Category: Recent Articles

Psoriasis: Causes and Treatments

Psoriasis is a skin disorder in which your skin cells reproduce too quickly, leading to scaly skin, rashes, or blisters. With plaque psoriasis (the most common form), red, flaky patches rise on the scalp, face, knees, elbows, lower back—anywhere on the body, really. Other types present differently. Inverse psoriasis, for example, appears as smooth red blotches mostly in skin folds, while the relatively rare erythrodermic psoriasis causes skin peeling on large areas of the body. Psoriasis can also affect fingernails and toenails.

Not only is psoriasis often itchy or painful, it can take a serious emotional toll. Patients report feeling embarrassed or stigmatized because of their skin’s appearance. Although there are a number of pharmaceutical, over-the-counter, and natural treatments available, there is no cure for psoriasis. The goal of treatment is to manage symptoms and put it into remission, but flare-ups can (and for many people do) occur regularly. 

For folks living with psoriasis, it can be hard to find relief. Some aspects of a Primal lifestyle may be able to help. 

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Most Popular MDA Recipes

We’re officially celebrating 16 years here on Mark’s Daily Apple! To kick off a week of celebratory content we’re highlighting some of our most popular recipes here on the blog. From morning coffee to Mark’s Big-Ass Salad to slow-cooked pork carnitas, there’s a recipe for every occasion. If you recreate any of our top recipes, be sure to share photos with us on the MDA Instagram!

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Ask a Health Coach: How Do I Stop Snacking? Do You Believe in Tracking Food?

Hey folks, Board-Certified Health Coach, and Primal Health Coach Institute’s Coaching Director, Erin Power is here to answer your questions about satiating hunger and tracking food. If you’re looking for skillful, caring guidance we’ve got strategies, tips, and support. 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. Satiating hunger Tamara asked: “What’s the best way to stop feeling hungry between meals? I depend on snacks to get me through.” Ah, hunger and snacking. You’re not alone with this question, Tamara. You know, I think one of the reasons we reach for snacks is…because we’re hungry. That may sound funny, but I’m being serious. Sure, many folks snack out of stress, boredom, or emotional eating. But I’ve helped many coaching clients cure that sort of mindless eating simply by helping them go through life more well-fed. Now, to be clear, there are certain foods and lifestyle factors that mess with our hormonal and other signaling systems. A diet high in processed carbs and sweets tends to interfere with our natural, healthy hunger and satiation signals. It also causes our body to revolt against the constant insulin bath triggered by MORE carbs, MORE sugar, and frequent snacking. Similarly, lack of sleep and chronic stress and anxiety mess with our hormones and can throw hunger signals way out of whack. But if you’re eating a Primal diet featuring an abundance of real, whole, minimally processed food, including high-quality protein and healthy fats, you’re well on your way to being in touch with true hunger and minimizing the need (or desire) for snacking. However, if you’re eating Primal most of the time and still feeling hungry throughout the day, I’ve got a fairly dependable solution: more protein. Here’s the thing: Your hunger comes from your cells, and your cells require nourishment. Specifically, they need: Fuel (calories to provide energy for your body and brain) Building blocks (amino acids and essential fatty acids that help your body continuously build and repair itself) Information (minerals, vitamins, cholesterol, prebiotic fibres, etc.—all of which have incredibly important and nuanced roles in bodily function) When your cells ask for food (i.e., you feel hungry), it’s to satisfy these needs. If cells aren’t getting these needs met, they are undernourished and cry out for more nourishment. Now, of course, every body is different, and people bring different health conditions, life circumstances, and goals to the table. That said, if we are to generalize, there’s an easy way to give your cells and body more of the calories, building blocks, and information they’re asking for: eat more protein. As one of the most nutrient dense “human foods” on planet earth, it ticks all of the boxes in terms of the nourishment our cells are asking for. How much more protein? MORE. Rather than get caught up in measuring and micromanaging, keep things simple: just aim for more, and see how it goes. Time and … Continue reading “Ask a Health Coach: How Do I Stop Snacking? Do You Believe in Tracking Food?”

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Recent Study Concludes Evidence Against Red Meat is Weak

Red meat remains the big villain in nutritional epidemiology. No matter what disease, health condition or cause of death you choose, there are teams of researchers just itching to connect it directly to how much red meat you eat—which is why every few months there seems to be a new study trying to implicate red meat as the primary cause of death, disease, and climate collapse.

That’s why I was surprised to read the conclusion from the latest in a long line of red meat studies: The evidence against red meat is actually quite weak and even nonexistent.

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Cold Plunges: Benefits and Where to Start

I don’t consider myself a biohacker, but I do intentionally engage in practices that I believe will extend my healthspan and lifespan. Cold plunges are one of them. Cold exposure goes into the bucket along with things like resistance training, intermittent fasting, sun on your skin, and sauna—all stimuli that stress the body and prompt it to become stronger and more resistant to chronic and acute health issues.  I’m tempted to say that cold plunges are an easy way to challenge your system, but if you’ve ever stepped up to the edge of an icy stream or cold pool, you know there’s nothing easy about forcing yourself to get in, sink down to your neck, and make the intentional choice to stay there. Veteran cold plungers and winter swimmers will tell you that over time your body acclimates so it becomes easier to tolerate the cold. You’ll even come to eagerly anticipate your next plunge. That’s all true. But there will always be a part of your brain that tells you, “You don’t have to do this. C’mon, stay warm and dry.” Each plunge requires you to overcome that little voice. It’s not easy, but it’s simple in the sense that just about everyone can find a way to harness the power of cold. And everyone should because the benefits of cold exposure are pretty impressive:  Reduces inflammation by lowering pro-inflammatory cytokines and increasing anti-inflammatory cytokines Triggers the release of immune cells that can ward off illness  Converts white fat into more metabolically active brown or beige fat Ramps up metabolic rate and boosts weight loss Promotes mitochondrial biogenesis Improves insulin sensitivity More than these physical benefits, the fact that it’s not easy is arguably the biggest upside of all. The mental fortitude you build when you intentionally and repeatedly put yourself in uncomfortable situations is undeniable. One of the most profound disconnects between our modern world and the one our ancestors inhabited is just how comfortable we are most of the time. We now have to go out of our way to simulate the physical and mental challenges that for most of history were just a part of everyday life.  I’ve been regularly immersing myself in cold water for years now, and I’m convinced that that’s one of the reasons why I still feel as good as ever mentally and physically. Here’s how to get started. How I Cold Plunge Early in the day, I like colder temperature for shorter duration. Generally that means water in the mid to low 40s for a minute or two. (That’s Fahrenheit; 4 to 7 degrees Celsius.) Get out, lightly towel off, dress. Don’t do anything special to warm up. Go about your day energized and refreshed. Later in the day, I like a little less cold (48 to 51 degrees F, 8 to 10 degrees C) but for a longer duration, anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes. If it’s after 6 p.m. and my intention is to prepare myself for a better night’s … Continue reading “Cold Plunges: Benefits and Where to Start”

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Gluten-Free Pumpkin Scones

There’s nothing better than enjoying a fresh scone with your morning coffee or tea. Since fall is now in full swing it’s only appropriate that even morning scones have a hint of pumpkin. Not only does pumpkin mix well with spices such as cinnamon, ginger, cardamon but there are also numerous health benefits to pumpkin. Plus, this recipe for pumpkin scones calls for almond flour, making it gluten-free. If you’re looking for more texture, add chopped nuts to the scone dough like pecans or walnuts.
How to make gluten-free pumpkin scones
First, preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Next, combine the milk and vinegar and let rest for about 5 minutes. While you’re waiting combine the almond flour, 5.5 tablespoons of tapioca, sugar, coconut flour, baking powder, spices and salt in a bowl. Add the cold butter to the bowl and cut the butter into the flour mixture using a fork or pastry cutter. In the end, the butter should be in very tiny pieces incorporated into the flour and the resulting flour should look like crumbly sand.

Add the milk mixture, pumpkin and vanilla to the bowl and mix together with a spatula or spoon until just combined. Let the dough rest for 2-3 minutes. Place a piece of parchment or a silicone mat on a sheet pan and sprinkle the remaining tapioca starch on it. Scoop the dough out on the pan and form it into a ball. Form the dough into a flattened round disk about an inch or so thick. Use a large knife to cut the disk into 6 or 8 sections.

Place the pan in the oven at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and use a knife to cut deeper into the slices. Place the pan back in the oven for 10 more minutes. Remove the pan from the oven again and use the knife to carefully separate the cut sections so each scone is a separate triangle so each side of the scone can be exposed to the heat in the oven. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and continue baking for about 10-15 minutes, or until the undersides of the scones are slightly golden. Let the scones cool before handling them.

Enjoy the scones as is, or drizzle them with your choice of melted coconut butter mixed with stevia or monkfruit drops, or an icing made from powdered sugar or sugar substitute like powdered erythritol and milk.

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