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

New Year, New You: Making 2013 Your Best Year Yet

2013Way back in 2006, Mark’s Daily Apple quietly went live in an unknown corner of the Interwebs. Months went by; months of what seemed like me just talking to myself. In due time, people started dropping by to enjoy and comment, and soon the discussion became lively. Buoyed by community support, I wrote and wrote. Every day I wrote, slogging toward the ambitious goal of helping 10 million people cast aside flawed conventional wisdom and take control of their health and wellbeing.

Since launch day in 2006, so much has changed. At the time, “Primal” or “paleo” had few followers and fewer evangelists. Now, everyone and their granny has a paleo blog or podcast, and the ancestral movement has made significant inroads in the shaping of mainstream media and popular thinking about health and wellness. And I couldn’t be more delighted.

Of course, much has changed at Mark’s Daily Apple since then as well. Out of all my writing came The Primal Blueprint; a 2009 book, and a set of guiding principles that changed everything for me. Then came the cookbooks, PrimalCon, Primal seminars, and so much more. Not to mention the thousands of success stories that bore witness to the power of living like Grok.

The momentum of the movement is undeniably strong. As one of my physician friends commented to me recently, it’s going to take a couple decades for mainstream science and medicine to recalibrate their flawed, entrenched positions; for individuals, it’s simply a matter of whether one wants to wait around and suffer the consequences, or become informed and stay ahead of the curve. That’s what Mark’s Daily Apple is all about really – being open-minded, setting the pace to stay ahead of the curve, and hopefully generating a critical mass so it becomes easier and smoother to buck conventional wisdom.

For 2013, my team and I want to offer as much support as possible to help you, and your family and friends, achieve your health and fitness goals. We believe that as long as you have the right tools, guidance, and inspiration you can achieve just about anything. So here’s a brief summary of what we have lined up for this year. Not everything is listed. Mark’s Daily Apple will be seeing some improvements in 2013 that aren’t discussed below, for example. There are a few surprises that you’ll have to check back for, but this captures how we plan on providing you with what you’ve been requesting. Let me know what you think in the comment boards. Grok on!

The Primal Connection

The Primal ConnectionOn January 8, I’ll be releasing The Primal Connection, the long-awaited sequel to The Primal Blueprint. As friends and colleagues within the ancestral movement have so generously described, The Primal Connection offers the first really new dimension in the paleo/Primal space in years.

Like The Primal Blueprint, The Primal Connection is both a culmination and expansion of principles I’ve first introduced here on MDA. It picks up where The Primal Blueprint left off, by extending the primal theme beyond the diet and exercise basics. In it I present a comprehensive plan to overcome the flawed mentality and hectic pace of high-tech, modern life and reprogram your genes to become joyful, care-free, and at peace with the present. Inherent to The Primal Connection is the concept that we can use the model of our ancestors to create not just a healthier existence but also a more balanced and fulfilling life. My hope is that upon reading it you’ll emerge with a renewed appreciation for the simple pleasures of life and our most precious gifts of time, health, and love.

Just as I did for Primal Blueprint Healthy Sauces, Dressings & Toppings last month, I’ll have something special put together for devoted Mark’s Daily Apple readers when this book is released. So mark your calendar and be ready to jump on the offer while it lasts.

Primal Blueprint Publishing

Primal Blueprint Publishing

They say every cloud has a silver lining, and that’s certainly true with the publication of The Primal Blueprint in 2009. When no mainstream publisher or agent wanted to take a chance on some unknown blogger touting a decidedly fringe movement, I was compelled to take matters into my own hands and self-publish. Well, we learned the ropes quickly and realized that indeed it was possible to make inroads into the publishing community without having a high rise office in New York City. With a good handful of titles in our catalog, and strong relationships established throughout our manufacturing and supply chain, we are becoming full-fledged publishers here in Malibu, CA. That’s right, in 2013 you will see an assortment of works from other authors released under the imprint of Primal Blueprint Publishing. The authors we publish are aligned with the philosophy of the Evolutionary Health Movement, but bring all kinds of fresh perspectives and specialized areas of expertise to the table. First up in our publishing lineup is Jayson and Mira Calton’s Rich Food, Poor Food. This dynamic couple, both experts in nutrition, have navigated every single aisle of the grocery store to help you choose the most nutrient-rich foods for you and your family, and steer clear of the hype and misinformation that are commonly found on labels and advertisements.

A website and blog will be going live at next week to feature all PBP titles, authors, and the latest happenings in the Primal publishing biz, so stay tuned for that, too.

Primal Fuel 15-Serving Option

Primal FuelAs I wrote a couple weeks ago, back when I first released Primal Fuel I pledged to lower the price of it when and where I could (without cutting any corners on quality) through volume sales and larger ingredient buys. And so I did on December 19, reducing the price of Primal Fuel (30 servings/canister) by a further $10.

Now, in a continued effort to make Primal Fuel more accessible, convenient and affordable, I’ve listened to your requests for a smaller canister option. Later this month Primal Fuel will be available in a 15-serving supply at approximately half the cost of the 30-serving canister.

One-on-One Email Support

I’ve received more requests for one-on-one support than for probably just about anything else in recent years. You see, I get hundreds of emails every day from people looking for personalized help and answers to questions about their unique health issues. While I try to answer each and every email that hits my inbox, I’m just one guy. Soon everyone will be able to get the kind of guidance they need, and that I can’t provide on my own. Coming early this year, you can have your very own personal coach to engage in unlimited email communication relating to your diet, your fitness routine, and all of your other Primal Blueprint-related goals. You can enjoy this service as needed, on a month-to-month basis, for a nominal monthly fee. Your support will come from a highly trained elite team of Primal Blueprint certified coaches, and I’ll be hands-on, overseeing the entire operation and coaching strategy.

Primal Blueprint Meal Plan

“Okay, Mark. I totally get it. Meat, fish, fowl, eggs, veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds. Simple. Okay, now what should I eat?” I hear it all the time. And I get it. Because even when you know what to eat, it can still be a challenge to plan weekly meals, forage for healthy Primal fare, not waste the food you do buy , and do it all while carrying on with your busy modern life. So I’m partnering with a team of meal planning experts (the good folks over at to provide a Primal Blueprint-Certified Meal Plan. Jennifer Meier (co-author of The Primal Blueprint Cookbook, Primal Blueprint Quick & Easy Meals, and Primal Blueprint Health Sauces, Dressings & Toppings, and resident chef of Mark’s Daily Apple), my team and I will be providing meal plan subscribers with weekly meal plans, recipes and shopping lists to take the guesswork out of eating Primal. If you’re a Primal veteran, already have your go-to meals, and don’t have any problems planning ahead, this program might not be for you. But for anyone that’s just starting the Primal way of eating and needs to know exactly what to eat and what to buy at the market this will be an indispensable and helpful tool.

New 21-Day Transformation Program

Remember the Primal Leap Kit? Well, it’s been out of stock for a number of months as we’ve been retooling the package. The new kit will be called the 21-Day Transformation Program. It will be available later this month with a comprehensive package of multi-media material and online support features. It will include a DVD of a Primal Blueprint Transformation Seminar I gave in Chicago last year, and much more. If you or anyone you know has struggled to transition to Primal eating, struggled to lose fat or keep it off, or requires intensive support to kick-start a 21-day lifestyle transformation, this program is the ticket. It’s simply everything you need to go Primal and do it the right way in a single package.

The Primal Blueprint Certification

We are hard at work creating what amounts to a series of upper division University-level courses on the Primal Blueprint. We will offer this certification program online, catering not only to personal trainers and health professionals, but anyone who wishes to deepen his or her knowledge about the Primal Blueprint, and hone the skills necessary to guide others to eat, exercise and live Primally. The certification program consists of 13 “modules” that align with the eight Key Concepts and five Action Items of The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation. Each module contains written content, a video presentation of me overviewing the content, and a written examination. The coursework will be rigorous, and when you emerge successfully, you will be designated as a Primal Blueprint certified expert.


PrimalCon Lake TahoeWith the announcement and prompt sellout of both 2013 PrimalCon events, Oxnard (April 11-14) and Lake Tahoe (Sept 26-29), we know that PrimalCon is here to stay. We hear the voices clamoring for PrimalCon at other locations and are considering plans for alternate venues. With my schedule the way it is, it’s clear that PrimalCon will outgrow my ability to attend each one. However, the team of presenters that are on board is simply awesome, and certainly can support additional gatherings for the magic connection that is PrimalCon.

Primal Blueprint Transformation Seminar

Primal Blueprint Transformation Seminar

After our successful nationwide tour of 23 cities in 2012 led by Brad Kearns, we now have Tara Grant stepping up to deliver some soon-to-be-scheduled seminars in 2013. It’s hard to imagine a better presenter than Tara, a living, breathing, dramatic Primal success story who turned her life around and is now a major voice promoting the Primal lifestyle to others. Her casual sessions at PrimalCon Oxnard were a huge hit last year, and she has extensive writing and public speaking experience.

Quick aside: We are about to publish, in digital form, Tara’s compelling personal story and guidebook to overcoming the health condition of Hidradenitis Supprativa. Titled, The Hidden Plague: A field guide for surviving and overcoming Hidradenitis Supprativa, it’s a must have for anyone suffering from this condition, one that is poorly understood by the mainstream medical community.

Tara will get out of the gates on January 27 in Phoenix, AZ, with a special event featuring the Primal Transformation Seminar and a Primal Cooking Class. Brad Kearns will join her to present the seminar portion, and Chef Rachel Albert, another PrimalCon Favorite, will preside over the cooking presentation. This event takes place in a private home and ticket sales are limited. If you are in or near Phoenix, don’t miss this event!

Primal Blueprint Luxury Retreat

Primal Blueprint Luxury RetreatThe dynamic duo of Vanessa and Adam Lambert are your hosts for this one-of-a-kind luxury experience at a beautiful villa in Malibu, CA. The event, slated for Jan 31-Feb 3, is limited to only 12 guests, so act quickly if you can make it to Malibu! You’ll be immersed in real world scenarios, guided step-by-step through Primal eating, exercise, and lifestyle strategies, and you will leave the weekend with a complete arsenal of knowledge to immediately and seamlessly integrate the Primal philosophy into your life. Adam and Vanessa will provide intensive hands-on coaching, and you’ll enjoy gourmet meals from the best Primal chef in Los Angeles.

Primal Blueprint Cruise

People have been bugging me to keynote a cruise, or stage a Primal cruise, for many years. It seems like a great way to connect, enjoy some expert presentations, and have a vacation experience. I’ve heard great things about Jimmy Moore’s annual Low Carb Cruise. The reason I’ve dragged my feet on this is because my vision of a cruise is all-or-nothing. If we are going to set sail on a Primal Blueprint cruise, we must take over the entire boat so that everyone you see lounging on deck or shooting skeet is a Primal enthusiast; so that nary a dinner roll is found anywhere on board the boat; so that the dining experience is one of appreciation and alignment with the ancestral model, not a decadent gorge-fest that seems to be synonymous with the industry. Then we must have a Primal experience at each port-of-call: a hike to some ruins or a mountain top, maybe a sprint workout in some sand dunes, some paddleboard lessons, or perhaps a shopping tour of the local farmers market. You know, an authentic, total immersion Primal Blueprint cruise. Now, even the junior cruise ships are large beasts, and it’s no small endeavor to reserve one with the unbreakable promise to fill it. However, I believe we as a community can fill a ship and do this thing up right. How does the Caribbean sound in February, 2014? Hey no promises, but we are working hard to make something happen and will announce when the time is right.

I’m firmly committed to making 2013 the best year of my life, and helping you do the same for yourself. I’d love to hear what you think of what I have in store for this year, and if you have any ideas or requests I’m all ears. Here’s to a great year. Grok on!

Mark 59, Carrie 57, Devyn 21, Kyle 18

Happy New Year from the Sissons!

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. Sailing on a cruise ship has never appealed to me until NOW! I will be looking forward to the details if the cruise ship plan ever comes together.

    Whew, you all have a lot on your planning plate. I wish you well in sorting it all out.

    Sharon wrote on January 1st, 2013
    • +1!! A Primal cruise sounds like heaven on earth (:

      Alyssa Luck wrote on January 1st, 2013
    • Cruise – yes!!! A primal cruise is the only kind I would consider.

      Anne wrote on January 1st, 2013
    • Happy New year and many, many more.

      Kelly Fitzsimmons wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  2. Mark, your writings and website have been, and still are, vital inspiration to me. If the mainstream doesn’t catch up, A) It won’t surprise me and, B) It won’t change the way I live. This is a no-brainer. Waiting eagerly for the new book. Thank you.

    gibson wrote on January 1st, 2013
    • +1 This is truly an inspirational blog. Mark, I look forward to all that you have to offer in 2013. Love the family pic too!

      Chika wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  3. Congratulations and THANK YOU! “The Primal Blueprint” was my resolution for 2012 and it revolutionized my life. I look forward to your new book as well as the publishing house releases. Your family is indeed the picture of health – motivating and inspiring. Thanks again and Happy New Year 2013!

    Paula wrote on January 1st, 2013
  4. +1. I went on my first cruise last year and hated it. Wanted off by the 3rd day and was stuck for the long haul. But a Primal Cruise…in Feb? Great!!!

    Nocona wrote on January 1st, 2013
  5. Mark,
    First of all, thank you for doing what you do and starting your blog! It must be so rewarding to have influenced positive change in so many lives.
    This all sounds fantastic to me, however, I have only been part of the MDA community for 5.5 short weeks so I am still immersed in researching the wealth of information that already exists on the site – truly an impressive and helpful resource.
    ( Success story in the making)
    I wish you and your family a happy, primal, 2013.

    David Churchill wrote on January 1st, 2013
    • I wish to echo David’s sentiments. I’ve been an enthusiast for only a few weeks longer than him, and my fiancee worries that I’ve jumped on a bandwagon because of how I’ve tried to learn and take after it with such zeal.

      A Primal Cruise sounds awesome! I can’t wait for the possibility of that or other Primal Cons in the future!

      And of course, a Happy New Year to you all (including Mark :P) and your families!

      Chris wrote on January 1st, 2013
  6. I just told my husband about the cruise! I know you didn’t make any promises, but it would be the best cruising opportunity out there!
    We have cruised before and since going primal. It’s not easy to stay primal on a cruise. It can be done, but you have to be choosy.
    One request: please don’t forget your little primal enthisiasts! We would definitely bring the kids!

    Beth wrote on January 1st, 2013
  7. Mark – I am looking forward to reading The Primal Connection and considered pre-ordering it. Will the special offers also apply to the Kindle version?
    Thanks and happy new year! PG

    PaleGuy wrote on January 1st, 2013
    • I’m keen to know if the special offers will apply to any pre-orders or if we have to wait to order until the 8th to take advantage of them.

      Todd S. wrote on January 1st, 2013
  8. Happy New Year and thank you for all you do! It sounds as though 2013 will be a very busy year for you!

    I would love to go on a Primal Blueprint cruise, are you kidding me?! It’s difficult to travel with celiac disease, plus eating Paleo on top of it doesn’t help matters. I’m all for any type of travel I can do that doesn’t involve stressing over which restaurants I can eat at, hours of online research to find said restaurants, packing snacks in case I get hungry and can’t find anything to eat, fitting in workouts, etc. It would be so amazing to be on a cruise ship with amazing speakers, excursions, and many like-minded people!

    Jen wrote on January 1st, 2013
  9. Can’t wait for the Primal Connection! I’ve used so much of the PB to be happy and healthy while traveling around the world. Thanks Mark for all you do, can’t wait for what’s in store for 2013.

    Eric wrote on January 1st, 2013
  10. I echo everyone’s THANKS! For all you do and have done. Count me in for your new certification! Will tie n nicely with the CCN I am pursuing.

    RenegadeRN wrote on January 1st, 2013
  11. Happy New Year Mark & Family & all the world’s Grokkers!

    If you look at Google Trends for “paleo diet”, 2012 looks like a real tipping point moment (doubling of monthly searches from Dec 2011 – Oct 2012).

    I hope the trend continues now that so many new people are on-board for Primal/paleo for 2013.

    William wrote on January 1st, 2013
  12. I’m excited about the certification! Will it be recognized for CEC’s with organizations like the American Council on Exercise?

    Sonia wrote on January 1st, 2013
    • Not out of the blocks, but we are working towards CEC crediting.

      Mark Sisson wrote on January 1st, 2013
  13. Thanks for all the effort you’ve put into this, Mark, and happy new year to you (all) too!
    I discovered this blog in 2012 and it was the first website I saw that connected all the loose ends of my own primal research (well, maybe I was a bit lazy with that :)
    My personal primal mission for 2013 is finding good suppliers of local grown, quality veggies, fruit and meat. That seems more of a challenge over here (Netherlands) than it appeared at first.
    A suggestion for improvement (maybe I’ll do this myself): starting a local support group for exchanging tips on living primal in “your” own area.

    Sebastian wrote on January 1st, 2013
  14. Happy New Year to the PB Team! After 1 year on PB (and an engagement), this has truly been the most enlightening year of my life. Thanks for everything!

    James wrote on January 1st, 2013
  15. JUST now ordered the new book. and hell yea I will go on that cruise!!!!!! mark me down as a definate for that. can’t wait!

    Peggy wrote on January 1st, 2013
  16. it’s going to take a couple decades for mainstream science and medicine to recalibrate their flawed, entrenched positions

    By that time, we’ll all have moved onto something MUCH better…Primal 2.0, perhaps?

    Wenchypoo wrote on January 1st, 2013
  17. One year and one month of Primal Blueprint has changed everything for me. No more GI issues, no more colds (bronchitis every year may be a thing of the past!). No more chronic cardio (and the guilt that goes along with not doing it). The best shape of my adult life and an annoyingly cheerful (to my friends and coworkers) outlook on life.

    *Thank you* to Mark and his staff, and to the Primal community.

    I’d pony up for cruise – but make it on a sailing ship or two! I’d be up for crewing it instead of just lounging around…

    Brad wrote on January 1st, 2013
  18. My wife and I went on our first cruise a few years ago, pre-primal. Relaxing on the boat was quite enjoyable but we had arrived at our wintertime heaviest weights, the constant food just produced a bloat and lethargy that was truly disgusting. The cruise line was Costa so the emphasis was on Italian cuisine, loads of pasta. That was the low point that spurred us to find a way to shape up. I would love to do a cruise again and do it right this time!

    Bayrider wrote on January 1st, 2013
  19. Interesting to read about a time when MDA was so tiny and quiet. I wish that I would’ve been one of those few readers back then as I would’ve spent some formative years in a better physiological state. But better for me to have discovered this (and shared it with my family and friends) in 2011 than never at all.

    Also interesting to read that you’re self-published. I have TPB, and I had no clue about this – it’s wholly professional, production-wise and editorially.

    Warm picture of your family. Happy New Year, and thanks. Thanks and blessings to all my fellow Primal readers, commenters, and contributors, as I read and learn a ton from them, as well.

    David wrote on January 1st, 2013
  20. Happy New Year, Mark & grokkers all, and congratulations on your well-deserved success… and exciting new things to come!

    We recently notice we waste a lot less food these days. Yet another Primal/paleo benefit?

    Sara in Brooklyn wrote on January 1st, 2013
  21. Thank you for all the enlightened information, recipes and lovelinks this year. This blog is by far my favourite read. To the good folks working on Mark’s Daily Apple, I wish you a Happy, Healthy and Successful 2013.

    Judy wrote on January 1st, 2013
  22. Great stuff.

    Would you consider coming to the uk to expand and influence your wisdom and approach. Possibly stretch out to other countries?

    Big ask, but you have proved you can achieve great things.

    Thanks for all that you do and all you have done

    Dennis Bergkamp 49 wrote on January 1st, 2013
  23. Great success story Mark and beautiful looking family. Question, what kid of Anthropology / Paleontology training do you had that forms the basis of your conclusions on an optimal diet / lifestyle?

    George wrote on January 1st, 2013
    • “kind” and “have”, sorry for the typos.

      George wrote on January 1st, 2013
  24. Mark,
    Thank you for everything you do to help so many people. Wishing you an incredible new year filled with health, joy, and bacon.

    Christa Crawford wrote on January 1st, 2013
  25. Cruise? Cruise!

    (Ink me in)

    Cody wrote on January 1st, 2013
  26. Mark,

    I found your website in March and am now 25 pounds lighter. The craziest thing is I am, and have always been active…I mean over the top, drive people nuts active. I could never understand why I was always on the heavy side.
    Fast forward to today, I’m the weight I should be, I’m happier, more fit, and LOVE my diet.
    I have ordered many of your books and recommend your site to anyone who will listen.

    Thank you for all you have done, and I wish you and your family a happy new year.

    Mike Mahoney wrote on January 1st, 2013
  27. And here I was thinking you were about to announce your ‘retirement’ from MDA – how wrong I was!

    Congrats on another great year and best wishes for 2013.

    Sharyn wrote on January 1st, 2013
    • Better bloody not!

      Madama Butterfry wrote on January 1st, 2013
    • I don’t see Mark ever retiring.

      Primal Toad wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  28. Wonderful projects for PB. Everyone of them. Please sign me up for a primal coach immediately. Also sign me up for a menu book as soon as it’s available.

    We’ve cruised a lot, and that will be great when I’m strong enough. Our last cruise was on a bridge theme and we never got off the ship. Bridge was more important.

    Sandra wrote on January 1st, 2013
  29. Wow so much information to soak up in 2013, thank you and congratulations on your much-deserved success.

    Deanna wrote on January 1st, 2013
  30. Cruise?!?!? Yesssss!

    Alex wrote on January 1st, 2013
  31. Omg great ideas, love that the prices for the protein shake is down. Thanks!! Looking forwards to all those great ideas. Grok on my friend!

    Rossana wrote on January 1st, 2013
  32. liking the haircut mark, and i swear i feel like the guiltiest guy in the world i’ve used all your wonderful resources to get me healthier and fitter (been primal for only 3 weeks now, look alot better) but i still havent given you a cent ha i’ll try to get something this year i promise :)

    brandon clobes wrote on January 1st, 2013
  33. I’m really impressed with what you’re hoping to offer next year! I’ve been following MDA for at least two years now (maybe three!), and it is still top on my list of favorite Paleo blogs.

    I think it’s great that you have your own publishing company now! What a great avenue for other ancestral health enthusiasts to get the word out.

    I’m also intrigued by the Primal Blueprint certification. I’ll be interested to learn more about how that works!

    And of course, the cruise. I think that is the best thing on this list! A Primal cruise would just be unbelievable.

    Mark, thank you for everything you’ve done to make a difference in the health of so many people, and I hope you have a thoroughly enjoyable 2013!

    Alyssa Luck wrote on January 1st, 2013
    • P.S. I love the pic of you and your family (:

      Alyssa Luck wrote on January 1st, 2013
  34. Really gorgeous family photo. Happy 2013, exciting times!


    Madama Butterfry wrote on January 1st, 2013
  35. Any chance of an East Coast PrimalCon, maybe with a worker bee/affiliate? There’s a huge population in the BosWash corridor.

    oxide wrote on January 1st, 2013
  36. I don’t know how you do it, Mark, but I certainly do appreciate your expertise and information. Your site also serves as a reference tool whenever hubby or I have a question about a particular food item or topic. Keep up the great work, and for the first time in my life, I’m suddenly considering going on a cruise! :)

    Unamused Mouse wrote on January 1st, 2013
  37. Thanks so much, Mark, for your totally awesome website. Sounds like 2013 will be a GREAT year! Being an active, 61-year-old, female, recreational cyclist, I didn’t see any mention of your promised book entitled “Primal Endurance”, which I have been waiting patiently for. Is it still in the works for this year with everything else you’ve got going? I really hope so.

    Happy New Year to you and your family, and thanks again!

    Charlaine wrote on January 1st, 2013
  38. Cruise!!!!!! Fabulous!

    Stephanie wrote on January 1st, 2013

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