Friday, July 22, 2016
Why do I put so much effort into growing my own food, when I could buy it easily and cheaply at the grocery store? There are a few reasons. First and foremost, I enjoy it. Second, it allows me to grow the healthiest and best-tasting ingredients possible (although I think you can compose a very healthy diet from grocery store foods). Third, it saves a bit of money. And fourth, it gives me a window into the world of my ancestors.
The fourth point is an important one for me, and it's why I can justify making tortillas the hard way. What's the hard way, you ask? Well, first you plant corn. Then you water and weed it for several months. Then you harvest the corn, shuck it and dry it on the cob.
|Painted Mountain corn from my garden.|
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It’s Friday, 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 Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!
I remember back in 2010 I was looking into changing my health and lifestyle. I had been working out consistently, but still lacked the basics regarding how to eat. I remember at that point, beginning to question everything I ate. I stumbled upon some YouTube channels and blogs regarding grains and the benefits of cutting out grains. While this was a good start, it wasn’t until I walked into a Barnes & Nobel in Rochester, Minnesota that I discovered The Primal Blueprint. I remember going through several pages and telling my wife I wanted to look like the guy in the book, Mark Sisson. After that, I just started visiting Mark’s Daily Apple to answer questions regarding, exercise, sleep, eating, and anything else health related.
I Love Cutting out the Grains:
When I started changing my lifestyle, I began to question everything I had been taught about nutrition, exercise, and health. One of the biggest changes I made was after Googling “Is oatmeal good for you?” While I found a lot of responses stating the so-called benefits of grains and oats, I also found a lot of resources talking about how people needed to cut out oatmeal due to high blood sugar concerns and diabetes. That led me to consciously cut out the oatmeal and grains altogether.
I only Eat Paleo, Run Sprints, Lift Heavy:
I kept things simple. One of the first things I learned from The Primal Blueprint was the simple concept of cutting out the grains, eat fruits, veggies, meats, and drink water. I lift heavy things and run sprints. So I have always focused on those fundamentals into whatever I do with regard to my health. One of the most important was RUN SPRINTS!!! When I first started the Paleo lifestyle I was not running sprints. I think it’s safe to say that I still thought the conventional cardio exercises were going to be enough to keep me fit. I am now very much into sprinting. So in 2013 I started sprinting every week. The first year I did a set of eight sprints a week, the next year I did two sets of eight a week, and now in 2016 I am doing 10 sprints a day(on average). I have noticed muscle growth, definition, greater heart health, and the list of benefits goes on. So I think running sprints religiously every week should be a priority for every Human on Earth.
I Don’t Spend Money on Fitness Memberships:
Since I started on the Paleo lifestyle I have not paid a penny on Gym memberships. The only money I spend on working out is to buy weights, sneakers, or athletic clothing. So I work out on as little to no financial budget as possible. I have weights at home.
So lifting heavy things are a must. I have become creative about it finding heavy weights to lift. My son is 10 years old and weighs a little under 100 or so. I have him get on my back and I run sprints, do push ups, squats, and calf raises.
I Do Not Count Calories:
I eat until I feel full. I make sure I am eating healthy portions of meats, veggies, and fruits. I only drink water. I eat the healthy fats, like paleo friendly mayo, olive oil, and animal fats. I noticed that I was becoming a bit over-indulgent with nuts, so I have since cut out nuts entirely. On occasion, I will eat almonds.
Regulating Glucose Intake:
I remember Mark Sission mentioning on a YouTube video that the less glucose you take in during a lifetime, the better. I try to keep that in perspective. I try to have an omelet or grilled chicken with mayonnaise on hand for any time I need to eat a quick meal. That way I can avoid just munching away on bananas and apples.
Cut Out the Lights at 9:00 PM:
I remember Mark saying that developing a sleep routine is crucial to healthy sleep. This is something that I was not practicing when I first started the Paleo diet. I was working out, eating Paleo, but not cutting out the lights at bedtime. Since 2014 I have started to cut out the electronics after 9:00 PM. I also start reducing lighting at home. I will take a cool shower and just relax in bed with a blindfold over my eyes. So I prioritize darkness and sleep after 9:00 PM, even on the weekends.
The differences are amazing. I have more energy. I don’t feel ashamed of taking off my shirt anymore at the pool. I eat food in order to live, and not live life to eat food. My meals take me to the place I need to go to. Exercise is more about enjoyment, not torture. I see exercise as a stress relieving, fun activity. Exercise is an opportunity to go outdoors, even during the winter. I sleep a lot better. I think that’s one of the best benefits at this point. I always tell people that Paleo can give you a great body, energy, and strength, but best of all is the quality sleep. I wouldn’t trade the quality sleep over anything. I also like to stand up a lot and move now. I cringe at the thought of just sitting all day long. It’s like I feel like my heart is telling me to get up and move, every day.
The last thing I want to share with readers is that I started this journey five years ago. I look back and see that with every passing year I gain more benefits from practicing a Paleo lifestyle. I view life as a chance to give 100% of myself to everything I do. I think the Paleo diet, lifestyle, or whatever you want to call it is part of something bigger than myself. Inside of all of us, we hold the inheritance of our ancestors. These ancestors are flowing in our veins, and they survived massive obstacles. It was with this ability to adapt and overcome challenges that our hunter-gather ancestors gave us the ability to do intermittent fasting, lift heavy things and run sprints. By living a low stress, happy, healthy life, we honor them. They drew a blueprint for us a very long time ago, but that blueprint is still encoded inside of us. As a species, we have deviated from that blueprint, but we can now realign ourselves with it again. It’s what being Human is all about.
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Can water help you lose weight?
One way to lower your BMI may be to drink more water. A new study, published in the Annals of Family Medicine, has found a link between hydration and weight. Examining data from approximately 9,500 U.S. adults participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, researchers at the University of Michigan found that 33 percent of participants were not properly hydrated, and that those who were not tended to have a higher body mass index than those who were. Time notes that the best way to tell if you are adequately hydrated is to gauge the color of your urine: If it’s dark, you need to drink more water or eat more hydrating foods — like fresh fruits and vegetables. If it’s light, you should be A-OK. More research is needed to understand the link between hydration and weight. “But,” study author Dr. Tammy Chang told Time, “staying hydrated is good for you no matter what.”
The high stakes of body weight
In what may be the best argument yet for battling the bulge, a new study has found that being even a little overweight can boost your risk of dying early (i.e., before age 70), regardless of cause. Researchers have long suggested that obesity may raise the risk of diabetes, cancer and heart disease, but this new study, published in The Lancet, establishes that “even slight increase in BMI can cause harm,” lead author Dr. Emanuele Di Angelantonio, of the University of Cambridge, told Time. The study, which examined data from almost 4 million people across 32 countries, found those with a BMI in the “overweight” range were 11 percent more likely to die early than those whose BMI was in the “recommended” range. Those whose weight was on the lower end of the “obesity” range were 45 percent more likely to die young, while those in the highest “obesity” range were almost three times as likely to die young as those in the “recommended” range. Maybe skip dessert tonight.
Allergy alert, department of additives
Could an FDA-approved additive you may not even be aware is in the food you eat cause allergies? Researchers at Michigan State University have found that tert-Butylhydroquinone (aka tBHQ), a food additive used to prevent spoilage and extend the shelf life of everything from cooking oils to crackers to meat products like chicken nuggets, may be a contributing factor in the increase in the incidence of food allergies in recent decades, UPI reports. The additive, which the FDA allows to be used in foods in concentrations of 0.02 percent without being listed as an ingredient on the label, was shown in experiments to affect the immune systems and trigger allergies in lab mice. Further research is now underway.
Amy Reiter is a writer and editor based in New York. A regular contributor to The Los Angeles Times, she has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Glamour, Marie Claire, The Daily Beast and Wine Spectator, among others, as well as for Salon, where she was a longtime editor and senior writer. In addition to contributing to Healthy Eats, she blogs for Food Network’s FN Dish.
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