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?

It’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. Mark, I’m an 18 year old kid who just completely destroyed his big toe and dislocated it. I wish I could post the pic…its repulsive. I was on a trail run and had to walk 5 miles on it to get out of the woods. Now I’m getting surgery, cant run for 3 months…not a happy camper…but am pretty high on percocet (i don’t like taking artificial painkillers, but its pretty hard not to). So…I have lots of time to type and read. I think one of the best things about this “diet” is simply the way it affects the functioning of our bodies. The physiological factor is truly interesting and important. My best friends dad died of a stroke a week ago. I found a bottle of Crestor on the counter of his house. I did tons of research on saturated fat and statins while a bunch of friends and family were sitting around in the hospital for a couple of weeks. While everyone started questioning my diet and plaque buildup I was able to talk about saturated fat, CoQ-10, vitamin K2, vitamin C, oxidized low Density lipoproteins and the issue when they’re able to get in the sub-epithelial space, and even the metabolic pathway of Acytl- CoA…the list goes on (its so much more complicated then CNN makes it). I think knowledge is power when it comes to human health. People have so much access to the CNN, MSNBC….etc. health articles that make these general statements that are straight-up false. Well everybody believes them because there’s no big “reliable” source challenging them….meanwhile people don’t understand why they’re 5’11 and 260 pounds (of fat not muscle). I’d like to see you advertise more…not as a “loose belly fat in 4 weeks” program…. but as a credible source of scientific research that talks about biochemistry and how this diet stretches to so many parts of our functioning as human beings…As I said knowledge is key in restoring health in America….we have a government that subsidizes these commodity crops like crazy making “our” types of food more expensive (…..get the word out

    Michael Chronert wrote on May 15th, 2012
    • Well said Michael Chronert! Very intelligent post.

      Wishing you speedy recovery and health after your surgery. I’m a trailrunner too, I hope you get back to the trails soon.

      mars wrote on May 15th, 2012
  2. I would love to see a “Primal Family” book. Anything to help convince my family that this is a great way to get healthy.

    Dave wrote on May 15th, 2012
  3. A combination Damage Control Master Formula with Primal Fuel. And/or Damage Control Master Formula as a powder, not in capsules, with a scooper.

    Barry wrote on May 15th, 2012
  4. Too many of these submissions are failing to keep Mark’s goal in mind: reaching 10 million people.

    An iPhone app is cool, but that’s merely an added service for current users. Added features on the website would be nice, but that mostly benefits those who already use the website every day. Crossfit-style meetups are cool, but the target “fitness” population is limited. More PrimalCon-style events would be nice, but that’s preaching to the choir.

    Mark should go to where the people are. He should target the tens of millions of American moms (and dads) in charge of their family’s cooking.

    I went to They claim 24 million unique users a month and house 44,000 recipes. Most of these fall squarely in the conventional paradigm.

    Mark could offer a partnership with Allrecipes, or, or one of the others. He and his team would be in charge of creating and maintaining an entire “primal” section on these sites. His promise: “I will bring my users to your site, particularly to your subscription services.”

    In the case of Allrecipes, they already have the kind of iphone meal planning app that many people here have expressed desire for. It is included in their subscription service.

    In exchange for bringing his users and providing exclusive content, Mark gets the following:

    1) exposure to tens of millions of household food decision-makers.
    2) another marketing channel for the more in-depth materials.
    3) a foundation on which to build an overall case for the primal lifestyle
    4) potential for further marketing/promotional type events leveraging the resources of these companies.

    There is opportunity here. As of now, Allrecipes only has a “low-carb” recipes section. It is woefully underdeveloped and certainly not primal.

    That is my suggestion… don’t rely on them coming to us! Use partnerships to bring them here.

    Grok on!

    Matt wrote on May 15th, 2012
    • Great suggestion! You are correct it is wise to utilize existing networks to access more people and spread the word and Allrecipes would be a good place to start.

      John wrote on May 15th, 2012
  5. Mark, I want to thank you for all the well researched and thought provoking content on your website. It has helped my family enormously! I would love for you to write a book about the Primal lifestyle for children. While I try to explain to my kids why we eat and live the way that we do, I would love to be able to hand them a guide that breaks it all down for them. Thank you, once again!

    Sabrina wrote on May 15th, 2012
  6. I’d like an android nutrition app that tells me what foods are primal or not, and is a calorie, protein, carb counter. That would be awesome.

    Tammy wrote on May 15th, 2012
  7. What I’d like is to see the primal movement around south american countries, which are, in fact, pretty bereft from any concept of health, as we just ape what the people from the north tell us about it.

    kinshiro wrote on May 15th, 2012
  8. That the ‘Paelo’ diet and lifestyle becomes everyones standard default way of living. (And the food pyramid is made illegal!)

    Lucy wrote on May 15th, 2012
  9. I would love to have some information dedicated to the teenage athlete. My 16-year-old son plays football and elite basketball and is doing well with a mostly primal diet. At 6′ tall and only 145 pounds, he’d like to add some weight for football, but has found it difficult to gain because he burns so much fuel. Information for training days and game days would be very useful.

    Mary wrote on May 15th, 2012
  10. Idea: Website service/tool. “Primal Index”
    I would really like a reference tool that people could add products/food/items and then have the primal team rate them on there ‘primalness’.Mark has reviewed some foods recently, but I am talking about a quick reference that readers can contribute to, and MDA can rate. Then provide a Search function for the rest of us to look up the ‘primal index’. Kinda like a primal wiki.

    Trevor wrote on May 15th, 2012
  11. Any chance we could get (at least some of) your recipes translated from volumetric measures to weight measures (preferably metric)? It would make them much more useable to the world outside the US.

    Orielwen wrote on May 15th, 2012
  12. My PB wishes ~

    A Primal at-home minimal or no equipment workout video from Mark!

    An appearance by Mark on Dr.Oz!

    East Coast Primal Con – Yes Mark you HAVE to be there!!

    Anne wrote on May 15th, 2012
  13. OK I have a couple and they may be repeated above but I’m not going to read through 30 pages to find out.

    A) I’d love an eat this not that guide for restauranting. I’m literally THE ONLY primal eater in my SAD family and they all want to go out to eat and frankly I am always out voted to eating in. I try to cook but knowing what I can do when my family insists on applebees would be great

    B) common allergy hacks. Seems like every primal paleo recipe book includes recipes that often have allergens (eggs, nuts, mine is coconut that I can’t seem to find good recipes around) You don’t have to write a recipe book but “how to sub eggs if you are allergic” and “how to sub nuts if you are allergic” would be some decent articles.

    Erin wrote on May 15th, 2012
  14. It would be a big project to take on, but I would love an online resource that plans your meals, gives you the recipes and the shopping list to boot.

    You enter your family’s details (ages, appetites, rough budgets), any foods you may dislike, the type of meals you need (i.e. packed lunch during the day etc) and for how long (week, month etc), press a button, and it gives you a shopping list, recipes and what you’re eating on what day for that week (or month). Fully primal, within estimated budgets and ready to go.

    It would be limited in terms of recipes, but perhaps the site’s users could submit recipes that become part of the recipe bank.

    I’m not lazy honest, just not very good at doing the above!

    David wrote on May 15th, 2012
  15. Hi! I’m writing from Barcelona, Spain, so what I want is the Primal Blueprint in Spanish, so I can recommend it to my family and friends!

    Oscar wrote on May 15th, 2012
  16. I’d like to see a Workout of the Week book or ipad app that I could easily access at any time.

    Tom E. wrote on May 15th, 2012
  17. I would like to see a YouTube Channel / video blog. Might be a considerable time and effort commitment but I think enhance MDA. I’m thinking 3-5min videos on specefic foods or supplements, short inteviews with others personalities in the paleo community, recipe corner, exercise of the day, etc… the world is our stick of butter.

    Rick Petersen wrote on May 15th, 2012
    • **your**

      Rick Petersen wrote on May 15th, 2012
  18. How about a manga or graphic novel version of the Primal lifestyle?

    Something to appeal to younger kids as a fun sort of educational tool.

    Chris Rusanowski wrote on May 15th, 2012
  19. I’d like an easy way to convince friends and family. It’s REALLY DIFFICULT to talk to the people you care about and have them listen. My sister is a GREAT mother but her kids have THE WORST diet but I can’t get her to see the connection between diet and health for them. Gr!!

    Stefanie wrote on May 15th, 2012
  20. How about an Idiot guide to going Primal?
    I have all the PB books and cookbooks, but still struggle to plan meals which are primal, so an Idiot guide, making this simple to follow would be great for us beginner types?

    Ken UK wrote on May 15th, 2012
  21. I know that the contest is over, and I’ve already submitted an answer but.. after reading all of these suggestions, I think MDA needs a ‘like’ button under each comment :)

    PrimalWings wrote on May 15th, 2012
  22. I love the idea of a “live chat” feature to ask quick questions to.

    The Grok Community idea is great too. You could have host or representatives for the certain area/community and do events with one another or cooking classes or just plain Primal Parties!!

    Natalie wrote on May 15th, 2012
  23. I know I’m past the deadline, but I’ve wanted to e-mail Mark for some time about this and here’s my chance to submit it. I would love to be able to subscribe to a print publication/magazine reference The Primal Blueprint. There are so few reliable, decent, enjoyable magazines on anything and magazines are so fun to get and read.

    Jerad wrote on May 15th, 2012
  24. Would like to see more listings for Primal-minded stores in particular cities and suburbs where one could buy the odd fur loincloth, stone tools, etc.

    Primal Geezer wrote on May 15th, 2012
  25. More posts to Weston A. Price Foundation. Their work is so important to all of us as well as the animals we eat. Your website is such a great opportunity to spread the word about WAPF. Thanks!- K

    Kath wrote on May 15th, 2012
  26. Hey Mark,

    A product you could make that I would buy indefinitely is a film or documentary about the Paleo/Primal lifestyle and how it can change your life overall. Include other paleo/primal advocates, other big names, etc… I think you could make it into something great.

    Andrew wrote on May 15th, 2012
  27. The one thing I can think of is more videos.

    Liana wrote on May 15th, 2012
  28. Ipad/iphone App to provide insights and support on the go!

    Jake wrote on May 15th, 2012
  29. I am fairly new to Primal and a life long sugar holic along with carbs,(cookies, cakes, pop, etccc… It has taken two years just to be able to give up sugar and my whole reason is for health, I guess I didnt even mind how I felt because I never felt different but now I can taste not just sweet or salty but flavor. Great! But I have dealt with serving people and one thing in common with health issues is lack of nutrition and where to look for info for beginning health for dummies. Its been quite the quest. The knowledge of what food is and how it works is totally lost in our society to the everyday person( maybe 85% I dont know)For one to know what amino acid or what enzyme is missing or why no grains is imperative to any one with major health issues to strengthen themselves and not with a microwave dinner. So, I am sayine to bring more people to the knowledge of food/nutrition in a very simple starting point. And maybe through a nice brochure they can request from a radio ad and then advertise it. Ask Tony Robbins the master strategist!He’s the bomb. People could call for a brochure and they would have to leave their email in which you could then start sending info to them, teaching them. I’m fairly slow but I am applying what I learn and it makes me happy.Thanks for all you teach me.

    Sue Atwood wrote on May 15th, 2012
  30. I’m not sure if this has already been suggested because I didn’t read through every comment, but I’d love to have a compilation of all of the cited studies from your articles. That way, when people ask what I’m basing my beliefs about saturated fat (among other things) on, I can show them direct evidence other than my own personal changes in health and appearance.

    Heather Boyd wrote on May 15th, 2012
  31. AN exercise schedule including body weight strength training examples…

    k wrote on May 15th, 2012
  32. A mobile app! Everyone uses them already, but to have MDA in mobile, perhaps with a functionality to give workout reminders or to help on the decision making process when ordering out? It’s MDA on the go!

    Rosemarie wrote on May 15th, 2012
  33. This is a suggestion for the second half: make your Primal life easier. (i.e. It isn’t a website suggestion)
    I have meals away from home more than half the week. I manage those OK – I can usually find a steak or fish dish with veggies. But I am missing out on all the “extras” – the organ meats, lots of vegetables, and quality food – I can pretty much guarantee the steaks at any restaurant in town are not from pastured cows.
    So, I need help cooking, for the times I am able to eat at home – when I do have a shot at eating well. I have considered a service that will ship pre-packaged meals, but that’s pretty spendy, not very flexible, and finding a paleo one severely limits the few choices available. What worked well for me back before, was something like Dream Dinners. So that’s my pick, for a suggestion for you – a way to pick up and pack up complete fresh high quality paleo meal fixings, once every week or two, so that I can prep and cook paleo, using the freshest ingredients, without a lot of preparation or waste.

    Carla wrote on May 15th, 2012
  34. I think a searchable database on MDA with every food imaginable (or at least a lot of foods)that would tell you quickly Primal or Not and a quick description why it is or isn’t primal. There is always a lot of discussion and misinformation floating around when it comes certain foods being primal. It would be an amazing tool for the Newbies and Veteran Groks alike. The food pages could also have information such as nutrition content and benefits the food provides. Thanks for all your hard work Mark!! I am still down 65lbs from my PrePrimal weight, effortlessly maintaining my weight, and loving life and I owe it all to MDA & PB!

    Dan wrote on May 15th, 2012
  35. I missed the contest deadline, but it doesn’t matter. A quick and easy way (either through app or quick email icon) that users could send to a friend which would summarize your 10 basic steps into easy talking points. Once we are able to summarize and discuss easily with those that are interested those individuals could get the more in-depth information from your website.

    I was tempted to cut up my book so I could create my own pdf but it seemed liked copyright infringement and I did not want to destroy my book. I have purchased over 5 books and handed them out to friends, it gets expensive. We are your best advertisers making it easier for us to spread the word seems to be the simplest and most direct method.

    Marshall Waksmundzki wrote on May 15th, 2012
  36. taking health into our own hands: a list of blood, urine, or saliva tests to take, numbers to shoot for…and also a list of which tests are not useful, and what to look for physically instead (i.e. just take selenium/ eat oysters if you have white marks)…

    lists for basic health, for different age groups, for specific symptoms…

    cz wrote on May 15th, 2012
  37. I would like to see hard scientific data refuting the “calorie is a calorie is a calorie” of conventional wisdom once and for all. I would like to see a large and RIGOROUS study where there are three groups – control (no change in usual diet proportions, just the same number of calories in and out per day as the other groups), high fat/protein, and high carb low fat/protein. Same number of calories in per day, same number of calories burned per day. Compare weight loss at the end of whatever time. Something to prove to my elite-level athlete brother who absolutely 100% refuses to believe that a calorie from carbs is different from a calorie from fat. He doesn’t believe that hypoglycemia is real, because a calorie is a calorie. He doesn’t believe that I can gain weight on 1200 calories a day if it’s mostly carbs but lose on 1800 calories a day if it’s mostly fat/protein. A real, scientifically valid study would be AWESOME!

    Cathy wrote on May 15th, 2012
  38. I didn’t read all of the 31 comment pages but, what about a “bumper sticker?” (I’d put it on my bicycle.) Or a flag perhaps? Buttons?
    This could help identify Primal people in our own communities…for spontaneous meet and greets! “Oh look there goes a Primal!”
    I like the “Primal Foodshare group” idea, and the app.
    (I’m in Kitchener, Ontario btw:)

    Hilda wrote on May 15th, 2012
  39. I’d like to see more video entries, (vlogs) on all things Primal including the science that supports the lifestyle.

    Russell wrote on May 15th, 2012
  40. I would like to see a ‘research’ section so it can easily be scanned, and shared. Many of my friends ask to see the research behind what we’re talking about. I think having some sort of ‘strength’ assessment would be valuable as well, as in this website:

    Kevin wrote on May 15th, 2012

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