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

Dear Readers: What Do You Want from Mark’s Daily Apple Videos?

This is not a real video...

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 a question 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 millions of people every month I’m always looking for new ways to do a better job, so I’m coming to you for ideas. This is a joint effort after all. I couldn’t do it without you.

Over the years I’ve published nearly 4,000(!) blog posts. I don’t know the exact figure, but it’s probably upwards of 5 million words. That’s a lot of writing and I don’t have any plans to slow down, but I feel like it’s time to take things to the next level. I’m seriously considering publishing regular (say, monthly to start, and perhaps weekly down the line) Mark’s Daily Apple videos. Imagine instructional/how-to videos, interviews with experts in the paleosphere, and videos that give you some insight into my Primal life. While I have a few ideas of my own, nothing is set in stone just yet. That’s where you come in…

The Contest

“What do you want from Mark’s Daily Apple videos?” My blog, my books, what I do are constantly informed by your thoughts and ideas. Today is your chance to tell me what you’d like to see on my part in this next stage of Mark’s Daily Apple. In the comments section below, tell me your ideas for future Mark’s Daily Apple videos. What kind of videos would you prefer (educational, how-to, motivational, interviews, etc.)? Which topics interest you most (nutrition, weight loss, fitness/training, Primal lifestyle behaviors (sun exposure, sleep, stress management, barefooting, etc.), cooking, etc.)? Do you prefer short, medium or long form videos (less than 2 minutes, 2 to 5 minutes, more than 5 minutes)? And lastly, tell me the title of a video you would like to see made. That’s it. I’m really interested in what you personally would find useful, and what you think would best serve the Primal movement. 

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 15-serving pouch of both the Vanilla Coconut Creme and Chocolate Coconut 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. I would like educational/ how to videos. Motivation is always a plus too. And for me the longer (more information) the better. Keep up the great work! I look forward to watching whatever it is you have in store for us

    Keight wrote on June 10th, 2013
  2. I prefer reading to videos, however that being said, I think interviews would work out well. Topics can vary: panel of primal and non-primal experts, discussions about the latest case studies, primal researchers, primal and non-primal authors, etc.

    The titles of the first video should be “primal vs. non=primal”. I would love to see a moderated debate between the two.

    James wrote on June 10th, 2013
  3. What about videos geared to people new to the primal lifestyle. 5-10min long. A version of your “start here” / “primal 101” in video form, so it’d be easy to direct folks to those.

    I also agree with the podcast suggestions, for taking a more in depth look at some subjects, things that would take more than a short video to get into (e.g. intermittent fasting, benefits of ketosis, etc.)

    In the podcasts, you could interview other experts and sometimes you could have somebody interview you to get at your expertise & perspective on topics — such as best methods for endurance training, how much water to drink while exercising, how to fuel before and after exercise when one has made the transition to fat burning, how to deal with different diets in one household (isn’t one of your family members a vegetarian?) …

    Eleanor wrote on June 10th, 2013
  4. I’d like to see some science-based charts on nutrition and the way different foods affect our bodies. Not for me so much, but thing I can share with interested friends and family to help them understand why I eat this way.

    BonzoGal wrote on June 10th, 2013
  5. I mostly prefer the blog & text, too. But I do agree that it would be helpful & facinating to see real everyday folks like me and how they incorporate primal ways into their lives. Especially for families with kids! And especially if those (short <5 minute) videos would help my kids to understand more why we eat/live primal, and that there are others out there like us too!!! It can be difficult to make them understand. My 12 year old laments his lost bread & pasta all the time!!! If he saw other kids living & eating primal, I am sure it would help!

    We need a "Capture" video to send out to people who are not familiar with paleo/primal! Summary of facts, big names, convincing testimonials. Video is a good tool to send a friend to give them new info. I have found that most people do not read detail & analyze information like I do. Most people want the quick version- no reading. If we can pique people's interest in Primal Living with a quick informative video, we may capture their attention enough to cause them to want to explore it further!

    Thanks Mark — we love what you do for us!!!

    Lora wrote on June 10th, 2013
  6. I don’t like videos. They take too much time to watch and you can’t skim. Only for things that NEED a video: like exercises, etc. I don’t like cooking videos. I can read a recipe.

    shannon wrote on June 10th, 2013
  7. An hour of content a month, sounds reasonable to me. I’m thinking of something like a news magazine — some programming related to the current content of the website, some success stories, some science news, some interviews, some lifestyle, some instructional exercise, shopping and cooking. A sort of 60 Minutes of Primal Blueprint. I like it!

    rose wrote on June 10th, 2013
  8. I think what would be most useful (to myself and the movement as a whole) would be educational and how-to videos. Some motivational and interview videos would be welcome as well though.

    As for topics, fitness and cooking would be the most useful to me though I would probably find primal lifestyle behaviors the most interesting.

    For video length I’m fine with any of them but I think shorter videos would spread the most. I think it would be interesting to break up a topic into several related videos. A cooking video along with some short nutrition videos about some of the ingredients. A video on getting started barefoot running along with a short video on barefooting in general. Interviews and motivational videos would probably be better suited in the 5+ minutes category.

    Rob wrote on June 10th, 2013
  9. Thanks for asking, you already provide a very valuable service. I appreciate your effort to grow! I’d find videos demonstrating movement form and food prep most useful. It would be interesting to see interviews as well, but those are just as good in print or pod cast. I learn a lot about movement by watching others, and I love watching people cook!

    wendy wrote on June 10th, 2013
  10. I would like to see videos based on the concepts discussed in The Primal Connection as well as cooking of primal recipes and demonstrations of Workouts of the Week

    Joe wrote on June 10th, 2013
  11. I’d prefer no videos at all, as I won’t watch them.

    An audio subscription like a podcast or available in the MDA app would go right to my phone and I’d be good catching that in the car or while walking or something, but videos require me to stop and watch at somebody else’s pace.

    I would prefer short audio streams (2-5 minutes) that are motivational in nature, and refresh my memory of any primal laws or behaviors I may have forgotten about or let slip.

    DeftTitan wrote on June 10th, 2013
  12. I prefer educational or how-to videos,that are shorter in length – less than 2 minutes is great, but hard to fit much into. Under 5 minutes will still hold my attention. Anything longer and I typically give up before I even start.

    I’m defnitely interested in weight loss and nutrition at the moment – but some quick how-to videos on simple fitness techniques – like proper form for squats, push ups, etc – very helpful to us noobs.

    Also, sleep (something I definitely need more of!) – Something like “Setting up your environment to encourage quality sleep” would be great.

    Jennifer wrote on June 10th, 2013
  13. Ditto on keeping videos a bite-size two to several minutes, max. Keep production values high. No crappy audio.

    Video ideas:

    “Meet the Tribe” – Where videos focus on a single ‘day in the life’ of a paleo person, with voice-over on tips, best practices, how the lifestyle has improved that person, etc. Groks come from everywhere, all ages and sizes, and it would be nice to meet them.

    “Primal Talk Soup” – Get your take on paleo practices from many web sites, filtered through your lens. I am constantly looking at lots of paleo/exercise web sites, but I find I return to MDA to see your take on various paleo practices, i.e., Bulletproof coffee, Lean Gains, basic exercises, supplementation, etc. I wish there was a clearing house of information that can be filtered through the MDA perspective.

    “Grok Goes …” …to the Farmers’ Market, …Out to Eat, …”Make Ice Cream”, etc. Instructional videos.

    KenCo wrote on June 10th, 2013
  14. Cooking how to’s…….

    Josh wrote on June 10th, 2013
  15. A 2-5 minute video. Interviews on weight-loss and how-to for those of us aged 40 and up who have a harder time losing weight. Throw in some motivation since it seems to take much longer for some of us to reach our goal (3 years and counting …)and recipes! How about a title of “It’s never too late to get healthy”. Pod casts would be amazing! I listen to them while I work.
    Thanks Mark for all of the amazing work you do!

    Lynne wrote on June 10th, 2013
  16. Short to medium-length primal fitness how-to videos. And short motivational videos for those days that we need a little extra push! (and because we’re good enough, we’re smart enough…)

    Kathy wrote on June 10th, 2013
  17. I love personal interest stories! I would be great if you could show a monthly personal coaching session of a single person or small group. The idea is to take a primal newbie, give them tools for becoming primal, then video their progress monthly and troubleshoot any problems they might be having. It could chronicle the person’s weight loss (or not) or perhaps their personal journey toward better health. You could call them “Primal Journeys.”

    As for length, I’d stick to 5 minutes or less. I used to write 1 min. speeches for a US Rep and it’s amazing how powerful one minute can be. After 5 minutes, you lose people.

    Good luck!

    Kim wrote on June 10th, 2013
  18. A weekly workout video would be cool. Fairly short (5 mins or less) and user friendly. Maybe you could have a guest presenter each week…
    Also Mr Anthony (above) suggested “basics” videos for LHT, sprinting, etc. That’s a good idea too.

    Hugh wrote on June 10th, 2013
  19. I think an “On the Road” segment would be interesting – 3-5 minutes, “Primal Footprints” where you interview real life people who have made the primal lifestyle change. This could include multiple topics – including Primal restaurants, primal “at work” segments, recipes, events, favorite “Play” area. This would cover multiple topics. I LOVE the Friday stories, and this would put some on this in action.

    Shane LuQuire wrote on June 10th, 2013
  20. I prefer reading when I can, but there are some things only a video can show well. Videos should be short and be there to explain something that is difficult to explain with words. Some examples would be:

    1) Video of how to cut apart a chicken, a highly useful primal skill.
    2) Videos of how to do a specific exercise, preferably repeated from several angles. You already did the primal movements, but things like how to get over a wall fast or climb a tree would be nice.

    Damien Gray wrote on June 10th, 2013
  21. ADVENTURES OF GROK! I think it would be awesome to see a movie of Grok’s adventures (maybe a 30-60 min show), then have a series of videos that dive into an analysis of his activities. I love the Grok family story in the Primal Blueprint book and seeing a more detailed journey/adventure on a show would be great. Examples of series videos:
    1) running from danger = sprinting techniques explained
    2) climbing cliffs = bodyweight (pull/push) exercises

    I know these kinds of things have been explained in detail on MDA, but seeing it in a story/video would bring it to life even more!! Thx!

    Jon wrote on June 10th, 2013
    • Also, I agree that written word is more convenient so I would continue to favor that over videos, but mixing a few videos like the above would be great. Also, podcast would be awesome.

      Jon wrote on June 10th, 2013
  22. I would like to see videos under 5 min pertaining to real life primal issues. Dealing with Plateaus, Recipes, Fitness. Also maybe some hints on avoiding things we think to be Primal and are not. Just make sure Carrie makes appearances in most. Thank you.

    Yoporch wrote on June 10th, 2013
  23. I agree that text is better. The reason I come to MDA is because it’s scientifically backed. You can’t pack a lot of science in the videos I like (which are 2-5 minutes btw). So honestly, I think if you do a video it should just be a somewhat humorous “Day in the Life of Mark” vid, just to show people what you’re like in person. You seem like you could pull off a bit of humor as well.

    Matthew wrote on June 10th, 2013
  24. I’m a fan of text, but as a schoolteacher, I understand that not everyone extracts the same tasty morsels of juicy, gelatinous information from text that I do. I have some students that MUST move while learning, or they will take us and all others in the neighboring counties along with them in the subsequent supernova that follows. Different people learn in different ways. I believe that the addition of video is a wonderful idea as long as it does not take away from the wonderful work that is being done already. Video clips are an excellent idea to reach more people with the same useful information.

    I think that short interviews with leading thinkers in various fields of health/nutrition who may or may not be in tune with paleo living would be informative and interesting.

    Short instructionals on simple meal preparations — stressing the “ease” of the prep.

    Short primers on the body and its systems (diagrams outlining the glucose/insulin relationship, etc)

    Short instructionals on how to properly conduct basic, grok-friendly exercises

    5 minute interviews with leading thinkers in the paleo movement and like-minded individuals.

    Instructionals on supplements/vitamins/nutrients

    Either way, keep up the great work, Mark!

    Joe-grok wrote on June 10th, 2013
  25. Oooo! To add to my “Primal Journey” comment above, you could hold a contest – written or video – having candidates describe (in 500 words or 3 minutes), the reasons they want to go primal and why they’d be motivated to stick with it.

    Maybe choose two candidates – one chosen by you and one voted in by your readers!

    Kim wrote on June 10th, 2013
  26. So my friends and family are the biggest support group in my life. Im sure this is the case for most. The problem, we are very health minded group still drawing health concepts from the old paradigm. Now I have a lab background in biomedical science, but I’ve always kinda been on the fringe for questioning everything and wanting to debate “scientists”. I come from the mind set of possibilities which earns my alot of snickers behind my back. anyway, I’m great at science, not so much at eloquent speaking. A video titled ” paleo concepts and why they work”…perhaps featuring regular people people with success. That was fairly brief could be a great communication tool to get health minded yet horrifyingly misinformed people (this scientist for example) onboard. Grok provides the tools then we can pick them up. If my friends and family were on board…this would provide the most bang for my buck! after all a picture is worth a thousand words…ps i would email / post something like this to every one of my non paleo peeps

    shani baker wrote on June 10th, 2013
  27. Cannot wade through all the comments to see if this has not already been posted, but would love to see The Friday Primal Blueprint Real Life Story sometimes done in video format. Several ways of doing this: homemade, send Mark, (or one of the workerbees – so we get to know them too) to do an interview with the person, or some variation thereof.

    Cody wrote on June 10th, 2013
  28. I think educational and how-to videos would be a great addition to the site. Personally, I prefer videos under two minutes. It’s hard to chose a topic that would interest me because everything you list interests me, haha. However, I think some topics are more suited for video such as cooking and fitness. I think the great thing about videos is that people share them a lot more than blog posts and if you had some fun videos, it would be a great way to introduce non-primal folks to the lifestyle!

    Alysia wrote on June 10th, 2013
  29. I’m also rooting for podcasts. I love them. I can easily hear primal/paleo knowledge all day and continue daily activities. If there’s a chance videos could be made, I’d like the idea of how to fitness videos, more focused on primal movements that wouldn’t require that much equipment, interacting with other primal/paleo figures and sharing ideas and stuff, but I don’t know if those would take more than 5 minutes.

    And I don’t know how this could be possible but relatively short insight videos of the different tribes or hunter gatherer groups throughout the world, their culture, nutrition etc? From the past and/or present. I guess I’m kind of fantasizing over here. I love history. 😛

    Angeline wrote on June 10th, 2013
  30. I would love to see videos on how to prepare some of the more non-traditional/offal foods. Videos like how to trim/cut up tongues, hearts, etc. would be awesome for those of us who have never tried it. I’m adventurous, but trying new things is difficult if you don’t know HOW to make them.

    TWoods wrote on June 10th, 2013
  31. I Definitely agree with everyone that your usual written format should not change on a daily basis. I read your blog every day at work and love hopping to other articles from it. I will usually spend my entire lunch break going deep down the MDA rabbit hole while doing core work at my standing desk! I would, however, love to see short interviews with people in the paleosphere, especially newcomers. I also am a big fan of Robb Wolf’s Q&A series ( and I think it would be great if you had one of these a week, maybe with your Link Love post. Always feels good to get a personal response from you, so video format would be even better!

    Jason wrote on June 10th, 2013
  32. How about quick-hitting ‘how-to’ segments with various all-stars in the Paleosphere, For example, how to cook many meals in one go with Michelle Tam (Paleo Nom Nom). Or a grocery store tour with another culinary expert. Post-workout nutrition tips in a kitchen setting. Lots of possibilities.

    Max wrote on June 10th, 2013
  33. I like the video idea! I’d suggest 3 minutes or less, and would like to see (1) interviews, (2) animated explanations of Primal concepts (i.e., such as used in Tom Naughton’s “FatHead” movie), (3) demonstrations of fitness or cooking tips.

    Sam wrote on June 10th, 2013
  34. I’m not a big video fan, but when I do watch vlogs I prefer the short side of 2-5 minutes, and it’s key that the video format provide something essential. If it can be conveyed just as easily, or even better, with text, then I don’t want to watch the video.

    Good topics would be something you can visually demonstrate, like proper primal movements or even cooking techniques. Or perhaps tackle a complex subject that you can explain while drawing compelling diagrams.

    For a specific title… How about “the differences between paleo ‘flours'”? You could show the different types and then talk about pros, cons, and uses for each.

    BrassyDel wrote on June 10th, 2013
  35. I would like to see a 5 minute video with a woman regarding exercise for those of us who may be 50 and older. I would agree that the daily notes would be better in print since I can read that at work but not a video. Or a series of 2 minute videos that can be used to show us how we can do the primal movements. Plus, I live in a small condo that doesn’t have much room for equipment so maybe some suggestions for people who have “simple” living situations. Thanks for all your work Mark! And thanks to your wife as well.

    2Rae wrote on June 10th, 2013
  36. I want to see some highlights from one of those Ultimate Frisbee games that you keep talking about!

    dragonmamma wrote on June 10th, 2013
  37. Primal parenting series!

    Jenny wrote on June 10th, 2013
  38. Hi all,

    I personally would find interviews and instructional videos to be a great addition. Specifically, a how-to on fixing flat feet would really help supplement the written post.

    Although the video I would *MOST* like to see on MDA…Mark doing a wok-based cooking segment entitled “Grok out with your wok out!”.

    Come to think of it I might have to have an apron made that says that and replaces Grok’s trusty spear with a wok!

    PBuzz wrote on June 10th, 2013
  39. With the goal of attracting and introducing non-paleo folks into the lifestyle, I think its important to deliver similar video content thats successful and being widely consumed now in a paleo-centric form. Most folks come to MDA seeking some sort of transformation, and that initial process should be video documented by folks who are truly willing to commit. So I would propose the idea of video journals for those entering the PB 21-day challenge where they diary and explain how straight forward adherence and results can be…
    I suppose I am envisioning something along the lines of a ‘biggest loser’ format not necessarily focused all on weight, but the simple changes/straight forwawrd results of moving into primal and all of the daily benefits that come along with it.

    Matt wrote on June 10th, 2013

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