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

Mark's Daily Apple

30 Aug

Workout in a Pill?

miceAs you probably already know, we here at MDA are all about making informed decisions that produce the best results with a minimal amount of effort. For example, what’s the point in running yourself to death when you can achieve better results with a short and intense workout session? In this sense we are all for shortcuts. We love ’em. Why take the long, circuitous path from A to B when you can get there by walking (or sprinting!) a straight line? But we normally discount the effectiveness of pharmaceutical shortcuts. Why? Shortcuts that involve pills usually never work – especially in achieving long term health or fitness goals. Pharma attempts at wellness almost always have a tough time seeing the forest for the trees. Gene expression is much more nuanced enterprise than a pill can account for. In other words, when it comes to popping a pill it is difficult to know what is going on behind the curtain. So when we read about a new pill being developed that chemically mimics the effects of exercise in lab mice, you can imagine how skeptical we were.

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29 Aug

Carbs: The Gift that Keeps on Giving

cupcakeEarlier this week I addressed the question of ideal weight and the research that suggests people in their later years benefit from a few extra pounds. But just as I cautioned that a little goes a long way, new research shows that older men and women, particularly those who eat more carbohydrates, may have a harder time regulating their appetite.

We all know that eating results in “stress” to the body and that carbs initiate or exacerbate hormonal processes that other nutrients don’t. Turns out they also prey upon the very parts that tell us to put the fork down. Dr. Zane Andrews, a neuroendocrinologist from Monash University, found that free radicals organize an assault on appetite-regulating POMC neurons. (POMCs tell our body when we’re full.) But the kicker is this: the more carbs in the meal, the more damage to the POMCs. Carbs: pesky varmints of the food world. (Half-kidding.)

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28 Aug

Getting Back to Nature

As Primal enthusiasts, we owe it to ourselves to spend time in the great outdoors – early man’s original stomping grounds. Sadly enough, the increasing encroachment of civilization upon nature’s boundaries makes it easy for most people to forget about the wilderness. Opting for the mall or the TV is simply easier and more convenient than making the trek out to the woods and connecting with our Primal roots. But mimicking Grok has many health benefits. We are products of Mother Nature. This idea forms the backbone of the Primal Blueprint. We’ve since moved onto condos and white bread, but that doesn’t erase the fact that our bodies are attuned to living in the wild (and all that such a life entails). Which is why we highly encourage you to “get Primal” in the great outdoors. In this PB adventure not only will you be getting away from the city for some fresh air and a stress-free experience, but you’ll also be moving your body like Grok for natural fitness gains and soaking up some valuable rays for the all-important Vitamin D in the process.

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27 Aug

Fox News and Low-Carb Diet Talk

I was featured on Fox News 11 Los Angeles this morning as a health expert discussing the benefits of a low carb lifestyle. I’ve gotta say it was pretty fun. Any chance I can get to spread the word about living a healthy life is (almost) always a blast. After the interview I stuck around to answer viewer questions for an exclusive web cast. Links to the videos, and a preview of the questions I answered, are below. I’d love to hear what you think, so pop back on over with some comments after you’ve viewed the videos. Thanks, everyone!

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27 Aug

Pregorexia: Fetus, We’re Hungry

pregnantSpinning nausea, wrenching vomiting and relentless exhaustion. No, we’re not talking morning sickness here (although we hope we didn’t give anyone traumatic flashbacks). This is just the everyday reaction to our media’s barrage of celebrity pregnancies. Sure, we wish all the best to anyone celebrating a new child, but the “baby bump” blitz (Did we really just say those words??), let’s face it, has nothing to do with babies themselves and everything to do with the starlets: how they look, how big they’ve gotten, who they’re wearing. (Please, please, make it stop….)

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