Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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Month: June 2008

Have You Decided to Be Healthy?

For some people, it’s a New Year’s resolution. For others, the scare of a close friend’s or relative’s illness. Maybe it’s a scary diagnosis of their own. Oftentimes, it’s a long pondered goal. Yet even when it’s more of a “spur of the moment” pledge, the decision to be healthy usually comes after good thought and consideration.

What exactly is that path of pondering, mulling, imagining that eventually brings us to resolve? What plants the seed of possibility? Who and what figures into the picture as we turn things over in our minds and think about how our health could or should be? Where, even, do we end up inspired to finally make a change? (The doctor’s office, a blog community, a local walking club, a family trip, the bathroom scale?)

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Cold Water Therapy

You’re in the middle of a nice, hot shower, feeling your muscles relax, the day’s tension (or night’s sleepiness) melt away. As you bask in the quiet moment of repose, suddenly your body gets a startling jolt. After a second of disoriented shock, you realize something has happened to the hot water. Did someone start the washer? Is the water heater going berserk? Your hopes of relaxation now dashed, your stress level through the roof, you finish only the most obligatory rinsing and step out of the shower cursing, muttering and shivering as you reach for your towel.

But does a cold shower need to ruin the day? Can they actually be more than a nuisance, but a legitimate health therapy as some say? We thought we’d do some digging to explore the notion MDA reader Alex recently put forth: “The way Grok kept himself clean sure wasn’t with sustained periods of temperature controlled hot water. Maybe we shouldn’t either.” The results we found were very intriguing (and encouraging) indeed.

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The Definitive Guide to Grains

Amber Waves of Pain

Order up! Yes, folks, it’s definitive guide time again. I’ve read your requests and am happy (as always) to oblige. Grab your coffee (or tea), and pull up a seat. Glad you’re with us.

Insulin, cholesterol, fats… They’re only the tip of the iceberg. I’ve had a few “definitive” topics up my sleeve for a while now, and grains are it for today. Yes, grains. I know we’ve given them a bad rap before, and it’s safe to say I’ll do it again here. Sometimes the truth hurts, but you know what they say about the messenger, right? Without further ado…

Grains. Every day we’re bombarded with them and their myriad of associations in American (and much of Western) culture: Wilford Brimley, Uncle Ben, the Sunbeam girl, the latest Wheaties athlete, a pastrami on rye, spaghetti dinners, buns for barbeque, corn on the cob, donuts, birthday cake, apple pie, amber waves of grain…. Gee, am I missing anything? Of course. So much, in fact, that it could – and usually does – take up the majority of supermarket square footage. (Not to mention those government farm subsidies, but that’s another post.) Yes, grains are solidly etched into our modern Western psyche – just not so much into our physiology.

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10 Ways to De-stress

It’s been several decades since Bobby McFerrin (Yes, Bobby McFerrin, not Bob Marley) wrote the hit song “Don’t Worry be Happy” and yet we still can’t, well, quit worrying and get happy.

Whether it’s the kids, work, or a to-do list that simply won’t quit, the reality is there are hundreds of sources of stress in our lives and very few real ways (short of hiring a personal assistant, and even that’s no guarantee!) to deal with them…or are there?

The following are a list of our favorite de-stressing tips – so kick back, relax and feel the stress melt away.

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Dear Mark: Food with HFCS?

Dear Mark,

I’m interested in a list of all the manufactured foods that contain high fructose corn syrup. Also, is HFCS also used in wine making?

Thanks to reader Cheryl for this question. First off, let’s talk a bit about high fructose corn syrup. HFCS, as it’s known, is an omnipresent sweetener and preservative found in many/most processed foods. After corn is soaked and separated, sugar present in the cornstarch is processed (with the use of enzymes) to increase fructose content. Corn syrup is then added. The resulting HFCS contains some proportion of fructose to glucose depending on its intended use (typically 55:45 for soft drinks, 42:58 for many baked goods).

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Save a Few Bucks, Gain a Few Pounds

The stories are everywhere on news broadcasts, mornings shows, and magazines. Bulk shopping, particularly as it’s defined by stock images of Sam’s Club and Costco, is the key to the current economic crunch, the newscasters tell us. Footage clip after clip show the enormous carts filled to the brim with essentials like toilet paper, diapers, Pepsi, potato chips, cookies, hamburger buns. Huh?

We fully recognize and applaud that some warehouse establishments now offer even organic meats and some produce in bulk, and even those that don’t likely sell something worth foraging for (nuts, eggs, etc.). But the pull of those snack displays are apparently too much for many folks. The price is, in most cases, quite a bit less than what you’d find in the grocery store. But the difference is this: people apparently eat more junk food over time if they buy it in bulk.

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