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!
Note: Andrew experiments with Intermittent Fasting. While IFing is an effective tool for many people, it is not a required component of the Primal Blueprint. As Andrew says, YMMV (your mileage may vary).
I’m nearly 56 years old and about four years from retirement. I have been training for retirement by building skills and habits for things I want to do when I retire, and at the same time I’m training for my eighties. Health care is on a path to crisis for people my age, and I figure the only way to survive the health-care crisis is to not need it. I came up with the 100-days idea because I figure it takes about three months to make a real change in oneself, and I had several real changes I needed to make. I choose to think in days, because change-making is a daily commitment.
This past summer I did a slow living inspired guide to enjoying summer. Those lazy days feel long gone now, but I’ve heard from a number of readers lately who are looking to fill their winter and holiday seasons with the same Primal inspiration. Besides the amazing recipes and great winter workouts, what food for thought can the Primal Blueprint offer this time of year? What can we do to make the most of these shortest, darkest days and busiest holiday weeks? What does it mean – in practical as well as broader terms – to apply a Primal lens to the season?
Let me actually reframe it in terms of the Primal Connection – the concept that our evolutionary roots have something to teach us in creating a contented, fulfilling life – because I think it most aptly addresses the question. In making the Primal Connection, we’re motivated to embrace the full potential and pleasure of our physical as well as intuitive selves. We’re moved to reconnect with the natural world and our innate rhythms. We’re drawn to explore deeper, more essential dimensions of social relationships and expand our practice of creative play.
I do a gift list every year on Mark’s Daily Apple, and each time I try to put a fresh spin on it. Last year, each of the 10 Primal Blueprint Laws got a corresponding gift. Two years back, I separated the gifts into stocking stuffers and bigger ticket items. This year, since it’s getting to be that time, and lots of you have waited til the last minute, I’ve put together a list of last-minute gift ideas. These are items that, if ordered by today, should arrive (at least in the continental US) by the 24th of December. Unlike most last-minute gifts, these are actually legitimately good and useful items that any Primal (or otherwise health conscious) person would be happy to receive. And you don’t have to wade through the frightening morass of desperate humanity that frequents brick-and-mortar stores in the days leading up to the holidays.
Oh, and just because these are presumed to be gift ideas for other people, don’t think you can’t treat yourself to a gift or two. First up, I’ve got a special Primal Fuel holiday announcement to make…
Earlier this year, I explored the “evolution” of human dietary requirements in the last 10,000 years by examining some of the SNPs – single nucleotide polymorphisms, or variations in genetic sequences – that relate to diet and nutrition. I concluded that while certain genetic changes to the way we process certain foods have arisen in certain populations, for the most part we’re still best off eating from an ancestral, Primal spread of animals, sea creatures, and plant life. Nothing has changed on that front in my mind, but people are still understandably curious about their genetic predispositions toward various conditions, and, with the recent reduction in price for SNP sequencing from 23andMe (to $99 with no subscriptions required), as well as slightly more affordable full-on genome sequencing (~$1000) on the not so distant horizon, it’s easier than ever to actually do it.
But should you?
Today’s edition of Dear Mark is a bit of a grab-bag. First, I give advice on how to loosen up after strength training. Being able to deadlift however many pounds is nice and all, but what if you’re too stiff on your days off to do anything with the strength? Next, I briefly discuss the effect of heat on protein powder and raw cocoa powder. Raw fans will try to scare you away from anything heated, but are they exaggerating (or outright getting it wrong)? Find out below. After that, I sort of try to convince a reader not to embark on his planned week-long fast. Or, at the very least, to reconsider the week duration and try something a little shorter first. And finally, I discuss whether or not dietary oxalates are a toxic substance that should be avoided at all costs.
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