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Unformatted text preview: The Primal Blueprint Mark Sisson The Primal Blueprint © 2009, Mark Sisson. All rights reserved Except as permitted under the United States Copyright Act of 1976, reproduction or utilization of this work in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including xerography, photocopying, and recording, and in any information storage and retrieval system, is forbidden without written permission of Mark Sisson. Library of Congress Control Number: 2008941735 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Sisson, Mark, 1953– The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy / Mark Sisson ISBN 978-0-9822077-1-0 1. Health 2.Weight Loss 3. Diet 4. Physical Fitness Editor: Brad Kearns Design/Layout: Jason Saito, Weston Graphics Project Manager: Aaron Fox, Primal Nutrition Text Consultant: Catherine Fisse Copy Editor: Laura R. Gabler Index: Leoni McVey Consultants: Rudy Dressendorfer, PhD, R.P.T, Bradford Hodgson, Walter Kearns, M.D., Reagan Smith, Jennifer Zotalis For more information about the Primal Blueprint, please visit primalblueprint.com For information on quantity discounts, please call 888-774-6259 Publisher: Primal Nutrition, Inc. 23805 Stuart Ranch Rd. Suite 145 Malibu, CA 90265 DISCLAIMER The ideas, concepts and opinions expressed in this book are intended to be used for educational purposes only. This book is sold with the understanding that author and publisher are not rendering medical advice of any kind, nor is this book intended to replace medical advice, nor to diagnose, prescribe or treat any disease, condition, illness or injury. It is imperative that before beginning any diet or exercise program, including any aspect of the Primal Blueprint program, you receive full medical clearance from a licensed physician. Author and publisher claim no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application or interpretation of the material in this book. Sorry, but that’s what my lawyers forced me to say in order for me to be able to offer you my insights. If you do not agree with this disclaimer, you may return the book to the publisher for a full refund. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS My editor Brad Kearns made a tremendous contribution in the preparation and editing of this manuscript. His extensive writing experience and insights on health and fitness were invaluable to the creation of the final product. Aaron Fox, my ace general manager and webmaster at MarksDailyApple.com, was a brilliant strategist, researcher and project manager for the Primal Blueprint. MarksDailyApple.com staffers Bradford Hodgson and Reagan Smith offered excellent insights to help improve the text and provided extensive research and fact-checking support. Catherine Fisse’s unique and often devil’s advocate viewpoint helped me present a clear and focused message. The outstanding copy editing skills of Laura R. Gabler helped get this book to the finish line triumphantly. Devyn Sisson made Dad look good with her cover photography. The design talents of Jason Saito of Weston Graphics, are on display with the interior text layout. Brett Geoghegan and the staff at The Brand Garage designed the cover. Don Derenthal designed the Grok and Korg figures. The provocative insights and opinions of numerous authors and bloggers have inspired me, among them: Loren Cordain (author of The Paleo Diet), Jared Diamond (author of Guns, Germs and Steel), Dr. Michael and Dr. Mary Dan Eades (authors of Protein Power), Gary Taubes (author of Good Calories, Bad Calories), and bloggers Art DeVany at arthurdevany.com, Peter at Hyperlipid, and Stephan at Whole Health Source. For an expanded list of my favorite books and web sites, and a comprehensive index of books, newspaper and magazine articles, research papers, and Internet links that were utilized in the research and preparation of this text, please visit MarksDailyApple.com Olympic triathlon Gold and Silver Medalist Simon Whitfield has shown that the power of living primally can indeed apply to high level endurance athletics. Dr. Walter Kearns’ consultations helped me present the medical and scientific material in an organized, factually accurate, and easy to understand manner. My wife Carrie and children Devyn and Kyle keep me grounded and balanced when my primal obsessions threaten to take over my days and nights! I owe you guys a vacation…and this time I’m coming along too! TABLE OF CONTENTS Welcome from Mark Your Way or the Highway Sidebar: Striving For Perfection With the 80% Rule Introduction: What Is Going On Here? Sidebar: Conventional Wisdom vs. The Primal Blueprint Is Dying of Old Age Getting Old? Sidebar: Be like Mike—Your Genes Don’t Have To Be Your Destiny Chapter 1: The Ten Primal Blueprint Laws (“Commandments” Was Already Taken) “Are We Not Men? We Are Devo!” Sidebar: A SNiPpet About Evolution You Have to Fit Your Genes to Fit into Your Jeans Primal Blueprint Law #1: Eat Lots of Plants and Animals Primal Blueprint Law #2: Avoid Poisonous Things Primal Blueprint Law #3:Move Frequently at a Slow Pace Primal Blueprint Law #4: Lift Heavy Things Primal Blueprint Law #5: Sprint Once in a While Primal Blueprint Law #6: Get Adequate Sleep Primal Blueprint Law #7: Play Primal Blueprint Law #8: Get Adequate Sunlight Primal Blueprint Law #9: Avoid Stupid Mistakes Primal Blueprint Law #10: Use Your Brain Sidebar: Learn Them, Know Them, Live Them! That’s It Chapter 2: Grok and Korg—From Indigenous to Digital: One Giant Step (Backward) for Mankind Livin’ Large 10,000 Years Ago Grok’s Walk The American Dream—Unplugged (Or Should We Say, “Plugged In?”) An Alarming Morning “That Problem”…Among Others Spreadsheets and Chow Mein Love, Money, and Insulin Kenny’s World “We Have Met the Enemy, and He Is Us” Sidebar: How Grok Probably Spent His Day Sidebar: How Ken Korg Spends His Day Chapter 3: The Primal Blueprint Eating Philosophy. “Do These Genes Make Me Look Fat?” Sidebar: A Separate Shelf for the Blueprint It’s All About Insulin (Well, at Least 80 Percent of “It”) No, Really–It’s All About Insulin But a Little Bit Won’t Hurt, Right? It’s Not About Cholesterol…Really, It’s Not! Cholester-ALL – More Than Just a Number Murder Mystery Dinner: Oxidation and Small, Dense LDL Are Guilty! Statin Stats Stink! Sidebar: How to Sneeze at Heart Disease Put Inflammation at Ease With Omega-3s Context In, Calories Out – Understanding the Macronutrients Protein Carbohydrates Sidebar: The Carbohydrate Curve – What’ll It Be? The “Sweet Spot”or the “Danger Zone”? Fat Ketones – The Fourth Fuel Eating Well The “Oh, Positive!” Diet Eating on Grok’s Clock Dealing With the (Maybe Radical) Change to Primal Blueprint Eating 101 One Small Scoop for Mankind Chapter 4: Primal Blueprint Law #1: Eat Lots of Plants and Animals (Insects Optional) Sidebar: The Primal Blueprint Food Pyramid Vegetables Fruits Choosing the Best Fruits Sidebar: Fruit Power Rankings Animal Foods Meat and Fowl Sidebar: A Little Meet and Greet for Your Meat Fish Eggs Going Primal on a Dime Nuts and Seeds and Their Derivative Butters Sidebar: Mark’s Favorite Primal Snacks Herbs and Spices Foods to Enjoy in Moderation Certain Fruits Coffee Dairy Products Fats and Oils Sidebar: Mark’s Primer on Fats and Oils Starchy Tuber Vegetables Water: Obey Your Thirst, It’s Not Too Late Wild Rice Sensible Indulgences Alcohol Dark Chocolate High Fat Desserts Finally, A Word About Supplements Multivitamin/Mineral/Antioxidant Booster Omega 3 Fish Oil Probiotics Protein Powder Supplement Quality Chapter 5: Primal Blueprint Law #2: Avoid Poisonous Things “Drop Your Fork And Step Away From The Plate!” Going Against the Grain The Base of The Disease Pyramid Phytates We Hate Gluten, Lectin - Immune Affectin’ Sidebar: The Holes in the Whole Grain Story Say Goodbye to Fatigue, Illness and Suffering Trans and Partially Hydrogenated Fats Other Foods to Avoid Grains…Oh, Did I Already Mention Them? Legumes Processed Foods Sugar Chapter 6: The Primal Blueprint Exercise Laws. Here’s a Hint: Walk, Lift and Sprint! Sidebar: Primal Fitness Pyramid Primal Fitness Organ Reserve: The Key to Longevity Primal Blueprint Law #3:Move Frequently at a Slow Pace Zoning: “In” and “Out” Sidebar: The Primal Fitness Heart Rate Zones A Case Against Cardio Why Run When You Can Grok? Sidebar: Chronic Cardio Drawbacks - Pocket Reference “But This Feels Too Easy!” Primal Blueprint Law #4: Lift Heavy Things Strength Workout Strategy Sidebar: Stretching: If You Don’t Know Squat, Try Hangin’ With Grok Primal Blueprint Law #5: Sprint Once In A While Sidebar: Clouseau-Robics And Doberman Intervals Sprint Workout Strategy Proper Running and Cycling Form Sidebar: Happy Feet Chapter 7: The Primal Blueprint Lifestyle Laws. If You Don’t Snooze, You Lose Primal Blueprint Law #6: Get Adequate Sleep Opportunity Costs – What Is Your Best Buy? Sidebar: Get Primal With TiVo? You Bet! Surf The Internet Or Surf The Waves – Understanding Sleep Cycles How To Get An “A” In “Z’s” Napping: It’s Not Just For Cats Anymore Primal Blueprint Law #7: Play Primal Blueprint Law #8: Get Adequate Sunlight How To Screen Your Opponent Look on the Bright Side Primal Blueprint Law #9: Avoid Stupid Mistakes The Darwin Awards – Long Live Natural Selection Stupor Hero Hypervigilance and Risk Management Primal Blueprint Law #10: Use Your Brain Chapter 8: A Primal Approach To Weight Loss - “A Primal Breakfast, A Primal Lunch, And A Sensible Primal Dinner" Sidebar: In This Chapter Weight-Loss Macronutrient Plan Protein Carbohydrate Sidebar: Really, It’s All About The Carbohydrate Curve Fat Ken Korg: Suggested Eating For Primal Weight Loss Caloric Expenditure Macronutrient Calculations Food Journal Sidebar: You Won’t Believe What’s Primal! Kelly Korg: Suggested Eating For Primal Weight Loss Caloric Expenditure Macronutrient Calculations Food Journal Sidebar: How To Lose Like a Winner Weight-Loss Exercise Plan Ramp Up Low-Level Activity Make Your Hard Workouts Harder Chill Out and Break Through Sidebar: Sisson’s Six-Pack Secrets Suggested Exercise Week Schedule Mark’s Exercise Week Analysis I.F. You Want To Lose Even More Fat, Try It! Weight-Loss Troubleshooting Get Into The Sweet Spot And Stay There! Moderate Stress Levels Adopt a Positive Mindset Accept Your Plateaus, Then Carry On–Primally Sidebar: Avoiding The Three Biggest Reasons For Weight Loss Failure Chapter 9: Conclusion – Time To Party Like A Grok Star! Sidebar: The Korg Komeback On Your Own The Elitist Race Taking Action Sidebar: Around The World (Or At Least To Dallas and Back) In 72 Hours Rethinking Your Goals Sidebar: Primal Approved - At a Glance Sidebar: Primal Avoid - At a Glance Internet Appendices Welcome from Mark Sisson The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but instead will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease. — Thomas Edison Disclaimer, part II: this book was written at knifepoint…. Okay, not really. But my frequent discourses on all matters primal over the past two and a half years at my blog MarksDailyApple.com have prompted unceasing requests for more, as in, “Hurry up and finish the book!” I owe a tremendous debt of inspiration and enlightenment to those readers and the dynamic contribution they have made to the Primal Blueprint. This work represents the culmination of my primal philosophy, which has taken shape over the past 20 years through extensive research and life experience. I’m not a scientist or doctor; I’m an athlete, a coach, and a student on a lifelong quest for exceptional health, happiness, and peak performance. I have an insatiable curiosity about what we need to do to achieve such goals and a growing mistrust of the answers that have been heaped upon us by the traditional pillars of health “wisdom” (Big Pharma, Big Agra, the AMA, the FDA, and other government agencies), the health and fitness profiteers glorified by Madison Avenue, and even the know-it-all multilevel marketer next door. In its essence, The Primal Blueprint is my effort to distill the information I’ve studied from the world’s leading evolutionary biologists, paleontologists, geneticists, anthropologists, physicians, nutritionists, food scientists, exercise physiologists, coaches, trainers, and scientific researchers into a concise list of behavior laws that have promoted optimal gene expression and indeed survival over the course of human evolution. While the book you are holding is a product of the new millennium, the behavior laws are as old as the dawn of mankind; they merely reinform us about the fundamentals of health that seem to have been forgotten, or misinterpreted, in the modern world. I do not have any agenda besides improving your health, fitness, and overall enjoyment of life. I am not beholden to any employer, government agency, professional licensing board, or sponsor or to any other higher power that might result in the filtering of my message. I am an opinionated guy and not afraid of a challenge. However, I strive to maintain an open mind and will modify my position based on feedback from others, whether from experts, ordinary health enthusiasts, or the publication of new research. I simply don’t trust many of the major elements of Conventional Wisdom (a recurring term throughout the book, akin to a yellow highway hazard sign) that we have blindly accepted as gospel for decades. In my case, the mistrust has been well earned over the past 35 years of trying to do “the right thing” (another recurring theme) by diligently following Conventional Wisdom. For several years of my youth, I ran in excess of 100 miles a week with a single-minded focus toward competing in the 1980 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. At my peak, I was considered by many to be a picture of health: 6 percent body fat, a resting heart rate of 38 beats per minute, and a marathon time of two hours, eighteen minutes that had placed me fifth in the national marathon championships. While I reached some notable heights during my endurance career, I also experienced some devastating lows. Soon after my best marathon performance, the monumental physical stress of my training regimen and the state-of-the-art “high-energy” diet that fueled it resulted in a succession of serious overuse injuries, illnesses, and burnout. While I looked like a picture of health, I was really one of overstress and inflammation. I was the fittest guy my friends knew, yet I suffered from recurring bouts of fatigue, osteoarthritis in both of my feet, severe tendonitis in my hip joints, stressrelated gastrointestinal maladies, and six or more upper respiratory tract infections each year. Most people have traveled a less extreme path than I, yet nearly all of us have experienced similar results following the Conventional Wisdom of our time: weight-loss efforts doomed to a 96 percent long-term failure rate, workout programs leading to fatigue and increased appetites for sugar, and medications that exacerbate the underlying cause of pain while barely alleviating symptoms (not to mention the unpleasant side effects). I applaud your efforts and desires to do the right thing, and I deeply empathize with your frustration in trying to succeed amidst a whirlwind of conflicting and confusing advice. My goal with the Primal Blueprint is to expose much of the lucrative health and fitness industry as ethically and scientifically bankrupt. I will peel back the many layers of marketing blather, folk wisdom, and manipulative dogma and replace it with 10 simple Primal Blueprint behavior laws modeled after the evolutionary success of our ancestors. Pause and reflect on the following simple statement for a moment, for it is the most powerful and compelling rationale for living according to the Primal Blueprint: Human beings prevailed despite incalculable odds by adapting to the selective pressures in their environment over thousands of generations. Our primal ancestors were lean, strong, smart, and productive, which enabled them to reproduce, rule over more physically imposing members of the animal kingdom, and exploit virtually every corner of the earth. This is no mean feat, yet Conventional Wisdom has essentially dismissed the legacy of our ancestors in favor of quick fixes. Today at the age of 55, I feel healthier, fitter, happier, and more productive than ever. I am no longer a marathon or triathlon champion (nor do I want to be), but I maintain a weight of 165 pounds with 8 percent body fat. I eat as much delicious food as I want, am not beholden to regular meal times or even regular meals, exercise just three to four hours per week (instead of the 20 to 30 I put in back in the day), and almost never get sick. My personal clients (ranging from world-champion triathletes to ordinary citizens just trying to lose a few—or a lot of—pounds), as well as thousands of readers at MarksDailyApple.com, report similar life-altering benefits from following the Primal Blueprint. Now it’s your turn. Your Way or the Highway My intention in this book is to show you the immense personal power you have to control your health and fitness destiny and to give you the tools to reprogram your genes, reshape your physique, and enjoy a long, healthy, energetic, and productive life. The Primal Blueprint principles are wonderfully simple, practical, and inexpensive, and they require minimal, if any, sacrifice or deprivation. Unlike many of the gimmicky diet and exercise books that have graced the best-seller shelves in recent decades, the Primal Blueprint is intuitive and easy to follow—not for 14 days or 30 days or eight weeks but for the rest of your life. I recognize and appreciate real-world concerns like lack of time, budget issues, motivational challenges, dysfunctional social circumstances, eating disorders, ingrained bad habits, and other powerful influences that can sabotage the picture-perfect diet plan served up by the celebrity of the moment. On numerous occasions, I’ve felt the disappointment of taking a plunge with my heart and soul into a new diet or athletic training regimen, only to fall well short of the ambitious goals I had set. Adding insult to injury, I often discovered later that I’d been given bad advice—by my government (thanks to the tainted influence of special interests), Madison Avenue, or a less-thanknowledgeable coach, peer, or professional expert. Few things in life are more frustrating! With the Primal Blueprint, there’s no need for trepidation. This is not a regimented program where I shove my agenda down your throat and cajole you to go against your own common sense or pleasure-seeking human nature. My experience with MarksDailyApple.com has taught me the value of the collaborative approach to health and well-being. Whenever I’m in a position to raise an interesting theory or discussion point that might be considered contrary to Conventional Wisdom, I immediately have thousands of readers with the ability to contribute freely to the discussion. Many of these readers are forward-thinking doctors, scientists, researchers, or coaches whose valuable input and suggestions I could not have otherwise easily solicited. This interplay often forces me to substantiate—or at times significantly modify—my position. It always requires me to adapt my message to resonate with real people and their real-life experiences. The philosophical positions and practical guidelines that shape the message of this book have been heavily battle-tested, scrutinized, refined, and finally approved by thousands of “Primal” enthusiasts (as well as skeptics) at MarksDailyApple.com. You see, the Primal Blueprint is more than just a book. It’s the centerpiece of a vibrant community of people connected by the Internet and committed to living their lives to the fullest potential, challenging the status quo, and trying something o...
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