Month: January 2013

Dear Mark: Periodization Training, My Ideal Garden, and “Real” Strength

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got a quick three-parter. First, I briefly cover periodization training, explaining how and why I think everyone participates in it (even if they don’t know it yet). Next up is a question about my ideal garden. Now, I’m no gardener, but I do have some ideas about what kinds of food I’d like to grow. I give my personal list of calorie-dense and nutrient-dense produce (green thumbs, criticism is welcome). Finally, I discuss the difference – if any actually exists – between “real” and “neuromuscular” strength.

Let’s go, shall we?

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Weekend Link Love – Edition 224

Research of the Week
Another reason to work out in nature: training outdoors in an urban (read: polluted) environment elicits fewer cognitive improvements than training in a rural (read: fresh air-abundant) environment.

Selecting for big-brained guppies subsequently reduced gut and litter size (yes, I know that fish don’t technically have “litters,” but you know what I mean), appearing to confirm the expensive tissue hypothesis and mirroring what happened to big-brained hominids (Duggar family notwithstanding).

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Crispy Pork Carnitas Recipe

As if slow-cooked, succulent pork wasn’t tempting enough, carnitas takes it one step further by caramelizing the pork in its own fat until the outside is perfectly browned and crisp. It’s difficult to resist the crispy, tender morsels of pork that come out of the oven. Try not to eat so much meat right out of the pan that you’re full before the carnitas makes it to the table!

Cooking meat that is both tender and crispy might sound tricky, but the only secret is getting out of the way so the meat can cook slowly. The less you intervene, the better. Let seasoned pork braise in a pot of water until the meat is tender and the water is gone. Then the rendered pork fat takes over, essentially frying the meat into a crispy, fatty, salty masterpiece. Voila, perfect crispy pork carnitas!

The recipe below describes how to make braised carnitas in the oven. You can also cook the carnitas on the stovetop. For Instant Pot or slow cooker directions, check out the FAQs at the bottom of the post.

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Flab to Fab in 7 Easy 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!

P.S. This story was titled by the author of the story, Erin.

Dear Mark,

I am so excited to have a story I feel is worth submitting to the Primal Blueprint Real Life Stories. It’s certainly not anything I imagined at the beginning of this journey.

My story began like so many of the other stories I’ve read on Mark’s Daily Apple. Although I was very skinny in my younger years, sometime around puberty I started to pick up “baby fat” even though I’d had none previously. Through college my weight would fluctuate up and down. One year I’d be a size 6, and the next a 10. My eating habits, like most college students, were awful, but I walked almost everywhere I went, and my job working with children kept me on my feet all day, so I always stayed in an “average” range.

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Are You Eating These Important Supplemental Foods?

Today I’d like to talk about supplementation. No, not vitamins. While I obviously believe supplements of the pill, tablet and powder form variety can play a role in a healthy, modern Primal lifestyle, that’s not what I have in mind today. Instead, I’d like to take a look at supplemental foods – multivitamins provided in whole food form by mother nature (often aided and abetted by cooks, cheesemakers, farmers, ranchers, shepherds, and the like). In my estimation, there are a few absolutely essential supplemental foods that we should be eating.

Most of you are probably eating a few of these foods regularly, and some may be eating most of them, but I’d wager that none of you are eating all of them on a regular basis. Check the list, see what you’re missing, and adjust accordingly.

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New Year, New You: Making 2013 Your Best Year Yet

Way back in 2006, Mark’s Daily Apple quietly went live in an unknown corner of the Interwebs. Months went by; months of what seemed like me just talking to myself. In due time, people started dropping by to enjoy and comment, and soon the discussion became lively. Buoyed by community support, I wrote and wrote. Every day I wrote, slogging toward the ambitious goal of helping 10 million people cast aside flawed conventional wisdom and take control of their health and wellbeing.

Since launch day in 2006, so much has changed. At the time, “Primal” or “paleo” had few followers and fewer evangelists. Now, everyone and their granny has a paleo blog or podcast, and the ancestral movement has made significant inroads in the shaping of mainstream media and popular thinking about health and wellness. And I couldn’t be more delighted.

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