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Friday, April 17, 2015

PETA Uses Kids as Pawns

I think we can all agree that exploiting children to get ahead is pretty low-down and dirty. I figure only the most conniving, manipulative organizations would be willing to target children with propaganda in an effort to create a whole generation of like-minded individuals. 

Would you be surprised to find out that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has been targeting children with animal rights propaganda for more than a decade? I didn't think so.


A graphic image usedby PETA to target children
PETA is targeting their kids and they don't care if you like it or not
Source: Center for Consumer Freedom
The second edition of the Center for Consumer Freedom's (CCF) report, "Your Kids, PETA's Pawns," explores the tactics that extreme animal rights groups use to indoctrinate children using violent and sexualized animal-rights propaganda and protests outside of elementary schools.

Additionally, and this is probably the most sickening, is the blatant use of children as props for their shocking campaigns. The runny icing on this burnt cake is that psychologists and school officials have denounced PETA's actions as "despicable," "traumatizing," "beyond insensitive," and "an absolute atrocity." Does that stop PETA from exploiting children? Not at all. You may recall, I have blogged about their atrocious actions in the past and they appear to have no remorse.

Picture this - you're an average height adult viewing an ad on the side of a bus. All appears normal until your five-year old starts crying saying that the images on the bus are scary. You can't imagine why your child is upset, until you lean down to his/her point of view and find that the imaging on the bus at a child's height level is violent, graphic images of animal abuse. Not cool, PETA. Not freaking cool.

I'm not a parent and I'm furious that PETA is doing this to kids. I can't imagine how parents of children who have encountered this propaganda may feel.

If you want to read the whole report, feel free to check it out here. Thanks to the Center for Consumer Freedom for investigating the shady dealings of manipulative animal rights organizations.

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

Friday, April 10, 2015

Protein Challenge: Week 1 Update

Flank steak
There's a lot more of this in my future. #eatbeef
So for the past 7+ days I have been journaling my food intake to keep track of how much protein I consume on a daily basis. I thought as a meatatarian, I would have absolutely no problem eating 30 grams of protein at every meal, for a total of 90 grams daily.

Boy, was I wrong.

Turns out, breakfast is difficult. Like, really difficult. Even on a protein-heavy day I may only be getting about 20 grams at breakfast, another 15-20 at lunch and then I am trying to amp it up at dinner to meet the 90 (and I'm falling short, often). But I have come to some cool conclusions, thus far:

1 - I am not craving snacks in the middle of the afternoon like I used to before starting the #proteinchallenge. I chalk this up to my increased protein keeping me feeling fuller, longer.
2 - I have gone running seven times since I started the challenge and I can honestly say that I'm running faster than normal. To be clear, I'm not cutting 30 seconds off of my average mile pace but I am noticing that my usual average of 8:45 per mile is now a lot closer to 8:37. I know, you're saying "whoopty do - 8 seconds/mile no big deal." But if you stretch that 8 seconds out over 13 miles it comes out to almost two minutes off of a half marathon! And I even ran at that faster pace while I was in Denver this week, where it was MUCH hillier and the air is a lot thinner (i.e. less oxygen) than in Kansas.
3 - We are running out of yogurt, string cheese and eggs a LOT more quickly than normal.

So, I'm really looking forward to the next 20 days of the challenge and I hope to be able to keep this lifestyle and diet change going long after the challenge is over.

If you want to sign up, you can EASILY do so by clicking here. The challenge is 30 days, starting from the day you sign up. So you could start today, next Thursday or even in mid-May and it would run for the following 30 days.

Who out there is also doing the Protein Challenge? How are you feeling?

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Taking Control with the Protein Challenge!


Today I take control of my race-training and overall health by starting the Protein Challenge. The 30-Day Protein Challenge is a fun, step-by-step way to help you get an optimal amount of protein throughout your day. Significant research shows that some people can lose and/or maintain a healthy weight, support a healthy metabolism, and age more vibrantly when they consume more high-quality protein, within calorie goals.

Since I am extremely interested in maintaining a healthy weight and fueling my active lifestyle, I am stoked to be participating. This may surprise you, but even a meatatarian like myself sometimes has a hard time getting enough protein. Which is why I will be utilizing the awesome tools for the Protein Challenge like the food journal, cheat sheet and on-the-go protein snack idea.

For example, I've already got a start on today by having two scrambled eggs with shredded cheese and a yogurt for breakfast. While delicious, that meal only had 23.2 grams of protein and the goal is to get 30 grams of protein at every meal. This is going to be challenging but fun!
Scrambled eggs and yogurt for a protein filled breakfast
Breakfast full o' protein
I will be blogging about my experiences here weekly (maybe twice weekly, who knows) and how I feel, what I'm eating, etc. I fully expect to feel more energized and, hopefully, improve my performance in some upcoming races!
Medaling at a 5K near my hometown
I have full confidence that my increased protein intake
will have me smiling like this a lot more often!
I encourage you to explore the 30-Day Protein Challenge, and if so inclined, sign up and do it yourself!

What do you have to lose? Nothing.

What do you have to gain? Energy. A healthier lifestyle.

Take control!

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Pounding the Pavement and Inhaling Protein

 10K PR in Manhattan

My feet and legs hurt - I think it's from kicking so much butt by breaking my 10K PR a week and a half ago. Or it could be because I need new running shoes. Either or.

Whatever the reason, I better get them quick, fast and in a hurry since I'm less than a month out from the race Kelly and I are running in Kansas City on April 18. Boy howdy, it's coming up fast!

From last Saturday to this coming Saturday, I'm scheduled to run roughly 35h miles but I'm a horrible traveling runner, meaning I don't do a good job of sticking to my training when I'm out-of-state, so I'll probably be relegated to about 25ish miles. Not bad, but not great.

I'm having trouble deciding/noticing if I'm getting any faster or more resilient during this round of training. I live in a holler among the Flint Hills, so GPS reception is sketchy and at any given time my Nike+ running app could be telling me I've run 1/2 mile farther than I actually have, which [falsely] leads me to believe I'm running 8:15 minute miles for 10 miles straight. Impossible? Absolutely not. Probably inaccurate? Yes.

So while I'm not sure if I'm going to break my PR next month, one thing that I'm certain about is that this girl is getting hangry quite often. Generally after a long run.
Smoked beef brisket
One of my favorite beef meals - smoked beef brisket.
After a long run, which I personally quantify as anything over six miles, I have a noticeable desire for protein, specifically meat. When I say “noticeable,” I mean that I must eat some sort of meat within a half hour or I may chew my arm off to suffice. Sometimes I will eat a few slices of lunch meat to hold me over until I can prepare a full meal or sometimes I will schedule my long runs so that I arrive back at my house roundabout the time my husband has finished grilling lunch or supper, which allows me to dive into a burger, steak or chop almost immediately after my workout. If I don’t get some sort of meat or protein in my system pronto, I feel very sluggish and have a hard time functioning the rest of the day.
Flank steak
Give me all of the flank steak. All. of. it.
Why am I craving protein? Well, that's easy: protein helps support a strong, lean body which is obviously important to me. Furthermore, a high-protein diet helps build and replenish muscles while at the same time providing the "full" feeling meaning if I'm full from steak I'm not chowing down on Cheetos or cupcakes. I get most of my protein from beef and pork but I am also a huge fan of scrambled eggs with ham and cheese and a big glass of milk. I personally believe that breakfast for supper is one of life's underappreciated treats. Actually, I think breakfast food anytime is pretty much the bees knees.

Anyhow, since I have no desire to stop running due to my fondness of my current pant size, I've got to devise a way to get more protein into my system in order to keep the Cheetos and cupcakes out of my system. Those items tend to mysteriously disappear shortly after they are purchased. Weird.

Next week, I'll have a protein update that I'm excited to share, a new meaty recipe and hopefully, some new kicks!

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~



Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: National Agriculture Day 2015

What does agriculture mean to you? Livestock? Crops? People?
 
Hopefully all of the above! Below are some of the pictures that comprise my agriculture experience - they vary from sheep to yak to horses to beautiful hay and wheat fields.
 
Baby lamb in a lambing jug

Checking on a mama cow and her new baby calf

Wind energy on the plains of Kansas

A baby yak

Cattle eating corn in a barn in Ohio

Gathering cattle on horseback in Kansas

A spring wheat field in Kansas

Baby chicks huddled together in the coop during a snowstorm

Also, I am linking to my guest blog over on Food For Thought - hint: it's about agriculture, food and people. You'll LOVE it!

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

Monday, March 2, 2015

Meaty Monday: Smoked Beef Brisket

Hunk of Meat Monday: Smoked Beef Brisket
My Sunday lunch. Sunday supper. And [hopefully] Monday supper.
Holy cow, my Sunday meals were out of this park. Brisket for lunch. Brisket for supper and I will probably have brisket for Monday supper.

I scored a beef brisket at Dillon's on sale - it was originally $8.99/lb but I got it on sale for $5.97/lb so my total 3.4 pound brisket was $20. I'm pretty stoked about the sale on its own but add in the delicious factor of this meal and it's a full on win!

The Ninja is the meat-smoker in the family. I prefer to stick to grilling, frying, baking, broiling but smoking is his major forte. He got a smoker for Christmas in 2013 and hadn't gotten much use of it so it was time to fire that puppy up. But first, let's take a selfie the marinade.

We got this recipe and marinade from the Backyard BBQ: The Art of Smokology cookbook. We used the In Your Mouth recipe, the Brisket Rub II, and the Spiced Brisket Mop. While this recipe is not as simple as many of the others I post, it was scrumptious and juicy and absolutely delectable. I am hoping to have it for supper on Monday night as well. Trust me, take the plunge and do it!

"In Your Mouth" Brisket p. 142
- 1 beef brisket (ours was 3.4 lbs but this recipe will work for a 6-8 lb brisket)
- Brisket Rub II
- Spiced Brisket Mop

Brisket Rub II p. 114
- 3 tbsp. kosher salt
- 3 tbsp. black pepper
- 2 tbsp. paprika
- 1 1/2 tbsp. dry mustard
- 1 tbsp. thyme
- 1 tbsp. celery seed
- 1 tbsp. onion powder
- 1 tbsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tbsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 bay leaf

Spiced Brisket Mop p.190
- 3 cup beef stock
- 3/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. yellow mustard
- 1 tbsp. Asian chili paste
- 1 tbsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. celery seed
- 2 tsp. seasoning salt
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. onion powder/salt

Combine the ingredients together in a nonreactive pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes and remove from heat to cool slight. When using as a mop, keep wamr. Heat flavor can be adjusted by increasing or decreasing the chili paste.

Brisket prep instructions
Trim the brisket of any excess fat. Do not remove all the fat since it helps keep the brisket moist during cooking. Once the fat is trimmed, place the brisket in a large Ziploc bag or plastic container and pour Brisket Mop over the meat. Let marinate for six hours.

After the six hours is up, pat dry and put on the brisket rub. Rub well on both sides and then place brisket at room temp while your smoker comes to temperature.

Bring smoker to about 300 degrees. Place brisket in the smoker and smoke at 225F for 3 hours. Once the brisket has smoked for three hours and formed the bark, start to mop with the Spiced Brisket Mop. Mop the brisket every hour. Cook brisket until internal temp is 165F.* Wrap in foil and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 195F.*
 
*This part didn't take as long for our three-lb brisket. Regardless of the size your brisket, monitor the temp throughout to make sure you are on track.
 
A smoked beef brisket with a flavorful seasoned crust.
Look at the beautiful crust on this meat masterpiece!
Hunk of Meat Monday: Smoked Beef Brisket
The finished product, hot out of the smoker.
I did a poor job of taking photos during this whole process but all anyone cares about for recipe photos is what the end product looks like, right?! I even included a video of the Ninja cutting the brisket.

video


It was juicy. Sensational. Delectable. Absolutely amazing.
 
I hope you have a wonderful Meaty Monday and a great week! This brisket helped fuel my 8 mile run today and will get me through my sore muscles on Monday! If you try it, please let me know if you like/loved it!
 
Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~

Monday, February 23, 2015

Hunk of Meat Monday: Balsamic Beef Roast

When I wasn't huddled around the heater trying to stay warm out here on the arctic plains this past weekend, I was catching up on my Pinterest recipe collection and cooking. I stumbled across what may be my FAVORITE beef roast recipe. Bonus: it called for ingredients I already had on hand and was super easy.

Buzzard's Crockpot Balsamic Beef Roast

Ingredients:
2 cups beef broth
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
~ 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
~ 2 tbsp soy sauce
~ 2 tbsp honey
~ 1 tsp red pepper flakes
~ 4 cloves garlic, chopped

Assemble all of your ingredients, including a beef roast. The amount of marinade will work for a roast up to 3-4 pounds.
Hunk of Meat Monday: Balsamic Beef Roast
Gather your ingredients

Mix together all of your ingredients. Place beef roast in your Crockpot and pour mixture over the beef. Our roast was about 1.25-1.5 pounds and it was the perfect medium-rare doneness after about 2 hours on high. If you have a larger roast (3-4) pounds, you could do 4 hours on high or probably 6 hours on low.

Hunk of Meat Monday: Balsamic Beef Roast
Pour the ingredient mixture onto your roast. Look at all that garlic, yum!
When done, place beef roast in a serving dish and spoon gravy and beef bits over the meat to moisten and infuse with deliciousness.

Hunk of Meat Monday: Balsamic Beef Roast
Robust flavor and so very delicious!
Please, for the sake of all things holy, don't cook your beef to well-done! You only need to cook the roast to 145F!

If you try this one out, let me know how you liked it. We LOVED it - the flavor was robust and the roast stayed very moist. This will definitely be a repeat in our house.

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~