Mark's Daily Apple https://www.marksdailyapple.com Fri, 20 May 2022 16:25:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 115533949 New and Noteworthy: What I Read This Week—Edition 178 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/new-and-noteworthy-178/ https://www.marksdailyapple.com/new-and-noteworthy-178/#comments Fri, 20 May 2022 16:25:32 +0000 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/?p=126744 Research of the Week

Super high HDL levels linked to cardiac events in people with heart disease.

Regulating "eating cues" can help people lose weight.

Alcohol-related deaths are way up.

Just a small amount of physical activity lowers depression risk.

Nature always works.

Ketones may fight colorectal cancer.

New Primal Kitchen Podcasts
Primal Kitchen Podcast Episode 29: Childhood Behavior and Preconception Care with Pediatric Naturopathic Doctor, Ari Calhoun

Primal Health Coach Radio: Amanda Jane Snyder
Media, Schmedia
Environmental toxins and obesity (even intergenerational obesity).

Lettuce is the most common cause of food poisoning.
Interesting Blog Posts
How space changes the brain.

Experts agree that diet can achieve type 2 diabetes remission. Finally!
Social Notes
Indeed.

Context is everything.
Everything Else
Scientists grow plants in lunar soil (on Earth).

Does it really need to be "faster"?
Things I’m Up to and Interested In
Interesting finding: Small talk is good, apparently.

Good news: Warming trends have slowed upon reevaluation of the data.

Interesting article: Is an ancient civilization buried under Turkey?

Use this as you will: Fasting appears to make muscle cells more resistant to stress.

One of my favorite foods: Blueberries may protect against midlife dementia.
Question I'm Asking
Do you enjoy small talk?
Recipe Corner

Yes, I'm linking to a mayo-free coleslaw recipe.
Instant Pot sticky spare ribs.

Time Capsule
One year ago (May 14 – May 20)

The Value of Eating What Your Ancestors Ate—Makes perfect sense.
Keto on the Trail: What to Pack for Primal and Keto Camping, Hiking, and Backpacking —What to eat.

Comment of the Week
"To expound on my initial comment, I agree with Mark that I am not optimistic about President Biden involving himself in Americans’ diet and nutrition choices. From what I’ve seen, even his most well-meaning efforts to address legitimate issues tend to only exacerbate them.

In my opinion, this should not be within the purview of the federal government, let alone the executive branch; it should be the concern only of the individual household. The federal/state governments can influence their respective corrections and military meal plans… however, Joe Biden (along with Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Joe Rogan, Alexandria Occasio-Cortez, Bill Gates, Robb Wolfe, Mark Sisson, Julia Child, etc.) will never effectively tell me what I can or cannot prepare in my own kitchen."

-I think we can all agree there, hate_me. Except for Julia Child—I'd listen to her.

The post New and Noteworthy: What I Read This Week—Edition 178 appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

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Research of the Week

Super high HDL levels linked to cardiac events in people with heart disease.

Regulating “eating cues” can help people lose weight.

Alcohol-related deaths are way up.

Just a small amount of physical activity lowers depression risk.

Nature always works.

Ketones may fight colorectal cancer.

New Primal Kitchen Podcasts

Primal Kitchen Podcast Episode 29: Childhood Behavior and Preconception Care with Pediatric Naturopathic Doctor, Ari Calhoun

Primal Health Coach Radio: Amanda Jane Snyder

Media, Schmedia

Environmental toxins and obesity (even intergenerational obesity).

Lettuce is the most common cause of food poisoning.

Interesting Blog Posts

How space changes the brain.

Experts agree that diet can achieve type 2 diabetes remission. Finally!

Social Notes

Indeed.

Context is everything.

Everything Else

Scientists grow plants in lunar soil (on Earth).

Does it really need to be “faster”?

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

Interesting finding: Small talk is good, apparently.

Good news: Warming trends have slowed upon reevaluation of the data.

Interesting article: Is an ancient civilization buried under Turkey?

Use this as you will: Fasting appears to make muscle cells more resistant to stress.

One of my favorite foods: Blueberries may protect against midlife dementia.

Question I’m Asking

Do you enjoy small talk?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (May 14 – May 20)

Comment of the Week

“To expound on my initial comment, I agree with Mark that I am not optimistic about President Biden involving himself in Americans’ diet and nutrition choices. From what I’ve seen, even his most well-meaning efforts to address legitimate issues tend to only exacerbate them.

In my opinion, this should not be within the purview of the federal government, let alone the executive branch; it should be the concern only of the individual household. The federal/state governments can influence their respective corrections and military meal plans… however, Joe Biden (along with Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama, Joe Rogan, Alexandria Occasio-Cortez, Bill Gates, Robb Wolfe, Mark Sisson, Julia Child, etc.) will never effectively tell me what I can or cannot prepare in my own kitchen.”

-I think we can all agree there, hate_me. Except for Julia Child—I’d listen to her.

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Ask a Health Coach: Seed Oils, Kiddos, and Eating Out https://www.marksdailyapple.com/ask-a-health-coach-seed-oils-kiddos-and-eating-out/ https://www.marksdailyapple.com/ask-a-health-coach-seed-oils-kiddos-and-eating-out/#respond Thu, 19 May 2022 16:00:08 +0000 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/?p=126708 Hey folks, Board-Certified Health Coach Chloe Maleski is here to answer your questions about seed oils. Whether you’re wondering whether they’re really that bad, trying to avoid them when eating out, or scouting healthier treats for kids, you’ll learn some helpful tips and strategies. Got a question you’d like to ask our health coaches? Leave it below in the comments or over in the Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook group.    Marta asked: “Are seed oils really that bad? Are they okay in moderation? They’re in all the foods my kid likes to eat! Crackers, granola bars, muffins… Not to mention when eating out!” Sigh... I know. Highly refined seed oils are cheap and everywhere. Yes, we find them in the usual suspects: fast food, highly processed food, and most conventional food that comes packaged and ready to eat. They also hide out where less expected, including in foods marketed as “healthy” and at restaurants and hot bars that might otherwise pass as Primal. Unfortunately, the answer to your first question is Yes. Highly refined seed and vegetable oils are That. Bad. Even in moderation, they can be detrimental to health. While some folks are more sensitive to highly refined seed oils than others, they can cause inflammation in pretty much everyone. Chronic, systemic inflammation is a scourge of modern times. It’s implicated in countless minor ailments as well as more serious ones such as heart disease and cancer. It also weakens our general immune system response, since the body is too preoccupied with active, ongoing inflammation to deal properly with exposure to bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to (or can) avoid inflammatory oils entirely—particularly when eating out. Depending on priorities and life circumstances, this may be a great place to lean into the 80/20 principle: “In the context of full and earnest commitment, an overall 80 percent conformity with the 10 Primal Blueprint rules will yield a solidly healthy result.” That’s not a green light for choosing foods containing seed oils 20 percent of the time. Highly processed, inflammatory oils are never healthy, even in moderation. But if you aim to avoid them completely and a little slips by on occasion, overall outcomes will still land on the side of healthy. In other words: do your best, but don’t stress about perfection. Which oils are bad for you anyway? The fact that you’re asking these questions means you’re already on track! Once you know what to look for and find trusty staples, avoiding highly refined, inflammatory oils gets way easier. As a starting place, let’s consider your kid’s favorites. Since crackers, granola bars, and muffins are usually snacks and treats rather than a primary food source, it’s best not to go overboard in any case (whether or not they contain unhealthy oils). That said, sometimes a kid (or adult!) just wants a muffin. In those instances, you’re wise to check the ingredients when purchasing snacks and treats of any sort. Canola oil is an especially … Continue reading "Ask a Health Coach: Seed Oils, Kiddos, and Eating Out"

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Hey folks, Board-Certified Health Coach Chloe Maleski is here to answer your questions about seed oils. Whether you’re wondering whether they’re really that bad, trying to avoid them when eating out, or scouting healthier treats for kids, you’ll learn some helpful tips and strategies. Got a question you’d like to ask our health coaches? Leave it below in the comments or over in the Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook group

 

Marta asked:
“Are seed oils really that bad? Are they okay in moderation? They’re in all the foods my kid likes to eat! Crackers, granola bars, muffins… Not to mention when eating out!”

Girl in pigtails standing in front of a yellow background smiling and holding donuts in front of her eyesSigh… I know. Highly refined seed oils are cheap and everywhere. Yes, we find them in the usual suspects: fast food, highly processed food, and most conventional food that comes packaged and ready to eat. They also hide out where less expected, including in foods marketed as “healthy” and at restaurants and hot bars that might otherwise pass as Primal.

Unfortunately, the answer to your first question is Yes. Highly refined seed and vegetable oils are That. Bad. Even in moderation, they can be detrimental to health.

While some folks are more sensitive to highly refined seed oils than others, they can cause inflammation in pretty much everyone. Chronic, systemic inflammation is a scourge of modern times. It’s implicated in countless minor ailments as well as more serious ones such as heart disease and cancer. It also weakens our general immune system response, since the body is too preoccupied with active, ongoing inflammation to deal properly with exposure to bacteria, fungi, and viruses.

Now, this doesn’t mean you have to (or can) avoid inflammatory oils entirely—particularly when eating out. Depending on priorities and life circumstances, this may be a great place to lean into the 80/20 principle: “In the context of full and earnest commitment, an overall 80 percent conformity with the 10 Primal Blueprint rules will yield a solidly healthy result.”

That’s not a green light for choosing foods containing seed oils 20 percent of the time. Highly processed, inflammatory oils are never healthy, even in moderation. But if you aim to avoid them completely and a little slips by on occasion, overall outcomes will still land on the side of healthy. In other words: do your best, but don’t stress about perfection.

Which oils are bad for you anyway?

The fact that you’re asking these questions means you’re already on track! Once you know what to look for and find trusty staples, avoiding highly refined, inflammatory oils gets way easier.

As a starting place, let’s consider your kid’s favorites. Since crackers, granola bars, and muffins are usually snacks and treats rather than a primary food source, it’s best not to go overboard in any case (whether or not they contain unhealthy oils).

That said, sometimes a kid (or adult!) just wants a muffin. In those instances, you’re wise to check the ingredients when purchasing snacks and treats of any sort. Canola oil is an especially prevalent one to watch out for. Most canola oil is chemically extracted using the harsh petroleum-derived solvent hexane before undergoing other steps such as bleaching and deodorizing—all of which require heat and heat-generated degeneration. No need to remember these details! Just know that canola oil is neither a whole nor healthy food.

Other common culprits include soybean oil, corn oil, grapeseed oil, and safflower oil. Like canola, these generally undergo extensive industrial processing and often come from genetically modified, heavily pesticide-treated crops.

Not all oils are unhealthy, however! What’s more, a certain amount of processing is involved in producing oil of any sort. The key thing is to steer clear of those from pesticide-laden crops requiring processing on a large scale in industrial plants. You can find a handy comparison of healthy and unhealthy oils here, and can download the Free Guide to Fats and Oils here.

“But, mommmmm…”

Does this mean no store-bought treats? Not necessarily! More and more Paleo and Primal brands are making helpful changes, including ditching inflammatory seed oils and opting for better-for-you alternatives such as avocado oil and coconut oil. Read your labels closely, stick with brands you trust, and you’ll find healthier options for satisfying that urge for packaged, ready-to-eat snacks and condiments.

If home cooking’s in the cards, you and your kiddo have even more healthy (or healthier) options! Our extensive recipe archive of Primal treats and Primal snacks is an excellent starting place. Also check out NomNom Paleo, where Paleo mom Michelle Tam shares an abundance of kid-friendly meal and meal prep inspiration.

If going the above route, you might even involve your kid in the process—gently planting the seed that “healthy food is tasty and cooking is fun.” Food preferences start early and can be much harder to shift later on.1 Whatever small steps you can take to make healthy swaps for you and your kid now, the less likely they’ll be hooked on unhelpful stuff later.

Of course, something that rarely works is pressuring kids into healthy choices! One of the best things you can do is model a Primal way of eating and living without making it too big of a deal. If you’re enjoying healthy, delicious food without extra fuss or stress, that will go far in nurturing healthy habits in kiddos.

As a Primal Health Coach, this is so cool to see! Just by shifting your own eating patterns and relationship with food, you’ll have a huge impact on any little ones watching.

And when eating out?

Same goes for restaurants and hot bars: Ask about the ingredients, make polite requests, choose the best available options, and remember that 80/20 rule.

Restaurants are often open to steaming or grilling vegetables and serving any sauces or dressings on the side. If you find a restaurant willing to cook your food in butter or olive oil, all the better!

As more people make such requests and bring attention to unhealthy seed and vegetable oils, more restaurants are taking notice and offering alternatives. So long as you’re respectful and recognize that not all establishments are able or willing to make substitutions, asking never hurts and may help to create change.

If your kids are watching, all the better! This is a great opportunity for modeling kind, respectful inquiry and self-advocacy while starting conversations about why food choice matters.

I realize these are big topics for little ones… and for hardworking parents who have lots on their plates! By even asking these sorts of questions and being on the watch for unhealthy seed oils, you’re already doing great.

If you want backup, consider working with a health coach! It’s more accessible than you might think, and we can help map out healthier solutions for you and your family. Visit myprimalcoach.com to check it out and get started!

Have any Primal, kid-friendly treats to share? Or tips for avoiding seed oils when eating out? Drop them or other questions for me in the comments!

myPrimalCoach

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More Questions on Creatine https://www.marksdailyapple.com/more-questions-on-creatine/ https://www.marksdailyapple.com/more-questions-on-creatine/#comments Wed, 18 May 2022 16:00:56 +0000 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/?p=126699 Creatine is an extremely popular supplement with thousands of studies attesting to its effectiveness in humans. It works well in athletes, older people, women, men, teens, vegans and vegetarians, and probably even children. It's well-tested, safe in normal amounts, and there are very few downsides. But because so many people use it, creatine also generates a lot of questions. Every time I do a post on creatine, I get more queries in my inbox. Does it cause hair loss? How much should you take every day? Is there a good time to take it? Will creatine make you gain weight? And is creatine bad for the kidneys? What about side effects—anything we should worry about? Let's dig right in and answer those questions. Does creatine cause hair loss? This is a persistent concern, but there's not much solid research lending credence to it. The majority of the "evidence" lies in an older study where college rugby players took creatine for a few weeks and saw their dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, rise over baseline. (The placebo control group saw no rise in DHT). DHT is a more active or potent form of testosterone that has powerful anabolic effects. It can also bind to hair follicles and cause them to shrink, reducing your ability to support a dense, healthy head of hair. However, the creatine group had lower DHT levels at baseline, so it may be that the creatine was simply correcting lower starting levels. Other studies on creatine and testosterone have failed to find any consistent links between creatine and higher testosterone, free testosterone (from which DHT is produced), or DHT itself. Finally, there are no studies showing that taking creatine causes hair loss. It's not impossible or even improbable. It simply hasn't been definitively shown. Anecdotally, some people notice hair loss after starting creatine, but those are the toughest connections to draw without a control group and good methodology. Would they have lost the hair anyway? Were there other factors at play? How much creatine per day? There are two basic strategies people commonly employ. If you want to speed creatine uptake in the muscles, you can do a “loading phase” of 20 grams a day (split up into 4 doses) for a week before dropping down to 3 to 5 grams a day. If you don't, you can just take 3 to 5 grams a day from the get-go. Both strategies work just fine. If you have a lot of muscle mass—and thus higher creatine storage capacities—or if you burn through a lot of creatine with intense activity, you might benefit from larger daily doses in the 8 to 10 grams range. Once you've been taking creatine consistently enough at high enough doses to saturate your muscle stores (20 grams a day for 5 to 7 days, or 3 to 5 grams a day for 28 days, to give two common examples), you can probably get away with "cycling" your creatine. Taking days off, doing lower doses here and there. … Continue reading "More Questions on Creatine"

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Open container of white powder with scoop on wooden table surrounded by white supplement capsules.Creatine is an extremely popular supplement with thousands of studies attesting to its effectiveness in humans. It works well in athletes, older people, women, men, teens, vegans and vegetarians, and probably even children. It’s well-tested, safe in normal amounts, and there are very few downsides.

But because so many people use it, creatine also generates a lot of questions. Every time I do a post on creatine, I get more queries in my inbox.

  • Does it cause hair loss?
  • How much should you take every day?
  • Is there a good time to take it?
  • Will creatine make you gain weight?
  • And is creatine bad for the kidneys?
  • What about side effects—anything we should worry about?

Let’s dig right in and answer those questions.

Does creatine cause hair loss?

This is a persistent concern, but there’s not much solid research lending credence to it. The majority of the “evidence” lies in an older study where college rugby players took creatine for a few weeks and saw their dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, rise over baseline. (The placebo control group saw no rise in DHT).2 DHT is a more active or potent form of testosterone that has powerful anabolic effects. It can also bind to hair follicles and cause them to shrink, reducing your ability to support a dense, healthy head of hair.

However, the creatine group had lower DHT levels at baseline, so it may be that the creatine was simply correcting lower starting levels. Other studies on creatine and testosterone have failed to find any consistent links between creatine and higher testosterone, free testosterone (from which DHT is produced), or DHT itself.

Finally, there are no studies showing that taking creatine causes hair loss. It’s not impossible or even improbable. It simply hasn’t been definitively shown.

Anecdotally, some people notice hair loss after starting creatine, but those are the toughest connections to draw without a control group and good methodology. Would they have lost the hair anyway? Were there other factors at play?

How much creatine per day?

There are two basic strategies people commonly employ.

If you want to speed creatine uptake in the muscles, you can do a “loading phase” of 20 grams a day (split up into 4 doses) for a week before dropping down to 3 to 5 grams a day.

If you don’t, you can just take 3 to 5 grams a day from the get-go.

Both strategies work just fine.

If you have a lot of muscle mass—and thus higher creatine storage capacities—or if you burn through a lot of creatine with intense activity, you might benefit from larger daily doses in the 8 to 10 grams range.

Once you’ve been taking creatine consistently enough at high enough doses to saturate your muscle stores (20 grams a day for 5 to 7 days, or 3 to 5 grams a day for 28 days, to give two common examples), you can probably get away with “cycling” your creatine. Taking days off, doing lower doses here and there. Maybe even taking creatine “as needed” around resistance exercise, when you’re really going to use it. I’m just speculating here, but I think I’m right.

Whenever you take creatine, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water—more than normal. Otherwise it can cause stomach cramps.

Does creatine make you gain weight?

In the first week or so, you will gain water weight as the body stores water along with creatine. This is completely normal and usually subsides after a few weeks. But what about “real” weight? Does it cause real weight gain?

Kinda.

Studies in both older men and older women have found that creatine use increases body mass.3 4 In other words, their BMI would have “worsened.”

What’s going on? Is creatine bad, then?

On the contrary, while creatine will increase body mass, creatine has never been shown to cause fat gain. Creatine will likely help you gain lean muscle mass by helping you lift more weight in the gym, maintain higher exercise intensities, and do higher-volume sets. The creatine isn’t directly causing the weight gain, but it is helping to enable it. This is “good weight.” This is the weight you want to gain. In all those “increased body mass” studies, the creatine also increased the amount of weight they were lifting and their performance in a broad range of physical activities. It was making them more robust.

Creatine may make you gain weight, but it’s the good kind of lean mass.

When should I take creatine?

Creatine is more of a long-term supplement. It’s something that you “load” into your muscles and once it’s there, it stays until you expend it with intense activity. This is why many people go through the “loading” phase with 20 grams per day for a week until tapering off with lower doses—they want to speed up the saturation of creatine storage.

However, there are indications that timing your creatine intake can affect how well it works in your body.

One study found that taking creatine immediately after a workout led to better strength gains in the bench press, more lean mass, and lower fat mass than taking creatine immediately before a workout.5

Another study using a creatine/carbohydrate/protein supplement found that it didn’t really matter whether you took it before or after a workout as long as you took it close to the workout. Both pre- and post-workout creatine were far more effective than taking it in the morning or night, well away from your workout.

Whatever you do, taking it close to training (before or after) seems to have the best effect.

Is creatine bad for the kidneys?

If you have healthy kidney function, creatine is proven to be safe. Creatine excretion in the urine will rise, but this is considered to be a normal response to increased creatine intake and the sign of a healthy kidney function. Creatine supplementation has never been shown to cause impaired kidney function in healthy people with healthy kidneys at baseline. While there are case studies of renal dysfunction “accompanying” creatine supplementation, these cases were all confounded by variables like preexisting kidney disease, excessive dosing (100x what’s normally recommended), steroid use, and other medicines they were taking.6

If you have poor kidney health or function, supplemental creatine may be contraindicated. However, there is a case report of a young adult male with one kidney who was able to take creatine while eating a high protein diet and suffered no health consequences.7 Whatever you do, if you’re worried about your kidneys or have impaired kidney function, check with your doctor before proceeding.

Are there any creatine side effects?

Nothing is perfect. There are some potential complications or side effects, but they aren’t inevitable and you can usually avoid them with a few basic tips.

Cramps: Drink enough water and drink less alcohol. Creatine tends to increase water requirements, so make sure you drink enough water and get enough electrolytes. Read all about hydration here. Or just mix Gerolsteiner mineral water with sea salt and the juice from a lemon or lime. For serious electrolyte requirements, you can also make my “better Gatorade” by blending blackstrap molasses into coconut water with some lime or lemon juice and salt.

Gas, bloating, diarrhea: You took too much. Make sure you’re weighing and measuring your creatine doses. Also try taking creatine with some calories, with a meal (how you’d usually get creatine in natural settings).

That’s about it, folks. If you have any other questions about creatine, drop them down below.

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Introducing the Two Meals A Day Cookbook! https://www.marksdailyapple.com/introducing-the-two-meals-a-day-cookbook/ https://www.marksdailyapple.com/introducing-the-two-meals-a-day-cookbook/#comments Tue, 17 May 2022 16:22:42 +0000 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/?p=126660 Greetings, readers! I’ve been so heartened over the past year with the great response to the book Two Meals A Day, which we launched in March, 2021. It’s particularly interesting to note how many new people have been welcomed into the fold of ancestral living via the portal of a mainstream-appeal book about healthy living. My writing partner Brad Kearns and I intended for this book to reach a broader audience outside the existing spheres of Primal/paleo and keto, so we placed the focus on ditching processed foods, emphasizing nutrient-dense ancestral foods, and eating less frequently—pretty simple! We’ve received great comments from readers who then discovered Marks Daily Apple, the many Primal Blueprint book titles, and generally became further captivated by Primal living. It was also great to hear from many die-hard followers about how this book tied many insights and nuances of Primal living together nicely. It has become a popular gift for family and friends to gently introduce a new and sustainable way of ancestral-inspired eating and living. Buoyed by this success, we are pleased to announce the launch of the Two Meals A Day Cookbook, filled with over 100 delicious recipes of incredible variety to appeal to a broad audience. Introducing The Two Meals A Day Cookbook: Mouthwatering Recipes Plus a Great Overview of the Lifestyle In addition to more than 100 fantastic recipes, the Two Meals A Day Cookbook also contains nine action items that will get you focused and inspired to take immediate action toward your goals, inspired by the original Two Meals A Day book. In this post, I’ll give you a quick overview of this juicy section titled, “Nine Steps To Success With Two Meals A Day.” The Two Meals A Day Cookbook is available for pre-order at your favorite booksellers. Please visit TwoMealsADaybook.com to take advantage of some great pre-order bonus items, including discounts on Primal Kitchen products, an audio summary of the Two Meals A Day lifestyle, and a sneak peek of some of the great recipes. Just place your pre-order with your favorite bookseller and register for the bonus items at TwoMealsADaybook.com. Nine Steps to Success with Two Meals A Day Over the past 16 years at Marks Daily Apple, it’s been an extreme pleasure to interact with you on a deep level to explore all aspects of Primal living. I encourage you to read Two Meals A Day to enjoy a comprehensive presentation on all aspects of healthful eating and complementary lifestyle practices, but I believe you can get the essence of this way of life by carefully reviewing and “owning” the following nine compelling tenants from the book. These are each covered in detail in the new cookbook, so here is a little teaser to enjoy for now: DITCH THE “BIG THREE” OFFENSIVE MODERN FOODS The most important and urgent dietary modification is to eliminate what we call the "Big Three" problematic modern foods: refined sugars, grains, and industrial seed oils. You will find these offensive ingredients in most packaged, processed, … Continue reading "Introducing the Two Meals A Day Cookbook!"

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Two Meals a Day Cookbook with assorted Primal Kitchen productsGreetings, readers! I’ve been so heartened over the past year with the great response to the book Two Meals A Day, which we launched in March, 2021. It’s particularly interesting to note how many new people have been welcomed into the fold of ancestral living via the portal of a mainstream-appeal book about healthy living. My writing partner Brad Kearns and I intended for this book to reach a broader audience outside the existing spheres of Primal/paleo and keto, so we placed the focus on ditching processed foods, emphasizing nutrient-dense ancestral foods, and eating less frequently—pretty simple! We’ve received great comments from readers who then discovered Marks Daily Apple, the many Primal Blueprint book titles, and generally became further captivated by Primal living.

It was also great to hear from many die-hard followers about how this book tied many insights and nuances of Primal living together nicely. It has become a popular gift for family and friends to gently introduce a new and sustainable way of ancestral-inspired eating and living.

Buoyed by this success, we are pleased to announce the launch of the Two Meals A Day Cookbook, filled with over 100 delicious recipes of incredible variety to appeal to a broad audience.

Introducing The Two Meals A Day Cookbook: Mouthwatering Recipes Plus a Great Overview of the Lifestyle

In addition to more than 100 fantastic recipes, the Two Meals A Day Cookbook also contains nine action items that will get you focused and inspired to take immediate action toward your goals, inspired by the original Two Meals A Day book. In this post, I’ll give you a quick overview of this juicy section titled, “Nine Steps To Success With Two Meals A Day.”


The Two Meals A Day Cookbook is available for pre-order at your favorite booksellers. Please visit TwoMealsADaybook.com to take advantage of some great pre-order bonus items, including discounts on Primal Kitchen products, an audio summary of the Two Meals A Day lifestyle, and a sneak peek of some of the great recipes. Just place your pre-order with your favorite bookseller and register for the bonus items at TwoMealsADaybook.com.


Nine Steps to Success with Two Meals A Day

Over the past 16 years at Marks Daily Apple, it’s been an extreme pleasure to interact with you on a deep level to explore all aspects of Primal living. I encourage you to read Two Meals A Day to enjoy a comprehensive presentation on all aspects of healthful eating and complementary lifestyle practices, but I believe you can get the essence of this way of life by carefully reviewing and “owning” the following nine compelling tenants from the book.

These are each covered in detail in the new cookbook, so here is a little teaser to enjoy for now:

DITCH THE “BIG THREE” OFFENSIVE MODERN FOODS

The most important and urgent dietary modification is to eliminate what we call the “Big Three” problematic modern foods: refined sugars, grains, and industrial seed oils. You will find these offensive ingredients in most packaged, processed, and frozen foods in the supermarket, and in most convenience store and fast-food offerings.

You can experience an amazing health transformation from eliminating these foods that inhibit the burning of body fat and promote carbohydrate dependency, insulin resistance, inflammation, and type 2 diabetes. Cleaning up your diet is the mandatory first step to escaping epidemic disease patterns and unlocking your genetic ability to preferentially burn fat for fuel. Don’t pass Go and don’t bother with any other details until you clean up your diet.

EMPHASIZE ANCESTRAL FOODS

Go Primal! While I strongly support personal preference as the driving force in your dietary choices, we must always honor our genetic expectations for health and choose from the natural plant and animal foods that fueled human evolution for 2.5 million years: meat, fish, fowl, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds, and of course the Primal-approved healthful modern foods, including organic high-fat dairy products and high-cacao-percentage bean-to-bar dark chocolate. From this broad list, you can certainly exclude foods you don’t enjoy and emphasize foods and meals that you have discovered work well for you. It’s important to choose wisely in each category, and this is possible even on a budget. To prioritize the most nutrient-dense foods from the Primal list, download Brad’s handy “Carnivore Scores Food Rankings Chart.” You’ll notice things like grass-fed liver, sardines and other oily, cold water fish, pastured eggs, and other budget-friendly items at the top of the rankings!

WHEN YOU EAT IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS WHAT YOU EAT

Today’s epidemic rates of insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer, heart disease, and all other diet-related diseases and dysfunctions are driven by eating too much of the wrong foods, too often. We’ve all heard plenty of commentary about the hazards of junk food and the wonders of nutritious food, but not enough attention is paid to eating frequency. When we eat and snack throughout our waking hours (even when taking care to consume nutritious foods), we can still inhibit fat burning and fat loss, promote systemic inflammation, overproduce insulin, and dysregulate important hormonal functions.

Of course, we need calories to fuel our bodies for busy days and ambitious workouts, but we have forgotten our magnificent, genetically hardwired ability to store, manufacture, and burn various forms of energy to enjoy active, productive lifestyles. Homo sapiens possess what I like to call “closed-loop functionality.” We can maintain steady energy and alertness all day long, regardless of the type of calories we ingest or how frequently we ingest them. These mechanisms evolved by necessity to survive the rigors of primal life, when there was no guarantee of a “next meal.”

The idea with Two Meals A Day is to naturally and gracefully progress from whatever your starting point is—without any pain, struggle, sacrifice, or deprivation—to enjoying a maximum of two nutritious meals a day with little or no snacking. While my typical daily pattern involves a midday lunch and an evening meal, there are many days where I’ll have only one major meal, paired with an extended fast or a mini-meal at another time of day. This strategy is especially effective when traveling, as I believe fasting during the journey and then immediately synching your meals to your new time zone is a fantastic strategy to beat jet lag.

DO IT THE RIGHT WAY

The comprehensive health benefits and fat loss potential of eating two meals a day is only possible when you are able to burn stored body fat effectively. If you try to jump into aggressive fasting or carb restriction efforts without first establishing the ability to burn stored body fat, you are going to struggle royally and trigger a prolonged fight-or-flight reaction. Eventually, you’ll experience the backsliding and burnout that are so common with ill-advised crash diets. Hence, it’s essential to proceed step-by-step toward metabolic flexibility; adopt a comprehensive lifestyle approach with attention to fitness, sleep, and stress management; and never take on any challenges that make you feel fatigued, frustrated, or discouraged.

A safe and effective way to hone skills of fasting and metabolic flexibility is to simply wait until WHEN (when hunger ensues naturally) to eat your break-fast meal every day. This takes the pressure off having to reach arbitrary mealtime goals, such as the more advanced 16:8 strategy. Even more importantly, the WHEN strategy will reestablish your long-lost hunger and satiety signals, which have been compromised by overeating and the regimented meal patterns that have become cultural norms.

GET YOUR MIND RIGHT

It’s easy to get frustrated, confused, and discouraged when pursuing diet and fitness goals with the typical “struggle and suffer” approach. It’s time to eliminate and reframe self-limiting beliefs, forgive yourself for past failures, and form an empowering new mindset that you deserve exceptional health and the body that you dream of. Believing this deeply (and reaffirming it regularly through journaling, positive affirmations, and making healthy choices) will help you stay focused and leverage small successes into long-term habits.

Strive to appreciate the process and not become overly fixated on results. Changes will come naturally when you feed and care for your body at the highest possible standards of health. If you notice old destructive thoughts and behavior patterns creeping into the picture, you can gently take control of your thoughts and emotions instead of panicking and backsliding.

FOLLOW A FAT-BURNING LIFESTYLE

Healthy eating is only one piece of the big picture. Complementary lifestyle habits can make or break your efforts toward dietary transformation. We have a critical need not only to optimize sleep but to constantly balance stressful daily life with sufficient recovery and down time. The most urgent objective is to minimize artificial light and electronic stimulation after dark. Cultivate calm, dark, mellow evenings so you can transition gracefully into a good night’s sleep. It’s also important to discipline your use of technology to achieve regular downtime from hyperconnectivity. This will allow your brain to refresh and refocus on peak cognitive tasks and renew your appreciation for live social interaction and the simple pleasures of life such as appreciating nature.

On the topic of recovery, devoted fitness enthusiasts must take care to avoid even the slightest whiff of chronic exercise patterns. Emphasize cardio workouts in the aerobic zone, make your high-intensity sessions explosive, precise in technique, and brief in duration. Increase all forms of general everyday movement, including the microworkouts that can be so helpful for dietary transformation and fat reduction.

INCREASE GENERAL EVERYDAY MOVEMENT

Increasing all forms of general everyday movement, especially taking breaks from prolonged periods of stillness, is just as important as following a devoted workout regimen. Calories burned during workouts don’t contribute to fat loss as much as we’d like to believe, but moving throughout the day prompts the genetic signaling for fat burning and appetite regulation. Walking should be the central focus of your movement activity, and you can also engage in dynamic stretching, calisthenics, briefs burst of explosive exercise (microworkouts), and formal movement practices such as yoga, Pilates, and tai chi.

Please don’t feel intimidated by another “to-do list” item of taking long walks or other prolonged cardio sessions to meet a movement quota. A few minutes here and there add up to huge benefits, especially as it relates to getting up from stints at your desk or on the couch. Similarly, while a yoga class can be a blissfully immersive mind and body experience, doing short pose sequences here and there on days when you’re pressed for time can augment your formal classes.

CONDUCT BRIEF, EXPLOSIVE WORKOUTS

Traditional fitness programming tends toward excessive and overly stressful steady-state cardio exercise, or the popular but often exhausting High-intensity Interval Training (HIIT) protocol. Research is conclusive that challenging your body with occasional brief, explosive, all-out efforts of resistance exercises or sprints delivers phenomenal fitness benefits. This is the missing link for many devoted fitness enthusiasts!

The trick is to challenge your body with maximum efforts that elicit temporary muscular failure. This will prompt profound genetic signaling to become stronger, faster, leaner, and more resilient. While there are numerous benefits to leading an active lifestyle featuring assorted forms of exercise, you will get vastly more return on investment when you go hard once in a while.

Limit your all-out efforts to less than ten seconds so you can achieve maximum force production throughout the sprint down the track or during a set of aggressive kettlebell swings. Then, take extensive recovery time between efforts—at least a 6:1 rest-to-work ratio (10 seconds of work pairs with 1 minute of rest). While adding explosive workouts is critical to your success, you must also take extra care to avoid overtaxing yourself during these sessions. If you experience recurring muscle soreness after tough sessions, dial everything back a few notches so you don’t have to routinely allocate extra resources to repairing muscle damage.

PURSUE BIG BREAKTHROUGHS!

After you have done the hard work to ditch the Big Three toxic modern foods, emphasize nutrient-dense ancestral foods, and adopt the complementary lifestyle behaviors of excellent sleep, frequent movement, high-intensity workouts, and rest and recovery, you are poised to pursue ambitious body composition and performance goals. Advanced techniques can be very effective when you want to take those often-difficult incremental gains from good to great. To drop excess body fat and keep it off, you need to shock your body with occasional stressors that are brief and deliver a net adaptive benefit. The book contains helpful instructions to put into action things like extended fasting, fasted workouts, sprinting (“Nothing cuts you up like sprinting” is one of my favorite quips ever), and therapeutic cold exposure (watch Brad’s “Chest Freezer Cold Therapy” video for more details).

Remember, you can get a great kit of pre-order bonus items at TwoMealsADayBook.com. Order your copy from your favorite bookseller (links are provided at website) and then complete the bonus item form for instant access to these digital gifts, including a discount code to use when ordering your favorite Primal Kitchen products!

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Keto Sandwich Roll-ups with Dipping Sauce – Two Ways! https://www.marksdailyapple.com/keto-sandwich-roll-ups/ https://www.marksdailyapple.com/keto-sandwich-roll-ups/#comments Mon, 16 May 2022 17:06:11 +0000 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/?p=126615 Searching for a good keto sandwich option, no bread required? Well look no further than these low-carb, grain-free meat and cheese roll-ups. Who needs bread or a tortilla when you have all this deliciousness? After all, the best part of sandwiches isn't the bread. It's what's inside that really matters. And these keto roll-ups aren't your average lettuce wrap! Nope, these feature crispy cheese on the outside with savory fillings, perfectly paired with some of our favorite dipping sauces. Enjoy them warm for an easy work-from-home lunch or after-school snack. Chilled, they're great for lunchboxes or hitting the trail. A sandwich roll-up is a nice break from trail mix when you're on a long hike. Throw them in an insulated lunch bag with a lightweight ice pack, and you're good to go. This recipe suggests making them in an oven, but a toaster oven will also work. Use the ideas below as inspiration to come up with your own meat, cheese, and sauce creations. Keto Sandwich Roll-ups with Dipping Sauce Recipes Makes: 3 roll-ups for each recipe variation (1 serving) Time in the kitchen: 10 - 12 minutes Italian Cheese Roll-ups Ingredients 3 slices mozzarella cheese 6 slices pepperoni or salami 3 fresh basil leaves Italian seasoning Primal Kitchen Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce for dipping Directions Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius). Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Arrange your slices of cheese on the pan. Layer the pepperoni or salami along the center of the cheese with a leaf or two of basil and sprinkle it with Italian seasoning. Place the sheet pan in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the cheese starts to crisp on the outside edges. Remove from the oven and quickly and carefully roll the cheese up diagonally until each one is in a cylinder rolled-up shape. Use a spatula to prevent burning your fingers. Once the cheese slightly cools, slice in half and sprinkle with more Italian seasoning, then dip into your favorite Primal Kitchen marinara sauce! Buffalo Chicken Cheese Roll-ups Ingredients 3 slices cheddar cheese 2 oz. cooked shredded chicken breast 1 stalk celery, finely chopped 1½ tablespoons Primal Kitchen Ranch Dressing Primal Kitchen Jalapeño Buffalo or Buffalo Sauce to taste, plus extra for dipping Sliced green onion for garnish Directions Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius). Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Arrange your slices of cheese on the pan. In a small bowl, mix together the chicken breast, celery, Ranch Dressing, and Buffalo Sauce to taste. Place a dollop of the chicken mixture in the center of each piece of cheese. Place the sheet pan in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the cheese starts to get crispy on the outer edges. Remove from the oven and quickly and carefully roll the cheese up diagonally until each one is in a cylinder rolled-up shape. Use a spatula to prevent burning your fingers. Once the cheese cools slightly, … Continue reading "Keto Sandwich Roll-ups with Dipping Sauce – Two Ways!"

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Keto sandwich roll-ups on plate with Primal Kitchen Ranch Dressing, Buffalo Sauce, and Tomato Basil MarinaraSearching for a good keto sandwich option, no bread required? Well look no further than these low-carb, grain-free meat and cheese roll-ups. Who needs bread or a tortilla when you have all this deliciousness? After all, the best part of sandwiches isn’t the bread. It’s what’s inside that really matters.

And these keto roll-ups aren’t your average lettuce wrap! Nope, these feature crispy cheese on the outside with savory fillings, perfectly paired with some of our favorite dipping sauces. Enjoy them warm for an easy work-from-home lunch or after-school snack. Chilled, they’re great for lunchboxes or hitting the trail. A sandwich roll-up is a nice break from trail mix when you’re on a long hike. Throw them in an insulated lunch bag with a lightweight ice pack, and you’re good to go.

This recipe suggests making them in an oven, but a toaster oven will also work. Use the ideas below as inspiration to come up with your own meat, cheese, and sauce creations.

Keto Sandwich Roll-ups with Dipping Sauce Recipes

Makes: 3 roll-ups for each recipe variation (1 serving)

Time in the kitchen: 10 – 12 minutes

Italian Cheese Roll-ups

Ingredients

Directions

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius). Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Arrange your slices of cheese on the pan. Layer the pepperoni or salami along the center of the cheese with a leaf or two of basil and sprinkle it with Italian seasoning. Place the sheet pan in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the cheese starts to crisp on the outside edges.

Sliced cheese on pan topped with meat and basil

Remove from the oven and quickly and carefully roll the cheese up diagonally until each one is in a cylinder rolled-up shape. Use a spatula to prevent burning your fingers.

Once the cheese slightly cools, slice in half and sprinkle with more Italian seasoning, then dip into your favorite Primal Kitchen marinara sauce!

Buffalo Chicken Cheese Roll-ups

Ingredients

Directions

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius). Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Arrange your slices of cheese on the pan. In a small bowl, mix together the chicken breast, celery, Ranch Dressing, and Buffalo Sauce to taste. Place a dollop of the chicken mixture in the center of each piece of cheese.

Place the sheet pan in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the cheese starts to get crispy on the outer edges. Remove from the oven and quickly and carefully roll the cheese up diagonally until each one is in a cylinder rolled-up shape. Use a spatula to prevent burning your fingers.

Once the cheese cools slightly, slice in half and garnish with sliced green onion. Dip into Buffalo Sauce or Ranch Dressing!

Buffalo chicken roll-ups on plate with Primal Kitchen Buffalo Sauce

Tips

  • Watch the cheese slices carefully. If they cook in the oven for too long, they risk either burning or becoming too gooey to be able to shape properly.
  • Try out any other combinations you like in terms of cheese, fillings, and dipping sauces!

Nutrition Information:

Italian Cheese Roll-ups

  • Calories: 346
  • Total Carbs: 4 grams
  • Net Carbs: 3 grams
  • Fat: 24 grams
  • Protein: 27 grams

Buffalo Chicken Cheese Roll-ups

  • Calories: 520
  • Total Carbs: 5 grams
  • Net Carbs: 5 grams
  • Fat: 41 grams
  • Protein: 34 grams
Print
Keto sandwich roll-ups on plate with Primal Kitchen Ranch Dressing, Buffalo Sauce, and Tomato Basil Marinara

Keto Sandwich Roll-ups with Dipping Sauce – Two Ways!


Description

Looking for a good keto sandwich option, no bread required? Well look no further than these low-carb, grain-free meat and cheese roll-ups with delectable dipping sauces. Use the ideas below as inspiration to come up with your own meat, cheese, and sauce creations!


Ingredients

Italian Cheese Roll-ups

3 slices mozzarella cheese

6 slices pepperoni or salami

3 fresh basil leaves

Italian seasoning

Primal Kitchen Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce for dipping

Buffalo Chicken Cheese Roll-up

3 slices cheddar cheese

2 oz. cooked shredded chicken breast

1 stalk celery, finely chopped

1½ tablespoons Primal Kitchen Ranch Dressing

Primal Kitchen Jalapeño Buffalo or Buffalo Sauce to taste, plus extra for dipping

Sliced green onion for garnish


Instructions

Italian Cheese Roll-ups

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius). Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Arrange your slices of cheese on the pan. Layer the pepperoni or salami along the center of the cheese with a leaf or two of basil and sprinkle it with Italian seasoning. Place the sheet pan in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the cheese starts to crisp on the outside edges.

Remove from the oven and quickly and carefully roll the cheese up diagonally until each one is in a cylinder rolled-up shape. Use a spatula to prevent burning your fingers.

Once the cheese slightly cools, slice in half and sprinkle with more Italian seasoning, then dip into your favorite Primal Kitchen marinara sauce!

Buffalo Chicken Cheese Roll-ups

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius). Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Arrange your slices of cheese on the pan. In a small bowl, mix together the chicken breast, celery, Ranch Dressing, and Buffalo Sauce to taste. Place a dollop of the chicken mixture in the center of each piece of cheese.

Place the sheet pan in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the cheese starts to get crispy on the outer edges. Remove from the oven and quickly and carefully roll the cheese up diagonally until each one is in a cylinder rolled-up shape. Use a spatula to prevent burning your fingers.

Once the cheese cools slightly, slice in half and garnish with sliced green onion. Dip into Buffalo Sauce or Ranch Dressing!

Notes

Watch the cheese slices carefully. If they cook in the oven for too long, they risk either burning or becoming too gooey to be able to shape properly.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5-7 minutes

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New and Noteworthy: What I Read This Week—Edition 177 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/new-and-noteworthy-edition-177/ https://www.marksdailyapple.com/new-and-noteworthy-edition-177/#comments Fri, 13 May 2022 16:32:20 +0000 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/?p=126600 Research of the Week

Mask wearing, even at rest, appears to increase CO2 to excessive levels.

Eating more protein during weight loss staves off muscle loss and increases the overall quality of the diet.

In advanced stage kidney disease patients, a very low protein diet offers no benefit.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is disastrous for babies (and everyone).

More strength, less depression.

The more species you see at the coast, the better you feel.

New Primal Kitchen Podcasts
Primal Kitchen Podcast Episode 29: Childhood Behavior and Preconception Care with Pediatric Naturopathic Doctor, Ari Calhoun

Primal Health Coach Radio: Chandler Walker
Media, Schmedia
I am not optimistic.

Lettuce is the most common cause of food poisoning.
Interesting Blog Posts
Why are we basing food policy on terrible, unknowable, often incorrect data?

Trees are good.
Social Notes
Because it's not about the environment.

Let kids be kids (and learn from them!).
Everything Else
If you exercise, your blood is anti-cancer.

The utility of weirdness.
Things I’m Up to and Interested In
Archaic revival: Tradition often gets things right.

Agreed: To truly fix diet-related disease, we must look inward.

Interesting thread: Population genomics in Ancient Eurasia.

I'd be surprised: The Dietary Guidelines committee may tackle ultraprocessed foods.

A tragedy on all fronts: Slavery didn't even contribute to the rise of the American economy.
Question I'm Asking
Are you weird?
Recipe Corner

Crispy shallots and shallot oil: one method.
One of the greatest salads in the world: laab.

Time Capsule
One year ago (Apr 30 – May 6)

How to Grill Everything—the Ultimate Guide—Grill it all.
Habit Stacking Microworkouts (aka Working Out Without Having to Think About It)—Work workouts into your life.

Comment of the Week
"I don’t like arrogant, cocky, narcissistic alpha people … unless they’re my surgeon!"

-Wise, PaleoProgressive.

The post New and Noteworthy: What I Read This Week—Edition 177 appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

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Research of the Week

Mask wearing, even at rest, appears to increase CO2 to excessive levels.

Eating more protein during weight loss staves off muscle loss and increases the overall quality of the diet.

In advanced stage kidney disease patients, a very low protein diet offers no benefit.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is disastrous for babies (and everyone).

More strength, less depression.

The more species you see at the coast, the better you feel.

New Primal Kitchen Podcasts

Primal Kitchen Podcast Episode 29: Childhood Behavior and Preconception Care with Pediatric Naturopathic Doctor, Ari Calhoun

Primal Health Coach Radio: Chandler Walker

Media, Schmedia

I am not optimistic.

Lettuce is the most common cause of food poisoning.

Interesting Blog Posts

Why are we basing food policy on terrible, unknowable, often incorrect data?

Trees are good.

Social Notes

Because it’s not about the environment.

Let kids be kids (and learn from them!).

Everything Else

If you exercise, your blood is anti-cancer.

The utility of weirdness.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

Archaic revival: Tradition often gets things right.

Agreed: To truly fix diet-related disease, we must look inward.

Interesting thread: Population genomics in Ancient Eurasia.

I’d be surprised: The Dietary Guidelines committee may tackle ultraprocessed foods.

A tragedy on all fronts: Slavery didn’t even contribute to the rise of the American economy.

Question I’m Asking

Are you weird?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Apr 30 – May 6)

Comment of the Week

“I don’t like arrogant, cocky, narcissistic alpha people … unless they’re my surgeon!”

-Wise, PaleoProgressive.

The post New and Noteworthy: What I Read This Week—Edition 177 appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

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Amber’s Keto Success Story https://www.marksdailyapple.com/ambers-keto-success-story/ https://www.marksdailyapple.com/ambers-keto-success-story/#comments Thu, 12 May 2022 15:00:20 +0000 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/?p=126372 Today I'm sharing Amber's story of making her way from vegan to pescatarian to keto—and, ultimately, to health! Have you improved your health, tackled a fitness goal, or overcome obstacles with the help of the Primal Blueprint? Inspire others by sharing your success story with the MDA community. Contact me here. Hi, Mark! I wanted to share how putting the steps provided in your book into practice has changed my life. Thanks for reading. I was already 20 pounds overweight when I gave birth to my son in 2016. During pregnancy I put on another 40 pounds, which put me in the obese category. I let myself indulge in every craving (mainly strawberry shortcake) and paid no attention to the scale. I was overly confident the weight would fall off after delivery, but when it didn't, I started to think this was just my new normal. Six months later I joined a gym. On day one I stepped on the scale, and when the number was displayed I was completely mortified. I had zero muscles in my abdomen, and they often had to create different exercises specifically for me as I could not participate in their regular classes. I was embarrassed but determined, and after 11 months I was down 30 pounds and feeling proud. However, I was hungry most of the day. In an effort to drop the weight, I had "tinkered" with diets. At the time, I was on a vegan diet that quickly turned into a pescatarian diet. One day, my gym announced they were moving locations and could no longer provide daycare for my son. Just like that, my gym days were over. I tried to "will" myself to the gym at 5 a.m. but it NEVER went well. I could barely keep my eyes open let alone do a proper workout. I let the membership expire and quickly noticed the weight coming back. I could not understand how this was happening. I thought I was making healthy meals. A normal day went like this: One piece of sourdough toast with avocado and some juice. For lunch I would make vegan nachos comprised of a starch-like substance to substitute for cheese along with black beans, rice, lettuce, and tomato served over chips. For dinner I would make yet another dish with beans or fish with gnocchi. It went on like this for the next two years, and abruptly white wine enters the picture. Wine became a constant in my life and—surprise!—I started gaining even more weight. I was tired all the time; I went to bed at 8 and yet woke up exhausted. At age 32 I thought for the first time that this was not any way to live life. I decided to address this extreme exhaustion with my doctor. She ordered labs, and when the results came back (sparing you the details) everything was elevated to "red" in EVERY category. I was shocked and ashamed. My doctor explained a "new" diet she heard remarkable … Continue reading "Amber’s Keto Success Story"

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Today I’m sharing Amber’s story of making her way from vegan to pescatarian to keto—and, ultimately, to health!

Have you improved your health, tackled a fitness goal, or overcome obstacles with the help of the Primal Blueprint? Inspire others by sharing your success story with the MDA community. Contact me here.

success storiesHi, Mark! I wanted to share how putting the steps provided in your book into practice has changed my life. Thanks for reading.

I was already 20 pounds overweight when I gave birth to my son in 2016. During pregnancy I put on another 40 pounds, which put me in the obese category. I let myself indulge in every craving (mainly strawberry shortcake) and paid no attention to the scale. I was overly confident the weight would fall off after delivery, but when it didn’t, I started to think this was just my new normal.

Six months later I joined a gym. On day one I stepped on the scale, and when the number was displayed I was completely mortified. I had zero muscles in my abdomen, and they often had to create different exercises specifically for me as I could not participate in their regular classes. I was embarrassed but determined, and after 11 months I was down 30 pounds and feeling proud.

However, I was hungry most of the day. In an effort to drop the weight, I had “tinkered” with diets. At the time, I was on a vegan diet that quickly turned into a pescatarian diet. One day, my gym announced they were moving locations and could no longer provide daycare for my son. Just like that, my gym days were over. I tried to “will” myself to the gym at 5 a.m. but it NEVER went well. I could barely keep my eyes open let alone do a proper workout.

I let the membership expire and quickly noticed the weight coming back. I could not understand how this was happening. I thought I was making healthy meals. A normal day went like this:

  • One piece of sourdough toast with avocado and some juice.
  • For lunch I would make vegan nachos comprised of a starch-like substance to substitute for cheese along with black beans, rice, lettuce, and tomato served over chips.
  • For dinner I would make yet another dish with beans or fish with gnocchi.

It went on like this for the next two years, and abruptly white wine enters the picture. Wine became a constant in my life and—surprise!—I started gaining even more weight. I was tired all the time; I went to bed at 8 and yet woke up exhausted.

At age 32 I thought for the first time that this was not any way to live life. I decided to address this extreme exhaustion with my doctor. She ordered labs, and when the results came back (sparing you the details) everything was elevated to “red” in EVERY category. I was shocked and ashamed.

My doctor explained a “new” diet she heard remarkable things about called keto. She said I should investigate it and recommended I lose the weight ASAP. I shrugged it off and told her I was a pescatarian and I would figure it out. I left and tried to be better. This means I had one less glass of wine and that was it.

At the time, my son was enrolled in a program that incorporated in-home visits from specialized teachers in the area. About a month after my visit to the doctor one of the teachers I had first met a year prior was coming over. She rang the doorbell and said, “Hello again,” which I thought was odd, as I did not recall meeting her. She then said, “I think we met last year,” to which I replied, “No, I don’t think so”—then it hit me! She was 90 POUNDS HEAVIER when we met. My jaw dropped and she said, “Yeah, I lost quite a bit”. As the session neared the end, I asked her how she did it and she replied “I did keto, you should try it”

Yet again, I rolled my eyes and said, “We are pescatarians, but I’m glad it worked for you.”

Looking back, I can see the pattern of little “nudges” pointing me in the right direction, but it wasn’t until a Joe Rogan podcast when one of the guests mentioned keto that I thought hmm… maybe there is something to this.

The guest mentioned your name and I quickly googled to find out more. I didn’t know if it was going to work, but I knew I had to try something different. My first step was to introduce the idea of a meat-centered diet to my husband—whom I had spent so long convincing to get rid of meat altogether. I found Butcher Box and explained how ethical their standards were and that if we went back to meat-eating, we would do it “the right way”.

I then purchased your book The Keto Reset Diet. I listened to every word and followed every suggestion. I downloaded a “keto” app that required me to add all the meals into it, then it would calculate my net carbs. I made the decision to make the change and did it. I bought a Peloton bike to exercise at home and stuck with it.

Woman in side by side photos in bathing suit before and after weight loss.

The first picture you see was taken on August 9th, 2019 the second was taken on April 1st, 2022. I am 5’9, and my starting weight was 193 and my end is 140. I have since bought two more of your books and countless Primal Kitchen food products. I am having no trouble at all keeping it off and maintaining a healthy weight thanks to your techniques. I have told friends and family about your books and encouraged them to try. I have now become one of “those” keto people.

Thanks so much, Mark!

You’re very welcome, Amber! I’m glad you found something that worked for you. And thanks for sharing it with all of us.

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How to Use a Foam Roller https://www.marksdailyapple.com/how-to-use-a-foam-roller/ https://www.marksdailyapple.com/how-to-use-a-foam-roller/#comments Wed, 11 May 2022 15:00:48 +0000 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/?p=126531 Foam rollers are very popular these days. Places like Target and Walmart carry them. Grandmas and grandpas are foam rolling. Doctors are prescribing them. What began as a niche mobility tool used only by the most obscure fitness nerds has become commonplace. But if you want to get the most value out of your foam roller—and avoid doing any damage—you need to learn how to use it correctly. It's not as simple as "rolling" on it. There's an art to it. And a science. But before we get into how to use a foam roller, let's go over what a foam roller is actually doing (and not doing). What Foam Rolling Does (and Doesn't) Do Foam rolling is not physically breaking up knots or muscle adhesions. Foam rolling is also not lengthening the tissue like you're rolling out a slab of dough. Research shows that foam rolling doesn't physically stretch or lengthen the muscle. Instead, foam rolling seems to relax the nervous system. It works through neuromuscular connections rather than brute force physical modification. After foam rolling an area while moving that tissue, your nervous system has determined that this is the proper, safe range of motion for you. Foam rolling gives you a short opportunity to establish a new "safe" pattern. Rather than physical adhesions, it’s removing neuromuscular blocks and harmful patterns. You reset the system and reprogram it, or leave it open to reprogramming with better movement. Foam rolling might also works through something called diffuse noxious inhibitory control, or DNIC. When a tissue hurts, it's because your nervous system has decided that inhibiting movement in that area (through pain) is safer and better for you than allowing movement through that area. But sometimes, the nervous system decides to blunt the pain because it's safer and better for you to move it than remain motionless. Consider a soldier taking a big wound in battle. He's grievously wounded, but extreme pain would only prevent him from making it to safety. The nervous system blunts the pain so he can make it back alive. The foam roller may be doing something similar. How to Use a Foam Roller Relax into the roller; don't tense up. This can be tough to pull off because by its very nature, foam rolling is uncomfortable. Painful, even. But here's what happens when you tense up: your body fights the healing effect the foam roller is supposed to have on you. You should be able to breathe easily and normally. If you're holding your breath, that indicates a stress response. You're probably going too hard or being too tense. Don't grimace. Don't grit your teeth. Try to smile, or at least maintain a neutral facial expression. Any outward expression of pain and discomfort will register with your nervous system. What you're trying to do here is reassure your body that you can handle the pain, that the pain isn't all that bad, and the tissue can start feeling better. Stay at a spot until it … Continue reading "How to Use a Foam Roller"

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Woman using foam roller to massage hip on yoga matFoam rollers are very popular these days. Places like Target and Walmart carry them. Grandmas and grandpas are foam rolling. Doctors are prescribing them. What began as a niche mobility tool used only by the most obscure fitness nerds has become commonplace. But if you want to get the most value out of your foam roller—and avoid doing any damage—you need to learn how to use it correctly. It’s not as simple as “rolling” on it. There’s an art to it. And a science.

But before we get into how to use a foam roller, let’s go over what a foam roller is actually doing (and not doing).

What Foam Rolling Does (and Doesn’t) Do

Foam rolling is not physically breaking up knots or muscle adhesions.

Foam rolling is also not lengthening the tissue like you’re rolling out a slab of dough. Research shows that foam rolling doesn’t physically stretch or lengthen the muscle.8

Instead, foam rolling seems to relax the nervous system. It works through neuromuscular connections rather than brute force physical modification. After foam rolling an area while moving that tissue, your nervous system has determined that this is the proper, safe range of motion for you. Foam rolling gives you a short opportunity to establish a new “safe” pattern. Rather than physical adhesions, it’s removing neuromuscular blocks and harmful patterns. You reset the system and reprogram it, or leave it open to reprogramming with better movement.

Foam rolling might also works through something called diffuse noxious inhibitory control, or DNIC. When a tissue hurts, it’s because your nervous system has decided that inhibiting movement in that area (through pain) is safer and better for you than allowing movement through that area. But sometimes, the nervous system decides to blunt the pain because it’s safer and better for you to move it than remain motionless. Consider a soldier taking a big wound in battle. He’s grievously wounded, but extreme pain would only prevent him from making it to safety. The nervous system blunts the pain so he can make it back alive. The foam roller may be doing something similar.

How to Use a Foam Roller

Relax into the roller; don’t tense up.

This can be tough to pull off because by its very nature, foam rolling is uncomfortable. Painful, even. But here’s what happens when you tense up: your body fights the healing effect the foam roller is supposed to have on you.

You should be able to breathe easily and normally. If you’re holding your breath, that indicates a stress response. You’re probably going too hard or being too tense.

Don’t grimace. Don’t grit your teeth. Try to smile, or at least maintain a neutral facial expression. Any outward expression of pain and discomfort will register with your nervous system. What you’re trying to do here is reassure your body that you can handle the pain, that the pain isn’t all that bad, and the tissue can start feeling better.

Stay at a spot until it stops hurting.

If you’re rushing through your foam rolling session, skipping over areas because they “hurt too much,” you are missing the point. Instead of avoiding the pain, you need to seek out and sit with the pain. Once you find a tender spot, stay there for at least a minute or until the pain subsides.

Explore range of motion while sitting on a tender spot.

When you roll your quads and find a tight, tender spot, stay on that spot and then extend and flex your knee through its full range of motion. This seems to make foam rolling more effective than if you were to just stay on the spot with zero movement through the knee.

Focus on one large area per session.

You’re not going to effectively hit your entire body in a single session. There’s not enough time for that. Instead, focus on one large area— your legs, your glutes, your calves, your hamstrings, your pecs, your thoracic spine—and do a great job there. Be thorough and take your time. You can focus on another section during the next session.

Do not foam roll bones.

Bones should not be foam rolled. It doesn’t help. It’s totally pointless. Foam rolling is intended for soft tissue application only.

Do not foam roll your spine. 

You can and should foam roll the lumbar muscles running on either side of your spine, but you should not roll the actual spinal column itself. As a bone, it doesn’t respond well to foam rolling, and it can actually irritate and hurt you.

Don’t foam roll the site of the pain; foam roll the tissues around it.

If your knee hurts, foam rolling the knee itself probably won’t help. If your calves hurt, foam rolling the calves isn’t the answer.

You need to go above and below the affected tissue. Keep rolling the tissues around the painful area, working your way above and below until you find the tender spot.

Use a lacrosse ball (or two taped together) for harder to reach areas.

The foam roller doesn’t work as well on every muscle or tissue. Hamstrings, the TFL, the pecs, and specific points in the thoracic spine seem to respond much better to lacrosse balls. They offer more direct, targeted pressure and can really get deep in there.

Foam roll before workouts to increase range of motion.

Foam rolling before your workout is better for range of motion and performance, especially if you take advantage of the open “movement window” and move.9 Foam roll, do some mobility drills to take advantage of the window, then get to training.

Foam roll after workouts to reduce muscle soreness and improve performance.

Studies show that foam rolling after training reduces subsequent muscle soreness and maintains performance (where it would otherwise suffer).10 I can see foam rolling being very effective for athletes who need to quickly get back into training after a workout or competition.

But overall, if you keep all these concepts in mind, foam rolling is pretty easy to do and very versatile. Happy rolling!

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Want to Be More Productive Working from Home? Tap into Your Senses. https://www.marksdailyapple.com/work-from-home-productivity/ https://www.marksdailyapple.com/work-from-home-productivity/#respond Tue, 10 May 2022 16:30:54 +0000 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/?p=126540 Since working from home has solidified its place as the “new normal,” we’re chockablock with tips for work-from-home productivity: have a morning routine, maintain a consistent schedule, dress in real clothes (maybe not hard pants, but not pajamas either). We also know all about taking frequent work breaks, utilizing a sit-stand desk, and incorporating microworkouts. Those things are all important, to be sure, but routines or work breaks aren’t the only keys to being more productive. Your physical environment also affects productivity for better or worse. One of the big advantages of working from home is having total control over your workspace. Even if you’re taking over half the dining table or squeezing into a closet (which can be nicer than it sounds!), you can spruce up your workspace and tailor it to your preferences. After all, it’s part of your home, so you want to like being there. Most of us probably aren't paying enough attention to the sensory environment—what we see, hear, and smell while we work. Easy, inexpensive touches can increase both happiness and productivity. Here’s where to start. The Eyes Have It You might feel like you spend all day looking at a computer screen, but that's not really the case. The rest of your visual field can significantly impact productivity and stress levels. Consider the following. Lighting It’s hard to get good work done in a dark, dreary space. Stanford neuroscientist Dr. Andrew Huberman stresses the importance of getting bright light in the first nine hours after waking. Specifically, he recommends strong overhead lighting and having lights directly in front of you. These stimulate the release of dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine to increase alertness and focus. Morning light is also a powerful zeitgeber—a cue that regulates circadian rhythm, which promotes optimal daytime energy and nighttime sleepiness. Ideally, the sun provides this morning light, so set up your desk by a window if possible. Research shows that people who work in windowless offices get poorer sleep than their colleagues who get daylight in their workspaces. You can also use artificial white lights overhead and/or supplement with lamps if your workspace isn’t well lit naturally. Don’t make it so bright that you have to squint or get headaches or eyestrain, but otherwise, turn up those lights. Nature is Calling Ideally, your home office contains a window that lets in the light and allows you to see some nature—trees, a garden, a neighborhood park. If you can’t be near a window, or your window faces a concrete jungle, bring some nature indoors with houseplants. Heck, get some houseplants even if your home office looks out onto a lush garden. Studies show that indoor plants Increase your ability to concentrate Reduce tension and anxiety Improve mood and increase happiness Boost attention and productivity Lower stress levels Reduce sick leave Enhance workplace satisfaction If you’re one of the rare people who didn’t pick up a few—or a few too many—plants while stuck at home in 2020, now’s a great time … Continue reading "Want to Be More Productive Working from Home? Tap into Your Senses."

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Cozy home office interior with indoor plants, woman sitting at laptop with pink mug.Since working from home has solidified its place as the “new normal,” we’re chockablock with tips for work-from-home productivity: have a morning routine, maintain a consistent schedule, dress in real clothes (maybe not hard pants, but not pajamas either). We also know all about taking frequent work breaks, utilizing a sit-stand desk, and incorporating microworkouts.

Those things are all important, to be sure, but routines or work breaks aren’t the only keys to being more productive. Your physical environment also affects productivity for better or worse. One of the big advantages of working from home is having total control over your workspace. Even if you’re taking over half the dining table or squeezing into a closet (which can be nicer than it sounds!), you can spruce up your workspace and tailor it to your preferences. After all, it’s part of your home, so you want to like being there.

Most of us probably aren’t paying enough attention to the sensory environment—what we see, hear, and smell while we work. Easy, inexpensive touches can increase both happiness and productivity. Here’s where to start.

The Eyes Have It

You might feel like you spend all day looking at a computer screen, but that’s not really the case. The rest of your visual field can significantly impact productivity and stress levels. Consider the following.

Lighting

It’s hard to get good work done in a dark, dreary space. Stanford neuroscientist Dr. Andrew Huberman stresses the importance of getting bright light in the first nine hours after waking. Specifically, he recommends strong overhead lighting and having lights directly in front of you. These stimulate the release of dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine to increase alertness and focus.11 Morning light is also a powerful zeitgeber—a cue that regulates circadian rhythm, which promotes optimal daytime energy and nighttime sleepiness.

Ideally, the sun provides this morning light, so set up your desk by a window if possible. Research shows that people who work in windowless offices get poorer sleep than their colleagues who get daylight in their workspaces.12 You can also use artificial white lights overhead and/or supplement with lamps if your workspace isn’t well lit naturally. Don’t make it so bright that you have to squint or get headaches or eyestrain, but otherwise, turn up those lights.

Nature is Calling

Ideally, your home office contains a window that lets in the light and allows you to see some nature—trees, a garden, a neighborhood park. If you can’t be near a window, or your window faces a concrete jungle, bring some nature indoors with houseplants. Heck, get some houseplants even if your home office looks out onto a lush garden. Studies show that indoor plants13 14

  • Increase your ability to concentrate
  • Reduce tension and anxiety
  • Improve mood and increase happiness
  • Boost attention and productivity
  • Lower stress levels
  • Reduce sick leave15
  • Enhance workplace satisfaction

If you’re one of the rare people who didn’t pick up a few—or a few too many—plants while stuck at home in 2020, now’s a great time to test your green thumb. Grab a peace lily, ivy plant, spider plant, or chrysanthemum, which are thought to have superior air-purifying benefits. Select some succulents if you have trouble remembering to water your potted friends.

Still make an effort to go outside as often as possible. Abundant evidence confirms that time in nature elevates mood, improves focus and attention, lowers stress, and promotes creative thinking. Have walking meetings during the day. Take your laptop to a local park. Eat lunch in the sun. No matter how nice your home office space is, try to get out of it every day.

Use Color to Set the Tone

While many studies have examined the effect of room color on cognitive performance, no hue seems to consistently enhance or detract from productivity. Color preferences are apparently quite idiosyncratic.

You can still use color to your advantage, though. Pick a color scheme for your home workspace that feels best. If your work lends itself to being in a calm, relaxed state, you might want to start with blues, greens, or perhaps shades of yellow. On the other hand, if you work better in a more heightened state of arousal, you might like more saturated red tones. Some people like to be surrounded by white because they find it less distracting, while others find it boring and energy-sapping.

If you don’t want to commit to an entire office makeover, start with a few colorful accessories. Or paint one accent wall and see if you’re more or less inspired to work.

Using Sound to Increase Productivity

The acoustic environment in which you work is very important. Sounds can be distracting and stress-inducing, or they can help your brain focus and improve your mood during your workday.

Music

Research suggests that music enhances cognitive performance and happiness during the workday—if it’s music you like.16 At home, you have complete control over the playlist; but if you’re returning to an office environment where you’re subjected to coworkers’ questionable music taste, you might want to invest in noise-canceling headphones to optimize your productivity. Music with lyrics and sad (minor key) music can interfere with attention and performance, so opt for upbeat instrumentals.

Nature sounds

Nature sounds like birds and running water tend to reduce stress and increase productivity, even in the presence of human sounds like voices or traffic noise. On the other hand, mechanical sounds like air conditioners or boilers have the opposite effect.Open that window or download an app to provide the sweet sounds of nature.17

Binaural beats

With binaural beats, tones are transmitted to your left and right ear at slightly different times. The mismatch stimulates certain brainwave patterns and, depending on the frequency, produces effects like relaxation and stress relief. Some binaural beats can bolster learning and memory, promote divergent or creative thinking, and enhance cognitive flexibility.18 19 They do this in part by stimulating dopamine release which, again, heightens focus and attention. Dr. Huberman recommends starting with binaural beats at a frequency of 40 hertz, which has been shown in studies to have the greatest effect on work-related cognitive functions. He suggests listening to binaural beats for 30 minutes before starting work to prime the pump, so to speak.

Overall, as with color, people’s sound preferences are highly individual. Some people work best in quiet environments, while others prefer music, white noise, or even more cacophonous spaces like coffee shops. If you’re like me, your preferences change from day to day or task to task. Sometimes you need total silence to concentrate, and other times you crave some background noise. Thus, the best course of action is probably to go by feel, tailoring your acoustic environment to what resonates in the moment (no pun intended). Any noise, even a pleasant one, can be distracting if it is too loud, so watch the overall volume level.

What’s That Smell?

Don’t forget your olfactory environment. The way your workplace smells can increase focus, memory, and goal setting. Specific odors may also reduce stress and put you in a better headspace for getting good work done.20

Peppermint, cinnamon, and rosemary are generally considered beneficial for productivity. Lavender, vanilla, and sandalwood can be relaxing, which might be good or bad depending on what you need. As with everything else we’ve discussed here, scents are personal. Certain ones may have strong positive or negative associations for you based on prior learning. Maybe a beloved teacher always smelled like roses, or you were in a terrible car accident in a vehicle that smelled like pine. Those odors will probably always evoke specific feelings for you, so pick ones you like.

More generally, fresh air is always preferable to stale, stuffy air, which is yet another reason to open that window. You might also consider investing in an air purifier to remove unpleasant odors and improve air quality.

Small Changes, Big Impact on Productivity?

Your environment directly affects how happy, motivated, and productive you are. The goal is to create a space where you feel comfortable, focused, and ready to tackle your workload each day.

Each of the modifications suggested here requires a low investment in time or money, but they could definitely pay off in terms of getting better work done. Rather than prescribe a specific office set-up, I’d encourage you to pay close attention to how your environment makes you feel. Energized and alert? Expansive and creative when the situation calls for it, and focused and task-oriented when that’s appropriate instead? Irritable or calm? Happy or dejected? High energy or low?

If there’s one thing to take away from this post, it’s that everyone’s needs and preferences are different. My best advice is to optimize for optionality and flexibility. Start with a well-lit, quiet, and comfortable workspace. Connect to nature through windows and/or plants. Then use sound and scents to fine-tune on a day-by-day or project-by-project basis.

And, if something isn’t working one day, change it! Go outside or hit up a coffee shop. Light a candle. Blast some tunes. Take a nap. Take full advantage of the freedom afforded to you by working at home!

What say you? What are the best (or worst) things you’ve done to make working from home more enjoyable and effective? Tell your fellow readers in the comments below.

Related posts from Mark’s Daily Apple

10 Productivity Hacks That Really Work

10 Ways to Make Your Workplace Healthier and More Productive

How to Get Organized and Stay Focused in a Modern World

15 Tips for Standup Workstation Users

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Creamed Spinach Recipe https://www.marksdailyapple.com/creamed-spinach/ https://www.marksdailyapple.com/creamed-spinach/#comments Sat, 07 May 2022 15:00:58 +0000 https://www.marksdailyapple.com/?p=95731 Creamed spinach gets a bad rap because the version many of us grew up with was too often overdone and underwhelming. It's a shame because cooked spinach can and should be bright and delicious!

This recipe will show you how to make creamed spinach that retains its appealing taste and texture in the final dish. Sautéed mushrooms and shallots add nuance, and since this creamed spinach is made without cream cheese, it's not too heavy. If you omit the parmesan, the recipe is even dairy-free!

We love this spinach served with a juicy beef roast. Cheese lovers should try adding some Parmigiano Reggiano or pecorino at the end for a nice finish.

How to Make Creamed Spinach (the Right Way)
Serves: 4

Time in the Kitchen: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

1 ½ Tbsp Primal Kitchen® Avocado Oil or butter
½ cup chopped shallots
2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
5 cloves grated garlic
1 lb baby spinach
½ cup coconut milk
2-3 tsp coconut flour
½ tsp salt
5 Tbsp coconut cream
2 tsp lemon juice
¼ tsp black pepper
Optional: parmesan cheese

Instructions:

In a large pan, sauté the shallots in the avocado oil over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Once the shallots have softened, add the sliced mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Once the mushrooms begin to soften, stir in the garlic and cook until it is fragrant.

Add the spinach to the pan in batches, one large handful at a time. Stir, allowing the first batch to wilt before adding the next. Once the spinach is wilted, drain any excess liquid from the pan.

Add in the coconut milk, black pepper, coconut flour, and another pinch of salt. Stir until combined and the coconut flour begins to thicken the sauce.

Add in the coconut cream and lemon juice and stir until a sauce forms. If you’d like your sauce to be thicker, you can either remove the spinach from the pan using a slotted spoon and cook the sauce down, or place the pan into a 350 degree Fahrenheit (175 degree Celsius) oven for about 10 minutes.

Taste and adjust seasoning. Optionally top with grated parmesan cheese. Serve this creamed spinach with your favorite protein, like a nice steak or piece of chicken.

Nutrition Information (¼ of recipe):

Calories: 195
Total Carbs: 14 grams
Net Carbs: 10 grams
Fat: 14 grams
Protein: 5 grams

The post Creamed Spinach Recipe appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

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Creamed spinach gets a bad rap because the version many of us grew up with was too often overdone and underwhelming. It’s a shame because cooked spinach can and should be bright and delicious!

This recipe will show you how to make creamed spinach that retains its appealing taste and texture in the final dish. Sautéed mushrooms and shallots add nuance, and since this creamed spinach is made without cream cheese, it’s not too heavy. If you omit the parmesan, the recipe is even dairy-free!

We love this spinach served with a juicy beef roast. Cheese lovers should try adding some Parmigiano Reggiano or pecorino at the end for a nice finish.

How to Make Creamed Spinach (the Right Way)

Serves: 4

Time in the Kitchen: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ Tbsp Primal Kitchen® Avocado Oil or butter
  • ½ cup chopped shallots
  • 2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 5 cloves grated garlic
  • 1 lb baby spinach
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 2-3 tsp coconut flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 5 Tbsp coconut cream
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • Optional: parmesan cheese

Instructions:

In a large pan, sauté the shallots in the avocado oil over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Once the shallots have softened, add the sliced mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Once the mushrooms begin to soften, stir in the garlic and cook until it is fragrant.

Add the spinach to the pan in batches, one large handful at a time. Stir, allowing the first batch to wilt before adding the next. Once the spinach is wilted, drain any excess liquid from the pan.

Add in the coconut milk, black pepper, coconut flour, and another pinch of salt. Stir until combined and the coconut flour begins to thicken the sauce.

Add in the coconut cream and lemon juice and stir until a sauce forms. If you’d like your sauce to be thicker, you can either remove the spinach from the pan using a slotted spoon and cook the sauce down, or place the pan into a 350 degree Fahrenheit (175 degree Celsius) oven for about 10 minutes.

Taste and adjust seasoning. Optionally top with grated parmesan cheese. Serve this creamed spinach with your favorite protein, like a nice steak or piece of chicken.

Nutrition Information (¼ of recipe):

  • Calories: 195
  • Total Carbs: 14 grams
  • Net Carbs: 10 grams
  • Fat: 14 grams
  • Protein: 5 grams
Print
Creamed spinach in white bowl with spoon on wooden background, blue checked napkin.

Creamed Spinach Recipe


Description

This bright, flavorful creamed spinach features mushrooms and shallots, and it is dairy-free!


Ingredients

1½ Tbsp Primal Kitchen® Avocado Oil or butter

½ cup chopped shallots

2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms

5 cloves grated garlic

1 lb baby spinach

½ cup coconut milk

23 tsp coconut flour

½ tsp salt

5 Tbsp coconut cream

2 tsp lemon juice

¼ tsp black pepper

Optional: parmesan cheese


Instructions

In a large pan, sauté the shallots in the avocado oil over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Once the shallots have softened, add the sliced mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Once the mushrooms begin to soften, stir in the garlic and cook until it is fragrant.

Add the spinach to the pan in batches, one large handful at a time. Stir, allowing the first batch to wilt before adding the next. Once the spinach is wilted, drain any excess liquid from the pan.

Add in the coconut milk, black pepper, coconut flour, and another pinch of salt. Stir until combined and the coconut flour begins to thicken the sauce.

Add in the coconut cream and lemon juice and stir until a sauce forms. If you’d like your sauce to be thicker, you can either remove the spinach from the pan using a slotted spoon and cook the sauce down, or place the pan into a 350 degree Fahrenheit (175 degree Celsius) oven for about 10 minutes.

Taste and adjust seasoning. Optionally top with grated parmesan cheese. Serve this creamed spinach with your favorite protein, like a nice steak or piece of chicken.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Side dish

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 195
  • Fat: 14g
  • Carbohydrates: 14g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Net Carbs: 10g

Keywords: Spinach, vegetable, side dish

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