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Weekly Link Love — Edition 104

Research of the Week
How did the lockdowns work?

Scientists discover a new gland.

Hominids in a region of Kenya used the same basic stone-age axes and other tools without changing them for around 700,000 years.

Beet juice improves exercise tolerance.

Beet juice improves hemoglobin concentration.

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Ask A Health Coach: How’s Your Relationship with Food?

Hi folks, today we’re back for another edition of Ask a Health Coach! Erin is here sharing her strategies for making good health a priority during the pandemic, plus what to do when you feel like you’re putting in a lot of effort without a lot of reward and what she eats in a typical day. Got more questions? Keep them coming in the Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook Group or in the comments below. Annie asked: “I love the way I feel when I eat clean, but meal prepping always takes a backseat to all the other things I need to do, especially now that I’m working, parenting, and homeschooling. How do I carve out time to eat healthier?” You’re not alone in feeling the pressure of doing it all. With all of our waking hours being consumed by work and family responsibilities, making time for the non-essentials like exercise and eating well (which I would argue are essential), seems nearly impossible. At first glance, the issue is pretty straightforward, right? There’s not enough time. There are only 24 hours in a day anyway. But here’s the deal, people who feel like they have the least amount of free time, the ones who feel the most overworked, are actually doing it to themselves. In this study, researchers had 7,000 participants estimate how much time was needed to accommodate their basic needs compared to how much free time they had in their schedules. It turns out that their time constraints were an illusion. The pressure of what we have time for and what we don’t has more to do with the things we assign value to rather than how many hours there are in a day. That being said, everything we do in life is a choice – what we eat, say, and do, where we spend our energy and our money – they’re all choices. And, as you might guess, there are consequences of those choices. There’s no doubt that your life is busier than ever right now. You’ve probably never worn more hats in your life, but instead of looking at food as an afterthought, or telling yourself you “don’t have the time,” I suggest you try giving it a little more attention. Here’s why. If you choose not to make meal prepping a priority (or at least keeping healthy food on hand), the consequences might be that you find yourself grabbing snacks throughout the day, ordering less-than-healthy takeout, or not eating enough quality food, which can bring on an afterhours binge. And the consequences of those actions might mean you’re feeling foggy and fatigued day after day, making it even more difficult to do all the things you need to do. Keep in mind, these are just consequences of your choices. Also, you mention that you love the way you feel when you eat clean, so, you already know it’s worth it to take good care of yourself. You know how it feels when you can’t stop snacking … Continue reading “Ask A Health Coach: How’s Your Relationship with Food?”

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The Definitive Guide to the Carnivore Diet

By far the most exciting health trend to hit the scene in the last few years is the Carnivore Diet. Tens of thousands of people are adopting it. Passionate online communities devoted to discussing and extolling the virtues of exclusive meat-eating have sprung up. And while in raw numbers it isn’t as big as keto, “carnivore diet” is running neck and neck with “vegan diet” on Google Trends for the past year. It’s one I’ve been watching for a long time.

Over ten years ago, I addressed the idea of a zero-carb carnivorous diet right here on this blog.

A few years ago, I went over the advantages and shortcomings of the carnivore diet and even gave my suggestions for making it work better.

Earlier this year, I explored the notion of a seafood-based carnivorous diet.

Today, I’m going to pull it all together and give an overview—a definitive guide, if you will.

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Benefits of Cumin

What do you know about cumin? Cumin seeds are pungent, potent little things with the ability to significantly change the trajectory of a dish. They are featured prominently in Mexican, Mediterranean, Indian, Middle Eastern, and certain Chinese cuisines.

Back in the Middle Ages, cumin was one of the most popular – and most accessible – condiments for the spice-crazy Europeans, and stories tell of soldiers going off to war with loaves of cumin bread in their satchels for good luck. Cumin originated in the Mediterranean, and it was used extensively by the Greeks, the Romans, the Egyptians, the Persians, and just about everyone in that region.
Cumin vs. Caraway
It’s not a good idea to substitute cumin for caraway, or vice versa. They are somewhat similar in appearance, but vastly different in taste. Cumin gives Mexican and Middle Eastern recipes their signature aroma, whereas caraway is most common in Eastern European dishes. Cumin seeds are larger than caraway seeds, and cumin is a more warming spice than caraway.

Cumin is often confused with caraway, which is actually called “cumin” in multiple European languages.

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Dear Mark: What’s With The Bean Protocol?

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering a reader question about beans. But it’s not just about beans. It’s about something called the Bean Protocol, a rather new dietary approach that many of my readers have expressed interest in. The Bean Protocol is supposed to improve the liver’s ability to clear out toxins, thereby preventing them from recirculating throughout the body in perpetuity. Today, I’m going to discuss where it fits in a Primal eating plan. Let’s go: Hi Mark, Have you heard about this “Bean Protocol”? From what I can tell people are eating tons of beans and getting great results. It’s supposed to remove toxins from the liver or something else that only beans can do. What do you think? Thanks, Matt I did some digging around. I read the Bean Protocol coverage over at PaleOMG, where Juli has been following the protocol for several months now and seeing great results. There’s a Bean Protocol E-course that I did not sign up for, but I think I have a decent handle on the topic. How to Do the Bean Protocol Here’s the gist: No caffeine No sugar No dairy No gluten No processed food No factory-farmed meats; no fatty meats Eat 6-8 half-cup servings of beans or lentils a day. Fill the rest of the food with lean meat, leafy green vegetables, alliums (onion, garlic, leek, etc), and cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower). What’s Supposed to Happen on the Bean Protocol The soluble and insoluble fiber in the beans binds to toxins which the body can then flush out more easily. Without the fiber from the beans, your body can’t process and excrete the toxins, so they simply recirculate, stay in the body, and sometimes express themselves in the form of acne and other diseases. Adherents credit the bean protocol for fixing longstanding issues like acne, Crohn’s, and many other conditions. Is this true? Is there any evidence of this in the scientific literature? Well, there isn’t much direct evidence for beans improving liver clearance of toxins, but there is circumstantial evidence. For one, prebiotic fiber is good for liver health. There are plenty of studies to support this. Synbiotics (a combination of probiotics and prebiotics) and BCAAs taken together improve hepatic encephalopathy, a feature of liver failure where the liver fails to detoxify excess ammonia. However, it does not do so directly. The fiber isn’t necessarily “binding” to the lead and excreting it. Instead, it does so by increasing levels of lead-binding gut bacteria which in turn bind and excrete it, shoring up the gut lining so that lead can’t make it into circulation, increasing bile acid flow, and increasing the utilization of healthy essential metals (like zinc and iron). The bacteria are essential for the effect; pre-treatment with antibiotics abolishes the benefits. So we can’t say for sure that the fiber itself is “binding” to the toxins. Allium, Inulin The Bean Protocol is also rich in allium vegetables like garlic and onions, another source of … Continue reading “Dear Mark: What’s With The Bean Protocol?”

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Creamy Golden Milk Turmeric Tea Recipe

To call this beverage tea might be a little misleading. “Creamy Mug of Cozy, Warming Deliciousness” is more accurate. It just plain feels good to drink this lightly sweet, vibrant blend of heated almond (or coconut) milk, turmeric, ginger, cayenne and honey. Turmeric tea will perk you up in the morning, calm you down at night and soothe sniffles and sore throats. It’s also a really pleasant way to end a meal.

At first glance, the ingredients might not sound like a combination you’d want to drink. Something magical happens in the mug, though, and the result is richer than regular tea, less intense than coffee and oddly delicious. Turmeric is the dominant flavor and admittedly, one that takes a little getting used to. Although not spicy itself, turmeric’s slightly bitter, earthy flavor is the perfect backdrop for other spices, which is why it’s a main ingredient in curry powder. The ginger and cayenne in this tea aren’t overwhelming because they’re floating in creamy, turmeric-infused milk that’s been lightly sweetened.

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