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: March 2009

The Importance of Cooking in the Evolution of the Human Brain

Even the most ardent vegetarians will begrudgingly admit that meat eating played a large role in the evolution of early man (although now we’re somehow expected to totally revert back several million years). Including calorie-dense meat in our diets allowed us to ditch the larger guts used for digesting inefficient plant matter, and we developed big brains. We were able to consume more nutrients and more calories without sacrificing mobility, and eating meat allowed man to spread to harsher climes, where vegetation was sparse or only seasonal. The human brain requires an incredible amount of energy to run, and meat was the most readily available source of sufficient fuel.

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Better than Take-Out Beef and Broccoli

Sure, you could just pick up the phone and order in a number 14 from your local Chinese restaurant, but this homemade recipe for Beef and Broccoli is so easy – and so much healthier – you’ll want to remove the take-out menu from the prime spot on your refrigerator!

Ingredients:
1 lb sirloin steak, sliced thin
1 lb broccoli florets
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 cloves garlic, minced

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You’re Not Going to Change Overnight

A recent article confirms that, for better or worse, instant body composition changes from diet or exercise are relatively few and far between. Now, the exercise and diet routines referenced in the NY Times piece were likely conventional low-fat, low-cal diets and traditional workouts (chronic cardio, isolation exercises) as opposed to Primal, but I agree with the basic conclusions: that changes in body composition only come with diligence and consistency. If you’re expecting instant results, prepare to be disappointed.

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Pepper and Salt: Not So Basic After All

I dined at a Sichuan Chinese place recently and was struck by the interesting properties of the dishes. Rather than blasting my mouth with simple, overwhelming spiciness (which I’ve always heard about in Sichuan cooking), the dishes presented a more nuanced, almost narcotic heat. It was definitely spicy, but much more than that – my mouth was tingling and even a bit numb (which I soon realized – after plucking one of the things from my kung pao and chewing it whole – was thanks to the eponymous brand of peppercorn used in the cuisine). The food was delicious and I’d go back in a heart beat, but I left more intrigued with the strange little Sichuan peppercorn than the excellent food. And, like with most things nowadays, I got to thinking about how I could turn this into a Daily Apple post.

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Why Skipping Meals and Workouts is Healthy

Conventional wisdom tells us that “grazing” is the optimal way to eat. Constant snacking; more frequent, smaller meals rather than the classic breakfast, lunch, dinner set-up; and an ever-present fear of hunger as the enemy: these are said to line the path to healthy weight loss. If we ever feel hungry, it says, we leave ourselves vulnerable to temptation and metabolic imbalances. There is certainly some validity to this idea. I can imagine Grok roaming the grasslands for nuts, bugs, roots, shoots, and small game. And at times these foods may have been plentiful. More likely though Grok’s eating pattern was much more sporadic. There would have been periods of grazing coupled with stretches of famine and punctuated by instances of all-out feasting. As is so often the case, CW has cherry picked one part of this scenario and turned it into an ironclad, dogmatic proclamation that excludes any alternatives, whatever their potential benefits.

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How to Relieve Sore Muscles

Dear Mark,

Been eating primal for a few months now, loving it, but I just started doing some workouts and the soreness that comes a day or two later is just killing me. Does it get better? Maybe I’m doing them wrong?

Thanks,
Jill

Thanks, Jill, for the question. It’s a subject that, had you not mentioned it, might never have popped up. What you’re describing is delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), and it’s completely normal – especially for people just getting started exercising. The symptoms include muscle tenderness, soreness, weakness, and even swelling. As you’ve noticed, DOMS usually manifests a day or two after a particularly strenuous workout. It afflicts millions of people, from weekend warriors to hard-core athletes. Some dread it; others relish the feeling for days as proof that they’re making progress. But despite its ubiquity, science still hasn’t been able to nail down the precise cause of DOMS.

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