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

Mark's Daily Apple

21 Aug

Why We Eat: Hunger

hungerIt sounds like the question of a 4-year-old making his first forays into understanding life, biology, and the nature of the universe: “Mom, why do we eat?” On some level, there’s an answer that’s both basic and true – the kind with which we’d respond to little Junior: “We eat because we’re hungry.” If it – and we – were only that simple…. Beyond the hormonal cues that tell us our bodies need feeding exists an intricate constellation of reasons. They stem from the gamut of higher order thinking, social reference and self-organization that characterize the human mind. And just when you thought the biological picture was at least an easy call, it’s important to note the environmental inputs that can skew our hormonal responses and convince us we need to raid the refrigerator at midnight. (Yes, analyzing human instinct can feel like nailing Jello to the wall.) So, what are the various reasons we eat? What influenced your food intake today? Truth be told, sometimes we’re not even conscious of our simplest motivations. I thought I’d take up the multifaceted question in a series of articles. We spend a lot of time talking about what we eat/should eat, and the why can lead us down some interesting roads in terms of both research and experience. But let’s start today with the fundamental biology behind our food intake.

Keep reading…

20 Aug

Join Us Next Month at the 5th Annual PrimalCon Oxnard

primalcon oxnard graphic 320I love the late summer/early fall weather on the Southern California coast. The fog patterns of early summer have burned off for good, and while the inland valleys bake in the heat, the beach temperatures remain absolutely perfect. We enjoy sunny, temperate days and comfortably cool evenings.

Why these ramblings about the weather? Because we are approaching our fifth annual PrimalCon event in Oxnard, but with a fall date for the first time. It’s happening Sept 25th-28th at the Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Resort, Southern California’s best-kept secret (and most affordable) oceanfront resort. They recently completed a comprehensive renovation and beautification of the entire resort and it’s in fabulous shape for our group. With Southwest Airlines’ typically great fall deals from all over the USA, and the incredible PrimalCon discount room package at the resort, an excursion to PrimalCon has never been more attractive.

Keep reading…

19 Aug

Smart Fuel: Mushrooms

mushroomsNeither plant nor animal, the mushroom usually gets lumped in with the former but genetically it’s closer to the latter. In fact, mushrooms and people are members of the same biological superkingdom, Opisthokonta, which excludes plants; we shared a common ancestor with fungus about 600 million years ago. But while mushrooms are an odd genre of organism, that’s nothing compared to what lies beneath and supports them. The mushroom is just the fruiting body of the underground network of fungal threads known as the mycelium.

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18 Aug

Dear Mark: New Parent Issues, Corn, and Pain’s Purpose

newparentFor today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got a three-parter. First, I draw on my experiences as a parent and observer of the new generation of Primal parents to tackle a big topic: how to maintain a Primal mindset as a new parent beset by all the crazy, often unreasonable demands of modern parenting. It’s not as bad or as hard as you think. Next, I discuss whether or not corn tortillas are really an issue for someone who enjoys eating them for her 80/20. Are they as problematic as other grain-based foods? Finally, I explore the purpose of pain.

Let’s go:

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17 Aug

Weekend Link Love – Edition 309

weekend link love2Episode #32 of The Primal Blueprint Podcast is now live, and I’m answering reader questions about statins, CoQ10 depletion, the nature of hunger, and much more. If you have any ideas for future podcasts, please let us know by using the blue “Submit a Question” button in the sidebar!

Research of the Week

Most French wines contain plasticizers.

When it comes to polyunsaturated fats, the animal-based ones – DHA, EPA, and AA – are far more oxidatively stable than the plant-based ALA and linoleic acid.

Keep reading…

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