Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Dear Mark: Going Carnivore with Just Seafood, Protein Right after Fasted Workout?

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering a pair of questions from readers. The first one comes from the comment section of the excerpt from Paul Saladino’s new book: Can a seafood-only carnivore diet work? Will it miss anything? Is there anything to watch out for, add, or consider? The second one comes from the recent post about exercising during a fast. If someone’s trying to gain muscle, should they prioritize eating protein after a fast-breaking training session, or should they keep the fast going?

Let’s go:

I have a question though. Is eating a seafood-only carnivore diet well rounded enough Mark? Will I cover all my bases nutritionally? I eat plenty of fish heads (caught that post with interest) plus whole mollusks. Basically any seafood. What do you think? And how long term could this diet be?

It can definitely be done. You’ll have no issues hitting your recommended nutrient intakes, since seafood is one of the most nutrient-dense classes of foods around. But you’ll have to keep a few things in mind to do it right:

  • You’ll want to avoid overloading on high-toxin fish. Don’t base your diet on shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and albacore tuna.
  • You may run into problems getting enough fat. Because while you can certainly eat fatty seafood like king salmon and mackerel and get “enough” fat, you’d be overdosing on omega-3s.

Wait, what? Too many omega-3s? Aren’t those good for you?

Yes, but there’s a limit. I for one love sockeye salmon with crispy skin, but there’s definitely an “off-switch.” I can’t sit there and put down two or three pounds of it in a single sitting. And if I do eat a lot, I usually don’t want any more for at least a few days. This effect happens with other fatty fish, too, like mackerel. It doesn’t happen with leaner seafood, like cod. I’ll eat a huge amount of cod cooked in capers and butter and lemon. I’ll eat shrimp forever.

Most populations who ate significant amounts of seafood got most of their fat from terrestrial sources. Northern Europeans and people from the British Isles ate a lot of cold water fish, but they also ate huge amounts of dairy fat and animal fat (and other plant foods). The traditional Mediterranean diet wasn’t just sardines and anchovies, but also cheese and lamb and olive oil (and other plant foods). Pacific Island nations whose populations ate mostly seafood for their animal protein weren’t eating king salmon and fatty tuna; they were eating low-fat fish and getting a lot of their fat from coconut (plus fruit and tubers).

The only peoples we know who got a huge amount of dietary omega-3 from seafood and ate a close-to-carnivore diet were the Inuit, and even they also ate high-fat terrestrial animals or marine mammals with abundant fat stores.

Eating a high-fat diet with most of the fat coming from fatty fish is evolutionarily novel and, probably, unwise. And maybe impossible, or extremely expensive.

If you want to do seafood-based carnivore, try these:

  • Incorporate leaner seafood (not just fatty fish) and branch out on your fat sources. Plus, it’s cheaper this way—wild salmon gets pricey.
  • Eat white fish like cod, halibut, haddock. Excellent protein and mineral content with low absolute omega-3 levels.
  • Eat sardines, salmon, mackerel—just not at every meal. Great protein and mineral content with high omega-3 levels.
  • Eat bivalves and crustaceans like oysters, mussels, crab, shrimp, clams. Very high in micronutrients, plus you get the “eating the whole organism” effect.
  • Use olive oil, butter, avocado oil, coconut oil for fat. Olives, avocados, and coconuts aren’t strictly carnivore, but their oils don’t contain any of the plant compounds that carnivores worry about—and butter is definitely carnivore-friendly, as it comes from an animal.
  • Eat cheese, if you tolerate it.
  • Eat egg yolks, if your seafood-centricity isn’t ideological.
  • Figure out folate. Folate will be hard to come by. There’s just not a lot of folate in seafood. Then again, folate is hard to come by on standard carnivore diets, too, unless you’re eating liver every day—which probably isn’t a good idea.

What can you do?

1. You can source really, really good eggs. Joel Salatin claims to raise chickens who lay eggs with 218 times the folate levels of normal eggs. That’s hard for me to believe, but I do know that chickens who eat lots of greens and other folate-rich foods will have more folate in their eggs than chickens who eat none. Another option is Eggland’s Best Organic Eggs, which have about 10% of your daily folate requirements in each egg (plus an impressive overall nutrient profile). Throw in a few of those each day and you’ll get a big boost.

2. You can eat some romaine lettuce. Hear me out. Romaine lettuce is actually a very good source of folate. Two cups of the stuff will give you a measly 1 gram of digestible glucose and over 30% of your daily folate requirement. Moreover, it’s very low in oxalates, the primary component in leafy greens that carnivores like to avoid.

I hope that helps. Let me know how it goes.

On the shorter fasts with fat loss AND muscle gain as the goal, would you recommend prioritizing protein intake following resistance training? I will typically lift weights in a fasted state first thing in the morning (4x week), and I’m wondering if I’m losing progress by prolonging my fast (and protein intake) until lunchtime.

Yes. Protein intake shortly after the workout is the best move for optimizing muscle protein synthesis and muscle gain. For fat loss, I’d also recommend doing some really light cardio after the training session before you eat to burn through the free fatty acids the exercise liberated from your body fat. By light, I mean light.

Go for a 20-minute walk around the block or on the treadmill.

Casually pedal the stationary bike.

Go for a hike.

Swim some laps.

Jog at a pace easy enough that you can hold a conversation.

I often prolong my fasts even after training because I’m not really interested in active muscle gain at this point. I’m mainly going for muscle maintenance, performance maintenance (train so I can play), longevity, and compression of morbidity. If I were to start a mass gain protocol, I would be eating lots of protein immediately after my workouts.

If you folks have any more questions about these (or any) topics, drop them down below. Thanks for reading!


The post Dear Mark: Going Carnivore with Just Seafood, Protein Right after Fasted Workout? appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

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Hear Us Roar!

Photos by Marybeth Wells!

Road trip to Winston-Salem

I had such a fun time in Winston-Salem on Friday! (Note every time I have written “salem” this week I have typed “salmon” :mrgreen: ) I was supposed to be at the Beautycounter annual leadership conference in San Francisco this weekend. But Beautycounter decided to cancel it due to virus concerns. I was disappointed for a hot minute and then I realized I wouldn’t have to fly across the country and was relieved. Travel days stress me out. So instead, they planned a live stream and encouraged us to get together in our local areas. I drove down to Winston on Friday to get together with a few women on my team, including my BC BFF Teri and new friend Anna.

We planned a little photo shoot with Teri’s favorite photographer, Marybeth, while we were together, and it was so fun! It was also freezing cold and super windy! We should have been wearing parkas!

If you think we’re just selling lipstick,

you’re not paying attention.

Tomorrow, for the first time in 82 years, the U.S. House of Representatives will hold a committee vote on a cosmetic bill. This subcommittee was the one our founder Gregg Renfrew testified before in December. Want to help? Text BETTERBEAUTY to 52886 to let your representative know that there is high demand for transparency in the beauty industry.

Get to know Beautycounter

This video is a great 2:00 snapshot of what Beautycounter is all about. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any interest in joining our mission – there is free enrollment going on right now! Or if you’re just curious about products, you can fill out this form and I will email you some recommendations!

Co-working spaces are cool!

I had so much fun watching the live stream with other consultants. We spent the day in Teri’s co-working space, Flywheel, and it was super hip and cool!

I kind of want to work in an office now, and I’m actually writing this from the one in Cville! Testing it out for a day.


Anna brought us salads from Local. Mine was topped with fried oysters! And we snacked on the most delicious cookies, chocolate almonds, fresh fruit


After the conference was over, we went to dinner at Diamondback Grill where I had this amazing entree of bacon-wrapped crab-stuffed shrimp!!


I got to stay at Teri’s and met her hubby Tommy (he is so similar to Thomas it’s funny!) I was totally fan-girling Teri and sitting in her home office and talking about my outfit in her mirror – we had a blast laughing!

We went for a power walk to Bobby Boy Bakeshop where we got delicious pastries, quiche, and lattes!

Back To My Boys

I drove 3.5 hours home to get back to my boys. I was happy to spend my Saturday afternoon and evening in PJs snuggling with them.

We had simple dinners and went to bed early so we’d better adjust to the time change in the morning.


Check out this fancy breakfast Thomas made for us. He went to JM Stock while I was gone and picked up biscuits and bacon.

Favorite moment:

Birch and I went to a playdate with some friends. These four have been friends since they were itty bitty!

Thomas and I had a 5:00 soccer game and ordered a pizza for Nona and Mazen, which we dove into when we returned.

Fun fact: they now make chocolate Lucky Charms! Thanks to General Mills for sending these to us.

Hope you guys had a fabulous weekend!

Thanks to those of you who encouraged me to publish weekend posts on Tuesdays! This is working so well, and my Sundays have never been better <3

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Scallop Soup Recipe With Curry

This scallop soup recipe with curry is wonderfully warming with plenty of delicious protein.

I love scallops, but I don’t buy them often because they can get pretty pricy. But every once in a while, I’ll pick some up just to see what deliciousness I can create when I get them back home.

Scallop Soup Recipe With Curry


Scallops are actually quite nutritious. They are low in fat and calories and pack plenty of protein. Three ounces of scallops has 94 calories, 0 carbs, 1.2 grams of fat and is packed with vitamin B12, Iron and Potassium. You’ll also get a healthy dose of selenium and other trace minerals.

However, while they are nutritious, they can also contain heavy metals, which is another reason I don’t buy them often. The level of heavy metal content will depend on where they are caught. Environment plays a big role in the level of heavy metals. Also, some people may have allergic reactions to scallops. But chances are, if you are allergic, you probably know it already.

Healthline had this to say:

“If you’re an otherwise healthy adult who is not allergic and does not need to worry about excessive heavy-metal consumption, eating scallops should be safe.” (source)

Scallop Soup Recipe With Curry


The truth is, scallops can overcook very quickly. So you have to be a little careful. It becomes even easier to overcook them in soup. So that’s why the scallops are the last thing you’ll add to your pot here. Get the broth going and seasoned well, and then put the scallops in for the last few minutes of cooking. It’s a pretty easy recipe, but if you have any questions, feel free to ask in a comment below. Enjoy!

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Copyright Information For The Gracious Pantry


Scallop Soup Recipe With Curry

Course: Seafood, Soup

Cuisine: Indian, Thai

Yield: 10 servings

Calories: 278 kcal

Author: The Gracious Pantry


  • 30 oz. canned coconut milk (no sugar added - full fat)
  • 2 cups chicken broth (no sugar added - low sodium is best)
  • 1 tbsp. curry powder
  • 2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp. coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp. dried cilantro
  • 2 lb. bay scallops
  • salt to taste


  1. In a medium soup pot, combine the coconut milk, chicken broth and spices with a whisk and bring to a boil.

  2. Cook at a medium boil for about 5 minutes, then add in the scallops.

  3. Cook until the scallops are done. Time will vary by the size of your scallops. Mine was cooked in about 5 minutes.

Recipe Notes

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

Nutrition Facts

Scallop Soup Recipe With Curry

Amount Per Serving (1 cup)

Calories 278 Calories from Fat 189

% Daily Value*

Fat 21g32%

Saturated Fat 18g113%

Cholesterol 22mg7%

Sodium 547mg24%

Potassium 486mg14%

Carbohydrates 12g4%

Fiber 2g8%

Sugar 5g6%

Protein 13g26%

Vitamin A 6IU0%

Vitamin C 6mg7%

Calcium 26mg3%

Iron 2mg11%

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

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