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 2010

Halloween Link Love

Spooky Scary! Thanks to Bryant for the Grok carving to the right.

U.K. Mail Online asks… Can cutting carbohydrates from your diet make you live longer? The answer is a bonafide “Yes!” Good to see Conventional Wisdom cracking.

Razor blades in bite sized Snickers, a kidnapper around every corner, Lenore Skenazy of Free Range Kids pens a great piece on Halloween Paranoia in the Wall Street Journal.

Want to scare you kids away from sugar? Gross them out with chocolate poo drops, urine sample candy, and these other nasty concoctions. On second thought, they might love this stuff.

Today is the last day to sign up for Jimmy Moore‘s Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb fan club. Take your Jimmy podcast listening to the next level.

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Primal Holiday Desserts

Halloween signals that the sugary season is upon us again, that willpower-testing time of year when bowls of candy and plates of baked goods seem to appear at every turn. If indulging at some point is inevitable, make it something that doesn’t divert too far from the Primal foods that will keep you feeling healthy during the holiday season. Enter Primal desserts.

You know what some of our typical dessert choices are; usually, the simpler the better. A square of (very) dark chocolate (dipped into almond butter, perhaps) or berries with whole cream don’t require a recipe and aren’t accompanied by a load of guilt. When holiday season is full swing, we’ve also been known to enjoy a mug of Primal Eggnog and a slice or two of Primal Pie.

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Should You Trust Medical Studies?

Last week I shared news from the Pharma front, specifically the latest on questionable business practices and undisclosed alliances that continue to dog the industry’s public image. Pharma, however, isn’t the only part of the health field cast in doubt these days. What would you say to a person who claimed that some 90% of medical studies were false – flawed in their parameters, riddled with basic error, skewed by presumption and bias? (No, it’s not me sayin’….) I’m talking about an insider: a highly esteemed, widely acclaimed, much admired, often cited medical researcher who has to turn down speaking engagements left and right. He’s a professional with a flair for statistics and penchant for credibility. His initial groundbreaking research (meta-research, actually) hit the medical scene years ago, but he’s still going strong and in more public headlines these days as the focus of an in-depth Atlantic Magazine feature.

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Just How Long Did Grok Live, Really?

It has become an article of faith among, well, basically everyone, that our ancestors lived short, brutal lives. What are they touting as the average lifespan these days – 35 years old or so? I’ve heard anything between 25 and 40 years. The common counter is that infant mortality rates were higher than they are today, thus skewing the average. It’s also often pointed out that a relatively benign accident or illness by today’s standards – a broken arm, a rolled ankle, or a minor infection – could have prematurely ended Grok’s life. And that these cases say nothing about Grok’s potential to live 70+ years. The “short and brutal” meme has wedged itself in the public psyche, and it’s going to take a lot to extract it from its seemingly intractable position.

I’m going to riff a bit on something I’ve been thinking about regarding ancient human bones. This isn’t an official stance or anything; I’m just thinking out loud. Let me know what you think in the comment board.

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Potatoes: Part Deux

Last week, I made the case that potatoes aren’t nearly as bad as some people make them out to be. They’re carby, sure, but lean, active people who can tolerate carbs are way better off eating potatoes than grains, and even for low-carbers, a potato makes for a good, gluten-free cheat meal. Their place in your diet depends on the metabolic context. In my so-called “final word,” I said there isn’t one, at least not ordained from above. You have to figure out for yourself whether or not they fit into your diet. You might even say you have to go with your gut on this one (in more ways than one, as you’ll see).

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How Grok Got Milk

Dairy, as I’ve discussed, is a somewhat hazy matter in the Primal Blueprint. With adequate reasons from solid thinkers both for and against, I’ve relegated dairy to the provisional, the peripheral, the speculative even as I choose to modestly indulge in it. As with most Primal gray areas, some forms appear less controversial than others. Raw, fermented, full fat dairy offers much more health benefit with fewer reservations than processed, low fat renderings. (Isn’t that always the case?) From a Primal perspective, however, dairy still remains somewhat of an enigma. Hardly one of the original, universal foods in human evolution, milk entered the scene at a surprisingly late date – only some 9,000 years ago with the advent of animal domestication. Researchers have long traced the “progression” of Grok‘s dairy intake from the Middle East into Europe, where milk actually became an unusually significant dietary staple. New research into the dairy “drift” now offers more details than ever surrounding this relatively isolated, albeit dramatic, evolutionary event.

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