Month: February 2014
Announcement: I am about halfway through the writing of Primal Endurance, a breakthrough book that will change the way we look at endurance training and competition. The main emphasis is on low-carb and/or ketogenic diets and training strategies. I am looking for Success Stories that exemplify this approach. If you compete in any event and have had success training and racing on a low-carb or ketogenic diet, I would love to hear details and maybe even feature your story in the book. Please submit your story here. Now, on to yet another inspiring Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a fellow Mark’s Daily Apple reader. Thank you for reading!
I’ve been waiting for the right time to share my story and feel that now is that time. I didn’t feel ready to share until my health was up to a level which I think is primal-worthy. I wouldn’t say it’s perfect as I’m not a super-disciplined person, but I’m happy and full of energy!
I grew up in a typical South African home with high-fibre cereal for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, and meat, starch and vegetables for supper. At least I had a good dose of veggies and meat at supper. I was a mostly healthy child but began to struggle with health issues in my early twenties. I developed irritable bowel syndrome and hated the effects when I went to my day job. The doctors said they couldn’t do anything for me – it was all stress related. The symptoms didn’t go away and continued right into my thirties and through three pregnancies. As a young adult, I did try to live healthier by exercising regularly and eating more fruit and vegetables. I noticed that bread didn’t work well for me so I thought it was the yeast. I cut out yeast products and then mostly wheat but continued to eat rye, maize (corn) and lots of rice and potatoes. On top of that, I ignorantly continued to eat vegetable oils and low fat products.
I often get emails asking for my opinion about bodywork. While I’m not necessarily one to easily dismiss any treatment conventional wisdom would devalue, I also approach this arena with some healthy skepticism. The question becomes what’s effective and what’s simply “woo-woo,” to use a somehow unmatchable term. I’ll leave much of that specific discussion to you all today, but I did want to examine one modality that has more research behind it than most, even if that body of studies is still somewhat patchy. Most people have had a massage sometime in their lives. We certainly have our own opinions about its impact. Unless we were truly unlucky, most of us likely came away with a pretty good impression. Many of us have gone back many times since with perhaps a sizable financial and personal investment in the therapy – maybe even with a specific therapist. (It’s funny how people guard the availability of their favorite massage provider even as they clearly want to extol their endless virtues.) Our personal anecdotes aside, what does existing science say about the benefits of massage? For what conditions/circumstances is it especially effective? Can it benefit healthy as well as ill people? Let’s take a look.
Throw reality out the window for a second and entertain a hypothetical. Imagine you can only do one exercise for the rest of your life. If you had to choose a single exercise to do for the rest of your life, right here today, what would it be? It’s a popular question with a divergent set of answers depending on who’s being asked, and for the most part I see where everyone’s coming from.
If you ask the AARP, it’s the plank, which is easy on the joints, involves every body part, strengthens the core which can help prevent falls, is very safe for seniors (the intended audience of AARP), and you can do them anywhere without equipment. I have no fault with the plank.
It’s an exciting time to be alive. I remember reading Douglas Adams and trying to imagine what it’d be like to have all the universe’s knowledge in the palm of your hand – and now almost everyone carries a supercomputer around in their pocket that puts the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to shame. Robotics is getting scarily lifelike, the Singularity draws near if you ask the right people, and Google’s self-driving cars should hit the market in the next decade. Sure, we don’t have hoverboards, flying cars, or android bounty hunters yet, but we’re doing all right. I fully expect to reside inside a VR simulacrum of my design before 2030.
You know what jazzes me up the most, though? The incredible future of weight loss technology. Being an industry “insider,” if you will, I’m privy to all the “interesting” stuff coming down the pipeline. And let me tell you: it will blow your mind. Allow me to give a few hints at what’s coming in the next 10-15 years. Three of them are fake, five are real. Can you guess which is which?
For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I discuss the connection – if one even exists – between cruciferous vegetables (and their goitrogens) and thyroid function. A theoretical interaction exists, but should this impact your decision to eat steamed broccoli? Next, I explain why I recommend one, maybe two days of sprinting a week, in contrast to the exercise studies that often use 3 or 4 days/week sprinting programs to great success. Then, I give a few tips for a person wondering about getting sufficient sources of Primal protein while on an Orthodox Lent fast. And finally, I explore the potential health effects of saunas.
Episode #7 of The Primal Blueprint Podcast is now live. In it I discuss the Primal Blueprint fitness paradigm – what it is, how to integrate it. Check it out and let me know what you think.
Speaking of the podcast, soon I’ll be answering your questions in podcasts. Click the blue “Submit a Question” button in the sidebar to leave me a voicemail.
If you’re convenient to Newark, Delaware, don’t miss the Primal Blueprint Seminar coming to your area on Feb. 27.
Research of the Week
Among patients with IBS, eating bread, pasta, and crackers made from ancient kamut wheat resulted in lower inflammatory markers and less bloating, fatigue, and stomach pain than eating the same foods made with modern wheat. Is ancient wheat healthy? Or just better than modern wheat?