For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering five questions taken from this Twitter thread. First, does collagen offer anything special above and beyond glycine? Second, what’s the relationship between keto and gallstones? Third, do I recommend eating raw liver, and why or why not? Fourth, why does one reader’s scalp itch when eating stevia? And finally, what’s the best way to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time?

Let’s go:

If collagen is broken down into amino acids in the gut before being absorbed, is it just the amino acid profile (i.e. high glycine) that makes it so beneficial? Anything else?

Glycine is a major reason why we need collagen in our diets, but it’s not the only one.

When you feed people collagen derived from pork skin, chicken feet, and cartilage, many different collagenous peptides appear in the blood. You don’t get any of these from isolated glycine:

Proline-hydroxyproline, a peptide with protective effects on osteoarthritic cartilage degradation.

Glycine-proline-hydroxyproline, a peptide that makes it into the blood and turns into proline-hydroxyproline, which makes it into the skin.

Collagen peptides have beneficial effects above and beyond glycine alone—although glycine is great for balancing out methionine intake from muscle meat consumption. It’s also been used in several studies to improve multiple markers of sleep quality.

A family member has a complicated health history including cancer and wants to eat keto. But, now she finds she has gallstones. Any thoughts on a good way to attack this complicated issue?

Has your family member already gone keto? Did going keto come before the gallstone reveal?

If so, that’s actually normal.

The primary role of the gallbladder is to collect bile from the liver, concentrate it into potent super-bile (my term), and release the concentrated bile to break up incoming dietary fat into smaller molecules that lipase can attack and digest. Dietary fat is the biggest driver of gallbladder emptying.

If the gallbladder isn’t regularly emptied, gallstones can form. Usually made of hardened cholesterol, gallstones are quite common and often produce no symptoms. Problems arise when normal gallbladder emptying flushes out a stone small enough to make it into but too large to pass through the bile duct and a blockage occurs. Gallstones can also directly damage the walls of the gallbladder, leading to cholecystis, or gallbladder inflammation.

A high-fat diet can exacerbate or even uncover gallstone issues by increasing gallbladder emptying. Remember: the more fat you eat, the more often you empty your gallbladder—and everything in it.

But high-fat diets don’t generally cause gallstones to form. They only reveal pre-existing ones. The biggest risk factors for gallstone formation are:

  • high intake of high-glycemic carbohydrates.
  • High estrogen levels, which concentrate cholesterol deposition in the gallbladder. This is why women, especially pregnant women and/or those taking hormonal birth control, are more likely to have gallstones.
  • Obesity, which also increases cholesterol levels in the gallbladder.
  • Weight loss, with a caveat: high-fat weight loss diets reduce and even prevent gallstone formation. In fact, when you compare people who lose weight on a low-fat diet to those who lose it on a high-fat diet, research shows that 45% of the low-fatters develop gallstones while none of the high-fatters develop them.

Once the gallstones are all clear, keep up with the keto eating, as eating more fat will keep your gallbladder regularly flushed and clear of stones.

Is Raw Liver safe to eat?

I’ve eaten raw liver before. I know people who eat raw liver. I can’t recommend it, however, because I don’t know what kind of liver you have access to. Who raised the animal? What did it eat? What were the processing conditions?

But because I know people are going to try this…

Freeze it first for several days.

Buy from a trusted source.

Buy only liver from well-raised, grass-fed, organic animals.

If it looks unhealthy, it probably is. I would never eat a pale, flaccid liver with ugly spots, cooked or raw.

Don’t eat raw (or even medium) pork liver. A huge percentage of pigs carry the Hepatitis E virus, which is transmittable to humans and concentrates in the liver.

Why does stevia make my scalp itch?

Stevia can be an allergen actually. It’s not very common, but as more and more people use stevia, more will be revealed to have an allergic reaction.

I’d just skip it.

Is it possible to gain muscle and lose weight with properly timed IF around workouts?

It is possible, although you may not actually lose weight, but rather body fat (which is better).

The best way I’ve seen people do it is the classic Leangains method.

Fast from 8 p.m. to 12-1 noon.

Fasted workout in the afternoon, perhaps with a little BCAA or whey isolate before the workout. Lift heavy, compound movements.

After the workout, walk for 20 minutes. Brisk pace to utilize all the free fatty acids swimming around.

Then eat. If you’re going to eat carbs, do it in this meal and keep the fat low-to-moderate. Load up on protein.

Eat as much as you like until 8 p.m.—the end of your eating window. Favor protein and, again, if you’re eating carbs keep fat lower than usual.

Maintain the fasting period every day. On rest days, eat low/no carb and higher fat. Protein always high. Go for walks on rest days.

That’s it. That usually works really well, but it presupposes you have a flexible schedule and can actually train in the afternoon whenever you want. Your mileage may vary—though it will work at any time.

Muscle gain won’t be as rapid as it would drinking a gallon of milk a day, eating pizza smoothies, and cramming ice cream made with whey protein at night, but it will minimize fat gain and perhaps even help you lose fat as you gain muscle. No guarantees, but it’s the best method I’ve seen.

That’s it for today, folks. Thanks for reading, take care, and be sure to leave a comment down below if you have any questions.

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The post Dear Mark: Collagen or Glycine, Keto and Gallstones, Raw Liver, Stevia Itching, and Gaining Muscle, Losing Fat appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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Yolandi Stegmann found herself at the lowest point of her existence at the end of last year. As a self-admitted emotional-eater, she decided that instead of turning to her usual crutch, she’d turn to exercise as a coping mechanism.

The post “My Fitness Journey Led Me To Complete Body Acceptance” appeared first on Women’s Health.

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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!

As a lifelong martial artist and owner-operator of a martial arts school for 8 years, I’ve spent the majority of my adult life training or in the gym. I have always worked to have a healthy, active lifestyle, attempting to manage weight and conditioning through high intensity training while following the Standard American Diet (SAD).

For many years, I supplemented my martial arts training with running or cycling long distances at high intensity. I remember feeling that if I didn’t work hard there would be no benefits. I worked out so I could eat whatever I wanted without the concern of gaining weight. I was oblivious to any related health risks.

This produced a highly stressful, chronic cardio lifestyle with poor dietary and lifestyle practices. Not to mention, as I aged, the weight gain came regardless of the amount of exercise I did. My weight gain was not excessive by most conventional standards, but I could never recapture my previous results, and the training became progressively harder as I aged.

During that time, I witnessed my high blood pressure increase, and to my ultimate surprise, learned I had cancer.

I was diagnosed in August 2013 with bladder cancer, and was devastated to find I had a tumor. I truly believed my lifestyle was healthy. Being a father of two young daughters, I wanted to be a good role model for them and be there throughout their lives. I could not get my head around the fact that, although I was doing what I’d always been taught was healthy, I actually wasn’t. At that time, I had no idea the impact my stressful eating and training regimen was having on my body.

The cancer was successfully treated through surgery, but I wanted to ensure it didn’t come back. I also wanted to finally deal with the blood pressure concern that had been with me for years.

I started to “eat healthier” with a renewed focus on eating throughout the day, consuming plenty of fruits and whole grain foods, reduced fats, and replacing animal fats with recommended processed vegetable oils. I even took supplements I thought would help my general health. Regardless of my best efforts, my weight continued to increase and my energy plummeted. I remember routinely coming home after work, planning to train but needing to nap first.

I was frustrated that the dietary and exercise advice I was following was not helping.

While I had stopped running when I found out I had cancer, I began again in 2015—this time with much less intensity regarding pace and distance. I intuitively felt it would be better to follow a moderate training schedule, but did not have the information or education to help me at that time.

For over a year, I ran almost every day at a lower intensity and generally for a shorter distance. I felt pretty good during that phase, however my weight started creeping up again. I had settled into a pattern of keeping “fit,” but my efforts to manage my weight—and my overall health—were failing.

My Introduction to Primal Health

In February 2017, a college friend suggested that I listen to the Primal Endurance podcast featuring the Maximum Aerobic Function (MAF) system of cardio training.

I listened, and listened and listened. From that point forward, I started learning as much as I could about Primal living. In fact, I’ve listened to Brad Kearns so much that his voice and Mark Sisson’s message have become imprinted in my DNA…lol.

I immediately reduced carbs by eliminating all sugars and grains, and quickly worked to eliminate refined oils—helping me become fat- and keto-adapted.

I also modified my training to stay within my maximum aerobic function heart rate for almost all of my runs, and reduced my training to allow for more rest and recovery.

In August 2017, I went to my doctor for my annual physical and full blood work. I had lost 30 pounds since I saw him last. My blood markers were excellent, too, and I did not need to continue blood pressure medication.

I continued to devote as much time as I could to learning about primal living and ancestral health, and in February 2018, I enrolled in the Primal Health Coach Institute program—earning my certification in just 6 months!

I entered into my primal journey to overcome my own health concerns, and to better understand what I need to do to improve my overall health and longevity. And all of my expectations have been exceeded!

What I’ve Done Since Getting Certified…

I have been building my health coaching business organically, while continuing on with my current career. My enthusiasm grows as I work through the processes of building and maintaining my coaching business website and blog, having an active social media presence, and working with my employer to promote health and wellness for our employees.

As I move toward my retirement years, I reflect on a time when I was excited about reducing my responsibilities and taking it easy. But now that I am “aging backwards,” I am excited about something totally different—filling those years working as a Primal Health Coach.

Since starting my Primal Health Coach journey, my intent has always been to be a resource for lifelong positive health changes for my clients, family, friends, and colleagues. I hope to inspire, encourage, and educate as many people as possible, regardless of age or perceived limitations.

I am an example that you can take charge of your health and longevity and win!

— Vern Gorman

Website

Primal Health Coach Institute Directory listing

Instagram

Have a story to share? Email me here. Thanks, everybody, and have a great week.

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The post The Health Scare That Changed My Life appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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Chantell Ryksen was your typical yo-yo dieter — constantly going from losing weight only to pick it up again — and more. Tired of being stuck in a cycle, Chantell embarked on a journey of self-love and self-improvement — and lost 28 kilos in the process. Now, she loving the skin she’s in and helping others do the same. Here’s how she did it…

The post “Getting To Grips With My Emotional Eating Habit Helped Me Lose 28 Kgs — And Now I’m A Personal Trainer” appeared first on Women’s Health.

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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!

I honestly didn’t see this coming…. I’ve been blessed with good genetic health and energy my whole life, avoiding significant health challenges. Sure, I’ve suffered from an occasional pulled muscle or turned ankle, and over the course of a couple of years I nursed a right shoulder rotator cuff back to full capacity.

When I turned 46 years old, I started noticing discomfort in my right IT band. I had gotten back into some longer distance cardio training, and I assumed it would work itself out. It never became uncomfortable, just persistent at mile 4 or 5 of a trail run. Like many, I ignorantly blamed my age for slow declines in my health. On New Year’s Eve 2016, I joined up with two of my cousins to for a somewhat steep 6-mile hike up Frary Peak on Antelope Island, Utah.

Our conversation turned to age, energy and body weight. My cousins, Kevan and Brent, were both hovering below 170 pounds whereas I had somehow climbed from 171 pounds up to 184 pounds over the course of a few years. Given that we were all roughly the same age with similar familial traits and genetic factors, I took particular interest in our diverging body compositions. A couple of months later I had a routine physical with my family physician who attributed my mid-section weight gain to “natural aging factors.” I pretty much accepted this diagnosis.

That said, when your doctor says, “That’s just because you’re getting old” don’t believe it.

My 180-degree lifestyle change began a month later in April 2017, when I decided to support my wife in her Whole30® nutrition program as suggested by her sister and a couple of others.

Those who know anything about the program will sympathize with my discomfort in abandoning my go-to foods such as dairy, grains, legumes and sugars. But over the course of 9 or 10 days I noticed unexpected improvements in my energy level throughout the day and lack of bloating and burping after meals.

Suddenly I realized I could take control of my health, and that the natural aging process was merely incidental to my current and future state of well-being. Then, I stumbled upon a Bulletproof Radio episode where Dave Asprey interviewed Mark Sisson of The Primal Blueprint. From there I was introduced to the Primal Endurance book, along with a logical and intuitive set of immutable primal lifestyle laws.

From the book’s training recommendations, I went into a recovery phase before starting back up with a smarter Primal Cardio schedule. During this time, I had been eating mostly Whole30, and I began adopting more regular movement into my daily lifestyle along with myofascial release. Within a month I no longer noticed any symptoms of IT band discomfort or hip tension, and I remain free of these symptoms and any related discomfort to this day.

But even more importantly, my whole philosophy around aggressive cardio had changed, giving me a powerful perspective on balancing my cardio goals with long-term longevity. This enlightenment into my own health potential got me thinking about my immediate family members, each of whom has their own unique health challenges.

My wife and my mom have both battled varying degrees of depression and anxiety. My children have confronted daily challenges with social anxiety, asthma, poor core muscle tone, coordination, dyslexia, brain fog, allergies, gastrointestinal disorders, insomnia and more. I’ve always been in general good health and I’m grateful for that. But as I pursued adapted new ancestral health and lifestyle habits as laid out by the Primal Blueprint and other sources, I discovered strength and wellness that I didn’t even know I was missing.

My improved energy and increased knowledge are helping me to help my wife, my children, my parents, relatives, and many others.

As a trail runner, family man, and now a Certified Primal Health Coach, I specialize in helping endurance enthusiasts discover habit-forming course corrections for reduced injury and illness through diet, lifestyle and healthy training practices.

I also work with adults who want to boost their overall energy, parents looking to transform their family’s health and companies interested in offering health-promoting programs within their business culture.

I founded Primal Utah to connect people and professionals through ancestral health community programs, events and coaching services.

A good coach helps you find your best path, discover the goals that are best for you and then, helps you stick to those goals. I love every opportunity to empower lasting course corrections in individuals, each with his or her own unique health story.

Ancestral health empowers people to live well in all aspects of their lives through sound nutrition, sleep, movement and stress reduction. I believe that healthy decisions aren’t made just once, but rather require constant evaluation and adjustment. I help people to tune into the signals that their bodies tell them, so that they can thrive from perpetual improvements.

Jason Steed (Primal Utah)

Jason’s listing in the Primal Health Coach Institute Directory

Connect with Jason on Facebook, Instagram and his website, PrimalUtah.com.

Have a story to share? Email me here. Thanks, everybody, and have a great week.

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The post I Realized I Could Take Control Of My Health appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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Hands up if you’ve ever eaten 4 portions of food without realising it. It wasn’t really on purpose but you were binge-watching you fav Netflix show and before you knew the entire pizza was gone. Given that we live lives that keep us super busy and distracted, it’s no surprise that we often lose track of what we’re eating. We squeeze in lunch while meeting deadlines, breakfast is accompanied by a side of emails and dinner is eaten while catching up Friends. It’s really no surprise that our eating habits have become mindless and guilt-inducing.

The post 5 Mindful Eating Tips That Will Change Your Relationship With Food appeared first on Women’s Health.

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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!

Hi Mark, My name is Tiffany Valvo. I don’t have time to write an elaborate story, but I think most people are familiar with “my” story anyway!

I grew up on the SAD diet… struggled with my weight immensely. I couldn’t be a normal kid because of it, but thankfully I was good in school and was naturally a positive kid, so it didn’t destroy my childhood most days.

I am a high achiever and went to a conservatory for my master’s degree and then started my doctorate. At the very end of the second year of my doctorate, my car was stolen. I was tired. I was teaching and going to school, and I just didn’t understand why I always felt terrible. Couldn’t open my eyes in the morning. But, I was doing all the right things…vegetarian, low calorie, cardio.

I started walking a lot because of my car, and was passing the time by listening to podcasts. By the grace of the universe, I randomly found Robb Wolf’s podcast, and then yours.

About a week later, I went paleo, cold turkey. That was in June of 2015. Since then, I’ve kept off about 50 pounds, but that’s not the victory. The victory is that I feel wonderful. I have incredible amounts of energy, I feel in control of my mind, and I can keep doing the things I want to do to contribute to the world.

I still have a little ways to go, but one of the things other than the energy and mind clarity I am most thankful for is effortless maintenance. I know what I can eat. There is no more chasing the ups and downs.

The people in this movement are freaking heroes.

Love,
Tiffany

Have a story to share? Email me here. Thanks, everybody, and have a great week.

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The post There Is No More Chasing the Ups and Downs appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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If you follow a few Instagram influencers, then I’m sure you’ve seen your share of weight loss products, such as “meal replacement shakes” and “detox teas”. Well, you might start seeing less of them very soon. Instagram has started rolling out new community guidelines detailing which type of weight loss products and cosmetic procedures can be promoted on the app.

The post Instagram Has Introduced New Weight Loss Ad Restrictions… And We’re Totally Here For It appeared first on Women’s Health.

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Do you ever feel like your weight loss journey is basically you just running on the treadmill- you’re going nowhere fast. You’ve cut the carbs, limited the sweets and kicked the cardio all the way up- but the scale just won’t budge, so WTF gives? Honestly, it could literally be anything. But there are common mistakes that people make during the battle of the bulge. We chatted to celeb trainer and body transformation specialist, Corey Calliet, about the possible weight loss mistakes you’re making and how to actually get it right.

The post 9 Common Mistakes People Make When It Comes To Weight Loss, According To A Celeb Trainer appeared first on Women’s Health.

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