October 28 2014

G’Day, Australia – The Primal Hotbed

By Mark Sisson
109 Comments

Aussie thongsSomething beautiful is happening across the Pacific Ocean. For years, I’ve sensed a strange Primal energy coming off the waves that pound the Malibu coastline, carried across the water from a distant nation whose people have embraced ancestral health and fitness more vociferously than any other. The citizens of this country read my blog, attend PrimalCons, and take the PB Expert Certification course in disproportionate numbers relative to their population. A revolutionary chain of Primal cafes – THR1VE – has sprung up around the major cities, offering breakfast and lunch bowls, healthy smoothies and coffee blends, and to-go fare whose ingredients you don’t have to second guess. The climate ranges from gorgeous coastline to tropical rainforest to expansive desert to Mediterranean mildness, promoting, enabling, and basically shoving nature appreciation down their collective throats. And that universal bellwether of widespread paleo acceptance, the emergence of the CrossFit box, has exploded across the country. Australians may be thousands of miles away, but they feel pretty close to me.

Why, though? What makes Australia such a hotbed for the Primal lifestyle? Several national characteristics converge to explain its unique and special relationship with ancestral health.

Food Culture

Australia is a young nation that hasn’t had much time to develop a single overarching national food culture or cuisine (insert “shrimp on barbie” joke here). Unfortunate? No. That’s what makes Australia so amenable to the Primal way of eating. It’s a nation of immigrants, beginning from the indigenous explorers 50,000 years ago and European settlers two centuries ago to the ongoing waves of Brits, Kiwis, Chinese, Indians, Sri Lankans, Vietnamese, Turks, Papua New Guineans, Italians, and every other ethnicity that makes its way over. As a result, Australian food culture is a mashup of cultural influences representing the various waves of immigration into the country, priming Australians for radical new ideas in food – even something as crazy as eating like your ancestors and ditching grains.

It doesn’t hurt that the local meat and seafood are incredible. Lamb and beef are everywhere, and they’re good and inexpensive and mostly pastured on the grasslands available year round. And seeing as how it’s the largest island in the world, the access to high-quality wild-caught and ocean-farmed seafood is unparalleled. It isn’t hard to stay Primal in Australia. You almost hit it by default.

Sporting and Outdoors Culture

Despite the size of the island (approximately 90% of the continental United States), it’s sparsely populated with under 24 million people, 85% of whom live within 30 miles of the coast. Average earnings are higher than most, giving the general population a hefty dose of disposable income. Australian income is more widely distributed with fewer extreme highs and lows than the US, and workers are guaranteed at least 28 paid vacation days each year.

Couple the proximity to beautiful beaches and open outdoor spaces with year-round sunshine, plenty of disposable income, and enough time off to enjoy it and you get a population that loves to play and exercise. Sure enough, the majority of the population, young and old alike, participates in “sport and physical recreation.” Heck, almost 50% of the seniors in Australia are regularly playing sports, hiking, swimming, and enjoying the great outdoors. And in Olympic sports, Australia consistently ranks well above its per capita position. They absolutely kill it in swimming.

Also, there’s just something special about the mindset of the Australian athlete. For decades, they’ve dominated the sport of triathlon. And throughout all my years, I’ve never met an uptight one. Intense? Yes. Competitive? Absolutely. But never obsessive compulsive or nursing a fragile psyche like so many of the elite athletes from the US or other developed nations I faced. Instead, they embodied this compelling blend of “no worries, mate” surfer-dude relaxedness, competitive intensity, and strong work ethic that made them tough to beat. They didn’t like losing, but losing didn’t ruin their day like it did, well, mine.

So, while Australians have always embraced physical culture and share an intense interest in diet and lifestyle interventions that improve how they look, feel, and perform, they also recognize the importance of taking it easy and enjoying life. When a leisurely day at the beach always awaits, it’s tough to lapse into chronic exercise patterns.

Affinity for America

The Primal/paleo movement has its roots in the United States. In some countries, that makes it a hard sell. Not to Australians, who’ve always had a strong cultural affinity with America bordering on love affair. They’ve long turned to the US for innovation in technology, media, fashion, and music, so acceptance of American ideas about diet and health and fitness are a natural extension of that. Even during the last decade when Aussie public sentiment was against sending troops to war, the popular support for the political and cultural alliance between our countries never wavered.

Growing Health Concerns

Healthwise, Australia is better off than the United States. Life expectancy is in the global top ten. Physical culture remains strong and continues to grow. On the other hand, the progressive increase in processed food consumption, added sugars, and industrial seed and vegetable oils, is leading Australia down a similar path to the US with a somewhat “barbell’ distribution when it comes to health and wellness. Obesity is rising faster in Australia than any other country, and diabetes is the fastest rising chronic disease.

Australia’s universal single payer health care system, a sort of Medicare for all, wields considerable power and offers distinct advantages of scale when dealing with problems of this magnitude, but the collective still has to pay for individual bad choices. And with rising rates of diabetes, obesity, and other chronic conditions that increase health care spending, individuals appear to be making a lot more bad choices. Australians will soon have to shoulder a much larger load than they’re accustomed to paying unless something changes.

THR1VEME-ticket_grandeWell, something’s changing. As I’ve just laid out, the ancestral health movement is going full-bore in Australia. And next March 13-15, 2015, the team at THR1VE will be putting on an ancestral health event rivaled only by PrimalCon itself: the THR1VE.me Symposium. I met Josh Sparks, the founder of THR1VE, at PrimalCon Tulum last March. We hit it off, and apparently the whole shebang really rubbed off on him because he said the energy and vitality and community he felt in Tulum inspired him to bring the same thing to Australia. I’d say he’s on the right track. It’s going to be a blast and it will cement the strength of the movement in that part of the world.

  • You’ve got an all-inclusive, world-class resort.
  • You’ve got one of the most famous and well-regarded beaches in the world, Manly Beach, right outside your room.
  • You’ve got face-to-face access to the top paleo rockstars of Australia, like Dan Churchill (The Healthy Cook), Billy Telfer of Team TarzanLuke and Scott of The Bondi Boys, and many more.
  • You’ve got Darryl Edwards, the master of Primal play.
  • You’ve got a 5 star kitchen serving up Primal-friendly local and seasonal produce.
  • You’ve got this dude named Mark Sission, I think, who’s supposed to be interesting.

What are you waiting for? Buy your tickets. If you’re anywhere near Australia or New Zealand and you’re reading this blog, you need to be at THR1VE.me. And if you live a bit farther away, that’s fine. You get to be the one with the funny accent that everyone is dying to meet.

And as an extra bonus, if you sign up for the symposium, I’ve also thrown in a discount code for the Primal Blueprint Expert Certification.

Australia is ripe for transformative, disruptive health movements that make sense and actually work. This is one, and it’s just the start of it. I’ll see you guys there.

Thanks for reading, everyone. If I’ve got any Aussie or New Zealand readers (I know I do), let’s hear about it in the comments! Are you going to make it to the THR1VE Symposium?

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109 thoughts on “G’Day, Australia – The Primal Hotbed”

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  1. New Zealander living in Western Australia.. Love my adopted country and the country of birth of my Mum. Would love to attend but its on the other coast.

    Check out Australian Celebrity Paleo Chef Pete Evans – he is going “hammer and tongs” at the Australian Heart Foundation and Diabetes Assoc but was recently blasted by the media for putting his views out there. Hes really vocal though, and is working with integrative practitioners. He is the host of My Kitchen Rules, and has undergone a physical transformation lately – oh yes he’s easy on the eye….

    https://www.facebook.com/paleochefpeteevans

    1. yes, but which one ?

      Manly has two beaches (three if you include “Little Manly”) there is the harbour beach and there is the ocean beach – which one is it ???

  2. Now if only they could put together a decent rugby team… 😀

        1. Well you know, that will teach me, I hadn’t. They do punch above their weight in internationals. A good win on their home dirt. I am a bit disconnected these days, I am a dual nat currently in the UK. I did see in the news the Springboks end the ABs winning run. Four years and 22 games from memory. I also see that the ABs are playing the USA Eagles on Sunday.

      1. They do well for their player base. AFL, league (footie), soccer (football) etc take most of the able bodied. Cricket is more of the national sport (get your head around that one USA). Rugby is a middle class sport (oops sorry, forgot, there are no class barriers).

        1. Hilarious how quickly this discussion transgressed to being about the footy. Oh Australia I miss you. Very glad to learn how easy it is going to be to stay primal when we return home (from an aussie living in the US).

  3. More respect and recognition for those most primal of people- the indigenous aborigines- would enhance and enrich the primal experience of those immigrant populations…

        1. Quite a murky past indeed, it seems, but a kick in the guts for mainstream may well help the underprivileged… well, one can hope. All said and done, I don’t think ol’ Sissas is the Whitefella that needs to Jump Up.

        2. “…I don’t think ol’ Sissas is the Whitefella that needs to Jump Up.”

          Perhaps not, but I always find it ironic when Europeans – in the collective sense – try to live like the peoples they displaced.

          1. You do realise that Europeans themselves were once hunter gatherers? There is nothing strange about Europeans embracing a ‘primal lifestyle’.

    1. From the event organizer Josh Sparks:

      “Samantha Martin – the Aboriginal ‘Bush Tucker Woman’ on TV channel SBS – is doing a presentation, and also joining the Saturday evening panel with Mark. We are very excited to have her, and she will be focusing on the original Primal diet of Australia, will practical tips for hunting and gathering, and medicinal native plants.”

      Hope to see you there!

      1. This is positive news. With people such as Mark engaging with and acknowledging the depth and authenticity of aboriginal primal knowledge, we are showing appreciation of and value for this community- rightly deserved.

  4. Australia? Yeah, I’ve heard they’re a feral bunch so this should fit right in – eh mate, Go Aussie go> New Zealand will be right there in front!

  5. We also have Melissa and Dallas of Whole 30 coming to Queenstown NZ next year. I will certainly be jumping the ditch for this one.

  6. Wow, those are some pretty rose-coloured glasses you’re looking through! Australia has its fair share of social, economic and environmental problems. There’s also something called the “tall poppy syndrome” that drives many innovative, ambitious Aussies to leave the country for more appreciative and lucrative shores.

    The seafood is lovely, though.

    1. Mark is a business man. There are worse places to live, especially if your only language is English. Mind you, the rose tinted glasses seem to have cut out the snakes, spiders, box jellyfish, sharks and flies.

    2. We are also woefully racist. Although it’s nowhere near as bad as it was in the 70’s via the younger generation growing up more accepting it’s still being passed on.

      1. I had a sheep man from Australia staying with us for a few days here in the USA. He showed me a picture in his wallet of an Aboriginal man’s head shot. I think I said something like, ‘wow, what a great looking face.’ I then realized by the sheep man’s surprised response that he thought I would make fun of the man or be somehow put off by the photo. I thought, oh yeah. Racism, it is everywhere.

        I’m happy to hear that the Bush Tucker Woman is coming to the event. I would love to hear what she has to say. I don’t know much about the Aboriginal people other than I am somewhat familiar with their art which I noticed can be bought online.

  7. Glad you mentioned the health challenges being faced by Australia. Living in Sydney’s western suburbs you see it more so. People are becoming sicker and more obese. They are currently constructing the biggest hospital in the Southern Hemisphere in Western Sydney and believe me when I say that is not a random decision. Then of course there is the naturally long commute to your place of work which seems to occur no matter where you live in Australia. Even when you are “close” to work.

    1. I used to walk to work, often two hours round trip. It was great, except for the pollution, dodgy suburbs, and weirdos stopping to ask if I needed a ride.
      Since the early 1990s, housing in Sydney and its inner suburbs has become prohibitively expensive for many people. But as that’s where a lot of the jobs are, people move out farther and farther to more affordable suburbs and end up with ridiculously long commutes.

      I worked in the single payer health care system (it was great for patients, but the government was losing money) and observed firsthand Sydney’s massive drug problem – and that was before meth.

      At least they’re discharging untreated sewage farther off shore. Still, if you decide to go for a swim, watch out for those Bondi cigars…..

  8. Mark, although you’re not the organizer, it would be great if the symposium could present some details on the eating habits of the aboriginal population for the first 498 centuries of Australia’s settlement.

    1. Hi there,

      We are announcing Samantha Martin as a speaker at the event – the Aboriginal ‘Bush Tucker Woman’ on TV channel SBS.

      We are very excited to have her, she will be focusing on the original Primal diet of Australia, will practical tips for hunting and gathering, and medicinal native plants.

      See http://www.thr1ve.me for more details – we will also be publishing the schedule for the event over the next few days!

      – Steph
      steph@thr1ve.me

    2. I once read that some indigenous australians told Weston A Price that things weren’t too bad in the nutrition department, but they would like more fat. No wonder they didn’t fit in so well.

  9. I wish I could go but the airfare from Canada to Australia… yeah, not happenin’. I wish we could have some kind of event up here…

    1. I would suggest and event in Victoria on Vancouver Island

  10. Great to see the movement is going global. In my visits to New Zealand, I found primal lifestyle was the default! Once you get over the Jimmy’s meat pies, the original South Island fast food, everything is awesome. I recall, quinoa was more expensive per kilo than lamb and grass fed beef. It is difficult to buy fresh seafood because it is so much easier to catch it or gather it yourself. I lived off of nothing but real eggs, feijoa, kumara, paua, snapper and manuka smoked kahawai for a week. There is no need for famine foods, i.e. grains, rice and dried legumes, in a country where wild and or organically raised quality meat and produce is readily available a short tramp from your front door. I will say I would rather have a Jimmy’s pie than any American fast food.

    1. You have a very positive attitude. I like it, and I don’t necessarily disagree with you exactly, but if you scratch the surface, there is more to the story. I don’t think ancestral eating is widely understood in NZ, but I am prepared to be corrected on this.

      1. Yes Kit, some aspects of the ancestral diet of Aotearoa may not be pleasant to say the least. I understand the culinary consumption of rival tribe members was more of an act of war than a lack of available protein. Perhaps an expert of Maori culture will correct us both?

        1. Good reply. I will refrain from going on about a subject of which I am no expert (Paul Moon if you are listening) like I also refrained about exterminating people under the category of fauna, but I will again comment (not a desciple of: just current) Weston A Price, who said that the Maori had the best teeth he had seen. This is no longer the case. Mind you, if you want to ask Maori, one in 5 apparently lives in Australia.

        2. Margaret Mutu would be a good resource on the topic as well

        3. “…they also said they ate us until we provided them with corned beef.”

          Margaret Mutu, a professor of Maori Studies at Auckland University, confirmed that cannibalism was, indeed, part of the Maori culture.

    2. “There is no need for famine foods, i.e. grains, rice and dried legumes…”

      Oh dear, do I sense a touch of cultural and culinary snobbery? In various cultures fish, shellfish, kelp, yams, dandelions, and nettles have all been considered “famine foods”.

      1. I was once shown some berries in the Cook Islands, that the CI Maori ate as famine food; for example when a cyclone would waste everything for months ahead. OMG, I know what Mark is talking about, but real famine food makes you think about eating your shoes. Made the karaka flesh I ate for interest taste like mango puree. They could have been lying, they also said they ate us until we provided them with corned beef:-) One thing I do distinctly remember is they ate their fish raw (funnily enough, whilst cooking it for us visitors).

      2. Not snobbery, observation. I define famine foods as those that are processed for long term storage. Grains and white rice have long shelf life as they are stripped of the perishable nutrient layers. These foods have sustained human populations in the worst of times and certainly have their place. Not too long ago this is all our ancestors had when the livestock was consumed there was no game to be trapped or hunted and the root cellar was bare. Theoretically, in evolutionary terms, this may be the reason these foods make us put on visceral fat? The SAD diet has evolved to providing copious helpings of “famine foods” as defined above with every meal. I consider shellfish and dandelion greens gourmet food. Save the pasta for when nutrient dense alternatives are not available.

        1. The idea of “famine food” means different things to different cultures. Generally the term is used to describe a food that is not normally part of a people’s diet, but that is eaten as a last resort, when there is nothing else available. Just because a food is prepared ahead of time and stored as a precaution against famine does not automatically make it a famine food, especially if it is already part of a person’s normal diet.

          At one time only wealthier Japanese ate rice; peasants had to make do with millet, so in the Japanese culture, rice was a luxury, not a famine food. After WWII some Japanese raised rabbits as a source of cheap protein, but stopped as soon as other food became available. To those people, rabbits were a “famine food”.

          After the Irish Famine, maize was considered a famine food (fit only for poultry and hogs), but to many Native American tribes, maize has long been a revered staple, one of the so-called “Three Sisters” (maize, squash, beans). In some parts of Ireland cheese and fish were seen as famine foods.

          What I’m saying is that rice might be a famine food for you, but it certainly isn’t for most of the rest of the world.

  11. You’re right, in Melbourne where I live, most meat is grass fed, free-range eggs are common and the vegies are great. We have great weather to be outside in and while some people may have a long commute, many others don’t.

    I’d like to think as well that we’re a pretty independent bunch who look at evidence and make up our own mind.

    Have a great time in Sydney, Mark!

  12. Just come back to my hotel room after a walk around the Sydney Opera House before my day of work meeting sucking on a fat-enriched coffee! So flying the primal flag here in Australia. I’ll definitely be checking out the event. Super keen to do one of Darryl Edwards’ play sessions.
    I think primal/paleo is taking off here because people are waking up to the fact that the conventional wisdom doesn’t work and looking for other answers. Let’s give this paleo thing a crack!

  13. We need some of these in the U.S! Preferably So Cal so I could get some! Looks good!

      1. No I am in Napier, but from Auckland originally but that was years ago. Have lived in North America for the last several years.

        1. That is interesting. The San Francisco of NZ. At least you aren’t trying to do a different eating strategy in, say, Gore or Te Anau. You could buy a big freezer and wait for the next drought and drop in beef prices (ex farm, not ex supermarket)!

  14. Someone suggested holding and Aussiie like event in Victoria, BC?. Please pass us by, besides it rains too much here. On a more serious note though what might be the environmental costs of the further away people hopping on the plane to attend? Is there not a potential health fallout from this kind of travel to what is considered a healthier eating life style event. Or does the take away of healthier eating lifestyles, if adopted, offset the air travel downside on the environment impact.

    There has to be a better pitch than hop on a plane to attend don’t you think? Perhaps attendees should be limited to just Australia and NZ for that reason?

    Just saying.

  15. Spent a year living in Oz and it was incredible. As a health person I found it really interesting meeting the aboriginal people when up past Cairns and hearing about how some still had family members that lived off the land out in the bush

    Reminded me of that experiment by Kerin O’dea observing native cultures when they developed diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease when adopting a modern diet then when going back to an ancestral diet were able to start reversing those conditions after a short time period

  16. Count me in! There’s a pretty amazing wave of collective health-consciousness vibrating through Brisbane, my city, at the moment. It seems like every week a new cafe/bar/restaurant touting primal foods is opening up. It’s great! Even better, this primal appreciation for whole, unadulterated natural foods has existed in south-east Queensland for some time, particularly around the Noosa/Eumundi area, as well as down in Byron in New South Wales, making it the easiest thing in the world to eat. Seafood is fresh, beef and lamb are nearly always grass-fed and are incredible, produce is abundant…
    Australia really is an incredible place to live (and eat). I’m only 21 but have travelled a few times through Europe (and made it to the US this year!) and haven’t found anywhere where such good quality food is so easily and readily available. Come to Australia everyone! You’ll leave with happy tummies!

  17. So wish I were able to go! It’s just a little too far for this east coaster.

  18. Mark-
    Australians will be supporting you, but they won’t be rooting for you.
    (Handy linguistic tip for Down Under)

    1. And if someone says “it’s your shout”, don’t give a blood-curdling Tarzan yell, just buy them a beer. 😉

  19. There are three things about Australia that are terrible:

    1) Dangerous drivers

    2) Tight circumcisions

    3) Raw milk is illegal in all states and territories of Australia

    Other than these three things, Australia has a good minimum wage and organic meats are readily available at an affordable price.

    1. Did I read that right #2? Maybe in part of Melbourne. You can grow a few marijuana plants for personal consumption in SA and NSW, from what I can remember.

    2. Our prices are driven up to combat those good wages. As much as I love Australia I do think there is room for improvement.
      $20 doesn’t go nearly as far as I would like in terms of food shopping.

      1. I always found clothing, books, and pubs to be expensive, among other things. Well, not actually the pub, but what you consumed in the pub. Eating out at a nice, high-quality restaurant could also set you back a few bob.

        1. Eating out in the CBD can cost upwards of $80 without even trying.
          And I think that most people here won’t touch organic due it’s ridiculous price. It’s getting better and I am all for that, but I would hate for Mark to paint Australia as some sort of 1st world utopia that only has weight to loose. We are dealing with some serious inflation issues here that affect many people on a day to day basis. This isn’t just limited to eating out but it encompasses even the essential weekly shopping budget.

      2. I thought the same! Until I travelled. After extensive travel through Europe I can tell you, not only is all good-quality sustainably-sourced food cheaper in Australia, it’s far more readily available. Living on real food (meat/produce/eggs/nuts/coconut) undoubtedly costs more than living on processed nutrient-deficient grains and seed oils, there’s no doubting. But with the money you save because of the drugs you dont need, the greater productivity you have in work, the investment you can make in your children and friends and families and lives….isn’t it worth it? 🙂

        1. I am not doubting the benefits at all, I think we need a serious rethink as to how we intend to run our food supply chain for the next few hundred years or so. But one of those points to address is to make it more affordable and make it easier for people to make (what I see as) the right choice.
          There is an Organic fruit and veggie shop just a short bus ride away from my house and an Organic to-your-door-type deal just up the road. These are huge steps forward but the prices are just too much for me and any other people who know of them. $42 for a box (that feeds 2) of seasonal Organic fruit & veggies is out of control. I fully understand the need to make a profit blah blah but sustainable for the environment needs to be sustainable for people to eat and continue to afford to eat it.
          But again, I will pay for it. It’s worth it and supports farmers willing to go against the grain and grow it as close as they can to how nature intended.

    3. You can buy raw milk in Melbourne, it has a little sign on it saying not recommended for drinking, what you do with it, is up to you. Unless the law has changed.

        1. Hi the shop I saw it in is called Harvest Foodstore in Fairfield, 108 Station St. They get raw milk deliveries weekly.

    1. I think what he meant is that, at some point in history, the people who would become Australian Aborigines migrated from another area.

      It seems that DNA from a lock of hair points to the theory that Aboriginal Australians separated from other modern humans about 70,000 years ago, and settled in Australia no earlier than 50,000 years ago, giving them “a longer claim to the land in which they now live than any other population known”.

      1. The people who would become “insert name here”, all migrated from another area!

        1. Yes, the concept of physical nations (as opposed to tribal ones) and borders is a relatively modern one.

          1. The whole notion that Aboriginals “own” Australia is also a modern idea. They never believed in “land ownership”, until it was taken away from them.

  20. I’ll be there at the THR1VE event. A great chance to spend the weekend with like-minded folks.

    You forgot to mention the Merrymaker Sisters, Mark. As locals to my town, Canberra, they’re a big deal here.

    1. Hey Steve, how do you go with primal eating in Canberra?
      Fresh organic food available? Cafés, restaurants etc?
      I’m looking at a job opportunity, but nervous to leave melbourne’s food availability 🙂

      1. Primal eating here is easy, Kelly. We have a great cafe culture, and many staff will answer with “you’re eating paleo, then” when you ask for a burger without a bun and such.

        We’ve got two paleo-specific cafes – I recommend Paleo Perfection for treats, a THR1VE outlet, two organic butchers I shop at (there are more), half a dozen organic grocers. It’s even easy to get organics at Woolworths. Given Canberra is small, you can get to any of them no matter what end of town you live.

        Plus lifestyle. Commute anywhere is no more than 30 minutes by car (I have an 8 minute commute, 20 minutes by bike). There are lakes and parks everywhere, excellent gyms (avoid the globos and 24-hours types) and sports facilities, and fab weather.

        Come play!

  21. Australia isn’t called the Lucky Country for nothing. We have the best things – free education, universal healthcare, wide open spaces, pristine beaches, a society based on a “fair go”. All of these things are conducive to alternative ideas and healthfulness. Yeah we have tall poppy syndrome, but that’s just part of wanting Australia to remain an equitable society, not so influenced by rampant capitalism and selfishness like the US is.

    I’m excited that Mark is coming to Australia! I hope he has time to enjoy all the amazing things on offer in Sydney and it’s surrounds.

    1. Pristine beaches???

      I recall needing Sharps containers for used hypodermic needles during a routine AVCGA Sydney Harbour cleanup.

      1. I don’t count the Harbour ‘beaches’, because with the exception of Balmoral they’re all gross and that has nothing to do with needles – I dare say you’d catch a parasite from Northbridge or Greenwich Baths before you’d get a needlestick!
        Despite most Sydneysiders annoying intentional myopia, there are thousands of other beaches in Australia beyond those between Bondi – Cronulla and Manly – Palm Beach. From Wollongong down to the Victorian border there are hundreds of absolutely gorgeous pristine beaches! Especially in Jervis Bay (Hyams Beach!). In summer I often go down to Kiama because the beaches are super nice, and it’s better to drive an 1.5 hours south than crawl around the backstreets of Coogee for an hour looking for a park!

        1. “…there are thousands of other beaches in Australia…”

          Yes, but Mark gets to see Manly.

          Hmmm….that sounds really weird.

        2. And past the Victorian border all the way to the SA Border. Hey, pretty well the entire coastline is beaches of sand. Plenty of sand inland of course…

  22. Wow… we have Mark and a whole bunch of great speakers coming to town and people are batting on about drivers, diabetes and circumcision no less. I can’t wait. I will be walking there bare foot both days – Josh have you cleared that one with the Novotel yet?

  23. Bummed you aren’t hitting Melbourne (at least come visit us down here!). At least you are bringing the good word to Aus; we love our meat and I think primal really has room to become something big.

  24. So excited about Thr1ve.me I’ve been so envious about the primalcons! I’ve been supporting Thr1ve in Melbourne and am so grateful to them for bringing you to us! Mark – I’ll see you in Sydney. I’ll be the crazy blonde woman who can’t stop going on about how much you’ve helped me change my life. I’ve got a feeling I’ll be fighting off a lot of others doing the same…

  25. If you’re at Manly, do yourself a favour and visit the Northern beaches… from North Narrabeen to Palm Beach – God’s Country!

  26. That sounds really interesting, though paying for city hotel rooms (and hustle & bustle) isn’t really in the budget at the moment. What a shame this event isn’t at one of the bigger coastal resort towns – Noosa, Coffs Harbour, Byron. Somewhere I can camp out rather than fork out.

    Maybe next time.

    PS. Haven’t tried many things at Thr1ve, but what I have was good.

  27. Aussie celebrity chef Pete Evans is also doing wonders for the primal/paleo movement

  28. We at ‘Primal Movement’, an exercise and wellness studio about 10mins from Manly, are pretty excited that the event is on our doorstep.
    We’re also big supporters of Thr1ve.
    See you in March!!

  29. Mark I love it all except for the affinity to America bit. We watch you shows and we buy Iphones, but quite frankly your governments trade agreements suck and the one coming down the PPT is really really bad. I actually see Primal as a rejection of the American values that America tries to export and are far more humanity friendly, that is why I love your work, not because you are American.

  30. G’day to all.
    Australia is overdue for a larger paleo\primal focus.
    As far as I can make out we often (but not always) run a few years behind US. Take kettlebells, made DIY bells coz I couldn’t afford to import. Purchased mine off the first Australian supplier in 2003. Kbells started to take off around 2010 out here and now most of the gym shops\ebay etc have them and quite a few people know what a kbell is.
    Hope to get up to Sydney but if not … I’ll be there in spirit.
    OB

  31. Fantastic to hear that you are coming out here Mark, hope you can put Melbourne on your list of destinations in the future some time.

    I love living here, good quality fresh food is so easy to come by, we do love our outdoors, and I don’t have to drive long distances to get to work. And the paleo/primal movement is getting a lot more exposure over here these days. This is one US idea I am happy to have spread over here, if it opens more people hearts and minds to healthier eating then it has to be a good thing!

    There is a lot of rivalry between Sydney & Melbourne, so I will say that you shouldn’t allow yourself to think that what you see in Sydney is indicative of the rest of the country, we have quite a big variety of lifestyles here, and Sydney is just one of them (not as good as Melbourne of course – but I may be biased!)

  32. Great to hear you’re heading Down Under at long last. Hope you get plenty of media coverage particularly on television.

  33. I have been following Mark’s Daily Apple for the last few years. I live in Sydney and when I lost a heap of weight and started getting super fit people kept asking what was I doing- my standard answer was going primal, eating Paleo and following Mark Sissons….. So I was super excited to hear Mark was doing a conference in Oz. ….BUT. Couldn’t believe the price. It’s too expensive and I’m extremely disappointed. Told my husband how much I’d lovee to go……told him the price…..saw his expression and realized…..Nup. Not gonna happen :-). Super sad

    1. Hopefully a percentage of the proceeds will go to the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, or some such organisation that helps the people whose traditional diet is one of the inspirations for the Paleo industry. Even a small percentage would help – hint, hint.

    2. Looking at the rather high end venue and the other costs, I can see why the tickets might have to be so expensive, but where I’m a bit worried is, that the Paleo diets detractors might exploit this to try and make out it’s only something for the well to do, that it’s too dear for your average Joe Blow. As it is, the processed food industry has done an effective enough job of fostering the myth that healthy eating is for the wealthy.

  34. For those who can’t afford accommodation why don’t some locals offer Homestay? Win win!!

  35. Mark Sisson is coming to my home town ???
    That means I’ve got to get my act together and stop paddling around in the shallow end of the Paleo pool.
    In the meantime you really need to make contact with Pete Evans, world-renown Australian chef who is almost single-handedly carrying the flag for Paleo eating in the Australian media at the moment – he would LOVE to be in on this event!

  36. You absolutely HAVE to get Pete Evans involved in this. He is spreading the Paleo love Australia wide and has a massive following.

  37. Thanks Mark, for painting a positive picture of Australia, while acknowledging our obesity/diet paradigm is as grim as anywhere that receives the same official terrible advice from the health authorities.
    Personally I’ve enjoyed an Island Coffee (coconut and coffee) at Thr1ve every lunchtime in the CBD of Sydney for two years. Much love to those guys.
    These critical social movements are gaining plenty of traction here. The historical socio-cultural gap between US and Australia is fast closing, thanks the internet.
    Last summer my partner and I ate had an awesome paleo cafe at random Gold Coast cafe…. we didn’t know until we looked at the menu choices. The thing about truth is its like gravity… inevitable.
    The low carb/paleo/primal movement in Sydney is pretty close to anywhere in the US except California. With health/aesthetic trends, what place isn’t behind CA?
    Us Paleo friendly Aussies really hope you have a great time in Sydney (even the Kiwis, after you get passed their many insecurities! Kidding guys – we’re cousins! And please take back Russell Crowe – urgently.)
    Mark, check out Byron Bay if you get a chance – you may never leave.
    Julian

  38. Food culture – yes you’re right, apart from fish and chips, barbie and a steak, even these are “borrowed”, there is no Australian national food , but – there’s always but, thanks to all of the migrants Australia has got vast variety of cuisines. Coming from Europe, I love experimenting here – especially with Asian food – recently experienced tendon soup.