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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May 31 2019

Weekly Link Love — Edition 31

By Mark Sisson
49 Comments

Research of the Week

Researchers find 120,000-year old evidence of starchy tuber consumption.

General intelligence in orangutans.

Ravens feel bad when their friends feel bad.

Two things that recent research suggests is good for multiple sclerosis patients: red meat and keto.

Habitual coffee consumption may reduce all-cause mortality by improving resting heart rate.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 344: Endurance: Brad’s Tough Guy Warning: Host Brad gives a warning to all you tough guys out there about proper recovery and its effect on testosterone.

Episode 345: Gary Foresman, MD: Host Elle Russ chats with Gary Foresman about using low dose naltrexone to treat autoimmune disorders.

Primal Health Coach Radio, Episode 13: Erin and Laura sit down with triathlon influencer, Taren Gesell, to talk about his successful business transition and his belief in the power of action steps.

Each week, select Mark’s Daily Apple blog posts are prepared as Primal Blueprint Podcasts. Need to catch up on reading, but don’t have the time? Prefer to listen to articles while on the go? Check out the new blog post podcasts below, and subscribe to the Primal Blueprint Podcast here so you never miss an episode.

Media, Schmedia

The mainstream is beginning to admit that ultraprocessed foods are terrible for us.

Overinvested “bully parents” are ruining youth sports.

Interesting Blog Posts

Why methane is different.

Why Americans use so much air-conditioning (and why it’s probably better for the environment than heating).

Social Notes

I agree with this list of best low-carb, keto-friendly snacks.

How I do cold brew.

ButcherBox is offering up a super grill deal to kick off summer. Get a $59 array of their amazing New York Strip Steaks, Baby Back Ribs, and Ground Beef totally free with your first box order.

Everything Else

College kids aren’t checking out books from the library anymore.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

Article I’m reading: Walt Whitman on What Makes Life Worth Living.

Thing I’d love to try someday: Free-diving with sleeping whales.

Concept I’m mulling over: The complicated role of testosterone in development, competition, and human reproductive behavior.

I agree: Teens should start businesses.

Chapter I’m reading: “Design Flaws.”

Question I’m Asking

With Google stopping development of its glucose-monitoring lens and all the other failures and dubious advancements, tech is realizing that biology’s a hard nut to crack. Do you think technology will ever figure out human biology and vault us into sci-fi territory?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (May 26 – Jun 1)

Comment of the Week

“Regarding adoptions of ‘easy wins’ discussed in your Sunday with Sisson letter — I think it mostly comes down to habits. It’s difficult to establish a new habit. Even an easy one, such as daily push ups takes effort to establish. Also, and here’s what’s often not appreciated, our current habits usually kick in automatically and interfere with the development of a new one. What’s the solution? The most effective way to establish a new habit is to remove yourself from your typical situation. Why? Because our habits are triggered by the cues in our environment. Change the environment, even by moving your morning routine or ritual from one room of your home to another, can remove these powerful triggers and allow you to more easily focus on your new habit.”

– Great thoughts from Aaron Blaisdell.

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49 thoughts on “Weekly Link Love — Edition 31”

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  1. Hard to find but well worth reading:
    ‘Man; the tottering biped.’ by Philip Tobias.
    A presentation on human uprightness that does some major debunking of all the ‘we aren’t made to be upright’ clichés. Tobias made a presentation at the first international conference on the Alexander Technique.
    ‘Proprioception, Posture, and Emotion.’ in Australia, back in (I think) 1983.

  2. Keto snacks? And here I thought that a proper KetoDiet eliminates the need to snack. But let’s say that there’s a place for some. Wouldn’t those from animals (beef jerky and pork rinds, personally pork clouds brand is tastier than epics) are better suited and in line with our biology than those from plants?

    1. I agree. Not snacking is definitely ideal. I’ve tried all kinds of keto bars and paleo not keto bars and they all inevitably hurt my stomach, yet I can down an entire bag of pork rinds without any reaction. I am anxious to try pork clouds as I don’t like the epic brand either, but they’re only available locally at World Market (of all places).

      1. I finally left the keto diet after two years, and guess what? Gained a whopping 5 pounds back, which is all I lost originally, and was undoubtedly water! Water binds to glucose in our bodies so if we have none that accounts for the largest amount of weight loss and its not good to be dehydrated anyway. Theres a balance involved here. Pork rinds are one of the worst possible things you could put into your body, trust me! Focus on whole, unprocessed foods, have a handful of almonds, or an apple, both way better for you and the planet! Eating lots of FAT provides zero nutrients, think about it, and that’s why I was so tired after two years eating that way, yes I ate a salad a day, and the veggies we were allowed to, but it wasn’t enough for optimal health. Think about it. Since when is bacon healthier for you than an apple?! It isn’t.

        1. Did you really say apple? There’s nothing natural about it and comes with a whooping of 20 grams of sugar. You should read the Vegetarian Myth. It will help you understand better what’s really damaging our planet. And it’s not only what you eat. Let’s see you giving up your car if you have one, cease to fly, and, cut down on your cell phone use and other electronics to name a few. And as far as the pork rinds, I eat them every once in a while and are cooked without seed oils.

          By the way Mark, back in the past, I used to get an alert when someone replied to my comment but that is no long the case.

    2. The more Keto than thou posturing in this thread is pretty damn hilarious.

      1. Were I of a more bright-side attitude like you, I would say it was hilarious too! But I was thinking more along the lines of “wearying” haha…

  3. Mark, always love the Summer Re-Set List, some great boxes to check. Working ahead and nailed the Red Wine tonight. Keep up the great work and hit the end zone in ultimate this weekend! Spider

  4. There’s even older evidence. This just came out: Google this: 400,000 year old evidence of plants tubers and meat

    1. And as we all know, “plant tubers” are loaded with starch aren’t they, which does what in our bodies? Converts to SUGAR! Which is perfectly normal and FINE! Our planet is hanging by a thread and one of the issues is the high amount of MEAT we’re all eating now, not good, creates lots of methane, and uses LOTS of energy to produce, not to mention the horror of factory farms, so I’ve cut waaaay back on meat eating, got off keto diet after two years on it, and eat any fruit I so desire now! I feel great by the way!

  5. I’m skeptical on the coffee study. I’m in the middle of cutting back to take a break from coffee while I experiment with intermittent fasting. This plan led me to a little reading on caffeine. The article stated caffeine constricts blood flow in the brain. It didn’t mention any percentage but, if true, it doesn’t seem like that can be a good thing. My husband always states drinking coffee keeps him from eating so maybe that’s the angle.

    1. You have a point, however, coffee is more than just caffeine. It’s been theorized that the antioxidants in coffee reduce at least some of the risks associated with caffeine.

  6. In the NOVA classification referenced in CNN’s “ultraprocessed foods are bad for you” article, yogurt and pasta are listed as “unprocessed or minimally processed”; salt, honey, and butter are “processed ingredients,” and bread is considered a “processed food.”

    So pasta made with (heavily processed) white flour and water counts as minimally processed. Yogurt made with milk and bacteria is also considered minimally processed. But bread made with white flour, water, and bacteria (e.g., sourdough bread) is a processed food.

    Skimming the cream off milk and churning it produces butter, a “processed ingredient.” Raw honey straight from the comb would be considered a “processed ingredient”. Salt dug from the ground and crushed, or evaporated from salt water, is a “processed ingredient.”

    Adding salt or butter to the “minimally processed” foods is apparently bad, but adding stabilizers or antioxidants is just fine.

    I don’t get it.

    1. You can “get it” if you actually try Rob, most of us do. No, stabilizers and antioxidants aren’t “fine”, not sure where you’re getting that information from? I suggest avoiding all OVER processed foods, you know what I’m referring to! The closer the food is to its natural source, the better. I did keto for two years, finally stopped, I was feeling very tired, waking up tired even, once I went back to eating closer to nature, fruits, veggies, etc. I began to feel better. Maybe its just me, I don’t know, but it works for me. Avoid sugar, and I mean white/brown sugar, not honey, or grapes, or the so called sugars found in nature, like with an apple, avoid white flour, its PROCESSED, and not good for you! Avoid boxed foods typically, eat as close to nature as you can, the Paleo diet has many good points as does the Mediterranean diet, I have my OWN diet, its called eating close to nature, and it works for me. Mother Nature provides fruits and veggies that literally suck minerals out of the earth, create vitamins, JUST FOR US, perfect package for us to utilize, eat them! Hope that helps.

  7. That salad looks tasty but, please, for the love of all that is Arab, do not call it tabbouleh. It has RAISINS in it. And a SPRINKLE of parsley. I can’t even.

    1. “Why Americans use so much air-conditioning”

      Well it’s really nice when you come in from the garden into an “ice cold” house and enjoy a cold drink.

      But seriously, I spent some time in Romania where the summers get quite warm. The biggest difference is the 18 inch stone walls in buildings that survived the Communist attack on architecture. (They look just like buildings in old French movies.) And people keep the windows covered in summer so the light doesn’t form a greenhouse. Plus the ceilings are way way higher, allowing a natural thermocline.

      In the 1970s people in the US built homes with a central “house fan” in the roof that would open and pull air into the house. Even with lower ceilings and wood frame building materials, pulling cold air in at night and covering the windows kept such houses coolish, no higher than 78 degrees in the afternoon. You had to remember to open the windows though, the fans were powerful. Try to install one today though, and listen to contractors naysay it.

  8. The article about air conditioning is 4 years old. One of the points that the article misses is the question why the American air conditioning is so terribly cold. When I was in Phoenix I had to wear a shawl indoors because it felt like 18 degrees Celsius. Why not have a comfortable 22-24 degrees???

    After the recent super-hot summers that we had in Germany more and more persons are installing air conditioning.

    I have to sleep in the basement in summer because of my frogs so I don’t care about air conditioning.

  9. “Ravens feel bad when their friends feel bad.”

    Interesting. The deception part is interesting too. If “reason” weren’t so badly defined, we probably couldn’t destroy the natural world without guilt. “Life” is also badly defined, just ask any sci fi writer.

  10. Thanks, Mark. Great post today, Sunday. We can indeed accomplish amazing things. I appreciate the reminder. BTW I signed up for June Keto Reset but have not heard a word. Hope to soon but I’ll move forward regardless. Again, I appreciate what you do!
    steve

    1. Steve, the series begins today. Look for your first email from me later this morning. Glad you’re with us for the Reset. Best — M

  11. Thank you for this wonderful, healing message! The image of that house built of mammoth bones really brings it home! Please know your good work is greatly appreciated and honored.

  12. Working on being “absent” from my devices! It’s summer, the garden is hopping, there is much to eat and “put by” for the winter months. Also doing a new study on herbs and medicinal plants and being even more proactive about taking by my health. I can’t do much about the political embarrassment that is our nation..other than educate myself, VOTE and encourage others to do the same. Through it all, we’ve got to eat, and find our common ground with our tribe…I try to do that through having folks at the table, or sharing information on a page I manage. Thanks for your content.almost time to go walk the dogs and get my afternoon dose of Vitamin D!!

    1. Good for you Deb! Do what you can to save our planet, make a difference, buy organic and local when possible, donate to groups who fight corruption, and the LIVE your life as best you can! I too am a gardening fanatic! 😉

  13. Regarding today’s Sunday with Sisson, thank you for writing about ‘bad news’ and how it effects us. Humans are awesome and we have sooo much more to offer each other. I am constantly chastised for not watching ‘the news’. I realized long ago that it was unproductive and time sucking! I’d rather do something worthwhile with my time, focus on positive events…or create them! I’m much more healthy and I feel like I’m happier and much less stressed than those that watch and are consumed with these ‘news stories’. I read the paper to keep current and can skim through any needless drama. We’ve got one go around, I’m trying to make it count!

  14. You mentioned going to Farmers Markets every week. I would love someone to explain to me the push for buying local and going to Farmers Markets. Every time I hear them mentioned I cringe a little. I certainly understand buying local, and I agree with that, IF the fruits and vegetables are organic. Usually they are not, so I stay away from local and avoid the toxins/pesticides.
    I can only assume that those who buy local don’t mind the pesticides, and if they juice, drinking a glass of chemicals.
    What am I missing here? I would love to buy local, but sadly it’s rarely organic. I’d rather buy non-local organic.

    1. Lyn, the advantage to “buying local” is how much energy is saved, and typically money out of your pocket by cutting out the middle man also. I would recommend that you ASK your local growers to grow organically! Tell them what YOU want to see, after all you are the customer! They won’t change if nobody asks them to and continue to buy products they don’t like! I wont buy GMO or anything that’s not organically grown, and my local growers via farmers markets and local health food store, know this! YOU are the one who must make your local growers change, nobody else, just you, do it! We did it here in Southern California, and we now have LOTS of organic produce to pick from! Good luck Lyn!

  15. Mark,
    I’m with you on the news, haven’t watched that crap in six years!
    Sláinte,
    CAPT G Dog Martin

    1. Although Mark had great ideas about unplugging and getting back to nature, we shouldn’t just become “hermits”, without having any idea whats happening in our world. If we do that we allow those who would destroy our earth to do so, we MUST stay involved, and to do that we need to be educated on whats happening. I agree with him on most of what he stated though, we need to put the damn cel phones away, connect to “news” maybe once a day or twice a week, whatever works best for you, and then works towards making our planet a better place for all of us after that! Personally, I am working to promote Bernie Sanders for POTUS, because he grasps Climate Change and wants us ALL to have a better world so he’s something I can get behind, and I need to be educated on issues in order to do so. Our planet is drowning in plastic waste now, killing off sea life, can we just become the proverbial ostrich burying our heads in the sand, hoping it will go away? Hardly. So, my point is that we need moderation in everything, which entails judgment, hopefully people have developed that life skill that comes with aging. Aging is a good thing is so many ways, I wish we would again appreciate it in this society as they did in many indigenous groups throughout history. Hope I have given you food for thought! 😉

  16. So Mark – you have inspired me to grab summer by the horns so to speak – today I was gardening, pruning up some hedges, fertilizing – while I have a roast simmering on the kitchen for meal prepping for the upcoming week. Next weekend we will take our 6 year old grand daughter out for a 3 day weekend of camping. Then the other couple of weekends – visit a farmers market- I am doing the Keto reset this month and looking forward to it!! Thanks!!

  17. Establishing good habits is easier when you add variety. Whether exercise, eating habits, staying active, searching out newness or just enjoying each day, mix it up and make it exciting. The ancient men and women were always on the move exploring, hunting and gathering. It is too easy in today’s information consumed world to spend too much time looking at information much of which is not important in the grand scheme of things.

  18. Great article about unplugging from the mass hysteria. I did several years ago and to this day have to be told by coworkers what the latest horror is on Network News. I’ve now been told if I were any more laid back they would have to check my pulse. I love it.

    D Brunton

  19. About those mammoth bone houses: I taught my students about those in my art history class. I’ve been thinking about them for a while. And it may be that in the Paleolithic, those bones were just lying around, from previous kills over the decades or even centuries. That is, the people living in those houses may not have personally killed 95 mammoths, but they had access to a lot of mammoth skeletons, in a dry and frigid Ice Age climate where almost nothing rotted. The steppes below the glaciers were cold and dry, and that’s where people lived.

    This is not to minimize how incredible it was that humans could kill mammoths. It IS incredible. A lot of mammoths were killed by dead-fall traps, though, and by driving mammoths over cliffs. Not all were killed by spears. Sometimes they were speared to death after they fell in the traps. Also, it’s likely that other predators killed mammoths, and then humans could scavenge the bones. Mammoth bones and ivory was an incredible useful substance that could be made into almost anything.

    Your point about going on a bummer because of the terrible constant news is well taken. I have noticed that a lot of my friends seem anxious and depressed and angry most of the time.

    1. You’re right Shannon, I wrote to Mark today via email myself and thanked him forhis article today. I believe we all NEED to unplug, and get back to Nature asap, before theres nothing LEFT to get back to!! Whether we acknowledge it or not, we are ALL OF NATURE, and if we destroy nature, we destroy ourselves, slowly but surely we are watching the disintegration of society and this planet. Lets stop it now and begin to LIVE again, in harmony with nature, before its too late. Namaste~!

  20. I am not here to tell anybody that “this or that” is best, diet-wise, but after being on the ketogenic diet for two years, by the way I am now and was 123 pounds and 5’6″, lost a whopping 6 pounds, I think it was water weight as I was dehydrated most of the time, yes I did “electrolytes”!, that having a bit of water weight is GOOD for us! I am now eating the vitamins and minerals that Mother Nature provides for us in the forms of all fruits and veggies and no longer contributing to the decline of the earth via eating animals (methane etc.) and I feel BETTER now, than while on keto. Again, this is just MY experience, I wasn’t unhealthy to begin with, nor am I now, but wanted to let others know that sometimes we don’t all fit into the same mold and we need to stop trying to do that! Cut out processed foods, sugar, pasta, white bread, alcohol, etc. and focus on, I think you know whats coming – whole grains, fruits, vegetables, some dairy and then seafood, chicken, eggs, etc. I still do my keto coffee with cream and coconut oil, not givin that up! But I no longer eat bacon, sausage, gorge myself on cheese, etc. and I’m back eating organic yogurt with my home made granola and organic berries for breakfast, sometimes a smoothie with fruits, kale or spinach, and yogurt, etc. and I feel GOOD, not only physically, but also mentally! Just some thoughts from my own personal experience for you all.

    1. Linda,

      I, for one, completely disagree that whole grains, especially mono-cropped grains, are in any conceivable way better for the planet than managed meat production. The overwhelming proportion of ‘healthy whole grains’ are produced via chemically supported mono-cropping and I believe this practice to be inherently unhealthy to us, the soil and the planet in general. Conversely, the soil we have was mainly built up over eons by ruminants and it’s health, and frankly ours, is tied to those same ruminants. Glad you found what works for you but I wish we could move past the ‘meat is killing the planet’ hyperbole.

      Best.

    2. I returned a “keto book” because it was all about adding cream cheese to everything. People have totally the wrong idea about keto, especially primal keto. The “gorge myself on cheese” comment reminded me that any diet can be done in an unhealthy way. There’s a wonderful book out there called “Death by Food Pyramid” that shows the similarities and differences of modern “healthy” diets. Good read if you want to keep healthy and want to navigate all the confusion. Glad you’re feeling good.

      Here’s something that happens sometimes: Person A tries a diet that is also the one Person B likes. Person A finds no benefit and quits. Person B is just as happy as before and doesn’t take it personally. Then Person A makes insinuations about Person B’s diet, because, they assume, since, they had no benefits, everyone else must be mistaken.

      Not saying you’re doing this. But it happens a lot, and not just in keto circles.

      I try to react to someone’s results. If someone isn’t feeling good, then I’m sad for that, if they are feeling good, I’m happy for that. If they only feel good eating grains, then I certainly won’t tell them not to. Do what’s good for you, be happy for those who’ve found a way to feel good again.

    3. Gosh, you know so much about so many things that so many of us are so mistaken about. Where can I find your blog so that I can further bathe in the gentle sunshine of your wisdom?

  21. This week’s Sunday with Sisson was very timely for me. I was just thinking of sending in a question about how to stay positive with so much terrible stuff happening. I don’t watch the news, but I made the mistake the other night of clicking a negative news article Google recommended and was stuck clicking link after link for hours reading unthinkably terrifyingly horrible things that are actually happening and I just got so utterly hopeless feeling that night… Things you couldn’t make up in your mind and would never have possibly thought a human being could do until you find out that it indeed happened.
    Thank you for the positive motivation and I will no longer click on saddening news articles.
    I’m not so sure what summer things I want to do. Since being a mom I have lost any idea of what I want to do except raise my children. Maybe it’ll come to me. I do plan to participate in the June keto reset though.
    Thanks again, Mark, for the positive Sunday messages. 🙂

  22. Hi, thanks for this blog. I live in the UK and I got so sick of hearing about ‘Brexit’ politics (I voted to stay in Europe, by the way, I’m not an idioit) that I haven’t watched the news in over 6 months. The amount of scaremongering was unreal – how we were all going to starve and our medicine supply would fail because it’s imported because stuff couldn’t get through customs… And all the politicians arguing their way to achieving nothing. Please, give me strength! I’d certainly rather not listen to that and get on with more productive things. I occasionally ask my husband whether or not we’ve left yet!

  23. I took your advice mark, and announced my retirement for June 28th. I will have the whole summer to play before I switch to some consulting work in the fall! I plan to cycle more and maybe get a kayak. I am sooooo excited for his summer…for my best.summer.ever…

  24. Ultraprocessed” describes many foods, including pre-prepared dishes found in grocery store freezers, packaged baked goods, dehydrated soups, ice cream, sugary cereals and fizzy beverages.

    Below a picture of beef patties and sausages. Probably did a search is stock photos for “junk food’ and this is what came up.

  25. Gardening with summer squash and zucchini, tomatoes and radishes. My first ever garden- enjoying going outside daily to water the plants and soak up some sunshine and breathe the fresh air.

  26. I’m been on a Paleo diet four about 2 weeks coming from an anti inflammatory diet. My health issues are unique. Dyskeratosis Congenita, a shortened telomere disorder with an average life expectancy of 30 years old. I’m 55.
    This disease led to pulmonary fibrosis, scarring of the lungs. I was fortunate to get a double lung transplant about 4 1/2 years ago which saved my life. I then had open heart surgery and two 5 day sepsis hospitalizations.