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: women’s health

Is Keto Bad for the Thyroid?

Keto is fantastic, everyone says. It’s a great way to lose weight, improve cognition, and stave off degenerative disease. It may help your performance in the gym and on the track. It could even give Grandpa some respite from Alzheimer’s.

But it’s hell on your thyroid. Right?

Keto detractors and proponents alike often warn that remaining in ketosis will tank your thyroid. The thyroid’s an important gland, exerting major influence over essential systems like fertility, energy, metabolism, body temperature regulation, blood lipids, and general wellness. It controls the metabolic rate of every organ in the body. We want it working well, so this is a major blow to keto—if the criticism holds true. Fortunately, there’s much more to this story.

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6 Healthy Eating Tips for First Trimester Pregnant Mamas

Today’s post is served by good friend to Mark’s Daily Apple, Stephanie Greunke. Stephanie has teamed up with Melissa Hartwig of Whole30® to create the Healthy Mama, Happy Baby program.

Food aversions and nausea plague up to 80% of women during the first trimester of pregnancy, which can be really frustrating for the mama who is trying to eat a healthy, nourishing diet. While there is no one specific cause of food aversions and nausea, some of the proposed factors include increased hormone levels (specifically estrogen, progesterone, and hCG), hypoglycemia, thyroid dysfunction (specifically increased serum free T4 and decreased serum TSH), a woman’s enhance sense of smell, stress, Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, and physiological changes of pregnancy such as delayed gastric emptying and constipation.

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Dear Mark: High T, More Wives? Plus Testosterone for Women and the Best Primal Roux

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions from readers. First, I respond to a reader wondering which direction the arrow of casuality points in the married Swahili man/testosterone level study I discussed last week. Are high testosterone levels in polygamous Swahili men a cause or consequence of having more than one wife? Second, what’s the deal with testosterone in women? Do they need it as much as men do? And last but not least, what’s the best gluten-free, Primal-friendly flour to use for making a roux?

Let’s go:

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Natural Pain Relief During Labor: 7 Proven Techniques

Today’s guest post is offered up by a good friend of Mark’s Daily Apple—Genevieve Howland, aka Mama Natural.

Very few people embrace pain. Sure, we’ve all said “no pain no gain” at the gym. But, as humans, we have a primal, hardwired instinct to seek pleasure and avoid pain. And that’s what makes childbirth such a loaded experience. Because, yes, there is usually pain (some like to say discomfort) involved in childbirth.

And, unfortunately, the process of childbirth seems to be getting harder… or at least longer. Based on 140,000 childbirths, research shows that today’s moms labor an average of 2-3 hours longer than the mothers of 50 years ago. Births in the late 1950s and 60s were compared to births from 2002 to 2008. The study points out that moms are now heavier, older, and are more likely to use epidural anesthesia.

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A Primal Look at Gestational Diabetes

Every pregnant woman I’ve ever known has hated the oral glucose tolerance test. Yet, they still do it. Drinking a tall glass of sickly sweet orange-flavored glucose water on an empty stomach is thoroughly disgusting, but it, apparently, offers a rare and valuable glimpse into the state of a woman’s perinatal health.

What they’re testing for is gestational diabetes mellitus—a variant of diabetes characterized by pancreatic insufficiency during pregnancy.

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From Adrenal Fatigue to Keto Clarity: I Now Have More Energy than I Can Handle!

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. In fact, I have a contest going right now. So if you have a story to share, no matter how big or how small, you’ll be in the running to win a big prize. Read more here.

Lucky me. I’ve been fit and happy my whole life; always followed what I believed were healthful ways-of-eating along with workout plans that made me feel great and kept my body trim. And, for a long time I was really in shape. But, little by little I was amping up my cardio as well as my carbs, and I would reason this madness by thinking I had earned more carbs through working out so hard. At one point I was doing five Spin classes a week, along with an hour plus of weights 4 times a week, plus running, and whatever else I could throw in the mix.

I was sailing along pretty great until I turned 50. Then my Father called to tell me he had 4th Stage Bladder Cancer, and a couple of months later, he passed away. We were very close so I was immediately plunged into instant adrenal fatigue. It was so bad at one point that I registered zero adrenaline, even when confronted with a terrifying situation. I was gaining weight in spite of all my workouts, not to mention that I wasn’t eating much. Huh? One day, I was driving my car on the freeway when another car blew one of its front tires and came careening toward me and a friend. I had no reaction, just turned the wheel to avoid the accident while my friend was screaming his head off. That was my turning point. I knew I had to address my adrenal fatigue and change how I ate and worked out.

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Dear Mark: Coffee Talk

Last week’s post on coffee generated lots of questions. Today’s Dear Mark will answer some of them. First up is a two parter exploring whether L-theanine can make coffee work even better than it already does and if pre-ground coffee beans are lacking in the polyphenol content. Second, is coffee bad for your bones? It’s “common knowledge” that caffeine leaches calcium and inhibits absorption of it, but how true are the claims? And finally, caffeine can increase insulin resistance. What about coffee? Is this a problem for people following the Primal eating plan?

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Dried Sardines, Pullup Alternatives, and Blood Donation for Women

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions from readers. First concerns an alternative form of a food I’ve always urged people to consume: small dried whole fish. Are the omega-3s still viable after the drying process? Next, pullups are a fantastic exercise that everyone with the ability should perform, but not everyone has access to a pullup bar. What other exercises can you do to approximate, if not altogether replace, the humble pullup? And finally, in previous posts I’ve mentioned the potential health benefits of regular blood donation for men. Does the same apply to women? After all, they already “donate” blood on a regular basis through menstruation. What about post-menopausal women?

Let’s go:

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12 Essential Tips for Primal Women

Look: I’m a man. I’ve lived a different experience than the average woman, with totally different equipment and different concentrations of hormones coursing through my body. But I have a daughter and a wife and a good head on my shoulders that’s spent the last 30 years thinking about health, nutrition, and fitness for humans, so I have a few things to offer.

So let’s get right down to today’s post. What follows are 12 tips for Primal women. Or any woman, really.

(Men, too: if some of the things mentioned in today’s post aren’t working for you, and the tips seem to apply, go for it!)

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Why Breakfast Isn’t the Most Important Meal of the Day (For Everyone)

If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, you know I’m always interested in exploring those time-tested bits of advice, those old wives’ tales, that folk wisdom handed down generation over generation because they’re often right, or at least contain a kernel of truth. And if a piece of conventional folk wisdom turns out to be wrong or misguided, understanding why it endured for so many years is a fun exercise and usually reveals other messages and truths. Today, I’m looking at the importance (or lack thereof) of breakfast. For years, you’ve heard how important breakfast is. Your grandma says it. Your doctor probably scolds you if you’re not eating it. We all grow up having this “fact”—breakfast is the most important meal of the day—drilled into our subconsciouses. Even the people who just don’t feel hungry in the morning feel guilty about it and compelled to stuff something into their craws.

Is it right or wrong?

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