January 20 2013

Weekend Link Love – Edition 226

By Mark Sisson

Weekend Link LoveWe’ve got a few more open spots left at the Primal Transformation Seminar and Cooking Class next Sunday in Phoenix, AZ. Sign up and learn how to live, eat, and move from Brad Kearns and Tara Grant, and how to cook from Chef Rachel.

Because of popular demand, we’ve opened up new dates for the Primal Blueprint Luxury Retreat. If you’re interested in being Primally pampered on May 16-19, 2013, sign up by February 1 for the special early bird price.

The American Gut project is nearing its final push. Consider donating, so that we can all benefit from more knowledge about how the gut microbiome affects health and responds to lifestyle. You can also test the gut ecology of your dog, and who doesn’t want to know that information?

If you’ve ever wanted to try something from Steve’s Original paleo products (or you’re running low on your stash), now’s your chance: Steve has prepared a special free-shipping promo code for MDA readers. The code is “marksdailyapple” and will expire on January 27th. Check the store to see what looks good.

Research of the Week

Nutrition researchers are finally realizing that “food synergy” – the metabolic interaction between micronutrient constituents of whole foods – must be considered when conducting dietary studies and interpreting studies of isolated nutrients.

Fingers that wrinkle when wet have an evolutionarily-preserved purpose, after all: it makes handling wet objects much, much easier.

Interesting Blog Posts

The Whole 9 blog digs into the sordid, murky, curly-tailed world(s) of pig farming.

Media, Schmedia

Everything you know (well, probably not you guys as much as everyone else) about fitness is a lie.

It seems quinoa isn’t so harmless after all. Can a person truly care about the welfare of all animals if he or she ignores the effects it has on one prominent member of the mammalian family – humans?

Everything Else

The denizens of Portlandia try their hands at pasta restriction.

Well, well, well – would you look how the most recent Miss America winner got in shape? Lifting heavy things (with a bit of dancing). Also note the immense bulk and incredible vascularity.

Some guy with a new book out gave a podcast interview over at Abel Bascom’s The Fat-Burning Man Show.

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Jan 20 ? Jan 26)

Comment of the Week

Back in the Boy Scouts we called it ?camp salt?.

– I like it, captain mike! Camp salt would be a pretty decent probiotic supplement, I bet. I’ve always had different hygiene standards when camping. Food that falls on the ground, knives that don’t get completely washed, hands that get wiped off on the edges of picnic tables – that’s “camping clean,” and it’s good enough.

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52 thoughts on “Weekend Link Love – Edition 226”

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  1. So glad to see a mention of American Gut! I’m excited to get my kit in the mail and figure out what’s up with my bacteria (: It’s going to be a great project. If you can, you should definitely donate!

    1. I’d donate to American Gut but I just don’t give a shit.
      (Actually I just can’t; I’d really like to).

  2. “TRUTH 3: ONCE YOU “GET IT,” YOU’LL LOVE IT” Right on! This was my feeling once I experienced first-hand that chronic cardio does nothing but wear down my joints and I can get lean and gain muscle a whole lot faster by spending LESS time in the gym. Now I weigh less and have a whole heck of a lot more time to live more.

  3. The “Everything You Know About Fitness Is a Lie” article is weird. He claims gym workouts are bad, then goes on to describe how he increased his bench press, squats, & deadlifts by lifting lots of weights.

    As a 28-year-old, bench pressing a lot was important to me. Then I grew out of it. At 40, why would I risk my shoulders on needlessly heavy weight when there’s zero relationship between bench press and *fitness*?

    1. …But let me balance my negative comment with a positive one: The American Gut project represents the best of science, fitness, and education, and wraps it all up in an open-source ethos.

      Fantastic effort — thanks for the link!!

    2. ya it was a bit confused but i think he meant what most people do at the gym was at fault…i.e., chronic cardio and weight machines.

  4. Really liked the “Everything you know in fitness is a lie” article. Those goals for deadlifts, squats, and benchpress are definitely something I should strive for… and am well short of.

    On the other-hand, despite going over the part where he says “in every man there is a weak muscle waiting to fail” he kind of glosses over what things needed to be done to address this… and made it seem like he jumped headfirst into strength building.

    There’s a lot of information now coming out about how if you don’t address thee weak link in the chain before piling on strength on top of that, you’re just setting yourself up for disaster.

  5. i enjoyed the “everything you know in fitness is a lie” article although it left me wanting more information.
    i’m a fit woman, 39 just starting to lift “heavier things” after years of running training. i also live in a small northern town where resources are scarce and the gym is at the high school with no barbell (lots of dumbbells though). i am a bit weary of trying really heavy weights either by myself or without supervision to check form etc.

    does anyone have suggestions for weight lifting resources that focuses mainly on dumbells and body weight? i’ve been doing some basics (situps, pull ups, pushups, db deadlifts) but would appreciate any input!

      1. unfortunately, i live in a remote location where internet is not great so skype not an option. 🙁

    1. Men’s Health has some really good resources:

      We own Men’s Health Home Workout Bible. Most everything is illustrated and almost every exercise has a dumbbell alternative:


      Excellent general resource and discusses building your own home gym, which if you have any space will help in a rural area.

      I found this book, Men’s Health Ultimate Guide to Dumbbells when I did the Amazon search. Can’t attest to the quality, but it might be worth checking out.


  6. RE: The Men’s Journal Article. I stopped reading at this: “Shaul’s guys out in Wyoming get massively strong and powerful on precisely three gym sessions a week.”

    See, I don’t want to be “massively strong and powerful.” I have no need. I dislike most sports. (In fact I suck at most sports. Ultimate Frisbee? Ugh. Can’t throw a Frisbee to save my life.) I don’t intend to ever mountain climb, surf, ride mountain bikes, or do any other extreme sport which, at the risk of sounding judgmental, I find to be ridiculous and boring. But that’s just me.

    Here’s what I want. I want to be slim (which I am now) and I want to have overall good health and not be sick and avoid contracting a preventable disease. I also want to feel energetic and mentally and emotional strong. Primal Blueprint has helped me with all of these things (even getting off blood pressure medication.) I don’t think I need to bench press 2x my body weight to be fit. What would be the point of having that much strength? When the heck woudl I use it except at the gym?

    Frankly, I find the obsessive striving for “peak athletic fitness,” or whatever, to be depressing.


    1. What would be the point of having that much strength? Here’s one perspective: my goal for strength is to be able to help myself and my family in a disaster or crisis situation. Right now, that means being able to carry one or both of my kids if they fall at the playground or while hiking. It might one day mean being able to lift them out of a high window in case of fire, or helping them over obstacles after an earthquake. Or lifting myself up and out of a stuck elevator (the biggest reason I want to be able to do a pull-up…just one!)

      To see how this might look in real life, go find and read the post that Jamie “That Paleo Guy” wrote after the Christchurch earthquake.

      1. Don’t get me wrong. I do strength training. (I can do pull ups just fine as well.) I don’t think what you’re talking about is the same as what the guy in the article is talking about.

      2. Karen – I’m right there with you about muscle for emergencies. I’m still working on doing a pull up after several years. I’ll get there, darn it.! (Maybe it’s a woman thing??)

        1. Have you done under the table pull-ups or pull-ups with your feet raised on something for support? They’re easier.

      3. I recently got interested in this type of “apocalypse” training. Have you found any good books, programs, etc to build this overall “ready for anything” kind of fitness?

        1. MovNat. Hands down. Parkour is good too.

          Read the history behind this. Georges Hebert’s story is remarkable.

    2. I agree with obsessive work towards peak fitness being depressing. On the other hand, 3 hourly workouts a week using free weights doesn’t even register on the obsessive scale. It is unreal what kind of time/money the chronic cardio/extreme bodybuilders will devote to their training.

      That kind of strength is literally money in the body bank. It will take as much time to lose as to gain, so if you had a debilitating acute illness, you’d end up where most wish they could get to once it’s over. I don’t really think you have to have it be reasonably fit, but it’s a worthy goal in my book. And that’s especially if we’re talking all of 3 hours in a week.

  7. OMG…Portlandia … too funny … I get the same glazed look when we eat out and it looks like the whole restaurant is eating pasta in one form or another. BUT I’m 1 and a half years pasta free and I wouldn’t go back there.

    1. It was very funny, especially the bit at the end where he’s in “crisis”.

      1. Follow the link the uploader posted! It’s the second part where he’s in rehab, pretty funny.

  8. The Pork article was no surprise, but I am glad it presented the facts without being hysterical. In Australia, sow stalls are finally being banned, but free range is difficult to come by. Here it’s bacon. Most of it is “made in Australia from local and imported ingredients”. The imported ingredients are actually the pork itself, generally from Canada. Aussie bacon is being made but it has to be hunted out, and after asking lots of questions I have finally found free range pork. Another issue is a lot of pork is pumped to keep it moist (!), a lot like turkey. It’s nearly impossible to buy a turkey that is just the bird, no additives.
    Keep foraging folks, and think about how far the food has travelled as well how it was raised,

    1. can u please let me know any brands if any you could name? im in north queensland and i have a hard time finding any pork meat that isnt from “local and imported ingredients”

  9. There were some graphics in “everything you know in fitness is a lie” that are not attached now. All are at archive.mensjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/

    picture-81.jpg is avoiding injury

    picture-72.jpg is a book list

    picture-62.jpg is about timing on supercompensation

    picture-54.jpg is classic back squat

    picture-wb.jpg is training goals

    1. Thanks for the links to the images. I believe ‘picture-wb.jpg’ should be ‘picture-2b.jpg’.

  10. Hi Mark:

    I just got a letter from the Department of Health & Human Services.

    It seems that they are recruiting parents in a study of obbesity on their children and want us to participate.

    Here is my e-mail reply to them. Please enjoy!:

    Dear Loise & Camden:

    Our children are already grown, so I don’t think the study would apply here.

    However, given the recent moves by the FDA (the so-called SAD – Standard American Diet and the food pyramid, coupled with the recent declaration that High Fructose Corn Syrup is ‘natural’), I guess a reply on my part was necessitated.

    We do have a health crisis on our hands.

    It is serious.

    But instead of a study, I propose the gathering of pertinent information for the population so that they can make informed choices about food health.

    As a youth coach for 10 years, I have borne personal witness to the disease of which our children our culprits. I have worked personally with children and parents alike to modify food habits and have witnessed the positive results of those efforts.

    For more information, please check out these websites if you have not already done so:

    For the digestive metabolic pathway of fructose (*any* form of fructose) and its effect upon leptin-signalling try here:


    It is no wonder that people with bad diets are truly victims.

    For some very good diet & sun guidance, please see here & here & here & here:










    And that is just the start.

    I visit a doctor every 15 years or so. My last visit was in 2010. My triglyceride level was at 44 (high is 500). Both LDL and HDL were superb, and the cholesterol count was something neither of us payed any attention to. But that is because he already knew of both Mercola and Mark Sisson.

    My children now follow my “get your carbs from anything else than bread or soda” diet. It is a diet that is very high in saturated fats from meat, carbs from raw vegetables, and lots of cheese (and other fermented foods) for the Vitamin K2.

    And oh btw, they are ‘ripped’.

    Please start spreading the word.

    That is my message to you. Bury the food pyramid and get to a healthy diet.

    Please, please, please do something functional and constructive here.


    Bill Kelsey
    Ellicott City, MD

    END OF e-mail response.

    Mark, thanks for all that you do & it is my ferverent hope that your influence will shape the trajectory of the FDA, NIH, as well as the DHHS.


    1. `/ (That’s as close as I could come to a check mark. Good email.)

  11. Thank you for the Link Love Mark, you made my day (again) and I truly appreciate it!
    Bedtime in Sweden now, but y’all have a great Sunday!

    Take care // Peter

  12. you know we are able to grow quinoa here in the united states, south west colorado grows organic quinoa and i am sure it grows in other states as it is a hardy plant, probably considered a pest of the wheat/soy/canola industrial ag industry. support those local and diversified farmers

  13. “You’ve seen it a hundred times – the same thing I saw upon walking into my first brand-name franchise gym: roughly 5 percent taken up by free weights; 5 percent by stretching areas; 50 percent by cardio machines; 50 percent by weight machines.”

    The mens journal writer needs to learn how to add…

  14. Where exactly do i write the code for Stevespaleokits, and does the free shipping count for outside US/CA aswell?

      1. So the free shipping only includes US citizens and not europeans..right?

  15. “Nutrition researchers are finally realizing that “food synergy” – the metabolic interaction between micronutrient constituents of whole foods – must be considered when conducting dietary studies and interpreting studies of isolated nutrients.” I wonder if the revelation that typical isolated calcium supplements (recommended for decades) can cause arterial calcification when they are supplemented without sufficient vitamin K-2, which directs the calcium to where it is used – bones, muscles, etc. Otherwise it accumulates in the bloodstream, chronically (with chronic supplementation) and contributes to arterial calcification.

  16. “Camp salt” .. When I went on a chaperoned guided hiking trip the staff frequently referred to the small amounts of dirt that remained in our lake and river water as “trail spice”.
    I didn’t like how the water was treated by dropping a pill of some sort of disinfectant into it and waiting for it to dissolve. I assumed that most of us could probably drink the water without treating it and be fine. There’s a stream running through a forest near the last house I lived in and I used to drink from it frequently rather than returning to the house for water when I was galavanting in the woods. It was great water and I never got sick from it. When I started drinking it roughly coincides with when my immune system seems to have bloomed – for the last 4 years I haven’t gotten sick much, which used to be a regular experience especially in the winter. Now I live in an abandoned lunch room trailer without any electricity except a flashlight and I basically just don’t get sick.
    Tool has a line in their song “Schism” that goes “Mildewed and smoldering, strangled by our coveting” (I thought coveting was “comforting”). Too much comfort smothers and pampers someone and makes them fragile.

  17. Has anyone figured out the free shipping from Steve’s Original? I typed in the code but it says it can’t be used because the discount is equal to 0.

    I was looking forward to trying some of his stuff.

  18. Enjoyed the Men’s Health article. I’m only a little worried that all the interest there seems to be lately in barbells is going to make the gym impossible to use. I go to a university gym and there are 2 squat racks open in the morning and 3 in the afternoon on a campus with over 20,000 undergraduates, all of whom get free access to the gym.

  19. I am impressed by your writing. Actually, there is very little can write like you.I will back to read again .Carry on writing.

  20. Hmm, I don’t think I’m sold on that wrinkly-fingers-evolutionary-advantage deal.

    I’m completely willing to believe that wrinkled fingers can grip wet objects better, because that makes sense.

    But how much time did Grog (or his however-early primate ancestors) spend trying to grip wet objects? How critically important were these wet objects to survival?

    i.e., in how many scenarios is the ability to grip wet objects *slightly* better than one’s smooth-fingered peers going to make the difference between surviving to have children and dying young?

    Humans have narrow, pointy noses, unlike most other primates. Narrow, pointy noses are better for holding eyeglasses in place than broad, flat ones. Evolutionary advantage, or lucky accident?

  21. RE/ Miss Americas diet and workout:
    She mentions she keeps her fat low?
    Whats that about?
    Without doing the whole “thats not very Paleo!” freakout, i’m confused as to how that would work for her long term..