Can microwave cooking possibly be dangerous?

There is a thread over at Mark Sisson’s discussion board that got me thinking about the dangers of microwaving food. I do not know whether or not it is in fact unhealthy to cook in the microwave, but I can think of a number of pathways how a microwave could potentially be dangerous, or at least less healthy than other means of cooking or heating up your food. To use a metaphor: cooking with a microwave is like putting millions of very thin needles into the food, and the tips of those needles repeatedly heat up to say thousand degrees, but only for a split second. Intuitively it makes sense that this is much more aggressive than conventional cooking, and that it can lead to denaturation of food constituents So I would not disregard the Heret & Blanc study (UPDATE: see this post also) out of hand – it is probably worth checking what they have done before jumping to conclusions.
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Fructose is healthy – says Company X

I have recently discovered a product that falls into the sweet treats category, and that I like very much. Unfortunately it is full of fructose, so I guess unless they change this I won’t have it anymore. What I wanted to talk here about though is more how companies can get is so wrong – and how they can make outrageous marketing claims that might well backfire on them in due course. Continue reading

Weekly Links

Weekly LinksIt’s that time of the week again. Here my favorite reads of the week. This does not mean of course that they have just come out this week – it might also mean that I have been slow finding them. Enjoy.

Why you need to measure food if you are fat

Just found this nugget from Chris Kresser (my emphasis): Continue reading

Weekly Links

Weekly LinksIt’s Sunday night, and I thought I’d start a routine: I will publish the best links that I have read over the last week. Note that those pages are not necessarily new, but probably they were new for me. Enjoy.

Why Taleb is wrong on primal exercise (and Sisson is right)

Nassim Taleb (of Black Swan fame) has an article on this website that describes his personal exercise regime: 10-15 hours per week of “walking without any effort”, and “very, very, rare weight lifting events”“typically in a hotel” – that were “often very short, less than 15 minutes” and that were “leaving [him] completely exhausted”. Then he would be “sedentary for weeks and hang around cafes”.

Whilst this is on the surface very similar to Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint workouts, it differs in two crucial dimensions: (1) intensity, and (2) focus. To be fair, Taleb’s workout is probably closer to Sisson’s than to the classic every-day-the-same-effort gym routine. But the point is: gym-routine has moved on, and whilst maybe not yet entirely understood by the traditional “Globo-Gym” patron, the fact that you need to constantly modulate exercise load (and type) to achieve optimum performance is uncontroversial – just look at CrossFit, or Westside Barbell for something more sport-specific. So if you are of the traditional Globo type,  Taleb’s routine might be progress. If not – Sisson or CrossFit is clearly the better choice. Continue reading

“The Road to Fitness” – Template presentation now on the website

RTF Presentation ThumbnailI have just posted a presentation on my website which lays out the way to get in shape after a long hiatus – enjoy!

Paleo eating in Germany – an experiment

“Und der Teufel – in der Not – isst seine Wurst auch ohne Brot. (German proverb, roughly translating as “if fallen on hard times, the devil will content himself with eating his sausage without bread”

This was pretty much my approach to Paleo eating (well, actually Primal Blueprint eating) whilst I was in Germany.

  • Dinner day 0 (late arrival): avocado, olive oil, red pepper, sundried tomatoes
  • Breakfast day 1: big scrambled egg with veggies and some ham; some sausage; some black-forest ham (brought 1kg back to London…); some salmon; pass on the bread-roll (“Brotchen”), the pretzel (“Bretzel”), and the croissant (ibid, also “Hornchen”)
  • Lunch day 1: nothing – but did have some nuts & some 85% black choc throughout the day (remember, I was in the Sauna)
  • Dinner day 1: various sausage & fish; tomato; pepper; avocado, kohlrabi
  • Breakfast day 2: greek yogurt with olive oil, more sausage
  • Lunch day 2: various strips of meat (beef, pork, turkey) served in a pan; pass on the croquettes (but not the sauce!); some of my daughter’s Wiener Schnitzel (technically Schweineschnitzel Wiener Art, meaning it is pork, not calf)
  • Dinner day 2 (in the JAL/BA lounge at FRA airport): Wiener sausages, olives

Clearly, all very low carb, a significant portion of the calories from protein (and even more from fat). Lots of fat, saturated and unsaturated, but probably no trans fat (sausage was from the local butcher, not a factory) – there might have been some used when frying the meats on lunch day 2 though, but de minimis. No grains whatsoever.

I am very interested in checking my weight tomorrow morning, testing Mark Sisson’s assertion that you do not gain weight if you eat low carb, even if you overshoot on the calories (I suppose I might have averaged at 3000-3500 over those two days, ie 500-1000 over the top-end of my target range).

Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint

just put up my draft notes regarding Mark Sisson’s Primal Blueprint (ht Tim). If you are interested, you should really go out and buy the book though…

Kindle edition