Weekly Link Love — Edition 100

Research of the Week

More sugary drinks, less brain volume.

Less zinc in the blood, greater risk of COVID death.

Minorities are more likely to test positive for COVID, a disparity not fully explained by pre-existing conditions.

Some East Asian populations have metabolic adaptations to rice-based diets.

Living with kids lowers the risk of COVID.

Beyond meat, there’s a place where bones crumble.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 448: Tara Youngblood: Host Elle Russ welcomes Tara Youngblood, co-founder and chief science officer at Kryo, makers of chiliPAD.

Primal Health Coach Radio Episode 77: Laura and Erin chat with Jamie Shapiro about unlocking the power of both mind and body.

Media, Schmedia

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey’s take on why people are obese.

Fascinating post on why you shouldn’t judge your posture by how it “feels.”

Interesting Blog Posts

Decent article on omega-6 fats that still ends up toeing the official line.

Ancient history looked a lot like Robert E. Howard envisioned it.

Social Notes


Why I love the beach.

Everything Else

Human migratory history is looking a lot more complex.

Interesting podcast with Dave Feldman on the future of health tech.

Take more awe-full walks.

A “druggable pocket” discovered on the coronavirus.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

Just as I always say: Genes are not always your destiny.

Worth a shot: Take action.

This is awesome: Dr. Bronner creates a label for psychedelic-assisted therapy.

Seems like fairly good stats: COVID survival rates by age.

I’m not surprised: Having both intuitive judgers and analytical judgers leads to better outcomes.

Question I’m Asking

What do you think about John Mackey’s take on obesity?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Sep 19 – Sep 25)

Comment of the Week

“Kids so happy. They have an half hour teleconference in the morning, work on their assignments every so often over the course of the day, and really just play a lot. We have to essentially hire a full time governess, but they like it. When they eventually start spending two days a week in person, I expect their satisfaction to drop.”

-Glad to hear, Ion. I also wonder how the “hybrid” approach will work. Worst of both worlds?

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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52 thoughts on “Weekly Link Love — Edition 100”

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  1. If you could ‘feel’ how askew your coordination really is, you wouldn’t need any help correcting it. This concept is one that Alexander teachers have been addressing for around 125 years. And the fact that ‘feeling’ only registers what’s ‘normal’ for the individual is STILL beyond most people, unless and until they have a demonstration from a competent teacher.

    The demonstration isn’t difficult with some skilled manual assistance. Not sure how much you can do via Zoom though.

  2. A note to MDA: This is a great community and shouldn’t be taken for granted. I believe that MDA saved my life and got me on track to be a healthy, thriving 64 y.o. I’m sure it’s helped thousands of others too. It continues to be the first read for me every morning, even though I don’t participate as much as I used to.

    My wife and I just lost our home in the Southern Oregon, Almeda fire on Sept. 8th. I had less than 3 minutes to get out and had some sweats on and a t-shirt. Made it to my wifes office where we slept on the floor for 3 nights. The Red Cross is an awesome organization and the generosity of the people who live here are tremendous. We are pretty stable and getting a bit better everyday. So many more people lost everything and had no insurance. We’ll get through this and time will heal.
    I started back with my Essential Primal Movements this week and hope to start back sprinting this weekend. My food intake has been low, but high quality. The stress was incredible, but I believe I weathered the worse of it due to being Primal.
    All the best to this community and hold your loved ones close. I hope to join back in with the banter when things settle for us.


    1. I am sorry for your challenges. I wish you all the best as you respond and recover from this.

    2. Wishing you and your family the best as you move through this challenge.

  3. John Mackey’s comment on food addiction – “I tend to think it’s going to come about through education and through people becoming more aware and conscious about eating healthier, and then the market will respond to that.”
    I do believe that is the real answer. It’s why I’m eating healthier, by educating myself and listening to knowledge people, like yourself on the subject. Not outdated government guidelines that are biased for economic gains.
    Thanks for your awesome contributions to the health and well being of your readers!

  4. I do think that John Mackey has a point.
    As someone who is obese, my excess weight is ALL about my poor choices.
    However, I am not ignorant. My poor choices come from a place of bad feelings and thoughts that have been instilled in me for as long as i can remember. It is hard to overcome 40 years+ of a bad food relationship. And hard to maintain the motivation when there is a lot of weight to lose.
    You’ve shared some great thought provoking articles here. Thank you and I look forward to reading more.

  5. To Mark and Staff … who will not allow this to be published, but wanted to let you know how I feel. It’s really disappointing to find out Mark is a right-wing idealogue. I’m disgusted that you use your platform to promote such divisive messaging. I’ve visited your site for the last time and will never ever again buy any of your products. I’m not going to give you guys any more of my attention, but you have about 40% of the country demographically to work with, so you can continue to profit from what seems to be on the surface a benign “Ancestral movement” and your white Grok, but underneath is something really insidious and at the very least, tone deaf to what is going on in the world.

    1. What divisive messaging? What’s insidious? White Grok? (Seriously?) What the devil have you been smoking, HH? It would be helpful if you had been more specific.
      Seems to me that Mark is just trying to help people while also making a living. He is as entitled to his political beliefs as you or anyone else, whether left or right, but I’ve NEVER noticed that he tries to foist them off on his readers. In fact, politics has always been refreshingly absent from MDA’s content.

    2. Wow, it seems you must be part of the “tolerant” left? Part of an ideology and cancel-culture that makes a point to silence and/or bad-mouth anyone or anything that seemingly leans to right-of-the-middle. How can you tell where Mark stands politically? Why do you care? Why can’t you just appreciate his work and use his products if, in fact, you gain benefit from him and/or his products. “Tolerance” is being cool with the fact that not everyone has the same perspective on things…that’s what makes the US a great country and, unfortunately, people with your ideology seemingly want to cancel anyone and anything that goes against whatever your stance is on things. See ya later HH.

    3. Can you be more specific and give some examples? My gut is you’ve never bought any of his products before anyway. Why would the percentage of melanin in Groks skin make any difference?

    4. I usually don’t respond to these types of comments, but wow what an absolutely ridiculous, divisive, hostile and reactionary comment that’s based on absolutely nothing. Making general and sweeping accusations (without even naming a specific thing you’ve got a problem with) is just so damn weak. For real, stop it with that nonsense and stop being so righteous about the BS you’re making up in your head hombre. Have a good one and hopefully you have a serious wake up call at some point.

    5. I’ve always really enjoyed your comments, HealthyHombre. I’d really appreciate if you elaborate on what you mean here. Like Skeezix, I’ve never read anything on Mark’s website that hints at anything political.
      Hope you have a peaceful life.

    6. I’m a pretty liberal guy, but I have no idea what you’re talking about, please list some specifics for the rest of us.
      Also, maybe get outside for some fresh air and sunshine, feels like you might need it.

      1. No way to know for sure but I think what set HH off is the link about the Covid survival rate for various age groups. It leads to a right wing twitter site.

        1. I believe it is about the George Floyd murder and how Mark didn’t write anything about it whereas other health bloggers at least mentioned it a little. He commented before when it first happened. I still don’t understand why that makes Mark a bad person or insidious or anything like that, he probably just didn’t want to bring a lot of drama into his website, that’s what I’d assume anyway, I don’t blame him for not talking about it on his health and fitness blog.

          1. Which is smart in more ways than one. I’ve served on the jury of 2 murder trials. Both times the media narrative didn’t remotely resemble the actual evidence presented at the trial. Those experiences taught me to reserve judgement until the facts come out rather than go with an initial knee-jerk reaction.

  6. Can’t answer your question regarding John Mackey’s take on obesity because the NY Times blocked me. (I have no intention of giving them my email address so they can hound me with advertising.)
    For the record, Whole Foods is expensive, even though Jeff Bezos supposedly lowered prices. There are cheaper places to shop and still remain trim, fit, and healthy.

    1. Try googling “John Mackey obesity”; there are several outlets which have reported on this without a paywall. That’s what I did – I think exactly the same about the NYT. The relevant quote seems to be this: “I don’t think there’s an access problem. I think there’s a market demand problem. People have got to become wiser about their food choices. And if people want different foods, the market will provide it.”

  7. In general, I think John Mackey is perfectly correct. I read some of the negative responses and was amused by how well they proved his point. For example, some comments tried to prove that it’s actually about poverty by pointing out the price of organic fruits and asparagus water – neither of which is necessary to improve the SAD.

    I also really do not see how this could in any way be construed as victim-blaming, seeing that actually good advice is hard to come by. Unfortunately, I think that that includes the most basic advice on this site as well, because the basis of the primal diet is vegetables. The cost/calorie ratio of vegetables is quite high, and so is the food weight/calorie (which is relevant even if we assume the food desert problem to be exaggerated in the case of someone who weighs 300 pounds, has bad knees, children too small to help with carrying groceries and no car). No matter whether you are team carnivore or team phytonutrient, I think we should be able to agree that it is better to focus on ground meat, eggs and canned fish rather than vegetables when giving advice to a person in a situation where buying both is impossible, because these can replace a larger amount of SAD food for a given amount of money and food weight.

    1. Thanks for this take. That’s really helpful. I struggle getting me and my kids a lot of produce and adequate meat/protein. They get plenty, but not myself usually. Your advice to focus on the meat, fish, etc is very sensible. I do get a little free produce from the farmers market each week through a really awesome program called the produce box, but usually low calorie stuff. Fatty meat is definitely smarter as you say.

  8. As an Indian, I totally agree with your Gita analysis Sir.

    But may be values are more important than principles?
    Values need to be constant while principles can change…allowing us not to be dogmatic but goal focussed.

  9. Through coincidence rather than design, I wandered into Stoicism about a month ahead of the pandemic. In terms of a mindset for these strange times we find ourselves in, this couldn’t have happened at a better moment in my life (except maybe if it had happened 30 years earlier!).
    Coupled with trying to improve my Primal living, I’m pretty well set and I increasingly see plenty of principles of Stoicism in Mark’s articles.
    Be well everyone.

  10. Dear Mark, Your Sunday blogas are always well thought out, I enjoy your balance & sanity in what you write.
    I d like to point you in the direction of NVC, Non Violent Communication, which follows both those precepts you mention. The skill is in learning to really listen to others, and yourself, & to look beyond the small stuff to the human need behind it, which is pretty much always a noble thing, even if the surface level can seem like the usual kinda complaint. I think you might like it, if you look into it ! I hope so, enjoy! Blessings, Sarah

  11. Wonderful reflection of life well lived. Thank you… With all of today’s chaos this was a perfect reminder…

  12. I Turley love your way of thinking I read everyone of your e-mails every Sunday. So refreshing so honest.
    In my own simple way I have been living that way and I do find that it has worked for me also.
    Thank you for explaining to me what I have been doing in such an eloquent way.

  13. Dear Mark, you never cease to amaze me but this post is the tops. It’s brilliant. So deep, so true, so important. Thank you for writing it down eloquently.

    You’re my hero!

  14. I like a Bruce Lee quote:

    “A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.”

    To me this means we should try to be the best we can at the various things that we identify as important, although also acknowledge that we won’t always be perfect and won’t always succeed despite our best efforts.

    Perhaps with this in mind we can understand why Christ in the New Testament said: “Be ye therefore perfect.”

    Well, nobody’s perfect of course, but it’s something to aim at even if we know it’s not really possible for us and we’ll definitely fall short at times.

  15. We’re kept from our goal not by obstacles, but by a clear path to a lesser goal.

  16. Excellent article in Sunday with Sisson today. Staying focused but still be able to change the plans if the situation arises. In the middle of reading this I realized I flit from one thing to the next all the time. I have been re-arranging my office /exercise/craft room. I got up took the air out of my exercise ball. Read another paragraph and then got a coffee. I definitely need to practice some of your techniques I always look forward to Sunday with Sisson and the weekly blogs. Keep up the great work you do by educating people on the grok way of living.

  17. What I can say are women or men who stay home with the children are not valued highly enough. My parents divorced when I was young. I was determined to be and achieved the highest level of Education. That is exactly what I did, with laser focus!! Did I enjoy the journey? Mostly, I did. I became a lawyer
    in three states but worked all the time.

    I found balance, luckily, in time to know my two sons..However, success has its costs. Now, at my 50 something age, I’m forced to retire. Our litigious society made it to where I do not enjoy it any longer. My next chapter will include something I enjoy. During the coronavirus, I don’t know what that is yet but I am searching and open to the universe to show me. I’m super intelligent, two sons who graduated with honors with a Finance degree and a husband of almost 30 years.

  18. I really feel like this is how I want to live my life . Enjoy a moment that comes not always planning.i was in a very controlling marriage for 27 years and gained a huge amount of weight I was 445 pounds. I have been in my own for 2 years and am at 246. I want to get down to 150. I know I can but I need to learn not to stress. To move more and I don’t have to eat just because.

  19. I agree totally with Mark. Keep your focus on the journey and like all journeys, the path wanders. I have believed this way all my life and yet right now when I’m embroiled in taking care of an elderly (89) father with Parkinsons, COPD, and heart disease with constant challenges (I wanted to keep him at home), I find myself beat down emotionally and unable to keep an even keel on the ship, which then feels like failure all around. Hard to keep a good diet, an exercise program and since I (was) am a writer, focus for my writing. He is headed for a short rehab stint after a week in ICU with pneumonia and while this should give me a mental break, I’m feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. It’s almost impossible for me to retain any focus on my own life and no idea how to remedy this.

    1. p.s.Mark is such a breath of fresh air all the time. He has such great health information and he’s not political. One place you can go and leave feeling peaceful. He’s my favorite. I eat mostly carnivore but slip into keto in summer since I love my garden–when I can keep focus at all which has been hard lately. Thanks, Mark. I love Sundays With Sisson the most of all.

      1. You are not failing. You are loving and caring for your father. Taking some time off will be the best thing you can do. I am in my 80’s and hope my daughter is as caring as you are. Remember it is the journey. that is important. I was a care giver for 4 years. In some ways it was heart breaking but I know I did my best and helped to comfort the people I took care of. Take some time for yourself when you can. You are blessed to be able to do what you are doing.

  20. Loved your Sunday newsletter today, Mark. One of my favourites so far.

    This day, the “evenness of mind and skillful action” part rung especially true. So much clamours for attention at the surface. So much distracts from staying the course and going deep.

    And when those pulls are disproportionally ones of blame and judgement and hate, more of the same is created. The higher good is lost. This is true whatever one’s leaning. Hate and violence are hate and violence; they create more of the same.

    Here’s to holding steady, looking inward with honesty, taking one skillful step after the next. Meeting the world and others from that place. Thank you for your part in this, Mark.

  21. This must be serendipity! Reading your Sunday post this morning made me realize that I’ve been putting off teaching my fitness classes online because I’ve been focusing on the end result- will it be good enough? Instead, I should be focusing on the journey and take my clients along the journey with me. We can all exercise together, learn together, and have fun together, all while improving the setting, the video and music quality, the internet connection, etc. Thank you for this post, Mark! As always, your Sunday with Sisson is full of wisdom!

  22. Hi Mark. I’ve been a student of yours for at least 5 years now, and would like to thank you for the many ways you have helped me. We are the same age, and I’ve noticed we tend to look at things with similar perspectives. I enjoy your Sunday morning insights, and decided to respond to this one. I long ago realized that enjoying the journey is paramount, even while being goal oriented.. Happily married 37 years, two amazing grown kids and 3 energy-filled grandkids, a thriving general dentistry practice that i absolutely love even though I could retire if I wanted to, and thanks in part to you I eat right and keep myself physically fit, riding my bike to work whenever NJ weather allows. Many Thanks for all you do, congratulations on all your successes, and continue to enjoy your journey! Larry Sullivan

  23. I am glad I read your email when I did. I am taking a class and it was a gut punch today. I was spinning feeling as though I cannot reach the goals I have set forth and like there are too many paths to navigate, all of which I feel ill-equipped, or to have chosen wrong. Reading your email gave me back a sense of calm as I was tearfully spinning towards self-destruction. Thank you

  24. This beautiful message is healing and wonderful. Just what was needed, and the timing is perfect. Thank you!

  25. These are great excerpts of powerful thoughts/words.. At 63, outliving 2 husbands, no children, and family far removed…I have been delighted to have arrived, nay living daily in a lifetime (general) goal. Responsible (and knowing of this) for only myself, Paid in full (ok general monetary output aside LOL) Healthy, and enjoying being and staying that way, with knowledge I have tried to impart on other…now living by example 🙂
    I find myself in an amazing ‘mode’ of life….not quite a 1000 year vacation mode as Seth say’s in Seth Speaks (time being linier (a blink of an eye) But long moments spent in meditation, sleep, reading(audio books have become a delight)
    Still working on clients as I am a Neuromuscular Therapist by trade/profession. And brain exercise as well as delightful social interaction through the wonderful sport of Poker/Texas Hold’em both entertaining and profitable LOL…..my life may seem from the outside uneventful, but for me the journey has been enlightening, and the NOW is delightful!
    I enjoy your writing immensely this Sunday’s I will shar with other
    Glad to travel with you along your Journey
    Love Light & Laughter

  26. This is how I have been living life since my quarter life crisis at 25. One goal is to get a degree in something that applies to my main goal largely so people will take me seriously (main goal- helping a lot of people while being able to earn a good income). I’m not worried about how I get there, as long as I do get there. Life is so short which can make it easy to put pressure on ourselves to get certain goals done in a certain timeframe. This creates anxiety thus reducing out ability to be in the present, and enjoy it.

  27. This article is very beautiful in its wisdom – thank you. It reminds me of one of my strategies – don’t sweat the small stuff.

  28. Dear Mark,
    “The inability to stop thinking is a dreadful affliction.” – E. Tolle, The Power of Now. I can attest to this, having started from scratch, with a mind that would just not stop. It has taken me 9+ years to reach a point where I can quiet my mind. It took a lot of devoted practice and a commitment to making my life better. It also took faith that “the peace that surpasses all understanding” lay in the Stillness of the Mind. But it does, and your Sunday with Sisson on 9/27/2020 spoke to this. Other than going Primal and sticking with that, achieving Mind Stillness has been the most important and valuable investment I have made in my life for my well being. The combination of the two is formidable and indelible. The seductive nature of social and news media keeps our minds under arrest and in prison, barely allowing us to think for ourselves. A good place to start is to shut off the TV and most social media. Then, listen to the mind. Then, when you can learn how to hear its rantings, you can begin to work out ways to make it stop. To me, there is no greater reward (except, like I said, going PRIMAL!). Be well, All.

  29. Mark – on the “druggable pocket” article, I followed the link to the Sciencemag article and found this in the Summary, last paragraph:
    “We hypothesize that LA sequestration by SARS-CoV-2 could confer a tissue-independent mechanism by which pathogenic coronavirus infection may drive immune dysregulation and inflammation (35–37).”
    Are they essentially saying that the coronavirus is accelerating and/or escalating the effects of years on the Western diet? And if we were all fat-burning beasts, we’d more readily defeat this thing?
    I’d love to read your take on this article correlative to your Primal research.

  30. Me and three friends decided to run the Portland marathon. We all wanted first, to finish and second, to qualify for the Boston marathon, so a running plan was devised to make it possible.
    Race day arrived, great training, perfect weather, and excited to finally get to it.
    About midway, a couple of us passed our friend who was struggling, but with a smile on his face, he said,”just making an adjustment to the plan”.
    We all finished that day, I was the only qualifier but what mattered was we all finished! None of us very far off our goal time of 3:40.
    I have used my friend’s words many, many times since that day. I didn’t run Boston, it wouldn’t have been fun without them.
    “A dream with a date becomes a goal, steps created to reach the goal becomes a plan, working those steps is action that creates reality”.
    Life is always making adjustments to the plan.

  31. There is a principle in the Bhagavad Gita I try to live by. “Surrendering attachment to the result of your actions and immediate peace will follow” (Paraphrased 12:12). Whenever I feel anger or frustration I’m not handling well I try to identify my expectations and drop them. Peace most often follows immediately, though many times I have to ‘rinse and repeat,” if you will.

    So when Mark refers to people that live a certain way being content with their life, I wonder if their detachment from results lead to contentment or if their good results lead to contentment. But in wondering that I am judging and not focusing on my present.

    It is great to see the Gita brought up for discussion.