Thursday, April 30, 2020

The Friday 5

Hi friends! Happy May to you!

In today’s edition of the Friday 5, I’m sharing 5 things we’ve been loving in our home lately. After all, we’ve been spending ALL of our time at home! From food to activewear, Quinn’s latest favorite thing, and a fun fact about me… here’s this week’s random mix of favorites.

Enjoy your weekend!

1. Daily Harvest

Daily Harvest is coming in clutch right now! Not only does DH make some delicious smoothies from wholesome ingredients, but they now have flatbread pizzas that are all gluten- and dairy-free. I love everything from DH, but I especially love their bites (OMG, little bites of heaven!), their bowls (so great when you want a quick and healthy meal), and lattes (when I need a caffeine boost). Most of the lattes have some sort of adaptogens in them, which are beneficial for stress and hormones. If you’re looking for some easy and super nutritious meal and snack options, DH is it!

Get $25 off your first order with code carrotsncake.

2. Athleta Salutation Stash Pocket 7/8 Tight

Do you need a new pair of leggings to motivate you for all the home workouts? I feel ya. Sometimes the best motivation is a cute, new workout outfit to get me in the mood. These tights from Athleta are buttery smooth, have just the right amount of compression, and can be worn for lifting, running, yoga – however you choose to move! Lovvvve!!

3. Making It (on Hulu)

This show has been fun to watch as a family, and it has inspired Quinn to make all sorts of projects… like this scooter and bike rack, how cool! If you need some projects to keep your kids occupied, we highly recommend this show!

4. Vegetable Chopper

As if I needed another kitchen tool, this vegetable chopper is a major time-saver! It’s amazing for all sorts of delicious veggie creations. You can chop nuts, cheese, cucumbers, carrots, onion, potatoes – you name it.

5. Middleditch & Schwartz Comedy (Netflix)

Comedy duo Thomas Middleditch and Ben Schwartz turn small ideas into epically funny stories in this series of completely improvised comedy specials.

Mal and I saw Middleditch and Schwartz perform live a couple of years ago when they came to Boston, so we were psyched for this 3-episode series on Netflix. It’s absolutely hilarious. We were crying-laughing because the improv got so insane!

Fun fact: I dated Ben Schwartz for about 1.5 years in college, and I may or may not have encouraged him to try out for the improv group. He actually credits me for pushing him to try improv! 😉

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Sales of the Week

This post contains some affiliate links, which means I will earn a small commission from the company if you decide to purchase the product linked to. This compensation helps with expenses to keep CNC up and running. Thank you for your support!

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Ask a Health Coach: Dealing with Overwhelm, Naysayers, and Kid-Friendly Fitness

Hi, folks. In this week’s edition of Ask a Health Coach, Erin shares her strategies for staying on track while sheltering in place, navigating toxic relationships online, and how to make fitness fun for the whole family. Remember, you can ask your questions in the MDA Facebook Group or below this post in the comments section.

overwhelmI’m really struggling here. Between my new routine and trying to eat healthy, it’s just too much. How do I avoid losing all of my progress during the quarantine? -Lizzie

I actually hear this a lot. Not just from my clients who are heeding the stay-at-home orders right now either. Feeling overwhelmed by a change 1 in routine or diet or job is normal. That said, choosing to stay overwhelmed is a choice.

Often, I’ll hear my clients say, “I can’t do this.” Sometimes it’s in the week after enrolling them in my health coaching program. But honestly, a lot of times it’s even sooner — like the moment I’m telling them the good news that they can reach their goals with a few tweaks in their diet. You can feel the panic setting in.

“I can’t” has become such a common phrase in our vocabulary. And it’s complete BS. You absolutely can do it. You may not want to, but you certainly can. No doubt in my mind.

You can do anything you set your mind to, even during the quarantine.

Can you load your plate up with protein and veggies instead of the refined, starchy carbs that make you feel all bloated and sleepy? Yep. Can you commit to starting your day with a nutrient-dense breakfast instead of eating grab-and-go snack foods from the pantry? Sure can. Can you dial down your sugar intake? Go for a stroll around the block? Put on a yoga video? Yes, yes, and yes.

Sure, buying groceries is a little more challenging right now. And exercising when your whole family is around may not be ideal. But using the excuse that a change in routine is keeping you from your health goals is nonsense.

It may be more difficult to make these changes, but I know without question, that you can make them. You can do anything if you decide it’s worth it.

My family and close friends are supportive of my Primal journey, but whenever I post about it on Facebook, I get a lot of negative comments. What am I doing wrong? -Annette

First of all, I love hearing that you have a great support system in your family and close friends. But here’s the deal with “online friends,” everyone’s a critic. It might be jealousy or trying to get your attention, or whatever. But the bottom line is that your journey is your journey — and every moment of it is worth celebrating. Every. Single. Moment.

I’ve learned the hard way that the jerks on social media are just show-offs who want to seem like they know more than you do. They’re always scavenging for the newest data and next-level research, and basically diminishing anything anyone else is doing. They want to appear bigger so that you feel smaller. Am I right? And they typically have nothing constructive to add to the conversation. Just know, when I say typically, I mean never.

What someone else has to say about your Primal journey, whether it’s online or in-person, has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.2 Their negativity is a direct reflection of their self-esteem (or lack thereof), so, turn the other cheek, turn off your notifications, or better yet, block those naysayers from your posts.

Keep doing what you’re doing and rely on relationships with your family and real friends for those times you need an extra dose of support.

How do I get my kids onboard with exercise. Without regular PE classes, they’ve become quite sedentary. Tips on getting them to exercise more? -James

This is a great question, James. With school closures and the suspension of team sports, a lot of families are struggling to find ways to get their kids moving. According to the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition, only one in three kids 3 is physically active every day. What’s worse is that research shows they’re getting up to 8 hours of screen time daily. And I’m sure that number is even higher now.

A recent study 4 found that teens who didn’t get regular exercise were more likely to develop depression too, so, you’re right to be concerned. But my first rule when it comes to kids and exercise is, don’t force it. You want to paint the picture that fitness is fun. And it can be, you just have to get a little creative given our current circumstances.

While playing at a park or running around with friends is out right now, activities like riding bikes, jumping on a trampoline, dancing, and creating American Ninja Warrior style obstacle courses in the backyard are all awesome forms of exercise.

Also, remember that your kids are always watching you. This is your opportunity to be a positive role model. If you’re lounging on the couch with a bag of chips and a can of pop, how likely are they to drink water and fly through obstacles? Not very. Show them that exercise is important to you as a family — that it’s something you do together — and they’ll follow your lead.


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Doggone It

You may have seen on Instagram that Gussie had knee surgery this week for a torn meniscus. He did great and came home wagging his tail and seeming energetic. This is the same knee he had ACL surgery on last July. Gus will have to do another 6-8 weeks of solitary confinement in the mud...

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Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Sardines: Fish In A Tin

During a time when many of us are enjoy pantry foods, I wanted to update and refresh my sardines post and give it another round on the internet! Many of you know I am an unofficial spokesperson for sardines : ) This post will tell you all about sardines, including what nutrients they contain, sardine...

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All About NAC: Supplement Benefits, Side Effects, Dosages

nac benefitsOur understanding of how antioxidant supplementation works has changed in the last decade. Rather than act directly as antioxidants, most of these compounds stimulate the body’s own production of endogenous antioxidants. That’s right—most of the popular and beneficial “antioxidant” supplements work by provoking a mild hormetic stress response that activates our own antioxidant defenses.

But homegrown antioxidants aren’t made out of thin air. They are material substances that require physical building-blocks. Probably the most important antioxidant is glutathione, and its most important building block is NAC.

What is NAC?

N-acetyl-cysteine, or NAC, is the stable, supplement form of the amino acid cysteine. Cysteine provides one of the most crucial backbones undergirding the body’s premier antioxidant: Glutathione.

In the conventional medical world, NAC is mainly used to rescue people from acetaminophen toxicity. If you overdose on Tylenol and get to a doctor within 8 hours, they’ll give you a big dose of NAC to save your liver and your life. But how does it work? How does NAC beat Tylenol toxicity?

By increasing glutathione stores in the liver. Glutathione binds to the toxic Tylenol metabolite and makes it harmless, but it doesn’t last forever. A big dose of a major toxin like Tylenol is enough to deplete glutathione stores and increase acute glutathione requirements. NAC provides the raw material for glutathione production, allowing it to commence and get to protecting.

Might this have other effects? Does glutathione do anything else?

It reduces reactive oxygen species down to less damaging metabolites.

It is the master detoxifier, a major line of defense against invading mutagenic, carcinogenic, and inflammatory agents.

It defends against glycation.

It controls hundreds of proteins in the body.

Instantly access our FREE download: Guide to a Healthy Gut

It protects against lung damage and maintains respiratory function, especially in the context of infectious respiratory diseases.1

It regulates glutamate levels in the brain, reducing over-excitation.

In other words, it does a lot. We should probably try to keep our levels up. If we don’t?


Low levels of glutathione have been linked to such disparate conditions as diabetes, tuberculosis, cancer, HIV, and aging.2 Heart failure patients tend to have low glutathione.3 Low glutathione levels are generally associated with elevated markers of inflammation, like CRP.

Okay, so glutathione is important, low levels are linked to many different diseases and health conditions, it’s a good idea to have adequate levels for general health, and NAC is one of the better ways to replenish glutathione.4 At normal doses of Tylenol, taking NAC along with it prevents glutathione depletion without negatively affecting the therapeutic effect of the drug.5

NAC helps the liver metabolize alcohol, too, by speeding up the clearance of its most toxic metabolite—acetaldehyde. In rats, NAC even mitigates the hypertensive effect of drinking alcohol, suggesting general detoxification effects.6

Detoxification with NAC

All those “experts” who say detox is a myth and your body is perfectly able to detoxify everything it needs to without fancy supplements and therapies are half-right. The body is able to detoxify a wide range of toxins, provided we give it the substrates it requires. NAC is one such substrate that seems to help us deal with incoming toxins.

In workers with chronic lead exposure, NAC increases antioxidant capacity in red blood cells, reduces oxidative stress, and lowers blood levels of lead.7

In adults with acute pesticide poisoning, NAC (600 mg 3 times per day) reduces inflammatory markers and the need for atropine (a pharmaceutical that treats pesticide poisoning).8

After exposure to diesel fumes, taking NAC reduces blood vessel damage and, in asthmatic patients, lowers the airway responsiveness.910

NAC even reduces the toxic effects in people who eat poison mushrooms or get dosed with mustard gas.1112

If large doses of NAC can help people deal with serious toxin loads, moderate doses of NAC can probably help people deal with normal loads.

NAC and Lung Health

In bronchitis and Chronic Pulmonary Obstructive Disease (COPD), the lungs lose glutathione and accumulate too much thick mucus, reducing their function and making it harder to breathe. When you take NAC in this situation, it replenishes lung glutathione and thins out the mucus.

The result is that bronchitis patients who take NAC over the course of 3-6 months experience lower rates of “exacerbations” (worsening episodes) and see their symptoms improve.13 Same goes for COPD patients on a year-long course of NAC; they enjoy improved lung capacity.14

Flu Resistance

One study in older adults had some remarkable results.15 Subjects were randomized to one of two groups. The first group got placebo. The second group got 600 mg of NAC, twice a day, for 6 months. Over the course of the study, they tracked “influenza-like” symptoms, finding that the NAC group had far fewer than the placebo group. Then they tested the subjects for influenza antibodies and found that both groups had equal seroconversion rates. Both groups were equally likely to have gotten the flu over the 6 months, but just 25% of the infected NAC group ever showed symptoms versus 79% of the infected placebo group who showed symptoms.

NAC Reduces Inflammation and Oxidative Stress

The modern world is a stressful place. We have long commutes to jobs we often dislike. We’re stuck indoors when we’d rather be outside in the fresh air and sunlight. We have to closely read labels—or avoid them altogether—to make sure we’re eating healthy fare. The air is polluted, we’re disconnected from nature, we sit too much and move too little. I’m not saying this to be a downer or alarmist—the world remains a beautiful place full of joy and wonder—but a realist. Life is good but our bodies are under constant, chronic low-level assault from evolutionarily novel physiological and psychological stressors.

Increased oxidative stress is the baseline for too many people, and NAC has been shown to be one of the best “all-purpose” supplements for reducing it.16

Mental and Psychological Health

NAC checks off a few important boxes for mental health. It crosses the blood brain barrier, reduces oxidative stress, and regulates glutamate levels in the brain. Now, glutamate isn’t “bad,” but too much glutamate in the wrong places can lead to over-excitation. That’s often what we see in mental and psychological disorders—over-excitation, excessive activity.

NAC smoothes that out. It sticks glutamate where it belongs in the right concentrations. It provides the right amount of inhibition to counter the excitation.17

This is probably why NAC supplementation has shown preliminary promise in treating a number of disorders, including autism, Alzheimer’s disease, cocaine and cannabis addiction, bipolar disorder, depression, trichotillomania, nail biting, skin picking, obsessive-compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and even mild traumatic brain injury.18

NAC and Fertility

Both male and female infertility often come down to elevated oxidative stress. Can NAC reduce stress? Yes. Can NAC improve fertility? Yes.

In men visiting a fertility clinic, an NAC supplement (600 mg/day for 3 months) increased serum antioxidant capacity, reduced oxidative stress, and improved sperm quality, motility, and consistency.19

A combo of selenium and NAC was also able to improve semen quality in men with fertility issues.20

As for women’s fertility, NAC seems to be most effective in women with PCOS already taking clomiphene citrate (a PCOS drug meant to stimulate fertility). A pair of studies found that NAC increased both ovulation and pregnancy rate in women with PCOS who had proven resistant to clomiphene citrate alone.2122

Should Everyone Take NAC?

Not necessarily. Most of its benefits occur in people with depleted glutathione levels and/or elevated inflammatory status.

One paper found that NAC was only helpful in patients with depleted glutathione levels.23 Those with low glutathione saw platelet function improvements, while those patients with normal glutathione levels saw no improvements in their platelet function.

Another paper found similar results with depression. Only those patients with elevated CRP levels at baseline experienced a reduction in depressive symptoms after taking NAC.24

And most of the studied health conditions are quite serious and, relatively speaking, rare. What draws me in is the fact that glutathione is upstream of so many different physiological processes. It’s not some specific compound with very limited application or relevance. It’s a specific compound with broad applications.

You may not have the glutamate over-excitation issues of someone with full-blown schizophrenia or social anxiety disorder, but a little NAC might help you focus or improve your internal self-talk.

You may not have COPD, but making sure your lung glutathione stores are replete isn’t a bad idea.

You’re probably not completely infertile, but reducing oxidative stress and improving sperm or endometrial quality never hurt anyone’s chances.

All that said, NAC is one of the safer supplements available. It probably won’t hurt to try a small dose whether you have elevated inflammation or depleted glutathione or not—and many people do have suboptimal glutathione status without knowing it.

What’s a Good NAC Dosage?

Many of the therapeutic effects used in the studies I referenced today were in the 500-600 mg range. Sometimes higher, but not necessarily.

I included 500 mg of it in my broad-spectrum micronutrient supplement, Primal Master Formula, because that is a well-tolerated, well-attested dose that’s safe to use and quite effective at glutathione maintenance.

I am a very light/moderate drinker these days, but whenever I do have more than usual, I’ll take 500 mg of NAC and 500 mg of vitamin C about an hour before drinking. This dose seems to improve the positive effects and reduce any negative side effects, probably by increasing glutathione, enhancing ethanol metabolism, and clearing acetaldehyde more quickly.

That’s it for NAC, folks. If you have any questions or comments, drop them down below.



  4.[ref] But does taking a NAC supplement actually improve health?

    Let’s look at the evidence.

    NAC Benefits

    What areas of health can you expect to benefit from NAC supplementation?

    • Liver support
    • Detoxification
    • Lung health
    • Flu resistance
    • Inflammation and oxidative stress
    • Mental and psychological health
    • Fertility

    NAC and Liver Support

    NAC protects the liver against acetaminophen (Tylenol) toxicity, keeping liver enzyme levels down.[ref]


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Right now, it’s ALL hard. ⁠⠀

Right now, it’s ALL hard. ⁠⠀
Working from home with kids is hard. ⁠⠀
Finding motivation to exercise is hard. ⁠⠀
Eating vegetables everyday is hard. ⠀⁠⠀
Sleeping 8 hours per night is hard. ⠀⁠⠀
Choosing water over iced coffee is HARD. 😉

I get it. I really, really, reallllllly do. I’m not always motivated to make the best choices for myself, especially during a pandemic when all I want to do is drink wine and watch endless hours of mindless TV. ⁠⠀
But, at time same, I care about my health and want to feel GOOD everyday. I mean, it’s hard enough dealing with an uncertain world and being stuck at home, so anything I can do to better my wellbeing (mind, body, and soul) is important. ⁠⠀
Plus, if you think about it, it’s really cool that we’re able to make these choices. Some people aren’t so lucky. ⠀⁠⠀

If you need a little (or big) motivation boost, listen to this episode of Mind Pump. It’s definitely a good one: How to Develop a Winning Mindset.
At the end of the day, healthy living doesn’t need to be ALL or NONE. Doing even a little something is always better than nothing. Period. ⠀⁠⠀

Question of the Day

Tell me what small thing you did today that was better than nothing! ⠀⁠⠀
Me: I drank a big glass of water as soon as I woke up!

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Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Why Do I Feel Tired All the Time?

why do I feel tired all the time“I’m tired all the time.”
“I have no energy.”
“I’m too tired to go to the gym.”
“I need a nap.”

Walking around in a fog seems like standard operating procedure nowadays. No matter how common it is, though, feeling exhausted, low energy, or sleepy all the time is not normal. It’s always a sign that something else is going on.

Tiredness, Sleepiness, Fatigue: What’s the Difference?

What does it mean when someone says, “I’m tired all the time?” Are they falling asleep at their desk? Do they need to take an afternoon nap in order to function in the evening? Perhaps they feel too wiped out to exercise or even get off the couch?

Colloquially, we use the word “tired” to describe the subjective experiences of both sleepiness and fatigue. “Sleepiness” is the familiar experience of needing sleep due to sleep debt. We all know what this feels like.

“Fatigue” can mean a few things. There is the tiredness you experience after overwork or exertion, which is usually temporary. Then there are the chronic feeling of exhaustion, low motivation, physical weakness, or inability to function.

From a medical perspective, sleepiness and fatigue are different. The boundaries are fuzzy, though, and there is a lack of agreement about the best ways to assess and differentiate the two.1

Sometimes sleepiness or fatigue are easy to explain. You get a few bad night’s sleep in a row. Yesterday’s CrossFit WOD was particularly brutal. An important and stressful work project is wearing you down. Situations like these, in which there is an obvious, short-term cause for your tiredness, are generally not a problem. Assuming you give yourself appropriate rest, you should recover just fine.

Chronic tiredness—whether sleepiness or fatigue—can make it impossible to participate fully in life. Everyday activities such as driving may become dangerous. It interferes with work, physical activity, relationships, and general quality of life.

Persistent tiredness that interferes with day-to-day functioning and quality of life is not normal. In today’s post, I’ll discuss some of the common causes of feeling tired all the time and provide tips for troubleshooting.

Instantly download the Keto Reset Diet Recipe Sampler

“I’m Sleepy All the Time”

We all need a minimum of seven to nine hours per night. Yet, survey after survey shows that most adults and even many children chronically get less sleep than they need. It’s no surprise that in studies, around 20 percent of the population experiences excessive daytime sleepiness.2

Obviously, the first question you should ask yourself is, “Am I getting at least seven hours of sleep per night?” Really, I’d say at least eight for most people. That doesn’t mean seven hours in bed. It takes a while to fall asleep, and most people wake up at least a couple times per night. An analysis of over 10 million users’ Fitbit data revealed that the average person is awake or restless for 25.5 minutes per night.3 If you’re aiming for seven hours of sleep, you should be in bed for eight. Want eight? Commit to being in bed for nine.

Here are a few sleep tracking methods to help you understand where you are starting.

What You Can Do to Get Better Sleep

Sleep Timing

If you believe you’re getting the requisite amount of ZZZs, the next question is whether you are getting it at the right time. Daytime sleepiness can be caused by inconsistent sleep and wake times.4 If you are maintaining one sleep schedule during the week and a completely different one on the weekends, stop. Make a concerted effort to maintain the same sleep and wake times for a few weeks and see if that helps.

Sleepiness is also a sign of circadian rhythm misalignment.5 This is when your sleep doesn’t align with your body’s natural biological clock. Shift workers, who are up at night and asleep during the day, are the classic example, but it need not be so extreme. One theory holds that some of us are “larks” (early to bed, early to rise) while others are “night owls.” Not all sleep experts agree, but it’s worth considering whether your current sleep schedule feels natural to you.

In any case, you should be sleeping when it’s dark and awake when it’s light. If you’re staying up late binge watching shows and struggling to wake up in the morning, that’s the first thing to fix.

Sleep Hygiene

Make sure you are practicing good sleep hygiene. That means:

  • Proper amount of time in bed
  • Appropriate sleep timing
  • Minimizing blue light at night
  • Cool, dark, uncluttered room

I’ve written often about sleep hygiene. I’ll link to related posts at the bottom.

Sleep Disorders

If you believe that you have all the obvious sleep boxes checked, yet you feel excessively sleepy during the day, talk to your doctor. They can test to see if you are suffering from a sleep disorder. Sleep apnea is a common one, but there are dozens more.6

Consider keeping a sleep-wake diary or using a sleep tracker such as an Oura Ring or Fitbit. This can provide some initial insight into what’s going on.

Can Your Diet Cause You to Feel Tired All the Time?

Possibly. There are certainly links between certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies and fatigue. Low iron (even without anemia),7 vitamin D,8 B vitamins (especially B129), vitamin C, magnesium, sodium, zinc, L-tryptophan, L-carnitine, coenzyme Q10, and essential fatty acids are among the most commonly implicated.10 Vitamin D in particular seems to be associated with sleep disorders.11

Food intolerances can also contribute to tiredness. The majority of patients with celiac disease12 and non-celiac gluten sensitivity13 complain of fatigue. Food allergies and intolerances are common among people diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, and supplements are frequently used as part of treatment protocols. If you haven’t already, simply eliminating gluten from your diet for a few weeks is an easy at-home experiment. Even if it doesn’t help your tiredness, I’m willing to bet you’ll see other benefits.

Especially if you’re experiencing other digestive symptoms, you should work with a practitioner who can help determine if you suffer from allergies or intolerances. They should also test for underlying gut issues that might be exacerbating the problem.

If you’re not eating enough food to fuel your daily activities, that can make you feel fatigued as well. Some folks who practice intermittent fasting or follow a keto diet find they accidentally undereat. Ketones can suppress appetite, and when you’re eating in a restricted window, it can be hard to get in enough calories. If this rings a bell, track your food for a few days to make sure your calorie intake is adequate.

Is It What You’re Drinking?

Research shows a correlation between caffeine consumption, daytime sleepiness, and nighttime sleep issues.14,15,16 Of course, it’s entirely possible that sleepiness leads people to consume more caffeine, not the other way around. Experimental tests on the effects of caffeine consumption are mixed, suggesting individual differences in the degree to which caffeine affects sleep.17

And then, there’s alcohol, which can cause sleep disturbances.18 It’s counter-intuitive, because a lot of people like to have a glass of wine or other beverage to help them sleep. While it may help you fall asleep, alcohol has a tendency to disrupt sleep phases in a way that renders your sleep incomplete.

On the other hand, maybe it’s what you’re not drinking—enough water. Dehydration, perhaps even mild dehydration, can cause fatigue.19,20 You don’t have to force yourself to drink a certain amount each day, but consider adding a glass of water or two, perhaps with a pinch of sea salt, if you’re feeling somewhat fatigued.

Lifestyle Factors That Affect Tiredness

Leading a sedentary, indoor lifestyle

Being sedentary is associated with experiencing greater fatigue.21 It’s hard to get moving when you’re tired, but low-intensity exercise has been repeatedly shown to alleviate fatigue, including in chronic fatigue syndrome.22,23,24 Exercise can also improve sleep.25

Of course, you can have too much of a good thing. Overtraining can cause persistent fatigue.26 I don’t think I need to tell you how I feel about chronic cardio, do I?

Taken as a whole, the evidence suggests that low-level aerobic activity is particularly effective for helping to relieve tiredness. If you’re feeling tired all the time, try going for a daily walk. Walking is by far my favorite low-intensity activity. Plus, you get the added bonus of sun exposure, weather permitting. Get that vitamin D boost! One study found that three-quarters of patients who complained of fatigue were deficient in vitamin D27, while another showed that supplementing with vitamin D can improve symptoms.28


Experiencing extreme and/or chronic stress can also lead to fatigue and sleep problems. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction interventions have been shown in many studies to reduce symptoms of fatigue in individuals with a wide range of chronic health problems.29,30,31 You can also experiment with supplements in this article that help your body process stress.

Is Your Tiredness a Sign of Underlying Medical Issues?

If you are experiencing fatigue that isn’t obviously related to sleep or lifestyle factors, you should talk to your doctor. There are many underlying medical issues for which fatigue is a noted symptom. Some of the most frequently cited are:

  • Anemia32
  • Type 2 diabetes33,34
  • Hypothyroid35, including subclinical hypothyroidism36
  • Heart disease37,38
  • Perimenopause and menopause39
  • Depression40

These are just some of the many issues that are associated with otherwise unexplained sleepiness or fatigue. There are others, namely chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia, for which fatigue is a defining characteristic, not just a symptom.

When you talk to your doctor, try to be as specific as possible about what you are experiencing. Is it fatigue that manifests as physical exhaustion, weakness, or lack of desire or ability to do daily activities? Persistent sleepiness despite apparently good sleep habits? Make a note of frequency and patterns, such as if you experience fatigue more at certain times of day, after meals, or, if applicable, at specific times of your menstrual cycle. Track your sleep for a few nights at least. Your doctor will ask.

Tell your doctor about any other symptoms you are also experiencing, even if they seem unrelated. Your doctor might spot a pattern that leads to a diagnosis. Finally, make sure you tell your doctor about any medications you are taking, as fatigue might be a side effect.

Getting to the Root of Your Issues

As you see, there are lots of possible causes for tiredness. If your sleepiness or fatigue is significantly affecting your quality of life—you have trouble completing your daily tasks, your memory is impaired, your mood is affected or you feel depressed—a doctor’s visit is absolutely in order.

If you want to try to self-experiment at home first, start with the obvious and easy steps:

  • Optimizing sleep hygiene
  • Staying in bed for eight to nine hours every night at the same time
  • Eliminating gluten if you haven’t already
  • Removing caffeine in the afternoon
  • Making sure you’re hydrated
  • Avoiding long periods of being sedentary
  • Getting outside and getting plenty of sunlight
  • Taking steps to alleviate stress

You can also try tracking your food for a week using Cronometer to see if you are consistently low on any vitamins or minerals. Up your intake of foods rich in the vitamins or minerals you need. If you’re not already eating a serving of liver each week (for iron and other nutrients) and small, oily fish (for essential fatty acids) on the regular, do that. If you think you’re clinically deficient in one or more areas, get tested before supplementing willy nilly.

Is Inflammation the Key?

What do poor sleep, chronic illness, sedentary lifestyles, poor gut health, chronic stress, and nutrient-poor diets all have in common? Inflammation.

It’s perhaps no surprise, then, that some scientists believe that inflammation is a key feature in fatigue of various etiologies.41 Luckily for you, everything about the Primal diet and lifestyle is aimed at avoiding the big offenders when it comes to inflammation. Still, if you see your doctor, ask them to test your inflammatory markers.

Be Persistent

Don’t let anyone write off your tiredness as normal. Yes, you might be busy or have young children or train for endurance events. We all have a lot of reasons to be “feeling down” right now. Still, you know when something is wrong. You deserve to feel vibrant and energetic.

More from Mark’s Daily Apple

The Definitive Guide to Sleep
17 Ways to Improve Your Sleep
How Light Affects Our Sleep
How to Manufacture the Best Night of Sleep in Your Life




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from Mark's Daily Apple

Home Sweet Home

Here’s a peek into our daily life! You are not the only one wearing athleisure all day – some of us like to stay in our jammies until lunchtime! Or maybe even go on walks without getting dressed for the day I am living in Colorfulkoala leggings, Brooks Juno sports bras, and Athleta + Lulu...

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from Kath Eats Real Food

Adobo Seasoning Recipe

This adobo seasoning recipe is super simple to make and adds tons of flavor to whatever recipe you use it in.

Caribbean cooking uses a seasoning called adobo. It can be used wet or dry, like most rubs and spice mixes.

A white spice container sits filled with this adobo seasoning recipe. A spoon full of the seasoning sits in front of it on the table.


It’s an excellent seasoning for most cooking methods such as grilling, roasting, frying or sautéing. Adobo can also be used as a base seasoning for stews, sauces, beans, soup stock, baked potatoes, and vegetables. In Mexico, adobo sauces are red, thick and spicy.

The basic ingredients in adobo are garlic, oregano, black pepper, and turmeric. Then other spices and/or ingredients are added based on cultural and regional preferences. Cuban adobos usually include garlic and cumin and sour orange juice. Puerto Ricans have a preference for vinegar and oregano. Other ingredients sometimes added to adobo mixes include onions, lemon or lime juice, parsley and/or cilantro. (Source)

A horizontal image of adobo seasoning in a container and its matching spoon.


There are many different recipes out there for adobo seasoning. It’s an easy recipe to make. Which spices you add, will depend on which country of origin is inspiring you. In this case, I leaned slightly more to the Puerto Rican version with the addition of oregano. But you can play around with this until you get the flavor you enjoy most. But to get you started, here is the recipe I came up with. This would be great in my Chicken Ropa Vieja!

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Copyright Information For The Gracious Pantry


Adobo Seasoning

Homemade adobo seasoning, perfect for many dishes.

Course: Seasoning

Cuisine: Caribbean

Yield: 10 servings

Calories: 24 kcal

Author: The Gracious Pantry


  • 2 tbsp. pink salt
  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. ground turmeric


  1. Mix all ingredients together and use in any recipe calling for adobo seasoning.

Recipe Notes

Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

Nutrition Facts

Adobo Seasoning

Amount Per Serving (1 tbsp.)

Calories 24 Calories from Fat 9

% Daily Value*

Fat 1g2%

Saturated Fat 1g6%

Sodium 1424mg62%

Potassium 117mg3%

Carbohydrates 5g2%

Fiber 2g8%

Sugar 1g1%

Protein 1g2%

Vitamin A 474IU9%

Vitamin C 1mg1%

Calcium 37mg4%

Iron 2mg11%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

from The Gracious Pantry

Monday, April 27, 2020

Vegan Lies and Meat Backlash | Salty Talk 006 | THRR

Welcome to Salty Talk. This is a special edition of Healthy Rebellion Radio. Each week on Salty Talk Robb will do a deep dive into current health and performance news, mixed with an occasional Salty conversation with movers and shakers in the world of research, performance, health, and longevity.
For the full the video presentation of this episode and to be a part of the conversation, join us in The Healthy Rebellion online community.

WARNING: These episodes may get “salty” with the occasional expletive.

Kettle & Fire makes the first USDA approved, shelf stable bone broth made with grass fed AND finished beef bones and organic pasture raised chicken bones. They are committed to making healthy food accessible to as many people as possible. Check them out at and use code HEALTHYREBELLION for 15% off.



Backlash Over Meat Dietary Recommendations Raises Questions About Corporate Ties to Nutrition Scientists

Meat’s Bad for You! No, It’s Not! How Experts See Different Things in the Data

HPO podcast Prof. Gordon Guyatt

Texas A&M chancellor fires back at Harvard over criticism of controversial beef study

What’s the beef with red meat?

Dr. Dan Pardi leaves True Health Initiative

The veganism boom does more for food company profits than the planet
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Coming soon…


from The Paleo Diet

How to Get Back into Ketosis After a Carb Binge

how to get back into ketosisA little planning and motivation will help you start a low-carb, keto, or Primal lifestyle, and under normal circumstances, keeping your carbs on the low side is easy. But let’s not create the illusion that it is easy all the time. From time to time, you may get stressed and eat mindlessly. Or, your aunt drops off her blue-ribbon cake that you’ve loved since you were in preschool, and you give in, just this once. Or, you had a jam-packed day and all you can muster to make for dinner is that package of gluten-free noodles in the back of your pantry. The next thing you know, you’ve eaten enough carbs for a week, and you wonder how you’ll get back into ketosis after a carb binge.

The short answer is, yes you’ll recover from a carb binge. Yes, you will get back into ketosis. As far as how long it will take to get back into ketosis – that depends on numerous factors, that we’ll dive into here. The important thing to remember is, you didn’t destroy your goals with one misstep. Especially after you’ve spent some amount of time in ketosis, your body will allow for fluctuations in carb consumption here and there. That’s called metabolic flexibility, which we’ll go into shortly.

Can You Have a Cheat Day on Keto or a Primal Diet?

Admittedly, I’m not a fan of calling them “cheat days,” for a few reasons:

  • “Cheating” implies that you did something wrong and should feel guilty about it.
  • Earmarking “cheat days” sends the message that you can eat whatever you want that day with abandon. You’d be surprised how much you can backpedal on your goals in a 24-hour period.

I prefer to frame higher carb meals or snacks as carb cycling or carb refeeding, which is an intentional higher carb meal to enhance your results; or, frame them as treats, which are planned. That way, the extra carbs are enjoyable, planned in advance, and come with limitations so you don’t go overboard. And, there’s no guilt involved.

So, can you have high-carb days on keto? If you are in ketosis and have a sudden surge in sugar or carbs, your body will burn glucose instead of producing ketones. In order to get back into ketosis, you have to use up the glucose you just consumed, and the glycogen your body just stored.

The concern is whether the transition back into ketosis will be as difficult as you remember from those first days cutting carbs. If you’ve been in and out of ketosis for a while, you may slip back into ketosis fairly easily because you’ve developed metabolic flexibility. If you’re just starting, you may go through some of the discomfort of transitioning between fueling with sugar vs. fueling with ketones. Your body “remembers” though, and most likely, it will not last as long or be as severe. This article contains some things you can do if you experience “low-carb flu.”

What Happens to Your Body After a Carb Binge?

So, you decided to give in. First, don’t beat yourself up. It happens. What does your metabolism do with the surge of insulin and carbs? Even a few quick forkfuls can shift you from small doses of quality carbs wisely spread throughout the day to possibly 100 or more grams of pure sugar in one sitting. It’s likely you’ll experience some effects, but you can get past it.

First off, the good news. There’s no carb police coming to take away your keto card. Nor is there any other permanent fate awaiting you. You’ll go about your day a live, generally functional human being. There is no truly long-term risk elevation for that matter. Nonetheless, you’ll likely experience a fair amount of regret for cheating on keto.

  1. Your Pancreas Kicks Into Overdrive. Within a few minutes, your pancreas starts pumping out a flood of insulin to try to sop up all the excess glucose that’s suddenly rushing through your bloodstream. Remember, while glucose is muscle fuel when it’s in the muscles, it’s toxic sludge when it stays in your bloodstream. Your body knows that and does everything it can to get it out of there. Perhaps you’re feeling flushed, a little high, spastic, anxious, or nauseous depending on how much you ate, how big you are, what your normal carb load is, and how acutely you tend to “feel” the effects of sugar and other substances. Ironically, if you were insulin resistant, you might not even notice these sensations.
  2. Excess glucose converts into body fat. The gush of insulin now creates a see-saw effect. If your glycogen stores have room, some of the sugar goes into muscles. If there’s no more room, the excess goes into fat cells, where it is stored as fat. In reaction to this quasi-emergency that your brain perceives as a life-threatening stress, the body steps up its efforts to achieve homeostasis by releasing both epinephrine (adrenaline) and cortisol from your adrenals. Your heart starts racing, and you’re starting to feel uncomfortable, maybe even sweating. And we’re still likely within the first hour after you finished off that cake!
  3. Sugar crash. After a bit more time passes, burnout settles in? That’s called a sugar crash – when all the glucose is gone from the bloodstream and you start to feel sluggish, off-kilter, like the internal circuits are all fried after sparking in a heap of now smoldering wires.
  4. Your immune system slows down. The havoc that sugar rush set off – the swing of glucose and insulin, the cortisol and adrenaline – they’ve sent your immune system into a tailspin. Research1 has shown that the function of immunity-related phagocytes, the cells that surround and engulf pathogens, is impaired for at least five hours after intake of simple sugars. Free radicals, or damaging oxygen atoms, have their heyday as well within the first few hours after sugar increases oxidative stress2 on the body. Your blood even thickens as a response to the stressors. A hefty dose of sugar can compromise the immune system3 for more than 24 hours.
  5. Your sleep is disrupted. At the end of the day, you try to sleep it off, but you toss and turn as your heart continues to beat faster than normal. Little surprise there – the old hormonal system is confounding in its interconnectedness. You lay there cursing not just that cake but the entire cultural custom of birthday celebration. As the sun comes up and you roll out of bed, you think you should be done with this sugar business by now. Maybe, maybe not.

How to Recover From a Carb Binge

As bad as this sounds, it could be worse. If you follow a Primal or keto lifestyle and the carb overload was just a detour, you’ll come out of this generally as healthy as you were before the flub. You’ll experience the effects, and you may feel them more acutely than you did before you chose the low-carb path. This isn’t a bad thing. Nonetheless, after the dust settles, the worst thing you can end up with is maybe a cold you wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. Your system will realign itself pretty readily. After spending a couple days back on your regularly scheduled program, you’ll be as good as new.

How to get back into ketosis after cheating on keto

So, you want to get back into fighting shape as soon as possible. Here’s what to do:

  • Scale back your carbs to where you were before you found yourself off-track.
  • Make sure you are getting the correct balance of electrolytes. Read this article to understand why electrolytes are important while transitioning to ketosis and how to make sure you are getting adequate electrolytes.
  • Consume sufficient high-quality fats, especially at first.
  • Don’t overdo the cardio. You can ease back into more intense aerobic exercise once you’re fully transitioned.
  • Consider intermittent fasting. You may have an easier time getting into ketosis for the long haul if you time-restrict food intake, which gets your body used to producing ketones.

How long does it take to get back into ketosis?

You may wonder how long it will take to get back into ketosis after falling off. The answer is, it varies. It depends on how metabolically flexible you were before you started, how insulin-sensitive you are currently, how many carbs you were accustomed to consuming before you increased your carb intake… there are a lot of factors. The vague answer is, it won’t take long to get back. Start now, and you’ll get to where you want to be before you know it.


The post How to Get Back into Ketosis After a Carb Binge appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

from Mark's Daily Apple