Weekly Link Love — Edition 57

Research of the Week

Eating peanuts before one year of age may protect against peanut allergy.

High levels of de novo lipogenesis-derived fatty acids linked to heart disease.

Oyster farming is environmentally congruent.

Fat cats.

Given ad libitum access to food, dogs prioritize fat and protein over carbs.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 391: Martin Silva: Host Elle Russ chats with Martin Silva, a coach who’s been training and body sculpting since age 13 and today helps people discover their health, fitness, and optimal body composition.

Primal Health Coach Radio, Episode 36: Laura and Erin chat with Niraj Naik about using breathwork to restore and strengthen your default state.

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

Why are younger Americans dying?

Should obese people hibernate through winter?

Interesting Blog Posts

The case for Epicureanism.

How controlled burns might beat back tick infestations.

Social Notes

This is athleticism.

Why Thanksgiving is the most Primal holiday.

Everything Else

Paleolithic hunters in Mexico lured mammoths into traps.

Ancient foragers in Puerto Rico barbecued clams.

This is athleticism.

A classic video from Kelly Starrett: Conquering the load order error in the deadlift.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

Exclusive interview I did: With Dave Asprey. Just order a copy of his book and submit the receipt for access.

They’re just now realizing this?: Prevention of cavities is more effective than treating cavities.

Marathon variety I can get behind: The one where you run one mile every hour.

I’m not surprised: Adhering to indigenous cultural traditions helps indigenous children’s outcomes.

This is a powerful story: 82-year-old female bodybuilder beats up home invader.

Question I’m Asking

Why aren’t you giving up coffee in favor of sunning your perineum?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Nov 23– Nov 29)

Comment of the Week

“It’s absolutely a combination. It takes individual action, but it also takes creating an environment. I hear you on the cookies. For most of my life I couldn’t resist eating sugar. What worked was keeping it out of the house. If it wasn’t there, I couldn’t eat it. Testing my willpower by having it in the house never worked. Changing my environment so that sugar wasn’t easily available is what did the trick.

And that’s what I’m suggesting as the environmental strategy for society at large. Make it more expensive. Make it harder to find. Make it socially unacceptable. It may be that addicted individuals can’t or won’t quit. But there will be fewer new ones to start. We didn’t rely on individual willpower to reduce smoking — and we had 350 years of experience to show that didn’t work — but changing the environment has worked pretty well.”

– The problem is that the people with the (dubious) power to change society from the top down don’t believe in our solutions, Mark E. Field.

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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51 thoughts on “Weekly Link Love — Edition 57”

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  1. Our kitty Pika is on a diet. We measure out how much she should have in the day. Her litter mate sissy, Cheyenne, knows when to stop. Pika doesn’t. But I think she is acting less addictive. And often what she really wants is attention. I don’t agree with the article that cats should have one or two meals a day. We give the kitties two regular meals but also some very small snacks. If Cheyenne says she is hungry, I figure she really is, so I give each of them a tiny amount of kibble.

  2. If we look at previous efforts to solve problems with addictive drugs (alcohol, tobacco, etc.) we can see both successes (package warnings, taxes, restrictions on sales and use) and failures (Prohibition). All those, good and bad, came about because enough people forced the issue. Those people included private citizens (alcohol and other drugs) and health professionals (cigarettes).

    There’s plenty of medical evidence about the harm from sugar (e.g., Robert Lustig). At the same time, we see organizations like CrossFit attacking the sugar industry. The elements are in place if those of us who recognize the problem push for solutions as a matter of public health (and money — we’re all paying for obesity and metabolic syndrome one way or another).

    Until that happens, we don’t have much choice other than to structure our own lives the right way. But if we want to solve the problem (and make our own lives easier along the way), we have to create the right social environment along the lines of tobacco and alcohol.

  3. So… Millennials are dying at a higher rate than others. Why is that a problem? The up side is less cry babies, vegetarians and socialists. That’s a win win win.

    1. Wow, that’s an extraordinarily crappy and selfish comment to make. Check yourself.

    2. Uh, just no Eelbrood. You came to the wrong place to spread hate and political division. This is a place to educate and uplift.

    3. The problem with Millennials (or anyone younger for that matter) is that when populations implode, there’s no one to take care of the elderly. There’s no one to pay into the Ponzi scheme they paid into.

    4. Yea a lot of us who used to hang out on the Primal Blueprint forums are Millennials, ya jerk.

  4. Make fun all you like, but perineum sunning sounds pretty darn primal to me. I`ve done a version of sunning (through the eyes rather than the butt) and it works great. Sit facing the sun with your eyes closed. Move your eyes back and forth as you imagine the light and warmth of the sun penetrating your nervous system. Woo woo? It`s right up there with heretical notions like saturated fat won´t give you heart attacks and butter in your coffee.

  5. I really enjoyed reading about the 82-year-old woman who beat up an intruder. Threw a table at him and broke the table, poured a bottle of shampoo on his head, hit him with a broom. I love this woman.

  6. Did, uh, “butt-chugging vitamin D” make it into Keto for Life?

  7. I love Link Love and rarely miss an episode. I opened the “This is Athleticism” link thinking it would show some sort of amazing animal stuff. Instead there was my alma mater, with a cadet crushing the infamous OC. Can’t say my times set any records back in the late 70s early 80s. Never did get the hang of the horizontal and vertical shelves. But at least I “passed”–it was part of your PE grade. Everyone always felt like throwing up after running it, and many did.

  8. I think it’s really irresponsible to link to the Daily Mail piece with the question, “Should obese people hibernate through winter?”.

    We live in a capitalist society where folks are both punished for sleeping (time is money) and chastised for not sleeping enough. Rest in general is demonized for anyone who is not already wealthy. I get that the article is provocative and showcases some interesting science, but there are far, far more angles you could have taken that highlight the story (gene similarities) without proposing a fairly ridiculous, unrealistic question that suggests overweight individuals should sleep through a third of the year.

    I’d love to see MDA show more nuance and sensitivity with these headlines.

    1. Completely agree with you Michael. I think it is easy to forget that people who are able to access (not just click their way to but actually read and understand the info on this site) and implement the Grok lifestyle are likely to have some amount of privilege, as making these sort of changes can be difficult and expensive. Overweight people are already stigmatized and this epidemic tends to also intersect heavily with those who are poor. We need to remember the way society is set up and be compassionate, and try to help people find their way here who may already struggle, not suggest these sort of methods. At the end of the day we know the SAD and the things that ail us aren’t often a choice for many and that we have to help overhaul social values to fix this.

  9. I never let my cats graze. Poor kitty. They give us so much love and some of them even act as peacemakers in the family, distracting people who get loud (one of my cats does this but it’s not unusual). They deserve better than kibble. They’re carnivores and we used to hunt with cats.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomb_of_Nebamun#/media/File:TombofNebamun-2.jpg When they bring you a mouse, they’re doing that because we trained them to retrieve hunted food. I never understood the anti-cat thing, how much more cool can cats be than carnivores who protected us from plague and bring us food?

  10. Every holiday there are shootings, stabbings, suicide attempts, lacerations, and contusions in the ED. Holidays (plus alcohol usually) bring out the strong emotions. Been this way forever. Just getting more media coverage due to politics on top of family dynamics.

  11. Please admit some family relationships are beyond repair. Human differences in outlook, values, etc. make it such that even people of the same blood may never be able to achieve a common bond.

    1. Thank you so much, that’s exactly what I came here to say after reading today’s email. I won’t go into the history of violence and hatred in my family except to say that it started generations before I was born, and I escaped the worst of it by estranging myself the moment I reached adulthood. The breakdown of our social fabric is much more serious than “family baggage,” and as a movement, we have to take that into account.

    2. Nothing criminal in my family. Just a father who reminded his kids every day how much of a burden they were and a mother who sided with him all the time. Don’t disturb your father he’s reading the paper before his big day at work. Don’t disturb your father he’s watching the news after his big day at work, don’t disturb your father he’s studying so he can get a better job. Do you know how much your mum and I have given up to ………….. add any comment here? I’ve spent my life avoiding relationships and avoiding responsibility at work because in my head I’m a burden and a disappointment. Even though I now understand it , it is still hard to shake. I’ve tried having this conversation with my parents many times but they stick to the story of how much they did for us so the estrangement continues.

  12. I went with my daughter and family out to dinner. No politics or other foolishness. In our church (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) we learn that families can be forever, now and the hereafter. We always reminisce how things were when we were little and remember all our family members that aren’t here. Merry Christmas!

  13. Concerning family ties–My previous wife died of leukaemia as we were raising a step family of two step kids and two of our own. After she died the step-kids plotted to challenge her will in Court because she left everything to me. They convinced our own kids that they were going to get rich. Of course their plot failed. Both of our kids were in college and they refused to let me parent so I cut them off. Years later we still don’t have any real relationship. Some things you just can’t fix.

  14. SwS: My family would criticize my hair every year. I realized years later, they were sublimating an urge to tell me I was living a spendthrift life. But the reason they thought that was because my “evil stepfather” would steal the clothes I had set aside for winter or summer (when I changed my wardrobe over for the season), and give it to them saying.. “She told me to take this to Goodwill, she’s always throwing things out.”

    I would find my extended family wearing my favorite clothes a few years into their arrival in the US (most of them received asylum like I did) and thanking me for it as if I’d done them a favor. Obviously I wasn’t taking them back.

    Believe it or not, that was one of the least toxic things that happened in my family. It took 20 years for me to clear that misunderstanding up. Despite all this, we still managed to meet nearly every year for the Holidays and put on saccharin smiles because despite it all, I love them and they love me. It only takes one psycho to screw up a family. But truth outs eventually. It’s just that during the time when it hasn’t “outed” yet, important decisions may be made. 20 years is a long time for decision making.

  15. Let’s start with “Do people really talk politics on the holidays?” Why yes, yes they do.

    I’m blessed that my small family group is all on the same page when it comes to politics, but even WE have to tone down the talk at meals to avoid stress and misery.

    Step outside our immediate group, though, and it gets ugly. It’s akin to sitting at a table with people who insist the earth is flat, vaccines cause autism, and Elvis didn’t really die in 1977. No amount of factual data will sway them, but they must insist on trying to sway us. And yes. It’s us versus them.

    I’m happy that you’re able to converse with your family and steer away from controversial subjects, but most of us actually need some outside input to learn how to cope with the strife. I myself watched a webinar with Hear Yourself Think last week for some pointers, just in case the rabblerousers crashed the party.

    There will always be intrafamilial disagreements about issues, but we are currently struggling existentially as a society with the most egregious onslaught of false and negative propaganda in modern times. Until we improve that, holidays and gatherings of all kinds will be fraught with tension

  16. The question on family: I think it was much more conducive to staying happy, strong and getting along together in a hunter gatherer scenario. Their lives depended on it. Nowadays…nah! I feel absolutely little to no connection with family even though we all get along pretty good. Nothing in common. I feel closer to paleo/primal folks and travelers and quiet folks that care about their health. In other words, I have a family, it’s just not about blood.

  17. This is in response to the family Sunday with Sisson email… I think that people are getting more in touch with their emotions and the pendulum swing from being emotionally absent to emotionally aware is this awareness of deep emotional baggage. Family is where our emotional baggage begins. Ultimately I think it is a sign that our culture is headed in the right direction.

  18. Mark our country is facing an existential threat to the very core of our democracy. Families are more deeply divided than ever before, no that is NOT exaggerated. Of course families should try their best to avoid politics during holiday meals, but if the racist uncle makes an ignorant comment in front of the children during the meal, he will be called out. We should try our best to find common ground and harmony with everyone, but we also have to be true to our ideals. Any more questions LOL? 🙂

  19. I love my family though it is much smaller now. My parents are gone, 2 siblings gone, all my aunts and uncles as well but the relationships with our 2 children, their significant others and my brother are of the utmost importance to us. We disagree on some issues but do so respectfully and sometimes with humor.

  20. Mark I appreciate the thoughts about family when it comes to the 45th president but unless you are directly affected by the policies chosen by this administration then you may not fully grasp why someone related to a trump lover would cast them aside.

    Gay people in this country once again live in fear of reprisal and fear of losing their rights. And let’s not forget how other groups are being targeted.

    If it were only politics I’d let it go like I did during the Bush years. No problem. But please look deeper into how certain groups in our society feel now that they, we, I, are under attack.

    1. This is exactly how I felt when reading today’s email. It unfortunately feels pretty tone-deaf; these articles are out there because people are having crises with their families! As you mention, this is because the nastiest stuff is finally being brought to the surface, i.e. beliefs about whether or not people are human and deserving of the same rights, dignity and respect whatever their sex, race, orientation, class, citizenship status, etc. That isn’t stuff you can just classify as “politics” to be shoved under the table for the sake of “keeping the family together.” People who hope to just keep things “apolitical” are people who don’t have a part of their identity being politicized. If you are part of a minority you are by default political and that is not a choice anymore, you have been made to fight for your rights whether you want to or not. I find so much value in what Mark usually has to say and his take on things, but this one way way…off the Mark, if you will excuse my pun 🙁

    2. I wonder how many people are noticing this organized concerted attack on white heterosexual males, especially conservative or Christian. I’m not conservative or Christian, and while I do have some white blood, I also have a fair amount of native American as well. Regardless, there doesn’t seem to be anyone really admitting that this is wrong or unwarranted. Seems like there’s this blatant double standard that most people don’t want to look at.

  21. The core purpose of the media is to divide people and sell them a solution, whether it be a political savior or a product. Selling political saviors seems to be quite profitable.

    No media comes into my home, not NPR, not Netflix, not FOX or CNN.

    How can you listen to people who support themselves by profit from the advertisement of toxic foodstuffs. Lies and hatred are also very profitable.

    1. I also cut the cable over a dozen years ago. I thought I was going to go through DT’s, but I will never regret it. I live out in the country, but with 5G coming, I’m already planning on getting out of range. The less modern tech I’m around, the better I feel.

  22. You asked how our Thanksgiving was… it was fantastic!!! All my son’s family were home. A son, wife and grandson home from out west.. a daughter, husband and 3 grandkids home from 1 state away.. a daughter & husband live local.. and a son home from dental school. My son made a beautiful, big table so all 10 adults could sit comfortable around to break bread together and the kids ate at the kids table! We spent 2 full days together.. had family photos taken as our Christmas gift to each other. It was a little melancholy for me.. I just returned from my brother’s funeral (oldest of 10 kids). I miss him a lot even though we didn’t talk often due to his Parkinson’s, however all of us got together with all the spouses and kids as much as we could. So yes family it very much alive this holiday!!! Love them all!

  23. Our family dynamic changed this year with the death of my mom in September. The way things were handled after her death causes a large wedge between me and my two siblings. While I have forgiven them, it will be a while before I’m willing to interact with them. It makes me sad. However I don’t want to allow anyone to treat me poorly. I pray other families are blessed with joy when together as we were before my parents passed away.

  24. I haven’t been home for Thanksgiving or Christmas in five years. My sister has PTSD, which is like trying to navigate through a field of Claymore mines with trip wires everywhere. She insisted that we all educate ourselves on PTSD to see what she’s going through, and to validate her diagnoses. After looking into it, I not only agree that she has PTSD, but can see that I also have the same symptoms as well. The problem is that I also began using the tools to deal with all imagined attacks (e.g. deep breathing, counting, etc.). I already knew something was wrong with her over 20 years ago, and already knew enough to not engage in anything she said. If she said she was going to sacrifice dogs and cats to the devil, I simply nodded in agreement, and said ‘Sounds like fun”. Five years ago, I passed her a basked of crackers and asked, “Would you like some crackers”? She blew up. She loves crackers, but she said, “Are you saying I’m fat?” I have never fat shamed my sister ever. She stormed out of the restaurant, and wrote me an email telling that this was the most abusive thing I had ever done to her. I felt kind of good to know that was the worst thing she could think of, but now I’m a monster for passing a basket of crackers to her. She doesn’t see that her PTSD is blowing things all out of proportion even though she’s had years of therapy. I don’t get it. I don’t miss the drama and histrionics, but I miss my family terribly. She wants nothing to do with me so I have to stay away because if I show up, then she won’t be around for the holidays because she fears me, and my fat shaming. I just try not to think about it anymore. I don’t think about the holidays. I think I will eventually become a Scrooge or a Grinch just to get through them.

  25. Regarding Thanksgiving, here in Australia we don’t have thanksgiving, yet I would wager that all the family stuff still rears its head for Christmas here. It doesn’t seem to be improving either. On the one hand I agree with Mark’s sentiments and yet on the other I see how people can be better off severing ties with toxic family relationships. It’s not the utopian ideal perhaps. In the end we can only choose our own inner closet cleaning to release resentments and stories that keep us suffering and be in total allowance that others may not choose the same. <3

  26. Our family is very close even though we are a little spread out now days. I love being able to have us all under one roof during the holidays! It’s nice to see that you would agree of the importance of family. Next to my spiritual relationship, this is the most important thing in the world to me. I couldn’t imagine life without them.

  27. Reading all the family comments I realize that many truly endure difficult situations. I wanted to tell my story but I think I’ll just agree on the part biological part of us that needs that connection. I feel it every day. Unfortunately for me my family has gone their own way. Religious beliefs. So hard to comprehend. I just know that as I go on with my life, making the best of it, there is always that pull that tells me that I need them and I wish they were with me if anything else in spirit.

  28. Thank you for your email about family. What an awesome reminder. It can all get lost in the busyness, but it really is what you live and would die for. Our actions and schedules don’t always reflect that. thank you.

  29. Somebody has to make the first move towards reconciliation. I have heard that the most sane one at the time has that responsibility. We all know we have been there. That place of not quite our best selves. Compassion is the word of the hour.

  30. Re: Thanksgiving. Somebody has to make the first move towards reconciliation. I have heard that the most sane one at the time has that responsibility. We all know we have been there. That place of not quite our best selves. Compassion is the word of the hour.

  31. Mark

    I’m glad you have had such a positive experience of parenting, and family.

    It certainly isn’t like that for many. My parents are still married (53 years) but it’s like a war zone being in their company, so I chose sanity, I chose me I suppose, and am no longer in contact. My mother’s explosions so traumatized me as a child it shaped my whole early adulthood becoming an anxious people-pleaser.

    Now, I own my space and spend time with people where we bring each other joy. Family doesn’t have to be biological, family is about soul connections and they can happen with anyone.

  32. Replying to Sunday with Sisson. Family does come with baggage. The strange thing with mine is the step parent and in-law portion. My immediate family does great together. My fathers wife, causes the division in our family as well as my brothers wife. Its very unfortunate because the kids suffer by us not being around one another. We do our best to try for birthdays and holidays but it is always miserable. When the core family is together though, its like old times. We just end up going off on our own and leaving the trouble makers to themselves.

  33. Gosh! I’m a single mom of 3 now young men all in their early 30’s and my youngest one is holding a grudge against his older brother (my middle son) . It’s difficult on the holidays but, there’s not much I can do about it. My youngest is very stubborn. My older one can be also but, says , he will always be there for his younger brother. No more traditional holidays. It sucks the life out of me.

  34. Far too many people endure abuse and toxicity in the belief that family matters more than anything. And many feel guilty for saving themselves and are vulnerable to any encouragement to put themselves back in a harmful situation. Not all rifts are trivial!

  35. I have to admit I always find it odd when people speak ill of their families. Ours is certainly not perfect but my husband and I raised our 4 children(including set of twins) just as you and Carrie did. I always stressed dinners were for the entire family becaus I knew someday my children would be raising their own and with 4 we would not always be able to spend every holiday together. With only 1 married so far and 3 grandsons life is wonderful. When we can we take family trips together. Our parents have been gone for quite a while and as much as we try to see siblings they have their own families to spend the holidays with. THis past summer we started having a yearly family reunion! It was wonderful, too short and probably not as appreciated by some of the cousins but the Aunts and Uncles(by siblings loved it. So yes, for our family this time is and always will be special, forget the politics, football is more important!!

  36. Long time listener, first time caller :). In regards to your Sunday article on Thanksgiving, one point really resonated with me–the negativity in articles/media surrounding family gatherings. I do, truly, think families struggle over holidays, particularly in difficult family situations/dynamics. I do think it’s important, in some instances, to set boundaries, as well as expectations that things won’t be perfect. That said, I think the negativity in media right now is a bit toxic and overwhelming–it sets the expectation that things WILL be bad, and celebrates the disharmony over the possibility of reconciliation. It makes me sad. So sad, in fact, that the day before thanksgiving, I finally launched a writing project as kind of a counterbalance. It’s part call to kindness, part in honor of someone who left the world too soon. I know this is a shameless plug here, but it’s something I feel very passionately about. Please check out https://mpactproject.net/ if you feel so inclined. Truly wishing you HAPPY holidays, and if you’re hurting this time of year, I’m sending a huge hug. Thank you for reading.