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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Category: Sleep

Dear Mark: Kid Skipping Breakfast, Rinsing Meat, Glutamate, and the Snooze Button

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering four reader questions. First we have a question about an inadvertently fasting 11 year-old girl whose mom is concerned. Should she force the issue and convince her to eat breakfast, or let her do her thing? Second, what’s the real story behind rinsing raw meat? Does it actually remove bacteria and reduce the chances of food-borne illness? Third, is glutamic acid, or glutamate, really a health concern for everyone? MSG is one thing, but what about glutamate found in real, otherwise healthy foods like meat, sardines, and aged cheeses? And finally, I discuss whether or not hitting the snooze button is good for you.

Let’s go:

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Why You Should Have a Morning Routine

Let’s consider a tale of two mornings.

The alarm blares. You have exactly seventy-five minutes to be out the door. After relinquishing fifteen of those to one “snooze” period and a few minutes on your phone (e.g. checking email, Facebook), you’re up. You put together coffee, feed the dog and let her outside, get the kids up, and help everyone grab something to eat. Within ten minutes, the clamor and chaos of the morning rush has taken over your thinking – in addition to the nagging reminder that you still have a few emails to send out before the first meeting at 9:00. So much for easing into the day… Even with the tag team approach made possible by a partner, it’s still a major production to hit the shower and get ready. There are bags to be packed, bills or homework to be gathered and final goodbyes to be said as everyone heads out the door. When you get to work, it’s a dash to fit in several tasks before 9:00. Somehow you keep waiting for a quiet moment to pull your thoughts together, to breathe and catch up with yourself, but the chance keeps further distancing itself like a teasing mirage in the desert. Later, you say. At lunch? After work? At night? Wait a second… I forgot my lunch again, didn’t I?

Now let’s look at a better way.

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Dear Mark: Your 21-Day Challenge Questions Answered

As promised, today’s edition of Dear Mark is all about the 21-Day Challenge. Last week, you asked me a ton of questions. Today, I’m trying to answer as many of them as I can.

We’ve got questions about posture, weight loss, dairy, probiotics, alcohol, and much more. Hopefully, you find today’s post useful.

I’ll answer some more next week, so stay tuned for that. Now let’s get to it!

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How to Leverage the Minimum Effective Dose in Your Primal Life

If you haven’t heard about the minimum effective dose, a concept coined by Nautilus fitness creator Arthur Jones and popularized by lifestyle hacker Tim Ferriss in his book The Four Hour Body, here’s the simplest definition: the smallest dose that will produce the desired effect or outcome. For Jones, this was the minimum effective load, the point after which any additional resistance added to the bar would be redundant or even counterproductive to one’s strength and fitness goals. For Ferriss, the MED is about getting the most bang for your exercise and dietary buck.

A popular example is boiling water. If you want to boil a pot of water at standard air pressure, the MED is 212° F (100° C). Adding more heat is redundant and won’t make it “boil even more.”

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Dear Mark: Sleep Deprivation as Hormesis, Sweet Cravings, CrossFit, and More

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got a three-parter that’s really closer to a five-parter. First are a couple of questions from Joe, who first wonders about the hormetic benefits of acute sleep deprivation (are there any?) and then asks how he can beat a sweet tooth he suspects is brought on by lack of exercise. The second pair of questions concern CrossFit (is it an example of Chronic Cardio and should I be recommending it?) and breadfruit (does it have a place on the Primal eating plan?). And finally, Andy asks for the origin of the popular “gut is 80% of our immune system” statement.

Let’s go:

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11 Signs You’re Not As Healthy As You Think You Are

You could be the picture of health to everyone who beholds you, feel generally “okay” on a daily basis without any real complaints, and never really feel compelled to visit the doctor for any specific issue. Plus, you’re Primal, so what could possibly go wrong? Except that many of us, if we stop to think about it, have little niggling symptoms that annoy us. And some of them could portend more serious conditions. I don’t want to worry anyone or freak you guys out. I just want you to be aware of seemingly inconsequential symptoms before they become more serious.

I’ve omitted the obvious signs that people don’t ignore, like blood in the toilet or the sudden inability to bear weight on one leg, to focus on the subtler symptoms that many of us take for granted.

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