Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Olive Oil

Do you remember all those movies and TV shows about the Mob?  Do you remember thinking about how it'd be possible for the Mob to monopolize an industry?  Ever think they'd take over the Olive Oil Industry?

According to an article from the Food Renegade, the majority of the "Extra Virgin" Olive Oil available in the US is cut with cheaper oil by the mob...

Your Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Is Fake

Did you know that the Mob makes money hand over fist by selling you fake olive oil? Olive oil is a $1.5 billion industry in the United States alone. According to Tom Mueller, an intrepid journalist who wrote a scandalously revealing book on the subject, 70% of the extra virgin olive oil sold is adulterated — cut with cheaper oils. Apparently, the mob’s been at it so long, that even most so-called “experts” can’t tell a real olive oil from a fake olive oil based on taste alone.
If you were a producer of one of these fake oils, 2008 was a bad year for you. That’s the year that more than 400 Italian police officers conducted a lengthy investigation dubbed “Operation Golden Oil” which led to the arrest of 23 people and the confiscation of 85 farms. It was quickly followed up by another investigation in which more than 40 additional people were arrested for for adding chlorophyll to sunflower and soybean oil and selling it as extra virgin olive oil, both in Italy and abroad.
The prevalence of these and other similar raids actually prompted the Australian government’s standards agency to allow olive oil brands to voluntarily submit their oils for lab tests. These authentication tests allow oils to be certified pure “extra-virgin olive oil.” Thus far in 2012, every imported brand of extra-virgin olive oil has failed the test to gain certification!
Last year, researchers at UC Davis tested 124 different samples from eight major brands of extra-virgin olive oil. More than seventy percent of the imported oils failed.
After reading these news stories last year, I was utterly intrigued when Tom Mueller’s tell all book finally came out. It took me months to get around to reading it, but when I did I couldn’t put the page-turner down. And the evidence? The evidence is damning.
In Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil, Mr. Mueller exposes the inner workings of the olive oil industry, which has fallen prey to hi-tech, industry-wide fraud.
Authentic extra-virgin olive oil, he says, takes a lot of time, expense, and labor to make. On the flip side, it’s quick, cheap, and easy to doctor it.
The most common form of adulteration comes from mixing extra virgin olive oil with cheaper, lower-grade oils. Sometimes, it’s an oil from an altogether different source — like canola oil or colza oil. Other times, they blend extra virgin olive oil with a poorer quality olive oil. The blended oil is then chemically deodorized, colored, and possibly even flavored and sold as “extra-virgin” oil to a producer. In other words, if you find a major brand name olive oil is fake, it probably isn’t the brand’s fault. Rather, it’s their supplier’s.
Mueller’s book is deeply engaging, reading like a typical suspense novel or crime drama rather than a news story. His engrossing way with words sucks you in from page one and doesn’t let you go until you reach the back cover.
If you want the full, gripping, true story behind the olive oil racketeering, I highly recommend you buy and read Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Crazy Fran Day

Yesderday was Crazy Fran Day at CrossFit Evergreen.  21-15-9  95 lb Thrusters, Burpees, Pullups.  My Fran times these days is down around 7 minutes, but the burpees killed me.  I ended with 14:58.  Not great, but it was extremely exhausting.  The Coach helped me with my kipping pullups after.  I wish it would have been before!  They're so much easier.

I've changed my mind about this blog.  I'm not going to detail all of my meals and such.  I will still post lifting stats and progress photos, but I really want this to be somewhat of a paleo guide.  Great recipes, interesting articles, and all-around useful information WILL be posted. 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Day 4 and 5

Well, I didn't post yesterday :(  My day started at 4:45 am with work from 5:30 am-11 am.  Then, I went home and had a few NorCal Margaritas.  Next up was Yard House and Spiderman.  I didn't get to do the CrossFit Evergreen WOD (100 Burpees for time), nor the Mobility WOD.  Definitely a cheat day.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


So what's the deal with grains?  Grains are a part of our daily lives, and have been for 10,000 years.  According to Loren Cordain, maize, wheat, barley, and rice account for 76% of the edible plants grown on our planet by gross tonnage and 56% of man's food energy.  56%!  Grains are a cheap source of calories, and unfortunately the majority of our diet is made up of grains.  They contain little nutritional value in their raw state, which means they have to be processed in order to be even slightly valuable as a source of energy.  This fact by itself should steer us away from grains.  Processed=Bad.

If you want a short anecdote about the badness of grains, Everyday Paleo recently wrote a concise explanation of the subject

If you want an analysis backed by science, Loren Cordain is the way to go.  Unfortunatley, I can't do her work justice.  Take the time to read it. 

Day 3

Delicious!  That's the only word I can think of to describe my Paleo experience so far.  I used that extra mango chutney from last night on a grilled chicken breast today, and it was awesome!  I'm finding that I have to eat more each meal because I'm not eating grains.  We've all heard mom say, "Don't fill up on the bread or you won't be hungry for the meal."  We've all experienced how true it is. 

Meals for Today
1-Whey Protein Shake
2-2 eggs, 2 egg whites, hatch green chiles, organic sausage, 1/2 cup cheese stuffed in 1/2 of an Anaheim pepper
3-Grilled Chicken Breast w/ Mango Chutney, Apple
4-Peanut Bar Mix for snack (not strictly Paleo)
5-Steak Salad w/ Homemade Strawberry Vinaigrette

WOD for Today
Max Pushups in 1 min=52
Max Situps in 1 min=43
Grace-(30 Clean and Jerks @ 135lbs for time)

Definitely not looking forward to today's Mobility WOD.  My friends can attest to the fact that I am probably the least flexible person on the planet.  Episode 2 is focused on stretching the quadriceps and the psoas.  Ouch!  Have to remember to stay out of the Pain Cave.

Monday, July 2, 2012

What is Paleo?

The Paleolithic Diet is known by several different names: Hunter/Gatherer diet, Primal diet, Paleo, Primal Blueprint, Caveman diet.  In a nutshell, Paleo is NOT a diet; Paleo is a lifestyle centered around natural food.  This is not the "natural" food that is marketed to us as a part of a "healthy lifestyle."  Paleo is natural in the sense of absolutely no processed foods.  Our bodies are maladapted to effectively process the foods of today, and so in order to help our bodies function at the highest level possible we must eat fresh, nutrient dense foods.  Avoid the aisles of the grocery stores and you'll be fine.

Meat, veggies, seeds/nuts, some fruits, little starch, no sugar.  That's it.  This is a "diet" that has become synonymous with the CrossFit community because it is simple and so effective at providing the energy that athletes need.

Mark's Daily Apple is a great place to start.

Here is an attractive flow chart that outlines the Paleo diet, courtesy of Greatest.com

Day 2

It's time!

I anticipate the hardest part of this journey will come while I'm living at my parents' house this summer.  The house is filled with junk food and refined carbohydrates.  Looks like I'm flying solo!

Lifting PRs Week 1-
Front Squat-235
Bench Press-230
Shoulder Press-150
Max Pullups-18

Meals for the Day:
1-Paleoish Egg Burrito Mix (Little bit of cheese)  I can't eat eggs without cheese.  I realize they are a cheap, valuable source of protein, but I can't do it.
2-Cherries, Celery and Organic Peanut Butter
3-Round Steak and Broccoli
Paleo Treat-Pina Colada (There may or may not be rum)
4-Cherries, Celery and Organic Peanut Butter
5-Salmon with Ginger Mango Salsa with a NorCal Margarita
6-Casein Protein Shake

Today I decided to sleep instead of going to CrossFit.  That being said, I completed Annie (50, 40, 30, 20, 10  Double-Unders then Sit-ups) today for the first time.  15:49.  The double-unders killed me because I'm not very good at them but I annihilated the sit-ups.

Kelly Starrett is the creator of the Mobility WOD project.  He is a brilliant human being who is also damn funny.  I have been incorporating his mobilizations into my daily routines.  I've begun the Mobility project several times, but never finished.