Category: Recent Articles

Feed a Cold, Starve A Fever? What to Eat (Or Not) When You’re Sick

Cold? Flu? Tummy troubles? I know that I don’t have time to be sick, and I’m sure you don’t either. Luckily I don’t get sick very often anymore, but back in my competitive athlete days, it felt like I was constantly battling one cold, cough, or sinus infection after another.  

Not to toot my own horn, but I chalk up my current good health to my Primal lifestyle. I know for sure that there is a marked before and after—before Primal, when I had a medicine cabinet full of OTC remedies, and after, when I rarely take a sick day. On those occasions when I do detect a tickle in my throat or the first signs of sour stomach, my first course of action is to double down on those aspects of my lifestyle that support a robust immune system, particularly nutrient-dense foods, sleep, and time in the sun.

The food piece is what we’re going to talk about today. Everybody has an opinion about what to eat, or not, when you’re under the weather. I’m not claiming that certain foods can cure the flu or prevent you from coming down with that cold even after your sick kid coughs in your face. But once you’re sick, the name of the game is supporting your immune system by providing it with beneficial nutrients and compounds that could aid it in fighting off the viruses or bacteria that are making you sick in the first place. Some foods will also provide welcome comfort, which is nothing to sneeze at, pun intended. 

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New and Noteworthy: What I Read This Week—Edition 207

Research of the Week
No clear evidence that masks help against or prevent infection from respiratory illnesses.

Archaeologists unearth a giant 7-foot sword along with an enormous burial site fit for a … giant?

Status has deep roots.

Insulin and peripheral neuropathy.

The influence of kids on their parents.

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What is Abdominal Bracing and How to Do It?

When most people think about lifting weights, they think about their biceps, triceps, shoulders, and lats. Their legs, quads, hamstrings, glutes. They think about what to do with the body parts that move, that hold the weight, that push against the ground—but neglect to think about the abdominal muscles that brace, resist movement and allow you to even lift the weight in the first place. Abdominal bracing isn’t flashy or sexy, but it’s the most important part of lifting weights and moving your body through time and space. The best way to train your abdominal muscles are not sit ups, crunches, or leg lifts- it’s bracing, intra-abdominal bracing, or abdominal bracing.

Whenever you move your body or lift a weight, you practice abdominal bracing. In fact, this bracing, this increase in intra-abdominal pressure, occurs spontaneously whenever you move your limbs. That’s how central it is to human movement.

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What Is Cryotherapy And Should You Try It?

Technically, “cryotherapy” refers to any method of using cold therapeutically. Icing a sprained ankle, freezing off a wart, or sitting in an ice bath after a game of Ultimate Frisbee are all forms of cryotherapy. Today, though, I’m using the term cryotherapy to refer specifically to whole-body and partial-body cryotherapy chambers.

Cryotherapy chambers use electric cooling or liquid nitrogen to expose users to super-chilled air in order to achieve various (supposed) benefits. The technology dates back to the late 1970s, and it used to be pretty niche, reserved mostly for top-level athletes and people with specialized medical needs. Now, cryo centers have popped up all over the place, and you can easily book yourself an appointment for any old reason. 

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New and Noteworthy: What I Read This Week—Edition 206

Research of the Week

Boron helps against COVID.

Your fat cells know when you haven’t gotten sunlight. Don’t let them down.

The gut biome regulates motivation for exercise.

Worse indoor air quality, lower test scores.

Mediterranean diets would work great for IBD if it weren’t for all those darn grains!

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How do Potatoes Fit in a Primal Diet?

Potatoes get a bad rap in many different health and diet communities. The keto and low-carb crowd says they’re too high in carbohydrates and will spike your blood sugar. The paleo guys are against them because they are neolithic foods from the New World that our Paleolithic ancestors had no access to. The autoimmune diet communities eschew them because they have various plant toxins that can cause inflammation and trigger sensitive and vulnerable individuals, and the conventional “healthy diet” people recommend against potatoes because they’re “empty white carbs.”

Is this criticism warranted? Is it true that potatoes have no place in a healthy diet, or are potatoes actually healthy? How do potatoes fit into a Primal diet?

Let’s dig into the actual evidence.

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