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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June 21 2019

Weekly Link Love — Edition 34

By Mark Sisson
54 Comments

Research of the Week

Traditional fishing practices beat conventional wisdom.

Body fat is directly linked to heart disease.

Dogs evolved special facial muscles so they could manipulate our emotions.

Eating more protein via red meat is good for obese seniors.

Fertilizer is responsible for way more methane than livestock.

Food deserts cannot explain obesity.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 349: Leanne Vogel: Host Elle Russ chats with Leanne Vogel about keto for women.

Primal Health Coach Radio, Episode 16: Laura and Erin chat with Christina Rice, a coach who figured out how to control her own health after no one else could help her.

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 bracelet that shocks you if you eat too much junk food.

Are smartphones giving young people horns? Hmm. Maybe not.

Interesting Blog Posts

Questioning the plans to establish official “birth-to-24-months” dietary guidelines.

The rise of sober culture.

Why women often struggle with weight loss.

Social Notes

Forgot to mention I’m gonna be a grandpa.

Everything Else

Good overview of the diet-heart hypothesis.

In the Indo-European family of languages, the word for “salmon” hasn’t really changed at all over the last 8000 years.

Robotic fish with battery blood.

Washington state officials ask landowners to let whales decay on their property.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

Study I found interesting: Which countries are most honest?

Viewpoint I found interesting: The big push for lab-spawned fake food and meat replacements is more about promoting global food industrialization than saving the environment.

Move over Genghis: Two bulls are responsible for 9 million dairy cows.

I fully expect all the LDL-phobes to stop eating wild salmon now: Eating fish linked to greater increases in LDL than red meat.

A culture’s popular art reveals its most pressing issues: The hit Japanese TV show called “I Will Not Work Overtime, Period!”

Question I’m Asking

Would you use a product like the bracelet that shocks you to curb bad habits and instill good ones?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Jun 16– Jun 22)

Comment of the Week

“When we bought our tiny shed, an 8x4metre box, half that size downstairs, we boxed what all we had and after a year donated what we hadn’t dragged out. We didn’t have much, now we have less and we love it. In 6 months we’ll be mortgage free at 47 and 53, permaculture based on an acre of off grid ocean paradise. Because we down sized and constantly checked in with need vs want. Life got simpler, easier and more fun. Now we choose. I recommend giving the Jones’ a wave but not trying to keep up with them.”

Kate seems to have figured things out.

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54 thoughts on “Weekly Link Love — Edition 34”

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  1. Finally beat Mark at something, been a grandpa for 5 months now. 😉

      1. Ha, I’m still pretty new at this myself (we are the same age BTW). It’s a bit like riding a bike in that holding them, changing diapers etc. comes back to you pretty quickly. Funny though, the child you raised may end up telling you about all the latest child rearing techniques and instructing you how they want you to do certain things. Being the world class researcher you are though I’m sure you’re on top of infant development, and you’ll be an awesome grandpa and a great source of advice and inspiration. You’ll have to make some time in your busy schedule for baby sitting, and if the crying turns to screaming, you might want to pop a Primal Calm capsule or two!

  2. New Sobriety? About a different group than the people I know. In any event the last alcoholic drink I had was in the winter of 2017-2018.

    Just don’t like the effects.

  3. Honestly I can’t believe you’re in your 60’s and you’re not a grandpa yet. My mom has been a grandma since age 35. I guess not everyone has babies in their teenage years, probably a good thing. 🙂

  4. I’ll bite on the bracelet question: no, I wouldn’t wear it. Any attempt of mine that has aimed at perfect control of anything has ended in a big pile of twinkies. Primal eating stands out from all other diets because of its focus on moderation and incremental improvement. A small slip doesn’t make one a failure and isn’t an immediate motivation to give up and quit. That bracelet is a bad idea IMHO.

  5. Really like that you took the comment from Sam on Sunday with Sisson and made a post out of it. It honestly addresses something that rarely gets discussed. Rather than focus on the fact that it was Mark Sisson (substitute anyone famous and ‘enviable’) who has done all these awesome things, let’s just focus on the awesome things themselves and the beauty that we ourselves can find in them. I will forever be grateful for MDA and the primal blueprint. There’s a good deal of truth and beauty in those things, and truth and beauty are good for everyone – it’s not a zero sum game.

  6. Dear Mark,
    In response to your “living awesome “ feedback to Sam—- If everything we’re awesome all of the time, one would not appreciate it. It’s the lows in our lives that magnify the truly good times. Without lows, we haven’t got a way to measure how sweet it is. This is the problem with everyone being a “winner”. It diminishes the pure exhilaration of working hard and winning.
    Additionally, all emotions are equally important…We can’t just live in one area. Our overall well being isn’t based on the event, it is based on our response to the event.

  7. I’ve been following you for about 6 years now. I’m convinced that the primal blueprint is at least partially why I’m still alive. I was killing myself with processed foods, fast foods, carbs, refined sugars, etc. After my massive heart attack 7 1/2 years ago. I started eating “healthy” (so I thought). Thankfully a friend turned me on to paleo and then I stumbled upon you one day. I am not perfect by any means, but I do strive to live a healthy primal life. I too, struggle with stress and don’t always eat the way I know I should, however, I’m probably doing about 75-80 better than before. Anyway, I find it refreshing that you don’t present a life that seems so perfect that someone like me would find primal living unattainable. So, in closing, I just want to say thank you for what you do and the impact it’s had on my life!

  8. Thank you, Mark for sharing your thoughts and experiences with us, honestly today-life truly is what you make it. Inspirational is what you are, Sir!

  9. “Live Awesome” is aspirational.” Four liberating and empowering little words. Thanks, Mark, for putting everything Primal into perspective. Now could you put it on a tee shirt?

  10. Hey Mark, could you do a bit on sleeping in on the weekend? Is it beneficial to get a little extra sleep if it feels good, or does it tend to mess with your circadian rhythm? The info out there seems poor and conflicting.

  11. Today’s Sunday column was wonderful. As one who struggles with purpose and consistency it is reassuring to know that an accomplished man such as yourself recognizes that we must adapt and find meaning in difficult parts of our lives as well as our
    triumphs.

  12. Hi Mark,

    In your latest “Sunday with Sisson”, in your response to Sam you ended with

    “Everything is always in flux. What seems to work is trying to remain grounded, present, and aware throughout all the craziness. To be your own rock.”

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. I live a somewhat unconventional lifestyle, working several part time jobs, making a below average living, but all in all I’m happy, and I think my life is mostly awesome. I certainly don’t “live awesome” by many peoples standards. In fact, not even by my own standards, but I still think my life is awesome because I’m blessed in so many ways.

    I credit that to years spent developing self-awareness, learning how to see the big picture, how to count my blessings, and learning to switch from a cup half empty to a cup half full perspective. I always endeavour to stay “grounded and present”, aware that I am where I am because I made certain choices, and on the whole, my life is pretty damn good.

    Much of life really is how you look at it, and when I focus on the negative, I tend to feel negative, but when I focus on the positive I feel positive. Anytime I start feeling negative all I have to do is stop and count my blessings.

    Thanks for the thought provoking notes the past couple weeks. I always enjoy your notes, and your perspective on life.

  13. I love the Sunday musings. I am glad Sam asked the question about the real vs. perceived Sisson. I found your answers to be very relatable but amongst them were these two gems.

    Lonely? Sometimes, yeah. It makes the close connections I have that much more powerful and meaningful and special. .

    After all these years, I’m realizing that life is all about the push and the pull. The give and take. There are no constants. There’s no “there.” Everything is always in flux. What seems to work is trying to remain grounded, present, and aware throughout all the craziness. To be your own rock.

  14. Thanks Mark, I love to read your Sunday with Sisson. I was momentarily offended by Sam, I felt he was wanting you to be artificial and not expose your real life struggles, so, I love how you were able to put it all into perspective without taking offense. I have been a business owner and I know the hours can be long and hard but mostly rewarding.
    Congrats on becoming a grandpa! There is nothing to compare and they are so fun!

  15. Sunday’s response to Sam hit me between the eyes. I’ve been a surgical nurse for 15 years now and I have been struggling so hard with an industry that sees sick people as commodities instead of patients to be cared for. The stress is overwhelming lately and my anxiety and depression are becoming huge obstacles. I like the phrase “an aspiration”. I have to stop looking at the Forrest and just look at the tree. I need to focus on self care and remember I cannot pour from an empty cup. I need to combine it with the new sober movement. And remember why I went paleo 13 years ago.

    1. May I suggest a really great message conveyed through a wonderful lady. YouTube Abraham-hicks on finding your purpose… I think its exactly what you may need to hear?

  16. This week’s deeply musings resonated with me, Mark. Thanks for your transparency and the helpful tips.

    I enjoy the work of Pema Chödron, especially regarding “groundlessness.” She offers that it’s our resistance to the fundamental uncertainty of our circumstances (change) that creates suffering. She says, “Our discomfort arises from all of our efforts to put ground under our feet, to realize our dream of constant okayness.”

    I practice letting go, then I find myself grasping for certainty again. It’s a challenge to relax and not struggle against life’s ambiguities.

    I’m not great at sitting meditation, but walking meditation works as well as reading and journaling. Pema’s books have been beneficial, your audience might also enjoy them. For those of you who also like to read—I really don’t have a favorite, check out Amazon and see what resonates with you.

  17. I know how you feel, I’m finally going to be a Grammy at the age of 67! My mom was one at 47 so I just assumed I would be younger when I got to be one. However they did wait until I moved to Florida (they live in Santa Monica) so lots of long-distance travel in my future ?

  18. Terrific response! Thank you for being so real. Enjoy Sunday’s with Mark.

  19. I think dealing with stress successfully has a lot to do with pacing. You may be able to deal with everything better if you just slow down the rate at which you take on each thing—one problem at a time, or one attempted solution at a time, and allowing enough time for each to work.

  20. I think you nailed it complete and correctly. The yin and the yang is exactly what you were talking about to Sam. Good job. Make it a great day.

  21. “Questioning the plans to establish official “birth-to-24-months” dietary guidelines.”

    I cant’ think of anything more important than this inquiry into infant nutrition. But they started off on the wrong foot. Their stated goal is to reduce childhood obesity. Improving overall nutrition is only a secondary goal. They don’t know why breastfed kids have less obesity, and they aren’t comparing the nutrition of BF or not BF babies.

    Here’s something only an immigrant can tell you: My mom was an athlete on the national team in Romania. Coaches exchanged health ideas with each other during major events such as the Olympics and World Championships. So in the 1960s, my mom got the idea that corn oil was more healthy than rendered lard. For all of her life, her life as a refugee and her rebuilt life in the US, she only used Mazola Corn Oil for cooking whenever possible. Her belief in whole foods thankfully erased most of the damage of it for me (she cooked every day of her life, it was almost a ritual with her).

    So why I said that is, the world is watching and will be watching and generations will be affected by decisions made here. This isn’t just about US babies.

    The part where they talk about ethnic differences in what to wean children with is probably the most important comment. I am not an expert in this, but I know that SE Asian kids often wean on young coconut meat and Indian kids sometimes wean on Ragi (a type of millet) pudding. I think the first thing to do is make a list of weaning foods from around the world. Because if it’s not included, and evaluated, then the world could adopt our standards and health wisdom from other ethnicities can be lost.

  22. Trust your instincts.
    Heed your gut feeling. Its sole purpose is to protect you.
    Research. research, research. The www is the biggest library ever. Use it.

    This is what I tell my 16 year old and my 20 year old.

    To be your own rock sums it up nicely.

    Thank you, Mark, and congratulations to you and your family!

  23. Welcome to my life….your grandchildren will de-stress you to….I have 10….it’s like Lego….a new toy every day.

    Tom

  24. Your responses to Sam’s comments are so wise and respectful. Your writings are a joy to read!

  25. Dear Mark,
    I really appreciate that you answered that email, & posted it in full. I feel that it is rare to find such honesty about the realities of life in a blog. There can be a temptation to try to appear !AWESOME” all the time ! And, you know what – that puts me off, as I know it comes from ego. So, your reply to —(UM), is a really good example of being HUMAN, and so I just want to acknowledge that. As far as I m concerned, thats getting it right. Blessings, Sarah

  26. Sunday with Sisson… I look forward to these. They are raw and and real. Never once have I felt that you aren’t awesome. In fact, you are more awesome because youre just like me, sometimes lonely because I too am
    Introverted, and stressed. I wouldn’t change a thing. Especially my Sundays with Sisson, keep it up!

  27. Hey Mark,

    This post with Sam was great. Love the honesty….And always look forward to your Sunday posts-I always learn something new.

    I had the honour (Canadian spelling) of spending time with you in Austin at Paleo FX, even though I dislocated me knee the day before, I couldn’t miss it. I’m a Proud Primal Health Coach graduate, and I have to say you’re exactly the person you appear to be. Congrats on being a grandpa and thank you for inspiring myself and so many others to want to learn and help.

  28. Love your response to Sam from June 23rd’s Sunday with Sisson. Absolutely resonates…I have been in a downflow with struggling with keeping consistent with the keto lifestyle along with stessors from work and on and on, but woke up this morning feeling in control and knowing that I will make good choices and get in better control starting now. It’s all in the flow of life – as you say, push and pull. Thanks for keeping it real and not constantly upbeat…makes me feel like it’s attainable, not the reverse.

  29. I only seem to receive the “Sunday with Sisson” about 30% of the time. Is there anything I can do to make sure it comes through more consistently?

    1. Joanne, if you’re regularly opening emails from Mark’s Daily Apple, you should be receiving them each week. I just asked our editor to forward you a copy of this Sunday’s edition. Best — M

  30. I just wanted to comment on the Sunday with Sisson emails – I absolutely love them. I am on far more lists than I can actually read each week, but those ones I always read. Thanks for switching it up a bit!

  31. Thank you for your candid response to Living Awesome. I would never expect a person’s life to be perfect just because they are mostly successful at the things they do. No one is successful, happy, fulfilled, or awesome all the time. If you said you were, I’d doubt the authenticity of your life. Your response was exactly what a normal human response ought to be.

  32. Mark, thank you for the candidness of your Sunday sessions. I’ve always enjoyed your words of wisdom and thankful for the help you have given me in the past as well as the supplements. I just moved back to Malibu. Hope to run into you in town soon.
    Thanks for your immense wisdom and amazing products!!

  33. Hello Mark,
    I enjoy your content, but I think there is a mistake in Andrew Gunther’s article regarding methane released from fertilizer production. The original article states that “Relative to other major sectors of methane emissions in the U.S. (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2017b), such as enteric fermentation (6.8 Tg CH4/yr) and landfills (4.3 Tg CH4/yr), methane emissions from the ammonia fertilizer industry are quite low”. I believe that Mr. Gunther erroneously compared the 28 Gg of CH4 produced by fertilizer plants to the 6.8 Tg produce by cows (via enteric fermentation) but he didn’t take into consideration that a T (tera) is 1000 times bigger than a G (giga). I’d love to be wrong on this! Thanks for listening.

    1. You are correct – ruminants (mostly cattle) greatly outproduce fertilizer in terms of methane. Mark took the blog post at face value due to confirmation bias and did not follow-up on the data.

  34. In response to your Living Awesome explanations to Sam, it re-confirms my belief that life is a journey of balance and choices, not a destination of it’s good, it’s bad, and it’s done.

    And congratulations on becoming a Grandad. How much fun.

  35. Some Sunday’s I get “Sunday with Sisson” other Sunday’s I don’t, and it’s not in my spam on those missing days. A pity I say … a pity … I call it a “Sissonless Sunday Situation”

  36. I would consider changing the link title “Fertilizer is responsible for way more methane than livestock.”

    That blog post got it wrong. Here is one of the concluding lines from the study: “Relative to other major sectors of methane emissions in the U.S. (United States Environmental Protection Agency, 2017b), such as enteric fermentation (6.8 Tg CH4/yr) and landfills (4.3 Tg CH4/yr), methane emissions from the ammonia fertilizer industry are quite low.”

  37. Re Sunday with Sissan. It all depends on the day for me if I Live Awesome. Some days it’s just not going to happen, like today – it’s overcast, we’re waiting on big work decisions that enable us to step forward, or not; my inflamed shoulder is playing up; I’m reminded of my mum passing away a few months back; my niece is broke in Europe and looking for guidance. Yesterday though, the sun was shining, I felt like there was a new possibility opening up work wise, the surf was on, the dog was cheeky and playful (he has flat days too when t’s Not Awesome), I rediscovered Led Zepplin and found another great book. Maybe it’s hormones, maybe it’s the weather. The constant for me is realising it all changes each day and I never feel stuck. There’s plenty to ground me and there’s always author Tosha Silver and Nature to leave me feeling grateful for the lTiny Home/Tiny Life I have chosen. Generally, life is pretty good.

  38. Congratulations Mark! Coming to your question on stress, I have responded to stress differently. When I was going to be operated for a heart surgery 4 years ago, I wasn’t as much stressed as I am now. Though, I was going through couple of serious other issues, I found myself more capable of handling stress. But,I react to stress much weirdly now. Yes, meditation and some yoga poses help me. I also take spiritual help.
    I thing I have also noticed that an unhealthy diet is also responsible for stress and anxiety. And here your content helps me very much to eat healthier & live well.

  39. This is one I saved, as I think I needed to read this later. I often feel as Sam is commenting on, as I have often found myself searching for my purpose in life. I too, am an introvert and often lonely feeling and questioning my purpose in life after losing the two wonderful men in my life (husband-soulmate and his replicate in our son) in my early 40’s 19 mos. apart. Yes, I researched, read a lot to try to heal. I ask myself daily what my purpose is to be here in this life. As you do Mark, I have found that grounding myself is the best way to feel centered again when life seems to be going crazy. I had a doctor who I really loved because she listened to me and I felt a team player in my quest for health. She told me once before she just disappeared (another real loss!), that I was one of the most grounded women that she had ever met. With low confidence in myself—those words were so precious to me. They will stay with me forever and bring me back when needed. People touch you lives even if only for a moment. Very important to gather into your heart. Wow! 2 “first comments ever on line” in the same morning! Thank you.

  40. I’m a little delayed in commenting on your response to ‘Sam’ in last Sunday’s email. A brilliant read – I found it really powerful and relatable. Well said.
    Sunday’s with Sisson is something I genuinely LOVE hitting my inbox. Thanks Mark.