Success Story Update: Six Million Steps Later

Hello, readers! Scott sent in his first success story five years ago. A lot has happened since then, so he’s back with an incredible update. Join me in congratulating Scott and wishing him well!

Now I have a request for you: I consider it a true privilege to publish these real life stories, and I need YOURS to keep this feature going. If you would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. Your journey can inspire others to take those first steps!

Five years ago, I wrote a success story about living the primal lifestyle to improve my health. After going Primal, I discovered I had advanced stage-four cancer. When I wrote the story, my cancer was in remission, and I had no evidence of disease. But cancer is a sneaky foe, and it didn’t give up as easily as I had hoped.

Cancer reoccurred in my liver two more times, and it spread to my adrenal glands, more lymph nodes, and my lungs. My original prognosis was that I had about a 7% chance of surviving for five years. Every time my disease spread it lowered my odds of survival. However, that didn’t stop me from living, and I continued to adhere to the primal lifestyle.

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How to Make Butter, Yogurt, and Kefir at Home

While it’s easy enough to pop down to the grocery store and buy butter, yogurt, or kefir, it can be very rewarding—and easier than you think—to make your own products at home. Making staple dairy foods at home allows you to control what goes into them, control the process, and reconnect to the traditional way of doing things.

Yogurt and kefir are also fermented foods that deliver those oh-so-important probiotics to feed the beneficial microbes in your gut. Rather than rely on store-bought products, which often contain sugar and other additives you wish to avoid, why not make your own at home? Being able to make your own butter, yogurt, and kefir gives you flexibility. It gives you power. Most importantly, it gives you agency: the ability to control what you feed yourself or your family.

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How to Read Food Labels

Grocery shopping can be a tad overwhelming, especially when you’re trying a new way of eating. Primal, paleo, keto, Whole30, vegetarian, vegan—they all have their own set of guidelines about what foods are “allowed” and which you should limit or avoid.

Front-of-package food labels allow you to scan the shelves at your supermarket and quickly gather information about products. Depending on which diet or food plan you’re following, you might decide whether or not to grab an item based on:

Food type or ingredients: whether it contains grains, animal products, nightshades, added sugar, etc.
Macronutrient profile: low-carb, low-fat, keto
How ingredients were grown or harvested: organic versus conventional, wild versus farmed, and so on

Decoding food labels can be tricky, though. Some claims are subject to strict labeling standards, but others are buzzwords meant to draw your attention and make you think that a product is healthy. “Natural” is a good example of the latter. It sounds like something you’d want, but the term isn’t regulated, so ultimately it doesn’t signify anything specific.

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Warm Spinach Salad Recipe

“Warm” and “salad” might not be two words you’d normally associate, but we promise you that this warm spinach salad recipe has the goods!

This high-protein salad boasts colorful, nutrient-dense veggies and healthy fats. Roughly chopping the greens ensures that you get bite-sized greens in every delicious bite, and the crispy bacon, crunchy apples, and perfectly roasted butternut squash are downright delightful together.

It’s is also very versatile and customizable. Spinach salad is a classic, but any greens—baby kale, Swiss chard, beet greens, or a combination—will work here. Instead of butternut squash, substitute delicata squash or kabocha. Swap out the walnuts for pecans or pine nuts and the goat cheese for feta. Try it with ranch dressing instead of honey mustard. You can’t go wrong. Once you get the warm spinach salad experience, you’ll want to try loads of different variations.

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New and Noteworthy: What I Read This Week—Edition 170

Research of the Week

Artificial sweeteners have faint links to increased cancer risks.

COVID seems to increase the risk of diabetes.

Africans were eating olives 100,000 years ago (at least).

In middle adulthood, raising HDL and lowering blood sugar seems to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s. Now, how does one do that?

Minerals are important but balance is vital.

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Primal Guide to Bulking

So you want to gain some weight, some mass. You want more muscle. You want to bulk up. And you want to do it in a healthy way within the context of the Primal Blueprint, but aren’t sure where to start. Most popular bulking advice consists of eating everything in sight—dirty bulking with fast food, TV dinners, PB&J, peanut butter on the spoon, whatever you have on hand. That’s not the way, folks.

As I’ve made pretty clear, our ultimate goal is to achieve positive gene expression, functional strength, optimum health, and extended longevity. In other words: To make the most out of the particular gene set you inherited.

These are my end goals, and I’ve modeled the Primal Blueprint Laws with them in mind. But that doesn’t mean packing on extra muscle can’t happen with additional input. After I retired from a life of chronic cardio and started living Primally, I added 15 pounds of muscle, while keeping low body fat levels without really trying, so it’s absolutely possible for a hardgainer to gain some. The question is how much and at what expense?

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