Tag: dear mark

Dear Mark: Muscle Building and Carbs

Dear Mark,

I am a loyal Daily Apple reader who’s just begun a full-scale primal + IF + HIIT lifestyle. My only worry is that of muscle loss or impeded muscle growth. As a friend of multiple muscle builders, I’ve been told that carbohydrates are necessary for that muscle growth. While I’m not about to go back to my high-carb ways, I am willing to make an exception for post-lifting meals (within an hour window). I’ve heard this is the optimal time for carb-intake as your muscles are depleted of glycogen stores. I am wondering if you could shed light on this. Is this method actually effective for muscle growth? If so, how many carbs should I consume, and of what kind? And finally, will making this one compromise induce inflammation or impede fat loss?

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Dear Mark: Running Across the U.S.

Dear Mark,

My name is Katie, and I’m planning on running across the U.S. from Boston to San Diego starting this March! I’m 23 and have been an avid runner since high school. I train on my own now and am deciding whether to run 9-12 miles a day or kick it up to an average of 20 miles a day. I’d like to understand what the effects of the two choices would be. Under the 20 mile plan, I’d run long, slow distance with some walking. The 9-12 mile plan would be the same with less walking. If I’m going slow, would covering the extra 10 miles a day be harmful to my body? What is the risk of injury and long term health/bone problems if I did 8 months of 100 mile weeks compared to 12 months of 60 mile weeks?

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Dear Mark: Is Flax Bad?

Dear Mark,

I’ve been researching flax and am ready to pull the plug on my dedicated flaxseed grinder. The kicker was seeing flaxseeds associated with prostate cancer. What?s your take?

Thanks to reader Clare for the thoughtful correspondence on flax. This is exactly why I love doing this blog. Research continues to unfold, and the conversation never fails to engage and inspire me.

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Dear Mark: Healthy Body Weight?

Dear Mark,

What do you think about the claim that being heavier doesn’t necessarily mean you’re less healthy than someone who’s thin?

Thanks to reader Corey for his question and for sending the New York Times article that highlights recent research.

The article references a study published in this month’s Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Dear Mark: What’s Wrong with Juicing?

Mark,

In your last “Dear Mark” post you said “…why drink your veggies and fruits in concentrated form when you can eat them? I’d just be careful of overdoing the juices.” What is wrong with juicing? I’ve always thought that making fresh juice is extremely healthy for you. Am I right to think that juicing is part of healthy lifestyle or have I been bamboozled by an unnamed, charismatic infomercial personality with bushy eyebrows?

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Dear Mark: All Things Sweet (Plus Cheese and Gut Health)

This week instead of focusing on one reader question and giving a lengthy, detailed response I thought I’d change it up a bit by publicly addressing a number of reader questions with quick responses and links to archived posts. Let me know if you like the format. That is, do you prefer an in-depth analysis of a single reader’s question as per most of my “Dear Mark” posts or would you rather see more questions answered in a succinct, to-the-point manner? Give me your feedback and I’ll handle “Dear Mark” posts accordingly. More than likely I’ll do a good mix of both in the future. Thanks, everyone!

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Dear Mark: Fiber, Fat and Fasting

Weekly Reader Mail

Dear Mark,

I have two questions. My first regards training and rest days. Simply, how many days of complete rest should I take for an entire week? I someone who’s been overweight for most of his pre-teen and teenage life, and who was able to lose that excess weight at 17 (I’m 20 now). My current goal is to “look fit” (and be healthy), which primarily entails eliminating the stubborn fat on my body that have refused to go away. If I’m doing three days of high-intensity interval training, for around 15-20 minutes per day, and three days of 1 hour lifting, for a total of 6 days per week with one day of rest, is that doing too much?

Secondly, where do I get most of my fiber on a primal blueprint diet if most high-fiber vegetables can only be attained sparingly (I’m a poor college student)? I’ve been looking around your site for the answer, and the only thing I’ve read mentioned in passing was flaxseed. If that is your suggestion, where can I buy it? I couldn’t find it in the cereal aisle of my local grocer.

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Dear Mark: Best Fruit Choices

Dear Mark,

Right now there are so many kinds of fruit in season at the local farmers’ market. I know that we should limit fruit consumption and that some fruits offer more nutrition and higher antioxidants than others. I live alone and can’t afford to fill my small fridge with 20 different kinds of produce, so I need to make choices sometimes and want to buy greater amounts of highly nutritious food and lesser amounts of moderately nutritious food for variety.

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Dear Mark: Low Energy on Primal Challenge

Dear Mark,

I’m finding that I have low levels of energy in the evenings only. Could this be because my body is still adapting to primal living and adjusting to less carbohydrate intake? How long does this usually last? I’m also finding that after my sessions of intense Muay Thai training, I don’t have the energy the next day to do much of anything regarding exercise. (My Muay Thai routine includes two hours of jumping rope, calisthenics, ab work, sparring, focus mitt work and pad work in 92-93 degree heat three days a week.) Any suggestions?

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Dear Mark: Primal Compromises for Athletes

I’ve been getting a slew of emails lately from marathon runners and other endurance athletes among our group, many in response to our 30-Day Primal Health Challenge. Questions have run the gamut but generally get at how to combine endurance training and Primal Blueprint methodology:

How do I combine a low carb diet with marathon training? (Hint: you generally can’t)

What would you recommend for carb refueling post-race?

Can I even do the PB challenge if I have to adapt the diet for training purposes?

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