Month: July 2014

The Case for Structure (and 6 Tactics That Can Come in Handy)

One of the things I love most about the Primal Blueprint is its malleability. It’s not a hard-nosed agenda or nauseating treatise of commandments. It’s a loose set of suggestions that together take a general and dynamic shape a person can then apply in whatever way works for his or her life. The fact is, I’m a casual, go with the flow kind of person. Living in California all these decades helps that. Frankly, I chafe against too many rules. I don’t like to have my choices confined into a ready-made box of someone else’s design. I set up the PB with that point very much in mind. (If I don’t like to follow other people’s edicts, why would I expect others to embrace mine?) In understanding all this about myself, however, I also get that not everyone takes the same casual, free flowing approach to health. Some people appreciate structure. They seek it out or even depend on it, in fact. It’s never about what’s right or wrong in these endeavors. One approach isn’t better than another. It’s simply a matter of this does or doesn’t work for me.

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PUFA-rama: The Rise of Vegetable Oils

Death by Food Pyramid has received almost nothing but 5-star reviews since Primal Blueprint Publishing released it at the end of last year. It’s undoubtedly a hit within the community, and I think it’s an important read because it gives you, the consumer, the eater of food, the arbiter of what goes in your mouth, the tools to make the right choices and bypass the middlemen when it comes to interpreting science. Author Denise Minger and I want everyone to have a chance to read this book, so today we’re participating in a special promotion organized by Buck Books. Until midnight tonight you can get a Kindle copy of Death by Food Pyramid for just 99 cents! Today’s Buck Books offer has several other titles for just 99 cents that might interest you as well, including Cholesterol Clarity by Jimmy Moore, and Eat the Yolks by Liz Wolfe. You can view them all here. Enjoy the excerpt from chapter 9 of Death by Food Pyramid below, and grab your copy while this limited-time offer lasts. Grok on!

The year was 1837, and the place was Cincinnati—the nation’s hub for all things pig. With its prime location, explosion of tanneries and slaughterhouses, and herds of swine tottering through the streets, the city had earned the nickname “Porkopolis,” shipping pork galore down river and feeding mouths near and far. And for two of the city’s accidental transplants—William Procter and James Gamble—that meant a steady supply of their business’s most precious commodity: lard.

But cooking with it was the last thing on the men’s minds. Instead, the rendered fat was the chief ingredient for their candles and soaps.

That the men had met at all—much less launched the now-largest consumer goods company in the world—was somewhat serendipitous. Procter, an English candle maker, had been voyaging to the great American West when his first wife died of cholera—cutting short his travels and leaving him stuck in Cincinnati. Gamble, an Irish soap maker, had been Illinois-bound when unexpected illness plopped him in the Queen City as well. Cupid must’ve seen a prime opportunity for meddling, because the men ended up falling in love with two Cincinnati women who just happened to be sisters. Marriage ensued, and with it came their new father-in-law’s flash of insight that the men, who were already competing for the same materials for their soap and candle-making pursuits, ought to become business partners.

And thus was born Procter and Gamble—or P&G, as we know it today.

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The Evidence Continues to Mount Against Statins

Although statins get a lot of flak in the Primal health community, you have to hand it to them. They may not cure cancer, or single-handedly save the economy and bring back all the jobs, or render entire populations totally immune to cardiovascular disease, but they do exactly what they’re meant to do: lower cholesterol. And they’re very good at what they do. You want lower LDL without changing what you eat or how much you exercise, or trying that crazy meditation stuff? Take a statin. Do you want to hit the target lipid numbers to lower your insurance premium? Take a statin.

Except that statins lower cholesterol by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase, a crucial enzyme located upstream on the cholesterol synthesis pathway. If that were all HMG-CoA reductase did for us, that’s one thing. At least we’d know what we were getting ourselves into when we filled the prescription. But the “cholesterol pathway” isn’t isolated. Many other things happen along and branch off from the same pathway.

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Dear Mark: Constantly Falling Off the Primal Wagon, Frozen Produce, and A Few More Carbs

For today’s Dear Mark, I answer three questions from readers. First, I give some advice to a reader with a knack for doing a week or two strict Primal and then falling promptly off the wagon into a pile of donuts. How can she make it stick – or should she? Next, I extoll the merits of freezing your freshly homegrown produce rather than rely on under-ripe fruits and vegetables from half a world away. Finally, I discuss what to do when you feel your performance in the gym diminishing.

Let’s go:

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Weekend Link Love – Edition 306

Episode #29 of The Primal Blueprint Podcast is now live. It’s a continuation of my essay on chronic cardio from last week, which was all about what not to do for cardio. This week, Brad and I discuss all the things you should do when putting together a cardio regimen. If you have any ideas for future podcasts, please let us know by using the blue “Submit a Question” button in the sidebar!

A team of researchers wants to conduct a study pitting the paleo diet against the diet recommended by the American Diabetes Association. If you’re interested in discovering which diet works best for treating PCOS, please contribute a few bucks a to the crowdfunding campaign.

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Lamb Meatballs in Coconut Fenugreek Sauce

Dried fenugreek is a subtle but intriguing herb, one that adds unique flavor to sauces, meat, seafood, eggs and cooked vegetables. Slightly sweet, herbal and earthy with pleasant aromatics, it’s like adding a gentle hint of curry powder to whatever you make.

Less intense than curry powder and also less intense than fenugreek seeds or fresh fenugreek leaves, which can easily overwhelm a dish, dried fenugreek can be used in the kitchen just like any other type of dried herb. The flavor pairs especially well with other favorite herbs and spices like cumin, coriander, cardamom, fennel seeds and turmeric.

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