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: December 2012

10 Last-Minute Primal Gift Ideas

I do a gift list every year on Mark’s Daily Apple, and each time I try to put a fresh spin on it. Last year, each of the 10 Primal Blueprint Laws got a corresponding gift. Two years back, I separated the gifts into stocking stuffers and bigger ticket items. This year, since it’s getting to be that time, and lots of you have waited til the last minute, I’ve put together a list of last-minute gift ideas. These are items that, if ordered by today, should arrive (at least in the continental US) by the 24th of December. Unlike most last-minute gifts, these are actually legitimately good and useful items that any Primal (or otherwise health conscious) person would be happy to receive. And you don’t have to wade through the frightening morass of desperate humanity that frequents brick-and-mortar stores in the days leading up to the holidays.

Oh, and just because these are presumed to be gift ideas for other people, don’t think you can’t treat yourself to a gift or two. First up, I’ve got a special Primal Fuel holiday announcement to make…

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Should You Get Your Genome Sequenced?

Earlier this year, I explored the “evolution” of human dietary requirements in the last 10,000 years by examining some of the SNPs – single nucleotide polymorphisms, or variations in genetic sequences – that relate to diet and nutrition. I concluded that while certain genetic changes to the way we process certain foods have arisen in certain populations, for the most part we’re still best off eating from an ancestral, Primal spread of animals, sea creatures, and plant life. Nothing has changed on that front in my mind, but people are still understandably curious about their genetic predispositions toward various conditions, and, with the recent reduction in price for SNP sequencing from 23andMe (to $99 with no subscriptions required), as well as slightly more affordable full-on genome sequencing (~$1000) on the not so distant horizon, it’s easier than ever to actually do it.

But should you?

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Dear Mark: Strong but Stiff, Denatured Proteins, Weeklong Fasting, and Oxalates

Today’s edition of Dear Mark is a bit of a grab-bag. First, I give advice on how to loosen up after strength training. Being able to deadlift however many pounds is nice and all, but what if you’re too stiff on your days off to do anything with the strength? Next, I briefly discuss the effect of heat on protein powder and raw cocoa powder. Raw fans will try to scare you away from anything heated, but are they exaggerating (or outright getting it wrong)? Find out below. After that, I sort of try to convince a reader not to embark on his planned week-long fast. Or, at the very least, to reconsider the week duration and try something a little shorter first. And finally, I discuss whether or not dietary oxalates are a toxic substance that should be avoided at all costs.

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Weekend Link Love – Edition 221

Research of the Week

New data reveals that eating fewer, larger meals is “more advantageous metabolically” for obese women than eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. Another dearly-held nutrition myth edges ever closer to chomping down on powdered particles of earth and waste matter.

UC Berkeley researchers just found a new gene that encodes for de novo lipogenesis, or the conversion of carbs to fat. There’s talk of drugs targeting this genetic pathway, of course, or you could always take matters into your own hands and just limit carbs (FDA approval not required, yet).

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Homemade Gravlax

Gravlax is a satisfying snack, a delicious breakfast, and an elegant appetizer. It’s different from lox which is cold smoked, and it’s made by curing fresh salmon in a mixture of salt, sugar, and seasonings. Traditionally, dill is the main seasoning but it’s not required. You can use any herb you like and/or add a wide variety of crushed spices to your cure, ranging from peppercorns to star anise to caraway or fennel seeds.

Preparing the fish only takes a few minutes, but curing takes several days so plan ahead. Salt cures the fish by drawing the moisture out. The sugar also helps the salmon cure, but is there mostly to balance the flavor and effects of the salt. Gravlax made without sugar can easily become too dry and tough, and taste overly salty.

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Where’s Timothy Now?

Who’s Timothy, you ask? Timothy is a fellow that submitted a Primal Blueprint Real Life Story a few years back. He’s also a PrimalCon veteran (we’ve been lucky enough to have him and his family attend each PrimalCon thus far), a Shovelglove Master, and an all-around great guy. Oh, and you might recognize him from The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation.

As you may know from past “Where Are They Now?” articles, I like to periodically check in with friends that have shared their success stories on Mark’s Daily Apple to see how they’re doing. There was The Unconquerable Dave and his update post The Unconquerable Dave: Still Unconquerable (Grok on, brother, if you’re reading), and a host of others (1, 2, 3).

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