Dear Mark: Right Leg Balance Issues, Plastic Wrap Flattened Meat, Vaporizing Cannabis

Inline_DearMarkLegBalanceFor today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering several rapid fire questions. I’ll be concise and clear. I’ll be quick. First, what can someone do if they can balance on the left leg but not the right? What might be responsible? Second, am I worried about Martha Stewart pounding on turkey breast laid between two pieces of Saran Wrap? Third, what’s different about vaporizing cannabis? Is it better than smoking it?

Let’s go:

Great work! Thanks for sharing with us. from last year, i am facing issues with balancing with my right leg. Can you give some suggestion regarding it?

Balance often comes down to one major thing: strength of the lower limbs. In seniors, strength is one of the best predictors of balance and future fall risk, and resistance training is generally better at improving balance than cardio because it both strengthens and balances.

I strongly suspect one leg is stronger than the other.

Makes sense, doesn’t it? Don’t think of balance as emanating from your head. It’s “in” there, too, but it’s also all about the muscles working together to keep you standing. Feel the muscles that fail just before you lose balance. Which was it? Where are you going wrong? Do those same muscles on the other leg falter, too?

Everything’s involved. Think about “grasping” the floor with your bare foot, even if you’re wearing shoes. Give your knee a slight bend and stand tall and erect. 

You have to get that leg stronger. It has to catch up. Do some single leg training in addition to two leg training. Reverse lunges (way better than normal walking lunges), single leg deadlifts. Work mobility of the ankles and hips. Build strength in the calves, feet (go barefoot!), quads, hamstrings, “stabilizers.” 

Kcup bone broth sounds like more of a sales gimmick than anything else. I agree about the hot liquid passing through plastic not being a great idea. Speaking of plastic, last night on a PBS channel I watched Martha Stewart vigorously pounding out a turkey breast between two sheets of plastic wrap. It undoubtedly keeps the work surface cleaner, but I couldn?t help wondering if microscopic pieces of the plastic wrap were becoming embedded in the meat.

There isn’t any published research I could find on the specific situation, but I’m in the same boat as you. Some of that plastic is likely ending up in the meat, or it’s at least donating an estrogenic compound or two. Despite all that, I’m not going to freak out. I accept plastic as a necessary and unavoidable presence in the world. I won’t seek it out, and I’ll actively choose glass or metal over plastic when possible, but I know it’s out there. We can limit and mitigate it, not avoid it altogether.

Would I use plastic wrap to pound meat? No. I find good wax or butcher paper works just as well without the looming prospect of dietary plastic. But if Martha Stewart is making me flattened turkey, I’m not turning her down just because her turkey has a little plastic residue.

Nothing to worry about for a meal or two. Just don’t make flattened meat a staple (and use wax paper if you can).

What do you think about vaping vs. smoking?

There seem to be real benefits for vapers.

Vaping is certainly easier on the lungs. Smoking produces a lot of carbon monoxide and tar. Vaping produces very little. Accordingly, cannabis vapers have fewer respiratory issues than cannabis smokers.

You have more control over what you’re consuming when you vape. The various constituents of cannabis vaporize at different temperatures. Modern vaporizers often have temperature controls, giving you control over which constituents are vaporized and released, and which are not.

Vaping is more efficient. Vaping cannabis at both 200 and 230°C extracts more cannabinoids and fewer “byproducts” than does smoking it. You get more cannabinoids from the product. 

Which appears to be wholly positive but may not be. Some people claim that those “byproducts” are psychoactive?whether by exerting positive physiological effects, reducing negative symptoms, or improving or enhancing the high itself. The two methods certainly produce different subjective effects, so we know something is going on. 

I think vaping is probably safer and more cost-effective overall.

That’s it for this week, folks. Take care and let me know what you think down below!

Do you notice a difference in between-leg balance? Are you worried about pounding meat surrounded by plastic wrap? If you partake, do you prefer vaporizing or smoking?

TAGS:  dear mark

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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26 thoughts on “Dear Mark: Right Leg Balance Issues, Plastic Wrap Flattened Meat, Vaporizing Cannabis”

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  1. I’ve found through self experimentation that whether you smoke or vape is really less important then the actual environment you use cannabis in is. Cannabis has the potential to decrease REM sleep mainly because it makes your brain release melatonin when you use it, regardless if it’s night or not. So if you use in the day this will naturally cause less melatonin to be available at bedtime. Well, I decided to do an experiment where I either use cannabis on a bright sunny day outside or I use it with my therapy lamp on and this blunts the melatonin release and increases the serotonin release. I’ve noticed a much more enhancement in my REM sleep because of this. And maybe it’s different for everybody, but this method has certainly helped me. This is important too because REM sleep is really the most important stage of sleep. I also take 500mgs of l-tryptophan in the mourning and 1000mgs of l-tryptophan at night to encourage proper ratios of serotonin to melatonin.

  2. For all the plastic, petrochemical, whatever-phobics our there, let’s hope you don’t wind up in the ER some day in need of long-term IV infusion, or worse still, in need of cardio-pulmonary by-pass where your entire blood volume is passed through various plastic components never mind the multiple units of whole blood previously collected and stored in same.

    1. I’m not phobic about plastic, don’t even avoid it. But I still don’t want to EAT it.

  3. Had very poor balance on my left leg, which was indeed due to it being weaker. However, building up the strength and mobility of that leg was not enough. I had to eventually recognize that the minor scoliosis traveling up my spine was a contributing issue.

    1. Likewise… I’ve noticed my balance worsening on one leg, and concurrently, my ability to get any air at all when jump-roping; coming close to nil. Forget double-unders, single unders can be a struggle.

      I had an MRI done and thankfully there was no nerve impingement due to a tumor. The doc suggested it may be Charcot Marie Tooth disease (; a minor distrophy that affects the extremities.

      As a result, I try, daily, to do calf exercising & jump rope, etc. I’ve gotten better, but no where near where I used to be. I know I’m fighting a losing battle on this, but fight I will.

      So, by all means, keep working strengthening, but don’t over look that there might be a underlying biological issue that is causing the imbalance.

  4. I am way too lazy of a cook to pound any meat, but I’m in total agreement with Mark’s stance on plastic. I avoid it when I can, but certainly don’t freak out about it.

    1. Fair enough Elizabeth, but what are your thoughts on smoking versus vaping? 😉

    2. Me too, Elizabeth. I use plastic wrap for a lot of things, but I don’t particularly want to ingest bits of it. The same would be true of wax paper or anything else that doesn’t belong in my food.

    3. Same. Gotta choose your battles. In fact, Martha is pretty big on avoiding carcinogens in cooking. Unlike most popolular cooks, she strictly avoids aluminum.

    1. In this article vaping is heating either dry bud or cannabis oil at a very high temperature. You use a special batter powered pen that has a chamber to hold the substance to be burned. After you turn it on, the heating is triggered by drawing in air. This causes the heating element to quickly heat up and burn whatever it’s touching. It happens instantly and creates a vapor with far few hydrocarbons than traditional smoking. Vaping cannabis bud is a much cleaner than smoking a traditional join.E-cigarettes work under the same principle.

  5. I never understood using plastic wrap/parchment/wax paper to pound meat. Really…is cleaning a mallet actually all that hard? Is picking pieces of plastic/paper off/out of a piece of meat any easier? I just use the flat side of the mallet and work from the edges to the middle. I’m looking to get an even thickness, not tenderize. That’s what slow cooking, braising, and marinades are for.

    1. It’s not cleaning the mallet, IMO, but keeping any splatter from getting all over.

  6. Well, goodness, until someone can show me some data on how much plastic is left on my meat after I’ve pounded it with a smooth mallet, and then what effect ingesting that amount of plastic will have on me, I’ll keep using the wrap.

  7. I find the effect of vaping produces a high with less anxiety & couch lock, if I vape I am happy to do gardening or walk the dogs but smoking is more couch and YouTube, left feeling a lot less unhealthy… However smoking a joint still unbeatable occasionally, like vinyl compared to digital. Convenience, efficiency, and a clear compared to the warmth and comforting ritual of playing a good condition record.

    1. FWIW, the strain is the primary cause of anxiety or couch lock, not than the method of heating it. I vape indica and it couch locks me to sleep 🙂 I can’t touch sativa — paranoia and anxiety. That said, you’re right in that vaping is a gentler heating method without bringing the herb to combustion.

      1. I’ve read about those strains and all the varieties available in the US, sounds great to be able to get some based on different moods and what not , here in Australia pot is pot, well either hydro or bush bud. My experience of the difference in high is from the same batch of weed so maybe it’s the extra chemicals in the tobacco mix or combustion, or maybe it’s some kind of placebo! Cheers

  8. I use a rolling pin to tenderize meat. Works just as well, no meat splattering about the kitchen 🙂

  9. Trying to tie all the questions together, “How should I get high when I’m beating my meat while standing on one leg!

  10. What do you think about vaping vs. smoking?

    I don’t see any mention of cannabis there, and would have assumed the questioner was asking about tobacco. Something on your mind, Mr. Sisson? 🙂

  11. Balancing issues could be due to a twisted pelvis – see Egoscue on Youtube for solutions.

  12. Balancing is an art, if we able to balance us on one foot, with both hands up, and closed our eyes, then we can balance our body according to our mind and heart.
    And Mind and heart are like fastest moving cars, if you have could control your car then you can enjoy or driving, other you will meet with an accident, so balancing is an art and need to enjoy your life driving,