Today’s edition of Dear Mark poses and then attempts to answer a question many have pondered: do detox and cleansing diets really work? More specifically, do the “more friendly” types of cleanses work, as opposed to the colon-blasting gut-rending methods? Several years back, I wrote a piece on the latter type of cleanse, and I wasn’t very kind. For all the claims of ropy mucoid plaque bogging down the colon of apparently every American (at least the ones who eat meat), I wasn’t convinced, and the evidence simply wasn’t there. I still maintain my stance, but a recent question from a reader drew my attention to kindler, gentler cleansing and detoxifying diets, the kind that you might see on Dr. Oz or in the cupboard of your vegan buddy.
Do these have any merit? Let’s look into it:
Otzi the iceman had clogged arteries. But evidence suggests that he also had a genetic predisposition toward heart disease, plus a bit of lyme disease.
Ned Kock offers his tips for building muscle while losing body fat.
Seattle is set to unveil the nation’s largest public food forest, an “urban oasis of public food.”
Now you don’t have to stress out over finding the perfect pair of Vibrams to match your plaid pants.
A few helpful tips for budding roadkill diners.
Both coffee and exercise elicit interesting – and similar – changes to DNA in muscle tissue. Also, have you ever seen a more perfect stock photo used for a science article?
When preparing a meal from stinging nettles, you can’t help but wonder who was brave (or crazy) enough to discover that this invasive, weed-like plant covered with stinging hairs was edible in the first place. At first glance nettles look innocent enough, with a deep green color and delicate, serrated leaves. If you look closely, though, you’ll also see hundreds of tiny hairs that can prick your skin and inject histamine, causing a painful stinging sensation. The sting can last for hours or days and is highly unpleasant. Nettles are exactly the type of plant you want to steer clear of when walking in the woods, so how nettles ended up in someone’s cooking pot is hard to understand. It’s a good thing they did, however, because nettles are an incredibly nutritious plant with a mild, likeable flavor.
It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. 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. Thank you for reading!
My name is Jeffrey, and I am Primal. I started my Primal journey over two years ago, beginning on Aug 21, 2009. I weighed 310+lbs and was an unhappy person. I luckily started young enough that serious conditions never developed for me. I frequent MDA forums, under Jstrick, but typically am more of a stalker and not a replier. Primal changed my life forever, and this is how:
Childhood for me was many things, but health never was much of a concern. All the way through adolescence into young adulthood I put very little thought into the fact that my dietary choices were in fact playing a large part of my health. As a young boy I had always been bigger than the other kids; I had a stockier frame and was heavier set than most. Luckily for everyone else I was also a gentle soul (bullies didn’t bug me much either). It wasn’t until junior high (around age 12) that my size began to really increase. By age 15 I was easily 250lbs, but at 6’2″ that was not too much of a concern, especially in the minds of my football coaches. On life went as I carelessly ate whatever I wanted. I remember a few distinct times being allowed to buy no-bake cheesecake, and on the following Saturday morning I would sit down and eat the entire thing. (Not exactly sure what my mother was thinking, allowing me to do that.) When junior year of high school hit I made varsity football which kept me in a very physically active lifestyle. With the heavy weight lifting, plus the frequent intense cardio I was able to maintain a 270lb body weight, even with my compulsive eating.
Last week’s retreat post inspired a lot of people to share something about the escapes they enjoy but also something about why. The post’s focus on solitary retreats, in particular, seemed to steer discussion. Frankly, when I suggested the solo venture, I mostly had in mind self determination – the opportunity to concentrate on one’s individual needs without the inevitable compromises and inherent expectations that come into play when traveling with others. Several readers, however, opened up a broader theme in their comments. Self knowledge, they suggested, is essential in figuring out what’s optional and not optional to our individual well-being. There’s power – and sometimes conflict – in knowing yourself and letting that understanding help guide your life.
Last week, I opened the discussion of whether or not the whole world could go Primal. As you may recall, I noted that given the realities of our infrastructure, our policies, and the entrenched interests who wield considerable amounts of power and influence, practically speaking such a dramatic shift simply isn’t likely anytime soon. While it may be true that much of the world can’t access or afford grass-fed beef or other examples of privileged dietary staples it shouldn’t keep those that can from enjoying it. In fact, pulling out wallets can go a long way toward changing the state of things as they are now. That was last week, though. Today, I’m going to address some of the logistical concerns many of you raised regarding a transition to a world of Primal eaters. This is a huge topic beyond the scope of any one blog post, and there’s no magic bullet, but I’ll give it an honest go.