Category: Recent Articles

Habit Stacking Microworkouts (aka Working Out Without Having to Think About It)

The beauty of microworkouts is that you can do them virtually anywhere with minimal time investment, and the cumulative training effect really adds up… if you remember to do them.

To be successful with microworkouts, or any form of exercise, consistency is key. Not rigidity—we’re not big fans of rigidly adhering to a strict exercise schedule here—but you need to put in the time and effort. Workouts that don’t happen don’t change you. Unlike going to the gym or taking a Crossfit class, which you might schedule into your busy calendar, microworkouts are meant to be sprinkled throughout your day. Unfortunately, that makes microworkouts all too easy to forget or push off, until you get to dinnertime and realize you’ve barely moved your body all day.

If this sounds familiar, it’s time to get some systems in place to make microworkouts a built-in part of your day. This is a roundabout way of saying: you need to make microworkouts a habit.

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How to Buy and Cook the Perfect Steak

Crisp and caramelized on the outside, but never burnt. A first bite that melts in your mouth as the savory, perfectly seasoned flavor of beef hits your palate. The rich, smoky aroma of animal fat dripping onto an open fire.

That, my friends, is a perfect steak. You don’t have to make reservations at an expensive steakhouse to reach this sort of steak nirvana. It can be yours any night of week in your own kitchen by following a few simple and painless steps.

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New and Noteworthy: What I Read This Week — Edition 129

Research of the Week
The human cerebellum stands out.

Postprandial glucose dips predict subsequent appetite.

Probiotics seem to help against COVID.

A study into set and setting in a Brazilian ayahuasca church.

Humans attribute more moral standing to animals they deem beautiful.

Feeding a Western diet to mother rats increases omega-6 content and lowers MCT and saturated fat content of the milk.

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The Best Way to Hydrate, According to a Health Coach

We’re all looking for the perfect formula, right? Just tell me how many grams of fat and carbs to eat. How many steps to take per day. And how many glasses of water I should be drinking within a 24-hour period.

We love the precision of it all. The safety of micromanaging every detail of our life with the promise that if we can dial it in enough, we’ll enjoy perfect health for the rest of our days. But when you think about all the forcing, measuring, counting, and obsessive overplanning that goes into this kind of micromanagement, there’s actually nothing healthy about it.

There’s nothing healthy about ignoring your body’s own cues in favor of what general nutrition — or random social media influencers say. Nutrition might be a science, but it’s also an art form. And learning to trust your body and what it’s trying to tell you trumps any water-to weight-ratio chart you’ll find online.

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A Fresh Look at High-Protein

Ten years ago, I ate a high protein diet. I regularly ate and recommended a gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. That meant I was putting down 160, 170 grams of protein a day myself.

Later, I moderated my protein intake and focused more on my fat intake, thinking that I’d be better off in the long term eating less protein and using my muscle mass, physical and mental performance, and overall vitality as a “signal” for when protein was too low. Researchers were looking at high protein intakes, noticing they could raise IGF-1 and trigger mTOR, which in some animal models have been linked to cancer and reduced longevity, and positing that lower protein intakes were healthier. I was never “low-protein,” but I certainly ate less than before. I will say that throughout all this time a major determinant of my protein intake was my instinctual hunger for it. When I ate a lot of protein, I did so because I desired it on a base, Primal level. When I ate less, I did so partly because of the research but also because I wasn’t as hungry for it (and my performance never indicated I was lacking).

But in recent years, I’ve been eating more protein again. In fact, I eat by most accounts a high-protein diet. Why? What changed?

I took a fresh look at the research.

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Ways to Get Your Electrolytes (That Aren’t Sports Drinks)

When we talk about “getting enough electrolytes,” we usually mean the big three: sodium, potassium, and magnesium. There are many others, including calcium, chloride, and bicarbonate, but the big three are the ones targeted by supplement and sports nutrition companies.

In part, that’s because sodium especially, but also potassium and magnesium, are lost through sweat. Athletes need to replenish these electrolytes during and after hard workouts or endurance outings in order to maintain optimal hydration and performance. Sodium and potassium work together to manage fluid balance throughout the body and facilitate muscle contractions and nerve firing. Magnesium is critical for cellular energy production and the transport of sodium and potassium across cell membranes.

I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about the other functions of electrolytes in the body since Mark recently covered the topic in his Electrolytes 101 post. Suffice it to say that if you don’t maintain the proper levels of electrolytes, you’re in a world of hurt.

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