Tag: dear mark

Dear Mark: How to Stay Healthy in College

College students and healthy lifestyle. On the one hand it seems like the ultimate contradiction. Pizza boxes, Red Bull cans, Doritos bags, beer bottles, Captain Crunch at every cafeteria meal. They’re as much a cultural vision of college as John Belushi’s sweatshirt. If there were a Primal no man’s land, you’d think the residential campus experience would at least be a top contender. Nonetheless, college needn’t be the physical wasteland it’s made out to be. And, let’s be honest: most students do not really live/eat/drink this way. As many students exercise regularly and eat decently as send their bodies through the wringer during their college careers. Nonetheless, campus living is its own kind of existence, and it presents its own challenges for maintaining a Primal routine. Not surprisingly, I get emails from college readers asking for tips on how to live a healthy lifestyle. Here’s one:

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Dear Mark: Low on Willpower

Dear Mark,

I’ve been following the blog for a couple of months now and have been trying to get into a regular exercise routine like you describe. Unfortunately, I get some fitness momentum going and then lose my willpower once I hit stressful or busy times. I feel like it’s a game of two steps forward, one step back (at least). What do you say to someone who’s trying to hit a fitness stride but keeps backsliding? Do you have advice on how to boost willpower? Thanks!

Your question is a timely one. Much was made over a recent study (PDF) that demonstrated willpower as a limited resource. The crux was this: we have a finite amount of willpower in a day (so to speak), and when it’s used up, that’s it. In a given day we might defend against donut cravings at the office all morning, force ourselves to keep our head off the desk in an afternoon slump, resist the opportunity to chew out the neighbor for letting his dog poop on our lawn yet again, and make ourselves go out into the rain to set out recycling and put the kids’ bikes in the garage. Finally, we push ourselves to stay up late in order to finish a company project. Surely, we can be proud of our resolve, our diligence, our commitment to family, work and neighborhood accord. Nonetheless, we’ve left ourselves with neither the time nor remaining willpower to pick up the weight set. Too many tasks, too little energy and too much frustration have zapped our self-discipline, and the balance is zero when we go to direct some toward the day’s workout. The research says this: as much as we’d wish otherwise, we don’t have separate willpower accounts for different areas of life.

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Dear Carrie: Reader Question Roundup

What is your workout schedule? What do your meals look like? How did you lose weight and stretch marks after pregnancy? These are just a few of the questions you sent in last week.

Hello, everyone! It’s Carrie Sisson here today to field your questions. Last week Mark and I asked for any questions you might have about my experience living the Primal lifestyle. I want to thank everyone who commented for your kind words and thoughtful questions. I’d love to hear your thoughts to my responses in the comment board today. Thanks again and Grok on!

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Dear Mark: Freezer Essentials

Dear Mark,

Your website inspired me to join a CSA this year, and I’ve been frequenting a local farmers’ market since May. I absolutely love all the produce selections, but this has me thinking that come late fall/winter I’m going to feel pretty limited by what’s usually available (and affordable) in the grocery store. (I live in the Northern Plains.) I’d like to begin thinking about freezing some items to enjoy them post-season. What tips do you have for doing this? Thank you!

Thanks for the timely question. I’ve actually gotten similar inquiries from a few readers this week. Yes, we’re rounding the corner on June if you can believe it. It’s a great time of year for taking advantage of the variety – try some new items, find new recipes for old favorites. (Anybody wanna share new discoveries?) However, as incredible as it is to enjoy fresh veggies and fruits now, it’s smart to look ahead to the “scarcer” months. One of the best ways to carry over the season’s best, of course, is freezing. (Grok would’ve traded a lot of hides for a deep freeze chest….) As you load up on summer produce, here are a few suggestions (and resources) for best freezer prep and storage.

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Dear Mark: 80/20 Revisited

Since our original 80/20 post a few weeks ago, I’ve gotten a slew of questions and comments from readers. Many tell me how much they love the concept. It’s a feature that makes the PB possible for them. Others suggest that it leaves too much room for backsliding. Finally, some readers have either offered their own interpretations of the principle or asked what it should mean in their daily life. Thanks to everyone for their feedback on this one (and all other posts of course). While I loved writing The Primal Blueprint, I can’t imagine it without the experience and ever-evolving discussion of this blog. Let’s roll up the sleeves and dig in deeper with this one.

First, let’s review. (I know we’re adding new folks all the time.) The 80/20 principle suggests this: in the context of full and earnest commitment, an overall 80% conformity with the 10 Primal Blueprint rules will yield a solidly healthy result.

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Dear Mark: Calcium for Women

Dear Mark,

I have been following the PB way of life quite closely now for about five months, and I haven’t felt or looked better!  Well, following it closely except for the dairy part. My question here is “How do I get all my calcium following the PB?” Also, as a female do I need more calcium than a male as we are lead to believe this by normal mainstream information? I guess my problem is I really don’t know how much calcium I should be having as the information ‘out there’ can be misleading and conflicting too. I am worried that I may be doing myself some harm later in life if osteoporosis could stem from not having much dairy.

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Dear Mark: Another Reason to Stay Fit

Mark,

I really liked your post “This is why I Train.”  I’m still overweight and eat too many carbs, but I’m making progress.  I now work out a few times per week and have eaten more vegetables in the last two years than the previous thirty years combined.  Your blog has given me the best nutrition and fitness advice I’ve found anywhere on the internet, and it’s backed up with science, which is more than I can say for some of your competition.  Without voices like yours, the rest of us would be lost in a wilderness of misinformation.  Now, onto the important part of the email.

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Dear Mark: Rapid Fire Edition

Hello, everyone! I thought I’d give this “Dear Mark” format a try again. I literally get dozens of emails every day from readers. I try to respond to every last one of them, and the best questions (or at least those I want to rant in response to) get reserved for Monday’s “Dear Mark” posts in which I usually go into a good deal of detail. But sometimes it’s fun to just publish half a dozen short Q&A’s at once. Hit me up with you questions and comments in the comment board. Enjoy!

________________________________________________________________

Hello,

How many pounds can you lose doing cardio?

I have been thinking about this for a while and was hoping you might be able to shed some light on the subject.  Please help.  I really appreciate your help.

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Dear Mark: Hunger Pangs a Thing of the Past?

Dear Mark,

Since eating more fat and protein (while cutting down on the carbs), I seem to get fuller faster. Sometimes I won’t even finish my plate, which basically never happened before! I’m guessing it has something to do with eating more primal foods, and it makes sense from an anthropological standpoint (getting full on less food is advantageous in a survival sense)… but are there any science or lab studies that have actually examined this phenomenon?

Thanks,
Paul

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Dear Mark: Low-Carb Sauce Thickeners

Dear Mark,

I’m trying to stay strictly primal/paleo, but I always run into problems when I need to thicken sauces or soups. I grew up learning to use flour/cornstarch like everyone else, but is there a good low-carb/primal alternative?

Thanks,
Raul

I received this email a few weeks ago, but it wasn’t the first. A number of readers have expressed their confusion when it comes to thickening sauces, gravies, or soups without using traditional floury methods. The question of thickening sauces is one of the hurdles I face every time I put up a recipe post – it’s become a bit of an internal struggle (as seen with last week’s beef and broccoli stir fry recipe, in which I hesitatingly called for a teaspoon of flour as a thickener) because while adding a bit of flour or cornstarch to a larger recipe may not drastically impact the carb count, it does complicate the consistently Primal message I try to convey. This post, I hope, will resolve that struggle.

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