Weekly Link Love — Edition 39

Research of the Week

Why marathoners hit the wall.

For women, the smell of a newborn triggers a dopamine rush in brain reward centers.

Resistance training for older adults: a position statement.

Trees keep nearby stumps alive.

Early hominids breast fed as long as six years.

If you eat a standard American diet, nuts may help your nuts.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 359: Daniel J. Siegel MD: Host Elle Russ chats with Dr. Daniel J. Siegel about the power of mindful awareness.

Episode 360: Dr. Tommy Wood Setting Us Straight on Carnivore, Plant-Based, Testosterone, and the Quantified Self Movement: Host Brad Kearns chats with Dr. Tommy Wood.

Primal Health Coach Radio, Episode 19: Hosts Erin and Laura chat with Michelle Pfenninghaus about the importance of treating your business like a business.

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

Should you take rapamycin?

Vox on keto.

Interesting Blog Posts

How important are social relations for health?

How one man changed his blood lipids by adding in some targeted carbohydrate (while staying ketogenic).

Success Stories

Dean Brennan’s story.

Social Notes

What to do this summer.

Everything Else

The importance of harmony.

Brad Barton is killing it.

The Saudi Crown Prince’s vision of the future (involves robot Blood Sport competitions).

Will exogenous ketones be banned at the Tour de France?

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

Podcast I recently did: Discussing building a powerful personal brand and becoming a successful entrepreneur at any age with Lewis Howes.

Blog post I enjoyed: The one discussing what we know about Neu5Gc and heart disease in humans.

Article I found relevant: How to prevent and treat heat stroke.

Tick story I found terrible: Ticks successfully kill a cow by exsanguination.

This is a powerful story: The new human story.

Question I’m Asking

How important has social connection been in your life and health?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Jul 21 – Jul 27)

Comment of the Week

“You know, I feel like I’ve heard a lot of sneering about dynamic tension. It’s nice to know those comic book ads from the 70s were right.”

– I attribute a lot of my success in life to the pair of X-ray specs I bought out the back of a Spiderman comic, Ion Freeman (itself a great comic book name).

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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39 thoughts on “Weekly Link Love — Edition 39”

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  1. Well the Strenght (sp) and Conditioning statement is welcome, it’s emphasis on properly designed is both self serving and probably going to put a lot of people off.

    1. True Michael. The main take away for me is to live an active life, and lift heavy stuff. (Carefully.)
      Older people who are not competitive athletes don’t need a scientifically designed program. If they have lifted regularly earlier in their life they should be able to pick it up again. just be careful to do the exercises slowly, well within their maximum, and using good form. If they are not sure then supervision by a professional coach who understands older bodies is a good way to return to weight training.

  2. Funny on the marathon article – looks like they’re working towards proving what Jeff Galloway has been saying for years – use a run/walk technique for the 1st 20 miles then crank out the last 6 miles! I haven’t personally tried but Jeff cited numerous examples of folks setting PRs this way vs. hitting that wall and dragging out the last 6-8 miles.

  3. The answer to that question can be hugely complicated because it depends on what you mean by health. “Living awesome” is certainly one way to define health and it has a lot less to do with waist to hip ratio, how I look naked, or LDL numbers than it does with how I feel in my life. The quality of my experiences is almost always at least influenced if not determined by the enjoyment I get out of the people around me. In short, life feels more awesome when I get to spend time with people I love. This, to me, is the very essence of health.
    In terms of the nitty gritty health details, I think that quality time with a few friends with whom I feel close is certainly a stress relief, and I’m a huge believer that chronic stress is antithetical to health. As a dad of two little ones, I know that in times of loneliness (combined with short sleep and dealing with irrational young children) I’ve felt extremely NOT awesome and unhealthy in that sense. I’m sure that would have been represented in inflammation markers, blood sugar levels, etc.
    One more thought, and then I’ll shut up. I think that all the work I do toward health (living in the keto zone, primal eating, exercise, quality sleep, brain exercise in the form of playing music, doing crosswords, staying engaged professionally, etc) is for the purpose of extending the time with and joy felt with the people I love. I’m in my late 30s, and I’m beginning to see my peers’ health fail a bit. It’s not hard to picture that failing health turning into visits to a hospital rather than meeting up for play at the beach. At its best, there is a self-perpetuating cycle of enjoying those you love, feeling inspired to live awesome, choosing to improve yourself and stay vibrant, and enjoying the ensuing time with those you love even more.

    1. A great and wise comment! Says the older man to the younger man?.

    2. A great and wise comment! Says the older man to the younger man.

  4. Nuts help your nuts?

    Way too crude. I would call it juvenile but it’s more like a bad senior moment.

    1. I love when Mark sneaks these in. Usually, they’re more subtle, but it makes me laugh every time.

  5. Non toxic effective tick repellants safe for children? Any suggestions? I live in NC so the tick thing scares the hell out of me. Found at parks in short grasses, like how am I supposed to avoid this???

    1. You need to watch out for Lone Star ticks, too. They’re all the way up through to in Canada now, and bring the risk of alpha-gal allergy.

  6. I find the link between loneliness and mortality flawed. I love to be at home on a regular basis. I don’t live alone, I have a partner and child. I don’t speak to my friends very often. Sometimes I wish I had more interaction but I don’t really want to either. So I don’t feel like it’s going to take 15 years from my life. Maybe it’s a matter of perception.

    1. The link indicated seems to refer specifically to “loneliness,” i.e. “painful isolation” and mortality. So, you may be a loner and enjoy generous amounts of solitude, but it doesn’t mean that you are lonely.

    2. Good comment, but I suspect that there’s loneliness and then there’s loneliness, if you know what I mean. I’m in my mid-50’s and wonder how my self-imposed isolation at times will suit me a decade from now.

    3. There is a difference between being alone and loneliness. Being alone is purely a physical state. Feeling lonely is an emotion. They *could* be in sync. But usually they are not. A well rounded emotional person who can (and does) experience the full range of loneliness would easily spot the difference. The fact that you seem to blur the distinction leads me to believe that you are probably pretty lonely, but not in touch with it, suppressing or avoiding it…as most people do with emotions they don’t want to feel.

      The question is: what does loneliness feel like? The answer is: sadness. Sadness and loneliness are the same thing.

      Now when it comes to linking emotions and mortality, scientists are clueless. Not only are they not equipped to fully understand emotions, but the ways to measure or evaluate an emotion are vague…and not conducive to scientific study.

      If you are lonely enough, it can take 50 years off of your life due to suicide, drugs, alcoholism, reckless behavior, etc. Others might have a standard lifespan due to coping mechanisms they have developed to avoid feeling the loneliness.

      Anyway, whether your mortality is worse or not, being lonely all the time is not an ideal life. So it is something to dig into and figure out 🙂

  7. Hmmm…Men’s “Health” thinks that trying to maintain and improve your health is a “hang up”. A classic example of loser behavior; trying to discourage other people from excelling and drag them down to your lower level.

  8. Saudi Crown Prince MBS … what a wonderful person. (e_e)

    1. I’m pretty sure the Khashoggi disappearance was orchestrated by Turkey and/or their Muslim Brotherhood cronies in an attempt to discredit the Crown Prince. His death has done more to discredit MBS than any critical article he ever wrote with no real benefit for MBS. The MB is the only winner in the situation, and the sloppiness of the operation suggests that it was intended to be exposed.

      Regardless, MBS has been a strong force for bringing Saudi Arabia into the 21st century, has been a major foil for the Wahhabism that has so plagued the world, and is our most important ally in the ME, today. I like his vision for his country and the greater region. I hope he’s able to make it a reality.

  9. In response to the email about pivots. I’m in the middle of a major one right now in my life. I’ve been dissatisfied with where I’ve ended up for a good while, but hanging onto a bunch of limiting beliefs which made my options basically either a) do art for a living or b) more of the same for another employer. I thought art was the answer and had a real hard time getting it going anywhere. Suddenly made a major breakthrough in finding my limiting beliefs and now I realize it’s completely within my grasp to get some education and upgrade to a much more lucrative career, and… I don’t actually like doing art for other people, just for myself! At least at this point in my happiness and circumstances.

  10. Mark– as always i find your commentaries and articles informative and refreshing. I especially enjoy it when those opposed to keto, primal, fasting etc. are critical and tell me that I’m killing myself. All I know is that being a MDA advocate for years now, I just turned 69, still work a 40 hr week, and then another 20-30 as a pastor. I’m blessed with incredible stamina and at 5’9′ and 167lbs– have so called experts wondering why I’m in great shape and health because my diet should’ve killed me a long time ago according to these SAD advocates.

  11. Mark,

    I made a pivot a couple of years ago from working in the conventional health care system as an ER doc and physician administrator to working with clients who want optimize their health in my concierge medical practice. I got the spark to make this pivot after seeing you speak at Paleo Fx in Austin about 3-4 years ago. You did a talk on your life time line. As a 44 y/o guy with young kids and lots of financial obligations a pivot instead of a deep dive is working out well. My health optimization practice is growing and I have been able to cut back on my ER work . I will always remember that talk. I did not know who you were at that time or much about the Primal and paleo movement. I bought your book and some of your salad dressings started IF, Low carb, going to the gym and now I am in the best shape of my adult life 40 lbs lighter.

  12. Mark,

    The timing of this nugget is beyond amazing. Thank you, as always, for your beautiful combination of thoughtful, exploration within a get-to-the-point framework. There’s a lot of unknowns in the pivot…obviously. So this brings up some feelings of confusion and “am I getting this right” as far as the inspiration/ideas coming through. I love how you describe the pivot here. Between this and the information of where you were in life when you made the shifts – it was really helpful. It reminded me of the weight of the foot that’s still grounded -that I’m still working within what I already know – like a rudder, maybe. I’m 50 and feeling a pretty big pivot here…to hear your chronology of seriously big pivots at the ages you listed was very inspiring. Over the last week or so, I’ve had a monarch butterfly land on my left arm while walking through Boston three times. All of these times I was ruminating on my situation. One landed on me twice on the walk home from Whole Foods- sort of hovering and walking with me, landing twice; and then, 15 minutes later, when I was approaching my neighborhood, another one or the same one landed on me again. Always the left arm. Yesterday, lost in thought walking in Brookline, another one flew in front of my face. When I searched to see if there’s a spiritual significance, it said it’s known to be a reassurance from the angels that you’re on the right path and stick with it. Between you and the monarchs, I’ll take the encouragement and say “Roger that; and thank you.”

  13. Mark, just to say how much I like your philosophy, thinking, and writing. It seems so effortless (even though I know that’s an illusion) and flows right into my brain. Maybe it has something to do with being of your generation.
    Anyhow, thank you.

  14. Very very nice

    Trees keep nearby stumps alive.

    reminded me one of the best books I have read
    , the hidden life of trees

  15. As the to comment on pivots, I made a major one three years ago and it continues to evolve.

    I left the corporate world after a restructuring and went out on my own as an executive coach. While I did a lot of work and training as a coach, I also drew on almost thirty years in the financial services and health care world. It felt risky and yet right, and now I’m building a clientele of CEO clients from health care startups as well as senior execs at larger organizations. I relocated from Washington DC to Aspen Colorado as part of the move.

    I found Mark and his work early this year. I have always been fairly fit person but was barely holding my own in Colorado. I am now 25 pounds lighter, much stronger aerobically, and feel twenty years younger than my 54 calendar years. And I feel I’m able to be more present with my clients, too!

  16. I like your Sunday comments on entrepreneurship and pivoting when necessary. I can honestly tell you that I have made major pivots in my life completely changing from one thing to the next not only has the market would allow, but I was always true to my character in my nature when I did it. Everything from energy medicine, to flipping houses, to selling insurance, 2 gold mining, and now to being on the board of a brand new cryptocurrency. The pivots or something that I operate out of on a gut level. I can explain them and I’ve never been able to the something tells me that they’re necessary. I don’t know if you can think these things through initially. I think they’re important that you think them through eventually, but you create a lot of the stuff that feed your brain in your gut and your gut is really your primary brain and you need to use it and listen to it. When you get that feeling is something that you need to stop and ask yourself is this important? It’s like a God wink. It’s how God speaks to you or the universe speaks to you. That doesn’t mean that you’ll know everything you need to know but it does mean that you need to take action even if it’s something small. fortunately for this generation and those of us alive right now we have the internet. And if you do nothing else, Google it or watch it on YouTube. If it’s very important in your gut, read the negative comments but search for vitriol and stupidity in negative comments. And pay attention to people who nobody would hire as a spokesperson but are passionate about they’re positive result. Most of the things that will propel you into your destiny are things that most people either don’t understand or don’t like.

  17. Hi Mark-loved today’s comments on pivoting. I had been a yoga teacher / teacher trainer, stress management educator, journaling teacher and senior fitness teacher for several years. In March i decided i was tired of running around town to classes- i resigned at 66, and sat down and started writing a holistic wellness program incorporating everything i do. I am getting the opportunity to present this new program at a 3 day workshop at an annual convention in Las Vegas at the end of Aug. i only have a few students registered; but your Sunday talk today inspired me to keep the faith!

  18. Loved reading your description of pivoting in today’s newsletter, Mark! Very timely for me, as I keep one foot on the ground that is my health + coaching business…while starting a sister business focused on Chinese Medicine learning + community. I’m not leaving the first behind (indeed, they will support + infuse one another), but the shift is very much a pivot that seemed sudden…except that it was over 10 years in the making and then reached a pivot point. Thank you for the inspiration always!

  19. Pivoting right now actually, so this article was very timely and insightful. Thanks Mark!

  20. After my 2nd child was born I made a pivot to work closer to home and pursue my hobbies as work. I could have made that pivot towards online selling which was just gaining popularity at the time but I wanted to build something with my hands. Now my plans are to pivot in to food made by hand and sold online. Thanks for providing some of that inspiration.

  21. Mark,
    I liked the Pivot discussion, as you said I have heard it before but haven’t thought about it in my current situation. I am contemplating a job move and have been procrastinating on writing a cover letter for the position(s) of interest, think this was the motivation I needed.


  22. Love today’s Sunday message, ‘cause I’m in pivot mode. It’s uncomfortable, but I got to move in another direction. Thanks for speaking to me.

  23. After failing out of college twice, separating from a long term relationship, falling into debt, and losing the health of my youth, I was forced to pivot and found a terrific career, wonderful wife (and two dogs), more money than I ever thought I would make, and general wellness. Though far from perfect, I know for damn sure I can make it anywhere, no matter what. By the way, I’ve been a daily reader for almost a decade and attribute nonsmall measure of my happiness to what I’ve learned from this blog. Thank you.

  24. mark
    First wanted to let you know your email last week on having a mission in life, well I printed it out and have read it at least four times! I have have spent a considerable time this week redefining or at best tweaking my purpose.
    I am a triathlon coach and swim coach, have written a book on the triathlon swim, breaks my heart to see so many athlete’s struggle in the water.
    With that being said already printed this weeks blog; the importance of pivoting. The Triathlon industry has changed and so have I too adapt and adjust with the environment. I to am in my early 60’s, still get in the water daily to swim and training for 70.3
    keep up the great work, I truly look forward to Sunday with Sisson.

    Warm Regards
    Frank Sole

  25. Your explanation of pivoting really struck a chord with me as I have been beating myself up for not fully engaging in the next stage of my life when I ended a relationship recently we are now living separately and dating each other and are much happier so looking at the relationship from a different angle and exploring options

  26. Please keep the Vox articles coming – I like the balanced reporting and lack of ‘commitment bias’.

  27. Mark, thanks for that reminder about Pivoting in the Sunday with Sisson newsletter. It’s what I needed to read, and inspiring to hear of the changes you made in your 50s and now in your 60s – a good reminder that the mid-life years can be the best years, and there are always more angles to explore.

  28. If exogenous ketones get banned at Tour de France I’d advocate for getting rid of all exogenous energy sources during the race. I wonder how many sports wins are directly attributable to high glucose-gel / sports drink etc. consumption during the competition. Maybe masses of sports outcomes ought to be nullified because the winners couldn’t have done the same without being loaded with sugar.