For Jen Widerstrom, clean eating feeds both her body and soul.

For Jen Widerstrom, clean eating feeds both her body and soul.

It’s not enough for former American Gladiators athlete and NBC’s The Biggest Loser trainer Jen Widerstrom to simply eat “healthy.” For this Oxygen Challenge 4 coach, the real difference comes from committing to a clean-eating nutrition plan — for life. “You work so hard to be healthy and vital, and when you put fuel in your body that’s been altered, it diminishes the return on that investment,” she explains. “When it comes to eating animal-based protein, we have to remember that we ultimately ingest whatever was given to that animal.”

In other words, any hormones and antibiotics these animals consume through their feed are transported into your body, which Widerstrom says can adversely affect your physical development and organ function. “Also, I care very much about the way animals are treated, especially when it’s for our benefit,” she says. “In the words of Mary Temple Grandin, a professor of animal science, ‘Nature is inhumane; we don’t have to be.’ I couldn’t agree more.”

Be Responsible and Well-Rounded

So what should you look for at the grocery store? “Be proactive — read the labels on your food,” Widerstrom says. “If the food is made well, they’re going to tell you on the packaging. If there’s no messaging, it’s often because the products contain antibiotics and hormones.” Making these determinations can be harder at a restaurant, but typically if a food is grass-fed, hormone-/antiobiotic-free or organic, it will be listed boldly on the menu.

“I also advise people to be conscious eaters instead of mindless ones,” Widerstrom says. “Have a clear understanding of what kinds of foods your body digests well, and focus on choosing real foods so you will look and feel your best.”

That being said, Widerstrom is a big proponent of having everything in moderation. “I’ll have a beer and pizza with the best of them, but I’ll sweat that day, and you better believe I’m eating my eggs and avocado that next morning!” she says.

Recipes — for Life

Jen Widerstrom, an NASM-certified trainer, is on a mission to share the importance of eating natural products — and that’s why she chooses to source her beef, turkey, chicken and jerky from Laura’s Lean. Here is a recipe that uses these all-natural, hormone- and antibiotic-free, grass-fed products.

One-Pot Chicken

Makes 2-3 servings


  • 1½ lb (3-4) boneless, skinless Laura’s Lean chicken breasts 
  • ¾ tbsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp lemon pepper
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh herbs of choice

Preheat oven to 400 F. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, combine salt, lemon pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika. Sprinkle mixture evenly over chicken on both sides. Heat oil in a large oven-safe pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook 4 to 5 minutes each side, until nicely browned. Add rice wine vinegar and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat. In another bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard and honey. Pour over chicken and stir until coated. 

Cover pan with foil and place in oven. Bake 15 minutes, then add tomatoes. Bake another 5 minutes until tomatoes start to burst. Remove, sprinkle with fresh herbs and serve.

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Research of the Week

Having the genetic predisposition for type 2 diabetes also predisposes men to erectile dysfunction. Preventing the former could prevent the latter.

Trypsin inhibitors found in wheat worsen non-alcoholic fatty liver.

Why our sense of smell declines with age.

The average Facebook user would need $1000 to deactivate their account for a year.

Women are more likely than men to punish promiscuous women.

Italian scientists are developing technology to regrow foreskins.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 301: Dr. Lindsay Taylor: Host Elle Russ chats with Dr. Lindsay Taylor about all things keto. Dr. Taylor is the Senior Writer and Researcher at Primal Blueprint, and her upcoming Keto Passport cookbook is going to be incredible.

Each week, select Mark’s Daily Apple blog posts are prepared as Primal Blueprint Podcasts. Need to catch up on reading, but don’t have the time? Prefer to listen to articles while on the go? Check out the new blog post podcasts below, and subscribe to the Primal Blueprint Podcast here so you never miss an episode.

Media, Schmedia

The placebo effect of DNA test results.

Before the “Impossible burger” can come to market, the FDA must first approve heme as a color additive.

Interesting Blog Posts

An unconventional but effective path to happiness.

It’s only a matter of time until we can use gut bacteria to diagnose (and perhaps prevent) IBS and IBD.

Social Notes

How the Keto Reset is different.

Everything Else

Watch a spider spin its web.

The plague was already in Europe much earlier than previously thought, almost 5000 years ago.

Ireland has great dirt.

What can’t gelatin do?

An American just crossed Antarctica on his own, on foot.

Small producers fight to save the Mexican tortilla.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

Development I applaud: Office managers begin mapping business hours to employee chronotype.

Article I found inspiring: “Running Up Mountains at Age 97.”

Image I found both unsettling and beautiful: The one of the blood clot in the shape of a lung passage.

This is a Mediterranean diet I could get behind: Check it out.

The march against red meat proceeds: Cambridge University will only serve red meat once a week.

Question I’m Asking

There are a ton of food products incorporating CBD—the non-psychoactive marijuana cannabinoid that has anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic properties—geared toward athletes for recovery. Has anyone tried using it, and if so, what was your experience?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Dec 23 – Dec 29)

Comment of the Week

“Mark, I’ll be on the lookout for the Primal Kitchen duck egg with barberry extract mayo … coming soon to a store near you. ?

– The metformin mayo was actually what got us over the hump with Kraft-Heinz, Smay.


The post Weekly Link Love—Edition 9 appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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This post is sponsored by BewellConnect. For our sponsored post policy, click here. When living a life full of adventure and activity is truly your jam, it makes a healthy lifestyle so much easier. After all, if sitting is the new sugar (which, of course, is the new smoking), then those of us who crave movement and seek out new ways to challenge our bodies are really ahead of the game. But lots of movement — especially the type that so many of us love because it really pushes our limits and helps us become stronger, both physically and mentally — often leads…

The post My Experience With MyTens appeared first on Fit Bottomed Girls.

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Short ribs are an underappreciated cut of meat. Slow cooking brings out their full potential, but the added time is worth the wait. Juicy, succulent and flavorful, short ribs can be paired with any number of vegetables for stews (often a more fork-tender choice than traditional stew meat) or served separately with salads or sides. We’ve got two recipes highlighting the versatility of short ribs. (Check back next week for the second….)

For this recipe, the ribs are paired with sweet potatoes and spinach for nutrient-rich one-pot meal. And we’ve sized the recipe for a double batch of short ribs with instructions for when and how to set them aside. The result? The ease of two delicious dinners with less time and prep.

Servings: 4 (plus extra 4 servings of ribs alone)

Time in the Kitchen: 35 minutes (plus 25 minutes cook time)


  • 3 pounds bone-in beef short ribs (about 2 inches thick) (1.5 kg)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (7.4 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon Primal Kitchen® Avocado Oil (15 ml)
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (15 ml) (save the rest for recipe #3)
  • 2 cups beef bone broth (475 ml)
  • 8 ounces frozen spinach (230 g)
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces (2.5 cm)


Season ribs with salt.

Select the sauté setting on the Instant Pot. Add oil and sear the ribs for about 2 minutes per side, so they are lightly browned. This will have to be done in batches since all the ribs won’t fit in the pot at once.

In a small bowl, whisk together the tomato paste and bone broth.

Set all the browned short ribs aside on a plate and pour the bone broth and tomato paste into the pot. Add the garlic cloves. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape up any bits of meat that have stuck to the bottom of the pot.

Add the short ribs.

Secure the lid and make sure the pressure release valve is set to “sealing.” Select the “manual” setting and set the cooking time for 25 minutes on high pressure.

After 25 minutes, quick release by moving the pressure release valve to “venting” (watch out for the release of hot steam)

Remove half of the ribs and liquid from the pot. Put this half of the ribs and liquid in a food storage container. Store it in the refrigerator for another meal (check back next week for that recipe!).

Add the spinach and sweet potatoes to the Instant Pot with the remaining short ribs and liquid. Mix well so the meat, potatoes and spinach are mostly covered with liquid.

Secure the lid and make sure the pressure release valve is set to “sealing.” Select the “manual” setting and set the cooking time for 5 minutes on high pressure. After the cooking time, do a quick release by moving the pressure release valve to “venting.”

Remove the meat. Use a knife to slice/shred the meat from the bones.

Serve the short rib meat in bowls with the sweet potatoes and spinach. Add sea salt to taste.

Nutritional Info (per serving):

  • Calories—372
  • Net Carbs—14 grams
  • Fat—21 grams
  • Protein—28 grams


The post Instant Pot Short Ribs With Sweet Potatoes and Spinach appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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  A copy of Enjoy Time: Stop Rushing, Get More Done by Catherine Blyth landed here at Fit Bottomed Zen HQ, and we are obsessed with it. So much so that we booked the author as a guest on our podcast (ep coming up in 2019!) and immediately asked if we could share a few research-based tips from the book on the site. Thankfully, she said yes! Blythe pulled together theories and research in behavioral studies and psychology to drill deep down into why we procrastinate — and practical ways that we can curb it. Tackling Procrastination by Catherine Blyth There are five reasons…

The post Why We Procrastinate — and How to Stop appeared first on Fit Bottomed Girls.

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Over the years, I’ve gotten a lot of questions from Mark’s Daily Apple readers about how I do my day. What do I eat each day? What are my favorite snacks? What do I do for exercise? How do I work out when I’m on the road? What supplements do I take (and how often)? Even what personal products I use… I feel like I’ve covered about everything there is, but then I’ll get something new. In this case, some readers over the last year have asked me about my bedtime. Do I have a routine? Just what do I do to get a good night sleep?

Quality sleep isn’t in any way optional for good health. In fact, it’s a Primal Blueprint Law. That means I consider the hour or two leading up to bedtime as important as my workout time.

Here’s my nightly ritual rundown. As you’ll see in the video, it takes advantage of the relaxing effect of heat along with the Grok Tip of finishing cold—a theme I continue with attention to the ambient temperature of my room. Check out how I wind down my day (and even what I’m reading before bed) below.

Thanks for stopping in today, everybody. Do you have a question for me to answer in a future video? Shoot me a line below. Otherwise, be sure to share your favorite tips for enjoying a great night sleep. Have a great week, everyone.


The post My Evening Routine: How I Manufacture a Great Night Sleep appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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