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

Mark's Daily Apple

28 Mar

My Story of Paleo and Personality Change

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 2Is it heretical in a sense to dare say that one’s personality could change to such an extent that one can shift from introvert to extrovert? Did I simply fall prey to the American ideal of extraversion which judges and belittles introverts? Am I simply an introvert who learned to put on a strong extroverted front for the world? These doubts run through my mind all the time when I experience myself these days as discontinuous from the person I was before finding paleo. My story is different than the majority of, still inspiring, people who have lost weight and made great progress towards many physical ailments. My story is physical too, but much more psychological. It begs the inquiry of how much the personality can change once the body and nervous system are functioning optimally.

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27 Mar

Cultivating Health During Crisis

crisisSo often we associate the two together – health and crisis. You can’t blame us really. The headlines brim with the concept weekly. Newscasts run their stock video of obese or frail forms walking down a city street. I have something else in mind here, however – inspired by some friends and readers who I’ve talked to lately. Their stories run a gamut of scenarios from cancer diagnoses to divorce, personal loss to geographic moves to name just a few. The underlying commonality of them all, of course, is major life challenge and/or transition. Upheaval of this magnitude has a way of knocking us out of our orbits. Emotionally disoriented and fatigued, we can feel out of sync, stuck in an oddly passive or at least awkward pattern. Life can feel like it’s happening around us. Even our routines can feel foreign as we navigate days with an unusual detachment. So often we talk about crisis as something solved outside ourselves. We turn ourselves over to a team of physicians and specialists in a health crisis. In times of loss or transition, we access resources, including – again – professionals. While I wholeheartedly believe in availing oneself of every benefit possible, I think something else critical gets lost in shuffle. How do we care for ourselves during crisis?

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26 Mar

The Definitive Guide to Resistant Starch

floursA few years back, I briefly covered a throwaway Yahoo! article about how “carbs will make you lose weight” because so many readers had emailed about it. It turned out that the “carbs” in the article were resistant starch, a type of carbohydrate that our digestive enzymes cannot break down. I’ll admit now, with regret, that I didn’t look as deeply into the matter as I might have. I didn’t dismiss resistant starch, but I did downplay its importance, characterizing it as “just another type of prebiotic” – important but not necessary so long as you were eating other fermentable fibers. While technically true, we’re fast learning that resistant starch may be a special type of prebiotic with a special place in the human diet.

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25 Mar

Why Squatting Is So Important (plus Tips on How to Do It Right)

squatting 1Just as we should eat the foods our bodies were designed to eat, we should move our bodies the way they were meant to move and impose the stressors they were meant to bear. That means squatting, and squatting often. Our hips flex, knees bend, and ankles dorsiflex so that we can rest comfortably in a squat position.

Okay, but isn’t the squat a bit outdated? Why not just use a chair?

You’ve probably heard how modern processed foods use refined sugar, salt, and seed oils to hijack our natural desires for fruits, animal fat, and animal meat. They exploit our wiring and provide hyper-stimulation to our senses, prompting massive overconsumption; some refer to this as “Food Reward.” In a similar vein, chairs hijack our anthropometry, which was designed for squatting. Just look at yourself in a chair:

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24 Mar

Dear Mark: Aloe Vera for Leaky Gut, One Meal a Day, and Glyphosate and Celiac Disease

aloeveraFor today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got a three-parter. First I discuss the effect of aloe vera on gut function. Is there evidence that it’s a panacea for intestinal permeability, as so often is claimed? Next, I help an extremely active reader who’s considering switching to one meal a day to lose the last few stubborn pounds of body fat figure out what his next move should be. And finally, I explore the evidence for a connection between the herbicide glyphosate and celiac disease.

Let’s go:

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