Another Crustless Quiche

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This one was way better than my last crustless quiche.

What I did differently was first, to use 1/2 cup of potato flour instead of coconut flour. This resulted in a wonderfully crusty skin. Carbs? Well, 1/2 cup of the flour is about 60 grams or so, discounting the fiber (about 5 grams). This gets cut into 12 portions, so you'll get 5-6 grams per slice. No big.

The other thing is that I used Swiss cheese instead of cheddar. The traditional French recipe calls for Gruyere, but that's about four times the price and it's not four times as good.

On the next go I'm going to try to make an actual crust with the potato flour, eggs, leaf lard, etc. I might try tapioca, and that's only about two-thirds of the carbs in the potato flour.

...Well, I'm off to catch a cruise ship in downtown San Diego.

Grilled Carne Asada

My father-in-law, Sam, grilled this up last night. The veggies were grilled too.

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It was a great dinner, after having spent very nearly the entire day by the pool.

LDL Cholesterol Nonsense

Cholesterolcon-1 Well, I was all prepped for a link and quick hits roundup, but first up was a bit about LDL cholesterol, as in the calculated one...as in the one most of you get when you have your blood work done. After a bt of poking around, the link roundup can wait.

But back up a bit, all the way to here, where I posted my first lipid panel about a year ago. At a calculated LDL of 104, I got a warning of "elevated" from the doc. Then, as some of you may recall from last February, those lipid numbers caused one naturopath to email me with some concerns. The solution? Well, in a nutshel, the solution would be to dramatically increase my triglycerides (fat in your blood) from a low of 47 to somewhere perhaps in the 150ish range, thus letting the Friedewald equation do its thing. How's that, you ask? Well, I laid it all out in this post: What Do You Think You Know About LDL Cholesterol? This post has been picked up in links a couple of times in the last few days. The first was by Tom Naughton, maker of Fat Head, a film I highly recommend as a way to introduce people to the fraud of conventional "wisdom" in nutrition.

In brief, the Friedewald equation for calculating LDL (direct measurement is expensive) is that you take total cholesterol, subtract HDL, and then subtract further your triglycerides divided by 5:

LDL (calculated) = Total Cholesterol - HDL - Triglycerides/5

A cursory glance at that equation should help explain what I meant above, where I wrote that the way to have low(er) LDL would be to dramatically increase my triglycerides. How does one do that? It's quite simple: eat lots of hearthealthywholegrains. You can even get the job done quicker by tossing in sugar, sodas, and any manner of processed food in abundance. I think the average Trig level in America is in the area of 200 and increasing. All else remaining equal, had my Trigs been 200 instead of 47, then I would have been able to subtract 40 (200/5) instead of 9.4 (47/5). Thus: 219 - 106 - 40 = 73. That would earn me a hand shake from my physician, all for replacing a good deal of the meat, eggs, veggies, and fruit I eat with bread, pasta, sweets and other crap. (Of course, if I were to do that, all things would not remain equal, because my HDL would also take a huge nosedive.)

Next, Sephan at Whole Health Source picked up that link and also came up with something of help for those of you out there who may not want to go to the expense of paying for your own NMR Lipoprofile or a Vertical Auto Profile (VAP). What has been known for a long time is the Friedewald becomes very unreliable at Trig levels over 400. It has also been suspected that it's equally unreliable for Trig levels below 100, a level of triglycerides achieved by almost al low-carb / paleo practitioners. Dr. Eades explains it in this post.

So, what Stephan came up with is an equation that purportedly does a better job at calculating your LDL when your Trigs are below 100.

LDL (calculated) = Total Cholesterol/1.19 + Triglycerides/1.9 - HDL/1.1 - 38

Now, if I run my same 219 total, 47 Trig, 106 HDL through this new equation, I get a calculated LDL of 75 and not the 104 that motivated my doctor to caution me (and to probably make a note that I'll soon be a candidate for a statin prescription).

Well, guess what else? Turns out I had another lipid panel done a while back and I convinced them to do a direct measure of LDL: 66. That's not too far off the 75 rendered by the equation above, and so, while an NMR, VAP, or direct measure is the best way to go, you can at least perhaps get some immediate peace of mind by doing your own calculation per the above formula.

Would be very interested to see your comments comparing your latest numbers, Friedewald verses the new equation, particularly if you have Trigs significantly below 100.

Finally, my friend Jimmy Moore recently interviewed Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, author of The Great Cholesterol Con. I recommend both.

Real Chicharrónes

Picked up this morning by my father-in-law from a local Mexican market, Los Reyes, in Vista, CA. So good. Crunchy, but chewy all at the same time.

Real Chicharrones

I Get So Much Help

As per usual, today, being a traveling day, I fasted from last night's meal (damn me that I didn't get a picture of the main course; it's quite special that Robert actually ground the curry himself, and I've been a bit obsessed thinking of it) until tonight.

So, bygones, and a mistake I'll not repeat; here's tonight's break-fast after a long drive.

Roat beef 

Upon arrival, there was a roast beef with some onion having spent a lot of hours n the crock pot. In addition, squash cut into great big chunks as you see ( me likey) , carrots and cauliflower. They had organic, unsalted butter on hand, which I made substantial use of.

I had a second plate just like this. A couple more scotches/rocks, and I'm done.

Deviled Eggs & Salmon Roe

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Just about to head out and hit the road, but not before this. Friends down the hall were kind enough to prepare dinner for us last night and served up a wonderful witefish in a curry sauce featuring home ground curry spices. Nice, and I wish I'd had the presence of mind to snap a photo.

I didn't come empty handed and presented this bit of an appetizer. Really super easy to make. I followed this recipe from Cheeseslave, and yep, this is a great way to get vitamin K2, MK-4, the form of K2 made by animals for other animals.

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What I did differently from the recipe was that I included about a rounded tblsp of finely chopped shallot, and instead of mustard, I chopped about a rounded tbsp of nori (dried seaweed, such as you see as garnish) that's included in the egg. This one is definitely a keeper, for me.

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Admin Notes

I have commissioned an expert team to convert this TypePad blog over to WordPress in its entirety. I can't wait to deliver my parting shot to TypePad over that. For the last two years or so, every single enhancement has come with 2-3 bugs that take months to fix, if ever, and general downgrades.

Whereas, years ago I was able to compose a post wholly in the rich text editor, for the last two years I have yet to compose a post where I didn't have to hand edit html to get things to display right.

Next, the wife & are are leaving San Jose tomorrow AM for Vista, CA to drop off the dogs at her parents'. Then, Sunday, we head down to San Diego to catch a cruise ship for my parent's 50th anniversary, along with all three of my brothers and their wives / SOs.

Should be fun. I'll endeavor to snap some photos of real food assembled from cruise ship fare. No idea what connectivity will be, but I'll do what I can.

We'll be back in full swing immediately after the 7/4 weekend.

Eating Out and Away

Mark Sisson has up a decent guide to eating out. He's right about the Mexican. While I might could go for the carnitas, or even the home made chicharrónes, I usually go for the fajitas, in the same style Mark suggests: ditch the tortiallas, rice, & beans. Gor for the grilled meat, veggies, guac & sour cream.

This is precisely what I did last Friday evening at a very old and popular Mexican restaurant.

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Sunday we went to visit my dad & mom for fathers day. Got there about noon and I hadn't eaten since those fajitas right above. A bit hungry, and as it turned out, mom had made ground beef stuffed cabbage the night before, no rice. Perfectly primal.

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I think I'll be giving this one a go. Ideas for variations include trying it with ground lamb, veal, or a combo. I also have one pack of ground venison left over from my brother's kill some months back, so this dish is a definite candidate.

Fast forward a few hours, mom set out some snacks.

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Artisan salami, pickled herring, a camembert, smoked oysters, assorted veggies & cheese, and chicharrónes.

I'm very fortunate to have parents and other family who have seen the benefits of the primal, real food experience.

There’s Usually An Unconsidered Variable

The single biggest problem with what are called "observational studies" is that you generally can't be certain about which variable or combination of variables is responsible for the positive or negative effects you're observing.

This was recently illustrated by a couple of dumb studies. The second of those links is especially egregious, implicating red meat, a staple of humans and their ancestors going back 2.5 million years while the modern grains, sugars and vegetable oils that have been in the diet only recently are given a pass.

Stephan at Whole Health Source came up with a keen observation the other day in this regard.

In other words, the reason observational studies in affluent nations haven't been able to get to the bottom of dental/orthodontic problems and chronic disease is that everyone in their study population is doing the same thing! There isn't enough variability in the diets and lifestyles of modern populations to be able to determine what's causing the problem. So we study the genetics of problems that are not genetic in origin, and overestimate genetic contributions because we're studying populations whose diet and lifestyle are homogeneous. It's a wild goose chase.

Here's another way to look at it, by means of a joke Beatrice emailed the other day.

~~~

I was shopping at the local supermarket where I selected:

A half-gallon of 2% milk
A carton of eggs
A quart of orange juice
A head of lettuce
A 2 lb. can of coffee
A 1 lb. package of bacon

As I was unloading my items on the conveyor belt to check out, a drunk standing behind me watched as I placed the items in front of the cashier. While the cashier was ringing up the purchases, the drunk calmly stated, 'You must be single.'

I was a bit startled by this proclamation, but I was intrigued by the derelict's intuition, since I indeed had never found Mr. Right. I looked at the six items on the belt and saw nothing particularly unusual about my selections that could have tipped off the drunk to my marital status.

Curiosity getting the better of me, I said, 'Yes, you are correct. But how on earth did you know that?'

The drunk replied, 'Cause you're ugly.'

~~~

Of course, that suggests another problem in addition to an unconsidered variable: you might be biased against one of more or them.

Saturday Dinner – Grilled Tri-Tip & Celery Root Purée

Tri-tip

I finally got a grill that allows me very good temperature control, such that I can do the low & slow to achieve rare & medium rare roasts from edge to edge and not just the very center. It's a Char-Broil Infrared Gas Grill. Highly recommended. Essentially, I was able to easily create an indirect heating environment of only about 250 degrees. I used a temperature probe as well to know internal temperature. Then, once the meat was at 115 I used direct heat on high and turned the meat until 125. Then let rest. If you have juice draining after a couple of minutes, you know it's enough to make the fat juicy. Of course, the juice was reintroduced to the sauce.

SANY0030 To accompany the roast was a celery root purée which I've been dying to make correctly for about a dozen years (click the image for the full size). Tried a couple of times with bad results. You must have a full-fledged food processor. I'll not even go into the various ways I've tried. You must have a food processor to do it right.

SANY0021 Here's the recipe that I used. The changes I made were that I used 2 cups of whole milk (organic pasteurized is fine; you're gonna kill the milk anyway) and a cup of organic heavy cream mixed with the water for cooking. I also used a full stick of organic butter, along with 1/2 cup of cream (melted together in a saucepan) for the finish in the food processor. It came out smooth and really wonderful. Yep, there's one small russet to go with the 2-3 pounds of celery root. For 6-8 servings, it's a pretty minimal amount of glucose.

The sauce was a reduction of my standard bone stock and I didn't do much with it other than add a bit of red wine, and a pinch each of sage & rosemary. Because I was concerned with having enough for everyone, I thickened with about a tsp of potato flour right at the end instead of reducing more.

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Our neighbor prepared a wonderful green salad with onions, real bacon bits, and dressed lightly with olive oil and fresh lime. I was remiss in not getting a photo, but, I did eat an entire plate of it after the above had been finished off.