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: September 2009

Weekend Link Love – Edition 62

Medical News Today covers the growing Swedish fat wars. Methinks I need to translate the Primal Blueprint into Swedish!(thanks, Dr. Eades!)

Runner’s World takes a very serious (super serious) look into the misguided, dangerous, and downright un-American practice of running barefoot.

You may have read my tirade against ridiculous food labels, but it’s good to know that the New York Times is catching on to the charade. I must warn you: Some of the things the food execs say in this “Smart Choice” food label article may re-ignite your fear that Satan is alive, among us, and working for Kellogg’s.

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Beef Burgundy

If you’ve been to the movies lately, it’s likely you’ve seen Julie and Julia on the marquee. This true story contrasts the life of TV chef and cookbook author Julia Child with a modern-day fan, Julie, who blogs about cooking all 524 recipes in Mastering the Art of French Cooking. It’s a movie that makes you feel two things: uplifted and absolutely starving.

Some of the French dishes that star in the movie aren’t so appealing, like the ones baked in heavy pastry dough. Others are downright mouth-watering. Whenever the actors on screen sit down to eat you’ll wish you were at the table with them. French classics like juicy roasted chicken, fish sautéed liberally in butter and creamy hollandaise sauce with artichokes all make an appearance. One of the most memorable dishes is beef cooked for hours in red wine and stock until it’s so tender it will melt in your mouth.

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The Age of Antidepressants?

Now that we’ve turned the page on August’s Primal Challenge, we’re digging into some of our “regular programming,” including news highlights. We like keeping a finger on what’s new and novel – and occasionally outrageous. This one definitely fits the latter. (Hint: Are you sitting?) A few weeks ago the Archives of General Psychiatry reported the following: “Antidepressants have recently become the most commonly prescribed class of medications in the United States.” Yikes, yowza, criminy, uff da! No foolin’, folks. According to the findings, “The rate of antidepressant treatment increased from 5.84% … in 1996 to 10.12% … in 2005.” Want hard numbers? Approximately 27 million people in the U.S., the report says, used antidepressants in 2005.

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Is the Stone Beginning to Crack?

When all was said and done, yesterday’s post turned out to be a bit of a downer – at least for me. I literally felt the crushing weight of the preponderance of Conventional Wisdom bearing down on me as I wrote, and the light-hearted banter was all I could muster to keep from total despair. Even though I tried to illuminate the conclusion with a glimmer of hope, I almost felt like retreating to some dark dank place to set up shop and live out my days like some Primal Grok-Kurtz amalgam. The locals would whisper and tell tall tales, sure, but at least I’d be free to eat fat, munch protein, and abstain from excess carbs. Maybe Eades would send in a band of hapless recruits to retrieve me. Maybe they’d bear news that the war was ending and, though we may not be necessarily winning, we were at least making it respectable. Or maybe I just watched “Apocalypse Now” again. Have I gone temporarily mad? Perhaps, but that’s what fighting against an entrenched, illogical enemy will do to a person.

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Is Conventional Wisdom Set in Stone?

In previous posts and with offhand comments, I’ve mentioned our (mostly) diametric opposition to Conventional Wisdom. I say “mostly” because when it comes to diet, there are bound to be a few areas that everyone agrees with. Real food that doesn’t come in a box is best – I can’t think of any diet book or nutritional “expert,” vegan or carnivore alike, that would say differently. Vegetables can and should be enjoyed freely – I’d even wager that most Primal eaters consume far more vegetables than your average pasta vegetarian. And, while we’re not fruitarians (you’d probably have to go back three or four million years to find a frugivorous hominoid that may be a common ancestor), we modern Primals do eat reasonable amounts of certain fruits. The areas where we virulently disagree – on saturated fat (and dietary fat in general), on red meat, on grains and legumes – are incredibly divisive. You can shun processed foods and eat organic and no one will argue against it, but once you bust out the jar of freshly rendered lard, the bacon, and the eight egg omelets while failing to produce a single cereal grain-based item, everyone becomes a nutritionist/cardiologist/dietitian.

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GERD Sufferers Rejoice!

This story comes from reader Melissa. Her personal tale of going Primal was sent in during this season’s Primal Blueprint Health Challenge. She is the first of four entrants that will be part of the first round of drawings for the ongoing Primal Blueprint Real Life Stories contest. If you have a Primal story that you would like to share visit this page for all the details!

Reading all the amazing stories this week, I’m so impressed with all the weight people have lost because of primal living. My own story isn’t about dramatic weight loss, but underscores that the primal diet can address a variety of health problems caused by our modern diets.

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