For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m quickly answering a bunch of questions from readers. Most are from the comment section of last week’s collagen post, and others concern different topics. They’re all interesting and useful, including how I consume podcasts, gelatin loss during chicharrone production, adding collagen to hot coffee, how much vitamin C to take with collagen, collagen’s effect on ketosis, and why I include a processed food product like whey in the pantheon of Primal-friendly foods.
It’s easy to get into the habit of assuming that certain things “just happen” as we get older. As the years pile up, we brace ourselves for brittle bones, expanding waistlines, failing eyesight—and a propensity for falling asleep in front of the T.V.
Statistically speaking, they do loom largely. This is what we often see around us after all. But, of course, we know it’s not the whole story. We certainly can resign ourselves to a common fate, but that’s probably not why anyone is reading today. Most people who visit this blog (and definitely those who frequent it) want more. They want something better, and they’re willing to learn, move, and eat to get it.
And as with our bodies, so with our skin…
For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering four question. First, are collagen peptides just as effective as bone broth or other collagen sources? Second, how should I choose between IFing or sleeping like a baby using pre-bedtime nutrients that may impede autophagy? Next, I explore whether you should be making dog bone broth (it’s not what you think, so don’t worry about that). And finally, what are some of my favorite pork bone broth recipes?
I’ve been writing about bone broth for a long time. I’ve been drinking it even longer. I’m not sure you can get anything much more primal than a heap of bones cooked for hours into rich, gelatinous glory. Ritual and taste aside, however, I count quality bone broth as an important supplemental food. The copious health benefits are simply too substantial to pass up.
Some of you, I know, are bone broth fans—a few even connoisseurs. You’ve been making your own for decades, maybe with recipes you learned in your grandparents’ kitchen. But what does the average Primal type need to know about bone broth? What goes into making it? What are the distinct health advantages? Are there risks or downsides? What are the alternatives? Finally, what about some recipes? I’m glad you asked….
Gaining mass and building strength while CrossFitting should be a breeze. You’re lifting heavy things using compound full-body movements like squats, deadlifts, and presses, providing a potent growth stimulus to your muscles. Yet, many people fall short of their goals, perhaps losing weight and improving performance but failing to really gain any real muscle or strength.
Today, I’m going to explain how going Primal can help you achieve both goals.
First, you must understand the very Primal reality of your body’s hormonal systems and their relation to the environment: Acknowledge that you are an organism whose endocrine system is acutely attuned to the inputs it receives. It’s actively engaged in the world around you, making predictions and taking actions based on your perceptions. If your body thinks it’s living through a famine, it will conserve energy and eliminate wasteful extravagances like big muscles and 2x body weight back squat. If your body thinks it’s living through plentiful times, it will be more liberal with energy and allow the growth of extracurricular tissues, like big muscles. Create an environment of abundance—or even the impression of one—and you will be more likely to gain muscle and strength.
First off, let’s settle one thing right away. Grilling is not the same as barbecuing. Barbecue means big cuts of meat cooked low and slow. Depending on the animal, it can be an all-day affair with hours of preparation and plenty of leisure. In other words, it’s an actual event. With the time and labor intensity, barbecuing (as Michael Pollan put it so well recently) is the stuff of primal ritual, the site of social cohesion in our evolutionary story. Grilling, on the other hand, offers the smoke and fire experience without the bigger doings. While not as idyllic a prospect, it’s convenient. It means throwing a steak on the grill after work and eating it 20 minutes later. That’s the beauty of grilling. It’s relatively quick, requires very little clean up, and let’s you kick back outdoors while cooking dinner.
In order to relax, however, it’s good to be confident that dinner won’t go up in flames. Luckily, what separates someone who burns dinner from a real grill master is simply practice, plus a few tips and techniques.