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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Month: April 2007

How to Get Sick and Die

The Definitive Guide: Part 1 Get sick and die. You know you need to. The government, dietitians and health experts remind us constantly – you simply can’t get sick and die if you don’t take the appropriate steps! That means logging plenty of hours on the sofa, eating your fill of fast food, and engaging in risky behaviors. But finding the motivation and discipline to get sick and die isn’t easy. You’re not a celebrity with a posse of trainers, chefs and surgeons – you’re one of the millions of Americans desperate to experience your worst, look flabby and feel terrible. You’ve seen the news: tens of millions of Americans are already well on their way to getting sick and dying, yet you’re left out in the cold. What’s their secret? How are you supposed to wade through the avalanche of information to find the absolute worst, sickest, most disgusting lifestyle possible? With a tight budget and busy schedule, I know that’s not always easy – but it can be! You may not be aware, but thousands of restaurants, stores and companies already offer convenient, inexpensive products and services that can help you get sick and die. Why haven’t you heard about this before, you ask? Search no more. Here in this series, for the first time, you’ll get the real information you need, all in easy, clear terms. In fact, you may be surprised at how little you actually have to change in order to get sick and die. It’s really not so hard. No sacrifice. No uncomfortable physical activity, because that would be stressful. No strange pills or healthy supplements – only drugs approved by our government. And of course, no deprivation or starvation. I’ve employed a team of researchers to find the absolute bottom-of-the-barrel, guaranteed-to-sicken recipes, tips and techniques for minimum health results. No guesswork. In fact, no work, period. Here are five clicks to get you started on your way to getting sick and dying in no time! Now before you say, “Gosh, Mark, you must really love me; I too want to get sick and die!” don’t go giving me all the credit. I’m just telling you facts about food, fitness and health that everybody already follows! It’s not just chain restaurants. Even our FDA, federal government and health organizations like the American Diabetes Association support drug use, soda and refined sweets “in moderation”. But what I like most is that these leaders support a sensible, healthy weight range of 30 pounds per inch (Awesome metrics, BMI! It’s genius, is it not?). This is just no-brainer stuff that you will discover you may already know about. Isn’t it a relief to know you can get sick and die with little change to the standard American lifestyle? Obviously we are doing everything right, or we would not be getting sick and dying faster than most other nations! You can help make us #1! 1. Get your omega-3’s! Everyone knows avocados are healthy. Duh. Eat them this … Continue reading “How to Get Sick and Die”

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It’s a Bad Day for Big Agra & Big Pharma

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:

Woo hoo! Bigs cry, Bees cheer.

Stop Feeding Junk to the Kidlets

For the love of Fuji, can we please stop slinging soda and chips and pizza at children? Vending machines and cafeterias are contributing to an obesity epidemic that is an embarrassing indictment of our public education system. Fortunately, some standards may soon be put in place. The only thing we’re concerned about is that these new “standards” aren’t exactly the cornucopia of healthy food you’d hope for. But anything is better than nuggets and fries. You’ll want to read about this news out today over at this blog, because it’s put in a far more entertaining and insightful light than the AP release going around the web.

This Photo Belongs to Mr Wabu

Sara adds: One of my favorite blogs, The Cardio Blog, got into this very controversial issue yesterday. I left a comment, and I encourage you to do the same (tell me I’m way off or tell me I’m right, and give that blog some well-deserved props for addressing this very important issue). That blog has gone from pretty sanitized to downright compelling lately, which I know you’ll appreciate. So check it out!

Tell Us Something We Don’t Know

This is news? It gets worse. Don’t miss this blog’s analysis. Think that it’s just a conspiracy theory that Big Pharma is trying to buy off doctors? Think again.

Harming Moms and Babies

Big Agra doesn’t like moms breast-feeding because, to be blunt, it’s not profitable. So, they’re very cleverly playing into the obesity epidemic scare by inventing formula that “prevents” obesity. Way to love the next generation, guys.

Doctors and Nutrition

You know that saying about how doctors only receive one semester of nutritional training? (And boy, is it woefully out of date.) Well, here’s some good progress being made.

As if we weren’t already in enough trouble, be sure to visit tomorrow to read Mark’s piece, “How to Get Sick and Die” (we’re not stopping until we’re in hot water with The Man). Until tomorrow, Apples!

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Are Men the Weakest Link?

Why do women outlive men? There are plenty of theories about this. The pat answer from the Angry Guys Crowd is often, “Well, duh, we work harder and are more stressed out.” Aw, grow up. I’m certainly not the most politically correct of men, and I think the wave of feminism in the early 90s was pretty tough for a lot of guys to swallow (forever giving that Limbaugh something to rant about). But news flash, guys. Nearly as many women work full-time as men, more women now go to college than men, and if raising kids while simultaneously working a career isn’t stressful, what is? As the parents of both a teen girl and boy, Carrie and I see very stressful challenges beginning to hit both of them. Let’s be honest: girls are still expected to look attractive, but now they need to be increasingly career-minded and financially savvy, too. Boys have a sharp line to walk – these days, men are also judged by their appearance as well as the traditional “manly” achievements like financial success and social leadership. (That said, still, I don’t see any guy having to deal with the question: “But how will I balance work and family?” This still confronts most women.) This isn’t about me piping up on the politics of feminism, but any guy who still thinks men work harder or are more stressed out needs to take a look around. Men and women both have unique stresses and challenges, and the real issue here is health. So if it’s not really the level of stress or the 9-to-5 life, why are guys still croaking 5 to 10 years earlier than women? Is it because men go to the doctor less, are taught as boys to ignore pain, take more risks (cars, sports, booze, fights) and eat more junk? Yes, yes, yes, and yes. But that’s not all. Are men still kicking the bucket too early because more money has been diverted in recent years to women’s health? That’s what this article, which inspired this post, questions (it’s a knock-out piece of reporting, so please check it out). But that argument doesn’t pass muster. It might be a factor, but the overwhelming issue here is that men just don’t go to the doctor. For example, every guy knows prostate cancer is a big risk to all men – but we avoid the doctor anyway. I don’t think the fact that more money has finally been spent on women’s breast cancer research is the reason men are dying of prostate cancer or are dying sooner in general. This boys-versus-girls health debate makes for a good news piece on the T.V., but biology is the answer here, not politics. Even accounting for all possible factors, and even when the odds are fairly and squarely stacked, scientists come up with the same darn result every time: the dudes do not fare well. Here’s the reason: nature didn’t design us to live as long as women. … Continue reading “Are Men the Weakest Link?”

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Of Migraines and Magnesium

The Buckler Brief

Bringing you the latest in supplement analysis!

Supplement: butterbur

Use: natural migraine relief

The verdict: worth a try

I don’t normally recommend a lot of herbs, especially the trendier ones, unless they have some serious scientific backing. Butterbur passes my test. Depending on which recent study you check out, Butterbur (taken twice daily at 75 mg a pop) reduces the frequency of migraines by as much as 60 per cent. Supplement News Blog reports that in a double-blind study from Neurology, butterbur was twice as effective as a placebo in offering migraine relief. Personally, I have seen many cases of migraine suffering clear up with a good daily dose of Omega-3’s, a multivitamin, and elimination of sugar from the diet. However, if you’ve done these things and still suffer the agony of migraines, you might want to try butterbur.

Source: Supplement News

Note on the source: I do not endorse melatonin, nor does Mark. The use of hormone supplement therapy is controversial and I believe you’re better off finding natural ways to stimulate the production of your own melatonin through nutrition and exercise, rather than create an artificial dependency. Supplementing frequently with melatonin (other than for recovering from jet lag or other short-term sleep interferences) can cause the body to produce less on its own, therefore triggering a rather vicious cycle of hormone depletion.

Supplement: magnesium

Use: where do I start?

The verdict: absolutely essential and often overlooked!

Magnesium is vital to mental and emotional health, proper sleep, healthy cell function, bone health and, according to new research, reduction of inflammation. Those of you who know me know that inflammation is perhaps my biggest health concern for people. It’s the common culprit behind diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, obesity and many other conditions. I believe the DV for magnesium is much too low. (Here’s some interesting research to get you started if you are curious to learn more. Here’s another handy link.) I’m including these statements on magnesium today because I think this is a critically overlooked nutrient.

Though not a “trendy” supplement (and look for me to debunk plenty of those in future Briefs), I believe we really need to focus our current attention on the importance of magnesium. Many of our current health problems indicate possible magnesium deficiency, and it’s a big enough issue that the WHO has even published their concerns (the WHO is quite conservative and typically doesn’t promote supplementation beyond basic necessity, so when they talk about deficiency issues, you know it’s a big deal. The sad thing is that our Western diet, which is so potentially rich in nutrition, is in practice creating a very deficient, unhealthy population. You may remember we reported on this issue recently.)

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Infofest! Handy Health Information

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:

It’s an infofest!

I Dream of Disaster

Do you have “worry dreams”? Don’t worry about worrying, because it’s normal!

What Are Americans Like?

Here’s an interesting university guide to understanding Americans. It’s always fun to take a look at ourselves from another’s perspective.

The part the university guide leaves out:

This is Taminsea’s Flickr Photo

Give a Care

A comprehensive list of resources for caregivers. Everything from low-cost medical care to helpful organizations you can join.

Bush, Congress Face Off

Woot! Now there’s a big surprise, right? Uh huh. No, it’s not Iraq – it’s the contentious debate over Medicare. Dubya and the skittles are all in a big huff over a demand for a timetable of action. Hmm…arguments about a timetable. Seems to be a theme going on.

Ladies Who Lush?

Alcohol harms women far more than men – even when doctors compare results between men and women of the same size and health status. For women, moderation really means “very little”. But don’t worry – you can get your antioxidants from grapes, too! To reduce stress after a long day, experts recommend that women enjoy half a glass of wine. That and a hot bath or a nice neck rub from a family member, spouse or roommate is very soothing (moms: a neck rub makes a great bonding activity with the kids, too). A full glass of wine or a couple of cocktails now and then is not a big deal, but take care not to drink too much on a daily basis. (That really goes for everyone, of course.)

This Photo Belongs to Swanksalot

Question (okay, questions) of the day:

How should we define moderation when it comes to drinking? Do you think the benefits of alcohol outweigh the potential harm? Do you think women really need to stick to just half a glass?

From the blogosphere:

Sara and Aaron here with a few bloggy updates, Apples. One of our favorite blogs, the very saucy Healthbolt, has a brand new look. It incorporates a lot of juicy crimson red, which is never a bad thing! (Wade Meredith, blogger of all things boltish, recently moved to b5media, fellow network home of some of the Bees’ top blog picks: A Hearty Life, Veggie Chic, and Eating Fabulous. This is a top-notch network of excellent bloggers, so don’t miss out on their great tips and interesting perspectives! Go on, scoot!)

Coming up: Be sure to stop in tomorrow for the latest in supplement news from Elliott (what’s real, what’s bogus) and Mark’s analysis of why men die sooner than women. You’ll want to join in that conversation!

Until then, Bees out. It’s been real.

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10 Ways to Get an Extra Hour of Sleep

Just…ten…more….minutes. Sound familiar? Many of us are sleep-deprived, groaning through another morning with coffee and those annoyingly peppy news anchors just to get to a reasonable state of functionality. We skip breakfast, practically assault the snooze button, shave or apply makeup in the car (we’ve all seen it!) – just to get a few precious minutes of “extra” sleep. Clearly, that “extra” sleep isn’t extra at all. You probably need it! Here’s how to get it. 10. Tivo your shows. For a few extra dollars a month, you can watch your favorite programs when it’s convenient for you. 9. Unplug the TV. Better yet. Unplug the TV except on weekends or other scheduled days. TV disrupts good brain patterns, is subtly stressful to your body, and can keep you up too late. Especially avoid the evening news, which is usually focused on anxiety-inducing topics that are anything but peaceful. TV left on all night as a comfort actually disrupts good sleep and the production of growth hormone, so skip that, too. 8. Unplug the alarm clock. For many people, the knowledge that the clock will blare all too soon is enough to prevent deep sleep. Do you find yourself waking constantly to check the time? The alarm clock can create anxiety and snooze-buttonitis. Try going to bed early enough to wake naturally at the desired time. Or, try simply trusting yourself – if you tell yourself you need to wake at a certain time, you usually will. This really works for many people – but I don’t recommend this for catching those early morning flights! Our bodies quickly adjust to waking at certain times. If you are at odds with the alarm, that’s a good indication that you need a different sleep cycle. Another option: talk to your boss about a slightly different work schedule that accommodates your health needs. Be willing to part with some other benefits if a different schedule means a lot to you. (Although, ideally, your boss will understand that flexibility on his/her part will only increase your productivity. Good luck.) 7. Give yourself a “worry time” that is not near bedtime. People often find themselves worrying or pondering obsessively about their day or upcoming tasks as soon as their heads hit the pillow. Allot a different time, such as a brief period after lunch, for worrying and pondering. Or write down everything before you get into bed. The beauty of this is that by giving yourself a specific, non-bedtime “Fret Fix” you begin to see how silly and needless worrying really is – it’s a great little cure for worrying and stressing in general. 6. Siesta! If you lunch is an hour, consider napping for half of it from now on. Or take a nap after lunch and work a little bit later each day. This will refresh you enough so that you may not need extra sleep at night. 5. Enforce a strict bedtime rule. You might just need to go to bed earlier. … Continue reading “10 Ways to Get an Extra Hour of Sleep”

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