Dear Readers

I’m getting dozens of emails from readers every day. Though I try to give personalized advice to each and every one of them, I’ve got to say, it can be a little overwhelming. What is one to do? Lucky for me, many Mark’s Daily Apple readers are highly educated or otherwise informed about all health and fitness matters, and all readers at least have anecdotal evidence to share on a vast range of topics. So this week I’m leaving it up to you!

Below you’ll find 10 random questions I’ve recently received. I (and they too I’m sure) would love for you to share your thoughts, personal stories, and know-how in the comment board. (I’ll be chiming in, too!) It’s your chance to help a fellow member of the MDA community. Thanks, everyone!


Question 1

Hello Mark!

I’d be interested to know how common it is for Primal Blueprinters to eat dairy, and cheese in particular. I know cheese is a sensible vice, but I find myself relying on it for a good deal of my total calories. Is incorporating cheese into an otherwise totally Primal diet a regular occurrence?

Thank you.


Question 2

I saw your post on spinach bread. That recipe and the others listed in the comment board were a godsend for a Primal newbie. My question is: are there any good Primal-approved corn/potato-free chip recipes floating around the net? Maybe MDA readers know of some…

Thanks, Mark!


Question 3

What do you think of food combining? Acid-alkaline balance?



Question 4

Dear Mark,

I have a family history of kidney stones (Dad, Aunt, Grandmother) and was wondering what impact a high protein diet would have on me? I read that a high protein diet contributes to kidney stone formation, as well as high-Calcium Oxalate (CaC2O4) foods such as spinach, greens, rhubarb, tea (no!), nuts (double no!) and berries (triple no!). Vitamin C is also theorized to play a role in stone formation. Calcium supplementation, drinking lots of water and taking cranberry extract is thought to reduce the risk of CaC2O4 stone formation. I have found conflicting data on ALL of these points online and in PubMed. Once and for all… whats the deal here? How can I protect myself from this?


P.S. Cant wait for the book! Signed copy raffle…?
P.P.S. As always, thank you for your amazing site and the advice you give.


Question 5


I’ve taken an interest in CrossFit. The workouts seem pretty Primal to me. But I’ve read some things about CrossFit being dangerous; that if not done with perfect form and training you are setting yourself up for injury. Thoughts?



Question 6

Hi Mark!

We know exercise for the body is good. Do you recommend facial exercises? Would that cause more fine lines and wrinkles or should that be toned like the rest of our body?

Thank you!


Question 7

Hi Mark- I enjoy your website. Lot’s of good info! I was curious your thoughts on using olive oil, flax oil, and fish oil daily? Currently, I use flax oil and olive oil. Do i get enough Omega from those or should I add the fish oil also? Best, Bob.


Question 8
HI Mark,

I am writing to you from Sydney, Australia. I absolutely love your work on this site. You provide a wealth of helpful information. I have a burning question that I have not been able to answer.

What are your thoughts on Diet soft drinks. In particular I refer to Diet Coke, Pepsi Max and Coke Zero?

I understand that they do not have an immediate effect on blood sugar (or do they?) but surely they can’t be good for you.

Your thoughts on this topic will be appreciated.

Great job on the website and thanks for all the top quality information!

Kind Regards


Question 9

I was a “bodybuilder” and fell out of it due to family and home remodeling.  I’m starting to get back to it.

I used to squat 405 for sets, bench 315 and curl 65 pd dumbells (weighing 180 at 5’8″).  I feel I was fairly strong and was doing very well.

I’m 40 now and have no intention on that path again but to pose a question from my training days.

Is it still applicable to exercise in the am opposed to pm due to fasting?  I know this was popular and wanted to know if this still helps regardless of diet regimen.

I’m glad I ran across your site as this is the path I am now choosing to diet.

You look great, keep it up!!

Thanks in advance,
Ron from Illinois


Question 10

Hi Mark,

Thanks again for maintaing such a great and resourceful blog.  I now follow your Twitter Account and look forward to purchasing your book soon.

I am a coffee and tea drinker, usually 1-2 cups of coffee a day and 2-3 cups of tea a day (green and herbal). I stick to black coffee with a pinch of sugar and my teas are unsweetened and forgo the mocha choca sugar bomb lattes and other concoctions.  I know Grok didn’t have the convenience of starbucks but what is the role of coffee and tea in the Primal diet.  Is this something that’s “accepted” as a supplement to the primal lifestyle.

Keep up the great work and I wish you luck with your book.

Best regards,


Note from Mark: How many PBers drink coffee/tea? I have a cup of coffee with a little cream and sugar on most days.

Further Reading:

All “Dear Mark” Posts

Body Composition Through the Years

Should I Get a Flu Shot?

TAGS:  calories

About the Author

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.

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