For the health of it

Local author gets “primal” in his newly released guide to life.

By Kim Devore / Staff Writer

Malibu resident Mark Sisson is a man who calls it like he sees it. The Malibu resident and self-proclaimed healthy lifestyle guru says to “forget everything you thought you knew about diet, exercise and health.” He claims that stressful jobs, long commutes and eating over-processed foods are taking their toll and “it’s time to go back to the beginning.” And he means way back to the beginning.

The author is sharing his secrets to healthy living in a new book called “The Primal Blueprint.” The book gets its name from Sisson’s 10 primal laws that date to ancient times and “have been validated by two million years of human evolution.”

For starters, Sisson goes against the grain-literally. He suggests avoiding grains like wheat, rice and cereal, saying they cause excess insulin production, make you store fat and contribute to heart disease. There are other surprises as well. While many nutritionists recommend limiting intake of eggs, Sisson believes just the opposite. He insists, “There is zero correlation with heart disease or cholesterol levels.” Instead he argues, “yolks are extremely nutritious.” So, he says, “Enjoy them in abundance.” Rather than grains, he encourages consumption of what he calls “hunter-gatherer type foods,” including vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, meat, fish and fowl.

The author says that humans got in trouble about 10,000 years ago when they stopped their migrating lifestyle and started to settle in agricultural communities where they began to eat a diet based on grains. That, he says, started to throw our bodies out of whack.

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“Your body will regulate itself when you cut carbohydrates out of your diet,” he said. “When you eliminate grains and sugars, you reduce the amount of insulin you secrete. You unlock that stored fat and burn it for energy.”

By following his lifestyle guide, the author claims you can “reprogram” your genes to be more receptive to weight loss, health and longevity.

As for exercise, he learned about overdoing it the hard way. His hopes of competing in the Olympic marathon trials were dashed due to overuse injuries.

Instead of long, grueling workouts, he recommends slow cardiovascular exercise incorporating brief, intense strength sessions and occasional sprints, which, he said, help you achieve better results.

At 55, Sisson looks as ripped and toned as a guy half his age. His interest in healthy living has been a life-long passion. “I had an interest in diet and nutrition from a very early age,” he explained. “I started long distance running at 12 and became an established marathon runner, but I’ve always been a pursuer of health and fitness performance and maximizing the human condition.”

Through his years of study, Sisson believes he has unlocked the secrets of fitness. The lessons can be found in ancient history. As he sees it, “You always have to go back to evolution.”

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