Dear Mark: Go Primal in 2009

We’ve had a lot of fun the last week or so putting together 2008 “retrospects” and looking forward to MDA’s strides in the year ahead. In that spirit, I thought I’d start out this first (real) post-holiday week with something new, something different, something I hope will be a grand movement within the MDA collective and our mission. In lieu of a Dear Mark question for this week, I want to put forth a big, broad, bold, communal call for a 2009 “Primal Challenge.” Let’s unroll this puppy. The deal is this…. Whether you’re a veteran “apple” looking for creative ways to up your game this year or a MDA newbie intrigued but unsure of where to start, I want this challenge to be all about you. It’s a challenge to personally take on the Primal method – own it, mold it, and make it a meaningful structure for your lifestyle and individual health goals – whatever and wherever they are this year.

We hear it so often that it gets trite, but I still believe that the idea of a resolution, a full-out, take-it-on, I’m-all-in new year’s commitment can still mean something – and hopefully something big, something life-changing for your year. The difference is this: that the objective is a truly personal one and the means are truly effective. As for the means part, the Primal Blueprint, we’ve got your covered. The studies are there. The stories are posted. The workout ideas, the recipes, the pep talks, and community exchanges are all there. We’ll keep ?em coming (and then some – videos, Twitter, Facebook, etc., etc.) this year. But the resolution itself and the “personal” nature bit? Well, that’s your piece of course. Everybody’s in a different spot with different concerns.

My question to you is this: On the scale of true wellness (real vitality), where would you rate your life today? Mull it over some if you need to. Second question: What is the change that you’re ready and willing to bring to your life right now? The 2009 challenge can be bold, even ground-breaking in fact. It can open up a new dimension of vitality for the already healthy and fit. It can better merge wellness with your everyday life. It can reboot said life if you’ve been caught in an unhealthy streak. (No need to apologize. Just join us – no questions asked!) But let’s first make it real, rooted in where you find yourself now. How can your particular resolution, the challenge you choose to take on this year, feel like the next logical but momentous step in moving your life forward?

And this is the thing. Living “primally” isn’t all hard work. At its best, it cultivates the overall “self-care” concept from last week’s New Year’s Reflect, Regroup, Resolve post. How about putting some fun back in your workouts? How about making your workouts fit more with a happy and active social/family life than with a tired gym routine? What about sleeping better? How about some de-stress practices and truly self-indulgent routines? (We’ve got a “personal spa” post this week if that one grabs your attention….) Do I have you on board yet?

For the readers who have been with me for some time now, I want to say thanks. I hope you find all the upcoming changes this year useful, relevant, and enjoyable. Many of you have seen the blog truly grow from the ground up, and I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts on the evolution ahead. Your feedback and perspectives along the way have been absolutely instrumental! For the many of you who have joined us this last year, let me say welcome! Though you may still be in “exploratory” mode, filling in the blanks here and there (hopefully Saturday’s “Best of 2008” helped!) and finding a personal toehold in the Primal paradigm, I hope you’ll join us (and feel free to jump in with all the questions and insights that the experience offers)!

Again, best wishes to everyone out there. I think 2009 will shape up to be a momentous year for MDA and I hope for you, each of our readers, as well. Here’s to a powerful, Primal 2009: let the games begin!

Your turn now: What’s your self-designed Primal Plan for the year? Share your new year’s intentions and Primal priorities for the 2009 challenge!


What to expect here? Check-ins, updates, support, tips, motivation – along the entire way! More to come, we promise! (And for some refreshers, be sure to check out posts from the previous 30-day challenge, the Definitive Guide to the Primal Blueprint, and all of 2008’s best.)

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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