Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
27 Jul

2011 News & Updates: The Growing Movement, New Books and What I’ve Been Up To

I turned 58 last week and, as I usually do around my birthday, I took some time to reflect upon all that I have to appreciate in my life and all that my Mark’s Daily Apple and team have accomplished in the last year. With that, I thought I’d hit a few highlights and bring you all up to date on some of what’s been happening at MDA and with the Primal Blueprint, as well as what’s in store for the near future.

But first things first. And let’s get this one out of the way early, ‘cause I get one or two of these every week.


I have heard you have gotten fat. And all the photos you have on the web are old. Please put up a recent photo with a recent newspaper.


No, I have not gotten fat in the last year and not all the photos are old. I chuckle (and often bristle) at the inane innuendo floating in the Interwebs: that I only use pictures from five or six years ago on MDA; that I was doped up when those pictures were taken; that I train way more than I admit to, or that I starve myself, etc. etc. Well, if you’re interested, here’s a picture of me taken yesterday (with copy of the LA Times to prove the date). And here’s one of me out on the paddleboard a few days ago. And here I am in the gym a few months ago. Do I look fat in these genes?

(FWIW, as much as I depend on the Internet to deliver you guys the straight scoop, it’s my pet theory that the Internet is actually history’s largest experiment in pure democracy – and it offers proof that democracy will ultimately fail, as everyone’s “right” to say whatever they want about anything or anyone eventually de-evolves us to an irresponsible, blaming Idiocracy). But I digress…) and Site Visits

Speaking of the Internet, the Primal/paleo movement continues to grow. In the past few months MDA has dipped under the 10,000 mark on Alexa, reaching 8,575 as of today. For those of you unfamiliar with Alexa, that basically means that of the 300 million websites in the world, we are unofficially ranked in the top 9,000 overall in traffic. According to Dr. Joe Mercola, we are the third most visited natural health site in the world, and notably ahead of, Life Extension Foundation, Andrew Weil and Deepak. July will have seen over 700,000 unique visitors for the month, and we are well on our way to a million uniques per month by year end.

Many thanks to everyone that has helped get MDA to where it is today. You, MDA readers, have played a huge role: sharing articles with friends, imploring family members to pay a visit, regularly dropping by yourself. So thank you! Conventional Wisdom has taken a beating, and it couldn’t have been done without you.

PAST Seminars

We launched our Saturday six-hour, intensive Primal Accelerated Success Trainings in February at Karma CrossFit in Manhattan Beach and followed that up with five more: Pleasant Hill, Reno, Kansas City, Seattle, and Austin. My chief Primal Blueprint editor and Primal Leap writing partner Brad Kearns led two of them, and I did the rest. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive throughout, as up to 75 people per event were deeply immersed in Primal Blueprint theory and practice. My intention was to have each person leave the seminar completely confident of his or her ability to handle any and all Primal hurdles forever. In the coming months we’ll announce a newer, “lite” version that will typically take place from 6:30-9:30 on a weeknight in a more downtown facility, so attendees won’t have to give up a whole weekend day.


PrimalCon was a huge success again this year. 83 people took the plunge and committed to a fun- filled, education-packed three day weekend at Oxnard Beach Park in April. The weather cooperated perfectly as our small groups – led by returning PrimalCon counselors – learned sprint technique from US Olympian Michael Stember, new kettlebell routines from Billy Vives, unique forms of bodywork and stealth training from Angelo dela Cruz, posture secrets from Esther Gokhale and cooking tips from Chef Rachel Matesz. Once again, renowned chef Oren Zroya made sure everyone was well fed with the best Primal foods possible. Plans now are to hold PrimalCon 2012 the weekend of April 13-15 again at Oxnard Beach Park. This year we will offer a wider range of sleeping accommodations and a few new twists. The details will be posted in the coming months.

New Cookbook

In May we released The Primal Blueprint Quick & Easy Meals cookbook, nearly a year after the release of the original Primal Blueprint Cookbook. Both have done well consistently and seem to be the missing link (gateway drug?) for many people who haven’t yet read The Primal Blueprint.

Hiked the Grand Canyon

In May Carrie, Devyn and I hiked into the Grand Canyon over a long weekend. It was every bit as spectacular as you’d expect one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World to be and I highly recommend hiking it if you have the chance. Of particular note, I did our 17 mile trek in my Vibram KSO Treks and they performed exceptionally well (no blisters, no sore arches, no Achilles issues). Don’t think I’ll ever wear hiking boots again.

Indy HIT Seminar

In June, I spoke at the Indy HIT Seminar. If you are interested in SuperSlow and/or High Intensity Training (the kind that Doug McGuff writes about in Body by Science), then Bo Railey’s annual Indy HIT Seminar is the place to go. It’s a two-day event that covers everything relevant to this unique and effective training method. Bo invited me to speak on diet and nutrition as it relates to that style of working out, which fits perfectly with the Primal Blueprint eating and exercise strategy.

More Great Books

I am pleased to announce that I will be publishing Denise Minger’s new book Death by Food Pyramid around the middle of 2012. We are both wildly excited about this project which will not only call on Denise’s unique set of analytical skills in destroying many of the “landmark” studies that CW hangs it’s hat on, but will trace the bizarre history behind the faulty US public policy-making regarding diet and health, and she’ll actually teach the reader how to take just about any study and critically review it from a layman’s perspective.

In November 2011, we will be introducing the Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation. This is a paperback guidebook/workbook geared more for newbies who don’t want – or need – all the science and theory and just want to cut to the chase. We’ve employed some of the strategies we’ve learned from the Primal Leap and the PAST Seminars to drill down to some key concepts (no, not the PB 10 Laws) and several action items with a day-to-day, “do this, don’t do that” approach. The idea is that after 21 days of doing everything by the book, you will have reprogrammed your genes to make you a fat-burning beast for the rest of your life (provided you stick to the plan).

In January, we will be launching the paperback version of The Primal Blueprint. The plan is to update the book with some success stories, several Primal lifestyle “hacks”, and other features.

Around June, 2012 we will introduce my new book The Primal Connection, the answer to “what’s next after the Primal Blueprint – you know, after I have that diet thing figured out?” Among other topics, The Primal Connection will explore how and why our modern lives have created such conflict with our hunter-gatherer brains and what specific actions we can take to realign ourselves with the hard-wired expectations of those 10,000 year-old genes. With this understanding, we can once again become the happy, loving, productive, fulfilled and satisfied person each of us longs to (and was meant to) be.

Finally, I will be attending the CrossFit Games this Friday and Saturday in Carson, CA, so stop by the Primal Blueprint booth and say hi (and get your copy of the PB autographed). And next Saturday (August 6), I will be one of many speakers at the inaugural Ancestral Health Symposium at UCLA. Maybe I’ll see you there.

That about covers the first half of 2011 and some of my plans for the next six months or so. Thanks for reading today, and let me know what you think in the comment board. Grok on!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. I got to meet Mark in person in Austin last month. Definitely not fat. :-) In fact even leaner than he looks in most of his pictures.

    Jim wrote on July 27th, 2011
    • awesome Mark! true inspiration,Ijusted turned 60 but nowhere near this look! what I would like to see is mark’s bfore pics would be cool!

      tcseacliff wrote on July 27th, 2011
      • he’s never been fat… and you can see his Runner’s World body (the 70s and 80s) in the archives.

        Milemom wrote on July 27th, 2011
  2. I find it absolutely hysterical that people think you are fat. Mark, I think you know what that is…

    Jealousy. 100% jealousy. Its kids my age and a bit older who want what you have.

    They just need to go primal.

    Primal Toad wrote on July 27th, 2011
    • Mark,

      My browser won’t load the photos – rockmelt – is anyone else having this problem.

      I am glad to hear Primal Con will be back next year! Lars, are you reading this? I remember our conversation at this years Primal Con – I’ll be the first one to sign up!

      Primal Toad wrote on July 27th, 2011
      • Also a RockMelt user and had no troubles loading the photos. As if you needed the spoilers, all you’re missing out is the fact that 1) Mark is definitely not fat; and 2) paddleboarding looks like a LOT of fun!

        Thomas wrote on July 27th, 2011
        • And he has terrible posture. The typical terrible posture of somebody showing off his abs…

          JD wrote on July 27th, 2011
        • yeah, he’s doing that just to demonstrate how freakin amazing his abs are, I’m sure his posture is perfectly fine otherwise.

          Jonah wrote on July 27th, 2011
    • +1
      Jealousy is totally it! Heck…I’m jealous of you Mark!

      Lindsey wrote on July 27th, 2011
    • I AGREE!!Primal is the way to live!!!

      Terri McCann wrote on July 27th, 2011
  3. Thanks for the update Mark! Belated Happy B-day — you look great man. Very inspirational!

    Zach wrote on July 27th, 2011
  4. Wow, busy busy. Great stuff. I hike in my vibrams, love it! Nothing better.

    Mary Hone wrote on July 27th, 2011
  5. It’s nice to hear what you’re up to, Mark. Those pictures are fabulous!

    Peggy The Primal Parent wrote on July 27th, 2011
  6. Doug McGuff had this to say on his blog in June this year:

    “After I finished my workout, I got to watch Mark Sisson do a 3 set WOW. Mark is so lean that it is like taking an anatomy and kinesiology lesson when you watch him work out.”

    Need anyone say more?

    Jessica wrote on July 27th, 2011
  7. You’re 58?!?!?! That number’s a lot higher than I expected–and that’s a good thing, right?

    I think the continued success of MDA is a great thing for the world we live in. Keep up the good work!

    “Death by Food Pyramid” is a fantastic title. Can’t wait to read it!

    Anne wrote on July 27th, 2011
    • I love the title also, I almost experienced it. :) The Food Pyramid took me to Type 2 Diabetes and a heart attack.

      Nancy wrote on July 27th, 2011
    • Yes, I am so looking forward to her book!

      Jules wrote on July 28th, 2011
  8. Mark: What a lot you’ve accomplished. I admire what you’ve done and all you have in the works. You are a big part of the well-being of so many people Grok on! Susan

    Susan Alexander wrote on July 27th, 2011
  9. Happy belated Birthday!

    cTo wrote on July 27th, 2011
  10. Wowzer, looking HOT in those pictures!!!
    Holy crap! :-)

    Thanks to you, Mark, I am on my way to a healthier me. My life has turned 180 degrees since finding MDA. I also bought your book, which I found very informative.
    Because of MDA I was able to cure every ailment of my body and digestive tract, and was able to find the ‘cure’ for my facial pain that has plagued me my entire life.
    With a primal diet I am able to remodel my dental arch and facial bones (through SPE) a lot more sufficiently and without ANY worries. I am forever thankful for the information you share.

    Primal Palate wrote on July 27th, 2011
  11. Damn! I was going to go to the CrossFit Games this weekend, but realized I had stuff going on already. I’ll tell the people I know and send them to your booth.

    PrimalArturo wrote on July 27th, 2011
  12. Mark,

    You even BETTER than you did 5 years ago.

    Please bring your workshops to Canada.

    Gina Farrugia wrote on July 27th, 2011
    • Make that WESTERN Canada too!

      Great update .. inspirational!

      Andrew wrote on July 27th, 2011
    • Yes please, bring the workshops to Canada.

      Charlie wrote on July 28th, 2011
  13. Is it possible for the 21-Day Total Body Transformation to work for a 71 year old female?

    I should be a real test for your book. I’ll be sure to take before and after pics. No bikinis though. No one wants to see that.

    Ever since I hit 70 I can feel myself getting weaker and weaker. It is hard to stay motivated to work out because everything hurts and working out is boring for me as well.

    I am totally getting why old people head for the rocking chair. Me, I would rather stay active.

    I am looking forward to having your book nag me for 21 days to improve my somewhat decrepit body. I should be ‘looking good in my genes’ by the holidays. Hope springs eternal.

    I love the title of Minger’s book. It is perfect. I wonder if Denise Minger’s publicity person will be able to get her on a TV and radio book tour.

    If that happens it would be nice to have a schedule of her spots posted on this site. I have a feeling this book may cause big trouble. I can’t wait.

    Sharon wrote on July 27th, 2011
    • I can’t wait to see your before and after pics Sharon!

      FoCo Girl wrote on July 27th, 2011
    • It’s never too late to start!!!
      There’s ALOT of us in the 50+, 60+ & beyond age groups.
      today is always a good day to start a self-improvement change. go for it Sharon!!

      peggy wrote on July 27th, 2011
    • I’m 68 and primal works for me.

      Harry wrote on July 27th, 2011
    • It’s definitely never too late to start! Google Arthur DeVany…he’s often called the “grandfather of the paleo eating movement” and at 73 is in better shape than I am in my late 20s! Definitely don’t wait for the new book to start either…before I even got my hands on a copy of Primal Blueprint, I was slowly easing into the primal lifestyle by experimenting with various foods, exercises, and supplements I was reading about here on MDA. Then, when I got the book, I was ready to turn it up a notch! Good luck! :)

      Chase wrote on July 27th, 2011
    • There is no time that a change in lifestyle won’t work for anyone at any point in their life. Just like smoking. Whenever you stop is a good time, and today is better than tomorrow. Just get after it! We’re all around for such a short time – best to spend it in the best condition we possibly can!

      Hal wrote on July 27th, 2011
    • Hey go girl! I am 60 and still 90 pounds overweigh and I refuse to head for the rocker. We can still be fit and well.

      Nancy wrote on July 27th, 2011
    • Sharon, I’d suggest taking change gradually – I think for older people (from my experience) sudden change can be a bit difficult – you’ve got to supplement with probiotics and give your gut flora, liver and gall bladder time to ajust to the new regime – but otherwise, go for it! You’ll probably be kicking on at 100 so that’ll give you thirty years of improved health, right!

      Helen wrote on July 27th, 2011
      • Wow…thanks everyone for all the encouragement.

        I have been eating primal for 2 or 3 years so have that mastered. I do walk everywhere I go in the village I live in. I garden on a boulder strewn hilly yard. I climb at a minimum, 10 flights of stairs a day getting in and out of our house and up and down the 3 floors. I hand shovel the snow off our rather large driveway in the winter. But, I know I need to push myself to do more. All these things are erratic except for the stair climbing.

        Start today? Agreed. That would be my advice to myself. In fact I have given myself that advice many times. Do I listen? Sometimes but then I get off track for various reasons. I’m thinking Mark’s book might give me the structure I need. Come to think of it, I don’t like structure. Hmmm.

        I think I need to just push through and get strong and flexible enough so I can do the WOW’s or whatever I find to keep me interested to keep going, if that makes sense.

        I think you all just got me to figure out what I need to do. So thanks. Yea…now I just need to get there. Strong and flexible. Here I come.

        Sharon wrote on July 28th, 2011
        • Sharon, be sure to have your Vitamin D checked. That can explain the aches & pains. Even daily sun exposure may not be enough to maintain optimal levels. I went to an endocrinologist convinced I had thyroid issues… thyroid was fine but I was shocked to learn that my Vitamin D was extremely low. 2 months of supplements and am now at the low end of normal.

          Sarah wrote on August 8th, 2011
    • I’m 65 and still proudly wear a bikini, a dainty brazilian outfit. it means a lot of work and good care, but anyone can do it, it’s just a lifestyle with a portion of perseverance and endurance.
      go on, you can do it

      Conceicao wrote on July 29th, 2011
  14. Happy Birthday, Mark! My success is directly attributed to yours and so thanks for all the cool stuff you’ve taught me.

    Kate wrote on July 27th, 2011
  15. I believe you look even better on the new pictures. Like a good wine; are you getting better with age? I am 53 and you are an inspiration for me. Thanks!!!

    Carlos wrote on July 27th, 2011
  16. I am so excited about all the things you’ve accomplished and all the things you are still working on! I have hope for the future of nutrition with so many amazing resources available to the public through you and MDA.

    So many people around my husband and me are seeing the difference the primal lifestyle has made for us, in only a few months, and they are starting to open up and want to know more. We keep pointing them to MDA and some are starting to make the change. It’s so wonderful! Thank you for all that you do!

    Oh, and I LOVE “Death by Food Pyramid” too. :-)

    Jessica wrote on July 27th, 2011
  17. This is fantastic news! Really looking forward to “Death by Food Pyramid” and “The Primal Connection” Can’t wait!

    Sara B. wrote on July 27th, 2011
  18. My abs flexed after viewing your picture. Dunno exactly what that means

    Aaron (Grok Mendoza) wrote on July 27th, 2011
    • Okay…that actually made me laugh out loud!

      Pam wrote on July 27th, 2011
  19. You are now equal with Chuck Norris in the “made of awesome” category. Thanks for being an inspiration.
    I only hope that friends and relatives that I’ve directed to this site take advantage of all the free help here instead of doubting the obvious evidence. I’ve seen more justification for staying gone wheat and sugar than I do for cigarettes!

    Dave, RN wrote on July 27th, 2011
  20. Mark:

    One thing I’d love to see you do:

    Offer Primal Fuel in single serving envelopes. For easy carrying around, and especially travel.

    Any plans for this? Hope so. Thanks, and happy belated birthday!


    Susan Alexander wrote on July 27th, 2011
  21. Damn, primal does a body good. Ahem. /drool

    Nion wrote on July 27th, 2011
  22. Mark, the reason MDA is doing so well is your writing and your ideas, plain and simple. There are plenty of paleo sites out there, but your site challenges us to think and explore our lives in new and exciting ways, and that’s why I keep coming back. Happy birthday!

    Susan Morgan wrote on July 27th, 2011
  23. Shit. Stopped reading after I looked at those pics. I ate an ice cream 10 minutes ago. Getting back on the program starting…!

    Ken Lawler wrote on July 27th, 2011
  24. You look fantastic Mark! Thanks for the constant inspiration.

    Jim N. wrote on July 27th, 2011
  25. Mark, thanks for debunking those nay sayers. I am 61 and continue to lose weight on the Primal blueprint and even have my wife on it, making great meals, and full of energy. I started in December at over 230 pounds and am now just under 200 and feeling fine. And my blood sugar is normalized. Doctor doesn’t get it, but I just smile and say it’s all diet and exercise. I won’t tell him which diet though! Keep up the great work and the inspiring stories.

    Ron McCallum wrote on July 27th, 2011
  26. Stoked about the upcoming books! Will there be a Primal Challenge this year?

    musajen wrote on July 27th, 2011
    • Great question. Yes, probably a 30-day challenge in September. They’re a lot of work to do, so if I do another one this year it will probably be a little scaled back from the daily prizes and contests and challenges and puzzles and articles, etc., that we did last year. We’ll see. Stay tuned!

      Mark Sisson wrote on July 27th, 2011
      • I was wondering the same thing. I’ve been telling a lot of people at work about it, and how much fun it was last year, so hopefully there will be another one! It will be great to participate in the contests with people from my office..get everyone moving and eating right!

        primalpal wrote on July 27th, 2011
  27. Wow! I am excited about all of these upcoming things. The best part is that you said these are only “some” of your plans.

    Looking forward to everything you put out, Mark!

    Chris wrote on July 27th, 2011
  28. Now they will say you Photoshopped that photo of you with the Times, lol!

    Congrats, Mark! You deserve it after all the hard work and dedication. I’m so happy both for you and that you’re message is spreading. :)

    Naomi Niles wrote on July 27th, 2011
  29. So based on these pics, actually you are even MORE ripped than the older pics in the header would indicate. Hee hee. Awesome.

    And you look so cheerful in these smackdown-the-haters photos, too. Bonus points for that.

    I think people like to imply that you’re somehow secretly sliding downhill because they’re so desperate to “prove” that this doesn’t work. They’re reduced to trying to deny your personal progress instead.

    But even aside from your personal progress, there are so many success stories and photos of others maintaining or progressing happily using a primal approach… this kind of nitpicking just seems downright comedic to me.

    Jenny wrote on July 27th, 2011
    • The thing that gets me is: even if he was sliding slowly downhill at 58… how would that make him wrong? Most people never have the kind of body or health Mark has, even at 20. To sustain that into your late 50s is mind-blowingly counter to what CW would have us believe is possible.

      Mark proved the CWers wrong years ago, irrevocably. His continued vibrant and obvious health and strength as his age gets more advanced is icing on the cake.

      Uncephalized wrote on July 27th, 2011
  30. Great year with another one to look forward too. Primal had me laughing at the “Doctor’s” diet advice, when I was done with him he was going online to buy primal blueprint, i loved it. Keep us charged up. Thanks

    rking wrote on July 27th, 2011
  31. First, nice pics…we never doubted!

    Second, so excited for the new books coming out. Its always nice to have new things to read and pass out to non believers!! The 21 Day book will be out just in time to make great Christmas gifts!! And help me get my pre-pregnancy body back after third one is born in Dec!

    Thanks for everything MDA!!

    The Real Food Mama wrote on July 27th, 2011
  32. Great pictures, Mark.
    You sure have been busy, and we’re loving it. Keep up the great work!

    chocolatechip69 wrote on July 27th, 2011
  33. Happy birthday Mark. I’m 38 and wish I looked like you at 58! Glad to hear the Primal movement is taking over the world. It has changed my life, so thank you.

    skink531 wrote on July 27th, 2011
  34. I’m a big supporter of what you are doing, own all the cookbooks, etc.

    What I don’t own is a Grok sticker on my car; a Grok waterbottle in my pack, etc.

    I’m curious why MDA doesn’t sell some of this type if stuff – it would give us a chance to spread the word, perhaps generate some questions leading to new believers, etc.

    John wrote on July 27th, 2011
  35. You’re HOT! I vote for “photographic evidence day” once a week; just to really prove the haters wrong, right?

    amanda wrote on July 27th, 2011
    • Or to continuously feed your fantasy of being with Mark! : )

      morgan wrote on July 28th, 2011
  36. Those pictures are an inspiration Mark!

    Chris wrote on July 27th, 2011
  37. Dayuuuummm. Awesome shape, in the literal, best sense of the word.

    Randy Couture comes to mind. I wonder is he on the primal diet…

    Primateus wrote on July 27th, 2011
  38. Congratz on the Alexa numbers. Denise Minger’s new book topic sounds awesome and I look forward to reading it. *cheers*

    RowanF wrote on July 27th, 2011
  39. Saw himself in person in late May, has not changed a bit.

    IvyBlue wrote on July 27th, 2011
  40. Great job on successfully getting the primal word out to so many who benefit from it, myself very much included.

    Fat…that’s funny. You could easily pass for someone half your age! Happy birthday.

    Kristen wrote on July 27th, 2011

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