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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Dear Mark: Transdermal Magnesium and Vitamin D/B12 Products for a Vegetarian

November 14, 2016 - For today's edition of Dear Mark, I'm answering two questions. The first one concerns transdermal magnesium. Does it work? Can magnesium actually permeate the skin and enter circulation? Probably. And...

Dear Mark: Vegetarianism Causes Cancer?; Glucosamine Useless?; Decision Fatigue Debunked?

April 11, 2016 - For today's edition of Dear Mark, I'm answer three questions. First, does long-term vegetarianism cause cancer or alter our genetic code? Some media coverage of the latest vegetarianism study seemed t...

17 Primal Tips for Vegans and Vegetarians

February 24, 2016 - We all know vegetarians and vegans. And while we have our differences, they are our friends, our family, our partners, our spouses, even our children. We all have people in our lives who avoid meat an...

Dear Mark: High Uric Acid and Gout; From Vegetarian to Primal Without a Gallbladder

September 22, 2014 - For today's edition of Dear Mark, I'm covering two questions. First, what's the deal with really, really high uric acid levels? Assuming a person is fit with good body composition, feels good, and has...

Dear Mark: Vegetarian-Fed, BCAAs, and Bland Grass-Fed Beef

April 16, 2012 - You're at the store, and you want to get some beef. You've been keeping up with the word on the street, so you're aware of the importance of the cow's diet. You look around for grass-fed beef, but hav...

How to Eat Meat: Transitioning Away from Vegetarianism

September 01, 2011 - As you all know, I have a number of vegetarians in my life, and there are many present and active in our MDA community. I empathize with the thinking that goes into their commitment, but I choose to e...

The Vegetarian Myth

November 25, 2009 - Wow. It isn’t often that I write book reviews (have I ever? – serious question), but it isn’t often that a truly important book like Lierre Keith’s The Vegetarian Myth pops up on my radar j...

Dear Mark: Vegetarian Protein Possibilities

March 03, 2008 - In response to last week’s “Encore on Omegas" post, reader dunim asked this question about alternative protein sources: Mark, how can an active person who doesn’t eat meat or fish and wants t...

Guest Post Friday: Almost Vegetarian and Kitchen Geology

November 09, 2007 - The best French vegetarian recipe and the amazing laws of physics! by our friend and fellow blogger Almost Vegetarian I can’t tell the difference between stalactites and stalagmites. I know one...

Can Vegetarians and Carnivores Agree? Factory Farms Stink!

August 10, 2007 - Is such a thing possible? Some of you are vegetarians, while others are confirmed steak-lovers, and we've had some lively debate about meaty matters in the last week! But there's no question that fact...

Dear Mark: Transdermal Magnesium and Vitamin D/B12 Products for a Vegetarian

November 14, 2016 - For today's edition of Dear Mark, I'm answering two questions. The first one concerns transdermal magnesium. Does it work? Can magnesium actually permeate the skin and enter circulation? Probably. And...

Dear Mark: Vegetarianism Causes Cancer?; Glucosamine Useless?; Decision Fatigue Debunked?

April 11, 2016 - For today's edition of Dear Mark, I'm answer three questions. First, does long-term vegetarianism cause cancer or alter our genetic code? Some media coverage of the latest vegetarianism study seemed t...

17 Primal Tips for Vegans and Vegetarians

February 24, 2016 - We all know vegetarians and vegans. And while we have our differences, they are our friends, our family, our partners, our spouses, even our children. We all have people in our lives who avoid meat an...

Dear Mark: High Uric Acid and Gout; From Vegetarian to Primal Without a Gallbladder

September 22, 2014 - For today's edition of Dear Mark, I'm covering two questions. First, what's the deal with really, really high uric acid levels? Assuming a person is fit with good body composition, feels good, and has...

Dear Mark: Vegetarian-Fed, BCAAs, and Bland Grass-Fed Beef

April 16, 2012 - You're at the store, and you want to get some beef. You've been keeping up with the word on the street, so you're aware of the importance of the cow's diet. You look around for grass-fed beef, but hav...

How to Eat Meat: Transitioning Away from Vegetarianism

September 01, 2011 - As you all know, I have a number of vegetarians in my life, and there are many present and active in our MDA community. I empathize with the thinking that goes into their commitment, but I choose to e...

Dear Mark: Vegetarian Protein Possibilities

March 03, 2008 - In response to last week’s “Encore on Omegas" post, reader dunim asked this question about alternative protein sources: Mark, how can an active person who doesn’t eat meat or fish and wants t...

Guest Post Friday: Almost Vegetarian and Kitchen Geology

November 09, 2007 - The best French vegetarian recipe and the amazing laws of physics! by our friend and fellow blogger Almost Vegetarian I can’t tell the difference between stalactites and stalagmites. I know one...

Those Darn Vegetarians

June 07, 2007 - I am not a vegetarian and I do espouse responsible meat consumption: organic, free-range, and emphasizing fish and poultry. However, I have plenty of family members, friends and staff who are vegheads...

Top 10 Best & Worst Protein Sources (vegetarians take note)

May 15, 2007 - Yesterday, I discussed protein a little bit, and it’s such an important topic that I think it deserves its own Tuesday 10 (Read all Tuesday 10 columns here). In all the debates this year about su...

Need to Know Factors for Bone Health

July 12, 2017 - At the heart of every building is its framework. That latticework of timber, concrete or steel is what holds the entire structure up. Without it, there’d be no building at all. I think of that phras...

How Going Primal Can Help With 5 Common Genetic Mutations

March 30, 2016 - As I mentioned earlier this year, our personal ancestry can help determine how we respond to certain dietary, behavior, exercise, and lifestyle patterns. The big question remaining is this: does going...

Dear Mark: Pegan Dieting and Exercising in Air Pollution

September 14, 2015 - For today's edition of Dear Mark, I'm answering two questions. The first comes from Lucas, a man whose wife is unable to eat meat without feeling sick to her stomach. As a result, she's interested in ...

Dear Mark: More of Your 21-Day Challenge Questions Answered

January 26, 2015 - Today, I'm doing another batch of 21-Day Challenge questions pulled from the ones you asked me two weeks ago. I managed to make it onto the third page of comments. I'd hoped to get through all of them...

Dear Mark: Grains and Joints, Cardamom, and The Cause of Aging Muscle

June 23, 2014 - For today's Dear Mark, we've got a three-parter. First: a question about grains and joint health from a reader who gets achy and creaky every time she veers off schedule and eats grains. Is this commo...

Cholesterol, Culture, and Being Flexible!

March 11, 2014 - This is a guest post from Dr. Ronesh Sinha (aka Dr. Ron). Dr. Ron is an internal medicine physician in Northern California. He specializes in helping patients from diverse ethnic backgrounds reduce he...

Dear Mark: Cruciferous Vegetables and Hypothyroidism, Sprint Frequency, Protein Sources for Orthodox Lent, and Saunas

February 24, 2014 - For today's edition of Dear Mark, I discuss the connection - if one even exists - between cruciferous vegetables (and their goitrogens) and thyroid function. A theoretical interaction exists, but shou...

Dear Mark: Salmon and Mercury, Fruit and Sugar, plus Seniors Gaining Muscle

January 20, 2014 - For today's edition of Dear Mark, I'll be covering three topics. First, salmon and mercury. We're often told to watch out for mercury in wild fish, but the story is actually more complicated than that...

Dear Mark: Hiking Around the World

May 13, 2013 - Today's edition of Dear Mark is different than most. Instead of doing a roundup of questions, I'm focusing on a single email from a reader who's hiking around the world in three years and needs a few ...

Dear Mark: Adding a Workout to an Active Life and Topical Wound Ointments

January 28, 2013 - We've got a nice pair of questions for today's Dear Mark. In the first, a young woman who's perhaps the most intuitively active person I've ever heard about asks whether or not she should incorporate ...

Dear Mark: Vegetarianism Causes Cancer?; Glucosamine Useless?; Decision Fatigue Debunked?

April 11, 2016 - For today's edition of Dear Mark, I'm answer three questions. First, does long-term vegetarianism cause cancer or alter our genetic code? Some media coverage of the latest vegetarianism study seemed t...

Is Keto for Everyone?—Cautions, Caveats, and Contraindications

June 21, 2017 - In a few months, I'll be releasing a book extolling the virtues of a ketogenic diet. I'm currently several months into a ketogenic experiment, which is going well. I just wrote a Definitive Guide exp...

7 Primal Mantras to Drive Your Success

April 12, 2017 - Do you have any mantras? You should. Ignore the pseudo-spiritual baggage many people have with the notion of a mantra. Repeating and focusing on a meaningful phrase to help guide you through diffic...

Dear Mark: Fasting Followup

February 27, 2017 - For today's edition of Dear Mark, I'm answering questions from the comment section of last week's fasting post. You guys brought up some great points, and I'll be addressing some of them. First up, do...

How to Encode Better Choices

December 13, 2016 - Quick check-in: what’s the hardest habit you’ve had to break in going Primal? Something you’re currently looking to change? What have been the challenges? While I don’t consider Primal livi...

From Float Tanks to Silent Retreats: Why Are People Looking for More Extreme Forms of Sensory Deprivation?

June 23, 2016 - I'm thinking about a Philip K. Dick story, never published, perhaps never put down on paper or even imagined. In this story, which might only exist in my mind, the world is awash in sensory stimuli. B...

Nootropics: Brain Enhancers, Smart Drugs, or Empty Hype?

February 09, 2016 - Hang around on nootropic forums where fans and users congregate and you’ll come away with the notion that you’re missing out on a leg up if you’re not taking the latest and greatest nootropic su...

Why Personalizing Your Diet and Lifestyle Is the Key to Success

December 31, 2013 - This is a guest post from Chris Kresser of ChrisKresser.com and author of the new book Your Personal Paleo Code. Join me, Chris and numerous other presenters and Primal enthusiasts from around the wor...

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

April 02, 2013 - 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 Prim...

Why Fast? Part Six – Choosing a Method

April 17, 2012 - Assuming you've been keeping up with the series, you should be saying to yourself "Hey, maybe this fasting thing would be a cool thing to try out, and it might even make me healthier/live longer/lean ...

Can Vegetarians and Carnivores Agree? Factory Farms Stink!

August 10, 2007 - Is such a thing possible? Some of you are vegetarians, while others are confirmed steak-lovers, and we've had some lively debate about meaty matters in the last week! But there's no question that fact...

What’s the Difference Between Primal and Paleo?

May 10, 2017 - The paleo diet and Primal Blueprint way of eating (a.k.a. Primal) are both based on similar evolutionary science. The story goes something like this. Our modern Western diet bears little resemblance t...

“What’s That?” Ear Health: Dietary and Lifestyle Choices that Preserve It

April 13, 2017 - Sure, they’re not exactly the sexiest body part, but it’s fair to say that life with substandard ear health would be notably less enjoyable. And as it happens, millions of Americans would be able ...

8 Ways Going Primal Can Help the Environment

February 17, 2016 - No, you yourself can't save the world. You personally won't make a dent in the climate, or the amount of plastic in the ocean, or the number of cute baby seals that are bludgeoned to death. But colle...

Dear Mark: Meat and Yogurt for Babies

December 21, 2015 - For today's edition of Dear Mark, I'm answering one question. It comes from Kristen, a new mother to a nine month-old who's grown so passionate about baby nutrition that she's decided to start a fresh...

Dear Mark: More of Your 21-Day Challenge Questions Answered

January 26, 2015 - Today, I'm doing another batch of 21-Day Challenge questions pulled from the ones you asked me two weeks ago. I managed to make it onto the third page of comments. I'd hoped to get through all of them...

Dear Mark: Can’t Afford Good Meat, Allergy or Preference, Cold Pasta, and Protein in Pregnancy

October 27, 2014 - For today's edition of Dear Mark, we've got a four-parter. First up, how does a person hope to maintain a Primal lifestyle if they can't afford pastured meats and eggs and are unwilling to eat factory...

One True Paleo Diet Doesn’t Exist, but So What?

April 09, 2014 - As a rule, people tend to eat whatever food they can physically access. Transcontinental shipping now allows us to access all sorts of foods - we can eat durian in California, jasmine rice in Alaska, ...

Dear Mark: Cruciferous Vegetables and Hypothyroidism, Sprint Frequency, Protein Sources for Orthodox Lent, and Saunas

February 24, 2014 - For today's edition of Dear Mark, I discuss the connection - if one even exists - between cruciferous vegetables (and their goitrogens) and thyroid function. A theoretical interaction exists, but shou...

Dear Mark: WiFi Effects on Health, Creatine and AGEs, and Introducing Solids

December 30, 2013 - For today's edition of Dear Mark, we've got a two-parter followed by a question for Carrie. First, I discuss the effects of WiFi on health. Or, rather, I explore whether the potential effects of WiFi ...

Moroccan Meatball and Egg Tagine

January 04, 2014 - For breakfast or dinner, a meatball tagine hits the spot. Warmly spiced tomato sauce and meatballs are simmered together then topped with runny baked eggs that give the dish a creamy texture. Deeply f...

Pork, Beef and Liver Terrine

August 06, 2011 - Leave it to the French to create a dish that tastes and looks incredibly gourmet even though it’s made from not much more than ground meat. Making pâté de terrine does not take extraordinary culin...

Double-Pork Stuffed Chicken Breasts

February 05, 2011 - Vegetables certainly have their place at the Primal table and we eat them often in every season. But man (and woman) cannot survive on vegetables alone. Or, rather, they can and do, but in our opinion...

I Amazed My Doctor with My Primal Diet!

May 26, 2017 - 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 Mar...

Finally Getting Lean and Feeling Excellent!

April 21, 2017 - 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 Mar...

Amazing Effects on All Aspects of My Life!

April 14, 2017 - 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 Mar...

This Lifestyle Taught Me That Life Can Be So Much Better!

December 02, 2016 - 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 Mar...

I’ve Never Felt Better in My Life!

November 11, 2016 - 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 Mar...

Thanks to Primal Living, at 49 I Look and Feel Better Than Ever

June 10, 2016 - 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 Ma...

100 Pounds Lost, Type II Diabetes Gone, and High Blood Pressure Normalized After Going Primal

May 27, 2016 - 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 Ma...

Five Years After PCOS Diagnosis, I’m the Healthiest I’ve Ever Been

February 26, 2016 - 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 Ma...

Primal Tremendously Changed My Life and the Lives of Those Around Me

January 08, 2016 - 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 Ma...

Overcoming Crohn’s: How I Dropped Sugar and Gained 30 Pounds

November 06, 2015 - 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 Ma...

The Vegetarian Myth

November 25, 2009 - Wow. It isn’t often that I write book reviews (have I ever? – serious question), but it isn’t often that a truly important book like Lierre Keith’s The Vegetarian Myth pops up on my radar j...

Dear Mark: Raising HDL Particle Number, Who Should Try Ketones, and Where’s My Keto Energy?

January 02, 2017 - For today's edition of Dear Mark, I'm answering three questions from readers. First up, what's the best way to increase your HDL particle count? There are dozens of articles explaining how to reduce L...

8 Reasons Why Low-Carb Diets Actually Work

December 23, 2015 - The popular story of how low-carb diets work goes something like this: Reducing your carbohydrate intake lowers your insulin levels. Since insulin keeps fat locked into adipose tissue, lowering ins...

Dear Mark: More of Your 21-Day Challenge Questions Answered

January 26, 2015 - Today, I'm doing another batch of 21-Day Challenge questions pulled from the ones you asked me two weeks ago. I managed to make it onto the third page of comments. I'd hoped to get through all of them...

8 Signs You Probably Don’t Need More Protein

December 30, 2014 - Protein: it's the only macronutrient everyone embraces. Vegans, vegetarians, SAD dieters, and paleos always seem to be cramming more of it down their throats. And usually, more protein is a pretty go...

Dear Mark: Two Weeks Off Primal, Pili Nuts, Fasting and Micronutrient Deficiencies

August 11, 2014 - In today's edition of Dear Mark, I cover three questions from readers. First is from Richard, who's taking his father back to the old country - Italy, to be exact - for a two week vacation to visit th...

Dear Mark: 1000 Calories a Day, No Appetite After Exercise, and How to Not Lose Weight

July 07, 2014 - For today's Dear Mark, I'm taking three questions. First, I comment on Mick Dodge's (the barefoot forest-living guy with the beard on the NatGeo show) claim that humans can thrive on 1000 calories a...

We Don’t Know What Constitutes a True Paleo Diet

February 19, 2014 - Critics often lambast the Primal Blueprint and other ancestral/paleo ways of eating for what they see as fatal flaws: First, that we don't know what our ancestors were truly eating. Second, that...

Dear Mark: Hiking Around the World

May 13, 2013 - Today's edition of Dear Mark is different than most. Instead of doing a roundup of questions, I'm focusing on a single email from a reader who's hiking around the world in three years and needs a few ...

9 Ways You Might Be Inadvertently Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Efforts

October 31, 2012 - Whenever friends, co-workers, or loved ones complain about not being able to lose weight and turn to us for answers or advice, we can all generally rattle off a few suggestions that, if followed, usua...

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