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

Archive for May, 2013

31 May

I Feel Healthier, Stronger, and More Energetic

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’d like to start by saying that I’ve always been a “skinny” kid. Growing up I had been called lanky, bones, or whatever name you want to insert here. And at the same time, I was always active. Coming home from school and playing dodgeball, football, basketball, etc., with the neighborhood kids was the norm. Granted I never ate well, but at that age it didn’t matter because of how active I was.

My slender frame stuck with me all through high school and into the first couple years of college. My horrible eating patterns continued and I slowly started putting on weight. I’m talking about daily fast food, tons of soda, any packaged food you can think of, and of course tons of beer. I didn’t remain too active except for a weekly visit to the gym where I’d mostly half-attempt my reps while talking with friends. The “weight” I put on was not very noticeable but it was different for me and I started to get that skinny-fat look some of us are familiar with.

30 May

The Benefits of Boredom

setyourimaginationfreeNo matter how old – and busy – I get in life, when summer rolls around, I still think of the leisure of the season as a kid. As much as I looked forward to the open-ended days of running wild, however, at some point I’d inevitably find myself bored. My best friend would be away on vacation. The weather would be too consistent. Whatever the case, I’d find myself feeling like I’d seen and done all there was to do a million times over. I’d mope and grumble (gaining no sympathy in the process). In those days, there was no gadgetry to surrender attention to. It was mostly the power of invention and imagination – the two best aspects of childhood if you ask me. Eventually, I’d conjure something good enough to get out of my funk. In fact, my greatest schemes and misadventures seem to have came out of those lulls. The thought makes me wonder: in this age of easy preoccupation, do we undervalue boredom?

29 May

Does Your Blood Type Determine Your Optimal Diet?

bloodcellsI get a lot of emails about the “Eat Right For Your Type” diet, also known as the blood type diet, which asserts that specific optimal diets exist for each blood type. In this post, I’ll take a look at whether there’s anything to this idea, and whether you should change the way you’re eating based on whether you’re Type O, A, B or AB.

The proposed diets all tend to be pretty decent, whole foods-based ways of eating, and they’re all better than the standard American diet of industrial processed junk, but differences do exist. Here’s the basic breakdown of all four blood type diets:

Type O (PDF): The “original” blood type and the oldest one, proponents claim it evolved among hunter-gatherers in response to their (Primal) diet of animals and plants. People with this blood type do best on meat, fish, and certain fruits and vegetables while limiting starches and omitting grains (especially wheat), beans, legumes, and dairy. It’s pretty much a strict paleo approach.

Type A (PDF): The agricultural blood type, proponents claim it arose after the advent of agriculture. People with this blood type do best on vegetables, fruits, grains, beans, legumes, and limited fish. They should avoid meat, wheat, and dairy. It’s basically a vegetarian diet.

28 May

Engineering a Better Life: A Reader Case Study

bruceleeThis is a guest post from Mark’s Daily Apple reader Jack Oughton. This article and last week’s article from Primal enthusiast Jack Yee go to show that there are many different approaches to living a healthy Primal lifestyle. Maybe some of the strategies that have worked for others in the community will work for you as well. Enter Jack…

“It is not a daily increase, but a daily decrease. Hack away at the inessentials.” ~ Bruce Lee

Unlike many of the contributors to Mark’s Daily Apple, I’m not a health and fitness professional. I haven’t got the time. I’m a freelancer, trying to design a happy existence around an incredibly demanding yet fulfilling job, and some semblance of a social life. And do this all as simply as possible.

27 May

Dear Mark: The Purpose of Body Hair and the Non-Essentiality of Dietary Cholesterol

beardIn today’s edition of Dear Mark, I finally field a question that has been weighing heavily on the hearts and minds of the ancestral health community: body hair. I will tell you that there has been a lot of behind the scenes chatter between big names in the community about just how to tackle this question, and until now, no one has stepped up. To be frank, no one really knew what to say. No one wanted to commit. I certainly didn’t, but then I got this email from Natasha and I realized that something had to be done. The people couldn’t wait til the roundtable discussion on chest hair scheduled for the next PaleoFX or Loren Cordain’s keynote speech at AHS 13 on the evolutionary purpose of arm hair. They needed to know why body hair exists, and they needed to know now. After that, I cover the less exciting topic of the non-essentiality of dietary cholesterol. In other words, if we can make it, why do we need to eat it? I go over why that question misses the entire point, and more.

Let’s go:

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