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

Weekend Link Love

weekend link loveNational Geographic asks a familiar question: what we can learn from (living) hunter-gatherers?

I’m not the only one slamming The Biggest Loser. The NY Times reveals the dark side of the ratings juggernaut with their piece, “On ‘The Biggest Loser,’ Health Can Take a Back Seat.

Read this short, true story titled ‘My Favorite Liar‘ at Zen Moments.  So applicable. (and a thanks to these folks!)

I scored another TV spot to tell the world about the Primal Blueprint – this time staying classy down in San Diego. You can watch me on San Diego living (though you may have to scroll through the other health videos to find my segment).

Is it possible to get tired of awkward infomercials? Passionate Fitness digs up five head scratchers including lascivious galloping fitness, bellydancing biological revolutionaries, and the latest breakthrough in fitness for everyone… chairs.

Event News:  If you’re in Seattle, get ready for a Primal meet-up on December 5!

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago  (November 22 – 28)

And finally, the bacon mug.

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. When is Carrie going to contribute to the blog again?
    In September she recieved a wonderful response and I hope that we will hear from her again soon- and on a regular basis. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your amazing staff.
    All the best.

    Erin Nissen wrote on November 29th, 2009
  2. Your San Diego spot was hard to find. I got the link now, though.

    http://www.sandiego6.com/content/sdl/content/health/default.aspx?articleID=707312

    Good job, Mark!

    Roland wrote on November 29th, 2009
  3. Nice clip on San Diego Living. Even while reading the book it’s nice to watch these quick clips to reinforce the basics. Cheers!

    Del Mar Mel wrote on November 29th, 2009
  4. Mark,
    I really think that on any of these short TV segments you need to say:

    “The primal diet is about eating things that our bodies evolved to eat. There were no grains in humans’ diets from 200,000-10,000 years ago and thus our bodies evolved to function optimally eating as hunter gatherers”

    That short summary was the most mind opening thing for me and I emphasize this short bit of logic whenever I tell someone about Primalism. In some of the interview of you I see you talk a lot about genes and hormones and while true, I don’t think this makes as much logical sense as

    “Cars were made to run on gasoline – so we don’t put lighter fluid in the tank. Humans were made to run on vegitables, meat, fruit and seeds – so we shouldn’t put grains in them.”

    You should even stop talking to the host, turn to the camera and look at it dead on, slow down, and say “Folks, here is the main point to cut through any confusion…”

    Stephen Hubbard wrote on November 29th, 2009
  5. Mark,

    That was a great interview, you’re really good on screen. When are you going to get your own show already!?

    Just one question about carbs. I’m a naturally slim guy and I find that I have to eat carbs to keep up my muscle mass.

    How is someone like me, who has a high metabolism, supposed to keep my weight up without carbs?

    Keep up the great work!

    -Rafi

    Rafi Bar-Lev wrote on November 29th, 2009
    • For most people, ketosis won’t happen on a “regular” (measurable) basis anywhere above about 50 grams of (usable, non-cellulose) carbs per day or so. 120 grams is a good level to shoot for if you’re really looking to halt ketosis (fat burning). This is why the “maintenance” phase of Atkins and other low-carb programs (Protein Power, et al) puts an upper limit of around 120 grams per day. My first recommendation would be to stick to nutrient-rich sources of carbohydrate: tubers, milk and yogurt (if you can tolerate dairy), fruits, etc.

      On the other hand, it’s definitely not impossible to do less than 50 grams of carbs per day while maintaining your weight, but you do have to make sure to eat adequate amounts of good (i.e. animal) protein (say, 1g per pound of lean body mass – which in your case is probably close to total body mass) and a lot of fat. When I say a lot, I do mean it – as in, 70-80% of your total calorie intake. Dietary fat will NOT stop fat on your body from being used, unlike carbs (b/c of insulin), but it will provide your body with another source of energy. And the protein should help keep muscle catabolism low.

      Personally, I’m lean by nature, whether I eat a Standard American Diet or vegetarian or primal or zero carb or what have you, and I have no trouble maintaining my (low) body weight on a low-carb diet. But, I eat significant amounts of fat, which many low-carbers are scared to do (at least initially, when they haven’t yet realized that fat is awesome and pure protein means starvation.) Good luck!

      Icarus wrote on November 29th, 2009
    • First of all, you just have to eat more calories than you burn to stop losing weight. Eat more food or eat higher calorie foods. You can’t lose weight if you’re not in a caloric deficit, ketosis, carbs, or whatever.

      High calorie foods include nuts, seeds, oil, fat, fatty meat, poultry skin, winter squash, roots and tubers (potatoes), bananas and other sweeter or starchier fruits.

      It might help to eat fewer foods that have a lot of bulk, like lettuce, apples, lean poulty/white meat, etc. Opt for higher calorie/calorie dense choices, instead.

      You don’t mention how you workout, but if you already have an active job, keep that in mind when adding additional activity via workouts. Workouts burn calories.

      Roland wrote on November 29th, 2009
      • I didn’t even realize Mark linked to Passionate Fitness. Thanks for the link Mark!

        To Icarus and Roland,

        I might be able to keep up the calories with potatoes and bananas, but it’s not quite as easy as with bread, especially since I need to swim, which burns calories like crazy. (Can’t run yet because of an injury.)

        Also, I’m going to soon be trying to gain mass again, so it’s difficult since bread just plainly has a lot of calories (I do eat whole wheat though).

        Rafi Bar-Lev wrote on November 30th, 2009
        • I guess you have to decide what’s important? You’re putting yourself in a position where you’re burning too many calories compared to what you eat.

          Why do you need to swim or run at all?

          Nuts and oil have a lot more calories than bread (or potatoes and bananas).

          Chart your food. Chart your activity (including work, housework, etc.) Put your food into fitday.com. Find out where you can cut back on activity or add more food. Some people just don’t realize how little they eat until they look at it.

          Roland wrote on November 30th, 2009
  6. Hey Mark,

    I recently read Paul Shepard’s “The Tender Carnivore & the Sacred Game” in addition to his “Coming Home to the Pleistocene” (both highly recommended to those with paleo interests), so the link to today’s National Geographic article by By Michael Finkel was so timely. I highly recommend Paul’s writings which like today’s read, will at the minimum, get one to consider human evolution from a different perspective, if not completely change the paradigm.

    In addition to Finkel’s superb writing, I’d like to complement Martin Schoeller for his amazing photographs that accompanied it as well.

    Thanks for the great link Mark,

    Best,

    Calvin

    Calvin wrote on November 29th, 2009
    • The brief impression I get of Paul Shepard’s wikipedia page reminds me a lot of the work of Daniel Quinn – which is also devastating and thought-provoking in the best way. I’d recommend it to anyone interested in imitating a paleolithic lifestyle, though it has nothing to say on the matter of nutrition. No matter – the Primal Blueprint, as I understand it, is one of the few health/fitness approaches that is not solely focused on nutrition and exercise, which is why I love the blog and the community that has built up around it.

      Thanks for the recommendation. And I would like to add to the love for the NatGeo article as well.

      Icarus wrote on November 29th, 2009
      • Funny you should mention that. I’m a recent convert to the paleolithic lifestyle, and in reading The Primal Blueprint (and a few other books) I’ve become surer than I ever was about Quinn’s Ishmael and other similar works. It’s amazing how it all dovetails.

        Allbeef Patty wrote on November 30th, 2009
  7. Maybe it’s just me… but I can’t find your video on that site. :(

    FlyNavyWife wrote on November 29th, 2009
  8. It’s tough to find, but if you follow the link, then paste ?articleID=707312 to the url you will start with Mark’s video.

    You have to almost immediately press play or it will soon auto change to the next video in line. They cycle through, and it’s hard to know which is which. Mark’s is a vidoe frame of a cutting board of food with the headline “Healthy or Hurtful.”

    Roland wrote on November 30th, 2009
  9. hey thanks for that! I have no idea how you found it. hehe.

    Mark, GREAT video. It’s nice that they gave you a bit longer than a lot of your other TV spots… you got to explain a bit more.
    I do think it was a bit sad how the girl was still saying “life without carbs” at the end — when fruits and vegs ARE providing carbs.

    Anyway, you said something I find to be one of the simplest ways to explain the no-grains thing which is that there’s just no good reason TO eat them. When at my first prenatal appointment, I was told to eat grains – I asked the nurse, “What do grains have that I can’t get from other foods?”

    Her answer was, “Well they have lots of great fiber!…” then she paused and said, “but I guess you also get fiber from fruits and vegetables.” She really had no good answer. (And the necessity of vast amounts fiber is debatable anyway, but I didn’t bring that up.)

    So many people would never be convinced by the science of phytates and lechtins and such, but when faced with the solid reality of “which is better for you – spinach or pasta?” very few people could argue that pasta offers more nutrition. Try it with almost anything – bread or carrots? rice or broccoli?

    And if that doesn’t convince them, most people seem impressed by the fact that veggies aren’t as calorie-dense as grains… so they could eat a whole plate of broccoli for fewer calories than a little tiny scoop of rice. When I point that out a lot of people go “ohhhh yeah! true!” They already knew it but it seems to be something that slips by the radar because grains are “so important to a healthy diet.”

    FlyNavyWife wrote on November 30th, 2009
  10. Mark Sisson wrote on December 3rd, 2009

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