I do a gift list every year on Mark’s Daily Apple, and each time I try to put a fresh spin on it. Last year, each of the 10 Primal Blueprint Laws got a corresponding gift. Two years back, I separated the gifts into stocking stuffers and bigger ticket items. This year, since it’s getting to be that time, and lots of you have waited til the last minute, I’ve put together a list of last-minute gift ideas. These are items that, if ordered by today, should arrive (at least in the continental US) by the 24th of December. Unlike most last-minute gifts, these are actually legitimately good and useful items that any Primal (or otherwise health conscious) person would be happy to receive. And you don’t have to wade through the frightening morass of desperate humanity that frequents brick-and-mortar stores in the days leading up to the holidays.
Oh, and just because these are presumed to be gift ideas for other people, don’t think you can’t treat yourself to a gift or two. First up, I’ve got a special Primal Fuel holiday announcement to make…
Back when I first released Primal Fuel, I pledged to lower the price when and where I could (without cutting any corners on quality) through volume sales and larger ingredient buys. With the fabulous testimonials and a significant number of you on autoship, I’m pleased to announce that I’m now able to reduce the price by a further $10. Hopefully, with this price reduction, the number of MDA readers who already enjoy and rely on Primal Fuel will grow even larger. After all, the Primal Blueprint is not about recreation or reenactment of ancient life. Grok isn’t the final word; he’s just the starting point. Ultimately, the Primal Blueprint is about taking cues from evolutionary biology and modern clinical research to arrive at the best place possible. And Primal Fuel is simply a delicious, convenient way to obtain healthy coconut fat and gold standard whey protein without going overboard on the carbohydrates.
In addition to the price reduction, I’ve also put together a special limited-time offer. Through the end of the year, going on automatic delivery (which you can cancel at anytime) for Primal Fuel will get you a free copy of The Primal Blueprint 90-Day JournalAND a free copy of The Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation. And you’ll receive the Primal Fuel Blender Bottle for free as well. This is the perfect way to help you or a lucky gift recipient get a jump start on 2013 health and fitness goals. Just add the Primal Fuel to your shopping cart through this link and both books will automatically be added to your order at no additional cost. (For new Primal Fuel automatic delivery orders only.)
Note: If you are already on automatic delivery for Primal Fuel your future shipments will be dropped to the new $69 price. Happy holidays!
In spite of its rich full-spectrum vitamin E (tocopherols and tocotrienols) and CoQ10 contents, red palm oil gets a bad rap sometimes. It has a funny taste that’s difficult to hide, so it has to be a feature of whatever dish you’re making. Plus, the most common source of palm oil – Southeast Asia – is plagued with sustainability issues. Natural forests are destroyed to make way for the palm plantations, and those forests are home to some of the most intelligent, sensitive, awesome great apes on the planet: orangutans. More than the other apes, I’ve always been partial to orangutans. They seem like wise men of the forest, solitary saintly hirsute figures that regard you from their tree-top nests and make you reevaluate your own life. They’re also being killed in droves because of palm oil, which has turned a lot of people off from a particularly nutritious source of fat. Luckily, Omni palm oil comes from Ghana, a nation without orangutans and without palm oil sustainability issues.
Imagine if you were transported back to the upper Paleolithic with an iPad in tow (this is not a Terminator-style time machine, so you can keep your clothes and belongings). Assuming you could still get service from the future, you’d be like a god. You could predict lunar and solar events, post to Primal message boards about what paleo man really ate, show them funny cat videos, and take sweet photos of real life Groks in hunting poses using hip Instagram filters. You’d be like the Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, only more so. Of course, you’d probably also disrupt the heck out of their sleep. You’d all be crowded around the blue glow of the screen as the campfire flames died out, ignored and forgotten. Melatonin production would halt, and you’d have created an entire tribe of groggy-morninged night owls with severe insulin resistance. My point? Technology is great, but it comes with a price. If someone who’s got you scouring your mind looking for the perfect gift insists on using their iPad before bed, the least you can do is buy them a filter that blocks the hormone-disrupting blue light.
Forget organic versus conventional: for sheer nutritional content, nothing beats wild plants. Being able to go on a hike and spot all the edible plants, herbs, and other things that grow is empowering. I can’t do it, mind you, but it’s got to be a helpful skill to have. It’s also nice not to have to kowtow to the whims of those overbearing, fascistic farmers market vendors (kidding) and instead be able to go “shopping” for the freshest greens money can’t buy whenever you want. This particular guide – Nature’s Garden – to wild edible plants comes highly recommended, so give it to someone who you think will really utilize its knowledge.
Put aside, for a moment, the awkward product name that looks like it was spawned in an SEO guy’s nether regions (“I know, let’s call ’em Exercise Fitness Rings!”), and consider that gymnastic rings are perhaps the best all purpose upper body strengthening tool around. If you don’t believe me, find a set and try to do a few dips. Simply holding yourself up at the top of the dip position is surprisingly tough for beginners. You’ll shake and tremble and quake up there, suddenly forced to reckon with your own body weight and a floppy, ever-moving base of “support.” That’s the thing about rings: you have to create the base of support. It’s not attached to the ground. It’s not made of steel. It’s suspended from two dangly cords that simply will not stop moving around and taking advantage of every tiny shift of imbalance you provide. Plus, you can take these portable rings everywhere you go for a fantastic workout.
I may be biased, but this is an objectively great deal. You get all three Primal Blueprint cookbooks PLUS a Primal Blueprint Apron, a newly-designed Primal Blueprint Poster, and a Primal Blueprint Shopping List and Pen, all for less than the cost of the three cookbooks. This is perfect for anyone who’s ever asked, “How can you eat this way? What do you even eat?” Three books of full-color photos and descriptive recipes will provide a quick and timely answer.
Feel free to keep the freebies and distribute the cookbooks as you see fit.
As I’ve mentioned before, herbs don’t just add flavor to dishes; they are antioxidants in their own right, protecting fragile fats and reducing the formation of carcinogenic compounds during cooking. Only problem is, fresh herbs seem to go bad really quickly, far before you’re able to use them all. You spend ten bucks on some sage, rosemary, thyme, and tarragon for a specific recipe, and you only end up using a couple tablespoons of each. Such a waste. Sure, you could keep dried herbs on hand, but those aren’t as good as fresh. If your giftee’s got a brown thumb but still wants fresh herbs at arm’s reach, the herb terrarium is a no-frills, impossible-to-mess-up option. Plus, the extra seeds mean they can keep growing more herbs once the original ones have died out. They get enough terrarium experience under their belt and starting a real garden shouldn’t be much of a stretch. “Teach a man to fish….”
Many of you guys know you should be making stews with tougher, cheaper cuts, doing bone broth, and finally using those oxtails you’ve had in your freezer for months, but those are all considerably demanding of your time. You’d love to be able to hang around in the kitchen for hours, taking the time to lovingly prepare difficult dishes, but you probably don’t have the time to do it. Modern life demands much of us, and some people adapt by eating fast food, cooking frozen meals, and generally letting their nutrition fall the wayside. But not MDA readers. You guys want the best of both worlds: you want to cook amazingly nutritious meals while still retaining enough free time to handle the demands of a busy life. Enter pressure cookers. Pressure cookers cut cooking time by reducing the boiling point without applying ungodly amounts of heat (less than crockpots on the low setting, in fact). Pressure cookers also preserve nutrients. This particular model comes highly regarded.
We often like to consider ourselves artists in the kitchen who can’t be bothered with recipes or temperatures. We just “go by feeling,” or something like that. But you know what? Sometimes knowing for sure what’s going on in the oven is smart. Sometimes knowing the exact temperature of the interior of that roast or that turkey will result in better tasting food. It’s not as sexy, but it’s far more reliable. This particular cooking thermometer interacts with your iOS device, so you can leave the kitchen and your phone will beep when it’s ready. Just don’t put the phone in the oven.
If your giftee doesn’t have an iPhone or other iOS device, this old standby works pretty well, too.
Everybody loves a good massage administered by a competent masseuse, but those are generally one-shot deals. You get your massage and you’re done. If you want another, you’ll have to pay for it. That can add up. However, just because you aren’t trained in massage and physical therapy doesn’t mean you can’t help yourself out with the assistance of a couple simple tools. It won’t be as effective as a professional working on you, but it’s certainly better than wallowing in your own pain and accepting poor tissue quality. The RAD Roller is a more concentrated form of foam roller. It hits hard to reach spots, like the hamstrings, that the foam roller can’t effectively hit. Plus, if you’re unsure of how to address your tissue issues, the RAD Roller comes with a PDF guide showing you the basics. Then, once you mash your tissues and iron out any tough spots, you can move on to the VooDoo Floss Bands for improving movement quality. Wrap a body part, like the quads or the ankles, and move. Squat, or lunge, or just put that body part through a full range of motion with the floss bands compressing the tissues. Then, remove the bands and see how much more fluid the same movement has become. Floss bands also help push lymphatic fluid away from injured tissues, thereby improving the healing process.
Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.