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

Mark's Daily Apple

3 Jul

It’s Not About the Number, It’s About Feeling Good

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-1-2As you know only too well, I’ve been meaning to write this story for the longest time but never got around to doing it, but I finally have so here goes!

I have included two sets of pictures. The first two (below) are from before I started my fitness journey and I had not yet discovered Primal. These pictures were taken in January of 2013 when I weighed in at 195 lbs. Previously I was 225 lbs after my pregnancy and in a slump for the longest time but did not have the courage to take pictures at that size. I did start on the unhealthy track of HCG therapy and while this might not have been the best nutritional decision of my life it did in fact serve one purpose. It lit the fire! The weight was pouring off but at 195 lbs it all stopped working. This was when I made the decision to join the gym.

Keep reading…

2 Jul

Health Check-Ups: How Important Are They, Really?

This past weekend’s “Link Love” highlighted an article called “Rethinking Movement: Why You Should See a Physical Therapist Every Year.” Arguing for a systemic approach to movement and a deeper appreciation for the interconnections among the body’s neuromuscular, skeletal, cardiovascular and even endocrine functioning, professor emerita of physical therapy, Dr. Shirley Sahrmann proposes that taking a more preemptive approach to movement (a.k.a. prehab) throughout life can head off injury, osteoarthritis, chronic pain as well as the common surgeries and other intensive or pharmaceutical treatments related to these conditions. Whether you’re an elite athlete or a channel surfer, she claims an annual check-up by a physical therapist should be routine practice. Having seen so many injuries and pain issues as a trainer (and suffered from them myself), I find her proposal very compelling. More than that, however, her reasoning opens up a larger question: what really should we be monitoring on an annual basis?

Keep reading…

1 Jul

Is the Paleo Diet Supported by Scientific Research?

People constantly demand proof for the efficacy of the Primal eating plan. And I’m glad they do. The Primal Blueprint makes sense on an intuitive level, and those success stories we see every Friday sure are persuasive, but it’s also important to see broader support in the scientific literature. Many times, people demand proof without really wanting any; they assume it’s all imaginary just-so stories. “Where are the studies?” has become a retort rather than a legitimate query.

Well, it’s time to retire it. With 22 paleo diet papers and counting, the scientific research is quickly accumulating — and it’s quite positive. In last Sunday’s Weekend Link Love, I shared a list of (most of) the available paleo diet studies. Today, I thought I’d summarize some of these studies for you. Not everyone can be expected to have access to, read, and be able to interpret all of the research that is published. But there’s some really interesting stuff in there that I think you might benefit from knowing (and passing along to interested parties who ask). But be sure to have a look for yourself. Don’t just take my word for it.

Keep reading…

30 Jun

Precommitment Is Powerful, or Why You Should Be Like Odysseus

Most of the time, we wield willpower like a holstered gun with the safety off. Temptation rears — an ice cream bar, perhaps — and we whip it out, firing blindly and wasting more than a few bullets in the process. The temptation is beat back, and the ice cream goes uneaten, but the willpower that remains is depleted and less effective in subsequent encounters. And the same thing happens every time we’re faced with a decision. That’s a sloppy way of dealing with the constant stream of temptation the modern world presents.

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29 Jun

Dear Mark: Vitamin D for Babes, Ingredient Bait and Switch, and Kettlebellin’ for Strength or Cardio?

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got a three-parter. First up is a controversial topic: vitamin D supplements for breastfeeding babies. Do they need it? Can they get enough through mother’s milk? Or is there another, better method for ensuring optimal vitamin D levels in breastfeeding infants? Next, what’s my take on the ol’ ingredient bait and switch employed by food manufacturers? And finally, say a person’s trying to program kettlebell training into their weekly routine. Should they consider it cardio, strength, or something else entirely?

Let’s go:

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