Thursday, September 6, 2012

Earn Your Meals

Today, the majority of Americans are very accustomed to a sedentary lifestyle.  Our economic and social systems reinforce our chronic inactivity from daybreak to bedtime—we commute for some period of time (sitting on our asses) to a job where we sit (on our asses) for 8 hours or more, commute back (more ass sitting), zap some dinner and chill out in front of the tube, Twitter on the couch (not fun to clean up), then we go to bed.  Repeat.  The human body reacts to this inactivity and poor diet by storing fat and losing muscle mass and flexibility.  To combat this, many people turn to the latest crash-diet to fix the problem.  Ever go out to dinner with that friend who is always on a “diet” to lose weight and get “toned”?   Upon ordering dinner, your friend asks the chef to leave off the bun on their burger because it has too many bad carbohydrates and will conflict with their diet.  As if the half-pound corn-fed beef patty with processed cheese shit on top is somehow better for you.  "But it has lettuce on it..." your friend retorts. Whatever.  I am sure we have all been there, but let me pose a few questions: 

Did not eating that bun really help shave an inch off their ass?   Umm, no. 

If someone truly lived a fit lifestyle (nutritious eating + exercise) would that bun really matter in the long run?    Umm, no.  

That bun, or dessert, or drink, or whatever, does not really matter in the grand scheme of things because the second person earned their dinner through intense exercise.  They worked hard in the gym, ran the extra mile, or did an extra set of squats to rev up their metabolism so the calories in the bun were inconsequential.  I am not saying after running five miles you have the green light to scarf down an entire plate of cookies Cookie Monster style.  The quality of food is just as important as the quantity of food.  Eat plenty of veggies, fruits and moderate amounts of proteins, carbs, and fats and most people are good-to-go diet wise.  If you do that, a bun or glass of wine is not going to be detrimental to your overall health.  However, the exercise component is essential.  

Up until as recently as 60 years ago or so, the vast majority of humans on the planet had to earn their meals through some physical task: tending the land, planting seeds, harvesting veggies, taking care of livestock, slaughtering animals, milking whatever, and preparing/cooking that day’s meals.  Rewind to our earliest hominid ancestors and not only were we foraging for nuts, berries, and hunting antelope, we were also collecting water, making tools, and wrestling mega fauna for dinner.  Bottom line, we were very active from dawn to dusk.        

But today we don’t have to battle saber tooth tigers for dinner…maybe we should.  I bet the obesity epidemic would dramatically decrease in this country.  

Fact: Putin wrestles Tigers...and wins.   

That tough SOB earned his Borsch dinner at the expense of the proletariat

Chick: "Where's Bob?"
Dude: "Dude, Bob's slow-ass got eaten by a tiger on the 110 this morning."
Chick: "Sucks"  

Anyway, do not fret about the small things like buns and dessert.  As long as your basic diet is in order and you work your ass off in the gym you have earned your dinner.  Here is one of my favorite recipes.  It’s easy to prepare, tasty, and it takes 40-50 minutes to bake in the oven so you can get up, do your WOD, and then enjoy the tasty goodness of quiche!


For the Crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt and sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) of butter, cold, cut into small pieces (don’t freak out, it’s okay.  You killed it in the gym)
¼ to ½ cup of ice water

For the Filling:
Approx 6 eggs
Splash of half & half or heavy cream
Whatever veggies you want!  I would suggest zucchini, spinach, potatoes, collards, onions, garlic, broccoli, peppers, anything really
Salt and pepper and other spices (I like hot pepper flakes)
*Shredded cheddar or feta, or any kind of cheese you want if you worked out extra hard

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Combine the dry team (ever watch Good Eats?) in a bowl.  Add the butter and combine until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Slowly pour in the ice water and continue mixing until the dough just holds together.  Typically, it takes almost the entire ½ cup of water, but will be different depending on your climate.  

Turn out the dough onto a clean work surface.  Create a thin layer a little larger than the dish you will bake it in.  Slowly transfer the dough into the dish.  

Whisk together eggs, cream, spices, cheese, and veggies (wet team) in a large bowl.  Transfer into the awaiting dough.  Fold over the dough to form a crust and trim off the extra.  

Bake for approx. 35-50 minutes.  When you begin to smell the quiche goodness in the other room, go check on it, it’s almost done.  Slide a knife into the center, if the knife is coated in runny egg, bake a little longer.  If it comes out more or less clean, dinner time!  Let cool for a few minutes before cutting and serving.  Enjoy!

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