Weekend Link Love – Edition 157

If you’ve never read or listened to Frank Forencich before, you owe it to yourself to make it out to one of his Exuberant Animal training jams, where personal trainers, fitness instructors, PE teachers, and anyone involved or interested in physical culture and Primal play will learn the Exuberant Animal methods and movements.

Yet another reason why I’m glad I no longer run marathons: only non-alcoholic beer works as a recovery aid. Bleh, what a waste.

Previous reports suggested that modern British males descended from agrarian stock, but new evidence reveals hunter-gatherer ancestry. More bangers, less mash?

Hey, other mammals do it, so why not eat your placenta after giving birth? Learn why more human moms are choosing to do it.

Speaking of traditional parenting, Melissa McEwen suggests that failure to breastfeed increases incidence of celiac disease in children.

Did you hear? It turns out that chocolate cookie clusters, slow-churned “fudge tracks” ice cream, chocolate pudding, and a chocolate VitaMuffin are among the healthiest foods of 2011, according to Fitness Magazine. Thanks for relaying the message, Fitbomb (at least sarcasm remains delicious and healthy).

Because steak-rustling is at an all time high.

Recipe Corner

  • Everyday Paleo fruit and nut bars – three kinds.
  • From the Food Lovers’ Primal Palate comes a recipe for lamb arm chops.

Time Capsule

One year ago (Aug 22 – Aug 28)

Comment of the Week

Is having a Dire Wolf as a pet Primal?

– Reader Alex McKenna.

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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54 thoughts on “Weekend Link Love – Edition 157”

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  1. Brits are hunters and gatherers! I did some of this yesterday. I hunted down a pound of jowl bacon and gathered 2 dozen eggs at the farmers market yesterday in Chicago.

    If you live in Chicago then please let me know – the meetup group here is alive and well. I met 5-6 new primal peeps yesterday!

    1. Primal Toad, I live in Chicago but will be moving out to California on Wednesday. I haven’t become involved in any paleo/primal groups but plan on finding one after I move and I will also sign up for a MovNat training session. Mark’s post inspired me to check it out!

    2. I hunted bacon jowl and eggs at that market, too, then wandered around for about 40 minutes. But didn’t see anyone wearing a Primal tee…. Maybe next time!

      1. I had on my Grok T, Grok headband and was wearing my kso vibrams. Someone else found me and then we went over to Meadow Haven farms where I bought my jowl bacon and eggs. They gave me some beef jerky too (shhh)… it is by far the best beef jerky I have ever had. I seriously might walk 3 miles to the farmers market on Wednesday just to buy beef jerky!

  2. It’s not like there’s anything wrong with it besides being “icky”. I wouldn’t want to do it, but I’m neither female nor postnatal. Seems downright efficient to me.

  3. I was beginning to think that I was a pretty open-minded person but that truly made me gag! EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.

  4. I had a home-birth, and my mid-wife plopped the placenta into a bowl and set it aside. We sort of forgot about it until three days later when my husband wondered what the awful smell was! Good thing I hadn’t considered eating it; as planned, we buried it in the backyard and put a rose bush over it.

    1. My daughter did a home birth and after burying the placenta in the backyard, she planted an orange tree over it (a blood orange, at that!)

    1. I actually PAID someone to dehydrate my placenta and put it in vitamin-like capsules. My iron levels recovered quite quickly and I completely believe that it prevented any postpartum depression. And I’m not the only one to do this, obviously, because someone has created a whole business out of it.

      So maybe you’re the weird one.

    2. Just a small warning — while for healthy postpartum women, this is a great idea, if you were very sick during your pregnancy, (such as with hyperemesis gravidarum, see http://www.helpher.org) and/or you had to take a lot of medications while pregnant, you should not ingest your placenta.

      The HG researchers I’ve spoken with agree the placenta and its hormones are the most likely culprit for hypermemesis gravidarum — eating it in any way would just prolong the illness.

  5. Mark, did you read the article carefully? They didn’t test alcoholic beer vs non-alcoholic vs placebo, they left the alcoholic version out of the equation entirely! So basically they didn’t say anything at all about whether regular beer is better, worse or the same as non-alcoholic for recovery, only that non-alcoholic is better than a placebo. Terribly set-up study IMO.

    Also, lol at the researcher: ‘”We do not know whether the side effects of alcoholic beer would cancel out the positive effects caused by the polyphenols,” he wrote. “Furthermore, it is not possible to drink one to one and a half liters of alcoholic beer per day, especially not during strenuous training.”‘ So, you don’t think it’s possible to drink 3-5 bottles of beer in a typical day? And you didn’t even set up your study to answer the question most people would want the answer to anyway!

    1. totally agreed, and my rock climbing buddies would howl with laughter about the contention that consuming that much beer is impossible while training. i want a REAL study on the subject!

    2. +1. It helps to be just as critical of studies that we think support our viewpoint as we are to those that contradict them.

  6. As I recall,back in the late 1960’s when I gave birth to my first child, I was told I could either receive a shot of oxytocin to contract my uterus or I could eat the placenta. (I took that as a good-natured threat) I chose the shot not having any information if any of that was true.

    I did notice that nursing accomplished the same thing.

    I believe it is true that animals eat the placenta after birth. To cover up evidence? Or as some benefit to the mother? Or maybe both?

    1. I know horses remove the covering from the baby so it can breathe and won’t suffocate. Horses can’t really spit something out or use their hands to do this.
      Wolves and wild cats do it because they make a nest prior to giving birth and want to keep this nest as clean as possible.

    2. Goats eat their placenta after birth, I believe because they (and other animals) instinctively know it’s exactly what they need at that point. That said, it definitely wasn’t in my plan when I gave birth and I’m not sure I could muster up the courage if given the chance again.

  7. Well I’ve seen the error of my ways now. I’m going to scrap this Primal thing and go stock up on rold gold pretzels and fudge tracks ice cream. I mean, Fitness Magazine can’t be wrong, can it?

  8. “Furthermore, it is not possible to drink one to one and a half liters of alcoholic beer per day, especially not during strenuous training.”

    Hahahahaha. Some expert.

    Anyways, has anyone else noticed it’s easier to assume a loose, relaxed running form when you’re a little buzzed? There’s a reason that “drunk running” as an actual activity that people intentionally engage in…

    1. same thing goes for mountain biking and sliding around the hairpin turns on tight singletrack after a couple IPAs on the summit

    2. When I’m a little buzzed is the only time I actually feel like running – loose, relaxed and effortless. Shame it wears off…

    3. I can barely do anything drunk but I love to run and climb when I’m wired, stoned, or otherwise high.
      Last night I was a mix of the above and I was running down a trail with a flashlight.

  9. Or have we been brainwashed to distrust our bodies?

    In the wilderness if there’s no other food around and you’ve just given birth reach for placentaid 100% placenta juice.

    if you give birth and there is nothing else nutritious around grill up some placenta. but definitely an ick factor of 8

  10. Remember the 1970’s faux commercial for “Placenta Helper” on Saturday Night Live?

  11. I ate my placenta after the birth of my third child. I wanted to eat to try it the first two times I gave birth but in the hustle and bustle I forgot. When I had my third son I was really weak. I lost a lot of blood and just wasn’t recovering very well or as fast as I had before. So my midwife cooked up my placenta. She fried it with some onions, grapeseed oil and a little ginger. Honest to God, it was the best tasting thing I have EVER put in my mouth! It was excellent! AND it sped up my recovery! 🙂

    1. Thankyou for sharing this! I’m Mum to 3 kids and I’m afraid it never even occured to me to take the placenta home and bury it, let alone consume it. (placenta burial is very common in New Zealand, being a cultural practice of the Maori)

      Eating it makes total biological sense – after birth you are weak and exhausted, blood-loss is often a problem to some degree, and you’re about to switch into the highly energy-costly activity of milk-production.

      Certainly from a hunter-gatherer perspective, such an enormous, iron-rich slab of meat would be a crime to dispose of any other way!

      Still not sure I’d personally eat it if I had the chance again, though 🙂

      1. I’d have to agree! As a Mom and Grandmother, I really seriously doubt I could eat the placenta of my newborn — at least by today’s standards.

        We (meaning today’s women) are so “untrained” in the natural aspects of child birth in our world today that we can’t even imagine eating something like that. Yet, we really don’t know what our sisters of yore thought about it or if eating the placenta even bothered them in the least.

        Drop back 10,000 years: I was trying to imagine how I would react if I had just given a really hard birth, lost a lot of blood, seen lots of my sisters die from this giving-birth activity, was totally exhausted and then had to face the feeding of my baby with what little bodily fluids I could muster. If, under the most dire of circumstances, I thought for just one second that eating the placenta would bring relief and sustenance for me and the baby, then you betcha’ I’d eat it — I’m guessing it comes under preservation of the species or at least self-preservation.

        How is that any different than going on a hunt, finding and killing the animal and then eating the guts, stomach, intestines, etc. etc. first? Surely, Grok and/or Grokette wouldn’t know the difference at that point in our evolution.

  12. Re: Placenta Article

    Holy surprise large, full-color, graphic pictures, Batman!

    Intermittent fast commencing…now.

  13. Re: (Un)Healthiest Foods according to fitness Mag

    I’m probably asking this in the wrong place, but you suppose they would mind if I substituted Fudge Tracks with Mint Chocolate Chip from the same brand? Would that be about equivalent health-wise? ‘Cause Mint Chocolate Chip is, like, my kryptonite.

  14. I ate my son’s placenta. First in a smoothie and then a midwife friend made the rest into chocolates. The placenta has lots of hormones in it that help combat post-parted depression.

    1. TMI as far as I’m concerned. I do like reading the comments on this site but some of these just made me gag.

  15. I believe my mom made my placenta into soup. True story, to my recollection.

  16. I dehydrated and encapsulated my second born’s placenta. The contrast in my post partum energy and emotional health compared to my first was amazing. I could FEEL my emotions begin to dip, would pop a couple capsules, and within 20 minutes I would regain my balance. I had horrific PPD the first time around, and nothing like it the second. I credit the placenta – placebo or not, it worked. Far better than pharmaceuticals, imho!

    1. Same here! With my son I had awful PPD to the point that my husband would have to stay home from work sometimes because my son was in danger from me.

      Second time around I encapsulated my daughter’s placenta and it was fabulous. I still had some depression, but nowhere near as bad. Also, my daughter caught RSV at 2 weeks and ended up in the hospital and was wheezing for over a year, so I’m sure that had a lot to do with my depression.

  17. I’m glad placentaphagia is gaining attention, but could that article be more negative? I thought journalism was meant to impart facts, not the opinion of the writer!

    I’m not sure I could eat my placenta as if it were a piece of liver, but I am definitely interested in taking it in the encapsulated form.

    And for those who think its absolutely crazy and disgusting.. step back in time a bit and you’ll find the general public had that kind of reaction to c-sections and male-led obstetrics. What’s popular is not always right, and what’s right is not always popular. If we all just followed the crowd MDA wouldnt exist and we’d be munching on f’ing cereal bars.

  18. Do any primates eat their placentas? Just did a quick search and I can’t find any legitimate sources on the subject. If I can find any actual proof then I might consider not rolling my eyes at what sounds like yet another case of woo.

    Though eating placenta does sound a hell of a lot saner than lotus birth. (Google it. I dare you.)

  19. Ok, so how many animals are actually eating the placenta for the nutrition? I always assumed it was eaten so the smell of it wouldn’t attract predators.
    Just gross IMO.
    If you want to eat your placenta, go for it… but that is NOT something I’ll ever do.

    Some animals will also chomp down some poo for nutritional reasons, but I bet we’re not going to see articles telling us to do that.

    1. I’ve read the coprophagy (poo-eating) argument too many times now to keep silent! So, here’s a little biology for y’all.

      For the most part, animals that eat their own feces, such as horses and rabbits, have a cecum (analogous to our appendix), to break down the cellulose they eat. It serves the same purpose as a rumen does in cows, deer, goats, etc.

      However, while the rumen is located BEFORE the intestines, a cecum is found right before the end of the line, as it were. So, all that food that was just broken down by the helpful bacteria doesn’t have much of an opportunity to be absorbed by the animal. Hence, coprophagy.

      As for other animals, such as dogs, I can’t say for sure. 🙂 I’ve read one hypothesis (from Dr. Pierson, I believe) that the grains we feed our carnivorous pets aren’t well digested by them. Perhaps, these poo-eating dogs are still hungry since they were not able to get enough nutrition he first go around.

      Anyway, I hope this information helps someone knock down at least one argument when others mock their decision to eat their own placenta.

      1. Meh, like I said, if people want to eat the placenta, they can go right on ahead.

        Just not something for me.

      2. Re:Dogs eating their own feces;
        From what I’ve read on dog training and from behaviorists is that it can arise from a few different reasons, one being that dogs are a territorial animal and their area is usually marked out by their feculence. If they for some reason have to ‘go’ in an area where they are not the top dog, they will remove their trace by eating the feces.

        Another source claims that it’s a habit formed during puppyhood spent in puppy farms and/or pet stores, where their roaming area is so small that they eventually end up eating it for similar reasons, or that it’s rich-smelling due to their diet, and they never drop the habit.

        I certainly hope no-one feeds grains to their pets! Good dog, they’re carnivores man!

        1. I’ve never heard of that dog behavior before, but it’s interesting! Something new to learn about. 🙂

          But, as far as pet food goes, just scan the ingredient list on a random bag of food the next time. The average dog or cat food is full of corn, rice, barley, etc. And don’t get me started on the vegetables found in pet food! Potatoes, carrots, peas and more! Dogs may be able to tolerate some plants in their diet better than most cats do, but both species are just as you said – carnivores.

          Sorry for the rant, but I have a diabetic cat whose glucose level goes through the roof when he even eats a little grain-free dry food. Finding a good quality cat food without carbs (in the form of grains OR starches!) hasn’t been easy…

        2. My favorites are those commercials for all-natural dog and cat food with “plenty of vegetables and whole grains for a healthy pet.” I laugh that anyone would think of whole grains as an important part of a dog or cat’s diet. Really?

  20. A local Doula in OKC, OK does placenta encapsulation. Check her blog for info, spiriteddoula.blogspot.com

  21. Putting a piece of placenta under your tongue after birth, can also stop bleeding. I did this after the homebirth of my second child. It worked almost immediately. If we have more children, I will have it dehydrated and encapsulated (or maybe do it myself, since I have a rockin’ dehydrator now).

  22. My sister ate her placenta after birth. She had it put into capsules (google placental encapsulation) and took them daily for the first few weeks after her birth. She’s had a great supply and no real issues. I wish I had done it when my son was born! (Buried his placenta under a tree we planted instead. 😉

  23. De-lurking and more thimbs-up for the awesome blog.

    Childbirth is the only area I steer away from primal as far as possible. Even in its most natural and primal state, it is still too intense and dangerous- and I would advice anyone to be open to any outside help available. But if you wish to be quite natural, do come and give birth in Bulgaria: the country where women are discouraged from epidurals and called sissies for wanting one.

    As for placenta eating, I respect the adaptation of the ick reaction. If I don’t want it, then I don’t. Yet I do believe in a nice pampering diet after birth. I am a bit skeptical of the “high energy” claims after a natural birth with placenta eating. It seemed every woman around me had some sort of post-birth high, even after a S.C. or an augmented birth.