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: July 2008

High Fat and Healthy: The Maasai Keep on Walking

Reader Peter emailed this new study today after he saw a discussion in which I was participating on Rusty’s site (fitnessblackbook.com) regarding the Maasai diet. Investigators in this new study suggested that one reason that the Maasai (African nomadic cattle farmers) have lower rates of heart disease, despite a high fat diet, is the amount of low-level aerobic activity they do on a daily basis. Many of you will recognize this as rule #2 of the Primal Blueprint, “Move around a lot at a slow pace.” Seems the Maasai take that to the extreme, burning 2500 calories a day in excess of their basal metabolic rate by walking. The fact that they have a fairly low carbohydrate intake simply reaffirms that most of their energy demands are coming from the high amount of animal fat in their diets – and that at low level aerobic activity carbs are simply not necessary. Don’t think that doesn’t mean they can’t sprint occasionally or lift heavy things though (Blueprint’s 3 and 4), because we know they are able to produce enough glycogen each day from this same high-fat, moderate protein diet to fuel those all-out short bursts.

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Sleep More to Forget Less

A study presented this week at the Forum of European Neuroscience conference in Geneva, Switzerland suggests that a good night’s sleep can improve memory.

For the study, researchers from the University of Geneva in Switzerland enlisted 32 volunteers to each learn a new skill, such as following a moving dot on a computer screen using a joy stick. Participants were then divided into two groups: the first was allowed to sleep for eight hours and the second was deprived of sleep or only permitted to take a short nap.

To assess the impact of these sleep patterns on the brain, researchers then used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to scan the brain activity of participants as they repeated the tasks that they had learned the previous days.

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Weekend Link Love – Edition 7

Every weekend we bring you some of our favorite health related content from around the net.

But first, check out a piece Mark wrote for Fitness Black Book titled Why We Need Meat.

Almost Vegetarian this week celebrated the FDA’s lifting of the tomato warning by handing us a new info for the once-exiled food.

Conditioning Research profiles a new study suggesting that training at the same time every day can boost performance.

In Denial Health profiles the top five health food myths.

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Budget Eating Recipes

Sure, you want to save money at the market, but how does that translate to the dinner table? Here are just a few options (among so many) for serving up healthy food without breaking the bank. No need to concoct strange dishes no one recognizes. These are tried and true meals that show up among pretty much everybody’s favorites. Bon Appetit, we say!

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How to Eat Healthy and Save Money

In the last several weeks we’ve served up budget tips (and you’ve shared great suggestions and discussion) all in the interest of making the PB diet more affordable. It’s tough times out there (still), but it shouldn’t keep us from living the healthiest life possible. Actually, tightening the grocery belt might even have its benefits.

It pays to prioritize. The budget possibilities run the gamut: shopping warehouse stores judiciously, joining CSAs, deep freezing/canning for winter months, growing your own, foraging at farmer’s markets, experimenting with “thrift cuts,” paring food purchases down to the healthiest and most essential, etc.

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Fat-Oxidation Damage Control

Earlier this week we watched Mark make his signature salad: a veritable cornucopia of vegetable wonder (and anti-oxidant powerhouse). We’ve also heard Mark talk about his personal penchant for a good glass of red wine (another bearer of anti-oxidant goodness). It seems we primal types can’t get enough of those polyphenols, can we? And, wouldn’t you know it? These two primal “treats” (salad as PB staple, red wine as very sensible vice) are at the center of some very intriguing research on reducing the harmful effects of fat oxidation during digestion.

Fats – harmful? We surely haven’t given into the manipulation of all those fat slanderers out there? You know, the ones who say that fat is the center of all health evils? Not to worry. Fat is still our friend, especially when it’s not overcooked and loaded with the modern cocktail of pesticides, hormones and anti-biotics. But we love good research that not only illuminates the natural workings of the human system but suggests profoundly easy ways to make good food that much healthier.

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