Month: February 2012

Mindful Eating: The Art of Being Present at the Dinner Table

Questions: where were you at dinnertime last night? What did you eat? Was anyone else with you? Did you do anything else during the meal besides eat? How did your food taste? Did you enjoy your food? What did you think about as you ate? What mood were you in when you came to the table? When did you decide you were done eating? How did you feel after the meal? Some days we may be able to answer all of these questions. Other days not so much.

The truth is, there are days that we’re lucky to sneak in a meal at all. Children, meetings, travel, overtime, activities all mean we’re running from one thing to the next. Eating can be an afterthought – a chore inserted when possible and usually in tandem with at least one other activity. Even on the days when we sit down to a set table, we’re not assured a peaceful meal. The phone rings. UPS delivers a package. (Yes, aren’t you always the last house?) Little Suzy has a meltdown. Junior is feeding the dog from the table. There are multiple trips back to the kitchen for whatever was forgotten and a dozen or so fragmented conversations. If we’re eating alone, there are other kinds of distractions. Do we even bother sitting at the table? How about checking email or Facebook? A new magazine came today. Maybe I’ll just leaf through it while I have the chance. Whatever the case, the food itself quickly recedes into a mental background. The fork reaches our mouth. Maybe a taste registers, but we’ll have little recollection of the meal by the time our dishes reach the sink.

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How Should Children Exercise?

People often write in with questions about raising kids Primally. And you might find this surprising, but the plurality of kid-related questions I receive pertain to exercise. Not food – though I do still receive a lot of questions about feeding kids Primal food, I guess people are finally realizing that babies don’t have to be weaned with grain mushes and that kids can actually thrive on the foods their parents eat – but fitness. So I’ll go through two of the most common queries, paraphrased, and answer them, then follow up with my recommendations for ideal – but totally achievable and realistic – kid fitness.

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Announcements: New Seminar Dates and Mere Weeks to PrimalCon 2012

Brad Kearns checks in from the road to report great success with the first few Primal Transformation seminars. Lively groups of 50 folks enjoyed Phoenix, Portland, Seattle, Boulder and St. Louis events recently. It’s been such a great experience that Brad has added four new dates. Here’s the latest schedule:

Los Altos, CA – Wednesday, Feb. 29

Sacramento, CA – Tuesday, Mar. 6

Atlanta, GA – Monday, Mar. 26

Miami Beach, FL – Tuesday, Mar. 27

Houston, TX – Wednesday, Mar. 28

Dallas, TX – Thursday, Mar. 29

Torrance, CA – Monday, Apr. 9

San Diego, CA – Monday, Jun. 4

You can learn all about this special seminar series and reserve your spot here. And dig this photo from yesterday’s seminar. The Primal Transformation Seminar event in St. Louis featured a Primal potluck event at CrossFit, featuring delicious Kombucha tea, incredible sweet potato/beef stew made with high fat grass-fed ground beef dog food (too much fat to be certified for human sale, but delicious!), unique pork shoulder and cauliflower and bacon and Brussels sprouts, tongue stew, sauerkraut, and of course some dark chocolate. Primal Living St Louis is going strong – check it out if you are in the area.

While my schedule is packed with numerous upcoming publishing efforts, our new online Primal Blueprint expert certification (more on this later this year), PrimalCon III in April and corporate speaking, I’m itching for some action too! We’re making preliminary plans for me to deliver the Transformation seminar in Chicago and New York City in late April-early May – with perhaps a live webinar participation on those evenings. Stay tuned for details!

And hey, speaking of PrimalCon III, can you believe it’s less than two months away! This year is going to be bigger and better than ever. We have some fantastic presenters lined up and new activities that we can’t wait to share with everyone that attends. There are still spots remaining, but we anticipate it will be a sold out event, so if you haven’t reserved your spot don’t hesitate. Grab your tickets today and join the Mark’s Daily Apple community in April in Oxnard, CA. I guarantee this 3-day retreat will change your life forever. Hope to see you there!

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Why You Should Eat and Drink High-Cacao Dark Chocolate

Yes, I know, I know. That title isn’t exactly comforting. I hate giving you guys bad news, seeing as how you make this website possible, and I hate making unpopular recommendations like “eat more butter” or “get some sun” or “drink a glass of red wine,” but I have to stick to the truth here, even if it hurts. And the truth is that you should probably be eating dark chocolate on a semi-regular basis because the stuff is pretty dang good for you. Before you log out, never to return again, give me a minute to explain myself:

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Dear Mark: Should I Consume Caffeine Before My Workout?

In today’s edition of Dear Mark, I cover a topic near and dear to many of your hearts: caffeine. But I don’t just cover caffeine; I explore whether caffeine truly does act as a diuretic, especially during exercise, and whether or not caffeine can actually be helpful to athletic performance. Should we all be downing mugs of joe or cups of tea before we hit the gym or head outdoors?

Let’s find out.
Dear Mark,

I’ve been told that drinking coffee prior to, or during workouts is a big no-no, because it’s a diuretic and will lead to dehydration, which is no good for performance (or health). But I love an iced coffee right before my workouts. I feel like it helps. It could just be placebo, but if it’s not hurting, I’m okay, right?

I wonder if you could give me the lowdown on what the literature says. Thanks!


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Weekend Link Love – Edition 178

Ryan, fiance to the powerlifter from the recent success story, just released a self-titled Primal kids EP by The Cave Kids. Check it out on Amazon or iTunes. It’s really good, and both kids and parents will dig it. “Just Like Mom and Dad” is my favorite so far.

It seems raw-feeding one’s pets is really catching on. The NY Times recently did a write up.

It almost sounds like making your short workouts shorter and more intense might actually work.

Could kevlar socks replace Vibram Fivefingers? I’m not sure, but they’re available for purchase.

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