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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The Perfect Paleo Day on PaleoJay's Smoothie Cafe podcast

Today I had the perfect paleo day- in fact, I’m still having it, since now I am communicating with my tribe of ancestral people on this very podcast!  

Like most of my perfect and near-perfect days, the vast majority of the day was spent outdoors, in nature.  The sun shone brightly pretty much the whole day, and wonder-of-wonders: here in mid-April the snow is finally melting!  Still big clumps of white persist, but primarily in the deep woods on my property, so I pretty much stayed in the open areas.  

I started my perfect day as I recommend you start your own- by exercising in front of your television.  Actually, the TV is optional, but since I had a movie queued up and also wanted to watch Fox business first, I set myself on my yoga mat in front of the TV.  I started into my preliminary stretching, followed by my visualized resistance exercises, and then more stretching on the mat. 

Then, I did isometrics holds for all of my muscle groups, pushing and pulling against an old Exer-Genie.  This tool, developed in 1961 for training astronauts in deep space to maintain their muscle and bone mass, is an amazing piece of equipment that has stood the test of time.  I think it is a testament to its wondeful utility that it has never become a big fad, like jogging, aerobics, or heavy weight training.  It’s just a common sense tool that works, and that just isn’t exciting and sexy to most folks.  

It works amazingly well for isometric holds- I do sets of three holds for each muscle group, in three positions each withing the muscle’s movement plane.  To cover my whole body, shoulders down to lower back, takes me about 10 minutes total- truly my ‘most bang for the buck’ part of my routine. 
I got mine off of Ebay, back when Ebay was pretty new, and the Exer-Genie from in the 1960’s came really cheap!  They still make them, and you can probably find one on Ebay, and that would be cost effective.  New ones cost well over $200 though, and my 1960’s model works like a champ!  In addition, you can use a simple long nylon strap just as effectively, standing on the strap for resistance.  That’s what I did for years, and it’s almost as good.  

 I finish up this basic workout of mine with rebounding while doing two more cycles of visualized resistance exercise covering every muscle group in my body.

I started this workout by getting up quite early in the morning, since for me that is the very best time of the day.  I make my dark roast coffee in my French press, and love padding into the living room with my steaming cup, and sipping it between exercises.  

Next, after showering, I drank my green Paleo smoothie from my refrigerated canning jar, and taking my next cup of coffee with me, I drove off towards our wonderful meat locker here, or which we have several.  I had decided that this was going to be a ’steak day’.  
One of my favorite things is to declare a day a ‘steak day’, which means probably just one big meal that day- a steak along with a baked potato and some kind of salad.  Of course, I had already had my smoothie, so I was covered on all of my nutritional bases already…
There is something incredibly satisfying about driving leisurely along through the rural countryside, anticipating the sights and smells of the market, early on  a weekday.  Admittedly, I do have the wondrous privilege now of being retired, and I will tell you truly- when you look back over your life (this was done numerous times in surveys of the elderly, meaning folks in their 90’s), every single person surveyed said that the happiest days of their lives were from when they retired, until they lost their health.  Every single one.
Not when they were children, playing with friends. (Although that was highly rated as well). Not their teens, or twenties, or thirties, or- any other age!  It was when they were done with their responsibilities, and were then free to do what they wanted: to enjoy their grandchildren, indulge their hobbies, to read those classic books they never had time for, to take leisurely daytrips and to go to early lunches at nice restaurants and then go home to sit on their decks- those were the best years of all!  

Anyway, back to my perfectly Paleo day: 
I drove back home and grilled my giant, Cowboy steak!!

I had never grilled one of these before, but today they were on sale, and looked great!  What they are is a giant,  2” thick ribeye, with the bone still attached, so it looks like a Flintstone steak.
I started my Weber grill (I always use hardwood charcoal, which burns hotter and cleaner) which I started with my propane torch in about 2 minutes to red hot coals.  Seared both sides of that monster steak, and added on some Redmond Real Salt, which believe me is the very best salt, both nutritionally and taste-wise that you can find.  I kept flipping the steak, every 30 seconds to a minute, and getting both sides seared well.  
Then, moving the steak back away from the coals, I put on the lid and waited.  I waited while watching all the birds returning, I know I saw three bluebirds which are my favorites, and I thought deep thoughts while a smoked a large cigar.  I know, smoking is not really paleo, but heck, neither are the baked potatoes I had bought, and I love them both, and consider both a cigar and a potato to be safe starches.
About 45 minutes from grill to table, my wife and I were eating with great relish!  We both knew that we would not need to eat again that day- here it is 6 PM, and I am not even faintly hungry.  We split that monster steak, and saved the other half.

So, after our Paleo Feed (I felt as if I had returned with a wooly mammoth), we parted as I went to tap my maple trees!  The sap was running, and my buckets were all set to catch every drop.  
I filled my 5 gallon bucket, fired up my sap cooker, and sat back on a chair to watch it boil.  I am not a fisherman, but if you are, this must be kind of what it’s like: sitting out in the sun, soaking it up after a long, long winter, and just keeping an eye on the sap, making sure it doesn’t burn up while you run off to attend to something else.  
It is possible to ruin those whole 5 gallons, turning them to burnt sugar crystals, it you aren’t attentive enough to take them off when they are down to about a quart or so.  
But, at the start of the boil, you are safe to wander off, and I did.  I needed to pick up and prepare to burn about 2 cords of fallen branches, logs, twigs, and detritus that defaced my property!  Actually, moving along outside, squatting over and over, bending over and throwing these branches into the big garden cart I pulled, was at least as much of a workout as what I had done early in the morning.  But, it was incredibly satisfying, and now my yard is clean- I think I’ll have a big burn tomorrow, which is almost as satisfying as steak day.

Finally, late afternoon, and I came in and did a pushup and other gymnastic ring workout in the basement for about 20 minutes, while I started the reduced sap to boiling in the kitchen.  I was very pleasantly tired when I mounted the stairs, and my wife had been monitoring the boiling sap.  The thermometer said 212 degrees, where she told me it had been for awhile.
I took over, and opened a beer as I settled in to watch that sap slowly turn to syrup.  I set my digital thermometer alarm to go off when it hits 219 degrees, and I watch that pot like a hawk!  You don’t want a boilover, not at this stage, wrecking it all…
But with the thermometer, it’s really rather easy- the alarm goes off, and you turn off the heat- syrup done!  Thick, dark, and not runny at all, just the perfect consistency.  It is a very satisfying project, with tangible results, unlike many things in this modern, Neolithic world!  
I jar it up, feeling great about my day.  I don’t eat that much of the syrup, but I enjoy giving it away, quality product that it is.  
Now, I think I’ll sing and play for awhile, since that is another thing that I love to do.  Kind of like cave painting for a non-visual artist!  Then, I have a free book I downloaded from the internet, called The Fall of Western Man by Mark Collett.  I’ve read the first two chapters, and it looks amazing.  Sad news, but true for all of that.

Either look it up, or contact me: I’ll send you a copy.

And hey: thanks for listening!  Where would we be without our tribe?