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 2010

Sesame Chicken and “Rice” with Fiery Ginger and Chile Sauce

This is the type of meal you’ll want to share with those you love. Not only because it’s nourishing and delicious, but also because you don’t want to be the only one in the house who’s breathing out fiery chile and garlic. The aromatic chile sauce that gives this dish its fiery kick is served on the side and can be used in moderation, but we guarantee you’ll find yourself generously spooning it over your plate, unable to resist its bold, addictive flavor.

This isn’t to say that Sesame Chicken with Cauliflower Rice is a recipe only for the brave hearted. This traditional dish, typically called Hainanese Chicken and served with regular rice, is a simple and mild combination of flavors. It was Peter Yong’s favorite dish at a local restaurant and we’re glad he “Primalized” it and shared the results with all of us for the Primal Blueprint Reader-Created Cookbook Challenge.

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Primal Preparations for the Post Apocalypse

With oil spreading across the surface of the ocean, the world economy teetering on a precipice, and the Real Housewives of New Jersey premiering on Bravo, it’s not a stretch to believe the end of times are coming. While several companies will sell you kits for the occasion, usually they amount to a four thousand dollar credit card bill and a truckload of rice and oats. Rice and oats are no good for the low-carber, or for anyone wishing to avoid the all-too-common emaciated look of apocalypse survival. Thus, to wind down the week with something a little light-hearted (and what’s more light-hearted than the end of the world as we know it), the Worker Bees have come up with a Primal-approved list of supplies to ease the transition through the fall of modern civilization. Be it global warming, the rapture, or a zombie outbreak, get ready to stock up your bomb shelters! (NOTE: Bomb shelters have been on the decline since the late 1950’s when scientists figured out that six inches of concrete won’t stop a twenty mile wave of cell-melting nuclear radiation. If you have no bomb shelter, a basement will suffice).

First a few non-potables, the most important being…

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Training Naked

OK, now that I have your attention, I’d like to discuss the idea of you doing your weight-training (Law #4 Lift Heavy Things) with as few “joint support gizmos” (wrist wraps, tape, lifting belts, etc.) as possible. Maybe you already do, but if not…

By now you know how I feel about shoes in general – and workout shoes in particular. Along with grains and statins, they make my list of the top ten mistakes in the history of human health. High-tech, “comfortable” and higher-heeled shoes are probably the cause of more bad backs, bad knees, pulled muscles, hamstring issues, torn cartilage, tendonitis and myriad other lower- and mid-body afflictions than any other single factor. The reason is this: the more we’ve unburdened the important (critical) small muscles of our feet with “forefoot motion control”, “heel stabilizers”, and “rear-foot shock absorbers” – in other words, the more we’ve put our feet in these supportive and restrictive casts – the more we’ve disrupted the intricate biomechanical balance that otherwise naturally arises from using our feet unshod as designed by evolution. And, as a result, the more we can find ourselves on the slippery slope to injury and misery.

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Ask Me Anything and Primal Blueprint Updates

This blog post is a two-parter. First, a progress update.

Last March I announced a number of exciting projects I had in the works. I’ve already checked a few things off the list: PrimalCon, held last April, was an amazing experience, and the response to The Primal Blueprint Cookbook and the Primal Blueprint Poster (released last month) was incredible. But I have a few more things up my sleeves for this summer, and I’m getting regular emails from readers wanting to know when they’re releasing.

If you aren’t familiar with the Primal Leap Kit, it’s a 30-Day program that will walk you through, step-by-step and day-by-day, the transition to a healthy, Primal lifestyle. The Kit will include a binder-bound Primal Leap Guidebook, a Primal Blueprint DVD (I walk participants through all 10 laws of the Primal Blueprint), an abridged audio book version of The Primal Blueprint (voiced by yours truly), The Primal Blueprint Guide to Foraging in the Modern World (a handy guidebook on how, where and what to shop for, including a Primal shopping list and many practical tips on being a “hunter-gatherer” in the 21st century), The Primal Blueprint Cookbook and likely a few other goodies. The Primal Leap Kit is nearing completion. I am shooting to have it available for you by mid-July.

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How to Quit Grains

Yes, they’re inextricably woven into nearly every aspect of our society. Dietary staple, cultural icon, sentimental fodder, patriotic symbol: it’s impossible to get away from them. However, just because they’re ubiquitous in our social environment doesn’t mean they deserve a place on your dinner plate. You know the multitude of reasons to quit grains. How about some strategies for kicking them to the curb?

As much as I condone, cajole and attempt to convince people to give up grains for the sake of their health, I’m not oblivious to the fact that dumping grains can be a tough and sometimes lonely slog. It’s not just the cultural thing either. For most people, physiological and habitual forces are the most demanding aspects. You’ve likely heard the term “carboholic” (used mostly in magazines and Oprah confessions for humorous, normalizing purposes), but there’s genuine truth there. Although I’m not equating the ravages of alcoholism and drug addiction with carb cravings, hard science has something to say about the physiological compulsion associated with dietary sugar and carbs (PDF).

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Dear Mark: The Low Carb Flu

Conquering carbs offers a whole constellation of rewards, not the least of which is a steady, brisk energy unlike most people have known before (well, maybe since the whirling age of 10 or so…). People tell me constantly that they can finally make it through the day without being down for the count every midafternoon. They enjoy enough vigor and vitality to weather a whole day’s worth of activity. The busyness of life becomes easier to handle: the energy demands of daily work or business travel, the mayhem and constant commotion of kids, a weekend’s worth of chores and errands, etc. A skipped meal doesn’t suddenly change the agenda to including procuring a bagel or other false pick-me-up. Nonetheless, for some folks, there’s a common, temporary but still bothersome bump in the road on the way to that Primal prize. Though it varies, it often means a couple weeks of mental fuzziness, fog and fatigue. Although your body might be off to the races, your brain can lag behind like a little brother in a stuffed snowsuit. It’s a game of “hey, wait up!”  while the body’s mechanisms and metabolism align themselves. They call it “low carb flu,” and rest assured it’s just as temporary.

Dear Mark,

I just want to know if anyone who has been Primal for some time had any trouble with cognition in the first few weeks. I can hardly think straight, especially after eating, and I am also low on energy. Will this pass??? Besides that, my body feels great!”

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