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: November 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’ll admit I love Thanksgiving. I love the ritual of coming together as a family – often with close friends adding to good company. I enjoy spending the day cooking and sharing food with the most important people in my life. I appreciate the modest but meaningful dimensions of the tradition – a time fully set aside for enjoying loved ones, for feasting, and for reflecting on the blessings of the year. Thanksgiving in this way offers a quiet, sacrosanct day for truly unplugging and being present in the simple ritual of the day.

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The Problems with Antibiotics: Possible Alternatives and Damage Control

Are there any viable alternatives to antibiotics? I just spent the last few posts talking about all the bad things that stem from taking too many antibiotics, and you’re likely wondering if there’s anything you can do when an infection comes around. Although I wouldn’t suggest ignoring your doctor’s antibiotic prescriptions for some herb you found on some site online, there are potential alternatives. Not every alternative I list is going to work for you. To be honest, we have yet to confirm many viable alternatives that pack the punch of modern antibiotics. And in many cases, the wallop of conventional pharmaceuticals is exactly what the doctor ordered (in, um, every way). Sure, it could be said that every dose of antibiotics given out is exerting a selection pressure on billions of microbes that will ultimately lead to greater resistance, but when it comes down to it, you don’t want to be sick in the here and now.

So, once again, are there any viable alternatives to antibiotics, and if we have to take one, what can we do to mitigate the potential fallout?

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The Problems with Antibiotics: More Fallout from Killing Your Flora

A new study found that pediatricians are over-prescribing broad spectrum antibiotics (which target both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria, also known as most bacteria) at an increasing rate. 21% of all pediatric visits ended with a prescription for antibiotics, 50% of which were broad spectrum. For 23% of those visits ending in antibiotics (which accounted for over 10 million visits in total), they were prescribed for conditions that don’t even respond to antibiotics, like asthma, viral infections, flu, allergies, and bronchitis. The bulk of the antibiotics prescribed in these unwarranted situations were broad spectrum, and the bulk of the patients in these situations were younger than not.

Ugh. Antibiotics clearly have therapeutic merit – a statement some would debate, I’m sure – but I think everyone would agree that prescribing broad spectrum antibiotics for non-responsive conditions to young kids is unwise.

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Dear Mark: O6:O3 Ratio, Green Drinks, and Shin Splints

It’s Monday, and that means it’s time for another series of Dear Mark questions and answers. I think you’ll find today’s choices pretty interesting. First, I field a question from an apparently healthy reader who’s doing everything right, losing weight, and controlling the quality of his fat intake – but he can’t seem to avoid a 20:1 omega-6:omega-3 ratio. Next, I answer a question about green drinks, those vegan canisters of powdered, dehydrated, raw leafy vegetables that one mixes into juice or water for an instant daily dose of greens. They sounded silly, and I’ve dismissed them in the past, but as I did a bit more research my thinking began to change. Ideal? No. A fair compromise for some people? Maybe. Finally, I cover shin splints for a reader suffering from them, and I offer a bit of advice on how to avoid and treat the nasty things.

Let’s get it going.

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Weekend Link Love – Edition 165

“The fact is, unless you’re buying from a beekeeper, you’re at risk.” Most honey isn’t actually honey, a new test of commercial honey (or should that be “honey”?) has revealed.

Tweeting from the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, anthropologist John Hawks notes that “Great apes have no reduction of bone mineral density with aging in vertebral column.” I wonder if we’re actually destined to wither away after all.

A Colorado charter school has gone vegetarian. Parents, don’t trip over yourselves trying to submit your child’s application.

Last year, I linked to a Big Blue Test workout done by MDA reader Ryan to commemorate World Diabetes Day and show the power of exercise over blood sugar control. He’s back at it again. Go check it out.

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Ultimate Walnut Pie Crust with Pumpkin Filling

Traditions are a big part of the holiday season for many people, but if you find yourself doing something strictly out of tradition and not because you particularly enjoy it, then it’s time for a new tradition. Or maybe, just time for a new recipe. Take pumpkin pie – it’s hard to imagine Thanksgiving without one, but too often it’s a soggy, bland dessert that disappoints. Made with a cup of sugar and white flour crust, it’s an indulgence that’s not always worth it.

But what if you broke from the traditional recipe by taking the granulated sugar and flour out and it actually made the pie taste better? What if this new and slightly untraditional version of pumpkin pie had a buttery, crunchy crust and silky-smooth filling? Sure, you could call this new and improved version Primal Pumpkin Pie, or, you could just call it by another name: Damn Good Pie.

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