Month: July 2013

I Was Unhealthy and Getting Sicker: Something Had to Change

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,

I’m 47 years old, happily married, and have a 12-year-old son. I encountered The Primal Blueprint in May 2012, and it’s changed my life.

I’d been working on some health issues for a few years and had seen solid progress. However, something wasn’t clicking. My weight was still going up and down and my triglycerides were always high, never falling below 240. Nine weeks after I started following The Primal Blueprint, I dropped 12 pounds and my triglycerides fell below 100 for the first time in years. After 9 months with The Primal Blueprint, my triglycerides are at 105 and I’ve lost a total of 25 pounds.

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An Open Letter to Doctors

I realized recently I’ve never written this kind of open letter. I figure if kids and Taco Bell got the benefit, maybe primary care physicians could as well. Kidding aside, there’s a genuine mismatch these days between standard medical advice and effective lifestyle practices. I think we can all do better. I’m not letting patients off the hook here either. (Maybe that’s fodder for another letter.) However, we naturally look to our physicians as our healers, as the experts, as our guides. Unfortunately, we’re not always well served by that kind of faith. I’m of course not talking about any one doctor or set of doctors. I happen to know a great many primary care doctors and other medical practitioners who are incredibly forward and critical thinking professionals. They balance their perspectives with the likes of medical logic, broad based study of existing research and close attention to real life results. While I think I’m not the only one who would have much to say to many specialists out there as well, let me specifically address primary care physicians here. They’re on the front lines – for all the good and ugly that goes with it. More than any specialist, they have the whole picture of our health (and a fair amount of our life stories to boot). It’s more their job (and billing categorization) to provide general health and lifestyle counseling to their patients. It’s with great respect that I offer these thoughts. As my readers can guess, this could easily be a tale of ninety-nine theses, but let me focus on a few central points.

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12 Easy Ways to Primalize Your Everyday Life

We can’t return to the paleolithic. We’re not cavemen. This isn’t about reenactment, and it never has been. We’re all here because we recognize the value in viewing our health, our food, our exercise, and our everyday behaviors through an evolutionary lens. The evolutionary angle is simply a helpful way to generate hypotheses, hypotheses that can then be tested and, if successful, integrated. At the very least, it’s interesting to think about what might be the “right” or “biologically appropriate” way to do something. We have the luxury of trying these things out to see if they improve our lives, so I think we probably should try them.

I’ve been thinking of some easy ways to Primalize everyday life. Basically, I think we can “get more” out of our days without really making any monumental changes to what we do or taking much more time to do it, simply by getting Primal with it. With a few subtle tweaks toward the ancestral, we can enhance everyday activities, foods, and drinks that we take for granted. Mundane stuff might suddenly become enriched. Let’s get to the list so you can learn my 12 easy ways to Primalize your everyday life:

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The Evidence Continues to Mount Against Chronic Cardio

It’s been awhile since I did a post on chronic cardio. I had a good string of them going several years ago, and I thought I’d done a good job explaining why I was so opposed to excessive endurance training. Despite my attempts to clarify, though, I still receive a lot of questions and comments about cardio. People just have a tough time divorcing themselves from the notion that cardio – as much as you can cram into your schedule – is the key to health and fitness. I don’t blame them, really. It’s conventional wisdom, after all, and it’s what I thought for years and years. Clearly, another post is needed.

Evidence against chronic cardio continues to mount, so there’s a lot to cover. But before we get to all the research, I have a few thoughts about the heart.

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Dear Mark: Reader Issues, Chocolate Toxins, Chipotle’s Revelations, plus Red Meat and Diabetes Redux

I’m covering a smattering of issues in today’s edition of Dear Mark. First, I help a reader with some issues. It’s a somewhat typical story with any lifestyle change – the stall. Why might it be occurring? What can she do to figure things out? After that, I answer a quick two-parter about dark chocolate. Then, I discuss the recent revelation of GMO products at Chipotle, along with my reasoning for not worrying too much about it. Finally, I briefly cover the latest red-meat-will-give-you-diabetes study. “Briefly,” because not only does this study retread old epidemiological ground, it’s using the very same inaccurate data sets we’ve seen a dozen times before.

Let’s go.

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Weekend Link Love – Edition 250

On May 20th, a tornado nearly wiped the town of Moore, OK off the map. Enter Lift Up Moore, an event spanning 60+ CrossFit gyms across the nation to raise money to help the rebuilding effort. Check out the official page to learn more and get involved!
Research of the Week
In one recent study, neither dehydration nor electrolyte loss could explain exercise induced muscle cramps.

A low-carb, ad libitum diet beats out a low-cal, low-fat diet in diabetics, according to a recent study. Low-carb eaters had better weight loss and HbA1c.

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