October 04 2019

Weekly Link Love — Edition 49

By Mark Sisson
75 Comments

Research of the Week

Despite being at an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome, shift workers eat the same number of calories as daytime workers.

In prehistoric Bavaria, babies were drinking animal milk out of clay bottles.

Eating eggs and dairy can’t save the B12 levels of vegetarians.

The monetary value of prayer (or not praying).

Dairy fat is vindicated once again.

Pretty much just humans and a few great apes can recognize themselves in the mirror.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 378: Shawn Wells: Host Elle Russ chats with Shawn Wells, a Registered Dietitian, Certified Sports Nutritionist, and Fellow in the international Society of Sports Nutrition who practiced over a decade as a Chief Clinical Dietitian in acute (hospital) and skilled nursing settings.

Episode 379: Sean Jewell—All About Dark Chocolate: Host Brad Kearns chats with chocolate expert Sean Jewell about choosing the best stuff and avoiding the bad.

Primal Health Coach Radio, Episode 28: Laura and Erin chat with Dr. Greg Kelly about supporting the brain with nutrition, nootropics, and lifestyle.

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 U.S. and U.K. are the only two non-developing countries with a falling life expectancy.

A new method may allow us to read damaged scrolls found in the ruins of Mt. Vesuvius. Can’t wait for Homer’s lost rom-com.

Interesting Blog Posts

A way to weigh a whale without a scale.

11 reasons why this trained dietitian is “Team Meat.”

Social Notes

Do it every day.

Everything Else

Meet the energy efficient washing machine which acted as a drug-resistant pathogen reservoir in one German hospital.

Wild children allowed to be wild in nature will come to know, and love, the world.

A stone fridge for meat from 23,000 BC.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

I, too, cannot deny reality: Experts are realizing that “eat less red meat” was actually bad advice.

News I enjoyed: Peter of Hyperlipid goes (mostly) carnivore.

Article I found interesting: The persistent myth of persistent hunting.

I’ll take these “secondary outcomes,” thank you very much: Vitamin C infusions fail to reduce organ failure score or inflammatory biomarkers in sepsis patients, but they do reduce mortality.

Nice essay: Meat is not the environmental problem you think it is.

Question I’m Asking

Will the health authorities ever accept the fact that red meat and high-fat dairy aren’t killing us?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Sep 29 – Oct 4)

Comment of the Week

“The teen athlete using a high carb diet is plagued with significant increase in dental caries

As a practicing dentist for 47 years, I am stunned by the rapid increase in caries in the otherwise ‘healthy’ teen due to the large increase in refined carbs now encouraged in their sports diets

Dr John G Steuterman
Saint Louis Missouri”

– Important point, Dr. Steuterman. Thank you.

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75 thoughts on “Weekly Link Love — Edition 49”

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  1. The study on vitamin c in use for sepsis, the protocol calls for vit c q12 hours along with prednisone and some b vitamins this in no way comments on the protocol! As clinician all I care about is the effectiveness of the protocol. Why waste our time on this nonsense?

  2. Meat consumption is not an environmental problem. The problem is that the world’s population has more than doubled in my lifetime.

    1. Peter…
      The interesting thing is that as per-capita affluence increases, so does care for the environment. It is frequently ignorant and misplaced – as we see when city-dwellers adopt uninformed positions on farming and hunting – but we now have more forests in the northern hemisphere than we did a century ago.

      It’s not so much a matter of numbers, as the fact that poor people are more concerned with food and shelter in the short term, that how their environment looks or how it might feel for their great-grandchildren. Immediate survival trumps future aesthetics.

      We have not doubled the area being farmed in your lifetime. We have fed the world by better methods and productivity.

      1. Hi Peter,

        Thanks for your reply. Yes agriculture has become more efficient but that wasn’t really my point. We now have more people driving cars, flying, more buildings to heat and power. All that is adding CO2 into the air yet meat consumption is being singled out by vegetarians as the problem.

      2. Unfortunately one of the ways that agriculture has become more efficient is in mass production methods for beef, chicken, pork, and dairy. We stuff beef full of grain on a feed lot and use antibiotics to keep that unnatural diet from making them sick. We cage chickens in tiny spaces and feed them kibble. This makes a lot of meat, an agricultural revolution worth, but it doesn’t give us what Grok had. With a population the size of ours, there isn’t enough space to provide healthful grass-fed beef, range chickens and eggs, and so on for everyone. Likewise we depend on an abundance of vegetables made possible by pesticides and chemical fertilizers. A few of us are lucky enough to afford healthy food raised the old fashioned ways but we can’t provide for the world that way anymore. And the more the population grows, the more we’ll need to increase production in ways that reduce nutrition and replace meat with “just like meat” alternatives.

    1. Even if persistence hunting was always successful it does not make sense. Using a deer as reference, there are 710 calories per pound, call the average kill 50 lbs of edible stuff from a deer gives you 35,500 calories.
      Theres a youtube documentary that showed a successful hunt over 8 hours with I think 6 people and I’ll assume that they had a total of 8 hours running/walking for each person, that’s 4,800 calories expended .
      Divide that across 75 people in the average mobile hunter gatherer tribe and you get a whopping 410 calories per person assuming no waste.

      Of those 75 people, 37 are male, 38 female, 5 of the males are probably too old or high status to partake, and 7 are probably too young to help, that gives you 25 men that would be divided into 4 teams doing nothing but running for a measly 410 calories per person.

      Then subtract injuries, rest, to-do-lists for tribal upkeep, and you’ve got 10 – 12 men that are running 24/7 just hunting and this is assuming everyday you get to kill something which would never happen. Also, herds migrate and the tribe would too. Their calorie expenditure would go up accordingly.

      Runners like the idea because it makes running seem cool and will die on this hill.

  3. On the value of prayer article, I am not surprised to see that so many people are hostile to the suggestion of someone praying for them. I personally am not religious, but I certainly wouldn’t mind it if a person of good nature wants to pray for me or for others. Sadly, a lot of people have been indoctrinated to hate religion, especially Christianity.

    1. Intelligent people do not have to be “indoctinated” to have disdain for religion, they just observe the damage organized religion has done throughout history, and consider how silly, illogical and primitive religious dogma is. I remember the time a women sitting next to me on a plane trip told me she was going to “pray for me” and a shame that I was going to burn in hell for all of eternity because I seemed like a nice person LOL.

  4. the prehistoric baby bottles article “.. lack of any direct evidence for their function…”

    LOL are they kidding? That’s why they call it prehistoric.

    That’s actually an ingenious vessel.

  5. Re: “Eating eggs and dairy can’t save the B12 levels of vegetarians” — this only links to the abstract, but it looks like you got this backwards, Mark. They didn’t give vegetarians eggs and dairy; they took a group of omnivores (people who eat anything) and put them on a ovo-lacto vegetarian diet.

    I mean, same difference — but you should report this accurately.

    1. For three months they were vegetarian and their B12 levels dropped, so yes, eating eggs and dairy can’t save B12 levels of vegetarians. There is nothing inaccurate there.

      1. I was a vegetarian for 30 years and my doctor always checked for B12 at my yearly check-ups. It was always fine. He did ask me once why that would be so because other vegetarian patients of his had low B12. I have no clue why mine was fine.

  6. Greetings all the way from the Philippines! Born & lived here most of my 72 yrs except 2 yrs in Italy, SF, LA. Thank you for your articles esp this Sunday w Sisson. Do know that they sell your Mayonnaise w Avocado here in a health food store called Healthy Options? I buy 2 bottles a week. I wish they’d sell all of your fantastic creations esp the Italian pasta sauces. Keep on, going Mark!

  7. Question you’re asking… well this week of course I also got the message about red meat being exonerated from Marion Nestle. Except she had a very different view. Which boiled down to “when will people finally listen to authority and do what they’re told?” It’s amazing that people think we’re rebels who can’t take direction or respect any institutions. I’m happy to follow the lead of those I trust. But it’s a betrayal of public trust to lie to people about nutrition. And telling people that plant protein is equal in quality to meat protein is simply untrue. So therefore the institution of USDA/FDA/CDC and whatnot have taken a hit in trust. Naturally.

    I’m glad to see they’ve reversed some obvious dogma, first about egg yolk, now about red meat, etc.

    I think they’d do better if they just stuck to giving information, running tests to see what nutrients are in unrefined animal and plant fats, and updating the USDA nutrition database accordingly. I actually liked the message better that a person should eat a “varied” diet that provides all nutrients. Instead of strongarming people into eating things they have no interest in eating.

    Someone likes being vegetarian and is healthy with it? Great. I won’t force them to eat meat. So I want to hear no coercion to not eat meat. I heard enough when I was vegan. Enough for two lifetimes.

    Live and let eat.

  8. Mark mentions the holiday experience in “Sunday with Sisson”. On holidays we are taken aware from the business of day to day to life and this can create a low stress situation. Stress is the difference between the demands placed upon us and our ability to cope. On holidays, there are few demands except those we decide on and we can do this at a relaxed pace. In addition, the mind very likely spontaneously relaxes into quiet repose – similar to idle moments of “day dreaming” with little fantasy per se. The holiday can reduce anxiety and with that reduced we are freer to experience living.
    Most of us don’t want to be permanently on holidays. Those who think they do, or try it, find that idleness, boredom and lack of purpose catch up with them. What we really want is an active life but in the mental mode that we have on a good holiday. We need sufficient natural mental rest and to learn to bring the rested mental state into the rest of daily living. The means of doing so is provided by the natural meditation method of the eminent psychiatrist and medical hypnotist Dr Ainslie Meares. Dr Meares wrote many books on his method (30+). The most accessible book on his method is: Ainslie Meares on Meditation.

  9. Hey Mark, great you were in the south of France! We live in Lyon, you should come by next time! What I love about France is the fact that fruits and veggies can be sourced at the market from producers who don’t live that far – they do mostly seasonal veggies, and the quality is good, with OK prices. In the Netherlands, where I grew up, there are almost no farmer’s markets anymore, but I feel they will make a come back at some point. And oh yes, the variety and quality of cheeses is unbeatable. Glad you enjoyed your holiday!

    1. Be interesting to know which part of the coast the Sissons visited. 🙂

  10. You are right about the bread being different! I and many other people I know have noticed that when we eat bread in France we don’t get the same reactions that we usually do, especially the bloating and sluggishness.

    I believe the French use different (probably tradional) strains of wheat for their flour. I’d be interested in an article researching the history of wheat growing/breeding. Maybe a strange topic for the MDA population, but I’m guessing your (and my and my friends) experiences happily eating French breads might be a clue to an interesting topic on how food can change over time.

    1. I also recall a previous Sisson article about the bread in France being different from the bread here because ihere the USDA in its corrupt, lobbyist influenced view of nutrition, insists on extra processing and enriching the flour with things such as iron which may be the source of the inflammation. It takes some effort to find unenriched bread in the US. Even then, you take your chances.

    2. My European family, who now lives in the US, buys plain wheat flour, unenriched, unbromated, etc. In 25 lb bags from Canada. They can’t even buy unbromated wheat flour made the US in bulk. They seem very healthy.

      However, two of my cousins show signs of Celiac and they refuse to be tested for it. I think they’re honestly scared to know the truth. My grandmother’s symptoms of celiac were so obvious that if she’d ever gone to an actual doctor in the old country, she’d have surely been diagnosed. And she lived 90% of her life in Europe eating that bread.

      I guess the moral of the story is, the wheat may be different, but Celiac is still real and still happens. Has it accelerated? Or is it just more diagnosed now? Nobody really knows.

  11. I have a question concerning drinking wine. I know that you choose the healthiest wine available, but isn’t it still a carcinogen, ethanol? From wikipedia, “Even light and moderate alcohol consumption increases cancer risk in individuals.[4][5]
    Some nations have introduced alcohol packaging warning messages that inform consumers about alcohol and cancer.[6]
    The alcohol industry has tried to actively mislead the public about the risk of cancer due to alcohol consumption,[7] in addition to campaigning to remove laws that require alcoholic beverages to have cancer warning labels.[8]” My nutrition coach has been trained through your program and I have learned a lot. I just have a hard time reconciling being as healthy as possible and drinking alcohol. Is it just a matter of the “poison” being worth it so to speak?

    1. I’d like more on this too. I just don’t believe alcoholic drinks are as healthy as everyone seems to think they are. Then again, I’m biased because I’ve never had alcohol and never will because I have an addictive personality and family history of drug abuse.

    2. To say that alcohol causes cancer is to miss the big picture. Consume enough sugar, and you’re going to get cancer. Cancer loves sugar. Anyone who has had a CT/PET scan should know that radioactive dye doesn’t just magically coalesce around tumors or cancer cells. The dye must be blended with what they call a “delivery system”, and what do they blend it with, you may ask? Glucose. Cancer loves sugar, and there’s a lot of sugar in grains, dairy, fruit (especially hybridized fruit).

  12. On the question of how we bring vacation mentality to our everyday lives…..Two days ago I took an unplanned detour from my regular routine while I waited for my son to get his haircut. I ended up having a 25 minute conversation with a complete stranger. It was lovely. We were from very different backgrounds and we actually discussed feelings – mine of parenting a young man, his of his previous experience as a high school teacher and how it has shaped his life. I left feeling I’d made a genuine connection with a person I will likely never see again. It felt special. The kind of thing one usually only does when on vacation. It made my day. I should do that more often.

    1. I think seeing your surroundings as if you were on vacation is key. Talking to this stranger as if he was a foreigner, seeing your town as if you were visiting, trying a new restaurant, getting out in nature and observing it as if you hadn’t seen it before. I also like to add some things I experience on vacation to my everyday life-, a Cuban coffe, a hibiscus on my deck…

    2. I love that sort of thing. I spent a long train ride sitting next to a blind man. It was fascinating and I often think of him and hope he’s doing all right.

    3. Read Soul Friends by Stephen Cope. He begins the book with a story about just that kind of interaction and how transformative it can be

    4. Hmmmmm, that’s how I live each day. And, yes, occasionally people think of it as strange, but usually everyone is happy to talk and have a light hearted conversation with a stranger. Grocery lines, walking down the street, etc. Maybe I view my life as mostly vacation with little bits of work thrown in here and there?

  13. On chilling in the delectable Sud de France –
    I get to ‘that’ space doing Just Sitting Meditation, deeply, for a long time, in Nature…a healthy emptying of cognitive function replaced by Pure Awareness, in and of, the body.
    : )

    1. The Waking Up app by Sam Harris. 10 minutes each morning. even tho I have over the years done long meditation retreats Sam has helped me bring the kind of awareness you reference into more of my daily life.

  14. As for the vacation mentality…living in South Florida affords the opportunity of being on the beach (in my case) in less than 20 minutes. Having beautiful weather year-round (sans the occasional horrific hurricane) is a vacation unto itself. Sadly, though, I don’t take advantage of it as often as I should because we tend to take things, especially those in our backyards, for granted.

    As for the breads being different in Europe, I make beautiful sourdough breads using einkorn flour imported from Italy. Einkorn is a non-hybridized wheat that is completely different than the wheat grown in this country (US). I began my own einkorn starter last year and it has helped me produce bread that is deliciously sour and satisfyingly crusty for those times when one desires a great piece of bread! Check out https://jovialfoods.com/about-us/our-story/ to see how different einkorn is.

    I know most people won’t take the time to make their own bread, never mind their own starter, but believe me, it is well worth it!

    And no, I’m not affiliated in any way with the company…just love a good product and like to sing their praises when I find one.

  15. I’ve thought a lot about the idea of living every day with a feeling of vacation. My line is “live so you don’t need weekends/vacations.” — inspired by some FB meme about other living goals. I make sure to make what I’m doing fun, interesting, etc. Working in the house, cleaning or cooking, I put on great music and get caught up in the song, dancing here and there. I bring my workout to the beach as much as possible (or it’s mountain biking, sailing, skiing, an actual sport), which I”m lucky to have so close. But I get that outside time, that’s totally dedicated to just being in the moment. I also give after school and after dinner time (as much as possible) to my daughter and trying to be in the moment purely with her, and with my husband after daughter’s bedtime.

    Quite frankly, a vacation can sometimes put more stress on me than regular home time. While we’re there, it’s amazing, doing things we can’t do near home, and spending more quality time together. But the packing (we bring all our food) and unpacking and time lost to get things done at home can get to me sometimes.

    I completely agree with the concept of putting vacation into your daily life and not just working all year and then taking a week’s vacation now and then, ’cause you just have to get away.

    1. After thinking about what I wrote, I remembered that my husband gets his “vacation” time while getting food for the family (and we’re with him at times), by hunting, fishing, crabbing, clamming. And when I “gather” wild berries, it’s very meditative, thinking about which clump to pick next, can I reach that really good looking berry?, etc.

      So, my conclusion is that you can get the vacation mindset — even if just for 1/2 hour in your day by being fully in the moment, not worrying about things, ad totally immersed in what you’re doing.–whatever it is you like. But I imagine it’s even better if you’re outside. I know I feel much better if I’ve gotten that in a day and not just spent my day in the kitchen (which can be fun–but all day, is too much).

  16. What a great story! I’ll definitely be booking a trip there after that recount! The way I make everyday feel like a vacation is by trying to figure out how I’m going to help someone. What difference can I make today in someone’s life? Sometimes I sense that person just needs to laugh or maybe they need a simple pat on the back or a hug. It’s really just focusing on being rather than doing for me.

  17. Your article on how to stretch to cure Planar Fasciitis cured my wife’s problem in 2 weeks after trying everything for 2 years. We were up to the point if surgery and had totally given up.
    As an airline Captain I travel weekly to various spots in Southern Europe. As you alluded to the bread is different there. When you consume it there are no bad reactions. Think most breads are made with original wheat flours and not the GMO stuff we have in the States. While I don’t have any suggestions on how to capture the adventure spirit of those places at home, I can tell you the fresh food and varied healthy diet is part of the answer.

  18. On the interjecting of the ‘vacation mentality’ into everyday life. I live on the edge of wilderness, I have the ability to slide into a wilderness, ‘state of mind’, with very little time or effort expended. 40 years in Alaska now.

  19. So tell me, how do you reach that mindstate and tap into that adventurous energy without traveling?

    I have absolutely no idea and it’s something I have been thinking about for at least the last year. I really want/need to find the answer. Your Sunday email has encouraged me to really get down to figuring it out.

    1. I posted about how earlier in the thread. It is about learning to be calm and at ease in daily life while living and active one. The training program to get there is also mentioned.

      1. One of my favorite sayings, “be calmly active, and actively calm”.

  20. When I first heard that life expectancy was on the decline, it was last year and it was from Andrew Yang. It’s still news to most people, though he mentions it often. We raised 10m last quarter and if other candidates keep ignoring the things that really matter most to people, then it’s not so far fetched to envision a random man in the white house. In many ways, following his campaign has tapped in to the same set of emotions that I first experienced when I found the Paleo movement 9 years ago, here on daily apple, and was finally able to solve my own problems (back pain, chronic restlessness and laziness) given the tools and the truths that had been hiding in plain sight.

  21. Hi Mark.
    Peter Attia made a similar comment about his vacation in Italy. He ate and had no distress. He also thought something was different about the food in Europe. Do you think because no one is regulating the garbage we are eating? What do you attribute the ability to eat there and have no adverse effect to same food here and complete distress?
    I would really be interested in the findings of that study.
    Thank you Mark.

  22. Nothing like being a millionaire and taking a vacation in the south of France to give you a new lease on life I always say! Well … actually, I don’t ALWAYS say that … this is the first time in fact. I kid you Mark, your success is much deserved, and you very eloquently made a great case for soaking in nature and developing good habits and attitudes to make life more gratifying. And, one can eat a piece of bread every once-and-a-while and it won’t kill you. 😉

    1. I find this hilarious, probably because I’ve always been poor. Thanks for always posting your thoughts, I enjoy reading them!

      1. Appreciate your kind words TGJ … as I like to say … it only hurts when I laugh. 😛

  23. Having visited our daughter in France a few years ago, we had the exact same takeaway regarding the bread we ate at some of our meals. I don’t know if it’s the way their wheat is grown and processed or what, but have never had the same experience with bread here in the states. The fruit, too is worth a mention- did not have a single piece that was not perfect- in taste, texture and ripeness. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  24. To defeat “autopilot” on the way to work each morning, I roll down a window and try to catch some birdsong. It’s not the south of France, but it helps make each day a bit special.

  25. SwS, the adventurous mindset: This may not be the idea you want to hear, but it’s effective nonetheless. My mind relaxes when it’s playing a game. And the high graphics adventure RPG MMO games do it for me. This is especially true when there’s a new chapter of the story to explore (“new content” or “expac”). I feel like I could tell you exactly where to walk in thousands of puzzle areas, but none of the walking takes place in the real world. TBH I think those games are a marvel of human imagination. I think they attract trolls for many reasons, but not least of the reasons is that games like that bring up rare emotions.

    When the immigrant crisis was just taking shape, one of the games included a whole series of quests about people being forced to relocate and even more genius: the quests were optional. So you could help them if you wanted or not help them, but you had to play the intro which told you the story.

    I have a lot of respect for the creators of the games. Though too often I feel fear about the financial aspect. One of the game companies had to quickly sever ties to a Russian oligarch when he came under investigation. It really chilled the community on the financial side. Anyway, games are my escape when I can’t actually travel. Which is often.

    I go through cycles when I get tired of playing imaginary games and then I find other things to do. I think for adults those games are less addictive somehow. At least for me. “I can stop anytime” LOL

    Glad you had a great vacation!

    1. Oh god, they are too addictive for me. I’m 23 with two small children, and when I got the newest open world Zelda game, I played 120+ hours. How the hell did I manage that? Because it’s such a painfully beautiful and addicting game that priorities get messed up. I still crave it every time I’m depressed now, since I no longer sugar binge to escape my feelings. Video games are much more effective at allowing one to escape reality.

  26. thanks for sharing France … sounds lovely.. how to tap into that adventurous spirit without travelling? – the quality of consciousness is paramount. Really being in the moment, centred in body, fully present – wherever you may be or whatever you may be doing this makes life so enjoyable, meaningful and rich.

  27. Slightly off-topic, but I really want to hear more about that French bread. Why can you eat more of it? I recall Peter Attia saying the same thing about Italian pasta. He also mentioned that one of his friends is preparing a book on this very topic.

    I’ve been 100 percent on board with primal principles for nearly 8 years now. But the question of European food has always nagged me. I just don’t understand how it fits into this overall nutritional theory. Anecdotally, I spent over a month in Germany a while back, and experienced the same thing. I ate everything, including dessert, and never really gained a pound and generally felt fine. But in the U.S.? No way, I had to get right back to primal. It’s all so puzzling.

    1. There’s no real answer to this. But there’s a roundabout answer. In Europe they don’t allow GMOs and a lot more food is “bio” their version of Organic. So by happenstance, there are less heavy metals in their food, because, less pesticide, herbicide, etc. Less farming input means less of it ends up in you. Just getting rid of GMOs removes tons of glyphosate from everyone’s plate. And that does have science showing how it affects people. So the quick and dirty answer is, there are heavy metals in pesticides and anything that heavy metals to to you will be less likely someplace where they use less.

      As an aside, you probably know that cigarette smoking is linked to heavy metals. The reason isn’t the tobacco, but the chemicals used for growing it. That’s not to say that smoking pesticide free cigs is good, but it’s a visible demonstration of how the health messages can be skewed. Conventional foods don’t carry that warning. But they expose people to the same chemicals by ingestion instead of inhalation.

  28. Playing music….it transports you. Sometimes you feel like you’re looking god in the eye.

  29. Hey Mark I here what your saying just got back 2 weeks ago from Barcelona there you can easily lead a awesome life there was delisous fish the blackfooted pig saronno ham and great spanish cheese and olives.
    Walking every really can end up being a hike.

    I think you can get a similar feeling in south beach where you live I was just there walk almost any where ,great cafes alot of coffee shops.

    Its a simliar environment in south florida.

    Grok on
    Tom

  30. Trying new beers, some international, is one way I bring a “vacation mindset” to my workweek.

  31. Loved your story of France. It’s been on my bucket list for many years.

  32. I loved how you captured the ambiance of southern France, and this is true more broadly of Europe. We had a french person cook large tomato slices topped with cheese and basil one evening. They made enough to save some for the morning that was used with eggs. We lived in Europe for 13 years, and yes the yokes are more yellow and the bread is definitely different. It’s like we have a cheap substitute for food in the U.S.
    -Stewart, Canton, IL

  33. Dear Mark Sisson,

    I write in response to your post/thoughts on the South of France – from La Garde Freinet in the Provence-Alpes Maritime area – just west of where you were vacationing.

    Every word you wrote perfectly describes life here. I’m on holiday too, but I’m lucky enough to own a home here and come often. Every trip is exactly as you describe it – especially the energy vortex that pulls you in. It made me buy a house on spec after my first visit here in 2013!

    So thank you for your wonderful words – you have a great descriptive style – words that clearly come from your heart. I’m a student of the Primal Health Coach course, and plan to run retreats for my clients/tribe in this area starting in 2020. I think you may agree it’s the perfect place for Primal retreats, too. 🙂

  34. #SundayWithSisson The most difficult part of feeling like on vacation without being on it for me is to push away from the routine, wich almost always kind of pulls me, even when I don’t have to work during a week day. Maybe you could write a full blog post on “How to live like you’re on vacation, even not actually being on it”. It’s a tricky task for me.

  35. I moved to Austria two years ago and have gained a whole new sense of wellness personally, as well as a deeper appreciation for food, food preparation, and enjoyment during the meal time. Coffee is meant to be sipped and tasted in its pure form, slowly, with no “to go” cups or drive thrus, and no additives except the occasional milk or sugar. Your story about France resounded with me because with a few substitutes for the food selections, it is how Austria views food and gastronomy as well. Just this weekend I hiked with friends to an alpine hut on the side of a mountain and over a few hours we enjoyed a local breakfast with unpasteurized milk and cheese, fresh local goat’s milk yogurt with forest berries, orange-yolked eggs from nearby chickens, and meats and vegetables from the local farmer. It was exquisite, and no one checked their watch the entire time. I avoid bread usually but definitely helped myself to some freshly cooked bread as a treat. There’s something special about these slower, European countries and mealtime!

  36. With regard to the Vitamin C study, the secondary outcomes were all greatly benefited by the treatment intervention, AND mortality was listed as a secondary outcome. It is typical of modern studies to use clinical scoring systems (like qSOFA) as the primary outcome rather than the things that really matter (life/death).

    I think Vitamin C’s contribution in sepsis is its action as a cofactor that converts omega-3 fatty acids into “specialized pro-resolving mediators”. Animal research on SPM’s has been extremely positive. Ironically, the world’s expert on SPM’s and the originator of using vitamin C in sepsis are both based at the same institution. I have tried to alert Dr. Marik (the originator of the vitamin C protocol) by email, but have had no response. I strongly believe supplementation with SPM’s in sepsis would be very beneficial. SPM’s are the chemical messengers that arrest and resolve inflammation before it spins out of control.

  37. In response to your recent trip to France:
    I regularly walk to farmers markets and local specialty shops with a travelers backpack to carry my groceries home. I walk in the winter as well as summer, and it’s become a healthy habit. I don’t buy what I don’t want to carry and I’m not spending money on junk food or car insurance.

  38. Vacations are one of the most important things I do for myself every year. They give me an entire reset & fresh look at life.

    I agree with you about the food in France Mark (in fact, there are quite a few other countries I’ve been to where a food I’d generally stay away from in the U.S., my body accepts and is completely fine with elsewhere).

    Since I’m not able to vacation 24/7, one way I get into vacay-mode is to get outdoors. I’m blessed to live right next to a majestic Redwood Forest, as well as the beach…going to these places helps me disconnect from the everyday stuff… I can breath the fresh air and get out of my “daily grind/work mindset.

    Preparing dishes from other cultures also helps me feel like I’m somewhere else… since my husband is from Colombia, I’ll prepare a local dish & put on some Latin music…we can easily get in the mood, and sometimes end up dancing salsa in our living room by the end of the evening.

  39. I found your comment about eating bread while in France interesting. My brother has been there several times and made similar comments. He was always astonished that he could eat their bread for 2 weeks straight and not gain a pound.

    Why? Is their wheat different? Has our wheat been modified like our corn, a super carb? Just curious to see your thoughts.

  40. “Vacation”, “Job”, “i’, and so on are programs embedded in our minds. The moment you free your mind from those viruses, something “awful” will happen: you will not waste energy to remember who you are ( or my God, what a terrible thing to not being able to feed your EGO!). Then your “job” will become a child play (horrible and so irresponsible). You will be ALIVE every single moment!!!! (real disaster as you will immediately catch all of the fakenesses of the world). Every day will be a day of a newborn!. A new partner is showing next to you in the bed in the morning, a new game appears and begs you to play it, a new environment surrounds you. And you are not in a mental institution! You are new and everything around you excites you. Just stop playing the old, deeply embedded programs that make you old and useless and boring…
    Revive your real you – the kid inside. There is no such thing as a “vacation”. We have been programmed to fraction our life into digestible portions. In fact, our life is a continuous living. Our “home” is the place we are right now. Our “family” is the people sitting next to us and talking to us. Our “job” is whatever we are doing right now. That is it. And it is so simple to understand and apply. What we do is way more complicated and difficult and energy-draining. But it is so punishing to shake off those deeply embedded viruses as every single one around us is infected with them. You will look “out of your mind”. And that is way scarier. So we take the easy way, keep the viruses to an easy life…
    Try to wake up and not remember anything from your life. Do not worry, you are not going to lose the lessons from life. You are going to lose the emotional garbage from your life. That is it. You are not going to be a cold stone. You simply will regain your childish curiosity and enthusiasm, and energy spiced with all of the lessons from your past experience. Dare to try?!

      1. He is smoking LIfe as it is. You are living on the fumes of the LIES sold as Reality! Wake up!! That is it!!!

  41. Mark… from the sounds of it, this was your first trip to France, maybe other than Paris? No matter where you go in rural France you will find a unique culture; with regional foods and wine! Drive for two hours in any direction and you will feel as though you are in a completely ‘new’ place. I took my first trip to France in 2014 and make sure to go back at least every other year. Having now been multiple times and in multiple regions, I now understand what the French food ‘snobbery’ is all about and I love it! It’s all about the regional specialties and the quality. Go into any market and get a basket of strawberries… they will look so small in comparison to our massive Costco strawberries, but will have so much concentrated flavor that you will remember your first taste forever! Walk into a butcher shop and see the beautiful color and quality of the meat in the case. Salivate as you peer through the glass at the local fromagerie, and sample a taste of the local goat cheese. Pure heaven! I absolutely love that the French still value the specialty shops that unfortunately we in the US have obliterated by consolidating everything into the ‘big box’ stores, which have cost so many jobs and cut quality. To me, there is nothing more enjoyable than meandering through a small French village after breakfast (which I only eat on vacation because the croissants are so freaking delicious!) and assembling the days picnic from all of the specialty shops; and always for much less than the cost of eating lunch out! No matter what region of France you travel to, you will find the same experience as you had in the South. Simple, incredibly produced food and wine and a landscape that inspires you to get out and explore the land. While we in the US are focused on ‘living large’, the French seem to be focused on ‘living well’ …which I’ll take every time!

  42. Here’s something I do to take a mini vacation: almost anywhere you live, there will be a spa nearby with a day rate. The day rate is usually like $50-75, and they expect that you’ll probably opt to get a massage or something. At the moment, I’m not as happy with my local one since they don’t allow you to use the fitness center unless you get a room at the hotel, and some other things like I don’t feel like I’m totally unplugged, there’s too much attention at the wrong times by the staff. But most spas don’t invade the hot tub area every 10 minutes just to check that everything’s ok and actually talk to you. That distracts me too much.

    When a hotel spa does it right, I am a very loyal customer. To me it needs to have sauna, steam room, hot tub, outdoor or indoor pool, some kind of garden where you can walk a maze, spa treatments, sometimes a hairdresser/salon, a fitness center, etc. And a restaurant with beautifully presented semi exotic foods to really fix the idea in my mind that I’m at a spa. The one I go to now has a night each week where a guy comes in to play a grand piano. Sometimes I go just to hear him play.

    The world needs more spas.

  43. “A way to weigh a whale without a scale.”
    And he says he’s not a big poetry guy.
    Reminds me of a little ditty I derived from reading that kegel post a while back.
    It’s called Sméagol’s Kegels:
    Despite what J.R.R. Tolkien wrote
    The gollum nbise
    Is not produced in the throat.