Month: November 2016
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. In fact, I have a contest going right now. So if you have a story to share, no matter how big or how small, you’ll be in the running to win a big prize. Read more here.
Dear Mark, This letter has been a long time coming. Like many of your readers, I had followed the standard American diet rather thoughtlessly, though I did experiment some with vegetarianism. I loved baking my own bread and even bought and ground my own flour. But though I was rather a skinny teen, I gradually ballooned up. And I do mean balloon.
I was so uncomfortable, nothing fit, and all my weight was around my stomach and my face. I knew I couldn’t go on like that. When I turned 40, we decided to get serious about our health and eating. My wife had also gained a lot of weight. We discovered Atkins, lost some and then fell off the wagon and added more back on. We tried again. This time my wife lost a ton, and so did I. I dropped back to about 155 or so.
In yesterday’s post, “My 7 Favorite Practices for Engineering the Good Life,” I included a curveball of sorts—right at the end. Chase down fear.
While all seven have been game changers, that one claims the pinnacle. The fact is, it’s the hardest one to embrace time and again, but it’s never ceased to move my life forward in very clear, tangible ways. Still, every time I have to talk myself through the same process.… How can I possibly take on something this substantial? What am I thinking? That one’s just too big, too complicated, too ambitious. This time, surely, you’ve overstretched, Sisson.
I’ve never strayed from my basic assertion that the Primal Blueprint is about attaining hedonism congruent with good health. So, when I talk about engineering the good life, I’m not sacrificing health, or wellness, or fitness. I reject the assumption that enjoying oneself implies degrading one’s health. That’s often true, but it doesn’t have to be.
Engineering the good life often requires that you sacrifice immediate pleasures for lasting ones.
Engineering the good life is about removing negative inputs as much as it is about adding positive ones. If a negative input confers momentary pleasure, removing it will remove some pleasure but add more.
Three years ago, my pal Gabi Lewis—founder of Exo, who make the best cricket protein bars on the planet—made a compelling case for eating more insects. Today, I’ll build on these arguments and, based on new evidence, offer even more reasons you should consider incorporating edible insects into your diet.
Though few people reading this consider insects anything but a novelty, for many human cultures they were (and are) staple foods. Humans have been eating insects for millions of years, starting with our distant ancestors and continuing through the present day.
For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions from readers. First, did I mess up by not mentioning meditation in the neuroplasticity post? Yes, and you’ll find out more below. Next, what are my thoughts on taking astragalus for fighting off colds and flus? Does it work? And finally, does red light therapy have the potential to reduce chronic pain? Does it do anything else?
I’m sorry that meditation is not mentioned, but magic mushrooms are. Meditation increases white matter in the brain (which influences efficiency of electrical signals in brain), and lessens shrinkage due to age. Meditation also has a positive influence on the preservation of telomere length and telomerase activity (when these shorten, we experience adverse aging effects). I would much rather do it the natural way (via meditation) than taking a chance with hallucinogens.
Thanks for your comment, Susan. This is why I love my readers. They call me out.
Everything you say is true. Meditation is a powerful trigger for neuroplasticity.
Mindfulness meditation can undo stress-induced changes to connectivity in the amygdala (the “fear” center).
Experienced meditators show enhanced neural plasticity and even structural changes to the brain (both gray and white matter).
Like seemingly everything else out there, the relationship between meditation history and neuroplasticity follows a U-shaped curve. Beginners show less neuroplasticity activation than more experienced meditators, who show more activation than advanced meditators. How can this be?
Research of the Week
Your job may be killing you.
Here’s a weird promoter of neuroplasticity I didn’t see coming: allergies.
Replacing diet soda with water sped up weight loss in obese women.
The world of virtual eating (both taste and texture) is upon us. Don’t mind the facial electrodes.
New Primal Blueprint Podcasts
Episode 141: Aaron Alexander: Host Elle Russ chats with Aaron Alexander, who wears many hats: personal trainer, connective tissue specialist, Rolfer, licensed manual therapist. If you’re interested in the interplays between mind, body and movement, listen to this podcast.
Each week, select Mark’s Daily Apple blog posts are prepared as Primal Blueprint Podcasts. Need to catch up on reading, but don’t have the time? Prefer to listen to articles while on the go? Check out the new blog post podcasts below, and subscribe to the Primal Blueprint Podcast here so you never miss an episode.
Embodiment for Emotional Health: Is Mindful Movement a Primal Key?
10 Nutrient Optimizing Tips for the Primal Enthusiast
Why the Blood-Brain Barrier is So Critical (and How to Maintain It)