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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How to Eat Healthy on a Budget

The Tuesday 10 It can be frustrating to stick with a healthy diet when factors like cost and kids enter into the equation. Junior Apple Kathy Lee faces a challenge many moms are familiar with: how do you provide kid-friendly fare that is both nutritious and inexpensive? 10. Switch snacks to veggies A large part of your grocery bill can be eliminated by avoiding the processed snacks and treats kids love. Parents know that Pop Tarts and Gushers are unhealthy, but there are plenty of seemingly healthy snacks – things that promise nutrition like “nutri-grain” crackers and “vitamin-enriched” gummy treats – that really rack up the total bill. The truth is, most of these processed “healthy” items are no better than candy, so as a parent, you don’t have to feel guilty for steering clear of them and heading for carrot sticks, apple slices and celery instead. An entire bag of fresh apples costs less than a single box of crackers, and is much healthier. Make the switch from boxed snacks to fruit and vegetables. 9. Eliminate soda, sports drinks and juice These items are expensive and unhealthy (though they almost always carry tricky health claims). Many moms are tempted to buy juice – and 100% real juice is often the most expensive of all. But even “real” juice is really just sugar water. Have the kids drink water instead. They can have juice when they go to Grandma’s. 8. Going organic? We all think of organic food as being more healthy – and generally, that’s true. But organic products are also much more pricey. Mark recommends making a choice to save yourself cash. While organic produce is a nice idea, it’s not the end of the world if you buy the regular tomatoes. Animal products like meat and cheese, however, are better when they’re organic. If you are going to spend a little extra money, spend it on the organic animal products and don’t worry about the lettuce. If you can’t afford organic foods, look for food that is at least produced in-state. Or, try to find out if there are local farms or butchers (bonus: they are often less expensive, too!). 7. Freeze! Frozen berries, vegetables and meats are generally much cheaper than fresh foods, and the irony is that many times, these frozen items are actually “fresher” than the fresh stuff! At least one frozen vegetable is always on sale, and they tend to rotate, so your family can eat healthy and enjoy a nice variety for just a few bucks a day! Cooking for a family day in, day out can get tiresome, so whipping up nightly stir-fries or stews with varying veggies is a simple, cheap way to keep things healthy and interesting. 6. Watch the sales Even that expensive European salad blend goes on sale at some point. Grocery stores tend to rotate the sales on spinach, romaine and other lettuce blends. Why pay 4 dollars for a bag of mesclun when you can … Continue reading “How to Eat Healthy on a Budget”

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Sting-Free News

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites

9 out of 10 taste-testers agree: Today’s wrap contains 100% more flavor than the leading competitor.

What a Headache

The FDA swipes 15 migraine medications off the shelf.

Conspiracy Theorists, Pay Heed

Evil secrets lurk at the farmer’s market…or something. We still think farmer’s markets are better, and it’s usually not difficult to find a good, low-priced one. But everyone’s a critic.

Flickr Member Photo

Going Mental

An important new brain discovery will help scientists better understand mental disorders.

Diabetes R Us

Many times, dire predictions about global health catastrophes turn out to be a little exaggerated. Not so for everyone’s favorite unnecessary disease. Diabetes is spreading even faster in some western nations than scientists predicted.

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Smarter Fuel?

Sara here, with some Big Moo musings for the girls. Dairy is one of those food debates that can go on ad infinitum, with plenty of good points on either side (much like vegetarianism). Raw vs. organic vs. regular vs. low-fat vs. full-fat…you get the idea. Dairy is just not, um, a black and white issue. I have my theories. I can’t promise that my views aren’t slightly biased due to the existence of things like Humboldt Fog goat cheese (Ben Franklin said, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” I think you could easily switch “beer” for “cheese”.) But having experimented with different forms of veganism, vegetarianism and carniveatin’ over the years, and being interested in issues like osteoporosis, cellulite and fertility (what woman isn’t?), here are a few thoughts, subject to change and open to your criticism. Mark’s big on questioning what we think we know – so let’s have at it! 1. In a perfect world, we’d eat raw dairy. We know raw dairy is theoretically healthier. For one thing, cows themselves can’t survive on pasteurized milk. In many parts of the world, people consume raw dairy (until recently it was next to impossible to get it here unless you happened to live on or near a farm). Many edgier health experts say raw dairy is the only kind we should eat, because it’s truly the way nature made it – full of living and beneficial bacteria and enzymes. Of course, there’s the concern about food borne illness; then again, our mechanized manufacturing standards are arguably a lot cleaner and safer than a century ago, when you had to worry about TB in your butter. (Here’s where the FDA says “Hell no it’s not safer! Pasteurize!”) 2. Go organic or, like, die. Should we even bother eating dairy if it’s not raw, then? After all, about 3/5 of the world doesn’t even consume dairy and some cultures even consider dairy to be downright gross. We’ve all heard the phrase “cow’s milk is for baby cows.” And it’s true. We’re the only mammals that continue consuming milk after we’re weaned – the milk of another species, no less. It gets further complicated by genetics: evidently some Europeans adapted to dairy consumption around 7,000 years ago, but many people just can’t digest dairy. So what does going organic do? Well, organic milk and cheese don’t come with antibiotics, chemicals, and added hormones. It’s also supposed to be more environmentally friendly, and I guess the cows are allegedly happier. Then again, I don’t know if any dairy cow is thrilled with being artificially inseminated in perpetuity just so I can have cheddar on my broccoli. It gets further complicated: cows these days are fed mostly grain, a food that makes them nice and fat but isn’t so good for them – or us. Cows are meant to eat grasses, and not only does this make the cows feel better, it makes their milk taste … Continue reading “Smarter Fuel?”

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Surgeon General’s Warning

The Sisson Spoof

Here’s what I want to know: why is it that alcohol and cigarettes must carry surgeon general’s health warnings, but obscenely deleterious foods don’t have to?

We’ve looked at the Cheesecake Factory’s one-pound slices of cake and Chili’s 2,700+ calorie onion. And it’s not just restaurants. Consider Pop Tarts and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. What if, instead of being allowed to (respectively) slap “good source of calcium” and “No hormones” on these products, these sugar slingers had to tell the truth:

Pop Tarts

Warning: This product contains high levels of sugar, artificial ingredients and refined fat which are known contributors to obesity, diabetes and, oh yeah, death.

Ben & Jerry’s

Warning: The pint you are about to ingest contains two days’ worth of fat and your entire day’s caloric requirements, because, let’s face it, no one eats just one-fourth of this little carton. We might love our cows, but we don’t give a flying fig if you get diabetes, which you probably will if you eat enough of these bad boys.

Of course, I’m sure the Surgeon G. can come up with the appropriately-uninspiring medical terminology.

But seriously, I want to know: why do known contributors to obesity, diabetes and heart disease get to make health claims on their packaging? A bottle of wine would never have “Loaded with antioxidants!” plastered on its label (let’s hope). Cigarettes packs aren’t about to feature “Enhances mood and relieves tension” seals. These products do have benefits (why else do people enjoy them and often get addicted). But they also carry major, life-threatening risks.

How is a pint of ice cream different? How is a rectangular donut different? Just because they’re “food” doesn’t make it any less disingenuous to trumpet meaningless health claims. Humans can become addicted to food just as easily as beer and smokes. If you think the cumulative effect of years of eating junk is any different from the effects of excess alcohol or cigarettes, think again. Far more people die from food addiction than drinking and smoking.

But don’t worry – Pop Tarts provide 9 essential vitamins and minerals.

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And This Makes 300

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites The peanut butter scandal continues, ice cream supposedly boosts fertility, and a half glass of wine a day is the fountain of youth. Oh, and the FDA has created a hurricane-like warning system for flu epidemics. But 9 out of 10 dentists agree, today’s roundup still beats yet another day of Britney’s bald head and Anna Nicole’s burial. (Come on, journalists! There are things going on in the world!) So We Asked These Dudes Wine is better than beer and drinking it makes you live a lot longer – or so claims a new study done on a bunch of old guys. Though the report is already flying around the web and may hit the evening news, don’t reach for that trendy modernist cube of pinot just yet. The study is not really a “study” (and we love the news source for pointing out the study’s problems in a handy-dandy blue sidebar – you must click below). This study is yet another review of a collection of questionnaires. This one involves men – born about 100 years ago – who filled out seven questionnaires over the course of 40 years. While evidence does point to the antioxidant value of vino, today’s report is just scraping the barrel. No more wining. Yep, It’s True You can reduce your risk of heart disease by taking good care of your gums. Flossing is just as important as brushing – did you know that? Sure, it’s annoying and tedious and twanging your incisors like a harp gets old, but do it anyway. We Don’t Like These Numbers 3 out of 4 Americans are overweight. 1 out of 3 women die of heart disease. And 1 in 4 girls have HPV, the STD that causes cervical cancer. An ounce of prevention… Yes, it’s true: HPV affects 1 in 4 teen girls. Fish in a Barrel We know we pick on the FDA a lot here at Mark’s Daily Apple. Mainly because it’s just too easy. Today, the Feckless Death Administration has warned people not to consume raw milk. Why? Well, in a seven-year span, exactly two people died from bad raw milk. Yes – two. No one should die from milk, but come on – more people die from drinking regular milk than that! Raw milk has its dangers. It’s not pasteurized, so it has the potential to contain bacteria and viruses. But pasteurized milk is hardly nature’s perfect food. For one thing, calves die when fed pasteurized moo juice (all the precious enzymes and living bacteria are neutralized). For another, standard milk has other contaminants like pus, blood, chemicals, antibiotics and recombinant bovine hormone. Mark gets concerned (make that livid) when the FDA scares people half out of their minds over relatively insignificant health threats. Which brings us to the next bone of contention. The FDA has created a catastrophe warning system for epidemics similar to that oh-so-effective terror alert color system. It’s yet another beautiful, inspiring graphic from the … Continue reading “And This Makes 300”

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Healthy Tastes Great!

Ling Cod with Tomato and Orange Recipe

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