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

Mark's Daily Apple

14 Aug

From Surviving to Thriving: Power Couple Becomes Primal Team

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-1-2Primal eating happened by accident for my husband Pat and I. Although Pat and I took very different routes, and studied different research for different reasons, we’ve both found success with primal eating.

Our History

Once a vegetarian, Pat was a carb and sugar lover. He was a typical Scottish man that enjoyed his meal of carbs with carbs and a side of carbs. Macaroni and cheese with chips? Lasagna with chips? Definitely! When he was a teenager, Pat was an extremely active mountain bike cross-country racer. Like some of the Tour de France cyclists you see, he was skinny everywhere except his quads and glutes. The knowledge that carbs were vital for his racing and success were imparted to him early. As a teenager, he could easily eat an entire loaf of white bread in a sitting. As an adult, he could devour an entire Marks and Spencer Chocolate Swiss Roll in one go, eating it as though it were a candy bar. But Pat had many issues that plagued him: as a child, he was epileptic; he’s had bouts of depression; he deals with Seasonal Affective Disorder; he enjoyed his alcohol. He also had many food intolerances, which often left him with upset stomachs, and the results of these stomach aches, if you know what I mean.

Keep reading…

13 Aug

Introducing PrimalBeat HRV

Regular Mark’s Daily Apple readers know of my enthusiasm for the cutting edge biofeedback technology known as heart rate variability (HRV). There is a detailed introductory post here, and a follow up post here. In short, HRV measures the variation in beat-to-beat intervals of your heart, providing a direct window into the functional state of your autonomic nervous system. A high HRV score (indicative of more variation in beat to beat intervals) suggests a synchronistic balance between your parasympathetic (“rest and digest”) nervous system and your sympathetic (“fight or flight”) nervous system. A lower than normal (for the individual) HRV score is indicative of sympathetic dominance—a state of overstress or poor cardiovascular function.

Keep reading…

12 Aug

Is Conventional Wisdom About GMO Safety Correct?

Conventional wisdom demands skepticism. Whether it’s the official stance on high-fat diets (“they’ll give you heart disease, don’t work, or do work but not for long!”), exercise (“you must jog at a moderate pace for an hour a day, four days a week!”), organic food (“it’s nutritionally identical to conventionally-grown food!”), or sun exposure (“you must always wear sunblock!”), I always question conventional wisdom. And when it’s lacking (as is often the case), I rightly skewer it.

I’m going to do something a little different today. I’m going to look critically at conventional wisdom, but of a different sort: the kind espoused by the alternative health crowd.

Keep reading…

11 Aug

Why I Paddle Board (and Why You Should Try It)

paddleboarding3If you’ve been keeping up with Mark’s Daily Apple, you know that standup paddling is a longtime favorite pastime of mine. And though I was into it before it was “cool,” I’m certainly not the first. Fishermen have been paddling their water vessels from a standing position for thousands of years and pre-contact Hawaiian surfers employed long paddles to reach the best waves on their 3-5 meter-long boards. In the mid-20th century, Oahu surf instructors would lead classes atop longboards with paddles, but it wasn’t until Laird Hamilton and Dave Kalama started standup paddling (and being filmed doing it) that the sport gained broad “sport” status and board makers began producing dedicated SUP boards.

So, a lot of people have asked: why do I love paddle boarding so much?

Keep reading…

10 Aug

Dear Mark: The Latest Forbes Organic Column, Low Sodium Senior Napping, and Weston A. Price

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions from readers. First up, a Forbes columnist recently penned an anti-organic agriculture screed. In it, he makes the oft-repeated claim that organic is just a scam and really no different from conventional produce. Is he saying anything new — or useful? Should we avoid the often higher price tag of organic produce? The second comes from Susan, a healthy and active 70 year-old without any complaints — except that a midday nap is starting to sound more and more attractive every day. Could her low salt intake be the cause of her midday fatigue? Maybe. Next, what’s my take on Weston A. Price? How do his nutritional guidelines jibe with the Primal Blueprint?

Let’s go:

Keep reading…

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