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

This week how genetic tests impact your motivation, moralizing food linked to weight regain, and Whole Foods packaging linked to cancer.

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

This week how to save your kids from sugar, pesticides dangerous for unborn children, and lavender works as well as valium.

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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Whether you’ve spent hours pondering the connection between emotional pain and your health or if you are hearing this idea for the first time now, you’ll want to tune right in for this enlightening ep with Dr. Bradley Nelson, author of The Emotion Code. Dr. Nelson began his career as a chiropractor who found that all his patient’s numerous ailments seemed to stem from carrying emotional baggage. He deduced that the human body is basically an energy field that can be affected positively or negatively by emotional trauma — and that effect can last for years if not treated or…

The post Podcast Ep 97: Dr. Bradley Nelson of The Emotion Code appeared first on Fit Bottomed Girls.

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

This week probiotics not always helpful, understanding your metabolism, and how to reverse muscle loss with age.

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

Reminder: I’ll be at the Fireside conference Sept 6-9 in Canada, and doing a live podcast on stage with the venerable Yoni Freedhoff. Would love to see you there!

This week mushroom tea isn’t magic, a little alcohol probably won’t kill you, and diet impacts women’s wellbeing more than men’s.

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

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It’s a scene all moms go through: Kids freak out. via GIPHY We take deep breaths. via GIPHY Kids keep freaking out. via GIPHY We vow to stay calm. via GIPHY Kids freak out more. via GIPHY We warn them that we’re close to losing our patience. via GIPHY Kids don’t listen. via GIPHY We lose our sh*t. via GIPHY And, later, we feel bad about it. via GIPHY Now, it’s not to say that kids don’t need discipline in a lot of situations, or that it’s not okay for them to see our genuine emotion — because that is…

The post The Question You Need to Ask When You’re Losing Your Parenting You-Know-What appeared first on Fit Bottomed Girls.

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Even after I fixed my diet, ditched the chronic cardio, and cleaned up my overall lifestyle to be more in line with our evolutionary upbringing, one big problem remained: my response to stress.

This had always been an issue for me. Part of it was that I kept a full plate at all times. Whether it was my training load, my businesses, my overall type A personality, stress was simply unavoidable, I thought.

How did I approach the situation and manage my stress differently over time?

First, I agonized over the existence of stress. My entire modus operandi throughout life had been to handle problems when they arose. I didn’t let things fester, I didn’t accept bad situations and learn to deal. I took care of things. If a problem didn’t resolve quickly , I assumed I was doing something wrong. Applied to stress, though? Man, what a disaster. I quickly realized that it was impossible to avoid stress, or eliminate it altogether. I needed a new approach.

So the first major step was admitting that stress is a fact of life, that stressors would arise, and what mattered was how I responded to them. My response could make the stress worse, or it could make it more manageable.

The first way I figured out how to improve my stress response was with smart supplementation. When I was still competing and doing the chronic cardio training required to succeed, I developed a supplement you might recognize by its old Primal Calm label and now called Adaptogenic Calm—designed to mitigate the negative effects of all that training stress. Both Brad Kearns and I used it, and it actually became an underground hit in the endurance scene. Athletes of all kinds were taking it and seeing great results. Of course, most of us just used it to allow our bodies to train even more and accumulate even more stress, which was one of the problems that got me into this mess in the first place.

The next step was realizing that even if I couldn’t eliminate stress entirely, I could eliminate unnecessary stress. First on the list was my training. You’ve heard the story before, so I won’t get too deeply into it. Suffice it to say, I was engaged in way too much endurance training—what I call chronic cardio—and spending way too much time out of the aerobic zone in the no-man’s land of moderately high-intensity that leads to sugar-burning and depresses fat-burning. This training was killing me, taking up all my time, necessitating an inflammatory high-carb, high-sugar diet that led to chronic GI distress and joint pain, and getting in the way of living.  If any of you can identify a big stressor upstream of a bunch of things going wrong in your life, take action and eliminate it. Changing how I trained led to the development of the Primal Blueprint and the resolution of most of my health problems.

Meditation always intrigued me. Even before it became an Internet sensation and every podcaster/blogger/CEO/coach out there credited their success to their morning meditation routine, I was surrounded by meditators. My wife, Carrie, has done it for decades. Lots of my athlete friends used it to—you guessed it—fight stress. And Malibu, CA, where I lived until a few months ago, is no stranger to yoga studios, health food stores, and other similar hives of mindfulness. I tried it. But it didn’t work for me. My mind was too active to become aware of its (lack of) self. Still, the science was convincing and I didn’t want to give up on what looked to be a potent anti-stress tool:

If sitting meditation didn’t work, maybe there was another way to get to a similar mindstate.

In a post I wrote about meditation alternatives, I gave 15 options and readers followed up with dozens of awesome suggestions in the comments. Standup paddling, hikes (or just hanging out) in nature, and guided meditations were my alternatives. They help me achieve the hyper-present flow state I’d only had glimpses of during “real” meditation. And sure enough, stress melts away as I’m doing the activity, I’m far less reactive to stressors (I have an extra split second or two to decide how I want to respond) throughout the week, and I appear to have greater resistance to stress. It’s almost an adaptogenic effect: rather than blunt or eliminate the stress response across the board, I’m able to call forth cortisol when the situation is serious. A car honking at me doesn’t trigger it, in other words.

Where am I today?

Stress is still there. It won’t ever go away, and I’m okay with that. I’ve got a growing food and supplement business, I’m as busy as ever with the writing, I just moved to Miami.

Meditation has gotten easier, but I’m still not a “meditation guy.” I don’t expect to be doing a 10-day silent retreat anytime soon.

Adaptogenic Calm remains a staple for me. The nutrients it contains are supraphysiological responses to the supraphysiological doses and durations of stress we receive in the modern world.

I welcome stress. If I align myself with the things I truly find meaningful and maintain active participation in life and avoid becoming a passive character in someone else’s storyline, the stressors become obstacles that make the narrative of my life more interesting. They propel me forward. Without stressors, I’m not living. I’m not doing anything. Stressors indicate action. They mean you’re bouncing up against reality and testing its mettle (and it, yours).

What’s your stress response journey? I’d love to hear how you’ve handled stress in the past, what you’ve learned along the way, and how you handle it now. Thanks, everybody.

I’ve got a contest coming up later this morning, so be sure to check back.


The post How My Response to Stress Has Changed Through the Years appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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inline Wisdom_Post.jpegMy staff and I are quite close. Things stay busy these days, so there isn’t a lot of downtime, but I’ve worked with some of these folks for over a decade. We don’t discuss every grisly detail of our lives with each other. But we do share. We care about each other.

So when one of the Worker Bees mentioned he was having some potentially serious medical issues, I asked for details. Turns out he went to his doctor for a hard lump on his throat that was getting progressively bigger. Initial pokes and prods were inconclusive. An MRI led to a biopsy, which led to an email in the middle of the afternoon with the results and a hell of an opener: “This may be a cancer.” May helped. It wasn’t a sure thing yet.

For the next couple months, he continued getting tests to confirm one way or the other. A full body scan confirmed hypermetabolic activity in the lump, just like an active cancer would show. No other tissues showed up on the scan, meaning nothing had spread or originated elsewhere. No cancer confirmation, but his doctors were definitely leaning in that direction. He had meetings at the cancer center, filled out end-of-life directives, got a special parking pass. It was intense.

It wasn’t supposed to happen to a man like this. A wife, two kids, dogs, chickens, a new house, a job working in the health, fitness, and nutrition industry. Mid 30s. Fit, eats well, a strong foundation in Primal health principles. But happening it was.

Here’s what he said to me:

“Whatever happens, this has changed my perception of reality for the better (I think). I live in a different world now, rich with meaning and love and powerful emotions. It’s remarkable.”



As he put it, when you think you’re dying, the nonsense you’ve been perpetuating falls away to reveal the essentials. It just happens on its own, and you get a glimpse of what really living entails.

Hugging your kids. Kissing your wife. A stroll after dinner to watch the sun dip below the horizon. A hawk soaring overhead. All things you’ve done and watched before, only now it’s different. Everything becomes imminent. Your concepts of the world and space-time condense. There’s less time now, but instead of getting frantic about it, you slow down and savor the moments. You’re present. Things that might have ruined your day or mood just roll off your back.

He saw it as a rare gift, and I have to agree. For all intents and purposes, he was dying (he wasn’t, but his nervous system didn’t know the difference). He got to make all the amends, undergo the self-realization, think about all the dreams and regrets he had accumulated or almost accumulated, and view things he took for granted in a new light. He got to prepare for death.

And then, he got good news. Exploratory surgery with an immediate biopsy right there in the operating room revealed that it wasn’t cancer. It was a cyst. They removed it. He went home, none the worse for wear.

The trickiest part of his whole experience has been figuring out how to keep it fresh in his heart and mind. How can he take what originated as a visceral response to the perceived threat of dying young and make it established policy? Turn it into wisdom that persists even when the threat has gone? The lump’s gone, and it never actually was a real threat. Will the insights remain?

That’s the eternal battle raging inside us, isn’t it?

We have these massive epiphanies triggered by events large and small. They change us, make us see the world from a different perspective. The prospect of random cancer helped the Worker Bee realize what he was taking for granted and glossing over. But when the direct effects of the trigger wane, we tend to let ourselves go. We get sloppy, complacent, and return to our previous incarnation.

Figuring this out seems like the key to happiness, success, meaning, world peace, and everything else we claim to hold dear. If we could get a handle on that slippery aspect of human psychology—the tendency to let learned wisdom flit away because the initial trigger resolves—there’d be no limit to what we could do as individuals and a species.

As we near the halfway mark of 2018, I want you all to ruminate on this matter.

  • How can we keep the spark of learned wisdom alive?
  • How can we turn tragedies into sustained improvements?
  • Better yet, how can we turn the tragedies of others into fuel for our own enduring improvements and realizations?

Let me know what you think, what you’ve learned down below. We all have stories like this. Candid details welcome and encouraged.

Thanks for reading, everyone. Take care, be well, and next time you hug a loved one, feel that hug for the miracle it is.

Because it is.


The post Gaining (and Maintaining) Wisdom From Life Experience appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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Dear_Mark_Inline_PhotoFor today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions from readers. I’ve come down hard against phones in bedrooms in the past. Is there a “good way” to use your phone in the bedroom? Reader Kathy offered some good reasons for keeping a phone there; what do I think? Next, HealthyHombre laments having to take antidepressants (but he shouldn’t lament). And finally, I cover the differences in omega-6 between pastured eggs and conventional eggs.

Let’s go:

I use my phone in bed in airplane mode to generate a binaural beat and a rainy night white noise. Grok would not do that but Grok would not live near a busy railroad and a neighbor with outdoor chihuahuas. Grok would not crank up an old favorite story on audiobooks when he couldn’t sleep but I do. The phone has a very dim red light at night (Twilight app). Is that really bad or does the no-phone advice refer instead to radiation from operating radios or attending to email, calls, and Facebook pings?

That’s an excellent question.

A ton of evidence indicates that dim light at night is bad, even just a little bit. It disrupts our cellular circadian rhythm (every cell in our body has a circadian component) and metabolism, leading to weight gain. It increases REM sleep and the number of times we wake up during the night. It may even lead to trans-generational depression and neurodegeneration.

Unless the dim light is red or from a fire. If anything, dim red light will help you sleep, not hinder you. A 2012 paper found that female basketball players using nighttime red light therapy improved sleep quality, increased melatonin production, and boosted endurance capacity.

The way you use your phone at night is ideal. It’s a tool to enhance your life, to replace what’s missing and essential and human in the most ancient sense—stories, soothing white noise.  You’ve got it on airplane mode, so you aren’t getting texts and updates and notifications. You aren’t tempted to check email or Facebook.

Keep doing it.

HealthyHombre wrote:

The article about antidepressants is of interest to me as I take 10mg of Lexapro daily to help mitigate severe panic attacks. For some reason it seems to be the only thing that provides consistent help. I’m 65 years old and it is the only pharmaceutical I take. I exercise regularly, diet is super clean, I’ve tried meditation, deep breathing, journaling, various natural supplements, therapy sessions etc. … all positive things but only the med seems to really work for me. Maybe it is the placebo affect, the mind is very powerful and if we believe something strongly enough it can manifest in a biological response. I’ve been told that a small percentage of people have problems utilizing neurotransmitters and the ad helps prevent re-uptake. I’ve spend hundreds of hours reading everything I can on the subject. Hopefully someday there will be some breakthroughs, until then I reluctantly take it daily and try not to beat myself up too much about it. Have a great day everyone!

If they work, they work! Never beat yourself up for doing what works. Just because many take them unnecessarily doesn’t mean you are. Remember, we’re all individuals charing our respective courses through life. Only we can decide which turns to take and tools to use along the way.

We are our own arbiters.

For what it’s worth, many psychiatrists who value the importance of nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle in treating depression also note the efficacy (and sometimes necessity) of antidepressants in certain patients. Dr. Emily Deans is one.

David wondered:

Hey Mark, I note the inclusion of pork and chicken as foods to be aware of as high in omega 6 linoleic acid (from their feed). Does this line of thinking also apply to egg yolks? If so, only for conventional eggs and not for pastured eggs?

Yes. Keep in mind that many pastured hens still receive a standard feed that contains soy and corn, both of which can contribute to omega-6 levels. However, pastured hens tend to have higher levels of omega-3, so the O6:O3 ratio is lower in pastured chicken eggs. Does it matter?

I think so. A study from several years ago compared the in vivo effects of regular eggs vs “special eggs” in humans—what happens in people who eat them? The conventional hens ate typical stuff high in omega-6 fats, like soy, corn (and its oil), sunflower, and safflower; their eggs were high in omega-6. The special hens ate wheat, barley, and sorghum, with an antioxidant blend to replicate the broad spectrum of compounds they’d get foraging in nature. Their eggs were lower in omega-6. Human subjects ate two eggs a day from either regular or special hens for several weeks. By study’s end, people eating the conventional eggs had 40% more oxidized LDL than people eating the eggs low in omega-6. Oxidized serum LDL is strongly associated with atherosclerosis (and it’s probably a causative relationship), so this is a big finding.

Pastured and wild chickens eat wild plants, seeds, bugs, and grain (most of which contain various antioxidant phytochemicals and low levels of omega-6); the experimental hen wasn’t the perfect approximation of this diet, but it was pretty close.

Any egg is better than no egg, though. If all you can eat are standard eggs, they’re still worth having for the choline content alone.

That’s it for today, folks. Thanks for reading. Be sure to leave a comment, ask a question, or answer a question down below.


The post Dear Mark: Phones in Bedrooms, Antidepressants, Pastured Egg Omega-6 Content appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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