10 Last-Minute Primal Gift Ideas

Grok GiftI do a gift list every year on Mark’s Daily Apple, and each time I try to put a fresh spin on it. Last year, each of the 10 Primal Blueprint Laws got a corresponding gift. Two years back, I separated the gifts into stocking stuffers and bigger ticket items. This year, since it’s getting to be that time, and lots of you have waited til the last minute, I’ve put together a list of last-minute gift ideas. These are items that, if ordered by today, should arrive (at least in the continental US) by the 24th of December. Unlike most last-minute gifts, these are actually legitimately good and useful items that any Primal (or otherwise health conscious) person would be happy to receive. And you don’t have to wade through the frightening morass of desperate humanity that frequents brick-and-mortar stores in the days leading up to the holidays.

Oh, and just because these are presumed to be gift ideas for other people, don’t think you can’t treat yourself to a gift or two. First up, I’ve got a special Primal Fuel holiday announcement to make…

Primal Fuel

Primal FuelBack when I first released Primal Fuel, I pledged to lower the price when and where I could (without cutting any corners on quality) through volume sales and larger ingredient buys. With the fabulous testimonials and a significant number of you on autoship, I’m pleased to announce that I’m now able to reduce the price by a further $10. Hopefully, with this price reduction, the number of MDA readers who already enjoy and rely on Primal Fuel will grow even larger. After all, the Primal Blueprint is not about recreation or reenactment of ancient life. Grok isn’t the final word; he’s just the starting point. Ultimately, the Primal Blueprint is about taking cues from evolutionary biology and modern clinical research to arrive at the best place possible. And Primal Fuel is simply a delicious, convenient way to obtain healthy coconut fat and gold standard whey protein without going overboard on the carbohydrates.

In addition to the price reduction, I’ve also put together a special limited-time offer. Through the end of the year, going on automatic delivery (which you can cancel at anytime) for Primal Fuel will get you a free copy of The Primal Blueprint 90-Day Journal AND a free copy of The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation. And you’ll receive the Primal Fuel Blender Bottle for free as well. This is the perfect way to help you or a lucky gift recipient get a jump start on 2013 health and fitness goals. Just add the Primal Fuel to your shopping cart through this link and both books will automatically be added to your order at no additional cost. (For new Primal Fuel automatic delivery orders only.)

Note: If you are already on automatic delivery for Primal Fuel your future shipments will be dropped to the new $69 price. Happy holidays!

This special offer expired on Dec. 31, 2012.

Omni Red Palm Oil

Red Palm OilIn spite of its rich full-spectrum vitamin E (tocopherols and tocotrienols) and CoQ10 contents, red palm oil gets a bad rap sometimes. It has a funny taste that’s difficult to hide, so it has to be a feature of whatever dish you’re making. Plus, the most common source of palm oil – Southeast Asia – is plagued with sustainability issues. Natural forests are destroyed to make way for the palm plantations, and those forests are home to some of the most intelligent, sensitive, awesome great apes on the planet: orangutans. More than the other apes, I’ve always been partial to orangutans. They seem like wise men of the forest, solitary saintly hirsute figures that regard you from their tree-top nests and make you reevaluate your own life. They’re also being killed in droves because of palm oil, which has turned a lot of people off from a particularly nutritious source of fat. Luckily, Omni palm oil comes from Ghana, a nation without orangutans and without palm oil sustainability issues.

iPad Blue Blocking Filter

Imagine if you were transported back to the upper Paleolithic with an iPad in tow (this is not a Terminator-style time machine, so you can keep your clothes and belongings). Assuming you could still get service from the future, you’d be like a god. You could predict lunar and solar events, post to Primal message boards about what paleo man really ate, show them funny cat videos, and take sweet photos of real life Groks in hunting poses using hip Instagram filters. You’d be like the Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, only more so. Of course, you’d probably also disrupt the heck out of their sleep. You’d all be crowded around the blue glow of the screen as the campfire flames died out, ignored and forgotten. Melatonin production would halt, and you’d have created an entire tribe of groggy-morninged night owls with severe insulin resistance. My point? Technology is great, but it comes with a price. If someone who’s got you scouring your mind looking for the perfect gift insists on using their iPad before bed, the least you can do is buy them a filter that blocks the hormone-disrupting blue light.

Nature’s Garden: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants

Nature's Garden

Forget organic versus conventional: for sheer nutritional content, nothing beats wild plants. Being able to go on a hike and spot all the edible plants, herbs, and other things that grow is empowering. I can’t do it, mind you, but it’s got to be a helpful skill to have. It’s also nice not to have to kowtow to the whims of those overbearing, fascistic farmers market vendors (kidding) and instead be able to go “shopping” for the freshest greens money can’t buy whenever you want. This particular guide – Nature’s Garden – to wild edible plants comes highly recommended, so give it to someone who you think will really utilize its knowledge.

ProSource Exercise Fitness Gymnastic Rings

Gymnastic Rings

Put aside, for a moment, the awkward product name that looks like it was spawned in an SEO guy’s nether regions (“I know, let’s call ’em Exercise Fitness Rings!”), and consider that gymnastic rings are perhaps the best all purpose upper body strengthening tool around. If you don’t believe me, find a set and try to do a few dips. Simply holding yourself up at the top of the dip position is surprisingly tough for beginners. You’ll shake and tremble and quake up there, suddenly forced to reckon with your own body weight and a floppy, ever-moving base of “support.” That’s the thing about rings: you have to create the base of support. It’s not attached to the ground. It’s not made of steel. It’s suspended from two dangly cords that simply will not stop moving around and taking advantage of every tiny shift of imbalance you provide. Plus, you can take these portable rings everywhere you go for a fantastic workout.

The Primal Blueprint Chef Kit

The Primal Blueprint Chef KitI may be biased, but this is an objectively great deal. You get all three Primal Blueprint cookbooks PLUS a Primal Blueprint Apron, a newly-designed Primal Blueprint Poster, and a Primal Blueprint Shopping List and Pen, all for less than the cost of the three cookbooks. This is perfect for anyone who’s ever asked, “How can you eat this way? What do you even eat?” Three books of full-color photos and descriptive recipes will provide a quick and timely answer.

Feel free to keep the freebies and distribute the cookbooks as you see fit.

Dunecraft Dome Herb Terrarium

Herb TerrariumAs I’ve mentioned before, herbs don’t just add flavor to dishes; they are antioxidants in their own right, protecting fragile fats and reducing the formation of carcinogenic compounds during cooking. Only problem is, fresh herbs seem to go bad really quickly, far before you’re able to use them all. You spend ten bucks on some sage, rosemary, thyme, and tarragon for a specific recipe, and you only end up using a couple tablespoons of each. Such a waste. Sure, you could keep dried herbs on hand, but those aren’t as good as fresh. If your giftee’s got a brown thumb but still wants fresh herbs at arm’s reach, the herb terrarium is a no-frills, impossible-to-mess-up option. Plus, the extra seeds mean they can keep growing more herbs once the original ones have died out. They get enough terrarium experience under their belt and starting a real garden shouldn’t be much of a stretch. “Teach a man to fish….”

Instant Pot IP-LUX60 6-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker

Slow CookerMany of you guys know you should be making stews with tougher, cheaper cuts, doing bone broth, and finally using those oxtails you’ve had in your freezer for months, but those are all considerably demanding of your time. You’d love to be able to hang around in the kitchen for hours, taking the time to lovingly prepare difficult dishes, but you probably don’t have the time to do it. Modern life demands much of us, and some people adapt by eating fast food, cooking frozen meals, and generally letting their nutrition fall the wayside. But not MDA readers. You guys want the best of both worlds: you want to cook amazingly nutritious meals while still retaining enough free time to handle the demands of a busy life. Enter pressure cookers. Pressure cookers cut cooking time by reducing the boiling point without applying ungodly amounts of heat (less than crockpots on the low setting, in fact). Pressure cookers also preserve nutrients. This particular model comes highly regarded.

iGrill Cooking Thermometer

iGrillWe often like to consider ourselves artists in the kitchen who can’t be bothered with recipes or temperatures. We just “go by feeling,” or something like that. But you know what? Sometimes knowing for sure what’s going on in the oven is smart. Sometimes knowing the exact temperature of the interior of that roast or that turkey will result in better tasting food. It’s not as sexy, but it’s far more reliable. This particular cooking thermometer interacts with your iOS device, so you can leave the kitchen and your phone will beep when it’s ready. Just don’t put the phone in the oven.

If your giftee doesn’t have an iPhone or other iOS device, this old standby works pretty well, too.

Self-Massage Kit – RAD Roller and VooDoo Floss Bands

Rad Roller and VooDoo Floss Bands

Everybody loves a good massage administered by a competent masseuse, but those are generally one-shot deals. You get your massage and you’re done. If you want another, you’ll have to pay for it. That can add up. However, just because you aren’t trained in massage and physical therapy doesn’t mean you can’t help yourself out with the assistance of a couple simple tools. It won’t be as effective as a professional working on you, but it’s certainly better than wallowing in your own pain and accepting poor tissue quality. The RAD Roller is a more concentrated form of foam roller. It hits hard to reach spots, like the hamstrings, that the foam roller can’t effectively hit. Plus, if you’re unsure of how to address your tissue issues, the RAD Roller comes with a PDF guide showing you the basics. Then, once you mash your tissues and iron out any tough spots, you can move on to the VooDoo Floss Bands for improving movement quality. Wrap a body part, like the quads or the ankles, and move. Squat, or lunge, or just put that body part through a full range of motion with the floss bands compressing the tissues. Then, remove the bands and see how much more fluid the same movement has become. Floss bands also help push lymphatic fluid away from injured tissues, thereby improving the healing process.

That’s this year’s list, folks. If you’re still looking for ideas check out the just released Primal Blueprint Hoodie and the Primal Blueprint “Adapt or Get Dropped” Men’s Performance Workout T-Shirt (women’s workout shirts coming soon) Now, get on those orders; you don’t have much time left!

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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69 thoughts on “10 Last-Minute Primal Gift Ideas”

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    1. If you’re into the Rad roller concept please also check out the Body Wrench. It’s similar but a bit more customizable and functional. I have had mine for a few months and really rely on it. I did buy two of them and the resistance exercises are quite a challenge too.

  1. I bought a primal book for my mom for her birthday and though she said she would read it, she never did. I think I am done giving primal gifts to people who don’t want to go primal or else I’ll become that guy. This list is a great list of things for me to buy myself though. I am eyeing those gymnastic rings. I once tried to do some dips on gymnastic rings and they were so hard. A friend at the gym who was watching me said I looked like an idiotic bird trying to fly because my arms were flapping so much.

    1. Haha! I did the same thing. I sent my mom Primal Blueprint for her birthday and I dont think she ever opened the cover.

    2. Me too! I’ve given some to my brother (who really, really NEEDS them), but I don’t think he’s even read them. He is on loads of drugs for chron’s disease and eats like crap. So frustrating!!!

    3. Second that about gifting the PB to my mom, my aunt, two friends, and one complete stranger. I tell myself that the stanger has read it and is thriving.

      Additionally I even gave my family members at total of 3 primal cookbooks and “How to Eat Like A Dinosaur” because they “never know” what I eat. You can guess how many primal dishes have been made not by me.

      Originally I was angry but then I decided not be because they were gifts. Chalk it up to a misallocation of resources on my part. I did ask them to pass the book along or donate it their local library if they are not going to use it though. Nothing can stop a good idea when the time is right.

      1. Gotta tell you, I have to wait weeks on end to get one of Mark’s books from the library. They are in high demand, or there may only be one copy within the county network here. I can never renew a book either. Mark’s books are sold here in a ‘health food store’. . . but I guess my committment along with budget constraints need to be dealt with. Yes, donate unused books to your local library! Thanks!

      2. Sometimes doing the right thing simply means keeping ideas alive until their time comes around. By far, the hardest “conversions” and even conversations are about food. Food is so much more than nutrition for most people.

        We went low carb about 10 years ago and slid neatly into Paleo from there. Family members just aren’t there and may never be there.

        I’m (mostly) content to eat properly and teach my children well. I will very occasionally mention Paleo in the context of discussions about illness (usually theirs) but for the most part, people really need to go looking before they are ready to accept idea that they are what they eat.

    4. i always use these guides as a list for myself as opposed to trying to convert! or maybe just save it for people who are already following the lifestyle? people will ask when they are ready. i remember looking on this site earlier this year but i wasn’t there yet. this time, i took to it immediately and started primal the next day with no problem! it’s all good. more meat and yummy food for us!
      happy holiday!

  2. Herb some is one of those why didn’t I come up with ideas!

  3. I’m interested in those voodoo bands, but (1) I’m not too sure how to best use them through my exercises routines and (2) am afraid they’ll rip all my leg hairs out. lol.

      1. Haha true. I wonder if just those regular elastic workout bands would do the same thing….not the tube shaped bands but the flat resistance bands that are in strips.

  4. Better than the pressure cooker is the Sous Vide Supreme, talk about turning tough cuts into butter! I use mine all the time, it’s amazing.

    1. I am about to get one sent to me for their recipe showdown, I am going to cook up a storm in that thing 🙂

  5. I am all over the pressure cooker. I got one for christmas last year and it is hands-down my favorite appliance. I can’t say enough good things about it! Get one for yourself!

  6. “the awkward product name that looks like it was spawned in an SEO guy’s nether regions”

    LOL. My thoughts exactly. I’d like some of those rings though.

  7. This year I’ve opted out of spending assloads of money on Christmas gifts (as is customary in my family) and have decided to go the home-made route… it’s not too late! I spent the latter half of yesterday canning a giant batch of “dilly carrots”. I’m going to package these with some infused liquors that I’m going to make within the next three days (super easy to do and takes almost no time) and one or two other homemade condiments (thai chili sauce, garlic jelly). It might seem like a daunting task if you have kids and a job and general holiday craziness to deal with, but I promise it’s doable.

    1. Right on! Yours are delicious ideas…I like making bath salts: just Epsom salts, a high quality essential oil or 2, and perhaps a bit of natural food coloring, layered like sand art in a pretty glass container and voila: comfort in a bottle!…I love crafts and the joyful bonding of sharing it with friends, so…making wreaths as gifts was very fun for my 7 neighbors last Sunday! Just a $7. form, some pins and endless free leaves, flowers, beads & ribbons. I wish you all a holiday full of Peace & Love, simplicity & joy that ripples in and out, lasting all year.

  8. “Pressure cookers cut cooking time by reducing the boiling point without applying ungodly amounts of heat (less than crockpots on the low setting, in fact).”

    This is exactly the opposite of how it works. Pressure cookers cut cooking time by increasing the boiling point and thus applying more heat.

    1. It’s obvious Mark didn’t take (or has forgotten) Physics 101. You’re right. Water boils at 212 degrees F. at atmospheric pressure (sea level, lower in Denver). You simply can’t heat it any higher. It turns to steam. But increase the pressure and voila, you can heat it to 300 or 400 degrees. That’s why foods cook faster.

    2. Its difficult to understand how something could work to cook quicker by applying less heat (perhaps it was thought that the heat is PRESSED into the food?).

  9. that’s a shame, went on auto-ship for the fuel a month and a half ago. Also looking for an update from those who ordered the 3-7 copies of the new cookbook, did you receive your apron/wristband yet?

    1. Haven’t been contacted for the magazine sub. or a couple of the other offers. The ones for the $10 promo code and audio blueprint came through right away.

    2. The sponsor promotional bonuses and the physical bonuses that are being shipped are on their way. Expect to receive them no later than the end of the month, and likely any day now.

  10. “the thousands and thousands of MDA readers who have already enjoyed Primal Fuel will grow even larger.”

    Hmmmm, larger muscles, I hope 🙂

  11. Interesting about the red palm oil from Ghana… I didn’t know that was a source.

    I’ve never bought palm oil in my life due to the sustainability issues (ransacking forrests & yes, the orangutans – so sad!).

  12. My dog would LOVE that RAD Roller.
    It would get into all the hard to reach places – between her teeth.

    Seriously, though – that pressure cooker looks awesome. I, however, am holding out for a vintage stovetop model. It’s not really primal cooking without at least a small element of danger.

  13. Folks,

    I love Mark’s idea on the blue filter for your electronics – I’ve actally been doing this for about 6 mo. with great results. However – no physical filters were required in my case. If your iPhone or iPad is jailbroken (or you can give yourself or someone you love the gift of jailbreaking for Christmas), there’s a little app called ‘f.lux’ that actually applies the blue-filter / Kelvin reduction via software right on the phone. And it can even progressively adjust the filtering to be stronger as time goes on such that by the time you’re reading in bed at night, your phone is down at A nice, candle- like 2700K making for a very non-blue, non-sleep- disrupting iDevice experience.

    ** And if I’m not mistaken ‘f.lux’ is free and available on Android devices as well…

    – Blaiser

    1. On the topic of cool software, my two favorites are Applian and Handbrake. (Handbrake is free!)

      Applian Replay Capture Suite is a suite of really useful recording applications that allows you to record any streaming source on a PC. Truly ANY STREAMING SOURCE!

      Handbrake is video compression software I use to reduce my video recordings, sometimes as much a 10 fold. Plus one can customize the output file format for TV, iPod, youTube, etc.

      Applian ranks up there with the best $79 I ever spent.

  14. The holiday season is one of my favorite times of the year. Gifts & spending time with family makes me happy.

    The red palm oil as a gift is an interesting concept. I’m sure it will test the kitchen creativity of any lover of cooking.

    Happy Holidays everyone!

  15. I like Elizabeth’s idea. Making Christmas gifts at home seems a lot more Primal than going out and buying some gadget.

  16. I made jars of Ras el Hanout from “Well Fed” by Melissa Joulwan (theclothemakethegirl) for Christmas gifts. Included her website on the gift card so there will hopefully be more primal converts in my spheres. 🙂

    1. Brilliant idea! Homemade gifts shows the recipient that they are well worth the time and effort.

  17. I want the voodoo bands and RAD roller sooo bad, I would love those to help with my hamstrings (which I frequently hurt doing sprints), my dip elbow, and my back which needs to stay loose with all the powerlifting that I do. They are so expensive though. Has anyone used them? I am on the fence..

  18. There’s a stovetop smoker that’s less than $50 on Amazon that gets great reviews that I 100% intend on buying after I move into my new place… I think it’d make a great gift for anyone who’s culinarily inclined!

  19. I have read (or rather, I tried to read) the book on harvesting wild plants. I found it to be unfortunately specific to the author’s climate and not at all applicable to where I lived at the time (Southern Missouri). I think it’s a lovely idea and probably the definitive source for that region (it was definitely North…I’m thinking Pacific Northwest but that may not be correct), but it may not be useful for most of us.

  20. Cannot find any information on using Paypal to buy the Primal Fuel. If it is possible, please send me an email or post it on an article. The comment threads quickly become huge.

    1. PayPal isn’t a payment option, Txomin. I’m upgrading PrimalBlueprint.com early next year, and adding it is on the to-do list. In the meantime, you can call my office at 888-774-6259 and they can help you with your order.

      1. Thank you for the quick reply, Mark. I will have to wait until Paypal is accepted. Greetings from Japan.

  21. Pressure Cookers. I’m very much interested in getting one.

    Sally Fallon, author of “Nourishing Traditions” lists the pressure cooker as kitchen equipment to be avoided. The statement is brief and does not say why, other than “Traditional cuisines always call for a long, slow cooking of grains and legumes”. I know, paleo avoid grains and legumes. Check.

    But what about quickly cooking starches like tubers, or making a bone broth or sterilizing glass jars I’ll use to ferment in? I searched MDA but did not find any negative info. Thoughts?

      1. Thank you KristenM, I totally whiffed on the info. Ain’t gonna lie, been hitting the primal eggnog with a lots of tasty alcohol and I article skimmed. I love eggnog with bourbon. Yummy yummy I have bourbony eggnog in my tummy!

  22. I also made homemade gifts. I made the seasoning from p.45 from Aromatic Chicken and put it in little shakers. I also made healthy versions of cookies in a jar. I have had good success with getting family and friends to try out some healthy foods, like coconut oil and flour and almond flour, but it’s slow. I just make foods for others and then share what’s in it. It at least gets them interested.

  23. These are great! I love this blog. My favorite was the ipad blue filter, but we also used to live in Africa so we like the red palm oil too. 🙂

  24. My coworkers are each getting a bag of Tanka bites.

    My brother and his family are getting a county parks pass — unlimited use of the county parks for free.

    Giving primal gifts without getting in people’s faces about it.

    I wanted the give candy this year but I have been having a hard time getting myself to finish it. I realized that it goes against my new-found principles. It’s not good for the people that I give it to, and it is very bad for me. When I make candy, I just must take on the arduous roles of taste-tester and quality control! And before I know it, I’m elbow deep in fast food grease and 30% of my weight loss has been erased. Well, no more! Next year, I’m giving flowers.

  25. Now that we have gotten together with family over the holidays, I found out that a cousin has lost 20 pounds on the Primal diet since I shared the idea of him doing it this summer, to loose weight and help with some medical issues he was concerned with. You never know who is going to step on board to our way of eating and living.

    1. Talking with people about Paleo seems to work best when you simply mention the idea in the way you’d plant a seed, do a little initial watering and fertilizing and then walk away. Ultimately, they have to tend to the “plant” of their lives. 🙂

  26. Bought myself some gymansatic rings from ebay few days ago. Cannot wait to to use them. I recently got a PS3 as a treat but i’m much more excited at the idea of trying ring muscle-ups (and no doubt failing) swinging from a tree in my local park.
    This is what primal does to you.

  27. ive had the above mentioned pressure / slow cooker for a couple years. i can attest to its awsomeness, and that its easy to clean.

  28. I get a gift card for Amazon from my boss each year, started out using $100 the first year to buy the PB books, last year I got $200 to buy the new versions and a few goodies. This year? $300 goes towards a sunrise simulator and that slow-cooker/pressure cooker contraption. Aww yiss! Not having to wait for the weekend to make bone broth!
    Next year maybe I should ask for cash and put it towards PrimalCon 2014?

  29. I could use that edible plants book. One of my “resolutions” is to regularly eat more wild food and maybe even briefly try eating only wild food. There’s a public planted ginko biloba tree I’ll be able to get berries from later this year.
    I’ve wanted gymnastic rings for a while. Similar things I’ve used as grips are towels, rope, and a bike lock cord strung over the bar or whatever.