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

Mark's Daily Apple

27 Feb

Realizing the Key to Growth: A Marathoner’s Primal Story

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-1-2Running can be painful. When you are injured – it is even more painful. But despite all this, I love the sense of freedom and movement that running brings. I have lived for over 12 years as an Englishman with my family in a multinational environment in Singapore, and there is plenty of scope to travel. For me, this meant the quest for the next dose of agony – leading me to the start line of a dozen marathons and over 20 half marathons. With much attention on training plans, and even more time spent running laps on the track, I progressed to a reasonable standard three years ago (1:26 half and 3:21 marathon). Still, there were several things that kept holding me back. I found it hard to control my weight (around 70 kg/154 lbs, at 1.73 m or 5′ 8) no matter how far I ran, and I would always break down in training if I tried to run more than 75 km (45 miles) a week. On top of that, running had become even more painful, and this meant it would soon be time to leave it to others – those both younger and less injured.

Keep reading…

26 Feb

Liver, Lobster and Locusts: How Bizarre Foods Win Acceptance

Grilled lobster tailsWay back in 2008 I published an article titled Insects: Not Just for Breakfast Anymore, and periodically since then I’ve advocated for bugs as food. It makes sense on so many levels, so I was thrilled to become an investor in a company that was trying to raise awareness and bring (delicious, edible, you-wouldn’t-even-know-they’re) insects to the masses! Exo is pioneering the consumption of crickets as an alternative food source, and was recently named one of The Most Innovative Companies in the World in Food in 2015. The following article is another special guest post from Gabi Lewis, co-founder of Exo. We hope you enjoy it. And don’t miss the special discount offer at the bottom of the post. Now, enter Gabi…

Nutrition trends swing like pendulums. We’re beginning to understand how to optimally fuel our bodies, but it’s a rocky and roundabout road to get there. We observe this firsthand every day in the mainstream media; consider the messaging around fat: “all fat is good”, then “all fat is bad”, then “some fat is good”, and now “(almost) all fat is good”.

Keep reading…

25 Feb

Is Your Workout Worth the Risk?

Risk assessment Almost everyone I know has a chronic injury of some sort. Maybe it’s a lower back that needs extra warming up before a long day, a knee that gets stiff on cold nights, or a tweaked shoulder that prevents good overhead positioning. They’re usually not crippling, debilitating, or otherwise serious infirmities, but they are injuries that limit quality of life and performance. And all those people, to a person, got their injuries from training. My understanding is that this is true for most people who exercise regularly. Injuries happen to everyone.

It’s possible that I’m experiencing selection bias. Perhaps the injury history of the general exercising public isn’t anything like the history of my circle of ex and current endurance athletes, serious fitness buffs, Ultimate Frisbee enthusiasts, and otherwise active individuals. But I’d wager that most people who step foot into a gym have a nagging injury of some sort. The research suggests injuries happen quite frequently.

Keep reading…

24 Feb

Can Getting Your DNA Tested Help You Optimize Your Diet and Training?

DNA moleculesLast month, I received an unexpected email request from a man named Craig Pickering: “Send me your saliva.”

Craig works for DNAFit, a genetic testing company using customers’ DNA results to optimize their diet and training. He’s a former Olympic 100 m and bobsleigh (bobsled to us Yanks) athlete, and a longtime reader of the blog, who’s helping elite athletes, weekend warriors, and regular folks alike discover their genes’ preferred diet and training style.

Intrigued, I received the testing kit and sent the sample back. Sure, why not? I’m game.

Keep reading…

23 Feb

Dear Mark: Kid Skipping Breakfast, Rinsing Meat, Glutamate, and the Snooze Button

Little girl eating breakfastFor today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering four reader questions. First we have a question about an inadvertently fasting 11 year-old girl whose mom is concerned. Should she force the issue and convince her to eat breakfast, or let her do her thing? Second, what’s the real story behind rinsing raw meat? Does it actually remove bacteria and reduce the chances of food-borne illness? Third, is glutamic acid, or glutamate, really a health concern for everyone? MSG is one thing, but what about glutamate found in real, otherwise healthy foods like meat, sardines, and aged cheeses? And finally, I discuss whether or not hitting the snooze button is good for you.

Let’s go:

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