The popular story of how low-carb diets work goes something like this: Reducing your carbohydrate in...
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...Tell Me More
Print this out. Bookmark it. Send it to friends who don’t quite get the Primal thing. Consider this a valuable resource for all-things Primal. It’s a nice, alphabetical encapsulation of what it means to lead a Primal lifestyle. It’s not everything, of course. You can always dig deeper into the details, but this summary gives a high-level look at just about everything.
Without further ado, I present The A-to-Z Guide to Leading a Primal Lifestyle.
Avoid chronic cardio. I spent about half my life running (and later, with triathlons, swimming and cycling) myself into the ground. I thought the more miles I could log, the healthier I’d be. That’s the mindset many people have, and it’s absolutely wrong. Running a ten-miler is different than running a ten-miler every day. We have the capacity to go long distances and even outlast wild animals upon which we’re preying. We don’t have the capacity to do that every single day without consequences to our health. Run long distances if you love it, compete if you love competing, but know the cost it incurs.Read More
I’ve always loved to camp. From my early days as a kid growing up in Maine (where it seemed like everyone camped), to my death-defying adventures with Outward Bound in the wilds of New England as a teen, to my current setup running a business in the Malibu hills, I’ve been a camper. Even when I’d dedicated my life to endurance training and had little time for anything else, I always made it a point to get away to the woods with the family for a few nights whenever I could. The reasoning was basic: it was relaxing, enjoyable, decompressing, and just plain fun. And that’s why most people camp. It just feels right, doesn’t it?Read More
It’s always interesting to be in this business and read the health headlines. So often, they seek to hook us with the promise of ultimate clarity: “Rehabing Health: Diet or Fitness First?” or “Should I Sleep or Exercise?” The underlying assumption is that there’s a conclusive rule to this – that we all conform to the same pattern, a universal law that will remake the game for everyone.
Sure, I believe our physiology conforms to some pretty standard principles. The Primal Blueprint is based on them. As such, I incorporate these direct-route, often multi-functional strategies whenever and wherever I can. But my work and life experience have taught me something important about these laws and “hacks”. The mental versions of these, when properly and personally applied, tend to have the biggest and broadest impact.Read More
A few weeks ago, I shared some thoughts on one of my favorite books of late, A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William B. Irvine. I appreciated the comments from folks who connected with the central message: how to cultivate a life with the most peace and contentment possible. The Stoics were fans of living life mindfully and deliberately. When we’re honest, it’s easy to see how easy (and common) it is to spend life by accident. Getting through the day turns into getting through the years, turns into life gone by. What will we be thinking at that stage? Better, the Stoics advised, to be clear about your intentions, thoughtful in your choices, simple in your desires and content in your days. Here’s how I translate that to Primal practice.
First, let me say that this isn’t to abandon the Primal model. I’ve always said that the Primal Blueprint isn’t about recreating primordial conditions. It’s about identifying ancestral patterns, measuring their confluence with modern circumstances and gleaning useful strategies from all available sources to live the healthiest and happiest life possible.Read More
It’s a question I’ve posed to clients and seminar attendees in the past: what direction or wisdom would you share with your younger self if you could go back ten, twenty, thirty years (or more)? The idea obliges us to think about the whole of our journey thus far – how we’ve viewed health or success, how we’ve valued our well-being against other commitments, how we’ve weighed instinct against authority – among endless other inquiries.
The fact is, life teaches us. I’m not talking just about the assemblage of data – more information gathered, more studies skimmed. I mean the self-knowledge acquired – sometimes through hard-won means – as well as the priorities that have come into focus over time. It’s often about the lessons learned through a variety of epic mistakes and frustrating dead-ends. Beyond the neat world of “good life” theory exists the full dimensional backdrop of living feedback.Read More
Insulin does a lot of important things for us. It pulls glucose from the blood and fritters it away into our cells to be burned for energy or stored as glycogen. It prevents hyperglycemic toxicity to neurons, pancreatic cells, the arterial walls and the generation of excessive levels of reactive oxygen species. It even promotes muscle protein synthesis and helps augment muscular hypertrophy, especially following resistance training. Clearly, we need insulin. Without it, we’d die, as type 1 diabetics readily do without an exogenous source.Read More