Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Dear Mark: Oily Fish Limit, Diet and Posture, Acid Reflux, Whey Replacement, Milk and Fasting, and Remembering to Live

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering six questions from some of my Twitter followers. Yesterday, I asked the community for questions and got some great ones in return. For instance, how much oily fish should one eat each week? And how does diet and nutrition influence posture and coordination? Third, how should a low-carb diet affect acid reflux? Fourth, is there a good replacement for whey protein? Fifth, does milk with your coffee break a fast? And sixth, how does one stop viewing and using food as an indulgence? I’ll get to the rest next time.

Let’s go:

I’m wondering, should the average person limit oily fish per week? Kresser says eat up to a pound. Masterjohn says fish PUFA should be no more than 4-8 ounces per week.

I’ll defer to the Chrises on matters concerning biochemistry, but here’s how I look at fish consumption:

It’s very self-regulating. I’ll go on wild salmon benders where I’m eating it every single day for a week or two, then none for awhile. Back in Malibu, I used to have my fish guy save King salmon heads for me, which I would then roast—the things were huge, fatty, and extremely filling. Between the brains, the cheeks, the collars, and all the skin, I reckon a King salmon head had about 20-30 grams of omega-3 fatty acids. Maybe more. Every time I ate one of those I didn’t feel like even looking at fish (or fish oil) for a week or so.

Ancestral background matters here. Your average Inuit is going to have a very high tolerance of (and likely requirement for) dietary long-chained omega-3 fatty acids because that’s the environment his or her ancestors inhabited. As someone of Northern European ancestry, I have a higher baseline tolerance for and requirement of long chained omega-3s; my ancestral food environment was very high in cold fatty fish. Someone with South Asian background is going to be better at converting shorter-chained omega-3s (ALA) into the long chained ones, so they don’t need to eat as much marine fat as a guy like me.

What is the influence of diet and nutrition on posture and coordination?

First and foremost, the micronutrients and macronutrients in the food we eat help program and provide substrate for the hormones, neurotransmitters, proteins, and energy used to coordinate movements and maintain posture. Every physiological process has a physical corollary; a good diet full of vital vitamins and minerals and absent toxic foods is a diet that supports good posture, energy generation, and movement.

One specific example is thiamine, a B-vitamin. Extreme thiamine deficiency is a disease called beri-beri, characterized by nerve tremors, difficulty moving, and extreme fatigue (among other serious symptoms). Almost no one in developed nations gets beri-beri anymore, but low level thiamine deficiency is common enough and can most likely result in deficient neuromuscular coordination.

I know that a diet deficient in collagenous materials (collagen powder, connective tissue, bone broth, skin) will worsen the health and resilience of your bones, tendons, ligaments, and fascia—the connective tissues that support and enable your mobility.

And finally, a diet that results in low energy levels, unwanted weight gain, and bad aesthetics will worsen your mental health and leave you down in the dumps—itself an independent predictor of poor posture.

But this is a difficult question to answer with specific references to individual nutrients or foods because no one I’m aware of is running studies on the connection between diet and posture. Just know that “it matters.”

Perhaps I’ll revisit this in greater depth.

What is a low-carbber to do if he deals with acid reflux? I’m told that a high fat diet aggravates symptoms… and it has for me. Is there any way I can stick to a healthy diet without having to resort to a “conventional wisdom” reflux plan?

That’s pretty strange. Normally, low-carb diets are great for acid reflux. There’s actually a lot of evidence showing that low-carb is the best diet for the condition, even a “cure.”

However, there’s also evidence that high caloric density within meals (in other words, huge meals) can worsen GERD severity and high fat intakes can increase the frequency of acid reflux episodes.

How do we square this evidence away?

In one study, the very low carb (under 20 grams a day) anti-GERD diet that treated obese individuals allowed unlimited meat and eggs with limited portions of hard cheeses and low-carb vegetables. That’s a standard Primal diet, but it doesn’t say anything about the fat content of the diet. If you’re eating ribeyes, that could be a pretty high-fat diet. If you’re eating sirloin, that could be a very high-protein and moderate-fat diet.

I’d stay low carb, but try eating more protein and not overeating. Avoid huge meals; don’t drink melted butter.

I’m allergic to whey protein. What can I use instead?

Egg protein powder is a good option. High bioavailability of the protein, good amino acid profile. Although whole eggs do work better.

Does coffee with milk impact fasting effects on keto?

It depends on how much milk you’re using.

Milk itself is rather insulinogenic, owing to its lactose and protein content. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, but anything more than a few tablespoons will effectively “break the fast.” I’d opt for heavy cream over milk. It tastes better in coffee, provokes a much lower insulin response, is mostly just fat, and thus allows the fat-burning metabolism of fasting to continue relatively unabated.

Hello Mark! Thank you for everything! – Question – what can be done to change how food is viewed? As life – not as a indulgent part of our lives?

That’s a good one.

You have to LIVE. You have to stop mulling over the thoughts swirling through your head. You have to go outside and do the things you’ve been considering doing.

I know people who have all the knowledge they’d ever need to know (and some they wouldn’t) about health and human happiness and nutrition and productivity and business, yet they act on very little of it. Instead of taking the lessons to heart and living out the conclusions of the latest study, they just move on to the next bit of research.

Food, like any substance or activity that triggers the reward systems of our brains, can fill a void in a destructive way. Fill that void with meaning, with love, with purpose and direction. The food will still taste good (or even better), but it won’t become an end in itself.

That’s it for today, everyone. Take care. Be well. And write in down below with any further questions or comments!


The post Dear Mark: Oily Fish Limit, Diet and Posture, Acid Reflux, Whey Replacement, Milk and Fasting, and Remembering to Live appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

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Carrots ‘N’ Cake ZYIA Party

You guys know how much I love activewear, so I’m so excited to introduce you to an awesome brand called ZYIA. I was introduced to by my friend Jess with Be PowerFULL.

I’ve been wearing some gear from ZYIA recently and just love the fit, style, and performance so much. So, of course, I wanted to tell you guys all about it and invite you to an exclusive party on Facebook, so you can check out the gear AND get access to super great giveaways as we tell you more about ZYIA!

If you want to see what ZYIA is all about, just request to join the group. We’ll officially kick off the party on Sunday, 9/29, so be sure to mark your calendar!

The post Carrots ‘N’ Cake ZYIA Party appeared first on Carrots 'N' Cake.

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No Bake Yerba Mate Granola Bars

These easy no-bake granola bars are filled with wholesome ingredients and topped with a sweet Yerba Mate tea glaze. Perfect with a cup of tea for breakfast or a snack! Thanks to Argentinian Yerba Mate for sponsoring this post.

I Like My Tea Strong!

You guys know I’m a big tea drinker, and I’ve been enjoying working with Argentine Yerba Mate this year. Not only am I enjoying it as a tea, but I’ve been experimenting with the flavors in smoothies, oatmeal, and even sorbet! I like it brewed in a French press with a bit of honey added, so it seemed like a good match for these honey nut granola bars. Since this recipe uses the yerba mate in the glaze, you’ll want to brew a stronger cup to make the flavor stand out.

About Yerba Mate

Argentine Yerba Mate is a rich source of antioxidants (with levels even higher than green tea!) and drinking it boosts your intake of B vitamins, vitamin C, zinc, potassium, and manganese. Studies have shown that yerba mate may help protect the liver, aid in digestion, and increase fat oxidation. It has a flavor profile similar to green tea with an earthy finish, and pairs well with a bit of sweetness.

How To Make Bars

This no-bake granola recipe has a base of toasted oats, nuts and seeds. I used walnuts, almonds, chia and pumpkin seeds, but other nuts and seeds would be great, too (cashews, pistachios, sunflower seeds, etc.). You can sub in what you have on hand.

After measuring out your ingredients, you’ll melt together some honey and almond butter – the “glue” of the granola bar. Once the two are mixed together, add to a bowl, then stir in the dry ingredients.

The mixture may look crumbly at first (like granola), but continue incorporating until all the dry ingredients are evenly coated. Then add the granola mixture to your pan and firmly press everything in (this is important for making them stick together!).

Cover, then place in the fridge for at least an hour to cool and harden up. Once the bars feel firm, remove and cut with a sharp knife– use whatever size you like!

Finally, mix the brewed Yerba Mate tea with powdered sugar to create the tea glaze. Drizzle on top for a sweet + earthy touch!

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge – the bars will continue to firm up in the fridge.

The Recipe

Yerba Mate Granola Bars

These easy no-bake granola bars are filled with wholesome ingredients and topped with a sweet Yerba Mate tea glaze. Perfect with a cup of tea for breakfast or a snack!

Granola Bars

  • 1 ½ cups old fashioned oats
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ cup chopped almonds ((slivered))
  • 3 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp vanilla

Yerba Mate Glaze

  • 1-2 tbsp strong brewed Yerba Mate tea (use twice the normal amount of tea you would normally use)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  1. Line an 8×8” pan with parchment paper.
  2. Toast oats for 8-10 minutes 350 degrees, or until just fragrant.
  3. Melt honey and almond butter together in a saucepan over medium heat. Once the mixture starts bubbling slightly, remove from heat. Stir in the vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Add in the oats, nuts and seeds; stir to combine well. The mixture may look dry at first but continue to press everything together with a wood spoon or spatula. Add a spoonful of almond butter if your mixture looks too dry.
  4. Press the mixture firmly into the parchment lined pan (this is key to sticking together!). Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  5. To make the Yerba Mate glaze, combine 1 Tablespoon of the tea with the powdered sugar, whisking until smooth. If the mixture looks too thick, add a bit more tea, little by little.
  6. Cut into bars, then drizzle on the glaze (you may not need it all). Enjoy with a cup of Yerba Mate tea!

You can find Argentine Yerba Mate at speciality tea shops, Whole Foods, or on Amazon. Thanks to Argentine Yerba Mate for sponsoring this post!

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Vegan Instant Pot Recipes

These vegan Instant Pot recipes are sure to keep your IP going in this and every season!

You can’t go far on the internet these days without seeing an Instant Pot recipe. IP’s are here to stay and they seem to only be increasing in popularity. But that’s no mistake. Instant Pot’s are totally convenient, easy to use and care for, and really a great way to feed yourself, family and/or friends a plant-based, healthy meal without heating up your entire kitchen!

A collage of different vegan instant pot recipes.


An Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker. But don’t panic, this isn’t the pressure cooker your grandma used! In fact, the Instant Pot has many different features. You can sauté in it, make yogurt and even use it as a slow cooker (just like a crock pot!) With the touch of a simple button or two, you’ll be on your way!


If there was ever a kitchen appliance that will help you save some time in the kitchen, it’s the Instant Pot. But not in the way you might think. Let me explain…
Everywhere you see an Instant Pot recipe, you’ll run into somebody that says they can cook dinner in just 10 minutes. That’s not true. While there are things you can cook that quickly, it’s rarely a full meal.
The actual cooking time may very well be just ten minutes, but then there is also the time it takes for the pot to come to pressure, and if a recipe calls for a “natural release” (letting the steam naturally release itself over about 20 minutes on average), you’ll also need to factor in time for that. So that full meal that advertised being cooked in ten minutes is actually more like 30-40 minutes, depending on the recipe.

However, that doesn’t mean it won’t save you time (and dishes to wash!). Think of this more as something that will save you a ton of time compared to a slow cooker (in pressure cooking mode). The same full meal that will take you 6-8 hours in a slow cooker, will take you just 30-40 minutes in an IP. But that doesn’t meant the benefits stop there. Not even close.


  • Saves energy
  • Reduces dishes to wash (think: one-pot meals)
  • Helps food retain is vitamins and other nutrients
  • Helps food retains it’s flavor
  • Has other functions which eliminates the need for other appliances such as a slow cooker or yogurt maker.


  • A slow cooker (like the Crock Pot) cooks just as it sounds. Slowly and over time under constant heat and moisture.
  • A pressure cooker (like the Instant Pot) cooks under pressure, just like the name infers. The liquid never actually boils, although it does get hot. The pressure used is the key cooking component here. It cooks faster than a slow cooker, but also comes with a slow cooking function in case you still love to cook things that way. Think of the IP as a 2 in 1 (although, they now have up to 8 or 10 functions like yogurt making.)

So if you have an Instant Pot but have been a little shy in pulling it out of the box, go ahead and get it out. I promise, the hardest part is pushing the buttons for the first time.


If you aren’t sure about how to care for your Instant Pot, here’s a video on YouTube that walks you through it.


While I don’t have a lot because my blog here is still new and growing, this is my vegan Instant Pot recipes section. Enjoy!

  1. Vegan Quinoa Burrito Bowls by Detoxinista
  2. Cauliflower Tikka Masala by Full Of Plants
  3. Minestrone by Yummy Mummy Kitchen
  4. Wild Rice Pilaf by Sweet Peas And Saffron
  5. Vegan Lasagna Soup by Vegan Richa
  6. 4-Bean Instant Pot Chili by Boulder Locavore
  7. Best Instant Pot Vegan Pho Recipe by I Am A Food Blog
  8. Smokey Pecan Brussels Sprouts by Glue And Glitter
  9. Spicy Bombay Potatoes by Piping Pot Curry
  10. Instant Pot Artichokes by Eazy Peazy Meals
  11. Vegan And Gluten Free Rice Pudding by Recipe From A Pantry
  12. Instant Pot Spaghetti With Lentils by The Belly Rules The Mind
  13. Vegan Sloppy Joes by Pass The Plants
  14. Vegan Bean Burgers by Instant Pot Eats
  15. Instant Pot Vegan Carrot Ginger Soup by Sweet Peas And Saffron
  16. Easy Vegan Mashed Potatoes With Vegan Gravy by Vegan Richa
  17. Sesame Basil Noodles With Roasted Veggies by Full Of Plants
  18. Lentil Curry by Well Plated
  19. Instant Pot Vegan Mac N Cheese by Detoxinista
  20. Lentil Tortilla Strew by The Gracious Pantry

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