Primal + Keto Cooking Made Easy: Bacon and Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

When it comes to side dishes, simple is best. A list of ingredients you can count on one hand is the way I like to do it. This dish delivers on ease and offers plenty of solid nutrition and great Primal taste. Cooking up great flavor starts with quality ingredients, for sure, but don’t underestimate the power of a great sauce or seasoning—and the right cooking method. Roasting vegetables is one of the surest ways to bring out a richer, deeper taste. Brussels sprouts work great for this. Add some balsamic and bacon, and you’ve got an amazing side for any meaty main course.

Bacon & Balsamic Brussels Sprouts

Servings: 2

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20-25 minutes

Ingredients:

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425 ºF.

Cut the ends off of the Brussels sprouts  and then slice in halves or quarters (if pieces are very large).

Place them in a bowl and drizzle with avocado oil and balsamic dressing. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to combine.

Roast for 20-25 minutes. Remove the Brussels sprouts from the oven. Then toss with cooked bacon pieces. Add blue cheese crumbles if desired.

Nutritional Information (per serving without cheese):

  • Calories: 488
  • Total Carbs: 9.2 grams
  • Net Carbs: 7.5 grams
  • Fat: 49 grams
  • Protein: 5.2 grams

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Keto Strawberry Cream Pie

Dessert can be a final course—or it can be a true finale. This show-stopping pie definitely fits the latter category. Imagine setting this on the table in front of family and guests. Who do you think would be able to resist the colorful, creamy treat? We thought so.

A little fluffier than cheesecake, the lighter filling is a great complement to a dense but sweet crust that will leave graham crackers in the dust. But the best thing? It’s low-carb, Primal and even keto-friendly.

Servings: 10 medium slices

Time In the Kitchen: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Chill Time: 4 hours

Ingredients:

Crust:

Filling:

  • 8 oz. organic cream cheese, softened
  • 4 cups fresh strawberries, divided
  • 2 cups organic heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. Swerve (or more to taste)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp. gelatin
  • 5 Tbsp. boiling water

Instructions:

For crust, blend almond flour, Collagen Fuel, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Add butter and mix well.

Scrape the batter into a 9-inch springform pan. Smooth the crust mixture over the bottom and up the sides with your fingers or a rubber spatula.

*Note: if crust doesn’t come together, add a little more melted butter.

Place the pie on a cookie sheet (to keep the bottom from burning), and bake for 15 minutes at 350 ºF.

For pie filling, add boiling water to gelatin and whisk (by hand/hand mixer or in a standing mixer) until completely dissolved. Add cream cheese to gelatin and whip for about two minutes. (If using a standing mixer, scrape out cream cheese mixture into a side bowl.)

Whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Then add vanilla and whip until stiff peaks form. Add the cream cheese mixture to the whipping cream and whip until just combined.

Mash half of the berries, and chop the other half.

Add the mashed berries to the whipped cream/cream cheese mixture. Using an immersion blender or mixer, blend until creamy with no lumps remaining. Add Swerve to taste.

Pour into crust and chill for four hours.

Nutritional Information (per medium slice, 1/10th of pie):

  • Calories: 453
  • Net Carbs: 8.7 grams
  • Total Carbs: 13 grams
  • Fat: 42 grams
  • Protein: 10 grams

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Weekly Link Love — Edition 40

Research of the Week

12 weeks on a ketogenic diet normalized metabolic and psychological health markers in a 65-year-old woman who’d had type 2 diabetes and clinical depression for 26 years.

The magic of kefir.

Rewiring the brain with gratitude.

Higher protein intakes may save senior bone health.

Oh, good! They’re making “advances” in tech for reducing the cholesterol content of egg yolks.

How sleep loss tanks memory.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 361: Josh Perry: Host Elle Russ chats with Josh Perry, a former pro BMX athlete, current motivational speaker, and certified health coach who’s using a ketogenic diet to fight four brain tumors.

Primal Health Coach Radio, Episode 20: Hosts Erin and Laura chat with Kate Jaramillo about the necessity of creating it if it doesn’t exist.

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

Government panel of nation with thousands of years of history eating cheese, butter, and meat rule that cheese, butter, and meat are terribly unhealthy. And some people have commented on the report.

Here’s what happens to your organs in extreme heat.

I still chuckle at the notion that not eating between meals is a “fad.”

Interesting Blog Posts

Good tips for urban foraging.

Yeah, what if?

Social Notes

I had a great time with Shawn Baker, Paul Saladino, and Brian Sanders discussing meat on Brian’s Peak Human podcast.

Don’t forget about the humble, mighty pushup.

Everything Else

Not all restaurants are buying into the Beyond Meat hype.

What fish can teach us about regenerating limbs.

Man bedridden for 11 years invents a surgery to cure himself.

The curative potential of mastic, ancient Greek medicinal shrub.

Here’s what you’ll be allowed to buy at the grocery store in our glorious future.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

What I mean by “Live Long, Drop Dead”: This.

I think we all knew this: Trees are better than grass.

Story I enjoyed reading: “The Death of a Chimpanzee.”

I marvel at human ingenuity: The innovative new process converting vegetables into meat.

This is wild: One of the longest-lived “organisms” is a 6000 year-old sexually-transmitted dog cancer.

Question I’m Asking

How do you intend to “live long, drop dead”? What will you be doing, and does it involve an escalator?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Jul 28– Aug 3)

Comment of the Week

“My nemesis is the lone star tick, here in rural TN. I created a repellent that I actually tested on a tick. First the recipe: rose geranium oil plus citronella oil, diluted in jojoba oil and a bit of alcohol. I put this in a sprayer. The alcohol makes it easier to spray and less thick.

I tested it by spraying it on a table, and putting a tick next to it. The tick tried to get away from the sprayed spot as fast as possible, repeatedly. Every day, I put this stuff NEAR but not ON the places you never want to get a tick, when I get dressed in the morning. (Mucus membranes should not be exposed to essential oils.)

Also I spray my hat and shoes with permethrin and let it dry overnight. This lasts a few months as a repellent and is relatively non-toxic.

Inspect yourself every evening for ticks. If one bites you, but you get it off within 24 hours, it is unlikely to infect you with any diseases.”

– Good tick tips, shannon stoney.

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13 Keto Frozen Treats

A special thanks to Courtney Hamilton at Paleohacks.com for today’s keto recipe roundup.

Popsicles, ice cream, and icy drinks—did you say goodbye to all these summer treats when you embarked on a keto diet? Well, with these recipes, you can have your frozen goodie and fuel ketosis, too.

These low-carb frozen keto treats include everything that’s great about an icy-cool dessert, but cut out all the sugar, additives, and excess carbs.

Enjoy simple 3-ingredient chocolate Popsicles, or jazz them up with a chocolate drizzle and a sprinkle of sea salt.

Cool down with gorgeously swirly coconut milk Popsicles sweetened naturally with blueberries, lime juice, and mint. If you’re a chocolate lover, try an amazingly fudgy Popsicle or a no-churn ice cream.

Get ready to cool down this summer with your favorite frosty keto treat!

PaleoHacks | Copycat Starbucks Keto White Drink

Drive up to this healthy homemade version of a Starbucks classic when you blend wholesome ingredients like peach white tea, coconut cream, and vanilla extract with a cup of ice.

Ketogasm | Keto Popsicles with Coconut Milk

Coconut milk and blueberries swirl together with lime juice and mint for a beautifully sophisticated pop.

PaleoHacks | Keto Chocolate Frosty

You’ll still have to choose between straw and a spoon when you cozy up to this thick and chocolatey favorite.

Sugar-Free Mom | Keto Strawberry Fudge Popsicles

Think of chocolate-covered strawberries, only frozen and on a stick!

What Great Grandma Ate | Creamy Keto Fudgesicles

It’s a rich and creamy take on a classic, but without all the sugar.

Healthy Little Peach | Strawberry and Cream Popsicles

You only need a handful of ingredients, a blender, and a Popsicle mold to whip up these icy cold treats.

The Big Man’s World | 3-Ingredient Keto Vanilla Ice Cream

Do you have a can of coconut milk, some cashew butter, and vanilla stevia? Then you can enjoy this easy-peasy, no-churn ice cream.

Gnom-Gnom | 3-Ingredient Paleo and Keto Chocolate Popsicles

We love the plain chocolate version, but you can jazz things up with a dark chocolate drizzle, toasted nuts, or a touch of espresso powder.

Sugar-Free Mom | Keto Butter Pecan Ice Cream

Use an ice cream maker to get this classic flavor as fluffy and pure as the original.

Peace Love and Low Carb | Mixed Berry Coconut Creamsicles

It’s like your favorite fruit salad, mixed with cream and popped onto a stick.

Gnom-Gnom | No Churn Paleo and Keto Vanilla Ice Cream

Your ice cream scooper will be begging to dig into this full-fat, uber-creamy treat.

Beaming Baker | 4-Ingredient Almond Butter Ice Cream

We love a tasty spoonful of almond butter, but it’s infinitely better when blended with coconut cream and stashed in the freezer for awhile.

I Breathe I’m Hungry | No Churn Keto Chocolate Ice Cream

Whipped egg whites are the secret behind this intensely indulgent treat.

Thanks again to Courtney Hamilton from Paleohacks.com. Interested in seeing a certain recipe or roundup of a certain category—Primal or Primal-keto? Let us know below!

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10 Keto Hacks to Try…Or Not

When I say “hack” or “biohack,” what does that call to mind for you? Taking 20 supplements per day, shining special lights into your ears, stem cell injections? Simpler things like wearing blue light blocking glasses or turning your shower to cold for 30 seconds?

The term has become ubiquitous in modern parlance, to the point where its meaning has become blurred. On the one hand, hacking can be about optimizing—taking your health and fitness to the next level once you have the basics dialed in, or adopting strategies aimed at living well over 100. On the other hand, a hack can also be a shortcut or trick designed to reap certain benefits without putting in the usual work. (Whether that’s a clever maneuver or a form of “cheating” depends on the context and whom you ask.)

Since the keto diet has reached such massive popularity, there’s also great interest in hacking keto. This probably isn’t surprising since a keto diet is more restrictive than other ways of eating. Any tactic that might make it easier would therefore be welcome. Also, there’s a lot of hype surrounding the keto diet right now. Yes, it will naturally attract people who aim to optimize their health and who want to squeeze the greatest possible effects out of keto. And…occasionally it may attract people who are looking for a quick fix rather than a long-term solution. Some will assuredly be set up for disappointment when it turns out that keto isn’t a panacea. Results aren’t always forthcoming on people’s desired timeline, so they look for tricks to kick it into high gear.

As you’d expect, then, there are lots of resources promoting “keto hacks.” Most of these turn out to be basic common sense tips for any diet: set realistic goals, plan your meals, know how to read ingredient lists, find an accountability partner. This is all great advice, but it’s not about keto per se. Likewise, a lot of so-called keto hacks are just the Primal Blueprint Laws: move a lot (don’t be sedentary), lift heavy things, avoid sketchy oils, sleep. Everyone should be doing those things, keto or not.

In my view, a keto hack is a strategy that goes beyond the basics of ketogenic eating (i.e., drop carbs and increase fat) to do one of the following:

  • Get you into ketosis quickly
  • Make a keto diet easier and/or more enjoyable
  • Enhance the effects of ketosis and/or increase ketone levels
  • Mimic or achieve ketosis without having to strictly restrict dietary carbs

Let’s look at 10 common keto hacks and see how well they jibe with the Keto Reset and Primal approaches.

1. Ingredient Swaps

This one is the most basic, aimed at making keto easier and more enjoyable by taking higher-carbs foods you already know and love and swapping in keto-friendlier ingredients. Think zoodles with pesto and parmesan, almond flour mug bread, cauliflower rice in everything.

This also includes swapping traditional sugars/sweeteners for things like stevia and monk fruit. I’m on the fence regarding the sweeteners. If using keto sweeteners judiciously makes keto sustainable for you, they’re fine in moderation. (Search MDA for articles about the pros and cons of specific options.) However, if they keep your sweet tooth raging and your cravings high, they’re not worth it.

Verdict: Definitely, but be mindful about using keto-friendly sweeteners.

2. Manipulating Your Macros

Once you have the hang of eating basic keto macros, you can choose to strategically manipulate your intake of fat, protein, and carbs. You might want to do this if there’s still room for improving how you feel day-to-day or if you want to make faster progress toward your goals. Dropping dietary fat to lose body fat is one of the advanced strategies described in The Keto Reset Diet. If you’re struggling with hunger, changing your ratio of fat:protein might help. Experimenting with a cyclical or targeted keto approach falls into this category as well.

Verdict: Yes! The Primal+keto approach encourages self-experimentation and finding your personal “sweet spot.”

3. Going Carnivore

More and more people are starting with keto and moving on to carnivore nowadays. For some people it’s about the simplicity—eat meat, don’t eat other foods, done. Other people use carnivore as the ultimate elimination diet because they are desperate to solve the mysteries of their gut or other health issues that paleo/Primal/AIP/keto couldn’t fix.

The jury is still out on whether the carnivore diet is safe long term. As with keto, it surely depends on how you implement it. Are you truly eating nose to tail—organs, skin, blood, glands? That’s very different than only eating ground beef and ribeye. Personally, I doubt that it’s optimal compared to a diet that is at least somewhat omnivorous, but we need more data. Furthermore, I haven’t seen evidence that it’s superior health-wise to Primal+keto for the general population. Of course, if it profoundly changes an individual’s health for the better, that’s a different story.  

Verdict: As a short-term experiment, sure. As a long-term diet, I’d need a good reason. (Not wanting to make a salad wouldn’t be good enough for me.)  

4. Measuring Ketones and/or Blood Glucose

This falls into the category of self-quantification—not exactly a hack so much as a tool that biohackers use to track how their bodies respond to different stimuli. For individuals who are dealing with medical issues for which blood sugar regulation or ketone levels are important, measuring is a must. For the rest of us, tracking can be a useful tool, especially to see how these markers are affected by specific foods or quantities of foods. Some people simply like gathering data, and that’s cool too.

Just remember that higher ketone levels are not in and of themselves the goal (except in specific medical situations). Ketone and blood glucose levels do not directly predict weight loss or other outcomes, although they can give you some clues about what’s going on in your body.

Verdict: A useful tool for learning about your body, but not necessary if you’re doing keto for general wellness or weight loss. Subjective measures often suffice.

5. Incorporating MCT Oil

Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) can be especially useful for supporting a keto diet and are traditionally used in keto fatty coffee recipes. MCTs are digested differently from other fats, going directly to the liver where they can be converted into ketones. The increased ketone production is probably why some people report experiencing greater mental clarity or appetite suppression when they incorporate MCT oil into their diets. Research also suggests that MCTs increase the thermic effect of food and promote greater body fat loss, a benefit to those hoping to lose weight with keto. They might also positively affect gut health.

Because MCTs can raise ketones even when consumed alongside high-carb foods, using MCTs might allow you to still reap some of the benefits of ketosis on higher-carb days. MCTs can also be used alongside intermittent fasting to enhance ketone production and stave off hunger. (Mark’s official decree about whether MCT oil breaks a fast: “technically yes, but realistically no—and it may even enhance your fasting experience when consumed in moderation.”)

On the other hand, an over-reliance on fatty coffee can crowd out more nutrient-dense breakfast options, and MCTs are still calories (though energy efficient ones). If your weight loss stalls, and you’re consuming a lot of MCT oil, that might be the problem. It’s possible to have too much of a good thing.

Verdict: Thumbs up! Start slowly because MCTs can lead to disaster pants if you’re unaccustomed to using them.

6. Taking Exogenous Ketones

Commercially available ketone salts or ketone esters can be used to raise blood ketones above the levels that are typically achievable with diet alone. They are somewhat controversial in the keto diet world, at least in the corner that we inhabit with the Keto Reset. However, I think the research into their possible applications for medicine, sport, and cognitive performance is intriguing.

I’m less enthusiastic about exogenous ketones as a weight-loss supplement. Yes, exogenous ketones can support a ketogenic diet by suppressing appetite, increasing energy, and being used to extend fasting. They do not, however, cause fat burning and weight loss, which is often how they are portrayed to consumers.

Verdict: Unnecessary and expensive. If you have the funds and want to experiment, by all means do so, but check out Mark’s take on exogenous ketones before you buy.

7. Intermittent Fasting

Keto folks love intermittent fasting. Eating in a compressed window during the day makes it easier to control caloric intake and regulate insulin production over a 24-hour period. Some people notice marked improvements in gut health by giving their guts a break from digesting food all the time. As with MCTs and exogenous ketones, intermittent fasting can “make up” for the effects of a somewhat higher-carb diet, allowing you to loosen the reins on the carb restriction a bit and still be in ketosis some of the time.

Many people also find that they naturally slip into a compressed eating window once the appetite suppressing effects of keto start to kick in. In The Keto Reset Diet, Mark recommends starting by delaying the first meal of the day until hunger ensues naturally. This is a gentle way to introduce intermittent fasting.

There are important cautions here though. Women need to be more mindful about fasting and caloric restriction than men, as do high-volume athletes. Intermittent fasting can be stressful on the body, so if you are already under a lot of stress from work, family, health issues, poor sleep, or heavy training load, now is not the time to start.

Verdict: Yes! Start by building a foundation of fat-adaptation first through Primal and ketogenic eating.

8. Fat Fasts, Egg Fasts, Etc.

None of these strategies is actually fasting for the record. They’re very-low-carb eating plans that allow a very limited range of foods. Usually they’re aimed at breaking through a weight loss plateau. If they work, it’s likely due to caloric restriction (it’s boring to eat a lot of the same food all the time). Otherwise, the purported benefits are the same as the regular ol’ keto diet: reduced appetite, increased satiety, and insulin regulation.

To me, these don’t pass the sniff test of “optimizing health.” Indeed, if you look at the “rules” for any of these, there are always myriad warnings about not doing them for more than a few days, if you have certain medical conditions, or if you are already low body fat. You can break through weight loss plateaus with other methods and still get plenty of nutrients.

Verdict: No thanks.

9. Fasted Exercise

This is another of the advanced strategies in The Keto Reset Diet, meaning it should only be undertaken once you have acclimated to the keto diet. Mark recommends working out fasted to help accelerate the process of fat- and keto- adaptation and to promote mitochondrial biogenesis and autophagy. Research has also shown that fasted exercise can improve insulin sensitivity, fat-burning, and endurance.

Note that while it can yield beneficial hormonal and metabolic effects (and is probably useful for endurance athletes), training fasted might not be optimal for people looking for muscle gains. Also, fasting can increase the stress of a workout, so if you already struggle with excess stress or cortisol, this strategy is probably not for you.

Verdict: Yes, once you are fat- and keto-adapted. You need not conduct all workouts fasted to reap the benefits.

10. Sprinting

Mark just wrote a very comprehensive two-part series on sprinting (Part 1, Part 2), so I won’t rehash it all here. Suffice it to say sprinting has tremendous adaptive hormonal effects, and it upregulates fat-burning, which all keto folks want. Sprinting can help deplete glycogen stores and get you into a state of ketosis faster. On the flip side, sprinting in a somewhat glycogen-depleted state (as keto folks generally are) enhances the benefits.  

You can adapt sprinting to different fitness levels and physical abilities, so don’t avoid sprinting just because you’re not a runner. If you’re stalled out on your weight loss or fitness goals with your current diet and exercise routine, or if you want to take your fitness to the next level, throwing in the (healthy) stress of sprinting might be just the ticket.

Verdict: Go for it!

Final Thoughts: Use Your Brain (AKA Primal Blueprint Law #9: Avoid Stupid Mistakes)

I feel it’s important to mention that you can be successful and happy with a keto approach that involves none of these hacks. Also, of course, some of these might be inappropriate for your unique situation. With any hacks, understand why you are doing them, as well as the possible benefits and downsides. Don’t try something just because you saw it on YouTube or heard about it from your neighbor if it doesn’t feel right to you.

Most of all, don’t get sucked into the “keto harder” mentality where you just keep pushing and pushing your body to achieve better/faster results to the point where you go way past what is healthy or necessary for you. Be mindful about keeping self-imposed stressors in the “adaptive” category, and don’t compare your journey to others’.  

Do you practice any of these? Do you have questions on other keto “hacks” you’ve heard about? Share your thoughts below, and thanks for stopping in today.

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Dear Mark: Safe Tick Repellant, Fish Intake on Mediterranean Diet, and Therapeutic Value of Wine

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering a few questions from recent comment boards. First, with all the scary tick-related news coming out lately, are there any non-toxic tick repellents that actually work? Are there essential oils that repel and/or kill ticks? Is there a safer way to use insecticides? Next, were the people in the Mediterranean keto study actually eating a kilo of fish on their fish days? And is the wine an important part of the Mediterranean diet? Is the wine therapeutic or just for pleasure?

Let’s find out:

Non toxic effective tick repellents safe for children? Any suggestions? I live in NC so the tick thing scares the hell out of me. Found at parks in short grasses, like how am I supposed to avoid this???

If you want to avoid DEET and other pesticides, there are many essential oils that repel ticks. Let’s go through the various tick species.

The castor bean tick:

Repelled by miswak essential oil and killed by Libyan rosemary essential oil.

Repelled by rosemary and mint essential oils.

Repelled by Dorado azul, also known as pignut or bushmint and traditionally used as mosquito repellant. The terpene known as alpha-humulene was the most repellant terpene found in the oil; you can buy both the oil and the humelene.

Repelled by turmeric oil, even beating out DEET.

The cattle tick:

Repelled by French marigold essential oil.

Repelled by mastrante essential oil.

The deer tick:

Repelled by nootkatone (a grapefruit aromatic compound) and to a lesser degree ECOSMART organic insect repellent. Here’s a cool video showing ticks trying to climb a person’s finger that’s been dipped in nootkatone.

Nothing is 100% guaranteed to repel all ticks. In fact, many of these oils show 50-60% effectiveness in the field. But if you use a combination of relevant essential oils, frequent tick checking, smart clothing choices (long socks, shoes/boots, pants), and avoidance of tick-heavy landscapes (tall grass, oak leaves, etc, notwithstanding these new breeds that apparently love short grass), you’ll be in good hands—or at least better hands than the naked guy rolling around in piles of oak leaves.

And if you’re really worried, you could always tuck pants into your shoes, then spray the shoes and lower section of your pants with peremethrin, an insecticide that kills the ticks as they climb before they can reach your flesh. Use a dedicated pair of pants and shoes that you don’t use for anything else and reapply each time you go out. A light spray on the outside of reasonably-thick pants should provide tick protection without actually putting the pesticide into contact with your skin.

2.2 pounds of fish each day?!

I know, I was surprised to read that myself. But right there, according to the researchers:

We estimated during the first 4 weeks of this study that the average edible fish consumption per subject during the ‘‘fish block’’ day was approximately 1.12 0.41 kg=day.

So it wasn’t just an allowance of fish. They actually tracked their consumption and found they were eating over 2 pounds of fish on average on the days they ate fish.

The study said that they had “fish block” and “no fish block” days. With no mix of fish and other meats on the same day. What is the reason for this?

They offered no justification in the study write-up.

Maybe it was to increase variety.

Maybe it was to reduce their intake of omega-3s. I mean, a kilo of fish per day adds up to a lot of omega-3s, especially if you’re doing sardines and salmon. There is such a thing as too much a good thing, and excessive omega-3 can lead to blood thinning, excessive bleeding, and imbalanced omega-3:omega-6 ratios in the opposite direction.

Maybe it was to help people stick to the diet, to break up all that fish with some meat and chicken.

Great, but why the wine? Is it not a contradictory with ketosis? But is it for pleasure or is it for a therapeutic reason?

Wine is emphasized in Mediterranean diet studies (both keto and regular) because wine is considered an important part of the cuisines of most Mediterranean countries, at least on the European side. Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, and Greece all have an extensive history of wine production and consumption. Since researchers are casting a wide net to capture everything that might be contributing to the health effects, they’re including everything that appears in the “Mediterranean diet.”

But, yes, it’s good to keep in mind that ketosis and alcohol detoxification do utilize some of the same physiological pathways.

Still, wine does appear to have therapeutic effects, especially in people with metabolic syndrome—the subjects of this study.

Red wine is very high in polyphenols, due to both the polyphenols in grapes themselves and the unique polyphenols that form during fermentation. One study compared grape extract to red wine made with the same types of grapes, finding that red wine provided benefits the grape extract did not.

Drinking wine with a fast food meal can reduce postprandial oxidative stress and inflammatory gene expression; it can actually make an otherwise unhealthy meal full of refined, rancid fats less damaging (though still not advisable).

Blood pressure: In people with (but not without) a genetic propensity toward efficient or “fast” alcohol metabolism, drinking red wine at dinner seems to lower blood pressure.

Type 2 diabetics: Type 2 diabetics who initiate red wine drinking at dinner see reduced signs of metabolic syndrome, including moderately improved glycemic control and blood lipids.

Inflammation: A study found that non-drinkers who begin regularly drinking moderate amounts of Sicilian red wine enjoy reduced inflammatory markers and improved blood lipids.

I’d say the wine is a therapeutic addition to the Mediterranean keto diet. Don’t let that override your own experience, however. Wine might have therapeutic effects for many people, but not everyone feels better including it. It’s an option, but it’s hardly a necessary one for a healthy diet.

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask away down below. Thanks for reading, everyone.

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References:

El-seedi HR, Khalil NS, Azeem M, et al. Chemical composition and repellency of essential oils from four medicinal plants against Ixodes ricinus nymphs (Acari: Ixodidae). J Med Entomol. 2012;49(5):1067-75.

Ashitani T, Garboui SS, Schubert F, et al. Activity studies of sesquiterpene oxides and sulfides from the plant Hyptis suaveolens (Lamiaceae) and its repellency on Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae). Exp Appl Acarol. 2015;67(4):595-606.

Goode P, Ellse L, Wall R. Preventing tick attachment to dogs using essential oils. Ticks Tick Borne Dis. 2018;9(4):921-926.

Politi FAS, Fantatto RR, Da silva AA, et al. Evaluation of Tagetes patula (Asteraceae) as an ecological alternative in the search for natural control of the cattle tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus (Acari: Ixodidae). Exp Appl Acarol. 2019;77(4):601-618.

Lima Ada S, Carvalho JF, Peixoto MG, Blank AF, Borges LM, Costa junior LM. Assessment of the repellent effect of Lippia alba essential oil and major monoterpenes on the cattle tick Rhipicephalus microplus. Med Vet Entomol. 2016;30(1):73-7.

Schulze TL, Jordan RA, Dolan MC. Experimental use of two standard tick collection methods to evaluate the relative effectiveness of several plant-derived and synthetic repellents against Ixodes scapularis and Amblyomma americanum (Acari: Ixodidae). J Econ Entomol. 2011;104(6):2062-7.

Hansen AS, Marckmann P, Dragsted LO, Finné nielsen IL, Nielsen SE, Grønbaek M. Effect of red wine and red grape extract on blood lipids, haemostatic factors, and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2005;59(3):449-55.

Di renzo L, Carraro A, Valente R, Iacopino L, Colica C, De lorenzo A. Intake of red wine in different meals modulates oxidized LDL level, oxidative and inflammatory gene expression in healthy people: a randomized crossover trial. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2014;2014:681318.

Gepner Y, Henkin Y, Schwarzfuchs D, et al. Differential Effect of Initiating Moderate Red Wine Consumption on 24-h Blood Pressure by Alcohol Dehydrogenase Genotypes: Randomized Trial in Type 2 Diabetes. Am J Hypertens. 2016;29(4):476-83.

Gepner Y, Golan R, Harman-boehm I, et al. Effects of Initiating Moderate Alcohol Intake on Cardiometabolic Risk in Adults With Type 2 Diabetes: A 2-Year Randomized, Controlled Trial. Ann Intern Med. 2015;163(8):569-79.

Avellone G, Di garbo V, Campisi D, et al. Effects of moderate Sicilian red wine consumption on inflammatory biomarkers of atherosclerosis. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2006;60(1):41-7.

The post Dear Mark: Safe Tick Repellant, Fish Intake on Mediterranean Diet, and Therapeutic Value of Wine appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

Primal + Keto Cooking Made Easy: Collard Green Tuna Wraps

If you’re looking for a quick keto-friendly lunch, look no further. In less than ten minutes, you can throw together these tuna wraps using one of our favorite greens for all your wrap needs—collard green leaves. A bit of Primal-friendly mayo, some veggies, and a bit of fresh lemon juice give plenty of creamy flavor to this easy (and economical) meal you can grab and go with.

Check it out….

Collard Green Tuna Wraps

Servings: 12 wraps

Time In the Kitchen: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 collard leaves
  • 1 tin of tuna
  • 2 Tbsp. Primal Kitchen Mayo (your favorite flavor)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 squeezes fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup cucumber (cut into matchstick shape)
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/8 cup radish (cut into matchstick shape)
  • 1/4 avocado (in slices)

Instructions:

Wash and dry collard leaves. Use a paring knife to cut the stems.

In a small bowl, combine tuna with mayo, salt and pepper, and lemon juice. Mix well.

Place collard leaves on a flat surface (1 large leaf per wrap). Top each leaf with tuna mixture and veggies, placing all ingredients on one end of the leaf.

Wrap up it up like you would a burrito—fold the leaf over top of the mixture and keep rolling, tucking both sides in as you roll. Cut the wrap in half. (You can use a toothpick to secure if desired.) Repeat the process with the other wrap. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information (1 wrap):

  • Calories: 244
  • Total Carbs: 5.7 grams
  • Net Carbs: 24.5 grams
  • Fat: 18 grams
  • Protein: 18 grams

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Honey Mustard Pork Tenderloin with Bacon Broccoli Salad

Today we’re serving up a Primal+keto dinner you’ll put on the regular rotation for its flavor and ease: succulent pork tenderloin, made juicier and richer with a honey mustard marinade alongside a cool, crunchy broccoli salad with celery, radishes macadamia nuts and bacon.

Customize with your favorite marinade flavors as well as your veggies, nuts or seeds of choice. Midweek meals just got more delicious….

Servings: 3

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

Pork:

Broccoli Salad:

  • 4 slices Bacon
  • 3 cups chopped Broccoli Florets
  • 2.5 Tbsp. Primal Kitchen Garlic Aioli Mayo
  • 1 Tbsp. Bacon Fat
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • 3 Tbsp. Macadamia Nuts
  • 2 Tbsp. diced Red Onion
  • 1/2 cup Radishes, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/4 cup diced Celery

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Once hot, place a seasoned and lightly oiled cast iron pan in the oven for 15-20 minutes until it is hot.

In a bowl, combine the Primal Kitchen Honey Mustard Dressing and Marinade, garlic, rosemary, and thyme. Taste the mixture and season accordingly with salt and pepper. Add the pork tenderloin and rub the marinade all over it. Allow the pork to marinate in the fridge for 15-30 minutes.

Once the pan is hot, set it over your stove top burner over medium-high heat. Lightly pat the pork dry with a paper towel and place the pork in the pan, making sure to slightly tuck the tail of the tenderloin under itself. Sear the pork for 2-3 minutes on each side, then place the pan into the oven. Remove the pork when it reaches your desired internal temperature, between 145-160 degrees. Spoon any extra juices from the pan over the pork and allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing.

(If you are preparing it on a grill, preheat one side of the grill over medium-high heat, and the other over low heat. Lightly oil the grill grate and pat the pork to remove any residual liquid. Place the pork on the side that’s set to medium-high heat and grill for 2-3 minutes on one side, then flip it over for an additional 2-3 minutes. Repeat this again and grill for an additional 1-3 minutes on each side, then transfer the pork to the side with the lower heat. Cover the grill and grill under the internal temperature reaches between 145-155 degrees. Since the tail is so much thinner than the rest of the tenderloin, slightly tuck the tail of the tenderloin under the rest of the pork when cooking to prevent the thinner end from overcooking and drying out.)

To make the broccoli salad, roast the bacon on a sheet pan at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until it reaches the doneness of your liking. Roughly chop the bacon and set it aside. Reserve a tablespoon of the bacon fat for the next step.

Combine the Primal Kitchen Garlic Aioli Mayo with a tablespoon of bacon fat and the lemon juice. Toss the chopped broccoli with the mayo mixture and fold in the bacon, macadamia nuts, onions, radishes and celery. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with the pork tenderloin. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information (4 oz. Pork and 1/3 of Salad):

  • Calories: 506
  • Total Carbs: 12 grams
  • Net Carbs: 9 grams
  • Fat: 39 grams
  • Protein: 28 grams

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Weekly Link Love — Edition 39

Research of the Week

Why marathoners hit the wall.

For women, the smell of a newborn triggers a dopamine rush in brain reward centers.

Resistance training for older adults: a position statement.

Trees keep nearby stumps alive.

Early hominids breast fed as long as six years.

If you eat a standard American diet, nuts may help your nuts.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 359: Daniel J. Siegel MD: Host Elle Russ chats with Dr. Daniel J. Siegel about the power of mindful awareness.

Episode 360: Dr. Tommy Wood Setting Us Straight on Carnivore, Plant-Based, Testosterone, and the Quantified Self Movement: Host Brad Kearns chats with Dr. Tommy Wood.

Primal Health Coach Radio, Episode 19: Hosts Erin and Laura chat with Michelle Pfenninghaus about the importance of treating your business like a business.

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

Should you take rapamycin?

Vox on keto.

Interesting Blog Posts

How important are social relations for health?

How one man changed his blood lipids by adding in some targeted carbohydrate (while staying ketogenic).

Success Stories

Dean Brennan’s story.

Social Notes

What to do this summer.

Everything Else

The importance of harmony.

Brad Barton is killing it.

The Saudi Crown Prince’s vision of the future (involves robot Blood Sport competitions).

Will exogenous ketones be banned at the Tour de France?

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

Podcast I recently did: Discussing building a powerful personal brand and becoming a successful entrepreneur at any age with Lewis Howes.

Blog post I enjoyed: The one discussing what we know about Neu5Gc and heart disease in humans.

Article I found relevant: How to prevent and treat heat stroke.

Tick story I found terrible: Ticks successfully kill a cow by exsanguination.

This is a powerful story: The new human story.

Question I’m Asking

How important has social connection been in your life and health?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Jul 21 – Jul 27)

Comment of the Week

“You know, I feel like I’ve heard a lot of sneering about dynamic tension. It’s nice to know those comic book ads from the 70s were right.”

– I attribute a lot of my success in life to the pair of X-ray specs I bought out the back of a Spiderman comic, Ion Freeman (itself a great comic book name).

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The post Weekly Link Love — Edition 39 appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

15 Low-Carb, Keto-Friendly Desserts

A special thanks to Courtney Hamilton at Paleohacks.com for today’s keto recipe roundup.

Yes, you can have desserts while on keto! These totally sugar-free and low-carb recipes prove that it’s not only possible, but also deliciously satisfying.

The trick to keto desserts is relying on healthy fats to provide richness while using low-carb sweeteners like monk fruit or stevia.

On this list, you’ll find a bevy of keto-approved dessert options, from fudgy brownies to dairy-free cheesecakes. Need a birthday cake recipe? We’ve got that covered. Craving candy? Try a keto and Paleo “PB&J” cup, no peanut butter necessary.

When a sweet craving strikes, these keto-friendly desserts are here to keep you on track.

#1 Our Paleo Life | Keto Chocolate Peppermint Fat Bombs

These candy-like treats are loaded with healthy fats from cocoa butter, coconut oil, coconut butter, and MCT oil.

#2 PaleoHacks | Keto Chocolate Avocado Brownies

We love these uber-rich, sugar-free brownies made possible with a healthy dose of creamy avocado.

#3 Paleo Running Momma | Fudgy Keto Brownies

If you’re not keen on avocado in your brownies, no worries. Try these impossibly rich, super-fudgy brownies instead.

#4 PaleoHacks | Keto “PB&J” Cups

Nix the lectin-filled peanut butter and whip up these almond butter cups with a stevia-sweetened raspberry jelly.

#5 Healy Eats Real | Classic Vanilla Coconut Flour Cake

Need a keto birthday cake recipe? This classically indulgent vanilla cake stays fluffy and light with a keto buttercream frosting. Top with berries for a pop of keto-friendly color!

#6 PaleoHacks | Keto Chocolate Cloud Cookies

Whip up these fluffy cloud cookies to see the power of egg whites in action.

#7 Pretty Pies | Key Lime Parfaits

Why bake up a whole key lime pie when you can enjoy these no-bake, keto-friendly parfait cups instead?

#8 PaleoHacks | Strawberry Cashew Fat Bombs

Cashew butter and coconut butter are the creamy base of these fat bombs, made complete with freeze-dried strawberries and a dash of lemon juice.

#9 Food Faith Fitness | Whipped Shortbread Cookies

I can’t believe there’s no butter! These buttery keto shortbread cookies are made from dairy-free ghee.

#10 PaleoHacks | Keto Almond Fruit Apricot Crumb Bars

If you’re a fan of apricots, you’ll love these healthy bars with a coconut cream layer and a crumbly almond flour topping.

#11 The Big Man’s World | No Bake Salted Caramel Energy Balls

All you need is five minutes and five ingredients for these sunflower seed butter treats!

#12 PaleoHacks | Keto White Chocolate Truffles

While you can’t technically have white chocolate on keto, these sneaky truffles combine coconut butter and coconut cream to achieve a similar effect.

#13 PaleoHacks | Keto Eggnog Cheesecakes Made in a Muffin Tin

A simple almond-cinnamon crust sits at the bottom of these rich eggnog cheesecakes, made with coconut cream, nutmeg, and cashews.

#14 PaleoHacks | Slow Cooker Keto Blueberry Lemon Cake

Did you know you can make keto cake in a slow cooker? Yeah, that means you don’t have to turn your oven on!

#15 PaleoHacks | The Best Keto Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you’re a chocolate lover, you’re not going to want to miss these classic chocolate chip cookies.

Thanks again to Courtney Hamilton from Paleohacks.com. Interested in seeing a certain recipe or roundup of a certain category—Primal or Primal-keto? Let us know below!

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