Confession #1: Today I stopped and bought my boys t-shirts at a garage sale to wear because I haven’t had time to do laundry for two weeks now and everything they own has been worn twice. (Once right side out and once inside out – for the latter, I just tell everyone they dressed themselves. I don’t add that I told them to dress themselves that way.)
I hang my motherly head in shame. But that is nowhere near as shocking as my next confession. If Charlotte-from-10-years-ago knew what I was about to confess, she’d have had me committed then and spared me this horror. In fact, the only reason I will even admit to this in black and white is because the other day Gym Buddy Allison ‘fessed up to doing it – and liking it – too. So here goes…
Confession #2: I eat beef fat.
Not only do I eat it but I love it. I crave it. You know all that white stuff all around the edges of a steak? The stuff that everyone from Dr. Oz to Dr. Phil (to Dr. Oprah-spawn) tells you to trim off? Well, I eat it.
My road to debauchery started out innocently enough with a simple cow (don’t all roads to debauchery start with a cow? No??). Gym Buddy Krista was talking up her favorite local beef farmer and since I started Geneen Roth’s guidelines, as I explained before, I’ve stopped being vegetarian in favor of eating what my body – not my mind – says it wants. So I signed up for one of those grass-fed-and-finished, antibiotic-free, hormone-free, organic, kissed-by-angels bovines.
Upon retrieving the dead carcass from the super friendly farmer (any local peeps who want his info, I’m happy to pass it along! Poor man hasn’t discovered the Internet yet and has no website but he raises awesome livestock so we’ll forgive him.) I learned two important things. First, cows are insanely huge animals. My Bessie was 920 pounds. The smallest portion he’d sell me was 1/4 – those of you good at math (update: this group will not include me as in the original version of this post my cow and cow quarters didn’t even remotely add up. I blame the tireds.) will realize that left me with 230 pounds of animal – so thank heavens Gym Buddy Megan split it with me. Second, Mr. Farmer informed me that while fat from traditionally farmed cows (read: cows fed with grain) is terrible for you, fat from grass-pastured cows is fan-freakin’-tastic with a huge ratio of those Omega-3 fatty acids health nuts are always crowing about.
Me being me, I couldn’t just take some farmer’s word for it, even if he is the coolest farmer I have ever met (which is only because I’ve never officially met the Bag Lady) so I checked out the research. And you know what? He’s right. Mark Sisson of Mark’s Daily Apple gives a better breakdown of all the current research and arguments than I could so check out his article “The Definitive Guide to Saturated Fat” for all the nitty gritty. Say what you will about The Primal Blueprint (and heaven knows I’ve said plenty!) but that man does his homework. For too long we’ve been conditioned to believe that adage about Good Fats and Bad Fats. Turns out all naturally sourced fats are good fats. Even saturated ones like coconut oil, heavy cream and, yes, animal fat (as long as it isn’t conventionally farmed). The only bad fats are those man-made monstrosities like trans-fats and interesterified fats.
While I’ve embraced the “good fats” a la avocado, nuts and olive oil for several years now, I’m brand new to the saturated fat love fest. Reader Deb asked me what this looks like in real life for me. For a couple of weeks I tried to eat 50% or more of my calories from fat but after jumping on the Geneen Roth train (and quit counting calories) I still eat a lot of fat but I think probably more like 40%, depending on the day. The upshot of this mini-experiment is that eating lots of fat keeps me satiated longer and helps reduce my cravings for sugar (because while it turns out saturated fats aren’t correlated with coronary heart disease like we all thought, sugar sure is!) Consider me a convert! I love my real whipped cream.
I still don’t like bacon though.
What are your feelings about saturated fats? Do you ever eat the fat on your steaks or chops? Anyone else just hate bacon? And if you want to tell me about the time you bought new clothes/dishes/underwear rather than clean the ones you have, that might make me feel better;)