What Nobody at Snapple, Minute Maid, and Capri Sun Wants You to Know About Fruit Drinks
You know, I’m beginning to think that we are making some real progress when it comes to making healthier choices as a culture. I really do. Maybe it’s just my social circle, but I keep seeing more and more people who are aware of the very real and common problems we are facing health-wise in our society.
Nowadays, people know the truth about trans fats, processed foods, and those despicable energy drinks, among other things. In fact, some people are starting to realize and admit to themselves that there is no single magic bullet that is going to get them healthy, fit, and lean. It takes a lot of work – hard work. And for a lot of people, it takes a new paradigm of how to think about health and fitness, in general. And I think this paradigm shift is slowly happening on a national and even global level.
So, what I’m trying to say is that there’s hope. Maybe it’s a false hope because there is still a lot of nonsense and ignorance around, but I’m starting to see the faintest glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.
One thing that’s contributing to this light is that more and more people are becoming aware of the dangers of so-called fruit drinks, and I think these beverages serve as a good example of the power that massive advertising budgets can have on the public’s opinion concerning a type of food or drink.
Fortunately, the truth is coming out, and more people are starting to realize that these fruit drinks are not only not healthy, but they are actually unhealthy. That is, not only will you gain almost ZERO benefit from drinking them, you will actually suffer consequences from drinking them. And yet, these drinks are endlessly marketed as “health drinks” everywhere. And if the sheer volume and variety of fruit drinks you can find at any grocery or convenience store is any indication, sales are roaring!
So, in this infographic-inspired article, you’re going to learn about the real dangers of so-called fruit drinks (sodas evil twin) and also a simple system for weaning yourself off of them (or another type of food or beverage that you’d like to cut down on or give up completely – soda, coffee, alcohol, sweets, etc.).
Continue reading The Unknown Dangers of So-Called Fruit Drinks + How to Wean Yourself Off Unhealthy Beverages
The Primal Blueprint Cookbook by Mark Sisson and Jennifer Meier is a Paleo cookbook – with, you guessed it, over 100 paleo recipes that are loosely based on Sisson’s version of the Paleolithic diet. These recipes are low-carb, grain-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free. There’s no pasta, no bread, no rice, and no beans – no kidding.
My wife and I received this as a gift in late 2010 and have since tried about a dozen recipes. There are things we love about it and things we don’t, and it’s about time I gave this paleo cookbook the review it deserves. Ultimately, this review is meant to help you decide if this cookbook is right for you.
Note: This is a somewhat lengthy review as I’d rather be thorough and cover all of the important information than try to condense this down to 500 words or less. Given that it will be long and detailed (please scan away!), I’ll tell you right up front that my wife and I unanimously agreed to award this 2 out of 5 stars. That may sound like a low rating, and it is, but those two stars might be reason enough to purchase this cookbook if it aligns with your nutritional philosophy. Please don’t disregard this paleo cookbook simply because of the low rating. We’re still happy with it and plan to continue using it in the future.
The Noms Master Speaks
First things first, who am I to be recommending any particular cookbook – especially a paleo cookbook? Well, you should probably know that I am NOT an expert in nutrition. I literally have ZERO credentials. Sure, I aced nutrition 101 in college and have read a lot of books on the subject, but that doesn’t mean diddly, and it certainly doesn’t make me an expert.
Though I am neither a nutritionist or dietitian, I am an expert in something else. I like to call it “eating.” My credibility is based on a lifetime of experience. I’ve literally been doing this my entire life. In fact, I’m even considered a guru in my local community (true story). This review is completely based on that perspective. Please keep that in mind while reading it (this isn’t nutritional advice).
What’s to Love About The Primal Blueprint Cookbook
It was very difficult trying to finalize our overall rating of this book, but it wasn’t hard to determine what would ultimately contribute to awarding it two full stars.
Yummy in Your Tummy
100% Primal Bacon Poppers
The paleo recipes in this cookbook are, in a word, delicious. In 28 words, this book is chock-full of appetizing, delectable, luscious, mouthwatering, savory, scrumptious, tasty, and finally, palatable paleo recipes that are fit for a king and border on divine. Succulent doesn’t do it justice, but it’s close. Exquisite is a fine descriptive word, but it’s a bit girly for my taste (no pun intended).
Seriously, almost everything we have tried (10 out of 12 recipes) have been utterly delicious, and fully-approved by everyone present. This is no small feat either. Usually, when you start using a new cookbook, you try a few recipes, and you get mixed results. The first one could be a clear winner – a “keeper.” But then you try another one, and it’s good, but not great. You probably won’t try it again. Then again, you try a third recipe and it’s awful – a complete dud and you’ll never, ever make it again. It has been our experience that you have to wade through the so-so recipes and the not-even-close-to-so-so recipes in order to find the real winners. That’s not the case with this cookbook. You will be pleasantly surprised with the end results.
Maybe we’ve just tried all the good ones (I doubt it), but if probability is on our side, then the majority of the recipes in the Primal Blueprint Cookbook are keepers. If you ask me, good food is reason enough to purchase a cookbook. That said, there’s probably some more info you’d like to know before you buy.
Continue reading The Primal Blueprint Cookbook – Complete Review (2 out of 5 stars)
Fiddlhead ferns in their natural habitat.
I wouldn’t be a true New Englander if I didn’t have a fond appreciation of the local cuisine, and fiddlehead ferns are a Northeastern luxury that is only available for a short window of time every year (usually 2-3 weeks). The fiddlehead fern is a young, unfurled fern that resembles the curled end of the fiddle and is foraged for food annually. I’ve enjoyed two meals that have included fiddleheads this past week. My first experience was a fiddlehead and mushroom salad in a sweet vinaigrette (not pictured) for a Sunday lunch that my father-in-law made. The other we enjoyed last night as an appetizer (recipe below). We’ve been loving it so much, we’re going to get another pound of fiddlehead ferns tonight to try another recipe. It’s only $4.99 per pound at our local supermarket, but I’ve heard of people paying upwards of $20 and $30 per pound in other parts of the country.
Rumor has it that fiddlehead ferns are absolutely jam-packed with nutrition, containing twice as many anti-oxidants as blueberries. They are also high in omega-3 fatty acids and dietary fiber, along with several vitamins and minerals. Some ferns do contain carcinogens that have been linked with cancer – the bracken fern being the worst offender. The ostrich fern is the one that you’ll want to look for. There have also been some cases of food poisoning from fiddlehead ferns that were eaten raw or not cooked well enough. So, it’s important to make sure you cook them thoroughly before eating them. We like eating them because they’re delicious, nutritious, local, seasonal, and wild!
Continue reading Fiddlehead Ferns Recipe With Bacon, Onions and Garlic
Back in high school, I was a fast food junkie. One or two weekly trips to McDonald’s, Taco Bell, or KFC wasn’t unusual back then. Not long afterwards, I saw the documentary Supersize Me by Morgan Spurlock (the one where he eats nothing but McDonald’s for a month). That triggered a decision that had already been looming in my mind to completely stop eating fast food – even if it meant I would go hungry for some meals. I haven’t been 100% clean, but since then, I’ve probably had fast food less than 5 times. There’s so much that can be said about the decision not to eat fast food, but I’ll let the statistics speak for themselves…
Continue reading WARNING: Everything you Don’t Want to Know About Fast Food
A deranged homemade energy bar can survive 15+ miles of hiking and still taste delicious upon returning home!
I have not one, but TWO recipes for you today. I have tried both of these myself and can vouch for their simplistic excellence. The first recipe was actually a favorite at our recent winter camping trip to Maine.
I got these recipes from Jodie Sonnon (my coach, Scott Sonnon’s, wife) and Steven Hogg (a friend and fellow CST Instructor). Thanks guys!
I love these homemade energy bars for many reasons:
1) They come with the kitchen-dummy seal of approval - anyone can cook these (even me!). Seriously, you can throw these things together in 30 minutes or less (it might take longer the first time if you’re OCD in the kitchen, like I am. In fact, my wife will catch me just staring into an empty pot on occasion). The step-by-step instructions are not complicated, so no cooking expertise needed.
2) They’re delicious - my regular readers know that I love love love good FOOD (see here if you’re not convinced). Not only are these bars easy to make, they’re delicious, too. And I mean that – everyone who has tried them – adults and children have remarked at how tasty they are. I expect nothing less from all the meals I make, and I would never recommend you eat something that isn’t delicious AND nutritious. Speaking of nutrition…
3) They’re jam-packed with nutrients that you need and many foods are lacking – Take a look at the ingredients and you’ll know what I mean… nuts, seeds, dried fruit – all-natural whole foods, and no supplements here!
4) They pack and store well - These aren’t baked. Instead, they harden as they are cooled, and they don’t require refrigeration after they’ve hardened (unless you live somewhere very warm). They won’t melt at room temperature and all 16 bars survived our 3-day winter camping trip no problemo (actually, that’s not… entirely true. Most were sacrificed to the tummy gods – the “chosen” ones).
So what are these bars best used for?
- Pre or post-workout snack
- In-between meals snack
- On-the-road snack
- As an extra source of calories during a bulking phase (did I mention they’re nutrient DENSE!)
- Satisfy that sweet tooth with a nutritious option
So, there you have it – they’re easy, delicious, nutritious, and practical, too. Here are the recipes…
Continue reading Homemade Energy Bars Recipe