Initial Thoughts to Iran Joint Action Plan Interim Agreement

On January 16th, the White House released a summary of the technical agreement worked out with Iran and the P-5.  The technical agreement enables the Joint Action Plan to go into force on January 20th.

It will take some time to research the full agreement, but here are some initial thoughts:

The agreement addresses all known avenues for Iran’s production of nuclear materials that could be used for weapons.

½ of all centrifuges installed at Natanz and ¾ of centrifuges installed at Fordow are going off line on January 20th.  They will not be permitted under the agreement to enrich uranium, greatly reducing Iran’s ability to produce enriched uranium.  All next generation advanced centrifuges are covered under this enrichment freeze.

Iran is not permitted to produce new centrifuges except to replace damaged units – no growth in capacity during interim period.  Can use the interim agreement to build a stockpile of units ready to break out.

½ of all of Iran’s near 20% enriched uranium to be diluted with uranium hexafluoride – can remain as UF6.  The other ½ stockpile to be converted to uranium oxide – a substance that requires additional process to be re-enriched.  This means Iran will stay well below the amount of 20% enriched material needed to make a break for a bomb.  Israeli PM had made the amount of 20% a milestone of concern – the interim agreement addresses this effectively.

Progress on Arak reactor all but frozen.  No fueling, transfer of equipment, no production of fuel allowed.  Also, construction of reprocessing facilities not allowed under interim period.  No reprocessing – no access to plutonium.   About all Iran can do is produce heavy water, but not in itself a break out issue.

Iran agrees to daily access of enrichment sites, monthly access to Arak.  Moreover, Iran agrees to provide for the first time:

1)   Design information on Arak – enables outside work to know what it is, what it is for, what it could do in future if ever completed.

2)   Managed access to centrifuge production sites and uranium mines and mills.

Parties also establish a Joint Commission – a group of technical experts from each country to monitor compliance and raise issues that might arise to the political directors level.

The agreement freezes almost the entirety of Iran’s nuclear material production complex and provides time for a comprehensive agreement to be negotiated.  Such efforts may fail, but the the US and Israel will lose no ground or security while this agreement – assuming it is faithfully implemented – is in place.

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The Home Stretch – Whole 30, day 21

After two weeks of summer vacation, I launched myself into the whole 30. I am very focused on hitting my goal weight and was concerned that vacation had led to some serious backsliding. So, here I sit, deprived for three weeks of my creamy sweet coffee, my cheese topped casseroles, and my post work manhattan. I was, worst of all, forced to consume my delicious sausage an sauerkraut Octoberfest one pot meal without the appropriate grain based alcoholic beverage.

But all of this I do not mind. What really worries me is that I will have gone through all 30, and not have lost a pound. Should this be the case, I will know who to blame . . . . The woman who sells me nuts for my trail mix. I must be eating a few hundred calories this snack stuff a day. I really need to cut back.

Wish me luck for my last 9 days.

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Octoberfest in a Pot

I found this on, of all places, the Whole Foods website but when you find something good, use it. Few things satisfy like a good germanic Sausage and sauerkraut. And it is VERY paleo friendly. Just read your labels. Mustard can have sugar, and if you are off dairy, drop the sour cream. I think Coconut cream would make a good sub.

One Pot Octoberfest

1 tablespoon butter
12-ounces German Style Pork Bratwurst, cut into 2-inch chunks

1/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth, divided
2 teaspoons dried dill, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 pound fresh button mushrooms, quartered
3 tablespoons light sour cream
3 tablespoons German mustard
1 (32-ounce) jar sauerkraut*, rinsed and drained

Sautéed onion for 5 minutes. Add sausage and brown on all sides. Add in mushrooms and sauté for 5 more minutes, then add ink all remaining ingredients except dill. Cover and cook for 20 minutes on low heat. Add in dill and serve hot or warm, with more mustard.

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The Pre-Planned Cheat

So there is one thing I hate about Paleo – No Hot Chocolate.  Hot Cholcolate on a cold winter day is one of my all time favorite things.  Perhsps it triggers wonderful childhood memories, or maybe I am just addicted to the stuff.  regardless, the palero gods were unfair (and I am sure grok would have loved the stuff).

So when I read about this – the Hot CHocolate 15K road Race in Washington – I was all in.  As a friend said, they had be at Chocolate Fountain.  And then I realized, HC is not Paleo.  So I am announcing here and now I am going to cheat.  I know i’ll cheat between now and then, but this one is telegraphed like a Doug Flutie Hail Mary.

I also need to think about a good goal time, since I have always had good results with signing up for a run and setting a fast time.  I have been running a lot faster than pre-crossfit/paleo (I used to average 10 min/mi and am now averaging abouit 8:30).  So my goalis to break 1:10 -= for anything less than 8 minute miles over a 9 mile stretch.  Ouch.

At least I’ll know what I am eating/drinking afterwards.

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Catching Up

The past two weeks have been hard, and so I have not had time to post.  Not because of life, which is going great, but because after two wonderful week sof vacation, I decided to Whole 9 for 30 days.  Whole 9?  Check it out here –  It is like paleo, but not for sissies.  On top of full paleo choices, you are off all forms of sweeteners, all dairy (cheese, milk, etc) and no alcohol.  It has been taking a lot of concentration not to cheat on the Whole( but they not that if you do not permit yourself to fail, you’ll succeed.  So far, so good.

At the same time, I have been really hitting the exercise – 4 days of WODs per week and runing at least 2 times a week, and really improving on times.  I feel great but know secretly I am eating too many calories to advance my weight loss goals.  I know, I know, I shoudl not care, ut I started this journey 6 months ago because I needed to lose weight and after havign set the goal of going from 190 to 160, I want to get there.  I was at 168 just before Whole9 started, and I can’t get on a scale until the 15th of October.  But since I feel great and am enjoying the workouts, even if I don’t lose the weight, I’ll be fine.

In the meantime, I’ve been eating some great foods.  My latest kid is using a good Chimchurri sause that consists of Cilantro, serrano peppers, garlic, some vinegar and a little water.  Blender it up and cook it for 10 minutes until you get a cood consistency.  I’ve had it on BBQ’d Salt and pepper chicken, NY Strip and on Over baked Salmon.  Easy and delicious.  Last night, I had it on NY Strip along with a romaine and cucumber salad and over roasted Cauliflower with Garam Marsala and Yellow Curry spices.

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Filler – Savoy Cabbage with Bacon and Jalepeno Peppers

Perhaps the more difficult adjustment I made food wise when shifting to paleo was how to “fill up”. Whether it was rice, pasta, bread, grains, potato, or some other bulk agent, most dinner and a lot of other meals featured a filler. Well, paleo is based in large part of avoiding these traditional filler agents, and let’s face it – it is most of the food that has led to the current health conditions facing so many Americans.

So tonight I tried a new dish, really just made it up. I used Savoy cabbage, but any kind will do – red, green, napa, etc. The other three ingredients are bacon, Jalepeno peppers, and vinegar. That simple. Enjoy. I did.

Savoy Cabbage with Bacon and Jalepenos.
3 strips of nitrate free bacon, sliced into thin strips
1 small head of savoy cabbage
1 large Jalepeno pepper, sliced into rings
1 tbsp white vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

On medium heat, add sliced bacon and render until pieces are just crisp
Remove with slotted spoon, leaving fat in pan
Turn to high heat
Add pepper rings and cook on high heat for 45 seconds
Add cabbage and salt, turning regularly for about 2-3 minutes
Add vinegar and stir for 5-7 minutes until soft, but with some bite
Add bacon back in, mix and serve.

I like this with sautéed shrimp.

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Spicy South Indian Shrimp with Garden Vegetables

My father in law is from southern India, which relies on a lot of seafood and coconut, among other wonderful foods for the cuisine. He made this dish for me many years ago, long before I had even heard of paleo. It hits the spot summer or winter, packs a real punch, is filling and can be served with whatever season veggies you have on hand. This week, my garden kicked out a inch of peppers and zucchini, so that is where we ended up.

Spicy South Indian Shrimp
15 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp red chili oil or other hot oil
1 tbsp minced ginger
1/2 cup chopped green onions, green and white
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

Mix paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne and sprinkle over shrimp. Add red chili oil. Let sit at least one hour.
I a very hot pan, add oil, ginger and green onion.
Sip 1 minute
Add shrimp and evenly distribute. Let sit 2-3 minutes until cooked halfway through.
Shake, turn, mix, etc and even distribute shrimp so that other side of each shrimp is facing the pan. Sear 2-3 minutes until cooked through.

Serve with sautéed zucchini, red and green peppers cooked in coconut oil. A dollop of green yogurt on top (if you rock the dairy) helps cool the heat, but is very optional.


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