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: April 2009

The Problems with Conventionally Raised Beef

As mentioned in our Red Scare commentary a few weeks ago, beef gets a seriously bad rap these days. “Saturated fat!” the status quo shrieks, running in all directions, hair on fire, arms flailing, gnashing their teeth. Let’s set the record straight here. You know our decidedly pro-fat leanings. No need to go any further there. But what else is there to like about beef? To its credit, beef offers among the biggest boost of protein per ounce of any traditional food. (Yes, insects and other underappreciated delicacies in some cases offer more. We’ll let our good readers fill in the options here.) To boot, beef is an excellent source of niacin, vitamins B6, B12, K2, phosphorus, selenium, as well as iron, potassium, and riboflavin. In its best form (and we’ll get to that), it also serves as a good source of conjugated linoleic acid (more on this in a minute) and omega-3 fatty acids. (See why we were so compelled to defend red meat’s honor?)

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Is All Cheese Created Equal?

The answer to that question is (hopefully) pretty obvious, but I’ll still explain why.

Short answer: No.

Slightly longer answer: C’mon – you really think that stuff you can spray out of an aerosol can is qualitatively identical to a 2-year old Gouda?

Long answer: The paleo purists shun all forms of dairy, but the Primal Blueprint takes a more nuanced stance. We note that while dairy certainly shouldn’t form the basis for an eating regimen, certain forms of it can easily be integrated seamlessly into a healthy, Primal eating strategy as a sensible vice, especially the highest-fat choices (a bit of heavy cream in the morning coffee, some real whipped cream with strawberries for dessert) or even a staple (pastured butter for sautéing and drizzling over vegetables). Of course, for those who can more easily digest (lactose-wise) certain forms and who insist on including it in their diet, sticking to dairy that’s as close to the state it was in upon exodus from the animal in question is important (raw dairy, kids), as is avoiding the stuff treated with all sorts of preservatives and processing (homogenized semi-skim milk product with antibiotics, anyone?).

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Yoga Therapy?

Primal living, of course, is ultimately about overall wellness. Sure, we focus a lot on nutrition and exercise (important points, after all), but these topics are only part of the picture. Wellness, as it’s often defined, embodies healthful living in several dimensions of self-care and actualization. Our sense of emotional well-being, for example, figures strongly into our quality of life, and it’s about more than just personal happiness. Stress and unmanaged mental health concerns can take a true physical toll. In chronic cases, poor mental health/stress can become a downward, damaging spiral. We’re talking immune dysfunction, high blood pressure, systemic inflammation…. Stress response can even contribute to heart disease and cancer in extreme cases.

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Dear Readers

I’m getting dozens of emails from readers every day. Though I try to give personalized advice to each and every one of them, I’ve got to say, it can be a little overwhelming. What is one to do? Lucky for me, many Mark’s Daily Apple readers are highly educated or otherwise informed about all health and fitness matters, and all readers at least have anecdotal evidence to share on a vast range of topics. So this week I’m leaving it up to you!

Below you’ll find 10 random questions I’ve recently received. I (and they too I’m sure) would love for you to share your thoughts, personal stories, and know-how in the comment board. (I’ll be chiming in, too!) It’s your chance to help a fellow member of the MDA community. Thanks, everyone!

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Weekend Link Love – Edition 47

Bare feet are back in action! I’ve been proselytizing bare feet for years, but now the benefits of going shoeless are finally hitting mainstream media. It that’s not enough here’s a video showing side-by-side comparisons of Grok-style and Nike style. And it’s not just about barefoot running – barefoot hiking counts too!

After Wednesday’s spinach bread post, many readers chimed in with their own favorite grainless bread recipes. Here are a few:

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Chicken and Avocado Sandwich with Spinach Bread

Adapted from a lunchtime favorite from a hip Washington, D.C. bistro, this sandwich is hearty enough to see you through the final frigid days of winter but, with the inclusion of only the freshest ingredients, will have you thinking of summer afternoons spent lingering at a sidewalk café.

As an aside, we want to mention that in penning the spinach “bread” recipe we perhaps should have issued a warning that it can sometimes be…well, a little on the dry side (on par with, say, a drier rye bread or a seriously crusty loaf). However, the inclusion of the avocado provides the creamy texture you would usually rely on mayonnaise to provide, while the tomato offers both a burst of freshness and some much-needed moisture without veering into soggy territory.

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