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

Archive for February, 2013

28 Feb

The Snowball Effect: How Small Changes Can Have a Big Impact

snowballI don’t think it’s any big secret that the Primal Blueprint flies in the face of conventional wisdom. After all, it’s a different way of eating, moving, and even living to some degree. Beyond the varying specifics like Primal snacks or yellow lensed glasses, however, I think there’s a more amorphous, underlying dimension to the experience. People tell me there’s something about it that changes their vision – how they see everything from marketing ads to cultural traditions, social expectations to personal values.

Adopting (and adapting) the Primal Blueprint involves participating in an alternative choice of sorts, living at least a little bit outside the mainstream routine. Some people relish this element of the experience. Perhaps they already situate themselves on a cultural fringe in some regard and just find the caveman/woman element that much more fun. For others, however, the alternative presents something of a vexation at times, even a stumbling block, particularly if those around them are seated squarely in the conventional realm. Yet, plenty of us make peace (and even find fulfillment) with living slightly on the outskirts of average, intentionally out of everyday touch with some of the central health habits and fads that direct our mainstream culture.

27 Feb

Co-Feeding: How to Get Your Family Involved with Healthy Food

cookingfamilyJust about every week, I get emails from readers who are trying to get their kids on board with healthier eating. It’s easy enough for us to read about the health benefits of a particular way of life and then enact the changes necessary to attain them, but small kids are ruled by their immediate desires. That’s what makes being a kid so great. Rather than try to stifle that intrinsic part of their being and risk creating the unfortunate abomination known as a tiny, prepubescent, stressed-out adult, what if we could somehow work with their natural proclivities to make healthy food appealing? Wouldn’t that be awesome, effective, and far easier than fighting them?

A recent email from a reader gave me a great idea for making this a reality. She called it “co-feeding” (a la co-sleeping) and described it as getting the kids (and all other family members) involved with the shopping, cooking, and eating process. I thought this was a fantastic idea and figured I’d run with it.

26 Feb

Making Sense of Baby Carriers

babywearing3In recent weeks, I’ve covered the reasons why you should carry your babies, and explored both what to do and what not to do when you do so. Both articles stemmed from numerous reader emails I have received asking about ancestral practices regarding baby wearing and carrying, and whether we might be getting it all wrong in this day and age. Now, in this third and final part of this series, I try to help make sense of the dozens of baby carriers on the market.

When it comes to transporting an immobile infant, there are seemingly infinite variations, not all of them equal. Palming the kid’s head like you were Michael Jordan and he were a basketball? Impressive, but not optimal, especially once they get big enough for their feet to drag on the ground and slow you down. Carrying the child by the scruff of her neck? A child shouldn’t have a graspable scruff (are you sure that’s not a dog you’re swaddling?). Tossing the kid to yourself as you run down the street in a continuous game of auto-catch? Fun, but not realistic for every occasion.

25 Feb

Dear Mark: Fruit Wax, Placentophagy, and Second Hand Smoke

shinyappleFor today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’ll be covering several topics. First, I cover fruit wax, that lovely layer of ultra-thin sheen applied to many fruits and vegetables in the grocery store. Is it harmful or innocuous? Find out below. Next up is one that makes most people extremely squeamish: placentophagy, or the consumption of the placenta by the mother following birth. Does it do anything? Should people do it? What’s the deal with it? Finally, I field a question from a guy who hangs out in a bar for a few hours a week with his friends. All good, right? Unfortunately, this particular bar allows smoking, so he’s wondering whether or not he’s doing any real damage to himself from exposure to second hand smoke.

Let’s go:

24 Feb

Weekend Link Love

weekend link loveIn case you haven’t heard, we’ve got a Dream Team shaping up for PrimalCon Austin 2013!

  • Tracy Barksdale and Matthew Lee Willis present their awesome True Nature Training obstacle course.
  • Michelle Norris (Paleo Fx Queen) and Instinct Catering offering deluxe salad bar, quail, paleo carrot cake, mustard/mushroom roast beef, baked sweet potatoes, kale pesto shrimp, honey shredded pork BBQ, and much much more!
  • Evening entertainment: Fat Burning Man Abel James will display his renaissance talent with a one-man music extravaganza
  • Evening entertainment: Paleo comedian Dan French presents his stand-up act, “The Comedians Diet
  • Learn to run with Valerie Hunt; Learn to energize your morning with Angelo dela Cruz; Learn to prevent and rehab injuries with Dr. Dave Cohodes; Learn all the things you can do with a kettlebell with William Vives, and many more presenters!
  • Stay cool! Enjoy urban trail hike to the one-of-a-kind Barton Springs natural swimming pool
  • Standup paddle on Town Lake!
  • Wanna hang with me? Bring your Ultimate Frisbee A-game! Or we can just enjoy some extensive leisure and Q&A time.

Reserve your spot today before it’s sold out just like PrimalCon Oxnard and PrimalCon Lake Tahoe 2013.

Professor Hamilton Stapell, PhD, who sits on the Evolutionary Studies Board at SUNY New Paltz, wants to understand the size, composition, trajectory, and commonalities of the ancestral health movement. To do it, he needs your help. Spend a few minutes to fill out his survey if you can.

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