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

Mark's Daily Apple

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.

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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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18 Jul

Long Distance Triathlete Finds Success with Primal

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

real life stories stories 1 2As a youngster growing up in Sydney, Australia, I had asthma that really limited what I could do. My mind wanted to do active sporty things, but physically I couldn’t follow through and as a result, was pretty unfit (and overweight).

My mum was a good healthy cook and we spent lots of time outdoors, but I would sneak lollies, chocolate, and chips when I could. It wasn’t emotional eating – I just loved the flavours and textures. There was also peer pressure about buying “the cool food” (aka junk) for lunch at school and then University.

Flash forward a couple of decades and I was still overweight and on the roller-coaster ride of fad diets that I would follow for a while, then fail as they left me starving and weak. I wanted to lose weight and be healthy, but I didn’t want to suffer so much. To me, mental health is an important part of physical health, and starving myself on restrictive “diets” left me mentally unhealthy. I found this unsustainable.

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