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 2014

Pancetta with Halibut and Asparagus

If something akin to “meat butter” sounds good to you, then head to your favorite local (or online) butcher shop and ask for pancetta, guanciale or lardo. All three are fatty cuts of pork – with an emphasis on fatty – that are dry cured with salt, herbs and spices.

Guanciale comes from the jowl, lardo comes from the back and pancetta comes from the belly. The long curing time (usually a couple months or so) means these seriously tasty slabs of mostly fat marbled with a little meat can be eaten raw. This is usually done by draping very thin slices of pancetta, guanciale or lardo over cooked meat, fish or vegetables, so it melts like butter. Meaty, salty, extremely rich butter.

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Long Distance Triathlete Finds Success with Primal

It’s Friday, everyone! And that means another Primal Blueprint Real Life Story from a Mark’s Daily Apple reader. If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these each Friday as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!

As a youngster growing up in Sydney, Australia, I had asthma that really limited what I could do. My mind wanted to do active sporty things, but physically I couldn’t follow through and as a result, was pretty unfit (and overweight).

My mum was a good healthy cook and we spent lots of time outdoors, but I would sneak lollies, chocolate, and chips when I could. It wasn’t emotional eating – I just loved the flavours and textures. There was also peer pressure about buying “the cool food” (aka junk) for lunch at school and then University.

Flash forward a couple of decades and I was still overweight and on the roller-coaster ride of fad diets that I would follow for a while, then fail as they left me starving and weak. I wanted to lose weight and be healthy, but I didn’t want to suffer so much. To me, mental health is an important part of physical health, and starving myself on restrictive “diets” left me mentally unhealthy. I found this unsustainable.

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9 Signs You Need to Eat More Fat

By now, we all basically agree that fat is an essential nutrient. Certain fats, like linoleic acid and alpha linolenic acid, are physiologically essential because our bodies cannot produce them. Other fats, like those found in extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil,and grass-fed butter, are culinarily essential because they make food taste really good (they’re not so bad in the nutrition department, either). And others are conditionally essential, meaning they become extremely helpful and even critical in certain situations. But how much is enough? How do we know when to increase our intake of specific fats?

There are a few indicators that you might need more fat. If any of the following issues are giving you trouble or sound familiar, consider increasing your intake of fat. It may very well help solve your problem.

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Reframing Your Definition of Affluence

Since the release of my book The Primal Connection last year, I’ve been honored for it to have been critically recognized, receiving three distinguished awards: the silver winner at the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards in the Body, Mind, and Spirit category; the bronze winner at Foreword’s Book of the Year Awards in the Health category; the Eric Hoffer award for best self-published book. But more than that, I’ve been honored by the positive reviews and feedback I’ve received from readers. For those of you that don’t have a copy of the book, and haven’t read it yet, the following is an excerpt straight from the pages of The Primal Connection. Oh…and today’s your lucky day. I want everyone to have a chance to read this book, so today I’m participating in a special promotion organized by Buck Books. Until midnight tonight you can get a Kindle copy of The Primal Connection for just 99 cents. (Several other books are just 99 cents for today only as well – check them all out here.) So grab your digital copy, tell your friends about it, and let me know what you think. Grok on!

Gratitude, with a capital G. The word should resonate as holy (which has the same root as healthy, and means whole), for without it, boredom prevails. With it, you acknowledge and appreciate life?s gifts. This embodiment extends beyond your attitude to become an actual personality trait, a stress management tool, and an overall way of life. You live in gratitude because you are here today? appreciative of the lessons and journey of your past, however imperfect?for no other particular reason or caveat. And you remain in gratitude through the daily struggles that give meaning and richness to your life.

Our ancestors devised animism and deities to thank for the bounties in nature. More recently in our history, tribal societies such as the Native Americans and the !Kung Bushmen of southern Africa thank the animal?s spirit for providing sustenance after it has been killed. If daily prayer or weekly services have a place in your life, you may be familiar with similar themes. But don?t overlook other modest ways to show gratitude in your day-to-day life. Giving yourself the luxury of a warm bath, making a phone call to grandma, or presenting a home-cooked meal to your family all count, too, if your intention is in the right place.

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Next Level Primal: I Killed a Chicken and Ate It

This is a guest post from Bethany McDaniel of Primal Pastures. Learn more about Bethany and Primal Pastures at the end of this article. Enter Bethany…

I still remember the first time I killed a chicken. I had watched it happen hundreds of times (my family runs a small pastured livestock farm in So-Cal called Primal Pastures). I’d even helped out with all of the other steps involved in chicken processing (scalding, plucking, eviscerating, and packaging), but I couldn’t quite bring myself to take a knife to a chicken’s throat and end its life.

But why?

I had no problem eating chickens that someone else killed. I’m not terribly freaked out by blood. And I had already gone through the gutting process more times than I could count (which is way gross-er than killing).

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Dear Mark: Sun Exposure and Eyesight; Vasectomies

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got a quick two-parter. First, I discuss the pros and cons of ocular sunlight exposure in children (and adults). Should kids leave the house with a pair of wraparound goggles every single time, or are their prepubescent eyes safe without them? If too much sun exposure is bad, is none the best? Then, we cover the pros and cons of getting a vasectomy. Are there real health risks, like increased chances of cancer and/or heart disease? Will you lose functionality down there and experience a drop in testosterone?

Let’s go:

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