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

Archive for April, 2012

12 Apr

Why Fast? Part Five – Exercise

runningIn previous installments, I’ve discussed the powerful effect of fasting on weight loss, particularly with respect to adipose tissue. I’ve explained how intermittent bouts of going without food have been shown to increase cancer survival and resistance and improve patient and tumor response to chemotherapy, and I went over the considerable evidence suggesting that fasting can provide the life extending benefits of caloric restriction without the pain of restricting your calories day in, day out. And last week, I highlighted how fasting may have protective and therapeutic benefits to the brain.

As such you might be thinking that I only recommend fasting to the sedentary, the aged, and the infirm. Surely I wouldn’t go so far as to recommend to the active, the athletic, and the jacked that they engage in vigorous physical activity without having eaten a solid square meal beforehand – right? I mean, no good can come of a fasted training session, as the gym bros with the sweet ‘ceps are so quick to intone.

11 Apr

The Importance of Pull-up Bar Training

DSC 0424This is a guest post from Al Kavadlo of AlKavadlo.com.

If you’re like me, part of the appeal of Primal living is the simplicity of it all. Modern society has a funny way of making things more complicated than they need to be. In studying the intricacies of healthy eating and proper exercise, we often get lost in the details and miss the big picture. You don’t need to know about antioxidants in order to know that blueberries are good for you. Likewise, you don’t need a degree in anatomy or kinesiology in order to implement a safe and effective fitness program. Unfortunately, much of the fitness industry is designed to make you feel like being healthy is a complicated and difficult objective. Modern gyms are equipped with lots of expensive, high-tech machinery in order to give the illusion that complicated exercise contraptions are more effective than timeless bodyweight movements requiring only minimal equipment. The irony is that many of these facilities, in spite of having three different types of elliptical trainers, dozens of different selectorized strength training stations and (my favorite in terms of the dollars-to-dumbness ratio) the vibrating power plate, lack the one piece of fitness equipment that I actually deem essential: the humble pull-up bar.

10 Apr

The Definitive Guide to Traditional Food Preparation and Preservation

smokedfishBefore huge multinational corporations did it for us, humans had to figure out how to turn raw, unrefined formerly-living things into food that could be cooked or eaten. And before standup freezers, refrigerators, ice boxes, canned soup, bagged bread, tinned fish, and grocery stores hit the scene, we had to figure out how to preserve foods. Yes, we humans were a wily, resourceful bunch – still are, if you give us half a chance – who came up with an impressive number of food preparation and preservation techniques over the ages. Some techniques were designed solely to preserve the food. Some improved the taste. Others increased the density of the nutrients, as well as our ability to access them. Still others were simply concerned with removing natural toxins and making the food safe to eat. And some techniques accomplish some or all of these things at once. Whatever the technique, however, from basic mechanical pounding to month-long fermentation, these methods all sought to accomplish one simple thing: increase the availability of safe, nutritious, digestible caloric energy.

Let’s take a look at some of them and explore what, why, and how they work:

9 Apr

Dear Mark: Powdered Egg Alternatives and Heating Olive Oil

oliveoil2Say you’re a guy or gal that travels for business. With jerky, nuts and other Primal snacks in tow you hit the road resolved to do your best while away from home. You employ your best modern foraging skills at the airport, gas station and at your hotel breakfast buffet. Everything is fine and dandy until, wait, there’s something not quite right about these eggs. The consistency is a little… off. Could they be powdered eggs? Yes, yes, they could be. Does it matter? I’ll tell you what I think on this and the topic of safe cooking temperatures for olive oil in this week’s Dear Mark.

Let’s jump right in.

8 Apr

Weekend Link Love

weekend link loveThe Primal Transformation Seminar will be in Torrance, CA tomorrow night, and Woodland Hills, CA on Tuesday night. Grab your last minute tickets here and come with all your questions for presenter Brad Kearns.

Researchers have found solid evidence that humans were using fire one million years ago, pushing previous estimations back 300,000 years. Unless those guys were using the fire to warm their antelope marrow to just under 104 degrees F, I’d say this is powerful blow against raw foodists.

Why do zoo apes get heart disease?

Check out Dr. Robert Lustig’s recent “60 Minutes” piece on the toxicity of sugar.

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