– What’s the deal with sweet potatoes?
– How liver is a SANE superstar
– Which protein powder, if any, is right for you?
– The surprising importance of kitchen scales
– The counterproductive nature of bathroom scales
The Slim Is Simple.org Non-Profit Nutrition Education Effort
Jonathan Bailor: Hey everyone, Jonathan Bailor and Carrie Brown back with another sane, smarter, super duper sciencey show!
Carrie Brown: Hello! I was going to insert scrumptious in there.
Jonathan Bailor: This is totally random, but I wanted to share this with folks. My wife discovered this this week, and it is very very lovely. It is a sweet potato substitute. I want to disclaim this in the fact that if you are going to eat a starchy vegetable, sweet potatoes are probably the best and sanest starchy vegetable out there. Obviously you can live without eating sweet potatoes. If you are an athlete or if you must eat a starchy vegetable, sweet potatoes are the way to go. However, if you are not eating sweet potatoes and you enjoy the taste of sweet potatoes, we stumbled upon this. Go to Costco. They have this frozen vegetable mix in this giant five or 10 pound bag. It consists of yellow carrots, red carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli. You take that, thaw it out, pop it in the Vitamix with some cinnamon, blended until it is completely puréed. For some odd reason, it tastes like mashed sweet potatoes.
Carrie Brown: I’ve never eaten a sweet potato in my life.
Jonathan Bailor: If you like the taste of sweet potatoes, folks, you can get something that tastes a heck of a lot like it with way more vitamins and minerals and way less starch trying when I just suggested.
Carrie Brown: That is awesome.
Jonathan Bailor: You have to throw some water in there and play around a little bit. It is quite delicious. I enjoy it. Now something that is less appetizing in the Vitamix – as you know, Carrie, I have found and will soon share my supplier of completely grass fed, hormone free, humanely raised, organic beef liver that I have flown in for a very affordable rate. I am talking sub five dollars a pound.
Carrie Brown: I, for one, cannot wait for that. I am desperate for some liver.
Jonathan Bailor: I’m not like Carrie, so I don’t know how to prepare liver by itself and make it taste good. However, we make a meatloaf – this sounds gross, but it really works well – you take a pound of liver and put in the Vitamix with a quarter cup of water and purée and completely liquefy the liver and then added to your meatloaf – liver is one of the most nutrient dense foods in the world. We are talking upwards of huge amounts of vitamins and minerals that are very hard to find in other sources. It is one of those things where it is a natural vitamin pill. It is worth trying to find ways to hide in your food. I never put me in my Vitamix before, so it was an interesting experience that I wanted to share.
Carrie Brown: I think that is awesome, actually. I am very proud of you. Good job sir.
Jonathan Bailor: Now, more mainstream, protein powders. What would you like to say about protein powders?
Carrie Brown: Well, I want to know the difference between whey and casein and soy and all of that. I do have quite a lot of people who are dairy free – whether that is through choice or because they can’t have dairy – and I would like to be able to understand what I can tell them what they can substitute milk whey proteins in my recipes with.
Jonathan Bailor: Well, you made it a bit more challenging for me there, Carrie, because your recipes are more precise. I know you can just swap stuff out. Sadly, I do not feel qualified to say what they can or cannot do to change a recipe.
Carrie Brown: But I can go experiment once you have given me the right direction.
Jonathan Bailor: Yes. So part of the challenge that you will find is plant-based protein powders – the most useful of which are brown rice protein, hemp protein, and pea protein – pea protein, hemp protein, and brown rice protein would be my recommended sources for protein powders for those who want to avoid animal-based protein powders. If your interest is getting the highest quality – the most complete amino acid profile and the most protein – wheyy, casein, and egg white are far superior. It is not debatable, it is the profile. However, they may have more digestive implications. If you have to go vegetarian protein, I would say brown rice, hemp, or pea. I’m not sure about how many flavor options there are out there in pea protein or hemp protein. You will certainly find all kinds of flavors of whey protein and a good number of flavors for casein protein. A little trick is that you can just buy dehydrated egg whites instead of egg white protein. They are essentially the same thing. Dehydrated egg whites have no flavor and can be used quite robustly any time that you would use eggs. In terms of the differences, all vegetable proteins are incomplete sources of protein, which means that they do not contain all of the essential amino acids. We need all of the essential amino acids. That is why you hear of vegetarians doing various food combinations. That holds true for their protein supplements as well. When we talk about animal-based proteins, egg proteins is fabulous for you. Egg whites are perfect. They are nature’s perfect protein. There is a scale called the biological availability – meaning how much protein can your body actually use? – Most of this don’t realize this, but our bodies cannot use all the protein that they ingest. One of the challenges of plant-based proteins is that our body cannot use all of it. It has very low biological availability. We also talk about this with Omega threes. For example, the Omega threes that we get from fish, our body can use very readily. The Omega threes that we get from plants, it can’t. In some cases we lose up to 90 percent of it from our body converting it into a form that we can use. The same thing applies to plant proteins. For example, the protein found in nuts is quite low. Only a small percentage of it is actually being used by our body. Egg whites are the exact end of the spectrum. They are the gold standard against which everything else is compared to. It is like “how pure are you compared to egg whites?”. That is how the scale has actually been formulated. Whey is also very very pure. Casein is also very very pure. The biggest differences – are the only noteworthy differences – are that whey is going to be the easiest to find. It is also going to be the cheapest. It is also the most anabolic. It is going to cause the biggest spike in insulin. It causes a relatively decent insulin response. If you have insulin issues, you should be a little bit careful with it. It doesn’t mean avoid it. If you have to just use a protein in place of food – remember, we are always about whole foods first – I would much rather use a casein or an egg, simply because they are going to digest much slower. They are a little less aggressive — to use sanity terms. They are going to give you a more even distribution of protein over the course of an hour, whereas whey is just like “boom!”, Immediately into your bloodstream. That is why we recommend whey before or after your exercise. Because you want that quick dose. In short, animal protein from a quality perspective is superior to plant protein. That doesn’t mean that plants are bad. Plants are single most important part of the sane lifestyle. That is just a fact. Whey protein digests much, much, much, much faster, and causes a bigger insulin response than casein or egg. Just keep that in mind. Use them for different purchases. If you want to go with a plant-based protein, brown rice, hemp, or pea are preferable to soy. How is that?
Carrie Brown: Perfect. Thank you.
Jonathan Bailor: My pleasure. Hopefully that will empower you to empower others.
Carrie Brown: Thank you.
Jonathan Bailor: Scales. Not fish scales, but what kind of scales?
Carrie Brown: Bathroom scales and kitchen scales.
Jonathan Bailor: Let’s talk about kitchen scales first.
Carrie Brown: You all need to go and purchase a kitchen scale.
Jonathan Bailor: Is this because we are going to weigh our portions to make sure that we are only taking a certain amount of calories? Carrie has gone to the dark side!
Carrie Brown: Oh my goodness, no. No! No! No! For a lot of my recipes – especially all of the baked goods that are kind of scientific – the only way that you can get consistently good results is if you weigh. I am talking mainly to anyone that uses the cup system. Cups are great for liquids, because a cup of liquid is a cup of liquid. However, when it comes to dry ingredients, a cup is not always a cup. The volume is different. Every time you get a cup you will have a different way every time. You are not getting a consistent measure. That’s why in all my recipes, I weigh stuff. Weight is absolute. A pound is always a pound, whereas a cup is not always a cup. In order to get consistently great results, you need to weigh the dry ingredients. That is why my recipes are all in ounces and I am shortly going to add grams. I know there are a lot of people that are metric and not Imperial. That is why. The only way you can do that is by getting a kitchen scale. They have these really cool digital scales which are very flat. You can use any size bowl that you want as the container. You weigh the ball first, and then you zero it out, and then put your stuff in. Most digital scales, you can switch between grams and ounces as well. If you have a recipe that is only in ounces, you can weigh in ounces. If you have one grams, you can weigh in grams. You need a kitchen scale.
Jonathan Bailor: Just a concrete example of where I have personally needed a kitchen scale: I switch from one brand of shredded coconut to a different brand of shredded coconut, and the finer that anything is shredded, the closer it is to a liquid. Less of the space is wasted. The weights of the finely shredded coconut and a cup was dramatically greater than the weights of the more coarsely shredded coconut. Another example of this is if you have ever tried to put a cup of frozen strawberries into anything. Is it three? Is it eight? It is totally variable. If you chop up the strawberries, you will notice that you can fit 2 to 3 times as many in the same cup. It is a brilliant distinction.
Carrie Brown: For all of those reasons that Jonathan has mentioned also, even when I am doing vegetable recipes, I will often give you a weight. Every time you cook one of my recipes I want it to be super successful. The only way we can get that consistently is to have weight. That is why I do it. It is important.
Jonathan Bailor: It is important, folks. Carrie once made an analogy of “cooking is like chemistry”. If you are trying to concoct a fragrance, it really matters what ratio of stuff you put in. It is not an estimation. If you want it to be consistent and predictable and precise and delicious, It matters a lot. Again, do you have to do that? Will it explode if you don’t? No. But Carrie has put the time in to show you exactly what you need to do. I think that is actually pretty cool. Props to you, Carrie. That kind of shows that you care.
Carrie Brown: I do. I care a lot. I do. I want you all to have a fantastic experience with my recipes. You will do better at that if you weigh. I have met a lot of people – particularly Americans, because you were all raised using the cup system – who think that they are all terrible cooks. I don’t think that is true. I think that half the problem is that you have been going on this cup system. You think that you are doing all right, but because the amount of your ingredients is not consistent, you get different results. You blame yourself. You think “I am not a good cook”. I can’t do this. I am bad at it. That is not the problem. The problem is that you are getting inconsistent and inaccurate quantities of ingredients to start with. You can never succeed if those ratios are too far off.
Jonathan Bailor: Given incorrect tools and inappropriate tools, and then getting bad results in being led to believe that it is our fault – seems like it happens all over the place.
Carrie Brown: Exactly. When we were talking about your book, that is exactly the same thing. Isn’t it?
Jonathan Bailor: Absolutely. Also, we could just say “cook smarter.” That is kind of what we are talking about.
Carrie Brown: So seriously, invest in a kitchen scale and use it. You will probably find that you will become a better cook overnight. Right there. It was never about you in the first place.
Jonathan Bailor: Ironically, as much as we like kitchen scales, the other kind of scale you may have in your house – trade scales. Trade your bathroom scale for a kitchen scale.
Carrie Brown: Yes.
Jonathan Bailor: That kitchen scale will help you feel great and look great and simplify your life and free you and liberate you. Your bathroom scale will do the exact opposite. We have talked about this ad nauseum in other podcasts, but I will say again. If you want to weigh less, you have already lost the battle. You have to give that up. You have to give up the desire to weigh less. As long as your goal is to lose weight, you will be subject to being victimized by approaches that are focused on short term weight loss. I will go so far as to say that I believe – there is quite a bit of research to support this – that one of the major causes of the challenges that we face, both psychological and physiological, are because of this false belief that the number on the scale is the arbiter of health and is the arbiter of self worth. I promise you, it is not. It is so noncontroversial in the scientific community now that if you wanted to measure something that has any relationship to mortality, you should measure your waist and you should measure the amount of muscle on your body. Your weight is not indicative. In fact, those who are underweight have a much higher weight of mortality than those who are overweight. Bathroom scale – broken. Kitchen scale purchase.
Carrie Brown: Bathroom scales out, kitchen scales in.
Jonathan Bailor: Please folks, I cannot emphasize that enough. In fact, I would go so far – this is like a challenge – if you cannot stop weighing yourself, you have to get rid of your bathroom scale. Get rid of it. Have the ceremony. Physically break it. Take the physical destruction of it as indicator of the physical destruction and the freedom from that artificial system that has taught you to shrink and be less. It is all about being less. Being smaller. The idea of women having to be smaller is garbage. That is an old model. That is flawed on both a physiological as well as an emotional, moral level. Get rid of your scale. If you can’t do that one thing – I won’t say it’s easy, because I know it’s not – I do not know how you are going to free your mind from counting calories, fearing fat, or avoiding mass quantities of vegetables. Getting rid of your scale is a concrete thing that you can do, and I would argue that you must do if you want long term success. I have yet to meet anyone ever who has achieved what I would call “health and aesthetic serenity” — which means that objectively they are healthy and subjectively they love themselves, — who weighed himself daily. Self-love and health – neither one of them come from the number on the scale. They come from an internal place, and you will not develop that internal place as long as you have a scale. Please get rid of it. I’ll stop talking about it now.
Carrie Brown: Yay!
Jonathan Bailor: I get amped up about that one.
Carrie Brown: Yes you do. But it is good. It is good that you are passionate about destroying bathroom scales. You are as passionate about that as I am about weighing food.
Jonathan Bailor: Stop weighing things in your bathroom and start weighing things in your kitchen. Don’t weigh things in your kitchen because you are watching out for portion sizes, weigh them because you want to be smarter about cooking.
Carrie Brown: I just thought about another great example. I started weighing the spinach in the smoothie recipes. You could be getting half as much spinach as we intended you to get just because you are using a cup and not a scale. I know some people are frustrated because I will not give them a cup, but it is a really good reason that I don’t give them a cup. It is all because I care about you.
Jonathan Bailor: Even with spinach, Carrie, that is a great idea. If you try to take spinach leaf by leaf and put in a cup or mash it down – the scale is not the right instrument to evaluate your body and your long-term health, but it is the right instrument in the kitchen to determine how much of something you are going to add into a recipe.
Carrie Brown: Yes. Absolutely
Jonathan Bailor: Buy a scale for your kitchen to replace the one in your bathroom. While you are doing that, eat more and exercise less. But do it smarter. Chat with you again soon.
Carrie Brown:: See ya!