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

Weekend Link Love – Edition 142

Check out the trailer for the upcoming “Perfect Human Diet” flick, via Robb Wolf. Between the movie and the Ancestral Health Symposium this summer, I think we’re poised to take the world by storm.

Evolvify explains why sex-starved males might want to cautiously explore the world of backyard knife fighting. Okay, maybe not, but keep in mind that chicks do dig scars.

Vibram cares, especially (only?) if you sport a big wooly beard.

One man’s profound experience switching from a conventional plush mattress to a hard sleeping surface. What do you sleep on?

I had a nice chat with Dr. Joe Mercola about health, fitness, and longevity. Here’s part one of the seven part interview.

Sometimes, the classics can be improved upon. Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” gets a porcine upgrade.

Recipe Corner

  • The Clothes Make the Girl makes Paleo Pad Thai that looks darn yummy.
  • Food Renegade presents her Pizza Chili recipe, an ingenious way to sneak offal into the diets of unsuspecting loved ones.

Time Capsule

One year ago (May 10 – May 16)

Comment of the Week

Is it me or in most success stories, eating primal and changing lifestyle seems to go with growing a beard? ^_^

– Commenter Thomas G., from Friday’s post.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. The hard surface sleeper’s wise words: “More rejuvenation comes from less fluff.”

    Indeed, doesn’t more rejuvenation in general, not just in sleep, come from less fluff?

    For some anecdotal evidence, my five year old daughter slept on a pretty hard mattress as a baby, but ever since she was old enough to climb out of the crib she started sleeping on the floor. She doesn’t own a bed just a blanket on the floor.

    Peggy The Primal Parent wrote on May 15th, 2011
    • All my kids sleep on the floor, 90% of the time :). I have 4 beds that do not get used, I’ve told the wife we should just sell them and get it over with, the kids would have more room in their rooms :)

      Casey wrote on May 15th, 2011
    • My kids sleep on the floor every night too. The only reason we haven’t gotten rid of their beds is worrying about what others would think if we did.

      I wonder if this would help hubby who never gets good sleep (and we’ve owned every kind of bed out there incl. sleep # and mem foam).

      Heidi P. wrote on May 18th, 2011
  2. I am listening to the interview with Mercola right now – great job! I used to be a huge fan of Mercola before I went primal.

    I stopped reading his articles because it seemed like everything to him was toxic…

    Maybe he has slightly changed. I can’t wait to watch all 7 parts.


    Do you have any idea when each part will be released?

    Primal Toad wrote on May 15th, 2011
    • haha, that is so funny, that’s exactly the reason I stopped reading his articles. he flips out about everything. i cant drink water from bottles, i cant use my cell phone, i cant use wireless internet, lol the list goes on.

      he’s got some great information, but he’s a little excessive

      Burn wrote on May 15th, 2011
      • I agree – Dr. Mercola has become more extreme over the years. But I have to thank him for an article he wrote on the dangers of gluten grains many years ago…it put me on the road back to health.

        Mark, I love it that you mentioned Adele Davis in the interview. I was raised on Adele Davis, and if I want to start a nostalgic conversation with my siblings, all I have to do is say “wheat germ” or “brewer’s yeast”. I was lucky enough to hear her speak at the Palos Verdes Public Library in the early 1970s, not to long before she passed.

        A number of years ago when my mom was down-sizing, I nabbed her dog-eared, annotated, underlined copy of “Let’s Eat Right to Keep Fit” (copyright 1954). Just this week, I came across it and pulled it out of the bookshelf to re-read. Synchronicity at work!

        clarevh wrote on May 15th, 2011
    • All 7 parts are up on YouTube.

      Josh wrote on May 15th, 2011
      • Ah, yes they are! I am not sure why I did not even bother to look. Thank you!

        Primal Toad wrote on May 15th, 2011
    • Same here. I figure if something’s of consequence to the primal way of life, eventually Mark or Art DeVany will cover it. That’s good enough for me.

      Kamal wrote on May 15th, 2011
    • I’ve been following Dr. Mercola for quite some time now.

      I agree that he sometimes seems to go off the deep end about some subjects (cell phones, electricity, etc,) but I see it as his offering up choices: he presents the information with scientific backup, and then lets us make up our minds as to what we want to do with that information. What we decide to do with the info presented is entirely up to us. At least the info is there for our consideration, and we are strongly encouraged to educate ourselves and make choices based on how the info affects our lives — at least that’s how I’ve always perceived it. I personally check it all out and then make my own decisions.

      Actually I credit (and thank) Mercola for my choice to investigate the primal lifestyle that eventually lead me to the Primal Blueprint website.

      PrimalGrandma wrote on May 15th, 2011
  3. Also listening to the mercola inerview. Something nice to listen to on a sunday morning!

    Greg wrote on May 15th, 2011
  4. If we are to sleep on the floor with minimal padding, should we still use a pillow, or also use a very thin pillow?

    Nate wrote on May 15th, 2011
  5. A mattress in any true sense of the word causes the hips to sink in and the lower back to collapse, which interrupts natural alignment. Ironically, this is the same effect that chair sitting has on the body. “When the back collapses in on itself, whether sitting or lying down, the lungs cannot hold as much oxygen and breathing is immediately hampered. When the body does not get its optimal amount of oxygen, the parasympathetic nervous system which induces relaxation is impeded. When breathing is shallow, the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol are overproduced–which keeps the body from fully relaxing.”

    Eureka! I’ve always wondered why I can’t fall asleep in a regular bed. I have to sleep on the floor. People have been telling me I’m weird for years and now I can explain why I sleep on the floor.

    shannon wrote on May 15th, 2011
  6. I draw the line at my mattress. I like plush. I sleep better on plush. Perhaps biphasic sleep arose from the fact that if you sleep for four hours on a hard surface you HAVE to get up and move around because you’re so stiff. Everyone is different, and some people do well on harder surfaces. Me? Not so much. It’s one of those modern inventions I take full advantage of.

    Sandy wrote on May 15th, 2011
  7. When I was a child, I used to roll of my bed every night, and could be found in the morning lying on the floor, rolled under my bed. Gave my parent’s quite a scare many a times. When I got older, we stopped camping out, sleeping on comforters on the ground, and I stopped rolling off my bed. I also stopped getting restful sleep, and started becoming an insomniac. I never made the connection, but I’ve always slept better with my mattress on the floor. HHHmmm… going to have to do some experimentation now….

    Coyote Vick wrote on May 15th, 2011
  8. I too had more unanswered questions from the matress/sleeping article. I sleep great, but always wonder if there wasn’t a healthier way to spend 1/3 of your day. Does the article assume sleeping on one’s back? Fetal position always seems like it’s putting the body it a funny position from a weight bearing perspective, I don’t know what to do with my head/neck if I sleep face down ( besides, there’s always drool-age in that position. Propped up in pillows or not. Gotta say, that non-sleeping mattress activity is nice on soft fluffy bedding (not that it isn’t too on the floor, but that seems a little more primal there!)

    anotherMark wrote on May 15th, 2011
    • I sleep on an egg crate foam thing on the floor. when i sleep on my side I use a pillow for my head. If i sleep on my stomach I turn my head to one side and often use one of my hands as a pillow. I think, however, that back sleeping is probably the healthiest as far as spine alignment goes. I don’t use a pillow when i sleep on my back.

      When you first go to a hard surface your bones that touch the ground are gonna be a bit sore. I even got a minor bruise on my hip i think. For me, this stuff went away after a week or so.

      Good luck!

      Barefoot Paul wrote on May 15th, 2011
  9. I made the paleo pad thai this week and it is YUMMY! The sunshine sauce is delish.

    Intrigued by the mattress article as well. Don’t think I’ll talk the husband into ditching the mattress anytime soon, though.

    Annette wrote on May 15th, 2011
  10. I just discovered Dr. Mercola about 6 weeks ago when I got a notice from my Michigan doctor, David Brownstein, M.D., that he was, like Mark, being interviewed by Mercola. I have been a no-added-fat, vegan for about 3 years, up until about 6 months ago, when I started going “primal” due to always being hungry while being vegan. My doctor recommends a lifestyle like the Primal Blueprint, and Mercola’s recommendations (raw dairy only if tolerated), and is not crazy about vegan or low fat. If you’re in Michigan, and looking for a great holistic doctor, who believes in grass-fed meats, and healthy fats, and has a great distrust of big pharma as indicated by the title of one of his books “Drugs that Don’t Work and Natural Therapies that do,” you can’t do better than Dr. B. Seeing Mark, Dr. Brownstein, and Mercola all collaborating together confirms that I am learning from the right masters.

    Ellen wrote on May 15th, 2011
  11. #1. Mark! Thanks for the shout-out to my pad thai recipe. It’s pretty tasty — hope y’all like it!

    #2. I love to lie on the floor, and we have a very firm mattress… so firm, in fact, that our housesitters ALWAYS complain about how hard it is to sleep here. I LOVE it.

    Melissa "Melicious" Joulwan wrote on May 15th, 2011
    • Just checked out your blog, Melissa. Good stuff. Ordered one of the books you recommended as well.

      Kamal wrote on May 15th, 2011
  12. About ten years ago I was in the market for a new mattress/box spring. (The old one was falling apart after 35+ years.) I didn’t want the new chemicals and wanted something firm. Went to Soaring Heart in Seattle and a bought an extra-firm 6 inch latex foam mattress and a 4 inch wool topper (both covered in untreated unbleached muslin. They are supported by wood slats (1×4) in my existing bed frame.

    Have slept on the floor a few times when my back bothered me, but that makes my joints hurt.

    Interesting article on sleep/mattress.

    NWsenior wrote on May 15th, 2011
  13. I’ve been on the hunt for a new mattress for a couple of months….now I’m even more confused; do I even bother?? My SO wants to just put boards under our current mattress. At this point I may just go for that. I really don’t think the floor will do it for me.

    bbuddha wrote on May 15th, 2011
  14. I am intrigued by the mattress info. About a year ago I finally bought a latex mattress that comes in three layers, all zipped into an organic cotton “bag” to look like a traditional mattress. I opted for a pretty firm combination of the three layers and really like the comfort it provides. It is about 10″ thick, so still plush by futon standards. It sits on raised wooden slats without box springs. No chemical fire retardants to worry about.

    I might be ready to try the futon shown in your link as a next step toward minimalism…and better sleep!

    More articles on this would be very helpful!

    Rodney wrote on May 15th, 2011
  15. I also would love more articles on mattresses/futons! 😀

    Adrienne wrote on May 15th, 2011
  16. Mark: Your interview with Dr. Mercola was great! I especially liked the parts about what an ideal body composition is; and the part about telomeres. And the bit at the end about starting at an old age. I sent the link to my father, if only he would invest as much money in PB as he does in telomeres! Maybe that day will come.

    Chris wrote on May 15th, 2011
  17. I think there are more factors to sleep than just the mattress. I used to sleep on a two-inch-thick piece of foam on the floor, rather than a traditional mattress. I loved it and my back loved it, but it didn’t help me sleep better at all.

    Moe wrote on May 15th, 2011
  18. You can pry my memory foam mattress out of my cold dead hands. 😉

    Karen P. wrote on May 15th, 2011
    • I just bought a Tempurpedic this year and we like it pretty well. It has helped with my shoulder issues (I sleep on my side.) Ours is a firm one (not one of the very plushy new ones they have now.)
      Though I’ve also napped on the floor a few times and noticed it didn’t bother my shoulder either :)

      Daria wrote on May 16th, 2011
  19. Futon on slats from a local place. I have multiple items from Carolina Morning, and love them all.

    slacker wrote on May 15th, 2011
  20. wow I just started sleeping on the ground two nights ago..

    Wyatt wrote on May 15th, 2011
  21. How come the recommended sitting angle is 135 degrees? Havent’ we established that it is 90? At 90, we are able to have a fully extended lumbar

    JP wrote on May 15th, 2011
  22. Thanks so much for sharing the article on mattresses. I took a nap this afternoon on my yoga mat. Quite frankly, I’m almost ashamed I never thought of this in the over two years of my yoga practice. It definitely helps the breathing, it felt like the ground was encouraging me to breathe deeply from the belly and it felt so excellent. I can’t wait to try it again tonight.

    Dave wrote on May 15th, 2011
  23. Wish I’d read that article on sleep ergonomics yesterday. We bought a mattress yesterday, i wanted extra firm and DH wanted extra plush, so we settled for firm with a pillow top or some such.

    maba wrote on May 15th, 2011
  24. Great stuff! all know to be close the love relationship and try hard to be and the life similar as it is.!

    Anil choudhary wrote on May 15th, 2011
  25. “How come the recommended sitting angle is 135 degrees?” I’m wondering this too! I would love an article about sleeping on hard surfaces

    Simon wrote on May 16th, 2011
  26. Love bacon. But that Starry Night thing? That’s no improvement.

    Richard wrote on May 16th, 2011
  27. The wife is out of town, so I tried the sleeping on the floor thing. Piled 3 comforters on the floor. What do you know, I slept great and do feel better in the morning. Can’t wait to try that again tonight.

    Dave, RN wrote on May 16th, 2011
  28. I sleep on my face, literally.
    Every morning I wake up with my face in the pillow and as I’m getting older it’s really starting to hurt my head!

    I try and force myself to fall asleep on my back (doesn’t always work because both of my shoulders start to cramp) but when I wake up I’m back on my face…frustrating!

    Suvetar wrote on May 16th, 2011
  29. would love more info about ditching the mattress. I’m a side sleeper and the last 2 years have felt my hips sink deeper and deeper…. hubby and I are going to try the ground soon.

    Sarah H wrote on May 19th, 2011
  30. Umm did my comment get removed? I would like an explanation.

    Ron wrote on May 23rd, 2011
  31. I just got an new wool mattress from and have been very happy with it. My allergies are better and it seems to have helped my wife with her arthritic hip. Our mattress arrived within a week of ordering it and I very happy with it. I also recommend the all natural wool pillows and comforters from

    abby wrote on February 20th, 2014

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