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

Archive for the ‘ Diet ’ Category

3 Aug

Is All Butter Created Equal?

The embrace (some might say exaltation) of butter is, in some respects, what sets the Primal eating plan apart from strict paleo. It is essentially pure animal fat with only minor traces of dairy proteins and sugars remaining, and for that reason I consider it a worthwhile staple. But, to answer the question posed in […]

9 Jul

A Primal Primer: Iodine

Yesterday I mentioned that sea vegetables are a great source of iodine. “But what is iodine?” many emailers asked. Well, dear friends, iodine is elemental. Let’s take a trip through the land of iodine to learn what it is, what it does for the human body and whether you should make an effort to get […]

8 Jul

A Visual Guide to Sea Vegetables

About 160,000 years ago the human diet expanded to include seafood. Early humans became coastal dwellers at least that long ago, and ever since then we’ve been inextricably linked to the sea. The sea contains our most reliable source (when we aren’t dining on the brains of ruminants) of the all-important, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. […]

21 Jun

Further Adventures with Leptin

I mentioned a few of the working hypotheses for avoiding leptin resistance in my posts last week, including fructose and lectin avoidance, getting adequate nightly sleep, and eating at or above maintenance levels – or at least throwing in periodic carb refeeds – but there’s even more involved in establishing a good relationship with your […]

18 Jun

Carb Refeeding and Weight Loss

Part of the allure of the Primal eating plan is that it’s effortless. There’s no calorie counting, no stressing over macronutrient intakes – eating PB simply means choosing to eat real, whole foods that man has been eating for tens of thousands of years. You can go higher carb or lower carb (I initially recommend […]

17 Jun

A Primal Primer: Leptin

Just about every physiological process occurring under the hood can be attributed to one hormone or another. Hormones are like software programs, directing our bodily processes, modulating our reactions to foods, and guiding energy metabolism and balance. We don’t consciously control our hormonal responses – that is, we don’t think to ourselves, “Hmm, let’s get […]

4 Jun

The Lowdown On Lectins

Little known to the public at large. Little understood by the health community. Omnipresent in our conventional food culture. Proven to be at least mildly detrimental for everyone and downright destructive for the more sensitive (and often unsuspecting) among us. We’re talking lectins today: common natural agents on the one hand, cloaked thugs of the […]

18 May

Smart Spice: Cinnamon

We mostly see them as flavorants, as the little jars of powder that line our cabinets and the bags of dried roots, barks, and leaves tucked away in drawers, designed to subtly or drastically alter the flavor profile of our “smart fuel” creations in the kitchen, but for most of human history, spices were also […]

11 May

A Primal Primer: Prebiotics

Probiotics get a ton of positive press from a multitude of sources (including here). It’s one of those areas of nutrition that receives approval from pretty much every camp out there, like fish oil. (Even Dean Ornish supports the usage of fish oil; just about the only type of fat he seems to approve of.) […]

28 Apr

Primal Nutrition and Fertility

Although for many of us starting a family simply happens (surprise!), others among us take an intentional approach. Maybe we delay having children for professional, financial or relationship reasons. Maybe we begin trying when we’re young. Regardless of timing, facing our fertility (so to speak) is an intensely personal and often emotional passage. It can […]

20 Apr

What’s Up With Your Gut? – Beneficial Bacteria and Good Digestive Health

Everyone knows (well, not everyone, but anyone who’s probably reading this) how crucial the early days of an infant’s life are for establishing good habits and healthy patterns for the rest of its life. What the mother eats while pregnant, what the child eats, delivery methods, breastfeeding duration, heck, whether you read to your children […]

15 Apr

Cooking with Bones

Marrow is great and all, but what about the bones that aren’t blessed enough to bear the sacred gel in easily extractable amounts? We can’t forget about those. Chicken backs, beef knuckles, ham hocks, chicken feet, lamb necks, hooves and any other animal-derived matrices of calcium phosphate and collagen fibers are all worth saving, cooking, […]

14 Apr

A Quick Guide to Bacon

Thin, thick, smoky, salty, hearty, meaty, maple, chewy or crispy. Different strokes, as they say. Nonetheless, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone – especially a Primal type – who doesn’t sing bacon’s praises. (Too bad so many CW followers eschew this fine delicacy.) Nonetheless, I wanted to address some questions dangling out there in […]

13 Apr

Seasonality, Climate and Diet

Evolution and seasonality are inextricably intertwined. This isn’t a negotiable, controversial statement, because evolution describes an organism’s response to environmental pressures, and the seasons are part of the environment. Another uncontroversial statement is that the study of human evolution can give us insight into what constitutes a healthy lifestyle for modern humans. I think it’s […]

6 Apr

How Much is Too Much? – Round 2

Last week’s post covering upper recommendations garnered so much interest – and additional questions – that I thought we’d give it another go around. While last week’s list took on basics like protein and fat as well as worthy indulgences like chocolate and – drum roll, please –BACON (break for rampant applause), this week I’ll […]

5 Apr

Seasonality for the Birds

Last week, we determined a common thread of seasonality running through historical fructose consumption. Warm weather with plenty of sunshine generally meant fruit was available. Those living in the tropics (as we humans did for most of our history) thus had year-round access to sweet fruit, while cold climate Grok had seasonal, intermittent access. Plus, […]

31 Mar

How Much Is Too Much?

Although the Primal Blueprint leaves ample room for individual determination, I do try to offer folks a clear picture of the impact different dietary and lifestyle choices have on their overall health picture. At times I even offer specific recommendations or ranges that readers can tailor to their particular needs and situations. I’m often asked, […]

30 Mar

The Question of Seasonality in Fructose Availability

Let’s continue the discussion from last time. Again, I apologize for any meandering. This is a big topic, and I think it helps to leave no stone unturned. Seasonal eating is currently pretty popular, perhaps even trendy in some circles. You’ve got the locavores, folks who only dine on meat and produce grown and harvested […]

15 Mar

Dear Mark: Nuts and Omega-6s

Nuts have gotten a surprising amount of flack as of late. Many nuts have a fairly high PUFA content, and most of that PUFA is Omega-6, which is the bad one. It’s easily oxidized, highly unstable for cooking, usually rancid on the shelf, and, thanks to government farm subsidies and public hysteria over animal fat, […]

11 Feb

Protein Powders: How Do They Measure Up?

Last week’s whey protein post generated a ton of great questions. I’m going to try to get to as many as I can today, and I’ll include information on alternative protein powders at the end. As always, let me know if I miss anything and I’ll try to rectify that in the future. What about […]

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