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
The cereal grain family prides itself on its powerful, expansive arsenal of lectins, phytates, gluten, and other antinutrients. A single seed of its patriarch, wheat, can punch holes in gut linings with ease, and cousin oat has managed to obtain official recognition as being good for the heart even as it doses you with gluten. As healthy whole grains, they hide their armaments in plain sight; they cloak their puny bodies in the very poisons for which they are lauded and applauded. We Primals have got a heated feud going with the family as a whole, but should we paint all its members with the same brush?
Let me draw your attention to rice – diminutive member of the cereal grain family, frequent component of anti-low-carb advocates’ arguments, and the source of much consternation among grain abstainers. Is white rice the proverbial black sheep of the grain family? Does it deserve our full and unwavering opposition? Or, perhaps, can we treat rice like that crazy uncle who drinks a bit too much at family gatherings – occasional visits of short duration are fine and mostly harmless so long as you keep the hard stuff (scotch/soybean oil) locked up?Read More
So you’ve committed to Avoiding Poisonous Things for 30 days. You read the articles from yesterday’s post, cleaned out your pantry and fridge and are ready to get Primal. Now what? After Out With the Old comes in with the new, of course, so it’s time to do some shopping. I want you to fill your kitchen with food that Grok would recognize. These are the foods that the human body is meant to consume. The foods that give us energy and vitality, that make us lean and support our immune systems for a long, healthy and happy life. In short and in full: meat (beef, pork, fowl, fish, etc.), eggs, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, and healthy derivative fats/oils and butters (with herbs, spices, extracts, and supplements rounding things out).Read More
Over the next 29 days I’ll be bringing you tips, advice and guidance to help you get through each of the 14 mini-challenges. With well over 2,000 articles on Mark’s Daily Apple, I’ve written extensively about all things related to the Primal lifestyle; from solutions to common stumbling blocks, to simple hacks that produce big results with minimal effort. As such, many of the articles during this month will feature the best that MDA has to offer. Even if you’re a regular MDA reader these challenge articles will prove useful. Not only is it good to periodically revisit the fundamentals I’m sure there will be some articles buried deep in the archives that you’ve missed. And for all Primal Leapers, use this and future challenge articles to complement the Primal Leap Guidebook material.Read More
So you’ve ditched the bags of chips and boxes of crackers and cookies. You’ve found creative uses for all the junk food that used to make up your regular diet. And you’ve Primalized your pantry, stocking up on all the Primal essentials. With nary a can of Cheese Whiz or a bag of Funyuns in sight, what’s a Primal guy or gal to do when a snack attack strikes? I get this question fairly often, and my answer is usually pretty straightforward. But this one from Melanie got me thinking about it again.
I’ve given up chips and crackers and pretzels and granola and all the other high-carb, processed snacks I use to eat between meals. I’ve been Primal for about 6 weeks now and though I’m finding that I rarely have a craving for snack food (I’m hardly ever hungry!) it would still be nice to have a list of Primal approved snacks that require little to no preparation. Thanks for all that you do!
A couple weeks ago, I received an interesting request from a reader:
Hi Mark – first, I know you’ve got a gob of emails beckoning you….I just hope that you can get back to me at some point 🙂 I love reading your blog, so much so that I’ve decided I would like to pursue a career as a nutrition consultant – in natural health of course. I’m so glad there is such an option! Perhaps some of my friends and family would pay a bit more attention if I study & earn a certificate instead of my continual praises of your site and how it’s changed my life. To you and your Bees, my gratitude!
Now, the reason I am messaging you:Read More
Little known to the public at large. Little understood by the health community. Omnipresent in our conventional food culture. Proven to be at least mildly detrimental for everyone and downright destructive for the more sensitive (and often unsuspecting) among us. We’re talking lectins today: common natural agents on the one hand, cloaked thugs of the anti-nutrient underworld on the other. Our popular health media, if they’ve heard of lectins, certainly never make mention of them. Famous health gurus never deign to speak of them. In short, lectins thrive in the American diet basically unfettered, unscrutinized. Make no mistake, however. They’re a menacing power to be reckoned with. I’ve addressed them on Mark’s Daily Apple in the past (Why Grains Are Unhealthy) and in my book (The Primal Blueprint), but I still get a fair number of emails and forum questions asking for more info. As I always say, let’s break it down….Read More
Nearly every day I get emails from readers about P90X and CrossFit. Most are favorable, some not so much, but mostly, people just want to know if these fitness programs fit within the context of the Primal Blueprint Fitness methodology. In this article I’ll explore what’s great about P90X and CrossFit, and then I’ll voice my nit-picky criticisms and explain how I think both can be improved upon.
It’s often said that any movement is better than no movement, that simply getting up and being active is better than sitting on the couch and stewing with guilt and self-reproach. For the most part, I agree with this assessment. It’s imperative that everyone be active, even if it’s just taking nightly walks or using the treadmill at the gym. But “just any old movement” isn’t ideal. Ideally, we should be performing movements that support, enable, and enhance quality of life. Our exercises should make us stronger, faster, and more capable of accomplishing just about any physical feat the world throws at us. They should be enjoyable (pleasure-giving), brief (without sacrificing effectiveness), sustainable (lifelong), immediately accessible (to young, old, and untrained), and infinitely scalable (from beginners to elites). A fitness program, then, should meet these benchmarks.Read More
Fried food is regularly pummeled in the village square by CW because of the fat content. We Primal types know better of course. Although we eschew the carb-based foods (potatoes, donuts, corn chips, battered/breaded everything) that disgrace fry pans and deep fryers everywhere, we get along fine with the fat itself. I get a lot of questions from readers about frying foods – whether frying is a truly Primal practice and how frying can be done properly to avoid oxidation and retain nutrients. I know there are a lot of fried fans at MDA, and I hope they’ll share their tips as well.Read More
We’re long overdue for a good, solid post on whey protein. I include it in my Primal Fuel shake mix, a number of readers asked about it after last week’s dairy post, and it’s one of the more commonly used nutritional supplements around, so it’s a no-brainer of a post.
What is Whey?
Whey is a byproduct of cheese production. It’s that pseudo-clear liquid remaining after milk has been curdled and strained that used to be tossed aside as waste material. Today, we know that it houses an impressive array of proteins: beta-lactoglobulin, alpha-lactalbumin, and serum albumin. These are complete proteins, comprised of the essential amino acids central to protein synthesis and increased muscular hypertrophy. Our bodies can produce non-essential amino acids from lesser amino acids, but we cannot produce the essentials ourselves; we must eat quality protein sources. Whey is a naturally occurring, essential protein that satisfies the body’s protein requirements – hence its popularity.
In last week’s Dear Mark I took up a reader question about trans fats. While we’re on the fat subject, I figured it was a good time to keep the conversation going and cover an email I got last week about polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Thanks to Brent for this one.
I loved your posts on trans fats last week, but now you have me wondering about all the other truths I know but can’t explain. How about polyunsaturated fat? When I was reading the Definitive Guide to Oils, I was having a rough time remembering exactly why PUFAs aren’t recommended. Can you jog my memory, Mark?
Let me take this one apart – separate out the good PUFA from the bad from the downright ugly. We’re talking everything from grains to nuts, corn and canola oil to fish oil. When it comes to PUFAs, it truly is a mixed bag.Read More