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

Dear Readers: What Do You Want?

questions2It’s Monday and that usually means another round of Dear Mark, but today I have something a little different in mind. Today I have some questions for you (along with a chance to win a Primal prize).

Since I launched Mark’s Daily Apple way back in 2006 it’s been my goal to help 10 million people take control of their health. While MDA now reaches hundreds of thousands of people every month I’m always looking for new ways to do a better job, so I’m coming to you for ideas.

Over the years I’ve put together and given away numerous freebies (the 7-Day Course on the Fundamentals for Lifelong Health, the Primal Blueprint Fitness eBook, the Reader-Created Cookbooks and Primal Living in the Modern World to name a few), created new, handy web pages (the 101 page, the Recipe page, the Shopping List page, the Resource page and others), launched the forum, released a number of books, expanded the Primal supplement line, and began hosting events (Primal Transformation Seminars and PrimalCon) all with my stated goal in mind. Again, how can I help as many people as possible? How can I make this the best and most reader-friendly health site on the Interwebs? How can I best distill the science and make it easy to understand and practical to use? And how can I offer the best products and services a Grok or Grokette could want? While I don’t really need another project at the moment (I’m wrapping up two new books – The Primal Blueprint 90-Day Journal and The Primal Connection – but more on that later) I’d love to hear what you think would make Mark’s Daily Apple a better website and your Primal life easier.

So, with that in mind, a contest:

The Contest

“What do you want from me?” It’s a (very) tired Adam Lambert song, but it’s also an important question. My blog, my books, what I do is constantly informed by the thoughts and ideas of my readers. Today is your chance to tell me what you’d like to see on my part for the future of the Primal movement. In the comments section below, tell me one service, product, tool, or feature you’d like to see in the coming year. I’m leaving this fairly open ended. No idea is too small or big.

A winner will be chosen at random. Agreeing with other people is allowed (and encouraged), but only the idea comments will be counted for drawing purposes.

The Prize

A canister of both the Vanilla Creme and Dark Chocolate Primal Fuel.

The Deadline

Midnight (PDT), tonight!

Who is Eligible

Everyone. I’ll ship the Primal Fuel anywhere in the world.

Thanks in advance to everyone that offers an idea. I’ll see what I can do to give you what you want! Grok on!

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. It’s really a small nitpick thing, but I browse through old articles a lot on the site, and it would be nice that the year was included with the date at the top of the article.

    Knowing the year makes the biggest difference when you search and find multiple articles on a subject. It is nice to read them in order. Also, there are a few articles where the context of when it was written matters.

    Currently I always have to scroll down to the comments first to find the year, then read the article.

    Conor wrote on May 14th, 2012
    • I second that emotion.

      Scott wrote on May 14th, 2012
      • Agreed! Also, a lot of the older articles seem to have outdated info/recommendations.

        Alyssa wrote on May 14th, 2012
        • Yeah, it would be nice to have some of the old articles annotated with updates and links. I run into it a lot where hubby or my mom/dad will say (for example) “mark says brown rice is good” and I have to say “no, new info says white rice because of the antinutrients”.

          So in old articles where suggestions for brown rice are made, maybe a note saying “updated: white rice is preferable to brown rice if you’re not going to ferment it. See resources here, here, and here.”

          Jenn wrote on May 14th, 2012
    • Yes! This has bothered me for a long time. I also am annoyed that there are no “back” or “next” buttons, especially for posts that reference things from the day before or intimate that there will be more discussion the next day.

      Karen C. wrote on May 14th, 2012
    • I second that.

      And an update of the “definitive guides” would be great. Many of them seem to be outdated.

      Victor Venema wrote on May 14th, 2012
  2. I am interested in a Primal Android app that tracks food and Primal Essential fitness easily.

    Steve Kuni wrote on May 14th, 2012
  3. I would love to see a Paleo cooking show on the Food
    Network! Now THAT would be show worth watching:
    de-mystifying organ meats! Transitioning from SAD to Paleo! Getting more good fats in your diet! The possibilities are endless. I think it would be very popular.

    Kathleen wrote on May 14th, 2012
    • That would be great! And if you got someone really well known to host it, people who aren’t even interested in Paleo might watch it, and learn about the diet that way.

      Alyssa wrote on May 14th, 2012
      • Cooking show for sure! I loved the videos that users posted and can certainly be a unique twist on an old tv concept.

        KMuray wrote on May 16th, 2012
  4. The blog already offers everything a person new to the community could want. If you want to reach more people I think it has to be beyond the blog.

    In my experience people are most curious about eating well when they hear about the immediate benefits – the Success Stories tab was a good idea but I don’t think it’s highlighted enough – maybe dedicate a whole website to people who changed their lives living this way?

    Also, here in the UK paleo is still non-existent so you should definitely look at bringing it over here to the masses, as there is a huge potential market. People here care about nature and like eating fresh and delicious foods. You could team up with organic farm companies, health clubs and scientists (universities?) to bring the message over here as well.

    Mauricio wrote on May 14th, 2012
    • And bring it over to Ireland too please :-)

      Hugh wrote on May 14th, 2012
  5. Would love a section on primal kids

    Karen tapper wrote on May 14th, 2012
    • +1!!

      Jess wrote on May 14th, 2012
  6. My hope is that some of these general ideas get more mainstream. I don’t necessarily know how you can contribute, but the two things I would love to happen, are:
    1. Have more Primal focused food options. Like this: (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/culturedcaveman/cultured-caveman-portlands-first-100-paleo-food-ca)
    2. This is probably crazy, but how about using Kickstarter to fund a small study on the benefits of not eating the SAD? This is such an important issue. The more I experience the benefits of eating the way my body is designed, the more upset I get about the direction that the American diet is going. I’d be willing to pitch in to help pay for it, and I bet a lot of other people would as well.

    Keep up the good work, Mark.

    Jim wrote on May 14th, 2012
    • Oh, I like the Kickstarter idea.

      Orielwen wrote on May 16th, 2012
  7. I would have to say an APP would be fantastic, but also a “primal” youtube page would be great to see some short videos and personal experiences posted as its an easy way to share with friends/family/co-workers.

    People are more likely to watch a 3 min video then read an article i send them (unfortunately) but it would be great to get people’s feet in the door!

    Joel McLean wrote on May 14th, 2012
    • I like the idea of an App as well. A blog reader and links to your common start here things, etc.

      David C wrote on May 14th, 2012
  8. A one-pager that explains primal living with a focus on the diet. I’ve linked friends trying to lose weight and they have been turned off because it’s “too complicated” or takes “too long” to get through the basics.

    E wrote on May 14th, 2012
    • Primal tweets.

      I too have forward on the site and the 101 guides and received the “its to long/too much/too complicated’ response.

      Personally I do not think the content is that difficult to understand. The challenge is the content destroys the paradigm that person has been living, thus the fear and resistance to implementing/adapting primal changes.

      liberty1776 wrote on May 14th, 2012
    • I love the idea of a one page info sheet. I talk to a lot of people with limited internet access. I would like to see a printable brochure that I could hand to my fellow truck drivers when I make quick stops.
      Another idea for bringing in the over 50 crowd is a brochure that not only emphasizes weight loss, but also pings on the “less pain” aspect.. That’s the only reason I started eating as primal as possible..

      TruckerLady wrote on May 14th, 2012
  9. I’d like to see more videos. These could be vlogs, updates to whats going on with MDA, or even an educational series (exercise, cooking). Then you could have other famous Paleo people show up as guests.

    Brent wrote on May 14th, 2012
  10. I agree, an app with workouts and a primal food list would be great.

    Audrey wrote on May 14th, 2012
  11. I have two suggestions: workshop(s) in the DC area, and maybe a concise guide to present to a doctor. To be more specific: it is tough to ask a doctor to just visit MDA and read up on stuff. I would be snazzy to have some sort of brochure or list of references or something succint that one could take to a doc and hand over and say, “I understand you feel I should engage in treatment X, but here are some resources that suggest I might be able to handle this issue with lifestyle/diet intervention Y. Are you willing to read this stuff and support me?”

    Peter wrote on May 14th, 2012
    • +1 to the brochure of resources for the dr.

      MaureenL wrote on May 14th, 2012
  12. I LOVE when you have 30 day challenges. I notice a lot of your comments come from people who are already living the lifestyle – I keep just dipping my toes and testing the waters. The 30 Day challenges inspire me to try harder.

    I have been organizing neighborhood workouts in the park on Saturday mornings. I really enjoy when you write about exercises and quick, HIIT workouts – I take your ideas and run with them – literally.

    Vlogs are OK only if they’re short. I get antsy watching people talk – I prefer reading and appreciate that you highlight key points in your articles for days that I am just quickly skimming.

    I consider the work you do as a bar setter for other Paleo writers and I notice you garner a lot of respect – someone commented on brand and I agree. Build on the whole “I’m doing the Mark’s Daily Apple diet” idea to continue your recognition and business growth.

    Beth wrote on May 14th, 2012
  13. I like the Dear Mark series. Maybe expand on that to a daily question?

    Sakura wrote on May 14th, 2012
  14. This might seem a little simple, or might not get used – but I’d like to see a new topic in the Forum section. Something along the lines of “Primal by Region” where there are subsections for different states, or countries.

    I guess I’d just like to connect to people more in my region and share tips on where to find things like the freshest organic produce/grass finished beef, or the most primal restaurants, or cool parks/gyms/beach to work out at.

    JLM wrote on May 14th, 2012
  15. If you are indeed looking to reach a broader audience, then you might consider a weekly/biweekly guest post series from conventional doctors/medical professionals who have embraced paleo/primal nutrition & lifestyle, or who understand that food is medicine. I firmly believe that the paleo/primal community needs to share the stage with people who are most likely to influence diet…. the standard American is looking for treatment and does not even know that they have such power over their own wellness.

    On top of that… you might consider a recruitment strategy for blog/newsletter subscription with rewards for the people who bring you the most newbies.

    Meredith wrote on May 14th, 2012
  16. Open up a fast-food type place that serves a tasty quick paleo/primal meal for anybody of all diets (but specifically for the Paleo/Primal crowd. Much like chipotle with their high standards of food, freshnes, and quick serve. If it’s relatively cheap( $10 meal?), healthy, tasty and fast we might see a mushrooming of the restaurant “Insert REstaurant name here”. Who wouldn’t like some butter-cooked pork with guacamole, grilled veggies and fresh greens? don’t forget the hot sauce.

    Gladys Blanco wrote on May 14th, 2012
  17. More videos? The main mode of sharing things today seems to be linking videos on facebook to each other, so why not hop on that wave and see where it takes you?

    FB wrote on May 14th, 2012
  18. This will probably have very little appeal to a large majority of readership mainly because it’s not exactly applicable to everyone, but I would love to see a Primal Gardening/Ranching segment. I have the fortune of having enough area that I can cultivate some of my own fruits, veggies, eggs, and hopefully soon, goat and turkeys. There is something immensely rewarding and “Primal” about being that one step closer to self-sufficiency.

    Marc wrote on May 14th, 2012
    • +1. Even for people without the means it would be interesting to learn what is involved in producing good food.

      dreamer doomer wrote on May 14th, 2012
      • +2. There are some great permaculture blogs that compliment Primal. Permaculture and Primal- two sides of the same coin really.

        ces wrote on May 14th, 2012
  19. The Science, the science, and the science. It is the science that always convinces me if we are on the right path. It is also great when it tells us we or not! I cannot stress the importance of facts behind how we live.

    michael wrote on May 14th, 2012
  20. I would like to see a more favourable take on yoga.

    unchatenfrance wrote on May 14th, 2012
    • Sounds like your position is already biased…

      liberty1776 wrote on May 14th, 2012
  21. VIDEO ARTICLES, Although reading is great, I think if you did vlogs it would be a excellent way to increase the sites popularity and more easily spread the message!

    Zach wrote on May 14th, 2012
  22. I’ve recently become acquainted with Scott Sonnon’s Circular Strength Training (CST) system. I really love his health-first, movement-based fitness modality, with its emphasis on joint mobility and what he calls “intuitive training.” And there’s scarcely an exercise tool more Grok-like than the clubbell! So I’d love to see some sort of joint venture between PB and CST, however small-scale. Maybe a workout video?

    (I also second the idea of PrimalCon East Coast!)

    Thanks for everything, Mark!

    Renee wrote on May 14th, 2012
  23. A detailed nutritional breakdown of foods. And of course and East Coast PrimalCon!!!

    Brooke wrote on May 14th, 2012
  24. Short, intence, quality videos.
    Attract new people and provide inspiration to the already primally educated.

    Jeff wrote on May 14th, 2012
  25. I love the challenges that you have been issuing… we all know the principles but reminders to go out and do the primal things we may me slacking on are great motivators!

    Also, I would love to see some focused leadership on really moving the conversation away from a focus on weight-loss and “LGN” and focusing more on the principles that will bring vitality and wellness to ALL people. The incessant weight loss chatter in the community can be incredibly demoralizing and often borders on body shaming. Its ok to be primal and overweight and focusing on health above weight loss!

    Amanda wrote on May 14th, 2012
    • +1…not everyone will LGN, no matter what!! and its not a priority for some people, anyway. the health needs to be the focus, other things follow.

      HopelessDreamer wrote on May 14th, 2012
  26. I would love to see a meal planning service like the book “The Organized Cook” weekly meal plan system by Toni Spilsbury. I love prepared meal plans but I sometimes have a hard time making them primal.

    Heather wrote on May 14th, 2012
  27. Some sort of system to organize all your information into different groups. I know you have all that in the archives section, but you have so many information that sometimes I get confused on what to do.

    Also, two suggestions:
    You can do a Meal of the day and Workout of the day post on a daily basis. It would be like a journal. On this post you can tell us about one of your daily meals (breakfast, lunch, etc). I think it will do lots to help the readers see examples of how primal can be practical. On the workout of the day you can suggest the readers a workout for each day, so we can vary our workouts and don’t get stuck on the same routine.

    The point of doing this is to allow us to connect with you and maybe identify ourselves with you in new ways. I think most of us admire your lifestyle and it would be great if you can share some of it with us.

    Radames wrote on May 14th, 2012
  28. Your primal Fridays are excellent and encouraging but how about some stories and counsel to those who have less than perfect stories? Or they go primal and lose weight but never end up looking like weight lifter/model type and still have an extra 10 or 20? Or struggle in other ways? Thanks!

    Tom T. wrote on May 14th, 2012
  29. Mark,
    I want to see you continuing your fantastic work for the Primal/Paleo/Health Community. Near enough everything needed can be found through your website and books, and, with your continued efforts to research the subject everyone is kept up to date with the latest findings and ideas. (The articles on fasting have taken a lot of stress from me as I get questioned a hell of a lot about the subject but now I direct everyone to you for a greater understanding.)

    Rob wrote on May 14th, 2012
  30. I’ve always wanted to go to PrimalCon, but travelling to CA hasn’t been feasible so far. I would suggest creating a mini-PrimalCon series. You could make some videos, suggest some agenda items and let some local “experts” host the event. This would encourage the development of Primal communities all over the world. I would love to meet some other Groks and Grokettes in my city (I know you’re out there).

    Eric wrote on May 14th, 2012
    • Seconded. There’s occasional talk on the forums like this so the infrastructure is already in place.
      I’ll happily host a small gathering here in the West of Ireland ;-)

      Hugh wrote on May 14th, 2012
  31. Primal Con East-coast edition!

    I’d also love to see more guest posters, but perhaps from people on the forums, not just their success stories, but what they did to experiment and make their diet work for them.

    Tasha wrote on May 14th, 2012
  32. #1: A tool that can generate a daily workout based on Primal movements and also what equipment you have available.
    #2: A post for a DAILY workout for those who have issues with making their own regimen and/or are having trouble figuring out how to make a workout “Primal”.
    #3: A tool that can bring Primal people together to conduct group workouts, trade info etc… A forum is somewhat useful for that, however the tool can be targeted for that ability specifically.
    #4: Mobile app??? For workout generation, searchable database for foods and their Primal/Not Primal categorization(possibly other avenues I haven’t thought of).
    #5: Certification (not sure if this is already possible?), in Primal blueprint nutrition for those that want to go out into the world and (properly) educate others.

    Nathan wrote on May 14th, 2012
  33. I would like a more diverse product line or perhaps retail partners with products like grass fed human grade “pet food” ground beef w/ guts.

    The underlying wish is for this to become more mainstream and drive the gf meat costs down.

    Peter wrote on May 14th, 2012
  34. I would love to see a printer-friendly format for the recipes, (maybe even a “recipe box” where users could save their favorites) with an integrated shopping list generator. Even just an option to save recipes as a PDF (without the commentary or intro) would be really useful.

    As much as I love the gorgeous photos, actually cooking from a blog post is needlessly difficult.

    Abigail wrote on May 14th, 2012
    • Great idea, gets a bit busy in the kitchen with the laptop on the bench while I read the recipe and cook.

      Simone wrote on May 14th, 2012
  35. Interest in Primal will always be limited by the “caveman” focus. Not saying the focus is wrong. It attracts some people. Not saying to change. So this isn’t an entry in the contest.

    You still may help 10 million people have better health. I hope you do. But you don’t have to directly reach everyone. Some blogs, e.g. ones by women, which have a simple country garden theme, are going to reach people you don’t. But if those bloggers were inspired by you and follow the Primal philosophy, then you have still touched their readers.

    Harry Mossman wrote on May 14th, 2012
    • I agree with the “caveman” thing.

      9 times out of 10 when I tell someone I eat Paleo/Primal they say disgustedly “Isn’t that those people who think they’re cavemen?”

      Makes Grok want to smash!

      A.Stev wrote on May 14th, 2012
      • No. It’s those people that think they CAME from cave men . . . ;~)

        JtC wrote on May 15th, 2012
        • I hope that’s sarcasm, but given the avatar…

          A.Stev wrote on May 15th, 2012
  36. Also, I agree with Conor – I would like to see the year
    included with the date on the articles.

    Kathleen wrote on May 14th, 2012
  37. I would like to see a regualr weekly video blog. Actions speak louder than words, and you would build a better bond with all your primal followers out there.

    Erin S wrote on May 14th, 2012
  38. I’d like a Primal meal plan. I’m not a good meal planner .. and if I have a plan, then I’m most likely to stay on target.

    Perhaps maybe do a weekly meal plan blog for all to follow?

    MonicaP wrote on May 14th, 2012
  39. As a Primal Blueprint newbie (3 weeks now, yay!) I think you have the internet pretty well covered (though the smart phone app ideas are great).

    To reach more people you need to think outside the ‘net. I would love to see a monthly or even bi-monthly magazine (yes, kids, on paper!) that featured recipes, workouts, helpful hints, success stories, reminders of the basics, and so on. Possibly, but not necessarily, different content than found on all the web resources.

    Since I’m throwing out almost all my old cookbooks and recipe magazines, this would be a fabulous replacement.

    CrazeeCatLady wrote on May 14th, 2012
    • My thought exactly, Monica! I second your idea 100%. A magazine would be terrific for all of your reasons AND my add on is: it would be another way to share PB lifestyle with others by passing it along, sending free subscriptions to libraries, health centers, MDs and so on. It subscription would also make a most thoughtful gift!

      What do you think Mark? Everyone?

      Susie wrote on May 14th, 2012
      • Love Primal magazine idea! You can sell ad space to generate more revenue, do interviews, offer coupons, recipes etc.. I would keep them just for the recipes!

        mars wrote on May 14th, 2012
  40. Although you (Mark) and your team do your best at answering our questions, there are still many questions left unanswered simply because it’s difficult (not impossible ;) ) to answer them all. If you had a small team of people dedicated to answering questions, that would be awesome.

    Kevin wrote on May 14th, 2012
    • Wouldn’t that open up the chance of corruption? Call me a cynic but…

      ces wrote on May 14th, 2012

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