Shit is Shit: A Rant
So my kiddo and I are doing some grocery shopping earlier this week, picking up some things for me to pack in her lunch. She grabs some of those 100 calorie snack packs and tells me she wants them because they're "healthy."
So, we spent the next few minutes talking about portion control and why those 100 calorie snack packs are still just candy, albeit in smaller quantities. (Since we were both on Heelies in a Super Wal-Mart, this was actually more fun than it sounds.)
And this reminded me of a pet peeve of mine – eating shit foods and justifying it because you're only eating a little shit, not a lot of shit.
Well, shit is shit.
Portion control is about as effective of a fat loss method as the "I'll only put it in a little" method of teenage virginity preservation. Most human beings, especially those who are clearly over-fat, can't eat just a little of a delectable food. No fat person eats a single Oreo and walks away. They ought to list the serving size as per row of cookies, rather than per cookie. That would be more realistic.
Now we have this nonsensical "100 calorie" switcharoo going on. My gripe is twofold:
1) It's still shit. It's still bad for you. It'll still wreck your health, shorten your life, and turn you into an ugly naked person. It's not healthy just because it's served by the tiny handful.
My daughter gets it now, but do fat adults? Do they want to get it, or will they willingly suspend their dietary disbelief and convince themselves they're not eating shit so that they can enjoy said shit even more?
2) Wouldn't you rather eat a whole bunch of nutritious, healthy, great-tasting food rather than a handful of shit?
Well, you can. You can whip up your own meals that are nutrient dense and calorie sparse: plenty of protein, fiber, healthy fats, and other good stuff, but not that many calories. That way you can eat a lot, get full, and still have abs. Better than a handful of Oreo "crisps," huh?
Here's a few of my latest recipes that reflect this philosophy.
The Good Sh!t
Baked Stuffed Apples
With all due respect to the apple's longstanding role of keeping the doctor away, I just can't stand crunching on a plain apple. I had to come up with a way to increase my fibrous fruit intake, so I devised this recipe.
The password here is texture. Texture is the forgotten element of taste. That's why protein powder and MRP artists like Tim Patterson and TC talk so much about "mouth feel" when it comes to protein shakes: the flavor itself can be spot on, but if the texture sucks then it won't "taste" good.
I figured out that this was the problem with me and apples. I didn't like the texture of the raw fruit, but I certainly liked the soft gooiness of apple pie filling! Solution: baked apples. Even better, baked stuffed apples with the flavors of apple pie. Here's how to get it.
A few apples
Imitation butter flavoring
* If you can't find dates in the fresh fruit section, get some pre-chopped in a box over with the dried fruits. They'll probably be covered with sugar, so just put them in a strainer and rinse.
Peeler (or sharp knife and box of Band-Aids)
Slow cooker (Crock Pot)
1. Core out each apple, making sure to get all the seeds. Now peel off the top half of the skin.
2. In a bowl, mix together the pecans, dates, cinnamon, nutmeg, and Splenda. How much? Depends on how many apples you're making. But don't sweat it; you can't screw this up. Just use as much of each as you want and adjust to taste the next time you make the recipe.
3. Take your imitation butter flavoring and put a few drops into each apple. I use an eye dropper I bought just for this purpose. Using this potent butter-tasting flavoring instead of real butter knocks a couple hundred calories off this tasty dessert.
4. Now stuff the cored apples with the mixture of dates, pecans, and flavorings.
5. Place in a slow cooker and add enough water to cover the bottom third or so of the apples. Cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-6 hours. I tend to stick to the longer cooking times because I like mine super soft and gooey.
Like that? Try this: Use pears instead of apples and low-sugar orange juice instead of water in your slow cooker. Stuff with dried cranberries and almonds and flavor it up with ground ginger and a smidge of clove.
Italian Baked Tomatoes
First grade, elementary school cafeteria. The bitch's name was Mrs. Brownie, the most feared teacher in the whole school. I'd broken one of her cardinal rules: I'd talked too much during lunch and hadn't cleaned my plate.
Mrs. Brownie made me sit there after everyone else had gone and eat everything on the tray, including the yucky "salad." Finally, there was only one item left: the raw tomato. And I didn't like tomatoes.
Fearing the thundercunt's wrath, I ended up dry swallowing the wretched fake fruit. After that I didn't just dislike tomatoes, I loathed them.
Strange thing was though, I liked those soft chunky bits of tomato you get in pasta sauces; I just hated raw tomatoes. And maybe this is a natural thing. You see, one of the most healthful properties of tomato is the lycopene that's bound up in the cell walls and fiber. You really can't access this prostate cancer preventing nutrient unless you cook the tomato.
Here's a recipe that serves up hot, juicy, lycopene-rich tomato goodness:
As many tomatoes as you want
Smidge of olive-oil enriched butter or spray-on I Can't Believe It's Not Butter
Chicken bullion (powder)
Pam organic olive oil spray
Italian herb blend
1. Slice the tomatoes in half.
2. Sprinkle with chicken bullion.
3. Top with a teaspoon of Parmesan cheese.
4. Give it a shot of fakey butter spray or dab of olive-oil enriched butter.
5. Spray a small dish with a little Pam and place the tomatoes inside.
6. Bake at 400 degrees uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes until soft.
7. Give 'em a dash of your favorite Italian herb blend if you want, let cool, and serve.
Note: Don't bother with the reduced-fat Parmesan cheese. The calories are the same and the reduced-fat version has more junk fillers and carbs. The calories are minimal anyway.
Baked tomatoes make a great side dish for just about anything, from omelets to grilled chicken and steak. Even Mrs. Brownie would like them.
Low-Carb Red and Green Pizza
Forget green eggs and ham; let's talk first about phytonutrient-rich green pizza. I like to make this quickie pizza in a toaster oven, so it's great for college students with limited cooking spaces.
Mission Carb Balance tortillas (Only 4 net carbs with 8 grams of fiber.)
Low-sugar pasta sauce. Ragu Light works in a pinch, but other brands that don't even advertise themselves as "light" can be even better. I use Classico's fire roasted tomato and garlic.
Basil Pesto: Pesto is a thick paste made of basil, oil (preferably olive), and cheese. It's mostly pure basil though, so the flavor is intense.
Fat-free mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 small avocado
1) Toss the tortilla in a toaster oven for a few minutes to pre-crisp it a bit.
2) Then spread a thin layer of pesto on the bottom, then the pasta sauce. Just a dab will do it. Top with veggies and cheese.
3) Flick the toaster oven over to broil and cook until the cheese is melted and the tortilla gets a little crunchy on the edges.
Red Pizza Variation
Ditch the greens and go with the reds. Use sun-dried tomato pesto, sliced fresh tomato, and olive oil packed sun-dried tomatoes on top.
Need some meat? Add turkey pepperoni or Canadian bacon before broiling. Want to mix your greens and reds? Hey, that works fine.
Baja Fish Tacos and Tilapia Poblanos
There I was in San Diego, just wandering around and taking in the sights. And by "sights" I mean surfer girls wearing those little cut-off jean shorts. You know, the ones with holes in them so you can see that their perfect tans go all the way up.
And that brings me to the subject of fish tacos. Mmmm... Wait, no, I don't mean it that way. I mean these little surfer chicks invited me to a fish taco joint with them. What did you think I meant? Perv.
The idea of a fish taco was new to this Texan, but man was I happy when I bit into one. While most grilled fish tacos are fairly healthy (compared to a Big Mac at least), I knew I could do better. Here's what I came up with:
Tilapia fillets (or any other firm white fish)
Mission low-carb, whole grain tortillas
Fat-free or low-fat shredded cheese, Mexican blend
1 can Rotel (Mexican lime and cilantro variety)
Fat-free sour cream
1 surfer girl
Optional: 1 can chilpotles in adobo sauce, 1 can black beans
1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Spray a pan with a little Pam organic olive oil and get it nice and hot. Place the tilapia in there and sear it for one minute each side.
3. Now place the fish in an oven safe dish (I use my lasagna dish because, um, because I'm a bachelor and just don't have a lot of fancy cookware!). Top with mixture of shredded cheese and Rotel and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
Take your low-carb, high fiber, whole grain tortillas and pop them in the toaster oven until slightly crisp. Or spray a pan with a little olive or canola oil and crisp them for about a minute each side.
Of course, you can just heat them a few seconds in the microwave too, but I like 'em a little crisp. Bet you will too.
The Baja Topping
Mix a half cup of fat free sour cream with around two tablespoons fresh lime juice. Add a little coarse salt and fresh ground pepper, stir, and serve in a bowl you stole from El Chico's at the mall.
Slap your fish into a tortilla, top with Baja sauce, a chilpotle pepper if you're man enough, and maybe some black beans. Enjoy with aforementioned surfer girl.
Want a super low-carb version or just want to ditch the grains altogether? Then stuff your fish into roasted and pealed poblano peppers. Here's how to do it.
1. Go buy some poblano peppers. These are the same big mild peppers that your favorite Mexican food place uses to make chile rellenos.
2. Here's the fun part. With a pair of metal tongs, burn them over an open flame. No, really. Burn and blister them until they're pretty black.
3. Place them into a paper sack or airtight container. This will allow them to naturally steam, loosening their skins.
4. Now make the surfer girl peel the tougher, slightly bitter skin off. Rinse with a little water to help get it all.
5. Slit down one side (it may be split already due to the roasting), cut out the seed pod, and stuff with fish, cheese, and Rotel.
6. Place in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes or so until the cheese is melted.
Poblanos work great with bison, beef, and turkey too! Stuff 'em with whatever you want! Same goes for the surfer girl if she's frisky.
Piña Colada Protein Shake
Know what's funny? Midgets. But you know what else? Gyms with "smoothie bars" up front.
Ever stop and look at what most of these smoothies and protein shakes are made from? Sugary fruit juice, more fruit added to it, lard-in-a-jar regular peanut butter, so called "weight gainers" that are mainly giant tubs of sugar... the shit list goes on.
And the sad part is, half the men trying to lose fat and ALL of the little ol' ladies that train in the afternoon pull up to the smoothie bar and order one after their training, sometimes before! Gee, burn 150 calories in your half-ass workout, then drink 1000 calories of sugar! No wonder they seem to regress in spite of all that "training."
Listen, you can make some pretty cool shakes without turning them into 1000 calorie gut bombs. Here's one of my favorites:
2 scoops of banana cream low-carb Metabolic Drive
1 can of unsweetened crushed pineapple it its natural juices
A few drops of imitation coconut extract
1. Don't add any water to your blender. Just strain in a little of the natural pineapple juice.
2. Now add two scoops of banana Metabolic Drive, a few drops of the coconut extract, and blend. It should be very thick at this point.
3. Start adding ice, a little at a time, until you get the desired consistency. I like mine super icy and so thick you need a spoon to eat it. Then top with a few spoonfuls of the crushed pineapple. (If you want to be able to use a straw, just blend the pineapple along with the other ingredients.)
Filling, tasty, physique friendly, and shit free. Eat up.