Tuesday, September 27, 2016

10 Ways to Optimize Your Meat Consumption

X Ways to Optimize Your Meat Consumption in lineIn many ways, the Primal Blueprint developed and grew as a response to the ridiculous overreach of conventional wisdom. I only started looking for new ways to eat and train after doing everything “right” ruined me. All that nonsense about saturated fat and cholesterol clogging your arteries, carbohydrates being required for “energy,” healthywholegrains offering nutrients you couldn’t get anywhere else and lifelong protection from disease was so odious and obviously incorrect that it drove tens of thousands of people into the waiting maw of MDA. Perhaps the biggest piece of faulty conventional wisdom is the supposed lethal danger of meat. When you feel great eating meat every day, when a rare steak seems to improve your performance in the gym, when you tried going vegetarian for that hot vegan girl one time and ended up gaining ten pounds of belly fat, it’s hard to believe the experts.

And so you go the other direction. You eat as much meat as you can physically stomach. You eat bacon every morning, burgers every afternoon, and steak every night. If some is good, and the claims of meat’s lethality are erroneous, surely most is best. It’s an understandable backlash.

But it’s probably not the best way forward.

Just because conventional wisdom got animal flesh wrong doesn’t mean there aren’t better and worse ways to eat it.

Just as I’d say with any otherwise healthy food—cheese, almonds, broccoli, spinach, eggs, sweet potatoes—there are limits to healthy consumption. You shouldn’t eat unlimited amounts of anything. There are always downsides.

1. Eat lots of animals, not lots of one animal

Every other year or so there’s a study showing that [enter meat of choice] contains a harmful compound that’s almost certainly killing you. It’s red meat and Neu5GC causing inflammatory diseases like cancer and Hashimoto’s. Or it’s red meat causing increased TMAO production, spurring heart disease. Or wait, it’s fish causing even greater levels of TMAO production. And watch out for chicken; it’s full of omega-6 PUFAs.

I’m not even saying that research should be ignored. It may very well be telling part of the story. Paul Jaminet’s coverage of the Neu5GC issue in particular is somewhat compelling and makes me think twice about eating red meat every single day. Just don’t let it paralyze you. If you ask the “experts,” there’s something “wrong” with almost every meat out there. So spread the “damage” by eating a variety of animals.

Eat ruminants (beef, bison, lamb, pork).

Eat birds (turkey, chicken, duck).

Eat fin fish (salmon, cod, halibut, sardines).

Eat shellfish (oysters, clams, mussels).

Eat cephalopods (squid, cuttlefish, octopus).

Eat insects.

2. Take steps to mitigate excess iron intake

If you eat a lot of red meat, be aware of your iron status and make adjustments if necessary.

Eat calcium-rich foods with your meat. This reduces iron absorption and, in animal studies, reduces the carcinogenicity of dietary heme. In fact, animal studies that show links between red meat/heme intake and colorectal cancer use low-calcium diets. The cancer won’t “take” on high-calcium diets.

Favor SFA over PUFA. PUFAs seem to make heme iron more carcinogenic than SFAs, which are protective. A recent paper suggests that PUFAs make heme more carcinogenic than SFAs. Mice were split into three groups. One group got heme iron plus omega-6 PUFA (from safflower oil). One group got heme iron plus omega-3 PUFA (from fish oil). The third group got heme iron plus saturated fat (from fully hydrogenated coconut oil, which contains zero PUFA). The fecal water of both PUFA groups was full of carcinogenic indicators and lipid oxidation byproducts, and exposing colonic epithelial cells to fecal water from PUFA-fed mice was toxic. The coconut oil-derived fecal water had no markers of toxicity or lipid oxidation.

Give blood if you have iron overload (and maybe even if you don’t). Blood donation is a fast, easy way to reduce iron levels in your blood.

3. Don’t grill, sear, and char every piece of meat you eat

Healthy people can easily handle a seared piece of meat or crispy roasted chicken. A lovely seared steak, rare on the inside, is perfection. That’s no mistake; that’s our biology responding to a bolus of important nutrients. There’s even a good chance that the occasional intake of high-heat carcinogens provokes a beneficial hormetic response.

Don’t stress out over this—despite their love of grilled red meat, Argentines have some of the lowest rates of colon cancer in the world—but don’t ignore it, either.

4. If you’ve got type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance issues, limit high-heat cooked meat

I know I know. That crispy chicken skin is the best part of a roasted bird. But the evidence is pretty clear that for folks with type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, and other hallmarks of the metabolic syndrome, reducing intake of dietary AGEs (advanced glycation endproducts, formed during high-heat dry cooking) can improve outcomes.

Keep eating the meat—a higher-fat, higher-protein, lower-carb Primal way of eating that includes animal products can really help type 2 diabetics—but focus on gentler cooking methods:

  • Use liquid—moist cooking.
  • Use lower heats.
  • Use shorter cooking times (learn to love rare steak).
  • Use marinades, especially acidic ones (lemon juice, lime juice, vinegar).
  • Cook with spices and herbs, many of which inhibit AGE formation.

Notice I didn’t say “boil your meat.” That’s extreme. You’ll still have tons of flavor with gentle cooking—think braises, stews, soups, broths, and other similarly delicious ways to eat—while limiting the Maillard reaction.

5. Eat the whole animal—or a facsimile of it

I don’t mean you have to haul an entire steer into your kitchen. But do try to recreate the effect of eating the entire animal, which is how humans consumed “meat” for hundreds of thousands of years. Get the bones, scrape the marrow, and make broth. Eat the offal, especially the liver and heart. Don’t toss the skin (and consider asking your butcher for extra swathes of it!).

6. Eat plenty of plants

A couple years ago, I made the case that vegetables, herbs, and other edible plants are especially important for meat eaters. I stand by that.

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli counteract the formation of potentially harmful meaty compounds in the gut. Coffee, tea, and red wine also have similar effects (although we don’t often think of them as plants, these drinks are made from plants).

When used in marinades, plants like ginger and garlic can prevent the formation of carcinogens in meat exposed to high-heat cooking techniques.

7. Eat plenty of prebiotic fiber

A few years ago, a study came out seeming to show that a high-meat diet leads to unhealthy gut biome, whereas a low-meat diet has the opposite effect. Except that the high-meat diet was more of an all-meat diet consisting entirely of cold cuts, cheese, bacon, and BBQ. It was entirely bereft of prebiotic fiber, or vegetation in general.

The low-meat diet, meanwhile, featured lentils, squash, tomatoes, rice, garlic, onions, granola, mangoes, and bananas—except for maybe tomatoes and rice, all dense sources of prebiotic fiber. What’s stopping someone who eats a decent amount of meat, cheese, bacon, and BBQ from also eating fiber-rich foods?


There’s even a ton of research showing that resistant starch consumption makes red meat less carcinogenic. Maybe a couple spoons of raw potato starch or a serving of resistant starch potato salad are good side dishes next time you have a steak.

8. Eat plenty of collagen

Meat is one of the richest sources of methionine, an essential amino acid. But there’s some evidence, albeit mostly in animals, that excessive methionine can depress lifespan and that putting rats on a low-methionine diet extends their life. Where does collagen come in?

Collagen is the single best source of glycine, an amino acid that “balances” methionine. In those same rats, adding glycine to a methionine-rich diet restores longevity

You can do this by eating collagenous cuts, like ears, feet, skin, tails, and shanks. You can do this by using supplementary collagen (or eating foods that contain it). You can make healthy gelatin snacks with powdered gelatin (I like using green tea as the base).

9. Eat grass-fed and/or pasture-raised

Grass-fed and pasture-raised meat is better for you (more nutrients, better fatty acid profile, more healthy trans-fats), better for the environment, and better for the animal (a grass-fed cow has a happy life and one really bad day). If you intend on making meat a significant part of your diet, you should emphasize its quality.

Another little-known benefit of grass-fed meat? Pastured animals allowed to eat fresh grass, wild forage and herbs will effectively produce antioxidant-infused meat with greater oxidative stability than animals raised on concentrated feed.

10. Make sure you’re eating the right amount of protein

Sometimes we eat too little protein. Sometimes we eat too much. Review those two posts plus this one and confirm that you’re eating the right amount of protein for your age, activity level, and health status.

That’s it, folks: 10 ways to make your meat-eating healthier and more effective.

What did I miss? How do you optimize your meat intake?

Thanks for reading.


The post 10 Ways to Optimize Your Meat Consumption appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

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Revitalizing My Fall Routine & KeVita Giveaway

This post is sponsored by KeVita. Zip down below for a fun giveaway! 

There are generally two camps of people:

  1. Those who love fall, and start talking about pumpkins in August
  2. Those who shed tears of the final days of summer and get grouchy when the autumn spirit creeps in too early.

Healthy Habits For Fall

Obviously you know which camp I am in : ) September 22 marks the first day of fall, so we all have permission to talk about all the great things about this season.

(Funny side note: I was telling Mazen a few weeks ago that the weather felt like fall outside and he said “Mommy it is NOT fall yet.” Turns out his teachers had a fall countdown going, and he knew that date had not yet come!) 

Fall is my favorite season for many reasons. More than New Years, and more than spring cleaning the autumn season is my time to restart, reenergize, and recommit to my healthiest self. I’m sure this feeling traces back to the back-to-school feelings I experienced as a child. I like getting back into a routine.

Here are five ways I am revitalizing my fall routine:

Setting a morning alarm. Since Mazen was born I’ve been going to bed around 11pm and waking up naturally when he does. He’s usually up around 7, but sometimes he sleeps until 7:30. Those preschool mornings are quite hectic to get us to school on time. In an effort to get myself organized before Mazen is up, I’m putting myself on a schedule: bedtime at 10, alarm at 6:26am. So far this is going well, as I am dressed with a cup of French press coffee in hand when Mazen rises.

Less wine, more kombucha. I’m trading my nightly glass of wine for a few billion probiotics! Kombucha is one of the few drinks that has a ton of flavor, fizz, minimal sweetness, and a host of goodness to go along with it. With colder weather on the way, my immune system needs all the strength it can get. Probiotics line the intestinal walls much like an army would stand shoulder-to-shoulder and protect a village. These healthy bacteria act as a barrier against sickness trying to get into the bloodstream. The organic acids in the KeVita Master Brew Kombucha help to feed these beneficial bacteria. Your gut gets credit for about 70% of your immune system, so having a strong one goes a long way towards keeping you healthy. Happy hour = happy body.

Foodblog (2 of 3)

Brushing my teeth more than twice a day. This is an old trick I used to do when I worked in an office. So much of my sugar cravings happen after meals because I need a palate cleanse. I’ve started brushing my teeth right after lunch and dinner and like magic the sugar craving is gone. And when I’m feeling really lazy I just rinse with mouthwash and it does the same.

Bringing back the prep day. So much of my summer is spent winging meals and eating from the garden. Back-to-school season means the prep day is back, and I’m making more of an effort to put family meals on the table to enjoy with Mazen. With colder weather comes cravings for roasted vegetables, so I hope to do a big pan of them (including sweet potato fries for Mazen). One a week so I can quickly assemble lunches and dinners.

Get fresh, crisp air for 30 minutes every day. Ironically, in the summer I walk places less because it’s so darn hot and humid out there! I don’t want to arrive with stinky, wet clothes. During the perfect 70 degree temperature days with twinkling sunshine popping through the leaves, there is absolutely no excuse not to walk instead of drive, play outside in the yard, and spend more time outside. Plus winter is coming, so appreciate it before it’s gone!

Foodblog (3 of 3)


As the sponsor of this post, I have a fun giveaway for you guys!! KeVita’s Sparkling Probiotic and Master Brew Kombucha are honestly the best I’ve ever had. There is no strong sourness, no weird floaters, no exploding bottles – just a delicious slightly sweet, sorta tart, fermented flavor. The Pineapple Peach flavor is my favorite! Also for anyone who doesn’t consume alcohol, KeVita is the only leading brand that is verified non-alcoholic. 

KeVita has a cute new app that lets you create an #InnerSelfie using a handful of creative filters and overlays. For each inner selfie shared, KeVita will donate $1 to the Gastric Cancer Foundation, so please get involved for a good cause!



To win a three-month supply from KeVita (that’s 30 beverages total), enter below!

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Thanks to KeVita for sponsoring this post and inspiring my inner sparkle. 

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Triple Tabata Bodyweight Workout

Disclosure: I was asked to participate in the CocoaVia® Live Your Life with Heart campaign. I was compensated for my time.

Hey there!

I have an awesome quickie workout for you guys. It’s high-intensity and doesn’t require any equipment, so you can do it just about anywhere. All you need is a little bit of space!

Triple Tabata Bodyweight Workout

In case you’re unfamiliar with Tabata workouts, here’s what they’re all about…

A standard Tabata circuit is four minutes long and broken up into intervals of 20 seconds of work, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Referencing the workout above, you’ll perform the first two exercises, alternating each one, for 20 seconds with 10 seconds of rest. So, for example, you’ll do as many Jump Squats (each with a 2-second hold) as possible in 20 seconds (hey, high-intensity!) and then rest for 10 seconds. Then, you’ll perform Mountain Climbers (same goal: high-intensity!) for 20 seconds and then rest 10 seconds. After that, you’ll return to the Jump Squats for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest, and so on for a total of 4 minutes. (You’ll perform each exercise 4 times.) You’ll perform the second Tabata (High Knees + Curtsy Squats with Lateral Kicks) and third Tabata (Jump Lunges + Single Leg Deadlifts) the exact same way (20 seconds of work + 10 seconds of rest). Ideally, you’ll move from one Tabata to the next without rest, but if you need a second to catch your breath, so you can go all out on the next Tabata, go right ahead!

As you guys know, I love quick and sweaty workouts. They’re efficient, effective, and give me the most bang for my buck when it comes to fitness. I also love these kinds of workouts because the more you put into them (i.e. effort, heart), the more you get out of them (i.e. calorie burn, results). Like with anything in life– training for a marathon, advancing your career, or spending time with your family– it’s important to give your full effort and really live your life to its fullest.

Once again, I am so excited to partner with CocoaVia® on their “Live Your Life with Heart” campaign since it helps me be and feel my best by promoting healthy blood flow†. You guys recently entered a giveaway to win a prize pack from CocoaVia® , so here is your winner (just in case you missed it last week):


Even if you didn’t win the giveaway, and you can still check out CocoaVia® for yourself, you can purchase it online or at select retailers.

I hope you guys enjoy the Tabata workout! Happy sweating!!


†This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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Episode 336 – Dennis McKenna – Drugs, Psychedelics, and Ethnopharmacology


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This episode we have ethnopharmacologist, research pharmacognosist, lecturer and author Dennis McKenna. Join in as we chat about drugs, psychedelics, ayahuasca, and more.

Download Episode Here

Guest: Dennis McKenna

Article mentioned in the podcast: http://ift.tt/2c5kTr5

Facebook page (speaking events listed here): http://ift.tt/2dfE6Uo

Website for the book: The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss


30 Day Guide to the Paleo Diet

Want some extra help? Have you been trying Paleo for a while but have questions or aren’t sure what the right exercise program is for you? Or maybe you just want a 30-day meal plan and shopping list to make things easier? We’ve created a getting started guide to help you through your first 30 days.

Buy the book


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