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: is it primal?

Is It Primal? – Non-Alcoholic Beer, Non-Alcoholic Wine, Gluten-Free Beer, and Other Foods Scrutinized

I suppose you could call today’s “Is it Primal?” the alcohol edition, because we’re dealing with three alcohol-related inquiries. Actually, two of the inquiries relate to non-alcoholic beverages, one to an alcoholic beverage, one to a substance that can potentially facilitate alcohol-induced activities, and one to a substance that can help relieve sunburns that you get after passing out in the sun from too many alcoholic beverages. Okay, that’s a bit of a stretch, but I think you get the point. I dig into the suitability and Primality of non-alcoholic beer, non-alcoholic wine (the horror!), gluten-free beer, the Andean aphrodisiac known as maca root, and the humble but ubiquitous aloe vera.

Let’s get to it, shall we?

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Is It Primal? – Spirulina, Chlorella, Amaranth, and Other Foods Scrutinized

There are many thousands of foods out there at our beck and call, and you want to know which ones are Primal-approved and which ones are not. I know this because I get a lot of emails from you guys asking me about this food or that food. I’m happy to give my perspective, but I also want to iterate (or reiterate, in case I’ve already said this) that eating or not eating any of the aforementioned and heretofore-mentioned foods will neither ratify nor revoke your Primal Cred card. Heck, such a card doesn’t even really exist! These are just my opinions based on the evidence available to me.

Without further ado, let’s dig in to the foods in question. We’ve got spirulina, chlorella, amaranth, Mycryo, and freeze-dried produce on the docket for today.

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Is It Primal? – Chia Seeds, Black Rice, Refined Avocado Oil, and Other Foods Scrutinized

The questionable foods just keep flowing in. As soon as I write a new “Is it Primal?” post, I’m inundated with new stuff to scrutinize. It’s like cutting the heads off the hydra (speaking of which, what are the nutritional qualities of hydra? talk about a sustainable animal food source). Luckily I like writing these posts, so they are probably here to stay. I hope you enjoy them. Well, let’s get on with it, shall we?

Today we’ll delve into the sordid inner world of the chia seed (of Chia Pet fame, yes), the dark underbelly of black rice, the hidden agendas of the refined avocado oil consortiums, the Communist North Korean plot to brainwash minds via sweet potato vermicelli consumption, and how strawberries might actually be trying to kill you (yeah, strawberries). Actually, we’ll just figure out if said foods are Primal or not.

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Industrial Duck, Topical Seed Oils, and Costco Rotisserie Chicken Bones

We can’t always make the perfect Primal choices. We simply don’t live in a world that affords us the opportunity, and short of being whisked away in the night by an elvish boy with green tights, a fairy companion, and the ability to fly, we’re stuck here for the duration. Let’s make the best of it, huh? I think I do a pretty good job at that, here on this blog, but sometimes there are questions that I have yet to address. Like what to make of industrially-raised duck, or whether or not you should still apply those seed oils – which you’d never eat if you could help it – to your face and body as moisturizers, or if carcasses from industrially-raised chickens are still worth using to make stock. These are questions that most people never even think about, but you have (or at least some of you), and I aim to provide a helpful answer.

Let’s go.

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Is it Primal? – Sunflower Oil, Wheat Germ, Skyr, and Other Foods Scrutinized

It’s time for another edition of “Is It Primal?”, where I do my best to rescue certain foods from Primal limbo (if they deserve it) and banish others to Primal exile. And sometimes, I’ll keep a food languishing just because there’s really nowhere else to put it. This week I have five foods. Some, like sunflower oil and wheat germ, are quite common. There’s a good chance you have, or soon will, encounter them out there in the wild, and I hope to give you the tools to handle them. Other foods, like skyr and corn smut, won’t be quite so common (unless you’re a time traveler from 16th century Mesoamerica or an Icelander), but you never know when you’ll have the opportunity to eat some corn fungus and acidified cultured cheese yogurt. You want to be prepared. The last food isn’t really a food, but rather a supplement that attempts to replace a food.

Let’s go.

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Is It Primal? – Paleo Bread, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, Psyllium Fiber, and Other Foods Scrutinized

I love doing these “Is It Primal?” posts. For one, the supply of topics is virtually limitless, because you guys are constantly sending in new foods and products for me to research. Two, I’m learning a ton of new stuff. And it’s not just specific foods I’m learning about; it’s also forcing me to think about health and what Primal actually means in new ways. There are plenty of times where I approach a particular entry with the assumption that it’s definitely going to be Primal, or definitely not going to be Primal, only to be surprised by what a little more research shows. It can be disconcerting to have your beliefs challenged or even scrambled, but so be it. That’s a small price to pay, right?

Let’s get to the foods. We’re doing five today – Paleo Bread, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, psyllium fiber, expeller pressed refined coconut oil, and unflavored gelatin.

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Is It Primal? – Ezekiel Bread, V8, Edamame, and Other Foods Scrutinized

In this “Is It Primal?” series of posts I’ve already scrutinized sprouts, cashews, sunflower butter, chocolate milk and a couple dozen other foods for their suitability in a healthy human diet. Today, I’m covering Ezekiel bread, the sprouted grain amalgamation favored by conventional health nuts; V8, the tomato juice with a little vegetable juice mixed in; edamame, the little kid of the soybean family; mezcal, tequila’s mysterious older brother; and tigernuts, which aren’t what you probably think they are.

Ready to go? Let’s do it:

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Is It Primal? – Cod Liver Oil, Sunflower Butter, Mead, and Other Foods Scrutinized

It’s time for another round of “Is It Primal?” This time, I’ll be covering six questionable foods. First, I tackle whether or not cod liver oil has a place in a Primal eater’s pantry (or fridge), and whether standard cod liver oil is worth it. Then, I get into the suitability of mead, that honey wine popularized by the Vikings, followed by maple syrup. Is it another “safer sweetener,” just like honey, or is it sugar masquerading as a health food? After maple syrup, I dig into pectin, binder of jam and jelly; and sunflower butter, also known as sunbutter, a popular replacement for peanut butter. Finally, I scrutinize the food about which literally everyone in the Primal blogosphere has been wondering, the food that’s getting an entire panel at the 2012 Ancestral Health Symposium, the food that we’ve all been eying in the meat section: camel meat.

Let’s get to it.

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Is It Primal? – Sprouts, Agave Nectar, Tapioca and Other Foods Scrutinized

Since it seems to be popular with this crowd, and we’re never running out of questionable foods, I figured I’d take the time to put together another round of “Is It Primal?” I got most of these choices from the comment sections of previous posts, along with follow-up emails. As always, feel free to fill in the blanks after the post. I have a strong feeling this will become a recurring series of posts, and I’m going to need plenty of material. Today, we’re talking about seven foods: sprouts of all kinds and origins; agave nectar, nectar of the metabolic syndrome gods; soy lecithin; coconut aminos, what hipsters have moved onto from tamari; tapioca, gummy starch; animal skin, food of the gods; and Quorn, “food.”

Let’s go:

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Is It Primal? – Cashews, Fermented Soy, Vinegar and Other Foods Scrutinized

Last week, I scrutinized the “Primality” of ten commonly wondered-about foods. It garnered a lot of follow-up comments and emails, so I figured I’d do another round. This time I only covered eight, but I hope you’ll forgive me. If you’ve ever wanted to know about cashews, wheatgrass, fermented soy, vinegar, almond milk, hummus, royal jelly, or green coffee bean extract (and let’s face it, who hasn’t?), this is the perfect post for you.

Let’s dig in, shall we?

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