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

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

QuestionsAs many of you know, it’s my life goal to help 10 million people get healthy. To that end, I’ve got big plans for Mark’s Daily Apple and the Primal Blueprint in 2014. From several new books and events, to a Primal certification and much more, it’s looking like it will be a great year. I’ll be sharing all the details with you next week.

But it all starts and ends with you, Mark’s Daily Apple readers. You continue to be my primary focus and, as always, this blog wouldn’t be what it is without you. So today I want to know what you want out of MDA. See the contest below. But first…

I’d like to whet your appetite with some juicy topics I’ll be tackling in 2014 blog posts. Here are just a few that I’m working on in draft form for publication this year.

  • What Do We REALLY Know About What Our Ancestors Ate?
  • Is a Calorie a Calorie?
  • How and Why Your Body Stores Fat
  • Why I Believe in Supplementation
  • How to Be an Endurance Athlete on a Ketogenic Diet
  • How to Reverse and Eliminate Type 2 Diabetes
  • The Best Exercise There Is, Hands Down

That’s just a taste of what I have in store for this year. Now it’s your turn…

The Contest

“What do you want me to write about?” My articles are constantly informed by the thoughts and ideas of my readers. Today is your chance to tell me what you’d like to see me research and write about this year. In the comments section below, tell me one topic you’d like to see covered, or one question you’d like to see answered, or the title of one blog post that just has to be written this 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 30-serving supply of Primal Fuel.

The Deadline

Midnight (PST), 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 in 2014! 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. Raising kids primal style- especially schooling options (the increased pressure on kids in academics and the decline of unstructured play and time outdoors) and raising kids in a commercialized world.
    Also primal spirituality and ancient healing/shamanism.

    sarah wrote on January 8th, 2014
  2. How about a post about how intellectually demanding work affects dietary requirements and primal life in general. Do I, as a research scientist, need to do anything different from the normal Primal Blueprint because of the high cognitive workload? If physical athletes have to eat a little differently, what about us mental athletes?

    Susanne wrote on January 8th, 2014
  3. Mark, please keep us abreast of all the new developments in gut-micro biome research. The potential insights/discoveries for primal eating and living seem huge:).

    Caliprimal wrote on January 8th, 2014
  4. I would love to see some help deciphering quantities in supplements. They all seem to be in different measurable units so i feel like I never know which brand has “the most” or “the least” of something if they aren’t measured in the same unit. A conversion chart maybe too? Along the same supplement line, more studies on amounts to take and their benefits and cons.

    Thanks for all you do!

    Danna wrote on January 8th, 2014
  5. I would like to hear more about how folks like yourself who exercise regularly (sometimes intensely) are able to maintain energy levels with limited or no non-vegetable carbs.



    Larry G wrote on January 8th, 2014
  6. I know you have touched on how cold water swimming is good for the immune system. But I would love it if you could cover it more in depth. I swim in the cold ocean all year round in the uk in temps from 5 c to 18c.As I am getting better acclimatised I want to do some longer swim challenges but am wondering if regularly letting my body temp get low will have long term affects . I have measured my temperature after a swim and is often 34.5c, and the lowest I measured was 33.5c. I shiver a lot after but soon warm up. In the uk there has been a massive increase of people wanting to swim in cold water, there is now an outdoor swimming society! So I’m sure plenty of people would be interested in having this topic covered!! Thanks so much , your blog is brilliant. Have followed it for a few years and it’s been a gradual process working towards being fully primal. Am there now and feel great!

    Vivien wrote on January 8th, 2014
    • +1

      Christina Taylor wrote on January 8th, 2014
  7. I want to know more about Grok’s social life, and how our modern social lives are being impacted by technology.

    John wrote on January 8th, 2014
  8. An analysis of the concept that disease and unexplained pain (usually backpain) is a symptom of mental stress, past taumatic events and daily grind. Dr John Sarno calls this TMS and has written some interesting books on the subject.

    Richard wrote on January 8th, 2014
  9. Gut microbiome: types/amount/ratios/sources of bacteria in an optimally healthy gut.

    Jordan wrote on January 8th, 2014
  10. Is marijuana Primal?

    I am interested in your thoughts of using marijuana(organically grown, obviously) as a natural medicine for numerous different afflictions. I have anxiety and have used it to help keep me calm and relaxed because i loathe the idea of having to be on synthetic drugs, so what are your thoughts about using it in a safe way? And by safe, i mean not smoking it, but eating it or vaporizing it, among other ways of ingesting it without hurting your lungs. Now that we are on a path to legalization, I think it would be an interesting topic as it is obviously a part of our society and has been for decades. I like to think Grok used natural plants to alter his conciousness or relieve pain, but would he have been a “pothead” if it was available to him? Thanks Mark! And Happy New Year!

    Stefanie Lewis wrote on January 8th, 2014
    • +1

      Caliprimal wrote on January 8th, 2014
  11. Hi Mark,
    I know you have an abundance of resources that you’ve made available on this topic. I’ve purchased and read the Primal Blueprint book and some of the eBooks that you’ve made available. Actually I think I’m suffering from information overload. There’s so MUCH information in the various materials that I’ve had trouble putting together an actual plan.

    I need (and want) to lose quite a bit of weight and I believe Primal is the way to go. From reading PB, I think I have a fairly good understanding of what foods to eat, but I think I still eat too much of them. I think I need a ‘Primal Blueprint for Dummies’ book. Of the various resources you have, is there one that gives some simple step by step instructions like “This is what you need to know. Here’s how you figure it out. This is what you do, etc.?”

    My impression is that the overall approach is actually pretty simple. (If Grok did it without thinking about it, it has to be, right?) I think I just need someone to simplify it for me.

    John wrote on January 8th, 2014
  12. I feel I learned and experienced so much from PrimalCon Lake Tahoe and I would like to see the experience shared by more individuals. Is there a way that the costs of the PrimalCon’s could be reduced or supplemented through some form of grants or financial aid?

    Dave G wrote on January 8th, 2014
  13. More on eating disorders please :) I think we all have our own personal journeys to health and it would be great to hear more about how people struggling with eating disorders have personalized their health journeys and found peace.

    Florence wrote on January 8th, 2014
  14. Definitely more about women, hormones, etc. More from Carrie – what are her experiences with fasting?

    Also, ketogenic diets in treating disease, specifically cancer.

    Jessica wrote on January 8th, 2014
  15. How about a thorough and detailed “Definitive Guide to Obtaining Grassfed/ Pastured Animal Products”? By animal products I mean all of them – beef, pork, poultry, fish, and eggs. Everyone confronts different conditions depending on where they live, but the problems of finding vendors, solving the problems of access/delivery, assessing quality and reliability would seem to be issues that everyone interested in avoiding less than desirable industrial food has to solve. These issues have presented stumbling blocks for me.

    It would take too much space to enumerate all the concerns that have kept me so far from getting into grassfed/pastured. Just to name a couple though, evaluating cost vs. incremental (health and nutritional) value and, in the case of bulk beef purchases, how to get product cut and wrapped into portions that are truly suitable for my meal habits are the sort of thing I think about.

    I go to a farmers’ market and see some skanky little eggs bragging about “all vegetarian feed” at $5 a dozen, I’m totally turned off. I grew up watching chickens point their tail feathers at the feeder and try to kill each other over one fat earthworm. Where are the “worm and grub fed” eggs? Etc., etc.

    Dan Williams wrote on January 8th, 2014
  16. Something on New German Medicine (or Meta Medicine) – or ‘How our ancestors shrugged off cancer without chemo or drugs’

    Deecee wrote on January 8th, 2014
  17. I know that sugar is best avoided. I would like to see a blog about natural sweeteners. I love having my English tea with honey and heavy cream. Answers to which one is the least “evil” would be helpful. Also, what about Stevia it palm sugar? I have read your post about Stevia but think a more expansive discussion would be great. Thanks and I love reading your blogs.

    Heather wrote on January 8th, 2014
  18. The one argument pro vegetarianism that has reached me is that vegetarianism would be the only way to feed the whole world.
    I would really like to know your view on that. Never mind the contest.
    Thanks for everything you do.

    Federico wrote on January 8th, 2014
  19. sample 3-4 day/wk regimens for Oly lifts + weighted bodyweight exercises while trying to build strength/mass and maintain low body fat %, while on a cyclical ketogenic diet

    Amir wrote on January 8th, 2014
  20. Actually, I’d also like to know your thoughts about some of the ideas behind Bulletproof Diet regarding probiotics (certain strands actually make us fat) and coffee fungus. I have noticed that coffee from certain regions makes my left eye water (yes, always my left eye – histamine intolerance, maybe), but I can drink African and Kona coffee with no problems. Just an observation…

    Also, if someone is intolerant to nightshades, should she avoid supplementing with curcumin/turmeric? Will this actually increase inflammation?

    Jessica wrote on January 8th, 2014
  21. I would like more information on digestive disorders and how Primal can help.

    Wendy wrote on January 8th, 2014
  22. Not sure if this has been discussed at length before, But, as a mother of 3 young children (ages 10, 8 and 6), I would love more topics related to feeding a Primal diet to the entire family. I am blessed with great kids and they are mostly open to anything I put in front of them, but it can still be challenging. Thanks!

    Michelle C. wrote on January 8th, 2014
  23. Old, Fat, Tired & Stressed-How Primal Can Help The Menopausal Slump!

    Love all the comments looking for a focus on the over 50 crowd-especially women. Everyone will benefit greatly from Primal, but some more easily than others.I think Primal has been amazing at addressing how to achieve super fitness for semi-fit/ & younger people, and very good at helping everyone else with weight loss, muscle gain & improved health, but I think the hormonal influence on women as they age is such an ass-kicking brick upside the head to weight loss and muscle gain that it would be great to see that addressed in depth.

    Colleen wrote on January 8th, 2014
  24. Primal Ambient Sounds.

    A few weeks ago I started listening to ambient music from This site plays music that they say is scientifically designed to “zone out distractions” and “increase attention spans.”

    I work from my home and often drift off target when I’m supposed to be working. I’ve found that listening to music that I either like or dislike is too distracting, and doesn’t help me focus. Focus@Will music, on the other hand, does. The music is so neutral that I don’t consciously notice it most of the time. However, I think it’s just interesting enough to keep my unconscious brain occupied – and therefore to help keep my conscious brain from wandering off to things more compelling than work. I’ve tried many methods and tricks to improve my productivity, and this has been the most helpful so far.

    This experience has made me realize that my suburban home is freakishly quiet. Particularly when the windows are closed, I can go for long periods of time when I truly hear almost nothing. Surely this couldn’t have been Grok’s auditory experience! I can see how a brain that evolved to constantly scan the environment for sounds of danger or opportunity might be unsettled by such a complete dearth of sounds altogether. Maybe Focus@Will music works not so much by blocking distracting noise, but mostly by keeping the unconscious brain occupied. I wonder what type of research has been done in this area, and which of the many ambient sound and music apps are the best.

    Leslie wrote on January 8th, 2014
  25. We have all heard or read about different cultures having different diets being more or less apt to have various specific diseases. Many of these studies show that when these people move to (let’s say) the USA, and start on our diets they begin to have the diseases that we have, and they didn’t in their original culture. Are there any studies that might relate population density to these disease states, or any studies that might related soil mineral content from the original location to the the new location. By that I mean a study of micro-mineral and nutrient concentrations on diet and disease.

    Also, at some point, what basic elementary and middle school physical education programs might be developed to start children on a road to life long exercise and better health.

    Donald Pearline wrote on January 8th, 2014
  26. I’d like to hear more about making friends/starting friendships (with regard to the whole ‘connection’ thing). I know I have this need for connecting with other human beings, but it seems I don’t know how to or have lost the ability to actually go out there and do it. So a ’10 tips on how to fix/heal/start connections with other human beings’ would be great!

    Charissa Koops wrote on January 8th, 2014
  27. Dear Mark
    When going paleo last year I noticed that I suddenly became allergic to many foods I wasn’t to before. I have had allergy testing and knew I was allergic to almonds, egg whites and gluten. Slowly as my months passed of going paleo I was breaking out in eczema all over my body and after eating certain foods a burning sensation going down my arms. The foods that I narrowed it down to were coconut oil, dark chocolate :(, chicken, eggs, anchovies, and corn. My other family members discovered the same thing it was like the healthier we got the more allergens discovered. The more we researched the more we read about many other paleo peeps had the same problem. We also diagnosed ourselves with histamine intolerance. So this leads me to what I want from you dear wise Mark! I want more information on why this happens, and more about food allergies in general, leaky gut, and histamine intolerance etc. I really believe a lot of people will have some big ah ha moments when reading about this. Chris Kresser and paleo mom and some others have been great resources for this info but I would like more from you. It fascinates me that the healthier we eat more issues become unveiled? Thanks

    Karen Stiles wrote on January 8th, 2014
  28. This one might be too broad to tackle, but I’m tossing it in the ring since I’m so affected by it.

    Any advice for navigating the conversation between one’s own primal eating concepts and a typical M.D. when health issues arise? I don’t have a “primal doc”, or naturopath and can’t afford anything that is not covered by insurance. There is such a huge gap between health information on the Internet and what I encounter at the doctor’s office. What do you think about the future of helth practitioners filling this gap?

    Could you update and expand your excellent post about medical testing and blood work to request at the doctors office? I was sure that I had electrolyte imbalances–always thirsty, dark urine, migraines, etc-yet my magnesium levels were in the normal range. How can one know for sure about a potential nutrient deficiency?


    Caliprimal wrote on January 8th, 2014
  29. I’d love more information, ideas, tips on how to do primal on a budget. Finances are extraordinarily tight for my family of 6 and finding it difficult to do on our limited finances.

    Matthew Christians wrote on January 8th, 2014
  30. This may seem strange, but I’d love to see a post about music. Perhaps its effect on brain health. Today’s pop music is so mundane and repetitive – I wonder if it contributes to slower cognition or laziness (or maybe the opposite, productivity!). Just exploring the ‘does Mozart really make you smart,’ maybe the history of music in terms of our ancestors, etc… :)

    Alex wrote on January 8th, 2014
  31. I’ve heard that all categories of food are not equal to create fat. Vegetables are especially good at this… could you explain how and why? :)

    Thomas wrote on January 8th, 2014
  32. As an oncology nurse and primal enthusiast, I would love to see an article/articles on any possible connections between a paleo/primal lifestyle and cancer (prevention and/or disease outcomes). Thanks for the opportunity to put our two cents in!

    Patricia Lenihan wrote on January 8th, 2014
  33. Hi everyone,
    The above questions/topics are great; I would love to read about each and every topic! However, as I sat in a fertility clinic looking at the monitor that claims that 1 in every six couples have fertility issues, I couldn`t help but wonder why this is so in a world with advanced medical technicology and what Mark and Grok would do to improve egg quality, sperm quality and overall increase chances of pregnancies. During these thoughts, 2 young women who did not know each other and who were probably in their mid twenties or early thirties made appointments to see the fertility specialist. As I held my long list of vitamins that included; selenium, beta-carotene, garlic, lycopene, DHEA, inositol, vitamin D (10,000 U.I), CoQ10 and a few more, I wondered if Mark`s vitamins could help and if they contained the above vitamins. Is there any research that can help us poor women who endure such difficult treatments. Thanks everyone, please help :)

    Savy wrote on January 8th, 2014
  34. Primal Pregnancy and the best way to build muscle – being a woman!

    Keep the excellent job Mark, I’m huge fan!!

    Bruna wrote on January 8th, 2014
  35. So it is important that our sleeping environment is dark, but… plenty of nights spent in the outdoor will reveal anything but pitch darkness (aside from a few nights of each month). How does this stack up to the recommendation to make sleeping rooms super dark, and the fact that I’m far more comfortable (read: sleep much better!) with a little bit of light – not big glaring street lights – but just enough light trickling in so that when my eyes adjust, I can make out figures… a similar level of light and seeing that I generally find to be the case on an average mid-month night outdoors?

    Meg wrote on January 8th, 2014
  36. Hi Mark
    I would like you to go over RESISTANT STARCH.
    I noted that you have changed your mind about resistant starch. It was my understanding that if you eat and live primal you do not need to worry about resistant starch because your bowel and small intestine are “clean”. I have a dietitian that I consult that says resistant starch is important. However, the daily amount recommended by her seems to me to be impossible to get near – unless you are prepared to consume grains (which I will not touch). I am prepared to be open about including resistant starch in my diet, but wonder; being primal do i need to have as much as someone who consumes SAD? What Primal Foods do you recommend to consume to get this resistant starch? You did a post on this last year, but I felt you did not cover the topic in enough detail. Kind regards Michael

    Michael Reibelt wrote on January 8th, 2014
  37. I would love a return to the basics with a “What Would Grok Do” series that looks at the every day things people don’t think much about:
    waking up in the morning
    going to bed routines
    dental hygiene
    treating a sunburn
    beating a cold/flu
    meeting new people

    primalrob wrote on January 8th, 2014
    • +1

      Christina Taylor wrote on January 8th, 2014
  38. I like the idea of how to get your family members, friends, boy/girl friends on board with you etc. and how to not seem pushy. It’s hard trying to convince the people who are insisting that fats can’t be good.

    Courtney wrote on January 8th, 2014
  39. I would like to see information on the comparison between a “Grok” footprint vs environmental footprint across a large population.

    Kasey Patton wrote on January 8th, 2014
  40. I’m fairly new to the paleo lifestyle…love it and Mark’s daily apple! It does take a great deal of time but I feel I am reaping the benefits. Sorry if you have covered these before, but I’d love to have you write an article on each. The protocol for introducing probiotics…and water.

    It always says to introduce probiotics slowly and carefully, but what does that mean? One a week?…2 a week? Would love some guidelines to start from and work up to.

    I drink plenty of water…love it…always have. What kind of water should I drink? I live in a large urban area where the taste of the tap water bothers me immensely. What filters are best? How should I store it? Are brita filters bad? I drink lots of Evian from plastic bottles because I like the taste…or lack thereof. Is this unhealthy? (Can you tell I’m a bit of a worrier?)

    I am working on improving my health and lifestyle and these are two things I would like to include/improve. Would love your take on them

    Thanks for all you do to help others improve their health and lives!!

    MichelleT wrote on January 8th, 2014

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