Category: Recent Articles

How and Why To Start Rucking

I’ve often said that walking is the human condition, but I’d like to amend that to be more accurate: loaded walking—or rucking—is the human condition. Normal unloaded walking is an important part of being an active, able human and lays the ideal foundation for a healthy fitness level. However, it can and should be elevated with occasional (or regular) walking while bearing weight.

For example, when hunting-gathering hominids walked the 12 miles back from a successful hunt, they carried the 40-pound haunch of the antelope on their shoulders—or the woven basket full of tubers, fruits, and honeycomb. When Roman legionnaires marched 18.5 miles in a day they also carried a pack weighing 45 pounds. Then they proceeded to build a defensive fort for two hours. When kids walked to school (before the ubiquity of miles-long SUV-laden drop off lines), they wore bags full of books.

Hell, the entire premise of obligate bipedalism is that it lets you walk while carrying things–tools, building materials, shelter materials, weapons, food, meat, foraged plants, and roots. These are all essential objects to be carried by bipedal humans, all increasing the pull of gravity that you must then resist.

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Alternate-day Fasting – Worth Trying?

The question at hand today is whether alternate-day fasting is a viable, perhaps even preferable, option for folks who want to experiment with intermittent fasting. I’ve written about fasting many times here on the blog because it’s one of my favorite tools for managing insulin, blood sugar, appetite, and (possibly) promoting longevity, but I’ve never dedicated a post to alternate-day fasting per se. Time to remedy that.

I call it a tool, but fasting—having regular, distinct periods of little or no food—is the natural human condition. Or at least it should be. As I like to say, physiologically speaking, some of the best stuff happens when we aren’t eating. Fasting triggers desirable hormonal responses, reduces oxidative damage, promotes autophagy, and offers a mental challenge. Of course, in today’s food-rich environment, most people eat regularly for upwards of 16 or 18 hours every day. Eating in a 6- or 8-hour window, much less going 24 hours or more without food, is rare.

For the most part, I’m agnostic about the optimal fasting schedule. Whether someone prefers time-restricted eating like the popular 16:8 or 18:6 protocols, a weekly 24-hour fast, semi-annual prolonged fasting of three days or longer, or eating WHEN (when hunger ensues naturally) is a matter of personal taste. They each have pros and cons, but none so compelling that I’d say one is clearly best for everyone. Since a lot of people seem inclined to try alternate-day fasting, it deserves a closer look here.

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Air Fryer Pickles Recipe (Primal, Paleo, and Keto)

Last week we gave you a recipe for air fried green beans, and today we’re back again with another fun and oh-so-easy way to use your air fryer: fried pickles!

That’s right, you can “fry” pickles for a crunchy, salty snack in minutes. This particular fried pickle recipe skips the questionable fry oil and batter in favor of a breading made with Primal-friendly ingredients. Whip up a batch of these, get out the Trivial Pursuit, and host an at-home pub quiz with gluten-free beer or these Primal mocktails for the abstainers.

Here’s the recipe:

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New and Noteworthy: What I Read This Week—Edition 180

Research of the Week

Controlling glucotoxicity might not be enough in diabetes.

To spike brain derived neurotrophic factor, intense exercise wins.

Imagine this prehistoric giraffe relative with a helmet for a skull and a neck joint morphology explicitly adapted to high velocity movement swinging its thirty pound bowling ball of a head at you.

Resveratrol has no effect on metabolic health in overweight type 2 diabetics.

The difference between exogenous and endogenous ketosis.

Seems that masks didn’t do much good in schools.

Fear impairs immunity.

Sweat protects against Lyme disease.

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Ask a Health Coach: Emotional Eating and Food Guilt

Hey folks, Board-Certified Health Coach Erin Power is here to answer your questions about comfort eating and eating when stressed. If you’re struggling with this, you’re not alone! We’re here with tips and support for cultivating a healthy relationship with food during stressful times. Have 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.
Michele asked:
“I always end up comfort eating when worried or stressed, and I’m always worried or stressed! After a hard day, I overeat pizza or other food that makes me feel like crap and gain weight. Then I feel guilty, can’t sleep, and worry more! How do I stop doing this?”
The pull towards soothing ourselves with food during stressful times is real. So, unfortunately, are the consequences of eating food that makes us feel worse rather than better.

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Hiking First Aid: What to Bring, Do, and Know to Stay Safe on the Trail

There are different degrees of hiking. There’s the kind of “hiking” you do through Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, Central Park in NYC, or Runyon Canyon in Hollywood. You’re outdoors and amidst the trees and foliage and physically active, but it’s not quite roughin’ in. You still have cell coverage, and you can procure an iced coffee within twenty minutes if you have to. For those hikes, you don’t need first aid. You don’t need any special skills other than the ability to ambulate across the landscape.

But there’s real hiking. Hiking more than five miles. Multi-day hiking. Overnight hiking. Backpacking. Hiking in a place where the trail might not be so well-maintained, where you might run into an aggressive animal, where you have to keep your wits about you. For this type of hiking, which is what most people imagine when they think of “hiking,” it’s a good idea to come prepared with first aid: with physical medical supplies and skills and knowledge that will help you enjoy the great outdoors without staying helpless. Because the true allure of hiking is getting out into the wilderness where the niceties and comforts of the modern world no longer apply. We all want a bit of adventure, but we also want to make it back in one piece.

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