Lamb Shoulder and some Thoughts

Per my previous post, I told you I was going to share some thoughts/ideas that came to me when I was in Amsterdam (Holland).

Overweight people are practically non-existent. Besides from being one of the most densely populated countries in the world, the Dutch hold the record as the tallest nation in the world at the moment. so perhaps with all that height, they “hide” the weight better. In reality there are a few other factors at work I think. For one, it is a “colder climate country”. It’s speculated that when it’s cold you can eat a bit more food and get away with it. The body uses calories as a fuel for the internal heater to keep you warm. Next, the Dutch are ACTIVE. It is a country of bicycles and from a young age everyone rides their bicycle daily to get around. For many, this does not stop when they get older, I would even venture to say that the majority of the population rides their bicycle daily, well into old age. (many people will never own a car in their lifetime)

Portions; well folks no surprise here, the portions are just plain smaller. I have often tried to point to people here Stateside, that our portions are completely out of whack. As an example, lets look at the size of a sandwhich.  A sandwhich here is so big that it will easily satisfy a male standing 6’1, weighing in at 200 pounds. Yet that same sandwhich is eaten by everyone. So do you think that portion is appropriate for a female standing 5″4 weighing 125?  In Holland, its not uncommon for large males to eat two small sandwhiches.

Eventhough the trend is changing, traditionally people in Holland go out to eat for special occasions. Unlike here where so many I know eat out 4 days a week or more for lunch and dinner. It’s also easier to keep those portions smaller, as the trend to use big plates, big glasses and big cups has not taken a hold there yet.

Which leads me to coffee. Do you know how many mugs you can fill with a grande coffee? I’ll tell you. It’s 2. That’s a lot of coffee. I believe that coffee is supposed to be comsumed in small quantities. The flavor needs to be strong, but the portion small. If you look at cultures where coffee has been a staple for a long time (think Turkey for example) it was traditionally drunk from small containers. I think there is a clue there to coffe consumption. Jeff Erno just did a little coffee experiment that he documented. Zen to Fitness also had a guest post about coffee . I’m curious if anyone tried an experiment with just drinking less coffee. I know from my personal experience that a large mug of coffee doesn’t really agree with my internals. But a small strong shot of espresso, is just fine and doesn’t effect me negatively.

Even though people in Holland might drink 2 or 3 espresso’s a day, the quantity of those “shots” would fill a quarter of a regular coffee mug here. If you then realize that many folks drink 2 “cups” a day here and think that they are doing good….it gives you something to think about. What’s your mileage with coffee?

These are just some speculative thoughts obviously.

I know I had promised you all a free ebook. I have just been a bit bogged down with work lately, and I’m not 100% satisfied with it. So, as a thank you for your continued support of my blog, I will share TWO recipes you have not seen before here.  First is a really yummy lamb shoulder slow cooked in the oven.

Lamb shoulder is an affordable cut. Prepare the following way. In about 2 tbspoons of good quality butter, add 1/2 teaspoon of cumin and 1/2 teaspoon of coriander. If butter is not salted, add some salt to taste. Now take your butter and spice mixture and rub it all over the piece of lamb. Next smash about 3-4 cloves of garlic per piece of lamb. Add the garlic and next add some fresh rosemary. pour in just a bit of water so the bottom of the pan is covered and cover with foil. If you have a nice oven pan with cover (Le Creuset for example), go right ahead and use that. At 325-350 degrees and about 2 hours and 15 minutes later and you are left with one fall of the bone, fork tender piece of deliciousness. I took about two spoons full of greek yogurt and added a dash of olive oil and chili paste to it. Mix it together and it is a nice added touch to the lamb.

I’m still “learning” wordpress. So this picture format is a bit different. I’m not sure I really like it. Also the picture of the “fork with a piece of meat” somehow snuck in the gallery and I couldn’t delete it……yet.

Next post I will show you a very unique way of making “Primal Sliders”.

9 comments for “Lamb Shoulder and some Thoughts

  1. October 17, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Hi, welcome back. I am back on the blog track too.
    Anyway great observations. I remember seeing and loving all the bicycle parking lots near train stations etc in Holland. Ah, we also just returned from an Israel vacation visiting the family too. I also noticed there that the “Americano” coffee is only enjoyed and drank by the tourists not the natives. I gave up coffee a while back so it didnt have any impact on me though.

    • October 18, 2010 at 1:38 pm

      Hi Sarena,

      Glad to have you back!
      Hope all is well with you!

      Marc

  2. October 13, 2010 at 2:23 am

    Caffeine is an interesting topic. I think it is largely variable from person to person, some of us being more robust when it comes to tolerance to caffeine.

    This can also change with how stressed the body is, take for example intermittent fasting, working out and a strong coffee all together may make someone shaky and restless/agitated. Yet if they had a coffee after a large meal as a digestive it would have little or no impact except to slightly lift mood and boost digestion.

    So there are a load of factors to take into account. Saying this my rule is that if you can tolerate coffee, enjoy it but don’t overdo it. Plus stick to the best purest stuff you can find. Organic Espresso are great or milky based coffee made with espresso shots.

    Filtered and drip coffee can pack a pretty hefty caffeine kick that not all of us can tolerate…..

    Thanks for the link and keep up the great blogging, always been a fan!

    • Marc
      October 14, 2010 at 6:12 am

      Chris,
      Salient points. It is for sure a personal thing and this is where you need to dilligently practice self experimentation.
      I’ve enjoyed your blog also over the years very much.
      Have a great day!
      Marc

  3. October 13, 2010 at 1:07 am

    We were utterly intrigued by the cycling in Amsterdam. Everybody was on a bicycle…it seemed so cycletopian! Loved the idea, though I was too much of a coward to try it myself (the same sort of “I’m going to kill someone who knows what they’re doing because I don’t” that keeps me off the ski slopes). Lamb is fantastic right now in autumn, isn’t it? No worries on the ebook, we’ll still love ya.

    • Marc
      October 14, 2010 at 6:15 am

      CYCLETOPIAN!!!! That is brilliant, forgive my ignorance….if someone else coined this word, but for ME, it will forever be yours Natalie.
      What is your background/education? were you in pr or advertising? your writing is plain incredible!
      And thanks for still loving me 😉

      Marc

      • October 14, 2010 at 10:06 pm

        You make me blush, sir. To answer your question, Mm degrees, such as they are, are a 2 year vocational one to become a Medical Laboratory Technician, to pay to put myself through university, which resulted in a Anthropology BA. Aaaaand now I’m a Mom.
        I can’t claim ‘cycletopian’ to be mine with any degree of certainty…I came up with it in the moment but I’ll bet I read it somewhere. Regardless I’ll give half creative credit to a lovely half bottle of shiraz that was accompanying my online time… 🙂 Thank you for the lovely compliment, you are a gentleman and an inspiration.

  4. October 12, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Very interesting observations you’ve made! I don’t know if the cold climate arguments is so strong (there are colder countried like Russia where many people are overweight), but portion sizes are definitely a crucial factor, as well as activity throughout the day.

    • Marc
      October 14, 2010 at 6:17 am

      Kath, very good point. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Maybe the russians drink more? 😉
      Seriously though…that’s why I’m just speculating and giving all these things some thought….I enjoy thinking about them.
      How’s the new apartment treating you?

      Marc

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