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

18 Underrated Blogs You Should Be Reading

blogBlogging is the lifeblood of the growing Primal/paleo movement, as you know, and new veins, arteries, and capillaries are popping up every day. I’m calling this the underrated blog post, but really, given the steadily increasing span of the community, even the most underrated blogger has a fair amount of readership. In fact, as I review my list of “underrated blogs,” they all get a significant amount of readers and comments. Oh well, they’re still worth listing. I suppose you could say we’re all underrated in the grand scheme of things.

I did a similar thing a year ago, and it’s time to do it again. The blogs I listed in 2010 remain essential, but these all deserve consideration to be included in your blog rotation. They’re not all Primal, or even strictly paleo, and some of them rarely ever mention exercise and nutrition, but they will enrich your lives and broaden your knowledge base.

Health Correlator

Ned Kock is a stats guy who examines correlations in health statistics and discusses what conclusions can be drawn from them. He never loses sight of the limitations of numbers even has he acknowledges their power, and Ned runs a real tight ship that doesn’t get nearly enough attention (although that’s changing, hopefully moreso after today). A couple weeks ago, Richard Nikoley tweeted that Ned was the most underrated blogger around, and I think I agree.

Matt Metzgar

Sort of the Jack Handy of paleo blogging (only not as funny), Matt gives short summaries of papers, two or three line posts on his difficulties reaching a full squat and possible solutions, a paragraph or two on running barefoot through his neighborhood and the looks he gets, a short but sweet series on prebiotics, pesticides, or fasted training… it never takes more than a minute to read Matt’s stuff, but I’m always interested to see what he’s got cooking.

That Paleo Guy

Jamie, formerly of “Primal Muse,” is a cycling coach/nutritional consultant (I think) in New Zealand. Besides trading witty tweets with Dr. Emily Deans, he also enjoys posting long (but never long-winded, a rare skill) posts on nutrition, training, and the confluence of the two, especially in regards to cycling. I come from the endurance world, and I appreciate his take on staying paleo in the cyclist’s world of sugar gels, pasta meals, and osteoporosis.

Evolutionary Psychiatry

Emily Deans, MD, is a superstar. She graciously wrote a guest post a couple weeks back, as you probably recall, in which I plugged her blog, but I thought it deserved another. Every time I read a blog by Emily (or any of the other MDs on board with this stuff), I get happy because I realize that the tide may be turning after all. What’s cool about her blog is that although she focuses on the essentiality of fixing your food, exercise, stress, and sleep to avoid or mitigate mental illness, she recognizes the place of medication in certain cases. That’s Primal in a nutshell, really: taking advantage of all the unique benefits of both modernity and tradition when they make sense.

The Daily Lipid

Chris Masterjohn may occasionally eat wheat, soak legumes, and question the universality of gluten intolerance, but man is it hard to argue with his dedication to sticking to what the evidence shows. Plus, he loves liver, egg yolk, and dates Melissa McEwen. Read this man.

Huntgatherlove

Speaking of Melissa, she’s also got a good blog. She first appeared (to my knowledge) in that NY Times piece highlighting “cavemen in the city.” Read her, too.

Hunter-Gatherer

From NY Times to Colbert to a Trappist monastery, John Durant takes paleo to new arenas. He’s working on a book, is big in the NY barefoot running community, and shows intense interest in what zoos feed their animals – a man of many interests.

Perfect Health Diet

Dynamic duo Shou-Ching and Paul Jaminet are scientists (he a former astrophysicist, she a molecular biologist) who healed their long-standing medical issues with a low-carb, paleo-esque diet. Their book and blog attempts to fashion a sustainable, healthy, longevity-promoting, science-based way of eating and supplementing. They use a little more rice, a little less protein than I might, but the Perfect Health Diet deserves a VP spot in the Primal/paleo tent.

Seth’s Blog

Seth Roberts is great. He only writes about nutrition every so often, but he’s a great believer in the power of self-experimentation (eating more animal fat improved his sleep and he has the stats to prove it, for example), especially if you figure out how to quantify and record the results. Having had dinner with him, I can say that he’s really engaging in person, too.

Evolvify

Witty, slightly sarcastic Andrew tackles evolutionary psychology more than biology, the latter of which he mostly leaves to others. He’s fond of saying “the rabbit hole goes much deeper than diet and exercise,” and I’d agree with that. Common topics include the intertwining of sexual attraction, relationships, business, and politics with evolution. If you’re fairly comfortable with what you’re putting in your mouth and how you’re stressing your physical capacity, you might find Evolvify’s examination of the other stuff interesting.

Eat Move Improve

Rarely updated, but when it is, it’s always worth reading. Steven Low and Chris Salvato are fitness professionals (either budding or established) with gymnastics and parkour backgrounds who provide excellent training progressions, intuitive ways to determine why your knee or your lower back hurt and what to do about it, and they are extremely thorough. My personal favorites include “Shoes, Sitting, and Lower Body Dysfunctions” and “So, You Hurt Your Lower Back.” That last one helped me figure out (and fix!) a tweaked SI joint once.

Dr. Briffa

Dr. John Briffa is, as the name suggests, an MD. He’s always good for analyzing the latest study your skeptical friends gleefully shove your way.

Better Movement

Todd Hargrove brings a fascinating neuro-centric perspective on movement, pain, and exercise that makes a lot of sense (though perhaps not intuitively, initially). I was particularly fond of this post from a few months ago, in which Todd explains the distinction between the “mind body connection” and “mind over matter,” which are entirely different concepts. Very cool blog.

DIY Strength Training

PBF essential movements with bodyweight not quite enough for you? The local globo gym not supportive of your Vibram-and-grunting habits? Forget all that and make your own workout equipment to supplement your training. DIY Strength Training regularly updates with video tutorials explaining how to make your own strength training gear. Yeah, the resultant equipment isn’t shiny and pretty, and it’s actually quite grimy, but you don’t need all that to get strong.

Primal Toad

A young, tenacious dude excited about Primal living who’s really interested in spreading the word and helping others make the leap, too. I dig the guy, especially after meeting him in person at PrimalCon. Plus, he’s always got some deal or another cooking, so be sure to check out his blog and see what’s Toad’s up to.

The Healthy Skeptic

Chris Kresser is a practitioner out of the Bay Area who also happens to be a fantastic health blogger. Chris’ll usually pick a topic – like, maybe, hypothyroidism or diabesity – and run with a series of posts devoted to that topic. It’s a good way to really flesh out a subject. In particular, I liked his latest series on “9 Steps to Perfect Health.” Again, he’s not exactly underrated, what with his practice and his readers, but here he is all the same.

Gnolls.org

J. Stanton is a truly underrated paleo blogger, but that seems to be changing. I myself need to catch up on his work. If you do, too, check out the blog.

Diet Doctor (plus the Swedish version)

Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt hails from Sweden, where he’s helped usher in the burgeoning low-carb, high-fat revolution. As the name of his blog implies, he’s a doctor of family medicine who’s seen – firsthand – what decades of low-fat dogma has wrought on the health of Swedes (and everyone else). He gave a great talk at the Ancestral Health Symposium, and he’s got a great blog.

The Internet is a massive place, so I know I’ve missed more than a few. Now it’s on you – what are your favorite blogs? Who have I missed? Who is everyone else missing? It can be a Primal blog, or it can be one having nothing at all to do with nutrition, fitness, or health. I just want to know what you guys are reading. Share your niche, underground and underrated blogs with the world in the comment section.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

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