Category: Recent Articles

Male Menopause Is a Thing. What to Do About It

Male menopause is a real thing, and the medical term for it is andropause. According to the Mayo Clinic, the term “Male Menopause” has been used to describe decreasing testosterone levels related to aging. See this article from Mark back in 2018.

One of the symptoms of male menopause can be erectile dysfunction (ED). Although for younger men, you can have ED without male menopause. ED can destroy a man’s confidence not just in the bedroom but in the larger picture of his life by causing depression, stress, moodiness and anger all things that peak performers do not want to associate with. But for men aged 35-64 these things can sneak up on us, fast.

We are all so busy “performing.” Being a Dad, a good husband, business owner, a hard worker, friend, trying to get your workouts squeezed into an already hectic week. In many cases, this usually leads to a pattern of not not getting enough sleep because of late night emails for work after having put the kids to bed, up early the next day to get right back at your hard charging life, with too little exercise and not enough Primal Nutrition. Which leaves you with high stress. Stress leads to high cortisol (more about cortisol below).

Maybe you had a little too much wine at dinner … it happens. Your wife or lover wants to “play” and so do you, but no response. Once, certainly is nothing to worry about but the definition of ED is “is the recurrent or persistent inability to attain and/or maintain an erection in order for satisfactory sexual performance.” So, what to do?

First, let’s look closer at the leading causes.

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Summer Watermelon Salad Recipe

We can generally get our hands on a watermelon any time of year, but these are the months when they actually taste sweet and juicy. As soon as watermelons come into season, my Summer Watermelon Salad comes out of hiding. It’s a late summer treat that reminds us that even though we’re hearing the first whispers of school starting and pumpkin spice, it’s still summertime.

This watermelon salad is a sweet, crunchy, tangy accompaniment to any summer meal.

Tip: feel free to leave the feta cheese out if you are dairy-free, or replace it with goat cheese or fresh mozzarella.
Summer Watermelon Salad Recipe
Time in the kitchen: 5 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

4 cups cubed watermelon
2 oz. crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup basil
1 large tomato sliced into wedges
1 chopped cucumber
5 chopped radishes
1/3 cup sliced red onion
3 Tbsp. Primal Kitchen® Lemon Turmeric Dressing
salt and pepper

Directions
Chop the watermelon into ¾”-1” cubes. Slice the tomato into wedges and chop the cucumber and radishes.

Thinly slice the red onion and the basil.

Combine the watermelon, chopped basil, tomato, cucumber, radishes and red onion in a bowl. Pour in the Primal Kitchen Lemon Turmeric Dressing and fold it into the salad along with the feta.

Season with salt and pepper and garnish with more basil leaves.

Nutrition Information (¼ of recipe):
Calories: 146
Fat: 6g
Total Carbohydrates: 19g
Net Carbohydrates: 17g
Protein: 5g

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8 Ways to Deal with a Difficult Partner (Who Doesn’t Eat Like You Do)

One of the biggest challenges of going Primal (or Keto or anything that goes against the norm of the Standard American Diet) is dealing with people who have no clue why you’d ever do such a thing. Even though there have been tons of studies on the risks of eating processed foods, grains, and industrialized oils, there are just as many folks panicking when you pass on the rolls. It’s even harder when those folks are your spouse or significant other. If you’ve ever heard your partner say… “I’d die if I couldn’t have bread.” “One cookie isn’t going to wreck your diet.” “Your body needs sugar!” “You’re having bacon again?!” …then you know what I’m talking about. As a health coach, I see this more often than I don’t. One half of a couple decides they’re done feeling foggy and carrying around extra fat, while the other feels “fine” and finds no reason to change how they’re eating — even though they’re pre-diabetic and their blood pressure numbers are sky high. Signs You’ve Got a Difficult Partner As you take steps toward improving your health and growing as a person, you might find that, instead of support, you’re suddenly on the receiving end of someone who’s sabotaging you, acting irritated and jealous, or just not willing to grow with you. Your partner may come home with armloads of chips and cookies and refuse to eat anything that resembles a vegetable. Or make you feel bad when you ask for your burger lettuce wrapped. Or look at you like you’ve got two heads when you grab the full-fat yogurt off the grocery store shelf. Sound familiar? These are all signs that you’re dealing with a difficult partner. Here are some other indicators: They’re quick to blame you for their actions They seem to try to sabotage you They’re controlling They avoid or resist conversations with you They minimize your wins or your progress They judge you based on their beliefs They use guilt as a way to control the situation Here’s the thing though. You can’t change other people. I don’t care how right you are, how much progress you’ve made in your own health journey, or how much time you spend cooking epic protein-forward meals. People only change when they want to change. That said, you don’t have to let someone else’s resistance derail your own goals. How Difficult Partners Affect Your Health Aside from it being downright frustrating to live with someone who refuses to take responsibility for their own health, it can increase your risk of certain health conditions. One study from Montreal’s McGill University Health Centre evaluated the environmental factors, social habits, and eating and exercising patterns of couples and found that participants had a 26% higher chance of developing Type 2 Diabetes when their partner had the disease. The good news is, it works the other way too. In a trial funded by the National Institute of Health, researchers looked at the ripple effect of … Continue reading “8 Ways to Deal with a Difficult Partner (Who Doesn’t Eat Like You Do)”

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Why You Need to Be Taking L-Theanine

People often ask me why I use supplements. After all, our hunter-gatherer ancestors didn’t take them. Our ancient ancestors didn’t take them, nor did our medieval ones or our pre-industrial ones. In fact, nutritional supplementation is one of the most modern inputs you can imagine and, in a perfect world while eating a perfect diet, it should be unnecessary. But the world is not perfect. We don’t have the same foods available to us that our ancestors ate during the formative years of our evolution, and even if we did, modern farming practices altered mineral levels in the soil. Supplementation can restore some semblance of a “natural” food environment. Overcoming the stressors of modernity, however, is harder, because it’s not a matter of avoiding the wrong foods and eating the right ones then smoothing out the rough patches with smart supplements. Modern stressors are mostly unavoidable. You have to deal with them. Endure them. And that’s where supplements can really help. Like L-theanine. What is L-Theanine? One of my favorite anti-stress supplements is L-theanine. It’s an amino acid found in green and white tea that is structurally similar to glutamine, GABA, and glutamate. It crosses the blood-brain barrier after oral dosing, appearing in the hippocampus and increasing alpha-waves in the brain in less than an hour. It’s clearly “doing stuff” up there. But what are the benefits? L-Theanine Benefits The majority of L-theanine’s benefits revolve around our response to stress and anxiety. L-theanine takes the edge of things. More specifically and in addition, L-theanine: Reduces stress Lowers anxiety Improves performance Smoothes out the effect of caffeine Improves sleep Restores immune function Protects against alcoholic liver damage L-Theanine as a Stress Reducer When you meditate, your brain is pumping alpha waves. When you’re having a restful morning with . not much to do but hang around and quietly enjoy your time, you’re alpha wave-dominant. When you’re sitting on the beach listening to the waves lap the shore, a brain scan would reveal a ton of alpha wave activity. And when you take 50 mg of L-theanine, your alpha brainwaves kick in after about an hour. L-Theanine as an Anxiety Buster L-theanine isn’t a benzodiazepine. It won’t brute force your brain into an overwhelming state of supreme chill. For L-theanine to reduce your anxiety, you must actually be anxious. Now, much anxiety is hidden, even to ourselves. We may not know that we’re anxious about something. We may not recognize it. So theanine can really help, as long as there’s something for it to help against. The downside is that it’s subtler than taking a pharmaceutical anti-anxiety med; you don’t “feel it” as much as taking something like xanax. The upside is that it doesn’t make you drowsy and it’s non-addictive. In fact, most people tolerate theanine so well that researchers have been unable to identify a toxic dose. I’m not suggesting you take an entire bottle, of course. There may be a toxic dose, somewhere, somehow. But subjects have taken 400 … Continue reading “Why You Need to Be Taking L-Theanine”

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Making Distance Learning Work

Hi, everyone, Lindsay here. As a parent of school-aged kids, the upcoming school year is front and center in my mind. Like you, I’m trying to figure out how to make distance learning work for my family. Before starting today’s post, I want to acknowledge that everyone’s situation is different. Family structures, finances, support systems, living arrangements, access to technology, and employment all affect how we’ll approach this upcoming school year. Not to mention, our kids have unique needs, strengths, and challenges.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution. A lot of parents are facing tough dilemmas. Their school districts’ solutions simply aren’t workable for them for various reasons, sometimes reflecting larger societal issues. While I’m going to offer some simple, concrete steps and encouragement, I also don’t want to minimize the challenges that some people are facing. I’d love for other parents/caregivers to join the discussion in the comments and let us know how you’re juggling everything.

The new school year is almost upon us, and I’m sure I’m not the only parent who feels like my head has been spinning for five months. After being thrown into distance learning in March, school districts are still scrambling to figure out what’s happening this fall. Teachers and parents are rightfully worried about how to balance seemingly un-balanceable interests: educating our kids, supporting working parents, making sure all kids have equal learning opportunities (always an issue), maintaining kids’ socioemotional wellbeing, and allowing schools to stay funded, all while protecting the health and safety of students, their families, teachers, and staff.

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What to Say When People Ask About Your Eating Habits

Ever make excuses for why you don’t partake in grains? Wondering the best way to pass on processed foods at a party? And how do you eat healthy when there are no healthy choices available? In this week’s edition of Ask a Health Coach, Erin is here to answer your questions about defending and maintaining a Primal lifestyle in a SAD world. Keep your questions coming in the comments section below or over in our Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook Group. Maria asked: “How do you deal with relatives who totally buy into the dietary guidelines? I think my siblings actually believe I’m harming myself and my kids with my ‘crazy’ diet. What do I say to make them see my side?” Trust me, I know how frustrating this is. And honestly, I don’t typically engage with anyone who tries to shame me for my choices (just like I don’t shame anyone who hasn’t realized how detrimental a Standard American Diet can be). That said, when it’s family, it’s hard not to engage. It’s also hard to not let it rile you up. Hearing someone say that canola is one of those healthy oils or “I can’t believe you don’t eat bread” or “this soy burger is so much better for you” can make a sane person scream. And no amount of citing nutritional studies or forwarding Mark’s Daily Apple links will convince them otherwise. Our food choices have become as controversial as talking about politics or religion. And most people have a hard time seeing that their diet and their health issues are connected. They just go about their day, slurping down their ginormous sugar-laden coffee drinks and processed convenience foods and then running to the doctor when a health issue arises (which it always does). Unless they’re paying a lot of attention, people become so disengaged from their bodies that they don’t realize eating certain foods is causing them to feel like crap. They don’t realize that being bloated or having indigestion all the time is fixable. It’s not your job to fix them. But it is your job to stand up for what you and your kids believe in. Eating high-quality protein, healthy fats, nuts and seeds, and fruits and veggies is how our ancestors ate — before chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease became staples in our healthcare system. You know that eating this way works for you and your family. That’s why the best advice is to lead by example. As your siblings see you indulging in red meat and big ass salads and forgoing grains and processed desserts, they’ll also start to notice that your weight is staying stable (or you’re losing weight) and you’re avoiding the typical illnesses that plague Standard American Dieters. Whenever you get together with family, keeping eating like you always do without making it a big deal. Who knows? Maybe one of these days you’ll notice they’re slathering up their dinner with real butter instead of spraying on the … Continue reading “What to Say When People Ask About Your Eating Habits”

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