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

Archive for December, 2010

9 Dec

The Psychology of Giving Up Junk Food

sweettemptationIt’s probably the biggest thing that makes some people hesitate in going Primal. Sure, they appreciate the logic and sensibility of the Blueprint lifestyle. They value the chance to improve their health and effectively lose weight. They love the idea of having more energy. They salivate over the prospect of bacon. But then comes the proverbial wrench in the plan. “What about bread?” they ask. (Sometimes it’s diet soda, pasta, pancakes, pizza, Skittles, etc.; I’ve heard it all.) Against all powers of wisdom, self-interest, and rationality, how is it these isolated, deeply entrenched cravings hold such sway over our lifestyles – and diet decisions? Is a baguette really so enticing that it determines a person’s willingness to live a healthier, more vigorous existence? Is the de-grained life really not worth living?

It’s a common refrain I hear: “Oh, I’d love to go Primal, but I just couldn’t give up my breakfast cereal.” Okay. It’s got me thinking lately: what is it about the psychological power of (non-Primal) favorite foods?

8 Dec

Holy Cow! – Lessons in Food Respect

Picture17I love a good cow. Its meat is tasty, filling, and, especially when grass-fed and finished, full of fat-soluble vitamins, protein, and healthy fat. A cow’s organs are highly nutritious and affordable, often discarded by butchers, usually ignored by shoppers, and always available for the discerning Primal eater. The cow also produces a magical self-replenishing liquid called milk, which is either consumed straight up (not really for me), skimmed for the rich cream, or fermented (which in turn produces a helpful byproduct called whey) to make yogurt, kefir, or cheese. And those are just a few of the major foods we get from cows. They also poop a fair bit, and that poop has the potential to become fertilizer for plants underhoof. It’s pretty cool how it works – the cow eats the grass, runs the grass through the digestive wringer, poops it out, and, in the course of everyday life, steps on the poop so that it’s literally forced down into the soil to fertilize and promote even more grass growth. It’s the muck of nature, of death, and of life, and we’re all mixed up in it.

7 Dec

Adult Sports Leagues, and Why You Should Join One

goalLast week’s post on the buddy system got me thinking about the importance of general camaraderie in physical activity, beyond just the fact that having a person who relies on you to work out will get you off your butt and moving. I think you can go further than a single buddy – how about an entire team of them?

I don’t know where I’d be without my weekly Ultimate Frisbee games. That may sound silly or infantile, but I’m serious: it keeps me sane, melts the stress away, and represents an opportunity to keep up with friends (in person, not over some social network or through texting). In other words, it’s my primary form of playing. And though I realize it’s ultimately my fault, I don’t think I play up Play enough around here. Sure, there was the Definitive Guide some time back, and we all remember the post on dance (no, I still haven’t uploaded any videos), but it really deserves more emphasis. It’s one of those aspects of life that seems to fall by the wayside, even as you intellectually acknowledge its importance. Heck, with children having trouble getting a good solid play session in these days without strict adherence to a daily planner, is it any wonder that adults need the occasional nudge toward carefree play?

So consider today’s post an official nudge.

6 Dec

The Perfect Primal Christmas Gift

xmas package prodimg1If you’ve experienced the power of the Primal lifestyle in your own life I’m sure you feel the same way I do: that the Primal Blueprint shouldn’t be kept a secret. Everyone should have access to this life-altering information. It’s what motivates me to keep Mark’s Daily Apple running each day. And it’s why I’ve teamed up with Daily Burn this holiday season to bring you a special offer.

As we approach Christmas and the season of New Year’s resolutions what better time to give the gift of health to a loved one? And what better way to introduce your spouse, friend, co-worker or family member to the Primal Blueprint and help them unleash their inner Grok than with The Primal Blueprint, The Primal Blueprint Cookbook and an Elite Membership to Daily Burn?

6 Dec

Monday Musings: Vitamin D, Toxic Strawberries, New PUFAs Coming Soon

sunA quick look at Google Trends shows a clear, undeniable trend: that of regular folks armed with curiosity, questions, and Internet connections taking their health into their own hands and searching for information on “vitamin D.” Search traffic for the keywords is at an all-time high, having steadily increased for years. But just as people are discovering importance of getting enough vitamin D, either through sunshine or supplementation, out comes the official paltry new vitamin D guidelines.

As far as I’m concerned, vitamin D deficiency is one the biggest health issues in this country. I’ve written extensively on the topic here, here, here and here. I’ll continue to get sunlight when it’s available and supplement when it’s not. And I’m sure my fellow paleo bloggers will do the same. (As mentioned yesterday, Dr. Davis does a good job explaining exactly how paltry the new recommendations are.) This is a perfect example of why we distance ourselves from CW. What do you say? Has the latest report changed how you view vitamin D?

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