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

Dear Readers

I’m getting dozens of emails from readers every day. Though I try to give personalized advice to each and every one of them, I’ve got to say, it can be a little overwhelming. What is one to do? Lucky for me, many Mark’s Daily Apple readers are highly educated or otherwise informed about all health and fitness matters, and all readers at least have anecdotal evidence to share on a vast range of topics. So this week I’m leaving it up to you!

Below you’ll find 10 random questions I’ve recently received. I (and they too I’m sure) would love for you to share your thoughts, personal stories, and know-how in the comment board. (I’ll be chiming in, too!) It’s your chance to help a fellow member of the MDA community. Thanks, everyone!


Question 1

Hello Mark!

I’d be interested to know how common it is for Primal Blueprinters to eat dairy, and cheese in particular. I know cheese is a sensible vice, but I find myself relying on it for a good deal of my total calories. Is incorporating cheese into an otherwise totally Primal diet a regular occurrence?

Thank you.


Question 2

I saw your post on spinach bread. That recipe and the others listed in the comment board were a godsend for a Primal newbie. My question is: are there any good Primal-approved corn/potato-free chip recipes floating around the net? Maybe MDA readers know of some…

Thanks, Mark!


Question 3

What do you think of food combining? Acid-alkaline balance?



Question 4

Dear Mark,

I have a family history of kidney stones (Dad, Aunt, Grandmother) and was wondering what impact a high protein diet would have on me? I read that a high protein diet contributes to kidney stone formation, as well as high-Calcium Oxalate (CaC2O4) foods such as spinach, greens, rhubarb, tea (no!), nuts (double no!) and berries (triple no!). Vitamin C is also theorized to play a role in stone formation. Calcium supplementation, drinking lots of water and taking cranberry extract is thought to reduce the risk of CaC2O4 stone formation. I have found conflicting data on ALL of these points online and in PubMed. Once and for all… whats the deal here? How can I protect myself from this?


P.S. Cant wait for the book! Signed copy raffle…?
P.P.S. As always, thank you for your amazing site and the advice you give.


Question 5


I’ve taken an interest in CrossFit. The workouts seem pretty Primal to me. But I’ve read some things about CrossFit being dangerous; that if not done with perfect form and training you are setting yourself up for injury. Thoughts?



Question 6

Hi Mark!

We know exercise for the body is good. Do you recommend facial exercises? Would that cause more fine lines and wrinkles or should that be toned like the rest of our body?

Thank you!


Question 7

Hi Mark- I enjoy your website. Lot’s of good info! I was curious your thoughts on using olive oil, flax oil, and fish oil daily? Currently, I use flax oil and olive oil. Do i get enough Omega from those or should I add the fish oil also? Best, Bob.


Question 8
HI Mark,

I am writing to you from Sydney, Australia. I absolutely love your work on this site. You provide a wealth of helpful information. I have a burning question that I have not been able to answer.

What are your thoughts on Diet soft drinks. In particular I refer to Diet Coke, Pepsi Max and Coke Zero?

I understand that they do not have an immediate effect on blood sugar (or do they?) but surely they can’t be good for you.

Your thoughts on this topic will be appreciated.

Great job on the website and thanks for all the top quality information!

Kind Regards


Question 9

I was a “bodybuilder” and fell out of it due to family and home remodeling.  I’m starting to get back to it.

I used to squat 405 for sets, bench 315 and curl 65 pd dumbells (weighing 180 at 5’8″).  I feel I was fairly strong and was doing very well.

I’m 40 now and have no intention on that path again but to pose a question from my training days.

Is it still applicable to exercise in the am opposed to pm due to fasting?  I know this was popular and wanted to know if this still helps regardless of diet regimen.

I’m glad I ran across your site as this is the path I am now choosing to diet.

You look great, keep it up!!

Thanks in advance,
Ron from Illinois


Question 10

Hi Mark,

Thanks again for maintaing such a great and resourceful blog.  I now follow your Twitter Account and look forward to purchasing your book soon.

I am a coffee and tea drinker, usually 1-2 cups of coffee a day and 2-3 cups of tea a day (green and herbal). I stick to black coffee with a pinch of sugar and my teas are unsweetened and forgo the mocha choca sugar bomb lattes and other concoctions.  I know Grok didn’t have the convenience of starbucks but what is the role of coffee and tea in the Primal diet.  Is this something that’s “accepted” as a supplement to the primal lifestyle.

Keep up the great work and I wish you luck with your book.

Best regards,


Note from Mark: How many PBers drink coffee/tea? I have a cup of coffee with a little cream and sugar on most days.

Further Reading:

All “Dear Mark” Posts

Body Composition Through the Years

Should I Get a Flu Shot?

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. Re: SerialSinner questioning aspartame.

    As you may know there are no studies compelling enough for the FDA to discontinue their approval of aspartame in products. There are parties for and against aspartame.

    For myself, personally, I don’t believe aspartame is safe and it’s especially not “primal.”

    My personal opinion is formed from my own circumstances. My mother has suffered from MS for almost 30 years now, and she is very active in the MS Society, as a result I know numerous individuals who suffer from MS. Every single person I’ve ever spoken to about aspartame has told me that they were heavy diet-soda drinkers, and some still are. As was my mother. I believe there has to be some kind of a connection. Studies are studies, but the proof is in the pudding, no? As a result I’m staying away from it, but it’s an individual choice with whatever you want to put in your body. I’m sure the FDA approves some food items you probably wouldn’t touch. I suggest breaking from aspartame intake and see if you find a difference. For me the difference since I quit diet coke was phenomenal.

    yoork wrote on April 27th, 2009
  2. I concur with the forum idea – a wiki would be awesome, as well. A great place for people to share static information such as recipes and what not. The current format is great, but kind of annoying to just browse the recipes as there are multiple recipes on one blog post making them somewhat difficult to find on occasion.

    Tim wrote on April 27th, 2009
  3. Tim, SerialSinner –

    I hear ya. A forum will be part of the new site design. The redesign will be launched shortly.

    Mark Sisson wrote on April 27th, 2009
  4. Without a doubt if you want to get fit, strong and lean while commiting relatively small amounts of time to exercise each day, then look no further than crossfit. From my experience injury generally occurs when individuals who think they are fit and strong(and against advice) attemp elite level cf workouts and are found wanting. Crossfit destroys egos(not bodies)and thus humility is where the community gains its appeal. If your just starting out youll be lucky to even touch a barbell, most probably a kettlebell, skipping rope, broomstick and the support of everyone around you, will be your weapons of choice. Not mentioned often enough is that The imense mental toughness you will draw from the intensity of crossfit is carried over into all aspects of life, healthy choices in general become more clear cut. Strenght in mind and body.

    Mark W wrote on April 27th, 2009
  5. #7 – a bunch of other people have already responded that fish oil would be good to add due to its better omega-3 profile, and as a great source of good fats. I definitely agree, but I would also caution AGAINST taking flax oil. The lignans contained in flax oil are phytoestrogens – ie plant (phyto) molecules that mimic estrogen in structure. As a man, you want as little estrogen in your diet as possible. Most men age 40+ are estrogen dominant (more estrogen than testosterone), and being estrogen dominant leads to hair loss, obesity, enlarged prostates, cardiovascular disease, loss of energy and libido, etc. Other things to avoid in order to reduce the amount of estrogen you are consuming are: anything soy based, pesticides, artificial fertilizers, and anything that has leached plastic molecules (ie, microwaving a food or drink in plastic).

    Most women actually want to limit phytoestrogens as well, since most women of any age are also estrogen dominant (especially those on hormonal birth control pills), whereas women are much healthier when they are progesterone dominant. Women see the same problems as men when they are estrogen dominant, except replace prostate problems with breast, uterine, and ovarian fibroid problems and cancer. Ignore all the bullshit studies you see from soy manufacturers touting the “health benefits” of soy phytoestrogens. They’re bad for both men and women.

    PS. I second the request to add a forum to MDA – it would be extremely useful I think.

    LevitationMatt wrote on April 27th, 2009
  6. Question 9: I’ve done a lot of intermittent fasting and I find it PREFERABLE to workout in the morning as opposed to the evening. I’m more alert and perform better, and presumably I’m accessing my body’s fat reserves for energy rather than my latest meal. Not to mention a good morning workout gives you energy for the rest of the day, whereas an evening workout gets you too worked-up to go to sleep within a few hours.

    My routine is to workout in the A.M. at the end of the fast and break my fast with my post-workout meal, which is my biggest and most-complete meal of the day.

    Question 10: I feel like coffee and tea are sensible vices, taken straight. If you use cream and/or sugar, they are less-sensible, but certainly at the low end of the decadence scale. Personally, I prefer not to need the caffeine to get me through my day. That said, I cycle in and out of my coffee addiction.

    I take mine black, and I recently discovered the wonders of a locally-roasted Kenya Peaberry single origin that blows chain brands out of the water for only about $1/lb more. I figure if it’s going to be a vice, I’d better at least get the most out of it.

    The high-quality singe origin beans at least feel like they have less caffeine than the store brands (way fewer jitters for me than Starbucks), and as good as they taste, you won’t WANT to add any cream or sugar.

    Kyle wrote on April 27th, 2009
  7. As a reply to the last comment, try to become accustomed to drinking coffee straight and black.

    Nick wrote on April 27th, 2009
  8. Guess I wasn’t very clear. I only ever drink it straight and black. I was recommending that people who need cream and sugar find a better coffee bean that will make them want it black a lot more.

    Kyle wrote on April 27th, 2009
  9. Yoork, I’m sorry to hear about your mother’s MS, and I understand your caution regarding aspartame. I’m not a big user, but it makes my life much easier, particularly when it comes to coffee. I think Kyle makes a good point though. Adding sugar and cream to premium coffee sounds like adding coke to a single malt or ketchup to a good prime rib.

    On the other hand, many of us discovered the Primal lifestyle thesis as a result of being skeptical of common nutrition guidelines and open to evidence. Because of the above I find it hard to take a stand against aspartame. More details about the interesting controversy can be found here.

    SerialSinner wrote on April 27th, 2009
  10. Question 1
    As part of the primal blueprint, fermented dairy is preferred (plain greek yogurt, kefir) for its probiotic properties. Raw milk is a good nutritious source of fat, carbs, and protein, but pasteurized dairy leads to all kinds of health troubles. I will only drink raw milk. As for cheeses, it’s a good source of fat and protein (no carbs). I would go for raw once again. Once a food is pasteurized, it is a processed food.

    Question 5
    Any type of exercise program is dangerous if you don’t use proper technique. If you attend a CrossFit Certification, you will learn that technique comes before intensity. It is virtually impossible for someone to injure themselves doing pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, and squats. Use the free information provided on the mainsite to learn the technique on the exercise before you do it. If there’s a CrossFit affiliate near you, go in for a free introductory workout (you will be hooked). Or treat yourself to a Level 1 Certification. It’s well worth it.

    Question 7
    From what I’ve read from various sources, you can derive Omega-3’s from fish, as well as plant foods like flaxseeds and walnuts. The body absorbs the DHA and EPA Omega-3’s from fish much better than it absorbs ALA Omega-3’s from plant sources. If I could only take one supplement, it would be fish oil due to the highly absorbable Omega-3 content. I should also mention that to my knowledge there are no Omega-3’s in olive oil, but it is a good healthy fat. Flaxseed oil could be a great addition to a salad dressing mixed with olive oil and lemon. Yum!

    BenUCSB wrote on April 27th, 2009
  11. #7
    I agree with Ben above and other that fish oil is your best bet. Plant based sources of omega-3s are largely ALA which must be converted in the body to EPA and DHA. Apparently some people do this conversion much better than others, so the direct EPA and DHA omega-3s in fish oil are a better bet. I had forgotten about the estrogen-like effects attributed to flax, but I stopped using it years ago for this very reason. Olive oil is mostly mono-unsaturated fat which is a healthy fat too. I highly recommend Carlson’s Fish Oil which comes in 500 ml bottles. It isn’t cheap, but I don’t worry about rancid oil like you often get with the cheaper gel caps. Carlson’s has a pleasant lemon flavor to minimize the fishy taste. If you go the gel cap route make sure to bite into a cap every so often (yuck!, I know) to see if the oil tastes rancid. If you consume rancid gel caps without knowing it you are actually promoting inflammation and doing yourself harm instead of good. That’s why I like Carlson’s. Shop around as prices vary, and there are a few good on-line dealers if you take the time to look for them.


    Rodney wrote on April 27th, 2009
  12. #5 regarding CrossFit

    First off let me state my complete bias as I am a CrossFit trainer (a qualified trainer, thank you very much) and affiliate owner.

    … How this rumor started that CrossFit is dangerous I will never understand. Injury rates with CrossFit are LESS than traditional physical training programs, and SIGNIFICANTLY less than, say, long distance running, which seems to be the most popular athletic endeavour these days. If CrossFit killed or injured people at the rate that people die or get hurt in Marathons, they would have been out of business years ago. Instead its popularity is exploding all around the world. They (we) must be on to something…

    But CAN you injur yourself doing crossfit? Of course! You can injur yourself sitting at a desk all day too. Nothing is without risk.

    I used to be a competitive bodybuilder and was plagued with several chronic injuries in my shouler, back, and calf as a result of way too much time training non-functional movements. When was the last time you did a lateral shouler raise in real life anyway?

    The movements in CrossFit are safe and highly effective, but the workouts your see posted on are for highly trained elite level athletes! Don’t start there, for goodness sakes. Several people have already posted the plentiful resources available for getting started and working your way toward doing workouts “as Rx’d”. If you can afford it, find yourself a good affiliate with good trainers. Sure there are bad ones out there, like any industry, so shop around.

    I have everything from kids to grannies that do CrossFit. They use the same movement patterns, just scaled to different levels depending on their abilities. SCALING SCALING SCALING. I can’t say it enough. Nobody graduates from the wooden dowel to the barbell until their form is consistently accurate. When we changed our training methodology from the old 3 sets of 10 reps of isolated strength movements to CrossFit-style high intensity functional movements amazing things happened. Injury rates and downtime among our clients dropped like a stone. They got stronger, faster, more flexible – “fitter”, in a nutshell. Better results with less injury was all we needed to see to make CrossFit our sole training program for every one of our athletes.

    Jocelyn R wrote on April 27th, 2009
  13. Re: Caffeine.
    I returned to drinking caffeinated teas and coffee AFTER becoming primal about 10 months ago. I think my body was looking to fill the void left by the loss of so many vices from my pre-primal days. It must have been a way to satisfy cravings for sugars and carbs, even though nowadays I never use sugar and seldom take milk. I suspect that I will regret all over again the dependency on a daily cup, but so it goes. I really think that all addictions are bad news (and if you don’t believe me try going a day without your cuppa and see what happens).

    But here’s the thing: Who knows if our HG, Pleistocene ancestors encountered caffeine in the daily lives? If they did, it certainly didn’t come from brewed coffee or tea, but perhaps other sources. And critically, how often were these caffeine sources encountered? It’s hard to imagine that Grok had a daily dose of any kind of caffeine. The vagaries of the natural world just wouldn’t have permitted it. That is true about most other food sources from back in the day.

    So my answer to the question is that addiction is never primal, nor is consuming the same foods day in and day out.

    MikeL wrote on April 27th, 2009
  14. #7 – following up with more info – if you’re worried about purity of fish oil supplements, there is an international testing body that certifies fish oils being pure (no heavy metals, impurities, etc.):

    Also, it is probably an excellent idea to take cod liver oil through the winter (assuming you don’t live in a tropical place), and then fish oil through the summer in order to get sufficient Vitamin D in the sunlight-deprived months. More info on that:

    LevitationMatt wrote on April 27th, 2009
  15. #5 The statement that CrossFit doesn’t pay enough attention to form is a ridiculous generalization. In my CrossFit affiliate a rep doesn’t count unless the form is great. Of course there will be CrossFitters that have little to no regard for form but anyone who’s worked out at any gym has seen the dude swinging his entire body trying to bicep curl entirely too much weight. EVERY activity has followers that don’t play by the rules, but you can’t say that is what it’s ment to be.

    CrossFit is by far the safest and most effective means of fitness I have seen… as long as you follow the rules. I hold numerous other certifications that are considered “superior” but I only use CrossFit to train myself, my family, and my clients. My advice to everyone is go out and try it! But do it at reputable affiliate with soemone who knows what they’re doing.

    David R wrote on April 27th, 2009
  16. Re: CrossFit

    CF boards are run by the kool-aid drinking faction who hate those against CF.

    I wouldn’t have posted anything about CF Mark, you should have expected the flame war and MDA is better than that.

    CF has its place, but its for those with expendable income for sure. As far as form, I chuckle. What videos have you all been looking at?

    The form is absolutely horrid. You take those exercises outside of CrossFit to any person who does gymnastics or Oly lifting they’d laugh at this its HORRID. And people want to be this?

    That is the CF games 2008 winner. You mean to tell me that is what people are gunning to be like? Craptastic form for the sake of “intensity”. Ugh, I’d rather go hunt and gather.

    George wrote on April 27th, 2009
  17. As a clarinet player, I use my face muscles all the time, and I can tell you that toning your face muscles has no real impact on your overall well-being. You’re better off spending your energy twiddling your thumbs, (which will at least improve your coordination). :)

    I drink coffee and tea almost every day, sometimes with a little organic cream, and I eat local, organic, whole-milk yogurt several times per week and good cheese whenever I can afford it!

    Marissa wrote on April 27th, 2009
  18. Question #6, sku# 21150…

    Yes, they actually sell facial exercising equipment. I doubt it does much for your wrinkles but it should help your wallet lose weight.

    Karin wrote on April 27th, 2009
  19. 1. I eat cheese off and on these days, but used to eat quite a bit of it in my earlier low-carb days. It never adversely affected me. However, some people do seem to be affected negatively, and it can even stall weight loss. I’ve read that casein (a dairy protein) can actually provoke an insulin response, even as an isolated substance (i.e., in the absence of carbohydrate). I would say it’s probably fine for some, and not fine for others. I would experiment to see what works for YOU. If your goal is weight loss and you’re not losing weight, cut the dairy and see if that was the holdup. Good luck.

    David wrote on April 27th, 2009
  20. Bob’s Question 7 –

    Fish Oil would be great to supplement with.
    They support heart health, joint health, and healthy brain function. Lately I’ve been reading that they even prevent asthma or improve symptoms. You could focus on eating oily fish such as salmon, herring, or trout but the fish oil supplements are much easier to consume and easier on the your breath. Taking four grams a day should do the trick.

    Dave | The Intelligent Workout wrote on April 27th, 2009
  21. 1. I use to eat quite a bit of cheese but now I will have mainly Fetta cheese cubed up in a salad or sometimes grated Parmesan over a red sauce dish. I occasionally will use a little grated hard cheese and perhaps only about once or twice a week. On weekends I tend to not be so diligent and enjoy some smoked cheese. I tolerate cheese very well but do limit my intake to mainly white cheeses which are far less processed.

    8. Like anything that is Diet or low in sugar I personally prefer to avoid these and go for the actual sugar variety if I have to – but strictly limiting these choices. Water is my main drink most of the time. I read somewhere awhile back that artificial sweeteners may be linked to Multiple Sclerosis, this was enough for me to never ever buy it.

    9. I work out with kettle bells at around 6.30am and feel this works best for me. I use to always feel hungry about an hour or so after exercising but since cutting breakfast out due to no longer feeling the need to eat then, I seem to be fasting from after my evening meal right through till about 11am or so in the morning. Then I might just have some almonds and a piece of fruit.

    10. I drink a cup of very light tea with quarter teaspoon raw sugar in the morning. About 9am a cup of coffee with same amount raw sugar and a dash of full cream milk. (in my low fat days I use to always use skim milk). At night a cup of green tea.

    Sonya wrote on April 28th, 2009
  22. I would argue that everyone IS evolved to drink milk. Human milk and any other milk have the same components, if in different ratios. For most Northern Europeans, some parts of Africa, and Northern Asia (Mongols) milk is a important part of their heritage and their bodies are well suited to drink it. However, for large portions of the population, the human body stops producing the right enzymes to process milk correctly as it matures. Most importantly, lactose is not processes well. If your body handles it well, I would say go for it. If it doesn’t I would steer clear. Also, traditionally made cheeses, especially aged cheese, have almost no lactose and should be alright for everyone. Most cheeses made in the US don’t use the lactic acid creating bacteria (which eat the lactose) and therefore will most likely bother you if you are lactose intolerant. Finally, check out the traditional Swiss, some of the tribes in Africa, and the Mongols. They all ate/are eating almost exclusively milk products, and are/were in incredible physical condition.

    I have mixed feeling about Cross-Fit. Cross-Fit is good for people who aren’t familiar with a wide variety of training and good for promoting general fitness. For people who go to the gym without a plan and end up doing the same thing every time, it’s great. I have done a lot of their workouts and enjoy them. However, if you are training towards something specific, Cross-Fit may be too general. Also, I don’t really agree with (and I know this is going to upset some people) the concept of “slop” in lifts to insure higher repetitions. I HAVE seen people get hurt doing Cross-Fit because of horrible form when tired, failing on some of the more advanced movements, and over repetition of the same movements. (This is not likely to be a problem with beginners.) I guess what I am saying is if you are an advanced athlete with specific goals, Cross-Fit may help, but shouldn’t be your only source of training information. Despite this, for beginners it is a great way to get exposed to a lot of good information and promote general fitness. The main thing I don’t like Cross-Fit is a lot of the people who do Cross-Fit are kind of cultish about it. Most of the people, who do Cross-Fit in my gym, get extremely aggressive and upset if anyone says ANYTHING critical about Cross-Fit.

    Tate wrote on April 28th, 2009
  23. To most questions asked;

    Take easy steps into your new life style.
    See how it effects you, keep what works for you, leave behind what doesn’t.

    Keep at it and be gentle on yourself.


    Marc Feel Good Eating wrote on April 28th, 2009
  24. I’ve been convinced to take fish oil now! My next question is, which is more effective, straight oil or capsules?

    bob wrote on April 28th, 2009
  25. On question #7: I currently supplement with cod liver oil and fish capsules. About 4g total. I’ve always wondered if all fish oils are created equal and after reading this article

    am even a bit less sure about exactly what type of fish oil is best. Salmon vs. other deep water fish; one kind of salmon vs. another. So much choice!

    John wrote on April 28th, 2009
  26. I just happened to see an ad in the Coscto magazine for 100% natural wild Alsakan salmon oil fish capsules, 1000mg.Their products are usually high quality and prices are reasonable They also sell Iceland health max. strength Omega 3 fish oil softgels I’m going there this week, so i’ll check them out.

    bob wrote on April 28th, 2009
  27. Hey bob and everyone…

    Mark makes a fish oil himself. I trust him as a source and have been taking them on auto delivery for probably about 4 months now. Here’s the link I got em from:

    Manatoa wrote on April 28th, 2009
  28. 6. I don’t know why you’d want to fool with separate “facial exercises,” but I’ve derived a number of benefits from oil swishing / pulling / whatever the current trendy name is every morning. You’re not eating these oils, so you don’t have to worry about getting the wrong fats. Use an oil like sunflower or safflower, preferably cold pressed and not rancid or deodorized (meaning it was rancid but they’re trying to fool you). Keep it in the refrigerator. Swish oil on an empty stomach, preferably before you do anything else when you wake in the morning, all around your mouth. If you gag, spit it out and start over (just use a small spoonful). Do it for 15 minutes or as long as you can. This will work your face, work out some of the snot in your nose and throat, and I believe that over enough time (maybe weeks or months), it helped that double chin we all have in my family (I am not overweight). It may temporarily enlarge your sublingual glands. It’s supposed to “remove toxins” from your saliva and/or blood stream. I just like how much cleaner my mouth feels after doing it. Different from simply brushing teeth and tongue or gargling with water or a solution made with water.

    HG wrote on April 28th, 2009
  29. # 7 – Mark, in regards to your fish oil – do you have it tested for purity by an independent lab (like the IFOS link I gave above)? If so, you should put a link to the results on the vital omegas page. Like check out your competitor:

    Yours is cheaper, but with ZoneDiet fish oil, I know for sure that the quality and purity are there…

    LevitationMatt wrote on April 28th, 2009
  30. 1 dairy: there is no natural limit to the amount of goat’s cheese I can consume, but most of the time I eat only an ounce of two of mature cheddar per week. However I do get through a lot of fermented double cream (perhaps half a litre per week). That contains very little lactose or casein by the time the bacteria are done with it. I actually have no problem with lactose digestion, but avoid milk because I don’t want the carbs.

    8 diet soda: I dislike the taste of artificial sweeteners and avoid them. I never had much of a sweet tooth, so I feel no need to consume pseudo-sugary drinks (with the exception of a very occasional gin and diet tonic).

    10 caffeine: I love filter coffee and drink several large cups daily -black, no sugar, not too strong. I did try giving it up, but since I don’t get the jitters or stay awake at night after drinking coffee all day, I decided there was no point in avoiding it.

    Valda Redfern wrote on April 30th, 2009
    • Valda, can you tell me how you ferment your cream? I haven’t had success with fermenting cream so I have to avoid it for now. Would love to know more!!

      Tara wrote on June 12th, 2009
  31. I like my alternative to sugar in coffee…it’s still sugar, but I feel better about Green & Black’s Organic Hot Chocolate Drink. The first ingredient is raw cane sugar, and then it goes on to various fair trade dark chocolate ingredients – SO GOOD in coffee – and organic.

    Speaking of which – why is EVERYTHING organic now? I don’t believe any of it. Hopefully it doesn’t become one of those overused words that will soon mean nothing.

    Sadly, I’m not primal, but I’m so happy reading this site – it’s one of my favorites and pretty much the only one I’ve found where people aren’t vicious, mean, deragotory and generally cowards hiding behind their anonymous internet handles.

    I bet Grok had lots of buddies and they all needed each other to get through the hard times and he’s clearly a great role model.

    Rock on primal people! And thanks to Mark for a truly positive and inspiring place to visit.

    SugarCookieBrooklyn wrote on April 30th, 2009
  32. #5 CrossFit
    …Be careful driving your car because I heard there are a lot of injuries with that LOL

    I’m a crossfitter (for 2 yrs) and a trainer and helped to open a gym. I chose to do crossfit because it’s the closest thing I’ve found that combines all levels of using my BODY to it’s fullest ability & capability. I have had 3 knee-surgeries, no probs since learning how to squat correctly — I appreciate that even if the movement involves a barbell, it’s still teaching me the most efficient FUNCTIONAL way to lift — which translates to me being able to heft that 50lb bag of dogfood up on the shelf, or lift a small child, properly.
    I am very proud to say I have taken totally NON-ATLETIC sedentary people, and helped them become crossfitters… helped them to feel empowered.

    I am extremely PROUD that we have videos of good form AND bad form for people to learn from. Most other sports never show you the WHOLE PICTURE. We are only human and our community SHARES the good/bad/&ugly. We learn from our mistakes, and don’t keep ’em in the closet. So I think it’s pretty funny that everyone picks on that, instead of understanding that we have one of the higest DATA SETS of scientific information & results — and the percentage of injury and terrible form, can be accounted for and is LOW.

    ’nuff said. wrote on May 1st, 2009
    • I disagree. I think the CF community keeps a lot in the closet. I think “coach” needs to be a lot more open with the methods to the madness. Sometimes I get the sense that CF’ers feel they are getting a beneficial punishment. As if coach is their benevolent dictatory. Also, who’s gonna take advice from a guy who looks like that? Totally creepy in my opinion. – he’s the real deal. No cultish nonsense. Just jacked-out and successful athletes.

      DudeMan wrote on May 18th, 2009
  33. 4. I have only given it a quick glance, but it seems vitamin A could protect against kidney stones. That would mean a lot of carrots, I guess :)

    Anyways, you can dig deeper at The Daily Lipid, where I ran across the article.

    Also, here’s a link to a study confirming(?) this (I have not read the study)(There’s a link to it in the fourth paragraph of the article as well)

    Good Luck!

    Sebastian Lindoffer wrote on May 3rd, 2009
  34. Forgot to write the link for the study, so here it is:

    Sebastian Lindoffer wrote on May 3rd, 2009
  35. #9 – Thanks for the responses. Though I prefer lifting in the late afternoon (5-ish, more focused) I still try to get the cardio done in the AM. Makes me feel energized for the day too.
    Just wanted others opinions.
    Thanks again!
    Ron from IL

    Ron wrote on May 6th, 2009
  36. Re: food combining… There is absolutely no scientific basis behind the food combining theory. Most foods are a combination of protein and carbs to begin with and to imply that one needs to separate “carb” foods from “protein” foods, or to separate proteins of different origin, or to not eat fruit with anything else is pure shenanigan.

    Now, with that said, most people have, at most, and in my humble opinion, pretty fair digestive capacities to begin with (following the cumulative effects of less-than-optimal nutrition) and probably eat too much of the wrong foods at any one meal. Hence, what food combining does allow for is reduction in the quantity of food that is taken in during a meal through simplification of those said meals (fewer options at each meal). Hence the accompanying “better digestion” and loss of weight observed in many instances…

    Eric wrote on May 6th, 2009
  37. RE: Question 5 (Crossfit)

    As the great late Dr. Mel C. Siff would have said, there is no such thing as a dangerous exercise, only faulty techniques (and programming) in performing the said exercise. Hence the myth that full squats are bad for the knees, that it is bad to do lunges with the knees going forward pass the foot (ever try to run like that!!), that machines are safer than freeweights or that endless crunches will make your core “stronger” and help protect your back…

    Crossfit is nothing more than what it claims to be: a means of increasing work capacity across broad time and modal domain. The methodology behind the programming requires the use of “functional” multi-joint exercises and changing everything up constantly so as to always be “surprising” the body.

    Now, the founder, Greg Glassman, has insisted on numerous occasions that the WOD (workout of the day) is in no way meant to be done “as is” by any one person walking into a gym for the first time. That would be ridiculous, and certainly no more “brighter” than looking up Charles Poliquin, or Alwyn Cosgrove or Eric Cressey’s latest training program and giving that a try if your highest level of intensity over the last five years has included getting up and walking to the fridge to get a beer at halftime. First, movements have to be learned and PROPER motor patterns have to be engrained; the proper mechanics, if you will, have to be laid down. This is where proper coaching comes in very handy, especially with the more technically demanding Olympic lifts and their variations. Then, these movements have to be repeated over and over, PROPERLY and then and only then, (faster or heavier) should intensity become part of the equation.

    Of course then, Crossfit is no more dangerous than any other program but again, one must use some common sense. I’ve been discussing and debating the benefits and disadvantages of Crossfit with people for years now, including on the Crossfit forum and T-Nation; the bottom line is, there is much to be gained by following Crossfit and the general iron game world could benefit from paying attention. For the most part, acerbic comments that have been written about Crossfit stem from ignorance and simply looking at the WOD posted on the website and deeming this whole thing cultish, stupid and dangerous.

    No one knowledgeable enough in the Crossfit world ever claimed that Crossfit could create the world’s next best sprinter, or the next world-record-breaking Olympic weightlifter, or the best marathoner. Those are events and sports that require specialized training. And Crossfit is quite exactly at the opposite end of the specialist-generalist spectrum: their specialty is “not specializing”!!! In more scientific terms, Crossfit could be called an ongoing and eternal form of general physical preparedness (or GPP), and should be seen as that. The fact that some people have turned Crossfit into a sport simply means that GPP is now being taken to a different level. And what could be wrong with that…

    Eric wrote on May 6th, 2009
  38. You will have to pry my Java out of my cold dead hands!

    ADD may have been advantageous to Grok as he switched from generalised awareness of his total surroundings to hyperfocussing on one specific task, but this is not so useful in the modern world. Caffeine helps me concentrate (and also helps me sleep)

    I take it with a dash of milk, about the only thing I have carried over from my low fat diet is a preference for skim milk. I don’t have much on account of the carbs, but I confess to finding cheese a useful food, protein and nice healthy sat fats, ideal for snacking often along with *small* quantities of carbs for prolonged energy. Try creamed goat cheese with blueberries stuffed into it on an oatcake (the oatcake is to keep the sticky stuff off your hands, you may prefer alternatives)

    Trinkwasser wrote on May 9th, 2009

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