Wedding Video

I finally figured out how to rip a dvd and post it online (a good quality version). Here is our wedding video from last year in Nosara, Costa Rica.

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Debone a Turkey

This week Janene and I will be celebrating Thanksgiving at the Felts. It will be Lily’s first Thanksgiving. I think Jesse’s plan is to smoke his Turkey, which should be great. I’ve had a smoked turkey before and it was fabulous. Leftovers are great to put into a chili.

Even though we won’t need to cook, I still picked up a turkey. It’s a 17 lbs turkey that is pre-brined. I plan on taking the bones out and stuffing it with a mushroom and spinach mix. I learned how to do it from a video by Jacques Pepin and I’ve been practicing with chickens for a little while now (here is the video). Along with it I picked up some sweet potatoes to make mashed sweet potatoes. The only reason why I picked up the bird and side is so we can have tons of food for the week. I think I like the leftovers best. It’s like having Thanksgiving for a week after the event.

I’m still trying to stick on the paleo diet, so we picked up ingredients for a paleo Thanksgiving. So far, I have lost a reasonable amount of weight on this diet. It’s been a healthy weight-loss too. It’s been about 1.5 to 2 lbs a week. I’m at 191.5 lbs now. Here is a chart I made of the weight loss:

It has been nice not feeling hungry all the time. I still eat however much I want, it’s only eating specific kinds of food. Basically, carbs from wheat are out.

Anyway, this weekend we are cleaning up the house and then starting the process of writing thank you notes to all the people who were involved in our wedding. We are going to print a few different pictures of our wedding to include in the thank you note. The only other thing to do is to figure out how to get our wedding video online in order to share the video. I will probably work on that one tomorrow.

By the way, the bacon turned out pretty good from the last post. It needed to be soaked a little more in order to wash off the salt. Jesse and I are trying again; I’m defrosting the other side of pork right now.

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Makin Bacon

Before I even thought about doing the Paleolithic Diet, I was discussing with my friend, Jesse, about buying a share of a pig. We had found a meat CSA (community supported agriculture) in which people get together and buy either a pig, cow, goat, or even a lamb. Together they decide how to process the meat, and how it gets divided up. The website is Bay Area Meat CSA.

So a few weeks about we discussed buying part of a cow. After researching it, we thought that we would need to buy a fridge based on all the meat we would get, so that was out. We decided to try for a smaller animal. A pig. Even then there is a lot of meat on a pig, so together we bought a 1/4 of a pig. We decided to split up the 1/4 pig between Jesse, myself, and his mom. It was going to be about 40-50 pounds of meat. I had all but forgotten about the purchase until about Friday when Jesse gave me a call. The pork needed to be picked up on Saturday at 2:00 pm.

Saturday, I cleaned out my freezer as best I could and set off with a cooler and Jesse to pick up the pork. We arrived at the the guy’s house and there were boxes of meat out on the driveway covered with whatever he had around so the sun would not heat up the meat. He gave us a slip of paper that had all the cuts of meat with the quantities and let us know there were two other people included with the pig we purchased. One had 1/2 the pig and the other had the last 1/4. We needed to divide up all the meat; it was all frozen and shrink wrapped. The interesting part was that Jesse and I only have limited knowledge of cuts of meat and we had to start figuring out what belonged to us. We knew some cuts of meat, but what is a side of pork? It looked like pork belly and I knew that pork belly was used to make bacon, great, there was the bacon. The list said there were hocks, but we couldn’t find anything listed as hocks. I thought I remembered that hocks were legs, the list said there were 4 hocks, so I guessed that’s what hocks were. It was interesting to go through a whole dismembered pig. There wasn’t much missing, the heart, kidneys, fat, feet, even the head was all there. There was even a huge bag of scrap meat. Cool, we could make sausage with that bag, but the problem is how do we divide one frozen bag of scraps into quarters/halves. After Jesse and I began looking the 1/4 pig lady showed up. We all decided to separate everything that could be divided into quarters; we would leave the things that couldn’t be divided on the side and figure it out later. At the same time, the 1/2 pig lady wasn’t there, so we had to separate her stuff for her. There were five sides of bacon, so 1/2 pig lady gets 2, we get 1, the other 1/4 pig lady gets 1, and the extra goes into the “figure out later” box. It went on like this for about a half hour.

The 1/2 pig lady wasn’t there yet and we had a box of cuts that weren’t divisible. We decided that we would trade for the things in the box. Jesse and I wanted the scraps to make sausage and were willing to trade other cuts for it. Jesse had his eye on the heart so he could BBQ it and try it. No one wanted the head. Finally, the 1/2 pig lady’s friend showed up. She had never split a pig before and was just expecting to pick-up and not negotiate for parts. She had to call the lady and we put her on speaker phone to discuss what to do. We all discussed and Jesse and I ended up with the scraps, heart and bones. I think everyone was happy. The head went to the 1/2 pig lady. Overall it was fun and we ended up with some good looking meat. Jesse and I had 56 pounds at the end of the day which boiled down to $5.20/pound. We weren’t looking to save a ton of money, just to get a lot of meat from a pastured pig.

We left and dropped off the scraps at Willow Glenn Meats. They are able to process it into sausage. We are looking to get half mild italian sausage and half bratwurst. It ends up being $2/pound or so for the finished weight of the sausage. We’ll see how much we get. Next time we’ll try and make our own sausage. We just did not want to deal with the hassle this time around.

My goal for next week is to try and cure the pork belly and make bacon. I have researched it a bit and we will see how it goes. Hopefully by either next week or the week after we will be able to put the cured pork belly on the weber and smoke it.

So with all this meat, it may seem like I’m definitely going to continue with the Paleolithic diet. I’m still not sure. I did drop 3.5 pounds this week which shocked me. I’ve been eating 4 slices of bacon in the morning with 3 eggs, Chipotle’s burrito bowl for lunch usually, and some sort of meat and vegetable for dinner each night. I have been eating a lot of calories but the weight just dropped off. I am going to keep trying for a few more weeks and see what happens. I am still suspicious of it, but it is working and I am not hungry. I’m at 195.5 pounds as of yesterday and this morning.

While I was out getting pork, Janene had gone to the Bridgeschool Benefit Concert. She went with friends and those friends brought friends too, so it was quite a crowd. Besides having to move a couple times because of the large quantity of friends and having to find space, she had a good time. She even met one of her old college friends.

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Paleolithic Diet

I’m 31 now and my age is definitely causing my metabolism to slow down. Over the years I’ve been gaining weight to the point where I need to watch what I eat. I’ve done Weight Watchers which worked. I lost 20 lbs successfully, but it’s tough to make it a life change; so I gained all that weight back. After looking at myself in my wedding pictures, I’ve decided I need to get back on a diet.

I’ve never been one to jump on board with fad diets. I’ve always thought that cutting calories was the way to go. Over the past few weeks a couple friends of mine started doing a “fad” diet called the Paleolithic diet. The idea of the diet is that between 1 million years ago to 10,000 years ago, human diet was vastly different. People didn’t have access to things like wheat to make bread or pasta and as such we aren’t evolved to eat these “new” foods. The foods changed our body chemistry to where things like diabetes and obesity became more prevalent. So the Paleolithic diet cuts these foods out. Supposedly, you can eat however much you want, but you can’t eat things with wheat, refined sugar, or other modern creations. This will change your body chemistry and you will be more healthy and even stop storing fats. I have told other friends about this and one made the comment, “didn’t people die by age 35 during that time?” As two of my friends started this diet, I was very skeptical. However, they both have lost weight and claim to feel better and more alert.

The diet is basically the Atkins diet, but with a few additions. It’s okay to eat fruits and nuts in moderation. Sweet potatoes are fine, but regular ones are not (a little weird.) Refined sugar is bad and strangely enough so are beans.

With this info, I decided to give it a shot. Eat as much as you want and loose weight, why not? It’s been a week so far and it’s been great eating bacon and eggs for breakfast, steak for lunch and dinner. I do miss rice, beans, and of course bread. Occasionally, I made a smoothie with frozen fruits and little bit of yogurt (milk isn’t paleo, but they say a little is okay). I would say my hunger pangs are far and few between. I’m not sure that it’s because of what I’m eating, it’s just I able to eat until I’m satiated. During the week I lost one pound, but by the end of the week I’m up 3 pounds. Not a good start. I’m going to continue it and see how it goes. I suppose I’ll give it 3 weeks or so. If I keep gaining weight, then I’m going to have to go back to the old Weight Watchers method, cutting calories.

I’m using Reddit (http://www.reddit.com/r/paleo) as a source. Let us see how it goes.

Start of the week weight: 196.

End of the week weight: 199.

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A Costa Rican Wedding

This summer Janene and myself (Dylan) got married on June 30, 2012! We had our ceremony in Nosara, Costa Rica. You can see the album here.

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