Last Call For the June Keto Reset + The Grand Prize Giveaway!

Don’t miss tonight’s deadline (midnight PDT, 5/31/19) to join the June Keto Reset and to register for the BIGGEST grand prize I’ve ever given away.

Have you been thinking about going keto or recommitting to a keto routine? The all-new June Keto Reset offers one month of personal guidance, exclusive resources, great deals, and fantastic giveaways. Best of all, it’s totally free. All you do is SIGN UP.

You’ll also have the chance to grab the Keto Mastery Course for free (a $147 value) with the purchase of a Primal Kitchen® Keto Kit. Also, anyone who signs up by the deadline will be entered to win our Keto Reset grand prize giveaway. I’ll randomly select one participant who will bag a full year’s worth of Butcher Box standard meat boxes—plus a $1000 gift certificate to PrimalBlueprint.com. Don’t miss out!

What You’ll Get

Throughout the month of June you’ll receive two emails a week from yours truly with exclusive guidance, tips, and recipes for going keto the right way. You’ll learn how to optimize fat burning and get the results you’ve always wanted.

Heads up: You won’t find these resources on the blog.

(And for those of you who did the January Keto Reset Kickoff, the June experience is completely new—from top to bottom, so join us again!)

Throughout the month you’ll receive:

  • Bi-weekly Emails with Exclusive Keto Tips
  • Food Lists
  • Recipes
  • Personal Keto Reset Journal
  • Keto Reset Guide To Calculating Your Macros (a printable guide that you can hang on your refrigerator).

You’ll have everything you need for a successful Keto Reset.

Simply sign up now and enter your email to register.  (Enter your email in the email collector just under the banner at the top of the page and click subscribe. You don’t need to purchase anything to participate.)

You only have a few hours left! Registration closes May 31, 2019, at midnight PDT. 

But, wait. There’s more…

The Keto Reset Month Giveaways and Grand Prize

Last but not least: the giveaways, including the biggest grand prize I’ve ever offered on Mark’s Daily Apple…. 

One lucky winner will walk away with:

  • One year’s worth of meat boxes from ButcherBox. Every month enjoy a standard box (one of their curated box options or your own customized box) of premium grass-fed, pastured and heritage bred meats. It’s the meat I serve at my own table and unmatched in quality both in terms of healthy sourcing and incredible taste.
  • A $1000 gift certificate to PrimalBlueprint.com. Yup, a thousand dollars to enjoy your favorite Primal supplements, Primal Kitchen collagen products, bars, mayos, dressings, condiments, sauces, and oils, as well as Primal Blueprint books and courses.

It’s the ultimate giveaway package to fuel your Primal-keto journey.

Simply register for the Keto Reset Month by midnight PDT 5/31/19, and you’ll be entered to win. One winner will be randomly chosen at the end of the Keto Reset Month and announced on the Mark’s Daily Apple blog.

Plus, beginning now and throughout the month of June, follow Mark’s Daily Apple on Instagram for weekly giveaways with partners like Medlie, Bonafide Provisions, Taylor Farms, Nuttzo, Vital Farms, and Epic Provisions.

The Keto Deal You Won’t Want To Miss

I’m giving everyone who enrolls in the Keto Reset Month a chance to get the Keto Reset Online Mastery Course for FREE (that’s a $147 value) with the purchase of a Primal Kitchen® Advanced Keto Kit. You get my absolute favorite keto-friendly products, plus the most comprehensive multimedia educational experience around, designed for anyone interested in the ketogenic diet. It’s an unbelievable deal.

If you missed the chance to grab your free course in January, here’s your shot. Note: You can sign up for the Keto Reset Month without taking advantage of the Mastery Course deal.

If you participated in the January Keto Reset Kickoff and took advantage of the Mastery Course offer then, we hope you still join us for the entirely new Keto Reset experience. You’ll find new resources and supports to enhance your keto transition.

Plus, through the end of the sign-up period (5/31/19 midnight PDT), you can grab a free box of keto-friendly Coconut Lime Protein Bars free with any $30 purchase on PrimalKitchen.com (a $32.95 value!). Click here to take advantage of that offer or use code FREECLBARS at checkout.

The team and I are pumped for this June. I can’t think of a better way to kick off summer than the Keto Reset Month. I hope you’ll join us.

Thanks for reading, everybody. Weekend Link Love is coming up, as is a great summer soup recipe with the folks from Bonafide Provisions.

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The post Last Call For the June Keto Reset + The Grand Prize Giveaway! appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

Chilled Zucchini Basil Soup (+ A Giveaway!)

Soup is one of the most overlooked ways for incorporating a rich variety of vegetables in your diet. That goes double for summer soups. We’re loving this keto- and Primal-friendly Zucchini Basil Soup that can be served either warm or chilled any day of the year. But the nutritional goodness isn’t just in the vegetables and herbs. It also serves up the richness of full-fat coconut milk (feel free to use whole milk or cream if you prefer regular dairy) and all the benefits of collagen protein with the help of Bonafide Organic Chicken Bone Broth. Enjoy—and be sure to check out our community giveaway with Bonafide Provisions below!

Servings: 5 bowls

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium organic zucchini (peeled and diced in to 1/2 inch cubes)
  • 3 Tbsp. Primal Kitchen® Avocado Oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped into chunks
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped into chunks
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • 1 package Bonafide Organic Chicken Bone Broth (24 oz.)
  • 1 large handful fresh basil (35 g)
  • 1 can organic full-fat coconut milk
  • Optional and highly recommended: extra diced zucchini and bacon top

Instructions:

Heat Instant Pot to Saute setting and drizzle in Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil. Saute scallion and garlic until the onion is translucent.

Sprinkle in 1/2 tsp salt. Add in chopped zucchini, coconut milk and Bonafide Organic Chicken Bone Broth. Cook on Manual High for 5 minutes.

Puree (or immersion blend) soup until smooth.


Add in basil and blend. Feel free to add another teaspoon of salt (or to taste). Chill and store in mason jars.


Serve warm or chilled, and top with optional zucchini and bacon.

Nutritional Information (per serving without toppings):

  • Calories: 269
  • Net Carbohydrates: 5 grams
  • Fat: 24 grams
  • Protein: 8 grams

Now For the Giveaway…

Enter to win $100 in keto staples from Primal Kitchen (including our Keto Starter Kit + Collagen + Protein Bars), a Keto Reset book and Keto Reset Cookbook, plus one of each of Bonafide Provision’s bone broths (turkey, frontier, chicken, beef) and an 8-pack Keto Broth (dairy-free).

To enter:
1. FOLLOW @bonafideprovisions, @primalkitchenfoods, @marksdailyapple & @theprimalblueprint
2. COMMENT on the giveaway Instagram post in one of the above accounts with your favorite thing about summer.
3. BONUS entries: Sign up for our FREE Keto Reset month here before midnight PDT, 5/31/19.

We’ll be choosing TWO lucky winners. Open to U.S. entries only. The winners will be announced and contacted via Instagram direct message on Friday, June 7th. Good luck, everyone!

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The post Chilled Zucchini Basil Soup (+ A Giveaway!) appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

4 Mushrooms You Need To Know

When you stop to think about it, mushrooms are remarkable.

They’re closer to animals than plants on the tree of life.

They can break down plastic and petroleum.

The single largest organism on the planet is an underground honey fungus spanning almost 3 miles in the the state of Oregon.

They carry messages along their underground fungal networks using neurotransmitters that are very similar to the ones our brains use.

They’re a kind of “forest internet” which plants and trees use to communicate with each other.

They’re delicious.

And, as it turns out, they possess and confer some very impressive health and therapeutic effects. Several years ago, I highlighted the culinary varieties and explored their considerable health benefits. Go read that, then come back here because I’m going to talk about the different types of adaptogenic mushrooms today. These are the real heavy hitters, the ones that appear to supercharge immune systems, stimulate neuronal growth, improve memory and focus, pacify the anxious mind, increase the libido, and enhance sleep quality.

Let’s go through the most important adaptogenic mushrooms and the evidence for each. I’ll primarily stick to human studies, but may relay some animal studies if they seem relevant.

Reishi

Reishi has been used in traditional Asian medicine for hundreds of years to treat diseases of the immune system. (Reishi is its Japanese name; in China, it’s called lingzhi and in Korea, it’s yeongji.) Other folk uses include all the regular stuff you expect—aches, pains, allergies, “qi”—but the majority of modern clinical evidence focuses on immunity, cancer, and inflammation.

But the interesting thing to remember is that inflammation figures into pretty much every modern ailment. Even conditions like depression and anxiety are often characterized by a surplus of systemic inflammation. If reishi can soothe the inflammation, it could very well help with all the other seemingly unrelated conditions, too.

Reishi is also said to be very good for sleep, though I wasn’t able to find a supporting human study.

Exercise caution if you have an autoimmune disease, as using reishi to”activate” the immune system that’s attacking you may—theoretically—increase the attack’s severity.

Reishi may also lower libido in high doses, as it inhibits the conversion of testosterone to dihydrotestosterone—albeit in rats. More rat research suggests that low doses of reishi could increase libido.

No human studies indicate this, but a rodent study found that giving reishi reduced time to exhaustion in a forced weighted swimming challenge (throw a rat in the water with a weight attached). They got tired faster.

Cordyceps

Cordyceps is another mushroom used in traditional Chinese medicine to promote vitality and energy. For the men, that’s code for “better erections.” What does the evidence say?

It is broadly anti-inflammatory.

It’s an effective immuno-adaptogen: it boosts immunity when immune function is too low and dampens it when it’s over-activated. Autoimmune thyroiditis patients who took cordyceps saw dual-direction immunomodulation—too low got higher, too high got lower.

It boosts endurance exercise capacity in older adults (but not endurance capacity in young athletes).

As for the “energy and vitality” claims, that appears to be true in mammals. We have evidence that rats, pigs, mice, and even yaks, goats, and sheep get boosts to testosterone status and sexual function when taking cordyceps, and that it improves brain function and cognition in small mammals, but nothing solid in humans. Still, the fact that it helps other mammals probably indicates utility for us.

Chaga

Chaga is a mushroom with a long history of use in Northern Eurasia (Russia, Siberia) as well as a considerable body of animal evidence and isolated human cell evidence in support, but no real studies using actual live humans. That’s unfortunate, because chaga appears to be the real deal:

I hope we get some strong human studies in the near future. In the meantime, you can always run your own!

Lion’s Mane

Lion’s Mane is a mushroom that looks like a pom-pom. Or a brain, which is fitting. Lion’s Mane’s main claim to fame is its purported ability to increase neurogenesis, reduce cognitive decline, and even regrow damaged nerves.

Studies in fact show that Lion’s Mane can:

The majority of Lion’s Mane customers aren’t interested in reducing decline. They want a boost. They want increased focus, improved cognition, more and better neurons. Judging from the reversal of cognitive decline in the elderly and the flood of online anecdotes about improved focus and cognition, I  suspect that there’s something there.

That said, another common side effect I’ve heard about from many of the same people lauding its cognitive effects is reduced libido. So keep an eye out for that one.

You know how I do things here. I can’t in good faith make definitive claims based on mouse studies that show this or that mushroom improving memory, blasting tumor cells, and increasing sexual virility. Still, I also can’t discount the hundreds (and in some cases, thousands) of years of traditional use of these mushrooms for many of the conditions, nor can I ignore (or write off as “placebo”) the thousands of experimenters out there online deriving major benefits from some of these mushrooms.

The only option, of course, is to try it for yourself, which I may do in the near future (and will write about my findings).

How to Choose a Mushroom Supplement

When you’re buying an adaptogenic mushroom extract, look for products that come from fruiting bodies (actual mushrooms) rather than mycelium (the “roots” of the mushrooms). Fruiting bodies tend to have more of the active constituents than mycelium. Fruiting body extracts will also be more expensive—mushrooms take longer to grow than mycelium—but the added potency makes up for it.

Look for products that list the beta-glucan content, not the polysaccharide content. Beta-glucans are the uniquely active constituents. All beta-glucans are polysaccharides, but not all polysaccharides are beta-glucans.

From the beginning, I’ve loved seeing what Four Sigmatic has done. Our team did a recipe with theirs this week. Check them out, and stay tuned for more on adaptogenic mushrooms here.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear your experiences with adaptogenic mushrooms. Have you tried them? How have they been useful for you (or not)? Thanks for stopping in, everybody.

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References:

Zhao H, Zhang Q, Zhao L, Huang X, Wang J, Kang X. Spore Powder of Ganoderma lucidum Improves Cancer-Related Fatigue in Breast Cancer Patients Undergoing Endocrine Therapy: A Pilot Clinical Trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012;2012:809614.

Futrakul N, Panichakul T, Butthep P, et al. Ganoderma lucidum suppresses endothelial cell cytotoxicity and proteinuria in persistent proteinuric focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) nephrosis. Clin Hemorheol Microcirc. 2004;31(4):267-72.

Smiderle FR, Baggio CH, Borato DG, et al. Anti-inflammatory properties of the medicinal mushroom Cordyceps militaris might be related to its linear (1?3)-?-D-glucan. PLoS ONE. 2014;9(10):e110266.

Lin WH, Tsai MT, Chen YS, et al. Improvement of sperm production in subfertile boars by Cordyceps militaris supplement. Am J Chin Med. 2007;35(4):631-41.

Parcell AC, Smith JM, Schulthies SS, Myrer JW, Fellingham G. Cordyceps Sinensis (CordyMax Cs-4) supplementation does not improve endurance exercise performance. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2004;14(2):236-42.

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The Keto Carb Threshold: What Constitutes a “Keto” Meal?

How many carbs can you eat in a sitting and still “stay keto”? What constitutes a “keto meal”?

I’ve gotten many questions about this topic.

First of all, let’s get this out of the way: Keto is not a religion that punishes heretics with eternal damnation (or eternal reliance on exogenous sugar for energy). This post is not intended to make people feel guilty for eating five grams of carbs over the” limit.” It’s not even intended to set a hard limit in stone. It’s simply to provide people who care about this sort of thing a basic, admittedly rough, guideline for staying below the keto carb threshold within meals throughout the day.

First of all… there’s a problem with establishing a universal keto carb threshold….

Why Universal Keto Carb Thresholds are Problematic

Carb thresholds are a very personal thing. Not in the sense that you should only tally up your within-meal carb counts behind closed (and locked) doors, but in the sense that they are extremely context dependent:

  • The number of carbs that knock a person out of ketosis will differ from the amount that will knock another person out of ketosis for genetic reasons.
  • The number of carbs that knock a person out of ketosis will differ day to day and meal to meal based on his or her exercise and activity levels.
  • The number of carbs that knock a person out of ketosis will differ based on ketone- and fat-adaptation status.
  • The number of carbs you’ve eaten in previous meals and the amount of carbs you plan on eating in subsequent ones influence how much you should eat at this meal.

We All Have Different Genetic Keto Thresholds

Take the Inuit, for example. Despite eating almost nothing but seafood and marine and land mammals and their fat, with negligible amounts of carbohydrates, the Inuit rarely show evidence of ketosis. A legitimate fast isn’t even enough to reliably produce ketosis in the Inuit. It turns out that many of them possess a gene variant that prevents ketosis and drops blood sugar during fasting and starvation. They’re great at burning fat directly, not so good at reaching ketosis. Even if we’re not talking about Inuits, every single person has different genetic potentials for generating ketones and responding to carbs.

How You Exercise Has a Huge Effect

If you create a glycogen debt through intense training, a significant portion of the carbs you eat immediately after will go toward replenishing that glycogen rather than contribute toward your energy consumption. You can remain in ketosis and store those carbs away in your muscle. Exercise alone stimulates ketosis independent of diet; if you’re a highly active person, you’re probably already dipping in and out of ketosis without even changing what you eat. Your carb threshold will be higher.

How Far Along You Are In Your Keto Adaptation Has An Effect

At this point, I can have a big sweet potato with dinner and be right back to ketosis in the morning. I can eat beef larb salad over some steamed jasmine rice for lunch and coconut curry for dinner while on vacation in Thailand and bounce right back without issue. Because I’m fully ketone-adapted and fat-adapted, and my mitochondria are adept at burning fat, I have the metabolic flexibility to drift in and and out of ketosis as I please. The idea of a hard “keto threshold” becomes less relevant when you’re fully keto-adapted.

How Many Carbs You’ve Already Eaten (and Will Eat) Also Figure In

If you’ve already eaten 40 grams of carbs for breakfast, you have very little leeway for future meals. If you had bacon, eggs, and steak for breakfast, you can handle a larger dose of carbs.

Making things even harder, these contexts are impossible for the average person to quantify. It’s hard to tell exactly how much glycogen debt we’ve incurred through our training—how many carbs we’ve cleared out and can safely assimilate. It’s impossible to quantify our genetic keto threshold, and you can’t exactly count the fat-burning mitochondria you’ve generated or put a number to your degree of ketone-adaptation.

Why Keto Carb Thresholds Are Helpful

Everything is fuzzy at the margins. Very little in life and the universe is totally binary and clear-cut. But thinking of the world in binary terms and separating things into categories can be helpful. Too much fuzzy thinking renders making decisions hard. It breeds indecision. It paralyzes. We need something.

That’s where a keto carb threshold for determining “keto meals” comes in: Despite the very real limitations of establishing a true keto threshold, they can be helpful for beginners and other people trying to make decisions about what to eat.

Imagine you’re a beginner to this Keto Reset thing. Do you want to have to consider how many carbs you’ve burned through exercise today, which genes you have, or whether you’ve successfully produced enough fat-adapted mitochondria before deciding on how many carbs you can get away with? Or do you want a number that may be imperfect but will probably get you in the ballpark?

“Eat this many.”

“Stay under this number.”

“Avoid this.”

“Eat that.”

Simple things you can have as touchstones and landmarks when you’re getting started and progressing along your journey…

Keto Carb Thresholds: So, How Much Per Meal?

All that said, here are some good rules of thumb for within meal keto carb thresholds:

  • Keto meals should, generally speaking, stay under 18 grams of carbs.
  • Keto snacks should have no more than 8 grams of carbs.

That’s total carbs, not net. Also, keep in mind that we don’t count above ground, non-starchy vegetables. Count the carbs in blueberries, not spinach. Count the carbs in beets, not kale. Count the carbs in carrots, not broccoli.

In my book, this is the easiest way to think of carbs on a keto diet. You don’t have to subtract fiber or weigh your romaine lettuce. You just count the carbs that, well, count.

There are contextual modifications, as we discussed earlier—exercise and activity levels, genetics/personal tolerance, keto adaptation status, previous meals.

And keep in mind just plain common-sense modifications:

  • If you’re eating one meal a day, you can get away with more carbs in that single meal than the person who eats 3 square meals and 2 snacks.
  • If you’re eating 3 meals and 2 snacks, you can’t get away with as many carbs as the person who eats one or two meals.

The more advanced you are, the more you can integrate your context into your decisions. This integration will happen intuitively, ideally. Then you can just eat and trust that your subconscious is keeping its end of the bargain.

If you’ve just finished a CrossFit WOD or gone bouldering for an hour or hiked up the local mountain, you’ve most likely incurred enough of a glycogen debt that a few extra carbs at your next meal won’t impact you keto status.

If you’re close to goal weight, you have steady energy all day, you can effortlessly skip meals, have a few wedges of watermelon at the birthday party that don’t affect you one way or the other… you’re probably reasonably fat-adapted and can handle a few more carbs per meal.

And through trial and error and simply doing the work and paying attention to what happens, you’ll learn your personal carb tolerance over time. Maybe in the near future we’ll even have high-powered data that can pinpoint your genetic carb tolerance to remove the guesswork.

But for the time being, especially if you’re just starting out with keto or find yourself staring at food labels in the grocery store aisle for a disproportionate amount of your life, “7-8 grams of carbs per snack and 16-18 grams of carbs per meal to stay keto” is a good rule of thumb.

What about you, folks? How many carbs do you limit yourself per meal to stay keto—or not?

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Mark’s Cold Brew Coffee

Welcome to summer, everyone. (I think most people agree it starts after Memorial Day, right?) One of the things I’ve always loved about summer is cold brew coffee. As most of you know, I’ll take coffee anytime year round, but cold brew is its own animal and worth appreciating as such. That said, cold brew needs to be done right to achieve the smoothness and sweetness its known for. Here’s how I create my own cold brew.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup medium-coarse ground coffee
  • 2 cups filtered water
  • Optional: 4 Tbsp. Oat Milk (Thrive Market has a clean and tasty version for those who want to add a splash or two to the final result. Feel free to use regular dairy or another non-dairy milk.)
  • (You’ll also want a couple medium mason jars with lids.)

Instructions:

Grind 3/4 cup of whole bean coffee to a medium-coarse consistency as pictured to make about 2/3 cup ground coffee. (I wouldn’t advise the pre-ground coffee you find in the store, since you’ll have a heck of a time trying to drain it. The result? Coffee that’s likely too strong and muddy instead of smooth.)

Divide the ground coffee between two medium mason jars. Pour room temperature filtered water over the coffee—one cup of water per jar. Screw the lids on tight, and let infuse at room temperature for 12 hours. This is where the magic happens. You could go a little shorter (e.g. 10 hours) if you need it sooner, but I’d be cautious about exceeding 12 hours as I’ve found a lot of coffee gets bitter pretty quickly past that point. Start with 12 hours and experiment from there if you want a more concentrated brew. Some people like to put the jars in the refrigerator for added chilling. This works, but the infusing process will be a little slower.

After 12 hours, open each jar. Filter through a clean dish towel or cheesecloth. I know some folks use a very fine sieve or paper coffee filters for this step. Others like to double filter.

Check for concentration and dilute (to your own personal taste) with cold, filtered water, diluting less if you’re going to add milk or cream or if you’re going to use ice.

Put a few ice cubes in the bottom of two glasses, pour coffee over them. Add milk or cream if that’s your thing.

Store any extra filtered coffee in a clean mason jar in the refrigerator, and use within a few days for freshness.

Thanks for stopping by, everybody. Do you have a recipe you’d like to see the team or I cover? Share your ideas below. Have a great week.

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Primal+Keto Cooking Made Easy: Chocolate Macadamia Clusters/Bark

Lindsay and I are back today with another video in our new Primal + Keto Made Easy Cooking Series. (Check out past videos here. There will be many more to come over the next several weeks.)

This week we’ve got another great Primal + keto snack, and this time it’s a sweet treat anybody (Primal or not) will gravitate to. I’m cooking with two of my personal favorites: dark chocolate and macadamia nuts. Fair warning: be sure to make a good size batch.

Macadamia Nut Clusters/Bark Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces keto-friendly chocolate (75-90% dark chocolate)
  • 2/3-2 cups roasted unsalted macadamia nuts (based on your own preference)

Instructions:

Simmer a pot of water. Place a glass bowl on top of the pot, with the bottom of the bowl a few inches above the simmering water. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and melt them in the glass bowl, stirring with a spatula. Add macadamia nuts into the bowl of melted chocolate, and stir until everything is covered in chocolate.

Scoop the chocolate-covered nut clusters onto parchment paper using a teaspoon. Sprinkle sea salt on top, if desired. Refrigerate until hardened.

Or, if you’d like to make bark, pour the entire chocolate-nut mix onto a parchment paper-lined plate or sheet pan. Sprinkle sea salt on top, if desired.

Refrigerate clusters or barks until hardened. Use your hands to break up the hardened bark into smaller pieces—and enjoy!

Nutritional Information (1/8 recipe with 90% dark chocolate and 2 cups macadamias in recipe):

  • Calories: 335
  • Net Carbs: 3.6 grams
  • Fat: 33 grams
  • Protein: 4.5 grams

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Primal (and Keto) Cowboy Burgers

It’s Memorial Day weekend, and we know many of you will be celebrating with friends and family. To that end, we’ve got a perfect addition to your Primal and Primal-keto menu: the cowboy burger. With tender portobello mushroom caps, grass-fed beef, bacon, BBQ flavor (you know we’ll be using our very own Primal Kitchen® Classic BBQ Sauce), crispy onions, cheddar and more, it’s so much more than your average burger. Enjoy—and have a Happy (and Healthy) Memorial Day, everyone!

Servings: 4

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

Burgers:

  • 1 lb. Grass-fed Ground Beef
  • 1/3 lb. Bacon Slices
  • 1/4 cup Parsley
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 2 oz. sliced Grass-fed Cheddar (optional)
  • ¼ cup Primal Kitchen® Classic BBQ Sauce
  • ½ cup sliced Tomatoes
  • 1 cup Butter Lettuce

Crispy Onions:

  • 1 Yellow Onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. Coconut Milk
  • 1 tsp. Lemon Juice
  • 1/4 cup Almond Flour
  • Pinch of Salt and Pepper

Mushroom “Buns”:

  • 4 Portobello Mushroom Caps
  • 2 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 ºF. Mix the coconut milk and lemon juice together and toss the onion slices in them. Allow them to marinate for 30-45 minutes at room temperature.

Roast the bacon at 350 ºF for approximately 30 minutes. Reserve the bacon fat and 4 slices of bacon. Roughly chop the remaining bacon. Allow the bacon to slightly cool and combine the beef, chopped bacon, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper in a bowl. Form the meat into 4 patties. Heat a small amount of the reserved bacon fat over medium-high heat in a skillet and add the patties to the pan once hot. Sear the burger patties for 1 minute on each side and then transfer the pan to the oven. Allow the burgers to cook until they reach your desired internal temperature. Place a slice of cheddar on each of the patties and place back into the oven for 1 minute until they melt.

Heat the oven to 375 ºF. In a dish or shallow bowl, combine the almond flour with a pinch of salt and pepper. Remove the onions from the coconut milk mixture and dredge them the almond flour mixture. Lay them flat on a parchment covered sheet pan so they are barely touching and bake at 375 ºF for 15 minutes. Flip the onions over and spread them out before letting them bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until they are well browned and starting to crisp.

Clean the mushroom caps with a damp towel. Remove the stem and use a spoon to remove the gills on the underside. Toss the mushroom caps in the balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Place them gill side down on a baking sheet and roast for about 15 minutes at 375 ºF, or until soft.

Assemble the burgers by placing a portobello mushroom on the bottom, followed by the burger, bacon slice, BBQ sauce, lettuce, tomato and crispy onions.

Nutrition Information: (1 Burger Patty, ¼ cup portion Onion Pieces, 1 cup Portobello)

  • Calories: 592
  • Net Carbs: 10 grams
  • Fat: 40 grams
  • Protein: 42 grams

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Keto Kale Avocado Gazpacho (+ a Giveaway!)

Cool summer fare means more than just Big-Ass Salads. Nothing is off the table, including soup—particularly gazpacho. A perfect summer classic, this gazpacho recipe is a keto lovers dream: loads of flavor and lots of healthy fats, thanks to the goodness of extra virgin avocado oil.

Plus, we gave this dish a spicy kick and cool boost with Medlie’s Organic Kale Avocado Drink. Add jalapeno peppers, garlic and cilantro, and you’ll love this tasty starter soup or full course meal.

 

Servings: 2

Time In the Kitchen: 15 minutes (plus 30 to chill)

Ingredients:

Instructions:

Blend all ingredients in blender. Add salt and black pepper to taste.

Chill in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Optional serving suggestions: avocado slices, diced tomatoes, minced red onion, sour cream, cilantro leaves

Now For the Giveaway…

Today we’re teaming up with Medlie for an awesome Primal+keto giveaway!

One lucky winner will snag:

To enter:
1. FOLLOW @medlieveggies, @primalkitchenfoods, @marksdailyapple and @primalblueprint
2. COMMENT in the giveaway post with your favorite keto recipe
3. BONUS points: sign up for the FREE June Keto Reset and get 10 extra entry points!!! Sign up HERE.

Open to those in the U.S. only. The winners will be announced and contacted on Friday, June 7th, 2019, via Instagram direct message. Good luck!

Nutritional Info (per serving):

  • Calories: 430 calories
  • Carbs: 7.4 grams
  • Fat: 41.3 grams
  • Protein: 6.5 grams

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The post Keto Kale Avocado Gazpacho (+ a Giveaway!) appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

Weekly Link Love — Edition 30

Research of the Week

Fasting may help pancreatic beta cells regenerate.

Intelligence predicts preference for instrumental music.

Women’s cognitive performance increases at higher ambient temperatures.

Lithium reduces suicidal ideation in depression.

Regulating your gut biome may be an effective way to treat anxiety.

Hunter-gatherers have more leisure time than farmers.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 341: Endurance: Debbie Potts on a Holistic Approach to Lifestyle Change: Host Brad Kearns chats with Ironman triathlete Debbie Potts.

Episode 342: Justin Perry: Host Elle Russ chats with the founder and CEO of the world’s largest Law of Attraction Youtube channel.

Episode 343: Brad and Elle Recap Paleo(fx) 2019: Brad and Elle recap the paleo event of the year.

Health Coach Radio, Episode 12: Ketogains: Erin and Laura talk with Luis & Tyler of Ketogains about their educate, empower and achieve approach to keto and community.

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

Don’t forget about trans-fats, the “tobacco of nutrition.”

The field of psychiatry could use a therapist.

Interesting Blog Posts

Could ketones fix overtraining?

Microdosing psychedelics offers both benefits and drawbacks, none of which were expected.

Social Notes

It’s good enough for the Apollo 11 crew…

I have a few questions for you.

Everything Else

AirBNB teams with 23andMe to offer heritage travel.

An AI achieves “state of the art” accuracy in diagnosing lung cancer.

Having grandma close by increases family size.

The mango was independently domesticated in India and Southeast Asia.

Scientists reconstruct the face of a Swiss man who lived in 700 A.D.

Male trees are spewing their “tree sperm” all over the place, and it’s causing tons of allergies.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

Some might find this counterintuitive: Exercise prevents, not hastens, the damage caused by arthritis.

Study I found interesting: “Therapeutic potential of exogenous ketone supplement-induced ketosis in the treatment of psychiatric disorders: A review of current literature.”

I was surprised: Whole milk and skim milk are equally effective at cooling the burn of hot chilis.

I’m not surprised: Glucosamine is good for the heart.

Expect to see a lot more of this: Biohacker accused of practicing medicine without a license.

Question I’m Asking

Do you think biohackers (including those who publish info on how to do it yourself) should be held accountable by the law?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (May 19 – May 25)

Comment of the Week

“Chiggers after picking berries in the woods.”

– Ticks on hikes, Angelica.

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The post Weekly Link Love — Edition 30 appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

Does Sleep Quality Really Decline With Age? (Plus, What I Do & a Giveaway)

One of the most common complaints people have as they age is poor quality sleep. They get less sleep than younger people, and, despite what you may have heard, their sleep requirements do not decline with age. A 70-year-old should still be getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night. The problem is that, for many different reasons, older people usually have issues getting the amount of sleep they need.

The popular approach is to accept poor sleep as an inevitable part of aging and find workarounds, ideally workarounds that require a lifelong prescription to a name-brand pharmaceutical. That’s not my way. I accept that the conventional approach may be warranted in certain cases, but it should be a last resort. A person should exhaust the diet, lifestyle, and exercise options before turning to the prescription pad.

What about that central position of the conventional wisdom: Declining sleep quality is a necessary function of age. Is that actually true?

Why Do We Equate Getting Older With Sleeping Poorly?

Age is a predictor of poor quality sleep, but it’s not a foregone conclusion. Not every older adult suffers from poor sleep, which means the passage of time alone cannot explain the loss of sleep quality. In fact, when you drill down deeper, you find that there are many health and lifestyle-related predictors of poor quality sleep among older adults.

Such as:

  • In older Taiwanese adults living in a retirement community, 42% reported sleep disturbances. The best predictors for low quality sleep were being sedentary, suffering from nighttime urination, using anti-hypertensive drugs, and having poor mental health.
  • In older Korean adults, 60% reported sleep issues. The best predictors for low quality sleep in this group were depression, pain, and poor self-rated health scores.
  • In older women, menopause can make getting good sleep harder. The night sweats and body temperature fluctuations (the body tends to drop its temperature in preparation for sleep, and heat flashes can interfere with this) are notorious sleep disruptors.

These are all modifiable risk factors. Even menopause. Menopause will happen, but the symptoms can be addressed and mitigated (though admittedly not easily). I actually wrote a post about this.

There is one specific cluster of neurons called the ventrolateral preoptic nucleus that acts as a “sleep switch”—releasing GABA and other inhibitory neurotransmitters that inhibit wakefulness. The ventrolateral preoptic nucleus has been shown to degrade with age, actually getting smaller over time; further research shows that the size of a person’s VPN correlates closely with their sleep quality. But there’s no indication that this is an inevitable consequence of aging. After all, the rate of VPN decline varies between individuals. Maybe some of that rate variation is genetic. Maybe some is environmental—based on how you live and eat and exercise. We do know that light and sun exposure during the day boosts serotonin levels, and serotonin is one of the precursors for VPN sleep activity. What if a lifetime of inadequate sun and daylight exposure causes the VPN to “atrophy”? There are many unanswered questions, but even if the VPN turns out to follow a strictly chronological decline, there are improvements to be made.

Other “inevitabilities” of aging are often a function of accruing compound interest on one’s failure to lead a healthy lifestyle. If we’ve neglected our health and wellness for our entire lives—often because we were following bad advice from the “experts” who were supposed to know better—that’s going to come to a head the older we get. The older we are, the worse our body will work. The more negative interest we’ll have accrued.

Okay, Sisson, that’s all well and good, but what if I’m already an older adult, I’ve already accrued a lifetime of suboptimal health, and my sleep is bad? What can I do?

5 Easy Ways To Improve Your Sleep (At ANY Age)

You can start addressing the issues right now, right today.

1. You can lift heavy things.

Resistance training has been shown to improve sleep quality in older adults. Three times a week, older adults lifted weights for 30 minutes in the morning and saw their sleep quality improve by 38%. It also works in older adults with poor sleep and depression.

2. You can walk.

A three-time weekly walking program for four weeks helped older Nepalese adults improve their sleep quality.

3. You can reduce your alcohol intake.

A few years ago, I noticed that my nightly glass or two of wine was messing with my sleep, so I gave it up and my sleep improved immediately. I’ve since re-introduced Dry Farm natural wine—lower in alcohol and sulfites, higher in antioxidants and complexity—and have no issues. If you drink on a regular basis and have trouble with sleep, try giving up alcohol for a month. It’s a potentially very easy fix.

4. You can avoid artificial light after dark.

This doesn’t just work in younger people. There is strong evidence that exposure to artificial light after dark is linked to insomnia in older adults. Wearing blue-blocking goggles or simply not using electronic devices after dark are easy fixes.

5. You can get more natural light in the morning and daytime.

In older adults, getting more natural light in the daytime hours has a direct effect of improving sleep quality.

Hey, it’s almost like everything in our lives is connected. Some people find this overwhelming and depressing—”how can I possibly fix everything?” I find it empowering. It fills me with optimism because addressing one piece of the chain can get everything else moving in the right direction. Just look at the study with depressed older adults who had trouble sleeping. All they had to do was start lifting heavy things a few times a week and all their major issues began resolving, or at least improving. That’s powerful.

Now imagine if you tried everything. Imagine if you started lifting weights, walking, reduced your alcohol intake. Imagine the changes you could see. Now imagine if you did this from early adulthood and never stopped. Imagine how you’d sleep. Oh, and don’t neglect the power of a consistent routine.

What I Do (and One Thing That’s Made the Biggest Difference)

Last year, I released a video of my nighttime routine. Now that I’m in Miami, the setup has changed but I still do the same basic stuff.

I live in a condo now that has a great spa. I do “fire and ice” before dinner almost every night”—usually 7-10 minutes sauna, 3-4 minutes cold plunge at 50 degrees, repeat a few times. So, no longer right before bed. But it has the effect of making me relaxed and sleep-ready a few hours after a light dinner.

But there’s one tool I began using a couple years ago that has probably made the most difference of any particular strategy: controlling the temperature of my bed.

Ambient temperature matters for sleep quality. My chiliPAD has become indispensable. (Disclosure: I became such a fan that I eventually invested in the company.) Carrie uses one, too. We have different ideal temperature ranges. Mine cools to 65 at bedtime, but with the app I can set it to rise to 68 at 3:00 A.M. (otherwise I get a little too much heat loss), 70 at 5:00 A.M. and then 75 at 6:45 to help me wake up.  It makes a huge difference and has real evolutionary antecedence; humans spent many millennia sleeping on a cold surface (the ground) covered with animal skins. It’s what our genes still expect from us.

How’s your sleep, older (or not) readers? What’s worked, what hasn’t? If you have any questions about sleep, drop them down below and I’ll follow up!

Now For the Giveaway…

Whenever I find a product I truly love, I want to share it. Today it’s for two lucky winners.

The great folks at ChiliTechnology have offered two of their cooling systems for MDA readers (the two Carrie and I use): a chiliPAD system and their new OOLER system. Both offer the same fully programmable cooling technology to help you manufacture your best night’s sleep. Plus, I’m throwing in a Primal Essentials Kit (Damage Control, Primal Omegas, Primal Sun, Primal Probiotics and Adaptogenic Calm) because good health and great sleep go hand-in-hand.

One winner will nab the chiliPAD, plus Primal supplements package.

The second winner will enjoy the OOLER system, plus Primal supplements package.

To enter to win:

1. Follow @marksdailyapple + @chilisleep + @primalblueprint
2. Tag two friends in the comments from this giveaway post.

Open to US only. The winner will be announced and contacted via Instagram direct message on Thursday, May 30th.

Good luck, everybody!

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References:

Park JH, Yoo MS, Bae SH. Prevalence and predictors of poor sleep quality in Korean older adults. Int J Nurs Pract. 2013;19(2):116-23.

Ferris LT, Williams JS, Shen CL, O’keefe KA, Hale KB. Resistance training improves sleep quality in older adults a pilot study. J Sports Sci Med. 2005;4(3):354-60.

Singh NA, Clements KM, Fiatarone MA. A randomized controlled trial of the effect of exercise on sleep. Sleep. 1997;20(2):95-101.

The post Does Sleep Quality Really Decline With Age? (Plus, What I Do & a Giveaway) appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.