Marshmallows, Pizza, Chocolate, and Eggnog?

Hey folks!

I’ve been sharing several videos over on Instagram these past couple of weeks. I’ll aim to do a weekly recap here on the blog, but to get in on the discussion as these roll out be sure to follow me on Instagram at @dasrobbwolf.


As important as the #7daycarbtest is this is a technique that is used AFTER making a decision about what to eat. How and why we choose certain things to eat is remarkably important and simple tweaks in seasoning and preparation can and will dramatically change the palatability (flavor and experience) of a given meal or food. Today I’m looking at the marshmallow for a bit of insight into palatability and how easy it is to dial the appeal of a food up or down. Before we get into that: For the folks who are purists and would not be caught dead eating a marshmallow, that’s all well and good but don’t let your predilections prevent you from getting a valuable lesson. I’m not saying marshmallows are highly nutritious nor am I advocating ANY schedule of consumption. Have them or not, I don’t care, but I do want you to get how easy it is to alter the palatability of something like a marshmallow and how much impact that can have on spontaneous portion control. Ok, legal disclaimer out of the way, let me ask you this: How many room temperature marshmallows can you eat before you say “i’m good.”?? I doubt it’s very many, they are sweet and gummy, but otherwise pretty unappealing. Now, what if you toast the outside to a golden brown? I think it’s safe to say you can eat much more. Let’s look at that golden brown marshmallow: a crispy, crunchy exterior that has a TON of different flavor. Once you get through the outer layer you have a creamy, hot core that is damn tasty, and typically a little glob of marshmallow on the stick that remains relatively cool. With a bit of heat and patience you have taken this uniform piece of spongy sugar and turned it into at least 3 different palate experiences. Now, what if you added in the crunch and slight saltiness of a graham cracker? How about melt some chocolate into that?! I don’t think anyone would argue they can eat more total volume in a smore than any of the individual items. My suggested take-away from this is not a specific prescription, it’s awareness. Be aware of how simple flavor tweaks can alter consumption and you are on the road to understanding how you are #wiredtoeat

Navigating Pizza Night for the carb tolerant and carb not-so-tolerant!

It’s Pizza night at the Lazy Lobo Ranch! We do gluten free crusts for the girls and a phenomenal breakfast sausage based crust for yours truly, the carb intolerant XY member of the ranch. We tend to use pretty traditional toppings for the pizza with the exception of goat cheese. Everyone in the family seems to have problems with cow cheese (and yes, I’ve tried them all, grass fed, raw and milked by the Dalai Lama himself…it’s not a good fit for us, trust me). This meal is not only Delish it’s a good illustration of how we try to manage both the immunogenic potential of food but also the blood sugar response. I don’t handle the carbs from the gluten free crust, none of us do well with cow dairy. Easy fixes, no “deprivation”. By using the #30dayreset and #7daycarbtest you can figure out what works best for you too. #wiredtoeat

Chocolate and palatability

Today we are looking at a little experiment in palatability using…#chocolate Before I get into that I want to make a quick point: Although I’ve looked at things recently like marshmallows and gluten free pizza (and now chocolate) I’m not becoming a junk-food advocate. What I AM trying to do is reach those people for whom “good eating” is not generally a thought. I’m trying to build bridges from the less than ideal to the “much better.” We don’t need perfection, we need incremental improvement. If I catered everything to only the “paleo purists” I’d not really be doing much to help the millions of people facing serious health problems as a consequence of our industrialized food system. Ok, that legal disclaimer aside, let’s talk chocolate! I have four examples here that amount to 50g of effective carbs. The 90% chocolate requires THREE BARS to get that amount of carbs, but along the way provides nearly 45g of prebiotic fiber and a bunch of polyphenolics. It’s pretty nutrient dense stuff, particularly for a candy bar. It takes just a bit over 1 bar of the other options (one cereal based, the other salted toffee…YUM) and only 8 of the Cadbury mini-eggs. Now, the story is not solely about carbs, calories do matter, and there is certainly more cals in the three 90% bars than in the other options, but can YOU eat three of those? I can’t. I could easily eat about 5 of the salted toffee bars, which would be 200g of sugar. What I hope you take away from this is we do not need to live a life of privation to reach health and body comp goals. We can make choices like the 90% chocolate which provides a remarkable amount of nutrition, tastes great, but does not seem to have the same hyper-palatable characteristics as the other options. Can you think of someone that could benefit from making a simple shift like this?

Dairy: all or nothing? 

Let’s talk a moment about dairy. Some people scream “it’s not paleo!!” Others shake their heads and tell us that so long as the dairy is raw, grass fed and hand milked by the Dalai Lama it’s all good. In my experience, reality exists somewhere between these extremes and not surprisingly, is fairly individual. Most people assume the only potential issue with dairy stems from lactose intolerance. Unfortunately, this is but a tiny consideration of dairy. Many experience either direct immunogenic (dairy is a common cross reactor in celiacs for example) problems with dairy, or as Nicki describes in the video an indirect effect. Dairy is really good at making little mammals into BIG mammals. Part of this effect stems from the natural growth factors found in milk. Another wrinkle is that dairy tends to stimulate the release of IGF (insulin like growth factor) and EGF (epithelial growth factor…which is the cause of the acne Nicki describes). Fermentation can alter this story to some degree, butter and ghee do not tend to have the same effects due to the low protein content, but again, this varies. I’ve noticed serious acne from cow dairy, yet I can eat, with reckless abandon, goat and sheep dairy. Some folks love to make topics like this a black or white affair. Dairy is good/bad. End of story. Just a bit of digging and experimentation calls into question either of these extremes. It depends. There are tradeoffs. For Nicki she has figured out she’d prefer to have clear skin when she might be in a bathing suit or tank top. In the winter, who cares? I see a lot of folks with autoimmune and or gut issues benefit from dairy avoidance. It’s not a big deal to experiment and discover what the story is for you and it’s worth the time as the benefits may be profound.

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