Misc

For those of you who remember my Caribbean Sticky Wings recipe from last year, I jumped into the world of pellet grills about 18 months ago. Before then, my longtime grilling setup had been three-fold: a charcoal grill for direct-heat grilling, an electric smoker for low-and-slow BBQ, and a gas grill for consistent temperatures with minimal effort. After getting acquainted with that first pellet grill, I decided to sell my electric smoker and gas grill because the pellet grill provided the consistent temperature I like to rely on during recipe development, as well as low-and-slow temperatures for exceptional BBQ (see: my 3-2-1 Smoked Ribs recipe); I kept the charcoal grill on hand for high-heat direct grilling.

Recently, the team at Camp Chef offered to send me one of their new Woodwind 24 WiFi pellet grills, which seemed to be a significant upgrade to my current grill. So I thought I’d take a moment and run you through my impressions.

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Hi everyone, starting today I’m reducing the price of The Heritage Cookbook from $14.99 to $9.99 — consider this my early Black Friday gift to you. This will be the new price point from here on out, so don’t worry about this discount expiring. This price reduction applies to all three electronic versions of the book: PDF, Kindle, and Apple Books formats should all now reflect the new price point.

I’ve also made some adjustments to each format — the PDF version is now an exact copy of the limited edition print version that I shipped last month, and all versions also sport the watercolor painting cover you see above.

If you’re having trouble deciding which format to buy, consider where you’re going to use the book. If you plan on using it on your home computer, the PDF is definitely the version to get (this version can also be ported to your phone or tablet if you’re tech savvy). If you primarily use Kindle or Apple Books to read your eBooks, then I would get one of those formats. The Kindle version has adaptive text, so you can adjust the text size on the fly; the formatting isn’t very pretty but it’s a very useful feature. The PDF and Apple Books formats are fixed, which means they reflect my intended page layouts.

Here is a link to the eBook’s landing page, where you can read more about it (and gaze at some tantalizing photos). Or you can use the buttons below if you want to just buy the darn thing already. Let me know if you have any questions, and happy reading!

also available on:

Hi everyone, my friends at ButcherBox are offering a deal that I thought would interest you – for today (November 1st) only, they’re offering a free turkey plus $10 off any new signups with their program. The turkey is 10-14lbs, all-natural, and animal welfare certified — and will ship right to your home in time for Thanksgiving.

We’ve been using ButcherBox for several years now. They ship monthly curated boxes of 100% grass-fed beef, free-range organic chicken, heritage breed pork, and wild sockeye salmon. You can customize the box for specific types of meat (like an all-beef box), or even customize which cuts you want to receive. Each box ranges from 9-14 lbs, which is enough to feed my family of four for at least a week (but often more). I like the program because we can decide whether to be surprised with new cuts of meat that challenge us to come up with new creations, or fall back on our favorite cuts — all conveniently shipped to our door.

Click here to sign up, and be sure to enter the code “TURKEY10” to get an additional $10 off. The turkey deal will be available until November 15th, but the $10 off code will only work today (November 1st).

Wondering what to do with the turkey when it arrives? I have you covered with my Simple Roast Turkey recipe (also featured in The Heritage Cookbook).

Looking for accompaniments? Check these out:
Cranberry Sauce
Basic Mashed Potatoes
Devilish Eggs
New Brunswick-style Potato Stuffing

I’ve received a few questions concerning the Table of Contents for The Heritage Cookbook, which is completely understandable. There is a lot to digest. Since the book covers such a variety of topics, it’s difficult to summarize all of its material in a sentence or two; I wish I could promote the book by saying “just do this one trick and all your health woes will disappear!”. But that’s never really been my gig in the first place — nutrition is exceptionally complex, and therefore there is a lot of nuance in the book.

So let’s walk through how the book is laid out. It took me several months (and many mistakes) to figure out how to make it flow just right for the reader, but I think it falls into place fairly well now. (Please note that the page numbers reflect the PDF version of the book.)

Chapter 1: Who We Are
Introduction // 21
Discovering Your Heritage // 33
My Ancestry Journey // 35
Genealogy Research // 43
DNA Testing // 46

In this chapter, I discuss my personal journey in discovering my family history and traveling to some of my ancestral homelands. As part of my book research, I spent a couple years investigating my genealogy, and undergoing a number of at-home DNA tests. I compiled the results and present each service’s pros and cons so that you can decide whether you’d like to do the same.

Chapter 2: What We Eat
Basic Dietary Principles // 55
Human Genetics and Diet, in a Nutshell // 56
Plant and Animal Foods: Now vs Then // 59
Plants, Meat, and Gut Bacterial Genes // 63
Macronutrients and Micronutrients // 66
Commonalities and Staples Across All Cultures // 69
Examples of Genetic Variation // 73

Here, we set the foundation of historical eating patterns, and how genetics can influence your dietary health. Topics include the disparity between historical and modern foods, and our microbiome. Additionally, we discuss common staples across all traditional cultures, and examples of genetic variation (specifically how the genes LCT and CSN2 interact with dairy).

Chapter 3: Our Collective History
A Brief History of Humans and their Migrations // 80
Our Recent Evolutionary Past // 86
Genetics and Race // 90
The Data: Cultural Representation and Annual Food Consumption // 90
Europe // 97
North America // 112
Latin America & the Caribbean // 123
Africa // 135
Middle East & the Mediterranean // 146
Central & South Asia // 160
East Asia // 175
Southeast Asia & the Pacific // 187

This chapter is where the rubber meets the road: we’ll look at the history of humankind, from our appearance as a species to the migrations that placed us around the globe. From there, we’ll look at some genetic adaptations that developed as we encountered a variety of environments, and discuss the fundamental flaws of using skin color to assume genetic diversity. This chapter also explains how I calculated cultural representation to define our common ancestry groups, and which data I used to get an idea of traditional eating patterns. Finally, we’ll look at each major region of the world, and break down their cultural history, historical foods, meal customs, staple food groups, and recommendations based on all of the above.

Chapter 4: Plants
The Origin of Cultivated Plants // 198
Plant Fat and the FADS Gene // 201
Starchy Roots & Fruits // 203
Breads & Grains // 248
Rice & Beans // 315
Vegetables // 391
Fruits & Sweets // 462

This is the first of two chapters that include The Heritage Cookbook’s recipes. This chapter highlights all things related to plants, including the origin of our modern crops, and how some of us are better adapted to digest the fats found in some plants. As with the following (“Animals”) chapter, each section contains a history of the food group, its historical consumption rate for traditional cultures, and recommendations.

Chapter 5: Animals
Animal Fats and the LCP Gene // 491
Red Meat // 495
Pork // 584
Poultry & Eggs // 630
Fish & Seafood // 697

Like with the Plants chapter, the Animals chapter breaks down major food groups from a historical perspective. We also investigate genetic adaptation to meat (and animal fat) consumption.

Chapter 6: Putting it All Together
In Conclusion // 758
References // 770
Acknowledgements // 787
About the Authors // 789

Finally, we put it all together to briefly cover some lessons learned from the book, and provide an exhaustive list of references if you wish to keep digging into the research.

That’s it for now – if you have any questions, let me know in the comments below. See you next Tuesday, with another recipe from the book.

Click here to learn more about the limited edition print version!

click here for the digital edition:

also available on:

Hi, sending out a quick note to let you know that my friends at ButcherBox are running a deal where new customers receive a pack of BBQ favorites – baby back ribs, 2 lbs of ground beef, and 2 NY strip steaks – free with your first box (and in addition to everything else that comes in it!). This is a pretty great deal, and much better than what they usually throw in for new customers.

We have enjoyed our monthly ButcherBox package for the past couple of years now: they ship 100% grass-fed beef, pasture-raised chicken, heritage-breed pork, and wild-caught sockeye salmon directly to your door. They offer two main types of boxes – the first is a mixture of cuts selected by the team to help get your creative juices flowing (which comes bundled with recipe cards!), or an a la carte box where you can pick exactly what you receive. They also have two different sizes so you can customize your box to meet your family’s size. We like the value of ButcherBox (it comes out to less than $6/meal per person) and the fun of opening a box of new surprises each month — plus they let us specify the type of meat we want each month (all beef, or beef + chicken, and so on), which makes their service even more user-friendly.

Click here to learn more about their service and to sign up. This deal ends on Monday, June 10th (midnight PST), and please let me know if you have any questions in the comments below — happy grilling!

A few readers have asked whether The Heritage Cookbook should be considered a Paleo or Primal book, like my previous two books.

While I didn’t deliberately tailor the book to any specific diet, the fact that the entire book relies on whole ingredients means that it is mostly adherent to many popular healthy eating trends. Flipping through the 303 total recipes in the book, I count 176 (58%) that are naturally Paleo or Primal friendly without any major adjustments, and the majority of those are also Whole30 compliant (you may have to omit or substitute a bit of butter, honey, or alcohol here and there). If you consider white rice to be okay, that’s another 26 to add to that list (so a total of 67%). Finally, 175 of the recipes are also low in starch and sugar, making them Keto or low-carb friendly. The rest of the recipes either feature some amount of traditionally-prepared corn and/or beans, or call for gluten-containing grains.

The presence of gluten in the book may throw you off, since this blog is 100% gluten-free. I continue to avoid gluten in my diet, but this is a good example to help describe the foundation of The Heritage Cookbook. The book investigates how genes affect our interactions with certain foods – including those that contain gluten (wheat, barley, and rye). Cutting out entire food groups can undermine the principle of the book, in that people with specific ancestry may be at an advantage to eat the historical ingredients of their ancestry group(s). But that doesn’t solve the issue we have with food interactions today outside of genetic predisposition – for example, my ancestors have a long history of wheat consumption, but learning that fact doesn’t make me able to eat wheat again without any adverse effects. After all, dietary reactions are the result of many factors, and genes are only one of those factors–albeit a very fascinating one! And since gluten reactions are one of the most prevalent digestive issues Americans face today, I made it a point to include gluten-free substitutions in every recipe (except a couple that specifically rely on bulgur or durum/semolina wheat).

Given the sheer volume of recipes in the book, another way to look at it is that these numbers nearly justify a cookbook of their own. For example, most Paleo cookbooks feature less recipes than the 176 that are found in this book (and same for the 175 keto recipes!). So there is still a lot of value to be had in these pages – and we haven’t even started talking about the 200+ pages of genetic and nutritional research, food history, and cultural observations found within the book!

So to recap:
58% of the book is Paleo/Primal friendly, and most of those are Whole30 compliant
67% of the book is Paleo/Primal + white rice (e.g. Perfect Health Diet) friendly
99% of the book is written to be adaptable to gluten-free
58% of the book is Keto or low-carb friendly

In answer to this article’s main question: is this book Paleo/Primal/Gluten-Free/Keto-friendly? I would say yes. But also no (way to make a decision, Russ). I’m not marketing it as aligned to any specific diet for a reason – and honestly, the variety of traditional foods found in our ancestral diets lean more towards eating a bit of everything around you (provided they are made from scratch and in a traditional context) than to eschew entire food groups. And that context matters; nowhere in the book do I call for someone to use wheat products (or really, any food product) as their main source of calories. Instead, I encourage the reader to eat along historical trends. Take a look at this graph below:

This indicates the changes in poultry consumption from the first year that global figures were calculated (1961, a time when more people were eating traditional foods than today), versus 2013. You can see that the landscape of food consumption has changed significantly over the past 52 years (I approached it as two generations, since generations are typically calculated as 25 years). An American looking at modern consumption trends around them may assume that eating 70kg/year of poultry meat is totally normal, but in 1961 the average was more like 17kg/year. Same goes for ingredients like corn, beans, and wheat – at the very least, the 1961 figures are a better indication of historical eating patterns than 2013 figures. But the key will be to look at the historcal eating trends of your ancestral origins. Are you an American of Italian origin? In 1961, Italians ate only 5kg/year (a little over 11 lbs, or 22 8oz servings a year!)–a far cry from the 70kg/year consumed by contemporary Americans.

And that’s one of the many insights and tools you’ll find in the book to help you figure out the best diet for your unique heritage.

More to come in the following weeks! And don’t forget that you only have until June 30th to grab a physical (hardcover) edition of The Heritage Cookbook!

Click here to learn more about the limited edition print version

Hello everyone. After several years of research, writing, and designing, I’m ready to release my third cookbook. It’s called The Heritage Cookbook, and it combines genealogy and genetic testing with nutrition and cooking. The book is both a comprehensive dive into ancestral nutrition, food, and cultural histories, and a massive cookbook with 300+ historical and traditional recipes from around the world.

The digital version of The Heritage Cookbook is available for purchase today, with a variety of options. The simplest option is a PDF version of the book, which can be enjoyed on any home computer, tablet, or smartphone. If you prefer to read your books on Kindle or Apple Books, I created those versions as well. I designed each version from the ground up, so they all look pretty great no matter which format you prefer. All digital editions are $14.99 each.

Initially, I was going to limit this book to digital formats only, because it’s nearly too big to print (780+ pages!), and I am no longer affiliated with my previous publisher, so I don’t have the resources to print and distribute physical copies through bookstores or Amazon. But after a lot of positive response from friends and family, I’ve decided to do a special, limited edition print run of the book.

Here’s how the hardcover edition will work:

  • I’ve set up an online store at TheHeritageCookbook.com, where you can pre-purchase the hardcover book for a limited time period (now until June 30th).
  • At the end of the ordering period, I’ll compile and send my order to a small, US-based printer; however many books are ordered is how many books I will have printed.
  • I’ll then personally sign, number, and ship each book by hand with an expected October 2019 delivery date.
  • Shipping is included in the price and you will also get an instant download link for the digital (PDF) version of the book, so you can enjoy the recipes immediately.


The hardcover book price is $60, and I have to limit shipping to US and military (APO) addresses only, but I am positive that the stunning hardcover copy and included perks (free shipping, digital edition included, signed and personalized) make this version truly special.

This limited edition version of The Heritage Cookbook will only be available for purchase between now and June 30th. After that, they’re gone forever! Click here to read more and to purchase a copy for yourself. I’m especially excited about the hardcover’s unique cover, which is taken from a beautiful, custom painting made by one of my favorite artists, Martin at Continuum Watercolors. The physical version will also be the same dimensions as my previous cookbooks (although much thicker!), so they’ll all sit nicely on the same shelf.

If you’re not able to purchase the physical edition, never fear: the digital edition contains all the same content, and is super convenient to take with you on your phone when grocery shopping. Be sure to visit the digital edition landing page to see some more pictures from the book!

I think this is a really neat way to wrap up this chapter of my life. I really hope you love this book as much as I have enjoyed writing it. I think that the recipes you’ll find in The Heritage Cookbook are by far the best I’ve ever written, and the photos are the best I’ve ever taken–I’m very proud of this book. If you have any questions, I’ve also made a handy FAQ page that has all sorts of information. Or leave me a question in the comments below. Enjoy!

click here for the digital edition:

also available on:

Click here to buy the limited edition print version

Hello everyone. You may have noticed that I haven’t been on social media, or posting to this site, for the past few months.

In February, right around the time of my last posting, a friend of mine took his life. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time I’ve grieved for a fellow military service member under these circumstances; suicide is a tragically prevalent occurrence among active duty and veterans. But Bryan’s passing really pulled the carpet from under me. I had visited Florida just a couple weeks before he took his life, and we had excitedly chatted about his next assignment, which was going to require him to be in top shape. “Let’s meet up soon to talk diet stuff”–his last words to me.

I’m still processing this grief: I am equal parts angry, bitter, and saddened. Our final conversation was left unfinished, the perfect metaphor for all the relationships severed by his one, ultimately cruel, act. But the best way for me to work through this frustration has been to retreat from social media, and use that extra time as an opportunity to strengthen my bonds with those around me. I’ve always been a private person (this whole “blog” thing really unexpectedly blew up on me), and so it felt right for me to step away for a while.

At the same time, I was becoming keenly aware that my online presence is missed, and so I decided to jump on to let you know that I’m fine, and I’ll be back soon. I’m in the revision stage of my next cookbook; we had to go back to the drawing board a bit, but overall I’m very happy with how things are turning out. The good news is that I trimmed out quite a few recipes from the book, and so I have plenty of new, excellent recipes to share with you once I get back into the swing of things. It’s going to be a bit longer still, as I also have some work-related travel over the summer.

Thanks for sticking around, and for your patience, and I’ll be in touch soon.

Russ

Big news, everyone! I’m officially opening up public recipe testing for my next book, which will be called The Heritage Cookbook. I expect the cookbook to be released in 2018.

This book will focus on recipes developed to align best with your individual heritage and DNA ancestry results. As such, I’ve developed recipes from all over the world, highlighting the unique ancestral makeup of the US population (and giving similar consideration for readers living in countries with historically high immigration, like Canada and Australia). This book is a massive undertaking (300+ recipes!) and has taken over two years to put together – I’m excited to see how you like it!

Here’s the lowdown:
** Follow this link to choose a recipe and complete the submission form.
** Within 48 hours, my lovely wife Janey will email you the recipe plus a link to our feedback form.
** Please test the recipe and submit feedback by January 28th!

I’d love your help in sharing the word about this new book! Definitely share photos and your thoughts with family and friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and feel free to use the hashtag #heritagecooking. I only ask that you keep the actual recipes to yourself, since the final product may change before the book publishes.

If you are on Facebook, please consider joining The Heritage Cookbook Facebook group. There are over 3,400 members in the group, and we’ll be using this platform to share more info, respond to feedback, and answer any questions you may have.

Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you for your support, and enjoy the food!

*** Allergen information: please note that because this book is closely tied to genetic studies and food history, there is a likelihood that some ancient items native to a specific region (wheat in the Middle East, dairy in Europe, or corn in the Americas) will be included in recipes. This is not necessarily a Paleo, Primal, Whole30, AIP, or even gluten-free cookbook – instead, it will be focused on helping you find a personalized approach to diet for your unique heritage. To accommodate today’s evolving dietary challenges, I’ve listed common allergens in the Recipe List that you’ll find in the form (including annotation for recipes where gluten-free substitutions are provided). When developing recipes with wheat, I used ancient einkorn wheat (available on Amazon), which has a low gluten content.

Hi folks, just a quick note to inform you that for the first time ever, I’m offering a discount on my eBook, The Safe Starch Cookbook.

Use the code “safestarchday” at checkout to apply a 50% discount on its usual price of $10. The deal ends at midnight on Cyber Monday (Nov 27th, 2017).

Click here to read more about the book, and to grab the deal.

Other deals around the web:
– 25% off Kasandrinos olive oil (my favorite), with code “tg25”
– 15% off US Wellness Meats with code “SEASON” (storewide, under 40 lbs)
– Get an Instant Pot for $68 (price fluctuates, check often!)
– 50% off 23andMe’s DNA Ancestry Kit (Friday only)
– $5 off any Amazon book purchase over $25 with code “GIFTBOOK17” (including Paleo Takeout, which is just over $25 on Amazon right now!)
– 15% off Primal Palate spices with code “holiday”, plus free $25 gift with orders over $100