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

Archive for April, 2010

17 Apr

Bacon, Chicken and Avocado Salad

ChickenBaconSaladLauren Seaver had us with the first three ingredients in her salad: bacon, chicken and avocado. What is there not to love? This combination is not new to most of you, in fact, you might even throw it into salads all the time. But if it’s been awhile, let us remind you how insanely delicious this simple combination is.

Crispy, salty bacon is a perfect topping for cool, creamy avocado and the chicken thighs seared in bacon fat take on a deep, rich flavor that chicken doesn’t always have. It’s a comforting and satisfying combination, familiar ingredients that each take on a new dimension of flavor when paired with the others. You can toss this salad with any green you like, but there is something especially tasty about the combination of crisp romaine lettuce with bacon. While not a “dark, leafy” green, romaine still packs a nice nutritional punch and pretty much everyone loves the mild flavor, which makes it a good choice if you’re serving this salad to others (like picky family members).

16 Apr

Where Are They Now? – Round 2

real life stories stories 1What is in a story about personal health and wellness? We all have them; every one of us. Yours might be about your relationship with food, or about your body image, or about weight loss, or about overcoming illness or injury. If you’ve read my book you’re familiar with mine. I was a cardio junkie who swallowed the Conventional Wisdom-bait, hook, line and sinker for many years, paid the price, and then rebuilt my life using the powerful principles described in The Primal Blueprint. Whatever the theme, though, one thing can be certain. Health is a journey. It has its ups and downs, struggles and achievements, moments of dramatic change, plateaus and periods of homeostasis. Health is not static. And this is a good thing! It means that at any time we have the opportunity to reverse course and begin sending our genes the right signals for positive expression.

Last week we all had the pleasure of reading how the Primal lives of Griff, Michelle, Melissa and Sterling have been progressing. This week you’ll hear back from Apurva, Diana, Lisa and Christian. Find out what they’ve learned, experienced and come up against since last we heard from them, and then maybe take a moment to reflect on what your narrative is and what it could become. What is your story up to this point, April 16, 2010? Now get creative. Imagine what your story will be 1, 10, or 20 years from now. Are you healthy, energetic, happy and productive, or are you out of shape, tired and struggling through life? Tell yourself the story of your future self, and then take the steps to make it a reality. Read on for a little real life inspiration…

15 Apr

Cooking with Bones

Bones2Marrow is great and all, but what about the bones that aren’t blessed enough to bear the sacred gel in easily extractable amounts? We can’t forget about those. Chicken backs, beef knuckles, ham hocks, chicken feet, lamb necks, hooves and any other animal-derived matrices of calcium phosphate and collagen fibers are all worth saving, cooking, and perhaps even eating. Hell, I bet elk antlers would make a fine, mineral-rich soup. The best part is that bones, feet, hooves, heads, and connective tissues are all pretty inexpensive, sometimes even free, parts of the animal. They also represent an entirely different realm of nutritional content than basic muscle meat, being complex organs playing multiple roles in the body.

14 Apr

A Quick Guide to Bacon

BaconThin, thick, smoky, salty, hearty, meaty, maple, chewy or crispy. Different strokes, as they say. Nonetheless, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone – especially a Primal type – who doesn’t sing bacon’s praises. (Too bad so many CW followers eschew this fine delicacy.) Nonetheless, I wanted to address some questions dangling out there in the MDA comments and forum. Is bacon an indulgence or an acceptable stock ingredient in Primal eating? Do we need to shell out for nitrite-free? What about organic? Is there really such a thing as grass-fed pork?

13 Apr

Seasonality, Climate and Diet

AfricanSavannahEvolution and seasonality are inextricably intertwined. This isn’t a negotiable, controversial statement, because evolution describes an organism’s response to environmental pressures, and the seasons are part of the environment. Another uncontroversial statement is that the study of human evolution can give us insight into what constitutes a healthy lifestyle for modern humans. I think it’s reasonable, then, to suggest that understanding how seasonality affected human evolution might give even more insight into best practices.

Most examinations of prehistoric climate change deal with average global temperatures, which can explain overall worldwide trends in climate, but when we’re talking about human evolution – that is, on the changes in the human organism that resulted from immediate, localized environmental pressures – knowing the mean global average doesn’t tell us much. To understand how seasonality affected our development, we need to look beyond the global trends. We need to look at specific climate conditions.

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