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: November 2016

Dear Mark: Meditation for Neuroplasticity, Astragalus, and Red Light Therapy

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions from readers. First, did I mess up by not mentioning meditation in the neuroplasticity post? Yes, and you’ll find out more below. Next, what are my thoughts on taking astragalus for fighting off colds and flus? Does it work? And finally, does red light therapy have the potential to reduce chronic pain? Does it do anything else?

Let’s go:
I’m sorry that meditation is not mentioned, but magic mushrooms are. Meditation increases white matter in the brain (which influences efficiency of electrical signals in brain), and lessens shrinkage due to age. Meditation also has a positive influence on the preservation of telomere length and telomerase activity (when these shorten, we experience adverse aging effects). I would much rather do it the natural way (via meditation) than taking a chance with hallucinogens.

Susan Grace
Thanks for your comment, Susan. This is why I love my readers. They call me out.

Everything you say is true. Meditation is a powerful trigger for neuroplasticity.

Mindfulness meditation can undo stress-induced changes to connectivity in the amygdala (the “fear” center).

Experienced meditators show enhanced neural plasticity and even structural changes to the brain (both gray and white matter).

Like seemingly everything else out there, the relationship between meditation history and neuroplasticity follows a U-shaped curve. Beginners show less neuroplasticity activation than more experienced meditators, who show more activation than advanced meditators. How can this be?

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Weekend Link Love – Edition 425

Research of the Week
Your job may be killing you.

Here’s a weird promoter of neuroplasticity I didn’t see coming: allergies.

Replacing diet soda with water sped up weight loss in obese women.

The world of virtual eating (both taste and texture) is upon us. Don’t mind the facial electrodes.
New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 141: Aaron Alexander: Host Elle Russ chats with Aaron Alexander, who wears many hats: personal trainer, connective tissue specialist, Rolfer, licensed manual therapist. If you’re interested in the interplays between mind, body and movement, listen to this podcast.

Each week, select Mark’s Daily Apple blog posts are prepared as Primal Blueprint Podcasts. Need to catch up on reading, but don’t have the time? Prefer to listen to articles while on the go? Check out the new blog post podcasts below, and subscribe to the Primal Blueprint Podcast here so you never miss an episode.

Embodiment for Emotional Health: Is Mindful Movement a Primal Key?
10 Nutrient Optimizing Tips for the Primal Enthusiast
Why the Blood-Brain Barrier is So Critical (and How to Maintain It)

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Buffalo Ranch Chicken Stuffed Jalapeños with Bacon

Today’s guest recipe was written by George Bryant, author of The Paleo Kitchen and founder of Civilized Caveman. 

I’m elated to share this recipe with you, but first let me introduce myself. I’m George Bryant, a.k.a. Civilized Caveman, and you can check me out at my home base, Civilized Caveman Cooking.

But enough chit chat… Let’s talk about ranch dressing. Looking at this recipe, you might think it’s about the peppers or filling. It’s not! This recipe was created for one reason and one reason only: so I would have an excuse to eat more of this ranch dressing.

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Five Years Paleo—and NEVER Looking Back!

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. In fact, I have a contest going right now. So if you have a story to share, no matter how big or how small, you’ll be in the running to win a big prize. Read more here.

Three days before Thanksgiving, my husband came home and told me “We are going Paleo today!” We had been hearing about the amazing benefits of going Paleo from friends, but I was skeptical!

How could anyone maintain that as a lifestyle? I don’t want to do another yo-yo diet! There is NO way this is going to cure us.

After battling depression, anxiety, panic attacks, anemia and IBS for years, I decided that the doctors weren’t being helpful, and I was sick of feeling emotionless on medication.

“You are too young, it must be stress! Take this pill and this pill twice a day!” – I am so over hearing this!

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Embodiment for Emotional Health: Is Mindful Movement a Primal Key?

“Women carry trauma in their hips.”

(The stray remark got my attention, too.) I was walking along the beach when I heard it. Two women, deep in conversation, had passed me. Between the waves and my dog’s bark, it was the only snippet I caught. One had matter-of-factly professed it, and the other offered a knowing sigh in agreement. As a trainer, the thought jumped out at me—not so much the gendered suggestion (I have no claim on expertise there) but the idea that emotion gets stored in our bodies and not just in our memories. All of us are at various points in life subject to pain, loss and suffering. Whether we contend with something as severe as trauma or something difficult but normal like grief, anxiety or resentment, how do unresolved emotions linger within our physiology or even particular locations or functions within it? How might these feelings that we retain act as a wild card in our overall health? Finally, in keeping with this possibility, does “moving through” emotional suffering oblige us to move bodily toward healing?

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10 Nutrient Optimizing Tips for the Primal Enthusiast

You’re reading a blog about nutrition. You’re clicking links to scientific studies and abstracts. You’re in deep. You obviously care about the quality of the food you eat and the effect it has on your health.

But you also know that perfect is a myth. We can’t achieve it, and if we think we can and spend all our time obsessing over perfection, we usually subvert our own goals. Perfection becomes the enemy. But better is always within reach, and today I’m going to give you a few ways to improve your nutrient intake and make your food healthier and safer. Who’s in?

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