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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Tag: Grok

Setting the Record Straight

We love it that the Primal Blueprint is garnering more public attention. We love it that research supporting the PB is becoming more common, more visible, more talked about. And we love it that people are jumping in the game, reading studies, asking questions, configuring their own Primal practices (and in doing so remaking their health!). The inevitable by-product of all this exposure, however, is an occasional misunderstanding, the every-so-often confusion about the Primal approach and what it actually suggests. These misinterpretations often find their way into our inboxes (We truly do welcome all comments and questions!), or we catch wind of them through the health blogosphere network. The remarks go something like this.

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Grok Never Needed an Alarm Clock, So Why Should You?

It goes without saying that Grok never had to resort to a shrieking alarm clock to get him up in time for the day’s activities. But he also never had to worry about beating rush hour, or getting his little Groklings to school. Even if we subscribe to all the other behaviors of our ancestors – diet, fitness, rest, relaxation, play – it is our reliance on external, artificial rousing mechanisms that’s the hardest vice to shake. One could even argue that modern (corporate) culture requires the use of an alarm clock. How else are we to manage our most precious commodity of all, time?

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Unleash Your Inner Grok

Even though we, as Primal enthusiasts, do acknowledge his presence by eating his food, doing his exercises, and minimizing the kind of artificial stress he rarely experienced, something seems absent from our relationship with Grok. We pay attention to his counsel when it comes to nutrition and biology and fitness – but is something lost in the translation between his past and our present? It’s almost like we’re tourists on some grand expedition: temporal-anthro-eco-nutro tourists who visit the Edenic past and, indeed, adopt its way of life and follow its precepts to a tee with resounding success and inimitable results. But in the end, we remain tourists. We aren’t yet truly going Primal.

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Did Humans Evolve to Be Long-Distance Runners?

Thanks to the several readers who have pointed out this recent article in SEED Magazine which once again dredges up the tired argument that humans evolved to be long-distance runners. Most of you know by now that I totally disagree with that theory. I say humans evolved to be excellent slow movers (walk, jog, migrate, forage, crawl, scramble, etc) burning mostly fat. We also developed into pretty decent short sprinters, but we did NOT evolve to run long distances. Sure, early humans were all-around fit enough and capable of the occasional long easy jaunt after an animal, but to think that natural selection redesigned our simian shapes to run the Boston Marathon is, in my opinion, ludicrous.

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Caveman Breath

When I first tell people I’m on a Primal Blueprint diet emulating our ancient ancestors, the witty ones are usually quick with a clever comment or two, usually referencing the Flintstones, heavy brow ridges, monosyllabic grunts, or some combination of the three. A hearty laugh is shared (mine being exceedingly polite), and they’ll go on to ask if I’ve experienced increased hair growth, whether or not I met my wife by clubbing her over the head, and if I’ve got caveman breath (always accompanied by a theatrical, exaggerated step backward). What would I do without such comedians?

I gotta admit, though, they might have a point about the caveman breath. Although I don’t have a problem with it personally (unless my wife has kept quiet all these years), bad breath is a common complaint I hear about low-carb dieters. Strangely enough, I rarely hear it from actual low-carbers, but rather from overly critical skeptics. Still, bad breath does happen to everyone, and I for one would be wary of engaging Grok in a close heart to heart talk over some fermented mammoth milk. Even on our own comment boards, reader madMUHHH complained about having constant bad breath. Of course, he was also eating loads of garlic and onions, which are notorious causes of bad breath (regardless of the overall diet), but it does go to show that just because we’re eating healthy Primal foods, it doesn’t mean we’re immune to the ravages of bad breath.

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The Importance of Cooking in the Evolution of the Human Brain

Even the most ardent vegetarians will begrudgingly admit that meat eating played a large role in the evolution of early man (although now we’re somehow expected to totally revert back several million years). Including calorie-dense meat in our diets allowed us to ditch the larger guts used for digesting inefficient plant matter, and we developed big brains. We were able to consume more nutrients and more calories without sacrificing mobility, and eating meat allowed man to spread to harsher climes, where vegetation was sparse or only seasonal. The human brain requires an incredible amount of energy to run, and meat was the most readily available source of sufficient fuel.

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Real Primal: Hunting for Dinner

From a reader email:

Mark,

Let me say that I thoroughly enjoy your web site and have been digging in to it since I discovered there are people and indeed a whole movement doing what I have believed in for quite a while.  I never knew I had such an untapped support group!  My search and practices started years ago after reading Paul Shepard’s “Coming Home to the Pleistocene” and of course Cordains “The Paleo Diet”.

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Meet Grok

The Definitive Guide to Grok

He’s the oft-cited star of our Paleolithic backdrop, the poster-persona of the Primal Blueprint itself. We would be remiss (and a little rude, don’t you think?) to overlook formal introductions. “It’s about time!” some of you might be saying to yourselves. Let’s meet the man of the eon!

First off, he is simultaneously his own person/personality (incidentally male) and an inclusive, non-gendered representative of all our beloved primal ancestors (male or female who spanned the primeval globe). It’s Grok as both construed individual and collective archetype, you might say. In either capacity, Grok serves as our primal exemplar, a figurative model for evolutionarily tried and true lifestyle behaviors: diet, exercise, sleep, stress, etc. And, as Mark’s Daily Apple itself has evolved over the last few years, we’ve grown quite attached to him, you might say. A likeable fellow, really, who, incidentally, also has a charming family – a strong, resourceful wife and two healthy children (a young boy and infant girl).

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Did Grok Really Eat That Much Meat?

We get this question from time to time, and perhaps many of you, Primal Blueprint fans, do as well. Sometimes it comes as earnest curiosity, other times as a skeptic’s challenge. Either way, we think it’s an inquiry worth delving into. Care to join us?

First off, one note of reality/clarification. Sometimes we hear the criticism that the Primal Blueprint means eating obnoxious amounts of protein. This really isn’t so. In fact, in the scheme of diets out there, the Primal Blueprint doesn’t really qualify as a high protein diet. We usually recommend between 0.7 and 1.0 grams of protein per pound of lean mass. For the average person (i.e. not competing in the body building realm), this really isn’t that much. Check out Mark’s daily diet breakdown and our “How to Eat Enough Protein” posts for a brush up with more info and cool graphs.

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A Day in the Life of Modern Grok: An MDA Reader Gets Primal

As a follow up to last week’s Primal Challenge, “Getting Back to Nature,” I thought I’d published a few emails I’ve received from a hardcore Primal Blueprint follower. Talk about getting Primal. This guy is trying it all.

Don’t worry. You don’t have to catch, gut and eat your own rabbits or gather your own raspberries to mimic the life of Grok, but it sure doesn’t hurt. Check out these extreme Primal anecdotes from a fellow MDA reader, and then hit me up with a comment with your own Primal stories.

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