It’s Monday, 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 Monday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

Yup, success stories are back! And I’m looking for more. Follow-ups, mid-progress reflections—every story at every stage has the potential to inspire folks out there who are getting started or contemplating a new beginning. Contact me here to share your story—long or not so long. You never know who you’ll impact by doing it. Enjoy, everyone!

My success story isn’t one of weight loss amazement, but it’s still about an overall remake. Tyler version 2.0, I guess. My Primal path started about four years ago because I simply got fed up with feeling gross and tired. I had some friends and social media acquaintances who often touted the benefits of Paleo living and how eating real food made such a difference for them. I was skeptical. At the time, I remember being on a kick of eating more rice because I thought, “healthy carbs in large quantities are surely a good thing.” But on a Saturday morning in March of 2015 I told my wife I had had enough of feeling like garbage.

The next day I went to the grocery store on a Primal shopping mission. I loaded up on meats, fruits, and veggies with the determination to eat from those three categories for two weeks. If I didn’t like it or didn’t find it helpful, then I’d find a plan B. Well I’m still on Plan A, thank heavens. I went through the carb flu and came out on the other side intact. Yes, I had a couple of cheat moments those two first weeks, but I kept the 80/20 rule in mind and didn’t beat myself up over it. Heck, I still don’t!

Like others, I reveled in the fact that I could indulge in eating almost endless amounts of glorious meat (and fatty goodness), yet not gain weight or feel lethargically disgusting like I did when eating mounds of pasta, pizza, or other SAD foods. It was so wonderful to not count calories or watch my portions while on this new “diet” I was trying. The diet became a passion, and it became pretty darn easy. I went through the phase of telling everyone else they were eating wrong and that Primal was the only way. They didn’t all listen. Bizarre, I know. So I adapted to quietly telling the benefits of my lifestyle when asked, but I stopped shouting it from the mountaintop.

Fast forward to 2017 when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Without yet knowing my preferred diet, my doctor gave a short sermon on how I’d have to radically shift my lifestyle away from a normal Western diet and avoid processed foods. When I told him of my Primal ways, he gave me a nod of approval knowing I was already on the right track. Having Crohn’s is a little scary (and many other people have ailments way worse, I know), but knowing my diet and lifestyle were already strong helped me feel a little more at ease. I still take the prescribed medication, but I’m confident my lifestyle will pay dividends in the long term helping me avoid heavier-duty prescriptions, surgeries, etc. And I now look back at my early days with even more gratitude for you and other Primal/Paleo advocates. You gave me something healthy, sustainable, and satisfying that I can use for the rest of my life.

In March of 2015 I weighed a little over 180 pounds and now weigh in around 165. I feel good, like this is what was meant for my body. Now in my early thirties, I am confident I won’t get that “dad bod” I was worried I’d someday have to face. I still eat mostly meats, fruits, veggies, and nuts and seeds. I don’t worry about missing meals or having all the food groups in that pyramid thingy. I lift heavy things and run up the hill in my yard just for a short sprint now and then. Because why not. I am not perfect – I don’t have a workout routine, I should probably eat even more veggies, and I still partake in non-Primal indulgences like beer or a half pan of brownies in a moment of weakness. Yeah, I could try harder, but I’m happy and I like this version of me. And I’m excited for the growth that might just yet come.

Thanks, Tyler

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The post I’m Confident My Lifestyle Will Pay Dividends appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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Whether you’re hosting guests or you’re just looking to serve a little something special for after dinner, we love this lower carb version of a classic favorite this time of year: cranberry orange olive oil cake. Tart and sweet flavors blend beautifully in this soft pound cake that you’ll love to present. It’s a feast for the eyes—and a treat for any taste.

The cake itself is versatile and lends itself to a variety of flavors. Swap out the orange and cranberry to make other types of cake, like lemon and raspberry. You can also add your favorite chopped nuts for added texture.

Tip: If you’re unsure about the sweetness of the cake, leave the eggs out of the wet ingredients. Once you mix the dry and wet ingredients together, adjust the sweetener to taste. After that, whisk the eggs into the batter and pour the batter into the baking dish.

We made this cake as a pound cake in a loaf pan, but it can also be made in a round or square pan.

Servings: 12

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • ½ cup coconut sugar, Swerve or granular monk fruit sweetener
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseed
  • ¼ cup tapioca starch
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup Primal Kitchen® Organic Olive Oil
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. orange juice
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • Zest from ½ orange
  • ½ cup fresh cranberries
  • Drizzle (optional): melted coconut butter + coconut milk to thin

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, sweetener, flaxseed, tapioca starch, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, combine the olive oil, coconut milk, eggs and vanilla extract. Combine the ingredients and whisk until well mixed. Add in the orange juice, orange zest and cranberries.

Pour the batter into a parchment-lined loaf pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top is golden and a toothpick comes out clean or the internal temperature on a food thermometer reads about 190 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow the bread to cool.

If you are making a glaze, combine coconut butter with a small amount of coconut milk or milk of choice until it reaches your desired thickness. You can also add a squeeze of orange juice.

Drizzle the glaze on top before slicing and serving.

Nutrition Information with Swerve (1/12 of recipe):

  • Calories: 240
  • Total Carbs: 7 grams
  • Net Carbs: 4 grams
  • Fat: 22 grams
  • Protein: 6 grams

Nutrition Information with Coconut Sugar (1/12 of recipe):

  • Calories: 270
  • Total Carbs: 15 grams
  • Net Carbs: 12 grams
  • Fat: 22 grams
  • Protein: 6 grams

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Research of the Week

Time-restricted eating improves body composition, weight loss, blood lipids, blood pressure, and sleep quality in patients on statins.

Social media abstinence fails to produce improvements in psychological well-being.

Using springy bamboo poles makes it easier to carry more than your bodyweight.

The more you run each week, the lower your omega-3 index. Runners, eat your fatty fish.

Stressed out plants squeal.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 392: Elle Russ: Elle Russ switches seats.

Primal Health Coach Radio, Episode 37: Laura and Erin chat with Ashley Suave about the importance of sunk cost.

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

Google harvests health data.

Interesting Blog Posts

Developed countries with access to supplements and medicine and a backdrop of lifelong animal consumption might get away with plant-based diets for a little while, but what about the kids growing up in developing nations?

Losing weight with croissants.

Social Notes

Sorry about that.

A proposition.

Everything Else

Fattitude, a keto restaurant, opens in Boise, Idaho.

How do parents of young children manage different risk tolerance setpoints?

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

Event I’d love to attend if I had the time: Craig and Maria Emmerich’s keto spa retreat.

Line I found interesting: “Heart failure is rapidly increasing in incidence and is often present in patients receiving long-term statin therapy.”

I’m not surprised: First genetic evidence of human self-domestication.

Ancestral American food almost no one is eating anymore: Raccoon.

And in this corner: The case for more sleep.

Question I’m Asking

Last week, I posted a critique of “Why We Sleep.” This week, I posted a link arguing for the importance of sleep. What is your experience with getting more or less sleep?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Nov 30– Dec 6)

Comment of the Week

“I really enjoyed reading about the 82-year-old woman who beat up an intruder. Threw a table at him and broke the table, poured a bottle of shampoo on his head, hit him with a broom. I love this woman.”

– Me too, TGJ.

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The post Weekly Link Love — Edition 58 appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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Scientific journal articles can be incredibly intimidating to read, even for other scientists. Heck, I have a Ph.D. in a research science and have authored scientific papers, but sometimes I look at a research report outside my field of study and just go, “Nope, can’t decipher this.”

Learning to read them is an important skill, however, in today’s environment of what I call “research sensationalism.” This is where the popular media gets hold of a scientific research report and blows the findings WAY out of proportion, usually while misrepresenting what the researchers actually did and/or found. You know what I’m talking about.

Unfortunately, you can’t trust popular media reports about scientific research studies. Too often, it’s shockingly evident that the people writing these reports (a) aren’t trained to evaluate scientific research, and (b) are just parroting whatever newswire release they got that morning with no apparent fact-checking.

Thus, if staying informed is important to you—or you just want to be able to shut down all the fearmongers in your life—you need to learn how to read the original journal articles and form your own judgments. You don’t have to become an expert in every scientific field, nor a statistician, to do so. With a little know-how, you can at least decide if the popular media reports seem accurate and if any given study is worth your time and energy.

Where to Begin

First things first, locate the paper. If it’s behind a paywall, try searching Google Scholar to see if you can find it somewhere else. Sometimes authors upload pdfs to their personal webpages, for example.

Ten years ago, I would have told you to check the journal’s reputation next. Now there are so many different journals with different publishing standards popping up all the time, it’s hard to keep up. More and more researchers are choosing to publish in newer open access journals for various reasons.

Ideally, though, you want to see that the paper was peer reviewed. This means that it at least passed the hurdle of other academics agreeing that it was worth publishing. This is not a guarantee of quality, however, as any academic can tell you. If a paper isn’t peer reviewed, that’s not an automatic dismissal, but it’s worth noting.

Next, decide what type of paper you’re dealing with:

Theoretical papers

  • Authors synthesize what is “known” and offer their own interpretations and suggestions for future directions.
  • Rarely the ones getting popular press.
  • Great if you want to know the new frontiers and topics of debates in a given field.

Original research, aka empirical research

  • Report the findings of one of more studies where the researchers gather data, analyze it, and present their findings.
  • Encompasses a wide variety of methods, including ethnographic and historical data, observational research, and laboratory-based studies.

Meta-analyses & systematic reviews

  • Attempt to pool or summarize the findings of a group of studies on the same topic to understand the big picture.
  • Combining smaller studies increases the number of people studied and the statistical power. It can also “wash out” minor problems in individual studies.
  • Only as good as the studies going into them. If there are too few studies, or existing studies are of poor quality, pooling them does little. Usually these types of reports include a section describing the quality of the data.

Since popular media articles usually focus on empirical research papers, that’s what I’ll focus on today. Meta-analyses and reviews tend to be structured in the same way, so this applies to them as well.

Evaluating Empirical Research

Scientists understand that even the best designed studies will have issues. It’s easy to pick apart and criticize any study, but “issues” don’t make studies unreliable. As a smart reader, part of your job is to learn to recognize the flaws in a study, not to tear it down necessarily, but to put the findings in context.

For example, there is always a trade-off between real-world validity and experimental control. When a study is conducted in a laboratory—whether on humans, mice, or individual cells—the researchers try to control (hold constant) as many variables as possible except the ones in which they are interested. The more they control the environment, the more confident they can be in their findings… and the more artificial the conditions.

That’s not a bad thing. Well-controlled studies, called randomized control trials, are the best method we have of establishing causality. Ideally, though, they’d be interpreted alongside other studies, such as observational studies that detect the same phenomenon out in the world and other experiments that replicate the findings.

NO STUDY IS EVER MEANT TO STAND ON ITS OWN. If you take nothing else from this post, remember that. There is no perfect study. No matter how compelling the results, a single study can never be “conclusive,” nor should it be used to guide policy or even your behavioral choices. Studies are meant to build on one another and to contribute to a larger body of knowledge that as a whole leads us to better understand a phenomenon.

Reading a Scientific Journal Article

Most journal articles follow the same format: Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion/Conclusions. Let’s go through what you should get out of each section, even if you’re not a trained research scientist.

The Abstract succinctly describes the purpose, methods, and main findings of the paper. Sometimes you’ll see advice to skip the abstract. I disagree. The abstract can give you a basic idea of whether the paper is interesting to you and if it is likely to be (in)comprehensible.

DO NOT take the abstract at face value though. Too often the abstract oversimplifies or even blatantly misrepresents the findings. The biggest mistake you can make is reading only the abstract. It is better to skip it altogether than to read it alone.

The Introduction describes the current research question, i.e., the purpose of the study. The authors review past literature and set up why their study is interesting and needed. It’s okay to skim the intro.

While reading the introduction:

  • Make a note of important terms and definitions.
  • Try to summarize in your own words what general question the authors are trying to address. If you can, also identify the specific hypothesis they are testing. For example, the question might be how embarrassment affects people’s behavior in social interactions, and the specific hypothesis might be that people are more likely to insult people online when they feel embarrassed.
  • You might choose to look up other studies cited in the introduction.

The Methods should describe exactly what the researchers did in enough detail that another researcher could replicate it. Methods can be dense, but I think this is the most important section in terms of figuring out how much stock you should be putting in the findings.

While reading the methods, figure out:

  • Who/what were the subjects in this study? Animals, humans, cells?
  • If this is a human study, how were people selected to participate? What are their demographics? How well does the sample represent the general population or the population of interest?
  • What type of study is this?
    • Observational: observing their subjects, usually in the natural environment
    • Questionnaire/survey: asking the subject questions such as opinion surveys, behavioral recall (e.g., how well they slept, what they ate), and standardized questionnaires (e.g., personality tests)
    • Experimental: researchers manipulate one or more variables and measure the effects
  • If this is an experiment, is there a control condition—a no-treatment condition used as a baseline for comparison?
  • How were the variables operationalized and measured? For example, if the study is designed to compare low-carb and high-carb diets, how did the researchers define “low” and “high?” How did they figure out what people were eating?

Some red flags that should give you pause about the reliability of the findings are:

  • Small or unrepresentative sample (although “small” can be relative).
  • Lack of a control condition in experimental designs.
  • Variables operationalized in a way that doesn’t make sense, for example “low-carb” diets that include 150+ grams of carbs per day.
  • Variables measured questionably, as with the Food Frequency Questionnaire.

The Results present the statistical analyses. This is unsurprisingly the most intimidating section for a lot of people. You don’t need to understand statistics to get a sense of the data, however.

While reading the results:

  • Start by looking at any tables and figures. Try to form your own impression of the findings.
  • If you aren’t familiar with statistical tests, do your best to read what they authors say about the data, paying attention to which effects they are highlighting. Refer back to the tables and figures and see if what they’re saying jibes with what you see.
  • Pay attention to the real magnitude of any differences. Just because two groups are statistically different or something changes after an intervention doesn’t make it important. See if you can figure out in concrete terms how much the groups differed, for example. If data are only reported in percentages or relative risk, be wary of drawing firm conclusions.

It can take a fair amount of effort to decipher a results section. Sometimes you have to download supplementary data files to get the raw numbers you’re looking for.

The Discussion or Conclusions summarize what the study was about. The authors offer their interpretation of the data, going into detail about what they think the results actually mean. They should also discuss the limitations of the study.

While reading the discussion:

  • Use your own judgment to decide if you think the authors are accurately characterizing their findings. Do you agree with their interpretation? Are they forthcoming about the limitations of their study?

Red flags:

  • Concrete statements like “proved.” Hypotheses can be supported, not proven.
  • Talking in causal terms when the data is correlational! As I said above, well-controlled experimental designs are the only types of research that can possibly speak to causal effects. Questionnaire, survey, and historical data can tell you when variables are potentially related, but they say nothing about what causes what. Anytime authors use words like “caused,” “led to,” or “_[X]_ increased/decreased _[Y]_” about variables they didn’t manipulate in their study, they are either being sloppy or intentionally misleading.

What about Bias?

Bias is tricky. Even the best intentioned scientists can fall victim to bias at all stages of the research process. You certainly want to know who funded the study and if the researchers have any conflicts of interest. That doesn’t you should flatly dismiss every study that could potentially be biased, but it’s important to note and keep in mind. Journal papers should list conflicts of interest.

Solicit Other Opinions

Once you feel like you have your own opinion about the research, see what other knowledgeable people you trust have to say. I have a handful of people I trust for opinions—Mark, of course, Chris Kresser, and Robb Wolf being a few. Besides fact-checking yourself, this is a good way to learn more about what to look for when reading original research.

To be clear, I don’t think it’s important that you read every single study the popular media grabs hold of. It’s often okay just to go to your trusted experts and see what they say. However, if a report has you really concerned, or your interest is particularly piqued, this is a good skill to have.

Remember my admonition: No study is meant to stand alone. That means don’t put too much stock in any one research paper. It also means don’t dismiss a study because it’s imperfect, narrow in scope, or you can otherwise find flaws. This is how science moves forward—slowly, one (imperfect) study at a time.

That’s it for today. Share your questions and observations below, and thanks for reading.

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The post A Beginner’s Guide to Reading Scientific Research appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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A few years ago, I wrote a post describing all the things that avowed Primal eaters can learn from plant-based or even vegan dieters. Sure, we’re diametrically opposed on the role of animal foods in human health, but there are still relevant takeaways.

Carnivores are much closer to Primal eaters on the dietary spectrum, The Primal Blueprint posits that animal foods—meat, fish, fowl, shellfish, eggs, and dairy—represent the most nutrient-dense, most crucial component of the human diet. Carnivore takes that and runs with it, to its logical conclusion: Animal foods are so nutrient-dense and so important that we should eat them to the exclusion of everything else.

I don’t exactly agree, but I see where they’re coming from. And there’s a lot we can learn from the carnivore movement. I’ve got 8 takeaways today.

1. That a Steak Really Isn’t Going To Kill You

I’ve covered these arguments dozens of times on these pages. But it’s truly heartening to see hundreds and thousands of anecdotal reports from people who are thriving while eating two, three, four ribeyes a day for months and even years on end. When you see that, even though it’s “just” a collection of anecdotes, it gets really hard to think that eating a big grass-fed ribeye whenever you want is really going to give you cancer or diabetes or whatever else malady they’re trying to pin on red meat.

2. That More Fiber Isn’t Always the Answer

Of all the food components out there, fiber is the one that really trips me up. I still can’t quite get a handle on it. Is it important? Is it harmful? Is it useless? There’s conflicting evidence at every turn. My hunch—and reading of the anthropological and scientific literature—tells me that some prebiotic substrate is a good thing for healthy human guts, but it also tells me that fiber can be harmful in certain situations and in certain gut biomes. After all, we aren’t living like the Hadza, eating antelope colon sashimi and never touching soap. We live relatively sterile existences. Our guts are not ancestral, no matter how many quarts of kefir we quaff.

What carnivore offers is evidence that fiber isn’t always the answer. And remember that animal proteins can offer prebiotic substrate in the form of “animal fiber” (bones, tendons, connective tissue, gristle) and—if you consume dairy—milk oligosaccharides.

3. That Oxalates May Be An Issue

You know that strange feeling you get on your tongue and gums after a big serving of spinach? Those are oxalates, an anti-nutrient found in many if not most plant foods. They can bind to minerals and form crystals, the most infamous being the calcium oxalate crystals which are the most common type of kidney stone. Yeah, not fun.

The carnivore movement has seized on oxalates as a reason not to consume plants. Many animals have the adaptations to digest and nullify large amounts of oxalates. Humans, by and large, do not. There are exceptions, such as the Hadza whose guts harbor oxalate-degrading bacteria, and likely others yet to be discovered. And there’s definite variation even among humans living in industrialized settings—not everyone gets kidney stones because they ate creamed spinach. But it’s a good idea for the average human to at least be aware of oxalates.

Thanks to your newfound awareness of oxalates, you can figure out ways to reduce their impact if you still want to consume them.

You can ferment your foods. Lacto-fermented beets, for example, have lower oxalates than fresh beets.

You can choose low-oxalate plants. Kale is quite low in oxalates compared to other leafy greens, as are collard greens. Same goes for others in the brassica family, like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower: all low in oxalate.

You can improve your calcium metabolism. Eating enough vitamin A (retinol), vitamin K2, and vitamin D will improve your calcium metabolism and leave less of it hanging around to bind with oxalate and form crystals. Eating enough boron (or supplementing with it, as it doesn’t appear in many foods) can also reduce the formation of calcium oxalate stones.

Drinking about 4 ounces of lemon or lime juice in your water throughout the day will also reduce the formation of calcium oxalate stones.

I don’t mean for this to become a “what to do about oxalates” post. But without the carnivore movement’s broad transmission of the oxalate issue, many people wouldn’t even think about them.

4. That Meat Truly Is the Ancestral Foundation Of the Human Diet

I mean, we knew this. We knew that our hominid ancestors have been eating meat and marrow for over three million years. We knew that our meat-eating is probably what helped set us apart from our primate cousins, that calorie-dense and easily-digestible meat allowed us to shrink our guts and grow our brains. We knew that of all extant and known populations on earth, not a one was vegan.

But the carnivore movement makes you feel it. By eating exclusively meat and not just surviving but apparently thriving on animal foods alone, they force you into a reckoning of their historical primacy in the human diet. Now, not everyone thrives. The drop outs, well, they drop out. We only see the success stories—but that’s true for any diet, including Primal. The drop-outs from diets like Primal or carnivore tend to be less catastrophic and numerous than the drop-outs from veganism or fruitarianism, but they’re definitely out there.

5. That the Best Elimination Diet Might Be an All-Meat One

I wrote a post recently about the Autoimmune Paleo diet, a highly-restrictive but effective elimination diet used to identify trigger foods in autoimmune patients.

Going carnivore might just be a bare-bones version of the same thing. It eliminates all the same foods, plus more. And because it’s more of a scorched-earth approach, it’s simpler. You just eat meat and meat byproducts like bone broth, and nothing else. Such stark boundaries are somehow more digestible to a certain type of person. Less wiggle room, less to think about, less to get wrong.

That’s basically what Robb Wolf recently did to treat lingering gut issues: he ate meat and drank bone broth. For the full story, check out his recent appearance on Dr. Paul Saladino’s podcast.

6. That Phytonutrients Aren’t the Only Way To Induce Hormetic Stress

There are other ways to induce hormetic stress besides plant polyphenols. You can fast. You can exercise. You can expose yourself to cold or heat. You can expose yourself to “meat carcinogens” (yum). However, phytonutrients are good to have around. If you aren’t eating blueberries and broccoli because “those hormetic stressors aren’t the only game in town,” you’d better be doing the other stuff. You’d better be using the sauna, fasting, training hard (but smart), and going out into the cold.

7. That Strong Physical Performance Is Possible Without Tons Of Exogenous Carbs

You only have to look as far as Dr. Shawn Baker breaking rowing records, squatting 500 pounds for reps, and doing box jumps that would shame someone 30 years his junior to know that elite performance is possible—at least in one person—on a carnivorous, carb-free diet. It’s not “supposed” to be possible for anyone. Is Baker a genetic freak? Is he the only person for whom it’s true? I doubt it.

Now, glycogen is helpful. But you can manufacture glucose from amino acids and deposit it as glycogen, which you’ll be getting plenty of from all the protein you eat on a carnivore diet. This might not be the most efficient path for all elite athletes, but the carnivore movement shows that it’s at least possible for some.

8. How To Choose the Most Nutrient-Dense Animal Foods

There are the carnivores who eat steak and assume they’ve covered all their bases, and then there are the carnivores who eat steak and eggs and salmon and liver and kidney and marrow and mussels because they want to ensure they’ve covered all their bases. The former group will say something about “nutrient requirements going down on carnivore,” which may be true, but do all nutrient requirements drop across the board equally? Meanwhile, the latter group might agree with the former about nutrient requirements, but they’ll probably also want to be safer than sorrier. They can tell you all about the vitamin C content of fresh liver, the manganese in the mussels, the selenium in the kidney, the long-chained omega-3s in the salmon, the choline and biotin in the eggs, and the B-vitamins and creatine in the steak.

I’d listen to the latter group, personally. In figuring out the best way to obtain maximum nutrient density through animal foods alone, they can provide a roadmap to anyone who wants to include the most nutrient-dense animal foods in their omnivorous diet.

Diets aren’t ideologies. They aren’t religions. You don’t have to accept everything. You can pick and choose what works for you, especially if it actually works for you. You can heed these lessons contained in the post without actually going full carnivore, just like you could incorporate some of the lessons learned from vegans without going anything close to vegan.

Thanks for reading, everybody. What have you learned from the carnivore movement? Let me know down below in the comments, and have a good week.

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It’s Giving Tuesday, and while I know the world is full of good causes, today I’m highlighting one close to my heart. It’s one I’ve contributed to significantly because it matters on so many levels.

I’ve spent nearly 14 years working against the tide of misinformation out there around human health and agricultural agenda. Diana Rodgers has worked tirelessly and creatively for the same purpose. She’s just launched a crowdfunding campaign to finish what I think will be one of the most groundbreaking, revolutionary documentary films ever—one that has the power to turn the public conversation around health and ecology. But she needs support to finish and distribute this film, and that’s why I’m sharing her campaign today.

Read more and watch her video to see for yourself.

Diana’s film, Sacred Cow: The Case For Better Meat, details the movement toward the greatest revolution in agriculture—a regenerative food system that supports the human need for a nutrient dense diet and the ecologically sound farming methods that mirror and contribute to the natural health of the land itself. 

Diana is a licensed, registered dietitian who’s spent the last 17 years living on a working organic vegetable and pasture-based meat farm, and all of her experience and study comes to bear in the film she’s created—a critical message that challenges the prevailing and destructive food system that undermines our individual health, our economic viability, and our environmental sustainability…and champions the intersection of nutrient dense food and regenerative food production for the good of human health and the good of the planet.

Below is Diana’s note. Watch the video. Read more on her site. Share her work and her crowdfunding campaign—and, if you can, contribute. Let me know what thoughts her work inspires for you. Thanks for reading today, everyone.

It’s official: I’ve just launched the crowdfunding campaign and I could really use your help!

As you know, I’ve been working super hard for the last three years on this project, without much of a break. It’s been a struggle at times, but it’s finally coming together – all because of you. Without you, this never would have happened! Thank you.

Please get in there and check out the new video with footage from the film, read about the film’s progress, pre-order my book, get a shirt, or pick up some meat!

SACRED COW CROWDFUNDING DEC 2019 from Diana Rodgers on Vimeo.

Research shows that campaigns that have early funding are the most successful, so if you’re planning on giving, I could really use your help today!

It would be incredible if everyone on this list would share with your friends and family. Let’s make this go viral!

All of the funds raised will go towards marketing the film so as many people as possible can access it easily. Click here to donate now.

Thank you so much for your support!

Happy Sunday,

Diana

P.S. If you were forwarded this email, please sign up here, so you can be the first to know of any updates (or fun campaign surprises!). I’d love to have you in this community!

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It’s Monday, 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 Monday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

Yup, success stories are back! And I’m looking for more. Follow-ups, mid-progress reflections—every story at every stage has the potential to inspire folks out there who are getting started or contemplating a new beginning. Contact me here to share your story—long or not so long. You never know who you’ll impact by doing it. Enjoy, everyone!

Dear Mark, Thank you for asking for my contribution. And thanks for your unending support, inspiration and courage that you show everyday in your writing, your offering of healthy food, and your very presence.

I was a food addict. I was unhealthy. I didn’t really care.

Interestingly, I had Mark’s Daily Apple on my computer for years and never put it together that it was you or that it could be of any real help to me; some cool ideas….someday. When the stronger inkling of doing something about not feeling so well came up in me (age 65), it was the book Primal Blueprint that was there for me and that I was drawn to. Ultimately, I would need to lower my carbs even more to succeed at weight loss, but I am glad I started with your book because it talked about wonderful things like walking barefoot and volleyball on the beach with young studs. It got me feeling/thinking and opened my perspective on food and life.

The pictures above are the beginning middle and ongoing part of my keto/new lifestyle way of living. I now use fasting and lower carb eating to continue to sculpt and improve and perhaps lose a bit more. I think of it as reshaping and renewing now rather than aging.

I now kayak with people younger than me and train with a gyrotonic instructor a few hours a week. I am 19 months into my new journey.

Once I made the decision and choice to do keto, and my body switched to burning fat as my fuel instead of carbohydrates, which for me took 3-4 months, when it became easy for me and has been a joy ever since. Let’s see…..eat this piece of bread or FEEL FANTASTIC. No chance, especially since I can have my own bread which I make with all organic ingredients.

I enjoy my life so much more. Food is this glorious celebration after fasting for a bit. I continue to read and tweek things, and the adventure will never end.

This final picture is just for fun. I feel playful now and frisky. Not sure if the world is ready for me……..

Submitted with so much JOY!!!

Paula M.
September 2019

The post I Enjoy My Life So Much More appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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A big thank you to the good folks at Pique Tea for today’s awesome seasonal recipe. They’ve got a nice holiday deal going for the tea lover in your life (or yourself). Purchase one of their curated bundles and get a free box of their Jasmine Tea + free shipping. (Trust me, it’s good.) Enjoy, folks, and I hope you’re enjoying the holiday weekend!

These cinnamon spiced muffins are a Paleo-friendly way to curb a sweet craving morning or night. They’re finished with a crunchy candied pecan topping using coconut sugar and are full of tangy fresh cranberries for balanced flavor.

Against the Grain

Almond flour stands in effortlessly for wheat flour in Paleo recipes for a gluten-free muffin that with a fluffy texture. Blanched almond flour is made from almonds that have the skin removed, resulting in a lighter texture. Almond flour can also be used in pie crust, cake, brownies and even bread in place of all-purpose flour. The fat content in this flour keeps baked goods moist with a subtle nutty flavor. Almond flour is also high in protein, helping to keep you feeling full.

Spice Things Up

Adding to the flavor profile of these muffins is an unexpected yet welcome ingredient; cinnamon fasting tea. This tea is is earthy with a noticeable aroma and flavor of cinnamon. Hints of bergamot and citrus notes. All of these flavors pair well with the cranberries, vanilla and ground cinnamon in the muffins and also add an extra element of depth that separates this recipe from other muffins.

To top off the muffins, a buttery, coconut sugar and pecan crumble is sprinkled on top of the muffin batter. As the muffins bake, the pecans toast and intensify their flavor and crunchy nature for a not-too-sweet candied coating on each muffin.

Every great muffin needs a warm cup of tea to wash it down. Cinnamon fasting tea combined with raw honey is both refreshing and soothing alongside the hearty muffins.

Just a few benefits of this cinnamon-infused muffin and tea combination include…

  • May help support healthy blood sugar levels
  • Cranberry may help support proper kidney function
  • Cinnamon may help increase satiety and promote a sense of calm
  • Almond consumption may help support healthy weight.

Cinnamon Cranberry Muffins

Total Time: 42 minutes (10 for prep, 32 for baking)

Servings: 8

Ingredients: 

For Muffins:

  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 2 large pasture raised eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 sachets Pique Cinnamon Herbal Fasting Tea
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup melted unsalted grass fed butter
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup fresh cranberries

For Pecan Crumble Topping (optional):

  • 1/2 cup chopped raw pecans
  • 2 tbsp blanched almond flour
  • 2 tbsp melted unsalted grass fed butter
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350ºF and line 8 muffin tins with paper liners. In a small mixing bowl, stir together almond flour, coconut sugar, cinnamon, Pique cinnamon fasting tea, baking powder and sea salt, breakup up and clumps. In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, almond milk, and vanilla extract. Add melted butter and stir to incorporate. Gradually stir dry ingredients into wet until just combined. Fold in cranberries.

In a small bowl, mix together ingredients for pecan topping.

Scoop batter into muffin tins. Evenly scatter pecan topping over each muffin. Bake for 30-32 minutes or until muffins are set and toothpick inserted comes out mostly clean with a few moist crumbs. Cool muffins in pan at room temperature for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cook an additional 15 minutes.

For Cinnamon-Honey Fasting Tea

Ingredients:

Instructions:

Dissolve tea in boiling water in a large mug. Stir in raw honey. Sip and enjoy!

Thanks again to our friends at Pique Tea for the recipes today. Check out their fun gift guide and grab your free carton of their best-selling Jasmine Tea with the purchase of any bundle (including the cinnamon tea used in the recipes) now through 12/20/19. 

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Research of the Week

Eating peanuts before one year of age may protect against peanut allergy.

High levels of de novo lipogenesis-derived fatty acids linked to heart disease.

Oyster farming is environmentally congruent.

Fat cats.

Given ad libitum access to food, dogs prioritize fat and protein over carbs.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 391: Martin Silva: Host Elle Russ chats with Martin Silva, a coach who’s been training and body sculpting since age 13 and today helps people discover their health, fitness, and optimal body composition.

Primal Health Coach Radio, Episode 36: Laura and Erin chat with Niraj Naik about using breathwork to restore and strengthen your default state.

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

Why are younger Americans dying?

Should obese people hibernate through winter?

Interesting Blog Posts

The case for Epicureanism.

How controlled burns might beat back tick infestations.

Social Notes

This is athleticism.

Why Thanksgiving is the most Primal holiday.

Everything Else

Paleolithic hunters in Mexico lured mammoths into traps.

Ancient foragers in Puerto Rico barbecued clams.

This is athleticism.

A classic video from Kelly Starrett: Conquering the load order error in the deadlift.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

Exclusive interview I did: With Dave Asprey. Just order a copy of his book and submit the receipt for access.

They’re just now realizing this?: Prevention of cavities is more effective than treating cavities.

Marathon variety I can get behind: The one where you run one mile every hour.

I’m not surprised: Adhering to indigenous cultural traditions helps indigenous children’s outcomes.

This is a powerful story: 82-year-old female bodybuilder beats up home invader.

Question I’m Asking

Why aren’t you giving up coffee in favor of sunning your perineum?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Nov 23– Nov 29)

Comment of the Week

“It’s absolutely a combination. It takes individual action, but it also takes creating an environment. I hear you on the cookies. For most of my life I couldn’t resist eating sugar. What worked was keeping it out of the house. If it wasn’t there, I couldn’t eat it. Testing my willpower by having it in the house never worked. Changing my environment so that sugar wasn’t easily available is what did the trick.

And that’s what I’m suggesting as the environmental strategy for society at large. Make it more expensive. Make it harder to find. Make it socially unacceptable. It may be that addicted individuals can’t or won’t quit. But there will be fewer new ones to start. We didn’t rely on individual willpower to reduce smoking — and we had 350 years of experience to show that didn’t work — but changing the environment has worked pretty well.”

– The problem is that the people with the (dubious) power to change society from the top down don’t believe in our solutions, Mark E. Field.

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The post Weekly Link Love — Edition 57 appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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Per Primal tradition, the bees and I are off for the day.

I’ve said before that I consider Thanksgiving to be the most Primal of holidays. The elevated act of preparing and sharing a traditional meal is about as basic—and sacred—as human ceremony gets. It’s like gathering around a fire together. We bask in the comfort of ritual and cycle this time of year. We offer thanks for the year’s blessings.

Each year I say it, and each year I’m filled with the truth of it: I look to this community with heartfelt gratitude. Thank you for reading, for sharing, for contributing. Thank you for carrying the message of health and for supporting each other here.

Today I wish each of you the very best—of health and happiness. However you’re celebrating today, enjoy your holiday, everyone.

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