Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.

Mark's Daily Apple

31 Jul

Positively Primal: A Merry Makeover

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

real_life_stories_stories-1-2Flash back to 2012: we felt sick every day, counted calories religiously, felt guilty after eating any kind of food…we were fueled by low self-esteem and disorderly eating.

We’d both just completed a 12 week diet and exercise plan—not designed for health, but designed to lose weight. We reached our goal weights (aka stick thin) BUT along with our “perfect bodies” we were tired, moody, cold all the time and our periods completely stopped. Definitely not healthy and definitely not happy. Which was strange…because we’d always say, “When I weigh XX kilos…THEN I’ll be happy.”

Keep reading…

30 Jul

Great Expectations: Why Good Health Is Awesome (but Not a Panacea)

There is no silver bulletHow often do we bemoan people’s lack of expectations around their health? Their passivity. Their inertia. Their apathy. (Perhaps our own.) They just don’t seem to care or even expect that good health would offer them enough to justify the effort. I can feel heads shaking out there. Personally, I don’t get it either.

On the other hand, there are those people who hold good health on all encompassing pedestals. Maybe you know a few – or have identified as one yourself at some point. They’re the folks who believe that if they can only lose X pounds or get into great shape or achieve washboard abs that everything else in life will finally come together. They’d finally be happy, successful and otherwise “worthy.” And their thinking becomes a distortion that tells them they flat-out can’t be those things until they’ve achieved their physical end goals (as if there is such a thing). As odd as it might sound to some, I can’t tell you how many people I’ve seen latch onto this panacea principle.

Keep reading…

29 Jul

The Best Kind of Health Insurance

I’m not interested in talking about Supreme Court decisions, the Affordable Health Care Act or for-profit versus non-profit business models. No, today I have something else in mind. It’s a perspective on health insurance that gets almost no attention at all despite the high costs and even higher stakes.

Let’s look at an actual definition first. From Wikipedia: “Health insurance is insurance against the risk of incurring medical expenses among individuals.” And can those darn expenses ever get expensive… Just as budget experts and lifestyle minimalists advise that the best price is no price when that’s an option, I’d argue the same principle applies here. The cheapest health bill is no bill. And what if our daily choices could help make this possible?

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28 Jul

Primal Kitchen Restaurants: Coming to a Town Near You? (With Your Help, Yes.)

For years, I’ve made the case for a particular way of eating: the Primal Blueprint. Based on nutrient-dense vegetables, fruits, animals, fish, nuts, seeds, tubers, herbs, spices, and fats, it recommends against consumption of a few foods — grains, refined sugar, seed oils, excess carbs — but is overall very inclusive. A person can live and eat very well drawing on the extensive list of recommended foods. Millions of people all over the world have embraced this way of eating and made radically positive transformations of their health without feeling “deprived.”

Those are the committed ones, though. The ones willing and able to overhaul their kitchens, purge their pantries, and cook every single day. This can be a big sacrifice entailing meal planning, budgeting, and transforming the way you shop for, look at, and think about food. Not everyone is ready to do that. Not everyone has the time. They turn to restaurants, or grab something quick from a cafe or deli. Worse, they hit the drive through.

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27 Jul

Dear Mark: Budgeting, Calcium, Supplements, High Cholesterol, and Chinup Replacements

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering five questions, all coming from a single reader email. First, Rosa asks about buying high-quality produce and grass-fed meat for her family on a budget. Can it be done? If not, what should she do? Second, she wonders whether she’ll get enough calcium eating this way. It’s a valid concern, seeing as how basic Primal eating often eliminates dairy. I try to assuage her. Third, if the Primal Blueprint is such a healthy, nutrient-replete lifestyle, why do I sell supplements? How does one reconcile the two seemingly contradictory concepts? Fourth, should Rosa be worrying about eating a high-fat diet if she’s taking meds for high cholesterol? And fifth, what are some effective replacements for chinups and pullups that can be done at home sans equipment?

Let’s go:

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