my life as a high-fat hipster.

lately, it seems like fat has become all the rage.

paleo dietitians and fitness enthusiasts have been flooding the interwebs with all sorts of articles and scientific studies which sing the praises of blubber.  in its stead, this year’s dietary scarlet letter has been sewn to the frock of carbohydrates, specifically gluten.  dozens of first hand accounts seem to indicate that a fat-rich diet high in animal proteins and low in sugars can make us healthier human beings.  shaky nutritional data is being tossed around like gluten-free hot cakes.

and honestly, i couldn’t care less about any of it.

at the risk of sounding like a hipster, i was into eating a high protein/high fat diet before some dietitian suddenly decided it was healthy last year.  i didn’t stop eating fat when dietitians told me it was bad, and i certainly won’t start eating more now that they are telling me it might actually be good.  it isn’t that i don’t trust dietitians.  fat just means more to me than a bunch of numbers displayed on a graph or a scale.

the truth is, i eat fat because it is good for my soul.

i don’t eat bacon because it brings me one step closer to realizing a ketogenic diet.  i eat bacon because the sizzling grease reminds me of my home.  that smell brings back memories of my stepdad cooking breakfast for dinner.  that crispy texture conjures memories of dark wheat toast, scrambled eggs, hash browns, and home-cured thick cut bacon.

i don’t eat over-easy fried eggs because of their protein to calorie ratio.  i eat over-easy fried eggs because they remind me of my brother.  every time i break the yolk, i remember sitting side by side with him eating a big bowl of penne in garlic butter sauce topped with an over-easy fried egg and cold prosciutto.  once finished, i fondly recall both of us moving to the leather sofa to recline whilst wearing our xxxl t-shirts (which we wore to bed every night), and my brother complaining because i kept putting my tiny little cold feet on his legs to keep warm.

i don’t choose the dark meat from the turkey because it has more zinc, thiamine, selenium, folate, and fat than white meat.  i choose the dark meat because it reminds me of my mom.  when i savor that rich flavor, i think of her brandishing a fork and endlessly stirring the thanksgiving gravy, making sure no lump of flour escapes unharrassed.  when i feast on that crispy, fatty skin, i picture her throwing together a leftover turkey sandwich as she runs out the door to catch her first appointment of the day.

i don’t eat a high fat diet because some guy in a lab coat told me it might prolong my life.  i eat a high fat diet because my mother raised me right, and because my russian father stuffed me to the gills every opportunity he got.  i eat a high fat diet because i was a shrimpy child weened on vitamin d whole milk.  i eat a high fat diet because i’m a hungry boy who was raised in missouri, a magical land rife with ham and pork steak.  i eat a high fat diet because i love my family, i love my home, i love to cook, and i love to eat.

each morsel of super greasy goodness brings with it an equally sweet memory of my childhood.  each tremendous mouthful reminds me of a loved one waiting for me back in the states.

i’ve been a diehard fan of fat since before a bunch of scientists thought it was healthy.  does that make me a high-fat hipster?

then so be it.

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25 thoughts on “my life as a high-fat hipster.

      • The Midwest: Full of big-hearted people (because they have cardiomegaly).

        While I may not eat every last bit of chicken skin or fat rind on my steak, I do love the taste of it. And when the grocery store is out of lactose free whole milk, my enlarged heart weeps a little bit. Bacon-wrapped pork ribs, please. With mashed potatoes and butter.

    • you guys are quite the wordsmiths as well.

      there is always a slab of delicious pork hanging around my place for you fellas. stop by some day and i’ll fry some up fresh. scouts honor.

  1. Another excellent post. The right approach indeed. I eat anything and everything I want. You know from the blog that fat and meat feature quite a bit. There is an old saying; “If you want to lose weight, leave it on your plate.” I have the same waist and collar size I had 35 years ago. My cholesterol is at very healthy levels. The trick is exercise. Lots of it. Then eat what and when you want.
    Best,
    Conor

    • i’m with you all the way, conor.

      an active lifestyle is a happy lifestyle. there is nothing quite like bringing a camping stove and some groceries to the top of a mountain. a good hour-long hike is the perfect first course for a hearty meal.

  2. I wholeheartedly agree. Media driven faddy diets are another way of spending your hard earned money on overpriced specialist items to support these diets. I’ll have some of that bacon with a side of carb (in moderation) ha!

    • i agree, nicole. specialist items always seemed silly to me. instead of making paleo dinner rolls with arrow root powder and almond flour, why not just cut out the rolls?

      i think the word “diet” is used kind of ridiculously sometimes. experiment with what you eat, and do what feels right. if what you eat makes you feel terrible, then gradually modify it until you like the way you feel. it doesn’t need to be any more complex than that.

  3. Besides that fact that I now want a plate of bacon at 9:34PM… I love this. I came to eat “paleo” by following what my body told me. It wasn’t until a few years after eating what felt good that I learned my “diet” had a name. I eat what I eat because it speaks to me like poetry and nourishes me on every level. I salute this post and shall now follow you. ;)

    • thanks, shandi!

      good on you for following your belly. i think, regardless of whether you are a vegetarian / vegan / paleo / pescetarian / omnivorous eater, if you are miserable, it makes sense to change. in your case, it sounds like it wasn’t only preference; it sounds like (correct me if i’m wrong) you have some of your mom’s genetic food sensitivities. i think it is super cool that you took those in stride and found something that worked for you.

      now throw self-restraint to the wind and go whip up that bacon. ;)

  4. Oh lovely fat and your various delicious siblings, what can’t you make delicious? And certainly, who gives a crap about the health aspects, we’re all going in not caring about the worst anyways, now where can I get my hands on some of that juicy crispy pork belly you took a picture of?

    • glad you liked the photo. the day i took that one, my buddies and i had just taken five or six home cured bacons out of the smoker we built. it was a good day.

      i’ll put in a good word with my local piggy. ;)

      if you like this photo, just wait. this week i’m going to post my curried slow-cooked pork belly recipe. you might need a bib to read that one.

  5. That PHOTO. Oh my fat-loving goodness. The only thing that could make it better is if that meat was heading towards my dinner plate (but it’s not. Unfortunately. I’m actually going to a vegan friend’s house for dinner so my little heart is crying). I completely agree with everything in this post. I’d sign a petition if you shoved one at me, particularly if it was covered in bacon grease. Oh, and one last thing… FRIED BREAD. Carbs and fat together = a scarlet letter covered in hipster plaid. Or, just plain delicious. Yeah, that’s it/

    • jeez laura, you are incorrigible. i’m not sure if i could handle having dinner with vegan friends. then again, i may never know; i might need to make some vegan friends first… ;)

      maybe one day you’ll get a surprise poor man home-cured bacon slab in the mail. cross your fingers, you never know.

    • i totally agree. flavors, smells, and textures create some of the most vivid memories possible. the human mind is a funny thing, huh?

      i really appreciate the kind comments. i do my best to pour my heart out into a post or two every now and then.

      thanks for following, i’ll try not to disappoint. ;)

  6. “praise the lard” Thanks for the really fun blogging. Just read “Roi Choi’s book LA Son” and I think you have a similar vibe. That’s a good thing! Plus, Misha is just one of my favorite names ever. :-)

    • thanks, i really appreciate the compliment. i do my best to keep it interesting, although i have to admit i’m never sure how my posts will go over when i write them.

      i’ve never heard of roi choi’s la son, but i might have to give it a read if you think my writing style is similar.

      also, great fat pun. praise the lard. hehehe. ;)

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