About Paleo: Am I Really Allergic To Wheat?


One of the things that I love the most about blogging, and the blogging community, is that I am often in a position where you will challenge my position in one way or another. I really enjoy this, mostly because it helps me to remember to evaluate my position from time to time. It’s an amazing part of being surrounded (digitally surrounded) by smart, articulate people with their own strident opinions on the subjects that I choose to write about. Without the opportunity that you readers afford me, by challenging my ideas and asking me (as is your right, since I’ve gone and made my opinions public) to carefully consider and elaborate on my position, is perhaps one of the things that I am the most excited about when I share an idea in my posts. I need your thoughts, comments, and challenges, so that I can test my stance against other intelligent people.

Here is one such challenge, and one of the best that I’ve received to date:

As a newbie to paleo and a person who loves eating at restaurants I was excited to read your posts. I’m however very disappointed. As a person with an actual life threatening allergy (eggs) I can’t believe you would encourage people to lie about such things. Most restaurants will take your request for no soy etc with the seriousness that a preference deserves. Kitchens know that people with “allergies” often lie about it and as such take requests for “allergy” exclusions less serious. They might not sanitize a surface, or coortiz the same grill when they shouldn’t be. Your preference is not an allergy, and you make it hazardous for people like me to eat.

– Suzanne

So, the operative question here is this: Am I allergic to soy and wheat? Clearly anyone who has been Paleo for anything longer than a few months will state something along the lines of “Well, my body sure thinks so!” And my body is no exception to that. The few times that I’ve had the misfortune of eating something which is contaminated with soy or wheat (or any grain for that matter) I’ve had rather severe digestive distress. Anaphalaxes? Not so much, thankfully…
Suzanne’s comment comes from a position of fear, and she (and others like her) have a right to a thoughtful and rational response. I’m intending for this post to give Suzanne, and all of us Paleo people a complete response to when people question their statement that they’re allergic to wheat and soy.
See, here’s the thing. With 67% of America overweight, and half of them are obese, most of us Ancestral Health people have come to the general belief that there’s something seriously wrong with the general dietary proscriptions. The rate of leisure activity has not changed significantly over the past 30+ years, so while moving more will help us to control our weight, the answer to the severe overweight crisis is clearly not jogging. Us Ancestral Health people (yes, Paleo is Ancestral Health) have concluded, and most of us have significant personal “Success Stories” to support this conclusion, that the problem is dietary. So, let’s take a shot at figuring out whether I am personally allergic to wheat and soy.

First, let’s take a look at the definition of an allergy. The Wiki page on Allergy starts out with several lines of description. The first of which is this:

An allergy is a hypersensitivity disorder of the immune system.

Ok, got it. But what kinds of symptoms might I expect to see from that?

Symptoms of food allergy include abdominal painbloating, vomiting, diarrheaitchy skin, and swelling of the skin during hives.

And the wiki doesn’t stop there. The actual definition of an allergy, it would seem, is quite indicative of exactly the sort of digestive distress that I experience (and all of the Paleo people I know) every time I am unfortunate enough to ingest wheat or soy. Fortunately for me, and all of you Paleo people, the wiki actually directs specific attention to this in particular.

A wide variety of foods can cause allergic reactions, but 90% of allergic responses to foods are caused by cow’s milksoyeggswheatpeanuttree nutsfish and shellfish.

Hmm. Alright. A lot of Paleo people don’t necessarily know that they’re allergic. Is there a definitive way to test that, just to be sure it’s actually an allergy?

Elimination/Challenge tests: This testing method is used most often with foods or medicines. A patient with a suspected allergen is instructed to modify his/her diet to totally avoid that allergen for determined time. If the patient experiences significant improvement, he/she may then be “challenged” by reintroducing the allergen to see if symptoms can be reproduced.

So this makes it quite clear. When you’re going on a strict Paleo diet, you’re beginning the “Elimination” phase of the above diagnostic test. Then, when someone contaminates your food (or you just decide to eat some cake at some point…) and you have an adverse reaction, that confirms the diagnosis. To paraphrase the Wiki on Allergies, you have an allergy when: You have an issue, it gets better with elimination, and you can then reproduce those adverse symptomatic affects with reintroduction.
There’s little doubt in my mind at this point that the sorts of symptoms that I experience as a result of ingesting contaminated food definitely do qualify as an allergy. So in response to Suzanne’s statement, I’m clearly really allergic to soy and wheat. This isn’t one of those “little white lies” that people often tell in order to keep their life easier. This isn’t just a dietary preference. This is a full-blown allergy.

But I think I want to take this one step further. The follow up question, now, could be this: Isn’t it reasonable to assume that EVERYONE who follows an Ancestral Health diet is ALSO allergic to wheat and soy? I’d like to go one step further, even, than that. I’d like to be the one who toes the line, and states that EVERY single human is allergic to wheat and soy. But I can’t. Not today. There are some very smart people with very impressive labs who are working on that very question. And they’ll come out with an answer in the next several years. Of that I am confident. So, while I’m not going to be the guy who toes the line and states, definitively, that we’re all allergic to soy, I am perfectly comfortable to redirect us to some of the experts on the matter.

What do the experts think?

http://paleodietlifestyle.com/11-ways-gluten-and-wheat-can-damage-your-health/
T
he Paleo Diet Lifestyle is an impressively well-kept repository for many of the Ancestral Health seeds of wisdom over the years. In the above article, they state that wheat causes gut inflammation in at least 80% of the population. Goodness… That’s a LOT more than just the people who are in the Ancestral Health community! But to circle back a bit: it’s fair to say that if you’ve come to Paleo, you’re very likely one of those above 80%.

http://www.eat-real-food-paleodietitian.com/Paleo-diet-reasons-to-avoid-grains.html
What a Paleo Dietitian has to say on the subject: Gluten is very hard to digest, can cause damage to your intestines, and can lead to GI issues, autoimmune diseases, skin problems, mental health issues, among other symptoms of a food allergy. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that if these were potential side effects of a drug that a doctor prescribed me, I would simply not take it. Autoimmune disease and mental health issues? No thank you!!

In Summary:

I want to first re-state that I really appreciate Suzanne’s comment. She has done me, and all of you who read this a favor. She’s challenged me in a way that helped me to consider my position, take a look at the research out there, and reaffirm my stance on the matter. Dietary science is not a “set thing” yet – it’s constantly changing! Loren Cordain, the godfather of Ancestral Health himself, has changed his position on fats over the past several years, and subsequently updated and reprinted his book. I will be the first one to admit that, while I keep current on the information out there, it’s never a bad thing to take a step back and reconsider everything.

Also, as a result of my research to respond to Suzanne, I have discovered that it’s perfectly appropriate for you all to state that you’re allergic to wheat and soy. In fact, if you’re coming to Paleo with health issues that you hope cleaning up your diet of wheat (and all grains) and soy will cure, you’re most likely in that 80% group who is allergic to them. Please, do us all a favor and start to help the restaurants around you recognize that they need to be prepared for that. Tell your waiters: “I’m allergic to wheat and soy.” But even more important than that, if they ignore you and contaminate your food, GIVE THEM HELL!!
Suzanne’s point was a valid one, albeit misdirected. We’re too willing to simply not go back to a restaurant who served us bad food. But that’s just not going to help the rest of the Ancestral Health community anymore. You’re all going to need to stand up for your rights. The restaurant who contaminated your food, against your wishes, has effectively assaulted you. They’ve caused you damage, and they’ve done it directly, and possibly intentionally. If this were to cause you to go into anaphylactic shock, it would be considered poisoning. You owe it to me, Suzanne, and all of the other Paleo people out there to tell them so. Tell them angrily, and loudly. Make sure that they know that they’ve caused you harm, and that it’s simply not OK. Put it on the internet so that I can see it in their reviews. Write a post about it on your blog. And then don’t go back.

Reblog: Running 52.4 Miles for Research


Running 52.4 Miles for Research.

No recipe today… Instead, I would like to invite you to drop by runningforbostonmass.com at the link below and take a look at what Emily is up to. I am a huge fan of charities, volunteering, and supporting other people in their endeavors, and Emily is putting time and effort in to helping a lot of people. Take a look, give her some blog-luv. If you can spare some change, make sure to donate a few bucks to help her reach her charity goal!

And she’s running in vibrams, so how could I not pitch in here and help out!?

liverinthemoment

Grabbed this straight from her site at the below link

via Running 52.4 Miles for Research.

Maintaining Your Tools – Sharpening Knives


PolishingStone

Believe it or not, there’s no recipe today…

I know, I know… How dare I?! My daring aside, we chef’s have to maintain our tools from time to time. And since tool maintenance is such an important part of having a smoothly running kitchen, I want to take the time to devote an entire post to tool maintenance; today’s topic is our knives. Specifically, sharpening them. I hope, in the fullness of time, to take some of my blog space and time to talk about some of the other aspects of kitchen tools, including choosing them, purchasing them, and maintaining them. Those ideas can be addressed later. Today is about sharpening knives.
I’ll try to lay this out in a logically progressed manner, so that anyone, whether they’ve done this before or not, can follow it.

How do I sharpen my knives?

The following is a list of the tools that I suggest everyone who cooks should have in their kitchen.

  • Knives worth sharpening!!
  • A diamond stone (600 grit – green)
  • A “Polishing Stone” (1000+ grit)
  • Stone Oil (for oil-stones)
  • A clean, level surface

In addition to the 600 grit stone that I recommended above, I also have an 800 grit stone, giving me three levels of sharpening.

SharpeningTools

All things being equal, I highly recommend that you buy your diamond stones on a block, like you see here in the picture. I find the very thin ones to be quite difficult to use.

What do I do?

I highly recommend reading and watching everything by Bob Kramer. He’s a master, and one of the resources that I turn to when I want to do some fine-tuning on my own technique. Yes, I’m quite good. But everyone can learn from others, and Bob Kramer is the person I turn to most frequently when I’m looking to brush-up on my skills with a stone. Here are a few links that should get you started:

There’s a lot of good information here. Bob Kramer is not just the master, he’s also a highly skilled instructor. His steps on how to tell if your knife needs sharpening, and how to sharpen, are perfect for anyone at any level of understanding. He really knows what he’s doing, and is able to break it down effectively for any reader.

How I do it:

1. What kind of Blade and what kind of Edge do you have?

Blade:

  • The kind of blade that you use will determine the style and technique that you use to sharpen the blade, and how it will interact with the stone.
  • Take a look at this site to understand the differences in blade-type: Blade Type
  • I use a “Western Style” blade for most of my cooking. I have, and very much enjoy using, a Santoku knife. Sharpening it requires a different style and pattern from sharpening my chef’s knife.

Edge:

  • This is a very important question to answer, since it will affect the way that you sharpen your knife. The following are the two most frequent grinds that I see in kitchen knives.
  • “Hollow Ground”
  • If you’re using a hollow-ground blade, you can simply lay your blade flat against the sharpening stone and let the shape of the blade guide the sharpening process.
  • “Flat Ground”
  • I prefer these, as they encourage me to determine the shape and angle of my blade myself.
  • Use this Wiki site to determine which blade shape best describes your knife: Grind

2. First I assess my blade.

  • I hold my blade up, angling it so that the light bounces off the very edge of the blade.
  • I then run my eyes slowly, carefully along the blade’s edge, taking a look at the shape of the edge, noting places where there are warps in the blade, as well as any wear and tear issues that have occurred since my last sharpening; things like knicks, dings, and cracks.
  • Obviously, warped and/or cracked blades may be beyond saving, depending on how bad the problem is. And this is the time I look for these problems.
  • Next I feel the edge with my fingers.
  • [Insert appropriate “Do Not Try This At Home” comment here…]
  • Using a very light touch, I carefully run my index or middle finger along the side blade’s edge. I do not put my fingers directly on the blade – I run them along the side, where I can feel the imperfections of the edge without any fear of getting a cut. This is to verify what I thought I saw when I looked at the blade’s edge, as well as discover other issues that I may not have been able to see. Believe it or not, I can “see” the imperfections of the cutting edge better with my fingers than with my eyes.

Sharpening

2. Once I have a clear understanding of the imperfections on my edge, if there are any (hopefully it’s just time to sharpen…), I pull out my stones. Sometimes I have waited so long between sharpening that I’ll need to use more than one of my stones. Here’s how that works:

  • If my blade is really dull, I’ve dropped it on the floor (GASP!!) and it was damaged, or there are problems with the cutting edge, I’ll start with either the 600 grit or 800 grit stone.
  • Which stone first?
  • The smaller number corresponds to a more rough cut on your blade.
  • Use 600 grit when: You have to completely reshape the blade’s edge or fix bigger problems or edge issues. I most often use 600 grit on my knives once the initial factory hone wears off, and it’s time for me to sharpen my blade for the first time. Factory edge sharpening is different from home-sharpening.
  • Use 800 grit when: You have minor edge imperfections that need to be worked on, or you’re just conducting your routine sharpening.
  • Use a Polishing Stone when: You’re fanatical about the hone on your blade, you want it to always be as close to perfect as it can be, and your relationship with your blade is as good, if not better, than it is with your skillet. I’m not sure if I should admit that this does, in fact, describe me.
  • Which stone to use is a judgement call. How big are the issues that need to be dealt with? If you’ve got to re-shape your edge significantly, or need to fix something big, start with the 600 grit stone. For most people and most sharpening needs, an 800 grit stone will manage just fine.

3. Grease the surface of the stone.

  • How you do this depends on what the stone needs. Most “Diamond Stone” stones are designed to be used under running water, so for those stones you’ll simply turn on the sink and start to hone your blade.
  • Most stones that are actual stone are best used with an oil lubricant.
  • I use water for my diamond stones, and coconut oil for my polishing stone.

Sharpening1

4. Sharpen the blade.

  • I’ve covered this pretty well already, but here are my basic steps:
  • For my “Western Style” chef’s knife, I hold only the handle, and anchor the blade with my index finger.
  • I set the angle that I’m using, and then use a circular motion to sharpen each portion of the blade.
  • For my Santoku knife, I hold the blade with one hand and the handle with my other.
  • I set the angle that I’m using, and then use long, strait strokes to sharpen each portion of the blade.

5. Clean up the blade, and assess your work.

  • As soon as I’m done sharpening, I rinse the blade with hot water, and then re-assess the edge to determine if I have solved all of the issues that I identified.
  • As above, first I look. Once I’ve looked carefully, then I run my finger along the edge to make sure that the edge is smooth and sharp, and that I didn’t cause any new issues with the sharpening process.
  • Once I am satisfied, I wash the blade with soap, dry it with a towel, and replace it in the knife rack.

6. Clean and tend the stones.

  • This is nearly as important as tending your blades. Your stone needs to be properly cleaned, dried, and stored in order to be useful for you the next time you use it. Not to mention still being usable 5 years from now…
  • The oil-stones should be rinsed with hot water, dried with a towel, and left to air-dry for several hours somewhere they won’t be affected by the kitchen-mess you’ll probably be making soon. After all, we sharpen before cooking, not after, right?
  • The water-stones should be rinsed thoroughly with water, and probably a moist towel. These should also be dried with a towel, and then left to air-dry somewhere out of the way.
  • Don’t forget to put these away after they’ve had a chance to dry out…

Questions:

  • Do you sharpen your own knives?
  • Do you sharpen your knives often enough?
  • Do you know what kind of stone you’re using? Is it a water-stone, or an oil-stone?
  • Do you know what the grit-count of your stone is?
  • Do you have a preference in your blade-type?
  • Do you have a preference in your edge-type?
  • Did you know the difference between “Hollow Ground” and “Flat Ground” before reading this post?
  • Do you have any other questions or thoughts for me?

It’s Award Day! Liebster Award


LiebsterAward

There are a couple of different blogger awards out there, and I’ve enjoyed seeing a few of them pop up on my favorite blog sites. It’s somehow validating, in a strange way, when I look at someone else’s content, and see that they’ve been nominated by another person as “excellent” in some way. Invariably, I always click on each of the blogs that they are passing their award on to, just to see if their taste matches mine. Usually one or two of those blogs make it onto my own “Watch” list, and I have become active participants on some of them. As much as I like to write my own content, I have really come to appreciate the “award” extension of the blogger culture. It is, in fact, a highly collaborative culture, and the giving and receiving of awards is an important part of that! Today, I accept the Liebster award, and pass it along to my other 11 favorite <300 followers blogs. So, without further adieu, here are the Liebster Blogger Award rules:

  1. List eleven random facts about me.
  2. Nominate eleven bloggers for the Liebster Blog Award.
  3. Notify the bloggers.
  4. Ask eleven questions the bloggers must answer upon receiving the nomination.
  5. Answer the eleven questions you were asked when you were nominated.
  6. Link back to the person who nominated you.

The person who nominated me is Hari Qhuang, of Hari’s Got Tales! I can honestly say that Hari and I are frequent readers and commenter often on each other’s blogs. Hari, like me, is a food blogger; and I really enjoy seeing other perspectives on food. Hari’s authentic Asian recipes are often entirely new concepts to me. I really love to try to incorporate little bits and pieces of what he does with his food in to my own meals. I definitely recommend that you all take a moment and stop by Hari’s site to see what he has to share today!

11 Facts About Me:

  1. I wear a suit to work every day. Today I am wearing a 3-piece suit. Interestingly, the office that I work in at the moment is considered “Business Casual”; most of the people wear slacks and a shirt, most of the time. But often enough it’s a short-sleeve golf shirt, with sneakers. And I wear a suit, with a tie, every day.
  2. I’ve been running all my life; but I only started to actually enjoy running about 4 years ago. That was when I switched to bare foot running, and the world immediately changed for me! Before that, I ran regularly, but considered it to be a chore, and a barely tolerable one at that. Now, I love it!
  3.  I was born and raised in Vermont, and still think of myself as a Vermonter. Unfortunately, I cannot eat a normal apple pie any longer. However, my mother has become quite adept at baking Paleo Apple Pies for special occasions, and there are few things in the world that make me feel better than Mom’s Paleo Apple Pie!
    For amusement, check out some of these “Vermonter” articles:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vermont_English
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yankee Vermonter Extract Below:

  4. I absolutely love Maple Syrup. Probably because of this, I almost never use it. Any time I am actually in need of a sweetener, I either caramelize something (onions, mushrooms, fennel), use fruits, or use honey. They’re far less addictive to me. Maple Syrup, for me, is reserved for very special occasions. Like as a sweetener in my 20+ mile run drinks!
  5. I have had the bottoms of my shoes customized to be as minimalist as possible (1 cm thick). I’ve actually been meaning to write a blog post about it. I took before/after pictures of my work shoes and everything, but I’ve been enjoying my food posts so much that I just haven’t gotten around to it yet…
  6. My eyes are very light-sensitive; I cannot go outside without sunglasses unless it’s actively raining. Despite this, I spend as much time outside as possible. Since going Paleo I rarely burn, so I know it’s just an eye thing for me.
  7. Barbecue, and smoked meats, are without a doubt my favorite food to eat!! I could eat smoked meats all day, every day. I might even forget to eat my vegetables if that was an option! And it would be heavenly!!
  8. While my wife and I were evaluating dietary options, those many years ago, we took a considerable amount of time to consider Vegan. We are both deeply analytical, very well educated, and careful about our choices. It was important that we make the most informed decision possible, and the Vegan diet is the media’s darling for health. We spent a considerable amount of time reviewing the data on Veganism, in order to ensure that we were making the best decision for our health possible.
  9. I take nutritional supplements. No, I don’t take any of the name-brand off-the-shelf supplements, and I honestly don’t think those are worth your time to consider. I have a functional nutritionist who works with me to specifically ensure that my nutritional needs are met. My program is highly individualized, and incorporates pieces of the available food spectrum which I don’t have a lot of exposure to. I think EVERYONE should find a good functional nutritionist, and make sure that they’re getting all of the nutrition in their diets that their body needs!
  10. I love dogs! I don’t have any pets, but if I did, I would have two large dogs. Think Burmese Mountain Dogs, or Alaskan Malamutes. I might even go so big as an Irish Wolfhound. I like big dogs!!
  11. I

11 Questions To Me:

  1. I was once tricked to eat a fried bat. Name some of the most extreme foods you have ever eaten.
    – That’s a funny question. The idea of an “extreme” food is classified by your food culture, more than anything else. I’ve eaten bugs; cooked and raw. I’ve eaten raw, uncooked Jalapeno peppers. I’ve eaten an onion, like it was an apple. But relative to my paradigm at the moment, the most extreme foods I have eaten: Spaghetti, Lasagna, Fried Rice, Mac&Cheese, and worst of all: Toast!
  2. Name a thing you would not eat (not because of religious reasons), even if someone pay you lots of money to eat it.
    – Ok, the obvious answer aside… I think I would have to draw the line at inorganics. I have no interest, whatsoever, in eating Petroleum products.
  3. I once took a three hour ride just to try a famous roasted duck, which did not taste as good as advertised. How far have you ever traveled for food?
    – For food specifically? Not that far… I doubt I would be willing to take even a 1-hour drive for a specific restaurant or meal. But I always prioritize food whenever I travel!
  4. What is your personal policy about food in the bedroom?
    – Avoid it like the plague. There is a time and a place for everything, and food in the bedroom is completely anti-functional. Also, I think there are some sort of Feng Shui laws about it or something.
  5. When I was in Bali, I had a lunch in the middle of a paddy field. Where is the most unusual place you have ever dined in?
    – I ate a meal-replacement bar and an apple while I was hang-gliding. I can’t really call that “dining” but it’s certainly the most unusual place I’ve ever had a meal!
  6. Name three kitchen tools you are allowed to bring If you – in some crazy scenario – have to live in a deserted island for a month, where you have to eat whatever you can find there.
    – Chef’s Knife, Skillet, Chopsticks.
  7. If you are given the chance to launch your own perfume, with a condition that it is going to smell like food, what flavor is the main chord going to be?
    – Macadamia. I was going to go with Coconut, but I’ll bet that’s been done.
  8. If you are a contestant in a cooking pageant – is there one? – and you have to cook something that represents yourself, what would it be?
    – Paleo Bacon Apple Pie.
  9. What do you think about “junk” food?
    – As above: “Junk” is determined by your food culture. I consider anything with grains in it to be “junk” food; and I avoid them like I avoid having food in the bedroom! My body is, as far as I know, the only one I’ll ever get. So I treat it with the utmost care and concern, in the hopes that it will perform at it’s highest capacity for as long as possible.
  10. What is the worst thing you have ever eaten to impress someone or to “save face”?
    – Honestly, nothing. I’m unconcerned with “saving face”, and while I would eat something to impress someone, I’m not really disturbed by most foods. Except grains. I won’t be crossing that line any time soon.
  11. What is the best advice about food have you ever gotten?
    – My father said to me, as I was heading off to college: “Start with caramelized onions while you figure out what you want to eat.” The echoes of that advice still show up in my food choices today.

My 11 Blogger Nominations:
(listed in alphabetical order)

  1. Health Without Sacrifice
  2. Mummy Flying Solo
  3. My Little Jar Of Spices
  4. My Paleo Journey
  5. Noah Matthews
  6. Oh Snap Let’s Eat!
  7. Peaches And Cake
  8. Scientifically Delicious
  9. The Dentist Chef
  10. The Wine Getter
  11. Two Chicks And A Blog

My 11 Questions for the above Bloggers:

  1. Of the astonish number of technologies that we use every day, which one has the most impact on your life?
  2. What is your least favorite part of blogging? And how do you cope with it?
  3. If you were transformed into an animal (a non-human animal…), right this instant, which animal is most representative of who you are now?
  4. If there was one activity that you could spend a day doing, regardless of cost, location, etc. what activity would you do first?
  5. If money was no object, is there a restaurant, anywhere in the world, which you would travel to and eat at? And what would you eat?
  6. What is the most fun you have ever had with food in your life? And school-yard food fights DEFINITELY count!
  7. Have you ever gone running outside with socks but no shoes on? Why? What season was it?
  8. Is there an article of clothing which you have purchased in the past but you will never purchase again in the future? What is it, and why will you never buy another? And Halloween costumes don’t count. Unless you were buying clothing to assemble the costume yourself; not using a pre-assembled costume package.
  9. What was your favorite childhood game? Do you still play it? Why, or why not?
  10. What did you want to be when you grew up? Have you become that? Why, or why not?
  11. If you had no limitations, is there a food that you would like to cook with, but cannot currently? What food is it, and why can’t you cook with it? Yes, cost can be the reason.

It’s Award Day! WordPress Family Award


wordpress-family-award

This is a fantastic new award, and I’m very impressed by the premise! I couldn’t be more pleased with the idea behind the WordPress Family Award, since I feel much the same feelings about the WordPress community as the creator of this award felt when he created it. Of course, my excitement with the award also carries with it another level of excitement that I was honored with it!

For the following 10 names, if you accept you’re planning on accepting your nomination: click here and follow the directions.

I was nominated by Adventures Of A Cavemom. I enjoy these blogger awards for a variety of reasons. It’s great to let the bloggers know that we enjoy their content. There are a variety of ways to do that: the “Like” button on the WordPress reader, as well as on the blog posts works well. Commenting works even better; particularly for smaller blogs. But the best reason is that it really tells the blogger that their content is valuable to someone. And in so doing, that blogger’s nominations gives me a chance to check out which blogs that blogger is most interested in. So any time I see an award on any of the Blogs that I frequent, I always go check out every one of the people that blogger has nominated, and the nominating blog. There are always exciting and interesting new blogs in the list, and I love finding those!
So, everyone reading this: go check out Adventures Of A Cavemom and each of the other blogs on this list, and make sure you add a few of them to your daily repertoire!

The following are the 10 blogs, in alphabetical order, which I nominate for the WordPress Family Award. A few of these are bigger blogs, and not eligible for some of the other blogger awards any longer. Further, since they’ve grown larger, they may not be willing/able to spare some content time to accepting an award. And that’s OK.

My 10 Nominations:

  1. 365 Days Of Bacon
  2. A Lot On Your Plate
  3. Hari’s Got Tales
  4. Health Without Sacrifice
  5. Jen Nova Food Blog
  6. Kate Stull
  7. Lara’s Mess
  8. Miles For Thought
  9. Morning Story And Dilbert
  10. Oh Snap Let’s Eat!

Paleo Treats


ChloesSoftServeFruitCo-TangerineAndPineapple

I don’t eat a lot of sugar. In fact, I don’t eat a lot of anything that contains sugar. I probably eat less sugar-containing food, in total, in a week than the average American eats in a day. The truth is that, at the end of the day, I simply don’t need any sugar. I get along just fine without it. I wake up fine, I work out explosively, I enjoy my food and drink the way nature intended it to taste, and I don’t have any trouble falling asleep. The few times that I choose to have a sugar-laden treat, I choose carefully, and I make sure that I choose those treats based on how much joy they will bring to me. And Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit Company really fits the bill!

Their treats are made from real fruit blended with water and a bit of organic sugar. A quick look at their nutrition facts confirms that they’re filling their treats with mostly fresh delicious fruit, and not very much sugar. On a hot day, their treats are a godsend, and the perfect pick-me-up from the heat. And there has been some SERIOUS heat in the NYC area recently!

They do a 4-flavor rotational menu, where the 4 flavors that they are serving on any given day are not necessarily the same 4 flavors as the day before. Over the past two years I have personally tried their pear, banana, mango, raspberry, strawberry, pineapple and tangerine fruit flavors, as well as their chocolate. The picture above is Tangerine and Pineapple, an amazing combination with the fresh raspberries on top!

So, if you’re hanging around 14th street of NYC and it’s a hot day like today, make some time for a mid-afternoon treat at Chloe’s Soft Serve Fruit Company!

Umm… This is not an advertisement. I guess when I sing the praises of something I’ve enjoyed as much as Chloe’s, I should point out that I am doing as I have always done on this blog: share my experiences. So far (although, I would be delighted if someone changed this!!) no one has ever offered me any kind of payment for my blog posts, including a free meal. I paid full price for the frozen fruit in my picture, and would again!

Questions:

  • What kinds of treats do you indulge in?
  • Do you indulge often? And if not often, do you have a regular indulgence? Like, every Friday night you do ice cream and a movie (no, I do not)?
  • When you indulge, what are your favorite treats?

Liebster Award – Oh Frabjous Day! Callooh! Callay!


LiebsterAward

So I had every intention of sitting down this weekend and working my butt off to create a new “Liebster Award” picture to use on my blog. I was hoping that I would be able to spell it out in peppers, tomatoes, bacon, and spices. Or, you know, some sort of combination of foods, spices, and plates/forks. But then real life got in the way. Having a full time job, and a major hobby like blogging can be time consuming, and those precious few hours of self-time that you manage to carve out on the weekends are not so easily filled with taking photos of food for frivolous, though quite exciting pursuits. So, perhaps if I get nominated again, I will consider it. But this time, something had to give – and life won out.

liebster-blog-award_3-5The Liebster Award, it turns out, has gone through a strange transformation through the years of it’s existence. I was curious, and did some searching. What I found is that the original (or at least, first mention) Liebster Award asked that the person acknowledge the nominator, then pass on the nomination to 3-5 other blogs, of 300 readers or less. This was “firmed up” to 5 other blogs, at some point subsequently, perhaps as blogging became more popular and bloggers became more likely to have 5+ other blogs that they themselves read.

Liebster Award The Rules - 5

liebster-blog-award_11Then, again at some point afterward, the award transformed again in to the version that I was nominated for. Again, I presume the metamorphoses occurred as the number of blogs increased, and the likelihood was that bloggers were reading more than 11 other blogs. At this point, it also added the “create a post about this” requirement, where there are questions asked and answered. None of this matters, except that I was curious, and I figured that you all would enjoy the fruits of my research. So, without further adieu, I will tell you about my nomination.

I was nominated for The Liebster Award By Ani Danelz of milesforthought.wordpress.com. While it is not actually a requirement to be familiar with your nominator’s blog, it is true in this case. I do frequent Ani’s blog, and am quite familiar with her content. Thank you Ani for nominating me! I am honored by the nomination, and it’s great to know that I am appreciated!! And rather than reproducing what Ani has already done in her own words, you can find out more about Ani here.

Ani’s Questions:

1. What is your favorite post on your blog?
Wow, that’s a really challenging question – I absolutely love my subject matter! But, since I’m being pinned down, I think my favorite post would have to be the first time I accidentally smoked meat in the crock pot. I imagine you readers have noticed this, as I have literally been obsessing over the reproduction and eventual “Formalized” recipe for repeating it. Just as important as the excitement that came out of it, it’s also the first post I ever shared a mistake. As you can imagine, sharing mistakes is not necessarily something a food blogger needs to do… You can find the original post here:
http://urbanpaleochef.com/2013/03/06/slow-cooker-smoked-pork-roast/

2. What are your favorite kinds of blogs to read?This one is less of a challenge. I spend most of my blog-reading time on other food, diet, or lifestyle blogs. I really enjoy “Niche” blogs, which are hyper-specialized. I find the level of creativity it takes to keep a blog alive with a highly limited subject matter fascinating. You will see a few shining examples of that in my nominations. And when I’ve exhausted my food reading for the day, I am most likely to stumble across running blogs of some sort or other. That’s how I found Ani’s blog to begin with.

3. Why do you blog?
Well, it all started with… In truth, I’ve been cooking for friends and family for many years now, and have had compliments heaped on me enough times to start believing that people appreciate my food specifically, and it’s not just appreciation for the fact that they didn’t have to do the cooking themselves. It’s taken me a long time to come to that conclusion, but with much encouragement from my wife I finally agreed to start to share some of my recipes. And once I started to write down the recipes, and people started to read my blog, like, and comment my posts, my motivation took on a life of it’s own. I now find that I am driven to continue my writing.

4. What are you most excited about this spring/summer?
I can’t wait for the summer pig roasts!! I know that seems a bit simplistic. But it’s really true! I love a good pig roast, and now that I’m a food blogger, and have other people to share it with, I just really want to go to a big pig-roast event and share it! Also, there are tons of other food events in NYC in the summer, and I plan on attending as many as possible to share them all with you!
The next on my list would be: I am planning on breaking my life-long 1 mile record this fall. My best time ever, in high school was a 5:26. Since going Paleo, I’ve steadily worked my times back down from a 6:12 in 2008 to a 5:30 last year, and I am salivating to break that 5:26. And, fortunately, I really enjoy speed training! It’s going to be a great summer!

5. What is your favorite song?
There is a 4-way tie for that, being perfectly honest. At any given time, no matter where I am or what the situation is, I will always stop and appreciate, listed below in chronological order, any of the following 4 songs:
Four Seasons, Vivaldi
Come Fly With Me, Frank Sinatra (or recently re-done by Michael Buble)
What A Wonderful World, Louis Armstrong
Sweet Child Of Mine, Guns N’ Roses

6. Is there any food you absolutely will not eat?
I think most of you who are reading this can probably guess… But I’ll go ahead and be blunt about it: Any grain product, or any bean product. I am becoming more and more fanatical about grains and/or beans in any sort of food I ingest. This is by choice, originally, but more and more it is by necessity now. Since I no longer ingest grains or beans at all, any time they wander in to my food, I am severely affected by them.

7. Do you have any bad habits?
Who, me? Of course not… All joking aside: yes, I most certainly do. I am highly critical of myself, my work, and nearly anything that I have a part in. The benefit of that is the quality of work that I produce. The negative: I am unintentionally equally critical of all other people. And to keep this post reasonably readable, I’ll leave it at that.

8. What is your favorite part about yourself?
I would have to say it’s my optimism. I am a glass-half-full kind of person. I love life, people, being with people, sharing with people, food, exercise. I am passionate about passion. I am happy for happiness. And as much as the above several ideas gush with gushiness (I know, not a word), they actually happen to be true!

9. What is your favorite restaurant?
At the moment, it is Hu Kitchen, hands down (http://hukitchen.com/). They make the most delicious, clean, delightful foods sourced from the highest quality producers/farms, and they do it all with a huge smile on their faces! Their food is amazing, and I really love eating there!

10. What is your favorite flavor of frozen yogurt?
Lately my favorite frozen treat has been organic grapes, frozen whole. I’ve been picking them up in the imported foods section, when they have organic grapes, and bringing home a bag to pop in the freezer. Then, when I’m looking for a frozen snack, I’ll pop off a small branch of the frozen grapes and slowly gnaw my way through them. They’re delicious! All the benefits of unprocessed fruit, but frozen!

11. Where have you lived?
Several places. I was born and raised on an old farm in Vermont. We had a 2-acre garden when I was growing up. It was huge, beautiful, and produced amazing vegetables! I loved working the garden with my parents. I lived there until leaving for college, which was in upstate new york. About a 2-hour drive from Ottawa, Canada. From there I moved to Delaware, where I loved for several months before moving to Manhattan for a few weeks while I found my bearings in the NYC area. I quickly realized that the Hudson and Bergen counties of New Jersey were much better suited to a Vermont boy like me, and have lived in either Hudson or Bergen county New Jersey ever since.

11 Nominations:

  1. 365 Days Of Bacon
  2. Noah Matthews
  3. Breaking Bread
  4. Paleo Foodie Kitchen
  5. Health Without Sacrifice
  6. Peaches And Cake
  7. Two Chics And A Blog
  8. Vittle Monster
  9. The Winegetter
  10. Scientifically Delicious
  11. Primal Smoke

And my questions:

  1. Why do you blog?
  2. What is your “Death Row Final Meal”? And why?
  3. In what ways do you consciously contribute to a green planet?
  4. If money was no object, where would you travel first?
  5. If money was no object, who would you bring with you on that first trip?
  6. What do you collect? And why?
  7. If you could have three wishes, what would they be? And why?
  8. Where do you get your blogging inspiration from?
  9. How did you decide what you wanted to be when you grew up? And have you grown up yet?
  10. What is your favorite pass-time?
  11. What is something that you have never done that you would like to try?

And a reminder of the rules of the current generation of the Liebster Award:

liebster-blog-award_11