Primal Living In The Modern World – Mark Sisson


Rediscover Your Intuition Through Primal Living

Is our modern environment taking too large of a toll on our physical, emotional, and mental health? Has the digital age led us to lose our primal intuition?

From a young age, health and fitness expert, author, and founder of both Primal Blueprint and Primal Kitchen, Mark Sisson of Mark's Daily Apple, has spent over three decades actively seeking information to help people live a long, healthy life. Today on Wellness + Wisdom, he's sharing what it means to follow a primal lifestyle, give insights about his upcoming book, “Go Keto,” and how to follow the Ten Guidelines of the Primal Blueprint Ethos.

Just because there's an app for anything and everything, it doesn't mean that we have to solely rely on technology to help us improve our mind, body, and emotional wellness. After all, our primal ancestors never had to rely on an app to help them survive so why should we?

As humans, it's in our nature to know, intuitively, exactly what we need. Whether it be nutrition, fitness, or sleep, our intuition knows what's best for us.

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Paleo f(x)

In our modern and tech-focused society, this episode could not come at a better time. If you're like us, you've been using technology more and more every day for your wellness, health and fitness, and also online through social media to connect with people.

But in this world of online likes, shares, and facebook friends as well as conscious health tracking through wearables, a bigger question arises: have we lost touch with our most primal selves? The part of us that intuitively knows exactly how to form real, face-to-face personal connections, and thrive in our ways of eating, moving, and sleeping for a life of wellness?

Today on the podcast, we're answering these questions and learning about how to create and sustain a primal lifestyle in this modern world from health and fitness expert, Mark Sisson.

Get ready for an in-depth and thought-provoking conversation with one of the most popular and profound influencers in our wellness world where we dive into topics like carbohydrate intake, fat adaptation, gene signaling and epigenetics, as well as Mark's personal ethos and story about how he overcame his own health issues to found Mark's Daily Apple, Primal Blueprint, and Primal Kitchen.

If you'll be at Paleo f(x) this week, let me know, we'd love to meet you in person this weekend in Austin! If you can't make it to the conference, no worries! Our friends at Paleo f(x)™ are offering a free Livestream where you can learn from world-class speakers like Mark Sisson, Robb Wolf, Dave Asprey and many more to empower yourself to be vibrantly healthy.

Click here to sign up for the free Livestream now.

Listen to Episode 112 as Mark Uncovers:

  • Mark's journey and mission to live a healthy life from an early age.
  • Why Mark began to eat a high-complex carbohydrate diet based on the books he was reading around the late 1960s, early 1970s and how that negatively affected his body.
  • How our own, personal intuition can help us create a sense of where our health needs to be at.
  • What skills we can use to help us curb our triggers to not over-eat when there is an abundance of food, but we're not even that hungry.
  • How we know whether or not we're following the primal living path.
  • The benefit of primal living and listening to our intuition compared to the guilt we can feel from app data results.
  • Mark's Ten Guidelines of the Primal Blueprint Ethos:
    • Eat lots of animals, insects and plants
    • Move around a lot at a slow pace
    • Lift heavy objects
    • Sprint once in a while
    • Get plenty of sleep
    • Play often
    • Get plenty of sunlight
    • Avoid trauma and silly mistakes
    • Avoid poisonous things like added sugar
    • Use your brain
  • How scientists are using research about our ancestral genes to look at how different genes are affected by variables.
  • Why our modern environment is taking a toll on our bodies without us even realizing it.
  • What are epigentic studies and which variables can turn on the bad genetics in our bodies?
  • Why ‘good' and ‘bad' genes are a myth.
  • How inflammation can actually be a good thing for our bodies sometimes.
  • Great workouts to do on the go when you have long working hours or are traveling.
  • What Mark does to help him sleep better when he travels to different time zones.
  • How Mark uses intermittent fasting to his advantage when traveling.
  • What it's like to start following the Primal Blueprint and begin burning fat rather than sugar.
  • Why it only takes 21 days to create a change in how you eat and burn food.
  • What's the typical carbohydrate intake for the Ketogenic diet, weight loss, or effortless weight maintenance?
  • How to prepare your body to follow the Ketogenic Diet and why Mark uses any resource from Dominic D'Agostino as a reference.
  • For a beginner, how often should they be fasting per month?
  • How Mark's upcoming book, Go Keto, will teach us how to becoming intuitive with ourselves and prepare for the Ketogenic Diet.
  • The main differences between the Paleo and Primal ways of eating and living.
  • What Mark has learned from his wife, Carrie, about emotional intelligence and wellness.
  • How Primal Kitchen got its start as a new business for Mark.
  • What's included in the famous Primal Kitchen Mayo recipe.
  • Why coconut butter is a great go-to snack when you're feeling stressed.
  • What Mark plans to talk about at the upcoming 2017 Paleo f(x) event.

Mark Sisson's 3 Tips on How To Start A Primal Life

Top 3 Takeaways From The Show

  • Wellness is not necessarily all about physical health. As Mark explains, wellness is about having a positive mindset and living in the moment. When we stop focusing on the past, we can fully feel contentment and joy.
  • The benefits and facts around Primal, Paleo, Keto, and intermittent fasting.
  • There is no such thing as ‘bad' or ‘good' genetics. Our genetics are turned on or off by different variables in order to help our bodies survive.

Power Quotes From Mark Sisson

[click_to_tweet tweet=”‘Primal living allows you to develop the skills you need to get in touch with your body & emotions.' – @Mark_Sisson″ quote=”‘Primal living allows you to develop the skills you need to get in touch with your body & emotions.' – @Mark_Sisson″]

  • “I may have looked fit on the outside, but I was falling apart in the inside. There was this inflammation that was gathering and building inside my body. I had osteoarthritis in my feet, tendinitis in my hips, and even irritable bowl syndrome (IBS) which pretty much dictated my life. I began this diet to be healthy, but all of a sudden, I was at the unhealthiest point of my life. I had no idea about what was going with my body.” – Mark Sisson on his personal experience with the negative impact of following high complex carbohydrate diet. 
  • “It fascinates me that there are now 35 different wearable devices that tell you how poorly you slept last night, but there's nothing out there to really address the problem. I try to create an intuitive sense about my body's needs and I try to coach people to do the same.” – Mark Sisson on the power of intuitive sense to help us understand our minds and bodies to make beneficial changes for our health. 
  • “Primal living means that you've dialed into several different aspects of your life so that you don't have to stop and ask a device, “What do I do now?” You get to the point when you know what to do and what choices to make. Your intuitive decision making process is going to serve you in that moment and in the best way possible.” – Mark Sisson on what primal living means and how our intuitive sense can help us make the best decisions about our health. 
  • “Primal living allows you to develop the skills you need to be in touch with your body, emotions, and everything that draws us in to enjoy life.” – Mark Sisson on the benefits of primal living.
  • “I don't want to ascribe genes as being ‘good' or ‘bad.' Genes are just doing what they're told to do. When you develop Type 2 Diabetes, that's not because of ‘bad genetics. That happens because your human genes are addressing a problem that you've created with your eating and moving habits. Your body is just trying to prevent you from dying too soon from too much sugar.” – Mark Sisson on why we shouldn't categorize genes as being ‘good' or ‘bad.'
  • “The Paleo and Primal diets are converging. Initially, the Paleo Diet was only a diet that looked at no dairy, alcohol, very low unsaturated fats, and was fairly restrictive. When I came up with the Primal Blueprint, I wanted to create a place where people could go and not feel excluded, but invited. So we included as many foods that made sense so we don't exclude dairy like cream, butter, artisanal cheese, and even whole milk for some people. Paleo has always been about the diet, but Primal includes the entire lifestyle.” – Mark Sisson on the difference between the Primal Blueprint and Paleo Diets and lifestyles. 
  • “Thoughts are just thoughts and they're not reality. What we worry or agonize about only exists in our minds as imagination. My wife, Carrie, keeps reminding me that when I let those thoughts dictate how I feel in the present moment, they actually take me out of the present moment.” – Mark Sisson on what he's learned from his wife, Carrie, about emotional wellness and intelligence. 
  • “Wellness is more of a state of mind than a physical presence. Wellness is this feeling of serenity and peace, but also the ability to not be caught up in feelings of worry, anger, or angst. Wellness is not about re-thinking about previous decisions or past mistakes. It's about being in the present moment and therefore being able to extract the greatest amount of contentment, joy, and fulfillment from now.” – Mark Sisson on what wellness means to him. 

About Mark Sisson

Health and fitness expert Mark Sisson is the bestselling author of The Primal Blueprint and several other Primal Blueprint-branded books, and one of the leading voices of the burgeoning Evolutionary Health Movement. His blog,, has paved the way for Primal enthusiasts to challenge conventional wisdom's diet and exercise principles and take personal responsibility for their health and well-being.

From its humble – and controversial – beginnings in 2006, Mark's Daily Apple has grown into one of the highest-ranked health information resources on the Internet, with some 3 million unique visitors each month. Mark, 62, has a BA in biology from Williams College and is a former world-class endurance athlete, with a 2:18 marathon and a fourth-place finish in the Hawaii Ironman World Triathlon Championships to his credit.

Today, Mark directs his competitive energies into high-stakes Ultimate Frisbee tournaments against competitors decades younger. Besides blogging daily, Mark conducts seminars on the Primal Blueprint way of life and hosted 9 multi-day total immersion retreats called PrimalCon at locations across America and in Mexico from 2010-2014.

He operates Primal Blueprint Publishing in Malibu, CA, publishing his own titles as well as work from other authors promoting ancestral health principles. Mark is married to Carrie and they have two children.

A Day in The Life of Mark Sisson

Resources Mentioned by Mark & Josh

[click_to_tweet tweet=”‘Thoughts are just thoughts. What we worry or agonize about only exists in our minds as imagination.' – @Mark_Sisson″ quote=”‘Thoughts are just thoughts. What we worry or agonize about only exists in our minds as imagination.' – @Mark_Sisson″]

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About The Author, Lauren Bryant, Podcast Production

lauren bryant wellness forceLauren Bryant is the Podcasting Assistant and Show Notes Writer for Wellness + Wisdom. She has a BBA in both Marketing and Spanish for Business as well as certificates in Advanced Business Communications and International Business from the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire.

Lauren’s wellness journey began at a young age when she joined her local YMCA swim team, The Wave, of La Crosse, WI. One of the most profound views on wellness that anyone has said to her was when she was an assistant swim coach for that same YMCA swim team.

One day during a practice, former head swim coach, Jon Brenner, shared with her that the most important thing about coaching the swimmers was that “It doesn’t matter if they become the best athletes in the world. What’s important is that we give them the tools and guidance they need to live a healthy, active lifestyle for the rest of their lives.”

Since hearing those words, she has taken it to heart to not only focus on continuously living her own healthy lifestyle, but to help others pursue their wellness goals as well.

Lauren’s not only an avid swimmer, but a fan of running, yoga, cooking, and doing any activity outside that involves being surrounded by nature. In the Fall of 2014, she completed a long-awaited goal of walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain.

According to Lauren, wellness is about finding gratitude and joy in doing any type of physical or self-care activity that we love. Wellness means providing ourselves with self-love, good nutrition, and the inner peace that our individual minds and bodies need.


About Josh Trent

Josh Trent lives in Austin, Texas with his love Carrie Michelle, son Novah, daughter Nayah + a cat named Cleo. He is the host of the Wellness + Wisdom Podcast and the creator of the BREATHE: Breath + Wellness Program. Josh has spent the past 20+ years as a trainer, researcher + facilitator discovering the physical and emotional intelligence for humans to thrive in our modern world. Helping humans LIBERATE their mental, emotional, physical, spiritual + financial self through podcasts, programs + global community that believe in optimizing our potential to live life well.

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