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

Archive for June, 2009

30 Jun

Engaging ATP-PC: The Primal Energy Pathway

weightplateWhenever Grok needed to lift something really, really heavy, he drew upon the adenosine triphosphate phospho-creatine (ATP-PC) energy system. If he saw an opportunity to cut off a fleeing buck and had mere seconds to act, Grok would engage his ATP-PC energy to summon the requisite sprinting speed. Today, we use the very same energy pathways. The very same potential for feats of immense, instantaneous strength and power resides in our muscles (some of us more than others, sure, but that can be altered through training). Of course, the ATP-PC energy system is just one of three primary pathways in our bodies. All three utilize adenosine triphosphate (ATP) as the primary energy source, but the speed, intensity, and duration of our muscle contractions determine exactly how that ATP energy is tapped, released and recycled.

29 Jun

Dear Mark: Freezer Essentials

broccolifrozenDear Mark,

Your website inspired me to join a CSA this year, and I’ve been frequenting a local farmers’ market since May. I absolutely love all the produce selections, but this has me thinking that come late fall/winter I’m going to feel pretty limited by what’s usually available (and affordable) in the grocery store. (I live in the Northern Plains.) I’d like to begin thinking about freezing some items to enjoy them post-season. What tips do you have for doing this? Thank you!

Thanks for the timely question. I’ve actually gotten similar inquiries from a few readers this week. Yes, we’re rounding the corner on June if you can believe it. It’s a great time of year for taking advantage of the variety – try some new items, find new recipes for old favorites. (Anybody wanna share new discoveries?) However, as incredible as it is to enjoy fresh veggies and fruits now, it’s smart to look ahead to the “scarcer” months. One of the best ways to carry over the season’s best, of course, is freezing. (Grok would’ve traded a lot of hides for a deep freeze chest….) As you load up on summer produce, here are a few suggestions (and resources) for best freezer prep and storage.

28 Jun

Weekend Link Love

weekend link loveFirst, join Fitness Black Book for a good walk

Then join the New York Times for a good sprint

And then relax with a slice of pie. For this week’s Primal recipe, try Steve Pavlina’s raw fruit pie. Just be careful how many pieces you have.

For the folks who enjoyed Guns, Germs, and Steel, you might like Tom Standage’s new book, An Edible History of Humanity. Listen to Tom discuss the way food has fueled history at NPR.

27 Jun

Wandering in the Kitchen

cinnamon porkYesterday we brought you Scallops and Bacon from a brand new Worker Bee. Today new Worker Bee #2 has another delicious Primal recipe. Enjoy!
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There is something to be said for letting your mind wander. Even in the kitchen. Even when you have a rather sharp kitchen tool in your hand. Even when you’re cooking meat that is notorious for turning dry and flavorless if you’re not careful. I have often aspired to take part in the disciplined mind-wandering of meditation or to be lulled into a peaceful mental vacation on a yoga mat. But in my busy life this is unlikely. More often than not, my mind enters the blissful state of thinking about absolutely nothing when I am in less zen-like places. Like in front of the kitchen sink. It happened the other day when I was peeling a carrot. I kept peeling and peeling, my hands focused on the task but my mind …well, I don’t know exactly where my mind was.  But before I knew it I had peeled the entire carrot instead of chopping it into rounds like I had intended. But this is the beauty of letting your mind wander. Sometimes it leads you to an interesting place; a place you never would’ve gotten to had you been following an exact recipe. The carrot had turned into a beautiful swirl of thin ribbons that I sautéed quickly with fennel and red pepper flakes.  The carrot was still a carrot, but changing its shape and texture made it taste like an entirely new vegetable, one that I hadn’t already eaten thousands of times during my life.

26 Jun

Scallops and Bacon

scallops3I have an exciting announcement to make. Mark’s Daily Apple has two new Worker Bees! And both are primed and ready to bring you delicious Primal recipes every week. So read on and be sure to check back tomorrow for another delectable dish.
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I’m guilty.

I once spent a lot of money buying alternative meat products under the impression they were somehow “better” for me. If you’ve done it too, you know that aside from health, there are more important aspects of meat that necessitate buying the real thing. Taste, for example. There’s no taste comparison whatsoever between soy sausage and the real stuff, and really I can’t see how “quorn” quite cuts it for anybody.

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