Wednesday, October 11, 2017

5 Questions About Carrots ‘N’ Cake

Hi, guys! Happy Hump Day!

As you know, I’m a hot mess lately. Designed to Fit and Nutrition House are consuming a lot of my time lately, but, OF COURSE, I want to continue to create content and share my life over here on CNC too. I’m trying to maximize my days and want to be more intentional and focused with the blog posts that I write, so it would help me out A TON if you could answer 5 quick questions about Carrots ‘N’ Cake. I promise it won’t take you more than a minute or two, and the feedback would be so appreciated! Thanks in advance! 🙂

5 Questions About Carrots ‘N’ Cake

Photo by Joseph Gonzalez on Unsplash

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7 Longevity Biomarkers to Track

Home » Diet & Nutrition

October 11, 2017

7 Longevity Biomarkers to Track

By Mark Sisson


Inline_Longevity_Biomarkers_10.11.17Last year, I wrote about 10 of the most interesting predictors of longevity. Many of them were subjective, but, as we all know, the objective physiological processes that occur in the human body also predict how long we live. Luckily, we can measure most of them. Some are standard at doctor’s checkups. Some require more involved (and expensive) testing. Some you can complete yourself at home with simple household objects.

But if you care at all about how well you’re doing in the longevity game, it’s worth paying attention to some of them.

Triglyceride:HDL Ratio

Also known as the atherogenic index of plasma, a high triglyceride:HDL ratio is one of the best indicators of one’s risk for heart disease. It has the added benefit of also predicting lipoprotein particle size and insulin resistance. These all impact a person’s longevity. It’s difficult to live long when you’re getting heart attacks and your insulin skyrockets if you even glance at a potato.

Sure enough, in elderly women, the T:HDL ratio predicts all-cause mortality (not just cardiovascular mortality).

A ratio of 2 or under is good. Anything above should be addressed before it worsens, and anything above 4 means trouble.

Sex Hormone Status

Our bodies use them to build tissue, build babies, and lead robust meaningful lives. Evolution is mostly concerned with propagation of the species—with reproduction. Some waning is unavoidable with the passage of time, but we shouldn’t accept levels that lower health quality and increase mortality.

In older men, low testosterone is a risk factor for early mortality. Add to that all the other examples of benefits I described in the TRT post.

It’s not just testosterone, and not just in men. Fractures are terrible for longevity, often reducing both quality and quantity of life in the elderly. In both older men and women, low T and low estrogen levels are risk factors for fracturesSex hormones regulate the body’s response to injuries and burns. The older you get, the deadlier injuries get. A 20-year-old slips and falls and maybe gets a little bruise. If an 80-year-old slips and falls, they might break a hip. 

Serum Magnesium

All minerals play important roles in health and longevity. But serum magnesium is the one that shows up time and time again. For instance, serum magnesium predicts insulin sensitivity. In peritoneal dialysis patients, those with low serum magnesium are more likely to be hospitalizedHigh serum magnesium predicts physical performance and appears protective against muscle-wasting in the elderly.

Plus, magnesium is safe to supplement. There’s little risk of conflict with other minerals.

Omega-6 Content of the Mitochondrial Membranes

As cellular power plants, mitochondria are perhaps the most important organelles in the body. If they don’t work well, we don’t produce ATP, the basic energy currency used by every single tissue, enzyme, endocrine pathway, and organ in the body. We’ll shut down. The aging process, some researchers have proposed, is initiated by the failure of normal mitochondrial function. Living long and living well requires healthy mitochondria.

Healthy mitochondria start with the right building blocks—the right fatty acids in the right proportions. Accumulating evidence suggests that mitochondria with a lot of omega-6 PUFAs are more prone to oxidative stress. A “PUFA-deficiency,” for example, preserves mitochondrial energy metabolism in the presence of ethanol abuse. Sounds like a nice deficiency to have.

Meanwhile, monounsaturated fat is crucial for healthy mitochondria. One of the reasons olive oil and other sources of monounsaturated fat (like avocado oil 0r lard) are so beneficial in aging is that they crowd out the mitochondrial linoleic acid and stave off mitochondrial oxidative stress.

Mitochondrial membrane fatty acid ratio tests aren’t exactly standard at most doctor’s offices. Luckily, simply eating less linoleic acid (especially from refined sources like industrial seed oils) and more omega-3s and monounsaturated fats will give you the best shot at optimal ratios.

Red Blood Cell Fatty Acid Composition

The fatty acids present in the blood are worth examining but offer only a  transient glance at the state of your health. Looking at the fatty acids that make up your red blood cells is more predictive. Generally, a higher proportion of omega-6 linoleic acid is bad for longevity and predicts earlier death and physical and cognitive decline.

The stearic acid/oleic acid ratio is another marker to check. This is called the saturation index, as stearic acid is a saturated fat and oleic a monounsaturated fat. A lower saturation index has been linked to several aging-related diseases, disorders, and declines:

More stearic (saturation) acid is better.

Many studies find correlations between RBC palmitic acid (a saturated fat) and disease, but it’s important to note that RBC palmitic acid is generally not a marker of saturated fat intake. It’s a marker of de novo lipogenesis, the creation of fat from excess carbohydrate.

Like the previous marker, RBC fatty acids aren’t easy to test, but your RBC fat ratios respond quickly to the fats you eat.

Waist Circumference

You might think that this is simple correlation. People with large waists are probably overweight or obese, with all the health issues that stem from those condition. That’s part of it, but waist circumference measures a special type of fat with unique effects on our metabolic health: visceral fat.

Visceral fat, as measured by waist circumference, is highly inflammatory. It secretes inflammatory cytokines like IL-6 which contribute to the type of systemic inflammation that’s at the root of many aging-related diseases.

That’s probably why waist circumference predicts mortality at all levels of BMI, from severely underweight to morbidly obese.

A good rule of thumb is 35 inches and under for men, 32 and under for women. That’s the ideal—something to move toward. Measure at your belly button.

Low Fasting Insulin

In both non-obese and obese people, high fasting insulin levels are associated with a greater risk of cancer mortality. Some have suggested that hyperinsulinemia is just an indictor of insulin resistance, and that insulin resistance and related diseases are the true cause for the link between high fasting insulin and mortality. While the hyperinsulinemic are usually insulin resistant, and this is a major problem, excess levels of insulin itself has deleterious effects.

Insulin helps tissues grow. That’s why bodybuilders often inject it—to increase muscle protein synthesis and stimulate hypertrophy. But insulin can make other things grow, too.

In cancer patients, for example, those who eat the most insulin-producing foods have worse cancer and overall mortality.

In middle aged adults, hyperinsulinemia predicts cancer mortality, even when you control for diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome.

In older adults with type 2 diabetes, insulin use predicts mortality.

Simple Longevity Action Items…

Luckily, much of this biomarker information is actionable. They aren’t all just correlations, or genetic. You can actually improve them by improving how you eat, train, and live.

Avoid industrial seed oils. These are the richest sources of omega-6 fatty acids in the modern diet, and they’re almost always rancid and oxidized. Terrible for your mitochondria and red blood cell fatty acids.

Minimize insulin production. If you’re insulin-resistant (or don’t train hard enough to necessitate the extra glucose), eat low-carb or go keto.

Don’t snack. Better yet, try fasting sometimes or eating in a compressed window. Constant snacking means you’re not burning the fat on your body (especially the waist) and keeps your liver glycogen topped off. If liver glycogen is full, excess carbs will be converted to fat and your RBC saturation index will drop.

Eat your micronutrients and supplement with magnesium. Spend a week tracking your meals to get a sense of what it takes to consume adequate levels of minerals and vitamins. Take a magnesium supplement.

Normalize your hormones. Natural methods first.

There are certainly other biomarkers that predict longevity and long-term health and functionality, but these are some of the most accessible and actionable.

There’s more to come on the longevity issue. For now, start thinking about these biomarkers. How are you doing on them? What can you change?

Thanks for reading, everyone. Take care!


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Join Me on Facebook Live Today 1:00-2:00 PDT!

auth_300x250_ketoresetHey guys—last minute announcement here! This afternoon from 1:00-2:00 p.m. PDT, join me and my Keto Reset Diet co-author, Brad Kearns, alongside Keto Reset Group moderator, Lindsay Taylor, as we take a deep dive into the book and answer questions on Facebook Live.

And be sure to stay tuned until the end, when we’ll be hosting an opportunity for one live viewer to receive a signed copy of The Keto Reset Diet AND a Primal Kitchen Keto Kit!

I’ve got more coming this morning on Mark’s Daily Apple, so check back soon—and hope you’ll join us this afternoon. Have a great morning, everybody!


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2017 Annual Newport Weekend

Another Newport weekend is in the books! This was our 9th year visiting (Qman’s 5th – feel free to do the math on that one ;)), and it’s still our favorite weekend of the year!


Annual cart photo! 🙂

Once we were settled, we headed out into Newport to do some exploring and grab dinner.

We went to The Deck for dinner, which was just okay food- and drink-wise, but the views were incredible!


We were up and at ’em on Saturday morning. Qman was more than ready to start the day!

First stop: Empire Tea & Coffee.

Second stop: Kiel James Patrick! I follow him (@kjp) and his wife (@sarahKJP) on Instagram, so I just had to see what the store was all about – Qman was not nearly as excited! 🙂

Then, it was off to the arcade!

Papi and Lori joined us there!

After that, we headed back to the timeshare for lunch and Qman’s nap. When he woke up, we had some snacks and drinks on the porch.

Hooray for cheesy popcorn!

Then, we all drove over to The Lawn at Castle Hill, one of our favorite annual family traditions.

FYI: My pants are from Stitch Fix! 🙂


Sunday started with run on the Cliff Walk, one of my favorite placed ever to run!

After my run, I enjoyed an iced espresso mixed with protein powder as well as some serious Transformer and Paw Patrol playtime!

Papi and Lori made us pancakes and bacon for breakfast.

After breakfast, we planned to go on a sail boat ride, but it got rained out, so we went back to the arcade for some more fun.

We did a little shopping and grabbed lunch at Gas Lamp Grille before heading back for Quinn’s nap.

When he woke up, we played indoors for awhile, but we eventually got a little stir-crazy, so we headed to a nearby playground and took a walk along the water.

That night, after we put Quinn to bed, Mal and I headed out for a date night at The Mooring. We had such a nice time. I highly recommend The Mooring! The food and service were excellent!

Chocolate chip gelato was a GREAT decision!

I can’t believe our Newport weekend is already over. Until next year!


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Biking On The Edge

^^ Life goal.

^^ Blueberries, yogurt, nectarine, granola, almond butter… aka cycle fuel!

Sarah and I have a new favorite class at our gym – Rhythm Ride! Two years ago (ish) ACAC opened a boutique studio with yoga and cycle at Stonefield. It cost extra and didn’t have its own Kids Zone, so sadly it wasn’t super popular. They closed down the location, but with good news – they brought the cycle equipment to the downtown gym and renovated the studio so we have the Edge experience right at home now!

The bikes are the best cycle bikes I’ve ever been on (they’re so solid and smooth), and the new studio is awesome with lighting, speakers, and even cycle shoes you can wear if you don’t have your own. (I have my own that I bought in 2005 and they are still in great condition.) When it comes to cycling, I prefer the party style to the “let’s pretend we’re outside riding a bike” style, so this class was my jam. Whitney had music too! And the best part of all? A lavender towel at the end. YAS.

Sarah came home with me for lunch and we made salads with tuna salad, leftover salmon, tomatoes, cucs, and waaaay too much dressing that jumped out of the bottle too fast!

On the dinner front, Thomas made these Greek stuffed portobello mushrooms that were fantastic. They had olives, feta, tomatoes, and herbs, and he grilled the mushrooms too. Something to replicate for a blog recipe sometime! : )

Hope you guys are having a fall-tastic week!

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