FAQs, Intro, PB 101 – whatever you want to call it this is a great place to familiarize yourself with the content found on Mark’s Daily Apple.
This is ground zero. If you’ve never heard of the Primal Blueprint, or perhaps someone sent you to this blog because you’re interested in making the jump to a healthy lifestyle, read on.
These posts explain the concept of “Primal” as well as easy ways to get started without feeling overwhelmed by so much new information:
- What is the Primal Blueprint?
- The Primal Blueprint Diagrams
- The Definitive Guide to the Primal Eating Plan
- The Primal Blueprint 8 Key Concepts
- The Context of Calories
- How to Guide: Making the Switch to Primal Living in 6 Easy Steps
- 10 Ways to “Get Primal”
- The Primal Blueprint Carbohydrate Curve
- A Primal Blueprint Sample Menu
- 10 Steps to “Primalize” Your Pantry
- Primal Substitutes for Non-Primal Foods
- Why Grains are Unhealthy
Here is the list of my Definitive Guides – thorough explanations of big health topics:
- The Definitive Guide to the Primal Blueprint
- The Definitive Guide to the Primal Eating Plan
- The Definitive Guide to Grok (plus: What Does it Mean to Grok On? And how long did Grok live, part 1 and part 2)
- The Definitive Guide to Primal Supplementation
- The Definitive Guide to Grains
- The Definitive Guide to Fats
- The Definitive Guide to Saturated Fat
- The Definitive Guide to Cholesterol
- The Definitive Guide to Stress, Cortisol and the Adrenals
- The Definitive Guide to Insulin, Blood Sugar and Type II Diabetes
- The Definitive Guide to Play
- The Definitive Guide to Conventional Wisdom
- The Definitive Guide to Low Level Aerobic Activity
- The Definitive Guide to Feeding Primal Babies
- The Definitive Guide to Fish Oils
- The Definitive Guide to Fermented Foods
- The Definitive Guide to Drinking Alcohol
- The Definitive Guide to Oils
- The Definitive Guide to Dairy
- The Definitive Guide to Sleep
- The Definitive Guide to Sugar
- The Definitive Guide to Walking
- The Definitive Guide to Traditional Food Preparation and Preservation
Who Does This?
Want to know more about your fellow readers? The following links will give you a sense of the Primal community; who else lives like Grok, pictures of what they eat, and how they succeeded.
- Grok is all over the world
- 100 Primal Breakfasts
- 100 Primal Lunches
- 100 Primal Dinners
- Families who shop like Grok, friends who picnic like Grok, people who pose like Grok, and people with Grok tattoos
- Success Stories Page (highlights and stories from some of the original Grok stars)
- Success Stories Category (all posts generated directly from readers)
- The Forum (join in a discussion, ask a question, talk to your neighbors)
- Grok in the Wild – Send in a pic!
Take the Challenge
Once you’ve got an idea of what it means to live the Primal lifestyle, consider trying it out for 30 days. The following posts layout the steps to take, and offer several real-world examples of what people did and how they felt on the challenge.
The 2012 Primal Blueprint Health Challenge
- The 2012 Primal Blueprint 21-Day Challenge Begins Now
- Action Item #1: Eliminate SAD Foods
- Action Item #2: Shop, Cook, and Dine Primally
- Action Item #3: Make the Healthiest Choices Across the Spectrum
- Action Item #4: Exercise Primally – Move, Lift, and Sprint!
- Action Item #5: Slow Life Down
To view more of the 2012 Primal Blueprint Health Challenge articles and contests, see the blog posts from September of 2012 in the Archives.
The 2011 Primal Blueprint Health Challenge
- The 2011 Primal Blueprint Health Challenge Begins Now
- How Ken Korg Got the Ball Rolling
- Ken Korg, One Week Into His 30-Day Challenge
- Ken Korg Finally Gets It
- How to Deal with Common Primal Stumbling Blocks
- How to Tackle the Mini-Challenges
To view more of the 2011 Primal Blueprint Health Challenge articles and contests, see the blog posts from September to October of 2011 in the Archives.
The 2010 Primal Blueprint Health Challenge
- The Primal Blueprint 30 Day Health Challenge
- Out with the Old and In With the New
- Dial in Your Carb Count, but Remember the 80/20 Principle
- Facing the Primal Blueprint Fitness Challenge
- Vibrant Health is About More than Food, so Engage Your Brain
The 2009 Primal Blueprint Health Challenge
- The Primal Blueprint Health Challenge (week 1)
- Primal Blueprint Health Challenge Q&A (week 2)
- The Primal Blueprint Health Challenge: Progress Report (week 3)
- The Primal Blueprint Health Challenge – Final Week! (week 4)
- The Primal Blueprint Health Challenge Contest Page
The 2008 Primal Blueprint Health Challenge
- Act “As If” – A 30-Day Primal Health Challenge
- 30-Day Primal Health Challenge Week 1 Results
- 30-Day Primal Health Challenge Week 2 Results
- 30-Day Primal Health Challenge Week 3 Results
- 30-Day Primal Health Challenge Final Results
- Low Energy on Primal Challenge?
If you’ve gotten this far and still haven’t signed up for the newsletter do so now. You’ll get subscriber-only tips, tricks and strategies to help you get Primal. You’ll also get the 92-page Primal Blueprint Fitness eBook for free.
If you’d like to learn more about Mark’s Daily Apple feeds and newsletters visit the feeds page.
Is it Primal?
You know the basics: Lean meats and vegetables are healthy, grains and sugars should be avoided. But what about everything else?
- Eggs – Yes (even raw eggs? Why not.)
- Nuts – Yes (Almonds, Walnuts, Soaking Seeds & Nuts)
- Seeds – Yes
- Coconut – Yes, in every way, shape, and form
- Coffee/Tea – Yes
- Whole Grains, Oatmeal – No
- Beans & Legumes – No
- Dark Chocolate – Occasionally
- Red Wine – Occasionally
- Artificial Sweeteners – Not really, but not terrible
- Cheese – Not officially, but…
- Soy and Whey and Protein Powders – Depends
- Chewing Gum – Depends
- Yams and Sweet Potatoes – Occasionally
- Potatoes (and Potatoes Part 2) – Not really, but…
- Rice – It’s a grain, but…
- Bone Marrow – Most definitely
Dairy – Dairy isn’t strictly Primal. After all, Grok didn’t start his day off with milk – at least not after infancy. But some forms of dairy, like yogurt, provide probiotics that help with digestion and even to some degree, nutrient absorption. Additionally, butter and heavy cream offer a high source of healthy fats. I consider cheese a “sensible indulgence,” fine in moderation. And if you do drink milk, I would suggest milk with higher fat content like whole milk rather than skim or 2%. The bottom line is dairy, for those that can tolerate it, can be enjoyed in moderation on the Primal Blueprint diet.
For a long list of Primal foods check out the Smart Fuel category.
Primal Blueprint Recipe Corner
A list of every recipe published on Mark’s Daily Apple.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even dessert. Start with the basics…
- Primal Breakfast Suggestions for People on the Go
- Snack Solutions: Primal Alternatives for Non-Primal Snacks
- Primal Substitutes for Non-Primal Foods
- Primal Blueprint Snack List
- 10 Primal Meals in 15 Minutes or Less
- 10 Classic Salad Creations
- 10 Ways to Quench a Primal Thirst
- Choose Your Own Stir-Fry Adventure
- A Primal Thanksgiving (A dozen recipes included)
- Primal Trail Food
- Primal Desserts
- A Primal Sample Menu
- Primal Preparations for the Post Apocalypse
Recipes – Individual dishes based on your favorite Primal Ingredients
- The Famous 2 Minute Salad Video
- The Eat This Today, Feel Better Tomorrow Series: 1, 2, 3, Intermittent Fasting, Special Occasions and Dessert Editions
- Beef Burgundy
- Curried Chicken Salad
- Coconut Shrimp with Chive Mayonnaise
- Moroccan Chicken Casserole
- Crab Cakes
- Kohlrabi Buffalo Wraps
- Broccoli Raab Pesto with Baked Cod
- Cherry Thyme Confit with Pork Chops
The Entire Primal Recipes Category – view every recipe ever published on Mark’s Daily Apple
DIY – Forget processed food. Make your own…
Salad Dressings, Condiments, Beef Jerky, Butter, Yogurt, and Kefir, Sauerkraut, Canned Tomatoes, Energy Bars, Salsa, Tomato Sauce, Canned Goods, Dried Fruit, Chicken Stock, Primal Bread, Muffins, Cakes, Crackers, Chips, Pizza, Pasta, Rice, Mashed Potatoes, Milk, Flour, Pancakes, Marinating Meats, Red Wine Vinegar, Cultured Butter
Ingredients and Spices – A little more flavor…
- Low Carb Sauce Thickeners
- A Visual Guide to Peppers
- 10 Spices & Ingredients That Will Make Your Meals Pop
- Salt & Pepper
Vitamins & Supplements
It is tough going Primal in the modern world. Supplementation can help…
- Grok Didn’t Take Supplements So Why Should I?
- Better Nutrient Forms
- Mulling Multivitamins
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Fish Oil vs. Krill and Flax (Fish Oil FAQ) fish allergies, and even Hemp
- Specific Nutrients: Vitamin D, Resveratrol, Vitamin K2, Vitamin B-6, Lipoic Acid, Calcium
- My Multivitamin – The Damage Control Master Formula
Primal Blueprint Fitness Corner
My post on Primal Blueprint Fitness.
Archived Workouts of the Week (WOWs).
Primal Compromises & Extreme Cardio (For the Runners)
We all know that we need to exercise to be healthy. Unfortunately, the popular wisdom of the past 40 years – that we would all be better off doing 45 minutes to an hour a day of intense aerobic activity – has created a generation of overtrained, underfit, immune-compromised exerholics. Extreme cardio isn’t the answer to optimal health. Read these posts for the whole story:
- A Case Against Cardio
- What Happens to Your Body When You Haven’t Properly Trained for Your Marathon
- Chronic Cardio and More Chronic Cardio
- Running Across the U.S.
- 8 Signs You Are Overtraining
- How to Deal with Overtraining
However, I do realize that running is a passion for many people. It is possible to live a Primal lifestyle while participating in endurance training, the key is to be smart about training and understanding the necessary compromises:
- Primal Compromises for Athletes
- Can You Be an Endurance Athlete and Primal?
- Applying the Primal Blueprint Principles to Endurance Training
While many come to MDA to slim down, others come because they believe they are too scrawny or “skinny-fat.” Is there a secret to bulking up? Is there a best way to eat in conjunction with lifting? These links provide the answers:
- How to Gain Weight and Build Muscle
- Primal Strength Training for Women
- Muscle Building and Carbs
- Unwanted Weight Loss
- Post Workout Fasting
- Body Composition
- Break Out of the Gym
- P90X and CrossFit
Awesome Workouts (For Everyone)
Pick one, mix and match, go hard, have fun.
- How-To: Proper Squat Technique
- How-To: Proper Pullup/Chinup Technique
- How-To: Proper Pushup Technique
- How-To: Proper Plank Technique
- The Grok Hang
- The Sledgehammer Workout
- The Mace Workout
- The Prison Workout
- Kettlebellin’ for Strength
- The Sandbag Workout
- Medicine Ball Workout
- Slosh Tube Workout
- Swinging Rope Training
- Mark’s Beach Sprints
- Tabata Sprints
- Sprint For Your Life
- The “Grok Crawl”
- Grok Tag
- 15-Minute Workout
- Plyometrics for the Lower Body
- Plyometrics for the Upper Body
- 10 Primal Exercises for Elder Apples
- Extreme Exercise (Parkour, free running, indoor rock climbing)
- Ultimate Frisbee
- 10 Workouts That Don’t Feel Like Workouts
All About Mark
What I eat, how I workout, and who I am.
- Body Composition Through the Years
- My Escape from Vegan Island
- My Daily Diet
- I Can’t Eat Anything! (my daily eating habits)
- My Weekly Workout Routine
- Stuff I Read (or Watch), And You Should Too
- My Favorite Primal-related Books
- This is Why I Train
- Dear Carrie (My wife answers reader questions)
Primal on the Cheap
A regular diet of grass fed beef and wild Alaskan salmon is Primal and delicious, but it may not be feasible for the poor college student or the person struggling to make next month’s rent. While health should take precedence, it’s still possible to stay Primal when the coffers are running low. Here are a few posts to help find the cheap eats.
- 99 Ways to Save Money on Food
- Healthy Eating on a Budget
- How to Eat Healthy on a Budget
- How to Eat Healthy and Save Money
- 3 More Budget Friendly Healthy Food Tips
- Cheap Meat?
- Cheap Meat Round II: “Thrift Cuts”
- The Depression Diet
- Affording Organics
- How to Stay Healthy in College
- How to Find a Cowpooling Source
Injury, Illness, & Inflammation
Slamming down fistfuls of prescription drugs may not always be the best solution.
- 10 Natural Ways to Reduce Inflammation
- Exercising Through Injury
- 10 Ways to Make it Through the Flu Season
- 9 Natural Cold and Flu Remedies
- Natural Alternatives to OTC Painkillers
- 10 Things You Don’t Know About Your Immune System
- Flu Shots
- Bodyweight Exercises and Injury Prevention
Stuck in a Rut
Overcoming common pitfalls on the Primal journey.
- Break Through Your Weight Loss Plateau
- Common Stumbling Blocks
- 80/20 Principle
- How to Increase Willpower
- The Art of Compromise
- It’s Time to “Get Real”
- 17 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight
- How to Break Bad Habits
- How to Develop Good Habits
- Excuses, Excuses, Excuses
- It’s a Journey, Not a Race
- 10 Ways to De-Stress
- Sugar Cravings
- Will Momentary Comprises Derail Your Efforts
- How to Maintain Muscle While Losing Weight
- The Psychology of Giving Up Junk Food
6 Meals a day? Not necessary.
- Is Intermittent Fasting Healthy?
- How To: Intermittent Fasting
- Why Skipping Meals and Workouts is Healthy
7-Part Series on the health benefits and methodologies of fasting:
- Why Fast? Part One – Weight Loss
- Why Fast? Part Two – Cancer
- Why Fast? Part Three – Longevity
- Why Fast? Part Four – Brain Health
- Why Fast? Part Five – Exercise
- Why Fast? Part Six – Choosing a Method
- Why Fast? Part Seven – Q&A
Sleep better, sleep longer.
- The Definitive Guide to Sleep
- How to Improve Your Sleep Posture
- Does It Matter How Grok Slept?
- Sound Cues and Circadian Rhythms
- Circadian Rhythms: Zeitgebers, Entrainment, and Non-Photic Stimuli
- How Light Affects Our Sleep
Though not in any way ideal, it is possible to live Primally without eating meat.
- Vegetarian Protein Possibilities
- Alternative to Grains: Quinoa
- 44 Finger Lickin’ Recipes for Vegans and Carnivores Alike
- The Vegetarian Myth
- In Defense of Meat part 1, and part 2
- How to Go Primal with Food Allergies and Restrictions
So you’ve gone Primal, now if you could only convince your spouse to do the same! The following posts cover topics such as discussing the PB with your family, introducing your child to Primal living, and how the Primal Blueprint fits into our modern culture and environment.
- Family Dinner (discussing the PB with your family)
- How to Tell Friends About the Primal Lifestyle
- Diet Change and Partner Dynamics
- How to Cope With an Unsupportive Partner
- 10 Simple Steps to Motivate a Friend
- Prodding Parents to Get Healthy
- You vs. The Mob
- How to Politely Pass on Dessert
- Raising Healthy Children
- Practical Advice for Parents
- Parenting Dilemma: Kids and Weight
- Pregnancy Diet Tips
- Is Living Primal Good for the Environment?
- How to Eat Healthy in High School
- Top 8 Most Common Reactions To Your Grain-Free Diet
- Top 7 Most Commons Reaction To Your High-Fat Diet
The Barefoot Revolution
Take off your shoes…
- How to Strengthen Your Bare Flat Feet
- A Sea Change Coming to Wash Your Shoes Away
- Vibram FiveFingers
- Jumping on the Barefoot Bandwagon
- Barefoot Alternatives
Skin Care & Personal Products
Walking the line between chemical free and zit free.
- How to Get that Natural Glow
- Primal Advice for Acne Sufferers
- Primal Personal Products?
- Cold Water Therapy
- Hand Sanitizers
- Sun Exposure and Glass
Common Health Scams, Myths, and Overhyped Nonsense
Perhaps the crunchy hipster at your Whole Foods Market is raving about a “blood type” diet, or your friend is pushing you to buy a bottle of his noni juice. These posts sort the real from the ridiculous.
- Top 10 Health Marketing Buzz words
- Top 10 Craziest Diet Fads
- 10 Unnecessary, Worthless, or Dangerous Exercises
- The 10 Dumbest Drugs
- Weighing the Evidence: Science and Anecdote in Nutrition Studies
- The Value of Lab Values
- Supplement Scams: Colloidal Silver, Glyconutrients, Homeopathy, Colon Cleansing
- Metabolic Typing (like blood type diets)
- Diet Comparisons: Raw Foodies, The Zone Diet, Vegans, Juicing, The Difference Between Paleo and Primal, Atkins Diet, Low Fat Diets (Ornish, MacDougall, Pritikin), Metabolic and Blood Typing Diets, Paleo Diet (Redux), South Beach Diet, Vegetarian Diet, Zone Diet (Redux), The Biggest Losers, Feast or Famine Diet, Diet as Dogma, Zero Carb Diet, and the Taco Bell Diet?!
Other Popular Posts
The best of the rest.
- Should We Allow Drugs in Sports?
- 10 Ways to Forage in a Fast Food Nation
- Safe Cooking Temperatures
- To Circumcise or Not to Circumcise?
- Deconstructing Health Care in America – A Modest Proposal
- Are Humans Hard Wired For A Limited Social Circle?
- Primal Eating Plan for Cats & Dogs
Didn’t find what you are looking for or are ready to graduate to advanced courses?… Use the search field to find more information on your topic of interest, browse our categories by visiting our archives page, or scroll through the title of every article ever published on Mark’s Daily Apple on our site map page.