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: toxins

10 Primal Skin Care Ideas

Morning, everyone. Hope you all enjoyed a happy and safe holiday. I’m turning over the reins to one of our Worker Bees today as I spend some time on a book project (more to come on that). I know many of you have asked about natural skin care ideas in the comment board, and we’ve got some great suggestions today. I hope you’ll welcome our Worker Bee to the fold (she just joined us recently) and offer up your own ideas below. (And for those who may have missed it, I shared several of my own favorites last spring.) Have a good end to the week. 

Spend any amount of time perusing the shelves at your local supermarket or beauty supply store and you may notice that all the skin care products have something in common: a long ingredient list. I’m afraid to say most commercially-packaged bottles, jars, and tubes contain potentially harmful ingredients in the form of preservatives, stabilizers, artificial colors, and/or added fragrances, which could have negative long-term health effects when absorbed through the skin.

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The Carnivore Diet: Pros, Cons, and Suggestions

All-meat diets are growing in popularity. There are the cryptocurrency carnivores. There’s the daughter of the ascendant Jordan B. Peterson, Mikhaila Peterson, who’s using a carnivorous diet to stave off a severe autoimmune disease that almost killed her as a child. The most prominent carnivore these days, Dr. Shawn Baker (who appears to eat only grilled ribeyes (at home) and burger patties (on the go), recently appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience and Robb Wolf’s podcast, and is always breaking world records on the rower. Tons of other folks are eating steak and little else—and loving it. There are Facebook groups and subreddits and Twitter subcultures devoted to carnivorous dieting.

What do I think?

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The (Maybe Not So) Definitive Guide to Cold Therapy

Cold is really catching these days. Aubrey Marcus, whom I recently filmed a nice podcast with, was asked about his winning daily behaviors on another show. The very first thing he mentioned was “exposure to cold.” His practice is finishing his morning shower with a three-minute stint at full cold setting. He mentioned the hormonal benefits but also the mental edge he gets from psyching up and accepting the challenge instead of wimping out. He also cited research that people who engage in therapeutic cold exposure catch fewer upper respiratory infections. Hence, like many other elements of conventional wisdom, the old wives tale is backwards. Of course, we are talking about acute and optimal duration cold exposure, not prolonged exposure to elements that weaken your resistance and contribute to immune disturbances.

As with keto, there’s much more to be learned in this burgeoning field before we can operate in definitive (hence today’s title). Today, however, I’ll expose you (the first of more double entendrés to be on the lookout for) to important concepts and best practices so that you may enjoy the vaunted benefits and avoid some of the negative effects of going about cold exposure wrong.

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Dear Mark: Coffee and Cancer, Beef Cheeks, Paleo Pancakes

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering a few questions from readers. First, what do I make of the news that coffee sellers in California are going to start putting “may cause cancer” warnings on their labels? Is there anything to the cancer and coffee claims? Next, why didn’t we include beef cheeks in the “cheap cuts” post last week, despite being big fans of the cheek? After that, I explain why I included a recipe for fried scallion pancakes in last week’s Weekend Link Love.

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Is the Autoimmune Protocol Right For You?

If you think going Primal is restrictive, the autoimmune protocol is downright draconian. But this is by design. The entire point of an autoimmune Primal/paleo protocol is to eliminate all the foods with the potential to trigger any allergenic, autoimmune, or inflammatory responses. That leaves out a lot of delicious foods, many of your favorites—but it can be a powerful way to assess your sensitivities, target the root causes of mysterious health problems, and illuminate a path forward. It gets you back to square one. A fresh start, a wiped slate.

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Dear Mark: Peanut Edition

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering a bunch of questions from last week’s post about peanuts. You guys had quite the reaction to it, and today I’m digging into some of your questions and comments. Does roasting create carcinogens in the fat? Should (and can) you sprout peanuts? Are peanuts used to soak up toxins from the soil? How do I know if my peanut butter comes from Valencia peanuts?

And many more.

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Grok Didn’t Take Supplements, So Why Should I? (and a Giveaway)

The main objective of following the Primal Blueprint is to extract the healthiest, happiest, longest and most productive life possible from our bodies – and to look and feel good in the process.

Our 10,000-year-old Primal genes expect us to emulate the way our ancestors ate and moved; and the Primal Blueprint says we should do exactly as they expect. While there are many things we can do (or eat) today that very closely approximate what Grok did to trigger positive gene expression, there are also a number of obstacles that can thwart our attempts to be as Primal as possible. Artificial light prompts us to stay up too late and sleep too little. Electronic entertainment competes for our time when we should be out walking and basking in sunlight. We don’t always have access to ideal foods. We shower too much in water that’s too hot. We use medicines to mask our symptoms instead of allowing our bodies to deal directly with the problem. You get my point. You can’t go back to the paleolithic.

One of my tasks is to find the shortcuts—the easy ways to get the same genetic expression benefits Grok got—but by using 21st century technology or just plain old common sense. Working out in Vibram Fivefingers to simulate going barefoot is an example. Or learning how to spend time in the sun without sunscreen AND without burning. Getting more from a 20-minute full-body exercise routine than from a 3-hour cardio workout is yet another example. And given the lack of certain critical nutrients in even the healthiest diets, finding the best supplements is another.

Here are a few of the best categories of supplements I can recommend to just about everyone:

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Stevia vs. Truvia

In a perfect world, there wouldn’t exist such an absurd notion as a “sweet tooth.” Primal diehards, usually so commendable in their clean eating and healthy living, wouldn’t find their resolve crumbling in the face of a cafe counter overflowing with baked goods. A hearty meat and vegetable dinner or big ass salad lunch would fulfill all dietary and sensory requirements, rather than needing to be rounded off by something called dessert. Beyond the detriments of sugar and fructose and the toxins of artificial sweeteners stevia and an increasingly popular trademarked product called Truvia. How do they compare?

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Dear Mark: Happy New Year, and Flight Crews, Radiation, and Cancer

Before I get to the questions, Happy New Year, everyone! We have some exciting announcements and daily posts coming throughout January designed to help you successfully tackle this coming year (and any future ones you experience) along with some great giveaways, so stay tuned this week.

For today’s Dear Mark, I’m answering just one question. It concerns an article I posted in yesterday’s Weekend Link Love about the radiation exposure flight crews experience. They receive more radiation than people who work next to nuclear reactors, which sounds really dangerous. Won’t all that radiation result in higher cancer rates?

Let’s take a look:

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Dear Mark: Roundup Safety and Polyamory to Monogamy

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m covering two entirely different topics. The first is a fairly familiar topic to readers of this blog—whether a popular pesticide is actually dangerous or not. The reader asking the question thinks the data is clear, and Roundup is safe, but I’m not so sure. Second, I discuss the evolutionary underpinnings of our transition from polyamory to monogamy.

Let’s go:

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