[rev_slider alias=”blog-home”]

A Visual Guide to Peppers

Eating spicy food is a lot like running a marathon. They both hurt while you’re doing them, and the next day can be pretty painful, too. You have to fight the urge to quit. Crying is par for the course. Yet you persevere, all the while knowing that you’re going to sign up for the same suffering again in the future.

The world is cuckoo for chilis. Restaurants compete to have the spiciest wings, hottest chili, and most tear-inducing sushi. Competitors on television shows and YouTube series sear the inside of their mouths for our viewing pleasure. Self-proclaimed pepper-heads are always working to bring hotter and hotter peppers to market. In fact, the most tongue-blistering varieties we have now—ones with ominous names like the Carolina Reaper and Trinidad Scorpion—didn’t evolve naturally. They are the result of systematic crossbreeding designed to create chilis so packed with heat that only the bravest (or most foolhardy, depending on your point of view) would dare try them.

Eating spicy foods satisfies the deeply ingrained human need to test our limits and see how much discomfort we can take. That’s not the only reason we’re drawn to spicy foods, though. The pain they cause seems to stimulate the release of endorphins, part of the body’s endogenous opioid system, which accounts for why spicy foods “hurt so good” instead of just plain hurting. Capsaicin, the chemical in hot peppers that imparts the characteristic burning sensation, is anti-inflammatory and has numerous health benefits.

Can you feel the burn?

Read More

Instant Pot “Sous Vide” Egg Bites Recipe

The low-carb community was pretty pumped when coffee shops first started to serve sous vide egg bites. Until then, most breakfast options came between a couple of slices of a bagel or croissant. Coming in around $5 for two little egg bites, it was only a matter of time before people started looking for make-at-home versions.
Do You Need a Sous Vide to Make Egg Bites?
Let’s first put it out there that food cooked sous vide is delicious. The temperature is so precisely controlled that there’s virtually no risk of overcooking or undercooking, and for the most part, it’s a hands-off cooking method. Still, it’s cost-prohibitive for a lot of kitchens – you’re looking at a couple hundred dollars for a decent system, which is more than the average household wants to spend on an appliance they’ll use only occasionally.

The solution? These adorable little egg bites are not actually made in a sous vide, but instead in an Instant Pot. The end result is a light and fluffy egg bite bursting with flavor. Ideally, these egg bites would be made in a silicone egg mold, but they also turn out well in ½ pint mason jars. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, there is an oven modification below.

This recipe makes 10 egg bites (5 egg bites of each flavor) which are great for an on-the-go breakfast or protein-packed snack. Feel free to experiment with your favorite add-ins.

Read More

New and Noteworthy: What I Read This Week—Edition 148

Research of the Week

Compared to vegetable fat high in artificial trans-fatty acids (and a control diet), ruminant fat high in natural trans-fatty acids improves liver health, gut biome, and inflammatory status of lab rats.

Reasonable, accessible stack for COVID.

Selenium deficiency is implicated in viral myocarditis.

Energy compensation after exercise varies between individuals and may predict adiposity.

Too many omega-6 fats, increased risk of peripheral nerve pain.

Read More

Ask a Health Coach: Is This Good for Me or Not?

Hey folks, we’re back for another round of Ask a Health Coach. This week, Erin is shedding light on the health benefits of dairy, when too much fiber is to blame, and why we should all stop labeling foods as good and bad. Keep your questions coming down in the comments or over in our Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook group.
Jen asked:
“Kind of an odd question, but is there any science indicating whether goat’s milk is a better alternative for human consumption than cow’s milk? After a decade of primal eating, I’ve easily given up everything else (grains, sugar, etc.) but the one thing I still struggle with is milk, and I don’t have any sensitivities to it, but I wonder if there’s a better alternative.”
First of all, I definitely don’t consider this an odd question; dairy is one of the things my clients ask about most often.

Dairy soft of fits into a primal gray area. While there are tons of studies of the negative metabolic impact of sugar, industrialized seed oils, and processed foods, dairy is in a slightly different camp. I can see the confusion though. Many folks who follow a paleo diet eliminate it completely. And while a primal diet follows a lot of the same tenets, it’s far less restrictive – even Mark agrees that full-fat and raw cow’s milk can be a great addition to your primal eating plan.

But to answer your question about if goat’s milk is a “better” alternative to cow’s milk, the answer is…it depends on what you mean by better.

Read More

6 Food Additives That Might Be Giving You Trouble

What’s a person to do when they’ve eliminated all the big allergens—gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts—and they’re still having mysterious symptoms that seem to be aggravated by their diet? Maybe you’re that person. You’ve tried Primal, AIP, and low-FODMAP diets, but you still have recurring issues with your gut, skin, or energy levels. Or, you frequently experience nausea or GI distress after meals even after eliminating the most obvious potential triggers. When it’s not one of the big players giving you grief, think smaller. Sometimes those items farther down the ingredient list are the real culprits. I’m talking about the things that food manufacturers add to their products to improve texture, appearance, and shelf stability. They’re considered safe for consumption (in the U.S., though not necessarily in other countries, as you’ll see), but these sneaky little buggers might be making you unwell nonetheless. Here are some things to look out for if you’re having persistent health issues that you suspect are tied to something you’re eating. Red Dye and Other Artificial Food Coloring Granted, Primal eaters probably aren’t consuming large quantities of foods loaded with artificial coloring agents. Still, they are pervasive in the American food supply. You’ll also find them in medications and supplements, sometimes at alarmingly high levels. Even at high-end grocers and health food stores, they’re hard to avoid. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently allows Blue 1, Blue 2, Green 3, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 3, Red 40, Citrus Red 2, and Orange B in foods at approved levels. However, scientists and public health officials have known for decades that each of these carries potential health risks, especially the red and yellow dyes. The FDA banned Red 3 (aka erythrosine or E127) in cosmetics and other topical applications in 1990 based on studies showing increased thyroid cancer risk, but it is still approved as a food colorant. Yellow 6 (aka tartrazine or E110) and Red 40 (aka Allura Red AC or E129) require warning labels or are banned altogether in several countries due to concerns about their possible carcinogenic effects and their effects on children. They also happen to be the most prevalent artificial food colorings in the U.S. The first time I heard about food dyes affecting kids was years ago when a friend told me she couldn’t give her daughter any food or juice that had red dye in it. As she described it, just a few pieces of candy or a piece of sheet cake with brightly colored frosting at a birthday party, and her normally sweet kid would be bouncing off the walls. It turns out that’s not so uncommon. Multiple studies have concluded that food dyes may contribute to hyperactivity and other behavioral problems, especially in kids with preexisting ADHD symptoms. The FDA reviewed the clinical evidence ten years ago and decided it wasn’t conclusive enough to act on. A 2018 review published in Pediatrics, the official publication of the American Academy of Pediatrics, renewed the call for more … Continue reading “6 Food Additives That Might Be Giving You Trouble”

Read More

Primal, Keto, Grain-free and Paleo Air Fryer Chicken Nuggets Recipe

Chicken nuggets aren’t just kid food. With a Primal spin, they’re great for game day, after school, or a midweek lunch!

Typically, chicken nuggets are breaded, and if you’re leaning more toward a Primal, paleo, or keto way of eating, that doesn’t jibe with your program. Still, nuggets are the ultimate comfort food, and there’s no reason you can’t have them. With a simple ingredient swap, you’ll have crunchy grain-free chicken nuggets that the whole family can’t get enough of.

Here’s how to make them.


Read More