Month: August 2012

Dear Mark: Industrial Duck, Topical Seed Oils, and Costco Rotisserie Chicken Bones

We can’t always make the perfect Primal choices. We simply don’t live in a world that affords us the opportunity, and short of being whisked away in the night by an elvish boy with green tights, a fairy companion, and the ability to fly, we’re stuck here for the duration. Let’s make the best of it, huh? I think I do a pretty good job at that, here on this blog, but sometimes there are questions that I have yet to address. Like what to make of industrially-raised duck, or whether or not you should still apply those seed oils – which you’d never eat if you could help it – to your face and body as moisturizers, or if carcasses from industrially-raised chickens are still worth using to make stock. These are questions that most people never even think about, but you have (or at least some of you), and I aim to provide a helpful answer.

Let’s go.

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Weekend Link Love – Edition 201

Research of the Week
A race day high-fat meal resulted in better endurance performance than a race day high-carb meal following three days of carbohydrate loading.

Choline intake during pregnancy predicts the child’s epigenetic response to stress once born. Kids from moms who ate just 480 mg of choline a day during pregnancy (the recommended amount) secreted more cortisol in response to stress than kids from moms who ate 930 mg per day. All the more reason to eat your yolks!

Speaking of stress, it seems to shut off the parts of the brain that control goal-oriented behavior. So that kid with the excessive cortisol gene expression might be less likely to accomplish interesting, exciting things.

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Balsamic-Glazed Drumsticks

Chicken drumsticks are the perfect finger food for so many occasions. Serve drumsticks at parties, pack them for lunch, hand them to your kids for a late-afternoon snack or grab a drumstick on your way out the door in the morning. Delicious baked or grilled with only salt and pepper, drumsticks also quickly soak up the flavor in sauces and marinades.

This balsamic glaze (which can do double-duty as a marinade) lightly coats the drumsticks rather than drowning them in thick sauce. As the glaze reduces, first on the stove and then in the oven, the flavor intensifies and becomes surprisingly bold.

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Primal Evolution: Change Within Weeks, Transformation in Mere Months

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!

Hi Mark,

Greetings from Tulsa, Oklahoma!

I’ve been debating sharing my success story, as I’m not really one to “toot my own horn.” However, I’ve thought about how others might benefit from hearing it – so here goes!

I was a very active kid and teenager growing up and liked to play a variety of sports (baseball being my favorite). Throughout middle and high school I tried my hand competitively at baseball, soccer, basketball, golf, and some recreational distance running. I always enjoyed being known for my speed, although not so much for my athletic abilities ;). Much of the reason I was fast was because I was very slender (about 135 lbs at 6’ tall). My freshman year of college I continued to stay active by playing intramural softball, and even some skateboarding. As my college years went on my activity level declined some, but I was still able to manage the same body image and general level of health, for the most part. Additionally, being a college kid, I never worried about what I ate or drank.

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The Pleasures of Slow Living

We all live it or live with it to some extent – our society’s obsession with speed. Whether it’s with omnipresent traffic, constant deadlines, or crammed schedules, too many of us spend too much time running or overrun. The pace itself can over time become a lens for life, our focus in constant erratic motion. In the cursory sweeps of our day, we miss out on the nuanced textures of life—the sensory pleasures of a good meal, the subtle changes in our growing child’s face, the quiet beauty of a weekend morning, the warm connection with a partner or friend. What do we do when we find ourselves caught in an unsustainable momentum? The answer for some is an internationally growing – and diversely focused – movement known as slow living.

Today experts tell us that runaway stress has us teetering on the verge of a public health crisis with three-quarters of Americans reporting they “experience stress at levels that exceed what they define as healthy.” Undoubtedly, our obsession with speed contributes to this trend. We’re taking on more than we can reasonably process. We’re doing more and experiencing less.

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When Listening to Your Body Doesn’t Work

Hunger largely comes down to perceived energy and/or nutrient insufficiency. Your body thinks that it needs more calories and more energy, and hunger sets in to get you to eat the food that contains those nutrients. Now, if perception matches up well with reality – if you truly do need more nutrients – things are good. You need some food, you eat some food, and you stop when you’ve had enough. In this situation, listening to your body is a good idea. That’s what all those Primal people (including me) are talking about when they tell you to “just listen to your body, maaaaaaan,” because for those people, it truly is that simple. Eliminating the excess carbs, the refined sugar, the grains, and the processed seed oils while adhering to the other Primal laws regarding exercise, sleep, stress, sun, and all the rest was enough to right the ship.

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