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: January 2013

Minestrone-Inspired Soup with Quick Chicken Stock

Minestrone is Italian vegetable soup, a one-pot meal that provides the perfect opportunity to clean out the fridge. This hearty version is made with homemade chicken stock (and cooked chicken) that’s ready in about 30 minutes, to which you can add any vegetables you have on hand.

This chicken stock isn’t quite as nutrient rich as stock that’s simmered for hours, but it still tastes so much better than canned stock. Plus, you’ll have enough cooked chicken for the soup and another meal.

Minestrone is delicious with only the carrots, cabbage and kale this recipe calls for, but don’t hesitate to throw in other veggie odds and ends from the fridge. Zucchini, broccoli, root vegetables and green beans are all great additions. The more veggies you add, the less likely you are to miss the beans, pasta or rice that usually bulk up a bowl of minestrone.

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I Just Had to Find the Right Path

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!

Dear Mark,

My story is not one of significant weight loss or dramatic health changes, but one of mental freedom and peace that I have not felt in over 20 years. You have changed my life and I am enormously grateful to you. I have been struggling with my weight and my mental status surrounding my weight for 20 years. I am 5 feet 6 inches and during college I weighed as much as 145 lbs. But for most of the past 20 years I have weighed around 128 lbs. I fully recognize that this was not overweight and is quite healthy, but I also knew that I was religious about what I ate and exercised a ton. My body did not reflect my hard work.

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Co-Sleeping: The Risks and the Benefits

Co-sleeping, bed sharing, or whatever else you want to call it – is an abomination of a behavior that no self-respecting mammal engages in. If you don’t believe me, consider how other mammals handle their kids. You know the old can and string phones we used to make as kids? New chimpanzee parents will string a vine between two empty coconut shell halves, placing one half in the baby chimp’s nest in the next tree over and the other half in the parents’ nest, allowing them to monitor the baby’s cries and activity during the night. If the baby wakes up, they’ll swing on over to the other tree and produce a hairy teat until the little chimp quiets down. Then it’s back to bed. The first thing female voles do after giving birth is dig a separate hole in the ground where the infants will sleep. Same with gophers. Kangaroos are famous for their pouches, which for years researchers assumed the mothers used to keep their infants safe, with easy access to the nipples. But in actuality, the kangaroo pouch is used to store shrubs, grasses, various other edible plants, and boxing gloves, as well as cover up their breasts (kangaroos are incredibly shy and modest creatures).

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16 Things You Should Have Never Stopped Doing

As children, we live closer to our instincts. Yes, there’s the humorous and rather unfortunate side to this – like the time you ate an entire bag of Twizzlers and threw up all over your great-aunt’s carpet. In addition to the plethora of bad decisions (as if adults don’t make those too), however, there’s the extravagant daring and that amazing, irrepressible exuberance.

As adults, we might know better than to gorge on dye #40, but we’re tripped up by other things. We become distanced, detached from our instincts. The responsibilities, the schedule, the expectations surrounding our culture’s take on maturity can cast us out of the land of exuberance. It’s like we get gradually diverted to a boring Interstate stretch after traveling the scenic route. The road is efficient, utilitarian and might have nicer rest stops, but it often feels like a major letdown. What does it take to find our way back to the panoramas? What are the things we never should’ve stopped doing in the first place? I hope you add your own to the list. Let me throw out a few I’ve been thinking of today.

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Is it Primal? – Balsamic Vinegar, Chestnuts, Apricot Kernels, and Other Foods Scrutinized

It’s time for yet another edition of “Is It Primal?” where I determine and decree the worthiness of various foods. First up, I discuss balsamic vinegar – both types – and explain whether or not it belongs in a Primal eating plan. After that, chestnuts get roasted over the open fire of my analysis. Apricot kernels, those weird little almond lookalikes, are next, followed by chitosan. Finally, I cover the safety and healthfulness of Korean nori snacks. Keep in mind, readers: once my edict on a particular food has been handed down, once it has been deemed Primal or not Primal, the word is sacrosanct. It must be hewed to, or else you will suffer the consequences, which can include such horrors as revocation of your Primal Cred card or banishment to Vegan Island.

Take heed.

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Dear Mark: Seaweed Supplements, BMI and Mortality, and Sleep Versus Exercise

In today’s Dear Mark I discuss my favorite seaweed supplement, kelp granules, which aren’t really a supplement in the classic sense, but more of a food that you can treat as a supplement. Next, I give my thoughts on the latest study to suggest that an overweight BMI confers the lowest mortality risk in people. Finally, I handle a question from a parent currently trying to juggle sleep with exercise who wonders which to choose. It’s a tough question, to be sure, but I give my best attempt at a helpful, realistic answer.

Let’s get to it:

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