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

Mark's Daily Apple

14 Jun

Grubs, Part 2

Last week I outlined my basic philosophy of nutrition, informed by my evolutionary biology knowledge. Or, as I call it, Primal Health. The lifestyle is simple: peer into the past at how our robust ancestors lived and take some notes from the DNA handbook (well, I’ll do that part).

Before the advent of agriculture, before the industrial revolution, and certainly before the modern era of fast food, long commutes, and sedentary office jobs, humans had evolved into the amazing creatures that they still are. To say we’re amazing isn’t anthropocentric – all creatures are amazing in the sense that they are finely tuned to survive in their niche. We are no different. For the delicacy of our skin, eyes, and bones, the susceptibility to environmental and emotional stress, and the infectious side effects of communal living, we are remarkably resilient. But it’s really our intelligence that has gotten us this far. Are we powerful? Well, not really, compared to apes. Sturdy? Again, nope. Our young take longer than just about any other mammal to mature (and also come with tuition bills). But brains? We have massive, enormously complex brains.

My Primal Health philosophy is really a marriage of ancient and high-tech. I believe we should harness the power of our knowledge, tools and intelligence to maximize human health and longevity. And the place to start is in our ancestral blueprints – our DNA – which haven’t changed in 10,000 or more years.

dna

Great, Sisson. What does this mean for dinner?

Early humans were omnivorous (though in fact, there’s a bit of scavenger in the old DNA as well). I don’t consider my diet the Caveman Diet, as that’s a bit of a misnomer anyway. Rather, my “diet” is simply the very natural lifestyle I adhere to based upon what our genetic composition (that DNA blueprint) tells us about our highly successful evolution and adaptation. I attribute many, if not most, of our health problems – including mental health conditions – to a diet and lifestyle that’s severely out of sync with human physiology. I’ll be discussing the implications of this for exercise and stress in further articles, but today, let’s talk about the tastier aspects of primal health: what’s for dinner?

Keep reading…

14 Jun

Healthy Tastes Great!

This delectable pairing of salmon and vegetables grilled over an open flame is perfect for those warm summer nights. Go on. Get “Primal” with your diet.
Grilled Salmon

grilledsalmon

Grilled Vegetables

ei1c03 grilled vegetables e

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13 Jun

Well, That’s a Relief

Joining the blogosphere has had some humorous consequences. Today, a spammer managed to get past the Google brain and into my gmail. The message:

Hello my friend!

I am ready to kill myself and eat my dog, if medicine prices here [deleted link] are bad.

Look, the site and call me 1-800 if its wrong..

My dog and I are still alive icon smile

It’s not the first time this “woman” has updated me on the status of her as-yet-living dog, and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

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13 Jun

Why Are Potato Chips More Expensive Than Filet Mignon?

Potato chips are one of the most popular American snacks and are our favorite “vegetable”. We spend nearly 3 billion a year on these fried starch crisps. The health issues associated with chip consumption are well-known. What you may not realize is that, pound for pound, potato chips often cost more than the choicest cut of premium beef.

Why eat this…

chips

This is Slice’s Flickr Photo (CC)

When you could eat this?

filet

This is Bruce Lee’s Flickr Photo CC

Relatively ridiculous pricing goes beyond chips. We groan about gasoline being expensive, but salad dressings, sauces, sodas and even bottled water cost far more. And how about a gallon of toothpaste? Hundreds. Most processed foods, beverages and household items are relatively inexpensive to manufacture. We’re not paying for ingredients, we’re paying for the marketing of those ingredients.

Another reason to eat food, not food products.

I’m sure we could come up with dozens of “cheap” snack and household products that in truth cost more than seemingly expensive foods. Anyone up for a little arithmetic?

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13 Jun

Chicken Cutlets Are Not Out to Get You

It’s just your kitchen they’re after.

Sara here. Calling all germophobes! Specifically, that sub-species of kitchen clean freaks with a special loathing for dealing with raw chicken.

As many of you know, I’m pretty much the world’s worst vegetarian. Better not ask me what I’m eating…this week…because I’m not even sure. But, I will say, carnivorous concerns aside, handling anything beyond fish severely interferes with my clean-counters-or-else philosophy.

Enter this cool kitchen gadget:

The Sensor Soap Pump from Simplehuman

sensorsoappump

Now, a lot of kitchen gadgets I’ve purchased have been cause for regret. There was the special avocado slicer. The garlic press degunker thingy. I’ve managed to cull my culinary compulsions down to a top-drawer assortment of knives worth more than my graduate degree and an indefatigable hand-held mixer. But I love, love, love this automatic pump! How many times have you cracked an egg all over your hands, gone to wash your digits, and gotten raw chick goo all over the soap pump? (Hey, that’s what it is.) A simple attempt at preventing germ cross-contamination turns into yet another squeamish edition of Wash the Soap Dispenser.

Whether collecting yoga mats or pondering the grand benefits of plastic caps, I don’t normally like to recommend purchasing products. I think humans are better off when they simplify. I’m a bit of a tree-hugger. And blogs that promote new products, especially the health and fitness blogs for women, glaze my eyes faster than a rerun of Family Guy. Oh, wait, first run. (One not-annoying example of such bloggery is the delightful and engaging FitSugar, a bigosphere blog I pretty much devour on a daily basis. Still, Miss Fit tends to promote a whole lot o’ shopping. Nothing wrong with that, but I like to save my cash for what I see as the more important things in life, like artisan goat cheese.)

Simplehuman Sensor Soap Pump: highly recommended. What kitchen gadget would you be lost without?

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