November 22, 2012

Giving Thanks

Whatever language we say it in, it means the same thing. As I write this, I have Thanksgiving stuffed meatballs baking in the oven, and the house smells amazing. I’m bringing them, along with a couple of other dishes, to an old friend’s house, where there will be good food, good cheer great company, and merriment all around. There are also Brussels sprouts roasting in the oven, which I’ll toss with dried cranberries and toasted pecans for a delicious side dish. Don’t like Brussels sprouts? You’ve probably never had them this way. (I’ll post a recipe this weekend.) Tossing vegetables with olive oil, salt, and fresh-cracked pepper and then roasting them brings out sweetness and just plain deliciousness that boiling or microwaving beyond all recognition simply can’t come close to. This works especially beautifully for all the great winter root veggies and tubers that are available now, like sweet potatoes, beets, butternut squash, carrots, parsnips, and even fennel. But lemme tell ya, it does wonders for broccoli and Brussels sprouts, too.

Anyway, enough about the food. (What? Did those words just come out of my mouth?!) Today’s post isn’t about the food or geeky science. It’s just a quick chance for me to express my thanks. I have so much to be grateful for, and although I try to take time out every day to acknowledge that, today is when our society as a whole agrees to do that.

I’ll spare you the usual…family, friends, good health, and a roof over my head. Of course I’m grateful for those things. But there’s a little more to it than just being glad they’re there.

I am thankful for my friends and family who have been rock solid in their support of my journey into this career. I’m just starting out, but I know they’ll be with me every step of the way, encouraging me, cheering me on, and being a stronger, more dependable support system than I come close to deserving. It was a long time coming for me. I’ve been in and out of a lot of different jobs that didn’t suit me, but I’ve finally found something I’m passionate about and enjoy doing. And it’s not going away. It seems like the more I learn, the more I want to learn. Every book I read about food, nutrition, and health points me toward two or three more. At this point, I should probably just have half my paycheck sent directly to

I am thankful for having found the work of people like Robb Wolf, Mark Sisson, Gary Taubes, Jimmy Moore, Sean Croxton, Diane Sanfilippo, Mike Eades, the Weston A. Price Foundation, and hardcore researchers and PhDs who have devoted their careers to studying low-carbohydrate and Paleo-type nutrition, like Jeff Volek, Stephen Phinney, Eric Westman, and others. After struggling with my weight for years, and banging my head against the wall – and sometimes crying myself to sleep—the information they were providing—mostly for free, via their websites or even books you could get at the library—helped me understand why I wasn’t seeing the results I was expecting from my diet and exercise. It turns out, “all the right things” I was doing turned out to be…well, maybe not all wrong, but certainly not the surefire way to weight loss and vibrant health. I don’t know why it took me so many years to put two and two together. I guess when you hear something over and over again, you come to believe it, even if it’s not true. And the only way you do find out the truth is to realize that you’ve been adding two and two together for years and you keep coming up with five. Somethin’ just ain’t right.

Anyway, I’m thankful to have stumbled upon information that is reliable and based in scientific facts, rather than politically correct soundbites and advice from food manufacturing companies to eat large quantities of the things we subsidize with our tax dollars:  corn, wheat, and soy.

It is my professional goal to steer others away from falling into the same traps I did all those years. Obtaining a healthy weight, an attractive physique, and way more important—long-term robust physical health and psychological balance, does not require starvation diets, training for triathlons, or trying to live as an adult human being on nothing but lettuce and grilled skinless chicken with a tiny bit of lemon squeezed on top. When you understand the way the human body works, it becomes clear what to eat and what to avoid. And that’s why I tend to “geek out” on the science. This stuff is not a mystery. There are answers.

I am grateful for the six of you out there who follow my blog. (Just Kidding! There are only five.) Knowing someone is reading makes me want to keep posting. And that’s important. It’s important for me to put good information out there, and it’s important for me to work on getting my thoughts together coherently. I love writing, I love food, and I love the science of nutrition. And damn, if there isn’t any better way to combine those things than a place like this.

So thank you, my friends, family, and followers, for reading, for encouraging, and for being on this journey with me. Lord knows I can’t do it alone.

Please have a blessed Thanksgiving. And may it be the start of a holiday season full of the warmth of loved ones, the smoky smell of cold winter nights, Orion in his proper place in the night sky, and of course, GOOD FOOD. WITH BUTTER!!

P.S. If you happen to click on the recipe for the meatballs above, FYI, in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I’m using ground turkey instead of pork and no chestnuts. I also added some almond meal as a binder because I found the turkey was a little too “loose.” Still gluten-free! 

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