Podcast Episode #71: Mark Sisson Talks The Primal Connection!

Diane Sanfilippo Podcast Episodes 98 Comments

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Mark_Large_Publicity_Web1. 03:20 — Introducing Mark and his purpose
2. 04:45 — Mark's mission, history, and inspiration for The Primal Connection
3. 07:25 — What is it about our hunter-gatherer ancestors that we are missing to find happiness?
4. 09:33 — The inner dialog connection and how it affects your life and overall happiness.
5. 11:45 — Why hunter-gatherers can't wallow, but must move on.
6. 12:45 — Why we aren't wired to have a lot of stuff and the currency of tribal humans who experience affluence – why sitting around “doing nothing” is valuable.
7. 15:20 — Why we aren't meant to wake up and hate what we're about to go do for the day.
8. 19:30 — What it's like working in Mark's offices.
9. 23:30 — What science shows about being barefoot and bipedal.
10. 25:45 — Posture and whether Mark was sitting, standing, or walking during our interview.
11. 28:20 — Squatting and how we should be able to move.
12. 30:00 — Mark talks squatting and pooping.
13. 31:00 — Why vaginal childbirth is so critical to health.
14. 33:30 — The concept of attachment to outcomes and moving on.
15. 37:15 — Mindset and the high school star athlete.
16. 38:25 — Connecting hunter-gatherer mindset to positivity in modern life – The Primal Connection.
17. 39:50 — Finding the blessing in a less-than-positive situation.
18. 41:38 — Worry and how it brings on depression – appreciating what we have.
19. 43:30 — Why sex feels good… and scarcity and abundance of food, sex, drugs, etc.
20. 44:45 — Where to get started with The Primal Connection.
21. 48:40 — How many close connections we can maintain – our “fire circle.”



Mark's website:Β Mark's Daily Apple

Mark's books (2 of many!):
The Primal Connection
The Primal Blueprint

Click here to download this episode as an MP3.

The episodes are currently available in iTunes, Stitcher & Blog Talk Radio.

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Diane & Liz


Comment below on this blog post and tell us what you do in your daily life to make a Primal connection with the world around you.

NOTE: Only one comment per person will count as an entry. Posting more than one comment will disqualify you from the contest, so please just post once! Thanks!!Β 

That’s it! No purchase necessary.

Note:Β This contest will be open for entries through 9pm Eastern time on Monday Jan 28th and one winner will be selected using random.org and emailed and announced here on the blog. If you do reply to the winning announcement email to claim your prize within 48 hours of the announcement, a new winner will be selected in your place.

Comments 98

    1. My primal connection is to sit quietly and focus my mind, initially on the breath, to develop concentration; and then on the sensations in my body to learn to observe the inner reality simply as it is. It is an ancient meditation technique. Very powerful and helpful.

      Thank you so much for bringing Mark on your show; and for your valuable work. It has been a pleasure to watch you both shin brighter and brighter.

      With appreciation and gratitude, Amanda

  1. Another great giveaway! Thanks!

    I try every day to just appreciate the wonderful nature I’m blessed to be surrounded with where I live. I’ve recently also starting working on squatting more, even though it hurts! I keep reminding myself that Mark Sisson says that’s how Grok would sit, so I’m trying….

  2. I’m lucky enough to wake up naturally (if you can call waking up to a purring cat natural.. I do…) and make sure to walk as much as possible outdoors, along the seafront if possible, and cook fresh natural foods.

  3. I keep my lighting natural as much as possible – I leave the blinds open during the day and sometimes find myself just lying in the sunny spots (it’s too cold to do that outside now!), often with the cat (who I think gets kind of mad when I hog the sunny spots). I also avoid turning on many lights in the evenings- I love the way the low light feels for relaxing before bed.

  4. i am trying to take more of my work conference calls on my cell outside instead of cooped up at my desk. We have beautiful grounds here at work with a very large rose garden

  5. Sleep, sleep, sleep! And I try to “pay it forward”….sharing what I have learned from you guys and Mark with anyone who asks!

  6. I have a hard time not staying up all night reading the amazing info on Balanced Bites, Marks Daily Apple and Cave Girl Eats! You guys are changing my life πŸ™‚

  7. He makes a lot of sense that we weren’t meant to be sitting in cubicles all day. I try to get up, and I also wish I could do a standing desk.

  8. Eating yummy-whole foods πŸ™‚ I am on Day 6 of the detox– whoop!! I also always make time to get outside (I am writing my thesis so I have to remind myself to do this)! I live in the south so it is something that I, most of the time, can do daily πŸ™‚ Awesome podcast πŸ™‚

  9. I try to spend as much time outdoors as I can – in the winter that means cold walks and skiing, in the summer that means long bike rides and afternoons in the park. I also try to let all frustraitions from the day go before I go to bed and not carry it to the new day.

  10. I try to remember that I am just a thread in this tapestry of life and that little things that I do will leave an impact in the greater picture. I try to recycle, reuse, volunteer and eat as wholesomely as possible!

  11. Walking my dogs, eating natural foods, enjoying time with my “tribe”, and always being grateful of the life I have…even if I have to be in a cubicle all day. At least I have a way to put food on my table πŸ™‚

  12. Running on trails, catching as many ocean sunsets possible, stopping, slowing down and taking a break in the midst of a crazy 12 hour work day taking care of others!

  13. I hug and love my hubby and 3 boys; eat TONS of whole foods; workout (outside when possible….it’s only 5 degrees here in WI today so it was an indoor workout); fill my gratitude jar at least once/day; and try to inspire others to take back their health. And my hubby and I really enjoy reading your books, and Mark’s books, together.

  14. Thank you for such a fantastic podcast!
    My daily habit is finding gratitude in my life, practicing mindfulness, and taking a walk with my dog to let my mind relax and recharge.

  15. I help lead a running class twice a week and a nutrition class once a week. We use ALOT of your tools and always refer them to your books and podcasts. Great stuff!!

  16. I love to garden and always bring plants inside when the weather turns cold so that I can have the nature indoors in the winter. It helps my mood.

  17. Eating real foods, meeting my farmers and growers/producers, using natural light as much as possible. I love to go outside and put my feet in the grass or walk when it is nice out! I also do a daily gratitude check in after work.

  18. I take my dogs out and walk in the forest every day. Even when it’s -10 degrees outside! I also leave my phone at home so I can be completely disconnected. It’s very enjoyable and relaxing.

  19. I try to get outside and into nature on a daily basis –- sunny weather + incredible scenery + walking + vibrams = bliss. Husband and I also do a gratitude list together every night before going to bed.

  20. I try to be active in some way each day and am trying to be more mindful of the food that goes in my mouth and the words that come out of my mouth! Would love to read this new book for more ideas.

  21. Other than eating Paleo and getting whatever amount of sleep my body needs, I use “exercise” for enjoyment rather than beat myself into the ground for vanity’s sake. I also “make my husband better” (his words) by feeding him healthy, whole foods and educating him on a Paleo lifestyle.

  22. I try to be thankful every day for the many blessings in my life. It’s so much easier to find peace when your happy with what you have instead of focusing on what you don’t have.

  23. I do my very best to eat natural, whole foods, stick to natural sleep cycles that my body responds well to, and stay active just like our ancestors would. Toss in some meditation, play, and personal goals and I believe I’ve found a recipe for success, and Mark, among others, has played a large role in helping me develop that recipe. Can’t thank you enough!

  24. The past few months ive been getting into Paleo and the primal way of life. My husband and I are going to start trying to have a baby and a lot of your info has been so helpful! I can’t wait to learn more.


  25. I try my hardest not to eat anything that comes in a box (bag, package, etc.), and walk everywhere I can–although I work outside the home every day and live in the very pedestrian hostile South, I probably only use my car once or twice a week.

  26. Being present. It’s not always the easiest thing to do with life being so overwhelming sometimes but it’s definitely worth it.

  27. I set an intention each day and make a declaration about myself that starts with “I am.” I try to do good in the world around me and give in every possible instance. I would have bare feet all the time if I could. I love to get outside and play with my paleo pup! I have a job that allows me to express myself and chase ambitions while still doing work I love. I am constantly trying to connect myself with others and this earth through healthy relationships, my yoga practice, nourishing food, and lots of sunlight! I make the choice to be happy. πŸ™‚

  28. Hi Diane, Hi Liz~
    I’ve been catching up (with older podcats) and listening to your current podcasts and have to say that I’ve enjoyed them all so far and have learned a lot! I listened to your interview with Mark Sisson and was so amazed by the depth of love he has for life! It’s so inspiring and made me realize just how much I appreciate not only Mark’s work, but both of yours as well…I have a very long way to go…but I know that “Primal Connection” will come in handy on the many days ahead when I really want that sugary sweet sweet! Thanks for the giveaway guys and keep on doin’ watcha ya doin’-it’s much appreciated!

  29. Loved the podcast!! I try to disconnect from all the electronic stuff by going outside and playing with the dog at least 1/2 hour a day. I also get plenty of sleep!!

  30. To maintain my primal connection, I get outside every day, even when it’s freezing! I admit, however, that I have a hard time “unplugging.” I’m a digital addict. (I’d love a copy of mark’s book!)

  31. I live in soCal so I get lots of sun exposure and I try to get out into nature everyday, whether its a walk, surf, or hike πŸ™‚ I love being outside! I’ve also tried cutting back on my time in social media.

  32. I work at a zoo so every day I squeeze in a walk thru the zoo. Or, if I’m not up for the crowds, I walk through the park that our zoo is in. I love taking even 15 minutes to step away from the computer & the florescent lights to breathe the fresh air, smell the trees & stretch my muscles.

  33. I have been going barefoot for a couple years and feel so much better. Last time I wore shoes. I fell and my rear hurt for a week!
    Loved the podcast and I’m sure I’d love this book! Very interesting delving into more aspects of a primal life!

  34. Thank you for having Mark on your podcast! I have been paleo for about a year thanks to you guys, Mark & Robb Wolf! I can’t wait for your podcats every week. I have Practical Paleo and love it. Thanks to you and your book my Wife asked me to plan our menu every week. Keep it coming…

  35. Love to hear you guys talk about finding a core group/inner circle. I think people get caught up in quantity and don’t have any quality time. Love the podcast, and can’t wait to read the Primal Connection!

  36. Great giveaway!! One thing I’ve recently incorporated into my lifestyle is darkness or candlelight only when the sun goes down as often as possible. I make it a point to stay away from screens after 7pm or so. I am enjoying these comments.

  37. I walk more than a mile to town for shopping at least five days a week. I usually meet friends and acquaintances on the way or in shops then stop for a chat and make connections stronger. I get the benefits of fresh air, sunshine (although not so often here in England), exercise and contact with friends. Sometimes my rucksack gets quite heavy with meat, vegetables, fruit, tinned mackerel and milk for my wife.

  38. I spend time each morning looking out over the river that runs by my apartment, watching the birds, ducks, and geese. I also like to walk on the nature trails nearby.

  39. Trying to get sunlight or at least fresh air every day helps me! Your comments about “letting go of the outcome” really hit home! Lots of great stuff to think about and strive for! Thanks!

  40. Prioritizing natural, unprocessed food, more sleep & sitting in the sun/moving around outdoors even if it is just puttering around

  41. This was such a great podcast. I just created a makeshift standup desk using a box. One thing I do to stay connected is to run on the beach with my good friend. We wear these things called sand socks which allow us to not have to wear shoes while running on the sand.

  42. AMAZING podcast. The three of you together makes for an informative but fun hour. Thank you so much. Needed Mark’s advice and outlook on life. Started his book today. Thanks again! Great podcast! Can’t wait for next week!

  43. I had tried going barefoot all day, but am now plagued with Morton’s neuroma on both feet – a bad pair of shoes or two, after all that freedom. Anyway, I do like to move around by foot, so I hope this problem subsides…

  44. Unplugging from electronics and getting down on the floor and really playing with my kids πŸ™‚ I feel like
    lot of “us” parent by distraction. It’s an activity of being Present and letting your children know you’re really there for them. If we show our kids that we can’t be there for all the Little things, they won’t trust us with the Big things.

  45. Thanks to you ladies and to Mark for a fantastic episode! So inspiring.

    I would be thrilled to receive a copy of Mark’s book, given his keen insight into our human needs, especially for connecting authentically with our environment. I already get out in nature for walks as much as I am able, walk barefoot in my apartment, commune with animals whenever possible (dog park!), turn down the lights after 8 pm, express appreciation for and to the people in my life for the light they bring to the world, and count my blessings everyday. I also spend only as much time “plugged in” as is absolutely necessary, since it seems to exacerbate my adrenal problems/brain fog. Viva la vida natural!

  46. I try to walk as much as possible (in my Vibrams!) instead of taking transportation. It’s only 30 minutes to walk to work, and it’s the perfect way to start & end my work day. I made an exception this week – since it was -5 with wind chill out.

  47. Love you Liz and Diane, and a massive thank you for interviewing Mark, he’s amazing! I try my absolute hardest to stay primal, and it can be really tough, as a student. I walk around barefoot EVERYWHERE to the point where I have to be reminded to put shoes on (where my Vibrams are slipped on), and if I’m not studying I’ll be found in the kitchen tossing together some meat fried in tallow or coconut oil (I looove that stuff!) or stirring a pot of bone broth. And I always make sure I spend some of my day having some play time, which nourishes my life miraculously. πŸ™‚

  48. For me, primal living starts with an informed understanding of the wonder of nature. I like to lie outside in the woods on a boulder and soak in my surroundings.

  49. Great podcast, as always!

    The biggest Primal changes I’ve made (aside from food) have to do with light and sleep hygiene – I’ve stopped wearing sunscreen unless I’m going to be outside in the sun ALL day (as a melanoma survivor, this was a scary step!), I use a natural light on gloomy mornings to “wake up”, turn off all electronic media at least an hour before bed, and took all the nightlights out of the bedroom (still have a green-light clock radio, but it’s turned away). For the first time in my life, I wake up without an alarm at around the same time every day, and I rarely wake up groggy anymore.

  50. Hi just listened to this interview. I ve been listening to all of Marks interviews on the internets since his book launched – this one was the best!! Your questions, follow ups and comments elicted wonderful nuggets of info and wisdom from Mark.

  51. Right now I’m working on the daily rhythm bit – limiting technology usage and following more closely my natural circadian rhythms. It’s a challenge, to say the least, when you’ve got two kids, work and go to school, but day by day I am feeling better and better.

  52. I think I’m mostly on top of nourishing my body with real food. I need to work on a lot of the other bits. Love to read more. Thanks.

  53. I slow down and take time to be with my kids. I enjoy the company of all my friends at least once a week. Eating primal has helped my consciousnesses and my body. I am eager to learn more on how to apply primal living into my whole life.

  54. My Primal Connection is being outdoors as much as possible. I’m a birder, so I hike frequently. And I have a good size garden that I spend a lot of time on.

  55. Being a lawyer in NYC, it’s hard to make a daily Primal connection with the world around you. I try to primarily focus on the diet.

  56. I made myself a stand-up desk because sitting is just plain boring. I feel so much more alive and productive when I can pace and not just lean back in my rolly chair. I also like to through in random sets of push-ups – sometimes while on the phone – just to break up the day.

  57. Very interesting show today. My focus for this year is “quality not quantity.” I started with nutrition and a 21 Day Sugar Detox and am learning more about the Paleo diet from Diane’s book. I’ve also returned to writing in my gratitude journal and am making the effort to improve my sleep. Mark’s book sounds like it is going to be next on my list to read. Thanks for all that you do!

  58. It is tough to be primal in a world that’s in denial, but each day I try to find my way to a little wooded area and connect with nature (so long as its not too wet outside (I live in England, land of rain), but my diet is the thing I try hardest to make a primal connection with: lunch tomorrow is sabre salad… Well ok, bacon on salad.

  59. I am so glad you shared this interview with Mark Sisson. I am a huge fan of his and of his books “The Primal Blueprint” and “The Primal Blueprint cookbook”. I am looking forward to reading his latest book as well.
    I make a daily primal connection with the world around me by sharing what I have learned about the primal lifestyle with everyone I come into contact with. I have also made a commitment to get outside everyday, even if it is only for 15 or 20 minutes.

  60. I like to mix things up. It keeps me aware of my moments. Listen to my surroundings while walking, pay attention to the sky, enjoy the beauty of food combinations while cooking, sit, stand, climb stairs, make a little art, read quietly, support my tribe.

  61. I have been trying to be present during my daily walking. It’s easy to get complacent when you walk the same route every day so I’m trying open my eyes and put away the phone!

  62. I am clearly not doing enough right now after listening to the podcast! My main focus has been getting enough sleep. I can’t wait to read the book.

  63. I stand often at work. As often as possible, I have a play session with my dogs. The two boys love to play keep away and tug-of-war with their chew ropes. One of them, a big sheppard mix, growls fiercely during tug-of-war, and seems to like it when I growl back. I know he’s just playing because he’s very careful not to bite me or tug too hard. On the few occasions his teeth have contacted my skin, he’s let go and backed off immediately, rarely even breaking the skin. But, boy does he sound ferocious! I can’t help but laugh.

  64. Eating according to the primal blueprint is a cinch for me. I’m trying to incorporate more movement, heavy lifting, and sprinting. Lots of barefooting too!

  65. This was a great podcast, I appreciate you bringing the concept of the ‘fire circle’ to the conversation. I would love to check out the Primal Connection!

  66. I just strive to be 90/10 or 80/20 in my food, I try to move a little every day, and I attempt to be present in the moment whenever I can.

  67. To connect primally to the world around me, I make a point to get outside every day. Whether that means sitting in the sun (this afternoon), going for a barefoot strider session (this morning), or bundling up for a walk in the frost (last month), I feel more grounded and clear-headed when I’ve made it into the great outdoors.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  68. The best podcast so far (no, I really love ALL OF THEM). I was listening to this one today TWICE!!! and it made me go on Amazon and order the Primal Connection even though I didn’t want to when it was released. I never really clicked with Mark Sisson’s approach (when I started being into paleo he was kinda the last one I discovered as a resource and probably for that reason I was more hooked with other paleo people) but after listening to this I have to say I was wrong. Can’t wait for the book to arrive!!!! Thanks!

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