Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
2 Feb

A Week in the Life of Mark Sisson

First off, I hope you can forgive me for the self-referential blog post title. “A Week in My Life” doesn’t mean much of anything to anyone that only sees the title on the Interwebs, so there it is. In any case, many of you have requested an update to my own personal Primal regimen to give you a sense of what my average day looks like. At the risk of boring you to tears, I thought I’d chronicle a week in my normal life for you today. I’ll start with a few random notes:

1. Art De Vany made a comment a while back that really resonated with me. He said these days he seeks to do as little as possible – to find more time to relax just like our hunter-gatherer ancestors did – and still do. I know where he’s coming from, and I want that too. While I am “working” more now than at any time in my life, I am also constantly looking for ways to cut corners and make things easier. I really do want to play (Law #7) more. Don’t get me wrong – I’m having a blast and am totally immersed in all we’re doing at MDA and Primal, but my goal is still to make my life as comfortable and pleasurable as possible.

2. We have a housekeeper – Diva – who has been with us for eight years and who has trained as a sous chef under my good friend Oren Zroya (the amazing PrimalCon chef). She’s a godsend. She ensures that the pantry and refrigerator are always well-stocked with the right foods and cooking ingredients. As a result, we always have access to healthy snacks, myriad ingredients for a big-ass salad, or several things freshly made from the Primal Blueprint Cookbook that we can simply heat up. Malibu Seafood is located right down the street, which helps when we want to buy fresh fish. I keep a supply of grass-fed beef, bison, pastured lamb and other goodies in my freezer at all times. And bacon.

3. As for training, I’ve said many times here that I really only train these days to be able to play well, play hard and play uninjured. Easier said than done, and at 57 it seems that injuries can lurk around every corner if one is not vigilant. I have chronic hip flexor issues (going back to my marathon days) and a problem rotator cuff from setting a PR on the bench some years ago. I decided to take the first quarter of 2011 to rehab those and really focus on strength and mobility in my hips and my shoulders.  Therefore, I do a few movements outside normal bodyweight exercises (PB Fitness) to focus on those areas, and Carrie and I take a “restorative” yoga class at least once a week for that purpose as well.

4. Notice that I often repeat the same schedule or menu. I tend to prefer a routine over new stuff all the time.

5. Supplementation Regimen: Every day I take 3-4 capsules of Vital Omegas (omega-3 fish oil), 2-4 capsules of Primal Sun Vitamin D (when I’m not getting enough sunlight), 1-2 Primal Flora and 1-2 packets of Damage Control Master Formula.

Here’s what last week looked like:


7:00 AM – Big cup of coffee (always French press, Starbucks – anything extra bold) always with heavy whipping cream and a teaspoon of sugar. Read paper, did Sunday Sudoku and Crossword (Primal Law #10 “use your brain”).

9:00 AM – Breakfast: Three scoops of Vanilla Crème Primal Fuel with ice cubes and water in a blender in anticipation of a big Ultimate game.

10:00 AM – Two hours of Ultimate (Frisbee). Warmed-up with some easy runs and throws, and then chose sides for 7-on-7 game. Great game (rained a bit during it) and excellent workout. Most fun I have all week. Probably did 20 full-out sprints of 40+ yards, with lots of stop and go or side-to-side mixed in. My team lost 25-21, mostly due to throwing errors. I always play in VFF Treks (Treks have more grip for grass than most other VFFs).

12:30 PM – Back home after game, stood in unheated pool up to mid-thigh (high 50’s – low 60’s temp) for 10 minutes. It’s part of my new repair and restore program.

1:00 PM – Lunch: Four egg omelet with onions, cheese, and red peppers, mineral water.

4:00 PM – Snack: Handful of macadamia nuts (20ish). Macs are the only nuts I eat anymore – they are so superior to all others.

7:00 PM – Dinner: One pound of ground lamb mixed with sautéed onions and peppers, steamed asparagus spears drenched in butter. 2 glasses cabernet sauvignon. Didn’t quite finish the lamb, but Buddha made quick work of the rest.

10:30 PM – Bed


6:30 AM – Big cup of coffee, read newspaper, did crossword.

7:30 AM – Work

9:30 AM – Breakfast: 4-egg omelet at desk.

10:30 AM – Gym: 3 sets of: 30 reverse rows + 40-50 pushups (with one minute walk/rest between sets)

3 sets of: 12 wide grip pullups + 15 parallel bar dips (one minute walk/rest between sets)

3 sets of: 10 narrow parallel grip pullups + 15 easy dumbbell curls to overhead press @ 25 pounds

2 sets of shoulder rehab stuff (circles, front raises, side raises, etc., with light dumbbells)

11:15 AM – Work

1:00 PM – Lunch: Big-ass salad. Mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, avocado, red bell peppers, browned slivered almonds, large dollop of tuna, dressing with EVOO as base. Ate at desk.

4:00 PM – Snack: Handful of cherries.

5:15 PM – One hour session with Michelle, my pilates/yoga/stretch guru, holding long, easy hip-opening poses.

7:30 PM – Dinner: 1 glass cabernet, 10 ounces grilled Bison “New York Cut”, 2 cups of Brussels sprouts with Hazelnuts (p. 142 PB Cookbook), 1 more glass cabernet, wedge of artisanal cheese.

8:30 PM – Game of Scrabble with son Kyle.

10:30 PM – Bed


6:30 AM – Big cup of coffee, caught up on news, crossword.

7:30 AM – Work

9:00 AM – Breakfast: Three scoops of Chocolate Primal Fuel with ice cubes and water in a blender. No easier way to get 30 grams of protein and a bunch of healthy coconut sat fat.

9:30 AM – Gym: 20 minutes on Precor stationary bike, started easy, gradually increasing resistance until maximum effort at 20th minute. Easy 2 minute recovery spin, then started 8 reps of: 20 seconds at max effort (high resistance and 110+ rpms) with 40 second easy spin rest between sets (lower rpms and a few notches down in resistance). Drenched. Grok squatted for a few minutes after. Went home and stood in the cold pool for 10 minutes.

10:30 AM – Work

1:00 PM – Lunch at local restaurant. Giant pork chop with mushroom sauce and asparagus tips, iced tea.

2:00 PM – Weather was awesome, couldn’t avoid going out for 1.5 hour stand-up paddle session. Should probably have worked, but my friend Eric and the board beckoned. OK. Shouldn’t have worked if my goal is truly to have more fun.

4:50 PM – Snack: Handful of macadamias.

8:00 PM – Dinner: 14 giant shrimp, each dipped in melted butter (maybe my favorite dinner). Steamed broccoli (same butter). 1 glass chardonnay (Sonoma Cutrer). A few pieces of 85% dark chocolate.

11:00 PM – Bed


6:45 AM – Big cup of coffee, caught up on news, crossword, Sudoku.

7:30 AM – Work

9:30 AM – Breakfast: Three scoops of Vanilla Primal Fuel with ice cubes and water in a blender.

9:45 AM – Hiked up Puerco Canyon with wife Carrie and Buddha (my Yellow Lab, if you hadn’t gathered that by now). I wore a 20-pound weight vest to equalize the effort (she’d had an emergency appendectomy 10 days earlier. 1:15 up and back. 10 minute cold soak in pool to mid-thigh.

11:30 AM – Work

1:00 PM – Lunch: Big-ass salad, with cold shrimp left over from dinner as protein source.

4:20 PM – Snack: Half-tin of sardines.

6:00 PM – Dinner: Chicken and fennel stew (PB Cookbook page 84)

7:30 PM – 90-minute deep tissue massage, which I try to get once a week.

10:00 PM – Bed


6:20 AM – Big cup of coffee, caught up on news, crossword, Sudoku.

7:30 AM – Work

9:30 AM – Breakfast: Four egg omelet with the works. Basically, very low carb.

9:45 AM – Gym: Repeat Monday’s workout, adding 50 deep air squats to second series (so x 3) and 90-second planks to third series.

11:15 AM – Work

12:00 PM – Business lunch: Half a free-range chicken and steamed spinach at local restaurant. Admit that I picked at a few potatoes, too.

4:20 PM – Snack: Handful of macadamias.

7:30 PM – Dinner: 1-2 ounces cheese, Kale salad, grass-fed beef rib eye, steamed broccoli drenched in butter. 2 glasses syrah. Who needs desert!

10:00 PM – Bed


More good food, easy hike up Bush Canyon.


More good food, took day off to attend Los Angeles Fitness Expo. Just like the circus only wilder.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Seems like we have a few coffee fans here, so I thought I’d mention this. If you’re a fan of french press coffee or just good coffee, do a google on Clever Coffee Dripper. It’s a cheap, easier, alternative method to the french press. It’s similar, but you are using a paper filter instead of the mesh screen that’s on a press. It gets a lot more of the insoluble solids out of the cup that cause bitterness. If you’re a FP drinker, you’ll recognize these as the stuff that settles at the bottom of each cup and prevents you from taking that last sip. Those solids are also suspended in the rest of the cup, you just can’t see them. The clever coffee dripper takes all that out so you won’t need that spoonful of sugar/cream to mask the bitterness.

    There are also some questionable studies showing increased cholesterol with un-paper-filtered coffee consumption, but I use this method because it makes the coffee taste a lot better and it’s more convenient than FP if you are just making coffee for 1-2 people.

    I also home roast my coffee beans or get them from a local roaster. I’m a bit of a coffee geek, but it sure gets me out of bed in the morning knowing a great tasting cup of coffee is only minutes away!

    jeff_the_curious wrote on February 2nd, 2011
    • I’m born and raised in the Seattle area. Excellent coffee is a quick find around any corner. I like the variety that can be had around here, from a nice smooth pour from a favored barista to a chunky nuclear black cup (FP) I make myself, it’s great to try new things. Thanks for the suggestion!

      Britters wrote on February 2nd, 2011
    • We just got one of those stovetop espresso pots, and with our local SLO Roast espresso beans… man, what a treat.

      Kristina wrote on February 2nd, 2011
      • Kristina,

        Where did you get it and what is it made of? DH got me one but it’s aluminum I think. After using it twice it started to have a sort of petroleum smell to it.


        Kania wrote on February 3rd, 2011
        • We got ours at Cost Plus. It is aluminium, but I clean it after every use, and have noticed no weird smells or taste – I’m usually pretty sensitive about that kind of thing too.

          Use bottled/filtered water if you’ve got hard water, tastes much better.

          Kristina wrote on February 3rd, 2011
        • Interesting…I clean mine after every use as well and then let it dry. Any concerns using aluminum on a daily basis because I do love my espresso.

          I have a whole house filter (crud and fluoride)..that’s what I use for drinking and coffee.

          Kania wrote on February 3rd, 2011
    • I recently read that FP coffee or coffee made using one of the wire baskets contains more volatile oils that 1. cause bitterness as you mentioned but 2. may also be carcinogenic. If you want really good tasting coffee, the BEST method is to boil water then pour over your coffee basket yourself, bypassing the reservoir. According to Cook’s no regular coffee makers get your water hot enough to bring out the best flavors in the coffee. Unless you want to invest over $200 in a MocaMaker. I use my $15 Mr Coffee and boil the water. Tastes SO MUCH BETTER than just brewing it. No bitterness. All I use is real cream. I don’t like it sweet at all.

      Lizabeth wrote on February 3rd, 2011
  2. Fabulous. Thanks for the inspiration. Like many here I spend too many hours at a desk, but love how primal eating makes me feel. :) And to the fellow above with the sleeping issue, it makes me sleep better too. I just turn off the TV and read a book for that last 1/2 – 1 hour. :)

    Mary-Anne wrote on February 2nd, 2011
  3. I thought this was fascinating!

    I’d like a housekeeper too but with more focus on play, cooking doesn’t seem as onerous for this reluctant cook.

    And I was impressed that Carrie was able to hike at all after her emergency surgery. Thank you!

    Alison Golden wrote on February 2nd, 2011
  4. Mark, thanks for sharing.

    To those of you who work all day — I feel your pain. I’m a busy lawyer. Here’s how I work my food situation, though. It’s actually very easy.

    1. Breakfast: protein shake, sometimes with a banana.

    2. Each Saturday, I go buy a bunch of vegetables. Whatever sounds good: carrots, broccoli, celery, bell peppers, cucumbers, etc.

    3. Each Sunday night, I chop up all my vegetables and put them into plastic bags. I also boil 15-20 eggs and put them in the refrigerator. For lunch each day, take a bag or two of vegetables and 3-4 hard-boiled eggs.

    5. I keep a couple of large bags of nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans) at the office. If I need a snack, I grab a handful of nuts or an apple.

    6. When I get home each night, I cook up some beef, chicken, or fish. I often steam a sweet potato to go with it.

    I guess it gets repetitive, but I love my diet. I’d rather chomp on sliced cucumbers than potato chips any day. And it’s not expensive to eat this way at all, either.

    Hansel wrote on February 2nd, 2011
    • Great comment on saving time and money for preparing food! I am about to make my regimen very simple as well. Same breakfast, lunch and slightly different dinners throughout the week.

      It makes life simple allowing more time to enjoy!

      Primal Toad wrote on February 2nd, 2011
  5. awesome post mark, very interesting getting a peak inside the life of the “master grok” While my work life isn’t like yours, its nice to see eating habits the same except I save the wine for the weekend. My question is why fast after EVERY workout? Do you have trouble recovering? I thought it was something you suggested every once in awhile(grok unsuccessful during hunt) not everytime

    Greg wrote on February 2nd, 2011
    • Greg, I used to talk a lot about the magic “45-minute window of opportunity” to refill glycogen stores after a workout. I even designed post-workout shakes to take advantage of that. I suppose if you’re going to go hard every workout, every day, that is one strategy. P90X uses that. marathoners use that. Some bodybuilders use that. I no longer use that strategy. I only work out “hard” twice a week – and at less than 40 minutes, that means I won’t go much past depleting glycogen – if at all. It also means that if I have trained myself to efficiently derive most of my low level aerobic energy from fats all day long (and during low level workouts), I won’t exhaust glycogen meal to meal throughout the day. The fact that my body makes 150+ grams of glucose/glycogen a day via gluconeogenesis and that I eat 100-130 grams of carbs a day assures me I can refill glycogen stores every two days easily. Meanwhile, not eating after my hard workouts causes a growth hormone release that would be blunted by eating carbs PWO. You can’t have it both ways. You can choose to burn lots of sugar every day (and suffer all the highs and lows) in which case, when you eat like that you literally HAVE to go out and burn it off every day or else you’ll store excess carbs as fat on the off days. OR you can choose to work out less (and get better results). So I choose to forgo the carbs and glycogen refilling in favor of the HG and fat burning.

      Mark Sisson wrote on February 2nd, 2011
      • Interesting. I do 2-3 early morning hard CrossFit workouts a week and my coach is always telling us to go home and eat some carbs and protein right away even though the workouts are only 45 minutes. I almost never do this and haven’t noticed any ill effects. But I am often super hungry at breakfast about 1.5 hrs later. Is there anything wrong with that? I should note that I am very lean and have been eating “primal” for several years due to food sensitivities.

        Jessica wrote on February 3rd, 2011
  6. I also should add ways I’ve been able to keeping eating primal easy during busy lives. I usually work 50+ a week doing Heating and air conditioning work. It takes me about 15 minutes to make an omelette/scramble with all sorts of veggies and 4-5 eggs every morning. I keep it interesting with many different spices. while the omelette is cooking I grab a large tuberware containing and throw all sorts of veggies and then some meat. with some EVVO and put it in a cooler. Also grab a sandwich bag and throw some macadamias in there. That keeps me going all day. I’m actually trying to gain lean mass while primal so I make sure dinner is Huge chunk of meat and veggies in butter or coconut oil and spices. And if I just got done my workout Ill steam a sweet potato. It can be done if you want it!

    Greg wrote on February 2nd, 2011
  7. I too live a stressful over worked life, but it really isn’t an excuse to not cook. Monday through Friday looks like this.

    5:00 am Get up to take the dog outside for his morning walk and feeding. He eats raw meat, bone and organs.

    6:30 run off to the train station, this time of year I trek through the snow on unploughed streets to get their.

    7:30 start work, usually I get coffee there (I work in a kitchen) and I run to the back room and top it off with a really big helping of heavy whipping cream, sometimes cinnamon.

    9:30 I will break for a lunch either now or later at 1:30. If I eat later it will be my first meal of the day and chalk it up to some Intermittent Fasting. I usually eat a salad with ham and turkey or a double burger with bacon and no bun.

    3:30 Leave work. Catch the train home

    4:00 As soon as I get home I take the dog out for a 45 min to hour long walk around and about the area. Last trip I was almost mugged, they found out I only carry my keys so they left.

    4:45-5:00 Feed the dog his second meal of the day usually I give him a raw frozen pig or chicken foot to play/gnaw on as I make dinner

    5:15 Dinner time, I ALWAYS have time to cook, anything else would be a BS excuse.

    Chicken or beef liver with onions

    Frozen veggies with coconut oil and hamburger.

    Sausage, cheese and 4 egg omelet with bacon, sure it is breakfast food but when you can buy 30 eggs for three bucks who cares.

    Sardines and hardboiled eggs if you really have no “time” at all to cook.

    All of these items are cheap, primal, delicious. If you can get frozen veggies, that saves so much time.

    7:00 after cleaning and eating I can sit down to do more freelance work to try and earn a bit on the side.

    9:00 take the dog out for just a short walk, I use this to investigate the ally for partially used furniture or let him scare stray cats. I live on a very low income but primal is much easier than one would assume. Think canned tuna fish.

    9:30 Watch a little tv or read a book, catch up on MDA and Free the animal. Knock out some pull ups at home. Chin ups, pull ups, towel pull ups, push ups and squats with a sandbag.

    10:30 Bed time. I turn the heater completely off for the night and sleep under wool blankets.

    Time management and positive attitude greatly affect how you can live in a good way.

    Tyler wrote on February 2nd, 2011
    • your days are very similar to mine – especially with the early dog walks & deep snow! Sometimes I have to go to work again in the evening. Lucky for me 2 nights in a restaurant around the corner. Lucky for dog we have bison, elk, salmon, etc on the menu. He gets all the trimmings – my coworkers even save bits throughout the week.

      Peggy wrote on February 6th, 2011
  8. I very much enjoyed today’s entry, Mark. My only question was about the cold water soaks, which I see you answered above. I also get a weekly massage and am actively pursuing my master plan to set my life up to be able to work fewer hours so I can play and rest more. You’ve totally changed my life.

    Ginger wrote on February 2nd, 2011
  9. Mark,

    This is exactly where I would like to be, though I think my time might be spent underwater more than anything. My wife and I have thought about getting a maid/cook for some time now and it would be great since we have such busy work schedules and then we are kiddie cabs when we get home, taking our kids to soccer (which I coach my daughter’s team), dance and guitar lessons. I am curious, do you request certain recipes each week so that your housekeeper knows what to purchase and cook for the week?

    Daryl wrote on February 2nd, 2011
  10. Everybody’s circumstances are different, living primal is not easy and is not cheap but if you have the time and means to live it 100% then do it!!! and be happy, if you dont… well then do what you can and be happy! =)

    Thank you Mark for making the time to write life changing information with all of us! and keep up doing what you love!!!!!

    Jason wrote on February 2nd, 2011
  11. thanks for the quick response…one last question if you don’t’ mind addressing. When a guy is trying to gain a pound or 2, but would still like to maximize GH does a meal of protein and fat make sense. Or would you prefer to see someone fast PWO and just make sure to get enough calories during the other meals?

    Greg wrote on February 2nd, 2011
    • I think the latter choice is best. Gaining muscle means working more intensely for short periods of time (either by high rep low weight or low rep high weight) and then giving adequate rest and nutrition (protein and fat in this case). You have to give your muscles a reason (a chemical signal) to get bigger, but they won’t respond that way unless you load them up properly. Better to train less often, but more intensely.

      Mark Sisson wrote on February 2nd, 2011
  12. I wish I could eat like this. I am still on ZC because even veggies cause weight gain and horrible, horrible digestive issues. Sigh!

    On a different note – thank you for a GREAT blog!!


    Kristina wrote on February 2nd, 2011
  13. Mark,
    I am your vintage–58–have run marathons with you: but you were much faster and in front (I’ve done 2:35).
    I think this was one of your best posts–and provided me with a great outline, as I’m in a ‘reengineering/rebooting’ mode, after I intentionally became unemployed from a long long career in corp finance. Everytime I spend time to soul search, I keep deciding that I like not working!…would rather cycle, lift and spend time in the sun in Hawaii or whereever it is, and mostly not in Seattle where I live and love a wonderful woman, my wife.
    My son turned us on to you, and my wife and I are GROK’ers, and she has lost over 20 pounds and has never felt better. I love great bar drinks and need to adjust my habits, otherwise I’m ‘there’ with you.
    Would love to know more about which alcohol you think is OK–whether you might ever go on a speaking tour, and would come up to Seattle.
    Appreciate you very much.

    rudi schmidt wrote on February 2nd, 2011
    • Hey mate – just saw this post above mine, and noticed your question about coming to Seattle. As a fellow Seattleite, I just saw today that Mark’s going to be here for his PASS Seminar on June 11th. Check it out – maybe I’ll see you there!



      Alhaddadin wrote on February 2nd, 2011
      • Al: Thanks! My wife and I are going! How did I miss this….
        You sound like you are an Aussie and obviously living in Seattle now–I want to live in Australia! I need more sunshine. Met many Aussies when I was in NZ/Rarotonga last March–festive, fun-loving people, along with the Kiwis and Cook Islanders of course.
        Thanks for tip.

        rudi schmidt wrote on February 3rd, 2011
  14. Super duper post, very enjoyable to read, and I am happy to say that I’m taking a bunch of really good pointers away with me. Thanks!

    That being said, of course I felt some lifestyle-envy, which I won’t articulate here for fear of duplicating Mr. T’s hilarious and perfectly spot-on post.

    What I would say in response to those who view this post negatively: Mark designed the Primal Blueprint to encapsulate the most healthful lifestyle possible within the circumstances that the modern world allows – so shouldn’t he be living one of the purest, and therefore most ideal, constructions thereof?

    Frankly I’d be more concerned if he were living and working the way I am (40+ hours a week, high-ish stress levels, cooking my own frequently run-of-the-mill cuisine), because what the hell kind of example would that be setting?!?

    Alhaddadin wrote on February 2nd, 2011
  15. Looks like you could borrow a few tips from Tim Ferriss and his 4 Hour Work Week, since he borrowed so much from you for the 4 Hour Body cookbook. :)

    Eric wrote on February 2nd, 2011
    • I think Mark has already borrowed a few tips from The 4 Hour Workweek 😉

      And you just mean 4 hour body correct? Its not a cookbook…

      Primal Toad wrote on February 2nd, 2011
      • There is a supplement to the 4 Hour Body that has a bunch of “slow carb” recipes, and most came from this site.

        Eric wrote on February 2nd, 2011
  16. Hey Mark. I’m interested that you ate within a half hour and then 45 minutes for both of your workouts in this week that you shared with us… And it wasn’t a “snack” either but a full meal.

    …and you’re obviously OK with that? (as in, you don’t feel like puking just from the output of energy?)

    I was challenged last year to work out fasted and have never looked back once I started. I just love it!

    Thanks for all you do and share with us!

    Karen wrote on February 2nd, 2011
    • Karen, most days, it’s usually a shake that’s maybe only 10-12 ounces of fluid total. If I eat an omelet before a workout, I also might not finish the whole thing, knowing I’m headed to the gym soon. And I have a very good ability to stop eating at the right time (not too much, not too little). As a runner, I never had issues with eating before a workout. In either case, these are higher fat, low carb “meals” that have minimal effect on blood glucose and/or insulin during the workout.

      Mark Sisson wrote on February 2nd, 2011
      • Thanks! I’m aware they are high(er) fat and low carb but they are still very filling. Once in a while I’d eat bfast then have a work out at 11 and there was still too much food in my belly (bfast is always eggs with coconut oil and butter).

        You’re inspirational!

        Karen wrote on February 2nd, 2011
        • I also feel full for a few hours after I eat and thus decide to workout in a fasted state especially if I eat a lot of protein and fat which is basically every meal.

          Primal Toad wrote on February 2nd, 2011
  17. I eat way more food than you Mark! How do you do it? I’m a 46y/o F. I don’t eat a pound of meat in a sitting but for sure in a day. No starch or fruit but tons of veggies. I’m thin but I’m always hungry! What’s your ticket?

    Nags wrote on February 2nd, 2011
    • How much fat do you get in a day? That’s probably the difference… I used to be hungry all the time, too, till I learned the beauty of eating lots of GOOD fat.

      Karen wrote on February 2nd, 2011
      • trust me…I eat alot of fat. butter, ghee, EVOO. I eat ALOT of small meals (4 oz meat 3 or 4x but then in my snacks as well)through the day but finding I need a few more carbs than just meat and fat. I seem to eat 6 or 7 cuos of veggies. I pick all day long! My life revolves around grocery stores, cooking and eating. lol ( i do love to cook though)

        Nags wrote on February 2nd, 2011
        • Nags- if you’re anything like me…try to not think about food as often!

          Thinking about eating does make you hungry. It causes the body to release insulin (in anticipation of receiving food) which lowers your blood glucose which makes your brain think that it is starved for fuel (it will use glucose if it is available – otherwise it will run on ketones when it is not) thus releasing other hormones that will cause you to feel hunger.

          It sounds crazy, but its true! Get lost in a project, book, cleaning, conversation… whatever! Before you know it, a few hours will go by, someone will mention food, and THEN you get hungry.

          Good luck!

          Bonnie wrote on February 3rd, 2011
  18. Mark,

    Thank you for sharing – I enjoyed “seeing” what a typical day is like. I’m not too far off, but I must admit Mr. T’s write-up did provide a good chuckle.
    It’s hard not to envy someone doing your shopping and cooking your meals, I wish I had that. Oh, I forgot! I do! It’s me!
    Anyway, as always MDA inspires me to continue to be the best I can be. It’s also a good reminder to use my time wisely and that living PB is worth the energy.

    Beth wrote on February 2nd, 2011
  19. What an interesting look into your life… thanks! Parts of your week are certainly on my motivations list now (mainly, housekeeper and deep tissue massage!)
    My more primal life has definitely given me more energy for my own schedule, which unfortunately, doesn’t involve as much sleep as I would like. It is more like:

    -4:40-6:00 wake up (depending on 1 year old alarm clock to wake me up :-) or earlier from nausea/urge to pee when pregnant. Change diapers as other kids wake up.

    -7:00 ish – Make breakfast for hungry kids- always 2-3 eggs each in some form (omelet, egg casserole, over easy, etc)

    -8:00- dishes done and first round of cleaning done, try to squeeze in kettlebell workout in between story time and school work.

    -10:00 Kids play, I attempt to work for a couple hours (usually punctuated with “potty” breaks, requests for snacks and spilled things to clean up.

    -12:00- Lunch – usually leftover meat from night before, chopped veggies, and guacamole

    -1:00- Kids naptime, I clean and get writing done for the day, prepare dinner if I can so it is ready later

    -3:00 kids up, time outside, try to incorporate climbing trees, running, trampoline, etc

    -4:00 Finish dinner prep and do laundry/bills/etc until dinner

    -5:30 Dinner as family, always meat, 2 veggies and guacamole or hollandaise sauce for dipping (kids love it!)

    -6:30 Bathtime for kids followed by story time and family time until bed

    -8:00 Kids in bed, my workday starts

    -8:00-12:00 Writing, work stuff, time with my husband.

    -12:00 Sleep- finally

    All in all, my perfect primal life, but a housekeeper would be nice! I hope in 35 years to be where Mark is and have a little more time for sleep and surfing, but for now, I wouldn’t trade it!

    Katie wrote on February 2nd, 2011
    • This looks pretty much exactly like my schedule! :)

      Jen wrote on February 5th, 2011
  20. I love seeing week schedules like this, thanks for posting. Definitely a lifestyle to strive for!

    I also look forward to being able to toss in wine, chocolate, artisan cheese and the like a little more regularly (than never) like in the above. I need to get to that lean equilibrium first – having them now just leads to a plateau.

    J wrote on February 2nd, 2011
  21. Well, it is nice to see your schedule mark, and I am quite jealous, for sure. LOL. I don’t have a personal chef, (because that is me,) but cooking relaxes me, so that is cool.
    As for not having the time, I hear you. That is why some people jsut need to learn to use a slow cooker, then a lot of magic will happen.

    Jason Sandeman wrote on February 2nd, 2011
    • Jason, everyone should understand that Diva started as a simple housekeeper, cleaning a few days a week. Over the years she learned to cook (very well) and likes doing it, so she allocates enough time (and it doesn’t take much) to prepare food while she’s doing everything else. She’s like a two-fer-one employee that way. After all is said and done, I still cook my own omelets, steaks, ground meat scrambles, etc because I’m fast that way.

      Mark Sisson wrote on February 2nd, 2011
  22. Great post! It’s great to see when people walk the walk and talk the talk. And I think it is so awesome that you have a housekeeper/chef. I hope to aspire to that as well one day. Work smart, play hard. I love it!

    Amber wrote on February 2nd, 2011
  23. Who plays ultimate to 25 points?? I have played for about 8 years now and never played a game past 20 (and that was only because it was win by two). I guess its a west coast thing!

    Devin wrote on February 2nd, 2011
    • Devin, we play for 90 minutes (after a warm-up). Used to be to 20, win by two, but some decided we were having so much fun we’d go to 25 and from then on we kept doing it. That means some close games see 45 points scored in total. We do take a 5-10 minute water break when one team gets 12.

      Mark Sisson wrote on February 2nd, 2011
      • You must be really good. We play for two forty-minute halves, with a ten-minute halftime, and the average score is only about 10-15 points! We suck lol.

        labbygail wrote on February 3rd, 2011
  24. Thanks for the reply! I was just wondering because I have never heard of people playing to that high of a score. I have played in many places and usually it starts out with a 30min-1hr warm-up scrimmage with no score kept and then a game to 13-15. I don’t know why, but everywhere I have ever played worked out that way. However, they are for teams that compete, so I guess there are different objectives (lots of conditioning and drills too).

    If you are ever in South Florida and want to toss some disc shoot me an email!

    Devin wrote on February 2nd, 2011
  25. Coffee. mmmmmm.

    Yes, the shopper and chef are both me.

    Mary Anne wrote on February 2nd, 2011
  26. I’m so tickled at this very moment reading some of this. “I work 60 hour weeks” “I have no time” “I don’t have a housekeeper/chef to help me” TOO FUNNY!
    Meanwhile on the other side of the world where they have never even seen a laptop there are people who use the bathroom in the hole they dug next to their dirt “house” in which they sleep on a grass mat on a dirt floor. They walk miles to retrieve dirty contaminated water to eat, drink and bathe with. Seriously ya’ll, when you consider it, the fact that you even have a clue what MDA is means you live a life of privilege some will never know. If it’s really that tough why should we even attempt to live primal when we could just slowly kill ourselves one fast food drive thru at a time. The truth is, it’s not that tough and we all have it pretty good compared to most.
    I don’t envy you in the slightest Mark! I too can live in Malibu, make my own schedule, and hire help to support my primal lifestyle if I so choose and work to do so. I applaud you Mark for all that you have given of yourself to us and for us.
    So, when I move in next door, can I come over for dinner? I’m thinking I won’t have time to cook as I will be too busy working 60 hour weeks to pay for my house in Malibu! Ha Ha
    Thank You Mark!
    “If you are going to be thinking anyway, you might as well think big”—Donald Trump

    Alison wrote on February 2nd, 2011
  27. Great post Mark, I just wanted to ask you when do you take your vitamins and the other supplements…
    Somewhere a while ago I’ve read that coffee interferes with vitamin absorption so I don’t know if I should take my vitamins right after I have a cup of coffee in the morning or maybe later in the day for a better absorption.
    Maybe it’s a silly question but I have to ask.

    Also, I’ve noticed that I usually eat some butter and cheese with the almonds as a snack and maybe a fruit and a natural yogurt mixed up too. Is this an excess? I mean it’s not like I have any kind of weight issues but I’m not really hungry when I eat this. Since I’m studying, exercising, doing a lot of other things and I am a teenager (and everyone tells me that teenagers should eat more for a better growth) I think that it is worth it. Anyway after reading you post I think I’ll re-organize my eating patterns in order to make it more simple and not having a “big meal” in the afternoon that messes up with my plans if I’m out or doing something far away from home… what do you think?

    Ian Benedetti wrote on February 2nd, 2011
  28. Congrats on your wonderful life, health, happiness, passion, and ability to give others the tools to make healthy choices to change their lives for the better.

    You deserve it all!

    One request, can you send some of that lovely Malibu sun our way? Pittsburgh is quite gloomy these days!

    Hayley and Bill wrote on February 2nd, 2011
  29. Obviously I eat all the carbs that feel rejected by you. Two questions:

    1) Who won the Scrabble game?
    2) Who took that fabulous photo of you on the paddleboard?


    LEC wrote on February 2nd, 2011
    • Hey everybody, meet Eric, my paddling buddy – and great friend for over 20 years. He would be a world class Adonis and Gold medalist in anything if he didn’t give in to the carb gods. Every frikkin’ meal.

      And, yes, he took the photo of me on the board and several of the others on the header.

      E, I won that Scrabble game, but it was something like 334 to 328. Kyle is getting good.

      Mark Sisson wrote on February 2nd, 2011
      • Sad but true. Gives me room to improve. I’m also surprised that you didn’t write about what a “god” Kyle is at Ultimate.

        LEC wrote on February 2nd, 2011
  30. This is a story about trying to be primal when you don’t live in California:

    So Grok wakes up to another morning in his little corner of the frozen Northeast. It’s a snow day (the first one this week), so Grok expects to spend the day in his cave with the kids. Later he’ll do some shoveling and perhaps take a stroll over to the local sledding hill. As he’s puttering around the kitchen getting ready to make his morning coffee, Grok’s wife informs him that’s she’ll be working from home because of the weather. Grok knows he’ll have to make an extra big show of doing chores today, but he’s happy to have some adult companionship. Plus, there’s always the prospect of some marital relations when she’s home during the day. Grok considers mating an essential part of his primal lifestyle, and he’s happy to share his cave with a lady who feels the same.

    Sure enough, a little while later, the kids are busy with cave paintings and Grok’s wish comes true. He is so caught up in the moment that he temporarily forgets all about his coffee.

    Emerging from the inner sanctum of his cave, Grok realizes with horror that the snow has turned to rain. Every shovelful will now weigh approximately 10x as much as it did a hour ago. And to make matters worse, the forecast calls for it to freeze again later that day. If Grok doesn’t get out and shovel now, his cave could be encased in impassable glaciers by evening. Grok has at least 90 minutes of shoveling ahead of him … if he works fast and only does the essential stuff. His coffee will have to wait.

    Outside, Grok is treated to the most primal of workouts. The icy rain pelting down has turned the once-fluffy snow into frozen mashed potatoes more than a foot deep. Grok estimates that each shovelful contains 2-3 gallons of water. Because previous storms have left precious little room to pile new snow, Grok must toss each shovelful on top of a snowbank that is taller than he is. He tries to distribute the effort evenly throughout his body, switching between righty and lefty grips on the shovel and squatting extra low to get his legs involved. It’s an approach that has worked wonders with previous storms.

    Try as he might though, Grok has to concede that this storm is worse than the others. With each rep, his technique gets a little worse. He can feel himself using mostly his back, like his body is hoping for an injury to put a stop to this madness. Grok is happy that he wasn’t born a few thousand years later as one of those Chinese laborers who built the Pacific railroads. He’s pretty sure he wouldn’t have survived that life.

    Before long though, Grok is finished with his shoveling. Soaked and exhausted, he heads inside for some refreshment. His hopes are dashed, however, when he remembers that the storm has prevented any hunting, gathering, or grocery shopping. The only primal food that’s not frozen is butter, so Grok checks quickly for Mrs. Grok, then eats some. It’s salty and delicious, so he has another bite. By now, Grok’s head is pounding. He can’t think straight. He wonders if all the shoveling has given him an aneurysm, then he remembers … A few minutes, and a few tedious steps later, he’s enjoying the first steaming cup of the day from his French press. It’s 12:30 PM, and this caveman finally has his coffee. Not only that, but he’s confident that whatever else the day throws at him, he can handle it.

    Grok BC wrote on February 2nd, 2011
    • Haha! This comment totally made my day!

      labbygail wrote on February 3rd, 2011
    • LOL! I can totally identify with Grok and the snow shoveling with the storm we had a week ago. Took me an hour and a half and it got heavier with every shovelful (plus my hands were still hurting from lifting – just started).

      Now I just wish I could go all cavewoman on the jerk (neighbor’s boyfriend who doesn’t live there) who keeps parking in my very nicely shoveled parking space every Monday night when I’m at TRX class. He has an SUV and can park in the snowier areas that the lazy snowplow operator didn’t do.

      Lynn wrote on February 3rd, 2011
    • Love this! Thanks for the laugh! I live up here too. Although we keep getting passed by. Very disappointing.

      Lizabeth wrote on February 3rd, 2011
  31. Thanks so much for the great insight Mark. So helpful to get a glimpse of daily routines food intake etc. Quick question. I too LOVE a big cup of coffee in the morning. How do you feel about coffee during the day? Since switching to the primal lifestyle I no longer need it as a crutch, but I REALLY love a cup(or 2) when I get a break at work? Thanks for any insight!

    peter Pain wrote on February 2nd, 2011
    • peter, I limit myself to one cup a day. In truth I often don’t finish that one. I think more than two cups a day might start to have deleterious CNS effects.

      Mark Sisson wrote on February 2nd, 2011
      • Sheesh! Sometimes people read too many medical publications. I had to Google “deleterious CNS” to understand what they heck you just said. :)

        True it requires typing more keys to say “might start to be harmful to the Central Nervous System” but it would have made it much easier for me to understand.

        Jon wrote on February 3rd, 2011
  32. So husbands typical schedule: get up 630am leave house by 7am drive company truck 34 miles to cane company which an take 45min to hour and half. Breakfast was whatever grabbed on way out door like banana and juice or example. Work starts technically at 8 am but cranes run 24/7 so this mechanic is working as soon as in the yard or a jobite if called. Mostly outdoors in all weather conditions usually dealing with heavy equipment/ tools and climbing up and down the cranes and booms. 9am a 15 min break which s not always able to take if on emergency fix, otherwise it’s rest and water or tea. Lunchtime s 30 min at 12pm usually whatever is close to shop or at job site, microwave is usually full with about 50 folks in line. 230pm is next break again a drink maybe some nuts or snack and rest. 430 pm is technically quitting time, but often still working on last minute broke down crane trying to get home. Another traffic crowded drive home, if lucky home by 6pm, usually supper is ready shortly after getting home, then it’s check emails, deal with calls etc, bedtime usually by 10 pm
    Had a quintuple bypass 2 years ago, ok’d knee injury that last surgery to remove cartilage finally made actor he truly almost lost his leg in 1977. All lumbar degenerative disc nearly naturally fused at this time. Only 51 years old and been very frustrated with diets and no improvements and finally met older folks like him that had success with pb plus even the cardiologist was not against it either. Might not fully agreed but figured might work.
    The poor man so worn out from his heavy work and walking the yards 1/2 mile to the back during day plus the knee and back chronic pain usually any extra cardio workouts or even walks just don’t happen.
    Only been at this couple weeks now, but we plan on this working for both of us. And perhaps if my work gets more traction we can do more relaxing and playing like Mark.

    Tamara wrote on February 2nd, 2011
  33. Bravo, Mark! Thanks for this post! This gives me something to aspire to!!! And keep up the awesome work (and play)!

    Dawn wrote on February 2nd, 2011
    • And even though mac nuts are the only ones I am allergic to so cannot eat, I’m not going to whine about my inability to exactly copy Mark Sisson’s day =)

      Dawn wrote on February 2nd, 2011
  34. Mark, please for Bubba’s sake, don’t allow your pets to eat anything with onions. I lost my beloved dog this way. Dogs (and possibly cats) cannot digest onions and they end up with pancreatic problems eventually. You mentioned that on Sunday, Bubba finished your lamb and onions.

    Brenda wrote on February 2nd, 2011
  35. Great Post Mark.!!
    ..I am moving to Malibu.. :)

    Resurgent wrote on February 2nd, 2011
  36. All of this, and yet you still find time to coach The Seattle Seahawks. Truly amazing! 😉

    Grant wrote on February 2nd, 2011
  37. Great reading …. thanks very much. Id like to let you know that I read the “book” while in Mexico at my brothers suggestion. I weighed about 191 at the time. Following the basics I lost about 6 0r 7 lbs in 10 days while we there still taking advantage of an all inclusive situation. That was in December and as of now I’m down to about 174 while still maintaining decent muscle mass. Id like to add that primal eating works incredibly well for and the fat loss was close to effortless. I don’t usually write in about “anything” but I’m completely satisfied with your book and the info contained there. Thanks very much and keep the info coming.

    Burnaby, BC. Canada

    Andrew wrote on February 2nd, 2011
  38. Thanks for showing us what you do each day, Mark. It’s definitely inspirational.

    I had an initial reaction of “it must be nice,” but, to be honest, even if I had worked my way into retirement with a maid and cook, I don’t know if I’d have that kind of routine (yet. . .I’m working my way toward it!)

    Whenever I get a bad case of the “if onlies” about how much easier it would be to get in great shape if I had a personal chef, trainer, housekeeper, etc., I think about all the celebrities who have continued to struggle with weight and fitness even with all of the resources anyone could ask for.

    It’s up to us to do what we can with what we have, taking what we believe (Primal is the way to go) and putting it into daily practice as much as we can. You’ve renewed my enthusiasm!

    Catalina wrote on February 2nd, 2011
  39. I love the 4-egg omelet. I actually do that myself every morning for breakfast. 4 eggs, a pack of diced mushrooms, a chopped onion, and spinach, with fresh avocado and salsa to top it off! It never gets old :)

    Matthew Myers wrote on February 2nd, 2011
  40. Damn, you are living MY life. No wonder I can’t get a hold of it. When I get back from India I am going to live your daily for the first week…though I am going to eat the 1lb ground lamb myself. I knew there was a reason I got rid of that dog.

    andre Chimene wrote on February 3rd, 2011

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