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

Mark's Daily Apple

25 Jul

Going Primal Has Been Life Changing for Me

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 2My weight struggles began when I was in my early 20’s. I was 183 cm tall and weighed in at about 110 kgs, and didn’t feel at all good about that. I felt worse when I overheard friends comment on the excess weight I carried. I decided to do something about it and went on a severely reduced calorie diet. Living on lettuce leaves (literally) by mid-1983; I weighed considerably less and ran a marathon to celebrate.

That year I changed careers and joined New Zealand Police as a constable. I was 78 kg when I went to the Royal New Zealand Police College. I was 27, and was second top fitness in my recruit wing of 43 people.

Keep reading…

24 Jul

Yearning for the Wild

hiking2A friend called this week after returning from a two week trip to the North Woods. An IT person who works in a large metropolitan city, he was grateful for the off-the-grid escape. “You forget how much the noise and traffic and technology and busyness get to you until you take a real break totally disconnected from it all,” he said. “I tell ya, by the end of the trip I felt totally realigned. I was sleeping better. I did a ton of hiking, but I rested a lot and just enjoyed socializing and watching the lake. I was calm and not fumbling every five minutes for my phone, which didn’t really work anyway, to distract me. I could focus and enjoy the silence. By the time we left, I felt like I was pared down to who I was again.” It’s amazing what two weeks can do – in the right environment, I think. As he described the trip’s setting and sounds, I couldn’t help but think about the elixir time in wilderness is – and how it’s the most obvious thing in the world but perhaps one of the least appreciated. He couldn’t wait to get back and was already planning the next trip, swearing he’d never again deprive himself of “needed time” in the middle of wilderness nowhere. I know exactly what he meant.

Keep reading…

23 Jul

The “Dangers” of Going Gluten-Free

glutenfree 1In just about every article discussing the growing popularity of gluten-free diets, an expert or two appears three quarters of the way down warning about the “dangers” of attempting a gluten-free diet without medical supervision. The first reaction – from people like you and me who have experienced real benefits giving up gluten-containing foods – is a strong eye roll. “This again?” you think. Next they’re going to say that refined sugar is an important food group and I need a high-carb diet for “brain function” or something similarly inane.

But hey, these are medical experts with acronyms after their names. Maybe we should listen to what they’re saying and investigate their justifications for saying it. What dangers or risks are they actually referring to? Are they real dangers that we should heed, or are we in the clear?

There appear to be three primary arguments against widespread adoption of gluten-free diets. Let’s examine the evidence for and against each.

Keep reading…

22 Jul

Is It Primal? – Nut Milks, Maca Root, Stinky Tofu, and Other Foods Scrutinized

almondmilkIt’s been awhile since we’ve done one of these, hasn’t it? I had thought I’d exhausted the pool of foods and supplements for the “Is It Primal?” series, and that I’d be scraping the bottom of the barrel. Well, I was wrong. The questions about specific items have been pouring in unabated, and today it’s time to cover the next round of questionable foods. First up are nut milks, a perennial favorite of the dairy-free paleo world. Then I cover the widely used root with purported aphrodisiac qualities, maca, followed by stinky, smelly, grimy, pungent fermented tofu. There’s that word – “fermented” – that always makes us stop and reconsider a food. After that, I explore the suitability of azomite, a garden soil amendment and livestock feed supplement that some humans use as a mineral supplement. Last up are glass noodles made from mung bean starch.

Keep reading…

21 Jul

Dear Mark: Growing Appetite, Boxing as Cardio, and Ammonia Sweat

boxingFor today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m covering three questions from readers. First, how does a Primal family handle the growing appetite of a growing prepubescent without resorting to cheap fillers? It may involve reassessing our definition of “filler,” for one. Second, does boxing – an intense, demanding sport by any measure – qualify as chronic cardio? It’s intense, to be sure, but what if you really, really enjoy and thrive doing it? And finally, should you worry if your sweat smells like ammonia? Some say it’s a sure sign of impending doom, others wave it off as totally benign. Find out what I think below.

Let’s go:

Keep reading…

© 2014 Mark's Daily Apple