Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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October 29 2018

Weekly Link Love — Edition 1

By Mark Sisson
50 Comments

Research of the Week

Keto enhances fat loss without compromising performance in powerlifters and Olympic weightlifters.

Space travel compresses the brain, and the effects linger for months after returning planetside.

The shape and size of birth canals differ by population.

Youngsters with type 1 diabetes tend to have gut biomes that are low in the bacteria that produce short chain fatty acids and ferment human milk oligosaccharides.

APOE4 carriers who want to avoid dementia should consider taking a phospholipid form of DHA (or eat fish eggs or fish, which are natural sources).

Pretty much everyone is pooping out microplastics these days.

Aerobic exercise, especially exercise performed while standing, enhances visual working memory.

New Primal Blueprint Podcasts

Episode 285: Andy Hnilo: Host Elle Russ chats with Andy Hnilo about the near death experience that triggered his creation of cutting-edge natural skincare line.

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

We’ve all got ten minutes.

Reader Question of the Week

‘What is ‘Sundays with Sisson?'” — Dozens of people in the last week or so.

Sundays with Sisson, or SWS, is a new feature of the newsletter that I send out every Sunday. It contains my thoughts that don’t quite belong on the blog or deserve a dedicated post. It’s not going to be as formal or “well-referenced” as my feature posts on the blog, but that means the possibilities are wide open. It’s where I explore new hypotheses, describe new self experiments, and talk about personal things going on in my life that I think people may find interesting or useful. Not everything is health-focused. I also talk about books I’m reading, products I’m loving (or not), movies and TV shows I’m watching. There may be some rants. Perhaps even a rave or two.

To sign up for the newsletter and get SWS every Sunday, scroll down to the bottom, fill in your email address, and hit “JOIN NOW.”

Interesting Blog Posts

Regarding the microdosing of magic mushrooms for creativity.

Strength training to beat depression.

Social Notes

If you’ve ever wanted to see me in normal shoes, check this out.

If you’ve ever wanted to try our Chocolate Hazelnut collagen bars, check this out.

Everything Else

Well, I’ll be: Vaginal jade eggs are not a traditional practice in ancient Chinese medicine?

Rare birds find sanctuary at Polish churches.

Salmon carcasses and guts stimulate tree growth.

A silver bullet for deadly amoebae.

Things I’m Up to and Interested In

In case you needed another reason to avoid grains: Dozens of grain-based foods test positive for Roundup.

Study I found interesting: Nature exposure (even just pictures) linked to reduced impulsivity.

Article I’m pondering: “The Selfish Dataome.”

Concept I support: Muscle mass as vital sign.

News I found interesting: Researcher discovers the oldest spear heads ever found in North America.

Question I’m Asking

Every Monday, I’ll be asking you folks a question.

More than ever, people seem fixated on current events, the 24-hour news cycle, and everything that’s going wrong in the world. How do you stay focused on health, life, love, community and everything else that you can effectively have an impact on?

Answer down below.

Recipe Corner

Time Capsule

One year ago (Oct 21– Oct 27)

Comment of the Week

“I guess I’ll have to put this device down and go outside and enjoy this beautiful day”

– That’s the spirit, Jack Lea Mason.

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

50 thoughts on “Weekly Link Love — Edition 1”

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  1. How do I avoid getting sucked into the crazy news drama cycle? I don’t watch the news or check any news websites. Simple as that. I really don’t feel like my life has been negatively impacted by not getting up to the minute updates on the latest mass shooting, public figure accused of sexual misconduct, or natural disaster. The big things filter down to me via word of mouth or the break room TV (which I see 5 minutes a day while heating up my lunch) and the rest I’m ok with not knowing about. I’ve also unfollowed a lot of people on social media who enjoy reposting news drama and politically angsty posts.

    We live in an era with unprecedented access to media and knowledge. You can find resources to help change and improve any area of life you could want online, often for free. Personally, I’d rather spend my time, effort and emotional energy working towards and learning about those things than the constant drama of the news.

      1. I heard a woman on tv about 20 years ago who said – “don’t watch tv, especially not news.” She explained that our brains were developed when we took in information about a much smaller group of people, our tribe. I took it to heart and try minimize all the bad stuff at every turn. I know there is a lot I miss, but I don’t miss the feeling of horror/anger that I would be bathing in daily.

    1. Agree. And fix the controls on your cell from bleeping at you. I saw a slogan once that is a good reminder:

      “Control Your Device or Your Device will Control You.”

  2. Zero social media. Zero cable news. I get all my news once a day from the Wall Street Journal. I avoid most general news internet surfing and stick to specialist sites that focus on my interests (health, books, etc.). Read books that focus on history, not current events.

  3. This is SOOOOO much better on Sunday when I actually have time to sit and read through/digest all of the information. Bad move to move it to Monday in my opinion.

    1. I agree. I used to treat Sunday Link Love like my own special Sunday newspaper. I would look forward to sitting down with my coffee and going through it. I suppose I could save it for the following weekend now, but I wonder if I’ll remember. Oh well. The only constant in life is change.

      1. I did the same thing for the past 6-7 years Gena. Perhaps I’ll find something new to occupy my Sunday morning coffee time. . .

  4. I’m struggling with this a lot. My instinct is to shut off the news and focus inward.

    I’m not sure that this is fair. As a white man, I am speaking from a position of tremendous privilege. While I am not watching the news a lot of messed up stuff is happening like transgender rights being stripped away, people shooting up synagogues, and increasingly targeted racism.

    This is an extremely worthwhile conversation, Mark, because there is such a thing as too much news. And there is DEFINITELY such a thing as too much 24 hour, alarmist, toxic news. There is also sticking your head in the sand as our fellow humans are being ruined in every sense of the word.

    How do you pay attention, do what’s right, and not get swallowed by fear and negativity?

    I always leave this kind of conversation with many more questions than answers.

    1. The best thing you can do as a white man is not care and not vote, this raises the average impact of each vote for minority and women voters.

      1. The world is run by those who get involved. When good people grow apathetic and cease to put their hands up, bad people will end up in control. That has been one of the lessons throughout history.

        You aren’t “privileged”. You are RESPONSIBLE for what happens when you neglect society. Yes, it’s tough. Is it any tougher than what previous generations experienced?

        Our society is (relatively) safe, comfortable and prosperous due to the blood, sweat and inspiration of generations of “white” men – the group that has disproportionately contributed to establishing and maintaining civilisation over the last millennium. It isn’t perfect, and great enterprises make room for great errors, but the fact remains. It is ours to maintain, or let fall. The one thing it isn’t, is some kind of natural law that will continue in the face of our neglect.

        1. Oh, bother it.

          And white men had the leisure to contribute, because of the labor extracted from other “races” and women. For example, the Dutch Golden Age was made possible, by the wealth extracted from the slave trade and colonization.

      2. If you want women and minority votes to count more, why not vote as they would, therefore giving them more votes?

    2. For a year after the last election, I felt that I had to avoid politics. I have heart trouble and politics felt too stressful. But I started to feel like a “good German” in Nazi Germany. This country has been taken over by a fascist dictatorship. I don’t watch tv news. Yes, honestly,I get my information from left wing sources. No apology for that. I am going to do what little I can.

    3. White privilege is a myth. You took the bait, hook, line and sinker

  5. “APOE4 carriers who want to avoid dementia should consider taking a phospholipid form of DHA (or eat fish eggs or fish, which are natural sources).”

    How does DHA exist in nature in a non-phospholipid form? If you could share a few examples, that’d be great!

    It seems like a no-brainer (get it?!) that wild fish and fish eggs are the best sources… if ya need a supplement, krill oil might perfect.

    1. From @foundmyfitness (Rhonda Patrick) via Facebook:

      My new paper on how omega-3 DHA in phospholipid form may bypass faulty brain transport in Alzheimer’s disease has been published! Phospholipid DHA is found in fish and krill but is particularly concentrated in fish roe, making up 38-75% of the total DHA.

  6. Personally, I think weekend link love on Sunday where I actually have time to read things thru is much better. Maybe keep weekend link love & do “Monday with Mark” instead? Just a thought…

  7. It’s easy for me to not get sucked into all the news and drama in the world. I don’t have cable and I honestly just don’t care enough to worry crap I have no control over. I learned at a very early age that the news only exists to make people angry because people love to read inflammatory content and get riled up. It’s like an addiction and I want no part in it.

    For example, when Steve Jobs died, I had to Google who the heck he was and why I should even give a damn… I couldn’t find a reason to care besides the fact that he was a person who died.

    Same goes for sports. I just have more important things to focus my energy on, like learning all the lyrics to whichever song(s) is currently stuck in my head…

  8. Per your question — I’m much too scared by the rising fascism in this country and by climate change not to pay attention to the news. That said, I also feel the terrible shredding of my spirit and my attention span when I tune into the news and social media too often. I’m experimenting with minimizing such input while not ignoring what’s going on. I’ve also found it helpful to focus on the positive things in my life and on positive actions I can take. Great question, thanks for asking!

    1. ‘Shredding of Spirit.’ What a succinct way to put it. It happens to be almost daily after reading the news…whether it’s shootings, politics, distracted driving fatal accidents…and it’s getting to be too much.

    2. Don’t be scared by climate change.
      Hundreds of computer models predicting spectacular warming have failed to resemble reality.
      Some might even say that this massive failure disproves the premise. It certainly would in any other field of science.

    3. Don’t be frightened. Be aware that the media is not there to be your friend, but to make a profit by over-stimulating your desire to buy from them.

      They are the sugar of the information system.

      You would not follow them if they did not attempt to hyper-arouse your interest with constant repetition of disaster. America is a safer place than it was 20 years ago, by a large margin. The murder rate has dropped by around 50%.

    4. Thanks for this feedback! Climate change, alas, is real and we’re already so far in we may not be able to fix it. If you’re not convinced, read the UN report. As for America being a safer place today, it’s not safer if one is LGBT, black, Jewish, Hispanic, female . . . The events of the past 10 days alone frighten me deeply. i do appreciate that we’re all thinking about this stuff. I agree with PeterW that we have a responsibility to do so.

  9. I don’t keep up with news very well. To focus on my health I have been researching ketogenic diets and following some health experts on social media and spending time in the kitchen and with cookbooks. I started the 21 day Keto Reset Master Course too. Life is full and I find joy in routine and meditation. I continue to strive for a improvement in helping my community through volunteerism and awareness of local events. Love, well, where would I be without it!

  10. Interesting timing re: Your question, as I’ve been thinking about that a lot. I cut the cable cord 3 years ago, and only have Netflix and a “borrowed” HBO GO subscription. But I hit the computer first thing every morning and review all the news sites…and do so multiple times a day, and in the evening. And the last thing I do at night after going to bed, even though I’ve taken to reading a book as well…is check the news feed on my phone (it is set to ‘nightshift mode, but still a bad habit.) Now, more then ever, I feel like it’s important to stay informed. But my days are often filled with sadness–mass shootings, political awfulness, horrific car crashes that I believe are increasing due to smartphone use.

    I literally was thinking the other day of what life was like before smart phones, and even before home computers (I got my first one in 1995.) I asked myself…what did I used to do–When I got home from work? When I first woke in the morning? On the weekends? Technology has become so integral, I can hardly imagine a time that it didn’t exist. My goal is to try to emulate the 90s. End the work day and pretend the phone and computer don’t exist, and find something else to do, like I used to. The thing is, I honestly can hardly remember what that was. I guess be productive around the house? Just watch the hour of local and national news and then dinner? Go work out? Go walk? Go socialize?

    I know that how I lived before all this technology, and now, has shifted dramatically, and for the worst, and I need to consciously fight back, and recapture more of how I lived 20 years ago, when ‘free-time’ led to activities other than scrolling through the phone, or sitting at the computer–which frankly, has become the default for me…which is very disconcerting, and actually taking a real effort to avoid.

    Thanks for the question and forcing me to think more about it today. I do consider this to be a major issue that personally, I’m in a major battle with.

  11. Question Answers:

    Health – Eat Primal, allow a cheat meal or two during the week, honestly assess how I am feeling.

    Life – Get outdoors: gardening, hiking, surfing, ocean swimming, play on the beach, family walk, paddleboard, etc.

    Love – Intentionally engage with my wife and kids every single day. No rest days on this one!

    Community – Stay super involved where I give and receive meaningful support. For me thats my church and my crossfit gym.

    Everything Else – Gave up social media in all forms 2 years ago, canceled our cable, and quickly realized that wow, its almost like there is a real live world out there!

  12. Honestly, this site and any other paleo/ancestral health blog/website always seem to be places that promote health, life, love, community and everything good. I believe this community/lifestyle has such a positive force on each individual that pursues and lives it, and when you get those people all together it’s even better. I truly think this lifestyle could benefit the human population as a whole!

    Does anyone have any favorite pale/ancestral health blogs or podcasts they’d like to share?

    1. I’ve been interested in the Primal Health Coach certificate to help promote this lifestyle. However, before I start, I feel like I need a better nutrition base before I dive into the program. I think I might do Americorps for a couple years to gain some scholarship money for further schooling, so in the meantime I could study on my own and become an amateur expert. 😉
      Does anyone have any suggestions for “nutrition 101” textbooks? Thanks!

      1. Genius Foods by Max Lugavere is an awesome book for the science side of what we eat.

        1. I just bought that recently! Going to start it after I’m done with Gary Taubes’ Good Calories, Bad Calories. I’ve also got Nina Teicholz, Nora Gedgaudas and Sarah Ballantyne books on my radar.

          Taubes’ The Case Against Sugar was very eye-opening.

  13. What if scientific evidence shows that humanity will suffer extinction by 2026? See BBC documentary on global dimming and Nature Bats Last blog.

  14. It breaks my heart to see my children obsessively tracking the horrible political news, and just lurching from one outrage to the next. I cannot seem to get them to put LIFE first.
    I get 2 newspapers, but when it gets to a certain point of nastiness, I just stop, and read the comics page!

    1. When there were newspapers in my life (like at grandparents’ houses), I only ever read the comics.

  15. My goal is to skim the headlines to keep abreast of the latest news, but not spend too much time on the news sites.

    I also cancelled my Facebook account last March.

    Now I spend more time reading up on who my local, state, and federal representatives are and I vote.

    Also, I started to spend time in my community maintaining local parks and restoring ecosystems. These are things I enjoy and I hope contribute to bettering the planet.

  16. I’m actually contemplating digging myself a cave. That would be a very primal hobby. It certainly beats reading the news these days.

  17. How do I stay focused on what matters, you ask…

    To stay focused on health, I follow you Mark. And everything you do. I am extremely grateful to have a no-bullshit, intelligent human who puts it all out there in the name of health.

    I don’t watch the news. I know enough through conversation with the people I trust. I can’t be bothered with the negativity and misrepresentation of what’s happening out there.

    I try to inject love into everything I do. Which is much easier than you’d think. Especially if you just keep repeating: “be nice, be kind”.

    I suck at community. I love alone time. But staying in touch with the primal blueprint keeps it at the forefront of my mind. This week, I reached out to four people I normally wouldn’t have.

    Life, now that’s a complicated one. My first thought is that I stay focused on hitting that 120 number in age. I know that everything I do determines if I get there and what shape I’m in when I do. I live in the moment, but I never forget that I have millions of moments ahead of me that I also want to live in, in health, in love, and with my community of people I’ve nourished along the way.

    Thanks for the thoughtful question. Great mindset to start my day in.

  18. When I think of Sisson in shoes, I envision Agador Spartacus from The Birdcage.

    1. You should win the comment of the week! thanks for the giggle.

  19. I pretty much ignore the news; I have never been interested in it. I glaze over the FB posts and make sure nothing earth shattering happened and go on with my life. As for problems, I focus on the most local ones, ones I can actually have an impact on and do something about. And when I see I’m gaining no ground, I work on something else or try another way. Most of this involves our school district. And the problems I care about, like environmental and health things, I just try to do my best living the right way, and know that’s my impact.

  20. Imagine if our ancestors had internet news and smart phones. All day long, they’d be getting alerts. “Ging of Siberia was mauled by a polar bear.” “Huge attack by Comanches kills 100s. Slaves captured.” “Viking ruler overthrown by brother. Bloodiest battle in Katagut.” “Child goes missing in the bush. Feared eaten by dingos.” “Mayan leader Xocolatte accused of once throwing a cup of coffee at ex-girlfriend.” And these would be repeated for every part of the world every day. We just can’t make ourselves aware of all the news of the whole world. A hurricane is coming to your town? Sure, know ahead and get prepared. Your president died and you have a new one. Definitely get to know about him. A devastating earthquake hit, people need help, and you’re in a position to assist. Learn about it. But to know every detail about the whole world consumes our lives and keeps us from having the time and energy to good right in our own home and for our families and close friends. It’s important to care about humanity, but one person can’t take care of all of humanity.

  21. Here’s my answer to your question…I spend time when I first wake up and right before I go to bed completely unplugged. I use this time to pray, meditate, journal and just think about what I’m grateful for. I also do not have a TV which definitely limits my exposure to some things. I try to stay aware of what is going on in the world, but not fixated on it. And as much as technology can get it the way, I am so thankful for the way it allows me to connect with the people that are important to me on a daily basis even though we don’t live close to each other.