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Weekend Link LoveWhy everyone could benefit from a health coach (plus, my personal experience with one). Learn more at

Research of the Week

Eating produce could make you happier (a dose response relationship).

How prenatal and postnatal factors affect a baby’s microbiome, and what it implies about long-term development (PDF).

A 90 minute walk in the woods brightens your mood and kills self-rumination.

White rice privilege: rice used to be a whole lot more diverse.

Now that’s philanthrophy: astrocytes donate their mitochondria to neurons after strokes.

Ad-libitum low-carb diets are more effective and easier to stick to than calorie-restricted diets.

Boogers are back.

When battling colon cancer, taking fish oil or eating fatty fish may help.

Badgers fear humans more than any other predator.

Adding dietary glutamate (fish sauce, soy sauce, aged cheese) to specific foods can train people to like those foods.

Low-level aerobic activity (brisk walking, in this example) better than chronic cardio (vigorous jogging, in this example) for pre-diabetics.

Is there a thrifty gene after all? Perhaps in Samoans.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts


Episode 128: Cassie Parks: Host Elle Russ chats with Cassie Parks about the law of attraction, the benefits of positive energy, the pitfalls of telling too many stories about yourself, the uselessness of worrying, and much much more.

Each week, select Mark’s Daily Apple blog posts are prepared as Primal Blueprint Podcasts. Need to catch up on reading, but don’t have the time? Prefer to listen to articles while on the go? Check out the new blog post podcasts below, and subscribe to the Primal Blueprint Podcast here so you never miss an episode.

Interesting Blog Posts

The growing (and totally avoidable) myopia epidemic.

Mating with your cousin has definite downsides, but could it protect against autism?

Primal Play.

Media, Schmedia

Chimps are ignorant about others’ ignorance.

British teen planning scramble beats the odds, discovers all dozen eggs have double yolks.

Everything Else

The fight against obesity starts before birth.

Bug producers are forming lobbyist groups to hasten edible insect acceptance.

CRISPR humans are coming (in China).

Who’s up for cockroach milk?

AI gets its own literary magazine.

The US is awash in rancid extra virgin olive oil because, well, most Americans prefer the taste.

Nature is beautiful, but it’s trying to kill you.

Avid cyclist Chris Froome cut carbs and increased protein to lose body fat and increase his power-to-weight ratio. Oh, and also to win his third Tour de France in four years.

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Jul 31 – Aug 6)

Comment of the Week

Battle of the productivity tools. I nominate PowerPoint, Ben and Nocona.

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Lemons “detoxify” the body, huh? LOL! If you want “healing power” take some medicine. THAT will cure you.

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Berry Parfait 1Berries are nature’s way of handing you the perfect dessert. Sweet and pleasurable to eat, berries also have some of the highest antioxidant ratings of all fruits.

A bowl of fresh, ripe berries is splendid, for sure, but this parfait made from layers of roasted berries and whipped cream is over-the-top deliciousness.

Roasting berries bring out their sweetness, a handy trick when berries aren’t quite as ripe as you’d like. The flavor of roasted berries is richer, tasting more like pie filling than fresh berries. Layered with whipped cream (made from either coconut milk or whipping cream), the roasted berries turn into a gorgeous, healthy and decadent-tasting dessert.

Servings: 6

Time in the Kitchen: 35 minutes


Fresh Berries

  • 24 ounces fresh berries (about 2 pints) (680 g)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (15 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (30 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ( 5 ml)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 13.5 ounce can (400 ml) full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated overnight, or 8 ounces (236 ml) heavy whipping cream


Preheat oven to 450 °F/232 °C. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

If using strawberries, hull and quarter the berries.

In a large bowl combine the berries. Pour the maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla extract over the berries. Add a pinch of salt. Gently mix.

Spread the berries out evenly in one layer on the baking sheet.

Roast 25 minutes (do not stir).

Fresh Berries

While the berries are roasting, put a mixing bowl in the freezer to chill for 20 minutes or so.

If making coconut whipped cream, open the can of chilled coconut milk and scrape the solid coconut cream into the chilled mixing bowl, without disturbing the liquid. Save the liquid for another use, like smoothies.

Beat for about 2 minutes. If desired, add maple syrup or sugar to sweeten.

If using whipping cream, beat the cream in the chilled mixing bowl until it turns into whipped cream. If desired, add maple syrup or sugar to sweeten.

In clear glasses or bowl, layer the cooled berries and (coconut) whipped cream.

Berry Parfait 2

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Been using the juice of about six lemons a day, in two serves morning and evening since I had a heart attack about six months ago. I have noticed my hair is losing some of the grey in it.

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These pieces have caught your attention throughout the week. So here they are in one place for you to consume, digest, and enjoy.

Welcome to our weekend roundup, Three of the Best! Every Saturday, we’ll post up Breaking Muscle’s top three articles of the week. These pieces have caught your attention throughout the last seven days. So here they are in one place for you to consume, digest, and enjoy.


female overhead squat

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Don’t downplay the facts that many policemen’s wives are widows and their children are left without a father. Our police force is important…and protects us from the criminal element, which would overrun society, if the police force did not exist. All lives matter…and I really feel for all people who die and all who are left behind to grieve, because of senseless killings. I am not into organized religion, but I like the rules of conduct given Mose (an adopted Hebrew infant raised by an Egyptian princess ),,,The Ten Commandments. The most important was recognizing the Maker who gave these rules. Among these rules were Thou Shalt Not Kill and Thou Shalt Not Steal. These seem reasonable to me. I have no idea why people want to get rid of them in America. Wouldn’t things be different, if people followed them?

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I’m a bit skeptical because I saw info and pics in past explaining and showing brain tissue of heavy and non users. You could see whitish plaque like buildup between the cells of user. None in non user. They said while it mostly was gone in few hrs, took 1-3 days to be all gone. This made sense with experience and how it “slows” brain. Maybe good for over-thinkers. But also builds interference with memory and calculative thinking. So it might worsen Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, etc. Unless you can find otherwise and maybe that it binds to bad plaque and takes that with it when absorbed back to blood, liver, etc. 😉 🙂

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It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

real_life_stories_stories-1-2First of all, I would like to thank you and your team for making Mark’s Daily Apple so easy to navigate, read and dive into on a daily basis. The introduction that I have received to The Primal Blueprint over the past few months has been extremely rewarding and I am very proud to call myself a member of the primal community.

My story is nowhere near as exciting as some of the members who have overcome health problems, debilitating injuries, illnesses and extreme weight loss results. My story is one of an average citizen, stuck in the rut of a society overloaded with convenience food, stagnant lifestyle choices and a government that has convinced the masses that their food guide is the final word on health.

My name is Carey and I am a 39 year old father of two and a husband to the most supportive woman a man could ask for. My motivation for changing my lifestyle came from two places: A 40th birthday that I did not want to have with the mental and physical condition that I was in, and from a close family member who designed their own ketogenic lifestyle plan.

Last year my wife and I were introduced to the paleo way of life. We gave it a shot, we kicked the tires, we test drove it, and inevitably we crashed into the ditch of “everyday life.” We gave it a good go. We definitely saw results. But the daily grind of alarm clocks and kids and commitments to the television/couch combo did us in. We didn’t exactly quit all together. We did try to make smart choices for ourselves and our kids. My brother in-law was a very good mentor with the gains and goals he made with his keto program. I did want those results, deep down. But unfortunately my tendency to give into bad habits took over most days. Toast and cereal for breakfast, sandwiches for lunches, rice and pasta for dinners. These became more of a routine than a choice. It was just too easy. But I finally decided that easy wasn’t what I wanted anymore.

third photofirst pic

When the clock struck 2016, the person that I saw in the mirror gave me a long hard stare and said, “Hey, are you ready for 40?” And I said, “Hell no!!” It was definitely time for me to light a fire under my feet. I honestly had the best intentions, just like every other resolution maker at New Years. January and February came and went, and so did a lot carbs from my diet. I was making better choices and trying my darnedest to stick to a paleo diet for myself and my family. The one thing I couldn’t overcome was my love of craft beer and late night television. I have been a admirer/junkie of craft brews for many years, I even started from scratch brewing my own at home. It was a rewarding hobby and still is for me. Even though today I am healthier and happier than I have been in years, I will never cut out my love for a cold, local, fresh beer. I feel no guilt working off those carbs.

second pic

In February I was browsing our local book store for paleo cookbooks and craft beer magazines, I stumbled upon The Primal Blueprint. I had heard Mark’s name come up a few times while discussing paleo topics and recipes I had found online, but nothing really clicked. After doing some more research, I came to find that this guy had a heck of a lot to say, and a way of getting his idea across like no one else I had heard before. I began watching his videos and subscribed to MDA. The real kicker for me was listening to Joe Rogan’s podcast that Mark did earlier in the year. I have since listened to it numerous times. Needless to say, The Primal Blueprint was the quickest read for me, and I am not a big book person. Eye opening is an understatement to describe how informative it was for me when I sat down to take it all in.

On March 1st, I walked into a gym and signed up for a membership. I weighed in at 232 lbs (now 200). With everything that I had learned in the past weeks, I was armed with an intense focus. It may have come across as arrogance at the time, but it was what I needed to fight hard against life’s push-backs. When people asked me what my plan was, I told them I was going Primal. People said that it’s not normal, you need all those carbs, how can you eat all that fat? I did not want to be normal. Normal was now extinct to me. I wanted to be a fat burner, not a carb-loader. I wanted to get my energy from what was inside me. Not from putting sugar and starches into my body. I was done getting my energy from wheat and grains and high fructose corn syrup.

fifth picI had already been doing a weekly bootcamp with a close friend of mine, but although I enjoyed it, I found myself loading up on carbs and sugars before class and just felt sluggish halfway through. Now when I go, I feel great! My diet is now on track. I eat lots of proteins, fats, and fruits and vegetables. My carb intake is under a 100 a day. No more cardboard for breakfast. No more late night bags of chips. Well, I do still cheat sometimes. I go to bed earlier at night and I am up at 5 am ready to go. A bullet proof coffee and I’m banging on the door at the gym at 5:30 am.

I am now fitter, happier and getting healthier day by day. I have my wife and family to thank, I have a great bootcamp family, I have a great gym family. And now I have a Primal community family. I talk to people on a daily basis that are still stuck in the conventional perception of what is healthy. I try not to get frustrated speaking to the naysayers. And I try to spend more time talking with people who are seriously interested in what I have done to turn my lifestyle Primal. No one is going to tell me that my choices are wrong. I now have the knowledge and wisdom to actually back up my choices, and I have Mark to thank for that.

fourth pic

Grok at 40

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Paulie is not mystical, magical, or reincarnated – he just worked insanely hard to be good.

Read part one of my journey with Paulie Zink here.


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Words Have Power FinalEvery day we’re barraged by “good ideas”—all the things we should be doing with our lives and could start doing today if we really cared enough. Too much advice can overwhelm us, and, more importantly, it can inflate the power of “should.” It can cement an insidious (and, in my experience, ineffective) framework in our minds. We risk framing every choice—from work to pleasure—as an obligation. Doing so burdens life with a constant sense of onus, constraint and deprivation—not exactly the stuff of grand motivation. In my experience, we aren’t in for much fun or long-term success with that brand of approach. Luckily, there’s a better way to talk to ourselves.

I’m not oblivious to the apparent irony here. Here I am offering a blog all about living a healthy life, and each day I offer information and strategies to that end. But there’s something to my very nature that still resists the authority of “should” (or authority in general) and prefers a framework of option and example. It makes for some interesting creative tension every day.

I guess you could say it’s why I often write more casually than authors of other health blogs and why I’m so blunt about self-interest. It’s maybe why I prioritize publishing others’ stories that highlight their appropriation of Primal and why I couch my whole interpretation and experience of health within a loose blueprint that I flagrantly encourage people to make their own. And it’s perhaps why I spend ample time here deliberately ferreting out the slippery psychological forces and individual nuances at work behind any endeavor to change one’s life or lifestyle. At the end of the day, I don’t ever want to be a dictator of “shoulds.”

And here’s why.

In all my years, I’ve never found “should” to be a very effective way to talk myself (or anyone else) into much of anything. When we say “should,” we’ve immediately sidestepped ownership of our own motivation. “Should” declares that outside influences are more important than our own desires. As logical as this assertion might be at times, at others it can set up a conflicting division between what we want for ourselves and what we’ll do instead. While we may be willing to do what we feel is expected of us by that external code or logic, we retain the excuse to hold it at arm’s length like yesterday’s forgotten lunch—an unappetizing serving of pressure with a side of guilt and resentment.

Just how does this inspire or incentivize?

For my part, I prefer to frame my choices through self-determination rather than external prescription. I prefer to enlarge my understanding of and commitment to healthy self-interest rather than abdicate my personal will. Because the language we use with ourselves (like the stories we tell ourselves) matters. How we frame our health-related intentions (e.g. weight loss, fitness, stress reduction, etc.) can—and likely will—affect our follow through.

Shifting the language we use to describe our behavioral goals and healthy visions can reinstate that sense of ownership. When we let go of the “I should” and instead stake the claim of “I choose,” something happens. We’re no longer playing in the vague grounds of consideration and critique. We’re saying yes—or no. There’s no chasm to get lost or procrastinate in. We do it or we don’t.

Even better, we can further frame the choice not as avoidance of an unwanted result but within a concrete desire we’re aiming for. For example, instead of “I should do X because [insert negative blah, blah, blah],” we entrain our brain toward personal commitment by saying “I choose to do X because I want [this, that and the other awesome thing] for myself.”

Let’s do some more comparing and contrasting.

On Primal Eating

“I should eat better because I’ll continue exacerbating my thyroid issues/diabetes/autoimmune issues/etc.”


“I choose to eat better because I want to feel vibrant and energetic.”

“I should stop eating now, or it will just make me fatter.”


“I’m choosing to stop eating now because I’m full and satisfied.”

“I should stop being so careless with what I grab for lunch.”


“I choose to pack healthy lunches because being mindful of my food selection will help me reach my fat loss goal more quickly.”

On Getting Fit

“I should stop being so physically lazy.”


“I choose to fit in some kind of exercise each day because my mood is so much lighter/I sleep better/I have more energy when I do.”

“I should start lifting weights. I know I’m weaker than I should be.”


“I choose to lift heavy things three times a week because I enjoy challenging my limits and because I like feeling strong.”

On Embracing Other Elements of Primal Wellness

“I should take more breaks at work so I don’t screw up as much.”


“I choose to take regular breaks at work because I’m more productive when I do.”

“I should get outside more because I know I’m missing out on vitamin D.”


“I choose to spend an hour or more outside each day because I appreciate how it makes me feel relaxed and creative.”

“I should get myself to bed earlier and not deal with the chaotic mornings.”


“I choose to go to bed at 10:00pm because I enjoy being rested and focused the next day.”

Do any of these examples ring true? How do they compare with the way you talk to yourself about your Primal intentions?

Whatever the area you’re working on enhancing in your life (e.g. Primal eating, fitness, weight loss, healing a health condition, stress management, etc.), the takeaway here is this: there’s force in the language we use with ourselves. Our words can determine the real mindset we bring to our goals. Do we simply agree that a good idea is another “should” that we guilt ourselves over, or do we make a personal claim for our health and well-being by saying we choose to pursue what we want for ourselves today? Our words direct our thinking, which in subtle or dramatic ways influences the action we take—not to mention the attitude we bring to that effort. In the end, we do better for ourselves and our goals by empowering our intentions.

How can you take a concern or goal you have for your health, let go of the obligation, and frame it as a positive, purposeful intention? Consider it today’s Primal challenge, and share your newly fashioned aim with folks in the comments below.

Thanks for reading, everyone. Have a great end to your week.

Prefer listening to reading? Get an audio recording of this blog post, and subscribe to the Primal Blueprint Podcast on iTunes for instant access to all past, present and future episodes here.

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