New and Noteworthy: What I Read This Week—Edition 189

Research of the Week

Macronutrients and genes interact to regulate obesity risk.

The most distinguishing feature of long COVID is low cortisol.

Even rainwater has “forever chemicals.”

Placebo is everywhere.

Women on vegetarian diets have a higher risk of hip fractures.

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Ask a Health Coach: How Do I Lose 10 Pounds Fast?

Hey folks, Board-Certified Health Coach Chloe Maleski is here to answer your questions about healthy weight loss. Want to feel lighter and more at home in your body? We’re here with guidance and support! Have a question you’d like to ask our health coaches? Leave it below in the comments or over in the Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook group. Jordan asked: “How do I lose 10 pounds FAST! I have a friend’s wedding coming up, need to fit in my bridesmaid’s dress, and put off losing my Covid weight because…Summer. I know this isn’t the best way to do it, but help!” Hi, Jordan! First, take a deep breath and know that you’re not alone in feeling like health, fitness, and wellness goals fell by the wayside this Summer. Similarly, many folks put on extra, unwanted weight over the past few years. A lot has happened! A lot is still happening! Not feeling our best or most comfortable in our body can be particularly stressful when we have special occasions ahead. This is doubly true when there’s pressure (internally or from others) to fit into a particular outfit, look a certain way, or be “on display.” Just to say: I get it. And…you’re spot on: The “lose weight fast” approach is never the optimal path towards healthy, sustainable change. That said, there are steps you can do in the immediate term…and steps to set you up for success long after the wedding. Let’s break it down. How to Fit into That Dress To start with the obvious: Is there any way to alter or change up the dress? I know, I know…a wedding’s a big day and often requires advance planning and great expense. Still, if there’s an option to tailor your dress or choose a new one, please know there’s zero shame in that. You want to enjoy your friend’s special day. Doing so will be way easier if you’re wearing something that fits! I recognize this might entail having an honest, vulnerable conversation with your friend or others involved in the planning process. While that may be difficult, folks sometimes respond better than expected. In fact, they may be experiencing similar places of insecurity. Try to keep all of this in perspective. However special the occasion, it’s one day. It’s also about way more than a dress. This time next year, what you wore will be the last thing anyone remembers. As a Primal Health Coach (and not a stylist or tailor), I do have more to suggest. You didn’t mention how far away the big day is, but I get the sense it’s coming soon. That’s fine. Even if you followed the guidance I’m about to offer for just one week, you’d still feel lighter and more at home in your dress and your skin. Our bodies truly are on our side and are remarkably responsive when we give them what they need to thrive. Even better news? What they need isn’t complicated and doesn’t have to … Continue reading “Ask a Health Coach: How Do I Lose 10 Pounds Fast?”

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Modifying Your Plant-Based Diet

I’m not a vegetarian (although my wife and son have dabbled with it). I’m certainly not a vegan. I don’t recommend that anyone eat a totally plant-based diet for health reasons. Animal foods are too good, too central to our evolutionary history, and too important for our physiology to ever give up entirely. On the contrary, I think meat, eggs, seafood, and dairy are some of the healthiest foods on the planet, and most people should be eating more of them than they currently eat.

However, plant-based diets are exploding in popularity and I know people are going to eat them—and I care about people’s health. If they’re going to do it anyway, I’d like to help them do the diet in the healthiest way possible.

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How to Improve Balance, and Why It’s Important

Everything in the world is conspiring to make you fall over. The ground is slippery, slick, and studded with protrusions. The earth moves under your feet. Discarded banana peels are an ever-present threat. Gravity itself exerts a constant downward pull.

You probably only think about balance when you decide to test it—or when you lose it. But you’re relying on it every second that you’re not lying prone. Whenever you work at your standing desk, step out of the shower, hustle across a busy intersection, or ride your kids to school on your bikes, you can thank your balance for allowing you to successfully move through your day without injury.

Stop for a second and think about how much goes into maintaining balance:

Musculoskeletal strength and coordination: Balance requires not just adequately strong bones, muscles, and joints but also proper alignment. Muscles that are too tight or too weak can cause imbalances.
Vision: Visual input provides an overview of the physical surroundings, and external focus (looking at a point in the environment) helps keep us from losing our balance as easily.
Vestibular system: The fluid in our inner ears acts as a kind of level, telling us where our bodies are in space.
Somatosensory system: The nerves in our muscles and connective tissues relay information about our position in the surroundings.
Cognition: The brain has to integrate all the information coming in from the body and make adjustments on the fly to fight gravity.

That we (usually) manage to stay upright at all is impressive!

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Balsamic Cherry Tomato Salad

Cherry tomatoes add vibrant color to any dish. Whether you’re using them to drizzle on top of a grilled chicken salad or letting them simmer of a stove in a chicken skillet recipe to bring out all the flavor, cherry tomatoes are sure to liven up any dish. But what happens when it’s the end of the week and you still haven’t made a dent in that large box of cherry tomatoes you got from the store or local farmer’s market? That’s where this recipe comes in.
What’s the difference between cherry tomatoes and grape tomatoes?
There’s not a lot. One of the main differences comes in size. Grape tomatoes tend to be smaller and are oblong rather than round, just like a grape. Grape tomatoes also aren’t as sweet as cherry tomatoes. Nutritionally though, they’re pretty similar.
How to make a cherry tomato salad
Once you’ve gathered all your ingredient slice your cherry tomatoes and mozzarella in half. Place in a large bowl with the sliced onion.

Then, in a small bowl, combine the Primal Kitchen Balsamic dressing, basil, dijon mustard, garlic, salt and pepper. 

Pour the balsamic mixture over the tomatoes, mozzarella and onions and gently fold it in until combined. Allow to marinate for 15-30 minutes before serving.

Tips:
This salad can be made ahead of time. Just prepare and place in the fridge to marinate for up to a day, or until ready to serve. The oil in the dressing may solidify, but simply let the salad stand at room temperature for a few minutes and it should turn back to liquid.

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New and Noteworthy: What I Read This Week—Edition 188

Research of the Week

The more times you flip the burger, the faster it cooks.

College lowers smoking rates.

Female mice show less variance than male mice.

Young kids who train basketball frequently have improved executive functioning.

Grazing on perennial grasslands can match current meat production while improving the environment.

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