On September 11, 2001, passenger jets struck the Twin Towers, leveling them, killing thousands of New Yorkers, and traumatizing tens of thousands more. Among those directly affected, but not killed, by the attack were 1700 pregnant women. Some of those women developed post traumatic stress disorder, some did not. When the PTSD-positive group had their kids, their cortisol secretion was lower and stress response to novel stimuli was impaired. Although as fetuses they weren’t conscious of the chaos, it affected them as if they had directly witnessed the blast. The affected children were no different genetically – they didn’t have “the stress gene.” Rather, the activity of the genes that regulate the stress response had been altered by an environmental input.
This was epigenetics in action.
Simplicity is baked into the Primal Blueprint by design. You eat plants and animals, avoid grains, get plenty of sleep and sun, and spend time doing things you love with people you love, and things just kind of fall into place. You can tinker around the edges and get really into the details, but I try to make this stuff as simple as possible. I’ve especially tried to distill exercise, a notoriously contentious topic, down into a simple, “universal” recommendation – move frequently at a slow pace throughout the day, lift heavy things twice or thrice a week, and sprint once in a while. While I maintain such a regimen will get most people reasonably fit and let them recover easily from their workouts without having to think too hard about recovery, it’s not the same for everyone. Some folks, particularly my harder-charging readers, my CrossFitters, my endurance athletes, and my barbell fanatics could use a more detailed discussion on workout recovery (since, after all, recovery is everything).
Today, I’ll start that discussion with a focus on seven factors that can impair your workout recovery:
Using a computer to simulate one second of human brain activity takes 40 minutes, 1 petabyte of RAM, and nearly 83,000 processors. Ray Kurzweil might be waiting a bit longer than he imagined for the Singularity to arrive.
In a recent observational study, having four or more caffeinated (but not decaf) cups of coffee per day was associated with the lowest risk of suicide.
A couple weeks back, I discussed the saturated fat tax being proposed in New Zealand. Well, Professor Grant Schofield wrote a great blog response to it. Be sure to check out the comments (one of the NZ health experts proposing the tax chimes in – and gets politely trounced).
This summer I got an unmistakable itch. A yearning. A calling. It happens every summer. I start getting these admittedly ridiculous, unrealistic, impossible, and yet somehow still unavoidable and alluring thoughts about ditching civilization for a little cabin in the woods somewhere. Maybe a plot of land, some chickens, some livestock (not sure what, maybe cows, goats, and sheep, maybe a pig or two). There’s a river running through it, too, or at least a babbling brook, leading up to a big blue lake that you can see right through to the bottom even though it’s hundreds of feet deep. And trees everywhere, towering green giants that cover the sky and leave just enough room for me to stargaze and spot oncoming storms.
For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got three questions to cover. First up is a question from a reader who feels paralyzed by too much health information. Whereas before the basics might have made sense to him, digging further into the literature and the blogs is only making it harder and harder to make the right choice, or any choice at all. I totally understand and can relate. Next, I discuss the possible negative health effects of beer. Is it just the gluten that’s a problem, or are there other issues as well? Finally, I explore liquid coconut oil, or coconut oil that’s been altered to remain liquid at any temperature. Is it safe? Is it Primal? Is it actually worth using? Find out the answers to all these questions in today’s Dear Mark.
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