Many of you may know that one of my favorite television shows is Survivor. It turns out that Mark Burnett, the producer of Survivor, has a new show called Expedition Impossible; an adventure series where contestants race through the deserts, rivers and mountains of Morocco. (Interest piqued.) It also turns out that one of the teams, the Gypsies, could just as well have been called team Grok. That’s right. John Post, Taylor Filasky and Eric Bach, contestants on the show, have all gone Primal.
Mark Burnett? Africa? Adventure race? Primal contestants? Ok, I’m hooked. Between attending to the media blitz that comes with starring on a new TV show and operating a recently purchased 27-acre farm (Sweet Peeps) with his sister and their two best friends, John Post found time to answer a few questions about his experience going Primal and being on Expedition Impossible (airs Thursday, 9/8c on ABC). Find out more about John’s team at The Modern Gypsies, and ask John any questions you have in the comment board.
News, Primal Lifestyle
Grant Peterson and I are cut from the same cloth.
By that I mean Grant, owner and operator of Rivendell Bicycle Works, is a card carrying challenger of Conventional Wisdom. While my beef is with flawed and outdated health and fitness paradigms, Grant questions modern bicycle design.
In a time when bicycle sales are driven by the latest high tech materials (and by which brands pro cyclists are riding) his bikes are decidedly uncomplicated, approachable, sensible, useful and comfortably low tech. His handmade lugged steel bespoke bikes are truly a work of art. Check ’em out here.
I was featured on Fox News 11 Los Angeles this morning as a health expert discussing the benefits of a low carb lifestyle. I’ve gotta say it was pretty fun. Any chance I can get to spread the word about living a healthy life is (almost) always a blast. After the interview I stuck around to answer viewer questions for an exclusive web cast. Links to the videos, and a preview of the questions I answered, are below. I’d love to hear what you think, so pop back on over with some comments after you’ve viewed the videos. Thanks, everyone!
Low Carb Diet, News, Weight Loss
We at Mark’s Daily Apple believe raw, fresh, whole foods are best, but we do not endorse everything purported in the following interview, and are not recommending a raw food diet. Rather we present this interesting information for critical discussion, to pique your curiosity, and to encourage exploration of different health approaches. We do not believe foods are “living” and do not advocate “enzyme therapy,” but of course fresh, unprocessed foods are ideal for anyone.
Diet & Nutrition
“Now, you need to exercise at least 5 times a week, cardio wise. You should really try to do weight training as well, to make you stronger. Do you have a gym membership? Do you have any gym equipment at your house? And don’t forget to follow your low fat, low salt, low cholesterol diet. Here are your 13 drug prescriptions. Do you have any questions?” … And this all happens in the 15 minutes before we discharge you from the hospital. That is, after you have had a 4-day stay with us. And 50% of the time, it is being said by a very overweight, under exercised, cheese-steak-eating nurse! I am not a mean person, but come on! This is yet another little gripe form your friendly nurse at Diabetes Notes and A Hearty Life. Did your mother ever teach you the phrase, “practice what you preach”? I know I learned manners from observing my mom and dad. So how can a cardiac patient that is being discharged from a hospital take you seriously if you look like you have never walked a flight of stairs yourself? I am by no means a lean, mean machine. But I do try to stay heart-healthy by exercise and a moderated diet. I am also a diabetic, so while I can commiserate with my patients, I can also call their bluffs. Adrian Clark Flickr Photo Why do clinicians who have all the resources in the world choose to do themselves wrong? I don’t know. And why do we decide to do teaching with our patients 30 minutes before they are discharged? By the way, those last few minutes are when our patients are most anxious. They are going out on their own, having to deal with their cardiac issues without the guidance and security of the hospital staff. Why not start the nutrition and heart health education the day of admission? Allow a few days for the patients to absorb the info and formulate some questions they might have. After all, isn’t that part of our job? Making sure that the patient has all the resources and information they need to ensure success! Not that success always happens. Believe me, I don’t always see rainbows and roses, just read my last post here at Mark’s blog. And I get just as frustrated as the next nurse with noncompliance and neglect, but I think we are all at fault. We can’t just point our fingers, you know? What do you think? Have you ever been a patient and had a similar situation happen to you? Do you think we need to rethink our ways of teaching as clinicians? I want to hear it. The good, the bad and the ugly…except if you have a story about me, haha. Editor’s note: Was Kendra’s post insightful for you? How ’bout those cheesesteaks! You can discuss this post in the forum. Would you like to read more from Kendra about health care in the trenches? Let … Continue reading “The Cardiac Insider Is Back: Nurses, Put Down Your Cheesesteaks”
First, let me introduce myself. My name is Kendra James and I have been a cardiac critical care nurse for many years. I also write Diabetes Notes and A Hearty Life for b5media. I have so much to say about health care, nutrition and being heart-healthy. Mark asked me to share some of the thoughts that I ponder frequently and that quite frankly, just get under my skin. Buckle up, ‘cause here we go! Do you want to know what gets me all fired up? Repeat offenders. No, I don’t mean the kind that are convicted and thrown in jail (I have a pretty strong dislike for them also though). I am referring to the patients that frequent the hospital so much, I know their likes, dislikes and family members by first names. I am not speaking of the very sick, terminally ill, or justifiably admitted patients, but rather, my cardiac patients that just don’t get it. Well, to be totally honest, they choose not to get it! Ugh… How many times in one month can you do dietary teaching for the same person? You go through the whole spiel. Print it out on paper, review it with their family members, address any questions they might have and do this all with a smile on your face just to repeat the whole process 12 days later. Does anyone else out there feel my pain? Low fat, low cholesterol, restricted salt diet equals success for the cardiac patient. Fast food 5 times a week followed by 14 cups of coffee a day, and no-holds-barred on the salt shaker equals a visit with this very irritated nurse yet once again. I care about my patients, I mean truly care about their health and well being. I want to know I provided a service to them and gave them the tools they need to maintain their health outside the hospital. When I have a MI, myocardial infarction, or CHF, congestive heart failure, patient that is signing himself or herself out 6 times a day to go and smoke, I just don’t get that warm ‘n fuzzy. Would you? I know that the majority of health care professionals, including doctors, feel the same way. Believe me, it is a common topic among the staff at any hospital. What could I do to get my point across in a more effective way for these “repeat offenders”? I guess I could adapt the attitude that some of my fellow nurses and physicians have, and just not give a hoot. I could say, “I’m getting paid one way or another,” but that just isn’t me. I am one of the nurses with empathy and compassion who wants to make a difference. You thought there were none of us left, huh? So, to answer my own question, I guess that is why I got into health care blogging. I want to provide education and resources to people who actually want it; people who are listening to what I … Continue reading “True Confessions of a Cardiac Nurse (Guess Who’s Getting in the Way of Health?)”
Diet & Nutrition, News
The Inuit and blubber. The Masai and beef. Dr. Cameron Smith and bags of butter. Come again? This week’s Smart Fuel is practically genius – although we wouldn’t necessarily recommend making it your next meal! It’s a well-known fact that some of the healthiest populations on earth enjoy copious amounts of saturated fat in their diets – enough to thoroughly horrify any American dietitian worth his or her salt. Though we seem to be moving away from the fat phobia that gripped the nation’s nutrition conscience in the 90s, mainstream wisdom still recommends avoidance of saturated fat in the diet. They wouldn’t be too pleased with Arctic expeditioners. When we learned that folks crossing the polar ice cap for research (thank goodness someone is doing it) subsist largely on such delicacies as lard balls and butter sticks, we just had to find out more. To learn about this greasy business, we sat down with Smith, an expeditioner, noted author, and anthropology professor at Portland State University. MDA: What do you eat on an expedition? Why fat? Smith: “I do eat a lot of fat, because of the three foods you can eat (fat, carbs and protein), you can simply get the most calories per unit from fat, and when you’re dragging every calorie you will have access to in the next 40 days in your sled, you have to pack in as many calories as possible. My colleague, Charles Sullivan, and I make rations from store-bought bulk goods, mixed in various formulas. Note that each breakfast, lunch, and dinner normally has as much as a half stick of butter in it!” MDA: What is the biggest health challenge, or challenges, one faces in an extreme circumstance such as your expedition? Smith: “The main worry is to prevent my core body temperature from dropping below a certain point; once you get really, deeply chilled, it can be hard to come back. It’s hard to be sure of how close you are to the line, because as you drift towards hypothermia, you start to get a little loopy. So I have to be very conscious of my state of mind.” MDA: Is anxiety or stress an issue? Is energy the primary challenge? Smith: “Fear and stress are significant, and I have to juggle them consciously. But, of course, in part I’m there for stress: I come alive when the pressure is on, and I love to solve awkward, clumsy, terrible problems in the wilderness. That, to me, is adventure; solving unexpected problems, with minimal resources.” MDA: Do you jazz up the butter to make it more palatable? Smith: “Nope – I quaff down the food like you wouldn’t believe. While it’s good to have the food taste good, I really inhale it by the time I get to eating, and rarely take time for the luxury of taste.” MDA: Do people criticize this temporary diet, or do you have the endorsement of doctors/experts? Smith: “Neither – I wouldn’t care what any expert … Continue reading “Lard Balls & Other Culinary Delights”
Diet & Nutrition, Fats
This is part 2 of our interview with low-carb blog star Jimmy Moore of Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb. Yesterday we discussed the benefits and health myths of a low-carb lifestyle. Jimmy Moore stops in… On the plate for today: cheating, pasta, and those darn vegetarians! Ok, the question everyone asks: Don’t you ever miss pasta? Do you ever cheat? “You know, I have always found the ‘don’t you ever miss’ questions people have for me so incredibly fascinating. Is there some mysterious super-secret book of foods everyone should be eating floating around out there that mandates human beings must eat pasta, bread, potatoes, and sugar? The fact is, I do not miss ANYTHING from my old diet that would lead me to start ballooning up over 400 pounds again. Nope! Not gonna happen if I can do anything about it (and I can!). However, I have found two excellent pasta substitutes that are low-carb and taste awesome. For Italian dishes and traditional pasta, I enjoy the Dreamfields brand because it really does taste like authentic pasta, unlike some of these other imitators that have much higher carbs and are totally disgusting. Another pasta substitute I enjoy, especially in soups and Oriental dishes, is Shirataki noodles. These Japanese wonder noodles are one of the hottest new health foods out today because they are very low in carbs, fat, and calories. Made from yam root (sounds grosser than it is) and loaded with fiber, these noodles give me all the pasta goodness I need. As for cheating, on principle I am against it when it is done spontaneously. That kinda defeats the purpose of making this a permanent ‘lifestyle change’. But I do advocate something that is controversial within the low-carb community called a ‘planned splurge’ or ‘controlled cheating’. The basic concept is to allow yourself one meal about every 6-8 weeks while you are losing weight when you are allowed to eat whatever you want. No restrictions on carbs, calories, portions, or anything else. I used this strategy to get me through the toughest moments and it helped me in the long run. If you are having deep cravings, as all of us who have kicked our carb addiction will tell you comes at you with a vengeance, then having the knowledge that there is a date coming up soon when I can satisfy that craving gave me the strength to resist temptation. This is a powerful tool that I highly recommend to anyone who thinks they can never live without whatever food they love. Don’t get me wrong – this is for ONE meal, not a whole day or a whole weekend. One single meal and then right back on plan again. Making this a permanent way of eating is absolutely crucial to your success at not just losing the weight, but keeping it off for good. What if a vegetarian wants to do low-carb? Contrary to popular belief, a vegetarian can most certainly fit right in to the low-carb … Continue reading “Part 2: Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb”
Carbs, Diet & Nutrition, Low Carb Diet, News
Apples: I’m very pleased to bring you a can’t-miss interview with everyone’s favorite low-carb blogger, low-carb rock star Jimmy Moore of Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb. Jimmy’s wildly popular blog (and new low-carb links site) features everything you could ever want to know about the low-carb philosophy from the guy who lost over 200 pounds and remade his health. As you know, I subscribe to a healthy low-carb lifestyle, and based on my background in biology and professional sports competition, I recommend a reduced-carb approach wholeheartedly. My personal recommendations: 1. Drench yourself in good fats. 2. Eat plenty of lean protein. 3. Eat green and colorful vegetables with reckless abandon. The important thing to understand is that low-carb (whether Atkins or a host of others) does not really mean high-protein. It simply means avoiding carbs – for some, that means all grain-based carbs, while for others, it means refined and processed carbs. As Jimmy points out, everyone is unique and there are many ways to go about a healthy diet. However, low-carb definitely doesn’t mean subsisting on bacon. I’ve been saying for quite a while that sugar is the new fat (and low and behold, here’s a terrific cookbook Jimmy reviewed that says just that). While we were all busy avoiding fat during the 80s and 90s, we were, in truth, just making ourselves sicker, fatter and miserable. It’s safe to say that the fear of fat has come full circle (and it’s about time). But there’s still a lot of confusion about healthy nutrition and weight loss. Is Atkins really effective? Isn’t it just an all-meat diet? What about whole grains? As many of you know, last week was quite a wild one in the world of health with the release of the Stanford study on low-fat versus low-carb diets. Let’s put it this way: Ornish ain’t happy. It’s been quite a controversial and interesting several days for Jimmy, me and dozens of other health bloggers and nutrition experts, to say the least! Jimmy took a moment to chat about the reasoning, benefits and myths of low-carb living. We’re featuring his thoughtful responses to your popular “low-carb questions” today and tomorrow. (On the agenda for tomorrow: Can vegetarians go low-carb? What about cheating?) I think the great thing is that blogging, and the communities that develop, are helping people take responsibility for themselves and get control of their health. Jimmy Moore, before and after: Here’s what the man has to say about carbs – and what the lack of them can do! What are the top 3 benefits you have found for going low-carb? “Do I have to limit it to just THREE?! Okay, here goes: Numero uno: It’s the most delicious and healthy diet plan you’ll ever go on. One of the most frustrating parts of weight loss is feeling deprived, hungry, and absolutely miserable. Why do we put up with feeling that way when there is a much better way to lose weight and get healthy? It’s livin’ … Continue reading “Jimmy Moore: Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb & Lovin’ It”
Carbs, Diet & Nutrition, Low Carb Diet, News, Weight Loss