My New and Improved Diet

My New and Improved Diet FinalPeople are always asking me what I eat on a typical day. Though I’ve done these posts in the past, I’m always a bit hesitant of doing any more. For one, I’m a boring dude. I like what I like, and it’s all pretty typical stuff you’d see in anyone’s (who cares about real food) kitchen. Two, this is the eating style that works for me. Just because I eat a particular food at a particular time of day doesn’t mean you should eat the same way. But because I’m always tweaking things, and some of you apparently find that interesting, I’ve relented.

So let’s get to it: a day in the dietary life of Mark Sisson.

Now, I’ll alternate every other day between eating three square meals and eating in a compressed eating window.


French press coffee brewed with reverse osmosis-treated maple water.

20 quail egg omelet (or a scramble with camel colostrum). Note: if you’re out of quail eggs, you can substitute 1/6 ostrich egg or 2 goose eggs.

After breakfast, I do my hot-and-cold exposure ladders. Here’s how it works:

Alternate between jumping in my unheated pool (about 50° F, give or take a few) and immersing myself in a trough of glowing embers. A minute in the pool, 5 seconds in the embers, then back in the pool for another minute. Repeat until the embers have all gone cold. A quick rinse and I’m refreshed and warm and ready to work.

Lunch is still the Big Ass Salad. I’ve got a few favorite variations:

Mulberry leaf silkworm salad. Shredded mulberry leaf tossed in a mulberry vinaigrette. Sometimes I’ll throw in a few molting worms for extra crunch. No moths, though (too dusty).

Shredded root salad. If I’m not feeling like eating all that bulky roughage, I’ll go for my famous shredded local root salad. Lately I’ve been shredding over seven varieties of turmeric, two types of galangal, American ginseng, Siberian ginseng, red ginseng, fresh astralagus root, and fresh ashwagandha root all tossed in a kokum oil vinaigrette, all grown by my buddy the next street over. He’s got a great setup, a “climatehouse” with over a dozen rooms, each emulating a different subclimate. From tundra to ice cap to temperate rain forest to tropical rain forest to subarctic to Mediterranean, he could raise Dengue fever-carrying mosquitoes and penguins and grow ayahuasca if he wanted. I’m seriously jealous.

Negative calorie salad. I’ve been playing around with eating meals that result in negative caloric intake. Cooked-and-cooled-and-cooked-and-cooled-and-cooked-and-cooled-and-cooked-and-cooled potatoes, jerusalem artichokes, jicama, shirataki noodle tossed in a yacon syrup dressing. My weight has increased, but it’s just colonic bulking from all the prebiotic fiber (confirmed with colonoscopy; camera barely fit!). Pure lean colon mass. I’ll eat the negative calorie Big Ass Salad to cancel out any overfeeding. If I’m extremely, painfully full after a big dinner, I’ll even eat one just to burn up some of the excess calories I just consumed. It’s a powerful tool. If I had any weight to lose, I’d eat a couple of these on my fasting days to kickstart the fat loss.

If I get hungry between meals, I’ll snack. Apple slices dipped in mortar-and-pestle-ground sprouted Brazil nut butter. Skin-on beef jerky dried in the midday sun as the cow is humanely bled out to retain and maximize vitamin D content (sadly not grass-fed). Hyper-ripe mango, which looks unappetizing (brownish, oozing, foul-smelling, moves and squirms in your mouth) but is so alive and teeming with beneficial bacteria, yeasts, fungal networks that it’s on the cusp of sentience. But this doesn’t happen much.

Dinner is pretty standard stuff.

Piece of meat, veggie, occasionally a starch. Last night, I had braised dugong flipper (a unique mix of omega-3s and collagen) with fiddlehead ferns sautéd in isolated trans-palmitoleic acid (a trans-fatty acid unique to dairy) and a side of broccoli almost-sprouts (where you stop the sprouting process just before it sprouts, thereby capturing the energy and essence of life). Standard, as I said.

I’m developing a fantastic new seafood sauce I often use at dinner. Instead of your typical olive or avocado oil, the fat comes entirely from extra virgin slurry of krill larvae. And I don’t use late-stage krill larvae, like all those other guys; I make my slurry exclusively from krill nauplius, the very first stage of larvae after they emerge from the eggs. You can use this as a salad dressing, a sauce for meat and veggies, drizzled over yogurt, or even straight up on a spoon for the omega-3s.

I’ll have an entire bottle of wine from Dry Farm Wines with dinner, but I add liposomal glutathione to every glass so that my liver’s able to quickly detoxify the toxic ethanol and highly-toxic acetaldehyde. I’ve tried the liposomal glutathione trick with other types of alcohol and can get up to a pint of Scotch without feeling anything. Two pints and I can still drive the winding curvy canyon roads of Malibu without issue. Great hack!

Other days, I eat in a compressed eating window. You know this about me. I’ve discussed it before. But rather than do a 6 or 7 hour eating window, I decided to compress it even further: down to 20 minutes.

Sure, that 20 minutes is stressful, chaotic rush to cram all the day’s food in my mouth. But it’s an acute stressor, not a chronic one, and thus hormetic. The rest of the day, I’m free to focus on work, play, training, and whatever else I want to do without my hypothalamus nagging me to eat. It’s great. I’m currently writing this post as I gear up for my eating window. To prepare, I do a glycogen depleting workout. I want to clear room for everything coming in, so I have to hit every single muscle until exhaustion. I’ll also do an hour of extremely tricky puzzles, crosswords, and other brain-training to tap into and deplete my liver glycogen.

Throughout the day I’ll drink a special probiotic tea I get from a stand at the Malibu farmer’s market. The stand’s actually an organic vegetable stand and the way they make the tea is incredible. Directly after harvest, the vegetables (various greens, root vegetables like carrots and beets, broccoli, cabbage, etc—your basic veggies) and the farmers’ hands are rinsed to remove the dirt. They save and bottle this rinse water, and add a few shakes of fresh grass-fed steer manure, so it’s chock full of both soil-based and manure-based probiotics. It’s earthy and loamy and barn-y and a little musty—just the way a good probiotic tea should be.

One last thing I’ve been playing with is taking a 1/2 teaspoon of broad spectrum pesticides for the hormetic effect of toxin exposure. Any standard one from the garden store will do as long as it targets vertebrates, invertebrates, fungus, and plants. This isn’t every day, of course. Just once or twice a week.

And that’s about it! I love the way I eat, and even though you don’t have to eat like I do, it’s always helpful to see how others are making this Primal thing work. I hope I’ve inspired you as much as you all inspire me.

Speaking of which, what about you? What’s a typical day of eating look like for you?

Thanks for reading. Take care!

TAGS:  humor

About the Author

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.

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107 thoughts on “My New and Improved Diet”

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  1. If you’re a fan of braised dugong flipper, you should really look into joining a bottle nosed dolphin share. Families are able to purchase an entire butchered bottle nose dolphin and split it up to four ways. Much more financially feasible and easier to store in a standard freezer.

    If anyone would like, I’ve got a great recipe for dolphin chicharones.

    1. I prefer pastured sea otter (line caught of course). It’s best right before the otter is about to have pups so the meat is perfectly well marbled with DHA rich fatty acids. Yummie!

    1. OMG, this was my first post reading, and I was getting VERY afraid. This was not resembling anything that my friends (primal for 60 days now) had been talking about. It’s too early, and the twins have been up all night…thanks for confirming that this was an April Fool’s post. PHEW!!!!

      1. Oh my gosh, me too!!! Until I got to the 20 minute compressed eating window, and then I was like…..”wait a minute!”

        You got me. Funny!

  2. Touché Mr Sisson. I’ll hand it to ya I got through breakfast before I realized it was April Fool’s Day!

    1. Me too! I was like how does he get 20 quail eggs a day? And that’s a lot! And then I realized….

    2. I was trying to figure out what reverse osmosis maple water was. It seemed a little odd because I thought Mark admitted to putting sugar in his coffee. He had me until the 1/6th ostrich egg.

      The bad thing is, people think we do eat this crazy!

  3. My daily meals vary greatly depending on the dumpster I’m feeding from. Today is Friday, so this means my next door neighbor is finally moving the trash bags from the week they let pile up on their back deck to the dumpster. This is good eats, I’m telling you. I’ve been scouting this stuff all week and I see they have a half eaten hamburger pizza (I pull off the gluten carbs before I eat), scraps from what looks like Tuesday night’s BBQ, and I think their dog doesn’t like it’s new grain-free food after all! I have been dying to try that stuff ever since it was delivered from Amazon. Later on, I’ll hit Whole Food’s dumpster to see if they dumped any expired meats. Last week I scored a whole chicken and nori wraps. You know what that means – sushi!!

  4. Reverse osmosis-treated maple water and 20 quail eggs…I liked that! 🙂

  5. It took me until “ostrich egg” to realize! LOLOLOL AWESOME!

    1. I too doubts about the ostrich egg but choked on the silkworm salad. Hilarious!

    2. I was pretty sure at “20 quail eggs,” but “ostrich egg” confirmed it.

  6. So. Freaking. Funny!!!! THAT was a great way to start April. 😀

  7. SMH…. Until I read the comments, I thought Marks post was serious!! Lol

    1. I was totally unsure! I didn’t realize it was April Fool’s Day, so I was like he has to be joking… but damn if he doesn’t do a good job of sounding serious when saying ridiculous things.

  8. Happy April Fools Day, Mark. What I typically eat when I eat totally Paleo (minus the 20 percent of 80/20) is a little more mundane: Ham and plain old chicken eggs for breakfast, or occasionally chicken salad, or sometimes a can of sardines (probably not so mundane as breakfast fare). I often have soup, fruit, or a green salad of some sort for lunch, if I eat lunch at all. Dinner is usually some kind of meat with a big variety of veggies. Okay, so tell us what you REALLY eat.

    1. Ouch. After reading others comments, I realize I’ve been fooled. #tailbetweenlegs

  9. I’ve been partial to jackrabbit sushi lately. Got to try some of the infant krill as a garnish.

  10. The laughter coming from my cube brought several colleagues over to enquire what was so darn funny. Great post Mark!

  11. My only addition to your daily intake would be to suggest you try the pasture raised grass fed road kill!! It’s the bomb.

  12. I admit, I was taken aback for a minute… I had to keep going back and rereading to see if I got it right. Camel colostrum? I’m sad to say it took me so long to get it. Funny once you realize it’s a joke.

  13. Small as they are, your 20 egg quail omelet picked my curiously, while your “reverse osmosis-treated maple water” caused my eyebrows to go up. By the time I read about the worms and your buddy’s multi zones greenhouse (he would need a little nuclear reactor to make it run), all the alarms in my head started to sound…. Good on You Mark 🙂

  14. Hah! Took me a minute too! Phew!!! I thought you were going all Dave Asprey on us!! I just got your cookbooks – LOVE the simplicity. No camel colostrum in there, thank you!

    1. +1!! It took me too long to get it but I’m relieved as well. Always enjoyed the simplicity here on MDA.

  15. I nearly googled reverse osmosis treated maple water and then began to giggle, Happy April Fools!

  16. Omg, I read this over lunch at a cafe and laughed so hard, I’m sure the other patrons wanted some of what I was having! Thanks for the laugh, Mark.

  17. TOO FUNNY!!! You had me until the 2 pints of scotch without being blotto! I actually made a note to track down some liposomal glutathione. 🙂 Happy April Fool’s!!

  18. As soon as he got to the camel colostrum, I knew he was having us on.
    Happy April, fools! (See how important a comma can be?)

    1. Punctuation! Yay! I’ll have to remember that one for next year.

  19. Got me, up until the point about the moths being too dusty. I was thinking about what a pain breaking 20 quail eggs must be. And I’ve tried ostrich egg, for real, they had ’em at Whole Foods once. Blech.

    Very funny.

  20. So happy to see that you have curtailed your consumption of baby unicorn hooves. I cannot abide the senseless slaughter of another baby unicorn.

  21. Very well. Where do I begin? … My childhood was typical. Summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring we’d make meat helmets… Pretty standard, really.

  22. I have been looking EVERYWHERE for camel colustrum! They only stock it in our local Whole Paycheck in early April. Have to stock up for the whole year.
    Thanks for an amusing morning read.

  23. Lol!!! I just did a post on Monday about what I ate that day, since people always ask me, and it was very well received. So I was excited to read this one. But by the time I got to the reverse osmosis maple water I knew something was up. April Fools!!

  24. My first thought was “what’s maple water.” This was hilarious! Lest we take ourselves too seriously……….

  25. ROFLMAO!

    But you know what really funny? is that there are folks out there that probalbly actually do this stuff

  26. I was like “reverse osmosis WHAT?” You had me through breakfast, and then I caught onto your prank. HILARIOUS

  27. Wow, being as I preach simplicity over at my site, this was especially hilarious for me. I laughed out loud when I read about your “negative caloric intake” meals hah.

  28. Just want to say that the 20 quail eggs seemed totally reasonable. Nothing wrong with that breakfast at all.
    I figured it out with the coals.
    And isn’t funny how we never tired of reading about what someone else eats? I mean really, who cares?!

  29. Dugong flipper is too hard to find. Here in North America we typically substitute manatee flipper. The flavor and texture is nearly identical.

  30. Problem is, reading this on the morning of Saturday 2nd April in Australia, I completely forgot about April fools day and thought Mark had turned into a complete fool (plus i nearly heaved at camel colostrum).

    Very very clever. Revolting, but clever 🙂

  31. You had me till the glowing embers. Then I said, this fella’s nuts!!!!! April Fools . . .
    meb ps. who has 20 quail eggs lying around?

  32. Haha “negative calorie salad”.
    Took me until “glowing embers” to get the joke.
    A quail egg omelet certainly does sound good though!

  33. Too funny! I must be maturing as it didn’t take me long to figure out the joke. I was always considered the gullible one in high school. I needed a good chuckle. Thank you, Mark. I don’t have anything funny to reply with at the moment. True to form, I’ll think of something long after it’s relevant! LOL.

  34. Hahaha, I actually tried to look up “reverse osmosis-treated maple water” and it took me until the glowing ember bit to realize what this is. I think my eyes just skipped over the “camel colostrum” because they were trying to protect my brain from it. Well played, sir!

  35. Well played! Love the hitting on all the stereotypes of the primal/paleo lifestyle that the uneducated cling to time and time again.

  36. I must say, your diet is awesome but, you forgot the yak buttered tea.

    That was more than awesome. Best of the day for me.

  37. Yeah – I picked it at Ostrich Eggs. The hot/cold exposure was fun too – popular with the bio-hackers 🙂

  38. Ok, I’m new here and I thought he was serious!! Glad to hear he was joking as I thought, “there is no way I can follow his diet plan!” I was about to leave the site and find another lo carb place.

    But ya know, anything goes in California!! So some of it didn’t seem too far fetched living here in Southern California!

  39. Hilarious! I thought about going to a local grocery store to ask about the availability of some of these items just to pay the April Fools gag forward.

  40. I was disappointed not to find a success story (really do love them), but this was worth it: just laugh out loud funny. We have RO water, though I wasn’t sure what maple water was, but 20 quail eggs was the giveaway. Well done, Mark!

  41. So after having more time to think about this, have you thought about using the ostriches as home security in addition to a source of eggs? I hear they can be kind of fierce. I wouldn’t want to visit you in Malibu unless you promised to put them in a fence of some kind. You know this would save on the electricity used by your home security system, if you have one, while doubling as a food source- benefiting the environment and climate change. 🙂 Happy April Fools everyone!

  42. You’re too funny! And boy is my leg long! The reverse osmosis maple water really made me think…

  43. … well, I was baffled at first why the success story wasn’t there…. but I must say I was wondering if you were ‘taking the mickey’ when I got to the moths bit , being too dusty! 😉
    …then after the whole bottle of wine bit…. I was thinking…. I smell a rat here!!
    too funny Mark!

  44. I usually take people at their words. While a lot of it seemed strange to me and far fetched (the extra virgin stage 1 krill slurry, and the full bottle of wine at dinner, etc.) I have to admit I wasn’t sure it was a gag until I started reading the comments. But to my credit I read this on April 2nd:)

  45. OMG thank goodness this is a joke, I was worried! Lol. Thanks for the fun read 🙂 Camel colostrum?? I got woozy just reading that.

  46. I was a little sceptical right up to the 20min compressed eating window which slammed it home on the April Fools Side, nicely done 🙂

  47. There’s a really annoyed dugong out there who wants his flipper back …

  48. “reverse osmosis-treated maple water” Really Mark ??
    we are loosing you pal ..

  49. Oh my gosh, just the thought of all that time consuming prep work is really stressing me out! Hilarious post!!

  50. Wow amazing, looking forward to 3 or 4 (maybe more) reincarnations (*) to get to Mark’s level

    (*) unless I reincarnate as a frog or a bug, or a vegan

  51. Loved all these replies! Laughed harder over them than the post (though the post was good).

  52. I’m sitting here on Monday morning and remembered that I had not read the Friday post. I started reading and was horrified on what Mark was claiming to eat for a typical day. I then recalled the post date was April 1st. That was a good one and I was definitely fooled. I’m so relieved it was a joke.

  53. So cancel my order of quail eggs? I got such a great deal. UGH. MARK!!!!!!

  54. Wow, a hyper ripe mango on the cusp of sentience! How appetizing!!

  55. Dear Mark,

    Greetings: Back in September 2015, I read an article part of which was titled:
    ” The anti-grain movement ” I too am trying very hard to create my aversion of grains. My reason is fairly obvious as I have been on Blood Pressure medication since 1992.At 82 years of age I am still trying to rid myself of all pharmaceuticals as their side effects have created additional health issues for me…one such problem is circulation…lack of: So, I have become fairly motivated in putting myself under a strict personalized discipline to keep myself away from bread. I recall quite distinctly back home where I lived on a Mediterranean Island where I was born and grew up….during WW 2 all we had was just bread to live on. Mother would bake the needed amount for five of us so that once the Air Raid Warning was given, one of our main jobs is to grab the loaves of bread as we ran to the nearest underground shelter where we would spend a good 8 to 12 hours. Bread was the only means of keeping ourselves fed. That period of time did much to create the longing for bread and it has been almost impossible to even imagine eating a meal without bread. Now for the past four weeks I have been doing all in my power to abstain from this grain eating habit. So, I am trying to stay well within the anti-grain eating movement. A particular aspect that I am finding difficult to change is the Cereal Breakfast I have been used to. I simply love the Weeta Bix cereal…..In point of fact, I am not all that sure if this is also grain. Also, I have been unable to find an alternative to bread when having a meal. I read something about the Paleo Diet although I am not really all that sure what this contains. I shall surely appreciate any comments and suggestions you may wish to pass on to me. I would certainly look forward to hear from you.

    Thanking you in anticipation