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

Contest: What Do You Want from Upcoming Book, Primal Woman?

The Prize:

The ULTIMATE posture correction package courtesy of Esther Gokhale, owner and founder of the Gokhale Method Institute!

Do you suffer from mild to chronic back pain, inhibiting your sleep and daily life? Have you succumbed to the fact that this is “just how it is?” Not so fast… The Gokhale Method is a systematic, non-surgical process of restoring pain-free posture and movement based on the way our bodies were naturally designed. Learn how to sit, sleep, stand, walk and bend in ways that actually protect and strengthen your bones and muscles.

The lucky recipient of today’s challenge will receive:

Stretchsit® Cushion: Unlike a lumbar support cushion, Stretchsit elongates rather than compresses your low back, giving you the natural, healthy spinal shape shared by children, athletes and people in traditional societies the world over. This mobile, adjustable cushion can be easily moved from the car to the office, so you can enjoy the benefits throughout the day.

8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back: A step-by-step guide designed to help those suffering from back pain re-educate their bodies and regain the posture for which our bodies evolved.

DVD – Back Pain: The Primal Posture Solution: Follow along with Esther for 60 minutes of guided posture corrections and techniques as she addresses the root cause of most muscle and joint pain with healthy posture and movement techniques.

A hands-on Gokhale Method Consultation: A comprehensive evaluation of your current posture and how it relates to problems you may be having, a projection of what structural changes are possible, and some key ideas and practices to help you improve your structure immediately and long-term. This can be scheduled at one of the many Gokhale Facilities across the country and abroad. Or if that’s not available to you, you can even meet with a qualified teacher via Skype! Isn’t technology great?

Do you already have good posture and find yourself fighting the urge to adjust strangers on the elevator? You can train with the best and become a Gokhale Method teacher yourself! Click here for details about the program.

The Contest:

I’m pleased to announce that my wife Carrie – who many of your have met in-person at PrimalCon, or know through her past blog posts (Dear Carrie: Reader Question Roundup, Dear Carrie: Cellulite) – is writing a book due out at the end of next year tentatively titled “Primal Woman”. It will be her perspective on what it means to be a Primal woman in the modern world: her role as a woman, as a mother, a wife, an object of beauty, and a functioning member of society. She’ll likely be touching on a wide range of topics like body image, aging gracefully, handling relationships, raising a family, making a contribution beyond family, and health-related topics like menopause, PCOS, hormone replacement therapy, and the Primal Blueprint eating and exercise strategy for women to name just a few.

For this contest, Carrie wants to hear from you. In the comment board below, list your top 5 women’s health issues, topics, or questions you’d like to see addressed in Primal Woman, for a chance to win the prize above.

While the general scope of this book is outlined, this is your chance to impact its direction. Let her know what you want out of a book written by a Primal woman, for Primal women.


U.S. residents only. All sexes welcome. You don’t have to be a woman to care about women’s issues.

The Contest End Time:

September 23, midnight, PDT.

How the Winner Will Be Determined:

A winner will be selected at random.

To track all the contests visit the 2012 Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge Contest Page for daily 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. I haven’t seen this mentioned but at 57, I am facing knee and shoulder replacements and this scares me. The prospect certainly isn’t Primal, but there’s got to be many in the same position. My weak, mis-aligned joints keep me from doing any meaningful weight lifting, running…so—
    1. Aging joints and how to exercise around them.
    2. Facing joint replacements
    3. Different body shapes—this new waist circumfrence for example, puts me as almost obese at a 33″ waist. But I’m 5’7″ and at 130 lbs, finally slender.

    4. IF. One meal a day has worked for me when nothing else would to finally lose weight.
    5. What do we REALLY need? I spend a fortune on supplements and tried bioHRT with no results but high cost.

    MyrrMade wrote on September 21st, 2012
  2. 1. What it means to be a primal woman (in Carrie’s own words & possibly those of others)
    2. Men vs women: the latest research pertaining to physiological differences between the sexes & primal diet & exercise tweaks to accommodate
    3. Primal through the years: specifics related to major life milestones like pregnancy and menopause
    4. Raising a primal family: the challenges as a caregiver & ideas (for diet, play, etc)
    5. Finding bliss: how a primal lifestyle can help you to be the best you that you can be (emotionally & concerning emotional disorders)

    Megan wrote on September 21st, 2012
  3. 1. General health
    – Overview of the female body
    – Different body types
    – General health principles
    – General diet and exercise principles
    – Sexism in medical research and practice

    2. Hormone balance
    – The menstrual cycle
    – Sex, libido, fertility, contraception
    – Puberty
    – Menopause
    – Post-menopause
    – Thyroid issues

    3. Reproduction
    – Setting up for pregnancy
    – IVF
    – Pregnancy diet and exercise
    – Primal birth and breastfeeding advice
    – Weaning

    4. Cultural issues (especially as instilled into you throughout your life)
    – Overcoming cultural expectations of how to behave
    – Overcoming cultural preconceptions of beauty
    – Overcoming cultural obsession with youth

    5. Mental and emotional health
    – Dealing with stress
    – Dealing with depression
    – Dealing with PMS
    – Dealing with PND

    A lot of these overlap, of course.

    All of the above should be highly science-based (but still readable), referencing recent studies where possible and explaining the rationale behind the advice/information.

    What I don’t want to see:

    – Household management tips. There are other books out there for that, and to put them in a book about women reinforces the idea that this is ‘women’s work’.
    – Stuff about makeup and beauty – though I’m aware a lot of other people will be interested.

    Orielwen wrote on September 21st, 2012
  4. My wife and I are both working on being as Primal as possible…  We’re interested in how a primal woman would:
    1) give definitive guides to personal care products (i.e. rules of thumb in picking out make-up, lotion, hair care products, etc.).  This is really big for us… perhaps a list of cosmetic/care product ingredients to avoid and reasoning behind why?
    2) handle functions unique to women such as: menstruation (pain-relievers, none, or other; pads/tampons & issues with chlorine) and giving birth (naturally, without anesthetics, midwife, self? [like Sacajawea])
    3) deal with current social pressures while remaining true to her primal instincts (i.e. to “hunt” or “gather” or both?) We’d like to know how roles diverge and converge with that of men and the women of then.
    4) acquire the physiologically ideal female body image backed by ancestral evidence (Mark touched on this with the “Gender Differences in Fat Metabolism” post but more details on the subject matter would be enlightening).
    5) have unique dietary and fitness requirements and how she would fulfill them.

    Perhaps a small section of the book devoted to helping men understand the Primal woman would be nice as well.

    Paolo wrote on September 21st, 2012
  5. address the frustration of what works for men doesnt work for women, and the science of why!
    he’s lost 40/i’ve lost 9… very very frustrating!
    he says i need to eat more often, but my job does not allow me to just graze throughout the day.

    Anemia, how to control the ups/downs in iron levels, as I age the downs are harder to recover from.

    Pattie wrote on September 22nd, 2012
  6. 1. How to get over your fear of becoming primal.
    2. Primal pregnancy.
    3. Primal child-rearing
    4. Primal approach to women-specific health issues.
    5. Primal weight-loss for bikini season.

    anon11 wrote on September 22nd, 2012
  7. A full section devoted to peri and post-menopause! Life is VERY different for many of us who are older. PCOS is not a problem, but weight-gain that does not budge even with 95% compliance can be. Essentially, women are not particularly monolithic — girls who are just starting to menstruate have very different needs and problems from adult women who want to have kids or who are currently pregnant. Adult women past child-bearing are again, very different — physiologically! — from twenty-five year olds.

    You are looking at one BIG book here, with sections devoted to different stages of a woman’s life and the different problems we face at each stage. The Post-menopause years may very well last 30 or 40 years for a healthy, primal woman! We want to know how to stay healthy and fit for the second half of our lives!

    Diane wrote on September 22nd, 2012
  8. Primal living and fertility/cycle regulation
    Truth about chemical birth control and it’s effects
    Healthy during pregnancy (maybe controlling morning sickness)
    beauty habits/products that may be harmful
    feeding a baby primally
    (a bonus sixth) breastfeeding on a primal diet

    Teresa Grodi wrote on September 22nd, 2012
  9. 1. menopause
    2. Are men necessary?
    3. women’s friendship networks as a source of health, stress reduction, etc.
    4. yoga as an alternative to “lifting heavy things.”
    5. primal gender politics.

    shannon wrote on September 22nd, 2012
  10. A detailed workout program.

    Sadaintright wrote on September 22nd, 2012
  11. A detailed exercise program that reflects all pb fitness principles/pyramid.

    Sadaintright wrote on September 22nd, 2012
  12. 1. Specifically what features of eating and exercising may be different for primal women than men.
    2. Hormone fluctuation and how diet can assist in balance, again with specific practical tips!
    3. Primal through pregnancy
    4. Self image/body image issues
    5. Learning how to listen to your body (and interpret what it’s telling you!)

    Shannon wrote on September 22nd, 2012
  13. Menopause. Middle aged spread. Feeding picky eaters. Fixing past eating mistakes. I want to know why I gained weight so quickly and easily on fast food and soda and despite reformed habits lose weight so slowly. I want to understand why I ate a few donuts on vacation (ok so 8. Isn’t that a few?) And gained 8 pounds in 7 days. I want to know how to get back into exercise when I ache every morning. Ok so that’s 6 items.

    cindi newcomb wrote on September 22nd, 2012
  14. I agree with everyone!

    Something about how WE want OUR bodies to be. To look, to feel! Not what society deems correct.

    Kaitlyn wrote on September 22nd, 2012
  15. 1. Exercising when you already have pain like back and knee issues
    2. Importance of lifting heavy things for women
    3. Maintaining healthy friendships with other women
    4. Any differences between the ideal diet for women v. Men
    5. How to talk with your friends about the primal diet since lots of women are still counting calories

    Candace wrote on September 22nd, 2012
  16. 1. Hormonal problems
    2. How to deal with non-primal family.
    3. Stress/emotional eating
    4. Pregnancy and primal
    5. Dealing with carb cravings after months of being primal

    Karen H wrote on September 22nd, 2012
  17. 1. Optimum nutrition for conception
    2. Optimum nutrition for pregnancy
    3. Optimum nutrition for lactation
    4. Optimum nutrition for menopause
    5. Squatting vs. kegels … which is the best for the pelvic floor, should we do both, and how the heck do I squat properly anyway?

    Sheila wrote on September 22nd, 2012
  18. I would love to see a whole book or at least a whole chapter on the Primal Pregnancy:

    1. Did the Primal mama-to-be sprint (ie- run from bears)?
    2. What part did she play in contributing to “lifting heavy things” during pregnancy?
    3. Primal morning sickness, heartburn, etc. remedies
    4. Vitamin D – supplements or UV (or both) and why? Address issues of PPD in relationship to Vitamin D
    5. Food-based prenatal vitamins

    Jill Kearns wrote on September 22nd, 2012
  19. When I was struggling with infertility,I really needed a shoulder to cry or scream on. No doctor ever suggested I change my diet. I worked out often, ate well, was of good BMI. Not until I followed the primal eating religiously did I get pregnant. And then had the healthiest of all pregnancies because I was anal about it. My dr was impressed but had no desire to understand why it was working so well for me. I wish the book would have info for pregnant and nursing women.

    Heatherly wrote on September 22nd, 2012
  20. Only one from me: menstrual cycles.

    It’s funny how despite many dieters being women, the male-centric “what’s good for you is good for you all the time” approach dominates the field. If we consider levels of hormones such as progesterone and estrogen to be a major source of differences between men and women and their metabolisms, why overlook the fact that these vary A LOT during menstrual cycle in women? What if women’s dietary needs are somehow altered by it, and cravings are actually a sign of it? Are there any studies around that have considered this variable? What about the effects of birth control pill on metabolism?

    aleksandra wrote on September 23rd, 2012
  21. I can’t wait for this book! I would be most looking for:

    1. Discussing the primal lifestyle with friends and family not only to build a support system but also help those you care about live healthier lives. How to explain that society “has it all wrong” without it sounding like your friend’s lifestyle is all wrong.
    2. Fasting for women.
    3. Playing – in ways unique to women.
    4. Most necessary vitamin/mineral supplements for women (if any) – I really dislike taking pills if I don’t have to.
    5. Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) as a way to approach your primal goals.

    Josie N. wrote on September 23rd, 2012
  22. I’d like to see these issues addressed:
    1. The safety of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy
    2. Strategies for overcoming eating disorders by adopting the primal lifestyle
    3. Analysis of the effects of cosmetic fillers such as botox, restalyne, juvederm, etc.
    4. Recommendations for Primal friendly make-up and skin care at every price point
    5. Solutions for hair loss and stubborn weight loss

    Mari wrote on September 23rd, 2012
  23. 1. Belly fat in women
    2. Best exercises for women to burn fat
    3. Primal pregnancy
    4. Easy, quick, primal meals
    5. How primal differs from men and women


    Jamie wrote on September 23rd, 2012
  24. As with most of the comments,

    1. Hormonal changes
    2. Primal Pregnancy and CRAVINGS
    3. How can we women, lift heavy things?
    4. Primal eating for a large family on a budget
    5. How to get rid of the STUBBORN last 5lbs!

    HeidiA wrote on September 23rd, 2012
  25. 1: How to maintain a primal body in an un-primal world (I find it slightly ironic that the giveaway here is all about back pain. I am a medium sized woman and work in a bakery. I am the only shaping person, which means I shape about three hundred loaves of bread everyday, mostly baguettes, with continuous repetitive motion. I also lift heavy things I.e. loaders full of bread and 50lb bags of flour on a regular basis. Needless to say, I have back, shoulder, wrist etc. troubles. How can a young woman avoid long term damage in such an environment? Or any physically stressful work environment. Which I guess leads into:

    2: How to primalize your work life. Both for people with desk jobs( I.e. getting a standing work space) and for people with active, repetitive or physically taxing careers.

    3. How to understand your primal body. : In the direction of fertility, menstruation, primal birth control or family planning, etc.

    4. How being primal affects your primal young ones. Babies, toddlers, etc. How it affects their bone/ muscle growth and metabolism . Early development, etc.

    5. When(if) women should fast, and why(not)

    Thanks for giving us the opportunity to input!

    Megan wrote on September 23rd, 2012
  26. Can’t wait for this book! Thank you for addressing our specific needs.
    1. Perimenopause issues, how to eat to make us feel better, what supplements to take.
    2. Along with the first, how to alleviate menstrual cramps with food/exercise.
    3. Lifting heaving things designed for women.
    4. Breakouts/skin issues
    5. Snacking tips for stress eaters!

    Monica wrote on September 24th, 2012
  27. Primal menopause
    lifting for women
    primal kid lunches for school

    how grok guys & gals differ & program tweaks for women

    top 5 snacks, breakfasts, lunches, dinners

    Colleen wrote on September 24th, 2012
  28. My 5 ( similar to posts above)
    1) dealing with hormonal issues – PCOS in particular (How paleo can treat it and symptoms)
    2) fertility promoting food and supplements and activity to do
    3) main differences in nutrition requirements for women and men- and how to ‘lose last 5 lbs’
    4) main differences in exercise routines for women and men
    5) body- how to flatten tummy and get rid of cellulite


    Andrea wrote on September 24th, 2012
  29. I really want the book to cover the havoc that going too low carb/low calorie/too must fasting can wreak on hormones. I went lower and lower carb, as advised by the paleo community, in an attempt to lose the last 5 pounds. Then sub 1000 cals a day. Then IF. Minimising insulin production as advised…but couldn’t lose the weight. No periods for over a year. Eventually discovered that in ladies it often happens that if you keep insulin too low, all the time, then you get low leptin, leading to low active Thyroid t3, hypothalamic amenorrhoea and all the issues it causes (impossible to lose more weight, no sex drive, cold, etc etc etc)….quite a lot of women seem to get this is a result of too low carb and it can be hard to find the answer as it isn’t that widely discussed.

    Women lose weight with more difficulty than men and often don’t respond well to VLC-VHF and IF. Needs to be covered!

    celticcavegirl wrote on September 25th, 2012
  30. Things I would like to see in the book would include:
    1)Primal Pregnancy info
    2)How to provide the best Primal foods for our families
    3) Primal Body Types for Women
    4)How to figure out what our optimal fat ratio for our bodies
    5)Aging Primally- how to move into our latter years with grace

    Amanda wrote on September 25th, 2012
  31. I realize the contest is ended, but I want to put in a good word for Natural Family Planning / Fertility Awareness Methods. I chart my fertility signs with this each month, and as a result, I can really see the difference between the months when I stick with the Primal Blueprint (=healthy cycle) and the months when I fall off the wagon (=icky cycle and bad PMS).

    Emily wrote on October 3rd, 2012
  32. This is a great prize. Many women suffer from back pain and lack of sleep. I think that the book would be beneficial to many

    womens fitness program wrote on November 30th, 2012
  33. 1. I would love for you to address a woman’s role as a PRIMAL mother. I am male so I don’t want to sound like a male chauvinist but here is goes….. Since most of our lives have become much more hectic and women have entered the workforce, women’s traditional roles in the family have changed drastically. While I think men should help pick up their fair share of the slack (which we haven’t), I don’t think women have picked up theirs either. I believe a PRIMAL father/mother role should be nature/nurture. Most modern day mothers have left all of their traditional nurture roles behind to climb the corporate ladder. What should be the mother’s PRIMAL roles to and in front of her children (and also the father’s PRIMAL roles if you don’t mind touching base on male issues in your book.

    2. What is a women’s role as an object of beauty? Hopefully, a primal view on this topic will change society’s view of women. Shouldn’t a woman’s beauty be seen as how primal she appears (looks like she eats primal and lives an active lifestyle) and not how much makeup she can throw on or how skinny or tone she is. While few/some/most men can appreciate all of these appearances, it’s destructive for women (especially pre-teen and teen girls) to aspire to the latter.

    3. Should women exercise as much as men and to the same extent since most women don’t want to bulk up? If trying to become primal, shouldn’t women do whatever is best for their health regardless of the physical changes to their bodies?

    4. Relationship standards have changed over the years as well as the increase in divorces and children born out of wedlock. Should women fall back into their former relationship roles as a girlfriend/wife or try to develop new ones? Once again, touching base on your opinion of the male side of this would also be helpful.

    5. How should mothers raise their children in this face-paced lifestyle? While mothers still carry a significant load in the household, work and running the kids to soccer practice, there isn’t enough time in the day to maintain a primal lifestyle and maintain a career, household, and little Timmy’s dead-end soccer career. Where should sacrifices be made and where should the line be drawn?

    Kyle wrote on February 12th, 2013
  34. I realize the contest is over, and I haven’t read all the entries here, but I’d like to add things I would like to see addressed in the book:

    1) Dry skin-I live in a dry climate, and even when I was younger I always had dry skin, and I’ve always used lotion. But I read recently that if you use lotion all the time your skin doesn’t work the way it should. Since going primal (admittedly I haven’t been strict about everything) my skin hasn’t changed, and I’ve continued using lotion up until I recently stopped. I will see what happens, as I’m starting to make sure I use the cooking oils Mark recommends as Primal. I would just like to hear Carrie’s experience, since you are also in the California (dry) climate, and I know this is an issue for many women. (My husband’s skin is not dry, and he’s not even living a primal lifestyle. yet.)

    2) Vaginal dryness, and painful sex. I think this is a pretty common problem for women as we add years, (I’m 59 and post menopausal) and would love some primal recommendations.

    Pat wrote on March 27th, 2013
  35. 1. Can primal lifestyle reduce odds of having a child on the AUTISM spectrum? (Also, can it reduce symptoms of autism? I have a 19 yr. old son with Asperger’s syndrome. He’s a sugar/ carbaholic, so getting Primal compliance from him is only partly under my control).

    2.Can Primal living reduce/ eliminate post-partum depression? I strongly suspect it can. I went through severe PPD after my first son’s birth but not after my second son’s birth. I have a young friend struggling w/ PPD now (Closer to post-partum psychosis) who consumes the Std. Amer. Diet & gets little exercise. I would not approach her about primal living without good documentation to back up its effect on PPD. (Too much resistance)!

    3. The ridiculously high rate of Cesarian Sections in the U.S. & most industrialized countries! So many are unnecessary, & though I’m generally a believer in choice, I can’t believe how many women elect to have first or repeat C-sections. Our society mostly dismisses truly natural childbirth (primal!) & does a terrible job preparing a woman who wants natural childbirth (No drugs or epidural, Lots of truly helpful support from a doula…) Modern medical practice strongly reduces the possibility of natural birth. I discuss this as a woman who has done both. My first child’s birth was a horrendous hospital induced emergency C-section. My second child’s birth was vaginal, drug free, still in a hospital, and the most empowering experience of my life. I realize this is a complex topic full of polarization and strong emotions. I hope that you will do some deep primal delving here! (A very interesting, related topic involves protective microbes that are passed vaginally from Mother to baby during birth. Extensive Research into protective ancestral human gut microbes has been done by Maria Gloria Dominguez Bello Ph.D. She is featured on a fabulous documentary called “Aliens inside us” which aired on Smithsonian channel. Next air dates are: 6/25/13 4:00pm, 6/26/13 5:00 am, & 7/3/13 1:00 pm, all Eastern Pacific time. Fabulous!).

    4. On a less intense note, dealing with facial wrinkles without resorting to injecting toxins- aakkk!

    5. Natural hormone replacement via methods such as Sotto Pelle, and ditto to the many important points by previous ladies posts. Can’t wait for your book!!

    Allison wrote on June 22nd, 2013
  36. 1. fasting, and is it safe for women and if so how should we do it differently than men?
    2. should we have any different ratios of protein/fat/carbs than are usually recommended for primal men?
    3. hormones and how they affect health
    4. also how to know what a healthy weight is for you, and figure out alternatives or adjunct ways of measuring than just using a scale.
    5. skin care

    Kristi wrote on September 27th, 2013

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