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. What’s certain, though, is the mountain of epidemiological evidence behind PM’s powers, in the form of centuries of use by Thai men and women. Dr. Sandy detailed many stories to me: In one particularly memorable account he described an 82-year-old woman whose daily consumption of PM kept her hair naturally jet black, and her body as spry as a woman decades her junior. Amazingly, she still had the energy she needed to chase after her grandchildren.
    risks Fluid accumulation Blood clots Pain, which may persist Deep vein surgery? When will they be removed? Are stitches removed? When? When can I breast augmentation in georgia
    beach breast enhancement newport
    kellie pickler breast augmentation
    large breast augmentations
    and/or staff will explain in detail the risks associated with surgery. You will

    JaapK-NL wrote on June 12th, 2009
  2. Re: #1

    I eat a lot of organic raw (white) cheddar… about 1/4 to a whole block a day (one block being 200 grams.) It’s delicious and I haven’t had any problems with allergies even though I always did growing up when I ate the processed stuff… I think raw cheese is worlds apart from pasteurized.

    Candace wrote on June 12th, 2009
  3. Tara

    #1 Fermented Cream

    I happen already to have a yoghurt maker, so all I do is fill the canister with heavy cream, mix in about a tablespoonful of live yoghurt, and leave for ten hours or so. I think the yoghurt maker maintains a temperature of 40C. The longer you leave the cream at this temperature, the more sour it gets. When it’s done it has a consistency like set yoghurt, though not as firm. My partner makes his own yoghurt, but I think buttermilk or live yoghurt from the supermarket would work just as well to start off the fermentation. If your oven has a convection cooking setting as low as 40C, that would be a good alternative.

    If you can’t use either of these heating methods, try searching Stephan’s blog at for a lower-tech way.

    I also use my yoghurt maker for soaking quinoa and lentils – Stephan has good advice on that too, if you’re interested.

    Valda Redfern wrote on June 12th, 2009
  4. I know lots of people will “cut out dairy”. I have so many problems with that. The Mayo Clinic Raw Milk Cure would be one for starters. People were given just raw milk and recovered from all sorts of incurable illnesses. This is how the Clinic was founded.

    Maybe its more about the “type” of milk. Its source and whether its pasteurized, homogenized, full of hormones and anti-biotics. I personally try to choose milk that is non-homogenized, best scenario, grass-fed and raw.

    I also make my own kefir. This is not the stuff you buy in stores. This is the real kefir grains from the Caucasus Mountain Region. It has both yeasts and bacterias up to 70 different strains. Compare that with maybe 5 on your typical label of yogurt. It also has trillions in bacteria count. So do I cut dairy? No way, this is a very healing food and is reputed to heal IBS. I know this for a fact and suffered from this terribly. Poor digestion, poor nutrient absorption, it was a mess. The whey from this kefir is particularly powerful. It is absolutely devastating to candida in the gut. For recipes and more information and sources see my site.

    Milk when it is pure, raw or cultured is a very valuable food for healing and improving the terrain of the gut and is a key essential to good health. It is also being shown to improve weight-loss and I see that too, in a diabetic, no less.

    Louise L wrote on June 24th, 2009
  5. Question 8

    All artificial sweeteners stall weight loss. What an irony.

    My suggestion is a little raw, unfiltered honey, maple syrup, sucanat, stevia and a little agave. People are divided on agave syrup. I would also replace sodas and so-called vitamin waters by having water with real squeezed lemon or lime and adding unrefined salt to it for the trace minerals. If you sweeten this it tastes rather like a non-alcoholic margherita (natural sweetener, of course.)

    Louise L wrote on June 25th, 2009
  6. Acid/Alkaline Balance
    Calcium is key to this balance in the blood. Good sources are dairy and bone broths.

    Eating too many grains with phytic acid, will bind with calcium and causes it not to be absorbed properly.

    Even small amounts of grains eaten should be fermented or sprouted to neutralize the phytic acid and other anti-nutrients which also inhibit the B-vitamins from being utilized.

    Stress and sugar also cause problems.

    Louise L wrote on June 25th, 2009
  7. Question 4 Oxalic Acid

    Steaming spinach lightly will ensure that there is no oxalic acid and will also make the nutrients easier to assimilate.

    Take it easy on kale, cabbage, broccoli and brussel sprouts eaten raw for the same reason.
    Soaking nuts in water will get rid of the problem there. I am not aware of these acids with berries.

    I love spinach salads but take it easy on this now. But steamed spinach is delicious whipped into a beautiful cream soup. With a dollop of creme fraiche on top is a nice finish.

    Louise L wrote on June 25th, 2009
    • Does that work for spinach and broccoli cooked in, say, a wok? Or does it have to be steaming specifically?

      Griff wrote on August 29th, 2009
      • You can certainly cook them in the wok. The reason I mention steaming is because it is the most delicate and will be the closest to eating raw.

        My favorite way to eat spinach is now dumping it into egg drop soup. YUM! I buy it frozen so it’s always ready to use.

        Louise L wrote on August 29th, 2009
  8. Question 7 Omegas
    First of all I think you mean are you getting enough omega- 3. Olive oil has mostly omega-9. Flax oil has omega-3 but the best is fish oil for omega-3. My preferred source is cod liver oil that has all the vitamins intact.

    Louise L wrote on June 25th, 2009
  9. I also like Valda soak all my beans, grains and nuts. In whey for beans and grains to destroy all the phtyic acid and other anti-nutrients which inhibit mineral absorbtion and my nuts in a mixture of aalt and water for about 7 hours. All beans should be soaked 24 hours and lentils around 7.

    Louise L wrote on June 25th, 2009
  10. Question 4

    Preventing Kidney Stones.

    Yes, berries DO have oxalic acid which can be neutralized by cooking them. I have also now learned that the best thing to prevent stones is stay hydrated. This is number 1. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day between meals can get rid of stones as well. High protein intake is associated with stones but if you eat adequate (not high) protein with healthy fats this is probably the healthiest solution along with plenty of water betweeen meals.

    Louise - Curemyfatigue wrote on August 3rd, 2009
  11. I just could not depart your web site prior to suggesting that I actually enjoyed the usual info a person supply for your visitors? Is gonna be again ceaselessly to check out new posts

    John Tommolino wrote on October 14th, 2011

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

© 2016 Mark's Daily Apple

Subscribe to the Newsletter and Get a Free Copy
of Mark Sisson's Fitness eBook and more!