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The Definitive Guide to Sleep

Sleep is the grand mystery of life. You get sleepy, you yawn, you lay your head down, and then you wake up. At some point, you drifted off to sleep and were unconscious, helpless, completely out of it for the better part of the night. Maybe faint glimmers of the moment before you fell asleep remain in your memory. If you remember your dreams, you’ve got those to fall back on—but they fade fast. No, for the most part we have no idea what happens when we sleep.

We do know what happens when we don’t. The list of maladies caused by and/or linked to sleep deprivation is long and exhausting.

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Is Honey a Safe(r) Sweetener?

I pride myself on making the Primal Blueprint an easy-to-follow lifestyle. If you were just starting out, I could give you a one-page handout with the 10 Primal Blueprint Laws, the PB Food Pyramid, and the PB Fitness Pyramid, and it would be pretty easy for you to get the gist of everything we’re trying to do here. 

That said, once you get past the basics, sometimes things get a little murky. Like with honey.

See, as a general rule, I am against the consumption of refined sugars, especially sucrose and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Check out my definitive post on the subject to understand why. But what about the preeminent unrefined natural sweetener, the rich amber nectar that’s been available to humans from the very start (albeit protected by barbed, flying suicide stingers)? 

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Mark’s Big-Ass Keto Salad

For years now, all those who know me (including readers of the blog) have heard me talk about my daily “big-ass salad.” It’s been my lunch of choice for a couple of decades at least, and I don’t see that ever changing. Over the years I’ve adapted it to my personal tastes, nutritional experiments, and—lately—my keto practice.

Some people minimize vegetable intake when they’re eating keto. I’ve never found that necessary or beneficial. In fact, I highly recommend plenty of above-ground vegetables and even berries for an optimally varied, nutrient-dense keto diet. That’s my Primal take because personally I practice keto with an eye toward strategy, not restriction.

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The Definitive Guide to Blood Sugar

What’s sweet, red, sticky, and deadly?

Blood sugar. (I’m sure there are other things that qualify, but most of them contain sugar of some sort so I’m sticking with it.)

Too little of it, and you go into hypoglycemic shock. That can kill you if left untreated.

Too much of it, and you waste away slowly. Chronic overexposure to sugar will degenerate your tissues and organs.

Yes, getting blood sugar right is extremely important. Vital, even.

Today, I’m going to explain how and why we measure blood sugar, what the numbers mean, why we need to control it, and how to maintain that control.

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How to Clean Out Your Kitchen and Go Primal

Most people find their way to the Primal Blueprint via food. They’re looking to start eating “right” and get healthy. Maybe they ask a few friends whose lifestyles they admire, or they Google a couple buzzwords—low-carb, paleo, keto—and eventually make their way here. However they get here, I love the unbridled enthusiasm of someone on the precipice of change. They’re ready to listen and do whatever you advise. Just say the word. And when they ask where to begin, the word I say is: purge. 

Any good Primal transformation starts by eliminating the “big three” health offenders: grains, sugar, and industrialized seed oils (canola, corn, safflower, soybean, etc.). Get rid of the foods you no longer intend to eat to make room for the meat, eggs, vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, nuts, seeds that comprise the Primal Blueprint Food Pyramid.

If you intend to start eating differently, you have set up your environment for success. This is habit change 101.

Want to stop eating so much sugar? Toss all the candy, ice cream, and whoopie pies, and stock up on protein-rich snacks and 85 percent dark chocolate instead.

Need to kick that soda habit? Say sayonara to the soda, buy some sparkling water, and stop taking the elevator at work that drops you off by the vending machines.

During our 21-day Primal Resets or Keto Month challenges, one of the very first things we ask participants to do is a pantry purge for this very reason. On the surface, it’s pretty simple: get rid of the big three, plus any products made with them. Except it’s not that simple. Nothing ever is. We always get a lot of questions about how, exactly, to undertake the pantry purge. Hence today’s post. I’m not going to cover what to purge when you clean out your pantry. This older post covers that in great detail. Today is about strategy and how to navigate the sometimes thorny complexities here.

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Ultimate Primal Pumpkin Pie

Traditions are a big part of the holiday season for many people, but if you find yourself doing something strictly out of tradition and not because you particularly enjoy it, then it’s time for a new tradition. Or maybe, just time for a new recipe. Take pumpkin pie. It’s hard to imagine Thanksgiving without one, but too often it’s a soggy, bland dessert that disappoints. Made with a cup of sugar and white flour crust, it’s an indulgence that’s not always worth it.

But what if you broke from the traditional recipe by taking the granulated sugar and flour out—and it actually made the pie taste better? What if this new and slightly untraditional version of pumpkin pie had a buttery, crunchy crust and silky-smooth filling? Sure, you could call this new and improved version Primal Pumpkin Pie. Or, you could just call it by another name: Damn Good Pie.

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