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

Archive for the ‘ Personal Improvement ’ Category

17 Sep

A Brief History of the Primal Movement

It’s relatively easy being Primal nowadays. Most restaurants have dairy-free, gluten-free options, if not entire menus devoted to Primal-friendly restrictions. Actual paleo restaurants and food trucks literally exist. Minimalist shoes are everywhere. Standing desks are standard at many corporations, a farmer’s market lurks around every corner, regular grocery stores carry grass-fed beef and butter, and Whole […]

4 Sep

Why We Eat: Other People

For those of you who did a double-take, how could I resist? It’s not only an example of why punctuation matters but another major reason why we hominids chow down (in addition to the hunger and cravings we discussed the last couple of weeks). Ah, the power of social suggestion… Think for a moment about […]

28 Aug

Why We Eat: Cravings

Last week I picked up the theme of hunger with an intention to visit all the angles of the instinct – the physiology behind it first – but also the outer reaches of hunger’s emotional and social sway. The fact is, I can’t think of an instinct (other than sex) that influences our evolution more […]

26 Aug

The High Cost of Commuting

Between gas, car maintenance, bus fare, and train tickets, commuting can get expensive. Driving a mile in the US costs around $0.55, according to the IRS, and some estimates (PDF) even peg this country’s working poor as spending close to 10% of their income on commuting. Financial experts suggest that a one way commute of 20 miles […]

14 Aug

Would Grok Work Overtime?

There’s that infamous question interviewers often ask job candidates to try to catch them off guard: “Name one of your negative qualities and talk about how it’s played out in the workplace.” Some people end up stunned by the question and stammer their way through some off-the-cuff remark they hope isn’t too fatal. Others, however, […]

7 Aug

What Difference Can Being Present Make?

An old friend who is in town recently shared with me, “I look back on life and can’t believe the amount of time and energy I’ve put into events that never even happened.” His observation, which I think more of us identify with than we’d care to admit, was testament to the massive power of […]

31 Jul

The Case for Structure (and 6 Tactics That Can Come in Handy)

One of the things I love most about the Primal Blueprint is its malleability. It’s not a hard-nosed agenda or nauseating treatise of commandments. It’s a loose set of suggestions that together take a general and dynamic shape a person can then apply in whatever way works for his or her life. The fact is, […]

24 Jul

Yearning for the Wild

A friend called this week after returning from a two week trip to the North Woods. An IT person who works in a large metropolitan city, he was grateful for the off-the-grid escape. “You forget how much the noise and traffic and technology and busyness get to you until you take a real break totally […]

16 Jul

Reframing Your Definition of Affluence

Since the release of my book The Primal Connection last year, I’ve been honored for it to have been critically recognized, receiving three distinguished awards: the silver winner at the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards in the Body, Mind, and Spirit category; the bronze winner at Foreword’s Book of the Year Awards in the Health category; […]

19 Jun

Is the Technology in Your Life Working for You or Against You?

Some weeks ago, I shared some thoughts on the power of food marketing. I claimed its messages and images are so carefully crafted to pique our interests and to influence our associations with certain foods that none of us (who are exposed) are entirely immune. I’ve been thinking lately about the larger applicability of this […]

12 Jun

Do You Really Believe You Can Change?

There’s something about an “against all odds” account that gets people going. I know I love them. I’m a sucker for a good sports tribute or even a good story that circulates on Facebook. Being in the field I’m in, I’ve seen it thousands of times. Heck, look through the MDA Success Stories and see […]

11 Jun

An Open Letter to Kids and Teens (and Infant Prodigies)

In light of the recent release of Paleo Girl – a new Primal book that helps teens navigate the crazy world of flawed dietary and fitness advice, and get a jump start on healthy living – I’m republishing this article I originally wrote and published in December 2011. If you want the next generation to […]

5 Jun

Will You Make This Summer Your Best Summer Yet?

I’m not sure exactly why January gets all the hoopla here. When it comes to change, it seems like winter (all right, not here in Southern California) might be the most difficult time of year for some people to take on serious change. Sure, after the excess of the holiday season people are feeling penitent. […]

29 May

Mastering the Art of Self-Negotiation

It happens to many – if not all of us at some point. You see an ad for pizza (insert other favorite non-Primal food) and find yourself fixated on a sudden and persistent craving. Most days you can look past it without much thought. Today is not one of those days. Sensory memory kicks into […]

22 May

The Downside of Routine: When Trying Something New Is Exactly What You Need

I’ll admit I’m a creature of habit in many ways. I tend to settle into routines that feel good, and I get pretty invested in them at times. (It amuses my wife.) It’s not that I don’t love to drop everything and travel to an exciting place or take a day off to do something […]

14 May

How to Get High on Life: 10 Natural Ways to Feel on Top of the World

Many of society’s favorite psychoactive compounds, both legal and illegal, work by hijacking our own neurotransmitters and brain receptor sites. In other words, they aren’t creating something out of nothing nor are they necessarily imposing an alien influence. They only work because our brains are set up to get high and feel pleasure. Why does […]

8 May

How to Overcome the “I’ll Do It Tomorrow” Instinct

It’s a long and irrelevant story as to how this movie reference re-entered my consciousness lately, but bear with me. I’m not into Rom-Coms (surprise, surprise), but let’s just say I have people in my life who are. There’s a famous scene in the old 80s flick When Harry Met Sally (no, not that one…) […]

24 Apr

How to Get “Unstuck”

I’m thinking today about the experience of feeling “stuck.” (I hear this a lot from folks who write me about getting started with the Primal Blueprint.) In this situation, you know (generally) what to do. Maybe you even feel like you have the drive, the motivation to do it, but the car just isn’t shifting […]

17 Apr

You Are What You (Think You) Eat

Last week’s post on marketing took me in an interesting turn this week. I stumbled on an article on NPR highlighting a past but very provocative study that I’ve been toying with for a couple of days now. Having spent years researching the placebo effect, Alia Crum, a clinical psychologist and researcher for Columbia Business School, […]

27 Mar

Cultivating Health During Crisis

So often we associate the two together – health and crisis. You can’t blame us really. The headlines brim with the concept weekly. Newscasts run their stock video of obese or frail forms walking down a city street. I have something else in mind here, however – inspired by some friends and readers who I’ve […]

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