Category: Recent Articles

The Pandemic’s Toll on Mental Health and Relationships: What Can We Learn?

When Mark asked me to write a post about the toll the pandemic is taking on mental health and relationships, I didn’t want simply to detail the ways it’s hard to live through a pandemic. Nor did I want to throw a bunch of statistics at you about how many people are having a difficult time. You know that it’s like living in the world’s least entertaining Groundhog-Day-meets-dystopian-thriller film.

If you’re like me, you’re sick of kvetching about 2020. The fact is, though, that I don’t know anyone, myself included, who isn’t struggling in one way or another right now.

After a lot of reflection, I’ve concluded that a big reason why 2020 is so draining is that our usual coping strategies don’t work like we want or expect. Most are aimed at reducing the source of our distress or dealing with the emotional aftermath. This pandemic is ongoing. We’re stuck in the middle of it, with no end in sight, and no way to speed the process along.

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Why We Should All Be Eating Organ Meats

Today we welcome a post by guest author Ashleigh VanHouten, health and nutrition journalist, public speaker, certified health coach, and host of the Muscle Maven Radio podcast. Here, she explains why we’re missing out if we’re only eating boring boneless cuts of meat from the grocery store, and makes the case for eating nose-to-tail, for both our health and for our enjoyment. Her new cookbook, It Takes Guts, is available for preorder and hits the shelves in late October. “It’s good for you and for the planet – and it’s easier and tastier than you think!” – Ashleigh VanHouten Modified excerpt from It Takes Guts, shared with publisher permission. If I had a dollar for every time someone told me, “I just can’t get my head around eating [insert type of organ meat here] because I didn’t grow up eating it,” I could retire now and live out the rest of my days eating animal hearts on a beach somewhere — but I have a secret for you. I didn’t grow up eating organ meat, either; I grew up eating cereal and bread and chicken breast, and while I always gravitated toward animal products, I certainly wasn’t eating liver or sweetbreads. But as someone who has dedicated their career to researching, studying, and experimenting with nutrition, I believe strongly that one bite of something new won’t hurt you, and it just might open up a whole new world of pleasure and health. It’s a fact that organs are generally the most nutrient-dense parts of an animal, so if we can find fun and creative and even subtle ways to enjoy them, we’re winning. And by eating the whole animal, we’re also honoring and respecting the beings who sacrificed for our dinner plates by ensuring none of it is wasted. I wrote my nose-to-tail cookbook It Takes Guts because I am passionate about honoring the animals we’re eating, and enjoying the full bounty of delicious and healthy options available to us. As the saying goes, the way you do anything is the way you do everything, and I believe we should all be approaching our plates, and our lives, with a sense of adventure and enthusiasm. Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the reasons why eating organ meats is a good idea: It’s Sustainable It would be wasteful to buy a huge house and use only one or two rooms, right? Adopting a whole-animal approach reduces waste, and buying from local farms and butchers helps decrease the carbon footprint created when meat is brought to you from far-flung places. In the process of breaking down an animal, less than half of it will usually end up as boneless cuts, or the type of meat you normally pick up at a grocery store. Much of the rest is bone, hide, blood, and organs – the latter being the most nutrient-dense part of the animal, which we are essentially giving away to then eat the less nutrient-dense muscle meat! If you’re reading … Continue reading “Why We Should All Be Eating Organ Meats”

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Keto Cubano (Cuban Sandwich) Sliders Recipe (Gluten Free)

When you think of a Cubano, or Cuban Sandwich, you probably think of some combination of flavorful pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard on bread, grilled until the layers meld into a salty, tangy, warm pork and cool pickle flavor bomb. This Keto Cubano Sliders Recipe gives you the Cuban Sandwich experience you crave without messing up your carb count. Cuban Sandwich Sliders are versatile, and if you make the pork and bread ahead, you can throw them together for any occasion. Virtual learning with the kiddos? Throw them together for a lunch that makes everyone happy. Having your quarantine pod squad over for a late summer get-together before the fall chill sets in? Cubano Sliders will be a hit with everyone. Weeknight dinner? Serve sliders along with your big-ass salad and call it good. A few tips: The sandwich bread linked in the recipe browns very nicely in a pan or on a griddle. When pressing the sandwich, use a heavy pot or pan and maintain pressure until it’s time to flip the sandwich over. You can use pork tenderloin instead of the pork butt (shoulder) if you’d like, but will need to adjust cooking time since the cut is thinner and leaner than the shoulder. Ready to get started? Keto Cubano (Cuban Sandwich) Sliders Recipe (Gluten Free) Serves: 8 Time in the kitchen: 2 hrs 2o min, including 2 hrs hands-off roasting time Ingredients For the Pork: 2 lbs. boneless pork butt (shoulder roast) 2 Tbsp. avocado oil 4 garlic cloves Juice from 1/2 lime Juice from 1/2 orange Zest from 1/2 lime and orange 1/2 Tbsp. cumin 1/2 Tbsp. oregano 1 tsp. coriander 3/4 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. garlic powder 1/4 tsp. black pepper 2 cups chicken broth For the Sandwich: 8 slices sliced ham 4 slices swiss cheese, cut in half 8 pickles Dijon mustard 1 Batch Keto Sandwich Bread 1 Tbsp. butter Directions In a bowl, combine half of the oil, lime juice, orange juice, lime and orange zest, cumin, oregano, coriander, salt, garlic powder and black pepper. Pour it all over the pork butt and place it in the fridge for 1 hour. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Heat a dutch oven over medium heat with the remaining oil. Once hot, add the garlic and stir until fragrant. Remove the pork from the marinade and place it in the pot. Allow the meat to sear for about 2 minutes on both sides. Pour the marinade into the pot as well as the chicken broth. Bring the liquid to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and place it in the oven for about 2 hours. At this point, flip the meat over and cook for an additional 30-45 minutes, or until you can shred the pork. Shred the meat and place the pot back into the oven uncovered and increase the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Allow the pork to roast for about 30 minutes, or until … Continue reading “Keto Cubano (Cuban Sandwich) Sliders Recipe (Gluten Free)”

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Weekly Link Love — Edition 98

Research of the Week
People with amnesia often gain weight because they forget they’ve already eaten.

Caffeine makes alcohol more rewarding.

Taller people have stronger testosterone responses to exercise.

Despite widespread dairy consumption, Bronze Age Europeans had relatively low frequency of lactase persistence.

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Ask a Health Coach: Is Eating Healthy Even Worth It?

Hey, folks. If you’ve ever wondered if watching what you eat is really worth it, you’ll want to check out today’s post. PHCI Coaching Director, Erin Power is here answering your questions about managing macros, weighing the pros and cons of meal prep, and the value of paying more for your food. We love getting your questions, so keep them coming in the comments below or head over to our Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook Group.
Debbie asked:

“I don’t know what to eat anymore. I was following a strict macro split of 56% fat, 28% protein, and 16% carbs, but I’m worried that my protein is too high. My goals are to maintain my weight, build muscle, and control my blood sugar since I am pre-diabetic. I know higher protein isn’t good for diabetes as it converts to glucose and then you get an insulin dump and gain weight. Can you point me in the right direction?”
Feels stressful doesn’t it? All the measuring, weighting, counting, and adding — just to get your macros to line up and reach some magical equation that you’ve decided will make everything work out perfectly. Don’t get me wrong, I love that you’re committed to doing what you can to prevent diabetes and reverse your current diagnosis (I wish more people followed your lead here), but I have a hunch it’s sort of ruling your life right now. And it doesn’t have to.

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All About the Liver, and How to Support Your Favorite Detoxification Organ

The liver is incredible. Most people think of it as a filter, but filters are physical barriers that accumulate junk and have to be cleaned. The liver isn’t a filter. It’s a chemical processing plant. Rather than sit there, passively receiving, filtering out, and storing undesirable compounds, the liver encounters toxic chemicals and attempts to metabolize them into less-toxic metabolites that we can handle.

It oxidizes the toxins, preparing them for further modification
It converts the toxins to a less-toxic, water-soluble version that’s easier to excrete
It excretes the toxins through feces or urine

Bam. It’s an elegant process, provided everything is working well back there. And it’s not the only process it controls.

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