On my way home from work last night I tuned into the newest podcast episode on MindBodyGreen hosted by Jason Wachob. He was interviewing Mark Sisson & it was an incredible episode.
If you’ve never heard of him, Mark Sisson is most commonly known as one of the founders of the paleo movement and he’s also known as being one of the healthiest 66 year old’s you’ve ever seen. 6 pack included. Mark Sisson writes a blog called Mark’s Daily Apple, he is also the founder of Primal Kitchen foods – a product line containing salad dressings made from avocado oil and protein bars with simple ingredients like nuts and protein from grass fed collagen. I’m not paleo and I personally have never tried his salad dressings but I do respect him for what he’s done in the wellness industry, and I hope you will too after this.
Remember, I’m not paleo. I don’t personally follow any food rules other than avoiding gluten out of necessity, not by choice. I think food rules and fads are restrictive and categorical. I don’t like the stress of all the rules and I think it can be utterly confusing for someone to know if what they’re doing is actually helping or hurting their health without deeper research. I was vegan, vegetarian for years. It didn’t work for me. What work is real food, real ingredients. & this podcast might help you realize that even ‘the godfather’ of the paleo-movement agrees with this statement even more than you might believe.
All of that aside – his interview was the most interesting to me because he debunked a lot of myths that hang over the paleo movement. Such as the confusion around how much meat you should be eating, what the importance of intermittent fasting is and whether or not you should be putting butter in your coffee.
He touched on a lot of topics I’ve heard discussed on different podcasts by different experts in the industry and found it most interesting to listen to him because I never expected to agree with him as much as I did.
I’ll summarize it for you below but I still highly recommend you listen to the MBG Mark Sisson Podcast yourself during your next drive in traffic or while you’re cooking in the kitchen. You can find the podcast here: MindBodyGreen – Mark Sisson Podcast.
These were my biggest takeaways and cliff-notes from the podcast:
- Just because you say you’re paleo doesn’t mean it’s healthy to eat large amounts of meat all of the time. Mark touches on this confusion around the paleo movement and encourages people to realize that it was never intended to be a ‘meat centered’ diet – he still believes that plants should take up the majority of your plate with every meal.
- He doesn’t rush to down a protein drink after a workout & he’s careful not to eat more than 25-30g of grass fed, pasture raised protein at any meal.
- He doesn’t subscribe to the idea that you need to avoid plants that contain lectins (nightshade vegetables & legumes) or plants high in oxalates (kale & spinach) or even avoid peanuts (aflatoxins) .
- Like me, he says he has listened to all of the advice – and although he understands there is probably some truth to all of it – he doesn’t think it’s healthy to avoid all types of food out of fear that one component of the food might be harmful, and neither do I.
- We should focus more on the variety of foods that we’re eating in order to avoid over eating any one harmful component. It’s more about the overall nutrition we’re consuming than it is the foods that we’re avoiding. As long as you’re eating REAL food.
- He touches on the obvious: some people are truly sensitive, intolerant or allergic to certain types of food. & that’s very individualize based on their body.
- Food intolerances are also becoming the newest health scare – and everyone is avoiding everything because ‘everyone else is doing it’.
- It’s true that you may be intolerant something today because your gut microbiome and digestion is poor – if you focus on fixing that – your food intolerances will most likely go away and you can enjoy that food again at some point. Don’t be afraid to try to reintroduce the foods you’ve avoided for a while to see how they make you feel – unless it’s a true allergy, then you should absolutely avoid it for life.
- He used to avoid lectins, nightshades, oxalates and peanuts – but he doesn’t anymore. & he doesn’t feel any differently.
- This was probably my biggest takeaway from the whole episode.
- Because I personally developed a severe gluten intolerance over the past few years and personally can no longer eat gluten. I’ve been overwhelmed by the advice of the harmful components in other types of food as well,but avoiding gluten (because I have to) is hard enough. It’s nearly impossible to cook a meal at home, eat out at a restaurant and balance a social life with too many strict food rules – if they’re not affecting you, it’s ok to eat them.
- We’ve lost the fundamental right to enjoy the food that we’re eating because we’re constantly analyzing the parts of it that are bad for us. – I couldn’t agree with this more – You should always enjoy the food that you’re eating and reaping benefits from the way that it makes you feel.
Overall – it was a great discussion and Jason didn’t hesitate to ask him questions that might otherwise be a little controversial. Unlike the majority of people who have subscribed to the bulletproof movement – Mark Sisson says he doesn’t put butter in his coffee.
& his reason was interesting to me.
Personally, I still do and I love it.
I no longer have hunger cravings or energy ups and downs ever since I’ve introduced a healthy dose of fat into my morning from coconut butter or grass fed ghee. But, Mark says it isn’t necessary to add butter to your coffee if your truly still allowing your body to fast. As any form of calorie breaks “the fast” and will allow your body to start using the fat that your consuming as energy – instead of burning fat stored in your body for fuel. Depends on what your personal weight and body composition is and what your goals are.
He makes a good point.
Although, personally, I know that I don’t have enough fat stores to fuel my own body without a little help so I plan to keep adding healthy fats to my coffee or my matcha for now to allow my body to burn fat as fuel efficiently when I consume it.
This does not include fatty fried foods typical of the Standard American Diet, harmful hydrogenated seed oils (like canola or sunflower), or bags of potato chips. We’re talking about clean sources of fat such as avocados, egg yolks, coconut, ghee, & olive oil.
Lastly, the most inspiring quote of the whole Mark Sisson podcast went like this:
& I’m paraphrasing this from memory ….
Jason: ‘If you could go back in time to give the younger you a piece of advice what would it be?”
Mark: Enjoy the Journey. Enjoy the process. I used to think “it’ll be great when THIS happens” – whatever THIS was, I was always waiting for it to happen. Don’t do that. Instead, enjoy where you are right now. Have gratitude for where you are right now. Enjoy every possible moment that you can.
I love that. & I’m just going to leave you with that thought.
Thanks for reading.