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

A Primal Primer: Estrogen

The human endocrine system exists in a state of delicate balance. None of its constituents function in a vacuum, and trying to explain every hormonal interrelationship would take volumes, but one statement is fairly safe to make: one hormone affects another. Secreting one often inhibits the next, which in turn sets off an entirely different chain reaction of hormonal secretions, inhibitions, and syntheses. I almost feel like trying to micromanage your entire endocrine system is tedious and counterproductive (and probably impossible to do effectively). I much prefer to simply eat right, exercise smart, get good sleep, normalize stress, and take advantage of simple lifestyle hacks. Still, it doesn’t hurt to understand some of the major hormonal players, especially one as widely maligned by the strength and fitness community as estrogen.

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Bedding: Do We Really Need It?

The massive, California king body-molding Tempurpedic mattress that can balance a glass of Cab even as the red-faced TV pitchman hops up and down on it on his way to the next infarction, is a recent invention. Our ancestors were not hauling these massive things from kill site to kill site. They made do with mats, or piles of leaves, or animal skins, or even just the bare ground, and they – by and large – managed to avoid the musculoskeletal disorders that plague modern sedentary man. Should we follow suit, ditching our sumptuous sleeping setups for something more Spartan? Are health benefits conferred by slumbering on something Grok would recognize? Or put another way, are our beloved pillow-topped mattresses doing more harm than good?

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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: Offal Recipes

In the last couple months MDA readers have sent in some delicious Primal Chicken recipes (the previous theme):

Aromatic Whole Grilled Chicken
Chicken Curry Clafouti
Sesame Chicken and “Rice” with Fiery Ginger and Chile Sauce
Crispy Nut and Herb Fried Chicken with Creamy Avocado
Spicy Chicken and Bacon Poppers
Butter Chicken in a Silky Sauce

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. (Note: The Reader-Created Cookbook is not to be confused with The Primal Blueprint Cookbook.)

But now I’m asking for your favorite Primal Offal recipes. Liver and Onions? Sweetbreads and Bacon? Scrambled Eggs and Calf Brains? However you like your organs I want to know and so do other Primal Blueprinters. If you’d like to participate in this contest email me your best Primal creations where offal is the featured ingredient. Click here for all the contest details.

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Dear Mark: Nursing and the Primal Eating Plan

I’ve received the question numerous times, and last month several readers raised the issue in my “Ask Me Anything” post. For all the innumerable benefits of the Primal Blueprint diet, there are a handful of situations that oblige a few modest accommodations. In the past I’ve suggested Primally-minded adaptations for endurance athletes. Today I’ll take up the question of nursing. Do the long-term, intensive demands of breastfeeding require modification of the typical Primal diet? What special considerations are there for nursing mothers? And what about specific scenarios readers have mentioned: ketones, reflux, ammonia-scented urine? There’s a lot of Primal ground to cover today, so let’s jump right in. But first a reminder that I’m not a doctor and that everything on this site should be viewed as my opinion and not medical advice.

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Weekend Link Love

Happy 4th of July!

Here’s another grand slam from TED, chef Dan Barber talks about sustainability and his love affair with fish.

Do video games have a place in fitness? Son of Grok‘s answer may surprise you.

Because more than a dozen people emailed me about the article, it’s worth mentioning that orthorexia is back in the news and is predictably being misinterpreted by pundits. While I covered the subject over a year ago, I’ll go ahead and say it again: Choosing healthy foods is not a mental disorder, but refusing to eat because of impossibly high standards is.

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Butter Chicken in a Silky Sauce

Alison Mollenhauer was right on when she named the recipe she submitted for the Primal Blueprint Reader-Created Cookbook Contest “Butter Chicken” instead of simply “Chicken Curry”. Yes, the recipe has spices like garam marsala, cumin and cardamom. Yes, the air in your kitchen will be heavy with the enticing aroma of curry. But it’s the silky, rich, lick-the-back-of-your-spoon texture that really stands out in this dish. The credit goes to a generous amount of butter and the addition of cream or coconut milk, mellowing the spices and turning this fairly simple dish into something luxurious. The moist, tender meat of chicken thighs can take some credit too, as the chicken practically melts in your mouth with each bite.

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