Month: February 2013
In the midst of topical wound ointment, baby wearing, and gynoid fat, sometimes it’s nice to just back up and focus on the basics. How much more fundamental does it get really than getting up in the morning? I think we can safely count it as square one. Whether you’re stopping by today as a Primal newbie or old timer, most of us need the reminder at some point. Ah, morning. It’s an alternately grim and comical scene in most American households. There’s the snooze parade, rumpled faces, chronic grouchiness, catatonic showers, coffee frenzy, mad dashes, and neon colored breakfast with cartoon characters (fun prize included!). We’re quite a species to behold at 6:30 a.m. What can we do to change this picture? Is there such a thing as a Primal morning short of rising from a sleeping bag in a remote corner of mountain wilderness? You decide. A more approachable goal this morning might be this: what can make the morning feel – and be – a little healthier and happier?
As Mark’s Daily Apple and the Primal community have grown in popularity, I hear a lot of stuff bandied about. Some of it is positive, some negative, and that’s to be expected. You can’t please everyone – I would probably be surprised if no one ever criticized me. However, I’ve noticed that for whatever reason, some people have a skewed perception of my opinion on certain issues. Maybe it’s my fault for not being more clear. Maybe they just haven’t plumbed the depths of MDA (I don’t blame them; it’s got some deep archives) to find the truth, instead going on what someone else told them. But whatever the reason, I have an obligation to set the record straight. I don’t want people getting the wrong idea about me or my ideas.
In this post, I’m going to describe five common misinterpretations about me and then explain where I truly stand. You may still disagree with me. That’s cool. At least then you’ll be able to criticize me for what I actually said or wrote.
So, what are some things people assume about me that are wrong?
Every so often, people ask about foods that are clearly not Primal. While the more diehard among you might expect me to ignore and lambast these fine folks, I think this is the wrong tactic. We can’t have any sacred cows (except, perhaps, grass-fed ones) in this business; we must always be willing to examine our beliefs and explore “forbidden” foods. If some of them turn out to be not so bad – or even beneficial – we end up with even more choices. And that’s generally a good thing to have. Plus, even though most of the questionable foods may not end up getting “Primal approval,” at least we’ll be more informed and better prepared to make good choices when we decide to “stray” or cheat. Because cheating is going to happen. Because the 80/20 rule is a good rule to follow. Why not know what we’re getting into? Why not lean toward harm reduction, even as we eat something that isn’t exactly Primal?
That’s ultimately what this ongoing series is all about.
In today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’ll be covering a trio of topics. First is a parent with a problem common to members of her species: enforced sleeplessness. She wants, nay, needs, help with amelioration of the situation. Normally, I’d say “get more sleep,” but the point is that getting adequate sleep isn’t always a choice. Next, I discuss some potential causes of, and strategies for, chronically cold extremities. Luckily for the reader, strategies for fixing cold extremities can be as enjoyable as eating more food, using more salt, and breathing more mindfully. Finally, I allay a reader’s concern with the “sweet feed” being used to supplement the mostly-grass-and-hay diet of the cows he hopes to eat.
Research of the Week
A new study (of old, “missing” data) found that reducing saturated fats (to below 10% of energy intake) from animal fats and increasing omega-6 linoleic acid from polyunsaturated margarines (to 15% of energy intake) increased the risk of death from all causes, including cardiovascular disease. Okay, but those are just clinical endpoints. Who cares about those? I want to know what happened to their cholesterol levels.
An “active lifestyle approach” (raking leaves, gardening, walking to the store) was just as beneficial as a “structured exercise approach” in reducing metabolic syndrome. Furthermore, those in the “active lifestyle” group were far more likely to get the recommended 30 minutes of “exercise” a day.
Preparing a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week while living a busy life isn’t easy. Even when you know how to cook and what to eat (meat, fish, fowl, eggs, veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds) it’s still a challenge to come up with a variety of tasty meals. The best approach is to plan ahead at the start of each week so you can make one shopping trip for many meals. But who actually has time to plan ahead?
This week, it’s done for you. Below are five recipes that can be hammered out in a total of 35 minutes of focused cooking. All the planning is done for you; just shop and set aside some time in the kitchen. You’ll be rewarded five days straight when you open the fridge and a meal is waiting for you.