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

8 Ways to Reduce Your Chemical Load

Last week’s New York Times featured an article about a Dr. Jeremijenko, not a physician but an engineer who offered clients tips for making their personal environments healthier, more naturally pleasing, and more environmentally friendly. Dr. Jeremijenko’s suggestions ranged from planting sunflowers and EDTA soil supplements to leach harmful lead in yards to surrounding yourself with more houseplants for both their aesthetic value and healthy ability to absorb toxic VOCs in the air. She even offers clients reports on the “top polluters in their neighborhoods” and other information on environmental concerns relevant to their areas.

The good doctor’s story got us thinking. We all chat quite a bit about the best diet, the ideal exercise routine, even effective sleep strategies. Yet, our personal environment, we’ve said, includes a great deal we have little to no control over: air pollution, water impurity, and the chemical makeup of modern “stuff” – (i.e. chemicals included, some for good reason and others not so much, in the products we use every day). Wise supplementation (shamless plug ;)) can help counter some of their effects, but what if we knew how to reduce toxic impact from the get-go?

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Household Cleaners and Health Risks

We’ve talked a couple times this week about compromises of circumstances, which included environmental toxins. Although we can’t control everything around us, one simple (and economical) step we can take is to replace standard household cleaners with less toxic, naturally based products.

For now, check out this newscast feature from BostonChannel.com. Environmental and public health advocates in Massachusetts are lobbying the state to pass the Safe Alternatives Bill, which would require cleaners used in public buildings, schools and hospitals to be part of a safe product list already established by the State.

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Top 10 Meat Questions Meet Answers

Although the Primal diet pretty heavily features vegetables, we also love us some meat. Read on to learn top tips for selecting, storing, cooking and serving meat:

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Hold the Fries!!!

Latest news on the acrylamide front from the Danish Cancer Society:

Acrylamide, if you recall, is a substance found in a vast array of common cooked foods, foremost starchy foods like potato chips, French fries and bread. Research some years ago found a “probable” association between acrylamide and cancer based on telling animal studies. Subsequent research has linked the substance with muscle and neurological degeneration as well as Alzheimer’s disease. Although much was made of the findings at the time, no action or significant warnings were undertaken in the U.S. In Europe, however, food safety experts have begun initiatives to reduce acrylamide nutritional intake. Similar studies in the last few years have shown varying results, inhibiting further action or scientific consensus on the issue.

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5 Meats to Avoid

While we’re all about vegetables here at MDA, we have a special place in our stomachs for clean, lean meat. Yes, it’s the ultimate primal picture-caveperson (O.K.-caveman, but can we get points for trying?) returning from the hunt with dinner for the family.

Fun illustration aside, it’s more than the image. Meat, of the MDA-approved variety, means protein, omega-3s, iron, and a host of other nutrients. And, yes, there’s that gastronomical, savory satisfaction. (Apologies to the vegetarian set. We’ll stop now.)

Nonetheless, as we say here at MDA, not all meat is created equal, especially in the current era of antibiotics, hormone injections, grain feed, factory farms, and cloned animals-coming soon to a neighborhood store near you. (Yes, our friends at the FDA are expected to approve cloned meat and milk in the coming days, according to the Wall Street Journal.)

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Spar of the Day: Taking on MSG

Now and then, we at MDA like to branch out from our usual shrinking violet positions and journey into the precarious territory of current controversy. Today we venture into the debate over a disputed additive/ingredient: MSG—flavor friend or fodder foe?
Let’s break it down.

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Chemicals That Harm Baby Boys

I’ve long been suspicious of the side effects of certain chemicals present in plastics that are billed as safe. Even mainstream sources have been questioning the safety of particular toxic chemicals found in petroleum-based products, namely phthalates.

Experts initially dismissed the phthalate debate as nothing more than needless, unsubstantiated worry. Subsequent studies gave the concerns some validity and recommendations to conduct further investigations were deemed worthy. Still, until recently, the evidence was not persuasive enough for the authorities. Now the lid on the Tupperware, as it were, has sealed.

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10 Great Uses for Vinegar (Ditch Those Chemicals!)

While we typically use vinegar for salad dressings and pickling, this beneficial acid has a multitude of wonderful household uses. Here are just a few. Be sure to add in your own tips in the comments below!

1. Better Tasting Coffee

Once a month, brew up a pot of white vinegar. Follow with two cycles of water before steeping your next round of joe. (You can do this for your washing machine as well.)

2. Rust-free Spigots, Nuts, Bolts, and Tools

Simply soak the rusty item in white vinegar overnight!

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Should Pregnant Women Eat Fish?

This is officially the last aquatic health post of the week. However, the issue of pregnancy, mercury contamination and fish consumption is just too important to skip. In an about-face, experts are now recommending (really pretty much begging) that women consume fish during pregnancy. They say that the fat in fish is crucial to proper fetal development and this far outweighs any concerns about possible birth defects due to chemical contamination. 90% of women don’t eat sufficient amounts of fish during pregnancy, and the consequences are severe: impaired cognitive function in babies and depression in mothers. It’s a stand-off between environmental groups and public health advocacy groups, with the FDA just trying to stay afloat as usual.

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Shellfish: Healthy or Not?

Shrimp have long been on the average dietitian’s “bad” list. The belief was that lobster, crabs, clams, shrimp and other shellfish were high in cholesterol, and therefore detrimental to cardiovascular health. But according to the L.A. Times, the oft-cited information is completely wrong. Accurate measurements reveal that shellfish – even shrimp – are quite low in cholesterol.

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