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

Mark's Daily Apple

9 May

Fiddlehead Ferns With Bacon, Browned Garlic and Onion, and White Wine Reduction

As promised yesterday, I’ve prepared an incredibly simple yet delicious Primal Fiddlehead Fern recipe. I originally planned on making a big dish, with lots of ingredients, but I realized that doing so could weaken the presence of the fern. Since these things are relatively rare, I wanted to make sure they were the stars of the show and didn’t get lost in the melee.

Keep reading…

8 May

On the Trail of the Elusive Fiddlehead Fern

The fleeting fiddlehead fern season is upon us, readers. All across the country, gourmands are eagerly descending upon farmer’s markets, food co-ops, and premium grocers in search of the slightly fuzzy, furled fern tips that taste a bit like asparagus. Cooked properly, the fiddlehead fern is bright green and tender, with a nice crisp bite.

Their name comes from the fact that the tightly coiled ferns resemble the curled end of a fiddle or a violin. Like their namesake, good fiddlehead ferns are expensive, stemming from the high production costs. Fiddlehead ferns are wild-harvested, mostly in the northeastern United States; they’re foraged for, rather than cultivated, and the expansive selection of similar-looking (yet inedible) wild ferns make proper foraging a difficult task requiring expertise. What you want is the ostrich fern tips, but what the inexperienced fern forager might come across is the nearly identical Bracken Fern, which is carcinogenic. So, seeing as how I neither live in the northeast nor do I have access to an “Edible Fern Field Guide,” I figured I’d just buy the ferns at a store. Grok would have disapproved, but whatever.

Keep reading…

7 May

Enjoying the Journey Every Step of the Way

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!

After a healthy high school sports career (swimming, water polo, and cross-training), I went off to college and found that, like many people, I had a much harder time exercising without a tight practice schedule and all the camaraderie that goes with being part of a team. I made occasional forays to the gym and played some pickup ball now and then, but by 21 or 22, I was caught in the perfect storm of a backwards sleep schedule, way too many available calories, and a general lack of discipline (I was a largely self-supervising researcher at the time, and it turned out I was not a very strict boss!).

The “before” photo was taken during a family trip to Big Sur in 2003, and it definitely embarrassed me into action (that, and being invited for a run by the cute girl in my creative writing class). Having found the motivation I was looking for, I started running, first 1-2 miles, then 3-4, then 5, 6, 7, and immediately took off weight. I also began to get much more serious about vegetables, and took advantage of the local fish market to get hefty servings of Omega-3s. However, I was still stuck in some of the classic fallacies of modern diet and exercise: thinking that more distance meant better health, and that caloric balance was a simple, zero-sum game – i.e., eat all the pasta you want as long as you run it off. This continued for a few years. Keep reading…

7 May

Mark’s Daily Apple Redesign Finally Coming!

The long awaited redesign of Mark’s Daily Apple is almost here. Yesterday I tweeted to all my fellow tweeters a screenshot of the redesign (follow me on Twitter for exclusive updates!). Today it’s your turn. Below you’ll find an image of the new and improved Mark’s Daily Apple (click on it for the full size). I’ve only included the one truncated image because I don’t want to give everything away just yet. You’ll have to wait until Monday for the unveiling, a video from yours truly and an introduction to all the new features and changes.

I’d love to hear your first impressions in the comment board. Thanks!


6 May

Going Primal Helped Me Recover From Anxiety

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!

I have two pictures of me and two stories. The first was taken in 2005 at age 20 after I finished a big bulking session. I had spent the previous four years working out like a bodybuilder. I ate little to no sugar, only “complex” carbs (brown rice, baked/sweet potatoes, wheat bread, etc) and followed typical bodybuilding low-fat high-carb diet. I worked out 4-5 times/week, did steady state cardio (swimming, usually), etc.

Around this time, I started developing severe anxiety and panic attacks, both of which are disorders of serotonin regulation. Serotonin is largely affected by insulin and messed up serotonin often goes hand in hand with insulin resistance. You can barely tell from the picture that I had substantial musculature, because it is so covered by fat. I weighed about 175lbs and I could bench 240 and squat 300. Not bad, but not great either. A week after this picture was taken, I had appendicitis and then an appendectomy,followed by the mother of all panic attacks. For over a month, I was completely incapacitated and could only sleep for 1-2 hours each night. After months of trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with me, I stumbled upon the Paleo diet on Art DeVany’s website.

Keep reading…

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