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

Grilled Ostrich Smothered in Garlic Herb Butter

Ostriches are a true oddity. First, there’s the whole 8-foot tall thing, the freakishly long neck and the large wings that have no flight capabilities whatsoever. Then there’s the fact that the meat does not remotely resemble meat from more commonly eaten birds like chicken, turkey or quail. In fact ostrich meat is similar to beef. Like beef, ostrich is sold in cuts such as filets, medallions, roasts and burgers. Unlike beef, ostrich meat is not rippled with fat. While some people think the low fat content of ostrich is its biggest selling point, we see this as a slight downside. We’re willing to overlook this minor quibble because we like the mild, meaty flavor. And we take things into our own hands anyway and add a little fat back into the equation by serving ostrich with a favorite savory topping: garlic herb butter.

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Announcements Galore: Seminars, Retreats, Cookbooks, Free Stuff and More

There’s a lot going on at the Primal Blueprint headquarters here in Malibu, CA. I thought I’d catch you up to speed on some of the upcoming events, book releases, new Mark’s Daily Apple features, and give away a digital cookbook while I’m at it. Hold on for the ride. This is a monster announcement post…

Primal Accelerated Success Training – Manhattan Beach, Feb. 12

You may have noticed that the name “PASS” for the new Primal Blueprint seminar program has been reimagined as “PAST”. It seems more fitting somehow and I think Grok would approve. In any case, the inaugural Primal Accelerated Success Training event is just two days away. Get your tickets now and join me and other attendees in Manhattan Beach this Saturday, February 12 (tomorrow!). You’ll walk away learning all the ins and outs of the the Primal lifestyle.

Also, if you haven’t noticed (see the new PAST module in the sidebar), I have five more dates lined up. PAST Master Presenter Brad Kearns and/or I will be coming to Reno on March 26, Charleston on April 30, Kansas City on April 30, Seattle on June 11 and Austin on June 25. We hope to see you there!

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Total Immersion: How to Recognize and Tap Into the Power of Flow

They’re moments when the rest of the world – even consciousness itself – recedes into an unperceived periphery. Seemingly outside the progression of time, detached from the bounds of physical need, you fade past existence into immersion. The self quietly falls away. You’re one with the mountain, the paint brush, the instrument, the pose, the stride, the notes, the words. If you could freeze time to capture this dasein experience, you’d witness freedom, lightness, unwitting joy.

Like Schrödinger’s cat or a faint star in the night sky, however, these moments resist direct observation. The minute we bring awareness to them, they’ve already passed. We catch them, instead, out of the corner of our eye – briefly, fleetingly, on the returning threshold of consciousness. Despite their transience, we discern their effects. We emerge changed – more content, composed.

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The Characteristics of Hunter-Gatherer Fitness

Dr. Loren Cordain and a few MD colleagues have recently published a paper (PDF) called “Organic Fitness: Physical Activity Consistent with Our Hunter-Gatherer Heritage.” It makes for a great companion piece to Primal Blueprint Fitness, and it encapsulates quite nicely the breadth of research into the physical activities of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Read the whole thing. There’s probably nothing really new to you guys already well-versed in this stuff, but it’s good having it all in one space, and it’s good having it from more sources (not just me). If someone ever asks you why you go barefoot, avoid weight machines, squat below parallel (don’t you know it’s bad for your knees!?!), go on hikes for fun without sunscreen, and hate treadmills, you can send along a nice, neat package including the PBF eBook and the Cordain paper. This isn’t a “nyah, nyah, proven right again!” type thing (well, kinda). This is a “buttressing the incoming unavoidable inexorable impossible-to-ignore flood of evidence in favor of listening to evolution in matters of health and fitness” type thing. The times they are a changin’, eh?

Anyway, let’s get to the meaty bits of the paper – to what they call the “fundamental elements of ‘organic exercise,’ which may serve as a template from which to design a fitness strategy for adults living in today’s modern industrialized culture.” I’ve bolded and italicized their words (from a section of which the title of this article is derived) and followed up with my commentary:

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A Primal Primer: Stevia

After last week’s article many of you asked about a natural alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners: stevia. It is widely used in the low carb community to satisfy sugar cravings or simply add a touch of sweetness to a hot beverage or dessert, but should it be? What is stevia? Is it safe? What is its effect on insulin, if any, and does it have a place in a Primal Blueprint eating strategy? Let’s investigate.

Stevia is an herbaceous family of plants, 240 species strong, that grows in sub-tropical and tropical America (mostly South and Central, but some North). Stevia the sweetener refers to stevia rebaudiana, the plant and its leaves, which you can grow and use as or with tea (it was traditionally paired with yerba mate in South America) or, dried and powdered, as a sugar substitute that you sprinkle on. It’s apparently quite easy to grow (according to the stevia seller who tries to get me to buy a plant or two whenever I’m at the Santa Monica farmers’ market), and the raw leaf is very sweet.

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Do Statins Reduce Small, Dense LDL? Fasting Sure Does

I came across an interesting statin study the other day. It’s from last year, but I hadn’t seen it until recently. The study, entitled “Statins Do Not Decrease Small, Dense Low Density-Lipoprotein,” sought to understand the effect of statin therapy on small, dense LDL, the truly “bad” kind of “bad” cholesterol, the stuff that’s strongly associated with increased heart disease risk in many studies. We know that statins reduce LDL cholesterol – they are extremely effective at curtailing the cholesterol-synthesizing hydroxy-methyl-glutaryl-coenzyme A reductase, if you’re into that sort of thing – but their effectiveness at lowering sdLDL is unknown. They reduce the rate at which cholesterol is produced and that’s as specific as it gets.

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