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

Weekend Link Love – Edition 164

Installing an “Urban Jungle” play area, complete with trees, boulders, hills, and tunnels, has dramatically reduced the number of accidents and incidents of “pushing, hitting, and slipping” at a Scottish primary school.

Why a sales pitch is best given on a steep hill.

A candid interview with a former Big Food exec confirms what we basically already suspected to be true. Still, it’s nice to know for sure (or is it the opposite of nice?).

German scientists developed a new method for testing pesticide residue in farmed fish fed conventional vegetable matter; the results of the first studies to use the new method will soon be published. Here’s hoping I don’t have to rewrite my old post, eh?

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Shawarma Salad

If only all fast food was as delicious as shawarma, a Middle Eastern sandwich eaten on the go that’s made from slow-roasted meat and fresh vegetables wrapped in pita bread. This traditional street food tastes a million times better than any Big Mac ever could, but the best part about shawarma is that you can ditch the pita bread and turn the sandwich into a salad that’s just as satisfying.

Yes, a salad is harder to eat on the go, but this shawarma salad is so good you’re going to want to sit down and savor it anyway. The main ingredient is meat and you can pick from chicken, beef, lamb, or if you’re feeling adventurous, even goat. A blend of highly flavorful (but not in a spicy way) spices are what make the meat in this salad stand out. No two shawarma stands use exactly the same blend of seasonings in their marinade, but a combination of allspice, cumin, paprika, black pepper and coriander will get you pretty close to meat that tastes like a the real thing. What’s harder to replicate is the juicy, fatty, slightly crispy texture of shawarma meat, but grilling does a fine job in a pinch.

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Finding the Person Within: A Mother and Daughter Journey

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

Once upon what seems like a lifetime ago I was the brightest thing that walked into any room. No, I was not the thinnest, prettiest, best-dressed thing in the room – but I had an aura of pure confidence wherever my feet took me. I had a brilliant mind and unstoppable will. I had overcome so many challenges in my life – growing up with addictive parents, homeless, then eventually parentless and shipped to boarding school. I was an overcomer! The key – I LOVED myself and I feared no challenge. That is until I had my first child. I feared her. She was a challenge. No more me time, lots of her time. Lots of crying and sleepless nights as I tried to figure out this girl. She was out of control and would later be diagnosed with a form of autism. Add child 2 and 3 to the mix and this momma was DONE. Always weak, always tired, 80 lbs heavier – the girl who LOVED herself now hated every inch of her being. Parenthood felt like a failure. I started anti-depressants. Got worse. Started birth control (the Depo-shot) to even out hormones. Got drastically worse. With failing energy and a soldier as a husband who was never home I cooked from boxes and drive-thrus. I continued to get worse – and so did my little girl whose struggles caused her to not be able to be in a classroom. I was done. I felt hopeless. Was this a forever thing? Would I forever be huge and tired? Would my daughter forever be the outcast? Would I be forced to put her on some horrible mind altering meds? Something had to change.

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The Problems with Antibiotics: Antibiotic Resistance

Allow me to preface this post series with a wholehearted acknowledgment of the beneficial role antibiotics have played, and continue to play, in fighting infections that might otherwise take limbs or lives. Before formal antibiotics, ancient and traditional cultures employed antibacterial herbs, tinctures, and even moldy bread, but regardless of the various methods’ efficacies, they were largely operating in the dark. They knew what worked, but not why it worked. When we use antibiotics today, we (mostly) understand what they are doing on a micro level, and we aren’t (ideally) just relying on hearsay, anecdote, and experimentation. This is a good thing.

So, how do antibiotics work, exactly? There are four primary routes taken by various antibiotics:

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Gateway Foods: The Slippery Slope of “Just a Bite”

The holidays are coming and with them the food. Maybe with Halloween come and gone, the season is already upon you in your social/work/family circles. Beyond the actual meals themselves, there are the umpteen parties, open houses, potlucks, lunches, brunches, happy hours, coffee hours, bake sales, soup suppers, and bazaars – as well as the continual conveyer belt of office/shop/home display of every sweet and savory (mostly sweet) treat known to humankind. As fun as it all is, the holidays can be a seasonal equivalent of the Bermuda Triangle – a festively decorated abyss where good intentions get swallowed along with the latest Martha Stewart recipe.

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Primal Experiment: Intentional Power Outage

A few months back, I linked to an article about a guy who experienced an unexpected benefit after Hurricane Irene knocked out his power for several days: he started sleeping much, much better. Instead of staying up late on the computer or with the TV blaring and going to bed at the usual 11:30 or midnight, he found himself yawning around 9 PM and getting to bed at 10. It was the best sleep of his life, and even better – the effects persisted even after the power returned. He had effectively entrained his circadian rhythm to the natural cycle of light and dark. This is basic stuff to you guys, but bear with me.

Just last week, a reader named Melissa emailed me with a similar story. She lost power for three and a half days after a Connecticut snowstorm took out power all across the state. Instead of panicking, she rolled with it. Instead of freaking out over the fact that there were sub-freezing temperatures, no heat, and no water (it froze), she made a fun snowball fight out of a snowstorm. She took it as an opportunity to get “unexpectedly extra-Primal.” I like it. I remember those New England winters, and I can’t imagine a better way to deal with them than to accept the challenge and make the best of it.

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