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: February 2011

Did a Wrinkle in Human Evolution Predispose Us to Diabetes?

A new mice-with-an-engineered-human-genetic-deficiency study is out that promises to shed light on why humans are so darn diabetic and obese – and the cause is an evolutionary “mistake.” A deficiency that apparently slipped through the cracks without somehow leading to our species’ demise. You see, we’re missing a genetic component shared by pretty much all other mammals besides ourselves. While mammals generally produce two types of sialic acids, N-acetylneuraminic acid (Neu5Ac) and N-glycolylneuraminic acid (Neu5Gc), thanks to a mutation in a gene called CMAH, humans produce only the former. We don’t have the enzyme necessary to convert Neu5Ac to Neu5Gc. Why is this important? Sialic acids act as “contact points” for our cells to interact with the environment and other cells, and the latest research indicates that mice with the humanesque CMAH mutation are more prone to diabetes, especially when they’re overweight.

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WOW: Persistence Hunt

You have 50 minutes to:

Move/Run/Walk 2.5 Miles Unencumbered
Move/Run/Walk 2.5 Miles With Object 1/5 Bodyweight

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Weekend Link Love – Edition 132

How do you make a monkey fat? Feed him carbs! How do you make a monkey healthy? Let him eat Primal! That’s a mild oversimplification, but the full NYT story of the life and times of obese monkeys is definitely worth a read.

And the fun doesn’t stop with monkeys. Gorillas need real food too. Hunter-Gatherer follows the natural recovery of Bebac and Mokolo.

Want a healthier city? Design a healthier city. Fast Code Design discusses the task of designing a cityscape that is fun to walk.

Bug cuisine is all the buzz right now, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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Curry Spiced Kangaroo Loin with Savory Coconut Cauliflower

There might be some of you out there who can’t imagine eating a kangaroo because of something called the “cute factor.” It’s true that most advertisements promoting tourism Down Under feature kangaroos so cuddly-looking that the last thing on your mind is throwing one on the barbie. Most people just want to catch a glimpse of a kangaroo hopping around in its natural habitat. The odds of this are pretty good; kangaroos are year-round, prolific breeders. In fact, there are so many kangaroos hopping around in Australia that commercial harvesting of the species is necessary to keep the ecosystem in balance. Given these circumstances it makes sense to eat the meat rather than letting it go to waste – luckily, it’s tastier than you might imagine.

Rich and slightly sweet with only a hint of gaminess, high in protein, zinc and iron and always free range (there is no farming of kangaroos in Australia) kangaroo meat is becoming more and more popular within Australia and beyond. Although eating kangaroo may be new to many people, it is nothing out of the ordinary for Australia’s Indigenous peoples, who have hunted kangaroos for thousands of years.

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How the News Impacts Your Health (and What You Can Do About It)

Like everyone, I’ve had ample opportunity in my life to sit in waiting rooms. In the last several, however, I’ve noticed a trend that admittedly gets under my skin: the ubiquity of television news – and the negative events it routinely emphasizes. It’s been part of the airport scene forever now, it seems, but lately I’ve come across it in more restaurants and even in clinic waiting rooms. (Nothing beats watching multiple cycles of the latest grisly murder story as you eat your lunch or are waiting in agony for a doctor, eh?) In some respects, I appreciate having more than the morning paper or the 5 o’clock newscast if there’s a story I’d like to follow. With cable news and the Internet, we can assuredly keep on all the latest – what our go-to media sources choose to report of it anyway– 24/7. More than ever, we can get every detail, every commentary, every image associated with a given story. We can spend an entire day fixated on an event. We can watch a footage segment a hundred times if we please. Do we pay for this need to know, however? Does news exposure – specifically its heavy, menacing, and disturbing stories – have an impact on our personal well-being? What does it mean to have looming tales of death and destruction so frequently playing in our periphery? What happens to the human psyche (and body) when they’re fed a steady diet of unsettling news bulletins?

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Is “8 Uninterrupted Hours a Night” Flawed Conventional Wisdom?

Conventional Wisdom always gets an eyebrow raise from me. I can’t help it. Eventually, I take an honest look at whatever the experts are saying, but skepticism gets first dibs. I’d call it an instinct if it weren’t learned behavior from years of being burned. For example, I once took to task the most pervasive “truth” around: that everyone needs to drink eight glasses of water a day or risk kidney failure, toxin buildup, bladder cancer, and debilitating constipation. It was pretty easy to do.

But it’s not all BS. Smoking is bad for you, for example. See? I can admit when they’re right!

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