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: December 2007

Sensible Vices

One issue I have with our modern lifestyle – of many – is the emphasis on perfection. Newer, slimmer, bigger, better, faster: the message of perfection screams out to us from glossy magazines, slick television ads and popup ad after popup ad. (Or purrs, cajoles, teases, and smothers.) While I do believe fundamentally in pursuing whatever your personal best happens to be, and I think we could generally be doing far better in terms of diet and exercise, I have a hard time with the constant barrage of images telling us that, in short, we suck.

Which brings me to vices. I’m a pretty disciplined guy – okay, very disciplined – but I stop short of attempting perfection. Sure, I suppose I could forever kiss ice cream good bye (yes, Sisson still occasionally indulges). I could angst over those missed workouts when I’m vacationing with my wife and kids. I could work on my flaws and vices. But…why?

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Guest Post: The Cafeteria Swap – How to Make Your Kid’s Lunch ‘Untradeable’

Vanessa Van Petten writes a blog for parents and teens. She is also the teen author of the parenting book “You’re Grounded!”
“I’ll give you two Ritz cracker bites for one of your donut holes?”

“Anyone want my Peach cup?…anyone?…I’ll give it away for free?…Please someone just take it so my mom doesn’t yell at me”

We had a lunch monitor at my school that guarded the trashcan at lunch like a rhino guards a watering hole. She would make sure that unopened food and Tupperware filled with leftover brussel sprouts either went in your belly (and you would have to deal with the taste) or went back home in your lunchbox (and you would have to deal with an angry parent). Therefore, if you didn’t like what you had in your lunch, you either had to trade it, give it away or, heaven forbid, eat it.

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7 Tips to Get Out of Bed

You have the best-laid intentions for your weekend. You’re going to wake up at 6, and before the kids are even halfway through their cartoons, the gutters will be cleared, the garage will be cleaned, and the lawn will be mown.

Right. That’s not happening, thanks to the nefarious invention known as the snooze button. Why is waking up early – or even on time, for that matter – so darn difficult? Even when we go to bed at a reasonable hour and avoid the late-night munchies, some of us have a really hard time waking up as early as we’d like. If you’ve made sure you are eating nutritious foods, cut out stress, gotten into a good exercise routine, and have ruled out a health condition, you might find these tips to be helpful in rousing you from your VIMPS (Very Important Morning Pillow Sessions).

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“Lunchtime Lipo”

Simple observation: As cosmetic procedures grow in both popularity and efficacy the number of people that look fit but are in fact unhealthy will rise. This is a version of the skinny-fat phenomenon. The day when chiseled abs and calves of steel are no longer fair measures of fitness is upon us. This LA Times article got me all riled up this week:
COME in on your lunch hour, have a few injections and melt away those stubborn bulges of fat. That promise has made injection lipolysis — also called lipodissolve and mesotherapy — one of the fastest-growing cosmetic procedures in the country, with centers sprouting up almost as fast as Starbucks stores. Nevermind that neither the procedure nor the drug cocktail used has FDA approval. Nevermind that Kansas and Nebraska are trying to ban the procedure. Nevermind that the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery do not condone the procedure. Nevermind that the procedure has been banned in Brazil, Canada and England.

People want a better body now.

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Smart Fuel: Acorn Squash

This week’s Smart Fuel: Acorn Squash

Winter is a wonderful time to enjoy drier, more dense vegetables, seeds, nuts and squashes. This week we’re highlighting acorn squash.

Acorn squash is considered a winter squash, but it’s actually classified with zucchini and other summer squashes. No matter; it is delicious no matter what you call it. Try it baked or stuffed; you can also fry it up with onions, meats, garlic and other savory additions. One acorn squash is usually less costly than an artichoke and can either serve as a delicious light dinner for one or a versatile, hearty side dish for 2.

Acorn squash is rich in beta carotene, though not as much as other winter squashes. However, acorn squash has generous amounts of fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and magnesium. Plus, halved and hulled, acorn squash makes a perfect easy portion.

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Anxiety Relief

Anxiety Culture has a great piece on worry that really stirred my pot. Anxiety is a persistent problem in our culture, and it seems to strike the affluent and poor, healthy and unhealthy, male and female, young and old alike. Anxiety is a particular breed of that umbrella term we toss around, stress, and it’s really insidious for a number of reasons. For one thing, as the piece notes, we’re sort of acculturated to be worriers. Worrying is seen as a really responsible, adult thing to do. If you’re nonchalant and fancy free, something surely must be wrong with you. Just as we give great credit to being overworked, underpaid, stressed, tired, busy, and overwhelmed, we give worrying a lot of authority.

It’s not natural, it’s not healthy, it’s not even moral (our Puritan ancestors are turning in their graves). There is no great moral imperative or increased value that worrying can confer upon you, yet we all act as if this were the case. In fact, I think worrying is a pretty immature reaction to life’s challenges. And because worrying – anxiety – is so self-perpetuating, it can quickly derail into a vicious, even neurotic cycle.

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