Weekly Link Love — Edition 98

Research of the Week

People with amnesia often gain weight because they forget they’ve already eaten.

Caffeine makes alcohol more rewarding.

Taller people have stronger testosterone responses to exercise.

Despite widespread dairy consumption, Bronze Age Europeans had relatively low frequency of lactase persistence.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 444: Ashleigh VanHouten: Host Elle Russ welcomes Ashleigh VanHouten back to the podcast.

Episode 445: Dude Spellings: Host Brad Kearns welcomes Dude Spellings back to talk about micro-workouts, calorie compensation, blue light and melatonin.

Primal Health Coach Radio Episode 75: Laura and Erin chat with Stacey Claxton about learning from your body.

Media, Schmedia

Female python lays 7 eggs despite no male contact for twenty years.

Could face masks be a quick-and-dirty COVID vaccine?

Interesting Blog Posts

Have we unwittingly discovered the biggest productivity hack of the century?

Is motivation the answer?

Social Notes

VR pasture for Moscow cows.

Everything Else

More people are grinding their teeth.

A nice treatise on walking.

Post-hurricane mosquito clouds are killing livestock.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

Podcast I loved doing: Health Theory with Tom Bilyeu. We talked about living awesome.

Interesting article: We know how to prevent massive wildfires.

Imagine that: Indigenous cattle are a viable path to economic and nutritional self-sufficiency in South Africa.

What to say when someone proposes that kids and adults avoid animal foods to stave off chronic disease: NO.

Another senseless tragedy: Vegan parents starve baby with homemade formula.

Question I’m Asking

Should veganism be illegal for children?

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Sep 5 – Sep 11)

Comment of the Week

“The only free lunch is the cheese in the trap.”

-Good one, Fritz.

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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110 thoughts on “Weekly Link Love — Edition 98”

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  1. I do not think veganism should be illegal for children. That very quickly turns into a slippery slope.

    That being said I think a fully funded public health campaign about the benefits of included animals foods in a growing babies diet is a better approach.

    This of course assumes someone other than the USDA creates the public message.

    1. Veganism per se, should not be illegal for children. That is a very blunt instrument.

      Neglect of the kind leading to severe nutritional deficiency, certainly should be.

      1. Veganism should not be illegal. But injury to children – whether malnourishment or death – because of veganism should lead to criminal liability. Accountability for outcomes is morally clearer than trying to legislate lifestyles.

  2. No, veganism shouldn’t be illegal for kids. As Anthony pointed out, it’s a slippery slope, and what are they likely to ban next?

    The bigger issue is the prevalence of processed foods. Few parents cook from scratch using real ingredients these days. Instead they give their babies formula containing God-knows-what, followed by jarred baby food containing God-knows-what, eventually switching to stuff like mac & cheese, hotdogs, and french fries. It isn’t veganism itself that makes kids fat and unhealthy; it’s the crappy frankenfoods they get fed.

  3. ‘…upon struggling to find appropriate vegan formula, the father made his own out of dates, fruit and other vegetables. He has now adjusted his own diet and eats meat.’
    The child is left to suffer the consequences of the adults adherence to dietary fads.

  4. When my mother-in-law was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease my father-in-law was able to teach her that 1:00 was lunchtime. Until then she would eat lunch at 11:00 and 12:00 and 1:00. Once they established that 1:00 was lunchtime, she stopped eating so many lunches.

  5. I agree that veganism shouldn’t be illegal for children, because you can’t make laws about peoples’ food. Next thing you know, meat will be illegal. BUT, our vegan friends’ kids have no muscle. When I used to pick the girl up (with my hands under her arms), around age 2, it felt like her arms were going to fall off. They have bad allergies and are sick all winter. The parents now have a variety of serious health issues. So, I don’t think it’s right for kids (or adults). This particular family does make a lot of their food at home, and isn’t eating tons of (but not zero either) vegan junk food. But definitely still eating seitan (pure gluten). And I agree that more info needs to be put out there about the needs of kids. I also wonder if breastfeeding would have prevented the problem in the case Mark referred to. Another thing to encourage. Though my friend’s kids were breastfed, so it doesn’t solve all the problems.

    1. I can’t help but think when these kids grow up and have no muscle mass or bone mass, and serious health consequences therefrom, that there will be a day of reckoning with the parents. Sad. We watch this in our own family with 3 nieces fed a vegan diet for years, the middle one is extremely unhealthy, looks malnourished, and could be pushed over with a feather. I worry about her bone and muscle health in the future.

    2. I’ve never understood why the first thing most parents do in weaning a baby off breast milk and onto solid foods is to give them baby food made from fruits and veggies, and then graduate them to rice and Cheerios.

      Why no meat? Do they think breast milk comes from fruits and veggies?

      Why would they totally reverse the macros of their first food (breast milk) that helped them thrive those first months?

      1. Their pediatricians. New parents are desperate to be good parents and they don’t want to stay from the guidelines lest they be (self) labeled bad parents. (True story)

    3. Our adopted son is like this too from being fed SAD garbage for his first 2 years. We’re trying very hard to get him to enjoy eating higher protein and animal fat meals, but he’s been programmed to seek garbage, sadly.

  6. They tested the theory about masks and variolation on hamsters… now I can’t stop thinking about hamster masks.

  7. No, veganism shouldn’t be illegal, for anyone, for all the reasons stated above and more. The problem isn’t veganism, it is the parent’s ignorance. There is a right way and a wrong way to do anything and these folks clearly didn’t know what they were doing. It wouldn’t surprise me if they were in pretty poor health, themselves. All parents should be required, before bringing a child into the world, many things, especially the right way (and what) to feed them.

  8. I agree with the rest, veganism (along with any other dietary considerations) should never be outlawed. The issue is ignorance. Education, properly applied, is the only true panacea.

    I add the qualifier “properly applied” because one can teach dogma and bigotry as easily as reason and education.

    I suspect that one of the primary reasons people hold onto demonstrably damaging diets (beyond a very human unwillingness to admit wrong) is the idea that genetics play a greater role in one’s fitness than any personal agency.

    I see this in several blogs and nutrition/fitness publications – including Nerd Fitness, which first introduced me to MDA a decade ago – and their intent seems to be a desire to not discourage people: (paraphrased) “You will never look like Brad Pitt, because you weren’t blessed with his genes, but keep trying and you can be a better version of yourself.”

    I applaud the intent, but it seems to allow for a willful rejection of evidence, as genetics are given outsized credit for one’s fitness/health/appearance.

    1. To elaborate, that’s why vegan parents won’t look at their malnourished, underdeveloped and/or overweight kids and question their diets. They’ll simply blame genetics and pat themselves on the back as good parents for not body shaming them.

    2. Doctors often give outsized importance to genetics and hereditary possibilities. I am 72 yo woman. Fit,Hike lift heavy objects appropriate for my age. Low carb since 2011 keto-ish in 2018. I feel and operate very well thank you. I ended up in surgery after a fall hiking and a doc is never seen before presurgical thought my BP too high. Well duh. I was in stress and just experienced a trauma and surgery coming in 2 days with family issues in the horizon. I’ve never had hypertension before but it always reads higher in docs office. She scared the crap out of me and quadrupled the dose of medication after the surgery. Felt awful. She also intoned that it could all be family history. Sure. My dad was a lifelong smoker. Ate terrible. Overweight and got a lung disease in WW2. Little exercise. My mom Ogaden similar problems. Their parents lived into 80s and 90s. No history of cancer or major heart disease. Granted genes contribute but you can change that! At the point doc wanted me to have BP checked every day and it just caused waves of anxiety and unreliable readings I just said screw it. I quit taking BP stepped up my keto and exercise plus relaxation techniques like going outside and walking. Turned off the news. A couple of months later I dropped the med. I’ll check back later but trying to get someone on meds and scaring the patient during a time of physical and mental trauma is a no go. All that passed in time. I’m kind of done with the sick care system. I know too much now.

      1. Sorry for typos. Small phone and your text font reads so light and whimpy. Come on and beef up the font please. I was a graphic designer. Fancy fonts are useless for comment sections and blogs. Are you listening web manager? Fail.

      2. Have you tried a home monitor? Agree rr stress of it all, but much more important the pressure at home!! Not 5 minutes at the docs.

  9. Give me a fresh water lake and a gurgling river over the beach any day! Don’t get me wrong, I like the beach. I live in Auckland New Zealand and we are surrounded by water. It’s never more than 15 minutes away. My heart however longs for the stillness of a forest lake and the gentle gurgling of a creek or river feeding this lake. In my mind’s eye this lakes comes surrounded with autumn colours. I grew ups in Germany and while I have been here for 30 years, I really, really miss proper autumns. All native trees in New Zealand are evergreen.
    I feel ‘at home’ ( my soul ‘feels at home’!!) next to a gurgling fresh water stream. Moss growing on stones, ferns in the shades of the tree…we do have all of that in NZ just not in Auckland per se…hmmm, maybe we need to move for the next part of our lives. Got to go and have a chat to hubby…! Bye 😉

  10. I, too, love the beach. A walk on the beach renews my soul. I think it’s because standing on the edge of the land is so humbling. I remember, even as a little girl, being in awe at the immensity of the ocean and knowing that there were people on the other side of the world staring out at that same beautiful water.

  11. Yeah I couldn’t agree more. We’ve always lived close to the beach here in Western Australia. We’re lucky to have a huge coastline of amazing beaches and not overcrowded with our relatively small population. Being close to, on the water or underwater is a big part our our lifestyle here, love it. It’s my happy place!

  12. I thought I was in love with the sea when we lived near the beach in Florida, we still keep a sailing yacht there, but then we moved back to the uk and oh the majesty of the forests, trees and woodland walks ! For me it’s all about the trees and rolling hills ! Not sweating to death and fearing Hurricanes is a definite plus too !

  13. I could relate to your comments about how being on a beach reduces stress. I love being in the woods near my home. The green seems to deep into my soul, creating a feeling of peace. It’s lovely at all times of year but particularly in Spring when all the birds are singing. The woods were important to me this year during the early weeks of corona virus.

  14. I feel grounded and at peace when I am in the Derbyshire countryside. I was born and brought up in Yorkshire right on the border with Derbyshire so we spent a lot of time there walking when I was a child. I now live in Derbyshire and although I live in quite a large town I only have to walk a couple of minutes and it’s fields and livestock. It turns out my ancestors farmed in the Derbyshire Peak District so maybe it’s in the genes. Yesterday we went walking in the hills and visited a Neolithic burial mound, I understand why they chose that place, it was beautiful, peaceful and for us the view was incredible.

  15. 100% beach and ocean person. Don’t know many people who aren’t.

  16. Interesting view point, never realised that until you mention it. I’m retired now and find myself drawn to coastal regions to visit (around the UK). I travel by motorcycle and enjoy the coast of North Wales, about 1.5 hr ride away. Maybe I might find a small property there to move to in the future…who knows?…. thanks for the article, opened my eyes!

  17. Hi Mark. We love being by the sea especially when we visit Cornwall in the UK. When we retire in the next 10 years we would like to live in the country, with animals, and also a lovely garden with fruit cage and vegetable patch. However, we cant have the best of both worlds, so maybe a house in the country not far from the sea!!??

  18. Yes, the beach has such a calming and healing effect on the mind and body. It’s one of the things I think about every day. My husband and I when we met spent our first day together at one of our local beaches, which to us was very special. That was exactly 50 years ago. We have decorated our house with shells, framed ocean pictures, and a photo canvas of the two of us while on vacation in Puerto Rico while at the beach. Just thinking of the two of us while at the beach makes me so happy. Due to COVID we are afraid to go to the beach right now because there are so many people there and we are both in our late 60’s and we are trying to do everything we can to stay safe, but I so long for the day when we will be able to visit the beach again because we love it so much and now hope we will be able to take our four year old granddaughter along with us. In the meantime I will still be dreaming of it.

  19. I live on the opposite coast of Florida, near Anna Maria Island. For me it’s not the draw of the beach but more about living along water. I live near the bay and seeing the sun shine reflecting off the water nearly every day creates a sense of calmness in my soul. Even when there is a random stormy day, the power of the flow of the water creates an intensity that is exhilarating.

  20. Living by the ocean or any water is my stress reliever too Mark. We holiday in Stuart Florida. This year we missed it because of covid. Some folks like shopping. I just want to walk the beach when I’m there. Love it !!
    We are half an hour from a lake so I do get a little fix nearby

  21. Thank you for this message. The journey from inland NY to grandparents on the Jersey Shore filled my senses with the sticky humidity, the sea salt taste on your tongue, the warmth of the sand in between your toes. The water and blue sky called any perfectionistic tendencies and my fiery personality to lull for even just the day.
    On the opposite side, family vacations also were spent hiking in the Adirondacks. Forest bathing and the mindful walking similarly grounded stress to a halt.
    As an adult, I am blessed to live one block from the water on the MA North Shore, where I run alongside and kayak. I hike the White Mountains of NH and Green mountains of VT every weekend in summer and fall.
    Why? Somehow, the solace offered by these two environments rejuvenates my soul, mind and body for the weekly endeavors of life.

  22. I relate to so many of your Sunday posts on a personal level! I grew up in New England and moved to south Florida 30 yrs ago in my late teens. As the hustle and bustle of adulthood (career, house, etc) crept in, beach time was few and far between even though I was only a mile from it so I didn’t think moving away from it would make a difference. Boy was I wrong yet I couldn’t make any sense of it over the last 10 years as it was just a “feeling.” Then I started learning about the health benefits of minerals. Now I know I’m not crazy! The “feeling” is real or at least for me and I’m determined to move back to the beach even if only to breath the salt air as I venture out into the daily hustle and bustle. Thanks Mark! I needed this today!!!

  23. Woods. Live anything of nature which reminds me of my place in the natural otder. While we matter…we are a moment.

    1. Amy, I am with you. The woods. Studies have shown the woods to lower cortisol levels and to have other benefits. they think it could be the phytoncides emitted from the trees. Whatever it is I have literally felt the weight lift off of me upon entering the woods.

  24. I grew up in Southern California near the South Bay Beach cities and understand your attraction the the beach. There is definitely something calming and special there. I’m in central New York now with no beach in site but there are plenty of Lakes and water falls to enjoy.

    The beach will always hold a special place in my heart because it takes me back to my youth and wonderful memories of a bunch of kids piling into my folks station wagon with peanut butter & jelly sandwiches & lemonade, our surf mats and plenty of Coppertone sun tan lotion. Thanks for your Sunday blog today and every Sunday, Mark.?

  25. I couldn’t agree with you more about the beach vibe. Breathing in that salt air and ions while gazing out at God’s grandeur feeds my soul. I live in Florida and would spend some time each day at the beach if I could.

  26. I read Blue Mind while sitting on a Bermuda beach and it explained a lot. Really enjoyable read.

  27. That was my favorite Sunday with Sisson you’ve ever done, Mark. Thanks for that. I grew up down the coast and inland from you in Maine. Very close to the New Hampshire border directly west from Portland. We were in the foothills of the White Mountains, and, much like you, I am drawn to the habitat in which I grew up. I find mountains really comforting, and I think it’s because they define space really well. I was lucky enough to have a job interview in Leadville, Colorado 15 years ago or so, and I found the size of the sky unnerving. I like to be tucked in between the undulations of the land and climb to the highest point to look around and feel small as often as I can.
    I was wondering if we are drawn to different habitats to increase the diversity of life in them. The more variability there is in a species’ preferences, the better, so maybe we are drawn to different areas to spread ourselves out and give the best chance of survival.

  28. I go to the park everyday and sit by the lake. The people there are joyful.

  29. Hello. I’ve always been attracted to the mountains. The smell of the trees and the earthy scents of the forest bring peace and a calmness that I can’t find anywhere else. I love how the sun filters through the trees and changes the color and the feel all day and every day. I love the way the forest looks during the different seasons. The smell after the rain and the crisp cold air that freezes your nose hairs is exhilarating. I like sitting quietly while listening and watching the woodland creatures go about their tasks. I feel alive. I can’t wait to move out of the city to finally live in the woods.

  30. I grew up what in South Africa is known at the South Coast with its fair share of beaches but job opportunities were few and far between so ended up obtaining employment inland but still return to the coast at every available opportunity. You are so correct about the almost stress-free lifestyle offered at the coast, so much so that I almost get frustrated for the first couple of days there as the service is so much slower than inland where I have spent the last 50 or so years of my life. It takes me quite a while to unwind and accept and appreciate the chilled atmosphere that I grew up in.

  31. I like the Maine fishing village but have no attraction to the beach. I’m a mountain, lake & piney woods kind of guy.

  32. Interesting reflections on living close to the ocean. We’ve all vacationed in beach towns, so know the vibe is different. Not sure living in that beach vibe full time would work for many of us. That manana time stuff would take some getting used to.
    I live near the mountains in Boulder Colorado. I love mountains and the vibe here is pretty chill compared to other places I have lived. But, oddly enough, the place I felt most at home at was Dallas Texas. The pace there is pretty much flat out! Big fast highways, a place where you get passed driving 90 mph. Conveniences everywhere. And a great place to ride bikes, if you don’t mind riding in 100 degree heat. I’m one of those people who is comfortable at 100 degrees and below zero. Having grown up in northern Minnesota and living twenty years in Chicago, I know what cold is. But, hot is better.
    My wife likes it cooler so we’re in Colorado. It’s a great place to live but maybe a bit laid back for me. Anywhere more laid back than this would be tough to take.

    1. I, too, live in Colorado. I love it here. I drive into the mountains at least once a week. It recharges my batteries to get out of the summer heat and away from the hustle-bustle of the city. I’ve lived in a lot of other places, including near the ocean in Florida and not far from it in California. But Colorado is and always has been…home.

  33. Visiting Greece, on a bus to Piraes, old people get off the bus and walk downs rocky hill to bathe in the salty water as a health benefit. Not knowing any of the scientific reasons, I’ve always believed that water to be a health benefit.

  34. I’ve always lived near the ocean. Living in the Seacoast area of NH I’m only 20 minutes from the ocean, minutes from tidal estuaries. What I love and need in my life is forest. I love living in the woods. I love the smells, the sounds of the wind in the trees. And, unlike my wife who grew up in Tucson, I like the darkness of the woods. It’s comforting like a blanket. For my mental health I love that my location allows for me to go from woods to beach in a short drive. Likewise, I can get to the mountains in a little more time. Nothing better for your soul than experiencing nature and it’s different biomes.

  35. The mountains are my beach. The mountains of North Carolina in particular. On the way there from the flatlands where I live, the first glimpse of mountains lifts my spirit. When I am finally there, the atmosphere recharges me. It is quiet and green, has fantastic thunderstorms, foggy mornings, occasional sharp, clear days, and in fall, brilliant color in the trees. “He restoreth my soul” applies to this place.

  36. Hi Mark,

    I was born and raised (and live again) I’m Maine. I’m just curious about what town you grew up in.


  37. Best place to relax for me is the mountains, particularly when you are high enough that the clouds surround you for a nice and serene nap. Beach claims a close second, listening to the waves and falling asleep. So seems to be about good naps ?

  38. Best place to relax for me is the mountains, particularly when you are high enough that the clouds surround you for a nice and serene nap. Beach claims a close second, listening to the waves and falling asleep. So seems to be about good naps ?

  39. The beach…as long as it is warm water!
    Thank you for this perspective, and the science lesson, Mark. It all makes sense, now.

  40. I’ve always been drawn to lakes and being in the trees, at any time of day. Whether it be in the morning when the sun shines through in spots onto the ground or at night when I can look up and see the stars, being near trees or lakes always has a warm feeling to me. I believe that the trees make me feel connected to the nature around me, and the water from lakes provides me a sense of cleansing, or calmness.

    1. I agree, Katie. The forest and inland lakes of the Upper Midwest have always been home to me.

  41. I understand your attraction to the coast. My home is on an island in SC on the intracoastal waterway. Few places are better to enjoy the rhythm of the tides. Meditation and stretching on the dock is spiritual.

  42. I like the mountains and probably there’s a bit of negative ions floating around up there also; plus the hustle and bustle is less dense than in many beachfront towns which for me is required to truly relax. I can take off to the mountains with my bike and quickly just change my itinerary from putting in some miles to sitting on the deck looking at the vista with a cup of jo

  43. Interesting! Could this be replicated with a diffuser for those of who are landlocked?

    1. Try a Himalayan salt lamp. You get both the minerals and the negative ions

      1. They’re great lights for evening hours, but there’s no significant output of negative ions from them because salt is too stable. Sodium would have to be heated to 1500F in order to dissociate and give off significant negative ions. That’s quite a bit more heat than a 15 watt bulb produces. They don’t have any health benefits other than what one gets from their warmth and beauty.

  44. As a kid I lived in Northern California and loved the beaches and redwood forests. Then moved to Southern California and loved the beaches, mountains, and deserts there. Wherever I’ve lived, I’ve loved the natural areas.

    Now I’m in central Utah and love the mountain and desert environments here. Particularly the landscapes in Southern Utah that would remind anyone of the road runner and coyote cartoons.

    I always feel the need to go hike and explore in nature. In summer we’ll go up in the mountains where it’s cooler – places like Dixie National Forest, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Cedar Breaks National Monument.

    In fall and spring we’ll explore the desert areas – places like Arches National Park, Goblin Valley, the San Rafael Swell, Little Sahara, etc. But also make sure not to miss the fall colors in the mountains before it gets too cold up there.

    In the winter we take our kids to local places to play in the snow, and prior to coronavirus visited fantastic museums – paleontology ones in particular which are abundant in Utah.

    Not exactly sure what will be open this winter, but we love it here. I do miss the beach though. Utah “beaches” at lakes and reservoirs can be fun but aren’t at all the same as the real ocean.

  45. The mountains for me Mark. I would imagine it’s for the same negative ions that are emitted by the pine trees and flowing rivers. We recently moved to a small community in Northern Arizona, elevation 4,500ft, for just that reason! Thanks for your Sunday’s with Sisson, always enjoy them.

  46. I love beaches too! Funny though, I have lived in Iowa and Minnesota all of my life, but we usually always pick a beach to go to for our family vacations. I always thought I was meant to live in a warm beach state, perhaps I will someday! I also take stress to heart, and what helps me is getting outside in nature or exercising.

  47. Miami Beach sounds so appealing. I yearn to get back to the ocean. How do you deal with the hurricanes in Florida, Mark?

  48. I too grew up around the beach. I know exactly where you’re coming from. There’s nothing any better anywhere then the beach. I hope at some point in my life I would end up back there.

  49. I agree Mark, there is a positive emotional force I feel at the beach. But as I have grown older, I have realized it’s not just the beach. I think this force is present where water meets land. I feel it at alpine lakes and on the banks of wild rivers. I think it’s a synergy of water and land, and I think it’s where we are most alive.

  50. Thanks for the thoughtful post, Mark. I live in the Pacific Northwest and I prefer to go east into the mountains than west to the coast. Mountains speak to me in a way that water does not.

    But growing up on the prairie, I sometimes find myself feeling claustrophobic with all of the trees around me. I often yearn for the wide open fields dotted with wild flowers. I the summer you could just flop yourself on your back and watch the clouds for hours.

  51. I identfied with this so much! But for me it’s forests and rivers. Have to get my regular fix to keep me grounded! It feels to me like the trees rejuvenate me.

    Thank you for the great posts!

  52. I too grew up near the ocean in a cold English fishing village. I then became land locked for twenty years and miserable. My yearly vacations were always at an ocean destination. I finally moved to Hawaii and had a year of bliss! My skin was clear for the first time in twenty years! My hair grew unbelievably quick. I earthed every day. I stressed less! Covid brought us back to “home”. The past 9 months have stressed me, so now I’m sitting on the beach in Cano. I cried when I saw the ocean again. It is my only salvation! I love working out too but nothing compares to the feeling the air and digging my toes in the sand!

  53. Nature is the greatest stress reliever! For me its definitely the forest. It feels protective and grounding and completely takes me out of my head and into being present. Sometimes just a drive in the country where I can smell and feel nature just resets my crazy brain. If I’m not able to get away I will just focus on my plants and flowers in my yard. Nothing like nature!

  54. I’m drawn to mountain towns. Trekking the trails soothes an introvert well, and I find the crisp air and wide open spaces calming. The people seem to have a similar “today is an amazing day” vibe as beach residents, but with a bit more bookishness and granola thrown in.
    It is funny, and special really, how people are all looking for the same thing, but the space that provides it can be so different. I’m glad you found yours.

  55. Check out beach town around the Great Lakes- no salt in the air, but you know the water is close. The Upper Peninsula is particularly beautiful.

  56. Same story here, I’m from the Saint John NB area and along the Bay of Fundy in a fishing community
    The salt air is so amazing, anytime we return from inland and you come over the last hill on highway 7 you get the salt air smell
    I think It gets in your blood

  57. Same thing here my friend. And although I’m not living in a beach town at the moment, that’s definitely one of my goals.
    There’s something really special about having the ocean, the sun, the wind and the sand all at once. Talk about a full sensory experience!

  58. Like you, I gravitate to the water. Sometimes it is beach and at other times (like now) it’s river (lower Hudson River). Add in boats and seagulls and jetskis, and I’m in heaven. Therapeutic too if healing from surgery.

  59. I am very drawn to nature, especially the beach… but I also love spending time in the forest & at rivers. I grew up in Northern California (not the “bay norcal”…come on, it’s not really northern California!), but the true northern California, where the ocean meets the Redwood forest. Fortunately we have access to all kinds of nature here, and I was extremely blessed to have them in my “backyard” growing up, and now since I recently moved back. But the beach is something special, I love visiting all kinds of beaches because they are so different: in their looks, the sea treasures you can find, the creatures you see, the sand, the water color, the temperature, and of course the incredibly beautiful sunsets we get on the west coast! The beach calms my soul, makes me feel happy & free, and is my go-to place when I need to escape from all the commotion & busy-ness of the world we live in today.

  60. I live near a beach town but the County has allowed overdevelopment so it’s extremely stressful now due to overcrowding by tourists that think “I paid a lot for this week I will do whatever I want”

  61. I love hiking in the mountains. When we hiked in the Dolomites in northern Italy, I felt I was in heaven: peace, silence and stunning beauty.

  62. I am a mountain girl. I grew up in Colorado and as a young girl learning to drive, and learning new directions, I always looked to the mountains in the west to get my bearings. I am now an avid snowboarder, telemark skier and have some of my best days “on the hill”. A while back on a vacation in Hawaii I remember I was always looking at the beauty of the island mountains, even while I was standing in the lapping waves of a beach.

  63. Beach time, too me, is pretty much only about being grounded literally. Being barefoot on the sand or in the water, I can’t think of a better way drain inflammation and stress, and, oh yah, SUN, Too!

  64. Absolutely the beach! Visiting Florida beaches growing up. I grew up in Tennessee, lived in Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, & now I’m in California. I’m on the Monterey Peninsula, the first place I stepped foot in that I felt like I’m home. The beach is where I feel grounded!

  65. I understand your connection to the beach. I have the same feelings when it comes to mountains. I am connected to mountainous areas and without them, I feel lost. I love to be up in the mountains as well as just being near them. I have never lived in a beach area, so I really don’t know if I’d enjoy that or not. I live in Utah right by the Rocky Mountains and I just love it. Find your place and spend as much time as you can there. Nice subject today, Mark.

  66. Hi Mark, I had no idea you were on FL now. Hope you are staying well and safe, trust you are…or know how to. I’ve lived in Gville for the last 30 years now, but am originally from upstate NY. The environment I love and miss most is one with deciduous forests, a geography with elevation, and ROCKS. There are no rocks except for limestone in FL. I do love the ocean but am not a fan of sandy beaches, prefer rocky ones. The problem with the north for me, aside from long winters (an an avid gardener), is the tick situation, which we do have here on FL as well. I already have had a tick borne illness and do not want a repeat of that. If I had the $$ resources, my ideal would be a place near the ocean, with forested and rocky terrain, and has a temperate climate where fruits and veg grow abundantly, enough to be self-sustaining, but you don’t freeze your butt for half the year. Community is important, but I do not want a large urban area….less people is good, but a lot of like minded folks is a must. I like your Sunday chats, thanks.

    1. I’m not far from where you live. Have you tried the various springs around Gville? I know its not saltwater, but it has a more northern feel than the southern Gulf Coast I grew up on.

  67. I am attracted to small towns near water. For years I had an attraction to beach towns after growing up in Southern CA 1 hour (before rush hour traffic) from the beach. We’ve been in Texas the past several years, and were drawn to the coast until Hurricane Harvey hit, and we saw the devastation it left. Our favorite towns are still recovering. 2 1/2 years ago we moved to Canyon Lake, TX, 1 hour north of San Antonio (where we previously lived), to get out of the city and into the Texas Hill Country. Living near a large, deep body of water and the Guadalupe River, I have opportunities to ground myself. Sometimes it’s enough just to stick my feet in the sand or float around the water for 20 minutes. This weekend, we’re in New Braunfels, TX, 30 minutes from home, still on the Guadalupe River, enjoying the grounding effects of being near a flowing body of water and watching people enjoy life as they tube the river.

  68. Your love of the beach reminded me of when I was hiking a trail near a campsite on a beach. An older woman was shaking out a sleeping bag. She said they come to the same spot every year. They drink a lot of water before getting in their tent. When they have to pee, the full moon is shining on the water. Then they drink a lot more water, and the second time they’re up the moon has passed but they can see the Milky Way. Those people know how to live!

  69. I think that salty spray is the reason I want to retire close to the beach. A close second is the light, thin cool air in the mountains that puts you slightly off balance.

  70. This is in response to Mark’s “Sunday with Sisson” email about the beach.

    I live in the Malibu area, and hiked the 75+ mile Backbone Trail with Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council. During the week-long hike, members of the organization gives talks about the local history and geography. This might also be mentioned in MDA blog, but I learned that there is a “kelp highway” and humans may have followed it from Russia over the Bering Strait and down the Pacific Coast. The idea is that the kelp creates a steady environment for fish, so it’s an easy trail for people to follow.

    I recall Mark has discussed how we process fish very well, and that a steady supply would create the conditions necessary to support the development of our big brains. I suspect that we are built to feel “at home” and thus at peace in our niche near bodies of water.

  71. Mark,

    “Life’s a Beach” some say, but I also like the mountains; the air, smells, trees, critters, and the warmth of a campfire and a glass of wine are all a part of my fond memories.

  72. I have always been attracted to the mountains. I lived at the beach as a kid and couldn’t get enough of it but as i get older i tend to be drawn to the quietness and stillness of forests and mountains. I love the smells and spotting different animals. I am a nature lover through and through!

  73. Interesting perspective, Mark. I too am a beach lover, but I have a special affinity for Florida beaches on the gulf. I currently live in Oxnard, not far from Malibu, and I just don’t feel as fulfilled here as I did in FL. I wonder if it’s a difference in the water, as opposed to a difference of surroundings. Things that make you go, “Hmmm”.

  74. Thank you for writing about this. I also find myself drawn to the ocean, all of the time! now that my family and I live in the LA area, one of my criteria was that we were a close (er) drive to the beach. Yesterday morning I felt the wave of stress come on, and I said to my family: let’s go to Malibu beach (maybe we will spot Mark Sisson, ha! just missed you now that you are in Miami) anyways, it was a super weird, smokey, cloudy day at the beach, but somehow, just being there, breathing in the ocean breeze and seeing it was enough to provide instant de stressing vibes. So I think I will agree with you on the negative ion / mineral bath thing….there must be something to it. I can definitely relate to this one.

  75. Yeah, I Understand the pull of living on the beach, it’s a lifestyle like no other. Born in Santa Monica and growing up on Venice Beach in the 40s/50s/60s was all I knew. Moved to Hawaii then back to Santa Cruz.

    One morning I woke up and realized that I needed to say goodbye to all the gray I was living in. I needed to see the sun come up every morning, I needed warmth, open space and a new attitude. The Arizona Desert is a beautiful and wonderful world to live in. Change is good!

  76. Mark,

    I think I am happy for you to have found your ‘place’.


    Meanwhile, back at the ranch……Life May not be so ‘be so peachy’’ for the rest of us

    Can one spell COVID, spousal furlough or unemployment, kids not in any kind of productive school due to Teacher Unions?

    Yes, MANY IF US DO BOX BREATHING, however , we may be running out of breath.

    Try to analyze this while the waves break in Malibu

    John Steuterman

  77. I, too, grew up near the water. It seems to be a good reminder to go with the flow sometimes, instead of trying to control everything

  78. Ugh! I think you had “torture them” in your finger tips! I live in Western Montana; south from where I grew up in Winnipeg.
    Please enjoy one hour on a beach on my behalf this week.
    Thanks, Marni Angood

  79. All my life I have wanted to live on the beach. It is my Happy Place. I can’t really afford to but am closer to it in Simi Valley, California. I love Calufornia even though it is too liberal for my tastes. The beaches are the best. No hurricanes and no tornadoes. Someday I dream to live there…sigh…

  80. All my life I have wanted to live on the beach. It is my Happy Place. I can’t really afford to but am closer to it in Simi Valley, California. I love California even though it is too liberal for my tastes. The beaches are the best. No hurricanes and no tornadoes. Someday I dream to live there…sigh…

  81. I am attracted (perhaps even addicted!) to being in the woods. We bought a log home on 69 wooded acres in Michigan 12 years ago and it is totally our dream home. I see trees and birds and often deer out of every window and never tire of looking at them. The house has a wraparound porch and sitting on it with my morning coffee or evening glass of wine is heavenly!

  82. I too have always been drawn to the beach and ultimately want to retire there someday. I think you are right about the vibe of a beach town, my fav being Port Aransas, Tx. If I could be near the water, I guess a lake would suffice, if we just can’t work out a place by the ocean. Water is calming to me and living by the water has been a dream for some time.

  83. My retirement wish is to live in an eco-friendly house on a clean lake surrounded by a beautiful forest and very few neighbors.
    This is my dream. Does this place exist?

  84. Agree 100%! My wife and I love the beach. Our choice is Florida, gulf side. We feel so calm and relaxed. Our youngest son has a genetic disorder that causes anxiety and aggression and we’ve noticed that when on the beach he is more content. I think nature in general can have some of the same effects. We have a place in the foothills of the Smoky mountains on a large lake and get some of the same relaxing feelings when there too.

  85. I too was born by the ocean, and live by the ocean now as an adult. When I have had to move inland, my health suffers… My skin breaks out; I gain unhealthy weight.

    Physical issues aside, and addressing your question about the beach-town vibe… There may be something to be said about a community of people who have a constant and clear reminder of how small we are.

  86. Hi, Mark. You often speak to our hearts very directly, things we know and think, and so I feel many of us are on the same wavelength. This Sunday’s blog spoke to me strongly..I believe we do breathe in the goodness of physical areas in the world, and they are often beneficial to our health and mental well-being. Plants, for example, clean our air and give us nutrients as we breathe. I plan to move to Klamath Falls (OR) for retirement and that’s where they grow the best algae in this country. I believe the residents there are luckier than most, because they are breathing the air that algae produces, one of nature’s most nourishing foods. I have been taking it for over 30 years, I went Paleo and became one of your advocates over 10 years ago, although I’ve always eaten healthy foods. The results, according to my doctors, are in my blood tests. My immune system kicks butt (their words) and I know it’s both the Paleo eating and the algae. Anyway, yes…think about what is in the air around us…is it pure, is it polluted, and what that does to all of us. Mark, you are our guru…please keep up the good work. Your followers are out there, and I am one of them!

  87. As much as you love beaches, I know that I love mountains. I like the rough terrain. I like the cold air in the mornings. I like the freedom to go walking in the woods with my dogs all day long, gain some lofty ridge line where one could easily slip off the side and tumble down hill for a mile, and never see another person the whole time. I like the roughness and ruggedness. I like that I don’t have to go to the gym because I still have 5 cords of wood to chop before the snow comes. I like the change of the seasons. The snow that gives reprieve from the heat of summer, and the sun that warms bones that have been chilled for much to long over the winter. The spring flowers and mountain lakes, cold and clear. The miles and miles of open space that is only accessible by me feet, or my skis.

    The mountains are lonelier for sure. And I am struggling with that loneliness quite a bit right now. But I do love the rugged work that is always in need of completion, and the satisfaction of chipping away at it.

  88. I suppose if they made veganism illegal, they would also want to ban ancestral, paleo, or low carb diets for children on similar grounds. What I mean is that, I’ve followed a largely ancestral diet for 5 years and never been healthier. But, this way of eating and living has a poor reputation among mainstream scientists and mainstream media, and they would probably want to regulate it.
    So, if the authorities are given the ability to ban one type of diet for children, no doubt they will want to ban other types of diets, such as paleo or ancestral based diets.
    Rather I think the focus should be on intervening earlier and more forcefully. Everyone has heard of horror stories of the government getting involved in the upbringing of children, but my heart breaks for this little girl, who is now permanently disabled due to negligence and ignorance. The court should have stepped in and taken her away to a place of safety, to prevent further harm.

  89. I’m drawn to the bush, hiking on trails or roads in the forest makes me feel whole again. I never had any use for beaches, although I love the water but always got sunburned in about a half hour. I’m in my fifties now and retired. I have moved to a beach province in Canada and strangely, don’t sunburn easily any more, not sure why. Anyway, now I love walking on the beach and in the water.