Greetings, everyone! I can’t believe it’s time for another annual preview post… It seems like my Jan 1, 2013, “Make 2013 Your Best Year Yet ” post just went live. I remember feeling excited and a bit overwhelmed at the announcement of our grand ambitions to expand the movement one year ago, but pretty much all the endeavors mentioned at that time have been actualized in a similar shape and form (you know what they say about stating your intentions clearly and specifically…). We’ve expanded PrimalCon  to other cities, published some acclaimed books (Primal Blueprint Publishing now has 15 titles in print  – and more to come in 2014, see below), have numerous expert presenters spreading the word at Primal Transformation Seminars across the country, and conducted three life-changing luxury retreats with Vanessa and Adam Lambert in Malibu. Finally, my visions of a Primal cruise have morphed into the first-ever PrimalCon Vacation  at the five-star Dreams Tulum resort on the Mayan Riviera just several weeks away.
Last week I shared some of my plans for Mark’s Daily Apple blog posts this year , and you responded with enough ideas to keep me busy for a decade. I’ll be busy researching and writing this year, but I’ve got some other plans up my sleeve as well.
Here’s a quick rundown of my grand plans for 2014:
The Primal Blueprint Podcast – Now Available!
Many of you have been requesting a Primal Blueprint podcast for years, and now it’s a reality. I have two podcasts available right now on our brand new Primal Blueprint Podcast blog :
It’s also available on our iTunes channel  where you can subscribe to automatically get every podcast we publish. Subscribe today so you never miss an episode. I’ll also alert you on MDA when a new podcast is available. We will publish many more episodes with me and other guests from the ancestral health community, so stay tuned!
One of things I’m most excited about with this podcast is interacting with you and answering your questions. To that end, we’ve installed a cool new tool called SpeakPipe so you can record a question for me and then hear the answer on a future podcast. Visit the Episode #1 link above to submit your question today. (I’ll keep the SpeakPipe widget available until we’ve received an adequate number of questions, so act fast!)
(Related to this, you may notice that PrimalBlueprint.com  looks a little different. We went live with a new site design and shopping cart just this week, so it’s still in a beta phase of sorts and the checkout process might be a little different from what you are used to. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, please let us know via this contact form . We appreciate any feedback you have. Also, for technical and security reasons, customer accounts didn’t make the move to the new version of the site, so if you had one and would like one, you will need to create a new one. Or, you can check out as a guest without creating an account. It’s up to you!)
PrimalCon Vacation Tulum
- John Durant: Author of The Paleo Manifesto  and NYC’s favorite caveman
- Ben Greenfield: Author of Beyond Training: Mastering Endurance, Health and Life , Ironman triathlete, coach, and noted speaker
- Keris Marsden and Matt Whitmore: Authors of The Paleo Primer  and proprietors of the popular Fitter London  fitness and lifestyle training center
- Alessandra Wall, PhD: A clinical psychologist and CrossFit studette from San Diego, she’ll discuss the physical, emotional and cognitive challenges people face when trying to make diet and lifestyle habit changes.
Check out the PrimalCon Vacation Tulum  page for more information on our newly added presenters, new video highlights from our existing presenters, and more details about the fabulous vacation we have planned. We’ve just negotiated our final room package with the rapidly filling resort and we only have 39 rooms and suites remaining. At this time have secured a block of several dozen fabulous Garden view rooms and suites – adjacent to the lush interior gardens and meandering swimming pools. Carrie and I stayed in this section of the resort during our site visit in 2013 and the accommodations were absolutely marvelous. Several folks have told me that some cheap flights are popping up on Kayak.com  and Skyscanner.com  for service to Cancun from all over North America and Europe. If you have any questions about this event, please call 888-774-6259 or email  us so we can help you get to Tulum March 1st!
The Primal Advantage
I’m overjoyed to announce an alliance with one of the brightest stars in the evolutionary health movement, Dr. Cate Shanahan. If you somehow don’t know who Cate is, she is a family practice physician from Napa, CA, author (with her husband Luke) of two extremely popular books, Deep Nutrition  and Food Rules , and is also Director of Nutrition for the Los Angeles Lakers’ PRO (Performance, Recovery, Orthogenesis) Nutrition program, where she prepares customized menu plans for the Lakers during their travels and consults one-on-one with some of the most exceptional athletes in the world, including NBA legend Kobe Bryant, to help optimize metabolic function.
For the first time, you can have an actual Primal/paleo friendly doctor to consult with directly about your diet, blood profiles and custom action plan to ensure health and peak performance in the future. Dr. Cate is poised to serve anyone from those with disease risk factors to athletes looking for a competitive edge, like her Laker players. While only the lucky few have progressive-minded health professionals to utilize in their own community, Dr. Cate is poised to serve everyone via telephone and email consultations, and through our new partnership with WellnessFx that enables you to get bloodwork at a local lab and share the results with Cate. This program is set to launch in February so stay tuned for extensive details and enrollment information.
Primal Blueprint Expert Certification
I know, this item was listed in the 2013 coming soon post! Well guess what – it’s really here and it’s worth the wait. In consultation with an impressive team of health and medical experts, I’m proud to say the finishing touches are being applied to the Primal Blueprint Expert Certification for release in February. This is a comprehensive online course that will give you the advanced knowledge and insights you need to help others embrace the Primal lifestyle.
The coursework consists of videos and written material that are aligned with the 8 Key Concepts and 5 Action Items of the Primal Blueprint 21 Day Total Body Transformation . Each of the 13 “modules” that comprise the course provide extensive detail on these Key Concepts and Action Items, allowing you to fully grok and clearly communicate the how’s and why’s of going Primal. At the end of each module is a written exam (multiple choice and true/false) to confirm your knowledge of the subject matter. This course is ideal for fitness professionals looking to enhance their offering to clients, but is also a great experience for Primal enthusiasts who simply want to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the Primal Blueprint core principles and major talking points. This program is open to everyone – no professional credentials necessary. Expect the coursework to be on a par with an upper division college course, but explained in an easy to understand manner if you don’t have a scientific background. The exams are rigorous, but if you struggle we will work with you to ensure that you pass and receive your certification.
PrimalCon and Transformation Retreats
We recently opened ticket sales for PrimalCon Oxnard , our fifth annual event at the Mandalay Beach Resort on September 25-28, 2014. And the previously leaked rumors about an early summertime PrimalCon East Coast event are picking up steam – expect an announcement later this month!
With the great success of the Primal Blueprint Transformation Retreats  (formerly known as Luxury Retreats) in 2013, Vanessa Lambert has restructured her role at Primal Blueprint to focus exclusively on ramping up these events in 2014 (and maybe even adding another location besides Malibu). We are finalizing plans for regularly occurring weekend retreats throughout the 2014 year, with the first one scheduled for April 10-13 in Malibu . Stay tuned for details on the Transformation Retreat calendar.
Primal Play Day
I know that not everyone can make it out to a full-on weekend retreat, so we’re kicking off a brand new event next month called Primal Play Day . Think of it as the best of PrimalCon jam packed into a single day. Each Play Day will start out with a 2-hour meet and greet, and hot topic discussion. Then there will be guided movement and mobility sessions, followed by a Primal picnic, and then an afternoon of paddle boarding and kayaking in the Pacific Ocean. This event is also led by our expert coaches Adam and Vanessa Lambert, and is designed for any fitness/skill level. The first Primal Play Day is scheduled for Saturday, February 15, in beautiful Malibu, CA, and is limited to 50 spots. So come out next month, learn a few things, move your body, play, have fun, eat some delicious food, and do it all with your fellow Primal enthusiasts.
Primal Blueprint Publishing
We have several books in the pipeline for 2014 release. I’ve mentioned many of these back in this May post , and we are learning that great books indeed take their sweet time to get to the finish line. Dr. Ronesh Sinha’s book, The South Asian Health Solution , is on the presses right now (pre-order available at amazon.com) and it’s an absolute masterpiece. We joke that it’s a shame this 400-page comprehensive health directive that blends primal principles with respected medical evidence and treatment methods is directed only toward South Asians, but this is an extremely high risk population that needs help. Dr. Ron’s success at his unique practice in the San Francisco Bay Area is quickly turning heads of even the most stodgy conventional wisdom docs – he’s getting folks off statins and into safe blood result ranges with Primal-style dietary modifications. He and his clinic partner won the 2013 Silicon Valley Business Journal Excellence in Healthcare award for their breakthrough results.
Leslie Klenke is putting the finishing touches on her masterpiece, The Primal Blueprint Teen , which she has created from cover to cover as a master graphic designer and first-time author. Doug McGuff’s Primal Prescription is really rounding into shape (mid-year release planned), and will get you thinking twice about the illusion of safety and security presented by the mainstream medical and pharmaceutical system. Carrie has been making great progress on Primal Woman, and while I’m only allowed to read brief snippets at this point (seriously!), I’m confident that this book will not disappoint – and will quite likely attract a significant number of readers from outside the ancestral health community.
With Primal Endurance, I have a ton of content and am poised to help revolutionize the conventional wisdom about endurance training and competition (along with guys like Ben Greenfield  and Dr.’s Phinney and Volek ), but I’m also taking my time as the science evolves so quickly. Every week, there is more to consider and ponder to get the message streamlined and understandable enough to help convert the millions of sugar dependency athletes to a more primal approach to training.
We also have a really cool children’s book in the works from our award-winning graphic designer and video whiz Jan ée Meadows , and a groundbreaking book on Play from the world’s most playful human, PrimalCon superstar Darryl Edwards .
We are making a strong push to offer audiobooks for nearly all of our titles in 2014. My wife Carrie is a huge audiobook consumer, and we’ve heard from many readers who say they have minimal time to read a complete print book, but plenty of time on commutes or during leisurely hikes to listen to audio books. For your convenience, we will be distributing our audio titles via popular traditional channels like Amazon’s Audible.com and iTunes, as well as directly from PrimalBlueprint.com . Our first two audio book releases will be the original Primal Blueprint (an abridged version read by yours truly) and an unabridged recording of The Primal Connection.
Primal Blueprint eBooks
We are also going to release an assortment of moderately priced eBooks of various lengths as a great outlet for many projects that might not be suitable for a full-scale print book, but are topics of great interest. We have four cool eBooks coming in the first quarter of 2014 – they’ll be available on Amazon.com for Kindle download. We have Andy Culbertson’s Picture Real Food, an incredibly creative, graphic intensive resource guide suitable for printout/handouts on meal planning, shopping and health benefits of Primal/paleo eating. We have a compilation of Primal Blueprint Success Stories, with inspiring photos and practical tips from people who walk their talk. And I wrote short form eBooks on two of my favorite topics, how (and why) to transition safely to a barefoot-intensive lifestyle, and how (and why) to optimize your vitamin D exposure with strategic sun exposure, supplementation and food choices.
As always, I look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions on what we have in store for an awesome 2014! Thanks for your interest and continued support.