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

Archive for June, 2009

15 Jun

Dear Mark: What is Creatine?

musclearmOver the years, more than a couple readers have asked about creatine and whether or not it has a place in the Primal Blueprint. People may be tempted to lump it in with anabolic steroids or other chemical enhancers, but they would be conferring guilt by association. To clarify, creatine is a naturally occurring substance involved in ATP energy production. All vertebrates have it, and most of us get a good chunk of our creatine from eating said vertebrates. Red meat in particular – beef, lamb, and bison – contains the highest levels of dietary creatine (interestingly enough, human vegetarians – unlike their ungulate counterparts – generally have far less creatine in their muscles than meat eaters). The rest of the creatine we get is biosynthesized internally from three amino acids (some of which are also derived from diet): arginine, glycine, and methionine.

14 Jun

Weekend Link Love

weekend link love

First off, the forum has been growing at a rapid rate. There are over 300 topics now and more being added every day. So, I’ve added a search bar to the forum for better navigation through the thousands of comments and contributions.

How Primal are you? Do you like your chicken covered in corn starch goo from a microwaveable meal, or do you prefer to catch a turkey with your bare hands? Pay Now Live Later has a funny, 8 question quiz to determine just how Primal you are.

Skip the action flicks and buddy comedies,  Food, Inc. was released this weekend.

Recently from Marie Claire, reading may reduce stress up to 68%. So bring Dan Brown to the beach, curl up with Sue Grafton, or heck, browse through the archives of your favorite health blog.

13 Jun

Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho with Hardboiled Eggs and Avocado

DSC 0049With summer basically here, I thought a nice gazpacho recipe was in order.

Gazpacho is the chilled, tomato-based raw soup that originated in Andalusia, Spain, possibly after the Moorish incursion brought a simple peasant’s soup of olive oil, water, garlic, and stale bread to the region. Fortunately, those peasants soon grew tired of their meager gruel and began incorporating fresh vegetables from the fields to liven up the dish. Onions, cucumbers, and various herbs were standard fare until Columbus brought back tomatoes and peppers from the New World. Today, gazpacho is best known as a cold tomato soup, but good gazpacho is much, much more than throwing a can of Campbell’s in the fridge. Truly excellent gazpacho must be fresh and feature a wide range of interplaying flavors. Consistency ranges from truly smooth and soupy to thick and chunky (almost like a salsa), but fresh vegetables and quality ingredients are always key.

12 Jun

Primal Blueprint Success Story: More Like Grok

GrokandKorgFor anyone that is now familiar with The Primal Blueprint, you’ll recognize both of the characters to the right. It’s our lovable Primal role model, Grok, and his modern antithesis – your average overweight and over-stressed American – Mr. Korg. (A quick aside: When I read “Grok” I hear it said in my head like “Grok On!!!” But, for some odd reason, when I read “Mr. Korg” I hear it said in the voice of Eeyore.)

In short, my goal with this site and the PB is to help people go from looking and feeling like Korg to looking and feeling like Grok. This is why I am always so thrilled to hear success stories: triumphant tales of people taking control of their health and lives.

I recently received a success story from reader Sterling. It’s the sort of response to the Primal Blueprint that makes all the effort worth it.

Check out the before and after pics and read Sterling’s personal account of transformation below.

11 Jun

Are Plastics Safe?

plasticbottleIt’s an emblem of the modern culture. Think that Graduate line (“I want to say one word to you. Just one word….”), the commercial a couple decades ago in which the girl drops a 2-liter soda bottle, Tupperware parties, Ziploc bags, etc. Plastics were once cutting edge, and these days they’re absolutely everywhere. They’re so ubiquitous, in fact, that a recent book (The World Without Us) hypothesizes a post-human world with an evolutionary turn toward plastic ingestion. There’s an interesting nutritional concept….

Some weeks ago we tackled the question of safe cookware. While we took on the likes of aluminum, stainless, and ceramic, we knew there was a whole other world of cookware and food storage left to explore. So, today we tackle the question of plastics. What role can/should they play in a Primal kitchen? What price do we pay for their convenience? Is there such a thing as a safe plastic for food prep and storage? What are the ones to avoid at all costs? And what’s the real harm in it anyway?

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