and garlic). Throw in some nuts and possibly some quartered scotch or stuffed eggs and you’re set. They always disappear before chips, pretzels etc.

    Who said catering snack food healthy was difficult. With the exception of the eggs I can knock that all up for 20 people in about 10 minutes.

    As for milk price (as one pointed out): we can produce it cheaper, but we charge what people are willing to pay with it (i.e. market demand) and places like China are developing a taste. Inflation from reckless economic policy has a major part, but it’s unlikely to go down substantially.

    Incidentally, what is a “container”. we would pay about NZ$7 per litre for cream in the supermarkets here.

    Gotta love the beauty of the market, at least the parts that are allowed to function. China is definitely going to be more and more of a driver in the global food markets.

    Not exactly sure what container he was talking about, but I’m guessing quarts — that’s what we buy and the price sounds about right.

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  26. Be

    The recurring Conventional Wisdom argument against the low-carb/paleo diets is always that it isn’t sustainable because noone can cut out a whole food group (as if the USDA’s definition of a “Food Group” did anything but support..let’s see… US Agriculture?).

    But honestly, before I changed my life style I ate to live. And yes, it is not a diet because I eat as much as I want and frankly I no longer even desire carbs, especially sugar (and yes I have lost 40 pounds without trying). Vegetables are sweeter than ever and when I get even a little sugar it tastes too sweet. When I walk past a pretzel store or most restaurants, I smell CARBS – and it is no longer a pleasant experience.

    But, now, I live to eat. I never before looked forward to planning meals, picking out locally grown veggies at the farmers markets, buying grass fed animals I can name from people I know, let alone sitting down to a meal of real food. Your dishes all look delicious to me and you make a great point that all of us eating this way already know: there is NO boredom or monotony in this lifestyle!

    I love the old “whole food group” argument, too. I think it was in Taube’s Good Calories, Bad Calories that he pointed out annual per capita sugar consumption went from about 20 pounds at the turn of the century to over 130 today. So the question becomes “how do you define moderation” — 50 pounds?

    Cheers,

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  27. PrincessKimmy

    I just want to say Tom should let you guest host this blog more often. Good writing! 🙂

    Thanks. Tom was very supportive. I imagine if I come up with something I think needs said, he’ll find a way to make some room for me!

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  28. Max

    Hmmm, honestly I don’t like this kind of post floating around, it makes it so much harder to explain lower-carb to non believers.
    “But what do you eat?” EVERYTHING. I just reduce the carbs to a level I can handle. Atkins and Protein Power don’t eliminate carbs, they just lower them.
    I eat pasta, but now once every two months instead of twice a week. I have a sweet tooth so I eat chocolate or a donut every day. And it is rare that someone else cooks for me, so if it happens I’m not going to turn it away no matter what it is.
    I try to explain it to others as telling them what foods are carbs, then if they eat one of those foods, avoid the others for the rest of the day. People respond better to this than being told they ‘can’t’ eat certain foods, probably because it’s presented as moderate and not extreme.

    I get your point, but I think a lot of people, due mainly to word spread by the anti-low-carb crowd, tend to automatically think “bacon, eggs, hamburger, bacon, eggs, hamburger (rinse, lather, repeat!)” Obviously what you’re doing works for you, but I’d rather tell someone “chicken picatta” than a donut every day.

    Cheers,

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  29. Elenor

    Wonderful, Older Brother — thanks for the great meal ideas! (With pictures!)

    Your words also fortify me as I head out to our cul de sac’s “saco-de-mayo” party: my husband is out picking up the mess o’ restaurant tacos {eye roll}, I’ve made the fruit-juice-and-sherbet punch (happily, I don’t like ginger ale, so drinking it doesn’t appeal!), and now I’m pretty sure I will be able to resist the chips and dips and birthday cake and other modern-day food horrors that will fill our cul de sac…

    The better news of the day is our ({wince} $325) order of Bill Kurtz’s TallGrass meat arrived a half hour ago. (We bought a 5-cu-ft chest freezer last week in anticipation!) I ordered some trial pieces a few weeks ago and my husband raved about the flavor — finally!! we found some meat that tasted like the meat we both grew up on! (We’re old, like you are. {wink})

    Wish me strength as I enter the cul de sac of horrors!

    Endeavor to persevere! We’ll be rooting for you.


    Older Brother

    Reply
  30. allison

    My friends and family all thinks we’re crackpots. I told one friend that we don’t eat bread anymore, and she said “what do you feed your kids for lunch then?”.
    Another friend stated, “How do you get your grains?” I knew I lost her when I said we don’t need them.
    At Easter dinner dad asked me what I’d need instead of potatoes, and I simply said, “nothing, dad”, he shrugged his typical “my daughter is a nutacase” shrug, and I happily dined on turkey and salad and veggies.
    We found that simply cutting out the bed of potatoes, rice or pasta(among some others) is usually enough to get the lower carb meal we need, and it is still satisfying and one less thing to prepare for dinner.
    We’ve gone from not having enough cupboard space to not having enough fridge space.
    The only problem I’ve had is trying to find desserts for that occasional treat that don’t rely on artificial sweeteners to replace normal sugar….have you had any luck finding those?

    We’re not averse to using Splenda for occasional deserts. I whipped a couple of cups of heavy cream with maybe a tablespoon of Splenda and some vanilla, then put dollops of that over strawberries (with a little more Splenda sprinkled on). You could make it without the sweetner, but that amount of whipped cream got split over a dozen deserts. Tom had a pretty good looking squash or pumpkin pie on the blog a while ago.

    I haven’t tried Stevia, although I found a Stevia plant at the farmers market and have it in the garden now.

    And don’t worry — we’re all crackpots here. You’re among friends.

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  31. TonyNZ

    My party nibbles generally go along the lines of cheddar squares skewered with olives and vegetable sticks (carrot, celery, cucumber etc) in a homemade dip (heavy sour cream with spring onions and garlic). Throw in some nuts and possibly some quartered scotch or stuffed eggs and you’re set. They always disappear before chips, pretzels etc.

    Who said catering snack food healthy was difficult. With the exception of the eggs I can knock that all up for 20 people in about 10 minutes.

    As for milk price (as one pointed out): we can produce it cheaper, but we charge what people are willing to pay with it (i.e. market demand) and places like China are developing a taste. Inflation from reckless economic policy has a major part, but it’s unlikely to go down substantially.

    Incidentally, what is a “container”. we would pay about NZ$7 per litre for cream in the supermarkets here.

    Gotta love the beauty of the market, at least the parts that are allowed to function. China is definitely going to be more and more of a driver in the global food markets.

    Not exactly sure what container he was talking about, but I’m guessing quarts — that’s what we buy and the price sounds about right.

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  32. Dalila

    Delicious! Thanks, Older Brother! I found myself nodding in agreement at your entire post.

    Since we started eating low-carb at our house, my fiance has lost 30 pounds and I’ve lost 12. Like you said, we feel great and I’m no longer sleepy at all hours of the day. As for dealing with people and our new lifestyle, I tend to find myself not even saying anything to avoid the inevitable “But what do you eat?!?”, “Are you crazy, you can’t eat fried cheese and be healthy!!” and the slew of “low-fat is healthy” comments. I’m hoping eventually that will change and I’ll be able to handle the hordes of unsuspectingly brainwashed people (I can’t believe I used to be one of them!)

    I, like Allison above me, have also had a hard time finding dessert recipes that do not include Splenda or Stevia (just don’t like the taste). I’ve recently started using a bit of Xylitol in my tea and made some low-carb cookies with it as well, I suppose I could try substituting Xylitol for Splenda or Stevia. For the moment that is all I use if I want something sweet, or I turn to fruit as a dessert instead of cakes or pies (Mmm, strawberries in heavy cream…)

    Looking forward to trying a few of those recipes! Thanks again!

    I think sometime between now and ten years from now, there’s going to be a paradigm shift. I can’t remember where read it, but the best definition I saw was that an intellectual paradigm is information “that everyone just knows.” They don’t know why they know it, but they just know. Then suddenly, without the perception of a big public debate or explicitly stated change of mind, the old is gone and replaced with a “new paradigm.” There really isn’t any deeper understanding than there is of the old paradigm.

    You’ll wake up some day and people who would’ve run screaming from a piece of bacon the day before will be saying “what are you, nuts? Of course, you need saturated fat” — because they just know. It’s ok. We’ll know.

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  33. Cindy

    Thank you for such a funny and informative post. I loved learning about your mother in college and her French cooking. And the food pics are great. I have also noticed that my stalls are wine related as well. Sigh…

    Besides weight loss, I have noticed that my gums are SO healthy. My dental hygienist went from lecturing me to complimenting me profusely about my gum health. I was even told that I don’t even need to come in for a year now. That made me happy!

    Glad you enjoyed them. It’s been even more fun being there!

    Great news on the dental health. It’s amazing (but I guess it shouldn’t be) how many health issues you wouldn’t have really thought of as being related to a healthy diet pop up. It’s almost as if we’re a massively complex system where everything is related. Someone notify the medical authorities!

    Cheers,

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  34. allison

    My friends and family all thinks we’re crackpots. I told one friend that we don’t eat bread anymore, and she said “what do you feed your kids for lunch then?”.
    Another friend stated, “How do you get your grains?” I knew I lost her when I said we don’t need them.
    At Easter dinner dad asked me what I’d need instead of potatoes, and I simply said, “nothing, dad”, he shrugged his typical “my daughter is a nutacase” shrug, and I happily dined on turkey and salad and veggies.
    We found that simply cutting out the bed of potatoes, rice or pasta(among some others) is usually enough to get the lower carb meal we need, and it is still satisfying and one less thing to prepare for dinner.
    We’ve gone from not having enough cupboard space to not having enough fridge space.
    The only problem I’ve had is trying to find desserts for that occasional treat that don’t rely on artificial sweeteners to replace normal sugar….have you had any luck finding those?

    We’re not averse to using Splenda for occasional deserts. I whipped a couple of cups of heavy cream with maybe a tablespoon of Splenda and some vanilla, then put dollops of that over strawberries (with a little more Splenda sprinkled on). You could make it without the sweetner, but that amount of whipped cream got split over a dozen deserts. Tom had a pretty good looking squash or pumpkin pie on the blog a while ago.

    I haven’t tried Stevia, although I found a Stevia plant at the farmers market and have it in the garden now.

    And don’t worry — we’re all crackpots here. You’re among friends.

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  35. Dalila

    Delicious! Thanks, Older Brother! I found myself nodding in agreement at your entire post.

    Since we started eating low-carb at our house, my fiance has lost 30 pounds and I’ve lost 12. Like you said, we feel great and I’m no longer sleepy at all hours of the day. As for dealing with people and our new lifestyle, I tend to find myself not even saying anything to avoid the inevitable “But what do you eat?!?”, “Are you crazy, you can’t eat fried cheese and be healthy!!” and the slew of “low-fat is healthy” comments. I’m hoping eventually that will change and I’ll be able to handle the hordes of unsuspectingly brainwashed people (I can’t believe I used to be one of them!)

    I, like Allison above me, have also had a hard time finding dessert recipes that do not include Splenda or Stevia (just don’t like the taste). I’ve recently started using a bit of Xylitol in my tea and made some low-carb cookies with it as well, I suppose I could try substituting Xylitol for Splenda or Stevia. For the moment that is all I use if I want something sweet, or I turn to fruit as a dessert instead of cakes or pies (Mmm, strawberries in heavy cream…)

    Looking forward to trying a few of those recipes! Thanks again!

    I think sometime between now and ten years from now, there’s going to be a paradigm shift. I can’t remember where read it, but the best definition I saw was that an intellectual paradigm is information “that everyone just knows.” They don’t know why they know it, but they just know. Then suddenly, without the perception of a big public debate or explicitly stated change of mind, the old is gone and replaced with a “new paradigm.” There really isn’t any deeper understanding than there is of the old paradigm.

    You’ll wake up some day and people who would’ve run screaming from a piece of bacon the day before will be saying “what are you, nuts? Of course, you need saturated fat” — because they just know. It’s ok. We’ll know.

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  36. Cindy

    Thank you for such a funny and informative post. I loved learning about your mother in college and her French cooking. And the food pics are great. I have also noticed that my stalls are wine related as well. Sigh…

    Besides weight loss, I have noticed that my gums are SO healthy. My dental hygienist went from lecturing me to complimenting me profusely about my gum health. I was even told that I don’t even need to come in for a year now. That made me happy!

    Glad you enjoyed them. It’s been even more fun being there!

    Great news on the dental health. It’s amazing (but I guess it shouldn’t be) how many health issues you wouldn’t have really thought of as being related to a healthy diet pop up. It’s almost as if we’re a massively complex system where everything is related. Someone notify the medical authorities!

    Cheers,

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  37. Lizzy

    When I tell people what I eat and they get all “boring monotonous diet” on me, I ask them what THEY eat. It’s usually cereal for breakfast every morning (snooze) sandwich for lunch (snore) and pasta/pizza for dinner (zzzzzz). Most people don’t realize they are eating so much wheat at each meal and how monotonous THAT is!

    So true. Of course, with all of those carbs, the snores aren’t just from boredom.

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  38. William

    Good stuff. Creative meals and great inspiration here. Enjoy reading both Tom and Jerry now, it seems. At the risk of being a heretic, though, I don’t consider wine a “cheat,” though. Drinking the stuff doesn’t cause me to “plateau”… although come to think of it, I really have no basis for comparison…in my weight loss (90 lbs over the course of a couple years) I regularly consumed 3-5 glasses of red wine daily…never gave it up. I’m pretty lean now and wouldn’t want to lose more weight. I’ve already replaced my entire wardrobe multiple times; in the most recent replacement I bought three suits and, frankly, I look outstanding in them. Basically, I’m back at the same size and weight I had when I was in my college years, but with better body composition. I guess my only point is that this business of weight loss is highly variable. All of the health outcomes seem to hinge on variables that we don’t understand. The alcohol in the wine is clearly poison at some level, but for me it didn’t prevent the weight loss. Perhaps it delayed it, but in the end it worked out fine. Just my $0.02.

    Nothing heretical about doing what works. You’re right that we’re all variable, and each of us is going to have our own triggers and tolerances. Tom’s mentioned several times how potatoes will spike his blood sugar far beyond expectations. One or two glasses of wine a couple of times a week for me, I’m fine. Do that three or four days in a row, and my body just seems to stop burning fat.

    The best advice is to go with the broad guideline, but listen to your body. When you’ve got some level of carb-induced metabolic derangement going on, though, you can’t hear your body — everything is shouting at you.

    Cheers,

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  39. Steve P

    The pork butt and bacon looked awesome. How long do you smoke the bacon?

    That’s my oldest son’s department, but I don’t think it took more than 1/2 hour. You can’t tell from the picture, but the pork butts were on the “off side” of the grill so they only got smoke, the bacon was over the side with the coals and wood chips (the last batch from an all-day smoking for the pork). So technically they were getting grilled some along with smoke. He’s just thrown bacon on the grill before over regular coals and it’s not a long wait. If you’re grilling out sometime, you could try getting bacon most of the way done in a microwave and then throwing it on the grill when you take your main course off. The bacon would probably ready about the time the main course was done resting. (We always give at least a five minute rest off the heat before cutting/serving so the heat and juices have a chance to equalize — ten or more minutes for a roast or tenderloin)

    The only thing that could have made the smoked bacon any better is if we could’ve chased some vegans around the yard with it. (Sorry — didn’t mean to let Bad Jerry out!)

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  40. eddie watts

    http://healthcorrelator.blogspot.com/2011/04/china-study-ii-carbohydrates-fat.html
    this blog might be of interest, this post in particular involves a dissection of china study 2. see towards the bottom of the post though he states that

    “Insulin resistance is, more often than not, a direct result of obesity”

    They’re highly correlated, but I believe the insulin resistance sets in first. One of the lectures I just watched on the cruise includes a section about normal-weight people who develop insulin resistance and other metabolic issues. In fact, I believe two of the doctors mentioned that phenomenon.

    Reply
  41. Lizzy

    When I tell people what I eat and they get all “boring monotonous diet” on me, I ask them what THEY eat. It’s usually cereal for breakfast every morning (snooze) sandwich for lunch (snore) and pasta/pizza for dinner (zzzzzz). Most people don’t realize they are eating so much wheat at each meal and how monotonous THAT is!

    So true. Of course, with all of those carbs, the snores aren’t just from boredom.

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  42. William

    Good stuff. Creative meals and great inspiration here. Enjoy reading both Tom and Jerry now, it seems. At the risk of being a heretic, though, I don’t consider wine a “cheat,” though. Drinking the stuff doesn’t cause me to “plateau”… although come to think of it, I really have no basis for comparison…in my weight loss (90 lbs over the course of a couple years) I regularly consumed 3-5 glasses of red wine daily…never gave it up. I’m pretty lean now and wouldn’t want to lose more weight. I’ve already replaced my entire wardrobe multiple times; in the most recent replacement I bought three suits and, frankly, I look outstanding in them. Basically, I’m back at the same size and weight I had when I was in my college years, but with better body composition. I guess my only point is that this business of weight loss is highly variable. All of the health outcomes seem to hinge on variables that we don’t understand. The alcohol in the wine is clearly poison at some level, but for me it didn’t prevent the weight loss. Perhaps it delayed it, but in the end it worked out fine. Just my $0.02.

    Nothing heretical about doing what works. You’re right that we’re all variable, and each of us is going to have our own triggers and tolerances. Tom’s mentioned several times how potatoes will spike his blood sugar far beyond expectations. One or two glasses of wine a couple of times a week for me, I’m fine. Do that three or four days in a row, and my body just seems to stop burning fat.

    The best advice is to go with the broad guideline, but listen to your body. When you’ve got some level of carb-induced metabolic derangement going on, though, you can’t hear your body — everything is shouting at you.

    Cheers,

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  43. Peggy Cihocki

    @Allison, when I make desserts (not often any more–I finally got my hubby to ditch the sweets) I use a blend of erythritol and Stevia with about a quarter of the sugar the recipe calls for. If you can’t eat sugar at all (I count it as part of my carb allowance for the day–it’s never more than a teaspoon per serving) mix sugar alcohols (xylitol, maltitol, erythritol, etc.) to equal about 3/4 of the sugar called for, then supplement with a little Stevia to taste to make up for any missing sweetness. But beware, all the sugar alcohols except erythritol can cause digestive distress and even erythritol will if consumed in large enough quantities. I just can’t bring myself to use Splenda or any other artificial sweetener. I’m kinda orthorexic about that. Yesterday I made brownies (with almond flour) for a crowd and used 1/4 cup of sugar with 1/2 cup of erythritol and three dropperfuls of toffee flavored Stevia liquid (for an 11 X 13 panful of brownies). They were a big hit and no one suspected that each brownie (I cut them small) only had about 5 grams of carbs, maybe less. Custards, (I make it with with cream and coconut milk) don’t need much sweetening, so could probably be sweetened entirely with erythritol and Stevia, no sugar needed. The toffee flavored Stevia drops from http://www.steviasmart.com add a nice hint of toffee flavor to whatever they’re added to. They have other flavors, too. I’ve been using Stevia for at least 15 years, probably more. Even in my low fat, vegetarian days I knew sugar was bad. Too bad it took me a while longer to learn that starches are part of the problem, too!

    Reply
  44. Steve P

    The pork butt and bacon looked awesome. How long do you smoke the bacon?

    That’s my oldest son’s department, but I don’t think it took more than 1/2 hour. You can’t tell from the picture, but the pork butts were on the “off side” of the grill so they only got smoke, the bacon was over the side with the coals and wood chips (the last batch from an all-day smoking for the pork). So technically they were getting grilled some along with smoke. He’s just thrown bacon on the grill before over regular coals and it’s not a long wait. If you’re grilling out sometime, you could try getting bacon most of the way done in a microwave and then throwing it on the grill when you take your main course off. The bacon would probably ready about the time the main course was done resting. (We always give at least a five minute rest off the heat before cutting/serving so the heat and juices have a chance to equalize — ten or more minutes for a roast or tenderloin)

    The only thing that could have made the smoked bacon any better is if we could’ve chased some vegans around the yard with it. (Sorry — didn’t mean to let Bad Jerry out!)

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  45. Peggy Cihocki

    P.S. Thanks for all the yummy looking recipes/ideas, Jerry! They look wonderful! I just ordered a couple of Dana Carpender’s cook books and will get the Eades’ six week cure one (it’s exactly what I need! ) Thanks for guest posting. My hubby and I are new to this. Well actually, he is. Apparently I tried it many years ago (I discovered an old carb counting booklet tucked away in a drawer the other day) and then apparently stupidly gave it up for the low fat, vegetarian fad. Began to see the error of my ways about 10 years ago, but am still learning. Am now committed and got the hubby to commit, too.

    I’ll give you a heads up on the Eades’ six week plan — The first couple of weeks are kind of a “jump start” where you’re having three protein shakes a day with one “real” meal. We picked dinners as our real meals, and would be hungry by dinnertime, but never that “give me some food and nobody gets hurt” kind that you associate with carb driven sugar crashing or low fat diets. As I said, we thought the meals all looked good, and several of them remain as integral parts of our weekly “menu.” And after a shake for breakfast and a shake for lunch, they were absolutely delicious! (You have another shake in the evening before bed.)

    So that was the good news. But after our first week, Mom asked me how it was going. I said we were already dropping a few pounds and the change in my energy level and alertness was actually startling, but those protein shakes — O! M! G! I told her that at first, they tasted terrible; but once we’d been drinking them for three or four days, they were REVOLTING. I figured we could stick with it for the rest of the intro period, but we’d never do it again. She relayed that to Tom, who was puzzled. He told us it was probably the brand of protein powder — he suggested we try Body Fortress brand, as he had really liked the shakes. Well, we did and the difference was amazing (BTW, there’s several variations and recipes of shakes in the book).

    That was months ago and I still have protein shakes a couple of times a week, usually because I don’t feel like breakfast but sometimes if I just want a quick lunch or feel like I need a “jump-start” if a hit a stall. And they’re just tasty. So if you don’t find one you like right away, keep trying — I’d have never guessed there could be so much difference.

    Congratulations on your and your husband’s commitment to better health, and thanks for your comments and the pointers on the deserts and sweeteners. All of the folks’ feedback and comments have made this week a blast for me.

    It’s a team thing.

    — Older Brother

    Reply
  46. eddie watts

    http://healthcorrelator.blogspot.com/2011/04/china-study-ii-carbohydrates-fat.html
    this blog might be of interest, this post in particular involves a dissection of china study 2. see towards the bottom of the post though he states that

    “Insulin resistance is, more often than not, a direct result of obesity”

    They’re highly correlated, but I believe the insulin resistance sets in first. One of the lectures I just watched on the cruise includes a section about normal-weight people who develop insulin resistance and other metabolic issues. In fact, I believe two of the doctors mentioned that phenomenon.

    Reply
  47. Peggy Cihocki

    @Allison, when I make desserts (not often any more–I finally got my hubby to ditch the sweets) I use a blend of erythritol and Stevia with about a quarter of the sugar the recipe calls for. If you can’t eat sugar at all (I count it as part of my carb allowance for the day–it’s never more than a teaspoon per serving) mix sugar alcohols (xylitol, maltitol, erythritol, etc.) to equal about 3/4 of the sugar called for, then supplement with a little Stevia to taste to make up for any missing sweetness. But beware, all the sugar alcohols except erythritol can cause digestive distress and even erythritol will if consumed in large enough quantities. I just can’t bring myself to use Splenda or any other artificial sweetener. I’m kinda orthorexic about that. Yesterday I made brownies (with almond flour) for a crowd and used 1/4 cup of sugar with 1/2 cup of erythritol and three dropperfuls of toffee flavored Stevia liquid (for an 11 X 13 panful of brownies). They were a big hit and no one suspected that each brownie (I cut them small) only had about 5 grams of carbs, maybe less. Custards, (I make it with with cream and coconut milk) don’t need much sweetening, so could probably be sweetened entirely with erythritol and Stevia, no sugar needed. The toffee flavored Stevia drops from http://www.steviasmart.com add a nice hint of toffee flavor to whatever they’re added to. They have other flavors, too. I’ve been using Stevia for at least 15 years, probably more. Even in my low fat, vegetarian days I knew sugar was bad. Too bad it took me a while longer to learn that starches are part of the problem, too!

    Reply
  48. Peggy Cihocki

    P.S. Thanks for all the yummy looking recipes/ideas, Jerry! They look wonderful! I just ordered a couple of Dana Carpender’s cook books and will get the Eades’ six week cure one (it’s exactly what I need! ) Thanks for guest posting. My hubby and I are new to this. Well actually, he is. Apparently I tried it many years ago (I discovered an old carb counting booklet tucked away in a drawer the other day) and then apparently stupidly gave it up for the low fat, vegetarian fad. Began to see the error of my ways about 10 years ago, but am still learning. Am now committed and got the hubby to commit, too.

    I’ll give you a heads up on the Eades’ six week plan — The first couple of weeks are kind of a “jump start” where you’re having three protein shakes a day with one “real” meal. We picked dinners as our real meals, and would be hungry by dinnertime, but never that “give me some food and nobody gets hurt” kind that you associate with carb driven sugar crashing or low fat diets. As I said, we thought the meals all looked good, and several of them remain as integral parts of our weekly “menu.” And after a shake for breakfast and a shake for lunch, they were absolutely delicious! (You have another shake in the evening before bed.)

    So that was the good news. But after our first week, Mom asked me how it was going. I said we were already dropping a few pounds and the change in my energy level and alertness was actually startling, but those protein shakes — O! M! G! I told her that at first, they tasted terrible; but once we’d been drinking them for three or four days, they were REVOLTING. I figured we could stick with it for the rest of the intro period, but we’d never do it again. She relayed that to Tom, who was puzzled. He told us it was probably the brand of protein powder — he suggested we try Body Fortress brand, as he had really liked the shakes. Well, we did and the difference was amazing (BTW, there’s several variations and recipes of shakes in the book).

    That was months ago and I still have protein shakes a couple of times a week, usually because I don’t feel like breakfast but sometimes if I just want a quick lunch or feel like I need a “jump-start” if a hit a stall. And they’re just tasty. So if you don’t find one you like right away, keep trying — I’d have never guessed there could be so much difference.

    Congratulations on your and your husband’s commitment to better health, and thanks for your comments and the pointers on the deserts and sweeteners. All of the folks’ feedback and comments have made this week a blast for me.

    It’s a team thing.

    — Older Brother

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