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. Happy birthday and thank you for your website. Easing into the Paleo lifestyle little by little, and loving the wisdom of it all. Telling friends about marksdailyapple and hoping that they listen. I do believe that you are what you eat, but sadly so many don’t take care of themselves. I will try and spread the good news about PB. Thank you again and God bless you….

    Jose AA wrote on July 28th, 2011
  2. Happy (belated) birthday.I’ve enjoyed MDA for about 6 months, and in honor of your birthday (last week) and my one year anniversary of following a low carb way of eating (next week), I’m downloading Primal Blueprint. A gift from me to me. For the record, at age 59, I may well be in the best shape of my life and for the first time in my life, I am not food crazed!

    Barb wrote on July 28th, 2011
  3. I know I’m a day late, and I am positive I’m repeating something already said in the 162 (and counting) comments, but Mark, YOU ARE HOT!!! So proud to be a member of this community and I am looking forward to all of the great things coming!

    Sara wrote on July 28th, 2011
  4. Conventional ‘wisdom’ yeah I agree. It’s the reason I didn’t become a nutritionist because I figured I’d be locked in by CW and I’d be telling people if they want to lose weight then they’re going to have to run that caloric bank account into a deficit with plenty of cardio and innane weight training.

    Then I’d be putting them on a diet of soy beans and all it’s spin offs. Don’t you dare eat that avacado, it’s high fat and don’t forget to take out the egg yolks.

    All while I know damn true that I do not follow these guidelines. I’d have to be very cynical to do nutrition in such a manner.

    Right on Mark, you’re site in awesome, it have all the right ideas. I followed a lot of them instincitvely long before coming here but it’s just great to see that I’m not alone.

    Best of health to all of you.

    Matt wrote on July 29th, 2011
  5. I met Mark at the Seattle conference…definitely not fat! A true inspiration!

    Jen wrote on July 29th, 2011
  6. I wanna see a birth certificate! Where is it? LOL!

    Salim wrote on July 29th, 2011
  7. Un-friggin believable. Happy belated B-day Mark and looking great. I’m working on the Primal way so hopefully I get to look like that someday!!

    I’ve got to echo the sentiments of the other Canucks on here Mark…Canada loves you bro…you need to get out here…love to see you in Western Canada sometime and shake the hand of the man!!

    Grok22 wrote on July 29th, 2011
  8. I just wanted to say that the pictures are very inspirational! MDA has helped me recharge at 42 years old! I am committed to this lifestyle! So much so, I am thinking about going back to school to become a naturopathic physician. I want to teach my patients about preventative medicine and lifestyle change as a way to stave off disease in the body. This Primal Way is the Key! Thanx Again!

    Kimberly wrote on July 29th, 2011
  9. I’m shocked that you’re 58.

    Congratulations on the Alexa hike. It just goes to show when you provide good information that people will flock to you. Have a great 59’th primal year!

    Jonathan wrote on July 30th, 2011
  10. Any chance the paperback version of The Primal Blueprint will include Primal Blueprint Fitness? That would be a nice, complete volume.

    jlocicero wrote on July 30th, 2011
  11. Can’t wait for the updated book Mark!

    Ever since my bro lended mine and never returned it, I’ve been meaning to buy a new one. Now I have reason to wait a bit longer… or maybe I’ll buy the hardcover as well and when the new one comes I’ll donate the old one to some friend.

    Anyways, good job on everything you’ve done Mark. You certainly helped me, that’s for sure.

    Captain Obvious wrote on August 1st, 2011
  12. Dear Mark, I joined a biggest loser contest at work back in January. I started the Atkins diet for a few weeks. For health reasons I decided I should consult with my doctor after reading more about it. She suggested your plan. I bought your book, read your daily articles, lost 23 pounds in 3 months. I kicked their butts and took all the money and bought me a new wardrode. My co-workers couldnt believe it. We’ve been dieting for years. Imagine that! After just 4 months my cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure all reduced. I have been some over weight for several years. I am 48 and decided it was now or never. I am thinking you saved my life. I feel great. Thanks for everything. And you do look great!!!!!!

    Susan Few wrote on August 2nd, 2011
  13. My Mom turned 58 in January and is constantly blaming her poor health on her age. I’m going to show her those pictures and then say “guess what, he’s the same age as you!” Maybe that will help shake her beliefs a bit.
    On a side note, I must say Carrie is one lucky lady!

    Robin wrote on August 7th, 2011
  14. Great post Mark! Crazy how people think. After we met for breakfast at Key’s in Minneapolis last month, I went home and told my wife I hope I can still look have as good as you do when I’m (then) 57.

    Tom Nikkola wrote on August 11th, 2011
  15. I showed my brother (who is quite jacked) Mark’s picture and his words were “WTF?” He was impressed and incredulous. I don’t blame him. I was wowed as well and I hope I can get close to being as ripped at some point in my life. I’ve been trying to get my brother to be more primal for a while. He likes primal foods but is unconcernced about artifical additives and won’t give up grains (funny thing is, he’s the one who said he heard grains are unhealthy, which made me research them, which led me to this site, which changed my life).
    My mom’s a proponent of CW and chronic cardio and to prove that primal is healthy and the way to go I showed her the picture as well but she was quick to say that she bets people who eat lots of grains look similar, and tells me I’m ruining my health, after saying I look healthier these days.
    “Everything in moderation” is apparently what’s healthy. Yeah good excuse for things that you know are actually unhealthy. Can’t ignore the nutritional facts.

    Animanarchy wrote on August 16th, 2011
  16. Super excited about the new books, particularly primal connection. I can’t wait, just listened to mark, matt, and robb on paleo solution podcast ep 92 or 93 and it got me all pumped up. Thanks for the work all of the paleo primal network is doing.

    Dean wrote on September 4th, 2011
  17. I truly believe in the Primal Diet & am thankful to MS for writing such a knowledgable book about “diet” & health.
    Although I believe in the book’s premise & suggest it to all to leARn how to eat for life & health, I do not believe he or his wife have attained those bodies with the level of exercise described within. That being said I will continue to follow MS and his eating philosophy while following my own workout program. We all need to eat primally & stop following the SKEWED food pyramid. can’t wait for the new book:-)

    SL wrote on October 12th, 2011
  18. You look great, Mark, but its your brains that turns me on!

    jacquie from Oz wrote on August 20th, 2012
  19. Love your writings! Look forward to your new book!

    jacquie from Oz wrote on August 20th, 2012
  20. Anybody seen “death by food pyramid?”

    John Gohde wrote on September 19th, 2012

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