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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Category: Diet & Nutrition

Sting Like a Bee…

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:

So much good stuff. And a lot of funny stuff, too. Here’s the fresh mix:

1) Cheer Up, It’s All Okay!

Sometimes it’s tempting to throw your hands in the air and say “Hey, why bother? Everything’s unhealthy!” We hear you. Today, let’s put things in perspective a bit. For example, recently headlines have been popping up with the news that denser breast tissue doubles a woman’s risk of breast cancer. Yikes! Doubles?!? Double yikes!

Guess what? The overall breast cancer likelihood of, say, a typical 50-year-old woman is about 2.5 percent. For a woman with dense tissue, yes, it’s “double” – 5 percent. But doesn’t a five percent risk sound less scary than double the risk? That’s why it’s important to pay attention to the way these studies are presented. Sometimes – many times, unfortunately – medical news gets sensationalized to get to the head of the headline race. Breast cancer is scary enough – we don’t need to be dramatic about it, too! Let’s breathe a collective “whew”. And ladies, get your mammograms. Here’s the clickativity.

2) We’re Going Down, Down…

Cancer is down for the second year in a row – and not just breast cancer. Colon cancer and lung cancer, too! Smoking rates are on the decline, and awareness about colon screening (everyone’s favorite) has spread. Good news is so clickative. And this cancer can now be prevented with a simple vaccination.

3) Good Switch, Starbucks

First they do away with trans fat. Now they’re eliminating hormones in the milk. If only they’d stop with the sugar. After all, as Mark has been saying, sugar is the new trans fat.

Oddballs:

A Nation of ‘Girly Men’?

And Here We Thought BK’s Chicken Fries Were Weird…

Square Melons Are Less Stressful or Something?

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The Tuesday 10

The Top 10 Tips for: Getting Fit Wanna get fit? If you’re just starting out, keep in mind it’s not going to happen overnight…but you can be lookin’ pretty good by next month with these tips. The reason most get-ripped regimens fail is because we simply expect way too much, way too soon. Big changes in your body require big changes in your lifestyle. Period. It took your whole life to be the way you are now, right? It’s going to take more than two days to start making changes to that. But these 10 pointers will get you started – and you’ll notice some very pleasant effects if you stick with them. You’ll be surprised that very few of them have anything to do with lifting so much as a finger. Fitness is many factors coming together – it’s a lot more than just hitting the gym (thank goodness). 1. Cut calories the lazy way. To shape up, you must reduce your fat so your muscles can start doing their thing. This is actually very, very easy to do: every time you go to put something in your mouth, don’t. No, no, just kidding! You have to eat. Here’s what to do: – in restaurants, eat half the plate and get the rest to go. Don’t eat it when you get home – let the dog or the neighbor kid with hollow legs enjoy it. – immediately run out and get yourself some 7″ plates. Those are now your dinner plates. Preso, portion sizes reduced. – Don’t eat anything crunchy, creamy, pale or fried. This pretty much takes care of all high-calorie, unhealthy foods. Examples: chips, ranch dressing, bread sticks, chicken nuggets. We know, veggies are crunchy. It’s not an absolute rule. Just a guide. – Switch all snacks to cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks or broccoli florets. Depending on how much you snack, you’ll save 200 to 600 calories a day doing this. 2. Don’t drink your calories. A little coffee or tea is one thing. But soda, shakes, iced coffee drinks, juices and energy drinks are overflowing with calories, which you don’t want, right? Don’t waste precious caloric intake on liquids that don’t fill you up. 3. Absolutely no drive-through or delivery food. McDonald’s likes to run those “Mommy and me” ads that show slender young Mommy eating salad while her ringlet-bedecked tutu-wearing darling is busy dipping apples into some sweet sap. Please. This stuff is generally more marketing than meaningful, so read the ingredients and avoid anything sweet or fried. Best to stick to fresher fare. 4. Move it! You don’t have to become a gym rat. You don’t have to sign up for the local 10K. But you need to move. Simply put, any movement that is more than you currently do is going to be effective. If you don’t ever work out, walking around the neighborhood for 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week is going to start having an impact after just two … Continue reading “The Tuesday 10”

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Get Your Buzz On

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites

1) Why aren’t there teenage carrots?

Oh yeah, because they’d be unwashed, spoiled rotten and absolutely refuse to participate in any recipe.

2) Um, gross.

Thanks again, FDA. You guys continue to inspire. Who needs strict slaughterhouse standards when you can just spray your meat clean?

3) Skinny Fat

It’s what we’ve been saying all along. Skinny can still be fat. This study reveals that being thin but having a high percentage of body fat causes inflammation and all the problems that go with it. It’s actually better to be a little bigger, but really fit, than it is to be stick-thin but as strong as a noodle. There’s an actual medical term for it: “normal-weight obese”. Check out the article for all the details, and check out tomorrow’s Tuesday 10 for ways to get super-fit in no time.

4) Med McNugget?

We’re bothered, disturbed, and just generally in a big hot fuss over the ethical and health implications of using chickens to manufacture drugs. Doesn’t anyone stop and ask: wait, are we supposed to be doing this? Why don’t we just prevent health problems before they start and let the chickens stick to their own egg-laying pursuits? When you’re living in a world where people are so unhealthy even the chickens have to get involved, it’s time to change. Besides, the whole “Which Came First?” chicken-or-the-egg riddle was so fun. Chicken-or-the-pill, on the other hand, is just stupid.

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I Can’t Eat Anything!

Junior Apple Mike F. writes: “Mark, what can I eat? I hear dairy is bad, fat is bad, then fat is good, but some fat is bad, carbs are bad, but fiber is good. There is nothing left. I can’t even have milk in my tea now – not that I would be caught sipping tea. But if I wanted to is the point. What’s a guy supposed to eat?” Good question, Mike. The answer: just about everything. I am pretty disciplined (according to my kids, I’m a drill sergeant). I don’t really “do” carbs, I definitely avoid any junk or processed food, and I try to eat organic. But even being so careful about what goes on my plate, I’d say honestly I get a lot more flavor and variety than some people I know who insist on a steady diet of burgers, beers and pizzas. The truth is, “fun” foods like nachos, pizza and tacos all taste the same: the texture is usually a mix of creamy or crunchy, there’s a lot of salt, some meat-type seasoning, and sugar. Eat that stuff and you’re starving the next hour. You can eat salad and be a man about it. Seriously. I’m fitter, have more muscle mass and I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been at 5’10”, 165 lbs. and 8% body fat. I do it with a heavy supply of vegetables, of all things. I never worry too much about fat because I eat a lot of “good” fats, which really aren’t too hard to identify. More on that in a moment. But honestly, I never am deprived, hungry or suffer from any cravings. Actually, I refuse to eat something that isn’t delicious, period. To me, the relentlessly boring, salty, familiar flavor of most processed foods is not delicious. The fact that they’re also totally unhealthy is almost a side issue. This morning, for example, I had my cup of joe with a little organic H&H. I don’t always eat breakfast (there I go breaking all the holy grails of health). This morning I had some scrambled Omega-enhanced eggs, and sometimes I’ll have a piece of fruit or a protein smoothie. I confess I don’t eat a lot of fruit (my wife jokes that men like the idea of fruit but don’t always know what to do with it). I like to get my fiber from vegetables since they’re lower in sugar and have more nutrients than fruit. For a snack I’ll grab a piece of fruit, cherry tomatoes or some almonds. I completely avoid processed snacks like chips and candy. Fresh stuff just tastes better – but it will take your body some time to readjust its tastes if you’ve been a junk food kind of guy. For lunch (speaking of lunch…): I always eat a huge salad. I’ve done so for 20 years. But no regular salad – I add in seafood or turkey, mountains of colorful chopped up veggies, and drizzle some balsamic vinegar on … Continue reading “I Can’t Eat Anything!”

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Catch the Buzz

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites: No, not that kind of buzz. Sheesh! Between us, Sisson’s still pretty steamed about the whole health care crisis, so we sent him on a hike. We hope you’re about to go do something fun and active, too (it’s the weekend, for goodness’ sake!). But catch the latest buzz before you go, Apples… 1) Render Magazine Is Probably Gonna Be Bummed about This One This is the last mention of Render, easily the most disturbing industry magazine ever. It’s nothing personal; we know everyone has to put food on the table somehow and they’re just doin’ their jobs. But still… The ongoing Mad Cow concerns have prompted the government to consider banning certain cattle matter from being used in drugs, medical supplies and vaccines. (We asked ourselves the same thing: meat is allowed to be in my medicine?) Things like brains, skulls, eyes, and spinal cords are of concern – especially spinal cords, which tend to be where Mad Cow hangs out. So are materials from “downer” cows (if a cow can’t walk, should we be consuming it?), tallow, and a lot of really disgusting things you don’t want to read about. But, you can by clicking here. For what it’s worth, things like “mechanically separated beef” are not just in drugs. This sort of meat is what goes into hot dogs, taquitos, and kids’ school lunches. We’re not saying you have to join PETA or anything, but we do advocate sticking to fresh, organic groceries to avoid these sorts of excuses for food. 2) Apple Updates Happy birthday to junior Apple Annie, who always has a fascinating and humorous health anecdote! Congrats to fellow Apple Sarah for improving her digestive health and skin by getting more beneficial fats in her diet. A high-five to new Apple Joel for healthfully building five pounds of muscle last month – we know you can reach your goal of 5 more for the new year. And thanks to all the rest of you for participating in the DCMF giveaway contest! (Visit the Forum to learn more.) You’ve sent in some great responses and we’ll be announcing the winner in Monday’s email health tip. If you’d like a free email health tip that includes handy links, giveaways and other updates, just mosey over to the Forum and register as an Apple (it takes about 30 seconds). 3) Important News for Those Who Love Their Little Rugrats It’s all over the news: cough syrup isn’t safe for kidlets. It’s not really so good for you, either. Boost your immunity this winter by getting lots of veggies in your diet, exercising several times a week, and getting proper rest. Wash those hands like a maniac, too! (Just don’t get all Howard Hughes on us.) We don’t like colds anymore than you do, but bear in mind that sometimes a little infection is just the body’s way of building immunity and getting stronger. Unless it’s really serious, try to avoid taking drugs to … Continue reading “Catch the Buzz”

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This Is a Big Fat Blog Post

Apples, as you know, this is a pro-fat health site – pro-fat meaning we recommend eating beneficial fats, of course, not getting fat. There are a lot of issues to consider when it comes to fat – heart disease, inflammation, arthritis, obesity and prevention, to name a few – and I’m going to weigh in (I know, I know) on some of the latest findings. Arthritis Increasingly, the medical community is focusing on the interrelatedness of health conditions like obesity, diabetes, arthritis and heart disease. These prevalent health problems have a common component – inflammation – and mounting evidence suggests that a wide range of lifestyle habits aimed at preventing inflammation is clearly the better avenue for public health. Soaring health care costs, unequal distribution of nutritious food, Americans’ sedentary lifestyle, grievous drug side effects, and inaccurate food and health information are all factors in a health crisis that I believe has hit critical mass – it’s time for a smarter solution. Case in point: arthritis costs alone are over $120 billion dollars every year and growing. Just a few years ago, we were spending about $80 billion. By 2010, about 50 million people will suffer from arthritis. In my opinion, this is utterly unacceptable. Arthritis can occur for many reasons – I myself manage osteoarthritis from years of professional sports competition. Excessive levels of stress like hardcore athletic training or lack of any physical exercise are common culprits. Though there is a genetic predisposition to arthritis in some folks, the majority of people suffer from arthritis to a much greater extent than they need to, given the availability of easy prevention options (that are a lot cheaper and less painful than drugs, surgery and daily suffering). Personally, I’m rarely bothered by my arthritis because I maintain a good exercise routine, I don’t eat junk, and I am ruthless about preventing inflammation. How to prevent inflammation: – Douse yourself in antioxidants – Consume “good” fats with reckless abandon – Exercise – Limit both physical and emotional stress – Absolutely avoid anything that contributes to oxidation: smoking, excessive drinking, lack of activity, processed and prepared food, trans fat, and sugar Add Another Test to the List There have been several new heart disease markers identified this month (and a few thrown out as doctors realize basic prevention is worth a lot more). A Japanese study found interesting results for a specific set of women with particular heart conditions; and this study will help doctors determine how people who already have heart disease can avoid a second incident. In the same vein (there I go again), a few studies released this month are too fraught with questions and conflicts of interest to be of much insight (though no doubt Big Pharma will still bandy them about). Look, heart disease is the biggest killer of men and women. And it goes beyond that – those suffering from heart problems also tend to suffer from other big health problems like diabetes, obesity, and arthritis. … Continue reading “This Is a Big Fat Blog Post”

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