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

Mark's Daily Apple

1 Mar

A Beginner’s Guide: How to Culture Vegetables

CulturedVeg1Culturing raw vegetables can be a little intimidating. The process really is quite simple, but it seems like a lot to keep track of. What type of vegetables do you use? What do you culture with – salt, whey or freeze-dried culture? How do you make sure the culture doesn’t go bad during the fermentation process? How long, exactly, do those jars need to sit on my kitchen counter? And why bother culturing vegetables, anyway?

Consuming probiotics and fermented foods has numerous possible benefits. Chief among them, a healthier gut means more nutrients, vitamins, and minerals are absorbed. Plus, fermented vegetables are really delicious. Store-bought pickled veggies (like sauerkraut and pickles) are usually preserved in vinegar instead of a lactobacterial-salt slurry. This short-cut pickling method means no probiotics are present and the vegetables are usually limp and soggy. Lacto-fermented vegetables are crunchy, tangy and alive with healthy bacteria.

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28 Feb

Sticking It Out and Becoming Healthier Every Year

Announcement: I am about halfway through the writing of Primal Endurance, a breakthrough book that will change the way we look at endurance training and competition. The main emphasis is on low-carb and/or ketogenic diets and training strategies. I am looking for Success Stories that exemplify this approach. If you compete in any event and have had success training and racing on a low-carb or ketogenic diet, I would love to hear details and maybe even feature your story in the book. Please submit your story here. Now, on to yet another inspiring Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a fellow Mark’s Daily Apple reader. Thank you for reading!

real life stories stories 1 2Hi Mark,

I’ve been waiting for the right time to share my story and feel that now is that time. I didn’t feel ready to share until my health was up to a level which I think is primal-worthy. I wouldn’t say it’s perfect as I’m not a super-disciplined person, but I’m happy and full of energy!

I grew up in a typical South African home with high-fibre cereal for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, and meat, starch and vegetables for supper. At least I had a good dose of veggies and meat at supper. I was a mostly healthy child but began to struggle with health issues in my early twenties. I developed irritable bowel syndrome and hated the effects when I went to my day job. The doctors said they couldn’t do anything for me – it was all stress related. The symptoms didn’t go away and continued right into my thirties and through three pregnancies. As a young adult, I did try to live healthier by exercising regularly and eating more fruit and vegetables. I noticed that bread didn’t work well for me so I thought it was the yeast. I cut out yeast products and then mostly wheat but continued to eat rye, maize (corn) and lots of rice and potatoes. On top of that, I ignorantly continued to eat vegetable oils and low fat products.

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27 Feb

Why You Should Book a Massage Today

massageI often get emails asking for my opinion about bodywork. While I’m not necessarily one to easily dismiss any treatment conventional wisdom would devalue, I also approach this arena with some healthy skepticism. The question becomes what’s effective and what’s simply “woo-woo,” to use a somehow unmatchable term. I’ll leave much of that specific discussion to you all today, but I did want to examine one modality that has more research behind it than most, even if that body of studies is still somewhat patchy. Most people have had a massage sometime in their lives. We certainly have our own opinions about its impact. Unless we were truly unlucky, most of us likely came away with a pretty good impression. Many of us have gone back many times since with perhaps a sizable financial and personal investment in the therapy – maybe even with a specific therapist. (It’s funny how people guard the availability of their favorite massage provider even as they clearly want to extol their endless virtues.) Our personal anecdotes aside, what does existing science say about the benefits of massage? For what conditions/circumstances is it especially effective? Can it benefit healthy as well as ill people? Let’s take a look.

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26 Feb

The Best Exercise There Is, Hands Down

equipmentThrow reality out the window for a second and entertain a hypothetical. Imagine you can only do one exercise for the rest of your life. If you had to choose a single exercise to do for the rest of your life, right here today, what would it be? It’s a popular question with a divergent set of answers depending on who’s being asked, and for the most part I see where everyone’s coming from.

If you ask the AARP, it’s the plank, which is easy on the joints, involves every body part, strengthens the core which can help prevent falls, is very safe for seniors (the intended audience of AARP), and you can do them anywhere without equipment. I have no fault with the plank.

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25 Feb

The Incredible Future of Weight Loss Technology

cheesystockphototechIt’s an exciting time to be alive. I remember reading Douglas Adams and trying to imagine what it’d be like to have all the universe’s knowledge in the palm of your hand – and now almost everyone carries a supercomputer around in their pocket that puts the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to shame. Robotics is getting scarily lifelike, the Singularity draws near if you ask the right people, and Google’s self-driving cars should hit the market in the next decade. Sure, we don’t have hoverboards, flying cars, or android bounty hunters yet, but we’re doing all right. I fully expect to reside inside a VR simulacrum of my design before 2030.

You know what jazzes me up the most, though? The incredible future of weight loss technology. Being an industry “insider,” if you will, I’m privy to all the “interesting” stuff coming down the pipeline. And let me tell you: it will blow your mind. Allow me to give a few hints at what’s coming in the next 10-15 years. Three of them are fake, five are real. Can you guess which is which?

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