Monday, January 15, 2018

Dear Mark: Desert Island Cookware, Supplement Sources, Bulk Frying Oil, B12 on Keto Vegetarian, and Streamlining the Day

Dear_Mark_Inline_PhotoFor today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering 5 questions from readers. First, I give my desert island cookware material—the type of pan I’d choose if I could only have one. Next, I explain whether carnosine, creatine, and taurine supplements are suitable for vegetarians. After that, I give a good option for bulk frying oil that’s safe and won’t break the bank. Fourth, I explain how you can get enough B12 on a keto vegetarian diet (and it’s not that difficult at all). And finally, I explain how a small change can have huge effects on the quality of one’s life.

Let’s go:

I’d like advice on what types of cookware are safest/most functional, if you’re only going to have one type

That’s tough.

Aluminum is out. There’s controversy over whether it leaches into the food, but I’d rather not take the chance. It’s flimsy and doesn’t retain heat very well. Hard pass.

Cast iron is fantastic. There’s nothing better for searing steaks, they retain heat incredibly well (they’ll still burn you a half hour off the heat), and if you season them well they are virtually non-stick. I have a couple cast iron pans that are so well-seasoned I can scramble eggs in them without sticking. But it took me a long time and a lot of bacon to get them to that point. They’re also heavy, which makes them poor everyday pans for some folks. There’s also the fact that cast iron leaches iron into foods, particularly acidic foods. Seasoning prevents some of this, and some people can actually benefit from extra iron, but some people need less iron. Whether it’s the perfect cookware is entirely dependent on the person’s situation.

Stainless steel is my choice. Get it hot enough and use enough fat, and it’ll give a great sear while limiting sticking. The one limitation I’ve found with stainless steel is in scrambling eggs. Fried eggs? Sure. Omelets? Definitely. But no matter what I try, scrambled eggs always end up sticking to stainless steel. (Good that I prefer fried anyway…) Maybe I’m doing something wrong, in which case I’d love to hear any tips or tricks you guys have.

Dr.RhondaPatrickFan wondered:

Are creative, carnosine, and taurine supplements derived from animals? If so, is there a company that does it humanely? I eat meat, but the supplement part for people who eat vegan or vegetarian for animal rights is interesting to me.

The vast majority of creatine, carnosine, and taurine supplements are synthetic. No animal involvement, other than the humans manufacturing them.

Brad asked:

This Thanksgiving my cousin deep fried a turkey. It was awesome! So this Christmas I borrowed my neighbor’s fryer and did one myself, followed by a deep fried pork loin (super moist). My cousin used peanut oil and my neighbor recommended canola. I ended up using peanut oil but wonder if avocado oil could be used? Also, do you know where one could purchase 3 gallons of avocado oil without taking out a second mortgage?

That’s a tough one. Avocado oil is inherently expensive to produce, since the picking, growing, and extraction processes are so involved and time-and-labor-heavy. If you’re just going for a quick deep fry project and need vast amounts of relatively stable, neutral oil, I’d recommend you use high-oleic sunflower or safflower oil. It’s not the most nutritious, being low in antioxidants, but it is high in monounsaturated fat and therefore quite resistant to heat damage.

This looks to be a solid source of high-oleic oil by the gallon.

Eileen wondered:

Will the vegetarian keto diet supply a good amount of vitamin B12? Thank you in advance!

Yes, as long as you eat eggs. Five average grocery store eggs will provide 100% of the RDI for vitamin B12. If you can throw in 7-8 eggs, you’ll have a solid B12 intake.

Dairy is another decent source of B12 that’s even more bioavailable than synthetic B12, so that’ll help you get there as well. Pasteurization reduces the B12 content of milk, so consuming raw dairy when possible (and safe) will provide even more B12.

Chad asked:

One thing I would love to know is this: not only *what* do you have in your kitchen, but also *where* is it? How have you re-arranged your kitchen to be more efficient in recent months?

For example, this weekend I moved all of my coffee supplies (coffee, electric kettle, aeropress, cacao and maca powder) from way across the kitchen to a drawer right beside the sink. Has made a daily part of my life much more streamlined.

Anyone else made any recent changes like that?

Great question. I won’t speak to the specific layout of my kitchen today, as that’s great fodder for a dedicated post and I’ll save it for that. I will speak to the general concept of small logistical changes having big effects.

Every morning, I make coffee with a French press. If I’m in a rush to get out of the house, get working, or I just wander off with the finished product and forget to clean the pot, I always regret it the next day. My day goes much more smoothly when I can start out with a clean French press that’s ready to accept coffee and water.

I get up, do basic personal hygiene, and go to the kitchen. I start boiling water, grind the coffee, transfer it to the French press, and add the water. There’s no lag. No interruption. I don’t have to think about anything and I can focus on the day ahead.

But if I go to the kitchen and have to clean out day-old coffee grounds, wash the grimy sludgy press, and then start making coffee, I feel off. There’s a huge kink in the day. It’s probably “just” placebo, but placebo has a huge effect. Don’t underestimate the effect of placebo, especially if we’re talking about something entirely psychological—how I “feel” about the trajectory of the day.

That’s it for today, folks.

I’d love to get your take on these questions. What’s your desert island cookware? What do you use for large deep frying operations? Have you made any changes to your kitchen layout—or life in general—with large streamlining effects?

Thanks for reading, everyone. Take care!

The post Dear Mark: Desert Island Cookware, Supplement Sources, Bulk Frying Oil, B12 on Keto Vegetarian, and Streamlining the Day appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

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Primal Action Point: Move Frequently

Inline_Fitness_Live-Awesome-645x445-02Exercise isn’t about calories burned, but about movement. It’s imperative now to discover ways to simply move around more—even if only for brief periods—throughout your day. Make it official personal policy to take stairs instead of elevators, park at the furthest spot in parking lots instead of always angling for a closer one, and generally prioritize pedestrian movement over sedentary options. Here are several tips to add more movement to your daily routine:

Wake-Up Stroll: Grab the dog and take a lap around the block to gradually build energy and prepare for a busy day. Even if you only have 5-10 minutes to spare in the morning, it’s well worth the effort.

Brief Work Breaks: Mounting evidence suggests that work productivity, mental health, and stress management can improve significantly when you moderate digital stimulation and take frequent breaks away from focused, sedentary tasks to engage with fresh air, sunlight, open space and physical movement. Get outside and stroll around the office courtyard, up and down the building stairwell, or otherwise make do with whatever your surroundings. When you sit back down at your desk, you will have a perceptible improvement in energy and focus.

21day_bk_400pxStroll Before Arriving Home: When you pull into the driveway after a day behind the desk, behind the wheel, and behind in paperwork, hit the road for 5-10 minutes before you kill the momentum by opening the front door.

After-Dinner Stroll: Regular 10- to 20-minute outings will establish a wonderful tradition of winding down the evening, and will present an appealing alternative to going from the dinner table straight into the TV or computer room.

Grand Weekend Outing: Take a trail hike at a regional party or an urban journey downtown to the farmer’s market and back home. Set a reasonable goal based on your existing fitness level. Most everyone can walk or bike for at least an hour at a comfortable pace, and many can enjoy a two-or three-hour hike.

— From The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation: A Complete Step-By-Step Gene Reprogramming Action Plan 


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Rollin’ Through The Weekend

We had a fun weekend full of exciting free indoor activities! Our rec center turns into a totally free roller rink on Fridays and Sundays, and we had our first visit. Mazen was expectedly very wobbly, and I didn’t get to skate this time so I could hold him steady, but by the end of our hour-long lesson, he was slowly rolling on his own.

During that hour though, he fell 100 times, and my upper back felt like it had been ripped apart on Saturday morning from all the lifting and catching I did!

Afterwards we went with Gaby and her kids to Three Notchd!

I couldn’t wait for a beer and pretzels bites!

For dinner, I had blackened fish with KALE CHIPS and root puree!

On Saturday morning I had a yogurt + granola bowl with banana and Naturally Nutty Cinnamon Vanilla Almond Butter. YUM!

T went to the grocery store and brought home some gorgeous flowers that are making our whole house smell like a tropical garden!

I spent some time cleaning out our pantry, which was a mess. We had baking powder from 2011!! See all those neatly stacked tea bags on the right?!

For lunch I made a great salad – mixed greens, homemade dressing, red peppers, candied walnuts, corn and bean dip, and goat cheese. Best salad i’ve made in a while!

Saturday afternoon we hung around the house and prepped for a little football gathering. The neighbors had us over for a S’more!

Thomas made his city-famous corn and bean dip, and we cranked up the Big Green Egg for a wings, beer can chicken and pork. Our friends brought their famous mac and cheese!

Thomas wants me to say “Go Eagles!!!”

Sunday morning was all snuggles. I usually have a zoo of animals wake me up every morning, so this was typical:

We had little tiny pancakes and oranges so as not to spoil our appetites for brunch. Mazen helped me scoop them on the skillet!

We met T’s mom for brunch at Red Pump and had the most DELICIOUS Eggs Benedict!

That biscuit underneath was just so doughy and buttery!

Sunday afternoon Thomas built new shelves in the office (more on that soon!), the boys sprayed each other with silly string (which is so fun yet smells so toxic!!) and I cleaned my wedding dress.

The bottom was dirty – mostly with literal dirt from the gardens and grounds – and I debated sending it off to get professionally cleaned. But before I dropped $200 on a dress I will never wear again (other than to play dress up) I decided to just try to clean it myself. I used a gentle dish soap and hot water and most of the dirt came out!

M and I went to the ACAC Big Room for the afternoon = more free indoor entertainment as party of our membership.

And then we had quesadillas for dinner with leftovers from the football dinner – smoked chicken, bean and corn dip, red peppers, and cheese.

Hope you had a great weekend! (And for some of you, it’s not over yet!)

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