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

Definitive Guide: The Primal Blueprint

pb definitive guide

Build the Healthiest Possible Body with the Primal Blueprint

I get emails every day from people who are changing their lives for the better by following the guidelines I outline on this site. But many are looking for more of what the Primal Blueprint has to offer. That is to say, they want a comprehensive break down of the elements that make up the Blueprint; a Primal primer if you will. In coming weeks I will be going into detail – anthropological evidence, modern research, etc. – regarding this health philosophy, but I first want to offer up this summary of the Blueprint. I think it is a good starting point for what is to come.

In this extended article you will find the basic building blocks needed to discover the Primal side of your life. What does this mean? It means learning and understanding what it means to be human. It means using this knowledge to help you make important lifestyle choices. It means modeling your life after your ancestors in order to promote optimal health and wellness. And, most importantly, it means taking control of your body and mind.

If this article intrigues you be on the look out for a much more thorough explanation of how we can learn from our past to shape and mold our future.

My basic premise is this: The Primal Blueprint is a set of simple instructions (the blueprint) that allows you to control how your genes express themselves in order to build the strongest, leanest, healthiest body possible, taking clues from evolutionary biology (that’s the primal part).

Sometimes we get so lost in the science of human biology we just can’t see the forest for the trees. We overlook the simplicity and ease with which we could all be achieving exceptional health and fitness.

Living in modern society is extremely complex. With daily mind-boggling achievements made in science, technology and medicine, and with an ever-expanding knowledge base that increasingly grows more esoteric and niche, it is no wonder that we often look for complicated scientific solutions to problems that really only require simple answers. One of the best examples is the huge – and expensive – race to identify all the new possible genetic variances (or SNPs) within the human genome that might predispose some of us to certain health conditions. Hardly a week goes by without a new announcement of the discovery of a so-called “defective” gene that increases someone or some group’s risk of being obese, of getting cancer, of developing type 2 diabetes or arthritis. The net effect of all these announcements and the sensationalized news headlines is that many of us have become accustomed to blaming our health conditions on our unlucky inheritance of these “defective” genes. As if it weren’t enough to abdicate responsibility here, we then cross our fingers and close our eyes and hope that the scientists can create pharmaceutical “answers” to our particular condition before it’s too late. In most cases a few lifestyle adjustments are all that are needed to address all but the most serious of these genetic variations. Yes, I agree that some serious genetic diseases exist which are best treated with modern, truly life-saving drugs, but for the vast majority of the minor genetic variations that exist throughout the human genome, the real deciding factor as to whether or not a particular gene will be expressed in a particular manner, if at all, comes down to what you eat, how you move, what kind of air you breathe, what you think – in other words your environment. Big Pharma (CW) doesn’t want us to believe that most of our ills can be so easily solved, and so billions of dollars are being spent to unlock the so-called secrets of the genome. Meanwhile, the real secrets – and solutions – are contained within the DNA of every single one of our cells.

The essence of the Primal Blueprint is this: Most of life is really much simpler than modern medicine and science would like to have you believe. You can have a tremendous impact on how your genes express themselves, simply by providing your cells the right environments. All you need is a basic understanding of how your body works and a simple philosophical roadmap you can use to find answers to just about any questions of health and fitness – whether it involves personal choices or lifestyle adjustments or whether medical intervention might be appropriate. With this simple strategy, you will forever be able to examine or evaluate any food choice, any form of exercise or any other behavior in the context of how it impacts your genes! Even if you decide to opt for a “bad choice”, at least you’ll know why it’s bad…

You may already have a pretty fair understanding of how the human genome evolved to exactly where it is today (or 10,000 years ago, to be more precise) based on the environmental and behavioral factors under which our ancestors lived through natural selection. Tens of thousands of anthropologists, evolutionary biologists, paleontologists, geneticists and others have worked for over 100 years to piece together a fairly detailed picture of all the elements that helped influence our development as a species. Ironically though, when we examine all of the many environmental influences and behaviors that shaped our genome, we arrive at a very simple list of general things our early ancestors did to become what and who they were and which allowed them to pass 99.9% of those genes down to us. In essence, this list is the original “Primal Blueprint” since it provided the only set of behaviors they knew – the exact behaviors that enabled then to shape their bodies into healthy, robust, happy beings.

The Original Primal Blueprint® – The Rules of Living 10,000 Years Ago:

 

1. Eat lots of animals, insects and plants.

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This is the basic description of everything our ancestors ate to get the protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phenols, fiber, water and other nutrients necessary to sustain life. But it was a huge list of individual foods – some anthropologists say it may have been 200 or 300 food choices at a time depending upon the geographic area. The net result was a dietary “breakdown” of fat, protein and carbohydrate that was far different from what Conventional Wisdom considers optimum today. This diet provided all the necessary fuel and building blocks that, along with specific exercise, prompted their genes to create strong muscles, enabled them to expend lots of energy each day moving about, to maintain healthy immune systems, to evolve larger brains and to raise healthy children. They ate sporadically, too. When food was plentiful, they ate more than they needed (and stored the excess as fat). When times were scarce, they survived on fat stores. This random or “non-linear” eating pattern kept their bodies in a constant state of preparedness.

2. Move around a lot at a slow pace.

23793275 0f33045919We know that our ancestors spent an average of several hours each day moving about at what today’s exercise physiologists might describe as a “low level aerobic pace.” They hunted, gathered, foraged, wandered, scouted, migrated, climbed and crawled. This low level of activity prompted their genes to build a stronger capillary (blood vessel) network to fuel each muscle cell, to be able to store some excess food as fat, but also to be readily able to convert the stored fat back into energy. Of course, they did all this without the benefit of paved sidewalks or comfortable shoes. Because every footfall landed at a different angle, every muscle, tendon and ligament worked and became stronger together in balance. Note that they did NOT go out and “jog” at 80% of their MAX Heart Rate for long periods of time as Conventional Wisdom suggests today!

3. Lift heavy things.

92171477 1e7b88bbc2The women carried their babies much of the time (hey, no babysitters in those days), as well as bundles of firewood, or whatever they had gathered, foraged or scavenged. The men carried heavy spears or other tools, they dragged heavy carcasses of animals they had hunted, and they moved large boulders or logs to build shelters. They also lifted themselves into trees or up onto higher ground when escaping from danger or to scout a new route. The biochemical signals created by these very brief but intense muscle contractions generated a slight surge in growth hormone and a reduction in myostatin gene expression, prompting an increase in muscle size and power; particularly fast twitch fibers.

4. Run really fast every once in a while.

156548807 96fddeb86dIn a world where danger lurked around every corner, your ability to run was a strong indicator of whether you would live long enough to pass your genes down to the next generation. (Note to Nietzsche: That which didn’t kill Grok made him stronger). Avoiding a charging beast to save your life, or surging forward to catch a different beast for dinner, the net effect was still survival. A combination of the hormonal events that occurred simultaneously and the resultant gene expression within fast twitch muscle made sure that the next time this happened Grok could sprint a little faster.

5. Get lots of sleep.

314603021 1983498579Our ancestors got plenty of sleep. Even after the discovery of fire, it wasn’t as if they stayed up all night partying. From sunset to sunrise it was safer to huddle together and rest. Long days of hunting and gathering and otherwise working hard for every bite of food also required sufficient time to repair and recover. Studies of modern hunter-gatherers suggest it wasn’t necessarily always an uninterrupted nine or ten hours, either. It’s likely that they slept together as families or as small tribes, keeping a watch out for predators, breast-feeding the baby or just dozing in and out throughout the night. Growth hormone and melatonin were the major hormonal players. Of course, the occasional afternoon nap was also available when the urge hit, with no guilt about what else they really should have been doing.

6. Play.

300894037 4e4c2bae71Just like in modern times, all work and no play made Grok a dull boy. Hunter-gatherers have always generally worked fewer hours and have had more leisure time than the average 40-hour-plus American worker. Once the day’s catch was complete or the roots, shoots, nuts and berries had been gathered, our ancestors spent hours involved in various forms of social interaction that we might categorize today as “play.” Young males would chase each other around and wrestle, vying for a place higher up in the tribe social strata. The males might also practice spear- or rock-throwing for accuracy or chase small animals just for sport. Young females might spend time grooming each other. To the extent that play was considered enjoyable, the net effect was to solidify social bonds and to prompt the release of endorphins (feel-good brain chemicals) and to mitigate any lingering stress effects of life-threatening situations.

7. Get some sunlight every day.

928727884 618cf2cb33Cavemen weren’t really men (or women) who lived their lives in caves all the time. Most of the day, they were in the great outdoors pursuing their various survival tasks. Regular exposure to sun provided lots of vitamin D, an all-important vitamin which they could not easily obtain from food and which their bodies could not manufacture without direct sunlight.

 

8. Avoid trauma.

376261703 144a1d67c2Our ancestors required an acute sense of self-preservation matched with a keen sense of observation. Always scanning, smelling, listening to the surroundings, on the watch for danger, aware of what immediate action needed to be taken, whether it was running from a saber-tooth tiger, dodging a falling rock, eluding a poisonous snake, or just avoiding a careless footfall. Remember that a twisted knee or a broken ankle could spell death to anyone who couldn’t run away from danger. In fact, it was probably trauma (or a brief careless lapse in judgment) that was most responsible for the low average life expectancy of our ancestors, despite their otherwise robust good health. Avoid trauma and there was a very good chance you could live to be 60 or 70 – and be extremely healthy and fit. Modern day hunter gatherers maintain strength and health often well into their 80s.

9. Avoid poisonous things.

2047547974 779e6595abMan’s ability to exploit almost every corner of this earth was partly predicated on his ability to consume vastly different types of plant and animal life. But moving into a new environment and trying new foods posed a danger that the new food might contain potent toxins. Luckily, our liver and kidneys evolved to handle most brushes with novel-but-slightly-poisonous plant matter – at least to keep us alive anyway if the stomach didn’t regurgitate it first. Our keen senses of smell and taste also helped us sort out the good from the bad. The reason we have a sweet tooth today (dammit) is probably an evolved response to an almost universal truth in the plant world that just about anything that tastes sweet is safe to eat.

 

10. Use your mind.

Lascaux2Obviously, one of the most important things that separate man from all other animals is his intellectual ability. The rapid increase in the size of our brains over just a few thousand generations is the combined result of a high-fat, high protein diet (see rule #1) and a continued reliance on complex thought – working the brain out just like a muscle. Hunter gatherers all around the world have developed language, tools and superior hunting methods independently. The fact that some haven’t entered the industrial age doesn’t mean they don’t possess the same ability to process information rapidly and effectively (try living in a jungle where you need to catalog thousands of different plant and animal species, knowing which can kill you and which can sustain you).

That’s it.

That’s the full – albeit general – list of behaviors that shaped our current genome (OK, I left out the sex part because that kind of goes without saying. On the other hand, having sex with your partner IS a natural part of the Primal Blueprint. I’ll cover it in a future post)…

If there’s any doubt on your part about whether or not we should emulate our ancestors’ behavior (but in a context of a modern world) let’s at least agree that we are looking to achieve some very similar benefits. Certainly, we all want to be:

Healthy

Ideally, we’d never want to be sick. We’d want to be in the best possible health all of the time.

Energetic

We’d want to have lots of energy to do all the fun things life has to offer and not feel like we are dragging at any point during the day.

Happy

No one wants to be depressed or miserable. It’s no way to go through life. We want a reason to get out of bed every day and take on all the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Lean

We’d want to be in a metabolically balanced state where we burn off our excess or stored fat, where we find a point at which we have enough fat to be healthy, but we rarely (or never) store any more additional fat.

Strong

Let’s face it: we’d want muscles that not only look great in a bathing suit, but that serve us well in allowing us to move, to play, and to stay balanced throughout that movement. That means well-balanced strength with proportional muscles.

Bright

We’d want full access to our mental faculties, to be bright and alert, creative, focused when appropriate, able to recall all the great memories, etc.

Productive

We’d certainly want to feel as if we are contributing to ourselves, our family and society.

We know from evolutionary biology that our ancestors exemplified all the above healthy traits (as I will detail later). Those may or may not have been their stated goals, but those attributes certainly allowed them to survive the rigors of a hostile environment and be in a position to pass their traits along to the next generation, and finally, to us.

Now, understanding that everything we do, eat, think and breathe can affect our 10,000-year-old genes, how does that Original Primal Blueprint compare to what we might have to do today to achieve robust good health, a well-sculpted body, a strong immune system, boundless energy and an increase in productivity – all the goals we are after? Ironically, it’s almost the exact same thing.

The Modern Primal Blueprint® – The Rules of Living Today:

 

1. Eat lots of animals, insects and plants.

56551859 eb062d5540Focus on quality sources of protein (all forms of meat, fowl, fish), lots of colorful vegetables, some select fruits (mostly berries), and healthy fats (nuts, avocados, olive oil). Observe portion control (calorie distribution) week to week more than meal to meal. Eliminate grains, sugars, trans- and hydrogenated fats from your diet.

Further Reading:

The Definitive Guide to the Primal Blueprint Eating Plan

A Primal Blueprint Sample Menu

Why Grains are Unhealthy

The Primal Blueprint Diagrams

Action Item #3: Make the Healthiest Choices Across the Spectrum

2. Move around a lot at a slow pace.

1432861455 ec53c9a238Do some form of low level aerobic activity 2-5 hours a week, whether it is walking, hiking, easy bike riding or swimming. Ideally, and when possible, find time to go barefoot or wear as little foot support as possible. Low-level activity is necessary (especially if you find yourself chained to a desk every day). The combined effect will be an increase in capillary perfusion, fat-burning and overall integration of muscle strength and flexibility.

Further Reading:

The Definitive Guide to Low Level Aerobic Activity

The Definitive Guide to Walking

Why We Don’t Walk Anymore

3. Lift heavy things.

361679973 ac188b305dGo to the gym and lift weights for 30-45 minutes, 2-3 times a week. Focus on movements that involve the entire body and in wider ranges of motion – not just on isolating body parts. Emulate the movements of our ancestors: jumping, squatting, lunging, pushing, pulling, twisting, etc. This will stimulate your genes to increase muscle strength and power, increase bone density, improve insulin sensitivity, stimulate growth hormone secretion, and consume stored body fat.

Further Reading:

Primal Blueprint Fitness

Action Item #4: Exercise Primally – Move, Lift, and Sprint!

How to Gain Weight and Build Muscle

4. Run really fast every once in a while.

142009175 281d0a1d96Do some form of intense anaerobic sprint bursts several times a week. This could be as simple as six or eight (or more) short sprints up a hill, on the grass, at the beach… or repeated intense sessions on a bicycle (stationary, road or mountain bike). These short bursts also increase HGH release (HGH is actually released in proportion to the intensity (not the duration) of the exercise).

Further Reading:

Why We Don’t Sprint Anymore

Sprint for Your Life: A Primal Workout

Mark’s Beach Sprints

5. Get lots of sleep.

294676273 d691903476Get plenty of quality sleep. Our lives are so hectic and full of things to do after the sun goes down that it’s often difficult to get enough sleep. Yet sleep is one of the most important factors in maintaining good health, vibrant energy and a strong immune system.

Further Reading:

The Definitive Guide to Sleep

17 Ways to Improve Your Sleep

How Light Affects Our Sleep

Is “8 Uninterrupted Hours a Night” Flawed Conventional Wisdom?

7 Ways You May Be Inadvertently Sabotaging a Good Night’s Sleep

6. Play.

2206282062 8bdceb5fbdSpend some time each week involved in active play. In addition to allowing you to apply your fitness to a real-life situation, play helps dissipate some of the negative effects of the chronic stress hormones you’ve been accumulating through the week.

Further Reading:

The Definitive Guide to Play

The Lost Art of Play: Reclaiming a Primal Tradition

Primal Play: Dance

7. Get some sunlight every day.

1550512599 7de9cea9e3Contrary to the“Common Wisdom” dispensed by dermatologists (who suggest you shun the sun), the Primal Blueprint would insist that you get some direct sunlight every day. Certainly not so much that you come close to burning, but definitely enough to prompt your body to make the all-important vitamin D and to support the mood-lifting benefits. A slight tan is a good indicator that you have maintained adequate Vitamin D levels. Natural sunlight also has a powerful mood-elevating effect, which can enhance productivity at work and in inter-personal interactions.

Further Reading:

Vitamin D: Sun Exposure, Supplementation and Doses

8 Natural Ways to Prevent a Sunburn

7 Home Remedies to Relieve a Suburn

8. Avoid trauma.

484383618 70c80e2b51Eliminate self-destructive behaviors. These concepts are self evident to most people (wear seat belts, don’t smoke or do drugs, don’t dive into shallow water) yet so many of us live our lives oblivious to impending danger. Develop a keen sense of awareness of your surroundings.

Further Reading:

The Definitive Guide to Stress, Cortisol and the Adrenals

Bodyweight Exercises and Injury Prevention

Exercising Through Injury

9. Avoid poisonous things.

1302876317 8deda727beAvoid exposure to chemical toxins in your food (pesticides, herbicides, chemicals, etc) and on your skin. But also try to avoid the hidden poisons in foods like sugars, grains, processed foods, trans and hydrogenated fats, and mercury in certain fish.

Further Reading:

The Definitive Guide to Sugar

The Primal Blueprint Carbohydrate Curve

Action Item #1: Eliminate SAD Foods

10. Use your mind.

533118282 dcd53c68cbExercise your brain daily as our ancestors did. Be inventive, creative, and aware. If your work is not stimulating (or even if it is), find time to read, write, play an instrument and interact socially.

Further Reading:

Music Therapy: Striking a Primal Chord

Handicraft: The Ancient Tradition of Creating Things with Your Hands

Writing Therapy, or What You Get for the Cost of a Number Two Pencil and a Sheet of Paper

As with the Original Primal Blueprint, this list is very general, designed simply to allow you to understand that everything our ancestors did can benefit us as well. Except that we can do it having fun, enjoying every aspect of the lifestyle and without worrying about our survival! In future blog posts (and to a much greater extent in my book) I will be going into much more detail as to how and why these behaviors work and exactly what foods to eat, what exercises to do and how to otherwise find ways to allow your genes to recreate you in the healthiest, fittest way possible.

chotda, tricky TM, Mark Sadowski, driki, TerenceKearns.com, Paul Watson, *Giorgio*, dennis collette, sirwiseowl, jahdakine, ecreyes, Ned Trifle, amy’s pocket-camera, Arno & Louise, Christing-O-, Gio JL, est miltis no ausim, una cierta mierda, glazaro Flickr Photos (CC)

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Order Your Copy of The Primal Blueprint Today!

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. Mark this is an amazing post! I can remember working out at Williams with the likes of you and Hubbs. You seemed to instinctively know then the primal wisdom that you impart to us now. Thanks man.

    Alan George wrote on June 17th, 2012
  2. I am intruiged by all of this, my friend of many years has been on this type of diet (caveman diet) she actually is so raw in her diet she eats raw meat – fish , chicken, buffallo brains, seal meat etc , what say you of this mark?
    i only ask because she has been a healthy specimen for years but has suffered trauma and has lost weight to the point of discomfort and i am concerned.
    she doesnt advocate the legumes or pulses or even fruit for fatties like me. ( i regard my weight to be an issue of having 5 operations in 3 years – one on my foot causing lack of mobiity and 3 on my natal cleft -which is your bum crack to those who dont know!)
    I am up for this totally – 30 day trial at least , i live in a country with little sun (scotland) so may consider the supplements for vitamin D.
    thanks for the site – it makes sense – tho i have nagging doubts – as we have actually evolved!!!! well some of us have hahahaha x

    liz wrote on July 6th, 2012
  3. So how does a sugarholic, compulsive overeater, sugar substituter get started, seems daunting and sounds self depriving. i am not disagreeing just need encouragement. BMI 38.

    Dee wrote on July 10th, 2012
    • Dee, this is late, don’t know if you have jumped in yet but here’s some encouragement – DO IT. Jump in with both feet. You’ll be feeling yucky while you go through withdrawls, however, once you are clean and feeling great it’ll be worth it. Sugar is one of my favorites too but I have my memories of it, that’s good enough. When I slip and eat something like, oh, say a dish of ice cream (tiny one tho) with chocolate sauce….. Next day I have a “carb hangover” and decide it’s NOT worth it. Life is lovely without grains, sugar, beans, etc. Plus, we can have FAT, what’s better than that! Mmmmmmmm, I don’t get hungry and so don’t end up overeating anymore. DO IT !!!!!
      Smiles

      2Rae wrote on June 21st, 2013
  4. Question: I’ve understood your point to be
    1) human genetics has evolved to suit the historical behaviour patterns with optimal health
    2) we want optimal health
    c) we should mimic historical behaviour patterns

    But, I have the suspicion that it would be very difficult for a current human to (actually) mimic the historical movement trends – because of job/commute/crunch requirements. (Ie, I’m pretty sure that whatever the cavemen did in their sitting-quietly time, it probably wasn’t at a desk in a static position)

    So, does it still follow that we should eat and exercise the way the cavemen did?

    Where have I gotten lost in your argument?

    Thanks, amy

    Otherwise, thanks for the write-up.

    Amy wrote on July 21st, 2012
  5. Finally, someone who puts it all together. Thanks, Mark for making it clear, obvious, and simple.

    Rob

    Rob wrote on August 5th, 2012
  6. Fantastic site & great advice. I was made aware of recent studies on fasting and it’s overall benefits to health and decided to do a bit more research. I’m glad I found your site before I began.
    I am fasting today, for what is probably the first time in my life! I’m 54 yrs old & excited by the recent claims for possible benefits but a bit daunted by the prospect. You’re PB really has put it in perspective and given me the confidence to have a go!
    I intend to begin ADF – alternate day fasting as from today & I will post my progression and results if anyone is interested.
    Regards.

    Eifion Wyn Williams wrote on August 7th, 2012
  7. Good insight. I do try to move about slowly and spend as much time out of doors as I can. Could not do the vegetarian diet. There is quite a ways to go to get closer to Gronk-life. Looking forward to the weekly newsletter and the e-books.

    Garry Mattox wrote on August 10th, 2012
  8. I am a health professional with an interest in prevetative health, in particular, chronic disease, which is costing the health systems and governments world wide zillions, not only in dollars but lost production and positive life outcomes. I believe, as you do, that the majority of ill health and disease is preventable through diet and lifestyle. I marvel, in horror, at the myriad of medications dished out to people with chronic disease to support their health without the cause of their condition being addressed. All of these medications have side effects which cause a cascade of adverse affects. In most cases though, health professionals feel almost powerless to change these regimes as their clients don’t want to or won’t change their lifestyle choices or don’t have the knowledge or resources. We also need to explore the role of “Maslows hierarchy of needs” and the circumstances that precipitate difficulties in changing or adjusting one’s opportunities in life such as health outcomes. Your theories are a great resource but unless someone can make money out of it no-one will listen! I have constantly referred to the cave-man theory with issues such as how we live “independant” lives not supporting one another and that people constantly say things like “I / she can’t breast feed”, how on earth did we get this far then, there was no baby formular (baby poison) around 10,000 years ago. To conclude – loved the reference to McDonald’s poison.

    Lynn McNair wrote on August 14th, 2012
  9. Uh-oh…an MD is in the house. Don’t worry, I’ll be cordial. First of all, this is an awesome post! Although everyone loves a good conspiracy theory, this is exactly what we strive to teach our patients AGAIN and AGAIN and we even…wha?…refer them to your site! Big Med in bed with Primal Living?! Nah, that won’t sell as many books. ;)

    All joking aside, modern science, as you mentioned, is not, nor can it be, a cure all. There are neat advances but truly they can only do so much and the FIRST treatment for 99% of what we see is PREVENTION (aka, avoid the need for treatment all together) and the first step in prevention is proper diet and exercise. It’s good to see sites like this helping to take an initiative. Somehow we have to reach the rest of the world that would never come to this site on purpose until they came to me with type 2 diabetes and already 10 years of irreversible damage. Please…our offices are too busy as it is! And really a physician shortage means “the right amount” of physicians once we learn to make better health choices and the need for the reactionary care rather than preventative care subsides. I’d love to not have to see the effects of preventable chronic disease. Here’s to a healthy life.

    Anyway, keep spreading the word. Kudos to you all.

    PS…I’m going to regard point #1 (insects) as optional. ;)

    Jared MD wrote on August 14th, 2012
  10. Great guide to health and wellness. Its broad and really allows you to encorperate these rules in to your daily life.

    Thanks Mark

    Paul Kierstead wrote on August 20th, 2012
  11. Is it really going to be that simple?

    LynnieO wrote on September 1st, 2012
    • Yep

      2Rae wrote on June 21st, 2013
  12. I am seeing a nutritionist and she wants me to go on a paleo diet. I am trying to heal my Multiple Sclerosis and am going gluten free. I feel conflicted about eating animals because they also feel pain but I guess I can start off doing it once a week.

    Sam wrote on September 6th, 2012
  13. Mark
    Im hoping that this will be good for me it makes sense. I am depressed, everytime I eat anytype of wheat I crash and sleep for hours. I feel like Im not living I hope this will bring me back since at this point Im only existing and not living

    Christine wrote on September 9th, 2012
  14. Mark,

    Spot on!! I have been preaching this for years…from a anthropological standpoint, our physiology is still stone age, and that’s not a bad thing, it’s what we should base our diet and activity levels on.

    From one Grok to another, I look forward to continuing the journey!

    Bruce Specter wrote on September 13th, 2012
  15. I agree with most of your diet suggestions except for meat and grains. I only eat small amounts of fish and I eat mixed dark colored rice every day, rye toast and tofu. I am very fit and healthy and never get sick, almost 64.Play tennis with guys half my age and do sprint work barefoot on the beach twice a week.We should all look for vegetarian forms of protien more.Diet for a small planet !

    Garin wrote on October 23rd, 2012
  16. ‘avoid trauma, avoid poison’….

    no shit?

    madman wrote on October 26th, 2012
  17. I was reading a hunting guide that recommended your website for a free E book
    am i to understand it is no longer free but must purchase it now please advise me
    on this matter of the book.
    also i like to say what i read so far its sounds good and makes sense so many diet programs out there claim they are the best magic pill but noting happens i tried so many fad diets in ten yrs being over weight trying to loose weight for every pound i lost it would come back two pounds stronger so i get fatter and fatter, yours sounds like the best idea yet and i might actually enjoy it.

    joe k wrote on November 4th, 2012
  18. Which insects should I eat?

    Leo wrote on November 10th, 2012
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  21. I have just started this new way of eating and I am thrilled. I already feel better after only a few days. You are so right Mark. If the low calorie, low fat food worked we wouldn’t have 45% obesity in this country. Food has become too easy to get and it’s killing us. My mother and father, grandparents, great grandparents, etc. were thin. I don’t think they were even familiar with the word diet.
    I have a few pounds to lose but basically I’m interested because I want to increase my energy level which in recent years tends to be on the low side.
    I will keep you posted on my progress

    Elaine Marlowe wrote on November 20th, 2012
  22. Fabulous..Thanks, this was really useful

    Hussein wrote on January 27th, 2013
  23. Seems a very balanced approach, and instinctively I endorse much of what you write, Mark.

    But I have to take issue with the idea of looking at 10,000 years ago as an accurate snapshot of how our ancestors lived. Humankind has existed on a continuum for hundreds of thousands of years. There’s no reason why 10,000 years ago should be our benchmark for healthy living.

    And given that animal husbandry is wreaking havoc with the environment, the push to eat lots of meat of all kinds is unsustainable (and unethical), even if it could all be organic and grass fed and free range (which it can’t). We have to come up with a different practical model for the future.

    Question: how do we know that our cave-dwelling ancestors did not eat grains (not talking about modified wheat)? Where did the idea of cultivating grains come from, if people hadn’t already been eating grains in the wild? Just askin’

    Lyrr Descy wrote on February 12th, 2013
  24. Thanks for all the great information. As I continue my education,I continue to learn all the great things that we as people have often missed. This new world of modern technology, compressed and genetically altered food, is not the world my ancestors thrived in. Though I am just starting this way of life, I can already note the dramatic changes in my health, sex life, and mental capacity. It can be done!

    Sol wrote on March 19th, 2013
  25. i am very interested in this, it does make sense. I was wondering though, you say on here to lift heavy weight. However my husband has sciatica (one buldging disc and one herniated), how would he be able to do full body exercises like that and not injure himself further? He currently does low impact and isolated machines so he does not put weight in strain on his discs, and does various core strengthening exercises that do not involve weight.

    Melissa wrote on March 19th, 2013
  26. I blog also and I’m authoring a thing similar to this blog post, Vertical Blinds “Definitive
    Guide: The Primal Blueprint | Mark’s Daily Apple”. Do you really care if I personallyincorporate a number of of your own ideas? Many thanks ,Damon

    Jerilyn wrote on March 25th, 2013
  27. And while spending most of our time at work, when would we have time to do all of those activities? – walking, gym, reading, a lot of sleep , running, playing and getting sunlight??? (especially the last one quite impossible in the UK…)

    Kate wrote on May 29th, 2013
    • Amen, not a lot of time in our schedules. Do as much as you can and just keep going. If you can add more fine, if not fine.
      Someone told me once: “Just do your best, some days it will be what you think is your best and other days it will not, but it will be the best at that moment.” Helps those of us who really wish we were perfect ……. Everything eventually changes, that gives me hope that I will eventually have the time for more than just “mental visulation” of me exercising…. He, he, he.
      Baby steps.

      2Rae wrote on June 21st, 2013
  28. Thanks, a instructor at my gym referred me to your website (London, UK). Looking forward to following the lifestyle.

    Jacob Gourd wrote on June 3rd, 2013
  29. I hit 71 years last December. I consider myself middle-aged so I plan to live to about 140. The ancestors you write about lived to about 30 or 40 I believe so do the rules you set still apply at my age and beyond as the ancestors evolution only worked up to that 30 or 40.

    Chris Parsonson wrote on June 15th, 2013
  30. Aloha,
    I love this post! Makes total sense. I’ve been a Paleo/Primal for about 1 1/2 years with struggles, but I’m determined to continue. I have your books on my ipad and will continue to read and reread. Thanks for a geeat post!

    CreativeGrammie wrote on June 21st, 2013
  31. Aloha,
    I love this post! Makes total sense. I’ve been a Paleo/Primal for about 1 1/2 years with struggles, but I’m determined to continue. I have your books on my ipad and will continue to read and reread. Thanks for a great post!

    CreativeGrammie wrote on June 21st, 2013
  32. All of this is sound advice, but it has nothing to do with being “primal.” Because you forgot to add:

    11. Shun climate control. IOW, turn off your AC and heater.

    12. Starve for long periods of time.

    13. Throw out your mattress and pillow.

    14. Die at 35.

    PSI Teleport wrote on August 22nd, 2013
  33. Can you tell be if it is still beneficial for an older adult to adopt this lifestyle ?

    Senior Lady wrote on August 24th, 2013
  34. What an amazing presentation – thank you for sharing with us : )

    Citizen888 wrote on September 18th, 2013
  35. I have tested positive for Lupus. an auto immune disorder whereby your body, thinking your healthy tissue is diseased, fights it. It leads to inflammation and pain that i have suffered for over 4 years now. On separate doctors visits and ER visits over the course of these years, I have been diagnosed with bursitis, costochondritis, pacreatitis, bronchial infections, etc. I quit smoking almost 8 yrs ago and dedicated my life to fitness, and have tried to be conscious of what i put in my body. When I found out what the medical field thinks it is that I have, I also realized that those online everywhere I turned are hopeless victims of not only this devastating disorder, but the horrible side effects of the steroids and medications they are on in order to “manage” their primary ailment. There are too many people being diagnosed with disorders like this, and more and more are turning up. There is an epidemic of ingested industrial food mutation that is breaking down and destroying our population by the thousands daily. I am not a sufferer of a hopeless disease. I am the Ambassador of Hope. I believe that the answer is not what we are prescribed by doctors who are but mere indentured servants to the pharm companies, but in what we put in our bodies, and the abilities of our body to reconstitute those incredible amounts of toxins, and failure thereof. There is a lot of sense in the primal lifestyle. Back to the basics, and beyond medication as a solution. I would rather take a daily dose of Discipline over prednisone any day.

    daisy wrote on December 3rd, 2013
  36. Mark:
    I am an anesthesiologist, previous mechanical engineer, now 60 yrs. old have done CROSSFIT, for four yrs.. I used to accept evolution, partly because that is all they teach in universities. But as a grow older & believe more in God as Creator of all things, evolution is not even logical. If true, there would be all kinds of “deselected” “models” left behind. We don’t see evidence of anything like that. But, not to dwell on that discussion, I have changed my diet significantly, and like the result. But as a society, I do not see us going in the right direction as a whole. Our society is driven by profit, not by results. I do appreciate all the young people promoting exercise & responsible eating. God gives us choices, I believe God would not chose “Mcdonalds”!!

    Sincerely,

    Wes

    Wes Hubka, M.D. wrote on December 23rd, 2013
    • Very well said Wes

      Ryan wrote on December 23rd, 2013
  37. Hi all,
    I am new here and preparing to start this on Monday. I have struggled with my weight all my life. I have tried many “diets”, tried just eating “properly”, even hired a personal trainer 3 days a week. I am currently 198 lbs and 5′ 4″ 51 year old female. I get so frustrated by working so hard and depriving myself that after 5-6 mos I give up. In one of the first posts I read that people rely on scientific proof, well maybe that’s my issue. I have felt that I must be doing something wrong, working out, not eating enough or too much, and could never find some one to tell me either way. I just don’t want to end up like my step mother, on my death bed saying that I’m finally going to be skinny!!! I’d like to enjoy my later years! Right now I feel like I’m just surviving not living. So if anyone is still out there reading these posts, is it really possible to just eat meat veggies and fruits, move a little and lose weight? I’ve signed up for the meal plan but there isn’t a whole lot that I like, I don’t like fish, I’m more of a poultry eater, but I can substitute. Isn’t there particular amounts to eat? Here I go again with the scientifics! I just worry that it will be another waste of time for me, I’m not getting any younger. Sorry to have such a bleak outlook but I don’t want any more disappointment. My husband believes this will work for him but knows it will be very difficult for him to give up the carbs, especially the bread and potatoes. That will be very easy for me as I currently don’t eat lots of them anyway. I’d be glad to hear any advice and tips! Thanks!!

    Barbara wrote on January 4th, 2014
  38. Although a lot of today’s focus about diet is which foods are healthy and which ones are not. However, I think the key is variety. Even too much of a good thing can turn into poison. Human used to eat whatever they can find, so they can even out the good and evil. One the other hand, people in modern society eat what they like and this imbalance leads to problem.
    I like your suggestion on exercise, sadly that is not easy to achieve unless somebody is really dedicated or work in an occupation that required a lot of moving around (like a tour guide…).
    By the way, maybe we should start to eat insects? It’s not a joke! Some people believe that insects like cockroaches are very easy to farm and may be the key to solve world hunger.

    molemore wrote on January 7th, 2014
  39. I’m not going to pat anyone on the back…I’ve read so many “this is amazing/fantastic/well done, ect. posts on the page. Sure, its interesting people, but did you seriously need a post such as Mark’s, to “understand” something so common sense? Really, think about it…its not revolutionary, just common sense.

    Aaron McIntosh wrote on January 21st, 2014
  40. This is an awesome post, I read with fascination all the way. I am doing plenty of things that are on the list already, but I have to do a lot better job of avoiding poisions, I eat too much processed food.

    Aaron wrote on April 27th, 2014

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