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: April 2012

What I Did Over Spring Break

A few weeks ago I was offered a once-in-a-lifetime chance to complete a long-standing bucket list item: an African photo safari. My new friend Vance from the USA who runs an intimate, very upscale lodge and an exotic species breeding operation in northern South Africa invited Carrie and me to accompany him on one of his regular visits to his “farm.” In fact, his farm is part of the beautiful 150,000 acre Madikwe Game Reserve near the Botswana border, site of the largest game translocation in history. He had promised that “once Africa gets into your heart, it doesn’t let go.” Turns out that would be an understatement. At first I gave the usual protestations that I have way too much going on in my life right now to take ten days out (non-stop blog posts, books, PrimalCon a week later, certifications, seminars, etc.), but I decided I simply couldn’t pass up this opportunity. After all, hadn’t I vowed a year ago to start playing more, and if this wasn’t play, what was? Moreover, here was a chance to literally go back to my Primal roots and do research for The Primal Connection. When he informed me that he even had limited Internet access (but only if you hike up the hill, because it’s not allowed anywhere in the lodge), the deal was sealed. A little work and a little play. Productive leisure is the term they use for it now, but it’s how I roll.

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Dear Mark: Risk of Gout?

Every so often, a health malady arises that seems to clash with Primal living. And when a doctor brings it up, or a family member with intimate knowledge of the illness expresses concern, it can be intimidating and troubling. We’ve all heard how we’ll suffer heart attacks, diabetes, ketoacidosis, lowered marathon performance, kidney disease, and osteoporosis from “eating all that meat,” but that’s not what I’m covering today. No, today the subject is gout, which occurs when excess uric acid crystallizes and accumulates in the extremities. The jagged shards embed themselves in the joints, tendons, and other tissues, causing excruciating pain, inflammation, and swelling, particularly in the big toe. Suffice it to say, it is extremely unpleasant. Sounds great, right?

Let’s move on to the question that prompted today’s post:

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Weekend Link Love – Edition 186

Coconut oil: cure for foot fungus?

Social stress induces epigenetic changes in macaques in mere weeks. Who wants to bet that the same thing happens in other primates, too?

After a car accident that shattered his femur, arm, and hip, the only way Michael Sandler was able to run (against strict orders from his doctors) was completely barefoot. I wonder how he eats.

The true story of how bread fostered civilization, banished savagery, and gave Paleolithic man great hair.

If you have an hour to spare, check out my recent interview with Abel James on the Fat-Burning Man podcast.

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Sweet & Tart Rhubarb and Berry Dessert Sauce

Rhubarb is a mysterious vegetable, one that is loved by many despite its toxic leaves and puckering, tart flavor. It’s possibly one of the least versatile vegetables out there and resists most attempts at making it palatable, unless a cup of sugar is involved. There are some savory rhubarb recipes out there, but most make an unintentionally convincing argument that rhubarb really is best served for dessert.

So what’s a Primal rhubarb lover to do? If spring is not really spring until you’ve had a taste of seasonal rhubarb, but you want to avoid the sugar and flour in cakes and crumbles, then try Rhubarb and Berry Dessert Sauce instead. Rhubarb is simmered in butter, vanilla and just enough honey to sweeten it up without masking the tart flavor. Fresh berries are mixed in and then the sauce is spooned on top of full-fat yogurt or layered with homemade whipped (coconut) cream. The contrast of the tart, fruity sauce and rich yogurt or whipped cream truly tastes like an indulgent dessert. If you need a little crunch, sprinkle ground nuts or dried coconut on top. The bold flavor of this dessert makes small amounts really satisfying, so a little bit of the sauce will go a long way.

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A Beer Drinker’s Primal Story

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!

When I was a kid, I was husky – that is what my mom told me. I was always a little chunkier than my siblings and most of my friends growing up in the 60’s. Because of that, I always had to watch my weight and what I ate. Gaining weight has always been easy for me.

Over the last 30 or so years, I have been a somewhat health conscious adult and lived largely by convention wisdom (CW) guidelines. I have always been physically active, fit, and pretty healthy. I rode a motocross bike up until I was 35 and played roller hockey to age 49. I rode mountain bikes, played racquetball, skied, learned to snowboard when I was 43, and would run 3-5 miles, 2-3 days a week. My dad ran the Boston marathon in his 50’s, so I guess he imparted a strong sense of fitness on to me. Keeping my weight down was always a challenge and something I worked at.

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5 Common Nutrient Deficiencies (and What to Do About Them)

If the Primal way of eating is so healthy, why am I writing a post on common nutrient deficiencies? Well, mostly because you asked. For months now, I’ve received emails from Mark’s Daily Apple readers asking about iodine, selenium, magnesium and other vitamins and minerals, so I figured it’s about time to highlight these key nutrients, explain how and why some people find themselves deficient and provide my opinion as to what they can do about it.

I also wrote this article to make the point that quitting grains, legumes, seed oils, and sugar is just part of the equation. There’s a whole lot more to healthy eating than just deciding what not to eat. You also have to be mindful of the things you do eat, and – hopefully – those things will be incredibly nutritious.

Consider this post your guide to avoiding some of the most common nutrient deficiencies. Let’s jump right in…

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