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

Archive for December, 2010

13 Dec

Monday Musings: Dirt Deficit Depression, Active Learning, and Thought for Food

dirtyhandsThings are nice and clean nowadays. You can easily go a day without seeing a single speck of visible dirt, while hand sanitizer stations dotting the modern landscape take care of the less visible stuff. This is, of course, an environmental novelty with big implications. We”re all familiar with how the extreme sterility of modern environments negatively impacts the ability of our immune systems to do their jobs. We get more exaggerated and sustained inflammatory responses to things that don’t really merit them. We get a lot more asthma and allergies, especially as kids. Well, a recent review in the Archives of General Psychiatry suggests it goes even further – all the way to clinical depression. To be more precise, dysfunctional inflammatory responses of imbalanced immune systems due to sterile environments are causing depression in kids. A lack of exposure to “old friends,” or the microorganisms normally present in dirt, food, and the gut, increase levels of depressogenic cytokines, so the natural inflammatory response to psychosocial stressors is “inappropriately aggressive.”

So, like I’ve said a bunch of times already, don’t fear the dirt. Exercise caution, however, when using this study as justification for shirking household chores.

13 Dec

WOW: The Climb

pbf wow 2

25 Minute Climb

Variations on this WOW are encouraged. See the “How-to” and “Variations” sections below.

12 Dec

Weekend Link Love

weekend link loveAuthor Gary Taubes of Good Calories, Bad Calories fame is coming out with a new book later this month, Why We Get Fat. If you’re not familiar with Gary, get familiar with him. He’s a truthbringer.

Meat makes you happy. Eating it and, apparently, also just looking at it. The Colbert Report certainly takes this news seriously; perhaps you should as well.

For all the folks who don’t know how to stay Primal while traveling, look no further than Dan Merk. The guy crams an entire Primal pantry into a collapsible travel cooler.  Remember, never leave home without a stick of butter.

11 Dec

Tender Braised Brisket with Carmelized Onions and Tomatoes

brisket2Brisket is a little like meatloaf, in the sense that it’s a simple, unglamorous comfort food that everyone claims to have the best recipe for. The recipes all turn out to be pretty much the same, with minor variations, and they all lead to the same place: a hearty, gut-warming meal that will have you licking your plate at the end.

Brisket is a cut of beef that comes from the breast section. It’s relatively thin and relatively tough, which means that long, slow cooking is the best approach. Many people favor slow grilling for brisket with a crispy coating and smoky flavor. This time of year, however, we favor braising because it requires very little effort and warms our house up with a savory, meaty aroma. The magic of slow-cooking never ceases to amaze, as the transformation brisket undergoes from a relatively inexpensive cut of meat to a meal that literally melts in your mouth is truly astonishing. In an oven, this transformation takes place in about 2 1/2 hours for a two-pound cut of brisket. In a slow cooker on high heat, about twice that.

10 Dec

2 More Success Stories from Mark’s Daily Apple Readers

real life stories stories 1It’s time for another round of Primal Blueprint success stories. It’s been a real pleasure receiving these messages from Mark’s Daily Apple readers and being able to share them with the community. As you’ll read, Malika sent hers in recently after reading a bunch of stories submitted by other readers. If you have a Primal Blueprint real life story, I hope you’ll do the same. Shoot me an email with pics explaining how the Primal Blueprint has played a role in your life. Have a wonderful Friday, everyone. Grok on!

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