The popular story of how low-carb diets work goes something like this: Reducing your carbohydrate...
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...Tell Me More
Print this out. Bookmark it. Send it to friends who don’t quite get the Primal thing. Consider this a valuable resource for all-things Primal. It’s a nice, alphabetical encapsulation of what it means to lead a Primal lifestyle. It’s not everything, of course. You can always dig deeper into the details, but this summary gives a high-level look at just about everything.
Without further ado, I present The A-to-Z Guide to Leading a Primal Lifestyle.
Avoid chronic cardio. I spent about half my life running (and later, with triathlons, swimming and cycling) myself into the ground. I thought the more miles I could log, the healthier I’d be. That’s the mindset many people have, and it’s absolutely wrong. Running a ten-miler is different than running a ten-miler every day. We have the capacity to go long distances and even outlast wild animals upon which we’re preying. We don’t have the capacity to do that every single day without consequences to our health. Run long distances if you love it, compete if you love competing, but know the cost it incurs.
It happens to the best of us. You start sneaking a few more bites of bread when out to dinner and trying your buddy’s delicious-looking pizza. Your workouts trickle to once a week, sometimes none. You walk less, couch more. And then one day, you realize you’ve gone off the wagon. You’ve gained belly fat. You’re getting winded going up the stairs. Your once-pleasurable hikes have become grueling affairs that you dread and end up avoiding. Your fridge is full of takeout boxes and you realize you haven’t cooked in two weeks. You need to restart your Primal lifestyle, and fast.
How do you do it?
Turns out there are more than a few ways that you probably haven’t considered. Let’s explore them:
While it’s important to think positive and focus on all the things you should be doing to achieve your goals, it’s equally important that we focus on those things that interfere with our goals and remind ourselves to avoid doing them. Some call it the “not to do list,” which I like. Many of the behaviors on not-to-do lists are deal breakers, so it’s arguably more crucial that we identify and curtail those that apply to our lives. But that’s hard; these are behaviors we might already be doing. Heck, they might be bad habits we’ve developed, or biases we’ve internalized. And so before adopting good behaviors, we should clear out the bad ones. Otherwise, we’re just pissing in the wind.
What are some things you shouldn’t be doing if your ultimate goal is to build muscle?
For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three of your question, dear readers. First, are there any caffeine-free ways to boost energy during a (really) long workday? Absolutely (but caffeine still might help). Second, what’s the deal with cotton candy grapes, a new designer fruit? Is it just junk food on the vine, or can designer fruits be a healthy part of a Primal eating plan? The last question comes from Shirley, a dedicated weight lifter and macronutrient-counter who’s tired of tracking and planning everything. She just wants to enjoy herself and be content with her body without all the calculation. How can she do it?
A couple months back, I gave you a list of Primal Laws that didn’t quite make the cut, either because they weren’t “big” enough or didn’t apply to enough people. Turns out I was probably wrong: the response was huge and many of you were on the same wavelength. You even offered up some of your own ideas for honorable mentions. So today, I’m giving you 7 more honorable mentions that almost deserved a spot on the final list of Primal Laws. Read the post, take what resonates with you and discard what doesn’t. But give the article a fair shake and really consider how adopting these laws could improve your life.
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 pursuing a Pegan way of eating, or “paleo-vegan.” Is it possible to be healthy while emphasizing plant foods and avoiding most meat? Is there anything she should watch out for? And last but not least, what’s the deal with commuting to work on your bike amidst urban air pollution? We all know that active commutes are supposed to be healthier than riding in a metal box, but do the negatives of breathing all those airborne particulates outweigh the positives of riding your bike? Find out what I think.