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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Tag: dear mark

Dear Mark: Natural Energy Boosters, Designer Fruit, and How to Be Okay

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?

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Pegan Dieting and Exercising in Air Pollution

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering two questions. The first comes from Lucas, a man whose wife is unable to eat meat without feeling sick to her stomach. As a result, she’s interested in pursuing a Pegan way of eating, or “paleo-vegan.” Is it possible to be healthy while emphasizing plant foods and avoiding most meat? Is there anything she should watch out for? And last but not least, what’s the deal with commuting to work on your bike amidst urban air pollution? We all know that active commutes are supposed to be healthier than riding in a metal box, but do the negatives of breathing all those airborne particulates outweigh the positives of riding your bike? Find out what I think.

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Dear Mark: Ketosis and Cancer, Probiotic Dosing Patterns

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering two questions. First up, is the ketogenic diet an effective cancer treatment? There’s a lot of hype in the media and online world about ketosis, but what does the research really say? Then, I discuss a few different probiotic dosing patterns. Should you take them every day? Is there a benefit to switching brands from time to time? Should you ever megadose probiotics? How did ancient and preindustrial people “supplement” probiotics?

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Sun Aging Skin, Veggies as Carbs, and What Breaks a Fast

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions. First up comes from Carlos, who is worried about the effect of sun exposure on skin aging. Is the type of sun exposure I recommend good for vitamin D levels but bad for the health and appearance of skin? Second, how can someone eat all the vegetables I recommend while keeping their carb intake below acceptable levels? Aren’t veggies really high in carbohydrates? And finally, what “breaks” a fast? How much protein, fat, carbs, and overall calories can a person get away with without shifting completely out of the fasting state?

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Anti-Paleo Guardian Column (Plus, Did Big Brains Need Carbs?)

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering one question. First up is the latest anti-paleo piece of clickbait, this time from the Guardian. Apparently the ancestral health movement has had a really bad year or something, and we’re barely hanging on after being dealt a series of devastating blows from the scientific community. Will we make it? Find out below. I also use the original question to springboard into a larger discussion on the new study claiming that carbs were necessary for the evolution of the enormous human brain. The media is selling it as a total refutation of the Primal way of eating, but I’m not so sure. It turns out we have way more in common than you might think from reading the headlines.

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Low-Fat Versus Low-Carb Study and Plain Ol’ Olive Oil

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering two questions from readers. First, I field one of the dozens of emails I received concerning the latest low-carb versus low-fat study making the media rounds. The reports have ranged from declarations of low-carb dieting’s imminent death to more reasonable discussions of the actual paper. The Time article actually keeps things closer to the latter, which was nice. For the final question, I discuss the merits of regular old olive oil. Is extra virgin olive oil the only one worth entertaining?

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: The Latest Forbes Organic Column, Low Sodium Senior Napping, and Weston A. Price

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions from readers. First up, a Forbes columnist recently penned an anti-organic agriculture screed. In it, he makes the oft-repeated claim that organic is just a scam and really no different from conventional produce. Is he saying anything new — or useful? Should we avoid the often higher price tag of organic produce? The second comes from Susan, a healthy and active 70 year-old without any complaints — except that a midday nap is starting to sound more and more attractive every day. Could her low salt intake be the cause of her midday fatigue? Maybe. Next, what’s my take on Weston A. Price? How do his nutritional guidelines jibe with the Primal Blueprint?

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Fasting Issues, Pullup Neck Pain, and Red Palm Oil

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions. The first one comes from Neda, who’s experiencing some issues that may be related to her fasting schedule. How should she modify her fasting? Or should she eliminate it altogether? The second question concerns a common issue: neck pain during pullups. Why does it happen and how can we avoid it? And finally, what’s the deal with red palm oil? I give my take on the controversial oil, drawing on randomized controlled trials and personal feelings about orangutans to arrive at my conclusion.

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Dear Mark: Budgeting, Calcium, Supplements, High Cholesterol, and Chinup Replacements

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering five questions, all coming from a single reader email. First, Rosa asks about buying high-quality produce and grass-fed meat for her family on a budget. Can it be done? If not, what should she do? Second, she wonders whether she’ll get enough calcium eating this way. It’s a valid concern, seeing as how basic Primal eating often eliminates dairy. I try to assuage her. Third, if the Primal Blueprint is such a healthy, nutrient-replete lifestyle, why do I sell supplements? How does one reconcile the two seemingly contradictory concepts? Fourth, should Rosa be worrying about eating a high-fat diet if she’s taking meds for high cholesterol? And fifth, what are some effective replacements for chinups and pullups that can be done at home sans equipment?

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Metformin for Life Extension, Too Many MEDs, MED for Lifting Addict, and Horseback Riding

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering four questions. First, does the diabetes drug metformin have life-extending potential for non-diabetics? Then, the final three questions come from the comment board of last week’s Minimum Effective Dose post. First, is it possible to try to do too many minimum effective dose workouts in a week. Yes, absolutely. I explain why a reader who seems to want to incorporate every single routine listed in last week’s post probably shouldn’t try. Next, what if someone truly loves training? Should he or she still try to figure out the minimum effective dose for his workouts? And finally, is horseback riding an effective stand-in for walking?

Let’s go:

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