Found an epically haphazard gym in Cambodia’s capital apptly named King Kong fitness. It has been a while since I encounter barbells; the work out was a grueling one.
That night I was up till 4 am celebrating a birthday with some friends and had the good sense to end the evening with a late night plate of deep fried pork ribs.
Got up at 8 am the next morning and, after three cups of strong coffee, decided a little crossfit exercise would be just fine.
Well, by 6 pm guess was sick with a fever. Yup, my throat felt like I had swollowed an inner tube coated in chilli sauce. 12 hours sleep later I woke up still feeling like crap.
Valuable lesson learned. When I push my body to hard my immune system plummets. Thank the Buddha I am at a friends house and not some cheap and mold ridden backpackers hostel. I can even cook my own food. Just got to hop down the block to the Cambodian super market.
Soup is a cold gold standard. I’ll just head on down to the market and get some super foods
Mint, basil, chicken, banana blossom, and blood tofu. A chicken soup for the Cambodian soul. Everyone herd of the healing power of herbs so I will skip to the two odder ingredients.
A Banana blossom is the giant purple flower at the center of a banana tree. Rich in vitamin E and antioxidants, it is a tried and true nourishment. It can even treat excessive menstrual bleeding, which is thankfully not one of my symptoms.
Blood tofu, tofu’s black metal soy free cousin. Basically congealed pig or chicken, texture and flavor wise it is very similar to tofu. When it comes to mineral content though, it leaves soy in the dust. I am pretty much eating pure protein dense iron.
Well that was yesterday’s lunch and today I am on the mend. Good news because at 6 a.m. tomorrow morning I gots a 12 hour bus Bangkok.
On Cambodia’s only road. Oi.
My throat thanks the kind soul who invented these.
Quality chocolate is hard to find in Cambodia and my sugarfree sweet tooth is screaming.
I took a Cambodian cooking class today. Chocolate be damned. It ended with a dessert that is near and dear to my heart.
Mango sticky rice.
Typically thought of as a Thai dessert, I much prefer the Cambodian take. The sticky rice is simmered in coconut milk made fresh at the morning market.
After 15 minutes the rice is more akin to a gooey custard. This is the layered over fresh yellow mango slices and (if you are in Thailand) finished with a drizzle of sweetened condensed milk.
White rice occupies the realm of occassional indulgence in my own day to day. A little more so this past month as I have been traveling in Thailand and Cambodia.
Sweetened condensed milk on the other hand… cheap dairy, refined sugar, I alway shy away.
Hence my of love of Cambodia’s extra sticky rendition of this tropic classic, which is finished with a palm sugar coconut milk caramel reduction.
Here is the low down on this 5 minute caramel.
+ 4 Tb palm sugar or coconut sugar (sub honey or maple if it is all you got)
+ 1/2 cup coconut milk (fresh from a Cambodian market is ideal but canned will do)
+ A pinch of salt
+ 1 Tb butter or coconut oil
+ A little water as needed
In a sauce pan simmer coconut milk in until boiling gently. Add palm sugar, a pinch of salt, and stir often for about 5 minutes. Add butter, turn off burner, and whisk until smooth. If the sauce is too thick to drizzle add a little water.
A simple and delicious addition to any dessert and a mango sticky must.
As I sit here, enjoying my drum
stick on a stick, I am not all that surprised as to why these Thai seem so much more healthful and at ease then my American countrymen. Don’t get me wrong, processed food are prolificprolific here, 7-11’s abound and soda is as cheap as water but.
They eat organs every day.
Unless you want to sit down for a full meal, the cheap eater has two common street options.
1) fruit on sticks (banana, papaya, pineapple, pear, a bunch I can not even name
2) meat on sticks (sausage, liver, squid, gizzardsgizzards, pork belly, fish, etc.)
I go to great extents to respect the animals I eat, so eating the less desirables parts appeals to me. Organ meat, offal, the nasty bits, call it what you want. I see it as a tragic forgotten cornerstone of the human diet. I am not alone.
Anadote Time. I did the workout at CrossfitBK yesterday. I was jet lagged and aclimating to a Bangkok climate 1/2 sauna and 1/2 traffic jam.
“What the Hell am I thinking” was all I could tell myself.
Killed it and got the best time of the day. That kettle bell might as well have been full of feathers for how fas it was flying.
That does not happen to me in California, but California I do not eat chicken liver/heart/gizzard for lunch. I do not drink fresh coconuts for breakfast or flag down carts rattling down the alley piled high with roasted sweet potatoes and bananas. In California my post work out meals are not intestine and cuddled blood soup topped with fermented cabbage (did I mention I am not the least bit sore today).
I do eat organ meats ocationally, but that just changed. I am no longer going to be afraid of that lonely pastured pig pancreus, cold and shunned in butcher cooler. They are a quite a lot cheaper than tenderloin anyway.
It is the powders and the supplements that strike me as strange now. Liver pate is my new forte.
No guts, no glory… HA literally.
Off to South East Asia for 6 weeks and I plan on posting some ancestral eats. til then though…
Sitting at a cafe in the San Francisco International Terminal; marveling at my snacking skills.
25 hours to Bangkok. O you know I brought treats.
– Almonds and raw Brazil nuts
– Raisins. I really like raisins
– Hard boiled eggs
– Avocado. The last one for a while I am sure
– 2 packs farmer’s market jerky
– so much celery
– Liver pate Ha! I will have mercy on my seat mates and eat this preflight
– A small bar of dark chocolate. 81% molded by yours trully at Coracao Confectioners
This paleo life is down right goofy sometimes. Pasture pork liver pate got some odd looks at the security checkpoint.
To be honest. It would not be to tough to keep snacking healthfully at airport these days. Fruit is everywhere, salad with some chicken or fish is not unheard of, and you are never more than ten feet from sushi in Cali these days. But I ain’t about to spend $20 on some factory farming and freezers veggies if I can avoid it.
These are not tips. Paleolithic air travel snacks is an old hat post. Most just suggest fasting but for an epicurean it is more fun to find ways of eating organs in original places.