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

Mark's Daily Apple

11 Jul

Broccoli Rabe Pesto with Baked Cod

During the summer, it’s easy to turn into an impulse buyer. How can you not come home from the store or farmers’ market with more than you need when there’s all that irresistible produce out there? Freezing is one way to handle the excess. Getting creative in the kitchen is another way. Start by looking at a recipe, then mix it up a little. Before long you’ll find yourself throwing things like broccoli rabe into the food processor with nuts, a few garlic cloves and olive oil. Voila! Broccoli Rabe Pesto. Just like there aren’t any rules that say pesto has to be made with cheese, there aren’t any rules that say pesto has to be made out of herbs.

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10 Jul

Creative Visualization

Last week, I discussed the tangible effects of positive thinking. While we can’t quite say whether the connection between happy thoughts and good health/success in life are correlative or causative, it’s safe to assume a couple things: positive thinking is strongly associated with self-confidence and initiative, and all three seem to lead to good things for most people. There are no guarantees in life, of course, but there are ways to stack the deck in your favor. Eating the right foods and living in accordance with our ancestral past are two important, obvious (at least around here) ones; creative visualization may be another.

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9 Jul

How to Gain Weight and Build Muscle

So you wanna put on some lean muscle mass. And you want to do it within the context of the Primal Blueprint, but aren’t sure where to start. It’s a common question and it’s about time I addressed it head on.

As I’ve made pretty clear, our ultimate goal is to achieve positive gene expression, functional strength, optimum health, and extended longevity. In other words: To make the most out of the particular gene set you inherited. These are my end goals, and I’ve modeled the PB Laws with them in mind. But that doesn’t mean packing on extra muscle can’t happen with additional input. After I retired from a life of chronic cardio and started living Primally, I added 15 pounds of muscle, while keeping low body fat levels without really trying, so it’s absolutely possible for a hardgainer to gain some. The question is how much and at what expense?

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8 Jul

Frozen Primal Custard

The toughest thing about eating Primal has nothing to do with dessert. Especially not when this little custard cup is so delightfully in tune with the Primal lifestyle and all its nutritive guidelines.

I must admit how I’ve missed, a little bit, the crusty, flaky sweet-filled stuff of cakes and pies and cookies ever since switching to the eating habits of Grok. But this eggy last course, which combines the best parts of all my favorites – the sweetness of a cookie, the texture of a chilled cake, the satisfying warm flavor of a gooey brownie or buttered scone, ends the yen. It’s a bit of an in-between dessert; not quite the high-carb, sugar shock item that once came with trips to the Jewish bakery or Dairy Queen – those summer after-dinner memories! – but more of a cheesecake, a flan, or even, when frozen, a sweet and delicate Italian ice that tastes a little bit like egg nog.

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7 Jul

The Dirty on Dirty Cow Poop: E. Coli

E. coli, that plucky little strain of intestinal bacteria, has popped up in the news again. You’re probably pretty familiar with its recent appearances (Taco Bell, packaged spinach, alfalfa sprouts, and most famously ground beef – all pretty Primal foods, except for, well, one of ‘em). You may even be alarmed at its apparent ubiquity in our food supply. This time, though, you have no reason to fear it – it was traced back to a Danville, VA Nestle plant pumping out infected cookie dough – unless you’re having one of those hazy 80/20 days where it’s more like 20/80 and you wake up covered in wrappers with that weird chemical film in your mouth that can only come from processed junk. If that’s the case, you might want to exercise caution.

So what is E. coli, exactly?

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