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 2013

Head Cheese

Head cheese is not cheese at all, and these days it’s not always made from meat simmered off the head of a pig. A more accurate and appetizing way to think of head cheese is simply that it’s a cold cut made from tender, fatty pork.

Head cheese isn’t hard to make at home, especially if you have a pressure cooker and use pig’s feet instead of a pig’s head. A pressure cooker completes the simmering process in 1 hour, rather than 3 or 4. And pig’s feet are easier to find than a whole pig’s head (and there’s a little less of a gross-out factor if you’re squeamish). Hispanic supermarkets almost always sell pig’s feet, or you can special order them from a butcher or local farm.

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The Pain and Stiffness Disappeared and Has Never Returned

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,

Although you are totally unaware of it, you and I just celebrated our second anniversary. It was two years ago, February of 2011, that I was introduced to you. At the time, you were nothing but an experiment, a fling if you will, but now you are among the most important men in my life. No, I’m not really flirting with you. I’m a 54 year old teacher from the Midwest, married, mother of four and grandmother of two. But now that I have your attention, here’s the rather unremarkable story of my two-year Primal journey.

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8 Ways to Cultivate Health Integrity

In last week’s post “Why Health Integrity Matters,” I suggested that owning your own health journey comes down to willingness – how willing you are to accept full responsibility for each choice you make. I appreciated everyone’s comments and – as always – loved to see how people extended the idea with their own experiences, wisdom, and admissions. Quite a few declared it was a post meant for them and where they were in their personal journey. For various reasons, they needed the reboot, so to speak. I imagine we’re all there at some point – at the skeptical beginnings of major changes, the less than stellar times we lose our footing or the crises of confidence that can settle in when we’re going through a rough patch of life. How do we cultivate health integrity? Let me offer some thoughts – some wholly practical and a couple a little unorthodox. I hope you’ll add your own additions to the list.

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Is It All Just a “Paleofantasy”?

So this is my review of the new book Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us About Sex, Diet, and How We Live. It’s been making the rounds for a few weeks now, and although some other people have already weighed in, I’ll add my two cents. At the outset, I’d like to make very clear that I actually agree with a decent portion of Marlene Zuk’s individual arguments. Though it may surprise you to know that Mark Sisson agrees with the most prominent paleo debunker du jour on several topics, I’m not saying I support the overall product or her final conclusions. In fact, Paleofantasy is an odd, meandering book whose ultimate purpose I’m not really sure I truly understand.

There are two main problems with the book, as I see it. First, she’s working against a straw man. Many of the arguments she debunks, like “eyeglasses aren’t paleo” or “the paleo diet was carnivorous,” seems to have been dug up from some random Internet commenter or drawn from fringe camps. In other words, they aren’t arguments people like Robb Wolf, Chris Kresser, Paul Jaminet, or me (or our readers) are making. Second, many of her counterarguments or “nuanced approaches” are the very same ones we’ve been exploring at length for years! After reading the book, John Durant tweeted “Paleofantasy shouldn’t have been a book in 2013, it should have been a blog post in 2010,” and that’s as good a description as I can think of.

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How to Use the Friday Success Stories to Grok On and Keep Evolving

This is a guest post from Susan Alexander of app4Mind.com.

I study behavior modification like Mark studies nutrition, movement, and lifestyle. He’s created a paradigm of related principles for Primal living, as I’ve created a paradigm for self-chosen life change. Our similar interests, along with the fact that I’m a longtime member of the MDA community, is how I’ve come to write this post. Reading the Success Stories every Friday for as long as Mark’s been posting them, I’ve figured something out. There are common threads running through these stories that explain why so many different kinds of people, in so many different circumstances and walks of life, have been able to transform themselves through the PB.

This post is about those common threads. They happen to be the essential behavioral principles that enable us to make a substantial life change and sustain it – which is what we’re all endeavoring to do here in becoming and being Primal. None of us has it completely nailed. The point of the PB is to keep evolving. The point of this post is to help everyone do just that. So let’s get started, shall we? Here are the common threads:

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Dear Mark: Eggs, More Eggs, and Marathon Man

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’re talking eggs, eggs, and marathons. First up are egg allergies/intolerances as determined by blood test. It’s not exactly clear what blood test was used to determine the inflammatory response to eggs, but regardless: the test was done and the reader is now worried about eggs, previously one of her favorite foods. Can she reintroduce eggs? Should she even worry at all? Next are eggs and blood lipids. Our reader’s naturopath has warned against four times daily egg consumption because of elevated LDL, and she wants to know if there’s really any reason to follow the advice. I lay out some of the evidence in favor of egg consumption; hopefully it’s enough to satisfy. Finally, I discuss the curious case of Stefaan Engels, the man who ran 365 marathons in 365 days. Does he discredit my whole view of fitness, chronic cardio, and endurance training? Should you therefore take up daily marathoning? Read on to find out.

Let’s go:

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