Month: May 2011

The Connection Between Height and Health

Height has historically been regarded as a marker of health and robustness. We seem to implicitly accept that bigger is indeed better, even if we don’t want to admit it. On average, tall people attain more professional success and make more money, the taller presidential candidate almost always wins, and women are more attracted to tall men. On a very visceral level, the taller person is more physically imposing. After all, who would you rather fight – the dude with a long reach raining punches from up high or the shorter guy with stubby arms who has to work his way inside your guard (although Mike Tyson did pretty well for himself with such “limitations”)? And on that note, who would you prefer as a mate – the physically imposing specimen or the shorter, presumably weaker male?

We in the Primal health community are quick to point out that agriculture reduced physical stature. Generally speaking, bone records indicate that Paleolithic (and, to a lesser extent, Mesolithic) humans were taller than humans living immediately after the advent of agriculture. Multiple sources exist, so let’s take a look at a couple of them before moving on:

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Dear Carrie: Hot Flashes

Every week I attempt to field at least one reader question in my Dear Mark series of blog posts. Some of the inquiries that are submitted are outside my scope of knowledge or experience, or are questions that are addressed to my wife, Carrie, specifically. While I could (and have been known to) dig into the research on such topics as cellulite, menopause, nursing, giving birth and the like, I think it’s valuable to offer a woman’s perspective on these and related topics of interest. And so, enter Carrie…

Hi, everyone! It’s good to be back on MDA. I so appreciate the emails I regularly get from everyone. Thanks for all your questions and kind messages. I love this community and always enjoy contributing. I get a lot of questions about family and the female perspective in living Primal. One common topic is menopause. I know how intricate a life transition menopause can be, being I’m navigating it myself now. There are a million questions I think women have about menopause, and I know they’ll be more relevant posts coming up. For today, I thought I’d take up one reader’s forum post about hot flashes and sleep. (Do I already see some heads nodding out there?)

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Weekend Link Love – Edition 144

First off, I have some thanking to do. Many thanks to John Durant for organizing the NYC Paleo meetup last week. About 175 enthusiastic people attended the event, and I had a wonderful time sharing my thoughts on the metabolic paradigm shift and meeting everyone that could make it out. I also want to thank all of the Mark’s Daily Apple newsletter subscribers that reviewed Primal Blueprint Quick & Easy Meals this last week. I appreciate your time and support!

When will the murderous Amish dairy cartel finally be brought to justice? Armed raids by federal authorities are a step in the right direction, but I still see their products being brazenly peddled at California markets.

Tom Naughton of Fathead fame explains why the latest meat-causes-cancer study is high-nitrate, ammonia-soaked bologna.

Scientists engineer a cortisol-blocking pill that also reduces the vividness of negative memories. Would you take it?

Mark Cucuzella, MD, sent in a gorgeously shot video on barefoot running style and how best to implement it. The music’s pretty awesome, too.

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Garlicky Roasted Shrimp and Swiss Chard

You can never have too many quick and easy recipes in your arsenal of go-to weeknight meals, the type that can be made from memory when you’re too tired to think. It doesn’t get much easier or tastier than our Garlicky Roasted Shrimp and Swiss Chard, a recipe with very few ingredients and a simple one-pan cooking method that makes getting a healthy meal on the table a cinch.

Roasting the shrimp and the chard in the same pan not only makes washing dishes quick work, it also cooks both to tender perfection. Roasting greens in the oven keeps them slightly crisp rather than giving them the limp texture that sautéed greens can have. In the oven, the edges of the Swiss chard become brown and crackly and the center of the leaves are tender but not soggy. The trick to cooking the Swiss chard perfectly is using a cookie sheet or a baking pan with only a small rim; if you use a roasting pan or baking sheet with a deep rim, moisture will become trapped in the pan and make the greens too soft. Spreading the raw greens out on a large sheet pan to cook is also easier than trying to stuff them into a sauté pan on the stove, which forces you to cook the greens in batches so the leaves don’t spill over the sides. Oven-cooked greens also require very little attention, just one stir during the 10-12 minute roasting process.

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3 More Primal Blueprint Success Stories

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means more Primal Blueprint Real Life Stories. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thanks for reading!

Hey Mark,

After reading some of the other stories on your site, I decided to share mine with you too.  I too was your typical high school athlete, I played basketball year round and some football, got strong fast, and I could eat Arby’s 5 for 5 without thinking twice. Then came college (do you see a pattern here?). I actually stayed pretty fit throughout college somehow without much more than the occasional pickup basketball game, but over time the beer and crap food choices began to catch up with me. I didn’t realize it then, but looking back at pictures I was a poster boy for “skinny fat”. I graduated from college in 2007 and came home to an always exciting cubicle job, and that’s when all…physical…activity…stopped. I got an apartment with my girlfriend (now my wonderful wife), tried P90X for about a month and quit, obsessed over wanting to look and feel better but never did anything about it.

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A Quick Guide to Shrimp

People love shrimp. Its taut, delicate, firm, sweet flesh pops in the mouth and provides meaty texture to dishes, and, despite its distinctive taste, shrimp works with every cuisine. Rich Indian curries? Check. Intensely zesty Cajun stews? Definitely. Heck, even just a light sautee in garlic, butter, and white wine is a masterful way to prepare shrimp. Partly for those reasons, shrimp is the most eaten seafood in the United States – by far – and the most valuable aquaculture crop in the world. Intensive shrimp farming in Latin America and Asia supplies the world with plenty of inexpensive shrimp which we readily gobble up, because, like I said, people love the little critters. As of 2008, each American plowed through 4.1 pounds of shrimp a year, on average.

But is shrimp healthy? Is shrimp good for the environment? Are there certain kinds of shrimp you should be avoiding? Should you eat wild caught or farmed? Imported or domestic? Head on or peeled? So many questions. Let’s dig in…

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