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 love to have an article focusing on how to convince sceptical family and friends to give the primal lifestyle a chance.

    Background: My parents are overweight. My father has high cholesterol and exzema. My mother has psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, is gluten intolerant, and constantly complains of not having enough energy to get everything done. Mom thinks the primal diet might be a good idea – she’s thinking back to the low-carb diet that she tried in the early 2000s and while she didn’t lose much weight, she did have more energy – but she doesn’t have a clue where to start because my dad is absolutely dead set against giving up his sweets and refined carbohydrates. Mom thinks it’ll be take too much planning to get menus together, despite my offer to send her the recipes and plan menus for her.

    Kit wrote on January 8th, 2014
  2. I’d be interested in finding out about the good and not so useful groups who are trying to make a difference in our food supply. I sort of have a handle on what I eat and how I move (the results have been great and avoided meds so I’m happy). I feel like I’d like to put some of my efforts to following and monitoring groups who are trying to do things that create sustainable food sources, and also those who are trying to crack down and bring to light the groups and organizations that are promoting the continued wrecking of it. The problem is I know there are a lot of orgs that say one thing and or do another, and could even be funded by the companies they are keeping an eye on.

    Mark wrote on January 8th, 2014
    • +1 If you look for example at and you can quickly sort by state and see what laws are pending, who to write to with autofill customizable letters to the appropriate government official and get alerts and news about the non-profits current challenges and ways to help. Not to put down the importance of medical mj, if non-profits for it can have their act together so well, surely something as important as our food supply should have even better.

      John wrote on January 8th, 2014
  3. Hi Mark, I absolutely love your work. The blog, the books and products. However, I live in Australia. This presents an issue with getting close and personal to the community at events like Primalcon, which I will commit to attend in the future. I would love to see opportunities on the blog to connect with local Aussies who are also living Primally through MDA. I’m sure others in countries throughout Europe and Africa, etc would find this useful. I’m happy to help build the localised community in Oz. Looking forward to what’s to come in 2014!!

    Daniel Lee wrote on January 8th, 2014
    • Meet ups!

      Julie wrote on January 8th, 2014
  4. I’m seeing everything about women and hormones and all that – I’d like to see a definite focus on this as well as PMS and overall menstruation. I have found a reduction in my cycle (duration and severity) when I’m being good with the primal – especially watching the sugars…

    Kelly wrote on January 8th, 2014
  5. I would like to see recommendations for lowering blood pressure naturally that are not all grain based, salt free etc.

    Nanci wrote on January 8th, 2014
  6. Would love to see a topic on ways to be Paleo within the constraInts of a very modern working world for the frequent world traveler: traveling, jetlag, times of extreme pressure (deadlines)-how to manage the stresses and make the best eating choices as a road warrior?

    Heather wrote on January 8th, 2014
  7. Mark,

    I would like you to write about how the primal/paleo way of life will usher a better environment on Earth, as fields of grain are gradually replaced by forests teeming with animal life — and hunters.

    JLM wrote on January 8th, 2014
  8. All about the potato diet !

    Patrick Rochon wrote on January 8th, 2014
  9. I feel like the Primal lifestyle is often so tied to CrossFit that it scares away some who might otherwise be interested. Personally, I don’t do CrossFit. However, I am a Pilates teacher who firmly believes that Joseph Pilates would have embraced the concepts of a Primal lifestyle, as his goal was to help people move through life more efficiently and to develop that sense of natural movement found in nature. I’d like to see more articles that show how other forms of movement, like Pilates, can support a Primal lifestyle.

    Kendra wrote on January 8th, 2014
  10. I’m interested in learning more about ketosis, and calories relating to weight loss for postmenopausal women. What are some signs of ketosis, and how many calories are too few? I’m having trouble eating 1200 calories without resorting to grain or sugar carbs, which are what got me into this mess in the first place. I’m just not usually that hungry – and never in the morning. I’ve read lots about not counting calories from the perspective of not having a reasonable upper limit, but what about minimum. Will I be hungrier when I have used up my fat stores? When I was younger and weighed 30-40 pounds less, my natural inclination was typically to eat once or twice a day – average size meals, and once in a while eat quite a lot more, sometimes forgetting entirely. I had some primal habits naturally. Then I bought into the “healthy carbs”, etc and have a weight problem in my late fifties for the first time ever. I want to avoid or at least postpone the borderline diabetes and Alzheimer’s that my mother has developed since her GP switched her to “healthy carbs”. I’m walking 4-5 miles per day on hilly terrain, have been reducing my carbs to 25-50 g/day in preparation for further reductions and have just begun lifting weights. Some kind of HIIT is next. I’m good with transitioning, and even being patient for results, but am concerned that too few calories might be causing nutritional problems or stalling weight loss.

    Karen wrote on January 8th, 2014
  11. Mark,
    You’re consistently creating great blogs. But please put them into podcasts (apologies if they’re out there – haven’t found them) that I can download and play during exercise or driving. Do not like to use the phone in the car/truck and never text, but do enjoy quality listening during the hour drive to the farm and back. Would really appreciate having your news and opinions during that time. First heard about you in a Primal presentation at the NC Organic Growers School and have several of your books. Abel James is good – but I’m far from my 20’s and I prefer your take on things.

    Phil Gailey wrote on January 8th, 2014
  12. Interested in hearing your perspective on the AHA’s revision of cholesterol management guidelines, recommendations on statins vs. primal lifestyle approach. The waters have gotten even muddier since the recommendations were introduced in the medical community last Fall. Thanks!

    Kurt wrote on January 8th, 2014
  13. Just pick one topic???!!!! What an ask … Well, definitely, please, continue to explore, in depth, the relationship between fuel (foods) and our body chemistry (hormones, etc) – effects, influences, possible adjustments … Also, some specific “disease” areas, if possible, with relation to the effect of diet (food intake / types of foods consumed) upon the body’s system in relation to these disease processes – eg diabetes, hper and hypothyroidism, Multiple Sclerosis, atherosclerosis, …. {Just a small order !?! ;P }

    Bev Rickertt wrote on January 8th, 2014
  14. I would love for you to address autoimmune protocol for people who have already had their thyroid taken out.

    Donna wrote on January 8th, 2014
  15. How about more ways to quickly pack on more muscle naturally using the proper supplementation and ways to increase free testosterone levels naturally and in the most bio available way possible (obviously primal helps do these already) but kicking it up a level like in your fitness routine ebook Mark and the Russian studies for lifting weights tips and tricks like that. Proper supplementation for optimal hormone levels for male and female (groks time vs. present day.) how to look and stay young into 30,40,50’s and beyond (obviously a lot of this is covered now) but next level Primal living :)

    Grokstwin wrote on January 8th, 2014
  16. Topic: Getting your Grok moving in geographically challenged parts of the country. Question: I believe in supplementation, but can’t stomach a dozen pills a day. Help!
    Title for blog post: Helping others to the Paleo path.

    Laura wrote on January 8th, 2014
  17. how to be an endurance athlete on a ketogenic diet

    peter wrote on January 8th, 2014
  18. I would like to have some feedback on what to do when you’ve lost too much weight going Primal! I love this way of eating–it’s basically what I’ve always wanted to do but have been unable to. I find, though, that I just don’t like carbs or sweets basically at all, and I’ve become much too skinny. An article titled “How to do Primal in college” would be awesome too since I’m a college freshman :)

    Jordan wrote on January 8th, 2014
  19. A post with an up-to-date list of auto-immune diseases – there are so many that even our well-respected doctors don’t know are auto-immune.

    Steph wrote on January 8th, 2014
  20. I’d like to see an article on how to de-clutter our lives. I’ve got the exercise and eating down. I get plenty of sleep but I have so much trouble letting go of stuff I don’t need. My basement feels like an extra set for Sanford and son :) I’d also wouldn’t mind seeing a guide to hiking safely with your dog, especially in remote spots. Just a Man(or Woman) a dog and their thoughts.


    Nick wrote on January 8th, 2014
  21. I haven’t had time to read all but I agree would love more on female hormones especially for 50+ women and hormones / low testosterone for men 50+

    Molly Garcia wrote on January 8th, 2014
  22. I’d like to see a series of posts on initial health roadblocks to going primal. I’ve been primal and committed* to it for months but have seen no improvement in my underlying issues (some autoimmune) and in fact have re-ignited a raging IBS that had been in remission for years before I went primal. Also, I’ve lost no weight and no inches despite meeting all the marks for macronutrients, carbs, calories, exercise, stress reduction, sleep, etc. I feel worse on primal than I did before I started.

    However, primal makes a huge amount of sense for our bodies and, if we do it right, for our local economies and the environment. Help us get past those initial issues that can last for months.

    *I hosted primal Thanksgiving and Christmas parties. All of our food is home cooked and wild, organic or pastured. I bought the cookbooks, the n=1, etc. I track every calorie and every activity in MyFitnessPal and Everymove,org. I post to forums. It’s the real deal. I eat an average of 1,500kcal/day and under 100g carbs and move primal. I’m also 40 with many underlying health issues and possibly some medications standing in my way. This isn’t the first way of eating that’s produced no measurable improvements, though it is the first to cause me such intense and prolonged digestive distress.

    Emily wrote on January 8th, 2014
  23. How about a recurring topic that debunks untruths/myths? It could cover myths about the BAD or stuff said about going primal.

    Jeremy wrote on January 8th, 2014
  24. Primal Menopause! (and beyond). We don’t have the lightning fast results younger women and men have, and we need more support!

    Nancy Mize wrote on January 8th, 2014
  25. Love to hear your take on bioidentical hormones and oral hormone supplementation (e.g. DHEA, pregnenelone, GABA)…..and if you aren’t up for that, how about talking about prepared foods at places like Wegman’s and Whole Foods that use a soybean oil in their prepared veggies and dressings? What to do? And is all soy bad? Tofu and Tempeh?? What about fermentation?

    Thanks, Mark


    Melissa Pektor wrote on January 8th, 2014
  26. More information on eating during pregnancy as well as exercise.

    Tania wrote on January 8th, 2014
  27. DRINKING WATER, PLEEEAAAASSE. I would love to hear your thoughts on drinking water. There seems to be a bunch of harmful things in our water source, but does it make a difference? Does that really add estrogen in my system (I am a man)? Will it hurt the development of my toddler and infant? We have purchased one of the 5 gallon water cooler dispensers, but is that water truly any better? Thanks for the knowledge that you spread. Peace

    Jason McCabe wrote on January 8th, 2014
  28. I’d love to see articles sharing any info you have on, say, Primal/Paleo travel companies (it’s pretty much impossible to find trips/cruises/tours that don’t rely on SAD comestibles) or retirement/assisted-living/nursing-home communities (though I’m decades away from this, I shudder at the current state of the foods and activities on offer, and it breaks my heart to think of Alzheimer’s patients being served the very diet that probably gave them the disease in the first place).
    Perhaps there are entrepreneurial opportunities for you here, Mark, once you achieve your goal of reaching 10 million people!

    Deb wrote on January 8th, 2014
  29. I have suffered with chronic allergies my entire adult life. Since switching to the Paleo lifestyle my symptoms have become much better and I have been able to get off all prescription and over- the-counter medication (with the exception of a steroid shot once or twice a year under extreme attacks). However, I would say that I am by no means cured. I take a daily regiment of essential oils and local honey. I would appreciate any help and enlightenment on the subject I could get.

    pdiddy-parish wrote on January 8th, 2014
  30. TOPIC SUGGESTIONS FOR 2014: I would like to know more about gluten, and if a gluten sensitivity/intolerance can ever be “cured”. Seems like I’ve heard some in the field of nutrition say it might be possible, if the right dietary/lifestyle steps are taken. Also, did the ancient grains make a difference as far as toleration, for our ancestors? Are the new, sometimes genetically modified, strains responsible for the large populations of gluten-sensitive people today? Do people in Europe (and other places) experience the same high level of intolerance to gluten?

    Lori wrote on January 8th, 2014
  31. Mark, do you think you can cover the topic of how the use of modern medicine affects a primal human in respect to pharmacy?

    Toni wrote on January 8th, 2014
  32. I suggest focusing on effective ways people play. I know you enjoy a game of ultimate. I enjoy the game of tennis, and I’m so glad to have it. It is a wonderful game that if taught right, is easy to play.
    Our youths should be encouraged to learn games of sport that they can play for their entire life. Tennis, golf, swimming, many other activities would qualify for this type of sporting endeavor. George shaw said it best about play. It’s not that you stop Playing because you get old, you get old because you stop playing.

    Tom wrote on January 8th, 2014
  33. Contest Topic: Why should someone who is already fit, in good shape and basically healthy and energetic do the Primal Blueprint?

    Nikki wrote on January 8th, 2014
  34. I would like to see the following question addressed: Can high dose vitamin C protect against metabolic damage resulting from high carb consumption?

    peanutbutr wrote on January 8th, 2014
  35. Yes or no…does sugar feed cancer? Also, Dr. Oz recently had an episode with foods that fight cancer and said some are as effective as chemotherapy. Since my dad is undergoing chemo right now for NHL (diffuse large B cell lymphoma) and because I’ve already lost an aunt and grandmother to a different form of cancer, this topic is of great interest.

    Also, you mentioned certification. My parents are both older (80+), live 1.5 hours from me, are conservative/traditional, and don’t understand some of the most basic concepts I tell them or articles I give them. Neither of them go online. I’d love to be able to get them a local, regular coach who specialized in teaching older folks about what it means to be primal. That would be a cool program.

    Linda G. wrote on January 8th, 2014
  36. How about something helping your teen become primal? Hard to do with all the tempting choices teenagers have.

    Marie wrote on January 8th, 2014
  37. I have read over most of the posted comments, and while I agree with most, I have found there is one topic not touched on. Most people either have, or know someone with pets. While Grok may or may not have kept animals as pets, I find it interesting that more and more pet food manufacturers are offering a grain-free food for cats and dogs. How is it the pet food industry understands the importance of eliminating grain from cat and dog food, but our own food manufacturers aren’t jumping on this? While I still slip periodically, and eat something I know I shouldn’t, I have noticed a marked improvement in the skin, coat, eyes, personality, and general disposition of my pets since I switched to a total grain free food for them. I would like more information on what was considered when the pet food industry decided to listen to the general public in demanding alternatives for their pets, and how can we, as humans, demand the same consideration when options for foods, are presented to us by the food manufacturers, and how can we, as the major consumer of food products, allow our pets to eat better than we do?

    Stefferbee wrote on January 8th, 2014
  38. How about a nice concise cheat sheet with bullet points about why going primal is awesome! Our relatives think we’re crazy, and they tune out when we give them our long explanations. Thanks!

    Alex wrote on January 8th, 2014
  39. I am 65 years old now and spent a lifetime of carb abuse and yo-yo dieting. I went to low/zero carb in hopes of retaining more brain vitality … keeping control of my cognitive skills as long as possible. I would like to see some research that records how much brain function is improved by going primal.

    BarbE wrote on January 8th, 2014
  40. I would love to see an article on hyponatremia, fluid balance, electrolyte balance, overhydration, water intoxication, water retention, syndrome of inappropriate ADH secretion and their effect on overall health, metabolism, digestion, and athletic performance. I read your article that you wrote titled “Drink Less Water?”, and I really believe what you wrote is true.

    I have noticed that my digestion, mental health, and exercise performance is enhanced with the less water I drink. My roommate wakes up every morning and chugs 64 oz of water, and it does not seem to affect his health. However, I have tried to do that, and I instantly get really cold, my ears start ringing, my mood gets really bad, and I suffer the rest of the day with fatigue, depression and lethargy. This is an extreme example, but why can my roommate do this without experiencing the side effects that I do?

    As a less extreme example, I noticed that if I fast and only drink water during the day I feel worse than if I fasted and did not drink any water. I also noticed that I get constipated with the more water I drink, and I tend to retain more water when I drink more water. Could I be diluting my blood and causing hyponatremia?

    Matt Stone wrote a great book called “Eat for Heat” on drinking less water as a way to increase body heat and metabolism. Konstantin Monastyrsky wrote “Fiber Menace” and talks about how drinking less water and eating less fiber improves digestion. Timothy Noakes wrote a book called “Waterlogged” that talks about the importance of not drinking too much water when you exercise.

    I have noticed that my overall health and digestion is extremely better when I drink less water. I always forced myself to drink water even when I was not thirsty because I thought I had to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. I think drinking less water and listening to my body’s thirst signals has been the most significant thing that I have changed which has improved my health, digestion, and athletic performance.

    Could you please write an article or multiple articles covering the importance of balancing fluid and electrolyte intake (water intoxication, dehydration, hyponatremia) and its effect on health, digestion, and athletic performance?

    Jason wrote on January 8th, 2014

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