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

Archive for November, 2011

20 Nov

Weekend Link Love

weekend link love“The fact is, unless you’re buying from a beekeeper, you’re at risk.” Most honey isn’t actually honey, a new test of commercial honey (or should that be “honey”?) has revealed.

Tweeting from the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, anthropologist John Hawks notes that “Great apes have no reduction of bone mineral density with aging in vertebral column.” I wonder if we’re actually destined to wither away after all.

A Colorado charter school has gone vegetarian. Parents, don’t trip over yourselves trying to submit your child’s application.

Last year, I linked to a Big Blue Test workout done by MDA reader Ryan to commemorate World Diabetes Day and show the power of exercise over blood sugar control. He’s back at it again. Go check it out.

19 Nov

Ultimate Walnut Pie Crust with Pumpkin Filling

pumpkinpie2Traditions are a big part of the holiday season for many people, but if you find yourself doing something strictly out of tradition and not because you particularly enjoy it, then it’s time for a new tradition. Or maybe, just time for a new recipe. Take pumpkin pie – it’s hard to imagine Thanksgiving without one, but too often it’s a soggy, bland dessert that disappoints. Made with a cup of sugar and white flour crust, it’s an indulgence that’s not always worth it.

But what if you broke from the traditional recipe by taking the granulated sugar and flour out and it actually made the pie taste better? What if this new and slightly untraditional version of pumpkin pie had a buttery, crunchy crust and silky-smooth filling? Sure, you could call this new and improved version Primal Pumpkin Pie, or, you could just call it by another name: Damn Good Pie.

18 Nov

A Different Kind of Success Story

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 2I want to share my story because it has to do with beating my eating disorder through Primal living. When I was about 21 years (I am 29 now) I started on a quest for health. I was never super unhealthy compared to the average person. I didn’t grow up on fast food and my parents never bought the sugary cereals, but I basically grew up on a high carb diet. Usually pasta, bagels, and lasagna, which we thought were pretty good for us.

My quest for health had good intentions, but was always overshadowed by my doctor diagnosed Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder which happens to show its ugly face through food and my own body image issues. So instead of eating healthy JUST to be healthy, I became obsessed with being thin. My main goals were to take in as little calories as possible, eat zero sugar, eat whole grains, and eat very little meat (because I thought meat would make me fat). Here is what I ate daily for my first year or so of being “healthy”:

17 Nov

The Problems with Antibiotics: They Kill the Good Guys and Make You Fat

antibiotics2Whenever I think about antibiotics, I stymie my inner Star Wars fan and admit that it’s a good thing the Force isn’t real and Art Ayers is not actually a wizened microbiologist version of Ben Kenobi. Otherwise, he’d be internally wincing every few seconds as another round of antibiotics commences somewhere in the world and a few billion flora cry out in terror and are suddenly silenced, never to be heard from again.

I jest, sort of, but this much is true: every time you take antibiotics, billions of domesticated gut flora die. As I mentioned last week, antibiotics are designed not to target human cells, but the same cannot be said for the commensal bacteria living in our guts. See, most antibiotics don’t discriminate between “good” and “bad” bacteria. They target bacteria. They aren’t us, they are foreign entities, but we wouldn’t be us without them. We need them to function properly. It’s a bit like bringing in an exterminator to kill the bugs infesting your house, and the guy ends up killing your dog and making your cat act funny, along with killing the insects. The job is done, and he technically did what you requested, but now you have to tell your kid that Buddy moved to a farm upstate to go be a sheepdog and figure out how to deal with your cat peeing on the sofa and scratching up your stomach (leaky gut, get it?). Not very fun, and not what you bargained for.

16 Nov

How to Eat More Vegetables

vegetables 2It’s been my experience that people rarely have trouble eating more meat when going Primal. Sure, former vegetarians may struggle with the transition, but the average omnivore usually welcomes the opportunity to indulge more often. Vegetables, on the other hand, seem to present more of an issue. We don’t live in a very veggie friendly culture. Vegetables get a bad name from the overcooked, colorless portions served in schools to the tiresome model of bland “house salads” across America. (Can we all just agree that iceberg lettuce is just a handy wrapping agent – for real food?) I get emails and comment board questions from time to time asking how to incorporate more vegetables into a Primal Blueprint diet. Sometimes they’re from self-professed vegetable haters. Other times, folks are just looking for tips to expand their limited horizons in the produce section or in the cooking realm. Fall might not be the height of farmers’ market season, but it’s a good time to up your antioxidant intake. Why put off making a positive change? Let’s dig in.

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