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: March 2014

Harnessing the Power of Self-Identity

So often we talk about how to get beyond the limiting, even destructive identities we create for ourselves or have been imposed on us in our lives. The fact is, no one should feel beholden to a definition that hampers their self-actualization or undercuts their physical or emotional well-being. That said, what if we examined the flip side of this equation? We often assume a fixed identity is something that works against our greater good, but what if – under the right circumstances – it can be a positive, grounding influence that helps circumscribe our daily decisions in a healthy way? Consider reader Steve’s thought-provoking comment on a post from this past summer regarding “The Uses and Abuses of Guilt”:

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Are Bodyweight Exercises Alone Enough?

In my Primal Blueprint Fitness eBook, I promote a bodyweight training program. Though it can be modified with weight vests, at its core it is comprised entirely of exercises that use your own bodyweight as resistance – pushups, pullups, planks, rows, squats, and sprints. For the majority of people who try it, it works great because PBF is a basic program designed to appeal to people from every fitness background. People who’ve never lifted a weight in their lives can jump right in with the beginning progressions, move on up through the more difficult variants, and get quite fit in the process. It’s not the end all, be all of training – and I make that pretty clear in the eBook – but it’s a foundation for solid, all around fitness. Some choose to move beyond it or incorporate weighted movements, some are content.

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Cholesterol, Culture, and Being Flexible!

This is a guest post from Dr. Ronesh Sinha (aka Dr. Ron). Dr. Ron is an internal medicine physician in Northern California. He specializes in helping patients from diverse ethnic backgrounds reduce heart disease risk factors through lifestyle changes. I’ve recently published Dr. Ron’s book The South Asian Health Solution. You can learn all about the book and the special offer that ends tomorrow here. Enter Dr. Ron…

I started off about a decade ago with an internal medicine practice in the heart of Silicon Valley. I learned from medical training that a typical heart attack patient is an overweight, old white guy who smokes and eats red meat. That would have been incredibly useful if I was put in a time capsule and sent back to the 1950s to practice medicine in the heart of Framingham, Massachusetts, which is where the outdated guidelines originate from. I was flooded with sedentary, mostly non-smoking, non-white, non-obese and often vegetarian patients who looked nothing like those case studies from medical training. Back then they were getting employer-based health screenings that only drew their total cholesterol level. Most of them had a total cholesterol of less than 200 and if these screenings happened to check LDL levels they often looked “good” also. These individuals were patted on their back, told they were doing great, and sent home. However, these same patients, mostly Asian Indian, were developing rampant diabetes and heart disease. One of my first heart attack cases was a 32-year-old, non-smoking Indian vegetarian. I started seeing similar cases and as I delved through the research back in those early days, I discovered that Asian Indians had one of the highest incidences of heart disease in the world. The part that puzzled me was when I looked at their cholesterol through my medically trained Framingham lens, their cholesterol numbers continued to look pretty normal…or so I thought! I went to big companies and lectured about cholesterol and feverishly preached the virtues of a low-fat, high fiber diet, one that I also practiced. However, something started happening. I never reached an overweight BMI, but my waistline did start expanding a bit and as I started checking my own numbers I noticed that my total cholesterol and LDL looked really “good,” but the other numbers on my cholesterol panel didn’t. Let’s take a look at my lipid timeline:

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Dear Mark: Is a High Protein Diet Really As Bad for You As Smoking?

It’s about that time, boys and girls. A new “protein kills” study has arrived to throw you into the pit of existential angst and self-doubt you recently managed to crawl out of from the last one. As you may know, I’ve just spent a week in Tulum, Mexico for PrimalCon (which was amazing, by the way, absolutely fantastic) where I managed to avoid most contact with my inbox. Oh, I took a couple glimpses here and there, enough to notice an endless stream of frenzied email subject lines, but I didn’t read the contents until the flight home. I still knew what was coming.

I finally have a little time to dig into this paper (which actually covers two studies) to see if there’s anything we can learn. Let’s jump right in…

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Weekend Link Love – Edition 286

In case you missed the big news, we released a new book last week: The South Asian Health Solution. Order a copy by Wednesday to get a free gift and a chance to win a one-on-one consultation with author Dr. Ronesh Sinha. Learn all the details here.

Episode #9 of The Primal Blueprint Podcast is now live. This time, we’re joined by Steve Levine, a regular guy who’s been doing the ancestral health thing for almost a decade. Steve explains how he incorporates Primal health practices into everyday life – to great effect.

I recently sat down (well, actually we were both standing) with Dave Asprey of the Bulletproof Executive to talk about epigenetics, the gut biome, arthritis, and tons more. Give it a listen!

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Primal Ramen Soup

Ramen is Japanese soup made from pork broth, roasted pork, boiled noodles, and various toppings like vegetables, seaweed and egg. For many, the noodles are the main ingredient that the dish revolves around. But Primal ramen puts all the attention on the pork. Slow roasted pork, smoked pork shanks and bacon all play a role in making ramen that’s deeply flavorful and satisfying, even without noodles.

If you’ve traveled to Japan, then you’re familiar with the ubiquitous ramen shop serving steaming bowls of ramen that reflect the shop’s own distinctive style. If you were ever a hungry teenager or college student, then you’re definitely familiar with instant Top Ramen. This recipe is a far cry from instant ramen and not as labor intensive as ramen made in restaurants. It does take a little time to make (most of it hands-off) but suddenly all the ingredients come together. You’re rewarded with delicious steaming broth, tender slices of pork, vibrant collard greens and garnishes of egg, scallions and nori.

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