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

Dear Mark: Matcha Tea, Runner’s High, Stress and Weight Gain, and Fasting for Teens

matchaYesterday was the Malibu Marathon (and Half Marathon), and yeah, I snuck a peek. I could never do it myself, not ever again, but I always like to take a gander at the hordes of faithful. Tons of folks in Fivefingers (and even a few totally barefoot runners), about half of whom were either still heel striking, running with a total disregard for midline stabilization, or bobbing their heads up and down like pigeons trolling for scraps of bread. At that point, their heads are in the right place but they’re doing even more damage to themselves. Barefoot running isn’t a panacea. In fact, it opens you up to even more injury if you persist with the same shoe-centric running form you used before. Oh well. They’ll learn. I just hope the lesson takes before any serious damage is done.

This week, we’ve got questions on whether IF is safe for teens, whether the runner’s high is worth pursuing, whether stress can lead to weight gain, and whether matcha green tea matches up to the hype (see what I did there?). Let’s go.

Hi Mark,

I recently discovered “matcha” tea; a green tea concentrate. What do you think?

Thanks

Ben

Most people would agree that green tea is pretty dang good for you. My wife, Carrie, is a huge tea drinker. I like a cup or two every few days myself, when it occurs to me to brew it or if there’s any left over. Though I’m no connoisseur, I tend to go for the grassier varieties. But what about matcha?

Matcha green tea is made from powdered, shade-grown tea leaves. Well, “shade-finished” might be a more accurate descriptor; a few weeks before the harvest, matcha-designated tea plants are covered with shade. This slows the growth, sweetens and deepens the flavor, and increases the amino acid content of the leaves (specifically L-theanine). Pulverizing the tea leaves into a powder increases the surface area and makes for a stronger, more potent brew. Plus, when you drink matcha, you’re consuming the leaves and all their polyphenols and amino acids themselves. The powder doesn’t get strained out like normal green tea leaves.

This seems to increase the antioxidant activity. First, there’s more L-theanine available. I’ve discussed the stress-reducing benefits of L-theanine before. All good there. Plus, a 2003 study found that the epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) was 137 times more bioavailable in matcha than a traditional leaf-based green tea, and more than three times as bioavailable as the “largest literature value of other green teas.” ECGC is the premier antioxidant on which everyone who raves about green tea focuses. There are EGCG pills, tinctures, and all sorts of supplements.

More EGCG, more L-theanine? Sounds good to me.

Hey,

I read an article on your site about how in many aspects, sprinting and very low heart rate cardio are better than constant long distance running. But what about the mental effects of long distance running? The “high” I get after a long, steady run is so much better than the “high” I get from sprinting. What would you say to this? Thanks so much and I understand if you don’t have the time to reply!

Greg

If you’re going to run long distance, your way is the way to do it. Rather than chasing the numbers, you are enjoying the journey. I can’t really find fault with that. If I’d taken that approach, I’d probably still have suffered the negative health effects of chronic cardio, but at least it wouldn’t have felt like such a chore doing it.

As for the runner’s high itself, we’re still figuring out exactly what causes it. Both endorphins (a sort of natural opiate) and anandamide (an inhouse cannabinoid that binds to the same receptors as THC from cannabis) are prime candidates, but whichever neurotransmitter is responsible, they kick into gear when the going gets really tough and when exertion and the physical stress from running at a high intensity for long periods of time are elevated. And yeah, it feels good. I still remember it. It makes those long runs tolerable, possible.

You know what else made those runs tolerable? Cushy shoes, half gallons of ice cream, and buckets of pasta. With the latest running shoes, I could run 20 miles without my feet noticing. Barefoot or in VFF, my foot muscles let me know to either slow down or stop. Without pasta and ice cream, I don’t think I could have maintained my training. Does that mean those are health foods?

I’m not sure if we can equate the runner’s high to all those things, but there are similarities. Occasionally dipping into one’s natural narcotic stash by way of long distance cardio is fine, and even advisable (that’s what it’s there for, after all), but not every day. This is probably an evolution-selected survival mechanism. It’s a tool used by the body to make an otherwise horrible, stressful, calorically-costly experience seem not so bad. Imagine you are being hunted down by a beast or invading tribe over a period of hours. Rather than just giving up deer-in-the-headlights style (and forever losing the opportunity to forward your genes into the next generation), you can maintain a positive, feel-good attitude while continuing your escape (or maybe not giving up on a long hunt). At least that’s how I picture it. But I’d be wary of using it three or four or five days a week. It IS addictive. Take it from someone who chased that high daily and suffered the costs.

Mark,

Is it normal to gain weight in the Fall? This happens to me every year and I have ballooned up to my pre-Primal measurements (about 6 inches gained back). I’m lifting heavier and stronger than ever before (I love lifting heavy now) and I still sprint and move frequently at a slow pace. I have unfortunately been indulging more than I did over the summer when I went Primal and I know a lot of that is due to stress. I am a junior in college and living in my first apartment. Is stress partly to blame for gaining back some of the fat? Would attempting to lose the weight now as opposed to when the school year ends add too much stress to my already stressful schedule? Thanks for all you do!

Emily

You gotta get a handle on the stress before anything else. The stress isn’t making you gain weight, not directly. The “indulging more” is. However, chronically elevated cortisol levels (a normal characteristic of the highly and perpetually stressed individual) induce insulin resistance, poor carb tolerance, increase hunger, and increase belly fat relative to other areas of the body. So, ultimately, the stress is leading to poor glucose tolerance and more hunger, which leads to more indulging and a reduced ability to handle the food (especially carbs), which leads to weight gain. Gaining more weight can further increase stress, simply because it’s a frustrating thing to experience. It can feed on itself and lead to even more weight and more stress.

I’d actually caution against actively attempting to lose weight without addressing the stress. Studies consistently show that dieting increases cortisol levels, which in turn increases hunger and indicates a general increase in your stress levels. For you, right now, stress may be ultimate cause of your weight gain, so you have to figure it out. Explore meditation. Go for walks. Don’t procrastinate. Be nutrient replete. Get good sleep. Power down from electronic usage before bed. Check out my previous guides on beating stress, like this one and this one.

Do you think intermittent fasting would be safe for teenagers? Animal studies have shown there is no stunting, but what do you think?

Will

If you look at animals, parents always go out of their way to make sure their young get a steady intake of calories. In the pet realm, puppies and kittens need more food for their size than do adult dogs to ensure proper growth. I don’t see why this would be different for people. Humans mature much more slowly than other animals, so a steady caloric intake is probably required for far longer. My son, a teen, eats like a horse. His appetite is insatiable, and I can’t imagine IF going well for him. If he went with a reduced eating window, he’d have to eat 2000+ calories at each sitting. Possible? For him, yeah, but not very realistic in the long haul.

That said, if you can account for nutrient density, caloric intake, and handle the logistics of it all, I don’t see why skipping the occasional meal would be harmful to a healthy teen. I just find it pretty unnecessary. There are many benefits to fasting, but maybe save them for later.

Thanks for reading, everyone. If you’ve got any more questions, send ‘em in. If I went wrong somewhere, somehow, let me know in the comment section. Take care!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. In regards to Greg’s question, I have to agree that the feeling I get after running 5-7 miles is much more euphoric than if I do a handful of extreme wind sprints. I think the key is a variation of short distance and long distance runs!

    Mr Gift Professor wrote on November 14th, 2011
    • When I was running I always thought it was the best feeling to get about the 5 mile mark and then feel like I could run forever. And then I got compartment syndrome and good bye running high!

      Susan wrote on November 15th, 2011
      • Oh my God, I thought you could only get compartment syndrome with very severe burns/crush injuries! Hope you recovered well from it!

        Milla wrote on November 16th, 2011
  2. I like to add matcha (about 1/2 tsp) to my morning smoothie. It doesn’t change the taste much – I enjoy the earthy flavor. I participated in a Japanese tea ceremony using matcha a few years ago and it was really interesting.

    Judi O wrote on November 14th, 2011
    • Judi, that sounds delicious. Which brand do you use?

      Stephanie wrote on November 14th, 2011
      • Try the Tao of Tea… you can get it online. Its about 17$ for a tin, but I drink about 3-4 cups a week and my tin has easily lasted a month. It tastes great and gives me a better, cleaner boost than coffee. (I think matcha breaks down to about .25 cents a cup, even tho it looks expensive)

        Crisp wrote on November 15th, 2011
        • Thanks Crisp!

          Stephanie wrote on November 15th, 2011
    • I first learned about matcha green tea a couple years ago back when I was reading everything I could about how to cure acne holistically.

      I’m glad you confirmed my thoughts Mark.

      I’ve never thought about adding it to smoothies even though I am a primal smoothie enthusiast.

      What do you add with the matcha green tea? I’m super curious. And, what brand of matcha green tea do you buy?

      Primal Toad wrote on November 14th, 2011
  3. I don’t get a runner’s high anymore but I do get one during a long session (1 hour plus) of lifting weights, I think it might be age related.

    rob wrote on November 14th, 2011
  4. Wow that tea looks like pea soup. Maybe it’s Mother Nature’s motor oil?

    Grokitmus Primal wrote on November 14th, 2011
  5. The high I used to get from running is no comparison to the high I get now from reviewing my strength gains and the progress I feel in this 43 year old body. So to put it into perspective, I just find my high in new places (all legal as well).

    Jeff wrote on November 14th, 2011
  6. Thanks for addressing IF for teens! I had been wondering about that (I’m 17) and I’m glad it’s not necessary to do right away. I still have some other issues to address first :)

    Alyssa wrote on November 14th, 2011
  7. I’m not sure about the last issue, if teenagers are constantly eating 4-5 meals a day (like I did), it’s going to make them more psychologically dependant on food. My discovery at the age of 20ish that I didn’t have to eat every day was so liberating, I had that kind of ‘what have I been thinking all my life!?’ reaction.

    I’m a big fan of fasting, and, like any healthy habits, it’s always better to start young!

    But maybe long fasting periods could lead to binging, which is the worst habit for teenagers to get into!

    Chaike wrote on November 14th, 2011
  8. I make matcha with cream on days I don’t feel like coffee, I know it sounds strange, but its awesome! I also add it to my coconut butter bark.

    I had a brief bout of anorexia when I was 14, I’m 5”9…perhaps I would have been 5”10 if I hadn’t, though there’s no way of telling apart from that my dad is a tower.

    As for runner’s high, I have NEVER gotten it running…I don’t like running. I even sprint on a stationary bike, the treadmill makes me feel like a hamster.

    Milla wrote on November 14th, 2011
  9. I love green tea, but never even had matcha. I’ll give that a shot. Kind of sounds a little like a wheat grass shot.

    I like the idea of marathon watching. That’s hilarious. I don’t run them any more either but I’m sure I could get a kick out of watching other people do it!

    Peggy The Primal Parent wrote on November 14th, 2011
    • Believe me, it tastes nothing like wheatgrass. I don’t know what the primal take on wheatgrass is, but all I know is that it tastes so revolting I literally cannot keep it down.:-(

      Milla wrote on November 14th, 2011
      • I’ve never had wheatgrass in my life but I wish to try it. The matcha green tea would be brewed of course so there is no way that the taste would be anything similar to wheatgrass juice.

        I am a huge fan of quality green tea, plain, and thus wish to try matcha green tea as soon as I can afford it.

        Does anyone recommend a certain brand?

        Primal Toad wrote on November 14th, 2011
        • I like Tao of Tea Liquid Jade matcha powder. It’s organic and not super expensive. I add it to hot water and then use a small whisk rolled between my hands to mix it and get it to froth properly.

          Erin wrote on November 16th, 2011
        • I love matcha. I make a cup everyday and add some raw cream or a little raw dairy and some raw honey or stevia to it. That;s about the only dairy I have save for a cup of coffee in the AM. It makes you less hungry. I get my organic matcha from http://www.pureblendtea.com.

          Suzanne wrote on February 6th, 2012
  10. Thanks so much Mark!

    Irony – I had considered picking up long(ish) distance running again, because I remembered the “high” I used to get, to address my stress issue. Now though, I think I might like to pick up yoga, keep my carbs in the 50-100 range (I realize I was hanging in the 100-150 range which I think may have contributed to my major stress), and generally just…relax: get my work done and take a breather when needed.

    Nota bene: I think I get a stronger, longer lasting high now from lifting heavy than I did with running every other morning; anyone else experience this?

    Emily Mekeel wrote on November 14th, 2011
  11. I can tell you that gaining weight starting the end of summer is normal.
    It happens to a LOT of people AND animals. My dogs usually gain weight back that they lost during the beginning of the year and slowly plump up on the same amount of foods during fall. (Not feeding any more food).
    This is a way of nature protecting us from completely starving to death over the cold winter months, when we hibernate and don’t have much to eat.

    I have been like this my entire life, I even shed hair like my dogs, at the exact same times!

    A lot of people follow the rythm of nature on purpose and let their weight go up just a tad to prepare for the cold winter. If you live in a warm, sunny climate that never gets a winter you might want to fight that off though, because the famine and hibernation never comes.

    Arty wrote on November 14th, 2011
    • I agree with you 100%. It makes sense at least. It’s amazing how thinking about how we would live in the wild is so awesome at answering basic questions.

      I have lived in Michigan my entire life and am in Chicago right now and maybe for the rest of this year. The extra body fat and/or muscle most certainly keeps one a lot warmer. So, maybe it is a bodies natural process to gain weight unless one restricts caloric intake?

      Primal Toad wrote on November 14th, 2011
    • Sorry Arty, I gain weight every summer and start losing in late October or November… even through the holidays… then really ramp it up in January and February. I am my thinnest March-May.
      @ greg, I hear you… running is the balm for my soul. I am not now and never have been elite or competitive with it; a whole different experience than what Mark had.

      Milemom wrote on November 16th, 2011
  12. In regards to the intro, I have to say that its taken me almost two years to adapt to proper barefoot/vff running form. I tried to force it early on, but that didnt work; it just took time for my body to learn and relearn slowly, probably because it was forming new neural pathways and loosening tight tissue along the way.

    cTo wrote on November 14th, 2011
  13. When I was a teen, I remember accidentally fasting (one of my teammates was suppose to bring me food after school…didn’t) before a big football game, and I remember performing exceptionally that game. I was a DE, TE, on KO, and KOR. I think I missed one single play that game just before half time.So I had eaten ( I don’t remember what) at 6 am, and did not eat again until about 10pm.

    As for the exercise high, I experienced that once while running, and a handful of times while lifting. I think a lot depends on intensity and time. In high school and college, I lifted 5 days a week for probably 1 hr or more each day. I ran in practice for football, or I did a “slow run” on weekends.

    Coming back to fasting, I think a lot comes into play. If you are a normally healthy kid, I don’t think fasting would be necessary. However, if you are significantly overweight (one of the students at my school is in 6th grade, and weight 260 lbs standing at 4’7″) then a fast here and there can not hurt.

    Jeff wrote on November 14th, 2011
  14. What exactly is midline stabilisation? Is it running so that your feet land on a single straight line?

    David wrote on November 14th, 2011
  15. 1. Green tea gives me heart burn :-( I’ve abstained now for a year, may try it again.

    2. Spot on about the stress! Sleep is very important. Edit-down the extras to free up time for relaxation. Go to sleep early, get up early and then have a leisurely morning. Leave early and don’t speed or rush. Can’t emphasize enough that rushing is very stressful (look at all the screaming road ragers out there!). I’ve had to bite some bullets and give up both hobbies and even volunteering because I realized I was just killing myself to do it. And now I’ve given up my job with the birth of my second — very very hard to do. But my husband, first born, and I are so much happier.

    3. I raised my shepherd from puppyhood on raw meaty bones. At 16 weeks she was able to eat most of a whole chicken…but then wasn’t hungry again for probably 16-24 hours. High quality real food is key — with no components that pervert the appetite like sugar and grains (especially the refined kind). I was constantly starving as a teenager but quite fat, anemic and with weak nails and my first cavities appearing. I’ve come to realize that I felt like I was starving because I was. My body was dying for protein and fat and it just kept getting oatmeal + sugar (with a little low fat milk poured in if I was lucky). Always a soda for lunch and sometimes a cheese sandwich too but often just some crunchy thing from a vending machine. Pasta or some bean thing for dinner typically and there was always soda, kool-aid, and chips in the house. The meat we ate was little, and the worst kind typically…like lunchmeat or the mystery meat at a fast food restaurant. Just remembering it makes me want to go eat a beautiful juicy medium rare steak.

    Oly wrote on November 14th, 2011
  16. Emily,

    Gary Taubes mentions several animals that gain weight in the fall (mostly due to hibernation). These animals will gain weight whether they are in the wild, or in a temperature and light controlled environment like a lab. He mentioned that some studies support that humans experience a similar sort of weight gain in the fall and winter months. So yes, you may tend to gain weight in the fall, and find it easier to lose weight in the spring and summer.

    John wrote on November 14th, 2011
    • I’ve been wanting to read Taubes! I think I’ll jump right on it :)

      Emily Mekeel wrote on November 14th, 2011
  17. I’m in my last few weeks of finishing my Master’s without a job offer in sight and repayment of student loans getting ready to kick in. Things are a little stressful right now. Thanks for the reminder of what to do and what not to do. Being stressed out is no fun.

    azsundevil wrote on November 14th, 2011
    • You can defer your student loans on the basis of financial hardship–this may help reduce your stress and help you focus your energy on finding a job and taking care of yourself. Good luck, Sun Devil!

      fritzy wrote on November 14th, 2011
  18. I don’t feel like it’s necessary to push extremely hard running to get the runner’s high. I have definitely experienced it at a slower, more enjoyable pace, that’s just me though.

    This is Sparta Strength wrote on November 14th, 2011
  19. Mark,
    I’m a little confused by your advice to Emily about stress and weight gain. While I agree, getting a handle on the stress is key, you said that dieting adds stress. Yes, it does. But is eating clean, supportive Paleo/Primal dieting? Is this way of life either a diet, or stressful?

    If she was just getting started, learning the ropes, figuring out what and how to eat, coping with giving up some old favorite foods, etc., I might say that getting into this way of eating could add to an already stressful time. (But it might also be a welcome distraction, an affirmation of life, a way to move forward–you never know.)

    But she’s not completely a newcomer.

    And when she says she knows her weight gain is in part a result of a lot of overindulging, that deserves some more questions, I think. What does overindulging mean? Does it mean going off the primal ranch and back to pizza, ice cream, bagels, etc. (way more than the 80/20 rule, if that’s what she means to follow)? If so, cutting out the processed foods, carbs, etc. will probably help the stress–even out the moods, brain functioning, focus, etc. Yeah, it’s stressful to tell yourself I’m gonna kick the pizza again, but we all know that it’s a lot more stressful to keep eating it, and that stress is a vicious cycle, where the kicking the pizza again builds up good feelings shortly after taking the plunge.

    Or does overindulging mean eating more fruit, tubers, nuts, or cheese than her body will accept without putting on weight? In this case, small adjustments, a bit more mindfulness, could do the trick. That mindfulness would be good for the stress as well.

    Though your advice to address the stress and not just accept it and live it is great, I would add that she might be increasing her stress over the long haul if she allows whatever for of “overindulging” she’s experiencing to run on for much longer. If her weight increases, that’s stressful. And if her weight’s increasing, it’s probably also a sign that her body is not happy and not supporting her. Why wait around, indulging, gaining weight, and experiencing whatever comes from the unhappy body-mind connection? I would suggest addressing the healthy, affirming eating as a one direct way of addressing the stress. Don’t let it slide, in other words.

    Lynne wrote on November 14th, 2011
    • This was great!

      I steer clear of bread products for sure (the stomach aches aren’t worth it) and the extra indulgences are things like extra nuts (and nut butters! I had some ridiculous love affair recently with a 16oz container of fresh, chunky peanut butter because it’s cheaper than almond butter – oh the shame!), cheese, and dark chocolate. Eating cleanly does reduce my stress and I find that focusing on eating well and exercising Primally is a good stress outlet :)

      Emily Mekeel wrote on November 14th, 2011
  20. For me, it’s more “runner’s rage”. Aerobic activity leaves me intensely angry!

    rudy wrote on November 14th, 2011
    • Even sex? Sounds like you’re frustrated about something. Exercise is energizing for me and my mind but if anything was bothering me then that anger is going to come out.

      Oly wrote on November 14th, 2011
  21. Thanks for talking about matcha, Mark. Remember that there are basically two types of matcha: culinary matcha, and artisanal matcha. The former comprises more than 99 percent of the US market; it’s meant for making green tea ice cream, smoothies, all kinds of confections. The quality of culinary matcha varies, but basically the addition of fat and sugar to matcha (in the form of desserts and smoothies and lattes) makes it palatable, it still retains that intense “green tea” taste.

    Artisanal matcha is a very different animal. It’s meant to drink straight up, no milk or sugar are needed because it’s naturally very sweet, and chock full of umami. But it’s hard to find, and it tends to be very expensive. My full disclosure is that I’m the founder of Breakaway Matcha, which sources artisanal matcha only (no culinary matcha at all).

    Just thought you might like to know the distinction.

    Eric Gower wrote on November 14th, 2011
    • So matcha tea from Teavana is culinary? I like it, can find it locally and love the smooth even energy it gives me all day – but it is very earthy.

      So now I’ll be searching for your artisanal matcha … gotta try it.

      A wrote on November 15th, 2011
  22. IMHO,a healthy teen can handle an occasional 12-hour fast. maybe a few times per year, if it happens. the occasional longer fast is probably ok,too. but as a parent, it used to stress ME when a kid didnt eat. Now I see it as the body self-regulating: some days we eat alot, and then hunger is delayed the next day.
    isnt it a rule to eat only when hungry? why should a teen/child be different? And yes, having several teenagers around, I know about the “eat like a horse”syndrome!

    Hopeless Dreamer wrote on November 14th, 2011
    • Agreed. Remembering my younger brother who picked like a bird and then would hit a growth spurt and then eat like it was going out of style. Ditto now that I’m a parent.

      Oly wrote on November 14th, 2011
      • From what I have read, fasting increases growth hormone levels, which may be better for growing teens. Plus, I’d imagine that grok teens did not eat four meals a day. Also, I have been eating 2-3k Cal meals for many months, accompanied with an improvement in health (I started when I was 19 years old, I am 20 now, not a “growing teen”, but fyi)

        Sagar wrote on November 15th, 2011
  23. Matcha is great stuff, but not cost effective for most people. You can still get the benefits of green tea and save money. Now foods sells a high quality EGCg supplement and it is really affordable.

    Erik wrote on November 14th, 2011
    • Do you recommend any particular matcha green tea brand?

      Primal Toad wrote on November 14th, 2011
  24. I can speak for the stress slowing down weight loss and overall interference with achieving optimal health benefits from a primal lifestyle. I tend to go from carefree to stressed out fairly easy due to my self-critical and over achieving nature. For me, gardening, meditation and walks help, but I recently discovered two things that go even further to even out the stress triggers: 1. eating primally, of course and 2. what Mark mentioned, don’t procrastinate.

    Instead of starting my day with lists of things to do – usually too many things – I make a schedule starting with the most anxiety inducing or pressing thing to be done that day. That’s the first thing I do. Sounds simple, but it has really helped with my type of stress and keeps me from reaching for inappropriate comfort foods. It also frees my monkey mind for more fun and creative things.

    Chandra Hartman wrote on November 14th, 2011
    • Even the most expensive matcha is an acquired taste. There is always a very grassy element to it. If you don’t brew it at exactly the right temperature, it also turns very bitter. Bitter lawn clippings is not most people’s idea of a good time. The sweeter stuff is massively expensive and still tastes like grass. So buy the cheaper stuff and toss it in a smoothie if you must. Maybe one day Mark will give the anti-oxidants in coffee their real due. Coffee is actually a powerhouse of catechins, but it’s not in vogue among the coastal elite, so us average Joes will have to stick to our daily Joe. :)

      moreporkplease wrote on November 14th, 2011
      • Coastal elite? I guess you’ve never been to Portland or Seattle;-)

        Erin wrote on November 16th, 2011
  25. I didn’t know it was physically possible to heel-strike in Fivefingers. It hurts so freaking bad!!! My running stride changed the minute I put those on, and since then I’ve never had a single shin splint. My speed and my enjoyment have both increased. Now, I go for a “long jog” about once a week at a leisurely pace with good music in my headphones. I will admit, though, I don’t get the same high as I do after some seriously short, high-intensity cardio or weight-lifting.

    Deanna wrote on November 14th, 2011
  26. Two teas (Herbal, non-caffeine) that have been found to be very healthy are Rooibos tea and Tulsi (Holy Basil) tea. Rooibos tea is available everywhere. Tulsi tea is available as an organic from Organic India which is a company supporting a cooperative of small farms throughout India. Tulsi tea akso comes in different flavors such as with Green tea and Pommegranite.

    John D. Pilla wrote on November 14th, 2011
  27. Regarding puppies doing best on a steady intake of calories:

    Breeders of large dogs who feed a raw diet find that when calories are restricted on occasion the common ailments of large breeds don’t show up as readily.

    Lisa wrote on November 14th, 2011
  28. I wonder if someone could recommend a “box” shoe style for the natural barefoot effect? Not for running, but for everyday and outside flat hiking. I know its hard to do; however, I live in New England. And although I received a pair of five-finger Komodo Sport on Father’s Day and have worn them every day since except on rare occasions. I will require a shoe I can wear some thinsulate and wool sock combinations in the coldest winter days when we go for long walks with our two dogs.
    I tried the new New Balance “Minimalist” shoes and they were too tight behind the ball, at the front of the instep area, and not very comfortable. While the five-fingers Komodo Sport fit like a glove from minute one, and have been so very comfortable. Thanks.

    John D. Pilla wrote on November 14th, 2011
    • I’ve just bought a pair of Merrels. They’re really light and flexible in the sole. The heel is slightly too built-up to be truly barefoot, but they’re otherwise great, and can tolerate a sock under them.

      I’m a girl, though, and didn’t have a good look at their mens’ range :)

      homehandymum wrote on November 14th, 2011
      • Should add that the particular model “circuit MJ Breeze” aren’t part of their ‘barefoot’ range, so I don’t know about those ones.

        homehandymum wrote on November 14th, 2011
    • Also, check out VivoBarefoot. Haven’t tried them myself, but they look great.

      Tim W wrote on November 14th, 2011
  29. I use L-Theanine supplements to manage my mental illness, it really helps with the panic attacks! Good to see other people being informed about it.

    Nion wrote on November 14th, 2011
  30. I am 19, and I IF at least once a week. Only the first time did I experience any ill effects. They weren’t of any lethargy or deprivation of well-being. It was just occasional heart burn, and I haven’t experienced it since that first time.

    I have only been fully Primal for two months, though! I have been leaning into it for almost a year now, I think. Thanks for the great post, Mark! I hope you do a post about what I had suggested to you soon! Thanks,

    Aidan

    Aidan wrote on November 14th, 2011
  31. I love matcha tea, it is one of my favorite teas to drink. Another great green tea that is full of benefits is Yerba Mate Tea, it is called the liquid salad, I drink it every day as well.

    Tatianna wrote on November 14th, 2011
  32. Drinking matcha tea in the Japanese tea ceremony is a classic way of reducing stress. It’s supposed to be a kind of calm meditation on simple things.

    Of course the founder of the ceremony, Sen Rikyu, was forced by the shogun to commit seppuku (Hairy Carry to westerners). So that must have been pretty stressful.

    garymar wrote on November 15th, 2011
  33. Random question: I have discovered Market Spice’s Banana zing tea. It is so yummy; tastes like banana bread. I got to wondering though, is this something that should be a luxury item versus an everyday item? I don’t know how similar it is to eating a banana. :)

    Samantha wrote on November 15th, 2011
  34. I remember fasting as a teen (as part of initiation into a Boy Scout, Order of the Arrow) and can say there were no harmful effects and in fact enjoyed it – I felt vigorous with great mental alacrity. I think it has to be good for even teens to give the body the rest. But I don’t see any point to a 5 day fast for ‘detox’. If they are already on a healthy diet, why would they need a detox? But if they had a poor diet, have health issues, acne, etc. then maybe a small fast 2, 3 days would be a good thing.

    RobG wrote on November 15th, 2011
  35. I have been gaining back weight lost over the summer also. I wondered if it was caused by stress: that is, moving back to the city to work this fall. Houston is very noisy, and there is a lot of construction going on in our neighborhood right now. So I am trying ear plugs to see if my weight gain will stop.
    Or it could be just that fall weight gain is normal, as somebody said.

    shannon wrote on November 15th, 2011
    • If you’re not getting good sleep that would be the biggest cause. Melatonin can help you get to sleep, but won’t stop you from waking up in the middle of the night. Magnesium will, so both together might help.

      Stress is a problem always. One thing that helps is Tulsi (aka Holy Basil) can help with adrenals too.

      Another thing to look at is that fructose is one signal to pack on the weight for the winter – since fruit was normally ripe at the end of the summer. Cutting out all fruit except for maybe a small amount of berries might help.

      The Eades recommend going on an all meat diet temporarily, in order to lean out, for example.

      Another change in winter is less sunlight, so less Vitamin D3 is available, so that might be worth supplementing with too.

      raydawg wrote on November 18th, 2011
  36. Dear Mark,
    I have Hashimoto’s disease and dont see a problem with running long distance. When I was 14 I became very ill with graves disease. I was not running back then. Taking medication for it and running cross country and track (long distance runs outdoors in the sunshine) lowered my antibodies and eventually it went into remission. I now have Hashimoto’s after not exercising enough and enduring very high stress in the last few years (bad marriage and autistic child). Alongside going gluten free and lowering my carbs alot (almost paleo!) I have found running outdoors lowers the inflammation for up to a week at a time. Inflammation was still a problem even after starting Armour thyroid. I am careful not to overdo it and I make sure to really stay hydrated and rest enough. Vigorous exercise is good for those with autoimmune disorders, as long as it is not overdone. Yes, you risk getting sicker if you push yourself too hard, so you have to be careful. I just ran a full 5K this weekend and feel great!

    Rebecca Magliozzi wrote on November 15th, 2011
  37. Hey Mark. I love Matcha and any tea for that matter, but what do you think about the high fluoride content in the green & black teas with matcha being one with the highest levels?

    pdubbs wrote on November 16th, 2011
  38. I’m 17 and have fasted every day for the last year and a half basically not eating untill 12-1 pm and then finishing eating between 8-9 and find it to be useful as regards mental clarity in my morning college hours, and the one fasted workout I do each work is always fantastic….but this is just personal experience so obviously a degree of self experementation needs to be exercised (=

    Sam Francis wrote on November 16th, 2011
  39. I also think the mental benefits of long distance running are a big plus. Sometimes I just need to get out of the house and be by myself to relax and unwind. I find going for a long distance run is the perfect way to do this.

    Tom Parker wrote on November 19th, 2011
  40. As mentioned above there are two types of matcha – culinary or ceremonial grade. Ceremonial grade is recommended for drinking. Not sure which brand to buy, though.

    Healthy11 wrote on November 21st, 2011

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