Father Andrew's Hot Body Gym

May 2, 2010

Roasted Squash over Arugula with Goat Cheese and Hazelnuts

Filed under: diet, real talk — Tags: , , , , — Micah Vandegrift @ 10:59 am

This recipe comes from some friends of Abby and I who run their own design company in Chicago called Letterform. Julie was featured on the Design*Sponge blog for this recipe and when I saw it, I just had to share it with you all. In addition, they make “foodie greeting cards” called Nourishing Notes, which I think we all could get behind and enjoy.

So look at the picture, let your mouth water a little and head over to Design*Sponge to read the recipe. Then buy some stuff from Andy and Julie! Support unique art, local foods and creativity!


April 14, 2010


Filed under: diet, real talk — Tags: , , , — Micah Vandegrift @ 12:20 pm

Image from Marks Daily Apple - Click for more info

Are you joining us in the Primal Diet Challenge? Interested to know how we are doing thus far?




See how real people attempt to eat on a strict Primal Diet. (I feel like we all did better before we were tracking foods at all!)

Also, check out the Primal Challenge document that Mara made up as an example of how to track your successes (read: failures).

What we’ve discovered thus far – tracking daily food intake sucks. It really makes you think about what you eat, and its annoying to write it down all the time.

Here’s the good news – We are all in this together!

How are you doing with your Primal Challenge?

April 7, 2010

The Importance of Eating Fat

Filed under: diet — Tags: , , , , , , , — Mara @ 4:33 pm

To add to the recent discussion of the benefits of dietary fat, here is a quick list from gutsense.org of the problems humans of a low-fat diet may encounter. More specifically, this site recommends animal fats, as they are more stable, less likely to be rancid, and therefore less likely to contain trans fats. My favorites from the list are cellulite, constipation, obesity, and osteoporosis – I sure don’t want any of those things!

The picture to the left is from a book about the benefits of animal fat. Check out this review and interview from salon.com.

In a nut shell: eat your bacon!

People who don’t consume adequate amounts of [animal] fat regularly may develop the following disorders:

  • Constipation, because dietary fat is a primary stimulant of the gastrocolic reflex.
  • Gallbladder disease, because dietary fat is the sole stimulus for the release of bile. If bile isn’t regularly released from the gallbladder, bile salts may form gallbladder stones.
  • Acute cholecystitis, because unused bile salts or gallbladder stones may obstruct the hepatic (bile) ducts — the outlet tubes that connect the liver to the gallbladder and duodenum.
  • Weight gain and obesity, because dietary fat is a primary substance behind the control of satiety, hunger, and appetite.
  • Enterocolitis (inflammatory disease of the small and large intestine) because underutilized bile causes inflammation of the intestinal mucosa and diarrhea.
  • All forms of bone and joint diseases (tooth loss, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, rickets, scoliosis, and osteomalacia, rheumatoid arthritis), because dietary fat is essential for absorption of vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium in the small intestine.
  • Rapid vitamin D deficiency and all related disorders, because an absence of dietary fat prevents the absorption of dietary vitamin D and reabsorption of the endogenous vitamin D secreted with bile.
  • Heart disease and hypertension, because vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium regulate contraction and relaxation of smooth (blood vessels) and cardiac (heart) muscles.
  • All kind of skeletal muscular disorders, such as fibromialgia, for the same reasons as above.
  • Blood disorders, because dietary fat is essential for absorption of dietary vitamin K a coagulation factor, and because essential fatty acids are required in the “manufacture” of blood cells.
  • Impaired immunity, night blindness, and skin disorders, because dietary fat is essential for absorption of vitamin A.
  • A broad range of cognitive dysfunctions, cardiovascular diseases, inflammatory disease, infertility, amenorrhea, nerve damage, cancers, and other conditions, related to acute deficiency of essential fatty acids.
  • Cellulite and other skin disorders, related to overconsumption of vegetable fats to satisfy cravings while avoiding animal fat.
  • Undesirable exposure to unstable trans and rancid fats in all vegetable oils, which are considered the primary triggers of inflammatory diseases (digestive, cardiovascular, atherosclerosis, joints, asthma), and cancer.

April 2, 2010

Big Pharma Finally Catches the Fish

Filed under: diet — Tags: , , , , — Mara @ 7:49 pm

In case you were wondering if you really need to start taking (more) fish oil, you can now add one more set of voices telling you it’s good for you. You’ve heard it from Josh, you’ve heard it from Melissa Urban at Whole9, you’re heard it from CrossFit, and you’re heard it from Marks Daily Apple.  Now you can hear from Big Pharma USA.

Introducing . . . Lovaza!

Of course, if you’ve watched Food, Inc. or read The Omnivore’s Dilemma, that may be more off-putting than enticing. The fact that the FDA approves of this treatment does not bring a sigh of relief. But no, just because most of what they endorse ranges from merely unnecessary to potentially bio hazardous does not mean that because they approve something you should avoid it.

At least in this instance, the FDA has something right. the Omega-3s in Fish Oil are really, really, good for you. In fact, they do something, with zero harmful side effects (other than fishy burps), that people have been trying like mad to accomplish with all kinds of nasty chemical combos: lower their triglycerides. Cholesterol, saturated fat, and triglycerides are the bugbears of the Baby Boomer generation, eliciting an astonishing level of fear and (gasp!) proactive response, a willingness to actually make changes that the rest of us would do well to imitate, only not in the form of taking statins or avoiding all fat. While recent research has stolen some of cholesterol’s thunder, and even saturated fat is beginning to be recognized as perhaps only a red herring, triglycerides still stand as the ultimate killing machine.

What a terrible situation to find ourselves in! The monster is upon us! Whatever shall we do???

But hark, what light through yonder window breaks? It is FISH OIL, and it will actually help!

Some of us can now bask in our feelings of intellectual and scientific prescience, because we’ve known about this miracle drug for months, maybe even years. Oddly enough, this medication has been approved since 2004, but Josh and I have never seen anyone reference it, anywhere.  Why is that? I’m not sure I want to know the answer.

What’s clear is that fish oil is good for you. Really, really good for you. The jury is still out on exactly how much fish oil is optimal, but everyone agrees that you should take some. At least a 1 gram of DHA/EPA per day. MDA recommends about 3 grams. Whole9 a homeostasis of about 6 grams and thinks that a higher dose at first will accelerate its benefits.

So if you’ve been dipping only your pinky toe in the fish oil pool, or if, heaven forbid, you have yet to incorporate the Mighty FO into your daily routine, let this be the final nudge that pushes you in, cannonball style.

However, you should keep in mind that fish oil does function as a blood thinner and therefore CAN be dangerous at prolonged, extremely high doses. Crossfit does caution soldiers or anyone who might be severely injured in their line of work to keep their doses on the lower side. But these worries only become an issue at levels above 6 grams for several months. So do exercise some caution; you do not need to take 30 grams a day.

But do take some. Hey, if you don’t care about silly things like your memory loss, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes, you can always take fish oil to increase your libido!

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