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. I would like to know your opinion on lifestyle adjustments in light of Fukushima and the radiation effects on food sources. What food sources are most affected by this radiation, how to adjust/change your diet and activities ie. play/swim in the Pacific Ocean. Thanks.

    saba wrote on January 8th, 2014
  2. How about an article on the Glycemic Index and how if used correctly can help ourselves to make better food choices!

    Robert Portillo wrote on January 8th, 2014
  3. I would like to see more about nutrition during pregnancy. (I can’t help but worry I need more carbs for the baby.)

    Rebecca Parfitt wrote on January 8th, 2014
  4. I have extremely low platelets and no one has any idea why. My heart, liver, and spleen are enlarged and engorged with blood. No one has any idea why, or what to do with this. Please talk about this situation, and how it can be helped. Thank you!

    Deana wrote on January 8th, 2014
  5. Thanks for all your great work. I read your post everyday for information and inspiration.

    Most of your readers seem to be in the prime of their lives (20s to 50). Some of us who follow you are considerably older (we’re in our 70s) and were on the SAD for a LONG time before we found your website.

    The questions I would like to have you address for us older folks are:
    Is it possible to reverse the accumulated effects (known and unknown) of our bad eating years?
    If so, what is the best way to do it?
    Does this differ from what a younger person should do?
    Would our progress be helped by supplements specifically targeted for people of our age?
    If so, what are your recommendations?

    Even though my husband and I are not diabetic or pre-diabetic, we have surely experienced plenty of fluctuations in our blood sugars having lived as vegetarians for several years, eaten vats of ice cream and popcorn and truckloads of chocolate and tortilla chips, and yoyo’ed our weights. Now we are three years primal with grass fed beef and pastured pork and chicken in our freezer. We are both of normal weight (not the “new normal”) and active with tennis a couple (or more) times a week, walking, and the occasional visit to the gym – plus just having “lifted” a foot of snow off the driveway. I have some arthritis in my hands and have had cataract surgery. He has had surgery for a partially blocked carotid artery and has not felt comfortable discontinuing the statins prescribed by his doctor.

    PS. We live in the Midwest where fewer people are enlightened, few eateries cater to people such as us, and running on the beach is not an option.

    Catlady wrote on January 8th, 2014
  6. So maybe I missed it in all the comments, but my husband is an avid back-country hiker and enjoys the pre made dehydrated meals because they are easy to fix in the evenings – add water, reconstitute the meals, eat, and no dishes – simply pack out the bag the meal was packed in.
    However, while there’s lots of primal stuff to eat the rest of the day, I would be very interested in hearing other options of hot meals that are along the same level of ease (both transport and keeping) yet would let me get a hot meal…other than the rice dishes with who-knows-what preservatives in them.
    I have looked at making my own and dehydrating, but all those meals usually require cooking and then doing dishes; I would be very interested in seeing what else is out there that I haven’t run across yet. What got me onto this question as well is when the Modern Gypsies did their race across Morocco – they were primal, but what did the eat. And I know my husband would love for me to come hiking again – but I want more than just cold food to eat.

    Oh, and for saltwater aquarium owners – the moonlight (night time lighting) is usually blue – supposedly to represent the wavelengths of moonlight – would this be the same wavelengths I am using F’lux to block out? I ask because that’s part of the fun – looking in the tank after dark to see who comes out.

    Otherwise, I am enjoying everything I read about…thanks for the terrific site, Mark!

    Kerstin wrote on January 8th, 2014
  7. I would like to see you write about GAINING weight on the Paleo diet. I have IBS and am presently following the Specific Carbohydrate Diet as outlined in Elaine Gottschall’s book “Breaking the Vicious Cycle. This is very similar to the Paleo Diet in that no grains of any kind are allowed. Dairy products are not allowed except for natural cheeses and home-made yoghurt.

    I find it almost impossible to get enough calories to gain weight even though I eat a fair amount of things like bacon every day and lots of nuts and avocados.

    Do other people find it hard to gain weight on the Paleo Diet?

    IanD wrote on January 8th, 2014
    • +1

      Windsong wrote on January 8th, 2014
  8. Just turned the big 70 and I got a long way to go to get fit. Sometimes I think that is to late but, it’s never to late to treat your body with respect. Articles for seniors (there is a bunch of us out there) would be helpful

    Rod Sayre wrote on January 8th, 2014
  9. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how gluten affects the brain

    Austin Lugo wrote on January 8th, 2014
  10. I’d like to see something on “what to track and monitor on paleo diet to know you’re on the right track”. There are some obvious visible ones, such as weight/fat loss, but should we be getting regular blood work done etc? I switched to paleo about 9 months ago and find that I have a lot more cramping in my legs than I used to. Not sure if this is related to something I have now cut out of my diet, but want to be sure I’m getting everything I need.

    michelle wrote on January 8th, 2014
  11. Strength training beginning in geezerhood. Been primal for a couple of years now, peeled off 55# with little effort! now 6′ @160#. Want to keep strength up as I age. What
    is most important?


    Gary Brown wrote on January 8th, 2014
  12. I’ve been working out with the 4 primal movements (squats, plank, pull-up, and push-up). While I love these, I would like to see some alternative movements especially geered for the many of us who are not flexible in the least. I found more advanced body weight movements are difficult for me to do because they often require better flexibility. I’ve had a few pulled muscles with the more advanced movements.

    Aleksandra wrote on January 8th, 2014
  13. Although some of this is already well covered by MDA I always like to read more about diet, lifestyle and emotions; both in regards to how diet and lifestyle affect emotional wellbeing, but also how emotions and thoughts affect success with change in diet and lifestyle

    Alessandra wrote on January 8th, 2014
  14. I am really interested in Primal Backpacking Foods. By that, I mean “light weight, pack stable foods.” Tips like “eggs will last for a few days” don’t count. Canned foods like sardines are marginal. I need to find things with a high calorie to gram ratio, preferably dehydrated or freeze-dried, which will make a nutritionally complete and easy to prepare meals for an extended trip where weight is is of primary concern. 3 pounds per day is an absolute maximum. I want to go as much lighter than that as possible.

    PhilmontScott wrote on January 8th, 2014
    • +1

      I want to do a lot of backpacking trips this summer and would LOVE more info on this!

      Stacie wrote on January 8th, 2014
  15. I’d love to see some information on primal diets for kids… I’ve seen a great reduction in my daughters excema since vastly reducing the wheat in her diet, and also see differences in her energy levels on days when she eats school lunches vs home-packed. But has any work been done to identify how much or what type of carbs kids need to grow and thrive?

    Jess wrote on January 8th, 2014
  16. I’d like to see an article on how to increase muscle strength when you have pre-existing problems – eg rheumatoid arthritis (friend) or fibromyalgia (self). Eating primally didn’t resolve this for me, although coming off caffeine helped.

    My specific problem was that even 1/2 hr of exercise left me really sore for 8-10 days. Really hard to get fit with this regime.

    So ideas for anyone coming from a really low base would be useful.

    Jenny wrote on January 8th, 2014
  17. Hmmmm… I would love a little Grok plush to cuddle up to when it all gets too much!
    I would love to sport a nice warm pair of Grok gloves and a Grok beanie for those cold morning walks. How about a ‘Grok Approved’ tick on all the good stuff… similar to Organic Certification? Here in Australia we have a ‘Heart Foundation tick’ on all kinds of rubbish (processed and sugary) food but you’d never see one slapped on an apple or grass fed meat for example.
    I’m so very excited to read everyone’s comments. It’s very… well… exciting! 😃

    Sally wrote on January 8th, 2014
  18. To KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid), in this fast paced world of cavepeople, can you do articles/blogs on:
    top 20 reasons to go primal
    top 20 Primal foods
    top 20 challenges
    top 20 little known facts

    Melanie wrote on January 8th, 2014
  19. MENOPAUSE and HOT FLASHES!! I haven’t slept through the night in years, waking two-three times a night. I’ve tried every remedy out there, read everything I can get my hands on. I don’t know if you have an answer, but you’re my current informational site and I love your style and the recipes are great.
    Thanks Mark.

    Cheryl wrote on January 8th, 2014
  20. As I get into my late 50’s I notice a real slowdown of my metabolism. I would like to see an article addressing how to keep metabolism higher without intense workouts.

    Ron wrote on January 8th, 2014
  21. I’d be very interested in an article focused on the what, why, and how to of someone who is relatively healthy, fit, and does not need to loose weight going primal. I understand why most of the focus is on those with big changes they need to make whether it’s their diet or weight, but why should someone who’s not in that category bother?

    Also more info on how men’s and women’s bodies respond differently (if or when they do) to various parts of life, food, exercise, etc would be very interesting.

    Ariel C. McGlothin wrote on January 8th, 2014
  22. One thing less of: selling. Part of what i have loved about Paleo/Primal/Ancestral/PHD is the leaders’ commitments to encouraging a good life in more ways than food and exercise. Please consider backing off the promotions for buying things, which create a nyeh-nyeh-nyeh sense of anxiety about not having or being enough; please offer support for a view that we have enough already. And then I wish for more information on whether any special approaches will accelerate healing in a 64-year old diagnosed with hypothyroidism six years ago and Chronic Active Epstein Barr Virus four years ago, who has been gluten-free for nearly five years, paleo or primal or PHD (experimenting) for about 18 months. Recently retreated deeply to paleo with limited brassicas, no nightshades, no dairy, but occasional white rice (a la PHD). But really, I don’t expect that post! Probably there are five of me in the world, and the fundamentals already on offer with regard to food, movement, supplements, circadian rhythms and more have already helped me return to something more like real health. Thank you, Mark.

    Rona Roberts wrote on January 8th, 2014
  23. In the ol’ KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid), for all those cave people who have a very buys life, can you do article/blogs on:
    top 20 reasons to go primal
    top 20 primal foods to start with
    top 20 challenges going primal
    top 20 health issues solved by going primal


    Melanie wrote on January 8th, 2014
  24. I’d love to see a post/video where you interview or have a discussion with the scientists of some of the studies that you are using to get more details behind it, but in lay terms that are easy for non-sciency folk to understand.

    I like the summaries of each study, but it’s great to get a more in-depth view from the people that did the study.

    For a balanced approach maybe you could maybe have a panel of experts, some with contradicting views? I love a lively debate! Great work with the website and blog, I think it’s fantastic.

    Laura Spoor wrote on January 8th, 2014
  25. Primal puddings please

    David wrote on January 8th, 2014
  26. Mark, thank you so much for all your life-changing work.

    I’ve always struggled with insomnia, and I work hard to regulate my sleep cycle and get quality sleep. I just bought the Syrcadian Blue device that you suggested in your holiday gift post and it seems to be helping! Although it’s too early to be certain. I had wanted to try some sort of light box for a while, but the time and effort they apparently take to use, plus the cost, made me hesitant. The device you recommended is inexpensive and convenient, and appears to be helping me. So thanks so much for that suggestion.

    There are two things I’d like more information on, and they’re related concepts. Firstly, I am craving more specific information about blue light, its effect on the body, and how to us it and/or orange light to regulate the circadian rhythm. I realize the science on the subject is new, but advice that I’ve read on health blogs on the topic so far is very general and I find questions come up that aren’t addressed (which makes me feel a little abandoned).

    Here’s one example of an issue that’s really bugging me. So we’re told to use orange light at night and/or orange goggles. Accordingly, I do a search for orange goggles on Amazon, and find a range of price points and quality. I find some nice-ish “blue blocking” orange goggles that I like and read the reviews. Well, according to some reviewers, those goggles don’t actually block blue light. They claim that they could still see blue through the goggles, or something like that, and for this reason, the goggles aren’t blocking the blue light of the spectrum.
    And I find this criticism on several pairs of orange goggles.

    This got me thinking, what do I really know about this? What is really meant by “blue light”? Is it a special wavelength of light that’s emitted from a light source, or could a random blue object emit “blue light” if another color of light was shone upon it? How do I know if these orange goggles are helping me, rather than just making me look like a moron when I wear them?

    On one hand, it might sound simple and straightforward–blue light for day, orange light for night–and it might sound like I’m just making it complicated. But I think there’s really a lot more nuance to this issue and that it should be explored.

    Here’s another one: how bad is it for my circadian rhythm if, after shutting down all the blue light and “going orange” for the night, I look momentarily at my ipod (which I play to help me fall asleep) while in bed? If it’s one or two flashes, I assume that’s no big deal, but what if I keep it on for thirty seconds while I hunt for something on the nightstand? Am I giving myself the equivalent of a shot of cortisol?

    I understand that for some, a question like this is trivial, but for an insomniac, it’s a big deal. With no context for understanding what blue light is and what it does, it’s hard to know how to implement the general suggestions. Imagine if you knew that “eating vegetables is healthy” but didn’t know anything about carbs or antioxidants–you might gorge on potatoes all day! And technically, you’d be following the advice to eat veggies. That’s kind of how I feel about the light issue right now. I’m just craving more specific info.

    My second desire for this blog is related in a way. For me, using light to regulate the circadian rhythm is ultimately about fitting into the natural cycles of time. I’d love to know how to do this in other ways–how can humans be more in tune with the seasons, or are there other ways to be in tune with nature’s daily rhythm. I don’t have specific questions, I just love the general idea of being in harmony with the Earth…

    Thanks for reading this long post and again, thank you for all your wonderful help!


    tkm wrote on January 8th, 2014
  27. I lost a lot of weight with the Lose It and My Fitness Pal apps, so obviously counting calories works for weight loss. I’ve also lost a few extra pounds with going Primal. I’d like to know more about how much to eat or to aim for daily and weekly so I make sure and maintain the gains I’ve made.

    Kariss wrote on January 8th, 2014
  28. I would love to see an article on how to allow your young child to live a primal life in this modern world. I’m specifically talking about non-diet issues. For instance, many young boys struggle with being forced to sit in a classroom all day. Are we raising our children in the exact opposite way they are designed to be raised?

    Rosita wrote on January 8th, 2014
  29. I would like some tips on how to convince our significant others to “get onboard” with us in this Primal lifestyle. I am having a very difficult time because I live in Italy and my wife considers it an offense to her culture of “pane e pasta”. I guess being American, I am more openminded to change. Anyway some tips wuld help!

    Thomas wrote on January 8th, 2014
  30. First of all, thank you for this site, Mark. I have just adopted a Paleo-Keto diet and it has helped me a lot in terms of weight and mood balance. I often come here to hear about individual experiences in adopting a Primal diet, and I love how you keep an open mind about individual tolerances (or intolerance) to certain foods (ie. cheese, dairy, fruits) and often explain the underlying cause of such intolerances.
    With that said, I think it would be awesome if you could do a more in-depth look of individual food(items) such as soybean oils, omega-6’s, bean flour… etc, etc. Not just glide over some of the key points – but perhaps delve more in-depth why certain foodstuffs is just unhealthy and what makes them particularly so. I think such a series would attract a wide range of audiences and really help us self-educate in nutrtionism and “tweak” our diets to suit our individual needs.


    Almond wrote on January 8th, 2014
  31. I live in a small town. We have some organic produce available but pastured eggs? Grass-fed products? No. Also, everything here is still all about low-fat/nonfat. I can’t find full fat yogurt, for example. How do we convince our grocers to expand offerings and/or how do we talk to our health care practitioners about the dangers of low/nonfat and benefits of a primal lifestyle?

    Teeky wrote on January 8th, 2014
  32. How to work out primal in a non primal fitness place, example Snap or Planet fitness?

    Sarah wrote on January 8th, 2014
    • Planet Fitness Tip #1: Avoid free pizza, donut, and bagel days.

      Stacie wrote on January 8th, 2014
  33. Introducing babies to food (besides breast milk).

    What would Mrs. Grok (or Mr. Of course) have done! My husband and I were discussing weather they would have puréed everything, and held off on certain foods…

    Nikki Zavitz wrote on January 8th, 2014
  34. I’d like to see what you think about music, visual art, & dance in relation to health and fitness. Many cultures around the world to this day use a combination of these for spiritual reasons, but I think engaging in these activities really heals the body. I’m thinking like tribal dancing and singing circles. Would really love to see you explore this. :)

    Egle wrote on January 8th, 2014
  35. Ketogenic meal planning, please!

    Kathryn wrote on January 8th, 2014
  36. I’ve seen a few new studies on GMOs and their effects on health (and solely health), so I’d really like a new break down on this topic and a revisiting of how GMOs really affect our bodies. Does organic mean GMO free? Does GMO mean pesticide free? Does organic mean pesticide free? [I’m fairly certain I know the answers to these but am guessing these are questions a lot of people might have.]

    From my own reading and experience, I know that GMOs allow for less or no pesticide use, so from a purely “what we put in our bodies” point of view, organic>GMO>nothing? Relevant information for those of us on a budget who can’t afford the sticker price of “organic, GMO free, free range carrots” 😉

    Now, the fact that GMO patents are a problem and altering large quantities of seeds to be the same makes them susceptible to disease and possible extinction is an entirely different issue. I want to know more about the science behind the effects on human HEALTH.

    Stacie wrote on January 8th, 2014
  37. I would love to see an article on being able to achieve extremes. I know the PB is about balance and effortless evolution but I would really like to know what you would recommend for maximum fat loss and max muscle gain within a primal context in a short period. Sort of a carb refuel but aimed at maximum performance. Thx !!

    Sebastian wrote on January 8th, 2014
  38. What should a children eat and not to eat? (year 0-18)
    Is it better to start paleo from the beginning? Or would it be risky?

    Szilard wrote on January 8th, 2014
  39. I am very new to this Primal eating and exercising thing and am excited for the new year. I would like to see very easy plans to follow for beginners. The cookbooks and ebooks are nice to start with but some of the recipes and workouts are not “easy” for me. I am giving it my best shot and hope to see mega results. I am only on day 6. I am sure it will get easier as I become more knowledgeable.
    Grok on!

    Chris Donley wrote on January 8th, 2014
  40. Mark,
    I have been following the Primal life style to the best of my ability for the last two years. I have lost 75lbs and am in the best shape I have been in over 25yrs. I no longer have a fatty liver, I no longer suffer from Metabolic syndrom or syndrom X or what ever it is called, all due to living a low carb, non processed life style. My biggest challenge is that I am a road warrior. I spend 80+ percent of my work week on the road which means I eat out four to five days a week and then when I get home my family wants to go out and eat as they have been home all week at work and school. Every week it is a different hotel with their inadiquate “gym” (not high end hotels mind you, but not flee bags either).
    My topic I would like to see you write about is for those of us who spend a lot of time away from home, on the road, where grass fed beef and grass fed chickens (eggs) are very rare to find. Salads are a main stay, but one can only eat so many without getting bored silly. Any help on food choices and hotel room work outs would be appreciated.

    Philp Lefavour wrote on January 8th, 2014
    • +1

      Christina Taylor wrote on January 8th, 2014

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