Weekly Link Love — Edition 95

Research of the Week

Intermittent fasting paired with resistance training maintains lean body mass and helps burn body fat.

IV NAC blocks inflammatory COVID-19 cascade.

Honey beats traditional cough and sore throat meds.

Breastmilk protects against coronavirus infection and replication.

Ancient hunter-gatherers likely had similar social organization as living hunter-gatherers.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 440: Jennifer Ludington: Host Elle Russ chats with Jennifer Ludington, a high performance mindset coach.

Episode 441: Brad Kearns Q&A: Host Brad Kearns answers your questions. Always fun.

Primal Health Coach Radio, Episode 74: Laura and Erin chat with PJ Taei about the importance of bringing content online.

Primal Health Coach Radio, Episode 75: Laura and Erin chat with Sam Miller about optimizing what you can control.

Media, Schmedia

Are all of our mental disorders actually disorders?

Growing insane produce from elephant dung.

Interesting Blog Posts

Remote work nationalism.”

Social Notes

Proud to be included.

Everything Else

FitBits predicting COVID-19 before symptoms show.

But high-fat low-carb only works in young fit athletes!”

Multivitamin/minerals improve immune function.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

Term I liked: “Chrono-nutrition.”

That’s one way to do it: Scientists sequence the genes of an ancient wooly rhino whose meat they found in the stomach of an ancient dog.

Book that looks interesting: Ketones: The Fourth Fuel

Good piece on coffee: The drug that changed the world.

Horse eyes and bone hammers: These were a few of the Neanderthal’s favorite things.

Question I’m Asking

Would you work remotely forever if you could? Where would you live?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Aug 15 – Aug 21)

Comment of the Week

“Mark, have you ever approached a lactating woman (other than your wife) and asked for a sip from the tap? No? Than I forgive you for not realizing one of the biggest ways that adult men drinking breast milk can be unsafe, unless you’re wearing battle armor.”

Aaron speaks from experience here, folks.

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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67 thoughts on “Weekly Link Love — Edition 95”

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  1. The “Nutrition Quack List” guy has similar energy to a primary school girl making a list of all her friends.

  2. I’ve been working from home in the last 2 years. It’s incredible how much less stressy this is compared to commuting each day. Never want to commute again!

  3. Been working from home since 2012. I have had geographical requirements for my jobs, but I still love. None of that polite office talk or other distractions. I do my job and that’s it. At quitting time, I am free, no after hours cocktails for appearances. It gives me a more free time, as well. And for the boss, I get a lot more work done without office distractions.

  4. For 35 years my home has been my workplace and my workplace, my home.

    Pretty much how farming is, and I wouldn’t swap it for the world.

  5. I gave up coffee for a week and had the most incredible dreams, lucid and I could remember them easily. I just don’t seem to be happy without it. I just live waking up in the morning and starting my coffee ritual.

  6. Coffee break, or any other break = a great feeling. I do the Daniel Fast at least once per year, which is 21 days of water, veg, fruits, nuts, and not much else. This summer I gave up wine for about six weeks as well. Anything is possible for a time. I loved the phrase “mainly just to see what you’re made of.” Quite true!

  7. I wish what you said were true, but many women’s cycles are adversely affected by caffeine. So perhaps coffee is without Ill effect for most MEN, but women should be careful. It can even affect fertility for some.

    Thanks for an otherwise lovely newsletter!

    1. This is interesting. I gave up coffee in the end of February. As I’ve aged, my digestive system has gotten more and more finicky. The first six weeks after giving up coffee were pretty glorious. I don’t know if it affects my cycle all that much (I’m in peri-menopause and possibly menopause). I switched to tea and have felt better, mostly.

  8. A couple years ago now, my husband and I both took a month or two off from drinking coffee. Seeing the difference it made for us, we’ve never gone back to drinking it fulltime. We learned that the occasional afternoon migraines my husband would get were really from caffeine withdrawal when he’d skip coffee for whatever reason. Even if he just has coffee for a week and then stops, he’ll get them again for several days while detoxing from it.

    I used to have one of those brains that wouldn’t shut off at night. Without a morning coffee, I’ve never slept better and I wake up with great energy every morning.

    We both actually love coffee so it’s kind of unfortunate, but now we’ll just have a cup now and them as a treat. Really packs a punch when you don’t use it much too!

  9. I’m now a decafe person. Love the taste but the caffeine was causing eye twitches. I now only drink caffeinated in the rare occasion I need an extra boost.
    For me the first few days without are tough, you feel like you have zero energy and then on the 3rd or 4th morning you wake up like you’ve already had your coffee and are roaring to go.

  10. Funny you should mention that. I did just that a few weeks ago for the same reason. I didn’t want to put something in my body that now demanded that I do it. I stopped coffee for approximately 4-5 weeks. The length of time it took to drink a whole large can of Costco’s Kirkland decaf lol. It was amazingly easy and couldn’t really see any benefits so now I’m back to grinding my Starbucks French Roast and drinking it black. Heaven!

  11. I gave up coffee as it was raising my triglycerides. Now my TG:HDL ratio is much better (ratio of 1 as opposed to close to 2 when I was drinking coffee). Any thoughts about higher triglyceride levels due to coffee and whether this is ok long term?

    1. May be a coincidence as carbs raise triglycerides. Unless of course you put a ton of sugar in your coffee then it’s the lack of sugar that helped bring them down. Also milk has carbs in it. Probably the combination of the lack of the two but drank black I’m pretty sure you are safe..

  12. Coffee Breaks. Yes, I do them periodically. Have been for a good while, too. I take breaks from other “habits” as well. I feel cleaner and less dependent.

  13. I gave up all caffeine during an elimination diet 2 years ago. Now I just have it as a “treat” on Sunday mornings and during vacation. It is nice to know that you are no longer a slave to the caffeine fix. So that I wouldn’t get the headache associated with cutting out the caffeine, I weaned myself off of it by using half regular and half decaf then all decaf and then no coffee at all. Now I drink a cup of hot bone broth every morning instead.

  14. I gave up coffee for Lent one time ( 40 days ). That first cup of Starbucks blonde roast ( the most caffeine ) was amazing, I was thinking this feels too good to be legal !

  15. I will not take a coffee break. I am afraid I will suffer cognitive decline and forget how to make my favorite brew.

  16. Haha, good timing, I start my caffeine reset week tomorrow. Something I periodically do, alá Ben Greenfield’s protocol, to keep my tolerance low, as well as giving th ‘ol adrenals a break. (Particularly important now, as I’m trying to recover from a tick’s love bite, Lymes, that is) I find it works great for keeping the benefits of coffee without building a tolerance… Always stoked to go back to the hard stuff though!

  17. Gave up coffee for 3 months (drink it black) … started as a challenge to see if I could do it during lent (wondering if it was an addiction more than enjoyment and never thought I’d stop drinking it). No problem … I was actually surprised! No withdrawals, no side effects and I replaced it with hot lemon water and sometimes beef/chicken broth.
    I think your idea of “taking a break” is a good one to challenge your body’s routine/adaptability. As always, thanks for your continued great content!

  18. I have tried to give up coffee and the three days of severe headaches make me never want to do it again. I have many restrictions on my diet being a type 1 diabetic and having a citric acid allergy – so I am keeping the coffee! 🙂

  19. The problem with most discussions about coffee is that people think of coffee and caffeine synonymously. But coffee has benefits beyond just the stimulating effect of caffeine. I drink 1 or 2 caffeinated coffees plus 2 or 3 decafs but for me the key is they have to be high quality beans not preground/garbage stuff. You get what you pay for here.

  20. I have some heartburn issues. I’ve been going three weeks with coffee and one week of each month. It seems to help reset my stomach, I’m sure there are other factors in my diet contributing but a break from coffee seems to help.

  21. No Mark – You are not a monster!! Thanks for the laugh this morning and MAYBE I will see about going without a couple days later in the week!! For now – bottoms up!!!

  22. I switched to half-caf after trying decaf only, and it’s perfect for me (decaf wasn’t cutting it, although I made it for a week or two). I mix my my favorite Trader Joe’s organic medium roast regular (Wake Up blend) with any of the decaf organic medium roast Allegro brand at Whole Foods and it’s great. A little lift but no jitters later on. But when I’ve tried different brands I’ve noticed how good or bad coffee can be, so I stick to these. For dark roast, I’ve also enjoyed a nice pre-made half-caf blend by Beanstock.

  23. Thank you for differentiating … break for coffee versus break from coffee … I have just come off of a 10 day water fast … so I had breaks from many routine habits. I plan to continue the break from coffee for a while … coffee does take away an opportunity to enjoy the summer fruit … when you have an urge to put something in your mouth, listen to the organism, what does it want … coffee or juicy fruit or eggs, veggies or combination … listen and live fully …. I love Mark’s daily apple!

  24. I agree, we should be able to quit almost everything we depend on from time to time. Love every post you make, they’re so full of wisdom, so enlightening, thanks for sharing all these wonders.

  25. Thanks for all the great information. Concerning the “coffee break’, if you haven’t read Caffeine by Michael Pollan you should it’s short , informative and funny.

  26. WOW… this is some divine email right here. I was just thinking exactly starting tomorrow to take a break from coffee, and then this. And thanks for not being a monster! (: 

  27. I have tried this several times–mainly whenever I have felt like I’ve gotten “out of control” with the caffeine (more than 2 or 3 cups per day) but my initial experimentation with it started out as a two week break every six months. Almost always, after the break, I notice a much lower tolerance to caffeine, and find that I can only really drink one cup without feeling jittery and on-edge. I like to think of this practice as a mental/physical exercise in reestablishing boundaries with an external substance. 🙂

  28. I love the coffee message because of paragraph three-And not Only concerning coffee (from which I do frequently take breaks). I quit listening to music while training or mountain biking for the same reason: to be free of the influence of and dependence upon anything external. YMMV, but I find myself far more present and attentive to whatever is going on. The one caveat with the music is I’m a musician and generally have a hard time making music a background thing 🙂

  29. My mother taught me to drink coffee black while I was young and curious, explaining how it imports it is to savor it in its most natural state before adding other flavors to it. I still enjoy it most mornings. But I’m no longer addicted to multiple cups, easily skipping several days in a row Before desiring that next steaming brew. One half to one cup is most enjoyable.

  30. You’re preaching to the choir, Mark. I regularly sing the praises of taking a break from anything that could be a “crutch.” This certainly shows me what you’re made of. Keep up the good work.

  31. I have read your definitive guide to coffee and other articles, but I can’t find mention of unfiltered coffee’s effects on cholesterol (and does it matter). I recently read unfiltered coffee (like French press, which I switched to 2 years ago and drink daily) raises LDL.
    I am informed on the merits of cholesterol and that it doesn’t deserve the rap from MSM ( ha! Interesting how that acronym applies to media and medicine).
    However, it would be helpful and interesting if you could weigh in on unfiltered coffee, especially because I can’t find info on whether doing some sort of pour-over through a filter will do any good or be a waste of time.

  32. Interesting thought, but for me, during Covid with the associated anxieties, it’s not the time to stop something that gives me so much pleasure. My morning routine of a couple of cups, is one of my routines that gives me pleasure, and starts my day with a happy smile

  33. I often take breaks from coffee (I started to drink it at age 6 with lots of sugar and sweet milk!). Now when I drink it, it’s an Americano made with organic, freshly roasted/ground beans and a touch of heavy whipping cream. My husband has espresso daily but I can take it or leave it. It’s delicious, yes, but it feels best to be able to gauge how I’m doing and just have it when it feels right.

  34. I’ve been following the Blood Type Diet after reading both books 3 years ago. My blood type is O. The book explains how the type O gut is highly acidic naturally and coffee will increase that acidity which has long term effects on norepinephrine levels. Therefore, type O should avoid coffee and black tea and replace them with Green and White Tea. I have followed this advice for years now and I have noticed a lot of benefits. Lower anxiety and stress, much better sleep, clear mind, reduced seasonal allergies and elimination of asthma. Sometimes I brew caffeine free Chicory with flavorless White Tea mixed in. This resembles coffee in a tasty and rewarding way! Cheers!

  35. I drink coffee about once in a blue moon. Switched to green tea years ago because coffee started giving me diarrhea. I still love the taste of coffee (with a little heavy cream in it to round out the edges), but a half cup is about all I can tolerate at any one time, and even then not every day. It doesn’t matter whether it’s decaf or regular, so I know it isn’t the caffeine that’s causing it.

  36. If I don’t drink coffee in the morning I will get a headache by the afternoon. I probably don’t need as much coffee in the morning, but I need at least a couple of gulps to prevent me from getting a bad headache..

  37. A few months ago, despite being 80/20 primal for years, I developed GERD. After looking into the standard treatments I realized they were all bad options. I opted for a pairing of two things: serious keto (which I do occasionally anyway) to cut starches and also dropping coffee cold turkey.

    Coffee seemed to come up all the time when looking up GERD in a lot of circles.

    Now, I don’t know if it was the keto or the coffee or both (changed too many variables, also took some HCL and digestive enzymes for a bit!) but the GERD subsided in a couple weeks. I stayed off coffee for a few more weeks because I had decided even if I went back to it—and I wanted to, I really like it in the morning—I had the change the rules a bit. I can say that I had a huge headache the first day I didn’t have any but aside from that, no real ill effects.

    Coffee is no longer daily. I have it 2-4 times and week and more often on the weekends than weekdays. I also usually have only one mug instead of two, so the volume is down (from sometimes nearly 700mL a day down to about 350mL). Also, since I enjoy the hipster stuff, this is a cost savings. Good coffee is not cheap.

    Honestly, I can’t tell if I like the ritual or the beverage more. It’s a strange thing. I missed MAKING coffee more than drinking it for those couple months. Isn’t that odd? (Aren’t we all?)

  38. I did stop drinking coffee for the most part. Something I never thought would happen. But Covid changed all of my patterns. I stopped commuting to work, stopping at the coffee shop on the way in
    I tried making it at home for a while but so much of the ritual was in the pattern. I found I actually didn’t enjoy it as much making it at home. I’ll still get it maybe once every 2-3 weeks if I’m out and about and can find a drive-through.

    I do have a question on a different subject. I recently bought a paddle board. Despite all of my looking I can’t find anything about the actual work of carrying the board to the lake! I live about a 1/2 a mile away. It is not easy but doable. The board is 24 pounds and just shy of 11′ long. I am 5′ 6, 156.
    Any guess as to what I burn and build on those walks?

  39. Huge YES to working remotely! I was doing so long before COVID and love the freedom and flexibility it brings. I’m 45 now but discovered this back in my 20s, when I learned to make a living from my laptop “office,” translating Arabic while travelling the world and living out of a backpack. Now, I adore my home in British Columbia but don’t like being tied to a place or workplace.

    As for coffee…sigh. I definitely see benefits when I take breaks. But I’m hanging on regardless. The biggest drug I cut from my life with the biggest benefits: alcohol. I’ll take coffee over that any day!

  40. We both gave it up for bladder control! Hard to do! Some headaches for a few days! Now we drink roasted dandelion tea and chicory brewed for 15 minutes and cream added now that it’s hot we do it iced! Really good!

  41. Hello and happy Sunday to you, too. I’ve been drinking, strong, black coffee, most of my life. I’m sixty four. I remember my mother telling me my first words were, “little bit”, because that was her response to me as I would pull myself up by her skirt tails, asking for a sip of her coffee. The only times I recall going without coffee, I was undergoing surgery and was on a 24 hour fast.

  42. At 66 and now keto for 1.5 years or so, I’ve always been a coffee drinker, but lately been REALLY indulging and was thinking I seriously need a coffee break.
    Great article I’m going to mull it over during my next cup of coffee.

  43. I’m gonna take a coffee break and contemplate this “Sunday’s with Sisson” offering!

  44. What do you think of bed cacao beans? Crio Bru for an example. I have just started drinking it as a caffiene free alternative.

  45. I was able to quit coffee thanks to working remotely (which I would 100% do forever. Hawaii please!) and am never going back. The month of withdrawals was hell and proved to me what powerful drug caffeine really is. I no longer have to plan my daily activities around caffeination. I have consistent energy, focus and clarity all day long through til bedtime, that I have not experienced since before I started drinking coffee. It has done wonders for my menstrual cycle… I thought I was already doing as good as it was possible to in that department, but quitting caffeine took it up another notch to where I literally experience no PMS symptoms whatsoever anymore. And finally, as someone else mentioned, THE DREAMS. It’s worth quitting, even for a few weeks, just to experience the incredible, rich, vivid, seemingly night-long dreamscapes!

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience! Gives me hope and motivation to continue! Truly, thank you.

  46. I’ve been trying to quit caffeine for years. Many years. I started drinking soda as a child, and chugging it by teenage years. I had my first energy drink at 13 unfortunately and countless ones since. The longest I’ve knowingly gone without caffeine was during my first full term pregnancy for about six months. I’ve been actively trying to quit on and off for a couple months, longest being two weeks. I truly want to quit and never have caffeine again (in any appreciable amount). I don’t want to rely on it. This is the time. I just finished my 5th day without, and I’m still exhausted. Insanely. I’ve been ridiculously fatigued for years (since having children) and I’m convinced if I quit caffeine for long enough my energy might actually improve. (I quit sugar over a year ago *finally* and have been eating primal since, still with no noticeable improvements in energy.)

  47. Yes, as a matter of fact, a coffee break IS coming up soon. A couple day’s worth yet to brew, then I’ll switch to teas such as Pu-erh, Earl Grey, Green, and Jasmine for the energy lift in the a.m. Looking forward to this, actually. The coffee flavor is yummy, to be sure, but it was getting a little old during these late summer days. It’ll taste good again in the Fall.

  48. I might switch to decaf for a bit, but give up my freshly ground and brewed coffee in the morning? Never.
    Besides, what would I do with all the coffee making gear in my kitchen 🙂

  49. We’re in the middle of a pandemic. Untold stressors. Leave us something. That helps to face the day.

  50. We’ve been working from him since mid March and my company who has 12 offices around the world announced they don’t think we’ll ever go back to fill Capacity and waste all this money on office space since we are doing so well from home and 93% of those polled LOVE IT!

    I love being home with the wife and kids and drinking my good espresso and eating my clean food. Only downside is making sure to get out and move more since I’m not walking too and from the office and taking breaks and walking around the building at work.

  51. Having had psoriasis for a very long time, and having given up everything at some point BUT coffee — I decided to try giving it up. When I stopped drinking that wonderful elixir, my skin cleared completely — and quickly. It was, is, remarkable. I occasionally have a cup now and I get a small flare, but nothing like the cataclysmic clusters that I had before.

  52. I know I am sensitive to caffeine, definitely can’t have a cup of coffee after noon without it impacting my sleep. Did an elimination diet in June and was off coffee for 4 -5 weeks (mild headache first day or 2 when I stopped), but have been back to my 1 cup per day for the past month, really only 1 cup if I wanted a 2nd I had a decaf after dinner.
    Had a couple of busy mornings last week where I skipped my morning cup – OMG the headache I had. So I think I will stick to decaf for quite a while now and see how that goes.

  53. I always look forward to Sunday with Sissons. This last one on ‘taking a break’ was especially motivating for me. I’m about to commence my break. Thank you.

  54. I have to admit that I’m addicted to the caffeine in coffee. I get a terrible headache if I don’t have my daily fix. Of all the addictions I could have, I don’t see this one as a problem. I limit my intake to 2 cups in the morning and that’s all I need. I really like the morning coffee ritual to ease into my day. A little bit of time to get my day started right!

  55. I took a coffee break for a month a few years back. substituted 1 green tea in the morning instead of 3-4 cups of coffee per day. I still hold on to that little victory to this day!

  56. You guys are really harshing my mellow. My health plan up to now has been coffee all morning, red wine all afternoon and ‘running’ on empty, (but not chronically so).

  57. I love the SMELL of coffee! But, I don’t drink it just because it tastes too bitter for me. But I love opening a fresh bag or can of coffee and breathing in that wonderful smell! Wierd, huh? I drink mostly black tea, only sometimes green. Herbal tea is good at night and sometimes when its cold outside, I will drink a flavored tea. But nothing beats that wonderful smell of coffee. Some of my best memories are with that smell. Why can’t it TASTE as good as it smells without adding a bunch of crud to it?! Lol!

  58. The last time I didn’t drink coffee for 2-3 days, I developed an impressive headache each morning. Granted, I had a substantial intestinal upset at the time; still this is a well known side effect of stopping caffeine.

  59. Hi Mark, i read your messages every week. Feel uplifted by everyone of them and think man I love the way this person thinks. I’m not a crazy woman. Found your book in 2017 and have been living the Primal Blueprint life ever since. Fall off the wagon every now & then. Feel awful and get right back on. Thank you for all that you do & say. Its very real and we need real. Happy week !