Ancient Romans Ate Meals Most Americans Would Recognize

Let’s pretend it is 56 B.C. and you have been fortunate enough to be invited to a party at the home of Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus, a great social coup. Piso, after all, was Julius Caesar’s father-in-law and a consul of Rome.

What’s for dinner?

You need to prepare for pig. Archaeologists studying the eating habits of ancient Etruscans and Romans have found that pork was the staple of Italian cuisine before and during the Roman Empire. Both the poor and the rich ate pig as the meat of choice, although the rich, like Piso, got better cuts, ate meat more often and likely in larger quantities.

They had pork chops and a form of bacon. They even served sausages and prosciutto; in other words, a meal not unlike what you’d find in Rome today – or in South Philadelphia. Read more.

I was having a tough day today so decided to take pictures of myself and compare them to the ones on the left that I took about a month ago. My body image has been fluctuating all year because I’ve been dealing with binge eating and periods of low excercise and things needed to change.
A month ago I joined the track team at school and have been eating healthier (no diet). My tips: choose fruit instead of something else as a snack and take more veggies than meat and carbs at dinner.
Progress is slow but good to remind yourself that it’s happening!
Ps: I never weigh myself because a number doesn’t mean anything.

My lunch :) cheesy bio zucchini risotto yumyum

You need (1-2 portions):
- 1 zucchini
- 1-2 cups of rice
- ~200g bio ground beef
- salt, pepper, bio broth
- cream cheese
- a bit of gouda

-> cook the rice (~18mins)
-> fry the zucchini and the meat in a bit of fat (~5-10mins)
-> add a bit of water, a bit of broth, salt and pepper
-> add the rice (after decantation)
-> add the both sorts of cheese
-> add some more salt and pepper if necessary

Spicy “Chicken” + Cauli Rice 🍚 Mushrooms are a great substitution for chicken if you are trying to eat less meat. I used to feel like my meals were incomplete without a protein like chicken but now I realize that was more of a mental craving rather than a physical need! 🙅 I tweaked my sushi rice and spicy mushroom burrito recipes to make dinner tonight… I’ll put what I did in the comments below👌

Campfire dinners

These are a few dinners that I make when I am out camping. They might not be ideal for multi-day backpacking trips, but it’s a nice way to avoid eating a can of cold spaghetti-o’s when you’re out in the woods.

  • Heavy duty aluminum foil (don’t buy the non-stick kind) and a good pocket knife or paring knife will be needed.
  • Make single-serving sized pouches. If you put everything in one big pouch, it won’t cook properly & it’s more likely to tear apart.
  • Put the pouches in the fire, but on the edges of the fire & where the flame is lower so you can reach them quickly (with tongs or a stick– don’t grab them with your hands). Alternatively, wait until the campfire burns down to white coals.
  • Seriously don’t grab the pouches directly with your hands. Hot aluminum foil will shape itself to your skin and you will have terrible terrible burns. I know this from experience.
  • This is a foil pouch
  • You can make individual baggies of spices that you can add to the food (for example, you can make a baggie of salt, pepper, and garlic powder). This way you don’t have to pack entire spice bottles, but you can still make your food more interesting.
  • There aren’t really set measurements for the recipes because I don’t bring measuring utensils when I go camping. Use the amount of food that feels right.
  • Make sure you are using a cooler with ice if you are going to bring meat.

Recipe one

  1. 1 large idaho potato or multiple smaller red potatoes
  2. 1 vidalia onion (or whatever is on sale)
  3. 1 pepper (bell, poblano, cubanelle– whatever you want)
  4. Optional: meat cut into bite size pieces 
  5. If you don’t use meat, you’ll need to add some sort of fat (vegetable oil, butter, etc) to keep the food from sticking, but you won’t need a lot
  6. Cut all of the food into bite size pieces. Cut the potatoes smaller than the other food so it cooks at about the same rate. 
  7. Divide everything evenly into foil pouches & place on the fire. Check after about 10 minutes, but the time will vary depending on the size of your fire and your food chunks. It’ll be ready when the meat and potatoes are both cooked.

Recipe two

  1. Hamburger meat (no less than 90% lean)
  2. Cheese– your favorite kind, but I use cheddar. Shredded cheese is easier to use, but block cheese cut into pieces will also work.
  3. Onion
  4. Potato
  5. Other vegetables you want to add (peppers, etc)
  6. Cut everything into pieces and divide into the foil pouches. Cook the same way as the first recipe.
Team No Cheats 2015: Goals


clean eating for me will mean

  • fresh: lots of vegetables and fruits
  • strong: protein at each meal
  • sleep: light dinner, ideally veggies and light protein (tofu, fish, white meat)
  • limit animal products (dairy, eggs, meat) and always free range, organic, local, traceable
  • limit the damage at the cafeteria
  • ideally no food log, intuitive, mindful eating. If I’m not ready for it, I will track total intake and macros again
  • zero alcohol: I don’t drink much, but I like going 100% off for a month every year also to see if I miss it
  • water: I need to drink more. 1.5 liter a day is a minimum
  • stay away from the candy bowl at work
  • chocolate ok, not more than 100g a week


  • “something” every morning. It could be a J. Michaels workout and/or a jog, yoga at home, or a session at the gym. There’s a single morning Body Pump every week, which I will attend if work shedule allows it.
  • hit the gym after work at least twice a week: butt and legs workout, kick boxing, body pump, cxworx are a few that are compatible with my schedule
  • 10'000 steps a day
  • 2000 Cal daily burn


I’ll weigh and measure on October 1st. I’d like to lose… something. Weight wise, go back to 63 kg. But if the weight doesn’t move, but I lose centimeters, that’ll be ok too. Ultimately I’d like to fit in the pants I have bought 18 months ago and in which I wished to fit well at the end of the #TeamNoCheats challenge of last year
They do fit slighlty better, but I still can’t really wear them. Oops.

I found this recipe from a friend on facebook, I haven’t tried it yet but it sounds so good I couldn’t wait to share (also I didn’t want to forget!)

For ingredients you will need:

  • 1 bag Nacho Doritos, crushed. (I crush them while in the bag, not too much though, you want sizeable chips)
  • 2 cups of shredded chicken
  • 2 cups of shredded cheese (cheddar works best imo)–or more (I always use more!!)
  • 1 can of Cream of chicken soup
  • 1 Can ro'tel tomatoes (can be omitted if you don’t like tomatoes!)
  • ½ cup of sour cream
  • ½ cup of milk (any kind works)
  • ½ package taco seasoning (or more if you’d like)

Preheat your oven to 350. Spray a 2 quart casserole dish with nonstick spray.

Mix together all ingredients except the doritos in a seperate dish.

Layer half the Doritos (about 2 cups) on the bottom. Then spread half the chicken mixture on top. Then the rest of the Doritos, and the rest of the chicken mixture. Add more cheese on top.
Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes.

I usually double the recipe and cook it in a 9x13 pan for 45 minutes, just so we can have leftovers the next day.


11/21/16 1.00 mile
Took it easy
YTD: 1145.67 miles
325 days in a row

Just a mile yesterday followed by a little time and stretching in the hot tub. Probably not enough stretching. I think from here on out there won’t be an amount of stretching that is enough, because let me tell you, taekwondo last night kicked my butt. Ha ha, get it? ‘kicked’? Hoo boy.

So yeah.

After work I had to go to the grocery store to buy the ingredients for the night’s agreed-upon dinner of chicken burgers and brussels sprouts. First I stopped off at the train station market* to see if they had what I needed. They had brussels sprouts, but they were in pretty sad shape. And no ground chicken. Fine, I’ll take a little more time and go to the grocery store near my house.

But, no ground chicken anywhere in the pre-packaged meat section. I asked the kid stocking shelves nearby if they’ve stopped carrying it (because they didn’t have any the LAST time I looked, too) but it was his first day so he had no idea.

Go to the butcher counter, their tray of ground chicken is almost empty.


I had to wait for the guy to grind some fresh. I know, sounds great, right? Fresh, bespoke artisanal ground meat. Only I was running out of time. I had to pick up my son from his speech therapy and high tail it to taekwondo. I made a whirlwind through the house grabbing my gear and out the door I went. Picked up Matthew (a little late) and trucked him off to taekwondo. We actually got there nearly on time, but we ended up missing most of the warmup**.

Right away it was “fun time”. Everyone line up, take turns going around to the various black belt stations around the dojang doing whatever the black belt told you to do. Front snap kicks. Roundhouse kicks. Axe kicks. Push kicks. Side kicks. Jumping front snap kicks. My wife’s station was roundhouse kicks, so I got a little payback from this (which I have video of but never posted):

Got home, cooked food, got the kids hustled up to bed, and spent the rest of the night agonizing over my super sore/stuff hip flexors.

Astute readers might have noticed that I missed my “scheduled” lifting on Sunday, and might also be wondering if I had decided to make up for it and lift on Monday after the kids went down instead.


I debated for a little while, but in the end my hip flexors were complaining too loudly for me to muster the motivation.

Meanwhile I pinged one of the (4th degree?) instructors who moved away, with whom my wife and I are still in contact with, about how he managed to lift while actively training taekwondo. Maybe it’s just due to the novelty of all this kicking and this is just bog standard muscle soreness, and I’ll (hopefully soon?) condition myself such that I won’t be so sore. Hopefully he’ll get back to me at some point with a pearl or two of wisdom.

* It sounds kind of weird, but it makes a lot of sense and has been super convenient at times to just pick up a meat, a vegetable, and hop on the train. I may do that tonight since they’re likely to have what I need, assuming their broccoli isn’t as sad as their brussels sprouts were. It’s mostly a food court with a couple of specialty shops (soap, chocolates, etc) as well as a more general market which is where I shop most often.

** I did at least a little stretching, but perhaps obviously not enough.

Chilaquiles (4 servings).

Okay, so it’s Cinco de Mayo and I wanted to share a recipe that many may already know but it’s easy to make and customise for your tastes or needs.

External image

You’ll need:

  • 12 Tortillas: corn ones are essential. You might want to use about 3 per serving if you add the optional stuff at the end, or more tortillas if you only want tortillas.
  • 8 Tomatoes: Medium sized.
  • ¼ of an Onion: I like the white ones best, but purple (or red, if you want to call them that) are okay. You won’t need much, use about a quarter of an onion if you’ve got leftovers from other recipes.
  • One garlic tooth, chopped.
  • 4 serrano peppers. Optional if you’re not into spicy stuff, but in the spirit of the dish I’d add at least one.
  • A handful of cilantro.
  • Oil, most neutral kinds work. Don’t use olive oil.
  • Pinch of salt.

By default this dish is gluten, dairy and meat free, though you can add the next ingredients:

  • Sour cream.
  • Fresh cheese.
  • Meat, your favourite kind (you can fancy up here, but but I’d just use a cut that isn’t terrible). Or…
  • 1 fried egg.


  1. Put the tomatoes and peppers in a pot, add water until they’re covered and boil at low heat until they’re soft.
  2. Put them in the blender with the chopped garlic, cilantro and onion and blend until you get a purée consistency. Add a bit of the water to the blender or chop the tomatoes in half if it gets difficult.
  3. Pour the mixture back into the pot, reduce until the flavours concentrate and keep warm at low heat. Move once to keep it from burning.
  4. Now, the tortillas. If you got them a day before it’s best, cut them into triangles and let them dry for a day. If you just got them, then just put them in the microwave in a paper towel, three ones at a time, separated, for 2 minutes at full power. Let them cool and they should be crisp. (You can also ask for totopos, you might have been calling them nachos (but don’t use the ones labelled as nachos, they won’t work as well) and skip this and the next step).
  5. Put oil in a pan, about ¾ of an inch (1cm) and spread the tortillas (now in triangles), spread them on the pan and fry them until crisp. Repeat this step with the rest of the tortillas (depends on the size of the pan).
  6. Put the tortillas on a paper towel to get rid of the excess oil, remove the oil from the pan (not completely, you don’t have to be careful) and put the tortillas back into the pan.
  7. Pour the sauce (salsa, if you may) over the corn chips and mix.
  8. Now, you can let the preparation sit at low heat if you like them soggy or serve immediately if you like them crispy. I find having some crispy ones and some soggy ones to be most enjoyable.
  9. Serve with a spoonful of sour cream and some cheese crumbs, this contrast is amazing.
  10. Now you can add meat in strips or a fried egg for some extra protein and you’ll have a full dish.


Note: While I don’t drink, this is kind of the national hangover dish in Mexico.

quick tip for hypoglycemics

this isn’t really a recipe, but more of a quick tip? but i figured it might be helpful.  so i have hypoglycemia & depression, but i’m really bad at managing them and often need low-energy, low-spoons, FAST meals to eat (quick enough to make and eat before i pass out, meaning 5-7 min or less basically).  

so on a good day (usually a weekend) i will cook like a whole bulk bag of quinoa (or brown rice, or other filling/calorie-rich grain) and pop it in the fridge–this is a really quick process in and of itself and doesn’t require a whole lot of effort.  also, it keeps forever.  i’ll also snag some frozen meals (i recommend those green michelina’s $1 pasta dishes especially–they tend to have a lot of extra sauce) which usually don’t fill me up on their own but are fast and easy to cook.  so then when i need a fast snack or meal, i’ll just microwave the frozen meal all in one go and add the quinoa straight from the fridge (you don’t even have to heat it up).  it’s super easy, super quick, reasonably-priced, way more filling than regular frozen food, and requires minimal prep for people like me who are often cooking on the edge of unconsciousness. 

Cream of Mushroom Chicken over Rice (but chicken is optional)

This is good without the chicken too, just add more mushrooms. For this you need:

  • chicken breasts (can be optional)
  • cream of mushroom soup
  • mushrooms (optional but i like them so i add more)
  • rice

Cook your rice. Saute chicken until almost done. Pour in soup and extra mushrooms. Heat through and until chicken is done cooking. Serve over rice.

*If making with out chicken, this could probably be done in microwave, just heating the soup and mushrooms and pouring over boil in bag rice*