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

Dear Readers

I’m getting dozens of emails from readers every day. Though I try to give personalized advice to each and every one of them, I’ve got to say, it can be a little overwhelming. What is one to do? Lucky for me, many Mark’s Daily Apple readers are highly educated or otherwise informed about all health and fitness matters, and all readers at least have anecdotal evidence to share on a vast range of topics. So this week I’m leaving it up to you!

Below you’ll find 10 random questions I’ve recently received. I (and they too I’m sure) would love for you to share your thoughts, personal stories, and know-how in the comment board. (I’ll be chiming in, too!) It’s your chance to help a fellow member of the MDA community. Thanks, everyone!


Question 1

Hello Mark!

I’d be interested to know how common it is for Primal Blueprinters to eat dairy, and cheese in particular. I know cheese is a sensible vice, but I find myself relying on it for a good deal of my total calories. Is incorporating cheese into an otherwise totally Primal diet a regular occurrence?

Thank you.


Question 2

I saw your post on spinach bread. That recipe and the others listed in the comment board were a godsend for a Primal newbie. My question is: are there any good Primal-approved corn/potato-free chip recipes floating around the net? Maybe MDA readers know of some…

Thanks, Mark!


Question 3

What do you think of food combining? Acid-alkaline balance?



Question 4

Dear Mark,

I have a family history of kidney stones (Dad, Aunt, Grandmother) and was wondering what impact a high protein diet would have on me? I read that a high protein diet contributes to kidney stone formation, as well as high-Calcium Oxalate (CaC2O4) foods such as spinach, greens, rhubarb, tea (no!), nuts (double no!) and berries (triple no!). Vitamin C is also theorized to play a role in stone formation. Calcium supplementation, drinking lots of water and taking cranberry extract is thought to reduce the risk of CaC2O4 stone formation. I have found conflicting data on ALL of these points online and in PubMed. Once and for all… whats the deal here? How can I protect myself from this?


P.S. Cant wait for the book! Signed copy raffle…?
P.P.S. As always, thank you for your amazing site and the advice you give.


Question 5


I’ve taken an interest in CrossFit. The workouts seem pretty Primal to me. But I’ve read some things about CrossFit being dangerous; that if not done with perfect form and training you are setting yourself up for injury. Thoughts?



Question 6

Hi Mark!

We know exercise for the body is good. Do you recommend facial exercises? Would that cause more fine lines and wrinkles or should that be toned like the rest of our body?

Thank you!


Question 7

Hi Mark- I enjoy your website. Lot’s of good info! I was curious your thoughts on using olive oil, flax oil, and fish oil daily? Currently, I use flax oil and olive oil. Do i get enough Omega from those or should I add the fish oil also? Best, Bob.


Question 8
HI Mark,

I am writing to you from Sydney, Australia. I absolutely love your work on this site. You provide a wealth of helpful information. I have a burning question that I have not been able to answer.

What are your thoughts on Diet soft drinks. In particular I refer to Diet Coke, Pepsi Max and Coke Zero?

I understand that they do not have an immediate effect on blood sugar (or do they?) but surely they can’t be good for you.

Your thoughts on this topic will be appreciated.

Great job on the website and thanks for all the top quality information!

Kind Regards


Question 9

I was a “bodybuilder” and fell out of it due to family and home remodeling.  I’m starting to get back to it.

I used to squat 405 for sets, bench 315 and curl 65 pd dumbells (weighing 180 at 5’8″).  I feel I was fairly strong and was doing very well.

I’m 40 now and have no intention on that path again but to pose a question from my training days.

Is it still applicable to exercise in the am opposed to pm due to fasting?  I know this was popular and wanted to know if this still helps regardless of diet regimen.

I’m glad I ran across your site as this is the path I am now choosing to diet.

You look great, keep it up!!

Thanks in advance,
Ron from Illinois


Question 10

Hi Mark,

Thanks again for maintaing such a great and resourceful blog.  I now follow your Twitter Account and look forward to purchasing your book soon.

I am a coffee and tea drinker, usually 1-2 cups of coffee a day and 2-3 cups of tea a day (green and herbal). I stick to black coffee with a pinch of sugar and my teas are unsweetened and forgo the mocha choca sugar bomb lattes and other concoctions.  I know Grok didn’t have the convenience of starbucks but what is the role of coffee and tea in the Primal diet.  Is this something that’s “accepted” as a supplement to the primal lifestyle.

Keep up the great work and I wish you luck with your book.

Best regards,


Note from Mark: How many PBers drink coffee/tea? I have a cup of coffee with a little cream and sugar on most days.

Further Reading:

All “Dear Mark” Posts

Body Composition Through the Years

Should I Get a Flu Shot?

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. 1. I eat cheese at 2 of my 3 meals a day. Otherwise I’m totally Primal. I don’t have (as far as I can tell) any problems with cheese/dairy so I’m ok with it.

    5. I’ve heard the same thing. CrossFit looks pretty intense. If you aren’t properly fit and trained I’d stay away.

    6. Seriously? I thought this stuff went the way of the dodo… sort of like the phrase “the way of the dodo.”

    7. I’d consider supplementing with a fish oil capsule, too.

    8. Diet soda is no good. It triggers your body into thinking you are consuming real sugar.

    Manatoa wrote on April 27th, 2009
  2. re: Question # 10 from Nick
    Hi Nick
    I’m a PB newbie but think coffee/tea are fine. I drink 1 cup w/a splash of raw milk or low- homoginized/ non- pasturized cream in it prior to working out for a boost in energy (as per my naturopath & personal trainer). It really help with the workout. I try to use organic/fair trade beans. I also drink tea (I really like Tulsi tea from India- herbal & caffinated). Tulsi, or Holy Basil, is an ayurvedic herb that helps promote metnal clarity & supports the immune system. I don’t know of that’s true but it certainly tastes great! So indulge. I’m sure Grok & co at least made tisanes (herbal teas) back in the day.

    Marci wrote on April 27th, 2009
  3. Okay MDAers! Tackle #4 for me b/c I am confused as… something really confusing?

    I just need some advice b/c kidney stones suck and a lot of the things I eat are “high oxalate foods”. I feel like Im screwed no matter what happens.

    Yeah okay, thanks all!

    Tara wrote on April 27th, 2009
    • My husband and I started following PB 16 months ago and our weight dropped and our blood chemistry improved significantly (he lost 60 pounds, i lost 45 pounds. we went from dangerously high glucose and triglycerides to healthy zone) Unfortunately, he now has kidney stones for the first time ever. I have no idea if it is related to PB or that he drinks 6-8 cups of coffee per day or what. However, I would love to see research on it so he does not want to go back to our old way of eating. That was killing us both.

      Jane wrote on July 14th, 2011
  4. In regards to Nick and the Diet Coke questions: If you want to go 100% Primal, Diet Coke isn’t on the menu. Though I’ll admit I’m not 100% Primal. I’ve been avoiding the sugars and eating the healthy fats for about 2 months now and it’s worked well despite the diet soda I still drink. Dropping the Coke Zero is on my to-do list, but I don’t feel any pangs of guilt in the mean time.

    Lyndon wrote on April 27th, 2009
  5. Question 6:

    Laugh. If you laugh regularly, you don’t need to do “facial exercises”. It’ll increase blood flow to your face, you’ll get a little twinkle in your eye, and hey, if you’re happy, no one will care about wrinkles.

    AlainaOfArc wrote on April 27th, 2009
  6. 1. Check back tomorrow for more on the Primal Blueprint and cheese.


    7. I’d still supplement, Bob.

    8. I’d just as soon drink a regular coke as I would a diet coke.

    10. I’ve addressed coffee/tea before:

    Mark Sisson wrote on April 27th, 2009
  7. Regarding diet soda…there’s a new product at Whole Foods that’s sweetened with Stevia. I don’t recall the name and haven’t tried it myself, but it might be a good way to have a little soda without consuming artificial sweeteners.

    Chris wrote on April 27th, 2009
  8. Re: Crossfit:

    I train at a crossfit facility that welcomes all fitness levels, body types, ages and abilities. The workouts are scaled appropriately depending upon your capacity, but keep the same, beautiful focus on functionality for all levels. There isn’t an expectation that everyone at every stage of fitness can perform the workouts “as prescribed” (crossfit lingo alert)–in fact, the expectation is precisely the opposite. Contact an affiliate, and get on in there!

    andy wrote on April 27th, 2009
  9. Question #3: From what I understand, more alkaline foods are theoretically better to counter-balance a typical acid heavy American Diet. But I’ve also heard that you’d have to eat an incredible amount of acid-heavy food before you experience any poisonous effects. In other words: Don’t design every meal according to its acid/alkaline balance.

    George B. wrote on April 27th, 2009
  10. re #5 – crossfit

    anything can be dangerous if you’re not doing it properly!

    crossfit brand x posts the daily workout scaled to several different levels.
    the main crossfit site has links to video demos of every exercise.
    the main thing is to start easy. work with pvc pipe or a broomstick instead of using weights until you get your form down perfectly. then you can safely move up to more weights.

    i say dont be scared, just be smart about it.

    crossfit brand x:

    crossfit exercise demos:

    honestly, you can do it. i’m a 32 year old female and i’m doing just fine with crossfit on my own.

    dawn wrote on April 27th, 2009
  11. Question # 1- cheese:
    I do a little raw-milk dairy, or soft goat cheeses. Stick to local/ organic. Goat’s milk tends to be the easiest to digest. But I’ve found dairy is not great for weight loss, even the good stuff.

    Question # 2- chips:
    if you have a dehydrator you can make all sorts of veggie chips. But be sure to eat them in moderatation as they lack water…and you’ll need
    to drink alot more h2o

    Question # 3- food combining: in my opinion, this is pseudo-science. Though you do want to be more alkaline that acidic to maintain good health. That means avoiding processed foods (which you do as a PBer already) & too many nuts (my downfall).

    Question # 6- facial exercise: this is just nonsense, sorry!

    Question # 7- fish oil: take ’em! I do 2 w/ each meal. Every live-long day.

    Question # 8- soda: please please please, no soda. There is nothing to be gained from this garbage (where is the Fuming Fuji when we need her?!)

    Phew, I’m done for now.

    Marci wrote on April 27th, 2009
  12. 1. I’ll do a little cheese on my salad or in my omelet so long as it’s not the primary ingredient!
    2. Baking thin slices of eggplant works. It’s not going to taste like a bowl of corn chips, but it makes for a tasty snack.

    Leah wrote on April 27th, 2009
  13. 5. Greg,
    I did Crossfit for some time. It is intense. You will build a lot of muscular endurance, but little strength. In Crossfit they look for form that qualifies as “slop,” which is any form required to get the workout done without hurting yourself. The problem with the program is that it focuses on “functional” training protocol without giving much definition to the term. Crossfit certainly is primal. But remember that primal humans were injured very regularly. If you want to move into Crossfit as a full-time exercise routine, then I would recommend that you first get a good grip on a few primary indicators of physical fitness:

    1)Mobility and Symmetry
    2)Muscular Endurance (not how much you can run before fainting, rather, how much power you can generate…before fainting)
    3)Limit Strength (not as helpful for CF but a helpful metric)
    and, most importantly,

    I know the goal here is to be as healthy as possible, however, if you want to be shredded and aim to look good nudie, then I would break apart heavy lifting, HIIT, and sustained cardio. CF claims to have this baked into their method but they’re lying. Organization will make your move into fitness a lot easier and more effective. Also, CF trainers tend to be underqualified.

    Yours truly,

    DudeMan wrote on April 27th, 2009
    • right on dudeman…I agree! Esp wwith the comment that they use the term functional without knowing what it means. how can something be ‘functional’ when you are only moving in the frontal and sagital planes and forgetting entirely about the transverse plane of meovement that we ‘function’ in every single day?!

      rootswise wrote on January 21st, 2013
  14. Question 1: Dairy/Cheese: I have a splash of cream in the coffee each morning and eat cheese 2-3 times a week. I didn’t have much cheese when I was first starting Primal eating; now, I’m more at a “sustaining” place now (how I’ll eat for the rest of my life), which includes a few more sensible vices here and there.
    Question 2: Chips: The Apple Chips in this post are delicious. Careful not to eat too many at a time though …
    Question 3: Food Balance: I eat Primal. Veggies, meat, some fruit and nuts. Don’t really worry about the rest.
    Question 5: Crossfit: Crossfit does hold-up well to Primal exercise. However, as with any exercise program, you have to cater to your own level and adjust accordingly as you get in better shape. If you’ve never exercised a day in your life, don’t try to lift a 300 lb barbell…
    Question 6: Facial Exercises: Can you imagine going to the gym and seeing a sectioned-off spot with people exercising their faces? Now THAT would almost convince me to work-out in a gym…
    Question 7: Fish oil: Take a fish oil! They work wonders. The Vital Omegas at are my faves.
    Question 8: Soda: IMO, the chemicals filling up diet sodas are worse for the body (and teeth) that even regular sodas. There have been studies showing that people who drink diet sodas actually tend to gain weight more (if I find the link to one, I’ll post it later). Stay away from sodas! Primal = natural!
    Question 9: AM Exercising: Following the PB is following what feels natural. If you feel like you can exercise the best in the morning – go for it. If you feel like exercising in the evening – go for it. Listen to what your body is telling you…
    Question 10: I drink 1 to 2 cups of coffee in the morning. Occasionally a cup of tea in the afternoon. Sensible Vice. I try to ensure that I am not relying on it, rather than actually taking care of my body (like sleeping). I just really like the taste of coffee.

    Holly wrote on April 27th, 2009
  15. 1: I like to say I am primal… except for my love of dairy. I eat maybe 2T of cheese a day, 1/3 yogurt (strained) and about a half gallon of (raw) milk a week.

    2: I dont know if you wnat the crunch or the dip holdability buy I make kale chips a lot. Just pop some kale leaves in a 300F oven until they are crispy. Yum.

    3: Here is a list of Acid/alkaline forming foods. If you follow the PB then you should be getting the optimal 80% alkaline/20% acid food combo. I know that the typical american diet reducs pH of the body and can result in a host of inflammatory and malabsorption problems. The big thing seems to be the overabundance of grains and sweeteners (sugar, aspartame…) and lack of fresh non-starchy veggies. The good news: stevia and maple syrup are in the alkalizing side, but chococlate, all alcohols and all meats are in the acidifying side.

    4: Thats mine. Still dont know.

    7: Fish oil has the highest omega3:omega6 ratio (7:1) so far as I know. Flax less (3:1) and olive oil even less so. They are still better than the typical american diet ration of up to 1:30 though! Grass fed meat has about half as much O6 as grain fed meat, so that is a good ratio, as far as meats go. I remember seeing somehwere that animal based omegas have a higher bioavailability that plant based ones too.

    8: If you consume anything sweet, even if it isnt real sugar your body still reacts to the sweetness, not to the sugar. All the latest news is that even diet soda leads to an increased risk of metabolic syndrome… yes diabetes included. Also, you still taste something sweet so your body will continue to crave it. I have found that if I skip even fake sweet things (even stevia in tea) that I am better able to control cravings later in the day.

    Tara wrote on April 27th, 2009
  16. Question #1

    Dairy is not primal, period. As Lauren Cordain (I think) put it, try milking a wild animal. Dairy products came along when we started farming, which was very recently in our evolutionary past.

    That said, I would say that being black and white about these things is pretty unhelpful and giving up grains would be a better first step on the road to true primalism. Many people find keeping dairy in their diet a good way to transition away from the modern diet without too much pain.

    Conclusion: dairy is not primal, but at the same time it is not by any means the worst of the non-primal foods you could eat. You should aspire to give it up if you want to be truly primal, but keep it in your diet for as long as necessary to allow you to comfortably transition.

    Methuselah - Pay Now Live Later wrote on April 27th, 2009
  17. re: chips –
    You can make spinach/kale/swiss chard chips using this method:

    regular lettuce won’t work because it doesn’t have the internal structure. From my own experiment, you don’t want the veins – they’re difficult to dry out without burning the rest of the leaf.

    They work out reasonably well, there’s just not a lot of body to them. Kale would probably work out better.

    I’m going to be getting a dehydrator soon which will help with this, as well.

    Tim wrote on April 27th, 2009
  18. I gave up coffee ten days ago; before that I took it black. It took some time for my *ahem* digestive system to get back on track, but other than that I find coffee to be a detractor to primal living if for any reason you can’t have any.

    Dave Hodges wrote on April 27th, 2009
  19. 10: I drink 1 cup of tea every morning with a little cream. Also, if I am going to have a long day at school I can down a 12-oz cup of coffee too, with a cream and sometimes stevia. If I use the super strong coffee, thats when I need a little stevia so I can enjoy it.

    Tara wrote on April 27th, 2009
  20. 5. Regarding CrossFit there are a lot of good things about it, and there are definitely some risks involved.

    Me, I think the risks outweigh the benefits. I would steer clear unless you’re already VERY fit and injury free (and then, why would you want to risk future injury). And I agree with dudeman, most CF trainers shouldn’t be coaching people about how to exercise. I covered CrossFit thoroughly on my blog – you can do a search for “crossfit” there if you’re interested in my complete review.



  21. And, I gave up soda completely 3-4 months ago now. For awhile, I was drinking just soda water, and over the past month have primarily switched to drinking just water. I’ll occasionally get a soda water – but only 1 bottle per day.

    Giving up soda was really difficult for me. I tried multiple times and had a really hard time with it. Now, though, I find I end up getting headaches from artificial sweetener in things (Not that there’s that much, but sometimes I don’t realize it’s there).

    I only make herbal iced teas – don’t really drink anything hot.

    Tim wrote on April 27th, 2009
  22. yoork wrote on April 27th, 2009
  23. Question #8 – Diet Coke is bad news. For so many reasons. Mainly, it contains caffeine, which is no good. Diet Coke has been the hardest thing for me to ever give up (worse than cigarettes). I make herbal teas and pour them over ice also, with some lemon maybe. That’s my go-to tasty-drink now. If it’s the caffeine you’re craving, best to say goodbye to it, after I stopped drinking caffeine, I believe it’s ruined my life all these years before!

    yoork wrote on April 27th, 2009
  24. I haven’t been able to figure out the kidney stone dilemma either. It seems like a lot of the primal principles go directly against what doctors recommend for someone at high risk of developing stones.

    Reid wrote on April 27th, 2009
  25. Looks like quite a few of us still like our coffee & dairy. I have my coffee with un-homogenized milk, and sometimes a little extra chunk of cream comes out of the bottle. Yum! I figure if those are be biggest “vices” since I made the switch a couple months ago, I’m doing ok. Besides, like it says here repeatedly, we each follow the PB in a way that works/is comfortable for us. Diet soda? YUCK! Chips? Crunch on carrot sticks or slices? with some nut butter? I like the dried veggie chip idea… HA HA! I’m getting my laughing(facial exercises)in by picturing the cordoned-off area of some 24hr fitness mall with the facial-aerobics class going on. oops, fell off my balance ball, Thanks Holly for the visual!

    Peggy wrote on April 27th, 2009
  26. #1: I really believe that there is not one single answer to this question. Yeah, Grok didn’t drink milk or anything, but you can’t deny the fact that our bodies actually already have started to adapt to dairy producs, which doesn’t mean that our bodies can handle dairy perfectly well already. I really think this is a question everyone has to answer for his or her own.
    In my opinion, it’s totally ok to go for some dairy products, as long as you don’t consume too much of it on a daily basis (which I still do, to be honest). But that’s only the case when you know that your body can handle dairy products relatively well. Some of us have lactose-intolerance, some do not, everyone is different.
    Needless to say that you always should go for the least processed option out there. So if you want to drink milk, raw milk probably is the best option.

    madMUHHH wrote on April 27th, 2009
  27. Regarding Crossfit: I’m a 66-year-old female, now in pretty good shape. I started lurking on the Crossfit site a year or so ago, a bit intimidated, frankly; then finally got into a Crossfit gym last October. I was interested in rehabbing a knee I’d strained, and in generally getting in better shape.
    The coaches emphasize form, and teach it carefully. Now I’m doing Olympic lifts (this morning, on my own: 50#-60#-70# and 80-# shoulder press, front squat, back squat and push-press), plus a variety of body-weight work outs — pull-ups, push-ups, etc., etc.) all without injury. As with any serious weight work, it’s sensible to start light and work up, and to pay strict attention to form because what you can muscle through with bad form at lighter weight will be problematic with heavier weights. I’m deadlifting 170# and 180# without problems — more than my body weight — thanks to the form.
    Crossfit in a coached gym is a scaled exercise: the coach starts you with what you can handle, whether you’re in good shape to begin with, or come in with a problem, as I did. My knee is cheerfully doing all the squats and deep knee bends with weight … after a reasonable ramp up. I had feared it never would be right again, when the MDs and physical therapists were unable to make it feel better. Crossfit ends up pushing you, and developing you beyond where you might have thought you could go; it STARTS with wherever you are. (They have 80-year-olds doing scaled Crossfit exercises.) But do go to a coached gym to start — it’s a hoot, you’ll learn good habits and safe lifts, and their certified coaches know what they’re doing.

    Samantine wrote on April 27th, 2009
    • Now that is sound advice. Somebody who has experienced CrossFit in a coached setting. Notice the people who “heard” CrossFit was dangerous don’t have any real exposure to it.

      Derek wrote on May 13th, 2009
      • Good point, as an owner of a CF for the past 4 years, we have had no more injuries than typical sport play. Actually I am confident that we have far fewer. Yes there have been a few tendonitis issues, a strain or two, but nothing even coming close to the running community or the sedentary community. Plus, our members are stronger. I take offense to people that say CF will not make you strong. Ladies that DL 300+ safely, guys 500+, 400+ squats, etc… Of course it does depend on the affiliate, but most understand that strength is critical.
        Our trainers are not only certified in CF, but they are CSCS, ATC, Exercise Physiologist, etc. There are bad apples of course, but that is true for any area.

        toby wrote on May 12th, 2011
      • I have alot of experience with crossfit but do not do it anymore b/c i found it wasn’t truely ‘functional’ for me. My question always remians…how is doing the same a variation of the same 10 or so moves really functional if you are an adventure athlete or even a mom or dad running around after kids. if you continue to only use the frontal and sagital planes of movement, you will experience injury or dysfuntion (more often dysfuntion from improper movement patterns that may or may not manifest as injury). Moving and training in the all important transverse plane is so vital. In the right gym with the right instructors (they should know the body and movement outside of crossfit b/c crossfit trainers don’t have to learn much actually…there are some great ones out there but ya got to look around), it can be highly beneficial as a part of a more well rounded way to move/workout…key being a ‘part’…my 2 cents at least from actually doing it for yers before seeing outside the ‘box’.

        rootswise wrote on January 21st, 2013
  28. I have been increasingly going primal and just got a kidney stone. Very painful. I am hoping that it is just a reaction from going to a diet of eating out most of the time to a more primal cooking at home diet.

    Jason wrote on April 27th, 2009
  29. #1: I drink dairy. I’m in the class that handles dairy just fine. Only about 1/3rd of the world population does (but most of them speak English, which is will skew your answers – there are many people who live what we would call primal who can’t handle dairy – but most of them do not speak English) It isn’t primal in the sense that grok would drink it, but it is for me personally because my genetics can handle it. You need to experiment for yourself.

    There are many other “foods” that are in this category. Nightshades are used in a lot of primal cooking, but many people can’t handle them. You have to figure out for yourself.

    #2: chips are generally deep fried. Avoid anything deep fried – the deep frying process is how trans fats are created. If you want to cheat, a potato chip once in a while (say 4th of July party) won’t hurt. Just make sure it is fried in saturated fat which won’t become a trans fat!

    #5: Crossfit is big on scaling. Their posted workouts are for the highest levels. Don’t do the posted, there is plenty of information on scaling. Find the right level for your ability.

    The movements need to be done correctly (or at least you need to know which cheats are safe). This is no different from any exercise program. You just read about form being important to crossfit because the crossfit people want to make sure you know how important form is so they talk about it. All exercise programs require good form to do safely, but many say nothing about it, and cover up the injury potential.

    That isn’t to say you should do crossfit. However it is to say whatever you do, make sure you find out what good form is, and use good form.

    #7: the oils listed are all high in Omega-6s. (or forms of Omega-3 that are not used well so they don’t count) Nothing wrong with them, I use olive oil all the time. Make sure you are getting other fats to get your Omega-3s. Grass fed steak is good, as is fish oil.

    #8: drink water. Get a filter if there is something to worry about in your water. The downside of the filter is it will remove the minerals you need before the poison you want to get rid of.

    #9: Unless you are training for elite competition time isn’t a significant factor. If your are training; you and your coach (if you don’t have a full time coach you are not training for elite competition) should look over your training records, the schedule of your competitions, and all the scientific literature to find the right schedule for you.

    Exercise is important. Ideally mix up your times – grok never knew when he would have to exercise. The most important part is exercise, it is better to exercise at the “worst time” than not at all.

    #10: coffee is for grown-ups. I still haven’t grown up. (I’m 34 and a half years old)

    Henry Miller wrote on April 27th, 2009
  30. reply to Samantine-
    You may have gotten good coaching at CF. Good. But I would like to get it out there that good form is only a small priority to CF affilliates. Especially in regards to Olympic Lifting, mobility issues can go unattended by freshman coaches and cause serious injury. Be careful people.

    PS Samantine- nice work.

    DudeMan wrote on April 27th, 2009
  31. Re: Crossfit

    If anyone would like to learn more about Crossfit, and what it is actually about, visit and click the “start here” link.

    Contrary to what a few other people here have said, Crossfit is all about scaling to your ability and developing real fitness. Crossfit isn’t about how much you can curl or how much you can leg press. It’s about running fast, lifting heavy things, and intensity. Intensity scaled to your ability.

    Head over to and click the testimonial board if you want to see people who have developed tremendous strength and amazing overall fitness.

    Please don’t let someone who gives you no real evidence as to why this program that will challenge you is bad, or that the program itself lies to you.

    It’s free, the community is amazing, and you’ll get far better results than you will by doing 45 minutes on an elliptical.

    Andy Poquette wrote on April 27th, 2009
  32. I drink raw milk everyday without a problem. I eat cheese several times a week, but only as an occasional snack or as a condiment (shredded over salads, etc.).

    I’m also a coffee drinker–usually 2/day, unsweetened, with milk or cream unless its before a workout, then black.

    Leniza wrote on April 27th, 2009
  33. Re: number 1 – My wife and I have kept dairy; it was bad enough that she had to give up sweet potatoes, corn, and her beloved raisin bread. I can’t take her yogurt or cheese away or I’d be a dead man.

    Re: number 7 – As I understand it, the Omega-3 fatty acids from plants (including olives, walnuts, etc.) are the wrong sort for our bodies to use directly, and the conversion is less than perfect, meaning we only get the use of about 10% of what we take in. Fish oil is better, but supposedly “krill oil” is really the good stuff in that regard.

    Re: number 8 – I’ll be blunt – I fully blame Diet Coke for my “blood sugar issues”. I had no problems in that regard, switched to Diet Coke “to lose some weight”, and within 2 years the doctor is uttering the dreaded “D” word (diabetes).

    Re: number 10 – neither my wife nor I have ever been coffee drinkers. She still has a few cups of tea a day (with milk), and I’ll have an herbal tea about once a week (no milk).

    Just my $0.02 about a few of the above…

    gcb wrote on April 27th, 2009
  34. about coffee~

    I recently actually bought a small coffee machine that makes only one cup at a time…b/c I thought it’s healthier to drink brewed coffee from organic beans than instant.*rolled eyes*
    I know it’s not so primal but my schedule this semester is just crazy and I love coffee too much to give it up completely..(I used to drink 5,6 cups a day)I think one cup in the morning and one more in the afternoon before that dreaded boring lecture is sensible…

    until I found a better alternative! I found bliss when I saw that 99% cocoa lindt chocolate bar in cologne..I didn’t even know it existed…anyways, not everyone love it’s taste on their tongue, but u can give this a try:

    home made hot choclate with a hint of coconut smell
    this is what I did:

    take three squres of that 99%chocolate
    a spoonful of coconut flour,

    blend and mix in ur food processer until its are fine to your satisfaction (mine is also small so it works fine)

    that’s it!

    as i said, my coffee machine only makes one cup at a time, so I take a spoon of the mixture and brew it like coffee~

    result: superb hot chocolate full of aroma, no sugar, very low carb, a shot of anti-oxidant and I’m drinking it as a substitute for coffee in the morning now~


    nutrition facts of lindt’s 99% cocoa chocolate bar:
    (I found it on some chocolataholic

    per 100g containing:
    (p.s. the bar is altra thin, only 50g)

    energy: 530 kcal
    protein: 13 g
    fat: 50g
    carb: 8g (!!!!!❤❤❤)



    riceball wrote on April 27th, 2009
  35. #4. Ran across this in science daily today: Drinking Diet Soda May Reduce Risk Of Forming Kidney Stones

    JD wrote on April 27th, 2009
  36. Although primal for the most part, I tend to be indulgent with caffeine (mostly from black tea), raw milk and aspartame. I like aspartame because it made (and still makes) it much easier for me to stay away of the refined carbs.

    While there’s nothing primal about aspartame, I’ve yet to find any hard-evidence supporting it’s terrible reputation. That it harms us by tricking the body into thinking it’s sugar, or that it promotes Metabolic Syndrome because it tricks us into consuming more calories are, to me, very bland reasons to label aspartame as unhealthy.

    Have any of you guys found any compelling evidence of aspartame being a harmful substance for normal humans?

    I haven’t, and until I do, I’d argue it’s a useful way good alternative to fructose or refined carbs.

    SerialSinner wrote on April 27th, 2009
  37. What about a search option for MDA? It would be nice to be able to pull up all past articles that mentioned coffee, or dairy or whatever a reader might be asking about that you have already addressed.

    Rob wrote on April 27th, 2009
  38. @rob
    there is a search option, its on the right hand side, under the categories, above the big red newsletter button
    : )

    dawn wrote on April 27th, 2009
  39. Rob – Yeah, we have a search option, but it isn’t that great. I’ll be rolling out a completely new redesign of MDA soon with all kinds of new navigation features, so check back in coming weeks!

    Mark Sisson wrote on April 27th, 2009
  40. Mark I think a forum in the site would be brilliant. It could have a FAQ section, it would make you aware of the latest general concerns of your readers, and would allow the community to strengthen a lot more through the exchange of ideas.

    SerialSinner wrote on April 27th, 2009

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