Thanks, Jimmy!

Wow, I didn’t expect to see so many new visitors! I’ve been really busy with work and the new baby, so I haven’t been updating as much as I’d like, but Jimmy Moore of Livin’ La Vida Low Carb very kindly shared my blog in his most recent list of paleo and low carb blogs for July. I guess I’d better get my butt in gear and post something for you all, eh?

Okay, here goes: I’ve got some links, some recipes, and some new updates on my own journey.

First off, here’s my update on my Convict Conditioning. I’m liking it a lot. I’m still taking things very slowly, and I’ve only done two sessions of each workout so far, but I’m liking that the exercises are easy enough for me to focus more on quality than on quantity. Let me ‘splain. When I’ve attempted a “100 Pushup Challenge” in the past, the goal is to complete pushups. Some of those pushups are ugly. Yes, I’m getting stronger, but because my pushups have traditionally been weak, I’m just struggling to complete the general “down-up” movement, regardless of whether I’m pushing with the right muscles or if my form is correct. And since I could never do enough clean reps to notice a problem and correct it, problems with form just never got corrected. So with the Step 1 pushups (as well as pullups, knee tucks, and shoulderstand squats), because I’m not struggling just to complete them, and because I can do a number of clean reps, I can try different hand positions, try different planes of movement for my elbows, etc. all while feeling just a little resistance so I can tell what I’m working. It’s very cool, and super helpful for what I’m trying to accomplish.

I’ve also been tracking my numbers on my workout days (Mondays and Fridays), which is cool. You know how I like to quantify myself, and twice a week seems like a pretty reasonable timeframe in which to do it. So here’s where I am these days:

Weight: Fluctuating in the 210-212 range. Certainly not as low as I have been in the past, but I’m not too concerned with scale weight. This is down from 245-250 about 9 months ago.

Body Fat %: According to my Omron, I’m between 14 and 15% pretty consistently. Honestly, anything under 15% still feels pretty amazing to me, so I have no complaints there. This was over 25% 9 months ago, though I didn’t have a great way to measure back then. I was using a suprailiac pinch, but was doing it wrong, and was consistently underestimating my actual fat mass.

Waist: Consistently at 35.5″ now, and was over 40″ when I started.

Suprailiac Pinch: In the 13-14mm range. This is still pretty great. It was well over 20, and I think probably closer to 25 when I first started.

So there you go. Full update on where everything is, 9 months down the road. I’m really not eating all that great, either. I’m eating more starch than I can really justify based on my activity level, eating more sweets than I should be (still, it’s always my problem), and not being as active as I know I ought to be. Even with all that, though, just paying attention to ancestral principles is enough to keep me leaner and healthier than I’ve ever been before. That’s huge. And right now, with a new baby? Most guys I know put on 20-some pounds through their wife’s pregnancy, and then just keep adding to it through the newborn period. I feel pretty great about maintaining as well as I have!

Okay, enough about me, let’s talk about food.

I know I’ve been talking about making stock for a while now, and I finally decided to thaw and cook some chickens that we’ve had in the freezer for ages. Unfortunately, I wasn’t thinking ahead. I cooked them in the slow cooker, which broke down all the connective tissue holding them together, so my plan to cook them up, then fabricate them and save the husks was shot. We ended up eating them more as a stew, because they completely came apart. We pulled the bones out, but I forgot to ask my wife to save them (some friends said that they would still be good, even after all they’d been through) so she tossed them when she did the dishes. D’oh! Obviously not her fault, and it would’ve been mitigated entirely if I’d thought ahead and cooked the chickens in the oven or something, so they’d hang together well enough to cut into individual servings. We still have one more chicken in the freezer (bought and frozen when Vitamin Cottage had a good sale) and I’m going to roast it in the oven and then make stock from the bones. For reals, and I’m not going to screw it up. On a positive note, the stew we made was excellent, and was full of quality gelatin and all the rest. So that’s good.

We also visited our new favorite local farm this weekend! We went out and spent a few hours tromping all over with the farmer, Erika, while she fed and milked and watered all the animals. They have goats, laying hens, turkeys, broiler hens, pigs, horses, alpacas, and one beautiful and extremely pregnant cow named Dora. it was an awesome experience, and so great to see the place where food really comes from, and to see how much love there is between farmer and farm animal. We got a couple dozen eggs from their pastured hens (they have plenty of room to go out and scratch around in the sun, and are supplemented with organic feed) and are signing up for one of their heritage Berkshire pigs. We’re going to split it with another family, like we’ve done with cows in the past. I’m also thinking we might have to get in on one of the milk shares from Dora once she gives birth. She’s an A2/A2 jersey cow, and she’s incredibly friendly and well cared-for. She wanders around the whole farm, eating grass and other plants, and just generally hanging out. She’s such a sweetheart, too. She followed us all around and licked our hands and everything. Also, she likes bananas, which I think is adorable. So we’re super excited about all of that. Meeting someone who really loves the animals and is trying to raise them right is just so important.

Okay, on to our links! Let’s see what I’ve scrounged up since last time.

What’s in the beef? – A list of restaurants and food manufacturers and how they utilize antibiotics in their animal products.

Chocolate Frosting Shots – My wife actually found this recipe, and it sounds really good! I’m thinking I might could make these sometime this week. I also like the idea of trying other flavors. maybe some strawberries cooked down and strained to make a syrup? Because really when it comes down to it, there’s nothing wrong with coconut milk, fruit, and a little raw local honey, am I right?

Fat and Glycemic Index: The Myth of Complex Carbs – J. Stanton makes some great points in this piece. If you want to eat carbs, eat them with some good quality fat to slow down your digestion and avoid dumping a load of sugar into your bloodstream. That’s my approach, because hash browns cooked in the fat drained from my Niman Ranch bacon is just a great way to start a Sunday morning.

Cod Liver Oil Basics – My wife and I recently started taking CLO capsules, because we just haven’t been able to get organ meats into our diet. We chose Green Pastures CLO, based on Chris Kresser‘s recommendation, and we’re really happy with it. They have a version that includes butter oil as well, but I have a moral problem with eating my butter in pill form. I’m not going to miss out on an opportunity to eat me some butter. The CLO without the butter is also much less expensive, which is nice, since I’m already going to spend money on butter. And then eat it. Did I mention that I want to eat some butter, because I feel like it’s been hours since I last had butter, and that’s not even cool.

It Starts With Food review – I’m hearing so many great things about this book, it really needs to find a home on my shelf. I keep trying to talk myself into a Whole30, and I think I’m getting closer. After seeing so many great reviews of this book (including one from Mat “The Kraken” LaLonde), I really think I need to buy it, read it, and follow it. When I do, you’ll all hear all about it, for sure.

Okay, that should do it for now. Thanks for reading!

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