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: May 2010

Dogs Teach Tricks, Too

Ever watch dogs at play, carefree? Next time you go on an off-leash hike with a canine, or even just a walk around the neighborhood, watch how they just jog along. Assuming they aren’t in pursuit of cat, squirrel, or pedestrian, it’s an easy trot, an effortless series of flicks of the ankle joints. It’s smooth, and their heads and shoulders stay mostly level with the ground. No off balanced dipping or stumbling. Oh, sure, the composure goes out the window when a frisbee’s let fly and they tear off after it, tongue flapping and fur rustling and muscles pumping, but to watch a calm, curious off-leash dog trot around, checking out the surroundings, sniffing, and just taking it all in is to watch an animal at total, complete ease in his own (furry) skin. We can learn a lot from watching dogs, as I have from my own Yellow Lab, Buddha.

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A Primal Primer: Prebiotics

Probiotics get a ton of positive press from a multitude of sources (including here). It’s one of those areas of nutrition that receives approval from pretty much every camp out there, like fish oil. (Even Dean Ornish supports the usage of fish oil; just about the only type of fat he seems to approve of.) I’m firmly in the “For” column as well if you haven’t already guessed. I feel so strongly about probiotics and their integral role in gut and overall health that, as you may know, I’m coming out with a probiotic supplement in a few weeks. But there’s another aspect to the manipulation of beneficial gut flora. I briefly mentioned them last time, and today I’m going to really gut the whole beast, so to speak.

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Mark’s Daily Apple Readers “Go Primal”

Who’s ready for a little Monday morning motivation? Mark’s Daily Apple readers are putting the principles of The Primal Blueprint to work and turning their lives around as a result. If the Grok tattoo doesn’t leave you speechless there may be no hope for you, but I for one was at a loss for words after reading some of these amazing tales of personal triumph.

What will your story be 6 months, a year, 5 years from now? One of gaining weight, injury and illness?, or one of optimum health and wellness? You have incredible power over how these things play out. Read these stories for inspiration and then pen your own starting today. Grok on!

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Weekend Link Love

It seems as if Ms. Grok and Mr. Neanderthal were more than just neighbors. Wired talks about new findings of Neanderthal DNA in modern humans.

The China Study. Bane of Grok. Have you ever explained Primal living to someone only to hear, “But the China Study says meat will kill us.Feasting on Fitness takes the China Study down. Thoroughly. In multiple parts. Read the massive dissection of the research and reviews behind The China Study: Part 1 & Part 2.

Get Primal. Eat Squirrel. But not these squirrels.

Cocoa Puffs is no longer a heart healthy cereal. For shame. The Heart Scan Blog updates us with the AHA’s new list of “heart healthy” cereals. For those previously achieving health through Cocoa Puffs, you’ll have to make do with Berry Burst Cheerios and Cinnamon Life.

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Simple Spinach Salad with Grilled Steak and Raspberry Vinaigrette

The easiest type of salad dressing to make is vinaigrette: shake or whisk together oil and vinegar, add a little salt and pepper and you’ve got yourself some salad dressing. As anyone who eats salad regularly knows, however, dressing your greens in the same basic vinaigrette day after day gets a little boring. The salad recipe submitted by Reni Westmoreland reminded us that drastically changing the flavor is as simple as changing the type of vinegar you use. If you’ve been reaching for the same bottle of balsamic, or rice wine or apple cider vinegar for your dressings, then Reni’s Raspberry Vinaigrette might just be the change you need.

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How to Improve Thoracic Spine Mobility

By now, you should be convinced that attaining and maintaining mobility in your thoracic spine is a good idea for many reasons. Kyphosis of the thoracic spine is a virtual epidemic (just take a look around at everyone the next time you’re in a coffee shop or classroom – rounded backs abound) and everyone at some time or another has felt a little twinge of shoulder pain when doing a particularly adamant set of pull-ups.

Before you start with the exercises, let’s first figure out the extent of your thoracic immobility. The industry standardized way of determination is a simple one:

  1. Lie down on the floor, back flat against it.
  2. Your knees should be up with your feet and glutes flat on the floor.
  3. Lock your elbows and bring your arms directly overhead, attempting to touch your wrists to the ground above your head.
  4. Make sure to maintain contact between your lower back and the floor; don’t arch your back to get your hands in place.

If you can’t get into this position and touch your wrists to the ground, you have poor thoracic mobility. If you really had to struggle through discomfort or even pain (don’t fight through pain!), you have less than ideal thoracic mobility. And if you were able to breeze through this drill, you should probably still work on more mobility, just to shore up what you already possess.

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