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Episode 16: Camp Nerd Fitness
We’re ba-aack! In this episode, our family chats about our favorite autumn produce, my time as a headmaster at Camp Nerd Fitness, our crushes of the week, and we even answer a reader’s question about how to handle snack time at a non-Paleo preschool.
As always, you can check out these extensive show notes for details and links—so no need to take notes, my fellow nerds!
What We Ate
Lots of tasty fall produce is back in season. I’ve been making spaghetti squash lately because I discovered how easy and fast it is to do in a pressure cooker. (Don’t believe me? Check out the step-by-step recipe here.)
I’m excited to start cooking and eating other winter squash in the coming months—specifically kabocha and butternut squash. Henry’s delighted that persimmons are back at the farmers’ market. There are two kinds of persimmons available here, Fuyu and Hachiya, but Henry only like the Fuyu variety. Fuyu persimmons are kind of shaped like little orange pumpkins, and are best eaten when they’re crisp—they have a texture similar to apples. The kids, meanwhile, are eating lots of Asian pears and pomegranates. Here’s the Persicope video I shot where I tried to gracefully remove the seeds from a pomegranate, but ended making our kitchen look like a murder scene.
The Main Course
I never went to sleep away camp as a kid, but I totally made up for it this year by attending two camps in a matter of weeks. First, I was a happy camper at Belcampo’s Women’s Meat Camp—which you can hear all about in Episode 14—and just last month, I flew to Georgia to teach at Camp Nerd Fitness.
I was an instructor (a.k.a. a Headmaster) at the camp, which is essentially a sleepaway summer camp for self-proclaimed adult nerds. It’s an awesome bonding experience for nerds and geeks who are interested in not just sci fi and comics and video games, but also in upping the game in terms of nutrition, fitness, mindfulness, and all-around wellness.
For those of you who don’t know, Nerd Fitness is a fantastic website that was started by a guy named Steve Kamb, who calls himself the Rebel Leader of Nerd Fitness. Steve teaches fellow self-identified nerds how to level up their lives like in a video game. His site has engaging and informative articles on exercise, Paleo eating, and lifestyle. He’s always encouraging folks to stretch outside their comfort zones, and to do the things that scare them.
When I signed on to teach at Camp Nerd Fitness, all I really knew was that it was the second time it was taking place at a remote camp ground in northern Georgia. There would be 300 campers there, many of them alums of the first camp. Folks would stay in cabins and the four days would be jam-packed with different classes like meditation, weightlifting, nutrition, primal movement, and even swordplay; plus, there would be a steady stream of social activities like hiking, video game tournaments, a camp-long game of zombies vs. humans, and nightly theme parties. And did I mention that everything and everyone would be fueled with Paleo-friendly meals?
I taught four classes at camp: Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner; Viva Las Veggies; Desperation Dinners; and Paleo Out In The Wild.
Here are the recipes and accompanying Periscope videos (if recorded) for each class:
Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner
Desperation Dinners (Watch the Periscope video here.)
Viva Las Veggies (Watch the Periscope video here.)
Paleo Out In The Wild (Watch the Periscope video here.)
- Download the Keynote slides from the lecture here.
If you’re attempting to get your first dead hang pull-up, like me, study this great article written by the Rebel Leader himself. For those of you who want to level it up even further, check out fellow Headmaster Jim Bathurst’s great site, Beast Skills.
Don’t forget to check out Nerd Fitness and Steve Kamb’s upcoming book, Level Up Your Life. If you want to attend Camp Nerd Fitness next year, you can watch the highlight reel from this year and sign up! (p.s. All the photos of camp in this post were shot by the super talented Will Byington. You can see even more photos from this year’s camp right here.)
Crush of the Week
I rediscovered how much I love my microplane rasp grater because I’ve been using it to mince lemongrass, ginger, turmeric— you name it. It’s especially awesome when you’re mincing the frozen version of the stuff I just mentioned. They become flavored snow that melt into your dishes and you get the flavor without the tough fibery parts. If you have one, make a tray of my Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken!
Owen is crushing on Jim Gaffigan’s humorous book, Dad is Fat, and Ollie tells us why he loves watching the cartoon, Bob’s Burgers. Although Henry doesn’t have time to watch the boob tube, he spent two evenings watching the entire Netflix series, Master Of None. I love it, too!
Question of the Week
This question comes from Jennifer:
My son will be in toddler daycare/preschool soon. I have intentionally chosen a place where the kids bring their own lunches so that I can maintain some control over what he eats in a non-intrusive way. But the school offers the usual toddler snacks – graham crackers, goldfish, etc. Is it worth the potential tension and/or complications I would create if I asked the school to limit what kind of snacks he eats? Or do you think this a battle not worth fighting? He has no allergies, I just want him to be a good, healthy eater!
Listen to the episode for our answer! (Spoiler: It depends.)
Thanks for listening to this episode and for your patience in waiting for each new one! I’ve been on a tear with my live cooking demonstrations on Periscope, and I answer viewer’s questions, too. So download the Periscope app, follow “Michelle Tam”, and ask your questions while I cook!
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Looking for more recipes? Head on over to my Recipe Index! You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPad® app, and in my New York Times- bestselling cookbook, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel 2013).