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Post From http://nomnompaleo.com/2017/08/15/6053
Holy smokes. I can’t even begin to describe the past couple of weeks.
As many of you know, since August 1, I’ve been on my Ready or Not! cookbook tour, and in just the last 14 days, I’ve made pitstops in Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Minnesota, Illinois, Ontario, and now, New York. Until a few days ago, Henry and the boys accompanied me, dutifully lugging suitcases full of Nom Nom Paleo swag wherever we went. (Don’t worry—we built in enough time between their sherpa duties to play tourist. Check out the Instagram posts tagged with #NOMNOMBOOKTOUR to see what we’ve been up to!) Sadly, with school starting today, the rest of the family had to head home and return to real life.
I, on the other hand, still get to hopscotch around the country, meeting loyal Nomsters and new readers alike. I’m incredibly grateful and thrilled to have the opportunity to do this book tour. The solitary months of developing recipes and writing a cookbook (not to mention blog posts and email newsletters) often fool me into thinking that I’m just shouting into a void, but when I’m greeted by smiling faces at my tour stops, I’m reminded of how lucky I am to have such a generous base of support behind me. Without you, I wouldn’t be able to do what I love.
What I’m trying to say is thank you. Your support allowed me to devote myself full-time to Nom Nom Paleo, and to write cookbooks for a living. And you’re the reason why Ready or Not! debuted stronger than I could have ever dreamed possible. In fact, our new book landed at #3 on The New York Times bestsellers list in our category, and #1 on both The Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly bestsellers lists for hardcover nonfiction! According to BookScan (think of it as the Nielsen ratings of book sales), Ready or Not! was the #1 bestselling nonfiction book, and the 5th-highest selling of all books—both nonfiction and fiction—in the week it debuted.
How crazy is that? (Answer: Pretty freakin’ crazy.)
Again, I have you to thank. And the best way I know how to express my gratitude is with a thank-you gift: Printable shopping lists to accompany the dinner plans in Ready or Not!
As those of you who’ve flipped through our new cookbook know, Ready or Not! features 4 weeks of dinner plans and shopping lists; these plans pull together recipes from different sections in the book to create incredibly tasty meals throughout the week. We’ve already gotten tons of fantastic feedback about these shopping lists and dinner plans—many of you are already using them to cook your way through the book! Still, we’ve also heard from you that a heavy, hardcover tome isn’t the most convenient object to haul to the market for grocery shopping. To solve this, we’ve tweaked the shopping lists to make them printable checklists. Just click the images of the shopping lists above (or this link) to download ’em!
And before I go, I wanted to remind you of two things:
I may have completed Part One of my book tour, but Part Two is just getting started! In fact, I just added a slew of new tour events, including signings hosted by Whole Foods Market in Phoenix, San Diego, Sacramento, Berkeley, Fremont, Fresno, and Reno. Come meet me, and I’ll happily personalize your books and hand out some fun Nom Nom Paleo swag (while supplies last), too. For more information about tour stops and to RSVP, visit this link or click the image below:
We love seeing all of your social media posts about Ready or Not!, so keep ’em coming!
Remember: in a couple of weeks, we’ll be randomly giving away a 6-quart Instant Pot Ultra—the fanciest new version of my favorite multi-use cooker ever—to THREE loyal Nomsters who help spread the word about Ready or Not! We’ll also throw in a bunch of exclusive Nom Nom Paleo swag into each of the three prize packages!
To enter this giveaway, just post something nice about Ready or Not! on social media (like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest) in the month of August 2017 using the hashtag #READYORNOTROCKS so we’ll be sure to see it! (To be eligible, please note that you’ll have to post publicly, as we won’t be able to see your private Facebook or Instagram posts.) We’ll diligently collect all of your social shares, and on September 1, 2017, we’ll randomly pick three winners. (Unfortunately, the Instant Pot won’t work outside of the U.S. and Canada, but if you’re a non-U.S. or non-Canadian Nomster and you’re picked as a winner, I’ll personally send you a $150 Amazon gift card instead!)
Okay—I gotta get going. Hope to see you at an upcoming signing!
Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013) and Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017)!
Sometimes life is so hectic, that when an easy recipe comes your way, you take it with no questions asked…
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Fish Pie is a classic English dish, probably one of those originally invented to use up fish that was less than fresh. Slathered in mashed potatoes, cheese, and a creamy white sauce, the idea was to cover up the fish, not make it the main focus.
This recipe for Primal fish pie takes a completely different approach. The dish is still covered in a buttery mashed potato crust, but underneath is a light and flavorful filling. Fresh salmon and cod are layered with leeks, zucchini and fresh herbs, and flavored with lemon and Dijon.
The potatoes are flavored with nothing more than creamy, salty, delicious butter. Just keep adding it until the potatoes taste like, well, butter. If you can, use salted grass-fed butter, which has incredible flavor plus a healthier fatty acid composition and higher vitamin content than regular butter.
Servings: 4 to 6
Time in the Kitchen: 1.5 hour
Preheat oven to 400 Fº/205 Cº.
Cover potatoes with salted water in a pot and boil until soft, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain. Mash the drained potatoes with 4 tablespoons butter, or more if you like. Season with salt if needed. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt remaining 2 tablespoons/30 g butter over medium heat. Add the leek and celery. Cook until soft, 5 minutes. Add zucchini and cook until the zucchini is soft, 5 minutes.
In a 2 or 3 quart baking dish (or deep pie plate) layer vegetables and fish, and sprinkle lemon zest and parsley on top. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil and Dijon mustard. Pour on top of the fish.
Smooth the mashed potatoes on top of the fish. Dot with small pieces of butter.
Bake for 40 minutes, or until lightly golden and crispy around the edges.
Fish pie can be served warm or at room temperature.
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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!
In the summer of 2012, I was like the vast majority of people (and doctors, for that matter)—entirely ignorant of the role nutrition plays on health. Little did I know how absorbed I’d become in the burgeoning ancestral health movement. In fact, if someone were to have told me then that I’d be a health coach by 2016, I would’ve laughed in their face and rolled my eyes, slowly backing away.
However, I’ve always had a passion for science and how it should shape spirituality. This passion led me to obtaining my Bachelor Degree in Geology—the rationale being that if I understood how the earth works, then I could gain a better understanding of how life (and thus mankind) propagated and succeeded on this beautiful planet. From there, I would have a strong base upon which to build a logical, spiritual relationship with the universe.
Part of my coursework included historical paleontology, which details how life grew and changed through time. I found this subject particularly fascinating, and throughout my career in the environmental field I continually enjoyed learning more and more about it, though it played a very minimal role in my profession and I was unsure about how I would ever utilize that sort of information. Enter the ancestral health movement. However, let’s backtrack a bit first…
Years ago I went to the doctor complaining of occasional severe pains in my right foot. The pain would occur instantaneously, and disappear equally as fast, like a bolt of lightning. An X-ray revealed bone spurs, and when I asked the doctor why I was apparently susceptible to them, he replied that it was likely due to arthritis setting in at my age. I was in my mid-30s at the time, and this was an entirely unacceptable explanation to me, having been an athlete and in good shape throughout my years.
Not long afterwards, during an annual physical exam, my doctor told me that my cholesterol was borderline high. Since both of my parents died relatively young due to cardiovascular problems, he prescribed a precautionary statin drug for me. When I asked why my cholesterol was high, he responded that it’s typical with increasing age. I was around 40 at the time, and this was another entirely unacceptable explanation. Not knowing any better, I began a daily statin regimen.
In May of 2009, I met a particularly intelligent and beautiful woman, Camille, who would eventually become my wife. She was finishing up med school at the time, and was experiencing inexplicable digestive issues severe enough that she could hardly eat even a small portion of a meal. Since standard doctors could not determine the cause, she was prescribed proton pump inhibitors and given the designation of an IBS sufferer with chronic reflux.
Being a scientist, I was certain that there were completely logical explanations for both of our health conditions. I simply could not accept the ubiquitous “You’re just getting old” excuse with its subsequent prescription drug regimens. However, not being versed in health or nutrition at the time, I found myself at a loss for adequate and accurate alternative explanations.
Then, in August of 2012, I heard an interview with Robb Wolf on one of my favorite podcasts. During the interview, he rattled off virtually every single symptom that both Camille and I had been experiencing for the last few years, and mentioned that improper nutrition was likely the root cause. We immediately implemented the Paleo Diet and, at the risk of sounding like a zealot or cheesy infomercial salesman, we experienced miraculous results virtually overnight. Camille no longer uses prescription PPIs, and I no longer take the statin or experience the crippling pains of arthritis. In fact, 3 months after going Paleo, having reviewed my expanded blood lipid panel, my doctor stated, “You have the blood of an 18-year old.” I sure wish I would’ve kept that voicemail.
Little did I realize that this new diet would quickly become my passion in the years to come. I became obsessed and absorbed with all things Paleo, and began advising friends and acquaintances on their nutrition, to incredible effect. Through the people I helped, I had an epiphany – I would absolutely LOVE to do this as a profession! But, of course, I was missing something – legitimacy. I scoured the interwebs for any sort of ancestral health certification program, to no avail. All I could find were weekend life- or fitness coaching certs that looked like they were more interested in getting my credit card number than actually providing knowledge or benefits of their program. Then, as if the universe had heard my frustrated cries for help, Mark Sisson came out with his Primal Blueprint Expert Certification (so named at the time). It was PRECISELY what I wanted – what I NEEDED – and I signed up as quickly as I could.
Alas, I didn’t have to go through a traditional school and labor through years of now-thoroughly-debunked pseudoscience proclaiming grains as an essential source of nutrition and other such nonsense. I could learn from the most distinguished people in the cutting-edge ancestral health movement, widening my knowledge not only of what works health-wise, but most importantly WHY it works. To top it all off, while the certification would require hard work in understanding the core health principles, it could be done from the comfort of my own home in a time frame of my own choosing – which was extremely important given the fact that I already had a full-time job. Within about 6 months, I became Primal Blueprint Certified Expert #239.
In the meantime, Camille finished med school but had become frustrated that modern medical practices had essentially become nothing but compartmentalized pill dispensaries, focusing little (if at all) on giving patients the knowledge needed for good preventative care and building natural health. So she turned her attention to learning more about alternative health modalities in an effort to help people construct a strong, natural foundation of health. With her degrees and certifications in these various alternative practices, and with my becoming a Certified Primal Blueprint Expert (again, so named at the time), we decided to combine our passions and start our own company—McClellan Natural Health, Wellness & Nutrition.
However, we had absolutely ZERO entrepreneurial experience. We had NO idea where to start! We quickly found that you can’t just create a website and expect clients to come stampeding through your doors. It takes a plan—and we didn’t have one. We struggled, not knowing where to turn or whom to turn to. There were plenty of people out there who were more than willing to take our money and offer generic entrepreneurial advice, but no one had expertise in the field of our passion—natural health – which is a much different niche than just selling a product. We suffered and barely scraped by, wondering and doubting if we’d really get to help people as much as we KNEW we could.
And then, once again, as if the universe (or at least Mark Sisson) had heard my frustrated cries for help, the Primal Health Coaching (PHC) modules came out, supplementing the Primal Blueprint Expert Certification program! The coaching modules provided lessons on everything we needed, from starting a business to gaining clients, coaching them, and marketing/growing your business, not to mention the fantastic PHC resource library. And it works! We started gaining clients!
The PHC resource library is an absolute must-have for our business. It has all of the information to provide to clients and/or market our company. Some days I just surf the PHC resource pages to explore the new materials and incorporate them into our business and health programs! I even find material that helps me with my own personal health issues! We simply cannot express enough gratitude to the PHC team for basically providing us with everything we need to succeed!
Camille and I have seen such incredible results from our clients that we’ve made it our mission to positively affect the health and lives of as many people as possible in the time we have left on this planet. Hats off and a tremendous THANK YOU to Mark Sisson and the PHC team for providing the knowledge and resources that allow us to not only live an optimally healthy lifestyle, but also pursue our passion and truly live the American dream! You’re the best!
The post I Simply Could Not Accept the “You’re Just Getting Old” Excuse appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.
Simple, yet elegant and perhaps even fresh from the garden, these maple roasted carrots are a versatile dish. Just as…
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I recently read a piece from the New York Times in which the author, Taffy Brodesser-Akner, recounts her lifelong struggle with dieting and body acceptance and her relationship to food. She tackles the failure of most “diets,” the fat acceptance movement, the Weight Watchers-as-support-group phenomenon, the Oprah Winfrey body weight yo-yoing. What makes it an effective article is that, rather than cast herself as dispassionate journalist reporting the facts, Akner is elbows deep. She herself is the subject as much as anything else. It’s a powerful article. Go read it.
The article doesn’t come to a neat conclusion. There’s no prescription at the end. It meanders. It explores. It’s messy. I think that’s exactly how most people feel when trying to tackle this diet/health/bodyweight/eating thing: confused, lost, conflicted, overwhelmed. Go look at the comment section from the article, and you’ll see that pretty much everyone got something different from it.
Some were outraged that the writer would argue that being fat is perfectly healthy (she wasn’t).
Some chimed in with their preferred diet, the one that worked for them. I saw a few mentions of paleo, even.
Some recounted their weight loss journeys and struggles and failures.
Some admonished her for not mentioning exercise.
Some gave her diet advice.
It ran the gamut. The comment section was all over the place. Everyone had completely different reactions to the same material.
The article wasn’t about what works, what doesn’t. It was about the insanity of living in the diet-mindset, where every bite of food is analyzed, every calorie label scrutinized, as the people around you drink regular soda “as if it were nothing, as if it were just a drink.” It was the author wanting to accept her body but realizing she couldn’t—and the agony and insanity that results.
I get why we have convoluted things like hypnotic lap bands (hypnosis so good it replaces bariatric surgery) and food relationship classes where you learn how to eat and appreciate raisins. Because people are flailing around inside an obesogenic food system trying to find something, anything that works. But since they’re searching within the confines of the modern food environment, nothing works. Nothing sticks.
It’s also why I think finding a baseline is so helpful, a fundamental starting place that transcends the boundaries we’ve erected. Whatever your life story, you’re still a human. Your ancestors were hunter-gatherers at some point, and the modern industrial food system is novel to your physiology. Eliminating the major offenders—excess carbs and sugar, refined vegetable oils and grains—and restoring the attitudes that used to be normal—fat and meat are perfectly healthy—are suitable for everyone. You can tinker with macronutrient ratios, recent ancestry, “to keto or not to keto,” and all the minutiae on your own time. But those basics work as a starting place for everyone I’ve ever encountered.
You just have to step outside the obesogenic food system that’s been constructed for you.
But look at me: I’m just giving diet advice all over again….
I think my takeaway, however, has to be this: You should never accept your mutable limitations. It’s true that some characteristics can’t be changed. You can’t make yourself taller or shorter. You can’t force yourself to be an introvert or extrovert. But a large portion of what we consider to be shortcomings to our health, happiness and well-being can be improved upon. Like the amount of body fat you carry.
And let me be clear. It’s not about sinking into despair because change can’t happen in a day. It’s essential to accept the process and yourself in it. As for body acceptance, a “goal weight” isn’t necessary. In some cases, it’s counterproductive. You don’t need to turn success and failure into binary options. Better is good enough. Movement is enough.
As much as I sympathize with the author of the piece—and it’s a gut-wrenching, powerful piece, hard to read in parts—I can’t budge on even the mere entertaining of the notion that maybe being overweight or obese isn’t so bad for your health. Those are dangerous waters to tread.
The science is settled. Excess body fat is harmful (not to be conflated with “extra” fat in the right places, which—depending on gender and pregnancy status—can actually be healthy). It secretes inflammatory cytokines and directly causes insulin resistance. It weighs you down, increases the stress placed on your joints. It makes free and full movement more difficult. No one should labor up and down stairs or be unable to hang from a bar or grunt with exertion when they get up from the ground if they can avoid it. And most people can avoid it simply by losing excess body fat.
Even if the fat itself is neutral (it’s not) and merely indicates deeper health problems, losing the fat tends to resolve those problems (or go a long way toward it).
What I found most interesting is that I think the author understands this, too. If not explicitly (she discusses the evidence both for and against the idea of fat as intrinsically harmful), certainly implicitly.
Her inability to accept her overweight body despite wanting to and thinking it’s the “right” thing to do maybe suggests a deeper, subconscious acknowledgement that being fat is unhealthy.
But couldn’t it be social pressures at fault? Many of the commenters, and the author herself, default to the idea that acceptance is “good” and imply that “society” is to blame for our inability to accept our overweight bodies. This argument falls flat for me. Society is made of humans, who are biological beings. Society is therefore a product of biology. Society’s norms and mores don’t emerge out of nothingness. They develop for real reasons. They may be bad reasons, or good ones that become corrupted, but they are real things that arise out of human biology. It wasn’t as if a council of elders long ago decreed that being obese is bad because it’s “ugly” or “unseemly,” and it just stuck. Far more likely is that society has (by and large) deemed excess body fat undesirable because, the fact is, it’s a net negative for human health.
Something in me thinks that people who claim to love their body despite being obese are ignoring or drowning out that inner voice spurring them toward change. Loving who they are as people is of course something else. Nor is anyone talking about physical perfection here. But if they truly do love their excess body fat, they do so at the peril of their health. Self-love doesn’t erase the physiological ramifications of being obese. That’s my central concern.
This weight loss business is hard. I’m not suggesting it’s easy. But hard things are often worthwhile things. In fact, difficulty can be an indicator of worthiness. It’s true that our culture and its food system don’t encourage choices that help us build and sustain our best health. Fortunately, however, we get to decide for ourselves.
Thanks for reading today, everybody. I’d love to hear your thoughts on weight loss culture—for all its truth and shortcomings. Take care.
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