Apologies in advance for the self-serving nature of this post, but I felt that it was time to answer more specifically many of your questions about my own program and to use myself as an example of how the Primal Blueprint works if you integrate all the elements.
As many of you know, I am coming off a three month rehab from knee surgery. I’m about 95% healed now and can even do my “Indigenous Peoples Stretch” (a full unloaded squat) – a sure sign that all is well. Throughout this time, I have maintained my usual diet and have done whatever upper-body lifting I could manage that didn’t also require substantial leg involvement (pushups, pull-ups, dips, cable-work, etc). Despite my (or should I say “because of my”) high-fat diet and doing pretty much zero cardio over the past four months (including a fair amount of down time before the knee surgery) my weight, my lean mass and my body fat have all remained steady.
Here at Mark’s Daily Apple, we advocate the Primal Blueprint Lifestyle, that is, a health philosophy that in large part acts to mimic the diet and physical activity of our pre-agricultural ancestors.
And, while we’ve explained in the past what it means to “Get Primal,” we figured what’s not to love about a bulleted list that reminds us how to incorporate these methods into our everyday lives.
I received tons of emails from last week’s Gene Expression: Location, Location, Location post. Thanks to everybody for their feedback and questions. In the comment section of last week’s post, Ed was interested in other concrete examples of gene expression (the ability of a gene to produce a biologically active protein). In personal emails, others asked for more explanation of the difference between genes and gene expression. Still others wanted to hear more about the interaction between their gene expression and lifestyle choices. Given the range of reader questions this week, I thought I’d reframe this week’s Dear Mark to include more of an overview of this recurring MDA theme. There’s a lot to be said on the subject, and I promise this post won’t be the last word on it. Nonetheless, there’s no time like the present to give a proper introduction and dive right in.
Let me just say that gene expression is one of my favorite areas of interest, and it’s truly at the heart of the Primal Blueprint. In fact, it’s the real beauty of it as well. It confirms that the day-to-day choices we make have incredible impact. And we can influence gene expression to a far greater degree than anyone ever thought possible.
Geneticists at North Carolina State University have revealed an interesting lesson in gene expression: where you live can have significant impact on how your genes are expressed.
The scientists focused on a sample of 46 Moroccan Amazighs, a relatively homogenous group genetically-speaking. The subjects included desert nomads, mountain agrarians and coastal urban residents. The researchers analyzed the white blood cells of the group “to study the impact of the transition from traditional to urbanized lifestyles on the human immune system.” The results surprised even the scientists themselves: gene expression in the group varied by up to one-third based on geographic location and corresponding lifestyle.
We arm ourselves with knowledge. We gauge the evidence and outline a plan. We form our ideals and establish steps for carefully considered goals. We seek out support and put our noses to the grindstone. We stay focused, keep learning and hone the design with time and experience.
Goals require responsibility, commitment and fortitude, but life invokes flexibility, compromise. In the midst of all the good, the bad and the ugly we hash out here (in the name of the Primal Blueprint), there it is at the end of the day: the compromise.
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