In today’s edition of Dear Mark, I answer a question about the nutritional viability of beef suet, which so many people assume is waste. Then, I address an extremely common occurrence around these parts: the discovery of one’s newfound ability to maintain a low heart rate at higher energy outputs. Next I cover a question about alcohol, or, to be more specific, I give my two cents on what a reader can do who just can’t seem to give up beer. And finally, I address a reader’s concern that his much-beloved long, easy runs are doing damage to him over the long term.
Last week, I made the suggestion that people interested in maintaining health and immunity while avoiding excessive oxidative stress should expend no more than 4,000 calories per week through focused exercise, a recommendation that I’ve found to be pretty sound for most of the general population. You guys had plenty of questions about that recommendation, as I expected, so today I’m going to devote the entirety of “Dear Mark” to answering some of those questions. I didn’t get to all of them, but I did try to tackle a representative swath. Don’t expect big sprawling walls of text; I’m just doing this rapid fire style. If I’ve made any glaring omissions, let me know and I’ll see if I can answer them at a later date.
That said, let’s get right into it:
We’re finally back in the swing of things. Back to the regular programming. It’s good to shake things up now and then, but there’s really nothing quite like getting back into your normal groove. Last week, I published a Dear Mark on a Tuesday, and it honestly sort of threw me off for the rest of the week. Creature of habit, what can I say.
Speaking of shaking things up, the first of today’s two questions concerns shaking things up with a total binge day – a cheat day wherein you eat all the stuff you haven’t been eating for months, or even years. When that happens, what do you do? How do you prepare? How do you handle the aftermath? I’ll give my advice in the response. And then I talk about “raw” almonds, or almonds that have actually been pasteurized but still get called “raw.” I include a little almond history (all completely true and verifiable by primary sources, of course) as well as my take on “raw” almonds.
Ah, it’s good to be back in the saddle again. The challenge was a lot of fun – don’t get me wrong – but ultimately both you guys and I come here for the dispensation of musings and information and writings and discussion on health, fitness, and any other number of lifestyle topics. So, let’s get to it, shall we?
Today, we’re doing a roundup of three Dear Mark questions and answers. First, I address the latest insinuation from Dean Ornish that we’re all killing ourselves despite our weight loss, our fitness gains, our prescription reductions, our improved outlooks on life, and our elevated levels of general happiness and satisfaction. Next, I discuss whether or not those light therapy boxes designed to combat seasonal disaffective disorder and reset circadian rhythms will also help us generate vitamin D. And finally, I explore the research linking the intake of pickled vegetables like kimchi to gastric cancer. Let’s go:
Do you procrastinate? If you’re an actual human being – not a replicant, nor an android, nor an AI – and you’re being honest, then you should probably be nodding your head. But what’s odd about a ubiquitous behavior like procrastination is that it’s almost unanimously regarded as being detrimental to our success, our happiness, and our progress as human beings, and yet we still put things off until later. Counterintuitive yet persistent behaviors fascinate me to no end, because they suggest (at least to me) an evolutionary incongruence at hand. They suggest that in another context, another environment, the counterintuitive was anything but.
Is procrastination just such a behavior? Let’s explore:
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