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: May 2011

18 Underrated Blogs You Should Be Reading

Blogging is the lifeblood of the growing Primal/paleo movement, as you know, and new veins, arteries, and capillaries are popping up every day. I’m calling this the underrated blog post, but really, given the steadily increasing span of the community, even the most underrated blogger has a fair amount of readership. In fact, as I review my list of “underrated blogs,” they all get a significant amount of readers and comments. Oh well, they’re still worth listing. I suppose you could say we’re all underrated in the grand scheme of things.

I did a similar thing a year ago, and it’s time to do it again. The blogs I listed in 2010 remain essential, but these all deserve consideration to be included in your blog rotation. They’re not all Primal, or even strictly paleo, and some of them rarely ever mention exercise and nutrition, but they will enrich your lives and broaden your knowledge base.

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The Many Faces of Aquaculture: An Introduction to Fish Farming

Is there a sight more idyllic, peaceful, and touching than that of a fish farmer tending to his flock? In case you aren’t aware of how fish farming works, here’s a sample day in the life of a fish farmer:

Just before dawn each day, he rises from his water bed, dons his denim board shorts, enjoys a mugful of the fermented fish liver brew he keeps stewing in a bucket beside the front door, leaves his rickety old farmhouse boat, and sets out for a day’s labor. Wherever his paddleboat passes, carp, salmon, tilapia, phytoplankton, algae, and shrimp cease predating each other and crest to greet him. The fish farmer knows each by name and has a wink, chin scratch, and fish flake for every little shy fry cowering behind its mother. At slaughtering time, the old farmer sheds a single, solitary tear – every single time, whether it’s the ornery old catfish with greying whiskers or the months-old tiger prawn just hitting his prime (which, unfortunately for the prawn, is when flavor and texture are at their peak). It’s a simple life, but, all-in-all, an honorable one steeped in tradition, stewardship, and respect for the natural flow of aquatic life.

Okay, okay… how does fish farming really work? Well, it encompasses more than just fish, for one. A more accurate term to use is actually aquaculture, which includes multiple varieties of fish farms, shrimp (and other crustacean) farms, shellfish (oyster, clam, mussel, abalone, etc) farms, and sea ranches (this is the coolest). Let’s dig in.

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The Scattered Mind: Finding Focus in a World of Distractions

Scenario time. You’re in the grocery store picking up the last couple of things for dinner. Pushing your cart through the small throng who also stopped on their way home from work, you weave your way through with the obligatory, alternating “excuse me” and “pardon me.” You fumble through your pocket for the list you’d scribbled last minute on a post-it. Hmmm… good sale on chicken thighs. The familiar ding of a text notification goes off with your partner’s reminder of one more thing needed from the store – spinach. You reach over and grab the onion you were looking for and go in search of the garlic. Annoying music over the speakers. Better check work email one more time. “Ooops. Sorry about that,” you remark after bumping someone’s cart. The person grimaces at you with a passive aggressive nod. Thanks. There’s the email response you were waiting for. Great, another meeting on the same issue. You’ll have to gather materials to email tomorrow for everyone. What else was on the list? Don’t forget to wash the whites tonight. There’s the garlic. Why is it necessary to waste more time on that project? Tonight is the night to fix the shutters. After dinner. No, after the kids are in bed. Man, that was a mother of a wind storm last week. It would be nice to have a free night for once. That Netflix movie has been sitting there for how many weeks? Maybe just cancel the service. Why bother? Checkout. Long line. Geez, that person has how many bags of Cheetos? Any good magazines while I stand here? Celebrity baby bumps – who cares? Next in line finally. Hmmm… didn’t know she was pregnant. Wait, the d–n spinach! Groan.

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Dear Mark: Soy Lecithin, Healthy Fat Alternatives, Wasted Workouts, and Magic Grapefruit

Things got a little heated regarding the milligrams of evil soy lecithin used as in emulsifier in most dark chocolates in last week’s Dear Mark post, so before launching into today’s questions and answers, let’s go over that. Soy lecithin is simply the byproduct of soy oil extraction. It’s not hydrogenated soybean oil, folks allergic to soy can eat it without ill effect, and lecithin actually contains choline and phospholipids that can be quite beneficial. Don’t go out of your way to eat soy lecithin for any health benefits (egg yolks and liver are far better sources of choline), but don’t pass on some excellent dark chocolate simply because “soy” appears on the package.

Okay, onto the questions. We’re covering healthy fat alternatives, whether walking constitutes a wasted workout, and the magic of grapefruit.

Hello Mark!

I recently found out that I’m pregnant with my second child. I just started eating Primally about a month and a half ago, and my main sources of good fats are–outside of meat–avocados, raw macadamia nuts, and coconut oil. I’m dairy intolerant but I’m growing weary of the aformentioned fats. Do you have any suggestions for the good fat craving mama?

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WOW: Grip Work

Complete 4 cycles:

30 Meter Farmer’s Carry
8 Towel Pullups
20-second Door Pinches, each hand

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Weekend Link Love – Edition 140

Old timey stuff in general is great. Old timey fitness stuff? The absolute best. Check out this awesome book on clubbell training from 1908 – “Club swinging for physical exertion and recreation.”

Esther Gokhale is a pleasure to work with, and almost everyone wants to eliminate back pain, but not everyone can make it out to her posture classes. For those folks, the upcoming (available for pre-order) DVD, “Back Pain: The Primal Posture Solution,” will show how to sit, stand, lie, and walk like humans are built to.

Check out Ukraine’s Denis Minin spend a casual day at the playground. Side note: former Eastern bloc states have awesome jungle gyms!

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