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

Mark's Daily Apple

19 Jun

Apple-Stuffed Roasted Chicken With Sweet Potato Chips

After all the animal fat talk this week, I figured a recipe was in order. But how could I make a dish that revolved around animal fat? Animal fats usually are just cooking aids, rather than stars of the show – it wasn’t like I could just plop a few ounces of rendered lard on a plate and serve that up – so I had to somehow emphasize them. To accomplish this, I used three different animal fats in the making of the dish. Bacon lard coated the oven-roasted chicken, the apples cooked in goose fat, and the sweet potato chips were fried in freshly-rendered beef tallow.

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18 Jun

How to Render Beef Tallow

As I wrote yesterday’s post, I realized that I’d never actually made my own beef tallow from scratch. I’ve collected plenty of bacon grease in my day, and I’ve made schmaltz and used beef drippings from roasts as cooking fats, but never beef tallow. In fact, I almost never hear about it, even in Primal circles. It’s either lard, duck fat, or ghee getting all the attention. Hey, those are all great, delicious fats, and they deserve their prestige, but I like sticking up for the little guy. I like an underdog. In this case, of course, the little guy comes courtesy of a big cloven-hoofed ungulate.

To render beef tallow, you need to get your hands on some raw beef fat.

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17 Jun

A Primal Primer: Animal Fats

Animal fats have recently been implicated as the cause of heart disease, obesity and, in a roundabout convoluted stretch of logic, global warming. If you let health officials tell it, they’re pure evil. Reviled, shunned, and lambasted by the general public (thanks to less-then-sterling endorsements by health officials), animal fats have really gotten a bad rap.

It wasn’t always this way.

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16 Jun

Setting the Record Straight

We love it that the Primal Blueprint is garnering more public attention. We love it that research supporting the PB is becoming more common, more visible, more talked about. And we love it that people are jumping in the game, reading studies, asking questions, configuring their own Primal practices (and in doing so remaking their health!). The inevitable by-product of all this exposure, however, is an occasional misunderstanding, the every-so-often confusion about the Primal approach and what it actually suggests. These misinterpretations often find their way into our inboxes (We truly do welcome all comments and questions!), or we catch wind of them through the health blogosphere network. The remarks go something like this.

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15 Jun

Dear Mark: What is Creatine?

Over the years, more than a couple readers have asked about creatine and whether or not it has a place in the Primal Blueprint. People may be tempted to lump it in with anabolic steroids or other chemical enhancers, but they would be conferring guilt by association. To clarify, creatine is a naturally occurring substance involved in ATP energy production. All vertebrates have it, and most of us get a good chunk of our creatine from eating said vertebrates. Red meat in particular – beef, lamb, and bison – contains the highest levels of dietary creatine (interestingly enough, human vegetarians – unlike their ungulate counterparts – generally have far less creatine in their muscles than meat eaters). The rest of the creatine we get is biosynthesized internally from three amino acids (some of which are also derived from diet): arginine, glycine, and methionine.

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