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

Mark's Daily Apple

1 Jul

Is the Paleo Diet Supported by Scientific Research?

People constantly demand proof for the efficacy of the Primal eating plan. And I’m glad they do. The Primal Blueprint makes sense on an intuitive level, and those success stories we see every Friday sure are persuasive, but it’s also important to see broader support in the scientific literature. Many times, people demand proof without really wanting any; they assume it’s all imaginary just-so stories. “Where are the studies?” has become a retort rather than a legitimate query.

Well, it’s time to retire it. With 22 paleo diet papers and counting, the scientific research is quickly accumulating — and it’s quite positive. In last Sunday’s Weekend Link Love, I shared a list of (most of) the available paleo diet studies. Today, I thought I’d summarize some of these studies for you. Not everyone can be expected to have access to, read, and be able to interpret all of the research that is published. But there’s some really interesting stuff in there that I think you might benefit from knowing (and passing along to interested parties who ask). But be sure to have a look for yourself. Don’t just take my word for it.

Keep reading…

30 Jun

Precommitment Is Powerful, or Why You Should Be Like Odysseus

Most of the time, we wield willpower like a holstered gun with the safety off. Temptation rears — an ice cream bar, perhaps — and we whip it out, firing blindly and wasting more than a few bullets in the process. The temptation is beat back, and the ice cream goes uneaten, but the willpower that remains is depleted and less effective in subsequent encounters. And the same thing happens every time we’re faced with a decision. That’s a sloppy way of dealing with the constant stream of temptation the modern world presents.

Keep reading…

29 Jun

Dear Mark: Vitamin D for Babes, Ingredient Bait and Switch, and Kettlebellin’ for Strength or Cardio?

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got a three-parter. First up is a controversial topic: vitamin D supplements for breastfeeding babies. Do they need it? Can they get enough through mother’s milk? Or is there another, better method for ensuring optimal vitamin D levels in breastfeeding infants? Next, what’s my take on the ol’ ingredient bait and switch employed by food manufacturers? And finally, say a person’s trying to program kettlebell training into their weekly routine. Should they consider it cardio, strength, or something else entirely?

Let’s go:

Keep reading…

28 Jun

Weekend Link Love – Edition 354

Weekend Link LoveSummer is here and grill season is upon us! As an early 4th of July present, I’m giving away a FREE copy of my Primal Blueprint Healthy Sauces, Dressings and Toppings hardcover cookbook with every Primal Kitchen™ Mayo 3-pack order. Simply add both products to your cart and use coupon code FREEDOM to get the cookbook absolutely free. Expires on July 4.

Research of the Week

The more berries, onions, apples, oranges, and other common sources of dietary flavonoids women ate, the better they aged.

Both strength training and aerobic conditioning have beneficial effects on workplace burnout, despite being stressors in and of themselves.

Keep reading…

27 Jun

Thick & Creamy Labneh

Labneh 3Labneh is a type of Middle Eastern “cheese” made from strained yogurt. Thick and creamy with a mild, tangy flavor, labneh is typically served as a spread or dip. Although labneh can be found in many grocery stores, it’s also really easy to make at home. And if you make it with organic, full-fat cultured yogurt, it’s chock-full of good saturated fat and beneficial probiotics.

Even so, you might be thinking, “Dairy? Really?” If that’s the case, then this recipe might not be for you. It’s true that some people don’t tolerate dairy well. But it’s also true that for others, a little bit of dairy can be part of a healthy, well-rounded diet. As noted in this definitive guide, dairy resides in Primal limbo. If you do indulge, then homemade labneh can be a delicious savory treat.

Making labneh is simple: Wrap full-fat yogurt in cheesecloth and let the moisture drain out for 12 to 24 hours, depending on how thick you want it. Then, pour really good extra virgin olive oil on top and if you like, throw in some herbs and/or spices. Mint, basil, parsley, and chives are good; so are za’atar, black pepper and cumin.

Keep reading…

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