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

In With the New

So you’ve committed to Avoiding Poisonous Things for 30 days. You read the articles from yesterday’s post, cleaned out your pantry and fridge and are ready to get Primal. Now what? After Out With the Old comes in with the new, of course, so it’s time to do some shopping. I want you to fill your kitchen with food that Grok would recognize. These are the foods that the human body is meant to consume. The foods that give us energy and vitality, that make us lean and support our immune systems for a long, healthy and happy life. In short and in full: meat (beef, pork, fowl, fish, etc.), eggs, vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, and healthy derivative fats/oils and butters (with herbs, spices, extracts, and supplements rounding things out).

When making the transition to Primal, giving up grains and minimizing sugar consumption is just part of the equation. The next challenge is to accept that fat is healthy and should make up a majority of your caloric intake. Of course, not all fats are created equal, so you need to choose wisely. Additionally, it’s not just the type and quality of your dietary fats you need to be concerned about. In The Primal Blueprint and How to Forage in the Modern World I emphasize the importance of choosing clean meats and eggs, and certain fruits, nuts and vegetables over others.

Just like yesterday I’d like to direct you to a slew of articles that I’ve written on these topics. But first, let’s remind ourselves that a big part of this challenge is about eating real food – plants and animals just like Grok.

The following represent the most popular MDA articles on each of these nourishing food groups. You’ll learn why these foods should make up the entirety of your eating plan, which fats, meats, nuts/seeds, vegetables and fruits are preferred, how to shop for these foods and how to do it all on a budget. Below you will also find my answers to FAQs. Do your homework and then get out there and eat some Primal grub!


The Definitive Guide to Fats

The Definitive Guide to Oils

The Definitive Guide to Saturated Fat

A Primal Primer: Animal Fats

Is All Butter Created Equal?

Is All Olive Oil Created Equal?

Smart Fuel: Palm Oil

Trans Fat: Why It Should Be Avoided Like the Plague

PUFAs: Vegetable Oil. Ick.

Canola Oil Q&A


Did Grok Really Eat That Much Meat?

The Red Scare

Choosing Chicken: A Primal Purchasing Guide

The Problems with Conventionally Raised Beef

What Cowpooling Is and How to Find a Cowpooling Source

Organ Meats: It’s Not So Offal

Salmon: Factory Farm vs. Wild

Better Fish Choices

Raw Meat

In Defense of Meat Eaters: The Evolutionary Angle


Smart Fuel: Eggs

Egg Purchasing Guide

Seasonality for the Birds

How Much is Too Much?


Top 10 Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer Vegetables

Is Organic All It’s Cracked Up to Be?

Why Do I Have to Eat Vegetables At All?

A Visual Guide to Sea Vegetables

The “Smart Fuel” Category (contains many vegetable profiles)


On the Problems of Cultivated Fruit

Best Fruit Choices

The Wonderful World of Coconut Products

The Many Uses of Coconut Flour


Nuts and Omega 6s

A Quick Guide to Edible Seeds

The Many Uses of Almond Meal

Top 10 Ways to “Go Nuts”


What does your meal plan look like, Mark?

My Daily Diet

A Primal Blueprint Sample Menu

What My Wife Carrie Eats

Should I be taking supplements?

Grok Didn’t Take Supplements So Why Should I?

Vitamin D: Sun Exposure, Supplementation and Doses

A Primal Primer: Prebiotics

A Primal Primer: Whey Protein

Protein Powders: How Do They Measure Up?

What about fish oils?

The Definitive Guide to Fish Oils

What about dairy?

The Definitive Guide to Dairy

Is All Cheese Created Equal?

What about bugs?

Insects: Not Just for Breakfast Anymore

How can I go Primal without breaking the bank?

99 Ways to Save Money on Food

Affording Organics

How to Eat Healthy and Save Money

How to Eat Healthy on a Budget

Healthy Eating on a Budget

How to Build a Square Foot Garden in 10 Easy Steps

Everything But the Squeal

Cheap Meat Options

Cheap Meats: Thrift Cuts

Tell me more about fat!

The Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

How to Render Beef Tallow and Bacon Fat

Can Fried Food Be Healthy?

Coconut Oil and Ghee: Together At Last

WTF?… Where’s the Fat?

Bone Marrow: Delicious, Nutritious and Underappreciated

We’re two full days into the 30-Day Challenge. Let me know how things are going for you so far. Grok on!

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Thing so far are tasty!
    I’m excited about the challenge (I actually started it three weeks early) and the support available for clean eating here. :)
    Thank you, Mark!

    Melody wrote on September 9th, 2010
  2. Mark, it’s so good of you to link all these articles together. This gives the newbies a quick and easy reference for success!

    Debra wrote on September 9th, 2010
  3. I’ve been Primal since April, but it’s been a little too easy to slip up here and there over the summer. With the cooler weather hitting us here in Toronto, it’s nice to kick-start back into full Primal mode.

    It’s great to read all the older posts again. They’re what got me motivated to live primally in the first place. Thank you Mark!

    Primal K@ wrote on September 9th, 2010
  4. Mark,

    Thanks for linking all of those previous posts. I found some old ones that were good to read.


    David Grim wrote on September 9th, 2010
  5. Mark, even as a lifetime reader I just have to chime in and say that these last few posts were so well-linked and well-organized, you are unknowingly helping me trim down my enormous folder of MDA bookmarks! Thanks!

    Gary-A wrote on September 9th, 2010
  6. GREAT, GREAT, GREAT post! Making life easier with so much stuff in one place. Lost eighteen pounds in six weeks! Thanks Mark!

    Scott wrote on September 9th, 2010
  7. I’m a day behind, but I’ll catch up in no time!

    beach_bound wrote on September 9th, 2010
  8. Challenges are fun – helps me to not “slip” here and there…
    I’m trying at least one new recipe from your cookbook every day. (and my slow cooker is transforming a pot of bones into yummy stock…)

    kelle wrote on September 9th, 2010
  9. Anyone know how to get the casein out of butter? I tried melting it and mixing it with water (to dissolve out the proteins) then letting the ‘purified’ fat float to the top and scooping it off. However wikipedia says casein is hydrophobic so I guess it wouldn’t have dissolved in the water and is probably still in the fat/ghee. I know theres not a huge amount of casein in butter but I want to eliminate it from my diet to fix my leaky gut, but my Kerrygold butter is too tasty and nutritious to give up unless absolutely necessary. Any ideas?

    Dave wrote on September 9th, 2010
    • I believe that by making it into ghee, you’re getting pretty much just the fat, which does not contain casein or lactose except in trace amounts. If you’re making your own, you want to be careful about skimming the top layer and not pouring out the bottom layer. The middle layer should be pretty clean, from your perspective. I know that the GAPS diet, which is very strict about these things, allows ghee for all but the worse cases.

      Sue wrote on September 9th, 2010
    • You can make clarified butter pretty easily by using this process:

      Sara wrote on September 10th, 2010
  10. I’ve stocked up on grass-fed dairy, macadamia nuts, and almond butter for this month.

    Pepper wrote on September 9th, 2010
  11. Mark,

    The food you keep on hand is very important when going Primal. I used to keep bread and cereal in my pantry, but now I don’t and it has made a big difference in my diet and lifestyle.


    Alykhan wrote on September 9th, 2010
  12. There’s so much good stuff on this site. I’ve recently added coconut milk, almond milk, almond butter, flax seed and pumpkin seeds to my diet, mainly from things I’ve learned about eating primal.

    Matt Joseph wrote on September 9th, 2010
  13. It’s something I have been trying to explain to my clients for a long time. Maybe next time I’ll just point to your blog and say “nuff said”


    Eric Moss wrote on September 9th, 2010
  14. I’m in and all about it. One bummer though- just a few days ago my hours were cut substantially at work. I know eating clean is a huge deal but for now, conventional veggies and meats will have to do. I hope that’s not going too far off the mark!

    Stephanie wrote on September 9th, 2010
  15. Things are going great! Just hosted a dinner with friends where we served white wing dove that Calvin hunted last weekend with some sunflower seed meal and sausage dressing! It was delish! We are committed. Life is grand! ~ Karyn

    Karyn (Calvin's wife) wrote on September 9th, 2010
  16. I feel fantastic 2 days in! I’ve been dabbling at primal, but this challenge has motivated me to stick to it. I have hope for kicking the bread cravings in this 30 days.

    Kerri O wrote on September 10th, 2010
  17. Whenever I’ve set up my own personally challenges, or joined challenges with a couple of people, I haven’t taken them very seriously. So I didn’t think this one would do much for me.

    But having this whole huge community of people who are so enthusiastic about this challenge, and seeing my blogging friends and facebook friends all talking about it… I just got swept up in the excitement and have had 2 AWESOME days so far.

    I practically JUMPED out of bed this morning, I have so much more energy. I’m dropping water weight already. And I’ll admit that my brain is a little spacey due to the drop in carbs, but I’m SO FREAKING EXCITED to keep on with this challenge, for the rest of the 30 days and beyond.

    I’ve been starting and re-starting plans to improve my health since I was a teenager. Somehow, this time, you made it stick. Thanks Mark!

    mayness wrote on September 10th, 2010
  18. i am impressed with the quality and the quantity of posts. this is a great resource. thank you

    kim wrote on September 10th, 2010
  19. Anybody have advice on making clabber/clotted cream with buttermilk? I’m working on getting a source for raw milk in South Bend, but until then it’s going to be pasteurized :(

    We’re going to the brunch down at the Irish pub tomorrow to ask where they get theirs. Of course, I’m not going to serve it with scones, lol.

    Erin wrote on September 11th, 2010

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