Today I’m overjoyed to announce the release of my latest, greatest, and certainly broadest attempt at a comprehensive plan to live long and live awesome: Keto For Life. The book’s official on-sale date is December 31, and—as tradition goes on Mark’s Daily Apple—I’m offering an incredible group of free bonus materials as a pre-order gift. Here’s a link where you can access your favorite online retailers to order, but know you can also visit your favorite brick and mortar bookstore to pre-order, too.
Folks, I know many of you have been here with me and the MDA community for enough years to remember how this all began with the Primal Blueprint. It’s been such an awesome journey—and one that keeps evolving in incredible ways. I genuinely feel like it’s all been leading toward this one. I’ve poured my personal experimentation and hard-gained insight into every book I’ve written, but this one feels, well, like a whole new level of inquiry and practice. Keto has kicked off not just a dietary trend the last few years but truly a whole new realm of scientific research. I’ve been knee-deep in it in writing this book, and I’ve not only delved into these revolutionary findings but have also taken the integration of keto science and Primal lifestyle principles to an entire new level. Let me tell you about it….
With ground-breaking connections for how keto and Primal principles can literally reset your biological clock, Keto For Life is a revolutionary gateway into eating and living for increased longevity and resilient vitality. With endless how-tos in every chapter, a 21-Day Biological Reset plan with multiple holistic lifestyle prompts for each and every day, and more than 80 delicious keto recipes, it’s a deeply comprehensive and fully actionable resource for living Keto For Life—and all it’s meant to be.
Longevity is about much more than just healthy eating. However, oftentimes when you’re stuck in the disease state of carbohydrate dependency, you might as well forget about other lifestyle strategies until you can escape that certain destiny of pain, suffering, accelerated aging and disease. If you’re an ancestral health enthusiast, you likely realize the amazing health awakening that comes when you upregulate your fat burning genes and get off the carb dependency train. Favorable blood test values, dropping excess body fat, and escaping the common problems of energy, mood and appetite swings are indications that your metabolic flexibility is robust. While Keto For Life dutifully cleans up some of the misconceptions, hype, and misinformation that have come with the explosive popularity of keto, I’m expanding the entire picture into “Four Pillars of Longevity.”
I’ll give you a little teaser today about each section so you’ll be eager to dive right in when your book arrives! In the Introduction, you’ll learn how hectic, high-tech modern life is becoming more and more at odds with longevity, especially the hidden costs of hyperconnectivity, destruction of meaningful social connections, and forces like consumerism, flawed and manipulative marketing messages relating to diet and medical care, and even the fitness industry’s obsession with struggle and suffer instead of a more sensible approach to exercise. You’ll learn perspective-altering insights about our actual healthspan as well as intriguing multi-plane views of aging that will revamp the way you look at your later decades—and the journey leading to them.
A new perspective shows us that aging as we know it isn’t a normal and inevitable result of chronology but actually what Dr. Art DeVany describes as “the unrepaired accumulation of routine cellular damage… a loss of cell function, loss of cell integrity, loss of the ability of stem cells to renew tissues.” Embracing this truth, you can take tremendous control over the rate at which you experience decline, instead appreciating and optimizing the variety of human “peaks” we can achieve and harness throughout our lifespans. Chronology has far less to say than we’ve given it credit for.
Pillar #1: Metabolic Flexibility
This is the best catch-all term to convey the magnificent journey of escaping carbohydrate dependency and becoming a fat-burning beast. Literally, metabolic flexibility describes the ability to burn a variety of fuel sources—not just external ingested calories, but also internal sources such as stored fat, stored glycogen and ketones manufactured in the liver as a byproduct of fat metabolism—when carb intake is low. At the highest level of sophistication, you become a “closed loop system” that can survive and even thrive without needing the constant intake of external calories and certainly without needing to adhere to any regimented macronutrient eating patterns.
In this pillar, you’ll reacquaint with the importance of a comfortable, minimally stressful step-by-step process to escape carb dependency and progress toward metabolic flexibility. As detailed in the Keto Reset Diet, you’ll execute a 21-Day Metabolism Reset, a fine-tuning period, and a 6-week nutritional ketosis period. We’ll discuss some advanced strategies for fasting and eating in a compressed time window, particularly the importance of limiting your digestive function to 12 hours. You’ll get guidance on integrating the hottest longevity superfoods and supplements, as well as help sorting through the weight loss hype around them and pinpointing the best ways to use these products.
You’ll learn some of the best long-term keto strategies, including living in what I call the “Keto Zone,” where you eat in a general keto-aligned pattern without stressing about macros, as well as incorporating days or periods where carb intake might increase beyond keto limits without you stressing about it. You’ll also learn what NOT to do with various popular keto strategies that are ill advised or overhyped, including (but not limited to) the ridiculousness of dirty keto, obsessive weekend refeeds, and cheat days.
Pillar #2: Movement and Physical Fitness
Movement and physical fitness are two distinct concepts. Together, along with preserving sharp cognition, they represent the essence of aging gracefully. In contrast, when we lose cognition and mobility, our life expectancy and quality of life plummet as we are relegated to wheelchairs, beds, and medications that limit our physical freedoms and compromise our mental well-being.
The desperate obligation to increase all forms of general everyday movement can be best handled by JFW—Just F—ing Walk! Today, many fitness and health experts assert that simply moving around more (especially avoiding the prolonged periods of stillness that are so common in the digital age) has surpassed the importance of following a structured workout routine as the top priority to be fit for life. How can this be? Because moving around all day is one of our fundamental genetic expectations for health. Our genes crave movement and are averse to stillness. In as little as 20 minutes of sitting still, we can experience impaired glucose tolerance and acute insulin resistance, along with diminished cognitive function. When prolonged periods of stillness dominate your daily routine, it can cause chemical changes in the brain that promote further inactivity. This is quantified by a lower measurement of Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT)—you burn fat less efficiently at rest and consequently crave more carbohydrates for energy.
Now, because modern life is so comfortable, we also have a desperate need for ambitious fitness endeavors like Spinning, CrossFit, or even completing a half-marathon, but these goals must be only contemplated after you have established a foundation of basic everyday movement, which I detail in the book.
Once your movement looks good, you can get into the genetically optimal workout pattern ala Primal Blueprint with a strategic blend of comfortably paced cardio, regular short duration, high intensity resistance workouts (weights, machines, or just bodyweight exercises like pushups), and occasional brief, all-out sprints (the ultimate Primal exercise to delay aging under the “use it or lose it” natural law.) Let’s also add what I call “play” endeavors that can feature each of the aforementioned. As you know from being a Primal enthusiast, there are massive hormonal and physiological benefits to be gained from putting your body under resistance load regularly, and opening up the throttle occasionally with all out efforts.
These activities, which have been almost completely neglected by most modern humans, give us a boost of adaptive, anti-aging hormones like human growth hormone and testosterone. Brief, intense efforts also help preserve muscle mass as you age, improving the critical longevity component of organ reserve. This is the functional capacity of your organs to perform above baseline level, one of the most fundamental ways to assess your state of health and longevity potential. This Primal approach to fitness is simple, time efficient, and within reach of everyone. It also gives you awesome protection against the accelerated demise associated with inactivity.
Unfortunately, many fitness enthusiasts follow an overly stressful approach that leads to breakdown, burnout, illness and injury. Chronic exercise leads to hormonal and immune dysfunction, and compromises metabolic flexibility—instead pushing you back in the direction of carbohydrate dependency. You’ll learn how to schedule and conduct the various workouts correctly, avoid chronic patterns, and apply an intuitive approach instead of a regimented approach to your fitness goals.
Pillar #3: Mental Flexibility
Mental flexibility makes you resilient for life in the same manner that metabolic flexibility makes you resilient enough to skip meals and maintain energy and focus. While looking after the physical vessel is essential, we must acknowledge the strength of the mind/body connection as previously discussed with the insights from Dr. Chopra and Dr. Lipton.
This section details numerous strategies to hone mental flexibility, starting with pivoting: going with the flow when facing life change. Pivoting entails knowing both when to persevere when your peak performance goals are aligned with your deep beliefs and calling to make the world a better place, and also recognizing when it’s time tone down the influence of your ego and quit when things don’t feel right in your gut.
You’ll learn how to avoid the disease state of ruminating, that is, the act of engaging in obsessive or destructive thoughts about the past or the future that cause you feel anxious, depressed, irritable, overwhelmed and downright sad. Instead, we can cultivate the esteemed skill of mindfulness—accessing a state of calm, present awareness through repetition and endurance.
Next, you’ll learn the importance of journaling, actually taking pen to paper and recording your thoughts, hopes, dreams and worries. Journaling can help you identify and correct self-limiting beliefs and behavior patterns. The specific practice of gratitude journaling, for example, has been scientifically validated to reduce stress levels, dissipate negative emotions, boost levels of the love hormone oxytocin, and activate calming parasympathetic nervous system function.
You’ll also read about learn to nurture meaningful, reciprocative interpersonal relationships—which might very well be the most powerful and important way to improve your longevity prospects in the entire book. Our genes are wired for connection, and the digital connections that are dominating modern life and coming at an extreme cost to our physical and psychological health. You’ll learn to cultivate a thriving social network, a smaller cluster of your closest family and friends, and place particular importance on the make or break health element of a loving partnership.
Pillar #4: Rest and Recovery
Optimizing your sleeping habits and environment will be the prominent focus here, but we must also consider a broad-based approach to chilling out amidst the hectic pace and constant stimulation of modern life. Strategies include disciplining your use of technology, taking frequent breaks from peak cognitive function to refresh depleted brain neurons, conducting recovery-centric workouts designed to promote relaxation and rejuvenation, and becoming competent at napping when cognitive function declines from afternoon blues. You’ll learn to pair mellow evening habits with a high energy morning routine (plenty of ideas included).
You’ll also turn your attention to proper recovery, both from fitness regimen and workplace overstimulation. You’ll learn about specially designed “Rebound Workouts” that can actually speed recovery in comparison to total rest by stimulating parasympathetic activity. And you’ll learn how to get better about focusing and prioritizing during the workday to avoid the dreaded cognitive middle gear, where you’re busy but ineffective. Finally, you’ll learn the importance of disconnecting on multiple levels to deliver profound hormonal and psychological benefits, stuff we have overlooked and disrespected with our warp speed technological progress.
21-Day Biological Clock Reset
After a comprehensive education and practical instruction about the 4 Pillars, it’s time for a transformative challenge: The 21-Day Biological Clock Reset. The reset features daily action items representing each of the Four Pillars. The journey, while short in duration, is designed to be highly focused and demanding. This is the only way to stimulate lasting lifestyle transformation and release you from the powerful pull of decades-old ingrained habits and powerful cultural forces pushing your out of a balance and stuck in carbohydrate dependency.
You’ll be exposed to a variety of strategies and concepts over the 21 days, and the idea is that you will pick and choose your favorites to integrate permanently into your lifestyle. You’ll be challenged to perform breakthrough workouts, increase daily activity, actually sit down and do stuff like a gratitude journal and create dark, mellow evenings instead of maximum screen time. It’s going to be fun, but it’s also going to be intensive, not to mention life-changing. Completing the Biological Clock Reset once a year is an excellent way to fine-tune your longevity muscles and clarify your focus amidst the constant distractions of modern life.
But the food… Folks always want to know about the recipes. The 80+ Keto For Life recipes are a collaborative effort among numerous authors, coaches, chefs and well-known keto experts, including Dr. Cate Shanahan, Keris Marsden and Matt Whitmore of The Paleo Primer series, William Shewfelt of the carnivore diet movement, Dr. Lindsay Taylor and Layla McGowan, my co-authors on the Keto Reset Instant Pot Cookbook, Tania Teschke, author of The Bordeaux Kitchen, and more.
You’ll find everything you need for beginning, recommitting or reinvigorating your keto eating enjoyment with this diverse selection of dishes, from gourmet to quick and easy, from breakfast to beverages, snacks to side dishes and everything in between.
Let me share one today that might appeal….
Sneak Peek Recipe: Keto Cheesecake
Prep Time: 40 minutes (plus refrigeration time)
Cook Time: 60 minutes
FOR THE FILLING
16 ounces (453.59 g) organic cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 large egg
¼ cup powdered stevia or 1-2 tablespoons honey
FOR THE CRUST (OVEN METHOD ONLY)
1 cup (96 g) almond flour or 1 cup (128 g) coconut flour
4 tablespoons (60 g) butter, at room temperature
1–2 tablespoons powdered stevia
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
FOR THE CHOCOLATE CRUNCH TOPPING
¼ cup (34 g) macadamia nuts or assorted nuts
1 bar (3.5 ounces/100 g) dark chocolate (85% cacao or greater), broken into pieces
1 tablespoon coconut oil 2–3 tablespoons fine coconut flakes
Make the filling: In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, vanilla, lemon juice, sea salt, eggs, and sweetener. Mix thoroughly with an electric mixer on low speed.
Choose between the Instant Pot Method and Oven Method and proceed as directed.
Instant Pot Method: Pour the filling into a round glass bowl or springform pan that can fit inside the Instant Pot. Cover the bowl carefully with foil. Pour 2 cups water into the Instant Pot. Place the cheesecake on the handled steam rack (or in a steamer basket accessory if you have one), and lower the cheesecake into the pot. Cook on High pressure for 25 minutes. When the Instant Pot beeps, allow the pressure to release naturally, about 15 minutes, then lift out the cheesecake.
Oven Method: Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
Make the crust: In a bowl, combine the almond flour, butter, stevia, and vanilla until well blended. Press the mixture into the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan or round glass or ceramic baking dish.
Bake until the crust darkens slightly, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes (leave the oven on). Pour the cheesecake filling mixture into the pan and smooth out the top with your hand (just kidding, use a spatula).
Bake until the middle is almost firm, but not quite, about 50 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
While the cheesecake is cooling, make the chocolate crunch topping (use for either version): In a small food processor, blend the macadamia nuts until they resemble a crumbly flour. In a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt the chocolate and coconut oil. Mix the nuts and coconut flakes into the melted chocolate.
Drizzle the topping carefully across the top of the cooked and cooled cheesecake. Refrigerate the cheesecake until the crust feels hard, 30 minutes to 1 hour. Slice and serve.
Macronutrients Per Serving:
Instant Pot Method: 323 calories; 29 grams fat; 8 grams carbohydrate; 7 grams protein
I realize that there is an overwhelming amount of content hitting us today from books, magazine articles, blogs, podcasts, YouTube and streaming media, and it’s easy for a new book to get lost in the shuffle or buried on a “read later” list. That’s why I want to reiterate what a hugely expansive and life-changing this book Keto For Life represents. My longtime writing/publishing partner Brad Kearns and I joke that we always underestimate the difficulty and duration of a book project by half, and this was no exception. Keto For Life represents an intensive project that took an entire year to complete, with devoted efforts from a sizeable team of researchers, editors, agents, publicists and publisher. It’s designed to stand proudly for years to come as an owner’s manual for longevity. I hope it can help you claim your fullest and longest life.
This is always my favorite part. For those who order the book early, I have a few gifts for you (available right away even though the book itself comes out 12/31/19).
Bonus Audio Summary
Enjoy a detailed overview of every section of the book to get you excited and prepared to begin your Keto For Life journey. My co-author, Brad Kearns, describes the 4 Pillars in detail.
Sneak Peek Excerpt Booklet
Read some choice excerpts to give you a feel for the comprehensive nature of the book, where you obtain a deep education and scientific rationale for the 4 Pillars, as well as get practical, step-by-step guidance to implement, and (finally) enjoy a few of the delicious 80+ recipes from the book.
$10 Discount at Primal Kitchen®
Grab some of your favorite keto-friendly products to add variety and ease to your keto cooking ventures.
That’s what I got today, and I’m thrilled to offer it up to the community where it all began and where it’s still evolving. Folks, I hope you enjoy reading the book and putting it into practice as much as Brad and I enjoyed writing it. Thanks for being here.
Reprinted from KETO FOR LIFE by Mark Sisson with Brad Kearns. Copyright @ 2019 by Mark Sisson. Photos copyright @ 2019 Jennifer May. Published by Harmony Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.