Russ Crandall – Paleo Made Easy

welcome to another episode of paleo runner podcast a show helping you find better ways to live run and eat i’m your host Erin Oleson the website for the show is paleo run org I wanted to let you know that I’m offering coaching through google helpouts over Skype and on the phone I’ve been running for 17 years and I’ve learned that by running less and focusing on key workouts you can reduce injuries while getting faster over the past couple of years I’ve set personal records in the 5k for marathon while running less than 25 miles per week if you’re interested in getting help running faster unless mileage go to paleo runner org slash coaching and schedule a how boat with me my guest today is Russ Crandall he blogs at the domestic mancom his cookbook is called the ancestral table Russ it’s great to have you back on the show hi thanks for having me on again yeah Russ one of the first questions that I’ve been asking my guess is what did you have to eat today good question so it sits before dinner over here for us it’s five-thirty central time for us but so I had dinner yet but so I had a really light breakfast which I had kind of late in the day I usually only eat in an eight-hour window so I just had a little bit of smoked sausage and half an apple that was my breakfast and that was around ten-thirty in the morning and then for lunch which I had at eleven-thirty was oh man I have to think about this I had some steamed broccoli some leftover flank steak which is london broil cooked medium rare and then some leftover mushroom risotto that was basically it so far tonight we’re going to have for dinner which is a Vietnamese noodle soup made with rice noodles oh wow that sounds pretty good yeah thanks so you know for people who didn’t hear you on the first time if we have some new listeners can you go through a little bit about your journey about how you found paleo sure absolutely so I’m um I’m active duty Navy so I’ve been in the Navy for about 15 years now and about 10 years ago I had a stroke just out of the middle of nowhere I was a really healthy guy up until that moment I was long-distance runner so I had a stroke and I lost function on the left side of my body the doctors couldn’t figure out what it was and I just kind of spent a few months in therapy and kind of recovered and got everything back and then just kind of went on my own business from there and then from there about a year after that I started having some pulmonary issues I was getting out of breath really quickly and I couldn’t really figure out what it was so I went to the doctor spent a few months in a hospital trying to figure out what was going on and they basically figured out that i had an autoimmune disease which had caused the stroke in the year previous so i did open heart surgery to try to fix that because at the time the doctors didn’t know of it any other way to fix it other than a bunch of meds or to actually fix my pony arteries so neither method worked and so you know here I was 30 years old just kind of faced with this fact that I had this you know kind of disruptive autoimmune disease that was causing a lot of issues for me and then later on that year in 2010 I found about the Paleo diet it was right when Rob Wolf’s book came out the paleo solution I read about it and switched my diet like the next day and I felt better immediately I’d say within three weeks i had convinced my doctors that i was doing a lot better so i was able to wean off a lot of my medications and so now in the four or five years since then I’ve been off of I was at one point on about 15 medications a day and now I’m down to just one last holdout which I’m hoping to get off in the next six months or so wow wow that’s a really incredible story rust so you know it a little bit before we were talking I said I wanted to go into how you actually make this work on a daily basis and um you’re busy guy it sounds like you’ve got a job and you have kids so you know how do you make a special diet like the Paleo diet practical for you on a daily basis so my trick is basically just to cook once a day so I like to make kind of an elaborate dinner sometimes not really elaborate you know but I really will just kind of focus on making a really nice dinner and there’s three of us in the house you know my wife and I and then our son and so I make enough food for four people basically so the three of us sit down and we have dinner and then that next day I have that for lunch again and then breakfast for me is usually some sort of like cured meat so it’ll be smoked salmon or it’ll be you know a can of oysters or something like that you know which I usually eat pretty pretty late in the morning and then lunch will be those leftover dinner that night that’s basically how we run okay and and so every night you’re cooking you’re cooking a new meal is that correct yep for the most part it really depends you know I’ve the nice things that I wrote a cookbook so my wife and I have like a resource to use and so she’ll cook out of the book and sometimes she’ll start the recipe and then I’ll come home and finish it when I get home other nights we won’t make a dinner but since I do most of my recipe development on the weekends I’ll end up cooking several meals at once that we can’t eat all at the same time so we usually have just a little bit of left or that’s usually what my wife will pick at throughout the week or else I’ll also take that in for lunch the next day as well okay so let’s take that fun noodle dish that you’re making tonight how long does it take to make something like that so funny you should say that I just posted the recipe today on my blog but so I did a fat ass 2 version of it and it’s 30 minutes so I basically I take beef broth and then I simmer it with spices and that takes about a half hour to infuse those spices into the flavor of the broth and then the the noodles themselves only take about 30 seconds to parboil and then the rest is throwing on leftover meat or raw meat directly into the soup so it’s a it’s a 30 minute meal which is pretty easy so even though it’s only five-thirty here I’ll still be able to eat before seven o’clock tonight okay so that how long does it take to make the the beef broth that goes into the source of that right so you’re coming in a good idea there and the fact that there is a little bit of free work involved right and so I use a pressure cooker to make my broth I use an instant pot which is like an electric pressure cooker so I can make a really good batch of beef broth in about two hours and I do that almost every weekend usually as I’m cooking other things I’ll just brown the meat in the oven you know roast it for a little bit just to kind of and i caramelize everything and a pot with some water and then cook it for two hours so that’s that’s the way i have continuous broth basically okay so you’re you’re cooking that broth now I’ve made bone broth in the past and I’ve talked to Paul about this and I find it kind of a tedious process because you put all the bones in there and then you’ve got this scum and all this thing and that you have to strain out so can you kind of walk us through that process of how you make bone broth totally so cooking bone broth and a pressure cookers different a lot of that scum actually doesn’t come up because it’s not um because all the moisture is being captured within the the pressure cooker itself you don’t get a lot of that scum and foam build up so roasting the bones ahead of time definitely reduces it as well so typically all I will do is I’ll throw all the bones into a pan you know like a baking sheet and then they can be frozen they can be unfrozen or raw it really doesn’t mat or and then I roast them at about 400 degrees and I’ll do that until they’re brown usually I’ll flip them halfway through and that can be anything with anything from a half hour to an hour depending on if there or not and then from there I just thrown right into the the pressure cooker I might rinse him off if they’ve got a lot of like accumulated blood on them or anything like that I’ll rinse them off a little bit throw them in the pressure cooker usually I’ll throw in whatever I have on hand so if I’ve got leftover vegetables I’ll throw it in also to chop up the stocks of parsley I really like parsley stalks in my broth and then I like to throw in just whole peppercorns so either black or white peppercorns and that’s really about it so you just cover it set it for two hours you can do you can do for hours about really between two and four is pretty optimal to get a really good gelatinous broth then from there I just I’ll strain it through kind of a fun fine mesh and then bottle it and can it and either put it in the fridge or the freezer depending on how much I’ve made okay and do you just use those bones once or multiple times so I use them twice usually and that what I’ll either do is I’ll either make it again right then and there but sometimes I don’t have enough room in my fridge or freezer for all that broth so I will just throw the bones right back in the freezer and do it all over again without the roasting that’s they’ve already been roasted ones okay so you’ve got the broth and then you’ve got this the meat or the state that you’re putting in with the foie and the rice noodles how about like vegetables what do you you have some kind of side dish of vegetables or what do you do for that so tonight’s kind of different night just because we’re throwing it all into one pot you know so we’ll be throwing in you know bean sprouts and a lot of herbs and then we might have a side salad or we like to steam vegetables on the side as well but typically during a regular night I like to divide my dinner portions into for kind of squares 1 square being my meat 1 square being my carb and then the other two squares being a hearty vegetable and by that I mean something like cauliflower or broccoli something that’s a little got a little more crunch to it maybe some carrots or something and then a leafy vegetables my last fourth and that’s going to be a side salad or maybe some sauteed kale or something like that so I like the idea of having three quarters plant material and then your meat on the one quarter and that usually as far as macronutrient ratios and things like that the kind of Alliance to a lot of the paleo paradigms to which is pretty sweet mm-hmm and and how about your child are they will they the same kind of foods that you do yeah so Oliver is five years old and there’s definitely some moments you know and he doesn’t want to eat will weed especially leaves there’s any sort of spice in it but for the most part I’d say seventy-five percent of the time he eats what we eat on those nights when he doesn’t want to eat what we’ve made or he’s just not feeling up for it will usually make his favorite meal which is a pretty funny meal so he just we take a scoop of white rice and we throw on a can of sardines and then we steam some peas and then he covers it all with a seaweed seasoning called foodie caca which is made with seaweed shaved tuna and sesame seeds and that’s his favorite meal of all time so he probably eats that maybe twice a week depending on what we’re making okay so it’s it’s a healthy meal that he likes how did you come up with that uh you know I I I personally was eating that meal every once in a while without the peas I’m not a fan of peas but I would just basically eat sardines and rice for lunch every once in a while on a weekend and he picked up on it and just started eating it now that kid I mean we can’t keep enough sardines in the house at this point which is pretty funny you know I saw some pictures on Instagram that Jimmy Moore had posted while you’re at the perfect health retreats um how do you go about making meals for big large amounts of people like that that was a very fun process because we had I’d say about 12 attendees and then also the staffs that we were cooking for so we were we were cooking about food for about 20 24 people every every meal and we were just doing lunch and dinner so that was a little bit more difficult we we just ended up using a lot bigger pots for everything we would we had three instant pots those fresher cos i was talking about we had three of those going so we’d have one making broth all the time one to make rice and then one to make a soup or something similar to that so it was just a lot of work but you know honestly it was a lot of fun too the biggest thing for upscaling meals really is just to kind of count out your portions the way I I like to think of it you know is a regular personal need about a pound of meat a day so you can just kind of break that in half of their own leading two meals a day so a half a per person is usually a good way of going about it if you’re going to the store and picking up meat and that kind of thing so quarter the pound third of pound to to a half a pound per meal is usually about adequate okay now how about four athletes are there special considerations that we need to be taken into account as we’re moving towards a paleo diet or maybe we’re already on one and we’re just trying to make it work yes so I’d say for athletes in particular macronutrient ratios tend to be the most complex thing to kind of figure out what works best for your body so i would say carbs is probably that one that you kind of have to find that right balance for for the most part protein we know how much protein we want to eat you know if you sit down to a steak that’s three pounds you’re not gonna be able to eat the whole thing you’re going to you’re going to get to a point where you hit a wall and say okay I’m done but you know if you sit in front of a bag of potato chips it’s really hard to tell when you’ve had enough and that’s I think just part of our ancestry and we’re used to being opportunists when we find carbs because they’re hard to find in nature so we just eat as many as we can so the way I’ve basically approached things especially for athletes is to eat as much protein as you want because your body will tell you when you’re done you want to eat fats to taste and by that I mean so if you’re making a baked potato or something like that and you put one scoop of butter on there and it tastes really good you put two scoops of butter on there and it tastes even better but you put three on there and it tastes too buttery and two fatty then two is probably the right amount so you want to add fats to taste and then carbs you typically want to do about a pound a day same as your meat so to get an idea of how much that is that tomatoes a day by small i mean like fits in your hand comfortably um but when it comes you come down a little bit how many potatoes is that I’m sorry too small potatoes and by small I mean about the size of a little bigger than a baseball I would say and that’s usually about a pound if you put it on a scale but when you get into rice when you make cooked rice a pound of rice is actually like ton like it’s way more than a normal person would eat in one day so you want to scale that back just a little bit just just to kind of be in a more appropriate portion size so for me it’s it’s all about eating one pound of protein which your body will tell you how my is done and then eating fats to taste and then kind of filling in the rest your calories with those carbs depending on how much activity you’re doing each day and how much weight you want to lose or gain that kind of thing mm-hmm well that sounds like a pretty easy way to go about it because a lot of it sounds like you’re saying you can really listen to your body I mean you’re listening to your protein how much you feel like eating and then you know butter sour cream on your potato to taste and then you know filling in the rest with some healthy carbs I guess exactly and you know carbs can be anything from starchy vegetables like beets and rutabagas and turnips and parsnips and things like that as well as you know your typical ones like potato and rice I know rice isn’t considered completely paleo but I’m very Pro rice because it’s very low in toxins and I think it’s good as well as long as you tolerate it pretty well okay now at the beginning of the show you mentioned that you try to eat it within an eight-hour window can you talk to our audience a little bit about that sure so there’s a there’s a metabolic function called a toughie G and that’s when it’s called it’s also called self-cannibalism that’s when your cells eat each other so for example when somebody doesn’t eat for a long period of time your body just kind of starts to regenerate itself by eating its own cells the cool thing about it is that the cells that your body eats are the old and weak cells so any sort of typical issues that you would have your body actually starts to eat itself and I hate to use the word detox but it’s almost close it’s the closest thing to a detox that that I really think exists and so it’s good to encourage that autophagy phase and that starts after 12 hours of fasting so what I like to do is a 16-hour fast that gives me four hours of the TOFA G every day so what I’ll tend to do is only eat between 10 or 1030 a.m. to six to 630 p.m. depending on my timing each day and that gives me you know the 12 hours of a fast and then that extra four hours to kind of boost that autophagy and I found for me it really helps in that in the more warnings I’m not I’m not sluggish I’m not tired I’m not a key which I was finding when I was eating breakfast so I you know I took a couple days to kind of get into the mode for that but then after that it just felt really great and I’ve been doing pretty much ever since and it’s been a couple years now mmhmm yeah you know I’ve started doing that over the past year and i find it actually easier because i don’t have to think about what i’m going to eat for breakfast i usually just pack a little bit bigger lunch and then so i only have to worry about two meals a day really right right and you know if you look at it philosophically to you know humans have not had three square meals every day throughout history and so because of that it’s good to stress your body every once in a while I think that you know good forms of stress are really helpful and I think this is just one form of that as well you know just kind of pushing your body just a little bit just to kind of make it stronger the next time around mm-hmm and does the rest of your family do that as well son he typically will be breakfast but sometimes he doesn’t feel like it he’s kind of a sporadic eater I like to think of him as little caveman you know and that he just kind of eats when he’s hungry and he you know he lead a whole feast at one point and then he’ll skip a meal the next time or something like that so we really just kind of let his body figure out what he wants my wife usually follows about the same pattern as me and just so that we’re on the same kind of rhythm and schedule so that we were more active and efficient throughout the day mmm and how about vegetables do you do the fermented or like kimchi and fermented vegetables like that at home I do so that’s one of my favorite things to do it’s kind of like my equivalent of science experiments so on the weekends yeah usually depending on if we get to run down to the farmers market I’ll grab some fresh produce and then I’ll just put it in and pickle it basically it’s really kind of key to use organic or farmer like directly from the farm produce because a lot of the bacteria is still on that food and so they are able to use it to kind of encourage the fermentation process otherwise if you use just something conventionally from like say you grab some cucumbers from the regular supermarket you just throw them in a salt brine a lot of times they’ll spoil before they start to ferment and that’s because they’re missing that it’s like the lactobacillus bacteria which is on the skin of the cucumbers so what we typically do is yeah well we’ll go down farmers market and we’ll throw everything together and depending on what we want to make you know if we want to make a japanese-style one will add a little bit of rice wine to the the fermentation process just to kind of give it a little bit of a Japanese flavor or you know we’ll just do it a traditional like a German sauerkraut or pickles or something like that and how is that learning how does that learning curve I’ve never done this there’s they sell a big jar of kimchi at costco and i don’t know how healthy it is but it’s pretty tasty but I you know is it worth me trying to figure this out and do it at myself at home so it’s actually it’s it’s pretty easy and a lot of fun the number one thing you want to make sure that you’re using good filtered water the number one issue that I’ve always had with any sort of fermentation is the type of water that I add to it we just recently moved down to Florida from Maryland and the Wada tap water here I cannot you for fermentation it makes everything spoil and I’m not sure really what’s in the water itself so I’ve been having to buy like jugs of filtered water or distilled water in order to add my fermentation that’s been helping a lot the other thing you know if you want to make something like kimchi is getting the right ingredients so kimchi in particular you wouldn’t think it but a lot of times has some sort of a seafood in it so they’ll either add raw oysters or throughout fish sauce to it so you want to have one of those ingredients on hand and then also the actual chili pepper they use in kimchi is is is is a Korean red chilli powder that you’ll have to maybe buy online or may begin to age market so once you buy you know those kind of bulk items you can you can really just add the rest of the fresh ingredients right then and there so it’s it’s pretty easy you need ginger cabbage onion green onion and then sometimes daikon radish which is like a white Korean radish mm-hmm you know I want to go back to one of those quick and easy meals that you feed your son they talked about earlier because sometimes I get busy during the day I’m editing a podcast and then I’m taking care of my daughter and things like that so why why is sardines with white rice how is what is healthy about that so you know for one thing that the carbs in the in the rice are good for children in particular because carbs encourage the growth and so a lot of children you know especially toddlers and growing up they need carbs in order to encourage brain growth and body growth as well so we like to give him a good amount of cars almost 40% of his daily calories from carbs and that’s the you know a lot of science has shown that that’s really good for children so for us that adding in that white rice is good sardines in particular you know very high in calcium because the the bones that are in the fish itself as well as you know omega-3 fatty acids and things like that but then the other part of it too is that when you add something fatty to carbs so in particular these sardines here and we also pour in a little bit of the olive oil that’s that’s in the package with it adding fats to carbs lowers the glycemic index by like a third so he’s not going to get any sort of the blood sugar spikes or go out go crazy and then crash afterwards when you combine fat’s in with the carp so we like to add that in there as well and then another piece of that puzzle is the peas which are high in fiber so fiber also can lower the glycemic index when you’re eating white rice basically and that’s why brown rice has a lower glycemic index than white rice because all the fiber that’s in the brown rice so we’re kind of modeling and after that brown rice construct by adding in those peas mm-hmm so you’re you’re excluding brown rice because it still contains some toxins in the outer husk round and then you’re adding a lot of these healthy things to it like the healthy fats and then the peas or some vegetables right crank oh yeah that’s exactly how we do it so we just kind of were building like this perfect little bowl of nutrients for him just in that fish and then the peas and that seaweed as well which is adding iodine to it so okay okay so what kind of sardines to use for that are they like I mean are they organic or how do you what brand you choose so we kind of by a variety of them just because we don’t want him to get sick of one brand in particular the turn them off from the dish so there’s definitely certain brands out there that are more sustainably caught than others the thing about sardines in particular is that the amount of fishing that we do for sardines has not actually decreased their population which has been pretty cool back in the 80s there actually was a decrease in sardine population but then they came back and then studies showed that it wasn’t over fishing or anything it was just a natural pattern in the sardine population so so the biggest thing you want to look for really is just wild caught sardines usually from the Mediterranean or outside in the Atlantic that’s really about it so we look for wild caught and you know if it says anything about sustainably harvest I don’t really know a lot about commercial fishing but you know if they’ve got a seal on it and i know that’s a reputable sealed and i usually trust their judgment and then you know I want it packed in olive oil and then if it has any information about the type of olive oil and it’s a good single source olive oil or something like that it’s pretty good so my favorite as far as sustainability is wild wild planet I think that’s a really good brand of seafood but otherwise we have some others like there’s one brand called season brand that’s pretty good it really just depends you know on on price and sales and that kind of stuff so okay so Russ you shared with us a lot of good tips about how to make paleo style diet work and how to make it tasty and even work for your kids what are you working on next so I got a couple things going on so I really lucked out a couple months ago and I actually signed on with food & wine magazine so I’m now a regular contributor for them so I just released 30 recipes to them that they’re going to be publishing on their website and I think in their magazine too so that’s really awesome for the community because they’re all labeled as paleo and stuff like that so hopefully that’ll bring more awareness of paleo into like the more gourmet kind of side of things which I was really happy about so that should be coming in the next couple months on their website which hopefully will really give a boost to the community the second thing is I’m working on a book which is actually so you’re gonna be the first person I’ve told about it okay so i’m working on a paleo take out ebook so it’s going to basically be Chinese Japanese Korean recipes kind of with the idea of being fast and easy so 20 to 30 minute meals and all kind of modeled after that gunky like Chinese American a take out that we’re all used to and we still kind of crave a little bit but we can’t eat anymore cuz it’s full of garbage so so we think kind of Panda Express but made paleo style and you know thoughtful thoughtfully made so that I’m looking at you know macronutrients and making sure it’s not overloaded with almond flour or something like that but yeah I’m pretty excited about it should be out in the next month or two it really depends on how quickly I can get the rest of the pictures taken so oh wow that’s great awesome looking forward to that yeah I’ve tried your sweet and sour chicken I believe it was on your your website and that turned out really good so thanks yeah that’s actually the so that’s did the the dish that kind of prompted back so I think I did that in March or April and I got a ton of feedback and I was like you know what I could do this for every dish you know and so instead of turning my website into a tire Chinese takeout website I decided I was going to put it together as an e-book and then you know send it out to the masses I think it’s gonna be really exciting right and so how can we know exactly when that comes out is there like a email list we can get on or something yeah so on my website on the right side of on my right banner basically at the domestic mancom there’s a little button or to add your email addresses in the newsletter and it’s not your typical newsletter where you get a bunch of emails from me saying hey do this thing or do that thing the it’s really simple it’s basically just a an automatic spit out every time I post a new post so you’ll just get an email once a week when I post my new recipe and then when I when I debut the ebook it’ll it’ll pop up there as well great all right Russ well thanks so much for coming on the show yeah thanks again for having me as a lot of fun thanks for listening to another paleo runner podcast if you like podcasts you’re also going to like audible com audible has over a hundred thousand titles to choose from for your iPhone Kindle Android or mp3 player you can even burn a CD of the audiobook if you like it’s a great way to learn while you’re driving in the car or cleaning up around the house one of the great things about audible is that if you decide that you don’t like to book you downloaded you can actually exchange it for another one they want you to be happy with your order if you’d like to get a free audiobook download sign up at audible trial com hey Leo runner you’ll get a free audiobook download that you can keep regardless of whether you continue with the service or not so go to

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