Month: November 2015
I’m mostly joking with the title. Though, considering how much I’ve written on this topic since starting this blog way back in 2006, it’s probably not too far off. And it’s not just me. Endurance training has been getting the snot beaten out of it in recent years. A variety of media outlets, TED talks, other blogs, observational research and clinical trials have all sounded the alarm about the dangers of excessive chronic cardio.
A new string of studies has found evidence of higher arterial plaque levels in the most active endurance athletes. This is becoming a trend. While endurance athletes tend to have more of the calcified kind of plaque, which is more stable and theoretically less prone to dangerous ruptures than less-calcified plaque, it remains worrying. I’ve spoken in the past about the proclivity toward heart problems found in endurance athletes. I know many former peers with atherosclerosis, cardiac arrhythmias, and other heart troubles.
Iron has an unequivocally positive reputation among the general public. After all, pregnant women use it to construct tiny humans, tiny humans use it to become slightly larger, more functional humans, and our cells require it to grow. And in many developing countries, iron deficiency is a real issue. Too little iron can have disastrous effects on cognition, growth, and overall physical robustness. Even adult women who aren’t building tiny humans inside their wombs may run low on iron due to menstrual cycle blood loss. Ask the average person and you’ll hear “the more iron, the better.” Consequently, many countries mandate iron fortification of wheat flour; in the US, we fortify pretty much everything with the stuff because it’s just so, so good for us. Is it true, though?
For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering two reader questions. The first comes from reader Larisa. She is about to give birth, has been hearing the “wake your newborn every 2 hours to feed” recommendation, and wonders how realistic, evolutionarily-congruent, and healthy that will be for new parents desperate for sleep. I offer a few loose recommendations that hopefully make her feel better about what’s about to descend upon her life. Second, is there such a thing as too much low-level activity? Mariel walks 10+ miles a day, strength trains, and stands when she gets tired of walking. Her coworkers think she’s crazy. What do I think? Find out below.
Research of the Week
Leg strength at baseline was the best predictor of cognitive function over ten years in older women. Aware of the huge possibility for confounds, the researchers even used twins to eliminate genetic explanations.
Cooking with vegetable oils is indeed really, really bad for you. I swear I’ve heard that somewhere before.
Exercising before, but not after breakfast increases 24-hour fat oxidation.
Sweet potatoes have a lot going for them as a breakfast potato of choice. Shredded into hash browns, they make a bigger flavor statement than regular old potato hash browns, and the sweetness is a perfect contrast with salty bacon and eggs.
Sweet potatoes are also strong sources of beta-carotene, manganese, and copper and safe sources of starch.
Sure, sweet potato hash browns can be cooked in a skillet. But if you have a waffle iron in the back of the cupboard that’s not being used for waffles any more, then pull it out. A waffle iron quickly and easily turns shredded sweet potatoes (and regular potatoes) into hash browns. The strings of sweet potato are both tender and crispy, with sweet, buttery flavor. Pile them high on plate and they’ll fly off the breakfast table (and the dinner table, too).
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!
I wanted to share with you and your readers my love of the activity known as AcroYoga, or sometimes Acrobatic Partner Yoga. I think of it as the missing piece that really brought my primal lifestyle full circle and improved my life!
A little bit of background about me: I’m 26 years old and I’ve been following PB for about four years. I first found MDA when my best friend, now partner, Alex shared a recipe from the site. I started reading and couldn’t stop. Before going primal, I’d always been pretty healthy and in shape, but I was plagued by body image issues, and was constantly counting calories and punishing myself for eating too much. Primal life changed that for me. I learned the difference between calories and nutrition, and started to feel good about the food I ate. I went strictly Primal for a while before I found the healthy balance that worked best for my metabolism. I really feel like I’m living my best life now!