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

Weekend Link Love

It seems as if Ms. Grok and Mr. Neanderthal were more than just neighbors. Wired talks about new findings of Neanderthal DNA in modern humans.

The China Study. Bane of Grok. Have you ever explained Primal living to someone only to hear, “But the China Study says meat will kill us.Feasting on Fitness takes the China Study down. Thoroughly. In multiple parts. Read the massive dissection of the research and reviews behind The China Study: Part 1 & Part 2.

Get Primal. Eat Squirrel. But not these squirrels.

Cocoa Puffs is no longer a heart healthy cereal. For shame. The Heart Scan Blog updates us with the AHA’s new list of “heart healthy” cereals. For those previously achieving health through Cocoa Puffs, you’ll have to make do with Berry Burst Cheerios and Cinnamon Life.

Take a ride on the beef train. Then ponder what would happen if the beef train and the gravy train collided.

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (May 2nd – 8th)

  • Barefoot Alternatives – What to wear when Vibrams are just a little too weird for the occasion (job interview, meeting your fiance’s parents, giving a speech to the United Nations, whatever)
  • Is All Olive Oil Created Equal? – Really, who came up with the term “extra virgin?” That’s just not how virginity works. More to the point, read this post for a run down on the various forms of olive oil.

Email of the Week

Mark’s Daily Apple readers email me pics all the time. I welcome every one of them. They’re usually moving and inspiring success story photos. Often they’re “Grok in the Wild” pics. But nothing quite like this. Talk about a commitment. What can I say but Grok on!

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. Sweet tat! I predict we’ll see more grok tattoos coming soon.

    Al Kavadlo wrote on May 9th, 2010
    • Ah! He beat me to it, I’m having Grok tattooed just as soon as my brother hits his weight goal, won’t be long now, he’s already lost 58 lbs and is two months ahead of the schedule he set himself :-) I just need to decide where to have my Grok Tattooed – it won’t be quite that large though … !

      Kelda wrote on May 9th, 2010
  2. That is an awesome tat…. gives me more ideas for when i get mine :)

    SCK wrote on May 9th, 2010
  3. Okay, we need to know who got the Grok tat! Don’t be coy, Mark!

    Annika wrote on May 9th, 2010
  4. Sweet tat indeed! Very cool!

    cfmuh wrote on May 9th, 2010
  5. Checked out the Joyful Abode recipe link – some good recipes there, but some clearly not so much: “Ice Cream Sandwich” made with graham crackers and fat-free cool whip is about as far from primal as you can get, yes?

    Julie wrote on May 9th, 2010
    • FNWs site was started a few years ago before she went primal, so there are some recipes that aren’t primal on there, although none that are recent.

      The site is all about doing stuff at home simply and cheaply and living within your means, that sort of thing.

      If you go to the recipes now and work backward you’ll find a lot of really good stuff!

      Minxxa wrote on May 11th, 2010
      • Good to know, thanks. At any rate, I probably shouldn’t EVER read that site when I’m hungry, at work, in the middle of a an IF, thinking of dinner. :( Emily sure can cook!

        Julie wrote on May 11th, 2010
      • Thanks for explaining this. :) Yes, it clearly shows how I’ve grown and changed… the more recent recipes are way better, and there is a “primal recipes” section. I’m also planning on making little “icons” to put next to the things in the index – there will be a “grain-free” icon that will basically indicate the primal recipes.

        Joyful Abode wrote on May 11th, 2010
        • Emily I’ve been on your site for a few (or more) minutes this afternoon – I about fainted at the Chicken Thighs and Bacony Veggies recipe. I am definitely going to try that one this week!

          Julie wrote on May 11th, 2010
  6. Very nice tattoo! I just got one done in the same all-black fashion of an eagle.

    After seeing that, I see I’m not even the strongest believer in Primal/Paleo. I think most of us tend to be more innovators/activists than the general population.

    I discovered the primal way of living only months ago, but it makes so much sense to me that I know my whole life will be based around those concepts with 100% certainty.

    Sebastien wrote on May 9th, 2010
  7. As much as I agree that meat probably isn’t going to kill us, I will say that having something like a “beef” train is just an excuse to make factory farming acceptable by using one of its byproducts in an “eco-friendly” way. It still uses 80% diesel.
    I am vegan (the non-confrontational, totally-cool-with-meat-eaters variety) mostly because I won’t support farming as an industry. I can’t conceive of a good reason to subvert the natural instincts of sentient beings for my own livelihood when there are other healthful alternatives. As I research more, I am leaning towards an omnivorous diet, but one supported by local hunters (I live in NH), farmers, and possibly my own (in the future) family-sized aquaponic operation.
    Even if they’re not an “animal lovers,” I truly believe that if most people knew the kinds of conditions their meat sources were subjected to, the kinds of filthy environments in which factory animals are raised and killed and their meat processed, there’d be more demand for small-scale, locally based, humane animal farming.

    Jenny Lee wrote on May 9th, 2010
    • I watched Food Inc. and was horrified after watching it. I will now only buy grass fed animals at a local farm that I have to drive to. I can see all the happy animals (they still aren’t happy when its their time) frolicking in the fields. I agree that animals should not be factory raised and fed crap. Modern humans are a strange breed indeed, as humans have evolved we got dumber along the way.

      Aaron Curl wrote on May 10th, 2010
      • Awesome!
        Anyone else who’s interested in finding a local (or relatively local) farm from which to buy meat–and other products– should visit You’ll be able to search for almost any farm-raised product by price or distance. Some farms do delivery too.

        Jenny L wrote on May 10th, 2010
        • Just a small correction, it’s .org ;D

          Venna wrote on May 12th, 2010
  8. OMG, I saw one of those Neanderthals today, he pulled out right in front of me on the highway!!! Of course he had MA plates….

    Msfit wrote on May 9th, 2010
  9. The fact that that DNA persists proves that Neanderthals were a different race not a different species. And, if they were not a separate species and their DNA persists, how do we say they are extinct? Fascinating, no?

    fyi — I’m an obese lurker who has like six painful chronic health issues. I am shedding bad food habits, pushing myself on activity and working my way toward a stone age diet. I am way behind the crowd here, but making progress.

    slacker wrote on May 10th, 2010
    • “The fact that that DNA persists proves that Neanderthals were a different race not a different species.”

      “Species” is a unit of taxonomic organization, which at least has afundamental biological rationale. “Race” is a shifting and largely meaningless social categorization. One has little to no relation to the other.

      As far as what the DNA persistence proves: if the distance in differentiation between the genetics of Neanderthal and Humans was no more than that between two modern humans of different so-called races, then the researchers wouldn’t even be able to characterize those differences. Speciation occurs in reproductive *isolation*, but there’s no guarantee that it will lead to reproductive incapacity.

      fireandstone wrote on May 10th, 2010
  10. But the ‘crowd’ is growing all the time … you are not way behind the guy about to read MDA for the first time today.

    Seems to me growth is now exponential … unstoppable :-)

    Kelda wrote on May 10th, 2010
  11. Yah, I like the tat and I can see that on me somewhere. Going to start planning a place for that.

    Aaron Curl wrote on May 10th, 2010
  12. Regarding “The China Study” – it’s just a book, loosely based on an epidemiological study done in China (although I can not so far find any actual scientific publication and I’m not willing to buy the book just to read their references). has this to say –
    “The China Study involved 100 adults in each of 65 counties in China. Only those between the ages of 35 and 64 were studied; for mortality rates they eliminated death certificates of those over the age of 64 as “unreliable.” They pooled blood samples from everyone in a village so they would have large enough samples to measure over 109 nutritional, viral, hormonal and other indicators in blood. They also measured 24 urinary factors, mortality rates for more than 48 diseases, 36 food constituents, 36 nutrient and food intakes, 60 diet and lifestyle factors, and 17 geographic and climatic factors. All in all, they studied 367 variables and made 8000 correlations. I’ll leave it to others to comment on the study design and the statistical analysis.”

    In other words, they selected 100 people from a village and tracked their death rates, then somehow associated the specific deaths with a POOLED BLOOD SAMPLE FROM EVERYONE IN THE VILLAGE?? Along with, presumably, “trends” in the village diet and lifestyle rather than actual diet and lifestyle measures of the subjects themselves.

    This is complete Garbage.

    Mikki wrote on May 10th, 2010
  13. I grew up in WV and thought everyone ate squirrels until I moved to another state. Then everyone thought I was crazy when I wanted to eat “squirrels and gravy.” 😉

    Sonia wrote on May 10th, 2010
    • I’m from Morgantown and no, people just don’t understand us. 😉

      JD wrote on July 9th, 2010
    • LOL!! that sounds so gross…but each to their own I say..

      Tamin wrote on December 11th, 2010
  14. Love the tat! I need to take a baby step and buy me a grok t-shirt, lol. The tat will have to wait…

    Primal Toad wrote on May 10th, 2010
    • Be warned getting a tattoo is very addictive – I went in two years ago (age 41) and said ‘this will be my one and only tattoo’ the Artist laughed and said no one ever has just one … four later … and planning a Grok …

      Kelda wrote on May 10th, 2010
  15. Hey slacker — I’m no better off than you working towards the diet may not be the best approach. Cutting carbs slowly is for me, and many others before me, like quitting smokes slowly. Having one smoke or one pancake both make the process harder. It’s just a heads up that may not apply to everyone. I went primal cold turkey 10 days ago the day after gorging on neolithic chow. The first few days a meal didn’t seem complete with out a bunch fries or few margarine slather rolls, but it wasn’t so bad. I just ate other stuff. Now I am cruising, enjoying the food, rarely hungry and seeing results both with the chronic issues (blood pressure is now normal) and the obesity.

    Good luck dude.

    Grol wrote on May 10th, 2010
    • Cold turkey is definitely the way to do it – I even had cold sweats for a night (guess that was the hypo coming off sugar) but the next day I felt awesome and haven’t looked back.

      Kelda wrote on May 10th, 2010
  16. And as someone who thinks the tat fad as completely jumped the shark, that is indeed a cool tat.

    Grol wrote on May 10th, 2010
  17. They totally have the beef train wrong. The corn goes in the train the beef does in the people.

    grandma wrote on May 10th, 2010
  18. Interesting discussion!

    I am going to ask more about cold turkey in a more up to date thread.

    slacker wrote on May 11th, 2010
  19. I recently (well, not so recently in hindsight) attended the Leading Matters symposium put on by Stanford University. One of the presentations was on China as an emerging market and many of the internal obstacles China faces, primarily with the poor, rural citizens. One of the main bullet points the speaker was pointing out that held back the rural Chinese workers was their grain based diet, as it was very poor nutritionally and did not offer proper brain development. I almost got up and applauded right at that moment.

    Turling wrote on May 11th, 2010
  20. Mark, hope you got my email – thanks so much for including me in this week’s link love. :) I appreciate it lots!

    Also, that tattoo is awesome.

    Joyful Abode wrote on May 11th, 2010
  21. Thanks for the link love, Mark! I hope my literature review critiquing The China Study helps more people understand what the book is about and why it’s bunk! :)

    Great links! I can totally understand Joyful Abode’s recipe evolution upon finding the Primal Blueprint. Sculpting one’s nutrition is an ongoing process. I used to be addicted to paleo baking treats and before that, to fruit. Now I am further evolving my diet to buy only grass-fed, wild-caught, pastured meat/fish/eggs and local, seasonal produce. It is really challenging! I have NO idea how people living with just a big chain supermarket do it. I am lucky to live in CA with abundant health food stores and farmers markets.

    But just coming to an awareness about what I am eating and where it is coming from is a mind trip. For instance, with how hard coffee retailers sell their quality beans, notice how NONE (at least that I know of) give a crap about the dairy they use? You are lucky to get organic, but raw and 100% grass-fed aren’t even considered. How can so few people think about such an integral part of their precious drink? But then, most of our society thinks cereal is a healthy start to their day. Le sigh…

    Kristy A. wrote on May 12th, 2010
  22. Great tat… I’ve considered getting Grok on my shoulder

    OnTheRun wrote on May 12th, 2010
  23. Yep I want to get a Grok tat as a memorial to the fat/weight I have lost!! Won’t happen yet still got a ways to go but will post my new Grok tat (have a few others planned too)when I’ve hit my goals…GROK ON!!

    Tamin wrote on December 11th, 2010
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    luxury crackers wrote on December 9th, 2011

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