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

Mark's Daily Apple

25 Sep

How to Succeed with a Growth Mindset

dontquitA couple decades ago a Stanford University psychologist by the name of Carol Dweck became famous when she suggested parents praise their children’s efforts instead of compliment them on their “inherent” intelligence (“Joey, you’re such a smart boy! “Suzy, how’s Mama’s smart girl?”). The descriptive accolades telling kids how intelligent they are, her research demonstrated, actually undermined children’s self-confidence and willingness to venture new tasks or unfamiliar material. On the opposite side of the spectrum, acknowledgement of children’s engagement and perseverance resulted in their aiming for bigger challenges.

The research, Dweck claimed, identified what she called a differentiation of “mindset.”  When we’re operating from a “fixed” mindset, for example, we believe our talents and abilities are somehow set or predetermined. We’re either innately good at something or we’re not. When we accept a “growth mindset,” however, we view achievement through the lens of effort. We believe we have the power to develop our skills regardless of initial capacity. Clearly, we grown-ups can glean something essential from this concept. What could a “growth mindset” do for our health endeavors? For losing weight? For becoming fit? For changing our eating habits? For our happiness and success in general? And how would it change our self-talk and motivational strategy?

Keep reading…

24 Sep

Why Exercise Feels Like a Drag (and What to Do About It)

purposeSometimes while working out at home I catch Buddha (my lab) just kind of watching me doing squats or pushups or pullups or burpees with this look on his face that says, “You feed me, walk me, scratch me, and water me and I love you for it, but what in Dog’s name are you doing?” He probably thinks I’m insane. You can’t really blame the guy. I mean, the stuff we do for exercise is pretty silly:

You’re walking on a treadmill, literally going nowhere for miles at a time.

You’re pedaling like a madman, but instead of seeing the landscape unfold in front of you, you’re watching MSNBC with closed captioning on.

You’re picking up a metal bar with weights on either end and putting it back down over and over again.

Hanging from an overhead bar, you pull yourself up toward it until your chest touches, then go back down and repeat it several dozen times.

Is it any wonder that many people find modern exercise to be meaningless?

Keep reading…

23 Sep

Artificial Sweeteners May Leave You Absolutely Gutted

artificialsweeteners2Several years ago, I covered the popular artificial sweeteners sucralose, acesulfame-k, aspartame, and saccharin, finding mixed results and little to confirm the widely-held view that they provoke an insulin response. I also wrote about diet soda in general, coming out generally against them while acknowledging the lack of hard evidence either way. But artificial sweeteners may be interfering with our metabolic response to food by an entirely different avenue: the gut biome. According to a new study (PDF) that has nothing at all to do with the cephalic-phase insulin response, artificial sweeteners induce glucose intolerance by altering the composition of our gut microbiota.

There were a few different stages to the study:

Keep reading…

22 Sep

Dear Mark: High Uric Acid and Gout; From Vegetarian to Primal Without a Gallbladder

iStock 000024843539SmallFor today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m covering two questions. First, what’s the deal with really, really high uric acid levels? Assuming a person is fit with good body composition, feels good, and has no complaints, are they still worrisome? Can they still lead to gout? Maybe. Read on. And then I cover a question on the best way to transition from vegetarian to Primal. If that seems fairly standard, there’s a little wrinkle: the potential convert has no gallbladder.

Let’s go:

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21 Sep

Weekend Link Love – Edition 314

weekend link love2For everyone that’s been inquiring, this year’s annual 21-Day Challenge is postponed to January 1. Check back in 2015 to take part in the next challenge. I’ve got some fun stuff planned.

Check out the trailer for a great new movie – Carb-Loaded: A Culture Dying to Eat. It comes out October 1 and features a who’s who of obesity and nutrition experts.

Pure Food. Pure Training. is a colorful interactive iBook with delicious recipes, videos, functional fitness workouts and tips on how to integrate a Primal lifestyle into your daily life. The author, Romy Dollé, joined us at PrimalCon Tulum and lives with her family in Zurich, Switzerland. I highly recommend checking it out.

Keep reading…

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