New and Noteworthy: What I Read This Week — Edition 122

Hey folks! You may have noticed something a little different this Friday. Weekly Link Love is now our New and Noteworthy series. We’re following the same format that a lot of you have been reading for over a decade now: it’s a collection of interesting reads I found around the Internet over the week. Enjoy!

Research of the Week

The interaction between alcohol sales, crime, and how long a baseball game goes after the 7th inning.

Spending money on your pet might make you happier than spending money on yourself.

CEO facial aging responds reliably well to market and business stressors.

Soybean oil causes changes to the microbiome that look atherogenic.

Strength training is enough to reduce liver fat, even without weight loss.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 475: Dr. Al Danenberg: Host Elle Russ chats with ancestral periodontist and Primal Health Coach Dr. Al Danenberg.

Episode 476: Ryan Baxter: Host Brad Kearns chats with Primal Health Coach Ryan Baxter about the power of nasal breathing.

Health Coach Radio: Meredith McCarty thinks you might just be your own bottleneck.

Media, Schmedia

Will Princepal Singh be the first Indian in the NBA?

Interesting Blog Posts

Cows: part of the solution.

What one person learned helping thousands get off anti-depressants.

Social Notes

What’s good for the Hadza

Don’t forget to meander.

Everything Else

The app that lets you sabotage your own Zoom meetings.

Can Covid change your personality?

Sounds great.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

This looks bad: Controlling for energy intake, added fructose or sucrose increases liver fat; added glucose does not.

Interesting article: Lost in Thought: The Psychological Risks of Meditation

What do you think?: Is it time for a lockdown on sugar?

This is interesting: Vaccine passport roadmap for the EU.

Great news: More HDL, lower covid severity.

Question I’m Asking

How are you training lately?n

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Mar 5 – Mar 11)

Comment of the Week

“As a retired Latin teacher, I am completely in love with etymology! My favorite and very applicable Latin word used in English is addict. We live in a world full of addictive substances. Ad means to or toward (think advance). Dict, like diction or dictation, means speak. When you’re addicted, that substance keeps speaking to you!”

-Fascinating, Cynthia.

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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50 thoughts on “New and Noteworthy: What I Read This Week — Edition 122”

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  1. Interesting article about meditation, and not really surprising. I’ve never been able to meditate for more than a few minutes at a time. It didn’t work for me, and I found it very stressful trying to force it to work. I came to the conclusion that the human mind isn’t meant to be limited by enforced parameters for any length of time.

    1. I agree with you about the not forcing of a certain modality. I myself started meditating this year, and though I’ve noticed nothing but positive results, the one thing I’ve definitely learned is that meditation is something that has to be very tailored to the individual; there is no one size fits all. I don’t think that meditation should ever be forced or that it should take Herculean effort. I would use the analogy of strength training and say that just as one wouldn’t throw 315 lbs on a barbell to attempt their very first squat, jumping into a ten day meditation retreat with 8 hour meditation blocks as their first experience with this mental exercise makes it very possible that injury could result.
      Starting small and having reasonable expectations is just as important with meditation as it is with physical exercise. I started with 5 minutes of daily meditation and have worked up to 20 minutes daily over the course of nearly four months. I look forward to it and see it as “my time” to be alone with myself, as a time of contemplation. From what I have read about it, there are also many styles of meditation (again similar to the physical exercise analogy), some of which suit different people better. I tried many types and settled on a simple awareness practice that works for me. Bringing your awareness to the sensations of your body, acknowledging your thoughts and being aware of them but not judging them or forcing your mind to be quiet has led to me feeling much calmer and more aware of everything in my daily life. My mind doesn’t seem to get lost as much in the racing thoughts pattern that it used to and I notice myself appreciating the small details of life much more. I find myself paying attention to conversations rather than thinking of what I’m going to say while the other person is talking. I notice that my reading comprehension is much better (I used to have to re-read paragraphs a few times because I’d find my mind wandering and thinking about other stuff while I was reading). All in all, it’s been a big positive for me, although I firmly believe that people who are interested in starting a meditation practice should always take it easy, start small, and not take it so seriously as well, approaching it with a more contemplative/playful attitude.

  2. Unfortunately it’s too late to ‘lockdown’ sugar. Sugar ( along with corn, soy and wheat) are commodities in the stock market just like gold and silver. As such, investors make money on the buying and selling of these…they will continue to poison the population of our planet and Big Pharma will continue to make money by providing the magic pill to reduce the suffering caused by the ingestion of these products.

    1. agreed. Those of us that read blogs like MDA know very well that the large rise in consumption of sugar/fructose, soybean and other industrial oils, and all other highly-processed junk foods is largely responsible for the obesity epidemic, and the poor metabolic health of Americans in general. But there is big money to be made pushing these things, and people continue to buy them (due partly to the big food companies doing their best to make sure we get addicted to them). So I am not at all hopeful that we are on a path to healthier eating in this country. The pandemic should have been a wake-up call that we better get healthier as a nation/world, but all I read about is vaccines, and how we’ll be fine once we get all vaccinated. Very disappointing……

  3. I love the idea of advocating for whole milk consumption is schools. I teach Early Head Start (1 – 3 year olds) and it breaks my heart that when a child in our program turns 2 we are forced to follow USDA guidelines and switch the child from whole to 1% milk. Often the food and milk they get in the classroom provides the bulk of their nutrition and it hurts me to see their growing brains and bodies trying to function on lowfat milk. The only aspect of the article that concerns me is the mention of “flavored” milk which indicates the use of sugar and flavorings.

  4. Well, ‘flavored milk’ = ‘sweetened.’
    Being northern European, hence a lactase sec reter, I’m a milk fan. Except for my diabetes… There is a problem promoting milk in schools for kids who won’t be able to drink it.

  5. In Canada, we tax tobacco and alcohol heavy. Need to tax soda/pop and junk food to try and reduce consumption. I remember as a kid in the 70’s the pop was 10 ounces and now kids walking around with drinks in litre size cups. Food giants driving larger portions of junk and Big Pharma coming to to rescue with their pills. Big portions, big waist sizes and big problems in teen years. Paints a bad future picture for these kids with lots of health issues when you combine sedentary life style.

    Keep spreading your good work Mark. It’s going to take a revolution to fix this problem.

    1. The only problem with a junk food tax is that different people and even different nutrition researchers disagree on what the junk is. There have been suggestions that the government step in to discourage our consumption of meat, salt, and fat and encourage a vegan diet based on healthful whole grains. I’m not sure I would trust anyone else to dictate my diet for my own good. (Least of all my doctor. “You get all the nutrients you need from a low fat diet!”)

    2. How much have alcohol and tobacco taxation actually reduced their respective consumption in Canada? They are also taxed heavily in various US states, but, just like with gasoline taxes, that hasn’t had much of a real impact on consumption.

      People aren’t drinking, smoking, or driving less just because it’s more expensive; they either eat the cost or find ways to mitigate it (buying across state lines or in nearby Indian Reservations). You also see this with other commodities along every border (including the Canadian-US border). The idea that higher taxes cause reduced consumption is specious.

      There are certainly correlations, but this is more the result of greater information regarding the dangers they present combined with increased enforcement against abuse (especially alcohol) and the shifting cultural preferences for socialization, escape, and time-killing methods.

  6. Hi Mark. I’m reading “The Power of Now” this weekend. I plan to read it again next weekend. Yes, we may be on a journey at times, but the step we are taking right here and right now is what we should be conscious of.

  7. You reminded me of what a still small voice said to me: “don’t worry, just let it unfold.”

    I recently married my second husband who is a beautiful man, as my first husband passed away 2007.

    We are thinking of buying a new place, so I began to overthink things.

    This is my sign, from Mark’s Daily Apple, to relax and enjoy life each day.

  8. I love how you think about this! I am in the process of making a big life change. I’m transitioning from the medical field into starting my own health coaching business. It’s hard not to focus so much on your future when you have big goals. I will try to focus on the day today and what I need to get done in that moment. Thank you!

  9. This is a great reminder because I do tend to look too far ahead. Thank you for the advice.

  10. During these troubling times, my focus is on Jesus Christ, not the North Star or the subconscious. When I take my last breath that is the only thing that will matter. Jesus is the ONLY way. Admit you are a sinner —- Believe Jesus is Lord —- Call on HIs name. It’s like the ABC’s, so simple a child can understand it.

    1. Back when I was a Christian I found that prayer made me want to throw myself off a cliff or die or harm myself in some way. I did better with formulaic prayer such as in the Catholic and Orthodox churches but freestyle prayer that I experienced in Assembly of God, Church of Christ, and non-denominational Evangelical churches made me feel absolutely desperate to give up and die. So I must respectfully disagree.

      Meditation is the cornerstone of my daily spiritual practice, no Jesus required.

    1. I’m sorry to hear you’re ill, and being worried about that is a completely normal and understandable reaction. Although I have no idea what your situation is, I’d try to reflect on questions like, “What are some things [however small] that I do have control over and that bring me joy or make me feel healthy/good?” You may not come up with a great answer right away, but doing so will redirect your attention from worrying about an indeterminate future (something you can’t control) to engaging with the present moment (something you do have some control over). This does require practice though, since the mind often wanders off and tries to go back to its old ways – just be patient and forgive yourself when that happens. Wishing you all the best, and never give up!

  11. Morning Mark, I agree, words of wisdom.
    My girlfriend here in St Petersburg owns
    Real Estate business. North Star Realty,
    She had a Vision and has a great story
    In short, when I see or walk by the office
    I look up at the awning, North Star Reality
    I smile and I say YES. Reminds me to never give up and life is great. Funky how I always look up at that awning with Smiles. She just replaced the awning,
    White with Big dark navy blue lettering.
    New and fresh like the beginning of a new future,, You also reminded me i need to take a trip to Montana for little fly fishing
    It’s been a while. Much appreciation. ?

  12. Loved your Sunday opinion.. God says to not worry about tomorrow as today as enough of it’s own!

  13. Mark…I am finding you content very helpful in my journey towards better health. I find the use of good habits a powerful tool on this path as well. James Clear’s work is the source of that for me. Your content integrated into good habits have been very successful for me.

  14. This is EXACTLY what I needed to read this morning. I’m in “limbo” right now at 52 years old. A lot has happened in my life where people need me to be there for them since the pandemic even more since the pandemic. I’m trusting that the future has a perfect job for me with perfect pay and wonderful people to work with. Reading your email gave me a reminder and we all need to be reminded once in a while. Thank you!!

  15. Thanks, Mark! This really should be practiced daily for me as soon as I get out of bed! Stay in the present, put one foot in front of the other, and it’s amazing how everything seems to fall into place!

  16. Your Sunday message reminded me of the following maxim from the book, The Lion Tracker’s Guide to Life:

    “I don’t know where we are going, but I know exactly how to get there.”

    1. I’d like to think we know exactly where we are going (subconsciously or otherwise); it’s in the NOT knowing exactly how we’ll get there where we find meaning.

      “I know where I am going, but I don’t know exactly how to get there.”

  17. My wife died this past week, and sometimes we get inspiration from the most interesting places. Thank you

  18. A harmonious relationship with your environment is critical to achieving your aspirations, so how do we get that? Nichiren Buddhism teaches that this oneness of person and environment ( called Esho Funi), is facilitated by action, specifically the action of fulfilling the Buddhist imperative, which is reciting the sutra and propagating the universal law of Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.

  19. Thank you for these amazing words this Sunday Mark. I so enjoy reading your blog every Sunday

  20. Exactly! I’ve never worried about long-term too much instead focusing on being happy every day and I’ve had people who are long term worriers miserable every day tell me that in so many years I’d be miserable For one reason or another and maybe that day is coming but it hasn’t come to fruition yet.

  21. Mark, I wholeheartedly agree with your “faith in the power of the subconscious to keep you on the right path…”

    My quest is learning to better listen to my intuition. That’s the voice in the back of my mind telling me I’m forgetting something as I leave the house, but it only works when I listen to it. It’s never wrong.

  22. I love don’t focus on the future. Don’t pine over it. Don’t worry about it. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be concerned with the future; This remind me Bhagavad Gita , “Don’t focus on the outcome of any work”

  23. Amazing…recently when I think, ponder, wonder about some thing, the Universe sends me a response. Today, it is your blog about using the subconscious as our Northstar…thank you ?

    1. That question mark in my comment should be an exclamation point!

  24. Great advice. The way I relate to this is like driving a car… your windshield is the present… we check our rear view mirror to remind us briefly of the past… Dwell there too long or you’ll wind up in the ditch. We can only see a certain view of what’s coming and prepare accordingly.

    Anticipating the future can lead to anxiety. Dwelling in the past can lead us into depression. Keeping our focus in the present is to live in the moment which can help us live in peace.

  25. I so needed to hear this today – thank for sharing so much.

  26. Great advice, Mark.

    In my 50s now and I think most people would think that I’m an eccentric at best. I’ve followed so many different paths (while maintaining the same job for almost 20 years now) that people think I must be a dabbler.

    However, looking back, I really do see that my interests have followed a certain path. It’s like I’ve been circling a target, getting closer with every interest. My unconscious/genius (in the Roman sense)/Guardian Angel is propelling me along while I blindly follow.

    And because of this, I hope to have my first furniture designs on sale in the next year or so.

    Emerson says that a trip from New York to London via the sailing ship is a tacking motion, with many zig zags, but when viewed from a higher level, it looks like a straight line.

  27. Mark – I feel both “awoken” and reaffirmed by your Sunday Speech today.
    Now that I think about it, it’s actually the subconscious North Star itself that has led me to adopt a similar m.o. of relying on that North Star. One way I think of it is creating the right habits and routines across the board – a focus on process, rather than outcome.
    The Primal Blueprint pretty much epitomizes that for me. I feel that if I follow these principles consistently and for a long enough time, becoming (or staying) lean, fit, happy, healthy, and productive is almost inevitable, barring severe enough circumstances outside my control (in which case following said principles becomes even more critical).

    Another related quote that keeps popping into my head is, “Most people overestimate what they can do in a day and underestimate what they can do in a year.” In the past, I’d often play an exhausting game of catch-up and procrastination because I’d create a whole laundry list of tasks for the day, just to feel overwhelmed and then put everything off. Needless to say, that approach doesn’t amount to much over the course of a year.

    If I could give my younger self some advice, your words would probably be it, although the past is in the past, so my current self is the one who actually needs to hear it most.

    One bit I’ll steal from you and reiterate here is that the subconscious doesn’t need micromanaging. In fact, I’d argue you couldn’t micromanage subconscious processes even if you tried. But the attempt of doing so is probably where we trip ourselves up.

  28. I waited until bedtime to read your Sunday message. It was just what I needed. I will sleep well tonight.

  29. Mark, I think what you said was:

    “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life that he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
    Henry David Thoreau

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  31. Thanks Mark! Definitely timely for us, as we are moving states and uprooting kids. Second guessing things, so this was an appreciated read.

  32. Love this post! Maybe because that’s how I live! I especially like the “detour” part, because I frequently take detours. It’s like walking a trail in the woods, but taking a side path to see where it goes and what’s along the way. I simply can’t resist.