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. Mark,

    My goal is to eat as primal as I can for the next 30 day (hopefully the rest of my life). My question is how much organ meat should I be eating? 1 or 2 meals a week? Or is more better?


    John Gillis

    John Gillis wrote on August 6th, 2009
  2. Hey Mark,

    You refer to Reprogramming Our Genes in adapting the Primal lifestyle.
    So…after how many weeks/months/years(?) of Primal Living will our genes start adapting/reprogramming?
    30 days may be plenty of time to bring about many changes, but is it enough to create genetic change?

    Thanks much!

    Tom wrote on August 6th, 2009
  3. Hey Mark,

    What are a few of the “Big Picture” aspects of the primal lifestyle that people often miss as they focus in on the much smaller details?

    I’ve seen an example of people debating whether plastic bottles or lined aluminum cans are best/worst for holding their SUGAR-laden soft drinks that they consume six or more times a day. Drop the sugar, THEN worry about the much smaller container issue!


    Rodney wrote on August 6th, 2009
  4. So many questions.. Here`s another one for ya..

    I`m writing as an European Primal… Do you have any plans to spread the word about Primal living in our parts? Sure.. the site is world wide, but I mean an actual tour if I may say so. Here is hard talking about low-carb.. not to mention primal..

    Keep up the good work,

    Bianca D.

    InPhatos wrote on August 6th, 2009
  5. What are your thoughts on baby formula? Or, what are your thoughts (and please give some tips) on how to incorporate the new addition into primal living?


    Katelyn Rauch wrote on August 6th, 2009
  6. Hi Mark,

    I have a question about the chronic cardio…

    While I agree that for optimal health, you don’t need to train a lot (or not at all) in the ‘chronic cardio’-zone.

    But, after just finishing the great book ‘Born to Run’ from McDougall, I felt a great urge to run and keep on running.

    The Tarahumara seem to be able to keep on running without compromising their health.

    Is that true? Or are they compromising their health? (any facts/data on their health?)

    And if they are very healthy, is it because of the fact that they run at what you call ‘easy cardio’?

    Or is their health so good because of other lifestyle factors such as: play, good ‘natural’ social environment, living in the outdoors, …?


    pieter d wrote on August 6th, 2009
  7. Mark,
    I have a eating and working out Primal for over two years straight. I see how its changed not only my life but how it influences everyone around me. Do you think that if most or all of everyone ate this way we could not only change our health but it would really start to solve our countries economic issues?

    Joe Petrusky wrote on August 6th, 2009
  8. Mark,

    Can a vegetarian adopt a primal blueprint?
    I’ve been one my whole life, and find the idea of eating meat personally to be incompatible w/ my views. I have no objection to anyone else eating it, and acknowledge that it is the healthier path. What would would you recommend in a case like mine?



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

    (Having difficulty posting, hope this isn’t a duplicate)

    What is your most effective method of winning people over to the primal blueprint (aside from writing a book!)?

    I am in fitness and I always seem to find myself in the conventional wisdom type gyms with no like minded people. I can work my magic with the workouts in these settings (and I don’t mind looking crazy at all) but I still have trouble getting them out of the fat is bad and what about cardio? mentality because those ideas are coming at them from every angle. I give reading lists and homework and LOTS of explanation. I consider myself an educator on converting to this healthy way of living , eating, and thinking and I prefer/use simplicity. How can I get through to these people? Where do you start?


    Rubberbandman wrote on August 6th, 2009
  10. Dear Mark,

    In your opinion, what is the optimal intake of Alcohol (ethanol) during a typical month such as this month of August Primal Challenge?

    ex. 1 drink per day or 2 drinks per week, etc.

    Thank you,


    JeT wrote on August 6th, 2009
  11. So I am kind of on board and have focused primarily on not eating grains and potatoes (and finding that removing those got rid of >50% of what I eat and made it so my wife mostly says “you’re on your own” in regard to meals.

    My question: is there a list somewhere of good foods for the PB lifestyle? Some of it is pretty obvious, but I find references here and there about not eating things that I would have thought were okay (green beans, peas). Fruit is generally okay, but not citrus or bananas? Are apples okay (if not, your blog title is pretty ironic ;^) ?

    Thanks, Doug

    Doug Van Cleve wrote on August 6th, 2009
  12. Mark,

    How early in life can someone start living Primal? How late in life?

    Frank wrote on August 6th, 2009
  13. In the long term what are your goals for Mark’s Daily Apple, The Primal Blueprint, and your message in general? Do you want to help a select few or change the world as a whole? Just exactly how far do you want this to go and how far are you willing to take it?

    IDRISCKY wrote on August 6th, 2009
  14. Love your site!

    My question: With what do I replace my husband’s beloved whole-grain bread, so he can still take a “normal” sandwich for lunch.

    Edna wrote on August 6th, 2009
  15. Hi Mark –

    I am one of many coming to you from a yo-yo approach with short healthy periods separated by much longer unhealthy ones. This is my second 30 day challenge. My last one was 1 year ago and I was very pleased with the results.

    Gains from each new healthier period seem to be harder to get and those gains seem to be lost much faster when we stop. Is this our imagination? If not, what is happening? I know the answer to stopping this is just to have one big healthy period. :)

    BigFatty wrote on August 6th, 2009
  16. Mark,
    Been following the PB now for about 2 months, have seen and felt significant changes in body, mind and spirit. One thing that has been troubling me: My sleep patterns. I dont seem to be sleepy at bed time, nor sleep as late in the morning. My overall hours of required sleep, to feel refreshed, has dropped by at least 2 hours, down to 6 – 7 hours a night. Could this be due to the nutrient density of my foods and there ease of digestion??

    Zak wrote on August 6th, 2009
  17. Hi Mark,

    If I understand correctly, one of your carb posts indicates that carb intake over 150g daily may be appropriate for heavy exercisers who are trying to maintain, not lose, bodyfat. I wonder if 200g daily, from primal sources, is appropriate in a case like mine.

    The details: I’m female, 31 years old, 5’3″, 110 lbs, very lean with well-developed muscle. My workouts (intervals, bodyweight plus some iron, and 1 moderate distance run weekly) total about 5 hours per week. I spend another 2-6 hours daily doing moderate physical activity (horse training & farm chores).

    About 1 month into full-on primal eating (previously vegan), I’m maintaining well at 2000-2500 calories daily. Macros: 50-60% fat, 15-25% protein, and about 30% carbs (150-200g).

    BarbeyGirl wrote on August 6th, 2009
  18. What do you do when you have family members who do not follow the primal blueprint or have any knowledge of sound nutrition in general? These people leave candies, sweets, and processed food all around the house and can sometimes be tempting to look at. You tell them all you know about a primal lifestyle but it seems to go in one ear and out the other. What are some ways to cope with this, stay strong, and continue to follow the primal blueprint?

    John Park wrote on August 6th, 2009
  19. I just ordered the book and love your blog BUT one question I have is caffeine… or should I say “my beloved morning coffee!”.
    What’s your vibe on caffeine? Do you drink coffee?
    Does caffeine spike insulin levels? If so, can one BIG cup in the morning do a lot of damage?
    Thanks Marc!

    Dani wrote on August 6th, 2009
  20. Mark,

    In the Primal Blueprint you speak about healthy fats containing rich Omega 3 fats. You discuss why Omega 6 fats albeit are good for you, but in our current diets (I speak of general Americans) we are getting to high of an Omega 6 to 3 ratio. To correct that you explain about eating more healthy fats to offset the high Omega 6’s. You suggest avocados, olives/oils, coconut oil, fishes, nuts. Ever since I read your book I see many posts on the site about rendering lards, tallows, and poultry fats from grass fed, organic animals. I’ve even read on your site where people are taking spoonfuls of butter or lard instead of a snack of healthy nuts. Am I to understand that eating rendered lard from a rage free, organic local pig is just as healthy as an avocado?

    Thanks in advance. Future Grok,
    Dan Merk

    Daniel Merk wrote on August 6th, 2009
  21. Do you have any recommendations about fiber consumption?

    Greg at Live Fit wrote on August 6th, 2009
  22. Hi Mark – what is metabolic syndrome, what does it cause, and what’s the link between it and cholestrol, BP, diabetes, & heart disease (if any). Thanks!

    CardioJunkie wrote on August 6th, 2009
  23. How can I convince my family and freinds to give a primal diet a try when their doctors, the media, and all the CW are telling them the opposite?

    Larry E. wrote on August 6th, 2009
  24. Dear Mark,
    Can having too much fruit be detrimental to overall health?

    Tracy wrote on August 6th, 2009
  25. Mark,

    I have been experimenting with the paleo/zone diet for a couple months now. Each month I work towards becoming more paleo orientated. My biggest problem is the morning meal. I usually make an omelet with peppers, spinach and all natural bacon (no nitrides). When I don’t have time or the foods for an omelet I tend to do oatmeal with milk + scoop of protein and almond butter, sometimes topped with fresh fruit. My question is what else can I eat in the morning besides eggs, cause I know oatmeal and meal aren’t exactly paleo? Love the challenge. Thanks,

    Justin wrote on August 6th, 2009
    • oatmeal and milk*

      Justin wrote on August 6th, 2009
  26. Hi Mark,
    I just wanted to ask you if you had any views on post workout nutrition. I know that a large part of your message is about eating a diet that is based around meats, poultry, eggs, fish and veggies.

    However, the post workout window is a bit different. With insulin sensitivity at a heightened state post workout, do you feel it’s wise to consume protein and carbs without fat? – in order to maximise protein synthesis as most would agree that the presence of fats slows protein synthesis and lowers GI.

    What I’m getting at is carbs in the form of fructose (I know that you would be dead against any carbs without value, like dextrose etc) but in higher does to encourage a great insulin response or spike? – even if it still meant that overall carb intake for the day was under the 150 gms maintenance range. Or frankly, does none of this matter to you?

    Also, do you think it matters hugely (in realation to insulin sensitivity)if carbs are spread out gradually through the day or eaten during a short period (IF for example).

    Hope these questions were not too stupid. Thanks, Andy.

    Andy Meacock wrote on August 6th, 2009
  27. Dear Mark,

    I am going on a 2.5 Day Camping Trip in beautiful Ohio this weekend.

    1. What should be the main staples that I pack in my cooler to be a 21st century Grok?

    2. What non-intuitive physical activities should I include over the weekend (besides swimming, hiking, walking, fishing, etc.)?

    Thank you,


    JeT wrote on August 6th, 2009
  28. Mark,

    Is living a more primal existence beyond diet and exercise part of the primal blueprint. Do you think it should it be?

    By this I mean less technology, fewer modern conveniences such as cars, electricity, the internet (gasp!), growing our own food, using natural health remedies where possible; just generally going back to more primal roots.

    What do you think? Would adopting a more basic ‘primal’ existence overall make us healthier and happier or should we embrace technology and modern industrial advances?

    grainfreegirl wrote on August 6th, 2009
  29. Mark, I am a powerlifter. I do sprints on light lifting days and not on heavy days. So from that standpoint, I have the “cardio” aspect covered. How can I eat enough food to build massive amounts of muscle for the strength training that I do with the PB? What would help even if I wasn’t stength training the way I do to gain massive amounts of muscle?

    Keith wrote on August 6th, 2009
  30. Hi Mark! I’m newly pregnant – my hunger has become ravenous & my energy has plummeted!

    How/should I adapt my Primal Blueprint to my new baby-growing body?

    Should I change my expectations as far as my physical capabilities are concerned for the time being? Or push through the exhaustion?

    Eating enough protein has NOT been a problem, but fruit has been my vice in quelling my nausea. Am I doing more harm than good?

    I’m sure Grokette wouldn’t have had the luxury of feeling sick and tired all day, and SURELY she wouldn’t have been able to say “Oh only figs ‘sound good’ for breakfast…”

    What’s a modern mama to do?

    Carley wrote on August 6th, 2009
  31. I remember messaging you about my having Crohn’s Disease, you told me a whole lot of stuff about diet (which was much appreciated) I remember you telling me about grains being the “scourge of mankind” and what cause my Crohn’s Disease… what exactly do you mean by that? How do grains cause it?

    Brendan Pace wrote on August 6th, 2009
  32. Mark,
    I know the fitness aspect of your blueprint is focused on consistent low level activity, heavy weight lifting, and sprints and that you consistently discourage what you refer to as chronic cardio. While I can certainly understand that no one is going to see results by endlessly jogging on a treadmill or watching tv from a stationary bike, I was hoping you could elaborate on the downsides of steady-state cardio.
    I’ve been seeing some research that would indicate grok would have engaged in activities such as persistence hunting where he would be running for hours at a time. This seems especially necessary before weapons such as spears and bows were developed for hunting. Wouldn’t it be in line with our evolution to include activities like marathon training and long runs at a moderate pace?

    Thanks and keep the challenge coming!

    Andy wrote on August 6th, 2009
  33. Mark,

    In my primal journey, my well meaning friends and my doctor are telling me that my body NEEDS carbs to function properly. And we’re not necessarily talking carbs from vegetables and fruits here, but carbs from grains. I respectfully disagree with them but they won’t leave it alone. Can you point out any studies to debunk this idea or offer words of wisdom (other than find new friends). Thanks! :)

    musajen wrote on August 6th, 2009
  34. How detremental to the challange would have a cheat day or meal be? What if all it is is a cheat cookie? I would think taking coffee black is the best option, but how many cups of coffee is too many?

    Geoff wrote on August 6th, 2009
  35. I read on your site that you are not a fan of Juicing. Is that correct and why?

    AngelaSkabelund wrote on August 6th, 2009
  36. Hey Mark,

    Do you think that following the CrossFit workout schedule of “3 days on, 1 day off” is actually too much exercise?

    huey wrote on August 6th, 2009
  37. I have been on Primal/Paleo life style since January. I am 5’10” 212 lbs male 43 years old. I have lost 24 pounds and gone from 34+% body fat to 21%(calipers measure). I am just starting regular exercise as part of my 30 day challenge. I have been eating between 1500 and 2000 calories a day using my hunger as a guide and have been eating 50 gm or less of carbs for the last 3 months(maybe once a week I will hit 100gms of carbs). For the last month I have not lost any weight. The last 2 weeks I have really struggled with sweet (chocolate) cravings(still able to keep carbs below 100 on bad days). Any suggestions to get the fat loss moving again?

    jamtee wrote on August 6th, 2009
  38. As much as everyone wants to be primal, modern groks have to deal with the pains of transitioning to primarily using fat for fuel– are there foods or activities to make this transition period easier?

    Aaron Ashmann wrote on August 6th, 2009
  39. Mark,
    I fear that I’ve primalized my diet TOO much. I actually have a really hard time keeping carbs above 50 grams. I’ve been trying recently to eat an apple and avacado per day to up the carbs. So here is my question…

    Are there any risks with going more than the recommended 1-2 days on less than 50 grams of carbs? Thanks!

    Matt Mizwicki wrote on August 6th, 2009
  40. Mark,
    I work 14 hours a day plus 2 hours of driving each day. I’m trying to eat better but time makes it very difficult. I don’t have time to eat breakfast before I leave and have just enough time to drive through somewhere for lunch. I get home too late to really make dinner so if I have dinner it’s another drivethru. So when I get home I’m to tired to really do anything so I watch tv for maybe and hour and then go to bed, and start all over again. This is 6-7 days a week, I also have hypertension and trying to lose at least 20lbs of body fat, 7-8 of them during the challenge as a sort of kick start to get everything going. What would you recommend for an eating and exercise pattern. Ex. Snaks, meals, workouts.

    Brady Mallory wrote on August 6th, 2009

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