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

Archive for August, 2011

5 Aug

I Started to Take Measures Into My Own Hands

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!

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My story starts long before I had kids, even before I got married. I struggled with my weight as soon as I started college. It was always a game of gaining weight all school year and then losing some of it during the summer. On and on that cycle went.

I met my wonderful husband, Mike, after I finished college and came to find out that he too had been struggling with his weight for a long time. He even joined Weight Watchers when he was 19.

During our relationship, I had gotten myself down to about 145 (on my 5’1” frame). Not good, but better than the 190 I had reached when I was in college! Mike had continually talked to me about joining Weight Watchers too, and I was always reluctant to do so. I really hated the idea of counting calories. I still hadn’t joined him there when we got married in 2006. It was a beautiful wedding, but I still look back on the pictures and wished I had been in better shape!

4 Aug

The Lost Art of Play: Reclaiming a Primal Tradition

playI’ve got play on the mind today, folks. It’s mid-week, yes, but there’s something more to it. This week I’m presenting on play at the Ancestral Health Symposium in Los Angeles. It promises to be a great event, and I’m looking forward to being among so many like-minded folks – experts and laypeople alike. I’ve talked about play now and then on Mark’s Daily Apple. I’ve even done a definitive guide for it, but that hardly means I’ve closed the book. As with most things in life, time and experience have a way of revealing new angles, deeper layers, and unforeseen connections. Our need for play is likewise continuous and complex – and the likely roots of our inclination are not what you’d expect.

3 Aug

Are Traditionally Prepared Grains Healthy?

sourdoughstarter“People from Africa, Asia, and Latin America eat lots of grains and manage to stay skinny, so what’s the deal?”

You know this line of questioning. We’ve all heard it. We’ve probably all pondered it. It may have even stumped a few of you, left you stuttering and stammering for a quick explanation. But by the time you think of a reply (if you even have one), the moment has passed and they have “won” the argument. A briefly open mind was now closed.

But let’s be honest: it’s a valid question, and a tough one at that. We can’t just avoid the tough questions. So let’s take this head on.

2 Aug

Smart Spice: Cumin

cuminseedsWhat do you know about cumin? Cumin seeds are pungent, potent little things with the ability to significantly change the trajectory of a dish. They are featured prominently in Mexican, Mediterranean, Indian, Middle Eastern, and certain Chinese cuisines. Back in the Middle Ages, cumin was one of the most popular – and most accessible – condiments for the spice-crazy Europeans, and stories tell of soldiers going off to war with loaves of cumin bread in their satchels for good luck. Cumin originated in the Mediterranean, and it was used extensively by the Greeks, the Romans, the Egyptians, the Persians, and just about everyone in that region. It is not to be confused with caraway, which is actually called “cumin” in multiple European languages. They are somewhat similar in taste and appearance, but cumin is spicier and, in my opinion, tastier.

1 Aug

Dear Mark: Kosher, Weak Nails, Tea Seed Oil, and Greasing the Groove

fingernailsAnother Monday means another set of questions from my dear readers. I covered Ramadan already, so this week, I’m covering whether eating kosher makes eating Primal harder or easier, including what to watch out for and what to replace it with. I give my thoughts on nail-strengthening dietary strategies (and give bone broth a much-deserved plug) and explore whether tea seed oil is actually worth using (hint: it’s not exactly like those industrially-processed seed oils we hate around here). Finally, a reader unwittingly stumbles upon an extremely effective workout strategy, simply by trying to be more “Grok-like.”

Let’s go.

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