Month: July 2020

Weekly Link Love — Edition 90

Research of the Week
Animal protein beats plant protein for seniors who want to retain strength and daily functionality.

Workouts make music sound better.

Mineral water rich in magnesium sulfate can help against constipation.

Kids and teens with depression should definitely be exercising.

Low-dose alcohol is beneficial for mice.

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What Is Sarcopenia and How Can You Defeat It?

When most people worry about getting old, they focus on the obvious degenerative diseases like diabetes and cancer and Alzheimer’s or the catastrophic health emergencies that can occur, like strokes or heart attacks. They think about the melange of medicines they might have to take, the panicked rush to the ER in the dead of night, the slow but unmistakable descent into painful oblivion. But one of the deadliest health conditions afflicting older adults is also one of the most silent and unknown: sarcopenia, or the degeneration and loss of muscle mass and strength. People just don’t think about losing muscle mass and strength as they get older. If they do, they assume it’s just part of the aging process. They figure it’s unavoidable, because, after all, everyone around them just gets weaker and more decrepit as they age. It’s one of those “inevitabilities” that you “just have to accept.” Screw that. Muscle loss is not your destiny. You don’t have to sit there and take it. In fact, sitting there and taking it is the single best way to get sarcopenia; standing up and fighting is the single best way to avoid it. Plus, taking the necessary steps to mitigate or even prevent sarcopenia will help prevent all those other age-related maladies I mentioned in the opening paragraph. Instantly download your Quick Start Guide to a Healthy Gut Health Problems Related to Muscle Atrophy, or Muscle Loss Sarcopenia the specific condition is linked to a number of poor health outcomes: 3.5x higher risk of mortality 3x higher risk of functional decline Greater risk of falls Higher chance of hospitalization Muscle itself is a powerful endocrine organ, emitting hormonal messages that regulate metabolism, inflammation, and overall function. Muscle also provides a metabolic reservoir for support and recovery from physical trauma—injuries, wounds, damage to our tissues. When muscle mass drops to extremely low levels, it means you’re not only more likely to be hospitalized, you’re more likely to never make it out of that hospital bed. Worse still, sarcopenia isn’t just loss of muscle: It’s degradation of the muscle tissue. It’s conversion from fast-twitch Type 2 muscle fibers that can handle heavy loads and high intensity to slow-twitch Type 1 muscle fibers that can only handle lighter loads and lower intensities. It’s the loss of motor units at the muscle itself, forcing the few remaining motor units to pick up the slack and extending recovery times. It’s the loss of cardiac strength, which impairs cardiovascular function and lowers VO2max. It’s the impairment of tendon function, reducing strength and mobility and increasing the risk of injury. Sarcopenia Definition The European Working Group diagnoses sarcopenia if you have two of three conditions: Low muscle mass Low muscle strength Poor physical performance (walking speed, for example) Even if you don’t have full-blown sarcopenia, you may have “pre-sarcopenia.” Millions of people are walking around (or, rather, shuffling around) with lower-than-ideal muscle mass and strength. Today’s post applies to them, too. So whether you’re looking at the … Continue reading “What Is Sarcopenia and How Can You Defeat It?”

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3 Common Skin Conditions and What to Do about Them

“Love the skin you’re in,” so the saying goes. Sometimes that’s easier said than done. Skin conditions, ranging from mildly irritating to painfully debilitating, are ubiquitous nowadays. Even mild-to-moderate symptoms can take a serious physical and emotional toll.

I started thinking about skin the other day after a bout of nostalgia had me revisiting old reader success stories. Going through the archives, I was reminded how many readers reported that their acne, psoriasis, eczema, and other skin conditions were “miraculously” resolved after going Primal.

I’m not surprised. I’ve always believed that there is a deep connection between skin health, gut health, and inflammation. The Primal Blueprint is designed to support a diverse, well-balanced microbiome, reduce chronic inflammation, and provide epigenetic signals that optimize health. It makes sense that clearer skin would be one of the benefits.

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Sugar-free Strawberry Pink Drink (with Violet Drink Variation)

We’re pushing the peak of summer heat, which means refreshing beverages are an all day, every day requirement. This strawberry pink drink is for those times you want something chilled, creamy, and softly sweet.

We make ours with collagen, which is something your body needs anyway. No shame in getting hooked on this pink drink, because once the effects of collagen kick in, you may see changes in your skin, hair, and nails that keep you going back for more.

It’s just as easy to make as it is refreshing! If you want to make a berry violet drink instead, use blackberries instead of strawberries and hibiscus tea instead of water.

Enjoy!
Refreshing Strawberry Pink Drink Recipe
Serves: 1

Time in the kitchen: 8 minutes

Ingredients

¾ c coconut or almond milk
¾ c + 2 Tbsp. water
½ c chopped strawberries + ¼ c sliced strawberries
2 scoops Primal Kitchen® Collagen Quench Triple Berry Drink Mix
1 tsp. granulated sweetener, optional
ice

Directions
First, create the stewed strawberries for the drink. In a small saucepan, heat the chopped strawberries, 2 tbsp. water and granulated sweetener over medium heat.

Once they begin bubbling, reduce the heat to medium low and stir for 3-5 minutes, or until the strawberries begin to soften and break down. Set the strawberries aside.

In a jar, mix together the remaining water and Collagen Quench Triple Berry Drink Mix. Shake up until foamy.

Mix together the berry drink mix with the stewed strawberries and blend in a blender or with an immersion blender. Pour in the milk and blend again for a few seconds.

Pour the mixture over ice and garnish with sliced strawberries.

Nutrition Info (serves 1):
Made with almond milk:

Calories: 126
Fat: 3g
Total Carbs: 15g
Net Carbs: 11g
Protein: 11g

Made with full-fat coconut milk:

Calories: 351
Fat: 26g
Total Carbs: 16g
Net Carbs: 13g
Protein: 12g

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Weekly Link Love — Edition 89

Research of the Week
National handgrip score predicts Olympic medal tally.

Got super high cholesterol? Might be the carbs.

An EVOO-based high-fat diet causes a good kind of gut dysbiosis that lowers the risk of colon cancer.

How time has passed for people during the pandemic: for half it sped up, for half it slowed.

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5 Reasons You Can’t Quit Sugar

Let me guess. You’ve been on keto for 5-6 months and enthusiastically thinking this is how you’ll finally wrangle your sugar cravings into submission! You’re loading up on healthy fats, avoiding grains, and ditching highly processed, high-carb foods. Yet there’s that incessant nagging. You know, the one that tells you that life is too short not to indulge in that giant Costco muffin or the more paleo-friendly version, another square (or three) of dark chocolate. For a lot of people, including my own clients, moving toward a fat- or protein-dominant diet does the trick. You may have seen this article that Mark wrote earlier this year where he says “it takes two to three days of very-low-carb eating for the liver to start pumping out ketones” and that cravings will “decrease noticeably within three to ten days.” Research backs it up too, concluding that cravings are significantly reduced almost immediately as people get into ketosis. Things like sleep deprivation, chronic stress, and gut dysbiosis are also shown to cause cravings for a variety of physiological reasons. But let’s say you’re getting a solid 8-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep, your stress levels are under control, your gut microbiome is balanced — and you’re still struggling with cravings. Then what? Why Can’t I Quit Sugar? Cravings are often more psychological than they are physiological. Maybe you’ve noticed that too. Maybe you’ve noticed that you start to have cravings any time you have a stressful day or feel anxious or deprived or smell something that reminds you of your favorite snickerdoodle cookie from childhood. In my experience, these are the top 5 emotionally driven reasons you might still be struggling with sugar cravings: 1. Your Diet is Too Restrictive Eliminating certain foods and food-like items like grains, sugar, and refined carbohydrates is a good thing in general. But being too restrictive — or perceiving how you’re eating as a diet can end up backfiring. In fact, this study shows a direct correlation between food restriction and cravings. Researchers looked at food cravings records of 52 women dieting to lose weight and 37 non-dieters and found that the dieters experienced significantly more food cravings, especially for sugary foods like chocolate. 2. Emotional Association Cravings are tied to the brain’s memory center. From celebrating birthdays and holidays with sugary desserts to being rewarded with a treat for good grades, sugar has always been along for the ride. So, it’s no surprise that when you go to a party or achieve a goal, or even feel down, your sugar cravings might feel irresistible. Not to mention the fact that your hippocampus, caudate, and insula (areas of the brain activated by cravings) are also in charge of housing your memories and experiences. 3. State of Mental Health Australian researchers conducted a study on pandemic-related depression, stress, anxiety, and well-being and found that 79% of the participants were struggling with mental health issues due to COVID-19. If you’ve been dealing with a new routine, financial uncertainty, isolation, or … Continue reading “5 Reasons You Can’t Quit Sugar”

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