Saturday, March 31, 2012

Seabrook Lucky Trail Challenge 2012

Finally getting around to writing up a race report covering my second go around with the Seabrook Lucky Trail Challenge.  The challenge?  Do a half marathon on Saturday (chip time 2:47:37.3) followed by a full marathon on Sunday (chip time 5:54:57.7).  The reward? Receive an extra special medal for completing both races.  The reason?  Proceeds from the race benefit “The Bridge”; a non-profit organization that assists victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse.

This race did not disappoint!  I had a great time as usual.  The volunteers are extremely helpful, the aid stations are top notch, the runner swag is awesome… a hat, a pair of socks and a tech shirt that fits perfectly, and the post race food seems never-ending!  The best thing?  My dear friend Mellody decided to come to Texas at the last minute and help me finish out my week long birthday celebration with a bang!

The prelude to race weekend was epic.  I spent the first part of spring break week in Austin volunteering for and attending ThePaleoFX Ancestral Momentum - Theory to Practice Symposium.  I already wrote a blog post about that one… I ended my day Thursday with a fabulous meal at the 24 Diner.  The bunless lamb burger was just what the Paleo doc ordered.  It was a little late for me to be eating dinner, but I had 2 hour drive home ahead of me.  So, I ordered my usual supercharger: quad shot espresso with heavy cream.  When the bartender served it up, he said that should last me til tomorrow night.  Of course, I had to tell him it was my 3rd that day. LOL  Time to head back to my newly found friend Tannifer’s house, pack my car and head home.

I arrived home at around 12:20 am and barely had time to unpack from the conference and then re-pack for marathon weekend, which would also include a Broadway Across America production of Mel Brooks YoungFrankenstein at The Grand Opera House in Galveston.  Mellody’s flight was scheduled to arrive at around 8:15 am, so I really needed to hurry and get to bed.  I looked at my clock and was about to get into bed at 1:36 am, when all of a sudden, I heard a horrible noise outside.  My heart hit my feet and I said “Raymond, oh FUCK, something REALLY big just fell out of the tree in the back yard, and it sounded like it fell on someone’s car.”  I walked to the kitchen window in time to see a large blue flash of light and then watched the lights explode inside the duplex in my back yard.  Pow, Pow, Pow, starting at the back of the apartment, then finally the porch fixture… POW!

We cautiously went to the back yard and the smell of smoke was overpowering, so I called 911 to make sure they were close in case of a fire, then I made all the tenants come outside until I was sure it was safe.  We have a very large oak tree in our back yard… so large that two adults can’t join hands around the base of the tree.  We had a seriously dry summer last year and then lots of rain this spring, so the tree was weakened by the stress and a limb of about 18” in diameter fell on the electric service entrance in the back of the duplex, breaking the ground wire and causing everything in both apartments to blow out.  The amazing thing is that the electric company came right out and reconnected everything on the spot.  I think I finally crawled into bed at about 3:45 am.  Raymond woke me up when he came back in the house at 5am.  

Hahahahahaha… knowing what I know about stress and not getting enough sleep; that probably took a couple of years off my life.

This is certainly not much of a race report, but I really did enjoy the challenge in Seabrook.  The trails are immaculate, and what could be better than spending the weekend with 100’s of your craziest friends?  Well, maybe beating your previous finish time from 2010!

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Here are two more home made versions of the famous Larabar:

Apple Pie:
1 cup dehydrated apple slices *
1/2 cup dates
2/3 cup raw almonds
1/3 cup walnut pieces
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger

add all ingredients to a food processor.  process until well combined.  press into a cookie sheet.  refrigerate and cut into bite size bars.  keeps well in refrigerator or freezer.
*Organic Braeburn apples, peeled, sliced and tossed in lemon juice before dehydrating at low temp.

1 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup dates
1 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
2T coconut oil

add all ingredients to a food processor.  process until well combined.  press into a cookie sheet. refrigerate and cut into bite size bars.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Probiotics anyone? Paleo, of course.

Every time I make another batch of homemade sauerkraut, I feel like a superstar.  I get lots of comments on my facebook page when I post the pictures, so why not share the process with everyone!

I bought 2 medium sized heads of cabbage (about 5 1/3 pounds).  I could have used 6 pounds to fill 3 - 1 quart jars and I will remember that next time.

Wash your quart jars and lids in very hot water, let air dry.

Peel the dark green outer leaves off of the cabbage heads, rinsed them off and set to the side, there will be a use for them later.

Cut the heads of cabbage into quarters with a very sharp knife.  Remove the core.  Slice all the cabbage as thick or thin as you like it.  I like to cut mine as if I was making cole slaw.  Divide the cabbage into two large glass bowls and sprinkle 2 teaspoons sea salt over each of them.  Meanwhile dissolve 1 teaspoon of sea salt into about a cup of boiling water.  Work the salt into the shredded cabbage (I use my hands to make sure the cabbage is well mixed).  I started with refrigerated cabbage, so I mixed it around a few times while it returned to room temperature before I started packing the jars.

Start by pouring a little of the salted water into the bottom of each jar.  This will insure that the cabbage does not have any large air pockets that could cause mold.  Pack the cabbage tightly into the jar as you add a little at a time until the jar is almost full.  The cabbage should be fully submerged.  There will be a little liquid in the bottom of your bowl, pour that in the jar too.

Here is where you use the green leaves you saved when you started the process.  Fold a leaf so that it is almost too large for the jar.  Press it down over the cabbage until it is partially covered with the liquid.  That will keep the cabbage where it belongs during the fermentation process, always covered with liquid.

Make sure you place the jars in a container that will catch overflow in case the liquid seeps out of the jar, cover the whole thing with a towel and put it in a dark place.  I put mine in the cabinet where all my large serving platters and bowls are stored, since that one is rarely opened.

In cooler weather, unscrew the lid to vent the sauerkraut every 5 days.  Taste if you wish at this time, then replace the lid.  When it is warmer, I would suggest venting every 3 to 5 days.

You personal taste and the climate in your home will determine the length of the process.

Properly prepared, sauerkraut should keep in your refrigerator up to 6 months.

There are lots of resources on the internet for fermenting vegetables of all kinds... and there are some safety concerns with regard to mold, etc.  I have not had a problem with mold, and I think that is because I make the sauerkraut in a closed jar, rather than the old fashioned way in an open crock.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

PaleoFX12 - The Assignment

Hi! This will be a little different than the usual malvs2walk blog.

I had the good fortune to be able to attend day one of Paleo f(x) Ancestral Momentum - Theory to Practice Symposium in Austin Texas last week. I drove up on Monday just in time to "almost" attend the volunteer orientation tour of the facility where the Symposium was being held - Darrell K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium at University of Texas in Austin.

I met lots of my IPMG (International Paleo Movement Group on Facebook) friends and received instructions for the next days volunteer needs. Since I was going to be working the registration table the first two days of the event, Wednesday evening and Thursday morning, I was able to volunteer to help out with the Audio Visual setup (running errands) all day Tuesday. Wednesday I was charged with hauling some precious cargo to the facility. Then, let the packet stuffing begin! We dispensed with 500+ bags of assorted materials for speakers, attendees and volunteers alike in short order! We were ready to greet everyone when they started arriving around 3 pm!

Everyone who "knows" me also knows how much I love my coffee. We were on a pretty tight schedule and the Starbucks that is usually open in the Stadium lobby was closed due to spring break. I don't know Austin proper that well, so was certainly feeling deprived of my caffeine. Someone had directed me to a coffee shop in the Student Union Tuesday afternoon, so as we were finished stuffing the event packets... I headed over there at about 2:30. To my complete dismay, the coffee shop was closed. I was starting to get, shall we say "PISSY", and asked some people on the street where there was a decent coffee shop. They pointed me in the direction of CaffĂ© Medici, right across the street from the campus. Mind you, it was almost 3pm and this would be my first coffee of the day, so I went ALL IN and ordered a 6 shot espresso with some steamed heavy cream. Where are you Robb Wolf. LOL  Anyhow, that was one of the better espressos I had in a long time, and it came with a compliment in the form of a question: "Are you an athlete?"

Back to the conference, higher than a kite, but also focused on the task at hand... get those folks processed and pointed in the right direction!  Everything went smoothly and from what I understand, Dr. Jack Kruse opening remarks Wednesday night were epic!  Wish I could have gone upstairs to listen!  I will be purchasing several of the presentations on DVD when they become available.

Thursday, and let the presentations begin!  The registration tribe leader was very gracious to hold me to only two of the scheduled time slots since I had been helping out an extra day or two, so I was able to see Robb Wolf's presentation, sit in on two important panel discussions and also attend Mark Sisson's presentation.

There are several things I want to touch on.  The first thing is that we all need to be willing to share our experiences with others.  So many people have been saved by Paleo.  It's one of the things I remember Robb Wolf saying at the start of his presentation... that at least 200 people had approached him saying, "You saved my life" in the short time he had been in Austin.  It's our duty to pay it forward, but not in a forceful, condescending manner.  We can lead by example, eat real food and move our bodies.  Learn to evolve in our thoughts just as we have evolved over time.  Paleo is not the same thing for every person, and the only way to learn what works for us as individuals is to clean out our own house and start anew.  I know I have learned something new almost every day since January 18, 2011 (my paleoversary).

The first panel discussions I attended was called "Affecting Future Healthcare & Food Policy".  This is something I hold near and dear.  I am, as are countless other citizens of planet earth, tired of large corporations driving policy.  Government officials have NO idea what they are talking about when they are talking about what humans eat, and the corporations that are behind "the food pyramid" or "myplate" are only interested in how forcing this policy down our throats will line their pockets.  The same goes for the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries.  There are a precious few doctors who are willing to admit that they have been wrong about the causes of diseases of civilization, and part of this panel discussion was aimed at how those physicians and dietitians who know the truth can spread it to the rest of the profession.  It should be the goal of the medical industry to reduce illness by understanding what CAUSES it rather than just mask the symptoms with another pill.  Let's all talk to our family doctor and tell them what we are doing when we get our next annual physical.  If they try to prescribe a pill for you... don't just blindly take it.  We are consumers when we enter the doctor's office, and consumers have the right to be involved from step one with their medical "purchases".  A registered dietitian in the audience asked what she should do when sanctioned by her licensing agency for spreading the truth and refusing to push My Plate toward another unsuspecting client.  Now is the time for someone to step up (are there not any Paleo attorneys willing to donate some time?) and start a legal defense fund to help these people who only want to spread the truth.

(feels like I am starting to get a little preachy here...)

The next panel I attended was called: "Future of Paleo".  Another subject that deserves some serious thought and discussion.  This thing Primal/Paleo/Ancestral Health... whatever you call it, has really been gathering speed.  I think I may have heard the words Paleo Diet a couple of years ago but never really gave it much thought.  Now, there are more and more people who have heard of it, and whether their opinion is good or bad does not matter.  When the negatives arise on the internet because some news reporter surveys 1,000 people and some of them say Paleo is not sustainable, thousands of my closest friends head on over to those websites and clear up the untruths that are being spread.  That's good for everyone.  What is not so good?  When people hide behind pseudonyms and false pictures and spread negativity.  If we are going to change the world, we need to continue to spread this message in a positive, supportive manner.  Calling each other names whether it be a vegan or someone who thinks their Paleo way is the ONLY way is not going to make any of us look credible.  We all have a purpose in this movement.  How many people have you told about Paleo?  How many of your friends and family have tried it?  How many of your friends are still headed down that SAD (Standard American Diet) path to disease?  How many people have ended their friendship with you over your determination to be a vibrant healthy individual?  Those people are still worth saving and all we can hope for is that they find their way to the truth.

I attended Mark Sisson's presentation, then headed toward the lobby to purchase "Primal Body Primal Mind" and hope to get that and my well read copy of "The Paleo Solution" both autographed by their respective authors.  Once that mission was accomplished, it was time for me to leave all this great company I had the good fortune to spend some quality time with.  I really wanted to stay for Friday's discussions, but had a prior engagement with a good friend that I will blog about in the next day or so.

I want to leave this post with a profound statement, but I think I already put all the passion I could muster into the commentary above.  I hope my story touches someone who may have been struggling and helps them choose the path to Ancestral Health!

Friday, March 9, 2012

home made Jocolat

So, this is my first attempt at a home made version of Jocolat Coffee.

1 1/2 cup Pitted Dates
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup raw almonds
2/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
6T cocoa powder
2T espresso beans (ground on the finest setting of the burr mill grinder)
4T coconut oil
2T coconut butter

I processed all of it in the food processor until it started to bind together.  The taste is amazing and very intense.
Spread in a cookie sheet, refrigerate for a little while, then cut into bars.  12 - 15 servings