I’m baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack!!!!!!!!

Hello world!!! Did you guys celebrate any holidays? Did you enjoy them? If you celebrated any Winter Festivities, I hope you had a great time. If you didn’t, I also hope that you had a great time.

I’m still alive, I survived my three weeks period in the depths of Mexico’s Drug Dealing warzones (sadly, my hometown is one of the most dangerous cities to live in) and I’m ready to rumble. And I have some announcements to make!

First, this week the posts will be short and picture-less -I will be talking about some culinary findings that I did during these three weeks in the realm of mexican food that is actually paleo. No, we do not feed exclusively on tortillas and tacos. One of the things I had will surprise you, trust me.

Second, I will also talk about my preparations for my Whole30! I will be doing one since, well, I had absolutely no control over my food for the past 21 days, and while I tried to avoid the most dangerous stuff (meaning I avoided my aunt’s world famous custard) I did eat a lot of things that probably damaged my gut -even if a little bit.

Third, I will continue with Michael Ruhlman’s Twenty until I finish my Whole30 since some of the techniques will clash. However, rule number five -acid- will be featured within the Whole30.

And last but not least, I’m starting on a new string of posts! I will keep this on the wraps for now until I sharpen it out, but it’s a series of cooking experiments I’ve been doing centered around one appliance. Any good guess which?

And with that, let us begin this new year!!!!

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Tales of the road – In sickness and in health

This is my last post about Pittsburgh. Tomorrow I have a new recipe.

Most of you have heard the benefits of Paleo, its forms, people who have dropped weight and feel better overall and feel their lifes have improved. I am not one of them. Being a 23 year old (fine, 24 in a couple weeks) I am in that moment in my life where no matter what I eat, I feel fine. I’ve always been skinny, so I never had to drop any weight, and I can pull an all nighter if I need to. So, why am I eating like this?

In Pittsburgh I got drenched. Like horribly. And then it got colder and colder, so at some point I got sick. But unlike a few years ago, in which I would get sick progressively until I felt like crap, then feel like crap for a week or longer, and then progressively feel better; now I felt being sick. My body was telling me that there was something wrong, but since I had my presentation the adrenaline was running high. The very same day, a couple hours after my presentation was done, I felt my body giving up and letting the flu take over, I felt it. I immediately went home, downed a good cup of mullein tea and, I admit, vitamin C in the form of dissolved powder, and slept. The following day, instead of having the super tour of PIttsburgh I had planned I went back to the conference center and stayed there, attended all the sessions without exerting myself, drinking hot beverages all day long and as soon as it was finished went back and slept more than the usual eight hours. When I woke up, I was completely cured.

This is not the first time. I’ve realized that my body is more sensitive to sickness, but much faster dealing with it. If I eat something that doesn’t agree with me, instead of feeling queasy for two days and not wanting to eat anything, either I have a crappy couple hours (not a pun) or if it is seriously bad, I just go and puke it out. Flu and sniffles and sore throat don’t last longer than a day, and even when I feel them I’m not exactly down: I can perform most of my nine-to-five duties and then go and rest it up. I no longer have a permanent stomach ache like I did when I was in middle school, where a granola bar was all I could eat for lunch at the cafeteria otherwise my stomach would be upset for the rest of the day: now I enjoy a lot of different foods and recipes and I barely blink at the idea of my stomach feeling sick.

So yeah, I may have not reapt the benefits of a ripped body or a massive weight loss or something as noticeable as that. But Paleo has done small changes in me that allow me to live a little easier, not worrying about being sick at anytime.

Tales of the road – Booritos and packed restaurants

Pittsburgh being the home of Bill and Haley’s I decided to browse their user curated list about restaurants and places that can cater to Paleo followers. The problem is, most of the places that were recommended were a little bit too upscale for a grad student like me, so I had to make up with what I had in hand. Most of my meals consisted of Subway Salads and Chipotle Bowls, but I can attest of three things that made my food journeys interesting.
First, I am glad to say that one of the most Paleo restaurants in Pittsburgh, Meat and Potatoes, is a packing business, but sadly I could not eat there. They didn’t have tables for the future three hours of the day we decided to go thereso we ended up moving to another place, I don’t remember the name (sorry) but I ended up having a really amazing plate of grilled shrimp, grilled salmon and grilled asparagus, in three different portions. And while I didn’t specify I was gluten free, the dishes felt accomodating to the Paleo Diet.
Second, being Halloween made for an interesting Wednesday at Chipotle. Being from Mexico I do not celebrate Halloween (I have Dia de Muertos to enjoy) so seeing a huge amount of college students in costume in order to get a two dollar meal was interesting for me. And my nerd radar went all the way up when I recognized a 10th Doctor, a 11th Doctor, some members of the Addams Family, a couple of Ash Ketchums (both girls) and their Pokemon (a Waturtle and a Pikachu), two Victor Frankensteins, a Superwoman, a Spiderwoman, a Batgirl and an Iron Woman, as well two Victor Frankensteins and half the personnel of University of PIttsburgh Medical Campus in uniform.
Third, my last day in the city I decided to splurge and go to Bar Symon. All that I knew about the place was that a contender of Iron Chef runs it and that they had fries fried in lard, but nothing else. So I was gladly surprised when I got there that apparently Mr. Symon has a book called Carnivore. I didn’t buy it, though, but I did enjoy the fries with rosemary and a bacon cheeseburger. Yes, with a bun. I decided to enjoy myself.
Tomorrow will be a particularly special post: I will talk about my Paleo journey (it’s been two years now) and the reasons why I am doing it, even if it seems I am not particularly benefited by it.

Tales of the road – Going to Pittsburgh

Like I mentioned a week ago, I traveled to Pittsburgh in order to be a presenter at the Annual Meeting of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. I can’t say that my trip was uneventful, particularly since Sandy was happening at the moment. I’m glad to say that Pittsburgh was not struck particularly strong (according to the Weather Channel, Pittsburgh was the point where the Frankenstorm was to be formed, combining the snow storm from the west with the hurricane from the east) and I was able to enjoy my trip relatively well.
And before I continue with my tales, I hope everybody on the Eastern Seaboard is safe and sound, and hopefully recovering from the hits you could have received.
I flew there monday afternoon. As a matter of fact, I had to monitor constantly making sure my flight was not cancelled, and according to the amount of people left in PIT (barely none) I can safely assume that mine was one of the last flights to land there. It was raining quite a bit, and as a matter of fact, it took me almost three hours to reach the place where I was staying (not a hotel, but an apartment). And I had to brave the storm in order to reach a Grocery Store and a Chipotle for something to eat.
Entering an Indian Grocery store was complete overwhelming experience: the smells, the products, the variety. I didn’t know what to do really, so I ended up buying eggs and frozen veggies. I’d wish I could give you a more interesting recipe or something exotic with a really cool ingredient you could only find there, but I needed to play safe. Also, Chipotle was a couple blocks away and since I have PaleoGo, a lovely app that lets you know how you can modify fast food to try and bring it close to Paleo, and the fact that Chipotle has made sure that their food sources are actually real food and not CAFO’s (I’m not sure they got grass fed beef, but I went with chicken) I was comfortable with having a salad. And getting another one for breakfast.
I was fascinated by Pittsburgh architecture: when coming into the city you get a magnificent view of Downtown’s Skyscrapers. The area where I stayed, the HIll, was an eclectic collection of small houses and quite a lot of churches. Downtown had a city feeling, old buildings and narrow streets. And the old courthouse and jail, right in the middle of downtown, was old enough to feel like a castle (or a Fort) in the middle of a sea of technology. But, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t shake the feeling of a dying spirit, a Phoenix who just lit itself in fire, and is waiting under the weight of its own ashes to reborn.
Tomorrow I’ll talk about my food experiences in Pittsburgh. Not that I have that many, but at least I have a couple of fun anecdotes.

Walking into a storm

So… I’m gone for the week, and I didn’t cook anything for the past couple of days. I am going to Pittsburgh to present for the Annual Meeting of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. That’s it, if I don’t die from getting wet. After all, I’m a wicked warlock from the west.
See ya next week!

The beginning of a journey

Well, hello everyone. My name is Alan and I intend to chronicle my Paleo/Primal journey in this blog. I will mostly be talking about the amazing recipes I find online or in books that I’ve decided to cook, link you to them and comment about how easy, hard, delicious or completely disastrous turn out to be. Since I’m not a cook nor a chef, not a lot of these recipes will be of my creation, so I will dutifully link you to the original recipes.

If you want to follow me somewhere else, I have an Instagram account (alan713ch), as well as a Twitter (same user name) and a Facebbok account (Alan Izar). Hwever, the latter two will cinlude far more ramblings about litics, far more links about technology and science and far more stuff unrelated to cooking than this site. So if you are only interested in food, this is your better option.

Well, let’s begin!