Month: October 2014

“Matambre” Rolled Flank Steak

“Matambre” loosely translates to “kill hunger” and that’s exactly what this meal of meat and veggies rolled into one will do.

Traditional fillings for this South American dish include garlic, spinach, bell pepper, carrots, olives, hardboiled eggs and fresh herbs. But you can, and should, stuff whatever you like inside the rolled and sliced steak.

Matambre is usually cooked on a grill or simmered in wine and broth for more than an hour, but this recipe takes a shortcut by simply searing and then roasting the meat for 30 minutes in the oven. Using this method, the meat is cooked to medium-rare and the veggies inside maintain some of their crispness.

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Skeptical Journalist Turned Primal Advocate

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!

A few weeks ago, I had a doctor appointment with a new primary care physician. As the nurse took my blood pressure, he asked a series of questions, marking off my answers on his clipboard. Do you exercise regularly? Yes. Do you get adequate sleep? Yes. Are you on a diet? I paused. If you want to call it that, sure. It’s called paleo. He looked up quizzically. You know, what people ate before agriculture. Before diabetes. Before Monsanto. Before sunscreen. It’s not really a diet—it’s just people food.

I didn’t always think this way.

During my freshman year of college, after I had already packed on 15 pounds, I decided vegetarianism sounded sexy. I had no idea what I was doing, but that didn’t stop me. It was more of an identity than anything, which made it much easier to sneak a grilled steak and charred peppers one evening while working as a camp counselor over the summer. It was one of the best meals of my life. That was until I joined some other counselors for a mountain biking trek over Lake Tahoe. After hours gasping for air at that elevation, we stripped to our underwear and bathed in the lake, dressed for dinner and collapsed into a booth overlooking the water. I ordered a burger. It must have weighed a pound. It was transcendent.

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How to Accept Your Imperfections

Some weeks ago in a Dear Mark column, the issues of unwanted weight, arm fat and aesthetic frustration were front and center. While people’s central reasons for going Primal vary, I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t enjoy looking slimmer and fitter. While some of us are unapologetically in it for the vanity spoils (not that there’s anything wrong with that), others of us might focus on health but secretly delight at the bonuses we see reflected in the mirror each day. Barring unaddressed hormonal issues and perhaps certain medical conditions, living Primally will help you lose fat, build muscle and look more vibrant. With time (and, for some folks, some tweaking), it will help you feel and look like a thriving version of yourself – your best, most awesome self. (We, of course, can’t help but end every week by showcasing all that awesomeness.) As much as we collectively and theoretically cheer this message, at times some of us might find ourselves privately disappointed that certain traits or patterns didn’t disappear with the added fat. As happy as we are to be lighter and fitter, now there’s no extra weight or low muscle tone to blame for certain features that maybe have made us insecure or just stuck in our craw for years. In all fairness, what do we do with these feelings? How do finally make peace with our inevitable imperfections?

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Are Elite Athletes Inadvertently Training Like Grok?

Modern elite athletes have different goals than our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Their training loads are higher and their physical activity is contrived and somewhat artificial. But for the most part, elite athletes are working with the same metabolic and neuromuscular machinery as Grok. The activities and movement patterns that benefited and shaped the evolution and performance of our hunter-gatherer ancestors should thus prove useful for contemporary humans seeking optimal physical performance. According to a recent paper (PDF), many top athletes have settled upon the hunter-gatherer fitness modality as optimal for performance. Even highly specialized athletes without much room in their routine for generalizing – like marathon runners who have to be able to log insane mileage at high intensities above all else – are incorporating aspects of paleolithic fitness to improve their training. These athletes and their coaches aren’t combing the anthropological records to devise their programs; they’re inadvertently arriving at similar conclusions because that’s where the latest exercise science points.

What movement and training patterns am I talking about, exactly?

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Are Video Games Good or Bad for Us?

Non-gamers tend to take a dim view of video games and their fans, assuming they’re all a bunch of sweaty man-children clutching liter bottles of Mountain Dew between Cheeto-dusted fingers and screaming racist obscenities that diffuse, muffled, through thick neckbeard thatches into their headsets at online opponents. And a few weeks ago, even I referenced the stereotypical World of Warcraft addict’s set-up of pee bottles and poop buckets. But the latest statistics indicate that the popular stereotype isn’t very representative of most gamers. In fact, if you’re an American, you’re more likely to be a gamer than not:

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Dear Mark: Eggs and Colon Cancer; Softened Water and Health

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got a two-parter. First up is a question about a sensitive subject: the collective Primal love of all things egg. They form the backbone of millions of breakfasts across the ancestral health community on a daily basis, but David wonders if they might be contributing to colorectal carcinogenesis. There are a few studies that appear to suggest a connection; should we worry? After that, I discuss the effects of softened water on human health. Is it safe? Is it healthy? Read on to find out.

Let’s go:

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