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: June 2007

What’s Really in That Secret Sauce?

I’m not just talking about Big Macs, for secret sauce isn’t limited to peach mayonnaise. “Secret sauce” is in many popular menu items – often the ones you’d least expect. From oil to cornstarch to corn syrup, it’s not just portion sizes that are to blame for restaurant meals delivering calorie loads heavy enough to feed a small country. Are you aware of these sneaky sauces? – Americanized “Asian” cuisine You avoid the deep fried pork bits and choose a chicken sweet ‘n sour entree instead. The secret: If it’s not deep-fried with a sauce, it’s still got a sauce. That sauce is almost always a sugary, cornstarchy affair: a blood sugar spike waiting to happen. The solution: Go for authentic Asian cuisine that contains more vinegar and healthful oils instead of cheap carbs. Clear does not mean calorie-free. – Salads You avoid the ranch and blue cheese dressings and stick to a raspberry vinaigrette. The secret: These blends are often nothing more than high fructose corn syrup or a cheap oil such as canola or soybean – or a mix of both. The solution: Ask for balsamic vinegar and olive oil instead, or choose a salad with enough fruits and veggies to naturally moisten the greens (tomatoes, cucumbers, mangos and citrus work well). This is Avlxyz’s Flickr Photo (CC) – Meats You avoid the fried chicken and choose that herb-crusted salmon. Omega-3’s and weight loss are yours. Right? The secret: Often, restaurant fish is farmed fish, so it’s just as high in bad fats as a meat option. And grilled chicken or fish are typically drenched in more oil or sweet glazes than you realize. “Herb crusts” can contain a lot of bread crumbs, starches and sugary additives. The solution: Go for grilled or baked protein choices that use white wine, balsamic reductions, or lemon and herbs. Ask for your meat to be cooked “dry” to cut down on the cupfuls of oil. Even healthy oil can be too much of a good thing if your chicken breast is swimming around just trying to cope. – Vegetables Aha! Veggies are a healthy, no-brainer choice for weight loss and smart dining. The secret: Vegetables, especially carrots and potatoes, are high in starch. Choose green vegetables, or vegetable medleys. And be aware: that rich, buttery flavor comes from ladels of prepared hydrogenated margarine “sauce”. The solution: Have your veggies steamed or seasoned without the oil. Ask for a side of olive oil or a small pat of butter instead. This is Caribb’s Flickr Photo CC – Omelets (and scrambled eggs) Eggs – the perfect protein! The secret: Eggs are typically cooked on a greasy grill. An omelet can set you back upwards of 1,000 calories, depending on the filling choices. Even vegetable omelets are far too oily. Omelets and eggs should not glisten. The solution: Ask for your choice to be fried or scrambled “dry” to avoid the grill’s caloric generosity. What am I leaving out? What other foods contain sneaky … Continue reading “What’s Really in That Secret Sauce?”

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Healthy Tastes Great!

Three-Pepper Stir-Fry

Here is a super simple and delicious vegetable stir-fry side dish that goes great with spicy chicken or fish. Enjoy!

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Those Darn Vegetarians

I am not a vegetarian and I do espouse responsible meat consumption: organic, free-range, and emphasizing fish and poultry. However, I have plenty of family members, friends and staff who are vegheads, and while I’d sooner die than return to Vegan Island, I get where they’re coming from and I respect their choices. I’d love to hear your thoughts, whether you agree or disagree. I would say let’s get into a “spirited” debate, but I think Dubya owns that one.

I believe in nutrition and fitness from what can best be understood as an evolutionary biologist’s perspective, and I therefore support animal protein in the diet. My background in biology, years in pro sports and my own personal experience and research support my view, which I’ve tagged Primal Health.

Here’s a list of great folks with whom I disagree but really dig. If you have a suggestion for the list, let me know. If you like mock meat, well…you’ve got my pity!

The (Growing) List

Vegan Porn

Don’t shoot the messenger. Weird name, even weirder cartoon-cow-on-carrot action (yeah, I know) but still a great site and vegan-friendly health news resource. Totally unoffensive, entertaining content. UPDATE 6/09/07: This site has been relaunched in a blog/podcast-friendly platform as TasteBetter. Check it out.

SoulVeggie

I don’t tend to agree with Mark’s views (and I’m not referring to myself here…SoulVeggie is run by one Mark Sutton). But for guys who think vegetarianism is a “girl thing”, or for noodle-armed wimps, you’d be wrong. As I always say, real men eat lettuce. Vegetables don’t meow, guys. Try them out sometime.

A Veggie Venture

Every day, a new veggie basks in the spotlight of the Veggie Evangelist. A simple, useful, tasty site proving that vegetables are about a lot more than iceberg and baby carrots.

Veggie Chic

One of my staff’s favorite veg bloggers (I confess, it’s mainly because she eats a salad for lunch every day and insists, like us, that this habit is anything but boring). Veggie links, news, recipes and anecdotes with a personal touch.

Vegan Lunch Box

An excellent blog from a health-minded SAHM that includes book reviews, nutritional advice, and usually-healthy vegan recipes. It’s worth a look.

Super Vegan

Live in New York? Follow a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle (or just like healthy food)? You best be gettin’ to Super Vegan. A Zagat guide for the minus-meat group.

What the Hell Does a Vegan Eat Anyway?

A lot of Tuno instead of tuna. If you like mock meat, you’ll love this blog. Aw, hell, even I love it.

Vegan Doc

I’m biased – this doc is a runner. A very cool personal blog from a vegan M.D.

[tags] vegan, vegetarian, best vegetarian blogs, lifestyle, meat [/tags]

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The Cardiac Insider Is Back: Nurses, Put Down Your Cheesesteaks

“Now, you need to exercise at least 5 times a week, cardio wise. You should really try to do weight training as well, to make you stronger. Do you have a gym membership? Do you have any gym equipment at your house? And don’t forget to follow your low fat, low salt, low cholesterol diet. Here are your 13 drug prescriptions. Do you have any questions?” … And this all happens in the 15 minutes before we discharge you from the hospital. That is, after you have had a 4-day stay with us. And 50% of the time, it is being said by a very overweight, under exercised, cheese-steak-eating nurse! I am not a mean person, but come on! This is yet another little gripe form your friendly nurse at Diabetes Notes and A Hearty Life. Did your mother ever teach you the phrase, “practice what you preach”? I know I learned manners from observing my mom and dad. So how can a cardiac patient that is being discharged from a hospital take you seriously if you look like you have never walked a flight of stairs yourself? I am by no means a lean, mean machine. But I do try to stay heart-healthy by exercise and a moderated diet. I am also a diabetic, so while I can commiserate with my patients, I can also call their bluffs. Adrian Clark Flickr Photo Why do clinicians who have all the resources in the world choose to do themselves wrong? I don’t know. And why do we decide to do teaching with our patients 30 minutes before they are discharged? By the way, those last few minutes are when our patients are most anxious. They are going out on their own, having to deal with their cardiac issues without the guidance and security of the hospital staff. Why not start the nutrition and heart health education the day of admission? Allow a few days for the patients to absorb the info and formulate some questions they might have. After all, isn’t that part of our job? Making sure that the patient has all the resources and information they need to ensure success! Not that success always happens. Believe me, I don’t always see rainbows and roses, just read my last post here at Mark’s blog. And I get just as frustrated as the next nurse with noncompliance and neglect, but I think we are all at fault. We can’t just point our fingers, you know? What do you think? Have you ever been a patient and had a similar situation happen to you? Do you think we need to rethink our ways of teaching as clinicians? I want to hear it. The good, the bad and the ugly…except if you have a story about me, haha. Editor’s note: Was Kendra’s post insightful for you? How ’bout those cheesesteaks! You can discuss this post in the forum. Would you like to read more from Kendra about health care in the trenches? Let … Continue reading “The Cardiac Insider Is Back: Nurses, Put Down Your Cheesesteaks”

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What’s Behind the #1 Cause of Death? (psst: it’s not cholesterol)

WORKER BEES’ DAILY BITES

Mark wants us to make sure we share a very important study about inflammation and heart disease. Sisson’s been grousing about this for years, and you can read some of his choice thoughts on why cholesterol is just one of many important factors for heart health. Cholesterol drugs aren’t the best approach to reducing coronary heart disease rates (CHD is our #1 killer). But still totally the best way to afford a house in the Hamptons.

The “Hot” Heart Disease Marker

Men who have a particular antibody indicating widespread inflammation have triple the risk of heart disease.

As usual, they’ll get around to testing the women when they feel like it.

Nevertheless, triple is a huge deal. Inflammation is also linked to type 2 diabetes and arthritis (which increases the risk for heart attacks as well). In fact, metabolism, immunity, and obesity are all linked to inflammation. These issues are often referred to as the umbrella-ish Syndrome X.

What We Need Is Another C-O-M-M-I-T-T-E-E!

The FDA released a statement addressing the can’t-keep-track-of-all-the-scandals issue. Their brilliant solution? An oversight committee! Aha! Perfect! Except, isn’t the FDA an oversight committee? Mark’s Daily Apple predicts a long and delicious line of self-sustaining bureaucratic complexity coming to a tax hike near you.

Michael Moore Is At it Again

Mike is taking on Big Pharma and HMOs with the soon-to-debut documentary, Sicko. He was on Oprah today and he’s hitting Letterman and Leno next. Will you be weighing in on Sicko?

More Worker Bees’ Daily Bites

Most Popular Posts

[tags] FDA, oversight committee, Michael Moore, Sicko, HMO, inflammation, Syndrome X, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, preventable causes of death [/tags]

RSS: Feed Shark

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What Does 4,000 Calories a Day Look Like?

The average American consumes almost 4,000 calories every day and counting! That’s anywhere from 1500 to 2500 more calories than the average man or woman really needs (children and athletes have different needs). Translation: 3500 calories is equivalent to one pound. If you’re an “average American”, you could be eating anywhere from 12 to 15 excess pounds every month, adding fat to your body, increasing the pressure on your heart, and stressing your organs (not to mention the environmental impact of all this gluttony). But why are we eating so much? I decided to see what it would be like to eat the way the average American supposedly eats. Breakfast: How about McDonald’s? That’s a typical choice for millions of Americans every day. To be an average American, you need to eat at least 700 calories and up to 1300 calories at each setting. McDonald’s can help you with that. Another tip: it helps to drink your calories, so remember to wash it all down with a big slosh of soda or juice! Or a nice venti mocha will do the trick. Lunch: I know Burger King is bad. I’ll go for Subway. Subway is fresh, so I’m sure whatever I eat there is going to be good, right? Well, maybe if you get a 6″ whole-grain sandwich with vegetables or a salad. But according to Subway, the most popular Subway item in the world is the toasted steak and cheese sandwich. This will give you a very generous 400 calories per 6″ section. Don’t forget the chips and soda (an extra 300 calories!), and you’re easily on your way to 4,000 calories today! It’s nice that convenience chains are offering slightly more healthy options these days, but it’s still disingenuous counter-marketing to offer it along side the regular high-calorie fare. Eat fresh, indeed. Dinner: Pizza and burgers are beloved American foods. Sign me up! Carl’s Jr. says there’s only one thing that can “slay the hunger of a young guy on the move”. Hey, that’s me! I can even get their burger for breakfast. But wait, am I really that starving that I need to be slaying my stomach? The six-dollar burger with a large Coke and a side of fries will round out my day with an additional 1,200 calories (give or take a few). (Honestly, I’ve always thought it’s sort of sad that the most famous American foods – pie, burgers, pizza, hot dogs, French fries – are all junk foods. The French get cheese, wine and sauces, and Asia’s got vegetables down cold, but when it comes to cuisines of the world, we can sure be proud of our corn, salt, sugar and trans fat, all right.) Conclusion: I thought it would be a little bit of a challenge to eat 4,000 calories, but thanks to the vast majority of what’s available at every restaurant these days, it’s actually pretty hard not to consume twice as many calories as you need – and that’s the whole … Continue reading “What Does 4,000 Calories a Day Look Like?”

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