It’s Not About the Food: Reconnecting with Mark Sisson.January 9th, 2013 | 1 Comments
by Sean Croxton
Oh no, not another one!
That’s exactly what went through my head when I heard that Mark Sisson had a new book on the way.
In my opinion, the last thing the world needs right now is yet another Paleo book recommending that we eat real food and remove grains and dairy from our diets.
I think I’ve read that book about 15 times — with 15 different authors and titles — in the past year or so.
Besides, Mark did an outstanding job teaching us what to eat in The Primal Blueprint. What more could he have to offer in his latest opus The Primal Connection?
The answer is quite a bit. In fact, The Primal Connection has little, if anything, to do with diet. It’s about all of that other stuff.
That other stuff has become one of my favorite topics these days. Yes, we know that our dietary choices can have a dramatic impact on gene expression, switching the good (or bad) genes on or off. But it doesn’t end there.
Environmental factors — social interactions, sunlight exposure, our inner dialogue, and even laughter — can have just as profound an effect on our genes as what we stuff into our mouths. I’ll give you a few examples:
Did you know that laughter turns on the genes that fire up your immune system by increasing production of NK (natural killer) cells responsible for defending against cancers, infections, and other bugs?
I remember learning in my CHEK Holistic Lifestyle Coaching course that the average person chuckles just once a day. A chuckle. That’s not even a full-blown laugh!
Did you know that simply being touched can turn on the gene that controls the receptor for the stress hormone cortisol, thus reducing its effects?
These days, being touched brings to mind allegations of sexual harassment more than its potential to mitigate the effects of stress.
Or, did you know that your genes expect you to spend time in nature? The sights, sounds, and smells are all hardwired into your DNA. In fact, the Japanese are finding tremendous hormonal and cellular benefits as a result of what they call “forest therapy”.
When was the last time you got “nature-fied” — a hike, a climb, a dip in the ocean?
These are but a few examples of how your overall health is determined in large part by what you do in between meals and workouts. We are meant to laugh, play, touch, love, socialize, sleep, get dirty, relax, and even get an adrenaline rush here and there.
Your diet may be amazing, but are you feeding your genes everything else they expect?
Are your truly living?
Last night, Mark and I spent an hour chatting about everything non-food related on UW Radio. My favorite part was our discussion of his Ten Habits of Highly Effective Hunter-Gatherers…
#1. Take responsibility
#2. Be selfish
#3. Build a tribe
#4. Be present
#5. Be curious
#6. Trust your gut
#7. Pick your battles
#8. Get over it
#9. Sharpen your spear
#10 Be affluent
Click the video below to listen to a short clip on Taking Responsibility and Being Selfish. Or click the mini-player to listen to the entire episode.
Be sure to pick up your copy of The Primal Connection.
I know it’s really early, but so far it’s my 2013 Book of the Year.
Great job, Mark.
Author, The Dark Side of Fat Loss