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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Dear Mark: Meat and Yogurt for Babies

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering one question. It comes from Kristen, a new mother to a nine month-old who’s grown so passionate about baby nutrition that she’s decided to start a fresh food business for infants and toddlers. She’s a recent reader of the blog, though, and as such needs a little help understanding the role animal foods like meat and yogurt can play in infant feeding. For many years, the importance of meat in an infant’s diet was downplayed, denied, or ignored in pediatric nutritional guidelines. We now know that’s wrong and kids can really benefit when their first solids include animal products. Today, I explore exactly why it matters so much.

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Foods for a One-Year-Old, Vegan to Primal, and Low-Carb Failing Fibromyalgia

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three reader questions. The first comes from Chris, who’s a little worried his one-year-old isn’t eating a wide enough variety of foods. As it turns out, he doesn’t need to worry, though I do offer a few suggestions for foods to include or offer. Next, how should Verria, a long-time vegan, transition to Primal? Is there anything to watch out for? What physiological and psychological issues will Anita have to face and overcome? And finally, what tips do I have for a fibromyalgia patient whose condition hasn’t improved on a strict very low-carb, high-fat diet?

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Too Late for Health? Never.

For today’s Dear Mark, I’m answering just a single reader question, but it’s a big one. Janice and her husband have endured their family’s light-hearted ribbing about their “caveman lifestyle” for years. Now that the paterfamilias of the clan is severely obese, almost 80 years old, and recovering from a relatively mild stroke, the family has turned to Janice’s expertise for help changing his ways. How can she convince her father that it’s never too late to get healthy? That changing your diet, exercise, and lifestyle can improve even the most unhealthy person’s trajectory and enjoyment of life? She’s confident that if she can just get through to her dad, the rest of the family—who also needs an intervention—will inevitably follow suit.

Let’s give it a shot:

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Dear Mark: Back Health and Weight Lifting, Blood Pressure on Primal

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering two reader questions. First, Will wonders whether his brother’s recent back injury from lifting a bag of mortar and his father’s lifelong bout with spinal stenosis following a deadlift injury should inform his exercise choices. Is the deadlift inherently risky? How prevalent is disc degeneration, and what does it mean? Then, Mike is a very active 52 year-old with a history of great blood pressure readings who’s been Primal for four months. At his latest checkup, his blood pressure and heart rate were elevated. Should he worry? What could it mean?

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Baby Sleep/Feed Schedule and Walking Through a Sedentary Society

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering two reader questions. The first comes from reader Larisa. She is about to give birth, has been hearing the “wake your newborn every 2 hours to feed” recommendation, and wonders how realistic, evolutionarily-congruent, and healthy that will be for new parents desperate for sleep. I offer a few loose recommendations that hopefully make her feel better about what’s about to descend upon her life. Second, is there such a thing as too much low-level activity? Mariel walks 10+ miles a day, strength trains, and stands when she gets tired of walking. Her coworkers think she’s crazy. What do I think? Find out below.

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Hunter-Gatherer Fitness and Volunteerism

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering an email that reminded me of an idea I once had that I’m convinced could really work: organizing group workout sessions like fitness bootcamps only instead of a guy barking orders as you perform a completely arbitrary set of exercises with little regard for technique, the group performs “workouts” that are actually acts of volunteerism. This makes your workouts truly count, not just as stimulants of fitness improvements but to the other people your efforts touch. It addresses an important aspect missing from most fitness programs. Humans used to perform physically demanding tasks on a regular basis in order to live, eat, and thrive. It wasn’t “exercise” or a “workout,” but it made us fit, strong, and fast just the same. And it was essential to living. It helped our immediate family and communities.

We’ve lost that, but training as volunteerism can bring some of it back.

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Dear Mark: Bone Broth Edition

With bone broth bars popping up in cities, broth-based cookbooks appearing on Amazon, and grass-fed bone broth now available for order online, hot bone water is experiencing a renaissance. And not just among Primal devotees. Dr. Oz is recommending it as a coffee replacement and Kobe Bryant uses it to support his aging body. The renewed popularity has brought an endless string of questions from readers, and today I’m going to answer some of them. Is bone broth truly a miracle food? Yes, but maybe not for the reason you suspect. Should you make deer bone broth? Yes, with a caveat. Does adding vinegar to your water really increase the mineral content of your broth? Probably not as much as you think. Do beef brisket bones work? Yes. And finally, what are the best parts from each animal for making broth? I give a slightly more detailed answer than “All of them.”

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Sugar in Blackstrap Molasses, Eating Cheat Foods All at Once or in Installments, and Healthy Pooping with a Fused Knee

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions. The first one concerns blackstrap molasses, a type of sugar I’ve suggested people eat for its rich mineral content. Does the value of the minerals outweigh the impact of its sugar content? Next, say you’ve got a slice of birthday cake you’re committed to eating. Is it better to eat it all at once or piece it out across multiple days? And third, how can someone who’s unable to squat obtain the benefits of squatting while pooping? In the absence of actual squatting, is there anything a person can do to smooth out the process?

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Healing Broken Bones, and Blended Soups

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answer two questions. First, is there a way to speed up the healing process after a broken bone? What nutrients should we make sure to consume? Are there supplements we can take, foods we can eat, lifestyle modifications we can make? The next question comes from a reader trying to nurse his grandfather back to health after a bad stroke. Grandpa’s still in the hospital and can only eat through a straw. Are there better options than the tasteless slop, butterscotch pudding, and bad ice cream he’s currently receiving?

Let’s find out:

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Dear Mark: Lead in Crock Pots, Norovirus in Smoked Oysters, and Creatine and Carbs

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions from readers. First, what’s the deal with lead in crock pots? Some say lead leaches into the food when we cook with crock pots, while others aren’t so sure. And if the leaching of lead from crock pot ceramics into our food is, indeed, a problem, what equivalent product do I recommend? Next, a new study indicates that human norovirus is highly prevalent in oysters. Should we stop eating the canned smoked oysters from Crown Prince? And finally, do we really need to consume extra carbs with our creatine to get the full benefits?

Let’s go:

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