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

Mark's Daily Apple

9 Nov

Dear Mark: Hunter-Gatherer Fitness and Volunteerism

Group Of Volunteers Tidying Up Rubbish On BeachFor today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering an email that reminded me of an idea I once had that I’m convinced could really work: organizing group workout sessions like fitness bootcamps only instead of a guy barking orders as you perform a completely arbitrary set of exercises with little regard for technique, the group performs “workouts” that are actually acts of volunteerism. This makes your workouts truly count, not just as stimulants of fitness improvements but to the other people your efforts touch. It addresses an important aspect missing from most fitness programs. Humans used to perform physically demanding tasks on a regular basis in order to live, eat, and thrive. It wasn’t “exercise” or a “workout,” but it made us fit, strong, and fast just the same. And it was essential to living. It helped our immediate family and communities.

We’ve lost that, but training as volunteerism can bring some of it back.

Keep reading…

8 Nov

Weekend Link Love – Edition 373

Weekend Link Love

Research of the Week

Early exposure to dogs and farm animals reduces the risk of asthma in pre-school and school-age children.

Urban fruit contained a wider range of micronutrients and fewer heavy metals than retail fruit.

Standing for at least a quarter of the day can reduce your odds of obesity.

A high protein, higher calorie diet improves body composition in resistance trained men and women

Delaying kindergarten by a year may reduce ADHD.

A single meal containing crushed, raw garlic alters immune and cancer gene expression.

Keep reading…

7 Nov

Winter Squash, Leek and Chard Frittata

Frittata 1A frittata is the perfect meal any time of day, cold or hot, eaten with a knife and fork or with your hands. It’s the type of dish a person is tempted to use as a receptacle for leftovers, throwing in bits of meat and cooked vegetables, wilted herbs and an old knob of cheese. It’s hard to go wrong with a frittata, but if you want to go really, really right, this is the recipe.

The sweet and earthy flavors of winter squash, leeks and Swiss chard swirl together here in a frittata with a creamy, custard-like texture. The secret to the heavenly texture is full-fat dairy; without it, frittatas often have the texture of a kitchen sponge. Dairy isn’t for everyone, but if you tolerate dairy well, then there’s no reason to abstain. Full-fat dairy has more than just rich, delicious flavor to offer.

In this frittata recipe, crème fraiche adds amazing flavor and texture, although the same amount of yogurt, cream, or grated cheese can be substituted. And if this frittata has too many veggies for you and not enough meat, then go ahead and add some prosciutto or cooked bacon. You won’t be sorry.

Keep reading…

6 Nov

Overcoming Crohn’s: How I Dropped Sugar and Gained 30 Pounds

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-1-2Going straight to the point: Discovering I had Crohn’s disease after a few weeks in the hospital was the best thing that ever happened to me. I definitely would NOT have made that statement in the heat of the moment back three years ago, but I hit my 31st birthday and I’ve never had more vitality (for myself) and understanding of the human body (for sharing).

For years prior to my hospitalization I woke up every morning feeling poisoned. I had frequent mouth ulcers, the lymph nodes in my armpits where constantly swelling up and painful, I was always, always tired, I had bad acne on my back that didn’t seem to correlate to anything, foul flatulence, dandruff, joint pain, a smattering of skin allergies and I sunburned really, really easily (I’m a Northern Canadian who’s been living in Southern Spain for the last eight years, it is SUNNY here).

Keep reading…

5 Nov

Stop Saying No, Start Saying Yes!

YES I know parents who have “yes” days with their kids—days when the kids can ask for just about anything (barring the hazardous, illegal, harmful or physically impossible) and the parents have agreed to go with it. While the idea assuredly raises some eyebrows and probably isn’t for every family or age/personality of child, I’ve observed that it’s rarely the Pandora’s Box most people would assume.

On the first round, kids might try to push the limits out of sheer curiosity to see how far they can ride that train—how far they can push the parental units. With time and steadiness on the parents’ parts, however, the kids generally settle into a happy but reasoned approach in which their requests end up reflecting their parents’ values to a startling degree. They plan a healthy picnic or cook a healthy, albeit strangely assembled meal together. They ask for an extended family activity or day trip that includes some hiking or biking or family sport. It becomes more about their self-determination and maybe some creative embellishments than flying in the face of the normal family guidelines, oddly even if they’re subject for regular complaint. Nonetheless, the fun factor just went through the roof. We adults can learn something from this….

Keep reading…

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