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. Happy New Year Mark! I have already preordered the Primal Connection and now you mention a cruise??? I am so excited, can’t wait to hear more about the cruise! And for the record, you and your family are surely the best looking family on the planet ! Just sayin’ !!!

    Janine wrote on January 1st, 2013
  2. I’m interested in the one on one email support! Will be watching for more details.

    Joanna wrote on January 1st, 2013
  3. Happy New Year to you and your family, Mark! I am anxious to read your upcoming Primal Connection book, as I am hoping it might help me come to grips with a recent death in our family, which has been personally devastating. The PB Certification also sounds wonderful, and I look forward to the upcoming course.

    Bob Connor wrote on January 1st, 2013
  4. Wow! Everything sounds very exciting! I can hardly wait to learn more about the education program and the cruise as well as the one-on-one coach.

    Something I’ve been meaning to contact you about, Mark, is some way for folks to meet each other. Maybe something on the forums state by state so folks stuck in small towns or neighborhoods can find other Groks to support each other in person. I’ve heard of meet-up but it costs $$ and is focused on large cities.

    Mark, you are the Man!! Thank you so very much for what you do for those of us who seek.

    W. J. Purifoy wrote on January 1st, 2013
  5. Hi Mark,

    Hello from Australia!
    Everything you outlined sounds wonderful- you certainly deserve to do well with all your new ventures. Your Sauces, Dressings and Toppings book is amazing and I can’t wait to try more recipes. Good luck and if I ever start a blog about primal living, your blog will be recommended.

    Take care and Thankyou.

    Di wrote on January 1st, 2013
  6. My goodness! You have a TON going on! I love that your little blog has grow so well for you! (and for us!)

    I think I could handle a cruise if it was primal too! The idea of stuffing my face with mass produced white food blahness and going shopping for trinkets made in China at every port sounds horrible. But eating primal goodness and going for hikes and sand dune sprints? Count me in!

    I also love the meal planning idea! I’ve used the meal plans from PaleoPlan and I mostly like them! There are just two things I would ask. Make them for one person (or be able to select for the number of people maybe?) And make sure EVERY recipe says how many servings it is supposed to make. Trying to figure out if I should half a recipe or only make a quarter and then adjust what that does to the (non-editable I might add) shopping list was awkward and is part of the reason I DON’T use PaleoPlan any more.

    Happy 2013 and thanks for all the hard work that you and your crew do!

    Noctiluca wrote on January 1st, 2013
    • Completely agree with the one person meal plan issues. Tables for one are hard to find!

      Robert P. wrote on January 1st, 2013
  7. I’ve only just started down the Paleo Path in an effort to deal with the physiological impacts of PTSD & Hyperparathyroidism. I can’t tell you how grateful I am for all your commitment, support & great resources for folks.

    Thanks ever so much for how you are serving the global community.

    Reba wrote on January 1st, 2013
  8. Mark, I love you and your blog but I have to ask… WHY does your Primal Fuel have sugar in it!?

    GiGi wrote on January 1st, 2013
    • To make it taste good is the short answer. It’s a miniscule amount of sugar, but it makes a big difference in the taste. I don’t see it as a compromise in any way. Have you tried Primal Fuel, GiGi?

      Mark Sisson wrote on January 1st, 2013
      • Actually I haven’t because I don’t allow myself to eat sugar :( – Any chance you will be coming out with a Primal Fuel that doesn’t contain sugar?

        GiGi wrote on January 2nd, 2013
        • Haha oh Gigi. I am surprised I came across your comment. It’s hardly any sugar at all. You need to not be so strict! It will do you NO harm.

          Perhaps I’ll order it and have it shipped to your place before I land in LA sometime soon!

          Primal Toad wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  9. Hi Mark,

    Your promise to excellent health and fitness looks too good to be true yet so much believable. I am like a kid in the candy store, scouting for the relevant blogs, as health and fitness has always been my favorite topic.

    I think you will compel me to sign up for one of your fitness programs.

    Anon wrote on January 1st, 2013
    • Believe it, anon! Look no further – MDA is the best source of solid information and resources you can find. Mark’s guidance has my life and those of thousands of others!

      Chica wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  10. So, I totally love the meal planning idea Mark! Just one thought…

    Will we be able to adapt it to our personal IF schedules? I eat just once a day myself and if the service won’t allow me to be able to specify that, then it’s kind of pointless for me.

    Also, I’m assuming the meal plans will be based on the foods available to us? That we, say, provide a list of our weekly groceries that they use to plan the meals? Not all of us have access to the awesome, exotic ingredients that you often mention!

    Drumroll wrote on January 1st, 2013
    • Yes, you’ll be able to adapt the meal plan to your IF patterns.

      No, the meal plan won’t be based off of your weekly grocery list. Rather, we provide you the recipes and meal plan, and the shopping list to go with them.

      And no, we won’t be using exotic ingredients – only Primal ingredients that are easy to forage.

      Mark Sisson wrote on January 1st, 2013
  11. I am so totally down for the cruise!!!! And besides that awesomeness, I am really looking forward to the meal plan, the one on one email and the the Primal Connection. I am flying solo in this endeavor, so cooking for one is a bit challenging and I’m the kind of person that likes to be told what to eat and when, from a person I trust of course! Thanks to Mark and all the Worker Bees that have made this a great home for all of us Groks in the making. Cheers and Happy New Year!

    Robert P. wrote on January 1st, 2013
  12. I have been an avid reader of your blog since 2006, although I haven’t posted much. I came across it about 2 or 3 months after it went live when I started googling the paleo lifestyle. In those years I have seen paleo/primal become more and more mainstream. In 2006 it was difficult to find any advice on what to eat, when you wanted to go back to basics, so your blog became invaluable. Look at the stream of paleo books available today. Some people have become fanatical, which harms the movement. Mark, you have always been the voice of reason always looking at both the pros and cons of eating the primal way. I live in Holland and here it is only now starting to pick up. There are only a few paleo/primal blogs and books in the Dutch language are only starting to appear. No way near the explosion that has happened in the US.
    I wish everyong a Happy New Year and hope that 2013 will be a fantastic year for the community on both sides of the pond.

    Jo tB wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  13. Will the certification be recognised by the Secretary of Education?

    thediva wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  14. Hi Mark and thanks for all the great information! I’m definitely planning to get your certification. When will it be available (roughly)?

    Hunter Meadows wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  15. This all sounds amazing! I cant wait to read the new book and having one to one sounds great, so does meal plans and the cruise, after an indulgent christmas im looking forward to getting back primal for 2013! Grok on

    Victoria woozley wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  16. Oh my gosh, a cruise?! It’d be amazing. If I could get a friend to join with me (and share a bed/room), I’d be all for it. I’m sure my boyfriend would not be interested, except if there were plenty of activities that weren’t centered around lectures and such. Leisurely stuff, like swimming & hiking & anything at port, would be great for both of us, and he’d probably enjoy the food (and I’d be thrilled to keep him wheat-free for a few days).

    Can’t wait to see if you can arrange an East coast (BOSTON?!?!) PrimalCon. I’d love to be able to pop over to events.

    Tasha wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  17. Congrats on your followers and you have some good gems in the information that you provide.

    A friend has been on Paleo for the past two years and it has really caught on with me. I’m excited to see the concept grow even bigger in the next year. Until then, I’ll be making my buffalo fried chicken and pancakes with almond flour and loving it!

    Thanks for everything!

    Stephen Kemper wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  18. We went on our first cruise (to Alaska) this past September, and managed to stay primal. Yep, it was disgusting to see people on scooters troughing continuously at the buffet, but we came to ignore it and be choosy about our meal options, and go on hikes in ports, and run all over the boat (we’d regularly race each other from points A to B, which produced strange looks ha ha), and always took the stairs. After 2 weeks, we’d actually dropped a couple of pounds! I think a Primal Cruise would be fun!!

    nbongo wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  19. I completely want to go on this cruise! Please make it happen!

    libbyDee wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  20. Oh how I’d love to come to Malibu!! And take those online certification courses! YAY! The cruise sounds superb as well. I wouldn’t be able to save up the money for the first round or two of these great events, but I would certainly make it a point to save for one in the near future. I can’t wait to see what 2013 has in store for the community at MDA.

    Jenn wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  21. Everything you have planned for 2013 sounds amazing Mark! Just what I need to keep me going on this new path. And a cruise sounds awesome…would love to make it over there…fingers crossed :-) Here’s to a fantastic Primal 2013!

    Karen wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  22. Love the motivating words to kick off the New Year! Great Picture of the Sisson Family also!

    Alex wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  23. Question about Primal fuel: is it appropriate for a person who,is lactose intolerant?

    Our famly loves the primal lifestyle. It was just what we needed to bring us closer together.

    Thank you and all the best for your adventurous New Year!

    Catherine wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  24. Yes Mark! I was not sure if you were still trying to plan a cruise or not. If I did not hear anything about this in 2013 then I was going to begin planning one myself. It would not be a big enough group to take over the entire boat but I was going to get a group to go nonetheless. But now I just need to spread the word that you are actually planning on this and how it’s going to be the most kick ass vacation ever!


    Primal Toad wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  25. Mark, I’ve been primal now for 8 months,
    and never felt better, or loved my food more! The cruise sounds great! Loved
    your column today…thanks so much for
    the knowledge, the inspiration, the dedication to health and great lifestyle!
    You’re a blessing to so many!

    Vera Topinka wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  26. I am looking forward to the meal plans. I currently subscribe to emeals and was thrilled that they began offering paleo meal plans about the same time I began converting my family to primal. What I would love to see in addition to dinner plans are lunch and snack ideas especially for toddlers and small children. I am juggling very active teenage boys, a pre-teen carb addicted girl and toddlers. I am really struggling with snacks and lunch time for the younger set because pasta and sandwiches were our staples before. They are just not enjoying salads as much as I do.

    Mother wrote on January 2nd, 2013
  27. All sounds fantastic, wih I could get to Malibu from the UK on my rubbish salary!
    Only thing is…. I hope the Primal Blueprint work doesn’t end up like an infomercial, just continually advertising itself in less than natural ways.

    Olivia wrote on January 3rd, 2013
  28. Great to see Certification being introduced in 2013!

    It would also be good to see more Primal ‘Family’ resources.

    Damian wrote on January 3rd, 2013
  29. What a beautiful family!

    Elizabeth Good wrote on January 3rd, 2013
  30. I so down for the cruise in February 2014!

    Max Gazzara wrote on January 3rd, 2013
  31. I can’t wait for the meal plan – did very well on my own when I wasn’t working but having a hard time now that I’m back to working tons of hours a day/week!! Just make my life easy, that’s what I need!!

    Barb wrote on January 3rd, 2013
  32. Thank you so much for all of the info and inspiration. My brother and I love your blog and look forward to learning and doing stuff we read on here. Rock on and much love from Chicago.

    Otto Rascon wrote on January 4th, 2013
  33. Mark, thank you so much! I have been following your blueprint since Sept. 1, 2012 and I have changed in so many positive ways. I’ve lost over 45 pounds so far and I am healthier and happier than I’ve been in years.
    Wishing you and all my fellow PBers a Happy and Healthy 2013!

    Pat wrote on January 5th, 2013
  34. Paleo people need to check out Dr Kate Rheaume-Bleue & her book “Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox.” Weston Price called K2 Activator X. Grass fed beef and dairy has it but grain fed is deficient. With out adequate K2, the body can use calcium to build bones in the arteries! Can we spell plaque? Or heart attack! With K2 the calcium gets directed to the bones where it belongs. Dr Kate will be guest on 2 hour Deanna Spingola show on RBN Fri. January 11th. U can call in and ask questions.

    2ndSamuel710 wrote on January 7th, 2013

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