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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April 18, 2017

Introducing Kitchen Intuition by Devyn Sisson!

By Mark Sisson
25 Comments

Inline_ki_book02Hi, readers. I’m honored to announce the publication of the latest Primal Blueprint Publishing release, Kitchen Intuition, written by my daughter, Devyn. Much of this post is in the format of a guest Q&A where a worker bee caught up with Devyn to learn all about the book and the journey that led to the finished product. Devyn has been working on this project for several years now, originally as a component of her college coursework for a Master of Spiritual Psychology degree, and eventually expanding the concept into a full-length book.

It’s hard to marginalize this work by calling it just a book. I’ve observed my daughter over the past several years grow and mature in ways that leave me speechless as a parent, and the physical book that arrived recently in the mail (bringing the author and the author’s parents to tears on that occasion!) is a tangible representation of this beautiful journey.

It’s mind-blowing that this little being that I welcomed to the world in 1991 has become the adult creative force that stands before me today—blowing into my kitchen to create more culinary art when I least expect it, or dropping off her golden doodle, Ninja, as she heads out for another bold life adventure.

Kitchen Intuition is a deeply personal and vulnerable account of her journey of healing and enlightenment, inspired by the celebration of cooking and eating. The title conveys how Devyn awakened a greater emotional and spiritual connection to food, in the process peeling away layers of dysfunction and disconnect that most of us have when it comes to food—mindsets, attitudes, and behavior patterns that often spill out into other areas of life. I mean, if you’re too busy to take the time to enjoy a tasty, nourishing meal to fuel your important daily agenda, what does that say about your prioritization skills or even your self-respect?

As I spread my message to “Live Awesome!”, this book captures the spirit of that better than anything I’ve read in a long time. The delicious, whimsical and incredibly creative recipes help you awaken your intuitive side—a refreshing departure from the usual mechanical approach we apply when following recipes verbatim. The short stories that are interspersed throughout the book help you get to know Devyn, but even more importantly encourage you to get to know yourself a little better. It seems we often pay lip service to the concept of intuition these days. I hear athletes talk about it in trying to escape OCD training patterns to no avail. We dream of being creative and adventurous in the kitchen, but we lack the confidence and inspiration, or we tell ourselves that we don’t have enough time. Now you have a guide in Devyn, who will take you to places you’ve never been before in the kitchen—and in your relationship with food and eating overall.

The book has arrived in our warehouse ahead of schedule, and Devyn has agreed to sign 200 copies exclusively for MDA readers through the special promotion described after this Q&A—enjoy!!

How did you first come up with the vision for your book, Kitchen Intuition?

The first draft started as a project for my Master of Spiritual Psychology degree and quickly became my worst fear and my greatest accomplishment. I was certain I wanted to create a cookbook (due to my obvious love for cooking and enjoyment of food), but I was blissfully unaware of just how much work it would be or how much it would challenge me. Kitchen Intuition morphed into a project of self-awareness, and the vision soon took over. I wanted to help people by helping myself…by sharing the vulnerability in my relationship with food.

Describe what you think is unique about your book’s message.

I encourage my readers to make mistakes. The kitchen doesn’t have to be something you fear. It can be a scary place for most, but as long as you have some Band-Aids and a fire extinguisher on hand you should be fine. I want people to just get their hands dirty and give things a shot, to realize cooking can be creative, funny, even romantic. It’s all about getting comfortable in the kitchen, and that includes understanding your likes and dislikes as well as the likes and dislikes of those around you. I want people to pay attention to what they’re putting in their bodies by way of connecting with it as it’s being prepared.

What are some examples of the tips and recipes readers will find in Kitchen Intuition?

1-Kitchen-Intuition-FNL-p8My favorite tip is Tip #1: Experiment. How do you know what you don’t like if you haven’t tried it? I’ve made some of my best dishes simply trying something out because that’s all that was left in the fridge. Experiment, break the rules, learn from your mistakes. Some of my favorite recipes in the book include a bunch of leftovers that I creatively repurposed.

The waffles are probably my favorite recipe. Some might not call them Primal. I find it so easy for me to eat healthy/Primal all the time, but I feel like I don’t give myself a chance to indulge on things like decadent breakfast items, desserts, or heavy meals. The waffles give me a chance to feel like I can loosen up, join the crowd, and enjoy my food while eating something that is going to positively affect my body and spirit.

Do you have a couple favorite, go-to recipes that you knew had to make it into the book?

I knew I had to include some sort of eggy breakfast muffin. They’re so easy to make, so delicious, and can be made ahead to enjoy at any time of day. They can be fun to experiment with, they require no expertise, and I haven’t met someone who didn’t enjoy them. I also had to include some salads. I feel like salads have a bad reputation for being a “diet food,” but I LOVE a good salad. To me, a salad is just a bowl of goodness with a base of lettuce. You can put anything on lettuce, call it a salad, enjoy the heck out of it, all while getting some good quality nutrition.

How would you describe your personal approach to healthy eating, and what were the most important influences (Primal or non-Primal) in coming to that approach?

2b-Kitchen-Intuition-FNL-p17There are many things, people and experiences that have informed my eating and lifestyle choices. My personal approach to eating healthy is simple—if I can’t pronounce the ingredients, I usually won’t eat it. I eat as many things as I can that grow from the ground. Occasionally, I eat things that eat off the ground, and I rarely eat things from a package. Obviously, my dad informed my eating habits, but it was not until I studied with The Institute for Integrative Nutrition that I realized WHY I was eating the way I was. It no longer became “because dad does.” My decisions started to feel more like “I choose to.” When people ask if I’m paleo/Primal, I say “yes,” but only because all the things I eat tend to fall in that category of “crap-free.”

What has creating this book meant for your personal journey with eating and cooking?

This book has exposed me, my family, and my friends to the public. Writing and cooking my way through this book allowed me to take a look at my relationship to and with food. I put myself under a microscope for the last few years as I discovered, dissected, ignored, and studied different parts of myself. I fell in and out of love in the kitchen, celebrated, cried, danced, laughed, and learned. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

What surprised you about the process of creating the book?

5b-Kitchen-Intuition-FNL-186How much of my social life is surrounded by food. I paid close attention to my relationships and food experiences as I was in the process of writing the book. I was amazed at how often I met up with someone for a smoothie and great conversation, went on a romantic date where we shared food, met my mother for lunch or cooked for tons of people during a celebration.

Many of my interactions and development of new or old friendships revolved around food. The only time I spent with my whole family was for dinner. When I saw old friends, it was over lunch. When I met someone new, it was for coffee. I was amazed at how SOCIAL food is, and how each relationship changed the way the food felt in my body. The experience and conversation dictated how nourished I felt afterward—no matter what I ate.

What’s one of your favorite moments in writing and creating the photos for the book?

Seeing the first photo my photographer Austin and I took (I think it was a cauliflower dish). I have zero experience in food styling, and this was his first cookbook. The picture was nothing like I had imagined, but it looked amazing! I realized in that moment that I would do LIFE with my intuition, not just the cooking part.

What would you like readers to take away from the book for their journeys?

Be curious. Ask yourself questions. Get to know your body. What feels good? What tastes good? What looks good? Pay attention. Become more aware of your relationship to food (healthy or not, we all have one), and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Let your intuition guide you in the kitchen. Before you know it, you’ll notice that intuitive approach start to spill over into other aspects of your life.

Today, per Mark’s Daily Apple tradition, I’ve never been more excited to put together a limited-time offer for Devyn’s book release.

evao_single_400px_2For the FIRST 200 ORDERS…purchase one or more copies of Kitchen Intuition from Primal Blueprint.com, and get a FREE bottle of PRIMAL KITCHEN® Extra Virgin Avocado Oil—the perfect complement to many of the Kitchen Intuition recipes. You’ll also receive a copy of the book personally signed by Devyn. 

You won’t want to miss Devyn’s creative and inspiring message—and this book’s potential to expand or even redefine your Primal eating. You’ll find more than 75 recipes—from dips and bites to scrumptious sides, savory soups to zesty salads, and plenty of main dishes to fill your Primal appetite.

You’ll find Kitchen Intuition for sale on Amazon.com as well starting today. However, this deal only applies to PrimalBlueprint.com purchases and expires when supplies run out or on April 28th at midnight, PDT. One offer per customer. Both domestic (U.S.) and international orders are eligible.

Thanks for stopping by today, everyone, and for sharing the moment. This blog and all that’s grown out of it has certainly changed my life. It’s an amazing experience to see it play a part in my daughter’s life and vision.

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TAGS:  cooking tips

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25 Comments on "Introducing Kitchen Intuition by Devyn Sisson!"

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Elizabeth Resnick
4 months 9 hours ago

Sounds like a great book…I am totally on board with Devyn’s approach to cooking. It is so much more fun when you look at it as an adventure! And I stopped measuring years ago, except for when I bake. You can eyeball just about everything. (I’ve had to go back and make things over and try to measure for my website, but even there I encourage people to wing it.)

Jen
Jen
4 months 9 hours ago

I love the idea of leaning more on my intuition for primal eating. This feels right and will probably be easier for me. I’m an intuitive type in the rest of my life—why not in my meal prep?? I can’t wait to read the personal stories too. Congratulations Mark – and Devyn!

Mike Callahan
Mike Callahan
4 months 9 hours ago

I’ve been slow to fully adopt the Primal diet, and Devyn’s approach makes it seem more doable. I like being in the kitchen—time to apply it to Primal eats.

Brenda
Brenda
4 months 9 hours ago

Mark, you must be so proud! It’s amazing to see what our kids grow up to do and become, and what a great experience to see your daughter following her own parallel path. Devyn, congratulations on the book, and thanks for sharing your thoughts here. I can’t wait to read and try those recipes!

Chris T.
Chris T.
4 months 9 hours ago

Awesome news! Mark, I’ve been following your blog for a long time, and what a great day to see your kids take up their part in the business. Good for you, Devyn – doing the Primal thing your own way. A great example. Grok on!

Dr. Dana Leigh Lyons
4 months 9 hours ago

So much celebration! I especially love Devyn’s attention to curiosity, exploration and simplicity. Beautiful!

Mickey
Mickey
4 months 9 hours ago

I’ve been wanting to try the avocado oil. This seems like the nudge I’ve been waiting for. 🙂 Sounds like an awesome book!

Kay S.
Kay S.
4 months 9 hours ago

What a great interview! Mark, thanks for sharing your daughter’s creativity with us. I love the part about how social food is and how the conversation and company influences how the food feels. Never quite put it to words, but I’ve felt that myself! Going to bring this wisdom to dinner with family tonight.

Janey Anderson
Janey Anderson
4 months 8 hours ago

“Kitchen Intuition morphed into a project of self-awareness, and the vision soon took over. I wanted to help people by helping myself…by sharing the vulnerability in my relationship with food.” I LOVE this. As a coach, this is so important. Letting ourselves be honest about the journey and the challenges along the way. My most successful clients are also the most self-reflective. I love that I have a new book to recommend to those I work with. Thank you and congratulations, Mark and Devyn!

Ari
Ari
4 months 8 hours ago

Hey Mark, this is great! Sounds like a really unique book. Love the concept (and the avocado oil)!

PrimalBob
PrimalBob
4 months 8 hours ago

A proud dad for sure! Congrats to you and Devyn!

Becca W.
Becca W.
4 months 8 hours ago

I grew up with a lot of dysfunction around food. It took different forms in different people in my family and for me its been a long haul working through all that. I really appreciate the message of this book. Intuitive eating ended up changing the course for me and I’m excited to see how Mark’s daughter describes hers in the book. Thanks!

Sydney
Sydney
4 months 8 hours ago

Loved taking a look over on PB page. Lots of great recipes. Can’t wait to try the Protein Pancakes! Just ordered my copy.

Lynne Salvatore
Lynne Salvatore
4 months 8 hours ago

I have some new ideas already for my dinner parties! Great book. Ordered 2 copies since I have a sister with a birthday soon. And I’ve become an avocado oil fan – much to my surprise. Never thought I’d give up my olive oil given my family heritage. Now I enjoy both oils. 🙂

HealthyHombre
HealthyHombre
4 months 7 hours ago

All I have to say Sisson is your wife must be really good looking. 😉

Jokes aside, Devyn seems like an amazing individual, mature and wise beyond her years and the book looks awesome.

Starmice
Starmice
4 months 6 hours ago

A degree in spiritual psychology sounds awesome! I think I’ll look more into that too! Congrats on your wonderful book!

Betsy
Betsy
4 months 6 hours ago

Mark, I’m so happy for you and your daughter! What an awesome looking cookbook. And I love the personal perspective of it most of all. Reading the preview made me feel like she was in the kitchen with me helping plan the menu! 🙂

Rick
Rick
4 months 6 hours ago

Great recipes listed! Love the look and feel of this as a cookbook. Congrats, Mark and Devyn!

JulieB
JulieB
4 months 5 hours ago

I had no idea your kids were involved in the Primal business, but I just listened to their podcast this weekend. It’s cool to see your family committed to the Primal message!

Gillian
Gillian
4 months 4 hours ago

I just discovered this website recently as I was looking up info for losing weight with mindfulness. Love how this cookbook fits with that! Great pictures too. 🙂

Rosemary
Rosemary
4 months 3 hours ago
Don’t be afraid of making mistakes in the kitchen! Love that. The attitude I take is that there aren’t any mistakes – just change the name! When long term cruising I often had to make meals from ingredients that one wouldn’t normally consider the best of buddies, so plenty of imagination required. It was great fun dreaming up the names; usually associated with a place, such as “Cape Preston Surprise”, “South Passage Stodge”. The only measure of success applied to the meal was how clean the bowls were after we’d finished eating. Often the comments were “Don’t know what that… Read more »
Hackbarth
Hackbarth
4 months 3 hours ago

I’m not a regular commenter here but had to say congrats on the new book. Great interview btw!

Rachel
Rachel
4 months 2 hours ago

This is amazing, congratulations!

I’m a fan of electronic cookbooks, are there plans for a Kindle edition? If so, do we know when it’ll be released?

Mutha Fitness
3 months 30 days ago

Your daughter is beautiful! I bet the book is great too and it’s lovely you are so supportive of her.

TheMadRoot
TheMadRoot
3 months 30 days ago

Congrats Devyn, this is quite the accomplishment! Haven’t read the book but I already am amazed at the thought you brought it to a whole different level by including the sociological and psychological aspect of enjoying food, learning to cook and creating dishes. Intuition is the tool of the saints and masters. The title of “Master of Spiritual Psychology” actually is pretty mind blowing as well!

Well, your boyfriend must be a well fed man! (And if I was him I would not mess with my father in law!)

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