Category: Recent Articles

How Do You Start Asking for Help?

Feel like you’ve got the weight of the world on your shoulders? I can totally relate. If the struggles of living in an overly busy, stressed out society weren’t enough, the fear of navigating it all mid-COVID is the proverbial icing on the cake. Whether it’s the overwhelm of managing day-to-day tasks or deciding to get a handle on your mental or physical health, it can be hard to go it alone. Which leads me to the question: why do we feel compelled to do it all ourselves? Do You Have a Do-It-All-Myself Mentality? I ask my health coaching clients this question anytime I can feel them slinking back into their old patterns of avoiding asking for help. We sort of live by this notion that we should all be able to handle anything that comes our way. And if we can’t handle it ourselves, well, that’s a sure sign (at least in our own minds) that we’re weak, incompetent, or somehow unworthy of achieving success in that area. New health diagnosis? Sure, no problem. Relationship problems? Got it all under control. Global pandemic like we haven’t seen in our lifetime? No freakin’ sweat. The trouble is, asking for help can bring up similar, uncomfortable feelings. Research done in the fields of neuroscience and psychology confirm that there really are social threats involved in doing so. In fact, researchers found that an emotionally painful threat activates the same parts of the brain as physical pain does — which of course gives us even more reason to avoid asking and continue struggling in silence. Reasons You Avoid Asking for Help You may avoid asking for help for several reasons: You’re unsure where to turn You don’t want to be seen as weak Fear of being rejected Showing vulnerability Not sure how to ask Feeling like a burden Worrying people won’t like you Relinquishing control Admitting you can’t do it all Feeling like your problems are less significant You grew up with a pattern of being let down in childhood There’s no shortage of reasons why it feels hard to ask for help, but here’s where it gets wild. Studies show that people actually like helping other people — they get a huge benefit from it. Nothing we do as humans proves to be as fulfilling as lending a hand to someone else. To test this theory, researchers had participants write either a supportive note to a friend or write about their route to school or work before undergoing a lab-based stress task. Physiological responses like heart rate, blood pressure, salivary alpha-amylase, and salivary cortisol, as well as self-reported stress were collected and measured throughout the experiment. They found that participants who had written the supportive notes had lower sympathetic-related responses than their counterparts who just wrote about their routine. Asking for help makes people like you more too. This concept is called the Benjamin Franklin effect and is based on cognitive dissonance theory, which refers to “a situation involving conflicting attitudes, … Continue reading “How Do You Start Asking for Help?”

Read More

What are the Five Different types of Collagen? How to Choose the Best One for You

When a person goes looking for information on “collagen” supplements, they often come out more confused than they went in. There are seemingly dozens of different varieties. There’s gelatin. There’s animal collagen. There’s marine collagen. Hydrolysate and peptides. And then there are all the “types” of collagen: type I, type II, type III, type IV, type V, and on down the line, each with unique properties and applications. Everyone seems to say something different. What are you supposed to believe? How does a person make sense of it all? What are differences between them? Let’s do that right now. Gelatin Gelatin is heat-treated collagenous animal tissue. Whether you’re a food manufacturer turning raw skin and bones into powdered gelatin for use in jello or a home cook slowly simmering beef knuckles in a pot on the stove to make rich bone broth that gelatinizes when cold, you are using heat to convert collagenous tissue into gelatin. Gelatin is partially soluble in water. While its chemical structure prevents it from dissolving in cold or room temperature water, it does dissolve in hot water. The health benefits of gelatin are equal to collagen. They have the same amino acid profile — lots of glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, alanine, lysine, and others. Inside the body, they’re all broken down into those same amino acids and utilized. Gelatin is fantastic to have in the kitchen. While you can’t just mix it into cold drinks or throw it in a smoothie like you can collagen hydrolysate, you can use it to thicken pan sauces, enrich store bought stock and broth, and make healthy jello treats or luxurious gelatinous desserts. Whenever I make a curry with coconut milk, as one of the final steps I whisk in a tablespoon or two of gelatin to thicken it up and give the curry that syrupy mouth feel. This is a game-changer, folks. Try it and you’ll see. This is also works in spaghetti sauce, soup, pretty much anything that includes liquid. Frying up a burger? Add some water to the pan, scrape up the fond (brown bits attached to the pan that are full of flavor), whisk in some gelatin, and reduce until it’s a thick sauce. Instantly download your Guide to a Healthy Gut Collagen Hydrolysate and Peptides Collagen hydrolysate and peptides both mix readily into hot and cold liquids, and they give your body what it needs to assemble its own collagen. Hydrolysis is the process, peptides are the end product. Collagen hydrolysate refers to the process of using enzymes to break the peptide bonds to produce collagen peptides. Animal Collagen All collagen you see is animal collagen because there is no collagen that comes from non-animal sources. Plants do not contain collagen. I’m sure some startup is hard at work on producing lab-grown collagen, which ironically might be far less problematic than lab-grown steaks, but it isn’t available for purchase yet. It’s all animals. What most people mean by “animal collagen” is land animal collagen—by far … Continue reading “What are the Five Different types of Collagen? How to Choose the Best One for You”

Read More

Parental Burnout: What to Do If You Feel Overwhelmed as a Parent

Last year, an article in the New York Times described “The Relentlessness of Modern Parenting.” That word struck me at the time and has stuck with me ever since. Speaking as a mom of two, the expectations and pressures weighing on parents can indeed feel relentless.

It’s not enough to keep our children clothed and fed, get them to school, and take the occasional family vacation. Parents today should provide optimal nutrition from birth and ensure that kids have the best educational opportunities. We’re told to enroll them in sports, extracurriculars, and tutoring to give them a competitive edge for college, then we’re obliged to volunteer as assistant coach, snack mom, and classroom parent. By the way, you’re already saving money for college, right?

Don’t forget, we’re also in charge of arranging playdates, monitoring screen time, and searching Pinterest for unique birthday party ideas and fun hijinks for the Elf on the Shelf.

No wonder parents are succumbing to burnout.

Read More

Beyond Pumpkin Spice: The Benefits of Cinnamon for Blood Sugar, Infections, and More

As soon as the sun sets on the last day of summer, the world seems to explode with warm fall spices. We start to see cinnamon candles, baked goods, and bundles of cinnamon sticks as decor. While pumpkin spice takes center stage, it’s not actually the pumpkin you’re after – it’s the cinnamon with other warm spices that make your chilly nights extra cozy. You may think of it as a flavor enhancer, but the health benefits of cinnamon are worth a second look,.

For most of human history, spices like cinnamon were also prized for their medicinal qualities. Turmeric was used in food and to address digestive disorders and inflammation. Chili peppers were used for pain management. Ancient healers reached for ginger for nausea and diarrhea.

These aren’t just exaggerated cases of “folk medicine” or “old wives’ tales,” either. Current research has confirmed that many common spices do indeed have medicinal properties. Cinnamon, one of the most beneficial spices is also found in nearly everyone’s kitchen.

Read More

5 Bento Box Lunch Ideas for Adults with Recipes

When was the last time you made yourself a nice lunch for a work day? If you’re like most people, lunch is a bit of a scramble. That’s why we came up with 5 bento box lunch ideas for adults, so you can take a breather in the middle of the day with a meal that’s enjoyable and satisfying. We hear it a lot here at Mark’s Daily Apple: Breakfast is easy, and I make dinner for my family so that’s automatic. But lunch? Most days, I just wing it. I’ll skip it sometimes just because my day is underway, or I’ll eat something that’s quick – which isn’t always the best choice. Sound familiar? We hear you. Making yourself a nice meal smack in the middle of the day just isn’t tenable for most people. Prep for lunches doesn’t have to be an elaborate chore thanks to these adult lunch options. Perfect for on-the-go, these lunches utilize leftovers, basic ingredients, and quick-cooking items. When paired together, they create the perfect balanced Primal lunch. The best part? Most of these options can be made ahead and enjoyed throughout the week. Easy Italian Bento Lunch Ingredients Sausage of choice Mozzarella Roasted squash Italian dressing Cherry tomatoes Basil Roast and slice your favorite sausage, using a little avocado oil spray (optional) to prevent sticking. Slice up roasted zucchini and summer squash (or your favorite veggies), toss them in Italian dressing and roast on a sheet pan until golden. Assemble your lunch with the sliced sausages, mozzarella, the roasted squash, sliced tomatoes and garnish with fresh basil. Easy Burger Lunch Ingredients Burger of choice Roasted sweet potato rounds Avocado oil mayo Spicy mustard Raw veggies Whip up some burgers on the grill or stovetop (or better yet, use leftovers) for this lunch. Slice your favorite potato or sweet potato (or for a lower carb option, you can use rutabagas or turnips) and toss them in avocado oil. Roast them on a sheet pan at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then flip them over and roast until they’re golden. Make burgers by using the sweet potato slices as “buns” and top your burgers with sliced tomato and red onion. Use your favorite Primal Kitchen condiments like Pesto Mayo, Dijon Mustard, and Spicy Ketchup to put on top. Serve with your favorite raw veggies. BIG Mason Jar Salads   Ingredients Romaine lettuce Tomato Carrot Cucumber Nuts or seeds of choice Chicken breast or thighs Dressing of choice No tiny salads here! Use a 32oz or half gallon mason jar and fill with your favorite salad items. To prepare this salad, we marinated chicken (you can use breast or thigh) in your favorite dressing for a few hours. Roast the chicken on a sheet pan at 375 degrees until the internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Shred or chop the chicken, then layer it in your mason jars. For very large jars like this, we recommend pouring the salad into a large bowl before … Continue reading “5 Bento Box Lunch Ideas for Adults with Recipes”

Read More

Weekly Link Love — Edition 99

Research of the Week
Fatigue makes time fly.

Researchers are exploring the “entities” people meet on DMT.

Hominids were cooking food in hydrothermal vents millions of years ago.

Plastic-degrading bacteria are rapidly evolving in the ocean.

Probiotics help obese children lose weight.

Read More

Latest Posts