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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August 07 2011

Weekend Link Love – Edition 154

By Mark Sisson
35 Comments

Somehow, I don’t think melatonin-laced brownies will catch on like other enhanced baked goods, but maybe I’m wrong. What do you think?

A chef conquers rheumatoid arthritis in part by ditching processed food and eating more olive oil, almonds, greens, sardines, anchovies, and stone fruits. I ain’t surprised one bit.

The Primal Parent describes her mostly carnivorous diet. Note that it’s not all ground beef and water…

How wild animals evolve to live in cities. Fascinating. I wonder what they’re doing to us.

In a totally unsurprising turn of events, mainstream nutrition “experts” and dieters – you know, the people who actually try this stuff out on themselves – have different ideas of what constitutes a valid, effective diet.

Gout is on the rise in America, along with obesity and hypertension. Coincidence, I’m sure.

How testosterone protects against inflammation.

Vegetarian and omnivore doppelganger dinners. Really, really cool.

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Aug 1 – Aug 7)

Comment of the Week

WOOHOO time to start fermenting big macs…

– Reader brichter almost gets it.

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35 thoughts on “Weekend Link Love – Edition 154”

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  1. My husband runs a coffee shop, and people ask him daily what he serves that’s “healthy.” Man, they have NO IDEA what they’re getting into when they ask that question! “It depends on what you mean by ‘healthy’….”

    I am soooo making the jalapeno cheddar quiche. And the doppelganger dinners are fun and clever–especially because I just finished reading Life, on the Line about Grant Achatz and his restaurant Alinea.

  2. Re: What Experts Say . . . .

    Might have been some ballot stuffing by vegetarians??? ROFLMAO. Weeks after the US News article came out, Atkins, Weight Watchers and Paleo were the only diets that readers said had been successful for them. The numbers for Paleo were overwhelmingly positive.

    Suddenly, huge numbers of people had succeeded with vegetarianism and veganism. But 28,710 had failed on Paleo. Yes, there was ballot box stuffing. If there was any way to prove it, I would bet you $1000.

    I have tried to be very respectful toward vegetarians. But this issue really infuriates me.

  3. Those beef kimchi nori rolls do look amazing! Plus they only take 18 minutes to make. SCOOOOORREE 😀

  4. Thanks for the great links!
    The “lazy cakes” article made me LOL, The “new” mayor in my city has been trying to get these banned for months! The irony is that the city is riddled with crime and drugs, REAL drugs (i.e. heroin/crack cocaine)
    Alas, there was a serious vehicular accident in which these snacks have been implicated..supposedly someone had one of these and a few drinks, and then drove. Tragic.

    1. We already have laws for reckless driving, the government does not need to add new ones to restrict what we consume.

    2. Alcohol and tobacco are safe enough to be sold, but not melatonin, even though it’s already sold? Oh goodness, the brownie looks stoned! Hide that picture immediately! Here, take this bottle of pills instead, give your kids some Benedryl or Gravol to keep them quiet! It will also help numb their minds, making them more likely to unquestioningly accept things the way they are.. bonus! But before they nod off into a temporary coma, be sure to let them brush their teeth with fluoride, also used as rat poison, which crystallizes in the brain, basically forming a wall around the pineal gland. For a fact, diphenhydramine and dimenhydrate cause hallucinations, poor vision, delerium, cottonmouth, poor coordination, and even the inability to talk in high doses. In higher doses, they can cause tachycardia (racing heart), organ failure, death etc. If you survive your day/night of incapacitated confusion and dysphoria, you’ll likely feel sluggish, crappy, and like a depressed zombie the next day. You can get 100 of a generic brand for something like $3.50. Aceteminophen (aka Tylenol) is apparently responsible for over 60% of liver failures in the U.S. Dextromethorphan hydrobromide/polystirex (aka DM, as the labels often say in big, bold letters), the common cough supressant in Robotussin and whatnot, is like a mix of ketamine/PCP, alcohol, an opiate, and a stimulant. It can have many negative or deadly side effects as well. According to the “official” sources it has no addiction potential. Yeah right. It initially makes people nauseous when they have a lot. When they get in the habit of it for a long time and stop taking it for a couple days they’re likely to puke from withdrawals, have night sweats, get dizzy spells etc. When taken with antidepressants it can cause serotonin syndrome. A little kid could walk into a pharmacy, grocery store, or corner store and get these drugs. Other people take them without knowing much about them. Others might know about them and take large doses on purpose. Thanks FDA, for protecting us from ourselves and keeping us healthy, and banning something from nature many people enjoy that you can’t overdose on.
      Back to melatonin, I used to take two pills every night.. can’t remember how much was actually in them.. but they didn’t even make me that drowsy, just mildly relaxed, and that could have been a placebo effect, or it might just have been that I was tired when I went to bed. I think if they did help me fall asleep they probably didn’t do any better than a nice strong relaxing cup of chamomile tea. Drinking potent chamomile before bed, like three bags in one cup squished repeatedly with the spoon, seems to have an effect on dreams, making them more frequent, vivid/exciting, more likely to be lucid, and easier to remember. Others have attested to this online. I found it out while researching lucid dreaming and it was one of many herbs said to increase the likelihood of having a lucid dream. Chocolate seems to have a similar effect on dreams sometimes.

      1. As for melatonin laced brownies, I wouldn’t bother trying them. There’s other ways to relax without a sugary snack. After a day of primal exercise and a nice big pot of mixed herbal and decaffeinated green or black teas at night, and maybe some milk (I like to bring a glass to bed with me to drink some of if I happen to wake up, or just chug in the morning if not, for quenching thirst, helping me sleep, gain weight, and keep my neurotransmitter raw fuel in ready supply), and I sleep fine, if much later at night and later into the day than most people.

  5. Thanks for the link Mark, and I love this quote from the Mainstream Nutrition Expert article, ” The #1 diet recommended by nutrition experts failed for a whopping 80% of people who tried it.” No kidding!

  6. I think Charlotte hit the nail on the head for me as to why I am so consistently failing at the primal/paleo diet. (Diet as in components of consumption, not diet as in “die-t”.)

    It is so very clear to me that I am addicted to sugar/carbs and it is also clear to me that diet is the sole reason I am overweight.

    (How can I say that with such certainty? When I was 16 years old, I got keys to a bike lock and a bike for my birthday; not a car. I rode my bike to school, work at a local bike shop, and then home which, once Mapquest existed, I found out was over 20 miles a day! For my entire senior year! We were all about vegetables, leans meats, and ‘healthy’ carbs like brown rice with the occasional ‘treat’ since my father didn’t believe in sugar unless it was a birthday. I was still a solid 200 lbs. at 5’4.)

    I watched my father struggle with alcoholism as a child and attended AA meetings three times a week with him until I was old enough to stay home by myself. Believe me, when I say ‘addiction’, I mean it in its full, clinical context.

    I have all the concerns addicts face about drugs and alcohol with (1) less social believability, (2) the knowledge that food is a necessity and that I have to deal with this everyday, multiple times a day, (3) enormous peer pressure to conform to USDA recommendations.

    I keep trying because I know that the paleo/primal way is truly the optimal way for my body. (Apparently there is a clinical link between alcoholism addiction and carb/sugar addiction.)

    Now that we are planning for a baby, I am even more determined to get it together but I do despair when my willpower is exhausted.

  7. New to Primal Eating (as in about ten days), but I have lost a lot of weight before on Atkins (about 90 lbs ten years ago). Could stand to do the same again (gradually crept back up as stress, graduate school, and willingness to accept mainstream nutritional wisdom intervened). My fault, of course, for letting it get that out of hand. But I will say what impresses me most about Mark’s ‘diet’ is that it doesn’t take any willpower (for me at least) to follow it. I feel healthy doing so and don’t feel deprived. I think the key thing here is what Mark argues about obesity as a ‘pro-inflammatory state’ whereas reprogramming your body to lose weight by burning fat creates an anti-inflammatory state, and that seems also to reprogramme the brain’s reward centres. One state is a kind of ‘battle for everything’ (with the attendant hyperbolic discounting – piece of cake today vs weight gain tomorrow), whereas the other is one in which I feel calm enough to invest in myself. And there’s a lot to like in that. Diets which require a daily battle against temptation almost always fail.

  8. I actually started to go primal a few years ago because I was getting small bouts of gout – the last one came on after I had 3 pieces of pizza the night before. Anyway, my Dad gets bouts of gout constantly and I knew that I didn’t want to go down the same road as he did. Since being primal, no more gout for me.

  9. I live in a small city and I’ve heard a bird imitating a car alarm. Quite surreal.

    Those nori rolls look pretty brilliant.

  10. Thanks Mark, for posting my nori rolls! And thanks so much to everyone who visited BrokeAss Gourmet today! I’m new to Primal eating and am having lots of fun Grok-ing it up in my kitchen these days!! Happy Sunday, everyone!

    1. Will definitely be trying the beef nori rolls and the chicken nori rolls.

      Welcome to MDA – I’m so glad you were included in today’s post. I love your site – it’s very well done! – especially the header pic of the wine corks! LOL

  11. Mark,

    With all due respect, your statement that Chef Seamus Mullen conquered rheumatoid arthritis through diet is hugely inaccurate. It states very clearly in the article that: “Mr. Mullen received medical treatment, and that treatment has been effective” and “He now takes medication for his arthritis, of course, but he has also detonated and rearranged his regular diet…”

    Medications for rheumatoid arthritis are highly toxic immune suppressants with a host of side-effects often as bad or worse than the affliction itself, with death even as a possibility.

    I am a huge advocate and believer in the power of a paleo-style diet to bring about profound changes in a person. However your simplistic statement that a diet change was all it took to conquer this complicated disease is irresponsible and somewhat insulting.

    As a rheumatoid arthritis sufferer and strict paleo eater, I would give ANYTHING for a cure to be as easy as cutting out refined foods!

    1. Katie, I think you misread Mark.

      “A chef conquers rheumatoid arthritis in part by ditching processed food and eating more olive oil, almonds, greens, sardines, anchovies, and stone fruits. I ain’t surprised one bit.

      “in part” being the operative word.

      1. Thanks for pointing that out, Sharon. I think that “in part” might have been a later add-in because I read the statement quite a few times before formulating my reply. It’s possible I made a mistake though, and misread it…and I apologize if I did.

        Mark, it would be great if you could jump in here and let me know if that “in part” was added after…or if I was just being a sloppy reader! (if so, sorry) Thanks!

  12. It’s frustrating because a lot of the people who didn’t think Paleo worked for them were one of two (or both) of:

    1) Didn’t follow through with a 60 day trial because they either couldn’t deal with the transition period or wasn’t fully committed.
    2) women who want to be stick thin.

    Being Primal is effortless for me. Once you’ve been Primal for a few months, the cravings completely subside. I don’t even remember what a lot of grain products taste like anymore. Nor do I care. :p

  13. Hey Mark and friends, I found an interesting paper on PubMed entitled “Soft Drinks, fructose consumption, and the risk of gout in men: prospective cohort study” – It seems to me that the idea that gout was the disease of kings because they had access to rich fatty foods was probably just a bit off and was more closely related to their excess consumption of honey, sugar, and sweet fruits. If anyone wants to take a look at the study, I’d love to see your thoughts.

  14. I suffered from gout for twenty years, sometimes being bed-ridden for several days and in unrelenting pain. I cured, repeat CURED, my gout by going Primal/Paleo. Since having given up carbs, especially fructose-laden foods, I have not had a single gout attack in two years. (My average carb intake is about 200 gm per week. Also my blood pressure is way down and I no longer am pre-diabetic.)

  15. Having RA, I read the article on the chef and his RA diet Yes, but he is on medication – does not tell what it is. I found that article to be a lot of fluff.

  16. Okay, I have a question – been talking with a friend that has bouts of gout and, to him, the Primal/paleo thing doesn’t click, main item being the increase in red meat. Has gout been covered in a MDA that I reference?

  17. A comment under “How wild animals evolved to live in cities” reminded me of a little disagreement I got in with a seagull. I was eating in an outdoor patio outside a restaurant and there was a swarm of seagulls hovering around and swooping down at the ground and tables, taking fries right off some people’s plates. I had one arm on the arm rest of my chair and with the other I was holding up a slice of pizza. A seagull came flying in from behind me to try to take the pizza right out of my hand! I saw the blur out of the corner of my eye as it was about to pass my head though so I reflexively used the arm that was on the chair to backhand it. The seagull lost a few feathers but was able to recover while still in the air and fly away. I wish I had that on video.
    Just two nights ago I had another interesting animal encounter. I was biking home fairly fast along a dark road when I saw something scuttling across right in front of me. I squeezed the brakes but kept skidding forward, but slowed down just enough for the animal to quickly leap out of my path and then I angled as much as I could to go around it. I looked back as I went by and it was facing me with its bushy tail pointed away. I could only make out its silhouette but I think it was a skunk, and by its body language and momentary lack of movement I think it understood that I wasn’t a threat, just somewhat nightblind like it was. A couple years ago I saw another skunk walking around town in the middle of the day, unconcerned that there were people around and that cars had to slow down so it could cross the road.
    Now I have a flood of memories of animals. Great.
    I saw a seagull chasing a squirrel across a road away from fast food. But I’ll stop there.

  18. I read that first paragraph as “MARTINI-laced brownies,” and I thought “my goodness, why WOULDN’T that catch on? It sounds brilliant!”

    Need to check my eyeglasses…