Thursday, July 30, 2020

Bone Broth

Bone broth recipes are all over the internet, but I just wanted to mention how we make it here.  It's super easy and we are in the habit now of making a batch each weekend to use during the week.  Obviously the best bet is to have a pressure cooker, but you can do it in a slow cooker easily as well (or not so easily with a pot on a stove).

Ingredients:

Beef, chicken, pork or fish bones with some meat on them

(optional)

Salt to taste, but you can add it later (I like to add a dash of fish sauce before drinking it)

Apple cider vinegar (lots of recipes call for this, not sure why...perhaps the vinegar extracts more nutrients?)

Organ meat (liver is excellent)

Aromatic herbs (Bay leaves, star anise, peppercorns, YMMV)

Other saved meat juices (i.e. from sous vide anything...I pour the juices into a glass jar and keep it in the fridge all week long...just dump this in with the rest of the ingredients)

Method:

(optional for beef/pork bones)  Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius, spread bones out on a tray and roast for 45 minutes or so til they get some nice crusties for flavor and darker color.  Might work good too for chicken/fish but perhaps less time needed.

Add ingredients to pressure cooker, fill to cover bones (no higher than Max line), pressure cook on high for 40 min - 1.5 hours (depends on the type of bones, but doesn't really hurt to go long).  Quick or natural release depending on whether you want to leave it longer.

Sieve the solid material out.  I have a large steel bowl on top of which I place a colander.  I ladle the large bones into this and drain, then put the material into a large ziploc back to freeze before throwing it out with the burnable garbage.  Then pour the remaining broth through the colander.  I don't worry about getting all the particles out of the broth myself.

Some just put the bowl of broth into the fridge, but the issue is cooling the broth before it develops dangerous bacteria, and large amounts of broth in a fridge/freezer will not cool fast enough.  Some recommend an ice bath for the bowl with the broth, but I don't have a pluggable sink and don't like wasting so much ice and water.  Instead I have 2 cup size ziploc plastic containers.  I ladle 2 cups of broth into each (perfect amount to split with my wife) and put these into the freezer immediately.  Smaller amounts of broth cool faster and safer, and all we need to do is put a container into the fridge each day to defrost for tomorrow.

Speaking of which, another benefit of this system is the fat coagulates in a nice disk on the top of the container.  If you defrost the broth in the fridge, then you can easily remove the fat from the top and use it for other things (like mixing in with scrambled eggs) to get more fat calories.  If you just microwave the frozen container, the fat will liquefy and it's a pain to remove without a fat separator tool, which is also a pain to use and plain old messy.

Beef bones:  Beef ribs are excellent as they have lots of bone and meat on them.  Bone broth should include some meat as a lot of the extracted vitamins come from the meat as well.  Soup bones are ok, but usually have more grit and less collagen to extract.  I'm going to try a bag of some serious beef bones I bought at the grocery store last week on Saturday.  Looking forward to it.

Chicken bones:  We often buy a roasted chicken from the grocery store and eat what we want off of it, saving the bones in a bag.  Then we throw the whole carcass along with left over bones into the pot to make chicken broth.  So good.

Fish bones:  Planning on doing this soon and really looking forward to it.  Key here is to have a nearby supply of fresh fish bones, heads and tail being particularly good.  Some meat on is good too to get the fish oils and such.  Luckily here in Japan we stopped by our local fishmonger and found several cheap packages of fish heads/tails/etc... that will be perfect.

Pork bones:  I'm guessing same thing here as for beef, but honestly haven't tried to make a pork specific bone broth yet.  One of the main types of ramen broth here is tonkotsu, made from pork bones.  But they are slow cooked all day til the bone particles come apart and create a milky stew which is delicious.  Takes a lot of time and not sure how well you can mimic this in a pressure cooker.

Carnivore OMAD Experiment

OMAD = One Meal a Day

One of the things I've heard repeated about carnivore is that many people get to a point where they are only eating one meal a day.  This is a form of intermittent fasting where the window is about 1 hour in 24. I've been plateaued at 165-170 lbs for a very long time now and I'd still like to get down to 150 lbs at least once.  Some suggest OMAD as a way to break through a plateau, so I figured I'd give it a try.  Also, summers here in Japan are so bad I no longer want to go home for lunch, and I'm currently working in an office location lacking in any kitchen, so it's a good time to try this out.  My company is letting people work through lunch and go home an hour early, so that's nice too.  This is a record of the experience, admittedly started on the 3rd day.

Day 1

Last night I ate 1 1/2 lbs of 80% ground beef, cooked sous vide.  Delicious as usual.  It was tough to get it all down, but I managed.  I had eaten "normal" that day otherwise, so this was a lot more than I would usually have on a given day.  Also, it was the weekend, so we had had two cheat meals, both Indian curries.  Saturday was a new fast food Indian place from the newly reopened mall nearby, and for lunch on Sunday we had driven out to Royal Parasol in Hayama to get some good stuff to go.  No carbs, but still, not what we usually eat.

Small note, lately I've been experiencing a very minor ache, might even just call it "enhanced perception" of my left big toe joint, where I got the big gout attack last year in Bahrain.  No idea why...

Morning (4am) weight:  168.6 lbs

This morning I was definitely hungry, but I pressed on making my usual sencha green tea (a small pot), which didn't really suppress anything.  I wonder if the particulates in fresh green tea count as "vegetables" and cause my stomach to rumble?  At work I drank several cups of puer tea along with my usual amount of water.  Hungry most of the day, but not unbearable.  Manged to make it to 6pm dinner time and ate 1 1/2 lbs of 80% ground beef again.  This time it was more difficult to get it all down, and I felt extremely full afterwards.  Went to bed at 8pm, sleep at 9pm.  Lots of gas and burping.  About 10 or 11pm woke up feeling nauseous.  Very full pressure feeling in stomach.  Finally got up to pee and got very dizzy while standing up.  Knelt before the throne for a while, but never threw up.  Finally crawled back to bed cradling a pot in case I had to run back, but was able to get back to a fitful sleep.

Day 2

Morning (4am) weight:  166.6 lbs

Woke up feeling fine.  No issues with hunger.  Drank a pot of caffeine-free rooibus tea (seems to have less particulates than sencha).  Minor hunger at work, not too bad though.  Had mint with green tea and more puer.  Usual water.  No issues with hunger in the evening, though I did break the fast a bit earlier at 5:30pm, mainly because my wife was hungry.  We had chicken thighs, sous vide.  This was an experiment to try the base's US bone-in chicken thighs compared with the Japanese chicken.  Japanese chicken is way better in taste, texture and preparation (de-boned, flat, fries up beautifully).  I had 2 large and one small thigh.  Not a ton of food, but it satisfied for a while.  Before the hour was up I scrambled 4 (american) eggs with a tablespoon of lard and split it with my wife.  Felt very full after that.  Bed at 8pm, sleep by 9pm.  Still gaseous, with burping and farting, but nowhere near as uncomfortable as the previous night.  No nausea thank goodness.

Gout watch:  Still feeling the left toe joint...maybe a bit more?

Afternoon (4pm) weight:  165.7 lbs

Day 3

Morning (4am) weight:  164.9 lbs

Starting this diary.  Woke up feeling great, no hunger at all, except the left big toe is noticeably more painful, nowhere near as bad as a full on gout attack, but this is a warning, no doubt.  I've done some preliminary research online concerning OMAD and gout and found some warning posts on Reddit.  Main culprit seems to be dehydration due to drinking so much coffee/tea as an appetite suppressant, which I've definitely been doing.  Also the fasting state increases the elimination of chemicals in the body which can lead to rapid buildup of toxins.  I'm going to redouble my efforts at drinking more water to flush them out, as I haven't really increased it all that much.  Maybe cut down on the tea too.  Right after I finish this cup of delicious black coffee...

No issues with hunger today.  Drank a ton more water.  The gouty toe is much better this afternoon.  Feeling like I need to take in more salt.  Drank chicken broth with salt to break my fast for the day.  Eating chuck roast sous vide (2 days at 131 F) for dinner, eating until full.  Also, should note when I drink alcohol...had a double of awamori (Okinawan liquor distilled from rice) after dinner.

Afternoon (3:30pm) weight:  164.9 lbs

Day 4

Morning (4am) weight:  164.9 lbs

Great night's sleep, no gas issues, no hunger pangs.  Having green tea (sencha) again to see if it triggers anything.  No huge effect from the tea noted.  Day went fine hunger-wise.  Disappointed in the complete lack of any weight loss.  Beginning to wonder if my scale is stuck.  Broke fast with a cup of chicken broth again...that's the best!  Ate one pound of ground meat for dinner, and then 3 scrambled (japanese) eggs with a tablespoon of lard/drippings mixed in.  Double scotch after dinner.  No gout issues, seems completely gone now.

Afternoon (3:30pm) weight:  164.9 lbs

Day 5

Morning (4am) weight:  164.9 lbs

A bit gassy last night going to bed, but nothing terrible.  A bit hungry this morning so I had a cup of coffee.  What is with that scale?!  Have decided to keep on during the weekend...I kind of don't believe the lack of weight loss.

Oddly quite gassy all day, burping and farting.  Nothing painful or stinky.  Gut feeling a little odd.  Also hungry more than previous day.  No idea why...unless it was a significant reduction in calories.

Afternoon weight finally dropped to a new low for me.  Breaking my fast with 12 oz of bacon, then as much ground beef as I can eat.  It's my birthday and the bacon is my cake.  ;-)  Also had 2 oz of scotch prior to dinner.  Birthday scotch...the good stuff (Oban Distillers Edition).

Afternoon (3:30pm) weight:  163.3 lbs

Day 6

Morning (4am) weight:  164.4 lbs

Was quite full going to bed, a bit of burping, but nothing terrible.  Good night's sleep otherwise.  Not hungry in the morning at all.  Had black coffee (so good).  First Saturday on this OMAD trial.  Long day ahead...usually we have one "meal out" (or takeout these days) a weekend.  Not going to do it.  Coffee this morning.

My wife needed to make some butter chicken curry for an event she was attending.  The smell drove me insane, so I went outside and had a cigar and whiskey.  Wasn't sure what that would be like in the middle of a fast.  Overall not too bad, but I did kind of feel a bit strange the rest of the day.  Clearly not the best thing to drink alcohol on a fast.  I need to eliminate it during the week.

Decided to break my fast at 4pm hoping for more time before going to sleep to process the food in my stomach.  Drank some broth before hand.  Had a pound of ground meat plus some lamb shoulder I had in the freezer.  Still kind of gassy the rest of the night.

Afternoon (3:30pm) weight: ? lbs - forgot to weigh

Day 7

Morning (7am) weight:  165.1 lbs  (slept in)

Feeling pretty normal this morning.  Coffee again.  Going to break fast again at 4pm.  Might try a cigar with no alcohol...or not...we'll see.

Had broth around 3pm.  Had a cigar and whiskey.  Ate some bacon with a pound of ground beef around 5:30pm.  Definitely harder to keep to the pattern on the weekend.

Surprisingly little burping etc...slept good.

Afternoon (3:30pm) weight:  ? lbs

Day 8

Morning (4am) weight:  165.7 lbs

Having green tea (sencha) this morning.  Going to try for 4pm breakfast today.  Good day overall, not too much burping.   Didn't quite make 4pm because my wife wasn't home to put the meat in at 2pm.  Broke fast with the last of my previous batch of chicken liver/bacon pate and pork rinds.  Some broth too.  Very full after the ground meat.

Afternoon (3:30pm) weight:  163.8 lbs

Day 9

Morning (4am) weight:  163.8 lbs

Sencha again this morning.  Weight the same as last night.  Good night's sleep, no issues this morning, other than some loose stool (odd).  Nice busy day at work, so didn't notice much about hunger.  Dinner was ground meat and one chicken thigh.

Afternoon (3:30pm) weight:  163.8 lbs

Day 10

Morning (4am) weight:  162.9 lbs

Cup of salt water this morning plus some coffee.  Nice to see a new low on the scale this morning.  Broth at 3pm, pound of ground beef at 4pm.  Still super full after and burping up til I go to bed.

Afternoon (3:30pm) weight:  162.2 lbs

Day 11

Morning (4am) weight:  162.2 lbs

Cup of salt water this morning plus some tea.  Had a really tough day today...don't think I got enough calories last night.  The ground meat may have been lean (we had trouble getting the 80% for a while there).  My mind was extremely foggy.  Oddly, my weight went way up...starvation mode maybe?  Anyway...I ate 3 eggs plus 2 tbsp of fat to start dinner, then 3/4 of a pound of ground meat.

Afternoon (3:30pm) weight:  164 lbs

Day 12

Morning (4am) weight:  164 lbs

Coffee this morning.  Weight still high...weird.  Had a much better day though...those calories are important!  My wife wanted to try some super cheap meat (eye round roast) sous vide, so we did it for 36  hours at 135 F.  I suspected it would not be good, no fat, and I was right.  She likes it, so that's ok.  I had 2 eggs with fat, plus some fatty lamb shoulder I had frozen and a cup of frozen butter chicken sauce I made a while back.  I swear I weighed at the proper time, but it's not there in my tracker.  It was back down to where it was before I think.

Afternoon (3:30pm) weight:  162.? lbs

Day 13

Morning (6am) weight:  162.4 lbs

Coffee this morning.  Saturday so slept in a couple of hours.  Tonight I have a function at a friend's house.  I'm planning to eat during the day so as not to be starving when I get there.  Waiting to get hungry before I eat though.  Dinner will be beef tongue, beef skirt/chicken fajita strips, along with various mexicanish food.  I will stick to the meat...well...but I did have some onions and guacamole.  Also had my usual whiskey and cigar, along with some awamori at dinner.

Afternoon (3:30pm) weight:  162.4 lbs

Day 14

Morning (7:30 am) weight:  161.8 lbs

Coffee this morning.  Nice to see a new low.  Ate a small bit of curry and lamb shoulder just before church.  After church we all had some chinese for lunch.  Had more veg than I've had in quite some time, along with some dimsum.  No rice though.  Felt good all day.  Half a pound of ground beef for dinner, along with left over chicken and tongue.  One sausage also.  Tomorrow back on the OMAD train.  Also had whiskey and cigar, and later another double whiskey after dinner.  Bit of a headache came on later in the evening.

Afternoon (3:30pm) weight:  164 lbs

Day 15

Morning (4:00 am) weight:  164 lbs

Green tea.  Half way through a month if I keep this up another two weeks.  Disappointed with the weight gain, but it's what I get for taking a break this weekend.  Pretty good day hunger-wise.  Broth to break fast, two eggs with bacon fat, 3/4 lbs ground beef for dinner.  No issues after.

Afternoon (3:30pm) weight:  164.0 lbs

Day 16

Morning (4:00 am) weight:  164.0 lbs

Green tea.  Scale refuses to budge, grr.  Usual day, nothing to report really.

Afternoon (3:30pm) weight:  164 lbs

Day 17

Morning (4:00 am) weight:  163.1 lbs

Coffee.  Yay...some movement finally.  Same food setup today, broth, 2 eggs with fat, 3/4 lbs ground beef.

Afternoon (3:30pm) weight:  163.1 lbs

Day 18

Morning (4:00 am) weight:  162.2 lbs

Green tea. Same food story, nothing to report.

Afternoon (3:30pm) weight:  161.5 lbs

Day 19

Morning (4:00 am) weight:  161.5 lbs

Green tea. Usual food.

Afternoon (3:30pm) weight:  160.2 lbs

Day 20

Morning (6:00 am) weight:  160.2 lbs

Coffee.   Dinner was lamb shoulder dipped in butter chicken, broth, two eggs with lard, and some bites of newly made chicken liver and bacon liver pate.

Afternoon (3:30pm) weight:  160.2 lbs

Day 21

Morning (4:00 am) weight:  160.2 lbs

Coffee. Woohoo!  Broke the 160 lb barrier today!  Dinner was broth, two eggs with chicken fat, some leftover beef tongue (the tough, fatty bits), and around half a pound of ground meat.  Oh and a few bites of bacon chicken liver pate.

This is the best I've seen coming out of a weekend yet.  Of note:  no alcohol all last week and over the weekend.  It really seems to throw a kink into things.  Also, I tried smoking a cigar on Saturday without whiskey, and it was truly awful.  Not even tempted to have another on Sunday.

Afternoon (3:30pm) weight:  159.3 lbs

Day 22

Morning (4:00 am) weight:  159.3 lbs

Green tea. Well that is frustrating...really thought the numbers would go down, but there you go.  Broth, 4 eggs, 2 tablespoons of fat, last of my tough, fatty bits of beef tongue, quarter of ground beef, some bites of bacon chicken liver pate.  Basically cleaning up some scraps.  Surprisingly hungry tonight, but eventually got full.  

Afternoon (3:30pm) weight:  160.9 lbs

Day 23

Morning (4:00 am) weight:  159.6 lbs

Coffee.  Happy to see sub-160 again. Normal day.  Broth, pate, eggs, lard, ground meat, chicken breast.

Afternoon (3:30pm) weight:  159.6 lbs

Day 24

Morning (6:00 am) weight:  159.6 lbs

Green tea. Broth, eggs, lard, 3/4 lb ground meat, pate.

Afternoon (3:30pm) weight:  159.6 lbs

Day 24

Morning (4:00 am) weight:  158.2 lbs

Green tea. Broth, eggs, lard, sous vide pork (fatty) til full, pate.

Afternoon (3:30pm) weight:  158.2 lbs

Day 25

Morning (4:00 am) weight:  157.6 lbs

Green tea. Broth, eggs, lard, sous vide pork (fatty) til very full.

Afternoon (3:30pm) weight:  158.2 lbs

Day 26

Morning (4:00 am) weight:  158.2 lbs

Green tea. I'm going to try shifting my one meal a day up to the morning.  Starting today, I'm going to start eating earlier in the day (it's the weekend).  On Monday I'll be eating my first meal first thing in the morning.  Curious if it will be less miserable to go through the day on a full stomach as opposed to pushing through the misery of those last few hours while at work.

I ate my meal around noon, starting with broth, two eggs with lard, and a boneless sirloin steak.  My wife and I felt like some real meat.  It was a struggle to get the whole thing down, but I didn't feel hungry the rest of the day.  Got a little nauseous at one point in the afternoon, but it passed.

Not going to do two weighings anymore, just the morning one.

Day 27

Morning (7:00 am) weight:  158.2 lbs

Green tea.  Planning on eating my meal around 9:00am today.  Didn't wake up hungry.

Broth, eggs, lard, 3/4 lb ground meat.  Was fine until around 6pm when my wife cooked dinner, then got a little hungry, so I had some more broth.  Started burping  a bit at bed time...maybe tied to taking melatonin on an empty stomach.

Day 28

Morning (4:00 am) weight:  158.2 lbs

No hunger last night, actually not hungry at all this morning.  Going to eat anyway, but I might displace breakfast to later in the morning depending on how the evening goes.  Broth, eggs, lard, 1 lb of ground beef.  Been adding some liverwurst to my eggs lately.  Super full now, not sure if I'll be able to drink my usual green tea this morning.

Ugh, terrible headache at work.  Lethargic.  I took a half day and went home.  Definitely moving the eating time down again, will have to take food to work I guess.

Day 29

Morning (4:00 am) weight:  158.9 lbs

Green tea again...hopefully no headaches.  Annoying slight rise in weight, oh well.  I am taking food to work and will eat when I truly get hungry, which is not yet.  Can't believe I'm almost 30 days into this.  Plan on keeping on while my wife is doing her 30 day thing and we're both abstaining from alcohol.  Much easier to stay the course when we are both in it together.

Ate around 9am, wasn't quite able to finish all the meat I brought.  Eggs, lard, broth.  Felt great all day.  Got a little hungry in the evening but didn't have any broth.  Did have some tastes of beef liver and a pate I mixed up.  Burping again at bedtime, but maybe related to the melatonin I take.

Day 30

Morning (4:00 am) weight:  158.9 lbs

Green tea. Lunch at 9am again.  Ate the usual but 1 lbs ground meat.  Quite full.  A bit tired in the afternoon, otherwise fine.  Tried a different melatonin at night, same unpleasant reaction.  Maybe I'll try no melatonin as I've been quite tired on my own lately.  I've been taking melatonin since college, so that'll be an interesting experiment.

Day 31

Morning (4:00 am) weight:  157.4 lbs

Green tea. Finally, some movement on the scale!  Same lunch, this time didn't get hungry til around 10:30am.  Felt pretty good all day.  Went to bed with no melatonin(!) and didn't have any trouble with sleeping.  Still burping a bit while falling asleep, but it didn't have the same level of discomfort as when I took a melatonin.

Day 32

Morning (4:00 am) weight:  157.4 lbs

Coffee (I'm out of green tea, need to get more).  No movement on the scale, but at least it stayed the same.  The usual for lunch at 9am.  Nothing unusual to report.  No melatonin again last night, no issues with sleep.

Day 33

Morning (6:00 am) weight:  157.4 lbs

Coffee.  Grrr...that scale.  Had broth, 3 eggs with 2 tablespoons of fat, then pork loin til I was full.  Got a little hungry in the evening and had some bone broth.

Day 34

Morning (6:00 am) weight:  157.4 lbs

Green tea.  9am, 2 eggs, fat, broth, 3/4 lbs ground beef.  Made bacon in the evening and consequently ate two slices...oops!

Day 35

Morning (4:00 am) weight:  156.7 lbs

Green tea. Yay, finally some movement and another new low!  Pretty big lunch today, broth, 3 eggs, 2 tablespoons of fat, 3/4 lbs ground beef, some leftover pork loin from the weekend, and a slice of bacon.

Day 36

Morning (4:00 am) weight:  156.7 lbs

Green tea.  Normal day, nothing to report.

Day 37

Morning (4:00 am) weight:  156.7 lbs

Green tea. If the pattern holds true I should see the same weight again tomorrow, then a small drop.

Day 38

Morning (4:00 am) weight:  156.7 lbs

Green tea. Spot on...same weight.  Hopefully we see that drop tomorrow.

Day 39

Morning (4:00 am) weight:  156.7 lbs

Green tea. No drop.  Sucks.  Well I've already decided to stop OMAD and go back to normal eating patterns tomorrow.  But I'm kinda done today.  However I'm going to spend the rest of the month of July (one more week) being pretty strict to see if the weight keeps coming off or if I'm rock solid all week.  I'll keep this going til the end of the month.

Plan to eat eggs with fat for breakfast.  Bone broth and 2 chicken thighs (as much as I feel like eating) around lunch (whenever I get hungry), and then we'll see about dinner.  Probably some ground meat.

Actually we  had guests today and we cooked up the rest of our Costco chicken breast.  I made cashew chicken with some vegetables (gasp!) in it.  So that's what I ate for dinner.

Had a glass of red wine this evening.  Not feeling too good after.

Day 40

Morning (4:30 am) weight:  156.7 lbs

Coffee.  It's Saturday morning and I'm up early for a job interview.  Having coffee for energy and mental focus.  Will eat breakfast when I get hungry.  Curious to see what happens going back to normal eating times.  BTW, yesterday felt great...I really don't love being on OMAD, feels unnatural to me.

Ate 3 eggs with beef fat around 7am.  Held me til around 10 when I got a bit hungry, so I had some broth that kept me until 11am.  Ate half a pound of ground beef for lunch.  

Mid-afternoon had double scotch with a cigar, no ill effects I could feel from it.

Before dinner got quite hungry again, so had some cracklings with chicken bacon liver pate for a snack.  Dinner was half a pound of ground meat again.  Had a glass of wine after dinner...left me feeling yucky...and with a slight headache.

Day 41

Morning (7:00 am) weight:  156.7 lbs

Green tea. Yay, finally got to sleep in once this week.  Glad yesterday's hijinks haven't had an immediate effect.  Breakfast was scrambled eggs, fat, chicken bacon liver pate, some bacon.  Had half a pound of ground meat for lunch and dinner, and some bone broth in there.

Day 42

Morning (4:00 am) weight:  158.2 lbs

Green tea. 1.5 lbs weight gain since yesterday...fastest I've seen in a long while.  Possibly due to the alcohol consumed Friday and Saturday?  Or due to changing back to eating more normal times?  We'll see...

Breakfast of 3 eggs with beef fat.  Lunch 2 eggs with beef fat and 1/2 pound ground meat, 1 cup bone broth.  Dinner was half a pound of ground meat with some lard.

Day 43

Morning (4:00 am) weight:  158.2 lbs

Green tea. 2 eggs with fat for breakfast.  Broth, half pound of ground meat and a boiled egg for lunch, half pound of ground meat for dinner.  Had 2 oz of anejo tequila in the evening.

Day 44

Morning (4:00 am) weight:  157.4 lbs

Green tea. Surprising slight drop there.  Week is half-way over, thank goodness.  Standard food day, though I had an extra egg for dinner and a packet of pork rinds.  Wife and I had 2 oz of awamori when I got home from work.  So good.

Day 45

Morning (4:00 am) weight:  157.4 lbs

Coffee with lard and an egg blended in.  Last day of July! W00t!  I'm calling this thing.

Conclusions

Starting weight:  168.6
Ending weight:  157.4
Weight lost:  11.2
Days total on OMAD:  39

OMAD is not a "natural" eating pattern for me, but it is effective for some short-term weight loss.  I guess some people gravitate towards it when eating carnivore, but I enjoy my food too much and do not enjoy the hunger/fasting state feelings the rest of the time.  Best version for me was eating in the morning around 9 or 10am, or whenever my body naturally gets hungry in the morning.  Afternoon/evening eating time means too long awake and hungry, misery in the evening and going to bed, while eating first thing in the morning throws everything out of whack.  While the inherent calorie restriction is a benefit, eventually my body seemed to "settle" at a weight as it got used to things.  I think the body's ability to adapt to different systems is very impressive, and in general it seems to take 3-4 weeks for this to happen.  I made great progress towards my goal of 150 lbs and will take a break from OMAD and being super strict, with the aim of maintaining this new weight plateau.  In a month or so I'll try OMAD again and see if I can shock my body into losing those last few pounds.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Lard FTW


One thing we've had trouble finding in large quantities here in Japan is lard.  Being essentially rendered animal fat, lard is an excellent additive for lean meats, and also great for searing.  I've found it can be spread on top of various things to add a delicious creamy mouthfeel to even the driest of foods (meats, cookies, brownies, etc...).  For some reason, I had never bothered checking Amazon.co.jp for lard, so I did a while back and found this:



Only 1200 yen (about $11), this 900g tub'o'lard has been amazing.  It's practically flavorless and lasts us about a month.  We've ordered another since and are about to order our third tub soon.  I now use this instead of butter for searing as I started having more negative reactions to dairy over time (farewell cheese and milk!).  You can use it in coffee as well, though I find it best to use some cream to help with the emulsification when blended.  But I generally don't drink the butter coffee anymore, so not a big deal for me.

Of course, if you live in the US you are spoiled for choice when it comes to lards, tallows, duck fats, etc...  I look forward to trying out new options when I go back some day.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Carnivore and Eating Out

Since this is primarily a restaurant review blog, I figured I should do a post on eating Carnivore and out at restaurants.  This is an interesting problem as most places assume you want a little bit of meat with a huge platter of carbs and vegetables, and don’t forget dessert!  And meat is usually the most expensive thing on the menu, so you can’t always just order 3 steaks unless you are filthy rich.

The first step is to try to choose wisely.  If you have a voice in the choice of restaurant, try to pick places that are going to have more carnivore friendly options, such as the obvious:  the steak restaurant.  Unfortunately these tend to be pretty spendy, so not everyone is going to be able to afford it.  Here in Japan another handy option is the Yakiniku restaurant, where you can order meat and cook it yourself.  There are pitfalls however, including price, and toppings.  Learn how to ask for “niku dake” (meat only) or “tare nashi” (no sauce).  There are some cheaper chains with lunch specials, but these are also problematic as they usually come with rice, salad and soup, and just a tiny bit of meat.  Usually menus are good about showing the grams of meat that come with each option.  I was able to find the maximum amount of meat for the price easily enough and just ordered 3 of those, with no rice or salad (I’m fine with soup), and it turned out fine.  But the first time I got 3 rice bowls, 3 salads and 3 soups, so your mileage may vary.

If you can’t find a meat dedicated restaurant, always check the sides menu.  Often times there are meat items on that list that you can order several of to at least get you through to your next meal.

Surprisingly, a great option for carnivores is fast food hamburger joints.  Although most items on the menu are terrible and filled with chemicals, the meat is usually not that bad, and there is usually a giant hamburger/cheeseburger on the menu somewhere.  Sometimes they'll even let you order it without the other ingredients, but if not, don't be afraid to throw those disgusting buns away!

And then there’s always compromise.  It’s not the end of the world if you have a few veg with your meat, so maybe that cashew chicken dish won’t be too bad.  If you basically have to eat the carb, always remember you can fall back on the rule of half!  You don’t have to eat it all and half is better than all of it.  It’s just a good rule of thumb.

Eggses

Eggs are another important tool in our Carnivore kit.  The hardcore carnivores will say you should only eat meat, but I'm sorry, sometimes you need some other options.  And I still believe eggs have got to be super good for you...they just taste too good!

I don't really have a lot to say about eggs, except that we eat them...often in the morning for breakfast.  I love over easy eggs, but sadly they are best when mixed with rice, so these days I usually scramble my eggs, very messily, along with whatever fats I have lying around, such as butter, left over bacon grease, or sometimes heavy cream.  I often will eat 3-4 eggs like this for breakfast and that keeps me until lunch rolls around, where I'll usually split a pound of ground meat with my wife, and repeat that for dinner.

Baking Bacon



This is silly fun, but I have to share this technique of cooking bacon that we routinely use.

Ingredients:

Bacon

Instructions:

1) Line a cooking tray that has elevated sides (at least an inch) with aluminum foil.
2) Lay out the bacon one strip at a time in whichever direction maximizes the number of strips you can place
3) Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F, place tray in the oven for 20 minutes when ready
4) Remove tray, transfer strips to a paper towel lined container
5) Eat the bacon...or put it in the fridge for later
6) Carefully shape the end of the aluminum foil in the pan to form a spout, then gently pick up the foil from the sides and back to pour any grease into a container.
7) Use the grease to sear or mix with scrambled eggs to get more fat in your diet

I don’t know why, but since we discovered this method we eat a lot more bacon.  It comes out so delicious and evenly cooked, and we get the added bonus of more bacon fat to use in other meals.  Unfortunately, most bacon is packed with chemicals and sugar, so shop around if you can to find one that is sugar and nitrate/nitrite free.

One Main Recipe: Sous-Vide Ground Meat with Cheese



Ground meat is my staple food.  And this is how I cook it so I don’t grow to loathe it.

I’m going to cut to the chase with the basic steps cuz I hate scrolling when I look at recipes:

Ingredients:

1 lbs ground meat 80% or less lean (i.e. 70% would be even better)
Salt/pepper/any other spices you desire
Slices of cheese (less processed the better)

Instructions:

Preheat Sous-Vide to your preferred doneness:

Lowest recommended temp:  131 F
(The higher the temp, the less moisture in the end)

1) Invert the top of the ziploc bag to prep it for inserting meat without touching the lock mechanism
2) If your ground meat is not already shaped to easily go into the ziploc bag, shape it now
3) Sprinkle salt/pepper/spices as desired
4) Insert the ground meat into the ziploc bag
5) Optional:  Seal the bag and freeze for later
6) Use the water displacement method to submerge the bag and squeeze the air out.
7) Seal the bag and clip to the side, ensuring the meat is completely submerged.  Tip:  Hang a weight off the clip to keep the bag under the water if it floats
8)  Cook for 2 hours minimum if thawed.  If frozen, cook for 4 hours minimum.  Note:  If you are pressed for time, you can take it out a little bit early, cut it in half and sear the in and outsides of both halves.
9) Remove from the sous vide and bag.  Use paper towels to dry off the meat as much as possible.
10) Heat a cast iron pan as hot as it will go, then sear the meat on one side (15-30 seconds).
11) Optionally sear the smaller sides of the meat (tongs are helpful)
12) Place the remaining large side down to sear, place one or two slices of cheese on top and cover with a lid.  Sear for another 15-30 seconds or until the cheese has melted on top
13) Remove from the pan and enjoy!

I can’t remember how I found it, but on Amazon there’s a self-published book called the Frugal Carnivore by K. Suzanne.  I was beginning to wonder if it was possible to continue to eat Carnivore without breaking the bank.  Of course I was having tons of fun buying various cuts of meat and experimenting with Sous-Vide and other methods of cooking.  But at some point, you have to settle down and live by a budget!  Luckily this book showed be the way:  Ground Beef.

Using ground beef in other recipes is fine, I’ve done it my entire life.  But I don’t really love fried up ground beef just by itself. She suggested an approach which involved smashing two half pound paddies in a pan for a good sear, then baking them the rest of the way, throwing cheese on if you’re a dirty, dirty Carnivore (like me!).  This sounded pretty good to me, but I have to confess I haven’t actually tried it yet.  Instead, I googled how to Sous-Vide ground meat, and came across several articles talking about sous-viding hamburger paddies.  None of them seemed very interested in larger hunks (for obvious reasons), but suddenly it clicked for me!  My local grocery store sells 80% lean ground meat in 1 lbs blocks.  According to the Frugal Carnivore lady, I should eat one pound in the morning and one pound in the evening.  I was pretty sure I could sous-vide that pound, then sear it, and throw some cheese on top for flavor.  That would be pretty easy!  And cheap and easy is the name of this game.

So bought some of these 1 lbs blocks and started experimenting.  First I tried vacuum sealing them, despite the warnings online that over-pressed ground meat wasn’t that great texture-wise.  Sure enough, not the best experience.  Then I tried the ziploc quart bag approach.  Cooked at 135 F (I was still a bit nervous to go as low as I could theoretically go and still be safe:  131 F), for 2 hours to be safe.  Took it out, seared it, popped cheese on top with a lid for the last little bit to melt it.  And wow...mind blown!  It’s definitely way redder than you would ever normally eat ground beef, but it’s been cooked at a safe temp for long enough to make it safe to eat.  It’s the rarest ground beef you’ve probably ever tried and the texture has to be tried to be believed.  Additionally, because the temp is so low, the fat doesn’t render out into grease for the majority of the mixture, meaning you get all that great fat mixed in, but you don’t really even notice it.  Even my wife (who can’t stand fat by itself) has zero issues with sous-vide ground meat.  She’s even more enthusiastic about than I am sometimes!  I do wish I could get 70% lean meat, but I have not been able to find any source where I live.

We’ve experimented with various spices and flavorings, and honestly we’ve ended up just coming back to salt and pepper as our favorite.  I did try going without the cheese for a while and I just gotta have it.  We use Tillamook medium cheddar.  The amazing thing is that we really don’t get tired of it!  Sure every now and then we want something different, but usually we are looking forward to returning to our usual ground beef immediately after.  I have various other meats stocked in the freezer for when we need a break, but every week we are still on the ground meat.

One thing that concerns us is that our ground meat source is the commissary on Yokosuka Naval Base.  It’s about $2 a pound, and these days we’re eating around 3 lbs per day between us, so about $90 a month.  We can put special orders in to have them make larger quantities packaged more conveniently (4 pounds to the package).  All of this is terribly convenient...but non-existent elsewhere in Japan.  The closest we have found is Costco, where we can pick up larger quantities of ground meat.  Unfortunately, it’s a huge hunk of meat, which I’d have to separate into smaller amounts before bagging it.  They do have pre-formed “paddies” (more like pucks) but these are all 90% lean.  Perhaps there are more options in the freezer section.  We’ve been going to all the local Japanese grocery chains and local butchers to see if there’s any way to get ground meat like we are used to at anywhere near the price, and the answer is no...even Costco is going to be more expensive.  So...while we have access to it, we are using the commissary, but someday we may have to find another source.

So there it is, our main staple meal as Carnivores.