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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July 24 2011

Weekend Link Love – Edition 152

By Mark Sisson
42 Comments

The Paleo Comfort Foods cookbook is finally available for pre-ordering on Amazon. If you place an order and send the authors your confirmation note, you’ll be entered to win a lovely Le Creuset 4-quart pot worth $220.

What is the key to optimum happiness? I and others give our two cents.

Does knowing a food’s country of origin – or thinking you know it – change the way that food tastes?

A blogger explores the world of edible insects and makes them sound pretty darn delectable. Would you eat a water beetle?

The evidence mounts. Two new studies confirm that regular physical activity is linked to lower rates of neurodegeneration and cognitive impairment as we age.

But it’s not just physical movement that helps the brain work better. In a recent study, meditation appeared to greatly enhance structural connectivity between different areas of the brain. Meditators had denser, more efficient, and better connected brains.

Protein shakes aren’t necessary, but if you’re gonna do one do it with whey, which recently beat soy protein in a calorie-matched fat loss duel.

There’s a strong possibility you have Neanderthal genes in you. According to new evidence, I (and anyone without pure sub-Saharan African blood) certainly do. You know, I can’t really blame those early humans for interbreeding. Neanderthals were supposedly master flutists, and what woman doesn’t love a musician?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (July 18 – July 24)

Comment of the Week

I remember one time my friend and I were out playing in the forest with his dog and it ate a bunch of bark off of vines. We came back inside and started chasing it around a room and wrestling with it and when my friend was on his back putting the dog in a headlock with his legs it threw up, all over his upper body and face, including in his mouth.

– Reader Animanarchy with more lurid details. I love it.

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42 thoughts on “Weekend Link Love – Edition 152”

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  1. Wow, what a prize! Those Le Creuset pots are amazing!

    I had missed that happiness post. Wise words. (And I’m noticing the prominence of reasonable expectations as being key. Hmmm.)

    And in case I needed any more reason to get active, my family history shows I need all the help I can get to stave off cognitive degeneration.

    As always, thanks for the great links!

    1. Prayer is also a form of meditation. Not the “Oh God, please let me win the lottery” variety of prayer, but real, heartfelt prayer done on a daily basis. It all depends on your preferences. Karen P has the right idea, and whether you call it prayer or meditation is just a matter of semantics.

  2. I love making pickles. I am a neophyte at best, but they are delicious! I made a batch last year (?) and ended up having them too sweet (I like them dilly and savory!). Found out later that You ultimately have to kill off the fermentation process if you want them to not get sweet. The recipe for Todd’s pickles look delicious.

    1. There’s a great recipe for dilly beans in the most recent Bon Appetit. You ferment them in a brine for 2 weeks. Mine have been in the brine now for a week.

      1. Thank you so much for that tip! I am addicted to lacto-fermented dilly beans, but at $7 a jar, they’re breaking the bank. I will definitely try this recipe.

    2. I love the thought of making pickles! But haven’t done it yet. We are getting a mad amount of pickles from the garden this year. Can you use any cucumber or are those pickling cucumbers best?

      1. We’ve tried it with a few different types, and while they do have different tastes, they are all pretty darn good. Primarily, we’ve been using the plain old ‘garden cucumber’. They’ve ranged from 6″ to 15″, and all have yielded nice results. If they’re coming from your garden, scrub the skin lightly with a sponge and cold water to remove the spines. Once you slice, you have the option to scoop out the seeds (which we prefer, but some people do not mind the seeds).

        Hope you enjoy the pickles! They are so easy to make, and a great way to deal with a surplus of cukes! 🙂

        Bill & Hayley

  3. Goat is the most eaten meat? Surely chicken and even pork would be more widely consumed.

    1. Vast portions of the world don’t eat pork for religious reasons. Additionally, the goat is arguably the most versatile/adaptable livestock animal in the world.

      Goat is big in the middle east, around the Mediterranean, and the far east (China). China holds the largest amounts of goats, with an estimated 197 million (and growing) (2007 FAO) animals throughout the country.

  4. Chapulines (chili and lime fried grasshoppers) are a Oaxacan specialty and are awesome! Actually they have a texture and taste similar to shredded beef jerky. I’ve tried a few other insects as well, but none made much of an impression. The heeby-jeeby factor is probably too great for me to actually put a spider in my mouth regardless of it’s mortality or preparation.

  5. Thanks for the heads-up on the goat recipe. I have a lovely local source and I’ve never been quite sure what to do with it, other than the sausages.

  6. I knew all along that some of us carried the Neanderthal gene, I mean, just look at Hellboy =P

  7. I had some delicious grilled grubs in Iquitos, Peru.

    My dad gave me a mitochondrial DNA test for my birthday. I’m in Haplogroup K1, descended from “Katrine,” our common ancestor from Eastern Europe who lived 12,000 years ago. There are about 3 million of us living now in haplogroup K. Maybe Katrine was part Neanderthal? I liked knowing that Neanderthals played flutes: I play the pennywhistle.

    As for meditation: I’ve been trying to meditate in the morning, but the dogs keep bothering me for pets if I sit on the ground outside. I know that dogs meditate; I’ve seen them do it; but they don’t seem to want people to do it.

    Jim James of My Morning Jacket meditates in the morning and at night: he wrote a song about it called “First Light.” He doesn’t mention the dog-bothering problem.

  8. I had heard about the sapiens/neanderthal interbreeding from another study before, and thought it was super cool. More confirmation just makes it cooler!

    Probably explains my more-than-usually-prominent brow ridge, as well as my high torso/leg ratio, and possibly my red beard as well (not kidding).

    Of course my torso may be long compared to my legs because I was supposed to be eating primal food when I was growing, and I was eating processed neolithic foods loaded with sugar instead. I have to wonder how tall I might have been… oh well. I think I’d rather assume it’s because I’m more Neanderthal than most!

    1. Is it really possible some people have so much neanderthal-genes in them they actually look more like they did, even today?

  9. I want to try eating more bugs.. thinking about going outside with a jar and catching some soon for a stir-fry. I had some canned escargot recently, which I ate cold mixed with a lot of olive oil and spices. It was really good. Other than that I’ve only eaten a tiny dead spider that I didn’t bother removing from a carrot, other small bugs I’ve accidentally swallowed outside, and pieces of bees (lots of heads and legs) that were in some of the bags of bee pollen I bought. You can’t taste them with the pollen, just feel the crunch.
    Here’s a list of some bugs you can eat.
    http://edibug.wordpress.com/list-of-edible-insects/

  10. I would eat bugs before grains on a consistent basis any day.

    I am 100% serious by the way. Would anyone else join me?

    1. I eat a lot of bugs. They are all pretty tasteless, but the texture is sometimes interesting. Maybe I should learn to close my mouth downhills on my bike. (I think I managed a butterfly yesterday.)

  11. The problem with only listing Whey is that Casein is forgotten. Whey is faster absorbed, great for after a workout. Any other time Casein is better for a longer absorption time, call it a slower burn.

    Honestly, after a workout, milk is still the best overall. Has everything in one drink for performance.

  12. Huhu grubs are delicious. They taste like the wood they eat. Fry them and they are like fancy gourmet french fries.

  13. Love the links involving entomophagy; more on eating bugs!

    Entomophagy just sounds good to say, add some accents here and you could have a hip new restaurant.

  14. Great links. More reasons to be active, and meditate. I didn’t really need more reasons, but. I liked the whey VS soy protein info.

  15. I ate some toasted ants one time. Not bad. Lightly crunchy with a moderate nutty flavor and some bitterness.

  16. Just wondering why anyone would want to eat sous vide food… I can’t wrap myself around cooking food for so long in plastic, let alone eating it, never mind throwing it away each time.

  17. I love the list of quotes on Happiness.

    Mark, yours is pure Stoic wisdom. Epictetus, Seneca, and Marcus would be proud.

    Great advice, and just what I needed to read this morning.