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: Mindfulness

The Modern Hijacking of Dopamine: Supernormal vs. Ancestral Stimuli

Scientists recently discovered a major difference between humans and apes. It’s not the body hair, or the prehensile feet, or the propensity to fling poop with less-than-perfect accuracy. It’s actually the TH gene, one that directs the production of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Humans express the TH gene in the striatum, a part of the brain involved in movement, and in the neocortex, which conducts higher-order thinking. Chimps and other apes do not.

Why is this so important?

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14 Healthier Ways to Spend Black Friday

For most of my life, Thanksgiving was spared the overt commercialization of the other holidays. Christmas has the gifts, Halloween the candy and costumes, Valentine’s the chocolates, roses, jewelry, and guilt—perfect avenues for commercial interests. But Thanksgiving genuinely felt different, as if it was only about getting together with friends and relatives over a crispy-skinned bird and offering gratitude for what we had and who was still with us.

These days, commercialization has crashed the party. You’ve got Black Friday. Then Small Business Saturday. Then Cyber Monday. (Giving Tuesday I can get behind.) The “Black Friday” deals on Amazon started going last week and should continue well past the holiday.

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How to Find Mental Strength When Dealing With Illness and Injury

However tough, rugged, and badass we might consider ourselves, the fact is none of us is indestructible.

The human body, for the miracle that it is, is vulnerable as well as mortal. Even those of us in perfect health may at some point become injured—with or without the possibility of full recovery. Most of us are down for the count (or moving more slowly) a couple times a year with this or that virus. But even with the best Primal efforts, there are those among us who will go through medical crises. For all of us, age will inevitably diminish some of our faculties (although not how the culture tells us it must).

How we mentally move through these experiences will certainly have a hand in our prognoses, but more importantly it has the power to cultivate a more unconditional resilience.

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ACEs and Primal Health

It’s fair to say that I gravitate towards tangible, actionable subject matter when it comes to improving my own and others’ health. Things like nutrition, fitness, sleep, hormonal responses, and supplement science may seem like a lot to chew on for the layperson, but these are my personal passions as well as my long-time profession.
And while these are certainly the big, actionable players in the game of health, I fully acknowledge there may be more lurking behind the scenes than we realize. A body that refuses to heal no matter how Primal you eat. Stubborn health conditions that simply refuse to fully go away, despite all the changes you make in your life. A propensity for disease that defies everything you’ve learned about ancestral nutrition and wellness. An intriguing new angle in the health sphere suggests the hurdle for some people may be embedded deeper than outer changes can access. 

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7 Primal Mantras to Drive Your Success

Do you have any mantras? You should.

Ignore the pseudo-spiritual baggage many people have with the notion of a mantra. Repeating and focusing on a meaningful phrase to help guide you through difficult situations, whether that’s an hour of sitting meditation or a commitment to a healthy Primal lifestyle, is a legitimate tool anyone can use. Today, I’m going to give you 7 mantras that I find to be useful.

Many of these don’t even apply explicitly to nutrition or fitness, so anyone can gain from incorporating them. I even left off a personal mantra of mine—”Rend the flesh of young mammals and consume it close to raw as possible”—to make vegetarians and vegans feel more welcome.

Let’s go:

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What Is the Vagus Nerve? (and How Does It Impact Health, Mood and Performance?)

In recent years, I’ve regularly vouched for the gut as our long-abused secondary brain. Given what most of us grew up learning in school, it can feel like a mammoth shift. Science and philosophy have long revered the brain as seat of consciousness, even the seat of humanity itself. But when it comes down to it, everything is interconnected. Our consciousness extends well beyond the brain. How we feel and who we are encompasses a much more expansive and intricate system than any of us learned in high school biology. At the center of this paradigm revision is something called the vagus nerve.

Vagus…as a word it sounds a little off-putting. If someone called me a vagus, I’d probably be mildly offended. But the literary origins of this word are actually kind of mystical: “vagus” in Latin translates to “wandering.” And I’d struggle to find a more apt definition.

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