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

Mark's Daily Apple

23 Jul

The “Dangers” of Going Gluten-Free

glutenfree 1In just about every article discussing the growing popularity of gluten-free diets, an expert or two appears three quarters of the way down warning about the “dangers” of attempting a gluten-free diet without medical supervision. The first reaction – from people like you and me who have experienced real benefits giving up gluten-containing foods – is a strong eye roll. “This again?” you think. Next they’re going to say that refined sugar is an important food group and I need a high-carb diet for “brain function” or something similarly inane.

But hey, these are medical experts with acronyms after their names. Maybe we should listen to what they’re saying and investigate their justifications for saying it. What dangers or risks are they actually referring to? Are they real dangers that we should heed, or are we in the clear?

There appear to be three primary arguments against widespread adoption of gluten-free diets. Let’s examine the evidence for and against each.

Keep reading…

22 Jul

Is It Primal? – Nut Milks, Maca Root, Stinky Tofu, and Other Foods Scrutinized

almondmilkIt’s been awhile since we’ve done one of these, hasn’t it? I had thought I’d exhausted the pool of foods and supplements for the “Is It Primal?” series, and that I’d be scraping the bottom of the barrel. Well, I was wrong. The questions about specific items have been pouring in unabated, and today it’s time to cover the next round of questionable foods. First up are nut milks, a perennial favorite of the dairy-free paleo world. Then I cover the widely used root with purported aphrodisiac qualities, maca, followed by stinky, smelly, grimy, pungent fermented tofu. There’s that word – “fermented” – that always makes us stop and reconsider a food. After that, I explore the suitability of azomite, a garden soil amendment and livestock feed supplement that some humans use as a mineral supplement. Last up are glass noodles made from mung bean starch.

Keep reading…

21 Jul

Dear Mark: Growing Appetite, Boxing as Cardio, and Ammonia Sweat

boxingFor today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m covering three questions from readers. First, how does a Primal family handle the growing appetite of a growing prepubescent without resorting to cheap fillers? It may involve reassessing our definition of “filler,” for one. Second, does boxing – an intense, demanding sport by any measure – qualify as chronic cardio? It’s intense, to be sure, but what if you really, really enjoy and thrive doing it? And finally, should you worry if your sweat smells like ammonia? Some say it’s a sure sign of impending doom, others wave it off as totally benign. Find out what I think below.

Let’s go:

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20 Jul

Weekend Link Love – Edition 305

weekend link love2Episode #28 of The Primal Blueprint Podcast is now live, and it’s an essay by yours truly. If you’ve ever wanted to hear a scathing critique of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night from a postcolonial essentialist-tinged third wave feminist perspective, now’s your chance. Actually, it’s an essay laying out the case against cardio. If you have any questions for future podcasts, please let me know by using the blue “Submit a Question” button in the sidebar!

A new Primal Blueprint Publishing eBook is available for Amazon Kindle: Picture Real Food. With informative handouts about healthy eating that you can download and send to others and drool-worthy recipes from nutrition experts, it’s a great way to introduce your friends and family to your way of eating.

Research of the Week

When you study actual living and breathing runners who’ve switched to barefoot-style running, the results are overwhelmingly positive.

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19 Jul

Pancetta with Halibut and Asparagus

Halibut1If something akin to “meat butter” sounds good to you, then head to your favorite local (or online) butcher shop and ask for pancetta, guanciale or lardo. All three are fatty cuts of pork – with an emphasis on fatty – that are dry cured with salt, herbs and spices.

Guanciale comes from the jowl, lardo comes from the back and pancetta comes from the belly. The long curing time (usually a couple months or so) means these seriously tasty slabs of mostly fat marbled with a little meat can be eaten raw. This is usually done by draping very thin slices of pancetta, guanciale or lardo over cooked meat, fish or vegetables, so it melts like butter. Meaty, salty, extremely rich butter.

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