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: July 2010

Weekend Link Love

If you’ve seen all my header photos, you’ve probably surmised that I enjoy stand-up paddle boarding. According to the Wall Street Journal, I’m not the only one.

Richard Nikoley just got back from MovNat, and so did Melissa McEwan! Read about Melissa’s adventure, and then read all five parts of Richard’s (part 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5).

For those of you who had fun building your own protein bar over at YouBars, you’ll probably enjoy SlantShack, which lets you build your own beef jerky.

Ready for some inspiration? Watch Veronica Garza‘s story about overcoming an autoimmune disease through lifestyle habits.

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Crispy Liver Hash Brown Patties

When most people think of beef liver, the next thing that comes to mind is fried onions. While liver and onions is certainly an easy way to serve this particular type of offal, it’s definitely not the only way. Primal readers have all sorts of suggestions for preparing beef liver, and we were particularly drawn to Evelyn Haapala’s recipe for Crispy Liver Hash Brown Patties sent in for the Primal Blueprint Reader-Created Cookbook Contest.

Beef liver has a stronger flavor than chicken liver, but in the scheme of things is still pretty mild. The flavor and texture of beef liver is at its best when cooked until firm but still a bit pink. However, even if you overcook these patties slightly they will still be moist and flavorful. Evelyn’s addition of grated potato, celery root, carrot and onion doesn’t so much hide the flavor of liver as it enhances it. Fry these liver hash brown patties up in a pan of butter and we’re betting even the pickiest eaters in your house will want to try a bite. Perfect for breakfast or dinner, delicious dipped in a little mustard or hot sauce, or better yet, garnished with sautéed onions and mashed lingonberries, like Evelyn does.

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The Power of an Enriched Environment

In my leptin series a few weeks ago, I hashed out how dietary choices direct leptin levels – as well as leptin sensitivity and leptin resistance. But there’s more to leptin processing than just the food we eat (or don’t eat). As it so happens, the environment in which we live – and the good or bad “stress” we experience in it – can have an overriding impact on leptin production. Researchers at Ohio State University injected a group of mice with cancer cells and followed their progress after dividing them into two groups. One lived in a larger and “enriched” community environment with various toys, hiding areas and exercise wheels. The other group lived in groups a quarter of the size in standard lab cages. What the scientists found might leave you scrutinizing your living quarters – or at least your social calendar.

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Sound Cues and Circadian Rhythms

Yesterday, I showed how environmental, behavioral, and social cues act as zeitgebers to human circadian rhythms, and I tried to be as thorough as possible (without outstaying my welcome). I left out one very important environmental cue with the promise of more information today – sound.

I can’t recall exactly where I heard about it, but it was someone’s offhand reference to the notion of the calls of songbirds affecting our circadian rhythms that convinced me I should do a follow-up to the blue light piece from earlier this year. The notion of bird calls affecting us on a deeper level than a regular sound makes some intuitive sense to me, so I did some searching to see if there was anything to it.

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Circadian Rhythms: Zeitgebers, Entrainment, and Non-Photic Stimuli

For all the unchecked randomness in this world, there are at least some things you can count on. The sun always rises and it always gets dark, and that’s something life – all life – has learned to rely on. Our internal clocks, known as circadian rhythms, tend to match up with this established external cycle. In essentially all known forms of life, from the earliest cells and bacteria to plants and mammals, the circadian rhythm is characterized by a period of around 24 hours.

You might recall a previous MDA series on how blue light can affect our circadian rhythms, and what we can do to maintain normal, natural levels and timing of blue light exposure. Long story short – it turns out that our exposure to blue light is akin to exposure to daylight, and getting too much – or too little – at the wrong times can disrupt our natural circadian rhythm and affect the quality of our sleep by changing when melatonin is secreted in our bodies. In other words, blue light is a major human zeitgeber (the ten-dollar word of the day); an exogenous cue that synchronizes our internal clock. But it’s not just light that affects our circadian rhythms.

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5 More Ways to Playfully Mimic a Persistence Hunt

Some of you understood what I was trying to convey with last week’s persistence hunting post – a fun, playful exercise using an unwitting (if they’re witting you’re not doing it right) participant as a reference point for fueling your fractal movement patterns. Others got the wrong idea, and that’s probably my fault. I can see how language like “stalking,” “hunting,” and “following” (all part of the visualization aspect of the exercise) might raise a few eyebrows. The reality is that we live in a world where suspicion is the rule, not the exception, and anyone can agree that a weird dude in jeans and a hooded sweatshirt (where did people get this image exactly?) lurking behind trees in a near-vacant park at dusk and stealing sneaky glances at a solo female jogger would be pretty creepy.

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