Month: November 2013

A Beginner’s Guide: Why You Should Practice Meditation and How to Get Started

In response to last week’s “Rethinking Stress” article, a number of readers noted the relevancy of meditation to the insight. Meditation, of course, isn’t something that changes our outer circumstances. It’s an inside job, so to speak. It can change our processing of stress by shifting our relationship to ourselves and to our own cognitive responses and emotional patterns. The result? We over time come to view our own reactions and feelings from a more grounded distance. We learn to observe our emotions instead of letting them run the show. We learn, in essence, to talk ourselves down from our own trees.

Meditation can seem like such a lofty thing, but it doesn’t need to. Anyone can do it, and everyone can benefit. So today I’d like to explore meditation; the health benefits it confers, how it may fit into an ancestral framework, and how to get started. Let’s jump right in.

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How to Manufacture the Best Night of Sleep in Your Life

Ah, sleep: is there anything quite like it? So easily discarded and discounted when nighttime attractions present themselves and yet so dearly missed and pined after the next morning. You’ve heard me say it enough, so I’ll keep it short. A good night’s sleep is the foundation for a healthy, happy, productive existence. Good sleep keeps us lean and thinking clearly. And without good, regular sleep, we just go through life in a scattered daze, everything foggy, slightly confusing, and less enjoyable. We’re not really ourselves if we haven’t slept. We desperately need a good night’s sleep, every night.

So how do you get one? What would a day of optimal sleep promotion look like?

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Chronotypes: Are You an Early Bird or a Night Owl?

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Longtime readers of this blog would likely say that the answer to that question depends on several factors: how much light exposure you get during the day, how much light exposure you get at night, how your cortisol fluctuates throughout the day, how much coffee you drink and when you drink it, or what time you go to sleep. The best part is that they’re all modifiable. By changing them, we can change how we feel in the morning, how productive we are at certain hours, and whether we need that extra cup of coffee in the afternoon. We are not at the mercy of powers unbeknownst to us. We hold the power.

But is that the whole story?

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Dear Mark: Grok’s Mobility, Too Much Walking, Fertile Eggs, and the Best Shoes for Babies

Hey folks, it’s time for another edition of Dear Mark. This time around we’ve got a four-parter. First up, I discuss why Grok probably didn’t need to foam roll with boulders or consult with a proto-Kstarr sporting a prominent brow ridge. Next, walking. It’s good, it’s vital, it’s low-stress, but is it possible to walk too much? Yes (but read on). After that, I delve into the extensive fertile egg literature. Er, maybe “extensive” isn’t quite accurate. Let’s go with “nearly non-existent.” And finally, I give the Primal pick for the best shoes for kids.

Let’s go:

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Weekend Link Love – Edition 268

The Primal Blueprint Transformation Seminar is coming to Michigan next month. Come out and meet fellow Grok stars at this 2 1/2 hour event.
Research of the Week
Eating full-fat and full-fat fermented dairy makes for better cardiovascular biomarkers than eating low-fat dairy in overweight adults.

Did Neandertals actually eat daily salads full of medicinal herbs and wild vegetation, or were they eating the fermented stomach contents of their herbivorous prey?
Interesting Blog Posts
It’s possible to get inventive and come up with ways to stay active and energized while stuck in an airport (terminal to terminal sprint intervals, anyone?) on your own, but this post giving 12 examples of airports with health and fitness bents for travelers sure makes it easy.

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Filipino Beef Kaldereta

Kaldereta is a Filipino stew with flavors influenced by three centuries of Spanish colonization in the Philippines. Tomato-based and traditionally made with goat or beef, potatoes, green olives and peppers, it’s a filling, comforting dish.

The really ingenious ingredient in Kaldereta is puréed chicken liver.

Stirred in at the end, chicken livers give the stew a thick, creamy texture and super-meaty flavor. This technique can be used with any of your favorite stew, chili or curry recipes. There are more sneaky ways to work offal into your meals, but this is arguably one the easiest and tastiest methods.

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