New and Noteworthy: What I Read This Week — Edition 123

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

Exposure to SARS-CoV-2 without infection is enough to generate protective T-cell memory.

Dim light increases West Nile Virus exposure in chickens.

Some early Native Americans were coppersmiths.

Cows should eat a little seaweed every day.

The Southern European Atlantic diet traditional to North Western Spain and Northern Portugal is linked to reduced all-cause mortality. Who knew traditional diets were healthy?

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 477: Wade Lightheart and Matt Gallant: Host Elle Russ chats with Wade and Matt about magnesium and digestion.

Episode 478: Mark Sisson: Host Brad Kearns chats with yours truly about some recent developments in my thinking on diet, fitness, and business.

Health Coach Radio: Parker Stevenson wants you to track the health of your business.

Media, Schmedia

Some “experts” think we should dye meat blue to curb our “insatiable” demand for animal protein.

uBiome founders charged with fraud.

Interesting Blog Posts

The cyclical nature of health and diet.

Don’t let negativity linger.

Social Notes

You love to see it.

Don’t forget to meander.

Everything Else

Adulteration of elderberry products is a big issue.

Dietary carbs and energy expenditure.

Can antibiotic-resistant microbes thrive on microplastics?

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

More unintended consequences: Average person gained 1.5 pounds per month during lockdown.

Important reminder: Why eating too much impairs thinking.

This will surprise some (but not me): Smaller farms have increased yields and more biodiversity than larger farms.

This is interesting: How musical training affects the adult brain.

Very cool: A map of Alexander the Great’s empire.

Question I’m Asking

How has your weight changed over the last year?

Recipe Corner

  • Sheet pan recipes are great and highly efficient, including this sheet pan chicken stir fry.
  • Skirt steaks are underrated. You have to cut them the right way or else they’re tough, but man is it rewarding.

Time Capsule

One year ago (Mar 20 – Mar 26)

Comment of the Week

“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”

-Exactly, jeff!

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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41 thoughts on “New and Noteworthy: What I Read This Week — Edition 123”

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  1. Nothing our public health “experts” recommended saved lives.
    The covid case and death curves are almost identical in states in geographic proximity regardless of mitigations.
    Meanwhile, obesity absolutely skyrocketed, mental health issues exploded, overdose and suicide deaths skyrocketed in younger populations, and crime and murder exploded.

    Total and complete disaster.

    1. Exactly, all of the ‘mandates’ are bad for health. Masks, lockdowns, vaccines. Each cause more issues than they solve.

      Of course they will never teach about real health, because there’s not as much money and control in that. So that’s something you have to research on your own.

      The problem with that though is all the censorship, it’s at a point where if I see the ‘fact checker’ thing on a post I know the post must be true. Or if they are putting down an alternative treatment that it must work.

      1. It is absolutely ridiculous!!! It really makes a person wonder what those speaks people are up to behind the scenes! I have a little teensy holistic wellness business right? Make homemade salves and CBD products. Well I posted in my Facebook group about ways to naturally protect yourself from COVID-19 such as getting more vitamin D, eating more garlic, working out, regular sleep schedule, immune boosting herbs, etc. They not only flagged my post as “inaccurate information”… they suspended my account for a WEEK.

  2. To Mark’s question:

    My weight stayed stable within a 3-pound range for almost the entire year, even with multiple switches between working from home and working in the office, and getting a mild case of COVID in November. Then, the last week of February, I gained 5 pounds in a week and don’t know why. Four weeks later, it hasn’t budged.

  3. I’m not an expert on Alexander the Great, but it probably wasn’t all that hard to conquer large swaths of land that, for the most part, would have been thinly populated during his lifetime. Apparently he did get around and is credited for winning a number of battles. But the guy was only 32 when he died. So how much of his story is actually true, and how much is speculation that has been exaggerated over the years? We’ll probably never know for sure since it was so long ago.

    1. No doubt stories have been exaggerated, as history is always written by the victor.
      Although I doubt it was easy to conquer large swaths of land. Sure there was land uninhabited or with sparse amounts of population, but tribes would often come together to fight a common enemy all throughout history. Land and commodities are how one survived and thrived…nobody will give that up easily.
      I am not an expert either.

      1. The old “History is written by the victors” theme is rubbish…. as you prove by questioning history yourself. Do you really think that you are the first person to question a historical narrative?
        Do you really think that no German or Japanese has written about WW2, that no Southerner has written about the American Civil War or that no Indian has written about the British Empire? Good grief, there are Frenchmen still trying to “prove” that Napoleon really won at Waterloo.

        While it is arguable that history is MADE by the victors, we are constantly questioning and reassessing history… if only because no historian ever makes a reputation or sells many copies of his new book by just saying that every historian before him got it right.

    2. The lands Alexander conquered were far more populated than you realize.

      At the time of Gaugamela and the fall of Darius, Babylon is believed to have been the most populous city in history to that point.

      Alexander also earned his early command credentials under his father by destroying the Spartans and Thebans, only a few generations after Thermopylae and only one since Leuctra.

      His battles across Afghanistan and into India came with their own difficulties, and no small amount of soldiers massed against him. The Achaemenid empire likely dwarfed his own as far as available resources and manpower, and the Battle of Hydaspes is considered the most costly of any Macedonian engagement. Following that, the Nanda reportedly outnumbered his forces 5-1.

      Granted, much of the terrain between population centers was composed of farmland, wilderness, and limited population – but that’s still the case with modern warfare.

      What Alexander accomplished is hardly speculation, and much of its impact is still seen in modern day. That’s not to say there isn’t a fair amount of speculation regarding other aspects of his life and death; however, his campaign to Ocean, though ultimately abandoned, is possibly the most analyzed and validated campaign in military history. The extent of his empire is established history.

  4. To Marks question…
    I gained 20 lbs. No happy about it! Although I am not going to be overly critical of myself for the unhealthy choices I made. I will use it as a learning experience on what not to do in the future. Haha
    I am now very keenly aware that I do not do well in a state of severe isolation. Gives me more appreciation for those who have done well in isolated circumstances.

    1. No worries my friend…. I am trying to get myself back on track after stress eating to the point of gaining over 50 pounds! Last year put me into the worst shape of my life between the depression, stress, and anxiety. But as you said, no need to be overly self critical, just pick up the pieces and start today. 🙂

  5. My weight hasn’t changed in the last year, it stays steady since sugar isn’t a part of my diet anymore. This whole covid situation hasn’t halted my health progress. Though I haven’t made it a perfect, regular habit yet, I have exercised more in the last year than I have for the previous like 5 years combined. I also did something for my health that is HUGE for me and I have been wanting and needing to do for a long time: I quit caffeine! I relapsed a few days ago and had the most awful following 2 days and am back to feeling better today, but before that small bump in the road I had 43 days caffeine free under my belt. My long term (10+ years) low blood pressure and lightheadedness, GONE. Anxiety? A lot better. Excessively hot and sweaty all the time, gone. Jaw tension, gone. Various aches and pains, especially in the neck, gone. That’s one symptom that came back with a vengeance the day after I relapsed, horrible neck pain. I’m generally calmer and more patient now, unless I play video games (shooters specifically). That’s my next bad habit I’m quitting. And perhaps the best effect from quitting caffeine? No longer feeling a strong, aching desire for a caffeinated drink. I don’t look to it to boost me up anymore. I just deal with my bad moods now, like an adult. And overall I think quitting has made me a better mother and I’m very proud of that. I’m so happy to be free of caffeine addiction.
    I know you asked about weight, Mark, I just wanted to share my experience.
    Have a lovely day everyone.

  6. I lost 70 lbs during the pandemic, dropping from 265 lbs to 195 lbs (I’m 6’2″). I dropped the first 40 lbs (and stopped snoring) by simply walking and not eating out, walking 1.5 hrs to 3 hrs a day, depending on the day. Grilled out a bunch. Began tracking calories when I stalled out at 225 to lose the next 10, then cut carbs to 50 grams after stalling out again at 215, in addition to adding kettlebell workouts to help get down to 200. I was also doing pull-ups almost daily, going from 0 pull ups at the start of the pandemic to being able to do 8 now. I’d eat two hardboiled eggs and guacamole for breakfast, a salad for lunch with deli meat and/or canned seafood, plus coffee with heavy cream, then grilled meat and veggies for dinner. Had a “dessert” of greek yogurt with blueberries after most meals. Been stable at about 195 lbs for about 5 months now. I enjoy lifting weights and have missed that during the pandemic, but I’ve fallen in love with walking, pull-ups, and spending time outdoors. Also prioritizing sleep. Thankful for Mark’s suggestions as I embraced his suggestion to chill out and find what works for you, especially his observation that the best workout routine is the one you enjoy doing on a regular basis. Also agree with his comment that a lager after a workout is a great pleasure.

  7. My weight has stayed pretty much the same, lost some body fat and gained muscle. I’ve made some really positive health changes, I quit alcohol in August and I’m currently training for my first half marathon. Since working from home I have more time to focus on exercise and healthy habits! I can’t control much these days but I can always control what I put into my body and what I do with my body. Grateful for my health.

  8. I took up hiking during Covid doing about 25 miles per week. I go in the morning in a fasted state. Not only did I lose the Covid 7 but I lost 13 pounds more for a total of 20 pounds. No change in my diet. I was surprised as I work out on a regular basis with swimming, HIIT and walking.

  9. I’ve been berating myself for “wasting” the pandemic and not losing more weight and getting more fit. But living alone and having my usual social activities go online (or canceled) has been extremely isolating and I’ve dealt with a serious depression. Not to mention not being able to do my favorite activity, lap swim, this whole time.

    But I did manage to lose about 10 pounds, and learned to enjoy easy yoga and Pilates videos — it feels great to just lie down and BREATHE. And now the spring flowers are blooming, and I’m getting my vaccine next week, so good times are around the corner!

  10. On the subject of farm size.

    The minimum farm size is one that will support the farmer and his family. Of course, this requires a smaller area on land that is more productive and fertile. Only an ivory-tower theorist would argue that the size of farms drives fertility, rather than the reverse.

    What we actually SEE in my farming community is that farm productivity is strongly related to the expertise of the farmer and his willingness to adopt the most productive technology. It is the expert farmer who is most profitable and hence most likely to buy more land and increase the size of his holdings. Also, technology is expensive, which means that larger farms can more easily afford the most productive technology and pay the higher wages required to attract the best quality employees.

  11. Thanks mark, I was really surprised by person gains 1.5 pound per month.It was actually other way around for me.

  12. Uncle Mark! 😉 after reading your most recent Sunday with Sisson post RE: “The Lindy Effect” which I was not familiar with what came to my mind was some of the classical music by any of the composers of hundreds of years ago, i.e., Mozart, Beethoven, etc. Leave it to you Mark to enhance my learning to the concept of the “Lindy Effect”.

  13. This is my Sunday ritual along with going to church. I really look forward to reading the emails. So interesting and refreshing. Btw, I have all your books just the confirmation I needed for the way I’ve been eating and exercising. I quit marathon training ; switched to half and do more functional exercise— enjoy outside more! Have been a minimal shoe wearer for years because it was the only thing that helped my feet after surgery.

  14. My weight is the same since covid, pretty much right where I want it. (Thanks Mark!) I just read an article about covid weight gain that said this should be a wake-up call to obese people to try to do something about it. That seems unfair. Few obese people are unaware of their weight. The “something” that people are generally told to do is to reduce calories and meat and cut out fat. The harder people try to lose weight this way, the more they fail over the long term. When will American nutrition science realize that if normal people can’t lose weight by following their advice, it’s the advice that’s wrong and not the people?

  15. The Lindy effect suggests, among other things, that Democracy will outlast Socalism/Communism.

  16. Reminds me of a book by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, ” The Physiology of Taste ” – in print continuously since 1825.
    A main point of the book is how breads, starches and desserts are extremely fattening.

      1. Sorry that was supposed go be thumbs up emoji. Don’t know why it showed as question marks…

  17. Lindy Effect: sadly, another thing that HAD been around fir.a LONG time but that’s disappearing – QUALITY. Whether clothing, goods, FOOD, increasingly all we have is CHEAP JUNK! I’m old enough to remember when it was otherwise.

    1. I would challenge you on that assertion, as the reality is much more nuanced. Sure, there is no shortage of cheap junk out there, but there are plenty of counterexamples. It’s just that the landscape has evolved and there are a gazillion new companies and products popping up every day. Some focus more on scale and cutting costs (and with it, often sacrifice quality), but others do focus on quality craftsmanship. Not everyone, but some consumers are willing to pay a premium for high quality or artisanal products.

      1. Mary Jones is right. Back in the day when most consumer goods were produced in the US., quality was considerably better than what is presently available. Now most goods are produced offshore by companies that care nothing about quality. The average individual can’t afford to pay a premium price for high-quality or artisanal products that, once upon a time, were the norm.

  18. Lindy Effect

    If we take the long term view of that effect, it doesn’t say much for humans vs other plants and animals; us being the most recent major animal to appear.
    And that’s fitting, (we ARE the most lethal and destructive animals out there) and playing out as we speak ?

  19. “I did it all when I was young
    And in my natural prime,
    Now it’s old dogs and children…”
    As a professional artist I have worked in many mediums. As I aged I have increasingly worked in the traditional fine art mediums. These days I’m an oil painter and build boats in wood. There is immense satisfaction in working with these traditional materials. They have certainly passed the test of time. Long after digital photos and plastic boats have gone I remain convinced the a well crafted and beautiful painting or vessel will continue to be treasured.

    1. Ross..

      Maybe the deterioration in modern art (AKA, the product of the undisciplined, sold by the unscrupulous, to the utterly confused) is that too many artists have never faced the discipline of producing enough quality work to make a living.

      By “quality”, I mean good enough to make people spend their own money for their own enjoyment.

    2. “Ain’t but three things in this world that’s worth a solitary dime,
      But old dogs and children and watermelon wine” ??

      Grew up listening to Tom T.

      1. The question marks are supposed to be music notes. Apparently the forum doesn’t take certain ASCII characters.

  20. Congratulations on making it through a post entitled The Lindy Effect without mentioning Rodney Danger field and the Triple Lindy ; )

  21. Using the “Lindy Effect” to evaluate our choices would seem to be classic conservatism: having the past inform the future and being very wary of recent trends. In many cases, this makes enormous sense to me, such as with diet. (Following a more primal diet has been a very big plus in my life). However, just because something is “tried and true” or has been around for millennia does not necessarily make it good. There are many things (war, slavery, pedophilia, domestic violence….just to name a few) that we should all be rejecting as we move ahead. The key, it would seem to me, is to be willing to constantly evaluate our current predicament with an eye on those universal truths that have been revealed repeatedly over the centuries. There is great benefit to reading Shakespeare…and Sisson.

  22. whats the single best metric to track to understand how well you are burning body fat/food as fuel? my initial thought is body fat % but curious your thoughts. something subjective like hunger?

  23. Regarding elderberry, you can easily grow this in most climates. I grow maybe a hundred of these in hedgerows and other areas. It is often easily found in the wild, so you can do this for free if you need to. Otherwise, buy two or three different cultivars for increased production. Or do both. Take cuttings of either your wild or purchased plants in Jan or Feb. Plant them when they’ve got strong roots in the fall. Elder loves water and tolerates shade and full sun. You can have dozens of plants going from just a few plants within a few years and have all the elder you’ll ever need. Grows as a nice small flowering tree. Incredibly survivable and easy to care for (ie: don’t do anything). This is one of the easiest things to grow at home. This plant is native to the US. The idea of shipping berries in from China, when it grows as a weed natively in the US is absurd.

  24. Hi Mark! After reading your musings on the Lindy effect I couldn’t help but wonder what you think about Aruveda? Its been practiced in India for thousands of years. I know my opinion is mixed. They encourage daily exercise, plenty of sleep, meditation, full body self massage and establishing routine. I have definitely integrated some of these into my life to wonderful effect. However, a staple dish in Aruveda is kitchari; vegetable stew made from basmati rice and mung dal. This is what they recommend for a cleanse. Is it really THAT good for your digestive system to slam a shot of warmed ghee in the morning and eat nothing but basic cooked veggies, beans and rice for potentially weeks in order to “detoxify the systems”? Or to avoid drinking cold water in the springtime because “it’s kapha season” and we don’t want to aggravate that cold, heavy, oily dosha?

    1. Like I said, there are a lot of aspects of the practice that make sense to me and that I love. Food definitely IS medicine. However there are plenty more aspects of it that I don’t understand at all! What does modern science say behind this “science of life”?

  25. Hi Mark – after ordering some PK products, I’m shopping in our local WalMart…… GUESS WHAT’S ON THE SALAD DRESSING SHELVES??? Not sure what to think. WallyWorld is well known for beating down product makers/suppliers to get low prices – which ALWAYS means quality suffers.

  26. Is there a way to subscribe to New and Noteworthy? I’d like these to show up in my email inbox vs hunting them down each week. Thanks for all the great information/food for thought (pun intended).