This is the archive for Primal Challenge.
- Interview with John Durant
Originally posted at The Primal Challenge blog. Enjoy!
I had the great fortune of being able to listen to a lecture by professional caveman John Durant at Hillsdale College last night. I also got to hang out and chat with him for the evening and he graciously agreed to do an interview for The Primal Challenge! Click on the link below to listen to the interview.
Interview with John Durant (approximately 13 minutes in length)
Topics: The gourmet hot dog party that started it all, the role of community in keeping you with your new identity, advice for people who want to start blogging or doing something in health, why so many libertarians are attracted to paleo, and advice for people just starting out with paleo.
For those of you who don’t know him, John is a barefoot runner who started the NYC Barefoot Run, a health entrepreneur, and a libertarian who runs a popular blog on the paleo lifestyle, Hunter-Gatherer.com.
I had a great time chatting with him and learning from him. Thanks, John!
Here is a photo of John at the Hillsdale Lecture:
- Recently on The Primal Challenge
Above: Chicken Stuffed with Spinach, Feta, and Bacon – my latest recipe at The Primal Challenge.
I’ve been posting frequently over at The Primal Challenge. Check out some of my recent posts:
Welcome Two New People to the 30 Day Challenge!
Mass Production, Restaurants, and Food Quality
Primal Apple Crumble (a recipe from my parents!)
Also, here is the recipe for the delicious dish in the photo above:
Chicken Stuffed with Spinach, Feta, and Bacon
3 chicken breasts
1 bag of fresh spinach
1/2 lb of bacon, dice all but 3 pieces
1/4 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- 2. Heat your favorite fat (I used olive oil) in a skillet and start cooking the diced bacon along with the diced onion and the spinach. Saute it all together. Don’t worry, the spinach will cook down quickly.
- 3. Butterfly the chicken breasts.
- 4. In a bowl, mix the sautéed spinach, onions, and bacon with however much feta cheese you prefer.
- 5. Spread the minced garlic inside the butterflied chicken.
- 6. Put the spinach, onion, bacon, and feta mixture on 1/2 of each butterflied chicken breast and fold the other side back on top of it.
- 7. Top each stuffed chicken with the pieces of bacon you set aside earlier.
- 8. Place on a pan and bake at 425 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked. Turn the broiler on for the last 2-3 minutes to brown the top of the chicken and crisp the bacon.
- The Primal Challenge: Smoothies Revisited
I posted about three of my favorite primal breakfast smoothies over at The Primal Challenge today. Click over and check it out!
I know I have been linking to my posts over at The Primal Challenge quite a bit. I will post some original stuff (photography, thoughts, recommendations) on here soon. Stay tuned.
- Light temperature, Sleep, and F.lux
I posted again over at The Primal Challenge today. Here is the post, in its entirety, below:
I don’t know about you, but the “no glowing rectangles an hour before bed” rule is difficult for me. At Hillsdale I am usually so busy that I can’t avoid using my laptop before bed, lest work go unfinished. That used to affect my sleep a great deal, but then I came across a tip in Matt Madiero’s book, Roots.
Matt recommends a great piece of freeware called F.lux. Made by Stereopsis, F.lux is a free, cross-platform (Windows, Mac, and Linux) piece of software that changes the color temperature of the screen on your computer at night to the ambient light around you. Normally, screens are set around 6500 K, roughly the temperature of sunlight, which is great for waking you up, but not for allowing you to fall asleep. Some CRTs go all the way up to 9300 K. F.lux changes your screen temperature at sunset to around 3400 K, which is roughly the temperature of halogen light.
When I first installed the software, I didn’t think it made a noticeable difference until I turned it off a few hours later in order to edit some photos. When I turned F.lux off, the screen hurt my eyes! I can’t definitively say it has improved my ability to fall asleep since I’ve used it because I am getting more exercise during the day and I am usually exhausted by the time I go to bed, anyway. Since turning it off hurts my eyes so much, though, I suspect that f.lux is at least not hindering my brain from making melatonin to make me sleepy.
Stereopsis cites a lot of research which deals with the effects of color temperature. Here is an excerpt:
“…we surmise that the effect of color temperature is greater than that of illuminance in an ordinary residential bedroom or similar environment where a lowering of physiological activity is desirable, and we therefore find the use of low color temperature illumination more important than the reduction of illuminance. Subjective drowsiness results also indicate that reduction of illuminance without reduction of color temperature should be avoided.”
- from the paper: “Effect of Illuminance and Color Temperature on Lowering of Physiological Activity”
So, does this mean it is okay to use your computer all of the time before you go to bed? No. It is still best to keep things pretty low-key and dim before you go to bed. You should also avoid having lights in your room at night. (I covered up all of the lights on my gadgets.) When you must use your laptop at night though, lower the color temperature with F.lux. Also, if you are the type of person who reads for an hour before bed, use a bulb with a lower color temperature. Wikipedia has a good chart of common bulb color temperatures.
Want to know something interesting? Those most of those curly florescent bulbs that Congress is trying to get you to buy are around 5500 K. So not only do they contain mercury and are more expensive than incandescent bulbs, but they are also ruining your ability to fall asleep. As Bastiat noted so long ago, government intervention has unintended consequences.
- The Primal Challenge: Chicken Tacos with Guacamole
Check out my lastest post over at The Primal Challenge: Chicken Tacos with Guacamole.
- First Post at the Primal Challenge: Sausage, Spinach, and Tomato Frittata
I had my first post today over at the Primal Challenge. I met Bob and Antonie, two of the people who started the site, at the FEE mansion this summer. After they graciously linked to a few of my posts, they invited me to contribute! I will post recipes and thoughts on living primally in college. Head on over to the Primal Challenge blog and check out my first post!
- Homemade Primal Kits
A few days after I started the primal challenge, I was on the look-out for a quick snack idea that could double as a light lunch. I saw that a few websites recommend Paleo Kits from Steve’s Original, so I ordered a sample pack of Steve’s products to give them a try. I was a huge fan of the Original Paleo Kit and the Coconut Paleo Kit. I almost ordered more, then I thought, “Why can’t I make this myself?”. I went home for a week between my internship at the Foundation for Economic Education and heading back to Hillsdale, so I teamed up with my parents and made some goodies of my own. Since they are a mix between Paleo Kits and Primal Pacs, I am dubbing them Primal Kits for the time being.
Though we used some specialized equipment, there are some alternative ways of making these, so try it out!
What are in the kits:
A few dried Apricots
The Grimmett Household is no stranger to making jerky, so we marinated some beef in our favorite batch of seasonings, put it in the smoker for a few hours, then finished it in the dehydrator. If you don’t have a smoker, you can make it entirely in a dehydrator, but it takes much longer. If you have neither of these things, an oven or a grill works just as well. Search Google for methods. Also, search Google for jerky recipes…there are thousands. Like I’ve mentioned before, I am not a big fan of measuring things out, so I just mixed together a few different sauces and spices for the marinade. That is what I’ve always done and it always turns out to be delicious. Don’t fret over exact recipes.
We also dried the strawberries in the dehydrator. I store-bought the rest. I bought the dried berries with the least amount of added sugar and preservatives in the store. If I could do this over again, I would have dried everything myself, but I simply did not have enough time. I was leaving for Hillsdale in two days and needed to finish these up. I figured this would be okay, given the 80/20 rule and the fact that a tiny bit of extra sugar is still better than the massive amounts of bread, pasta, and candy I was eating earlier this summer. I know this is less than ideal, but again, I was short on time. The next batch will all be dried at home and preservative/added sugar-free.
To finish things up, we Seal-a-Meal’d everything in convenient portions. If you don’t have one of these nifty machines, use zip-loc bags. (The shelf-life might not be as long as their vacuum-sealed twins’, though.) We didn’t measure anything out…we just put in what we thought was a good relative ratio of nuts, berries, and jerky and didn’t lose sleep over it.
These are quite tasty and keep me going throughout the day. Try your hand at making some!
- Eggplant Dish
Strobist info: Canon 430EX in a shoot-through umbrella camera right on 1/4 power. Fired via a Cactus V5 trigger.
Inspired by the delicious food I ate in Turkey and the primal challenge, I made an eggplant and meat dish for dinner last week. I took a stroll through the Irvington Farmer’s Market that meets every Wednesday and saw the eggplant a local farmer had at his booth. I’ve never cooked eggplant before, but I thought, why not? So I bought some. It turns out to be pretty simple to prepare.
First, I cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and soaked it in cold salt water for 30 minutes to take away the bitterness. Our fabulous Turkish tour guide Mehmet told me to do this. As I let the eggplant soak, I cut up some steak into small pieces and browned it with some onions. I also cut up a few large tomatoes and finely chopped some garlic and one of the hot peppers. I mixed this all together in a casserole dish with the browned meat and onions, and put the eggplant in the dish flesh-side up. I cut some slits in the eggplant and put in chopped garlic, then drizzled quite a bit of olive oil over the whole dish. I also cut the remaining pepper in half and put it in the dish as well. I baked everything (with the casserole dish covered!) on 400 for an hour.
Here is a shot of the dish when it came out of the oven:
I have two other ways I’d like to prepare eggplant, including stuffing one, so check back!