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
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!
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.”
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.
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.
For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got two questions. First up is a big one: how do you deal with the inevitable bout of acute sleep loss? Are there pills to take, exercises to do or avoid, foods to eat or not? Or are we completely helpless in the face of undersleeping? And second, I discuss the importance – or not – of yeast in the diet. Are we missing out on an integral part of the human diet by avoiding the yeast found in bread?
Let’s find out:
Now, I don’t need coffee in the mornings. You won’t hear me complaining or freaking out or freebasing Folger’s Instant off a soup spoon if I don’t “get my morning coffee” (well, maybe a small grumble if it’s the wrong morning), but I usually like to have one in the morning. It does the trick. It tastes good. It gives me a little leg up. That’s a common current running through this community – we don’t need the morning pick-me-up, but we sure do enjoy it. Not everyone likes coffee or tea, though. And some people (like me) are just curious enough to want to try every other possibility available. It’s just fun to try new options.
Not every selection is buttressed by reams of clinical evidence. At the very least, it can’t really hurt to try and even if it doesn’t help wake you up, the other proven health benefits probably make it worthwhile. Let’s jump right in…