Hi everyone! As you know – I have been busy working on my ebook so I have some guest posts from some up and coming blogs for you to check out. Today we have one from DJ who blogs over at DJFoodie. He has an amazing story to share!
Not Your Average Ordinary Everyday Fat Bomb
I’m a man who did it wrong for a very long time. I grew to over 350 lbs. by eating carby garbage (carbage?) in the form of pizza, pasta, doughnuts, submarine sandwiches and candy bars. I’m not entirely sure how those nasty habits developed, but – they developed, likely as a result of convenience. Believing I had become diabetic (but afraid to go to the doctor), I began researching how to control my blood sugars. By reducing my refined carbohydrates, I not only immediately began to feel better, but I also lost weight, quickly. I lost near 30 lbs. in the first month, alone.
Food is made up of 3 primary macronutrients: fat, protein and carbohydrates. If one of these is dropped (ie. carbs), the other two likely need to be increased!
The USDA states that upwards of 65% of total daily calories should come from carbohydrates. It is my personal opinion, that this stance is total bunk-poppycock. They also recommend as low as 20% of the calories coming from fat. Fat is also calorically dense, having 9 calories per gram, whereas protein and carbs have only 4. This means that 20% of the day’s calories actually add up to less than 10% of total foods eaten, by weight. That’s not a lot of fat!
Having been an individual that was eating within that approximate range, I’ve seen firsthand what can come from reducing that carb percentage to less than 10%, while also dramatically boosting my fat intake. Without changing the quantities of foods or calories consumed, I’ve lost near 150 lbs. over the course of the past 3 years and feel like a completely new man. When I did eventually go to the doctor, I was told that I was not diabetic. Whew!
The big change for me was a change in ingredients. I still eat full and healthy portions. By no means do I starve myself. And, in fact, previously I always felt hungry and “wanting”, whereas today I feel satisfied, unless I actually do need some more fuel for the ol’ fire.
Today, I eat mostly whole real foods, fruits (mostly berries), lots of greens and other veggies, dairy, meats and loads of healthy fats.
Granted, everyone is different. What has worked for me, may not work for you. We’re all out there looking for our “sweet spot”. I’ve seen some that thrive at 90% fat, 9% protein and a meager 1% of carbs. I’m often asked what my sweet spot is. I’m still searching, but I tend to have a philosophy: eat a delicious variety of healthy foods, with a focus on restricting refined carbs, like sugars, grains, potatoes, corn and rice, while enjoying just about everything else under the sun, without feeling limited in any way.
It should be said that there are also those that function perfectly well within the USDA’s guidelines (although, I confess to not fully comprehending how that’s possible).
All this said, I do feel that there’s a shift in consciousness occurring and I’d like to discuss “fat”.
Fat is good. Fat is flavor.
Fat is not to be feared, no matter what you may have been told … your whole life.
However, not all fats are created equal …
Good fats come in the form of: olive, flaxseed, palm, avocado, coconut and other nut oils. Animal fats are also quite healthy: butter, ghee, lard, tallow, poultry fats, etc.
Bad fats come in the form of: margarine, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, manmade trans-fats often found in things like butter flavored “spreads”. Other highly processed oils like canola, corn, vegetable and soybean should be avoided.
Fat bombs are anything containing a significant percentage of fat. Many things qualify as a fat bomb, such as a straight full fat cream cheese or a handful of macadamia nuts. I tend to think of a fat bomb as anything which is around 85% fat, or more.
After reading about the enormous benefits of coconut oil, I began finding way to incorporate it into my daily routine. I would cook with it, add it to my coffee, use it for making refrigerator chocolates, etc. One of my favorite methods was to make a Ginger Spiced Fat Bomb. This was an emulsion of cream cheese and coconut oil, blended with a natural sweetener, fresh ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. When it cools down, it resembles the texture of cheese cake and is an absolutely wonderful way to end the day!
When discussing this guest post with Lindsey, we rattled off a few topics. Somehow the topic of “fat bombs” surfaced and I mentioned I had a few for desserts. She asked me if there were savory fat bombs. I thought about it and said, “Sure! You could make them the same way, but swap out the fats for something a little different, add a bit of cheese and you have a savory fat bomb. What would you say to an emulsion of cream cheese and bacon fat, with bacon, parmesan cheese, garlic and fresh herbs? She responded, “That’s it! Make that! Then, I’ll try it with my Kefir Cream Cheese!”
Now, before we get into the rich and indulgent recipe, let’s discuss “why” someone would want a fat bomb. Doesn’t fat … make you fat?
First of all, no. Fat doesn’t make you fat (that said, too many calories will add up and cause weight gain, but … we’re not discussing “excess”).
Here’s a list of 10 reasons why you might consider making fat bombs part of your routine:
- Your brain is made of primarily fat and cholesterol. Starving your brain of fat removes its ability to function properly. Fat can remove “brain fog” and increase clarity.
- Improves cardiovascular system. Reduces lipoprotein (a) and increases HDL cholesterol and the HDL:TC ratio, while leaving LDL mostly unchanged.
- Contributes to weight loss.
- No storing of excess fat in the liver. Will also help protect the liver from booze and some medications.
- Healthy fats provide quality energy. Fat is the densest form of energy, at 9 calories per gram (more than double carbohydrates or protein)
- Increases sense of satiety, especially within a diet comprised of few simple sugars. A small fat bomb can satisfy for several hours. Because of this satiety, overeating “fat” becomes uncomfortable and unlikely.
- Builds stronger bones. Saturated animal fats help calcium more effectively be incorporated into bone. No osteoporosis fears!
- Quality nerve signaling. Many fats function as signaling messengers which influence metabolism, including the release of insulin.
- Boost immune system health. Fight against cancerous cells and infectious invaders!
- Fat helps the absorption of the nutrients in other foods, such as leafy greens.
- One more: fat is flavor!
The following recipe is very high in fat. When it is freshly made, it reads as a mayonnaise … or more technically, as an aioli. When it chills, the cream cheese and bacon fats firm up, resulting in something with a lot more texture to it, the flavors gel, and a deep flavor emerges from the smoky bacon, slightly nutty cheese and the tarty tones from the cream cheese. Sticks to your ribs!
Because I recognize this quantity of fat is likely to be alarming for many reading this, I’ve also included some Homemade Hazelnut-Parmesan Crackers in the final photo. This allows the fat bomb to serve more as a dip, which might make it a little easier to go down. That is … until you fully embrace the idea that fat is good!
Bacon Herb Cream Cheese Dip aka Savory Fat Bomb
- 1 cup kefir cream cheese or yogurt cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 cloves garlic (or Homemade Mommy’s fermented garlic)
- 1/2 cup bacon fat, room temperature (must be as cool as possible, without solidifying)
- 1/4 cup bacon bits
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped (where to find spices)
- Salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste (where to buy salt and pepper)
Add the cream cheese to a food processor. Run the processor to loosen up the cream cheese. Add your garlic cloves, as well as some salt and pepper (not too much salt, as the cheeses and bacon are already quite salty). Run the food processor.
VERY slowly, pour a thin stream of liquid bacon fat through the hole in the top of the food processor, until it is fully incorporated. A slow thin stream is necessary, as it decreases the chances the emulsion will “break”. This process can be done with a whisk, but can be a lot of work.
Place the contents of the food processor into a bowl.
Add the remaining ingredients and fold into the mixture. Divide into 6 smaller portions and refrigerate. Much like peanut butter off a spoon … Enjoy!
A Bit About Me
I’m a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, in Hyde Park, NY. I have worked under some of the best chefs within the United States: in New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles and Vail, CO. While I am extremely able to create food, I somehow missed the lesson on “eating” food. For me, it was anything, anywhere, at any time. In early 2010, I had ballooned to 352 lbs and was certain I’d developed diabetes. Life wasn’t good. I read a book promoting a real food, mostly raw, mostly vegetarian diet, at a time I was willing to listen. This started a journey, which has taken me through a variety of eating styles.
Since then, I’ve lost a total of 142 lbs. I am still losing, but slowly. In the interim, I have gained more than I could have ever imagined.
In response to the ubiquitous question, “How’d you do that?!” … I have started a blog, located at DJFoodie.com. My blog is devoted entirely to that question. 200 recipes strong, with a new one added daily, I share my adventures in the kitchen and my life in a lighthearted and humorous manner.
Today, I eat copious amounts of bacon, loads of meats, vegetables and a wide assortment of other ingredients. I focus on lower carb, but also focus a lot of interesting cooking techniques and creative flavor combinations. Regardless of your food preferences, there is a lot of quality information that can be applied to your own food preferences. Take what works … and leave the rest behind!
Come check me out and say, “Hi!”