Research of the Week

Swapping out carbs for nuts does wonders.

Doctors don’t listen to and often interrupt their patients.

Young kids innately malign free riders.

Self-esteem peaks at age 60 and doesn’t decline until age 70.

The “obesity paradox” is explained by low-lean mass, not low-fat mass. “Extra” muscle is healthy, extra body fat is still bad for you.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 263: Tania Teschke: The Liver Show!: Host Brad Kearns chats with Tania Teschke about eating the most nutrient-dense diet possible.

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.

Interesting Blog Posts

Do testosterone-boosters work?

What would happen if we replaced Earth with the same volume of intact blueberries?

Media, Schmedia

The shark was probably deficient in palmitoleic acid.

Pregnancy changes women’s brains, and no one’s warning them.

Undeclared soy.”

Everything Else

Early hominids were in China at least 2.1 million years ago.

Bias is shortchanging the impact of NIH funding.

The march (crawl?) of the designer baby draws nearer.

“Richter said it is unlikely the bread…was consumed as a staple…”. Hey, bread had to start somewhere.

“Many Tzotzil believe carbonated soda has the power to heal the sick. Mikaela Ruiz, 41, a local resident, recalls how soda helped cure her infant daughter, who was weak from vomiting and diarrhea. The ceremony was performed by her diabetic mother, a traditional healer who has performed the soda ceremonies for more than 40 years.”

Good overview of the current unifying theories of psychedelics.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

Giveaway you should try to grab: Three lucky people will each get a signed copy of Cristina Curp’s new cookbook, Made Whole, (Enter Here) as well as our entire lineup of Avocado Oils, Dressings, Condiments, and Marinades (unsigned).

Podcast you should listen to: My friend and writing partner Brad Kearns appeared on The Ripple Effect. Brad’s a real looker, so check out the video as well.

Opinion with which I agree: Pills are not the answer.

I’d drop the “may have”: “The introduction of refined carbohydrates in the Alaskan Inland Inuit diet may have led to an increase in dental caries, hypertension, and atherosclerosis.”

I endorse her training tactic: First Saudi woman to climb Everest trained by “walking around with a backpack full of sand.”

I’m saddened but not surprised: The potential DNA damage from CRISPR has been “seriously underestimated.”

I thought this was cool: Jennifer Garner drinks Collagen Fuel smoothies.

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Jul 15– Jul 21)

Comment of the Week

“‘Had I a set of breasts from which an infant would be suckling.’
Even so under the shackles of Hypocaloricostopheles, though shalt’nt fasten thy womb lest you risk a pregnant void.

C’mon, Mark.”

– Keep the verse going, Stefan.


The post Weekend Link Love — Edition 513 appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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This gorgeous summertime parfait is infused with healthy fat and flavor from ingredients like macadamia nuts, coconut and full-fat dairy.  A few teaspoons of gelatin make this dessert rich and creamy—and also benefit your skin, sleep, gut health and tissue repair.

You’ll find this treat incredibly creamy, slightly sweet and tangy. It replaces the typical graham cracker crust with a to-die-for macadamia-coconut crumble.

This recipe is simply our keto cheesecake recipe reimagined into a parfait. The cheesecake filling is layered in jars with the macadamia-coconut crumble and fresh berries, then chilled until the cheesecake sets. It’s an eye-catching dessert for summer parties. Keep the recipe handy, because your guests are definitely going to ask for it!

Servings: 6 8-ounce mason jars OR 12 4-ounce mason jars

Time in the Kitchen: 25 minutes, plus 2 hours to chill


Macadamia-Coconut Crumble Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw, unsalted macadamia nuts (262 grams)
  • ½ cup finely shredded, unsweetened coconut (43 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (30 ml)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (1.25 ml)

Cheesecake Ingredients:

  • 3 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin* (15 ml)
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened (453 g)
  • 1 cup crème fraiche (7.5 ounces/213 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (5 ml)


  • If making a keto version of this cheesecake, use ½ to 1 teaspoon liquid stevia.
  • If you’re not keto and prefer honey or maple syrup, add 3 tablespoons of either.


  • 10 to 12 ounces fresh raspberries (283 to 340 g)
  • 10 to 12 ounces fresh blueberries (283 to 340 g)


For Crumble: Process macadamia nuts in food processor until finely chopped. Add coconut, coconut oil and salt and pulse a few more times to combine with the nuts.

For Filling: Dissolve the gelatin in 1 cup hot water by whisking vigorously. Set aside.

*Use gelatin, not collagen peptides, for this recipe. Collagen peptides don’t thicken or gel.

In a stand mixer, blend cream cheese until smooth. Add crème fraiche, vanilla extract, your preferred sweetener, and blend until combined. With the mixer on low, slowly pour in gelatin, beating until thoroughly blended in.

Layer each jar with ingredients in this order until the jars are filled:

  • macadamia-coconut crumble
  • cheesecake filling
  • berries
  • cheesecake filling
  • macadamia-coconut crumble

Chill at least 2 hours, until set.


The post Keto Cheesecake Parfait appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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OC4 coach Jen Widerstrom explains how protein and fat work together to help you shed excess weight.

Want to lose weight? Eat more protein.

Science tells us that protein is a natural fat burner. According to the Journal of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, researchers showed that high-protein meals increase the metabolism of overweight people. That’s because of protein’s higher thermic effect of food (TEF) than carbohydrates.

What Is TEF?

Your body is burning calories all the time, including during digestion. The thermic effect of food, also known as thermogenesis, is the amount of energy required to process and digest the food you consume. Some foods take more energy to break down and digest than others. Heavily processed carbs are easy to digest. Protein — not so much.

Healthy fats like nuts, seeds and oils such as avocado, olive and hemp also boast a higher TEF.

The energy used to digest protein, when ingested alone, comes from stored fat that is broken down and metabolized so it can be used for fuel. So you can use food along with exercise to transform your body into an efficient fat-burning machine.

Timing Macros for Optimal Fat Burning

When it comes to protein and carbs, you can have both — just not at the same time! For example, if you’re eating a slice of peanut butter toast, your body will automatically start digesting the quick-burning carbs from the toast before the protein from the peanuts. You would be better off just eating a handful of peanuts or a half of an avocado — foods that contain both protein and healthy fat.

Slow-digesting carbs like healthy whole grains and sweet potatoes should be eaten before training.

Overall, aim to prioritize healthy fats and proteins over carbs. Protein has also been shown to curb sugar cravings and keep you fuller longer — yet another reason to eat more at every meal!

Grilled Greek Chicken With Cucumber-Tomato Salad

This recipe from Laura’s Lean features healthy protein (chicken) and fat (olives) to rev up your metabolism. Add an olive-oil-based dressing for extra healthy fat.

Photo Credit: Laura’s Lean

Serves 4


4 Laura’s Lean chicken breasts (5 oz per chicken breast)

½ tsp dried oregano

2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

1 garlic clove, minced

2 cups grape tomatoes, halved

2 cups seedless cucumber, cubed

½ red onion, sliced

5/16 cup Kalamata olives, halved

juice and zest of 1 lemon

salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat an outdoor grill or grill pan over medium heat.

In a large bowl, combine chicken breasts, oregano, rosemary, lemon zest and juice, garlic, salt and pepper. Set aside to marinate while you make the salad, up to 20 minutes.

In another large bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, olives, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Place chicken breasts on grill and cook until no longer pink in the middle, about 7 minutes per side. Allow chicken to rest 5 minutes, then serve alongside salad.

Sort out the truth from the hype when it comes to protein. Oxygen Challenge 4 coach Jen Widerstrom shares the facts in her Truth About Protein blog series.

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OC4 coach Jen Widerstrom explains the difference between high- and low-quality protein.

From bars to powders to drinks and more, there’s a lot of functional protein-packed products out there. So how do you pick the best option to fit your nutritional needs?

It’s all about choosing high-quality protein.

If you consume low-grade protein that has been synthesized or even altered through hormones and antibiotics, it changes your body’s ability to recognize and absorb the protein, rendering it less effective. That’s why it’s important to know exactly where your protein source comes from.

Pay Attention to Labels

Don’t be fooled just because a snack bar or drink contains protein. Often, you’ll see products touting their servings of protein in an attempt to appeal to consumers. The catch? In order to consume that promised protein, you’ll also have to consume every other, potentially harmful, ingredient in the product – like added sugar and artificial ingredients.

So always ask yourself: Is this worth it? If not, pass.

Ultimately, your body craves real food. More specifically, it craves one-ingredient foods, meaning it takes you one word to list the ingredients within that item. For instance, chicken is a one-ingredient food. Almonds are also a one-ingredient food. That laboratory-designed protein drink is not a one-ingredient food. I promise you that your body will always respond, heal and feel better when you give it whole, natural foods.

Types of High-Quality Protein

Fish, especially salmon, and green algae are my go-to healthy proteins. Both are easy to digest, contain quality fat and are easy to integrate into most nutrition plans. When it comes to your meat sources, always look for antibiotic- and hormone-free brands that also live up to the ethical standard on the treatment of animals. remains my all-time favorite.

See also 10 Chicken-Free Muscle-Building Meals.

When supplementing with powders or bars, be sure to review the product’s ingredient list, keeping an eye out for any items you cannot pronounce. This is a red flag. If you don’t recognize what you’re eating, neither will your body. You are the first and best line of defense for what goes into your system. So always pay attention.

Burger Bowl

This clean, whole-food recipe from my book Diet Right for Your Personality Type features high-quality lean ground beef or turkey.

Photo Credit: Laura’s Lean

Serves 1


  • 6 to 8 oz 90% lean ground beef or 93% lean ground turkey
  • 3 to 4 cups romaine and/or spinach leaves, chopped
  • 1 slice cheese (any type)
  • 1 tomato slice
  • 1 dill pickle, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped onions
  • handful fresh mushrooms
  • vegetable oil cooking spray


Spray a skillet with cooking spray. Brown meat in skillet over medium-high heat until done. Drain. Place lettuce leaves on a plate or in a bowl. Top with meat, cheese, tomato, pickle, mushrooms and onions. Serve.

Sort out the truth from the hype when it comes to protein. Oxygen Challenge 4 coach Jen Widerstrom shares the facts in her Truth About Protein blog series.

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Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

This week the road to sustainable seafood, dairy fat gets a pass, and oily fish delays menopause.

Next week’s Mindful Meal Challenge will start again on Monday. Sign up now to join us!

Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app to read at 300+ wpm. So neat!

I also share links on Twitter @summertomato and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you.

Links of the week

What inspired you this week?

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Man Doing Barbell Rows

Per Bernal

When it comes to your training, you can have it all—a ripped physique, full muscles, and the ability to move a monstrous amount of weight.

Just ask Brandon Smitley, a former bodybuilder turned pro powerlifter who holds the raw world record for the squat with a 567-pound lift at 132 pounds. Smitley is ripped, he’s large, and he obviously moves big weights. To help you achieve the same, he created the S3 method—a high-volume push, pull, and legs split that hits your entire body in just three workouts, allowing you to rest and grow for the remainder of the week.

S3 Explained

The training method is designed for those who have minimal time to train. For that reason, each workout focuses on compound movements for higher sets and lower reps (a classic method to accumulate heavier tonnage), followed by familiar bodybuilding isolation moves. To help you burn more calories and increase your muscles’ time under tension (a key for growth), Smitley added intensity techniques like dropsets, supersets, and eccentric reps. “Expect to get more work done in less time and an insane, shirt-splitting pump,” he says.

As for the split, there are two upper-body days, divided into push- and pull-based movements, and a lower-body day. Two of the days o er a conditioning component to elevate the heart rate and help with fat burning when your glycogen levels are already depleted at the end of the workout. This also eliminates the need for additional cardio during the rest of the week. Ideally, you’ll take a day of rest between each training session. Smitley recommends a Monday/Wednesday/Friday training split. It’s only three days of work, but don’t think this means it’ll be a breeze. “At the end of each workout,” Smitley says, “you should feel like you got in an amazing training session.”

How to Progress

Below, Smitley breaks down the two best methods for consistently adding pounds to your lifts.

Ramping Method

  • What it is: A method of progression that has you start with a weight that’s relatively light and continually increase the load as you work up to your top set.
  • Why do it: “Ramping up to one top set is better for overall strength improvement,” Smitley says. “The feeder sets—the lighter sets before your top set—will help you acclimate to the movement pattern and work on technique with loads that are manageable yet still effective. It also allows you to accumulate more volume over time.”
  • Do it: For the back squat, for example, you might progress like this: 225×6, 245×6, 265×6, 285×6, 300×6. “Do that for two weeks,” Smitley says, “and then try and beat your top set by five to 10 pounds.”

Flat-Loading Method

  • What it is: You keep the weight the same for all your sets but use a more moderate load—not too light and not too heavy.
  • Why do it: “Both of these methods are sustainable to a degree,” Smitley says. “But generally, at loading allows for slower, longer, more sustainable progress.” He also notes that this method may be better suited for those who are more interested in hypertrophy (muscle building) as opposed to strength gains, as your muscles are under a heavier load for a more sustained period of time.
  • Do it: For bench press, for example, you might perform a 5×3 with 275 pounds. Then you’d add five to 10 pounds to the bar in two weeks, aiming to get all the reps for every single set.

Trainer Tip: Smitley also notes that alternating between the two methods each week is a good way to keep things fresh while enhancing strength.

Smitley’s Form Tips

As an elite-level powerlifter, Smitley knows a thing or two about form. Follow his squatting and benching tips to lift like a pro.

Back Squat Tips

  1. Point your toes out. Your knees track where your toes point, so point your toes out for a better squat motion. This will also help open up your hips and give the body a place to sit when you get “in the hole.” Plus, adds Smitley: “This develops the glutes and hamstrings more, which will help you move more weight.”
  2. Use belly breaths. Take a breath in through your nose and fill your belly with air. “Belly breaths help create stability, which is good for force transfer when you squat,” Smitley says. “That’s what a lifting belt is really for—it gives you something to breathe into and brace against to keep your trunk rigid.”
  3. Drive traps into the bar. Two keys to a good squat: keeping your chest up and torso straight. And driving your traps into the bar will help with those two things. “Lead with the traps,” Smitley says. “It essentially helps keep the bar over your midfoot.”

Bench Press Tips

  1. Drive your shoulders into your back pockets. “When you pull your shoulders back and down, it stabilizes your scapula and gives you a stronger base to bench-press from,” Smitley says. This allows you to create more power and helps protect the integrity of your shoulder joints.
  2. Drive through your feet. Another key for stability: Keep your feet planted on the ground. You’ll stabilize your whole body. And according to Smitley, “More stability means a greater transfer of force, therefore more weight. And more weight equals more muscle.”
  3. Keep your elbows underneath your wrists. “When you bench-press, you don’t want your elbows out to 90 degrees, as this can lead to pec strains and tears and even rotator cu  issues,” Smitley says. “Keep your elbows under your wrists and your arms slightly tucked into your sides to help increase leverage. Pushing with your elbows  ared is uncomfortable, and it reduces the strength you can push with.”

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