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

Archive for February, 2010

23 Feb

8 Signs You Are Overtraining

exercisefatigueWhen you spend some time among the ever-growing circle of evolutionary-based health writers, thinkers, bloggers, and doctors, you notice a curious thing happening. Conventional Wisdom is becoming turned on its head. Saturated fat is generally healthy and excessive endurance training is generally unhealthy become the presiding narratives. Grains are either unnecessary or have the tendency to attack the gut lining, even guts with “clinically undetectable levels of sensitivity.” You don’t need six square meals a day to keep your metabolism up and running, after all; one or two a day will do just fine.

Less is more – as far as exercise goes – is becoming another accepted truth, especially when you understand that 80% of your body composition is determined by how you eat.

22 Feb

Dear Mark: Omega-3s and Fish Allergies

fishoilBy now we all know the benefits of fish oil and its omega-3s: lower risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer, less systemic inflammation, lower risk for depression, better skin, and so on. Although fish and fish oil supplements are the best sources for these omega-3 benefits, there are nonetheless scenarios that rule out these sources.

Dear Mark:

I’m sold on the benefits of a Fish Oil Supplement and I’m interested to start taking one. However, I have had serious allergic reactions to Shell Fish in the past, and an allergist has shown me to be reactive to most fish in general. As such I have avoided anything and everything that swims for a very long time. Maybe it’s possible my allergies were due to inflammation caused by my CW diet, but I’m still wary to test my theory now that I’m eating Primal. I feel like I’m missing out on a huge variety of food and supplement options. Question: I know anything can cause an allergic reaction, but is there any scientific basis for Fish Oil Supplements causing allergic reactions in people who have demonstrated allergies to fish/shellfish? And if so, what are my options for proper Omega-3 supplementation?

21 Feb

Weekend Link Love

weekend link loveI must warn you. This week’s linkage is all about food grotesquery, not to be discussed in polite company and certainly NSFV (not suitable for vegetarians)…

35 ingredients in a chicken mcnugget? I’m not the biggest fan of the Eat-This-Not-That guys, but they cut a mean little article on fast food secrets over at Yahoo Health.

I’ve posted about this place before, but this video on the Heart Attack Grill is quite a gut buster.

Some of you probably remember the controversial bacon explosion. In a similar vein, the folks at Smoking Meat Forums just plain violated culinary etiquette with a wad of Jimmy Dean sausage and creativity gone evil.

20 Feb

What I Mean by “Reprogram Your Genes”

From time to time I’ll get a comment from a skeptical reader that says something like, “I don’t think it’s possible to reprogram your genes through diet/lifestyle. Of course our genes are set at birth and our DNA, or program, is copied into every cell of our bodies. You cannot modify or reprogram your genetic code.” I’d like to address this misunderstanding.

One of the best ways to illustrate what I mean by “reprogram your genes” is to use the analogy that Duke University’s Randy Jirtle, Ph.D., uses in the following videos. Think of your genome as being like computer hardware. If you were to program your computer you wouldn’t be changing the hardware, rather, you would be changing the software that tells the computer what to do. So just as we talk about reprogramming or programming a computer and don’t suggest that the hardware itself has changed we likewise can talk about reprogramming our genes without suggesting that the genes have changed. In the case of genes what we are really changing is the epigenome. To quote Dr. Jirtle, “the epigenome would be like the software that tells the computer when to work, how to work and how much.”

Luckily for us our genes are not our destiny. We have immense control through lifestyle behaviors to turn some genes on and other genes off for desired physical results. Watch these videos for it to all come together if it hasn’t already.

19 Feb

Cocoa and Coconut Snacks

severalballsProfessional endurance athlete Jonas Colting knows a little bit about tapping into his own power and energy. Most of us don’t push our bodies to the limit in the same way an endurance athlete does. For some of us, just getting through a regular day at the office is a test of endurance. Still, power and energy are attractive qualities. Which is probably why a marketing genius attached these terms to almost every product in the constantly expanding protein bar aisle at the grocery store. Energy Bar. Power Bar. Whatever you call it, they often aren’t very healthy and won’t supply you with any enduring power or energy.

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