Month: October 2014
People are always looking for that one biomarker to rule them all, the number on a paper that absolutely determines your health, longevity, fitness level, sex appeal, happiness, and productivity. Throughout the years, it’s bounced around as researchers think they’ve found “IT” – from cholesterol to LDL to BMI to small dense LDL to CRP to blood pressure to pulse rate and back again – but we always come up wanting. The “one biomarker” never pans out because biology is complex and irreducible to a single number.
However, there is one biomarker showing promise as a broad indicator of overall health and fitness: heart rate variability (HRV), or the variation in the intervals between heart beats. If your heart beats like a metronome, with intervals of identical length between each pulse, you have low heart rate variability; this is “bad.” If your heart beats follow a more fractal pattern, with beat intervals of varying length, you have high heart rate variability; this is “good.”
For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got two questions. First, I handle one from Heidi, a full-time CrossFitter with low body fat, a love for carbs, and a desire to burn more fat than sugar. Find out whether her love of CrossFit is compatible with her desire to stick to a low carb Primal way of eating. Next, I cover a question from Sam, a 14-year old teen who wants to drop about 15 to 20 pounds. He’s currently eating Primally and following the P90x routine, but is there another, perhaps better way?
Let’s find out:
We keep getting registrations and questions about the Primal Blueprint Expert Certification. Thanks for the interest. It seems like lots of people – understandably – want to know exactly what is in the coursework before they take the plunge. If that’s you, be sure to check out last week’s podcast. It’s two and a half hours and covers the entire course in great detail. Even if you don’t end up taking the Cert, you will learn a ton about Primal living, the 8 Key Concepts and 5 Action Items – so give it a listen either on the blog or in iTunes.
Research of the Week
Meat chickens have really been hitting the bench hard lately.
Chorizo vinaigrette doesn’t have a lot of eye appeal, but the garlicky pork flavor is even better than bacon on a spinach salad. Add mushrooms, hard boiled egg and warm caramelized red onion to wilt the greens and the salad is plenty appetizing, even without a gorgeous dressing.
While it’s not a good idea to dress every salad with vinaigrette made from cured meat, this recipe only uses 2 ounces of high-quality salami and delivers a whole lot of flavor. If you’re spinach adverse, or vegetable adverse for that matter, maybe a drizzle of chorizo vinaigrette will help the veggies go down. Chorizo vinaigrette is also delicious over roasted vegetables, sautéed greens of any kind (and grilled seafood).
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!
My name is Hilton. I’m Brazilian and was born in 1976 to a family of heavy drinkers, heavy smokers, and heavy carb eaters (they were heavy meat eaters too, a point I can’t deny). Many of them were obese and loaded with diabetes and hypertension.
As a kid, one could say I had the body type of a frog: skinny arms and legs with a big belly—and my diet was probably the source of the problem. Brazilians’ main meal is lunch, and classic Brazilian lunch is rice, beans, meat, french fries and tomatoes, always sided by soft drinks or very sweet juices.
Among the most important truths I’ve come to believe over time is the need to be selective in life. Selective with relationships. Selective with experiences. Selective with purchases. Selective with information. Selective with messages (whether they come from outside sources or, on occasion, my own head). Like it or not, we have limited time and energy in a day – and in a life. While some people respond to this fact with frantic scurrying or a miserly parsing out of minutes, I’ve found the best approach for me is to winnow what I want or need to give attention to what’s most important. It’s part spirit of simplicity and part defense of sanity, particularly when you consider the deluge of bad news and marketing distraction that would snatch up every waking moment. Yet, it’s also more than that – Primally speaking. To maintain and enjoy my Primal lifestyle, I appreciate being able to live it with as much peace, space and clarity as I can. The more I can reduce the static – those extraneous and contradictory messages – regarding health matters, the more effortlessly and clearly I can tune into the programming I want to embrace in life. But what does that process look like, and how do I apply it? To be fair, what’s the difference between a selective and discerning perspective and just a closed mind? Let’s take this apart.