Dear Mark: Ramadan, Excessive Fish Oil, the Warrior Diet, and Dipping Alternatives

I love Mondays. Maybe it’s because I actually like what I do and Dear Mark posts are the easiest and most enjoyable to write, but I get a good feeling whenever a new week rolls around. A new batch of questions, a new series of posts, tons of new content all over the web. It’s like the Primal world gets a reset. Yeah, Monday gets too bad a rap, in my opinion. We should take it back. Own it. Reclaim it! What say you, readers?

Okay, enough of that. On to the questions. This week, I try to help a reader with food choices during his Ramadan fast, discuss excessive amounts of omega-3 supplements, address the Warrior Diet, and attempt to find a replacement for bread dipped in oil and vinegar.

Dear Mark

I followed the primal lifestyle for 6 weeks and broke through my plateau barrier weight of 82kg which have been struggling to do for 10 years.

Ramadan is com in up in August where Muslims worldwide abstain from food and water before sunrise until sunset. Could you please advise of foods you would recommend to remain primal during Ramadan?

A typical Ramadan would involve me eating oat porridge and bread for my early breakfast but that was last year.

Your advice would be much appreciated.

Ps. I bought the primal quick and easy meals cookbook from Amazon and thought it was great.

A big fan.


I’m glad to hear you broke your plateau and enjoyed the cookbook. Plateaus are tough to deal with, and knowing the PB helped beat another one gives me inspiration. So thanks! As to your question, I would focus on several criteria when choosing your food: micronutrient density and potential for satiety.

One of the big draws of fasting is that it forces a shortened eating window, which can be extremely helpful for people who need that kind of structure. Couple the eating window with the positive hormonal effects induced by fasting and you’ve got yourself a potent weight loss tool. If you’re not careful with your food intake, however, the shortened eating window associated with fasting of any kind can lead to nutrient deficiencies. Some people simply don’t eat enough food, which makes it more difficult to get the vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients our bodies require to work the way we expect them to work. And then, with a serious, long term, highly regimented fasting protocol like Ramadan, the danger for malnutrition is that much greater. The eating window in Ramadan isn’t a spurious thing to be cast aside just because “you got hungry,” like you can do with a regular fast. You “have” to follow it, if you wanna do it right – and it lasts for an entire month.

Essentially, you want extremely nutrient-dense foods that will keep you fuller for longer. You’re not going to be able to cram as much volume in, nor will you be able to spread it out, so you’re going to have to make each food choice count. I’d get a nice whack of protein at each meal, especially in the morning, alongside some fat. There’s nothing like fat and protein together for keeping you sated. Some sort of roast would work well; slow cook a big hunk of animal every few days and have it ready to go when you’re able to eat. Keep a diverse collection of quick cooking, nutrient-dense, calorie-scant green vegetables on hand – spinach, chard, kale, broccoli – that can be easily cooked in olive oil, butter, or some other fat and be ready (and totally digestible and bioavailable) in five minutes. Don’t get too elaborate. Instead, keep your meals extremely simple, tasty, and consistent. Nail down a menu that hits all your nutrient requirements and stick to it.

Good luck!

Thanks for your website and efforts. It really is excellent and I really appreciate all the work you must put in.

Is it possible to take too many omega three supplements?

Thanks again!


Thanks for the kind words! It’s a lot of work, true, but well worth the effort.

It is possible to take too many omega-3 supplements. First of all, it’s a polyunsaturated fat (PUFA) and, like all PUFAs, extremely prone to oxidation. Leave a bottle of fish oil open on the counter, exposed to air, light, and ambient temperature, and it will rapidly oxidize. Once it’s oxidized, fish oil becomes pro-inflammatory (rather than anti-inflammatory) in the body. It also tastes really, really bad, so you know not to eat it. Problem solved? Usually. Avoiding already-oxidized omega-3s is paramount, but that same thing can happen to the omega-3s inside your body if you eat an excessive amount, even if they were untouched and pristine going in. One study found that supplementing with omega-3 fats provided little to no benefit in patients with mildly elevated cholesterol, but it did make their LDL cholesterol more susceptible to oxidative damage. Oxidized LDL, as you probably already know, are strongly associated with heart disease. The fragile omega-3s, having been incorporated into the LDL, were putting the entire operation at risk.

Too much fish oil also thins the blood. This can be of benefit to heart disease patients with the opposite problem, but a large daily dose of omega-3s might be problematic and increase your chances of excessive bleeding. The risk is mostly theoretical and reports thus far remain anecdotal, since the most recent comprehensive review of the literature (PDF) found that doses up to 21 grams per day of EPA/DHA in the short term were safe and resulted in zero bleeding complications, but I’d still be wary of doses anywhere near that high – especially long term.

I wouldn’t worry too much about taking too much omega-3. Instead, just keep total PUFAs relatively low and focus on getting that omega-6 content as low as you can, so you don’t have to supplement a huge amount of omega-3 to balance out your ratios. If you find yourself popping tons of fish oil capsules, there’s probably something seriously wrong with the rest of your diet – so get that taken care of first, and the omega-3 issue will sort itself out.

Dear Mark,

Have you ever heard of the warrior diet/anti-oestrogenic diet?

The simalilarities between these and the paleo approach are incredible: intermitent fasting, cutting carbs and eating more veggies to name only a few. These guys have basically discovered how to get amazing results using a very similar diet.

Could we have found a new group of friends in the diet comunity? What are your views on this?

Kind regards

Hamish Warren, UK

I’m somewhat familiar with the Warrior Diet, and I mostly like what I’ve heard. Ori Hofmekler, the author, recommends a pretty Primal list of foods. He’s against modern, processed stuff, and lists wheat as the “worst grain.” Like the PB, the Warrior Diet takes a soft stance on carbohydrate intake, recommending lower-glycemic fruits and vegetables in general but leaving the door open for higher intakes if you need them. You’ll often hear it reported as a daily fast with a single large meal at night, but that isn’t entirely accurate. You snack lightly throughout the day on things like fruit, vegetables, and the occasional nut, keeping your hunger at bay while never reaching the fed state. This could be a good way for people interested in IF to get their feet wet without committing to a full fast. Overall, it seems pretty congruent with the Primal lifestyle.

Did you have any questions about a specific aspect of the diet?

Hi Mark,

I really miss dipping chunks of bread into olive oil and balsamic vinegar! Any suggestions? What else could I dip that would be as satisfying?



Good question. I, too, was a big fan of dipping bread into oil and vinegar (still am and I’ll enjoy a bite or two if I’m at a nice Italian restaurant with good bread. Any more than that and I pay the price). Unfortunately, nothing can quite recreate the experience. Still, here are some options I enjoy:

  • Broccoli florets – Raw (though beware stinky raw broccoli breath) is okay, but I prefer parboiled in a bit of salty water. When parboiled, a submerged broccoli floret will soak up the submerging medium. Super easy.
  • Deli meat – A good quality sliced, cured meat works when rolled up. The meat either soaks up the sauce, or sauce gets trapped between the rolled layers. Either way, you enjoy a saucy piece of meat.
  • Bacon – Examine a piece of bacon up close with a microscope and you’ll notice something startlingly beautiful: subtle nooks, crannies, and an overall rough texture. Oil and vinegar cling to these “imperfections,” as bacon winds its way to your mouth.

Readers, have you given up on bread/olive oil/vinegar altogether, or have you found a satisfying Primal substitute?

That’s it for today. Thanks for reading, I hope my words were worth your time, and keep the questions coming!

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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115 thoughts on “Dear Mark: Ramadan, Excessive Fish Oil, the Warrior Diet, and Dipping Alternatives”

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  1. Thanks for answering the Ramadan question. Since starting IF, and therefore having fewer meals (similar to the Ramadan situation), I have wondered if I am getting all the necessary nutrients. It is a good reminder to make the meals I DO eat as nutrient dense as possible!

    1. Don’t worry about getting the right amount of nutrients while on IF. The purpose is to get the same amount of food as in an ordinary regime, but in a shorter interval during the day. So the “portions” should be larger when it’s actually time to feed.

      1. If the portions are larger during the feeding period of IF this depletes a large part of the point- to create a caloric deficit over say a weeks’ time. If you eat larger portions during the feeding window you have counteracted a lot of the caloric deficit you worked hard for during the fast. The goal is to keep your regular meals normal (which can be hard after a long day of fasting).

        1. If I recall the articles I’ve read on IF correctly, the point is not to create a calorie deficit. The shortened feeding window results in benefits (insulin sensitivity, etc) even without restricting calories. We aren’t trying to starve ourselves here.

        2. I agree that IF does include the benefits of better insulin sensitivity, a more productive metabolism, and optimal gene expression. However, when it comes to losing excess body fat through IF, these factors do not complete the picture alone. Intermittent fasting simulates what ultimately was a period of starvation for our ancestors- when food was scarce and body fat needed to be tapped for survival. Although starvation implies a negative connotation, essentially IF is creating a healthy “calorie restriction” and forcing the body to use its fat stores. I also agree that if one is at a weight they want to maintain IF could be used simply for better insulin production, etc.., but if one is trying to lose excess body fat, calorie restriction and small bursts of positive “starvation” periods will allow for this excess fat to be burned off. Eating larger than normal caloric meals at the end of IF fasts will fail to sizably reduce excess body fat.

        3. I think you kinda missed the point Jay. PB is never about creating a caloric deficit, as Mark says, calories in vs calories out is oversimplified. The weight loss that results from PB is mainly from low insulin levels not calorie restriction. That’s why you will never see Mark write about counting calories!

        4. I happen to agree with Jay, for someone like me who;s struggling to lose weight whilst eating primal , IF is a way to increase insulin sensitivity, eat less calories and hopefully promote fat burning. Hmmm… still on a plateau weeks later……sheesh..

  2. Mark I am right with you. I LOVE Mondays myself. It might actually be my favorite day of the week…. no, they are all the same to be honest. Good ole Primal Fun!

    Mark the fish oil question and answer brings up another question…

    What about fish and seafood? Would it be ok for one to eat some form of fish or seafood every single day? What about twice a day? I am talking about a variety.

    Thanks. Maybe you can answer this next Monday?

  3. If I were Muslim and observing Ramadan, I’d feast on lamb whenever possible. However, some Muslim coworkers stated that a big part of Ramadan is a reminder that there are poor people, and the fasting is to simulate not having access to food regularly, so they may feel eating lots of expensive meat is going “against the grain” so to speak. Perhaps the cheaper cuts and fatty cuts of chicken would suffice as well, along with their salads.

  4. Bacon with Olive Oil? Yuck.

    The bread is what hits the spot because it’s carbs and a glycemic load.
    When trading for that kind of snack it’s best to dip apple slices into roasted almond butter!!!
    It hits the spot and is primal.

    1. Ok, I need a little more elaboration on the oil thing, what exactly is the price Mark pays from over consumption of olive oil?

      Reason I ask is cause I never quit the bread dipping, don’t do it a lot but I keep the carbs in the weight loss sweet spot. Thanks.

      1. I think he was referring more to the bread than the oil. I’m kind of the same way where if I have more than a couple of bites I feel like poo the next day. Makes me sluggish and tired too.

      2. Yeah, he’s definitely talking about the bread. He’s written a post before where he says he gets IBS from grains.

  5. I have combined the spinach bread (although I use Kale or Chard more than spinach) recipe from the Primal Blueprint cookbook with an almond flour fococcia bread recipe and LOVE to dip that in oil and cracked pepper. All of the ingredients are primal approved, but it may be a high in almonds. But a great treat with dinner.

  6. lol not pork rinds for ramadan! pork rinds for dipping…you made me sound like carlos mencia–dropping bacon bombs and all that mess

  7. That’s interesting info about the warrior diet. I had thought it was fasting all day with a large evening meal and didn’t find that appealing at all. But your description sounds a lot more like the intuitive groove I’ve been getting from my body lately (a few nuts, fruits & veggies during the day, maybe an egg or a little yogurt, then a large rich meat-based meal at night). At least in the summer time that just feels right.

  8. I don’t think I’ve given up on it, I just do it in moderation. Example, fellow foodie friend invites the whole wine tasting group over a for a dinner, then I’ll much on cheese, italian meats, various other appetizers, and a full meal. Since I’m one of the bakers, I tend to bring the bread and various oils. Kinda funny perhaps, but I enjoy baking bread more than I do eating it, but dipping it in oil or a nice dollop of butter can’t be beat.

    1. Fresh warm bread, straight from the oven with a pad of butter is the stuff of dreams. So long, old friend! The drawbacks definitely outweigh the satisfaction for me. Crispy fatty animal skin (from chicken, crackling from pig, etc.) really is, somehow, an alternative for me.

  9. I might be a little strange but i have made Pancakes with Protein mix and eggs. It goes delicious with Bacon and eggs in a roll up. Pick your favorite protein mix and whip it up with the eggs. I have seen recipes that call for Oats, but i tend to leave them out since it is not in my pantry.

    1. I also have done this lol and it’s surprising how well it works. I’ve always added coconut or almond flour though, in combination with the eggs and the scoop of protein.

    2. I too have just started making pancakes w/almond flour(I grind myself)I add almond butter on the top..yum

  10. Double bacon butties (loads of bacon, butter and a couple of slices of bread) and breaded butter (yes, that’s the right way) for fried eggs – my 20% non-primal. Also, a socking great Yorkshire Pudding with a rib roast and lashings of beef jus on New Year’s Day washed down with a glass of powerful Amarone.
    As you say, Mark, as long as it’s not overdone, once in a way you can get away with it.

  11. For the question about Ramadan or fasting in general, a nice tool is CRON-O-METER since it tracks the macro and micronutrients in the food you’ve eaten. It doesn’t cover everything but gives you what I think is pretty good insight into how close you are to hitting all of your nutrient goals.

  12. I just had a fist size piece of kidney fat (fried) and 2 duck egg yolks.
    How’s that for a snack 🙂

  13. I dip my bacon in bacon fat.

    That’s my substitute for exactly that bread/evoo dipping problem! I used to love the same but I’ve found that dipping just about anything in fat does the trick. Bacon in bacon fat is my favorite.

    1. I tried that after I saw it on your site. It’s definitely satisfying in a way that not too many things are. Way to go Peggy!

    2. Peggy and SlenderGrok you are my Heroes! Bacon fat is liquid gold in my house!

  14. About bread and olive oil:

    Since going primal, bread doesn’t even look good to me, and I’m grateful for that. I think it’s because I learned how bad it made me feel, so I associate the sight of it with discomfort.

    Onto what’s yummy: All kinds of veggies, dipped in “Frantoia” olive oil (google it to buy it on-line). It’s so buttery and decadent (and worth the price) – I’ve literally had people call me the next day, after a part,y and ask me what the olive oil was that I served with the crudite.

    When you serve it, it’s nice to pour it in a little bowl and float some nice sea salt on top – even some minced herbs are nice for floating.

    I agree with Mark that parboiling broccoli makes it great for dipping. I’ll cut up a whole bunch of it, immerse it in boiling water for a couple of seconds, and drain it. That gives it a beautiful color and a nice softness.


    1. Same here. Bread looks and smells like sh*t. I know what it is, and how toxic it is, and well that alone makes me gag.
      The texture also sucks, it’s dry and without all the other additives and spices (salt or sugar) grain by itself is this nasty, tasteless cardboard that I can barely choke down.

      I can’t believe I was ever addicted to that dried up chunk of toxic glue.

  15. Cheers for the answer Mark – i am nowhere near 21g a day 🙂 and the idea of concentrating on reducing O6s as much as possible is a great approach.

    1. Yes it IS possible, just google “Patricia Kane omega 3” & read the article in the first hit. She says “Excess (CIS)omega 3s will easily suppress the (CIS)omega 6s, whereas the reverse does not seem to occur, 6s do not suppress the 3s.”

      Also google “weston price tripping lightly”. Read the article & if you take a look at the O-6 & O-3 metabolic pathway chart in that article it becomes readily apparent that by taking any single or derivative form of O-6 or O-3 you are jumping into the pathway at the point of that particular derivative, creating an oversupply & IM-balance of that particular form. You’re also cheating your body & yourself out of ALL the other derivative forms in the pathway above & below the one you’re taking that your body needs & would otherwise use for the formation of the critical BALANCE of prostanoids, leukotrenes, lipoxins & thromboxins you’d have if you instead just took the parent base substrate Omega-6 & Omega-3 at the top of the pathway. You need ALL of them. People just don’t understand the importance of supplying your body ALL of the complete, natural organic CIS forms of the omegas it needs for ALL it’s metabolic processes, and that’s why people are sick & diseased, and because of the overload of TRANS O-6 in ALL processed “foods”. Also remember that the body MAKES the derivative forms WHEN & AS needed, but autonomically maintaing the balance, let your body do the math, it’s SMART!

      Another good article, google “enerex omega 3”. And there’s always almost any article at Brian Peskin dot com.

      1. Also, for more info re the importance of O-6 over O-3 click on my name below my comments to go to my Twitter channel where I post relevant info & links, & repost the comments I make here (the guy that runs this site has a nasty habit of censoring my posts). 🙂

  16. A hunk of quality cheese into a good oil/ balsamic dip or even a guacamole would be delicious and very satisfying.

    1. That sounds awesome.

      I’ve found that I’ve been moved to much higher quality dairy since moving to a more primal/paleo oriented diet (probably true of all the food my family eats), but I notice it the most with the dairy we eat. Nothing compares to a good quality cheese.

    2. I second this! A chunk of parma or pecorino cheese would be my choice.

      Sigh! I’d forgotten all about the bread/olive oil dip until today. Thanks, Mark 😉

  17. The flax bread recipe that was in a prior post is great for dipping! I make it with fresh rosemary…makes a great combo for oils.

  18. I like to cut an apple into slices and dip that in olive oil and balsamic. And add some good cheese.

  19. For the Ramdan fast, maybe trying something fatty that will keep you fuller for longer, such as a smoohtie made with various nut butters and coconut milk or heavy cream?

    I’ve found coconut butter also keeps me satiated for quite a while so you might want to give that a shot if it agrees with you.

    You could also do some kind of egg bake that you can keep in the refrigerator for say a week. A while back Mark posted this awesome recipe for chicken clafoutis (sp?) which is basically eggs, shredded chicken, butter, etc. baked into one dish. It’s delicious and filling. You can look up the recipe on this site.

  20. I’ve had a dodgy back since I herniated a disk in 2003. Last year I got hold of high concentration omega-3 tablets as I knew that they may have some anti-inflammatory effects. Boy, they worked wonders. I am now off diclofenac (a nasty, dirty NSAID with horrible gastric side effects) and I enjoy vastly better back health and am generally pain free. Making sure I keep zero grains in the diet helps a great deal too. On holiday recently I pigged out on breads and pizza for a couple of days, and hadn’t been supplementing with Omegas. It was an interesting experiment as the main problem was nausea/bloating or heartburn, it was back pain. Back on the primal eating wagon and 2-3g of Omega3 per day and I’m good again!

    1. This is fascinating. I’ve got a friend with chronic back pain and is a chronic bread and pizza eater. Hmm, maybe a connection there?

      1. Definitely. Grains and sugars are inflammatory, especially to joints. Anyone who is arthritic should avoid them. Well, everyone should avoid them- but there certainly is a connection.

  21. I do egg whites rolls to dip in sauces. I just dry-fry a cup or so of egg-whites into a thin crepe with or without chives, roll it up, and dip away. If I want more absorbing structure I cover it up with a cover while frying or microwave it (beat it up with a bit of water before popping into micro in a cup).

  22. Uhm, also, for balsamic vinegar and oil, I bet the lightly grilled eggplant will be a great bread substitute.

    1. I definitely second the eggplant suggestion! We cut rounds and grill or broil them all of the time, using them as a substitute for pita bread when we we eat Mediterranean food.

  23. Eggs are .99 per dozen, Organic eggs are $4.00 per dozen. Is it worth four times as much for organic?

    1. Absolutely! Depending on where the “organic” eggs are coming from of course. Eggs from a local farm simply cannot be beat and easily have 4x the nutrients as high ouput “farms”. Their yolks will be enormous and a bright, vibrant orange, and the taste is otherworldly. Omega 3 to 6 ratios will also be vastly improved. Find a farm that allows their chickens free range and doesn’t force feed them grain. The farms grow organic vegetables, some of the vegetables go bad and get eaten by bugs, the chickens wander around and eat those bugs, and through the circle of life you get some of the healthy nutrients the vegetables had. At the same time be careful of large farms (i.e. Eggland’s best). Their eggs are better than the cheapo eggs, but there’s been speculation that the chickens are fed rancid sources of omega-3s which would mean oxidized PUFAs being passed on into the eggs.

    2. Some so called organic are fed ‘organic soy’ and isn’t at all good for you.
      Free-range with access to bugs and worms make the very best eggs. The more bugs a chicken, turkey, duck or goose had, the more nutritious and orange the yolk.

    3. Absolutely. Even if you’re like me and can eat 6 eggs at a time, each meal only cost $2.00 which is not bad at all.

    4. Be careful with the word “Organic” because it has been bastardized. The FDA’s version of organic is all feed sources and inputs are known. Versus say, “wild”. I learned this while at my local fish market. The “organic” salmon was farm raised and fed with grains. The “wild” salmon eat other fish and such but could not be called organic. I’d assume the same goes for eggs.

  24. My rule of thumb – if it costs 2x or less the regural price, buy organic. I do not support the surcharge higher than that. Eggs, unfortunately, is one category where the organic is just too expensive to afford when you feed a family on a budget.

    1. Makes me feel very lucky – I can get a dozen eggs from a local cage-free farmer for $2, while the stores carry ordinary, commercial eggs for $1.69/dozen.

  25. Compelling questions today. I wish there was an easy way to test one’s system for oxidized fats. There’s a lot of guesswork in matching omega-3 to omega-6 intake and I suspect I’m overloading the PUFAs from time to time, but know of no way to find out.

    Ramadan fasting is an interesting challenge, and for me I think the major difficulty would be ensuring adequate hydration. Would extra sodium intake at dinner help or hinder this?

    Olive oil and balsamic is good for veggies, but I prefer other dips for protein:

    – Pork and beef in egg yolks
    – Shrimp in a butter-garlic-cream cheese-oregano sauce

    The latter is just amazing and renders carbohydrates completely unnecessary.

    Mondays, unfortunately, are still atrocious.

  26. Romaine lettuce works for dipping, too.
    On another note,
    I am with Leida – most people cant
    afford 4$ for eggs. Today I bought 4 dozen, and I expect they might last for a week…(Trader Joes is the least expensive egg source around here). Having eggs for breakfast and HB eggs for snacks is still better than cereal and chips.

  27. Almost any thinly sliced lean meat is delicious dipped in olive oil (with or without Balsamic) and benefits from the added fat.

  28. I do the Warrior Diet, and if you can’t stand hunger, it isn’t for you. It will lean you out though better than any eat timing I’ve ever tried hands down.

    1. I do the Warrior Diet (and PB at the same time [they’re very compatible]).

      Apart from the first three days on the Warrior Diet I’ve never been hungry (and I have a very health appetite).

      I started on the Warrior Diet nearly one year ago.

      1. Same here. I find that combining primal food choices with warrior diet meal timing maps really well to my body’s physiology. It makes sense to me from an evolutionary standpoint too since the research I’ve seen on hunter/gatherers and “ancient warriors” shows a very common lifestyle pattern of eating very little during the day and celebrating with a feast at night.

        1. I started out on the Warrior Diet too and saw great initial results, but leaned out even better once I cut the legumes and fruit. I drink tea during the day, then eat at night (most days).

          One BIG difference is that Ori is now himself a vegetarian, except dairy, eggs and fish (I know there’s a word for that). Also, in the evening, unless you need to eat lean out, most grains and legumes are fine. He abstains though from meat mainly due to ethical reasons, and also argues that because we don’t break down animal (meat) protein nearly as well as we do eggs, dairy, fish and legumes.

          Eating primal is just much simpler to implement, though I still employ IF. Once I reached my desired weight though, I may incorporate some legumes and rice back into the mix.

  29. I like to use cucumbers as an alternative to dipping and also use them as a substitute for chips when having guacamole. Another favorite is shrimp – especially when in Cabo I’ll order shrimp and guacamole but they work well with olive oil/balsamic too.

  30. Mark,

    I follow a Warrior diet style of eating most of the week, not everyday. It works really well for me. I like to finish it off with a huge Primal salad at the end of the day.

    Also, I recently started taking krill oil supplements. Read that these were better than standard fish oil.


  31. I agree there is no substitute for a good bread and fresh butter at a fine restaurant. Just yesterday I had two bites of a fresh asiago cheese bread, enjoyed it, and then forgot about it when my filet and bacon wrapped asparagus arrived. I tell my clients that there is really nothing that can recreate the bread eating experience but once they are off of it for awhile they will not want it as much. it feels good to not want it!

  32. At a swanky Italian restaurant recently I had an appetizer of young raw veggies served with olive oil and sea salt for dipping. It was awesome and I’ve done it at home (and brought it to parties) to great effect. The key is to use the freshest veggies possible, good oil, and big flake sea salt. Recommended veggies: small young turnips, radishes, carrots, cucumbers, asparagus, peppers, and basically any other crudite-appropriate vegetable. Even my friends who make fun of my “caveman” diet love this!

  33. Hydration is often a bigger challenge during Ramadan and am also wandering how to or whether I even should maintain a workout programme during the 30 days.

    In any case, a High fat and protein meal with a coconut milk shake will definitely be the way I start in the early hours so will keep you all posted and will also keep a diary of the 30 days on from 1st August. I’m really looking forward to it now 🙂

    Thanks Mark, for a great site and answering the Q about Ramadan.

  34. I like the notion of dipping deli meats instead of bread. THere is something wonderful about dipping turkey rollups into a Paleo friendly sauce. Although…its hard to beat a warm piece of bread and olive oil

  35. I just cant believe Mark said “bacon” and “imperfection” in the same sentence! Does.not.compute.

  36. You sometimes go to Italian restaurants? What in the world is even close to primal at an Italian restaurant?

  37. I like to dip pork rinds in all kinds of stuff when I really have the urge for bread/crackers or chips, I dip them in cheese,olive oil & ranch dressing sometimes, but cheese on them is my favorite.

  38. I was just talking with a friend about missing Dipping Bread. Its just one of those little things. We have yet to find a good alternative, but I have it on one of my goal lists with learning to make homemade mayo….I would really like to make a good Almond/Coconut Flour Bread….but they tend to come out very dense. Still working on that one!

  39. As usual, love your advice. I miss dipping bread into oil too! Gonna have to try those alternatives. Or maybe make almond bread?

  40. While all the substitutes for bread dipping are intriguing, nothing really quite matches the real deal. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with enjoying it on a very irregular basis and I fully appreciate Mark saying he enjoys certain things like this on occasion. Complete deprivation just doesn’t make sense to me. If anything, it will reinforce why you make the choices you make. Thanks Mark for keeping PB so real to life!

  41. Re: dipping bread, try castagnaccio, a traditional, dense cake-like bread made with chestnut flour. Google some recipes and try it out. Just beware of some recipes that call for wheat flour. Jenn Cuisine has a good one that is gluten free and savory – a lot of recipes are for sweet castagnaccio. I’ve been successful using 1/2 almond and 1/2 coconut flour in place of the very expensive chestnut flour, but the bread comes out a bit more crumbly with the almond meal.

  42. The bread issue is a constant mind over matter issue with me. I totally love sandwiches and the talk of bread dipped in oil had my mouth watering (literally). I’ve been meaning to ask Mark about what could be done as far as bread substitutes and I know there’s plenty. I found mine today tho.

    Call me crazy, I was about to make a tuna scramble and instead just made scrambled eggs like a pancake or large crepe and used that as my bread. Added the tuna and a few tomato slices, rolled that sucker up like a wrap and BAM! CHEERS TO GOOD EATING!

  43. Hi Mark

    your comments here on omega 3 and cholesterol clash a bit with the cholesterol section of your blog. I am at my wits end. Been primal for 8 months, whilst my son who eats exactly what I do, has lost 12kg’s and has great blood results. My cholesterol has gone through the roof (350) as have my s-ferratin and uric acid. The doctors (italy) are horrified with my diet and blame everything on my high meat intake and lack of eating bread and pasta. Any ideas? ps I take 4g of omega 3 a day



  44. Great article. I think the warrior diet is a great alternative to those who don’t want to totally fast for long periods of time.

    You eat great food and the snacking during the day keeps you feeling great.

  45. What about MDA levels and fish oil? And I’m unaware of any studies showing that fish oil doesn’t oxidize in the body, sure the vitamin E keeps them nice and safe in a bottle, but in the human body?

    Most blogs I go to (Archevore, Healthy Sketpic, Daily Lipid) seem to agree that 4% of caloric intake from PUFAs is optimal, and Chris Masterjohn recently told one person on his Facebook page that fish oil should be considered a drug- and I agree.

    It is not natural to have huge amounts of EPA and DHA, and research shows that EPA will compete for synthesis with AA, when AA and DHA are the only two polyunsaturates we need- and we certainly don’t need a lot, especially if taken from liver. I recently said I’ll go with the research and just eat a variety of grass-fed red meats and butter, with fruit and the occasional veggies and omega-3 eggs (if the eggs fits in with my PUFA target, usually my total PUFAs are below 20 grams).

    I don’t really believe the 4:1 omega-6:omega-3 ratio anymore either. I just think we need to get small amounts of PUFAs as possible while indulging in saturates, monounsaturates, and CLA. Heck, even the AHA recommend a relatively low amount of PUFAs (10-12% of caloric intake).

  46. Re the Warrior Diet – I think this is pretty much how I’m supposed to eat. I don’t need regular meals (happily go through the day with small snacks), but then I like to really eat to fullness when I do have a meal. This makes sense to me – do you see any animal in the wild leaving a carcass to rot because it’s concerned about “portion control”? Then trying to hunt for another modest meal a few hours later…!

    That said, I think things work differently for guys and gals. This style of eating doesn’t seem to work well for my wife who gets hungry despite paleo foods, but doesn’t feel the need to wolf out. Perhaps something to do with her body reassuring itself from a child-bearing POV that regular food is available? Dunno.

  47. Re: a bread alternative for dipping…

    Eggplant! Cut into thin rounds for the “bread slice” effect, and roast plain in the oven at 400 degrees for 30-ish minutes. Works for dipping, supporting eggs Benedict, and even for making Paleo french toast.

    Sometimes I cut them into cubes and roast plain, so they can mimic bread cubes in a Paleo bread pudding (add cinnamon, egg, coconut milk, rum, and raisins).