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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Weekly Health Challenge

Don’t let heredity become a nonrefundable ticket to the land of illness. Just because a disease or illness is common in your family doesn’t mean you have to accept it for you.

The drug and medical industries like to tell us we can blame every flaw, problem and health issue on our genes. That’s really convenient if you want to give someone else control over your health (how nice for Big Pharma), but it’s inaccurate and frankly, no way to go through life.

Genes do play a role in predisposition, but you have far more choice than you may realize. Things like cancer, diabetes and obesity do run in families, because families perpetuate particular habits and lifestyles (there’s a no-brainer). Fortunately, so many “hereditary” health problems are often totally preventable! Through a combination of regular medical screenings, healthy food, stress management, and daily exercise, you can and will steer clear of most of these so-called “genetic” health woes. I challenge you to think about whatever illness is common in your gene pool – whether that’s arthritis or colon cancer – and take preventive steps right now. Start writing your own health history this week.

Web it out:

A very sensible apricot

My point exactly!

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A Monday Moment

We all know we’re supposed to “forgive and forget” in order to move on from past hurts and get the most out of life. But of course, that’s often easier said than done, and it can even be confusing. Does forgiving mean being a doormat and letting people hurt us? Does forgetting mean we don’t get wiser with experience? Why forgive?

Navigating hurt isn’t easy. But it can be helpful to remind ourselves that forgiving isn’t really for the person who has hurt you – it’s for you. By no means should you “forget” the experience, because that’s just foolish. But forgiveness is empowering because it allows you to move on and not let the person who hurt you continue to have a hold over your thoughts and feelings – after all, that experience is in the past and no longer exists. That’s the forgetting part – you learn from your mistake (or theirs), but you forget the anger or sadness or whatever other negative emotion is associated with that experience. Life is hard; it is unfair; it is uncertain. Loving yourself enough to forgive, forget and move on is a healthy thing, because it’s an indication that you are embracing the present moment as it actually exists, rather than dwelling on things that no longer have any bearing on who you are at this moment.

This doesn’t mean we stick around for more abuse or act like doormats. It’s smart, and necessary, to move on from people and situations that have caused you harm. But you shouldn’t beat yourself up about these things, either, by continuing to think about them. Many of us are trapped by “ghosts” of the past. Sometimes letting go can feel like a loss of control or power. Letting go and moving on can even feel like insult added to the injury – as if to diminish or deny the validity and intensity of your own feelings (“if I let it go, were my feelings about it worth nothing?”). It can become a vicious loop.

I believe there’s a very simple way out of that cycle of hurt:

Love your past, but don’t live it.

Love your mistakes, your bad judgment calls, your feelings, your thoughts – all of it. Accept that it was all necessary to get you to this point. And then forgive yourself. You can love the “old you” who experienced that painful situation without continuing to live it. Moving on doesn’t mean that experience was invalid or you were necessarily wrong to act or feel the way you did. It’s who you were and what you were capable of at that time. But now you’re different – now you’re in this moment. So cut yourself some slack – love yourself for screwing up, feeling what you felt, and so on.

That was then, this is now – love your past, but don’t relive it. You have new, better memories (and mistakes) to make, so get to it!

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Friday’s Fuss

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:

Peanut butter is being recalled, women are more germy than men, and we can all breathe a sigh of relief, because Donald Trump’s comb-over may soon become a thing of the past. Or maybe not.

Peanut butter isn’t the ideal food anyway (it’s fine in sauces and on fresh fruit, but a PB&J sandwich is no healthier than a donut). Girls still smell better. As far as Donald is concerned, we think his hair would make a great nest.

Here’s the breaking clickativity:

1) Restless Legs Are Not News

Restless legs have a cure: movement. Restless leg syndrome is a modern phenomenon borne of obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. It is NOT a disease needing a cure. The cure is to move around once in a while.

Here’s an incredible expose on how pharmaceutical companies literally create diseases so you’ll take their drugs – and how the media are complicit in spinning the lies.

2) Expect Plenty of Bad Leno Jokes Tonight

So Kentucky and West Virginia are overweight, heart-disease-ridden states. Before you gloat (or feel bad if you hail from these states), keep in mind that all 50 of our states are a giant collective embarrassment.

We are the fattest, sickest, soonest-dying, most diseased industrialized nation. Pretty pathetic, considering we’re leaders in medical research, have no shortage of nutritious food, and are the richest nation…on earth. But the media are covering this non-news like white on rice. Basically, we’re preschoolers comparing the size of our crayon boxes while everybody else has moved on to markers.

This is the kind of irritating health news we have to draw attention to, simply because it’s so stupid. It’s a good example of how the media alternately scares the living daylights out of people and reports frivolous non-news as “news”. Will anyone care about this in two weeks (or two days)? Will anything be done? Where are the investigative pieces and exposes that actually produce some change?

3) Bees Dying

This makes us very sad. And it could actually be a huge problem for crop production this year.

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If I See 1 More Carrot-Cauli-Broccoli Blend, I’ll…

Smart Fuel You know what I am sick of? Boring vegetable blends! No wonder people don’t eat their vegetables. Every restaurant, catered buffet and frozen blend seems to feature the same old julienned carrots, pale broccoli chunks and soggy cauliflower (does anyone really, truly love cauliflower?). Let’s not forget the ubiquitous cucumber slices with bitter skins and the endless selection of pithy, depressing tomatoes. I refuse to eat boring, soggy, uninspiring vegetables. Why eat broccoli stem chunks when you can stuff yourself with olive oil-drizzled broccolini? Why deal with yet another white onion when you can try out shallots for the same price? I’m not exactly what you’d call a chef, but fortunately, coming up with meals that taste amazing is incredibly easy if you just expand your idea of what “getting your veggies” means. It’s just about impossible to mess up vegetables. So try something new this weekend. There are plenty of really flavorful, interesting plants to nosh on in your quest for flat abs and more energy. Here are a few to try: Heart of palm We can’t get enough of this stuff around the Sisson household. You can slice these stalks up like potatoes au gratin and bake them with a little ricotta, goat cheese or cottage cheese for a really indulgent but healthy meal. Heart of palm is almost nonexistent in the calorie department, and provides a lot of fiber. The texture is similar to canned artichoke or bamboo but is far more rich and satisfying. Heart of palm has the perfect amount of chewiness and a mild, salty flavor that makes it perfect for replacing starchy items like potatoes or pasta – and it makes a great snack. If you’ve tried and failed at tofu, you will love heart of palm. Thanks to Chodta for the picture! Okra If you’re from the South, you already know (and possibly love) okra. A lot of people hear “okra” and think “slime”. But prepared right, okra is…off the chain. I buy frozen chopped okra, thaw it, and rinse it thoroughly several times. It takes a little work to drain and press the goop away, but what’s left is a vegetable that makes a mean stir fry. I cook okra over a really hot grill to get it a little bit seared for maximum flavor, dryness and crunch. Goes great with chili flavors and hot sauces. Okra is just about the easiest way to lose that belly fat – you can eat an entire bag for fewer calories than a slice of cheese. Sea vegetables Seaweed is just the beginning. Look around – health food stores, organic and vegetarian aisles, and ethnic food stores all carry many types of unusual sea vegetables. Some of them are passable, but some are so good I don’t know why anyone continues to suffer through green-white-and-carrot. Experiment. Sea vegetables are nutritionally dense – they’re particularly good for the thyroid and the cardiovascular system. Herbs All those little packets of fresh herbs? Start buying … Continue reading “If I See 1 More Carrot-Cauli-Broccoli Blend, I’ll…”

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In Preparation for Saturday Morning Cartoons

Cheap, unhealthy, garbage food that plays directly into children’s fantasies?

General Mills calls it breakfast cereal. I call it manipulation. The Fuji calls it something that we just can’t print here. It’s a family show, after all.

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Hard Core

Core strength – everyone is talking about it. Core is just a buzz word for your midsection, and it’s very important to maximize your core health. A healthy, strong core is the “core” of good health.

A few key steps:

– You must shed that spare tire to naturally improve core health (cut out that sugar, folks).

– Get both resistance and aerobic activity several times a week.

– Do one or two torso-focused exercise sessions a week. The midsection doesn’t need much time: 10 or 15 minutes is enough.

– Maintain good posture.

– Implement some stretching and balance exercises into your workouts.

Trainer Russ Suchala and I were discussing this “core” topic the other day – here’s why you must take care of your core if you want good health:

“Training your core will result in tremendous benefits in a relatively short amount of time. This is because a strong core improves your posture, decreases your chance of injury, increases your power and functionality, and gives you a great-looking lean midsection.

Core training is rapidly gaining popularity for one specific reason: sitting leads to a weak core. Sitting? Yep, sitting.

Think about your typical work day. If you are like most people then your day starts with a 30-60 minute drive to work, followed by 8 hours at your desk and then another 30-60 minute drive home. That’s a lot of sitting. And it all adds up to one thing: a weak core.

The muscles that make up the core play a unique role since they provide stabilization for your entire body.

Core training seeks to strengthen the muscles of your abdominal and lower back using coordinated movement. A strong focus is put on contracting your abdominal muscles by pulling your belly button in toward your spine throughout the exercises to ensure that your core muscles are engaged.

Unfortunately many ailments stem from having weak core muscles. You may be personally acquainted with the most common ailment…lower back pain. Other problems include poor posture, being injury prone, having minimal strength and (drum roll please) a bulging waistline.

Alleviating persistent back pain is one of the most welcomed benefits of a strong core. An increase in strength and protection from injury are also nice, and who doesn’t love to lose inches from their waist as a result of tightened muscle?

Everyday motions such as lifting, squatting, reaching, twisting and bending will become less challenging after strengthening your core. While you may not immediately see the value in this, remember that it is better to be safe than sorry – who really wants to throw out their back while taking out the trash?”

Thanks, Russ. Apples, stick around for more fitness tips in future posts. It doesn’t take much to improve your health and physique – just commitment to action. As I always say, putting on the sneakers is 90% of the battle.

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[tags]core strength, aerobic, posture, exercise, Russ Suchala, training, back pain[/tags]

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