Last week, I made the case for the inclusion of chill-out, relaxing, and otherwise anti-stress teas and herbs, particularly for the stress-wracked among us (and who doesn’t deal with significant amounts of stress?). Several readers on the last post made the comment that, while effective, these tea ingredients don’t necessarily please the palate. I believe one even used “feet” to describe the flavor and aroma of valerian tea. That may be true, but I’d argue that when your sanity, your testosterone:cortisol ratio, and your mental well-being are on the line, pharmacological efficacy of a particular herb supersedes any concerns regarding its flavor. Stress kills, and, well, we want to live – and live well.
With that said, let’s look at a few more options. With any luck, you’ll find at least a couple that you can stomach and perhaps even enjoy.
For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m covering four of your questions. First up is a question from Rachel, an English major who finds herself growing ravenous once exam time rolls around. I discuss whether or not her increased cognitive activity is increasing the amount of fuel her brain is burning through, and whether this affects her hunger. Next I provide a few tips to a young athlete who’s injured and has to rest, but doesn’t want to lose any muscle mass or curtail his fitness pursuits in the process. Luckily, there are a few dietary modifications he can make to preserve that lean mass. Third, I discuss the importance of potassium. It plays a few vital roles in the maintenance of our health, and if you want enough, you’ll have to consume some plants. Finally, I field a question from a woman who’s worried about iron supplementation. She’s not doing it, thinks she might need it, and wants my take on the subject. I explain why it’s probably better to get your iron from food, rather than supplements – which may do more harm than good.
In today’s Dear Mark I discuss my favorite seaweed supplement, kelp granules, which aren’t really a supplement in the classic sense, but more of a food that you can treat as a supplement. Next, I give my thoughts on the latest study to suggest that an overweight BMI confers the lowest mortality risk in people. Finally, I handle a question from a parent currently trying to juggle sleep with exercise who wonders which to choose. It’s a tough question, to be sure, but I give my best attempt at a helpful, realistic answer.
Let’s get to it:
Way back in 2006, Mark’s Daily Apple quietly went live in an unknown corner of the Interwebs. Months went by; months of what seemed like me just talking to myself. In due time, people started dropping by to enjoy and comment, and soon the discussion became lively. Buoyed by community support, I wrote and wrote. Every day I wrote, slogging toward the ambitious goal of helping 10 million people cast aside flawed conventional wisdom and take control of their health and wellbeing.
Since launch day in 2006, so much has changed. At the time, “Primal” or “paleo” had few followers and fewer evangelists. Now, everyone and their granny has a paleo blog or podcast, and the ancestral movement has made significant inroads in the shaping of mainstream media and popular thinking about health and wellness. And I couldn’t be more delighted.
I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays. Since you’re likely busy with something or other, I’ll keep this week’s Dear Mark fairly brief. It’s a grab bag of questions again, beginning with a reader’s query about the grass-fededness (yep, that’s a word) of Australian lamb. Is it reliably pasture-raised, or are Australian producers beginning to load their lamb up with grains? Then, I discuss the efficacy (or not) of bathing in Epsom salts. Does the magnesium get absorbed, or doesn’t it? What about sea water in general – does spending time in it offer anything but a good time? Finally, the spectre of CLA supplementation arises yet again.
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