Nuts and Phytic Acid | Mark’s Daily Apple

Nuts and Phytic Acid | Mark’s Daily Apple.

What a fantastic article about nuts on MDA today! Just yesterday I was sitting in a meeting for work, and a coworker with celiac popped out a huge can of almonds for lunch, “because I’m on the caveman diet.” Too bad she didn’t read this piece.

Mark’s post is brief and to the point, while also answering every question I had, from selenium content in Brazil nuts, to the chelation action of phytic acid. There is also a hidden gem in the table at the beginning. Although he merely eludes to this factual tidbit, I suggest you check out the difference in phytic acid between brown and polished white rice — so telling.

Why Your Personal Trainer is Full of it – and what you can do about it

If you’ve been to the gym in the last 10 years you’ve undoubtedly seen countless patrons slaving away doing hundreds of crunches, triceps kickbacks, and as many different “thigh sculpting” contortions as you can think of, possibly all while standing on a Bosu ball on top of a balance board while strapped to the wall by elastic bands. In my experience most of these strange permutations of exercise are inspired by someone’s personal trainer/fitness trainer/health and wellness coach or by an article published in any random men’s health or fitness magazine written by one of the aforementioned “fitness experts”. They throw around terms like “functional fitness” and “core strength” and my favorite… “toning”. Of course these guys must know what they’re talking about… look at them – they’re ripped! They also have certifications! Yup, you heard that right. They are officially certified by accrediting bodies which obviously settle for no less than the most up-to-date, cutting-edge science to support these amazing core-strengthening, arm flab-toning, six pack-chiseling methods. Or maybe not. Continue reading

Pad Thai

Pad Thai

When I saw the recipe for Vegetarian Pad Thai on Frugal Feeding, the first thing I thought was, “that would be great with some steak!” I finally got a chance to make this last night, and I had enough ingredients to make it again for lunch today. I made a few modifications, and here is my resulting version. I am not a huge fan of the peanut butter, so I skipped that, although I’m sure it’s delicious. There were a few other changes, most notably using coconut oil to fry instead of sesame oil, which i added as a flavoring at the end. I apologize for the blurry pictures; all I had was my cell phone. Continue reading

Are Low Carb Diets Healthy? Lessons from Research and What You Need to Know

We’ve all heard that the healthiest way to diet is to cut out fat. Then again we’ve also heard that the best way to lose fat fast is to cut “carbs”. There are many die-hard fans out there of nearly every type of diet out there, but many of the most popular diets all have one thing in common: they are centered around manipulating the ratios of the macro-nutrients (a term that is not wholly useful in light of our current understanding of biochemistry, but that we’ll save for a later post), namely, carbohydrates, fats, and protein. Protein is necessary for life. A diet far too low or far too high in protein is incompatible with any organism surviving for very long. This leaves us with the option of manipulating the amount of carbohydrates and fats in the diet. Expert opinions abound where randomized control trials lack. I’ve compiled a small literature review using some of the best sources available to me to help determine whether low carbohydrate diets are better than high carbohydrate diets in the long term for the reduction and long term maintenance of body fat while taking into account general markers for health like mortality from heart attacks, stroke, or other diseases. Continue reading

A Slow Stomach for a Flat Stomach

What do whole fruits, fatty desserts, and a nagging mother have in common? These are some of the secrets to eating the foods you want to or thought you could never get away with eating, while still looking and feeling great. The speed at which your food is digested impacts its physiological effects on your body. We all know the difference in how you feel if you chug a milkshake as fast as you can compared to sipping at it, or the meaning of “food that goes right through you.” The speed of digestion can actually impact your hormones that control fat gain and loss. This is good to know if you’re interested in losing weight or maintaining fat loss.

So how is it that speed of digestion impacts body weight? The faster a large amount of glucose gets dumped into your system, the larger the insulin response. Although the exact mechanism of how this increases weight gain is still being debated, some of the best research suggests that an excess insulin response influences leptin, an incredibly important hormone that has a hand in regulating everything from satiety and hunger to your sleep schedule. Leptin resistance, which is thought to be a major contributor to the development of obesity, is probably driven by excess insulin which is provoked through ingesting large amounts of sugar or protein without mechanisms to slow their absorption. The takeaway is this: Continue reading

Cooking in Combination

Cooking for yourself may not be essential to achieve actual fitness, but it sure does help. Cooking at home is economical, fun, and can give you a sense of accomplishment. Sure it takes a little time, but with practice and a little help you can prepare gourmet meals in less time than it takes to drive to a restaurant and place an order.

This morning Mark’s Daily Apple provided a tip with the potential to save a huge amount of time, and give your weekly meals some variety. The article, Comfort Food Three Ways: How to Turn One Roast into Several Amazing Meals, details the preparation of 2 full meals: Pot Roast with Potatoes and Shepherd’s Pie, as well as some fast meatballs. This coming Tuesday I will attempt to follow the recipes, and I will document what will hopefully be a success. I am already planning some slight alterations, but you’ll have to watch for my post to see what those are.

If all goes well, I will be looking to create similar recipe combinations in the future. Have you ever tried something similar? Do you have any ideas for meals that can be made together from similar ingredients? If you follow Mark’s 3 comfort food recipes, let us know how they turn out!


Dr. Harris Speaks!

After a bit of a hiatus, Dr. Kurt Harris has made a series of several posts on his blog, “Archevore”. The first in the recent series describes an overhaul he has made to his diet.

Dr. Harris’s blog sometimes leans on the technical side, but his Archevore diet is laid out in terms that anyone can understand. If you want to know all the detailed “why’s” behind his dietary recommendations, as explained in his blog posts, you may need a bit of a science background, or at least a few articles from Wikipedia to guide your reading. After all, this diet thing isn’t exactly simple to figure out.

The Actual Fitness dietary framework, which will be laid out in the near future, will resemble the Archevore diet in many respects, particularly its rejection of sugars, seed oils, and gluten grains (wheat), collectively called the “Neolithic Agents of Disease”; and its embracing of animal fats and proteins. Subscribe (with the button to the right) to see the diet as soon as it is posted!

In the meantime, which of Dr. Harris’s Steps do you think are the easiest to implement? And which Are the hardest? Do you have any tips for following any of them?

Heartburn a la Mark’s Daily Apple

GERD: Symptoms, Causes and Remedies | Mark’s Daily Apple.

Struggling with heartburn? Give this post from MDA a read. Here’s a preview:

What is GERD anyway? What causes – or at least contributes to it? How do everyday lifestyle choices influence the condition, and what measures – beyond the CW pharmaceutical schtick (e.g. the happy, ubiquitous “purple pill”) – can we employ in treating, let alone curing the condition. (While the establishment might be content with taming the reflux beast, most folks I know who have GERD would rather beat it to death with a stick.)

After trying some of Mark’s suggestions, which do you find to work the best? Which are the easiest to start using?