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

Grok Throws a Party

Some weeks ago after the Power of Ritual post, I had to laugh when SophieE and desert tomte shared their idea for creating our own Primal holiday. Needless to say, the musing has got the better of me. (I’ve been dipping into the egg nog one too many times, you’re wondering.) Sure, the MDA community is scattered around the globe, and our holiday schedules are likely filled. No matter. Today, I’m letting all reason and purpose fly by the wayside. Sisson’s gone nuts, you might say. Maybe so. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve heard that. I respond to the charge with those immortal, wise words, “Why ask why?” So, I’m taking SophieE and desert tomte at their word today and devoting today’s post to a virtual Primal bash – with everything befitting a Primal fete as well as a New Year’s celebration. The staff and I are in. Are you?

Step right onto the beach. (Seriously, did you expect it to be anywhere else??) It’s sunset, and the party’s just starting. Grok will be our gracious host of course. (Did I mention he’s a party guy?) He’ll also be manning the spit where you’ll find a variety of roasted delectables. If anyone cares to share their expertise or additions to the meat offerings, do speak up. Being that I wouldn’t exactly trust Grok’s Paleolithic bartending skills, however, we’ll call it BYOB. Now this is getting interesting….

In fact, let’s go with a full out Primal potluck – a chance to show off the best of your best Primal dishes. (This definitely won’t be your grandmother’s church potluck.) Contributions, folks? Do tell – and describe. Can you envision such a grand and succulent lineup? Me? I’m bringing my big a– salad of course. But I imagine everything from soup to nuts: juicy lamb kabobs, grilled shrimp with orange mango dipping sauce, buffalo chicken. And don’t forget the stunning array of Primal desserts. Heck, this event could probably be it’s own cookbook! Hmmmm….

There’s no end to what could be included in the context of good, clean, Primal fun. Bonfire’s a given. Music – heavy on the percussion. Dancing. A game of Ultimate Frisbee. (Duh.) Jerky pinata. Beach sprints. (Hey, this is starting to sound a lot like PrimalCon.) As many Festivus fans as we have out there, how about a brief but passionate airing of grievances against the offenses of conventional wisdom this year? And who will be exhibiting their feats of Primal strength? (Grokkers tend to excel in this category.) Can a Festivus pole be rigged as a javelin? Maybe that’s sacrilege. Other ideas?

I’m thinking now about what such an event might really look like. With over a million readers a month, I suppose a special permit would be required. Noise ordinances? I’m guessing we’d get several citations. It’s all good. We Primal types tend to be an earnest but raucous bunch.

Being New Year’s and all, why not take a moment of the festivities to declare what we’re each celebrating this year. What has 2011 been for you on your road to health and vitality? On MDA, it’s been the year of ongoing success stories. It’s been the year of the 21 Day Total Body Transformation. It’s been the year of favorite posts covering everything from the Grokfeast Challenge to old school summers, intentional power outages to a Primal revolution of gym classes everywhere. Doesn’t it just make you want to bust out with a round of Auld Lang Syne? (I might need another Grok grog before that.)

Toward midnight (because how could any Primal party peter out before then?), there would be the ecstatic countdown and run into the waves. Give a final exultant farewell to all that 2011 has brought you – the good and the bad. Release it into the infinite sea surrounding you. Take in the wild power of the ocean to fortify your journey in 2012. Imagine beginning the New Year surrounded by a fully pumped, wild Primal horde whooping it up at midnight.

Who knows how long the party would last after that. In a virtual vision, anything’s possible. Time Square’s got nothin’ on this. There’s (non lip synched) music, an open sky, and plenty of good Primal food and – of course – excellent Primal company. Why not stay, sing, swim, and see the sun come up on 2012?

With that, my friends, I turn over our virtual Primal fete to you. Don’t be shy. What  are you bringing? Volleyball net? Ukulele? Stupid human tricks? Best achievements and stories of the year? Most importantly, what are you bringing to the buffet? (Ha!) Enjoy, everyone! Thanks for yet another incredible year at MDA, and Happy New Year!

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. Best. Party. Ever.

    B.J. wrote on December 29th, 2011
  2. I’m bringing my kids – when they see a Primal community partying, it would be powerful incentive to Get Primal themselves!

    Oh, and some meatball/bacon kabobs as my contribution to the Primal dinner.

    John wrote on December 29th, 2011
  3. Oh man can we call it Grokstock? I’m bringing the lamb shoulder, the prosciutto wrapped dates, my booty shaking genes and the ukulele… ooooohhh raw oysters on the half shell too!!

    Maureen wrote on December 29th, 2011
    • Grokstock – I LOVE that!!! Awesome….

      Jen wrote on December 29th, 2011
      • Grokstok has got to become a real event! That IS awesome! I will bring the homemade guacomole and veggie chips for dipping! And maybe the volleyball net if I can carry it all!

        primalpal wrote on December 29th, 2011
        • I still vote for Groktober.

          knifegill wrote on December 29th, 2011
    • This MUST happen! Grokstock for the win!

      Tony wrote on December 29th, 2011
    • I also vote for Grokstock.

      Trocki wrote on December 29th, 2011
  4. Now THAT is the way I want to ring in the New Year! What an incredible picture!

    Rob wrote on December 29th, 2011
  5. Okay, put me down for burgers. Not just any burgers though.

    1 lb. ground beef
    1 lb. cream cheese
    2 jalapeno peppers
    1/4 cup shredded cheddar

    Dice jalapenos and mix throughly with cream cheese and cheddar.Form ground beef into 2 oz patties. Place about 1 Tbsp cream cheese mixture on top of half the patties. Place a second pattie on top and seal. Grill to taste. Serve in a lettuce wrap.

    Trifith wrote on December 29th, 2011
    • Hmm cream cheese? I just can’t seem to imagine that flavor in a burger….

      EZ wrote on December 29th, 2011
      • Feel free to change it up. Any cheese should work. Cream cheese is just what I used.

        Trifith wrote on December 29th, 2011
    • That sounds awesome to me! Definitely trying this one.

      Cathi wrote on December 29th, 2011
    • cream cheese?? I can so picture, n taste that on a burger!!
      Grokstock? great idea, I am in for next year….. where? when???

      Bill B wrote on December 29th, 2011
    • Yum, jalapeno popper burgers!

      Having them this weekend for sure, thank you for the recipe!

      Licia Harry wrote on December 29th, 2011
  6. Best party ever indeed.
    Happy 2012.

    Claudio wrote on December 29th, 2011
  7. A big old Greek salad and some lamb chops!

    Oh, and my two kids, husband, and golden retriever. No one wants to miss this party!

    Jen wrote on December 29th, 2011
  8. I am so grateful for this year because even though I haven’t made it far I have recently found the inspiration I needed to start a primal blog and do a challenge on the blog in the new year! I would bring a primal tiramisu made from my angle food cake and primal custard. Cut the cake in 3 layers brush with tuaco (its a party!) and coffee then layer!!! 😀 Hmm maybe I will do that for my new years party.

    EZ wrote on December 29th, 2011
    • OH and I forgot, I always bring bacon wrapped cheese stuffed dates to parties…they keep me from the bad foods because I am too stuffed from eating them!

      EZ wrote on December 29th, 2011
  9. Grokstock is the best I’ve heard yet! The power of crowd sourcing at work.

    Grokitmus Primal wrote on December 29th, 2011
  10. I’ll bring the bacon-wrapped chicken bites!! (wrap chunks of boneless chicken and a slice of jalapeno in 1/2 slice of bacon. Thread on skewer. Repeat until all chicken is wrapped and then grill until chicken is cooked) Hmmm…maybe some of Elana’s Pantry’s minty hot chocolate for the evening too! Happy New Year everyone!

    AustinGirl wrote on December 29th, 2011
  11. Bringing heart and liver stew!
    Besides percussion, we need didges and key-harps 😀

    Feats of 2011:
    Started walking the paleo road in aug/sep.
    IBS almost gone.
    Psoriasis minimized.
    Strength improved a lot (leg press from 109kg -> 155kg)

    Oh, and I sleep way better than I thought (using Zeo Sleep Manager to monitor it).

    Matt wrote on December 29th, 2011
  12. Well if I really want to do it up for a Primal New Year’s Eve Party I would have my husband smoke a whole brisket (Texas Style) on the Big Green Egg. It is absolutely delicious!

    Michelle wrote on December 29th, 2011
  13. This should happen.

    Alyssa wrote on December 29th, 2011
    • Agreed.

      B.J. wrote on December 29th, 2011
      • Ditto.

        Jen wrote on December 29th, 2011
        • Can’t promise all of the above, but April 12-15 of next year will come close!

          Mark Sisson wrote on December 29th, 2011
        • PrimalCon sounds awesome but a bit too pricey :( what would be awesome is to have a set place, date, and time for people to meet, price of entry is a potluck item. Then you could pay per event for all the cool PrimalCon demonstrations! And who needs a hotel for l

          Alyssa wrote on December 29th, 2011
        • Haha whoops wrong button! *for lodging? Camping is way more primal!

          Alyssa wrote on December 29th, 2011
        • As much as I’d love to go to PrimalCon, I just can’t swing $795 US, plus lodging and a flight to the west coast from Ontario, Canada.

          Doug D wrote on January 1st, 2012
  14. Best party ever!

    Lisa wrote on December 29th, 2011
  15. Happy New Year!

    Someone from my CrossFit gym brought a simple appetizer to our holiday party, which I wouldn’t mind bringing: bacon pieces dipped in dark chocolate!

    I’d also bring my shaman drum, and maybe even my Celtic harp.

    And I would give thanks for 2011 when I discovered the ancestral/paleo/primal diets and joined CrossFit!

    I live in So. California…so Mark, if you ever decide to do this, I’m in!

    Thecavedude wrote on December 29th, 2011
  16. 2011 success – Finding Daily Apple and loosing 42lbs!!

    Bringing – Grilled onions
    Quarter an onion, add a tablespoon of butter a little salt and pepper, wrap onion up in bacon and then in foil and grill for a hour or so, Nirvana!

    Jodie Jantz wrote on December 29th, 2011
  17. I vote we have a sand volleyball game. All my teenagers would love to play along with me! Im IN!

    Lisa Martin wrote on December 29th, 2011
  18. How does a whole roast pig sound? SO tender and succulent it slides right out of its amber skin, which now looks like a giant pig-shaped lantern in the firelight. (I wonder if you put candles in it if it would go up like its own bonfire?!?)

    There will be greasy fingers and smiling faces all around! I know some terrific old songs, I’ve got a bodhran and I’m not afraid to use it, and I feel like DANCING.

    Kate (Cathy Johnson) wrote on December 29th, 2011
    • Whole roast pig sounds like perfect party food for me. And, my hubby can supply the Irish button accordion to go with the bodhran. Happy feet!

      Tina wrote on December 29th, 2011
  19. Primal since March 2011 — 30 lbs gone, along with arthritis and hypertension!

    I’m bringing steamed cauliflower in Alfredo sauce with crumbled bacon.

    Thanks Mark!

    rose wrote on December 29th, 2011
  20. Oh, yeah, and celebrations of my own feats…

    20+ pounds lost since starting in September

    No more GERD

    Only two tiny bits of heartburn and I earned ’em fair and square

    Hernia stopped being tender

    I have a JAWLINE

    More sociable

    More energy

    I may be old, but I am ON it.

    Kate (Cathy Johnson) wrote on December 29th, 2011
  21. Bacon wrapped scallops and grain free stuffing (sweet potatos, turnips, onions, mushrooms, celery, roast, mix, consume)!

    At the end of this year, I celebrate almost 6 months primal and a great start towards the rest of my (mentally) healthy life.

    namelesswonder wrote on December 29th, 2011
  22. I’ll bring my dance moves.

    I want a Primal Holiday.

    Primal Toad wrote on December 29th, 2011
  23. I concur, this should definitely happen! What a great post, Mark. I’m just getting started but I am even more pumped now after reading this! I’ll bring some Benton’s Bacon, made in Madisonville, Tennessee – absolutely the best you’ve ever had. YUM.

    Cathi wrote on December 29th, 2011
  24. There needs to be a whole pig and a whole calf on spits over a roasting pit.
    I mean if you are going to be Primal, lets roast some meat !!!

    Sitara wrote on December 29th, 2011
    • I’d be in to add roasted game birds (duck and wild goose)!!!

      Stephanie wrote on December 29th, 2011
  25. I’m bringing sausage balls made out of the wild hog I just procured. So yummy!

    Brandon wrote on December 29th, 2011
  26. Myself and my fellow Kiwis might teach everyone the most primal music/dance combo ever: Te Haka!

    Nion wrote on December 29th, 2011
    • A haka would be awesome! Put me down for that.

      Tina wrote on December 29th, 2011
  27. I’ll bring Heaven on a Plate (otherwise known as Sweet Potato Gratin from

    I know the perfect beach for this party, it’s only 6 miles away from my house here on the Big Island of Hawaii.

    Snorkelbuddy wrote on December 29th, 2011
    • Sweet spot…I’m joining you on that beach…Primal Picnic Basket Included!

      firefly wrote on December 29th, 2011
  28. It sounds so much more exciting than the conventional New Years Eve parties that I know I’ll be attending this year! Too bad I don’t know more Paleo folk around me.

    Also, +1 for Grockstock! Awesome :)

    Mike wrote on December 29th, 2011
  29. I’m bringing my appetite! Reading this post at 6am Sydney time made me want a roast for breakfast.

    Jane wrote on December 29th, 2011
  30. Some meat candy aka sausage-stuffed, bacon-wrapped dates and some grilled asparagus with balsamic drizzle.

    Add an extra happy dance in gratitude for finally being free of a carb-induced eating compulsion and for finally getting fit and feeling great!

    Tina wrote on December 29th, 2011
  31. I’ll bring steamed broccoli mixed with goats cheese and kalamata olives, drizzled with some really fruity extra virgin olive oil and topped with toasted pine nuts, lemon zest, parsley and fresh chopped garlic…YUM!!! And for the meat course, slow roasted chicken with herb butter and roasted sweet potatoes, broccoli and winter squash.

    Long live Grokstock!! And with all that drumming, gotta bring the belly dancing!

    Karen wrote on December 29th, 2011
    • Broccoli on the brain! Thats roasted brussel sprouts with the sweet potatoes and squash!

      Karen wrote on December 29th, 2011
  32. +1 on almost everything up there – especially “Grokstock”!
    I can’t wait to play ultimate with everyone. of course my dog will be there, he has to be amongst all those kids & other dogs :)
    I would like to contribute bison anticuchos & some of my jerky for the pinata.
    What time are we starting??

    peggy wrote on December 29th, 2011
  33. Good things from 2011:

    Turned 50 in October and said “This is it,time for a REAL change.”
    Going paleo (without realizing it) two months ago.
    Finding MDA last month and finally beginning to understand what my body has been telling me all these years.
    Dropping two jean sizes in 6 weeks (don’t know how many pounds because I decided to wait until after the first of the year to step back on the scale).

    I’m bringing more scallops wrapped in bacon – my favorite party food!

    lostAnnfound wrote on December 29th, 2011
  34. Grokstock!!! I LOVE IT!!!! Count us in. And for the potluck, any good kids’ Paleo treats that don’t include almond flour (allergy) are also welcome! :-) We’ll bring, I dunno, SOMETHING made from our USWellness ground beef special purchase from last week. Woohoo!

    deb wrote on December 29th, 2011
  35. Let’s make this happen! We live in Cali (south of LA) and will be there with potluck dishes, frisbees, and some firewood. Definitely in on the countdown run into the ocean. brrr..

    Lori wrote on December 29th, 2011
  36. Grokstonbury!

    Brian Talbot wrote on December 29th, 2011
  37. Man, I would fly to Hawaii for this! I’m in the blue mountains, behind Sydney, and this all seems so far away. For me since august, I have lost 22 pounds, off medication for insulin resistance, no gerd, fewer allergies, and a completely changed outlook on life. Thanks mark and the whole primal community that I read each morning. I have a long way to go, and encourage newbies to keep going, and wish you all a safe and fulfilling new year,

    Heather wrote on December 29th, 2011
  38. I am bringing my best quality – my smile. This has been an amazing year for me. My rheumatoid arthritis is finally under control and I have lived life to the fullest this year bike riding, hiking, working out, cleaning the house, playing with my border collie and teenagers, laughing with my husband, and basically just enjoying life as it comes. Life is good and I want to share! Happy 2012 to everyone. I hope it is just as wonderful as 2011.

    Cathy wrote on December 29th, 2011
  39. Oyster roast, NY Day, my house, be there!

    Margaret wrote on December 29th, 2011
  40. Delish!!!! I want in too although we are in Sydney and right now is almost time for lunch. All the items for the party made me super hungry. We will bring some Marrakesh roaster free range chicken with roasted pumpkin and beetroot. For desert some mango and berry gelato :) Family favorites… Cheer on and have a Happy New Year wherever you grok!

    Adriana wrote on December 29th, 2011

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