Nutrients: the XP of your body.

Jewels and coin are awesome, weapons rock, and magical items are the bomb. However the real reason we go campaigning is for the XP. The more experience points we gain, the more our characters level up, and the cooler things we can do (bonus skills, feats, and spells).

Well eating is the same way. The taste, the look, the experience of eating is all great, but the real reason we eat is to gain valuable nutrients & vitamins that our bodies need to function.

Now you might come back with the reason you RPG is for the roleplaying aspect, and yes it is fun to have your character hang out at the local tavern shooting the proverbial dung with his fellow adventurers. But you’re never going to advance your character if all he does is sit at the pub drinking pints all day ( though you might advance his waist line and possibly a drinking skill point). They need to get out there, explore the world, run into some random encounter monsters, save a damsel in distress, and raid a dungeon or two to properly play the game correctly

Just like a character is going to gain XP all throughout their adventuring career, you need to continually consume vitamins & nutrients throughout your entire life. It’s not the action of eating that’s going to get you through life, it’s what you eat. You want to eat items that are going to give you the most bang for your buck.

For example in the adventuring world, we all like to run into random encounter monsters. The fun mid-level guys that are fun to fight, and you might even toy with a little before you kill. However it’s usually the big bad monster at the end that is going to give you the most XP. Yes you can level up by just fighting all those little guys, but that’s going to take a whole lot of time (and gets a little monotonous after a while). However that big bad Dragon at the end of the dungeon is hoarding a whole load of treasure and can really take your XP to the next level.

Well food is the same way. Yes you can get some vitamins and minerals eating a continual supply of processed foods, but it is going to take a whole lot of it to reach your daily requirements. At the same time your consuming more of the candy, sodas, and packaged foods trying to reach the bare number of nutrients you need, your HP (calorie consumption) is taking a huge hit. In comparison if you go for the most XP you can right out of the gates, consuming fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole foods, you’re going to fill up your XP a whole lot quicker. Just like in real XP there is a incentive at the end ( leveling up), there are some killer rewards for eating real foods . Your plunders will include a healthier body, more energy, clearer skin, and faster thinking. The more fresh food you eat, the more you level up, and the healthier you become.

And what about Multi-Vitamins? Your probably thinking that if you take a whole slew of vitamins, that you don’t need to worry about getting them from whole foods…. Your probably one of those people who also get their characters pre-done for WOW off of ebay aren’t you? – No, you can’t just level up by taking more multi-vitamins. Our body can only consume so many vitamins and nutrients from non-food sources ( that’s why some mutli-vitamins turn your pee yellow, your body can’t absorb everything that is in them). If your eating the way you should, you don’t even need to technically take a multi-vitamin ( if your currently taking one, don’t stop, your probably absorbing something from it)

Getting an understanding of the importance of fresh foods are going to come in handy during the next couple of sections on Speed & Fat.

black-bean-burger

BEAN me up Burger

I am open to trying darn near anything when it comes to food. Granted there are some things I prefer over others- and I don’t like the concept or ingredients found in most “imitation meats”. However, when  I was served a veggie burger at my boyfriend’s house, I gave it a try with a hungry stomach and an open mind.

After giving it the benefit of the doubt, I can positively say I am NOT a fan. Veggie burgers don’t taste like burgers or really any kind of fake meat and their ingredient list has way more processed, chemical, and lab created items than you should eat in a whole year. Add it that each burger is packed with sodium and over processed soy, I am pretty sure I will never be eating another one of these.

A couple weeks later, I was back over at the boyfriends and he had made a different kind of veggie burgers- black bean burgers. Because of my previous burger experience, I was hesitant but still ready to give it a try (especially as I was having burger cravings).
WOW! I’m not going to try to convince you that black bean burgers taste like real hamburgers, but they are delicious in their own right and the texture and appearance is pretty spot on to a real burger.

Last night, I wanted something different for dinner and the idea of a black bean burger sounded awesome. Stopping at my local grocery store on my way home from work, I headed over to the frozen vegetarian selection. I scanned every isle and freezer section and was sad to find they had a millions selection of veggie burgers (including a fairly healthy eggplant version) but none of the tasty black bean burgers. Not to be dissuaded, I jumped online and found some fairly easy recipes on how to make these at home.

These little guys are so easy to make at home, I don’t know if I will ever continue my quest for the real frozen version. The entire shopping trip cost me $5.33 (including buns and eggs) and gave me enough for 3 additional burgers which I froze.

To make, take ½ an onion and chop it along with some bell peppers ( I threw in a hot pepper as well) and a garlic clove. I combined all mine into my magic bullet (best kitchen appliance ever) but you can also use a food processor.

Check out all the colors of veggies I am packing into this little burger
Check out all the colors of veggies I am packing into this little burger

Once diced up throw in 1 can of black beans (don’t forget to rinse that sludgy black goo off of them). You can either just mash the beans into the pulverized onion mixture or you can throw the beans into the food processor.  Mix well and then add 1 egg and ½ cup binding agent (breadcrumbs, mashed up crackers, unsweetened cereal, rolled oats, ground flax seeds, cooked rice, or ground up nuts). I used a combination of whole wheat crackers and garbanzo bean flour.  Also add in any flavoring you would like. Cumin & Chili Peppers are a sure spice bet. I had some rotisserie garlic seasoning, so I put a little of that in there.

Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions. It was just me eating, so I took the other three and froze them.  Then you want to take your “pattie” and back it at 375 for 10 minutes on each side. If you want a cheeseburger, throw some cheese on the last few minutes on the second side.

The best part about this is you really don’t need a recipe. For every 1 can of beans add ½ cup onion and whatever veggie you want, the same amount of binder/breadcrumbs, and 1 egg.

Depending on what you put in there, your nutrition values might change a bit, but for the most part each patty has:

  • Calories- 178
  • Fat- 2.8 g
  • Chol. 46.5 mg
  • Sodium 440.3 mg
  • Carbs 28.9 g (Fiber 7.5 g, Sugar 1.3 g)
  • Protein 10.1 g

AND (Vitamin A 1.5 % ,Vitamin B-12 2.8 %, Vitamin B-6 1.8 %, Vitamin C 0.0 %, Vitamin D 2.5 % , Vitamin E 0.4 %, Calcium 8.2 %, Copper 1.7 %, Folate 5.1 %, Iron 17.7 % , Magnesium 1.5 % , Manganese 6.2 % , Niacin 4.5 %, Pantothenic Acid     0.7 %, Phosphorus     4.7 % , Riboflavin 5.7 % , Selenium 4.9 %, Thiamin 8.7 % , Zinc 2.3 %)

What does this mean? Well everyone’s Hit Points are different, but in general-

black-bean-burgerEvery burger is under 15% of your total HP for the day (so put it in on a bun and pile on the veggies) but it’s packed with 20% of your required protein, 23% of your fiber requirement, and gives you a serving of veggie (that’s the hidden onion, bell pepper, and whatever veggies you pile on top like tomatoes or lettuce).  It’s a low fat, high protein, high fiber tasty little treat.

CAL=HP

Calories are life’s Hit Points (HP). You have a certain amount that can be spent and when you run out, you’re done for the day.

There is no static number an individual should consume per day of calories, your personal HP are not universally set. Our genetics are a role of the dice when it comes to our individual calorie needs. As we grow up our chosen daily activities and occupation (yep, your character class) also affect our caloric needs.

Contrary to popular belief, one pound does not equal 3,500 calories. We all wish it truly were as simple to lose weight to just consume or burn 3,500 less calories.  Sadly, life’s campaign is not that easy.

This is because once again people are their own unique character. Age, sex, Character class, race, metabolic rate, armor requirements all affect your metabolic rate and how quickly or slowly you burn a calorie.

When you look at the calorie count in your food, you want to look at more than just the number. You honestly want as much bang for your buck when it comes to food. Foods, especially like vegetables where you get a lot of food for a small amount of calories are better than a single meal, which can wipe out your entire HP in one standing.

For example:  a single package of Oreos is 2,200 calories. For that same amount of calories, someone could consume 1 pound of carrots, 1 pound of papaya, 1 pound of apples, 1 pound of onions, 1 pound of lettuce, 1 pound of kale, 1 pound of tofu, 1 pound of 2% cottage cheese, 2 pounds of cantaloupe, 2 pounds of celery and 2 pounds of cucumber.
Let’s say you’re looking at the calorie content of two kinds of ice cream to determine the healthier version. Now one might have more calories than the other, but you still want to look at the rest of the items on the nutrition label and go beyond just the calories. Once again…how much bang can you get for your buck. If one ice cream has 250 calories, much more sugar ( bad) and little fiber and another has 270 calories, less sugar more fiber and even has some vitamin D from the whole milk…than go for the one with the 270 calories. Yes you’re going to use up 20 more of your HP, but you will feel full longer (yeah fiber) and your putting less sugar (boo sugar) into your system.  Don’t worry we will cover fiber and sugar later.

The easiest way to protect and conserve your hit points….by dropping the sodas and other beverages filled with sugar and empty ( or non-nutritious) calories.  Sodas, and other high calorie drinks just zap your HP quicker than anything else and you don’t get anything back from it ( including hydration). Even worse sodas and sugars don’t just not drain your hp but they also give you negative points to strength and concentration.  After all how often in your usual manual do you see a character holding a soda pop?

On the Apron Strings of my Mother

I have been surprised about all the small little “perks” of starting Eat-Geek including enthusiasm from friends and fellow geeks, the joy of designing posts using a monster manual, and helping friends understand nutrition in a way that make sense to their lifestyle.photo 3However the one I wasn’t expecting was that it has given me and my   mother a project to do together.

See my mom currently lives down in Florida, a good 1,000 miles south of my Cleveland sanctuary. Besides Facebook messages and a few random phone calls, we just don’t get to do a lot together. It’s not that we don’t love each other; it’s that we both live incredibly active lives in our community.

photo 4As previously announced, May 30th-June 1st we will at Concoction in Cleveland selling Sci-Fi & Gaming inspired aprons. As my mom is also in the process of preparing to move down to Puerto Rico in October with my surfing step-father, I figured she would like an opportunity to use up her fabric supply, so I invited her to make some aprons for the booth.

I was shocked with what has proceeded since then. Within days, she created some of the cutest retro and rockabilly aprons I have seen. She also booked a flight to come help me with the table at the Con & with the launch of Eat-Geek.

photo 1As we get closer to the con & the launch of Eat-Geek, keep an eye out on our facebook page for a complete listing of the aprons we will have available (as well as a way to purchase them before the con).

Also if you’re at Concoction in Cleveland, please stop by and say hi to both my mom and myself. We would love to meet you.

Eat-Geek is going to Concoction

In preparation of Eat-Geek’s June 1st launch, we are happy to announce that we will be taking part in a comic/sci-fi convention here in Cleveland, Concoction.

Concoction is Cleveland’s newest Sci-fi, Gaming, and Comic Convention.

To help spread the word of Eat-Geek we will be in the vendor room selling Sci-Fi and RPG themed aprons and other items to help you get cooking healthy in the kitchen.

All proceeds from the sales of the aprons will go towards the startup costs for Eat-Geek.

Please like our Facebook page to see photos of the aprons as they become available.