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Macadamia Nutjob

Last weekend derailed my momentum a little bit. Every few months, I visit my (strictly vegetarian) family in DC or New Jersey and go carb- and sugar- and gluten-crazy. Is there a way to get stronger and build muscle on a purely vegetarian diet? Possibly. It would take a lot of eggs, a lot of milk and cheese, and maybe some whey protein shakes. But as much as I love cheddar-jalapeno omelettes, that would get old very quickly.

So over the weekend, I visited the Stations of the Vegan Cross and went through the usual anti-Paleo debauchery that accompanies a visit with the family.

Station 1: Sticky Fingers, The Vegan Bakery. I won’t lie, this place was pretty awesome, despite the uber-hipster clientele in a family-friendly enclave in the middle of DC. My cousins and I shared a 6-pack of cupcakes (the best being the peanut butter chocolate, the worst being the red velvet, and even that wasn’t too bad:

I tried to be good and snarfed a gluten-free mocha cupcake, but then the peanut butter fudge called my name and my gut lymphocytes quietly prayed for mercy.

Station 2: Joe’s Noodle House, The Vegetarian Menu. You know why tofu became popular among Buddhist monks, right? Now this is a theory I’ve heard elsewhere, but soy, as you know, is full of plant estrogens, and so eating tofu day in and day out causes increased free estrogen levels. Estrogen in men causes a feedback loop that turns off your sex-steroid releasing-hormones in your brain, and that means low testosterone, which means low libido. Just what you need to concentrate on meditation, study, and silence for the rest of your life in a cloister with hundreds of other men. I had a big plate of General Tso fried tofu and felt my penis shrink.

Station 3: Indian Lunch BuffetCan you say carb-fest? I tried to avoid everything but the vegetables for as long as I could, but then the dosas (thin rice-and-lentil-flour crepes) called my name (odd how food gets vocal with you if you haven’t eaten it for a while), and it was downhill from there. I had 2 of those, a couple plates of pakoras (chick-pea and onion fritters), and of course, dessert. I felt like I was sweating lectins at by the end of that meal.

Station 4: Annoyingly Fit Guy Who Cooks Vegan Banana Bread. Oh, this guy. A friend of my uncle. He’s vegan, but eats a fairly clean, gluten-free diet. He walks 2-3 hours a day, does hard labor in his garden a few days a week, and looks like a ripped 35-year-old despite being in his mid-50’s. And he always brings over this dry-ass tapioca-and-rice flour banana bread that has no butter or sugar in it. “It’s sweetened with bananas and dates!” Maybe in my CrossFit days I would have found this cute and interesting, but I know better. To paraphrase James Joyce: when I makes dessert, I makes dessert.

Since I’ve been back, my main goals have been to stuff my face with meat and fats, but I returned to a sad little refrigerator, bereft of butter *or* bacon. I almost cried. But my sister *did* give me a boatload of macadamia nuts from her recent trip to Hawaii, and I’ve been gorging on those.

A variety of flavors, but the onion/garlic ones are my favorite so far. Macadamias are amazingly good for you (and thus, expensive), and Aussie aborigines have been eating them for centuries. Fact of the day: they only came to Hawaii in the 1940’s. Macadamias have the highest monounsaturated fat levels, lowest omega-6 levels, and lowest carb levels of any nut out there. And they taste awesome with some chili powder and lime juice and salt, or just plain. And since I’m not too worried about excess calories from fat intake (I’m more worried about excess calories from rest-day and pre-workout sugars, fructose, etc.), those bags may not be long for this world.

Next post: I might need a break. I’m getting a bit too heavy for my own liking, and the linear progression of lifting is catching up to me. But I did squat 240x3x5 a few days ago. Yay! Analysis: a couple different methods to approach a “deloading” week.

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