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

Archive for June, 2011

26 Jun

Weekend Link Love

weekend link loveI love butter as much as anyone, but I think deep-frying it may be going too far. Be sure to watch til the end for the helpful tips on how to pick a frying oil.

Living in the city changes how your brain responds to stress, and not in a good way.

Fake, manmade fat strikes out again. This time, rats who ate potato chips made with Olean, the non-caloric “fat,” got fatter and ate more than rats who ate regular chips. Big surprise.

More fossil evidence that agriculture took a toll on human height (and health).

It seems humans may possess a dormant ability to sense the Earth’s magnetic fields, a la birds and sea turtles, thanks to a tiny protein in our retina. Magneato.

25 Jun

Grilled & Chilled Shellfish with Basil, Mint and Lime Vinaigrette

chilled seafood 2Steamed clams, mussels and scallops in a bowl of warm broth is a simple seafood supper we enjoy most months of the year, but when summer rolls around we like to chill our shellfish down. But before we chill, we grill.

The reason is simple – why stand at a stove in a stuffy kitchen when you can grill under the sun (or stars)? We’re hard pressed to think of a type of protein or vegetable that can’t be grilled and shellfish is one of the easiest. Mussels, clams and scallops take only a few minutes to cook on the grill. They can be eaten hot, of course, but why eat hot food on a hot day when you can eat something cool and refreshing?

24 Jun

Don’t You Just Love Making Doctors Speechless

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

real life stories stories 1 2

In July 2010 I went to the blood pressure clinic for my six month checkup. I had been on various meds for 6 or 7 years, the dose gradually getting stronger.

They also put you on the scales to check how much you weigh. So with my eyes shut, I stood on the platform, I didn’t want to know. Usually there is a “yes you’re overweight, try to eat healthily”, sort of comment – not this time. This nurse was matter of fact, “You are five stone (70 lbs) overweight, you need to do something, and it might help lower your blood pressure.” Quick to defend myself, I said, “I come from a long line of small round women (I’m 5’3″).” “No,” said the nurse, “you come from a long line of bad eating habits.”

< flashback>

23 Jun

A Guide to Crustaceans, Bivalves and Molluscs, or Why You Should Be Eating Exoskeleton-Bearing Aquatic Invertebrates

oysters2I grew up in a coastal fishing village in Maine, and one of my favorite memories is being out on the flats at low-tide, digging for the clams that would accompany our occasional lobster feasts (back when lobster was well under a dollar a pound). I can still feel the excitement of pulling that clam rake up and looking for the tasty bivalves that would soon become the first course.

We humans like our shellfish. Nearly every coastal region which hosted humans features massive shell collections, often called shell heaps, or middens. You’ve even got inland piles, like the 11,000 year old midden full of snail shells in inland Vietnam, indicating that even inlanders knew shellfish were worth eating. Back in my marathon training days, I recall running a mountain trail in Woodside, CA, ten miles inland, and coming across layers of thousand year-old strata embedded with all manner of seashell left behind by the coastal Indian tribes. Because the entirety was just full of seashells, you had to look closely to discern the individual shells. These folks definitely liked their shellfish.

22 Jun

A Beginner’s Guide to Backyard Chickens

backyardchickensKeeping backyard chickens has long been an interest of mine. I’ve never actually gone through with it, partly because I just don’t have the time, partly because the homeowners association would veto it in a heartbeat, and mostly because I have a very reliable, reasonably priced source of pastured, bug-eating chickens and chicken eggs. Nevertheless, I love the idea of stepping outside my back door, greeting the flock of chickens (perhaps by name), and coming back in with an armful of fresh eggs. It’s admittedly a romantic, possibly naive vision, especially without the flecks of manure obscuring it. In any case, I’m drawn to the idea of it, so I’ve researched this growing trend and will share with you my findings in this not-so authoritative guide. Hopefully the general information, links, and leads will inspire you to dig deeper. And if you have any experience raising chickens I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment board.

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