Category: Recent Articles

Are There Any Good Carbs?

I’ve long espoused a fairly low-carb lifestyle for optimal health, but “low-carb” means different things to different people.

For some, it means eating the fewest carbs possible, as in a strict carnivore diet or something more like carniflex, a meat-centric approach that strategically includes some plants.

For others, it means a keto or Atkins-style diet that restricts carb intake.

Some people don’t count carbs at all but still consider themselves “low-carb” because they eat mostly meat, eggs, and vegetables, and they limit things like grains, fruit, legumes, and added sugars. Sound familiar? That’s the classic Primal or paleo approach.

What all these low-carb folks have in common is that they need to decide what to eat day in and day out. Thinking about food all the time can become tedious, especially when you’re trying out a new way of eating and don’t know what’s “allowed.” It’s tempting to sort foods into discrete categories based on macronutrients (carbs, fat, protein) and quality (“good” versus “bad” foods) to reduce decision fatigue.

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Macadamia Nut Cookie Bars (Keto and Paleo!)

These macadamia nut cookie bars are our take on a classic blondie recipe. Blondies have more fun, right?

Blondie bars are similar to brownies, but instead of cocoa they feature vanilla and, usually, brown sugar. We wanted ours to be a Primal, paleo, and keto-friendly dessert recipe, so these bars get their signature flavor from monk fruit sweetener and something cool and unexpected: macadamia nut butter!

Macadamia nuts are a good source of monounsaturated fats, and a quarter-cup of macadamias provides 77 percent of your daily manganese requirement and 28 percent of your copper. And don’t even get us started on their creamy texture, which makes these blondie cookie bars all the more decadent.

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New and Noteworthy: What I Read This Week—Edition 172

Research of the Week

MCT oil helps seniors with Alzheimer’s disease.

Chocolate also helps seniors with memory.

The smell of putrescine (smell of death) may confer greater life satisfaction (makes you love life) on those smelling it.

Oxidized linoleic acid promotes colorectal cancer.

Wearing many common types of face masks causes you to breathe in microplastics.

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Ask a Health Coach: Fake Meat, Celery Juice, and Nut Milk

Hi folks, we’re excited to have Primal Health Coach Institute’s Coaching Director Erin Power back to answer your questions. Got a question for our health coaches? Head over to our Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook group or ask it in the comments below.
Tim asked: “Lately, I’ve been seeing Instagram posts saying don’t be scammed by ‘health foods’ like the Impossible Burger, celery juice, almond milk, and protein bars. I understand some of these (like fake meat!). Others have me confused. What’s wrong with celery juice? Is almond milk bad now too?!”
I know, right? There’s so much information out there, and everyone on social media has an opinion about the latest health trends.

As a health coach, I can help you break down that list of “scammy” suspects. Even more important, I can share some guidelines to help you figure out whether trending foods are healthy or a scam.

First and foremost, remember that eating real, whole food never has to be complicated. When working with coaching clients and in my own life, the core of my philosophy is to keep things simple.

I realize that social media hype and “food fights” can make food seem incredibly complex. In moments of doubt or overwhelm, come back to that key principle. It’s really what makes Primal living and eating so effortless: the simplicity just makes sense.

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The Definitive Guide to Grains

Grains are fixtures of modern life. Pastrami on rye, spaghetti dinners, corn on the cob, birthday cake, apple pie, endless breadsticks, pizza parties, taco nights.

Studies about “heart-healthy whole grains” in the news. “AHA Approved” icons affixed to any concoction in the grocery store that contains a few grams of wheat—never mind all the sugar and seed oils.

Grains are “staples,” bread is the “staff of life,” and most people can’t imagine a meal without some type of grain on the table.

Yes, grains are solidly etched into our modern Western psyche—just not so much into our physiology. For the vast majority of human evolution, we were hunter-gatherers eating meats, nuts, bitter wild greens, regional veggies, tubers and roots, and fruits and berries. We ate what nature provided. If we ate any grains at all, they were wild and scarce—never staples.

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Go to Bed! Surprising Effects of Sleep Deprivation

 

Sleep deprivation affects your brain, metabolism, immune system, and cardiovascular health, not to mention your day-to-day happiness and quality of life. Sleep should be one of our top health priorities. Yet all the research says the same thing: we are chronically sleep deprived as a society.

The CDC reports that one-third of American adults suffer from “short sleep duration,” meaning they consistently get less than seven hours per night. A 2020 Sleep in America poll conducted by the National Sleep Foundation found that only 16 percent of us feel well rested every day. And this isn’t just an American problem. According to a survey conducted by the Philips corporation in 13 countries in 2021, barely half of adults worldwide are satisfied with the sleep they’re getting.

You have to wonder if some of these surveys underestimate the problem. After all, how many of us want to admit how often we stay up until 2 a.m. scrolling on our phones? More to the point, how many people know if they’re getting good sleep? Sleep deprivation isn’t just getting less than eight hours a night of sleep per night. You can also wind up in a sleep debt when your sleep quality is lacking and you aren’t getting the restorative rest you need.

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