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Beef Milanesa with Peach Salsa and Spinach

Beef Milanesa with Peach Salsa and Spinach

I’m Melissa Joulwan, but you can call me Mel. I have a killer recipe for you today. But first, I’ll tell you a little about myself. I’m the author of the paleo cookbooks Well Fed , Well Fed 2 , and the soon-to-be-released Well Fed Weeknights: Complete Paleo Meals in 45 Minutes or Less ( pre-order now !). I also write a blog called (formerly The Clothes Make The Girl), where I write about my triumphs and failures in the kitchen, in the gym, and in life. I’m also a former rollergirl known as Melicious, but I’ve mostly stopped knocking people down for fun. Mostly.

After a lifetime of yo-yo dieting and treating food as the enemy, I found Paleo in 2009, and I’ve been happily eating this way ever since. That year, I also had a thyroidectomy—which was less fun than you might imagine. In the aftermath of the surgery and recovery, I became really interested in how what I eat affects my hormones, body composition, mood, and motivation. These days, my workouts include yoga and meditation, as well as lifting heavy things and high-intensity intervals.

In my previous cookbooks I made a strong argument for batch cooking—a.k.a. a Weekly Cookup—so your fridge would be stocked with food all week. I still think that’s a great idea, but sometimes real life means we don’t have a few hours to spend doing prep in the kitchen. With Well Fed Weeknights, I gave myself a challenge: Go to the grocery store, buy the ingredients for a meal, then come home and cook it in under 45 minutes. I completed that exercise about 175 times, and the result is my new cookbook. When he reviewed an advance copy of my new book, Mark was kind enough to say, “Mel is one of my favorite authors/chefs in any food genre. She never ceases to impress with her creativity and passion, and Well Fed Weeknights is no exception. Be prepared to get your Paleo on every night of the week!”

The recipe I’m sharing with you today is super-fast and crazy-delicious. Milanesa is a popular dish in Latin American countries, but just about every cuisine has its own version of breaded meat cutlets fried to crisp perfection. In the United States, we’ve got chicken-fried steak, and there’s Austrian Wiener Schnitzel, Italian scaloppine, and Japanese tonkatsu. No matter what name you apply, it’s irresistible. This version uses a small amount of paleo-friendly starch and a pan sauté to create a crisp crust.

The bold, colorful peach salsa on top? That’s just bonus awesome.

I’d love to hear what you think of this recipe; get in touch on Twitter , Facebook , or Instagram .

Servings: 2-4

Time in the Kitchen: 30-35 minutes



  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can unsweetened sliced peaches packed in juice
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 medium red onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 fresh jalapeño pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon PRIMAL KITCHEN™ Avocado Oil


4 Surprising Ways Other People Affect Your Health

4 Surprising Ways Other People Affect Your Health

Jean-Paul Sartre in one of his famous plays said, “Hell is—other people.” I think most of us might sympathize with that claim depending on the day and the person we’re dealing with. On the flip side, people can be the source of our greatest joys. His sentiment, regardless, speaks to the strong impact others can have on us. Whether we like it or not, we all live (and need to live) in some relation to others. None of us exist in a vacuum, and research on extreme isolation suggests the real hell on earth might be exactly that. So make no mistake—how people make us feel is not just the stuff of poetry and philosophy. Other people can and do influence our immediate physiology as well as our ongoing health. What does this process look like though? How does it play out in our lives? Let’s examine a few examples.

Evolution shaped us to be intricately social creatures. From the time of infancy, we’re innately directed to be highly attuned to those around us—first to our mothers and/or primary caregivers and later to our peers and larger community. Complex neurological patterns guide our instinctual process of observation and emulation. Researchers have long studied “mirroring,” the subconscious mechanism that moves us to adopt the subtle behavioral signals of someone whom with we’re likely to establish rapport, trust and empathy —the cornerstones of human connection. Interdependence and the social tools to support it are written into our DNA.

But the effects go even deeper than observational behaviors.

Studies show that people’s brain waves begin to oscillate in the same rhythms during verbal exchanges they deem as positive. This goes for group settings and even with strangers.

Likewise, our heart rates synchronize with loved ones during personal exchanges or when we see them experiencing stress.

Communal rituals may hold the same sway. Participants in choir performance, for example, have been shown to synchronize heart variability .

So it shouldn’t surprise us to know that the company we keep has the power to influence our daily choices and, by extension, our overall well-being. This isn’t to let us off the hook . None of us is operating from a pure monkey see, monkey do mentality. But we can understand (and at times harness) the latent proclivity to go with the flow, whether its leading where we want to go or not.

Here are just a few ways the company we keep can affect our bodies and minds.

Weight/body composition

For better or worse, studies have shown that the kinds of folks you associate with can affect your waistline. A New England Journal of Medicine study found that having one friend who was obese raised the risk of obesity by 57% over the course of 30 years. Friends, the study showed, were more influential (even long-distance) than family members. This is enough to make anyone sit up and listen.

In fact, some research suggests that the social network model can be exploited to actually prevent or dial back the onset of obesity across groups. Offering weight management support for random members of a social cluster may have reverberating effects.

In other words, if one person (or several people) take charge

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Where Do Legumes Belong in the Primal Eating Plan?

Where Do Legumes Belong in the Primal Eating Plan?

I never cared much for legumes growing up. Growing up, beans were the “magical (or musical) fruit that made you toot.” They existed in a quantum state: beans were your ally in schoolyard rear-facing attacks and your downfall during encounters with that pretty girl from history class. But the issues I had were mostly superficial. I’ve never come out strongly against legumes. My focus has always been on grain avoidance .

Way back, I placed beans and lentils and other legumes in the “Okay” category . If you wanted to eat them, and you had carb calories to spare, they were a decent choice. Flatulence aside, they are relatively nutritious and come with a big dose of prebiotic fiber for your gut flora (hence the gas).

Huh? You might be having one of two reactions:

Sisson says legumes are back on the menu, boys! Let’s go grab some Taco Bell bean burritos!

Sisson just put legumes at the bottom of the PB Food Pyramid! He’s sold out to Big Bean! Get him!

Before you either tar and feather me or subject your office mates to chemical warfare, allow me to explain.

Stephan over at Whole Health Source wrote an interesting article a few years back alleging that paleolithic (and some extant) hunter-gatherers did (and do) utilize wild legumes.

Stephan cites several examples:

The !Kung San from southern Africa, who in amenable regions eat large amounts of wild tsin beans. Tsin beans are about 33/33/33 fat/protein/carb, kind of a cross between a peanut and bean.

The Australian Aboriginals, who ate a lot of acacia seeds. These days, acacia fiber is a popular prebiotic supplement, but the whole seed was a legume providing ample protein, fat, and calories for the native inhabitants.

The tribes of the American Southwest, who ate the starchy legumes of the mesquite tree.

The Neanderthals of Shanidar Cave, Iraq and Spy Cave, Belgium, whose dentals fossils showed residues from wild legumes related to peas and fava beans.

With regards to the Neanderthals, I doubt they formed a large part of their diet; they were well-known fans of animal flesh. I don’t know that they should form a large part of your diet, either. But legumes were there. As I said earlier, someone had to stumble upon and eat the wild versions before domesticating them.

Okay, so in that sense, legumes are “Primal.” There is ancestral precedent.

But that’s not enough to sanction their use. We’re not in the paleo re-enactment business here. We plumb the anthropological record for hypotheses, but we check them against the current scientific literature.

What does research say about legume consumption? Aren’t they full of anti-nutrients?

I refer to lectins and phytic acid. I’ve mentioned these mostly as a reason to avoid grains and excessive amounts of nuts, but they also apply to legumes. No self-respecting plant wants their seed babies eaten and fully digested, after all.

Lectins are definite anti-nutrients. Studies show that they can damage the intestinal lining, prey upon already-damaged intestinal lining, and prevent the body from repairing that damage. If they make it into the bloodstream, they can bind to cell membranes throughout the body, trigger autoimmune reactions , and cause real havoc. People have actually been hospitalized from lectin

The post Where Do Legumes Belong in the Primal Eating Plan? appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

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Easy Taco Cups

Easy Taco Cups

I have partnered with Flatout to create these Easy Taco Cups. I have been compensated for my time commitment to work with their product, however my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.  These Easy Taco Cups are my absolute favorite new way to eat tacos. I’m in […]

The post Easy Taco Cups appeared first on Emily Bites.

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Weekend Link Love – Edition 418

Weekend Link Love – Edition 418

Research of the Week

Omega-3s improve reading scores.

Treating early prostate cancer produces side effects, but no survival benefit compared to “active monitoring.”

Couples with dissimilar immune genetics have better relationships.

Bulking works better if you lean out first.

The science of sticking points in the squat, deadlift, and bench press.

Zika affects adult brains.

High-fat cheese consumption has no effect on metabolic risk markers.

Bacterial fermentation of walnuts produces conjugated linoleic acid, the good trans-fat.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 135: Ann Green: Ann Green is the founder of BLiSS Ann Green Yoga, a waterfront wellness center. She talks about SUP yoga (yes, yoga on a standup paddleboard), the primacy of nature in spiritual and physical health, 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

A few questions on statins from a (cautious) proponent.

Who regulates the lab-grown meat market?

Authorities are scrutinizing parents of vegan children and in some cases bringing charges against them. Is it just?

Before installing a tube in your stomach that expels half your food, maybe try going low-carb.

Media, Schmedia

Cities are increasingly installing LED street lights to save on energy costs, but at what cost to sleep quality?

The sugar industry paid scientists $6500 in the 1960s to absolve sugar, shift the blame for heart disease to saturated fat, and begin the nation’s long descent into obesity and diabetes.

Everything Else

Some schools are giving kids a ton of recess. Good for them.

Big Agra, meet Big Pharma.

The future of antibiotics may lie in the past.

“Hey Johnny, what are you rebellin’ against?” Childhood obesity.

Can your smartphone detect anemia?

Move over, kale. Come on, kombu.

The case for wooden skyscrapers.

Evolution in real time.

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Sep 18 – Sep 24)

Comment of the Week

“Short answer to the title’s question: nope! ?”

– Way to simplify, Alex.

The post Weekend Link Love – Edition 418 appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

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Paleo Thyroid Solution Success Story: Cara Haun

Paleo Thyroid Solution Success Story: Cara Haun

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. This week’s featured testimonial is one of many success stories spurred by Primal Blueprint Publishing’s brand new release, The Paleo Thyroid Solution, by Elle Russ. Note: If you’re outside of the U.S. and had trouble purchasing a Kindle copy of the book, it’s now available!

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!

When I look back on my life, I realize that I had hypothyroid symptoms for most of it. One I can recall clearly is that I was always cold. It could be 95°F outside and I would be freezing.

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism about twelve years ago, when I had my second miscarriage in a year. My OB referred me to a well-known endocrinologist in Los Angeles, who immediately ran tests, diagnosed hypothyroidism, and without blinking an eye, started me on Synthroid (levothyroxine).

For about eight years I was diligent about taking my Synthroid pill every morning and getting my blood work done every three months. During that time I felt terrible. I was experiencing a wide range of symptoms, including fatigue (even though I was getting enough rest); weight gain (even though I was exercising like a pro athlete and eating healthfully); hair loss, cracked/dry skin; allergies (to everything); miscarriages; acne; heavy bleeding during my periods and long periods (more than seven days); and brain fog and emotional highs and lows.

Every time I would go in to see the endocrinologist, he would tell me my blood work was good and fell within the normal range. He would update my prescription and send me on my way. Several times I complained about having no energy and gaining weight. He told me I was probably just eating too much. (I was training for a marathon at the time.) When I asked about other options for medication, he just said Synthroid was the only option. Nothing else worked for hypothyroidism. I trusted that my endocrinologist new what he was talking about.

One day I was due to have my blood work done, and I was just too exhausted to drive the 5 miles to my endocrinologist, so I made an appointment with my internist, who is located less than a mile from my house. She did all my blood work and when she went over the results with me, she said “Your thyroid results are low, and did you know you have Hashimoto’s? I’m not sure why your endocrinologist has you on Synthroid…it doesn’t work well for people with Hashimoto’s.” This doctor appointment changed my life. My internist prescribed a new compounded medication for me (T4/T3 combination) that day, and I started taking it immediately.

After that appointment I went home and curled up on my bed and cried for

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Why Stomach Acid is Good for You and How to How to Increase It Naturally

Why Stomach Acid is Good for You and How to How to Increase It Naturally

We’ve been told by the conventional medical world that too much stomach acid is the cause of reflux and heartburn. This simply isn’t correct. Stomach acid is incredibly beneficial to the body and an increase in stomach acid can actually reduce and many times cure issues like acid reflux or heartburn and improve common issues […]

The post Why Stomach Acid is Good for You and How to How to Increase It Naturally appeared first on Deliciously Organic.

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Sweet Potato Chili Fries

Sweet Potato Chili Fries

Look up the definition of “gut bomb” and you just might see a photo of chili fries. But not these chili fries. Primal sweet potato chili fries are made from sweet potato fries baked in avocado oil and topped with your favorite chili, plus a light sprinkle of high-quality sharp cheddar cheese and a drizzle of chipotle cashew cream. The method used here for sweet potatoes fries–steam first, then bake–is a great method to use any time you bake cut sweet potatoes (or regular potatoes).

It creates a soft, creamy center and the fries hold their shape. Want crispier baked fries? The leave the potato skin on. For Primal sweet potato chili fries, use your favorite chili recipe, or the quick and simple chili recipe below. These chili fries are also really, really good with lamb chili .

Time in the Kitchen: 1.5 hours

Servings: 4



  • 1 tablespoon  PRIMAL KITCHEN™ Avocado Oil (15 ml)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 red or green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef (450 g)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder (15 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin (5 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander (5 ml)
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano (2.5 ml)
  • 1 28-ounce can diced or crushed tomatoes (794 g)
  • 1 cup water or stock (240 ml)

Optional Garnishes: Grated cheddar cheese, chopped green onions, chopped cilantro

Sweet Potato Fries

  • 4 large sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch wide wedges, 2 to 3 inches long (13 mm x 5 cm – 7.6 cm)
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil (30 ml)
  • Salt
  • Chipotle cashew cream
  • 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews ( soaked in water 4 hours, or overnight) (150 g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (2.5 ml)
  • 1 roasted red pepper, chopped
  • 1 chipotle chili in adobo (or ½ of the chipotle chili, for a less spicy sauce)
    ½ teaspoon smoked paprika (2.5 ml)



Heat oil in heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic and bell pepper. Sauté until onions are soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add beef and spices (chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, plus a generous sprinkle of salt). Sauté until the meat is browned, breaking up the meat as it cooks.

Mix in crushed tomatoes and water. Bring to a low simmer, cover partially, and simmer 1 hour.


Preheat oven to 500 °F/260 °C. Using a steamer, or steaming tray over a pot of boiling water, steam the potato wedges until just tender enough to pierce with a fork, 10 minutes. (Don’t let the potatoes get too soft, or they’ll fall apart.) Pat the potatoes dry. In a bowl, gently toss the steamed fries with avocado oil. Transfer the potatoes to a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving excess oil that has dripped off the fries in the bowl. Lay the fries out so they’re evenly spaced and not touching. Bake about 15 minutes, turning once halfway through, until the potatoes are nicely browned. Remove from the oven and season with salt.

Chipotle Cashew Cream

Process cashews in food processor, until

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Paleo Thyroid Solution Success Story: Morgan Buehler

Paleo Thyroid Solution Success Story: Morgan Buehler

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. This week’s featured testimonial is one of many success stories spurred by Primal Blueprint Publishing’s upcoming release, The Paleo Thyroid Solution, by Elle Russ.

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!

The winter of 2012, when I was twenty-eight, I started to notice changes in my digestion: feeling super bloated every night and just generally sick after I ate. I was going to the bathroom less and less. And the constipation…ugh! Awful. I was freezing all the time, cold hands and feet. I’d lay in bed, and my butt would literally be cold to the touch. It was bizarre! I was working from home at the time, and I remember not wanting to get out of bed, I was that cold. I’d work from my bed until eleven, which was ridiculous because I live in Los Angeles and grew up in Chicago; 60 °F should have seemed warm to me! I was napping every afternoon. I’m not a sleepy or lazy person: I work out every day, eat very clean, and surf three to four times a week. But during this point in my life, I was really exhausted all the time, especially at 3:00 p.m.

A few things happened right around the same time these symptoms started showing up. I gave myself a Christmas gift of an appointment with a naturopathic doctor in San Diego and had complete panels done on everything you can imagine: stool test for parasites, blood work for micronutrients, DNA analysis, etc. I took a quiz on thyroid from a book on different health conditions one may have, and concluded, I’m definitely hypothyroid.

I got my blood drawn in February, read the book in March and self-diagnosed hypothyroidism, waited a few months to get my blood work taken, do the stool test, get my blood work results back, and schedule a follow-up appointment with my ND. She confirmed my suspicion.

The values for T4 and T3 above are not “free” results because I didn’t know at the time what the better tests were. You can still see that all of the results are below the range.

During this three- to four-month period, I was super stressed out, commuting three hours a day (ninety minutes each way), I gained 8 lbs in three months (which is about 8% of my body weight because I’m only 5’0”), and was getting depressed. I was eating super clean, low-carbohydrate, and so forth, but the weight would not budge. A group of my high school friends came into town for a mutual friend’s bachelorette party when I was at my lowest: I didn’t want to be social (which is not like me at all; I am very outgoing), and I fell

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Roasted Grape Cheese Tarts

Roasted Grape Cheese Tarts

Something about these Roasted Grape Cheese Tarts feels so fancy and decadent to me. I saw a recipe using roasted grapes on Pinterest and ever since I couldn’t get the thought of them out of my head. Roasting the grapes makes them literally burst with warm, juicy, sweetness. Paired with a mix of ricotta and […]

The post Roasted Grape Cheese Tarts appeared first on Emily Bites.

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How to Deal with Chronic Pain: Psychological Causes and Treatments

How to Deal with Chronic Pain: Psychological Causes and Treatments

We like instant gratification. Who doesn’t? You desire a thing, you want it as soon as possible. This is entirely rational. The food looks good, you’re (relatively) hungry, so let’s eat. That gadget would be fun to play with, you’ve got the money (or credit) for it, so let’s buy it. This is why we […]

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