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.
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 few months ago, I wrote a guide to napping that included how, why, and when to flop down for a spell. That wasn’t a random throwaway post. It was the first salvo in a new war. I’m on a mission to legitimize the nap, to destigmatize the siesta for the average working human. And it’s not a selfish thing, because I can already pretty much take a nap whenever I want. I’m concerned about you. In a chronically sleep-deprived population such as ours, a 45 minute foray into the land of dreams can rejuvenate the mind, make up for sleep debt, and make us healthier and happier. Yet those who nap —or simply want to nap — often feel guilty about it, even if they have an hour or two to spare and are falling asleep at their desks. Perhaps it’ll make you feel better to know that some of the world’s greatest thinkers considered naps to be an integral part of their day — and their success.
Let’s look at a few of them:
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.
I’ve always loved to camp. From my early days as a kid growing up in Maine (where it seemed like everyone camped), to my death-defying adventures with Outward Bound in the wilds of New England as a teen, to my current setup running a business in the Malibu hills, I’ve been a camper. Even when I’d dedicated my life to endurance training and had little time for anything else, I always made it a point to get away to the woods with the family for a few nights whenever I could. The reasoning was basic: it was relaxing, enjoyable, decompressing, and just plain fun. And that’s why most people camp. It just feels right, doesn’t it?