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

The Importance of Thoracic Spine Mobility

Do your shoulders slump and round when you walk, sit, or stand?

Do you have trouble keeping your chest up when squatting under a bar or lifting heavy things off the ground?

Do you get lower back or neck pain when doing twisting or rotational movements?

Have you resigned yourself to living with that nagging rotator cuff pain that flares up during workouts and in bed?

If you answered “yes” to any of those (and most people will answer yes to at least one), you may have poor thoracic spine mobility. Even if you don’t notice any of the symptoms leaping out at you, it never hurts to get more mobility, especially in the thoracic spine. And establishing good habits by actively maintaining and training mobility, as opposed to being content with what you have (even if it’s not optimum), is always a good move. Scoff at the prospect of thoracic spine mobility all you want; you still gotta have it.

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The Definitive Guide to Sugar

You’d think this post would come with a blaring alarm, flashing strobe light or at least an ominous gong. Sugar, after all, gets little welcome around these parts. It’s on one hand a dastardly devil, shameless snare for many a man, woman and child. Beyond this luring, ignoble reputation, however, you’ll find (as is so often the case in life and biology) the story is a bit more complicated – and compelling – than the proverbial black hat. Sugar comes in many forms of course, and each of these leaves a certain amount of damage and destruction in its path. Yet, what do we do when sugar naturally accompanies some of the healthiest fare out there? Do we forgo it altogether when a touch ties an otherwise good Primal recipe together? Are the typical substitutions any better when we choose to use a sweetener? We’ve covered the artificial options in the past, but today I’ll give several natural varieties of sugar their due – the obligatory facts, the practical details and a final Primal analysis.

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Putting Out the Fire: Gut Flora and the Inflammatory Cycle

It’s funny. Once you realize the relationship between nutrition, disease, health, and metabolism is complicated, complex, and completely interdependent, things somehow get a bit simpler. Everything is connected to everything else. Chronic stress begets chronic inflammation, which chronically elevates cortisol, which induces insulin resistance and belly fat accumulation. Celiacs are usually intolerant of casein, too. Diabetics get heart disease more and have higher cancer mortality rates. Diabetics are often insulin resistant and usually overweight. Celiacs are often Type 1 diabetics. The overweight sleep less, work more, and get less sun than leaner folks.

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The PrimalCon Primal Blueprint Fitness Challenge

The exciting grand finale of the fitness agenda at PrimalCon was the PBF Challenge at Oxnard Beach Park. Here participants conducted a timed high-intensity performance test consisting of a challenging, non-stop sequence of basic PBF body resistance exercises that work various large muscle groups to the brink of exhaustion. A protocol was given for Novice, Intermediate and Advanced levels, allowing participants to choose a challenge most appropriate for them. While the emphasis at PrimalCon was on welcoming all to a completely non-intimidating atmosphere (participants broke into sub-groups by self-reported fitness level for the Sprinting, Strength Training, and Play sessions), we did stage a friendly competition for each sex and fitness category at this particular event, and dispensed some cool Grok-logoed awards to the various winners at the closing brunch.

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Weekend Link Love

Remember Michelle from the Primal Challenge (and recently from my Where are They Now? post)? She’s had so much success living Primal that New Zealand television featured her as an inspiring Kiwi last week. Grok on, Michelle!

Want another sign Conventional Wisdom may be changing for the better? Read Scientific American‘s article titled Carbs Against Cardio.

For urban Primalists, Hunt. Gather. Love. found a neat little tutorial on growing your own salad bowl.

Seven states are investigating agricultural giant Monsanto: Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Texas, Virginia. And get this, Monsanto is such a dominant force that two states declined to be identified. Mercola has the round-up of facts and opinions on Monsanto’s history of abuse of power.

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Primal Poke Salad

Let’s start by clarifying that the “poke” in this salad is pronounced Po-keh, and refers to pieces of raw fish flavored with tamari, onions and other seasonings. Poke is a traditional Hawaiian dish and the heart and soul of this salad recipe submitted by Shaleah Poster. Shaleah’s maternal family is from Hawaii, so her Primal Poke Salad deliciously combines her heritage and her Primal lifestyle.

If you’re a sashimi lover, this salad is for you. The delicate flavor and buttery texture of raw Yellowfin tuna is complimented perfectly by the bold flavors of tamari, sesame and onion and the crisp texture of carrots, snow peas and asparagus. A garnish of sesame seeds and avocado give this light salad a rich, satisfying finish.

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