This section is guided and built off of the ongoing book that is yet to be finished. It stands high amongst the projects that I am yet to finish but I feel that Irrational provides a venue to make a lot of the book available to those who are interested in making improvements in how they look, feel, and perform. Like everything we do here at Irrational, the way we approach food might upset some people. That is fine. If you are looking for one on one nutrition coaching with a heavy bent towards high end performance, phenomenal health, and looking great without clothing check out our Nutrition Packages. For those wondering more about our tao of food, read on. What follows comes from the book…
We as a culture need to change our attitudes to food. We need to learn to cook more, and actually enjoy food rather than just claiming that is why we are stuffing out face with deep fried potatoes.
Dark Chocolate Zucchini Brownies
I actually think that these brownies taste better than the real thing. The best part is that the overall sugar content is pretty minimal, the protein content rather high, and the fats through the roof. This means that it makes a great over-feed-day snack, as well as pretty decent training day food for people trying to get in calories in an IF style shortened feeding window. A couple ingredients can be subbed out or changed based on availability and personal preference.
• 2 cups almond flour
• 2 cups grated zucchini
• 2 eggs
• 8 tbsp dark cocao powder
• Cinnamon in vast quantities
• 1 tsp sea salt
• 1 touch of nutmeg
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1 banana mushed with elbows
• 1/2 cup melted butter
• However much boiling water is needed to make this pour nicely
• (optional) 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Mix all of the ingredients, than pour the whole lot into a glass baking tray. Cook at somewhere around 300 for 15 minutes or until the middle is cooked through but still nice and soft. Do your best not to overcook this mastery. I would suggest serving this with some mixed berries, and maybe even a touch of real maple syrup. Though it is definitely not needed.
This is proof that I give people what they want, the quiche recipe was asked for and the quiche recipe was given. Magic. Just like that.
The Chicken Quiche [That I cooked and ate in front of everyone at the gym]
Time: If you are a prep god this takes so little time that you move backwards in time. The actual cook time depends on depth of pan. Maybe 35-40min.
• Sea Salt
• Cracked Blck Pepper
• 10 eggs
• 1/4 cup chicken broth
• 1/4 cup coconut milk
• Chopped Cilantro
• Chopped Basil
• 1/4 cup chopped feta
• 1 cup shredded carrot
• 2+ chicken breasts
• Coconut oil/butter
Saute or bake your chicken breasts. They need to be cooked when they go into the quiche, so just deal with those in whatever way suits your fancy. Get that started and then it is on to the prep work.
Take your glass baking tray [I recommend a shallow tray if you want this to cook more quickly], grease it up with butter or coconut oil and then the magic starts. Break all ten eggs into the baking tray. Mix until frothy. Add the chicken broth and coconut milk. Toss in some spices at this point and mix it until the liquid looks relatively uniform. Then it is just a matter of adding the carrot [more than 1 cup if the tray is huge], the cilantro and basil, and by that ppint your chicken should be done, and can be cut into small strips and tossed in.
I finish the whole thing off by putting in about a 1/4-1/2 cup of chopped feta, add in some more spices and then place the whole thing into the oven. Bake it between 350-400 for roughly 30minutes, or until it is done in the middle.
People Who Think They Love Food
I find myself sitting across from yet another person who is in abysmal shape, we have just spent fifteen minutes talking about the damaging effects that grains can have on the intestinal track, and then comes the statement that I have been expecting since the conversation began; “I can’t give up grains, I just love food way too much”. The dam breaks, the flood of rage is unleashed from the pit of my soul, and the rant fills the coffee shop. I hear this lie again and again from people who spend a lot of time shoveling food into their mouths, barely chewing before they swallow, washing it down with some delightful drink that could be used to clean engines. Most people don’t actually like food. Rather they are junkies looking for the next insulin spike and the subsequent big wash of dopamine to hit the brain after consuming a dizzying amount of sugar in the form of a healthy-high-fiber-whole-grain-super-good-for-you-please-believe-us-we-have-acai-berries cereal or pasta. I happen to know people who like food. They eat slowly, savoring a single mouthfull. These people do not sit down and consume an entire box of pasta in front of a television during a commercial break. Dan Barber and Michael Pollan love food. They speak passionately about it, create and enjoy dishes that have delicate flavors, and are usually come in serving sizes that are smaller than the pile of fries that got heaped out of a deep frier and onto your plate in a pub by an eighteen year old cook who just wanted an easy job. The vast majority of people I have met who claim to like food spend most of their time eating sandwhiches, bagels, sweetened drinks, and boxed pasta. Ironically they don’t even think they like vegetables because every time they have them they are overcooked and practically floating in some low fat butter substitute. A bagel is not the food choice of a person who loves food. An ahi tuna steak seared in wasabi and butter served with a side of oven baked asperagus that has been drizzled with truffle oil and lightly flavored with sea salt; that is a love of food. Read more…
A Question of Purpose
Walking through a bookstore recently I was struck by the overwhelming number of books that preach about the next great diet or program that they offer. I would rather not join the legion of authors that make claims of having the new great way of changing your life for a number of reasons, the least of which is my hatred for their atrocious covers. However here I am writing a book on how to eat better, with what I can only hope is a less atrocious cover.
The problem is that we, the wealthiest, most technically brilliant, and medically advanced society that this earth has seen, continue to follow some of the single worst dietary and lifestyle habits imaginable. As a society we feel it is a hardcore diet if we ‘aren’t allowed’ to eat things that come in packages. In fact our grocery stores have us so dumbed down in our approach to food that many people actually buy their vegetables pre-prepared for them and packaged in yet more plastic. For most people though, they don’t even eat the plastic wrapped pre-prepared salads that come with a nice healthy dose of sugar-fat-lets-call-it-dressing, rather their healthy diet is made up of a host of cereal grains that are the most nutritionally impoverished whole foods on the market. So lets step back for just a second and admit that there is a disconnect in society, where otherwise intelligent people still persist in a childish approach to how they fuel their bodies.
So, lets return to those other books. Most of them work on the short term. I mean they have to, as they do two things that are important. They usually limit the over consumption of calories that a lot of people are getting, and second, they tell you to quit eating garbage. I mean there are usually some attempts to give you low fat, or low carb, or low taste cupcakes, but for the most part nobody in the fad diet industry is trying to convince you to feel better by eating more chocolate bars. So for that reason alone, regardless of the approach, most diets work for a little while. The thing is, that most people actually interact in the real world, they enjoy food with good taste, have busy lives, and don’t want to live either a) off nothing but bacon, or b) off nothing but wonder bread. Given that rather simple issue, any diet that is extremely one sided and doesn’t allow for flexibility will eventually fail, and even if it doesn’t, living on nothing but steamed brocoli and chicken breast will soon make you either extremely angry, or an extremely boring person to be around.
My purpose at this juncture is based on the issues I just covered. We as a culture need to change our attitudes to food. We need to learn to cook more, and actually enjoy food rather than just claiming that is why we are stuffing out face with deep fried potatoes. The food we eat should have actual taste, and we should actually know where it comes from. However we also need to make healthy choices about the food we are cooking that make sense given our biological make up. Our bodies in no way evolved in a world of such abundant cheap calories, and if we intend on having bodies that work and move to the best of their potential we need to eat with that in mind. So the purpose here is to help educate people about what is good food, and why they should eat it, and why it is so much more fun to eat in a human way than it is to eat a low-carb-high-fat-super-protein-high-shake-no-taste diet.
At a certain level, the moment that anyone takes a real concern with what it is that they put in their bodies [and begins acting on that concern], they are likely to see a radical difference in their entire being. This is most certainly true if their current diet resembles the diet of the majority of north Americans, those people who ensure that grocery stores continue to stock their interior with foods that come in fancy packages and which refuse to rot. Yet there are a lot of people who do care about what they eat yet find themselves faced with an abundance of information, and lack of certainty in how to approach what they eat. I feel that my clients, my friends, and the strangers from the gym who ask whether I am taking ‘anything special’, deserve an eating guide that presents them with actual factual information. These days a person needs to read through a stack of contradictory books, a host of scientific journals, supplement claims, and then be bombarded by late night television miracle pill advertisements just to discover that it turns out we should eat a lot of vegetables.
Certainly there may be some value in acai berries, whey protein isolates, macha green tea, blue algae, organic veggies, creatine, low carb diets, high protein diets, chase-down-your-food-with-a-club diets, and a whole host of other options that we are regularly presented with. Yet some of us don’t want to sprout our rice, or weigh our veggies, or eat only six almonds. I personally love food, I enjoy eating things that taste of something other than cardboard, and occasionally I even like eating something that, god forbid, may have both fat and simple carbohydrates in it. Of course this must be matched by the reality that I also like looking good naked, being able to train daily, pursue the hobbies that interest me on any particular week, and perform at the top end of my potential. This seeming dilemma thwarts the vast proportion of diets which all still claim that they are simple and easy as long as you are willing to carry nasty meal replacements around with you, sprout your food a week in advance, and avoid much of the social act of drinking an occasional beer with your friends whose idea of exercising is something other than the missionary position. The result is this book, a collection of rants, recipes, and excerpts from scientific journals that allows for those who simply want to eat more food that doesn’t come in packages, but also caters to the high level strength and intensity athlete that would like that single digit body fat percentage year round without spending thousands on supplements and other chemical foods. So this is my attempt at reminding people that eating, and cooking are worth doing well.