It's all about balance and eating healthy red meat. If you want to eat great red meat, here's how to get pure, organic, lean meat and some exercise in the process. This works for turkey too, and you get just as much exercise!

I get up in the morning, get dressed carefull, go out into the woods with my bow and arrows (walking is good exercise), climb a tree and sit in the freezing temperatures (toughens me up and burns some serious calories), keep my mind and senses alert for "the" deer to come by, wait for the perfect moment, draw, aim and release.

Zip! Razor sharp death zipping along at 300 feet per second through the chest cavity of a deer. Watch carefully where he runs, listen for him to fall, wait 30 minutes, pick up the blood trail, find him, drag him out of the woods (if you want some exercise, try dragging 250 of dead weight up and down a half mile of hills).

Field dress the buck after weighing it and taking measurements (the 'possums, 'coons, coyotes, buzzards, and crows will thank you!).

Hang him up the barn, skin him (20 minutes), cut off his flanks (20 minutes), debone the meat (20 minutes), wrap it up tight and freeze it!

Grind some into burgers and BBQ some that day. Nothing better than fresh back straps (tenderloins) BBQed that day. Get some fresh corn, some green beans, some potatoes and slow cook it all…

Do some situps and pushups while flipping the meat. Grab a low-hanging tree branch to do some pullups on your way in to check on the vittles on the stove, and on your way back out, do 25 deep knee bends.

Put dinner on table while it's piping hot (too hot to eat).

Dash to the shower and take a three-minute refreshing shower, get dressed and get back to the table within five minutes, just in time for the food to be the perfect temperature.

Eat to your heart's content!

Then go outside, stare up at the stars, and take it all in! Life is so beautiful! And it's ours for the taking!

Charles Pennington extends:

 If and when I need to lose weight, I go on the more extreme version of Atkins diet until the mission is accomplished. Then I return to a steady-state diet in which I avoid bread, rice, potatoes, and most sugar, though I do cheat regularly with things like ice cream and chocolate. Avoiding the bread, rice, and potatoes usually pushes me to substitute real vegetables. Don't be afraid of Atkins's almost no-limits approach to meat. Meat is very filling. I, at least, have no craving to overeat meat, although I could easily overeat french fries, sodas, and biscuits.

It is a pet peeve of mine that there is such an anti-meat and anti-fat-in-food bias out there that is not supported by real science. The Atkins/anti-Atkins divide corresponds roughly with the political right/left divide. The left doesn't like Atkins because it involves eating meat, and they're loath to admit its merits. The major studies that have been emerging (such as a massive study of the diet and health of tens of thousands of nurses) have been showing pretty uniformly that the fear of fat is unfounded, that low-fat diets don't work, and that the extreme Atkins-type diets are effective for losing large amounts of weight.

Hany Saad adds:

I have to agree with Prof. Pennington on this. I have yet to find any scientific proof that red meat is harmful for the human body. Colon cancer patients are automatically advised to stop meat consumption, as are patients with kidney and liver diseases. I looked everywhere for scientific proof but failed to find any. 

Marion Dreyfus writes:

In Mongolia you eat lean meat from the vast tracts. On the mountains in Peru, same thing — lean, absent any hormones or commercial shelf-life preservatives. These people live longer, on average, than city folk, even with reddest of the red meats.

The difference is consuming them fresh, without additives, and eating them from the slopes or the veldt, without hormones or padding from artificial feed. I ate wild game when I worked for a hunting magazine, and that game too had little to contest.

The stomach does work harder to digest the meat, true, but if it is of high quality, it is not the cancer-agent suspect the society implicates so easily. I agree, too, that the research with suitable controls is utterly (utterly?) absent, thus far.

Bruno Ombreux adds:

There are also the Okinawan diet and the Cretan diet. Lots of fruits, vegetables and fish. Little meat. And the French Paradox. Lots of wine, goose fat…

Scott Brooks explains:

Exercise and moderation in diet: that is the key, my dear Professors! That is how I've managed my chiseled physique. You don't get this body by accident!

David Hillman writes:

 Ingesting high amounts of certain carbohydrates causes insulin spikes, often resulting in fat synthesis and deposition. So, bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, sugar and greasy three-pound breakfast biscuits from Hardee's not eaten in moderation are common culprits in weight gain. Red meat, or meat of any sort, and fats, have not been shown to cause the creation of excess insulin and glucose and fat. These scientifically proven concepts are the basis of the Atkins diet.

The best advice is to eat what you want, when you want, in moderate proportions, 4-5 meals per day, exercise regularly, screen preventively for common ailments, drink clean water often, good coffee more often, and great bourbon occasionally, smoke a Cuban cigar a couple times a year, get a hobby, steer clear of the press, wear sunscreen and loose underwear, have frequent sex, and always wear your seatbelt. If you want more complete information about insulin spikes, ask a registered dietician or a professional 'natural' body builder. My experience is they know more about this than the average medical doctor.

Dr. Atkins was generally correct, but that's not to say there aren't myriad ways to eat well, stay healthy, keep excess weight off and enjoy life, or that other plans can't also be a kick start. Many enjoy success with Weight Watchers' point counting system. Or, for $300, NutriSystem will sell you enough food for a month's worth of five-a-day MREs (well, not exactly — they sell you the entrees and in the fine print you're told you have to add your own fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy, etc). The truth is, eating to excess can cause weight gain, not eating enough can contribute to weight gain and not everything works for everyone. You have to determine what works for you and develop smart lifestyle and eating habits.

But the misinformation often foisted upon the public as healthful dietary advice by gurus, government and even reputable sources ranges from misleading to deplorable. Years back I stopped sending checks to the American Heart Association after seeing its logo and 'Heart Healthy' endorsement on a box of breakfast cereal known to have 50% sugar content. "No Fat" proudly displayed. Oh, really? The AHA endorses a product that causes insulin spikes, which in turn promotes excess fat production and deposition?

Excess fat builds up around organs (including the heart, and if you're fat outside, you're really fat inside), hampering proper function. Excess weight that wears at joints promoting osteoarthritis and inflammation. Good thinking. Instead, I now support the American Cattleman's Association through regular contributions made at the butcher shop of the local Piggly Wiggly. Ever seen an obese cowboy? Neither had Dr. Atkins. At least not since Andy Devine.


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