Mostly more links

There are a few things I saw on the interwebz that I really wanted to share with you all, so we’ll get to that soon.

My personal food and fitness regime has been pretty stable since last posting. I went a little nuts with the sweets (Sprouts had a sale on Talenti and So Delicious, so I racked up a bunch of sorbetto and coconut milk ice cream) over the weekend, as is my custom, but I’m back on track again today and yesterday, and everything is where it ought to be. Still no kitchen, so cooking is hard. I did make another steak over indirect heat in the Egg on Sunday and it was amazing. One of the best steaks I’ve ever made, I’d say (and my wife also said).

Here’s how I did it:

I get the Egg rolling as usual (Charcoal in the bottom, plate setter, then cast iron grate with top and bottom doors all the way open) and let it heat up to about 400-450º. Once it gets there, I close the lower grate about halfway to maintain the temperature. Then I put the steak on, close the lid and wait 10 minutes. Turn the steak once, wait 10 more minutes. Remove from the grill, and let rest for 10-15 minutes. This is what I do for hefty steaks that are around an inch thick, which is what we tend to eat most often (as that’s how ours were butchered from our cow share). I’ll probably ramp the time down for thinner cuts and for burgers and the like.

Seriously, that’s all there is to it, and the steak comes out juicy and perfect all the way through. I think cooking at lower, indirect heat for a longer time helps to minimize some of the issues I’d been having with the high heat for shorter times (more like 550-600º for 3-4 mins per side). Like always, I let the steak sit on the counter for a while this time, but I don’t think it had reached room temp all the way through. Still, the lower heat and longer time worked out just fine. I’ll keep experimenting, but so far I’m 3 for 3 cooking with indirect heat and getting a great result without having to put the meat back on the grill. I also like that there’s less charring on the steak this way. No flare-ups, but also less blackness overall. I’m not super concerned about the dangers of eating the burnt meat (I do plenty else that’s worse than that for me, I’m sure) but I’m enough concerned that if I can find a way to minimize that while still getting awesome results, I’ll go with it. Especially since we are going to be grilling even more as the weather turns for us, it makes sense to get our methods locked down.

As far as what I do to prep my steaks, I tend to hit them with a mix of stuff. Some worcestershire sauce, some salt, some garlic powder, then some Lawry’s and Hickory seasoning. I know that’s probably blasphemy or something, but that stuff is seriously tasty. I just take the steak out of the packaging, do all the seasoning to one side, flip, repeat, then let it rest like that until it reaches room temp or until the grill is warm. This would work just as well with a quick shake of salt and pepper if you like your meat a little less adorned.

Okay, so there’s your recipe. Unfortunately, it kind of requires a big investment as those grills aren’t cheap. If you’re talking about grilling multiple times per week using high quality meat though, it makes sense to invest in the equipment that will help maximize your success. That’s my thought, anyway.

Now to the links.

Is sugar toxic? 60 Minutes – A surprisingly great piece from 60 minutes on the dangers of sugar in the diet. Now I’m a dude who loves sugar, so it pains me to think about eliminating it completely, but I think there’s a lot to be said for just cutting back our intake in a big way (150 calories of added sugar per day for men and 100 per day for women is what they mentioned in the piece). One of the things that I hadn’t heard before in here was when Dr. Lustig said that there is no plant that contains fructose that is also poisonous. I hadn’t thought of this, but it makes a lot of sense, evolutionarily speaking. Here’s the idea. Some plants want you to eat them. They’re built so that eating their fruit means you ingest their seeds and then deposit them later in a nice warm bit of fertilizer to help ensure the next generation. They’re expending energy to create fruit because that’s how they succeed at reproducing. Other plants survive by keeping anything from eating them. They expend energy in developing defenses to keep you from eating them. That’s where bad tastes and poisons and thorns and the like come in. So it makes absolute sense that any plant that produces sweet fruit is doing it because it wants us to eat it. Evolving toxins in the fruit would be counterproductive. So sweetness is genetically wired into us as a good thing, as a signal that a food is safe. It’s all fascinating, really. Anyway, watch the video. It’s only 15 minutes long, but it’s a really great breakdown of a bunch of the best current research on what sugar is doing to us in the quantities and types we’re currently consuming.

Slow and steady wins the planet – A neat article on distance running. It makes a great point about how humankind has evolved to be runners at a moderate pace over long distances. There aren’t many animals that excel at that, so it seems like it would present a valid hunting methodology and would be selected for over the generations. I may have to rethink my stance on marathon running, or at least adjust it to take these ideas into account. Time will tell.

Is your diet making you bald? – This is a very interesting one. I’ve heard some rumblings about this in the paleosphere before, specifically on Robb Wolf’s podcast. This, however, is the first time I’ve seen this idea presented in the mainstream. Here’s the kicker: it happened to me. I had been losing my hair at a pretty steady rate for years, starting in my early to mid-twenties. My dad doesn’t have a lot of hair, so I thought that the genetic aspect of it had just bitten me. However, I’ve noticed over the past several months that my hair loss has stopped. I no longer have strands of hair on my hands when I shampoo. Ever. It used to be a very regular daily thing, and I would just rinse them off and lament my poor genes. It took me a while to realize that I wasn’t seeing that anymore, much like it took me a while to realize when I wasn’t feeling gurgly every day after meals. But it’s for real. My wife has noticed it too, and I’ve been keeping an eye on it myself. I’m not thinking that I’m seeing regrowth, but there is absolutely, without question, a slowing or complete stoppage of new loss. Can I say this is solely due to diet? Probably not. But what major changes have I made in the past 6 months? Well, I’ve dramatically increased my stress, for one. With a major home remodel and a baby on the way, things aren’t especially relaxing at my house. Other than that, diet is pretty much it. I’ve cut out much of the refined starch, much of the refined sugar and almost all of the vegetable oils in my diet. As I’ve said many times, I’m not perfect, so I can’t say I’ve gone 100% on any of these. But still, what changes I have made have had a dramatic effect on my body composition and my overall health. Is it so surprisingly to think that maybe they’ve also affected other physical characteristics? Not sure. You’ll have to be the judge on this one, but it’s a very interesting idea. I hope it gets more research and more traction, because “Stop losing your hair and start losing weight” would be a big hit with most men.

Evidence that human ancestors used fire one million years ago – This is just a neat anthropological article. Doesn’t prove much of anything, but it’s a cool idea to think that we might have mastered fire so very long ago, and to think about how that mastery might have influenced our evolution. Neat stuff.

Okay, that’s it for now. Enjoy, and thanks for reading!

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