Sunday, December 6, 2009

Cacoa Nib Cookies, Macro-Nutrient Ratios & Holiday Shopping

My love affair with cacoa nibs continues! This is my favorite cookie recipe. I've been waiting for the holiday's to release it (U knew I wouldn't let you down!) If you've been cursing me cuz U bought that package of cacao nibs for the chops and have been sitting on it ever since, here's your opportunity to turn them into something yummy. But first, a little chatting about macronutrient ratios, then the recipe, then, at the bottom of today's blog, a surefire way to save some time shopping for your paleo friends...

Macro-nutrients and Lean Body Mass: I've been wondering whether or not to adjust my diet. A paleo diet is not contested. The question is, am i eating the most appropriate proportions to optimize lean body mass production. I'm not satisfied, at 47, to be one of those chumps that slowly loses LBM each year until i'm skinny, old, and bent over. Some say at this age, you should be satisfied to keep what you have - SCREW that! Others, like Rob Faigan, propose that thru proper macro-nutrient ratios and cycling, you can effectively reverse aging. That sounds goofy but I believe it. How many times have you seen someone that looks 10 yrs younger than they are or 10 yrs older than they are? Is it just external? I don't think so, and neither does Rob. Read his book Natural Hormonal Enhancement. So within what bounds should we be operating if we are to emulate a paleolithic diet? Where am I now? What does the food pyramid (ver 2005) say? - just for $hits and giggles...
Turns out the US food pyramid site will actually figure for you, based on weight, activity level, etc. how much, and of what, you should eat - so i tried it. BTW, it did say I was over weight and should consider reduced calories but i said nu uh, gimme the whole enchilada - i'm happy where i'm at (chubby nutritionists and their frickin BMI blah blah blah! Good indicator unless you're a crossfitter! ;-) . Here are the macro-nutrient results compared to a standard PZ diet (for me) and a 2X fat PZ diet (what i'm eating right now), and a "Paleo Man" (aka caveman or hunter-gatherer) diet as reported by L. Cordain. I didn't even rig these numbers! My diet (2X fat PZ), from a macro-nutrient level, is right smack in the middle of what Cordain's studies showed to be true of a hunter/gatherer. So, obviously, a 1X Fat PZ diet is not. It's at the edge of the range. As for the new food pyramid - high on fat and carbs, low on protein, as you would expect. But, still an improvement over the 11 servings of grains the old pyramid recommended! Progress is progress! ;-) My conclusion? I'm sticking with my marco-nutrient levels. Now the question is - to Carb cycle or not? More on that later.

Now for the recipe...
Paleo Cacao Nib Cookies

1 C Almond Flour
2/3 C Shredded Coconut
1 1/2 Tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 Cup Almond Butter
1 C Coco Nibs
1/3 Coconut Flour
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1 Egg
2 Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
1/2 Cup Honey or Agave
* Note - you may be tempted to skip the coconut flour. Don't. It really does something for them. U can buy it at Whole Foods. U can skip the cocoa powder for a less chocolately taste. Either way, the nibs give them a crunchy chocolately taste that's awesome.

Spoon more or less round blobs onto a cookie sheet - round is better than flat cuz the inside stays a little chewy.
Cook for about 9 minutes at 350. Makes about 24 -each with 10gm C, 9 gm F, and 4 gm P. Enjoy!

Now for Holiday Shopping
... Wondering what to give your Paleo friends? I've been working on paleo bison jerky for awhile now. I call it "paleo" because it's not sweetened with sugar (I use agave and maple syrup) or salted with soy sauce (I use sea salt to preserve it) and there's no funky preservatives, nitrates, msg, blah blah blah) I eat A LOT of this stuff so it has to be tasty and pure. For paleo meals on the go, it's the most expensive component and the most difficult to make yourself. BTW, in case you didn't know, it's illegal in the US to give bison antibiotics or hormones - so don't worry about that either. So the good news is I found a legit manufacturer that was willing to make free range bison jerky to my requirements. The marinade includes agave, maple syrup, sea salt and various spices. Rob (the maker) doesn't know what agave is or across broad time and modal domains... and doesn't care, but "Rob knows jerky"- it's consistent, flavorful, and tender. Check it out here and get your order in before i run out. U can buy one, $9 + shipping, or paks of 4 ($30+ shipping). Each pack is about 3.5 oz (~55 gm P - starts out as ~8 oz lean bison) and vacuum sealed in a sturdy resealable bag. Now instead of shopping for gifts U can't even eat, go work on across broad time and modal domains!

Eat Well! Steve "Paleo"