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

Weekend Link Love

weekend link loveResearch of the Week

Lots of chocolate love this week. First, a cacao-extract added to premade meals reduced oxidized LDL levels in middle-aged overweight/obese people. Second, cocoa flavanols have neurocognitive benefits, stimulating blood flow in the brain, promoting neural connectivity and neurogenesis, and improving resistance to neurodegeneration. Translation: eat dark chocolate.

When you lift heavy things, sacrifice weight (and, perhaps, ego) before compromising on range of motion. A new study confirms that performing movements with full range of motion and lower weight builds more size and strength than going heavier with a lower range of motion. Word of caution: one should never compromise safety, form, and technique for the sake of range of motion. Don’t squat ass to grass if you have to displace a vertebrae to do it.

Interesting Blog Posts

There’s nothing I like more than an utterly unrepentant former vegetarian (who only did it for Morrissey in the first place) gone Primal. Check out Leeann’s story here – it’s a great read.

Dr. Ron’s take on the new cholesterol guidelines: they’re not as bad as you might think (and overall, it may even be a positive shift).

Speaking of Dr. Ron, his upcoming book The South Asian Solution is being published by Primal Blueprint Publishing early next year. It’s an important book that I think many MDA readers will really appreciate. In it he teaches readers how to interpret their cholesterol numbers and provides useful strategies that have helped his patients get off cholesterol medications. He also discusses the intrinsic flaws with the new cholesterol guidelines, provides a more global approach to risk assessment and cholesterol control addressing all ethnic groups rather than using the Framingham, Massachusetts white person’s risk calculator which repeatedly misses heart disease in high risk, insulin resistant patients, and discusses the role of advanced cholesterol tests (advanced lipid tests, CRP, EBCT, etc.) and how he has used these in his practice to avoid statins in patients who don’t need them. Check back and learn more mid-January, 2014.

Is protein satiating mostly because it tends to displace carbs?

Media, Schmedia

Nature is a powerful teacher, indeed.

Rickets is on the rise in the UK because kids are staying indoors too much (and we’re not even getting any economy-boosting child labor out of it).

Satire or Serious?

Moms, if you’re not covering your kids with sunscreen all day, every single day of the year, you are incredibly irresponsible because they are going to get a “bad sunburn and ultimately cancer as an adult.”

Everything Else

The Moscow subway has a new vending machine that has you complete 30 squats in two minutes and ride for free. The catch is if your lumbar rounds or you don’t break parallel, you have to pay up. Harsh, but preferable to the first prototype’s penalty: a polonium-soaked pin that emerges from the base to prick your heel.

A guy who invented inexpensive window inserts that do the job of storm windows is now making inserts that keep any outside light out – specifically for paleo-minded consumers who want to sleep in total darkness.

Forget guesswork. If it receives sufficient funding, the SunFriend wearable gadget promises to keep you apprised of how much UVB light you’ve received throughout the day and let you know – depending on your skin color – when you’ve made sufficient vitamin D.

Statistical significance isn’t necessarily all that significant.

What to do when agriculture stops working and you still want to grow stuff.

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Nov 17 – Nov 23)

  • 10 Healthier Ways to Spend Black Friday – Wading through the flood of humanity that coalesces around Black Friday may be a great physical workout, but it’s not exactly healthy.
  • Alcohol: The Good and the Bad – ‘Tis the season where alcohol abounds. Here’s what you need to know to make a good decision when faced with proffered beverages.

Comment of the Week

Mark, thanks for the detailed info although I’m having trouble reading the entire post because the mid-day sun here in So. Cal is causing too much glare and I keep dripping water onto my Kindle after I get out of the pool. I’m trying to keep up a good attitude but sometimes it’s tough, ya’ know?

- Indeed. It’s a tough life down here, and people don’t even know it.

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. A squat counting vending machine really takes the cake! How did the Ruskies ever get so far ahead of us? :)

    Groktimus Primal wrote on November 17th, 2013
    • Maybe they’ve always been ahead of us in some respects. Russian Cossack dancing (squat dancing) has been around for a long time. Unfortunately, I can only admire the ability in others.

      Shary wrote on November 17th, 2013
  2. Thanks for linking up my caramelized shallots! I also LOVE those cacao facts–I knew there was a reason I was eating so much chocolate :)

    Becky wrote on November 17th, 2013
  3. How can the new cholesterol guidelines not be a bad thing? They still don’t get away from the fact that not all LDL is bad and it’s more likely to lead to even more prescriptions for Statins. Mark, I’m sure you’re aware of all the negative effects that come with Statins.

    Matt wrote on November 17th, 2013
    • Hi Matt,
      Dr.Ron here. Want to clarify that the new guidelines are still not “good,” but they are so contradictory to the old ones, that they are raising suspicions across the board from patients and physicians. At the very least they also acknowledge that statins are not harmless drugs. Removing the emphasis from the LDL target number and placing it on their ridiculous risk calculator makes my job of persuading physicians a little easier. We’re still a long way from toppling old cholesterol convention, but this is a move in the right direction.

      Dr.Ron wrote on November 18th, 2013
  4. I have two things that keep me lifting heavy sacks: chickens and a pellet stove.

    Janice James wrote on November 17th, 2013
    • I hear ya–I have 2 cats that insist on the 40-lb. boxes of cat littler from BJ’s.

      Wenchypoo wrote on November 17th, 2013
    • I have cats of my own, plus I’m always fostering others for the Humane Society. So I have plenty of opportunity to hoist giant bags of cat litter and multiple cases of cat food.

      The nearest pet store is about a mile away, and since I’m car-free these days I’ve been known to carry a 40-lb. bag of litter home, rather than catch two buses. I just imagine that I’m Grokina, who bagged some prey while out picking berries, and I’m carrying it back to my cave. ;)

      Artemis67 wrote on November 17th, 2013
  5. For Morrissey? C’mon now, everyone knows that Johnny Marr was the heart and soul of The Smiths.

    Geoff wrote on November 17th, 2013
  6. I have a question about sleeping in pitch dark. As lifelong dirtbag climber and backpacker, I’ve spent a lot of nights outdoors and I know that on any clear night, there’s plenty of light to get around without a flashlight. It gets pretty dark on heavily overcast nights or when it’s raining but there aren’t too many of those where I’m from. I don’t think all that many people lived in deep caves and the ones who did probably kept the fires going all night, like folks do when they live in wickiups and teepees. So where did the idea of lightless sleeping come from anyway?

    the grass will prevail wrote on November 17th, 2013
    • It seems to be about the wave link for most of us. I sleep fine with a dim, battery-operated candle. My housemate has had terrible sleep for all the 20+ years I have known her. I just recently got her to close the blinds that let in street light. She of course noticed an immediate improvement. Duh!

      Grok and Grokina had some completely dark nights. But, as you say, probably not many.

      However, some folks do need complete darkness.

      Harry Mossman wrote on November 17th, 2013
      • Yeah, such is my experience. I started sleeping much better after hanging blackout curtains over the front windows, cutting out the streetlight. I leave the side windows uncovered, however, because the low, indirect light that comes through doesn’t bother me, and is helpful if I have to get up in the dark–it beats turning a light on.

        I’m at a high enough latitude that summer days are very long, and the early-to-bed and late-to-rise folks both have to deal with too much daylight, be it too late or too early. Blackout window coverings are really helpful when sunrise is at 4:30am!

        Artemis67 wrote on November 17th, 2013
  7. Thanks for the info Mark, great stuff as always. I just went and grabbed a piece of dark chocolate, and will try to remember the full range of motion when I exercise, which I’ve always been taught to do fortunately. So Leann tried to do paleo vegetarian FOR A WHOLE WEEK and gave it up eh? I have been doing it every since I came across the paleo material, eating lots of eggs and drinking whey protein drinks and I’m really pretty ripped for a guy my age (I’m a month older than Mark). I know it’s not the best thing in terms of our DNA, and I have NO problem with anyone who eats meat whatsoever, but it’s a personal choice I have made. Love this site except for the vegetarian bashing. Also have problems tolerating vegans who tell me what a horrible person I am for eating anything that has animal by-products in it.

    George wrote on November 17th, 2013
  8. Simply great ‘Link Love’ once again. A deep, heartfelt thanks for all you do here.

    Nocona wrote on November 17th, 2013
  9. Just bought some organic chicken livers today and can’t wait to try out the Primal Bacon Chicken Liver Pate.

    Annakay wrote on November 17th, 2013
  10. I love this quote from :Leeann Duggan about being a vegie Paleo… “I tried to do paleo as a vegetarian, which is kind of like trying to be a pacifist serial killer”…

    do you know how many times I have talked to people who try to tell me how they are a vegetarian or even worse a vegan paleo??? you just can’t do it folks…

    If you claim to be both vegan and paleo, what you are is a gluten-free vegan, NOT Paleo! I posted on my blog about it a few months back….

    Also, her story backs my experience up – I tried being vegetarian at one point, and I was so unhealthy it was untrue….that was the time when I was diagnosed with both chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia…. and paleo cured me of that(I am not primal due to a dairy allergy)

    salixisme wrote on November 17th, 2013
    • That quote really turned me off, humorous phasing but disingenuous logic. Tough to get enough protein if you’re vegan I agree but again as I posted above vegetarians can eat free range eggs and consume high quality whey protein drinks and get plenty of protein, and there are other non-meat options as well. The “far right” paleo folks and the “far left” vegan people seem to share certain characteristics in terms of dogma. That “said”, I think if it is not an ethical problem for you the nutritional guidelines the paleo folks expound is probably pretty close to optimal in terms of our DNA.

      George wrote on November 17th, 2013
  11. Ah Black Friday. My least favorite made up holiday.

    I’ll be spending mine in just about the absolute middle of nowhere chasing deer. How’s that for a grokfest?

    Maybe a grokfeast if I’m lucky.

    His Dudeness wrote on November 17th, 2013
  12. That sunscreen article was ridiculous. Before going primal I was a huge sunscreen proponent, I’m pale, red headed and live in a sunny climate so all doctors put the fear of God in me and I use to faithfully apply SPF 50 or more every day. Now I am more scared of the chemicals in conventional sunscreen and switched to a more natural one.

    I’ve found that if I’m eating right I don’t burn, I even got a tan (for me) over the summer just from normal daily exposure. I still wear it on my face because even per ancestral health theories, I was evolved to live in much more northern, less sunny climates, but I don’t worry as much and don’t apply sunblock on my daughter except in the summer if we are going to be exposed all day. No one is getting a skin-cancer inducing sunburn from not applying sunblock in the dead of winter when they’re going to be indoors all day. That’s just crazy.

    Ginger wrote on November 17th, 2013
  13. “Don’t squat ass to grass if you have to displace a vertebrae to do it.” – words to live by…

    Helen G wrote on November 18th, 2013
  14. Well, I didn’t read the “protein leverage hypothesis” blog post, but…

    No, there have been RCTs of the isocaloric satiety effect of macronutrients, AKA http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23824257
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/oby.20154/abstract
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S003193840800005X

    Or is there something I’m missing here??

    Whitefox wrote on November 18th, 2013
  15. Romance is the part of life that has already been forgotten by many people. When was the last time when you were looking at the stars with your beloved and counting them? when was the last time when you were laying beside your beloved person and looked her in the eyes? when was the last time when you felt that you are totally happy in your life ? when was the last time when you were holding the hands of your beloved and thought, that no one else is needed? never ? may be you have something missed in life ? If you ‘re single and want to find your soul mate – join us – mariya-club.com ! we make people happy!!!

    Sara wrote on November 21st, 2013

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