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

Archive for December, 2011

26 Dec

Dear Mark: Salt and Blood Pressure

saltThe salt debate rages on outside these halls, but I’ve never really opened MDA’s doors to the tempest (beyond a short dalliance several years ago). Today, though, I am. We’ve likely all consumed a fair bit of sodium chloride over the past holiday weekend, and I imagine a few of us are wondering whether that’s a problem or not. Ever timely, reader John has written in with his salt story and a simple question: how much salt is suitable for humans?

Here’s his question:

I went Primal last year, and I’m down about 25 to 30 pounds and blood pressure is lowered. I have definitely followed your advice on low salt. For example, if I buy tomato sauce or paste, I get the “No Salt”, and I buy the low salt cashews, preferably with sea salt. What do you think about this new research that has come out, saying that salt is not that bad for you, and that it’s not actually related to heart disease? Just wanted your take.


25 Dec

Weekend Link Love

weekend link loveFirst off, Happy Holidays to every Primal enthusiast and MDA fan out there! As my small gift to you (well, some of you, at least, that have been requesting this for a long time), the Success Stories page has been updated so that stories are listed chronologically with the most recent story at the top of the first page. It’s sort of a Success Story blog within a blog. This should make browsing the stories much easier. Stay tuned as the new pages are updated with archived and new stories in coming weeks.

Remember forest bathing? It works in the ocean, too, and a Northern Californian marine biologist-cum-Gap model is raising ocean conservation awareness by capitalizing on humanity’s innately positive response to sand, waves, reefs, and things with gills and/or blowholes. Check out the website. Even if you hate the ocean, you get a cool marble.

A group of longtime, diehard vegans and vegetarians get together to talk about eating animals and arrive at the conclusion that…. doing so can be healthy, ethical, and good for the environment?!?

24 Dec

Herb Roasted Leg of Lamb

lamb2Leg of lamb is a cut of meat especially suited for holiday celebrations. Lamb is comforting and festive, rich and hearty and fills the house with a lingering, savory aroma that will have people hovering around the oven waiting for dinner. Lamb is a nice break from more commonly served meats like beef and pork and it’s agreeable to countless combinations of herbs and spices.

Aromatic herbs are a traditional way to adorn leg of lamb and you really can’t go wrong, no matter what herbs you choose. In this recipe, parsley and rosemary are combined with olive oil, garlic and salt to make a simple but amazing herb paste. Within a few minutes of putting the lamb in to cook, the scent of fresh herbs will be wafting out of the oven, becoming more deliciously intense as the meat cooks. Fresh mint and dill, basil and oregano and sage and parsley are other herb combinations to try. If you want to get more adventurous, open up your spice drawer and season the lamb with a bold blend of dry seasonings:

23 Dec

How the Bears Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Primal Lifestyle

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

This Primal Blueprint Real Life Story was submitted a few months ago during the annual 30-Day Challenge.

There are two thoughts I clearly remember having in my lifetime:

  • I am overweight, but I no longer care about how I look and I am fine with being this way for the rest of my life.
  • My husband is likely to die of a heart attack sometime soon and there is nothing I can do about it.

I was 26 when I had these thoughts. I was heavier than I had ever been, depressed and totally inactive. My husband was obese, unhappy with his job and completely complacent. We hadn’t always been this way, but we were resigned to living this way for the rest of our lives.

22 Dec

The Joy of Receiving

winterAs we round the solstice today, I’m mulling the idea of receiving. Sure, it’s not the first thing that comes to mind when you think about health or the holiday season, but bear with me here. First off, I’m not talking about the massive, gimme-gimme materialistic free for all that too often edges out any genuine meaning to the holidays. Honestly, that’s one of the reasons I tend to gravitate toward observing solstice. You don’t get 483 emails the week before reminding you that stores are now open 24 hours a day until the longest night of the year. (Most people couldn’t care less, in fact.) There’s something kind of appropriate to it really: the original mid-winter holiday remains the sparest and most unadulterated of the December celebrations. I’m talking about the nudge toward contemplativeness and a spirit of hospitality that I think most of us enjoy about this time of year. When we’re not rushing around harried by the compulsion to make this the most Martha Stewart worthy event ever, the holidays can call us to take stock, reach out, live it up in a way that’s good for body and soul.

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