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. You STILL look wonderfully healthy and way to handsome!!!!

    Rochelle wrote on July 27th, 2011
  2. Happy Birthday, Mark! :)

    Lee C. wrote on July 27th, 2011
  3. Would you ever consider a 30 day challenge for those looking to lose the last bit of flab (5-10lbs)… Or should we just look at daily IF from Leangains.. I am trying that but I am not sure if it is doing me more harm than good. I know it gets a lot harder for women and men and women in general when they get close to ideal weight.. but I am getting super frustrated. even broke up with my scale and now just take measurements and kicked all berries to the curb so I have no fruit at all.

    i would love some advise!

    Beth wrote on July 27th, 2011
    • Ooh, I would second a challenge for the last ten pounds. Nothing I seem to do shifts it.

      Alison Golden wrote on July 27th, 2011
  4. Such exciting news! I will be glad for primal to start to head into the mainstream.

    Emily Deans, M.D. wrote on July 27th, 2011
  5. Happy Birthday Mark.

    I haven’t heard any of the rumors you mentioned, but then I don’t spend much time in the rumor mill.

    I guess we need a new adage: Fat makes you lean, no fat makes you mean.

    Aaron Blaisdell wrote on July 27th, 2011
  6. Only one word came to mind while I browsed the new pics *WooooooooooW!* I’m only about a month and a bit into Primal eating, but I have to say that so far so good, I can see and feel my body changing, for the better, and I feel great! I sent some new pictures of myself to my boyfriend and he said I had lost weight and that it was really noticeable in my face, it wasn’t as full..I think he probably meant bloated lol. I’m amazed, the scale moves slowly but steadily, and I thought I hadn’t lost all that much really, but it was a nice pick me up to hear that! I was all YAY! Good encouragement to keep at it and I WILL!

    canuck wrote on July 27th, 2011
  7. Happy Birthday – and thanks for all of your hard work!! I’m really looking forward to The Primal Connection (not that I’ve got all of the diet stuff worked out yet) …

    Primal Yogini wrote on July 27th, 2011
  8. Go, Mark! Thank you. Look forward to the new books. The paperback will make it much easier to give them as presents.

    I disagree with you about democracy, but it does depend on decent education. which is a human right, but which we have let be stolen from us. We get lots of envious, malicious cowards because we educate them to be like that — with movies, TV, violent video games, porn, etc, etc, etc. shock jocks, all of it. What do we expect? Sad.

    Thanks for setting a great example in both the technical specifics and in the good character you demonstrate every single day in MDA. Your positivity and thoughtful tone are always a breath of fresh air.

    slacker wrote on July 27th, 2011
    • Well said.

      Annette wrote on July 27th, 2011
  9. That is awesome about the website stats, although I am not surprised! I often recommend this site. I have always wondered though why the name “daily apple” when you don’t seem to eat them. Maybe “Mark’s Daily Mac Nut” would be a better name!

    I just tried searching this site to see if there was ever an explanation, but couldn’t seem to find one. Any one else know?

    fuirdauter wrote on July 27th, 2011
    • The Daily Apple is a play on “Daily News” and “an apple a day…” I started the site back in 2006 with no idea what it would develop into. If I could do it all over again I might choose a different title, but I think it still works.

      Mark Sisson wrote on July 27th, 2011
      • An apple a day keeps the doctor away…but this “Apple” does a better job!

        Hopeless Dreamer wrote on July 27th, 2011
  10. Happy belated birthday, Daddy Grok. You look marvelous darling!

    Dasbutch wrote on July 27th, 2011
  11. Mark, I was looking on the Symposium’s website to see if there would be a podcast of the talks. It says that the speakers will be able to decide if they want their talks online…PLEASE tell me you’ll make it available for those of us who can’t attend!

    Lindsey wrote on July 27th, 2011
  12. That is great that Denise Minger has a book coming out. She is great, I can’t wait to read it.
    I had the pleasure of meeting Mark in NYC. I’m not sure where he hid all those extra pounds. Maybe he airbrushed our vision? People just can’t admit that their way of thinking has been so wrong for so many years.

    BW wrote on July 27th, 2011
  13. Wow, Mark…you’re smoking hot! Good job silencing the non-believers. I went LC 8 weeks ago and have dropped 31 pounds. I just ordered your book and can’t wait for it to arrive. I’ve been reading MDA every day and I can’t thank you enough for sharing your insight and experience.

    Michelle wrote on July 27th, 2011
  14. Mark, you look fabulous!
    I’ve been Primal since February 2010, have lost 20lb, and at 52, I look and feel better than I did at 30. Everyon at the gym I work in comments and I have to tell them about MDA and the Primal program! One of these years I’d like to make it out to a PrimalCon, which sounds like so much fun–it’s only a small matter of money.
    Keep up the great work!

    Joanne wrote on July 27th, 2011
  15. Looking very well Mark. One thing I noticed is that you have great foot arches in your first pic. I wasn’t a big believer in the barefoot side of things but I’ve read a bit of Ester Gokhale’s book and I’ve tried standing in different ways and it’s amazing the difference it makes to posture. You seem to have the perfect ‘kidney bean’ shape so well done and I must try and get out more without the shoes.

    David wrote on July 27th, 2011
  16. Mark and co, which probiotics should I take after having an infection and antibiotics cycle?
    Got a dose of why primitive man would die early this week..a stingray got my foot and then it got infected. The venom would have made it to my heart eventually without emergency care.
    Fortunately also, I have been beefing up my armies of good bacteria and immune response by eating primal.

    Bill wrote on July 27th, 2011
    • I just switched over to Mark’s probiotics and highly recommend them. The bottle says to take more following a course of antibiotics. I take them for daily maintenance, one a day.

      Annette wrote on July 27th, 2011
  17. Mark, I can definitely agree on the democracy to idiocracy Internet continuum. I have to say, though, that with the growth of the idiocracy, the overall quality of primal community content has exploded.

    Thanks for all that you do in making all this available to us non-idiots.

    Joe B1 wrote on July 27th, 2011
  18. Mark you are a beast!…. 58? I wish I looked like that and I’m 24 :) Thanks for your awesome articles and want to let you know you have heaps of fans here in Brisbane, Australia, come visit out here!

    AlexOzzie wrote on July 27th, 2011
  19. Quick question: how will the 21-day Primal book really be any different from your Primal Blueprint? Will there be anything in it different from what we already read in the PB?

    Great pics! Great site! I’ve loved every bit of it since I stumbled upon it two years ago.

    Theresa wrote on July 27th, 2011
    • Yes, the Guidebook will walk you through and tell you exactly what to do each day for 21 days to go Primal and take control of your health for life. It will also include some insights my team and I have gained since the release of The Primal Blueprint, with an emphasis on Key Concepts that everyone that goes Primal needs to not just understand but fully internalize and “Grok”. If you’ve been Primal for some time, if you already “get it”, and aren’t having any trouble actually implementing the Primal Blueprint principles into your life, this book might not be exactly what you’re looking for (though, there will be some things in it of interest to you, too, I’m sure). If this is you then you can pick up a copy for your friends and family that are just getting started. 😉 But if the PB is new to you or you are having some struggles, or have hit a plateau, or you just want to be told exactly what to do, this book is the ticket and will take the guesswork out of the equation.

      Mark Sisson wrote on July 27th, 2011
      • Awesome website Mark, I’ve been following it since I read Doug McGuff and John Little’s book 2 years ago. I’ve had terrific gains from eating more primitive and working out Grok style. I’m only 25 but my body is looking more and more like yours everyday 😀 I’ve lost about 60 lbs of fat and gained about 10 lbs of muscle now… I LOVE my new body!

        Matt wrote on July 27th, 2011
  20. Happy Birthday and thank you for your contribution to making my life a better life! You look fantastic !

    Serena Scott Thomas wrote on July 27th, 2011
  21. Happy Birthday Mark!

    Jessi wrote on July 27th, 2011
  22. Happy belated Bday Mark! You’ve got more friends than you can count. I am a very healthy 62 year old who never took any medicine and therefore was never sick. I had to be operated for the first time a month and a half ago and I’m still climbing out of that hole, but I also started PB around the same time. I plan to make it my blueprint for life. Stay in touch! Chris, in the Republic of Panama.

    Panamawise wrote on July 27th, 2011
  23. Happy B’Day Mark! You look Great! Forget the haters and keep up the excellent work. Looking forward to the new book! NG

    Carrie looks smokin’ too!

    Neandergirl wrote on July 27th, 2011
  24. Thanks to everyone for the kind words and well wishes.

    Mark Sisson wrote on July 27th, 2011
  25. Happy Birthday, Mark!

    Come to Phoenix!!

    Desert Caveman wrote on July 27th, 2011
  26. Happy Birthday Mark! I turned 58 in May and have never felt or looked better.
    I found out yesterday that I too will be at the CrossFit games. I’ll be sure to stop by and meet you.

    SuperMike wrote on July 27th, 2011
  27. “The dogs bark…”

    Imagine a big, long, majestic caravan filled with travelers passing through the desert…

    As it passes from town to dusty town, every starving little mangy mongrel dog comes out from hiding to run alongside it and bark.

    Does the caravan driver stop to address these insignificant little mongrels seeking to deter his progress? Of course not. He doesn’t even acknowledge their existence.

    He simply keeps the caravan moving forward, no matter how many mangy street mongrels bark… and no matter the challenges encountered along the way… until the caravan arrives at its destination. You see, “The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on…”

    minnesotaprimal10 wrote on July 27th, 2011
  28. And yes – Happy Birthday!

    minnesotaprimal10 wrote on July 27th, 2011
  29. Inspirational Mark. You have so much to offer your readers and those of use also in the health industry, and I don’t think you should have to prove yourself but I guess it can’t hurt! Happy Birthday!

    Kat Eden wrote on July 27th, 2011
  30. Jealous! I want to look like that when I’m 58!

    Mark wrote on July 27th, 2011
  31. Your is one of only a few sites I link to. Congrats on the traffic … I’ve been living a mobile lifestyle for a few years now, focused on fun rather than work to pay mortgages and bills.

    Even though I’m not a family guy, more focused on cute girl things (and how to get them), going to primal has hugely affected my body. Just three days a week of 20 minutes at the gym, now I’ve got a six pack, ripped, no extra work. And lots more energy!

    One of the other ways I’ve gone more ‘primal’ is by eliminating a lot of stuff. Like shelves of clothes and laundry … totally unnecessary!

    If inclined, peak at my primal clothing solution directions:

    Tim wrote on July 27th, 2011
  32. Thank you so much for your work! Sounds like you have a lot of fun! Can we persuade you to come visit Maine? After all, it’s your roots. There is a growing group of us Primals here! Just finishing PB, have the cookbook, love your attitude and encouragement. Recently (at 51) diagnosed with diabetes, so your info is helping me tremendously. I dance, racquetball (lots of little sprints) and hike with my dogs. Just burning up the fat now, thanks to your wisdom!! Wishing you continued happiness and joy, best to you and your lovely family.

    Susan wrote on July 27th, 2011
  33. Just want to say to Mark, you look awesome, man! Thanks for all you do.

    Jan wrote on July 27th, 2011
  34. I hope to look half as good at 58. You’re an inspiration. Happy belated birthday!

    I’m pleased to hear about Minger’s book. That’s great news.

    Travis wrote on July 27th, 2011
  35. Mark, your amazing! Thank you for being so amazing and sharing it with all of us!

    Lauren wrote on July 27th, 2011
  36. I am 47…someday, when I grow up, I want to be as fat as you are today. I am on my way!

    Happy Birthday!!

    Erin wrote on July 27th, 2011
  37. Happy Birthday, Mark! You are AWESOME! I can’t believe people doubt you — you reek of honor. Can’t wait for the 21-day challenge book and Denise’s book. Congrats on the success of MDA – it’s no wonder it’s so well-read – it’s smart, well-written, accessible, and it WORKS. Come back to Texas! Thanks for everything!

    Kathy wrote on July 27th, 2011
  38. You know Mark… You are wearing long shorts in all of these pictures… I can’t help but wonder what your quad/hamstring development is like…?

    Fatkid wrote on July 27th, 2011
  39. Looking great Mark. I’ve had a complete food make-over since December 2010 when I discovered I have celiac disease. Couldn’t understand why I was always so sick when I ate so healthy, lots of wheat and whole grains. What a dummy! Since then I have given up gluten, dairy, soy and a few other things I was reacting to but still not feeling 100%. A friend turned me onto your book about 2 weeks ago and giving up ALL grains and reducing sugar significantly has made a world of diffence. Looking forward to some new recipes and continuing this new life style. Thanks for sharing your knowledge. BTW, paddleboarding in Hawaii is great! You should visit!!

    BobbiJo Charloux wrote on July 27th, 2011
  40. Happy Birthday, Mark
    I can’t wait for “Death by Food Pyramid”. I may have to buy several copies to pass around to those NOT in the know.

    Susan wrote on July 27th, 2011

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