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

Contest: Ask Me a Question. Win a Book.

The Prize:

The book, the whole book, and nothing but the book. I’m giving away a copy of The Primal Blueprint to five lucky readers. Already own a copy? Win another and give it to Uncle Wilbur. Everyone knows he could use it.

The Contest:

Ask me a question about the challenge. Leave your question in the comments section of this post. I’ll pick 5 questions and answer those questions in my video post on Monday, August 10. If I read your question on the video, you’ve won! Be sure to use your real email address when leaving a comment.


“Is it okay to adjust my goals halfway through the challenge if I don’t think I’ll succeed?”

“I’ve dropped 3 lbs so far, but I’m insanely hungry and I can’t tell if it’s body fat or water weight I’m dropping. I’m happy about the weight loss, but I don’t feel vibrant and energized. Do I change what I’m doing or muscle through?”

“How much can I really expect to change in one month? It doesn’t seem possible to go through a complete body transformation in this amount of time.”

“I’m 65, decided to add sprinting to my list of goals, and very quickly realized my knees aren’t yet ready for it. Is there a good alternative to the wind sprint?”

“Boxers or briefs?” (Kidding! Please don’t ask that.)


From the United States to the United Kingdom and from New Zealand to New Delhi everyone is eligible. No restrictions.

The Contest End Time:

Midnight tonight. So ask those questions now!

How the Winner Will Be Determined:

  • Executive decision. I will pick 5 questions to answer.
  • If multiple people ask the same question I will hold a random drawing to decide which one will be answered on the video.

To track all the contests visit The Primal Blueprint Health Challenge Contest Page for daily updates.

Visit The Primal Blueprint Health Challenge for challenge details.

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. Dear Mark,

    I remain confused about fruit and carbohydrate allowances per day. I love fruit but realise eating it with wild abandon may not prove too good for weight loss. Could you explain the metabolism of sugars found within fruit as I am concerned I have an unhelpful black-and-white ‘all carbs are bad’ type view on this?

    Many many thanks

    RG wrote on August 6th, 2009
  2. Thanks for the great blog, Mark.

    I am generally satisfied with my current fitness and diet but I’m always seeking ways to improve. I’m a goal oriented person and I’m having trouble setting objectives for the Health Challenge. “Maintain Current Fitness” doesn’t seem like a very clear goal to me. I fear that I’m nearing the point of diminishing returns where additional progress will require more time than my balance of family, work and mental health (relaxation) can afford. Do you have any suggestions?

    Chris wrote on August 6th, 2009
  3. Is there any data relating to how long it takes to ‘see’ (attain) improvements at the cellular level after converting to a primal-style diet? Is there a ‘healing period’ involved initially, or does the body immediately begin to generate healthier cells once the junk is eliminated? Thanks!

    Get Primal wrote on August 6th, 2009
  4. I’ve been trying to help a vegetarian become primal… her dietary restrictions have been a bit challenging. She eats eggs though so she incorporates eggs, cheese and lentils into her diet as her main sources for protein along with protein powder.

    So here’s the question… Do you know whether eating beans and lentils will slow down her weight loss and if so,… and is it safe to just eat like 2 dozen eggs a day? Or any other thoughts on good sources of protein for a vegetarian.

    Chunster495 wrote on August 6th, 2009
  5. Mark,

    How can you be sure that a diet basically free of carbohydrates is not risky, can you afford to bet your life on it? (refer to your hi bp blog).

    From reading yours and Rustys (FBB) blog and the fitness tips of Sean Nalewanyj, I think a complex carb (whole grain cereal) is important for the fiber mainly, but was criticized for being unprimal. I am about your age (born in 1953) and do not have a crystal ball, so I only eat my primal (egg and sausage) breakfast on my IF days (lunch is your primal salad and dinner is poultry/vegetables also primal). Keep up the great work!!
    Kind regards,

    Patrick wrote on August 6th, 2009
  6. Mark,

    Thank you for all the great information you provide. I know you’ve touched on this before, but I’m still unclear.

    Since going Primal, my husband has begun eating 4 eggs a day for breakfast. I don’t think it’s healthy-he disagrees. Please help settle this dispute!

    Lula wrote on August 6th, 2009
  7. Hello Mark,

    I am really enjoying the 30-day challenge! Thanks for getting so many of us inspired to make needed changes/transitions in our lives. Personally I have reduced carbs dramatically from carboholic to almost none and upped my physical activity from 0 to “lots”. My diet has been almost 100% primal, meat and veggies. But contrary to what I thought, I am just not hungry! And feel like eating only once or twice a day. Any ideas? And is that okay?

    jalense wrote on August 6th, 2009
  8. Mark- A friend let me read PB right before I began the Primal Challenge. Your primal lifestyle makes complete sense from a biological perspective (I am a graduate student with a biology degree). I have read a good deal on the potential “dangers” of artificial sweeteners, but I have remained unconvinced to remove them from my diet. In PB, you mentioned artificial sweeteners trigger a insulin response. This is the most compelling argument I have read against artificial sweeteners. I checked your online appendix, but did not see a more comprehensive explanation of how the insulin response is initiated. Can you explain this further and perhaps share the source/study this information came from?

    Thanks a lot!


    Anne wrote on August 6th, 2009
  9. Hi, Mark,

    My question is not exactly about the challenge, and it may be too political, but it’s troubling me, so here goes:

    With the Numbered Animal Identification System and the recent passage of HR 875, I believe the nation’s small, local grass-fed and organic farmers and ranchers are about to be regulated out of existence. I’m afraid that within 2-3 years we will no longer have a choice in how we feed ourselves and our children.

    What can I as a primal individual and we as a primal group do to keep our primal eating choices available?

    Thanks for all you’re doing to help us regular folks achieve the good health that is our birthright!

    Laura Ragan wrote on August 6th, 2009
  10. As part of MY 30 day challenge, I’m trying to convince my better half that there’s a better way to get healthy. One item on the list is to get him to realize CW isn’t always right.

    He continues to make scrambled eggs with 2 yolks included and one yolk tossed feeling that he’s some how significantly decreasing the cholesterol by eliminating the single yolk.

    You’ve touched on the topic briefly within other posts, but I’m wondering how I can create a better argument to save the yolk?! (Or to realize my greatest fear – he’s actually right?)

    cwdana wrote on August 6th, 2009
    • I face a similar challenge with my better half. My challenge is that he is an avid runner (6 miles/day) and believes he will simply fall apart if he doesn’t run. ‘Runner CW’ rules for him.

      I think our best bet is to live primal and be the best example to them of how it works. (that and compare cholesterol readings from our next annual check-up!)Good luck!

      lori wrote on August 6th, 2009
  11. I came across this article about two tribes on high carb diets:

    Is it really possible to optimize your health as long as you eat real food, move, live and play as naturally as possible? More to the point: does the amount of carbs matter so much when looking at the big picture?

    Min wrote on August 6th, 2009
  12. Love your site and post

    Should I base the amount of Omega 3 supplements I take on the amount of omega 6 I am eating in order to get that 1:1 ratio?

    Dennis wrote on August 6th, 2009
  13. Mark,

    Many of your recipes include some eccentric ingredients (Asian Cucumber, Kohlrabi Wraps, Fennel and Dill Omelet). Are there any pre-existing meals that say an Italian American Family from Louisiana could pull from their cookbooks and still be primal? I know that Louisiana food has their own bit of eccentricities, but the bases of many are rice, flour, and pasta. I am trying to find a meal to pitch to my family in order to show them that; 1) I’m not crazy they have eaten primal and don’t know it and 2) they can be primal without eliminating their traditional foods.


    Luke wrote on August 6th, 2009
  14. Mark, I suffer from anxiety and chronic pain, I am pretty sure the two are linked. What are the best foods to help reduce pain and anxiety?

    jpippenger wrote on August 6th, 2009
  15. Hi Mark,

    My question for you is this:

    Do you think feasting at night is a good idea? I mean having a pretty big meal before going to bed. That would represent grok after a good day out hunting.


    Frank Asselin

    Frank Asselin wrote on August 6th, 2009
  16. Hey Mark,
    I’ve recently made the switch from peanut butter to alternative nut butters, my favorites being almond and sunflower. I’ve heard you mention that you tend to stay away from sunflower butter, but i cant figure out exactly why it’s inferior to almond butter. (both have low omega 3’s, similar protein, etc.)
    Thanks for such a wealth of information on your site and making all to often confusing nutrition easy to understand.

    Richard Coffey wrote on August 6th, 2009
  17. Mark,
    As part of my more primal life style I’m trying to cut out carbs and eating more vegetables. I’m currently eating 5 cups of broccoli with 3oz of shrimp and olive oil with a pinch of salt as a meal. Here’s a link to the “recipe” That’s a whopping 56 grams of carbs a meal. Is that too much carbs even if it’s coming from vegetables? I am fairly lean but am trying to burn a bit more fat. Thanks Mark!

    Byung wrote on August 6th, 2009
  18. Thanks Mark!

    There seems to be a big void of information when it comes to being pregnant and practicing a more primal lifestyle. All the messages I get from society/culture are: rest! sleep! eat whatever you want! if you exercise don’t let your heart rate go above 140!

    I don’t like it. I get very strange looks when I go to the gym. I can’t imagine that Grok’s pregnant wife just quit being active and ate all that differently (I will admit to having big carb cravings but they aren’t overwhelming).

    What do you think? This is my first pregnancy and my husband and I are planning on more in the next few years, so I will more often be pregnant than not but I can’t find much support (at least online) for being primal and pregnant.

    Michelle wrote on August 6th, 2009
  19. “Boxers or briefs?” (Kidding! Please don’t ask that)

    #1: Didn’t Grok go Commando?

    #2 (clarification): Primal Blueprint’s “Carb Curve” = Net carbs?

    #3: What are your thoughts on supplementing extra amounts of specific amino acids for treating different problems (such as stress, sugar cravings, etc..).

    Grok wrote on August 6th, 2009
  20. My sister is a teenager and agrees with the primal idea on eating, but tends to eat carbs and junk because she feels there is nothing else to eat in the house. Can you give me some ideas on what one could eat from a traditionally stocked kitchen without starving or eating the same thing over and over again? I feel that this is just her excuse, but I haven’t found the right suggestions for her. I do okay when I visit the family, but I do tend to not eat as much as there isn’t much food that I am willing to eat.

    lfisher wrote on August 6th, 2009
  21. Mark,

    I think it’s time for a PB cookbook! Will you consider one? If not a full fledged book (so soon after your latest), then a tab on your home page dedicated to recipes by meal (B,L, D and snacks)? How ’bout it?

    lori wrote on August 6th, 2009
    • I second this! but I want a real physical book please! Trying to make dinner in front of the computer is no fun. I have started printing out and formatting the recipes you do have so I can get to them more easily but I am willing to pay to have someone else do it.

      Licarrit wrote on August 6th, 2009
      • Third vote for the tangible cookbook. I too still appreciate having the physical book. Great idea!

        CardioJunkie wrote on August 6th, 2009
  22. Mark,

    What do you think of the idea of not having specific goals, and instead focusing on general goals and directions? This way, you are not disappointed if you fall short of achieving the goal, and you don’t have to obsess over it during the challenge (“OMG I only lost 1 pound last week”).

    For example, instead of ‘Lose 10 pounds’, could the goal instead be simply ‘Lose weight?’ This way, at the end of the challenge, you are not disappointed if you only lose 5lbs – which, when looked at objectively, is great – that’s 60lbs a year! Indeed, you should be thrilled that you are moving in the right direction, unburdened by artificial goals/checkpoints along the way.

    Thanks for the blog AND the book (which was excellent by the way),


    Matt wrote on August 6th, 2009
  23. Mark,
    My question is, which modern day sport or game to you think Grok’s physical attributes and lifestyle would have suited him to the most?

    Dan Morgan wrote on August 6th, 2009
  24. Mark,

    Avid reader here and have a question for you. I have had Lupus (SLE) for a few years now and have tried numerous things to reduce the inflammation of flare ups as much as possible. I have tried Cumin, Ginger as well as others with no results. I currently am a slave to Prednisone and that medicine is terrible. Do you have any suggestions as far as a Primal diet to help reduce inflammation of the joints? I know some foods can either trigger or support flare ups in SLE patients. I currently supplement with Fish oil and Glucosamine as well. I have also tried coconut oil as well. Any advice or suggestions would be great as there really isn’t a whole lot of research on the topic. Thanks.

    Paul wrote on August 6th, 2009
  25. First off, I want to say thank you for the blog. It has lead me from a “frankenfood”-leaning Atkins approach to a much healthier lifestyle, and I am very grateful. But there is still one thing I am still confused about, and I’ve been thinking about it after seeing it on the forums and in a few blogs…

    I recently read information that claims that cheese was originally made around 8000 BCE – putting it about 10,000 years ago. This is the same time period that is mentioned for when out genes would have been “finished”, so to speak. Of course, cheese then would have been less sophisticated, but more aged, “newer” cheeses also have lower amounts of lactose and thus are lower carb, so I am lumping all of them into one group here for my purposes.
    If we are lucky enough to be from a genetic background that allows for the digestion of cheese (specifically lactose and casein), what is the harm of including it in our diet? The cheese post has it as a gray area, one to be included seldom.

    The question: For those of us who have the luck, can we include cheese as a more regular part of our recipes and menu?

    lady_daraine wrote on August 6th, 2009
  26. Mark,

    I recently convinced my vegetarian girlfriend to go Primal with me at the start of the Challenge. While I’ve convinced her to start eating fish, eggs and poultry she is flat out refusing to eat pork or any red meats.

    So, my question then is: What is she missing, nutrient-wise? Are there any important nutrients in red meats that you can’t find in fish, poultry, eggs and high-fat dairy?

    Mattthias wrote on August 6th, 2009
  27. Any tips for convincing my 16 year old son, who already takes meds for depression, that his diet and his love of carbs is a major long-term issue in his life? I can force him to read PB, but 16-year-olds believe they are immortal.

    Other than by example, any good ideas on how to get him to WANT to change his ways?

    Damon wrote on August 6th, 2009
  28. Dear Mark,

    I am a 26 year old female who has had two babies in two years. I was wondering if you could address the topic of applying the primal blueprint to females, specifically young mothers. Pregnancy and nursing are very hard on the body and I am wondering if, beyond avoiding grains and sugars, there are any foods and or supplements you recommend for someone like myself.


    Shannon wrote on August 6th, 2009
  29. Hi Mark,

    I have a question about your Primal Rules:
    Move around a lot at a slow pace & run fast every once in a while.

    Grok certainly didn’t sit at a desk in front of a computer for 8+ hours a day like I do. I feel like I need more running or high pace cardio activity than every once in a while.

    Can you please elaborate on why we should only move at a slow pace most of the time?


    MandyGirl77 wrote on August 6th, 2009
  30. Mark,
    I am doing well cutting the carbs in the sense of grains, breads, etc, following the Primal workout methods and reducing stress. However, I am not doing so well in the sugar department. I look forward to my little bit of ice cream or frozen yogurt each night. What are some good ways to try to elminiate the need for sweets. Thanks!

    Natalie wrote on August 6th, 2009
  31. Mark –

    I find the idea of the PB fascinating, but I’m diabetic and concerned with the low carb reqs of it. Burning keytones is one of the big things to avoid for diabetics as it indicates a dangerously low blood sugar level. How does the Primal Blueprint work for someone who has diabetes (type II in my case)?

    Terry wrote on August 6th, 2009
    • Terry,

      I’m a Type 2 for 24 years and by eating a very low carb diet have eliminated all my meds. My fasting sugar level is usually in the 80s. I think what you are fearing is “keytone acidosis” which is a condition that can effect Type 1 diabetics and is related to their inability to produce insulin. Burning keytones is not the same thing as keytone acidosis. You do it when you sleep at night or any other time when you haven’t eaten for a length of time. If you have any questions about low carb and diabetes let me know.

      David wrote on September 22nd, 2009
  32. Mark:

    What is your opinion of nightshades (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant) in the Primal diet?

    Thanks for the advice.

    Wendy wrote on August 6th, 2009
  33. We all can see you have a good following. However, when I look at your biography page it is a bit vague on thing that really should be talked about. What are your qualifications on making many of the claims you post?

    Nick wrote on August 6th, 2009
  34. Mark,

    I have been following the PB for about two months now. I enjoy the idea of barefooting and I have recently purchased a pair of the Five Fingers to substitute for my “conventional” performance running shoes. I do not have any foot issues however I have occasional/minor ligament pain from running.

    Q: What is an appropriate transition from running shoes to Five Fingers? I enjoy using them for my runs but have had some issues because of my “non-Grok”, softie feet. What transition did you or others have to go through before you were using the Vibrams 100% of the time?


    bringthefurey wrote on August 6th, 2009
  35. Mark,

    The Primal Blueprint is about total lifestyle and not just diet & exercise. My question relates to stress and stressors. Small, infrequent stressors can be good for the body as in the concept of hormesis. It is why intermittant fasting (IF) can produce great results.

    Larger, frequent stressors can cause the body undue harm such as the release of cortisol. This is the “stress” most people endure in the workplace, home etc that doctors and you say we should avoid.

    My question is:

    Will adding good stressors to a stressful day/life still elicit the positive effects or will it compound the problem?

    If I’m having a really terrible day and I decide to IF. Is that going to make things worse or will I still experience the benefits of IF? Is it even worth it?


    P.S. What about the best of both worlds and say boxer-briefs?

    Clint wrote on August 6th, 2009
  36. Your challenge has inspired me to “get with the program”. I changed my way of eating in January, but I haven’t changed my sedentary ways much. Would it be more beneficial to A) join the YMCA and begin to lift weights, or B) start walking every day and add a few sprints here and there as I become more active?

    juno61 wrote on August 6th, 2009
  37. Mark,

    I tend to follow the train how my body feels. Feeling explosive? Maybe sprints are in order. Arms and chest still sore? Lets scarp the weights and go for a hike instead.

    Problem occurs after an illness/flu. My mind and body feel better so I want to get back into the workout swing of things but I tend to come back to hard to soon. In short, what guidelines do you follow when recovering from the flu or some other chest/head infection?


    Eric wrote on August 6th, 2009
  38. So I’ve been trying to spread the word about the benefits of going Primal to my friends, family, coworkers, random encounters (when they comment on my Vibrams!), and others that blindly follow CW. In a lot of ways, actions speak louder than words, and my improved fitness is noticed and helps my argument. I am slowly attempting to make my social structures happier, fitter and healthier, which should in turn make me happier, fitter and healthier. So:

    What, in your opinion, is the best reason for going Primal?

    Thank you Mark!

    Weston wrote on August 6th, 2009
  39. It’s not always easy or affordable to get your hands on some nice grass-fed beef. When grass-fed beef is not available do you think that it’s better to avoid the grocery store grain-fattened, hormorne-laden beef all together and opt for other protein sources?

    Claire wrote on August 6th, 2009
  40. I like to plan ahead: what happens once the 30 days are up? Should we just keep going for another 30 (or more) days? Or devise another, different challenge? What is the best way to avoid falling back into old habits?

    Sylvie Ouellette wrote on August 6th, 2009

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