ABOUT TOM WOODS

Thomas E. Woods, Jr., is the New York Times bestselling author of 11 books, including The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History and Meltdown (on the financial crisis). A senior fellow of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, Woods has appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, FOX News, FOX Business, C-SPAN, Bloomberg Television, and hundreds of radio programs... (Read More)



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Woods Interview: Mark Sisson Talks Primal Blueprint

16th December 2011      by: Tom Woods     

While guest hosting the Peter Schiff Show yesterday I had a chance to interview Mark Sisson, author of (among other titles) The Primal Blueprint and his latest, The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation. It was a great conversation, and an excellent introduction to the Primal Blueprint, which has yielded such good health results for so many people. Check it out!

Unlearn the Propaganda!

  • Anon

    Hey Tom, be sure to check this video out of Mark.

    http://www.the21convention.com/2011/04/05/mark-sisson-t21c-2010/

  • Sbatecpa

    Tom,  I love ya like a brother but the health advise of Mark Sisson is just plain wrong.  I agree that grains with Gluten are bad, but consumption of meat is even more dangerous.  Please watch the documentary film Forks over Knives that debunks all the pro-meat nonsense with scientific evidence.

  • Anon

    Forks over Knives has been exhaustingly debunked here. The review has 1,200 comments and counting.

    http://rawfoodsos.com/2011/09/22/forks-over-knives-is-the-science-legit-a-review-and-critique/

  • Sbatecpa

    Then go ahead and eat your animal carcasses if the slaughter creates no guilt.  We ask our government to respect human life, yet we don’t respect any life.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jose.rouse Joe Rousé

    How cool, you used 
    Aaron’s graphic!

  • Fort McMurryan

    if you want the truth about nutrition and dieting a must read is the china study.
    http://www.amazon.com/China-Study-Comprehensive-Nutrition-Implications/dp/1932100385 

    just scroll over some of the reviews and you will see what I mean.  The best diet is one that is closest to a whole foods plant based diet, avoiding meats, dairy, eggs etc…  Basically become a vegan and eat whole foods.  It works for me and many friends who have tried that diet lost weight, gained muscle, slept better, have more energy and most importantly avoid most cancers.  Like Sbatecpa says watch forks over knives and it will change your idea of nutrition forever.  

    I disagree that gains are bad.  I would argue better foods would be fruits and vegetables but eating whole gains is not the end of the world as the primal diet wants you to believe.

  • Tuckerl1985

    Tom are you trying the diet?

  • carlc55

    “We ask our government to respect human life, yet we don’t respect any life.”

    Yes – including plant life, I can hear the screams of those poor little bushes even now.

  • carlc55

    Tom, you are now on Vegans hit list. Remember PETA is watching you!

  • Anonymous

    Hi Tom -

    Great news that you’re taking the plunge.

    There’s this funny and extremely informative docu, called “Fathead”. Here’s two parts for your wife to watch:

    (1) Focussing on natural diet/lipid(fat)hypothesis/cholesterol [start: 00:54:20]
    (2) Focussing on grains/carbohydrates/insulin [start: 01:21:26]

    Also in this documentary: good parts about the follies and political machinations of radical vegetarianism.

    Take care and kind regs from Amsterdam,
    Richard

  • Anonymous

    Your follow-up reply below simply exposes you as a radical vegatarian zealot. To hear such people talk of “scientific evidence” always makes me laugh. So thnx, I needed that ;)

  • Anon

    There’s nothing immoral about respecting reality. Humans are designed to eat animals and plants. A diet completely absent one or the other is detrimental to human health.

    Equating human life with animal life is what’s immoral. 

  • dylanhart.net

    the only thing that gives mark any credibility is that he is super buff, but when i was 16 i was really buff and lean and i ate nothing but random junk. i remember one time thinking why i hadnt died or anything since i never ate anything green for several years. in fact the main component of my diet was non fat milk and cheerios lol

    in the interview mark says something like “beans cant be eaten raw, so we probably shouldnt eat them cooked”

    well i dont know about you but try sustaining yourself off a diet of raw eggs, you will feel queezy as fuck

    after eating cooked meat i feel lethargic and mean but after eating fruit i feel calm, optimistic, and smart

  • http://twitter.com/M_Khalilian Michael Khalilian

    Isn’t this whole “Primal Blueprint” a big scam? I mean, he emphasizes a high fat/meat diet. I’m sure it works for some people if their sole purpose is to build muscle or lose weight, but being healthy should be the larger goal, which I don’t think his diet is geared towards. It’s weird that Tom Woods blogged about this, because I had just recently heard of Mark Sisson and started researching him! 

  • http://twitter.com/M_Khalilian Michael Khalilian

    That’s just not true. Not eating any meat at all is significantly more healthy, if you get the protein from other, healthier, sources. I’m not a vegetarian by any sense of the word, in fact, I love meat…but I know it’s not really “good” for you. 

  • Joseph Green

    Dr. Kurt Harris over at http://www.archevore.com is not only a proponent  of a paleo like diet, but he is also a big time austro-libertarian, and an overall very entertaining guest on radio shows, would love to hear you interview him if you were ever to talk about this topic again.

  • CT

    Looks like the vegan zealots are out in force after this one, Tom. I very much enjoyed the interview, you have a real knack for radio work!

  • Anonymous

    One thing that the GKV’s (Green Khmer Veggies) are missing for obvious reasons, is the love of freedom and the desire to run one’s own life, that transpires in the interview between Tom and Mark Sisson.

    Now, before trying to explain what the vegetarian commenters are missing, I’d like them to think about freedom first, because if they don’t, my argument will inevitably fall on deaf ears anyway. So here goes, in the tiniest of nutshells: Freedom doesn’t mean doing everything you want to, no, freedom is: not having to do what you don’t want to do.

    Now think of it, let it sink in for a little while and then have a look at what I’m saying to you meat-hating guys.

    If a RP supporter doesn’t like guns, he doesn’t buy one. If a progressivist* doesn’t like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.
    If a RP supporter is a vegetarian, he simply doesn’t eat meat. If a progressivist is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.

    This list can go on and on, ad nauseam

    So in sum, it’s not just that you’re anti- meat/saturated fat/primal lifestyle/ and so on. The more fundamental issue here is that, in most instances, you’re really anti-freedom.

    Kind regs from Amsterdam,
    Richard

    * progressivist = liberals + neo-conmen; supporters of the welfare/warfare state, rule by “experts” and the financial fascism of central banking.

  • Anonymous

    It seems that our veggie friends cannot understand that to choose the “primal” lifestyle does **not** equate to eating only meat and no veggies. I eat *tons* of vegetables, probably more more *actual* vegetables than most vegetarians do. I’m talking leafy greens, root vegetables, squashes, etc. Most vegetarians I encountered during my years (17+) working in natural food stores hardly ate more than salad mix, carrots, potatoes, grains, and tons of soy/gluten proteins and other highly processed foods. Most of them seem to believe that because it’s made from vegetable matter its “better” than anything from animal sources. Hogwash!

    What’s with all the binary thinking? It’s either meat or vegetables? Really? Come on guys, use your brain…you know that gray matter made of 70%+ saturated fat.

  • Anonymous

    Yes, those vegetarian Inuit never touch animal fat or protein. 

  • Anonymous

    Hey Tom- 

    You might really enjoy Melissa McEwan’s blog which has some *great* material regarding food, biology and anthropology. 
    http://huntgatherlove.com/  She isn’t strictly “primal” but she’s honest and writes with zest and intellectual integrity. 

    Also, you may wish to check out the Weston A. Price Foundation in general and the book _Nourishing Traditions_ in particular. Fantastic work!

  • Fort McMurryan

    I stated a “whole foods plant based diet” is ideal.  To categorize vegetarians as a one big group is not fair.  There are many that eat very healthy and in some cases very strict vegans could not consume any junk food because things like processed sugar would not be in their diet.  The China Study, with over 1,000 successful reviews on Amazon shows more than enough evidence this diet works.

    Sounds like you are on the path to success even if you occasionally eat meat.  If your diet is mostly from “starches” whether that be veggies, fruits, grains or anything with fiber that’s the best.  That’s the key, eat foods with fiber because only fibrous foods  can be easily digest.  Foods with no fiber like meat  cannot be digested easily and are stored in your body as fat instead of being released as energy.  

    I disagree with the primal diet because of his claim that grains are bad, even whole grains.  And if I correctly heard the interview some root vegetables and legumes should be avoided?  Legumes are very healthy and high in protein for those worried they aren’t receiving enough plant protein.  

  • Patrick

    *highfive* Tom!

    I’m doing this diet too! It’s AWESOME! The only thing I’m concerned about is cholesterol, but something tells me (like everything else with the diet) that it will actually go down. Are you planning on getting your cholesterol checked before and after your diet?

  • tz

    http://www.julianbakery.com – they have 1g/slice low carb bread, some slightly higher.  That saved me since I’m a bread eater.

  • Neo Cons Slayer

    Eating to much grain is bad especially if live the typical American life.
    I don’t get the use of the word Primal.

  • Neo Cons Slayer

    A primal person’s diet would consist largely of bugs and the things in the bugs digestive system… Hunting would have been difficult, but when an animal would have been killed the entire thing would have been eaten. That would include the intestines, which would include the grains and starches processes by the animal. 
    If you want to seriously  go primal, examine and replicate the life and diet of our closest evolutionary relatives.  

  • Anonymous

    Meat is not stored in your body as fat. The “primal” diet emphasizes fats, not simply meat, anyway. Fat doesn’t necessarily cause fat in humans, nor is it true that meat is wholly bereft of fiber. Those are both bogus claims.

    Carbs are sugar and produce, not only fat (see many different animals, on grain diets to see what I mean,humans being no different), but also spikes in insulin and in grains are tied up with anti-nutrients. There have been attempts to overcome the anti-nutrients in grains through soaking, fermentation, etc., within different cultures. At any rate, much of the “science” regarding fats and cholesterol have either taken the lead from Ancel Keys (who simply left out whole societies whose diet was fat-based) or they’ve not done much in isolating fats and proteins from carbohydrates, both avenues are left wanting for a *scientific* study of fats in humans.

  • Francesco

    I agree for the most part with these Paleo/Primal types – the idea that we should eat what our pre-agricultural ancestors used to eat, is brilliant and correct – but unfortunately, I believe their carb-phobia and fructose-phobia to be misguided.

    When I first dropped grains, I tried a natural high-fat diet like this one (for those who don’t realize it, if you follow a food regime such as this one most of your calories will inevitably be fats). It was a disaster. I lost a lot of weight, which was a BAD THING for me, since I have always had a tendency to be dangerously underweight. The more I ate fat, the more I dangerously lost weight. Then I realized that I was eating more fat than my body was able to digest, which led to nausea, indigestion and a false sense of being “full” even if I hadn’t satisfied my actual  caloric needs. Then I found out that a kind of forced caloric reduction due to inability to handle lots of fat isn’t rare at all among paleolithic eaters. Since most people feel that they are overweight, getting less calories might actually SEEM like a good thing initially when you’re shredding all the excess weight. However it isn’t sustainable in the long term. It eventually leads to muscle loss and depression (as your metabolism eventually slows down).

    Some people are naturally better at digesting and processing fat, others are better at dealing with carbs. Those who are good at digesting fat will thrive on Mark Sisson’s diet. Those who are good at digesting carbs, won’t. It seems to be partly related to your ethnic group – Northern Europeans used to eat more fat historically, while Southern Europeans like myself are more likely to be in the carb field. Tom Woods looks like he has at least some Italian ancestry, though I might be wrong. Tom, please do consider the possibility that a high-fat diet might deprive your children of sufficient calories.

    It’s obviously false that carbs by themselves always cause blood sugars issues – just look at the entirety of rice-eating Asia. Of course you don’t have to eat rice, which ifull of anti-nutrients. If you happen to be a carb type, you have to eat FRUIT.

    There are lots and lots of successful high-fruit eaters, like the blogger at Castle Grok, or Denise Minger, the oft-quoted debunker of the China Study, who (this will shock some) also eats a diet of mostly fruit. Their common denominator is that they eat their fruit extremely ripe. It’s false what Mark says here, that present day fruit is much sweeter than its ancestor. See here:
    http://rawfoodsos.com/2011/05/31/wild-and-ancient-fruit/

    The reason some people have problems wth modern fruit is that it’s always severely underripe in the store (truly ripe fruit would be considered overripe by most people) so the only way to eat fruit is to learn how to get it to ripen properly at home, and it takes a lot of know-how.

    For those who doubt that primitive people would eat so much fruit, remember that we evolved at the TROPICS, where fruit is sweet, plentiful and available all year round.

    By the way, we DO know what pre-agricultural man used to eat. There are
    lots of hunter-gatherer tribes around the world. We can just emulate
    their diet. With some exceptions like the Inuits, who of course are an
    extreme case since they don’t have access to plant food at all, all of
    them eat lots of starches from wild tubers and roots.

    Oh and take a look at this one:
    http://castlegrok.com/174-days-of-fruit/
    or for that matter any other post at the same blog.

  • Francesco

    Just to clarify the paragraph about hunter-gatherers, I don’t mean that we should eat wild starches, I just meant to debunk the idea that eating lots of concentrated carbs isn’t correct from an evolutionary standpoint.
    My humble proposal is to eat the same food types Mark Sisson likes to eat, but without being afraid of eating huge amounts of ripe fruit if this happens to be what your body calls for.

  • http://tomwoods.com Tom Woods

    My slightly dark complexion comes from my being half Armenian, though everyone understandably assumes I’m part Italian.

  • Francesco

    Oh and by lots of fruit, I actually mean thousands of calories from fruit alone.
    It works for me and other people I know.

  • Anonymous

    “It’s obviously false that carbs by themselves always cause blood sugars issues – just look at the entirety of rice-eating Asia.”

    Depends on how you look and what you’re looking for. There’s rice and then there’s rice (also the way it’s turned into meals differs, with sugar used more widely with white rice). A population wide change from traditional brown/wild rice to white rice will most certainly give rise to an increased incidence of metabolic syndrome (and other health issues related to insulin metabolism).

    Good overall points though. Different human populations also differ in their evolutionary hunter/gatherer pathways with regards to their diet. Of course, the primal blueprint is about more than just diet.

    Take care,
    Richard

  • tz

    Pork Rinds (zero carbs, great with salsa or queso).  Also Shiratake noodles – zero everything for some yet you can do spaghetti.  I’ve been doing low carb for almost a year – it works great – 255 to 220 so far.  the 10 years before I did the cal counting denial hard penance thing and was stuck.  The hard thing is you have to read the labels to find effective carbs.  And get used to fat and not worrying about calories.  Egg salad on julian bakery bread is now a staple, as is dry wines and low carb beer – Ultra, but more often Bud 55 or Miller 64.

  • Rob Nabakowski

    Ha, so it has nothing to do with whether it’s good for you or not, but everything to do with whether bessie deserves better or not.  Listen, if you think of yourself as nothing more than a cow or chicken, then more power to you.  As for me, I know that I’m better than a cow or chicken and will slaughter, dress, clean, cook and devour their carcasses until my heart’s content.  You keep the soy, I’ll have bessie.

  • Rob Nabakowski

    Yep, just last night, as I was eating a piece of broccoli, I thought I heard a faint “no, no”.  Then again, it could have been the piece of bambi sitting on my plate, too.  Either way, they were heard from no more.

  • Rob Nabakowski

    The single greatest era for growth of the human brain is when man started eating meat.  Not, carrots.  Not, soy.  Not, broccoli.  Not, cabbage.  But meat.

  • Rob Nabakowski

    I’ll be thinking of this particular animal rights zealot, the next time I field dress a deer.  I wonder if he’ll be thinking about me the next time he forks to death an innocent piece of kale!

  • Rob Nabakowski

    I don’t, so there.

  • Ellen

    My question was a little different. He speaks about how people used to eat and then seems to assume that they were super-healthy because of that. Do we know that our ancestors were so very healthy?  I’ve got nothing to say about the diet one way or the other, it’s just this (seeming) assumption that folk were healthier way back when that I’d like to question.

  • Anonymous

    “Do we know that our ancestors were so very healthy?”, you ask.

    Yes, we know, thanks to palaeontology/anthropology. Studies of pre-agricult diet, combined with health related data (skeletal, dental etc.) tell us the story. As soon as agriculture arrives (here in Holland at about 5000 BCE, not widespread) we see a marked decline: tooth decay sets in, smaller skeletons and so on.. A pre-neolithical culture survived here in the Low Countries for quite a long time, at least up ’til 3500 BCE, so it’s easy to compare them. These hunter/gatherers (Swifterbantcultuur) were much taller, about as tall as today’s native Dutchies, and their dental records were shiny. These primals only used a small amount of wheat for one thing: to brew Mesolithic beer ;)

    Kind regs from Amsterdam,
    Richard

  • Rob Nabakowski

    Beer, hear!

  • Sbatecpa

    A majority of people think that Austrian Economics/libertarianism is bunk but its still my truth and even tho I sometimes eat meat and am not the vegan zealot I have been called here, I know eating meat is not healthy for my body or soul.



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