Life Is Full of Adventure and Possibility

It’s Monday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Monday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

My first MDA Success Story was published in June 2016. Towards the end I said “My story isn’t over. It is just beginning.”

Those words couldn’t be more true.

That success story was about overcoming decades of chronic cystic acne, along with digestive issues and anxiety.

And the Primal lifestyle truly helped me to accomplish all of that. After decades as a vegetarian, pescetarian, and sometimes raw vegan, making a gradual transition to a Primal diet really changed my life.

The big thing for me was the acne. It’s painful enough to grow up with it, but for me it never really went away, despite every prescription drug in the book. There were even three rounds of Accutane along with some horrible side effects. Removing grains and dairy and adding animal protein and fat back into my diet reduced the inflammation very quickly, and within about a month my skin looked dramatically different.

At the same time my skin was miraculously clearing up, my sometimes debilitating digestive issues and anxiety quietly left the room.

And if my story ended there, it would have been a happy ending.

But things just keep getting better.

At the age of 51, my energy levels have increased and I have better body composition than ever. But it’s so much more than that. I’m more adventurous, confident, creative and intuitive.

Since my last success story was published, I’ve gradually transitioned to a keto lifestyle. I refer to it as “borderline keto” since I do not track or measure anything. I know that works great for some people, I just don’t care for it. But by increasing the healthy fats and moderating the protein I feel even more focused and energetic. Even though I had already made the switch, reading The Keto Reset Diet was helpful, and I’ve recommended it to so many people.

I’ve also completed my Primal Health Coach certification (even though I had another health coaching certification under my belt already.) I believe so strongly in the value of this lifestyle and want to learn everything I can, so I continue to educate myself by attending events like Paleo f(x) and reading everything I can get my hands on. I’m also taking my first digital cooking class, Paleo Cooking Bootcamp, and loving it.

When my last success story was published I had been writing a blog called “happy, healthy and hot” for about six months. It was mostly recipes and natural beauty tips presented in a playful, sassy style.

As I wanted to share my message with more people, I started posting on Instagram as well (@happyhealthyandhot_elizabeth), and eventually started sharing more of my lifestyle, including travel, fashion, personal development, and short videos showing easy workouts that I do at home (many times with a cameo appearance by my dog). I used to be a very private person, but I know that sharing these snapshots of my day to day life can show how easy it to live a healthy lifestyle.

I’ve also been featured on other health related websites and have been interviewed for podcasts, including the Primal Blueprint Podcast. Love sharing the happy, healthy and hot message with as many people as I can.

I truly believe that everyone deserves to look and feel amazing, and the Primal lifestyle is a great way to start. Living this way should be fun and easy…if it feels like a chore you’re not doing it right!

What started out as a little health blog is organically growing into a lifestyle brand with followers from all over the world.

Is my life perfect? Absolutely not. During this time I’ve dealt with some major personal challenges just like everyone else. But I’ve come out of them stronger than ever.

People are always asking me what I eat. Here’s a typical day… I start with lemon water and coffee. I always blend Collagen Peptides or Collagen Fuel (vanilla is my fave) into the coffee. There’s usually a blended green drink too…typically something like spinach or baby kale and fresh lemon.

A few hours later I get hungry for some real food, and might make eggs with leftover veggies, or just eat leftovers from the night before.

A second meal will be another form of protein…fish and beef are my favorites and a bunch of non starchy veggies. For example, today I had salmon, roasted brussels sprouts and avocado as a late lunch. Salmon or sardines make an appearance a few times a week…love what they do for my skin.

I’ve tried intermittent fasting but don’t do it on a regular basis. Instead, I just try to listen to my body and eat when I’m truly hungry. Lately I find myself eating two meals rather than three, and maybe having some small snacks.

Most days I’ll have a few squares of super dark chocolate or some type of Paleo “treat,” especially if I’m trying out a new recipe for happy, healthy and hot. Totally enjoy dry red wine from time to time too.

I’m not really into supplements, with the exception of using Collagen Peptides in some form every single day of my life. I’ve been doing this for years, and my skin is firmer now at the age of 51 than it was ten years ago. I also think the collagen keeps me from getting sore when I work out. Some nights I take a magnesium supplement before bed, and the only multi I will take is Primal Master Formula.

I don’t belong to a gym, although I have in the past. For now, I feel great doing some simple workouts at home (love my boss ball) and my dog forces me to get out and walk every single day. Working part time as a bartender is pretty physical too.

There are two things I plan to add this year to increase my fitness: sprinting and pull-ups. I learned so much about the value of sprinting in the Primal Health Coach course, but still haven’t made it part of my fitness routine. So this is the year! And right now I can’t do a pull up to save my life, but that’s going to change in 2018.

I’ve attached some pics from a recent trip to the Bahamas with my daughter, and one from a recipe I posted on my blog.

So I’ll say it again…my story is just beginning. Life is full of adventure and possibility. Can’t wait to see where the next few years take me. Thanks for reading!

The readers featured in our success stories share their experiences in their own words. The Primal Blueprint and Keto Reset diets are not intended as medical intervention or diagnosis. Nor are they replacements for working with a qualified healthcare practitioner. It’s important to speak with your doctor before beginning any new dietary or lifestyle program, and please consult your physician before making any changes to medication or treatment protocols. Each individual’s results may vary.

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Weekly Link Love—Edition 6

Research of the Week

In the healthy elderly, daily aspirin use failed to improve disability-free survival while increasing the risk of bleeding.

Prenatal exposure to PFCS, found in teflon cooking surfaces and plastics used in food packaging, may reduce penis size and fertility.

Adding powdered mustard seed to your cooked broccoli increases the amount of sulforaphane you absorb.

Whether healthy adults eat high- or low-protein diets has no effect on their kidney function.

Just 12% of American adults are metabolically healthy.

Every McDonald’s touchscreen researchers tested had feces on it.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 296: Maureen Vincenty: Host Elle Russ chats with health coach Maureen Vincenty.

Episode 297: Brad’s Keto Tips, Health Mindset, and Reaching Your Goals: Host Brad Kearns talks about his most recent keto happenings and personal developments.

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

The Chinese scientist who edited human embryos appears to be missing.

Harvard plans to start gene-editing sperm.

Sorry, PETA. On behalf of the gluten-intolerant community, the only acceptable replacement for “bringing home the bacon” is “bringing home the bagels made with a blend of millet, rice flour, and xanthan gum.”

Reader Question

Mark, thoughts on the new study “Hunter-gatherers as models in public health.”

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/obr.12785#.XAfqBQCuJzc.twitter

Very interesting. I’ll discuss it briefly today, and maybe later on go into it more in depth.

It hits most of the points I’ve been discussing for years.

Daily activity level is high (over 100 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous activity), energy expenditure is no higher than modern people. So they’re moving around a lot at a slow/moderate pace, but they aren’t chasing “calorie burn.” It’s the daily, frequent movement you do that matters most, not the number of calories you burn in order to “earn” that trove of mongongo nuts or slab of honeycomb.

Calorie density low, micronutrient density high. This is the opposite of the modern Western diet, which is high in calories and low in micronutrients.

Carbohydrate content varies, but is always accompanied by high fiber intake. These guys are eating over 100 grams of fiber, much of it prebiotic substrate for their gut bacteria, a day on the regular.

Normal lifespan (60-70+ years), assuming they survive childhood and young adulthood. They’re not “dropping dead at 30” en masse. Most deaths caused by infection or trauma—two things modern medicine is great at treating.

There’s much more, but that’s a good overview for now.

Interesting Blog Posts

Deleted from Wikipedia for questioning the narrative.

Everything Else

Blood-delivering drone service expands across Africa.

Modeling the harms, risks, and benefits of various statins for different populations.

About food, from food.

One season of football changes the brain scans of young players.

British doctors will soon be prescribing singing, dance, music, and art lessons.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

Podcast I enjoyed doing: The Primal Example Podcast, where I chatted with Joe about the Kraft acquisition.

Study I found interesting: How hunger (for food) and curiosity (for knowledge) occur in the same brain region.

Question to ponder: Does DNA make us who we are?

Not a bad idea: Restaurant where kids eat free if parents don’t use their phones.

I’m impressed: Type 1 diabetic completes 1008 km non-stop bike race.

Question I’m Asking

Does DNA indeed make us who we are? Where does free will fit into it all?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Dec 1– Dec 7)

Comment of the Week

“It has a well-deserved nickname of ‘MetFartin’.”

MetFartin‘ is what my buddies and I would do back in high school on weekend trips down to NYC. Hit the museums, find a particularly stuffy group of art enthusiasts, and, well….

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4 Low-Carb (& Keto-Friendly) Cocktails

It’s holiday party season, and no one wants to be left out of the celebration. Whether you’re eating Primal, paleo, general low-carb or even keto, there’s no reason to relegate yourself to club soda when you’d rather be enjoying something more… festive. Today we’ve got four delicious takes on classic cocktail recipes for your holiday.

With natural, no-sugar wine (we use Dry Farm Wines), you can enjoy lighter, low-carb versions of your favorite drinks. So, raise a glass—and be sure to make enough to go around.

Low-Carb Holiday Sangria

Sangria is a versatile drink that takes on the character of whatever fruits you put in it. Citrus, apples, even peaches are often used for traditional summer versions of both the “red” and “white” recipes. We happen to think this holiday version is the best yet.

Light, fruity and festive, white wine and seltzer are brightened up by cheery pomegranate seeds and cranberries for a tart taste and fresh finish—all with a beautiful presentation that will add wow-factor to your cocktail serving or dinner table.

Low-Carb White Mint Julep

While mint juleps are certainly a cooling drink for the intense summer heat, winter’s quintessential flavors also claim mint among for their own. With a bright taste and fresh bite, mint juleps are traditionally made with bourbon and syrup. That’s a little heavy (and sweet), however, for those on a lower-carb protocol like Primal or keto.

Here’s a lighter, less potent version of a julep with just as much classic flavor. Mix up a garnished pitcher for your guests at your next party.

Low-Carb Ginger Bliss

Ginger Bliss brings together the classic combination of ginger and lemon, but this recipe pairs the combo with dry white wine rather than heavy liquor for a lighter, brighter taste.  All the flavor with fewer carbs and none of the regret…. Consider it a fizzy and festive option for any cocktail party year round.

Low-Carb Mulled Wine

This time of year nothing rings in the festivities like traditional mulled wine. Warm, spicy and rich, it’s the perfect drink for both comfort and celebration.

Regular mulled wine recipes include a hefty dose of sugar, but that’s unnecessary when you take advantage of the many incredible varieties of natural low-carb sweeteners out there. All the flavor, none of the added sugar. Tradition is back on the table.

Which of the above is on your holiday list now? Share your favorite low-carb cocktail recipes below.

Enjoy This Holiday Partner Promotion!

And be sure to check out Dry Farm Wines promotional offer this week—get a PENNY bottle of wine (yup, 1 penny) with your holiday order. With a special selection of holiday wines, including no-sugar sparkling varieties, there’s no better choice for your Primal or keto holiday table. 

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Does Bone Broth Break a Fast?

This is a surprisingly common question.

To get it out of the way: Yes, it does. Bone broth contains calories, and true fasts do not allow calorie consumption. You eat calories, you break the fast.

However, most people aren’t fasting to be able to brag about eating no calories for X number of days. They fast for shorter (often intermittent) periods of time for specific health benefits. It’s entirely possible that bone broth “breaks a fast” but allows many of the benefits we associate with fasting to occur.

As is the problem with so many of these specific requests, there aren’t any studies addressing the specific question. The scientific community hasn’t caught up to the current trends sweeping the alternative health community. But we can isolate the most common benefits of fasting and see how bone broth—and the components therein—interact.

Common Benefits of Fasting: Does Bone Broth Help or Hinder?

Ketosis

Fasting is a quick and easy (or simple) way to get into ketosis. You have little choice in the matter. Since you’re not eating anything, and your body requires energy, you break down body fat for energy. And because you’ve only got fat “coming in,” you’ll quickly start generating ketone bodies. If bone broth stops ketosis, it’s probably breaking the fast.

Bone broth doesn’t contain any digestible carbohydrates. Common additions like tomato paste and carrots might add a few tenths of a gram of carbohydrate to your cup of broth, but not enough to throw you out of ketosis.

Bone broth is quite high in protein, especially if you make it right or buy the right kind, but if it’s the only thing you’re consuming during your fast, the overall caloric load won’t be enough for the protein in broth to stop ketosis.

I can’t point to a paper. I know for a fact that I’ve consumed bone broth without affecting my ketones.

Fat Burning

Fat-burning is another important aspect of fasting. Since bone broth contains calories, you’ll probably burn slightly less fat drinking broth during a fast. But the calories come from protein, the macronutrient least associated with fat gain and most supportive of lean mass retention. And at any rate, your total calorie intake on a fasting+broth day will be under 100 calories—plenty low enough to promote fat loss.

Insulin Sensitivity

Over the long term, fasting is an effective way to improve insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. Most things that make you better at burning fat and expending, rather than storing, energy—like exercise, low-carb diets, weight loss in general—tend to improve insulin sensitivity over time. But the sometimes counterintuitive piece to all this is that in the short term, fasting can reduce insulin sensitivity. This is a physiological measure the body takes to preserve what little glucose remains for the brain. All the other tissues become insulin resistant so that the parts of the brain that can’t run on ketones and require glucose get enough of the latter to function.

There’s also the matter of sleep, fasting, and insulin sensitivity to consider. Some people report sleep disturbances during fasts, especially longer fasts. This is common. If the body perceives the fast as stressful, or if you aren’t quite adapted to burning fat, you may interpret the depleted liver glycogen as dangerous and be woken up to refuel in the middle of the night. Some people just have trouble sleeping on low-calorie intakes in general, and a fast is about as low as you can get. If that’s you, and your fasting is hurting your sleep, it’s most likely also impairing your insulin sensitivity because a bad night’s sleep is one of the most reliable ways to induce a state of insulin resistance. There’s some indication that total sleep deprivation creates transient type 2 diabetes.

That’s where bone broth comes in. A big mug of broth is one of my favorite ways to ensure a good night’s sleep. It’s a great source of glycine, an amino acid that has been shown in several studies to improve sleep quality and reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. It may “break” the fast by introducing calories, but a broken fast is preferable to bad sleep and the hit to insulin sensitivity that results from it.

Autophagy

Things fall apart. Cars, tools, buildings, toy trucks, civilizations. That’s entropy, which dictates that all things are constantly heading toward disorder. And people aren’t exempt. Our cells and tissues are subject to entropy, too, only we can resist it. One of the ways our bodies resist entropy is through a process of cellular pruning and cleanup called autophagy.  There’s always a bit of back and forth between autophagy and our cellular detritus, but it occurs most powerfully in periods of caloric restriction. Fasting enhances autophagy like nothing else because it’s a period of total caloric restriction.  If bone broth destroys autophagy, that’d be a big mark against drinking it during a fast.

Amino acids tend to be anti-autophagy signaling agents. When we eat protein, or even consume certain isolated amino acids, autophagy slows. Bone broth is pure protein. It’s almost nothing but amino acids. The key is: Which amino acids are in bone broth, and have they been shown to impede autophagy?

The primary amino acids that make up the gelatin in bone broth are alanine, glycine, proline, hydroxyproline, and glutamine.

Let’s say you’re drinking a mug of strong, really gelatinous bone broth with 15 grams of gelatin protein. How do those amino acids break down?

So it’s a mixed bag. The most prominent amino acid in bone broth—glycine—seems to allow autophagy, but the less proinent amino acids may not. It’s unclear just how much of each amino acid it takes to affect autophagy either way. The absolute amounts found in bone broth are low enough that I’m not too concerned.

What Else To Know…

Okay, so while bone broth technically “breaks” the fast, it may preserve some of the most important benefits. Is there anything else related to bone broth and fasting that deserve mention?

If you’re the type to train in a fasted state and eat right after, you might consider incorporating some bone broth right before the workout. Just like my pre-workout collagen smoothie does, bone broth (plus a little vitamin C to aid the effect) right before a workout improves the adaptations of our connective tissue to the training by increasing collagen deposition in the tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. You’ve already done most of the fast honestly. What’s shaving off a half hour of fasting time by drinking some broth or collagen, especially if you stand to improve your connective tissue in the process? Ask any older athlete and they’ll say they wish they could.

Some spices and herbs that are often added to bone broth can have effects similar to fasting. Take curcumin, found in turmeric. Research shows that it’s an independent activator of mTOR, which in turn can activate autophagy. Ginger and green tea (what, you haven’t tried steeping green tea in bone broth?) are other ones to try. Bone broth with turmeric, green tea, and ginger might actually combine to form a decent autophagy-preserving drink during a fast. Only one way to find out!

That’s about it for bone broth and fasting. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to ask down below.

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References:

Xu X, Wang X, Wu H, et al. Glycine Relieves Intestinal Injury by Maintaining mTOR Signaling and Suppressing AMPK, TLR4, and NOD Signaling in Weaned Piglets after Lipopolysaccharide Challenge. Int J Mol Sci. 2018;19(7)

De urbina JJO, San-miguel B, Vidal-casariego A, et al. Effects Of Oral Glutamine on Inflammatory and Autophagy Responses in Cancer Patients Treated With Abdominal Radiotherapy: A Pilot Randomized Trial. Int J Med Sci. 2017;14(11):1065-1071.

Shaw G, Lee-barthel A, Ross ML, Wang B, Baar K. Vitamin C-enriched gelatin supplementation before intermittent activity augments collagen synthesis. Am J Clin Nutr. 2017;105(1):136-143.

Zhao G, Han X, Zheng S, et al. Curcumin induces autophagy, inhibits proliferation and invasion by downregulating AKT/mTOR signaling pathway in human melanoma cells. Oncol Rep. 2016;35(2):1065-74.

Hung JY, Hsu YL, Li CT, et al. 6-Shogaol, an active constituent of dietary ginger, induces autophagy by inhibiting the AKT/mTOR pathway in human non-small cell lung cancer A549 cells. J Agric Food Chem. 2009;57(20):9809-16.

Zhou J, Farah BL, Sinha RA, et al. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a green tea polyphenol, stimulates hepatic autophagy and lipid clearance. PLoS ONE. 2014;9(1):e87161.

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Instant Pot Un-Stuffed Bell Peppers With Meat Sauce

This recipe takes the ingredients from stuffed peppers (rice, ground meat, bell peppers) and turns them into a meal that’s easier and faster to make. (And if you made and saved part of the delicious bolognese from last week’s Bolognese Sauce With Spaghetti Squash recipe, you’re more than halfway done with dinner!

After tasting this flavorful one-pot meal you’ll probably never bother to stuff peppers again.

Servings: 4

Time in the Kitchen: 20

Ingredients:

  • Leftover Bolognese Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil (30 ml)
  • 3 bell peppers, seeded and cut into 2-inch strips or 8 ounces frozen, chopped bell peppers
  • 4 cups raw cauliflower rice (12 ounces/340 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (5 ml)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
  • 3 scallions, chopped

Instructions:

Select the sauté setting on the Instant Pot and heat the oil. Add bell peppers and sauté about 5 minutes, until soft.

Add the cauliflower rice and sauté about 5 minutes more, until just tender. Season the cauliflower rice and bell peppers with salt and smoked paprika.

Add the leftover Bolognese sauce to the pot. Mix in well and cook until the Bolognese is completely heated.

Garnish the dish with sliced jalapenos and scallions.

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Dear Mark: Metformin Side Effects, Kraft Heinz Deal Questions

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering a few questions from readers. First, the diabetes drug metformin looks like a “wonder” drug, even (or especially) for non-diabetics. Are there any known side effects? Is there anything we should watch out for?

Second, I address some of the concerns and criticisms shared in response to the Kraft Heinz announcement post.

Are there any adverse side effects to Metformin? It was mentioned in the fasting study.

Metformin is a diabetes drug that’s garnered a lot of attention from longevity seekers, health nuts, and low-carbers. I can see why. It appears to improve gut health (possibly because it impedes carbohydrate absorption, thereby increasing the amount of fuel available to our colonic bacteria), reduce cancer risk, lower blood glucose, improve insulin sensitivity, and increase fat loss. As far back as 2012, people I respect like Robb Wolf were suggesting metformin as a general all-purpose health enhancer.

Most of the interest in metformin from the general health crowd comes from its potential effect on longevity. It’s quite good at activating AMPK, the same pathway activated by exercise, fasting, and calorie restriction. There’s even some human research that hints at an effect—diabetics who take metformin actually live longer than non-diabetics who don’t take it. That’s a profound correlation.

But metformin does exert some of its effects via the hormetic pathway, which suggests it’s a stressor and may have a dark side. What could it be?

Well, there’s one main adverse side effect.

B12 depletion. Time and time again, studies show that metformin users are more likely to have B12 deficiency, whether they’re PCOS patients, Type 2 diabetes patients or others. Even when you age-match, health-match, and overall lifestyle-match your groups, the long-term metformin users have a higher chance of B12 deficiency. That certainly sounds causal, and even if it’s not, it’s a big risk. B12 plays a huge role in a host of physiological pathways. It protects against dementia, anxiety, depression, and fatigue. Its absence from vegan diets is one of the main reasons most vegans eventually flounder and have to turn to supplements or sneak into burger joints when no one’s watching. B12 is that important for overall health.

If you’re going to take metformin, make sure you’re tracking your B12 intake and status.

I’m not saying that’s the definitive answer. There may be more side effects. There probably are more. But on the whole, it’s a promising drug.

Now I’m going to address some of the concerns and questions from last week’s post on the Kraft Heinz acquisition. You guys made some good points and asked tough questions. I have answers.

On Disruption Of the Food Industry Being Hard or Impossible:

Believe me: We have disrupted the food industry. The ancestral movement is quite good at disruption. Take the fitness industry—just look at CrossFit and the thousands of small “functional fitness” gyms popping up everywhere. And the lighting industry—notice all the bulbs with warmer, less-blue lighting. And the tech industry—see the sudden development and adoption of “nightmode” to protect sleep and circadian health. Primal Kitchen disrupted the mayo, condiment, and dressing industry, not by upending or destroying it, but by highlighting the coming shift. That’s exactly why the acquisition occurred. They realized that things are changing and have changed, and that a growing number of people care about the quality of their packaged food and are willing to pay for it.

One thing that I didn’t realize until I got into this business—the packaged food business—is that smaller companies all eventually butt up against a ceiling. At some point, the smaller guys simply don’t have access to the same avenues of distribution as the larger guys. This isn’t negotiable. If you want to expand, you need access. From the beginning I wanted to put high-quality mayo, condiments, and dressings—the “extra” stuff that provides much of the added fat and sugar in the Western diet—in millions of homes. I couldn’t do that without access to those distribution channels, those industry connections, that capital. Now I can.

Some Worried About the Quality Of the Product. Will It Change?

I was adamant about maintaining product quality and integrity from the earliest of discussions with Kraft Heinz, and they were fully aligned with this from the beginning. It’s clear to me that Kraft Heinz sees that increasing numbers of people are flipping mayo jars around and scanning the labels. They know that the folks who buy Primal Kitchen products do so only because the ingredients we use are the best around, the very same ingredients you’d use if you were making mayo or dressing at home. If those ingredients change, you will stop buying. Business 101.

I know that. Kraft Heinz knows that.

On Extreme Skepticism:

We all have choices: do we let life unfold before us and respond accordingly, or do we fall prey to cynicism and assume the worst? I strongly recommend not being a cynic. It keeps many of us from ever fulfilling our potential and achieving our goals and dreams.

When I started Primal Nutrition, I left a well-paid, stable gig and put all my (borrowed) money and energy into the new venture. I had a wife and two small children at home, and the future was uncertain. It could have gone very wrong. But I did it just the same, because on some level I knew it would work. I left security and comfort and a steady paycheck for struggle and nerves and anxiety. My goal of changing how people eat and thrive kept increasing, from a million people, to ten million to a hundred million (I always think big). Now, with the leverage that Kraft Heinz brings, that goal of bringing healthier options to everyone is within reach.

On the Opportunity At Hand:

All across the U.S., in small towns and metropolises, rural communities and suburban sprawl, the vast majority of people are still eating way more seed oil and shifting the fatty acid ratio of their tissues accordingly than humans have ever done.  I think of all the people dousing the salad their doctor said they should start eating in soybean oil-based dressing and buying “olive oil mayo” that was mostly just seed oil, and it frustrates me. Imagine if they switched? Imagine if they all switched? Imagine if we were able to shift the collective omega-6:omega-3 ratio back toward ancestral optimums. Longtime readers know how big a change a person can make in his or her health just by changing the fats you eat. Now imagine a population doing it.

It could be big.

That’s it for today, folks. Take care and share your thoughts below.

As always, thanks for reading.

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References:

Libby G, Donnelly LA, Donnan PT, Alessi DR, Morris AD, Evans JM. New users of metformin are at low risk of incident cancer: a cohort study among people with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2009;32(9):1620-5.

Bannister CA, Holden SE, Jenkins-jones S, et al. Can people with type 2 diabetes live longer than those without? A comparison of mortality in people initiated with metformin or sulphonylurea monotherapy and matched, non-diabetic controls. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2014;16(11):1165-73.

De haes W, Frooninckx L, Van assche R, et al. Metformin promotes lifespan through mitohormesis via the peroxiredoxin PRDX-2. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2014;111(24):E2501-9.

Esmaeilzadeh S, Gholinezhad-chari M, Ghadimi R. The Effect of Metformin Treatment on the Serum Levels of Homocysteine, Folic Acid, and Vitamin B12 in Patients with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. J Hum Reprod Sci. 2017;10(2):95-101.

Pongchaidecha M, Srikusalanukul V, Chattananon A, Tanjariyaporn S. Effect of metformin on plasma homocysteine, vitamin B12 and folic acid: a cross-sectional study in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. J Med Assoc Thai. 2004;87(7):780-7.

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The Only Side Effects I Have Are Feeling Better and Better!

It’s Monday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Monday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

I was 13-years-old when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, I’m 31-years-old now. I was born and raised in a tiny northern California community, 75 miles from access to any specialist. Can you imagine my limitations to healthcare options?

It took the doctors 2 months to diagnose the disease, and by then I was extremely ill. Because of where I lived, I had to travel an hour and a half to see my Gastroenterologist. My GI doctor immediately put me on steroids and pharmaceuticals. The medications helped mask the symptoms, and I started feeling better.

I was eventually referred to a doctor in San Francisco who was up and coming with the latest medical research. That GI put me on a biologic drug called Remicade. For those of you who don’t know what biologics are, have you ever seen those TV commercials advertising for Humira or Remicade? Towards the end of the commercial the narrator spends about 2 minutes listing the scary possible side effects. Back then, there weren’t many of those commercials yet, at least not for this new type of medicine. In a moment of desperation, my parents agreed to give it a try. It would get my sick body into remission, right?

For a couple of years, every 6-8 weeks, I visited different hospitals and care facilities to get the drug. It’s given intravenously—through an IV—and it would take between 5 and 6 hours for the entire IV bag to drain into my blood vessels. It was painful and would sting. I was given Benadryl to knock me out (more drugs!), so I was able doze off uncomfortably while I waited for the medicine to finish draining.

Once I started college, I moved to another city and found a GI doctor there. I was in remission so my new GI took me off Remicade. Since the day I was diagnosed (up until 6 months ago), there have been certain medications I had never stopped taking. In the years to come, I battled with the disease. I would get sick, and my doctor would prescribe a new pharmaceutical or antibiotic for me to try or increase my dosages. Sometimes when I got well enough, I convinced my doctor to take me off the new meds and decrease my dosages. Throughout those years I was in-and-out of remission, and yet Crohn’s was always lingering like a computer virus waiting for its moment to attack.

I can’t tell you how often my family listened to my emotional pleas, crying and desperate for relief. It was messing with my mind and emotions. My moods were constantly up and down—tired, unmotivated, depressed…I had a mental fog hanging over me. And I was in physical pain. Have you ever had a constant pain that doesn’t go away? I was used to it, and I dealt with it, but I didn’t want to accept it. I frequently declined invitations to do things because I didn’t feel well. Furthermore, I was often physically incapable of doing what I desired and loved most: traveling. I worried in the back of my mind that I was becoming more and more socially isolated. Was this changing my friendly and outgoing personality? My mind craved to do things, but my body wouldn’t allow it.

Ever since I had been on medications, my liver showed early signs of sickness. During a check-up in college, a doctor found a nodule near my thyroid. A couple years ago, I suffered extreme headaches on either sides of my head. I had 3 surgeries in one year relating to Crohn’s. My wrist started squeaking and creaking one day, only to find out I had “arthritis.” I got a crazy rash attack on my face one summer. My hair and nails were fragile and weak, and my skin was dry. My weight was constantly up and down. And I was regularly sick with the common cold or flu. These were side effects and symptoms of imbalance in my body. My body was crying for help.

Eventually I got ill again, and the meds stopped working. My doctor’s only option was to put me on another biologic drug. I wasn’t going to allow that in my body again! So I became my own advocate. I found a Holistic Nutritionist, who I call my Angel. The minute I met her, I knew it felt right. After telling her my story, the first thing she said to me was, “I can help you.” I burst into tears. She was so positive of her abilities to help me, and I trusted her with my whole heart.

One year later, I’m happy to say I am in complete remission and off ALL pharmaceutical drugs! I’ve never in my life felt better—physically or mentally. I’m not going to lie and say it was a walk in the park. It took dedication, desire, and a strong will. But I did it—I dove head first into the Alternative World of Healing and haven’t looked back since. I absolutely love my new health protocol. And I feel GOOD about what I put into my body. I love the healthy food I eat, following a Paleo and Ketogenic diet. It has proven to work for me, without any terrible side effects. The only side effects I have are feeling better and better! And the side effects from the medications have since subsided and gone away. I took action, listened to my intuition and decided to do what felt right for me.

Why am I telling you my story? I want you to feel inspired, to take action and be your own health advocate! If you don’t like what your healthcare provider is telling you, get another opinion. Not all opinions are created equal. Not all health practitioners are created equal either. And not all practitioners listen and care about what you want. I want to stress this: IT IS IMPORTANT TO FIND A HEALTHCARE PROVIDER WHO MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD. Who listens to you. Who will work with you. Who will try what you want. It’s important to find the right balance for you. Finding my go-to person has been extremely rewarding because I trust her and I have a special bond with her. She’s proven to me (as my current health status shows), that by following her advice, my natural health protocol is working. I have the capacity/ability to continue getting healthier…it’s only a matter of time.

There is a ton of information out there, and it can be difficult to navigate through everything. Which brand do I use? Which technique is best? Which product do I choose? It can be overwhelming, all of the information we sift through daily. I’m not here to tell you what you should do. I believe each body is different, and what your body is asking for may be different than what my body needs. Since meeting my Holistic Nutritionist, I’ve found other inspirational health coaches who I follow and get information from—such as Mark’s Daily Apple. I believe he is a valuable and knowledgeable source, and has lots of information, advice and recipes, which have helped and guided me.

Seventeen years ago, Crohn’s Disease changed my life. But I’ve chosen to listen to my gut instincts (no pun intended) and do what is right for me.

The readers featured in our success stories share their experiences in their own words. The Primal Blueprint and Keto Reset diets are not intended as medical intervention or diagnosis. Nor are they replacements for working with a qualified healthcare practitioner. It’s important to speak with your doctor before beginning any new dietary or lifestyle program, and please consult your physician before making any changes to medication or treatment protocols. Each individual’s results may vary.

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The post The Only Side Effects I Have Are Feeling Better and Better! appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

Low-Carb “White” Mint Julep

Many of us have memories of mint juleps in summertime. While it’s certainly a cooling drink perfect for the intense summer heat, winter’s quintessential flavors also claim mint among them. With a bright taste and fresh bite, mint juleps are often made with bourbon and syrup. That’s a little heavy (and sweet), however, for those on a lower-carb protocol like Primal or keto.

Here’s a lighter, less potent version of a julep with just as much classic flavor. Mix up a garnished pitcher for your guests at your next party.

Servings: 8

Time in the Kitchen: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle white wine of choice
  • 1 cup seltzer water
  • 3 sprigs fresh mint
  • 1 single serving packet stevia (substitute powdered Swerve if prefer)
  • Extra large ice cubes

Instructions:

“Muddle” (crush and press) six mint leaves, powdered or liquid stevia and small amount of seltzer water in a pitcher or cocktail shaker.

Pour in rest of seltzer and wine. Stir well.

Serve over ice and garnish cups with additional mint.

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The post Low-Carb “White” Mint Julep appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

Weekly Link Love—Edition 5

Research of the Week

AI can predict heart disease risk from studying an eyeball.

Periodic reminder that bacon protects rats against colon cancer.

100 examples of cognitive decline reversal using diet and lifestyle.

Family dinners work.

Drawing helps memorization more than writing.

Humans may not have killed off the African megafauna after all.

Same-race teachers may help student achievement.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 292: Laura Rupsis and Erin Power: Host Elle Russ chats with Laura and Erin about The Primal Health Coach Program.

Episode 293: Longcuts to a Longer Life, Part 1: You know about shortcuts and hacks. Host Brad Kearns talks about “longcuts,” lifestyle shifts that may take more time but offer longer-lasting benefits.

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

Man killed by (mostly) uncontacted North Sentinel island tribe he tried to contact.

Tokyo cafe to use robots controlled by remote employees with severe disabilities.

Interesting Blog Posts

Always get a second opinion. And never ignore your gut feeling.

How the modern diet may have initiated an extinction-level event in our guts.

Social Notes

I went on the Wellness Mama podcast to chat about keto, fasting for women and some Instant Pot tips.

Whoever could have imagined that Mark Sisson’s food brand would make a vegan gift list? Or that one of my recipes would be dubbed the “perfect” post-Thanksgiving vegetarian meal?

Everything Else

I’ll eat my hat if this works out.

The North Sentinelese tribe that killed the missionary has a history of forcefully resisting contact dating back to the time when a Brit kidnapped some adults and kids, let the adults die, and dropped the kids back off several weeks later.

Problem solved, folks! Just block sunlight. I’m sure there won’t be any untoward side effects.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

Study I’m reading: Vitamin K2 contents of cheeses and other foods.

Article I found interesting: A Vaccine for Depression?

I like the honesty: Ethical vegetarian admits that “the environment” isn’t a valid reason to give up meat.

Another study I’m reading: “A time to fast.

I’m impressed: Great photo editing.

Question I’m Asking

Would a “vaccine for everything”—one proven to safely inoculate all of us from any mental or physical health condition or disease—have any negative second- or third-order effects on society as a whole? Or would it be an unqualified boon?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Nov 24– Nov 30)

Comment of the Week

“Funny! yesterday I was saying to my daughter that I was trying to be like if Francis Mallmann and Mark Sisson had a baby. Living with Mallmann”s lifestyle, but ripped as Sisson!.”

– I’d love to see a Mallmann/Sisson amalgam, Rafael, although I don’t know how realistic a baby would be. I’m a big fan of Mallmann, but not like that.

The post Weekly Link Love—Edition 5 appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

An Amazing Development For the Primal Movement…

Good morning, everyone. I’ve got a Weekly Link Love coming up, but first I wanted to share some news with you. 

So, it’s a big day. One of the biggest in my life.

Twelve years ago I set out on a mission to change lives with the beginning of the Mark’s Daily Apple blog. The ancestral health movement was at its very beginnings then, and the push for more natural and organic food choices was still small compared to the conventional offerings and messaging out there. Time went on, and that vision grew into vast new dimensions, including the creation (and dizzying growth) of Primal Kitchen®, my vision for the world’s best-tasting, health-enhancing, real-food pantry staples.

And change lives, we have. Over the last decade, I’ve had to adjust my goal from helping 10 million people claim better health to helping 100 million people do just that. It’s a good problem to have.

I’m excited to share news that I believe will help our Primal community knock that goal out of the park.

The Kraft Heinz Company—the leading player in condiments, makers of the iconic Heinz Ketchup and Grey Poupon mustard—is acquiring the Primal Nutrition and Primal Kitchen® brands. We’re joining Kraft Heinz’s Springboard, a dynamic platform created to partner with founders and brands that will disrupt the food industry.

Primal Kitchen will continue to operate autonomously, the entire team will stay on (with our headquarters based in Oxnard), and Morgan and I oversee the explosive growth of our brand. The products you have come to know and love will continue to be available (and now at more locations), made using the same awesome ingredients, curated as always by yours truly. And I get to spend even more time on my favorite part of the business—developing new sauces and dressings.

Kraft Heinz understands where the consumer is headed: better-for-you products with high-quality ingredients; which is why I’ll continue to man the helm. Primal Kitchen will continue our vision of offering real food products with nothing processed or artificial. So, rest assured—and I say this with certainty—the integrity of our ingredients won’t change. You’ll find the same high quality food products you’ve come to enjoy and trust from Primal Kitchen.

We founded and built the Primal Kitchen business on the unyielding commitment to creating the best-tasting, health-enhancing, real-food pantry staples on the market. This philosophy will stay with us as we leverage the resources of this new partnership. It’s an incredible development for the brand and an amazing opportunity for the Primal health mission.

And, I have to say, it’s a huge testament to how far we’ve come as a movement….

Kraft Heinz recognizes the value of our Primal Kitchen mission and the consumer demand for it. While Primal Kitchen’s growth to date has exceeded all industry standards and expectations, our partnership with an industry leader like Kraft Heinz now offers an unrivaled opportunity to reach millions more of the consumers who have been seeking products like ours for years. Based on the significant time I’ve spent with the Kraft Heinz team, we share a common vision regarding the future of food and the importance of consumer choices. I want you to know that I’ll be staying on as the face and guide for the brand, and I look forward to working with them to grow this partnership.

Finally and most importantly, I want to offer my immense gratitude to my amazing staff and to you, our incredible readers, customers, supporters and fellow travelers on this Primal journey. Twelve years ago, I couldn’t have envisioned this moment or the phenomenal growth of this movement. Your enthusiasm and encouragement have inspired me more than I could ever say and contribute to this vision every day. I’m thrilled to see what’s possible as we move forward together. Thank you for being a part of it.

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