Research of the Week

Humans have a Dunbar’s number for “regularly visited places.”

Rapamycin counters aging in old rats by triggering autophagy.

Movement is great. Mindful movement is even better.

Treating Alzheimer’s with CT scans: radiation hormesis.

Probiotics are good for old bones.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 257: Monica Reinagel: Host Elle Russ chats with Monica Reinagel, founder of the Nutrition Diva podcast and co-founder of a great new coaching program called Weighless.

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

Where we might find the next hobbits.

What depersonalization disorder can tell us about the self.

A response to the recent study on meditation.

Media, Schmedia

A call to nature.

Why are sugary drinks still widely available in hospitals, anyway?

Everything Else

Halo Top doesn’t reach the top.

Interesting interview of Vilhjamur Stefansson, the famous Arctic explorer, about his experience with carnivorous dieting.

“‘Here, on the island I don’t do what people tell me to do, I just follow nature’s rules. You can’t dominate nature so you have to obey it completely,’ he explained to Reuters.” Now he has to obey the Japanese government and return to civilization. Sad.

What Julius Caesar may have looked like.

I guess the Death Star hasn’t been completed yet. (I know I mentioned them last week.)

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

Video I loved: What the Japanese really eat.

I feel obligated to remind everyone: The supposedly “definitive” evidence indicting saturated fat in favor of high omega-6 seed oils was totally fraudulent and actually showed the opposite.

I can’t improve on the article’s title: “Spaniard raised by wolves disappointed with human life.”

Cartoon I liked: An anti-electricity single-paneler from the early 20th century.

Now that’s what I call a stew: An interdisciplinary team cooks up a 4000 year-old Babylonian stew recipe.

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Jun 24– Jun 30)

Comment of the Week

“My Monday coffee group is my tribe and, in fact, that’s what we call this group of about 8 women ages 65 to 90. There’s a lot of wisdom around that table as well as laughter and, occasionally, tears. We’re of varying sizes and levels of activity and nutrition, but we support each other, which is what it’s all about IMHO.”

– We should all be so lucky, Sheila.


The post Weekend Link Love — Edition 510 appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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Are you (like us) rejoicing yet that it’s almost summer? Try this tasty Mediterranean salad topped with Primal Kitchen® Dreamy Italian Dressing & Vinaigrette, and serve it up with slices of avocado, cherry tomatoes and grilled chicken.

Make rocking your summer diet easy and delicious with irresistible Primal Kitchen condiments! Rest easy knowing you’re getting 100% real food ingredients and top-notch nutrition when you use our premium dressings, mayos, oils, and more. Throw this beautiful salad together, and drizzle on our fragrant and delicious Primal Kitchen Dreamy Italian Dressing to your heart’s content. Filled with Mediterranean vibes, amazing flavor, and tons of healthy fats, this dressing is a guaranteed pantry staple and family-friendly favorite!

Time: 35 min

Servings: 4



Marinate chicken strips in Dreamy Italian Dressing & Vinaigrette for two hours (or overnight).

Place the chicken strips on a hot grill. Brush them with Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil, and sprinkle with oregano, chopped rosemary, salt and pepper.

Turn, the chicken strips over, and repeat. Grill until no longer pink.

Meanwhile, combine mixed greens, avocado, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, pumpkin seeds, and bacon bits into four serving bowls.

Add slices of grilled chicken to each, and top with creamy Primal Kitchen Dreamy Italian Dressing.



The post Grilled Italian Chicken Salad appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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Man Performing TRX Exercise

EmirMemedovski / Getty

When To Use It: 

At the end of leg day. If you’re pressed for time, do it on its own as a quick lower-body workout.

Why Do It: 

“Adding these suspension trainer exercises to the end of your workout will give you a final burn,” says Zack Van Wagoner, a trainer and a TRX coach in San Francisco. “These moves also target the smaller stabilizer muscles you might have missed when doing exercises like leg extensions and hamstring curls.”



Adjust the suspension trainer strap to midcalf. Perform two to four rounds, depending on your level of conditioning, with as little rest as possible. (Try to limit yourself to 15 to 30 seconds between rounds.)

Trainer Tip:

“When performing the three exercises, create as much tension into the foot cradle as possible and brace your core,” Van Wagoner says. “This will improve your balance and control, so you can focus on contracting the targeted muscles fully.”


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

This week low-carb is a bust, no edge to human longevity, and writing to improve body image.

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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Jeremy Potvin
Ian Spanier

Some people see a photo of IFBB pro Jeremy Potvin, and their first comment is, “Right, pal. Show me a picture of him that’s not Photoshopped.” So dramatic is Potvin’s waist-to-shoulder ratio that his body seems like, well, fake news.

But as fans of the IFBB Pro League physique division know, Potvin is for real. In an era when some bodybuilders are criticized for thick midsections and protruding bellies, Potvin displays the type of aesthetically stunning proportions that built the sport of bodybuilding in the Golden Age. As the growing popularity of the men’s physique and classic physique divisions prove, the Apollonian contours of the chiseled, tight midsection under flaring lats and cannonball delts are what most guys want to create for themselves. And this look becomes more desirable as summer kicks into high gear and bodies are on display at the beach and pool.

Army Strong

Potvin’s journey to pro bodybuilder is one of those unlikely success stories that begins with a skinny, shy teenager. Potvin weighed only 116 pounds (at a height of 5’6″) when he graduated high school. Afterward, he joined the Army, following in the footsteps of his father, who is career military. After surviving boot camp, Potvin was deployed to Iraq. He began weight training—not to build muscle but as a coping mechanism. While stationed in Iraq for a year, he served in 183 missions, including some major operations.


“We did quite a bit,” he says. “I saw my share of excitement over there.”

The training helped keep Potvin centered.

“In Iraq, I started working out as a way to relieve my stress,” he says. His body responded in a way that surprised him. “I kind of fell in love with the results that I was getting from it and just kept at it.”

He began eating seriously, upping his protein and overall calorie intake, until his body started to take shape. Remarkable shape.

“The more I trained, the more I found out I had the genetics, in terms of shape, for men’s physique,” he says. “I was hooked.”

As difficult as his experiences were in Iraq, Potvin believes that his Army training, as well as growing up in a military family, helped him stay structured and disciplined. This mindset has carried over into his civilian life and bodybuilding career.


“It’s a good way to grow up quick,” says Potvin about serving in the armed forces. “The drive to never quit is there in me because of the military.”

Eyes on the Olympia

True to character, Potvin has worked hard and found quick success in the pros after earning his IFBB pro card in 2014. He’s finished in the top five of the Physique Olympia the past two years (third in 2016, fifth in 2017) and is determined to place higher. Potvin is planning on competing 10 pounds heavier this year (165 pounds), but not at the expense of his trademark flesh-and-blood Photoshop look.

“I’m still trying to create the craziest shoulder-to-waist ratio you’ve ever seen,” he says. “Trying to grow wider up top and keeping my waist as small as possible.”

His potential is limitless, but for now, he has no intentions to move up from the physique category.

“My plan is to always progress within bodybuilding and keep growing,” he says. “If I ever outgrow physique, then I’ll definitely make a move.”



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It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

Hi, my name is Mike. I haven’t always been overweight or obese. In fact, when I was a child and teen I was skinny. To the point of being teased frequently because of how skinny I was. No matter what I ate or how much of it I ate, I couldn’t gain weight. Fast forward to January 2017 and I was at my largest: 350 pounds, barely able to fit into 4xl shirts and was about to have to purchase 48 waist pants because the 46 I was in I couldn’t button. I had to put them close, fasten my belt, and hope the pants didn’t slip through and unzip.

I didn’t get here overnight, although after finding and devouring Mark’s Daily Apple I realized that my overnight practices were definitely part of it. High stress lifestyle as a paramedic for 18 years, working nights, fast food almost every meal, then stress eating through Physician Assistant school. I was definitely the “Do as I say not as I do” healthcare provider. And done with it.

In February of 2017 I checked my Hemoglobin A1C and it was 6.4, just 0.1 short of official diabetes. I started to do some of what Mark said to do on MDA but wasn’t fully into it. I’ve always been the “why it works that way” person and, being the geek that I am, kept reading. Mark’s Daily Apple, Chris Kresser, and others increased my nutritional knowledge far beyond my education as a PA (a subject for a completely different article).

In May 2017 I had lost 10 pounds but my A1c was still 6.2 and my Triglycerides were 264. It was time to actually do something about my health instead of just talk about it and tell my patients what to do. Actually, several of my patients as well as my parents, who really listened to what I told them, read MDA and instituted the Primal Lifestyle and had lost lots of weight and were doing great, which inspired me to take my own advice.

Like many people who are obese and have tried to lose weight, I’ve done well for a little bit, screwed up, and beat myself up about it. “I don’t know why I even try” and, “Well I blew it again” were frequent thoughts. When patients would ask how much I’ve lost since I started trying I would say, “Thousands” because I had been trying and failing since my mid 20s. I’ve been telling patients recently that the flip in mentality came with the 80/20 concept that we read about on MDA. It’s true. Once I fully grasped that concept and instituted it in my life, things began to turn around.

In December 2017 I tested again. My A1c was 5.4, Triglycerides 146, and I was down 15 more pounds. 2018 has been even better. I’m only down another 10 pounds (40 total as of this morning) but that’s despite several trips for work and some vacations, and my body composition is definitely changing. In May my A1c was 5.0. I’m officially no longer pre-diabetic. I am down 6 belt loops (I keep making new loops and the tip of my belt is literally on my left hip). I actually fit into and button a pair of 40 waist jeans. 3xl shirts fit me somewhat loose. All of this without any workout program. My BMI has gone from 47.5 to 42.0, so still morbidly obese but getting close to, “just obese.” I increased my activity by moving more and working on projects around my property such as building a raised garden (pulling weeds, raking rocks, etc), but didn’t do any actual workout program until the first week of May when I started a High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) program three days a week.

I still have a long way to go to get to my goal of 205. The 21-Day Reset that we are currently doing has helped me get back on track paying attention to what I am doing. I’m sleeping better. Energy is better. Clothes fit better. The area I work (mountains in Arizona) has a large population that lives where it’s warm in the winter and comes up to the mountains for the summer. My summer patients who haven’t seen me since the fall are making comments about how I look. My confidence is returning and I’m re-engaging in life.

I will be 50 next year and I’m confident that I will be healthier at 50 than I was at 25. I also would like to do the Primal Health Coach Institute as well as the Functional Medicine Program at the Kresser Institute (student loans currently keep those from being financially feasible), and I have started to figure out how to institute a primal based health program at my current practice. Grok on!


The post My Confidence Is Returning, and I’m Re-engaging in Life appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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