Grease and tighten: How to Get Kids to the Dinner Table

Nov 2, 2009 by

It’s one thing to cook dinner regularly and sit down to it together at the table daily from the start of your life as a family. It’s another to come under the conviction that it’s something you should have been doing all along, when the children are five, ten or 15 years old.

How can we get kids used to sitting down and eating regular meals at the table when they’ve become accustomed to doing things altogether otherwise? Where do we begin?

There’s a Spanish expression, “engrasa y aprieta,” meaning “to grease and tighten,” that describes the proper attitude for the parent undertaking such a major family overhaul. While you restrict and require, you also make it enjoyable. Both parts are needed.

It’s similar to the way logic and emotion work…

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Following the Caveman Part I: The Meat Problem

Jun 26, 2009 by

Royalty free caveman

Though I lost five pounds in my first six days on the Caveman Diet, I don’t think the unintentional weight loss resulted from cutting out the bad stuff alone. I think it was equally due to not eating enough good stuff.  I felt better than usual, but leaner and hungrier.

I recently discovered the Caveman Diet, aka the Paleolithic Diet, or the Stone Age Diet, or the hunter-gatherer diet.  The more I’ve looked into it, the more convinced I’ve become that it’s the optimal way of eating for humans, for life, the way our bodies were designed to be nourished.  The anti-fad diet, it’s the original human diet, as the name indicates. It also appears to be the solution to…

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Perfect Little Shrimp Omelet

Jun 16, 2009 by

An excellent recipe, this little omelet has everything to recommend it: speed, ease, flavor and nutritional value, plus easy on the budget.  It even looked somewhat impressive and elegant. It was a big hit with my family, though their opinions were based on flavor alone.

I liked knowing I’d served a pretty optimal meal, health-wise, with remarkably little time, effort or expense, and without anyone feeling the least bit deprived.  Shrimp is one of the highest protein foods available, and the eggs and fresh vegetables combined to make a meal with all fresh, primal foods—no compromises, nothing processed at all, unless you count the oil. Even the eggs were above average; I’m lucky to get real farm eggs from a friend.


Shrimp Avocado Omelet

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Steamed Tilapia with Crisp Vegetables

Mar 3, 2009 by


This is a super simple, quick and yummy early springtime recipe that I am sure would have intrigued me when I was a kid, with its foil "en papillote" (al Cartoccio in Italian) cooking technique. Heck, I’m impressed with myself now when I use it. It adds gourmet flair to a meal and it’s perfect for delicate fish fillets.

16 thin asparagus

¼ lb snow peas

1 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced ¼ inch thick

1 small red, orange or yellow bell pepper

½ C chopped mixed herbs, such as tarragon, chives, parsley (optional, or do the best you can. It’s not worth spending $2 a piece on fresh herbs at the store)

Salt and pepper

Four 6-oz tilapia or cod fillets

4 T white wine (I buy the small bottles that come in a…

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Cucumbers, Olives, Radish, Arugula and Feta Salad

Jan 25, 2009 by


A caveman-worthy recipe (except for the feta cheese), it includes a vegetable, a root vegetable, a fruit, and a dark green leafy vegetable. All raw.

My very favorite salad based on taste alone, it’s also unbeatably easy and quick, and outstandingly toothsome.

1 English hothouse cucumber or regular cucumber, quartered lengthwise and cut crosswise into ½ inch wide pieces

1 bunch of radishes, quartered

½ lb Kalamata olives, halved

1 bunch or about five oz. of arugula (strong-flavored green salad)

2 T olive oil

1 T fresh lemon juice

1/3 lb feta cheese, cut in little cubes

Combine cucumber, radishes, olives, arugula and cheese in a bowl. Blend oil and lemon juice in a separate bowl, with a little and pepper.

Adapted from Bon Appetit’s…

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