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

Archive for February, 2011

20 Feb

Weekend Link Love

weekend link loveIt’s over two hours long, but worth watching the Weston A. Price Foundation‘s press release regarding the USDA guidelines. While I’ve never put much stock in what the USDA tells me to eat, the WAPF brings up the unsettling point that our nation’s school lunches will now be ruled by these guidelines.

The Twinkie guy, the potato guy, now the chip lady… can we think of a name for these ridiculous people? How about “monogastronomers.” Does that work? Anyone have a better word?

A former vegetarian struggling with binge eating and an unhealthy relationship with food, Pepper went Paleo, took control of her life, and started a blog. Read her story at PaleoPepper.com.

19 Feb

Pan-Seared Venison Chops in a Spiced Marinade

venison2Some people don’t like to eat game because it’s too, well, gamey. Others prize wild meat for exactly this quality. Lack of gaminess, one might argue, is lack of any real flavor in meat. When we bought venison this week, we found tons of recipes that claimed to mask the gamey flavor, but this seemed to defeat the whole purpose of eating venison. Isn’t trying to take the gaminess out of venison like trying to take the beefiness out of beef?

Meat from grass-fed animals has more flavor than meat from animals fed only grain, so it just makes sense that meat from animals feasting in the wild on everything from ragweed to wild clover to dandelions has the most flavor of all. In venison, this flavor comes across as slightly sweet and very rich, with a bit of a grassy, herbal quality to it. Truly wild venison has a stronger, more nuanced flavor than most venison sold in butcher shops, since much of the venison on the market is farm or ranch raised. “Venison” can be meat from deer, elk, moose, caribou or antelope, but most typically refers to deer. The name of the specific animal must be specified on the package label when the meat is sold. According to the USDA, farm raised deer live in a somewhat confined outdoor area and can be fed grains such as wheat, alfalfa, or corn. Ranch raised deer are allowed to roam over hundreds of acres and forage in a fairly natural setting. Some ranch-raised deer are also harvested in the field, rather than rounded up and butchered in a processing plant. Short of hunting your own deer meat, ranch-raised game is the next best option.

18 Feb

Will Eating Whole Grains Help You Live Longer?

happywomaninwheatWe interrupt our regularly scheduled Friday Success Story to bring you a timely and critical look at this week’s Hottest Health Headline. And who better to tackle the research in question than expert study-dismantler Denise Minger? You may remember Denise from the recent article she wrote for MDA in which she went toe-to-toe with a study linking a high fat diet with breast cancer. Today she takes on our nemesis, our foe, our mortal enemy – the Whole Grain. And now, Denise…

A headline-grabbing study just hit the press, and on the surface, it looks like a home run for team Healthy Whole Grain. This chunk of research – officially titled “Dietary Fiber Intake and Mortality in the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study” – followed a pool of over half a million adults and found that, across the board, the folks eating the most fiber had lower rates of death from almost every disease. But here’s the kicker: The only fiber that seemed to boost health was the kind from grains. Not veggie fiber. Not fruit fiber. Just grains, grains, grains.

Suspicious, eh?

17 Feb

8 Health Reasons to Have Sex (As If You Needed Them)

feetcouplebedAs promised in last week’s Hunter-Gatherer Fitness post, I’m stirring up the (apparently much awaited) subject of sex – specifically the benefits for physical and mental well-being. Uh, you mean coitus? Yup. Thanks to everyone who responded to the announcement with rousing enthusiasm as well as comments and questions.

What could be more Primal than sex, many of you have suggested. Absolutely right. It was probably one of Grok’s most valued pleasures. (Are people today much different?) For our part, however, we have new freedoms in a manner of speaking. Although we might honor the evolutionary imperative behind our primal appetites with eventual procreation, we’re not beholden to the natural odds with every tryst. As I’ve said many a time, I love studying and learning from the example of Grok and his kin. Nonetheless, I’m a happily modern man in this instance as much as any.

16 Feb

The Myriad Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

intermittentfastingCalorie restriction is all the rage in anti-aging circles. A few mice and worm studies seem to show that drastic reductions in food intake over a long period of time have the effect of prolonging life – although I’m not sure I’d call it living. For one, these animals are actually restricted. There’s no ad libitum access to food. They’d prefer to eat more, but are prevented from doing so. I guarantee you they’re unhappy and, if they could put (cartoonish high-pitched) voice to physiological state, would say they’re starving.

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