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

Archive for July, 2010

21 Jul

Circadian Rhythms: Zeitgebers, Entrainment, and Non-Photic Stimuli

yawnFor all the unchecked randomness in this world, there are at least some things you can count on. The sun always rises and it always gets dark, and that’s something life – all life – has learned to rely on. Our internal clocks, known as circadian rhythms, tend to match up with this established external cycle. In essentially all known forms of life, from the earliest cells and bacteria to plants and mammals, the circadian rhythm is characterized by a period of around 24 hours.

You might recall a previous MDA series on how blue light can affect our circadian rhythms, and what we can do to maintain normal, natural levels and timing of blue light exposure. Long story short – it turns out that our exposure to blue light is akin to exposure to daylight, and getting too much – or too little – at the wrong times can disrupt our natural circadian rhythm and affect the quality of our sleep by changing when melatonin is secreted in our bodies. In other words, blue light is a major human zeitgeber (the ten-dollar word of the day); an exogenous cue that synchronizes our internal clock. But it’s not just light that affects our circadian rhythms.

20 Jul

5 More Ways to Playfully Mimic a Persistence Hunt

runnerSome of you understood what I was trying to convey with last week’s persistence hunting post – a fun, playful exercise using an unwitting (if they’re witting you’re not doing it right) participant as a reference point for fueling your fractal movement patterns. Others got the wrong idea, and that’s probably my fault. I can see how language like “stalking,” “hunting,” and “following” (all part of the visualization aspect of the exercise) might raise a few eyebrows. The reality is that we live in a world where suspicion is the rule, not the exception, and anyone can agree that a weird dude in jeans and a hooded sweatshirt (where did people get this image exactly?) lurking behind trees in a near-vacant park at dusk and stealing sneaky glances at a solo female jogger would be pretty creepy.

19 Jul

Choosing Chicken: A Primal Purchasing Guide

chickenPoultry: a Primal staple that complements any kind of fare any time of day (nothing like chicken hash for breakfast!). There’s more to poultry than chicken of course (more on that another time), but make no mistake: chickens these days aren’t created equal. Breeding, feeding and other poultry farming standards result in animals that scarcely resemble each other, let alone taste the same. To the Primal point, however: when it comes to judging a chicken’s nutritional profile, a little info can go a long way. Today’s item of business: choosing the best Primal chicken for the money.

18 Jul

Weekend Link Love

weekend link loveYou may have heard me say that a session at the gym isn’t going to undo a day of sitting at work, sitting in a car, and sitting in front of a TV. Seems like the NY Times is finally saying so too; read their piece on the men who stare at screens.

What’s worse, the candwich or the lasagne-wich? Both found on Bitter Wallet, you be the judge.

Humans should live Primal, and so should dogs! Healthcare Epistemocrat interviews author Steve Brown on his book Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet.

Want to know what a good gym looks like? Strengthbox gets it right.

Wait a minute, is CBS News telling me pharmaceutical companies will attempt to cover up research showing the potential risks of their drugs? Preposterous! In case you missed it, Avandia gets to stay on the market despite the scandal.

17 Jul

Tender Beef Tongue with Onions and Garlic

beeftongue1When Kerry Carlson submitted an offal recipe for the Primal Blueprint Reader-Created Cookbook Contest, the first words of the email were “don’t be afraid.”

In the interest of full disclosure, we have to admit we were just a tiny bit afraid. It’s not every day, after all, that we bring home beef tongue from the market. But once we reminded ourselves that tongue is simply another part of the animal, no different than eating beef ribs, shank, loin or brisket, our fear started to subside. It also helped that Kerry’s preparation method is incredibly simple. In fact, the most difficult part might be finding the beef tongue in the first place. Keep in mind that butchers will usually special order it for you and it’s found readily at most Hispanic markets (where it’s called lengua).

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