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

Archive for the ‘ Personal Improvement ’ Category

23 Oct

How to Accept Your Imperfections

Some weeks ago in a Dear Mark column, the issues of unwanted weight, arm fat and aesthetic frustration were front and center. While people’s central reasons for going Primal vary, I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t enjoy looking slimmer and fitter. While some of us are unapologetically in it for the vanity spoils (not that […]

16 Oct

How Your Primal Connection to Water Runs Deeper Than Thirst

The guy who kayaks and sets up camp along the same river each year. The woman who gets through the first year after her husband’s death one nightly hot bath at a time. The girl who brings her thoughts to the ocean each evening before sunset. The boy who throws rocks in the lake every […]

15 Oct

Why These Nine Famous Thinkers Walked So Much

A couple weeks back, I wrote about how integral walking is to being human. And over the years I’ve written about the health benefits of walking, how and why you should walk barefoot, and even a definitive guide on the subject. In other words, I’m a huge proponent of walking and I think just about […]

2 Oct

How to Deal with Health “Noise”

Among the most important truths I’ve come to believe over time is the need to be selective in life. Selective with relationships. Selective with experiences. Selective with purchases. Selective with information. Selective with messages (whether they come from outside sources or, on occasion, my own head). Like it or not, we have limited time and […]

25 Sep

How to Succeed with a Growth Mindset

A couple decades ago a Stanford University psychologist by the name of Carol Dweck became famous when she suggested parents praise their children’s efforts instead of compliment them on their “inherent” intelligence (“Joey, you’re such a smart boy! “Suzy, how’s Mama’s smart girl?”). The descriptive accolades telling kids how intelligent they are, her research demonstrated, […]

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 […]

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