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

Contest: Ask Me a Question. Win a Book.

The Prize:

The Paleo Primer is the latest publication from Primal Blueprint Publishing, and a wonderful new book from British health and fitness consultants Keris Marsden and Matt Whitmore (this book is an adaptation of their popular UK release called Fitter Food). When Keris and Matt first shared their work with me, I knew immediately it was something special. These folks, who run a popular fitness and wellness center called Fitter London, have produced a book that is half “primer” and half incredibly creative recipes. The primer section distills the major concepts of primal/paleo/ancestral health living into clever and memorable short passages, spiced up by hilarious cartoon drawings. Learn more about the book and view an excerpt here.

Three lucky winners will receive a free copy of this book.

The Contest:

Today’s contest is a piece of cake. Simply leave a comment below asking me your 21-Day Challenge questions. Need some advice? Struggling with something? Anything? Let me know in the comment board. Just make sure that your questions are related to your 21-Day Challenge in some way. I’ll be answering as many questions as I can in this coming Monday’s Dear Mark post. 

Replying to questions with answers also counts. This is a community effort, so share your tips and tricks with those in need of some help and you’ll also be entered to win.

Contest Deadline:

Midnight tonight, September 21st.

Choosing a Winner:

Three comments, and thus three winners, will be chosen at random.


This one’s global. Everyone’s eligible.

Other Important Info:

  • Remember to use your real email address in the comment board. If you don’t we won’t have a way to contact you.
  • Multiple comments won’t get you multiple entries. But by all means, ask or answer away.

To track all the contests visit the 2013 Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge Contest Page for daily contest updates.

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. This may seem way to simple but why 21 days? Because it sounds easier to start than 30 days?

    Chance Bunger wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • He answered this in the challenge post.

      After many years of training clients and interacting with hundreds of thousands of Mark’s Daily Apple readers, my team and I have found that 21 days is the sweet spot for eliminating old habits and replacing them with new ones. It’s long enough to make legitimate progress toward reversing years of adverse lifestyle habits, long enough for most people to get past the low carb flu (if you experience it at all), and long enough to give the Primal Blueprint a fair shake, but not so long as to be seen as a daunting undertaking. In other words, anyone, including you, can give this a go for three measly weeks, and in that time you are bound to see results.

      Jb wrote on September 21st, 2013
  2. What are some good “mocktails” to have while watching football and/or tailgating?

    Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • Pretty much all alcohol makes a good cocktail if you add stevia, lemon juice, ice, and water!

      Zach rusk wrote on September 21st, 2013
      • A “mocktail” would be alcohol free.

        Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on September 21st, 2013
        • well, no scotchy scotch down in your belly, but I like a little club soda with the juice of half a lime, a splash of 100% cranberry juice (the very tart unsweetened stuff) or tart cherry juice, and a few dashes of bitters, served over ice.

          I drink it out of a white wine stem. Refreshing and enjoyable.

          Amy wrote on September 21st, 2013
        • Mind if I do a jay?

          Geoff wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • I know it’s not quite what you’re looking for, but a well-made cocktail is one of life’s great pleasures (and not particularly terrible for primal folks, on occasion and in moderation—in my opinion, of course!!).

      My favourites are a bourbon Old Fashioned (2oz of good bourbon, a teaspoon of sugar syrup, couple of dashes of angostura, and the oils squeezed out of a couple of fat strips of orange zest, stirred with ice in a rocks glass), and a Manhattan (2oz rye whiskey, 1oz good red vermouth ((try Carpano Antica Formula)), couple of dashes of Angostura, stirred with ice and strained into a cocktail glass).

      Well worth the cheat, IMHO.

      Nathan wrote on September 22nd, 2013
    • But if you’re dead set on no alcohol, try Angostura, lemonade and lime cordial. Angostura bitters are amazing; a few dashes in a glass of sugar free lemonade is a very worthy low-carb drink (I know that the aspartame in the diet sodas is a bit of a sore point amongst healthy people, but if you do drink diet sodas, then Angostura improves them significantly).

      Nathan wrote on September 22nd, 2013
  3. Any tips on how to quit drinking diet soda? I’m an addict.

    Duncan wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • I kicked my diet soda habit by switching to sparkling water and adding fresh lemon or lime juice to it. Kombucha is also a good alternative as long as it doesn’t contain a lot of sugar.

      Kathy wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • Eliminate ALL sweets from your diet instead of trying to replace sugar with “healthier” or artificial (diet) sweeteners. For some people (I’m one of them), any type of sweetener, including stevia, will stimulate cravings for more sweets. Switch to unsweetened hot or iced tea with lemon or lime, or better yet, drink plain water. Fresh whole fruit doesn’t seem to trigger cravings if eaten in limited amounts, but fruit juice would be best avoided.

      Shary wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • A while ago Mark recommended Gerolsteiner mineral water as it has a pretty hefty mineral content (relative to other commercial mineral waters)–it is carbonated, so it makes for a nice change of pace (for me, adding that to my rotation bumps my old routine of either coffee or water up by 50%)

      Peter wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • Have you tried iced herbal teas? Lots of favors to choose from. My favorite is Rooibos with vanilla. Maybe you want the caffiene from non herbal teas? Whatever your preference, start with a bit of honey to sweeten it then over time gradually ween yourself to just the tea. Tasty!

      Kara wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • What I did was to use carbonated water and then add a splash of soda in it. You still get the feeling like your ‘treating’ yourself to a soda, with much less chemicals/sugar. I found that I am usually craving the carbonation more than I am the sweetness. but plain carbonated water is definitely an acquired taste.
      I make my own carbonated water, too. I use well water (since I don’t like chloramines or fluoride found in tap water) and make carbonated water with a soda stream machine. Then I simply pour a small amount of soda in my glass and fill the glass the rest of the way up with carbonated water, for about a 10/90 dilution. I’ve also used liquid flavored stevia drops, too. They have a grape one and a root beer one that, when added to carbonated water, taste pretty good!

      Laura wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • You might enjoy trying Kevita–it’s a probiotic carbonated beverage that is very low in sugar/carbs, provided you get one of the flavors that uses stevia. Quite refreshing, actually.

      Evan wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • I gravitate toward sparkling water (like Perrier) when I want a soda.

      Donna wrote on September 22nd, 2013
  4. What’s your favorite Primal appetizer/finger food to share at sporting events or gatherings?

    TWoods wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • If you have the oven space and time, marinate kale, hang, set to 200 and crack the door till they are dehydrated! Break into bite sized pieces and throw in a bowl

      Zach rusk wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • Bacon wrapped water chestnuts, bacon wrapped dates (stuff the date with an almond) or bacon wrapped pineapple chunks……broil/ bake until bacon is crisp and serve.

      Kara wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • Cucumber pulled pork bites. EVERYONE loves these little bad boys!

      Kerry wrote on September 21st, 2013
  5. I have a two-month-old baby whom I’m breastfeeding. I’m thus tied to a sofa for much of my waking time. How can I find time and energy for a workout and/or sprints?

    As a more general question, how can we best adapt the challenge for pregnant and nursing mothers?

    Rhiannon wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • Is your diet dialed in? If not, focus on that, sleep, and play. I’m a dude and newborns are tiring. I cannot imagine how tiring a woman gets due to breast feeding. Like a constant drain.

      Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • Rhiannon, we must have had our babies at the same time!! Maybe we should be primal challenge buddies. :) I’m also nursing constantly. This is my fourth child, though, so while I don’t do much sprinting I do move quite a bit during the day. How about you?

      Emily wrote on September 21st, 2013
      • Hi Emily. This is my second child, but the first one died so I only have this one to look after. I’m guilty of spending much nursing time online! I’m trying to take her out lots, which she enjoys.

        Rhiannon wrote on September 22nd, 2013
    • I have a six month old and I completely understand! I love to take my little one outside because it is something all babies (as far as I know) love! Especially as they begin to see better just looking around is amazing. Using a stroller or wearing your baby is the best advice I can give you. I have a Moby wrap you can use to walk or do squats while wearing your baby. If you want to get in a real workout, you can always do that during a nap, or pump a bottle and allow someone else to feed your baby while you workout. I am student teaching and have to pump enough mile for during the day, plus extra for any other time something comes up. (I know the Groks didn’t have breast pumps, but the mothers didn’t have to leave for work or anything either.)

      But overall, just make sure you are eating primal foods and getting enough sleep. At this point you are both still recovering from birth. Walking is really all you need.

      Lauri wrote on September 21st, 2013
      • Thanks Lauri. I have a Moby and a woven wrap and I try and get outside every day (something my health visitor was very keen on as well). But I’m at a loss to see how I can do squats with my baby tied to my front! Are you doing a back carry?

        Eating mostly primal (sausages once a week with breadcrumbs in) and yes, my fruit consumption has rocketed and I’m eating potatoes simply because we can’t afford to keep up with my appetite any other way! Fish requirement served by smoked mackerel with breakfast.

        I’m not actually feeling that sleep deprived as a rule. Maybe once every few days I’ll need to take a nap.

        Rhiannon wrote on September 22nd, 2013
    • Get a mei tai or a sling type carrier and keep your baby close to you at all times. Wear him while you walk around the block, even if it’s just a few hundred feet.

      I nursed three, still nursing my little guy who just turned one. The mei tai was a life saver for all of us. I use it now as a carrier to take him on family walks.

      AND…this one was important for me: EAT MORE PRIMAL CARBS. Yams with butter or coconut oil, fruits, almond butter. I was a carb craving nutcase until my kids slowed down the nursing after about 10-11 months. Don’t over-restrict food or worry that you’re eating too much. You might not lose weight – sleep deprivation + prolactin conspire against it sometimes. It did for me, I seem to only be able to lose 5-7 lbs. while nursing, then the baby weans and like magic I lose 10-15 lbs. without even trying while keeping my normal diet. Appetite normalizes, etc. Then I usually get pregnant again and can’t enjoy the skinny for to long :-)

      Amy wrote on September 21st, 2013
      • Amy, this was a very helpful comment (since I’m also nursing) – thank you!!

        Emily wrote on September 21st, 2013
      • Yes, Amy, thanks for this awesome comment!

        Rebecca wrote on September 21st, 2013
      • I’m so glad you mentioned the carb thing. My 4th baby is almost a month old and I am carb-craving like nuts. I started moving toward primal early on in the pregnancy, so this is the first time I’m paying attention to the quality and nutrition of what I’m eating while breastfeeding.

        Beccolina wrote on September 22nd, 2013
        • Other foods I found helpful were salmon and sardines. They satisfy a salty/fatty need and are packed with O-3s and taste so good, especially with a dab of Sriracha on it.

          Amy wrote on September 22nd, 2013
      • Yes, lots of fruit and potatoes here. And one of my favourite snacks is dark chocolate liberally smeared with coconut oil. That and pork scratchings. Also nuts, but I’m trying to cut down so I don’t overdose on O6.

        Rhiannon wrote on September 22nd, 2013
    • Congrats on your new baby!

      My son is 3 and I nursed him until March of this year. One thing that I think hasn’t been mentioned yet is to make sure you’re drinking enough water. I wasn’t good about that while nursing and got dehydrated.

      Sleep is tough. My 21 day challenge is actually about sleep because even now I have a really hard time getting at least 8 hours.

      My one question for Mark: How long do you think it takes to recover from the lack of sleep that happens as a result of being a new parent? Is it even possible to fully recover from a few years of not enough sleep?

      Sarah Kim wrote on September 21st, 2013
      • After my first, I thought I’d never recover, but once she was sleeping through the night it only took a few weeks of normal, uninterrupted sleep to feel like “me” again. Ditto #2.

        My son is an eating machine, though. He is still up 2-3x/night to eat and I haven’t felt normal since before I was pregnant with him. I know that once he is sleeping through the night I’ll be back to my old self. Just a few nights of solid sleep is immensely restorative, and it only gets better as you get more consistent and consecutive nights.

        Amy wrote on September 22nd, 2013
  6. My favorite leisure activity is reading, which is not strictly primal as I doubt Grok ever scanned through cave paintings for hours on end. I always try to read outside, and I’ve tried to read standing or walking but it doesn’t work out. So in my own mind my favorite weekend activity (I still get plenty of movement otherwise), is suddenly a little questionable in terms of long-term health.

    Aaron B wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • Alternatively maybe go for a small hike to a spot to read? On paved walking paths I enjoy podcasts and audiobooks because I feel safe. No cars to listen or watch out for.

      Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • As an avid reader, I have a hard time putting down the book to get in my “move slowly every day” piece. So for the 21 day challenge, I am limiting my reading time to the treadmill. I find it works best when I read on the kindle and make the font size just a little bigger. Then I set the pace for fairly slow, about 2 mph, so I don’t trip. This way I am getting in 1-2 hours of walking every day without “giving up” my favorite leisure activity. The only way this could be better is if I were strong enough to pull the treadmill out into the driveway on sunny days, but that thing is a heavy beast! Good luck!

      Rae wrote on September 21st, 2013
  7. How do you deal with injury? I tore a disc and needed surgery and am subsequently out of commission for a few months, but I feel like injury, and in general stress, lead to bad eating habits. It seems like the inability to exercise leads to MORE calories (mostly from sugary/starchy stuff).

    Mark wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • I would love to hear suggestions on this as I just had disc replacement surgery in my neck last week and have been sitting around craving all sorts of garbage food. Recovery time coupled with the previous months of injury are going to total close to 6 months of inactivity. I am now focused on eating well and following suggestions from a forum post on robb wolff’s website but i still would love to get active again. I emailed MDA two weeks before my surgery looking for tips but never heard from them. Good luck to your recovery, I wish you the best!

      JR wrote on September 22nd, 2013
  8. I have been trying to eat Primal for the past 4 months, my main goal is to lose weight. Do I need to still create a caloric deficit or is watching my total carb count all that really matters?

    Cassie Somers wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • Yes, calories still do matter, because at the end of the day, you still aren’t going to lose weight if you’re eating 3,000 calories when you only need 2,000 (conversely, you’ll also have a hard time if you need 2,000 and are only eating 800). However, most people who eat low carb, high fat find they self-regulate more easily, because fat and protein are more satiating, and many have to watch their calorie intake to make sure they’re getting enough (because eating high fat feels like you’re packing in the calories). I’ve found it helps to keep track of what you eat for a week or two every so often to make sure you’re still eating about what you should be.

      Shauna wrote on September 21st, 2013
      • is good for tracking calories and macronutrients. The interface tracks calories, fat, protein, and carbs by default and you can add other items to track such as fiber. Tracks fitness goals, too.

        NextSteps wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • Hi Cassie!

      Well, I know everyone is different, but here are my experiences with calories…

      According to metabolic testing I had done about 18 months ago, I should have a daily caloric intake of about 1570 calories to maintain my weight (I am a 43 year old female and weighed 257# at that time). Per CW, I should strive to eat less than this number to lose weight. For 6 months I tracked everything I put into my mouth (and I mean I measured and tracked everything!) while following the CW “calories are all that matter”, staying between 1200 and 1500 nearly everyday. I also worked out 3 days a week with a small group fitness class/trainer and walked on the treadmill or hiked 3 other days/week, with a measly 10 pound weight loss in that 6 months. Then I had my annual check up with my CW MD; she told me the “only way to lose weight is to consume less calories, below 1000 every day”. Then she tried to sell me a pre-packaged meal plan to “help” me control my portions! I am a big lady, but I am not really eating a huge volume of food at 1200 to 1500 calories per day, especially considering I was also burning at least 250 to 500 calories 6 days a week exercising (Per the heart rate monitor I wore). Dissatisfied with her advice, I finally listened to my trainer at the gym instead and read the Primal Blueprint. Since following a mostly primal diet, I find that the less carbs I eat, the more fat and protein make up my diet. Some days the fat grams are higher, which drives my caloric intake up sometimes as much as 2200. On other days, my protein is higher and thus the total caloric intake is lower, even dipping down to 1100 at times. Funnily enough, I seem to have my greater amount of weight loss the morning after I have had a heavier fat intake day, and will sometimes show a gain after my lower calorie intake days. As a big bonus, I feel soooo much better when I eat more meats, eggs and full fat dairy than I ever did eating whole wheat dry toast, oatmeal and no-fat yogurt! The fact that I’ve lost 5 pounds this first week of the challenge by truly following 95% of the time, is just, well, gravy!

      Good Luck to you!

      PS I really like to track on, which shows the total grams of macronutrients as well as a percentage total for the day. You can also add in your weight and measurements, exercises you’ve done, etc and it’s free with android and ipad/iphone apps too!

      Rae wrote on September 21st, 2013
      • Rae – The CW advise of eat less calories vastly oversimplifies the many issues involved with an attempt to lose body fat. It’s true that an overall calorie deficit has to be achieved, however, as you found, it’s not always as “easy” as trimming portions.

        Eating carbohydrates triggers an avalanche of bodily reactions that resist the loss of body fat. Limiting portions lowers overall carb loads but low calorie/high carb is encourage your body to hang onto to fat at every step of the way.

        In other words, cutting calories on low fat diet to lose weight is like rowing a boat on a placid lake on a hot sunny day. You’ll eventually get there, but it’s a lot of sweaty, hard work.

        Low carb/paleo is like getting to the same place by pointing the boat downstream on a shaded river. Faster, easier, and a whole more enjoyable. Enjoy the ride. :)

        Amy wrote on September 21st, 2013
  9. How does going primal affect your teeth and gum health? Is there any improvement from the SAD diet?

    Andrew F. wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • Yes, a big improvement for teeth and gums.

      2Rae wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • It was a surprise for me but makes sense…..about 6 months into eating Primal my oral hygienist remarked how healthy my gums were looking and that she could no longer find signs of inflammation in spots that she had noted six months before. That was several appointments ago and she is still commenting on my gum health.

      Kara wrote on September 21st, 2013
  10. I’ve been working at the primal lifestyle for a few years and unfortunately I keep reverting back to my sugar eating ways. It almost feels like an addiction. Yesterday I told someone my diet is primal + sugar. I have tried many different ways to stop – cold turkey, chromium, pancreatic enzymes, lot’s o’ protein and fat, shear willpower, etc, etc. I’m beginning to feel a bit disheartened that I won’t get to my optimal weight or health because of the sugar. Do you have any comments, suggestions, experience with others that struggle with sugar and have come out the other side victorious?

    Laura wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • Don’t keep it around. That goes a long way to stopping the cravings (can’t eat something you don’t have). Have someone else shop for you, or have your food delivered, if you can’t resist the impulse to buy the foods.

      Don’t eat any kind of sweet food. This includes fruits and may include “sweet” vegetables – carrots, bell peppers, etc. – as well as dairy (including butter unless you clarify it or get ghee).

      Don’t use any sweeteners, Primal-approved or otherwise. Even things like honey or stevia may trigger you.

      Do a Whole 30. The strictness of the challenge and temporary nature may help you mentally and help you kick the addiction.

      Go very, very low carb. Like, 20g low. At least for a month or two, then slowly increase carb intake after you’ve kicked the habit, until you find yourself triggered again.

      Get checked for Candida overgrowth. The issues you’re facing sound like you might be dealing with imbalanced gut flora, specifically too much Candida (which thrives on sugar). It might not hurt to get your A1C and fasting glucose checked. If your blood sugar is running high, the cravings might be your body trying to keep it that way.

      Shauna wrote on September 21st, 2013
      • Shauna, thanks for taking the time to respond and share your ideas. I will take them into account. There is a possibility that is what I need to do.

        Honestly, the Candida/20g of carb thing makes me deeply sad. The thing I love about Primal is that there isn’t deprivation involved. 20 grams of carbs a day has me in a depression by day 3 that I don’t come out of again until I start eating carbs.

        Laura wrote on September 22nd, 2013
        • Talk to your doctor about medical treatments for candida, then. Once you start getting the candida under control, start feeding the good flora with prebiotic/probiotic foods. Prebiotics will help get the good flora back into your gut, and probiotics will feed them. Fermented foods are your best whole-food sources of probiotics, including yogurt (or better yet, Kefir), kombucha, sour cream, and numerous other foods.

          Shauna wrote on September 23rd, 2013
    • I have also had this trouble for the past year since I began Primal. I start out doing well, start feeling good, lose a bit of weight and then, BAM! I have just 1 small sliver of cake or a cookie at some social event or work thing and next thing you know, I am back to eating 1/2 primal and 1/2 sugar (as if Chick-Fil-A is going out of business, so I “have” to get a chocolate milkshake every day)! It is very disheartening and the sugar cravings are really strong when “re-activated”. For the challenge, I made it through the first 3 days of cravings by sheer willpower and they are very mild now. I have been sticking to less than 100g carbs/day, but per Shauna’s reply, I guess I should also try and cut that even lower!

      Rae wrote on September 21st, 2013
      • Rae, if you’re doing fine on 100g, then there’s not much reason to go lower. Some people get triggered at 100g, while others get triggered at 30. Listen to your body and you’ll fare better in the long run (though it doesn’t hurt to experiment to see how you do).

        Shauna wrote on September 23rd, 2013
    • I recommend trying the 21 Day Sugar Detox from Diane Sanfilippo of Balanced Bites. I’m actually doing it right now because I knew I was addicted to sugar.

      Diane herself does the sugar detox from time to time kind of as a reset. I expect I’ll probably do the same. This is usually how I handle caffeine as well. If I find myself relying on it more and more and having a hard time controlling how much I’m eating/drinking I give it up completely for about a month to gain control over it again.

      There’s also a great Facebook community for the 21 Day Sugar Detox to help you through it.

      Sarah Kim wrote on September 21st, 2013
      • It looks like this book hasn’t been released yet. I will have to check it out at that time.

        Laura wrote on September 22nd, 2013
  11. What’s your stance on Green Tea for people with skin issues? Since this probably indicates gut issues, should it be avoided or embraced?

    James wrote on September 21st, 2013
  12. What is the best advice for someone who is trying paleo for the first time? I am finding it very difficult to stay on track.

    VictoriaN wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • The advice that helped me the most was to open your mind and consider it an adventure. Being open to any and all foods at breakfast time makes a huge difference.

      Dan K wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • First of all don’t be too hard on yourself, as stressing about drinking that soda or eating that pizza, or sitting on the couch after a long day of work is only compounding the problem. If you catch yourself slipping, accept and enjoy the experience, then get back to your intention. This will heighten awareness of behaviors, their motivations, and their consequences. Any new behavior takes time to incorporate. Keep learning, talk about it with others to help reinforce it in you, keep visiting MDA and using the community as inspiration. Start finding primal options to replace your “go-to” snacks. Use the primal shopping list, if it’s not around the house it can’t get in your mouth.

      Be easy
      Stay curious
      Keep learning
      Have fun
      Grok on!!!

      Tim wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • Recruit a buddy. It is great to have both a sounding board if you have questions, and someone to talk you out of your craving for junk. Also, the mind set of feeling that this is a time of good food, fun, moving your body the way it was designed helps. Pick a word that resonates for you and repeat it. I like RELISH.

      Rosanna wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • If you get off track, no worries, just get back the next day. Think of it this way; if your car gets 1 flat tire, you won’t shoot out the other 3 right? You fix the 1 flat and get on your way, so always keep that in the back of your mind. It has helped me many times!

      Terri Billhimer wrote on September 21st, 2013
      • Beautiful!!

        Elenor wrote on September 22nd, 2013
  13. I’m in the market for a good pair of primal footwear but I really hate the 5 finger look. Anything you’d recommend? Looking for something I could wear everyday, anywhere. From the gym, to the grocery store: That sort of thing.

    Ashley wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • I’ve had good experiences with Vivo Barefoot, and they do a lot of different styles.

      Scott UK wrote on September 21st, 2013
      • Thanks!:)

        Ashley wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • I have a couple of pairs of Merrills that are probably on par with the toe-gloves. They look like running shoes but have a wide toe box. Search REI or another large outdoor-active shop for more minimalist running shoes.

      ChristopherD wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • I wear sockwa G2 look at fantastic all purpose indore and training full range off motion

      Stefan wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • You will get used to the look I promise. And personally, I saw a girl wearing them the other day and was immediately attracted to her! It’s hard for me to wear “normal” shoes now, they feel like i’m wearing the box they came in. Plus my feet seem ten times larger when wearing sneakers than when I wear my vibrams. I love them so much I got a second pair, one for working out and one for casual.

      JR wrote on September 22nd, 2013
  14. FYI, Panera Bread has a hidden menu of excellent primal options. Why, why, why would they “hide” that?

    Dan K wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • I think it’s a marketing gimmick, although kind of a dumb one.

      Shary wrote on September 21st, 2013
      • Sorta like In-N-Out Burger?

        For folks in Arizona and elsewhere, Paradise Bakery has the same hidden menu.

        Susan wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • Just curious, what do you mean by “hidden”? You mean they don’t let you see it unless you ask, or they just don’t advertise it as primal? There is one near me, but I never go there for some reason.

      SeattleSlim wrote on September 21st, 2013
      • I read somewhere online that they have this “hidden” menu that isn’t posted on the board with the regular menu. You have to ask for it. That’s been a while back so maybe they don’t do that anymore. As I said… dumb idea.

        Shary wrote on September 21st, 2013
  15. Me and my girlfriend go to college and the cafeteria is horrifying. In their “health line” they put everything over rice or bread or add gravy. What are cheap (I mean cheap we’re in college) foods or recipes (that don’t require a kitchen) that are great for snacks and for replacing their “healthy” food?

    Davis Bourne wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • Do you have a microwave? Buy a head of cauliflower and dice that up. Toss in some nutmeg, butter/EVOO, pepper, and sea salt, put it in the microwave for ~4 minutes. Then you can bring that with you to the cafe and take that chicken off the rice and put it on the cauliflower rice instead.

      Lee wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • Do you have the option to go rice less and gravy less but keep the meat or whatever?

      Kara wrote on September 21st, 2013
  16. One of my favorite foods is buffalo chicken wings/tenders. I want to start making similar style food myself (baking them and using chicken breasts). Any suggestions on sauce that is primal? I am not adverse to making my own.

    Ravnos wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • I have a recipe I call “Italian chicken fingers”. Cut boneless breasts into 3 or 4 “finger” size pieces. Brush each side with a thin coat of healthy oil. (Olive oil works but I usually use macadamia nut oil in this recipe). Sprinkle small amounts of the following to each side: sea salt, garlic powder, sage, rosemary and a dash of pepper. Grill each side for 4 minutes (could be baked/broiled at 475 degrees). The smaller size of these don’t take long on the grill so watch them. Delicious right of the grill or later great cold right out of the fridge.

      Steve Biagini wrote on September 21st, 2013
  17. @Rhiannon: Wrap that baby to your chest and get out for some brisk walks in between feedings. Babywearing is soothing for both of you, promotes healthy bonding, and also gives you some freedom to get up and move around. Sprints might be too much of a stressor as your body continues to heal and to focus energy on producing milk and taking care of your little one. Lots of slow, steady movement is better. You can find many good online tutorials for babywearing.

    Jacki C. wrote on September 21st, 2013
  18. What’s a good carb balance to achieve two somewhat disparate goals? I’m trying to limit carbs (especially sugars) as much as possible to deal with a fungal infection of my skin, but when I get low enough to get those nasty critters on the run, I don’t have enough energy for my martial arts training. I’m stumped for an answer and very frustrated.

    inquisitiveone wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • Is there anyway you can expose the fungal infection regularly to sun and air, if you haven’t tried? (If you’re under a Doc’s care, with their okay?)

      Fungi love moisture and the dark, along with the sugar. My diet has been (mostly) cleaned up for a very long time, but I still had a gross toenail fungus left from my high sugar days. It really receded this year simply by wearing sandals as much as I could.

      Amy wrote on September 21st, 2013
      • Thanks, Amy. Sugar can be a wicked one to tame. I have tried sun exposure in the past, with limited success. I live in the Pacific Northwest, and our sunny days are giving way to the permagray of fall and winter already. I’ve also tried rubbing coconut oil in to the area (one underarm and down to the elbow), but that doesn’t seem to help.

        I guess I should focus on getting rid of this fungal crap first, and if that means I don’t have enough energy for class, so be it; I can do other workouts on my own at home. (Yes, I am so focused on karate that I didn’t realize that alternative exists until just now. Any other martial artists here who can relate?)

        inquisitiveone wrote on September 22nd, 2013
  19. Mark – this is my 3 go at completing a 21 day challenge. I have been on and off again primal for about a year but never seem to gain consistency past two weeks. This challenge I have asked my wife to join me. She is struggling and blames it on the fact that we have 5 kids that “won’t eat this stuff” as she puts it. What are your recommendations for completing the 21 day challenge in with 6 people eating a SAD?

    Trampas wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • Eat Like A Dinosaur is a great Primal friendly cook book for families. Perhaps it will help transition your kids to the way you want to eat.

      Kara wrote on September 21st, 2013
  20. Sorry for the typo – question should read ” What are your recommendations for completing the 21 day challenge in a house with 6 people eating a SAD?

    Trampas wrote on September 21st, 2013
  21. When feeling nauseous and all you want to eat is butter and toast, what can you do? Especially seeing that toast most certainly isn’t Primal!

    Lee wrote on September 21st, 2013
  22. So I know other “experts” say you should eat breakfast, What are you thoughts on breakfast if the person is not hungry? It there a time frame you should get food into your body after you wake up?

    Junior wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • No time frame. I’m pretty sure Mark is in favor of Intermittent Fasting, in which it’s typical to skip breakfast and in some cases lunch. If you’re not hungry in the mornings, it might be worth trying IF. Start out Leangains style – 16 hour fast, 8 hour feeding window (usually done 8pm-noon fast, or thereabouts) and see how you feel. Just make sure you’re getting enough food in to fuel your body properly.

      Shauna wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • I find I personally do better not eating breakfast. Most of the time I don’t eat anything before noon, and I feel just fine. Listen to your body. Eat when you feel hungry, not when someone else tells you that you should.

      Kirk H. wrote on September 21st, 2013
      • Especially when that ‘someone else’ is trying to sell it to you…

        Scott UK wrote on September 22nd, 2013
    • I’ve always thought the ‘eat breakfast’ thing was because sugar-burners CAN’T ‘not eat breakfast’ and make it to work! The ‘snack every couple of hours’ leads to desperate cravings; and the overnight without fuel leads to no energy and the need to re-fuel…

      We low-carbers/primals don’t NEED to refuel after sleep, because our bodies aren’t waking tio an empty tank!

      Elenor wrote on September 22nd, 2013
    • For years they were telling us to eat breakfast, then I read an article that says its not as important as we were told, Don’t pay attention to the magazines. Once you start eating primal you will notice most magazines are wrong, I just go by my own feelings.

      Shirley wrote on September 22nd, 2013
  23. If I overdo carbs some weeks, say I eat sweet potatoes – generous portions – several days in a row, and disappear a bag of blue corn chips over the same several days…is it possible that I am kind of going back and forth from keto-adaptation? I keep wondering if I am causing myself any trouble by not being all that consistent with this.

    Sarah wrote on September 21st, 2013
  24. Any good breakfast idea for my 2 years old daughter ? How much “net carb” per day is too much for a 2 years old girl who is active througout the day ?

    Patrick Rochon wrote on September 21st, 2013
  25. Do essentials oils have a part in primal nutrition and health?

    Goldie wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • Absolutely essential oils are wonderful to anyone. From cooking to relaxation. Unfortunately my #1 essential oil is lavender. I use it for burns. I’ve always been clumsy and I cook a lot! Lavender is incredibly effective to counter the pain/decrease the healing time of a burn.

      Sarah wrote on September 21st, 2013
  26. After hurting my knee while squatting, i became interested in body weight training and the potential dangers of barbell training. Chiefly, joint and tendon/ ligament damage. How do you feel about this? And if barbell training is not worth the risk, what heavy things should we lift?

    Danish wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • Look around for something that is heavy in your life. My husband lifts paint cans and pieces of wood that he works with. I lift heavy bags of groceries. If you want you can make your own weights out of plastic gallon jugs, filling them with water to the weight you want, make your own bags of sand, etc. Lift that chair?

      2Rae wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • Kettlebell training (including squatting) has cured all of my knee problems, and this includes squatting. I have fallen in love with it and think it can work for anyone with any physical ailments or limitations.

      SeattleSlim wrote on September 21st, 2013
      • What program do you follow, Seattle Slim? I’m searching for healthier ways to lift heavy things as I keep hurting myself.

        Paleo-curious wrote on September 22nd, 2013
    • Heavy lifting, when done correctly, should not be dangerous (beyond the inherent danger of lifting something really heavy, of course, but that applies to anything), and in fact can be beneficial to your joints. However, proper form is of utmost importance. Squats, for example, REQUIRE your knees to be tracking over your feet properly, for your weight to be balanced properly, and for your back to be straight. This applies to any squats, from bodyweight to kettlebell to lifting a tree or the sofa.

      So, lift what you enjoy lifting, but get form checks periodically, and make sure you’re always, always lifting properly. And don’t try to lift more than you can lift while maintaining that good form.

      Shauna wrote on September 21st, 2013
  27. I have started intermittent fasting as my personal 21 day challenge and so far it is feeling great. I am eating a final meal at around 730pm and going until at least 830 the following morning. I have also done two days with an 18 hour fast. My question is, is this something I should be doing everyday? I’m not doing this to lose weight, I just wanted to try it as it was the one aspect o Primal life I was neglecting. I figure if it feels good, do it, but any thoughts or advice would be much appreciated.

    Mack wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • I’ve been IFing for over a year; it’s become a way of life for me. I try to do 16 hours (8 p.m. to noon the following day), but if that doesn’t work out, I don’t stress over it. I do try to go at least 12 hours every day, and probably achieve that all but once or twice a month. At some point, it simply became my normal eating pattern; I don’t need to think about it, and I’m not watching the clock while ravenous. I have coffee with cream when I first get up, and that’s it until lunchtime.

      inquisitiveone wrote on September 21st, 2013
  28. I am a big bread and baked goodies fan. I have been able to bake some primal goodies (muffins, pancakes, blondies), but I was wondering if that is going to mess with my adapting to a new way of eating over the 21 day challenge period.

    Shelby wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • Homemade baked goods were regularly featured on our menu before we started our primal journey 5 months ago. Personally, I found the best strategy was to avoid primal treat substitutes during the first month or so until the new way of eating was firmly established. Recently, I have started to introduce some primal goodies, but it’s important to remember that even though they are healthier than their grain-based counterparts, they are still treats and shouldn’t become a staple of your diet.

      Kirk H. wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • Shelby – I wouldn’t say to never go there with baked goods but…if baking is a hobby, you may want to give serious consideration to finding another. :(

      It’s hard to let go of the baked goods, but as Kirk points out they need to stay within the special treats even if they are Paleo.

      Amy wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • I used to be a baking maniac. Even after I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease I baked like crazy, gluten-free of course. But I’ve phased it out because, surprise surprise, I just feel better without that stuff. I still miss the art of baking, far more than I miss the treats! One of these days I will do an art installation with some sort of faux baked goods, just so I can scratch that itch! :-)

      Paleo-curious wrote on September 22nd, 2013
  29. I already eat and exercise according to the primal blueprint, so I am using this 21 day challenge to really get into the habit of lowering my carb intake to speed up fat loss. Although generally I feel great, I have noticed just in the past couple of days that my sleep is disturbed. I don’t sleep as deep as I did just a week ago! So my question is, is this due to a reduction in carb intake (I went from eating around 150 grams a day to 50-75) and if so, what can I do to start sleeping better again (besides eating more carbs)?

    Beth wrote on September 21st, 2013
  30. Dear Mark:

    I have tried going Primal before but always seem to fizzle around 7-9 days. What is the best way to evaluate one’s failures in order to make the changes necessary to achieve success?

    I’ve just been doing a lot of trial and error (this time around, I’m experimenting with the 80/20 principle instead of my usual all-or-nothing perfectionism), but is there a better, more methodical way to root out the hidden obstacles that are holding me back?

    SeattleSlim wrote on September 21st, 2013
  31. Not long ago Mark shared his Primal Egg Coffee recipe. Would there be any negative consequences to the raw egg yolks if the coffee was in a thermos for several hours (say up to 6?) before it was consumed?

    Peter wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • I would also be interested in the answer to this question as I have recently tried the egg coffee.

      Kelly wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • You can keep mayonnaise (= raw egg yolk + olive oil) in the fridge for a week, so I’m sure 6h at near boiling would be fine.

      Scott UK wrote on September 22nd, 2013
  32. I noticed that you have athletes allowed “good carbs” from sweet potatoes and rice. I am a nursing mother of a two month old baby, and I was wondering if it would be advisable for me to include some of those good carbs as well? Thank you for all the helpful information – I’ve been a reader for quite some time and this challenge came at a good time for me.

    Emily wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • Yes, absolutely! There’s an excellent discussion further upthread about primal nursing, if you haven’t already found it.

      inquisitiveone wrote on September 21st, 2013
  33. Dear Mark,
    My job involves a lot of standing (unlike many people), so I have never had to think about a standing work station. My problem is that I have struggled with varicose veins for my entire adult life, I have even had surgery. All the standing on my feet I do at work definitely makes them worse. For many years I was a chronic cardio junkie (runner), but after my surgery the doc told me the running was actually making them worse. I have since stopped all that running and switched to walking, but the veins still plague me. Any suggestions?

    Theya wrote on September 21st, 2013
  34. I think I picked up from your website that you were a competitive cyclist. Is it still ok for me to use products like Cytomax, GU, PowerGel, etc., on my training rides that are longer than an hour? Or, would that mess with going Primal?

    Jim wrote on September 21st, 2013
  35. In the near future, I’m going to be driving across the country – 11 hours in a car for 4 days. Do you have any food tips for such a long road trip?

    Jennie wrote on September 21st, 2013
  36. I’ve just started trying the paleo diet but I’m having a hard time finding food. I’m a college student with no kitchen and our cafeteria foods are nearly all grain or grain based. I have a microwave and a fridge keeps things cool but not cold enough to be at proper fridge temperature. What are some good foods that aren’t too expensive and don’t require refrigeration?

    Sara K wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • How cold is your fridge? Proper fridge temp (4-7 degrees C) is more important for meat/fish/dairy than for veg, especially when uncut (the skin/peel acts as a barrier). If you shop twice a week, most food will be eaten within a day or two and keep just fine. Eat items that spoil quicker on the day you buy it.

      Food prices vary wildly depending on season and location (and I’m in Europe) but try canned fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel) avocado’s (I get 5 at the local market for the price of 1-2 from the supermarket) cucumber&tomato in summer, heads of lettuce instead of bags of mixed greens, grated root celery in waldorf salad, check the size of normal carrots instead of buying snack baby carrots, I snack the thinner ones and slice/grate/cook the thicker ones. In winter, get creative with cabbage.
      Are you allowed to have a slow cooker? It can transform cheap cuts of meat and plain veg like union, carrot, cabbage and canned tomatos into amazing dishes and you don’t need a kitchen to do it!

      Feather wrote on September 21st, 2013
  37. How did our recent ancestors (say in the ’40s and ’50s) manage to ingest so many carbs and still stay reasonably healthy and active? I look at the Andy Griffith show and those people are pounding mashed potatoes at lunch with the obligatory slice of pie, yet Aunt Bee walks all over town and Andy is easily able to chop wood and keep up with his sheriff duties. If I eat carbs to that extent I feel terrible. Thanks Mark!

    Julie wrote on September 21st, 2013
    • I was wondering why cheese is not such a good option for this way of life?

      Terri Billhimer wrote on September 21st, 2013
  38. I have comfortably been eating no more than around 60-80 carbs a day in an effort to loose more body fat. (my normal is around 120-150) I have been feeling great with plenty of energy and no complaints.

    The other day I consumed a small amount of whiskey, 4-6 ozs. over around 3 hours while eating some higher carb food. (baked potatoes with ALL the fixings) This is consistent with how I use to be when drinking (eating carbs to keep food with the alcohol) and it has never been anything for me to consume 8-10 ozs of whiskey and a few beers and thought tipsy, be fine the next day. Also, this day I had a large sweet potato early in the day because I planned to drink that night.

    I went to sleep just tipsy, but I woke up in a total brain fog. I couldn’t concentrate. I wasn’t nauseous or even feeling like I had the very few times I’ve had a hangover. I felt really off, tired but not able to sleep. I felt weak all over but yet felt like a good sprint might clear up this “fog” over my body. I did not sprint and I did not improve until after around 36 hours had passed. I am back eating my normal fare and feel fine.

    Was this the increased carbohydrates after not consuming that much in the previous days? Or was I maybe in a state of ketosis and the stress of the alcohol too much to tax onto my liver? Alcohol has never affected me like this.

    I am 25 and have no medical problems.

    Jeremy wrote on September 21st, 2013

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

© 2016 Mark's Daily Apple

Subscribe to the Newsletter and Get a Free Copy
of Mark Sisson's Fitness eBook and more!