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,

    A couple of quick ideas:

    1. Franchise it: It appears that you have a all the content and methodology – more importantly very passionate adopters you can pull from to be your first franchisees. A franchise would include a (limited) right to an exclusive geography and complete certification program whereby you get the training, support and materials to offer and deliver:

    – Primal Personal Training (w/checkpoints)
    – Primal Dietary Consultation (w/checkpoints)
    – Primal Lifestyle Monitor (w/checkpoints)
    – PBP Webinars
    – PBP in Market Seminars
    – New Offerings born out of Mark’s new book.

    Business Support Materials
    – Marketing Plan
    – How to Sell and recruit consumers
    – How to Sell and recruit to Corporate (Selling to the HR dept).

    – Business Plan (Economic Model)
    – Personal Coaching Option (from Mark’s Posse)
    – Personal Mgmt Option (from Mark’s Posse).

    Ancillary approach – talk to your friends up a Crossfit – and ask to piggy back (with rev share) – e.g. NEW “Primal Blueprint” offering within all Crossfit centers.”

    2. Go Infomercial!! Here again you have all the right pieces. In fact – this could feed the Franchises with qualified “Expansion” leads. Ergo – The infomercial captures the first $100 (“in 3 easy payments”) and those leads are fed to franchises for up-sell of other services. Btw – you might need a “package” that includes aforementioned and poo-poo’d exercise and diet DVD. If it spreads the word and accelerates adoption a-la- P90X – why not?

    Summary: You create a large distribution infrastructure that both gets the message out and has the capacity to deliver (coach/mentor etc.) the Primal Lifestyle.

    PS: You could consider a Multi-Level Marketing Model as Route-to-Market alternative as well (and maybe you should do more due diligence here) but for there is such a seedy side (sell to your neighbor crap), I would hate to see the superlative PBP or MDA brands hurt by that.

    PSS: You’ve got something here that can change the world and it’s very topical right now! I think more effective PR will get you National Press. The challenge to the CW is something that can play very well – as you’ve got the data to back it up. I just heard on FreshAir over the last week about America Obesity pandemic and Author Gretchen Reynolds “Stand-up and Walk Around.” Both offer supporting messages.
    I’d key on CW#1 “Grain based diet is the worst mistake in the history of the human race” and get you and Jared side-by-side on interview.


    John wrote on May 15th, 2012
  2. I would love to see primal blueprint for kids. Kids cookbook and dietary needs supplements what ones and how much. Also daily wods and activities for kids.I guess it would be all the same things that you do for us adults, instead it would be for the little groks. Love the work you do, keep up the great work.

    CARRIE MACDONALD wrote on May 15th, 2012
  3. I would love to see all 52 WOW workouts in video format. I think that would be really helpful for those of us who learn best by seeing rather than just reading.

    Maybe the MDA readers could volunteer to make the WOW videos and submit them to you for approval/editing before they would be posted on MDA.

    Angela wrote on May 15th, 2012
  4. I’d like more info on the Primal Family–it’s one thing to take on Primal as an adult, it’s a bit different to do it as a parent trying to change the course of your whole family. My children are 15 months and almost 4. My younger child is easier to adapt because he doesn’t know any different whereas my 4 yr old, though free from most processed food, is attached to ww pasta, cereal, tortillas, oatmeal etc. Switching her to more primal is more difficult. I know there are other resources out there but it would be nice to have it all together. Also, and I know this has been mentioned in posts before, but primal forcpregnancy/ nursing. I’m thinking of a book/ section on the page with how to go primal from conception thru childhood for the mother and
    child. How nice it would be for my children to grow up on the right path and not have the struggles I have had with food/weight/health.

    Tasha wrote on May 15th, 2012
  5. A permanent place for people to not just post ideas (there have been a lot of killer ones posted here), but collaborate to make them a reality.

    Some type of Primal think-tank/workshop/forum sort of place online where people can coordinate and collaborate on the creation of Primal apps or directories or video series or cookbooks or DVDs or whatever else people come up with. There could be a list of projects people are working on and you could join the group(s) of the project(s) you’re most interested in and help create it.

    You can’t do everything yourself obviously, Mark, so something like that where we can harness the smarts and talent of the Primal community to further spread the word and help the community itself by collaboratively creating products/services would be the best suggestion I could make. It would be a shame for all the ideas that’ve been shared here to go to waste if you can only realistically do a handful of them.

    A.Stev wrote on May 15th, 2012
  6. I would love to see more stuff for women.You need a grokett,someone women who can look at and go wow I want to look like that.Other than the crossfit sites I dont see many paleo women who inspire me.We also need real women showing us what kind of exercises to do through video,such as heavy lifting.We need sample workout plans and sample daily food logs for women.Yes Mark you are nice to look at ,but I need to see a woman that is paleo/primal,and is everyday type not crossfit.I think crossfit is great but it is not for everyone.I need someone to aspire to be like.

    pat wrote on May 15th, 2012
  7. I would like to have more encouraging quotes to help people to maintain primal lifestyle.

    I have a question for you, mark(:

    Besides all the exercises that you have taught us in this website, how about pilates? What do you think about this?

    Ann wrote on May 15th, 2012
  8. I second the book or program for us over 50’s. Some of us may be trying to undo decades of SAD eating, and it takes way longer to get in shape. And while I am truly happy about the successes of my younger, more athletic counterparts, it’s hard for me to believe my experience can be the same. I also support the idea of an iPhone app to help track food, find recipes, and log workouts. No matter what you come up with next, I will go for it….keep it coming. The PBS is awesome!!!

    Siobhan Stout wrote on May 15th, 2012
  9. Little late for the contest but would like a section devoted to scientific studies that back up or refute the primal plan a sort of works cited page for primal education

    Andy wrote on May 15th, 2012
  10. How about finance a primal restaurant? I find that going out is by far the most challenging of all things to do and most menus/staff is unable to cater to our needs.

    Would be great to see the equivalent of Olive Garden…Grok Garden.

    arkady wrote on May 15th, 2012
  11. Bumperstickers!!

    Chris wrote on May 15th, 2012

    — that is to say, environmentally natural and conscious cleaning, bathing, dressing, traveling, family planning, building, painting, decorating, etc, etc. GROK is part of the environment. So we are. Let us live within it in harmony. This is Primal 2.0, beyond food and exercise.

    Joshua wrote on May 15th, 2012
  13. Even though I missed the deadline (due to my effort to cut back on internet grazing), my idea is to sell vehicle window decals of Grok with or without a web site attached. So that way we can find each other on the road and give each other a thumbs up or have people wonder what that caveman is for, so the look it up on the internet and start being primal because it makes sense. Maybe we can have our own Grok handshake.

    sharty wrote on May 15th, 2012
  14. I love your pages, Mark, but every day I have to go into another web site to work out my carb intake and sugar intake. (Livestrong) I do not mind doing this, but its a bummer! I would love to go on your page and click on a food section, and it can tell me how many carbs or sugar contents are in a tablespoon of coconut flour or maple syrup for example.
    We do not have Paleo products here in the UK or any low carb shopping facilities so everything I have to eat has to be made from scratch and I am gradually making up a cookery book (for my own use) with carb/sugar and other nutrients per slice etc. But I need you to have it on your pages so it is just a click away for me.
    It takes me a long time each day to work out things so I do not go over my carb or sugar intake. For a beginner, it is the thing that stops me from succeeding the most.

    Charmaine wrote on May 15th, 2012
  15. Come to the UK! Inspire us some more. Talk to us and see if we can get something less State-side going here (sorry, I love your website, honestly)

    Lynne Smith wrote on May 16th, 2012
    • I second Lynn

      Julia wrote on May 17th, 2012
  16. hey man it simple get all your follows to write about you on there facebook page then there friends will see it.

    Make a cool youtube video something that hooks people in. Title of the video could be “paleo in 1 min”.

    Or you could do something px90 like people love doing before and after of there px90 journey you could do the same with marks daily apple success story.

    Should I give you my address now? 😀

    matthew wrote on May 16th, 2012
  17. I missed the deadline, but I hope you read this anyway.

    I’d like to hear your thoughts/research on the origin of agriculture, and its effects on modern culture. For instance, the correlation between the switch to agriculture and the formation of the first city-states, and institutionalized religion?

    Erik wrote on May 16th, 2012
  18. I’ve not searched the archives but is there an article on how to go primal at Walmart?

    Thanesh R wrote on May 16th, 2012
  19. Gosh, I wanted to read through all the suggestions first to see if my suggestion was already mentioned, but there is a mouthful (no pun intended) already.

    Seeing as one of your main purposes is to educate people regarding food, health, benefits, exercise, …long list of others… I would like to suggest some sort of “virtual academy”.

    The idea comes from a similar setup I’ve recently participated in.

    I liked that you could create a small profile and it would “rank” you not only in your country but in the world.

    You can sign up for a short course that is broken up into modules. Each module is either presented in a 10 minute video or via a article (or PDF).

    After each module you do a short 10 multiple choice questionnaire online with a breakdown of correct / incorrect answers.

    The interesting concept though, is that you get points for modules completed, NOT for how well you scored. (or you do and I’m just not aware of it..)

    With your points, you can then redeem virtual vouchers, which I guess could be used for whatever.

    I can see how you can incorporate your challenges into such a structure.

    The key though, would be to ensure that you keep it light and fresh. Don’t make it a serious business (or do?). Have some quizzes with silly fun things and others with more serious facts to learn.

    Make the goal education whilst having fun.

    If you want a bit of a deeper inside look into how the Microsoft Virtual Academy sort of gets this right, sign up (free) and mess around in there. No harm done seeing as it is free and doesn’t really count for anything other than learning something.

    South Africa

    Michelle wrote on May 16th, 2012
  20. A bit late I know, but I’d like to see more accessibility and availability of primal resources in the UK. Everything is very US based and us wee brits feel a bit left out. There are so many wonderful events etc in the US and it would be fantastic to see something held in the UK. How about a wee UK book promotional tour Mark?

    Barbara wrote on May 16th, 2012
    • I second Barbara too

      Julia wrote on May 17th, 2012
  21. A Grok Pendant or bracelet to wear! or keychain. It would be a fun way to recognize others:)

    Brandy wrote on May 16th, 2012
  22. What I would love to see is the ability to create custom supplement bundles from the store. Im new to the paleo/primal way of life, and im also pretty young. since I have started I have been buying all of my own food and trying to eat strictly primal, but it is quite expensive compared to how I used to live. I would like to purchase some of the supplements but alone they are very expensive. I know there are already bundles but it would be nice for people to pick exactly which supplements they want in there bundle and still get some sort of discount. The high end bundles are just simply too exspensive for me too afford, and the low end ones dont have exactly what im looking for. Also you could just add more varied bundles, like a basic one that just has the advanced health formula and the vital omegas, which is probably what I would opt for, being on a budget and all. Changes like this would make healthy primal living more accessible and achievable for people who cant afford the spend hundreds each month on supplements.

    Casey wrote on May 16th, 2012
  23. I know I am late on this (so no prizes for me) but I have been limiting my screen-time, so only just read this post…

    I heard Mark on the wellness guys podcast and really would love to have a Primal Blueprint podcast to look forward to!

    Thom wrote on May 16th, 2012
  24. I know the contest is up, but had to give my response. I love the research, the depth of the website, everything is really great actually – so keep up the great amazing work that you do. The only thing that I have a terrible time with is snacks. I need more, creative, ideas. You already have some, but I need more in order to get over the hump. That’s just me, but if there are a lot of folks saying the same thing then it might be useful. Another idea is a no thinking menu plan for 30 days that folks can download which would include shopping lists, menu, and recipes for 3 meals a day plus two snacks. Balanced nutritionally and with enough variety to allow for adaptation. Even just a week could be doable to help with the transition. Or Four weeks that could be alternated. Transition Made Easy. Thank you for all you do! We transitioned just after my second baby was born, while nursing, and the whole family has benefitted, even the wee groklettes. :)

    Beth wrote on May 16th, 2012
  25. I’d like to see a list of ADA ‘truths’ debunked by the Primal Diet; i.e. : Plaque buildup in the arteries

    Mose wrote on May 16th, 2012
  26. I think it’s time to take it to the next level with reshaping health and start talking about infections. Modifying diet and exercise is the obvious starting point, but after that some of us are left in the cold when those are not enough to get us back on the horse. Paul Jaminet does a great job of this, and I think infection treatment is the critical missing link to the Primal prescription for total health. You will be able to tap an enormous market by exploring the infection angle. I spend most of my websurfing time on the PHD website – not MDA – because diet, exercise and lifestyle management hasn’t been a cure all and I’m looking into targeted anti-infection strategies. There are a lot of people like me over there.

    Love the site. You’ve got an incredible amount of great ideas from the crowd – a marketer’s dream! Good luck!

    Grokwatcher wrote on May 16th, 2012
  27. 1. Assist us to find each other locally.
    2. A directory of Primal-friendly health professionals.
    3. Creating the mechanism for establishing local “chapters” and a national organization by supplying guidelines for leadership and membership, a dues structure, benefits to membership, etc. This would be a good way to accomplish number 1.

    pea wrote on May 17th, 2012
  28. Can you link with someone in Britain so that conferences can be held over here?

    Julia wrote on May 17th, 2012
  29. A cooking series on youtube. Picked up by the food network then spun off into a gourmet restaurant. Call the restaurant “Grok Paleo “.OK maybe ghats more of a 5 year plan.

    Joseph wrote on May 17th, 2012
  30. Well I know I’m too late for the contest…but oh well!

    The idea that I had (which perhaps someone mentioned in an earlier comment? couldn’t get around to reading all 32 pages of comments!!) is that we need to get the primal/paleo approach introduced to the younger generation! I’m 24 so when I say this I mean grade school/junior high/high school just FYI. It would be great if there was either a group that went around to schools to talk to the teachers, parents and children OR maybe a TV show that focused on maybe 1 or 2 schools with contact info at the end asking more people to get this happening in their schools.

    Think of the good that this would do…not only for the kids’ futures but for changing the standards in schools. What if there wasn’t just lunchtime? What if the schools started their own gardens and educating children on organic crops and livestock? I say to hell with plain old recess (not all kids are that active then anyways)…what if there was “activity time” at the end of each hour to get kids up from the desk and doing jumping jacks/lunges/sprints/etc instead? And they definitely need more field trips to the great outdoors (why limit science camp to just 5th-6th grade?!).

    Granted I might have a bit of a skewed view…I went to a charter school from 5th grade to 8th grade. It was a great experience getting to have so much involvement from the parents, who not only took us on field trips practically every month, but also taught us hands-on experience for everyday things. We had a weekly meal prepared by a rotating group of kids for the rest of the school and parents on half-days. I definitely wouldn’t give up this experience for anything and sooo glad that I left public school when I did! More kids AND parents should jump onto the charter school bandwagon. Yes, I realize that this means parents will have to take time out of their busy work schedule…but when its for the benefit of their children, how could you not want to be involved??

    As much as I love trying to educate people my own age and older, I think that we need to start changing things for kids so that they don’t have to grow up in the SAD environment. Let’s get things changing for the future generations to come!!

    Lillian wrote on May 17th, 2012
  31. New suggestion…I know that you have the reader-created cookbooks, but I think it would be great if you added a new major tab to your website homepage for just recipes. Put this tab right up there with the HOME, FORUM, etc. tabs. You could even break the recipes up by type under it.

    I like the recipe format used in the reader cookbooks…so just reuse that. You could even add a “new recipe tool/template” formatted this way so your loyal readers could submit new recipes to your site.

    Phil Orr wrote on May 19th, 2012
  32. mobile suport of blog

    Gary McGrath wrote on May 19th, 2012
  33. I know I’m late to the party with the following suggestion, and my apologies if it’s already been offered. I would like to see a Primal/Ancestral Health radio station on Sirius/XM. I think there are enough bloggers currently doing podcasts and video interviews, which if bundled on a satellite radio station, would be more than sufficient content to keep the air time filled. I know I would listen!

    Mike wrote on May 21st, 2012
  34. I would like:
    1. A resource of high quality reviews for paleo / primal nutritionists and other interested people on topics around evolutionary and nutrition science, nutritional medicine. I love all the lay people’s info out there – but there is very little in the way of high quality scientific reviews.
    Maybe this could be set up with other scientists like Robb Wolf, Lalonde etc as a unified resource nutrition science topics, to keep us up to date.

    2. Some kind of food app, (big ask i know) that helps us look up best foods for certain nutrients, and contains the anti-nutrients to be avoided. E.g like the nuts and phytic acid, or prolamines or fodmaps

    3. Most people get their nutrition information from magazines. I think we need to as a community make a concerted effort to get information into the arena that new people will find out about it. Magazine articles, PR for paleo / primal … diets and lifestyle.

    julianne wrote on May 21st, 2012

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