Sunday, May 18, 2014

A story about bulletproof coffee and homemade tofu



Owen in daycare, 2001. One day I turned up and Sandy, who ran the daycare out of her home, tried to explain to me what they'd all just eaten for lunch. It was a struggle for her to pronounce the words and for me to understand, but I finally got it: pork blood.
1. THE BULLETPROOF COFFEE



Ten days ago at the gym I learned that some of the trainers put butter and coconut oil in their coffee. I’d never heard of such a thing and as soon as I got home, googled it. So-called bulletproof coffee turns out to be a trend among people on Primal and Paleo-style diets. It involves blending single-origin, wet-processed coffee, grass-fed butter, and coconut oil to make a drink that supposedly keeps you calm, energized, nourished, sated, mentally alert, and slender. The inventor claims to have raised his IQ by more than 20 points after adopting a lifestyle that includes this coffee. Make up your own minds, friends. To me, he sounds like a snake oil salesman, but that didn’t diminish my interest in trying his snake oil. 



I bought the ingredients at Whole Foods, where the fancy coffee cost roughly $20 per pound and the pastured butter $8 per pound. It’s not cheap, raising your IQ. 



Tuesday morning, I blended the concoction in the Vitamix for 30 seconds to emulsify the fats. Mark was appalled and would divorce me if I made this a habit, so I won’t. Also, a Vitamix is too loud for 5 a.m. But bulletproof coffee turned out to be delicious, mellow and rich. My lips were soft and buttery for hours afterward and I was pleasantly full all day, despite eating virtually nothing. I also had abundant energy to execute my second culinary project of the morning, which was to make tofu. 



2. THE TOFU

Recently, someone gave me a bottle of nigari, a brine extracted from sea water that the Japanese use to curdle soy milk. I bought soybeans at the health food store, pulled out Andrea Nguyen’s superlative Asian Tofu, and set aside an hour to make tofu. 

Here’s the gist of tofu: Soak soybeans, grind them with water, briefly heat. Strain, forcing all the liquid out of the ground beans. Now you have soy milk. Cook this for about 5 minutes, add some nigari, and pour into a mold. This can be anything from a dedicated wooden tofu mold to a sieve. Weight down your tofu with whatever you have around (cans, little barbells, stones) for 20 minutes. Lift the weights and you’re looking at a block of tofu, cheap, humble component of the Chinese diet for at least a thousand years. The yield from 12 ounces of dried soybeans was a pound of lovely tofu, which hardly seems possible. Huge success.

3. MY TOFU IS VILIFIED!

That afternoon at the gym I mentioned my tofu to the trainer who’d told me about bulletproof coffee. She grimaced and said, “I used to be a vegetarian and ate lots of tofu, but now I wouldn’t touch the stuff.  Soy is one of the big GMO crops and tofu is so processed.” 

I wasn’t about to debate GMOs at the gym, but I couldn’t let her second criticism pass. I said, “Having just made it, I can tell you that tofu isn’t very processed." 

True? 

Yes and no.

4. SEMANTICS

Which brings me to my frustration with the term “processed food” used as shorthand for things like Pringles, baloney, Uncrustables, and instant pistachio pudding.

According to the dictionary, to process means to “change or preserve by a series of mechanical or chemical operations.”  Tofu is clearly a processed food. So is steamed broccoli. Grilled steak? Processed. Bulletproof coffee is extremely processed as it requires processing together coconut oil (processed), butter (processed), and coffee (processed several times). If  you won’t touch tofu because it’s processed, you'll  need to stay away from bulletproof coffee too.

But of course the processing isn’t really what’s objectionable about “processed foods.” What’s objectionable is the fact that cheap, inferior, artificial ingredients are used to cut costs and extend shelf life, sharply diminishing the flavor and nutritional value of a given product. A better term (thought not perfect) might be “adulterated foods.” Both a homemade chocolate chip cookie and a Chips Ahoy cookie have been processed, but only the Chips Ahoy cookie has been adulterated.

Unfortunately, the term “processed foods” is here to stay and I’m just going to have to live with it. 

Getting back to my story: Is tofu a food that has been processed? Yes. Is it a “processed food?” No. 

5.  POOR OLD TOFU

I’ve been thinking a lot about the “I wouldn’t touch the stuff” exchange. I like and respect this trainer and didn’t take offense, though I admit that for a few minutes I felt like I’d been caught wearing acid-washed jeans and listening to ABBA. No wonder this poor middle-aged lady can’t do a pull up. She still thinks it’s ok to eat tofu!

I do think it's ok to eat tofu. There are valid reasons some people avoid it (allergies, plant estrogens, distaste) and it's true that there's probably too much soy in the American diet. But that's not because we’re stuffing ourselves with bean curd. I came home from the gym wistful on behalf of old tofu, thrown over by all the cool people for sexy, expensive grass-fed ribeye steaks and bulletproof coffee. I picture tofu like the nice grandmother who carried baby Owen around on her back for a couple years when he went to the Cantonese family daycare. I picture bulletproof coffee like a hot biker in Spandex. He’s a lot more exciting, but can we really trust him? I mean, where was he when people were
were really, really hungry in 19th century China? I'm sure folks would have loved to start each day of crushing toil with a big cup of pastured butter, coconut oil, and top-quality caffeine.

But tofu was there. Tofu has pretty much always been there. And after her centuries of stalwart service to humankind, is it really becoming for wealthy Westerners to talk smack about the old gal and kick her to the curb? Poor old tofu. You’re not perfect, but I’ll still touch you.

53 comments:

  1. The other day I did 20 pull-ups, and guess what we had for dinner? Tofu. There is some creep in our neighborhood that is also a personal trainer, and he's always riding around without a shirt. He is ripped, and I am sure when I see him at the farmer's market he's probably buying grass-fed beef, but all I can think is "what a tool."

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    1. Those trainers do look awfully good!
      Did you see "Neighbors?" Pretty funny watching Zac Efron get topless with Seth Rogen.

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  2. I read "adulterated food" as adulterous food, which could also work I think. Pringles are, in fact, what I cheat on "real food" with. Adulterated food is a great term though, I will spread the word.
    I'm so impressed that you made tofu from scratch, that is definitely on my bucket list. I still love tofu, although I only buy the pretentious organic kinds now. Natto is also on my bucket list, have you ever tried making it? (Actually have you eaten it? Eating it once is before making it on my kitchen-bucket list.)

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    1. I have never eaten or made natto. I will have to investigate. If there is a canister of Pringles around I will eat them. I remember my lucky school friends used to get these perfect, tidy stacks of Pringles in their lunches. I was sick with envy.

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  3. So, according to my environmental studies prof (a.k.a. dad), the soybeans used for animal feed are indeed questionable, but this is not true for the soy used for tofu (that is, enjoy your tofu guilt-free). Just sayin'. :)

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    1. I bought the soybeans at a very serious health food store, but there was no special note on the bag, so I'm pretty sure they weren't organic.

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  4. I've recently been shamed into limiting my family's tofu intake to once per month. People have so many bad things to say about it and they don't hold back. I miss it. Maybe I need to start making my own.

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    1. I used to feel like I should be eating more tofu and less meat, now I feel kind of weird about tofu, not to mention pasta and bread. I even used to wonder if I should be drinking soy lattes! Everything's been turned upside down.

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  5. Oh, FOO! I have a lot to say about this, and I am going to say it! As someone with a medical background who has read extensively about this in research journals, I feel comfortable expressing my opinion. Paleo diets are just a variant of Atkins and before that the Physician's diet. Yes, you lose weight on them because they limit carb intake, which has been established as the way most people gain and remain overweight. But no real food should be verboten, as real food is all good in moderation. I like that term - real food. Pringles are not real food, but manufactured food, and they are tasty. I doubt they hurt us in small amounts. But maybe an excess intake of Pringles is what has decreased the American IQ about nutrition! Gym rats are not all healthy, even if they look fabulous, and they have a tendency to follow fad diets, one of which is Paleo. I have eaten Paleo, and like Atkins, you will lose weight until you go back to eating a lot of carbs. I limit my carb intake because I think they are bad for me in excess, and I gain weight when I eat too many carbs. Remember when everyone said butter was a killer? Eggs? Coffee? I am old enough to remember all of that and more. I also think bulletproof coffee is a fad. I intermittently fast (IF) because I believe it is good for me, helps me remain resilient, and improves my overall health. IF is based on scientific evidence. Oh yeah, THAT. When I do IF, I will take a tablespoon of coconut oil in the morning if I don't think I can make it comfortably to afternoon before eating. I get the same effects as you do with bulletproof coffee. It is the fat and caffeine that dampen the appetite. Coconut oil and coffee without sugar will do the same thing. If you like it, it won't hurt you, but it doesn't provide any magical effects that the ingredients separately don't give you. Tofu is real food as well. I don't think eating a lot of soy is good, but I don't think eating a diet that is heavy on one type of food is as healthy as eating a variety of real foods. All this posturing about food is just an embarrassing first world issue that really makes me crazy. A great deal of what is purported to be so healthy or unhealthy is just some notion that someone has had and repeated to others with great authority. As Micheal Pollen says, eat real food, not too much, mostly plants. It's that simple. It's elitist nonsense and demeaning to people who cannot afford high quality food to say that you would not touch what they eat. In spite of that, I eat the best food I can afford because I enjoy it, and because I think it improves my diet because I am more apt to make better choices when I eat high quality produce and meat. But I wouldn't think of telling others what they should be eating nor insulting what they eat. OK, I'll shut up now. Sorry for the rant. Oh, and Jennifer, I really admire you for making tofu, and I hope you enjoy your healthy homemade food when you eat it.

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    1. P. S. Don't ban me from the comments on my favorite blog. I won't do it again.

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    2. I loved your rant! My thoughts exactly. I've become increasingly bothered by what you call "elitist nonsense". I'm all for high quality, real food but also realize there are plenty of people out there who have neither the time nor the inclination to make everything from scratch or follow the latest fad. l think the prevailing attitude alienates people from making simple, real food choices because there is so much confusing and contradictory info out there. Yes, people who have allergies and intolerances should avoid certain foods. The rest of us need to lighten up and quit preaching about what goes in our neighbors grocery cart or on their table. Life is stressful enough. I could go on but you and Jennifer already said it... Thank you!

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    3. Well said, Beckster. I think real food vs. manufactured food works perfectly as the description of the issue and Jennifer you are so right about what "processed" means. Processed is just vague enough to include any food anyone would choose to vilify. Rant on, ladies - it is always enjoyable to read you.

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    4. I recently read a fascinating post on this topic that offers some perspective on how "real food" is very difficult to define and this definition changes based on the person, time, and circumstance. Just thought I'd share in case anyone was interested!

      http://www.fatnutritionist.com/index.php/real-food/

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    5. Oh, Beckster, you can do whatever you want here! Intermittent fasting. Do you fast all day? For several days? It was great not to feel at all hungry or tired after that bulletproof coffee.
      Auntie, you are correct that there is so much contradictory information. I am often very confused. Should I be eating grass-fed meat? Or lentils? The answer is probably both.
      Thanks, Hilary.
      Maggie -- I loved that! What a reasonable, humane post. Thank you for linking.

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    6. Right on!

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    7. Thanks, Jennifer, I didn't want you to think that I was nutty nuts! When I do IF, I fast overnight after dinner until about 1pm, which ends up being about 17 hours. When I first started, I fasted 19 hours a day, daily. I did that for about 6 months, and I literally transformed my body, losing a lot of fat, but not a lot of weight. I know that sounds crazy, but it's true. It also gave a lot of energy in the beginning, probably because I had a lot of reserves. Later on, it made me tired, so I have learned to listen to my body. I weighed about 135 when I started, now weigh about 125. If you eat a healthy diet, even when fasting, it is a great way to maintain a reasonable body weight without chronic dieting, which doesn't work for many people. There isn't a lot of sound information about IF, but if you are interested, I think this BBC Horizons episode covers all the science and different styles of IF.
      www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01lxyzc (Cut and paste, for some reason I couldn't get the link to work.) By the way, the Perfect Health diet people taught me how to cheat without interrupting the fast by eating coconut oil. IF is not for everyone, but it's not nearly as daunting as it seems when you first start. Thanks again for tolerating my rant.

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    8. Very interesting. Do you take the coconut oil with coffee? The one thing I really liked about that bulletproof coffee was that I didn't get that jagged, starving feeling that comes when I drink coffee with whole milk. The feeling I have right this second.

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    9. Normally, I now drink coffee with cream, whipping cream that is. It has the least amount of carbs, is a pretty good appetite suppressant, and enables me to drink coffee without sugar. When I want to fast longer, I take some coconut oil if I need it. One of the most valuable things I learned from IF is what real hunger feels like as opposed to habitual eating. There is no doubt that hunger is the best sauce! Everything tastes fabulous after fasting for a while.

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    10. I couldn't get the video to play on the BBC link, but found other BBC stories. They describe a diet that involves days of normal eating interspersed with days of fasting. It sounds like you just did 19 hour fasts every day -- and then ate normally for the other 5 hours?

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    11. I'm an eejit, I gave you the wrong link. Try this one: http://www.documentarytube.com/eat-fast-and-live-longer-bbc-horizon-2012
      I fasted 19 hours a day every day, then ate what I pleased, within reasonable limits, 5 hours a day. This was originally called the Fast Five plan. I admit that the first week was hard, simply because I was preoccupied about not being able to eat all the time. When I let go of that and got busy with my normal schedule and my body adjusted, it was pretty easy most days. Your metabolism definitely needs to adjust, just as it does when you limit carbohydrate intake. The other variations are fasting 2 days a week for 24 hours or fasting for several days in a row. I tried fasting for 24 hours, and I just felt deprived and pitiful when I did that. And I really believe that fasting over several days is not prudent without medical supervision. But, the good news is that you don't have to do that to get good results. I think the type of fasting people choose is based on their lifestyle and preferences. It works best for me to just prolong the fast in the morning since the majority of my fasting occurs when I am asleep. Some people actually prefer to eat breakfast and fast until breakfast the following morning, but that sounds difficult to me since it involves fasting too long during waking hours, and it requires fasting during dinner. If you feed other people, I think that is a no-go, but skipping breakfast and eating a late lunch is doable on my schedule as it really doesn't alter my daily routine. The real plus is that my daily eating schedule has altered long term. I never want to eat before 10am, which in effect, limits my calorie intake on a daily basis since I don't try to make up for it later in the day.

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    12. I saw a show on PBS with a BBC reporter (same guy, I'm sure) on intermittent fasting. I was intrigued, but then I read something online saying the research supporting it was primarily from experiments for male subjects. According to this writer, the results from studies of women fasting were far less compelling. I haven't looked into this further, but you seem to be up to speed on the subject. Any thoughts?

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    13. I just watched that show today and also want to know more, Beckster. The guy (affable, not fat, just normal size -- has to be the same one, Jessica) made it seem do-able and the effects were dramatic. I was ready to start fasting right away, except I'd already eaten breakfast.

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    14. I am not a doctor, but a nurse, married to a physician. I am well read about nutrition and metabolism and experienced in fasting. I am not qualified to treat. I guess I am making a disclaimer, "your results may differ" statement - LOL. I am aware of the negative information regarding females who fast with poor results, particularly those who eat Paleo and fast, specifically that they may have glucose tolerance test changes. I am not aware of any significant differences in how the sexes metabolize carbohydrates. However, I think it would be a very bad idea for anyone to severely restrict carbohydrates and intermittently fast. I think that approach requires the body to make too many changes simultaneously by changing the fuel source and its availability. I really enjoyed eating a moderate carbohydrate load at the end of my fast for the blood sugar lift. More important to me is the strong evidence in longitudinal studies of POWs and other mixed sex populations that show calorie restriction (voluntarily or involuntarily) results in greater longevity and less chronic disease. I encourage anyone who wants to try fasting to educate themselves about the effects and go slowly. It requires adjustment, and some people will just never be comfortable with it. You have to be in the right state of mind before you begin, and you must pay attention and learn to listen to your body. A little discomfort should be expected in the beginning, but it shouldn't make you feel sick. If it does, you need to go more slowly. I practice moderation in all things since there is no absolute information about health and diet. Everyone is different, though very similar. I suggest to anyone who wants to try fasting to begin by pushing their eating back an hour or two a day until they are able to fast at least 12 hours. Some research has shown that autophagy does not begin until after the 12th hour. Oh, and everyone will tell you that you are killing yourself. I learned to stop telling people I was fasting. It scares them to death. I would go to the Y for Zumba while fasting, and everyone would watch me as if I was going to drop dead any minute. By the way, I am 63 years old and reasonably healthy, just to give you a reference point. I began fasting because there is evidence it helps with depression management because I have seasonal affective disorder.
      As I said before, there is not a lot of depth to the information in the popular press. When you start looking, you will see lots of information repeated word for word by different people referencing one article. And it is becoming a fad, which I think is unfortunate. I think the people who have the most success are the ones who go into it hoping for some fat loss over time and a general improvement in health. Those who use it purely for a diet, i.e. rapid weight loss, are bound to be disappointed. Rapid weight loss does not include much fat loss but water and muscle weight loss, and is not sustainable over time. IF is a lifestyle choice, not a quick fix, although I did lose about 8 lbs. over the first month I did it. If you want to learn more about nutrition, I recommend Gary Taubes' book Why We Get Fat. People argue about whether some of the details in his book are accurate, but I think the information is sound, evidence based, and very valuable for those who want to understand the American diet and why we are getting fat as a population. The Perfect Health Diet is also a good reference and includes some information about IF. For IF information, I recommend Brad Pilon's Eat Stop Eat website. (I do not IF his way.) I have not read his ebook, but he did his thesis on fasting, and he provides a bit of that information on his website. Joel Furman, MD, has written several books about fasting, and he fasts some people who are gravely ill with good results. I think it is an individual journey, this fasting thing. It certainly has not decreased my love of eating! It has made me appreciate every bite, a lot of those bites coming at the recommendation of this blog!

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    15. Thanks, Beckster. I'd never read or heard anything about intermittent fasting until yesterday and that guy on the BBC documentary was so normal and reasonable and the results were so striking, it caught my interest. Also, you seem very normal and reasonable. It's so hard to make sense of all the nutrition information out there. And once you start it messes with your head. I will check out the sources you recommend.

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  6. I love love homemade tofu although I have never made it. Morimoto's restaurant here in Honolulu (the iron chef guy) makes homemade tofu tableside at the restaurant and charges $20 for it!

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    1. Tableside tofu? I will have to look that up.

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  7. I enjoyed your writing. While there are things that I avoid just because I think it's better, safer and healthier to make my own than to buy outside (I also believe that making your own improves cooking and baking skills ;), there are things that I try not to "overthink" if I buy it. One of the things is tofu. The tofu that I often buy has quite reasonable price (I just found out that there is label "non-GMO" on the package). I have been having baked tofu regularly these past few weeks. Honestly, there are things that I do not understand about avoiding lots of things like tofu. I believe that its (+) outweighs (-). It's a shame that tofu, which was glorified in the past as nutritious food, now was avoided.

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    1. I know. Total turnaround on tofu. I was thinking how funny it is that 20 years ago people wouldn't eat ma po doufu because of the pork and today they won't eat it because of the tofu.

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    2. Oh, but ma po tofu is the best! I eat it over rice, too, which is another vilified ingredient. I will fight for my white rice, because I am too lazy to wait for brown rice to cook!

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    3. Isn't there some new theory that white rice is better? I think I read that. I grew up on brown rice and just can't bring myself to make it as an adult.

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    4. Your post has inspired me to try making my own tofu! Speaking of mapo tofu, here's my version.

      https://food52.com/recipes/28373-mapo-dofu

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  8. I also have witnessed the back-and-forthing about tofu, and haven't known what to think. When someone tells me eggs are bad I know they are crazy and not to be heeded, but since tofu is not an indigenous food to my culture I don't know where my moorings are. I am thankful for another perspective.

    I have also heard that soy must be processed in some way to yield benefits, but again, don't know what the truth is. I love steamed salted edamame beans but was scared off by the idea that they might be giving my sons breasts and my daughter a mustache. Someone be my edamame sensei!

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    1. I read a piece on the Weston Price web site which would have you believe that Asians don't touch unfermented soy products. It was such a bizarre piece of writing -- so completely and demonstrably false -- it made it impossible for me to take anything else that was said against soy on the site seriously. I'm no food scientist, but it seems that there are good reasons to avoid eating too much soy, but edamame and tofu now and then? Not the same as soy lattes and soy milk on your cereal every day, with soy burgers for dinner. People in China have been eating unfermented soy for centuries and it seems to have worked ok, reproductive systems clearly intact.

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    2. Andrew Weil is my soy sensei. Like a sane person, he advises eating traditional soy foods in moderation and avoiding soy supplements and other industrially produced soy products. (Shall we say industrially produced instead of processed? I just came up with that.)

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    3. I like "industrial produced." That works for me. (Dr. Weil also gave a cautious ok to bulletproof coffee.)

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  9. Your second to last paragraph is golden. Love it!

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  10. I generally don't eat tofu but a Japanese acquaintance once took me to a restaurant in midtown Manhattan { it kills me that I didn't think to write down the name and I have never been able to find it again} where we ate homemade tofu in some kind of fish broth with shaved smoked bonito flakes on top. It was absolutely exquisite.

    That coffee sounds just appalling but being full all day sounds wonderful. I make a decidedly non Paleo coffee drink in the summer that consists of powdered espresso, milk, a dash of cardamom, ice cubes, and sugar, buzzed in the blender. I once offered some to a pair of teenaged British girls who were staying with me, and they promptly threw their cups of properly brewed tea down the sink and demanded refills. They both bought blenders once back home "so we can continue the tradition." That's me, destroying hundreds of years of British culture, one Frappuccino at a time.

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    1. You should try the butter coffee, just to see, especially since you already have a good blender. It was a lot better than it sounds and that sated, energized feeling -- I could use that more often.
      Tea. Blecch. I try to make myself drink green tea every afternoon and it's always a struggle. One day it's going to take. Right?

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    2. Is it from a bag? Green tea from a tea bag is just nasty. I wouldn't bother, personally. I've always felt it was a very bad idea to eat or drink stuff just because someone told you it was healthy.

      I actually adore black tea and drink it all the time, but not without a hefty shot of milk.

      I read the article you linked to about making the butter coffee, and I was exhausted and depleted just reading about all of the special things I'd have to procure to make it! Yikes! Did you actually run out and buy special coffee and butter, or did you just use what you had in your cupboard? I'm hoping it's the latter, and if it isn't don't tell me.

      My secret to staying happily energized {but hungry} is contra dancing.

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    3. Green tea is a struggle and perhaps I will give up. It was one of those things I decided I had to do when I read one of my mother's anti-cancer books. The two big takeaways were green tea and turmeric, neither of which comes naturally to me.

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  11. The minute I read the description of bulletproof coffee, I thought of yak butter tea. According to the travel books I've read, for the full experience the yak butter tea should include a hefty pinch of yak hair. Fiber, you know.

    I've been weary of food fads ever since the oat bran craze hit in the mid-80s. I'm also so weary of being told foods are good one day, bad the next, that I don't even pay attention any more. I just eat what I think is healthy and minimally-processed. I would certainly never consider tofu to be processed, any more than cheddar is. My concept of processed food is ingredients that have been reduced to small bits and stuck back together again with modified food starch, flavored with salt, and preserved for long shelf life. I like the distinction of real food versus manufactured food, that's a good way to think about it.

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    1. Oat bran. I remember that like it was yesterday. I try to block out the noise, but some of it always seeps through. Decades of eating bread without any butter and now the butter is ok, but not the bread. Exhausting.

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  12. I think the original Bulletproof Coffee just used butter (grassfed.) I thought it sounded disgusting and it immediately made me think of yak butter tea, as Sobaka said. But someone posted a picture of it on the article I was reading a year or so ago and I literally leapt up and made it on the spot. The butter was emulsified with the coffee and formed kind of a creamy head in the photo--I had always pictured a slick of greasy melted butter on top of the cup whenever I'd heard of butter in coffee. It was delicious! I have since tried the coconut oil version but I didn't like the coconut taste in my coffee. Nowadays I make myself a Nespresso americano with heavy whipping cream and it tends to make me full for a few hours.

    Remember Snackwells? Fat-free sugary sweet cookies that were so healthy because fat = evil? My sister still thinks this way. At a restaurant recently she shot me the evil eye when I (innocently) informed her young son there was a cheeseburger on the kids' menu. She wanted him to order pancakes for lunch. Her rationale was that there was too much saturated fat in a hamburger. Better to pour high-fructose corn syrup over a stack of bleached flour, powdered egg and hydrogenated oil.

    I'm impressed that you made tofu! Does this by any chance mean you're writing another book?

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    1. Pregnant with Isabel in 1996, I used to take the same long walk every single day and my treat at the end of it would be a packet of Snackwells at Walgreens. I think there were 2 cookies per packet. The worst.
      No new book. Tofu was just for fun.

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    2. Kerrygold butter is available at Trader Joe's for a pretty good deal, and, like all Irish butter, it is pastured. When I lived in Ireland, Farmer Hickey used to bring his herd down to the field adjacent to our house every morning, where they would nosh on grass all day. The Irish dairy system enables small farmers to keep cows and bring their milk to a local processing center every day (in little aluminum trailers), where it is pasteurized and packaged, then distributed. My visiting friend always commented on it, saying Irish milk tasted like it came from contented cows. But truly, I don't think your bulletproof coffee would be less satisfying were you to use ordinary butter.

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    3. Just the words "Irish butter" sound dreamy.

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  13. You are one of my favorite writers. Every time I pop in to catch up, I think, she just gets it, and she puts it in words that I wish I could. Great comments here too.

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  14. One of the more confounding things about the recent vilification of carbs is that they are all foods which kept countless generations of people alive, across cultures: corn, potatoes, rice, wheat, pasta. And tofu. While I certainly respect personal decisions to avoid certain foods, to renounce them as "unhealthy" strikes me as ignorant and entitled. It's a great luxury to refuse food.

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  15. Loved this post. Made me gurgle and (almost) want to make my own tofu. But I need to tackle sauerkraut first. Thank you for the lift!

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  16. Abandoning standard lurker mode because my immediate response to this post was: I love her! (I know, you wish that was your kid. I feel you.) I love
    the tone you set - as we say in my tribe it's very hamish. Also appreciate your respect for all the cooks & eaters who may not be in a position to enjoy playing with their food the way that some of us are privileged enough - myself very much included - to do. Finally, if you're looking for ways to up your turmeric intake, try Louisa Shafia's recipe for turmeric chicken - delicious!

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  17. Okay, sounds like we are all in agreement. Now let's talk about Gluten! Har.

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  18. Reminds me of that old joke:
    Doctor: Eat seaweed. It'll make you smarter.
    Patient: Ack! This tastes like crap!
    Doctor: See? You're smarter already!

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