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: July 2008

Weekend Backsliding?

Researchers say Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the most productive days of the week. Monday tends to be “recovery” day from the weekend, and the rest of the week, well, we’re often coasting along waiting for the weekend to arrive, aren’t we? (Ah, the lure of the weekend: the free time, the social activities, special occasions, the chance to kick back…) But is our cherished refuge also our health’s downfall?

A study from the Washington University School of Medicine suggests that the tendency toward weekend backslide on health goals is a common problem. The researchers assembled daily weight, caloric intake, and physical activity data from participants both before and during assigned intervention programs. The participants included a total of 48 men and women, aged 50-60, whose BMI scores ranged from normal to obese.

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How to Make Your Own Jerky

In the modern world it’s hard to get more “primal” than dried meat. Consider it one of Grok’s many talents and culinary achievements. Jerky is essentially strips of lean meat that have marinated and dried. The result? Tasty, rich, salty and pumped with about twice the protein gram per gram of regular “hydrated” meat. To boot, you’ve got a snack that travels well under circumstances as varied as weekend camping trips to NASA missions. Awesome, huh?

But when we say jerky we mean something so much better and healthier than the processed strips and sticks (e.g. “Slim Jims”) you find at the gas station checkout. The best jerky is made from whole-muscle meat, homemade or in small batch varieties. We’ll agree that there’s some great small label jerky out there. Meat shares from small farms often include it. To try out a few varieties, farmers’ markets are a great place to pick up some of the real deal especially if you’re new to the world of genuine jerky.

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Calling All 30-Day Primal Health Challenge Participants!

Yesterday marked the end of the 30-Day Primal Health Challenge. Don’t fret! You don’t have to fall back in to your old ways. Take a moment to reflect on all that you accomplished (weight lost, resolve strengthened, muscle gained) as well as the difficulties faced (the midnight cravings and peer pressure from co-workers you gave into). At the very least we hope you have learned something about the yourself and the Primal way of life.

If you’d like to share you experience please send in your story by the end of today. We will be publishing all results tomorrow morning.

Further Reading:

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The Definitive Guide to the Primal Eating Plan

Do the Math

In my recent Context of Calories post, I explained how the different macronutrients we eat at each meal (fats, proteins, and carbohydrates) have different effects in the body. I suggested that, despite their raw calorie values, it’s far more important to get a lasting intuitive sense of how much of each macronutrient you need and when you need it (or not).

But how do you do that? How do you figure out the proper number of calories – and breakdown of fats, protein and carbs – to accomplish your fitness and health goals? To lose weight? Lose fat? Gain muscle? Maintain status quo? Run marathons?

In fact, most popular daily diets look at overall calories as the main factor in weight loss and weight gain. The age-old conservation of energy Conventional Wisdom says that “a calorie is a calorie.” From there most diet gurus generally prescribe some formulaic one-size-fits-all breakdown of fats, protein and carbs. A classically trained Registered Dietician will tell you that protein should be around 10-15% of calories, carbs should be 60% (and mostly from whole grains) and fat under 30%. This macronutrient breakdown stays the same regardless of how much weight you need to lose or what other goals you might have. Barry Sears has his 40/30/30 “Zone” diet. The USDA bases everything on a choice of between 2,000 and 2,500 calories a day. But, as I said earlier, it’s not that simple. Calories do have context.

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10 Classic DIY Salad Creations

To honor National Salad Week (seriously… ) we’ve devised a list of our top 10 all-time favorite – and Mark’s Daily Apple-approved – salad recipes…

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Should We Allow Drugs in Sports?

Dear Mark,

I know you used to be involved in triathlon sports administration. I see so much written about “banned substances” and “cheating” going on in the world of professional sports these days, especially with the Olympics looming. What do you make of all this?


Ray, my position hasn’t changed on this issue in a long while. Here is a piece I wrote for another website two years ago – before Floyd Landis tested positive for testosterone in the Tour de France.

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