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
We have now published 42 episodes of the Primal Blueprint Podcast, and it’s been a fun and hopefully beneficial undertaking for the Primal Blueprint movement in general. If you aren’t a regular listener, I invite you to check out our robust library of shows. You can download/stream the shows, and read summary descriptions of the full written transcripts at blog.primalblueprint.com. You can subscribe to the channel via iTunes, Stitcher, or your other favorite podcast provider.
I became inspired to launch our own podcast channel after appearing as a guest on numerous other shows. I quickly realized that podcasts provide a listener-friendly medium that’s perfect for our time-crunched lives. For one thing, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and backlogged with your list of desired reading material. Especially if you’re a knowledge worker and a good amount of your day is spent in front of a screen reading work-related stuff, sometimes pleasure reading in your off hours falls by the wayside. Audio programming is a super convenient fit into our busy lives because we can listen during our commutes, our walks around town, on lunch breaks—any time we might want to give our eyes a rest while our ears do the work. I really dig the convenience and breadth of information available on podcasts for my own personal entertainment and research, and I hope my team and I can make a contribution to your entertainment and education accordingly with the Primal Blueprint podcast channel.
We started the PB Podcast with just me in the hot seat, riffing with host Brad Kearns on all things Primal. Check out the first nine shows for a ton of foundational content on all aspects of Primal living. After we initially filled the pipeline, we thought it would be interesting to sprinkle in some cool author guests, like Ben Greenfield, author of Beyond Training, Jimmy Moore, author of Keto Clarity, Dr. Ron Sinha, author of The South Asian Health Solution, and Leslie Klenke, author of Paleo Girl. We also have a recurring show in which Dr. Cate Shanahan answers listeners’ medical-related questions about Primal living. And I’ll be on there regularly to tackle listener Q&A, since our audience continues to serve up so many astute and interesting questions.
We received such positive feedback about the formal weekly podcast that we decided to add some variety to our audio publishing efforts by recording the most relevant posts of Mark’s Daily Apple each week. So basically, you can now listen to Mark’s Daily Apple (sans the posts that aren’t a good fit for audio, like recipes, Weekend Link Love, and Success Stories) and stay caught up no matter what!
In addition to staying current with audio presentations of the written posts each week, we regularly publish “Best of Mark’s Daily Apple” presentations, pulling from my popular “Definitive Guide” series of posts, for example. All of these shorter Mark’s Daily Apple content narrations by our master-of-all-things-audio Brock Armstrong flow into the same Primal Blueprint Podcast channel on iTunes and other subscription services. When you visit iTunes, or another favored podcast provider and subscribe to the Primal Blueprint podcast, you’ll see the nice variety of programming, with our formal podcasts served up every Tuesday and ordered numerically, mixed in with the current week’s MDA posts and “Best of MDA” offerings. If you only have eight minutes to spare, you can tee up a short post. Heck, we even have a 2-hour, 20-minute recording that delivers a detailed overview of all 13 modules in the Primal Blueprint Expert Certification course!
If you would like to submit a question for my Q&A shows, or ask Dr. Cate a medical-related question, just email email@example.com or click the blue “Submit Your Question” button. You’ll see it on the right side of the page. Punch it up and you can record your question.
If you appreciate the podcast, I would sincerely appreciate your help in a couple of areas. First, take a second to check in with us and deliver some feedback. Beyond asking questions for the Q&A shows, we eagerly solicit any and all forms of feedback, suggestions for future guests and topics, and constructive criticism. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, and your comments will be carefully considered and deeply appreciated.
Second, we want to maximize the size of our audience and grow the Primal movement, so we need to climb the charts on iTunes. We’d appreciate it if you could take a few moments to leave a review on iTunes, or your other favored podcast provider. To leave a review on iTunes, visit this link, and click the “View in iTunes” button. Then, in the iTunes app, click “Ratings and Reviews” and then “Write a Review”.
We have a sincere interest in mixing things up and keeping you entertained, so we are diversifying the guest lineup in the coming weeks. You will hear from Rich Wilson, a Primal enthusiast who has completed one of the most amazing endurance feats on the planet, the Vendée Globe solo round-the-world yacht race. Host Brad Kearns also caught up with Mark Allen (something he could never do on the race course!), the greatest triathlete in history, with 11 world championships and 6 Hawaii Ironman victories to his credit. We get deeper into the burgeoning topic of Heart Rate Variability, talking tech with our very own Brock Armstrong (an endurance coach and HRV expert) and Ronda Collier of Sweetwater Health, makers of the popular Sweetbeat Life HRV application for iOS.
We also have some great material from PrimalCon Oxnard, where our popular presenters Angelo dela Cruz, Dr. Alessandra Wall, and Chef Rachel Albert recorded interesting shows. And I had the privilege to span many time zones and record a show with Dr. Tim Noakes of South Africa. Tim is widely regarded as the pre-eminent endurance exercise scientist in the world (Check out Lore of Running, an 800-page masterpiece about all aspects of endurance science, and his recent Waterlogged). Interestingly, Dr. Noakes has made major waves in the academic/scientific world by embracing ancestral health/low-carb-style eating, along with Primal-aligned fitness and lifestyle practices. In the process, he has refuted decades of conventional wisdom in his arena, often to the consternation of his peers. I’ve been a huge fan of Dr. Noakes for decades, and one of the most amazing emails I’ve ever received came out of the blue from him one day a few years ago: “Mark, it’s Tim down here in South Africa. Hey, I’m a big fan of Primal…!”
I thought we could take a look back at the episodes and provide some quick comments in case you’re interested in listening to one, or a few.
Episode #42: Dr. Cate Shanahan reveals some fascinating insights regarding her unique approach to optimal eating—a Primal-friendly philosophy that examines the dietary habits of traditional cultures for similar health-promoting themes. In this episode, Cate suggests that a collective downfall in diet occurred around 1950, when the post-war momentum drove us toward chemically altered, heavily processed foods and synthetic infant formulas that inflicted deep harm on a genetic level. She also discusses how her interest in the genetic effects of food first took shape.
Episode #41: I tried to go rapid fire with the Q&A, but the questions are so good we ended up going deep into the issues. In this show, I talk about the Primal Blueprint’s revised stance on alcohol (hint: you don’t need to drink it to be healthy!), field two separate questions from recovering anorexics that are now eating Primally, and address the issue of potential confirmation bias in my writing and research.
Episode #40: Guest Ben Greenfield talks about advanced recovery techniques like Heart Rate Variability, and his recent adventure completing the Hawaii Ironman on minimal training and extensive complementary lifestyle techniques like yoga, mobility drills, and heat acclimation. Brad and Ben also talk about Ben’s book, Beyond Training, which focuses on supporting and maintaining good health while training for high intensity endurance activities like triathlons.
Episode 39: Guest Vinnie Tortorich talks about his adventures training Hollywood stars and moguls, his “No Sugar, No Grains” dietary philosophy, and his popular podcast “America’s Angriest Trainer.” In this show, he covers topics such as building a training program, what a trainer really is, and how to pick a good coach.
Episode 38: Dr. Cate appears for one of her regular Q&A episodes. Here she discusses some interesting longevity markers like elastin and collagen preservation. This week’s anti-aging topics also include treating mild hypertension with drugs, hormone replacement therapy, bone broth solution, as well as hot flashes in women and testosterone in men.
Episode 37: In this Q&A session, I talk about my latest fitness pursuits, the newest offerings in the Primal Blueprint publishing sector—including Move Your DNA, a multimedia educational collaboration between myself and biomechanical expert Katy Bowman, MS—and the importance of balancing stress and rest with efficient exercise sessions.
Episode 36: Host Brad Kearns offers a detailed description of the entire Primal Blueprint Expert Certification online course and examinations, including some hints about the exams! This is the 2:20 whopper that can stand alone as a great exposure to all aspects of the Primal Blueprint philosophy.
Episode 35: Elle Russ, a Primal Blueprint Certified Expert and personal coach (and once-upon-a-time chronic sugar addict), talks with Brad Kearns about the new Primal stance on alcohol, the hormonal balances she suffered as a chronic cardio queen, and the carbohydrate dependency and compulsive food obsession she kicked by following the Primal Blueprint plan.
Episode 34: Dr. Cate Shanahan covers her experiences with Primal Advantage patients, the failure of traditional medical care to account for the role of diet and lifestyle on disease patterns, and the unfortunate disintegration of the doctor/patient relationship due to factors such as time constraints. She also discusses the most important blood tests and what they mean to your health.
Episode 33: Mike DiLandro, the first Primal Blueprint certified expert, discusses his journey to Primal success. He dishes on his past, ruled by conventional wisdom that prompted 10 gym workouts a week, and how he went on to lose 25 pounds of body fat, ditch his statins, and cure his joint pain by following the Primal Blueprint program.
Episode 32: In this Q&A session I talk about how traditional cholesterol tests that track LDL don’t reveal true heart disease risk factors, and how statins have disastrous health consequences, including CoQ10 depletion. I also pit Primal eating against high carb consumption. Guess which is the winner?
Episode 31: Jimmy Moore discusses his new book, Keto Clarity, and gives us an insider’s view on how nutritional ketosis can influence mood, energy levels, brain function, and fat reduction. This is an especially pertinent podcast to Primal enthusiasts who may have hit a wall with their weight- and fat-loss efforts.
Episode 30: In this essay-style podcast, I bring to life a special excerpt from The Primal Connection, my follow-up book to The Primal Blueprint. Listen for tips on activating a playful spirit, jumping in for some Primal thrills, playing safe, developing intuitive sense, and amplifying creativity.
Episode 29: Building on the theme of Episode 28, Brad and I engage in an in-depth discussion on chronic cardio—the dangers and how to avoid it. We both come from a triathlon background, and pull from our own experiences, as well as those of other elite endurance athletes who have suffered a cardiac event. I also deliver, essay style, my version of ideal exercising.
Episode 28: The first in a two-part podcast detailing my case against cardio. I read from one of my most popular MDA blogs, and explain how endurance training can actually compromise health and increase disease risk. From cardio gym queens to CrossFit enthusiasts, this essay-style podcast helps you break the chronic exercise pattern and reshape your exercise strategy.
Episode 27: We thought it would be neat to take a true insider’s look at Primal living, so Brad interviewed two of my employees who work in our Malibu office. Liz and Farhad Mostaedi (who met and fell in love at PB headquarters!) talk about how working for PB has transformed their health and fitness. If you’ve ever wanted to know what goes down at Primal Blueprint, this podcast is your chance!
Episode 26: Introducing the Primal Advantage 1:1 Metabolic Consulting Program with Dr. Cate Shanahan. Dr. Shanahan discusses her work with elite athletes such as Kobe Bryant, explains how dietary choices influence your metabolic function, and how the Primal Advantage Program can help everyone…including you!
Episode 25: I interview Dr. Ron Sinha, author of The South Asian Health Solution. He reveals the folly of the mainstream medical community in proclaiming fat and cholesterol the enemy, and discusses the true heart disease risk markers. He gives a personalized account of working with patients with cultural differences, as well as positive confirmation that the tides are turning in the direction of Primal.
Episode 24: I discuss exercise plateaus in this episode, so that you can finally shed that 5, 10, or 20 stubborn pounds of excess fat. I reiterate the Primal basics, like ditching grains, sugars, and processed oils and moderating carb intake, but also delve deeper into factors such as managing stress, building more muscle mass, engaging in Intermittent Fasting, and more!
Episode 23: Paleo Girl author Leslie Klenke dishes on the paleo (and life) topics most important to teenage girls. She encourages teens to reject the superficial elements of modern culture, and pursue happiness as the primary goal and motivator for healthy lifestyle behaviors and dietary changes. Leslie shares some of her own experiences struggling with yo-yo dieting and fatigue from poor lifestyle habits in college, and how she pursued a more sensible and balanced approach to healthy living.
Episode 22: This Q&A covers everything from eating green bananas for resistant starch, to making way for legumes in the paleo diet. I also talk about ways to relieve stomach acidity, tips to Intermittent Fasting, as well as a frank discussion on the pros and cons of ketosis.
Episode 21: Primal power couple Chris Adams and Tina Leaman talk about what it’s like to act as PrimalCon leaders, as well as their favorite PrimalCon memories. This podcast is a very personal account of Primal progress, shared interests, and lasting friendships made.
Episode 20: In this Q&A, I tackle questions relating to peak performance and Primal living. I discuss a unique training approach that involves “stacking” challenging workouts on consecutive days, the importance of maintaining intensity during tapering, how refueling with carbs factors in to tough workouts, as well as the positive and negative effects endorphins can have on the body.
Episode 19: Leaky gut expert Steve Wright leads this highly informative podcast. This is a must-have listen for those who think they may suffer from this catastrophic—and widespread—health condition. Wright goes into extensive detail about the condition, and even offers a quiz so you can test if you have it!
Episode 18: I dedicated this podcast to an examination of performance-enhancing drugs in professional sports. I explain why it’s not a black and white case of right vs. wrong, as the random demarcation lines for what constitutes “performance enhancing” are blurry at best. I discuss the public perception of “cheating” with drugs, as well as recent controversies of athletes boosting blood with doping products in order to gain a competitive edge.
Episode 17: My discussion with Brad Kearns—regarding human fitness and how far it has fallen—is a unique one. How would a physically fit primitive human stack up against a modern day elite professional athlete? How has leading exercise physiologist Tim Noakes’s life and health changed since shifting to Primal? And how on target is the trending Central Governor Theory, which hypothesizes that the brain is the true regulator of peak performance?
Episode 16: Sprinting takes the forefront in this Q&A, which also features my point of view on the Tabata interval method, resistant starches, introducing Primal eating to vegetarians, and what to consider when budgetary constraints have you eating CAFO rather than grass-fed meats.
Episode 15: In this wide-ranging Q&A, I provide my detailed take on the balance between low-carb, fat-adapted living and the need to refuel with acceptable carbohydrates in order to replenish muscle glycogen when performing high intensity glycolytic exercises. I also answer questions about how food is treated as information by the genes and hormones, how autophagy (programmed cell death) is enhanced by fasting, and how ketones can be optimized for fuel by the brain and body.
Episode 14: I discuss one of the most important—and most neglected—elements of Primal living: sleep! In this very important podcast I detail the best ways to align your sleep with your circadian rhythm and the rising and setting of the sun. I also reveal how hormone imbalance is instigated by after dark digital stimulation and artificial light, and how insufficient sleep hampers your fat reduction and overall health goals.
Episode 13: Brad Kearns delivers an uplifting and very personal message on the three fundamentals of developing an ideal mindset and disposition for peak performance: (1) balance stress and rest, (2) release attachment to outcome, and (3) cultivate an intuitive approach. Learn from Brad’s mistakes, and prepare to be inspired for positive shifts in mindset and approach. Recorded from his live presentation at PrimalCon Tulum.
Episode 12: In this Q&A, I comment extensively on many of the most common challenges and confusions of living Primally. Topics covered include how to drop those final 5 or 10 pounds of excess body fat when you have stalled at a certain level, eating in a compressed time window and how morning coffee intake affects that, experiencing nausea when eating high-fat Primal foods without anything else, and the best way to read at night without disturbing your circadian rhythm.
Episode 11: For all of you who couldn’t join us (or who did and want to reminisce), I recap the incredible PrimalCon Vacation Tulum event, which took place March 1st-6th 2014 at the Dreams Tulum resort in Mexico. I also cover topics including how to stay motivated with goals when life throws you some curves, the importance of a sustainable approach as reflected in the Primal Blueprint 80/20 rule, the importance of an intuitive approach to balance workout stress with ample rest, and the pros and cons of alcohol consumption.
Episode 10: Darryl Edwards chats about his favorite topic—play, and how you can incorporate more of it into your life. Darryl discusses how to make your ordinary workouts become more fun and inspiring, not just with practical suggestions but also with the cultivation of a playful attitude.
Episode 9: Primal connoisseur Steve Levine joins the Primal Blueprint podcast to discuss his personal journey and success with transitioning out of the Standard American Diet and into a Primal lifestyle. Steve shares a refreshing and passionate perspective that’s helpful for both newcomers to Primal living and hardcore Primal folks.
Episode 8: I answer questions relating to enjoying grains with no ill effects, effective decision making with your workouts, and motivating and inspiring family and friends to go Primal without turning them off. I also discuss the best uses of Primal Calm and the beneficial effects of phosphatidylserine (including an extensive discussion on the importance of managing the fight-or-flight response and preventing chronically elevated cortisol levels). I even spill the beans on how to deal with sugar cravings in the evening.
Episode 7: In this podcast, I address the common theme of chronic cardio, and the related declines in health and fitness. I also let you in on how to transition out of a chronic pattern and into a sweet spot where your fitness efforts are sufficient to support outstanding fitness, peak performance efforts, and safe, diverse, injury-free play efforts. Included in this discussion are the potential pitfalls of pursuing the endorphin high to excess, the importance of cultivating an intuitive approach to workout planning rather than a robotic approach, and the importance of each of the three Primal Blueprint fitness laws: Move frequently at a slow pace, Lift heavy things, and Sprint once in a while.
Episode 6: In this podcast, I explain how appetite supersedes the oversimplified equation of calories in = calories out, and how optimizing hormones and gene expression is the true path to effortless lifelong weight management. I also discuss the importance of moderating insulin production for weight control.
Episode 5: I delve into the rationale for why supplementation can be considered in pursuit of a healthy Primal lifestyle. I explain why supplementation is aligned with the Primal/paleo dietary philosophy, and discuss how the influences of hectic modern life and the limitations of modern dietary options might call for the use of certain supplements in a strategic manner. In this podcast, I highlight vitamin D, omega-3 fish oil, multivitamins, antioxidants, probiotics, and high-protein meal replacements.
Episode 4: This podcast is dedicated to the 10 laws of the Primal Blueprint—a great starting point for Primal newbies and a terrific refresher for advanced Groks and Grokettes.
Episode 3: Intermittent Fasting is a trending topic in the paleo community, and deserves its own dedicated episode. I discuss my strategy of eating in a compressed time window of typically 1pm-7pm each day, as well as various other methods of Intermittent Fasting. I also talk about the assorted strategies for post-workout recovery and compare the carb paradigm strategy of immediate refueling with the Primal strategy of optimizing hormonal benefits by fasting until hunger ensues.
Episode 2: One of the most unique facets of the Primal Blueprint is the 80/20 rule, which I cover in detail in this podcast. I explain the spirit of the 80/20 rule: to strive for 100% compliance with Primal guidelines and maximum nutritional value of your diet, but to accept the imperfections and limitations of your food choices. I also discuss society’s distorted perception of ideal body composition, and urge you to focus on your own personal peak performance potential and enjoyment of life, instead of struggling to adhere to the sensationalized standards of models and elite fitness specimens.
Episode 1: For the very first PB podcast, I chose to talk about chronic cardio with long-time friend, current Primal sidekick, and former elite triathlete whom I coached, Brad Kearns. We discuss the common phenomenon of an excessive and overly stressful approach to fitness, for which I coined the term “Chronic Cardio” back in 2005. I explain how to adopt an alternative strategy and philosophy that encourages the optimal amount of exercise necessary to realize your fitness goals, nurture your health, and promote longevity.
That’s quite a collection of podcasts we’ve drummed up for ya! We sure hope we can continue to serve you with entertainment and information in a way that’s fun and convenient—like our PB podcasts! Please leave a review on iTunes if you can spare a moment, and thanks for reading!
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