Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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September 11, 2010

Contest: Give Advice, Win Books

By Mark Sisson
422 Comments

UPDATE: This contest is closed. Visit the 30 Day Challenge Contest Page to find out which contests are still open, and to view winners.

The Prize:

A Primal Library. A collection of handy books to fill out the shelf of any newcomer or Primal veteran. Included are:

  • The Primal Blueprint – A pastoral drama that explores the tension and frustration of unrequited love between a farm hand and an aristocrat during times of… just kidding. It’s my book!
  • The Primal Blueprint Cookbook – And so is this one!
  • Good Calories, Bad Calories – Gary Taubes seminal work on the take down of the old “calories in, calories out” approach to health.
  • The Garden of EatingPresents a practical plan for obtaining the health-building benefits of an alkaline, produce-dominated diet that includes pastured-animal products. Includes 250 delicious, family-friendly, grain- and dairy-free recipes.
  • Sugar Shock – The ultimate handbook for yanking out the sweet tooth. And if you’re looking for some serious schooling on curing your sugar addiction, check out Connie Bennett’s 6 Week Online Course.
  • The Gluten Free Almond Flour Cookbook – Yes, there’s a giant cake on the cover of this one. But fear not, Grok Stars, Elana (of Elana’s Pantry) does some truly wondrous and Primal stuff with almonds inside the cover.

The Contest:

Got knowledge? Want to spread that knowledge? Do it now. In 50 words or less, leave a comment on today’s post with your best piece of advice for folks just starting out with the Primal lifestyle. While some of you have been reading Mark’s Daily Apple for years, many folks reading this hadn’t heard of “Grok” or the idea that “fat is healthy” until just a few days ago. So for anyone who’s spent a little time on the blog, now’s your chance to tell folks the one thing you wish you had been told at the beginning of your journey. A winner will be picked at random from all eligible comments.

The Deadline:

September 12, 8:00 a.m. PST. You’ve got one day, make it count!

Who is Eligible:

Anyone. Except the Easter Bunny. Because (spoiler alert) the Easter Bunny does not exist.

Fine Print:

Indeed, all the print you’ll be receiving if you win is fine. So fine.

The Official Contest Page – Contests are open, find out which ones can still enter!

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422 Comments on "Contest: Give Advice, Win Books"

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Jstrick
Jstrick
6 years 15 days ago

Short and sweet:

Did you have a little too much beer over the weekend? Splurge on some delicious(but not primal) Mexican fare? Don’t sit around moping about your failures, move on! These slip ups will be insignificant bumps on the road of life!

Rachel
Rachel
6 years 15 days ago

When starting out, follow all the rules. The amount of information required to change your life is overwhelming, and sometimes the best filter is a narrow one. If you start as clean as possible, you set yourself up for a much better future, even if you find yourself adding back something like dairy after a few weeks.

Kenwood Dennard
3 years 1 month ago

Question: what’s the difference between Atkins and Paleo.
I have had good results on Atkins in the past.

Joshua Pepping
Joshua Pepping
6 years 15 days ago

Find a friend. It can be a buddy a girl/boyfriend. Just like everything two heads are better than one. If one you are having a hard time the other can crank up the motivation. It’s much easier to make the transition with a friend than on your own.

asugirl
asugirl
4 years 1 month ago

testing to see if I can post yet! 🙂

jus
jus
6 years 15 days ago

Don’t choose imitations. When going Primal, commit by eating foods Grok ate, not by creating imitation foods you already eat using primal friendly ingredients. Primal foods are delicious, so start enjoying them. Enjoy your food; don’t focus on how it doesn’t live up to the real thing.

Karen
Karen
4 years 6 months ago

So, you’re saying that Grok wouldn’t make fajitas, so I should just eat roast meat? I am not being sarcastic…but serious.

Bobbi
Bobbi
6 years 15 days ago
I was vegan when I found PB. I have been primal for a year now. My advice to someone just starting would be to have an open mind/heart and to listen to your body. Read the book or Primal blupint 101 so you understan why you are doing what you are doing. Figure out how many grams of carbs, protein, and fat (you) need. The mistake I made at first was thinking I already knew what was in my food. Fitday is going to be a great tool at first. Give it 100% and at the end of 30 days… Read more »
Patrick
Patrick
6 years 15 days ago

Convince yourself wholeheartedly of the truth, that grains and processed foods are bad for you. Then remove them from your place of residence and don’t allow them back in.

stephanie
stephanie
6 years 15 days ago

Get educated! Read everything you can on the subject. Get a cookbook to help keep it interesting and exciting. Get support from your friends and family. Join a crossfit or similar type gym where you’ll find tons or support and fellow groks.

Good luck!

Jenni Whitley
Jenni Whitley
6 years 15 days ago

Giving up grain is easier than you think. After a couple of days without bagels, pasta, rice…. you won’t even crave it anymore, and you’ll have leaped what you thought was the toughest hurdle of becoming primal.

Echo
Echo
6 years 15 days ago

KEEP IT SIMPLE, salads with lots of veggies and protein are great for lunch (they pack well). Dinner is meat seasoned well with lots of fresh veggies. Breakfast, fast or protein shake, eggs etc. Don’t try making mock recipes the first week, enjoy good food first, it easier that way.

Kit Perkins
6 years 15 days ago

Read as much as you can. Read blogs, books, research reports, and most importantly nutrition labels. You’ll be amazed at how much crap was in what you ate (and how much it was killing you). It won’t be long until you can’t even consider eating banned food without getting queasy.

Sarah Madden
Sarah Madden
6 years 15 days ago

Three words. Plan, plan, plan! Always have a PB option available to you at all times. This means carrying primal snacks and knowing what you are going to eat a few days ahead of time. You will find it much easier to ignore neolethal distractions and stick to the plan knowing you have a yummy meal waiting for you at home. Bulk cooking and freezing are lifesavers on those days when you just want take-out.

Any time I have ever strayed it has always been through lack of planning.

Brent
Brent
6 years 15 days ago

Just can’t live without your Indian or Thai curries? Instead of pouring them on rice, pour them on finely shredded cabbage. Also, most recipe sites have tons of “low carb” ideas, read carefully and get inspired – not deflated!

Nicole
Nicole
4 years 1 month ago

or cabbage! i think it tastes better than rice with curry!

Raven Moon
Raven Moon
6 years 15 days ago

Primal can be done on a tight budget! Don’t sweat it if you can’t go 100% organic! I can’t afford it because I am just a poor college student 🙁 Just make to that you get plenty of good oils. Just by giving up sugars, and grains you are already a huge step ahead of everyone else! And don’t let others bring your way of eating down, stick to your guns, and bring a friend along for the ride

JennF
JennF
6 years 15 days ago

Get out of the “all or nothing” mindset. This is not a diet, it’s life. If you go out to eat and have dessert, you didn’t fall of the wagon. There is no wagon! Count it as your 20% and move on.

meredith
6 years 15 days ago

Don’t spend a whole bunch of time, energy and money trying to convert “neo” food favorites to “primal” safe recipes. Things like almond meal cookies keep you from fully embracing primal eating. Keep it simple. Hungry? Eat! Eat meat! Eat veggies! Eat some berries! Eat some nuts! Super simple, super satisfying.

Jordan
Jordan
6 years 15 days ago

Socrates said “Know thyself.” Living a Primal lifestyle can be a big adjustment. I needed to slowly replace old habits with new ones over time. However, friends have found success going “cold-turkey”. What works for you? Finally, Primal isn’t a contest; take it as far as you prefer.

sara kate
sara kate
6 years 15 days ago

grocery shop frequently. buying less and going more often helps you waste less and always have something on hand to eat. second. lean into it first. 80-85% first then try going 100%. that helped me tremendously! third. listen to you body and not the media. believe what mark tells you and i promise you will feel better than ever.

Justin Drummond
Justin Drummond
6 years 15 days ago

Don’t delay! Why start with dipping your toes in the water? Dive in head first with your loin cloth flapping in the breeze!

It takes a leap of faith to disregard conventional wisdom, but this is the leap that will change your life.

Rinda
Rinda
6 years 15 days ago

Be willing to learn to cook for yourself, and start as quick as you can collecting awesome recipes. This diet can get boring if you treat your meat the same way all the time.

Aaron
Aaron
6 years 15 days ago

Neither real food nor exercise come from a box.

Andi H
Andi H
6 years 14 days ago

I LOVE this comment! More of a slogan, or a personal mantra. Short, sweet, and to the point!

Austin
Austin
6 years 15 days ago

Go out and read as much as you can on living primally, and make it a true lifestyle: a long-term commitment where, “on average,” your health comes out ahead. That means learning not to obsess over the small things or the occasional “cheat”. Just cut carbs and don’t drink calories!

Saffa
Saffa
6 years 15 days ago

Understanding that fat is healthy has been the hardest challenge. I tried fit day but it takes so long to enter all the foods. Until you get it have some blind faith and just follow the Primal Blueprint recipes until it comes more naturally. It really does work.

I love to read MDA whenever I need a little more motivation or understanding. I also love talking to or face booking to friends who have gone primal.

PrimalMike
PrimalMike
6 years 15 days ago

Don’t EVER let someone else make you feel like some weird outcast because of your lifestyle choices. People will make unsupportive comments and remarks. Have the passion and focus on your own health and brush off the ‘peer pressure’ from others to conform to the Standard American Diet.

September
September
6 years 15 days ago

Jump right in! It’s worth the effort to make big changes because (1) you’ll start to feel stronger very quickly, and (2) you won’t be going back to how it was. The more you eat well and move your own bodyweight, the more you’ll be able to (and want to!).

Alyssa
Alyssa
6 years 15 days ago

Don’t stress yourself out! This lifestyle is a learning curve, so don’t worry about being perfect from the beginning. Stressing is not Grok-like, unless it’s immediate stress resulting from being chased down by a vicious creature of your choice =)

TSherry
TSherry
6 years 15 days ago

Keep a bag of your favorite nuts close by. A couple handfuls goes a long way. You’ll be surprised you missed lunch, but aren’t even hungry.

Andrew Hunter
Andrew Hunter
6 years 15 days ago

Try being strictly paleo–no 20% slipping–for, say, a month. It’s not that long. You may find by the end that you no longer want a lot of the bad foods.

Roland
6 years 15 days ago

“It gets better.”

Ritesh Dhupar
Ritesh Dhupar
6 years 15 days ago

It’s very easy to “Go Primal”. Just eat food (real food-what your grandparents have been eating), stay fit by exercising, and sleeeeeppp!!! Balance it all out. You will realize that this Primal way of living will naturally takes it’s place in your life.

Quette
Quette
6 years 15 days ago

Caveat: if your grandparents ate bread 4 times a day like mine did, you may want to go look at someone else’s grandparents 🙂

Debbie
Debbie
4 years 10 months ago

Love it!!!!

Seadanes
Seadanes
6 years 15 days ago

Clean out your pantry, forget CW, phone a Primal friend, be patient. Life is a journey, not a destination, so enjoy the trip, celebrate your successes, and never beat yourself up when you trip (or fall).

J
J
6 years 15 days ago
Being a college student I was afraid that my budget wouldn’t be enough to cover this new lifestyle. And to begin with it has been a little more expensive than what I would normally pay for groceries, but the majority of that is because I didn’t have any spices or oils or anything to cook with. Now that I have started a collection of ingredients I’ve seen that I can actually buy “primal”-ly and afford it. So if you’re concerned with your first few visits to the grocery store to make the primal change, don’t worry about it too much!… Read more »
Marie S.
Marie S.
6 years 15 days ago

Use common sense! You can listen to someone telling you to eat highly processed foods filled with chemicals and additives, or you can listen to someone telling you to eat the fruits of the earth, wholesome meats, vegetables, and fruits.
You decide.

Mademoiselle
Mademoiselle
6 years 15 days ago

Get ready to be called crazy.
Embrace crazy.

Eric
Eric
6 years 14 days ago

LOVE it!

Quette
Quette
6 years 15 days ago

Keep it simple, and learn to cook. When getting started stick to the basics: real food! Avoid replacements and substitutes. Don’t go crazy on nuts. Sleep a lot. Oh, and veggies taste awesome with butter.

mishlnaz
mishlnaz
5 years 10 months ago

Veggies are also awesome when they have a little coconut oil on them. Mmmmm!

Amarie84
Amarie84
6 years 15 days ago

Think about who you have to live for. Then imagine accomplishing that and teaching them how to live a long and healthy life. Going primal is not only effortless, but full of amazingly flavor and filling dishes. So give it a try, what’s the worse that could happen? Better health!

Jennifer
Jennifer
6 years 15 days ago

It’s hard for others to relate to this way of life unless they fully understand it. Find a Primal Partner who can help keep you motivated and stay confident, even on the slip up days.

Satchel Paige
6 years 15 days ago

Approach this initially as a one week challenge in self-discipline. Don’t fret over what you’re giving up or why at first – just consider it an experiment and see what happens! The results will almost inevitably make a believer out of you and old habits will be much easier to break.

Griff
Griff
6 years 15 days ago

Primal eating in a nutshell: When you are hungry (not craving) eat Primal food until you are satisfied (not stuffed). Then wait until you are hungry again, and repeat.

Tiffany
6 years 15 days ago

Make a commitment to purchase and try at least one new Primal food every week. This will really keep you motivated and excited as you discover how delicious clean and primal foods really are!

Brian
6 years 15 days ago

Sign up for the forum using the Forum Link above. There is a ton of support and alot of good advice from other grokstars.

Skeeter's Mom
Skeeter's Mom
6 years 15 days ago

Eliminate temptations and surround yourself with primal food options. Make sure you stick with primal at least 1-2 weeks.

ElizaGrok
ElizaGrok
6 years 15 days ago

Get rid of the grains. Purge your fridge, cabinets and pantry. That is one of the hardest things to do especially since most people are addicted to carbs and sugar. Once those toxins are out, don’t let them back in!

David
David
6 years 15 days ago

Forget conventional wisdom. Ask yourself how the humans evolved and try to hear your deeply-seated instincts. Stock up on healthy primal foods, move and play as if you were a child, and you will have a nice journey toward vibrant health. Read MDA for inspiration!

David
David
6 years 15 days ago

Don’t take everything you read here to be the whole truth! Think and investigate for yourself and find what works for you.

Jackie
Jackie
6 years 15 days ago

The third day is the hardest! It is almost like when you quit smoking, for some reason the third day is the hardest. So no matter what on that third day do not cheat AT ALL then when you wake up on the forth day it feels like a HUGE accomplishment and it motivates you and you feel great and you feel like you can do it!

part-time girevik
part-time girevik
6 years 15 days ago

Think long-term not short-term. You didn’t become unhealthy overnight, and you won’t become healthy overnight either. Over the long run, many great decisions outweigh a few bad ones. Don’t beat yourself up over minor slip-ups! Get back on that Primal horse and RIDE!

Sarah
6 years 14 days ago

Primal living is all about what’s best for you, so use this as a time to nurture yourself. Take lots of naps, walks, hot showers. Eat lots of yummy foods. It’ll be okay when you mess up; just keep going. Don’t get caught up in perfection; instead, focus on you.

Rina
Rina
6 years 14 days ago

It’s easier than you think! Even easier if you have a partner who is doing it with you. You really won’t miss the grains especially with all the glorious fats! But I wish I was more prepared for the “withdrawal” after giving up grains. I was lethargic for a few days, but then back to normal energy levels. Then after a few weeks my energy was really really good…. Even with having two small energetic children to chase after!

Aaron Blaisdell
6 years 14 days ago

Take note of all of the everyday ailments that afflict you (bloating, gas, afternoon slump, minor joint aches, sun sensitivity, sensitive teeth/gums, etc.). Write them all down on a list. Go primal for one month. Then revisit the list and see if anything has changed. Simple as that!

Jason Elliott
Jason Elliott
6 years 14 days ago

Don’t overwhelm yourself with doing a complete 180. Take the changes one at a time, progress will always be felt before seen. Build upon each day with another successful goal; everything will start to come naturally. Suddenly your physical appearance will change. Embrace your new life, and never look back.

Brandy72
Brandy72
4 years 4 months ago

The very best advice! Feeling overwhelmed is a big reason so many quit. Don’t strive for perfection, strive for progress.

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