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

Dear Readers

A couple weeks ago I gave this “Dear Readers” format a try. There was such a tremendous response that I may make it a regular feature of Mark’s Daily Apple. What do you say? I love giving my advice and opinions, but add mine with all the knowledgeable readers of MDA and then you really have something. Take a look at some of the questions I’ve received below and share you stories, experiences and knowledge in the comment board. Thanks everyone!

Question 1

We see a lot about the importance of eating grass fed beef, but what about other meats?

I’ve never seen a pig out on a pasture eating grass, nor a chicken, but obviously not all meats are created equal.

At my local butcher, for instance, i noticed that they had free range corn fed pork.  Now, from reading your blog and others my mind instantly went “free range = good, corn fed = bad”.  So how do we find good quality pork and chicken (or other meats)?



Question 2

Hello good friend! I appreciate what you do and getting the word out that there are alternatives to what is shoved down our throats, but I’ll get right to the question. Tell me what you know about “primal contraception”. What if Grock had a primal marriage but wasn’t ready for those little Grockaroos just yet? What do you think he would do?  My wife has trouble with conventional contraception. She experiences mood difficulties, very low libido and often erratic periods.  We’re trying to find a more “natural” way to have enjoyable sex and be able to plan for when we want to bring a child into the world. We have been to the gynecologist many times but they seem to just give you the pill they happen to be pushing that week and then it’s off with you! We really thought we had something with the copper IUD, but her uterus is apparently too curved and would have to have a child before being able to use the thing. Thanks for your continued insight.


Question 3

As a follower of a clean healthy lifestyle (nearly 100% primal) I sometimes worry about tablets & pills etc. I was wondering if you know of a natural or primal painkiller, as I am currently suffering from terrible a toothache. Probably all my years of eating too much sugar!



Question 4

Not sure where to post on your site as I am new but what about milk kefir, how does it fit in the Primal Blueprint? Tons of probiotic benefit in this gem, more so than yogurt by a long shot. Especially when your making the real deal from kefir grains and not from powder mixes or worse yet purchasing the commercial “dead” kefir at your local grocery store.


Question 5

Note from Mark: This question was posed in the forum and there has already been a great response from the Primal community. Chime in here (in the comment board) or explore the forum to offer your take on this very common question from Primal newbies.

I am new to the Primal Blueprint and I am having issues with what to have for breakfast. I live at a hall of residence (coz I am at University) so don’t have access to eggs and stuff (I also don’t have a microwave/oven etc so can’t cook anything). For breakfast I generally have yoghurt (I know, not primal!) with whey protein powder (also not primal!) and some nuts and seeds.

Is this bad? And does anyone have any possible other ideas? I am a very much a breakfast person and I still like to have a relatively large breakfast. For lunch and dinner I have salad with some protein, which I think is ok?
Thanks :)

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. Question 4
    I answered this on dear reader 1 in response to a question concerning cheese.

    I am very big on real kefir grains.

    Louise L wrote on June 25th, 2009
  2. Question 3
    I have had lots of issues with pain and painkillers. You have my complete sympathy. A few are MSM, white willow. I have a whole page of these on my website. They work very well and I don’t need to take any other pain medication when I need something.

    Louise L wrote on June 25th, 2009
  3. From my reading these Fertility Awareness books have a higher success rate than the pill when you learn them properly, hands on with an experienced practitioner. Birth-control pills are almost as bad as antibiotics for fungus and yeast troubles.

    I also strongly suggest you never use these contraceptives that promise no monthly events for months at a time. If you read the horror stories of the mental issues women are suffering from long after they are removed you would shudder.

    I also recommend virgin coconut oil for thyroid and adrenal balance it is very good to balance hormones. Also make sure you get plenty of good fats. You need them to make hormones.

    Louise L wrote on June 25th, 2009
  4. I too experienced catastrophic damage to so many body systems on the pill! Hormonal disruptions, depression, period problems-you name it! I read online about a study conducted by the University of Melbourne that investigated using lemon juice as a contraceptive. In their lab, they found that lemon juice not only quickly immobilized sperm, but it also effective in killing HIV. I wouldn’t bank on it, as I am not a doctor! But from personal experience, this works for me.
    My husband and I preferred not to conceive immediately, but most importantly we could successfully care for any “surprises” (not accidents) that came our way. I diluted some lemon juice equal parts with water (so I wouldn’t turn any sensitive areas into ceviche) and soaked a natural sea sponge in it, then inserted pre-coitus. It is important for vaginal health to use sterile sponges; I just kept cutting appropriately sized chunks from the large sponge I purchased. My husband never noticed anything different during the dance. No babies to date.
    From a historical standpoint, there is evidence that as far back as the Ancient Greeks and Egyptians used similar methods to this. Research it yourself; Dr. Mercola even talks about it on his web page. I can only vouch for my own experiences, but as my husband and I are not aggressively investigating our fertility- we don’t know if one or both of us are infertile to any extent! But as young couples are, we’re healthy and frequently amorous. It’s up to you to decide! Good Luck!

    Sissy wrote on July 4th, 2011
  5. 200 years ago, women who did not wish to become pregnant would soak a sea sponge (the same kind used as a natural alternatives to tampons) in Vinegar or lemon juice, and insert it at close to the cervix as possible just before intercourse. This alters the pH of the vagina, making it inhospitable to sperm.

    Jessica wrote on January 10th, 2016
  6. Q2
    There is also some evidence that queen Anne’s lace (wild carrot) seeds are effective as an herbal contraceptive. I believe Susun Weed discusses how and why, and how it’s been used in the past.

    Jessica wrote on January 10th, 2016

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