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: March 2012

Refreshing Homebrewed Kombucha Tea

Not too long ago kombucha was a fringe beverage, a murky concoction brewing on someone’s kitchen counter or being sold in a few health food stores. In recent years, however, kombucha has gone mainstream. It’s now widely available in an array of eye-catching colors and flavors and sold in stylish glass bottles. Even at the price of nearly $4.00 for 16 ounces, people are regularly carrying cases of the stuff out of Whole Foods Market. So what’s all the fuss about?

There’s the not-too-sweet flavor, the carbonated zing and the potential health benefits. Kombucha is a fermented beverage (fermented tea, to be exact), which means it can introduce beneficial bacteria into your body. Once you get used to the somewhat vinegary flavor and as long as you watch the sugar content, kombucha is a refreshing and enjoyable drink. If you plan to drink it semi-regularly, then it makes sense to start your own brew at home.

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Quitting Rice

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!

I hesitated to share my story since before I started The Primal Blueprint (PB), I was already a fairly healthy 22-year-old, so my transformation simply cannot compare to those that have lost weight in the triple digits and literally cured diabetes. However, I decided to write out this story after some encouragement from my friends, and I do believe that my transformation is incredible in its own right: particularly, the results materialized so quickly. I’m writing this after less than 4 months of following PB. Moreover, I don’t see many success stories involving my ethnic group, Asians, probably because of the importance of rice in our culture. One of the most common critiques that I hear is “look at all those skinny Asians who gobble down rice.” I wanted to show that there exist substantial benefits to toning down the consumption of rice.

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Maybe There is Such a Thing as Too Much Information

A couple weeks back, the LA Times published a piece on a geneticist’s experience with “personalized medicine.” Based on careful and constant monitoring of his sequenced DNA and around 40,000 health markers – or “omics” – over 14 months by a team of his colleagues, Stanford geneticist Michael Snyder observed in painstaking detail exactly what his body was doing during periods of sickness and health. If and when a viral infection entered the picture, Snyder and his team could watch how thousands of biomarkers responded. He could track its invasion, his body’s battle against it, and its eventual retreat. Although Snyder had no family history of diabetes, his sequenced DNA revealed he was at risk for it, so he began monitoring his blood sugar. Sure enough, a couple weeks after the viral infection, he noticed that his glucose was abnormally elevated. Analysis of his “omics” profile during the infection showed that auto-antibodies, which are often produced by the body in response to infections, had begun targeting an insulin receptor-binding protein which impaired his ability to clear glucose from the blood. Snyder was eventually diagnosed with the disease (but later fought it off with diet and meds), and though it isn’t spelled out clearly in the article, it sounds like the fallout from the viral infection may have precipitated his development of type 2 diabetes.

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6 Books I Am Reading Right Now (plus the Official Release Date of The Primal Connection)

I regularly get emails asking what’s on my bookshelf (or RSS feed). Now and then I like to answer those questions and share a bit of what I’ve been up to. Truth be told, my reading of late has revolved around themes I’m covering in my upcoming book, The Primal Connection. Think along the lines of play, creativity, ancient wisdom, sensory experience, social bonds, hunter-gatherer history, and an inner wild (to name just a few). In other words, it covers the many lifestyle elements that can further connect us with our inherent blueprints – beyond the basics of diet and fitness. The method (as always) examines the incongruence between how we evolved and how we live today. The purpose, of course, is informed choice to help us create healthier, more content, and fulfilled lives in the modern age. I’ll make an official, more detailed announcement in the coming weeks, but I can happily divulge this much today: it will be hitting the shelves September 17th.

Now for a look at some of the books I’ve been reading…

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Why Fast? Part Three – Longevity

A time-honored and research-tested way to extend an animal’s lifespan is to restrict its caloric intake. Studies repeatedly confirm that if, say, a lab mouse normally gets two full bowls of lab chow a day, limiting that mouse to one and a half bowls of lab chow a day will make that mouse live longer than the mouse eating the full two bowls. Cool, cool, a longer life is great and all, but what about the downsides of straight calorie restriction, aside from willfully restricting your food intake, ignoring hunger pangs, relegating yourself to feeling discontent with meals, and counting calories and macronutrients obsessively? Are there any others? Sure:

Loss of muscle mass. Humans undergoing calorie restriction often suffer loss of lean muscle mass and strength, all pretty objectively negative effects (unless you really go for the gaunt “Christian Bale in The Machinist” look and use a super-strong bionic exoskeleton for all your physical tasks).

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Dear Mark: Food for Skiing, Menstrual Carb Cravings, a Stubborn Teen, and More

This week, we’re back to a rapid-fire edition of Dear Mark. I enjoy honing in on a single reader question well enough, but I also like covering a smattering of questions from you guys. In future weeks, I’ll probably continue to mix it up. Which do you prefer? Anyway, we’ve got four topics today. First, I discuss carb cravings during “That Time of the Month.” Why do they occur and should you give in? Next, I provide a few Primal food choices suitable for a former Clif bar addict heading out on a five-day ski/snowboard trip. Then, I give advice to a father of an overweight, inactive teen. This is always hard, and there are no easy answers, but I have a few thoughts on the matter. I wrap it up with the safety of feeding fat to children.

Let’s go.

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