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: October 2009

How to Maintain Muscle While Losing Weight

“Losing weight” is insufficient terminology. It’s too vague, too unspecific. When a person sets out to lose weight, just what are they trying to lose? Bone density? Muscle mass? Organ weight? Of course not – they’re generally looking to lose adipose tissue. People want to burn body fat, and they want to do it without negatively impacting the more beneficial sources of (corporeal) gravitas. Simply put, you want to lose fat, not muscle. The only problem is that the popular methods for shedding weight often result in excessive (but really, any amount is excessive) muscle loss, too. I’m talking, of course, about precisely the practices I rail against in the Primal Blueprint Chronic Cardio, ultra low-cal/low-fat ascetic dieting, and other trappings of Conventional Fitness Wisdom. Granted, adhering to any, individually or in concert, will probably help you lose weight, but a ton of it will come from your lean mass (not to mention bones and organs). That said, if you’re going for skinny-fat chic or the waiflike, undernourished look, feel free to run fifteen miles a day and live off canned tuna and rice cakes. The scale will drop, and you won’t be weighed down by that pesky musculature any longer.

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Dear Mark: Depression Diet?

I occasionally get emails from readers who are interested in lifestyle changes that can either complement or replace their conventional treatments for depression. Since our post a few weeks ago on antidepressants, I’ve gotten a slew of emails asking me about the role of nutrition in mental health. In response I thought I’d devote a Dear Mark to the general question of diet and depression. Thanks to all who wrote in or commented on the boards or forum!

It comes as no surprise that nutrition directly impacts brain performance just as it does the functioning of every other organ. Although the roots of clinical depression involve a complex (and theoretically contentious) mix of physiological, genetic and socio-emotional factors, the physical picture hones in on neurotransmitters, chemical messengers that travel between nerves in the brain. Of all the neurotransmitters, the key players in mood disorders are dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin. When we talk about a diet that supports mental health, we’re essentially looking at nutrition that sustains both optimal neurological functioning and hormone balance.

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Weekend Link Love – Edition 67

“Manthropology.” That’s the title of a new book, and it claims modern humans are wimps. Sound familiar? The Independent has the scoop on the man who says Grok was better.

Canadians take a step in the right direction with oolichan grease and a big, fat diet.

Grok had to flee from lions, tigers, and paleolithic attack bears. Modern man has to flee from… himself? Olivia Judson at The New York Times comments about despair, a predator that only targets one species.

If you can’t get enough of me here at the Apple, check out my interview on Sterling Advice. I discuss pet peeves, fitness gurus, and the infamous beach sprints.

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Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s Pie is comfort food at it’s best. Flavorful ground meat is mixed with a simple blend of peas, carrots and green beans, and in the recipe Cherie Randall submitted for the Primal Blueprint Cookbook Contest, topped with a creamy layer of buttery cauliflower puree. Once you’ve tasted the smooth texture and rich flavor of cauliflower whipped with butter you’ll want to start eating it straight out of bowl with a spoon. But for this recipe in particular it’s worth waiting to experience the whole dish together. Alone, ground meat and frozen vegetables may not seem like anything special. But when combined with the cauliflower puree into Shepherd’s Pie, the result is the type of home cooked meal all of us wish was waiting for us at the end of a long day.

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Contest Video: Bodyweight Basics

As part of our ongoing Primal Blueprint Fitness Video Contest reader Peter Nathan submitted his interpretation of Primal Blueprint bodyweight exercises (the current theme). He is in the running for a cash and prize package worth $400 and has a one in four shot of winning. If you’d like to be featured on Mark’s Daily Apple for a chance to win Primal gear read the Primal Blueprint contest details and submit your video (fitness or recipe), real life Primal story or Primal recipe soon!

Check back tomorrow for a Worker Bee culinary creation of a reader’s Primal recipe submitted as part of the Primal Blueprint Cookbook Contest (current theme: A Primal Breakfast).

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Announcement: New Recipe Theme for the Cookbook Contest

Enter your best Primal Blueprint recipes for your chance to win prizes and be featured in the Reader-Created Cookbook

The new theme: A Primal Breakfast

We’ve received some delicious Primal beef recipes from readers:

Korean-Style Short Ribs

Carne Asada

And we have a few more reader-submitted beef recipes in the pipeline, including one that will be published tomorrow.

All of these recipes will be featured in the Reader-Created Primal Blueprint Cookbook and the entrants have a chance to win an über cool Primal prize package.

If you’d like to participate in this contest send in your own favorite Primal recipes that relate to the current theme – A Primal Breakfast. Click here for all the details.

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