I turned 40 recently.
And you know what? I’m liking it. I’ve been making a lot of changes the last year, and they are starting to come to a head. About a year ago I was diagnosed with low testosterone, and after a year of testosterone therapy, I’m really feeling so much better. I started running, and more recently have completely re-booted how I eat. I wont go into details on the testosterone, as this is more of a food blog and my intimate life is none of your business(I have another blog for that), but I will say that one sign of low T is weight gain around the middle, which I have. Well, had.
When at my heaviest, at the beach at Bear Lake, Idaho, I notice I had quite the tummy on me. I was 39, less than a year from turning 40, and I realized I wasn’t sure if I could run a mile.
I decided to change that.
At first I couldn’t run a full mile, but after about 9 months of running, I regularly do 3.1 miles(that’s a 5k), and am working my up to 6.2(a 10k!). I’m up to 5 miles on my longer runs. And it feels good!
But this is a food blog, not a fitness one. Though there are places where food(and intimacy) intersect.
Food. I have completely rebooted how I eat. At the start of the year I realized running 3 miles 3 times a week wasn’t quite cutting it with weight loss. So I started counting calories. And oh my that sucked. I went over every single day, I was constantly hungry. I failed miserably. So I started looking around for alternatives, and found Intermittent Fasting, which led me to the Paleolithic Diet.
Intermittent Fasting, without going into details, worked wonders for me as it taught me the difference between being physically hungry, and mentally hungry. Researching it taught me all kinds of useful and fascinating information on how the body processes energy, which helps me make better decisions about what, and how and why and when, I eat.
And then there’s Paleo.
Now, I love my pastas and breads, and I refuse to give them up. Paleo has some excellent points, but like many things can get a bit ideological. All things in moderation, I say, especially moderation. For the most part what I settled on was Paleo Before Dinner. I would avoid all carbs for most of the day-Intermittent Fasting just wasn’t feasible with the exercise routine I developed, I needed protein, so I keep my self in Ketosis for about 20 hours each day.
But all that research on nutrition and health and foods, has changed how I cook. I’ve always been a fan of minimally processed foods, I cook from scratch all the time. But now I’m on a whole new level of cooking from scratch. And yes, there are plenty of carbs, they just don’t feature as the main dish. Well, sometimes there’s Pasta Fresca with a fresh pesto, but you don’t really expect me to give up my fresh pasta, do you? And so while there is fresh baked bread, pasta fresca, etc going on, the rest of the meal is so damn wholesome and healthy I don’t feel the least bit guilty.
I’ve started cooking with the nasty bits. The cheap cuts of meat, less expensive meats, the healthier and more nutritious foods. Grass fed is expensive, but mutton or goat is half the cost of lamb. Beef Short Ribs are much, much cheaper than a Rib Eye. Sardines. Pate. Yes, I’m starting to eat organ meat, and damn it’s delicious!
Throughout history the poorest people have learned how to take the cheapest, least desirable bits and turn them into something delicious and nutritious. Take French Onion Soup, perhaps the epitome healthy and delicious peasant food. In fact, French peasants really, really knew how to pull this off better than almost anyone else. I love eating like a French Peasant.
I’m 40 now. My testosterone is on track, I’ve lost nearly 30 lbs in the last year, I can run 3 miles without any trouble, and I feel so much better in every way I can measure. I’m in better shape at 40 than I was at 39, and I expect to be in even better shape at 41.
Also, I get to eat like this:
Roast Bone Marrow with Roast Garlic, Homemade Pesto, Grilled Flat Bread; and a Braised Short Rib Pizza with Caramelized Onions, and Smoked Gouda; cold Mexican Coca Cola, 15 Year Old Single Malt Scotch, and of course, a lovely fire.