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

Weekend Link Love – Edition 239

weekend link loveWe’ve got a few openings for next month’s Primal Luxury Retreat in Malibu. Sign up for the weekend of your lifetime!

If you happen to be near Houston on May 3 and find yourself getting a little hungry (for food and good convo), consider attending the Primal supper with Mira and Jason Calton, as well as Keith and Michelle Norris of PaleoFX fame.

Research of the Week

Looks like grandmothers were actually crucial for human evolution. But, wait – how could that be if we all used to die at age 30?

A new, highly ironic study (PDF) concludes that “Compared with placebo or control, L-carnitine is associated with a 27% reduction in all-cause mortality, a 65% reduction in VAs, and a 40% reduction in anginal symptoms in patients experiencing an acute myocardial infarction.” See this related article if the irony is lost on you.

The occasional drink during pregnancy may not be that bad. Betty Draper redeemed, apparently. (But that doesn’t mean you should drink while pregnant, of course.)

Interesting Blog Posts

Why we eat whatever’s in front of us. Unless it’s cellulose that has yet to be converted into glucose, of course (see below).

Jeff Leach, of the Human Food Project, gives his take on the red meat scare study from last week, suggesting that the TMAO-producing gut flora profile “appears some how specific to the starch in grains or the dietary fiber in grains.”

Media, Schmedia

The news is bad for us, reports the news.

How scientists are looking to convert cellulose into starch to feed the world. Or, “Mmm, wood!”

A look at the world of Russ Kremer, who almost became a priest but ultimately chose sustainable pig farming.

Everything Else

No wonder humans seem to have a genetic proclivity toward fear of snakes: zombie rattlesnakes.

Lifehacker shows you how to invert your browser’s colors for easier reading at night. What also eases the eyes: sleep.

The gourmet cupcake market is crashing. I’d say this is evidence of people getting clued in to good health, but I wholly expect the personal pie market to soar in response.

Sleep is becoming lucrative, but probably not the way you’re thinking.

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Apr 21 – Apr 27)

Comment of the Week

Looks so unbelievably wonderful! I hope I can attend one day. But…60F, cold? Sheesh, I would be perpetually drenched in perspiration!

- Okay, okay. We may be a bit spoiled out here. I’ll admit that.

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. Was the l-carnitine supplement? I thought you had said the supplement doesn’t actually have any positive effects?

    Zach rusk wrote on April 21st, 2013
  2. Yeah, I should stop reading the news. Too stressful. My reaction to most stories is either EFing nazis or hang the SOB. Not healthy. But a 50+ year habit is hard to break.

    Harry Mossman wrote on April 21st, 2013
    • About 13 years ago, I stopped watching TV. Well, almost… I have managed to watch about 30 hours total of the idiot box since 2000. Mostly FarScape, which, being probably the best SciFi series ever done on TV, didn’t make it very long.

      I also quit reading the Newspaper.

      I started sleeping better. My blood pressure went down. There are some other confounders there (like giving up the SAD), but I still believe that cutting off the noise from those two sources didn’t hurt any.

      TV news and newspaper articles seem to be mostly about somebody doing something really awful to somebody else.

      Nowadays, I get the vast majority of my news via RSS. In addition to lower blood pressure, I think I’m better-informed than the typical newsrag reader. Certainly better-informed on nutrition than anyone working for the New York Times.

      OK, I admit that’s setting the bar pretty low.

      I have participated in events about which I later read in a newspaper article, which I would not have recognized from the description without the location, time, and date. My conclusion is that the probability of accurate and unbiased reporting on events I did not witness myself, or on which I do not have personal expertise, is also very, very low.

      I am convinced that most newspaper reporters do that type of work only because they are not qualified to do *anything else* for a living.

      Especially the ones at the NYT writing about nutrition.

      Howard Lee Harkness wrote on April 21st, 2013
      • That is the most self centred article ever. Heaven forbid if we read/watch the news we might learn about something outside of our own little lives and see how the world around us works! Ignorant populations are open to manipulation and easily led astray (think War in Iraq for WMDs that don’t exist).

        The problem with news is that there are too many bad journalists and too many bad publications. You should never be able to tell which party a journalist votes for. Too may members of the public are unable to filter out what is sensationalism, propaganda, human interest and opinion and take only the important news stories and facts.Note diet and celebrity stories are not news!

        If the news makes you upset then stop watching Fox (Any pathetic excuse for journalism that considers Sarah Palin an expert political commentator, makes me cry too).

        Examples of how news can be bad for you

        Bad Journalism;
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vAVOJYYwMaA

        And what happens to people who watch bad news or don’t watch the news (made about 10 years ago.)

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9GZuT3HN6Y

        I don’t think Americans are stupid. I met many lovely, smart people over there (and the one lady I met who thought the Southern Hemisphere must have Winter in January or not at all. Though I met someone at home who thought Shanghai was the capital of China…)

        OliveOyle wrote on April 22nd, 2013
        • Just…wow.

          How do you hold this much cognitive dissonance in your head?

          Amy wrote on April 22nd, 2013
      • I agree. I also stopped watching most television. I occasionally watch something my husband has recorded, mostly to spend some time with hubby. However, I prefer to get my news from the internet. I can read in depth about what interests me, and I am not as likely to be influenced by the “spin doctors”.
        I have time to do many other things. TV is a gigantic time waster and it does give us a seriously negative outlook.

        Nancy wrote on April 23rd, 2013
      • Some of my exploits have tainted the local news sources: at least a few websites and one paper. They didn’t have any suspects for what really would have mattered. There was a nice destructive picture to accompany one article.

        Animanarchy wrote on April 25th, 2013
  3. Thanks for linking to the Plantain Beef Pie recipe! I cannot wait to try it.

    Shannon wrote on April 21st, 2013
    • +1 I eat plantains rather than bananas. But it’s great to be able to do something else with them.

      Harry Mossman wrote on April 21st, 2013
  4. Hey, what about Leptin? Some say it works much better than L-carnitine?

    Cat wrote on April 21st, 2013
    • Leptin for what? Something besides fat loss?

      TokyoJarrett wrote on April 22nd, 2013
  5. Oh man that article on how to invert your browser colors is a godsend. I cannot stand websites with black backgrounds and white text. Dazzles and hurts my eyes. I never have to suffer again.

    Diane wrote on April 21st, 2013
  6. Don’t think the drop in cupcake business is due to health awareness, alas…It was an ironic and mildly pointless novelty to begin with, and it’s taking its natural course, IMO.

    Graham wrote on April 21st, 2013
    • My 6-yr old will be so disappointed. Her favorite show is Cupcake Wars.

      Beccolina wrote on April 21st, 2013
  7. I may or may not have nightmares about that rattlesnake thing. Or dreams about Cuban pork burgers. “Flips a coin…”

    Kit wrote on April 21st, 2013
  8. It is true that we have it all backwards at the moment,
    Our health system is not encouraging health,
    Legal System is not encouraging Justice
    Education System is not encouraging knowledge.

    which leads to sites like this that encourage your own self directed investigation of what is really going on out there..

    However turning off mainstream news is quite a radical tactic, and may blindside the otherwise savy hunter gatherer..I need to know what is being espoused by conventional wisdom as it usually has a grain of worth and can actually point to what not to do ( ie the opposite of what they want you to do ) The mainstream media tend to demonise before lo and behold an answer is put forward.. they throw up a problem, cause angst and fear then suggest a solution ..often by mendacious vested interest.. the sheep follow.. the hunter gatherer is much more vigilent. It is a jungle out there..go well all.

    BPT wrote on April 21st, 2013
    • I like your idea of keeping vigilant, but I would suggest you try going newsless for a while (1-4 weeks) and see if you feel you missed out on anything. I don’t watch news, and have found that the important stuff still manages to get to me. Meanwhile, I devote that extra time to reading MDA. :)

      GingerYeti wrote on April 22nd, 2013
      • I mostly get my news from Signs of the Times. There you will regularly find new links about current events, history, science and technology, events in space, opinion pieces, some satires, and some downright conspiratorial stuff (i.e. Bigfoot sighted!), which I think is meant to draw overly gullible or willing-to-believe people in.

        Animanarchy wrote on April 25th, 2013
    • I agree! I think that the best thing to do is to obtain your news from a wide variety of sources- never stay too long with one in a sitting. and don’t let yourself feel scared. Easier said than done, but we cannot live out our entire lives in fear, no matter how much we may want to.

      Sandra McCall wrote on April 22nd, 2013
  9. ‘Looks like grandmothers were actually crucial for human evolution. But, wait – how could that be if we all used to die at age 30?’

    Really slutty teenagers?!

    Noelle wrote on April 21st, 2013
    • Correct. Women had babies as soon as they hit puberty. No sex ed, waiting for marriage or putting your career first. And forget contraception. Just an instinct to reproduce and a strategy to continue the species. Children were an asset and an extra source of labour, not economic liabilities like they are in developed countries today and the likelihood of young children dying from injury in early childhood would be high, so you needed more for insurance. Plus you never knew when you were going to fall down a hole or be bitten by a snake. So the sooner you started popping them out the better; because you could have more and you would reduce the chance of death before reproduction.

      Borogroves wrote on April 22nd, 2013
      • Actually, I doubt anyone got that adam smithian about it. Done right, sex feels, like, totally amaaaaazing. Oh, what? It makes babies, too? I’ll think about that later!! voila, teenage hormones + stone age science= teen pregnancy epidemic.

        fitmom wrote on April 22nd, 2013
    • Really slutty teenagers?!

      Umm…yes and no.

      I was wondering if Mark was going to explain that reference. Yes, teenagers would have reproducing.

      The other issue is that anthropologists can only really report the average age of Paleos. Infant mortality was extremely during that era. 0 + 60 averages out to 30. We know very little about if you made it to 20 how long you might have continued to live.

      I doubt there were a ton of 80 year olds either, but a guaranteed early death if you made it beyond puberty seems a more mythical than real. If the grandmother theory is correct, menopause at 40ish supports the idea that a careful adult might expect to reasonably make it to 60.

      Amy wrote on April 22nd, 2013
  10. The research done by The Cleveland Clinic regarding l-carnitine was in conjunction with red meat converting it in a way that produced toxins in the digestive tract (my crude summary of their claim), but yeah, interesting abstract on the positive benefits of this amino acid. Sleep industry starting to take off, good deal, the weakest link of my health program. Watching news, yeah, I’m a bit of a news / politics (and sports news) junkie, not good, not good at all.

    George wrote on April 21st, 2013
  11. Reading the article about sleep is going to give me nightmares…

    Nocona wrote on April 21st, 2013
  12. Thanks for those great links.

    I’m always interested in articles about sleep.

    For myself, once I made it a real habit to get sevens hours much of my life seems better.

    John Parker wrote on April 22nd, 2013
  13. Personal pies? Nah, somebody has to jump on the gourmet cake-pops variation. The three they offer at Starbucks doesn’t even begin to tap their creative potential!

    Besides, cupcakes are SOOOOO 2010. Duh.

    Deanna wrote on April 22nd, 2013
  14. Re: “News is bad for you”

    See that bit about links in an article? Weekend Link Love aside, MDA is quite link happy. I wonder if the links could be placed at the end of the articles so they don’t cause that distracting effect they mention in that post about “news”.

    Thanks for all the great information.

    GingerYeti wrote on April 22nd, 2013
  15. Great you included the analysis of the TMAO hoopla by Jeff Leach of the Human Food Project. I find all the posts over there fascinating.

    Gydle wrote on April 22nd, 2013
  16. I found the article on Why We Eat Whatever’s In Front of Us very interesting. When I cook for myself, I feel like I have a good amount of self control. What kills me is when I go to a house party and there’s crappy snacky cakes and cheese doodles everywhere and I see everyone else eating them and I can’t help but join in until it’s all gone. Now, I would never buy this stuff for myself, as I know it’s not good for me, is empty of nutrition and will make me feel worse than if I had abstained. Part of it is everyone buys the snacks together and we all split the cost regardless of how much one eats or doesn’t (a Japanese thing). Even though it’s cheap, I can’t help thinking “Hey, I paid for this. I should get my money’s worth.” A silly way of thinking, but it’s there. Another part of it is that there’s a communal aspect to it. The other psychological aspects listed in the article seem to fit, as well.

    I should either stop going to these parties, ask if we can do something healthier or bring my own snacks.

    TokyoJarrett wrote on April 22nd, 2013
  17. The article on how to invert your browser’s color for easier reading at night is great. I have that on a couple of apps on my iPhone where I invert the background/text color and it makes it so much easier to read.

    Valerie wrote on April 22nd, 2013
  18. I’ve seen snakes do that since I was about 8 years old. My dad took my brother and I outside for an educational session about snake pests, what to do with them, and what they do after, since snakes regularly took up residence in our basement and cellar. There was a snake outside the front of the house so he chopped its head off with an axe and my brother and I watched it opening and closing its maw for a good long while.. I think it lasted about 25 minutes.
    After that I dealt with my share of snakes in and around the house. I decapitated some. (Primal Cred Card balance +1 .. though my best decapitation was performed on a housefly on my desk – I cut off its head with the edge of a ruler). I killed a small snake by squashing its head with a hammer and some of its insides shot out and stuck to my cheek. Another small one that one of my cats was toying with lashed out at in an attempt to bite her and in response I angrily beat it with football that wasn’t entirely inflated. It slithered away but was bloody and beat up.
    A couple times lately I’ve tried to get close enough to a groundhog to stab it and kill it for food but haven’t been able to. The practice was great though. I felt very coordinated making quick movements on concrete rubble and big pieces of scrap lumber on a slope, using one hand to grab trees and holding a knife in the other, switching knife hands when necessary.
    I’m inspired by someone I met two summers ago who I just recently found out was one of the most accomplished Boy Scouts in Canada. He gave me a brief lesson about setting traps. I want to eat some bigger game this year that isn’t carrion. River shellfish are nutritious but I want to be able to eat animals that would have a chance of escaping in the wild.

    Animanarchy wrote on April 25th, 2013

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