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

Archive for the ‘ Personal Improvement ’ Category

21 Jul

Boring May Be Better: Why Routine May Be Best for Certain Health Goals

Let me first point out that I’m not arguing for a routine life. This isn’t about settling for spending the rest of your days without variability. Going Primal should never mean checking your sense of adventure or love of novelty at the door. If anything, it calls for us to grow our lives beyond the socially […]

19 Jul

The Fat Burning Brain: What Are the Cognitive Effects of Ketosis?

Although mainstream sources still mistake “the brain needs glucose” for “the brain can only run on glucose,” regular MDA readers know the truth: given sufficient adaptation, the brain can derive up to 75% of its fuel from ketone bodies, which the liver constructs using fatty acids. If we could only use glucose, we wouldn’t make it […]

14 Jul

Don’t Be So Sure: Why Doubt Is an Essential Tool for Reaching Health Goals

I’m sure we’ve all found ourselves around people who are absolutely hamstrung by their beliefs—whether about business or healthy eating, politics or fitness. Some people are overly sensitive or even overtly defensive when discussing them. Others might be congenial but simply shut down when the conversation turns to a “sacred” topic. But if conviction hampers them this […]

5 Jul


Feeling Overwhelmed? 9 Ways to Cope With and Work Past Primal Roadblocks

For all the positive effects, for all the long-term successes, for the life-changing (and in some cases life-saving) impacts of going Primal, I never want to give short shrift to the actual process of transition. Going Primal, taking it to a deeper level, or hitting a snag several years in can throw us for a […]

30 Jun

Why Fear May Be Blocking Your Primal Path (and How to Overcome It)

Getting healthy. It’s an admirable, enviable endeavor, you think. In fact, it’s what you’ve wanted, maybe desperately, for a long time. And then you came across Primal. You’ve been convinced for a while now that it’s a good guideline for how to live—reading the blog, maybe trying a Primal-friendly meal now and then. You’ve even read […]

23 Jun

From Float Tanks to Silent Retreats: Why Are People Looking for More Extreme Forms of Sensory Deprivation?

I’m thinking about a Philip K. Dick story, never published, perhaps never put down on paper or even imagined. In this story, which might only exist in my mind, the world is awash in sensory stimuli. Bright lights, flashing signs, an endless cacophony. A world of quick jump cuts. It’s like the Khaosan Road at 11 […]

21 Jun

What Is the Experience of Awe and Why Does it Matter?

I camp mostly for the stargazing. Everything else is important, of course. The campfire, the smoky bacon, the muddy coffee. Trees, fresh air, endless trails. All great. But what I look forward to most of all is slipping out of my tent on a dark, moonless night, finding a clearing in the trees, looking up at […]

16 Jun

How Defining Moderation Can Help You Reach Your Health Goals

We’ve heard it a million times: “Eat a well-balanced diet with everything in moderation.” After all these decades of clear failure, it’s a hazy cliché still delivered by physicians, dietitians and nutritional “experts” with earnest assurance. The same goes for exercise and stress. Moderate amounts of stress are okay, moderate cardiovascular work is good, etc. […]

26 May

Humility: A Primal Virtue with Modern Value

I’ve gotten a lot of feedback about my leadership post earlier this year—particularly from people who connected with the humility aspect. It’s a characteristic I think most people would agree is in short supply these days, but most of us still admire it when we see it. In truth, little in our culture today encourages a humble disposition, […]

12 May

How to Have a Civil Discussion About Divisive Issues

I made the decision long ago to slash my media intake, and I’ve never looked back. It’s not that I abstain entirely. Since my chosen professional and family obligations meant I never had a ton of time for it to begin with, I simply became much more selective. In particular, I had no patience for the […]

11 May

10 Ways to Treat Burnout (and How to Avoid It Altogether)

This year it was all over the headlines that what we typically call “burnout” just might be depression. Beyond the vagueness such wording introduced (another way to push anti-depressants?), the actual research further affirms burnout as a genuine psychological and physical experience. The study confirmed that those who suffer from job “burnout” also experience the onset […]

5 May

How to Stop Using Food Like a Drug

You might be hard-pressed to find many people who never take advantage of the “elixir” effects food can have on us. For instance, I’d venture that the majority of us start our day with a cup of coffee or caffeinated tea. Some of us wind down after a long week with a glass of wine […]

28 Apr

Why Weight Loss Doesn’t Promise Happiness

There are any number of amazing reasons to lose weight that will offer incredible benefits in the long- and short-term. You’ll be in better overall health. It’s very probable that you’ll live longer and have more vitality in those years—particularly if getting in shape was part of your weight loss strategy. You’ll enjoy more energy […]

21 Apr

Why Saying “No” Is So Important

In the health and fitness arena, taglines often sell the idea of “accept no limits.” After all, we’re supposed to believe in ourselves, push through boundaries, improve exponentially and show them all, right? Dramatic images, big numbers and extreme makeovers get the spotlight. And when people work hard for what they achieve, I think it’s […]

14 Apr

Why Hobbies Are an Important Part of Primal Living

“So, what do you do?” We’ve heard the question (and likely asked it) a million times over when meeting people. It’s the standard line for small talk, but it’s always rubbed me the wrong way. Admittedly, the question itself isn’t the problem. I personally love hearing what people are up to, but the assumption behind […]

5 Apr

How to Get Organized and Stay Focused in a Modern World

Getting organized used to be a whole lot easier. As nomadic hunter-gatherers, we only had to keep track of the things we could carry because that was all we owned. As members of a tribe of extended family members, we could lean upon others for assistance with day-to-day tasks and trust they had equal skin in […]

31 Mar

How to Develop Emotional Resilience in the Modern World

Job stress, social conflict, illness (sometimes serious illness), financial hardship, our children’s struggles, a move across country, a divorce, a death of a loved one…they’re all events that can test our mental fortitude or—in more extreme cases—leave us emotionally adrift. Some people turn into a puddle during a critical emergency, while others jump in the […]

24 Mar

How a Primal Lifestyle Can Help You Find Your Passion

I saw someone wearing a t-shirt the other day that read “Do More of What You Love.” It was a simple message but a welcome shift from the deluge of difficult news and negative media we’re often met with. I wasn’t in a hurry that day and let my mind wander with it while I […]

17 Mar

How to Handle Constructive Criticism as a Primal Advocate

It’s a role that’s probably more often thrust upon us than one we individually choose—that of Primal advocate. There we are minding our own healthy business, and somebody’s question or comment fixes the spotlight (or interrogation light) on us. Why do we eat “so much” protein? What could possibly be wrong with bread? Why do […]

10 Mar

9 Primal Ways to Become a Better Communicator

Eons ago, an evolutionary shift took root that would change the human story. In fact, it would write it. I’m talking of course about the capacity for complex language. The development spurred collaborative ability and, as a result, social organization. Where visceral reality once ruled, other conceptual layers came into play—cosmological narratives, genealogical stories, inter-band […]

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