Weekend Link Love – Edition 312

Weekend Link LoveFor Episode 34 of The Primal Blueprint Podcast, we hung out with Dr. Cate Shanahan to discuss the shortcomings of traditional family practice medical care, the research indicating that most heart attack victims have normal cholesterol levels, and which blood tests are absolutely essential for monitoring health.

Research of the Week

Although lowering the brightness and holding the device at least a foot from your face can “reduce” the impact of smartphone usage on melatonin and sleep, the impact is not zero.

Kids who took omega-3 supplements showed reduced behavior problems.

Sitting shortens telomeres, while standing maintains their length.

Wine is good for your cardiovascular health, but only if you exercise.

Interesting Blog Posts

Coffee naps are more effective than either alone.

How low blood sugar can make you irrationally hungry, provided it’s low enough.

Media, Schmedia

When we move, we seed our new habitats with a particular “bacterial aura.”

National Geographic posted a decent article on ancestral diets with a few of the typical “red meat will give you cancer and heart disease” canards. Gorgeous photos, though.

Everything Else

If you can, give a bit to help support something that’s increasingly rare and precious in this world: an all-grass dairy farm producing delicious butter, buttermilk, and ricotta cheese.

A nice essay on the importance of free play for kids, including a short “how-to” guide for hesitant parents.

And now for the previous entry’s mirror opposite: an Australian school has banned cartwheels, handstands, and any other “gymnastic move” (does that include somersaults, an essential tool in any respectable kid’s arsenal?).

James Nestor makes a very strong case for free diving in natural bodies of water (even if it’s just to get your face briefly wet).

How the concept of time has evolved.

Grow a tiny forest anywhere.

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Sept 7 – Sept 13)

Comment of the Week

“And not necessarily in a tantric, creepy guru with an open shirt, hairy chest, long greasy hair, and extensive selection of oils kind of way.”

Um, maybe I’M creepy, but I’d kinda like to meet this guy… ;)

– Nope, not creepy. We all wanna meet him.

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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33 thoughts on “Weekend Link Love – Edition 312”

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  1. As a gymnast, I am personally offended by the cartwheel and handstand ban. Why not plant grass, instead of the concrete there now, to make gymnastic moves a bit safer?

    1. On a similar note, I was out walking the neighbor’s dog, and we explored a couple of local elementary schools. There were absolutely NO swings on the play yards! I don’t have kids, so maybe I missed a ban on swings or something? Parents, help me out here.

    2. HA!! I’ll do you one better… At may daughter’s elementary school in southern New Jersey, the kids are not allowed to RUN on the asphalt! What’s more, the kids 3rd grade and older (grades 3-5 or half the school) are not even permitted to play on the jungle gym/mulch area for fears of hurting the younger ones!

  2. Per the national geographic article:

    Why do people even bother commenting on the paleo diet when they have absolutely no idea what it is? I’m so sick of some journalist/reporter writing about how “There is no one true paleo diet” and “The paleo diet ignores the need for diet and exercises”.

    Seriously, do 10 minutes of research before you write an article. It seems to me that EVERY paleo diet advocate from Sisson to Cordain recommends eating a diverse diet, choosing the foods you eat based on what works best for you, and states that the paleo diet is more than just a diet but a “lifestyle” that includes exercising, reducing stress, etc.

    The whole “lactose intolerance” thing is over-sited and drives me crazy too. Anyone with the most basic understanding of genetics should know that lactase persistance could easily occur as a simple genetic mutation in an offspring as the human body *already* creates lactase at birth. On the other hand, it would take a substantial change in the genetic code of a population to create one or more ENTIRELY NEW enzymes, or to modify the digestive process to deal with previously unfamiliar food-stuffs.

    1. Alex, you’re right when you say most food writers don’t do enough research. The reason for that is their goal is a paycheck, not necessarily an offer of indepth insight or even much accuracy. IMO, the beauty of a Paleo diet, which is overlooked by the more clueless writers, is that if you mostly follow the basics, it can be tailored to suit the individual without a need to count calories, weigh portion sizes, etc.

      I consider myself a Primal/Paleo type, meaning 80-20 plus avoidance of most grain products and sweets, along with moderate daily exercise. I do very little dairy and not much in the way of legumes, mainly because those things don’t set well with me. I don’t split hairs or stress out over every mouthful because it hasn’t been necessary. I’m able to maintain a normal weight and good health by sticking with what I do. It might not meet someone else’s definition of “true Paleo”, but it meets mine, and that’s what counts.

      BTW, this isn’t intended as criticism of your comment. It’s just my own opinion.

    2. Yeah, I thought the Arjit Varki study in the Nat Geo article was an odd one to cite. Maybe not odd – maybe just sloppy journalism, as it was given a “corrigendum” a few months after publication, which the Nat Geo writer seems to have been unaware of: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24795860 If you’re not up on your Latin, corrigendum is a fancy way of saying, “we screwed up.”

      Agree about the pictures, though.

    3. Totally frustrating, calling Paleo/Primal diets meat-centric. They really are clueless. But did you notice none of the tribes ate grains and none of the photo galleries contained grain?

      1. My favorite, almost willful misunderstanding in the NatGeo article is this line:

        Many paleoanthropologists say that although advocates of the modern Paleolithic diet urge us to stay away from unhealthy processed foods, the diet’s heavy focus on meat doesn’t replicate the diversity of foods that our ancestors ate—or take into account the active lifestyles that protected them from heart disease and diabetes.

        Huh? Since when has that ever been the emphasis – Eat mostly meat and sit around all day?

  3. Love the ‘coffee nap’ article! I will have to try that at some point.

  4. Re – recipe -This is an excellent (maybe the best) all-purpose barbecue sauce to keep around the house.
    Why in the world would you publish and support a recipe (on this site), whose main ingredients are 2 cups of ketchup and 1 cup of sugar??

    1. Because when one is dialed in to paleo, the carbs in the sauce are allowed provided the sauce is used on meat instead of fries or a bun

      1. It’s not a matter of “allowed or not allowed” – these ingredients (and in these large proportions) are just processed foods, so you’ve just made a homemade processed food – not a way to promote health.

        1. You win! Omit the ketchup, replace with a purée of oven roasted organic grape tomatoes and sweeten with mesquite honey instead of sugar

    2. I was also shocked by that. If you eat BBQ sauce like I do, this particular recipe is probably not ideal.

    3. There is such a things reduced -sugar ketchup (Heinz–made with erythritol) and you can sub for the sugar with alternate sweeteners.

    4. There is such a thing as reduced-sugar ketchup (Heinz–made with erythritol) and you can sub for the sugar with alternate sweeteners.

    5. It’s just a recipe, and recipes are meant to be tweaked to suit the individual, not come unglued over. The sugar and ketchup can easily be reduced to a fraction of the amount called for–or omitted entirely as a type of chimichurri. You can easily replace the offending ingredients with tomato sauce and a bit of honey or maple syrup if preferable. Consider that the barbeque sauce should be lightly painted–not poured–on the meat for just a hint of flavor. As such, I would see it as falling within the 80/20 rule if one isn’t sugar/sweets sensitive.

    6. Oh, sheesh! I completely misread that 1 cup of sugar! Thanks for spotting that, folks!

      Barbecue Sauce recipe, you have no place here. You have been banished from Mark’s Daily Apple!

  5. Maybe banning cartwheels and other gymnastics movement is a way to get kids to do them?!

    I mean, I doubt a lot of kids these days even think about doing them, and if the man says you can’t do them, that might be reason enough to get you to try them.

    1. That’s a good thought Jared. It just might work.

      Way back when I was a P.E. teacher, I was at a weekend gymnastic event at another school. I noticed the teacher in charge did not have spotters on the kids. I asked her about it and she said in her experience, children will not do moves beyond their capabilities. Not sure if that is always true but probably true in most cases.

      I also found in my Jr. High classes, the students who had not learned cartwheels as a child, found it extremely difficult to learn it at this later date. A good case for encouraging cartwheels in small children, me thinks.

  6. The BBQ sauce has two cups of Ketchup in it…. How is that paleo?
    I also wonder how drinking caffiene is considered Paleo, especially when, for a lot of people it’s a daily addictive habit.

    1. So make your own Paleo, Primal, or low carb ketchup–check the web for recipes.

    2. Or find a paleo ketchup recipe. A quick google search gave me several.

    3. This site isn’t about a strict paleo diet. Primal eating is more flexible than paleo. And the amount of sugar in that BBQ sauce recipe may seem high, but how much BBQ sauce does one actually consume? Brushing a bit on a piece of meat means you’re getting maybe a couple of grams or sugar. For me, I’d avoid ketchup with corn syrup, but a wee bit of sugar isn’t going to cause harm. (Unless you have established problems with even small amounts of sugar, in which case, don’t use this recipe.)

      Same with caffeine– some of Primal and even some paleo-oriented folks use it. It depends on how it makes you feel. I can’t handle coffee, but the amount of caffeine in tea is just right for me. YMMV.

  7. The way to use a smartphone, tablet, or laptop in the evening without disrupting melatonin production – as I’ve determined by intensive self-experimentation – is to wear glasses that block all blue and green frequencies. I found laser-safety goggles that block everything up to 560nm with an optical density of 5 or more. I wear them about 2-3 hours before going to sleep every night. I’ve been sleeping like a baby ever since – even when I use electronics all evening.

    One other thing one could do is put a screen filter on the smartphone screen that blocks blue and green frequencies – but then you’ve still got room lighting affecting your melatonin level, and even if you don’t, you’ve got streetlights outside your window affecting your melatonin level (and yes, it makes a difference). So I just wear red goggles in the evenings.

    I really wish, Mark, that you would investigate the melatonin/light issue further – the more I delve into the research on the issue (and not just relating to sleep, but also relating to cancer), the more I realize that we should all be wearing red goggles in the evenings.

    1. Goggles really do help. I purchased amber ones from lowbluelights.com and immediately was able to stop the 3 mg melatonin dosage I had been using for more than a year. I also put them on 2-3 hours before bedtime and I’m quite ready to go to sleep and do so for 7+ hours.