While I’ve been enjoying an assortment of nut butters from Ingr-EAT-ients, I couldn’t help but want to try to make some of my own again.
Ever since I made the macadamia nut butter about a month ago, I’ve been wanting to try a nut butter variation of one of my favorite healthy desserts – Salted Dark Chocolate Macadamia Nut Bark.
Which when I tried making it the other day, along with a plain Macadamia Nut Butter and a Vanilla Honey Cashew Butter (which reminded me of cookie dough), ended up sort of tasting a little like Nutella. Not exactly like Nutella, although I’m sure you could make something even closer using hazelnuts, but enough that it really really REALLY tasted like a treat!
Although I could simply eat the chocolate macadamia nut butter by the spoonful, it was also great on an apple. And I can’t wait to try it in the Yonanas later this week…Just image….Salted Chocolate Macadamia Nut Banana Ice Cream….DROOL….
Anyway, here is the Salted Chocolate Macadamia Nut Butter recipe!
Salted Chocolate Macadamia Nut Butter
10 oz Unsalted Roasted Macadamia Nuts
About 1/2 cup Dark Chocolate chunks
1 tsp Sea Salt (can use less or more to taste)
1 tsp Coconut Oil
Place nuts in a food processor. Process until a fine powder. Add in chocolate, salt and oil. Continue to process until smooth. This will take only a minute or two.
If you would like it to be chunky, put in a few nuts at the very end and blend for only a second or two.
Have you ever made a chocolate nut butter at home? What would you eat the Salted Chocolate Macadamia Nut Butter on?
So before starting this week, I wrote out a meal plan breaking down calories, fat, carbs and protein for each and every day.
My goal is always to keep my carbs under 150 grams per day, which honestly I don’t find too difficult.
I also like to cycle my carbs. This week I had two days close to 150 grams, one day near ketosis and the others in that safe range that keeps me energized.
Here was my breakfast/lunch from this morning. (And one of the very rare times that I do in fact eat beans…Rare…But it happens.)
2 homemade corn tortillas (Visit the Recipe Box for how to make your own!)
1 1/2 slices bacon
2 tbsp mashed pinto beans
5 slices of jalapeño diced
Shredded cheddar cheese
Cook the bacon. Remove once it is browned to your liking. Using the bacon grease to then heat up your corn tortillas.
While the tortillas are cooking up, mash up pinto beans. Remove tortillas once crispy and slightly brown. Put one tablespoon of beans on each tortilla. Sprinkle on jalapeños.
Once you remove the tortillas, cook the eggs in the remaining grease. Once eggs are cooked to your liking, place on top of the beans. Top the eggs with bacon pieces and some cheddar cheese.
Enjoy! (Or at least I did!)
Carbs – To eat or not to eat…
Isn’t really the question.
What you should actually ask yourself is, “Where should I be getting my carbs from?” and “And how many should I eat on any given day?”
You need some carbs. How many you need exactly is dependent upon the activities you are doing.
Especially when I was lifting and doing very little cardio, I found that I felt best when eating relatively no carbs.
Now that my workouts are more cardiovascular, I find that I need to eat more carbs than before.
BUT that doesn’t mean that I’m gorging myself and pasta and stuffing myself with all of those simple sugar power gels and drinks. You don’t need to “carbo-load” they way that people often do.
Anytime I need to fill up or replenish my glycogen stores, I eat whole,natural, unprocessed and unrefined carbohydrates.
I’ve always gotten a large portion of my carbs from veggies. Now that my body is craving more carbs with the increase of aerobic exercise in my circuit training, I’m finding that I’m craving more fruits and even occasionally some white rice and potatoes.
I’m sure some of you will be surprised by the fact that I said WHITE RICE over BROWN RICE, but my stance on “whole grains” is an issue for another post.
The point of this post is that you do NEED CARBS. You just don’t need to eat pasta, oatmeal and bread to get what you need.
Honestly, depending on your level of activity, your body may be satisfied if you just eat some nuts and veggies. If you workouts are intense and you are doing more cardiovascular activities, you may find that you deplete your glycogen stores more and that you crave more carbs after your workout. Fruit is a great way to get some extra carbs because fruit also contains essential vitamins and minerals.
And if you need quick acting carbs to replenish your depleted stores, potatoes and white rice, yes white rice, are a great way to get the carbs you need.
How many carbs you need exactly is dependent on YOUR level of activity. Not what your friend or neighbor or trainer eats.
Too many carbs can lead to fat retention and the “carb belly.”
BUT consuming too few carbs can also hinder your progress. Sometimes you need to eat a few more carbs or “carb cycle” (high carb and low carb days) to get off that last little bit of fat or to enhance your performance.
So experiment. Take a look at your diet. Have you been severely restricting carbs but are struggling to get off that last little bit of fat? Has your performance lagged? Have you failed to lose any fat?
Your carb intake, or the types of carbs you are consuming, may have something to do with it.
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
– Juliet (Romeo and Juliet)
When people hear the name “Paleo Diet” or “Primal Diet,” they scoff and say, “Oh that is that crazy Caveman diet right?”
BUT if I tell people, “Oh I eat only whole, natural foods and avoid gluten, processed foods and vegetable oils” they nod their head in agreement.
UHM HELLO!?! Basically what I’m doing is eating the exact Primal diet that they scoffed at!! The only difference is…..
I DIDN’T CALL IT PRIMAL!
One word can define how people view a diet, workout program even a way of living!
Once mainstream media deemed the Primal/Paleo diet the “Caveman diet” people began to scoff at it even if they will nod in agreement when you list off all of the principles of the diet.
The same thing is true if you say you eat a “low-carb” diet.
People instantly say, “Oh like Atkins?” or “So you don’t eat fruits and veggies?”
BUT if you say you avoid “unhealthy carbs,” again people nod in agreement. (Of course my definition of unhealthy carbs is most often different from theirs, but still…)
There are just so many things that annoy me with the above situation.
For one, if people did any research, they would know that Atkins has now changed and DOES allow carbs as well as a plan to help you add them back in to an appropriate level after the initial weight loss.
For two, why does low-carb instantly mean to people that you cut out fruits and vegetables!?!
Trust me you can eat low-carb but still eat tons of fruits and vegetables! Honestly, I eat more fruits and vegetables since going “low-carb” than I ever did when I ate lots of carbs and low-fat!
So I could eat 7 cups of broccoli throughout the day and still eat fewer carbs than if I had ONE cup of brown rice!
And personally I think having just two cups of broccoli is better nutritionally than one cup of brown rice (AND fewer carbs!)
And diet isn’t the only place that I see “names” being misconstrued.
Honestly, I believe that the same thing has happened as Crossfit has become more and more popular.
It is so funny the different reactions I get from other trainers when I say “intense circuits” versus “Crossfit-style workouts.”
To me, Crossfit means pushing your limits. Trying new things. Constantly varying up the workout. Lifting heavy things and sprinting often.
It means intense circuits that are never the same and constantly challenge your fitness level.
But that isn’t what it means to most trainers.
To most trainers, Crossfit means injury and Olympic lifts with bad form.
But what in this DEFINITION of what Crossfit TRULY is supposed to be says that?
CrossFit describes its strength and conditioning program as “constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement,”with the stated goal of improving fitness (and therefore general physical preparedness), which it defines as “work capacity across broad time and modal domains.”Workouts are typically short—20 minutes or less—and intense, demanding all-out physical exertion. They combine movements such as sprinting, rowing, jumping rope, climbing rope, weightlifting, and carrying odd objects; they use barbells, dumbbells, gymnastics rings, pull-up bars, kettlebells, medicine balls, and many bodyweight exercises.These elements are mixed in numerous combinations to form prescribed “Workouts of the Day” or “WODs”. Hour-long classes at affiliated gyms, or “boxes,” typically include a warm-up, a skill development segment, the high-intensity WOD, and a period of individual or group stretching. Performance on each WOD is often scored and/or ranked to encourage competition and to track individual progress. Some affiliates offer additional classes, such as Olympic weightlifting, which are not centered around a WOD.
Uhm I swear I’ve heard the exact trainers that condemn Crossfit utter this exact same phrase to describe their strength and conditioning program “constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement,”with the stated goal of improving fitness (and therefore general physical preparedness).”
Am I wrong?
But because a few people practice something in a way that some consider “wrong,” a whole movement gets condemned.
There are always going to be people who do things that you don’t agree with….in any movement or facet of life.
But that doesn’t mean you can just ignore and belittle something without learning more!
How many things have you not tried because of one word associated with them? How many times have you not done the research to find out the principles behind the diet/lifestyle/workout?
Also, can we ever really accept that one word represents an entire movement? Let’s face it…Primal SHOULDN’T mean the exact same thing to ever person. Neither should “low-carb” or “Crossfit”……
- I love the Olympics. I love the Olympic trials. They make me want to go and workout and be really really good at something!
- Ross the boss has been providing me with all sort of great inspirational photos recently. (Ross the boss is also known as Monkey Knuckles haha). She more than anyone should be proud of where she is today! Right before we went paddleboarding her father told her, “Remember you aren’t a jock like those other people.” Uhm sorry Ross the boss’ pops…BUT SHE IS! She’s a heavy lifting, paddleboarding, sprinting, rowing, rock climbing!?! JOCK! AND best of all…She’s lovin’ it!
- I LIKE IT! Active at 85!
- Great deadlift workout with some of my favorite lifting ladies! Both ladies set new lifting PRs! AMAZING!
- Also, I think I’ve mentioned this at least once before…I LOVE SUMMER! Fresh, local, delicious fruit!
- I think is potentially my diet nightmare – “The Starch Solution.” I love how low-carb diets are called “fad diets” while this diet by Dr. McDougall’s isn’t considered a fad diet because it has helped thousands of people. Well, low carb diets have helped thousands of people too. And if you do the research, low-carb diets have been around for a lot longer AND helping people for a lot longer. So how are we defining fad diet here? Also this kind of sounds like a “fad diet” claim : “The Starch Solution is a groundbreaking program that will help you shed pounds, improve your health, save money, and change your life.” I am curious though what research studies this book is based on….I looked at the site but I didn’t find many studies. I found news articles, which seemed more promotional than informative. I also did find an article called “Posthumous Interview with Tim Russert.” Uhmmm….this is not PROOF that your diet is right!!!
The Simply Stupid
- OH MY GOSH! Did I really just see this!?! Diet tips from the Jersey Shore girls!?!
This isn’t really a good, bad or simply stupid thing. It is just an interesting article and the doctor cited in it was a member of the gym I work(ed) at. I especially like it because it isn’t against fat and it bashes the low-fat diet. Of course it isn’t flattering about low-carb diets either but I don’t think a Primal diet full of fruits, veggies and some non-gluten carbs would fall under what they define as a low-carb diet. Actually I wonder what their definition of “low-fat” and “low-carb” truly is…
Another random thought, do you ever see an infomercial for something and think, “That is super cool” and then right after think, “That can’t be healthy?” I saw a commercial for Slushy Magic and thought about just how amazing a slushy drink would taste during the warm summer months (or year around in sunny California!). I then thought, “But how can something that turns any liquid into slush in one minute be good for you?” I seriously wonder what is in those cubes that can turn any drink (or even yogurt) into slush in under a minute.
Seriously who the heck pays stupid people to write stupid articles that only serve to further mislead the public about diet and exercise?
I had another post planned for today, but when Francine posted a link to my wall called “10 Fitness Facts that Everyone Gets Wrong” and said, “OMG WHO WROTE THIS? THEY SHOULD BE JAILED,” I felt the need to read and RANT about it.
I first started reading the article and thought, “Ok I don’t like how this guy words stuff, but I see his point.”
I mean, no you don’t have to train hard to see your abs. You can have the strongest abs in the world, but if you eat too much and store excess fat, you will never see them. Dieting really is key to getting six-pack abs.
I also saw his point about the point of exercising NOT being about burning calories. Exercise should be used to get in better physical shape. Diet is truly at least 80% of the weight loss battle.
But that is where my agreement with him ended and my temper rose exponentially.
He next claims that “weightlifting is an effective fat loss strategy” is false. He says that it pales in comparison to cardio when it comes to calorie burn.
Here is a link (Fat Loss Wars: Cardio vs. Weight Training) about how good weightlifting is for fat loss (this article also disproves a few of his other points). Even his own site refutes him. I found another article on Askmen.com called “Weightlifting for Fat Loss” that states:
Choosing to abandon your weight-lifting program when it’s time to cut fat is one of the biggest mistakes you can make, so be sure you don’t commit this progress-damaging error.
Below are a few points from his article that I would also like to dispute:
- He states that “Weightlifting does burn calories, but when compared to hard aerobic training, it pales.” While that is true if you only consider calories burned while you are working out, it is false when you consider OVERALL calorie burn. Here is a quote from Women’s Health proving that weightlifting is great if you want to burn calories and torch fat: “Though cardio burns more calories than strength training during those 30 sweaty minutes, pumping iron slashes more overall. A study in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that women who completed an hour-long strength-training workout burned an average of 100 more calories in the 24 hours afterward than they did when they hadn’t lifted weights. At three sessions a week, that’s 15,600 calories a year, or about four and a half pounds of fat—without having to move a muscle.”
- The author of this horrendous article then states later, “as you improve physical fitness, your body begins to operate more efficiently so that you burn fewer calories while at rest and during exercise. While this is true, it is easy to keep challenging yourself so that you keep your body burning more calories. Here is another quote from Women’s Health again explaining how important weights are to burning calories and fat: “What’s more, increasing that afterburn is as easy as upping the weight on your bar. In a study in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, women burned nearly twice as many calories in the two hours after their workout when they lifted 85 percent of their max load for eight reps than when they did more reps (15) at a lower weight (45 percent of their max). (This is also proof that women should lift heavy weights!!!!)
- He also has the audacity to state that low carb diets aren’t an effective weight loss tool. UHM WHAT!?! Has he ever seen Marks Daily Apple? There are about six million success stories on there that prove just how great for you a low carb diet is!
- And then he goes on to state, ” I know that some experience weight-loss success with this approach (low-carb), but I consider this diet as a last resort for the lazy.” WHAT!?! How is someone doing something healthy lazy? Just explain how a low-carb diet is lazy?!?!?!
- And the last point I would like to rant about is his comment that low-carb diets “restrict the good carbs that are essential for exercise performance, the ones that can be quite satiating and contain valuable nutrients.” Uhm no. I’m sorry low-fat diets restrict way more nutrients than low-carb diets. I eat ten bazillion more vegetables and fruits on Primal than I ever did on any other diet. I mean on a diet where you aren’t allowed grains, rice or legumes where else are you going to get calories from but nutritious fruits and vegetables!?!? All low-carb diets do is cut out the crap.
Every day I hear the lies of conventional wisdom perpetuated and sometimes I just want to scream. Here are some things that I’ve heard recently that go along with conventional wisdom that are complete and utter BULLSHIT.
Piece of Conventional Wisdom: Women shouldn’t lift weights because heavy lifting will make them bulky.
Conversation (about six months ago):
Me: So what diet, or how much protein, do you think someone needs to add more muscle if they are lifting heavy?
Nutritionist: Why are you lifting heavy?
Me: Because I want more muscle and I want to be stronger. (I think I had an expression of “That is such a dumb question! DUH to get strong and add more muscle!”
Nutritionist: But you don’t want to get bulky do you? If you lift too heavy, you may get bulky especially if you are taking in a ton of protein.
Me: Uhmm…I still have chicken legs and I eat a ton of protein and have been lifting heavy for a while. I want to get rid of my chicken legs…
Nutritionist: Well I wouldn’t lift heavy as a woman. I do lots of cardio.
Me: (I left the room.) End of conversation.
REASONS THIS IS BULLSHIT: Let’s get one thing straight right now…LIFTING HEAVY WON’T MAKE YOU BULKY! If you can’t accept this…you are on the wrong website. I’m not even going to take the time to list all the reasons why this is incorrect. If you need me to refute this piece of conventional wisdom just read about any other post on this blog. Or just take a look at this picture…Is this a big bulky woman? I’d hope your answer is no….
Piece of Conventional Wisdom: You need to eat breakfast and you should eat 3-5 small meals a day. And you definitely can’t work out on an empty stomach.
I tried intermittent fasting a few months ago and really liked it. I told people about it. The common reaction I got was: “You won’t be able to lift as much on an empty stomach or you will run out of gas. Your workouts will be hurt because you haven’t eaten.”
Lots of people also said there was no way they could do it. They said they NEED breakfast. They DON’T NEED breakfast. They are just conditioned to want it.
REASONS THIS IS BULLSHIT: To date, I’ve had some of my best lifting days and workouts on days when I’ve fasted till after I workout. If you want more proof that intermittent fasting works, visit LeanGains.
Piece of Conventional Wisdom: 45-65% of your daily calories should come from carbs.
Conversation (When people find out that the only carbs I eat on occasion other than cheat days are fruits, vegetables, and potatoes.)
Person: I could never give up bread! And I need carbs to get through my workouts and to refuel afterwards.
Me: But on most diets you have to give up something. With other diets you’ve managed to give up “bad” foods like fatty meats. If simple carbs, like white bread, is bad and bacon isn’t, why can’t you just switch what you give up.
Person: But you need carbs to function. The food pyramid has carbs on it.
REASONS THIS IS BULLSHIT: Ok for one, most people aren’t working out hard enough to really NEED carbs. And if you are doing crossfit intensity workouts, add in potatoes and such and you will be more than fine.
For two, it is never easy living life the healthy way. Of course there are outside temptations, but really you’d rather eat bread than butter and bacon? I don’t know…butter and bacon for bread seems like a pretty good trade-off to me…Plus, doing something that will make you healthier makes sacrificing bread seem very worthwhile.
If you want more information about letting go of carbs and why you DON’T need them, visit Mark’s Daily Apple.
Piece of Conventional Wisdom: Bacon and butter are not good for you. High fat diets will raise your cholesterol higher and that is bad. Use vegetable oil or low-fat substitutes instead.
Conversation: There have been too many conversations about this with everyone around me. But the usual I hear is: “Dude all that saturated fat is so bad for you.” “You know that is going to raise your cholesterol? You really should use margarine instead.” “You cook with duck fat? You should use vegetable oil instead.”
REASONS THIS IS BULLSHIT: Usually when I hear these things, I become speechless because I don’t even know where to begin explaining how wrong they are.
I would just love for one of these people who say this to me to provide me with a study proving I’m wrong (a study that I can’t prove wrong). Of course they never do yet they question me (and I’ve actually done the research not to mention discussed the research with other people, such as Ryan, who’ve done even more research).
I mean I challenge anyone to bring me a study that definitively proves that fat is bad for you and that processed crap like vegetable oil, margarine and low-fat substitutes are better.
Here is my proof that fat is good and all that other CRAP is bad:
Mark’s Daily Apple
Good Calories, Bad Calories
For a full list of evidence, visit the UCLA Ancestral Health Symposium.
Oh and something that really pissed me off today….Denmark has put a tax on foods with saturated fat. This list of taxed items even includes olive oil. Does anyone else think there is something wrong with this? Check out the Time Magazine article on it.